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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The Trinity: MMO born or before?

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  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 1840

 
OP  12/24/12 9:12:23 AM#1

Since this side-discussion seemed to be derailing a thread, I thought I'd create a new one specifically for this.

So, the Trinity. 

Did this start with MMOs or was it created back with pen n paper Dungeons n Dragons some twenty plus years ago?

The trinity, as I understand it, is the tank/dps/healer combination used in most modern MMORPGS.

For the Trinity to exist, there needs to exist game mechanics of "Aggro" and "Taunt".  These, as far as I know, never existed as game mechanics in old pen n paper Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks.  So even though you may have used tactics similar, it was not in fact the Trinity.

What do you think?

Incoming wall of text to show discussion before:

This is a continuation from a GW2 thread found here:http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/372532/page/14

JTCGS:

"-Roles are horribly underexplained and unclear

  1. Unclear only to those that were not able to get their heads out of the tiny little box it was placed in by MMO companies unable to think differently. The holy trinity was one of the worst ideas in RPG history, thank you D&D."

Grimal:

"What??? DnD?  The trinity was created by the modern MMO.  There was no trinity in DnD."

JTCGS:

"Are you freaking serious....The first MMORPG with Graphics was NeverWinter Nights Online back in 1991, it had the holy trinity which Meridian 59 used in 1996 and EverQuest which is D&D with another name...wowzers.

Original D&D Black Box had 3 classes. Cleric (Healer), Fighter (tank), Mage(DPS).

It wasnt until Greyhawk was released that other classes started

to appear, Greyhawk brought the Theif (another DPS) and the Paladin (tank/healer). it wasnt until the player handbook came out that the first non-trinity class was created...the BARD.

Everything else all falls into the trinity catagory BECAUSE they are taken from D&D.

/fighter/berserker/avenger/barbarian = dps

paladin = tank/healer

warrior/warlord/ardent = tank/dps

Warden/batlemaid/swordmage = tank

ranger/scout = dps

theif/rogue = dps

wizard/mage/elementalist/necro/warlock = dps

cleric/priest = healer

Druid/shaman/monk = healer/dps"

Grimal:

"Wow.  Ok, first off, DPS stands for damage per second.  Combat in DnD was never based on real time.  There were turns or rounds, so how could it have been Damage Per Second?  It couldn't have been!

The Trinity was developed back with the first gen of MMOs (EQ 1).  Made up of the Tank, Healer and DPS.  DnD never had such a term for this combat style because it didn't come into play until the MMO!!

True each class was based off an archetype, healer, warrior, etc, but the actual term trinity as we use it now was coined by and for the MMO genre.

Please, show me anywhere in any of the pre-MMO genre DnD books where it specifically states the trinity.  You'd be hard pressed.

The only trinity you will possibly find mentioned is that of the three core books: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual...but those referred to the three books, not the Tank/DPS/Healer trinity you are talking about.

Second, EQ 1 may be a fantasy based online RPG but it is not Dungeons and Dragons. 

I can't believe I am actually needing to post this. Did you even play Dungeons and Dragons PNP?"

Vorthanion:

"No, tabletop definitely had the trinity.  Wizards / Sorcerors were the damage classes.  Fighters / Paladins / Rangers were the meat shields and protectors of the mages, always putting themselves between the opponent and the mage.  Clerics / Druids were the hybrids who both kicked ass and saved the group's bacon with well placed heals.  Thieves were the melee damage class and trap experts.  I never played a campaign that didn't have at least three of the above archetypes as campaigns couldn't be completed without them.

They may not have been labeled as the trinity at the time, but that is exactly what they were.  Doesn't matter if combat is real time, turn based or some mix of the two, the point is that you had to have classes that healed, classes that tanked and protected and classes that dealt real damage in order to be successful in campaigns."

Grimal:

"I won't argue that you could play it like that now if you wanted but the trinity refers to the mechanic in MMOs.  Again, please show me where it is specifically referred to as "Tank/DPS/Healer" trinity in those books.  You can't because the label was created for MMOs.  There was no taunt mechanism, either.

Edit: By saying the trinity existed with old pen n paper RPGs of the 70s-80s, you are projecting a 1999 mechanic onto something that predates the very definition of it.  If Everquest and the modern MMO never existed, there would be no "trinity" as we know it.  You can't go back and attribute it to something that was around 30 or more years before it.  You can argue there were elements or roles that beared resemblance to it, and perhaps lent itself to the creation of it some time after but thats about as far as you can go."

