Spell Animations - More is Less or Less is More

Spell animations in MMOs have tended to become more flashy and ostentatious as time has passed. Almost all games now, tend to have almost every ability, even the most basic, generate a flashy animation. I guess this is to impart a feeling of fulfillment to a player so they can see that each button they press is having an impact on the world. 

I am not entirely sure though, as I don’t seem to be one of the people towards whom such a trend is aimed. If anyone has more information on the development of this, I would love to hear about it.

While this may seem fine if you are soloing, or in a small party, once you begin to gather in larger groups the seizure-inducing level of flashes, flares and explosions of colour becomes mind-numbing and detrimental to gameplay. 

One of the things that stood out to me from the PAX footage was the heavy nature of the skill animations. Even in these smallish parties the animations started to obscure the play at times. A forty player raid, or world PvP setting, would be a nightmare of festival fireworks.

Not sure of the game backgrounds of most people here, but anyone who has played WoW or GW2 will know what it looks like when you get a large number of players in the same area attacking the same boss. Coupled with the animations of the boss itself, and good luck even spotting your character at all if you are right there in melee range.

Intrepid have said that there will be no reticules on the ground for monster effects, instead relying on visual cues from the monster itself. If this is to be the case, I really hope that spell animations become a little more subtle, and that not every skill has to have an overblown explosion or ground effect. 

I am hoping that as the game develops past Alpha the animations actually become smaller and more subtle, rather than brighter and more intense. 

Am I a minority here?

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Comments

  • Yes i would also prefer that not every sword swing starts a new years eve firework on my screen.
  • I'm not overly keen on super flashy skills. I like good animations which are relevant to the class type. I'm happy for flashy ultimate skills or skills that require a bit more touch - e.g shield wall, I'm glad it's actually a big wall shield!
    Every skill being flashy is not for me, makes the ultimate feel less ultimate xD
  • I also do not care about the flashiness as long as the combat is nice paced and responsive. I don't care how much it looks while the characters being slow and floaty like a low budget 3D animation movies. It reminds me RWBY before and after Monty Oum's death. With him the despite low graphics, the choreography was amazing. After him, graphics and model animation is improved but usage of physics, response in combat, and choreography hit rock bottom.

    Before: 
    After: 
  • They need to make sure mages and such actually use the staffs and books lawd...
  • i'd like to see them put in some sort of slider that you can tweak from "don't need no stinkin sparklies" to "4th of july fireworks display for summoning a piece of bread". that way everyone can set it to what's best for them/their computer.

    I tend to be more towards the minimal effects side myself. enough to see the skill/spell has activated compared to "ok if that glitter sparkle swarm doesn't get in my way for the 16th time I think I can target the mob our raid is attacking...dammit, ok 17th time for sure..."
  • While glows etc. certainly are nice. The moment stuff has sparkles, fireworks and other sfx that are extra additions and dont have any effect/visual indicator on the skills mechanics/dmg-effects ... it becomes to much.
    If you want skill-based combat, dont ruin it by blowing up special effects tenfold :p 
    Feel like special effects as used in stuff like GW2, WoW and ESO are more than enough.
  • as long as its more like dragon age one and not 2 I think we will be fine ^^
  • What wow has is decently now some actives some big cooldowns some situational.

    But since we have a actionbar for 10 spells here. We will have to see what we can do.
  • Bajjer said:

    Spell animations in MMOs have tended to become more flashy and ostentatious as time has passed. Almost all games now, tend to have almost every ability, even the most basic, generate a flashy animation. I guess this is to impart a feeling of fulfillment to a player so they can see that each button they press is having an impact on the world. 

    I am not entirely sure though, as I don’t seem to be one of the people towards whom such a trend is aimed. If anyone has more information on the development of this, I would love to hear about it.

    While this may seem fine if you are soloing, or in a small party, once you begin to gather in larger groups the seizure-inducing level of flashes, flares and explosions of colour becomes mind-numbing and detrimental to gameplay. 

