SWTOR: LFG

By Jim Rossignol on July 4th, 2010 at 10:13 am.


Just when we thought E3′s videological seed was spent, Bioware release their multiplayer footage for The Old Republic, which I’ve posted below. The blurb explains: “Commander Narlock readies his troops for an Imperial assault. As he does, all four Republic classes; a Jedi Consular, Jedi Knight, Smuggler, and Trooper join together to assist in fighting off the attack.” And it’s pretty much as you’d expect for an MMO of this kind, except, perhaps, for that little Bioware dialogue sequence. No surprises in the combat bit, but I think SWTOR’s strength could be in the story and companion cleverness rather than doing anything mechanistically interesting too far outside of the standard MMO template.

, , .

147 Comments »

  1. grimwall says:

    very very disappointing. A cowardly game design following WOW. While the story elements would be engaging (a BIOWARE game afterall) the core game looks the same tired shit millions have been served for years.

    You managed to put the holy trinity in space, well done.

    • Phydaux says:

      TBH, I’d really like WOW in Star Wars clothes. I’m looking forward to this coming out.

    • Psychopomp says:

      It looked exactly like KoTOR, with a different UI, to me.

    • Nick says:

      Agreed, health bar watching Jedi? What the hell, Bioware?

    • Wulf says:

      Not at all impressed by this.

      Roll on Guild Wars 2, and maaaybe DC Universe Online.

      I’m not a palaeontologist, so I don’t really want to go examining such outmoded game styles by playing them any more. Sometimes it’s best to realise when something is wrong and move on, the MMO needs to stop clinging to its metaphorical Brontosaurus.

    • Wulf says:

      Also! I like how they appear to be doing this with lower level characters.

      The reason I point this out is because I’ve seen footage of the alpha, and I’ve noticed that as time goes on, you need extra bars, so you end up with three bars and a boatload of abilities (most of which are just basic variations of the same ability) that fill up 25% of the screen.

      That’s a lot of buttons and a lot of cooldowns. This is another thing I hate about these archaic games, because what they do is they have 10 versions of a skill that could be combined into one smart skill. *nods at Guild Wars.* So instead of just requiring 8-12 skills, you’ve got 30-something skills, all with their own cooldowns.

      It’s just not necessary today, because all it means is that “combat” revolves around staring at those bars and clicking buttons that aren’t on cooldown.

      S’not what I call fun.

      if they’d not tried to make such an obvious WoW-clone with this, I would’ve been more interested.

    • Tarqon says:

      I was under the impression that their original intent was NOT to use the standard trinity game design, but I guess it was too hard or too controversial.

      I don’t particularly mind though, their original design didn’t seem to have much room for player interaction during combat.

      Also, love the voiced NPC and focus on actual characters.

    • Gorgeras says:

      I second this on the ‘holy trinity’. It’s an abominable system and sucks the potential for any depth right out of an RPG.

      I’m actually really surprised it gets used so much in MMOs because it makes absolutely no sense: it essentially means there is an effective limit on the number of participating players in any activity. I was shocked to see so much content in WoW(my first MMO) seemed to be single or 5-player. What’s the point of having an infrastructure for thousands of players if so much of the content could actually be done with the same kind of infrastructure for non-massive multiplayers like Team Fortress 2 and Left4Dead?

      I wish Tabula Rasa hadn’t gone under, I wish it didn’t do a poo beta that scared everyone away and wish they optimised that damn engine and some of the less balanced stuff. If it had the holy trinity in it, it wasn’t obvious.

  2. wogzi says:

    Wait, you’re saying WOW came up with the Healer/Tank/Rogue/DPS combo?

    Somebody’s never played Dragon Warrior. Or any of those other very old, very classic RPGs that have been doing this kind of gameplay mechanic for decades.

    • Nick says:

      Don’t think anyone said that. But WoW massively popularised it in the MMO terms (and it took the idea.. along with lots of other standards, from Everquest). Lots of games have contained warriors healers and rogues of course, but not in the rigid backbone of group style that is enforced by certain MMOs in their game design, or encouraged enough to be seen as required anyway.

    • Wulf says:

      Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s imperfect, there are a lot of things that couldn’t stand up to that reasoning, and to be honest, I think some of those “classics” were half-baked.

      Just as more recent pen & paper systems have begun to move away from the trinity, realising it for the outmoded, static, long-in-the-tooth thing it is, games are starting to do the same. Those games that still support it are the dying gasps, really. It was a bad idea when it was first instituted, and it remains to be a bad idea today.

      The better approach is simply allowing each player to fulfil whatever role they need to at the time, a la Guild Wars. In my opinion, that’s the future of this sort of game, and the trinity is nothing but aged and old-fashioned pap which has lived too long past its day.

      In fact, I think I can hear it yelling at me to get off it’s damn lawn right now. >.>

    • Wulf says:

      Er, doesn’t mean it -can’t- be imperfect, rather.

      Since many old things have the capacity of being imperfect, and we improve on that in time, with new ideas that make old ones outdated.

    • theleif says:

      Interesting. I had never heard about the concept of tank/healer/dps before the MMO:s came into my life (friends playing EQ). And I’ve played PnP RPG:s since the late 80:s. Is it a D&D thing? Because i never played that.

  3. Orange says:

    Nice looks, but agreed that it’s bitterly disappointing seeing such blandly unoriginal gameplay. It’s Star Wars yet they’re having a vanilla human tank and a jedi whose job is primarily just to “toss out heals”? Shame.

    The plan here seems to be again to take WoW’s style but beat them with more cutscenes and the remaining innate coolness of Star Wars. It will work financially, just a shame it seems like another small step forward in the genre and not a big one.

    • Tarqon says:

      I think their advancements in storytelling and voice-acting in MMOs could be huge for the genre actually.

    • heartlessgamer says:

      Doesn’t matter if its “huge” for the genre if the game plays exactly like the games that have been out for the past decade. WoW has come as close to perfect on this gameplay as possible. SWToR is making a huge mistake following this ridiculously to that gameplay model (which FYI is the Diku model, based on the original Diku text MUDs).

      If this was any other game “oh look, its WoW but in X”, it would be a compliment to the developers. But in this case, its about the last thing Bioware wants someone saying about the game after seeing it for the first time. SWToR is a huge investment and a lot of that is in their voice acting and story innovation, which take raw man hours to create.

      It will be a disaster if they can’t get out of the “its WoW but in Star Wars” cloud and all of the innovation they do bring will be lost with it. This is a game that has a good potential to ruin Bioware along with significantly slowing/changing the future of AAA MMO devlopment. Warhammer Online and Vanguard have already started the trend and SWToR better get its shit together soon or its going to be the final fuck-up that the MMO market can take.

  4. Freud says:

    Every video that asks for your age should have 1st and January preselected, so you can just scroll down the year to 1932 to watch the damned thing. Having to add three variables just adds annoyance.

  5. Kronyx says:

    So, all the screenshots of Sith Inquisitors throwing lighting all over the place will be made obsolete with him obviously being the imperial healer? Good job. Sure, there will most likely be a skill tree that will make lightning viable, but people only want healer healers not healer dps.

    Make a medic class or w/e and leave Jedi/Sith to the killing.

    • Azhrarn says:

      That was one of the few things I quite liked about Age of Conan.

      The Tempest of Set was technically a healer (and a pretty decent one at that), but your damage dealing buffed your heals sufficiently to make sure you wanted do deal a good bit of damage next to monitoring your party’s health. Also, your heals were fairly short ranged, so you needed to get in pretty close anyway.

      At least, that’s how it was the first month, from what I heard the class got nerfed into nothingness to compensate for it’s almost ungodly soloing ability thanks to those buffed heals from it’s not insubstantial DPS.

  6. Chris says:

    [quote]Agreed, health bar watching Jedi? What the hell, Bioware?[/quote]

    My first thought.

    WTF.

    World Of Star Wars.

  7. jsdn says:

    It seemed to me that they just chose the slightly defensive player to only tank, the slightly dps character to only dps, and the magic caster to only heal. I don’t think that the only valid way to play is to have all three min/maxing their abilities, but they chose to present it that way because it’s more familiar.

    • heartlessgamer says:

      All you need to do is look at the released info about the classes so far and it is quite easy to see how each one is pretty much stuck being either healer, DPS, or tank. Even if it wasn’t, hybrid classes have never worked in any Diku game. WoW spent the better part of 5 years fixing this fact and removing any and all hybrid builds… to the point that Blizzard finally said everyone will be a faux-hybrid via dual spec.

  8. alseT says:

    Very disappointing footage. I’m done with this kind of MMO and it always provokes a gag reflex from me. Call me when you think up something different. I think GW2 might be the only MMO worth buying in the future.

  9. trigger190 says:

    I am surprised they have not shown the TERA Demo Walkthrough yet on RPS. This one looks like it could easily compete with Guild Wars 2 and has a much more interesting combat system than most MMO’s.

    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2010-t-e-r-a/701208

    • Bantros says:

      Combat looks really decent, but it’s another fantasy game! Why can’t it be SPACE?! Saying that, the medic character looks awesome. Thanks for the heads up

    • BigJonno says:

      Thanks for the link, I’ve been keeping an eye on TERA, but missed that video.

    • Wulf says:

      Yep, Tera is on my list, too. It looks surprisingly decent.

  10. Jockie says:

    Dallas Dickenson is a wonderful name.

  11. Serenegoose says:

    Has… anyone ever bought a bioware game for its enthralling combat? Sure their most recent efforts have been improvements, but isn’t it generally for plot/dialogue purposes? I’m not sure what to make of TOR yet, but it perpetually bewilders me as to why they market their games based around fighting.

  12. Bantros says:

    This sort of gameplay was great… in 2003 when KOTOR came out. But now, from the same studio who released Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age in the last year? It looks exactly the same standing still bashing until either you or enemy falls over as SWG but with better graphics

  13. Carra says:

    Seems nice enough but I think we’ll just see Jedi Jedi Jedi Jedi Counselor groups :)

  14. Leelad says:

    Mt birthday is 31st February 1911, FIGHT THE SYSTEM!!

    Those complaining that it’s tank/heal/DPS, what else would you suggest? Groups work well this way, WOW players thinking about making the switch would be able to see the distinction with what they’re used too and make ditching WoW easier.

    • Premium User Badge Arathain says:

      Because there are other ways to do things. Why should every MMO work this way? Anyway, magical healing powers are really not thematically appropriate to the universe.

      Anyway, as others have stated in the thread, it’s not even a very good way to do things. It forces players into boring pre-set roles, rather than being able to play the sort of character they want to play.

