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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] WildStar: Combat Telegraphs & Sci-Fi MMOs

17 posts found

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16268

OP  11/16/12 8:27:10 AM#1

In our latest WildStar column, we take a look at the recently released combat video and last week's WildStar Uplink question. We offer a few thoughts about both and hope that you'll join in the conversation in the comments.

In a recent video released by Carbine Studios, Jeremy Gaffney showed off the WildStar combat system with specific reference to ‘telegraphing’. Telegraphing, for those who might not know, is a graphic representation of the way a monster or a player will attack and/or how the environment will be altered after an attack. In essence, the monster or player reveals the direction and style of attack through a red overlay shown on the ground. By revealing the path of attack, players have the ability to determine how to move to avoid it or how to counter what’s being thrown at them.  Interestingly, the video shows a single player going up against a single monster so the telegraph patterns are pretty simple and easy to see. 

Read more of Suzie Ford's WildStar Weekly: Combat Telegraphs & Sci-Fi MMOs.

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Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 38

11/16/12 2:29:22 PM#2
Funcom's "The Secret World" has this exact system, they might not call it telegraphing, but it works really well for giving the player a sense of understanding what's about to happen.  Yes, sometimes it can get really messy when you have multiple enemies that are capable of attacks that lay out fields of effect for their attacks, but it does add to the tension of the fight.  I enjoy seeing how it can be used creatively in different ways for boss encounters and whatnot.

Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/11
Posts: 292

11/16/12 2:29:53 PM#3
The way the telegraphing goes down reminds me a lot of TSW combat.  Looks like this game will be a lot of fun!

Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/03
Posts: 8

11/16/12 2:42:50 PM#4

You also forgot Star Trek Online as a sci-fi MMO in the list, and Tabula Rasa would still be around... but you know NCSoft, "The MMO Killer". Too bad I will not be playing this or any other NCSoft product as of December 1. To those creating WildStar, good luck with it but do make sure your resume' s are up-to-date; I expect you will be needing them as long as you have NCSoft as a distributor.

[color=blue]"The coward knows only death; the hero knows only life"- Kakita Toshimoko, Legend of the Five Rings CCG/RPG


Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2668

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

11/16/12 2:47:35 PM#5
This game is looking great...can't wait to give it a whirl.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/16/12
Posts: 436

11/16/12 3:48:35 PM#6

I signed up for an account just so I could respond to this. First of all, I'm really excited for this game. There looks to be a lot of cool stuff in it.

As for this article, the action combat feel they're giving this game I think will be awesome - it's been fun in the other games I've seen it done in and I'm excited about the fact that they kept the trinity class sytem. Combat telegraphs have been done already in several games - TERA has them as do GW2 and TSW. It works well in all 3 of those games and certainly doesn't make them too easy.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/22/05
Posts: 445

11/16/12 5:09:56 PM#7

as does I don't see how this is worth mentioning at all haha.,

GW2 has the red circles which tell you when to gtfo the area and have actually been critized lately for making the game too easy.

so umm...telegraphing ...why? it's better NOT to know what sort of an attack is about to hit you and learn through practice.

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Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2668

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

11/16/12 5:11:16 PM#8
Originally posted by lalartu

as does I don't see how this is worth mentioning at all haha.,

GW2 has the red circles which tell you when to gtfo the area and have actually been critized lately for making the game too easy.

so umm...telegraphing ...why? it's better NOT to know what sort of an attack is about to hit you and learn through practice.

The combat in this looks far more interesting than GW2... 


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/11
Posts: 552

11/16/12 8:43:26 PM#9
Lots of sci fi games have a realistic art style.  I like more cartoony and stylized as opposed to realism, so wild star is looking good.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/17/12 9:41:20 AM#10

Telegraphing totally turn me off.  Hate hand-holding in games and I know that this is part of how combat system was designed but still don't like it.  

I only tolerate it in very minimal amounts not when whole combat is build around it and game have tonnes of it.


