The Game I’ve decided to focus on for my critical play is Teamfight Tactics. It is a game developed by Riot Games and allows for up to 8 players, intended for players of age 13+, who enjoy strategy-based challenge games. Teamfight Tactics is a game was a game that I picked up for a really quick while, and I’ve heard that it often takes months to master, therefore, my idea of balance as a newcomer might be a little skewed. The game does not take place in a single-player setting, therefore the first type of balance to directly balance mechanics for a level appropriate to the audience doesn’t really take place here.
Since the game is multi-player, it does make use of asymmetry. Most games of Teamfight Tactics will not be the same due to the randomization elements tied to most components of the game, including the start state. When you begin a game, you are given a random assortment of things you can buy, with the only constant in the game being your starting gold amount to add some sort of balance. Furthermore, all players will start with a different hand of choices being given to them, and it is this asymmetry that leads to balance within the game as you must play without knowledge of what your opponents may carry.
Photo showing all the different choices of characters to choose
Beyond asymmetry, Teamfight Tactics boasts a variety of different strategies to win. Due to multiple players competing for one winning spot, the game implements a ton of different strategies to win and “team compositions” or ways to play the characters you are delt in your hand in order to build the power of your team and to win. There are a lot of youtube videos made on “compositions” for the best strategies to play teamfight tactics to win, however, due to elements of randomness embedded in the game, there isn’t “one winning strategy” but rather so many different strategies that each have their own pros and cons.
A list of different strategies uploaded to a Teamfight Tactics Website
Lastly, when it comes to the components of balance, Teamfight Tactics has essentially two game objects: characters and items, but so many different types of these objects that each have different cost/benefit ratios for their usage. It also constantly gives you choices to make, regarding the objects and you’re always faced with a cost/benefit decision based on the strategy you want to play with, and thus this decision-making and cost/benefit analysis also acts as a force of balance.
A photo showing decision making in terms of character placement
Overall, with all these approaches to game balance, Teamfight Tactics embodies a transitive relationship to balance, as no item is necessarily “superior” to another, but rather, there is constantly a series of cost/benefit analysis that players must deal with in order to win the game, and must adapt their strategy accordingly.