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Better Combat MMO's

GeekyGeeky Member UncommonPosts: 385
Faceroll 1-9 is our typical MMO hotkey layout and until duel mouse capability is realized hotkeys will continue to be how we manage combat in MMO's.  (Aside from the niche market that will be all single mouse controlled combat, those poor souls).

Anyway, hear me out...

In games today we buy our ability, or it's given to us, or we find it either way I'm going to stick with generalizations to make this less wordy.

We buy Slash from our trainer for 5cp.  In 5 or 6 level's we get to buy Slash II for 10cp.  so on and so forth for the rest of the game.

The only way we are better than every other Slash player on the server is if we get better gear than them.  After such amount of time everyone will have that better gear and there really is no saying who's better.

But what if, we can train to be better than others?  What if the work we put in actually amounts to us being rewarded with showing that we are better because we worked to be better?

EQ2 went the route of Journeymen, Adept, Expert and Master abilities.  However these could, again, all be bought so in reality everyone eventually was going to have all Master level abilities.

WoW, from what I know is even less ambitious, as you get your ability, you wait 5 levels for #2 of that ability so on and so forth.

All games seem to be a form of this one way or another.

But...what if at level 1 you get Slash for 5cp.  But you can train Slash.  

Slash goes on our hotbar 1.  We hit it, we do 5-7 slashing damage. (No gear stats included)

But if we train Slash by either paying currency or paying experience points to the NPC trainer we can get better at it.
(Well, then everyone just pays and we're all the same again, noob) Yes, but we don't just give money/experience/whatever for the a stronger ability, we give it so we (the human behind the wheel) can actually train the ability.

Base Slash will always do it's base damage.  So if you don't want to spend the time and/or money to try and make it better  you are no worse off.  But if you train at it you can make it better....IF....you are better.

You buy Slash, it goes to Hotbar 1, you then tell the trainer "I want to train at making Slash better".  "Ok, it's going to cost you 100 exp points / or 10cp for the first session, and you only get three tries."  

Deal - I lose 100 exp point.

I then am instructed to engage in combat with the training dummy.  When I engage in combat in the middle of my screen pops up a large 6 inch by .25 inch line (hince slash) and I'm told the session lasts for 30 seconds.  Countdown timer 3...2...1... Begin!

During those 30 seconds I need to trace the line on my screen as perfectly as possible.  I get those entire 30 seconds to do it as many times as possible.  The closer I get to tracing it perfectly with a quicker speed the higher my base attack of slash becomes.

So, during that training session the best you could do is 65% base improvement.  Ehh...

I return to the trainer and tell him I want to train again.  He says Ok, cost doubles, I pay it and I engage in combat.  This time the line is 4 inches by .5 inces.  Since I've spent more to train (money or exp) I now have a better chance of scoring better. (hence the line being easier to trace)  This time I get 80% base improvement, but I'm rich so I want to try again.

He charges me an arm and a leg but this time the line is only 2 inces long and almost an inch wide.  Since I've spent the exp training, I'm now rewarded with an additional attempt at getting really good at this ability.  I finish my 30 seconds and I now have Slash at a 95% base improvement.

It cost me experience, or money, but I'm better than others and can prove it.  Yet, there might be someone out there than can get to 100% improvement.  But still, the opportunity is there.  And it's not just "given" to everyone.

Now, when I go out and engage in combat, I hit 1 on my hotbar and my Slash is almost twice as good as Noob #2 standing next to me.



Sensai

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,159
    You know what can trace a line really well?  Macros.  As you've described it, you basically have to use third party programs to be good at the game.  That's not good design.

    It is possible to have puzzles for players to do to prove their skill, and thus make their character stronger as a result.  See Puzzle Pirates, for example.

    Really, though, however you design the training mechanism, people will train everything to max, and then there's no difference between players--at least if you're relying on the skill of the character rather than that of the player behind the computer.

