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MMORPG combat is very stale

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  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member
    Originally posted by Piechunks
    Originally posted by Xthos
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    I don't play MMORPGs for their combat. There are much better genres that do this so much better. I've never really understood why players look to MMORPGs for their combat fixes...

    +1, If I want a FPS, I will play it, I do not want my mmo to be more FPS, than mmorpg.  IF people have their way, mmorpgs will be gone, for the sake of bam bam boom boom.

     

    Well OK, but what exactly do you want from an MMO then in the combat department?

     

    I like the trinity for the most part.  I really dislike mouse lock, it takes away such a good tool in the mouse.  I am ok with a system as far as up to TSW in theory, people dislike the animations or whatever, but the mechanics I am ok with, but I still prefer tab targeting to be honest.

     

    I like more focus on what you are going to do, than where you are going to dodge/roll, I like to play as a group and such, I hardly ever play a MMO solo (as I am married and my wife plays, so I am always atleast duo), so in my opinion the more solo aspect of action combat is lost for me.

     

    I also dislike the visual warning shows, that light up on the ground, when their is going to be a AE attack or something, feels more like a arcade game than a mmorpg to me.

     

    So recap, up to TSW doesn't bother me too much, but I prefer old school, stuff with mouse lock, I usually hate and cannot log out of quick enough.  I like to play all aspects of a mmorpg, PvP/PvE/harvesting/crafting and other things.  I like depth and quality.  If the crafting/harvesting/economy is shallow/broken/useless, it would cause me to quit a mmorpg, well before say the animations on combat are a little off.

     

  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Fredericksburg, VAPosts: 2,920Member Uncommon
    MMO's are typically 'stale' because the game's are supposed to be massive in size. Unfortunately developers have now downsized the sized the world and simply stated they're, "cutting the grind from the game" so that they don't have to work on such large games. It's a shame, because now we're getting MMO's that are shorter than most Singler-Player RPG's.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel houston, TXPosts: 7,273Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989
    MMO's are typically 'stale' because the game's are supposed to be massive in size. Unfortunately developers have now downsized the sized the world and simply stated they're, "cutting the grind from the game" so that they don't have to work on such large games. It's a shame, because now we're getting MMO's that are shorter than most Singler-Player RPG's.

    I don't think that holds true for the combat.  In many cases, the longer the time to level, the more overused a boring combat system is played.

     

    Traditionally you need just a small handful of rotating skills to complete the leveling process once you hit the height of your progression.  The longer the game the more you see those same skills and the more boring it gets... in my opinion, of course.

    "Loan me a Dragon I wanna see space"


    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Xthos
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    I don't play MMORPGs for their combat. There are much better genres that do this so much better. I've never really understood why players look to MMORPGs for their combat fixes...

    +1, If I want a FPS, I will play it, I do not want my mmo to be more FPS, than mmorpg.  IF people have their way, mmorpgs will be gone, for the sake of bam bam boom boom.

    That is a very limited view.

    If FPS just stays FPS, and nothing else, we won't have great hybrid games like Borderlands.

    And there are plenty of MMOFPS (planetside 2, destiny ...) that look like good games.

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by aspekx

    its interesting, coming from a tabletop old school background i was not terribly excited by the idea of 'action combat' in games like TERA and the like. i have always kept my fps's in a separate container than my rpg's.

     

    however, lately that has begun to change. bouncing between Defiance and Rift the past couple of weeks i have found that in Rift i miss being able to do something as simple as take cover behind a tree or rock. and in Defiance i miss the rpg abilities to really hide, as in a skill set, from the enemy.

     

    at this point, i would have to say that my tastes have changed.

    Personally i think the notions of RPG type progression is not specific to any kind of combat. It can fit action combat (like Diablo), FPS (like Borderland) or turn-based combat (like all the JRPG).

    And i think devs are just realizing the power of hybrids.

