We all know MMO’s typically have support shortages. That could be caused by the mechanics, clunky gameplay, aesthetics, role responsibility, any number of things. So why are supports lacking so much in LA? Because supports are pigeon holed into boring gameplay.
The classes don’t have nearly enough difference mechanically (which leaves them feeling like they have no identity outside of the visuals)
They all stack swiftness which may, at first glance, sound fun but it literally just makes it a little more brain dead by pushing people towards a more spammy gameplay. Supports just don’t have a visual reward similar to other MMO’s where you can get better gear and put out big numbers. It’s just feels like you get quicker and spam for uptime. CDR just isn’t as appealing to some support players.
Unlike DPS, healers have to split their ults and awakenings with a dps alternative. This limits their options even further compared to the flexibility DPS specs have. (IMO this should all be handled uniquely via a special 4th tripod for supports)
Before release I was excited at the potential for stacking spec as an alternative playstyle and being able to time monster shields but unfortunately it doesn’t compete to swift builds.
Paladin is a perfect example. It’s basically just a buff bot that spams for uptime and passive heals. That just doesn’t feel all that fun for a lot of people that are used to actively healing.
Bard can scratch that itch a bit but that’s just one skill and lets be honest, not everyone wants to play a girl with a harp and listen to those notes all day.
Artist? I was hoping it would be more unique but it’s fairly similar mechanically.
So what’s the solution? I feel like the reason supports are so similar is because they didn’t want to take on the challenge of class balance…but this is the result. It feels like they’ve leaned a little too much on releasing more classes (than they can balance) for the sake of content.
They need some variety and identity beyond just aesthetics or a few tweaked skills. This could be in the form of giving supports deeper specialization:
Preventative damage supports that excel in shields or skills like rhap
Single tgt healers with smaller 1-2m wide reticles for clutch skill based big heals.
HoT based supports
Healers that heal through aoe that’s based on a damage rotation.
I could go on and on. All would have their own strengths and weaknesses. And for the love of god… more variety on the ults that highlight their specialties w/e they might be.
Thats not entirely true. My point is that there are some players that enjoy the mechanics of healing passively, reactively, proactively… it just depends. Most MMO’s have these options and flavors. By not having these options, you entice less players to roll support imo.
For example, some players enjoy the feeling of topping off low players with giant crit single tgt heals.
I even remember playing Neverwinter many moons ago, in a guild that was only Clerics and Paladins. Was pretty dumb in King of the Hill style PvP. You could finish games where no one got a single kill but you always won at that point Supports basically turn into the fun police
In a game designed around endlessly repeating daily tasks as fast as possible.
Yes, there is always going to be a support shortage here. This won’t be fixed by releasing a new support, this should have been addressed years ago by creating a better class distribution balance to begin with and made the support classes not feel linear and dull.
Healer / Tank main for 14 years here. Feels about the same as in other games. The majority of people just like flashy movesets and big numbers. There is nothing more to it, really. It is perceived as much worse in this game because Lost Ark doesn’t follow the holy trinity to begin with.
You could make the argument that it’s not any worse than other MMO’s. I think what is still objectively true is that there would be more supports if the support classes had more playstyle options for people to choose from.
Even within a single support class, Unfortunately you have to choose between support and dps class engravings. Which, if you are support driven, only have one option. That’s pretty ridiculous considering many DPS have quite different playstyles between class engravings.