Racial Balancing and Group Potentials

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Racial Balancing and Group Potentials

Post by Tisis Antony on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:00 am

It came to my awareness recently that though the various races provided to player character are supremely balanced by the omnipotent hands of our Lord Sovereign, His Highness the Duke Zuberi; that players, through some incompetence or mental defect on their part, have failed to recognize the superior balancing and delicate attention to detail that makes this the absolutely most perfect biosphere.

The purpose of this thread is to elucidate my fine comrades and peers in the finer aspects of the individual races and their prospective uses to a player who uses them. Several races, I have seen, are marginalized on this site, much I think to the detriment of the player base. We have failed to fully realize the utter variety that is present, and to put it to use in ways yet unseen by the community as a whole.

I will begin with the Equine races. Due to Equine races comparative allegiance, the group as an entirety is much more effective together than apart, and our analysis should reflect that.

For those with too little time, a brief TL;DR table has been produced here for your convenience.



Races: Benefits, Balances
Unicorns Use of magic No other benefits; magic induced exhaustion
Pegasus Flight; Weather Manipulation Requires coordination for large scale Weather Manipulation



UNICORNS

Spoiler:


Nothing is more magical... As long as they roam the Earth, evil cannot harm the pure of heart.
--From The Movie "Legend"--

The unicorns are of course, as you know, one of the three interchangeable races of Equine in Equestria. They share stock with Pegasus and Earth Pony, and live in general harmony with the other two in their group.

For purposes of role play, without their magic the Unicorn Ponies are little more than conventional horses, incapable of flight, use of hands, or even production of agricultural output. But their possession of magic gives them an asset that no other group has. In the entirety of our canons, there is no extant race of creatures capable of casting magical spells. Whether it is teleportation, levitation, bursts of magical energy; or whether it is more sophisticated arcana, such as Time Reversal or Barrier Wards- no other race possesses such distinction.

This puts Unicorns in a rather difficult to balance spot. No other race possesses natural immunity to magic, nor do they have much to counteract it. This versatility and relative uniqueness makes Unicorns a class that can be considered OP, but this is balanced by the difficulty and physical exertion Unicorn Ponies apply to themselves to perform magic. Heavy objects are shown to be incredibly difficult to move, and teleportation a short distance is regarded as a remarkable feat. Repeated usage of basic magic produces physical and mental exhaustion in a pony, since the effort requires both intense focus and caloric output to supply the magic. Canonical scenes of Twilight Sparkle visibly heaving, and later wobbliness show that it isn't a mere mental exertion, but also a physical one.

So, whilst it would seem at first that magical ability presents an unstoppably over-powered race, the truth is that if the player plays it correctly, there are limitations severely restricting over powered use.

Though this raises another conundrum- if player use a unicorn unfairly, does this mean that they have powers that may throw balance into discord? The truth is, yes, but the diligence of moderation has proven that such characters have yet to make it into the spotlight here in Manehatten.


PEGUSUS

Spoiler:


Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common track.
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art,
Which without passing through the judgment, gains
The heart, and all its end at once attains.

-Alexander Pope

The Pegasus Pony race was the most martial of the three prior to their unification under the Equestrian banner. Bearing arms and armor, they appeared to be well capable of defending and capturing territory.

The Pegasus race is notable for being the only Pony race capable of flight, and the only race period that is capable of cloud and weather manipulation. This racial feature will come to head later in the analysis, but for now, let us examine their flight.

Like Griffins, Dragons, and the occasional Hippogriff, Pegasus use their inherent magical nature to fly despite physically not possessing the mass nor wing span of a typical avian flyer. This has been confirmed canonically by Ms. Faust, though the canonical necessity of this trait within the forum has yet to be decided.

If Pegasus are merely to be regarded as "flying ponies" by the players, then they do themselves grievous injustice in performing such a cursory examination of the race. In regards to flight, the other races who possess that ability also possess to great effect, hands to hold things, and strength in excess of a typical Pegasus. While it is true that the rare Pegasus 'brute' can come through and give a Griffin a good thrashing up front, the normal Pegasus player does not make their Pegasus in such a way as to be brutish or incredibly strong. Additionally, the ability to take off vertically means that they possess another avenue of escape, lessening the need for direct confrontation.

This is just as well, because the true advantage of Pegasus lie in the double boon of Weather Manipulation, and its extension, Cloud Manipulation. These two abilities, completely unique to the Pegasus race, make for interesting potential for players who spend time outside of the city for any amount of time. Need shelter? Turn a cloud into one. Need to sneak up on someone? Cling to a cloud and drift over. The additional potential for clouds to shock people allow Pegasus a limited amount of defense when amongst the clouds.

The offensive uses of Weather Manipulation are by far the most creative, requiring either significant time to prepare or more than one Pegasus. The ability to create cyclones of no joking intensity is well recorded in Pegasus canon, and the number of Pegasus needed to make such a cyclone can vary; since the cyclone itself, whilst easy to form, canonically required much more effort to suck a lakes entire water supply into the clouds above.

Additionally, the existence of floating structures gives Pegasus the means of essentially bombing target locations from above, much like Zeppelins or Bomber planes.

These offensive maneuvers using forces of nature and floating platforms are much more well used in the assault of structures or buildings, where there force and destructive potential can be fully exploited. The nature of these offenses, requiring coordination and time to assemble, balance it nicely with their destructive abilities.

Thus, whilst the Pegasus do possess immense potential destructive ability, this is mitigated largely by the Pegasus inability to coordinate well without interruption by outside forces.

ADDENDUM: It has come to my attention that the combination of mobile platform and possession of lightning manipulation make for what essentially can be regarded as a warship.

A cloud, sufficiently garrisoned and loaded with thunderbolts would, for all effects and purposes be essentially a Zeppelin, an unstoppably huge, lightning-hurling force of nature. Though the canonocity of this is disputable, it would indeed be a highly useful and devastating use of their abilities.

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Re: Racial Balancing and Group Potentials

Post by Rationale on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:18 pm

We should add in the physical strength of Earth Ponies, along with their ability to cultivate food. Their balancing measure would be the fact that they do not have any ranged abilities.
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Re: Racial Balancing and Group Potentials

Post by Tisis Antony on Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:57 am

Im doing the Earth ponies next. They are by far the hardest to balance, but they make good civilians, so there is that. Not all rp is fighting and destruction.
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