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Why isn't Combat firmly cemented as a feature for Ashes?

So, I'm relatively new to the Ashes Community but I have watched every single video on Ashes YouTube channel and also watched a lot of content from community members such as (Narc, Jahlon, Xillian, WolfFPS, etc.) and the one question that was gone through my head is, "Why hasn't Steven/Intrepid Studios made an official stance on combat?"

After watching Jahlon's latest video ( he talks about if the studio or if Steven has 180'ed on Combat. Now, the way I watched Ashes of Creation on YouTube was backwards. Going from 2021 all the way to 2017. When combat was being talked about recently you would hear "hybrid" combat being said a lot. Going back throughout the years, you hear one thing or another almost flipflopping between philosophies of combat. Now the reason I believe in this company is really because of Steven and his direction of the game. You always has an answer to almost every question and the reason to why it is the way it is. Now, more than back in the day Steven also said that if a hybrid system doesn't work the way he wants it to than he will just do a tab target combat system. With a game that has so many old school MMO principles, why is the team wanting combat to be different?

Now, a lot of the people I have spoken with on Ashes are around my age or older (I'm 35). Also the MMO community hasn't really grown throughout the years either like other genres have. It's mostly a shuffle of pre-existing MMO players looking for the next game they can really sink their time into like myself. Also, just want to say that I am a 15 year veteran of WoW and that was my main game for all those years. I tried Star Wars TOR, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy 14 and 11, BDO and Wild Star but none of those games hooked me like WoW did. So, my preferred style of combat is the traditional tab target system cause that's what I am used to and I'm comfortable playing in that style. Now, anytime you belong in a certain community (whether that's in the tab target or action combat camp) you feel like your voices are the loudest and you should do what I want cause WE are the majority. Now, sadly that is just not true.

Sadly, player numbers aren't official on a number of different MMOs so I can't just say, "Oh, look at X game with Y players, see that Z combat style? That's why X game is so big because of Z Combat style!" That would be disingenuous. What I do want to talk about is overall player perception. Now, whether people like it or not the BIG MMO right now is Final Fantasy 14. Pretty much almost every single WoW content creator is now playing FFXIV. Before that though, World of Warcraft was perceived to be the biggest MMO of them all. Everyone knows WoW and what it did to the MMO gaming market. Before WoW, you had Ultima Online, Everquest and Runescape. The reason I mention this is because a lot of the people I see in the Ashes discord again not everyone, mention they come from an old school MMO background. That means they are used to playing a tab target combat system. Now, playing WoW is like a 90% tab and 10% action based on the spell and I think that's a good balance personally.

I tried to play some of the new MMOs that are action combat centered like New World, BDO, ESO and those games have their own problems with the action system. With New World, if your a healer (which there are going to be healers in AoC) properly targeting players is a real issue. I'm not going to cover New World's current issues cause that's not what is being discussed here. The action combat in New World doesn't feel fun rotationally (players can use maximum 3 skills per weapon by weapon swapping a total of 6 skills in combat) or feel impactful from a melee side. That is my opinion of course and you can disagree. Almost every single action based MMO isn't really recommended by creators unless they say specifically say for players looking for just an action based MMO. They recommend WoW or FFXIV since they have the most players and grouping for content won't be an issue. Well, with the recent things happening in WoW, I don't think any is recommending WoW to anyone at this point. Link to Bellular's latest video on player numbers (

So, going back on topic with why wasn't Intrepid made Tab target the official combat system for Ashes? Considering the player base are old school MMO players, a hybrid system for combat scares a lot of people including myself. In the recent live stream, the fact they are still debating on their combat approach really scares me. Going with the trinity system (Tank, Healer, DPS) was the right choice. No sense mudding the waters trying to create something new. So why go that route with combat? I honestly don't know. Steven has drawn plenty of lines in the sand when it comes to other systems and also says that the game will not be for everyone and I agree. Many of the systems are old school in nature and maybe that will turn off "casuals" but who knows. Don't knock it until you try it.

What do you think about the hybrid approach for Ashes? Do you like the fact you could swap between tab or action or would you just prefer that Intrepid just says one side or the other and be done with it? Vote in the poll below!

https://strawpoll.com/1ok17bcp8
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Comments

  • George BlackGeorge Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    The only combat AoC needs is from Tera Online, a 2011 mmo.
    Many abilities on hotbar, possibility for chains, action movement and aiming, AC still maintains good visuals (unlike eso), active block/dodge. Best combat ever.

