Monday, April 18, 2011

If I Made An MMORPG - Part 3

Now for Part 3 in a series of things I would like to do if I made an MMORPG.
You can check out part 1 and part 2 if you would like.

I touched on the classes in an earlier part but I did not touch on the roles.  My MMORPG would break the mold of the holy trinity.  No more do you enter a dungeon like in WoW with your Tank, Healer and DPS.  Some games have added a 4th class to the mix calling it a support class.  Either way, I think both designs are flawed.

All classes can do all roles.  To an extent that is.  Good group make up will still be needed and some classes will be better than others at some things of course but every class would be capable of doing all roles effectively.

The concept of that is controlled by the players usage of their abilities.  Each ability would have multiple uses depending on what your stance is

For example, extremely simplified that is.

Lets say you have an ability called Power Strike, depending on the stance you are in it will react differently.  Everything would be based off attack power, even spells.

Main Tank Stance: Generate aggro based on attack power and add a shield based on aggro generated.
DPS Tank Stance: Attack based on attack power and add to tanks aggro based on damage done.
Healer Tank Stance: Attack based on attack power and heal tank based on damage done.
Tank Support Stance: Attack based on attack power and add to the tanks shield based on damage done.
DPS Support Stance: Attack based on attack power and debuff the mob based on damage done.
Healer Support Stance: Attack based on attack power and AoE heal based on damage done.
Main DPS Stance: Attack based on attack power.
Healer DPS Stance: Attack based on attack power and a percentage of damage done heals lowest life party member.
Healer Stance: Attacks based on attack power and all damage done to target is reassigned to heal those in group by a percentage of the damage done.

Of course that is not saying any numbers or anything but the idea is everyone is actually DPSing.  Tanks DPSing do aggro, Healers DPSing heal for what would have been the damage they would have done and support classes assist in various ways based on the damage they do.

This allows the most popular style of play, DPS, to be the same way you play all roles.  Sure, healers, support and tanks will not have the numbers of DPS, but each fight will require different things.

Some fights you might want to assign the people with the highest attack power to tank being it converts to aggro and the mob is a hard mob to control.  Some fights you might want the highest attack power to heal because you know there is a lot of damage coming in.  Some fights you might want the highest attack power to run support so they can do both damage and healing and buffing and redirecting agrro all at a good rate.

It would make group makeup both easier and harder.  Maybe you have to run some fights with all support set for AoE heals.  Maybe you have to run some fights with all healers doing small damage.  You get the idea.

It leaves a huge amount open for game design because you do not need to design raids around the 2 tank, 2 healer, 6 DPS idea.  You can have fights where 8 healers and 2 tanks are needed.  You can have some fights where you just need DPS and some support AoE heals.

Your gear would be the same for all specs.  All spells you know would have a version of itself for all stances.  If the tank goes down for some reason anyone else can pick up tanking.  If heals are needed anyone else can switch to healing.  All by switching stances.  It would make raiding so much more dynamic.

It would also mean that unlike all other games, heals can miss.  Which I think is an exciting difference.  Being you need to attack to generate the heal, if the attack misses there is no heal.  I love that idea.

People will still fall into the roles they like but they would all be able to fit any role if need be.  So if a looking for dungeon system was designed it would never run into the problem that WoW has.  If someone did not like the query as DPS then they could choose tank or healer or support to get a group faster.

While, at first, this might seem that this would make all classes basically the same it will not.  Some classes will generally be better at some things then others.  But all classes will be capable of anything.

Also, how things are done would be differently.  While a warriors tanking might up their armor rate so they get hit for less a Rogue tanking will dodge more to avoid damage and a priest tanking would shield themselves to absorb damage.  So for one role, three different classes go about it three different ways.

It would still come down to how good the player is, even more so with this sort of balance.

While tanking do I do an ability that will triple my threat for the next 20 seconds or am I about to get hit and need to do an ability that does threat while upping my armor some.  If it is going to be a huge hit maybe I should do my armor only ability because I have a solid enough threat lead.

While DPSing do I do something to up my attack speed now or wait until later.  Do I need to help the tank with threat, the healer with heals.

While healing can I get away with some DPS.  Do I need to throw heavy single heals or small targeted ones.  Maybe AoE is the way to go with some damage at the same time.

For support.  Should I keep the debuff on the boss, the buff on us, the healer help, the tank help or just DPS outright while building up a bigger buff.

If anything, this would surely be a bring the player type of design.  There would be no 2, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, occasional 1 and 5 rotations.  Nothing would be that simple.

Not even a wipe would be simple.  Healer went down, everyone switch to AoE healing while doing damage.  Maybe one person go to dedicated healing.  Tank is having issues, redirect all the help you can to them now.  It is an amazing idea that should be adopted by some MMORPG out there but I doubt it ever will.  It is just too good for them.

Part 4 coming soon...

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