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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » MMO with real challenging PVE combat?

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2064

2/03/13 11:18:09 PM#21
Originally posted by Nitth


Originally posted by Magnum2103

Originally posted by Nitth The Secret World. cant stress this enough.
I found TSW PvE to be extremely easy actually up until the second zone in Transylvania (don't remember the name) where the difficulty just skyrocketed.  I'd say at that point it was pretty challenging and every pull was fairly exciting.  Dungeons weren't too hard either, even on the Nightmare modes.  Me and my buddy just did a tank/healer setup and AoEd everything down up until that point.


That's because you duod ...

I found doing the story quests quite challenging if you dont know the mechanics..
some of the most challenging things in the game is where your forced to go it alone

Gate keeper is also a great example.

Well, there was plenty of times I was forced to solo.  The game has a lot of solo instances.  Granted it was slow because during the level up process I didn't have DPS trees fleshed out and my DPS gear wasn't up to par (stupid trinity!), but difficult?  Naah.

Gatekeeper was a decent challenge.  Took a few tries to figure out the healer version on my own.

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1168

2/03/13 11:22:32 PM#22
Originally posted by ragz45
Originally posted by Nitth

The Secret World. cant stress this enough.

Ahh yea!  Now that's a good sugestion =)   There were definitly fights in TSW that I had to really take care of died fast lol.  I haven't played much TSW since the beta, I may have to download it and get back into it.

Experimenting with the weapons/deck mix can be a lot of fun -- Blue Mountains can be a pretty big leap in difficulty as well.  Dungeons mechanics really depend on a decent deck as well as good teamwork.  Overall, I think TSW has less handholding in many games, and is a lot of fun to boot..


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 3630

2/03/13 11:29:28 PM#23

I guess if you want a challenge, you should play single player games :D

I would say GW1's PvE, which you can play solo, could be very challenging but that's all instanced. I would say this way it would be hardest MMO you could play solo. Once you turn up the difficulty to hardmode you can definitely die in a battle. Also when you die you get a Death Penalty which reduces your life and mana by a certain % up to a maximum of 60% when you will get your ass handed to you all the time (in hardmode you will get returned to town and would have "failed" :D)

Mission in life: Vanquish all trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2731

Ignorance is Bliss.

2/03/13 11:33:25 PM#24

I'd suggest Mabinogi, if you can get past the graphics that is (F2P).

The PvE can be both easy and hard. The mixture of the combat system (a sort of rock paper scissor but with several additional options), the non-gear centric nature of the game, and the strength of the monsters, Mabinogi can be pretty hard at times. Even high level players can die from lower-end monsters (rarer of course, but not uncommon). Just for the sake of comparison, a newly created player will have about 60-80 HPs and the monsters in the first human town (where you begin as a human) has monsters that can hit you for 10-30 per hit, and can hit up to 3 times before you get knocked down (although they can be interrupted using basic melee skills like Defense and Counterattack if loaded in time).

Haven't found any videos showcasing the combat in a way that would explain it well (besides videos covering the older combat version) so I'll try to explain briefly.

For one there are no classes, you can have access to all skills but you will have to unlock the vast majority of them. Some are easy, some are pretty hard. Using melee strictly as an example, a new player will have access to Normal Attack, Smash, Defense, Counterattack, Windmill, Assault Slash. With the exception of Normal attack which are used simply by clicking on a monster, all skills must be loaded before using them. Loading time depends on the type of attack (most melee skills have loadout time of under 0.5 sec however some higher-end melee skills may have loadout time of 1.5 sec). Once the skill is loaded you can use it on a mob, but there's a catch. A normal attack will interrupt a Smash but will be blocked by Defense or Counterattack. Smash will overpower Defense but is vulnerable to Counterattacks, Counterattacks will block all melee attacks except for Windmill, Windmill will counter most melee attacks except the opponent will not be knocked back if he uses Defense (thus giving him the opportunity to hit you while you recover), Assault Slash is used on a knocked down opponent.

Now add to this all the other unlockable melee skills, Archery, Magic, Alchemy, Fighter(Fist), Bard, Puppetry, Transformation skills and a few additional ones that can't quite be categorized and you get Mabinogi.

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1272

Bite my fiery metal ass!

2/04/13 12:34:34 AM#25

TERA has pretty good PvE combat. Granted regular enemies don't need a ton of strategy (unless you aggro them in groups), but BAMS are another realm entirely. They can be solo'd, but you need to be at the top of your game to do so. Even in groups they can be difficult.

Plus in a day it'll be completely free, so the only thing you'll lose is a bit of time.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/20/10
Posts: 1519

2/04/13 12:38:58 AM#26
Originally posted by darker70
Age of Wushu/Wulin best combat and most fun I've had especially in PVP in a long while.

