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Neverwinter: The Rant #1 - Fixing the Holy Trinity

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,613MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

This week's premiere edition of "The Rant" focuses on an age-old problem in the MMORPG space: The Holy Trinity. Watch and listen as Managing Editor Bill Murphy tries to come up with some armchair designer fixes for the Holy Trinity and why it's still necessary in MMOs of today.

Check it out on our The Rant video page.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • OziiusOziius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,388Member Uncommon
    I couldn't agree with you more!
     
    I really don't understand this hatred for the holy trinity. I was talking with some fellow mmo'ers over lunch the other day and of the 5 of us present, 4 including myself like the trinity. 
     
    I like playing a certain role. I really enjoy it.. I really don't see whats wrong with that. I recently played gw2 and to be honest, I hated it. I didn't find it fun and felt like everyone was just running around like crazy bastards unleashing attacks. I'm sure tons of people like it, but I really don't. I really do like playing games that have the trinity in place. 
     
    I think that the "mercenary" aspect of EQ2 is a step in the right direction for filling roles on the fly; but it takes away from the "mmo" aspect as the spot is filled with an NPC. 
     
    I think being able to change the abilities of a class on the fly would go a long way in the right direction. Something kinda like gw2 where you have a lot more skills and get to specify which ones you're using at a given time to either heal/bandage, tank/absorb, etc. 
     
  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member

     

    GW2 didn't really get rid of class roles, ArenaNet just simplified them, and for that matter most of the game was similarly streamlined. Problem with that is it only really works for very casual gameplay in mmos. What people want is more complexity, but ease of grouping in mmos. Yes, that means stuff like dungeon finders  which does lower the immersion, and complexity in class roles, but it is a sacrifice that I for one will accept in gaming. What I think we are seeing now is some of the casual GW2 crowd getting a bit bored and are now looking for other games and newer gaming experiences. Neverwinter's will fill that gap for some as it is a casual high fantasy mmo, though we haven't seen the finished gold master product so it is a little hard to evaluate yet…it might be a tad shallow, much like Champions Online. Elder Scrolls looks more promising as a high fantasy mmo and seems to offer greater complexity and challenge for the mom player, but is further out on the horizon. So, we are really witnessing in Bill the migration from a very casual game to new fields...that's for the good as part of the problem with mmos has been the concept of gear or grind treadmills that eat up your time. Playing a game for a few months and moving on is a healthy way for the mmo industry to go as it gets away from the cash cow mmos of the past that are really just huge time sinks after you beat the levelling game, WoW anyone.

     

     

  • shadowkrasshadowkras CuiabaPosts: 11Member

    There is NOTHING wrong with the holy trinity. People just need to pick something, anything, to bitch at.

    It worked back in D&D first edition, and it shall work until the end of days.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon

    Nice video, Bill. (and I really liked the contrast between the tone and the title Rant :) )

    I agree with you, roles are necessary for group play, and class-less (or role-flexible) systems could be the answer to the boring "playing the LFF channel" issue. But I don't think those games you mentioned haven't done enough. Some sort of advancement / leveling / gear / etc. is mandatory between changes or the game could become oversimplified.

    I personally love TSW's "I can play any role" attitude, and that it doesn't require to level up another toon from scratch (though I love to level up alts.) Same goes to STO, it's fun to switching among my ships and officers, and play an another role sometimes.

    It occurs me, in LotRO with Moria they introduced the rune-keeper, I think that was my first "flexible class" experience, so it's not even a novelty (for non-lotroers: rk is a dps/heal hybrid class, who is fully capable in both roles and can switch between them even in combat if it's necessary. Neat. And some would say lore-breaking :) )

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,405Member Uncommon

    I like the dynamics of Tank, Heal, and DPS. I don't, however, like the predetermined class selection that plagues most MMOs, e.g., Guardian, Templar, Assassin.

    I'd much rather experience a system that is similar to Path of Exile, where players can completey create their very own unique builds. Someone who decidede to completely stack resistances and magi-shield might be better vs a cave of witches than someone who stacked up on health, strength, and armor.

  • TrionicusTrionicus Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 497Member

    Nothing new here, hell, WOW does all the things he's suggesting anyway, like how Paladin's can (or used to haven't played in a while) heal with Divine Storm.

    I'm not one to remain stagnant though, I think there is a better system than the Trinity, I'm sure a few smart people have already come up with a superior alternative, in a smokey basement somewhere. Maybe not smokey, they might have vaoprizers.

