On this week’s show we jump into the big changes coming to League of Legends and their Rune Pages, are amazed that WildStar is celebrating it’s 3rd birthday (amazed for MULTIPLE reasons), and cap it off with some chat about the newly launched Crossout. All that and more on this week’s Free to Play Cast!

Discussion Timestamps:

02:01 League of Legends Changes
16:24 WildStar’s Birthday
22:24 Crossout Launch Talk and Mini-Review
29:26 Weekly Bombs (DA-Bomb / A-Bomb)
38:37 Questions and Answers of the Week

If you have submissions for the show’s Weekly Bombs, have questions for the panel (nothing is off limits!), or just ideas for what you want covered you can now send them to magicman@mmobomb.com. You can also be a guest in the show, just send us why you want to host, and what topic or game you would like to cover.

Free-To-Play Cast is the official podcast (and videocast) of MMOBomb.com about free to play multiplayer online games. Free-To-Play Cast takes on the week’s biggest news with plenty of opinion, weekly bombs, community feedback, guests, laughs thrown in for good measure and much more. Have fun and expect a new episode next week!

the author

Mike "Magicman" Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site's current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.

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  1. Fortegs on June 3, 2017

    QotW:In general I’d say you only really need two things

    1. A method of sustain. It could be personal( cooldowns, items,etc) and/or built into the fight itself(health orbs, healing stations)

    2. a way to control the boss. I believe the “aggro” system is outdated for what ppl want nowadays, perhaps environmental affects such as toppling walls or tied into the boss like hanging chains or w/e

  2. ElusiveXTreasure on June 3, 2017

    For the question of the week:

    I haven’t honestly seen a truly well done alternative to the trinity. Skyforge had a decent mechanic of having shielding but not healing, and having mobs drop healing orbs so that you could keep your own health up. Here’s the problem the trinity both promotes, and takes away from team play. The idea is that you all have to work together… great. But in practice, particularly where dungeons are less punishing, you have at least one person going off half-cocked and not letting the party function as intended, which puts undue stress on the tank and or healer, making it counter-productive. I think a successful replacement to the trinity would have to be something that both allowed self-sufficiency for survival and yet still required cooperative play. What that is I couldn’t say for certain, because wherever there is self-sufficiency for survival, there are the people that should honestly just play solo because cooperative play is beyond them. They seem to believe that they can “carry” the party. You know… the dps that pulls three packs and expects the tank to pick it up, yet they’re on the bottom of the meter. Sit down, mage, it’s not helping you. So until I see something that can compare, I’ll stick with games that have the trinity.

  3. Pieareround on June 3, 2017

    I believe that the question of how to subvert the “holy trinity” is intimately connected to the basic design of a given game’s combat systems. I have doubts about whether it’s even possible to do so in a classic tab-target MMORPG.

    Take WoW, for example — because of the aggro percentage system by which an enemy chooses a target, at least one party member is always going to be taking damage. This more or less necessitates healing of some description, or else the group will just die over time. A tank is a natural response to the incoming damage: a relatively large health bar with strong defenses and aggro generation that can take a few hits before needing a heal. You could remove the tank role and reduce the damage output of enemies so that they don’t destroy the DPS outright, but then you would wind up with either a de facto tank based on health pool and aggro generation or a lot of aggro bouncing and group damage. The first case wouldn’t be all that different, but the second would limit the design potential of healer classes so that only those with strong AOE were really viable. You could try removing the healer role by giving every class some kind of strong self heal or lifesteal, but that would just feel lazy and overly homogenized. I honestly believe this exact design quandary is the reason why Bioware ultimately decided to go with the trinity system in SWTOR.

    Other MMOs have tried moving away from the trinity with mixed success. For instance, there’s Guild Wars 2. I’m not sure what you’d call its combat system. It’s a bit of a hybrid between tab targeting and action combat. I guess. Much of the responsibility for healing is actually put on the individual player instead of a defined healer and I’m not sure how enemies choose targets, but I don’t think it’s a standard aggro table. The pickup dungeon experience in that game is fundamentally disorganized and, in my opinion, hamstrung by the lack of role definition. Because there are no guaranteed roles, it is impossible to design encounters with an eye toward challenges for those roles to meet. You can’t easily use a classic wave shaped damage curve, for example, because you can’t guarantee there will be a healer (or that everyone will have their healing ability ready) to manage the crests. Guild Wars 2’s combat system is very well designed for solo and emergent group content out in the world, but it just doesn’t seem to work for highly organized dungeon content.

