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Way more spells than I'll ever use...

gigatgigat Minneapolis, MNPosts: 604Member Uncommon

I've noticed the biggest challenge for some MMOs isn't the gameplay or combat, it's reading the descriptions for 50 different abilities and trying to place them on my hotbar in a configuration that leaves me with some sense of sanity.

Am I alone in this?  A few games off the top of my head that utilize the "way more spells than you'll ever use" mechanics are WoW, SWTOR, AoC, and EQ2.

I realize you aren't required to use every spell, and I'm guessing most people don't.  But somehow I feel like I'm doing it wrong if I don't memorize every single spell in my spellbook and make use of them all.

 

This is just one reason why I'm looking forward to some of the new games on the horizon.  I like the idea of decks, having a limited number of slots for the skills you actually plan to use.  This makes the game seem more rewarding to build a deck with only a few spells, rather than cluttering screen real estate with seven hotbars full of spells that I barely remember what they do and I will probably never remember to use them when the time comes.

 

Maybe it's just my roots in online FPS games, or maybe I've got too many things going on IRL to bother with memorizing the exact effect of every ability my character knows.  Is there anyone out there who actually uses every spell your character has trained?  And if so, what kind of drugs are you on?

"Lose the helmet sis, we can't prove that you're retarded." - Dennis Reynolds

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Comments

  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member

    Yeah, I'm not a huge fan, myself.

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    I've used all the spells on my Shadow Priest in WoW. Some where used just during leveling, others just against certain mobs (who were immune to shadow damage for example), but for the most part, I agree that you generally don't need 50 spells and certainly won't be using them all the time.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I like having options.  I don't like feeling I need to keymap all the options and use them all in a single encounter, nor being presented with a blank slate that insists I do a month of statistical testing to figure exactly how the bonuses from different stats add up.  I also don't like the game telling me that because I decided to roleplay rather than min-max, my build has insufficient dps to make me worthy of showing my face in public.

  • zekeofevzekeofev Mesa, AZPosts: 233Member

    I would rather have more complexity then what current MMOs offer. I love situational skills and there is not enough of it in MMOs atm.

     

    GW2 strikes me as my type of game because of how many skills there are to keep track of. This makes systems have a lot of depth (you can perform ok by knowing a small amount of abilities but optimal performances requires knowledge of it all).

     

    In Vanilla WoW mage optimal dps rotation was fireball spam. Later it was manage scorch debuff and fireball spam. Do we really have to go back to optimal play being that braindead simple?

  • CorehavenCorehaven Colorado Springs, COPosts: 1,538Member

    Yea OP I know exactly what you mean.  I do the same thing and I am sometimes annoyed myself. 

     

    The real pain is if you've taken a decent break from playing your high level toon, and then you come back and end up staring at the screen in horror and mumbling, " Oh man.  Sigh.....okay what do all these do again?  Ummm...."  . 

     

    Its not incredibly hard to get adjusted again but it does take a good deal of effort. 

     

    Plus not only are all those spells all over the screen probably not really necessary, but they also take up the field of vision which Im not overly always fond of either.  Yet I cant help myself and must plaster every single thing Im capable of doing all over the bottom and sides of the screen. 

  • chefdiablochefdiablo Barrie, ONPosts: 202Member
    Originally posted by maplestone

    I like having options.  I don't like feeling I need to keymap all the options and use them all in a single encounter, nor being presented with a blank slate that insists I do a month of statistical testing to figure exactly how the bonuses from different stats add up.  I also don't like the game telling me that because I decided to roleplay rather than min-max, my build has insufficient dps to make me worthy of showing my face in public.

    I agree. Far too many games have given us false hope of variety and choice just to be locked into the "Best DPS" rotation or fill up the bleachers.

    I for one tend to play my characters in ways that are almost always wrong based on the min-max/perfect rotation/build/gear models.

     

  • gigatgigat Minneapolis, MNPosts: 604Member Uncommon

     


    Originally posted by Corehaven
    Yea OP I know exactly what you mean.  I do the same thing and I am sometimes annoyed myself. 
     
    The real pain is if you've taken a decent break from playing your high level toon, and then you come back and end up staring at the screen in horror and mumbling, " Oh man.  Sigh.....okay what do all these do again?  Ummm...."  . 
     
    Its not incredibly hard to get adjusted again but it does take a good deal of effort. 
     
    Plus not only are all those spells all over the screen probably not really necessary, but they also take up the field of vision which Im not overly always fond of either.  Yet I cant help myself and must plaster every single thing Im capable of doing all over the bottom and sides of the screen. 
     

