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News & Features Discussion  » Neverwinter: The Rant #1 - Fixing the Holy Trinity

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85 posts found
  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5668

2/19/13 2:10:56 PM#81
Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Torvaldr
The only real problem with the trinity is tank and artificial aggro mechanics.  It makes combat simple and stupid and totally trivializes group content which further negates the idea that group content is somehow the holy grail of progression and rewards.  Games that go this route will end up in the same place at "end game".

Well you can mostly solve artificial aggro mechanics with solid collision detection and LoS restrictions, but you take away a LOT of the wiggle room encounter designers get to invent new gameplay mechanics to make your fights interesting.

So in a lot of ways, getting rid of the idea of threat/aggro will lead to simple and stupid trivialized group combat.

I guess the idea of what constitutes "contrived" or limiting is subjective.

For encounter design in games like Rift, EQ2, WoW, or LotRO the standard tank mechanics make sense because their group design is centered around non-tank roles being mobile.  Dungeons and raids are designed around what I like to call disco dancing.  Colored circles on the ground you have to stand in, or musn't stand it, hide behind the piller, stand near others, don't stand near others, and a bunch of other pre-scripted mobility actions to take.  The only think non-tanks need to consider really is their primary skill rotation and performing the right movement steps within the timer. The whole idea behind tank aggro seems to be a fix for the overhead required to implement collision detection.

I don't see how tank-centric combat can ever grow or evolve out of that.  Essentially tank aggro is a really simplified form of CC jammed all into one class/role.

For non-aggro combat with collision detection the "tank" needs to use positioning and the environment to handle mobs.  Other characters need to use positioning and watch mob actions.  It lends itself a lot friendlier to using crowd control and support roles to manage mobs.  It opens up, not limits, possibilities in my opinion.

Some of the earliest games like Lineage and EQ used the latter philosophy to handle mobs.  I think tanking changes came in an effort to make games and group content more accessible.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  marsh9799

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/10
Posts: 101

2/19/13 3:59:45 PM#82
Originally posted by BadSpock

I always thought it'd be a good idea to create a Holy Trinity MMO where the three legs of the group dynamic tripod were - Tank/Heal/Control and all 3 did the same amount of damage (as in all three were equally responsible for making the HP bars of the other guy(s) go down.)

Balancing for PvP would be hard though.

Tank - Limited self buffs, resistant to damage/avoidance of damage, limited enemy debuff application

Heal - Group buffs, heal damage, friendly debuff removal

Control - Enemy debuff application, control damage via CC, enemy buff removal

So tanks do good damage, have limited self buffs and limited debuffs they place on enemies (mostly to reduce damage output) and are by far the best soakers/avoidance with the unique mechanic of Threat.

Healers do good damage, have the most powerful group-wide buffs and can remove debuffs from others and self, and have the unique mechanic of Healing themselves/others.

Control do good damage, have the most powerful and widest variety of debuffs to apply to enemies, as well as ability to remove buffs from enemies, and have the unique mechanics of Control - all forms of Crowd Control like stuns/sleeps/interupts etc.

It would have to play out in an Opportunity Cost system.

All players can deal balanced level of damage to the enemy, but the opportunity cost for using a damage skill or combo/rotation is that during that time frame you aren't controlling/defending/healing.

It also solves the problem of some roles being better at others for leveling/soloing AND it solves the problem of having too many tanks or healers or whatever for a particular fight.

That player would just focus on the damage part of their class instead of using the specific skillset unique to their chosen mechanic (Threat/Heal/Control).

For PvP, Tanks would be difficult to kill due to being sturdy and having limited means to provide themselves buffs and debuff their opponents, but they can't heal and are very limited in their tactical control.

For Healers, they are always a threat as they can negate offensive actions against others via healing and provide good buffs and debuff cleansing, but lack the sturdiness to take damage as Tanks or the ability to control the situation.

Control can literally change the course of battle from moment to moment with their powerful debuffs and crows controls as well as removing powerful buffs from enemies, but lack the defensive options of Tanks and the ability to heal damage dealt to them so they have to play more tactically.

As with any Trinity system, I think it is completely ruined by Hybrids.

Hybrids also make balance an impossible task.

 I largely agree with you.  However, I don't think that hybrids make balance impossible depending on how you implement it.  I think a better way to circumvent the Trinity is to create nothing but hybrids.  The way to balance would be to require multiple roles for regular content and equalize DPS.

If typical content would take Tanking, Healing, Debuffing, CC, and a filler, the content balanced around hybrids would require 2 Tanks, 2 Healers, 2 Debuffers, 2 CC, and 2 fillers for a 5 man group.  It still gives distinct roles and makes classes much more plug and play for grouping.

  marsh9799

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/10
Posts: 101

2/19/13 4:08:23 PM#83
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by BadSpock
Originally posted by Torvaldr
The only real problem with the trinity is tank and artificial aggro mechanics.  It makes combat simple and stupid and totally trivializes group content which further negates the idea that group content is somehow the holy grail of progression and rewards.  Games that go this route will end up in the same place at "end game".

