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Aldemarran

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PostSubject: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 1:47 am

Ok, with recent discussions and disappointments regarding changes to SW:TOR's game theory, I thought I'd post a few of my own thoughts on the problems Bioware is encountering. But I didn't want to derail the other thread further, so I'm creating this one.

I too am disappointed that the Trinity has hardened. I love the idea of a soft-Trinity.

Soft Trinity Theory:
The basic idea is that everyone contributes to multiple roles. Eventually this loosens the need for having specific classes and specs in every group. However it increases the demands on each player to know multiple roles, and worse, to be able to recognize when to apply which role.

Everyone is required to know all basic roles they are capable of and supply them at the correct moment. Anyone can wipe the raid on almost any encounter by making a simple mistake. As encounters progress to higher levels of difficulty all players must keep up.

Hard Trinity Theory:
The encounters are designed around DPS being pretty simple. Tanking is designed to be very aggressive and pro-active, which leads to Tanks being played by leader-type personalities. Reactive type players favor the Healer who, instead of pre-planning every action, constantly observes and adapts to changing situations.

Shifting into larger groups allows for most of the positions to be played by people who aren't playing perfectly. Challenge is provided for the minority who fill the Healer/Tank positions because they cannot make a mistake without killing the entire raid. Note that one of the hardest fights in the first raid encounter for WoW: Burning Crusade was the Shade of Aran precisely because ANYONE could pretty much wipe the raid until after the raid over-geared the encounter. It was such an issue that someone created a chant to impress on people the importance of staying still.

At the advanced levels more demand is put onto the DPS. Quite often this is where groups start to fall apart. I personally have watched people who were simply unwilling to step up to the performance level required to succeed at higher difficulties. Such is their prerogative, so long as they understand the limitation it puts on them (and don't blame me for being "hardcore" in telling them what is necessary to succeed).

People Theory:
The basic problem with gamers is that they are lazy. Even the elitists are lazy. They are just more impatient than lazy Laughing Nonetheless there is a group amongst gamers who like challenges, and another group that are willing to push themselves for various reasons. Complicating the problem further is that people don't feel rewarded if they don't have to work at obtaining the reward. These things are part of what causes the current zeigeist of wanting more for less, but still wanting more challenge.

In short, people want the soft-trinity intellectually, but don't want to deal with it in practice. You get the rah-rah talk going during development, but once you get to beta testing people shy away from it. Usually they point to this or that as the problem, without understanding that "this or that" is necessary to having a soft-Trinity.

You know what's wrong with society today? Its full of people. Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 4:37 am

I understand this. It's really not a surprise people have told Bioware to step on the innovation break (this is what I expect happened... testers being unfamiliar and unhappy with the role they were supposed to play).

We always look and hope for something we can predict, if not consciously then unconsciously. Therefore, when you actually get to the action it's hard to say you actually like unpredictability because deep down you don't, and none of us does.

It takes immense guts to take it past all those people you hear saying, this is not what I am looking for, even more so if you are working on the biggest project the gaming industry has ever spit out, with EA expectations in your back. The fear creeps everywhere, also at Bioware.

Basically, it's a sad reality that you won't find yourself seeing revolutionary changes by any studio that is actually able to make them count, and indie studios just can't bring up the resources to put them in a game that attracts masses.

What you're also gonna have to consider is that what really counts for an MMO more than any other game type is that it is successful. You're gonna put a lot into it, there is really no incentive to have any risk in even the slightest area if you can avoid it, from a business perspective.

The days of big games making big revolutions are over. Even if unexpected changes were they way to make a game the new unsung hero amongst games, no one will take their chances. Because if it fails, you're fucked.

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Aldemarran

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 4:51 am

Though I still say that Secret World could prove us both wrong... if they ever finish it. It may be SO different that people toss their expectations out the window and actually let it be itself.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 5:29 am

To be perfectly honest I do not mind the trinity, without it there would be chaos in terms of balance, and allowing people to fit any role with their preferred class (soft trinity) just opens the door for a lot of potentially frustrating gameplay moments that would boil down to finger-pointing, which is a shame because that would be a really fun and challenging system that does not necessarily require you to stare at the ui the whole encounter.

In my opinion, MMORPGs dont really have a good gameplay, the way I see them its like a really fancy chat room, I am ok with that because I believe even the simplest activity can be highly entertaining if shared with a fun group of people.