Seems this game is not for me.  Don't like many other parts of it anyway.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 2232

May the game be ever in your favor.

11/17/12 5:46:22 PM#11
Comments about TSW and Guild Wars 2, I've played both those games and still actively play GW2, and sorry to break it you, but this looks way more complicated than those two games!



Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

11/17/12 6:13:49 PM#12

It's interesting how Carbine's approach to previous comments, regarding how the combat is dumbed down, was to tackle it head on.


It's still a massively dumbed down MMO .. I mean really at around 2:30 the talker speaks of skill required to avoid the red shit.  This was in other games, but the skill level was knowing where the red shit was, without seeing it.


It still seems like a really dumbed down MMORPG.  I think the housing trailer was better.


At least the housing trailer gave opportunities for the imagination.  The latest trailer squishes this game to the ground.



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Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 5297

11/17/12 6:39:47 PM#13
Originally posted by lalartu

as does I don't see how this is worth mentioning at all haha.,

GW2 has the red circles which tell you when to gtfo the area and have actually been critized lately for making the game too easy.

so umm...telegraphing ...why? it's better NOT to know what sort of an attack is about to hit you and learn through practice.

I actually agree with this. Gamers have become to comfortable / expectent of having easier games. They want to feel powerful / skillful, instead of actually becoming better.

GW2 is a good example of this in an MMO. There's a lot of whining about the melee combat and with getting hit by things that don't have a ground circle. However, to more skillful players, the red circles are mostly very easy to deal with. Games like Dark Souls / Shadow of the Colossus don't need UI indicators for combat at all. There are telegraphs, but it's on the mob, not the landscape.

I miss the challenge that presented in a lot of older games. Barely anyone beat the bosses of mega man, or castlevania, or zelda on the first couple tries. Now it's almost demanded that games tell you exactly what will happen in a fight before it actually does. It loses a lot of the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge, and actually learning / becoming a better player through experience and practice.

I think WildStar is shaping up to be a pretty good MMO so far, but I'm also remaining skeptical as to how challenging the combat will really be. Even in games like GW2, TERA, & RaiderZ the telegraphed fights tend to be some of the easiest ones to handle. They've become mostly a noob check, instead of a mechanic that leads to challenging content.


Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3630

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

11/18/12 1:36:44 AM#14

Its looking like it may turn out to be a great deal of fun. But as with all such games, we will have to see how it plays. 

By the way, you left out Firefall, in your list of science fiction games.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3306

I liked MMOs better when gamers didn't play them, and just geeks did.

11/18/12 4:22:20 PM#15
I like how you mention up and coming MMOs without mentioning an actual real Sci-Fi MMORPG, like The Repopulation. Themepark or die mentality needs to go away, or the inevitable death of this genre is right around the corner.

Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
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Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/01/10
Posts: 134

11/19/12 4:24:51 AM#16
Next step is to make it that Boss dont reset so you just run back and continue to DPS him on % where you wiped,and in few tries he ll die and Hard Mode will not have that so he ll restart after a wipe :D

Novice Member

Joined: 8/27/10
Posts: 17

Power to the People

11/20/12 12:25:33 AM#17
Originally posted by Pheonyx

You also forgot Star Trek Online as a sci-fi MMO in the list, and Tabula Rasa would still be around... but you know NCSoft, "The MMO Killer". Too bad I will not be playing this or any other NCSoft product as of December 1. To those creating WildStar, good luck with it but do make sure your resume' s are up-to-date; I expect you will be needing them as long as you have NCSoft as a distributor.

I second this sentiment. Tabula Rasa was a great Sci-Fi MMO that was killed by the same company that's publishing this title. It doesn't matter if Wildstar is the best MMO ever made. Which it doesn't look to be, but that's beside the point. I will not risk getting excited about a game just for NCsoft to kill it without warning or even necessarily a good reason. Actually companies like NC are killing my interest in MMOs period. I'm losing my patience with paying for something that can be taken away and having no recourse.