Why Do So Many Games Have Tanks, Healers and DPS? - panicarts.com

Why Do So Many Games Have Tanks, Healers and DPS?

Adam Millard – The Architect of Games
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Tanks, Supports and Damage Dealers are a staple of… too many games to count – and no matter where you look this holy trinity seems to be growing more and more popular over time, but why?

A veteran of MMOs, Hero Shooters and all sorts of tactics games, The Architect has squeezed into an ill-fitting helm of domination and waded out onto the battlefield to work out why the holy trinity is so common, and what effect it has on our favorite games.

You Saw:

Overwatch- 2016

World of warcraft – 2004

Gears Tactics – 2020

Rocket league – 2015

Teamfight Manager – 2021

Guild Wars 2 – 2012

Final Fantasy 14 – 2013

Outriders – 2021

Divinity Original Sin 2 – 2017

Darkest Dungeon – 2016

Starcraft 2 – 2010

Apex Legends – 2019

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition – 2020

For The King – 2017

The Hex – 2018

Super Smash Bros Ultimate – 2018

Runescape – 2001

Fire Emblem 3 Houses – 2019

Total War Warhammer 2 – 2017

Star Renegades – 2020

Deep Rock Galactic -2020

Chrono Trigger – 1995

Spellbreak – 2020

Humankind – Not out yet

Dota 2 – 2013

Fortnite – 2017

Tabletop Simulator – 2015

Super Mario 3D world – 2013

New Super Mario Bros Wii U – 2012

Telltale’s The Walking Dead – 2012


  1. EverQuest's class system is much better then WoW's and many games these days. It was a harder game though so I guess it needed them.

  2. ''Jesus is my tank'' Sounds like a pray to win to me and op.

  3. I played some MMOs that didn't have the holy trinity system. From my experience, it doesn't bring anything new to the table. It only diminishes the importance of team play, as everyone is essentially playing on their own. It also breeds ground for predatory consumable mechanics. If a game doesn't have a healer class, but avoiding taking damage is close to impossible, you will have to rely on potions. And what if the potions are very expensive to make? It creates more toxic standards for PUGs. Since the consumables are so expensive to make, you will have higher standards for accepting people into your PUG (because you don't want to waste consumables by wiping in a raid as a result of taking lower-geared or less experienced people). This further puts pressure on people to grind more to be accepted into PUGs, or to pay real money to have a better PUG life.

    In short, we need the holy trinity systems in MMORPGs. It helps to create better team play relations between players. It makes PUG experience better and puts less pressure on people to grind excessively or pay real money.

  4. Maybe games should stop focusing on "my enemy has a lot of health and does stupid amounts of damage that isn't fair" or "here have 100 enemies at once" as difficult.

    Instead let's build smarter AI that takes brain and strategy to beat. With clever fighting strategies built into the enemies, tactics, positioning, and use of environment.

    Otherwise you simply encourage players to find optimal min max strats that take full advantage of the gaming system and possible bugs to be able to take out those bullet sponges quickly before they take you out.
    Also let's just make more dynamic classes and building skills/tools. It's good for single player. Multiplayer though it's hard not to fall into specific roles and archetypes. But even if they do, if you want to make your game more interesting, make your encounters more complex.

  5. That's why I love Kingdoms of Amulur Reawakening because I could be anything and do anything

  6. I like having the holy trinity (tank,healing,dps) or just roles in general, I played gw2 in the beginning and PvE was just all dps (still is for the most part) and there's no variety in gameplay and build making and it gets boring.

  7. Nothing else works successfully in the mmo genre.

  8. Funny how in the end you call the viewers kids while you talk about a modern era mmorpg like WoW. In the first ones the concept of the trinity still existed, like in ultima and everquest, so, talking about WoW which was released merely 18 years ago you prove you also are a kid.

  9. There’s plenty of room for more but it usually just devolves into damage dealing anyway.

  10. Long story short: to get away from the 3 archetypes, have players interact with a larger System of variables beyond the DMG-Health continuum. Design question: what is your game about? And what is a mechanical focus that you want to build loops around? (that transcends or modulates DMG-Health, if that's inescapable)

  11. your take on this is pretty bad tbh.

