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So how many buttons does it take to make a good mmo?

ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member

Lots of folks think that the 8 button system will be too limiting.

So how many buttons do you need?

If they said 10 would that be all right?

How about 12?

20?

How many buttons make something complex for you?

Do you believe the number of buttons is the mark of engaging combat?

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Comments

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I've had very engaging combat in single player games using one or two buttons, so I don't buy that an MMORPG needs a bunch of skills to be good. I think it could be done with four buttons very well, especially if attacks were weapon dependent and context sensitive.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • RictisRictis UnknownPosts: 1,219Member Uncommon
    1 button sir, macro it.
  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member
    There are times I think people confuse using many buttons in play for representing combat with depth. I think that's what they really want in truth. Less mob grind and more meaningful, challenging, and engaging combat play in MMORPGs. If combat is the main thing a development team expects their players to do during play then it better be fun and engaging... From experience most people can play the typical shooter for hours and end up worn out after mob 22 in dungeon X repeating the same sequence of buttons over and over again.
  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,857Member Uncommon

    20 is perfect for me.  Or 2 full bars if you will.

    The count doesn't really matter as much as the viability of the skills. 

    I don't want a bunch of  useless skills that I'm only going to use in super specific situations.

    I hate UI clutter.

  • MenevenenMenevenen Boston, MAPosts: 20Member
    30-48, preferably up to 77.
  • grifjgrifj Bellevue, WAPosts: 110Member

    I was fine with the 2-8 you needed in early EQ1.  EQ1 required a lot more thought before you jumped into battle.  How can you avoid nearby pulls?  What is the mobs pathing and the pathing of those nearby?  Is it a social mob?  Where are our escape routes if things go poorly?  What is the best way to pull/split this?  How do we get our tank aggro and keep it there?  Any positioning required?  Etc.

    It wasn't just the number of character skills in EQ1 that drove success/failure.  It was how they were used in the dungeon crawl.  Because of downtimes, conserving mana/health were much more important.  There was a much bigger difference between the "good" and "bad"players in EQ1 than any MMO since (other than perhaps PVP-oriented MMOs like DF1).  You knew who the guys were that didn't know how to manage aggro or who would pull too many mobs..  you also knew the enchanters/shammies/clerics/offtanks who could rescue an otherwise deadly encounter.

    So, i'm fine with 4-8 skills.  I just don't think it should be weapon based.  And you should have more than 4-8 to choose from when filling out those available skills/spells.  It also should be a set class, not some multiclassing mixture of all the classes you've been able to acquire... which just ends up with everybody being able to do everything (yawn).

  • stragen001stragen001 ReadingPosts: 1,720Member
    With the current trend for easy mode, I would say you just need the 1 button.......the "i win" button!

    Seriously though, its not about the amount of skills you can use at any one time, its how they are implemented. I have played single player games with just punch and kick on lmb and rmb that with a good combo system had more engaging combat than many mmos

    Cluck Cluck, Gibber Gibber, My Old Mans A Mushroom

  • RattenmannRattenmann ReitmehringPosts: 510Member Uncommon

    Enough to have the option no use every skill i feel like.

    Saw a nice example somewhere on this side, forgive me for not remembering who that was:

    "Hey mage, use your fireballs to destroy that pack of mobs that is beating on us, fast"

    "Sorry, i can't, memed a stun spell... forgot how fireballs work"

     

    MMOs finally replaced social interaction, forced grouping and standing in a line while talking to eachother.

    Now we have forced soloing, forced questing and everyone is the hero, without ever having to talk to anyone else. The evolution of multiplayer is here! We won,... right?

  • wizardanimwizardanim Apple Valley, CAPosts: 278Member
    Originally posted by Zorgo

    Lots of folks think that the 8 button system will be too limiting.

    So how many buttons do you need?

    If they said 10 would that be all right?

    How about 12?

    20?

    How many buttons make something complex for you?

    Do you believe the number of buttons is the mark of engaging combat?

    Please tell me why 8 is not enough.

    What is it about EQN's system that will cause 8 buttons + clicky armor to not be enough?

  • ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,546Member Uncommon

    Games like dark souls doesnt require much buttons and it still has engaging and strategic combat.

    Tom Clancy games same case, for example The Division which is an mmorpg with squad based tactical combat

    And other games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry where you can pull of many different skills in split seconds using buttons/directional combinations.

    So it shouldnt take many buttons if designed right.  And designing it right is based on factors like collision, AI, environment/level design, physical effects and behavior (turrets, homing attacks for example) of skills, weapons that function and used differently from each other (example in dark souls a long sword is handled different from a scimitar even though they are both light bladed weapons). And many other factors.

