If there could be only one

If, from now on, you could only ever play ONE more holy trinity character type, what would it be? I’ve been asking myself that for a couple of days and I, sad altoholic that I am, can’t come up with a single answer. What I probably wouldn’t be, because I’ve had very little experience with it, is a tank, but I can’t decide between DPS and healing.

Just as well it’s not a question that’s likely to be relevant in games. If I had my total druthers, I’d make a healingnukingcantakealittledamage hybrid — lately I seem to be inching away from my snicker-snack DPS damage dealing preferences (though my dreams last night were full of Witch Elves and why they should be nerfed) and more towards healers.

That said, it’s not so much that I really love checking health Β bars and spamming heal spells, and I don’t get bigger jollies out of it the more people I have to do it for. What I love about healing is that it gives me a margin for error. I’m not a super player and I’m not superly geared out — nor do I care to be. Being able to slap a magical band-aid on myself fills those little non-leet gaps.

I suspect that when The Secret World is revealed, I’ll probably gravitate towards someone with bandaid-slapping skills. Or maybe someone with a big honkin’ katana. Or both.


One thing is pretty certain. If they look like the above, I certainly won’t be playing Illuminati anything. Seriously, will the fashion police come take that woman a-way?

41 thoughts on “If there could be only one

  1. In SWG, it was the healing that actually got me into the game. I didn’t care for the combat so much, but once I discovered the Doctor tree I was all set!

    In EQ2 my 1st character was intended to be an assassin. I got him to level 16 predator but deleted him. Then I made a dwarf priest, betrayed him to evil and intended to make him an inquisitor…. but I deleted him too. Blah blah blah and now out of 12 characters I have 5 healers, but the toon I play most is. . . . . utility. I mean, sure, my coercer can deal decent dps, but I’m there to keep the mobs from doing much of anything either. If I time things right and don’t get resisted (and the mob’s not control immune) I can stunlock a mob for over 30 seconds. That I can do damage while doing that and help my group’s power regen, buff the healer, provide dehate for the high-dps characters, buff the tank’s hate generation and transfer some of my hate to him too……

    I’m certainly no tank. I can’t heal. I do okay dps, but I’m not truly a dps class….. where do I fit in the trinity?

    FWIW, my 2nd most played toon is my warlock. Sometimes it is fun to simply blow $4!t up too.

    Of course my mains used to be my inquisitor and my fury, so I got a lot of healer play time in also. 5 healers (all except templar), 3 mages (warlock, necro, coercer), 2 scouts (dirge, brigand), 2 fighters (SK, Monk) . . . . I just don’t know what I’d pick. I like to tank, I like to heal, I like to do dps, and I like to be a utility person too.

    But… if I had to pick… I’d probably go with a healer… specifically my inquisitor.

  2. You mean you don’t think gasmask + BFG is going to be THE look of 2010? πŸ™‚

    I would probably pick healers because of the side benefits. Get groups easily, get groups even when undergeared, etc. Healing is OK but my first love is melee really.

    I really do love my warrior. Tank that can convert to melee dps? Two handed weapons? Platemail? Zombie? Sign me up!

  3. Ironically it’s a decision you won’t need to make in This Secret World.

    For me it would be healer. I’ve played games where you absolutely cannot get your stuff done if you can’t grab a group. Early EQ2 springs to mind. My dps characters all got abandoned about level 20 as you could only kill skeletons in Nektulos Forest while lfg for so long before you got bored enough to re-roll.

    1. Aye, but I suspect either people will make that kind of trinity decision (because we’re used to it), or the mechanics will lead to that kind of decision regardless of how many times we can switch or how free-form the mechanics appear to be (because developers are used to it too).

      I’m very hopeful that uniformity and cookie-cutterishness will be avoided with this classless system, but ultimately games need *some* kind of rigid structure of who does what and how they do it. That said, much of the perceived necessity may have to do with what we’re used to rather than with what’s actually possible in games these days.

      EQ2 is quite different these days. DPS classes are perfectly viable solo, though I’ll admit I’m not as good at playing them solo against ^^^ heroics as I could be. But some people are.

  4. It will use an enhanced Age of Conan engine. So maybe all questions which faction or class you will play might be shattered by the release version anyways, cough.

    Right now I seem to have a fancy for off-tank melee dps types.