      Several other MMOs have proved that it doesn’t have to be the Trinity. Guild Wars has been mentioned, but look also at City of Heroes, which is very flexible about party makeup, and relegates heals to ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘we can’t even start without a dedicated healer’, partly by making sure buffs and debuffs are very strong. In fact, for CoH, calling for a ‘healer’ or claiming you are one marks you as an inexperienced player.

  15. cypher says:

    Everyone seems so damn suprised that the combats a little cookie cutter, but seriously is that why any of us are interested in this mmo? Bring on the trailer explaining how group dialogue will work!

    • heartlessgamer says:

      I don’t know about you, but for the last two years we’ve been hearing about how awesome and action packed SWToR’s combat was going to be. The videos they’ve released have yet to live up to that propaganda.

      I would have few complaints if they had just come out and said that they were aiming for traditional MMO/Diku combat.

  16. GrassyGnoll says:

    The dialogue in this trailer was pretty awful to be honest. “My light-saber is yours to command”? Bad, bad and bad.

  17. Rinox says:

    Don’t really understand some of the outrage here. Don’t hate a system because it makes you think of a game you hate, really. From the 3 minutes we just saw we can’t tell just how complex the gameplay may be. As someone suggested, it may just be presented in a simple manner to make sure everyone could follow, after all it’s just a short demo for a large audience.

    And as Cypher said, bring on the group dialogue details! To me ot looked pretty good, a mix between an MMORPG and playing a ‘singeplayer’ RPG with friends over a LAN.

    • Wulf says:

      That’s just it though, I have been witness to quite an ounce of alpha play, unfortunately.

      It involved three bars with 30 or so buttons, standing still, watching cooldowns, and playing piano whilst cllicking away, with the character standing statically in place.

      It’s just not my cup of tea, and it’s the sort of thing I keep hoping MMOs will move away from.

    • Serenegoose says:

      Wulf! Where have you been!

    • Wulf says:

      I’ve been working with my partner to get him a capable PC.

      So… many… co-op… games…

      Transformers: War for Cybertron is so completely amazing in co-op.

      Note to self: Get around to logging in, eventually, for Science, you lazy bast.

  18. Jimbo says:

    I’m not surprised that they’re using the traditional group dynamic, but I am surprised by who they have filling each of those roles. Why is the Trooper stood toe-to-toe as the ‘tank’ whilst exchanging rifle fire out in the open at point blank range? It looks ridiculous.

    I also agree with those in previous comment threads who have said that ‘health’ should actually be closer to ‘morale / stamina’, so that ‘healing’ is actually ‘raising morale / stamina’. So keep that in mind here:

    *Jedi Knight should be tank.
    *Trooper should be ranged DPS, command buffs, some crowd-control.
    *Smuggler should be ‘healer’ (see above), offensive buffs / traps etc.
    *Jedi Not-Warrior should be crowd-control, off-tank and defensive buffs.

    *Sith Warrior should be tank.
    *Sith Inquisitor should be Force DPS and offensive buffs.
    *Bouty Hunter should be ranged DPS, traps etc, crowd-control.
    *Imperial Agent should be crowd-control, defensive buffs and facilitate ‘healing’ (Sith should ‘heal’ by killing enemies, which the IA can ‘focus-mark’ or something to increase the healing effect.

    • Jason says:

      Or maybe they could have used their ginormous development budget to prototype something new with an ounce of imagination in it.

      This looks like utter shit.

    • Jimbo says:

      Sure, but I’m talking about changes that could actually happen in the real world, not RPS commenter fantasy land.

  19. bill says:

    I have no idea what most of that means. But that makes me kind of happy.

    Is DPS better or worse than RPS?

  20. myros says:

    Sadly I am tending to agree with some of the negative comments here. I have done the lvl grind MMO template to many times to want to do it again. I’ll wait for a lot more details and examples before passing judgement but this doesnt impress me much so far.

    • skittles says:

      And people have kept playing the same old tired style of FPS since before they played this form of MMO combat model. People love coming back for more.

      I think Bioware made the right choice not rocking the boat too much. And they always said they weren’t going to rock the boat in terms of gameplay. What they did say was that they were making the gameplay somewhat more dynamic. It was too hard to tell how dynamic the action was in that short video. But from what I could see the health was not dropping very quickly, which meant the healer was running around doing other stuff most of the time. Seemed to mostly be using force powers to CC enemies etc.

  21. Brandon Castro says:

    @Bantros
    ROFL. That’s what you think Star Wars Galaxies pre-NGE was?
    Dumbass.
    Also, I don’t know what is with all the hate. You’re all like the dumbasses that cry “Lord of the Rings ripoff!” whenever a new high-fantasy game comes out, but everyone knows you’ve never read the books and you’re making that assumption based on Peter Jackson’s shit movies, which were in turn influenced by tabletop games and video games.

    I guess RPG’s with classes just aren’t doing it for people anymore!

    Why does everyone think Dragon Age and Mass Effect were intensely original compared to this? All the classes served the same purpose (if you didn’t play the games like a dumbass). I’m sorry every RPG can’t be Fable- in most RPG’s and MMO RPG’s you’ll actually need a ROLL to FULFILL . Crazy, ain’t it?

    No wait, you’re all right. Let’s get rid of leveling up. And class-based strategy. Keep in the story, but now the story is totally irrelevant to the gameplay.

    We just turned a Bioware game into God of War. Good job, you’re all retarded.

    • Tarqon says:

      I doubt this is true for the vast majority of people. They’re happy with the WoW-mechanics they know, so it’s actually a risk on the developer’s part to come up with something new.

    • Wulf says:

      Guild Wars is God of War, now?

      Levels in Guild Wars are next to meaningless, they only mark your progression from A to B, and in the two later campaigns the progression from levels 1 to 20 (with 20 being the max level) was more of a tutorial than anything for the upcoming game.

      Guild Wars also doesn’t have the holy trinity.

      Also: If I ever saw a medieval fantasy film set in Earthly-Middle, with Lasso-Leg the Elf and Gornagar the Ranger, I’d cry rip-off. And that’s sort of what this is. There’s a difference between something that takes place within a similar setting, and something which is trying to be almost exactly the same as something else. This is a distinction you need to understand.

      Also, Also: People have rolls to play? You mean, everyone dresses up like a bap and sings the beefburger song? I’m not entirely sure I get your point, unless you meant roles. :p And I believe the argument isn’t against roles, but rather players being statically stuck in one role. This is another distinction you need to understand.

      Also, Also, Also: I tend to prefer RPGs that either allow for multiclassing, modular classing (allowing for players to handle a number of roles), or a classless system. A classless system can be done well, take a look at Fallout and Vampire: The Masquerade. The only thing I don’t like really are static classes which don’t allow for role-switching, because I feel that those are oversimplified, and intended for people who couldn’t handle the freedom of choice without guidance.

      Also, Also, Also, Also: If you need a roll to fill you, I can recommend this lovely little corner café just down the street from me…

      :P

      Sorry, if you’re going to run around calling people ‘retards’, then you should expect some form of come-uppance.

    • Jimbo says:

      A ‘roll’? Dumbass.

    • Bantros says:

      Get a grip you drama queen, the combat looks pretty much the same as SWG to me. Run to enemy, spam 1-9, click mouse buttons, rinse repeat.

      I’m not talking about the classes or the levels. You’re telling me combat in Mass Effect 2 isn’t a step forward from that video? Dumbass

    • Nick says:

      You seem to be mistaking other bioware games for MMOs or something, rigid classes like healers warriors all that crap are fine in single player party based RPGs, in MMOs you have the issue of requiring other people to fill those roles, thus you get situations with non prefered classes getting left out of groups and what have you, groups not being able to form or splitting up because no healers are free, that kind of thing.

      Oh and a jedi sitting back healing is still retarded.

    • Marco W. says:

      *throw his dices* So where is the point about this total unfit discussion? Bioware will do the job, since Baldur´s Gate.

  22. Premium User Badge Horza says:

    I too was hoping for something more original.

  23. kromagg says:

    Uh, why does it look like it was filmed against green screen?

  24. skalpadda says:

    Animations still look bloody terrible, and I don’t like the sight of a jedi with a lightsaber just standing there pumping heals into people. Not even KotOR was that static; even if you brought a light jedi fully specced out for healing and buffing they’d have plenty else to do during combat.

  25. Pax says:

    Totally read that as SWTOR: LEGO. Amazed, if just for a moment.

  26. laikapants says:

    I remain confused as to what everyone was expecting. The Trinity has been prevelant in EVERY SINGLE Bioware game (minus the action-y ones) in some form or another. Did you really expect them to go, hey we’re doing this mega-million dollar project, so let’s do something completely bizarre and untested for our combat system. Personally, I feel they’d be in a better off position doing what they’re doing, tweaking what works to their liking (the Trinity is mucked about with when taking Companions into account) and working on bringing new stuff to the table in what they know they can do fairly well. I remain fairly excited for it, even if that means I have to huddle in a corner on RPS threads about it.

    • Wulf says:

      Well, Mass Effect 2 didn’t seem to have the trinity, so perhaps I was hoping for something a little closer to that than what they’re offering here? Maybe ME2 did have the trinity, though, hmm… but I was running around with a party of DPS characters and completed the game that way, so even if it was there it was irrelevant, and making the trinity completely irrelevant is just as good as removing it.

      As for doing something incredibly risky, isn’t that exactly what ArenaNet is doing? Something incredibly risky? You may not see the point I’m getting at here though, so I’ll make it properly: eventually people are going to realise that it’s not the setting they’re bored with, not even the content so much, but the way in which the content is presented, the combat, and the game mechanics.

      Someone who’s burned out on World of Warcraft is going to burn out many times faster on a game that presents its content in the same way. How can I explain this… it’d be like playing Puyo Pop Fever until you’re bored of it, and then moving onto a fresh new game. The new game is Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, except you find your new game exceedingly boring, all too familiar, and you wonder why that is.

      Even those humans who most closely resemble a hamster in a wheel are going to burn out on the same old Everquest/WoW mechanics sooner or later, they’re going to get fed up of their content being presented in the same way, they’re going to realise how much time they’ve wasted with what’s essentially the same game, and then… WoW and all the games that replicated it are going to tank.

      Blizzard are working on a secret MMO, do you really think they’re working on World of Warcraft with updated graphics? Five’ll get you ten it’s an MMO based around action-packed, open-ended gameplay with more social elements included, such as multiplayer minigames and things within the MMO. Basically, they’re going to take the Guild Wars 2 approach. Other MMOs — like Free Realms, Star Trek Online, and Champions Online — have all ready taken steps in this direction, just not huge ones.

      I’m going to use DC Universe and TERA as examples here, and point out the kind of gameplay they present. I think that as time goes on, we’re going to be moving on to that because that’s fresh and interesting, whereas the Everquest/WoW-copy system isn’t, it’s old, and it’s not just familiar but it’s far too familiar.

