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  1. #1
    "That Guy" Maergoth's Avatar
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    Default How Combat Should Be

    I don't normally make threads, but when I do, they're in dead forums about shit no one cares about.

    We've all been playing this game for way too long. We make jokes about rolling our faces on the keyboard. We make jokes about spamming 1 key mega-macros. We've seen classes like the Necromancer have way too many buttons for no reason, and classes like the Beastlord with abstract minimalist combat art mechanics.

    Most of us have played other MMOs, all toying with different styles of play and silly gimmicks. Global cooldowns, "combos", etc.

    EQ2 does a couple things right, but the point of contention always becomes the sheer number of buttons that every class can and should be pressing. There are some abilities that haven't been on hotbars since EoF or ever, but for the most part.. you push a shitton of buttons.

    Personally, I have no problem with this. The ability to prioritize something over something else for slightly or vastly different results gives me control over my character. I feel like pressing buttons is representative of combat, versus a game like Skyrim where you're waving your mouse around like a retard pretending to sword fight.

    The number of buttons we have allows me to play my character like an instrument. I'd rather have access to a whole fretboard and every note, rather than have five gigantic orange blue green yellow and red buttons for simplicity's sake. I fear that more and more games are going to go the way of WoW, TOR and the Beastlord class and just have a couple, higher significance abilities.



    I guess the question is this: How should new MMOs handle combat? Everquest next or otherwise.


    This is a fairly pointless thread, but I'm pretty sure combat is the reason I fucking hate every game I've played since EQ2. It's just so two dimensional and routine. Nothing new has been done in years, I'm not sure what I'd want out of combat, but I'm pretty sure there is a hybrid, happy medium to be found.

    Specific example (worthless opinion shits): Imagine for a moment that I was a Wizard in Everquest Next, and I began a 5 second Ice Comet cast time. During that cast time, a set of "modifiers" should open up for use, specific to that ability. One might debuff the mob on casting completion in addition to the damage, one might add additional damage, one might empower the next spell, etc. Abilities you can use during the main ability's cast time that slightly alter the original spell. Leveling up should unlock different modifiers and raise the cap on how many you can use per cast. You'd have the "big hit" significance of the individual abilities, and an eventual EQ2 stye "button mashing" thing that would empower and slightly modify the spell based on the situation. You could have 10 different abilities with 5 modifiers for each of them, without having 50 different abilities all on independent cooldowns that do relatively the same thing anyway. See: Every enchanter spell or tank combat art in the game.

    Just have a system like Diablo 3 uses where there are different "spins" on each move. Allow you to pick which ones you want to use during a cast time, opposed to ahead of time.

    Or give every class that fucking beastlord style ability bar and secondary resource pool instead of the silly increment shit.

    TLDR: Fast casting modifiers to be used during long casting abilities for active, adaptive combat.

    Pair something of that depth with a heroic opportunity type system that doesn't suck and combat might be something less than tedious.

    And if something like that exists, please direct me to it.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by Maergoth; 04-02-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matin View Post
    wow it sickens me to even believe your a person, no human being would say this

    shame on you

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    Have you ever even logged on a beastlord.

  3. #3
    "That Guy" Maergoth's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    Yep. You have like, half the buttons anyone else has, if that.

    Even Smokejumper said at Fanfaire, "The Beastlord is my kind of class. I'd rather have fewer buttons that do more."
    Last edited by Maergoth; 03-31-2013 at 11:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matin View Post
    wow it sickens me to even believe your a person, no human being would say this

    shame on you

  4. #4
    Go away Shesaz's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    Yeah I get what you mean. I've never played WoW past lvl 7, but I've seen a friend play it. And he uses maybe THREE buttons throughout fights - and he's apparently doing quite well.
    Then you look at EQ and see bars upon bars of shit that's all important, and then a few bars here and there of useless stuff that should never be used. I mean, look at a Necromancer. Blighted horde, awaken grave, undead horde (except for maybe the minor debuff you might not even get), vampirism, siphoning of souls is just a stupid concept, servile soul, dooming darkness, etc.
    Edit - LOL how could I forget the scout pet <3

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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    I dunno I press just as many buttons on my BL that I do on my warden, coercer, assassin, berserker, and monk.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    I play LAN games with friends every week and recently got them to try F2P EQ2 for our weekly thing. SoE unlocking all of the classes was nice of them. They are unfortunately the epitome of casual gamers.

    In between sessions I, more or less, learn their classes and set up their characters for them. I make them mega-macros when it makes sense, I make them stealth combo macros where needed. Even so, it seems like it's still too hard for them to enjoy(as much as I do). Maybe I'm just too advanced even playing an archtype I've never played before and I rush through explanations too quickly. I'm having trouble figuring out where the real issue lies.

    The point is that causal gamers apparently don't want three hotbars of abilities. I'm reminded of a different failure that I had with them. Magicka. One of the most interesting combat systems I have ever used in a game... single or multiplayer. If you've never played it... you have 8 elements that you can mix into 5 slots for each cast. Each cast requires you to press 1-to-10 keys before you use one of 4 ways to release the spell. Think you've found an uber combination? Press one of the keys wrong and maybe your death-beam will turn into a bunch of death mines that could go off in your face. Find opponents that are immune to the major element type and you have to completely rethink on how to kill them.