Secret World does look promising, but whenever I want to be entertained by gameplay then I will probably stick to some single player game, like Skyrim or whatever is nice at the moment.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 1:33 pm

I don't think the problem is that people are lazy, especially not gamers. We are willing to spend hours playing a game, researching strategies, and create and pore over spreadsheets. We hate the status quo but what we hate more is uncertainty. That why we researchers strategies and create and pore over spreadsheets (that and we hate to fail). Any innovation introduces uncertainty to which we are naturally adverse.

This aversion to uncertainty (and to failure) is even more pronounced in large publicly traded companies. While game designers may be willing to innovate executives and shareholders don't want uncertainty and the possibility of failure when their money and jobs are at risk.

At first it seemed like Bioware was willing to innovate and EA when they came on board was willing to let them. However, when testers were faced with an unfamiliar innovation they felt uncertainty and complained. This inturn lead to executives feeling uncertainty and fear of failure and wanted to fall back on the status quo.

I haven't seen much about the Secret World and, honestly, what I have seen hasn't impressed me much. Last time I looked there wasn't a lot of info out there and no gameplay footage just a CGI trailer. Their idea of no classes and no levels was intriguing but I fear it will just lead to a lack of diversity when someone finds that best build. My impressions may be wrong and I will look into the game some more.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 2:51 pm

Edit: This was written before the new blog on Advanced Classes and I didn't edit it...

Dresgar! You play MMO to use a chat room? Wink

Back to the subject of the thread and good call Ald, I wanted to make one last night, but I was busy.

Companions were supposed to be made so players didn't have to managed them if they didn't want to. Player laziness have nothing to do with their "removal" (if that part worked correctly). The companions (hirelings/henchmen...my friend call them helpers) work in DDO (they can't be in raids) and Guild Wars for years now, in both games they take group slots (how TOR is now). I suspect that removing the Companions as addition was, because of balancing and A.I. issues.

Also, I don't think that people ask for the hard trinity in TOR testing. In fact, I believe the exact opposite is happening: people are actually complaining about it (probably not with "The Trinity sucks"). That's why they had to rework the class disciplines and made the classes more and more hybrids: Guardian is now Tanking/DPS. Commando is now DPS/Healing. I'm ready to bet that all the X/X AC were turned into X/something else by now or soon (one of the reason for the delay).

The original design was (at least in their presentation)::
Knight= Tank/DPS,
Trooper= Tank/DPS,
Smuggler= DPS/Healer,
Consular= DPS/Healer.

Now we have (from what I gathered):
Knight= Tank/DPS/DPS/?,
Trooper= Tank/DPS/DPS/Healer,
Smuggler= ?/DPS/DPS/Healer,
Consular= ?/DPS/DPS/Healer.

From what the devs have been saying they want all DPS to be competitive with each others, all Healers to be competitive with each others, etc. The ? was another DPS discipline in the original version (sometimes with a bit of buffing/debuffing or CC). I suspect they were changed, considering what happened to the Commando. It also make a nice pattern. Wink

Now to the causes of their problems.

They designed encounters as tank&spank, because they believe that players are too stupid to adapt to something different. See different entries by Damion Schubert and other BioWare dev, as proof. When you have tank&spank encounters, you need tank and healers. Which is problem #2: the playstyle cater to a really small minority. And no I don't believe they have anything different then tank&spank despite what they claims. Otherwise they would have shown them (you know, because people like shiny new things and it build hype).

So here come BioWare "fix" for problem #2: more tanking and healing classes. You know, because more of the same mean that more people will play them and not spread out the people who were going to play those roles in the first place. At the start they were supposed to have different playstyles, but from what we have seen of the various videos, they don't. Tanks are stand in front of the big mob at different range and use you threat generating skills and Healers are stand in the back and use your single player healing skill(s). DPS deal DPS.

This was their 3rd mistake: The problem why people don't play these roles isn't the role itself, it's the generic stationary playstyles and lack of "action". It's all in the presentation and how they play, not the role they do.

