Originally Posted by Delmore
This isn't a point I specifically brought up, but yet I feel this has become one of the most pervasive sources of imbalance. The side with greater numbers often are able to flip the OPs, and camp them to ensure they retain the favor. This in-turn makes their defending of them easier, as well as the pendulum of balance skew much too far to one side. Rather than completely remove them, something that has been a common theme and one not likely to be instated. A factor of diminishing returns would be much more received by both sides. Perhaps if the value of the buff for the first OP held would remain intact, the second and subsequent OPs would see the value of the buff diminish per OP held. This would create some action at OPs, allow buffs, and prevent MASSIVE sways in balance.
Originally Posted by Delmore
Outside of OPs, other sources of solo imbalance lay within the classes themselves. Skills that are specifically designed for PVE have very large ramifications in PVP balance. I remember Turbine once changing skills that were deemed "unfit" for pvp by using the Monster Play buff to alter skills. This concept should again be reinstated to help create class balance. You can't change how someone wants to trait in the moors (i.e. Shield Wardens or Glory Champs), but you can determine the effectiveness of certain skills. Skills such as RK's Armor of Storm bypass the Stun Immunity and can completely disable a melee target for 20s, if perhaps the first stun occurred then invoked the 10s stun immunity and allowed another single stun upon the immunity expiring, this skill would not be seen as severely imbalanced. Yet this is not how this skill functions and creates a very one-sided fight between a melee MP and an RK. I could continue on about various skills and how they seem to function improperly, but much of this will become moot when HD changes how some skills function. The real fact behind this example is there are very few ways for monster players to counter skills of this nature. Skills such as this, or the multitude of other bubbles, full heals, crit multipliers force the hands of monster players with little recourse.
The availability of instant, in-combat buffs to one side, while not the other is also a large source of imbalance. Hunters have focus pots, champs fury pots, Rks enamels, and so on, which can be bought with in-game gold (not commendations) and used in monster play. These not only provide instant access to many DPS skills many also provide + crit/dev magnitude increases. If perhaps monster players had access to similar potions, purchased with commendations, this could provide a more dynamic experience. These potions could be quite simple, catering to DPS, Healing, or support classes, or made specifically for each class.
Any semblance of solo balance as of late is more a factor of players "self-nerfing" rather than game mechanics. There are certain match-ups that are so imbalanced, often players avoid them at all cost. When I played freepside I played a warden. Like many Wardens I started with shield traits not realizing the broken crit-immunity bonus that was attached to that trait line. (This is another possible moot point with the release of HD, but has become a source of much anger/frustration within the moors.) Once I realized how this affected gameplay I transitioned to Spear traits and realized how much more engaging monster play was. Yet, I still found more challenge in finding the appropriate level of "self-nerfing" to be competitive and balanced than how to counter each monster play class. The Warden class typifies how overpowered free people classes can be vs your typical rank 6-9 MP class. I was forced to strip the class down to a barely functional dps rotation, to find balance. I knew going into almost every single fight in open pvp that I would/could walk away with renown. Many free people classes function with this same mentality. A mini in WS can do massive crit damage while staying at full health after 40k damage vs a solo dps monster class. Matchups such as this rely solely on one side to CREATE balance, rather than the game mechanics allowing balance. A LM can stack 3 water lores chain different CC enough to keep a class locked down, unable to counter while their stun pots are on CD and then crit Ents for half the morale of certain classes. On the other end of balance an average hunter, with minimal CD skills, can be devoured by a high-rank warg (considered the lowliest monster class) in seconds. Finding a matchup between two classes that completely depends on skill of the player, rather than the "I WIN" skills available to the classes, the amount a class can heal themselves, or the number of bubbles they have is non-existant.
The fact these matchups do not exist outside of groups/raids is very discouraging for those who enjoy the solo open-pvp style. As a warg I often rely on callouts to defeat a solo minstrel known for "spam healing". I must completely ignore Wardens who are traited shield since a lot of my dps is gated through a crit-response that can't occur but once every 7 seconds. The concept that one class can not compete with another simply due to a broken mechanic is wrong. These kind of matchups are examples of where the pendulum is too far to one side. When you factor in an imbalance with OPs which may be to the overpowered sides favor, you have players who are able to one-shot creeps or easily hit a full audacity creep for 9k with a single skill (epic conclusions).
If you tried to balance all creep classes with a warden, classes like hunter would be out on the street. If you gave all creep classes the ability to counter a single overpowered skill, it could create unfair matchups with others. I think the best way to create balance is evaluate certain skills and use the Monster Play buff to create a more balanced function. Most of the other points I made have been address much more effectively by others than I feel like doing myself.
~Anaxander R9 Warden, Baranthor R5 Hunter, Skartan R2 Guardian~ Elendilmir
~Karukh R10 Warg, Prisonshank R6 Reaver~ Elendilmir