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Dynamic "on-the-spot" role assignment

MMOwandererMMOwanderer LisbonPosts: 415Member

First off, i like group roles as much as anyone, but, the problem i find with them in mmorpgs is, unlike PnP and SP where group assembling is easy, it can be very complicated to find people in the middle of the open world, outside of instances.

So, i have an idea of "dynamic grouping roles" and would like people's opinion on it.

Imagine a game with "solo mobs" and "group mobs". Solo mobs are just stadart monsters you can solo or pull more of for a greater challenge.

Group mobs are just what they sound, being it bosses or pack of special creatures, which, basically, require more than 1 person to take down. This is mandatory.

Now, what if, unlike normal mmos where you would have to have the actual skills and abilities from character developement, players where given brand new powers specific to defeat said enemy.

So, imagine a minotaur boss that requires atleast 5 people to beat. When the required amount of people select him and enter "combat mode", they'll be assigned special roles with new skills to use right there. To defeat the minotaur, one player becomes a tank like warrior with abilities to taunt, since he's very dangerous and fast and can kil peole in 1-2 shots. But 2 others become "de.buffers" and use powers to weak the enemy, since at full power he's too strong for the tank. The other 2 do the standart job of damage dealers.

Of course, it's not just "rpg roles". Take an event where friendly npc's invade a castle with siege weapon. The npc's will do the job of fighting the enemy on the gate, while players must fire AND LOAD the siege weapons. The reverse is also possible.

Many more possibilities exist, but the most important is that, if players don't tend to their roles and try to zerg DPS, they'll fail. No change. Also, the fights would scale the more people "tag" a pack of group mobs, assigning roles for them aswell.


  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 14,247Member Rare

    Instead of coming up with contrived systems to fight static mobs that stand around and wait to be killed, we, as players who want a more engaging PvE experience, should probably be looking for and asking for more dynamic mobs and open world encounters.


    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • MMOwandererMMOwanderer LisbonPosts: 415Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Instead of coming up with contrived systems to fight static mobs that stand around and wait to be killed, we, as players who want a more engaging PvE experience, should probably be looking for and asking for more dynamic mobs and open world encounters.

    I completly agree, but, what does that have to do with my thread.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by MMOwanderer

    I completly agree, but, what does that have to do with my thread.

    There is a question of whether it makes more sense for the developer to define the roles or the players should be allowed to discover the roles.

    Having an encounter-specific powerset as you suggest creates a situation where the developers are essentially creating new minigames around each boss.  The alternative is to have huge, unbalanced bosses that break traditional roles, forcing players to to figure out new strategies and new role-sets.  This is going to cause the discussion is going to end up becoming themepark-vs-world ... Loktofeit just skipped a couple of pages of posts building up to this and skipped straight to it.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 4,036Member Uncommon
         I like to knwo my role in a RPG....I like to think that my character has spent years honing his craft and specializing in certain things...TO just say all of a sudden "You are a mighty warrior or you are a arcane mage" seems kinda farfetched.....Most of us like RPGs because we play a specific role....The trend of MMOs the last couple of years is that everyone can be anything and that just doesnt flow well with RPG lore.
  • winterwinter El Paso, TXPosts: 2,277Member Uncommon

     problem is then you are not playing your character your playing whatever the games gives you at the moment. Also note many people like and are good at playing certain roles, while others hate are are not very good at playing other roles. Some players prefer the faster pace and switching of elements of say a tank or dpser. Other prefer a slower measured pace of say a mage being carefull not to grab to much agro.

       Personally I can't see many players getting comfortable with a game where one min they are the tank and the next they maybe the mage. Thats just me however and i tend to prefger games where there are more character choices that matter and have effect on game play, rather then just being handed a role ie your ranged damage go, your melee damage go, your damage spong go.

  • ghstwolfghstwolf hampstead, NHPosts: 386Member

    To be honest I'm struggling to see much virtue in this methodology.  It's challenging because I like the ideal of flexible/changing roles, but this idea is flawed to its core.

    The core of any RPG is progression.  This system only seems to work properly with a total lack of freedom in that progression.  Maybe that comes from my preconception of the roles being randomly assigned, but even with players selecting the role problems still exist (this leaves us at almost the same point we are today).

    Really the curtailing of freedom is my big issue.  Every fight becomes nothing but learning the routine, at least with the current system you can add variation by switching up the class mix for a group.  You remove that, groups will always have the same skills for a given fight.  The system, under random assignment leaves little room for build specialization, you could doom a group pretty quickly by building up the wrong attribute or gearing up inproperly for the role assigned.  Finally, I'd never group with people I don't know again.  There is a pretty big group of players that can barely master (handle sounds a bit too elitist) 1 role, nevermind the several you are expecting of them.

  • JaedorJaedor Denver, COPosts: 1,163Member Uncommon

    It's a somewhat interesting idea, OP. But I wouldn't want the AI to make me a tank (for example) and it doesn't sound like I'd have a way to change that. Maybe if you tweaked it so the player could choose an assigned role it would get around player preferences.

  • MMOwandererMMOwanderer LisbonPosts: 415Member

    Just to be clear, there would still be an individual component to each player. You could play a mage and develop him and use your standart abilities in most fights. However, if by random change you got one of the roles in a certain fight. 

    Like i said, it's not just tanks, healers, CC, etc. Like i said, siege weapon usage is not an RPG role. This kind of mechanics would allow players to have required tactics withot having to be another character. 

    Remember, taking on a dynamic role would be like a standart one. You won't become a full, fleshed out tank, just receive basic skills to allow it. The idea is to make sure coordination and teamwork is the rule isnted of mass zerg.

    Loktofeit, i understand what you mean now, by i've yet to see it properly. Without some kind of team system, the monsters just randomly attack with DPS blows at everyone. More random paterns yes, but some tactics would be nice IMO.

    Jaedor- I was imaganing that the game was skill based with no real pre-set roles to allow everyone in. But, i agree with you too. If a player specs tank, i guess the change of rolling one on the spot would increse. No problem IMO. This way, you can play your favorite style, but if people are missing, the game adusts to it.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 6,021Member Uncommon
    I'm sorry I can't get behind a game that uses taunt mechanics. I'm done. I don't do tank & spank anymore - the simplified combat and the static encounters Loktofeit was referring to.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

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