    They didn't like it. They didn't like the complexity or the on-the-spot thinking that was required. They just wanted to know what combo was the best for every situation; then didn't like when the answer was a long one.

    Those other MMOs probably get somewhere because they cater to the casual mindset. They don't cater to those of us who like the complexity... who like the control... who like that practice makes perfect. Despite the term casual, they probably offer up the most money. So that's what game companies do now. I can only hope that EverQuest Next doesn't do something stupid and follow suit. Just like they made EQ2 death penalties nothing and removed all "annoying" mechanics like traveling and reading.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Drumstix42's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    I like complexity, and especially like a game where there are a lot of stats that you can min/max to tune your character. But some things really are preference.

    Like Magicka that EQAditu used as an example: I think it was a great concept, and in theory to me it sounded really fun. But I've tried playing it multiple times for a few hours, and Magicka simply bored the crap out of me. I got so tired of having to constantly press the same combos for things that I wanted. I felt like it should have been enjoyable, for but for me... it just wasn't.

    To me EQ2 abilities aren't all that interesting because most classes have so many things that do very similar jobs, but just have different damage and cooldowns. And 24(now 25) separate classes I think leaves interesting ideas coming in at a very slow pace because you always need to "balance" or support both sub-classes/classes, etc.
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  8. #8
    "That Guy" Maergoth's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    Auto attack fits into the equation somewhere as well. I'm not sure if I like it, or I'm just used to it.
    I feel like it could be done away with under the right circumstances.

    The idea of tons of buttons is pretty intimidating for a new player, but I really feel that it allows (or should allow) for a higher "skill" cap. There are ways to achieve that without just making every ability insignificant.

    That Magicka thing sounds like the right idea, with a little tweaking. It might be too far to one extreme. I look forward to a game where I can use a combat art to point my sword in the sky zelda style, and follow up with two out of five instant cast abilities that make it glow red with little snowflakes around it before the animation completes, having increased crit chance and bonus cold damage or something along those lines.

    I feel proper animation can be used as an illusion to crunch many abilities down into fewer abilities without removing the necessity of actually pressing buttons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by matin View Post
    wow it sickens me to even believe your a person, no human being would say this

    shame on you

  9. #9
    Sodium Levels Rising Auinar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    I feel like it should be less like eq2, and more like eq1/vanguard. I like that you could kite something or quad something in eq1, and I like the fact that you can cast anything while moving in vanguard and all that gets affected is your movement speed. Obviously the possibilities of the engine haven't caught up to vanguard though because of lacking development but there is something awesome inside the broken piece of work.

    A big problem here is that we want the absurd depth that is eq2, but the largeness of this game is what breaks it. Its like a house that has rooms added to it, they weren't part of the original foundation but they maintain a sense of expansion so you don't get tired or outlive the old rooms. I honestly relate playing eq2 to building a sweet car, or PC. The combat is decent but most of the time I am just looking for that next awesome part/piece of loot for my toon, or to use what efforts I have put into my toon to try to be first place on norraths race track.


    I think that combat should be a lot more mobile in games now. eq2 is a mostly park and kill the monster kind of game. It would be awesome to fight a monster in some ruins, and get added damage for knocking it into something and having something break on the monster. I think that the next level of combat should involve the environment alot(and I dont mean click the sewer grate at 20% kind of environmental gameplay) more as well as something similar to the weakness system in vanguard and the heroic op system in eq2. I also like how weapons and attacking works in gw2, it seems easy to time and harder to perfect compared to the auto attack bar that is basically pause your faceroll untill you hit the mob with a round of attacks.

    The sad thing is how little has changed about combat in MMOs, its still very dnd esque. They need to add rhythm to the combat, even in pvp. I say rhythm because there is a flow to a good game with good combat(I achieve some sort of rhythm in eq2 when i play about 80% of the time). Combat basically should be so awesome/flow so well and be so fun in a game that you notice it that its not something you must endure to get to another place that you think you might want to be in the game. Good combat means you can level to 5 and feel like you had a good time no matter how long it takes and it didnt need you to have 20 abilities to enjoy the battle.

    genuinely balanced/in-depth/challenging MMOs dont exist anymore and probably wont exist in the mainstream ever. People want to win and they want to win now.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Drumstix42's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Combat Should Be

    There's plenty of f2p and eastern/Asian MMOs that combine things like combos, environment, and movement interaction (jumping, sliding, rolling). The problem with a lot is that they are not mainstreamed or just cash shops. There's no great middle ground, and the problem also lies with things said already: catering the "average, casual player".

    For examples of above see things like: Vindictus, Rusty Hearts, C9 (Continent of the Ninth Seal). I actually like C9, but haven't played much.

    I haven't played enough of Guild Wars 2 to give feedback on that, but I'm pretty sure most people i know that were playing it, stopped.
    Last edited by Drumstix42; 04-01-2013 at 01:43 PM.
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