Dopple MO:

"This. Trinity as people refer it nowadays is basically: Tank manages aggro, DPS deal damage, Healer keeps everyone alive. I have never seen characters systematically doing aggro management in the pen and paper games I played, because that notion was pretty much non existent."

Volkon:

"Have to agree with Grimal on this one. Never once while playing D&D (I was in the Navy... not a lot to do at night when on a carrier at sea...) did anyone take roles like that. No one ever taunted the boss, no one was a pure healer, etc. It was actually a lot closer to GW2 than WoW."

JTCGS:

"Did you NOT see where I said there was a NeverWinter Night Online MMORPG made back in 1991? Or that it was followed by Meridian 59? Or how about right after that I mentioned EQ being based off them.

D&D gold box games had SPELLS WITH LINGERING EFFECTS AND BLEEDS from melee attacks which would TICK each round of combat, This is where the idea of DAMAGE PER SECOND comes from...YEAH, Meridian 59 had real time combat and thus had DPS before EQ.

The very idea that you are now pretending EQ is not a D&D clone is crazy, the arugment has no meaning other than to argue."

Vorthanion:

"MMOs and their developers don't label their classes as the trinity either, players do.  Of course there was taunting in D&D.  Not only did my fighters shout epithets at mobs to keep their attention, I also would place myself between them and the physically weaker members of the party which in itself is taunting, forcing the mob to face me and ignore my party.  I'm not projecting anything.  The mechanic already existed, it's just that no one even gave it a second thought or considered it a bad thing."

Grimal:

"Nice try."

Vorthanion:

"Any more than your pathetic effort."

Grimal:

"The burden of proof resides on you.  Your example above just shows a description of a combat encounter.  Just because it bears similarity does not mean that the trinity suddenly exists.  That's like saying that all green items are equal just because they are green."

Vorthanion:

"Just because you are too blind to see it for what it was or too obstinate to admit you were wrong.  Your argument is no different thaI' ve already shot down your whole argument.  Others have agreed.  If you can't talk nice, avoid discussions."n people who proclaim that homosexuality is a modern issue, all based on the fact that even though it existed in our ancient past, it wasn't labeled as such and therefore it didn't technically exist.  The terminology and label may be modern, the idea and practice are not.

By the way, Ms. Knowitall, the burden of proof is required on both sides of an argument and you haven't proven anything yourself."

 

Grimal:

"I' ve already shot down your whole argument.  Others have agreed.  If you can't talk nice, avoid discussions."

Vorthanion:

"You haven't shot down anything and  one or two agreements doesn't mean anything.  You were never nice to begin with, so don't try pretending otherwise.  Your post history is replete with sarcasm and baiting.  It's I who should have known better than to argue with someone like you."

Release a game with a very large established fanbase from 10+ years of bnet history when the market was still emerging and the casual base had not yet been established, thus ripe for harvesting a momentious self perpetuating playerbase people never leave because they have X hours invested in their characters, and their friends and everyone else plays anyway. Not discounting Blizzard quality... but WoW's success is as much about perfect timing as it is quality, if not more so. - Derros

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

12/24/12 9:24:58 AM#2

I've been playing table-top RPGs since I could hold a pencil, and I don't think any of them had any notion of an aggro mechanic.  We had THAC0 and alignment languages, but never anything so stupid as the trinity.

In old-school CRPGS, it made sense to put your heavilly armored characters up front, but there was never any special mechanic that pigeon-holed characters like the current trinity does.  As far as I know, all that originated with Everquest (I could be wrong -- I was playing UO back then, where everyone was a heavilly-armored mage and we bandaged our own damn selves).

  DiSpLiFF

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/09
Posts: 611

12/24/12 9:28:16 AM#3

From what I remember it started with RPG's like final fantasy. Tank/ Dark Wizard/ White Wizard etc. 

I'm not sure the timeline on these sort of things though. 

  grimal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 1840

 
OP  12/24/12 9:32:29 AM#4
Originally posted by Greyface

I've been playing table-top RPGs since I could hold a pencil, and I don't think any of them had any notion of an aggro mechanic.  We had THAC0 and alignment languages, but never anything so stupid as the trinity.