    1. In reality there is no "tank" class, tank is just a subclass your support. The "real" categorization is Support and Damage Dealer. Supports specialize in "helping team" while damage dealers specialize in dealing damage. Tanks are just supports who take damage.
    2. Holy trinity is very good and it exists for a VERY good reason – it's simple. It's much easier to build team comps in mmorpgs when puging because you know what you need – a support healer, a support tank and 3 dps (thats for a wow dungeon). It's much easier to know what your job is – you either tank the enemy, attack the enemy or buff/heal your teammates. It also makes the skill floor much lower. You don't need to know how to do every roles job, you just need to know your own – if there was no trinity, you'd likely need to know how to do the job of multiple roles. Kinda like paladins in classic wow, in a hard encounter you'd probably need to heal a little, get a little aggro and be able to buff teammates and deal damage (the game isn't hard enough for you to need to do that, but that's what 110% would look like), while a mage would only need to press frost bolt.
    3. Having trinity increases skill ceiling EXTREMELY since the basics are pretty simple game designers can expand a lot. You can make more complex skill rotations, add extra niche mechanics for rare situations, create some unique gameplay that is role specific. Because of the lower skill floor its usually really important to lift the skill ceiling, otherwise you get a classic wow raiding situation where dps classses click one button for the entire encounter.
    4. You didn't really do a good job on expanding what a support class can really do. Since a support class is about helping their teammates, players can usually do that in more ways than just healing. A support can be a buffing support whose job is to provide unique buffs to his team (blade dancer in lineage 2), in pvp games it could be an engage support (leona, rakan in league of legends). A support can provide information (Sova in valorant). League of Legends even has Pyke, he's an "Assassin Support", his job is to poke around, be hard to catch and being able to execute enemies. There's so much more to the support class than what you made it out to be.
    5. Such categorization makes it easier for players to understand a general direction in which to progress their character. Usually it means dps focuses on getting items with more damage and supports with stats that best help them accomplish their subclasses job (healers might get mana/healing power, tanks health/survivability, buffs might get buff duration, scouts might get cooldown reduction, etc etc etc). Yes this expands on point 2.

    Instead of wanting the removal of holy trinity what game designers should really strive is improve the trinity by adding variety. Maybe 3,1,1 (dps,heals,tanks) make it into 2,2,1 (dps, utility (heals,cc/buffs?), tank), or maybe 1,2,2, etc. Maybe have different encounters that require players to have certain things, making different encounters require different setups and softly enforce it in some way (for example have utility supps provide a certain buff required to enter, that's not really soft, but i mean dont grey out the "enter" button). Improve gameplay of healer classes so its not just a health bar whack-a-mole (nice description btw).

  12. Dps is not a class. Its a measure. Not sure where people got that misconception

  13. I mean, in RL there isnt really a strict role you zave to rotate after every move, so at one time you may be the attacker but after that you rotate to defense or midfield so your teammate can engage. And Technomancer is/was the best dmg Dealer for endgame, at least when it came out first. Other than these little critique points i think the video is great.

  14. I actually tried GW2 and while really liking a lot of things, the void of the holy trinity in Vanilla basically scared me away after my first dungeon as it was a complete mess. So I don't complain about the holy trinity, I demand it!

  15. or shift the focus of the game away from battling contents. PSO2 is a game where most job could dish enough damage, can tank the boss, and support their gameplay adequately… (exception for fery few [like, literally 2] endgame bosses)
    The exceptional endgame bosses, however, did not offer much except bragging rights, so no one is pressured to beat them with very specific role class
    Everyone else can pretty much solo every other content in the game, but playing with others might give interesting variable and changes. This give people freedom to play in any weird way they desire, whilst also contributing in helping others clear the 'raid'. This help people achieve what they need to do the real,noncombat endgame.

  16. Adam Millard: This video.

    Lichdom Battlemage: Damage Dealer, Damage Amplifier, Enemy Defense Reduction.

  17. Tank main here – In overwatch, at least, the tank's job IS to be a massive threat with damage. In PvE games it is different but if you focus on defense in pvp you will just get pushed out.

  18. I played cod competitivly from like mw2 to ghost. The game didn't impose roles, but teams would run 4 roles: objective, support, slayer, main slayer (and there could be some variance per team). Objective was the most mobile and main slayer the least. It was pretty cool, basically everyone could fight pretty effective but in different engagements. So, obj would be close range with an smg where as main slayer would be a turret picking off people at long range.

