# How do i properly balance a game!

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
I am refering to the balancing of 12 individual races with each other. I need help understanding the concept of how i would go about doing this certain math equations that must be calculated and how i would do this for units heros buildings upgrades and spells. for a MELEE Style map!
Heros:
-Ability specifications what kind of abilities should each hero contain?
-Max amount of abilities for a level 10 hero?
-Power range of abilities?
Units:
-How many units is acceptable per race min or max?
-Damage difference between types of units?
-If common classes across several races should be almost identical but seperated by subtle but noticable features?
-What is a decent range of damage for basic classes and how to calculate the difference or exchange to another race or how i would go about figuring out a unit similiar in class from another races stats?
-Average unit abilities per race
Buildings:
-What is acceptable for tower types based on the class of tower(Magic, seige, guard)?
-what is a minimum or a maximum for a fully functional race to have with out being excessive or underdeveloped?
-Should upgrades for building defenses be linear across all races?(Should they all recieve the same stat upgrade so 5 armor, 10 armor, 15, armor per level)?
-For commom classes should upgrades be linear as well for attack boosters and defense boosters?
-How can i give different races different upgrades that do completely different things and balance them out so one side does not have an advantage without the other side having an upperhand as well?
-What is an acceptable amount of upgrades per race with a 3 teir townhall?
-What is the max boost acceptable for a common upgrade found linearly across serveral races?(For example attack increase defence increase)?
Spells:
-What is acceptable and what is not?
-what should each race contain a spell for and how should it interact with every other race?
-Should abilities and spells and everything be focused towards another race in particular?
-In the original wc3 certain races excelled against particular races how should it be done correctly?

I am looking for theoretical answers or possible solutions i could put into practice. I am not looking for someone to tell me have a soldier do 6 damage but more alo0ng the lines of if your footman does 7 damage then the enemy should be based off that and altered or adjusted in such a way to appropriate a common balance between races. that was an example of what im looking for i do not know the answers but i have ideas about them and i am posting this to get a better understanding of what a well balanced MELEE style map should be organized.
Thank you if you have any experience doing this though dont hesitate to message me if your interested in working on a map with me in which i will require all of this done.
P.S. No nonsense on this thread im looking for real practical answers in which i can apply to a game type im developing.

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
Thank You

I hate having to have posted a thread for this i looked but could not find all the specifics i was looking for but this does help a lot. I appreciate the help if you stumble across anything else that would also be of use that would be helpful!

#### Dr Super Good

Spell Reviewer
Level 63
-Ability specifications what kind of abilities should each hero contain?
WC3 melee heroes generally have the following (not always, just mostly).
1 Combat aggressive skill (eg Holy Light, Death Coil, Carrion Swarm, Frost Nova...)
1 Utility/support skill (eg Divine Shield, Death Pact, Sleep, The other Death Pact thing...)
1 Passive skill (eg Devotion Aura, Unholy Aura, Vampirism Aura Critical Strike).

-Max amount of abilities for a level 10 hero?
4 For a melee hero. You can make it 5 with more levels if you raise level cap.

-Power range of abilities?
Varies. Some do better early game than others. Direct damage depends on the area of the damage (larger is weaker) and the spam ability (more spamable is weaker).

-How many units is acceptable per race min or max?
1 Peon unit (Peon, Peasant, Wisp...)
2 Basic combat (Footman/Rifleman, Grunt/Troll Head Hunter, Huntress/Archer...)
2 Casters (Sorceress/Priest, Shaman/Witch Doctor...)
1 Siege (Mortar, Demolisher, Glavie Thrower...)
2 Air (Flying Machine/Griffin Rider, Troll Thing/Wyvern, Hypogryph/Chimera...)
1 Heavy (Knight, Abomination, Tauren, Mountain Giant....)

Anything less and you will struggle to fulfil all required combat rolls and provide the player with enough diversity to carry him through a match. Nothing stops you from having more than that obviously or even mixing and matching as required however you do want to make sure that all units you make have a purpose and there are situations you will want to use them. Avoid the case of redundant units where you have 3 units that fulfil the same roles as two of them (the weakest) will never be used while the other will be spammed.