In old-school CRPGS, it made sense to put your heavilly armored characters up front, but there was never any special mechanic that pigeon-holed characters like the current trinity does.  As far as I know, all that originated with Everquest (I could be wrong -- I was playing UO back then, where everyone was a heavilly-armored mage and we bandaged our own damn selves).

I agree. 

It's been a common tactic in warfare throughout history to put your armored troops ahead.  But just because they did this does not mean the trinity existed.  The trinity, I think, refers to that special Tank/Healer/DPS formation and the focus of aggro grabbing through taunting mechanisms.

 

Release a game with a very large established fanbase from 10+ years of bnet history when the market was still emerging and the casual base had not yet been established, thus ripe for harvesting a momentious self perpetuating playerbase people never leave because they have X hours invested in their characters, and their friends and everyone else plays anyway. Not discounting Blizzard quality... but WoW's success is as much about perfect timing as it is quality, if not more so. - Derros

  DOGMA1138

Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/11
Posts: 476

12/24/12 9:34:58 AM#5
Originally posted by Greyface

I've been playing table-top RPGs since I could hold a pencil, and I don't think any of them had any notion of an aggro mechanic.  We had THAC0 and alignment languages, but never anything so stupid as the trinity.

In old-school CRPGS, it made sense to put your heavilly armored characters up front, but there was never any special mechanic that pigeon-holed characters like the current trinity does.  As far as I know, all that originated with Everquest (I could be wrong -- I was playing UO back then, where everyone was a heavilly-armored mage and we bandaged our own damn selves).

No, but you stil had tanks, healers, and damage dealers,  and with AD&D and D&D3rd edition agroo rules, and mechanis did arrive, and now 4th edition has it implemented.

The only difference is that tabletop games have a person leading the NPC's, if he ganks 24/7 the level 2 mage with 17 hit points he will wont be a master for that long.

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11901

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

12/24/12 9:54:52 AM#6
Originally posted by DOGMA1138
Originally posted by Greyface

I've been playing table-top RPGs since I could hold a pencil, and I don't think any of them had any notion of an aggro mechanic.  We had THAC0 and alignment languages, but never anything so stupid as the trinity.

In old-school CRPGS, it made sense to put your heavilly armored characters up front, but there was never any special mechanic that pigeon-holed characters like the current trinity does.  As far as I know, all that originated with Everquest (I could be wrong -- I was playing UO back then, where everyone was a heavilly-armored mage and we bandaged our own damn selves).

No, but you stil had tanks, healers, and damage dealers,  and with AD&D and D&D3rd edition agroo rules, and mechanis did arrive, and now 4th edition has it implemented.

You are confusing roles with the trinity. Defense, offense, and support roles (healing, intel, buff/debuff, supplies, etc) are part of ANY team-based conflict, be it warfare or competitive sports. The trinity is the result of contrived taunt mechanics, lack of collision detection and the desire to create specialized roles. It is specific to MMOs. 

Edit: I just noticed grimal did a rather good job of explaining it above, so I'm surprised to see people flat out ignoring it and still confusing general roles with the Trinity.

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/24/12 9:56:43 AM#7

I believe the trinity has existed since PnP RPGs but the aggro mechanic started in MMORPG's to make up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every NPC action/reaction.A good GM in PnP games was nto out to kill the palyers but lead them on adventure,with a good GM a party would not die except for either really bad luck or stupidity on the players part,

There are exceptions like games like Paranoia where the game and other players are out to expose/kill the other players or Call of C'thulu where survival for as long as possible was the goal because it was accepted death or isnanity was almost inevitable.But these games were not designed for long periods of play,by logn I mean over several days,weeks or months.

You could certainly taunt in these games if you were palying a "tanky" role and you would certianly charge in first to keep the hostiles off the party emmbers who couldn't take many hits but it was up to the GM to decide how successful these actions were.

In AD&D it was common for a GM to make you roll against the targets intelligence to see if  an attention grabbing move worked and player actions during combat did indeed decide who the enemy would target.You could do allt he taunting you wanted for isntance and it might work until that mage cast a lightning bolt or fireball that would make a reasonbly intelligent enemy see him as the main threat.

 

The trinity is just a simplified version of ancient military roles of Offence,defence and support filtered down into a few roels and mechanics,so technically existed before even PnP rpgs.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

12/24/12 9:59:29 AM#8
Originally posted by DOGMA1138

No, but you stil had tanks, healers, and damage dealers,  and with AD&D and D&D3rd edition agroo rules, and mechanis did arrive, and now 4th edition has it implemented.

