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I've played a lot of MMOs prior to WoW like EQ, EVE and SWG as a few examples, however the actual combat part of MMOs was pretty poor. I remember EQ would be take a swing every 5 swconds and you'd stand still because movement offered not advantage. SWG Pre CU, while I loved it, again was just pretty broken thanx to buffs and comp armour. For me WoW just got that MMO style of combat perfected, it was the first MMO I really had fun with in PVP. Yes I tried DAOC but the UI was bad and character movement felt like controlling a brick on ice, it was so clunky and bad. WoW was just smooth, fluid and instant, you hit a button and it showed that you hit it on the screen straight away. The class design is still the best today, though they had fewer classes, they all felt unique and fun, which most MMOS before had like 40 and they all felt genric.
SWTOR came along and I hated almost everything about it lol. I thought it was another poorly designed themepark MMO where the worlds are more like tiny maps and are all enclosed. I thought the fleet stations basically made the game cities pointless, like why are the fleets even there? I found making ALTS boring because you had to go from planet to planet in the same order and if you hated a planet then tough.
However despite the ability delay thing, prior to 1.2 SWTOR had the most fun combat I've played since I played WoW back in 2005. It felt slower paced like if you got two Druids in 2005 to fight (not sure how they play now) but fights could last like 10 mins with people and I just loved it. The only good world PVP in SWTOR was that Balloon ride because it took a long time to wait for the Ballon and ride it and it felt like a real world objective. I had so much fun hanging around there fighting people the combat was so great. Just such a shame the rest of the game was bad and 1.2 happened, just made the combat like a third faster and ruined the balance of the game. Each patch I've heard from people still playing seems to make it worse. This is what you get from listening to forum whiners, they mostly don't know how to play the game. The launch game was one of the most balanced MMOs ever, tank classes could have done with a CC earlier on and the con/inquis could have done with one less, but really that and a few minor things were it.
Just a shame, I much prefered it to GW2's combat but I guess that'll be all the rage next.