    For those thinking "blah etc..so on and that we don't need to reinvent the wheel." I have one word for you, TWEEL!

  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,927Member Uncommon

    The fallacy in this thought though, is that people WILL switch to the missing role when needed. Take WoW for example. With both of the previously added classes, Death Knight and Monk, both have tanking roles. Blizzard also added dual-spec options. So you're at a point where you have 5/11 classes have tanking specs, and yet there still is a tank shortage. Yes, you have to obtain gear for your secondary spec, but it's not that difficult to get a workable set of gear while you are perfecting your set for your main role.

    The biggest problem with the Trinity, is people. If a group wipes on a boss, tanks and healers are the first to be blamed everytime. Even if the wipe is caused by some DPS doing something very wrong, the tank and healer take the first amount of blame. Tanking and healing have a greater inhereted responsiblity within the dynamic of a group, and frankly that's not a responsibility many folks want in this vicious and vindictive internet we have now.

    Additionally, if you made it so that any one could be anything at any given time, then you would open up a whole new can of worms with people whining about how there are no consequences to your choices.

    When I play GW2, I don't have to wait for a tank or healer to show up. I don't have to sit around for hours tryng to come up with the perfect assembly of classes to complete a specific task. Frankly, I prefer the way ANet did it, even with it's imperfections.

    The trinity isn't a bad design in many regards, but it breaks down more easily than a more open system.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,416Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by shadowkras

    There is NOTHING wrong with the holy trinity. People just need to pick something, anything, to bitch at.

    It worked back in D&D first edition, and it shall work until the end of days.

    This has been gone over extensively.  No, there wasn't holy trinity in early D&D.  The only example I could find of a Taunt in AD&D 2ed, was a magic user spell.  Warriors were quite capable of dishing out damage, and controlled combat by blocking space, not by insulting your mother.   

     

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/372869/page/19

    Personally, I am in the camp of 'The Holy Trinity should be fixed with dynamite'.   I prefer open skill systems that let you build what you want. 

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • XepherdXepherd ParisPosts: 103Member

    Kaneth wrote:

    "The biggest problem with the Trinity, is people. If a group wipes on a boss, tanks and healers are the first to be blamed everytime. Even if the wipe is caused by some DPS doing something very wrong, the tank and healer take the first amount of blame. Tanking and healing have a greater inhereted responsiblity within the dynamic of a group, and frankly that's not a responsibility many folks want in this vicious and vindictive internet we have now."

    Man you are my hero, couldn't have said it better myself!

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member
    The only reason this was posted is because the topic I started about the holy trinity is overshadowing everything they have written about in last 2 weeks..
  • SkuallSkuall UnknowPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kaneth

    The fallacy in this thought though, is that people WILL switch to the missing role when needed. Take WoW for example. With both of the previously added classes, Death Knight and Monk, both have tanking roles. Blizzard also added dual-spec options. So you're at a point where you have 5/11 classes have tanking specs, and yet there still is a tank shortage. Yes, you have to obtain gear for your secondary spec, but it's not that difficult to get a workable set of gear while you are perfecting your set for your main role.

    The biggest problem with the Trinity, is people. If a group wipes on a boss, tanks and healers are the first to be blamed everytime. Even if the wipe is caused by some DPS doing something very wrong, the tank and healer take the first amount of blame. Tanking and healing have a greater inhereted responsiblity within the dynamic of a group, and frankly that's not a responsibility many folks want in this vicious and vindictive internet we have now.

    Additionally, if you made it so that any one could be anything at any given time, then you would open up a whole new can of worms with people whining about how there are no consequences to your choices.

    When I play GW2, I don't have to wait for a tank or healer to show up. I don't have to sit around for hours tryng to come up with the perfect assembly of classes to complete a specific task. Frankly, I prefer the way ANet did it, even with it's imperfections.

