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  1. #1

    "Support" is the new "Heal"

    For those of you who don't know, GW2 is replacing the "healer" archtype with "support" abilities spread across all professions. Read this for more info [note: a "profession" is a "class" in wow terms, not a "tradeskill"]:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Peters, GW2 Game Designer
    We have lots of people in our studio that enjoyed playing monks in Guild Wars and healers in other games. We examined what it was about the healer archetypes that people really enjoyed, and we took a look at what it was about those archetypes that made the game less enjoyable. Then we created professions to appeal to those types of players.

    Support players want to be able to say, "Remember that one time when I saved you from certain death?" They want to stand in the line of fire and block attacks. They want to surround their allies with a swirling dome of air that keeps enemy projectiles from passing through it. It's not about clicking on a health bar and watching it go up, it's about being there for your friends when they need you.
    [...]
    Don't belittle the SUPPORT role by calling it heal. Healing is the least dynamic kind of support there is. It is reactive instead of proactive. Healing is for when you are already losing. In Guild Wars 2 we prefer that you support your allies before they take a beating. Sure, there are some healing spells in Guild Wars 2, but they make up a small portion of the support lines that are spread throughout the professions. Other kinds of support include buffs, active defense, and cross-profession combinations.

    For instance, an elementalist can support his allies by dropping down a ground-targeted healing rain that rejuvenates allies in an area. He might also use Windborne Speed to help them chase down a target or escape out of longbow range. A warrior might shout "On My Target" to help his allies do more damage to a marked enemy, or use his warhorn to "Call to Arms" which improves the armor of his allies for a short time.

    We use our cross-profession combos to fill in the rest of our support. An elementalist can create a Firewall or Static Field to improve the ranged attacks of his allies. A warrior can carry a Banner of Wisdom around the battlefield to increase the power of his allies' magical attacks. An elementalist might cast an ice spell to freeze enemies, but that same spell might give his allies Frost Armor to protect them from incoming attacks. When you boil it down, support is just the friendly way for players to work together to accomplish a shared goal.
    After reading this, I'm curious what other WoW healers think. For me, this nailed it on the head. As an old mmo gamer, I started with the release version of EQ, in which I, among other classes, played and enchanter [a CC specialist]. Support abilities have always had a special place with me, and to see that concept be fleshed out as 1/3 of the combat experience gives me goosebumps.

    Or, am I all alone on this one and a majority prefer healthbar management as the primary duty of the "support" aspect of gameplay?

  2. #2
    as i tank who watches his GF priest clicking healthbars i am amazed people are actually playing healing classes in WoW, since you miss most of the fight by having to wack-a-mole the entire time.

    But then again i never tried playing a healer before so i could be wrong. The guild wars 2 type of support is what i'd expect to be allot more fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by laserguns View Post
    But do they have data showing how much fun players are having? Because surely that's what counts. You could have a game where only 1% of players can do the top raid but still everybody's having fun, and you could have a game where 100% of the players see everything but they're all bored and whining and quitting. Fun can't be quantified with straight-up data, and trying to use statistics to measure fun is a dangerous logical minefield.
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  3. #3
    I actually played the Guild Wars 2 Demo, and decided to roll the guardian because I am used to paladin/priest Wow classes. I think it goes even beyond that. Yeah I was supporting people, but so was everyone else, Yeah I was healing, but others were healing themselves, yeah I was doing awesome damage, but so was everyone else... the only difference is HOW I did all those things. For example, where as an engineer will lay down a healing ranged turret, I will lay down a burning symbol on the ground that not only heals but burns those that go past, or I can also lay down a line that creates an impassible wall for players. You cannot select anyones health, or rather have a single target spell (mostly because the spells can be shot even without targeting someone... yes you heard right... you can go into town and spout off fireballs if you wish), and you know what, it is awesome. You are more focused on what is going around you rather then things like health bars. If someone yells at you that they are low health, as a guardian I can flash up to the enemy, lay down a consecrated circle (or bubble) while they heal themselves up coupled with the circle on the ground.

    It takes support classes to a new level... and I enjoy that...


    Edit: btw the engineer is more "support" then the guardian, since he can lay down mines, turrets, flamethrowers ect... and all of these things can prevent dmg, do dmg, or heal dmg (he also has grenades)

  4. #4
    I am Murloc! Mif's Avatar
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    I would NEVER play a healer, but I'm legitimately excited at the idea of support.

