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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Twitch Combat?

Posted by MikeB Monday March 10 2014 at 12:44AM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we give a shoutout to the old farts out there with the thread, "Enough with the twitching already!!!" by Dauntis:

Anyone else tired of people clammoring for twitch combat in MMORPGs?

Why should my geared out supposably awesome warrior have to depend on my keyboard skills in an RPG?

Twitch players have all the rest of gamedom to slap around their great eye-coordination and quick fingers, why can't we have at least one genre for us slow old bastards?

Read on for some highlights from the thread!

SomeHuman agrees:

I totally agree.  I like some "twitch" games, but I usually turn to a FPS for that.  I prefer a more strategic combat in an MMORPG.  I'd be all for a turn-based combat system in some of the up-and-coming titles.  I have more fun playing a round of Hearthstone than I do running around ESO smacking stuff.  But I enjoy the world exploration and other elements of your typical mmorpg like ESO.

Rayshe doesn't mind the 'twitch combat' trend, but would like to see a few more traditional MMOs show up:

While i dont mind a twitch style game here or there, honestly im for the traditional Rotation style game. Give the Twitch players there game so they stop whining and then we can get back into our games. So long as the market doesnt become pure twitch based i see no problem throwing them afew titles.

Xiaoki is firmly in the action combat camp:

Dear God no.

I would rather success in combat be based on skill and not spreadsheets.

The EQ/WoW style of turn based combat has gone about as far as it will go and it is time for a change.

I want MMO combat to evolve and improve, not be cemented in the past and stagnate.

I'm sort of split on this myself. I don't really mind the more traditional MMO style combat, as long as it's a bit more flashy. SWTOR's combat felt like a good mix to me. There's really nothing like leaping onto someone several stories above you. BioWare managed to pull off some neat abilities using the more traditional style MMO combat and added their own wrinkle by removing the autoattack. That said, action combat, such as the combat found in TERA and Elder Scrolls Online is a welcome trend. I'd like to see how far we can push things along that front over the next couple years.

What about you? Share your thoughts with us below!

Hokie writes:

Well Im an old timer, but that doesnt automatically mean I prefer tab targeting, although that is my preference.

Ive put more hours (and dollars) into PlanetSide 2 since it came out than I care to admit too.


My problem with twitch MMO's is that its more gimmikie (bleh), that a truly realized playstyle.

So that over all my enjoyment suffers because of it. A great case in point is The Secret World, god that was painful. Painful to the point I stopped playing it.


Now looking at Wildstar, although I havent played it or even have a real desire to, it looks to be a game where twitch is part of the combat experience but not the whole thing.

Or maybe a better way of saying it is they didnt design the twitch combat around dragging mobs in a circle so you can DPS them all at the same time.


But overall like I said I prefer a solid tab-targeting MMO over a twitch based system, if I have the choice. And since I do, its usually the the tab-T MMO that gets my subscription.


To sum up; For me its about quality of gameplay, not my reflexes. Cause even at my age I still got FPS skill.


Mon Mar 10 2014 1:58AM Report
JaggaSpikes writes: i'm fine with twitch and non-twitch games. i'm also fine with games that need both twitch and non-twtitch skills. and also fine with games that are easy and games that are hard. more different games we have, the better. Mon Mar 10 2014 4:25AM Report
Allacore69 writes: Action Combat is the way of the future. He's right, we need to get out of the past and evolve combat in mmo's. Mon Mar 10 2014 5:03AM Report
Allacore69 writes: "Anyone else tired of people clammoring for twitch combat in MMORPGs?

Why should my geared out supposably awesome warrior have to depend on my keyboard skills in an RPG?

Twitch players have all the rest of gamedom to slap around their great eye-coordination and quick fingers, why can't we have at least one genre for us slow old bastards?"


This too is a great point as well. Clicking skill's all day long does get boring. Although action combat might get boring after a while too.

Mon Mar 10 2014 5:09AM Report
Rhazmuz writes: I hope the action combat systems of games like ESO and NW are what we will see more and more as the norm in the future! Its simply much more engaging and rewarding compared to the semi dull tab target, with tons of skills all over the screen, and auto attack running itself. Mon Mar 10 2014 5:49AM Report
Mors.Magne writes:

Depends on how it's done.


I've heard that twitch-based combat in TSW is rubbish, partly because it goes on for so long that it becomes boring.


