Class system in Guild Wars 2 inspired by Team Fortress

Thursday, 29 March 2012 17:53 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Guild Wars 2 designers Ben Miller and Jon Peters have told PC Gamer that the class system in Guild Wars 2 was inspired by Valve’s Team Fortress.

“No-one would tell you that everyone in Team Fortress just does damage. No-one would say a Spy and a Heavy are the same because they both do damage,” Peters said. “They’re very different playstyles. They have a very good sense of purpose.”

The ArenaNet men were discussing with the site the “holy trinity” entrapment the majority of MMOs force players to participate in: healer, DPS, tank – something the developers wanted to move away from with Guild Wars 2.

“I just detest dependency and the lack of teamwork it creates,” Peters continued. “It seems awfully silly to get people to play together and then not have them interact other than to say ‘are you doing your job?’.

“I’m the anti-healer person. I don’t hate that people like to play support roles, it’s just that I want that role to be fun. I don’t think there’s any teamwork – what there is is just dependency.[That's what] Guild Wars 2 combat is about. It’s about organic teamwork and building stuff together.”

You can read the full thing through the link.

Guild Wars 2 is out sometime this year.


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  1. Talkar

    Sooooo…. Are there a shitload of hats in this game too?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    @1, absolutely. It’s going to have F2P system where you can buy emotions and other GW stuff and probably hats :D

    #2 3 years ago
  3. endgame

    Hat off to Anet! ;)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    It’s pretty futile to argue that dependency isn’t a crucial part of teamwork. If you don’t have to depend on eachother, there’s no team, and making everybody able to fill every roll will just water that down.

    In terms of core mechanics, MMOs need to do a lot better, but ultimately the trinity has always existed in the RPG, and that’s because it’s a great platform to build your tactics around.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. TheWulf


    That’s a fallacy. You don’t have to be a codependent nutcase in order to work with someone. To the contrary – the best team players are the independent ones that know when to take initiative and when to cooperate. What insane codependency does (and that is what he’s talking about) is turn people into slaves that follow scripts.

    That’s my problem with raiding in games like WoW – slaves that follow scripts due to slavish codependency, there’s no room for initiative. Whereas true cooperation can only occur when there is room for initiative. When you can do something to help someone out of your own free will, rather than just following a script.

    There’s a difference between a stringently symbiotic relationship (like WoW has) where one feeds off the other, and an actively cooperative relationship between two sapient people. In TF2, you have the latter, because it’s down to you to choose which tactic will benefit your team mates the most. Whether you’ve chosen correctly, and how well you can actually pull off that off will often help shape a victory or a loss.

    Also, I disagree with the trinity being a good thing.

    It turns people into mindless slaves, slaves to each other, and slaves to the UI. You are literally enslaved by the UI, and you’re playing the UI as one big script. I don’t think it’s fun, nor do I think it’s the way forward.


    Tank Slave: I hit my rotation to generate aggro, based upon my aggro/cooldown bars.
    DPS Slave: I hit my rotation to generate damage, based upon my aggro/cooldown bars.
    Heal Slave: I watch lots of bars and press buttons based on the lowest. Sometimes I get to hit a button if someone has a debuff!

    That’s not fun to me. It’s depressing, actually.

    Not to mention that the trinity fosters a unique sort of sociopathy with that obsessive codependency it creates. People who’re sucked into the game can barely look beyond their own guild for someone to turn to, this is why you get basement dwelling types who spend many hours a day, every day, grinding pots for their raids. And then doing their raids.

    This is why their jobs and social lives go to hell.

    It’s a horrible system that makes for horrible people.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 That’s called teamwork to most other people. Everybody has a role to play, and playing it well determines the difference between succes and failure. That’s the case in sports, that’s the case in military tactics, and that’s even the case in some businesses.

    This is merely PR speak to try and justify making every class less specialized and thus courting the business of a greater audience.

    I’m pretty sure most people who’ve raided seriously in any recent MMO will tell you that individual skills matter a lot more than any script you can think of. It’s when it’s time to improvise that you determine who belongs in a top notch squad or not. Even if a players theorycrafting isn’t top notch, the fact that he’s able to think on his feet will likely make him far more useful in a progress squad.

