EQNext: No Tanks? No Trinity?

One of the hottest topics from the entire EQNext announcement so far has been the news that – like several games before them – EQNext is doing away with the Holy Trinity of Tank, Healer and DPS.

The argument is that EQNext’s advanced AI will completely remove the need for the tank/healer/dps combo, and furthermore that most people don’t like being forced into those roles.

What did the many bloggers watching the announcement think of all that? Read on to find out!

  • Rohan argues that whilst a more advanced AI can easily negate the Trinity, the problem is that it will also negate the spirit of the fantasy archetypes on which EQNext is based.

    Read “Revisiting The Trinity” »

  • Ald takes a look at the Trinity from a number of games, from EQNext to Final Fantasy XI, and argues in favour of a five-person Trinity: Tank + Healer + DPS + CC + Support.

    Read “Trinity!” »

  • Rowan Blaze points us to a well-known political figure’s views on the entire “EQNext And The Trinity” debate…

    Read “Godwin’s Law Strikes Everquest Next” »

  • And Belghast writes two fascinating posts on the topic – firstly, pointing out that many tanks actually LIKE tanking, and secondly, looking at the inspirations, archetypes, and role models of the tank…

    Read “No Love For Tanks” »

    Read “A Tank Is…” »

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EQNext: The Next Big Thing Roundup

So, Sony recently announced their next Everquest game. It sounds pretty cool – dynamic world AI, voxel-based landscapes, and –

Oh, you’ve heard about it already?

I’m really not sure when we last saw an announcement that has gotten the MMO community as excited as the EQNext reveal this weekend – and for good reason. The features they’re promising sound utterly revolutionary, and more importantly, at least reasonably achievable. I’m personally familiar with the kind of voxel-based landscape engine they’re using – it’s very doable for a next-gen game.

But will it actually work?

Let’s go to the phones – or, as the case may be, blogs:

What do you think? Is it as good as it looks?

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The Tower Of Azora, In 2005 And Today

Milady at Hypercriticism writes a fascinating post on a single, tiny facet of World of Warcraft that many ex- and current players will remember: the Tower of Azora.

She’s looking at how WoW’s game design has changed, and how, in particular, Blizzard’s world-building has changed.

What would the Tower of Azora had Blizzard decided to fully incorporate it in their Cataclysm remake? Milady attempts to answer that question in a post that’s thought-provoking whether you agree with her or not:

“If Blizzard had cataclysmed Azora, they would have had it explained out to passers-by, they would have stripped it naked for the player to stare and yawn, commodified it into a quest hub. No enchanting trainer at the top of it: what for? Every profession is now found in the capital. No more inconvenient trailing back and forth.

They ironed out Azeroth. Every thing that stood out as unique was pressed down upon the flat surface of convenience. In so doing they turned a world with its peaks and valleys into a two-dimensional print. Following the creed of balance they made everything equal: nothing harder or more desirable, nothing different. Enchanting, with its inaccessible trainers and excessive material expenditure, and its grindy furbolg reputation that granted a much-coveted recipe only a few obtained, and with it fame and clients. Then they made each class equal in what they could do, so that nobody was discriminated in the basis of being a paladin without crowd control. The saddest of these equanimities was the shadow priest that now just did raw dps. Tanking and healing styles were fused into one big blob.

This did not only affect the enjoyment of the gameplay – it also changed how players viewed the world. The shadow priest was more effective now that he could put out more damage, but he was no longer fulfilling a unique role, different from all the rest. He might as well be firing darkened fireballs. They ‘balanced’ the gameplay to the detriment of the world.

Read the rest of “The Tower Of Azora And EQNext” »

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