What are your favourite Combat Mechanics?

maouwmaouw Member
edited April 9 in General Discussion
I'm collecting golden nuggets. Please post your favourite combat mechanics (from any game) and what it could add to combat in an MMO (no TT vs AC pls, there are other threads for that)

I don't have much experience in good TT games, so input from these players would be much appreciated.

Visceral Feedback:
  • [God of War 4] Weight of (melee) attacks feel heavy and impactful: the pose freeze (sometimes a slight camera bump) on impact is a MUST for visceral feedback. The idea here is that the normal momentum arc of a weapon swing or projectile is interrupted on collision and the freeze-frame creates an illusion of “transfer of inertia”. This feels great for a player, and very clearly communicates if a weapon hits or misses.
  • [Hades] For timing charge shots: there’s a white flash at the beginning of the timing window. There’s a burst of neon if timed correctly, or the white flash fades if miss-timed. This intuitively communicates if the timing was done correctly or not.
  • [Super Smash Bros] Visceral Feedback - freeze frame on hits, fighter flashes white on perfect parry.
  • [BDO] Same as above but also camera shake.
  • [Titanfall 2] Visceral Feedback - screenshake on trigger, retical blinks/expands on hit. Acknowledges an accurate shot.
  • [general] Audio feedback, especially grunts before heavy attacks (comment from Jxshuwu)
  • [general] When I get staggered, I only want to notice the big hits, not the little ones (comment from Jxsuhuwu)
  • [Conqueror's Blade] Mounted archery - a pleasant experience (comment from Tacualeon)

Windup/Impact/FollowThrough:
  • [God of War 4] Heavy swings on heavy weapons have big payoffs, but also long follow-through animations during which you are vulnerable.
  • [Monster Hunter] Light weapons can more easily interrupt their attack sequences to dodge because the attack animations are shorter.
  • [Monster Hunter] You can interrupt your own attacks during the windup phase, but after that you are committed to the full attack animation. Interruptions like this allow for responsive control, without compromise on animation cancelling.
  • [Monster Hunter] Depending on the animation, certain abilities can transition the follow-through animation of one attack into the windup animation for the next attack. This creates a powerful feeling of flow.
  • [ArcheAge] Archeage animation canceling and mobility with instant cast lighting ancestral skills on mages. Makes mages enjoyable to play since you're not just stuck in place casting abilities with long cast times. Mages are unplayable to me if they're more like a stand still wizard with a staff dropping big abilities type, although the option for that would be good for large scale pvp and pve. (comment from bot)

Targeting:
  • [BDO] Auto acquire the target closest to the reticle when a skill is used.
  • [God of War 4] Target assist - attacking while out of range automatically makes Kratos step forward as he swings. This subtly remedies situations where you are *just* out of range of an enemy
  • [Kingdom Hearts] Tab Target assist - Weapon Swings move you and stretch towards the enemy you have targeted
  • [Hades] Auto-acquires closest target in the general direction the player is facing when a skill is used
  • [LoL] Aimed skillshots have longer range and deal more damage but are harder to hit
  • [Dragon Nest] Ranged attacks for melee champions. Dragon Nest moon lord is probably the most enjoyable melee class I've ever played in an MMO. Action combat skillshot attacks with range to them whether they're projectiles like slinging crescent blades/whirlwind or a melee attack that drags you forward/is a dash. Makes melee feel a lot more fast paced and skillful with the action abilities. (comment from bot)

Combat Rhythm:
  • [God of War 4] Kratos’ 3rd swing of a combo hits harder but also knocks BACK the target. This forces a short lull in combat, prompting the player to do something else or dash forward to re-engage. This contributes to an increase in macro level combat awareness, and gives the target an opportunity to get back up. In PvE MMOs, knocking back can be used to push mobs together for AoE spam. (emergent gameplay babyyyyy)
  • [Kingdom Hearts] Normal combat charges up a “Limit Break” meter. At max, you can “Limit Break” which allows you to enter an ascended combat phase until the meter is depleted. This adds tactical flow to battle.
  • [Monster Hunter] Both attacking and dodging uses up stamina. At some point you need to disengage to catch your breath. Your maximum stamina depletes over time, but can be restored by eating. This makes food a MUST for every fight. Also means people will eat during drawn-out fights. Would be really healthy for the food/drink economy.
  • [WoW] Monks had an ability like a stance change, it would boost their damage output and convert it to healing for some time. This created moments of hightened aggression between phases of standard healing, and was enjoyable. (comment from Saedu)

