Tony “Balanced” Marasco Appears to No Longer Be with Cryptic Studios

You run for a train and it departs right when you’ve made it to its door? Unfortunate! The sandwich you just made with the last cheese and pork in the fridge after a long day at work somehow gets robbed by your dog? Unfortunate! The dev that was in charge of the biggest class balance changes since Module 6 leaves in the public testing phase of said changes? Unfortunate!

Here’s a hint guys: One of the three situations above applies to Neverwinter! And since we don’t expect everybody to be able to solve the riddle, we’ll just pass along the info: Tony “Balanced” Marasco appears to no longer be with the studio. There have been some rumblings behind the scenes in the last days and yesterday the official forum tagged him as “former developer”. The last time they tried to tag people they accidentally included more than intended, but given that this matches information we heard, we think he’s indeed gone.

Tony Started at QA

Tony started as QA at Cryptic before being promoted to a Systems Designer. Since he had the most actual experience with many classes not only in his role as QA but also personally, he was tasked with the balancing process that we are going to see in Modules 15 and 16 (hence the username “balanced”). That’s why his departure comes at a weird time. Now that he’s worked on balance for probably several months, he just disappears after opening all those official class feedback threads? It’s speculation, but this would suggest that it wasn’t really planned and he may suddenly have left on his own terms.

Could also be that Cryptic knew and they still wanted to have his name in the threads to acknowledge his accomplishments. Or they let him wrap up the changes of Mod 15 and then showed him the door. Who knows really.

*** UPDATE *** We know now! Julia confirmed that Tony left on his own terms.

NoWorries Takes over as Balancing Guru

Anyway, NoWorries has taken over Tony’s duties and we hope this won’t delay the balancing process. This nonetheless affects the class balance feedback for Mod 15, especially given the scale of the changes. It’s not that other devs don’t know what they’re generally up to in terms of balance, but the assumption is that Tony was the guy that worked on the stuff the most.

Whatever happened behind the scenes, we hope Tony and the game will make out fine. We’d like to thank “Balanced” for his contributions to the game and wish him all the best for the future!

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6 thoughts on “Tony “Balanced” Marasco Appears to No Longer Be with Cryptic Studios

  • October 5, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I get that gaming communties in general nowadays are pretty toxic and hard to please but cmon people, when the entire player base is telling you “THIS IS HORRIBLE, DO YOU EVEN PLAY THE GAME?????”, I think its safe to say you are doing something wrong.

    I dont need to get into any of the mod 15 fail changes, they have been covered in-depth by 100s of others on the official forums, I would like to talk about yesterday’s gems from Cryptic.

    We have fixed the Sister’s Boss fight in Castle Ravenloft FOR THE BOSSES, NOT YOU SCRUBS. The sister of rage still randomly gets TRIPLE health, there are still massive random delays on the chains, tanks are getting randomply 1 hit not by the 10 stack mechanic, BUT we removed the pillars so the Sisters could more consisently screw you guys over, enjoy.

    We also removed the ability for anyone to ever complete the storming the castle quest again, b/c we just generally like fkng with you people, enjoy.

  • October 5, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Was this the guy who screwed up the TR? Maybe they wanted him to get the blame, just before giving him the boot? Like the Mod 6 Devs?

    Or maybe they were completely horrified by what he had done, so they gave him the boot? Like the Mod 6 Devs?


  • October 5, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    can only hope that the balancing actually had a strategy in mind and documented so they can press on in a consistent direction. Otherwise there is nothing NoWorries will be able to do leading up to mod15 and the devs will be starting over creating a strategy as it relates to balancing.

    I’ve been pretty critical of the devs having to long of a leash and to much freedom. I hope that is not what we will see yet again

  • October 6, 2018 at 12:55 am

    i think it will be Mod6 allover again, simply and plain..

    i’ve lost the faith on theyr capabilities of doing smth right..

    i’m just a sad hamster now.

  • October 8, 2018 at 8:13 am

    IMHO balance is now better than it was a few modules back … But one question does not give me rest – why does balanced hate GF? Kill the tanks and leave?

    P.S. Cryptic have QA dept? I don’t believe.

  • October 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    The mythical grail quest for game balance sucks. It will never be achieved by any multiclass game. If you have classes that are different, they will be unbalanced because they have different capabilities being put to use against varying challenges. Thats why the concept of teamwork exists, to prop up the weak and complement the strong.

    Neverwinter just uses the idea of ‘balance’ to hide their flailing changes of direction between philosophies in their dev revolving door. They don’t have a common throughline on what classes should be doing or the challenges they should be writing for them. They clearly don’t talk to one another between teams, and the resulting chaos is the result of having too few hands while at the same time left and right hands have no idea what the other is doing.

    If they focused as much on new content creation (new not just more powerful) and bringing in new story lines as they did on switching class powers back and forth repeatedly we’d have MUCH more to play. Hell they could hire graphic design and fashion design student interns to make new fashions that people would throw money at them for. If they would spend time organizing what they have and building on it instead of undercutting what was already built, we would both have more of a game and have more fun at the same time.

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