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What should be the primary deciding factor in combat?

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  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059
    I don't know why this has to be a static answer.

    Why can't games run the spectrum (kinda like they do now). I mean, at one end you have games like Quake, where "characters" are homogenzied and it's 100% player skill based, and when you improve your game improves. On the other end, you have games like Diablo where advancement is nearly entirely character development (levels and gear), and player skill isn't so much a factor at all. And then you have everything in between.

    Personally, I suck, so I prefer games closer on the character development side of the scale. Sure, I have room for improvement, but I just can't physically improve my own game play to a point where I enjoy the skill-based games as much. For me to "advance", I have more fun advancing a character, because I can accomplish some measurable improvement there, whereas personally my improvement is slow, frustrating, and I don't have a lot of the time that it requires to work at any longer. But I can understand people who like the personal challenge, and I applaud those people, it's just that I'm not one of them.

    It's not like it has to be an either/or for the entire industry. There is no "right" answer. 
  • SirAgravaineSirAgravaine Member RarePosts: 520
    edited January 2017
    In an MMORPG...and I am talking MMORPGs not the new themepark MMO genre that evolved from them, vertical progr....



    Taxis were originally horse-drawn carriages. Clearly taxis of today are not taxis, as they do not involve horses and instead use engines (a far superior mode of creating forward motion for a wheeled vehicle).

    Your logic is so very flawed....
    The core "principle" (or purpose in this case) of taxi service is transport of passengers. The very core principle of a role playing game or its massively multiplayer online version is avatar development.

    Today's so called MMORPGs tuned the avatar development element down and started focusing on other elements borrowed from other genres, such as FPS or MOBA. Strengthening of the role of horizontal progression and player skills in determining the outcomes of encounters is an example of this genre evolution / blur. This was supported by, for instance, the tendency to establish level playing field in the games and the implementation of new types of combat systems (e.g. action combat). 

    It is not that horse-drawn carriages were substituted by cars with engines, but that horse-drawn carriages are no longer used for transporting passengers, bur rather for delivering food. They are no longer taxis. 

    The question in the OP is not what should be the exclusive factor determining outcome of encounters, but what should be the most significant factor. I never said that player's skills should not play any role at all, but they should not be the most significant determining factor.

    Just because someone is better in mashing buttons does not mean that they should kill a superior avatar with an inferior one in an MMORPG. In FPS, MOBA, MMOGs, why not, but not in an MMORPG.

    I think this was a general consensus 20 years ago. However, the RPGs / MMORPGs have never been defined in such manner to allow us to strictly say which game does and which game does not belong to this genre, so it does come down to opinion rather than fact.

    So feel free to disagree and insult me by saying that my logic is so very flawed. I dont know why I am wasting time defending a genre that is several decades old and which is pretty much dead anyway.

    "A role-playing game (RPG and sometimes roleplaying game) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making or character development." 

    You are mistaken in assuming that RPG's main principle is vertical character development.

    Horizontal progression and player skill is not blurring genres. Genres are not locked into a certain subset of features and designs. Asheron's Call was one of the first generation MMORPGs and back in 1999 it had skill-based combat interaction via the ability to dodge projectiles (arrows) and spells. Planetside released before World of Warcraft. To be frank, I think your understanding of the genre is a bit skewed by your own narrow experiences with the genre.

    A taxi is a taxi, and is called such because of what it does (taxis people around), not for the means by which it does it. Therefore an MMORPG is an MMORPG, and is called such because of what it does (brings players together in a large world, incorporating character-driven gameplay), not for the means by which it does it.

    The question that the OP stated is not asking the exclusive factor, but the most important one. If the most important factor of combat was vertical progression or character development a duel between two level 100's one with 99 agility the other with 100 agility, would always see the 100 agility character as the victor (this is bad design).

    The cornerstone of RPGs is that skills and attributes provide an interpretation of the skill and physical characteristics of a player character, but RPGs have ALWAYS incorporated both player skill and luck into the equation (read: decision making and die rolls). You interpret player skill as being defined by "mashing buttons" whereas I interpret player skill as being defined as the aptitude a player has for making decisions and using actions to the advantage of their character.