    So what kind of combat system works well without the holy trinity? So far, something with high mobility and no hint of a tab-target system seems to be the way to go. Health pickups or personal healing items/abilities are bonuses. Actually including healing classes is a further bonus, but not necessary. I think Warframe is a perfect example. You can roll through even high level content with a group made up of four full DPS frames as long as each member knows how to walk the balance between avoiding damage, using health items or pickups, and killing everything so fast it doesn’t have time to kill you back. Of course, there are frames that more or less fill the role of the classic healer and tank roles, as well as something similar to the controller role from DCUO, but those distinctions are a whole lot more fluid than in an MMORPG like WoW. For example, the frame called Oberon has a strong group heal in addition to decent control, high damage potential, and decent capability as a tank. Aside from Warframe and other shooters, I think ARPGs like Diablo and Path of Exile do a pretty good job of subverting the need for the trinity by being designed so that the same content can be played fully solo or in a group. This is accomplished largely by making individual player characters thoroughly overpowered, but ARPGs also commonly use the principles of personal healing and relatively simple damage scaling.

    I considered saying something about MOBAs, but I’ve already written a short essay, so I’ll leave it at that.

  4. Curst on June 2, 2017

    An alternative to the trinity would require a combat system similar to either fighting games or shooters.

    In a fighting game style MMO you “tank” by dodging, parrying, and blocking; you deal damage by using special moves and combos; you heal by using potions with long cooldown and you can’t aggro at all. That way combat for all classes (in group content as well) is a series of offensive and defensive moves. Different classes have different fighting styles and execution (timing of attacks, input for special moves, what can combo and what can’t) and not just different maximum DPS sequences.

    In a shooter-style MMO your main goal is to effectively use your arsenal while avoiding the enemy attacks. Different offensive tools have different mechanics and defensive maneuvers can be creative too – from using the environment or evading telegraphs to shooting the vulnerable points to stop powerful attacks or just killing smaller enemeies before they can overwhelm you.

    In both cases the idea is to offer a system where both defense and offense are necessary, diverse and fun for all classes; where you “tank” by NOT getting hit; and where outside of limited self-healing no on can replenish health at will during combat (so that no one is reduced to micromanaging group’s health bars).

    P.S. What a wall of text… Feel free to cut, rephrase or skip this. >_>

    • Pieareround on June 3, 2017

      I swear I didn’t read your comment before replying. We must just both be super smart.

      • Curst on June 4, 2017

        Well, our posts weren’t TOO similar, so I guess we could still get a bit smarter.

  5. Hellsworth on June 2, 2017

    About Steamspy, please don’t “Steamspy”!!! Steamspy puts “Brief Karate Foolish” in front of “Path of Exile” on the 3rd best free to play page ordered by metascore (genres>free>”order by metascore>>3rd page at the moment). Don’t use this to point out anything PLEASE… Wildstar is the only western F2P that has 20 men raiding done right and it doesn’t have ANY paywalls for you to actually run things.
    About ARPGs, from Lost Ark, Lineage Eternal and Mu Legends I believe the one that will come out on top is Path of Exile, I mean it already is the one ARPG that Diablo needs to be so… 😛
    A-Bomb to Jason Winter, stop using Steam for stats. 🙂
    Question for the Panel, Name 3 Free to Play MMORPGs that can give players a good raiding environment without asking for a subscription or have paywalls in order to play end game content?
    Question of the Week, I’m a firm believer that the Trinity is a base concept that needs not to be revamped but enhanced, what I mean by this is that nowadays there’s ALOT more than just Tank, Heals and DPS. The basic context of the Trinity is actually “Trust” as one must rely on each other to achieve a common goal (killing the boss). What I mean by enhanced is actually giving classes the ability to multiply this into further more roles than just these basic 3 roles. As an example it is actually easy to figure a class that only does buffs during a fight, dropping absorb shields, buffing speed and damage in an intrinsic class mechanic when it’s needed instead of a DPS ability that also does “this and that” or a buff that someone needs to bring to the raid. Specialization and Trust to achieve are basics in all team related environments so at this point I am still amazed that no one has “developed more specific roles” into classes and they’re just riding this concept out of it’s depth and into boredom.

    • Pieareround on June 3, 2017

      I think DCUO made a pretty good start on this idea by including the controller role, whose basic purpose is to apply debuffs and crowd control to the enemy. Most controllers can also do damage, but that’s not what they’re fundamentally there for.

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