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Is combat in AOC meaningful?

Before expressing my critics i want to state that im very happy and greatful for the development of this game so far.
I know that this game is not even near finished, so i wanted to share some thoughts with the community and most important the devs.

The combat updates were a nice progress in comparison to the alpha 1.
But since then it didnt feel like there was that much progress regarding one specific topic that imo is very important for fun and meaningful combat.
Could be that it is just a matter of time but for the case the team isnt aware, im going to explain myself.

Meaningful combat:
From what we saw in the dev. updates combat seems very spammy and the attacks from mobs over all meaningless since steve or his team did not react to any attack by dodging or interrupting specific attacks from the mobs that could have been a greater threat.
It looked like the goal was just to throw out as much dps as possible by spamming all attacks available.

In a fun game with meaningful combat that shouldnt be possible imo. I want to be forced to look at specific animations that teaser specific outcomes like big stuns or big damage that will interrupt you no matter what spell or block you use.
So you either have to interrupt the animation (which can only be achieved with ultimate spells or spell combos) or simply dodge.

And if you get hit? well, what would be way more epic if being thrown 40 metres away from the mob, now imagine that in an epic dragon fight where players fail to dodge and you see them fly off frequently. Or you dps from further way and some tank gets thrown into you which leads to both of you taking dmg and falling.
THAT would make me think like "holy moly what a threatening dragon that you should be very aware of".

Eg. the dev. update where you showed the golems that throw rocks at you i think:
that was the perfect opportunity to show meaningful combat by making the hit player not only slide backwords but being thrown away and falling to the ground, maybe even losing the weapon which you then have to collect.

No matter what mob, i enjoy combat where i have to use my brain even if its not pvp.
Also it will help immerse even further since every single desicion you make will have an impact on your gameplay, so casually walking around and spamming mobs to death without having to fear any kind of interruption would not be a part of this game.

Now think about raids or big pvp/pve battles. There would be less spamm and way more interactions inbetween the players themselves.
I was always bored (and i know many others) from the aspect that as long as you dont enter raids or dungeons, mobs tend to be super boringly designed. I always wished that no matter what lvl you or the mob were that every single fight gave you the feeling of an epic battle.

But for that to be possible the character itself should have more meaningful movement and physics. Dont get me wrong, some movement like in rdr would be over the top and prob. handycap pvp, but eg. the swings from the long sword are not that fast at all given stages. first you need to build momentum and it will be the fastest within the last 1/3 of the swing.

Also stopping with the character is way too choppy imo and walking often looks like floating around not being rlly connected to the ground.

But thats just all my opinion to make combat not only meaningful but thus even more fun.

PS: i think it would help making quests not feel repetetive that easily, since it should take way longer if you have to actually think when fighting off mobs.
So less work in quest designing haha.

Comments

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    TalentsTalents Member, Intrepid Pack
    Sounds like a pain in the ass and most of that doesn't sound like fun gameplay.
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    Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited February 2023
    Meaningful combat:
    From what we saw in the dev. updates combat seems very spammy and the attacks from mobs over all meaningless since steve or his team did not react to any attack by dodging or interrupting specific attacks from the mobs that could have been a greater threat.
    It looked like the goal was just to throw out as much dps as possible by spamming all attacks available.

    I agree with this part

    In a fun game with meaningful combat that shouldnt be possible imo. I want to be forced to look at specific animations that teaser specific outcomes like big stuns or big damage that will interrupt you no matter what spell or block you use.
    So you either have to interrupt the animation (which can only be achieved with ultimate spells or spell combos) or simply dodge.

    This should probably depend on the encounter itself, where some focus more of armouring your attacks and others focus more on avoiding them/trying to interrupt yours- to encourage a variety of combat approach strategies.

    But overall it should matter way more for players to consider their weapon attack speed/range, whether they block/attack/move, and the player who is more skilled in these areas should be rewarded more than the player who is not, compared to the current build where its more of a dps check.

