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Yay, opinion forum, everyone's favorite right?
Seriously though, another thread I was reading about Neverwinter and the use of traps in that game got me thinking. Traps in MMO's have in my (limited) experience been done pretty poorly.
In thinking about traps in instances a few things occur to me:
1. Must have a rogue or we can't do X content... is not fun. It's ok if the content is "optional." Like an optional boss or treasure chest but if not having a rogue is a major block to play that is a recipe for frustration rather than fun. This is not the kind of inconvenience that makes good gameplay.
2. Trap goes off = party dies every time... is also not fun.
3. Just wait there for a couple of minutes while I, the rogue, check the area ahead for traps... is also not fun. This kind of everyone wait while I do X mechanic isn't fun with any class. It isn't fun when it's, "hey give us a minute to CC these mobs," it isn't fun when it's "everyone just sit there for a minute and wait for me to get good agro," and it isn't fun when it's, "everyone hold very still while I search for traps to disarm."
But, there may be a solution. Traps with effects that happen over time. Here are a couple examples:
You're fighting a pack of baddies when the healer accidentally triggers a trap and walls on each side start to lift releasing monsters. The walls lift slowly and at first only small mobs (a couple of small spiders) can get out and join the fray... if the trap continues to go off then soon a few goblins will be able to get out and finally a couple of hard hitting. regenerating trolls would join the fight. Nice slow release where the trap gets progressively meaner the longer it is allowed to go on. Then the trap dynamic would be that a rogue would be able to find the trap mechanism and stop it. In this case your rogue would have to make the choice between peeling off the pack of baddies you're killing to shut down the trap or try and kill the pack you're on first before making a dash for the trap before the trolls escaped.
You could use the same basic idea with other classes too... magic traps that only wizards could disable once the cascade had started, divine ones for clerics, etc. This way the flow of gameplay, rather than being interuppted by, incorporates the trap mechanic.
You could also add traps that add mechanics to the fight like raining fire that you have to move out of, pulses of frost that breifly freeze you in place, etc.
These are some of my thoughts. What do you think? How would you like to see traps (and other class specific content) implemented in the games of the future?