    As a Rogue, I would always try to be a smart DPS. On Marrowgar when an idiot hunter standing way out by himself got bonespiked, I would always be the one to rocketboot out and blow all my cooldowns to save his stupid ass. Or when my healers pulled agro, I would be the one to dash in and try and evasion tank for them. Even if I died doing it, to me it was better than topping a meter (and I used to parse top 200 on WoL), because I felt my actions had contributed more to our victory.
    Last edited by Mif; 2011-09-27 at 02:36 PM.

  5. #5
    I support the "Support" role over the "Healer" role any day. There's something much more interesting about using specific skills to negate potentially fatal attacks instead of spamming the heal button while the tank holds aggro. Not to mention the fact that each class will contain support mechanics, and everyone will be responsible for ensuring the survival of the rest of their group, not just the one person casting spells in the back.

  6. #6
    Over 9000! Arrowstormen's Avatar
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    Isn't "support" more of a "support action", instead of a whole role?

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-27 at 04:38 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mif View Post
    I would NEVER play a healer, but I'm legitimately excited at the idea of support.

    As a Rogue, I would always try to be a smart DPS. On Marrowgar when an idiot hunter standing way out by himself got bonespiked, I would always be the one to rocketboot out and blow all my cooldowns to save his stupid ass. Or when my healers pulled agro, I would be the one to dash in and try and evasion tank for them. Even if I died doing it, to me it was better than topping a meter (and I used to parse top 200 on WoL), because I felt my actions had contributed more to our victory.
    Reminds me when I wanna try to help people in League of Legends
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  7. #7
    Immortal Maklor's Avatar
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    Yeah I think using the word roles is just reintroducing the trinity through the backdoor, everyone should be doing everything - there are no roles.

    I really dread that GW2 will be full of people that insist on only doing DPS or Support, then it will just be the same shit all over again.

  8. #8
    I am Murloc! Mif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    Isn't "support" more of a "support action", instead of a whole role?
    Yes and no.

    Your attack skills will stay the same, but you would equip more support friendly utility skills, as opposed to damage increasing ones. In now way would you be like a healer trying to DPS for example. In the end it will come down to playstyle more than anything.

  9. #9
    Over 9000! Arrowstormen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maklor View Post
    Yeah I think using the word roles is just reintroducing the trinity through the backdoor, everyone should be doing everything - there are no roles.

    I really dread that GW2 will be full of people that insist on only doing DPS or Support, then it will just be the same shit all over again.
    Is making such statements even possible? Ain't the number of "support" abilities pretty low in direct support itself?

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-27 at 04:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Mif View Post
    Yes and no.

    Your attack skills will stay the same, but you would equip more support friendly utility skills, as opposed to damage increasing ones. In now way would you be like a healer trying to DPS for example. In the end it will come down to playstyle more than anything.
    Can you really equip enough to call yourself a supporter?
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  10. #10
    Immortal Maklor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    Is making such statements even possible? Ain't the number of "support" abilities pretty low in direct support itself?[COLOR="red"]
    Probably not but I'm sure some people will insist on it anyway.

    But considering there is no abilities that target allies directly I hope they will learn.

  11. #11
    Over 9000! Arrowstormen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maklor View Post
    Probably not but I'm sure some people will insist on it anyway.

    But considering there is no abilities that target allies directly I hope they will learn.
    There might be some who is going to run around and yell "I'M WORKING ON A HOSPITAL AND THATS WHY I'M SUPPORT AS A GUARDIAN", but I think they will be few, and they would have to live in holes for not dropping that sooner or later.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    Isn't "support" more of a "support action", instead of a whole role?
    Yes, i think that is a good way to classify it, but you'll def. have professions that favor one over the other, and while you'll certainly have dynamics involved, I think most people behind the characters will have an affinity for the use of one segment of their tool box over another.

  13. #13
    I am Murloc! Mif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowstorm View Post
    Can you really equip enough to call yourself a supporter?
    Not enough that it would be all you are.
    Like I said, playstyle will be king.