      Do I think that Bioware should’ve been brave and gone with a more action-packed MMO over an Everquest/WoW-style mechanics clone? Yeah, yes I do.

    • skalpadda says:

      “The Trinity has been prevelant in EVERY SINGLE Bioware game (minus the action-y ones) in some form or another.”

      Really? KotOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect 1&2; none of those were in any way hard-locked into having a tank/healer/damage setup (and in Jade Empire you couldn’t do that at all). As for Dragon Age, NWN and Baldur’s Gate, you could certainly take that approach, but there was a lot of room to play around with it.

      My problem with this video is that it really shows the classes being tightly locked into their designated roles. A consular doesn’t look to play much differently in a group than a priest or holy paladin did in vanilla WoW (pre-expansions), standing around looking at health bars and tossing heals when needed, the trooper holds threat on the big bad guy (protection warrior), the jedi knight picks up and offtanks dangerous minor enemies to keep them off the healer (arms warrior, ret pally, enhancement shaman) and the smuggler provides damage and crowd control (hunter, rogue, mage, warlock).

      Sure this is alpha footage with low level characters, but it’s still a little disappointing that what they’re showing off is so “standard” to anyone who’s played popular MMOs in the last decade and I was really hoping they’d model it a bit more after the flexibility of KotOR (which was still built on the rigid rules of the SW PnP game).

  27. Mad Hamish says:

    Yes cos we all know marketing ploys make great games.
    I agree with the first poster , this is a cowardly decision. I mean every new MMO wants to get the WOW crowd, but giving them the same thing they’ve been doing for the last…feck knows how long is a real cynical way of doing it.
    I know combat has never been the main attaction to a Bioware game but it’s always been at least serviceable, the worst in memory being mass effect, but it was still a great game and at least all the chanracters could hold their own in combat.
    And the combat mechanics in an MMORPG are a long more central and important, you want these people to be playing this game for years not 50 to 60 hours.
    I know for me I’ll only be interested in an MMO if you can survive as a single player and not have to over specialise. Not that i’d avoid teaming up, but I want the option to go it alone.
    It’s essentially the rock, paper and scissors teaming up, games such as this need more complexity.
    This holy trinity, heavily instanced bullshit needs to end.

  28. Somnium says:

    There’s nothing wrong with instances or the ‘holy trinity’.

    There, I said it.

    Both those things work really, really fucking well in an MMO format. In an MMO, you need a reason for players to group together and one of the most obvious ways of doing that is have each person have a role in combat. I don’t know why everyone is foaming at the mouth about this. They have basically said, by showing us this footage, “In this game you’ll have a role to play in your group.”

    What’s the alternative? If every class can do every role then there are no need for classes. If there are no classes, then there is no easy way define who should experience the jedi story, who should experience the smuggler story, etc. If there is no story in SWTOR, whose primary selling point rests on the fact that it’s an MMO with a well told story created by Bioware, then it’s a fucking waste of time.

    The holy trinity works well in a tiered, progressive MMO, just like classless systems work better for sandbox MMOs. I’m not sure why some of you seem to hate that so much. Not every game has to be innovative to be worthwhile.

    Also: “This is a cowardly decision.” Cowardice has absolutely nothing to do with it. Taking a massive risk with every single decision isn’t bravery, it’s stupidity.

    • Wulf says:

      I think the point is more that the holy trinity mechanics have been done to death, they’re boring now, as is standing in one position and playing piano with one’s keyboard whilst watching cooldowns.

      I believe what some of us are saying is that it’s time for something new. The holy trinity, the 30 buttons, the static combat positions, the cardboard combat, it was all neat back in ’02, but eight years later… ? Gods it’s stale. So very stale. So stale it’s brittle.

      Of course, that’s my take on it. YMMV.

    • Jake says:

      I think the holy trinity system is fine and I hardly see how it has been done to death any more than the familiar but functional mechanics of other genres. For me the main thing will be how fun it is to play one of the three aspects of the trinity – if they replicate WoW’s systems – dps and tanks on a cooldown based rotation, healers turning mana into health for tanks – then the game may well feel stale to a long time WoW player. If they do something a bit different then the trinity might work fine. Here they show the healer getting stuck in in melee which is something you don’t get in WoW.

      The Tera video goes to lengths to point out that their healer class is fun and hard to play, and I think most of these games will hinge on just how fun the class mechanics are. From the two clips in this thread it looks like Tera is taking more risks – sticking to a trinity system but changing how the classes are played away from the WoW archetype. However I won’t be convinced until they demonstrate exactly what the healer is doing besides moving away sometimes, and what the dps is doing besides 2 hit combos and dodging when the monster taps it feet.

      Not to say that a new system couldn’t work, just that the current trinity system is not a problem unless it is lazily executed. The trinity system leads to teamwork and synergy between classes which is something that a new system would have to emulate because otherwise you would just be playing on your own, with other people nearby.

    • Wulf says:

      I just don’t think people should be locked down into roles, simple as.

      Guild Wars and Champions Online are some of the most fun I’ve EVER had in an MMO, and they’re fun because they don’t lock people down into roles. If I start the game as a healer, and I have to continue playing as a healer, and I get shouted at for switching to DPS mid-battle, then that game sucks and the combat is pretty boring. Characters should be able to uphold multiple roles, and be able to do what they need to when they need to.

      The reason I say it’s stale is because it feels stale when you’re locked into one role all the time. In my opinion, there’s no conceivable way that the locked down trinity could be good. And I think this is where (as I point out below) our definitions differ. In my opinion, every holly trinity is locked down, in yours it isn’t.

      When I think of a game that doesn’t have the trinity, I don’t think of a game that doesn’t have healing spells, that’d be idiotic. I think of a game where people can do whatever roles they need to in combat.

      For example, if one person is taking a lot of damage in Champions Online, two or three people can stop doing DPS and concentrate on that person with their heals, because everyone has heals in Champions Online. That really feels dynamic, it feels heroic and really awesome, it also feels like you need to think more and employ greater tactics than you would with the trinity. In a game like that, you need to be more aware of your situation to know what sort of thing to do when.

      The difference is though whether you think locked down trinity approaches are bad.

      If you think that the locked down approach is bad, then we agree and we can hold hands and go skipping through the daisies. :p Otherwise we’ll have to disagree. I really despise a game where I’m locked into one role, it feels… stale, static, dull… blech. Sorry.

  29. scubasteve1795 says:

    Looks just like WOW, but star wars.
    Why would we need another WOW?
    Seems as if one is enough.
    Bah, whatever, I’m not going to stop you from buying it.

  30. The Great Wayne says:

    So THIS is the new shit ?

  31. Soundofvictory says:

    What a shame.

  32. Ultada says:

    Bioware has never been a innovater for gameplay. I love how some people are saying WoW’s gameplay was great but then hating that TOR might have the same style. The best part of WoW is its gameplay! Mass Effect 2 basically ripped gameplay from Gear of Wars 2 so they could have decent gameplay to craft a great story around.

    I’m interested in Guild Wars 2 but please don’t bring DC universe into the conversation. That game looks like a buggy, rushed, unpolished MMO so it might innovate but I don’t want to play it. The hands-on previews I’ve seen have been quite disappointed by it (it could turn out to be great but I’m much more skeptical on DC than TOR).

    TOR was never going to stand genre on its head but it might be fun and I bet will be much more polished than most MMOs at release.

  33. Sarkhan Lol says:

    They were a good company.

    What a rotten way to die.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Ugh, that was @ Soundofvictory above okay, I don’t actually think Bioware are going to die, stop typing furiously that I’m a big dumb jerk.

  34. grimwall says:

    Still, I don’t want this game to fail because I loved all other Bioware games until now.

    Maybe after getting used to MMOs, they will try something with a fresh approach? Imagine Jedi Knight in a MMO setting. It turned practically into an MMO in some servers anyway.

    When you watch that video, do you get that the feeling that those character behave in an expected way from a Jedi or a Soldier? Which Soldier in the history of Star Wars stood there and took one million blaster shots and lived?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      If you think like that.. well, maybe that’s why it should fail. If it’s below par for Bioware, it’d be nice if the figures point it out to them.

  35. RenegadeRed says:

    I think the holy trinity is fine and works great for MMOs especially. If you’re SICK TO DEATH of the holy trinity, well that’s your experience: probably because you’ve played too much WoW. I’ve never played any MMOs before and I loved KOTOR so I’ll be picking this up (mostly for the story, as I do all other Bioware games).

    Frankly you can burn yourself out on any type of game (especially one you play for 10 hours a day), so stop whining about it. Metaphorically speaking, you’ve consumed the cocaine and now your body has developed a tolerance. So you need a bigger fix. So you start praising new systems (e.g. classless). But you’ll be sick of those in another few years, begin hating them, and demanding something fresh to get your new fix. How about instead of being a cocaine addict you take it easy and not burn yourself out… that way when games like SWTOR show a gameplay demo you don’t automatically vomit.

    All of you talking about end-game content and exaggerating it into piano-keyboards and 3 life bars need to just calm down. Bioware hasn’t shown anything official yet and from my understanding the end game is developed… well at the end. This is ALPHA BUILD people, do you really think we’ll have 3 life bars in the final version?

    • Wulf says:

      “I think the holy trinity is fine and works great for MMOs especially.” – You would need prior experience with MMOs to imply this.

      “I’ve never played any MMOs before [...]” – And yet you said this.

      LOGIC ERROR. x.x

      It’s great that you have an opinion and all, but you’ve clearly played a lot of MMOs if you have enough knowledge to say that the holy trinity works well for MMOs.

      Me? I never liked it much from the start, it seemed too artificial. Fallout came out long before Everquest or World of Warcraft, and that didn’t have any kind of holy trinity. It’s just my opinion that Fallout is the superior system, and there’s no saying really that MMOs can’t be like that. Some have actually tried, with varying amounts of success.

      So, wild generalisations and nutty assumptions aside, I just think that the holy trinity is a flawed concept. And as I stated previously, I think others are going to come to realise this when they burn out on it. You can’t keep constantly playing the same thing over and over for years on end without getting burned out.

      It’s just my opinion that it’s time for a change of pace in the MMO world.

    • Jake says:

      The thing about the trinity system is that it creates interaction. You have healers casting on tanks, tanks protecting dps, etc. In an MMO interaction between players is essential or you have 25 people all basically playing the encounter solo – which is something I think Tera might fall victim to. MMOs need constant interactions to validate being MMOs, while you could argue you don’t need the trinity in non-MMO RPGs as you control all characters anyway. – Dragon Age could have worked with no healer (and actually I think you can complete it with no healer).