  • PiechunksPiechunks ProvincePosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by aspekx
     

     

    also, which class did you think would be the best example of this in TERA (i think is what you meant). i have it installed and would like to mess around with that a bit to see more of what you're suggesting.

        Archer for the most part. It's definitely more of a kite than a dodge and roll/block class that relies on reactions.

       Mage is kind of similar, but there might be some timing involved with delayed explosion spells etc.

     

     

       

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Piechunks

    Originally posted by Xthos

    Originally posted by AlBQuirky
    I don't play MMORPGs for their combat. There are much better genres that do this so much better. I've never really understood why players look to MMORPGs for their combat fixes...
    +1, If I want a FPS, I will play it, I do not want my mmo to be more FPS, than mmorpg.  IF people have their way, mmorpgs will be gone, for the sake of bam bam boom boom.
     
    Well OK, but what exactly do you want from an MMO then in the combat department?
    For me, I want a character who is NOT me. I want random number generators with modifiers deciding my combat, not my own, real life twitch ability. I want my character to be better than I am.

    For me, that equates to the "overly boring" tab target with auto-attack, where RNGs decide the outcome, not my hand-eye coordination. I want to "play the role" of my character, not vice versa.

    I understand that this is not "the popular way" anymore, but once, it was...

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by Xthos

    Originally posted by AlBQuirky
    I don't play MMORPGs for their combat. There are much better genres that do this so much better. I've never really understood why players look to MMORPGs for their combat fixes...
    +1, If I want a FPS, I will play it, I do not want my mmo to be more FPS, than mmorpg.  IF people have their way, mmorpgs will be gone, for the sake of bam bam boom boom.
    That is a very limited view.If FPS just stays FPS, and nothing else, we won't have great hybrid games like Borderlands.And there are plenty of MMOFPS (planetside 2, destiny ...) that look like good games.
    I do not care if genres move about a bit. When they forget their roots, and what made them what they are, I get surly.

    There are not many MMORPGs anymore. They are all, at best, MMOACG (Action Combat Games). *You* and most new players do not want MMORPGs. They are too slow. Too boring. A waste of time. Not fun.

    Have MMOFPSs, that is a good thing. Have MMOACGs, that is another good thing. Same with MMORTSs and any other conglomeration of MMO letter combos. Just don't forget about MMORPGs.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • PiechunksPiechunks ProvincePosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

     



    For me, I want a character who is NOT me. I want random number generators with modifiers deciding my combat, not my own, real life twitch ability. I want my character to be better than I am.

     

    For me, that equates to the "overly boring" tab target with auto-attack, where RNGs decide the outcome, not my hand-eye coordination. I want to "play the role" of my character, not vice versa.

    I understand that this is not "the popular way" anymore, but once, it was...

     

    Why not play DND with friends then? It does everything an MMORPG does in that respect.. only infinitely better.

  • k11keeperk11keeper Kalama, WAPosts: 1,056Member Common

    Oh this old topic again. I know a lot of people out there way super fast action combat but I'm not one of them. I didn't start my RPGs on tabletop but I did start with turn based combat like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Grandia, etc. MMORPGs to me were an extension of this so having fast paced action style combat seems rather silly to me. Strategy, execution, and understanding what to do and when are more important to me than who has the quickest reaction time.

    I play game where reaction time matters like FPS and arcade fighting games but I've never really been a fan of this for RPGs luckily in single player games like elder scrolls I can pause if things are happening too fast. In an online game I cannot pause and so in order for me to be able to think clearly and execute correctly the game pace needs to be slightly slower.

    It seem what you want is a hack and slash style of game with RPG elements that is not what and many other want at all.

  • vveaver_onlinevveaver_online stockholmPosts: 273Member Uncommon
    Dragon Prophet combat system is still the most innovative and fun thing to happen a mmo imo, to bad there is no AAA title using DPs combat.
  • aspekxaspekx Brandon, FLPosts: 2,167Member

    @AlB

     

    i get your point and i think it was what Piechunk and i were talking about when we were discussing hybrids. how do you get those abilities that clearly none of us have in real life and yet still offer some of the excitement of more engaging combat as well as a strategy.

