Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
 
Rohan on Other People

Must read post on Blessing of Kings, very insightful, and to the point:
The best thing about MMOs is that you can play with other people.

The worst thing about MMOs is that you have to play with other people.
He even manages to explain the shortage of tanks and healers: "DPS "can" play with other people. Tanks and healers "have to" play with other people." Which pretty much gives the answer to how to solve the shortage: Just make it so that tanks and healers don't *have to* play with other people when they don't want to.
Comments:
Its a chicken and the egg paradox.

People don't bother to group simply because they don't have to. They solo from 1 to 70, then when they HAVE to group they have no idea HOW to work as a team and treat people with respect.

I've blogged about this extensively:
http://www.captain-angry.com/?p=35
 
I think that pretty much sums up the BC grouping problem. from 1 to 70 you don't have to group if you don't want to.

the only thing they got wrong is. As a healer or a tank you can solo all the way to 70 also. It may be a bit slower but having played a druid and now a priest I'll gaurrantee you I can solo more elite quests than your average DPS player can. As long as they dont have too many spell interrupts.

but the risk vs reward for grouping broke with BC. Casual became equated with SOLOer and PVP was the fix.

I still think the devs have a disconnect with reality. More people pvp because it's the only thing that meshes easily with thier schedule and groups take so damn long to put together. So they think PVP is a resounding success because people like it. I know a lot of people in game that view PVP as the GRIND they have to endure to get their epics. Not fun Just the one GRIND that fits thier schedule and isn't dependant on some idiot that never learned to group.

Then it all flips at 70 and people get mad pissy and mean. And that hurts grouping.
 
It's part of the whole problem of why people are so retarded in WoW but it's also part of the reason it's so successful to be honest.
 
I have a 70 Prot Pally who exclusively solos and numerous friends who actually tank on their tanks, so I whole-heartedly support increased solo capacity for tank specs.

That said, a tank soloing on their main, much like a tank soloing on their DPS alts, is not available to tank for a group. Which is fine, that's their right, it just doesn't help with the 5-man tank shortage. The only way to fix that problem is to increase the number of tanks, which either means more rewards for existing tanks or lowering the gear/spec/player skill bar so non-tanks can get the job done.
 
the solution isn't to make it easier for tanks and healers not to ... tank and heal. The solution is to either:

1) Lessen the importance of tanking/healing in combat. Can you imagine how popular a class would be if it's damage-dealing skills healed the group beyond even what shadow priests do? Or evasion-based tanks who hold aggro by dealing damage (imagine a rogue tank).

2) Make it easier for people to tank or heal. If my mage could heal I'd respec to help my guild tonight, but the option simply isn't available. The death knight class might help the tanking side (at least for 5-mans), and I would wager dollars-to-donuts that the next hero class will be a Dryad/Remulos type character. I don't really consider respeccing to be much of an obstacle, but being able to "save" multiple specs or gear setups without add-ons would be great.

WoW either needs more healing and tanking, or they need to not make it matter as much.
 
I think LOTRO has done a good job of making tanks and healers soloable. A minstrel (healer) is one of the most viable solo classes because of their self-heals, and a guardian (tank), why slow at killing, can take the beatings pretty well solo.

Unfortunately, there's still an inequality between dps (hunters and champions) and the tanks/healers. I think this might be a result of killing things fast is fun - and dps can kill things fast. Being powerful is a satisfying experience.
 
Its a chicken and the egg paradox.

People don't bother to group simply because they don't have to. They solo from 1 to 70, then when they HAVE to group they have no idea HOW to work as a team and treat people with respect.


I didn't read your blog but it sounds like your solution is forced grouping right from the start. I must say that I really don't agree with that. LOTRO had semi-forced grouping and I pretty much gave up on it early on. I've since leveled my hunter to 50 (just because I was stupid enough to buy a lifetime membership), but that was by soloing.

Sure I enjoy a group or instance now and then, but then usually with friends and not PUGs. I know how to work as a team. But what I really want is to choose IF AND WHEN I want to group. Not be forced into it. That's also what I believe that Tobold is saying should be true for tanks and healers.
 
"1) Lessen the importance of tanking/healing in combat. Can you imagine how popular a class would be if it's damage-dealing skills healed the group beyond even what shadow priests do? Or evasion-based tanks who hold aggro by dealing damage (imagine a rogue tank)."

Welcome to Age of Conan.

AoC has some really great new healing classes, and each one is much more than a healing bot. Some of the 'healers' actually have to fight in order to be more effective healers.
 
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