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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why limited skill bars are a good thing

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  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

 
OP  6/11/14 3:33:51 PM#1

It seems like most MMORPGs nowadays are going with the concept of the "limited skill bar" wherein you might have tons of skills you can choose from, but you can only have a select few (6-12ish) on your bar to use in combat at any given time.  GW1/GW2, ESO, and Wildstar are designed like this; and even EQ Next will use this concept.

Yet, despite the apparenty popularity of this design with developers, I see so many people here complain about the limited skill bar.  Saying things like it "dumbs down" the game, or makes combat worse/less-varied.

Well my friends, I think you're wrong.  I think that limited skill bars are (usually) a very good thing for a game, and here are a few reasons why:

1.  Build Variety:  Imagine you have a game where each character has 20 skills, and can have all of them on their bar.  How many different skill builds are there for this character?  Answer is pretty easy here one.  Now imagine a game where each character has 20 skills, but can only choose 10 to be on their bar.  How many different skill builds now?  The answer is 184,756.  True, most of these probably are not optimal or are very similar to others...but even if only one percent of these builds are viable, that's still over a THOUSAND different ways you can choose to build your character.

I know I've spent hours just theorycrafting different builds, and agonizing over what skill goes in that last slot.  You just don't get this kind of investment in your character's build from a game that lets you put all your skills on the bar at the same time.

 

2.  More Interesting/Versatile Skills:  I think that limiting the skill bar really forces both players and developers to be more creative with how they use/create skills, and this can create a really interesting combat dynamic in the game.  For example, the spellslinger's blink ability in wildstar teleports them forward a fairly short distance and stuns anything they blink through.  So in effect this one ability functions as:  a chase, an escape, or an offensive/defensive stun. 

And remember, all this utility is on the SAME cooldown.  This really makes you consider how you want to use this ability because if you use it one way, you sacrifice the other uses of it.  For example, if I use it to initiate combat on a player with a stun...then I'm not going to be able to use it to escape if things go poorly, and vice versa.

 

3.  No "Macroable" Skills:  In games with MASSIVE skill bars like Rift, macros that just basically shot skills off in a sequence with one button were very common.  The reason they were common was because there was essentially one skill rotation that was optimal under just about any circumstance.  So instead of pressing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9; players would just press 1,1,1,1,1....and get the same effect.  So in effect, that massive skill bar gets reduced to just a few buttons because so many of the skills are always fired in the same sequence and there is never any reason to deviate from that.

This is definitely not so in a limited skill bar game.  Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of skills in these games are multi-purpose, and trying to force them into a rotation is going to really screw you over.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  Nadia

Tipster

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11795

6/11/14 3:39:56 PM#2

i'm a big fan of limited skill slots

-- especially in Guild Wars 1 and classic Everquest  (before AA was added w Luclin expansion)

 

in EQ1,  Enchanters had more spells to pick from than any other caster

but were still limited to 8 spell slots

 

in GW1,  you had hundreds of skills to choose from

but could have only 8 on your skill bar during the adventure / pvp instance

  User Deleted
6/11/14 4:13:11 PM#3

I like the overall design of limited skill bars. But I must admit, when choosing a set, I always want more. But that's because it would make my decisions easier hehe. Not really a reflection on the game itself.

I have a couple pvp builds in WS. One of them is a pure flag carrier build with no direct damage attacks, its all survival and mobility, breaking cc's etc.

I think its cool to have the freedom to make a build like that.

  Slackker

Novice Member

Joined: 8/26/04
Posts: 225

6/11/14 4:21:09 PM#4

I couldn't agree more. I understand it sucks to go into a battle for the first time and realize you don't have the proper skill equipped to handle the encounter, but with the lacking death penalty in games these days is it really so terrible to rez up and switch out a skill? In group context it almost makes it more enjoyable, trying to down a boss through other means. Groups that go well are very fun, but sometimes the most enjoyable portion of raiding or grouping is when everything breaks down and you still come out on top. Limited skill slots give us that opportunity now and then.

Just one example of why I prefer to make choices rather than have everything available.