A typical case where you see this done badly in maps is where you have...
Squire, Knight, Elite Knight, Royal Knight... all available at once and the only difference being purely statistical. It usually ends up that going with Elite Knight is best as they are physically superior to the other two (why ever build them?) yet cheap enough that they are more spam-able than Royal Knights as the map maker though he would try and make the others useful so gave the end ones poor cost efficiency ratios.

-Damage difference between types of units?
The general rule of thumb is that the later you can build the unit and the more the unit costs, the more damage it deals. You can deviate by giving units special damage (eg, Wolf Riders are kind of an early siege weapon). Units that fall into Heavy generally deal the most damage and are the toughest. Units with rather specific target types can also deal higher than normal damage (the Gargoyle deals huge air damage for its cost).

-If common classes across several races should be almost identical but seperated by subtle but noticable features?
Each race should avoid clone units from other races. You do not want the situation where Race 1 and 2 both have Footman but with only a few HP and damage difference. The Footman and the Grunt are distinct units which considerably different statistics and capabilities.

-What is a decent range of damage for basic classes and how to calculate the difference or exchange to another race or how i would go about figuring out a unit similiar in class from another races stats?
The SC2 analysis approach was to look at the hits to kill ratio. This probably will work quite well in WC3 although randomness hurts the approach.

Unless type effectiveness or support is involved, you will want units to roughly kill similar values of units in practical combat situations. Range units need lower damage/health than melee units as they can start attacking before or when melee units cannot. Try and decide what special features you want a unit to have and build around that. If you want a unit with a lot of damage you will need to give it weaknesses to compensate.

-What is acceptable for tower types based on the class of tower(Magic, seige, guard)?
Towers should stop lone units from picking off Peons/Workers in undefended bases and give an advantage on defence. Towers should not be so strong that a player can hold off attacks with them alone but not so weak that you are better off pumping those resources into troops.

-what is a minimum or a maximum for a fully functional race to have with out being excessive or underdeveloped?
3 Town Hall stages, 1 primary troop building, 1 caster building, 1 defensive structure, 1 air building, 1 upgrade building and 1 item building. You can deviate to a degree as long as it is practical. Generally the more features a building can do, the more powerful it is and thus needs appropriate weaknesses to compensate.

-Should upgrades for building defenses be linear across all races?(Should they all recieve the same stat upgrade so 5 armor, 10 armor, 15, armor per level)?
They can be anything from very small to quite large as long as it matches the defensive alignment of the race. The undead, for example, have no real defensive upgrades. The Orcs can only add spikes to their buildings. The humans can add armor and health to their buildings.

-For commom classes should upgrades be linear as well for attack boosters and defense boosters?
You can vary them but generally all units have 3 tiers of upgrade and a few unique special purpose upgrades. The more different types of upgrade you have, the cheaper the upgrades have to be. The more general an upgrade is, the more costly it has to be.

-How can i give different races different upgrades that do completely different things and balance them out so one side does not have an advantage without the other side having an upperhand as well?
Basic upgrades are basically the same across all races. Unholy Strength does pretty much the same as Forging.

-In the original wc3 certain races excelled against particular races how should it be done correctly?
By trying harder! lol.

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
Thank you this exactly what i was looking for this with the thread posted by the other guy i should be able to come up with a pretty excellent balance between the races in my game when its done ill send you the map file and you can tell me how i did!

Level 12
Like mentioned I think you should look into how SC2 is balanced, with 3 COMPLETELY distinct races with unique mechanics. Just the way how you create units in SC2 is HUGE but still balanced. It's about having Unique pros and cons, Zerg can make units from one structure simultaniously, as long as they have larva & appropriate tech buildings. Protoss can create low tier units on the fly, provided there is energy, but while being warped they can be attacked and killed before completed.

This is just an example of balance in unit training in SC2 but I think the basic way to approach balance is the same regardless if it's unit balance, hero powers, tech tree or whatever.

GL

#### Dr Super Good

Spell Reviewer
Level 63
Oh a little thing to remember...
Armies should only really consist of at most 3 full control groups of troops. WC3 is not meant to handle huge armies and you will start to run into movement problems if you allow a race to spam 80 units at 1 food each.

