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[Column] General: Damage, Healer, Tank

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,596MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The Holy Trinity, both bane and boon to MMO players the world over. In today's Tingle's Touchy Subjects, we tackle the issue head on. Read it all before leaving your thoughts int he comments.

It has struck me quite recently, that I haven't been playing this genre right. While I may have gone through the motions, bought the games, and thumbed in the necessary credit card details, I haven't actually engaged with the art of MMOing for quite some time.

In my last article, I talked about remembering the core tenants of a multiplayer adventure: namely, talking to people. In tandem with the aforementioned, and along with the many iterations and advancements that titles such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 have brought along, a sense of growing inertia has settled somewhere within me.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Touchy Subjects: Damage, Healer, Tank.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • CertheGreatCertheGreat memphis, TNPosts: 17Member
    personally i think dcuo's combat beats most mmo's combat today. it still incorporates the holy trinity into it and the action always has u moving.u can block perform combos and use your abilities while reforming the regular hits/moves
  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    You should give World of Warcradt a shot. Flex raids are improving community. The nice thing is the community is already better than all other mmorpgs. The trinity is present but your not completely limited in your role. It has traditional heals tank dps, support is need based and each class brings something different to the table. Support roles are shared by all. Eassentially you have a primary role as healer tank or dps and everyone has abilities to give them a secondary role of support to use as needed.
  • snoockysnoocky maarnPosts: 595Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    You should give World of Warcradt a shot. Flex raids are improving community. The nice thing is the community is already better than all other mmorpgs. The trinity is present but your not completely limited in your role. It has traditional heals tank dps, support is need based and each class brings something different to the table. Support roles are shared by all. Eassentially you have a primary role as healer tank or dps and everyone has abilities to give them a secondary role of support to use as needed.

    You gotta be kidding here arent you??

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • OzivoisOzivois Phoenix, AZPosts: 598Member
    Rift is all about class play, special roles, and a lot of challenges in 10 man or full raids. The same with AoC. Like you mentioned early in the article, you were the problem, not the game. Neither game was solved through zerging with the exception of rift events, which not unlike FATEs amount nothing more than zerg fests but included by developers so that they can claim their game is DYNAMIC.
  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Wasnt kidding, if you cant fit in with the community in wow thats a you problem. Gw2 has decent community as well but its not a trinity game. I can guarantee if your looking to group, you wont have a hard time finding a core group in wow. Doesnt matter if you want to tank heal or dps.
  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon
    Great story, and I fully agree.  Bring on the specializations! 

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • YilelienYilelien Vacaville, CAPosts: 322Member

    I to am at a loss for the newer games. Not that i dont like or dont play them. But we are all a wash of being able to do everything.

     We are to busy wanting it ALL. But are rushing past the best thing. The Community. Meeting those people who you actually end up liking. Or even meeting in real life, actually talking to them about the game. The best way to beat a boss, or the best class to do a certain area.

     

     Now we simply rush in, most of the time not even saying hello to one another. Finish what ever task we were doing. Getting out. Not smelling the flowers along the way.

  • t3hWheezt3hWheez Salinas, CAPosts: 7Member
    After playing one GW2 dungeon, I will never play a game that doesn't have a trinity. That experience has scared me for life. Their excuses for dungeons are horrid.
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,415Member Uncommon

    Since the OP made his mea culpa, no sense piling on there.  Welcome back to playing games in context and not as some abstract win counter.

    But the Holy Trinity is an old, hidebound trope, designed as a metagame system to deal with limited processing power and internet connectivity of computer systems.   In the older school PnP games, the equivalent warrior controlled the fight by positioning, something that was problematic for many early online games.  And the 'healer' was often the second best in melee combat. 

     

    There's no reason you can't enjoy it, of course, but the taunting tank is one of the worst immersion breaking elements around, for me personally.   'What does that guy say to make that green slime so angry?'  There's absolutely no real world analogue of the taunting tank.  The thing the name is taken from has loads of armor, great speed, and a honking big gun.  Replace the guns with a loudspeaker system blaring mp3s of 'Insults in all languages', and I guarantee it would be of lots less import to its foes.  Oh, and 'Taunt' first appears in AD&D 2nd ed., as a magic users spell.

     

    Makes me glad I came in to MMO gaming in a system that had some sort of rationale for it, and where most combinations of classes could do most  content.  As far as I'm concerned, taunting tanks are another awful thing popularized in WoW.  (And yes, I am aware it was formalized earlier.)

