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Critical Hit

It's time to explore new concepts in the MMO industry. It's time to *gasp* "innovate".

Author: HumbleHobo

Heal me! Get it off me!

Posted by HumbleHobo Wednesday July 30 2008 at 11:55AM
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 The dedicated Healer class needs to be removed.

The Tank needs to be rebalanced.


Problem:  A thankless role that is tense, and heaped with responsibility.

Problem:  A role that is only valid in PvE and has few PvP applications.

Solution:  Remove the healer class.  Rebalance the tank class.


For example, in WoW it would be done as follows.


1. Remove Priest class

2. Give every class a small, channel heal that can be applied to allies.  Sort of like a bandage, but in combat.

3. Give every class a small, burst heal (perhaps 15-20% health) that can only be applied to themselves on a 2-min cooldown.


4. Make the tank deal lots of damage, but incredibly slowly.

5. Redesign game with above changes in mind.


Now, this may just be me, but I think the only class that is actually fun, is a DPS class.  There is not much responsibility on them in raids other than "pew pew pew!"  It is the most rewarding, most fun role to play.

I understand that there are people that enjoy exclusively healing, and they still can!  They could simply channel heals constantly if they wish.

With these changes, everyone will be a DPS class.  Some will deal little damage very quickly.  Some will deal a TON of damage very slowly.  Some will deal a lot of AoE damage.  Some will deal a lot of DoT damage.  But everyone will be capable of contributing a significant amount.


I apologize for using WoW terms as an example, but I haven't played many others, and most people here can relate to the examples.  So...

Take the Hunter, the Rogue, and the Warlock.  Probably the most popular classes in the game, and they are all DPS at heart.  Even though they all deal some significant damage, they all have a unique way of doing so.  They have the easiest transition between PvP and PvE, because their roles stay the same.


Now imagine 6 classes of DPS.  All unique, all balanced, and all fully capable in either PvP or PvE.  They all have specialties, but they are all valid in any situation.

This is how we should bridge the growing gap between PvP and PvE.  We should stop putting in classes that are designed only for one or the other.


daylight01 writes:

the classes you are describing sound alot like the classes in TCoS,all hybrids,Though as this game isnt released yet only time will tell how it will work out,I normally like to play a healer of some sort in mmo's but I do understand what you are saying in it being nice to multi task.

Wed Jul 30 2008 12:18PM Report
Majinash writes:

problem 1 : hunter rogue and warlock are not the most played classes.  yes hunter and rogue are up there, but warlocks are one of the least played classes in game, down there with druid.  warriors (tanks) are one of the most played classes.


tanks dealing massive damage.. slowly.  thats called low damage.  the measure of damage is based on time, DPS.  so making him deal massive damage over a long period of time as the same as gimping their damage.  DPS classes deal massive damage over a short period of time, thus they have high DPS. dealing small damage over a short period of time is the same, low DPS.


healers do not have a thankless job.  I almost always play a healer and when I do my job well, people tell me, they thank me, and sometimes they even PAY me.


tanks are useful in PvP when they are given the mechanics.  Tanks in L2 were one of the top PvP classes early on in the game, then again later when they made taunts effect other players.  Tanks in WAR are based on working in PvP given mechanics that let them effect people in PvP.


the only time tanks don't work is when devs don't care about PvP as much.  when 90% of a tanks mechanics are based around artificial "thread" modifiers that of course have no bearing on other people.


Tank is an important role, when you no longer need tanks healers have to be changed a lot.  when you change healers a lot it becomes a mass gank fest of DPS classes.


Ever been in a BG where both sides were made up entirely of rogues/hunters/mages? its not fun.  its a massive assist train, both sides die quickly, rez and come back.


Teamwork shines when you have DIVERSE roles, where everyone plays a part in a larger scheme, and when it works its fun. 


Sure, your way could work, but you simply remove the healer, and remove the tank, you make everyone DPS.  when you do that the game is one big assist train, who can burn the other side down faster.  I'll keep playing games where I can be a healer and play a reactive role rather than just an active one.

Wed Jul 30 2008 12:41PM Report
Thradar writes:

I actually prefer playing my resto shaman more than my hunter now.  I feel like I'm contributing more when I play a healer instead of a cheeseburger* class like a hunter.

*Can eat a greasy cheeseburger with one hand and still play just fine.

