Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

why is tanking role so unpopular? whats the root of the problem?

12346

Comments

  • RequiamerRequiamer Member Posts: 2,034

    Originally posted by Vortex5oo

    I think the whole community mentality and expectations behind grouping and gaming has changed dramatically since UO and EQ, and that in the last couple of years. Many of us came to these mmorpgs from MUD´s or pen and paper role-playing, and it was more relaxed back then(you know relaxing in a cool basement on a hot summer evening with friends and a GM, some snacks and drinks, and have a fun relaxing time playing D&D), it was like the world was in slow motion and we had all the time in the world for gaming and growing into our characters.

    The Second Day Vet

     Ye i have said that in countless game beta, even in Rift i explained to the dev how easy it was in UO to just make your own group in the fly, since thats what was missing in their game. In UO, you just had to drag the hp bar from the characters you happen to meet in the dungeons or whereever you was, and just play with them, this mean you always was able to help them with your heal/cure... I never ever used the integrated party system in UO but in clan events. You never needed the lfg kind of crap, you just went into dungeon and eventually found someone you could just play with.

    The all trinity system totally broke this ability and flexibility to just play with other for a fact. Dungeons began to be the "group" domain, where a solo guy was simply banned...

    This all came from the fact they wanted to Force you everything they design the game for.  Honestly thats just sad for the gaming community. In forcing cooperative gameplay they just destroyed any natural growth of it. In most games now you simply "cannot" make friends in games, or this ability is at least heavily reduced. There is a whole new trend of attitude as "i play only with my friends" "you have to be in a clan" "mmo are not meant to be played by soloer"... I mean thats just insane at the end, as it go against anything a massively multiplayer game should aim for. Some game are almost unplayabel if you don't belong to inter game or outside game clans, because the ingame ability to meet is set to zero, and people are just fine iwth it, its a "good" feature.

    Honestly i think it went so far, that's one of the main reason i play less and less mmo. Why should I play them, really. There is nothing Massivly multiplayer to them anymore, its like as if we were all in our instanced social groups, and had nothing to share anymore. And the game that don't want instances are just asking you to kill each other... Thats just sad and boring.

  • Xero_ChanceXero_Chance Member Posts: 519

    Anybody who says tanking is boring is a bad tank. I'm typically way more active trying to keep mobs angry at only me than when I'm a squishy DPS trying to kill everything before the healer runs out of mana. Throwing taunts, AOE taunting, repositioning groups of mobs, yelling at useless healers or irresponsible DPS, all those things make me one busy tank.

    People that hate being tanks either suck or can't handle the responsibility.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    the ROOT of the problem is that good tanks dont join pug's:D   they dont deal with crap players who talk trash or dont carry their weight.  good tanks get tells/invites when they log on and they have a very extensive block/ignor list:D

    bad tanks die so much they eventually play a different class.  

    so it's really not a matter of popularity of the class/role, but the overall maturity of the players in any given MMO.

  • darlok6666darlok6666 Member Posts: 211

    Being a tank for years here's my opinion of why it's unpopular

    1.  It tend to be the spotlight leadship role, many shy away from leadership positions because they don't want the burden.

    2.  Like others have stated, you are expected to know every pull, every encounter, every nook n cranny of the instance.

    3.  A good tank will get stressed out simpley due to trying to do his/her job to the best of their abilities and having to deal with shit tards, the classical stereotype Huntard for example.

    4.  Tanking can easily turn to more of a job than a fun playstyle, healer and tanks are in the same boat for this.

    5.  Constant situational awareness.

    I have fun tanking when with friends but I dread tanking for pugs simply because I have a high chance of having to deal with shit tards who don't know proper grp etiquette which I blame WoW for in Wrath.

  • GravargGravarg Member UncommonPosts: 3,424

    I've always loved playing tanks.  I think the reason why they're so unpopular is that in general we don't get any recognition for all the trouble we go through.  We're the only play type that has to know every single thing that's going on during an entire raid.  Generally we're the ones with the time macros, when a boss is going to hit what.  We're the ones the entire raid depends on.  However, when someone does something stupid (like the "intelligent" mage that dps's too soon) blame always falls on the tank.

     

    Another reason why people don't play tanks is the cost.  In almost every single game, the tank classes cost the most in terms of gear, pots, food, feat/skill (re)training, REPAIRS, etc.

     

    And probably the primary reason is that tanks take alot longer, in general, to level up to max level when compared to a rogue that can stealth around killing only what he needs in 5 seconds.  Where it takes a tank 10x that and we have to fight our way to the mob we need.

     

    In PvP, tanks are generally forgotten, or saved until last.  Since it takes the longest to kill a tank, and the tank takes the longest to kill anyone else.

     

    Not so much for me, but some are put off that if you're the tank, you will always be the first to die in a party.  When usually it's not even your fault.  You have to rely on everyone else to do thier part.  DPS just sits back and does thier abilities without having to pay attention to anything.  Healers just sit back and heal the tank, not really having to pay attention to anything else except the tank.  I take great pride when I'm the first to die in my party.  It's proof that I did MY job.  However, it always seems that people will blame me for dying lol.

     

     

    Edit: I've always found it kind of ironic and hilarious that tank classes in general are described as low-intelligent, that have more brawn than brain.  Yet the playstyle requires you to have the most intelligence out of anyone in the group/raid.