     

    after all with tabtarget the only way you're going to get cover from fire options is purely through the line of sight. and that's really  just a default way of saying cant see, cant fire.

     

    i too dont want my characters to be too dependent upon my twitch abilities, esp as im getting older. however, i still get a thrill out of gaining partial cover behind rocks and trees and exchanging fire in combat.

     

    and that's of course just one example, but for me it kind of exemplifies what im after.

     

    i dont think your approach should be written off at all. i just would like to see a good hybridization model (or two) to try and find a good balance between them. im a bit of a hegelian at times in that i really think that these things work best when they find an equilibrium with each other rather than a naive black'n'white on or off type of approach.

    "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

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    - STO has interesting ship combat. It is still tab targeting, but you have to deal with facing and turning rate ... it is interesting and different compared to other MMO toon based combat (although the ground combat is nothing to write home about).

     

    Come on, that's not very interesting.  Reinforce your front shields and pound with torpedoes until they get low, then fly around the enemy to the left, letting those shields take a pounding, then reverse your direction and do it for the other side.  Lather, rinse, repeat, use crew skills to repair your shields.  I can do most battles on STO in my sleep.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by aspekx

    after all with tabtarget the only way you're going to get cover from fire options is purely through the line of sight. and that's really  just a default way of saying cant see, cant fire.

    I agree with you there, in fact, I had exactly that issue in STO in large battles where you take out the enemy in front of you and now, to change targets, all of the enemies behind you are blasting your ass and you can't swing your view around to click on one of them because the game keeps moving your view back to the front.  In a realistic game, you'd be able to pick another target from your sensors, which I guess is what TAB really represents.  I just want to be able to pick up new target for my rear-firing weapons without having to fight the interface and maybe the interface needs to be improved so I don't have to do that with TAB.

    In fact, I'd like to be able to fire at multiple targets within different firing arcs at the same time.  That strikes me as more realistic too.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
    Now Playing: None
    Hope: None

  • ArakaziArakazi OxfordPosts: 889Member
    In a lot of MMOs I feel like an observer because I am so detached from the combat. I've been playing a bit of Tera again to pass time, and I have enjoyed the action combat but dislike the community. However I do miss playing a combat system like Assassins creed or the Withcher.... games with collision detection, good animation and actual physics!!
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    I can't help but feel that many of the people here saying things are stale are just advocating a different game rather than actually looking for something that doesn't already exist.
  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    I have to agree with the OP. Innovation in this area is pretty lacking. An earlier post referenced Pen and Paper RPGs with their dice rolls, and I think that there is nothing keeping MMORPGs to that standard anymore, so the turn-based combat needs to go too.

    A third-person version of Chivalry (I used the 3rd person view in that game by preference) combat would be fantastic. Just add some durability so that T2K is longer, and you could have epic fights as long as there was collision and facing was important. With T2K slower, or with other mitigation abilities added, it wouldn't need to be super twitchy.

    Just a thought.  

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Murugan
    Originally posted by Piechunks

     

    You are jaded, you should stop playing games altogether.

     

    You will never find another MMO that you enjoy long term EVER.  Just like the sandbox nutjobs you will roam these forums for a decade flaming the current market and holding up some fantastical belief that a new game will BLOW YOU AWAY with its awesome combat features.

     

    People who enjoy games play them for the entire package not one particular THEORY on a feature which only encompasses part of the experience.  Those of us that are real gamers have played countless games that did not have 100% ideal systems as if we had designed them ourselves, and yet we still had great fun and memorable experiences playing them.

     

    I feel sorry for people like you and many others on this forum.  Your standards make it impossible for you to enjoy gaming now or ever, and you are kind of a bore to be around and listen to frankly.

    MMORPG.COM as it should be....