-Slackker

  smokeybha

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/04
Posts: 125

6/11/14 4:27:33 PM#5

Im not opposed to limited skill bars at all... However, I think eq1 did it best. Being able to swap them out in combat yet it wasnt always easy. I remember kiting with my druid, snaring a giant, running far enough ahead in order to open my spell book with enough time to find the ability and memorize it. That is what I would like to see, or something of that nature. The ability to swap them out in combat but it isn't recommended/easy to do all the time. 

I'd also like to see a few more than 8 abilities on a bar. 10 or better 12 would be perfect. 

  Azrile

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/08
Posts: 2615

6/11/14 4:29:29 PM#6

It does dumb down the game because it turns every mob into ´mob´ 

I will give two examples of skills that are being ´taken away´...

Lets suppose you are fighting a goblin, and then a skeleton.

With your 6-8 keys, those two mobs are exactly the same (assuming same level).  They both run up to you and whack you with swords.

Now lets add a skill  ´ turn undead´. 

This spell can be used to fear the skeleton for 4 seconds, but not the goblin.

Now these two mobs are completely different in how you fight them.

Now lets add a rock elemental that punches you in the face as it´s main attack.

And now lets add ´disarm´   another skill that is getting taken away when we reduce the game to 8 keys.

That skeleton attacks you, you can turn it ( fear it for 4 seconds)  and then you can disarm it, which reduces the damage it can do to you.

That goblin runs at you, you can disarm it

That rock elemental runs at you, those two skills are useless

Just in that brief example,  You now have 3 mobs which would be exactly the same in your game, but would be completely different if players had those two extra abilities to use.  Yes, there will ALWAYS be players who even if you gave them disarm and turn undead would still cast fireballx8 in the face.  But in a good game, those type of players should always perform worse than players who use all their skills effectively.  If I turn that skeleton and then disarm him, maybe I escape the encountered uninjured, where if you cast fireballx8  you finish at 75% health.

By removing skills, you turn every player in Fireballx8  and you turn that skeleton, goblin and rock elemental into ´mob lvl 12´

 

I will use WOW as an example, even though it has a lot of action bars, they still have dumbed it down

When fighting mobs while leveling, there are two mobs..  have ranged,   does not have ranged.   That is it... everything else is just the graphic used to represent the mob.  You may fight a ranged mob differently than a melee only mob.

As far as your skills.   1-90  I can level any character easily by only using 3 skills.  Nothing about the mob at all changes what keys I press.   I run up to the mob, any mob, and press  123332     mob is dead.   Nothing about the mob, nor nothing the mob does changes what abilities I use and in what order I use them.

that is dumbed down gameplay compared to what I talked about before.

  smokeybha

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/03/04
Posts: 125

6/11/14 4:40:17 PM#7
Originally posted by Azrile

It does dumb down the game because it turns every mob into ´mob´ 

I will give two examples of skills that are being ´taken away´...

Lets suppose you are fighting a goblin, and then a skeleton.

With your 6-8 keys, those two mobs are exactly the same (assuming same level).  They both run up to you and whack you with swords.

Now lets add a skill  ´ turn undead´. 

This spell can be used to fear the skeleton for 4 seconds, but not the goblin.

Now these two mobs are completely different in how you fight them.

Now lets add a rock elemental that punches you in the face as it´s main attack.

And now lets add ´disarm´   another skill that is getting taken away when we reduce the game to 8 keys.

That skeleton attacks you, you can turn it ( fear it for 4 seconds)  and then you can disarm it, which reduces the damage it can do to you.

That goblin runs at you, you can disarm it

That rock elemental runs at you, those two skills are useless

Just in that brief example,  You now have 3 mobs which would be exactly the same in your game, but would be completely different if players had those two extra abilities to use.  Yes, there will ALWAYS be players who even if you gave them disarm and turn undead would still cast fireballx8 in the face.  But in a good game, those type of players should always perform worse than players who use all their skills effectively.  If I turn that skeleton and then disarm him, maybe I escape the encountered uninjured, where if you cast fireballx8  you finish at 75% health.

