Recently BW posted a blog discussing the importance of player driven feedback and the effects that it has had on some changes made to the F2P and premium accounts. Players were vocal about issues regarding hotkey bars, additional character slot access, and increasing the weekly limit cap on activities. Bioware listened, and we thank you.
But I'd like to steer this in another direction. I, like many others are baffled by another recent post by a Dev regarding class balance:
Jonathan: We pay very close attention to both engagement and balance in PvP. Some things we examine are player kill to death ratios and average rewards gained for every class to make sure that balance is maintained across the board. We also examine hourly Warzone numbers to make sure there are enough players queuing up to minimize the amount of time it takes to get into a Warzone. The mega servers provided a significant influx of PvPers that helped significantly reduce our queue times. We also examine average Warzone length to make sure that every Warzone has a similar ratio of reward to time spent. Balance-wise, kill/death ratios are well-balanced, with all Advanced Classes having kill/death ratios very close to each other. Healers tend to die a little less, but this is mitigated by the fact that they don't kill as much and thus rewards given are quite equitable across all Advanced Classes.
There are several issues here I'd like to address.
1. Give credit where credit is due
. Using kills to deaths ratio as a measure of balance seems very haphazard and inaccurate. This doesn't take into account the fact that you are awarded kills standing in the vicinity of other players fighting or for players you perhaps clipped with your AOE but did not directly attack/were focusing on. Let's face it, you might have a bunch of kills on the scoreboard, but the majority of them came from fighting next to that Mara/Sent. You can rack up a whole bunch of kills by dotting up people that another player does all the heavy hitting on. This also doesn't take into account that the kills and deaths counter in game seems wildly inaccurate at times. I can attest, as I'm sure many others can as well, that I have died way way more times than the scoreboard shows.
2. DPS is not balanced
. There are a few specs that are pushing out ridiculous numbers. They can kill people much faster than other AC's. This is a balance issue. It is not balanced for one particular AC to be able to bring someone from full to dead in two laps of their rotation when another AC must struggle to do so while also avoiding being killed in a matter of seconds by the aforementioned AC. While I'm not expecting every class to slug it out at the exact same pace or style, that would be rather bland, there is certainly a large gap between the ACs that bring people down quickly and those that do not. This can lead to other inequities that do not have to do with the kills/death ratio as certain AC's can bring advantages to objectives. If you get exploded in a matter of seconds, it leaves little time for your team to respond to help. The difference between getting attacked by one AC to another can be wildly different, even given relatively equal gear.
BW, I urge you to listen to player feedback regarding balance. There has been a myriad of posts on these forums about the many issues between classes. There have even been numerous suggestions on how you might fix them. With a new tier of gear coming, now is the time to address the problem. Please stop hiding behind a set of metrics that it is frankly very easy to poke holes in. The people playing this game seem to be having quite a different experience than your ratios are suggesting. Why is that?