Wed Jul 30 2008 2:15PM Report
Guernica writes:

Its true that playing the healer can be a bitch - when it goes well, noone cares about you. When you wipe its yours or the tank's fault. But I think I prefer that system. After all, the tank and the healer need to know what they're doing for the raid to succeed. Everyone else can be a button masher. Lets face it - its hard enough just to get these two key roles filled by players with a clue, what are the chances you could fill all five, ten, or more slots with smart people? I like knowing I'm filling a role with responsibility and one not any dude can do.

Wed Jul 30 2008 2:36PM Report
thedrakon writes:

Playing healing is actually pretty fun,

Wed Jul 30 2008 3:04PM Report
Death1942 writes:

as a healer i have to say your wrong about removing them.   people actually enjoy the stress (i do).  we enjoy the thought that we could not have beaten that big boss without my careful heals.  it may be thankless (very few times has that happened to me) but it sure is rewarding.  another thing i love is the control over the group.  i have far more swaying power as a healer than i do as a tank or a dps machine.

dont like how fast the tank is going?  tell him to slow down.  he refuses?  your bound to stuff up eventually (otherwise you would not want to slow down).  when the time comes and he dies he only has himself to blame (and trust me it happens alot, tank, dps or otherwise).  they can yell at you all they like the fact is its your choice who gets healed and usually the group is on your side.


so yeah to sum it up.  Healing is fun for some people.  its only useless in PvP because of how PvP is currently implemented (in the days of old with huge groups of people fighting it was actually valid) and DnD has used the everyone can heal doesnt work as well as you think.  we still need a healbot its just the healbot only need half as many heal spells as before.

Wed Jul 30 2008 4:54PM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

 I have to apologize.  I am primarily basing my views on World of Warcraft, as that is the only class-based MMO that I have played.  And as we know, WoW is a poor example of PvP, so this is where the disparities show up.


I think I have underestimated the role of the healer.  Perhaps because I myself dislike playing that role, I assumed that most others do too.


And I wish I had clarified a little better about the revised Tank concept:


DPS is a combination of damage, and attack speed.  Dealing 100 damage every second is the same as dealing 1000 damage every 10 seconds.  I think that the tank has been balanced, but balanced in the wrong way.

Right now, the warrior in WoW has:

+ A ton of health and armor

- Weak damage dealing 

o Average attack speed


While this is balanced, I think it would be better to balance it differently:


+ A ton of health and armor

+ A lot of Damage

- Very slow attack speed


Also, I am probably biased towards warlocks, as my main is one =)

Wed Jul 30 2008 6:08PM Report
Cursedsei writes:

honestly, I love DPSing on my Ret pally, but I also do alot of heroic tanking when my guild needs it.

They are fixing how tanking works in WotLK, by increasing the damage tanks can do, and adjusting threat mechanics to fit some other changes. Paladins who spec into prot get a nice little holy shield slam to help with single-target tanking, while warriors get a shockwave cone attack ontop of thunderstrike, and are getting their mechanics fixed up so they can do good damage.

they are homogenizing tanking gear though, so pally tanks use the same as warrior/DK tank gear, and to fix this, we get spellpwer based on our stamina.

Wed Jul 30 2008 6:18PM Report
Draenor writes:

I didn't read the comments that you recieved, so somebody may have already posted this...but with your idea...wouldn't that make everybody just roll a tank?  If it deals an incredibly high amount of damage, and if nobody needs healers...then what is the point of making anything but a tank class?  You have everything that you need wrapped up into the warriors....

Wed Jul 30 2008 6:52PM Report
fansede writes:

You may be suprised that healers do make interesting gameplay in other  games. I am hoping WAR will make things even more interesting.

Wed Jul 30 2008 7:34PM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

@fansede - If you have examples of fun healing mechanics, please tell me.  I'm not even being sarcastic, I want to know!  I do not want to overlook something that could be lots of fun while I'm designing.

@Draenor - I just can't seem to explain this right.  The modified tank is not unbalanced.  It is not some super power.


Simple example:


You have 3 aspects to balance: (Health), (Damage Dealt), and (Attack Speed).  Two classes can both be high-DPS, but be balanced differently.


A Mage is a "Glass Cannon"

Health: 10

Damage: 60

Attack Speed: 30

Total: 100


A Tank is ... well, a "Tank"

Health: 50

Damage: 40

Attack Speed: 10

Total: 100


If there are only three attributes in this hypothetical game, than the two classes would be reasonably balanced from this perspective. 

