I remember when I first started playing BBR one of my favorite classes to play was Soldier. In fact, I really enjoyed playing just about every character. But Soldier I played more than the rest. He was supposed to be the most versatile class, useful in almost every situation and fortunately he fit that quite well. But unfortunately, that has not been as true in a very long time.
There are a couple reasons for this. One of the biggest differences is that Oli got weapons that were not quite as limited as his old ones. His old weapons performed well in a wide variety of conditions but had notable limitations that prevented them from being too powerful in any given situation. His weapons should not be particularly specialized and unfortunately some of his weapons do seem to be over specialized for what his classes role is supposed to be.
However this is not my main concern. My biggest concern is the division between his secondaries and his primaries. From what I have been told his secondaries are mostly either bad or ok right now which is unfortunate from a balancing standpoint but in the past a recurring issue has been Oliver having secondaries that are too offensive. A balanced class like Oliver should not be hyper offensive, but should instead have a combination of defensive and offensive play. In the earliest version this was accomplished quite well because his primaries were mainly suited for offense and his secondaries were mainly suited for defense (well, bearzooka could do it all but worked better on defense too). The reason why I think this is an important pattern to keep is because if Oliver can use two offensive weapons or two defensive weapons, he stops being a mixed role class. His primaries should be designed to be versatile and offensive, but with some limitations and his secondaries should be designed mostly for more defensive play. So an example of a weapon heading in the wrong direction imo is the Urine Trouble, which took a weapon with moderate range and good damage and made its range shorter but more powerful. Thus, Oliver becomes more of a close range character rather than something more versatile. Anyway that's enough for now on Oliver.
A concern I have about bbg's state of balance is the staggering amount of things that modify stats. In my opinion, it should be uncommon for something other than equipment to modify stats. Their are a couple reasons for this. The first of which is that weapons that modify stats either do not do enough reason to use them based on their own merit or are too overbearing without a stat reduction most of the time. To me this is a result of poor balance and weapons should have enough going for them to warrant their use without stat modifications and not be too powerful. Realizing a weapon is a tad bit overwhelming and just slapping a speed buff on there is not a very inspiring to make weapons particularly good. Instead of the weapon itself being better it just buffs the actual characters stats which in my opinion generally makes weapons less fun to use because the weapon itself is inherently worse as it relies on changing health or speed to be useful.
Another area where this becomes an issue is melees. Melees for most character have become what I think of as ghetto equipment. With the exception of huggable it's uncommon for someone to pick a melee for its own usefulness in combat and instead they pick it for whatever stat modification they think suits their loadout better. At this point they are basically just a third equipment (albeit more limited). Even though melees are not partiularly useful for most classes they should be able to warrant use based off of their own advantages over other melees at the role in which they are intended to fill (you know, melee) rather than just becoming a third equipment.
One of the biggest reasons I have issues with this is because it tends to create balance issues down the line and some inconsistencies in gameplay. Because of the extreme prevalence of stat modifications, the same character can have very different stats depending on the set which means that interactions between weapons and characters are not always consistent. This can make it more difficult to balance weapons in the long run because it is more difficult to identify all relevant interactions when the player can choose from four different melees which all have completely different effects on their stats. I also do think that consistency in player health is important for enabling players to accurately judge how many hits it will take for them to kill an enemy, but with the current system that can sometimes vary too much depending on what weapons they choose to use. Modifications of health and speed should generally be left to equipment. I am not saying that no weapon can modify stats, it can be a neat way to differentiate a weapon from the rest but when overused it over-complicates situations and stat changes become more of a crutch for when weapons are poorly balanced instead of actually trying to make the weapon useful in some other way.
I also think that every equipment should be useful for every character (with the exception of melee, as melee is only super useful for huggable,and obviously explosives equipment shouldn't be useful for Astoria, ect.) Speed has long been extremely common as has damage and this makes for less varied gameplay. Armor and speed should be useful for every class. For a long time Riggs was the only character that used armor with any sort of consistency. The effect of ammo, melee, explosives, and damage vary per weapon of course so this concern mainly addresses health and speed armor. I rarely see anyone use armor equipment with Astoria and I wish it would be better so she could use it more. This would also make up for the removal of most stat modification from weapons and melees.
If every character in the game is using speed equipment, that means that their is something wrong with the gameplay. Either powerups are too important to get, classes are not fast enough, or speed is too strong in comparison to other types of equipment. Whatever it is, it's a sign of unbalanced gameplay that I feel should be addressed.
OKY was here