Roles have changed a bit in
the last two decades. Games like eq and daoc had many roles including tank,
healer, crowd controller, speed, buffing and dps. More recent games narrowed
that down to tank, healer, dps in recent game like ESO.
The older games while more complex had the
Achilles heel of the difficulty forming groups and getting all the right
components together. This was especially true in a game like daoc where you
could have 8 players in a group.
With the consolidation and basically removal
of some of the roles the size of groups dropped accordingly to facilitate the
creation of groups faster. For instance was has a 5 man group and eso a 4 man
group. In many ways this also dumbed down the gameplay especially where crowd
control is concerned.
this created a new problem. Players decided
amongst themselves that they would rather play the dps classes rather than the
healing and especially tank classes. This is best seen in the groupfinders
where it could take up to 30 minutes for a dps but 30 seconds for a tank. The
player trend to avoid the other two roles in favor of dps basically brought us
back to where we started.
Difficulty to make groups with the available
I have a different idea of roles I will share
with you that I think can actually solve this problem this time without having
to dumb down the game. My roles consist of Fighter, Mage and Rogue. There
is no such thing as a dps because all roles can inherently do damage with their
own specific methods.
This alone should create a better distribution
among players since all players both want to do dps and also identify with one
of the three archetypes/roles.
So what makes a role a role is not whether or
not they can do damage or tank or heal, but rather how they do damage, and
First i put all the roles into a triangle with
one at each point. Each third represents the map of that role.
So our fighter role is a close range martial
weapons fighting expert. This includes a number of weapon and armor types,
weapon skills and various close range crowd control. The fighter is excellent
at fighting other martial close range enemies and absorbing melee damage.
Our mage role is a magic expert. This role
uses channeling devices such as staves and wands ( and swords sometimes!) and
relies on magic for offense and defense. This role has long range crowd control
abilities. This role is excellent at fighting other magic types and absorbing
The rogue role is a situational expert. This
uses a combination of martial weapons and consumables such as poisons, smoke
bombs and magical devices. This role is excellent at surprise and non frontal
attacks and relies on evasion for defense.
There is no longer a healing role. Instead
healing is an almost complete preemptive/mitigation process. Fighters use
armor, mages use magical shielding and rogues use evasion. There is no heal
that you can directly spam out to top everyone up. Instead you rely on your
mitigation and crowd control abilities. The only heals in the game revolve
around non combat regeneration effects.
If you are a fighter, mage enemies can chew
you up if your not careful. Your armor wont help much with magical attacks. If
you are a mage your shield's wont help much with that mace or claw that is
about to rip you open. If your a rogue anything that hits you will hurt and are
particularly weak to area effect attacks martial or magic but have better
action combat (op roll dodge, but no one can roll dodge certain aoe).
Thus all roles are needed for group play as
the enemies will be organized to play to the strengths and weaknesses of each
role. Many mobs will have martial abilities, many magic abilities and between
them they will have single target and area effect abilities as
How a group works then is you rotate the
proper role for the situation as the target. Sometimes no role will be
optimal. In this game you fight fire with a bigger fire, not water.
Unlike players, creatures might not have the
same weaknesses you do. A ghost for instance has a strong physical defense and
a weak magical defense, but has a strong magical attack. Its up to
the players to know who is best for what situation, and thus all have to
actually learn the game. Pressing a taunt button or chucking heals does not
apply here. Send in your best guy while the rest try to kill it.
Since there is little actual healing, the game
will feature a strong array of preventative measures like slows, fumbles,
shields, roots, sleeps, stuns, blinds and other forms of crowd control to
augment the action combat and role mitigation. Each role has access to unique
versions that fit their role. For instance only the mage role will have
the sleep spell, and likewise only rogue can snare. All roles will have also
have common control methods but will differ in how they are deployed. Some
might be ranged while others close and again others might need to be setup.
You are expected to survive based on your
deployment of crowd control, role mitigation and action combat abilities. There
is no taunt or heal to save you, but there are other things each role can bring
to the table to save you. A mage can extent shields augmenting your magic
defense, fighters can guard augmenting you martial defense, and rogues can
enhance your evasion abilities. One role cannot be op because its missing a
large portion of the mitigation pie. You need the other roles.
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