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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why the hate on tab targeting?

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  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  9/18/12 4:54:53 PM#1

I know that not everyone dogs on it, but it seems that there are a lot of people that do. I especially noticed an uprise in its degradation since GW2. The fact that it has a targeting system seemed to hurt its credibility.

Does anyone else remember back when The Ocarina of Time hit? It had the famous "Z" targeting system that everyone praised for years and years. And that was an action adventure game. People now are complaining about it being in MMOs. We're not talking about first-person shooters here. Now, I'm not saying that every game should have it; I'm of the opinion that no feature should become the standard. But ragging on a feature for being in a game seems silly. Personally, I don't want my MMORPG to be played like an FPS. There are some that do, and that's great; I certainly don't complain about the existence of those, so why do people complain about the counter?

Another thing -- when did the idea of "player skill" become such a buzz phrase? I haven't really noticed its ubiquity since the saturation of the FPS genre. It seems to go hand in hand with argument against games taking time to achieve things. I'm not arguing for one side or the other, but I think that having time should be seen as advantage, just like someone with better reflexes. It's like someone complaining that FPS games aren't fair because he doesn't have great manual dexterity. Can you imagine the backlash on a comment like that?

My point is that no game should be crucified for a feature that it has (unless it's a feature that is becoming a standard, like "!" questing). It seems against popular opinion, but I totally think that there should still be games that pander to those with gratuitous amounts of time -- and not have some alternative that can be bought. This may seem a little off the topic of tab targeting, but really, it's the same dispute. The idea of player skill being crucial in an MMO is fine, but it most definitely shouldn't be mandatory, or even a standard.

  Vorthanion

Elite Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 1882

9/18/12 5:00:24 PM#2
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market.  Hating on anything that isn't like their beloved games, even if it means changing an industry that already has a big following that likes things like tab targeting and tactical style combat, with stats and classes having the bigger influence on combat than twitch skills and the quality of your internet connection.  It's also the reason why MMOs have been moving from virtual worlds into the e-Sport arena.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13110

9/18/12 5:11:06 PM#3
Originally posted by blognorg

Does anyone else remember back when The Ocarina of Time hit? It had the famous "Z" targeting system that everyone praised for years and years. And that was an action adventure game. People now are complaining about it being in MMOs.

The problem that Ocarina of Time was trying to address is that 3D graphics were still pretty new, and many game companies hadn't yet figured out how to have a camera that gives you a pretty good view of what's going on.  Z targeting didn't make for particularly interesting gameplay, but it did at least make the game playable, which is more than can be said for some other 3D games from that era.

-----

Why do people have the idea that skill-based automatically means first-person shooter?  There are lots of types of skill that don't involve a first-person perspective.  Chess is a skill-based game, and reflexes don't matter at all.  Tetris is skill-based.  Tecmo Super Bowl is skill-based.  Europa Universalis II is skill-based.

The idea is that winning and losing should depend greatly on what the player does, and not be largely preordained by levels and gear the moment combat starts.  The latter means that combat basically consists of waiting for one battle to end so that you can start another.  When you don't have to pay attention to what you're doing because it doesn't even matter what you're doing, a game is terrible.

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

9/18/12 5:11:24 PM#4
Originally posted by Vorthanion
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market.  Hating on anything that isn't like their beloved games, even if it means changing an industry that already has a big following that likes things like tab targeting and tactical style combat, with stats and classes having the bigger influence on combat than twitch skills and the quality of your internet connection.  It's also the reason why MMOs have been moving from virtual worlds into the e-Sport arena.

I like how you were able to put that.  Normally when I try to say the same thing - I'm a little more inflammatory toward the invaders...ahem.

+1

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  TobiasGrey

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/12
Posts: 170

9/18/12 5:14:02 PM#5
Originally posted by Vorthanion
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market. 

I'd say its more a result of people getting tired that no one is doing anything different. Tab targetting existed because of technical limitations. Now we're at an age where even many indie MMOs have full real time twitch combat, yet the same tired old WoW clones stick to the tired tab targetting shallow combat formula.

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  9/18/12 5:33:48 PM#6
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by blognorg

Does anyone else remember back when The Ocarina of Time hit? It had the famous "Z" targeting system that everyone praised for years and years. And that was an action adventure game. People now are complaining about it being in MMOs.

The problem that Ocarina of Time was trying to address is that 3D graphics were still pretty new, and many game companies hadn't yet figured out how to have a camera that gives you a pretty good view of what's going on.  Z targeting didn't make for particularly interesting gameplay, but it did at least make the game playable, which is more than can be said for some other 3D games from that era.