    An MMORPG is about bringing large groups of players in a single world in which those players can assume roles of characters. Fact, not opinion.

    If you are so easily insulted (by your logic to be called flawed) I would suggest not frequenting forums, or the internet for that matter.
  • simsalabim77simsalabim77 Member RarePosts: 1,607
    What's the point of PVP'ing if anything besides player skill is the deciding factor? I can't stand MMO PVP when it's heavily gear based and class based. I'm fine with overcoming an unfavorable match-up or gear disparity with skill/knowledge so long as it isn't tilted too heavily.

    I'm not interested in playing a game where one class loses to another class 80% of the time because of what they chose on the character select screen. I'm also not interested in playing a game where I lose because of a gear disparity so large that I stand no chance of winning. 

    So with that said, I can't stand the majority of PVP in MMORPGs. Blade&Soul has the best PVP (arena) in the entire genre when it comes to balance. Player skill > everything in B&S. 

    I'd love an open world sandbox-ish PVP game i.e. Archeage or BDO, but class balance in both are atrocious, and in both games, gear > skill every time, which is also a huge turnoff. 
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,967
    edited January 2017
    I like flexible characters with morphing skills like Druids in WoW, and wish they were more like that in most games.  

    Traditionally the reward for superior player skills is nerfing key character skills to keep a level playing field.  The system is designed to keep everyone normal with a slight advantage to make players feel a little good about themselves, sometimes.

    And the primary deciding factor in combat should be fluid and intuitive combat mechanics.

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706
    Id say gear because usually all players have access to eqaul gear without a huge investment as opposed to leveling a character which takes awhile but varies depending on the game of coarse.  I don't really like class based pvp with tons of abilities without the possability to easily change because then its just a case of who has the better toolkit, usually cc, and who the devs choose to favor in the arms race. Assuming equal gear and one class and no luck based mechanics it should then boil down to player skill.
  • anemoanemo Member RarePosts: 1,893
    Wish I could say it's supposed to be player skill.   But DEVs will mostly take that as their needing to be yet another action combat game, when I meant something requiring more intuition (like the game Lover Letter, Captain Sonar, or most of the hidden traitor games).

    However just about any game mechanic in an MMO environment will lead to it mostly being luck.   Catching your target when they are busy, being over leveled/geared/whatever compared to your target,  catching your target while they are resting, know X event will happen, or similar.   Most PvPer in MMO games is mostly to attempting to set up the board so that more factors are hopefully in your favor.    (In a more limited game like a board game such mechanics wouldn't really be luck, but in an MMO I really feel that they are since unlike in the board game you don't have control/witness/influence over the entire game or your possible enemies)

    _______________________

    Which is why MOBAs have been really popular.  Because you can have an awesome experience that you know is different every time.

    Though MMOs will have a pretty neat resurgence when devs finally figure out procedural generation, and how to apply it to NPC personalities/stories/quests.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

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  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,582
    I can't see how it can be anything other than player skill. 

    The further you move away from player skill (which includes not only reflexes for dodging, movement and aiming, but also in selecting the right skills to use at the right time, co-ordinating with other people, prediction of opponents attacks etc), the more combat becomes observational and can no longer be called gameplay. 


    For example, if the outcome of combat was 100% about character skill, then combat would be a case of two characters approaching one another, pressing a button to initiate combat, at which point the outcome is known and one wins, the other loses. I can't see how anyone could find that fun, it certainly can't be called gameplay. 

    Gear is the same as character skill - if the outcome was 100% about gear, then player input and character progression become entirely meaningless and combat, again, boils down to just watching what your character does, rather than, you know, playing the game. 



    These days, its all a balancing act. Character skill and gear deliberately unbalance combat and reduce the importance of player skill. But, the question is what *should* be the deciding factor, and it should be player skill. 
  • YashaXYashaX Member EpicPosts: 2,633
    I can't see how it can be anything other than player skill. 

