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General Gaming  » What sort of combat system do you prefer?

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54 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/19/10
Posts: 209

OP  4/18/10 8:00:44 AM#1

Hello people!

I would like to get to know: "What kind of combat system do you preferably have in an MMO?"

It would be very kind if you could also tell me, WHY you prefer that particular one.

Ideas on how to spice existing combat systems up are welcome. Maybe you can even come up with a completely new super-uber system that rocks my brain away? ;-)


I'm curious. And now discuss please! :-)




Here is what I think:

Most systems have their right to exist, as it totally depends on the world and overall game mechanics. But what I lack to see are typical RPG elements / combat systems in modern MMOs. Why not have combat simulated as in "The Dark Eye" or "Dungeons and Dragons"? Everything is done with dice rolls, combat is a bit slower and it's more about tactical choices.

EvE is a bit like that, though combat is implemented in a very boring manner in my opinion...

What kind of combat system do you prefer?

WoW-style: Autoattacking and some abilities to fire
Chronicles of Spellborn-style: No auto-attack, every ability is performed on demand
EvE-style: auto-attack only
Darkfall-style: You click to attack and you have to actually aim
FPS-style: Very twitch playstyle aiming with a crosshair
Final Fantasy-style: Combat is separated into rounds, not real-time
Strategy-game-style: You command several units and give them orders
(login to vote)

Elite Member

Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 5463

4/18/10 8:02:54 AM#2

Chronicles of spellborn style.

Although it's quite confusing, as the new FF online MMO will have similar combat mechanics as it, so it could be mixed with the "final fantasy" option easily.

"Housing is standard in most mmo's."
- yolteotl79


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/19/10
Posts: 209

OP  4/18/10 8:05:00 AM#3

With "final-fantasy-style" I was referring to the classical single-player games of that franchise.

I could also say "Atlantica Online"-style. ;-)


Elite Member

Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 5463

4/18/10 8:06:30 AM#4

Atlantica Online system sounds better I think =P Since there's really two (three) kind of "final fantasy styles" nowadays =/.

"Housing is standard in most mmo's."
- yolteotl79


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 786

4/18/10 8:06:54 AM#5

The kind that is good.

Gears of War has good shooting mechanics but Tabula Rasa and all the others did not.

World of Warcraft has the best combat for that traditional style but Everquest 2 does not.


Not really the type of combat but just one that is well made.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/19/10
Posts: 209

OP  4/18/10 8:10:26 AM#6
Originally posted by Varny


Not really the type of combat but just one that is well made.

For this discussion, let's assume we only compare the "best"-made systems.

I think if any of the mentioned systems is made perfect, you will still have a favorite one. At least I do, and it is definately the "Chronicles of Spellborn" one.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/08
Posts: 2163

4/18/10 8:16:51 AM#7

I love twitch FPS/TPS combat for ranged fighting such as spells and guns, but I can't stand it for melee. Everyone just runs around like headless chickens swinging wildly. I'd much rather have twitch-based melee combat built on quicktime-style counters and blocks.

Playing: EVE, Final Fantasy 13, Uncharted 2, Need for Speed: Shift


Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/07
Posts: 485

4/18/10 8:56:31 AM#8

It depends on the game as to which style works.

In a crowded dungeon where the images of enemies overlap, you really need some sort of tab system to select targes.  It is pot luck as to which target is selected when clicking on overlapping images.  I like to be strategic and prioritise the order in which I attack monsters.  This is important if each enemy unit is a challenging target. 

However, in games  where you fight  groups of weak monsters, which monster you target first may not be important.

I like auto attack in MMO's for the basic actions.  I usually dislike games that are click fests.  In the early days of Everquest, rangers did not autofire arrows once you told them to attack.  Most players had macros to fire arrows repeatedly, rather than have to mouse-click for every single arrow fired.  With some fights in Everquest lasting 20 minutes, that adds up to a lot of mouse clicks.

Playing from Australia, latency is a significant factor in combat as the game servers are usually only in the USA or Europe.  Twitch style combat as implemented, does not work very well when there is significant latency.

Twitch style combat does not work for me unless the graphics and sound are in synchronised with what is actually happening, keyboard/mouse commands are actioned immediately and these actions are reflected in the action and sound on screen.  Fancy graphics with long animations often result in the graphics and sound lagging what is happening.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/14/09
Posts: 1538

4/18/10 9:00:34 AM#9

I don't really care about the style of combat much.   Auto attack, no auto attack? meh, who cares?

What I care about is how responsive the combat controls are.  When I'm chasing someone to deliver that final blow, can I be behind them which seems natural or do I have to be standing on them?  A good game engine will let me act naturally while I will have to compensate for a poor game engine.

Any lag in combat is a big problem for me.  Especially if I die due to lag a lot like in Warhammer.

I don't much like those games where everyone has tons of health and everyone does very little damage so that it takes more than one person to kill another.  I know this promotes team work, but I feel I should be able to do something as an individual player.

How many combat features does the game have?  Stuns?  How about fear, spell reflect, pets, slows, roots, teleports, counter measures, knock backs, heals and damage both over time and direct, stealth, mezzes, and so on.  The more features the better.

