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In any MMO game party usually consists of different players with different roles. It is a rule that helps party to succeed. Each group of players should have a tank, a damage dealer and a healer. It is a so called “Holy Trinity” – three basic player roles.
When you gather a party in many online games you want to have at least 1 representative of each role. Different players with different roles specialize in different actions and their combined efforts help them to win. A tank tries to take more damage because it is his role. He has increased protection and skills that allow him to survive after heavy attack. Though tank has great survivability he can not kill enemies fast without help of damage dealers. Damage dealers have special skills that allow them to perform effective attacks killing enemies. Healers control the condition of the group by healing and supporting allies.
In most online games player groups are based on conception of Holy Trinity. Why? That’s because in these games classes are strict and it is impossible to create your own mixed class. A healer class is responsible for healing and he can not switch to dealing damage. Thus Holy Trinity conception helps the group to win.
Trinity works well because every character has his own clear role and does not bother about other things. For example most of the time Tank does not bother about keeping his health pool full. Healer is responsible for this. Tank concentrates all his efforts on attracting enemies’ attention. Specialization is great.
In Elder Scrolls Online classes are not strictly connected with roles. You can be a Templar and chose any of three roles or even mix them. Everything depends on your skills and gear. If you want to be a healer you should put on light armor and place healing spells on your hotbar, but nothing forces you to do so. ESO has a great customization system that allows you to create your own class combining different skills. Will this affect players’ roles in a group? I think yes. There will be groups with traditional healers, damage dealers and tanks anyway. But there will also be groups where roles are not so obvious.
Let me explain. For example customization system allows to gather a group where one person is a battle healer (healer mixed with damage dealer), the other person is healer-tank and so on. On my opinion there will be a lot of such groups because many players will create their mixed classes. Anyway groups where players have mixed roles are also playable.
The other interesting thing about ESO is that there is no “aggression” system there. This fact also affects combat style a lot. In most MMOs Tank holds the attention of monsters because of aggression mechanism and the role of a Tank is very important. But monsters in ESO usually try to attack different players. One person will not be able to hold all monsters. Thus a true healer without combat abilities may have some troubles.
Elder Scrolls Online has many new features that affect gameplay a lot. Mixed classes and monsters' behavior change traditional Trinity system. ESO does not force you to play as a healer, tank or damage dealer. You can mix your abilities and create your own class.
Anyway Holy Trinity conception is still effective in TESO. But now it is not the only way to succeed. I like Elder Scrolls Online because it allows you to decide how to play. The game offers you a lot of different variants and you can chose your path yourself.
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