Why is the tab targetting combat system so popular?

Question2Question2 aMember UncommonPosts: 43
The kind that you see in WoW and similar games. You have tons of hotkey bars for skills, you usually use tab to cycle through enemies, and its mostly about cycling through skills in a certain, efficient, order, depending on the situation. Usually comes with the "holy trinity" package (tank / dps / healer) and quest based leveling in the form of "kill x monsters".

Ive tried a couple of games that used tab targetting, could never get into them. I found it a huge snore fest. Unless im playing the healer, I can setup a macro to do my skill rotation and just watch 95% of the time, while occasionally using pots or moving my character to the next enemy. I don't feel like im actually playing the game...I just feel like im playing a rhythm game and hitting hotkeys in the correct order.

But obviously, tab targetting is very, very popular. Although I think that just might be people "settling" for tab targetting because they like other aspects of the game.

Is it just because WoW popularized it and most people haven't tried any other combat systems that are significantly different?

I remember all the BDO hype, that it was going to be a WoW killer, etc. Obviously it never got that far, but BDO does seem to be fairly popular while having a combat system that is somewhat better than WoW. Maybe instead of "WoW clones" we are going to see a lot of "BDO clones" popup in the next couple of years and it will encourage more MMOs with a more interactive combat system...
«13

Comments

  • RhygarthRhygarth EarthMember UncommonPosts: 141
    edited April 15
    BDO is  for solo pvpers/gankers and not realy for group play, yes you can do bosses as a group but you just get killed and respawn, thats totaly diffrent from the "holy trinity" type of game where you try to keep the team alive,  even in pvp in BDO you have to lookout for yourself and not care for others.

    I like tab target+sub  and no i dont play wow  i think its the best gameplay style and business model
    Post edited by Rhygarth on
  • AethaerynAethaeryn Woodstock, ONMember UncommonPosts: 2,519
    I am actually so bad at games that I hate tab targeting.   I end up pulling something I don't want to. . . people love it . . I have a hard time finding groups now for some reason ;)

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 15,713
    Tab targetting allows for slower paced, more tactical combat.

    For example vanilla EQ1 back in 1999 had 6second combat rounds - by todays standards that is super slow.

    But the slow pace and tab-target nature allowed for players to type in chat window while in combat. It catered to the social nature of early EQ1 a lot.


    Steelhelm
  • DarLorkarDarLorkar Texarkana, TXMember UncommonPosts: 1,082

    DMKano said:

    Tab targetting allows for slower paced, more tactical combat.

    For example vanilla EQ1 back in 1999 had 6second combat rounds - by todays standards that is super slow.

    But the slow pace and tab-target nature allowed for players to type in chat window while in combat. It catered to the social nature of early EQ1 a lot.




    Pretty much this, i do not like the "action combat" games at all. I always feel like i am having to work at a game that is supposed to be fun. 

    I like the slower paced combat. Same reason i do not like PVP and raiding. Always ends up feeling like a job to me, and i do not game, to feel that way.


  • BestinnaBestinna Member UncommonPosts: 101
    coz it's better than action combat in every way
  • HeraseHerase LondonMember UncommonPosts: 781
    Serious question, is it very popular though?  Wondering what this is based on.
  • MyriaMyria Lowell, MAMember UncommonPosts: 668

    Question2 said:

    Ive tried a couple of games that used tab targetting, could never get into them. I found it a huge snore fest. Unless im playing the healer, I can setup a macro to do my skill rotation and just watch 95% of the time, while occasionally using pots or moving my character to the next enemy. I don't feel like im actually playing the game...I just feel like im playing a rhythm game and hitting hotkeys in the correct order.


    I've seen this claim made any number of times, but the only game I've ever played where you could macro an even halfway decent rotation was Rift, and I've heard even that was fixed at some point after I quit the game.

    If anything action games generally friendlier towards macroing than tab-target, given the generally small number of available skills and that often combat comes down to "Use whatever is off cooldown".

    So what tab-target games are out there where you can macro a competitive rotation? Because honestly the claim itself reminds me far too much of people claiming Game-X is easy when they haven't done any high-level content whatsoever.
  • VideoJockeyVideoJockey Stewartstown, PAMember UncommonPosts: 220
    You mean using the tab key to select/cycle through targets? It's been around a long time. Being able to play entirely by keyboard was a must for group efforts because group voice chat wasn't a widespread thing 15 years ago. You couldn't communicate effectively if you had to keep one hand on the mouse. It was also a convenient way to figure out how many targets were nearby, and a big help if the target you wanted was moving/obscured/hidden/whatever. 
  • MyriaMyria Lowell, MAMember UncommonPosts: 668


    You mean using the tab key to select/cycle through targets? It's been around a long time. Being able to play entirely by keyboard was a must for group efforts because group voice chat wasn't a widespread thing 15 years ago. You couldn't communicate effectively if you had to keep one hand on the mouse. It was also a convenient way to figure out how many targets were nearby, and a big help if the target you wanted was moving/obscured/hidden/whatever. 


    I suspect the origins of tab-targeting probably has more to do with most of the early MMOs using a modified die roll-system behind the curtain, and that the overhead of hit-detection, not to mention issues caused by latency (which still exist, really), would have made any form of "action combat" unthinkable at the time.

    Even today many action combat systems have a 'soft lock', to one degree or another.
  • cheyanecheyane EarthMember EpicPosts: 4,602
    edited April 17
    I really,really am not good at action combat I suck at it. So I love tab target and non action combat.