Tactical Depth:
  • [Hades] Back-strike/Blindspot bonus damage - adds tactical considerations to retreat, assassination, and fighting in general.
  • [Hades] Knockback into walls deals bonus damage - adds environmental tactics.
  • [LoL] The majority of an assassin’s burst damage comes from the bonus combo effects of their abilities (rather than each spell’s individual effect), so they must use all their abilities together to be effective. After an assassin burns their spells, there is a window of vulnerability during which they are wide open to attack. This forces an assassin to commit to an opportunity, and punishes them if they choose incorrectly/get interrupted in the middle of their combo.
  • [LoL] Utility Support Abilities that are useful in the middle of battle: pull a mispositioned ally to safety, movement speed boost for allies, grant an ally temporary invulnerability, transform an ally into a giant
  • [LoL] % current hp abilities are more interesting and less abusable than % max hp abilities. (same goes for % missing hp)
  • [LoL] Abilities that create/destroy/interact with terrain, like walls etc. - positional and environmental tactics for creating choke-points and blocking exits. (comment from Tacualeon)
  • [Monster Hunter] Most weapons have a “charge up” heavy attack ability but this can only really be used in opportune moments when the enemy is immobilized. This motivates awareness of macro-level combat opportunities.
  • [Monster Hunter] Ranged weapons have a “sweet spot” range where damage is maximized. Firing arrows point-blank or at maximum range causes damage to drop off. This adds positional tactics to archers.
  • [Monster Hunter] Bowmen can change their ammunition: spread, piercing, status ailment, elemental. These types of ammunition are potent but have limited slots in the inventory, making Bowmen use them tactically/sparingly.
  • [Monster Hunter] Using consumables made you stand still to consume it - during this time you were quite vulnerable. Most players would retreat to eat. This was recently changed to reduced walking speed while consuming items. Risk Reward.
  • [God of War 4] There are heavy attacks that cannot be blocked with a shield or wide swings that can’t be sidestepped, prompting players to change tactics.
  • [Slay the Spire] Interesting trade-offs and synergies - could take augments that burn more mana, plus an augment that converts burnt mana into a shield, plus an augment that procs when your mana bar is empty, etc.
  • [Titanfall 2] Satisfying doublejump. Can use certain skills mid-air to preserve momentum - mildly higher skill ceiling, feels rewarding, encourages tactical positioning.
  • [General] Different types of damage. Slashing, piercing, bludgeoning. I’m a bit tired of just having enemies be weak to fire, frost etc. Sure the result is the same but when magic infused weapons is helping me it takes away the feeling of victory a bit or sense of immersion. Especially when I’m playing a barbarian or a low magic class. (comment from Sunboy)
  • [Dragon Next/Cloud of the Ningth Seal] Comboing, Dragon Nest and Cloud of the Ninth Seal are the two best combat MMO I've ever played, both action. What made them so fun was that they were like a combination of fighting games and MMORPG. You got that full 360 battleground experience while being able to use high skill combos. (comment from bot)
  • [general] Weapon Reach is more interesting than strictly melee/ranged (comment from Sunboy)
  • [NtBSS] wall ability that absorbs damage like Mei from Overwatch - increases player awareness, protects other people, etc. better tactics (comment from Ariatras)

Anti-Zerg:
  • [Monster Hunter] Heavy Weapon attacks have large hitboxes that can trip teammates nearby. Very effective for anti-zerg. This would be problematic on the front line for 40 man raids if the boss isn’t big enough, but since the backline generally has more space to work with you could put this effect on “heavy spells” so that a mage has to stand a bit further away from their friends when they’re about to cast a big spell. This makes big spells feel special by giving them space to shine and has the added effect of decluttering skill effects on the screen while encouraging players to consider positional tactics.
  • [Smash Bros] Only specific skills can hit enemies when they're knocked down on the floor, perhaps you could add a similar limitation on people who get knocked down - so zerging is less effective on people who get knocked down.