 It's visceral and decent, but not big on the "fun" factor.  Especially PvE, where it's a snoozefest.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/20/10
Posts: 1519

2/04/13 12:42:53 AM#27

Most challenging PvE game that's released in the last 5 years is The Secret World.  It takes a few zones to get to the harder areas, but they can definitely be a challenge.  It also has the benefit of having probably the best PvE storyline questing experience in MMOs.  The dungeons are pretty damn good too.

The combat can feel a little spammy, especially early on... but it grows on you and is very heavily movement based with a premium on situational awareness. Nightmare dungeons leave very little room for mistake.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/29/10
Posts: 66

2/04/13 1:07:53 AM#28

The Secret World is quite challenging when you don't do a lot of research on it. I decided to go into it pretty much blind and just play the way I liked and try to figure out stuff on my own. So it's been challenging along the way at times. There are places that can outright take you out if you wonder in too deep without much thought. Some of the areas are easier than others to solo.

But if you are really looking for some PvE excitement... I'd suggest Darkfall! Your first encounter with the goblins is likely to end up getting you killed and it doesn't get too much easier too fast. And top it all off, when you die, your tomb stone has all your carried gear, so someone might just take some of your stuff when you are running back. And as you are in the thick of things in a PvE fight, it might as well turn into a PvP fight in the process. So there is quite a lot of "risk" and some reward in the game. But that was the game that got my adrenaline going even going against some of the earliest mobs. And the game is certainly not a button masher where you stand still and hit your action keys and watch the enemy fall to the ground. That game has some serious challenge! At least had, have not played since the Unholy Wars thing, but I don't think they did too much about this with the updates. Some PvE excitement, Darkfall is the place to go! Haven't had many fights come close to that level of excitement in a long while... And there is a free trial at least for a couple of weeks, so it is not like putting down 60 for just trying to see if you like it.

I have to say Darkfall is not for everyone... I didn't play EQ at all, so I don't know if the DF system is too harsh in comparison. Getting stuck with the starter weapons and wearing no armor while running to your tomb to pick up your gear one piece at a time in a PvE Spawn Hotspot is no picnic. You can easily die again in that and the most important thing about the combat is learning when to turn tail and hike out of there.


Elite Member

Joined: 5/01/08
Posts: 679

OP  2/04/13 3:16:33 AM#29

I actually played DF:UW for a few hours on my friends account just a bit ago.  The combat took a bit to get used to, but I found the community was just horrid.  Actually that gives horrid a bad name...  EVERY time I left town I found 1-3 people just sitting outside it waiting to kill newbies like me leaving the town.  And we didn't even have any loot worth a damn.

You would talk to them about it and they would just go LTP newb, as if I can help getting ganked by 2-3 people at time.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/18/09
Posts: 342

2/04/13 3:26:23 AM#30
i find Darkfall Mobs to be the most inteligent and chalenging to kill from all the games i have tried...
sodade21 Xfire Miniprofile

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/08/12
Posts: 576

2/04/13 3:39:56 AM#31

No such thing as a challenging mmo nowadays, unfortunately. I'd say try to solo BAM's in TERA as a melee class to get a "hardcore Monster Hunter" feel. It's a lot of challenge and  fun, but that's also because the game isn't built for those to be solo'ed, they're meant to be killed by groups of 3-5 people, so it's more like you're making it difficult for yourself without it meaning to be.


Even single player games are all casual friendly nowadays. One notable exception I would make is Ninja Gaiden I&II (for XBox and XBox360 respectively). The games have 4 levels of dificulty and the most basic one felt like a constant struggle for survival. Demon's Souls/Dark Souls are okay too, but still eons from Ninja Gaiden even at full black world.

My opinion is my own. I respect all other opinions and views equally, but keep in mind that my opinion will always be the best for me. That's why it's my opinion.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/06
Posts: 1693

2/04/13 3:40:58 AM#32

TSW is the only  recent MMO to offer any challenge in normal PvE, though it largely comes when you realise your build is useless against the new mobs you're facing. Once you fix your build, the difficulty goes away again.


Challenge every step of the way just doesn't happen in the post-WoW era. Though if you plan to play in a group then Vanguard would be a good choice, ignore the normal quests and just go through the dungeons from 10-55, will offer more of a challenge than anything else out there.

  User Deleted
2/04/13 3:41:11 AM#33

Doesn't hold true anymore, but the most challenging PvE combat I have played was EQ2 back in the RoK / TSO days.

Raids and difficult dungeons back then were really challenging, even with good loot. Very few people completed the hardest dungeon in TSO while it was still current content. Most who did were raid geared and then sold loot rights (after they nerfed the procs anyway).

Haven't played the latest expansion, although I hear all the raids have already been cleared. Which is a shame. Noone killed Munzok until a week or two before the next expansion launched back in TSO. 


