Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
 
Social responsibility

Scarybooster is upset, because he noticed that as DPS he can be quickly kicked out and replaced in a pickup group. Now I have something nice and something not-so-nice to say about that. For comfort, Scarybooster can rest assured that getting kicked out by jerks happens to everybody, even less easily replaceable healers. In fact, in my experience, healers are more likely than other roles to get blamed for the mistakes of others, and kicked because the group wiped, even if they played perfectly.

But I must also say that if the DPS feel uncomfortable for being easily replaced and having to wait long in a queue afterwards, that is perfectly fine with me. In fact, I wished they had that feeling a bit more often, or even that Blizzard would add additional rewards for healers and tanks, or diminished rewards for any role whose queue was much fuller than those of other roles. Because I do see MMORPGs as some sort of team sport, and people who choose to play DPS in spite of perfectly knowing that there are far too many of them for group activities, but still insist on queueing up for team activities, are shirking their social responsibility towards the other players. Just like in a sports team not everybody can play on the most sexy position, and some players have to play on the less exciting or more difficult positions, in a World of Warcraft group there is only room for 60% DPS players. That is already more than half, and the fact that this 60% of spots for low-responsibility, easy mode players still isn't enough, is a symptom of how selfish the large majority of players is. And that this gets worse every year only shows that Blizzard isn't rewarding tanks and healers enough for taking their social responsibility, and doing a harder and thankless job, so that other players can play their DPS.

In guilds that often works better, and I've frequently seen people switch to a healer or tank after seeing too many DPS turn up for a raid. But for random pickup groups the DPS prefer to remain selfish, and would rather have themselves and all the other selfish players rot in a waiting queue for 40 minutes than to admit that *somebody* must play the healer and tank, and if everybody counts on that somebody being somebody else, the whole system doesn't work. It is time that some of the people who always leeched from the greater social responsibility of other people finally man up and start playing healers and tanks themselves! And if they continue shirking that social responsibility, it is time that Blizzard does some social engineering towards a more balanced player base.
Comments:
So, redesign the silly tank/DPS/healer trinity. That's where I'd start. At the very least, design for three-player teams and multiples thereof so that you get equal representation.
 
So, redesign the silly tank/DPS/healer trinity. That's where I'd start.

I agree with this to a very large degree. That idea should preferrably be scrapped totally. Think of other solutions. For example let everyone have some sort of self heal. But that's just one idea out of probably many.
 
Something you neglect to mention is that some people have tanks or healers that they do play or have played. I've put in my dues as a tank, and sometimes I want to DPS.

Whatever system rewards tanks and healers more should take that into account. If I tank a bunch on one ton, then my DPS queue should be shorter on my DPS toons. I don't mind paying my dues, but I also don't like not having the option to play as DPS on occasion.
 
Redesign the trinity? Let everyone heal and tank? Well... there are plenty of people who have toons capable of that and they choose to not have a tanking or healing spec. What's to expect that they'd use these self-heal abilities? I see many paladins not using word of glory or holy radiance when stuff goes bad. [And that's just an example... not calling pallies out there] :)

There is no easy solution. I just know, that having geared my main [a tank] up, there's no way I'd want to do that again pugging on an alt tank. Fighting people AND the content to the degree you have to this expansion, is not fun. So there goes my 3 tanking alts out the lfd window there.
 
I would tank more on my warrior if people didn't expect me to lead them. Even Blizzard seems to think that tanks should be leaders.

I can play as competently (or incompetently) as anyone else but if you want me to lead the group, be prepared to slow down. I'm not playing the game to be a boss, I have a guild bank alt who could start recruiting if I wanted that.

Why do I have be the lead as a tank? Anyone can mark mobs. Anyone can offer suggestions in chat. And anyone can push too much dps and overwhelm the casual tanker who might be a few item levels below the dps hot dog.

When I tank, my stress level goes up. I enjoy doing a good job and a good run, but my fear of a bad group can almost be overwhelming.
 
Here's the thing...

When I played as a tank, healer, or DPS, I always noticed when someone was just absolutely terrible with healing or tanking. I could also tell that they didn't really want to do the job, but figured that they should at least try, since they could dual spec.

Even though queues may be long for DPS, to be honest, and judging only from Vanilla-WoTLK, I'd take a slow queue if it meant that my tank/healer isn't an idiot.

I don't really see there being a social responsibility, because if a player doesn't like the role, they aren't going to learn it and play it at 100%.

And a terrible tank/healer is sometimes worse than no tank/healer at all
 
@Tobold: You know there will be flames now, do you? ;)
Imho its okay trying to push some DPS into the healer/tank-niche, but not with the crude methods Blizzard employs. Just raising tankdamage and creating tanks who can be played like DPS doesn't solve anything, because the newly created tanks are lacking the service-mentality of a true tank. There is a difference between a tank and a howling lunatic who wants to hit everything first.

@MagrothJ: Well its nice that you don't like healers.. but you know, there are people who actually like to play that class and like the resulting group-interaction and teamwork. Isn't it a bit selfish to demand the end of the holy trinity just because you personally don't like a part of it?
 
"So, redesign the silly tank/DPS/healer trinity. That's where I'd start."

I agree with this too. WoW has this specific problem to a large degree because their instances are very, very rigid in role requirements. You need exactly 1 tank, 1 healer and 3 DPS. No more, no less.

You can talk about how "more people should switch to lesser played roles," but there will never be exactly 20% tanks, exactly 20% healers and exactly 60% DPS. Especially at any given random time of day. Someone is always being left in the cold.

"Change class" is also a suggestion which forces people to play classes and roles they don't want to. The game should be more flexible, not the players.

Btw, it's nice of you to suggest OTHER players should do this. I wonder if you would give up healing and do only DPS were that the lesser played role?
 
Redesign the trinity is the least helpful thing you can say. The combat system simply doesn't support much else.

At the end of the day, the system only supports two styles of play:
Stopping other players from being killed
and
Dealing damage to other characters, be they NPC or PC.

Think about it: what is tanking actually doing? You're stopping the people who aren't specialised in defense form getting killed, and taking less damage yourself, stopping damage to other players and, by and large, increasing damage done, because all the dps (presumably) are alive. Healing, CCing and preventative absorption are all the same thing: stopping damage from killing a player.

The dealing damage part is fairly self-explanatory.

The only way to "redesign the trinity" is the redesign the combat system, and the only progression is to move to more skill-based things. When I'm an old man and I don't have the muscles nor joints to do it, I'm sure people will be playing MMOs in capsules that replicate their movement in the game world. As it stands, we can't do that yet, but I think a combat system like Mount&Blade, whilst not ideal, is where MMOs need to go, not try and redesign the trinity within the currently outdated combat system.
 
There seems to be a strong desire to redesign the tank/healer/DPS trinity, which isn't a terrible idea in and of itself, but we need to keep in mind any redesign would need to compete against the efficiency of the specialization inherent in the tank/healer/DPS trinity.

Imagine a game where everyone was a DPS with a lot of stamina and several heals, where the intent is that everyone tanks sometimes and everyone can heal themselves. But if you suddenly have a DPS that focuses on survival and minimizing damage, then suddenly the game gets easier for everyone else: nobody else needs to know how to deal with getting attacked, and everyone knows who to focus their heals on. We can follow this scenario for healers too, and suddenly we're back where we started.
 
the whole idea that playing a certain role is a social responsibility rubs me wrong. really wrong.

When I wash the dishes at home, even though I really dislike it, I'm not doing it for fun, I do it because I need dishes to eat out of.

When I play a computer game, regardless of the role I chose, I don't play it because I have to or because I owe anything to anyone, I do it to have fun.

If healing or tanking is a thankless hard work, then the issue is with the way those roles are designed and implemented. No amount of social engineering will fix it.
 
There's another problem not mentioned here. Healer and tank burnout. Some people have thick skin and can take being blamed for everything, other people like me just say screw it, I won't tank anymore. Next time someone is yelling at a tank/healer for something, defend that person. Help them if you know some hints.

I got into a SFK group and the tank was obviously a new player. He tanked in cat form, had about 300 health and had no clue what he was doing. Every started yelling at this person calling him names, etc...I told everyone to lay off, he was probably new and to only provide helpful advice or to leave group and wait for another tank. This person did not improve much in this instance but at least he switched to bear form and gave tanking a shot.
 
@Samus

That is a huge pet peeve. MMOs were designed around playing with other people. I'm fine with you wanting to play a DPS class but you need to accept the fact that you're going to have a 40 minute wait.

However if you don't want to wait 40 minutes then reroll. It is something alot of gamers learned along time ago. I can play a needed class and enjoy the game because I can be a part of it more; or I can play a very popular class that I enjoy playing and participate in the game slightly less.

I hate the phrase "it's your $15 play what you want." However as a whole the group pays more than you so don't screw up their experience. When you choose to play a MMO you are choosing to be a PART of a community.

WoW didn't event the holy trinity, in fact they have taken HUGE leaps away from a rigid class structure. Nearly every class can either heal or tank and DPS except for the very few PURE DPS classes.
 
Totally agree.

But I don't think we need to reinvent the whole trinity concept. That would essentially require a brand new game, and although that might be exciting to think about, it's a bit out there in the MMO universe.

The current paradigm is to damage the target quickly while minimizing and healing damage taken. We do that by focusing incoming damage to a tank to simplify healing, and focusing output damage on particular targets by way of intelligent targeting.

I've played all 3 roles. Primarily DPS, but I healed and tanked at least 30 heroics in Wrath.

What do tanks and healers have to do that is so unpleasant compared to DPS?