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
Well that what game optimizing tools are for to reduce everything around the player so the game play isnt hindered at all! so load speeds, recyclers reducing object data optimizing sounds and imports!

#### Xonok

Level 21
One more thing.
I would consider it reasonable to make 1 race that is sort of like a benchmark to others.
All races should be somewhat equal, so it's easier to do by having one race declared balanced, as then you have a perspective of what is too good/too weak.
Although, different races should still have strengths and weaknesses. Else it would just get dull.

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
I actually am doing that but i also am using unit balancing tools and programs to find the best area for all of the units to stay in and to make sure the races are not over powered or have to many disadvantages. Its tricky considering im giving each race of the 12 different characteristics that specialize them and then trying to make sure they cast a shadow to large in comparison to the other races in the game!

#### Dr Super Good

Spell Reviewer
Level 63
Well that what game optimizing tools are for to reduce everything around the player so the game play isnt hindered at all! so load speeds, recyclers reducing object data optimizing sounds and imports!
Um you are new to WC3 mapping I take it. They are there to get the most out of a map, but they cannot get around the mess that is WC3 and its limits. The movement speed limit is hard coded and thus short of hacking the dll/executable, you will not be able to get around it.

balancing on spread sheet//tool is often a bad idea as they fail to factor in everything about a unit. Sure you can use them to get a rough guess of unit match ups and powers, but when you add range, special abilities and things it sort of falls apart.

#### Reaper51

Level 11
WC3 can handle around 100 unit models per player, after that pathing gets dicey and orders start to lag.
Like DSG said, you can't really just balance units on a spreadsheet since there are much more factors to take into consideration than hp and dps.
The best way to balance your map is to have someone to test with online to see what is overpowered/underpowered and what bugs arise when you are playing.

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
But what about reducing custom object data for the map itself. Im not new btw ive been editing for a number of years but as silly as these questions may sound im looking to try and get really just second opinions on things im already doing. But how can you say the we can only handle 100 models per player wouldn't that number be based on size of the models and other surrounding object data thats being accessed during the game. I doubt the game would crash if i put one model in and made a hundred of them for one player!? Plus the compression of models will reduce that object data or loaded data into the game. i dont think i mentioned balancing them on a spread sheet but i see how you may interpret it as that. How would you go about doing it though for something like this and how do you know they dont use programs to balance the units for the game when they made the game. I also may i add planned on looking up some equations and algorithms to help me determine some of these numbers im not going into excel and going well he deals 7 damage well guess that guy deals 7 damage there more to it than that. Plus i understand the limitations of wc3 and its editor but these tools exist to help you find ways around those limitations.
I am taking into account movement speed attack speed attack damage unit type attack type ability types and every other factor about it i promise you im not winging it i plan to do most of the details outside of a program but your telling me it would hinder my numbers if i used a balancer to get a feel for where to start and then to make changes from there. May i add that the balancer im using takes into account attack speed movement speed animation speed and more you basically load your object data into it. But I dont understand what your talking about it cant be done by just looking at damage game limitations have to be accounted for and other aspects.

#### Xonok

Level 21
I'd say that it's actually possible to balance things with a spreadsheet, maybe even with just that.
I have figured out the technical side of how to account for abilities and how to calculate their effects on the unit.

However, it requires lots of effort for figuring out the proper values of stats.

#### mikeisman2

Level 7
i agree that a huge portion for determining the stats or getting a basis for how you can balance it can be figured out that way but i also feel there is a an amount of math required and also outlying factors like what exactly the units purpose is for are needed to help determine those specifics. Thus im taking all these into account and then combining them to determine the end result. I really do appreciate all this feedback it does help to contribute to this topic and my own personal experience in the matter. I feel properly balancing a game does require that kind of work you can not expect to make a unit and just have that unit be instantly balanced among the rest of the units in the game data pertaining to that unit must be modified to help create a unit or race w/e that can be considered fair in terms of the balance of the game but still stand out an not be along the lines of cloning preexisting units.

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