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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 8:43AM Alarie said

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So what is DDO, chop liver?

I love DDO's real-time combat.

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 8:49AM Scopique said

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I like the idea of RTC, simply because the traditional method has spawned a culture of loudmouth, over-the-top armchair generals. RTC is such a different animal, because there's really no way to micromanage the performance of a group when it's more about reaction time then about how well you remember your keypress sequence or macro execution.

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 9:40AM (Unverified) said

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Me personally, so far I'm not looking forward to it. This is based on what I've seen from the Conan videos. Every now and again a developer comes along and trys to hype up their game by says they are "changing the boring whack-a-mole" style of play. Their "real time combat" will usher in a new age of MMO gameplay.. blah blah blah. Then when you try the game it stinks. Yea, I'm looking at you Tabula Rasa.

I like to push my buttons to activate my skills. I like the less frantic gameplay of "whack-a-mole". Theres a reason millions of people play MMOs... it's because we LIKE the current gameplay style. There's no need to reinvent it.

Yes I'll try Conan. (really just to check out the DX10 environments) But I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like constantly micro-managing my attacks and shields mid-battle.

Bring on WAR with it's tried and true gameplay!!!

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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I started with a sort of active combat when I played Asheron's Call, my first MMO. It had an attack button, whack-a-mole style, but you had the options of attacking high, medium or now, and a slider to determine speed vs power. AC also had the mechanic more MMO's need. That fireball or arrow miss you? If that's the case, it doesn't hit you. These things don't track you either. Infact, arrows that missed you in AC would stick into the ground for you to pick up later.

DDO expands on that by actually having an attack button, but much the same mechanics. It's sad that LOTRO strayed so far, because the mass doesn't want new and fancy systems.

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 10:32AM Enyeto said

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I have several worries about RTC in MMOs.

Firstly, latency/PC performance issues. Ok, I understand most people are on broadband and that's good, but RTC will increase the latency part of any combat equation. Add to that the extra processing power needed for more freedom of movement and you have a situation where connection speed (and even distance from server) and PC power make more difference than they really should.

Secondly, brains vs speed. RTC, imo, shifts reflex speed up a notch and the ability to think down. Don't get me wrong, both still matter greatly but it's shifting the balance in a direction I personally don't enjoy outside of a decent match of SSBB.

Thirdly, the inability to adapt. As Scopique said, reaction time. This is something that's almost impossible to adapt to for certain people. My Mother for example, she plays MMOs still (I'm not sure if I should admit that but wth) and she plays them well. Always a healer, and always a decent one. She learns the character she plays, learns the animations before big attacks, knows when to do what she needs to do and learns to anticipate the next move. If I was to stick her in a game where reflex time matters more than knowing the skills/characters she would last a day, maybe 2. OK, the games might not be targeted at her type but that's a large player base to ignore.

RTC has it's place, even in MMOs, but I personally think the classic auto attack base works and still has room for exciting additions. It's also more balance than RTC ever could be in my mind.

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 10:50AM (Unverified) said

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You mentioned latency being factored in and that is very valid. Something else to consider is that the new game that uses this RTC, Conan, has huge leaps in graphics. This game is going to bog down regular systems that aren't completely new. With video lag + network lag this might be a big problem.

It looks to me like Conan is kind of saying "Hey we have this new game which is very bloody and mature, you need to have the latest computer to run it and you better sharpen up those twitchy first person shooter skills." So yea, I guess they are targeting 19-24 year olds with large expendable income. Thats a pretty narrow demographic and I think the sub numbers will demonstrate that.

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 10:53AM (Unverified) said

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I would mention that AoC is using an -- albeit large -- instanced world to cut down on lag for this very reason. As for the graphics, if a player is having performance issues there's nothing stopping them from turning the graphics down a bit. It's no different than if AoC didn't look any better than the lower settings in the first place. What really matters is if the engine is scalable to lower and mid-range computers.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2008 11:32AM (Unverified) said

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But will those lower graphics settings actually look ok, or will they look like the standard glob of mud that most low graphics setting look like. Perhaps if the game weren't so twitchy the player could choose to up the graphical look a little at the expense of some performance, knowing that within the confines of the user-interface/ combat system, they would still be able to perform their actions at an acceptable pace.

All this is pure speculation and conjecture on my part though. I'm just trying to further the discussion on this issue. When Conan comes out it could possibly be a huge leap forward in the way we play these games and everyone will love it.

PS: Why is your background blue? Are you an Admin?

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 11:36AM (Unverified) said

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Thought I might give an example to go along with my last post. I currently play City of Heroes. On my old computer I upped the graphics just because the low settings looked like mud and the effects in that game are very cool indeed. The game would stutter some but I got to see fantastic effects and I was still able to perform my role correctly because you had a little give and take of when to hit the buttons.

Posted: Mar 25th 2008 12:38PM (Unverified) said

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Just for edification, DDO is almost entirely instanced. It uses the same engine as LOTRO and AC2, but it doesn't have DX10 stuff.

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