Nothing in particular, really. Tanks and healers simply have more responsibility because they are alone in their role. The success of the fight depends more on their ability to respond correctly. That sense alone makes you FEEL like you better know the fight better.

Healing and tanking are just more stressful, period. That stress may be partly self-imposed, but it's very real. If you have 5 people in a room, the one who is asked to get on stage and face the others is going to be more stressed. And the second most stressed is the one working the sound system and lights.

Although the other 3 are going to be asked to perform, they can look around at the others and actually have fun. They share their jobs.

We simply need to share the tank and healer's jobs. How can we easily fix that?

1. Ranged DPS need to be primarily responsible for healing themselves, period. They move well, they can see what's going on. Taking damage and dying should be on them.

In more complex fight they might have to watch out for each other as well.

Of course that means they will need some decent self hots and heals, OR some items like soulstones given by the healer only for them. The healer has to provide it before each fight, but the player decides what he needs and when to use it. Having a temporary heal ability in instances only would alleviate the problem with balance in PvP or soloing.

2. Melee DPS need to be capable of off tanking, and have abilities to help mitigate damage to the tank, and direct mobs to the tank.

They're standing right there, they need to be assisting the tank and help gather adds.

All 5 man fights would require at least one ranged and one melee DPS in order for the tank and healer not be overwhelmed.

Thus perhaps we have changed the trinity to a quadrad.
 
In my expereionce healing isn't really that difficult. Maybe people complain more, but it isn't really that hard.

Tanking is usually more difficult than either healing or dps, and requires more in the way of leadership.

The cue times generally reflect this as well. As a healer, the cue is usually a little faster than as a dps, but not much. As a tank, I am in a group as soon as I hit the button.

I am not sure why more people don't heal, but maybe the incentive isn't there since it does not have much impact on the cue time.
 
People can get really kick-happy, and it's really not limited to DPS. Hell, I've been kicked as a tank because I demanded people kill skull, then x.

One unlikely solution would be to extend group size to six. Make demand approach supply. This could also serve to place more of an emphasis on coordination.

A quicker fix would simply be to have the system advertise and award a bonus of justice/valor points based on instantaneous asymmetry of available roles. Give one stack of +10% gear points for every 5 minutes difference in average wait time between the role applied for and the slowest. If DPS have a 30 minute wait and healers have a ten minute wait, give tanks +60% and healers +20%. If the bonus is worth enough, the wait time will be significantly diminished.

Lastly, it might help to put some serious consideration into developing tank and healer specializations into the current non-hybrids. Warlock is the most obvious candidate here, with health-drain mechanics that could be adapted to work similarly to atonement, and metamorphosis could become a proper focus rather than an emergency ability.
 
The dungeon finder is a great way of dealing with this. I tank on my pally, because I get instant queue and tanking is a nice change of pace from dps.
When I'm tanking I would rather have a healer who WANTS to be there. The dps who heal just to please the group should just stay dps. It make me happer.
Often in guild runs when a pug tank or healer just isn't cutting it, we kick them and say "should be dps" because they obviously don't want to be a tank/healer

TLDR: If you enjoy dps, PLEASE stay that, don't waste other people's time playing a role you don't enjoy.
 
@Epiny

I refuse to believe that just because a game has the label "MMORPG," I am forced to take on some sort of social contract to play it, where I must sacrifice my fun for "the good of the group." It is a game. I play to have fun, not to suffer through so that others might be happy.

And how does that even work? You still need 60% DPS, so most of them need to stay DPS. How do you decide who is forced to change?

Hardcore guilds force members to play certain specs based on guild needs. Should casual guilds be forced to do the same thing, "for the benefit of others?"

And how do you deal with the changing needs? I actually play a healer in groups. Half the time I get a group instantly, because healers are the shortage. Half the time I have to wait for a tank like the DPS do. Should I have to change spec on a daily, even hourly basis?

I say again, the solution is not for the players to be more flexible in order for SOME of them to have fun. That is bad game design. The solution is for the game to be more flexible.
 
First off, I completely disagree that MMORPGs are "some sort of team sport". That makes about as much sense as saying my shoes are some sort of motor-boat.

Leaving that bizarre non-sequitur aside, if the dungeon finder puts teams together automatically on ratio of 3 DPS to 1 Healer to 1 Tank (that is what it does, isn't it?) don't two-thirds of the playerbase need to play DPS for the thing to work at all?
 
@Bhagpuss
MMORPGs may not be a team sport but they are a team game... or at least dungeons are in the context of this discussion.

@Samus
I'm not telling you that you HAVE to play a DPS class. I am however saying that if you choose to play an archetype that is over saturated then you need to accept the consequences of that. As soon as you, or anyone, choose to enter a dungeon you are now bound to a social contract with the rest of your group. You NEED one another to complete the dungeon. It is no longer “your $15” but it is “our $60”. ($75 if we count you too) As it stands people are already forced to play certain specs for the benefit of others. People HAVE to play as tanks in order for a group to happen. (I choose tanks because they are the highest demand class)

Yes 60% of the players choosing to do dungeons still need to be DPS, more so in raids. However MORE than 60% are trying to DPS then they are complaining about it. I rerolled as a Druid BECAUSE of this. I knew that as a druid I could fill any spot that arose in my guild or in the pug environment. Playing the game is fun to me, not playing a specific archetype. (I do recognize that doesn’t apply to everyone)

If PLAYING the game is so important to you I recommend trying to find a role that allows you to do that while still enjoying it. Do not force the game to change to fit your play style. That is what I have an issue with.
 
40 minute ques are social engineering designed to increase the number of tanks and healers.
 
@Meatwad427

I completely disagree. What has changed in the last 3 years? Blizzard hasn't removed anything in regards to the group dynamic.

Before Dungeon Finder people used /trade to form groups or they just ran with guildmates. Sometimes that would take 20 minutes to form a group, sometimes it would take all night. In EQ it was even worse. There was typically 2 or 3 groups for each level range for an entire server. The wait list could be hours long to get in it.

None of those features pushed enough people into tanking or healing roles. Dungeon Finder was added, which in a way made dungeon grinding easier as a DPS. During WotLK queue pops came quick.

Getting a group as DPS has gotten easier and faster if you look to before the creation of Dungeon Finder.
 
@Epiny

We are simply looking at this from two different perspectives. You are looking at things only as a player, as if nothing can be changed about the game. I am looking at what the developers should be doing to fix the problem.

"if you choose to play an archetype that is over saturated then you need to accept the consequences of that.

Do you really think Blizzard can just come out and say that in an official statement, and change nothing? Do you think that is the smart business move, or do you think that will cause people to quit the game?

What is so special about exactly 1 tank, 1 healer and 3 DPS? What would be so game breaking about 4 DPS, or 5 DPS?

Maybe groups should just be trios, 1 tank, 1 healer and 1 DPS. Then you would REALLY force the DPS to reroll or quit. Would that be even better somehow?
 
That's fine for classes that have the ability to tank or heal. They should certainly learn how to do one or both of those rolls and benefit themselves by taking on a little extra responsibility, but that is where our agreement ends.

I play a rogue, I've played a rogue since day one. It's my main character and my most important character, getting gear for and playing him is a large part of what keeps me playing at all. As a rogue, I don't have the option of tanking or healing. Should I switch to my other characters that can perform those roles I gain nothing for the character I am trying to advance.

Incentivizing people who are able to switch to tank or healer is all well and good however punishing those of us without that option for enjoying a class that was designed to be that way doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
 
@ Samus
I agree we are looking at this from two different perspectives. However it’s not that I’m looking at it as though the game can’t be changed. I’m looking at it as though the game SHOULDN’T be changed. To me it falls in the same area as people complaining about Heroics, the game shouldn’t be changed because people are unable to adapt. If we look at the history of MMOs WoW has had harder dungeons and longer wait times for groups. Those occurred after WoW spiked to the famous 10 million mark, at around the time of The Burning Crusade. I will say this though, I prefer 6 man groups. I like the idea of having a floater spot and with regards to Dungeon Finder you could do 4 DPS and 1Tank and 1 healer.

I believe Blizzard can do nothing and in 6 months this won’t be an issue. You are asking for Blizzard to redesign a part of the foundation of the game to resolve a temporary problem. That temporary problem is the influx of people due to the new expansion. I don’t want anyone to quit and I don’t want to FORCE people to reroll. What I want is for people to stop trying to alter the game to fit their specific needs and schedule. I want people to accept that at some point they are going to have to work with the gaming community and stop demanding Blizzard to fix their problems. Simply accept that the wait sucks and it will eventually get better. That’s all I really want.

@Twiliak
I don’t think anyone should be punished and I don’t think anyone should be rewarded. Tanks and healers are rewarded by faster dungeons and DPS get to play their desired class as it stands. Even though I may shake my head when I see a Warrior in a DPS slot in my group he has every right to be in that spot as you, he waited in the same line.

Anytime you reward someone, anyone who doesn’t get the same reward assumes they are being punished. Regardless if anything has changed or not for them.
 
If you get rid of the dps/tank/heal trinity, you pretty much ruin the game. A) there are actually plenty of people who LIKE healing and tanking. I'm one of them. I have no particular desire to dps. I don't think its badass or fun. The game would be much less fun for me.

Second, if you get rid of tanks and healers, every fight becomes either a CC fest where the boss is kept away from the players, a dance dance revolution style fight as the players have to go through specific motions to avoid the bosses abilities, or three, a fight that would redefine tank and spank, since the boss would have to do so little dps that a self-heal on ANY dps class would have to keep them up.

You could totally pull that off in God of War or a similar console style game. But you can't pull it off without totally redesigning wow both technically and in terms of game mechanics. In short, to get rid of the trinity you would have to change WoW so much it wouldn't even be the same game.