    Why it's not cemented yet? Too early. There are other, more basic systems that they need to cement and combat can wait for a few months. We are on a good track.
  • AOC combat has to meet two requirements for success:
    1) It must be decently fun.
    2) It must be compatible with the server infrastructure so that it will not lag in a large PvP battle setting.

    Every mmo developer promises both of those qualities but no one ever delivers on #2.

    I don't care exactly how the combat is manifested in the game or how long it takes to develop -- as long as it doesn't lag in sieges. I find both tab target and action combat styles to be fun.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Alpha One
    edited November 23
    They are currently in the process of testing different systems. It's hard to give an opinion of it until we have the system in our hands.

    Please take your own advice and don't knock their combat system until you try it.
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  • I think it's clear that Intrepid is going to constantly be fiddling with combat in pursuit of awesome. So there's going to be these waves of it's good, oh that's odd, whoa that sucks, better now, ok good. I'm cool with that. I think there are two concerns Jahlon brings up that are - not worrisome - but uh.... noticeable;
    1. There are a lot of unfinished systems (or not started systems) that need to be added / addressed
    2. Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good by targeting too many player segments. Settle on good enough for now and focus on completing the first iteration of the game

    I frankly don't really care what combat system they go with, cause I'll adapt accordingly. I do agree that they need to be focusing on the rest of the game systems.
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  • TyranthraxusTyranthraxus Member
    edited November 24
    Having followed the project for awhile and having played several MMO's in the past, it's VERY difficult to ever envision completely breaking away from tab-targeting. SWG had free-form combat in it's *space* game, in which Tab was only used to toggle between targets - but you still had to manually steer and fire at a target in your cross-hairs. It's very hard to imagine a ground-combat system that isn't instanced with a similar mechanic.

    My prediction at this point is that we're far-more likely to see limited free-targeting - either in instanced Arena-game PvP (which will feature a "champion" instead of your regular toon), or with such Siege implements as the wall-mounted Ballistae and the player-driven catapults. The initial vision was quite unique and interesting - but also both harder to control, AND probably not a good idea for the vast number of players that MMO crowds can contain.



  • AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    It's early in the alpha stage of development. That's your answer.

    I think by beta we'll see a more definitive version of combat.
     
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  • Community gave them feed back a while ago on the combat system so they went one direction with it. When they implemented it, people gave more feed back, changed it back the other way. They dont really know let alone have anything set in stone. Who knows what to expect.. most things are just idea's at this point which is unfortunate for people interested in that sort of thing. Most things sounds great on paper.
  • KarthosKarthos Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    edited November 24
    What follows is my opinion, 100% conjecture on my part, based on my current understanding of the situation and the information at my disposal, combined with some leaps in logic grounded in experience in other games.

    To be frank, the changes to the combat at this stage is not that uncommon or worrisome.

    What may be worrisome is that the changes to combat might actually be a total top down rework of the entire system, and I suspect it's because they've run into issues with the ability to toggle between Action and Tab. This is 100% a guess, because other games have managed to do bows (a known problem child under the current combat build) with both Action or Tab, so it logically should be the Mix of Both that's giving them the problems. Once that's sorted (if it isn't already) I think we they will be in a good place.

    Again, pure speculation, but what else is there to do at this point?
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  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The two systems theoretically could not only work together, but also complement each other. It is just going to take time, testing, and consideration to make that possible.

    Making these two systems work together is likely harder than making a single system on its own. You have all the drawbacks and quirks of both systems to deal with. You also have to make both systems good, or the whole system will be held back.

    This is why many people would prefer they just pick one. Most seem to prefer they just pick Tab-target. Personally, I hate this and like action combat way more. I feel that tab-target is antiquated and much less fun. Ideally, we get good implementations of both.
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    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
  • The only combat AoC needs is from Tera Online, a 2011 mmo.
    Many abilities on hotbar, possibility for chains, action movement and aiming, AC still maintains good visuals (unlike eso), active block/dodge. Best combat ever.

    Why it's not cemented yet? Too early. There are other, more basic systems that they need to cement and combat can wait for a few months. We are on a good track.

    That isn't something I'd be interested in. This game needs combat that is fresh, some way or another, without it, it'll be dead within a year and everyone will be flocking back to WoW for their boring grind rotation to get their rocks off.
  • George BlackGeorge Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Merek wrote: »
    The only combat AoC needs is from Tera Online, a 2011 mmo.
    Many abilities on hotbar, possibility for chains, action movement and aiming, AC still maintains good visuals (unlike eso), active block/dodge. Best combat ever.

    Why it's not cemented yet? Too early. There are other, more basic systems that they need to cement and combat can wait for a few months. We are on a good track.

