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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Dec 26th 2009 8:39PM (Unverified) said

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The author makes the assumption that new games bearing similarities to elements found in MMOs are being influenced by MMOs. Really, is DA:O really all that influenced by MMOs, or is it more based on classic RPGs? Ideas like the Holy Trinity have been around for years before some MMO jagoff coined the phrase and to suggest that DA has borrowed from MMOs is an insult to the foundation BioWare has lain with the KotOR series.

Look at the old SSI series, the gold box, even buck rodgers, these games always had you choosing characters of diverse abilities and forced you to apply tactics to tackle tricky encounters. In DA, we see a similarity to these games greater then MMOs because the toughest fights are usually those with small armies where MMOs usually have the group concentrating on one huge monster.

That's not to say she is wrong. You only have to play Borderlands for a few minutes to see how the boring, tired "kill ten rats" quests play in a game that has at most 4 players. In this case, I think the use of the word "infect" is uncanny.

Posted: Dec 26th 2009 9:15PM (Unverified) said

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Alright, this is off-topic, but I have to ask.

Why is it all of Elliot Lefebvre's "articles" only ever really consist of two paragraphs, usually asking us to discuss something or pointing us to someone else's article?

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 12:42AM (Unverified) said

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Without sounding like I'm joining a witch-hunt or something, this ^^ .

I only say something because this is the exact feeling I get from reading one of his posts; all of his posts.

How realistic do you like your games?
How do you learn the game?
What's the worst bug?
How awful is grind?
What type of weapons do you want?
What's your proudest craft?

or

An external article link.
Also, URL-overload in every one.

These entries seem incongruous with the Massively 'feel' in my opinion. I don't come here to seek links to other editorial. I come here for the breaking news. community comments, and the 'Massively style' of blogging.

Apologies, Eliot. I know this sounds harsh, but I'm just relaying how it feels to me.
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Posted: Dec 26th 2009 9:21PM Tizmah said

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Sorry, but the holy trinity has existed always. One character has to take the heat and the others attack or heal. I mean.. what else is there? If you make everyone a tank/healer/dps then its rather pointless to have tactics and results in a zergfest or something.

Hasn't this "holy trinity" always existed since the birth of RPGs? RPGs are normally always about team work. There is nothing that exist other than Tank, Healer, DPS. That's the three main categories in all combat in general, then they can break off into subdivisions.

I mean sure, everyone could be the tank/healer/dps..but that just doesn't make sense. To be organized,non-wasteful, and to maximize potential you seperate people into categories at what they do best. When ever a team is envoled, it boils down to a holy trinity.

Maybe I'm just not understanding, I don't know.

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 9:49PM (Unverified) said

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What else is there? Positioning, battlefield control, visibility .... you know, tactical play.

Aggro counters create boring gameplay, they break suspense of disbelief and it shouldn't have been such an explicit part of DA. He has it exactly right, MMO tropes are invading RPGs ... and it sucks. I much rather have a relatively slow moving game with taunts (which are much more believable in a game with magic than aggro counters, it's simply a temporary and limited form of mind control).
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Posted: Dec 26th 2009 10:05PM (Unverified) said

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Everyone above has covered it well, but I have to wonder, what part of FFXII reinforces the holy trinity? My party didn't have tank/healer/DPS. It was three DPS characters, who used items almost exclusively, all shared buffing (because buffing everyone with Shell, Protect, Brave and Faith could be taxing on the MP for one character), and used a variety of weapons to avoid being boxed in on most encounters. I would just cast "Decoy" on whomever I felt would take the least damage or do the most kiting in a fight, and let the automatic combat system do the rest.

The entire point of the License Board was to let players be able to purchase the skills they want and line up their characters to unique roles. Unlike older incarnations, where you distinctly had the "white mage" and the "fighter" as well as ninjas, mages, hunters, etc. I think that influence has been around for a long time, and in the regards to Final Fantasy as a series, skipped from VI until XI.

Posted: Dec 26th 2009 11:32PM wjowski said

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It's hard to influence other games when you have nothing to offer.

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 1:20AM drunkenpandaren said

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The perfect group is made up of Tank/DPS/Healer/Support

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 2:10AM (Unverified) said

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been around since DnD ...

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 2:52AM (Unverified) said

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That's not true. D&D didn't have tanks. There was no holy trinity in that game. Aggro didn't work the way it does in MUDs or computer RPGs.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2009 6:51AM (Unverified) said

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Pretty much what everyone said, especialy Kdolo. That´s almost an insult.

CB is right too, the holy trinity wasn´t in DnD like it is present now in MMO´s, and funny is that you don´t need a "tank" or a "healer" in Dragon Age to play thru the game successfully making that point useless anyway.

Additionally the blog writer mentions single player rpg´s as solo privat time, which isn´t exactly true, i actualy spend a lot of time playing BG in LAN with friends and online via gamespy. There also was an active and very busy online community talking about everything in the game, another point the writer seems to think of started with MMO´s.

I have to wonder how much MMO/Single Player experience the writer has, looking back it´s totaly the other way around. I would say the single player games have made MMO´s the way they are now. At least he mentions that the RPG comes from the SP games, however show me the amount of MMO´s that are able to offer this, most don´t deserve the "rpg" part in their description, especialy not his favourite example WoW.

Comparing MMO´s with a more classic RPG like Dragon Age only works on such a small low lvl, and if analyzed correctly, the question should be "how sp rpg´s infect mmo´s and laid out the foundation for them" and not the other way around.