    TF2 is an entirely different game, but the holy trinity is still very much in effect. The Heavy and the Doctor are pretty much the most basic Tank/Healer configuration I can think of. In the same way, the Scout is able to deliver a hellish ammount of damage, but he’s not much use on the recieving end. The real difference (beyond the fact that TF2 is PVP, not PVE, and an FPS) is in the fact that TF2 has vastly more complex applications for those mechanics.

    Every class has a lot more tasks they can choose to pursue instead of being applied to the same thing over and over again, and that’s where MMOs are really lacking.

    TF2 is actually a great example of locking a game down, as opposed to opening it up. Limiting and specializing class mechanics means everybody has purpose, as opposed to simply being yet-another-everything.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Erthazus

    @TheWulf, actually you are incorrect. What WOW does is absolutely brilliant with Teamwork.

    You don’t follow a specific script. There are Tactics to beat certain bosses and some of them in raids require not just to tank or make a max DPS.

    If you ever played the latest Dragon Soul raid than there are a lot of alternatives to beat bosses.

    “That’s not fun to me. It’s depressing, actually.”

    that’s World Of Warcraft gameplay mechanic. It’s Tank, DPS and healer’s job to do it right in the right direction. You choose a class and learn how to play it. If you don’t know how to play with your class – you are out.

    What you said about initiative was done before and it failed many times because it is not a teamwork, it’s a clusterfuckness mechanic.

    So far, i’ve seen only clusterfuckness in Guild Wars 2 instances because there are no tactics to beat bosses at all and it’s pretty chaotic at times.

    MMORPG is not a singleplayer game. It requires a cooperation and not some crazy shit initiative where you save the day by doing something out of the gameplay design.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. _ZeDB

    I think ANet have got the right idea, they just haven’t worded it very well in this article.

    They’re encouraging team play, and you can tell that by getting rid of kill stealing (everyone that helped kill the mob gets exp), and making skills interact with each other. Dungeon bosses will have tactics, except it won’t so clear cut as ‘swap tanks when you get x stacks of debuff’, ‘kill these mobs first’ and ‘when he gets x health he does this’.

    It’s more about reacting to what you see, and trying to control the mobs with debuffs and environmental effects (The Guardian’s Ring of Warding comes to mind) , as opposed to just standing there, facing them away from everyone else, as well as supporting allies with buffs, environmental weapons and ‘fields’ for boosting their attacks.

    Anyone who thinks that you’re gonna get through a dungeon with no teamwork is mistaken. Someone’s been downed? You can go res them, while they can still contribute with the Downed skills. A particular boss has stacked a bunch of debuffs on your team? Switch to Water Attunement, use an Elixir, use Cleansing Flame to help them out.

    There’s more than one way to introduce a mechanic for teamwork, and it doesn’t have to involve whack-a-mole healing and standing there taking hits. All classes can play damage, support and control, meaning you aren’t stuck with what everyone thinks is the best. Want to play a support character? Warriors, the archetypal tank-and-smash-stuff-up class has banners for buffs. Like controlling? You can be a Mesmer, who got many skills that apply random debuffs. And Damage? Well, as well as your supporting and controlling, you get to do that as well.


    Even if the game has got rid of the ‘Trinity’, you can still play a supporting role. You just aren’t restricted to playing that role. And while we all have heals, we still have only one, and 10 skills, so EVERYONE can bring something to the fight.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    It’s pretty obvious what they want to do, but I don’t see how it makes the game more interesting. It really just puts fewer demands on the player, which in my experience isn’t popular with raiders.

    The fact that most boss encounters in other MMOs are old hat isn’t down to the classes themselves, it’s down to the way those encounters are designed.

    When you have different classes doing different things, it suddenly becomes a game of coordination, which is what some people would like to get around as “slavery” or whatever melodramatic hyperbole you might use to describe actually relying on your teammates for specific tasks.

    I get the fact that Guild Wars 2 wants to be the most accessible casual MMO out there, but making open, relativistic gameplay sound like it’s somehow more team-oriented is pretty silly.

    It’s about letting people eat cake. Nothing more, nothing less.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    @8, judging by the latest previews and trailers, Guild Wars 2 instances are pretty much chaotic and don’t have a lot of tactics.

    not to mention that GW2 won’t support Raids at all, so i’m curious about it’s End game content.

