When thinking about game powers, developers have to consider four primary questions: what do the players want, do those desires fit reasonably within the framework of the game, how can the powers be balanced for the game, and how can they be coded? For example, when NCsoft's City of Heroes introduced Flight, it was competing with Super Speed, Teleportation and Leaping. How could they build it out to where it was neither overpowered nor useless? Through a series of trial-and-error efforts -- and thankfully providing an additional 10% bump in hover speed in Issue 8 -- they loaded a power set into the game that gave heroes a new way of seeing the city without unbalancing other transportation powers currently in place.

As to verbs that may be more common throughout MMOs, we've all had the opportunity to "run" -- either into battle or away from almost certain peril -- and I doubt there's many here who haven't wished for the ability to "turn invisible" in order to stealth through a difficult mission, but what about some of the more exotic verbs out there? Oh, sure, in most games the alts can backslap one another, gesture angrily, and dance, but these are powerless emotes: they don't actually impact the game play. Take your favorite MMO, though, and think about what game-impacting verb or verbs you'd like to see added. Perhaps it might help to take a look at the thought process currently pushing World of Warcraft's new Death Knight and ask yourself this: if you were a developer, what would you add to the build, and how would you balance it?

[Via Elder Game]

This article was originally published on Massively.
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