    If you're going to rely on the skill of the player, rather than the character leveling up, why not build combat around that entirely?  See, for example, Spiral Knights.  Or Kritika Online, before it shut down.
    AlBQuirky
  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member RarePosts: 2,868
    remember my time on RF online when we would afk using the ingame macros using the buffs the classes had to lvl said skills, all you need to do was to use a weight on your keyboard to keep using said macro, cabal had something like this too

    also it change little eventually people would hit the skill cap and in the end everything would be the same
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • GeekyGeeky Member UncommonPosts: 385
    Quizzical said:
    You know what can trace a line really well?  Macros.  As you've described it, you basically have to use third party programs to be good at the game.  That's not good design.

    It is possible to have puzzles for players to do to prove their skill, and thus make their character stronger as a result.  See Puzzle Pirates, for example.

    Really, though, however you design the training mechanism, people will train everything to max, and then there's no difference between players--at least if you're relying on the skill of the character rather than that of the player behind the computer.

    If you're going to rely on the skill of the player, rather than the character leveling up, why not build combat around that entirely?  See, for example, Spiral Knights.  Or Kritika Online, before it shut down.
    Maybe my knowledge of macro's is too limited, but the macro will follow the instructions you put in.  If you tell it to trace the path you trace, it'll trace that incorrect path every time.  The macro won't self correct.

    Additionally, you only get 3 attempts at it.  Maybe only 1 attempt at it, so then truly the best of the best are demonstrative of the skill.

    Lastly, not all abilities are a stright line.  Level 1 slash, the most basic ability in the game is that way.  Level 20 Double Slash Roundhouse would be a mouse movement pattern with the combination of key presses involved.  

    Think outside the box.  This isn't the solution but there's got to be something better than hiding Master level abilities in raid bosses as a way to differentiate "skills".  And, heck, start a movement away from Gear stats as the definition of skill.
  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,311
    Why yes - slash works the same for everybody.

    Thats what is called a balanced game.

    AlBQuirky
    Please set a sig so I can read your posting even if somebody "agreed" etc with it. Thanks.
  • JakdstripperJakdstripper Member RarePosts: 2,399
    edited September 26
    what you are describing has already been tried in games like Darkfall. in those games, skill progression had no cap, so the longer you trained(skill grind) the stronger your avatar would get....to infinity. obviously, the skill gain curve would get steeper the higher you go, eventually making gaining more skill insanely difficult. however, the basics were that if you trained more, you were stronger, regardless of how expertly you could use those abilities (player accuracy, intelligence, reaction time, memory, micromanaging, awareness, team work, etc).

    it was fun for the first year or two, until those that started early got a ever increasing power gap between them and anyone that started after them. after that, it basically consisted of the few that had been grinding skills for years, steam rolling the many that endlessly tried to catch up. the more time passed, the larger the gap in power, and less fun it was to play.

    it just doesn't work. 

    the reason why the majority of the most popular games ( fps, mobas, even mmos) have few skills, is precisely because the funnest games must be easy to learn, but hard to master. in the end, it should come down to how expertly the player himself uses the given tools ( skills of your avatar) instead of how strong those avatar-skills are compared to other avatars. 



    Post edited by Jakdstripper on
    AlBQuirky
  • fyehu43fyehu43 Newbie CommonPosts: 22
    My favorite combat was in EQ2 i have to admit it...

    Shaman Raid Tank & expert in off-meta specs: Priest Tank


    Melee Hunter


    Smite Priest


    Support Warrior


    and more...

  • sneazzy95sneazzy95 Newbie CommonPosts: 4
    edited October 7
    I like all the MMO's combats, that's all I play 

    Post edited by sneazzy95 on
  • AmatheAmathe Member LegendaryPosts: 6,027
    edited October 2
    I liked in SWG where your opponent could be killed by reducing their health bar or their mind bar to zero. It made for a tactical decision for the attacker as to which one you would go for. Also, if you gimped yourself and had a tiny mind bar due to stat allocation, that is not good. 

    I would fire my rifle from range with a mind bar attack, then close in and stab with a little knife I found that put a major dot on the mind bar, and then engaged in close quarters TKA mind attacks.