    The trinity isn't a bad design in many regards, but it breaks down more easily than a more open system.

    yeah thats why some addons like bigbrother exist in wow

     

    i find it fun that even the wow basic UI tells the player that was behing garalon

     

    XxXsefirothiscoolXXx stuck underneath garalon

     

    if we wipe the game must tell the group what failed , Noobdps nº1 didnt interrupt the 10s cast spell

    is the same for the 2 boss in blackrock cavern in CATA, the boss had 3 adds , the 3 dps must stay btw the laser and the NPC and moving out at 60 stacks aprox, u SAW who failed , if he was too long he converted into a demon if he failed to stay btw the laser and npc , the npc converted into a demon and attacked....

    the boss was a pain in the ass , why? DPS players are usually retarded :S , dont get me wrong i play as dps too , but the most basic things , like moving out of fire , or interrupting a spell...or just avoiding a huge wall of ice....

    the prime example is the LFR of wow , so much fail is digusting

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,416Member Uncommon
    I am pretty amused at the conceit that the trinity fails because of people.   Yeah, kinda hard to do it without them though.  I sure don't prefer it as a hard coded abstraction.  

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,362MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    It was only hinted at with a Storm Legion clip, but Rift has a decent system, marred only by the fact that you still must learn a new way to play with each "build". I'm looking for a system that allows you to play the way you know how but with different functions.
  • MightyChasmMightyChasm londonPosts: 298Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    It was only hinted at with a Storm Legion clip, but Rift has a? decent system, marred only by the fact that you still must learn a new way to play with each "build". I'm looking for a system that allows you to play the way you know how but with different functions.

    DCUO?  In so far as you switch between dps and heals/ tank/ control depending upon build.  It is not quite what you are after, but part way there. 

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon

    The trinity is to much of a comfort blanket for a lot of players and devs.  /shrug 

    Oh well.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,537Member Uncommon

     

    I think the video could've been a bit more informative as to how he would go about it.  Perhaps be more "bold" as he suggested the developers to be.  In that, I'd just flat out say give the players the ability to switch to any of the three tanking, healing or DPS builds without the barrier such as gear or leveling up a new class to get in the way.

    If WoW wasn't such a loot based game, it would be as such as right now you can be anyone in the world, click a single button and instantly change what your class does.  You are even able to change your talents in the field now.  The only thing that prevents this is how you have to grind like a mad man/woman for the gear that would make that change useful (often times having to do what you no longer enjoy just to get the gear to do something that you think you would).

    If things were made so that stats were given special passives, or abilities to change (or add) to what a specific spec does, it would be a much more fluid system whereby you could be anything anytime you wanted to be in game.  I know they experimented with this and spirit/int/agi etc. adding things to the class such as increased hit if you have one or some such (to alleviate gear problems when you switch to a role that doesn't use it), but I don't think they fleshed it out enough to be as useful as it could be.

    In FFXIV: A Realm Reborn they are bringing back the old FFXI system whereby one character is able to max every class in the game.  Though some of the fundamental problems will still be present, as far as I can see.  They are allowing you to switch any class no matter where you are in the world as this video suggests.  Though there is a fundamental flaw that isn't accounted for when doing this.

    It's all about balance and what's the most useful.  In the first version of FFXIV people were prtty much required to level both Paladins and Warriors if they wanted to tank; warriors were far more useful for the majority of the content, and still considered to be even after paladins were buffed.  Though there were times that, to be considered a serious tank, you had to have both maxed and switch quickly in dungeons where speed was the key (efficiency speed groups).  No longer could you play the class that you wanted, and instead you were just forced to play the strengths of the classes that were available since you didn't have to go back home to change them.

    Consider yourself a paladin?  Too bad, you have to play warrior if you want to tank, and paladins are only good at tanking while warriors can deal out massive DPS in addition to.  Enjoy melee fighting?  Well, play with a linkshell that doesn't care about efficiency, because on this specific fight it's better if you're ranged.  Want to just play a single class?  Get out, newbie... we need you to switch to a class that can clear trash easily for this part.  Play that class on your own time.

    I'm hoping they fix these problems in A Realm Reborn, as in practice they bring about new problems as a whole.

    :(

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    Originally posted by MightyChasm
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    It was only hinted at with a Storm Legion clip, but Rift has a? decent system, marred only by the fact that you still must learn a new way to play with each "build". I'm looking for a system that allows you to play the way you know how but with different functions.

    DCUO?  In so far as you switch between dps and heals/ tank/ control depending upon build.  It is not quite what you are after, but part way there. 

     

    I think Bill has missed the point there. Neverwinter is D&D so you want your wizard to be a wizard and your cleric to be a cleric. If you can have a wizard tanking then it just isn't D&D my friend.