    That isn't something I'd be interested in. This game needs combat that is fresh, some way or another, without it, it'll be dead within a year and everyone will be flocking back to WoW for their boring grind rotation to get their rocks off.

    Rly?

    Combat in mmos is only a part of it and if it isn't brand new you are willing to overlook the first true modern sandbox mmo, with unrestricted open world player interraction?

    Btw have you played Tera or not?
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    the first true modern sandbox mmo, with unrestricted open world player interraction?
    Which game is that?
  • Jahlon's got a bit pissy since they didn't read out his question in the Q&A a while back. It's best to just watch his earlier videos, and ignore the later ones.
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  • ConradConrad Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Ppl getting salty for not having their questions read
  • Conrad wrote: »
    Ppl getting salty for not having their questions read

    He got his army of zombies to each post the exact same question, in the exact same wording, to try and force his question into the stream. And Intrepid blanked it gloriously. It was a wonderful moment that proves just how much "power" these streamers have.
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  • Thanks so much for everyone leaving comments and feedback on my post! After reading all the comments so far, I have some things to say. Also just to preface that I hate typing and would prefer talking it out over a YouTube video but I am still working on my channel and haven't made final adjustments yet so there you go. Someone said if the combat isn't fresh, people will just leave and I disagree. Is combat important to a lot of people absolutely! There are many other reasons people leave or stay at a particular MMO game. Some people stay no matter how bad the game is or if there isn't many people on their current server cause of the time they dumped into that game. You can also talk about corporate influence for many of these games and how microtransactions have taken over certain games and that's why those people left. Sometimes it has nothing to do with combat specifically. Again, if I didn't make myself clear in my post I apologize. In broad terms, all I'm saying is that Steven is a pretty direct guy. He has a direct answer to many of his systems and how they work. For the most part those systems won't change completely cause he wants them a certain way for his game and I understand that. When he talks about combat, its almost like catering to both sides of the combat coin and most times when people try to cater to both sides, neither of them are happy at the end. That is all I'm saying. Could I be wrong?? Absolutely! I hope I am. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the way combat worked in the Alpha 1, I'm just hoping for a 2.0 version of that in Alpha 2 and maybe we will get that. I also believe in next months video, we will get more information on combat and other Alpha 2 things. I love seeing people's opinions on this topic so please lets keep the conversation going!
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Vlhadus wrote: »
    Thanks so much for everyone leaving comments and feedback on my post! After reading all the comments so far, I have some things to say. Also just to preface that I hate typing and would prefer talking it out over a YouTube video but I am still working on my channel and haven't made final adjustments yet so there you go. Someone said if the combat isn't fresh, people will just leave and I disagree. Is combat important to a lot of people absolutely! There are many other reasons people leave or stay at a particular MMO game. Some people stay no matter how bad the game is or if there isn't many people on their current server cause of the time they dumped into that game. You can also talk about corporate influence for many of these games and how microtransactions have taken over certain games and that's why those people left. Sometimes it has nothing to do with combat specifically. Again, if I didn't make myself clear in my post I apologize. In broad terms, all I'm saying is that Steven is a pretty direct guy. He has a direct answer to many of his systems and how they work. For the most part those systems won't change completely cause he wants them a certain way for his game and I understand that. When he talks about combat, its almost like catering to both sides of the combat coin and most times when people try to cater to both sides, neither of them are happy at the end. That is all I'm saying. Could I be wrong?? Absolutely! I hope I am. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the way combat worked in the Alpha 1, I'm just hoping for a 2.0 version of that in Alpha 2 and maybe we will get that. I also believe in next months video, we will get more information on combat and other Alpha 2 things. I love seeing people's opinions on this topic so please lets keep the conversation going!

    The simple reason why we don't have concrete combat is because they didn't have a combat designer. As far as we know, they still don't.

    Combat is extremely complicated because it involves balance and has to be 'built out of whole cloth', you actually usually can't 'just iterate as you go' and get something good, because you have to design from 'the goals' end rather than from the 'iteration on the last experience' end, similar to how one has to design high level raid content.

    Steven's made it pretty clear that right now, the team is still in a place where they are 'many voices discussing how to achieve something' rather than 'right, this is what we are doing and how, people can voice issues that they see'. Even for combat, they are probably still 'throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    It shows even in the code for the combat we got for Alpha-1, which can be partially reverse engineered (conceptually) based on 'which bugs it had'. I am not sure they're past that stage of it now, but obviously I hope they are.

