Persuasive and Authoritarian Roles in the Holy Trinity

| Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Some people tell you what to do and you have to listen because they're the ones in charge.  They have the law or guns or mind-control.  These are the authoritarians.

Some people convince you to do it by manipulation: bribes and blackmail and friendly smiles with the knife behind their back.  These are the persuasives (not a real word)(or so the authoritarians would say).

Some people don't tell you to do anything, they seem to never order anyone at all, but they are always there, making things happen, invisible and often uncredited, but necessary beyond imagination.  These are the nameless ones, because I can't think of a good label and maybe that works anyway.

Consider control over mobs within WoW.  I think we can map these labels onto the group roles.  Not the holy trinity of tank, healer, DPS, but to tank, crowd control, and healing. 

Tanks hold aggro by mechanic and mind-control.  They use sheer numerical power to force enemies to attack them.  That's what aggro is, a number on a table that tells the mob who to attack, and tanks make very big numbers.  Taunts are the mind-control, forcing them mob, regardless of any other preference (except when specifically disabled) to attack the tank.  Tanks are ultimately about straightforward use of power to force the mob to do what they want.  As WoW tanking has evolved from aggro being difficult to survival being difficult (relatively speaking), this has become even more accurate as an analogy.  Indeed, authoritarians can impose their will, but then people try to kill them, with varying degrees of success.

Crowd control uses tricks.  The crowd control cannot easily tell mobs to attack them, but some classes can tell them to attack others.  They can pin mobs in place, stun them, fear them.  They kite them, using constant effort to make it happen, in contrast with the tank who can more often start off with aggro and keeps it, with little effort.  A kiting hunter cannot ever stand still because the mob is always moving, just as a persuasive leader must constantly counter the intellectual, or blatantly false but nevertheless convincing, attacks against him.  One misstep can be the end.  But the results can be more beautiful to see.  While the power of a tank may be impressive, everyone enjoys a story of intrigue.

And then there are the healers.  They don't tell anyone what to do, not directly.  Without them, everything else falls apart.  They are the bureaucrats and the secretaries, who we may see, but never quite acknowledge as essential, and they may try to keep it that way.  Their bosses are likely to be authoritarian or persuasive and neither likes to have their spotlight stolen.  If we notice an amazing healer, it probably means something went wrong.  They take the heat when someone stands in the fire.

Or if you were expecting this to be about God, then let's say God is the authoritarian, Jesus is the persuasive, and the Holy Spirit is the nameless.  It doesn't even get a name.  Sometimes it's the Holy Ghost, which sounds like the least terrifying Halloween movie ever.  God tends to kill people, the Holy Spirit does something I can't quite remember but is important, and Jesus once crowd-controlled a pack of demons by putting them into sheep and running them off a cliff into the sea.  And then he self-rezed and BAM, casted frost shock.


Kring said...

> They have the law or guns

That's the same. Law has its authority from guns.

Klepsacovic said...

If we're going to get reductive, we might as well throw in that law originates from The People['s elected representatives] and is therefore the product of persuasion, implemented by the bureaucrats who, similar to healers healers, get no credit and all the blame.

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