The only difference is that tabletop games have a person leading the NPC's, if he ganks 24/7 the level 2 mage with 17 hit points he will wont be a master for that long.

I played the first three editions of D&D, and there was never any notion of a dedicated tank.  Yes, you had glass-cannon magic users, but fighters and clerics were expected to do their share of the damage as well.  If a cleric stood in the back and just flung healing spells, he/she was a pretty crappy player.  Fighters, for their part, were usually the biggest hitters after wizards.  Rogues/Thieves did crappy damage outside of the occasional one-off backstab, and everyone was okay with that.  There was more to these games than combat.

I understand that WotC added a formal aggro mechanic to 4th edition, but that's just another reason why so many gamers switched to Pathfinder.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11901

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

12/24/12 10:01:58 AM#9
Originally posted by Drakynn

I believe the trinity has existed since PnP RPGs but the aggro mechanic started in MMORPG's to make up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every NPC action/reaction.A good GM in PnP games was nto out to kill the palyers but lead them on adventure,with a good GM a party would not die except for either really bad luck or stupidity on the players part,

There are exceptions like games like Paranoia where the game and other players are out to expose/kill the other players or Call of C'thulu where survival for as long as possible was the goal because it was accepted death or isnanity was almost inevitable.But these games were not designed for long periods of play,by logn I mean over several days,weeks or months.

You could certainly taunt in these games if you were palying a "tanky" role and you would certianly charge in first to keep the hostiles off the party emmbers who couldn't take many hits but it was up to the GM to decide how successful these actions were.

In AD&D it was common for a GM to make you roll against the targets intelligence to see if  an attention grabbing move worked and player actions during combat did indeed decide who the enemy would target.You could do allt he taunting you wanted for isntance and it might work until that mage cast a lightning bolt or fireball that would make a reasonbly intelligent enemy see him as the main threat.

The trinity is just a simplified version of ancient military roles of Offence,defence and support filtered down into a few roels and mechanics,so technically existed before even PnP rpgs.

You don't see the distinct difference between someone actively working toward baiting an enemy that otherwise wouldn't bother with them, and mechanics that make the enemy by default automatically swing wildly at the least dangerous opponent in the encounter? What you describe is the former. The trinity is the latter.

 

  User Deleted
12/24/12 10:02:12 AM#10

There was no "trinity" in D&D while I as growing up.

If the dungeon master, (the guy running the campaign), pulled out a module for the group to do, the module would simply say "adventure for characters level 4-7", and any class combination could do it if they played intelligently. You could have three people playing, with all three rolling a thief, or everyone rolling a fighter, or two wizards and a fighter, or whatever, and they would be just fine. Your characters could buy potions of healing, scrolls of healing, bandages, there were certain items that would heal you, you could hire an npc to heal you, wizards had spells like vampiric touch that would heal them, etc..

Never in my history of Dungeons and Dragons was a group unable to do something because it didn't have a dedicated tank or healer. Anyone saying differently, I don't think they really played the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

12/24/12 10:06:00 AM#11
Originally posted by grimal
en a common tactic in warfare throughout history to put your armored troops ahead.  But just because they did this does not mean the trinity existed.  The trinity, I think, refers to that special Tank/Healer/DPS formation and the focus of aggro grabbing through taunting mechanisms.

Yup.  I didn't mean imply a lack of understanding.  I led raids in WoW for years, and am quite familliar with the trinity.  I just think it's stupid.

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/24/12 10:07:20 AM#12
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Drakynn

I believe the trinity has existed since PnP RPGs but the aggro mechanic started in MMORPG's to make up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every NPC action/reaction.A good GM in PnP games was nto out to kill the palyers but lead them on adventure,with a good GM a party would not die except for either really bad luck or stupidity on the players part,

There are exceptions like games like Paranoia where the game and other players are out to expose/kill the other players or Call of C'thulu where survival for as long as possible was the goal because it was accepted death or isnanity was almost inevitable.But these games were not designed for long periods of play,by logn I mean over several days,weeks or months.

You could certainly taunt in these games if you were palying a "tanky" role and you would certianly charge in first to keep the hostiles off the party emmbers who couldn't take many hits but it was up to the GM to decide how successful these actions were.

In AD&D it was common for a GM to make you roll against the targets intelligence to see if  an attention grabbing move worked and player actions during combat did indeed decide who the enemy would target.You could do allt he taunting you wanted for isntance and it might work until that mage cast a lightning bolt or fireball that would make a reasonbly intelligent enemy see him as the main threat.