      The specific trinity system we are used to is healers, tanks and dps, but the fact that that exists should not be offensive in itself. If it feels stale it is because of how it is executed surely? If the healer class stands at the back and has a 3 button rotation, or the tank taunts then spams a threat move, then yes – this is something we have seen so many times before that it may seem stale (personally I doubt I would find it stale as it kept my interest in WoW). But a trinity could exist that is more dynamic, and there is evidence that that is what Bioware are attempting, with the healer sometimes getting stuck in. From first impressions here, I would say the problem with the game is that they seem to be keeping things too conventional, but it’s at an early stage.

      Making the trinity less conventional would keep the interaction between players intact while not seeming so stale. Say the healer generates mana by meleeing, the tank can kite into traps. Or how about having ranged dps use a proper crosshairs aiming system. Make healers draw glyphs a la The Void to cast heals. Give the tank a need to use a skill-based block and parry. But don’t underestimate the appeal of number crunching and stats.

      Give the classes more to do, new things to do, or more skill based actions but keep the interaction that the trinity system provides – those would be my suggestion.

    • Jimbo says:

      I like the cut of your jib, Jake.

      The underlying mechanic is still sound and having a group dynamic is essential, but as you say, they could shake up how each of those roles work.

      I think requiring the medic to get into the fray in order to heal somebody would be a start – when I think ‘medic’, I think of a guy running through enemy fire to save a comrade, not a guy sat in perfect safety at the back healing from a distance. This ought to change the whole dynamic, because the team would need to rotate aggro away from the healee and medic (or the trooper could supress) whilst the healee gets patched up (which could put them out of action for a few seconds). Healing would become a team effort.

      They need to get away from individuals just knowing their roles and then executing them in every fight, and get to a position where the whole team has to react together on the fly as they are faced with different scenarios and evolving situations.

    • Wulf says:

      @Jake

      There’s a point I really need to make, here: If classes can do things other than their primary role, then it’s not the holly trinity. You seem to think that the holy trinity means ‘classes being able to heal, being able to tank, and being able to DPS’, but that’s Guild Wars, that’s not what World of Warcraft, trinity MMOs, and trinity gamers have taught me about the trinity.

      The problem with the trinity, and the reason it feels stale, is because each person is locked into a role.

      This is the trinity:

      - This person is a tank.
      - This person is an off-tank.
      - These two people are DPS.
      - These two people are healers.

      That’s the trinity.

      Now, if the off-tank was able to break off, stop off-tanking, and start healing the primary tank for a bit, then that’s where it stops being the trinity, because you’re allowing players to handle different roles, you’re giving the tanks really good heals and stuff. That’s what Guild Wars does. Guild Wars makes the trinity irrelevant by making each player a trinity unto oneself. You pick what you want to do dynamically as you play. There is no set ‘healer’ for the entire battle, there is no set ‘tank’ for the entire battle…

      So the point of this is that we agree, but I think you just have a different interpretation of what the loathed trinity is.

      Perhaps now you understand why I say it’s stale? In Guild Wars, you can uphold many roles, that’s not trinity. In World of Warcraft, you start off as a tree druid, you continue as a tree druid, and that character is a tree druid forever, their purpose is to heal, they are the ‘healing’ part of the trinity, that is their role, that is their purpose. And if they DARE think about switching roles in the middle of a battle, then they’ll doom the party.

      That mechanic sucks.

      I think everyone should have multiple roles, people should have lots of things they can do, and combat would be more dynamic for it. That’s what Guild Wars does, that’s what Champions Online does, and that isn’t the holy trinity. At least, not the holy trinity as I see it.

      So, despite arguing with me, we actually agree. :p It just all comes down to definitions.

    • Jake says:

      You just assuming that people would prefer to play a role that allowed them to swap between healing, dps and tanking dynamically. That’s a pretty massive assumption: what if people really, really enjoy their role? What if their one role was as fun to play as a ‘open trinity’ class?

      I think you are biased based on personal experience here – your experience of WoW is one of ‘dull boring combat where people can only do the roles they were set out to do’ and that is obviously what a lot of people take away from the game. But it is not my experience of WoW – again, if you enjoy your role, then who can say if being an ‘open trinity’ class would be better or worse.

      Besides, your concept is just what WoW refers to as hybrid classes, and though you don’t get classes that do dps, tanking and healing in one fight, they would do in PvP or they could do by switching specs after a fight. In fact, druids often play all three roles over the course of a raid.

      I think that this is all a red herring, and that all that actually matters is how fun your role is. If tanking is great fun, who cares if you can run off and heal or not? I never wanted to run off an heal when I played WoW, I loved what I was doing. Games should work on making each role more interesting, and if that does involve functional hybrid classes, then so be it. They won’t automatically be superior just because they are a hybrid.

      Guild Wars 2 does indeed look a hell of a lot better than this game though.

  36. Barnaby says:

    I agree with the most of the other comments here. I was excited to hear I might have an opportunity to get in the beta but now I could care less. For some reason I thought that the gameplay might be more Action-RPG based as in ‘where I swing my lightsaber” is where I actually swing. Sorry but the lightsabers and jedis are the coolest part of the Star Wars lore for me and they look quite un-impressive to say the least.

    …and the first thing I thought when I saw the gameplay was, “holy sh*t this looks just like WoW” and “I have just lost all desire to play this game”.

    • Wulf says:

      Exactly.

      Would it have hurt so much to have made it an MMO version of Jedi Academy?

      That would’ve been interesting. Oh well, c’est la vie, maybe when the next developer gets the license…

  37. Eversor says:

    Boy oh boy, you people. You want new mechanics, but don’t specify. You hate working mechanics, saying they feel stale. You say the game looks like any other MMO and thus is bad. I have a question. What the bloody hell were you expecting? It’s a bloody MMO, no shit it looks and plays like one. Of course it looks like WoW, WoW is an MMO, and the core mechanics are similar to all of them. Surely I shouldn’t explain this to you guys, you’re gamers, right? You know how it works, right?

    Actually… this is KOTOR. This is the same gameplay type. I remember having Bastila and Jolee having healing spells. I remember utilizing them quite a lot. I remember my Revan fearing crowds of enemies, drawing fire and having Bastila and Jolee to throw some heals. But you know what they didn’t do? JUST stand and heal. No, they were constantly doing damage, they were constantly using spells. They just also healed when required. And that’s what I saw in the video. I saw the consular doing damage and throwing a heal or two. And you remember what was said about the smuggler? Yep. She could heal too. By the way, did you see how the jedi had to tank the dude with the vibroblade and not the trooper? Were they both tanks? Were the consular both healers? Oh noes, no damage classes?

    Nope. The classes simply have utility other than whacking at stuff. But that’s bad, that’s stale and we all would be way better off with every class being dps. Right.

    Seriously, you people don’t even know what you want from the game. You want something, you want to have fun, but you don’t care how. Game designers do, and guess what, if they use the same old trinity, then maybe, MAYBE it’s because it actually works the best. But no, that’s stale and boring. Now excuse me, I’ll be driving on the sidewalk today because driving on the street is stale and not fun.

    • Nick says:

      Then you remember sucking at Kotor.

    • Eversor says:

      Oh noes, someone questions my inability to complete single-player games where the only objective measure of skill is whether or not I did complete it (which , hey, I did), all with an intent to invalidate what I posted? Truly, a strong and compelling opinion to take into consideration!

      Better luck next time.

    • Wulf says:

      Eversor, you’re getting on my nerves a bit, so don’t mind me… I’m just going to tear up that post a little.

      “You want new mechanics, but don’t specify.”

      As you say, ‘boy, oh boy, oh golly gee mister’ you must have some pretty selective memory/vision, there! I all ready pointed out that there are games which don’t use the holy trinity, both single player and multiplayer. You want my preference? I all ready gave it: Guild Wars.

      I do so love people who don’t even bother to show enough respect to their opponents in a debate to read their arguments, thinking it easier to just throw-together a straw-man instead. If you’re going to debate, at least bother to read what people are saying.

      “You hate working mechanics, saying they feel stale.”

      So you DID read my post, and yet you completely ignored 80% of it. I think it was just TL;DR and you got bored a little way in and decided to hit reply without bothering to read the rest of it. I suspect the truth of this will become more evident as your post goes on.

      “You say the game looks like any other MMO and thus is bad.”

      No, I don’t see people saying that at all, I see people finding the lack of originality grating, and that they’re not even trying something new. In fact, I can’t recall one instance of someone being angry because it looks like ‘any other MMO’. That’s just another straw-man.

      What I want is something new and interesting. Consider, logically, that going with a mechanic that’s been tried a great number of times before is neither new or interesting. I want MMO developers to take risks, I want them to experiment, I want them to come up with ideas that even I hadn’t considered.

      But they’re not, they’re falling back on things that other people have tried, and that’s what I think some people here are irritated by. How can I explain it? Imagine if all cartoons used the same style of art and animation, presented their jokes in the same way, and had roughly the same sort of plot progression. That’s what it’s like. Except cartoons are as varied as grass is green.

      MMOs could be varied, too.

      “I have a question. What the bloody hell were you expecting?”

      A sole interesting idea that I haven’t seen before?

      Guild Wars did it, Guild Wars 2 is doing it, there’s just no excuse.

      “It’s a bloody MMO, no shit it looks and plays like one.”

      So, because something is a massively multiplayer online game, it must be locked down into certain mechanics? Take a look at Guild Wars 2, they’re showing how an MMO can be different, and have mechanics which are new and interesting.

      “Of course it looks like WoW, WoW is an MMO, [...]”

      *twitches.*

      So, because Quake is an FPS, all FPS games have to look and play like Quake? BioShock disagrees.

      “[...]” and the core mechanics are similar to all of them.”

      PRECISELY.

      Now, why does that have to be the case? It’s boring for everything to use the same bloody mechanics all the time.

      “Surely I shouldn’t explain this to you guys, you’re gamers, right? You know how it works, right?”

      So ‘how it works’ is that people have a lack of originality and none of us should dare to dream, we should accept the same old unpalatable pap without voicing a single objection, we should just be quiet and chow down on our flavourless gruel?

      Sorry to have, you know, had an opinion which differs from that.

      “Actually… this is KOTOR. This is the same gameplay type. I remember having Bastila and Jolee having healing spells. I remember utilizing them quite a lot. I remember my Revan fearing crowds of enemies, drawing fire and having Bastila and Jolee to throw some heals. But you know what they didn’t do? JUST stand and heal. No, they were constantly doing damage, they were constantly using spells. They just also healed when required. And that’s what I saw in the video. I saw the consular doing damage and throwing a heal or two. And you remember what was said about the smuggler? Yep. She could heal too. By the way, did you see how the jedi had to tank the dude with the vibroblade and not the trooper? Were they both tanks? Were the consular both healers? Oh noes, no damage classes?”

