Overpowered to the Max!November 5, 2008
I’ve seen this question/discussion/rant come up in many a blog post and comment section: is Order more overpowered than Destruction, or is Destruction more overpowered than Order? Do certain scenarios favor one side or the other?
Some of this boils down to a pedantic “waaah I’m on the losing side of a battle so it must be game imbalance and not me or my team’s inadequacy!” Being on a skilled team that works together will trump any loosely-grouped opponents any day of the week. Not knowing how to play your class effectively and how to adapt vs. other classes (in other words, using the same attack strategies for every opponent) will hamper you. And being me means that you will get your face stomped into the ground, time and again. Face it: people always whine when they lose, and it’s easier to blame the game than it is themselves.
But sometimes you hear something often enough that we should investigate further. One such example is Tor Anroc, a well-known T3 scenario (perhaps the only one, since the others pop so rarely that they are often myths told to schoolchildren). Destruction complains heartily that Order has more knockbacks and gets them earlier, which favors the lava-strewn terrain. Order, particularly from my experience, always rolls their eyes at how the bauble is closer to the Destruction starting point than our own, which results in Destroids picking it up first 99% of the time (I have yet to witness an Order character beating Destruction to the punch here, but perhaps your server is different). Is one side more overpowered than the other? I don’t really think so. I’ve seen as many Order wins as Destruction wins in this scenario, which suggests enough balance to make all of the idiosyncrasies acceptable.
Destruction boasts more numbers, around a 1.3:1 ratio, and can theoretically wield more troops in Open RvR than Order ever can on most servers. Destruction also boasts two insanely popular tank classes — Black Orc and Chosen — that seemingly outnumber Order’s tank population at every turn. Yet Ironbreakers are widely acknowledged to be the most overpowered (or at least spot-on) tank class, trumping others when you do hard comparisons.
You can look at mirrored classes and see if there’s severe imbalance going on. From Waralytics, I’d have to say no — the two pairings that are underperforming in strength and population are the White Lion/Squig Herder and Magus/Engineer, but since one part of those pairings isn’t vastly more popular, there’s no overpoweredness going on.
Sometimes a dominating guild, particularly one that prides itself on being the best, the elite, the uber-spiffy, can make a huge impact on the playing field and give the impression that they represent an entire faction to those who they’re slaughtering. That should be taken into account.
A lot of this is from my own limited experience, and I look at things through an Order viewpoint. It’s faulty and biased and I know that. I do wish that more people would admit that they don’t have the omnipresent, omniscient viewpoint that Mythic can boast with its metrics and data-gathering, and be okay with losing sometimes. But my gut tells me that no, one side isn’t “overpowered” compared to the other, and it’s in Mythic’s best interest to make sure that doesn’t ever happen.