    I don't think you're wrong about the status of combat. They committed to 'Hybrid', but we don't have any indication that they know what that means. In fact, using the word at all implies that there was some inexperience at the time of the term entering the general jargon used to describe the game. It's a useful buzzword, but it not only doesn't mean anything, it's not a good buzzword, at least in my opinion. It tells you that they are trying to blend two things, but there are reasons why those things aren't blended normally, or why, in the games where they are, there's no separate word used for them.

    We should all continue to hope that Ashes is able to fill the positions of their Systems and Combat designers so that it isn't all on Steven. It doesn't matter too much which way those designers take things, at this point, because the rest of Ashes, while dependent on PvP and such, can be built around whatever they expect the general outcomes of combat to be.

    So let's just hope they either find people for those positions, or we see combat design iterations that blow what we saw in Alpha-1 out of the water in terms of underlying functionality.

    But don't go thinking that Alpha-1 combat was anything other than placeholder, for now, from a coding standpoint, they had always planned to do 'iterations' based on the Alpha-1 outcomes, and since combat is best designed without 'iterations', we're more likely to see a really really big push in Alpha-2, or 'more placeholder' while they finalize the system.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • BlipBlip Member
    edited November 24
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Jahlon's got a bit pissy since they didn't read out his question in the Q&A a while back. It's best to just watch his earlier videos, and ignore the later ones.

    That guy think he is so intiteld .
    Early he was Great now he just comes of as rude, self centerd and unpleasent.

    Always think he is correct in everything when not.

    Dont give him the views .

    And let me just say, tab target post 2015 no thank you.
  • TalentsTalents Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited November 25
    Merek wrote: »
    The only combat AoC needs is from Tera Online, a 2011 mmo.
    Many abilities on hotbar, possibility for chains, action movement and aiming, AC still maintains good visuals (unlike eso), active block/dodge. Best combat ever.

    Why it's not cemented yet? Too early. There are other, more basic systems that they need to cement and combat can wait for a few months. We are on a good track.

    That isn't something I'd be interested in. This game needs combat that is fresh, some way or another, without it, it'll be dead within a year and everyone will be flocking back to WoW for their boring grind rotation to get their rocks off.

    Not really. The type of person that still plays WoW wouldn't be interested in Ashes in the first place.
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  • Why? Because Steven hasn't decided yet how much action combat he wants to put alongside tab combat.

    Kickstarter started in May 2017. 4 years and 6 months ago, give or take a few days.

    The question for me is - should combat be 95%+ decided after 4 years and 6 months of development?

    My tactical answer is: The shareholders are happy enough to not pull the plug.
    (for those that were unaware, Steven and his partner are the shareholders)

    At this point I'm only a prospective customer so there have been no financial transactions that I expect a quid pro quo for. If you have contributed cash then you need to read the T's&C's associated with those payments and decide what action you want to take. Sure, by all means complain that Intrepid missed the original release date, but ultimately will those complaints make the game release sooner? I think they can if they are used to leverage good advice on how to best close down design options. This is why I try to keep up to date with what Jahlon has to say, because based on my 30 years of engineering projects he seems pretty near the mark.
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  • Blip wrote: »
    daveywavey wrote: »
    Jahlon's got a bit pissy since they didn't read out his question in the Q&A a while back. It's best to just watch his earlier videos, and ignore the later ones.

    That guy think he is so intiteld .
    Early he was Great now he just comes of as rude, self centerd and unpleasent.

    Always think he is correct in everything when not.

    Dont give him the views .

    And let me just say, tab target post 2015 no thank you.

    Could you at least put in some effort when writing? Like, holy crap.

    He's asking questions that Intrepid is purposefully avoiding to answer properly. I've been following the game since Kickstarter (this is a new account, so don't even try it). To any person who is familiar with software development, it would seem they don't have very good project managers and team leads at the company. The company I work in is trash and we still have better and clear roadmaps for products. Combat should not have been the feature they kept bullshitting with for so long. The other systems are way more important to get going first as you can iterate on combat for as long as you live.

    I don't get the impression that he thinks he is correct or right all the time. He just wants Steven to say something and own up, which he's not doing at the moment.
  • To any person who is familiar with software development, it would seem they don't have very good project managers and team leads at the company. The company I work in is trash and we still have better and clear roadmaps for products. Combat should not have been the feature they kept bullshitting with for so long. The other systems are way more important to get going first as you can iterate on combat for as long as you live.

    Does your company share absolutely everything in your possible roadmaps with your entire client-base? Thought not. Mine doesn't either. Why should Intrepid?

    They're always advertising for new recruits. Why don't you apply as a programmer and help to speed them along?
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  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Could you at least put in some effort when writing? Like, holy crap.

    Ironically, Jahlon once made some comments about my grammar on here being bad. While it annoyed me at the time, he was right. I was not putting enough effort into my posts.

