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Reader Comments (72)

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 8:13AM (Unverified) said

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It all depends on the MMO in question to me.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 11:05PM kalipou134 said

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@(Unverified)
Take out the trinity and all you have is another bad shooter.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 8:27AM (Unverified) said

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i imagine there will be an mmo where things like "roles" will not apply and you can simply be whatever character you want. looking at Secret World and what Fun Com is doing, where you can basically choose different skills that are from places in the holy trinity but not make a character that is only one role is definitely intriguing.

i think if i were making an mmo without the trinity it would definitely be like that, where its basically like Phantom Dust (look it up.) and you choose skills (and i do mean EVERY SKILL) from a huge set divided into pieces that resemble what those classes used but you choose whatever you wanted whenever you wanted.

i think the only thing standing in the way of that comes not from exploitation but from confusion from the player as to what they think they should be and min/max'ers who will only group with people who have the special "theory-crafted roles" because they have the best DPS/Survivability. the reason we even have the trinity at all is so everyone is clearly defined and when you see this character or class you know exactly what they are and likewise if you choose to play them, what your getting into.

and thats the problem with "skills based gameplay". NOTHING is ever clearly defined to the player and you sort of have to hash it out on your own and make do with trial and error. for this sort of thing to work, its definitely gonna need its own tutorial.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 8:29AM jondifool said

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Are we able to have a discussion about this without identifying whats the problem with the holy trinity?
Because Fixed roles is not in it self the problem.
The problem is boring gameplay!




Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:39AM Devotion said

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@jondifool
I don't think we need to identify the problem but instead the need that the holy trinity fills. The holy trinity creates a need to cooperate. Without a system in place that builds inherent weaknesses and strengths for all players no one will rely on anyone else. The only group advantage in a game with no set roles is multiplication of DPS.

Now this type of co-op is possible and can be seen in many non massive games such as shooters like Gears of War. However the down side is that you will always be responsible for yourself in the same way for all content in the game, which can become stale pretty quickly in a persistent game environment.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 10:06AM jondifool said

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@Devotion

it's is exsactly answers like yours that make me state, that we need to identify the problem first!

because if this whole talk about getting rid of the holy trinity should make any sense then we need to realise, that removing it does NOT remove the need for coperation and the dependence that players have on each other fulfilling a role! because these things are NOT the problems of the holy trinity. Giving players a role is what the trinity does good.

I am afraid that this thread will fail in discuss the subjekt because it didn't identify the problem. And then misunderstood ideas like multiplikation of dps will florish!

If OP have gone into, the idea of a new trinity instead of the old "holy" then we could have discussed thesse new roles , and if they make more sense than the old!

Btw you can learn alot about what removing the trinity is about in this article.
http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/combat/healing-death/

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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 11:06AM Ken from Chicago said

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@Devotion The advantage of grouping in a classless mmo could be multiplication of DPS or of XP or of loot or some other reward like in CITY OF HEROES.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 11:08AM Devotion said

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@jondifool
Having read the link you provided I understand your opinion much better.

I support original and inventive games and systems in them, and I am personally very excited to play Guild Wars 2.

But to anyone that thinks specialisation is the devil that needs to be eliminated I have to say that you are short sighted.

An unoriginal title that is engaging is much better than an original one that falls flat on it's face.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 11:17AM Devotion said

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@Ken from Chicago
I personally did not enjoy my time with CoH because it supported such open ended and generally vanilla content.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 7:37PM DarkWalker said

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@jondifool

What I see as the problems with the holy trinity (or any other fixed role system):

- It forces specific group compositions, which can exclude players - with the usual healer, tank, 3 DPS party, it means two friends who both play as healers or tanks can not play together.

- It's a barrier to dungeon scaling. If the content is based on the existence of the holy trinity, any group size other than multiples of the basic "cell" become problematic. How to tune a 2-man dungeon? A 3-man? Will the 3-man enforce a tank, healer, DPS composition? and so on.

- The specific play style of the role usually does not become evident before the end game. It can mean a player might level a character, just to find he does not like it's play style.

- Often solo content is better tuned for one of the roles, leaving players of the other roles with a subpar experience.

- Multiple roles usually means specific gear for each role; with random drops, this means plenty of wasted gear, a thing that some players find highly irksome.