      I didn’t rely on lots of heals and I got through the game just fine. :3 The holy trinity was there, but it was irrelevant because it wasn’t necessary. No matter how much of a jam one got into, intelligent tactics could see a player through.

      That’s the difference, really. There are games where the holy trinity is optional, and games where the holy trinity is enforced. I’m all for making the holy trinity irrelevant, that’s fine, because irrelevant to me is just as good as not existing. If I don’t have to use it then I’m not bothered by it.

      It’s people feeling like they need to be locked down into static roles that’s bothersome. I mean, if you have a character that can do a tiny bit of healing and a lot of damage, then why do you need the holy trinity anyway? If everyone can perform any role they need to at any time, then the holy trinity becomes completely irrelevant. See: Guild Wars.

      Furthermore, according to the holy trinity, a player should not be able to be good at any role, because characters have to be the best at specific roles. So your portrayal of the Consular is inaccurate, because the Consular will never be able to do as much damage as a DPS guy. What this means is that in a party, the Consular will get locked down into primarily healing, because that’s what they’re specialised in. This is the nature of the holy trinity.

      If classes really were as capable at everything as you said, then words like ‘tank’, ‘healer’, and ‘buff/debuffer’ wouldn’t need to be thrown around, because people would simply pick the skills they want and be good at those skills, irrelevant of a role, and they’d be awesome because they were good at using those skills, not because they specifically made a great ‘healer’.

      The problem with the trinity is that if you play a certain character, you get locked down. In World of Warcraft, if you weren’t a healing druid, you had problems. “do u heal ?” “Errr… no.” “get out” *kick* “Sigh.” That’s pretty much the par the course experience. And it’s going to be the same with the Consular. If you try anything other than healing, then you’re a failure.

      Sure, the trailer paints a pretty picture, but trailers always do. I worry more about the actual alpha footage I saw, which you should really watch.

      “Nope. The classes simply have utility other than whacking at stuff. But that’s bad, that’s stale and we all would be way better off with every class being dps. Right.”

      That’s not what anyone is saying, actually. That’s just what you are saying and therefore another straw-man (you do like those). I know what I’m saying is that it’s bad for people to be locked into one role. For someone to be stuck – as you say – ‘whacking at’ things is just as bad as for someone to be forced to stand around healing.

      Seriously, play Guild Wars. When you see a Warrior heal up a Monk, you’ll understand.

      “Seriously, you people don’t even know what you want from the game.”

      This is, of course, despite lots of evidence to the contrary, where people have said exactly what they wanted. But hey, don’t let me disrupt your rant with irritating, silly things like having to deal with reality.

      “You want something, you want to have fun, but you don’t care how.”

      If we didn’t care how, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      “Game designers do, and guess what, if they use the same old trinity, then maybe, MAYBE it’s because it actually works the best.”

      Except that less and less MMOs are actually using it. Champions Online didn’t have the trinity, Guild Wars didn’t, Guild Wars 2 won’t, DC Universe Online won’t, and so on, and so on.

      Some people prefer games that don’t use the holy trinity, you don’t have to be such a bloody drama queen over it. You know how some World of Warcraft players like to say lrn2play? Here’s a new one for you: lrn2deal with opinions, lrn2deal with people being different, lrn2life.

      “But no, that’s stale and boring. Now excuse me, I’ll be driving on the sidewalk today because driving on the street is stale and not fun.”

      *facepalms.*

      Sheesh, you even end up with a fallacy by mixing up necessity with luxury.

      It’s a necessity to drive on the street, it is not a necessity to have the holy trinity, if you’re unable to make THAT distinction then there’s really, really no hope for you.

      I mean… good grief.

      You really didn’t think about that last part, I can tell.

    • Jayt says:

      TL;DR wulf. fucks sakes seriously

    • Eversor says:

      Good lord Wulf, going off the rails a bit there. My initial post wasn’t responding to you personally, by the way. It was merely a response to the general gist of the comments. Neither did I said I had to have characters in KOTOR on healbot duties. All I said was the fact that they used that utility while also doing DPS, comparing that to the video.

      As far as your constant referencing of Guild Wars and City of Heroes and Champions Online… why not play them, then? It is a bit odd to say that you want something completely new, then point to a game with mechanics you particularly enjoyed. Quit beating around the bush and just say that you want Star Guild Wars or City of Star Wars or whatever the hell other clone of your favourite game. Because it’s okay to clone a game you like, but bad to clone a game you don’t like, right?

      But… whatever. Who am I to convince an entitled jaded MMO player to not soak the carpet with that raincloud over his head just based off three minutes of in-house testers whacking at mobs?

  38. Mad Hamish says:

    There seems to be some kind misconception among some people. You don’t need the game mechanics to force players into groups. If you want to play alone you should be able to, but most will eventually gravitate towards a group. As humans usually do.

    • Eversor says:

      But you see, that’s the tricky part – making an MMO into an MMO. You know, Massively Multiplayer Online. Sure, you can say that just make every encounter doable by a dps on solo, right? But wait, why would you require a group then? Why group for stuff you can handle solo?

      So what about those guys that group up because they are friends? What content do they have? The solo stuff. Boy oh boy, sure is fun for five people to kill stuff that one guy can handle! No wait, it isn’t. It’s a faceroll. But sure, you can say “Oh, just scale the mobs up!”. Yeah, and what do you get? You get five dudes basically achieving the same as they would solo. The difficulty is the same. The mechanics are the same.

      “Oh, just vary up mechanics for groups!” Uh, yeah, so how much varied CAN you make encounters that are supposed to be done only by DPS classes? And bear in mind, they are supposed to be soloed too, right? But if the group encounter is vastly harder than the solo encounter even by design, why do the group content, when soloing gets you the same place? Make them hit harder? Sure, but that will require someone to try and soak up the damage first. We must innovate! Let’s call this guy, uh, APC! Yeah! APC takes some amount of damage, then it’s the next guy’s turn to become APC and soak the damage. Sounds fun, eh? But what if all group gets low on health and still can’t beat the encounter? Well, they should heal up, right? Oh boy, bandage healing! Excellent. Wait… this sounds awful lot like soloing. It IS soloing. Crap.

      You see, for there to be variety, there have to be certain roles amongst the players. Guess what, the trinity is required to make group encounters challenging. You have a better system? Suggest away, but at the current state the only way to make group encounters fun and challenging is to rely on the old trinity.

    • Jimbo says:

      I believe TOR is going to have AI henchmen, so hopefully this won’t be an issue. Ideally you will be able to level up a whole AI group as though they were actual players.

      Usually I’d much rather play with real people in the group, but you just know that the story stuff will be totally ruined with a PUG. Most players just want to get through the mission and get their loot and XP ‘hit’ ASAP.

    • Premium User Badge Arathain says:

      @ Eversor: Like I said above, City of Heroes doesn’t do the Trinity, and does scale everything to your group. Just about every character can solo (albeit some a little more slowly than others). With the Archetype/Power Set system you can quite effectively carve out your own role in a group: you won’t be able to do everything, but you can pick the sort of things you want to be doing, and be sure of doing them well.

      Why group? It’s fun. The game has a fun combat system. More people means more varied and powerful spawns, which means more pyrotechnics, more targets, more flying bodies, more fun. Strong buffs, debuffs and controls mean there is a far greater variety of ways to avoid damage than just have the big guy soak it all and get it healed (although if you want to do it that way, more power to you).

      Just because the Trinity system is used by the biggest MMO doesn’t mean it has to be used by every MMO, especially given the drawbacks, primarily forcing players into a limited number of cookie-cutter roles. There are other ways.

    • Wulf says:

      @Mad Hamish

      I completely agree, 100%. There’s so much MMO elitism surrounding forced grouping, “L2PLAYNUB” if you don’t spend years of your life dedicated to a game, and basically, if you have a life, you’re screwed. The reason people want forced grouping is because they can’t make friends, they spent too long with their talent trees and not enough time learning how to make friends. So they need game mechanics to deal with that for them, and if you disagree, they get all hoity-toity and holier-than-thou.

      I can’t count the amount of games I’ve seen that in, but it’s getting to the point where it’s irritating. You even have developers being cowardly and folding to demands like that, implementing things like forced grouping and so on, it’s really killing a lot of MMOs (well, those people, and the inexcusable imbeciles who use exploitative builds which take advantage of game flaws to be unrealistically effective, then say the game is too easy because they made it too easy). I’m glad at least there are a couple of developers out there that are smarter than that (such as ArenaNet), even if the majority are.

      But yes, the reason I don’t play a lot of MMOs is because usually they can only be played by people who are okay with two of the largest flaws of MMO gaming:

      1.) You have to be willing to cheat like there’s no tomorrow, because cheating has now been built in as a game mechanic and balanced around the fools who chose to cheat.

      2.) You have to be okay with content requiring a group of people, and getting stalled at one point in a game unless you’re willing to group with people you won’t like.

      The thing with MMOs that don’t have enforced grouping is that you need to be nice and respectful, it’s a necessity. And frankly, I rail against MMOs that have forced grouping, if they force it on me, I flat out refuse to group anywhere, with anyone, and if I can’t play it solo then I won’t play at all. If I group, it’s my choice to do so. There’s no way I’m going to be forced to group with someone who doesn’t have the social skills to at least ask properly.

      Whereas in a game that doesn’t have forced grouping (like City of Heroes, as mentioned), if a person asks nicely then my response is usually a positive one. The thing is, in a game with purely optional grouping, people have to learn to treat other players with respect. You can’t treat the next player like your bitch because you know they need the team to continue playing the game, you actually have to treat them with the dignity any human being should be allowed.

      In City of Heroes, as an example, I loved to group because I got to see new character designs, and people absolutely adored my characters and how I roleplayed them (often in a pseudo- not so serious way). Those were good times, and I’d go back to City of Heroes for another go, but these days it seems to be almost deserted. Instead I have Champions Online, but the problem there is that the devs are folding and including things like forced grouping and tailoring the game to cheaters (and those who have the time to grind their life away on purple items). That’s a shame, really.

      I’m actually kind of hoping that DC Universe Online (being an action-heavy MMO) will pretty much be like the best bits of Champions Online and City of Heroes, and I’m hoping beyond hope that they’ll balance it properly, that they won’t give in to cheaters, and that they absolutely will not force grouping.

      These days, if a game starts to turn to forced grouping, I stop playing it. I want games where a person has to ask me nicely if they want my help, damn it. Common courtesy isn’t that hard, it’s not so hard that they need to coerce the developers into forcing players into groups with people who’ll pretty much insult them and treat them like crap.

      But yes, that’s my feelings on it.