     

     

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

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,442Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    You should give World of Warcradt a shot. Flex raids are improving community. The nice thing is the community is already better than all other mmorpgs. The trinity is present but your not completely limited in your role. It has traditional heals tank dps, support is need based and each class brings something different to the table. Support roles are shared by all. Eassentially you have a primary role as healer tank or dps and everyone has abilities to give them a secondary role of support to use as needed.

    Keyword>>>Raids,that is what that game became,not a game anymore just a group of people hitting instances.

    Nothing community related is needed for normal content as it is primarily a solo questing game to feed you an easy leveling curve.

    This genre needs to start losing levels and treat that number as an aging effect.Players should look young at age of 12,older at 35 an d older yet at 55.Stats should change as you age and aging should be long,not changing like  levels where you might be level 1 then 2 hours later,level 20.

    Combos should be player>player with perhaps one specialized class given the ability to self combo.

    IMO everything should involve more than the solo aspect ,except one,learning skills.FFXI got the skills part right,you might level fast but if your skills are low,you will miss and do less damage.That is the right way to do combat,your skill/proficiency with a certain weapon should be the factor ,not your level.

    Then we have newer ideas that again ruin community and the MMO aspect,things like handing out free adventuring xp.Problem is it is not adventure xp but xp towards your class,how does a Warrior become a better warrior and better in a group,having explored some new region?

    Games are simply not about the genre they pretend to be,they are not about community or interaction with other players.They are raiding,yellow markers,tons of hand holding not much that resembles the term "role playing".,nor the term "MMO".

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • crack_foxcrack_fox WellingtonPosts: 402Member
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    ... the taunting tank is one of the worst immersion breaking elements around, for me personally.   'What does that guy say to make that green slime so angry?'   

    "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries".

    I always picture that French knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail when I think of the 'taunting tank'. 

  • VoqarVoqar Phoenix, AZPosts: 498Member

    I'd agree that the genre has got too far away from a focus on grouping.

     

    But, FFXIV isn't the answer since it's basically an even more stripped down and dumbed down WoW clone.  Sure, it has more instances than usual while leveling, and sure, you are forced to go thru some of them, but the rest of the leveling is weak solo only story quests, weak/few solo quests, boring and repetitive solo only leves, and fates where you group but not TO group, just to ensure max credit from doing nothing.  Even the instances only encourage bad grouping, since people end up preferring duty finder over grouping with people on their own server - so the whole meeting and doing things with people dies unless you already have a group of people (usually carrying on from another game that didn't have dungeon finder mechanics when you assembled your now group of friends).

     

    Endgame in FFXIV isn't much better.  So many people would rather just queue in DF than group even with guildies, because they want their easy mode NOW, not in a few minutes - can't wait - and don't need to wait, because the content is so stupidly easy that any PUG can beat it and as such, it means the quality of content and the resulting grouping isn't all that spectacular.

     

    It's kind of hard to actually have quality grouping experiences when so many of the newer MMORPGs are almost entirely designed around soloing and when they all but discourage grouping and/or grouping with people on your own server.

    Premium MMORPGs do not feature built-in cheating via cash for gold pay 2 win. PLAY to win or don't play.

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Since the OP made his mea culpa, no sense piling on there.  Welcome back to playing games in context and not as some abstract win counter.

    But the Holy Trinity is an old, hidebound trope, designed as a metagame system to deal with limited processing power and internet connectivity of computer systems.   In the older school PnP games, the equivalent warrior controlled the fight by positioning, something that was problematic for many early online games.  And the 'healer' was often the second best in melee combat. 

     

    There's no reason you can't enjoy it, of course, but the taunting tank is one of the worst immersion breaking elements around, for me personally.   'What does that guy say to make that green slime so angry?'  There's absolutely no real world analogue of the taunting tank.  The thing the name is taken from has loads of armor, great speed, and a honking big gun.  Replace the guns with a loudspeaker system blaring mp3s of 'Insults in all languages', and I guarantee it would be of lots less import to its foes.  Oh, and 'Taunt' first appears in AD&D 2nd ed., as a magic users spell.

     

    Makes me glad I came in to MMO gaming in a system that had some sort of rationale for it, and where most combinations of classes could do most  content.  As far as I'm concerned, taunting tanks are another awful thing popularized in WoW.  (And yes, I am aware it was formalized earlier.)

