The short version is…
Currently, many games I’m playing are decided by uneven orb and power distribution, making the match very one-sided. My suggestion is to set it up so that there is always an even distribution of powers in the game by assigning each power a number, and then dividing the board into quadrants; every half or quarter of the arena has to have an equal share of the total value of orbs distributed.
Now, get ready for the breakdown…
I don't know how the powers are currently distributed, i.e. what the coding and whatnot is, but, here's my suggestion anyway, based on my recurring bitch that I'm constantly playing games where either one side or the other gets all the orbs worth having, making the game pretty much not fun unless you're just playing for the pure sadism/masochism of it.
Powers should be designated with a number, and the higher the number, the more powerful the power. Say Raise/Lower Tile are 1’s, and Grow Quadradius, Invisible and Jump Proof are 10’s. Wherever that number appears, an equal number (or group of powers with that sum) must appear opposite it/them (see below). Powers are useful dependent on situation and positioning, but it's irrelevant to even try for position when nine out of ten orbs appear on just one person’s side of the arena.
So, the second part of this suggestion is that distribution needs to be divided up into quadrants like so:
Quadrants will help to insure that power distribution is spread evenly throughout all quadrants. To do this, total the values of all powers that are to appear in a quadrant. That number must nearly equal the sum given to its opposite side/quadrant. For example, if three powers are set to appear, one on the top of the board could be Power 8, offset by a Power 5 and a Power 3 on the bottom. Allow a margin of error of one point on a side, so the orb on the top side could hold Power 7, 8 or 9.
This probably ought to be staged somewhat so that at the beginning of the game, say, the first 20-40 moves, the distribution is even between top and bottom. Later, the distribution could spread out a bit more. In fact, having a couple random schemes for distribution would be good:
Scheme A: Top vs. Bottom (Q1+Q4 equals Q2+Q3)
Scheme B: Right vs. Left (Q1+Q2 equals Q3+Q4)
Scheme C: Diagonals (Q1 equals Q3 and/or Q4 equals Q2)
Scheme D: Totally Random (Even number distribution to each quadrant)
The main disadvantage I see to this in play is that it’ll be more apparent when you grab up an orb that your opponent has an orb of comparable power on their side. That, in my opinion though, should already be a given lest the game become more about luck than skill (which is where I believe it currently lies). In fact, it might even be cool to show the number of the highest value power to be distributed next on the countdown, because if you know that Power 10 orb is coming, play becomes that much more frantic as both sides try to get theirs while preventing their opponent from doing the same.
If any part of this is already the case, it's definitely not showing up in most of the games I've been playing as of late, which have been decisively one-sided.
Quadrants, man! It's thematic and everything!
Quad Erat Demonstrandum.