    Because End game content is the reason why people play most of the successful MMO’s out there.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. TheWulf


    “It’s pretty obvious what they want to do, but I don’t see how it makes the game more interesting. It really just puts fewer demands on the player, which in my experience isn’t popular with raiders.”

    Fewer demands, right.

    Please stop talking out of your arse. If you’re going to talk about a topic, at least know what you’re talking about. This is what I don’t like with you – see, when I talk about WoW, I have years of experience and I know what I’m talking about.

    But you haven’t even bothered to read what people have been saying about Guild Wars 2, nor have you bothered to watch the videos. Effectively you’re talking out of your arse.

    You were talking out of your arse in the other news article, too. But I covered that there.

    Each player has to:

    - Try to avoid damage.
    - Mitigate damage to themselves if they can’t avoid it.
    - Help with mitigating damage to others when they can.
    - Contribute to crowd control.
    - Contribute to area healing.
    - Contribute to conditions dealing (slowing, crippling, et cetera).
    - Contribute to damage dealing however they can.

    How is that LOWER demands?

    “The fact that most boss encounters in other MMOs are old hat isn’t down to the classes themselves, it’s down to the way those encounters are designed.”

    I disagree. You’re not looking at the bigger picture.

    A boss shoots rockets.

    In a game like Mass Effect, you can dodge the rockets.

    In WoW, you can’t. This is because a tank has to soak up the rockets, therefore the rockets are constantly linked to a target.

    This is one way in which the class is determining the nature of the boss fight. Because all of the projectiles are linked to a character. Whereas projectiles in Guild Wars 2 follow a trajectory arc and don’t ‘home in.’

    This is because there’s no aggro in Guild Wars 2.

    So clearly, this is a matter of classes changing how bosses work.

    “When you have different classes doing different things, it suddenly becomes a game of coordination, [...]”

    You don’t have different classes doing different things though. You have that in Guild Wars 2, but in a game like WoW you have people slavishly following their role script.

    You can’t suddenly have a DPS guy decide to contribute to other roles. He’s slavishly locked into his role script, which is DPS.

    It isn’t a game of coordination, it’s a game of slavish obedience.

    Follow your role script perfectly and you’ll do fine, if you don’t slavishly follow your role script then you’re not ‘coordinating properly’ and you fail.

    That doesn’t mean that there’s any actual tactics going on there other than players playing the UI via their roles. It’s just tankers tanking, healers healing, and damage dealers doing damage. All attached to their roles, all doing the facerolling that I know exists in MMOs from experience.

    There’s nothing remotely skilful or tactical about it.

    Coordination, real coordination, implies some kind of skill.

    “[...] which is what some people would like to get around as “slavery” or whatever melodramatic hyperbole you might use to describe actually relying on your teammates for specific tasks.”

    How is it not slavery? You’re trying to downplay it here but it’s not working. You’re ‘locking’ a person into a role, a specific role. It’s insect-like specialisation. You can only do that role. You are a slave to that role. You play your part in the script as your role.

    How is that not slavish obedience to the system?

    “I get the fact that Guild Wars 2 wants to be the most accessible casual MMO out there, [...]”

    It is accessible, it’s also casual, but it requires skill as well. What you’re trying to say is that if something doesn’t take time investment, it therefore doesn’t require skill either.

    That’s bullshit.

    Someone can play TF2 casually and be absolutely amazing at it.

    You should see some of the explorable mode content that TotalBiscuit has uploaded to Youtube. It’s bloody difficult.

    “[...] but making open, relativistic gameplay sound like it’s somehow more team-oriented is pretty silly.”

    No, it’s not relativistic. WoW is relativistic. It’s instead dynamic. And dynamic play invites players to actually use their brains instead of following a script.

    If you’re not following a script, then real teamwork ensues.

    What you’re essentially saying is that games like TF2 can’t have teamwork. Also bullshit.


    Again. Bullshit.

    Bloody haters.

    Look, go and watch the explorable mode stuff that TotalBiscuit put up.

    It shows that a level of skill is required, a level of skill that you likely don’t possess if you believe that games like WoW require “skill.” WoW isn’t about skill, it’s about gear vs. gear, and the people making the largest time investments rule the day.

    This is a game about SKILL. All games about SKILL look mildly chaotic. See: Team Fortress 2.