    The further you move away from player skill (which includes not only reflexes for dodging, movement and aiming, but also in selecting the right skills to use at the right time, co-ordinating with other people, prediction of opponents attacks etc), the more combat becomes observational and can no longer be called gameplay. 


    For example, if the outcome of combat was 100% about character skill, then combat would be a case of two characters approaching one another, pressing a button to initiate combat, at which point the outcome is known and one wins, the other loses. I can't see how anyone could find that fun, it certainly can't be called gameplay. 

    Gear is the same as character skill - if the outcome was 100% about gear, then player input and character progression become entirely meaningless and combat, again, boils down to just watching what your character does, rather than, you know, playing the game. 



    These days, its all a balancing act. Character skill and gear deliberately unbalance combat and reduce the importance of player skill. But, the question is what *should* be the deciding factor, and it should be player skill. 
    That was really well said, on all points.

    So much of mmo combat (pvp) plays as you describe above: unless the two players have similar gear/levels the outcome is a forgone conclusion and is generally a miserable experience for the undergeared player.

    Similarly with pve, I think it is fair to say the majority of players are looking for some sort of challenge: there is a point where no amount of player skill can compensate for being undergeared (which will differ depending on the mechanics of the game), and a point when it becomes so easy that it is boring.

    So in both pvp and pve, you can basically measure the fun factor of a game by the extent to which it facilitates allowing a player to succeed through using their skill to overcome challenges.

    One difference between pve and pvp, is that some pvp players revel in the feeling of power they get from easily killing undergeared players, and mmo pvp mostly caters to this crowd.

    I have never seen people boasting of how their max level toon sporting all epic gear and the best consumables took out massive groups of low level pve trash mobs in a starter area: but for pvp, people will make videos of equivalent pvp actions and think its really cool. 
    ....
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 4,171
    Personally, I think tactical skill should be the leading factor.
    That would require a combat system with some depth to it.
    I do not like rock/paper/scissors and I don't like fixed systems.
    Give me some decisions - based on tactics - based on awareness - based on opponent decisions - based on skills and armament.

    Once upon a time....

  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus Member EpicPosts: 2,697
    Combine all 4 then got yourself an RPG. 
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  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,644
    Money!
    That awesome cash shop gear won't buy itself. After that, gear of course, monkeys can succesfully play MMOs. Just look around here  :p

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
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    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,657
    edited January 2017
    I am deliberately not voting as any vote would indicate a certain type of game. 
    Character progression including gear should be the dominating factor in a mmorpg (60% combined), with 40% on player skill which includes tactical decisions, preparation, cooperation, etc; luck has almost no place in combat THOUGH luck must have a place in non combat as RNG, mob placement/randomness/skillselection and much more.

    This is of course nothing more than my personal preferences, and a game could easily be 100% player skill based and be awesome (possibly not best suited as mmorpg though).
  • XiaokiXiaoki Member RarePosts: 3,358
    I shouldnt be surprised that the people saying "Character Skill" are interpreting "Player Skill" as twitch-based action.

    Player Skill can also refer to strategies, tactics and timing. In turn-based MMOs knowing when to use the right skill at the right time for maximum effect is a Player Skill.

    Using your brain would be a Player Skill, more people around here should try it.
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,582
    YashaX said:
    I can't see how it can be anything other than player skill. 

    The further you move away from player skill (which includes not only reflexes for dodging, movement and aiming, but also in selecting the right skills to use at the right time, co-ordinating with other people, prediction of opponents attacks etc), the more combat becomes observational and can no longer be called gameplay. 


    For example, if the outcome of combat was 100% about character skill, then combat would be a case of two characters approaching one another, pressing a button to initiate combat, at which point the outcome is known and one wins, the other loses. I can't see how anyone could find that fun, it certainly can't be called gameplay. 

    Gear is the same as character skill - if the outcome was 100% about gear, then player input and character progression become entirely meaningless and combat, again, boils down to just watching what your character does, rather than, you know, playing the game. 



    These days, its all a balancing act. Character skill and gear deliberately unbalance combat and reduce the importance of player skill. But, the question is what *should* be the deciding factor, and it should be player skill. 
    That was really well said, on all points.