     

     

    Morphing someone into another object is no more or less of an immersion break than a taunting tank.  It's your perception that forces you to believe it's an immersion break.  If you have magic/abilities to morph someone into a turtle or mez them into retardation for 20 seconds, why couldn't I have a magical taunt that forces them to focus only on me?

    Maybe the perceived immersive breach is your lack of imagination.

  • TheCrow2kTheCrow2k Adelaide, AKPosts: 953Member
    And here I was thinking outdated design concepts & philosophy were to blame for MMO stagnation. Oh wait they still are.

    While I concede the rise of "the casual gamer" has made many MMO's poorer there are ways to design around this without having to rely on the trinity crutch. Sadly no MMO developerswant to take risks which is why we get so many rehash titles.
  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member

    If the alternative to a trinity (role) based game is GW2 style, I'll take the trinity based game.

     

    The trinity system has worked for years and the only real detracting factor is how it can become a bit dry if the devs are unable to vary the content to force different tactics/strategies.  In the games that I've played, the further you remove yourself from a role based system, the further you remove yourself from cooperative play and push people to a, every man for himself model, which is contrary to everything an MMO/RPG stands for.

  • KilrainKilrain Prineville, ORPosts: 684Member Uncommon
    I prefer the trinity system that encourages group play, but I also feel that individuals who don't prefer groups could have a class (EQ1:bard) that is solo-able but not to the point of being OP, or be able to take their class and find ways to go through the game solo.
     
    To add to this: I also feel that a system that allows players to "change" their roles at certain points during the game is intriguing as well. But I feel there should be limitations, perhaps specializations, that encourage player to stick to one path instead of switching.

    professional web programming and design.

  • KilrainKilrain Prineville, ORPosts: 684Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quesa
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Since the OP made his mea culpa, no sense piling on there.  Welcome back to playing games in context and not as some abstract win counter.

    But the Holy Trinity is an old, hidebound trope, designed as a metagame system to deal with limited processing power and internet connectivity of computer systems.   In the older school PnP games, the equivalent warrior controlled the fight by positioning, something that was problematic for many early online games.  And the 'healer' was often the second best in melee combat. 

     

    There's no reason you can't enjoy it, of course, but the taunting tank is one of the worst immersion breaking elements around, for me personally.   'What does that guy say to make that green slime so angry?'  There's absolutely no real world analogue of the taunting tank.  The thing the name is taken from has loads of armor, great speed, and a honking big gun.  Replace the guns with a loudspeaker system blaring mp3s of 'Insults in all languages', and I guarantee it would be of lots less import to its foes.  Oh, and 'Taunt' first appears in AD&D 2nd ed., as a magic users spell.

     

    Makes me glad I came in to MMO gaming in a system that had some sort of rationale for it, and where most combinations of classes could do most  content.  As far as I'm concerned, taunting tanks are another awful thing popularized in WoW.  (And yes, I am aware it was formalized earlier.)

     

     

    Morphing someone into another object is no more or less of an immersion break than a taunting tank.  It's your perception that forces you to believe it's an immersion break.  If you have magic/abilities to morph someone into a turtle or mez them into retardation for 20 seconds, why couldn't I have a magical taunt that forces them to focus only on me?

    Maybe the perceived immersive breach is your lack of imagination.

    He's never seen an action movie where the hero yells at the enemy "Hey, you %$# , come after me!"

    professional web programming and design.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,415Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kilrain
    Originally posted by Quesa
    Originally posted by Arglebargle

    Since the OP made his mea culpa, no sense piling on there.  Welcome back to playing games in context and not as some abstract win counter.

    But the Holy Trinity is an old, hidebound trope, designed as a metagame system to deal with limited processing power and internet connectivity of computer systems.   In the older school PnP games, the equivalent warrior controlled the fight by positioning, something that was problematic for many early online games.  And the 'healer' was often the second best in melee combat. 

     

    There's no reason you can't enjoy it, of course, but the taunting tank is one of the worst immersion breaking elements around, for me personally.   'What does that guy say to make that green slime so angry?'  There's absolutely no real world analogue of the taunting tank.  The thing the name is taken from has loads of armor, great speed, and a honking big gun.  Replace the guns with a loudspeaker system blaring mp3s of 'Insults in all languages', and I guarantee it would be of lots less import to its foes.  Oh, and 'Taunt' first appears in AD&D 2nd ed., as a magic users spell.