      The best MMO is one that has optional grouping. Provide the UI, the mechanics, and the option. Don’t force it on people and people will group anyway, out of choice, because humans are social creatures. Force it on people and you have people forced to group up with bloody sociopaths, then you have a playerbase that’s very antisocial just because of their grouping experiences.

  39. Tei says:

    I don’t play WoW, I find it very simple, to a level where It make me feel is not a finished game, something like a prototype to a game, that his author left behind with not time to add flesh.
    But the game that WoW is tryiing to do is not fun, and is a game we have already played and are bored of.

    A clone is as desirable to me, as to get herpes.

    • Jake says:

      WoW is not simple, though it is getting unfortunately getting simpler. Some classes and roles can be very demanding, and optimising your character or playstyle can involve hours of research and number crunching. Raiding at the cutting edge is again, not simple – identifying strategies and positioning would be tricky enough if you were solo, let alone when you are organising 24 other people. For me, the most demanding thing I have done was an encounter that took us as a group 100 attempts and dozens of hours – not because we were crap, just because it was hard, demanding and complicated.

      WoW is definitely not a simple game, what it is, unfortunately, is a bit boring after 5 years.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Balancing an excel spreadsheet is not easy and can be extremely time consuming. It is, however, very simplistic. WoW is the spreadsheet of computer games.

  40. Wulf says:

    I’m starting to see a distinct problem with this discussion, there are two clearly different definitions that people seem to have in regards to the trinity. I’ll try and define them so that we can move on, because I see a lot of semantics going on here, and misunderstanding each other to a degree that could almost be called anti-perspicacious. I’m just glad that I’ve spotted it at least, since now I can point it out and we can all move beyond it.

    In fact, the one definition is one that I hadn’t encountered from all of my years of gaming, but I can see how it works for some people, and how they can define things that way. It’s just not a definition that I’m used to, so I’ll try and explain this as best I can.

    Open Trinity

    This means that a player can: heal, tank, DPS.

    What it also means is that a player is not locked into those roles, which makes for fluid, dynamic, beautiful combat which is far more tactical (in my opinion). For example, a game in which everyone has a heal is open trinity. So Guild Wars and Champions Online are examples of games that use the open trinity format. The open trinity does not mean that all characters can only do damage.

    An example of the open trinity: One of the people in a three party team is doing huge amounts of damage, so the boss focuses on them and they lose a lot of health, fast. Two of the other people who are also doing damage use powers/skills to put some distance between them and the boss, and once out of range of Area of Effect attacks, those two players start healing the one who was seriously damaged.

    This is my preferred approach, where people have multiple roles and can switch roles mid-combat.

    Locked Trinity

    This means that a player is devoted to healing, tanking, or DPS.

    What this means is that players have dedicated roles which they must (and usually cannot) switch from in the middle of combat. Because of this, the characters are specialised into certain skills. The people doing damage cannot have healing abilities, the tank concentrates on damage soaking and threat building, the DPS people have only attacks and no heals.

    What happens here is this: the healer heals, the DPS does DPS, and the tank tanks.

    They continue to do this until the boss falls. This means that there is a set number of DPS types, tanks, and healers going into a battle, those exact same people come out of the battle with the same roles. If they dare even think of acting outside their role then they doom the party, and get shouted at for it.

    I don’t think of this as being any fun at all, and I really hate this system.

    Examples of games that use the closed trinity format would be: World of Warcraft and Everquest.

    The reason I’ve gone over this is because I think – bizarrely – some people are actually thinking of games like Guild Wars as being trinity based, I don’t consider them as trinity games, because my definition of the holy trinity is ‘locked trinity’. There are clearly people here though that have the ‘open trinity’ definition, who seem to be baffled by my views.

    I think this should clear everything up.

    My stance: Locked trinities are bad, and lead to static, dull, boring combat where people can do only the roles they were set out to do and can never step beyond their station. Open trinities are wonderful, amazing, fluid, tactical things that could almost verge on being called beautiful due to how players swap and change fluidly.

    The closed trinity is as stiff and inflexible as a rock, the open trinity is as fluid and beautiful as a natural stream.

    • Wulf says:

      To add to this: I think the primary overriding idea of the open trinity is that every player is a trinity unto him or herself, they are capable of every aspect of the trinity as one player. So one player can be all three. Whereas in the locked trinity system, a player must be one of the three, and cannot be viable in any role other than the one they choose.

    • Wulf says:

      Of course, it’s fair to say that temporary tanking exists in Champions Online, too. That’s what block powers are for. So you might have one guy doing DPS, and he gets hit hard, so he blocks for a while. Blocking builds up energy, and he then uses that energy to utilise his heal. At the same time, his friends might be putting some distance between themselves and the boss too, so they can fire off their heals on him too.

      After which, everyone could return to damage dealing because a constant tank is no longer required, in the same way that a constant healer isn’t required, people just do whatever is needed at the time. To me, that’s a really fun concept because no one is locked down into one role, and it feels great when you excel at a battle by using all roles. “In that battle, I was a healer, a tank, and a DPS!”

      That you can’t say that in locked trinity games bugs me a bit, and I find it boring. :p

      Okay, last addition to this, I’ll leave it be, now. There’s just been so much confusion here that I had to try and clear everything up, because I’m the only one that seems to see that there has been confusion and misunderstanding.

    • Somnium says:

      Wulf – ” For example, a game in which everyone has a heal is open trinity.”

      Wouldn’t SWTOR fit your definition of an open trinity, then? They have stated in interviews that every class will have minor healing abilities. In the above video, the guy points out that the smuggler stops dealing damage to help keep the jedi knight alive with a heal.

    • Wulf says:

      @Somnium

      It depends, really. For an open trinity, players must be equally viable at all roles, they can do whatever they need to. This is true of Guild Wars and Champions Online, but is it true of SW:TOR?

      Now, this single heal could be a token thing, and it might not make someone viable, so they might still require a dedicated healer, in which case that would still be very locked trinity. And from what I’ve seen of the alpha footage, the game looks very locked trinity to me.

      We’ll have to see what happens when the game is released. But from all I’ve seen, the game fits my definition of a locked trinity. A single heal doesn’t really make an open trinity, unless it makes the character viable without the need of a dedicated healer. I tried to explain this above.

      An open trinity game does not need a dedicated anything.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ll try and explain further.

      The locked trinity ties into forced grouping and other things I don’t like. For example, in a locked trinity you need a dedicated tank, a dedicated healer, and a dedicated DPS. Dedicated roles are the nature of a locked trinity, they define it.

      However, in a game like Champions Online (which I have referred to as an open trinity, to allow for more widespread understanding), you can go into a mission with two characters who can perform all roles. They don’t need to look for a dedicated anything because they can fulfil every role they need to with just them. So you don’t need to sit around looking for a healer, because you ARE a healer, and all other roles.

      In an ‘open trinity’ system, people use the skills and tactics which are relevant to combat flow. If not much healing is required then the players will DPS, and occasionally tank with block, juggling a mob back and forth (I do this, it’s fun). If the battle becomes harder, then they can introduce more tanking and healing tactics as is necessary, and never, ever are any characters sitting around doing nothing, or waiting.

      It’s a very active system for everyone involved, since no one person is dedicated to any one role. A DPS guy never has to pull away from combat and wait the leisure of a healer to get to him, because he can heal himself, and all other party members can heal him too.

      However, what I’ve seen of SW:TOR (and why I don’t like the look of it) is that it implies that people are statically stuck in dedicated roles. You have a dedicated ‘healer’ role, you have a dedicated ‘tank’ role, and you have a dedicated ‘DPS’ role. So what won’t happen there is, for example, the healer seeing there’s no need for healing and jumping into the combat and doing as well as the DPS guys, because that can’t happen. The healer just has to wait until they’re needed.

    • Somnium says:

      Now that I think about it, even in what you define as an open trinity system, people will still spec towards a certain role and classes still have strengths and weaknesses. A monk in guild wars, for example, is primarily a healing class, and can be built to increase that healing or to deal damage, which is pretty damn similar to a priest in WoW – a class with a healing focus that can be specced differently.

      A priest can heal or dps. A monk can heal dps or (with 40hp) tank, but will still excel at healing. So my question is, what makes open trinities that much better than locked ones? Either way you will still excel at one role and be worse at the others. That’s specialization is what gives your character some level of mechanical individuality, and in both games your ability to ‘switch’ mid battle is severely limited.

      Can you throw damage spells if nobody needs healing? Certainly. Can you heal if somebody needs it urgently? Definately. Can you be effective at both roles? Well….yes, but then you won’t be as effective in either as you might have been if you had specialized. Isn’t that true for both Guild wars, which you really like, and WoW, which you can’t stand? I don’t mean to defend WoW here, I’m simply exploring your definition.

      If everybody is capable of filling the same roles, then people are free to choose their class based on preferences other than in game role. That’s the only obvious advantage. Is that enough to justify never touching a ‘locked trinity’ game? I doubt it.

      Also: I’m running late, so your post was skim-read. Apologies in advance if I missed something.

    • Wulf says:

      I’ll stop eventually, I just love to talk about this because it’s such a fun topic. :D

      In fact, games like Guild Wars and Champions Online go out of their way to make this doable. Guild Wars has multiclassing and primary stats, whereas Champions Online has roles and takes things just a step further with that.

      In Champions Online, you have this brawler role which increases your ability to do melee damage, and this avenger mode which increases your ranged damage, but you also have a protector role, which increases your ability to soak damage. Taking too much damage? Switch from the brawler/avenger role to the protector role and you suddenly have the ability to tank. You can use something called ‘passives’ with this. A passive is something that buffs your ability to do DPS, buffs your healing, or buffs your ability to soak damage.

      So therefore, a passive works hand in hand with roles.

      Now, what about healers? There’s another role which is a support role, so if you see that a bunch of your friends are hurt, you can switch into the support role and this gives you endless amounts of energy to play around with, you can then dish out some decent healing (and you can even back this up with a passive, if you like) before diving back into combat with your offensive role and your offensive passive.

      In this way, the party tactics can be fluid, and a good party can take on just about anything because they’re good at being… well, good at everything, and it’s really a joy to see, and it feels so much better. You never feel like you’ve failed simply because you couldn’t do anything other than stand around and wait someone else’s leisure, like I tend to feel a lot in locked trinity games with dedicated roles.

    • Wulf says:

      “Now that I think about it, even in what you define as an open trinity system, people will still spec towards a certain role and classes still have strengths and weaknesses.”

      True, but they can respec at any time and without any restrictions, so between missions they could take up completely different roles instead of being stuck in one role all the time. Champions Online takes this a step further by allowing this change to happen in battle, instead of outside of.

      This sounds like the kind of thing that Guild Wars 2 might be doing, since it gives people different abilities, a heal, and you can switch power-sets at any time. It also seems that there’s no dedicated healer in Guild Wars 2 (from all I’ve heard) because this system works so well.