     

    Edit2: And to all those DPSers out there, just because you're on top of the DPS parser only means you still didn't do anything but press some buttons...being able to complete the dungeon proves that the tank in the party is the one most responsible for it...so go gloat about your dps elsewhere.  They should ban parsers...it only contributes to the lack of tanks.

  • odinsrathodinsrath Member UncommonPosts: 814

    idk but imo i think rift has done a great job with tanking..you can be cleiric / rog and still enjoy tanking insead of the ever dull warrior with shield / 1hand wep that cant crank out dps

    image

  • WarlyxWarlyx Member EpicPosts: 3,242

    Originally posted by odinsrath

    idk but imo i think rift has done a great job with tanking..you can be cleiric / rog and still enjoy tanking insead of the ever dull warrior with shield / 1hand wep that cant crank out dps

    image

    yup wow did a good job at it too ...

     

    Warrior tank 1h shield

    Paladin 1h shield but more spells ...

    Druid Bear , boring but oh well different

    DK , 2h tank

     

    Anyway why there are sow few tanks in mmorpgs?

     

    1- HARD TO LVL

    2- the most gear based class , if u dont have the gear u are useless , a heal or dps can pass by it .....a tank however =/

    3 - If u fail a it , or do something wrong .....well ppl will notice

    4- 1 or 2 spots in raiding , since there are more spots for heals or DPS in raiding , whats the point in leveling a tank?, and getting a guild is really hard , u need to prove them u are a good tank , and u need the gear too .....

    5- PVP

     

  • VenDyneVenDyne Member Posts: 51

    Agreed with most of the comments stating that mistakes are easily seen. Instead of saying that things went wrong because they did, most players prefer to just cast the blame on someone... therefore...

    Tankers - "You lured wrong/used wrong skill/should have not done X and Y!"

     

    Another one is the Healer/support class. If something goes wrong, it's usually the healer's fault! (says the low IQ player).

    "I died because I attacked a very powerful monster I should not have attacked! You should have healed me instead of the tanker who is fighting the ultra dungeon boss!!"

    or

    Low-level tank with weak armor: "You didn't heal me enough! You <censored> as a healer! You should quit!"

    (nevermind that the healer is desperately trying to keep the noob tank alive, and most skills are still in cooldown)

     

    *sigh* Sorry for the rant. It just happens too much, especially when there are too many not-so-bright people around.

    Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crud."

  • CernanCernan Member UncommonPosts: 360

    I mostly play healers, but I like tanks as well.  DPS is normally boring unless you give them interrupts, debuffs, or something extra to do other than just spam abilities.

    The main reason I don't normally tank is because sometimes I like taking a back seat.  As a healer I can follow a tank through a dungeon.  I'm not normally expected to know all the boss scripts.  A good healer can pull a team through a dungeon slightly under-geared without too much hassle.  An under-geared tank has a tough time, and makes the healers job hell.  No one even notices an under-geared dps.  I won't tank a dungeon unless I've played through it at least once on another class.  Even then the first time I'm normally a little nervous that I will have forgotten something as tank.

  • ConsequenceConsequence Member UncommonPosts: 358

    This is a simple 2 part answer really. 

     

    1)In PvE Tanks have responsibility and are the most visible party member. Popular classes, usually dps, have low responsibility and visibility. If a tank goofs up a combo they lose agro and people die. If a rogues goofs a combo his dps drops slightly and its no big deal. Tanks get blamed too much for other party member's mistakes as well. The blame pyramid has the tanks at the top the healers in the mid and the DPS at the bottom.

     

    2)In PVP in basically every  MMO that ever existed  offense > defense. Unlike real life where the best fighters/boxers have the best defense, in MMOs its all about dps and cc's. Sure, defense might make you survive a fight in pvp more often than you die, but it doesnt rewards you with kills and most games award pvp points or loot based on kills and not on being able to live enough to escape death.

  • Its a two-fold problem:

     

    1) It has alot of pressure behind it.  You screw up everyone wipes its on you.  And there is not really much the others can do.  The healer has to heal you even in a good pull, he can't save your ass normally if you screw up bad.  The DPS will just fold.  Only in the case of off-tanking and a good healer can you recover from a serious mess up by main tank.

     

    2) While it can be complex and require a good deal of micro-management it is also often very boring and simplisitic at the same time.  That may sound contradictory but it is pretty much true.

       -  In the end its all about aggro which tends to be a very very simple equation.

       - Tanks tend to have low DPS and kill slow (this trend is changing but still significant).  So in that sense they are have very little smexiness

       - While the tank may have to keep track of many things that are going on.  You tend to stick to a formula once you know what it is.  So while you may need good situational awareness you execution is usually extremely repetitive.

     

     

    For #2 to make sense understand that some of the funnest tanking is when you make a mistake and have to deal with a crazy and unpredictable and still pull the win out your ass.  Good tanking is utterly predictable and therefore boring.  It is the nature of the beast.  Now some large or bigtime boss encounters attempt to address this in some manner (aggro wipes, random adds etc. ) but by and large 90% of the encounters you do are very formulaic.  And even the ones that throw a wrench into it have usually pretty standard answers to whatever the trick is (save your aoe taunt or take some off tanks etc.) 