In terms of game mechanics, tanking and healing are just as much fun as dps. Arguably more so. It's a matter of people not wanting to have a responsible position while they are having fun. If its worth it to them to sit around for 40 minutes, so be it. As a healer or tank you get all kinds of special consideration, whether its getting into guilds easier, essentially guaranteed spots in raids/rated bgs, or whatever. If that doesn't appeal to people, that's fine with me.
 
If you get rid of the dps/tank/heal trinity, you pretty much ruin the game. A) there are actually plenty of people who LIKE healing and tanking. I'm one of them. I have no particular desire to dps. I don't think its badass or fun. The game would be much less fun for me.

Second, if you get rid of tanks and healers, every fight becomes either a CC fest where the boss is kept away from the players, a dance dance revolution style fight as the players have to go through specific motions to avoid the bosses abilities, or three, a fight that would redefine tank and spank, since the boss would have to do so little dps that a self-heal on ANY dps class would have to keep them up.

You could totally pull that off in God of War or a similar console style game. But you can't pull it off without totally redesigning wow both technically and in terms of game mechanics. In short, to get rid of the trinity you would have to change WoW so much it wouldn't even be the same game.

In terms of game mechanics, tanking and healing are just as much fun as dps. Arguably more so. It's a matter of people not wanting to have a responsible position while they are having fun. If its worth it to them to sit around for 40 minutes, so be it. As a healer or tank you get all kinds of special consideration, whether its getting into guilds easier, essentially guaranteed spots in raids/rated bgs, or whatever. If that doesn't appeal to people, that's fine with me.
 
@Epiny

This is most certainly not a temporary problem, the surplus of DPS has been the case for years.

And part of this is because WoW pulls a bait-and-switch. For the first 200-300 hours you play the game, you play as a DPS. It doesn't matter if you take a tank or healer spec, when you run out to kill 10 rats, you do so as a DPS. For those hundreds of hours, tanks and healers are obviously inferior at doing what DPS is designed to do.

You seem to be arguing that things shouldn't change, they should stay they way they are simply because that's the way they are. That isn't an argument. Was adding the dungeon finder wrong, because that absolved players of their "social responsibility" to organize groups themselves? At what point was WoW perfect and nothing could possible be improved? Is that right now? How fortunate for the current players.

Perhaps I can demonstrate why this is the responsibility of the developers.

Let's say you have a racing game. This is an online racing game, so it has all the same "responsibility" to the other players as an MMORPG. In this racing game, 40% of the cars go at half speed.

Needless to say, nearly everyone wants to play the fast cars. However, races can't start until someone bite the bullet and takes a slow car.

Now, should nothing change about this game, except that some of the players should sacrifice their fun "for the greater good?"

Or is this just poor design?
 
It's been noted before that with the "deplete hit points to win" mechanic, you are pretty much stuck with the tank (mitigation), DPS (offense) and healer (fudge factor) *roles*. That's fine, and that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the social dynamics of how those roles are filled, how fluidly those roles change and how classes fit into them. I'd start with far more flexibility on the fly, like the melee DPS who can Dodge offtank in a pinch (say with a stance shift) or any other of the hybrid mechanics that have been suggested.
 
Hear, hear, Tobold.

Good luck finding a tank who apologizes for a wipe with, "sry lol was watchn tv lol".

To my mind, however, the shorter queue IS the reward. For doing an utterly thankless, unpopular job that demands greater attention and - on occasion - people/leadership skills. And let's not forget that DPS can cut their queue times instantly by simply being sociable enough to have a tank or a healer as a friend. I tank for friends and guildies even after I've done my daily ALL THE TIME. Because I know it's a 2sec queue and my friends aren't antisocial assholes.

If you're an antisocial asshole DPSer... well. Enjoy your 40min queue because you EARNED it.

DPS crying about long queues feels like students or unemployed folks complaining about being poor. It is actually within your power to do something about it, but it's going to take some effort on your part and no more 11am sleep-ins. Boo hoo.
 
I don't buy this social responsibility claim.

I accept that some of us tank or heal out of a sense of duty to our guilds. Even in the old days, our server.

But out of a sense of duty to the faceless scrubs of LFD that you expect never to see again?

Humbug!

People tank or heal because they like to do so. Part of it is that the roles are fun for some people, part is the benefits of playing a shortage role (instant queues, better raid opportunities, etc).

If you chose healer to help your guild I don't see how you can berate total strangers for being dps and not recognising your sacrifice because you didn't roll healer to help them.
 
To me having classes/roles divided into critical and commodity aka easily replaceable categories sounds like a fundamental design flaw. With the end game content centered around group play it is simply not right. So called "social responsibility" in selecting the role you play is not relevant here - every class/role needs to have equal chance to be important in the success of the group. Right now the importance of healers and tanks is disproportional and this creates close to game breaking imbalance.

I don't have a specific solution in mind but I think it should be in the direction of balancing role responsibilities in the group. DPS role should be given something critical to the group success that neither tank nor healer role can do. Something along the line of CC, decursing, damage mitigation, healing buffs. Buffing or mitigation should be dynamic based on actions that you perform in combat not static group buffs.
 
@Andrei:

The issue here is balance. And not balance in terms of importance... sure, you can bring a tank and four healers if you want and still get'er done, but it'll be stupid. No-one's disputing the importance of filling your remaining slots with DPS. What IS at fault here is that there are only 5 slots, and two of them are tank and heals by necessity. No matter how useful you make DPSers, you still only have room for three because i nthe current 'trinity' paradigm, you can't remove the tank/heal slots.

If you go by server populations and assume that everyone is fulfilling a useful role without surplus, a well-balanced five-man should have maybe a quarter of a slot occupied by the tank, half of one by a healer, and 4.25 slots occupied by DPS. That still leaves some DPS out in the cold.

The only way to achieve that is to make EVERYONE a DPSer, and give all DPSers abilities that allow them to temporarily tank or heal sufficient to the situation.

Where this concept falls down is because of WHY people play DPS. They don't WANT to do those things. They want to do big heap damage and see big yellow numbers and can create confusion when you have a vital task to be performed (mitigation/healing) but no specific, clear delineation as to whose responsibility it is, with either over-commitment or (more likely) undercommitment to the task.

Basically, see City of Heroes. If you =were= to implement the essentially classless system, you'd end up with a COMPLETELY different game. You might as well play Chess or Runescape or CoD. No. We're playing WoW, and this is WoW's signature mechanic.
 
Ok, so some blogger admits to jumping in and adding to the discourse of the situation by slinging "momma" jokes around and you use this to preface a post about social responsibility in PUG's? He lost all credibility with me as soon as he admitted to doing this and I stopped reading his post at that point.

We are limited by the trinity system in what we can expect from other players due to the way encounters have always been designed in WoW. Reinventing the wheel(trinity sytem) will do nothing to improve upon the concept that there is a learning curve involved that players MUST familiarize themselves with in order to be effective in instances.

Look to the upcoming changes in the next patch as proof of this, as a LOT of classes/specs will have to relearn how they play due to these changes, and I think Blizzard is shooting themselves in the foot in that regard, because it will add yet another layer of asshattery to the PUG mix as players incorporate these changes into their dungeon runs.

I challenge anyone to look back at the history of WoW since Vanilla and make note of all of the changes that have been made to classes and specs over the years, it becomes very plain that Blizzard has simply adopted the "pendulum" approach of making changes that coincide with the prevailing attitudes of the playerbase.

In Vanilla it was all about 40-man content and we still had issues associated with the trinity system. In BC they changed things up a bit with raid sizes and boss encounters, but we still had issues associated with the trinity system. Later we saw the inclusion of battlegroups into the LFD tool, and we as players honestly thought that forcing perfect strangers to play together wouldnt come with a hefty social price tag?....and we still had trinity system issues.

Enter Cataclysm, and the pendulum started to swing back in the other direction towards more difficult content and increased player contribution...but guess what? We're still in the same position of being slaves to the trinity system regardless of how the classes or encounters are designed.

This all gets back to the "greater internet fuckwad theory", in that players will always act a certain way if the game design allows them to act that way. Couple this with the "least path of resistance" effect and players will always put forth the minimum amount of effort to reach their goals. And if they can be complete asses while doing so, they most probably will.

No game developer will ever be able to enforce social paradigms on players who have no social link between them without a player accountability system in place, and the LFD tool is perfect proof of this. But if Blizzard wanted to enforce a limited social construct to the LFD system, they would add the ability for players to ignore/blacklist players across the entire battlegroup so they wouldnt be forced to endure the "greater internet fuckwad" theory with a certain player more than once. This worked well on servers before the cross battleground server effect took hold, where players on servers would be blacklisted if they acted improperly or their ability lacked.

If you want to enforce "social responsibility" on players, and have them act accordingly, then there HAS to be some sort of "player accountability" system in place just like you have with laws in real life. Without this we can all sit around, don our cardigans and wax poetic about the ills of the trinity system till the cows come home.
 
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Tobold, I only hit the submit button once. Methinks google is having issues today.
 
I'm a rather casual gamer. I've only had time to level one toon to 85 and I started out with something that looked cool. I had no idea that a warlock was dps or any such thing. I didn't know what the roles were. I've learned now but after 1.5 years of playing, I've got a healer to 44. Eventually she'll get there but not yet.
So, what about those of us that didn't know there was a social contract to start with and just thought, "Hey! That looks cool."
 
If we're going to attack the Trinity itself, I'd strongly recommend people actually go looking for games which have eschewed the concept and see how they succeed/fail.

