That does lead very quickly to a problem in 40k, one I generally like to call "how much is a faction?"Indy wrote: ↑Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:20 pmI definitely get the video game model. I and some others here play Rainbow Six Siege and--especially with R6's focus on eSports these days--it also has become a case of "what the 'pros' do." That being said, what I like about how the R6 team balances things is the fact that they elaborate on their intentions and how certain game facets are supposed to work. I.e. "this person's gun is supposed to be really powerful b/c their other equipment is not that strong" or vice versa. And they are also quite open about the fact that no single character is supposed to be able to "do it all."MrScotty wrote: ↑Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:02 pmI'm of the opinion that "video game style game balancing" is exactly what people are asking for and exactly what they're doing.Sandtiger wrote: ↑Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:49 pmI'm not much of a fan of the way they play whack-a-mole; I think they should have made a better balanced game from the outset even considering that nothing can be 100% balanced all the time even in well done games like StarCraft. Their rules writings leave much to be desired imo even in the baby stages since if they hired me, I am certain I would find a lot of dps centric things to do right off the bat to exploit that they could decide "do we really want to do this?"
For perspective, I play League of Legends relatively competitively. I follow professional play pretty regularly and keep up with the balance patches and while they're certainly not balancing anywhere as frequently as league, they're definitely aiming to do the same style of balance that scratches the same itch.
In League, balance is largely done based on performance at a professional level, with players using the various champions (of which there are about 150) to their maximum potential power. For that reason, you might have a champion who to the rest of the millions of players in the world, has a very low overall win ratio, but who professional players consider the best in class because if you play them absolutely perfectly they're incredibly powerful. The best analog I can think of in 40k is balancing based on super-competitive soup lists and generally ignoring "normal play". Because, to be honest, the same phenomenon of the internet occurs for 40k, where professional players become little mini-celebrities in the community and people both imitate the things those professionals play, and complain about the things they complain about.
Very, very often you have a champion who stats say NOBODY is good enough to play correctly sitting at a sub-45% winrate being one of the most popular picks and one of the most complained about as a "balance problem", purely because people are watching these top level tournament players and seeing them picking and playing well with this champion.
Balance around super-duper-soup in 40k is pretty much identical. The assumption that you are willing to ebay your current competitive list and buy what's new and strong immediately to capitalize on meta changes is pretty much 100% required for top-tables play, and pretty much guaranteed to not be a thing if you're not in that .001% of the playerbase that wants to do that. What you do get is regular players who look at whatever the current meta hotness is when considering what they want to buy and add to their collection, and it's those guys who will be disproportionately affected when the next round of tournament whack-a-mole comes around.
As harsh as it sounds, I think the net effect of that style of balance might be positive. Better than anything anyone can say, balancing like that teaches people not to invest their money heavily in models just to get a particular combo that wins. I just hope that an equivalent effort is put in to reward people for sticking by things that are not currently strong later on down the line.
TL;DR: Balancing around the tippy-top tier of competitive tournament play and whacking whatever is strong in that context is video game style balancing.
...and I think that's where soup, especially at competitive levels, annoys me. Each Faction is designed with certain strengths and weaknesses. How you play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses is gaming 101. But soup offers an artificial* way to increase your dudes' effectiveness above and beyond the "fault tested limits" of a single book. There are fluff reasons for going soup, which I have no problem with, but it worries me that GW seems to be encouraging the reliance on soup so much, to the detriment of mono-faction builds. I would have no problem if single-faction armies had some kind of benefit to running that way (a "secondary chapter tactic" or such), but as it stands right now, there is no reason not to go soup.
Things are improving overall, though, since I do have to say that one year into 8th ed and the game overall feels FAR more balanced than 7th ever did, even against a wide variety of opponents and army builds.
*by artificial I mean using more pieces than "come in the box." Kinda like with a Pinewood Derby kit... http://southpark.cc.com/clips/kkzd7a/su ... hat-hollis
Because very frequently, almost always, the "man I wish allies weren't a thing, people should just pick one faction" opinion tends to come from people who like Space Marines, Eldar, Tau...and very rarely things like Custodes, Harlequins, or Genestealer cultists.
A faction in 40k can have anywhere from one unit (stuff like Sisters of Silence etc), to dozens of units at this point.
Now, one solution to this is to implement allies in a very strictly controlled manner, like in some other games there are dedicated "Mercenary" mini-factions that can be tacked on to a number of different armies. Or, you could include them with special rules ala Genestealer Cultist's "Brood Brothers" rule.
"Daemon buddies. An army with a Thousand Sons detachment that also includes a single detachment of Tzeentch Daemons is still battleforged."
"Imperial Operative. Officio Assassinorum units may be included in any Imperium detachment without removing any detachment benefits, but do not benefit from any detachment benefits or stratagems themselves"
We are, at this point, in a world where allies exist, and I don't think there's a way out of that without basically eliminating smaller factions. I definitely agree that focusing on what armies are capable of doing with allies does often negatively effect mono-faction armies, though I'm a bit hesitant to say that happened *too* much with this FAQ in particular. Wings of Flame was probably originally conceived as a way to re-deploy a blood angels jump pack unit, and after the Tactical Reserves rule was implemented it became one of the few ways to mount an effective turn 1 deep strike alpha strike. That's a significant shift in power, and I can see why the cost went up. I would be very surprised to see Orks "Da Jump" power remain the same as its current incarnation in the new codex. Imperial Knights stratagems as well I can understand because there's just not that many stratagems that can be applied to big, gigantic, 450+ point models that WONT feel much stronger than something you're using on a normal standard unit.
Honestly I think stratagem hikes are only half the solution needed for knights. You just have to look at how crazy the impact of their relics and their warlord traits can be. "hmmm, for my free relic should I take a bolt pistol that gets AP-1 and 2 shots, or should I take the relic gatling cannon that gets an average of 4 extra 36" range S6 AP-2 D2 shots?" "let's see, for my warlord trait I could either give my 30 point imperial guard commander re-rolls to hit in close combat, or I could give my 600 point knight a 4+ invulnerable save. Tricky choice."