    A notable exception is the LOTRO warden because of its Gambit system adds in an element of timing your "formula" has an extra added element to it that makes, while still repetitive, its execution less trivial.  This means you have to constantly be ramping up or saving a gambit while managing/maintaining other gambits and the weaving of things together while also guessing whay you may need to do next rather than simple hotkey presses and CD management is much trickier.  The trick with warden is while you know the formula in general matching your gambits up to the precise timing of the mobs and players requires smart guesstimations that do not usually exist in other tank classes.  Also Wardens tend to solo well and can pull out some decent DPS when done right and when they only execute damaging gambits.

     

    Most MMOs are not really RPGs.  They are about farming.  They have been since EQ.  The tanking often reflects this.  Idealy you want a tank who never puts you at risk and who always enables quick and reliable completion of the boss so that you get your pull at the slot machine arm for the piece of uber-gear you want.

    The goal of tanking by its very nature is not fun.  Its meant to instill predicability.

     

    The real solutions I see is something like the LOTRO Warden where tanking mechanics require smart guessing to execute well or the reverse encounters which bounce around alot but a tank with enough tools to keep it in controlled chaos.  Right now mostly we get controlled predictability.  Geneerate aggro, mobs stuck to tank .... ? ... profit.

    You rarely even get to see whether someone is a really good tank unless a DPS or healer or something messes up royally multiple times and he pulls out some sort of crazy kung fu.  And even in those situation you need to have some good improvisation from the rest of the team (like some smart CC and people smart enough not to break em).


  • Originally posted by Consequence

    This is a simple 2 part answer really. 

     

    1)In PvE Tanks have responsibility and are the most visible party member. Popular classes, usually dps, have low responsibility and visibility. If a tank goofs up a combo they lose agro and people die. If a rogues goofs a combo his dps drops slightly and its no big deal. Tanks get blamed too much for other party member's mistakes as well. The blame pyramid has the tanks at the top the healers in the mid and the DPS at the bottom.

     

    2)In PVP in basically every  MMO that ever existed  offense > defense. Unlike real life where the best fighters/boxers have the best defense, in MMOs its all about dps and cc's. Sure, defense might make you survive a fight in pvp more often than you die, but it doesnt rewards you with kills and most games award pvp points or loot based on kills and not on being able to live enough to escape death.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hGvQtumNAY&feature=related

     

    The answer is no one wants to be Colonel Jesup cuz most you bitches aint got no code.

      -  My men follow orders or people die.  Nope its all on the tank.

     -  That's dumbass DPS's death, while tragic, probably saved lives.  Nope tank shoulda saved him.

     -  Everyone thinks they know what the tank should be doing, but no one does.  Because down they want the tank on that wall, they need him on that wall.  But yeah they always know how to do the job better.

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Member UncommonPosts: 195

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    Why is Tanking role so unpopular? In most MMORPG that has trinity roles, the tank playerbase is always the hardest to find. Seems most people don't like playing Tank role. I constantly see developers try to stimulate their tank population with different kind of bribes.But never do developers try to address the root of the issue. Matter of fact, what is the root problem on why Tank role is so unpopular? Healing may not be as unpopular as tank role is, but its also a role that many people avoid. Interesting enough, the common factors of healing and tanking are the fact that they are both forms of support roles. One is a physical support role and the other is a reactive support role (most of the time is ranged). tanking and healing have a interdependence together. But of the two, why is tanking at the bottom of the chart? What is that root issue?

     Tanking ends up being unpopular for many because Tanks get freaking TIRED of their ROLE being taken for granted by pew-pew happy spastic key mashers.

    While there is the expectation of some level of competition between team-members (who's "the best" at role X), no other class type is placed in a position of having to fight TWO fronts in an engagement war:  The Mobs and Boss as well as misconduct by party/raid members (e.g. pew-pew happy DPS simply unable to WAIT a few seconds for aggro build and full mob control by the Tank). 

    This can lead to some incredibly unhappy game play experiences.  Eventually the war fought on two fronts (Mobs AND your own team mates) basically burns away any pleasure in being a Tank.  This was a distinct problem in LOTRO, and may still be.  Pew-pew happy Hunters capable of tanking 90%+ of content, excepting final or exceptional bosses.  Otherwise, meh, tanks - Guardians / Wardens - were optional the vast majority of the time, so LOOK OUT!  Here come dah arrows!  Before the Tank's pull, on the pull, after the pull, in front of the Tank, behind the tank, to the left, right, up and down!  Pew-Pew!

    I had one knuckle-head FEAR my pulled mob OFF ME as I made the pull as the Tank, before the mob got to me.  No explanation, the two Hunters just started shooting at the same time I made the pull, they ran around killing stuff. 

    Many players don't even understand WHAT a "tank" is, unthinkingly believing a plate wearer with high-mits is what a Tank is.  That, in fact, is NOT what a Tank is.  TANKING, in game play, is a ROLE.  It's a duty, a tactical game play dynamic that revolves around MOB CONTROL on behalf of the group/raid.  High mits, lots of HP, and survivability are the tools and requirements needed to do the job, but they aren't the job itself, the reason a PLAYER gets hyped.