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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Agreed cirdanx ""how sp rpg´s infect mmo´s and laid out the foundation for them" and not the other way around. "

its fairly obvious parell to an RPG like DA:O and a mmorpg like WoW, aside from the mmo thing they are the same genre, same fundamental principals at the basic level. But looking at the newer genre of mmos, they seem to mirror more the original single player genre in a mmo universe, mmorts, mmofps etc.

I think the word "Infect" is in poor use, it doesnt really identify what is really happening.

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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D&D took positioning into consideration. You could block access to certain characters by standing in their way. Enemies trying to engage characters by passing the front line would take damage as they moved through those squares in the form of free hits against them. While it's true there was no taunting, to say that you could put your mages in the thick of battle is absurd. Fighters/Paladins were up front, with clerics closeby to heal and support, rogues snuck around back to backstab and mages cast from way behind the lines.

How is this not the holy trinity again?

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 12:41PM (Unverified) said

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Good Point Kdolo, i have to say i haven´t played the PnP game in some time and didn´t thought of it enough when i made my post but you are right.

However the rest of my post was more related to the computer game adaption´s and less based on the classic PnP game. With that in mind, thinking of a RPG like BG2, it was the most "easy" way to play with a warlock if you went for a solo run thru the game. At least most people i know went for that class. There was just no real need for a tank.

As i also mentioned there is no need for that in DA even though it makes things a lot easier. That makes the point of the blog writer unnecessary (among others).
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Posted: Dec 27th 2009 10:23AM Wisdomandlore said

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I agree with everyone else. The author of the linked article assumes something that just isn't true. I've spent hours talking with friends, or posting on gamefaqs forums, trying to find the perfect build or strategy for all the Final Fantasy, FF Tactics, Persona, Tactics Ogre, Dragon Quest, etc. Just go look at some of the obsessive strategy and builds FAQs for these games.

Even in the early Final Fantasy games, Knights were "tanks." They had high HP, the best armor, and could "Cover" wounded party members. In FFXII, it would actually be stupid to make a Tank/DPS/Healer trinity. You have enough points to go around to give everyone more than that. Plus, there's no real aggro mechanic until you get Decoy, since enemies have their gambits that dictate who they'll attack.

If anything, MMOs are still behind the times. The trinity is just an easy way to design classes. By pigeonholing players into limited rolls, the designer's job is easier. It's much more difficult to balance classes with multiple roles then to give players the freedom to create unique characters as in Bioware games, many of the Final Fantasy titles, etc.

However, MMOs have "infected" games by giving players and developers a common vocabulary and shared experiences. Developers reference this in their games to make mechanics familiar, but that doesn't mean that these were new ideas MMOs invented.

The only game MMOs have had an effect on is D&D 4.0. The designers seem to have purposefully changed the game to conform to MMO rules, changed verbiage to be familiar with MMO players, all in an attempt to reach out to the WoW crowd.

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 5:56PM Cendres said

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I have to agree with everyone, sounds like the original author has not been playing RPG's for very long. I just have to look back at any tactical RPG and ALL the Final Fantasies, way before FF12 and they are all strongly party oriented with every person having a defined role.

As mentioned FF12 actually didn't have any holy trinity as you could have all members specced almost the same way with variances which FF14 the mmo is going to be borrowing a bit from... So if anything it's MMOs that take from traditional RPGs.

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 10:25PM Tizmah said

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Yes, but making everyone be able to do everything makes for even worse gameplay. Everyone could be the master of every skill which was ridiculous. They needed JOB classes, Warrior/Theif/White Mage (Tank,DPS,Healer) which they promptly fixed in FFXII International because that is the core foundation of all RPGs.

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Posted: Dec 27th 2009 6:09PM Cendres said

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Okay so I read the article as opposed to skimming and well one good point she does bring is the need for community in gaming. If you play an MMO your social perception is forever changed, when you're off to play a single player game you sometimes feel like there should be other people there or you want to talk about it with other people. Dragon Age is also a different animal, not because it takes any mechanic from any MMO, because it really doesn't, but because of the modding community so BioWare thought they should dedicate a social site to it and I'm guessing TOR will have a very similar one too, and that may be what is different now our urge for a community.

But some commenters on her article pointed out that has existed since the arcade era and is nothing new either...

Posted: Dec 27th 2009 10:23PM (Unverified) said

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There are huge communities around tons of games. White wolf has a magazine, D&D has one too. Magic the Gathering and other such card games have both sanctioned and unofficial organization of tournaments. Mods have been created for games in the Elder Scroll series and campaign builders have been shared for the SSI games and countless other examples of just about any single thing that was mentioned in the article. Nowhere does she address the one thing that makes MMOs stand out from other games, the immersion of players into a persistent world. All of those other elements are borrowed from other games.

Well, persistent worlds and killing ten rats.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2009 10:18PM Tizmah said

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Tactical play comes after than Macro. The foundation of all of that, is the basic concept of a Tank, An Attacker, and Healers. The same foundation is in all games that rely on combat, from FPS to Action games that have multiple members.

I think we need to realize this.

There first existed, RPGs.

Then came MMORPGs.

Only difference? MMO.

nuff said. They aren't seeping into our RPGS because that is what they were to begin with.

So, the only way I could see MMORPGS seeping into single player RPGs is...well making no more single player games.
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