I'm sure some people will say TERA, because of it's 'action combat', but the reality is that the hardest thing in that game is aiming and moving. Which isn't very hard at all.


Curses and cures and scripts in EQ2, now they were a challenge!

  User Deleted
2/04/13 3:48:00 AM#34
Originally posted by fivoroth

I guess if you want a challenge, you should play single player games :D

I would say GW1's PvE, which you can play solo, could be very challenging but that's all instanced. I would say this way it would be hardest MMO you could play solo. Once you turn up the difficulty to hardmode you can definitely die in a battle. Also when you die you get a Death Penalty which reduces your life and mana by a certain % up to a maximum of 60% when you will get your ass handed to you all the time (in hardmode you will get returned to town and would have "failed" :D)

Hmm yeah forgot about GW1. Technically it isn't a MMO, although by todays standards it may as well be (I mean if Vindictus is a MMO, so is GW1).

The hard mode maps were very challenging. Especially maps later in the storyline. Oh and the elite dungeons.... good god. They were a nightmare!


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1409

2/04/13 3:56:18 AM#35

GW1 is certainly challenging and hard in a fun way, unless you use a cookie cutter team build from PvXWiki. Still, it's not really an MMO and quite deserted nowadays.

TSW is decently challenging, although you've got to wait a while to get to the good stuff. Like most other MMOs, it suffers from the "20 hours long tutorial" syndrome.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/28/07
Posts: 378

Lvl 40 in the MMO called "Life"

2/04/13 5:13:27 AM#36
Have you had a look at TERA yet? it doesnt fall under the catergory of every PVE fight is difficult but some of them can be very challenging. That, coupled with a very different type of combat system makes for very rewarding PVE.

If someone is talking in general chat in a language you dont understand, chances are they're not talking to you. So chill out and stop bitching about it!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/12
Posts: 436

2/04/13 5:28:15 AM#37

No matter what people will say to you...

There is NO solo challenge in MMO's, since solo challenge would block your progress.

There is group challenge, yes, but solo challenge can only be obtained in PvP mode and even that is in group mode.

Diablo 3 offers recently adaptable solo challenge (MP0-10), but MMO's simply can't offer this due to their needed avatar progress.

If one MMO would include such a feature in the future it would be an instant hit, but you would need adaptable challenges in an open world, setting the monsters/enemy difficulty yourself etc...

Perhaps Blizzard can do it with their experience in D3' MP play and phasing technique (no loading screens and still get a solo exprerience), perhaps in Titan ?



Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/04/13 5:39:34 AM#38

My theory is that you're seeking an MMO without PvP.

I'll explain--PVP requires that all classes be "balanced" so that all players have a fair chance to enjoy PvP on a relatively equal footing. That means tanks, healers, dps (excuse me for using the three traditional roles, I realize these may not necessarily apply) all need to be capable of doing at least some DPS, but not matching a pure's DPS output.

Leveling content seems to require (at least since 03 or so) that all clases be able to level with about the same difficulty.

And therein lies your problem.  Critturs must be built around the lowest common denominator. They're built for a pure healer's damage output. Else the healers and tanks have "no fun" leveling, "painful slow grind". The grass is always greener, as the players will never stop pointing out, and calling for nerfs on the other guy.

Which tends to make the same critturs simple/easy from a DPS role.  DPS: "I can easily double (or quintuple) the minimum DPS required to drop this beast. This is farkin easy." What role do most players default to? DPS.

So by default, the critturs are the most commonly chosen player role...

You can't really propose an alternative that a) satisfies the masses and b) is difficult and c) "balanced".

By default, corporations choose maximal profit A). No surprise, right?

(Traditional games once handed the lowest DPS to the highest armor (the tank), but how we left that concept behind, again, is due to PVP).

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


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Joined: 1/07/08
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War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

2/04/13 6:46:10 AM#39

> " Eventually we started talking about current MMO's and not a single one of us can think of an MMO currently out where EVERY battle with mobs feels like a fight for your life. "

Oh, I see.

So in EQ, I take it, it was like this:

Level 100 player character with full raid gear meets a level 1 rat in newbietown. After 5 days of battle, he loses because he got the optimal ability rotation wrong 7 times total.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1409

2/04/13 6:51:09 AM#40
Originally posted by Icewhite

Leveling content seems to require (at least since 03 or so) that all clases be able to level with about the same difficulty.

And therein lies your problem.  Critturs must be built around the lowest common denominator. They're built for a pure healer's damage output. Else the healers and tanks have "no fun" leveling, "painful slow grind". The grass is always greener, as the players will never stop pointing out, and calling for nerfs on the other guy.

No, it's just that most players suck at MMOs. People are still complaining about GW2's open world content being too difficult. They're saying they can't complete DEs solo, etc. Well, GW2's open world content is a joke difficulty wise, no matter what your class is.

The lowest common denominator is the player.

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