Conclusion, BioWare didn't have any vision of what their combat/class system should have been at the start. In fact, the classes looked a lot more interesting in 2009 than they do now. At some point, I believed that the Scoundrel was going to be a stealth melee range healer, something new with a lot of interesting possibility, but no, the healing spec is all about standing in the back spamming heals. The exact same thing the Consular is doing. It also appear that healing doesn't generate threat, which mean healer is safe as long as he doesn't attack anything...

Sometimes, I think they should have gone: Knight=tank, Trooper=offtank/DPS, Smuggler=DPS and Consular=Buff/healer. Would have been much more simpler and a lot less confusing for the players. Now we will have Build Wars in TOR, which is the surest way of having a really crappy community: bullies, point fingers, elitist jerks, etc. From reading some of the Damion's comments, he consider this normal and actually want to encourage the behavior. See Jedi wearing Trooper armor is crap and you shouldn't let him in your group comment. It's his job of making sure a player doesn't wear crap or that his build is still competitive.

My liking of Damion dropped a lot since 2009 and my apprehension for the game only increased.

Also, I still don't get why BioWare can't have difficulty level in their flashpoints and instanced content to support various group setup and size. DDO does it, taking into account number of players, number of hirelings and the classes present in the balancing...

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 4:02 pm

azarhal wrote:

This was their 3rd mistake: The problem why people don't play these roles isn't the role itself, it's the generic stationary playstyles and lack of "action". It's all in the presentation and how they play, not the role they do.

I agree here, I was really disappointed with the combat coming out of pax east it really did seem to be stand there and trade blows. People may say "oh that was just bad players," but when a trooper can just tank by shooting a mob that is in his face there is no incentive to move around.

I like what the GW2 developers said about the trinity, which was basically "We don't have the trinity because our encounter design didn't allow for the trinity." I don't think changing around class design is the way to change the trinity. You have to change the encounter design. We will have to see how well GW2 pulls this off and whether TSW even attempts it.

Speaking of TSW, now that I have seen more of it all I have to say is "Great now I have a third MMO to be released in the indeterminate future to follow." My only concerns with TSW right now are 1) the graphics seem subpar compared to TOR and GW2 This is a minor issue because I do think the graphics are good enough to make it worth playing. 2) I like the story with choices and consequences aspect of TOR and GW2 and have yet to see if TSW will have any of this. 3) Will PvP be loot based (like TOR) or skill based (like GW2). Finally 4) Is the combat truly dynamic or is it still Tank & Spank. Again they have no classes but Tank & Spank is based on encounter design not class design.

Sorry, about highjacking this thread with TSW stuff. Maybe we need another grome-kick.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 8:29 pm

azarhal wrote:
Dresgar! You play MMO to use a chat room? Wink

Haha not exactly what I meant! I tried to state that MMORPGs are mostly a social activity.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 9:36 pm

Pretty much all questions about TSW can be answered here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk57oisDDJ0&feature=related
(Warning: 30 minute video)
_____________________

Otherwise, from my experience, the reasons people don't play the tanks and healers in groups/raids is usually because fo the following two essential reasons:

1. You're in the spotlight as soon as something goes wrong, whether it was your fault or not; and
2. To be GOOD at it, you need to be much much better than your average player. Most players are not up to that challenge.

I don't think it's laziness per se, though that plays a part. I think it's more along the lines of you pretty much have to be getting it right straight out of the gate, because people don't have the patience to teach / deal with bad tanks/healers. Bad DPS gets lol'd at a little, but a bad T or H gets the boot and a bad rep super quick.

Regarding Companions & grouping...:
4 classes per side with a possible 12 permutations, and another possible 16+? companions with another possible 64? permutations... can you imagine the impossibility of balancing every possible combination?
I knew when they said 4+4CC that they'd bitten off more than they could chew, and time only proved me right.

The theory is sound, but in practice, it's just not realistic. At least, not in the time they have left to launch.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeFri Apr 08, 2011 11:55 pm

What's 64 there?

Anyhoo, yeah, bad dps just doesn't get noticed as easily as bad heal or tanking because it's not directly noticeable.

I still think it can be just as hard to be a very good DD.

Personally, I like doing the healing role, but I'm just in love with damage dealing. Tanking I've never tried, but I think I could enjoy that as well, but that means I'm not a DD/healer. This is a true dilemma. Gotta figure this out somehow.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 12:07 am

Godric_Barbarosa wrote:
I don't think the problem is that people are lazy, especially not gamers. We are willing to spend hours playing a game, researching strategies, and create and pore over spreadsheets. We hate the status quo but what we hate more is uncertainty. That why we researchers strategies and create and pore over spreadsheets (that and we hate to fail). Any innovation introduces uncertainty to which we are naturally adverse...

