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Holy Trinity- Misinterpreted and Misdirected?

marsh9799marsh9799 jackson, MSPosts: 100Member

I just had a thought after once again running through MMOs- SWTOR before Tera before WoW again before GW2.

The first time I ever heard of the Holy Trinity was early on in my EQ days shortly before the release of Kunark.  It wasn't described in terms of tank, DPS, and healer.  It was Warrior, Rogue, and Cleric as told to me by a Warrior.  Later, it was essentially described to me as a Tank, DPS, Healer.

I was a Shaman and never really cared much about the Holy Trinity because I was a Shaman... every group wanted a shaman.  I usually looked for groups with an Enchanter.  Neither one of us were really part of the Holy Trinity of EQ (especially before shamans got some healing buffs), but we were always extremely desired for groups.  We brought tremendous support and utility along with some decent damage.  I remember playing both Shadowbane and DAOC and each had definitive non-"healer" support classes that were highly sought.  I leveled my Ministrel to 50 largely AFK.  My endurance song was so useful people would tell me to just put them on follow instead of logging.  Literally, I came back one time and had gained 10 levels. 

Pretty much every MMO I played before WoW had these strong support classes.  I played WoW.  I really liked Vanilla WoW.  But WoW did not have these classes, not really.  Classes really fell into three groups- Tanks (Warriors only), Healers (Druid, Paladin, , Shaman, or Priest), and DPS (everyone else) with some preferential treatment given to classes with usable CC for the instance.  I thought that the Paladin and Shaman were going to fill this role at least in some specs, but this was not the case. 

Class design, it seemed to me, was much more inclusive when it came to groups.  While many classes were not ideal fits within the three Holy Trinity roles, the contribution of said classes normally pushed the group's effectiveness above what it would have been by say adding another DPS.  This is not to say that adding another DPS crippled the group.  The Holy Trinity was just more of a base starting point rather than end all, be all.  With the elimination of true Support classes, there really doesn't seem to be anything outside of the three roles designated in the Trinity which results in much more exclusion.  Ultimately, through balancing, it seems to result in much more class homogenization.

GW2 really made me think about this.  They tried to get rid of the Holy Trinity, and it just didn't work for me.  Everything felt like a zerg.  Everything was excessively focused on damage with the exception of a very few specific builds that seemed primarily organized around minor support abilities and reviving players.

Does anyone else miss support classes or is it just me?

Comments

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,924Member Uncommon

    Support still exists in GW2. Its a big part of what is needed in dungeons in particular to succeed. They play differently in terms of contributing damage but they are there mostly for support. 

     

    Guild wars 2 uses a trinity of Damage, Support, And Crowd Control. Support typically will provide suppliment healing to group (though not as strong as a healer in other game) and buffs to allies, while also removing negative conditions from them as well. Depending on you want there are classes that achieve this in different ways.

     

    Mesmers primarily seem focused upon the Buff/Dispell field for buffing allies and taking away enemy debuffs and buffs. Necromancer provide supportive healing with dispelling for allies and removing enemy buffs. Guardians act to provide supportive healing and act as some Crowd Control as well, providing also a make shift 'tank' of sorts that can go in first and draw hate to themselves for 'initiating'. 

  • rungardrungard st. john''s, NFPosts: 1,035Member

    i played all the same games as you, Cleric in EQ, Healer in DAOC (best class ever!), druid in wow and now guardian in GW2.

    im am all for the despecialization of classes to make them well rounded, but im starting to think GW2 went a little too far. It works good for pvp, but in dungeons im not convinced.

    think about this though. 70% or more of players play "dps classes". GW2 has changed nothing for them, except that they now have to work a little harder at staying alive.

    its only the tanks and healers that are different, and it made no sense to have 7/10 players dependant on 2 people.

    If i could tweak GW2 i would have made it such that it was designed for a 3 man group and toned down the mob damage a bit. I also think that cc/healing is too short/weak in dungeons but ok in pvp.

     

     

     

  • VyntVynt Glendale, CAPosts: 632Member Uncommon

    I miss support classes that were essential. Like you said OP, your shaman, wasn't part of the trinity, nor the enchanter. Even though I heard trinity a couple times in EQ, the game wasn't a trinity based game. More of a quartet, sometimes branching out itnto a 5th class. Daoc was the same way.

