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Ground Effects Based Casting vs. Cast Bars

TSGTSG Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
edited July 2020 in General Discussion
I've seen recent commentary on both live streams and forum threads asking if cast bars will be added to the game. I for one find cast bars to be a very useful mechanic that allows players to know when to expect to que up their next ability. That being said, I think the graphic artists and game designers have created a beautiful system that I feel could easily replace the cast bar visual.

I'd like to begin by saying having a cast bar, while useful visually, takes up screen space and is a source of immersion breaking game play. If I'm playing a mage class, it is so much more immersive to see the spell being cast in real time via the ground animation. Not only does the animation look amazing, but it serves the exact same function as a cast bar but in a more organic process. Instead of the cast bar, you have the runes unfurling on the ground.

Secondly, some people are concerned about not being able to que up spells as soon as one spell has been successfully cast, which could cost valuable time in pvp scenarios. However, to these concerns I would say that with practice comes experience. With experience comes mastery. The more you cast a certain spell that has a longer animation, the more familiar you become with the time it takes to cast it. This means that the more you fight, the more natural it becomes to simply "know" when you are able to que up your next spell. I feel this point ties directly into Steven's philosophy of no addons, as a cast bar is just a consolidation of in-game mechanics that already provide you that visual input to make decisions. There is no need to simplify it when we already have such a beautiful system in place.

Overall, I see the benefits of simplifying game mechanics into a "hurr durr" cast bar, but if you allow yourself to truly dive into the gameplay and actually learn how to use the in game animations to learn your class, I think our experiences could be enriched to another level. Or... at least put a toggle. Thanks for your time for taking to read, and I look forward to seeing the community's perspectives.

- TSG

Comments

  • Particularly, I prefer attack/cast animations over cast bars for a few reasons:

    1) Immersion.
    I'm a big fan and long time player of tabletop RPG, and for one to know that some creature is casting a spell, you have to be looking at it; and for you to determine which is the spell that it's casting one must be trained at arcana or must have seen the spell before. It's just a simple thing, but it adds to create a more immersive experience into a video game.

    2) Rewarding.
    Having to know when to dodge, interrupt or crowd control some enemy just by looking at its animation, makes your both knowledge and reflexes fulfilling, rewarding the more experienced players in decisions making and teaching new players how visuals are important.

    3) Clearness.
    Not having to pay attention to several cooldown timers, incoming abilities bars, and so on, showing up your screen (with addons or not), can improve dramatically the concentration in the visual aspects of the game, creating a more pleasant experience to the player. Including not having cast bars.

    A good example of well executed combat without cast bars, in the MMORPG genre, is Guild Wars 2. It doesn't display the cast time animation for other players but it shows for you, when an ability has it, so you can time your skills if needed. Plus, there are many single player games out there that doesn't rely on cast bars in combat, but animations, that are pretty successful.
  • Song_WardenSong_Warden Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I don't mind either iteration.
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