One of the newer threads got me thinking about game balance and it became pretty clear to me that it wouldn’t be very hard to balance the game and eliminate power creep by doing the following:
Regardless of the weapons and gear a character has equipped and skills, enemies should have their own mechanism like health gating. In this case no damage, be it DOT, melee, splash, or basic projectile inclusive of critical hits, should do more than a set percentage of damage to the enemy. The percentage value would decrease with each additional player (including pets/ minions) so no matter how many attackers there are, the rate of damage stays the same.
What this would mean is top gear and builds would all have the same ceiling, and inferior ones would under-perform in comparison, but the degree of difference wouldn’t have to be as extreme, and HP values wouldn’t have to be adjusted so much. If the intent for a particular boss fight is for it to last through x number of phases, so you see all the varying attack animation, and it last a certain length of time, sans immunity phases, this would be a method.
Yes, this means there would be no more one-shots or any boss melting, and combat balance could be set so a variety of skills and gear are viable from early game to end game. The cost would be losing that ability to play the game as if you’re in God Mode if you have the right build and gear. But balancing like this would also make for a more varied playing experience in terms of gear and builds if handled appropriately. Using the same mechanic in the Dueling system (or BL1 style arenas if they ever come back) would make those modes better as well.