    The structure of the game however will determine or regulate how game play hashes out.  Players will simply do what is FASTEST in making Instance runs.  In LOTRO DPS could get away with more crap than I thought possible, while in WoW (in it's heyday anyway, Molten Core Era) it would have spelled a raid/group wipe.

    Tanks don't like being held hostage to the requirement for expert / good gameplay by team mates (e.g. disciplined, able to manage aggro) because, quite frankly, not many people are capable of it.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • GrymGrym Member UncommonPosts: 300

    I have always been (40 yrs in pnp rpgs/14 yrs in mmos), and always will be a tank.  It fits my personality and stimulates my idea of high adventure.

    It is my opinion that if MMOs are going to expect the tank to hold aggro, then make it easier to hold the freaking aggro.  Taunt skills should have little to no timer/cooldown (how long does it take to shout? Curse? spit?).  Or simply give the tanks more taunting/aggro options. I swear, there have been times when I was so stressed out over trying to track everything going on that I would get sick to my stomach. Games are supposed to be fun, not stressful. Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned COH. I have to agree that COH did the aggro thing right. I could see mobs visibly turning away from a party member to attack me.

    I don't mind the fact it takes me longer to level. I take my time with MMOs and try to experience everything I can.  Those who rush to end game deny themselves that "full" experience and usually get bored quickly. 

    I've played other classes, but always go back to the tank. It's who I am.

    (My son speaking to his Japanese Grandmother) " Sorry Obaba, I don't speak Japanese, I only speak human."

  • BallistaBallista Member UncommonPosts: 120

    Two reasons. Game designers have made tanking:

    1. Unfun

    2. Unimersive

    Instead of being a frontline soldier equipped to take a beating and preventing the creature from passing you by to eat your friends alive, they have made it so you're just spamming 1 AoE power everytime it's off cooldown, managing cooldowns (short duration long cooldown - very unfun), and thinking of everything in terms of a threat meter.

    Tanking shouldn't be about threat meters, cooldown management, or AoE. It should be about body blocking, powers that grab your target and knock him down or back (and other cc), and mobs should be harder but a fewer number of enemies.

    That would fix everything and make tanking fun in my opinion.

     

    Edit: Also I personally don't think it's a problem with tanking being challenging. Challenge is fun. The way designers have made tankers challenging, is not fun. For example, in TERA Online tanking is still a challenging roll but it's a different kind, I have to use my block ability intelligently, I have to position my body to block mobs, I have to pull/lasso fleeing mobs. But it's fun. Much more fun than reading threat levels and saving protective abilities for bosses (ie using abilities once in an entire hour dungeon).

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Member UncommonPosts: 195

    Originally posted by Ballista

    Two reasons. Game designers have made tanking:

    1. Unfun

    2. Unimersive

    Instead of being a frontline soldier equipped to take a beating and preventing the creature from passing you by to eat your friends alive, they have made it so you're just spamming 1 AoE power everytime it's off cooldown, managing cooldowns (short duration long cooldown - very unfun), and thinking of everything in terms of a threat meter.

    Tanking shouldn't be about threat meters, cooldown management, or AoE. It should be about body blocking, powers that grab your target and knock him down or back (and other cc), and mobs should be harder but a fewer number of enemies.

    That would fix everything and make tanking fun in my opinion.

     Hmmm, I would pull out Threat / Threat Meters and put that back on the table.

    Otherwise, I like your thinking.  /thumbsup

    Wherever you go, there you are.


  • Originally posted by Silverbranch

    Originally posted by Ballista

    Two reasons. Game designers have made tanking:

    1. Unfun

    2. Unimersive

    Instead of being a frontline soldier equipped to take a beating and preventing the creature from passing you by to eat your friends alive, they have made it so you're just spamming 1 AoE power everytime it's off cooldown, managing cooldowns (short duration long cooldown - very unfun), and thinking of everything in terms of a threat meter.

    Tanking shouldn't be about threat meters, cooldown management, or AoE. It should be about body blocking, powers that grab your target and knock him down or back (and other cc), and mobs should be harder but a fewer number of enemies.

    That would fix everything and make tanking fun in my opinion.

     Hmmm, I would pull out Threat / Threat Meters and put that back on the table.

    Otherwise, I like your thinking.  /thumbsup

    The problem with threat is its completely artificial and completely trivializes the encounters themselves.

     

    Part of the reason tank classes tend to suck in PvP is half their class design is completely "imaginary" artificial threat that only makes sense for scripted things.

     

    Warhammer Online had the right idea for making Tanks interesting in PvP (and in in my opinion the idea should be extended in PvE).  In Warhammer the choice of whether or not to attack a Tank was an interesting one.  Tank could put guard on someone else to take 50% of the damage from them and they had decent CC (in some casses too much but that is a balance thing).

     

    You had to choose attack his guard and have a hard time killing them and having them disrupt you or attack the tank.  The answer was by no means obvious in anyway.

     

    This is more what tanks should be.  Something you can't ignore, something that actually protect people rather than simply pouring a vat of elmer glue onto themselves.

     

    Of course the problem here is that then the devs would have to code mobs that are capable of making choices rather than having the players completely control their choices.

     

    In the end you have to realize there are no real tactics in MMORPG PvE as it currently stands in the conventional tank and spank trinity.  The players as a unit are in almost complete control of the mobs.  The threat each person generates is the sole factor in what happens and the players are in complete control of what threat they generate.  Players do not form tactics to respond to the the actions of the game.  They control the encounters themselves.  There is no real move counter move.    Therefore tanking is also non-tactical.