    OP: I love all the games on this site. I think the next crop of games will be even better, but not so much as to make the old games bad, just a different kind of, well, better!  Probably all games are best games evah! Post on my thread if you agree. If you don't agree then you are a bad person probably with mental problems.

    (Wondertroll powers activate, form of, The Negative Positivist)

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    nvm

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • jesadjesad Arnold, MDPosts: 751Member
    Originally posted by Murugan
    Originally posted by Piechunks

    Like 2000-1998ish stale. So fucking stale that you could break your teeth on it and it crumbles in your mouth with a bland aftertaste. 

    The recent games, like GW2, TSW and friends have combat that is bland and boring if you've been playing MMOs since EQ/UO, or even before (NWN).

    The latter games sort of mask that fact by making quests a lot more interesting, adding platforming elements, but ... at the end of the day the activity you engage in most in those games is COMBAT.

     

    It's almost a paradox: Why is the combat, the activity you do the most, the weakest? I know it's not easy to implement something really nifty like Chivalry without putting a lot client-side and leaving it vulnerable to hacks. To keep using that as an excuse and adding all of the bells and whistles that TSW and GW2 boast just doesn't seem to make any sense.. to me at least. 

    Is it really that much cheaper to just add more things/tools to spice things up than actually innovate, and/or do people simply not care that much about combat?

    That is the question on my mind that I wish to discuss. So what is your take on the issue, or is there even an issue in your book?

     

     

     

    You are jaded, you should stop playing games altogether.

     

    You will never find another MMO that you enjoy long term EVER.  Just like the sandbox nutjobs you will roam these forums for a decade flaming the current market and holding up some fantastical belief that a new game will BLOW YOU AWAY with its awesome combat features.

     

    People who enjoy games play them for the entire package not one particular THEORY on a feature which only encompasses part of the experience.  Those of us that are real gamers have played countless games that did not have 100% ideal systems as if we had designed them ourselves, and yet we still had great fun and memorable experiences playing them.

     

    I feel sorry for people like you and many others on this forum.  Your standards make it impossible for you to enjoy gaming now or ever, and you are kind of a bore to be around and listen to frankly.

    Haha! Murugan, you are jaded.  You should stop posting here at MMORPG altogether.

    You will never find a day that you will come here and not hear this kind of thing EVER.  Just like the rest of the trolls you will roam these forums for a decade flaming those younger and less experienced than you because you hold some fantastical belief that all new players have come here with the sole sum of knowledge that it has taken you YEARS to attain.

    People who enjoy games play them for whatever reasons they want to, not just because of your particular THEORY of why they should or should not play.  There are those of us who, just like you, have played countless games that did not have a 100% ideal system, and with each new iteration have wondered "When are these guys going to come up with something new?)  There is a list of MMO games a mile long in the games list section of this very forum and I will bet you that you couldn't find more than a 10% difference in the mechanics of them all.

    I feel sorry for people like you though, and the many others on this forum.  Your standards make it impossible to hold a reasonable conversation now or ever, and you are kind of a bore to be around frankly, because you add nothing to the conversation.

    Here is a demonstration though.

    Piechunks.

    The reason that combat seems stale to you is because, like Murugan said HAHA!! You are jaded.  I'm not going to come down on you for being so though is as much as I am going to explain to you a couple of reasons why things have been so consistent.

    I got this buddy who has never been able to force himself to transition from the keypad to WASD.  I myself only recently forced myself to transition from an inverted mouse to a non-inverted mouse.  I have yet another friend who has NEVER been able to successfully read and/or understand his powers/spells.

    You would think that a monkey could do this right?  But no.

    There are a LOT of people out there who struggle with the interface and rules of standard MMO control.  So when you get to a game where they are switching around what attacks do, special effects, combination attacks, and yadda, yadda, yadda, the last thing you want to do, if you want to make any money, is increase the learning curve to the point where the person has to learn how to use the keys all over again.

