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Bioware have put together a rather nice trailer showcasing some of the goodies in their next major update, now due in April – yes, I know the trailer’s actually been available for nearly a week, see my last post for why I’m not entirely on the ball at the moment. Anyway, there’s a lot of nice stuff in there and even if they aren’t going to match the output of the Stakhanovites at Trion, it’s clear that Bioware’s dev team aren’t sitting back and resting on their laurels. Bonus points to them also for once again using music from the excellent Two Steps From Hell in their videos.

One thing that doesn’t appear in the video is that update 1.2 also involves a tweaking/balancing pass on all the classes’ skill trees, resulting in free respecs for everybody when the patch hits. How extensive the changes are we’ve yet to see, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on the public test patch notes. While a certain number of tweaks, buffs and (whisper it) nerfs are normal especially in the early months of a game as the devs see how things play out in practice, I’ve got to admit to being a bit nervous. I’d hate to see another game succumb to ‘Ghostcrawler disease’ where obsessive re-balancing and endless adjustments become the main focus of the live team and crowd out both development of new systems and any variation or individuality in what’s already there. Game balance isn’t a static thing, it should be more like balance while riding a bicycle – you keep moving forward, making enough adjustments to keep from falling over but the main thing is to Keep. Moving. Forward.

One Comment

  1. Spot on about game balance there, just like riding a bike (whee, ring-ring, crash in my case but your point is still valid). I do also think games would be more dynamic with quick (and free) respecs available. It’d be nicer to just try stuff out rather than go and read up to find out what’s just been nerfed, or what the min-max is. From when I was raiding part of the fun was “ok that didn’t work how about we…”. Would have been lovely to play with eachothers specs. Hmm that came out a bit strange.

    And I hope you’re feeling better now. It’s horrible being sick, regs, Av

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