    Best way to explain what im saying is just looking at the gameplay video of The Division.  For such a small mundane PvE fight it was pretty tactical and there was no trinity.  Plus its a skill based progression system similar to Ultima Online.  And the environment is a big deal to its combat.  AI is moving around flanking/covering and throwing molotovs to make players get out of cover, players getting into position before fight while one player pulls out the AI out of the building, the guy with the drone giving group buffs and exposing the AI behind the billboard which can be shot through,  one player using homing grenade to get the AI thats in cover.  And they are all communicating wit each other constantly in the fight like in real modern combat.

  • HokieHokie Vancouver Wa.Posts: 1,063Member Uncommon

    When you have a limited amount of buttons it gives you a limited amount of solutions to combat.

     

    I took my experience with Burning Crusade WoW and a pvp duel with my mage vs a warrior.

    It was 14-19 buttons not including any buffs.

    Start duel (1) blink (past when he charges), (2) arcane missiles (for the insta turn), (3) arcane power, (4) presences of mind, (5) fireball (3,4,5 were macro'd for the insta cast), (6) slow, (7) fire blast, (8) mana shield, (9) ice nova, (9a) blink, (9b) arcane missiles, (10) frost bolt, (10a) fire blast or fire ball if far enough away, (11) cone of cold, (12)mirror image, (13) invisibility, (14) evocation and mix and match if he caught me and I couldnt get away it was (15) flame strike (my position and then), (16) ice block, (16a) blink, ...

    and so on staying just enough out of range to get one channeled cast off and an instant cast and using blink as a distance opener and a pseudo-interrupt.

    Dueling a rogue was about the same with me using (17) blizzard, and (18) arcane explosion (rank 1) to try and pull him out of stealth. I'd use (19) polymorph usually as an interrupt, and very rarely (20) ice lance or (21) scorch, as I was arcane spec.

     

    And of course dueling spell casters was a little different. (22) counter spell, and silence from the (23) Blood Elf arcane torrent racial ability.

     

    So yeah just eight buttons that include buffs and some kind of fucked up dual movement/damage ability and you dont see how people are disappointed?

    Hell, I use just about 8-12 buttons in SWTOR combat, and more if Im a healer about 10-16.

     

    This is how a GW2 fight goes and I imagine its will be damn close to EQ:N *these are the key binds for offensive abilities/skills, doesnt even matter what class or weapon you have, they all end up playing the same*.

    1,2,3,4,1,1,1,1,2,1,1,1,1,3,1,1,1,2,1,1,1,4,1,1,1,3,1,1,1,2....just cycle and wait for the cooldowns.

    Do you think that will keep people interested in combat for more than three or four months before it becomes monotonous?

    "I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by wizardanim
    Originally posted by Zorgo

    Lots of folks think that the 8 button system will be too limiting.

    So how many buttons do you need?

    If they said 10 would that be all right?

    How about 12?

    20?

    How many buttons make something complex for you?

    Do you believe the number of buttons is the mark of engaging combat?

    Please tell me why 8 is not enough.

    What is it about EQN's system that will cause 8 buttons + clicky armor to not be enough?

    I believe having a lot of buttons on your screen does NOT add either depth nor complexity to combat; but rather giving the illusion of complexity. 

    I much prefer a limited system with a large bank to choose from and hundreds of combinations. 

    I don't know if EQN's system will deliver or not, but there is nothing at the moment telling me it can't. If it is as described, I have no issues whatsoever.

    I actually feel that the detractors of the 8 slots are having a knee jerk reaction thinking that more = better. Personally, I want something new - and a screen full of hotbars and skills is something I've done 1000 times - so I'm intrigued by EQN's system.

    I started the thread to find out what 'the solution' for the detractors is. And I think I understand - they all agree that 8 slots is bad; not one agrees on a 'good' system. They all have different ideas about what 'should' have been done. 

    My conclusion is there would be backlash against whatever they chose to do for combat - because we all have our ideal - and that isn't shared by anyone else.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by stragen001
    With the current trend for easy mode, I would say you just need the 1 button.......the "i win" button! Seriously though, its not about the amount of skills you can use at any one time, its how they are implemented. I have played single player games with just punch and kick on lmb and rmb that with a good combo system had more engaging combat than many mmos

    1 is still too many!  How about putting attacks in with the wasd?  w = move forward with deadly attack. s = move backward with a devastating attack. a = move left get a defensive bonus and strong counter attack. d = move right launch leathal range attack. 

  • udonudon Durham, NCPosts: 1,797Member Uncommon

    The number of buttons doesn't matter near as much as what they do.  if you can replace the human player with a macro and get better results your combat system is to simple.  Which ability you use should be dependent on the situation and the specific encounter not on some perfect rotation that never changes from encounter to encounter.  

