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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Which MMO has the most robust combat mechanics?

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53 posts found

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2969

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

1/14/13 8:41:48 AM#41

Hard to say really. I would say in terms of gameplay that Tera combat is one of the best and take good execution and timing to pull abilities off. Its not really that much in terms of buttons though so in that case it might not be really for you. To me, games that dodge helps amplify difficulty a bit and Tera does an amazing job on this, both making it take thought in using abilities and involving mechanics that no other MMO has been able to reach with the action mmo genre (Granted its pretty much Guildwars 2 as one of the few comparisons but eh).


If leaning at raid focused content, Rift by far has some of the hardest speccs in terms of play style, though it also has some super easy ones. Typically macros are played with a lot in the game but speccs are known to involve non macro use (being impossible without dropping dps). For example my Warrior for 2nd highest dps for class (cutting out the mess specc that isn't suppose to exist) theres ~5 Buffs/debuffs to carefully manage (one being a large damage loss if cut off early) and a lot of it can't be macroed due to having no cool down and/or being a damage loss, with heavy emphasis on follow up attacks which need to be used correctly in time or a loss of dps, forcing a very specific order of damage while also forcing you to maintain the buffs/debuffs which 1 miss step could mean one falls off and drops off damage.




Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/06
Posts: 1313

1/14/13 8:46:16 AM#42
Originally posted by Harmstrong


Of every single MMO on the market or in beta, which has the most evolved combat mechanics. What I mean by this is what game has the largest set of functional combat mechanisms? What non-fps mmo would you describe as the most skill dependent? How many buttons and/or hotkeys does it take to implement the full set of features for any particular class?




   Vanguard or EQ2 ... Both have a lot of skills to work with


Novice Member

Joined: 4/05/03
Posts: 14

1/14/13 8:59:58 AM#43
if I had to pick one It would be chronicles of spellborn followed closely by tera and aoc. I mean I would love to explain why but that would bring back memories and I don't want to do that to myself on a dead game I thought was awesome ! lol
  User Deleted
1/14/13 9:02:38 AM#44
Originally posted by Scorchien
Originally posted by Harmstrong


Of every single MMO on the market or in beta, which has the most evolved combat mechanics. What I mean by this is what game has the largest set of functional combat mechanisms? What non-fps mmo would you describe as the most skill dependent? How many buttons and/or hotkeys does it take to implement the full set of features for any particular class?




   Vanguard or EQ2 ... Both have a lot of skills to work with

 EQ2 combat devolved into macro spam after RoK.

Vanguard is still interesting though, with counter attacks and combos.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3507

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

1/14/13 9:07:55 AM#45

Vanguard has the most complex combat system I've seen anywhere (and I checked out quite a few).

I dont have the time to describe it in detail, but essentially every class has their own view of the game. Numerous techniques exist that the individual class will not manage to find a "routine", i.e. a number of buttons they can just press mindlessly in sequence, to get top efficiency. But for example:

- Whenever you manage a critical hit, depending upon your class, you might have a certain number of options of followup actions, which again might be followed by another action; one class specialization even has four actions they can manage this way (Cleric with the War specialization on critical weapon hits). The sequence is broken if any of your attack misses.

- There are also secondary effects, like Clerics need a melee crit for setting up a quite strong group buff. Or necromancer can put up two special attacks, which set a condition that benefits followup attacks, but they cancel each other out. Paladins and Dread Knights need certain crits for strong selfbuffs, thats why tanks initially might be quite weaker than at a later point of the battle.

- Certain other events may also cause such sequences, such as a successful parry

- Theres also classes that have certain sequences of attacks for extra effects. Thats how a Disiciple sets up almost all of their group buffs, for example. Ranger has a lot of that stuff, too.

- Many classes have point systems of some sort in place. This means there is a counter that goes up and down, depending upon circumstances. Each system works differently. For example, Paladins just get points over time and have to think about how to spend them on certain special abilities. Monks have some attacks that give them points and others than waste them, so its a constant battle for them what to do next; a missed attack wont gain new points, a critical hit will give a lot new points, etc. A Blood Mage is pretty much the same, except they have a pretty low maximum of points and whenever their opponent dies, the counter resets to zero.

- Theres other things, like stances, for even more complexity. For some classes its pretty straightforward - tanks have an damage and a defense stance and one more. For others, its a tough deal - Sorcerers have the choice between more damage or more mana preservation.

- There are synergies present - certain attacks will cause certain conditions on the mob thats attacked. If the player manages to get an matching attack in, there are beneficial effects such as extra damage.

- Certain classes, such as Paladin or Blood Mage, have to choose between alternatives when it comes to buffing others.

The complexity of this system is one of the main reasons why I enjoy Vanguard so much. You never end up in a routine, the action you should use next keeps being a challenging question with no clear answer.



Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/04
Posts: 839

Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. -Lao Tzu

1/14/13 9:16:53 AM#46
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Phaserlight
Ask a room full of people this question and you're likely to get as many answers as there are people playing games. Might as well face it; it's a popularity contest.

I've always found VO to have the best combat mechanics out of any game I've tried, simply because it's based on Newtonian physics with very few magical barriers. The magic is in how you play the game.

I may be speaking to the wrong audience, but for anyone who has experienced downhill longboarding or powder riding, the combat in VO at its best carries a similar feeling.

Vendetta Online? The combat is definitely fun, and the cap ship battles are something I think every MMO gamer should experience at least once, but it is still extremely basic in both features and function. I can think of a lot of positive words for VO's combat, but robust isn't one of them.

To me, basic and robust go hand in hand.  Something can be incredibly complex, but also terribly convoluted and difficult to understand.  Something can also be simple, but hold a lot of depth, and take years to master.  Vendetta is in the latter category.

