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Guild Wars 2: Death to the Old Ways!

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Arena.Net has plans to set the MMO genre on its ear by doing away with the necessity for player groups to mirror the so-called "Holy Trinity" style of game play, to the "old way" as it were. We take a look at that in today's Guild Wars 2 column. Read on and then post your thoughts in the comments.

The holy trinity formula has been used in MMOs since before most can remember, so how do you take something that has become so essential to a genres game design, and just pitch it out the window?  Simple: change the entire game design.  So many games focus on a simple game play experience that requires the player to just get into a position, and click on the proper skills at the right time.  For Guild Wars 2 they sped things up.  They also unleashed both the players and NPCs requiring both to move around in order to win.  No more standing still to cast spells!  In short, they brought in the element of action oriented game play.  The game doesn't feel like an MMO at all.  If you try to play it like a traditional MMO, you'll end up dying a lot.   This is something I have stated before, so let’s show how it mixes with the other elements.

Read more of David North's Guild Wars 2: Death to the Old Ways!

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I like to think that my characters belt is like Batman’s utility belt.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    Thank GOD!= no more TANK, Heals, DPS cookie cutter molds!

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,121Member Uncommon

    Having to move around constantly, even for the most basic combat situations, sounds exhausting if you play for more than an hour at a time.  I know from experience that Age of Conan combat really became annoying just for it's increased clickiness over past games.  I'm worried that I'm going to feel the same way about GW2 as it sounds very clicky and very movement centric.  So much so, that even if I like everything else about the game, I'll find myself playing in 30 minute sessions instead of my preferred 2 - 4 hour segments.  Maybe they'll tone down things a bit for regular hunting and questing mobs and leave the frentic action stuff for bosses and hard mode dungeons?

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  • BunksBunks New Port Richey, FLPosts: 960Member

    Thank goodness is right. The trinity has to be the most artificial thing every made in tactics. It was all just an easy button for game designers to control the script on fights. I still remember the first time I learned about it, my reaction was "your joking right?".

  • NaqajNaqaj Frankfurt am MainPosts: 1,673Member

    Originally posted by Vorthanion

    So much so, that even if I like everything else about the game, I'll find myself playing in 30 minute sessions instead of my preferred 2 - 4 hour segments.

    The nice thing about GW2 is, with the way dynamic events are designed, that is a completely valid way to play. 



     

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by Vorthanion

    I'm worried that I'm going to feel the same way about GW2 as it sounds very clicky and very movement centric. 






     

    its called skills-friend, skills.



    now dont get me wrong heals n tanking has its place- but not running the game-ats all.

  • KakkzookaKakkzooka Waterbury, CTPosts: 591Member

    This new system of play will be a secular blessing to those who want to be able to participate in all content. Instead of built-in limitations created by game mechanics and design that hamper choices and force players to play a certain way, this system will be a boon to those familiar with the standard MMORPG tropes who are looking for a challenge. Newer players to the genre may actually have an even bigger benefit from not having been entrenched in the standard "Tank, Healer, DPS" conventions. Their learning curve might be easier.

     

    I can't wait to see what happens when this game launches.

    Re: SWTOR

    "Remember, remember - Kakk says 'December.'"

  • dageezadageeza london, KYPosts: 578Member

    This game is what a true MMO should have been like all along, but in the interest of monthly subs and keeping players hooked and paying both barriers and time sink rulesets were added to keep the cash rolling in..

    IMHO GW2 knocks these stupid barriers and timesinks down but keeps all the fun, adventure and discovery intact in a way that feels natural and inviting instead of many groups all competing for the same slow respawn mobs..

    The personal story intertwines with the mmo world and adds some serious roleplaying to boot..

    It shouldnt take more than a beta weekend of truly fun mmo play for players to start realizing how backwards and poor most mmos have been intentionally designed in order to keep you paying a monthly fee...

     

    Playing GW2..

  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    Props to them for trying something different, but from experience with MMOers for the past decade I think combat is going to feel less like THIS and more like THIS

     

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    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • DragnogDragnog Kennett, MOPosts: 54Member

    The roles as such have not been entirely removed (from what I understand from the article and other information given to us from Arena Net), but instead has allowed any character to fill the role. Now you are not a "Tank" or a "Healer", you are whatever class that you are playing filling numerious roles as the battle progresses. 

    I think this will change the style of play, you can now play with people regardless of what class they are playing. This should seriously enhance the social aspect of the game and I think that individuals will start to have much more of a reputation in the game. As everyone can ressurect people, will you be the type of person to leave someone behind? Will you take over taking the aggro of the boss when you need to? Will you do damage when you need to? 

