Bring the support

A discussion on Tobold’s blog made me think about the trinity this morning and I realised that one possible solution to the overpopulation of DD (damage dealers or DPS) players would be to formalise the support role. Rift has this in the Bard, Archon and Warlord souls, LoTRO has the captain and loremaster classes who can play a support role.

The point is that support players focus on short-duration tactical buffs, minor heals, debuffing enemies and CC. Their main focus is not to top the recount list for damage done. I actually often have played my balance druid in this manner, spending a lot of my time in our guild premade dungeon runs focusing on CC, interrupts decursing/depoisoning and backup healing as needed. So my DPS numbers have never been stellar but then the reason for this is stated up front. I’m playing support. I think a key element of this is that the play-style should still be active with choices to make. The debuffs or buffs should come from using damage abilities in combination or with other abilities. One example is from the Archon soul in Rift which applies temporary stacking buffs and debuffs based on the choice of damage spell you use.

Why not formalise this? Give all the ‘pure dps’ classes a repurposed support role so they have a choice as well of how to participate in dungeons. Add the option of queuing for support (but do not require support in the DF as Rift made that mistake and it backfired).

Some ideas of the top of my head:

Hunter / Rogue: concentrate on the debuff and temp group buff side
Balance Druid: CC, cleansing and some new group small heals that trigger automatically (without needing to shapeshift to caster form)
Arcane Mage: Mana regen for group, dispels/interrupts, CC

Maybe also add a support role to Warrior/DK (as they can’t do healing)? The changes don’t need to be drastic to these classes, but by stating these roles can be ‘support’ officially you’d start the mind-set change in the player base. With another option with less responsibility than tank or healer you might coax some of the DPS players to try something a little more team-spirited.

This entry was posted in MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bring the support

  1. Syl says:

    While your suggestions are valid and might work, I stop seeing the point of 3 roles at such a point where an MMO keeps dishing out more and more options, builds and flexibility to everyone. I much rather see GW2’s approach here then – lose the concept entirely, make classes your focus instead of roles. make every class self-sufficient, make cooperative play their focus rather than role setup. For all the more classic MMOs (including Rift) I have come across more recently, I have found their attempts at a “softened up” version of the holy trinity really lacking.

    • Telwyn says:

      I agree 100% that GW2 could offer a very nice alternative to the tired model. But since WoW really couldn’t survive a retrofit that drastic I was thinking what could be done…

  2. Pingback: Killed in a Smiling Accident. » Blog Archive » Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.

Comments are closed.