    Conan did it, some of us loved is, a lot of others didn't.

    Mortal Online tried it, some people liked it, a lot of others couldn't stand it.

    Age of Wushu (who it is my guess you are working for) has also changed it, and again, a lot of people like it, but a lot of people are completely lost as to how to use it.

    So to conclude, all questions like this can be answered with a very simple explanation. 

    Video games are programmed so that the dumbest and most uncoordinated among us won't feel left out to the point that they won't at least TRY to spend some money hanging out with their smarter and more coordinated friends.

    And that's why combat is stale.  But it is changing, slowly.

    If you need proof my theory, get someone from the Atari or even Nintendo generation, and put them on an Xbox or Playstation.  Odds are that a high percentage of them, unless they are REALLY interested in the game, won't stick with it.

    image
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Piechunks

    Originally posted by AlBQuirky
    For me, I want a character who is NOT me. I want random number generators with modifiers deciding my combat, not my own, real life twitch ability. I want my character to be better than I am.For me, that equates to the "overly boring" tab target with auto-attack, where RNGs decide the outcome, not my hand-eye coordination. I want to "play the role" of my character, not vice versa.I understand that this is not "the popular way" anymore, but once, it was...
    Why not play DND with friends then? It does everything an MMORPG does in that respect.. only infinitely better.
    My apologies. I thought you wanted to discuss this topic.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by aspekx
    @AlBi get your point and i think it was what Piechunk and i were talking about when we were discussing hybrids. how do you get those abilities that clearly none of us have in real life and yet still offer some of the excitement of more engaging combat as well as a strategy.after all with tabtarget the only way you're going to get cover from fire options is purely through the line of sight. and that's really  just a default way of saying cant see, cant fire.i too dont want my characters to be too dependent upon my twitch abilities, esp as im getting older. however, i still get a thrill out of gaining partial cover behind rocks and trees and exchanging fire in combat.and that's of course just one example, but for me it kind of exemplifies what im after.i dont think your approach should be written off at all. i just would like to see a good hybridization model (or two) to try and find a good balance between them. im a bit of a hegelian at times in that i really think that these things work best when they find an equilibrium with each other rather than a naive black'n'white on or off type of approach.
    Yes, the lack of using cover has always bugged me in tab targeting games. The time from seeing the attack launched, traveling towards my character, and finally impacting is poorly handled. If a player hides behind rocks before the enemy launches an attack, then it works, but not trying to use obstacles for cover after an attack has launched.

    Dodging is fun, at first. Then it gets monotonous. I have dodged when not intended by double tapping and not dodged when wanted when the double tap did not register or my stamina has run out from accidental dodging. A lot of older MMORPGs had a dodge skill that players could improve for their characters, but it was handled by random number generated (RNG) rolls. Sometimes, you'd see a "dodge" message scroll up in the chat box when the roll succeeded.

    As far as being written off... If a company wants to make loads of money, they will not pursue a game with boring combat. I really do not expect an MMORPG to be made again in the near future, but I have a very tiny ember of hope of maybe... someday... :)

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • PiechunksPiechunks ProvincePosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

     




    My apologies. I thought you wanted to discuss this topic.

     

     

        There's nothing to discuss really, because you're happy with the way things are, or would even prefer to have things regress even more. That's feedback. That's sufficient. I appreciate the response to the threads topic, but you really can't go anywhere from that, because you wouldn't be interested. 

    When you remove the combat and other interactions that require user skill/strategy you are basically left with an interactive movie, like SWToR.

       That's personally not my thing, but I can understand somebody else liking it. Of course... not to become too redundant, but the discussion ends there, because combat doesn't interest you at all.

     

  • sketocafesketocafe StoupaPosts: 801Member Uncommon

    I'm with you OP. MMO combat has grown so stale for me that I actually find PVP in EVE to be mechanically more exciting than any other MMO out there. Think about that one. My first MMO was the Matrix Online. Their interlock system fundamentally did not fit in an MMO but it was actually more fun than that in any of the MMOs I've played since and it was nothing but rock-paper-scissors. 