    It was the most fun combat I have experienced. 

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,159
    Geeky said:
    Quizzical said:
    You know what can trace a line really well?  Macros.  As you've described it, you basically have to use third party programs to be good at the game.  That's not good design.

    It is possible to have puzzles for players to do to prove their skill, and thus make their character stronger as a result.  See Puzzle Pirates, for example.

    Really, though, however you design the training mechanism, people will train everything to max, and then there's no difference between players--at least if you're relying on the skill of the character rather than that of the player behind the computer.

    If you're going to rely on the skill of the player, rather than the character leveling up, why not build combat around that entirely?  See, for example, Spiral Knights.  Or Kritika Online, before it shut down.
    Maybe my knowledge of macro's is too limited, but the macro will follow the instructions you put in.  If you tell it to trace the path you trace, it'll trace that incorrect path every time.  The macro won't self correct.

    Additionally, you only get 3 attempts at it.  Maybe only 1 attempt at it, so then truly the best of the best are demonstrative of the skill.

    Lastly, not all abilities are a stright line.  Level 1 slash, the most basic ability in the game is that way.  Level 20 Double Slash Roundhouse would be a mouse movement pattern with the combination of key presses involved.  

    Think outside the box.  This isn't the solution but there's got to be something better than hiding Master level abilities in raid bosses as a way to differentiate "skills".  And, heck, start a movement away from Gear stats as the definition of skill.
    Macros can readily be created to say to go to this pixel at this time, then this other pixel at another time, and so forth.  So long as the pattern is known in advance, a macro can be made to trace out any arbitrary pattern.  And once someone says, here's the macro for this skill, and the macro for that skill, and so forth for all of the rest, then they can share the macro with others.  People who don't have such macros to get perfect performance in all skills would have no hope of being competitive on how strong their skills are.

    You could try to shut down macros by randomizing the locations that a player has to trace out, and making the test short so that a player trying to macro it doesn't have time to prepare.  But while "see if you can trace out this path with a mouse" isn't necessarily bad, it belongs as the sort of simple game that a lone programmer creates in his free time, not as a one-time test to determine how strong your skills will forever be in an MMORPG.  Getting far into the game and then realizing that your character is forever crippled because you did some skill tests poorly doesn't sound like a good experience.
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,213
    It's an interesting idea, but I'm not really sure what the purpose is.

    The way I read it, this system will end up with an elite who have superior character abilities to the rest of the community (assuming macros don't even the playing field).

    That is something to avoid. An extremely common problem with MMOs is vertical progression: it segregates the community and makes 99% of content redundant very quickly. Your system only increases the problems with vertical progression, under the guise of requiring "skill" to get to the top.

    If you want to improve combat in MMOs, investigate how to add depth to the combat mechanics.

    Depth is a measure of how many decisions you have to make, the difficulty in making those decisions and the impact those decisions have on the outcome.

    Most MMOs fail at this miserably. There is usually a lot of depth in the meta-game - there are tons of possible combinations of gear and builds. It is definitely good to have lots of options for how we prepare our characters. But, once we're actually in combat......

    My experience of tab-targetting MMOs is mostly that you learn a rotation before combat (which can be complex), but once you're actually in combat it's mostly a case of executing that rotation - which involves no decision making, this is your default position - and occasioanlly popping an emergency heal or situational buffs, and then moving. You hardly ever have to actually make decisions in combat and thus the outcome is mostly based on your gear and ability to press buttons in order. Boring.....

    Action combat is worse, for the most part. The typical implementation involves having just a few skills available, usually with short cooldowns and minimal resource implications. So, you still barely have to make any decisions (apart from rapid movement in the worst offenders). You can spam your skills whenever you want with minimal impact. The outcome is still mostly based on the meta-game - gear and builds.


    So, yeh, add depth to your combat mechanics if at all possible. Depth will give your players many more options during combat. A game that only has one successful solution or one way of winning is a game that players will get bored of very quickly.