    Also: Raids were never about skill but following slavish scripts. I don’t know if you’re aware… but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Early on in the days of WoW, before Blizzard patched it out, there were mods that could play the game for you.

    They could play raids for you. They could decide when to heal/debuff someone in a raid. They could then do it automatically. Based upon aggro, these mods could then taunt at exactly the right time. And the entire game could be played so perfectly, so much like clockwork, that it made players redundant.

    That’s how raids were, and are. Requiring no skill at all.

    Guild Wars 2 is more skill related because there’s no aggro, and there’s no solidly locked in holy trinity. So everyone has to contribute what they can in order to try to survive.

    Maybe you’ve been playing so many traditional MMORPGs that you don’t know what a game that requires skill looks like any more.

    But compare both WoW and Guild Wars 2 with TF2. Tell me which looks more similar.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TheWulf

    All this conversation proves is that GW2 is closer to TF2 than any other MMORPG has been. And all this argument proves is that some people are trying to say that there’s more coordination, teamwork, and skill involved in a WoW raid than there is in TF2.

    I expect this to only get sillier.

    And if you want a PvE comparison, switch out TF2 for Mass Effect (any). And then try to convince me that WoW requires more skill there, too.

    The thing is is that you can dodge a rocket in Mass Effect (any), you can dodge a rocket in TF2, you can dodge a rocket in Guild Wars 2, you CANNOT dodge a rocket in WoW.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Erthazus

    “WoW isn’t about skill, it’s about gear vs. gear, and the people making the largest time investments rule the day”

    Ok, link me your character here. If not, than there is no reason to argue with you. You can get the gear in WoW right now that can allow you to raid and do stuff in about 1 week at best.

    that requires you to go to LFR and to the Dragon Soul Raid. That’s it. That requires 4-6 hours of play in one week.

    Gear in WOW is not a problem. I can link my character, i have 400/396 gear and my gear is full basically and i don’t need nothing anymore.

    “Look, go and watch the explorable mode stuff that TotalBiscuit put up.”

    Same grinding. Explorable stuff you mean puzzles? It’s not a new idea in MMO’S and it does not require any skill at all.

    Explorable Dungeon video from Totalbuscuit is a mess for example. Chaotic instance.

    “Also: Raids were never about skill but following slavish scripts. I don’t know if you’re aware… ”

    Link your character progression and than we can talk about slavish scripts.

    “Guild Wars 2 is more skill related because there’s no aggro,”

    First, you didn’t tried Guild Wars 2 and you don’t know if it requires any skill at all.
    Second, Aggro or not. Does not matter, because these games have different gameplay mechanics and if GW2 does not require aggro at all, than you just need to press one button “Dodge” and press one Action bar so your character can attack for every boss out there and that’s exactly what i saw in Guild Wars 2.

    So that’s tactics? OK.

    “They could play raids for you. They could decide when to heal/debuff someone in a raid. They could then do it automatically.”

    these mods existed in Burning Crusade era where there were static boss raids that didn’t required any movement at all. Things have changed since Wrath of the lich king.
    I’m a hardcore WoW veteran and i play to this day and i know each mod there is.

    Enough talk, show me your character progression and if not, than what you said just proves one thing: you don’t now how to play the game and that’s it.

    I hear a lot of the same thing from WoW players and other gamers that achieved nothing in WoW just because they don’t know how to play it.

    Also, if there were slavish scripts, than Dragon Soul raid could be completed in one week, except that 90% of the people can’t even finish it (or finish more than 2 bosses in heroic) and by the end of the month Blizzard nerf every raid for about 5% and it is still not enough.

    Link your character progression.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    “you CANNOT dodge a rocket in WoW.”

    Rocket? There are no rockets in World Of Warcraft. :D

    and by the way, in GW2 you can dodge objects only by pressing “dodge” button (and if you don’t remember, you can’t use it forever). So your character is still a stat based thing that requires a gear.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. viralshag

    All this “slave script” nonsense is really quite stupid. Saying that one game is giving you more freedom just because it doesn’t conform to the trinity is ridiculous.

    So instead of following a specific role and coordinating with other players – and this is teamwork and coordination no matter what way you try to dismiss it as – you just give people the ability to do a little bit of everything that requires less actual coordination.

