So basically, you're admitting that you don't give two shits about variety or making the units distinct and interesting, you just want them to be balanced. Well, that's easy: just give every single unit the same supports, skills, class, and stats.
I did not say that. I used WoW as an analogy because it has several very easily trackable factors, a long history for a single game, has gone through tons of various forms of balances, and has feedback that is trackable/acquirable about how people enjoyed it. Not to mention a huge playerbase. It's like a lab rat for testing game mechanics. All MMO's are. People didn't like all the classes being essentually the same in WotLK and, as a result, they tried for making dungeons more dynamic and requiring certain mechanics that various classes did better or worse at. People didn't like it as much because the margin for error was much smaller which prompted the newer dungeons to return to the 'every class can do as well' type balance except it seems to be 'every class can do well, but someone skilled at a particular aspect of a class can make the ride much easier for everyone' right now.
I don't want to see the particular niches each class has to fade away. I actually want to see sort of the opposite and have the game become much easier for people who use every type of unit instead of just one or two overpowered types. The problem is that it's a very slippery slope. One suggestion that comes to mind is making three 'classes' of enemies. Cannon fodder, bastions, and ambushers. Cannon fodder are weak and easily cleared and not generally threatening, but deal relatively large amounts of damage an are in huge numbers. This makes units like paladins great for sweeping them up (high movement and balanced stats) and more focused units less useful. Bastions are much tougher units, but usually have a specific weakness (low hit, defense, RES, AVO) that, if exploited, makes them a lot easier to kill. Ambushers usually spawn from behind after a series of conditions are met (not turncounts) and are VERY strong on all regards, but can't be allowed to roam free or else they will maul every unit in charge. This way units with balanced stats have their uses (killing fodder which they dominate at), units with high offensive abilities have their uses (taking out bastions), and supportive/defensive units have their uses (holding off ambushers). It isn't the best idea, granted, but I think it's a step in the right direction for sure.
Edit: New class idea: Spy.
The Spy is a very unique unit in that it's probably one of the few classes you do NOT want openly fighting but, at the same time, also want as deep into enemy lines as possible. Spies possess two unique skills, disguise and poison, that are invaluable to how they function. Basically, when a spy is out of visible range of the enemy units, they can take on a disguise that allows them to move undetected through enemy lines as if they were a friendly unit. Having VERY high movement (mounted-level) they can move about with ease and try to target key units in the backlines of a enemy line. When near a enemy they have two options. They can either poison or attempt to kill a enemy. Poisoning a enemy requires a check similar to a hit and places a poison status on the enemy that will weaken them over time and, if said enemy is killed by either poison or an ally, they spy receives points (full if poison-killed, 1/2 or 3/4ths if ally... I am really not sure which is better). Conversely they can attempt to assassinate a non-boss type unit which boosts their STR by 50% for one strike and guarantees a auto-critical for the first strike.
However, for both these actions there is the potential of being detected. Whenever a spy ends a EP near a enemy they have to roll under a number equal to their SKL + LCK multiplied by the distance. So a Spy with 10 SKL and 10 LCK would need a 20 or less to remain undetected by a unit who ends right next to them, but under a 40 for two squares away, and a 60 for three (maybe double-LCK? I REALLY wanna give luck some bigger focus). If they attempt a poisoning they need to make a similar roll on the spot (failure still results in poisoning, just being unmasked), and assassination requires a similar roll minus the higher of the two stats.
The idea for this class is that they can rush into a enemies lines without (hopefully) drawing attention to soften them up before your main units even arrive, but at the same time isn't some combat god (the Spy has relatively low combat stats) and will be stuck behind enemy lines if revealed.
Enemy spies disguise themselves as allied units deployed at the start of the battle and are randomly assigned (though their number is fixed) and follow identical detection rules. In order for them to not be given away a 'fake' stat sheet is generated for them to use.
Edited by Snowy_One, 20 March 2012 - 02:51 PM.