A majority of the time, where possible, people invent it themselves because it is just so god damned efficient. (ANY game which has a 'taunt' has a potential tank.) The nice thing about the Trinity is that it forces people into awareness (or emerges out of awareness) of mechanics such as DPS, threat and healing and their roles and balances in a fight.

...There is infinitely less elegance or variety in approaching an ecounter with: "Hey, what do we do in this fight?" and getting a response, "Use your best attacks and heal as appropriate!" (Or in one instance, someone replied - to a chorus of '^' - "Fuck it up as hard as you can!" And when asked what we did wrong, when we were all corpses, the advice was, "We didn't fuck it up hard enough. Fuck harder.")
 
I am always a tank or a healer, mostly tank, in any game I play and I have been doing it since EQ. I like that what I do is important and has to be done right but I also except that most people don't like to be important or in charge of groups. Most players just want to run through their rotation and get through the content as fast as possible to get their loot.

That's just what is fun for most people and you will not be able to make most people stop playing the way that is fun for them by telling them it's selfish, they are playing the game for themselves to begin with.
 
Epiny,

>I agree we are looking at this from two different perspectives. However it’s not that I’m looking at it as though the game can’t be changed. I’m looking at it as though the game SHOULDN’T be changed. To me it falls in the same area as people complaining about Heroics, the game shouldn’t be changed because people are unable to adapt.

In this case, the true problem is that any given individual player cannot 'fix' the problems they encounter by improving their skill. If we assume that yesterday's blog entry is true, then despite there being three players filling the dps role all five players in the group have equal responsibility because ANY of them can cause a wipe by not being proficient. All players have equal responsibility for the group's success, despite the common opinion of many dps players of otherwise which makes them blame the tank or healer, and importantly causes them to feel justified in doing actions as if a group failure was entirely the fault of the tank/dps, such as kicking the players in those roles, verbally abusing them, or simply dropping group after a wipe despite any previous effort spent explaining the encounter to them by other players in the group.

Ultimately, it is the attitude of dps players which have caused a tank shortage, by discouraging new tanks and tanks in a guild from queuing in LFD. There is nothing a single dps player can do to change the attitudes of countless other dps players in other LFD groups; only Blizzard can change that.
 
I would be more than happy to switch to either my tanking spec or my healing spec for heroics.

Except for one problem - I'm a Hunter.

Seems Blizzard gave me three specs to choose from, but none of them can heal or tank. And, only one of those three specs are any good at DPS. Too bad they really stink at balancing their game.
 
We've seen this notion before — that tanks and healers have more value than lowly dps classes — and I have to reject that notion (and to be clear where I'm coming from, I heal and sometimes tank). Particular classes only have intrinsic value based on the design of the encounters as presented by the developers. If the developers decide one day that encounters will be more dependent upon the dps then the dps will be looked upon as more valuable. One could certainly argue that in pvp matches, dps classes are more important than tanks in most instances.

Balancing the number of players in a certain class so as to reduce queue times is not a question that can be solved entirely by social engineering. We've already seen that tanks and healers get instant queues and better access to gear since there's no competition with only one of each in a group and yet we don't see any evidence that there are greater numbers of tanks and healers playing.

From my experience, the tank and healer classes require and attract a certain personality. Not everyone in the community is attracted to or comfortable with those roles. Given this, I think there will always be a tank and healer shortage. Putting down other players for the character classes they choose to play or not to play does nothing to improve this situation. Let's also keep a little perspective here. We've had the LFG tool for less then a year. Before that, we were dependent upon our own server populations for PuGs and the time and effort required to get a group was far greater than what we face today.
 
I believe the main problem resulting in oversupply of DPS is three-fold.

1. Leveling from 1-85 (unless you PVP'd/LFD'd the whole way) is done as a DPS. I play as a tank, but I still leveled in a DPS spec, and I'm sure a lot of people are just more comfortable with it since that's what the game has taught them to do.

2. Tanking/healing carries more responsibility, so it can be more stressful for some people. It's also harder to play, since you need to worry about other people's threat/health, and often times need extra addons in order to be successful (e.g. Omen, Grid, Clique). You also need to constantly watch your own health (for tanks) and your mana (healer).

3. Rogue, Hunter, Mage and Warlocks are DPS-ONLY classes. So in total, there are 10 classes that can DPS, 4 classes that can tank, and 4 classes that can heal. Just from this fact alone, the expected ratio should already be 1:1:2.5.
 
For some strange reason I completely agree with Twiliak, as my main is also a Rogue. Not since day 1, but since day 1 I played, roughly 5.5 years ago.

I find your point of view unfair insofar as some of us just can't switch the role.

For the last 2 expansions I've always played mainly 3 toons, my Rogue main and in TBC 2 tanks (bear, warrior) and in WotLK one each (warrior tank/shammy healer) - so, taking into account that my main got kitted in raids early on I even fulfilled the healer/tank role a lot more than 2/3 of my time.
Which doesn't help me -at all- when I need stuff on my main and have to endure a 40min queue.
Just now I've also tanked some heroics already and levelling my shammy - so this will be the same soon again, with me (on a day with enough time) will do 3 heroics, one each per role - and I'm still shafted for being so egoistic to not abandon my main of 5.5 years.
 
One great thing about the long dps queues is that a) you can do dailies while waiting and b) you can know that at least you are pissing off some of the more entitled dps players.
 
Totally wrong on this Tobold.

DPS is just as valid a choice or playstyle as any other is, and you shouldn't be saying in essence: "If you don't like it STFU and reroll healer or tank."

Playing DPS is not "leeching,"that's a princess attitude. It's not selfish, because we play the game for enjoyment. When you force people to play classes they don't like, you get burnout.

I mean heck, do you switch to dps when a buddy has his own tank and healer, or do you just requeue?
 
@Tobold, 40%* of WoW classes (H, WL, M & R) don't have any other choice but the DPS role.

(* i bet these initial 4/10 choices actually present more than that in real populace)

All these people have picked class on character select falsely assuming that each choice is equal.

Then have invested about 2 months in it, while the game reinforces the notion they have picked right (because leveling is naturally DPS biased).

And when they hit End game - are they to blame for being led by false advertising?

I don't think the solution is in giving incentives - i woldn't change my class, and my toon in which i have invested time and emotion, just to throw it away and start something completely different.

If I was Blizz, I'd come up with a Tank or Healer spec for all currently pure DPS classes. (one could easily imagine some of these right off the bat - vampirism (WL) and naturalism (H) for healing, spectral (R) and crystal (M) forms for tanking, or something else. the imagination of the designers will prove itself once again.) The point is - gameplaywise no one will be in a deadend class any more.
 
well, in theory the ratio is 1:1:2.5,

but can the armory provide us the data if effectively this is also the real ratio? I doubt it.

Not to mention, besides some interesting interrupts or some nifty use of a lever, the tank and healer have a slight heavier input than dps.
 
So, redesign the silly tank/DPS/healer trinity.

Redesign it HOW? Either you make everybody exactly the same, which would be boring, or you'd just end up with another system in which everybody was shirking his responsability and trying to get the cushiest job.

If I tank a bunch on one ton, then my DPS queue should be shorter on my DPS toons.

That would be a good idea. For every dungeon you complete as tank or healer, you'll get a token that enables you to skip the queue the next time you want to play DPS.

I wonder if you would give up healing and do only DPS were that the lesser played role?

Yes, no problem, been there, done that. Sometimes we form a guild group and find we have two healers and then I just switch my priest to dps spec. I've also frequently switched to an alt when necessary.

If healing or tanking is a thankless hard work, then the issue is with the way those roles are designed and implemented. No amount of social engineering will fix it.

Adding more rewards to encourage lesser played roles is social engineering, and it always works. Yes, *some* players will never play tanks or healers. But others are always opportunistic enough to go for the biggest reward. We don't need *all* DPS players to switch roles, if just a quarter of them did there would already be a perfect role balance.

In my expereionce healing isn't really that difficult. Maybe people complain more, but it isn't really that hard.

Different players find different roles hard or easy. And it isn't just a question of whether a role is "hard" to play, but also a question about the amount of stress, responsability, and danger of getting blamed, which makes healing less attractive. If healing was so easy, why is it so hard to find a healer?

As a rogue, I don't have the option of tanking or healing. Should I switch to my other characters that can perform those roles I gain nothing for the character I am trying to advance.

That is exactly the part which I called "selfish". You refuse to do something for the greater good of the whole community, because there is no "gain" for your "main". That is selfish.

I refuse to believe that just because a game has the label "MMORPG," I am forced to take on some sort of social contract to play it, where I must sacrifice my fun for "the good of the group."

It isn't the label "MMORPG" which creates the social responsability. As long as you solo, you don't have any of that responsability. But as soon as you click on that Dungeon Finder button or otherwise join a group, you sign a social contract. Have you never formed a team for some sport as a kid? You simply can't have everybody play the quarterback or forward striker or whatever the sexiest position in your team sport is. Same thing is WoW, you can't have 5 DPS in a group.

First off, I completely disagree that MMORPGs are "some sort of team sport".

Soloing in a MMORPG isn't. Dungeons, raids, and most organized forms of PvP in a MMORPG are team sports.

if the dungeon finder puts teams together automatically on ratio of 3 DPS to 1 Healer to 1 Tank (that is what it does, isn't it?) don't two-thirds of the playerbase need to play DPS for the thing to work at all?

60% need to. An estimated 80% do. That ends you up with 20% of players being tanks and healers, being in groups with 30% of DPS players, while the remaining 50% of players rot in a waiting queue. The system "works" with any distribution, but the further away the real distribution is from the perfect distribution, the longer the queues get.
 
I accept that some of us tank or heal out of a sense of duty to our guilds. Even in the old days, our server. But out of a sense of duty to the faceless scrubs of LFD that you expect never to see again?