     

    Lol you nailed it man. "I'm not sure what this spell does, but I better put it on the hotbar just in case."

    It bites coming back to a game and readjusting to the mess of skills. But you're right, with a little patience and effort you eventually get your bearings.

    I think some newer games have actually done a good job with cleaning up the clutter a bit. Like Rift has a separate little interface for situational spells, and Aion actually replaces the skill on the hotbar you just used with its follow-up skill. And TERA, and even Vanguard has a separate interface for spell combos and situational spells.

    "Lose the helmet sis, we can't prove that you're retarded." - Dennis Reynolds

  • korat102korat102 Milton KeynesPosts: 313Member

    LOTRO is the same for some classes. My Minstrell isn't even within signt of the level cap and already has three bars full with some other bits and pieces scattered about using addons to give them somwhere to live. It's getting ridiculous. Problem is, if you don't slot them, you just know that the next mob you meet will be immune to all but that one special power.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,682Member Uncommon

    Diablo 3 is certainly a good take on how a game with fewer abilities can still feel relatively deep.  The MMORPG genre could really revolutionize its own combat by limiting itself like D3 or GW1 to very few abilities (while, of course, ensuring that each individual ability has a certain depth to its usage so that combat can be simple but deep.)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member

    Choices choices... how I love them. Don't get me wrong, there can be too many, but too few is a far worse scenario.

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Diablo 3 is certainly a good take on how a game with fewer abilities can still feel relatively deep.  The MMORPG genre could really revolutionize its own combat by limiting itself like D3 or GW1 to very few abilities (while, of course, ensuring that each individual ability has a certain depth to its usage so that combat can be simple but deep.)

    i think TSW has the potential for this.

     

    ~250 skills? you can eventually gain all of them. however, you are limited to 7 active and 7 passive skills at a time. mix and match as you please.

    "There are at least two kinds of games.
    One could be called finite, the other infinite.
    A finite game is played for the purpose of winning,
    an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play."
    Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member

    Well, thats what makes MMO combat so very interesting. You're never sure what are the optimal abilities to use next. There could always be something you could do to improve.

  • MexorillaMexorilla Las Vegas, NVPosts: 313Member

    i don't mind large spell pools.  it can be confusing when starting out,  but leveling helps with that.  also like anything else it just takes time to learn.  it's nice to have variety.

  • Heinz130Heinz130 sao pauloPosts: 227Member

    im playing tera just while i wait for tsw and further AA,and im experiencing exactly what op says,im at lv32 and im already flooded with useless skills that does more or less the same crap

    i hate that since my wow days back in several years :(

    im lookkiing for some macros atm...is that any for tera

    WoW 4ys,EVE 4ys,EU 4ys
    FH1942 best tanker for 4years
    Playing WWII OL for some years untill now
    many other for some months

  • TirinasTirinas hoogerheidePosts: 117Member

    I like it when they limit you to a certain amount of skills/spells as long as they give a good amount to mix it all up with.

    Also i think they should kick the idea of certain skills/spells being better because then you'll get boring builds which everyone has to take if they want to even join a group or w/e. If every skill does as much damage or close enough then you can truely make interesting builds because then you are not limited to "omgwtfpwnedy00spellzzzofdoomz".

  • KabaalKabaal Edinburgh, ScotlandPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon

    Choices are good but a lot of the time it's just an illusion as half of them you wouldn't use in any situation due to them being inferior.

  • solarinesolarine IstanbulPosts: 1,203Member

    The more the better. Do I have 50 spells/abilities I need to have keybound? No problem, I like it that way and make a point of trying to come up with creative uses of even the most situational ones (in fact, that's my favorite part).

    I do like options. Especially *real* options (meaning not a dozen different variants of magic missile with different names). And every time an MMO gets rid of an ability that adds some character or gives you some new things to do, even if that thing seemed redundant to an overwhelming majority of the playerbase, I'm miffed.

    Case in point: Why remove Eyes of the Beast in WOW, a fun spell that let you see through your pet's eyes? It was one of those spells that you could use out of combat and that let you do interesting things. Granted, it was not something you routinely used, but it brought something special - I had way more memorable moments using it than I had most other spells. Maybe MMO developers think adding yet another DOT is more relevant than something like this, and frankly the new games we have is a testament to how this line of thought works. Boring pure combat games that feel like persistent MOBAs to me.