    Classes, roles, keep getting simplified where most anyone can do everything. All hybrids basically. While I like hybrid classes, I don't want to do everything, let alone have everyone be able to do everything.

    You talked about how the majority like to play a "dps" class. I agree and only a few people wanting to play support, tank type roles could be tough to find, there is now another problem with everyone being a dps.

    It seems most people that like to play a dps, don't like to do healing, use support skills, or tank. If you now have the dps required to do such things, now the majority of players who didn't like to do non dps are forced into doing it. Before only a minority did tanking, healing, support, and usually enjoyed it. Now everyone does everything, or is supposed to. That is part of the problem in grouping in GW2, people are forced to play a way they don't like to. When they don't change, then you have groups that can't accomplish much.

    I certainly hope depth in classes and roles is brought back to MMOs. More than the 3 seperate, then down to 2 and 1. Give me 4 or 5 seperate roles and more in the group. Making things less, in roles, in number in group, just dilutes the gameplay, too simplified.

  • AeliousAelious Portland, ORPosts: 2,854Member Uncommon
    What drew me to the non trinity system was the fact that I didn't have to choose my role indefinitely. I'm typically a one character player because of my time and I'd rather not have to start over because it want to play a different role.

    I don't mind the trinity at all as long as class progression is fluid and can change. If i play a warrior to 45 and decide I want to heal why can't I change to a level 1 cleric with the same character, holding my level of warrior in stasis?
  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    Alot of the reason the "Trinity" is so common in MMO's (and it certainly "works" in terms of providing a functional system) is that the combat and challenge systems of MMO's are extremely simplified themselves. If you compare it to something line old style D&D pen and paper rules that starts to become quickly evident.

    The main utility of the Rogue, for example, in such systems had nothing to do with delivering damage.....it was actualy Combat Intelligence (e.g. using stealth to sneak ahead of the party and discover what hazards might await them without betraying thier presence) .....and Combat Engineering (removing traps/tripwires and barriers to acces such as locked or secret doors).

    A Wizard was at least as important for things like being able to levitate up to a certain part of a dungeon which no one else could reach, casting feather-fall on a falling comrade, providing protections against certain types of attacks and dispelling darkness as they were for casting Fireballs and Lightning Bolts.

    There were ALOT more factors involved to succesfull combats and successfull adventuring then are represented by the mechanics of most of todays MMO's. Most of todays MMO's simplified things down to looking at only 3 factors (and even a very narrow scope of these) and due to that, there were naturaly only 3 axis on which to differentiate classes. I find that extremely dissapointing compared to PnP systems or even other types of gaming systems.

     

     

     

  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDPosts: 2,581Member Uncommon
    In WoW's case it was hard to have a suport based character that can PvP, unless you are willing to accept the fact that mostlikely you will always die 1v1.  Many were not willing to accept this and would make the support characters very underplayed in a PvP game.
  • marsh9799marsh9799 jackson, MSPosts: 100Member

     

    Originally posted by rungard

    im am all for the despecialization of classes to make them well rounded, but im starting to think GW2 went a little too far. It works good for pvp, but in dungeons im not convinced. 

    I largely agree.  I think that despecialization is probably a good thing.  I think having a game of nothing but hyrbids would probably work out well, you'd just have to make them real hybrids- not alternative specializations I think.

     

    Originally posted by Vynt

    I miss support classes that were essential. Like you said OP, your shaman, wasn't part of the trinity, nor the enchanter. Even though I heard trinity a couple times in EQ, the game wasn't a trinity based game. More of a quartet, sometimes branching out itnto a 5th class. Daoc was the same way.

    Classes, roles, keep getting simplified where most anyone can do everything. All hybrids basically. While I like hybrid classes, I don't want to do everything, let alone have everyone be able to do everything.

    I agree mostly.  I've started making a distinction between hybrids and alternating specializations.  I view a hybrid as simultaneously performing two roles.

