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The “Holy Trinity” concept was the worst thing to ever happen to MMOs

Gamingtodaynews1e - The "Holy Trinity" concept was the worst thing to ever happen to MMOs

Most mainstream MMOs now almost exclusively feature the idea of the "Holy Trinity", which is that the only archetypes that exist are Tank, Healer, and DPS. It makes sense, as when you distill any encounter down to it's purest form, you need an individual(s) with mitigation abilities to soak the boss damage, healer(s) to restore that, and DPS dedicated to whittling down the enemy's life.

It's not necessarily a bad system and it allows for the implementation of "dungeon finders", where it can automatically assemble teams based on some ratio of these classes (the 1:1:2 in ffxiv or 1:1:3 in WoW).

However, this automation makes quite a few assumptions: every tank functions the exact same way, every healer functions the exact same way, and every dps functions the exact same way. This removes all individuality between each class and ultimately makes it so that every class within a role pushes a different sequence of buttons to attain a similar effect.

This really shines with dps because their goal is to decrease the enemy's life bar, so there will always be an ideal sequence of buttons for each class to push with minor variations based on how many chance based procs they have in their rotation. Certain classes will naturally do more damage due to inherent scaling issues and naturally be more desired. I'm not downplaying people who can play their roles really well, as there are certain nuances that separate a mediocre dps/healer/tank from an expert one, but generally speaking, class choice within a role is usually just flavor.


The worst affront of the Holy Trinity is it got rid of some interesting "supports", which were always my favorite. They typically had a very specialized purpose that were a mix of the following: buffing allies for short bursts, debuffing enemies (whether it be lowered resistance, charming, or lowering damage), or controlling large crowds. They would usually have a few direct damage abilities for when they needed to solo something, but it was very interesting design. They needed to know each ally's strength and when to best buff their damage, or when an enemy was about to do a lot of damage to debuff them.

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However, these support classes are hard to regulate or normalize, and largely no longer exist.

This post doesn't really have much of a purpose, it's more of a reflection and maybe somewhat of a plea to future devs. Any mmo that has much more flexible class design always gets my attention, but it's becoming ridiculously infrequent these days. Feel free to branch out a bit and let us specialize our classes, or have these "support" or "specialists" that serve an auxiliary function.

EDIT: To clarify, I don't think healer/tank/dps should disappear, I just don't think they should be rigid and should have an option to specialize while not precluding other roles, like debuffer/buffer/crowd control

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