    And if you get hit? well, what would be way more epic if being thrown 40 metres away from the mob, now imagine that in an epic dragon fight where players fail to dodge and you see them fly off frequently. Or you dps from further way and some tank gets thrown into you which leads to both of you taking dmg and falling.
    THAT would make me think like "holy moly what a threatening dragon that you should be very aware of".

    I would like to see abilities that reposition enemies, but you have to be careful about the degree to which it happens, these things should be used to set enemies up for a follow up (such as a ranged attack)- rather than just delaying things for no reason, and you want both players to feel a sense of control, otherwise combat can become tedious and more of a cinematic than a game. If they have CCs over long distances, then they should be very high acceleration and deceleration to minimize time in that state, and possibly give the player on the receiving end the ability to manipulate launch direction.


    There would be less spamm and way more interactions inbetween the players themselves.

    I don't like when there isn't counterplay available against players who spam the same attack without thought and regardless of the situation- but I do think its important that combat is fluid and fast paced and allows a player to spam at the risk of losing the fight against a better player.




    These things will likely be addressed in due time though, because they are consistent with what Intrepid is trying to create, assuming the recent showcase wasn't an accurate representation of the current overall combat direction.
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    Just please, for the love of God, do not make end-game PvE all about dodging various one shots.
    ob4olqinudwv.png

    discord.gg/pFCdaWM - Building a community across multiple games,
    including Ashes of Creation! Looking for members of all kinds to really pour
    our all into the Alpha 2, Betas, and then launch.
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    WeGbored wrote: »
    Just please, for the love of God, do not make end-game PvE all about dodging various one shots.
    Where would you want difficulty to come from then? If it's not "you gonna die real quick if you mess up" then what?
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    SunScriptSunScript Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited February 2023
    NiKr wrote: »
    WeGbored wrote: »
    Just please, for the love of God, do not make end-game PvE all about dodging various one shots.
    Where would you want difficulty to come from then? If it's not "you gonna die real quick if you mess up" then what?

    You want the short or the long answer? Ah what the heck I'm feeling generous, I'll give both.

    Short: stacked status effects and coordination difficulties. One-shots are the poor man's idea of balance, it comes from bad MMO diet. Really unfortunate stuff.


    Long: I'll just give you an example whipped up from my day to day FFXI experience. This is the basics.

    We go into a dungeon and engage some random goblin suitable for our level. Midway through the fight, the healer ends up taking a few hits because the tank lost hate temporarily (he was trying to heal and thus couldn't use Stun in time and the opponent got off a big move and thus lowered their hate toward the tank you see). What this means is a number of things:
    • It means that skeleton a room back is now coming with an army (undeads have blood aggro so they attack people at low hp and can 'smell' them from a distance)
    • It means the bard might need to AoE sleep a bunch of unintentional aggro and we need to coordinate and decides who fights what, because attacking a slept mob wakes them up which is sometimes a recepy for a TPK
    • It means your skillchain might need to change to something completely different mid fight (whoever ends the skillchain gets the hate generated by the skillchain), which essentially means our entire party needs to reconfigure their scheme mid combat
    • It means the healer might need to change who gets haste (putting haste on the tank instead of the DPS) or delay removing the status on someone
    • It means I might need to consider whether I have to Cure Waltz now or can still save TP (TP is a gauge you build up as you attack) for my weaponskill
    • It means I need to consider if to switch from Aspir Samba (party wide MP regen on hit) so Drain Samba (party wide HP regen on hit)
    • It means I might need to consider blowing my own Chakra (big self heal on big cooldown) early instead of using it to remove blind/paralysis because being at full health removes some of the burden of the healer and it means they take less hate for a bit due to healing, so things can stabilize
    • It means that suddenly I blew a bunch of my stored TP on healing and status removals, which puts me out of sync with the TP generation of the party member I was supposed to skillchain with, thus throwing a wrench both in our DPS and our ability to keep hate stably on the tank.
    • During this entire time, our Dark Knight needs to mentally keep track of the opponent's TP (which is invisible) despite the fact that our attack pacing changed and thus the speed or their TP generation. This is because the Dark Knight can drain TP and thus delay enemy weaponskills. It keeps us alive.
    • The Dark Knight and Paladin both have stuns to stop big enemy attacks and they need to coordinate their own timings so they don't both do it at once, but alternate.

