MMORPG stands for massively multi-player online role-playing game. But there needs to be clarification on that. MMO doesn’t mean hundreds or thousands in a single area but normally spread out across all regions of the gaming world. In the “main cities” this number is normally in the neighborhood of 100 or so players.
Now on to the bread and butter of MMOs. MMOs are built on what is called the trinity system. All encounters are based on having a tank, healer, and DPS. this is all based on the original dungeons and dragons ruleset. (D&D) but this is where things become more difficult. There is what I call subroles within each of the roles.
Let’s start with the tank. The tank is best described in the analogy of them being the meat shield. Their primary role is to take the brunt of most of the damage. This will require more explanation in a later section. (See threat) the alternate names and subroles are the common terms of offtank and maintank.
Let’s start with the maintank role. This role is referred to as the primary threat holder in an encounter. This person sets tempo for clearing encounters. Their primary job is to stay alive. This requires different things to happen in different games. Specifically in short this is managing temporary buff cool downs and timing them on the big hits from a boss or a lull in the incoming healing done to you from the healer.
The next subrole is the offtank. This role is either held by a lesser geared/ experienced tank or a DPSer who has tank gear. Everything that applies to main tank applies to the offtank. With one exception the offtank normally gets the weaker enemy (ies). When an off-tank is not needed the offtank is often counted as a DPS.
Next we can talk about the role of the healer. The healer as you can guess from the name is the person that heals the damage incurred by the group. These have subroles also but all have the same overall goal. The subroles are main tank healer, general healer, and group healer.
Main Tank Healer
As the main tank healer the healers’ main duty is to keep themselves and the main tank alive.
The general healer is just the healer that helps everybody. This what a healer would do in single healer setup.
The group healer is the healer in larger groups whose specific duty is to heal themselves and everybody else in the group when extra healing is not required on a tank.
Finally we can talk about the DPS role. DPS stands for damage per second and is used as shorthand for a character being a damage dealer. A damage dealer may have tanking/healing abilities but are not using them. They are normally strictly dealing damage except in some cases. These cases are better explained by the subroles. The subroles include strictly DPS, CCer, and mezzo.
In most MMOs, there is no class that is strictly DPS. all classes’ hag utility abilities. But instead it is a role for an encounter where as a DPS you just have to DPS.
Next is the CCer. CC stands for crowd control. These are the abilities that take an enemy out of combat for duration. Normally they can be chain casted. The CCer is in charge of making sure a specific ability is not cast by a particular enemy. In a lot of encounters, this specific ability is the healing ability of a particular enemy.
A Mezzer is a role most people have never heard of. This is a class whose primary role is to mess up the abilities of the enemies by any means necessary. The abilities include knockbacks, interrupts, speed reduction, and reducing the chance to hit/crit/dodge/block/parry. This role is in some cases tied to DPS, Healer, and Tanks.
Now this is where you ask, what is threat? Threat is a number that correlates to the damage/healing generated against an enemy during an encounter. In most cases without buffs threat is generated at a 1:1 rate. In a tanks case it is normally closer to 1.5:1 but this conversion varies from game to game. There are different mechanics in different games. Please see your local theory crafting forum for more information.
Who is JediWaldo and what are his credentials?
Jediwaldo is actually known as JediEliteWaldo. He is neither a Jedi nor a Sith. He is a neutral force user who calls on the both the dark side and the light side to be freaking crazy.
Shory Back History
As a short history of how he started playing PC Games. His first PC game he ever played was “Jane of the Jungle” on the Commodore 64 back around 1990. He continued his passion for PC gaming and moving from side scrollers of later years to FPS games (Counter Strike and its brethren) to MMORPG (starting with Runescape back in 2001) to where he is now a Bounty Huner DPS on the Fatman server in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Why does this man seem to know too damn much?
He is known in inner circles to live by one simple rule. RED IS DEAD! What the means to Jedi is that he spend his free time not playing MMOs reading on how to be a better MMO player and providing guidance to his fellow comrades.
That’s what she said
You see that flying gnome over there? Yeah, that’s my Brother-in-Law Bertshet. He was just punted by that Ogre after he tried to pyroblast him in the face.