This is another thought provoking blog, not a tech blog like most of my other ones were. Enjoy the heated debate!
Recently I was watching the trailers for the Star Wars: The Old Rebublic game and was reminded of how much of a let-down the game was (and almost any game to date has been) in comparison to the hype those trailers bring, and it sort of made me realize something.
In the Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer, a "killstreak" is considered 5 or more kills within a few seconds (I don't know the details, nore could I find them quickly, but that's not the point). In the entire Halo series, squads of 10-20 are considered large, even when using vehicles. Dark Souls considered 4 enemies to be a nightmare at times, and we come out of missions with kill counts in the hundreds (even in the thousands) without batting an eye.
So? What's the big deal? Well, it points out a major change in pace that our game has, and not in speed or stats or difficulty, but just in the tone in which these things take form in. Rather than gunning down a single person quickly, like Call of Duty, or timing our blocks so precisely like in Dark Souls or Ninja Gaiden, or more and more complex boss maneuvering systems to go toe to toe with as the game progresses, we have nukes to clear rooms (in the form of many ultimate's (say, nova or rhino or banshee)), pre-emptive measures (blessing or iron skin? Although this is starting to play into our game a bit more), and enemy stat scaling (quite frankly I consider it artificial difficulty, but it does force an alternate mind set at times, which does provide its own difficulty I guess).
Have you ever played a game and just wished there was more content to use and abuse? More enemies standing there for you to dispatch in whatever way you saw fit? More opportunities to use those "power weapons" as some other games call it? Despite how often I may complain about how the developers for not thinking things through, or destroying an entire system as if they didn't understand how their own game worked, I have to admit, that after over 1000 hours playing this game, I finally figured out this is what makes it good to me.
We don't play a game where insta-killing everything removes the challenge; there's another enemy just around the corner that you have to dispatch too. We don't play a game where invulnerability nullifies the enemies chances of defeating you; eventually they'll one hit kill you anyway. We don't play a game where dumb AI leads to easy AI; no matter how dumb they are, they're still gonna hit you somewhere along the line, and eventually, for A LOT of damage.
I don't know what the devs have in plan for the future of this game, but in its current state, this is what I see. This makes it incredibly hard to compare to other games, since the nature of balance is thrown quite out of whack. Just try and remember this when making judgements on what is OP and what isn't. Remember how many hours it takes to get to those points of gameplay, and how broken things feel when you don't use some of these min-maxed builds. I mean seriously, 10 seconds of invulnerability for 70 energy? I think it's narrow minded that's made it OP, not the skill itself, and look how hard that is to get.