This is a guest article from Captain Scrat.
For a long time we have known that ArenaNet; the makers of the fine game we all love, Guild Wars, have decided it is time to break the stone engraved rules of the holy trinity: The Tank (a player that will be able to hold the pressure of attacks from the NPC), The DPS (a very strong player that will deal as much as possible of damage per second) and The Monk (a key part of the trinity that will be able to keep the tank and the others alive). ArenaNet wanted to come up with a new concept of battle for their upcoming game: Guild Wars 2. They have always tried to distinguish themselves and make something different that the traditional MMO’s do not have. In this case, it was the idea of breaking the holy trinity.
So now comes the question: How does one do that? In a party, you almost always (but not necessarily) need a strong warrior that will be able to deal massive damage to a target. In a party, you will almost always need a tank that can uphold enemies by himself. In a party, you always need a healer that will be able to keep everyone alive. Yet, the designers of ArenaNet thought: What if we take out an element of the holy trinity and see what happens. Thus the idea of having no primary healing class was born and we came to know that in Guild Wars 2 there will be no dedicated healing class. I was quite upset about that idea, as I spend most of my time learning the ways of the monks. Yet ArenaNet said: No fear young masters, one element is taken out and one is put back in to balance out the situation (not an actual quote). In the following days after the announcement of the non-existent healing class, we learned that there will be a Support class for everyone to enjoy.
From what has been learned in the interviews and players speculations and general knowledge of the Guild Wars 2 game, the support class will be a utility class for almost any situation in the battle. Well that’s how I see it anyways. Because let’s face it, without a dedicated healing class, players still need to get their life back, and the slow regeneration is not a quick option in a fast paced battle. Of course, everyone will have a self heal skill, something like Healing Signet on the warrior in the original Guild Wars, but I think that that skill it not enough. Mainly because, the mechanics of that skill required some sacrifice, in this case, you had -40 armor while that skill is in use. Therefore the Support class comes in as a unit that will keep the battle field under control.
Here is how I think the support class will work. The following are my own speculations and these are not based on any actual facts, this is only how I see it might work in Guild Wars 2. For me the support class will need to be, among other things, a utility belt for everyone in the party. It will need to be a small healer, something that will keep the enemies down or at the least snared for some time, something that will allow allies to escape fast from a sticky situation and finally, something that will also be able to provide some offense. Now let’s elaborate on each one.
A small healing unit: I think the support class will not be a major addition to the life regain, because ArenaNet does not want a main healing class, thus I see the support unit as someone that will provide either small but quick and efficient party wide heals or someone that will be able to buff players that are getting attacked by an enemy. Because let’s face it, even with the broken holy trinity, there will still be players that will be the main damage dealers and players that will be the main offensive unit in the party and that means that those players will not necessarily keep a bar with a bunch of self healing skills.
A control unit: I think the support class will also be a unit that will keep the control of the battle field in terms of additional defense. Because, I can see two parties or more just rushing into each other and clashing in an epic battle to see who the strongest party is. That is where the control unit comes in. It will need to keep the enemies snared and slowed down for the allies to be able to reposition or escape a hard damage dealing strike. Additionally it will provide control of the allies themselves, buffing them up to reduce damage intake or creating barriers that will allow a player not to be knocked on the ground for several seconds, as an example.
An offensive unit: I think the support class also needs to be someone that can provide additional damage for the party. It is all nice to be able to keep the party alive and enemies under some control, but if you are not able to kill anything you are doomed to fail at the start (unless the other party just quits after a 25 minutes match). So the support class also needs to have some attacking skills, either spells or chants, which will weaken the enemy or provide straight and raw damage.
With that said, the support class is a great idea to kill the holy trinity and provide a new aspect for the upcoming game, but I really want to see how ArenaNet will be able to pull something like that off. It may not be exactly as what I described, maybe not even close, but it will be along those lines and I strong believe that. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
– Captain Scrat