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My opinions regarding what the combo system can be

Alright, I haven't been that active on the forums but you've probably all heard a lot about the current combo system. This is not a post to bash about it nor tell you it's amazing, I wan't to give you my own personal opinion thus far with what we've seen and from my former experience with a lot of different MMO's, ranging from just your everyday player to a high tier PvP player in some games and high tier PvE in others. 
This system has potential. Potential to be very fun and interactive but I think it has a long way to go before it gets there. I will talk a lot about classes that haven't been showed yet but they are just examples.

This will be a long wall of text of my own personal opinion when it comes to, mostly the combo system and what it could do for other classes but I'll also dig into some already show archetypes to discuss something I'd like to see or at least would want discussed.
Feel free to skip to one of the classes I will mention now in this post, the fighter, bard and mage. I've written about them in that order.
I am a player who enjoy when games reward you for learning your class. If I put effort and time in my class I should see a difference in output and general effectiveness than someone who has just started playing it. The skill floor can be low, but the skill ceiling should be high. How to properly reward these different players is a balance issue and not something I will talk about here.

The current implementation of the combo system is random by nature. It doesn't feel good when I've inspected it from a viewers perspective. Surely it's interactive, but it's not fun interaction. In my opinion a combo system like that should fill a purpose other than forcing interaction. Alright, here is my ideas.

The fighter:
Now, imagine playing a fighter; when I hear a fighter I imagine a fast, vicious combat style where abilities ties into each other. Ability X empowers ability Z if they are used consecutively with of course some standalone abilities that works by themselves, could be buffs or debuff management or other stuff like that or you could play your fighter slowly with a heavy weapon but even then I feel like their abilities are connected somehow.
Now, what if you could put the combo system to play here? If you remove the randomness of the current combo system, but put it on ability X instead if you hit the combo at the right time it will then empower ability Z if you use it right away in a combo. This would allow players to feel much more satisfied about hitting that combo and it would allow you for some really smooth and cool animations to further increase that level of satisfaction when you do it correctly.
Weapon types could come in play here. Maybe the bar for the combo moves faster with lighter weapons and slower with heavier? This would allow the fighter class for some really in-depth combat and really fun combat as well and of course, don't limit this system for 1,2 or 3 abilities but be creative.

The bard:
Now let's take the bard as an example. What does the bard do? Well they play music and music follows a rhythm. It would almost feel like you were playing some kind of mage if you just stood there, pressed one button and the ability handled itself. The bard is probably one of the most if the the class with the most potential for creative and interactive combat as they use music as their primary tool in their archetype fantasy. When you use an ability as a bard, you should press activate the combo in a rhythm. You should almost be able to close your eyes and listen to your abilities if you're an adept at your bard and has put in a lot of effort on it. Different abilities could allow for different tempos. 4/4, 3/4 maybe even some other strange rhythms to make their gameplay complex but fun. (This could also allow the bard to use more of it's keyboard to play music but that could be extremely hard to implement into the game, but it's worth thinking about.) The stronger the ability maybe the harder it is to play which would greatly reward players who put time and effort into the bard, but not be too intimidating for newer players either as it could be quickly learned with practice because it's lack of randomness. 

The mage:
Now onto an archetype fantasy we all know and many of us love. The mage. In your alpha gameplay you didn't really feel any cast times. Some might say that standing still and casting spells is boring but I think it's really important for the feeling of a mage. Standing still to concentrate and focus your energy into a bigger cast is an important aspect of the mage fantasy. Maybe you just haven't implemented any spells yet that requires you to stand still and "hard cast" a spell, but a few if necessary. Maybe you could put the combo system into play here, to activate "incantations" in a longer cast to still make it interactive. But incantations have to be said in certain windows every cast, let's say the first word is "15%-25% of the combo bar, while the second word is "40%-50%" of the combo bar and the last one is "80%-90%". This could be amazing as a player with large cast times ranging from maybe 3 seconds or more. The longer the cast time to more room for playful stuff like that, but you wouldn't just sit there and hard cast, you would have to focus on your spells as a player to make it feel more powerful. And it would feel rewarding. Especially when you start to learn your spell, learn your incantations.

In general:
Alright, this is what I've thought of so far about the classes, but I have some general stuff I want to talk about regarding the current system in place.
If your target is crowd controlled, maybe rooted or stunned, it should be easier to land those the combos. Maybe the bar can become bigger or the scale go down slower. It could even work for slows, just by a tiny bit though or it would be way too strong, to increase the effectiveness of both hard and soft CC which would lead to a higher skill ceiling in the game.

End words:
The randomness of your combo bar is great for the "auto-attack" ability. But try to use this system, this great system to allow us players to evolve and really become better. If you just put a random bar at every ability you use, you'd have to put all focus on your combo bar even as an expert of your class and not your surrounding.


So if anyone came this far down this post I greatly appreciate you reading it and I would love it if you told me if you like this or not. This is one of the first forum posts I've ever done so it might not have been perfectly written but I just wanted to pass on some insight of what I think this system can become. And I believe that this is great. I am a player with a lot of experience of fast phased action MMORPG's and slower tab targeting ones. Ranging from hack and slash dungeon based games to open world immersive ones. So it might be that I am used and I like the faster combat style, but I do believe that doing something at least similar to this would greatly benefit the game as a whole.
I would also love to discuss about this with either members from the forum or maybe someone in the Intrepid team to talk further about similar stuff to this. Maybe we could figure out something even more amazing or this might just be bad in other peoples opinion.
That is all for me and I apologize for the huge wall of text. Thank you so much for reading!

Comments

  • Imo the charging bar with a sweet spot is too boring,  :*
    It doesnt really fit into melee combat, have you ever seen melees that have a charging bar you have to stare at?

    I like your idea for Bards, its way more reasonable.
    But steven said bards wouldnt necessarily use instruments.. so idk

    But mages summoning a fireball or w\e would require them to speak a magic spell, which would be best represented by a fixed sequence of keystrokes i guess. The faster you finish the sequence the faster you summon the skill, no charging bar, no actionbar required.
    They'd need a very good 3rd party macro detection system to punish cheaters however.
    The charging bar with sweetspots would feel more like the mage has balancing issues you'd need to correct...
  • The charging bar is a different mechanic than the QTE bar.
    The QTE bar is about Focus.
    In melee, especially in fantasy settings, you can do basic attacks without focus.
    If you wish to pull off advanced techniques with precision, you need to narrow your focus. That is a very common trope.

    In some cases, like summoning the Iron Fist, one must also charge up chi to increase power/damage output.
    A charging bar is the equivalent of winding up to increase the impact of a mace, axe or greatsword, especially.

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