-----

Why do people have the idea that skill-based automatically means first-person shooter?  There are lots of types of skill that don't involve a first-person perspective.  Chess is a skill-based game, and reflexes don't matter at all.  Tetris is skill-based.  Tecmo Super Bowl is skill-based.  Europa Universalis II is skill-based.

The idea is that winning and losing should depend greatly on what the player does, and not be largely preordained by levels and gear the moment combat starts.  The latter means that combat basically consists of waiting for one battle to end so that you can start another.  When you don't have to pay attention to what you're doing because it doesn't even matter what you're doing, a game is terrible.

 

That's not what I said. I'm referring to a particular type of mentality that references that style of game play. If you're going break down skill like that, then everything has some type of skill associated with it, but that's not my argument. You might be right about The Ocarina of Time having that feature to fix a problem, but targeting has been used for many games, years after that... to good results, I might add. Even if its roots are what you claim, it has allowed a style of game play that can focus on other areas, rather than relying on twitch controls. Look at Metroid prime; surely we were far enough along in 3D to render targeting archaic, but it was still used -- and it was awesome. I didn't read any complaints (though, I'm sure they existed) about the aiming. So, no, "tab" targeting's only function isn't just to handle an antiquated problem.

 

 

The other issue you are talking about can largely be attributed to the power curve. This isn't necessarily the same thing. I've played games that didn't have a ridiculous power curve, but still took an insane amount to time to get to the "max". However, PvP was still perfectly viable for many players that hadn't come anywhere near that level. Yeah, there are cases like what you're talking about (i.e. WoW), but the same can't be said in broad strokes.

  Aelious

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2293

World > Quest Progression

9/18/12 6:25:58 PM#7
I don't like full tab targetting because it seems a little unrealistic and, to be honest, a bit boring.  Yeah I know, there's already a guy materializing fire from his hands but there should be a little more emphisis on motion and positioning in combat.  I personally like the middle ground that GW2 offered as it let in a little more twitch but not too much.  2cp.
  dave6660

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2320

"Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

9/18/12 7:01:59 PM#8
Originally posted by TobiasGrey
Originally posted by Vorthanion
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market. 

I'd say its more a result of people getting tired that no one is doing anything different. Tab targetting existed because of technical limitations. Now we're at an age where even many indie MMOs have full real time twitch combat, yet the same tired old WoW clones stick to the tired tab targetting shallow combat formula.

Sorry but adding a targetting reticle does not make the game different.  TERA proved that nicely.

There's nothing wrong with tab targetting.  I think there's too many players in the wrong genre.

"Why so serious?"
-- The Joker

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

9/18/12 7:07:17 PM#9
Originally posted by dave6660
Originally posted by TobiasGrey
Originally posted by Vorthanion
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market. 

I'd say its more a result of people getting tired that no one is doing anything different. Tab targetting existed because of technical limitations. Now we're at an age where even many indie MMOs have full real time twitch combat, yet the same tired old WoW clones stick to the tired tab targetting shallow combat formula.

Sorry but adding a targetting reticle does not make the game different.  TERA proved that nicely.

There's nothing wrong with tab targetting.  I think there's too many players in the wrong genre.

While I agree, the fact is because of these console kiddies and demanding every game and its brother be declared an mmo if more than 2 people can play it together, we really don't have a genre anymore.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  Dave3216

Novice Member

Joined: 9/04/09
Posts: 136

Excuses are the refuge of the weak.

9/18/12 7:16:29 PM#10

     Why the hate you ask, because it is usually implemeted badly, and you end up tab targetting the wrong mob more often than not. I think it was rift that drove me insane with tab targetting always dragging other mobs into fight because it was so inept at selecting closest enemy.

      I think when tab targetting is implemented well, you dont notice it, but when its bad its horrific and possibly the sole reason for global warming. Its just one of those basics that should be done well, unfotunately it isnt.

  TobiasGrey

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/12
Posts: 170

9/18/12 7:35:12 PM#11
Originally posted by dave6660
Originally posted by TobiasGrey
Originally posted by Vorthanion
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market. 

I'd say its more a result of people getting tired that no one is doing anything different. Tab targetting existed because of technical limitations. Now we're at an age where even many indie MMOs have full real time twitch combat, yet the same tired old WoW clones stick to the tired tab targetting shallow combat formula.

Sorry but adding a targetting reticle does not make the game different.  TERA proved that nicely.

There's nothing wrong with tab targetting.  I think there's too many players in the wrong genre.

This genre is not built on tab targeting. And the majority of people praised TERA's combat. It was the rest of the game that was an uninspired WoW knock off.