    BUT, ACTUALLY, YOU ARE ALL WRONG. “The Secret World” is supposed to offer a new and unique system that is not another EverCrack derivate. A flexible skill system instead of a class system might help you create exactly the flavor you want.

    1. Yeah. As with promises on the campaign trail in politics, I tend to take MMO in development promises and claims with about 3 kilos (never mind a grain) of salt. What people WANT to do and what they end up able to do, or what they end up having the money to do, are very different things.

      Not that I’m a cynical bitch or that I don’t want this to be the case — quite the contrary. I would love for TSW to shatter the holy trinity bonds that bind us. I just don’t think they will. Experience so far leads me to believe it’ll possibly be presented differently while really working the same way if you look under the hood.

      I fervently hope to be proved wrong. πŸ˜€

      1. I’m expecting TSW to draw heavily on Anarchy Online’s skill based system. I don’t know if you ever played that game, but there were a set range of skills for all characters. As you levelled, you received points which you could put into any of the skills. Your profession gave bonuses to certain skills, and your race dictated what the skill cost to raise. So certain races were optimal for certain professions with certain skills. You could raise other skills, if you wanted, but it would cost a lot of points.

        As far as the effect on the holy trinity went, it made little difference. The skill weightings were so far in favour of one build or another, that the archetypes ended up all present and correct.

        I expect that TSW will combine this system with an expansion on WoW’s dual spec, so that any character can, at any given time, fulfil the roles laid out by the holy trinity, but that the effectiveness of that toon will be dictated by the skill points spent in a specific field. In reality, then, the 3 distinct types will persist, just that players will be able to choose which of them to fulfil at any given moment.

        Speculation, of course… and i could end up way off beam.

  5. Join the Illuminati.

    We may not have much fashion sense, but we have beer, cookies and hot wings.

    Jason (resident drunken idiot of Channel Massive)

  6. I’m not sure I could pick one. I’ve played meelee dps, ranged dps, healer, tank, bard style support, a soloist pet job, and classless.

    Probably a pet job, but for some odd reason MMO’s seem to always have difficulties with them. Pet jobs seem to aggregate at the bottom of the list.

  7. Melee dps is where its at however healing isnt as boring as I’d thought it would be after giving that a bash.

    Hmm my two favourite classes in any MMO are paladins and rogues…. just dont ask me to choose between them

  8. Ranged magic-based DPS hurling fire, lightning, ice and acid at my foes… in the vain attempt to kill them before they get close enough to cough on me! πŸ™‚

  9. Healing is fun, but I think I’d go tank. DPS gets pretty boring sometimes and tanking is usually pretty upbeat and the cornerstone of the holy trinity! Of the 3 classes in WoW, I’ve raided on all 3 and the healer was my favorite, followed closely by tanking. In EQ I tanked and DPSed and I preferred tanking.

    Is it bad I’m not really into the Secret World MMO?

  10. Why is the holy trinity so hard to kill? I don’t think it is actually, I think its just that no company is willing to make The Next Big Step. Usually the companies that do that are doing it for love of what they do rather than corporate direction. So I don’t think TSW will even scratch the holy trinity. If we want to find that MMO, we will need to look among the minor league companies out there. We will find them before they will find us, if that makes sense.

  11. As much as all this “Trinity” talk is related to EQ I appreciated the general felxibility of some of the classes. *sigh* before talents…. Clerics were healers, but were beefey and could take the heat. Druids could switch between damage and healing without pause. Rangers ended up being my favorite (NOT just because of the bows!!! -_- But hey, being amazing with a bow was fun too!) because I was a dual-wielding fiend, could step back and shoot with the bow, with a few AA’s in the right place I could fill in for the tank for a little while, and eventually I got a heal that mad me good enough to spot heal. Your class was your class and that meant a lot of different things. WoW’s classes I consider to be as important as your race. What you do at the end is COMPLETELY driven by your talents. A dps paladin and a healing paladin are really two entirely different entities (and… surprise! they get two entirely different sets of gear!).

    Sorry I got sidetracked there. It’s just so hard to choose πŸ™ I like not having to! (Playing a Captain in LOTRO is another mix of every class… I’m addicted to versatility, what can I say?) I would have to pick… DPS. This is a really unfair question for me though, since I have never really had to pick! I just love being the backup.