Unfortunately in my experience this description, while representative of you and me, does not represent the majority. Many of the "bad players" I encountered in WoW were not bad players, but afraid of putting effort into their gameplay. When I met them they were self-admittedly clueless about specs, and just did "whatever". Once I did all the research work to understand how to play their class, and did most of the work of communicating it to them, they got rather proficient and found themselves much happier playing their toons.

Does this make my theory absolute gospel? No. Does it make it my theory mine because it is rooted in my experience? Yeppers. In fact you may be right, I'm pretty sure your experience has created your own theory. It will be interesting to see how things play out. I'm certain that some fall into the pattern you describe and I shall keep that in mind as I read opinions and interact with people.

The lesson I took away from the experience was not "gamers are lazy / evil / other pejorative" but rather that to get people involved in playing the game they paid for I had to be very clever about how I presented my recommendations. For example: "What is your playstyle?... If I could show you how to adjust your spec to better support your playstyle would you try it?"

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 2:07 am

Grome wrote:
What's 64 there?

Anyhoo, yeah, bad dps just doesn't get noticed as easily as bad heal or tanking because it's not directly noticeable.

I still think it can be just as hard to be a very good DD.

Personally, I like doing the healing role, but I'm just in love with damage dealing. Tanking I've never tried, but I think I could enjoy that as well, but that means I'm not a DD/healer. This is a true dilemma. Gotta figure this out somehow.

64 combinations of "companion + player" to balance in group... I think.

Yep, DD can be hard and it go unnoticed. A lot of healer/tank failure can be attributed to dps not being at the right place doing the right thing. Like you know, when they pull too much aggro and die, then they blame the healer and tank for it...

I don't like healing, I usually find it too "remote" and static. I love tanking and CC, which is why I'm thinking of a Shadow Tank now. I also like DD, but sometimes it get old fast.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 11:27 am

The 64? represents the number of possible companion/specs possible.
Melee companion, ranged companion, healer companion, tank-assist companion.
4 specs times 4 slots times 4 possible companions per character.

The numbers of possible combinations is a lot higher. While it might seem inflated (pretty unlikely you'd get 4 tanks and 4 healer companions, for example), they do need to allow for all eventualities and possibilities.
_______________

I tanked in WoW as a druid in BC, and as a paladin in LK. Loved both.
But then, I was also running the raids. I guess that makes me a Type A personality lol.

I also healed as a priest for both, spec'd holy. Healing had its moments, but I didn't like it as much because it takes you out of the group, both in the game and socially. "Too Remote" was a good way of putting it.

I eventually moved to dps in both BC and LK; for BC it was cat form and for LK I played a mage.
I've gotta say, I much preferred the ranged nuking to the melee experience.
*pondering....*
Yep, still don't miss WoW.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 1:03 pm

I enjoy all three roles. I think this is in part because I hate doing the same thing over and over again. Maybe that's why I'm a love hybrids. Or maybe thats why I'm an alt-a-holic. I have healed and dps'ed in Raids. I've never tanked in Raids but I did level a Druid in Vanilla WoW. But that was back in the day of if you were a druid you were only allowed to heal in Raids. Luckily I had previously leveled a priest so I knew how to heal.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 2:16 pm

Velaxi wrote:
The 64? represents the number of possible companion/specs possible.
Melee companion, ranged companion, healer companion, tank-assist companion.
4 specs times 4 slots times 4 possible companions per character.

The numbers of possible combinations is a lot higher. While it might seem inflated (pretty unlikely you'd get 4 tanks and 4 healer companions, for example), they do need to allow for all eventualities and possibilities.
I'm not sure every companion you have is gonna be able to perform every role. In fact, I'm pretty sure that is not the case.
Furthermore, Bioware wouldn't really have to prepare for any scenario, just make it viable for the logical part of the combinations (you said it, remove every combo with more than 2 tanks, etc). In the end Bioware just have to provide something you need to achieve and you have to find a combination that fits (It's not just about the companions but also about the player roles of course). Being able to interchange companions helps in this case, but the problem is to pretty much HAVE to take your companion, because you'd be at a disadvantage otherwise. That's what could have caused the problem?

-

It's true DD's can be boring to play at times but that is more likely the case because of either class or encounter design. Unfortunately it has been made a habit.

It's true that, while I like healing, I feel less connected with the fight. I guess that has something to do with the fact that personally I have pretty much nothing to do with the enemy at most times.

With ranged tanks I might definitely finally give that role a try. With DPS, I liked range better as well (played Rogue and Mage in WoW), at least in PvE.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 3:04 pm

I've played 2 specs of Rogue, 3 specs of Priest, 3 specs of Shaman in raids in WoW. I've played 2 specs of Death Knight in heroics.

Melee DPS is fun, but can be frustrating on some fights.

Ranged DPS is ok. It is my preferred role when leading raids because it gives me the most time and the best position to see what the team is doing.

Healing is interesting, and something I'm reasonably good at. I don't necessarily prefer it due to the inability to watch the fight. (Love watching boss specials!) Being in high demand is definitely nice. Though WoW has hit the point where I can queue as a healer and wait 15+ minutes.

Tanking is something I haven't done well at, partly because it is hard to break into being the most gear dependent role. Given they are keeping the trinity this is something I hope they find a way to soften.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 3:38 pm

Grome wrote:
With ranged tanks I might definitely finally give that role a try. With DPS, I liked range better as well (played Rogue and Mage in WoW), at least in PvE.

I too WAS interested in range tanking until I saw the Taral videos. I thought a ranged tank would have to and would have a way to keep the target at range. If you can range tank by standing with a BBEG in your face shooting him then they shouldn't call it ranged tanking.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 3:57 pm

Grome wrote:
It's true that, while I like healing, I feel less connected with the fight. I guess that has something to do with the fact that personally I have pretty much nothing to do with the enemy at most times.

That's why melee AOE healing while attacking is the best. They should give it to the Sentinel.

Sentinel attack creature, generate a +10 HP to every friendly that is attacking that creature. No targeting of friendly required, you are part of the fight and you heal people. I actually once saw a class like that, but I can't remember in which game (Age of Conan maybe?)


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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 4:04 pm

Aldemarran wrote:
<snip>
Ranged DPS is ok. It is my preferred role when leading raids because it gives me the most time and the best position to see what the team is doing.
</snip>
This is why I eventually moved to RDPS as well. Running raids while tanking bosses that take up your whole screen started getting annoying.

P.S.: I also played every class (except Shaman, which I stopped at lvl 24) on multiple specs at end-game in WoW.
I did it for educational purposes: when I asked someone (say, huntards) to do something and they said it wasn't possible or viable, I knew they were lying since I'd played that class/spec myself. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 6:01 pm

I never had THAT much time, though I did level 2 priests, one horde, one alliance. Its the best class for me, what can I say?

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 8:02 pm

I was never the guy that knew about all classes but the guy that knew a lot about his class.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 9:45 pm

Aldemarran wrote:

Tanking is something I haven't done well at, partly because it is hard to break into being the most gear dependent role. Given they are keeping the trinity this is something I hope they find a way to soften.

I'd say part of that is also the environment you're in.

If you've got an awesome guild and a great community backing like the R.i.G., I'd say that'd help ease you into a tank role quite a bit.

I used to take other tanks on and mentor them in WoW, and find people who were really interested to run content and get things done, to work on their skills just above their comfort level, and to get used to both friendly groups and hostile ones so they can deal with the ups and downs of being a tank. Also, so they could get geared in a decent environment, but still be challenged and not have a cake walk that won't actually do them ANY good.

I've been Ranged DPS on my elem shaman leading raids, I've healed extensively as a druid and paladin healer in 40 and 25 man raids, as melee on various classes, but I find tanking for me to be the best while I'm leading my guild or pugs in raids.

I find it easier for me to keep an eye on the boss and what they're doing, since I'm in the thick of it, and I get a good view of what boss mechanics are going on. My guild used to say they never needed DBM or the built in wow raid alerts because I'd call it out faster on vent.

Different people may or may not thrive in this role as raid leader, but tanking comes very naturally to me and I can multi-task pretty well. I must also say I have built a VERY supportive and intelligent guild that is very kind and isn't too quick to lay blame without seeing if they're causing problems or if everyone is just having bad luck/etc or don't know a strat as good. I fought very hard to get people like that, I don't tolerate people who cannot mesh and have fun while raiding, and can't understand that people learn and cope with situations in different ways. Some pick up things faster, others don't, yet I'm often surprised at what people can learn that they thought they could not, with a nurturing atmosphere.

Tanking seems to help me with that, as I'm the lead character on the run anyway. I'm the first in, I generally control the flow and position of the fight. That may not be for everyone, and most other raid leaders I see tend to be healers, that are generally successful.

In the end though, it boils down to the player themselves. We all excel at different roles, and we might favor those as being easier when in a lead position.
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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSat Apr 09, 2011 11:00 pm

Kai-Sun wrote:
Aldemarran wrote:

Tanking is something I haven't done well at, partly because it is hard to break into being the most gear dependent role. Given they are keeping the trinity this is something I hope they find a way to soften.

I'd say part of that is also the environment you're in.

If you've got an awesome guild and a great community backing like the R.i.G., I'd say that'd help ease you into a tank role quite a bit.
Absolutely true. One of the other things that made it difficult for me to transition to tank was that the guild I was in had very few people who had time on their hands. Only one healer ever helped me out. Flipside is that I had some odd whispers from pugs I was in... ("Your gearscore says newb but you play like a pro.") Suffice it to say that I left that guild shortly after I left off learning to tank.

There were other things as well, such as the fact that nobody wanted to lose my healer either. We needed tanks for certain, but losing a healer to get one was a relatively marginal improvement. I don't think anybody was exactly jumping up an down in joy at the thought of me switching.

Kai-Sun wrote:
I've been Ranged DPS on my elem shaman leading raids, I've healed extensively as a druid and paladin healer in 40 and 25 man raids, as melee on various classes, but I find tanking for me to be the best while I'm leading my guild or pugs in raids.

I find it easier for me to keep an eye on the boss and what they're doing, since I'm in the thick of it, and I get a good view of what boss mechanics are going on. My guild used to say they never needed DBM or the built in wow raid alerts because I'd call it out faster on vent.
This just goes to prove, different people are different! You're the first person I know who's played multiple roles and still prefers tanking for leading in Raids. Heroics I've heard, but not for raids. Good for you!

Kai-Sun wrote:
Tanking seems to help me with that, as I'm the lead character on the run anyway. I'm the first in, I generally control the flow and position of the fight. That may not be for everyone, and most other raid leaders I see tend to be healers, that are generally successful.
I think healing has some overlap with leading. It requires a more diffuse focus and greater situational awareness. To choose your next heal correctly often requires awareness of many things such as:
  • Everyone's health level, and not just the % but a sense of actual number of HP can be required. A tank a 25% can often take a hit that DPS at 50% cannot.
  • What other healers are doing. If another healer heals the same target at about the same time, one of you is usually wasting mana and there's probably some DPS somewhere else that'll die because neither of you got to him in time.
  • Incoming damage, where, when, and how much. "Can I save this DPS before healing the tank, or will that kill the tank?" etc... (To achieve this you have to know the fight, even those parts that you aren't directly participating in.)
  • Your own mana level vs. remaining duration of the encounter, as you'll need to decide to let people die so you have the mana to keep the tank alive until the end. Or conversely Priests have used on-death effects to continue healing through the last few seconds of an encounter when they were out of mana.
  • Who's screwing up. Sometimes you just don't have the mana or the global cooldowns to save people who are just going to put you in the same spot again.


This seems to make good healers have much of the core skill set of a raid leader almost by default. Add some communication and tactical skills and you're pretty much there.

Kai-Sun wrote:
In the end though, it boils down to the player themselves. We all excel at different roles, and we might favor those as being easier when in a lead position.
I can't argue with that!

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 10, 2011 12:00 am

Aldemarran wrote:

Absolutely true. One of the other things that made it difficult for me to transition to tank was that the guild I was in had very few people who had time on their hands. Only one healer ever helped me out. Flipside is that I had some odd whispers from pugs I was in... ("Your gearscore says newb but you play like a pro.") Suffice it to say that I left that guild shortly after I left off learning to tank.

It is nice to have that kind of recognition at times, and to help show that you're more then a stack of numbers. I also tried to help my guild stay away from the "You can't spec X spec" due to lack of healers, etc. Happy player is a good player.

Aldemarran wrote:

This just goes to prove, different people are different! You're the first person I know who's played multiple roles and still prefers tanking for leading in Raids. Heroics I've heard, but not for raids. Good for you!

I think it helps that out of any role, I enjoy tanking the most. I have so many things to do, it challenges me to improve SO much and pay attention to so many things. There so much more to tanking then most ever realize, and the best tanks are the ones that really do like somewhat of the min/max game. Some people look at two tanks and see one with gear that may not be as good as the one their standing next to...and can't understand why the lower geared tank is either easier to heal or does a better job. Some things aren't straight forward, and I love learning about how to improve the quality of life for my raiders. I want my healers to be bored out of their minds healing me, so they can focus on other aspects.

If I do run into situations (3 stack rotface (pre nerf,) with toc10 tank gear, anyone?) that make them grab the seat of their pants, I want them to trust me that I'm using my cooldowns to help them the most, to know that they aren't wasting precious mana or resources on a tank that doesn't pay attention to his gear and stats and how they affect him. I want them to feel proud of me and want them to really look at me and go "that is MY tank."

Tanking is so much fun to me, and it really just seems like the lead from the front kind of role. There's so many things that separate an ok tank and the best tanks. (Attitude usually figures into this, lol.)

Aldemarran wrote:

I think healing has some overlap with leading. It requires a more diffuse focus and greater situational awareness. To choose your next heal correctly often requires awareness of many things such as:

This seems to make good healers have much of the core skill set of a raid leader almost by default. Add some communication and tactical skills and you're pretty much there.

Healing, I feel, is the next best spot to lead a raid from. I rank DPS as last (no offense to people who lead as DPS,) due to the responsibility it requires as well as tanking. I'd say they're about even really.

I personally feel, though, that tanking is a harder role to fill then being a healer. Some or many may not agree, but that's my personal assessment based on the time I've had with each role in MMOs. I feel it requires more work and dedication then a healer does, and that this helps create better leaders then the other two roles generally do. Generally, not always, as I said earlier it really lies in the player and their will to understand.

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PostSubject: Re: Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness   Trinity, Companion Management, and Player Laziness I_icon_minitimeSun Apr 10, 2011 12:31 am

Kai-Sun wrote:
...
Healing, I feel, is the next best spot to lead a raid from. I rank DPS as last (no offense to people who lead as DPS,) due to the responsibility it requires as well as tanking. I'd say they're about even really.

I personally feel, though, that tanking is a harder role to fill then being a healer. Some or many may not agree, but that's my personal assessment based on the time I've had with each role in MMOs. I feel it requires more work and dedication then a healer does, and that this helps create better leaders then the other two roles generally do. Generally, not always, as I said earlier it really lies in the player and their will to understand.

I'm obviously prejudiced both by my successful experience playing a healer and my lack of experience playing a tank. Nonetheless my personal guess is that they are both about the same because how well you play depends on how hard you push yourself. How hard you push yourself depends on how much you like what you're doing as well as natural affinity for the role & playstyle. For that matter your affinity for the playstyle can affect how hard you can push yourself as well. If you have an affinity, you have an intuitive understanding of what to do. And in all playstyles there are some things which cannot be taught. The longer it takes to learn those things, the longer it takes open the possibility of pushing to your limit.

How hard have I pushed myself as a healer? We were entry level geared into Karazhan working on Moroes. (We were actually one of the first guilds in Kara.) I was getting dry eyes by 30-40 minutes into the raid from lack of blinking due to trying to scan more and faster. After a few runs like that I just had to back off and let myself miss the occasional splat because I blinked, though I did try to work my blinking into the scanning rotation as much as possible. (FYI, its not the amount of time spent blinking, its that blinking during a scan of status bars can cause you to miss one without realizing it until the next rotation. At one point I actually noticed that I was blinking in the same spot each time and leaving one person unhealed for quite a long time. Embarassed )

Unfortunately there's little to scan as DPS, so there's usually downtime when you can just enjoy the fight. Thus there really isn't the possibility of pushing yourself as hard as a tank or healer. This is why I prefer it for leading though. I can push myself as hard by using that time to be aware of what the rest of the raid is doing.

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