The point is, tab targeting is one of those tell tale signs that a game is going to be a WoW clone that doesn't dare to try anything different.

 

Very few MMOs do anything new with tab targetting.

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

9/18/12 7:35:46 PM#12

It comes down to part of the fundamental argument of what is a RPG.  It's definitely one of those subjective words - a million definitions and all that jazz; but to an extent it is what it comes down to...

I'm sitting at the table with a bunch of guys - we've got our diet Mount Dew, our Cheetos, and our 6-sided dice.  When I direct my character to attack something, I've slapped a big ol' target reticle on the guy - I'm locked on the guy.  Mentally, I've tabbed through the available targets and I've locked on.  That's who my character is attacking.  I'm not the character.  I'm directing the character.  RPG - tada!

Now for the guy that's played some action game with some RPG elements - well, they're used to directing the actions in the form of they're actually taking the actions.  It's not a case of telling the character to swing - they're actually making the character swing.  Their skill is what is determing whether the swing hits - not the character.  If it's not the character, well - it's not an RPG to me.  To these guys though, it is an RPG.  They have a different view of it.

Doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong.  Doesn't mean that I'm wrong and they're right.  It's one of those things...one of those words...and one of those systems.

When I wanted to play a RPG, I played a RPG.  When I wanted to play an Action game, I played an Action game.  Adventure, Adventure.  Sports, Sports.  Platformer, Platformer.  FPS, FPS.  RTS, RTS.  Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.  Everything was pretty well defined and I pretty much agreed with the definitions.  Different games may have had elements of other types, but they were still clearly defined as far as what the primary type of game was.

Then the marketing folks got involved - they wanted to snag different markets and bring them together.  So they lied.  Games that were not primarily a certain type were labeled as if they were.  So a bunch of folks grew up believing that those kind of games were those kind of games.  You can't fault them - can't really say they're wrong.  It's not like they think an apple is an orange or anything like that... the terms have been muddied over the years, they no longer have those meanings - so, we're at where we're at... and all the arguments that ensue because of that.

Can't blame the other guy...nope, I can definitely see where they're coming from... but I sure as Hell can blame the marketing folks...

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  StanlyStanko

Novice Member

Joined: 10/28/11
Posts: 261

9/18/12 7:38:02 PM#13
Originally posted by Vorthanion
It's a result of the console  / first person shooter gamers pouring into the MMO market.  Hating on anything that isn't like their beloved games, even if it means changing an industry that already has a big following that likes things like tab targeting and tactical style combat, with stats and classes having the bigger influence on combat than twitch skills and the quality of your internet connection.  It's also the reason why MMOs have been moving from virtual worlds into the e-Sport arena.

The Call-of-Duty-ing of MMORPGs. That's why they're mostly just one-month-wonders now.   :-(

  User Deleted
9/18/12 7:38:37 PM#14

I just realized:

What's tab targetting? I don't think I've ever used it.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13110

9/18/12 8:51:47 PM#15
Originally posted by blognorg

 

That's not what I said. I'm referring to a particular type of mentality that references that style of game play. If you're going break down skill like that, then everything has some type of skill associated with it, but that's not my argument. You might be right about The Ocarina of Time having that feature to fix a problem, but targeting has been used for many games, years after that... to good results, I might add. Even if its roots are what you claim, it has allowed a style of game play that can focus on other areas, rather than relying on twitch controls. Look at Metroid prime; surely we were far enough along in 3D to render targeting archaic, but it was still used -- and it was awesome. I didn't read any complaints (though, I'm sure they existed) about the aiming. So, no, "tab" targeting's only function isn't just to handle an antiquated problem.

Sorry to misunderstand you, then.

Tab-targeting doesn't automatically mean that combat doesn't take skill.  But if you're going to make a game where combat doesn't take much skill, it's surely going to have some sort of automatic targeting mechanism--such as tab targeting.

  Myrdynn

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/25/07
Posts: 1319

9/18/12 8:56:50 PM#16

I prefer auto targetting myself, I do however like tab targetting, but just so i can see some health bars, not for who I actually am targetting, I like TSW and GW2's takes on this, no matter who you have targetted if you swing and something is in front of you, you hit it

 

  Darkmoth

Novice Member

Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 175

9/18/12 9:09:32 PM#17
Originally posted by VirusDancer

It comes down to part of the fundamental argument of what is a RPG.  It's definitely one of those subjective words - a million definitions and all that jazz; but to an extent it is what it comes down to...

