He pops up on the forum every time we’re discussing units, seems to know everything about March of War and is the most British person I know. Wilson, as you all know him on our forum, is in charge of balancing ALL the units, by no means an easy task.
Q: Wilson, can you explain how balancing works?
A: The most basic part of it comes down to the core numbers on each unit – health, movement speed, attack power/range, and of course what resources the unit costs. Other values such as sight range, cooldowns, an area of effect are important as well of course, but they aren’t as immediately obvious to players – if you think of the difference between a Battle Tank and a Bear Tank, I’d expect the health, damage and cost to come to mind before their secondary abilities. Then you can start thinking about secondary abilities, unless you’re looking at a unit where a special ability is the whole point.
Q: So it’s basically a lot of math and comparing. How do you decide if a unit is OP?
A: Player feedback is usually the starting point – sometimes people suggest a unit is overpowered and then other people argue against it, but other times you get more of a consensus. Sometimes it’s a case of needing a general reduction in strength, which might be small reductions in many areas, or sometimes it’s a particular ability or attack which is too good. If it’s not possible to reduce the strength of the unit without making it dull or too similar to other units, then a cost increase is usually the answer.
Q: Each faction in March of War has its strengths and weaknesses. How do you make sure each faction retains its unique qualities, without having an unbalanced game?
A: Making sure that every faction has the ability to counter all strategies, in some form or another, is the starting point. Every faction has basic infantry capable of killing other infantry or armoured vehicles, though each requires different tactics. After you have at least a few general options for common situations, you can start giving each faction more specialized units which are unique to them.
Q: Nerfing units is never very popular. When is it justified to nerf?
A: I’d say we’re actually very lucky with our community here, in that the players most vocal about balance often play multiple factions, and are willing to admit when certain units are too good, even if it is one in their favourite faction. That said, it’s still more pleasant to be buffing a unit which people don’t generally use and trying to make it appealing than nerfing something.