Guild Wars 2 Class System Influenced By… Team Fortress?

MMO classes. They have a certain musty charm, don’t they? Healers heal, Tanks absorb damage and both classes require players willing to sacrifice a little bit of immediacy in order to give support to the damage class player who gets to have all the fun. This system has persisted since ancient times, when people could still read Suck magazine during breaks from gaming, but it’s being deliberately evaded by Guild Wars 2. And the inspiration is kind of surprising.

PC Gamer’s Chris Thursten spoke to Guild Wars 2 designers Ben Miller and Jon Peters about this last week, and they explained their thinking behind GW2′s class system, revealing they drew inspiration from, among all things, 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.”

This statement was offered after a lengthier discussion of how teamwork functions in Guild Wars 2, and it sounds like a breath of fresh air. Peters told PC gamer “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.” Speaking about real teamwork, he added “that’s the same thing the Guild Wars 2 combat is about, right? It’s about organic teamwork and building stuff together.”

How does this tie back to Team Fortress? “I’m going to be a rifle turret engineer and my sense of purpose is that I take capture points and I hold them.” Peters said. “In dungeons I’m the guy who says, ‘fall back to me when we’re in trouble, and I’ll blow my turrets up and we’ll scatter.’ You develop that sense with a playstyle rather than with a role.”

I am suddenly far more interested in playing Guild Wars 2. There’s more, and it’s worth reading on PC Gamer

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