The PvP Paradox of Accessible Gearing
Posted by Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 January 2014, 10:20 am
As I looked at the mage I realized something terrible. First, she had a lot more health than me, at least 120k more. Second, that first frostbolt wasn't exactly tickling me. Third, ice lance on a frozen target, such as me, hurts a hell of a lot more than a frostbolt. I ran over and hit her a few times. I didn't have the damage to burn through her ice barrier, let alone her health, and I didn't have the health to soak very much damage.

I did the logical thing and died.

As more gear is available, significantly unbalanced fights become more common. By that I mean fights where gear is the largest determinant of success, as opposed to tactics, reflexes, or class differences, and furthermore, decides the winner regardless of those other factors.

If we imagine a game in which gear is highly exclusive, then surely we'd expect more unbalanced fights. If only one or five percent of a game can get extremely powerful gear, then we'd expect a lot of unbalanced fights; since any interaction between them and the rest of the community will be unbalanced. Yet that is only one or five percent of the interactions. Even if we expect those highly geared players to be more active and therefore run into less geared players at an unusually high rate, we're still going to be dealing with a minority of fights. A newly-leveled player will be weaker than a more experienced one, but the difference in gear will not be particularly vast if they aren't in the minority of high-end raiders.

On the other hand if gear is more accessible, though not a Push Button for Loot, then we'll see more unbalanced fights. Not everyone will take advantage of this increased accessibility, due to still being locked out or not caring enough to get the gear (maybe they prefer pet battles). Since there is a time and luck component, gear will not be evenly distributed, even under conditions of equal motivation. Some will still be poorly geared, while a large number of players will have far better gear than under the exclusive scenario. In effect, unbalanced fights are made available to more players as more players have an opportunity to gear past their peers.



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