Monday, October 05, 2009

In The Name Of The Healer..

And the Tank and the Holy DPS did you see how I pwned that mob?!?

That’s right, the holy trinity. The three body system that has the person soaking the damage and keeping aggro, the person keeping everyone up and running and the person who dishes out the hurt. I’m told the Holy Trinity is boring and old fashioned and in need of a shake up. Personally, I’ve not had much experience with it. Even in games that have it, I’ve a tendency to go off and do whatever amused me rather than what I am good at or “meant” for.

The Trinity is being discussed on the Epic Slant Forums but this post is inspired by Luigrein over at Rainbow MMO. He was talking about City of Heroes and how just because your class is a tank, that doesn’t mean levelling one means you know them all. (By the way, I didn’t see your global for ages mate, I’ll tend to that tonight)

I am in total agreement with that. Last night I just got my tenth level 50 character in City of Heroes, this time my Warshade Kashlar. So as of writing this I have a max level on 6 of the 7 Hero ATs and 3 of the 7 Villain ATs. That doesn’t mean I have played everything, even in the ATs that I have supposedly finished. My friend Sephorus for the longest time had a Fire/Fire tank that he insisted was a scrapper with the wrong AT icon. Dinging 50, I was on an Imperious Task Force. We had no dedicated healer and precious little in the way of pure dps. What we did have was a lot of people who played well and had enough utility to carry the day (also lots of control). I have heard of all Kheldian taskforces, all Blaster taskforces, all Defender (broken and wrong:P) taskforces and so on and so forth. The Trinity can be undone through one word. Utility.

I think the hard part is though not everyone wants it gone. Personally I think I might enjoy some time making the healiest healer I can, or tankiest tanker. I might like my niche and I want to be able to indulge that desire wherever I play. Designers though are the ones who you have to convince and I know how.

Get the developers of all the games you love and have a massive Left 4 Dead vs marathon. Zoey is no better than Francis. Louis no less accurate than Bill. Each player is on an even footing and can pick the weapons that suit their style best, can heal with a medkit or patch up briefly with pills. They all can lay down walls of fire or lob a distracting pipe bomb. How the person plays with the tools offered is up to them. There is no dedicated healer, though someone can play that way. There is no dedicated tanker beyond “Hey you’ve slightly more health, you annoy the Witch”. There is no best weapon. You use what you have in a manner that suits yourself. Could that be applied to MMOs en masse? I haven’t a clue, though I will watch the one that recently caught my eye that might.

Levels and classes are a wonderful introduction to online games and teach you how to play in the virtual worlds that so many people love. Sooner or later though, the fun comes from having nothing but a shotgun and a prayer.


luigrein said...

I got mentioned, I feel all faint. Anyway I think I pretty much agree with you. I see nothing wrong with the holy trinity, my first character in the City was an empath and he spent a decent portion of his life specced for pure support (he'll always be damage light, but he definately uses his blasts a lot now.) My stone tank can absorb massive amounts of damage, but hes not terribly effective at much else. I don't think I have a utility-less damager though, (aside from ones who haven't leveled enough yet.) It's too tempting to grab a mez or something.

Anyway, conformity aside, the only problem I have with the trinity is when it becomes required to proceed (which is fairly standard in my experience.) I fully believe they should be viable and fun options, just not the ONLY ones.

Kammorremae said...

As a player much wiser than me once said, "All ATs are support ATs."

That also being said, player role (in CoH) isn't dictated by AT, it's dictated by your primary and secondary (more specifically, your build with said powersets). For example:

An Ice Blaster lends soft and hard control and ST DPS while a Fire Blaster lends ST/AoE DPS with no control while an Assault Rifle Blaster lends AoE DPS with hard control etc, etc, etc...