CC/Status Ailments:
  • [LoL] Non-linear animation on a CC ability feels much fairer than a linear stun animation. (Nami’s Q lifts enemies in a bubble and then pops. This feels better for enemies than Morgana’s Q which cages you for 3 seconds).
  • [Monster Hunter] Status Ailments are not applied until a threshold is exceeded by an accumulated stack of status inflicted attacks. After the first time this happens, resistance to the status goes up and this threshold increases. This limits the repeated use of CC/Status abilities and encourages tactical use of status ailments.
  • [Wildstar] Interrupt armor: Was something bosses had which required multiple people in the party to pay attention and simultaneously interrupt a mobs action. (comment from Vhaeyne)
  • [Wildstar] CC Break mini game: You could get out of CC faster by pressing the right buttons. Again the system rewards players for paying attention. (comment from Vhaeyne)

UX/UI:
  • [LoL] Blur/fade out the far end of the telegraph of a long skillshot (Riot uses a curly arrow head to hide a hard edge) because that edge is the most controversial, and people will be more accepting of the server’s decision (also it’s safer to telegraph slightly shorter than the ability’s actual hitbox to give players the benefit of the doubt)
  • [Super Smash Bros] Intuitive to learn - consistent controls: A is melee attack, B is special, press it with a directional arrow to do something in that direction. This is why button bashers can sometimes win in this game.
  • [Monster Hunter] Lobbed abilities telegraph where they will land, this makes them easier to aim in over-the-shoulder 3rd person view.
  • [general] better telegraphing of skills/spells that can be countered (comment from Jxshuwu)
  • [Wildstar] Clear telegraphing that is consistent with the game's theme (comment from Dreoh)
  • [Blade and Soul/FFXIV] Contextual Abilities - skills that would change on the hotbar depending on the state of the player. Allowed you to fit 20+ skills onto 14 buttons, intuitive to play, very useful for "finisher" abilities. (comment from Leonerdo5)

Interactive Combat:
  • [BDO] Mages were much slower paced, in exchange for large bursty skill hitboxes. This is an alternative tradeoff for people with slower reaction times that allows them to remain competitive and enjoy the action.
  • [League of Legends] Slow projectiles tend to have stronger effects because they are easier to avoid.
  • [League of Legends] Enemy projectiles can be intercepted by teammates - allows “take a hit for the team” tactics and projectile wall shield abilities.
  • [League of Legends] “Pull”/”Hook” skills are EXTREMELY powerful and must be avoidable (it lets you force an enemy into a mis-position without risk to yourself)
  • [Super Smash Bros] Chaining Skills/Combos start small and lead to a big finish, this gives enemies plenty of warning so they can prioritize avoiding the finishing hit or interrupting the combo, etc.
  • [Genshin Impact] Elemental debuffs consume each other to proc bonus effects. For example, a wet enemy hit by an ice spell becomes frozen, and frozen enemies can have their armour shattered by physical attacks. Each character is limited to a single element, and requires a second character of a different element to proc the elemental combination effect. In an MMO, this is a great way to introduce interaction between different players’ skills.
  • [Driving IRL] Median reaction time of the population is 205ms. Professional FPS players average 160ms. This is the extreme limit of today’s reaction time benchmark.
  • [LoL] Parry/Counter-attack timing windows and WoW's warrior spell-reflect - higher skill ceiling for both attackers and defenders (comment from Tacualeon)
  • [LoL] Projectile wall ability - makes ranged dps think twice about when to throw fireballs/other spells. (comment from Tacualeon)
  • [SWTOR] Move a boulder that can block attacks/provide cover and then crush your enemies with it - rewarding to master and something that both allies and enemies can play around. (comment from ariatras)
  • [ESO] Warden has an ability to grapple to an ally to heal them. Doubles as an escape from danger if your ally is positioned well (comment from glakuns)

Enemies:
  • [General] I think mobs should be weak and strong to a variety of different damage attacks, and that the more damage types there are in the game the more robust and varied the mob base can actually be. (comment from Ostaff)
  • [Monster Hunter] Requires the player to recognize attack patterns and opportunities. The attacks are executed randomly throughout the fight, requiring players to react to things. The burst windows are opened by the players, not just a specific 'phase' (comment from MrPockets)
  • [Dragon Dogma] Dragon Dogma style fighting for big mobs (comment from Ostaff)
I wish I were deep and tragic

Comments

  • interesting mechanics...I would like to see some of those in AoC....but maybe comparing single player/fighting games combat to the combat of an MMO can be a mistake...but Im sure there are cool mechanics like the camera shake that can be implemented without too many issues...
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member
    Wildstar has two mechanics that I really like that never made it into other games. Both are based around making players pay attention to CC.