On the other hand, I have heard the most amazing things about the Elite: Dangerous alpha test when combined with Oculus Rift.


So I think the answer is that it can be very immersive when done well, but it rarely is.


If I could point to a game that did twitch-based combat particularly well, I would say Battlefield 2 - but this is because the twitch-based combat went together with all the other game mechanics, such as the big maps and battle-front type movement.

Mon Mar 10 2014 8:25AM Report
MumboJumbo writes: Torn on this one. On the one hand I'd like actiony-combat but then it reduces the number of participants or aim-bots plague it or it narrows the focus to super deep combat and narrow world building. I'd still put world-building 1st even at the sacrifice of less simulated combat system. I can imagine carving someone up with a sword ala M&B or on the back of a charging warhorse would be up there and possibly even better than watching Conan The Barbarian! Mon Mar 10 2014 9:01AM Report
syriinx writes:

"I would rather success in combat be based on skill and not spreadsheets.

The EQ/WoW style of turn based combat has gone about as far as it will go and it is time for a change."


First off, EQ and WoW combat is completely different.  And WoW combat *is* skill based combat.  People like to pretend otherwise, but fact is skill in WoW matters.  Oh, gear matters too (as it does in twitch games too), but only to an extent.  You put an average player in good gear and a skilled player in average gear, the skilled player will greatly outperform the average player every single time.


The difference between WoW and a game like Tera is that the average player can do ok in WoW but may have a steeper learning curve in Tera.  But to really stand out in WoW takes as much skill, and quite possibly even more skill, than in TERA.


And the reason for this is because skill is about more than just dodging.  Skill is about mastering the combat depth too, and so far twitched based games struggle in combat depth.


There is definitely room for both types of combats, but twittch combat can get tedious fast and to me isnt well suited to a genre that can take up multiple hours of playtime.


And lots of people love D&D style combat.  Combat based on dice rolls is actually much more unpredictable.  In a game like Tera, or even WoW, the only real danger is a player screwing up.  In EQ there were those random damage spikes or spells wearing off early or resisting that really made the combat intense at times.  

Mon Mar 10 2014 9:39AM Report
Eir_S writes: There's room for both, but the more MMO's I play over the years, the more I want something like ESO, where I can actually use a shield like a shield and not a GW2 shield that doesn't block attacks so much as it makes a big bubble over you (!), and even two handed weapons can be used as they would be in real combat, blocking incoming hits by holding them in front of you.  I've been trying to play Rift and it's so hard to stick with it because not only is the combat completely hotkey based but it also suffers from the feeling that nothing you hit is reacting as it should.. more like your weapon is just going through them and producing a number cloud.  I'm tired of games like that.  GW2, Neverwinter, and ESO have the best combat (for me), but I also still enjoy WoW's combat. Mon Mar 10 2014 10:05AM Report
Naevius writes:

The main proplem with any kind of 'twitch' combat is that it distorts the impact of statistics, which have been the core of these type of games since pen and paper days. To put it simplistically, what do I care what my armor rating is if I can dodge an attack?

Still, the more active combat style is fun - I just suspect that in the long run it makes MMOs the same as FPS games.

Mon Mar 10 2014 11:21AM Report
Senadina writes: Several people have referenced The Secret World's combat. I have felt for a long time that TSW, in particular, would've been a more successful game with traditional MMO combat. My reasoning is that the type of gamer that wants the investigation missions, puzzles, and riddles in TSW, is the type of gamer that likes the strategic combat more than twitch. Just my opinion, and I might be biased because while I enjoy twitch combat in small doses, I won't be playing such an MMO for hours at a time. It's tiring, and not my preferred combat system. Mon Mar 10 2014 12:50PM Report
someforumguy writes:

I can both like twitched based FPS style combat and tab targetting.

 But I don't want some some crappy hybrid form. Most of these hybrid forms still allow you to play punching bag as melee like in tabtargetting combat, which makes the dodging just a silly gimmick. Just so that the devs can call their combat action combat.

So for me, twitch or tabtarget. Not a mix please.

Mon Mar 10 2014 1:02PM Report
Konfess writes: Wrong, the call for twitch gaming is not one of interface preference it all about exploiting a perceived weaker opponent.  FPS console gamers who didn’t cut it in that genre have come to MMORPGs seeking easy kills, nothing more. Tue Mar 11 2014 3:47AM Report writes:
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