    On the other hand I expect there to be a significant learning curve as many MMO players have to "unlearn" everything that we know. No longer are you restricted to a role so you now need to master all of them. I know for me personally I have always played a healer, then a tank and hardly done damage dealing. Now I am going to have to look at how to maximise that damage, though I am sure I am going to find that as a support role others will want me around!

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    it wont feel like either. those two examples= they are out there right now. aand tbh a new gen of mmores are upon us so- move with the times and evolve!

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by Dragnog

    I think this will change the style of play, you can now play with people regardless of what class they are playing. This should seriously enhance the social aspect of the game and I think that individuals will start to have much more of a reputation in the game. As everyone can ressurect people, will you be the type of person to leave someone behind? Will you take

    over taking the aggro of the boss when you need to? Will you do damage when you need to? 


    xcly.

  • SlampigSlampig Chantilly, VAPosts: 2,376Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by orbitxo

    Thank GOD!= no more TANK, Heals, DPS cookie cutter molds!

    I believe that is more the players fault than any design flaw. People can't think for themselves, I mean, just look at all the threads on this site alone asking for help in picking a game, or building a rig or whatever else someone is afraid to decide for themselves.

     

    Companies design their games whatever way and when someone finds the "correct" build or stat distribution or whatever it is, of course people are going to copy it because it is the path of least resistance as well as the fact that, like I said above, people can't or refuse to think for themselves, thus, making these games more like jobs than entertainment.

    That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  • SobaSoba Chicago, ILPosts: 12Member

    I guess it will depend on whether the game emphasizes speed of thought vs speed of button mashing.   If the game comes down to who's the best typer then that doesn't equate to the type of skill I want to see in games.  The skill to me should be a blend of thinking on your feet and adjusting to tactics being employed against you.  Yes the speed with which these decisions need to be made is an important factor to making combat challenging but  the emphasis should be on the thinking behind employing  tactics and adjustments based on changing conditions during combat. That is the type of skill I want emphasized in a game.

    I also don't equate rolling around in heavy armor like a gymnast as something I want to see in a game.  Selecting that style of play should provide for different sets of tactical options that allow for an effective combat build.  Save the tumbling for thieves or rangers where it makes some sense.



     

  • Deathwing980Deathwing980 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 80Member

    YAY! its going to be interesting, i finally will have something to do outside of a FPS MMO shooter like planetside, at least in this i can still go about with friends and fight instead of being a damn glass cannon sitting in the back and oh look... i get screwed because someone runs up to me mid cast and i cant do jackshit because im at 75% on the cast bar...

     

    least now i can actually jump around and get out of the way if someones coming after me...

  • UnlightUnlight Ottawa, ONPosts: 2,540Member

    Originally posted by Soba

    <snip>

     Save the tumbling for thieves or rangers where it makes some sense.






     

    That would be a pretty cool idea.  Every profession should still have an evade, but the three profession types could have different evade animations so that it's a bit more realistic.  Heavies might lurch out of the way, mediums might leap and lights might dive and roll. 

    The dodge mechanic is absolutely necessary though, but it would be great to see the execution reflect the profession.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Vorthanion

    Having to move around constantly, even for the most basic combat situations, sounds exhausting if you play for more than an hour at a time.  I know from experience that Age of Conan combat really became annoying just for it's increased clickiness over past games.  I'm worried that I'm going to feel the same way about GW2 as it sounds very clicky and very movement centric.  So much so, that even if I like everything else about the game, I'll find myself playing in 30 minute sessions instead of my preferred 2 - 4 hour segments.  Maybe they'll tone down things a bit for regular hunting and questing mobs and leave the frentic action stuff for bosses and hard mode dungeons?


     

    I think you're confusing this for a typical MMO filled with 'kill 10 x' quests. It would get exhausting in a situation like that, but that's not the kind of combat this is. You should get no more exhausted playing 4 hours of GW2 than people get exhausted playing x hours of DMC, Witcher, Assassin's Creed, or any other game where you're not supposed to just stand there like a derp flinging spells which, if you think about it, is ~most~ non-mmo games.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I know I am going to be taking a lot of dirt naps while I figure this game out.

    Totally cool with that.

    I wonder though, will this combat experience (if as good as they say) completely ruin my ability to play other MMOs that use the Trinity?

    TOR, for all it's fault, changed the way I look at traditional quests. After playing TOR I cannot stand wall-of-text questing. It's either full VO or just get rid of the traditional quests like GW2 is doing (for the most part anyway.)