    So if you're going to come up with fun, distinct spells, don't be afraid to go ahead and give me a hundred of them. I'll keep track every single one, keep them all keybound and use them when applicable. Promise. :)

     

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member

    It has everything to do with your reasons for playing the game. If your main reason for playing is that you want to be challenged and only do well by learning the game inside and out, then it makes sense to overload you with choices so that only the number-crunchers (and the wiki-readers) max out their dps by using every skill to its highest potential, including the situational ones. If your main reason for playing is anything else—roleplaying, immersion, socialization, etc.—hotbar overload either has no value to you or actively makes things worse.

    image
  • KiyonoriKiyonori Sticks, NCPosts: 49Member Uncommon

    I know exactly how you feel, it's the primary reason I cannot get back into Rift and why I cannot get very far in EQ2.

     

    If a game calls for me to use more than 16 abilities (the maximum I can memorize/bind also not counting buffs) then I can't play it properly. The only reason I got to cap in Rift was thanks to macro's and they make it difficult to get a feel for what you are actually using in combat.

     

    I feel like WoW got it right with Cata as far as getting rid of the useless/fluff skills and combining certain skills that made sense into one, though the Warlock class still has a ton of skills.

  • RockhideRockhide Chicagoland, ILPosts: 155Member

    At least back when I played WoW it seemed like every ability had some sort of use in at least one typical spec or role.  My frost mage didn't have fire spells on his bar, and my fire mage didn't have most frost spells, but between speccing frost, fire, and arcane at various points in time over the years I used almost every ability I had.  Same thing on my priest running as holy, shadow, and disc.  In fact, everything is so clear-cut regarding what is useful in what situation in a given spec that it makes WoW's combat extremely intuitive and easy to pick up IMO.  I'd go so far as to say that's one of the reasons for the game's success.

     

    I also think WoW does a good job at making low-level abilities still relevant at higher levels, depending on spec of course.  At least in pre-Cata there weren't a lot of abilities that became obsolete for every practical spec, a problem I thought TOR had the few months I played it.

     

    Where the annoyance sets in for me are abilities that share almost identical effects.  Take for example  'Do X damage instantly and Y damage over time,'  (alternatively, replace "damage" with healing).  Multiple otherwise identical abilities that simply vary X and Y -- perhaps with some buff/debuff modifications from talents -- is poor design IMO.  Particularly when the dots don't last long enough to stack in any meaningful way.  RIFT is the biggest violator I've personally played in terms of overlapping purposes.  Obviously you just leave the one(s) you don't use off the bar, but it's the principle of creating abilities that appear to add options that don't actually get used because the benefit they bring to combat, even situationally, is marginal at best.

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    for me the main issue with this spell flood is, that most spells are very weak compared to the few spells you had in old-school games. look at the CC spells for example. next issue is, that every class got the same. every class gets a root, a knockback a stun, a dd, a dot, an aoe dd, an aoe dot,  .... they have just different names and one is based on mana, the next on stamina and the third on energy or what you have. and all are rather weak, so they dont define a clear tactics which would define a class. this way class-differentiaton is gone.

    i guess it is all about balancing, e.g. pvp-balancing, which is not strictly separated from pve-balancing. the second reason is, that every class should be worthful in endgame, so that everybody finds a group easily. and so they give every class a lot of the same pointless spells in order to facilitate an illusion of balanced progression while de facto doing nothing. because nothing does not harm balancing. and less balancing means less effort and costs.

    so at the end its all about balancing. highly diferentiated classes with a small set of strong and class-specific spells means a clear separation of pvp and pve spell sets. but even then it is a hell of balancing effort and tinkering with the spells for the devs. and even then, the players will whine a lot on the official forums because this mage can do more or better than my ranger.

     

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member

    Hm, I think FPS people prefer less spells.

    Me personally I love having MANY abilities. 4 Quickbars+ full of them. Why? Well, of course you don't use all of the all the time, but many spells (and attacks and buffs, and CCs and stances) allow a diverse combat experience. Let alone the task to sorting your many abilities in a new a meaningful way is a challange I enjoy, tinkering and tossing around your skills over and over until you find a selection and a rotation you like and does work for you.

    Example. I worked a long time with various builts for my Jedi Sage in PVP. First it wasn't working so well, but when I totally re-configured and changed my setup, it worked way better. I just like that, because when I have so many spells, buffs, stances and abilities, it allows me to adapt, to change my strategy. When I have only 6 or 8 as in consolish setups as in, say, DCU, I feel very limited. It kinda robs the strategic element.