  19. Destiny has gotten better at this I feel. They’re adding more mechanics to the game so anybody can be all three depending on the encounter. While yes, Titans are more tanky, Warlocks can support on a whim, and Hunters have a lot of damage potential, Bungie is broadening the abilities to fit everyone.

  20. You need someone to take the pounding someone to do the pounding and someone to save them from the pounding

  21. Hm. I do have an rpg I’m working on where each character has weird subsections of each category to make it appear like they all heavily rely on each other as part of the story element.
    Ebony Duan has the highest health pool and the biggest attack stat and just explodes enemies with crazy shit but Noneko does more damage due to multi-attacks, while Noneko also has ways of debuffing enemies and group heals. Then Cylea is the dedicated black mage who does big damage spells but supports the team by having some ways to apply status ailments to the entire enemy team. And Nazeem also has big damage spells that hit twice but are very expensive and fight against his resources for using healing skills and revives.
    They’re like. They all do damage, they’re all support, and only two of them are tanks. What does that even put the game into?

  22. Something overlooked here isn't that players hate the trinity, it's that they don't want to have limitations. These are typically the people who play team focussed games as solo activities and the trinity prohibits this selfishness from being very successful.

    As for the tedium of support and tank, this is easily addressed by having attacks produce secondary effects such as buffs and heals or by having a player resource that is created by attacking and spent on tank or support abilities. This way everyone gets in on the action but their roles are clearly different.

  23. Yea that’s just not how rocket league works lmao you rotate and play every position 💀

  24. The only problem I have with the Holy Trinity here is the names- I prefer to refer to them as "Attack", "Defense", and "Support", or "ADS". Its shorter and the names are more clear-cut and obvious (at the very least, "Defense" is less confusing than "Tank", since the latter immediately makes you think of some big hulking brute type of character, which isn't always the case).

  25. sorry the 4th thing he talk about in this video is still a support class at the end of the day. and if you look at history of our real world you can see this is part of our real world as well

  26. In dota most, no all heroes are able to do any of those roles heroes differ on their skills and playstyle that can just be sorted in to those 3 categories.

  27. Wait, what would happen if you had a holy 5-some instead of a holy trinity?

  28. I hate the trinity because there is no way in HELL that a burly guy with a sword can't do any damage. Mages used to have crowd control and defined the survivability of the party outside of combat with utility spells like creating food and reducing fall damage. Rogues were about disarming traps and getting to places others couldn't, and Clerics wore armor and could do decent contusion damage

  29. Surely you have the roles of Father and Son switched. Yahweh is the Old Testament God of plagues and smiting, but Jesus saves.

  30. The archetype remains the same. They are just cycled among classes. If one character can do everything then it will just become meta… Team interaction will be overshadowed by solo skills.

  31. The trinity will always be most effecient if all a boss does is stand in the middle of the room.

  32. No no no no no no no
    In final fantasy 14 ALL jobs are DPS >:I

  33. The only way I can think of to move past the trinity successfully is to allow players to simultaneously be dps and support (with each class doing it differently) at the same time.

  34. this is one of the most braindead videos i have ever seen in my entire life. this guy is speaking on games and systems he has legitimately no nuanced information about. its like he played for 5 minutes and determined that the archetypes were true. what a tragedy

  35. What is that pixel game he plays it looks so fun

  36. Why does the intro sound like the intro for Avatar the last Airbender

  37. Do what Elden Ring does and make bosses get pissed at the dude doing the most damage, forcing the damage guy to AAAAAA PANIC SHIT DODGE HELPUEIDHDJDHDSBSNMM

  38. Thanks, I'm dumber now just for watching this, filled with assumptions, self-declared truths and more than just some extremely delusional thoughts about how things are.
    Don't worry your head about stuff like that, we have capable people working on it.

    Go play something.

  39. The trinity in GW2 is not T/H/DPS. It's DPS/Support/CC

  40. No offence man, but if u having all the trouble in the world as a technomancer in outriders then its not the class, its u. I played it just fine and even carried my friends, never lowered the word tier either, but to be fair I played most of the game solo.

  41. FFXIV is great because if the healer isn't doing their part damage-wise then they're doing something wrong

  42. I'm surprised you didn't mention SWTOR and their somewhat unique take on the holy trinity.

  43. 5:45 In outriders, every class can become either dps, tank or support, you just need to choose your skill tree and build

  44. Confused about the rocket league comparison, constant rotation so there's no set roles like in futbol game

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