    While I do disagree with Jahlon often. Overall, I think he is good. The work he has put into his Ashes 101 project is invaluable to the Ashes community. A potential new player seeing Ashes 101 is going to have a far more accurate picture of how Ashes plays than someone who found Ashes by watching Asmongold talk about it.

    You are also right about Jahlon asking Steven the hard questions. It would be a lot easier if he did not risk the working relationship he has with the guy who owns and operates the main game he makes content for.
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    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
  • daveywavey wrote: »
    To any person who is familiar with software development, it would seem they don't have very good project managers and team leads at the company. The company I work in is trash and we still have better and clear roadmaps for products. Combat should not have been the feature they kept bullshitting with for so long. The other systems are way more important to get going first as you can iterate on combat for as long as you live.

    Does your company share absolutely everything in your possible roadmaps with your entire client-base? Thought not. Mine doesn't either. Why should Intrepid?

    They're always advertising for new recruits. Why don't you apply as a programmer and help to speed them along?

    They don't need to have a kanban board like Star Citizen has/had or expose your entire process to your clients, but you have to agree that they can do more than monthly cosmetics in terms of showing some kind of progress - fuck, show some video snippets of someone animating other races or someone animating monsters and NPCs. I don't need your codebase to tell that you are struggling because you had a bad start with the development. I would have gone in a completely different route, but hey, I'm not a millionaire at 30.
  • Vhaeyne wrote: »
    Could you at least put in some effort when writing? Like, holy crap.

    Ironically, Jahlon once made some comments about my grammar on here being bad. While it annoyed me at the time, he was right. I was not putting enough effort into my posts.

    While I do disagree with Jahlon often. Overall, I think he is good. The work he has put into his Ashes 101 project is invaluable to the Ashes community. A potential new player seeing Ashes 101 is going to have a far more accurate picture of how Ashes plays than someone who found Ashes by watching Asmongold talk about it.

    You are also right about Jahlon asking Steven the hard questions. It would be a lot easier if he did not risk the working relationship he has with the guy who owns and operates the main game he makes content for.

    I don't think there is a way to look for answers nobody is willing to give you without stepping on some toes.
    I get why he is doing it.
    I get why Steven is doing it.
    But I kinda wanna know the answer to those questions as well :D
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I don't think there is a way to look for answers nobody is willing to give you without stepping on some toes.
    I get why he is doing it.
    I get why Steven is doing it.
    But I kinda wanna know the answer to those questions as well :D

    I want to know, too.

    Also, I will say that I would love some fucking videos of animators animating monsters.

    I eat that shit up. There was some "Bonus content" on my Unreal Tournament 2004 disks that had videos of guys showing you how to 3d model custom characters for the game. Stuff like that is great. They used to have some videos like that on YouTube.



    Fantastic content.
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    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
  • I don't think they've done a 180, I believe they are still experimenting which ye is not a good thing at this stage of development but it is what it is.
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  • The game is still in early development-- if the combat prototyping seems late to anyone then I would reevaluate how far away you think AOC is from release.
  • Talents wrote: »
    Merek wrote: »
    The only combat AoC needs is from Tera Online, a 2011 mmo.
    Many abilities on hotbar, possibility for chains, action movement and aiming, AC still maintains good visuals (unlike eso), active block/dodge. Best combat ever.

    Why it's not cemented yet? Too early. There are other, more basic systems that they need to cement and combat can wait for a few months. We are on a good track.

    That isn't something I'd be interested in. This game needs combat that is fresh, some way or another, without it, it'll be dead within a year and everyone will be flocking back to WoW for their boring grind rotation to get their rocks off.

    Not really. The type of person that still plays WoW wouldn't be interested in Ashes in the first place.

    What about Asmongold, the largest WoW streamer? He showed a lot of interest in the game. If someone such as himself became interested in this game, what stops the other WoW players who have spent just as many years on WoW being interested? The only thing that would stop them would be the game becoming another run-of-the-mill MMO with a slight twist on the format.
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Merek wrote: »
    What about Asmongold, the largest WoW streamer? He showed a lot of interest in the game. If someone such as himself became interested in this game, what stops the other WoW players who have spent just as many years on WoW being interested? The only thing that would stop them would be the game becoming another run-of-the-mill MMO with a slight twist on the format.

    As a periodic Asmongold viewer, I often get the feeling that he does not understand Ashes very well. I can't remember specifics off the top of my head, but there have been times when he has been ranting about things that need to change in MMOs when I have thought, "Well you are not going to like Ashes...."
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    If I had more time, I would write a shorter post.
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