    So THE MORE THE BETTER for me. :D

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,682Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elikal

    Hm, I think FPS people prefer less spells.

    Me personally I love having MANY abilities. 4 Quickbars+ full of them. Why? Well, of course you don't use all of the all the time, but many spells (and attacks and buffs, and CCs and stances) allow a diverse combat experience. Let alone the task to sorting your many abilities in a new a meaningful way is a challange I enjoy, tinkering and tossing around your skills over and over until you find a selection and a rotation you like and does work for you.

    Example. I worked a long time with various builts for my Jedi Sage in PVP. First it wasn't working so well, but when I totally re-configured and changed my setup, it worked way better. I just like that, because when I have so many spells, buffs, stances and abilities, it allows me to adapt, to change my strategy. When I have only 6 or 8 as in consolish setups as in, say, DCU, I feel very limited. It kinda robs the strategic element.

    So THE MORE THE BETTER for me. :D

    You can have a diverse combat experience without tons of abilities though.

    The ideal is something like a FPS rocket launcher, where a MMORPG's fireball skill involves the same depth of mastery.

    • Bad at aiming the fireball, you're only going to score a glancing hit.
    • Learn to aim the fireball at the monster's feet, you're going to score a better glancing hit.
    • Lead the monster's movement speed perfectly to land it at his feet, you're going to score a solid hit.
    • Lead the monster to directly strike him, you're going to deal massive damage!
    This is just a simple, understandable example.
     
    You can achieve a similar depth of play without FPS aiming being involved.
     
    Example: In a typical tab-targeting game, fireballs could have a "sweet spot" range of 20 yards, and damage falloff above and below this optimal range.  Meanwhile monsters would remain very mobile such that keeping in optimal range is challenging and masterable.
     
    And that's just one example out of the hundreds of other mechanics (many of which are much deeper than my simple example) which could be used to increase game depth without adding a substantial twitch component.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • zekeofevzekeofev Mesa, AZPosts: 233Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    Originally posted by Elikal

    Hm, I think FPS people prefer less spells.

    Me personally I love having MANY abilities. 4 Quickbars+ full of them. Why? Well, of course you don't use all of the all the time, but many spells (and attacks and buffs, and CCs and stances) allow a diverse combat experience. Let alone the task to sorting your many abilities in a new a meaningful way is a challange I enjoy, tinkering and tossing around your skills over and over until you find a selection and a rotation you like and does work for you.

    Example. I worked a long time with various builts for my Jedi Sage in PVP. First it wasn't working so well, but when I totally re-configured and changed my setup, it worked way better. I just like that, because when I have so many spells, buffs, stances and abilities, it allows me to adapt, to change my strategy. When I have only 6 or 8 as in consolish setups as in, say, DCU, I feel very limited. It kinda robs the strategic element.

    So THE MORE THE BETTER for me. :D

    You can have a diverse combat experience without tons of abilities though.

    The ideal is something like a FPS rocket launcher, where a MMORPG's fireball skill involves the same depth of mastery.

    • Bad at aiming the fireball, you're only going to score a glancing hit.
    • Learn to aim the fireball at the monster's feet, you're going to score a better glancing hit.
    • Lead the monster's movement speed perfectly to land it at his feet, you're going to score a solid hit.
    • Lead the monster to directly strike him, you're going to deal massive damage!
    This is just a simple, understandable example.
     
    You can achieve a similar depth of play without FPS aiming being involved.
     
    Example: In a typical tab-targeting game, fireballs could have a "sweet spot" range of 20 yards, and damage falloff above and below this optimal range.  Meanwhile monsters would remain very mobile such that keeping in optimal range is challenging and masterable.
     
    And that's just one example out of the hundreds of other mechanics (many of which are much deeper than my simple example) which could be used to increase game depth without adding a substantial twitch component.

     

    Multiple abilities do not add a twitch component if there is a shared cooldown in between uses of said skills or if the majority of skills have a cast time.

     

     

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAPosts: 2,353Member Uncommon

    Wow wasn't too bad for me. The only game I've had issues with the amount of skills on is EQ2. I felt like within the first 10 levels I had 2 hotbars full of them, and I wasn't prepared to get any more. Even on wow I had 3 hotbars full of skills, I only used like 6 for raiding, and like 12 for pvp. Granted both were similar specs, and they used the same skills, I just ended up using more in pvp. I do like the idea of the skills in Diablo 3 and Guild Wars.

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