    One of the things that stood out to me from the PAX footage was the heavy nature of the skill animations. Even in these smallish parties the animations started to obscure the play at times. A forty player raid, or world PvP setting, would be a nightmare of festival fireworks.

    Not sure of the game backgrounds of most people here, but anyone who has played WoW or GW2 will know what it looks like when you get a large number of players in the same area attacking the same boss. Coupled with the animations of the boss itself, and good luck even spotting your character at all if you are right there in melee range.

    Intrepid have said that there will be no reticules on the ground for monster effects, instead relying on visual cues from the monster itself. If this is to be the case, I really hope that spell animations become a little more subtle, and that not every skill has to have an overblown explosion or ground effect. 

    I am hoping that as the game develops past Alpha the animations actually become smaller and more subtle, rather than brighter and more intense. 

    Am I a minority here?


    You are not. I personally prefer the lash flashy animations, save for like expensive, long cast ultimate spells. But a random fireball doesn't need to shake the very earth or something.
  • I like flashy spells.  Worked well in EQ, they had particle effects sliders which would be good to go as some people cannot handle it with machine let alone preference.
  • It has to be balanced. When it gets too flashy, actually performing the attack can take too much time. But they shouldn't look to boring either. A bit of shiny shiny and glitter glitter or fire fire should be there for the whoa effect.
  • I like a bit of flash but subtlety is the keyword for me. As long as the animations are impactful they don't need to take up the whole screen or make your eyes water.
  • My first mmo was FFXI and in terms of spell animations most other mmos have been a let down. I'm actually hoping for some more visually appealing spells in Ashes.
  • Viper said:
    I like flashy spells.  Worked well in EQ, they had particle effects sliders which would be good to go as some people cannot handle it with machine let alone preference.
    I like the idea of a slide bar to control how flashy things get. That way players can set up what they like.
  • This entire thread is heresy. 
    I obsess flashiness.
    I won't play a game that looks shit.
    Total waste of time even casting a skill if it's animations are so bland that it makes me cringe more than catching my grandma getting out of the shower.

  • I am kind of in both camps. I like a nice solid animation, blood splatter to make a skill or hit really feel like something has happened. But I don’t like the screen to be filled with them.

    My question is more about blood. Will there be blood in this game? I guess we don’t know rating yet but I would prefer blood effects to a bright flash for a sword hit. Magic stuff sure, but I don’t see why swinging a sword should add a big purple explosion at the target.

  • Lazerou said:

    I am kind of in both camps. I like a nice solid animation, blood splatter to make a skill or hit really feel like something has happened. But I don’t like the screen to be filled with them.

    My question is more about blood. Will there be blood in this game? I guess we don’t know rating yet but I would prefer blood effects to a bright flash for a sword hit. Magic stuff sure, but I don’t see why swinging a sword should add a big purple explosion at the target.

    I really like this. 
    The more blood, the better.
    Smash the gore button right up! 
    Would be great to see players get dismembered and their corpses laying on the ground in a pool of blood, with the torso split in half from a savage sword finisher.. Or exploding torso's from a fat mage spell, little stumpy spine sticking out of a pair of legs as it rains down blood...
    Then you see it glow along the blood and cut marks in a holy light, as synergy with a clerics resurrection spell.. As the cast bar progresses, watch the body join back together with light and blood returning back to its origin..

    And if the cast bar is interrupted on the cleric, have the corpse splat back down to the ground again. WITH LOTS OF JUICY SOUND EFFECTS. CRUNCHING, REFORMING BONES, SQUIRTING BLOOD, GLOOPING ORGAN SQUELCHES, YESSSSSSSSSS.
    BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GODDDDDDD.
  • I think For Honor do the blood really well. Their normal combat has nice effects, and then they have the executions (the finishing moves) and they get pretty bloody. This is more of a medieval than fantasy game though.
  • Watching the latest livestream made me think about this topic. I liked some of the fire ones, but the frost animations were a bit over the top for me. The frosty cloud, which seemed to be some kind of finishing move, obscured so much of the screen.