By removing skills, you turn every player in Fireballx8  and you turn that skeleton, goblin and rock elemental into ´mob lvl 12´

 

I will use WOW as an example, even though it has a lot of action bars, they still have dumbed it down

When fighting mobs while leveling, there are two mobs..  have ranged,   does not have ranged.   That is it... everything else is just the graphic used to represent the mob.  You may fight a ranged mob differently than a melee only mob.

As far as your skills.   1-90  I can level any character easily by only using 3 skills.  Nothing about the mob at all changes what keys I press.   I run up to the mob, any mob, and press  123332     mob is dead.   Nothing about the mob, nor nothing the mob does changes what abilities I use and in what order I use them.

that is dumbed down gameplay compared to what I talked about before.

Good points really.

  User Deleted
6/11/14 4:40:27 PM#8

You never played DDO?

  Bruhza

Novice Member

Joined: 12/09/12
Posts: 283

6/11/14 4:51:18 PM#9

I can only really agree with how Wildstar does it. There is still a ton of customization per ability within Wildstar than compared with most other limited action set MMO's. 

 

Limited action sets should not be about just limiting the abilities on your bar. It should be about making those abilities actually MATTER and feel like they are more than just "Another way to do damage/heal/tank".

  MMOExposed

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6241

6/11/14 4:52:56 PM#10
Originally posted by Creslin321

It seems like most MMORPGs nowadays are going with the concept of the "limited skill bar" wherein you might have tons of skills you can choose from, but you can only have a select few (6-12ish) on your bar to use in combat at any given time.  GW1/GW2, ESO, and Wildstar are designed like this; and even EQ Next will use this concept.

Yet, despite the apparenty popularity of this design with developers, I see so many people here complain about the limited skill bar.  Saying things like it "dumbs down" the game, or makes combat worse/less-varied.

Well my friends, I think you're wrong.  I think that limited skill bars are (usually) a very good thing for a game, and here are a few reasons why:

1.  Build Variety:  Imagine you have a game where each character has 20 skills, and can have all of them on their bar.  How many different skill builds are there for this character?  Answer is pretty easy here one.  Now imagine a game where each character has 20 skills, but can only choose 10 to be on their bar.  How many different skill builds now?  The answer is 184,756.  True, most of these probably are not optimal or are very similar to others...but even if only one percent of these builds are viable, that's still over a THOUSAND different ways you can choose to build your character.

I know I've spent hours just theorycrafting different builds, and agonizing over what skill goes in that last slot.  You just don't get this kind of investment in your character's build from a game that lets you put all your skills on the bar at the same time.

 

2.  More Interesting/Versatile Skills:  I think that limiting the skill bar really forces both players and developers to be more creative with how they use/create skills, and this can create a really interesting combat dynamic in the game.  For example, the spellslinger's blink ability in wildstar teleports them forward a fairly short distance and stuns anything they blink through.  So in effect this one ability functions as:  a chase, an escape, or an offensive/defensive stun. 

And remember, all this utility is on the SAME cooldown.  This really makes you consider how you want to use this ability because if you use it one way, you sacrifice the other uses of it.  For example, if I use it to initiate combat on a player with a stun...then I'm not going to be able to use it to escape if things go poorly, and vice versa.

 

3.  No "Macroable" Skills:  In games with MASSIVE skill bars like Rift, macros that just basically shot skills off in a sequence with one button were very common.  The reason they were common was because there was essentially one skill rotation that was optimal under just about any circumstance.  So instead of pressing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9; players would just press 1,1,1,1,1....and get the same effect.  So in effect, that massive skill bar gets reduced to just a few buttons because so many of the skills are always fired in the same sequence and there is never any reason to deviate from that.

This is definitely not so in a limited skill bar game.  Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of skills in these games are multi-purpose, and trying to force them into a rotation is going to really screw you over.

GW2, GW1, DDO, all prove you wrong on this dude.

  User Deleted
6/11/14 4:56:10 PM#11

Perhaps the topic title should read: "Why limited skill bars can be a good thing."

  midnitewolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/04
Posts: 27

6/11/14 5:10:51 PM#12

Totally hate the limited Skill sets.  Honestly they were the entire reason I quite GW2.  I remember telling my friend how dumb it was that I had all these great skills but could only build my toon to be able to react to one situation or another.  The example I used was I might plan on single pulling some MoBs to clear a quest and I could set up a great single target skill set but inevitably there would be a multi-pull situation or I would run into a quest that really required you have your AoE skills slotted and ready to go.  

