| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 4:40PM Mystal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
You know who has got "active combat" systems down pretty well? Fighting games like Street Fighter or Tekken.

With a lot more work, AoC's system could have had at least some of this sophistication, and then it would have been a very worthwhile system. If combos were more of a freestyle chaining of moves that each had a purpose, they could be interactive and fun. Instead it's like playing a fighting game where all of the combos are "canned" and there's no ability to block, dodge, or reverse an attack.

In a word: terrible.

Posted: Jul 11th 2008 9:13AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
someone doesn't play conan.

What makes it great isn't the auto-attack, it's the range based attack.

In boring MMOs, if I attack you, there is nothing you can do. It connects. Gear based > Skill based.

In fighting games and AoC, if I start an animation and YOU PAY ATTENTION you can double-tap-back and get out of the way OR parry with active blocking. Breaking it down for our spoon-fed slow WoW fanbois. "If joo is 1337, joo can haz pwn n006z"

Watching animations, having opponents waste their combo ender, combo-jousting, active blocking, using your movement-triggered buffs....man, AoC has soo much more than auto-attack. Not shocked small minds focus on one aspect.

This said, man, AoC is a shit game. So damn broken. Sure WoW was bad to start....but not this bad. If not for this awesome combat system, I'd put MMOs on hold entirely till Lich King.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 5:14PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Interesting and well thought-out take on active combat. I realize that it is outside the scope of your article (solo PVE) but I found that the most interesting aspect of AoC's active attack system was the newfound importance of positioning your character so most or all of your attacks strike adjacent enemies; every swing of the weapon is an AOE attack of sorts, and whether your mighty sword swing is just a glancing blow off a single enemy, or is a encounter-ending arc of death slashing through three enemies and decapitating a fourth is all a matter of positioning and timing.

I don't think I'm being unfair when I say that the combat in AoC is an interesting and daring departure from the standard-fare MMO autoattack, but falls a little short of setting the new standard in MMO combat. I hope a lot of creative folks at Funcom and other studios take a look at AoC's combat, because it is refreshing and shows a lot of promise

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 5:24PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The way you describe AoC's combat is a little bit off. Even when you are chaining combos, you do not ignore the shields. The combo's damage is treated as though its all on the one "side" of the enemy that the last/first direction of the combo hit. If you unleash a combo that starts/end on the right, and they move all their shields to the right, you just wasted that combo. Many times, when the opponent shifts their shield to the direction my really long combo is going to hit, I will stop the combo, and start doing one that hits elsewhere. (otherwise that combo would have done little else than the secondary effects. the damage would have been moot)

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 5:33PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
so at 80 when all your attacks take 6+ keystrokes, in your randomized system a single mistake wastes the power's stamina requirement and its cool down, whereas a mage clicking just one button would have an even greater advantage in speed and the ability always fires instead of pecking at random keys? Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the lose.

better to have everyone sharing the same system. hey, finger wigglers should have to make mystical passes with their arms and hands too!

why not just have a response system similar to DAoC's or LoTRO's? If a mob attacks you with a certain type of attack, you have a timed response window-of-opportunity to fire off an opposing attack/ability/chain that is only available in those circumstances?

After playing both a melee and a mage type up a ways in AOC the mage will always have a decided advantage in both speed and not failing combos over a melee. Hence my decision to quit paying for this game. (That and females melee does even less damage than males, lol).

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 6:13PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Well saying that you don't have to react to a mobs actions is true when your only fighting one mob, in AoC it's a very rare occurrence when your only fighting one thing at a time. Taking my Herald for an example:
When I start combat the first thing I do is my weakest combo, this is because I know the first attack in my set will be "wasted" on only one or two mobs as the others maneuver to get within melee range of me (remember in conan even mobs cant walk through each others avatars). Once the mobs have "settled" now I need to move so that there all in my weapon/breath arc. If i simply sidestep, or "slidestep" as some like to call it, the mobs will start pathing about and I have to try to stack them up again. Bear in mind a herald has slightly more hit points than your average rabbit so I dont have a whole lot of time to pull this off. So anyways the trick is to wait for the mobs to my side to take there swings, cast my instaroot and slide behind them. This has about 4 benefits. I get a to hit bonus for being behind them (im still not sure if this is working or not yet), I am not getting hit by as many of them, I have a chance to get one of my super long animated combos off "free", and there all nice and lined up for a fire bath. So yes active combat, in it's current infant state can be just as mindless as auto attack. But by using strategy and practice one can manage to take out allot more enemies at once with allot less risk than simply stand and swing style would allow.
With autoattack there are only a few snare/stun/blind maneuvers available, and in most cases they belong to melee classes that at best can gain a few seconds of bandage time out of it. It allows for far more strategic play! Oh, and players have moveable shields too.....

Posted: Jul 11th 2008 8:39AM GRT said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@danarchy,

I agree with everything you way with regard to positioning and strategy. But I disagree this system is linked to 'active attack'. As you yourself mention, positional attacks do exist in auto-attack systems, they're just generally not as developed as they are in AoC. Which is a plus for AoC's combat system but again, has nothing to do with it being 'active attack' vs 'auto-attack'.
Reply

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 6:18PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
i would rather click once than click 15 times in a row and have the same result. its not a matter of being engaged. the game as a whole is what is engaging, not whether i am clicking or not. 15 clicks every time is a lot more work than i want to be doing.

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 9:34PM Ergonomic Cat said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Also, Dungeons and Dragons online has far more what I'd consider an active attack system - each click is a swing, position matters, blocking is a key press, flanking matters, etc.

AoC was going to be the DDO killer (not that DDO is too huge, but....), when people heard about active attack. But really, playing a WoW hunter, running the shot cycles, is just about the same as an active attack game.

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 9:56PM GRT said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think your argument would've been a lot more 'pure' if you'd used CoX's active combat system as an example. AoC's Shield system is interesting but isn't linked to the active combat system; you could have the same kind of system with an auto-attack combat schema by just giving special skills a direction vector.

And I realize you were trying to keep things simple, but adding even a 2nd player to the mix adds another factor: communication. Granted voice chat is become more and more prevalent. but an active combat system means stopping long enough to type "Watch behind you" means your character stops fighting and stands there like a sack of potatoes, while in an auto-attack system he's a least doing some kind of minimal damage/aggro accumulation.

I don't mean to brush aside AoC's shield system; it's actually better than you suggest because, as others have pointed out, shields DO impact the amount of damage combos do, which in fact keeps you from falling into that opening routine you mentioned.

If you start building systems where players are given less and less time to press a key to do a combo, you start getting into situations where latency and network performance become matters of life and death. Essentially you start building an action game.

But again, Combos aren't linked to active combat systems, either. Look at Heroic Opportunities in EQ2. Those are essentially combos, after all.

Posted: Jul 11th 2008 7:22AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'll stick with my DDO active combat system. My character (with the proper feats of course) currently runs around throwing axes and daggers, but I also have a large sheild (made of a light material so I don't loose some of my throwing ability). This means I can block doorways and get a huge damage reduction. We must note, that blocking is an active thing achieved by holding a button. When I hold the block button I can attack to shield bash or, because my tumble skill is so high, when I move and block I flip forward left and back. The bonus to the flips is that it's very quick, and I get a huge bonus to my armor when tumbling. It allows me to get out of the way of fireballs quickly.

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW