This was originally going to be a comment to Spinks, because I caught sight of the post over David’s shoulder this morning… But it was running long, and moving further away from a direct reply, so instead I’m just gonna post here take advantage of the post.
As former WoW’ers, David and I are currently doing some low-key goofing off with a couple F2Ps and a lot of Dragon Age. However, we do have our eyes on both GW2 and SWTOR as the big contenders for our next MMO-bucks. The appeal of both comes from the potential of different, but I don’t really feel I can (as yet) embrace either whole-heartedly. In the main, it’s because I just need more information, which is to be expected with both being definitively pre-Alpha. But also partially because I have reservations about each.
SWTOR, unfortunately, suffers from being a Sci-Fi game. I know, I know, it’s horribly shallow. But the aesthetics of swords and knights and dragons have always made my heart go pitter pat in a way that blasters and spaceships just can’t. GW2 is a bit more complicated. Until reading the information on the “shakeup of the holy trinity,” (relinking to Spinks, it’s a good post) every bit of information I saw about GW made me go “OH NEAT!” Reading about a lack of dedicated healing class rocked me back on my heels a bit and made me go hmm.
For those who don’t want to check the link, to sum up, GW2 is not going to have dedicated “tank” or “heal” classes, instead multiple classes will have mob control/group support abilities. And objectively speaking, that’s kinda neat. It does away with most class balance issues, and spreads the group responsibility between everyone in the group, rather than “wtf y i die?”
But… (y’all knew there was a “but” there, din’tcha?) I’m a dedicated support player. I dabble in DPS and tanking in various games (except Dragon Age– there it’s rogue except when it’s warrior), but I’m a healer at heart. While the lack of a healing class may be a bonus in a lot of ways, and a smart game decision, making the game better for those people stuck in LFG looking for a healer (most definitely the majority of any playerbase) being one of those healers makes it potentially a bad choice for me.
Part of this is my situation, I’m certain. I don’t solo, at least primarily, so I don’t care as much about DPS capabilities or soloability of my characters. There will always be another person I spend 95% of my game time with, and as such I’m already a minority. I don’t expect games to cater to my situation. However, there’s a lot of people out there who ARE primarily support, and don’t find healing to be boring. The GW devs seem to be entirely ignoring that playerbase. Moving away from a system where you can’t do X without a dedicated tank and healer? I’m okay with that… But not enabling those who enjoy the tasks to do them seems like it’s cutting it’s nose off to spite it’s face.
There may be very good reasons. People may not be willing to TRY the new system if there are dedicated tank and healer classes they can lean on. It could be issues of balance. And, you know, those are all very good reasons. But that’s not what they’re saying. They’re saying that healing is boring and only needed when you’re losing anyway. And, um, no. That’s totally not how to entice a playerbase.
So, while I’m still keeping my eye on new information, my enthusiasm has been seriously dampened.