Imagine a battle between these two classes:


The tank swings a great axe around at the mage, who darts nimbly around the warrior, pausing to build up some firepower and blast back.  The tank can take the fireballs pretty easily, but the mage must keep moving, or else the tank will land an accurate blow.


(Big, slow, strong guy) vs. (Small, fast, average guy).  It's a fair fight.


What you would do is give tanks much more damage, much less attack speed, and a little less health.  It's still balanced, but now it's much more viable for PvP without reducing it's effectiveness in PvE!



Wed Jul 30 2008 8:48PM Report
craynlon writes:

actually its all crap...

if you want realism you need formations
in the front row heavily armored fighters block the enemies path
somewhere far away ranged shoot over this front row
wounded will withdraw from the first row to be replaced by a fresh soldier and the healer can tend to his wounds behind these lines.

imagine how on earth in real live one person generates so much hate that he draws bees and bears, dragons, orks and humans to himselve just by his presense and job desription

Thu Jul 31 2008 2:46AM Report
Eluwien writes:

I seriously think HumbleHobo that you should go somewhere and refine your ideas abit further, before coming out with this kind of nonsense.

Not only are they based only experience of one game, and obviously not even much of that, you also manage to twist it all around your personal opinions and generalizations.

What would be the outcome of these incoherent ideas of yours, I cant even tell, but they seriously would not make an improve to any game. Your suggestions to remove healers, make every class a hybrid, and only consider balance over 2 classes, and completely ignore diversity, PVP, group situations and ability to make more than 1 kind of content.

Quote : "What you would do is give tanks much more damage, much less attack speed, and a little less health.  It's still balanced, but now it's much more viable for PvP without reducing it's effectiveness in PvE!"

more damage, less attack little less health? and thats not effecting anything negatively?

And healers role is not viable in PVP?

Mate seriously. Back to the school. Avoid further embarrassing yourself.


p.s. Also please do us others a favor, never talk to any girls. You make us all look bad.

Thu Jul 31 2008 2:53AM Report
way2bord writes:

"Problem: A thankless role that is tense, and heaped with responsibility."

Solution: Find players who are responsible enough to provide support for others.  Encourage others to thank them.

"Problem: A role that is only valid in PvE and has few PvP applications."

Solution: Fire devs who lacked forethought to properly balance classes with key game features in mind.  If intended player base is the niche, carebear-market, be certain to clearly indicate said intentions on the box label!

"Solution: Remove the healer class.  Rebalance the tank class."

Problem: ...Say what!? O.o  2+2 does not equal pink elephants (and it never will).  Every role has responsibilities; the MMORPG holy trinity each have a part to play (tank, healer, damage dealer) and if they fail to fill their role, the team will not be successful.

WoW developers did an excellent job with class balance; Skilled players are able to equally thrive in both PvE content and PvP content. Could it be better?  Absolutely.  Is it still top tier?  Yes.

"1. Remove Priest class"


"2. Give every class a small, channel heal that can be applied to allies. Sort of like a bandage, but in combat."

"3. Give every class a small, burst heal..."

It's called a potion.  I haven't come across an MMORPG yet without healing pots.  With WoW specifically in mind, there are also bandages, Paladin heals, Shaman heals, Druid heals, a myriad of ways to self-heal from spells and abilities.

"4. Make the tank deal lots of damage, but incredibly slowly."

Please re-read the above statement and kindly bang your head into your keyboard to fix it.

"5. Redesign game with above changes in mind."

...And lose your entire player base due to your incompetence.



What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Thu Jul 31 2008 3:36AM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

 @ Eluwien, @way2bord, @craynlon


ouch.  So this is definitely not a good idea.  So far I've gotten an overwhelmingly  negative response.


However, this is why I ask first, instead of simply putting it into a design!  There have been times when MMO developers simply throw in ideas without any thought for the consequences on the rest of the world.


As for my little experience with MMOs, I agree.  I have only played 2, which are Runescape and WoW.  Mostly because they work on my mac.  I have a very low income, so buying a souped up PC, or even any comp at all is not going to happen for a while.  Thus, I'm stuck with mac games until I get a new comp.

But that is why I ask you guys first!  So that I can get a wide variety of players, who have played a wide variety of games, to warn me when an Idea has no potential.