It basically totally annoyed me that I couldn't "react" fluidly to changing situations as needed or employ different strategies and tactics on the fly based on the situation.   

This is the same reason why I am not playing Wildstar (or one of the reasons) and why I have passed on several games so far.

Also, it isn't very realistic that you would learn a skill but magically "forget" the skill just because it isn't slotted.  I mean I am ex-military and I don't forget how to fire my rifle just because I have my pistol equipped in my hand hehe.  Basically the limited action skill sets take alot of the roleplay out of the character and make it much harder to suspend disbelief and immerse yourself in the game.   I know this isn't important to some people, but I kind of like using my imagination to place myself in my toons shoes so to speak.  That is a huge part of my enjoyment in just about any game I play.

  Azrile

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/08
Posts: 2615

6/11/14 5:17:40 PM#13
Originally posted by Foomerang

Perhaps the topic title should read: "Why limited skill bars can be a good thing."

It can be a good thing if you are building a ARPG or a MMO based more towards that.  But the fewer buttons you have, it means the less thinking you have to do before smashing the next button.   Which is really why we say ´dumbed down´...  you are pressing keys without thinking.   It also means there is less penalty for pressing the wrong key, or more bonus for pressing the right key.

Again, this isn´t about a game being fun, or which game does what.    We are talking about the ´thinking´ required before you press a key.... and that is what we mean about dumb-downed.

personally, I like to see the difference between mobs.  I don´t want to attack every mob exactly the same way.  I also want there to be a greater delta between pressing the right key and pressing the wrong key.

  versulas

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 287

6/11/14 5:20:31 PM#14

Frankly, I don't care how many choices I have when I'm putting abilities on my bar. I care about how many choices I have once I'm in combat.

 

With only a few available spaces on their bar to choose from, people will only ever pick those abilities that directly benefit their role (tank/healer/dps) in that specific encounter. An ability that doesn't affect them, but aids their party will often be passed over.

Things like debuffs/buffs will suffer unless the devs purposefully add these to abilities used in a damage/healing/taunting rotation. The so-called 'fun' or iconic abilities won't have a place in the game. You'll never hear a healer thanking the dps for that mana regen, or the dps thanking the tank for that haste, or the tank thanking the dps for the redirect, etc.

...And maybe I don't want to have to stop and change out the skills on my bar every time the encounter changes to something that my limited role can't cope with.

  Scorchien

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/12/06
Posts: 1130

6/11/14 5:32:45 PM#15
Originally posted by Azrile

It does dumb down the game because it turns every mob into ´mob´ 

I will give two examples of skills that are being ´taken away´...

Lets suppose you are fighting a goblin, and then a skeleton.

With your 6-8 keys, those two mobs are exactly the same (assuming same level).  They both run up to you and whack you with swords.

Now lets add a skill  ´ turn undead´. 

This spell can be used to fear the skeleton for 4 seconds, but not the goblin.

Now these two mobs are completely different in how you fight them.

Now lets add a rock elemental that punches you in the face as it´s main attack.

And now lets add ´disarm´   another skill that is getting taken away when we reduce the game to 8 keys.

That skeleton attacks you, you can turn it ( fear it for 4 seconds)  and then you can disarm it, which reduces the damage it can do to you.

That goblin runs at you, you can disarm it

That rock elemental runs at you, those two skills are useless

Just in that brief example,  You now have 3 mobs which would be exactly the same in your game, but would be completely different if players had those two extra abilities to use.  Yes, there will ALWAYS be players who even if you gave them disarm and turn undead would still cast fireballx8 in the face.  But in a good game, those type of players should always perform worse than players who use all their skills effectively.  If I turn that skeleton and then disarm him, maybe I escape the encountered uninjured, where if you cast fireballx8  you finish at 75% health.

