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Tab Targeting Or Action Targeting - An Age Old Question

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Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,925
    "cameltosis said:
    Tab-target games challenge your logical and mathematical abilities in combat."

    quote doesn't work for me.

    They do? What mathematical abilities does tabbing through targets actually challenge. If anything, it's just another type of physical challenge, sort of a whackamole.
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    Serph toze kindly has started a walk-through. https://youtu.be/UIelCK-lldo 
  • sunnyortegosunnyortego Member UncommonPosts: 25
    If I had 3 hands, I might enjoy the action ones better, or maybe a controller. Normal keyboard/mouse make me feel like I only have two attacks (left/right button.) while the other hand is for movement. so I prefer tab-targetting.
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,671
    I would say it would depend on the systems of the game, like if there's a lot of continuous grinding or if its more bursty like a match etc. I would say that Archeage still has the best tab-targeting system to date which does give a good illusion of 'action combat' by how fast stuff can go and how well you can chain skills together. But as was said earlier, a person really shouldn't limit themselves only to one type of thing because you can miss out on a bigger thing if you do. True, combat is probably the back-bone of most games but sometimes in-depth systems can overcome that, like impactful choices/character building/etc.
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 7,312
    Tab-target games challenge your logical and mathematical abilities in combat.

    Action combat games challenge your reaction times and nerve memory in combat.


    Which one you prefer tends to come down to how you like to be challenged. I prefer to be mentally engaged, thus I prefer tab-target games. I don't find there to be much challenge in developing nerve memory, I know that if I just put in the hours, I'll get there eventually (even if it takes slightly longer to get there now compared with when I was younger).

    Of course, it all comes down to the specific implementation.

    I love DEPTH. Depth is a measure of how hard it is to decide what to do next. You can only have depth if you also have enough complexity, but complexity doesn't always result in depth.

    Something like vanilla LotRO had a crazy amount of depth in it's combat system, especially within the support classes. Tons of skills (complex) but most skills were situationally useful and not just part of long rotations. That meant deciding what skill to use next could be tough and very impactful (depth).

    Conversely, something like vanilla SWTOR was shallow as fuck. It also had tons of skills (complex) but most of them either formed the rotation or were useless bloat. Deciding what to do next was trivially easy, for most classes just a case of executing the rotation or using 1 of a few situational abilities.


    Another point worth mentioning is that depth only comes out during challenging content. If you play games to relax, rather than to have fun, then you won't be doing challenging content and so you won't experience depth at all. In which case, it just comes down to how quickly you want to press buttons and your preference for a busy screen.
    I disagree with the final paragraph in its entirety. Difficulty benchmarks vary by player, and that is why we have difficulty settings.

    Just because there are freaks of nature who can play DMC5 boss gauntlets on the highest difficulty without getting hit, does not mean that everyone else is not being challenged. Hell, it doesn't even mean that someone playing on Easy isn't being challenged. If you only feel comfortable playing on Easy, that probably means you are still being challenged on Easy. 

    Moreover, playing games for fun and playing them for relaxation are not mutually exclusive and are not correlated with difficulty. I do not have fun playing hardcore games on the highest difficulty. Challenge is not one of my primary motivations for playing games, and I derive my fun from elsewhere.
    SovrathimmodiumTacticalZombeh
  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759
    edited February 2020
    Both can work and both can suck. I don't even agree that tab target is always more tactical and action target is more twitchy, it all depends on the implementation of it.
    I also don't see why it needs to be turned into a "them oldies" vs "the future" (as a way to indirectly stating an opinion on which is the better).
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member LegendaryPosts: 3,438

    Tab-target games are all about maths! You have to track:

    1) Your health
    2) Your resources
    3) Enemy health
    4) Skill cooldowns
    5) Skill costs

    When you are making a decision about what skill to use next, you have to input all these numbers, calculate statistics and then make the decision. We do this on an unconscious level for the most part, but that is what we are doing when we are trying to make these decisions: predict the outcome based on the inputs and the maths.

    I'll try to give you a clearer example.

    You are a healer. you have 500 power, everyone has 5000 health

    You have 4 healing skills:
    • Group heal that heals 1000 health and costs 100 power. 3s cast time, 20s cd
    • Single target heal that heals 1000 health and costs 50 power, 1.5s cast time, 5s cd
    • Single target heal that heals 500 health and costs 20 power, 1.5s cast time, 5s cd
    • Single target heal that heals 200 health and 800 health over time and costs 25 power, instant cast, 10s cd
    You're doing group content, the boss does an AoE attack and everyone drops to 50% health. What do you do?