    It's not tab targeting for me because TERA and GW2 were just as stale as anything else. What gets me is the hotbar nature of all the combat. I don't want to press a button and have my character do something cool anymore. I want to actually do something cool. Stop giving me swords and not letting me actually swing them. Stop giving me fireballs but forcing me to just press a button and watch a fireball animation play.  Make me aim that shit. Let me blast a wall to catch all the enemies near it in the AOE. Let me hit a bank shot off a shield to land a fireball someplace where line of sight or clipping would not normally allow me to hit. Don't have a raid boss send me flying though the air with their 'sends players flying through the air' ability, have them do it because they're fucking huge and they clipped me with their arm. Let me knock down an opponent not because I used my knockdown skill, but because I'm a burly dude in full plate and I freakin' bullrushed them and they didn't dodge that time.

    It's not technology holding us back here. Game developers insist on using combat systems that have remained, at their heart, unchanged for a decade now. It worked for a time, but I simply can't stomach the idea of logging into any hotbar-combat game any longer.

  • CymdaiCymdai Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,083Member

    While I agree combat is incredibly stale and lackluster, I don't agree that people don't play MMORPGs for the other aspects.

    My longest-term MMORPG was FFXI, with SWG as the second longest running candidate. Both of these games strongly placed an emphasis on community. You needed to know people, you needed to have meaningful interaction, you needed to be a part of the team. It's the reason that these 2 games were my all time favorite. People didn't care about Min/Maxing so much. I remember in SWG, you'd just stop and chat and hang out with people in camps in between long travels. The cantinas were lively and fun places to interact with other players. In FFXI, you could keep your hardcore raiding linkshell, and your casual chatting LS. This, to me, is why I play MMORPGs. Community, not the combat. People who focus on the combat the most tend to burn out the fastest. The people who are there for the lore, the world, the environment, the atmosphere, those are the people who play a game for years. Other features like the property management, housing, gambling, etc... they're fun. You don't HAVE to do them, but they're there, and they allow you to kill some time, relax, and hang out with people.

    I think the problem is that MMORPGs have forgotten how important community is. Advertising "Innovative combat!" attracts the min/maxers. They bury the game in 1-2 months, only to never pick it up again. Advertising "Meaningful interaction, an open world full of surprises" on the other hand, it's going to attract an entirely different crowd.

    As stale as combat is, one of the reasons I liked FFXI the most of any MMORPG I ever played was that it wasn't about big numbers. It was a team effort. You needed to focus on party compositions. You had a role to carry out (even if it was fairly 1-dimensional). You had skillchains that meant something, so people weren't just spamming their skills as fast as they could for "omguberDPS". But it was also relaxed enough that, even if you were doing it for 6 hours, you weren't exhausted or mentally fatigued. I'd typically be chatting with my group/linkshell members while I exp'd. You could gauge a player's skill easily, too. Are they debuffing properly? Are they messing up skill chains? Are they pulling agro/links?

    I think the "solo-friendly" emphasis we see in modern MMO's makes combat very difficult to evolve. Incorporating advanced mechanics for larger groups (i.e. hard raid bosses, instances) isn't too hard. Look at Rift. When you can add distinct roles, distinct expectations, and complex monster mechanics, combat can become a lot more challenging and interesting. 1 v 1, it's a lot less possible. Make it too hard, and you have Asheron's Call 2, where you don't even want to play the damn game. Make it too easy, and you have GW2, where it's nearly impossible to die.

    So, in a sense, I think the problem is not necessarily that the developers don't want to make more intriguing combat systems, but rather, the way the community/playerbase has evolved is preventing meaningful development of such a role. I think when people realize that MMORPG's are supposed to involve other people, rather than just solo grindfests, then we'll see some evolution.

    Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

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