    Never am I more excited than when the healer goes down (I don’t try to kill my healers, I enjoy saving the healer enough to not NEED them to die :P) and I get to take over healing the group. Right next to that is having the tank go down and trying to save everyone by taunting like a madman. I also enjoy sacrificing myself to let the group get away, it’s just what I love to do! πŸ˜€

    So I picked DPS because that would put me in a position to use the “hybrid” abilities that I would demand I have. Cheating probably- but I don’t care πŸ˜›

  12. HarbingerZero: “Why is the holy trinity so hard to kill?”

    The current system works because of the hitpoints-war combat system. The tank absorbs hp-loss for the group while the healer restores hp-lost from the group (ideally from the tank :D) and all the while the dps have been reducing the enemies hp.

    Until you break free from that system of damage and hp I don’t think you can quite free yourself from the Holy Trinity.

  13. I recall EQ1 pushing 4 main class types needed to play; Tank, Healer, DPS, Crowd Control? Didn’t WoW start the Holy Trinity thing when they scrapped the CC class and gave their abilities to everyone else?

    In regards to your question i would choose DPS –if healingnukingcantakealittledamage hybrid is unavailable that is. No one ever blames the DPS.

    Also I got Illuminati on that test. Am I hosed?

    1. Nah, Holy Trinity was around in EQ. If you didn’t have a CC class you just offtanked them, but you still needed a tank, healer and dps.

      I think you’ll always need those types of roles, but the classes that accomplish that can be changed around. We had an example in our game of a rogue tanking a dragon by being completely annoying, flipping around from claw to claw, up his back, jumping on his head, etc because he had super high dexterity. As long as you have the mob’s attention, you’re tanking it.

      The healing was also done differently as we had no pure healing class. What we had were basically a set of hospitalers that you hired and strategically set up around the area of a boss fight. Then when someone had too much damage they’d run to the closest hospitaler and get healed. If someone died you’d have to protect the hospitaler as he ran into battle and rezzed him.

      This meant that damage itself would be a bit lighter than most MMOs, but more strategy was required in the fight and the actual fight could be more of an event.

      1. I’d say that the Holy Trinity was a lot less pronounced in EQ1 though. There was no defense rating that made your tank the only person that could take damage- Cleric gets some aggro and it’s not a wipe. Like I said above there were also classes that could switch seamlessly between roles- like the druid. Switching from dps to healer required no new set of gear, no respec, nothing.

        So yes there was The Trinity, but WoW’s talent system really piledrives you into a role, unlike EQ1- which just defined your classes capabilities and let you do what you wanted with them. Granted there were some classes that could only dps, but there were more than a few that could fulfill multiple roles. WoW’s version of versaitility is severely hampered by the need to reselect talents and acquire new gear to be any good at anything else.

        I also think that Sven has a good point in that there was that fourth CC role which has simply DISAPPEARED. The enchanter was actually one of my favorite classes to group with. Debuffing, buffing, and keeping mobs mezzed was an art- and added an extremely powerful fourth dimension into the typical trinity situation. No, it wasn’t necessary- but at least there was break from Trinity Monotony. With a good debuffer Ranger tanks were made even more possible, making the group more versatile.

        Oh, and the puller could technically be considered another role, because good chain and feign death pulls were as important as anything in a full group.

        WoW has no CC/Pulling ever optional so instead of EQ1’s Trinity+2 option it’s just straight up Trinity. I like some sprinkles with my vanilla thank you.

      2. Ah, I miss the long lost arts of pulling and CCs. Enchanters were awesome when people playing them to their fullest and being a Shadowknight myself, my duties of Tanking, OTing, DPSing and Pulling were all very fun. I see what you mean, but the roles will always exist. WoW does pigeonhole you though, or make it so your class chooses any 1 of the 3 roles at once.

        CC is laughable anymore with linked groups and leashing. Sometimes I really miss EQ, until I look and see what they’ve done to it πŸ™

      3. As Wiqd says, CC and pulling have become lost arts, especially in WoW. Basic tactics now appear to be tank pulls the mob, the DPS go AoE crazy on the trash and the healer has mild heart failure trying to keep every one up.

        There seems to be no finesse any more with regards to using CC. Why not keep a mob or two locked down for the duration of a pull? Have we really been driven to such short attention spans that the use of CC is considered a “poor man’s” option or that the Trinity can’t handle everything at once?