    In such a situation you need to balance power costs, health amounts and probability of players taking further damage in order to make that decision. Do you go for the group heal, which is the best for healing, but has the risk of people takng more damage during the cast time? Do you pop a quick cast on the tank, then do the AoE?

    This is all, ultimately, a mathematical choice, using our knowledge of statistics and our observations of what's happening in game. The choice is a difficult one, and making the wrong choice could mean a wipe, thus the choice is actually meaningful. This system has depth. Not all people learn to play this way, a fair number of players just do trial and error and try to remember what works and what doesn't. But the really good players don't do that, the really good players are good at maths and statistics and that helps them make decisions on the fly.


    Now, if you are playing an action combat game and only have 6 abilities, you just never have to make these decisions. If you're lucky, you might have one big hitting skill on a long cooldown that you have to use properly, but generally if you need to heal, you only have one heal skill, if you need to damage, you just hit any of your damage skills that aren't on cooldown.
    Nerblas
  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 8,914
          IMO ...  I find that TAb Target games are more indepth builds and and group mechainics , they also are more of a challenge ..

       IMO  Action games are easier overall and shallow , less thought involved in encounters ..
    Sensai
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member LegendaryPosts: 3,438

    So, since reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow", which is all about happiness, I've become a bit of a convert. His studies, backed up with a decent amount of evidence, show that fun and relaxation are indeed mutually exclusive, and that we can only have genuine fun when we are being challenged, and we can only relax when the challenge is lower than our own abilities.


    I take your point about people having different abilities and thus the challenge level is different. the research totally backs you up: fun is had when the challenge level is equal to the individuals ability.


    However, when related to depth specifically, challenge is necessary. If the content is not difficult for the player, then making the decision of what to do next becomes a lot easier, potentially irrelevant. If the choice isn't difficult, there is no depth. Again, the difficulty is related to the player, not objectively difficult.

  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 7,312
    edited February 2020

    So, since reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow", which is all about happiness, I've become a bit of a convert. His studies, backed up with a decent amount of evidence, show that fun and relaxation are indeed mutually exclusive, and that we can only have genuine fun when we are being challenged, and we can only relax when the challenge is lower than our own abilities.


    I take your point about people having different abilities and thus the challenge level is different. the research totally backs you up: fun is had when the challenge level is equal to the individuals ability.


    However, when related to depth specifically, challenge is necessary. If the content is not difficult for the player, then making the decision of what to do next becomes a lot easier, potentially irrelevant. If the choice isn't difficult, there is no depth. Again, the difficulty is related to the player, not objectively difficult.

    I still disagree that fun and relaxation are mutually exclusive. I play Dynasty Warriors to relax, yes, but I also find the experience fun and gratifying, at least for bursts. Another player might not. Perhaps there is merit to your philosophy, but I don't think said philosophy applies to everyone.

    Basically, if the philosophy was universally true, "power fantasy" would be objectively not fun.

    Well, with the clarification that challenge is relative and not objective, I can agree with the statement that depth requires challenge.
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 2,158
    edited February 2020
    Rhoklaw said:
    When I think FPS games, the first thing that pops into my mind is cheaters. Let's be honest, that a lot of people suck at aiming and instead of playing something else, they decide to purchase aimbots and all the other crap that comes with it in order to make themselves feel better about their lack of skill.

    TAB targeting creates an even playing field, no need for accusations or denials.
    Bots are used and prevalent everywhere. They are not just used for aiming. I wrote my own mining bot for Eve and never had to pve again. EQ has/had built in scripting to automate pretty much every process and other games it could be done with external software. 

    Aimbots suck most specifically in a pvp setting, but it’s far from the only way or genre to cheat. 

    Oh, I also built a house stealing bot for AA. I remember when they tried to fix that. So hilarious. 
  • XiaokiXiaoki Member EpicPosts: 3,603
    @Sovrath that's just something people tell themselves to make Tab Target sound better .... mostly to themselves.

    "Tab Target is more 'tactical' and 'mathematical' whereas Action combat is just 'button mashing' while jumping around like a 'bunny on crack' LOLOLOL"

    Personally, after 20 years of Tab Target MMOs I've had about as much as I can stomach. There's nothing new to them. No innovation after two decades.

    The only thing developers can think of to add to Tab Target combat is more buttons.

