I have played my fair share of RPG’s, MMO, MOBA’s, and class based games where I know the class or sub-class that seems to get the least amount of love is support classes. And support can be a bit of a broad term, as they aren’t always strictly relating to a Priest/Healer type of character. I’m talking about the tanks, I’m talking about the buffers and the sabotagers/debuffers. They are the party members that aren’t there to get the high score or MVP for the party, they’re the party member that is there to make sure you don’t wipe and all your buffs are active. They keep the aggro off your DPS team members who get the high scores, and make sure to debuff or lock down your opponents. They’re there to make sure you’re resurrected when you die and do their best to keep your health up during critical moments in every battle. Every team member is a crucial part of a balanced team comp, yet, for some reason support characters tend to get most of the blame from DPS classes..
“WHY DID YOU PULL AGGRO? WHERE ARE MY HEALS? WHY WASN’T THE ENEMY DEBUFFED? WHERE IS MY BUFF? WHY DIDN’T YOU USE CC?” and so on…
For a lot of players, it seems like blaming the support is the common excuse people go to when shit hits the fan. Some people think that gaming is all about having the highest DPS or “carrying the team” but to that I say.. Fuck that.
Taking on a support role is almost always the hardest role in any given game. As a healer you’re responsible for healing multiple people at the same time, on top of watching out for yourself! As a tank, your role consists of being the giant wall between the big baddie and your team, while using skills and gear to mitigate damage in hopes your priest can keep up. It may sound like a lot of standing around, but actively working on your stats and outputting just enough damage to keep aggro can be difficult work when your core DPS is trying to be at the top of the DPS charts. If you’re the buffer/debuffer, you absolutely have to make sure that your buffs/debuffs are still active since some monsters have the ability to debuff/cancel out spells. In some games, the support is a combination of all 3 of these roles which can improve the level of difficulty when having to perform multiple tasks at a single time. And on top of all of that, you still end up being the class least listened to.
There have been plenty of times when I am playing a healer role and I communicate with my team that “I’m low on mana” or that “I need a minute to regen” and the group ignores that request and continues to pull mobs and move forward. There are plenty of times where I will play a tank and DPS will start attacking mobs before I am ready or the off-tank will pull the next group because he/she is impatient. There are plenty of time when my spells are on cooldown or I’m low on mana, yet my cries seem to fall on deaf ears and I become the team punching bag after a wipe.
LISTEN!!! I’M THE ONE KEEPING YOU ALIVE. IF I TELL YOU TO SLOW DOWN — I MEAN IT!
Look, I get it. Once you’re in a party and you start getting the flow of hacking and slashing through the baddies, stopping to regen mana can be a total mood killer. Having a good flow makes your partying easier, however, you can’t have a good flow if people in your party just can’t keep up. If the party is severely under-geared for the battle you’re attempting – taking it slow is for the best. DPS players seem to think they’re the one in charge, but let’s be honest — no party even decides to try running a raid or MVP without at least 1 or 2 great support players. The supports should always be the ones setting the pace of the group because at the end of the day, we’re the ones working our asses off to keep the team alive. On top of your support players keeping the group on the brink of life or death, sitting there blaming us if you die from something that may have been your fault doesn’t help either. Playing the damn game blame never helps. Throwing blame at a player that is trying their best is a quick way to find yourself 1 party member short.
At the end of the day, take a deep breath and remember that it’s just a game.
And the most important point of them all…