Well you can mostly solve artificial aggro mechanics with solid collision detection and LoS restrictions, but you take away a LOT of the wiggle room encounter designers get to invent new gameplay mechanics to make your fights interesting.

So in a lot of ways, getting rid of the idea of threat/aggro will lead to simple and stupid trivialized group combat.

I guess the idea of what constitutes "contrived" or limiting is subjective.

For encounter design in games like Rift, EQ2, WoW, or LotRO the standard tank mechanics make sense because their group design is centered around non-tank roles being mobile.  Dungeons and raids are designed around what I like to call disco dancing.  Colored circles on the ground you have to stand in, or musn't stand it, hide behind the piller, stand near others, don't stand near others, and a bunch of other pre-scripted mobility actions to take.  The only think non-tanks need to consider really is their primary skill rotation and performing the right movement steps within the timer. The whole idea behind tank aggro seems to be a fix for the overhead required to implement collision detection.

I don't see how tank-centric combat can ever grow or evolve out of that.  Essentially tank aggro is a really simplified form of CC jammed all into one class/role.

For non-aggro combat with collision detection the "tank" needs to use positioning and the environment to handle mobs.  Other characters need to use positioning and watch mob actions.  It lends itself a lot friendlier to using crowd control and support roles to manage mobs.  It opens up, not limits, possibilities in my opinion.

Some of the earliest games like Lineage and EQ used the latter philosophy to handle mobs.  I think tanking changes came in an effort to make games and group content more accessible.

 EQ did not have non-aggro combat.  It was very aggro oriented.  However, you are right about the CC.  WoW started much the same way.  Most of the instances required CC due to incoming damage and the difficulty of holding aggro.  In WoW, I would get spammed from friends and random people I grouped with or sometimes people I'd never met because there were so few tanks who could lock down more than two mobs in group content.  Being able to tank three or four mobs put you on everyone's most wanted tank list.

People used to run with /assist bound to a key.  That doesn't happen anymore.  In most current games, you are correct.  Tanking has completely replaced CC- it's to the detriment of both tanks and CC classes.

 

  Amsai

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/16/11
Posts: 69

2/19/13 5:20:03 PM#84

You could be right about tanking replacing CC. How about wha I said above? What if we flipped that on its head and had CC take over tanking, but still call it tanking?

Plate armor, high defense, damage mitigation abilities, with awesome CC abililties that double as threat generation.

 

This should also solve the issue people have with them finding tanking (with taunts/vokes) as being unrealistic. Because instead youd have a "mage knight" getting their attention with real problems instead of "name calling" or shouts. Sure I understand what people say about how its not realistic the mobs should go after the healer. But with this they have to take out the CC guy cause he wont let them get to the healer.

 

Of course we could just do away with tanks, but if that happened I would demand classes that have strong and lasting CC, not that .5 to 2 sec crap GW2 call CC.

  Novusod

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 861

2/19/13 9:42:44 PM#85

If you want to fix the trinity they should make it so it is not so rigid. A group should not automatically fail because it doesn't have a healer or tank. Korean games such as Lineage II often relied on substitutes for healers such as healing potions. Lineage II was still very much a holy Trinity based game but it was not as rigid has a EQ / WoW system where your whole group wipes in a few seconds without a healer. The priest was still very important but it wasn't the end of the world if you didn't have one. To me it is just more realistic to not have these super magic heals restore a character from almost dead to full health in 2 seconds and do so repeated 30, 40 or 50+ times during a boss fight. It is just a laughable absurdity.

 

To find a fix you must fist diagnose the root of the problem. If you ever played table top Dungeons and Dragons no GM would ever allow 50+ super heals to defeat a mission and rules didn't support it anyway. This type of healer centric trinity is purely the result of player and encounter difficulty memes feedbacking on each other. Historically devs make an encounter harder by increasing the damage output and the players respond by bringing more healers. The leads to class ballance complaints that results in healers getting more heals which in turn trivializes encounters so the process repeats with devs increasing damage on encounters again. This process has been feedbacking on itself for 15 years and it has reached hights of insanity that the trinity if dying of its own bloat. Both players and devs are saying enough already. We have gone from ultima online where healing was back up support role to end game WoW where a third or more of the players have to play healers.

 

Second point is just don't look at guild wars 2 as the only example of a trinity less system. Vindictus does this type of combat much better. Guild Wars 2 has no large scale PvE missions while Vindictus tops out at doing 24 man missions. Directing this specifically at Managing Editor Bill Murphy. Please play Vindictus into the 24 man missions especially the ones at level 40. What they created is a system of pure genius such as having players build mini forts to shelter in when the dragon does special attacks or players having to jump in water if they catch on fire rather than rely on a healer. Vindictus dragon raids put every other trinity based system to shame. This is future of MMORPG combat.

 

The holy grail of the perfect system is in sight if they add in a support priest character to Vindictus type raids. The priest in the holy trinity would be returning to its roots as back up support. This can happen if the right people in MMORPG development learn what has been done elsewhere.

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