I present to you a loading screen advert for Lord of the Rings Online which I saw last night while logging in to perform some maintenance tasks (pay the house and kinship house rents, check lottery wins, admire my lovely cosmetic outfits, consider playing a skirmish or two and then logging out and launching Skyrim, etc.). The familiar band of LotRO mascots return, with the one-eyed dwarf Champion transformed into a Runekeeper, the elf Hunter slightly tweaked in appearance, and a Warden now joining the fray.
Of course what occurred to me is that the standard LotRO group size is six players, and there are only five present here. What’s more, the Runekeeper is clearly full bore into his lore-melting zappity mode, and thus not healing, so where is the Minstrel?
Doing what healers normally do, I assume: standing at the back, out of sight, and topping up health bars while the rest of the group gets on with the tiresome task of having fun killing stuff.
I expect I was probably supposed to be paying attention to the Recruit A Friend offer or something, but such is the way a mind warped by years of MMO tropes works. Or perhaps that’s really what this offer is about, subtly hinting at a way to solve that age-old MMO issue which occurs with the Holy Trinity style of group play:
Recruit A Friend! (Because you need a healer and nobody else wants to do it)
“admire my lovely cosmetic outfits” …nono go away, you can’t tempt me!!!
A LotRO cosmetic outfits post, you say? Rightho, I’ll whip something up soon!
I was levelling up a minstrel recently, but never had any intention to heal, the new mechanics are fun and dps is good enough for levelling (better than captains) but that only got me as far as lvl 44, before realising that a buffing/dps minstrel is just not as accepted as a dps runekeeper. Maybe someday they might be seen to take one of the two captain spots in a raid.
“Of course what occurred to me is that the standard LotRO group size is six players, and there are only five present here.”
Because your friend is #6.
Well, if they’re happy to play a healer.
Playing a healer is the funnest part of any MMO. DPS is the boring, run-of-the-mill tedium that has to get done by somebody, just pray to god it’s not me.
Healing an ally is inherently more satisfying than killing an enemy ever could be, in the same way that defending an objective against attack is inherently more satisfying than attacking an objective to acquire it.
Dunno why. It just is.
What struck me first about the picture was not the lack of healer, but the way every single character appears to be looking at, and presumably attacking, something different. I suppose to make the hypothetical healer’s life more exciting?
@bhagpuss: The desperate call for healers (and tanks, obviously) in the LFG channels of many MMOs tends to indicate a general disagreement with your sentiment, but for what it’s worth, I agree heartily with you.
@Jeff: While our once-per-week static group was still playing, that sort of thing would be a standard encounter, usually because the Runekeeper in the middle had pulled half the map to us while giggling. The healer wasn’t there because he’d quit to do something less stressful.
Such as air traffic control in a room full of angry scorpions.