What is the Trinity?
The trinity of roles is a reoccurring party-composition where a dungeon party is consisted of a Tank role, a DPS role, and a Healer role. The Tank is responsible for keeping the boss busy and not hitting the DPS, while the Healer keep the Tank alive. The DPS would try and not get hit by boss skills.
The problem with the trinity for players is the popularity of each component of the trinity. DPS is by far the preferred choice of many players, with tanks being rarer and healers being the most wanted role in many MMORPGs. This phenomenon brings about an uneven distribution of roles. Unfortunately, due to the mentality of party leaders and their preferred party-composition being the trinity, this leads to long queue times and wait times for many players since tanks and healers are low in supply, high and demand, while DPS are in excess supply.
The trinity reoccurs in many present-day MMORPG, although the classes have expanded into subclasses. MMORPGs such as Aion have a sub-class for the Tank class called the ‘Gladiator’, which is an off-tank bruiser-type class capable of dealing damage as well as being hard to kill. Aion’s main tank is still the ‘Templar’, but with more classes being able to survive through boss fights while tanking, it is to no surprise that the traditional Templar is less common than the damage-based Gladiator. The DPS class have also been divided into burst-damage and consistent damage. The healer class has largely stayed the same, although more classes are being given healing spells.
The trinity still exist within popular MMORPGs such as Tera, and Rift, while some MMORPGs such as Guild Wars 2 tried to change the meta party-composition by giving every class a set of skills not usually attributed to that class. In Guild Wars 2, every class has a heal-spell, reducing the need for a traditional Cleric class.
The common party-system in current MMORPGs is the 6-man party. Many players have switched to a more DPS-focused party-composition with the excess of DPS, although that is certainly not the only reason, while still retaining a Tank role and a Healer role. This allows a boss fight to finish faster due to the multiple DPS sources in a party.
While the trinity was originally done with a strong emphasis on relying on your teammates as well as cooperation, present-day MMORPGs have reduced both aspects in favor of simplicity, turning many boss fights into a simple ‘tank and spank’ instance where the tank stays alive as long as possible while the DPS spam every skill to whittle down a boss. This in turn produces a bland state in dungeons where many players often don’t move from their spot and simply spam buttons while waiting for a boss to die.
Lost Ark boss fight
How the Trinity may influence Lost Ark
Although everything beyond this is speculation, even in Lost Ark, there are hints of the trinity, every class revealed so far can be classified into one of the three roles mentioned in the trinity.
Lost Ark seem to put more emphasis on the cooperation of players rather than reduce it. As seen in the trailer, each class seems to have a specific objective other than playing to their roles; the most notable was the time when Berutooth, a fearsome boss spews an area-of-effect spell and everyone hides behind the Warlord while the Warlord takes the brunt of the spell.
There are 18 classes, only 7 revealed, as well as a healer-type class being confirmed. It is very possible that amongst the 10 unconfirmed classes, Lost Ark may feature a support class. While some MMORPGs do have a pseudo-support class, it usually ends up being a secondary DPS rather than a support. This could break the trinity of roles and add variety to parties.
A support would be a CC-loaded character that can provide buffs for their allies, similar to the Bard in Everquest 1. This support class would be mainly responsible for assisting allies in taking down a boss by increasing allies offensive and defensive capabilities, although not both at the same time. In Lost Ark, this could prove to be very useful since bosses are known to have large area-of-effect spells and it is quite possible that a party member may be out of position when a boss unleashes an area-of-effect spell. The support could also feature an aura spell where allies close-by would receive a significant buff, enabling the support to have a dynamic playstyle of shifting locations to help out those who are in need of a specific buff.
The trinity should only be applied in dungeon boss fights. World bosses and instances requiring many players beyond the normal party-size should be handled differently.
The large number of classes can present a lot of party compositions, although it is likely that players will roll with the trinity as they are figuring out each class strengths and weaknesses. It is possible that Lost Ark introduce, not only interaction with environment, but also increase interaction opportunities with players as well by having one class truly rely on another outside the occasional heal.
All in all, it is up to players to invent new ways to finish a dungeon. With the RNG modifications to boss loot, players are more likely to rush through a dungeon rather than take in the instance, thus players will work with what had worked before. Lost Ark has the potential to reinvent dungeon