  14. #14

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by [-Spiritus-] View Post
    For those of you who don't know, GW2 is replacing the "healer" archtype with the "support" archtype. Read this for more info [note: a "profession" is a "class" in wow terms, not a "tradeskill"]:



    After reading this, I'm curious what other WoW healers think. For me, this nailed it on the head. As an old mmo gamer, I started with the release version of EQ, in which I, among other classes, played and enchanter [a CC specialist]. Support classes have always had a special place with me, and to see that concept be fleshed out as 1/3 of the combat experience gives me goosebumps.

    Or, am I all alone on this one and a majority prefer healthbar management as the primary duty of the "support" role?
    How dare you ask "am i alone"? never for I am here to second your opinion. As a wow warlock i used to fear, banish, deathcoil, drop stones etc for the good of the group in both pvp and pve. likewise as a hunter i can cc 2 or 3 things at once. I play not to do top meter dps or hps i play to make the encounter whether pve or pvp easier for my team.

    This is what i love about gw2 it brings all of that into fruition but isn't frowned upon. in other games if you're a dps with a swath of cc skills and support skills but didn't do ultimate dps because you were doing all of the support and adequate dps you were belittled. IN gw2 our playstyle is encouraged and i can't wait.

  15. #15
    Scarab Lord Arkenaw's Avatar
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    I always play healers, and I am very excited to play a guardian. I look forward to being able to help my allies while being able to DPS on my own effectively.

  16. #16
    Herald of the Titans Ynna's Avatar
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    Seeing as I always play healers, I'll be most likely be a support player in Guild Wars 2. But I'm a bit on the fence about whether I like the implementation or not. On one hand it sounds really cool, actually supporting players with a variety of skills and abilities instead of just healing people, but on the other hand, even support players are expected to do damage, and as such won't be fully focusing on support.
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  17. #17
    Scarab Lord Arkenaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ynna View Post
    Seeing as I always play healers, I'll be most likely be a support player in Guild Wars 2. But I'm a bit on the fence about whether I like the implementation or not. On one hand it sounds really cool, actually supporting players with a variety of skills and abilities instead of just healing people, but on the other hand, even support players are expected to do damage, and as such won't be fully focusing on support.
    This is the whole idea, the concept of whack-a-mole is a bad one that was inscribed in our souls by WoW. Being able to support while DPSing is ideal.

  18. #18
    Mechagnome
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    Active support is something I've missed since i stopped playing Ragnarok Online. Active Buffing and Debuffing in different ways and with different amounts of imagination. Something WoW's always been lacking.
    I for one will be supporting quite a bit what ever role I choose to play.

  19. #19
    Herald of the Titans Ynna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkenaw View Post
    This is the whole idea, the concept of whack-a-mole is a bad one that was inscribed in our souls by WoW. Being able to support while DPSing is ideal.
    Yeah, I know this. I read the interviews and the website. It's just that I don't like the gameplay of hitting things. I prefer to work in the background, enabling people to do their thing, without actually getting my hands dirty. It's not that I just want to fill green bars, it's that I want to focus only on support with no or only minimal damage from my part.
    Retired Holy Priest
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  20. #20
    This thread is very misleading. There is no support "archtype" that is replacing a healer "archtype" in GW2. There are no support "roles" and no healing "roles" assigned to players in a group. There are only professions (i.e. classes) and they are all capable of any role at any given time.

    There will always be a group entirely of "DPS" (if that helps) that do battle. Each of you will be supporting and healing at a given notice depending on the ebb and flow of the fight. If you like healing now, you can't say "Oh, I guess I'll have to play profession X then," because there is no profession that does what you are used to. They all support their allies effectively, just in different ways. It is these different ways that will determine what profession you should choose, not the archtype or role you want to play.

    I watched a video of a dungeon run with four elementalists (mages) and an engineer. No one was "The healer". No one was "The support". No one was "The tank" or "The controller". They all were.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-27 at 03:56 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ynna View Post
    Yeah, I know this. I read the interviews and the website. It's just that I don't like the gameplay of hitting things. I prefer to work in the background, enabling people to do their thing, without actually getting my hands dirty. It's not that I just want to fill green bars, it's that I want to focus only on support with no or only minimal damage from my part.
    I'm not sure this game will be for you. There are no direct heals, and you can only cast so many support abilities, so you will be a liability unless you fight.

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