  • killahhkillahh calgary, ABPosts: 437Member

     a dev friend said it to me best long ago:

    more buttons less skill needed.

     

    the end.

    Gonada Dahung,over 20 years of mmorpg's and counting....Please Lord, let someone make a game that had all the awesomeness of UO, EQ and EVE...

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    "Three" duh!

    or, as I said in another similar thread, As many as needed and not a one more.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,473Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    "Three" duh!

    or, as I said in another similar thread, As many as needed and not a one more.

    Was waiting for this. lol

    People, what would 1 button game be like skill/depthwise?  Moving around would still be button/mousing so don't use that as part of the debate.  To me, the large number of branching options is what creates complexity.  Choosing 1 out of 1 is different that 1 out of 10.  The problem is that most games the mechanics are too simple and way too direct.

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    "Three" duh!

    or, as I said in another similar thread, As many as needed and not a one more.

    Was waiting for this. lol

    People, what would 1 button game be like skill/depthwise?  Moving around would still be button/mousing so don't use that as part of the debate.  To me, the large number of branching options is what creates complexity.  Choosing 1 out of 1 is different that 1 out of 10.  The problem is that most games the mechanics are too simple and way too direct.

    I am actually surprised that showed up before this:

    image

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,981Member Uncommon
    Let's see, how many keys on my laptop? About 124 or so.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "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

  • AriannaeAriannae Hiding somewhere in the mountains, AKPosts: 40Member

    It takes as many buttons as necessary to give the combat system actual complexity. Whether that's two buttons, eight, or fifty, it really doesn't matter. The one and only thing that matters is whether or not the combat has any form of depth and complexity; is it fun, or does it get dull and repetitive after a few hours?

    The problem is that Everquest Next's system of assigning abilities sounds very, very similar to that of Guild Wars 2. Now, Guild Wars 2 doesn't have a "bad" system, per se. It is, however, extraordinarily shallow after playing the game for a while. And regardless of the Profession chosen, that shallowness never gets any deeper.

    This is what many players fear, imho. The fact that, yes, there are a metric crap ton of classes that will be available, but will it matter whether there are five classes, or five hundred, if they all play the exact same because of a lack of complexity? No. It won't matter. The game will be stagnant.

    Now, open up the skill system a little bit, give more options for customization (Which brings with it an enormous amount of depth), and the game now takes longer to become repetitious and dull. That's the issue. Each and every game will, given time, become boring, bland, dull, stagnant. That time limit is highly dependent on how dynamic the game and the game systems are. The more limitations are thrown upon players, the less time it takes for said game to stagnate.

    So do we want a game to play for a month and move on? Or do we want a game that's playable for years to come? That's the issue. Not how many buttons are available.

  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member
    Should be same as the secret world .x amount for passive skill x amount for active skill !sound. Simple you would see the amount of question on what build to use!their crafting and skill system is the best I met !
  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member
    12 buttons at minimum, that would ensure at least some class identity and diversity in combat. Less than 10 buttons is fine for a game that you will play for 2 weeks or very casually. Neverwinter is a good example of a game that is fun for few days but gets dull very quickly for just few abilities in combat and absolutely zero misc skills.
  • kellian1kellian1 Phillipsburg, NJPosts: 233Member Uncommon

    Take the licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop

    Then take the square root of 36 and add it

    Then add in the amount of bat related items batman has in the comics

    Finally, take the total number of skills you used in EQ2, multiply by 2, and subtract from the number above

     

    This should...scientifically...give you the accurate amount of buttons it takes to make a good MMO image

  • ghorgosghorgos NirgendwoPosts: 190Member Uncommon

    Well 8 buttons might be ok for a melee char but 8 skills for a mage is rediculous low. In addition to be a mage i like playing an enchanter-type class with some cc/Buff/debuffs, a few items like the good old manastone make the game better as well. For the buffs i don't want a single group buff that once activated lasts forever. I want several buffs(group and single) where it is important what buffs i use(should be limited but more like 5 slots for active spells like the EQ2 concentration-mechanic) and who gets the buffs. Similar for the debuffs/cc not just a single spell but some variety. If you add some basic damage spells it sums up well above the 8 or 10. Then there are thoose situational spells. While they are just situational they are the things that make the different encounters realy interesting and its their use that makes the difference between thoose that know them and thoose that have no clue. At the end i probably at up at a minimum of 15, better 20 and it get realy good with 25-30 slots for abilities and items.

  • ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,546Member Uncommon
    8-16 buttons is a enough imo.  Its enough for a game with gameplay that requires spatial reasoning which mmos should be heading towards, not gameplay based totally on dice rolls and played similar to a card/board games.  I dont want to play a pen and paper game in my 3D virtual world.
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