I had actually wanted to write a first impression about TERA (after figuring out if they’re still under NDA – but I don’t think they are. Especially as the game has been out in Korea for quite some time). Unforunately, they (the EU version, so Frogster) had massive issues which meant that the servers were online for an hour or so in which lots of people tried to get online (while bookahnerk and I were still hurrying throught he aisles of our nearby supermarket after spending an hour at a store trying to get faster internet ^^) but apparently, nobody could even create a character because there was some kind of error message. On Sunday, they finally announced that the sneak peek event was cancelled.
So, you’ll get another rant of mine instead. I want to mourn the loss of the holy trinity with Guild Wars 2! I doubt I was the only one shocked when they announced that on top of them not having tanks (which they already didn’t have in Guild Wars, at least not in the usual sense), they would also get rid of dedicated healers.
The very first class I played in my first MMORPG (World of Warcraft) was a priest. And I played her as a healer. I liked doing that. It didn’t feel like “whack a mole” at all. Let me tell you an anecdote. At the beginning of my WoW career, I also had an Undead priest and took her to Wailing Caverns (a 5 man instance which was, back then, for level 22 (+/- a few levels) players). That was before I used any addons that changed the user interface. I hit F1 – F5 to target myself and all group members. I had all spells on hotkeys and knew the numbers. Which meant that my eyes were on the monitor and on the scenery (I’ve learned how to type with 10 fingers, so typing blindly is no issue at all for me and I have the luxury of staring at the screen ^^). I saw what happened and I was aware of my character’s surroundings. Usually, I’d actually been the one paying the most attention and saw when a “patrol group” was coming closer. I even had the time to type it out. And the tank had sent me a whisper saying I’d been an exceptional healer! That made my game-day. ;)
At the same time, I was never into playing the tank classes. I didn’t feel like being the one to lead the group. When Warhammer Online was close to being released, I participated in the open beta. I deliberately chose a class I wouldn’t choose when the game went live because I didn’t want to spoil my fun yet. So, I chose the one archetype I didn’t like: A tank. To be more specific, Gronkh, my black orc was created. Little did I know back then that I actually really love playing a tank class. Once WAR went live, Gronkh was recreated and that was my main character for quite a while (I did create my shaman as I’d first thought I would but he wasn’t my main character). I still fondly remember when I’d switched to the dark elf region (when the game was released, they had cut 4 classes and only released them later on. One of those was the dark elf tank which means that in the dark elf area, there were no tanks unless the tanks from the other two starting areas switched over to the dark elf one – which I did) and I walked through a forest and had about three dark elves following me closely. Whenever I stopped, they’d stop as well. Whenever I ran to attack something, they attacked it as well (which was alright as it was a public quest – something like a rift in Rift or an event in Guild Wars 2). And I loved that role! Being the one that leads a group, having others follow you around, making it so all the NPC mobs attack you and nobody else… Hach. I loved that. :)
But that is all over now. We will not have tanks or healers in Guild Wars 2. So, let’s rejoice about that! Because let’s be honest here, as great as those archetypes can be, it’s become quite old and boring by now. And too many players rely on those poor souls who love being the tank or the healer. Lots of players have become lazy and instead of thinking about what THEY did wrong, they simply blame the tank or the healer. With Guild Wars 2, there will be no more laughing at the tank for having such bad equipment that he has no chance of keeping the threat of the mobs. No more being annoyed at damage dealers who attack that one single target that you hadn’t put enough threat on yet. No more blaming the healers for not having received any healing even though the combat log clearly shows you did (must be something wrong with everybody and the whole game but certainly not you!). No more blaming the healer that only has HoTs to keep your clothy ass alive when 20 non-elites decide to beat you to death because the tank has not a single attack to put threat on all those mobs but you decided to spam your AoEs anyway (yes, I’m still very annoyed when I remember this situation because it was the last thing that made me drop WoW for 1 1/2 years and it was the last thing needed for my decision to never raid again).
You’ll be responsible for yourself… hopefully! If you don’t move out of an attack, it’s your fault! If you don’t use your self-healing abilities, it’s your fault! If you’re not aware of your surroundings, it’s your fault!
Although… I do wonder how much of that will be the guardian’s fault for not having put Wall of Deflection up. Or the ranger’s fault for not having put up a Frost Trap up in time. In the end, we will probably always try to find someone else to blame. But it won’t be as easy as “the tank!” or “the healer!” anymore. ;)