Replacing the Holy Trinity with One God

| Wednesday, February 9, 2011
And I am his prophet.

What is it that keeps the idea of a tank alive? Yes, exactly the same thing that keeps the tank alive: healers. Without a healer, even a tank will die. And when the tank can die, is he really a tank or just awful DPS who survive a few more seconds but do a lot less damage? Yes.

So I introduce to you a magical world in which queues are instant, no one heals, and no one tanks. In this magical world everything hits a lot softer but has a lot more health. Rather than healing or tanking, we just take turns casting Taunt Everything and then bandaging.

Does this sound skilless and boring? Of course it does! I bet some players might even enjoy it. So of course we have to fix that.

Step one: Add a few mobs with AoE. These will interrupt bandaging, ruining the taunting rotation since the next guy in line will still be half-dead. So we need to focus on them, possibly with death or possibly with CC.

Step two: Uh.

Okay I give up, I hate this idea. We're all doomed. If we separate out roles, we're going to have shortages which vary wildly with the content. Heroics: not enough tanks or healers. Raids: too many tanks, not enough healers. Great system! If we remove the trinity then it turns into a muddled pointless mess of taunt rotations or even worse, we have to all play dynamically with cooldown usage, kiting, and CC to prevent death.


Nils said...

You want the combat to be stable enough to enjoy and unstable enough to be interesting. The holy trinity does that..

The only way I see the holy trinity replaced with something better is to make non-fights more interesting and thus empower us to ignore the actual fights.

Makes sense? :)
Imagine you explore a cave. You slaughter some trivial opponents, then you hear a troll. You run away; hide. Later you come out again, try to circumvent the troll and continue exploring.

Less focus on the fight itself and more focus on the whole experience.

Dominus said...

Guild Wars 2 is aparently going to try and be this MMO.

Nat said...

The holy trinity has always been a fine concept by me, I'm a healer through and through, I wouldn't want to play a game where we all DPS anyway, even if there was insta-queue.

However I don't mind the occasional boss encounter that deviates from the usual tank:healer:DPS ratio or requires roles to temporarily shift (of which I know there are at least a couple of recent names to mention here but they completely escape me).

Anonymous said...

There is no holy trinity in pvp

Anonymous said...

I was in a Slave Pens run the other day on my mage. The tank dropped out so we continued on with the trash as 3 dps and a healer. Yeah, it was chaotic and fun. Burn, kite, slow, interrupt and play ping pong. Actually, it was more fun than having a tank in the party.

The only reason you really need a tank is for the boss mechanics that assume you have a tank.

Garumoo said...

"even worse, we have to all play dynamically with cooldown usage, kiting, and CC to prevent death"

Why is that even worse? I've been in many a PUG where the tank went down and it turned into this, and it sure as heck is more fun than pew-pew-pew-yawn-pew.

Tesh said...

Garumoo, I'm pretty sure Klep is sarcastic there.

Thing is, some people want the security blanket of the trinity; it lets them get into a mental rut, er, rhythm that lets them play without much situational awareness or flexibility. Removing that meatshield means more work. Not everyone likes that.

Of course, on the other hand, the familiar old roles mean players can settle in like a good little budgie and then operate on autopilot... which might make more room for them to see different things and expand beyond the rote. *shrug*

I love more tactical combat with situational awareness, but I'll admit, I prefer that in a turn-based system or LAN FPS. Real time MMO systems (especially with a laggy computer) benefit more from a more... mundane approach for manageability.

I'd love to kill the trinity, but I concede that many players like it.

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