    It seems most people that like to play a dps, don't like to do healing, use support skills, or tank. If you now have the dps required to do such things, now the majority of players who didn't like to do non dps are forced into doing it. Before only a minority did tanking, healing, support, and usually enjoyed it. Now everyone does everything, or is supposed to. That is part of the problem in grouping in GW2, people are forced to play a way they don't like to. When they don't change, then you have groups that can't accomplish much.

    I largely agree.  The older games were not big on soloing and WoW did break with that trend.  I did several levels on my Warrior in Vanilla WoW as Prot and my Paladin as Holy and it was brutal.  On my Shaman, I could do respectable damage.  I was no DPS class for sure, but I was able to put up decent numbers.  I think that's the disconnect players have when going alternate routes frequently.  I'd be more comfortable just removing DPS classes than largely removing all distinction.

    Originally posted by Aelious
    What drew me to the non trinity system was the fact that I didn't have to choose my role indefinitely. I'm typically a one character player because of my time and I'd rather not have to start over because it want to play a different role.

    I don't mind the trinity at all as long as class progression is fluid and can change. If i play a warrior to 45 and decide I want to heal why can't I change to a level 1 cleric with the same character, holding my level of warrior in stasis?

    I really liked the dual-spec system when WoW introduced it.  It saved me a tremendous amount of gold from respecs.  I don't see this as a bad thing.

    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    There were ALOT more factors involved to succesfull combats and successfull adventuring then are represented by the mechanics of most of todays MMO's. Most of todays MMO's simplified things down to looking at only 3 factors (and even a very narrow scope of these) and due to that, there were naturaly only 3 axis on which to differentiate classes. I find that extremely dissapointing compared to PnP systems or even other types of gaming systems.

     Good point.  I wonder if it has something to do with a more instant gratification orientation of gamers today. 

    Originally posted by Horusra
    In WoW's case it was hard to have a suport based character that can PvP, unless you are willing to accept the fact that mostlikely you will always die 1v1.  Many were not willing to accept this and would make the support characters very underplayed in a PvP game.

    Support classes have typically been some of the strongest 1v1 classes across all games where they existed.

     

     

  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDPosts: 2,581Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by marsh9799

     

    Originally posted by rungard

    im am all for the despecialization of classes to make them well rounded, but im starting to think GW2 went a little too far. It works good for pvp, but in dungeons im not convinced. 

    I largely agree.  I think that despecialization is probably a good thing.  I think having a game of nothing but hyrbids would probably work out well, you'd just have to make them real hybrids- not alternative specializations I think.

     

    Originally posted by Vynt

    I miss support classes that were essential. Like you said OP, your shaman, wasn't part of the trinity, nor the enchanter. Even though I heard trinity a couple times in EQ, the game wasn't a trinity based game. More of a quartet, sometimes branching out itnto a 5th class. Daoc was the same way.

    Classes, roles, keep getting simplified where most anyone can do everything. All hybrids basically. While I like hybrid classes, I don't want to do everything, let alone have everyone be able to do everything.

    I agree mostly.  I've started making a distinction between hybrids and alternating specializations.  I view a hybrid as simultaneously performing two roles.

    It seems most people that like to play a dps, don't like to do healing, use support skills, or tank. If you now have the dps required to do such things, now the majority of players who didn't like to do non dps are forced into doing it. Before only a minority did tanking, healing, support, and usually enjoyed it. Now everyone does everything, or is supposed to. That is part of the problem in grouping in GW2, people are forced to play a way they don't like to. When they don't change, then you have groups that can't accomplish much.

    I largely agree.  The older games were not big on soloing and WoW did break with that trend.  I did several levels on my Warrior in Vanilla WoW as Prot and my Paladin as Holy and it was brutal.  On my Shaman, I could do respectable damage.  I was no DPS class for sure, but I was able to put up decent numbers.  I think that's the disconnect players have when going alternate routes frequently.  I'd be more comfortable just removing DPS classes than largely removing all distinction.

    Originally posted by Aelious
    What drew me to the non trinity system was the fact that I didn't have to choose my role indefinitely. I'm typically a one character player because of my time and I'd rather not have to start over because it want to play a different role.

    I don't mind the trinity at all as long as class progression is fluid and can change. If i play a warrior to 45 and decide I want to heal why can't I change to a level 1 cleric with the same character, holding my level of warrior in stasis?