    Interrupt armor: Was something bosses had which required multiple people in the party to pay attention and simultaneously interrupt a mobs action.

    CC Break mini game: You could get out of CC faster by pressing the right buttons. Again the system rewards players for paying attention.

    I feel like both of these mechanics could easily slot into most MMORPGs and enhance the combat system.
    CctsKnC.png Verra-similitude
  • SunboySunboy Member
    edited March 14
    Different types of damage. Slashing, piercing, bludgeoning. I’m a bit tired of just having enemies be weak to fire, frost etc. Sure the result is the same but when magic infused weapons is helping me it takes away the feeling of victory a bit or sense of immersion. Especially when I’m playing a barbarian or a low magic class.
  • OstaffOstaff Member
    I think mobs should be weak and strong to a variety of different damage attacks, and that the more damage types there are in the game the more robust and varied the mob base can actually be.
  • Some of the systems from Monster Hunter could really shine in a well designed MMORPG encounter.

    Here are some of the reasons why I think MH fights are so enjoyable:
    1) Requires the player to recognize attack patterns and opportunities.
    2) The attacks are executed randomly throughout the fight, requiring players to react to things.
    3) The burst windows are opened by the players, not just a specific 'phase'

    In general, MH fights offer a ton of player expression and are almost never the same.
  • OstaffOstaff Member
    Dragon Dogma style fighting for big mobs :)
  • botbot Member
    1. Archeage animation canceling and mobility with instant cast lighting ancestral skills on mages. Makes mages enjoyable to play since you're not just stuck in place casting abilities with long cast times. Mages are unplayable to me if they're more like a stand still wizard with a staff dropping big abilities type, although the option for that would be good for large scale pvp and pve.
    2. Ranged attacks for melee champions. Dragon Nest moon lord is probably the most enjoyable melee class I've ever played in an MMO. Action combat skillshot attacks with range to them whether they're projectiles like slinging crescent blades/whirlwind or a melee attack that drags you forward/is a dash. Makes melee feel a lot more fast paced and skillful with the action abilities.
    3. Comboing, Dragon Nest and Cloud of the Ninth Seal are the two best combat MMO I've ever played, both action. What made them so fun was that they were like a combination of fighting games and MMORPG. You got that full 360 battleground experience while being able to use high skill combos.
  • maouwmaouw Member
    Ostaff wrote: »
    Dragon Dogma style fighting for big mobs :)

    I'm not familiar with Dragon Dogma, can you explain?
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • OstaffOstaff Member
    maouw wrote: »
    Ostaff wrote: »
    Dragon Dogma style fighting for big mobs :)

    I'm not familiar with Dragon Dogma, can you explain?

    Wow. I would highly recommend playing that game if you've never done so. Even today it is a very good game that still gets talked about in Videos.

    Anyhow, it had some great combat mechanics where you could "climb" the mobs to do more damage to specific areas, trip the mobs, push the mobs over terrain, and some other nice features.

    Wiki: https://dragonsdogma.fandom.com/wiki/Dragon's_Dogma:_Dark_Arisen
    Video:
  • SunboySunboy Member
    edited March 15
    Wait let me change my fave mechanic. Dead or alive extreme beach volley boll funbag jiggles.
  • maouwmaouw Member
    Sunboy wrote: »
    Wait let me change my fave mechanic. Dead or alive extreme beach volley boll funbag jiggles.

    When your game gets a rating from Playboy, you know it's in the weird category.
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • SunboySunboy Member
    edited March 16
    maouw wrote: »
    When your game gets a rating from Playboy, you know it's in the awesome category.