If you feel a "sense of duty" only towards people you expect to get something back from, that is also rather selfish.

Needless to say, nearly everyone wants to play the fast cars. However, races can't start until someone bite the bullet and takes a slow car.

Now, should nothing change about this game, except that some of the players should sacrifice their fun "for the greater good?"

Or is this just poor design?


That's why I would ask for additional rewards for tanks and healers, or that "skip queue" token, or some other change which makes tanks and healers more attractive. But there are limits, you can't change football to include 10 quarterbacks per side, just because that is what people want to play. To some degree players need to accept the rules of the game, or get out.

DPS role should be given something critical to the group success that neither tank nor healer role can do. Something along the line of CC, decursing, damage mitigation, healing buffs.

Cataclysm tried that, and it failed miserably. Now you have to wait 40 minutes in a queue as DPS only to see your group break up the first time crowd control is needed. People play DPS *because* it doesn't have responsability.

So, what about those of us that didn't know there was a social contract to start with and just thought, "Hey! That looks cool."

Roll an alt. Nothing in this game prevents you from having several characters for several roles.

If the developers decide one day that encounters will be more dependent upon the dps then the dps will be looked upon as more valuable.

That has been tried in the form of enrage timers. Didn't work well. Because as there are several DPS in a group, the responsability to deal damage is by definition shared (and the tank adds some damage too), so if the sum of damage dealt is insufficient, there is still nobody feeling responsible.

No game developer will ever be able to enforce social paradigms on players who have no social link between them without a player accountability system in place, and the LFD tool is perfect proof of this.

Imagine the following situation: Whenever you finish a dungeon as healer or tank, you get in addition to the regular reward a "healer/tank" token. 10 of which buy you a shiny epic. Yes, you can't "force" social paradigms, but you can always bribe people to act socially responsible.
 
Tank and healer are alone in their role. They either can do the job - or not. If they cannot, or if they mess up it's very visible.

DPS on the other hand aren't alone. It's a shared responsiblity. That allows for leeway, where one player's slack is taken in by another.

There don't need to be 'extra' rewards for tanks or healers. Consider so-called queue tanks and how many of them may be doing a half-assed job.

Currently, healers and tanks are penalized by earning only group-gear while everyone else get's dual-purpose gear. There should be something similar to spirit being converted into hit rating for crit to parry and dodge based on talents.
 
@Tobold: Your notion that healers and tanks should heal and tank because they have a spec for it upsets me a bit. Not the first time I've heard this argument at all, but I didn't expect it coming from this angle.

This comes from a warrior who only warrior who only signs as tank for a dungeon if I'm running with at least a few friends, and it's not for lack of confidence. I am sick and tired of the abuse thrown at me by utter morons in random groups, and a simple fact is that it is almost always the tank, or the healer, who gets the abuse if anything goes wrong, always. So I happily wait 30-40 mins while doing dailies or archeology while waiting to pewpew through the daily hc. If this blogpost was meant to make me feel bad about that, you gotta try a lot harder my man. :)
 
Just a hint on how I would redesign the trinity (should prolly make a blog of this but meh):

1) Remove dedicated tank gear. As a consequent, mobs no longer hit that hard.

This is to ensure that any player can take a larger amount of hits from a mob before it dies, thus reducing the necessity of having someone dedicating to colecting survivability gear.

Note that atm wipes occur from special abilities of the boss and not because of sheer damage output in a normal phase, so having a dedicated tank is very much obsolete.

2) Remove the Tank Role.

With gear gone, in a 5 man group "tanking" should be the responsibility of the entire group, not just one player.

Melee Classes could mitigate in the traditional sense of the word with their higher armor / cooldowns while ranged would help out by using their crowd control.

3) 3 DPS / 2 Healer - 5 man groups

Similar to a 5 man arena team, allow a bit more flexibility in the composition of a group.

Healer damage has already improved so a healing class can fill both roles here.
 
It is time that some of the people who always leeched from the greater social responsability of other people finally man up and start playing healers and tanks themselves!

"social responsability" ?
This is absurd in this context.
---

And if they continue shirking that social responsability, it is time that Blizzard does some social engineering towards a more balanced player base.

They already try. Problem is that most people shy away from responsibility and you cannot make challenging content if you assume that nobody assumes responsibility. It would make the content trivial for groups where people do assume responsibility.
 
I think the issue is that the whole group model in MMOs is flawed. Why shouldn't a player be able to play whatever class they want without having to suffer any repercussions as a result?

As a tank, I've also encountered an issue with gearing up. Yes, I like tanking and yes, it's easy for me to get random HC groups and thus gear up as a tank. But then what happens when I want to do raiding? I won't be the main tank in the raid yet I don't have any DPS gear because I was tanking heroics and not allowed to roll on it...
 
...interesting discussion with lots of appealing ideas and good arguments.

For me, I like the trinity paradigm. And I do not really see an alternative for that (reminds me of German faux-pas word of the year "alternativlos" which means that the solution or whatever is without alternatives, used by some politicians last year...)

Of course, there could be alternative models, but I cannot think of any model that improves the situation.

Take this shared-tanking thing 2 healers 3 dds, less damage etc. What would happen in PUGs? I guess it will end in a chaos. There will have to be more coordination to get the fight done, because the roles are not clear and there are several options. It is raid-situation. If conversation and coordination won't be necessary in that model, then the fight would be too easy --> boring, this again is raid situation in WOTLK (without heroics and achievements) or normal dungeon situation right now.

Keep in mind that this trinity paradigm also helps people in seeing structure in this 5 man group and so getting along with each other and with their roles in relatively short time. Yes sometimes there is still the need for some sort of coordination, but general roles are clearly defined.

Endless conversations and discussions concerning leading positions, who heals whom etc. won't work in most of the cases.
That is something for guild groups, for raids and so on.

The trinity makes the game easier in that way and as I get it from some comments, it is very hard right now isn't it ;)
 
@Robert:
I agree. The trinity is holy for a reason ;). If anything you could add new roles, like CC, supporter, scout (not in WoW).

What could be done is giving all classes a 'specc' to play healer or tank, too. But that's sometimes hard with the lore.

It's not so hard to think about other concepts than threat, but just scrapping tanks or healers will worsen the situation.
 
I thought the sexiest position was the Main Tank, but maybe I'm biased. :D
 
That is exactly the part which I called "selfish". You refuse to do something for the greater good of the whole community, because there is no "gain" for your "main". That is selfish.

Why would anyone do a heroic if they get nothing out of it? Sure it's "selfish" but there is no other option for gearing a character that cannot heal/tank. The horrific pugs have been enough to keep many out of Heroics, why should I subject myself to that kind of abuse with no reward? You know as well as I do that it doesn't make any sense to play a game for the purpose of fulfilling some social duty to people you've never met if that experience isn't going to be the one that you will enjoy.
 
Imagine the following situation: Whenever you finish a dungeon as healer or tank, you get in addition to the regular reward a "healer/tank" token. 10 of which buy you a shiny epic. Yes, you can't "force" social paradigms, but you can always bribe people to act socially responsible.

The problem with this idea is that you wouldnt be bribing people, you would just be paying people to fill the roles that they already chose to play. Anyone can roll a healer the same as a tank or a dps class, and I see no sense in paying people to play one role over the other.

In essence, you're proposing that we treat two classes better than the others when the problem that exists is due to the trinity effect and the player distribution model used by the LFD queue matching system. It's not the players fault that this disparity exists.....IT'S THE DESIGN OF THE GAME that is causing it.

I honestly dont know why Blizzard just doesnt do away with the random portion of the LFD tool and instead implement a much deeper level of interaction on the players part by allowing players from all realms in a battlegroup to be listed in a LFD browser. Let players select which dungeon they want to run, the role they want to fill, and whether or not a random invite will be accepted. The moment they join the LFD tool allow them to chat and promote themselves among the other players waiting.

If you want social responsibility, give the players the ability to police themselves and control who they group with. Everything I have read about the frustrations of Pugs revolves around the fact that players resent that their game progression is being affected by some stranger who will more than likely never be seen again.

Implement features that remove or minimize this "stranger" effect; such as the ability to /ignore(blacklist) players who act inapproprately or dont perform well. Remove/reduce the psycho-social factors that fuels the feelings of resentment from the "stranger" effect and I think that the LFD tool would be much better.
 
People that prefer to play healers and tanks, (leaving out the ones who just roll one to que faster), are generally team players. People that play DPS are generally not. They are the solo to end game whats in it for me players. THe what's in it for me mindset stresses and burns out the healers and tanks more than the stress of being held responsible for the run. So since they gear up faster they turn to running with friends and guildies and opt out of the LFD tool much quicker than the DPS.

Thats your real problem. The social disconnect between those that are more social and team oriented and the selfish crowd that blizzard keeps rewarding by refusing to do any social engineering to encourage and reward team play.
 
If you want social responsibility, give the players the ability to police themselves and control who they group with.

We had that in Vanilla wow. Then name changes, faction changes and server changes destroyed all ability of guilds to self police thier server. The social aspect of the game has been sliding down hill ever since.

Just imagine what freeways in Europe or the US would be like if suddenly Police officers decided it wasn't thier job to cite people for driving too fast or having wrecks.
 
If healing was so easy, why is it so hard to find a healer?

Because most people wouldn't find healing as fun, and most people would play games to kill time by having fun.

That would be a good idea. For every dungeon you complete as tank or healer, you'll get a token that enables you to skip the queue the next time you want to play DPS.