    I really liked the dual-spec system when WoW introduced it.  It saved me a tremendous amount of gold from respecs.  I don't see this as a bad thing.

    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    There were ALOT more factors involved to succesfull combats and successfull adventuring then are represented by the mechanics of most of todays MMO's. Most of todays MMO's simplified things down to looking at only 3 factors (and even a very narrow scope of these) and due to that, there were naturaly only 3 axis on which to differentiate classes. I find that extremely dissapointing compared to PnP systems or even other types of gaming systems.

     Good point.  I wonder if it has something to do with a more instant gratification orientation of gamers today. 

    Originally posted by Horusra
    In WoW's case it was hard to have a suport based character that can PvP, unless you are willing to accept the fact that mostlikely you will always die 1v1.  Many were not willing to accept this and would make the support characters very underplayed in a PvP game.

    Support classes have typically been some of the strongest 1v1 classes across all games where they existed.

     

     

    Please enlighten me and not just make vague unsupported statements.

  • marsh9799marsh9799 jackson, MSPosts: 100Member
    Originally posted by Horusra

    Originally posted by Horusra
    In WoW's case it was hard to have a suport based character that can PvP, unless you are willing to accept the fact that mostlikely you will always die 1v1.  Many were not willing to accept this and would make the support characters very underplayed in a PvP game.

    Support classes have typically been some of the strongest 1v1 classes across all games where they existed.

     

     

    Please enlighten me and not just make vague unsupported statements.

    I assume this is the one you were talking about?

    In Everquest, Shaman, Enchanters, Bards, and Druids were all exceptional PvP classes both in groups and in 1v1 situations.

    In DAOC, Minstrels, Bards, and Skalds (especially Skalds).  Wardens did very well.  So did Shamans.  I don't know if you would count Friars in this group or not.

    In Shadowbane, where do I start?  You could create some extremely dominant support oriented classes with the right set up.

  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vynt

    I miss support classes that were essential. Like you said OP, your shaman, wasn't part of the trinity, nor the enchanter. Even though I heard trinity a couple times in EQ, the game wasn't a trinity based game. More of a quartet, sometimes branching out itnto a 5th class. Daoc was the same way.

    Classes, roles, keep getting simplified where most anyone can do everything. All hybrids basically. While I like hybrid classes, I don't want to do everything, let alone have everyone be able to do everything.

    You talked about how the majority like to play a "dps" class. I agree and only a few people wanting to play support, tank type roles could be tough to find, there is now another problem with everyone being a dps.

    It seems most people that like to play a dps, don't like to do healing, use support skills, or tank. If you now have the dps required to do such things, now the majority of players who didn't like to do non dps are forced into doing it. Before only a minority did tanking, healing, support, and usually enjoyed it. Now everyone does everything, or is supposed to. That is part of the problem in grouping in GW2, people are forced to play a way they don't like to. When they don't change, then you have groups that can't accomplish much.

    I certainly hope depth in classes and roles is brought back to MMOs. More than the 3 seperate, then down to 2 and 1. Give me 4 or 5 seperate roles and more in the group. Making things less, in roles, in number in group, just dilutes the gameplay, too simplified.

    Yeah that it. Everquest used to have five real roles. The term was the Fab Five: Tank, Healer, DPS, Bard (buffs), Chanter (Crowd control) Then there were some interesting hybrids like Monk which sometimes tanked, DPS, CC, or was just used for split encounter pulling.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

    Holy trinity was primarily Tank-Healer-DPS as those are mandatory roles. But it always existed support roles, such as CC, buffers/debuffers and so on which made life easier but were not mandatory.

    But I agree with you in regards to GW 2. Most is focused on DPS and everyone needs to run around and try to kite the mobs to stay alive. I don't like it, I much prefer to have my support/healer role and let other focus on DPS so for me GW 2's replacement of the trinity system is not particularly interesting.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,752Member Uncommon
           Alot of the early stuff I did in EQ the ENchanter was considered the 3rd part of the trinity as you often had to have a slower and crowd control.....That would leave you little DPS but great survivability with the Warrior-Cleric-ENchanter trio.....Like many of you said though, it was always more than a trio usually involving 5-6 people with unique roles to perform i nthe group.
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