    Fixed that for ya🤣

    On a more serious note. Weapon reach is and not done at all in many games. I understand why. But just having melee and range feels pretty hollow.
  • JxshuwuJxshuwu Member
    Can't personally pick from this list, but what i'd love to see is fluid but impactful (like a hammer should feel like it SMASHES) with AUDIO FEEDBACK!. The reason i wrote that in all caps, is because audio feedback imo is like 60-70% of the intensity of attacks, i want to feel like im doing damage. Like before someone swings a heavy weapon, i'd like to hear a grunt.

    Like in WoW, attacks feel weak as hell, even though they do a shit load of damage.

    When im being attacked, i wanna KNOW if i got hit by a heavy damage attack or not. When my character staggers, yells in pain, and my camera shakes after a big fat juicy hammer attack, i dont want to see 5% of my health gone, but more than that.

    As for magic spells, it becomes a little more difficult for some elements.
    For example, a big water damage spell is more difficult to make it 'feel' like a heavy hitting attack.
    My fix for this, would be that certain elements should be affiliated with certain spells (Water for healing, electricity for damage and cc, fire for damage/dots, poison for dots, wind/air for armor penetration perhaps?)

    On top of that, clear but quick visual queues for countering attacks. For example, in WoW, it isn't always obvious (to me) when you should be interrupting a spell. I'd like to see proper clear animation and sound feedback for spells you can counter in specific timeframes. I personally hate losing or winning to just visibility, i like winning or losing in battles of skill. For example, when a mage casts an AOE spell, i want to see a circle(sigil) being formed on the ground as its being cast (i did see this in an AoC video) which notifies me that the mage is casting a spell and i should interrupt it. (Ofcourse it shouldnt be made as easy as im making it sound)

    I suck at explaining stuff so i hope you understand what i mean here a little bit xD its fine if you don't though, i understand.

    oh also, no stamina bars.

    TL;DR - Want to see proper visual and audio feedback of when certain attacks (and how heavy of an attack it is) is being cast.





  • TacualeonTacualeon Member
    edited March 17
    Well timed skills that make me untargeteable or avoid control for 1-2 seconds. Fiora's W from Lol.
    -Awarenes and timing is rewarding to master.

    Warrior Spell-reflect from Wow.
    -Awareness and timing is rewarding to master.

    Creating impassable terrain with skills. Jarvan's R from Lol.
    -Timing and spatial awareness is rewarding to master.

    Creating an invisible wall that stops proyectiles. Yasuo's W from Lol.
    -Awareness and timing is rewarding to master.

    Mounted archery from Conqueror's Blade.
    -Controlling a fast horse to stay in range and dance around enemies while trying to make headshot was a pleasent experience.
    Closest thing to role-playing a Hun or a Parthian I have ever experienced.
  • I greatly enjoyed Archeage's glider system. Though, as fun as it was, I think the accessibility:power ratio was a bit too off kilter for me.

    I also truly enjoyed SWG's crafting system. It was heavily tiered and added the concept of quality to the mix. eg. If you wanted to make a sandwich, you'd need to make the bread first. If you only had wheat that was 80% pure, that would impact the bread - which impacted the quality of the sandwich. And so on.
    NrwqsJT.png
  • ariatrasariatras Member, Pioneer
    Naruto to Boruto Shinobi Striker (Mud Wall) it creates a wall of hardened mud/earth/rock in front of you to stop incoming attacks from that side. Another example of that would be Mei's wall in Overwatch.

    It requires awareness, and can be used to save people, or yourself. A tactical decision.

    I actually like skills that have their own hitbox as it were. Skills that on paper are attacks. Say for example slinging a boulder across the place (Like Star Wars The Old Republic's Jedi Consular) but as it is now a proper projectile, you can use it defensively too to interrupt a different attack, make it collide. A very very difficult skill and such with timing. which allows you to identify the good players. Such a system is so much more based on skill then gear.
    giphy-0.jpg

  • DreohDreoh Member
    edited March 17
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    Wildstar has two mechanics that I really like that never made it into other games. Both are based around making players pay attention to CC.

    Interrupt armor: Was something bosses had which required multiple people in the party to pay attention and simultaneously interrupt a mobs action.