    We manage to win and breathe easily for a bit. No, I'm just kidding, it's time for the next monster. This time we select a Crab because our WHM is low on MP and if I use Aspir Samba on such a tanky mob with MP, our White Mage can regain MP in time for the next fight. We obviously have to keep in mind respawn timers on those goblins we fought earlier. If we mess up, they will respawn and aggro on us and kill all of us. And we need to make sure not to blow all of our TP on the crab, we need it for the goblins.

    There's many other examples, and many types of fights and tactics, but I wanted to keep it simple for now.
    Bow before the Emperor and your lives shall be spared. Refuse to bow and your lives shall be speared.
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    Thank you @SunScript.

    For the record, I'm not saying one shots shouldn't be a part of end-game content.

    They 100% should.

    But it can and should get so much deeper than that.
    ob4olqinudwv.png

    discord.gg/pFCdaWM - Building a community across multiple games,
    including Ashes of Creation! Looking for members of all kinds to really pour
    our all into the Alpha 2, Betas, and then launch.
  • Options
    SunScript wrote: »
    There's many other examples, and many types of fights and tactics, but I wanted to keep it simple for now.
    While I totally agree with and definitely want that kind of complexity in the game's combat, what you described is pretty much "one-shot" in my eyes. It just comes in another form and has a slightly different approach to the "you mess up - you die quickly" design. Except instead of a quick reaction-requiring mechanic it's more of a prolonged "proper planning and execution" one. And while I want that second one very very much, I'm pretty sure that the majority of players would simply say that the game is too hard and that their party members keep fucking up the execution.

    Hell, after watching a few of Asmon's raid streams, I'm not even sure that the "step out of the red zone" mechanic is approachable enough for the laymen player. And with Ashes already having a shitton of "this game is not for you" mechanics, I dunno how many more of those the game could take before losing the absolute majority of its potential playerbase.

    Now, I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a variety of pve designs, but iirc FF11 had that kind of complexity on pretty much all of its combat and I'm not sure how many people would like that in Ashes (especially considering the potential of pvp during any pve encounter). And I think FF11's combat was way slower than what we've seen in AoC, so that complexity would be increased tenfold and would require top lvl skill from the players during any given encounter.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    You've definitely reminded me once again that I put too much hope in this Genre because it happened to do a thing I liked once.

    On the one hand I want to argue, but on the other hand I've watched randoms try to fight things in Monster Hunter.

    Hopefully someday, I don't have time to make an MMO and even if I did, people probably wouldn't actually play it.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    Azherae wrote: »
    Hopefully someday, I don't have time to make an MMO and even if I did, people probably wouldn't actually play it.
    I'd play it :)
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    Talents wrote: »
    Sounds like a pain in the ass and most of that doesn't sound like fun gameplay.

    So we got a spammer here, that doesnt want to use his brain?
    Go play minecraft then :x
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    SunScript wrote: »
    NiKr wrote: »
    WeGbored wrote: »
    Just please, for the love of God, do not make end-game PvE all about dodging various one shots.
    Where would you want difficulty to come from then? If it's not "you gonna die real quick if you mess up" then what?

    You want the short or the long answer? Ah what the heck I'm feeling generous, I'll give both.

    Short: stacked status effects and coordination difficulties. One-shots are the poor man's idea of balance, it comes from bad MMO diet. Really unfortunate stuff.


    Long: I'll just give you an example whipped up from my day to day FFXI experience. This is the basics.

