Again. AGAIN!!! I end another night of attempting to run CATACLYSM content with a Dungeon Deserter debuff because of morons!!! This isn’t even the latest expansion for crying out loud! Is this how it’s going to be post-Wrath on all content? Are Mists dungeons treated this way too where the majority of groups are morons who can’t play?
My latest lolfailgroup consisted of a bunch of DPS that couldn’t down trash and one of those tanks who thinks his job is to make the romp in the dungeon as fast as humanly possible so he can insta-queue into his next dungeon. Never mind the fact that the tank has an actual role to play – and did I mention limits? This of course is why people don’t play healers and why there are shortages of support characters in these games. As I type this, I’m downloading the latest updates for Guild Wars 2 so I can finish with a game that’s actually intelligent where the people playing it are actually decent people, and no MMO Trinity. Imagine that. 😛 Anyhoo, this latest waste of time in WoW ended with the tank running away and pulling everything in sight – except two mobs that took my healer monk out in a few hits. By the way, the DPS were back at the start of the instance picking up quests which might explain the lack of DPS on the loltank’s first pull. All I saw was just idiots who couldn’t handle trash. I wasn’t about to find out how these meatheads would’ve handled an actual boss fight – again, on REGULAR difficulty in a LEVELING dungeon!!!
I’m reminded of course that this kind of crap is why Guild Wars 2 was the Skyrim-esque “game to get” for 2012 for me and Mists Of Pandaria was just a la-la curiosity on the side that I waited until a half price sale to pick up. I’ve had lots of fun with WoW’s take on monks, but apparently Cataclysm’s notably harder content is too much to ask most of the idiots playing WoW to actually be able to handle, so maybe my curiosity about Mists will be short-lived.
I was thinking about this crap on the way in to work last night and it occurred to me that Blizzard really brought this all upon themself with their game design. The MMO Trinity as we know it is entirely artificial and entirely brought on by WoW’s game design compared to other RPGs that have existed over the years. Let’s take tanks and healers for example. The concept of a tank or healer used to be a bonus in RPGs where if you had someone who was good at keeping enemies occupied or a dedicated healer who could negate the need for other forms of self-healing it was a nice bonus rather than something mandatory. Tanks, and especially Healers, are entirely completely artificial constructs created by flawed game mechanics. Healers, for example, and all the crap associated with playing them (like bad players blaming the healer for everything) are the way they are because WoW’s self-healing system is woefully inadequate. In other RPGs if you weren’t a healer, you could simply spend a decent amount of money on potions, but WoW’s potion and bandaging system is notoriously weak, creating the need for dedicated healers, and all the excuses in the world for bad players to not even try to keep themselves alive and just blame the healer if anything goes wrong at all.
Likewise with tanks. Defensive fighters who shielded weaker characters from monsters have existed in RPGs before, but were always a neat bonus if someone could do that. In this game though, it’s a mandatory thing, but again, because of this concentration of group defense on the tank, other characters (like bad DPS) have little incentive to even learn their own defensive abilities, much less actually use them. Basically, this MMO Trinity that we know today is an artificial construct that was initially created by Blizzard’s game mechanics (at least in WoW) but has been sustained by players exploiting these mechanics to absolve themselves of all responsibility if something’s “the other person’s job.”
Thus, we have what we have today. Irresponsible DPS make tanks and healers mad, so fewer people play them, which jacks up the DPS queues while shortening healer and tank queues – to the extent that sometimes healers and tanks use the shorter queues as their reason to not give a darn about the other players in the run. All of this, even the contributions by bad players, begins with Blizzard’s own game mechanics in this game. It’s like they say, yeah sure people abuse the system sometimes, but in order for that to happen there needs to be an abusable system in the first place.
On the other hand, we have Guild Wars 2. A game where there is no MMO Trinity and players take a very different approach rather than play badly and blame everyone else for their failures. People actually try to keep themselves alive. People actually use defensive cooldowns. Even in situations where you get a bad dungeon group, there is surprisingly little drama because people just keep poking away at the boss fights, etc., until they figure them out and the boss is defeated. Sometimes I’ve been mad at a group, then seen this complete lack of disappointment from them when we lose, and felt bad because I knew I was too used to WoW instead. Surprise surprise. When you have a system that encourages players to be more responsible, many people playing the game pick that up just by habit after playing the game long enough.
Another thing Blizzard needs to address is the massive number of casual players they’ve attracted since Lich King (coining terms like “wrath babies” for people who got their start during the Lich King days when everything was a little too easy). Because of WoW’s popularity there are a lot of players who play the game not because they like Warcraft, but because it’s simply the biggest MMO. This is why I’m hoping World Of Warcraft gets cut down to size and becomes simply AN MMO to play rather than THE MMO to play. Perhaps we might see better players overall when World of Warcraft stops being the go-to game for so many people who just want to try playing an online RPG. Or maybe Blizzard can cut their usual hubris and admit that their design is fundamentally flawed and contributes to these kinds of problems to begin with. Oh wait, this is Blizzard we’re talking about here, home of the ivory tower game developers like Ghostcrawler. Who am I kidding?
Either way, the MMO Trinity needs to go. I look forward to the day when it’s a sad relic of times gone by and people remember it having caused more problems than it addressed. (Wait a minute. The MMO Trinity addressed problems? Like what? :-P) Perhaps if Blizzard ends up getting served a big enough piece of humble pie they might do something. 😛