And that is what you have done... saved my from my own blindness.  Often times, when people first think of an Idea, it sounds great in their head, even sounds great on paper, but completely sucks in the implementation.  So thanks, because this is what my blog/rant is for, to test new concepts with you guys, and see whether they are crap or good.


Now, I would like to figure out what went wrong.  I must have really pissed some people off here.


I would like to throw out the "remove the priest" idea beause it's underdeveloped.  Instead, let's assume this is your standard MMO, but with the modified tank.  Despite the waves of people telling me no, I have to believe there is some potential here, even if it must be changed a lot to get to it.


So, here are my reasons:  When I choose a tank, I want the biggest strongest class in the game, I want it to deliver.  I want a muscle-bound giant who has tons of health and lots of armor, and just basically looks like a wall of terror.  However, I didn't like the idea that tanks deal average damage at an average rate.  My picture of a warrior is swinging around some insane sword, bruising the ground when you hit something.  But, I imagined it as really slow, so that the smaller, faster, and weaker guys could get in, fire a blast or stab, and desperately try to get out of the way of the crushing attacks.

What I did not want, was just a huge bag of hit points that attracts attention while the real threat to the enemy is safely 30 yards behind the tank.  I wanted a class that actually felt like a Raid Boss itself.


I believe this can work, because it's only a small change from the standard tank.  You're not changing anything about it, except for rebalancing some aspects.  The aspects that I feel are more iconic to a tank class, like firepower.  Think of a real-life tank!  That has firepower, but it's slow!


I'm sorry if I still am trying to pursue a concept that is  impossible, or simply stupid.  If this vision is simply wrong, or if you don't think this can be implemented properly, then please tell me.


However, please tell my WHY it can or can't work.

Thu Jul 31 2008 9:39AM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

Also, I feel I never really addressed the issues that Majinash offered:


"Sure, your way could work, but you simply remove the healer, and remove the tank, you make everyone DPS.  when you do that the game is one big assist train, who can burn the other side down faster."

Yes, I have come to realize that the healer can be a good thing, so that is why I am no longer addressing this issue.  For now, it seems to be better to leave the healer class alone.

Secondly, I hope that no one thinks that I am removing the tank class entirely.  The modified tank still has lots of health, but simply does more damage at a slower rate.

"DPS" does not mean squishy.  If your attack speed was once every 60 seconds (extremely slow), but you dealt lots of damage, you would still be DPS, because your average "Damage Per Second" is much higher.  DPS does not imply that you have to be a frail cloth-wearing cannon.  That's simply how it's been done before.

Thu Jul 31 2008 9:53AM Report
bpm195 writes:

City of Heroes: There is no healer class. It works for 3 main reasons. 

1. Buffs are powerful. In most MMOs buffs make you marginally more powerful for long periods of time, or very powerful for brief periods of time. Buffs and Debuffs in CoH are powerful and available most of the time, and controlling powers are also very potent. For example, a good Force Field defender will reduce the chances  of you getting hit by about 40%, and a good controller will have your enemies unable to attack half the time. The result is that you're able to take less damage.

2. Health regenerates. Every player's health can go from one to full in 2 minutes. So if you're managing to take less that a quarter of your health bar in damage every 30 seconds your health will stay around full.  The regen rate can be buffed. There are players that can go from 1 to full in about 20 seconds. This works wonders for survivability.

3. Anybody can heal. There is an ally heal and a self heal available to all players, while very many sets contain a stronger self heal or aoe heal. You don't need to heal often and players who tend to take alot of damage usually have a self heal.

Overall, the system is amazing, though arguably broken. Controllers and Defenders are supposed to be support oriented, but frequently they get together to sodomize enemies by using insanely stacked buffs. For example, the closest thing to a priest in CoH is the Empathy Defender, which has a plethora of buffs, 3 heals, and a healthy dose of damage (the primary role is buffing, secondary role is damage). People from other MMOs frequently skip the attacks and play it as a pure healer. However, some of the most powerful super teams skip most of the heals and use only the buffs and attacks. Their dramatically improve each other's defense, and damage and recharge rates, and turn into tank mages whose only weakness is that on ocassion the mobs will get afew lucky hits and since they have squishy hit points they can go down pretty suddenly.

But the moral of the story is that an MMO without buff bots is possible and exists.

Thu Jul 31 2008 10:16AM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

 Thanks for the input, bpm195.