     

    Makes me glad I came in to MMO gaming in a system that had some sort of rationale for it, and where most combinations of classes could do most  content.  As far as I'm concerned, taunting tanks are another awful thing popularized in WoW.  (And yes, I am aware it was formalized earlier.)

     

     

    Morphing someone into another object is no more or less of an immersion break than a taunting tank.  It's your perception that forces you to believe it's an immersion break.  If you have magic/abilities to morph someone into a turtle or mez them into retardation for 20 seconds, why couldn't I have a magical taunt that forces them to focus only on me?

    Maybe the perceived immersive breach is your lack of imagination.

    He's never seen an action movie where the hero yells at the enemy "Hey, you %$# , come after me!"

    There's a magician doing that:  He's called the scriptwriter.

     

    Magickal based taunting is perfectly believeable.  Sadly, it is usually non magic using warriors who have that little trick, and it is not usually  set up  in the world's lore as anything else.   It's a developer trick to keep things simple, and defeat certain computer problems.  

     

    The tanks might as well be firing anger-inducing butterflys out their orifices for all the sense it makes.

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

  • MagikrorriMMagikrorriM Binghamton, NYPosts: 176Member Uncommon

    Welcome to the least talked about, but the most necessary role, support. Whether you engage in crowd control, off healing, off tanking. It is a role just as vital to mmos, as the other three.

     

    Walking in between the primary roles, being the grease the keeps the gears of a group running smooth. Ready to assume any of the three roles in dire circumstances, to be the difference in winning a battle, when the odds weren't in your favor. And unfortunately it is the most under appreciated role in mmos, to the point where it doesn't make a mention as a necessary role.

     

    Versatility is the name of the game, when it comes to support role, the star behind the scenes, the win when defeat approaches. It is the most interesting role to play, it is unfortunate it gets no recognition. But it is no less vital.

     
  • xaritscinxaritscin CaliPosts: 349Member
    Originally posted by MagikrorriM

    Welcome to the least talked about, but the most necessary role, support. Whether you engage in crowd control, off healing, off tanking. It is a role just as vital to mmos, as the other three.

     

    Walking in between the primary roles, being the grease the keeps the gears of a group running smooth. Ready to assume any of the three roles in dire circumstances, to be the difference in winning a battle, when the odds weren't in your favor. And unfortunately it is the most under appreciated role in mmos, to the point where it doesn't make a mention as a necessary role.

     

    Versatility is the name of the game, when it comes to support role, the star behind the scenes, the win when defeat approaches. It is the most interesting role to play, it is unfortunate it gets no recognition. But it is no less vital.

     

    in MMORPGs maybe, but in MOBAs it seems to be a need for some characters. that's why i like to play LoL when i'm out of MMOs, the whole team may not work in the same place (unless in an ARAM map), but the degree of teamwork is nice, the whole balance of the match can change if you dont have a support or tank, or shooter, and that's talking about in a 5 person team. from an MMO perspective, the only games where i've seen that are Lineage II (in a Gracia private server, castle sieges and hunting grounds are cool), EVE and WoW (raids and dungeons, BGs are a mess)

     
     
  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,714Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MagikrorriM

    Welcome to the least talked about, but the most necessary role, support. Whether you engage in crowd control, off healing, off tanking. It is a role just as vital to mmos, as the other three.

     

    Walking in between the primary roles, being the grease the keeps the gears of a group running smooth. Ready to assume any of the three roles in dire circumstances, to be the difference in winning a battle, when the odds weren't in your favor. And unfortunately it is the most under appreciated role in mmos, to the point where it doesn't make a mention as a necessary role.

     

    Versatility is the name of the game, when it comes to support role, the star behind the scenes, the win when defeat approaches. It is the most interesting role to play, it is unfortunate it gets no recognition. But it is no less vital.

     

    i agree.  i think  a lot of MMO developers dont realize that a lot of players out here love the support role.  only with the influx of wow folks did the parse junky mentality really begin to emerge (yeah, there were some of them in EQ but not even close to the extent of wow.  hell, I was a parse junky in wow myself.)

     

    in eq1 i was a shaman, one of the best support classes, everyone appreciated my buffs and of course the insects line of debuffs, which get my nod for "most OP ability ever in an MMO" plus i could chuck heals and dots.  my heals werent as good as cleric heals but i NEVER went OOM thanks to canni.