    Some ideas for adding depth:

    1) Make resource management important again. If your mana/power regens to full in just a few seconds, then you've made resources meaningless. Players need to consider whether they can actually afford to use a skill right now. This helps make the decision making harder and have a higher impact.

    2) Mix up your cooldowns, specifically have some big-impact skills on long cooldowns. If you have a skill that fully heals you, but is on a 10 minute cooldown, choosing when to use it becomes a big issue.

    3) Add in more situational abilities. If an ability isn't situational, then it just becomes part of a rotation or it never gets used because it's just bloat. For example, give a melee DPS character an AoE attack that also generates threat. Firstly, they have to decide whether they should use AoE or not. Second, they have to judge whether they'll steal aggro or not (and whether that is good or bad). A good player will be able to use the skill without breaking CC or stealing aggro, a bad player will wake everything up and die when they get aggro. The difference between the good and bad player is purely their decision making.

    4) Add in more group abilities - some of these can be things that just form part of your rotation for when in groups (for example, a group buff on a short cooldown will likely just enter your rotation). But, make sure some of these are situational too. For example, the captain in LotRO had a bubble skill on a 10m cooldown. I could only us it on other group members, not myself, and the bubble had a big impact.

    5) Ensure the content allows players to make use of this depth. Most mainstream MMOs are pretty damn useless at this. They give you all these tools, different ways to spec and build........and then they add an enrage timer! This then forces the playerbase to spec a certain way and maximise DPS, rather than allowing them to experiement with different group setups, or using a tactic of heavy debuffing, or kiting, or whatever...
    AlBQuirky
  • GeekyGeeky Member UncommonPosts: 385
    cameltosis said: ...stuff...

    Good points and well said.  I see what you're saying about my idea for strengthening abilities.
  • LosingplayerLosingplayer Newbie CommonPosts: 8
    I prefer the Asian mmos and pvp 
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 5,522
    I prefer the Asian mmos and pvp 
    I couldn't help but smile...

    "Losingplayer" likes PvP :lol:

    Thanks :)
    kitarad

    - 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


    (And now Burger King has MEATLESS burgers!)

  • LosingplayerLosingplayer Newbie CommonPosts: 8
    Yeah is good name xD 
    AlBQuirky
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Member EpicPosts: 6,973
    I like Black Desert Online combo combat, which is complex enough to fit how you want to play. I see others who hate it hehe

    The most satisfying one in MMO is Lost Ark to me in terms of combat just plays very smoothly.
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,278
    I say it every time this topic comes up, but if you haven't played Age of Conan with a melee character, then you're missing out on one of the best combat systems in the MMO genre.
  • KajidourdenKajidourden Member EpicPosts: 2,867
    Wildstar if it was still around had the best combat of any mmo ever.  Blade and Soul has incredible soft-lock combat with tons of group PvE and an e-sports PvP scene.  BDO has some free-form action combat, but you'll be fighting retarded overland mobs who don't fight back so it's pretty much wasted.  In PvP BDO is unbalanced shit-show.
  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,311
    edited November 5
    Um.

    You think a game that merely offers six classes "has the best combat of any MMO ever" ?

    Sorry, but not likely.



    P.s.: I mean sure if it was from some small studio and a small offline game. But its from NcSoft and its a MMORPG.
    Please set a sig so I can read your posting even if somebody "agreed" etc with it. Thanks.
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,557
    The premise here is not one i share and that is to try and separate each player as being better than the other.
    Perhaps this is why so many players playing all the games that have bragging platforms.

    I only want a mmorpg to be designed really well,NOT catered ever to pvp or Raids.I want character versatility and NO xp for mundane quests.I want design ideas to make sense,NO somersault nonsense or triple flips in the air or rushing in at break neck speeds from 15 feet away as a common auto start to combat.

    I want grouping to matter,i wan the combat design to be catered to grouping but soloing should also be possible at some point or in some fashion.I do NOT want the game to be centered on gear,i want the player/s to make the choices in combat so that combat is not auto decided by gear.
    AlBQuirky

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

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