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Aldemarran

Aldemarran

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PostSubject: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2011 5:06 am

I've had this theory that's been building in the back of my head for a few months now. I was replying to a thread in the SW:TOR forum and got to articulating it. I thought I'd invite your comments while I have it written up.

For your reference here's the original thread (with a comment by someone who actually played at PAX on page 2):
Click here for the other thread I posted in.

My current working theory on group roles in this game is that there will be 2 hybrid slots in each group, as follows:

  1. Tank Specced Tank
  2. Heal Specced Healer
  3. DPS Specced Off-Tank (Tanking Hybrid)
  4. DPS Specced Off-Healer (Healing Hybrid)


I still expect to see fights where DPS sticks to DPSing, but the pattern from what I've seen so far is that there will be plenty of flexibility demanded of DPS. I wonder if this will lead to DPS being the more difficult role to play with an attendant shift in player AC choices?

A few things that lead me to this highly presumptive belief:

  • In every developer release gameplay video I've watched they've talked about having a healer each for both the tank and the off-tank.
  • Even when they weren't specifically mentioning a designated off-healer, the DPS was called out as doing well when they dropped a heal to cover for the main healer.
  • This also means that at least some DPS specs have in-combat heals available to them.
  • You cannot make a well-paced game with no DPS specs. For one thing, it slows gameplay too much. For another thing, you tend to get overrun with adds that aren't getting killed off quickly enough.
  • Since DPS is clearly the most popular spec in current MMOs, it would not make sense to make a "DPSless" game, or even a 3 to 1 ratio against DPS.
  • Every class has at least one AC that can Tank or Heal. Trooper and Bounty Hunter have to choose between ACs capable of healing or tanking.
  • Per faction, there are 3 healing ACs and 2 tanking ACs, but only 3 "pure DPS" ACs. This means there are 5 support ACs but only 3 DPS ACs per faction. This seems to indicate a bias towards nearly everyone participating in support roles.
  • It does make a sort of sense to spread the "support roles" (tanking & healing) across the entire group as this will lead to almost all players learning something about support. This may be Bioware's devious plan to help reduce the imbalance between support and DPS roles.


Nothing actually proves my theory, so its just a theory. But all these things taken together suggest the theory (to me anyway). What do you think?

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Grome
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Grome

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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2011 2:18 pm

I counted 5 DPS ACs, 1,5 Tank ACs, 1,5 Heal ACs.

sort of.

ACs themselves can split up into different roles, hence the weird numbers. If I count all possible roles this here are the numbers for me:
6 DPS, 2 Tank, 3 Healer

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Kai-Sun
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Kai-Sun

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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2011 5:08 pm

For ease of viewing, class breakdown is currently thus,

Guardian - Tank/DPS | Juggernaut - Tank/DPS

Sentinel - DPS/DPS | Marauder - DPS/DPS

Vanguard - Tank/DPS | Powertech - Tank/DPS

Commando - DPS/Healing | Mercenary - DPS/Healing

Scoundrel - Healing/DPS | Operative - Healing/DPS

Gunslinger - DPS/DPS | Sniper - DPS/DPS

Shadow - DPS/DPS | Assassin - DPS/DPS

Sage - DPS/Healing | Sorcerer - DPS/Healing

So, per faction it's as Ald said, 3 pure DPS AC's, Two that have tanking abilities, and Three that can split into healing.

I wouldn't say playing DPS is going to play harder, but they do seem to really be leaning towards either being able to mix up what's actually going on during a run, and add a bit of flexibility in there based on group make up, since almost every AC set up is able to multitask to a point.
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Grome
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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2011 5:28 pm

I suppose it will be more interesting. There seems to be a lot more hybrids.

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Godric_Barbarosa

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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2011 12:52 am

I'm kind of interested in how they are going to break up the Sentinel, Marauder, Shadow, and Assassin. I don't know that it has been confirmed that none have any non-dps path.
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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2011 1:01 am

Godric_Barbarosa wrote:
I'm kind of interested in how they are going to break up the Sentinel, Marauder, Shadow, and Assassin. I don't know that it has been confirmed that none have any non-dps path.

It's *mostly* safe to assume, with a really high success margin, that they have double DPS.

A third healer was only recently announced, and we know it's going to the Commando/Mercenary. We know there are only two tanks currently, and the will not double up on tanking in one class.

That said, I'm really interested as well to see how each "pure" dps AC is going to work, we have next to no real info about them, compared to most of the others.
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Godric_Barbarosa

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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2011 11:48 am

That may be so, Kai, but they still need to show how those AC can accommodate different playstyles. They have said all AC accommodate different playstyle.
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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2011 12:10 pm

True, but it's not going to break the role of DPS in favor of healing or tanking, or I feel they'd have said something, game is still being developed, and announcing a new healing class was a pretty big thing.

How they achieve that dps, or different aspects of utility come to mind.

Burst vs Sustained, Damage Over Time or More Direct, Buffs, tons of ways and mechanics to separate them, stuns/CC, etc.

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Aldemarran

Aldemarran

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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2011 12:32 pm

I'll fly off the handle here with wild speculation and say that the two most basic forms of DPS are Burst and Sustained. Therefore I would expect a "Pure DPS" AC to have a tree for each of those types of DPS. I know that Bioware has mentioned both types of DPS as well, so it seems a reasonable assumption that they think in these terms.

[Side-Track]
If memory serves the healing AC of Agents gets a tree for burst DPS. What actually interests me though, is how well a healer in full "Presence gear" can solo. They've stated that Presence is the primary stat for healing AND the stat that controls how effective your companions are.

My perspective on this was that I leveled a Discipline Priest with a Protection Warrior through the Burning Crusade xpack in WoW. What we noticed routinely was that solo DPS specs could kill a single target as quickly as the two of us could together. Of course we had the option of taking on a pair of higher level elites and surviving, but that took just about all afternoon... Very Happy

Back before they removed companions from Flashpoints this was the thing I was most looking forward to as a healer. Being able to contribute the most through my companion while in full-on healing gear. /disappointment At least I can still hope to be able to level effectively in a true healing spec. I'm certainly going to give it a try.
[/Side-Track]

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azarhal

azarhal

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PostSubject: Re: Group Role Distribution Thoughts   Group Role Distribution Thoughts I_icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2011 2:11 pm

hmm.

We are lacking "tanks" build and from the look of the flashpoint, we will require tank build. Which mean some of those DSP/DSP are actually more tankish than we think.

Otherwise the game will be filled by "Looking for Vanguard/Guardian tank build only". I'm pretty sure BioWare said they didn't want that, maybe they forgot...

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