    We go into a dungeon and engage some random goblin suitable for our level. Midway through the fight, the healer ends up taking a few hits because the tank lost hate temporarily (he was trying to heal and thus couldn't use Stun in time and the opponent got off a big move and thus lowered their hate toward the tank you see). What this means is a number of things:
    • It means that skeleton a room back is now coming with an army (undeads have blood aggro so they attack people at low hp and can 'smell' them from a distance)
    • It means the bard might need to AoE sleep a bunch of unintentional aggro and we need to coordinate and decides who fights what, because attacking a slept mob wakes them up which is sometimes a recepy for a TPK
    • It means your skillchain might need to change to something completely different mid fight (whoever ends the skillchain gets the hate generated by the skillchain), which essentially means our entire party needs to reconfigure their scheme mid combat
    • It means the healer might need to change who gets haste (putting haste on the tank instead of the DPS) or delay removing the status on someone
    • It means I might need to consider whether I have to Cure Waltz now or can still save TP (TP is a gauge you build up as you attack) for my weaponskill
    • It means I need to consider if to switch from Aspir Samba (party wide MP regen on hit) so Drain Samba (party wide HP regen on hit)
    • It means I might need to consider blowing my own Chakra (big self heal on big cooldown) early instead of using it to remove blind/paralysis because being at full health removes some of the burden of the healer and it means they take less hate for a bit due to healing, so things can stabilize
    • It means that suddenly I blew a bunch of my stored TP on healing and status removals, which puts me out of sync with the TP generation of the party member I was supposed to skillchain with, thus throwing a wrench both in our DPS and our ability to keep hate stably on the tank.
    • During this entire time, our Dark Knight needs to mentally keep track of the opponent's TP (which is invisible) despite the fact that our attack pacing changed and thus the speed or their TP generation. This is because the Dark Knight can drain TP and thus delay enemy weaponskills. It keeps us alive.
    • The Dark Knight and Paladin both have stuns to stop big enemy attacks and they need to coordinate their own timings so they don't both do it at once, but alternate.

    We manage to win and breathe easily for a bit. No, I'm just kidding, it's time for the next monster. This time we select a Crab because our WHM is low on MP and if I use Aspir Samba on such a tanky mob with MP, our White Mage can regain MP in time for the next fight. We obviously have to keep in mind respawn timers on those goblins we fought earlier. If we mess up, they will respawn and aggro on us and kill all of us. And we need to make sure not to blow all of our TP on the crab, we need it for the goblins.

    There's many other examples, and many types of fights and tactics, but I wanted to keep it simple for now.

    I actually didnt mean impactful abilities to oneshot.
    I nowhere said that, i literally said "big damage" or that interrupts you.

    Pls do not interpret weird meanings out of my sentences, like being hit from those certain abilities is bad and you should escape them, but its not that fatal that it insta kills you, that was not my intention.
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    Julixim wrote: »
    I actually didnt mean impactful abilities to oneshot.
    I nowhere said that, i literally said "big damage" or that interrupts you.

    Pls do not interpret weird meanings out of my sentences, like being hit from those certain abilities is bad and you should escape them, but its not that fatal that it insta kills you, that was not my intention.
    You either quoted the wrong person or complained about the wrong comment. Sun wasn't addressing your OP.
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    SunScript wrote: »
    It means I might need to consider blowing my own Chakra

    Well sure, if we could blow our own Chakra, we'd all be doing it, right?!
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/
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    SolvrynSolvryn Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Julixim wrote: »
    The combat updates were a nice progress in comparison to the alpha 1.
    But since then it didnt feel like there was that much progress regarding one specific topic that imo is very important for fun and meaningful combat.
    Could be that it is just a matter of time but for the case the team isnt aware, im going to explain myself.

    I've found that there are varying degrees in which people can articulate what they find meaningful in regards to combat, especially in the AoC community.
    Julixim wrote: »
    Meaningful combat:
    From what we saw in the dev. updates combat seems very spammy and the attacks from mobs over all meaningless since steve or his team did not react to any attack by dodging or interrupting specific attacks from the mobs that could have been a greater threat.
    It looked like the goal was just to throw out as much dps as possible by spamming all attacks available.

    They do need to work on their AI, but I think they have the framework to give us, "rotations".
    Julixim wrote: »
    In a fun game with meaningful combat that shouldnt be possible imo. I want to be forced to look at specific animations that teaser specific outcomes like big stuns or big damage that will interrupt you no matter what spell or block you use.
    So you either have to interrupt the animation (which can only be achieved with ultimate spells or spell combos) or simply dodge.

