Thought of the Day: Getting rid of the dps role

People do commonly say that the main issue with the ‘holy trinity’ is the tank role. It’s unintuitive, unwieldy, and greedily snags a lot of the actual gameplay from PvE (ie. setting up pulls, et al).

But what my tank would really like for Xmas is a pet dps. I’m happy to run with player-healers, they’re usually pretty cool. But my game would be so much more fun if I could have NPC dps instead of players. Imagine not having to fight with your group all the time. Or people yelling at you to gogogo. Or people jumping straight into fights before you have threat because that 0.5s at the beginning is oh-so-important for dps.

Plus since your base character is a tank, it’d be tough enough to solo comfortably anyway. (And same applies to healers since they can self heal.) So really, if you have to remove one role from the trinity, it’s the dps that should go.

39 thoughts on “Thought of the Day: Getting rid of the dps role

  1. What!!!

    Didn’t you know it’s all the tanks fault?

    I blame Gevlon – he plays DPS. There are days I would much rather take the wonderful wanding warlock.

  2. with the current damage dealing abilities of the warrior tanks, I’m not too concerned over the levelling. I bet we can take three mobs at a time, when the high dps takes them one by one and gets to bandage and heal themselves in between, while we go from pull to another.

    C out

  3. My hope, as a tank, is that DPS will take more responsibility. I’ve never understood why any tank prefers to mark pulls. Let dps do it. They are the ones who will be CC’ing and focus-firring anyways.
    When I dps, I prefer to set up the killorder of packs too (yea hunters mark).
    Maybe that is where the change should be, let dps have more responsibility. Let them prove to us, that they are capable.
    Let them do it, and let me focus on aggro and not getting myself killed.

  4. The tank likes to mark because generally (5-man content) he’s considering where he wants the mobs, how (and if) he can move them to there and what the risks are from other groups / patrols. Also how easily he can get that snap aggro before the dps let rip with their big guns while staring at the meters.

    • Yup, pretty much this.

      When I mark, it’s mostly a way to communicate to dps which mobs I’m planning to have most threat on and which they need to CC/ kill first.

      • Because the kill skull the mage puts up on a mob, makes it impossible to decide which one you should start working threat on?
        As a tank I have more than enough on my plate then having to worry about the next pack, as a dps, I have time to mark the next pack. Look at patrols and generally have that mental step away from the fray to keep an overview.
        It is a matter of control, or giving up part of that control.

        I guess you can tell that I am the OT in my raid-group.

        But directly to spinks reply: why can’t the hunter figure out which mob to cc and mark that? and which one to kill first? Why do *some* tanks think that it is their job?

        Like I said, as a tank, it’s an added assignment that I can live without, and as a dps, its an added assignment that I like to take on me.

      • A hunter COULD but I don’t trust them to know or to care which mobs are hardest to tank. I definitely don’t trust them to keep an eye out for patrols, they’re more likely to accidentally pull one!

        If I didn’t know the instance then I’d ask someone else who knew it better to mark. But if I did, then I would always expect to decide the kill order. People can always speak up if they don’t agree.

  5. Back in the old days…


    Back in the old days when everyone was rather new except for some rather scary EQ vets who never played with plebs there was a group attitude to content. People collectively tried to figure out how to beat dungeons as a puzzle. This made every pug rather new and fresh.

    On my rogue I always kept an eye out for the healer’s safety. If he got an add I’d sprint over and stun it, typing to let the tank know to come get it. I’d learn instances and patrols so that I could Distract to save us from adds.

    This wasn’t exceptional, this was normal. Nor am I saying that we were all great players, in many ways we were worse. No one knew about rotations or best in slot or whether crit was better than agility.

    We players figured out how to optimise the fun out of the game. It’s optimal to put it all on the tank’s shoulders because one competent tank = loot for 5 people and social pressure is used to discourage casual tanks.

  6. Some time ago several GW players who played monks (~primary healers) got shocked that Guild Wars 2 will not have something like that. So basically, the healer got killed, and there is no tank.

    The whole concept has to die. There is no need for a “PURE DPS” when tank and healer are gone.

    Thinking outside of the WoW box is needed. I personally think there is no point and no chance to change WoW to have no tanks, no healers, no DPS and so on, they would have to change the entire game at the core, which is more difficult if not per se impossible without totally making it another game.

    Depending on gear and usually class – another concept that could be discussed – there will be players who are tougher and better able to take damage than others.