If you're interested in some further exposition of VO's combat mechanics you can find it here:

One small anecdote on VO's combat is that back in the day certain veterans would try to create alts, but would be discovered due to the way they fought.  This demonstrates a flourishing of strategy that can only be supported by a robust game.  Today the population / churn rate is much greater, but the same mechanics are there.

"To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
Authored 110 missions in Vendetta Online
Check it out on Steam


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/03/05
Posts: 134

1/14/13 9:20:48 AM#47

For me, the honest answer is... World of tanks.


1) Controls that keep out of the way.

In WoT, you essentially have 1 action button (fire).  A typical MMO may have 30+ buttons.

So that 1 button becomes vitally important.  You decide when to press it, and equally when not to press it.

If you have 30+ buttons, then either most are irrelevant (wasting time/effort for the player) or the game devolves into 'button mashing'.


2) Extreme emphasis on geometry.

In a typical MMO, the landscape is mostly irrelevant, as-is your position.  In WoT it is absolutely essential.



Does that make WoT the perfect MMO?  Nope, out of combat, it's shallower than a paddling pool... and the whole 'gold ammo' thing is a very bad idea...

But, like XCOM, the game should be studied by designers.  A simple game that leads to deep gameplay.  Simple to play, hard to master...  STO, specifically, is a game that should be learning from it.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/27/10
Posts: 660

In your house Eatin' your Cookies!

1/14/13 11:07:20 AM#48

People are mistaking the setup (builds, glyphs, talents etc) with actual exectution (the combat mechanics, tab target, aim based, action etc). 

In the MMO verse, games like TERA, Vindictus, DragonNest, RaiderZ hold the crown in best combat mechanics. 

While games such as ArcheAge, TSW, UO etc would hold the title for best setup. 

Stop mistaking the two though. 

"In the immediate future, we have this one, and then we’ve got another one that is actually going to be – so we’re going to have, what we want to do, is in January, what we’re targeting to do, this may or may not happen, so you can’t hold me to it. But what we’re targeting to do, is have a fun anniversary to the Ilum shenanigans that happened. An alien race might invade, and they might crash into Ilum and there might be some new activities that happen on the planet." ~Gabe Amatangelo


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 247

1/15/13 9:28:44 AM#49
Originally posted by Vunak23

People are mistaking the setup (builds, glyphs, talents etc) with actual exectution (the combat mechanics, tab target, aim based, action etc). 

In the MMO verse, games like TERA, Vindictus, DragonNest, RaiderZ hold the crown in best combat mechanics. 

While games such as ArcheAge, TSW, UO etc would hold the title for best setup. 

Stop mistaking the two though. 

But wouldn't it be -true- skill to know how to employ both?

Why are so many of these action-rpg-mmos so lacking in character developement/choises (looking at you Vindictus & Tera) compared to games which focus almost completely ont hese builds/gear/pimping out your toon (Rift? TSW?)

As I said, I'll keep pointing to DDO. All your action RPG elements come into play in combat, with manual dodging, aiming and what not and you still have the Best character creation in my opinion. Multiclassing with restrictions which make sense, amen!

We´re all dead, just say it.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 225

1/15/13 9:47:19 AM#50

TERA is the best.


I know you are asking for most "robust", so it may not be what you are looking for as an answer. It is not a game with a million variations, it is about execution and timing.


That being said, the game didn't really endure and I don't recommend it.


WoW is the game I am playing again. It is far from cutting edge, but the combat is really fleshed out.


Warlock's now have 3 specs that are very different from one another and will give you a lot of variation within just the one class.

Someone please make a good MMO.

  User Deleted
1/15/13 11:17:29 AM#51
It doesn't seem fair to say their is one best combat system if you ask me. Some games have decent action combat, others have decent hotbar mashers, and some others have good mostly automated/stat driven combat systems.

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3824

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

1/15/13 11:45:51 AM#52

Without fear of letting my strong GW2 bias show, I'm partial to GW2 combat. What I like about it is that the skills are multi-faceted for the most part. You can't simply get by by using a set rotation or spamming skills off cooldown or you'll really be gimping your character and looking rather silly while doing so. Skills that may, for example, do damage often have additional effects that make them more powerful when used properly. A simple appearing mesmer great sword skill that tosses an illusionary great sword at your foes causing damage also, for example, has a bounce effect where it'll bounce between allies and foes, buffing your allies with might while doing additional damage to additional foes it hits. It may be wise to hold it a few second waiting for allies to get in range rather than burn off CD. In addition, on the final bounce it creates a clone. If you're traited to create a clone on dodge you can use, for example, great sword 4 to create a phantasm that cripples, dodge to create a quick clone, use gs 2 for damage and the third clone, shatter for added efffects. Depending on how you're additionally traited those shatters could be spreading an AoE cripple in the area, causing additional confusion (a debuff), etc. The depth with the synergy is a lot deeper than it appears on the surface, and what's perceived as a lack of skills is, in fact, an illusion.


Ah, plus, it's very mobile combat. If you're standing around growing roots you're going to have a lot harder time than someone who's actively moving around, using terrain to their advantage, using positioning for additional benefits, etc. Dodging is a nice addition to this combat as well and really helps the overall flow.

Oderint, dum metuant.



Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 8332

1/15/13 11:53:30 AM#53

My first post in this thread was for TSW and for good reason. Since then I gotten into different skill sets from different schools in Age of Wushu. TSW still has catagories of abilities, but AoW is a close second, and brings a more position/action oriented game play to the table.
J.O.B. Daggerfalls BEST Gank Crew

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