    So much of mmo combat (pvp) plays as you describe above: unless the two players have similar gear/levels the outcome is a forgone conclusion and is generally a miserable experience for the undergeared player.

    Similarly with pve, I think it is fair to say the majority of players are looking for some sort of challenge: there is a point where no amount of player skill can compensate for being undergeared (which will differ depending on the mechanics of the game), and a point when it becomes so easy that it is boring.

    So in both pvp and pve, you can basically measure the fun factor of a game by the extent to which it facilitates allowing a player to succeed through using their skill to overcome challenges.

    One difference between pve and pvp, is that some pvp players revel in the feeling of power they get from easily killing undergeared players, and mmo pvp mostly caters to this crowd.

    I have never seen people boasting of how their max level toon sporting all epic gear and the best consumables took out massive groups of low level pve trash mobs in a starter area: but for pvp, people will make videos of equivalent pvp actions and think its really cool. 
    You've basically outlined why I spend nearly all my gametime doing endgame. 

    Once you reach endgame, gear and character progression level out. For PvE, devs tend to get lazy and use some sort of stats to gate content, but this at least means the devs can almost guarantee the level of gear that the team is using and balance the content around it. This means there is actually a challenge. Same with PvP - once you reach endgame and have been PvPing for a while, the majority of players will end up with the same gear level, which results in combat based on player skill. Sure, newbies are still undergeared and will get stomped and that sucks for them and me, but most of the time you're in relatively balanced fights. 
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,600
    It depends on the game. People forget that "role playing game" is about the character. So, when you are leveling your character you are enhancing their kills, gear and whatever else there is. This is not about "player skill so much as "character skills/abilities".

    But other games are more about the player and their ability to play the character.
  • RusqueRusque Member RarePosts: 2,785
    YashaX said:
    I can't see how it can be anything other than player skill. 

    The further you move away from player skill (which includes not only reflexes for dodging, movement and aiming, but also in selecting the right skills to use at the right time, co-ordinating with other people, prediction of opponents attacks etc), the more combat becomes observational and can no longer be called gameplay. 


    For example, if the outcome of combat was 100% about character skill, then combat would be a case of two characters approaching one another, pressing a button to initiate combat, at which point the outcome is known and one wins, the other loses. I can't see how anyone could find that fun, it certainly can't be called gameplay. 

    Gear is the same as character skill - if the outcome was 100% about gear, then player input and character progression become entirely meaningless and combat, again, boils down to just watching what your character does, rather than, you know, playing the game. 



    These days, its all a balancing act. Character skill and gear deliberately unbalance combat and reduce the importance of player skill. But, the question is what *should* be the deciding factor, and it should be player skill. 
    That was really well said, on all points.

    So much of mmo combat (pvp) plays as you describe above: unless the two players have similar gear/levels the outcome is a forgone conclusion and is generally a miserable experience for the undergeared player.

    Similarly with pve, I think it is fair to say the majority of players are looking for some sort of challenge: there is a point where no amount of player skill can compensate for being undergeared (which will differ depending on the mechanics of the game), and a point when it becomes so easy that it is boring.

    So in both pvp and pve, you can basically measure the fun factor of a game by the extent to which it facilitates allowing a player to succeed through using their skill to overcome challenges.

    One difference between pve and pvp, is that some pvp players revel in the feeling of power they get from easily killing undergeared players, and mmo pvp mostly caters to this crowd.

    I have never seen people boasting of how their max level toon sporting all epic gear and the best consumables took out massive groups of low level pve trash mobs in a starter area: but for pvp, people will make videos of equivalent pvp actions and think its really cool. 
    Agree with both, but I do want to add that an RPG with complex systems, proper gearing is to a certain extent a part of skill (that being knowledge and understanding of how various systems work together).

    Of course, this depends on how much the game allows for customization in stats and ability augmentation via gear and whether or not there is a "best" set of gear that removes any and all thought.
  • 5Luck5Luck Member UncommonPosts: 218
    While I chose player skill I dont feel this covers what I mean exactly.