It's a funny idea because it falls back to the concept of "do crap things that you don't like first, then you'll get to the good bits doing things you like later" by forcing DPS players to change/queue as a tank/healer first so they can skip queue the next time they want to play DPS. I'm not sold on that idea at all.

People play DPS *because* it doesn't have responsability.

So 80% of the community play DPS because they don't want to have responsibility. I wonder why people bother playing MMORPG where the community is filled by that kind of players. Such masochists they are. =)

Imagine the following situation: Whenever you finish a dungeon as healer or tank, you get in addition to the regular reward a "healer/tank" token. 10 of which buy you a shiny epic. Yes, you can't "force" social paradigms, but you can always bribe people to act socially responsible.

Here's the kicker for this idea. You've painted DPS players bad players so far. They are selfish because they don't want to change class to do the greater good. They are lazy because they don't want responsibility. They are bad because just want to hit big numbers. Yet, somehow you think it's a good idea that these kind of players should switch to be tank/healer that actually has responsibility and "harder" to play to the point that Blizzard needed to "bribe" them?

I prefer to have lack of tank/healer role rather than having perfect balance between tank/DPS/healer if half of the tank/healer are crap DPS turned tank/healer because of "bribe". It's not healthy for the community, and most likely would end up with failed groups here and there anyway. Nobody wants to PUG when they can be grouped with crap tank/healer.
 
Slightly provocative but not, I think off the wall suggestion:

Keep the trinity but eliminate Tanking and Healing classes entirely.

Tanking is handled as follows: Each group nominates a leader. The leader of the group gets a suitable tanking buff and taunt skills to go with it. Instant tank.

For healing on the other hand just use npc healers. Healing is job of balancing numbers: health bars, mana and time. Computers are better at number crunching than humans so I suggest that a well written npc algorithm will do a better healing job than a human player.

Everyone gets to play a DPS class which is the favourite any way. Those who fancy themselves as leaders (and there are always plenty of those) can learn how to tank. Using NPCS as healing means no one is forced to play a non combat role.

Problem solved.
 
There are two parts to social responsibility. It is easy to claim that all dps that have the ability to tank/heal and don't switch to it are irresponsible, lazy and horrible people, but it may not be reality.

What about the people who have tried tanking and no matter what they do, they just aren't good at it? Same with healing. These people do exist. They just may not be able to "get it" somehow and may be horrible at it. Isn't it "socially responsible" of them to not put their group into a situation which will likely fail?

And as Leah said, this is a game that people are paying for. To say that people need to switch to tank/heal roles for social responsibility is odd. I guess it would be socially irresponsible to cancel ones account too, since it may have also increased others wait times in a que? It's a game that people pay for. They have a right as customers to play the role they wish to play regardless of who they are playing with. You have the right to not group with them.

As for giving tanks and healers more loot? People who are not comfy in these roles of responsibility will either feel this is justified or they will quit the game. People who enjoy warlocks, rogues,and mages won't have a tank/heal spec, but have just as important crowd control or other abilities will get extra loot as well? Or is the wait time in the que all that matters?
 
I've said it before and I say it again. I did NOT roll a mage to evade responsability. I had no idea of what I was doing whatsoever. Picking the mage class was very random, probably influenced from my crush on fantasy literature mages such as Merlin and The Wizard from Earthsea. While Wrath admittedly was a bit of an aoe-feast in dungeons (nothing we had asked for, mind you!), Cataclysm has so far put quite a bit of stress on dps:ers with cc. My experince from dungeons is that I've done everything but just simply nuking: keeping stuff cc:d, doing interrupts, decursing, slowing down stuff with ring of frost etc etc. I guess you just wanted to provoke a discussion with your post and that's why it's a bit lacking when it comes to nuances.

I haven't levelled my resto druid alt in Cata yet, but from wrath my experience was that healing was LESS stressful than dpsing. Far mor appreciation. And no e-peening. It was a relief and I kind of miss it tbh.
 
"That's why I would ask for additional rewards for tanks and healers, or that "skip queue" token, or some other change which makes tanks and healers more attractive."

I would say that making it easier for tanks and healers to get their gear would be the best for everyone. People don't like to run with scrub tanks in crap gear unless they are in crappier gear. If you get your dedicated tanks/healers geared faster, then you can get the alt tanks/healers geared faster just on greed rolls. The people who are nervous about taking those roles because of gear (and yes, they exist) would be able to build up a set faster and might be more willing to take on these roles more often.

"People play DPS *because* it doesn't have responsability."

This is a WoW design flaw. In other RPG's, the various classes do have responsibilities. I know on my mage I did feel a responsibility to spell steal/interrupt or even freeze a mob if it were on the healer. In LotRO, I am not a tank or healer, but if I don't interrupt I will hear about it. If the burg doesn't time a CJ well, he will hear about it. If the loremaster doesn't mez the right mob, she will hear about it.

And last, what about social responsibility to a new tank or healer. People typically drop group if they see someone in their run with sub-par gear score. If you are going to reward players for taking tank/heal roles, you need to reward dps who stick around after multiple wipes because a tank or healer is still learning their class.
 
You can't change the DPS/Tank/Helaer trinity without a total redesign of the game. Get real people.

A player is entertained by things he can relate to and care for. Mining and other activities can be fun for some, but all MMO activities swirl around combat, and combat is all about HP. HP is the only thin you loos, the only thing you watch dramatically going down, the only thing that makes your heart beat faster when you play the game. Beacauese it is the only thin that actually affects the world and makes it change the most. So yeah, you care for HPs.

And like with every resource you want to take it from others, prevent losing your own and restore it as fast as you can. And so the trinity is formed.

Wow is based on RPG, the real paper thing, where you could do more then deal HPs - there you had roles like Wizard, Warior, Rougue, Cleric and the such. These were specs. In WoW however it doesn't matter if your a paladin or a priest, what matter is damage output, healing capabilities and how mage damage you can concentrate on you. So it's the only conern.

And as long as it will be the only concern no other roles will appear in the game and the trinity will triumph.
 
A potential solution (if programable) could be to award bonus "BOA" points to tanks and healers. (e.g. instance rewards X pts normally. everyone gets X pts and tanks and healers get Y additional points that they can mail/gift to their other toons or use on self) This would be a twofold solution in that it would increase the amount of tanks and healers and decrease the amount of dps.

This, of course, is only if the developers truly see the wait times as a problem.

And im with Leah on the overall social responsibility. Social responsibility only exists when you are in a society that you have no choice but to be in (Real Life) and can not turn off. I completely choose to be in WoW in that I pay a monthly fee and can leave at any time. I play WoW for fun. When grouping became more fun, I switched to healing due to the wait times. It had nothing todo with feeling responsible. I prefer my mage, but my priest lets me do what I enjoy more. The only responsibility I feel is to do the best I can at my given task, and that is a personality trait.
 
I have a healer main and no other max-level characters, and I can wholeheartedly say that healing is much easier for me than DPSing.

On the occasion that I run as DPS (usually when a guild run already has a healer) I'm constantly fighting with my own rotation, accidentally DoT-ing CC'd things, running OOM more often than my healer spec, doing 10-11k DPS, which puts me in the sub-tank realm, and despite the fact that I know I'm doing a terrible job, we steamroll the content anyway.

So not only is it much harder for me, but there's no feeling of triumph if I finally master it, because there's 2 other DPS, and one of them would have done it well anyway.

To those who think role choice is an aspect of personality, I'm a perfect example to support that idea; I wouldn't be a full-time DPS if it paid me to.
 
Also - I was administrating a NWN server for 3 years and the fact is that without major changes the system allows everyone to his own uber-healer, so the only roles that count are Tank vs DPS, and even then it's easy to create a tank that deals decent damage. The propositions of merging the roles is kills the fun and is a big step towards the Uberhero problem.

As for healers - I laways play as one, I barely remember aplying a game where I wasn't a healer/logistic character. It's just my favourite type of game: to keep averyone alive :) I'm the support person all the time.

Healing is a reponsibility and triggerhappy peole should not play this type of characters, because they won't understand what it is about. The general idea - yeah, but if you get 5 triggerhappy DPS and expect someone to fulfill his duty and go as healer, then I wouldn't expect a big success even if someone went as healer. Most of guys like that try to get their healer into the fight too much anyway. So aye, it is a responsibility but nay, I would surely understand, that noone feels responsible for picking it up and playing as healer. This requires an attitude that most people don't have.
 
Reading some moere through comments makes me think of how the theory of 'personality traits' conflicts with the 'responsibility' theory. What follows is some bad psychology. You've been warned.

I think that for every game a player has a personal level of conscience of the game, and that this level decides which parts of the game he considers entertaining. There are people that are fascinated by rthe story, but then other see the machanic in it and are no longer 'fooled' by the story. They play for the quantity of quests and quality if rewards.

The same applies to roles - being a healer, or a support person, is my general role in life most of the time. There are people who feel warriorily or protectorily and choose the role based on the feel, beacuse they enjoy the role for that reason alone. And then there are players, that see pure machanics in this and do not consider the alignment of the role as a factor when choosin a role. They just choose the role that brings more fun, either allows more interaction with other players, allows to gain more resources and the such.

The less conscious players have fun with the most silly things while the more conscious are mostly more engaged in the game and require more complicated activities to actually be entertained. Also, the first really need to feel like helping someone to help, while the second base their gameplay on calculation.

The more conscious players are the one who would actually take it upon themselves to become a healer once one is needed, the less conscious would not, beacause it would not entertain them to play a role the disgust.
 
MagrothJ said: I agree with this to a very large degree. That idea should preferrably be scrapped totally. Think of other solutions. For example let everyone have some sort of self heal. But that's just one idea out of probably many.