     

  • Saxx0nSaxx0n PR/Brand Manager BitBox Ltd. Hell, CAPosts: 806Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by BadSpock

    I know I am going to be taking a lot of dirt naps while I figure this game out.

    Totally cool with that.

    I wonder though, will this combat experience (if as good as they say) completely ruin my ability to play other MMOs that use the Trinity?

    TOR, for all it's fault, changed the way I look at traditional quests. After playing TOR I cannot stand wall-of-text questing. It's either full VO or just get rid of the traditional quests like GW2 is doing (for the most part anyway.)

     

    Nah, but you will be able to take light naps while doing so.

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    this playstyle is actually pretty old. somebody remember the "Unholy Trinity" in EQ1?

    everything was allowed, but no warrior, no cleric and no chanter pls. mostly 3 dark (unholy) classes like necromancer, shadwow-knight and shaman. all 3 jacks of all trades with the ability to tank, heal, do cc and whatever. you never saw a nec lifetap-tanking or playing healer? you missed something ;)

    people have been just too lazy and scary to test strange groups. but i sware, these have been the most fun ever. i remember once we took a cleric with us, which was a clear violation of rules. but the cleric was pretty surprised, when we told him, that he is maintank. yes, they can: damage shield is your friend. just think out of the damn holy trinity box and become unholy ;)

    btw, i read you played a nec. i like the nec-class. but i saw that just the ranger has a real controllable tank-pet. nec pet seems to be more a support pet not holding aggo. is that correct? in this case i will go ranger. not a bad class, too.









     




     

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

    this playstyle is actually pretty old. somebody remember the "Unholy Trinity" in EQ1?

    everything was allowed, but no warrior, no cleric and no chanter pls. mostly 3 dark (unholy) classes like necromancer, shadwow-knight and shaman. all 3 jacks of all trades with the ability to tank, heal, do cc and whatever. you never saw a nec lifetap-tanking or playing healer? you missed something ;)

    people have been just too lazy and scary to test strange groups. but i sware, these have been the most fun ever.

    btw, i read you played a nec. i like the nec-class. but i saw that just the ranger has a real controllable tank-pet. nec pet seems to be more a support pet not holding aggo. is that correct? in this case i will go ranger. not a bad class, too.

    There is no "tank pet." Nothing holds aggro like in previous games. Enemies swarm in from every direction if you check gameplay videos, it would be impossible for a pet to draw aggro from everything. Also, aggro is based mostly on whatever is closest to the target; enemies will naturally remain more interested in the things closest to them. However, enemies also have randomness in that they will at-will break off from their target and, without any reason, start pursuing someone else. You see that in videos a lot, people will be attacking and someone will run over to ress someone or stay out of the way to try and heal themselves (or even just take a breather from gameplay and talk to their youtube audience) and the enemy will stop what it's doing and run over just to slap them.

    Necromancers and Mesmers are arguably the better pet classes. Both classes can summon multiple pets (rangers can too, but it's a temporary thing and it's an Elite skill on a long cool-down) and bombard enemies with multiple aggro targets at once, however due to the mechanics of aggro and gameplay even they aren't safe behind their pets. Rangers are a solid pet class, though, making up for just that one pet with strong ranged and melee abilities. Although as I understand it the ranger pets are still being tweaked so, things could change.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    thx for the info. i understand that aggo-managment works different in GW2. and so the term tank-pet is not fully correct. however, i hate temporary swarm-pets and such. they are just another dot imho. i know, the nec-pet can give you HP back and some other tricks, but i guess i will prefer the rangers pet.

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • arteskillaarteskilla Ephrata, PAPosts: 28Member Uncommon

    Clicking is a huge problem, if you click your skills you will suck...simple as that. In games like Age of Conan it is nearly impossible to play while clicking your skills. Really glad ArenaNet went for action oriented combat as it will really determine the skill of a player not by his gear, but his movement and reaction.

  • SkuallSkuall UnknowPosts: 1,286Member Uncommon

    since all classes have some type of ranged and some melee skills no problem using your bow skills to pull ,and when some mobs come to you change to your greatsword and finish them off...

     

     

  • DragonantisDragonantis DublinPosts: 974Member

    GW2 is yet another step forward in the evolution of MMO's. Soon the term GW2-clone will be born XD

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    Saying that MMO combat has to involve the Holy Trinity is kinda like saying that a sandwich has to involve Peanut Butter and Jelly..... There about a thousand different ways to make a Non-Trinity combat system for an MMO.... GW2 is doing it one way, and good for them.... but there are alot of other approaches one can use...and not neccesarly even "action" style either.

     

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