One thing you gotta say about Dragon Age Legends: like the single player games upon which its based, in Dragon Age Legends you Get. To. Kill. DRAGONS. (Warning: link goes to Facebook). Unlike, say, Dungeons and Dragons Online, where I have yet to kill a dragon. The one you see in the tutorial is little more than a tease. It’s fighting a mind flayer, though, and we HAVE started killing those in our static group, but the name of the game isn’t Mazes and Mind Flayers Online now, is it?
Mazes, though — we’ve had more than our share of those.
I was amused to load up Dragon Age Legends last night and find a message urging me to recruit friends to the game and to urge them to play a tank. Given Blizzard’s new Call to Arms program, which rewards needed archetypes that queue for random dungeons with potions, loot and cosmetic items like mounts and pets, I was a little surprised to see this bleed into the world of social gaming.
Just to be clear, I enjoy playing with warrior friends on DAL, but mostly I need AE DPS and mana drainers — mages. My melee speced rogue can tank and assassinate, and I have a whole castle full of workers churning out potions to help.
Anyway. People who play high level tanks and healers are a purer form of humanity, free of the taint and blemish that marks those of us who tend to play DPS classes. We’d treasure our tanks back in EverQuest, carefully gear and equip them and wish them well when they left for better guilds.
I’m not denying tanks and to some extend, healers, have a position of responsibility in a group. But that’s only because game designers designed the classes to some have greater responsibility than the others. It’s not hard to think of group design based on preventing action taken by monsters — mezzing, permastunning, knockbacks and such. Or one based on crafting illusions to confuse and bedazzle critters. Or one that would turn the environment against the monsters.
There’s other choices. Blizzard dug its own hole, and bribing certain players to help make random dungeon groups form faster is just a bandaid on a cast covering a design that was broken to begin with.
Daily heroics in WoW are just queue + 30 minutes in the dungeon = the loot I want. You don’t grind dailies because you yearn for adventure. If Blizzard really wanted to streamline things, they could just pop five players into a room and after half an hour, a chest with loot would appear. There you go, problem solved to everyone’s satisfaction and nobody is waiting for a tank to queue.