The trinity is just a simplified version of ancient military roles of Offence,defence and support filtered down into a few roels and mechanics,so technically existed before even PnP rpgs.

You don't see the distinct difference between someone actively working toward baiting an enemy that otherwise wouldn't bother with them, and mechanics that make the enemy by default automatically swing wildly at the least dangerous opponent in the encounter? What you describe is the former. The trinity is the latter.

 

You didn't read where I said aggro mechanics were introduced my MMORPG's to amke up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every action?So no I do not beleive the lack of aggro mechanic means there were no tanks,healers or dps before MMORPGs there was just not aggro mechanic to make them even more defined to make it easier for a computer program to oversee thousands of such itneractions occuring simultaneously without the need of human oversight and decision making.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

12/24/12 10:11:06 AM#13
Originally posted by Drakynn

You didn't read where I said aggro mechanics were introduced my MMORPG's to amke up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every action?So no I do not beleive the lack of aggro mechanic means there were no tanks,healers or dps before MMORPGs there was just not aggro mechanic to make them even more defined to make it easier for a computer program to oversee thousands of such itneractions occuring simultaneously without the need of human oversight and decision making.

Ha!  You guys must've played a very different version of D&D -- in the games I played in, we were usually trying to get the enemy to attack one of the four other thieves in the party.  If someone died, the survivors got his stuff.

Good times.

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4386

12/24/12 10:18:23 AM#14

I think the  "trinity" started when the person behind the DM screens became a computer. You didn't need to have tank/healer/DPS in PnP because the human DM could alter or change anything they wanted to make it seem like a challenge without killing the players because they didn't have the right group make up.

Once the DM became a computer and everything was hard coded there had to be a system of who attacked who and why ( agro ) once that was added and players could only do what the game allowed them to do it became a must have part of some games.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/24/12 10:19:48 AM#15
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by Drakynn

You didn't read where I said aggro mechanics were introduced my MMORPG's to amke up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every action?So no I do not beleive the lack of aggro mechanic means there were no tanks,healers or dps before MMORPGs there was just not aggro mechanic to make them even more defined to make it easier for a computer program to oversee thousands of such itneractions occuring simultaneously without the need of human oversight and decision making.

Ha!  You guys must've played a very different version of D&D -- in the games I played in, we were usually trying to get the enemy to attack one of the four other thieves in the party.  If someone died, the survivors got his stuff.

Good times.

Well I would say that was not the spirit of what AD&D was about but there was no wrong way to play a PnP RPG and you could adapt it to how you wanted the game to go.Rule books were more guidelines than rules set in stone.If I wanted to paly a cutthroat game like you describe though I'd of went with Paranoia.

*secretly outs Greyfacef as a Knight of the Circular object*

All Hail the Computer!!!

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

12/24/12 10:21:04 AM#16
Originally posted by DamonVile

I think the  "trinity" started when the person behind the DM screens became a computer. You didn't need to have tank/healer/DPS in PnP because the human DM could alter or change anything they wanted to make it seem like a challenge without killing the players because they didn't have the right group make up.

Once the DM became a computer and everything was hard coded there had to be a system of who attacked who and why ( agro ) once that was added and players could only do what the game allowed them to do it became a must have part of some games.

This is pretty much what I was trying to say.I do however think a decade on we could be seeing more complex decision making engines in MMORPGs.

  Sevala

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/08
Posts: 99

12/24/12 10:22:17 AM#17
Trinity = stupid concept that ruins games. Deal.

~I am Many~

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11901

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

12/24/12 10:25:05 AM#18
Originally posted by Drakynn
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Drakynn

I believe the trinity has existed since PnP RPGs but the aggro mechanic started in MMORPG's to make up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every NPC action/reaction.A good GM in PnP games was nto out to kill the palyers but lead them on adventure,with a good GM a party would not die except for either really bad luck or stupidity on the players part,

There are exceptions like games like Paranoia where the game and other players are out to expose/kill the other players or Call of C'thulu where survival for as long as possible was the goal because it was accepted death or isnanity was almost inevitable.But these games were not designed for long periods of play,by logn I mean over several days,weeks or months.

You could certainly taunt in these games if you were palying a "tanky" role and you would certianly charge in first to keep the hostiles off the party emmbers who couldn't take many hits but it was up to the GM to decide how successful these actions were.