    I got Styx Master of Shadows thinking I might be able to play it and even that game I cannot move fast enough or hide well enough even on easy to manage the game after getting killed in the part where I am still basically at the tutorial so many times I lost count I uninstalled it. It was 7 Euros so the sting was less but still....

    So you see not everyone likes action combat and the more the game requires me to utilize reflexes I do not have the more I fail. So tab target is the game I enjoy I can also play without tab target and manually target but action is very bad for me and the best I can manage is having everything mapped to my 12 button mouse and use that to play .

    Edit: I think I found out after watching some youtube vids on Styx I had neglected to use my cover key will try the game again am reinstalling. Not giving up just yet.
    Post edited by cheyane on
    image
  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXMember UncommonPosts: 2,489
    One of the biggest selling points of MMORPG's in my book is the ability to take your time, smell the roses, socialize, strategize and recover from mistakes.  Try that in an action MMO and you either get left behind, laughed at or constantly die.  I'll take slow paced combat over action every single time.

    image
  • postlarvalpostlarval Member RarePosts: 980
    Ask the guy who hits tab while game lag is causing your mouse to jump about like a spastic monkey when trying to aim.
    "The Illuminati are very achievement focused. It's like Xbox - only everything is hardcore."
    - Kirsten Geary
  • CasaFrankyCasaFranky MünchenMember UncommonPosts: 545
    i dont need any joypads in my mmos
  • monochrome19monochrome19 Chicago, ILMember UncommonPosts: 691
    My first MMOs were tab-targetting; however, after playing action combat MMOs I can never go back. It feels dated and bad. From a technical standpoint, I understand that its easier to do, which is why its so popular though.
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 24,983
    I'd say more recent MMOs have favored action combat rather than tab.

    I personally prefer the latter for reasons....

    On hiatus from EVE Online since Dec 2016 - Screw off-grid PVE boosting changes

    Pouring on extra "Salt" for 2017

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon


  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAMember LegendaryPosts: 22,167
    I've always hated tab targeting. It wasn't until Tera that I finally felt that I was really enjoying combat.



  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 9,332
    It totally depends on whether you want your games more realistic or more gamey.

    Action + voice coms is a much more realistic simulation of the pace and chaos of fighting. Tab-target + text chat is a more realistic simulation of table top games.
    Obligatory new signature for the new forums so the reaction icons don't hide behind the "quote" button.
    And a second line just in case I need it.
  • RecoreRecore Member EpicPosts: 7,409
    edited April 16
    BDO was supposed to be a WoW Killer?

    People did not say that.

    Back when the game was getting ready to come out here everybody said it would fail here because it failed in Korea. 

    They were wrong about here and Korea. 

    People do not say WoW Killer anymore because nobody cares about WoW anymore. 
    Post edited by Recore on
  • rasserrasser RoskildeMember UncommonPosts: 4
    damnit i could rant about this til the end of the day but i wont.
    tab target is popular as i would asume its easyere to make games that way or was and the games that used em (wow.....) got alot of it right the first time and it kinda got stuck there not willing to move on, and as it makes so much $$$ others tend to follow the money.
    some games have tryed free target combat and some have made good money i am sure of it but the once i played seem to lack where it counted for me.


  • JakdstripperJakdstripper British Columbia, CanadaMember UncommonPosts: 2,226
    Tab targeting is generally slower paced, more tactical, and feels a lot more like a lively chess game than your average twitch combat. it relies more on combat knowledge more than quick reactions.
    As you get past your 20s twitch reflexes tend to take a big hit, and you don't feel like playing games where you are always beaten by quicker clickers. 
    Tab targeting games are much more forgiving than twitch games, so everyone can feel like a decent player. 
  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDMember EpicPosts: 20,866
    Because you can watch TV, shoot the chit with friends, and do everything else but be engaged in the fight. ;)

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • esc-joconnoresc-joconnor TokyoMember UncommonPosts: 345

    Recore said:

    BDO was supposed to be a WoW Killer?

    People did not say that.

    Back when the game was getting ready to come out here everybody said it would fail here because it failed in Korea. 

    They were wrong about here and Korea. 

    People do not say WoW Killer anymore because nobody cares about WoW anymore. 


    Come on, you and i both know that until wow either is killed or at least maimed badly there will always be people asking if some new mmo is the one!
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 1,998

    Action combat depends on your personal reflexes.  With tab targeting systems, you can play a character that doesn't fully depend on your personal reaction speed.  I prefer it for systems that are more steeped in role playing.  


    But I'd happily throw the trinity stuff right out.  And have voice optional.  But then, I can type reasonably fast.

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Member RarePosts: 4,130

    DMKano said:

    Tab targetting allows for slower paced, more tactical combat.

    For example vanilla EQ1 back in 1999 had 6second combat rounds - by todays standards that is super slow.

    But the slow pace and tab-target nature allowed for players to type in chat window while in combat. It catered to the social nature of early EQ1 a lot.




    @DMKano It did indeed.

    Was that because they felt it would enhance social play or because of technical limitations though? Internet speed in particular?

    Which could be why tab targeting - and target lock on (which is a form of tab targeting after all) is still around.

    I don't know btw I simply "wonder" how much was the result of limitations that were forced on them.


  • ZionBaneZionBane Member UncommonPosts: 263
    I'll be honest, I am not sure the attraction to "tab-target", as games like GW2, Trove, and some others, use assisted directional targeting for melee (some even use it for ranged), but, as i see it, there is a whole demographic of people make and download aim-bots for FPS like games, that kinda tells me that there is not a lot of people that excel at, or even enjoy, "Action-combat", even if they claim such.
Sign In or Register to comment.