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In an MMORPG...and I am talking MMORPGs not the new themepark MMO genre that evolved from them, vertical progression of the character should be the most significant factor determining outcome of an encounter. Vertical progression is a combination of character skill, gear and other eventual ways to progress your character in that particular MMORPG. I voted character skill because an option covering all elements of vertical progression is not included in your poll.The idea that player skills should be the major component determining outcomes of the encounters was brought to the genre later when it became more popular due to successful games which managed to attract players from other genres.I am not saying there should not be games, even MMO fantasy games for which it should be the player skills deciding combat results. They just are not MMORPGs, in my opinion.I just want to add that I am saying this as a player of competitive online games. I spent almost 4 000 hours in CSGO, several hundred hours playing arena in WoW, etc. I do like this type of games. However, having player skills decide combat outcomes goes against core principles of MMORPGs, IMO.
I disagree completely. The first MMORPGs had not the technical possibility to be player skill based. That is why they were character skill or gear based (both are the same) - it is an issue actually. And you take that technical issue and turn it into rule for a good game. This is absurd.
Also the vertical progression is another issue. More you grind - more powerful your character becomes, is killing games and the whole genre actually. Many people do not play MMORPGs because they have not time to stay 24/7 to be competitive. In fact the majority of the people.
You will say - I work hard, I invest time, so I must be rewarded properly. But you do not work or invest, you play a game.
So you shall be rewarded for your skills as a player, and sometimes by luck, but never because you have too much free time.
Not voting as the true answer should be ALL OF THE ABOVE. Unless a company can create a game that uses no skill sets, no levels, not hit/miss ratios, zero gear enhancement, then player skill will never be the sole determining factor in combat.
Before someone says they want a mix of these... I deliberately didn't include a mix option because that would result in very unhelpful data. Obviously any combat system can't function well with 100% one of these, so the options are for the primary deciding factor, that is, the factor that matters the most in combat. It could be 26% of what matters while each other option is 24.67%, or it could matter a great deal more, but the main point is that it is the primary deciding factor.
My real vote is for a balanced system. Character skill doesn't quite cover it but the concept of player skill that people commonly insist upon is hogwash. Git gud? There are way too many systems in play in an RPG and throwing them all away for the sake of twitch is wasteful.My ideal system is a perfect balance between engagement, tactics, and preparation. Engagement; the pacing must be swift enough to demand(and maintain) my attention. Tactics: the combat should allow for some level of explicit reaction (not how quickly I can press 2,4,2,3,6 while animation cancelling). I'm talking "aggressor swings sword, defender raises shield". Preparation: character build should have a direct and significant influence on how I approach and the results of combat. This accounts for all of the gear and luck aspects of the poll.Really, I don't think cohesive combat can exist without any one of these points.