  • preston326preston326 Member UncommonPosts: 115

    Its really simple actually. Most people these days want to pew-pew thus there are loads of dps, few players want to work while they play and even get flamed by dps for playing poor, thus less tanks. /Thread


  • Originally posted by preston326

    Its really simple actually. Most people these days want to pew-pew thus there are loads of dps, few players want to work while they play and even get flamed by dps for playing poor, thus less tanks. /Thread

    There is more to it than that really.  If you look at a game like Global Agenda there are tons of recons.  Yet assaults do easily just as much damage and its actually easier and more straightforward to play an assault well than a recon well.

     

    I dunno I guess everyone wants to be some kind of ninja or something.  Its more than just pew or pew damage.  People just like the idea of the rogue archetype where they can kill someone without getting hit or something.  Even when it doesn't really work that way they still stick to it. 

     

    Assaults regularly outdamage recons by large amounts, they can be made to be very surivivable and pretty maneuverable.  Stealth in GA can be countered pretty well by smart players.

     

    Both Assaults and Robotics can kill turrets just as well as Recons (a role most people think is the recons responisbility).  In fact I was say better.

     

    But people still wanna be the boom head shot stealth class ninja, even though most of them suck at playing sniper. 

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Member UncommonPosts: 195

    Originally posted by gestalt11

    The problem with threat is its completely artificial and completely trivializes the encounters themselves.

     Part of the reason tank classes tend to suck in PvP is half their class design is completely "imaginary" artificial threat that only makes sense for scripted things.

     Of course the problem here is that then the devs would have to code mobs that are capable of making choices rather than having the players completely control their choices.

     In the end you have to realize there are no real tactics in MMORPG PvE as it currently stands in the conventional tank and spank trinity.  The players as a unit are in almost complete control of the mobs.  The threat each person generates is the sole factor in what happens and the players are in complete control of what threat they generate.  Players do not form tactics to respond to the the actions of the game.  They control the encounters themselves.  There is no real move counter move.    Therefore tanking is also non-tactical.

     "Threat" only trivializes an encounter if the encounter is poorly designed IMO. 

    Coding in the industry has, for years, advanced to the point any dev house could code mobs that simulate players to high degree.  This has already occurred in WoW, when the Isle of Quel'Danis (sp) was deployed in a patch/release.  On that Isle was "Magister's Terrace", which contained within it a signature encounter with a boss that had four attendants.  Each time a party entered MT, that boss would spawn up a DIFFERENT class mix of four attendants.  So  you never knew what you were getting until you got there (except of course for the "cheaters" who'd send in a sacrifice player to scope out what gen'd first so the party could go in informed).  More importantly, that encounter, bar none, most closely simulated a PvP match than anything I've seen before because all the mobs basically engaged "random" aggro wipes and/or aggro swaps during the fight.

    Just like in PvP when people change their minds on the fly as to a new target, based on how the fight's going, or a change in attention/realization.

    The point:  The playerbase itself, in general, isn't capable of handling that level of mob advancement.  The CRYING over the difficulty of Magister's Terrace was awful.  So, it's not likely that will be seen anytime soon as an evolutionary trend in MMOs, not because the devs have to get up to speed to do it, but because the playerbase (generally speaking) can't handle it.  Interferes with the ole power levelling and grind racing, dontcha know.

    I'll disagree with your last paragraph.  There is a great deal of tactical skill execution possible in the "conventional tank and spank trinity", somewhat regulated by scenario design as well as player ability of course.  Some examples:

    Positioning.  You'd be surprised how many Tanks don't know how to face a mob AWAY from the raid so only they, the Tank takes that nasty Cleave.  Or moving the mob to desired positions to avoid traps/artifacts detrimental to the Raid.

    Threat Swapping.  In other games it was desirable to have two tanks on the boss, in the number one and number two threat positions.  During the fight bosses might randomly drop aggro and go for the next person on the list.  Thus, the ENTIRE Raid had to have their act together.  DPS had to keep off the one and two threat positions else WIPE.  Good teamwork experiences here on my part, particularly for new raiding Mages and such, cause they'd LEARN real fast how to support the Tank as much as killing the mob . . . by managing their output . . . game play . . . not just button mash pew pew.

    Wayward Mob Pickup.  Pull over, fight underway, spawns pop and go for the healers or DPS.  Really good Tanks would be situationally aware enough to often times charge/pull/intercept those mobs and pull them back to the kill position.

    Players always have to form tactics to respond to the actions of the game, no matter how simple or complex those game induced actions are.  What did you mean here?  There is also always move and counter move, that's what happens when you engage any scenario, whether known, unknown, scripted or not.  The real issue here is predictability or not.  Oftentimes MMO encounters follow a "static" formula or pattern.  It would be nice to see a bit more unpredictability in encounters to up the challenge bar some.  However, note my dialog above regarding Magister's Terrace in WoW:  That pushed players hard enough a ton cried about it with tonsils wide open to the sky.  More a playerbase issue here IMO.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,323

    Originally posted by Silverbranch

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    Why is Tanking role so unpopular? In most MMORPG that has trinity roles, the tank playerbase is always the hardest to find. Seems most people don't like playing Tank role. I constantly see developers try to stimulate their tank population with different kind of bribes.But never do developers try to address the root of the issue. Matter of fact, what is the root problem on why Tank role is so unpopular? Healing may not be as unpopular as tank role is, but its also a role that many people avoid. Interesting enough, the common factors of healing and tanking are the fact that they are both forms of support roles. One is a physical support role and the other is a reactive support role (most of the time is ranged). tanking and healing have a interdependence together. But of the two, why is tanking at the bottom of the chart? What is that root issue?