    But the core idea is, with the huge specialization and pigeonholing to three tasks (DPS/CC, Heal, Tank) gone, people would have to be more active.

    Can you imagine what a snorefest a dungeon can become if DPS players are reasonable and do not try to beat each other in an e-peen DPS race on recount? I am actually not kidding. “Trash mobs” would be even more boring, and it would take a rather complex puzzle boss fight to kill people if they don’t overaggro.

    I am out of WoW since January 2009, but a competent Paladin tank with somewhat inferior gear tanked everything without problems. The only times we had problems were when I and my Warlock were in an ego-fight about the dps hierarchy with the Shadow Priest. Or in a boss fight we did not know the pattern yet, like Halls of Lightning. I also think people hated the dragon fight in the Oculos (?) so much because it screwed up their known place in the universe and had them make think about new abilities and a new role, they at least had to identify the tank dragon and so on.

    Pure DPS is stupidity. This must be killed along tanks and healers. I am already digging the mass grave for this trinity concept! 🙂

    I wish I could somehow unlock all Guild Wars outposts and maps for you, plus a fully trained char with all abilities and fully equipped heroes. I think you would like how you can switch from “tank” to “kill the healer” or even providing support through various shouts.

    But well, let’s see how GW2 will turn out. Some people fear that without a healer fights will have a very primitive and “easy” nature, lack of depth etc. for good reasons. I will have to wait and see.

    Till then… I heard warriors now do quite a lot of damage, too, so why not fill up the whole team with TANKS/OFF-TANKS? The dungeon finder does not do that, but I am very sure an all Paladin team for dungeons is almost failsafe?

  7. I’d love it if the DPS actually paid attention to marks. My DK will mark out mobs I want killed first but you can guarantee that at least one of the DPS will setup on an unmarked mob so he can prove how awesome his DPS is and how he doesn’t need the group. This is especially annoying when the Skull “kill first” mob is the Skirmishers in Azjol-Nerub!

  8. City of Heroes gets round this by a) being an easier game (although you can make it as hard or as easy as you like) and b) having so many combinations of “class” and “build” that tanking and crowd control and dps all blur into one. You don’t even have to have a healer if you have enough CC.

    I also wonder if having larger groups (max of 8) makes a difference, although missions scale with your group size as well as your difficulty setting.

  9. i’m with Stabs. The role isn’t the problem when you have a competent player, so suggesting that we get rid of DPS is like throwing the murloc out with the bathwater. I’m no fan of “by the numbers” gameplay, but as a DPSer, I’m certainly not adverse to taking on whatever duties are needed beyond just dealing damage, and that includes keeping and eye on the back row, education on mob strength, AND keeping an eye out for patrols. It’s not rocket science, after all…you just need a player who’s willing to participate beyond the “gogogo”.

  10. Hehe

    I have moments where I’ll Misdirect pull for the tank. I also have moments (due to class changes) where I’m watching my hotbars instead of the action and end up agroing more stuff by shooting them.

    Example? Drak’Tharon in the room with the spiders that will flee and unleash little ones. I sometimes get too focused on my action bars and unleash a few trolls. :$

    That said, can we go now? Let’s go! Go! Go! Come on! GOOOO!


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  12. Well there has been such a time, kinda 😉
    I remember how we rushed through MC in vanilla, tank&spank with tanks and healers carrying the main load of the work and very little pressure on DPS. you could beat encounters with over half of them dead, yeah it would take a while but as long as your MTs were alive and your healers had mana, you were good. we got our 1st kill on Nefarian that way, I think it tooks us 30mins after all melee had died (of stupidity) and half the ranged DPS, healers adding some DoTs and the MTs finishing off the rest lol! x)

    That said, I don’t think anyone wants those times back, i sure don’t – there needs to be an equal share of responsibility among tanks, healers AND dpsers when beating bosses. the problem today is, that half of the DPS around (who are to be fair the largest group in the game) still haven’t realized they actually hold such a share. I wonder what it would take to get them there..

  13. While I agree with Longasc, what if we went down another tangent? Say, get rid of DPS entirely but also change the victory condition? I’m thinking Bushido Blade MMO here; there’s no HP bar, no DPS that slowly wears it down, just pure combat. Hit a baddie in an artery, they go down fast. Only inflict flesh wounds, and you might eventually bleed your opponent out. Hit their arm just right and it’s deadened, making that weapon or shield useless.