    To which I ask: Why? Why do I need 4 heals that are only slightly different?
    Because it's more "tactical"
    Why is it more tactical?
    Because more buttons means more tactical
    AeanderMendel
  • DrunkWolfDrunkWolf Member RarePosts: 1,699


    Asheron's Call, to this day, has the best combat in an mmorpg I have played.



    i know right? imagine tab targeting but still being able to dodge incoming magic and missile attacks! from mobs and players, and this was from 1999. I remember thinking i cant wait to see what is out 10 years from now !! haha talk about not progressing.
    blueturtle13
  • SlyLoKSlyLoK Member RarePosts: 2,698
    I prefer tab target and the slower pace in an MMORPG. I like being able to see my character use abilities and battle. So often in action based games I am mostly looking at the ability bar for cool downs or there is so much ability spam going on I really cant see anything anyway.
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 2,158
    What about a combination? Targeting for slow or non moving targets, like most ove, in the style of Asherons Call and the option to go full aim so you can lead targets?  
    blueturtle13
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,845
    The critical thing about combat, as with most other game mechanics, is that it must involve interesting gameplay decisions. Different battles should play out differently. The player should have to pay attention. That can be done with anything from pure turn-based to traditional tab targeting to technically tab targeting with lots of dodging to soft-target action combat to hard-target action combat. But whatever your style of targeting, you still have to do something to make it interesting. No style of targeting is enough to ensure that different battles feel substantially different from each other.

    My personal preference is a heavy emphasis on dodging rather than aiming, and on using particular weapons or skills to counter particular enemies. But if done well, I can enjoy nearly any aiming system other than something that is heavy enough on mouse usage that I can't play the game.
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,925

    Tab-target games are all about maths! You have to track:

    1) Your health
    2) Your resources
    3) Enemy health
    4) Skill cooldowns
    5) Skill costs

    When you are making a decision about what skill to use next, you have to input all these numbers, calculate statistics and then make the decision. We do this on an unconscious level for the most part, but that is what we are doing when we are trying to make these decisions: predict the outcome based on the inputs and the maths.

    I'll try to give you a clearer example.

    You are a healer. you have 500 power, everyone has 5000 health

    You have 4 healing skills:
    • Group heal that heals 1000 health and costs 100 power. 3s cast time, 20s cd
    • Single target heal that heals 1000 health and costs 50 power, 1.5s cast time, 5s cd
    • Single target heal that heals 500 health and costs 20 power, 1.5s cast time, 5s cd
    • Single target heal that heals 200 health and 800 health over time and costs 25 power, instant cast, 10s cd
    You're doing group content, the boss does an AoE attack and everyone drops to 50% health. What do you do?


    In such a situation you need to balance power costs, health amounts and probability of players taking further damage in order to make that decision. Do you go for the group heal, which is the best for healing, but has the risk of people takng more damage during the cast time? Do you pop a quick cast on the tank, then do the AoE?

    This is all, ultimately, a mathematical choice, using our knowledge of statistics and our observations of what's happening in game. The choice is a difficult one, and making the wrong choice could mean a wipe, thus the choice is actually meaningful. This system has depth. Not all people learn to play this way, a fair number of players just do trial and error and try to remember what works and what doesn't. But the really good players don't do that, the really good players are good at maths and statistics and that helps them make decisions on the fly.


    Now, if you are playing an action combat game and only have 6 abilities, you just never have to make these decisions. If you're lucky, you might have one big hitting skill on a long cooldown that you have to use properly, but generally if you need to heal, you only have one heal skill, if you need to damage, you just hit any of your damage skills that aren't on cooldown.
    Sorry not buying it. I had to be mindful of those things in Tera. And I question how many people are actually calculating in their heads over using the length of a bar or other visual aid to determine how well they are doing with regards to those things.
    Like Skyrim? Need more content? Try my Skyrim mod "Godfred's Tomb." 

    Godfred's Tomb Trailer: https://youtu.be/-nsXGddj_4w


    Original Skyrim: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/109547

    Try the "Special Edition." 'Cause it's "Special." https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/64878/?tab=description

    Serph toze kindly has started a walk-through. https://youtu.be/UIelCK-lldo 
  • DAOWAceDAOWAce Member UncommonPosts: 422
    Quit WoW in 2007. Once action combat games started to come out, any auto-attack game was dead to me. Non-engaging, horribly boring wait timers and absolute pain in the ass targeting system. Vindictus was my standout game since 2011. Black Desert became a close second.

    Then suffered a RSI injury coupled with arthritis and my keyboard hand has never been the same; irrecoverable damage. Cannot play with KB/M anymore, have to use gamepad.

    My MMORPG over the last year (coming to 2) has been FFXIV. Absolute best gamepad support.. but absolute worst combat system of any MMORPG I've ever played (and don't get me started on PVP or the game's horrendous netcode). "For the story", y'know.