     Tanking ends up being unpopular for many because Tanks get freaking TIRED of their ROLE being taken for granted by pew-pew happy spastic key mashers.

    While there is the expectation of some level of competition between team-members (who's "the best" at role X), no other class type is placed in a position of having to fight TWO fronts in an engagement war:  The Mobs and Boss as well as misconduct by party/raid members (e.g. pew-pew happy DPS simply unable to WAIT a few seconds for aggro build and full mob control by the Tank). 

    This can lead to some incredibly unhappy game play experiences.  Eventually the war fought on two fronts (Mobs AND your own team mates) basically burns away any pleasure in being a Tank.  This was a distinct problem in LOTRO, and may still be.  Pew-pew happy Hunters capable of tanking 90%+ of content, excepting final or exceptional bosses.  Otherwise, meh, tanks - Guardians / Wardens - were optional the vast majority of the time, so LOOK OUT!  Here come dah arrows!  Before the Tank's pull, on the pull, after the pull, in front of the Tank, behind the tank, to the left, right, up and down!  Pew-Pew!

    I had one knuckle-head FEAR my pulled mob OFF ME as I made the pull as the Tank, before the mob got to me.  No explanation, the two Hunters just started shooting at the same time I made the pull, they ran around killing stuff. 

    Many players don't even understand WHAT a "tank" is, unthinkingly believing a plate wearer with high-mits is what a Tank is.  That, in fact, is NOT what a Tank is.  TANKING, in game play, is a ROLE.  It's a duty, a tactical game play dynamic that revolves around MOB CONTROL on behalf of the group/raid.  High mits, lots of HP, and survivability are the tools and requirements needed to do the job, but they aren't the job itself, the reason a PLAYER gets hyped.

    The structure of the game however will determine or regulate how game play hashes out.  Players will simply do what is FASTEST in making Instance runs.  In LOTRO DPS could get away with more crap than I thought possible, while in WoW (in it's heyday anyway, Molten Core Era) it would have spelled a raid/group wipe.

    Tanks don't like being held hostage to the requirement for expert / good gameplay by team mates (e.g. disciplined, able to manage aggro) because, quite frankly, not many people are capable of it.

    So how you suggest this problem gets solved from a developers point of view?

     

    make tanking easier? add more tanking tools, like UI tanking features?

    Philosophy of MMO Game Design


  • Originally posted by Silverbranch

    Originally posted by gestalt11

    The problem with threat is its completely artificial and completely trivializes the encounters themselves.

     Part of the reason tank classes tend to suck in PvP is half their class design is completely "imaginary" artificial threat that only makes sense for scripted things.

     Of course the problem here is that then the devs would have to code mobs that are capable of making choices rather than having the players completely control their choices.

     In the end you have to realize there are no real tactics in MMORPG PvE as it currently stands in the conventional tank and spank trinity.  The players as a unit are in almost complete control of the mobs.  The threat each person generates is the sole factor in what happens and the players are in complete control of what threat they generate.  Players do not form tactics to respond to the the actions of the game.  They control the encounters themselves.  There is no real move counter move.    Therefore tanking is also non-tactical.

     "Threat" only trivializes an encounter if the encounter is poorly designed IMO. 

    Coding in the industry has, for years, advanced to the point any dev house could code mobs that simulate players to high degree.  This has already occurred in WoW, when the Isle of Quel'Danis (sp) was deployed in a patch/release.  On that Isle was "Magister's Terrace", which contained within it a signature encounter with a boss that had four attendants.  Each time a party entered MT, that boss would spawn up a DIFFERENT class mix of four attendants.  So  you never knew what you were getting until you got there (except of course for the "cheaters" who'd send in a sacrifice player to scope out what gen'd first so the party could go in informed).  More importantly, that encounter, bar none, most closely simulated a PvP match than anything I've seen before because all the mobs basically engaged "random" aggro wipes and/or aggro swaps during the fight.

    Just like in PvP when people change their minds on the fly as to a new target, based on how the fight's going, or a change in attention/realization.

    The point:  The playerbase itself, in general, isn't capable of handling that level of mob advancement.  The CRYING over the difficulty of Magister's Terrace was awful.  So, it's not likely that will be seen anytime soon as an evolutionary trend in MMOs, not because the devs have to get up to speed to do it, but because the playerbase (generally speaking) can't handle it.  Interferes with the ole power levelling and grind racing, dontcha know.

    I'll disagree with your last paragraph.  There is a great deal of tactical skill execution possible in the "conventional tank and spank trinity", somewhat regulated by scenario design as well as player ability of course.  Some examples:

    Positioning.  You'd be surprised how many Tanks don't know how to face a mob AWAY from the raid so only they, the Tank takes that nasty Cleave.  Or moving the mob to desired positions to avoid traps/artifacts detrimental to the Raid.