      4. I never played WoW at a particularly high level, but your comment, @manamar, made me wonder — is CC becoming a lost art because of the increasing prevalence of AoE abilities? AoE and CC don’t work well together, and making them play nice involves another layer of strategy.

        Alternately, it seems that high level encounters have become more about being able to soak up massive amounts of damage and less about controlling what’s coming at you and when. How the tank is geared >>> who can CC and how well.

        I dunno. I’m not leet enough to have any empirical experience of it. Mort and I use CC quite a lot when we duo, even if it’s just rooting stuff to keep it out of the way, but duo /= raiding.

      5. Ysh, I would argue that in WoW combat happens so quickly that CC is made useless just because of the pace of the fights. It’s just more efficient to spend your time killing than t o CC. At best you’ll CC a trash mob for 20 seconds before you’re ready to kill it, and in general the impact that single CC has on a fight will not have been that great. Even healing/casting mobs are not that dangerous at the cap in WoW just because of the sheer amount of damage that players are able to inflict. If you want the thing to die then it dies- and fast.

        Tanks are built to take it all at once and healers geared to heal it all at once (with a little bit of spasm skills sometimes) so CC just isn’t important. And even if CC WAS important the usefulness of each classes CC is totally gimped in comparison to the enchanter in EQ1. Every class gets a different set of mobs that they can CC, priests can CC undead and demons, druids can CC beasts and dragonkin, I think warlocks can banish demons, and the Mage gets probably the most versatile CC with the general “Humanoids.” Oh and each class that has CC can only keep one guy out of the fight at a time, and that’s with a recast at least every 30 seconds.

        So… assuming that you have the right class to do the appropriate CC you can take a single mob out of mostly 4-mob fights, but if your tank can deal with 3 mobs she can probably deal with that 4th as well. And where would blizzard be if they designed the game to NEED CC in some parts!? That has all sorts of ramifications from needing specific classes to do an instance to forcing players of one class to change their role to something they didn’t sign up for (holy priests tanking bosses anyone?). The most frightening implication might be a CC class that would become the fourth prong of the “Holy Trinity” and then suddenly you need only 2/3rds of the dps for every fight, and we all know that there’s such a huge shortage of dps already… O.o

        I’m not doomsaying, just musing- I should really just start my own blog back up again ><

      6. Ysh, AoE and CC can work great together, but you are assuming certain qualities to CC that does not have to be there. Some games are just a bit limited in that area.

        Look at CC in CoX – some types of CC works quite well with AoE, some less so. You have at least 6 different types of CC abilities there, without including tank taunts in the mix.

      7. @Sente — true, I was tacitly assuming damage-breaks-me type crowd control like sheeping in WoW or the various mezzes and stuff in other games. There are many more forms of crowd control than that — but as far as that one goes, damage-breaks-me CC doesn’t mix well with AoE-damage type abilities. πŸ˜€

  14. If there is a hybrid ala a Shaman, that may be the ticket! In EQ1 they were pretty pow and in WoW they are pretty darn versatile.

    My personal choice is ranged DPS because you get to see more of the game. If you are a healer, you are so affixed to the health bars, you dont get to see whats happening around you. As ranged DPS, you get to see more of the picture and your main goal is to ride the aggro line.

    It sounds kinda boring really but we made a mini game in EQ1. Basically you would try to get summoned by the boss mob and not get killed. You could not be healed. You got bonus props if you got summoned and not hit.

    Plus, playing DPS is a lot less stressful from my perspective.

  15. Hmm tough call. I like versatile classes, I’d play anything like Lotro’s Captain or WAR’s Warrior Priest.

    If I’m limited to choose among an archetype it would be a tank.

    Now, for this game I like the Templars, I’ll be probably joining their ranks πŸ™‚

  16. Ooh, the Templars sound cool! I’ve always loved the religious fanatics in MMOs. Amarr in EVE, and everyone in Shadowbane that belonged to the Temple of the Cleansing Flame.

  17. *IF* I were stuck in a trinity role, it would be DPS. For me, that’s more soloable, which is the key to my choice.

    Of course, I’d be happy getting rid of the trinity and doing something completely different and all crazy hybridish, but you know that by now. πŸ™‚

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