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To Trinity or Not to Trinity?

Josh Hay Posted:
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I’m going to get this out now, I have never been a fan of the “Holy Trinity”. We have these set roles with set classes, so on and so forth. In most of the MMORPGs I have played, we have been forced into that trinity. What if we could have both? What if we could have that trinity but also that freedom? I believe Elder Scrolls Online does it pretty well. We have the trinity, but it’s not set in stone. We are not forced into roles. I talked about this a little in the previous column about the Dragonknight. Ever since I wrote that piece I wanted to expand on the freedom we have in this game.

I think a lot of people that play ESO enjoy the freedom that the game allows us to have. I can use any set of armor, any set of weapons. The only thing that is chosen for us in our skill trees when we choose our class. Some people find it a tradeoff, but I enjoy it. For some reason I don’t feel so lost and overwhelmed like I would if I had to choose everything individually. Although, Elder Scrolls Online does have the holy trinity, it’s not set in stone, which I am very happy about.

Why does that matter? I think for me at least it comes down to that freedom I talked about. There are certain games out there, that when you play a certain class you are expected to tank, heal or DPS. That expectation gets in the way a lot of the time and hinders the player experience in my opinion. The freedom that Elder Scrolls Online allows doesn’t hinder us at all. You still have those type of elitist who will say “Hey, you play X, you have to Y now” but it’s not that extensive as in other games.

For those of you who do play the game, do you still follow the “guidelines” of the trinity or do you do you own thing, like myself? Countless times have I played an MMORPG where I take a class and if I don’t choose a specific skill line or tree, I won’t be accepted in late-game antics. Has that ever happened to anyone else? If not, I just may be special.

We have the best of both worlds though. We have freedom to choose what we want or to follow the guidelines. You aren’t punished for choosing either side, which is good. The lack of punishment helps inexperienced players and older players as well. In my opinion there are very few ways to screw up a character in Elder Scrolls Online. We can reset and most builds do exceptionally well with the right player. Even the Warden is getting up there with patches.

Going back to my original point: I think it’s a wonderful thing that we can have both in a sense. I wish more games did this. Freedom to follow guidelines and freedom to do whatever we want. That leads to the question: Do we want more freedom? I think with how Elder Scrolls Online does their skill trees and classes it’s fair. Although, I do wish they would add more weapons. I think with new weapons we could see more added into the game – things like Scythes, Warhammers from other TES games. I know it would be a little more difficult to balance due to adding another skill line for those weapons. But more choices is always good right?

I will ask again: Do you all enjoy your freedom? Do you like or dislike The Trinity? I think it’s a debate that could go on for days about advantages and disadvantages but again I think we have it great with how Elder Scrolls Online handles the age-old argument. We have the Trinity, it’s just not set in stone. If there is anything you would change about how Elder Scrolls Online handles classes and skills, what would it be? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if you don’t already know: Update 17 drops February 12th! I am excited to share my thoughts with you about the patch post-launch! The patch notes have gotten me hyped and I am hoping it lives up to the anticipation. Cheers!


Josh Hay