    Threat Swapping.  In other games it was desirable to have two tanks on the boss, in the number one and number two threat positions.  During the fight bosses might randomly drop aggro and go for the next person on the list.  Thus, the ENTIRE Raid had to have their act together.  DPS had to keep off the one and two threat positions else WIPE.  Good teamwork experiences here on my part, particularly for new raiding Mages and such, cause they'd LEARN real fast how to support the Tank as much as killing the mob . . . by managing their output . . . game play . . . not just button mash pew pew.

    Wayward Mob Pickup.  Pull over, fight underway, spawns pop and go for the healers or DPS.  Really good Tanks would be situationally aware enough to often times charge/pull/intercept those mobs and pull them back to the kill position.

    Players always have to form tactics to respond to the actions of the game, no matter how simple or complex those game induced actions are.  What did you mean here?  There is also always move and counter move, that's what happens when you engage any scenario, whether known, unknown, scripted or not.  The real issue here is predictability or not.  Oftentimes MMO encounters follow a "static" formula or pattern.  It would be nice to see a bit more unpredictability in encounters to up the challenge bar some.  However, note my dialog above regarding Magister's Terrace in WoW:  That pushed players hard enough a ton cried about it with tonsils wide open to the sky.  More a playerbase issue here IMO.

    Yes but what you are describing is EXTREMELY atypical and basically completely gets around "threat" or "aggro" and therefore the mechanics of most tank classes.

    Tanks classes generally are entirelly based around doing more "threat" per damage point than other classes, having some abilities/characteristics that let them take more damage and generally (but not always) some way of temporarily forcing a mob to target them.

    Encounters that wipe aggro or randomly switch targets basically obviate most of the design of most tank classes.

     

     

    Now I, personally, am fine with that if the class has other things like CC.  But if you have an encounter that obviate most of your core design that is a SYMPTOM of a problem.

     

    I like the idea of that encounter.  It sounds good, but its also out of place and thus you get the crying.

     

    Keep in mind that what people cry about is often misidentified by the criers.

     

    Yes its true there will always be people crying about how hard an ecounter in which you must improvise will be.  But at the same time people will also mis identify any deviation from the norm as an increase in difficulty.

     

    I think we are actually mostly in agreement here.  Although devs are nowhere even close to coding mobs that simulate good players.  Good players absolutely destroy anything any devs have made.  But the point I want to stress is that WoW has very very conventional tanking mechanics and tanking is at the very center of its core gameplay, a pillar of its group mechanics based around taunts and increased threat.

     

    Yet the encounter that immediately jumps to your mind is one which attempts to wipe all that out.  So any encounter that makes those less useful is like a nerf to a tank build and would require some other balancing factor like less damage to be equivalent to others.

     

    Now imagine that encounter but with every tank ability with a +threat on it became something with a 1s stacking snare on it instead and each taunt was instead a knockdown/interrupt and every temporary mitigation buff became a speed buff.

    Just that minor change makes encounters with multiple threat wipes and aggro switches make alot more sense.  The tank can harrass the attackers with snares and KD and instead of staying alive is given the ability to chase for that harrassment.  By providing that cover for the DPS he can "protect" them.

     

    Back in the day of the true holy trinity of tank/enchanter CC/healer.  This kind of stuff was usually the enchanters job.  In WoW they spread out CC by types to various classes rather than having a class that became part of the holy trinity.  So the CC does still happen.  What i suggest the tank could be doing above is probably accomplished in some manner by various classes.

    But I suggesst this to show that by simply changing one well known mechanic for another the "role" of the tank in the situation of that encounter makes more sense.

     

    Upping the "difficulty" of an encounter by taking away the designed in tools of the class is not a actually upping to difficulty.  The simply handicapped the tank by undermining their own design.

     

    I rather like the fights that have threat wipes.  I can see how they get made.  But in the end, if you think about it, those encounters are almost proof that the threat design of the EQ-style MMOs is problematic.  We have to actually destroy the mechanic temporarily to instill some excitement and fun.  These classes are entirely designed around this mechanic.  Then we just temporarily throw it all out the window.

    Why are we undermining the core mechanic of a class?  Is it too powerful?

     

    What if I told you to train for a 10km run and then after 3 months of going out and running and getting in shape I told you on the day of the race that you had to do it all while walking on your hands.  Of course you'd tell me I was crazy.  Your body is in no kind of shape for that.  You didn't design your workout to deal with that even if its technically possible.  Many people would probably say its way too hard as well.  But more accurately it is simply not appropriate for most people who are not circus acrobats.

     

     

    I have a similar complaint with CC classes.  They tend to simply completely disable CC on bosses.  They create these classes that are based around CC and then make them worthless on the most important fights.  Its just poor design.  If CC is a major feature of your class designs then make it work with your bosses.  Don't jsut say "All red names completely immune to all CC and special effects because we can't make it interesting"

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Member UncommonPosts: 195

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    The structure of the game however will determine or regulate how game play hashes out.  Players will simply do what is FASTEST in making Instance runs.  In LOTRO DPS could get away with more crap than I thought possible, while in WoW (in it's heyday anyway, Molten Core Era) it would have spelled a raid/group wipe.

