Know your role
As many of you know, I’m all about the latest, hottest, class-based games. Yep, you guessed it. I’m playing that game — the one all the cool kids are playing and the Destructoid staff posts about at least nine times each day. You can’t even enjoy Americanized Mexican fast food without it being shoved down your throat.
Yep, it’s that one.
Borderlands 2. I got it for a whole ten smackers at Wal-Mart because they just couldn’t get rid of PS Vita games fast enough.
And it got me to thinking: class-based games sure are all the rage these days. While some games give their virtual people names and personalities and that’s cool, they still fall into familiar roles from RPGs like tank, healer, support, crowd control, mage, or damage dealer.
The siren role in Borderlands 2 is essentially that of support and crowd control. The singularity she summons can bind enemies in the air, lower their defenses, and even charm them to kill her other enemies should they survive the binding. This is, of course, based on how you guide her skill trees. I built my siren’s skill set to resemble that of an enchanter one might find in EverQuest, even if the results play out a little differently.
Now there’s a memory. EverQuest enchanters were very steeped in support and crowd control, to the point your only offense really was controlling the mind of your nearest enemy. If my party’s thief or ranger brought back three more angry ogres to my group’s camp than he planned to, it was on me as the enchanter to bind the feet of Ogre #2, charm Ogre #3 and send #3 after Ogre #4 as the party dealt with Ogre #1. All that and I would have to recharge the mana of my allies with my spells.
Should anything go wrong or my charms be resisted, my only defense against monsters was the nearest tank or my flimsy, pretty, flowing robe. Thankfully, enchanters were popular enough that experience points lost on death were not gone for long.
And there’s another aspect of job classes. Offline, you can do pretty much whatever you please. There’s no consequences or judgement, so you can experiment with job classes freely. Online, however, you can and will be judged to varying degrees and your job class choice sometimes becomes subject to the whims of what resembles a high school popularly contest.
As a result, everyone who receives the short end of the stick berates the developer on forums for their class not being the bee’s knees until a content update is made. Then the development team is briefly worshiped before they become hated again. Just ask anyone that works for Blizzard, who watch over their loving fans, always.
Class systems clearly have their ups and downs. They can present great opportunities for strategy when classes are working in tandem with each other. They present opportunities for escapism and roleplaying as well. Or, regrettably, they sometimes have a way of reminding us of the world we tried to escape in first place.
So, what job classes Zarya into? Which games do they hail from? Are you a Bastion of high defense, like a paladin? A party D.Va like a bard? A healer that thrives on cries for Mercy? Maybe you don’t fear the Reaper and play a berserking damage dealer or prefer to be the ranger that snipes their enemies from afar with a Widowmaker.
No matter what your favorite job class Mei be, rush over to the community blogs to write about our latest Bloggers Wanted prompt, “Keep it classy” — just don’t be a Roadhog on the way over and be sure apply the “Bloggers Wanted” tags when you’re done.
Remember: Who dares, Winstons.