      I’ll point out again that the difference is dedicated roles, whether the game has them or not.

      “A monk in guild wars, for example, is primarily a healing class, and can be built to increase that healing or to deal damage, [...]”

      Monks can tank, too. I’ve seen a tanking monk, and it’s pretty amazing.

      So a monk can DPS, tank, and heal.

      If you multiclass a monk properly, it can do all of these to great effect.

      “[...] which is pretty damn similar to a priest in WoW – a class with a healing focus that can be specced differently.”

      Except that they’re primarily dedicated to healing when in groups, whereas monks are not.

      There’s that word again, dedicated.

      This is all about dedicated roles, that’s where a lot of the misunderstanding is coming from, I think.

      I really am explaining this as best and as simply as I can.

      “A priest can heal or dps.”

      Yes, but they’re dedicated to one or the other.

      “A monk can heal dps or (with 40hp) tank, but will still excel at healing.”

      Not true. A monk is not dedicated to healing, and I’ve seen DPS/tank build monks where healing isn’t their primary focus. If you look up Guild Wars builds, you’ll see that. And this is all about dedicated roles. Priests are dedicated, monks are not.

      “So my question is, what makes open trinities that much better than locked ones?”

      The lack of dedicated roles.

      “Either way you will still excel at one role and be worse at the others.”

      Not necessarily, no. You could be a DPS one day and a tank the next, whereas in World of Warcraft you pretty much stick to the one dedicated role. Plus, with multiclassing and stuff like Champions Online roles, you can pretty much be a holy trinity unto yourself.

      The problem with the locked trinity is, to say it again, dedicated roles, where players are locked down into a dedicated role.

      “That’s specialization is what gives your character some level of mechanical individuality, [...]”

      Not so much, I remember all those cookie-cutter builds from World of Warcraft, and that’s what the locked trinity tends to lead to. I didn’t see much individuality in World of Warcraft, but almost every character I see in Champions Online is fiercely individual, not only in how they look (of course), but the build they have, the powers they have, their stats, their roles, and how they use all of these.

      It just blows the locked trinity out of the water, because you can be fiercely individual in a way that the locked trinity and dedicated roles would never allow for.

      “[...] and in both games your ability to ’switch’ mid battle is severely limited.”

      But your point is misleading, because Guild Wars isn’t like a normal MMO, you can instant map travel to outposts, and when in an outpost you can completely change your build, powers, and stats with no cost or hassle.

      Champions Online just takes this a step further, and it seems like Guild Wars 2 is going down that route as well, unlocking the trinity to let players do what they want.

      “Can you throw damage spells if nobody needs healing? Certainly.”

      Yes, but it’s just a token thing. In any dedicated role game you can’t really match the Rogue who’s doing stupidridiculous amounts of damage.

      In Champions Online, you can. You can just drop healing and take up DPS and do as well with it as the guy who’s doing DPS. That’s the difference.

      You can switch your role, you’re not dedicated to a role.

      I’m repeating myself a lot, but I think it’s necessary for the differences to really be understood.

      “Can you heal if somebody needs it urgently? Definately.”

      A DPS character in World of Warcraft can’t heal another person unless they have an item to do so according to everything I know. Whereas a character in Champions Online could simply switch to a support role and do proper healing.

      There’s no downtime, everyone’s doing something, it’s fluid and beautiful instead of static and dull. There is no dedicated role, everyone just does what they need to do.

      “Can you be effective at both roles? Well….yes, [...]”

      Can a Rogue be as good a healer in World of Warcraft as a rogue? Nope.

      Cna a DPS bloke be as good as a healing bloke in Champions Online? Yep.

      Can a DPS bloke be as good as a healing bloke in Guild Wars? Yep.

      This is the point.

      “[...] but then you won’t be as effective in either [...]”

      This is what the open trinity system is designed to deal with, it’s designed to let you be as effective in either.

      “[...] as you might have been if you had specialized. Isn’t that true for both Guild wars, which you really like, and WoW, [...]”

      Not really, no.

      In Guild Wars you have multi-classing, so you could spec to be equally as good at DPS as you would be at healing, by dedicating yourself to healing in Guild Wars it would just be superfluous and wasted points that could go into other things.

      I’m not sure if you’ve ever played Guild Wars, otherwise you’d know that.

      “[...] which you can’t stand?”

      It’s not so much that I can’t stand World of Warcraft, but more that…

      *deep breath.*

      …I strongly dislike dedicated roles.

      “I don’t mean to defend WoW here, I’m simply exploring your definition.”

      I understand that, and I hope all my rambling about dedicated roles has made it clear.

      I mean, holy hell, I’ve tried to make it clear. x.x

      “If everybody is capable of filling the same roles, then people are free to choose their class based on preferences other than in game role.”

      Yes, but you can’t redefine your role in a locked trinity game, which is, again, the point.

      “That’s the only obvious advantage. Is that enough to justify never touching a ‘locked trinity’ game? I doubt it.”

      The advantage is, to say it all again: No down time, everyone can do what they need to do, no dedicated role is required, you don’t have to wait on a healer or a tank, any old person will do, you head into the battle, everyone does simply what’s needed, no one is locked into any role at any point, and it all feels very dynamic and fluid.

      This is, versus, say: Down time, where a person plays their assigned role, and dedicated roles are required. You have to wait on a healer/tank/DPS, any old person won’t do. You head into battle, and the healer heals, the DPS guy does damage, and the tank tanks. Everyone is locked into their dedicated role, and it all feels very static and dull.

    • Wulf says:

      Here’s another example for you.

      In Guild Wars, I had a Warrior/Ranger. He could heal, DPS, and his pet provided an extra target (who would run into mobs first). There’s no tanking in Guild Wars because all the mobs are smart and try to take out the weaker characters first, but if you can throw an extra target at them, that helps. So my Ranger could not only do that but with the Ranger/Warrior mix, he had access to some truly amazing heals and DPS.

      I’ll stress it again, really. There’s no such thing as a tank in Guild Wars, there’s only the person who runs in and gets hit first, and that’s about it. That’s what a monk ‘tank’ does, that’s what my Ranger pet does, and anyone can do that! So that leaves DPS and healing, which my Warrior/Ranger can do in equal amounts. Therefore, my Warrior/Ranger was a trinity unto himself.

      Guild Wars 2 will have the same system, where ‘tanking’ is just the person who runs in first, and therefore the primary considerations will be healing and DPS. Now, from the rumours I hear, there are no dedicated healing classes in Guild Wars 2, so instead you have classes that have both DPS and heals.

      These are examples of open trinity games.

    • Wulf says:

      I also realised I expressed myself poorly about the monk.

      What I really meant was that a monk who does healing and DPS == a tank, and then you have a tanking monk. They run in first and they hit things. But then, any class can do that, and it’s amazing stuff when they know how to do it properly. It’s not tanking though, not in the World of Warcraft sense, it’s… mob herding? It’s hard to explain.

      I can do it with my Ranger pet, and it’s pretty amazing when I get it right, because the mobs make a beeline for a weaker character and my pet intercepts and annoys them, thus slowing them down and giving the weaker character a chance to back away a bit. This is what a monk does. It’s the Guild Wars style of tanking, but it’s not tanking in the same sense as World of Warcraft, since there’s no aggro.

      I was wrong to call it tanking, really… it’s not true tanking, but what would you call it? I don’t really know what to call that. But yeah, when it’s done right, it’s pretty neat. You send a guy who can DPS/heal well up front, and he gets piled on by Charr, he heals, people heal him, and then the party encircles the Charr.

      So what I’m getting at is that as a Warrior/Ranger, I could tank, DPS, and heal.

      …if you call that tanking.

      What Guild Wars uses for tanking makes explanations hard, though. x.x

    • Somnium says:

      Haha, I expected my posts to be back to back. I missed the ones in between mine.

      I’m still running late, just checked this quickly as I run out the door. I’ll reply to this later tonight when I get back home. I wasn’t expecting a half-sentence-by-half-sentence-rebuttal so quickly! It’s always nice to discuss a topic with somebody who doesn’t immediately say ‘no you smell’ when you start asking questions, so cheers for that Wulf. :3

    • Wulf says:

      And of course, if you wanted to do healing to other people, you could just go Ranger/Monk or Monk/Ranger, you’d swap your melee DPS for ranged DPS and you’d add area of effect spells in, and you can do this at any outpost.

      I really hope this is all beginning to make sense, anyway. I’m finding it exceedingly hard to explain what I like about the Guild Wars/Champions Online approach, and what I dislike about World of Warcraft, but the thing is, I know the difference myself, it’s just… really hard to explain to someone who doesn’t understand it. I’ve been trying, and if anyone wants me to, I’ll keep trying.

      But I’ll give it a break for now.

      I just really hope this all makes sense. But it might only make sense to those who all ready get it.

    • kyrieee says:

      -obligatory EVE comment-

      There’s no tank role, no DPS role, an occasional healing role and anyone can train to fly anything. Sure, it’s PvP, but still

    • Premium User Badge Arathain says:

      I would even say screw ‘Open Trinity’. Relegate healing to a secondary effect altogether. It’s such a dumb mechanic, to have a player deliberately take massive gaping wounds so that some other player can magically wave them away, over and over again. That’s not how the characters and heroes we base our fantasy characters on fight, so why should it happen in games?

      When buffs, debuffs and controls are powerful your team can be tough enough to avoid damage, or have their damage boosted enough to end fights quickly, or tactically cripple your foes. The challenge comes from having multiple, powerful foes who require efficient use of a varied ability set to avoid defeat. Of course, in City of Heroes (last time I’ll rant about it, I promise) you can actually set your own difficulty for missions, based on your own or your team’s ability.

    • Wulf says:

      @kyrieee

      You’ve reminded me of my favourite space experience – Freelancer – so thanks for that. :3 I really want to play EvE, funnily enough, but I don’t know how great I’d be at it due to my poor sight, you know? I’ve learned to be fascinated by EvE over time, whereas I used to dismiss it due to being heavily PvP-leaning, but a lot of what I hear about it makes it sound a lot like the sort of thing I’d enjoy. That I can’t play it is more than mildly frustrating.

      That’s not what this is about though, what I’m posting about is that being familiar with space combat games, from the early days, Elite, Privateer, and then Freelancer, I can understand what you’re getting at when you say that everyone can learn to fly anything, just as one could in Freelancer. I’m going to digress for a moment and say that I really enjoyed the British ships in Freelancer. A giant, metal spacewhale? How could I possibly turn that down?

      That’s the joy of space-games, though, that all ships are actually hybrid creations. It’s true of the space combat in Star Trek Online as well. In ST:O, every ship is hybridised to a degree, and the cruisers are pretty much the masters of all trades. I play cruisers in a really weird way as well, where I can pretty much do anything I want. It’s unsurprising to me really that space games have hybridised characters as the default, and I wish more games understood that.

