MMOnday: How well will role-less raids work in Guild Wars 2?

Besides the announcement of the release date for Heart of Thorns (October 23), the expansion for Guild Wars 2, the game’s developer ArenaNet shared some exciting news about upcoming group content that would be introduced: raids. Unlike many other MMORPGs, Guild Wars 2 does not utilize the “holy trinity” system for classes which traditionally has gamers playing either a tank, healer or DPS (damage dealer) and instead has everyone doing damage while using self-healing spells and timing their dodges correctly to avoid damage. This difference plays heavily into how group content is approached, both by players and the developers.

Unfortunately, I never got into dungeons in Guild Wars 2. In other games if I were playing tank I’d enjoy keeping enemies on me so others could whittle down health, try keep allies alive as a healer or compare my damage output to party members as a DPS. You may notice that all of those roles include not just myself, but my teammates. I’m doing something for the group. In GW2 it never quite clicked, because I’d always feel like a single player with no way to see how much damage I was contributing and nothing as dramatic as constant taunts or heals to throw out to really influence the tide of battle on a regular basis.

Raids will now cater to parties of up to 10 people, but the mechanics won’t be substantially different than the current 5-man dungeons. Each character will still solely be responsible for damage, although some of the new class specializations may have more impact on the group such as stat-boosting buffs or heals.

I’m definitely willing to give the game’s group content a second look and anticipate the storytelling that will come along with it. I just hope dealing damage can feel more meaningful when 9 other players are doing the same thing next to you.

If you haven’t tried the game, it is now free-to-play (but don’t call it F2P)! So go enjoy it and think about whether or not it’s worth buying the expansion.