If someone dies in combat, they shouldn't feel powerless, they should be kicking themselves because they forgot to press the E key.

Well shave my back and call me an elf! -- Oghren


Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/08
Posts: 259

4/18/10 9:38:19 AM#10

I like the melee combat in Age of Conan, which doesn't have auto attack, but doesn't really require much aiming either. The combo system isn't perfect, but controlling the direction of the swings with the keyboard rather than clicking with the mouse just feels right, and works fine with a little lag. If the weapon swing visually hits the target, I don't see why it should matter that your cursor wasn't over it when you started the swing

For ranged combat I'd like something in between fallen earth and tabula rasa. Slower paced than an FPS, and slightly sticky targetting to make lag and desync less of an issue, but definitely manual targeting and no auto attack.

I also like being able to switch between combat mode and exploration mode. Interacting with the world in ways that don't involve combat is a huge part of MMOs to me, and I don't want the combat system to impose restrictions when exploring, interacting with objects in the world, NPCs and other players. Autotargeting is fine for this, and if the game has a magic system, there should be no need for precision aiming to cast utility spells and "friendly" spells out of combat.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/04
Posts: 3120

Cynical? Me? Never.

4/18/10 9:46:32 AM#11

DDO is my favorite style, but I also like the WoW style(btw, I think DAoC had that style before WoW).



Joined: 7/05/07
Posts: 1301

4/18/10 11:16:09 AM#12

They all have their ups and downs depending on the style of the game itself.

However, EVE's style auto-attack really has nothing good about it... its boring and mindless. The Atlantica style is pretty cool, but I think the majority of players like the crisp nature of WoW combat.


  User Deleted
4/18/10 11:16:28 AM#13

Time slice based ala Rubies of Eventide:

Rubies' unique combat mode is an “asynchronous real-time turn-based hybrid combat.” For players this means planning moves strategically with more attention to tactical planning than split-second decisions. This combat system combines turn-based and real-time elements. Under attack mode, every action has a preparation and recovery time, which varies depending on what action is taken (attack, movement), the weapon being wielded, and the strength of the user's character. This way, the player can cancel its action when in preparation time (e.g. cancel the attack and run away), but after the action is performed he has to wait until the recovery time is over (and for a few seconds he is vulnerable to his opponents).
Another unique innovation in combat is the combat circle. When a battle begins, all other characters disappear and cannot join the battle, except for any aggressive NPCs nearby that might add up, or if in PvP, other members of the opposite party. This eliminates the problem of kill stealing and allows players to battle their foes without having to worry about outside interference. A red "radius of engagement" circle appears on the player's radar to indicate where the player and his opponent can move. If either combatant chooses to exit this ring, combat will effectively cease.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

4/18/10 2:57:49 PM#14

I prefer auto-attack.  Pick your target, attack, let your character keep attacking with the chosen weapon unless I decide to use different tactics or abilities.  No muss, no fuss.

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  User Deleted
4/18/10 3:25:29 PM#15

This for melee and this for ranged

Impractical in a MMO setting? Probably but I still think it would be the ideal combat system


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/19/10
Posts: 209

OP  4/18/10 3:52:09 PM#16
Originally posted by CactusmanX

This for melee and this for ranged

Impractical in a MMO setting? Probably but I still think it would be the ideal combat system

Well, the Gears of War 2 style (FPS-combat basically) can work and it already does (Neocron 2, Global Agenda...).

But your proposal for melee combat (Batman: Arkham Asylum) could be done maybe, but you would really have to cut the ragdoll-thingie, because it wouldn't run with todays technology (takes up too much traffic).


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 158

4/18/10 3:55:25 PM#17

it depends on the mmo genre. If it's an MMOFPS I think a twitch-based approach might be most intuitiv, while for an MMORPG some autoattack system with abilities makes more sense.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 158

4/18/10 3:57:28 PM#18
Originally posted by brostyn

DDO is my favorite style, but I also like the WoW style(btw, I think DAoC had that style before WoW).

wow's system is pretty much daoc with less clumsy "feel" wrt movement.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/02/05
Posts: 1667

4/18/10 5:09:12 PM#19

I just want to feel like I am fighting a monster, instead of watching a cartoon fight a monster. It doesn't take a really complicated, intricate or twitchy system to deliver that, at least for me.

EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/23/08
Posts: 1459

4/18/10 7:30:33 PM#20

I was thinking about this, and while I voted Darkfall's type of combat system, I don't really think that that is what I want. I really suck at twitch-based games, but at the moment, I've been playing Fallout 3, Bioshock, Borderlands, and The Saga of Ryzom. The Saga of Ryzom plays like what I think of as the standard mmo-combat scheme. Target an enemy then press hotkeys until it's dead. I thought this combat system bores me, but I'm not so sure. What I realized from playing this game is that I don't like combat systems where the animations don't sync up with the behind-the-scenes activity. If I'm running 20 feet in front of a monster, I still get hit by a melee attack. This is what I don't like. I would have no problems with this type of combat system if the animations synced up better. This is why I can't get into Fallen Earth even though the game-play is so seemingly different from tab-hot key systems.

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