     

    it was a great class to play even though most other classes could out damage or out heal me.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

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    Henry Rollins

  • KilrainKilrain Prineville, ORPosts: 684Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Arglebargle
    Originally posted by Kilrain

    He's never seen an action movie where the hero yells at the enemy "Hey, you %$# , come after me!"

    There's a magician doing that:  He's called the scriptwriter.

     

    Magickal based taunting is perfectly believeable.  Sadly, it is usually non magic using warriors who have that little trick, and it is not usually  set up  in the world's lore as anything else.   It's a developer trick to keep things simple, and defeat certain computer problems.  

     

    The tanks might as well be firing anger-inducing butterflys out their orifices for all the sense it makes.

    You can believe in magic causing an npc to be lured to the tank but you can't imagine taunting, which is a real and existing thing that takes no magic? Name calling, antagonizing, poking, slapping, kicking, yelling, screaming all forms of taunting and yet you say it's immersion breaking? Oh well, can't win them all I guess.

    professional web programming and design.

  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon

    "Spinning plates", love that analogy!  It doesn't come to me as a surprise though that crowd control would be the thing that reinvigorated your gameplay.  It is often that certain characteristic of any class, the way a tank can hang in there and take hits that would pummel anyone else in the group, the fact that the healer can literally bring other players back from the dead, being able to go places that no one else can go as the thief, an yes, being able to stop an enemy in its tracks, that makes the shortcomings of any class worth it to those who truly embrace the pro's.

    I have never believed that the trinity was as much of a problem as the attempt to split certain classes down into subclasses (for the sake of being able to offer more choice) while removing important survival skills each time.  In D&D, the wizard had options.  They could put you to sleep, set you on fire, freeze you to death, or simply stun you with sparkly lights.  All of these powers being situational as well as limited in number caused the player to really consider what might be needed as well as cringe when they got it wrong.

    Our favorite MMO games though, god bless them because they were only trying to show us a good time, expanded this mechanic into a full blown class system.  Now it wasn't just a matter of stopping to camp and memorizing new spells.  The "what" that was needed suddenly became a "who" and this is where the exclusion began.  The problem with the newer, more inclusive, games is that instead of returning back to the original blueprint, they went too far in the other direction.  Now thieves and wizards can tank, tanks can cast spells, everyone can dps and heal, and crowd control becomes non-existent.

    The trinity, or the word I have always liked better, "Gestalt" has existed since the beginning though.  Skills like taunt being used to supplant player reaction time and movement because it is much easier to tell the monster to "hey! come over here!" than it is to run over to it and throw yourself between its two handed blade and the cleric.

    Good read though.  Always happy to see someone having enough fun that they want to talk about it.

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  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon

    The adherents to the trinity act as if it is a real religion. Here let us recite the prayer if the Holy Trinity.

     

     

    Our Holy Trinity who art in design

    Hallowed be thy tank that remains remains in thy healer's grace.

    Thy raids will be done as it is scripted

    Give thus us our daily loot

    Forgive us the sins of the DPS that doth pull agro

    As we forgive the tank that could not hold the named

    Lead us not into danger and deliver us from the dungeon's hoards

    For thy role is the Tank, the healer, and the DPS

    Forever and ever

    Amen

     

     

  • ZeGermanZeGerman Andover, MAPosts: 196Member

    The Problem with articles like this is that people see it as a black and white thing, they see it as dps zerg or trinity as if there can't be an in between.  News flash guys both are really easy forms of combat that take limited skill and are mostly gear dependent. Both specialization and non-specialization could be interesting in depth forms of combat but that won't happen with the current MMO community.  

     

    The problem is that games like GW2 could be challenging and hard if people were ok with the idea that 75% of the players were just not talented enough to do the hardest content.  Just as Trinity based games could be difficult if did away with the aggro system.

     

    I personally prefer the GW2 system because i feel its closer to being good.  If they stepped the difficulty up and buffed some of the support and healing spells they would be a good hybrid combat system MMORPG which i think is both possible and likely.  On the other hand I find it all  most impossible to believe that games like WoW will abandon the agroe system.  When you have an agroe system fights are simplified to very numerical calculations (hence theory crafting), they become very scripted and unchanging.  It is possible to still have tank and support and dps specializations without having an agroe system but it requires more player skill and less gear progression two things that equate to lost revenues in the current MMO Community.

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