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Hotfixes / Banned / Limit and more.

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Tribalxgecko
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Joined: 01/03/2012

I am trying to decide the best way to handle unbalanced game pieces for the game I am working on (if you have not seen it mentioned elsewhere by me, it is a miniatures game).

I am working on setting up the first official release and play testing on my end has gone well. Needless to say, I know once I open it up to others they will find loopholes and abuse some mini's. That said, what is the best way to handle the figures that make it through playtesting but are later found to be broken or powerful? I figure there are three options, I have considered the pros and cons of them, but if you were a player (or do play a game that does something like this) what do -you- prefer?

Hotfixes (The stats / rules are changed on the unit itself permenantly (or until it needs fixing again. This often leads to players calling the subject in question to be 'nerfed')

Banned (Allow the unit to be only used in casual play and offer 'house rule' ideas on how to balance it. Essentially letting players deal with it. I have seen this lead to a lot of arguments and frustration, or new players not realizing the unbalanced factors and becoming the victim).

Limit (Simple limit the times the unit can be used or included in the army. I have a standard limit of no more than 4 of a single unit. This could be lowered in hopes of balance. Generally not a great fix, but could work.)

New Version (Sort of like a hotfix, but in this case stop production / sale of the broken unit, allowing the players who have the old version to still use it. A new unit with the hotfixes in place would then be released, probably with a new name to avoid confusion.)

Any other ideas? What would you like a game / company to do if you were a player? What would be the most fair option?

Fhizban
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hey,

hey,
once more i realised how similar my game is to yours :-)

i cannot tell you anything new, just how i am doing it. as i dislike banning (especially because my game uses special dice to represent troops, wich are more unique, significant and of course more expensive than cards) im left with the other two:

1. Hotfixes
I am using hotfixes (called versions in my game) all the time. as the rules of every unit are kept on a seperate info-card, it is quite easy to release new (nerfed) versions of the unit (replacing the old). its important to know that the cost as well as the field-limit is also on the card.

2. Limit
as stated above, i am also using a field-limit in my game. there is a natural field limit built in into the several "rarities" in my game. common units can be included much more often than uncommon or even rare units. this adds some kind of natural "balance-of-power" to the game.

finally, to give you a new idea - here is what i am doing:

Design Points
I use a internal system of design points to set the power level, attributes and abilities of every unit. all the abilities and attribute values have a internal design point cost (like flying costs 2 DP, strength(2) costs 2*2 = 4 DP etc.). this allows me to design units in two ways: bottom up or top down. this way, i can design a unit by choosing all attribute values and abilities, then add up the design points and translate them into the actual unit cost. OR: i limit myself to an amount of design points (say 12) and then design the unit by choosing all attributes/abilities i can afford. any way, just imagine a "character editor" for game designers!

hope this helps

Tribalxgecko
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Joined: 01/03/2012
Thanks Fhizban! I am leaning

Thanks Fhizban! I am leaning towards the hotfix option at the moment. It seems like the easiest way to handle fixing a balance issue, for me anyway. I know that in some cases people get annoyed by that. For example if somebody finds that loophole and goes through the time and money to buy the pieces to use them, then the rule is fixed...they may get frustrated. At the same time, I think that if a player does something like that, just to exploit a rule imbalance, then it is their problem. Especially if they know that it is going to be changed soon anyway.

Quote:
once more i realised how similar my game is to yours :-)
Even more so now that you mentioned your design points. I have an excel sheet setup to do the same exact thing, though my formula is a bit different obviously. But that way I place all of the units on equal ground to start with as far as stats go. Then I customize them from there.

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