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Suggestion: Make Group Combat about Tactics

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Suggestion: Make Group Combat about Tactics

lobotaru's Avatar

12.28.2012 , 02:11 PM | #1
I think a lot of people would agree with the statement that repeatedly spamming heals or being relegated to a meat shield can be boring and repetitive. Even if they do not, I'm sure that they would consider a system that rewards adapting to the current combat situation superior to one where combat follows a nearly identical formula for each encounter. Even more people would agree that taking on the role of healer or tank is being a good Samaritan, as they suffer in the soloing department for their choice. My advice is to just get rid of the old tank, healer, and damage dealer scheme. Instead, let everyone be able to do the same level of damage, but have the option (depending on spec) to use abilities that are from one of the two older roles of tanking and healing, or for debuffing. Using those special abilities at specific times during group encounters would be key to surviving. Healing spam should be discouraged, instead spreading the responsibility of damage mitigation equally between all group members.
The person with a protector role (the guy whose secondary abilities are tank based) might throw up a defensive barrier around his party members to mitigate damage, while the debuffer uses an ability to slow the enemy group's attack speed. If the group's health starts to drop too low, the person with healing secondary abilities might throw out a group heal (which has a short duration for diminishing returns to discourage spamming). After each character has used their secondary ability to benefit the party, they go back to doing damage, disrupting or stunning their respective attackers, and altering their positions as the flow of battle demands. The protector would still have a taunt, but it would only be used if someone being attacked is taking too much damage - it wouldn't be used to keep the target constantly on the protector.
The reason I suggest such a system is that it has the potential to make group combat more dynamic and it would completely remove the disparity in solo play speed between different classes once and for all. It would also make for a lot more interesting encounters, since it is difficult to generate a type of encounter with a tank, healer, and damage dealer system that hasn't already been visited in a previous MMO (that players' are probably already familiar with).

RendValor's Avatar

12.30.2012 , 01:59 PM | #2
This isn't City Of Heroes
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Kitru's Avatar

12.30.2012 , 02:49 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by RendValor View Post
This isn't City Of Heroes
City of Heroes wasn't even immune to the vast overvaluing of specific set ups; the removal of nominal roles simply made it so that support classes were *vastly* more valuable than otherwise specialized roles. The large scale imbalance in the design forced the developers to largely abandon the "anything goes" balance used early on and instead focus on hyperspecialized mechanics that required specific loadouts for anything that wasn't supposed to simply be able to be roflstomped by a full group of support characters.

The problem with generalizing roles to the extent that you're suggesting (giving everyone the same damage/survivability with little variation except for 1-2 abilities or secondary effects active only as specific times) doesn't really encourage teamwork. Teamwork is accomplished through specialization. Generalization simply ends up having everyone essentially play "solo" together. Attempting to force players to play operate tactically (moreso than they already do by assigning CC targets, adapting to specific mechanics, etc.) by reducing their ability to specialize would actually operate contrary to your intent.

This doesn't mean that I think that some degree of generalization wouldn't be untoward, though I honestly think that tanks and DPS are in reasonably good straights already: tanks and DPS both represent excellent ratios of damage and survivability and accomplish their goals explicitly by beat on targets. Healers really just stare at red bars all day (which gets really old really fast). I would *love* to see healers encouraged to use attacks as part of their maintenance healing rotation. Imagine if Commandos healed their Trauma Probe target (without consuming the stacks) whenever they dealt damage with Hammer Shot (small enough that they would still need to throw out actual heals except in the most overgeared situations), and Sages bounced a small amount of AoE healing to allies near targets they hit with Disturbance (which would be made free with the same talent that causes the healing to occur). Presumably something else could be contrived for Scoundrels, but I couldn't think of anything.
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