    We will get better juxtaposition between mobs and players once they improve their AI.
    Julixim wrote: »
    And if you get hit? well, what would be way more epic if being thrown 40 metres away from the mob, now imagine that in an epic dragon fight where players fail to dodge and you see them fly off frequently. Or you dps from further way and some tank gets thrown into you which leads to both of you taking dmg and falling.
    THAT would make me think like "holy moly what a threatening dragon that you should be very aware of".

    I'm not so sure being KB 40 meters away would bode well for PvX.
    Julixim wrote: »
    Eg. the dev. update where you showed the golems that throw rocks at you i think:
    that was the perfect opportunity to show meaningful combat by making the hit player not only slide backwords but being thrown away and falling to the ground, maybe even losing the weapon which you then have to collect.

    I am okay with being CC'd by a mob or disarmed, but I'm not sure about dropping a weapon entirely.
    Julixim wrote: »
    No matter what mob, i enjoy combat where i have to use my brain even if its not pvp.
    Also it will help immerse even further since every single desicion you make will have an impact on your gameplay, so casually walking around and spamming mobs to death without having to fear any kind of interruption would not be a part of this game.

    I do not think it'll be the case, the combat is definitely alpha stage combat and will require a lot more polishing.
    Julixim wrote: »
    Now think about raids or big pvp/pve battles. There would be less spamm and way more interactions inbetween the players themselves.
    I was always bored (and i know many others) from the aspect that as long as you dont enter raids or dungeons, mobs tend to be super boringly designed. I always wished that no matter what lvl you or the mob were that every single fight gave you the feeling of an epic battle.

    There are cooldowns with light attack filler, probably will be balanced out further.
    Julixim wrote: »
    But for that to be possible the character itself should have more meaningful movement and physics. Dont get me wrong, some movement like in rdr would be over the top and prob. handycap pvp, but eg. the swings from the long sword are not that fast at all given stages. first you need to build momentum and it will be the fastest within the last 1/3 of the swing.

    They'll have to nail down their kits and tidy up their universal skills before we see any real polish on the combat.

    Personally I hope they add attack speed modifiers to weapons and do not homogenize attack speed at all.
  • Options
    HinotoriHinotori Member, Leader of Men, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    daveywavey wrote: »
    SunScript wrote: »
    It means I might need to consider blowing my own Chakra

    Well sure, if we could blow our own Chakra, we'd all be doing it, right?!

    God dammit. +1.

    25uwa90ai34w.gif
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    SunScript wrote: »
    NiKr wrote: »
    WeGbored wrote: »
    Just please, for the love of God, do not make end-game PvE all about dodging various one shots.
    Where would you want difficulty to come from then? If it's not "you gonna die real quick if you mess up" then what?

    You want the short or the long answer? Ah what the heck I'm feeling generous, I'll give both.

    Short: stacked status effects and coordination difficulties. One-shots are the poor man's idea of balance, it comes from bad MMO diet. Really unfortunate stuff.


    Long: I'll just give you an example whipped up from my day to day FFXI experience. This is the basics.

    We go into a dungeon and engage some random goblin suitable for our level. Midway through the fight, the healer ends up taking a few hits because the tank lost hate temporarily (he was trying to heal and thus couldn't use Stun in time and the opponent got off a big move and thus lowered their hate toward the tank you see). What this means is a number of things:
    • It means that skeleton a room back is now coming with an army (undeads have blood aggro so they attack people at low hp and can 'smell' them from a distance)
    • It means the bard might need to AoE sleep a bunch of unintentional aggro and we need to coordinate and decides who fights what, because attacking a slept mob wakes them up which is sometimes a recepy for a TPK
    • It means your skillchain might need to change to something completely different mid fight (whoever ends the skillchain gets the hate generated by the skillchain), which essentially means our entire party needs to reconfigure their scheme mid combat
    • It means the healer might need to change who gets haste (putting haste on the tank instead of the DPS) or delay removing the status on someone
    • It means I might need to consider whether I have to Cure Waltz now or can still save TP (TP is a gauge you build up as you attack) for my weaponskill
    • It means I need to consider if to switch from Aspir Samba (party wide MP regen on hit) so Drain Samba (party wide HP regen on hit)
    • It means I might need to consider blowing my own Chakra (big self heal on big cooldown) early instead of using it to remove blind/paralysis because being at full health removes some of the burden of the healer and it means they take less hate for a bit due to healing, so things can stabilize
    • It means that suddenly I blew a bunch of my stored TP on healing and status removals, which puts me out of sync with the TP generation of the party member I was supposed to skillchain with, thus throwing a wrench both in our DPS and our ability to keep hate stably on the tank.
    • During this entire time, our Dark Knight needs to mentally keep track of the opponent's TP (which is invisible) despite the fact that our attack pacing changed and thus the speed or their TP generation. This is because the Dark Knight can drain TP and thus delay enemy weaponskills. It keeps us alive.
    • The Dark Knight and Paladin both have stuns to stop big enemy attacks and they need to coordinate their own timings so they don't both do it at once, but alternate.