    Tanks don't like being held hostage to the requirement for expert / good gameplay by team mates (e.g. disciplined, able to manage aggro) because, quite frankly, not many people are capable of it.

    So how you suggest this problem gets solved from a developers point of view?

     

    make tanking easier? add more tanking tools, like UI tanking features?

     

    The only way the game itself should "fix" the problem is to provide the relevant feedback mechanisms that supports the role, the rest of it is up to the playerbase.

    In my mind the issue only becomes a problem for the game if the relevant response levels . . . consequences . . . for failed gameplay don't exist, which then leaves a Tank truly feeling like their class just isn't worth playing.

    To put this in real-world terms in game play:

    DPS launching nukes too soon isn't new.  We've seen it in almost any game we've played.  This isn't a game issue per se, it's a player issue.  In a past game I've played however, there were clear consequences to failed DPS game-play the majority of the time, particularly in instances runs, including "trash" mobs on the way to bosses:  The mob would turn to the DPS and bash them hard.

    Pain is a great motivator.  Generally speaking, say in WoW in the Molten Core/BC era, the game itself provided a tangible feedback mechanism that said "l2p", or else.  You still had people that didn't get it mind you, but overall when you went on instance runs, particuarly with guildies, people got focussed on class-play.  When to shoot, when to NOT shoot, looking for CC, moving with the Tank, supporting the Tank, protecting healers.  Coordinating.

    You saw this oftentimes BEFORE pulls actually occurred as people called out CC targets, layed out the strat.

    Because the game was CALIBRATED to encourage coordination with a Tank.

    However, take a game that is NOT CALIBRATED in the same way.  LOTRO for instance (at least when I played it for almost three years).  BTW, I liked LOTRO in many respects, so this isn't a blind LOTRO bash.  Still, it had some terrible raid/instance dynamics in place:

    DPS, particularly Hunters, were FAR too capable of tanking off aggro from mobs, excepting final or exceptional bosses.  What did this set the stage for overall?  Groups would enter instances and a general rule-of-thumb would ensue:  Hunters would run around in front of tanks pew-pewing at anything in range.  Mobs would run willy-nilly chasing hunters, while hunters would pew-pew away killing stuff while healers kept them up.

    Tanks would either stand around with their thumbs up their back ends, or run around CHASING stuff trying to do their jobs.  Rinse/repeat ad nauseum in LOTRO.

    Could you see some good game-play for Tanks in LOTRO?  Sure.  Once in a blue moon if you were with the right group who was willing to play . . . with all their team mates. 

    But how is that any different than the first example?  Isn't that true for any game, people either knowing how to play or not?

    In the first example the game structure itself promoted consequence for failed game play, in the second example (as I've experienced in other games) they sometimes don't.  DPS is allowed to misbehave to far to high a degree, without requirement for coordinated conduct with a Tank.  Once that door is opened, mindless pew-pewism will become the rule, and frustrated play by Tanks with no relief oftentimes.

    So, "the fix" is to make sure the game is calibrated properly to promote the various roles needed in group encounters.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • blazin-aceblazin-ace Member Posts: 302

    Tanking is a hard job for a lot of reasons people have already meantioned and explained in great detail. However, I think the root of the problem in the role's lack of popularity boils down to a simple idea. People want to blow things up when they play an action game instead of sitting there being beat on for hours at a time.

  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Member UncommonPosts: 195

    Yes but what you are describing is EXTREMELY atypical and basically completely gets around "threat" or "aggro" and therefore the mechanics of most tank classes.

    Tanks classes generally are entirelly based around doing more "threat" per damage point than other classes, having some abilities/characteristics that let them take more damage and generally (but not always) some way of temporarily forcing a mob to target them.

    Encounters that wipe aggro or randomly switch targets basically obviate most of the design of most tank classes.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     

    What I described wasn't "extremely atypical".  It was in fact precisely the opposite.  Good tanks always demonstrated a suite of moves pulled out to suit the need of the moment.  Threat/aggro is simply one of the gauges used to evaluate things moment to moment.

    Threat / aggro is a key mechanic that must be wielded / understood by the tank, it's not the be-all / end-all.

    A GOOD Tank was aware of his surroundings to high degree, aware of aggro, yes, but also AWARE beyond that:  Aware of his team's position in regard to the mob(s), aware of mob distance to the raid and/or nearby artifacts, aware of his/her cooldowns, aware of the mob position and facing, and if exceptional also aware of wayward intrusion (e.g. spawns heading for a healer).

    Thus, a good tank would face a cleaving mob away from the group, or move the boss into a corner, or back themselves up against a wall so the boss's knockback was nullified.  If multiple tanks were needed for a boss, dancing aggro between two tanks took skill and timing.  Anyone remember which boss in Blackwing Lair that was critical for?

    Threat/Aggro is simply one mechanism to simulate "threat", or attention by a mob.  I'm not open to new ideas on that score mind you, but I don't have the problem you do with the traditional model, because I've seen, and raided with, some skilled Tanks and skilled Raid teams.

    And when it comes together, it's a very cool thing.  Particularly if the scenario challenge actually requires the TEAM to act as a team, to be aware of their surroundings (of which "threat" is one component) and dance accordingly

    Wherever you go, there you are.

Sign In or Register to comment.