    1stly actual player input skill is a great addition to overall competition but there is only so much you can do without getting "too twitchy" With that I'll add in twitch combat char animation is the biggest factor and with even micro lag or simply bad animations this is usually a big break in definitive competitiveness.

    So that leaves the best part.

    Strategy!

    When it comes down to it for me it is all about hundreds(I mean 100s) of load out possibility. From skill combinations to item and gear. One of the most reputable and oldest form I can think of is a battle mage. Even from the old pen and paper days you can see players love tooling and retooling their builds and even breaking the common "class boundaries" that so often limit strategy.

    There is nothing like finding a list of semi compatible skill synergies and not being able to make it work until you realize this heavy fighter needs to wear light armor or this battle magi needs a chain tunic to work well.

    This is where some game limits are so critical. While I can tool up a heavy armored arbalist it may not work without a synergy with a pulse blast spell and limits such as mana regen in heavy armor are the limits and not a "class" limit.
  • NarugNarug Member UncommonPosts: 755
    I think it should definitely be skill based.

    If "character skill" is meaning skills we can train/increase as we're gaining experience...

    Then....

    It should reflect a lot of character skill 

    While I can see an item being important to a story, the almighty hero, leaning on gear creates the min-max trap we're currently under which supresses the two main elements that should come out: roleplaying & exploration in a world of massive players/characters.

    Yes exploration is probably dead but the question concerns what one thinks "should be" the deciding factor.

    Like others have said we should have tactical combat & if the character is evolving, improving (sorry hate the word progress/progression as it's too min-maxy) then that character should reflect knowledge gained.

    We should too which is why player skill should enter in as well.

    I'm pleased to see "gear" very low on the votes at 5%.

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  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,882
    This is a hard one for me. When I say player skill, it comes with the caveat that games are currently emphasizing the wrong kind of skill.

    Currently, the emphasis is on twitch reflexes, which is just shallow and wrong for combat in a proper RPG - especially a MMO.

    What we should be emphasizing is intellectual skills - such as proper character building, team composition, decision making, positioning, and intelligent management of mana and cooldowns. Instead, we're emphasizing half-second dodges above all else.
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,172
    Jean-Luc_Picard said:
    If you want just character skill, play a tabletop RPG, not a computer RPG or MMORPG.
    See what I did here ? ;)
    I see what you did there, you made falacious argument. Gratz...
  • tokinitokini Member UncommonPosts: 372
    proper use of abilities.

    a stun when it matters

    a defensive when it matters

    burning it down when thats the best course of action
  • KonfessKonfess Member RarePosts: 1,667
    "Player Skill" is just another word for Lag, and Lag should never be a deciding factor in combat.  When it comes to "Player Skill" there just is no such thing.  When Lag is involved any "Player Skill" disappears like a puff of smoke.  They are left wondering where did all their skill go?

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
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    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.
    Even telemarketers wouldn't think that.
    It costs money to play.  Therefore P2W.

  • KonfessKonfess Member RarePosts: 1,667
    Nightlite said:
    Connection speed.
    Another word for "Player Skill."

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.
    Even telemarketers wouldn't think that.
    It costs money to play.  Therefore P2W.

  • KonfessKonfess Member RarePosts: 1,667
    edited February 2017
    kitarad said:
    If you mean player skill by how fast they can twitch or press keys then I would have to say not that. However if you mean more strategically and not relying on action combat then its player skill. Anyway I just think it would depend on the game. You have to be more specific.
    No.
    iixviiiix said:
    Is strategy also count as player's skill ?

    No.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.
    Even telemarketers wouldn't think that.
    It costs money to play.  Therefore P2W.

  • mistmakermistmaker Member UncommonPosts: 318
    i played a lot of rpgs on c64 and also pen n paper. for me always character skills in a role play game. then player skill/strategy, then luck. was always funny in pen n paper when you roll a 99 and won a battle which you were never be able to.

    current mmos are too twitchy for me. i prefer the combat of AoC or Swtor. its not too fast and not too slow.
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