A really bad one too. I've seen this once and the effect is that instead of three roles you have two. A Tank and a DPS. Healers are obsolete in a system in which everyone can heal himself.
 
Picking up the DPS role and complaining about being potentially replaced / long waiting times is quite "unintelligent" by itself.

The social aspect you mentioned is quite right. But bad performing DPS ignoring the needs of their group (cc, support, cookies, buffs or mitigration / debuffs) is just as "unintelligent" / social incorrect. It is quite obvious that you will be replaced if you perform bad.

The social part normally is of no interest to me in personal but your post is right. Choosing the wrong market is always unfortunate.

PS: used the phase "unintelligent" since I'm trying to get rid of my flaming-problem.
PPS: "I've rolled a mage so I'm stuck and can do nothing about it" is ignorance. You can reroll any time. And once upon a time you decidet to be in the crowded DPS-market. So players fault not Blizzards.
 
To be fair, some of the lack of tanks/healers is partly because of the fault of the community at large. It's been mentioned several times that queueing as a DPS is ultimately a less-stressful, less responsible role. When something goes wrong, it's normally the tank or the healer who gets blamed first.

In addition, as a tank, you're automatically expected to lead and know the dungeon. It's because of thise that I personally haven't been queueing as a tank (and I am a tank). I don't know the instances well enough that I feel comfortable leading.

If you go slow and take your time marking/explaining, people complain. When I do tank, I always ask if people are ready before a boss pull. Rarely do I get any sort of a response from the DPS.

Sure, I've had some truly wonderful LFD groups - and I've told those groups that. More commonly, there's someone in the group who makes the run harder. And after a long day of work, when I'm playing WoW to relax, the last thing I want is to be made more stressed because of someone I have no relationship with, aside from a random group thrown together.

When I start to know the instances better and have better gear (ultimately, so the success is less dependent on the others in the group), then I'll queue as a tank. Because the stress of tanking isn't worth it right now.
 
@Espoire totally my ideas about the game.
Healing is the thing I am doing in WoW since 2005 and supporing healing are also the things I chose in other MMOs.
It's just fun, to help (also to suffer sometimes) but it is also fun to get to know the mechanics of healing and to drive everything towards perfection.
So for example to support bad equipped (or bad playing) with expertise and special abilities to lengthen the time of bossfights and in the end kill the mob with a team that under average conditions
would not be able to do so.

Same thing is possible for a dd. A dd not only can compensate other dds low damage but also can help healers and tanks. Game-mechanics leave enough space for that. So it is wrong to say that DDs are per se antisocial.

I think you can take "social responsibility" (if you want to use that phrase) with every class in the game.

By the way, people who only want to play for the fun of the game and do not see any fun in socializing should not complain about explicit multiplayer content of games. They should do the solo quests and if they get along with it the normal dungeons but these guys should not be able to win heroic dungeons nor to conquer raid bosses.

The Epicness of an MMO comes out of the social power and enjoyment of conversations and teamwork it is not derived from big monsters or great weapons...because those things you can also find in dragon age or mass effect...whatever...
 
It's complete rubbish to tell me that I've somehow shirked some "implied social responsibility" by choosing to play a DPS class (Hunter) rather than a tank or healer. I don't like the fact queues are long, but I don't constantly complain about it. I've got *loads* of other things I can co while waiting for a queue, or a I get in a guild group or what have you, but I play what I play because I'm playing to have a good time. I'm quite good at playing my class, bring more utility to my groups than some classes, and know a good deal about pretty much every instance in the game. So, I resent the Hell out of being told that I'm somehow "doing it wrong" by choosing to be DPS. This kind of attitude, the whole- you are a dime a dozen, you get what you deserve for choosing DPS role- is just plain insulting. There are really *good* players out there in DPS roles, and without us, I don't care how selfless or thoughful you are as the tank or healer, you're not getting through that heroic on your own. Get over yourselves.
 
What it comes down to is how long a hybrid class has to wait in order to convince them to respec for LFG. The 40 minute que is there b/c that is the limit that hybrids have accepted to wait so they don't have to tank. It wouldn't matter if you made every single class a hybrid that could tank. Most people still would prefer to wait 40 minutes instead of tanking.

In regard to social responsibility, that makes no sense in LFG. Most people's loyalty lies w/ their guild, not with random people from other servers in LFG. I'm a druid who already has a resto pvp spec for my arena team. If my guild needs me to go boomkin for raids thats what I'll do. It would be insane to throw away one of my spec's so that I can tank in LFG. Nobody owes anyone else anything in LFG. LFG is very much a cold "what can you do for me" type world. If you want social responsiblity then avoid LFG, that's not what it's there for. Do guild runs or, *gasp*, make FRIENDS ON YOUR SERVER.
 
I can't believe how some people here are calling DPS players in general "selfish" and actually worth less than tanks and healers.

Clearly you've already forgotten WotLK heroics where you could perfectly waltz through with 5 DPS without any healer or tank, given enough outgearing. Same with most content without an enrage timer, sure 4 Tanks + Healer or Tank + 4 Healers slowly gets the job done.

FWIW, some of the people here seem to see heroics as the end-all be-all of WoW - yes, in heroics you need a decent tank, a decent healer and with 3 mediocre DPS you might get through.

If you go to many raid fights, in a 10mans in WotLK you needed exactly one tank who most of needed a lot of gear, not so much skills. Tell him a rotation of 4 buttons, add some Misdirect and the only thing preventing you from wiping then would be bad healing.. or shockingly, too low dps.
If you don't get the boss down before the time's up, the healers' mana dried up, someone making a mistake - most fights are pure DPS, or at least only half as hard if you manage to complete em in half the time.

I do agree there are several people who want the easy way out and choose a dps class and then do about as much damage as the tank.

But there many of us who not only enjoy the role but also help our raid get kills. Yes, technically I could switch my role with our MT - I bring my alt tank, he brings his alt DPS - even given enough gear I'd still wager we would perform worse.
 
First time I reply to your blog and it's been an interesting read most of the time. I quit WoW 2 years ago after beating Ulduar (before the dungeon finder) so take this with a grain of salt.

I find this blatant generalization about DPS being the less responsible rather of-putting if not to say blatantly smug. As a long time PvE rogue player I found it incredibly aggravating that Blizzard was phasing the necessity of cc/interrupt/stuns/disarms to mitigate incoming dps on tanks out in both TBC and WotLK heroics which indeed trivialized DPS roles. At the same time I played a healer in heroics occasionally and I found it not particularly difficult. I hear this has changed in heroics again and DPS again have to play to their full ability including everything they have outside of.

A well played DPS will make the day of tanks and healers a lot easier if not manageable to begin with.
 
In my case, i MT our raids, but queue randoms as a DPS. There is absolutly NO incentive to tank a random that i can think of.

I do dailies while i wait, which is (as i said previously) a better way to get superior gear than heroics, anyway.

once or twice, because the group was friendly, i respeced tank and finished the run, but that is very seldom. All work deserves pay, and atm, tanking heroics very much feels like you work more than the 4 others (imo), while not rewarding it one bit.
 
Is there where I point out that your average 25 man raid has 2 tanks, 7 healers, 16 DPS? That raid won't be very good if it doesn't have any mages,rogues,hunters,or warlocks. Those people have to get gear somewhere.
 
Wow, Tobold, I'm not sure if you are being genuine in your statements, or simply playing devil's advocate...

First off, humans are selfish animals. No two ways about it - just read the newspaper for current examples, or study history for past examples. If game designers don't understand that, and actually EXPECT us to behave is some utopian, altruistic, fashion that is completely contrary to real human behavior, then their game designs will fail.

Second, selfish being that I am, in WoW I ONLY CARE ABOUT MY HUNTER.

That being said, my solutions to the problem are the following:

My preferred solution is to give Hunters a tanking or healing spec. Reasons are obvious.

My second solution is to MAKE THE LOOT THAT DROPS IN DUNGEONS TRADABLE BETWEEN CHARACTERS ON THE SAME ACCOUNT.

I would be more than happy to roll a tank or healer alt IF I could take some of the loot that no one in the group needs and trade it to one of my characters that could use it. Then I wouldn't feel as though I'm being forced to help others that I'm not sure would help me in return (prisoner's dilemma - a.k.a. human behavior) for no real reward.
 
Wow, this thread blew up. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my thinking now.

First to address the Holy Trinity and adding archetypes. EverQuest had a 4th archetype, perhaps some of you remember, and that was Crowd Control. The classes that full filled this role were typically an Enchanter or Bard who also had the best buffs in the game, sometimes you could make do with a Monk who had a lot of DPS. The problem was it didn’t add a real slot to the group, but added another reserved slot just like Healer/Tank is now. That is a reason I played an Enchanter in EQ. I knew I’d always have a spot in the group. If WoW released a pure CC/Buff class I would reroll to it in a second.

Now on to breaking the Holy Trinity. Have any of you played games that tried this? I know someone mentioned CoH but let’s look at Warhammer Online. They gave every Healer damage abilities which were suppose to increase their healing. You know what happened? They didn’t use them in most situations; not only that the players didn’t roll these DPS healer any more than they play as healers now. Tanks were given a more offensive role and to a degree that worked. (To be fair I believe there were so many Black Orcs was because there were no Choppas) The problem was that these people wanted to ONLY DPS, so you had lots of bad tanks trying to DPS doing less damage than other true DPS classes. So when you change the Holy Trinity to combine the roles you end up with one of two results. People either specialize regardless or they end up being bad at their class.

I am perfectly fine with people WANTING to play as DPS. I keep saying this though, don’t try and change the entire game because you are unhappy with the wait time because of what you’ve chosen. You are being selfish as soon as you try to alter the game in a way that makes YOUR line shorter because you refuse to reroll. If you really don’t like the wait in LFD that much run guild groups or trade groups, odds are they will be more successful anyways.