    Just because every player can heal and CC is a long way away from every player actutally doing that, and considering how happy GW2 is about “everyone winning” I don’t see why some would NEED to stop doing DPS to throw out some heals, they’ll just rely on someone else to do it.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. endgame

    Well, you guys wrote quite a bit of a story here so I won’t add much to it. Except this. Anet is the most talented MMO developer on the planet. Everyone else? They suck compared to them. I played Guild Wars for 3 years so I know what I’m talking about. But of course all this negativism that emanates from most of you (except from TheWulf who Surprise! actually got it right) comes from years of playing their game. I’m sure of that. You people always talk from experience… Also, if your a WoW fan, F**K OFF NEWBIE!

    #16 3 years ago
  17. _ZeDB


    “judging by the latest previews and trailers, Guild Wars 2 instances are pretty much chaotic and don’t have a lot of tactics.”

    They’re bound to be chaotic. There’s no ‘tanking’, so to speak. That mean’s the AI is more unpredictable, and everyone has to be aware of what’s going on.

    Plus,this was Beta, and the press are probably more focused on showing game play than standing around discussing tactics. But if you want tactics: In the lover’s fight, you need to keep them away from each other, otherwise they regen health at a stupid rate. That’s a tactic.

    “not to mention that GW2 won’t support Raids at all, so i’m curious about it’s End game content. Because End game content is the reason why people play most of the successful MMO’s out there.”

    Have you not seen the massive dragons that appear? Sure, they’re not in an instanced raid, but they’re still going to require co-ordination and teamwork to take down.

    “Rocket? There are no rockets in World Of Warcraft. and by the way, in GW2 you can dodge objects only by pressing “dodge” button (and if you don’t remember, you can’t use it forever).

    No, you can’t always dodge, but you can move out of the way of projectiles. Hide behind walls. In WoW, someone casts a spell, and even if the person runs, they’ll still end up taking the damage.

    “So your character is still a stat based thing that requires a gear.”

    I won’t deny gear will be important. I just hope it doesn’t devolve to: ‘I can see you’re skilled, but you can’t join this group because you don’t have x item level’

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Da Man

    Good F Grief.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    “Have you not seen the massive dragons that appear? Sure, they’re not in an instanced raid, but they’re still going to require co-ordination and teamwork to take down.”

    ahahaha. Sure?

    Running around and doing nothing is so much coordination.

    “No, you can’t always dodge, but you can move out of the way of projectiles. Hide behind walls. In WoW, someone casts a spell, and even if the person runs, they’ll still end up taking the damage.”

    Absolutely not. If you hide behind the wall, your enemy can’t cast the spell aka “Invalid target”.

    Also, starting from Cataclysm a lot of bosses require players to dodge projectiles.

    “I won’t deny gear will be important. I just hope it doesn’t devolve to: ‘I can see you’re skilled, but you can’t join this group because you don’t have x item level’”

    that is the thing of the past. World Of warcraft don’t require that anymore with current system. You just can go to LFR and do nothing and recieve epic loot from Dragon Soul Raid and Blizzard will use that feature for every raid in the future.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. _ZeDB


    “Running around and doing nothing is so much coordination.”

    This was Alpha. Plus in this video, I can see where teamwork would come into play. Cannons need to be used / repaired, people need to be freed if they get hit by crystals, as well as adds being taken down. The Tequatl fight has more of this element, where NPC’s need to be protected / ressed, cannons need to be used, certain adds need to be taken down fast ect. It only looks like running around, because you’re seeing it from a single person’s point, rather than actually getting involved.

    “Absolutely not. If you hide behind the wall, your enemy can’t cast the spell aka “Invalid target”.”

    Yes, I know this. I’m talking about AFTER the spell is cast. Even if you hide behind a wall / strafe out of the way, you’re gonna get hit.

    “Also, starting from Cataclysm a lot of bosses require players to dodge projectiles.”

    I can’t say for Cata raids, but there were mechanics like that for the instances (The Stonecore comes to mind, with the falling rocks), which is a step in the right direction.

    “that is the thing of the past. World Of warcraft don’t require that anymore with current system. You just can go to LFR and do nothing and recieve epic loot from Dragon Soul Raid and Blizzard will use that feature for every raid in the future.”

    As far as my knowledge goes, you still need a minimum item level to use raid finder. Source:

    #20 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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