    We manage to win and breathe easily for a bit. No, I'm just kidding, it's time for the next monster. This time we select a Crab because our WHM is low on MP and if I use Aspir Samba on such a tanky mob with MP, our White Mage can regain MP in time for the next fight. We obviously have to keep in mind respawn timers on those goblins we fought earlier. If we mess up, they will respawn and aggro on us and kill all of us. And we need to make sure not to blow all of our TP on the crab, we need it for the goblins.

    There's many other examples, and many types of fights and tactics, but I wanted to keep it simple for now.

    I hate to be the one to point this out, but the above isnt *hard*.

    You and your group created a situation for yourselves that isnt ideal (as in, it's your own fault, you already screwed up - twice by my understanding of what you have written), but you have identified multiple different ways to get out of it, and realistically only really need to execute perhaps two of them in total to survive.

    While this is significantly better gameplay than anything from games like L2 or Archeage, it isnt *hard* PvE.

    I'm not a particular fan of having to dodge one shot attacks either, but at least they do add actual difficulty to a fight. In fact, one shot attacks are the only way I have seen any MMO encounter add any challenge - the interest in such things comes is in how you avoid or prevent the attack (ie, the dodge part), not in the fact that one hit can kill you.
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    It's premature to determine whether the combat will be meaningful or spammy. Currently, the mobs are just filling the space while the systems are being tested during implementation.

    It's too early to make a judgment, although I can't recall any information from the wiki or streams about what the combat will be like in the future.

    Personally, I prefer challenging gameplay where I almost die while killing 100 mobs a day, rather than spamming everything to kill 1000, but I'm not sure what other players want.
    PvE means: A handful of coins and a bag of boredom.
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    SolmyrSolmyr Member
    edited February 2023
    I actually agree for the most part. I'm sick to death of all these games that bend over backward to let you win, and sand down every corner to make the entire experience as frictionless as possible.

    But for me it's mostly an aesthetic thing, as an animator by trade I really enjoy a well-choreographed fight scene. Obviously, you can't really choreograph game fights, but you can have a combat system that facilitates a similar feel.

    As an example, compare a monster fight in a typical MMO to a monster fight in Monster Hunter.

    A typical MMO will have you:
    • Standing in place in front of the monster doing your rotation, maybe occasionally moving to avoid some mechanics.
    • If it hits you with its tail, your character flinches slightly and loses health.
    • If you block the attack, your character takes no/less damage and doesn't move. When you damage the monster, it flinches slightly and its healthbar goes down.
    • Nothing is different in the monster's behavious when it's at 100% health vs. 1%.
    • You spend the entire fight slashing at the monster's toes with absolutely 0 physical interaction beyond phasing your sword through its model (if you're lucky).
    • You're always focused on the UI, because the UI is in front of all the action, and it gives you all the information you need.

    Compare that to Monster Hunter:
    • You're constantly moving, dodging, and reacting to every motion the monster makes.
    • If it hits you with its tail, you go flying. If you block its tail, you go skidding backward. When you damage the monster, you see the wounds on its body. When it's at low health, it starts limping and tries to run away - or maybe it gets enraged and fights twice as hard.
    • You're constantly inteacting with the monster at a physical level. Sometimes you're cutting an appendage off, sometimes you're getting battered around like a ragdoll, and sometimes you're literally riding its back stabbing your knives into it.
    • You're always focused on the action, because the action looks cool, and the action gives you almost all the information you need.