What I would like to see is either the fixed roles continuing, but with characters able to switch roles outside of combat (really liked both Rifts, where each character can keep up to 4 "specs" with different roles and each class can realistically fill most, if not all, roles; and GW2, which is promising all classes being able to fulfill all needed roles and respecs for free outside of combat); or else, classes with more similar capabilities, and the differentiation being made by encounter-specific tasks.

A third way is what SW:TOR seems to do: companions able to partially fulfill any role. So, if the group lacks a healer, just have everyone bring out the healing companion; if it lacks a tank, bring a pair of tank companions; etc.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 8:30AM Faryon said

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Hard to say. The trinity system works pretty well in most RPG settings, but I can understand that people want something new. The biggest problem with making every player a hybrid is that players now need to focus on 2-3 roles at once because the dedicated healer/tank/controller is gone. Most players are bearly able to learn and execute one role, so to make them for example dps and heal at the same time will probably result in disaster.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 8:52AM Seegrey said

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Only way to remove the trinity is to remove meaningful customisation(as opposed to purely aesthetic customisation, which is meaningless in a game sense, despite being as important). As soon as someone can invest points into taking less damage, they can't invest as much into doing damage, and thusly become a tank. Roles are back, regardless of designer intent.

The best you can do is have flat, non-adjustable, self only heals, and remove the healer role. You'd also have to remove defensive cooldowns too, otherwise the otherwise identical dps who gets designated to not die the best, becomes the tank.

Roles are a part of the MMORPG genre, I think - hating them is like hating mouse aim in FPS. Now, if we go to a MMOFPS, or MMORTS, or something non-rpg, we might be able to get away with a lessened version, but you'd still have roles of some form, the second you add meaningful customisation.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 12:34PM ChromeBallz said

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@Seegrey In a way that's true, though you're forgetting one thing: Roles are generally defined by the npc's, not pc's. If you make mobs that don't adhere to aggro rules, instead following some sort of 'common sense' (IE: why pay any attention to a character which is hardly doing any damage to you), you add some tactics to the game that go above the holy trinity.

The trinity only works when the encounters are specifically designed for that (mobs with aggro table, tanks with aggro increase and dps with aggro decrease abilities). Once you throw all that out of the window and let players choose their own skillsets, just take a look at what emerges and do something with that.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:01AM Lazlo Tallach said

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I think that RIFT is making a start into blurring the lines betweent the trinity sectors. You are still more than able to play a standard defined role, but the possible soul combinations give you the option to straddle the line between the roles.
For instance: I rolled up a cleric thinking to start out as a support toon to get the hang of the game before heading into the frontlines bashers. I was suprised at what I found and wound up creating an ass-kicking battle-priest that is more reminding of an old school D&D cleric than a gentle healer.
Given the option, many people will stick to the area they play best. Some will venture to span two fields and be good at it. A very rare few will stand in the center of the trinity and weild all three powers and dominate. Many may try this but the skills needed are well beyond that of the brutish club weilders, or the attenion span of the nuke-em mages and even the delecate, dedicted healers will not venture into that nexus and succeed. Only a few will be able to handle the balance and blend the trinity into one.
So far, I think RIFT is going to give people a taste of what that can be like. For those who can cross those lines and succeed, they will love the myriad possibilities there.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:26AM (Unverified) said

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I wish. At least allow a character to fulfill all roles. Rift, and it appears maybe TOR, try to do that. (Warriors can't heal in Rift)

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 1:28PM Dirame said

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Then you probably haven't specced Paladin.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 5:43PM KvanCetre said

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@Dirame
Paladin can only self heal.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:32AM drakon said

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Rift is the closest to removing the "holy trinity" problem yet. Granted it doesn't solve the problem, but it eases some of the symptoms of the issues surrounding it. Each class can do multiple roles and change those roles on the fly.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 1:02PM Rayko said

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@drakon

THE MATRIX ONLINE with the ability to completely change everything about your character's play style and abilities would be the only game to not lock you into a class/ability set. Rift would be the next best, that I know of.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:47AM Apakal said

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Yes. The only thing the trinity system does is handicap the playerbase and create idealogical divides.

Developers should be approaching this problem by evolving gameplay, not by trying to redefine traditional RPG roles. Whether a tank is traditional, ranged, or some weird hybrid, its still a tank.

Create a new style of gameplay where roles aren't important, players are self-sufficient, and grouping is a matter of enjoyment rather than necessity (while possibly offering slightly better reward to still encourage group play) and you've eliminated the necessity for roles entirely, possibly making a better, more enjoyable community in the process.

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