    And this was with just one person. I would imagine an 8 person group or a raid start to be like warcraft and Guild Wars where you can hardly see the melee characters or mobs. 

    If we are supposed to be aware of visual cues from the creatures to dodge and block and things like that, then the spell animations that we are players create have gotta be toned down a little.
  • Flameh0t said:
    This entire thread is heresy. 
    I obsess flashiness.
    I won't play a game that looks shit.
    Total waste of time even casting a skill if it's animations are so bland that it makes me cringe more than catching my grandma getting out of the shower.

    You may be under cringing with respect to seeing your naked grandmother lol

    Simple spells should get simple animations. 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited December 2017
    I agree that less is more, because to much really will get in the way of your view of the battlefield.

    Truth is though a lot of people are attracted to the whole festival of colours when they hit a standard attack so I think a slider to adjust the glitter and sparkles is a brilliant idea, this will make nearly everybody happy. Another idea is to just show animations from your personal team members and not a raiding group of 50 people.

    I would like to see a tab / icon system on npcs and team members so we know what buffs / de-buffs are active if we choose to scale down all the flash.

    keep epic animations for epic combos / spells. 
  • Whether all abilities are over the top, or just a select few I hope we see a spell effect slider; maybe even a personal slider and a group/raid/everyone else slider, so if you want you can still see your flashy stuff without everyone else’s cluttering up your screen. 

    I also hope they take the time to make really good sound effects. Sound effects can be a great way to make things feel powerful to the player without needing to go over top with the animations. 
  • A frost bolt should be a simple bolt of ice that goes forth from your hand, weapon, casting maneuver. It shouldn't be a GIGANTIC WHITE SPARKLE BOMB when it hits the enemy either. 
    But say a frost wave? Something that launches out a wave infront of you? That should have some steam, and some sparkle effects as it connects with people. 

    Flares added to sword swings though, for a basic attack? Really does not need to happen.
    A simple swing with ample sound effects are enough to portray the satisfying feeling to most players.

    Being able to turn down flare effects as well is super needed, some people can't function if their fps is hitting five because their explosion is exploding five times and adding smoke and additional effects to the ability after it goes off. 
  • IMO spells need to have reasonable flashiness. It's the reward for having to sit still for 1-10 seconds watching your character do nothing. I have leveled classes specifically to see certain effects before. 

    That being said, I do agree that basic spells don't need to be super flashy. In a game like Ashes i think it may almost help a bit is certain spells are flashier. They can give a heads up to you that either a hard hitting spell or CC is coming your way. If your PC cannot handle all the flash then i think sliders in the graphic options menu are a fair compromise. GW2 WvW didn't give me too much trouble as I had a much better gaming rig by the time I got that game but back in the day Aion turned into a slideshow so I can understand people's feelings on flashy things and computer performance. 
  • I'm so glad intrepid agrees with this.
    They said the Effects are going to be cool while not being too crazy.
    on the May 17 Livestream at 1:03:00 they touched on this topic.
  • What I really hope we don't have to contend with is buggering around with animation cancelling. One of the banes of MMOs.
  • I'm not entirely concerned on the amount of flash or w/e animation how shiney it is and so on.  But what does concern me is that I can distinquish one spell from another.  As to say the uniqueness(isthisevenaword)? of one spell to the next spell type.
  • Best thing to do is give the player the control of particles effects.  Most games do that so all you have to do is turn the dial down.  In some game games you can turn them completely off.  Mostly done to increase frame rates and efficiency.


  • if they look cool, that's enough for me. I'm a bit more reluctant on the blood, I'd prefer we be able to turn it off if we want(it won't display blood for us). 
    flashiness, idk I don't want too much. it might be hard on my laptop.
  • I also agree with the basic animations.  I believe the only effects that need flashy is when you are about to do something special.  I know most MMOs you can turn off the effects of some spell abilities but it is usually all or none.
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