      I also long for a game that’s like EvE but without lots of little text that I can’t read, I was hoping Jumpgate would become that, but it looks like Jumpgate has decided to become something else entirely, but maybe one day there will be a game that will replace Freelancer for my combat joys. The funny thing with Freelancer though is that it was almost an MMO, due to the huge numbers of players you could get in a server. I mean, there are only 50 or so people usually in a Champions Online instance, and if that gets to be called an MMO, then Freelancer should too.

      Now I want to play Freelancer again. D:

  41. Asuron says:

    @Wulf
    What your saying is interesting but the problem with this is people will always see things as a certain role no matter what, its unavoidable
    I played Guild Wars and there is no denying that you needed certain classes over the other in a certain way to pass encounters and if you weren’t that class then you can shove off
    Guild wars was susceptible to it like anything else, I remember on heroes ascent if you weren’t a particular class in a certain way you can just piss off because your not useful

    This is because that class is the best at what they do and even if you offer hybrids people will still gravitate towards the better role if they want to participate in events and they will
    WoW tried hybrids, like the Paladin being a tank,healer and somewhat offensive caster
    But people still put him in the healing spec mostly because thats what hes best at
    They offer a dps warrior, a tank warrior and people choose tank more because they need it more
    You can’t blame WoW for what people want with this
    They just know whats best at the role, they don’t want to waste their time and get the events over and done with, while still enjoying it

    You can say that that offering multiple ways to play a class is fun and thats true it can be, but you will always gravitate to the better side of it to to get things done
    I remember being a ranger( it’s been a while so forgive me if i get the terms wrong) having fun for it with pvp, but when it came to the campaigns noone wanted me, I simply wasn’t as useful as a healer or a tank or things like that and if they wanted a ranger they could get them from the other dime a dozen rangers playing the game

    Plus theres also the choice of roles, whats the point of making classes, giving them names, if there is nothing they can do specifically well over the other classes
    Might as well just create an avatar and put abilties galore on them from whatever you want but even then people would still prefer to have you healing, tanking or doing something specifically helps them and you’ll want the same from others to enjoy group encounters

    Thats the key as well, people enjoy working together to get things done, coordinating on a high level to take down those hard encounters, hell its the reason why I played WoW for 2 years straight, I loved to raid and it gives a real sense of accomplishment that you took them down from hard work, knowledge on the boss and excellent team work
    Which can only come if you have people filling specific roles to help get it done

    What your asking for is impossible and your examples still do this , your just ignoring the fact they are doing it
    I want what you want but its simply impossible to do

    • skalpadda says:

      In all fairness, WoW has managed to make every hybrid spec viable for endgame PvE content during the course of the last expansion and with dual talent specializations you can switch roles very easily between one dungeon to the next, or even from fight to fight. With the simplification of the stats system in Cataclysm it should make it even easier for most to perform different roles without having to gather completely different gear sets as well.

      I don’t have a problem with the trinity system existing within the game, but the footage here does make it look very static. Whether that’s because of this being an early fight with low lvl characters or because this is how most fights will actually play out remains to be seen of course.

      Most people who have raided in WoW will know what “healer burnout” is; it gets really tedious doing nothing but playing Whac-A-Mole with health bars all day. The video above makes healing in SW:TOR look to be nothing more or less than that, and the damage dealing and tanking don’t look all that interesting either (although it’s hard to tell without seeing them actually being played from their respective viewpoints).

      I was expecting the game to use more of the KotOR approach, where the classes with heals have more to do than just stand around healing at all times and the ones with defensive capabilities do more than constantly try to keep dangerous enemies off the healers.

  42. RenegadeRed says:

    Wow thanks, Mr. Contradiction-Finder, for pointing out the obvious. Having never played an MMO before, I HAVE played a lot of LAN multi-coop dungeon crawlers with my friends. For example, Titan Quest. A LAN dungeon crawler with 3-4 friends is pretty close to an MMO wouldn’t you say? Hence my stating my opinion as regards to a trinity system and you being quick to dismiss my opinion altogether, then being even quicker to substitute your own opinion. In any case, it’s clear you’re only looking to harass other people on this forum instead of having a civil discussion so I won’t bother to respond again.

    Jerk.

  43. DavidK says:

    What I expected >> VAST CHASM << What it appears to be

  44. Zogtee says:

    I’m going to have to echo the disappointment of many of the others here. Being burnt out on WoW, this game and GW2 were the only new MMO’s I was being vaguely optimistic about. As has been said, my hopes were brutally crushed when the dude in the video started talking about tanks and healers. I played a healer in WoW and hearing “She’s going to toss in a heal here” was like a nasty flashback thrown at me.

    I know that the “holy trinity” mechanic wasn’t invented by Blizzard and existed prior to WoW, but the enormous impact of WoW seems to have cemented it for years to come. Maybe it will hang over us, until Blizzard themselves move away from it in their new MMO. It would be a painful revelation, if Blizzard via their popularity are indirectly dictating how MMO’s will work from now on. They certainly have since WoW hit us. The few who have dared to try something different all went down very quickly and now everyone are playing it safe, and are sticking to the WoW blueprints, including BioWare, it seems.

    I was under the impression that this MMO was going to be different, but I guess it makes commercial sense to stick by the trinity formula. Still I was hoping for more. This suggests to me that Bio don’t have confidence in their own game or maybe that their more original ideas were knocked down by EA (ooh, conspiracy theories). Obviously, I don’t know.

    I was surprised by how archaic it looked. To me, it was like watching a version of KotOR that had it’s graphics “tightened up”, but it’s still early days. Maybe this will improve. Oi, what about the story dialogue then, you say? What I saw didn’t really impress. Final Fantasy XI also had story elements that kicked in every now and then. It sounded fantastic when I heard about it, but it turned out to have very little impact in the game. I’m sure this game will have more story, though. We’ll have to see, but I’m not feeling optimistic.

    Help us, GW2! You are our only hope. :(

    • Wulf says:

      Interestingly, Guild Wars 2 does everything that The Old Republic does, and I can say in an honest way (after seeing how The Old Republic does things) that it does it so, so much better.

      I’ll try and explain…

      If you’re kind to a particular race, eventually one might run up to you and ask you for your aid, which you can respond to in different ways. Allow me to say at this point that you have Alpha Protocol-style reply options. You can be aggressive, you can have dignity (reserved/professional), or you can show kindness (suave). How you respond to each character depends on what content you’ll see.

      So, if you’re kind to this creature that runs up to you, you run off with them and aid them. Apparently their homeland is being besieged, and their tribe and the tribe of a race they’re friendly with are being slaughtered, their homes burned down, and they’re just not advanced enough to deal with it. If you help them, then you’ll change that area forever. If you return there at a later time, they’ll greet you as a hero.

      But you’ll be a very personal hero, they’ll know you and they’ll remember what you did for them, so you’ll be a friend of the family at this point. They’ll have gifts and be willing to sell you things, and you’ll really feel like you made a difference there. As I understand it, aside from the dynamic events, there’s actually a lot of personal content like this. And everyone you can talk to has this Alpha Protocol-style forked response system.

      I find this fascinating, because I’m going to try and break the game by running around and being a kind Charr, the concept of which amuses and fascinates me. Also, it’s amusing that I’m talking about the Charr, because the Charr are very militaristic, and my Captcha is ‘ARMY’. Creeeeepy.

  45. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    As expected, really.

  46. Tei says:

    How to become a jedi:

    1) By taking the mele dps class, you dumb.
    2) Proceed to kill Space Boars for 1-10 levels.
    3) Kill Space Giant Spiders for 11-20 levels.
    4) Meet the Space Elves.
    5) Killing Golems 101 – Levels 20-23.
    6) Your first raid: Mr Evil Of Very Long HP Bar.
    7) Killing Giang Elite Spiders to get enough faction with Space Elves to buy Space Laser Blade Of Many Truths.
    8) Congrats!, you are level 70.
    9) See 8.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      That was pretty good, Tei. I’m not sure whether I should think of it as funny or sad. Both, perhaps.

  47. Dawngreeter says:

    Well this certainly looks more interesting than watching paint dry. I especially like the part where the space cleric heals the space fighter. So very authentic and true to the source material.

  48. tigershuffle says:

    oooh look a Star Wars mod for WOW……..but with extra cut-scenes

    disappointed!!

    KOTOR3 it aint :(

  49. Frosty says:

    I’ve never got into MMOs, they always feel so repetitive. TOR actually has me interested, mostly thanks to it being Bioware and a kind of sequel to KOTOR. Except….

    I didn’t understand half that video! There’s flashy lights and many bars and lots of buttons which seem to be having “cool down” whatever the hell cool down is and then there’s swarms of the exact same enemies who come again and again and then everyone is using words I don’t understand and then I run out of breath.

    Basically: Combat looks boring and/or confusing. It wasn’t great in KOTOR either but that’s why I spent a lot of time trying to avoid combat by using my persuade abilities. Will I be able to avoid combat so easily in a MMO? I don’t think so.

    Damn.

    • Wulf says:

      Good point.

      Why does an MMO developer believe that combat has to be boring and uninteresting? I mean, I still feel that Guild Wars did it right. In Guild Wars, tanking was interception, so if you were good at interception tactics then you could be so completely amazing. The only completely squishy characters in Guild Wars were really bad builds, so you’d intercept to protect those.

      Along with interception, you had a more active combat system where you had to be very aware of your current situation, and you also had these abilities that you could chain up. The game was so much more interesting if you ran with a party of hybrid characters too (what I mean by hybrid is people who could intercept-tank, DPS, and heal to equal degrees), that’s when the game shone.

      Combat in Guild Wars was thinky, you really had to consider your tactics, but it was a little bit twitchy as well because it required a lot of movement and watching what your opponents did. This is the sort of gameplay that Champions Online went with, except that’s a little bit more action-y again, because you can block things. I suppose what I was hoping for with SW:TOR was an action MMO with hybrid characters.

      I mean… could you imagine an exclusively action Star Wars MMO with hybrid characters? I can, and knowing that it might never happen makes me sad. As I said earlier, what I’d want out of it is Jed Knight Academy: the MMO. That could be something incredibly amazing and wonderful.

    • Frosty says:

      @Wulf

      My hope for more diverse characters died off when they announced two types of force wielder. It became kind of apparent that specialising as either combat or force using as a knight was obviously not a option.

      Which sucks, because I wanted to play a sniper sort of trooper. Not a frikking tank. TAAAAANK.

  50. teo says:

    I’m surprised too, surprised that you lot ever expected anything else. Never did understand the excitement for this game