    CC Break mini game: You could get out of CC faster by pressing the right buttons. Again the system rewards players for paying attention.

    I feel like both of these mechanics could easily slot into most MMORPGs and enhance the combat system.

    GW2 has CC breakbars as a major mechanic and it works very well in that game too, and is something you must learn to deal with to be effective late game.

    Wildstar was definitely a top tier combat system, even if it might not translate well to other game worlds. (The telegraphing fit the style of the game since it was very technology based) That's not to say it can't be done in other games though. I'd definitely love to experience that kind of combat again.

    I also agree with Kionashi that we should be careful about comparing non-MMO games with MMO gameplay
  • glakunsglakuns Member, Braver of Worlds
    Healer mobility such as grappling or porting has been my favorite mechanic. More than heal/DPS mechanics. I like the mechanic of being able to grapple to, or harpoon & pull, a group member. Saved my bacon and other's bacon often enough to keep handy in place of any other survival/armor skill.

    If you want to check it out, a certain MMO's Warden class can quickly grapple out of harm's way to an ally and heal the ally in one go. Does not have to be a group member. Many players complain that the slow/powerful HOT version is not worth a spot on their bar due to line of sight / range issues and I agree with that assessment.

    Grappling/porting can be as griefless as moving my character to an injured group member but not be able to affect random players. Some MMOs manage griefing with group mechanics, such as pulling or porting an injured group member to myself. There is a chance that the injured is in some AOE that healing cannot match, and that is why a pull mechanic would be more helpful than a grapple.

    Another mechanic that I like on a healer is the ability to port any group member from anywhere in the node/ZOI while out of combat to speed up starting a dungeon in a completely open world MMO.
  • SaeduSaedu Member
    Early WoW legion had a pvp only talent for the Mistweaver monk healer called "Way of the Crane". It was on a 45 second cooldown and lasted 15 seconds when you popped it. While it was up your DPS was buffed and it did healing on three targets. I don't recall the exact %, but it was something like a 25% buff to damage and 200% the damage done converted to healing.

    The cool thing about it is you would weave in and out of traditional healing and DPS healing. 30 seconds traditional healing, 15 seconds DPS healing.

    The playstyle was way more fun/engaging than traditional healing and it had a higher skill cap to master as well (do you use the ability on CD, or wait for when you need the heals/dps). It was probably some of the most fun gameplay I've ever had in any game.

    The ability having a cooldown It also solved for the issue where a "healing through DPS" type of class is either (1) a bad healer (to make up for the DPS) or (2) is too overpowered because it does competitive heals and DPS. Because it wasn't up most of the time, it could be powerful when it was up. When it was down, your overall healing wasn't as strong (and that was okay).

    This has gone through a lot of variations since it first came out. Sometimes it just wasn't viable at all because it took 25% of your mana to cast. Currently its a 3 min CD that lasts 25 seconds and doesn't buff your damage with a reasonable mana cost (its okay right now, but not as fun as the origional iteration because you are not weaving as much).

    I think the optimal way of doing something like this would be a 1 min CD and a 20-25 second duration (CD starts after the buff drops so just under 1/3 of your time could be in DPS healing mode). This gives a bit more time in each window, but still has that back and forth flow if you keep using it on CD.
  • Leonerdo5Leonerdo5 Member
    edited April 9
    I'm a big fan of what I call contextual actions (I dunno if there's an actual term for it):

    For example, Blade and Soul had an amazing combat system (reminiscent of fighting games) where a large portion of your abilities on your hotbar swapped in and out based on various conditions. Things like the ability used previously (combo actions), special states like stealth, being under CC, or the state of the target (CC/debuffs), could enable to you to use a different ability (or a whole row of 4 abilities) in place of existing ones. In effect you could have everything mapped to ~14 keys, but have 20+ abilities totals, because half of your abilities are only relevant/available in certain contexts.

    FFXIV has also started to use this idea a little bit more, mostly for things like finishing moves and conditional upgrades to abilities.

    I don't know why other MMOs seem content to put every single niche or situational ability (plus items) in a different spot on your hotbars.
  • GannitoGannito Member
    The best, L2.
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