Intentional imbalancing in multiplayer games?

Thought this is something worth discussing about cuz after playing a bit of Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord, I wanna think that i'm not the only one who has stumbled upon questionable balancing decisions where it seems as if the developers damn well know that the way they're balancing the game isn't balanced but either don't care or actually want players to be put at a disadvantage if they choose certain classes, factions, characters, etc. Anyone have any stories to share about how the games they enjoy sinking their time into are actually pretty unbalanced?

I guess to start the thread off, I've two examples: Bannerlord and SoulCalibur VI

Bannerlord seems to really favour the spamming of archers in multiplayer games, much to the point where infantry shields can get shot through and picking a cavalry class only succeeds in making yourself a bigger target for enemy archers. Also doesn't help that if you're a late joiner, you'll only be able to spawn as a peasant unit or shock troop. And even if both teams have enough honor to go with evenly balanced team compositions, some factions are clearly better or worse than others. And people seem to be okay with one faction remaining in the garbage bin while another faction remains stupidly overpowered solely because they're better at spamming archers more than everyone else. Warband players at least have enough honor to have reasonable team compositions... usually. At the very least, I don't think Vaegirs are nearly all that much better than every other faction in multiplayer, Khergits included.

And second example: SoulCalibur VI. I don't think there's any other game where its players are as complacent about imbalance as SCVI. If you think fighting games are the worst in terms of terrible business practices, I think SCVI takes the cake because people seem okay with having a base game character actually be the worst character in the game just to encourage players to buy the DLC replacement character. At the same time, people seem cool with having one specific female character get more buffs than necessary while all her nerfs are just a light slap on the wrist. Why? Because the developers seem to want players to draw pornographic fanart of her and making her overpowered is the only way they know how to send that message. However, with Motohiro Okubo's departure from Bandai Namco Studios, it'll probably be another girl's turn to be gamebreakingly overpowered if we get a new SoulCalibur game, because they know that they can have an overpowered character in online matches so long as it's a cute waifu, as well as nerf a base game character to uselessness if it means selling DLC.

Even so, i feel like the balance issues that I have mentioned earlier don't stop me from enjoying those games cuz I can't really see myself playing any other fighting game and in the case of Bannerlord, I feel like Mount&Blade fulfills a very special niche in multiplayer gaming that Chivalry and Mordhau fails to satisfy. Heck, even War of the Roses tried to be "Mount&Blade but better" but that ended up not gaining any amount of traction despite Paradox Interactive's marketing of the game.
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I don't really play that kind of competitive game anymore, but back when I did, the biggest issue was in this game that had 6 different classes. Players fought with the devs. Players fought with each other. There were conspiracy theories about how the devs hated one of the classes (which is pretty crazy imo). And I wasn't immune to it, either. I dreaded updates and got angry just like everyone else. Eventually it was too much drama for me, and I just quit playing.
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Bannerlord? Come on, that's still in Early Access! (Has been for a year and a half, though. `bout time they finished that thing!)

I never messed with competitive play in Dead or Alive 5, but people would talk about the various "tier" characters. Some are just easier to win with than others, and I think it was intentional. If you want to play against somebody but your skills aren't equal, you can use harder/easier characters to balance it out.

Single player games do that plenty. Playing as a woman in Mount & Blade 1 was harder, for instance. RPGs will sometimes mark classes as harder to win with. (Others won't tell you ahead of time, which hardly seems fair.)


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