    If I didn't suffer crippling problems with my wrists, I'd still be full on action game exclusive. Auto-attack tab target crap cannot compare.
  • vtravivtravi Member UncommonPosts: 396
    I much prefer tab targeting. I like slower combat that allows strategy.
  • PalaPala Member UncommonPosts: 350
    Tab target for mentally engaging play. Action combat feels like busy work and bores me.
  • MendelMendel Member LegendaryPosts: 5,496
    Xiaoki said:
    @Sovrath that's just something people tell themselves to make Tab Target sound better .... mostly to themselves.

    "Tab Target is more 'tactical' and 'mathematical' whereas Action combat is just 'button mashing' while jumping around like a 'bunny on crack' LOLOLOL"

    Personally, after 20 years of Tab Target MMOs I've had about as much as I can stomach. There's nothing new to them. No innovation after two decades.

    The only thing developers can think of to add to Tab Target combat is more buttons.

    To which I ask: Why? Why do I need 4 heals that are only slightly different?
    Because it's more "tactical"
    Why is it more tactical?
    Because more buttons means more tactical
    More buttons are supposed to represent more tactical options in some developers mind.  But like you point out, these options don't really equate to combat decisions that define tactical operations.  Things like seek cover, disengage, retreat in good order, and the like.  The only thing most buttons represent are variations on 'press the attack' and 'hold out to the bitter end'.  Where's the button for 'Bug Out'?



    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    edited February 2020
    If i could sum it up quickly it is that action targeting would imply the combat is scattered,moving all around.

    If you ever played a grouping "true mmorpg"you would NEVER consider combat that is moving all over to be good combat,it would be considered SLOPPY combat.The object of a group combat is to CONTROL the combat,matter of fact,that would be the target idea behind combat in real life as well.I am not referring to trying to force scatter a large group of people,that would not be good group mmorpg combat anyhow.I am of course talking about typical mmorpg combat and not referring to trying to scatter or make 1500 enemies flee.

    If the mob was just running from target to target it would make for a real bad time for the healer and for melee players to actually hit since the mob would be running all over the place.Point being WHY would you need action targeting if your group "TANK"has control of the foe?
    Of course i have been through EVERY scenario,i understand that maybe your small group does not have a tank on that day so the only way to make it work was to spread hate around but even in that scenario melee would be a very poor option,it would only work with ranged combat.

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

  • BeezerbeezBeezerbeez Member UncommonPosts: 302
    I thought I would hate action combat, especially since I'm much slower with every passing year. Having said that, I was surprised how fast I picked up BDO's combat and how much I missed it when I went back to FFXIV. I'm not fast enough for action combat PVP anymore, but man, it sure was fun for PVE, where I can sort of dictate my own pace.
  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    WOW just wow,why has forum chat been so botched up for sooooooooo long,like since forever?IS is the cheap website forum formatting or the guy in charge of the website coding?

    Improper sentences,improper updating/editing,have to add my own < br> to form paragraph's,2/3/4/5.....10 edit pages pop up instead of updating to one single post.Super frustrating because it is not like a one time,two time,thrice or some odd mistake,it has been like this since way way back when this site changed websites and maybe even long before that,tough to remember when it has been so long.


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

  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 7,312
    Wizardry said:
    WOW just wow,why has forum chat been so botched up for sooooooooo long,like since forever?IS is the cheap website forum formatting or the guy in charge of the website coding?

    Improper sentences,improper updating/editing,have to add my own < br> to form paragraph's,2/3/4/5.....10 edit pages pop up instead of updating to one single post.Super frustrating because it is not like a one time,two time,thrice or some odd mistake,it has been like this since way way back when this site changed websites and maybe even long before that,tough to remember when it has been so long.


    Wait... you edit and form paragraphs?

    That's actually the most surprising bit of gaming news today!
    ChildoftheShadowsTacticalZombeh
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 2,158
    Aeander said:
    Wizardry said:
    WOW just wow,why has forum chat been so botched up for sooooooooo long,like since forever?IS is the cheap website forum formatting or the guy in charge of the website coding?

    Improper sentences,improper updating/editing,have to add my own < br> to form paragraph's,2/3/4/5.....10 edit pages pop up instead of updating to one single post.Super frustrating because it is not like a one time,two time,thrice or some odd mistake,it has been like this since way way back when this site changed websites and maybe even long before that,tough to remember when it has been so long.


    Wait... you edit and form paragraphs?

    That's actually the most surprising bit of gaming news today!
    It’s clearly the forums fault!
    TacticalZombeh
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