Greetings! This week I want to do a bit of theorizing. Recently, with me playing such games as League of Legends and learning about the game mechanics of World of Warcraft (and similar games), I have come to discover that they tend to be dominated by the “tanky dps” (damage per second) or it is a “requirement” to have some sort of healer in a party in order for a quest to be completed. With this said, aren’t these two “classes” the same as a monk/ranger (tanky dps) or a cleric/druid (healer)? So this is to say that in many, if not most, mainstream games (in this genre) lend themselves to having one character do all the damage and another character passively throwing out a heal spell?
This brings up the question of whether this a good game mechanic. Is it “fun” to let one character completely dominate and others just hang out in a limbo of only moderate helpfulness? In League of Legends for instance, there are three champions: Lee Sin, Jax, and Tryndamere, all of which are nigh unstoppable unless you kill them frequently in the first 10 minutes of the game. In World of Warcraft it is my understanding that without a healer, many quests or dungeons are unable to be completed. Is this “right” in terms of how games “should be”?
If you think about it, Dungeons and Dragons is “plagued” by these same mechanics. Our party right now would not function if we had no healer (we would have died almost immediately in many of our fights if we hadn’t had our druid throwing out heals). At the same time, it is ok for there to be a dps as long as it is balanced by generally “squishiness” (like our rogue). It is our Barbarian’s job to soak up enemy damage that would otherwise be directed at the Ranger. While the dynamic between the support and the dps is a solid one (you kill stuff and I’ll make sure you can keep killing stuff), it breaks a game if the dps can fulfill both roles as a support AND dps.Maybe it is just me, but it seems like a change would be welcomed. Hopefully, these changes will come with Guild Wars 2, which claims to have no tank or healing classes. Everyone is responsible for their own survival and skill determines success rather than exceptional damage output and a healer in the background.
Do you agree with me or am I just ranting?
Until Next Week!