    Some of the discrepancy can be chalked up to tab vs. action combat, with tab being more abstract and action being more visceral. While AoC is currently like 98% tab despite their efforts at a hybrid system, I have to wonder if it's possible to capture the kinetic/believable nature even with a more abstract combat system.
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    Solmyr wrote: »
    Some of the discrepancy can be chalked up to tab vs. action combat, with tab being more abstract and action being more visceral. While AoC is currently like 98% tab despite their efforts at a hybrid system, I have to wonder if it's possible to capture the kinetic/believable nature even with a more abstract combat system.
    The melee weapon showcase had a bit of what you're talking about. Mainly the pushback mechanic. I really hope they can keep that design up for the majority of mobs in the game and definitely all the bosses.

    And I think even with a heavy tab lean in design, the combat could still be way more active. You just gotta make the blocking costly, make the dodge stat-based on top of a pure dodge for the action part of the combat (say, when you're in a dodge move your evasion stat is strongly boosted) and have mobs hit like a truck (kinda already the case, judging by the tank showcase). Couple all of that with a good AI and the unique animations that MH has and you'll have yourself an awesome visceral mmo combat.

    Though I ain't a game designer or a coder so I dunno how hard that kind of design would be to realize in an mmo.
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    Solmyr wrote: »
    I actually agree for the most part. I'm sick to death of all these games that bend over backward to let you win, and sand down every corner to make the entire experience as frictionless as possible.

    But for me it's mostly an aesthetic thing, as an animator by trade I really enjoy a well-choreographed fight scene. Obviously, you can't really choreograph game fights, but you can have a combat system that facilitates a similar feel.

    As an example, compare a monster fight in a typical MMO to a monster fight in Monster Hunter.

    A typical MMO will have you:
    • Standing in place in front of the monster doing your rotation, maybe occasionally moving to avoid some mechanics.
    • If it hits you with its tail, your character flinches slightly and loses health.
    • If you block the attack, your character takes no/less damage and doesn't move. When you damage the monster, it flinches slightly and its healthbar goes down.
    • Nothing is different in the monster's behavious when it's at 100% health vs. 1%.
    • You spend the entire fight slashing at the monster's toes with absolutely 0 physical interaction beyond phasing your sword through its model (if you're lucky).
    • You're always focused on the UI, because the UI is in front of all the action, and it gives you all the information you need.

    Compare that to Monster Hunter:
    • You're constantly moving, dodging, and reacting to every motion the monster makes.
    • If it hits you with its tail, you go flying. If you block its tail, you go skidding backward. When you damage the monster, you see the wounds on its body. When it's at low health, it starts limping and tries to run away - or maybe it gets enraged and fights twice as hard.
    • You're constantly inteacting with the monster at a physical level. Sometimes you're cutting an appendage off, sometimes you're getting battered around like a ragdoll, and sometimes you're literally riding its back stabbing your knives into it.
    • You're always focused on the action, because the action looks cool, and the action gives you almost all the information you need.

    Some of the discrepancy can be chalked up to tab vs. action combat, with tab being more abstract and action being more visceral. While AoC is currently like 98% tab despite their efforts at a hybrid system, I have to wonder if it's possible to capture the kinetic/believable nature even with a more abstract combat system.

    Monster hunter is the best example of interactive combat I know, but judging from what we've seen so far, I don't think the AoC team has enough experience to pull that off. They seem to be going for generic twenty-year-old MMO combat with the 64 classes bells and whistles to give the illusion of depth. Which is serviceable considering this game is designed for players whose reaction speeds have been on a steep decline for 30 years.

    Personally, I've given up on AoC having engaging combat. It's just infeasible to expect such a shift with what they've shown. I'm more interested in the skilling and shilling (economic) aspects.
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    Ah yes monster hunter, that top tier gameplay where your character having the high ground just shoots arrows over the heads of targets.
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