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The List: Your Favorite MMO Roles?

By Michael Bitton on January 18, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Your Favorite MMO Roles?

DPS, DPS, DPS! Every time I decide to play an MMO with friends, just about everyone wants to play DPS. I think we’ve all been there. While there’s nothing wrong with playing DPS, I know many of you out there treat the ‘short straw’ of pulling tank or healer with the same excitement the DPS fiends do when they get to play their favorite classes. So let’s have a discussion about our favorite MMO roles. I’ll start!

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#4 Healer

Not to be confused with support, the pure healer isn’t something I tend to enjoy playing very much. It highly depends on the particular class I’m playing. Playing whack-a-mole with health bars isn’t super fun for me, especially in PvE.

However, in PvP, I do actually enjoy healing, mostly because I notice how much of a difference I tend to make. This isn’t specific to MMOs, but it’s surprising how frequently you can be in a PvP scenario in a shooter or MMO where everything seems to fall apart, only to switch to healer and realize how the big hole was simply the lack of healing. Pocket healing a dude wrecking face in PvP is fun, especially if you’re good at frustrating the players trying to stop you.

My favorite healer was the Archmage in Warhammer Online. Life-tap healing was always a nice balance between dealing some damage and helping out allies.

#3 DPS

When I was younger, this was definitely my number one role, especially in PvP.  I tend to be a patient, cunning player, so setting up strong flanking opportunities and taking out high priority targets (such as the aforementioned pesky healer) as a stealth DPS always appealed to me and it still does. I just tend to have more fun if the options for support or tank are robust enough.

I’m also not a huge fan of DPS in PvE. It’s fine in a group setting, but when soloing I hate feeling like a paper tiger. Like PvP, stealth DPS classes tend to get around this a bit by giving you a lot more control over the engagements you get into, but I just don’t get as much out of it as I used to. Even in games like SWTOR where you have companions that can heal or cover for you, I’d rather be up in the enemy’s face and have the companions back me up with DPS than have to hide behind them.

#2 Tank

This was a tough one for me. I really enjoy playing tanks nowadays. Most of the time, you can find one that does respectable enough damage where soloing isn’t painful (and, again, DPS companions in games like SWTOR help mask your own lower DPS), but I find tanking particularly rewarding in PvP.  Protecting key targets, disrupting enemies, leading a huge push into a key point, it’s all a load of fun feeling like you’re making an impact.

It’s not too bad in PvE, either. Games with companions let you get around the lower DPS and I don’t really mind not topping the leaderboards in a group PvE encounter, either. I’m more concerned with how fun the class is to play. I tend to find the skill sets of a lot of tank classes to be well rounded and fun and there’s nothing like staring down that big dragon and knowing you can take whatever he can throw at you. Tanks are often a decent mix of damage, crowd control, and durability and I tend to favor all of those things.

#1 Support

Ultimately, what I really like to do is support others. Whether I’m healing the team, tanking or disrupting enemies, or controlling the battlefield, feeling like I’ve made a huge impact is what really excites me. Classes that have tons of crowd control potential are the most satisfying.

City of Villains offered me the best of both worlds with the Dominator archetype. This archetype combined controlling powersets with damaging ones and featured a sort of Jekyll and Hyde mechanic called Domination. As you dealt damage in combat, your Domination bar would fill up and once at or above 90%, you could trigger Domination mode to amplify the potency of your controlling effects. This allowed for some great moments of being able to, well, dominate and lock down tons of enemies or even bosses all with a mix of neat damage powers to boot.

I never played DAoC, but I’ve heard the stories of mezzing tons of players at a time in RvR. I’m sure many of those of you who also place Support at #1 were the folks cackling maniacally as you pulled off such feats in games like DAoC.

What are your favorite MMO roles? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!

 
 
 
Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site''s Community Manager.