I can’t say I’m one of those people that buys into hype very quickly. When ArenaNet released information about the skillbar and the mandatory “heal skill” slot, I figured, “Eh, it helps to diversify the healer game, but there will be healers.” A lot of other people disagree, I know.
Well, one fellow disagreed, and he disagrees on a level that’s hard to refute. You can read the article on “Hunter’s Insight” for more information right here.
But let me paraphrase. Concept art showing a lot of professions, and most people suspect they are all of the professions, within which we were pretty capable of identifying most with one known profession from the original game. However, none of these coincided with the monk.
Now, we still can’t say that this artwork is the gospel. Maybe more will come out and the healer profession will arise, or some aspect of one of these professions will fulfill the role. But then came this interview on Guild Wars 2 Guru.
GW2Guru: It’s been implied that there may not be a ‘dedicated healer’ class in the game. Is that a role that some classes will excel at filling, or will that form of defense be spread across a team?
Isaiah Cartwright – Game Designer: Healing in GW2 is different from most other MMO’s. One of our goals is that you should always be happy to see other players and this shouldn’t change based on their profession, race, skill choices, or anything else. Which means each player needs to be slightly more self sufficient so that one particular profession is not required to do any given type of content. It’s why we made the healing slot a required part of the skill bar. It allows us to make the heal skill powerful enough so players can take care of themselves. There will still be ways to support your allies and some professions will specialize in support but no single profession is always required.
GW2Guru: Protection Prayers was a highly praised attribute line in Guild Wars, making defensive play more active and skill based rather than just pushing up health bars. Will we see the return of a similar skill type, even if it is not part of a single class?
Eric Flannum: You will definitely see professions with skills that are used proactively to prevent damage. I can’t really say more without revealing specific professions but you’ll see some protection type play mechanics in Guild Wars 2.
So, in our inaugural podcast, we mentioned monks a lot, but as we can all see now that may not be the case. Which we will discuss more in episode 2. What I highly suspect, for now, is that the paragon and monk at least have been merged into a profession that helps to shake up the typical MMO meta. That’s the one right above the elementalist in the art there.
I’ve seen a lot of fansites speculate on how an MMO could be made without a “healer” class. It seems to be a pretty popular point of interest, but never really seemed to go anywhere. As I suspect, we will see a new system here. Some professions having capacity to be better “support”, but all characters being responsible for self healing. That’s my guess. Water elementalists and other schools of a specific profession are likely candidates.
That’s my guess. But who am I? No seriously. Who am I? There’s no reason to take me too serious.
Edit: More stuff to think about.
Jesse Cox: Is that some type of hint that the holy trinity of MMO gaming will still be there: the healer, the dps, and the tank?
Eric Flannum: Well, no, not really. If you think about Guild Wars 1, Guild Wars 1 had it, but kind of not really. Our aggro system was so much different than other games. In order to tank, you would have to reduce your armor. If you had more armor, you would sort of de-taunt the creature, which is not normally the case when tanking things. Because our AI was doing what we thought it should do, which was figuring out who to kill quickest.
Linsey Murdock: It was smart enough to know that it wanted to kill your monk, and that means not targeting what would be considered your tank. We certainly had some non-traditional tanks as well. Casters have managed to be more effective tanks than a warrior.
Eric Flannum: We’ll talk about it more in depth in the future, but I think that it’s pretty safe to say that the holy trinity is not going to be a huge factor for us in GW2.