I rerolled from a priest to a druid because the majority of my guild could heal as their off spec but very few could tank. A druid also allows me to full fill ANY role in a group. I understand the attachment to your main. I didn’t want to leave my priest but playing the game, and playing with my friends was more important than playing any specific class.
 
It isn't selfish to want to play DPS. It's more fun to play DPS. If Blizzard makes tanking/healing more fun, easier and less stressful I'll play those classes.

Blizzard needs to make their game appealing to me to where I want to tank or heal.

Tanking/Healing is not fun or appealing. It is bad game design pure and simple.
 
Nex thing you're going to tell me is Death Knights and Warlocks are the selfish DPS classes since they don't have CC.
 
@ Tobold

That would be a good idea. For every dungeon you complete as tank or healer, you'll get a token that enables you to skip the queue the next time you want to play DPS

Only if you have ability to switch between DPS and tanking/healing. But lets assume that you can use "skip the queue" token on your other toons. You use the token and then get immediately kicked off from the group because your DPS toon doesn't have the hard mode achievement for that particular instance and the others do not feel like "carrying" you.

Redesign it HOW? Either you make everybody exactly the same, which would be boring, or you'd just end up with another system in which everybody was shirking his responsability and trying to get the cushiest job.

Essentially what you are saying is keep the current design because you happy with how it works for you. Speaking about being selfish... Anyway the bottom line is the current tank/healer/dps role balance is broken and it is game breaking experience for increasing number of players. Once it starts affecting subscription numbers Blizzard will "fix" the problem. But you personally may not like the fix...
 
Not that it matters in this elephant of a thread, but just for clarity my strong objection is to the use of the word "sport" in "tema sport", not the word "team".

No video game has ever been, is or will ever be a "sport".
 
Really everyone is being selfish, let’s just admit that.

Tanks and healers like it the way it is because it is good for them. DPS want it changed because they have to wait.

@Dink
Reread your post and tell me that doesn't sound like the words of someone who only cares about themselves. All you talk about is you. How you don’t find tanking or healing fun. That doesn’t mean other people feel the same way. Consider your wording if you want to be taken more seriously.
@Andrei
Tobold asked HOW to redesign the Holy Trinity and you say he is being selfish? Talk about putting spin on a question to create a straw man argument. The bottom line is not that this is a breaking experience for an INCREASING number of players.

We have just as many players now as we did 3 years ago and this wasn’t a hot button issue then. The ONLY reason this is an issue is because Blizzard implemented the Dungeon Finder and people now have a visual reminder of how long they have to get in a Dungeon. Prior to LFD it took approximately the same amount of time, sometimes longer. I’m not saying it was better back then, what I’m saying is that Blizzard didn’t lose people over the wait when it was worse.

This WILL not affect subscription numbers. The amount of DPS classes hasn’t affected Blizzard before what makes you think it will change? In Vanilla WoW and leading into TBC there were few viable healers and tanks and that is when the game grew to 10 million. Now we have more tanks and healers and you are claiming that Blizzard is going to lose subscriptions over it? I think you’re wrong.
 
@Bhagpuss

I like you. That out of the way.

Why wont a video game ever be a sport? I'm not arguing that point I just want to hear your reasoning. I think "game" has always been a better definition; however Football is considered a game AND a sport. So I want to hear your idea.
 
Quoting Wikipedia: "A sport is an organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful activity requiring commitment, strategy, and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means. It is governed by a set of rules or customs. Activities such as card games and board games, are classified as "mind sports" and some are recognized as Olympic sports, requiring primarily mental skills and mental physical involvement. Non-competitive activities, for example as jogging or playing catch are usually classified as forms of recreation."

If chess can be a sport, so can a MMORPG.
 
@Epiny

The ONLY reason this is an issue is because Blizzard implemented the Dungeon Finder and people now have a visual reminder of how long they have to get in a Dungeon. Prior to LFD it took approximately the same amount of time, sometimes longer.

Like it or not LFD is now integral part of player experience. And this experience is sub par for majority of player base because of role imbalance. If it is game breaking or affects increasing number of players is a matter of opinion as we don't have the numbers. But it does affect signicant portion of player base and this discussion is a testament to that.


This WILL not affect subscription numbers. The amount of DPS classes hasn’t affected Blizzard before what makes you think it will change?

In your opinion what was the reason for dumbing down content in WotLK if it wasn't driven by subscription numbers?
 
Nobody is talking about the elephant ... he is standing right here ...

There is a vast array of difference in skill and experience of wow players. Those below average, who are unable to do their share in heroics... where do they reside in the trinity? They may have tried healing and tanking, but you can be confident their success rate won't be high using LFD.
 
@Epiny

Yes, it is about me the end user, consumer, the money spender.

I criticize so they can fix it before I take my money somewhere else.

Consider you imposing your opinion on others before wanting to be considered relevant. Are you a liberal democrat?
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
- There is a lot of anti-DPS bias inherent in this thread. I have come across tanks and healers who are just as arrogant, who yell at others for mistakes, and start drama as anyone who plays DPS.

- The problem is the numbers. There may be an equal number of jerks in every role, but when DPS outnumbers the other two combined, it looks like they're more to blame when it's really the game/human nature.

- I think the solution for the dilemma is already in the system. DPS requires almost no responsibility, so if you want to play that wait 30 minutes for a queue. Healers require slightly more, so you get in 5-10 minutes faster. Tanks by nature of their pulling/focus have to do the most work, so they get instant queues.

All this requires no social normalizing, but merely a function of the players.
 
Ha. Playing DPS right now is like going Mcdonalds at 12:30 and complaining about the long line, when right across the street is an arby's with no lines at all.

I like McD fine. But would rather have my food in 5mins instead of 20. I don't tank because I'm "willing," I tank because I am unwilling to wait.
 
Umm, I just recently started played WoW. I didn't start a class that was a healer or a tank. I just picked a class I thought was fun. What if you have no clue that the class you picked was utterly insignificant and considered a leech? It really sounds as if everyone is taking this game way the hell too seriously. Its called a GAME for a reason, to have fun. This isn't a bloody professional sport. When you look at the LFD tool, it shows 2 spots for DPS.
That in it of it self indicates it is at least half the group.

I can agree (to a degree) to both argument. Yes, there are a lot of DPS, but why should their reward be any less than those who picked a tank/healer? They play the same amount of time, pay the same monthly fee, endure the same headache. I've used the LFD tool, and had to deal with a tank that had no clue what they are doing, a healer who thinks they are DPS/tank. If you all want something actually to complain about, go complain about a lack luster medical system.
 
I play a tank and a healer, so the population imbalance for tanks/heals/dps is mostly in my favor. Bringing the three roles into proportion would hurt my queue times.

That said, I'm not entirely happy with how LFD works right now. One of my biggest gripes is that, when I queue, I have no control over who is in my group. There are probably 100+ dps waiting for a tank, but the three assigned to my group will be there primarily by the virtue of having queued before the others. There may be good dps in the queue, but they have to wait. This doesn't make sense to me. The good dps want to group with me; I want to group with them. Why can't LFD make this happen?

Giving players tools to move good dps to the front of the queue would have several positive effects. First, tanks and healers would be more likely to get good dps in their group. Second, good dps would be rewarded. Third, bad dps would be punished with longer queue times. (Aside: it's my theory that most of the LFD queue time issues could be solved simply by removing any dps that does less damage than a skilled tank.) Fourth, all of these in combination might encourage tanks/healers to queue more and bad dps to queue less. Hopefully, the average quality of LFD groups would improve as a result.
 
Make everyone DPS with some minor heals. Tanking isn't realistic combat anyway.
 
What intrigues me about this discussion is that as someone who runs tank, heals and dps on different character (I'm the first to admit I'm no realm leader in any of them) I don't recall too many instances in the random groupings of the lfd system where I have been hacked at for incompetencies even when it blatantly was my fault. I would say that dps is no easier than the other two in that it takes skill, time and attention to detail to be anything other than okay at it.

Some runs push through way faster than I'm entirely comfortable but that just forces me to step things up a bit while other runs you feel are like moving accidents which again just demand you to work a bit differently. I don't expect anyone else in my group to be the uber hero miracle worker of their class and if they are not well no skin off my nose, it is a game after all and there will be something in each encounter that I'll find to enjoy.

Storm in a tea cup.

Socially inept would perhapse be to force people to play a role they are not interested in or don't enjoy in what is after all a game and not a job.
 
Interesting, I actually think you're very wrong. I personally took so long to be a healer and tank cuz the effort necessary to gather tank or healer gear, for an already casual player aiming as high as possible at pvp, was just too daunting. It’s also worse for a tank, mainly because all look upon him as the leader, adding to the whole gear problem. For casuals like us (which I think are the great majority) you actually have to take advantage of expansions to get the basic tank gear to start playing that role. So I definitely don’t consider my time as DPS only, to have been shirking the games social responsibility. You're writing as If the game is all people do in their lives, it would actually make more sense if the article was directed at hardcore 12hr per day players.
 
Tobold, you're trolling us all, aren't you?
 
Tanking is like being the designated driver. At first is isn't so bad, cause you get free food and O'Dules. But in time you get tired of the same bar food and fake beer and start hating all the happily-buzzed patrons. As they say, "drunks only annoy non-drunks." A tank is Mr Sober, in the middle of happy 21st birthday party. Translate that to however much time you spend in dungeons in WoW.

Can you really say to the DD, "don't complain, you are doing what you enjoy doing?" It is a job someone has to do, or there is no party in the first place.
 
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