I had forgotten about CoX, and from what I have heard there are a lot of good lessons to be learned from it.  Amazing character customization for one.


That sounds very much along the lines of my original 'priestless' concept, where everyone has a little self-heal and ally-heal.  However, I had never considered tampering with the regeneration rates.

I'm glad to hear that there has been a class-based MMO without a healer in the past, and that it worked for that particular world.

Thu Jul 31 2008 10:38AM Report
Elemento writes:

That is the worst idea ever. I can't even offer any constructive criticism. I love healing. Take away dedicated healing, and I will stop playing WoW.

Thu Jul 31 2008 10:55AM Report
Elemento writes:

Okay that was harsh. It's an alright idea. But god no, please.

Thu Jul 31 2008 10:56AM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

Alright, here's my problem.  There are lots of people who love dedicated healing, but I don't.

Because of this I can't understand what people see as fun in this kind of  class, so please help me understand.  Here's the chance for that constructive criticism you mentioned.

What do you enjoy about it?  Why is it fun?  There has to be some reason why you are so in favor of healing as a class.


Help me understand.

Thu Jul 31 2008 11:05AM Report
Elemento writes:

1. It's a no-stress class. Unless you're a terrible healer, guild masters aren't going to give you crap about playing your class. In most cases if you show up consistently to raids, they are just thrilled to have a reliable healer who is keeping people alive. DPS on the other hand in a lot of guilds are committed to perform. If a DPS'er is falling last on the charts, a good GM is going to evaluate the member. If a healer is falling last on the charts, my experience is that for the most part it tends to be a non-issue. Or at least tends to be overlooked a lot more than DPS.

2. It's not tough to get into guilds. A dedicated healer with a good attitude and sub-par gear can go places. Good healers are more difficult to find than good DPS.

3. Healing is fun. Yes, this is opinion. But being responsible for keeping people alive on every fight, getting the messages and the praise when you pull off a clutch round of healing that other healers would have wiped on - these things are fun to a lot of people. It's a more interpersonal role than others.

Glory to me in an mmo is being able to accomplish something as a team. I have never felt more accomplishment in a video game then when I worked together with a group to down a really tough raid boss after hours of trying and wiping. That kind of fun is felt regardless of what role you're playing, imo.  

Thu Jul 31 2008 11:47AM Report
HumbleHobo writes:

 Thank you.  That makes much more sense to me.


MMOs continue to be the most complex and nuanced games out there.  And not because of what developers have done, but because of what players have made it.

Thu Jul 31 2008 11:55AM Report
Azmaria writes:

Alright, here's my input as a dedicated healer in every game I play.

Yes, that's right, every game.  Do you know why?  It's the only class the requires the level of skill that I find fun - that being high.  My primary game is Guild Wars - PvP based, high skill required, especially for healing.  It's also high stress - a team's sucess depends almost entirely on its healers. 

Elemento raised some pretty valid points (excepting the no-stress class.  It's the highest stress class IMO but that's what I thrive on), especially #s 2 and 3. 

@ #2: This is very very true.  So true that Elemento understated it.  Not only can you get into most any guild that you want by being a good healer with a good attitude, but you can get into most any group that you might want to.  In fact, almost every group starting up will be begging you to join it.  It's because the number of people that can actually heal is very low.

@#3: Hell. Yeah.  The sense of accomplishment that I get when my group over aggro's and we make it through without a death?  Unmatched by anything else in the game.  The feeling that the only reason that my group didn't wipe was because of me?  Again, can't be beat.

You are also typically not to blame when the group wipes.  It's most often because the puller or tank bit off more than the group could chew or wandering mobs aggro on you.  If the group wipes, then, well, no healer could be expected to heal 5 people who were all dieing at the same time and keep their mana where it should be.  You as a player might feel bad about it, but you won't get shit for it.  The only time that you as a healer will get criticism is from ignorant group members who've never played a healer -or- if you suck at healing and let people die in easy situations. 

Thu Jul 31 2008 4:37PM Report
vajuras writes:

Healers are bar none least playerd Class for most any MMO. And if they are not the absolute lowest Class its because for some reason it is viable in pvp. Most people that claim to like them really just like the attention and worship they get. Thats why I play a healer in some MMO- because its always needed

I liked the blog. My blog on Trinity was a little similar:

In my blog I was mainly griping about the viability of Clothies in the first place though

Thu Jul 31 2008 6:15PM Report writes:
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