    Of course, that also means taking hits in critical spots is bad, too. No more chainmail bikinis.

  14. I hereby volunteer to be your NPC DpS (minus the NPC)!

    In fact, I give you my inviolate Promises of Compentent Hunter DpS:

    I will never say gogogo – really, never

    I will not face pull any adds

    I will kill in the correct order and will use my hunter mark to assist others so that they know which to kill first (big hint – squishy casters are wannabe hunters who didn’t make the cut so should be at or near the top of every list to be killed on sight)

    I will use a GCD to cast misdirects

    I will trap religiously and will rejoice endlessly when my lock and load procs as a result of my zealotry

    I will control and heal my pet at all times – especially those times when she feels like off-tanking on those pulls of multiple, evil wannabe-hunter squishy casters

    I will not think that the circles on the ground where I’m standing are pretty and shiny and made of everything nice and wholesome and, therefore, will move immediately when they appear below me

    I will happily kite mobs for that is a skill required of my class and further promise to do so without requiring any healing

    I will not worry about my Recount numbers and watch dispassionately as our healer takes damage

    I will never, ever misdirect to the arcane mage to make them look foolish in their no-good squishiness

    Hmmm, about that last one….on second thought…

  15. Ok. I’m gonna go ahead and defend me fellow damage dealers here. It’s not ALL of us that are tearing into th’ wrong target, or pissin’ off a pack of beasties that was mindin’ it’s own buisness. Some of us are well content to target marks and chop them into little sausage chunks. Some of actually realize as well that when the sweet saucy druid healers get the attention of th’ beasties, several bad things happen. A) She may not be quite *as* interested in me beard after we all see the spirit healer. B) The aforementiones saucy sweet druid healers are also faster in the spirit world than I am on my stubby little dwarven legs (make a joke….I dare ye.) and so may beat me to our place of defeat, and me pride can’t stand that, and C) Repairing me armor is bloody expensive! Ye think gold is grown on trees?
    Suffice it to say, I look out for me healers.
    These so called ‘death knights’ (also know as ‘I’m in plate and I want to be a warrior but can’t qualify becasue I’m dead’) can fend for them bloody selves.

  16. FFXI had the ultimate. We got rid of tanks, healers, and support. We called it the beastmaster pet party.

    We’d all charm pets, and level by sending them after mobs. When one died, the BST would grab another. BSTs kept out of aoe and aggro range, and through their subjob could heal and soak enough damage in the case of aggro till another pet got it back. We even had summons in case of emergency.

    BSTs manage do to many endgame fights solo or in small groups, and to be a skilled BST was a sign of excellence.

      • I think it’d sound awesome if the game had been designed so that any class had the option to do this! But letting one class render all the others pointless …? I don’t think that sounds awesome for anyone else.

      • “I think it’d sound awesome if the game had been designed so that any class had the option to do this!”

        Well, sure, but I’ve argued precisely this before. 😉

        Oh, and we might be able to eliminate pure DPS *classes*, but the *role* seems inviolate; unless we’re just trying for submission holds all the time, somehow the baddies need to be put down.

        So… are you talking getting rid of the role or the monorole class?

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  18. Interesting idea. A little tweaking need imho as all the DPS class people would not be happy at re-rolling to a tank or healer role.

    What would be kind of cool though would be solo instances for all regardless of role. Imagine the angry DPS fewl pulling aggro from the NPC tank 0.5 seconds after the pull or yelling at the NPC healer for not healing his ass while he stood in the fire.

    For some DPS it would be a real eye opener to show that NPC tanks and good player controlled tanks perform the same. There would of course be a significant number that would fail to realise that the common factor in their failure to perform well was themselves.

    • If the tank and healer NPCs had good AI this would be great :O Instant ‘queues’ for dps, someone to play with if you’re sick of puggees…

      NPC tank would pull at a sensible pace depending on the group’s mana, wouldn’t try to get aggro back off overeager dps, wouldn’t start the instance til buffed…

      NPC healer would ignore dps that stood in the fire, or that pulled before the tank, or persistantly pulled off the tank, but would res freely…

      Maybe they could make this be some sort of instance training ground, so that you get priority in the dungeon finder if you’ve passed the training ground well? 😀

  19. I’m with SpiritusRex but since I’m currently running as a BM hunter I’ll add:

    I will use my spirit beasts healing ability with reckless abandon.

    I will only pull threat on mobs that are chewing on the healer so I can kite them back to the tank before I feign death.

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