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Balancing a Scenario

Article created by Adder (Woad Creations)

Balance is an issue that all good designers must deal with. Balance is, in the most basic sense, whether the scenario is too easy or too hard. A good scenario should be a challenge to a veteran player but it should also be a challenge to a fairly new player.

Balancing Single Player Scenarios

The easiest way to successfully balance a single player scenario is to use difficulty levels. On easy the player can get more units, resources or face less difficult enemies, this level should be intended for new players who do not know the game that well. On medium, the standard difficulty level, the players should be challenged more than on easy. This level should be directed towards players who are not new to the game but are not experts either. On hard everything should be very difficult, most designers in all their designing glory but somewhat below par gaming skills should not be able to complete this level. The player should get less units and resources and face harder enemies. Difficulty levels are not all that time effective, but they are very effective in achieving good balance.

Balancing Multiplayer Scenarios

Balancing a multiplayer scenario is very different than balancing a single player scenario because you have to try to make each players possibility of winning equal, sometimes this can be quite a feat and normally takes a huge amount of testing and player feedback. Depending on the type of multiplayer scenario the scenario can be quite hard, or quite easy to balance. Lets start off with the easy. A blood map, for a blood map balancing is as simple as making the map totally even, that's about all you can do balance wise, normally doing this will get you quite a balanced scenario. Now lets move on to hard to balance scenarios, lets use a D-Day scenario for example. Both teams start off in totally different positions, have different units and are for all balancing purposes very different. The only way to achieve good balance in these types of scenarios is to test, test, and test some more. Make sure to keep in mind unit counters and which units are better versus other types of units. Adding different units changing time limits and changing players positions on the map. A random map is a good example of a balanced multiplayer scenario because the players start equal distances from each other and have the same resources as the player. SSSI is in a way a designer trying to balance their "scenarios" by changing unit stats, costs and special abilities.

Good luck creating the perfect balance for your scenarios!

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