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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?