     

     

     

    I think Neverwinters could be a casual blast, and there is nothing wrong with good honest casual gaming fun, but...remember folks Cryptic isn't the same game company that made CoH, nope they are perfect world subsidiary now, so expect a hard core cash shop

     

     

     

    The Founder's pack looks a bit like it shows the in game purchasing that can be unlocked by using ones 2-sided credit card and being within ones credit card limit

    http://nw.perfectworld.com/founderspack

  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member

    The trinity is a handicap, it limits games and gameplay and effects every aspect of the game. No thank you, its there for people that find complex characters too difficult to play. I dont need my hand held, I dont need guide rails and I sure as hell dont need someone to tell me what I am or am not supposed to do in a group.

    How weak is that...needing someone to define you in everything. bleh.

    I highly doubt any game will be able to match a GW2 bunker elementalists difficulty level. But you go on, play your faceroll games and claim to be l33t. ooh look ma, I can heal my group watch, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 2

    I haz skillz.

    “I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • curacura WarsawPosts: 950Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Illyssia

     

    GW2 didn't really get rid of class roles, ArenaNet just simplified them, and for that matter most of the game was similarly streamlined. Problem with that is it only really works for very casual gameplay in mmos. What people want is more complexity, but ease of grouping in mmos. Yes, that means stuff like dungeon finders  which does lower the immersion, and complexity in class roles, but it is a sacrifice that I for one will accept in gaming. What I think we are seeing now is some of the casual GW2 crowd getting a bit bored and are now looking for other games and newer gaming experiences. Neverwinter's will fill that gap for some as it is a casual high fantasy mmo, though we haven't seen the finished gold master product so it is a little hard to evaluate yet…it might be a tad shallow, much like Champions Online. Elder Scrolls looks more promising as a high fantasy mmo and seems to offer greater complexity and challenge for the mom player, but is further out on the horizon. So, we are really witnessing in Bill the migration from a very casual game to new fields...that's for the good as part of the problem with mmos has been the concept of gear or grind treadmills that eat up your time. Playing a game for a few months and moving on is a healthy way for the mmo industry to go as it gets away from the cash cow mmos of the past that are really just huge time sinks after you beat the levelling game, WoW anyone.

     

     

    Only unholy trinity is one of the most simplistic and  non flexible systems. DPS = mindless rotations, healer = whack a mole and only tank has to actually show some greater skill and play field awarness. Most of trinity dungeon like encouters are limited to pulling and killing, tanking and spanking and are sometimes spiced with "dont stand in the shit" or on the wrong side of the mob. In hardest fights you just have to do 30 points check list in correct timing. What a complexity.

    Now, i think it is possible to make good trinity system but what we are served now is just as simple as more action oriented game systems but lacks its dynamics. IMO for good trinity system it would have to go further then damage, heal, debuff, root and interrupt. It has to be really about tactics and full of interesting, usefull skills which you have to actually use. 

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,416Member Uncommon
    Fourth Edition D&D rules are D&D reimagined with MMO roles anyway.   Except that the various paragon class decisions could seriously affect the play style.  Don't think Neverwinter is going to start out with quite the adaptability of the PnP version though.  Again, constricted for ease of online computer play.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148 1, NJPosts: 6,690Member
    Didn't know the holy trinity was broken.
    30
  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member
    I personally believe champions system was one of the best if not the best.
  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,643Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Normandy7
    Didn't know the holy trinity was broken.

     

    To some it is, but expect they just strongly associate the notion of wating around an hour to get a tank or whatever with it and are ready to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    Bill is right here though... in these games class dependence is bad, but role dependence is good.

  • fs23otmfs23otm Winter Haven, FLPosts: 293Member Uncommon

    I don't want the trinity... I was even more role definitions:

    Tank

    Healer

    Puller

    Crowd Control

    Damage

    Debuffer

    Buffer

     

    EQ got it right in so many ways (POP and before)... it truely had the best class balance and group roles. Groups of 6 and as long as you brought most of the roles your group would flourish. 

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member
    Originally posted by Arglebargle
    Fourth Edition D&D rules are D&D reimagined with MMO roles anyway.   Except that the various paragon class decisions could seriously affect the play style.  Don't think Neverwinter is going to start out with quite the adaptability of the PnP version though.  Again, constricted for ease of online computer play.

    Lol you keep telling yourself this about 4th. Just because so many got caught up in the weekly encounters and forgot that DND CAMPAIGNS  are where the rROLEPLAYING  happens.

    What 4th did was make characters seem more epic.

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