I'm sitting at the table with a bunch of guys - we've got our diet Mount Dew, our Cheetos, and our 6-sided dice.  When I direct my character to attack something, I've slapped a big ol' target reticle on the guy - I'm locked on the guy.  Mentally, I've tabbed through the available targets and I've locked on.  That's who my character is attacking.  I'm not the character.  I'm directing the character.  RPG - tada!

Now for the guy that's played some action game with some RPG elements - well, they're used to directing the actions in the form of they're actually taking the actions.  It's not a case of telling the character to swing - they're actually making the character swing.  Their skill is what is determing whether the swing hits - not the character.  If it's not the character, well - it's not an RPG to me.  To these guys though, it is an RPG.  They have a different view of it.

Doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong.  Doesn't mean that I'm wrong and they're right.  It's one of those things...one of those words...and one of those systems.

When I wanted to play a RPG, I played a RPG.  When I wanted to play an Action game, I played an Action game.  Adventure, Adventure.  Sports, Sports.  Platformer, Platformer.  FPS, FPS.  RTS, RTS.  Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.  Everything was pretty well defined and I pretty much agreed with the definitions.  Different games may have had elements of other types, but they were still clearly defined as far as what the primary type of game was.

Then the marketing folks got involved - they wanted to snag different markets and bring them together.  So they lied.  Games that were not primarily a certain type were labeled as if they were.  So a bunch of folks grew up believing that those kind of games were those kind of games.  You can't fault them - can't really say they're wrong.  It's not like they think an apple is an orange or anything like that... the terms have been muddied over the years, they no longer have those meanings - so, we're at where we're at... and all the arguments that ensue because of that.

Can't blame the other guy...nope, I can definitely see where they're coming from... but I sure as Hell can blame the marketing folks...

So much this. You have articulated the essential element of an RPG (IMO) in two short sentences. Bravo.

Also, a pragmatic issue: I simply can't imagine reticule targeting in WvW/RvR. It would be an orgy of accidental blastage.

  blognorg

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/25/11
Posts: 650

 
OP  9/18/12 9:10:45 PM#18


Originally posted by Quizzical

Originally posted by blognorg   That's not what I said. I'm referring to a particular type of mentality that references that style of game play. If you're going break down skill like that, then everything has some type of skill associated with it, but that's not my argument. You might be right about The Ocarina of Time having that feature to fix a problem, but targeting has been used for many games, years after that... to good results, I might add. Even if its roots are what you claim, it has allowed a style of game play that can focus on other areas, rather than relying on twitch controls. Look at Metroid prime; surely we were far enough along in 3D to render targeting archaic, but it was still used -- and it was awesome. I didn't read any complaints (though, I'm sure they existed) about the aiming. So, no, "tab" targeting's only function isn't just to handle an antiquated problem.
Sorry to misunderstand you, then. Tab-targeting doesn't automatically mean that combat doesn't take skill.  But if you're going to make a game where combat doesn't take much skill, it's surely going to have some sort of automatic targeting mechanism--such as tab targeting.
 

Oh, without a doubt, targeting systems makes things easier. I'm not trying to promote which is better... It's completely subjective. I just don't see why there is such push for MMOs which "require skill". My argument is that there is totally enough room in the industry for any type of game, so I don't see why people bemoan a new game that has tab-targeting. I don't think that games need to have a twitch standard, which seems to be the mentality of some. I was just curious what their side was.

  DrunkWolf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/07/09
Posts: 1049

9/18/12 9:14:47 PM#19

its not the tab targetting that bothers me so much as its the heat seaking magic and arrows that follow me around corners and rocks.

I wish more people knew about Asherons Call combat for magic and missle weapons, i bet alot more people would be wanting somthing like that if MMOs were main stream back when that game was in its prime.

but as it is now most people only know wow ( and all its clones ) combat...wich is very sad.....

  Darkmoth

Novice Member

Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 175

9/18/12 9:20:02 PM#20
Originally posted by TobiasGrey

This genre is not built on tab targeting. And the majority of people praised TERA's combat. It was the rest of the game that was an uninspired WoW knock off.

The point is, tab targeting is one of those tell tale signs that a game is going to be a WoW clone that doesn't dare to try anything different.

Very few MMOs do anything new with tab targetting.

There are a lot of signs of wow-clone-ism, but it's kind of a stretch to throw tab targeting in there. Reticule targeting adds a lot of limitations that wouldn't play well in a crowded environment such as WvW or a Raid (AoEs are different, of course). There's a difference between cloning WoW and creating an effective interface.

Hotkeys are every bit as WoW-ish (or EQ-ish) as tab-targeting, for example, but the alternatives (i.e. gesture-based) are still fairly immature.

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