In AD&D it was common for a GM to make you roll against the targets intelligence to see if  an attention grabbing move worked and player actions during combat did indeed decide who the enemy would target.You could do allt he taunting you wanted for isntance and it might work until that mage cast a lightning bolt or fireball that would make a reasonbly intelligent enemy see him as the main threat.

The trinity is just a simplified version of ancient military roles of Offence,defence and support filtered down into a few roels and mechanics,so technically existed before even PnP rpgs.

You don't see the distinct difference between someone actively working toward baiting an enemy that otherwise wouldn't bother with them, and mechanics that make the enemy by default automatically swing wildly at the least dangerous opponent in the encounter? What you describe is the former. The trinity is the latter.

You didn't read where I said aggro mechanics were introduced my MMORPG's to amke up for the fact there was no GM overseeing every action?So no I do not beleive the lack of aggro mechanic means there were no tanks,healers or dps before MMORPGs there was just not aggro mechanic to make them even more defined to make it easier for a computer program to oversee thousands of such itneractions occuring simultaneously without the need of human oversight and decision making.

I did read it. No one said those roles or tactics didn't exist before. Here's the OP's statement:

For the Trinity to exist, there needs to exist game mechanics of "Aggro" and "Taunt".  These, as far as I know, never existed as game mechanics in old pen n paper Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks.  So even though you may have used tactics similar, it was not in fact the Trinity.

Yes, computers replaced DMs. What you are saying is that the PvE combat systems of UO, AC and EVE Online don't exist. Taunt and aggro has nothing to do with making it easier for a computer to manage AI. They were created to both support the role specialization the MMOs were introducing and to compensate for differences between the virtual world and the real world, collidable objects being the primary one.

 

 

  niceguy3978

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 1977

12/24/12 10:26:26 AM#19
Originally posted by grimal
Originally posted by Greyface

I've been playing table-top RPGs since I could hold a pencil, and I don't think any of them had any notion of an aggro mechanic.  We had THAC0 and alignment languages, but never anything so stupid as the trinity.

In old-school CRPGS, it made sense to put your heavilly armored characters up front, but there was never any special mechanic that pigeon-holed characters like the current trinity does.  As far as I know, all that originated with Everquest (I could be wrong -- I was playing UO back then, where everyone was a heavilly-armored mage and we bandaged our own damn selves).

I agree. 

It's been a common tactic in warfare throughout history to put your armored troops ahead.  But just because they did this does not mean the trinity existed.  The trinity, I think, refers to that special Tank/Healer/DPS formation and the focus of aggro grabbing through taunting mechanisms.

 

I don't look at it like that, i think anytime you put your heavy armed damagers in the front (why else would you put them there if you didn't expect them to take the brunt of the damage?) with dps and heals backing them up, you have a trinity going on.  It didn't have to have aggr mechanics because in alot of the 2d games the mobs couldn't just jump over the front lines so the fighters didn't need to be able to aggro, they were simply in the way and couldn't really be avoided.

  Ortwig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1044

12/24/12 10:27:21 AM#20
Originally posted by endgame1

There's was no "trinity" in D&D while I as growing up.

If the dungeon master, (the guy running the campaign), pulled out a module for the group to do, the module would simply say "adventure for characters level 4-7", and any class combination could do it if they played intelligently. You could have three people playing, with all three rolling a thief, or everyone rolling a fighter, or two wizards and a fighter, or whatever, and they would be just fine. Your characters could buy potions of healing, scrolls of healing, bandages, there were certain items that would heal you, you could hire an npc to heal you, wizards had spells like vampiric touch that would heal them, etc..

Never in my history of Dungeons and Dragons was a group unable to do something because it didn't have a dedicated tank or healer. Anyone saying differently, I don't think they really played the game.

Agreed on this. ^  There was never any requirement or even a mention of a trinity (or the term tank, healer or dps) in tabletop roleplaying, and I've been doing it since 1977.   There certainly was never a shortage of people wanting to play a fighter or cleric though.  Given the huge variation in genres (Call of Cthulhu or The Morrow Project), there were a lot more variety in character occupations in tabletop gaming as well.  The trinity as a concrete requirement is an invention of computer gaming, and I would say even later computer gaming (possibly EQ?).  Early games such as Ultima I-VII and Wizardry did not require a trinity either, though often those roles existed.

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