By removing skills, you turn every player in Fireballx8  and you turn that skeleton, goblin and rock elemental into ´mob lvl 12´

 

I will use WOW as an example, even though it has a lot of action bars, they still have dumbed it down

When fighting mobs while leveling, there are two mobs..  have ranged,   does not have ranged.   That is it... everything else is just the graphic used to represent the mob.  You may fight a ranged mob differently than a melee only mob.

As far as your skills.   1-90  I can level any character easily by only using 3 skills.  Nothing about the mob at all changes what keys I press.   I run up to the mob, any mob, and press  123332     mob is dead.   Nothing about the mob, nor nothing the mob does changes what abilities I use and in what order I use them.

that is dumbed down gameplay compared to what I talked about before.

+1 ... well said and i agree completly .. less skills = less game ... imo

  Fdzzaigl

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 2165

6/11/14 5:36:36 PM#16
 

I'm not a fan, will respond to your points below:

1.  Build Variety:

As I've seen theorycrafting happen in both games with massive amounts of skillslots and in those with few, I'd first like to say that you're being awfully naive imo.

Theorycrafters will always come up with a few optimal builds with one or two slots left open to choice, no matter what the game does. You present your argument as if "the tough choice for the last slot" is only present in games with small amounts of skills, but it isn't.

In WoW, RIFT and TOR, which all feature plenty of skillslots you STILL had to make tough choices to drop points in this or that skill tree, excluding you from taking abilities higher up a different tree. Games with fewer skill slots do not have a monopoly on tough build choices.

Secondly, even if more varied builds exist, that doesn't mean your playstyle is more varied. On the contrary: aside from the fact that you simply have less things to do in combat you are inevitably forced to specialize more, because taking on a number of radically different abilities leads to a build that is effective at nothing with limited slots.

That's why in GW2 for example, I could only stand to play an Elementalist or Engineer. Those classes had access to more skills than others and could cope with a variety of situations. In other classes you went for a few specific situations, but when you met the counter to the build you were running, you were 100% dead without any chance.

The same could be observed in ESO, where a templar could be well armed to take on any other melee and support the group, but was absolutely chanceless against a ranged kiter due to the limits of his build.

In other words, limited skillslots promote rock/paper/scissors situations where people are chanceless only because of their build.

I personally find this very frustrating.

 

2.  More Interesting/Versatile Skills:

I'm sorry, but this is pure speculation. There is absolutely nothing that guarantees that skills become more interesting because you can pick less of them.

In Wildstar this seems to be the case as a single skill has the ability to combo off a number of others. But in ESO there is little to no interaction between skills of different sets. Many more examples of either scenario can be found out there.

Logically, combos are easier to pull off with multiple combo setups and finishers. Therefore it's safe to assume that having a wealth of skills makes interaction between abilities more common. Unless you bundle a whole bunch of effects in one skill (like Wildstar does).

 

3.  No "Macroable" Skills:

Again, nothing supports this argument.

Most farming macros and basic macros in those games consist of your so called "spam" skills and are very simple . Those simple macros are just as easy to make in a game with less skills. If you want to go out of your way to make a one-button macro for a game, you can do it regardless of how many skills you have.

Then there's the classic argument: "There are so many "useless skills" in games with big amounts of skill slots that people macro them away anyhow!".

I have the following to say to that. The mediocre player looks up macros on the internet and relies on his two buttons, the master player understands all his skills and knows when to macro and when not to macro.

I'll give two practical examples:

1) Mages in vanilla WoW. People often complained about how stupid, gimmicky and useless abilities like "Flame Ward", "Ice Ward", "Dampen / Amplify magic" were. Result: abilities now removed.

But look at the people who were regarded as "pro mages" in that time and age. They were constantly using these abilities.

Why? Because the difference between a mediocre player and a master at his class is the knowledge of exactly when and where to use such a move. In this case: before you expected that  warlock to use his one or two fire spells that could totally screw you, or before that shaman used his one ice spell, or switching lightning fast between amplifying and dampening magic depending on your opponent.

2) Healing / Tanking / DPS in competitive settings.

As someone who played all three of those roles in competitive raiding and PvP, I can immediately sift through the ones who are just pressing their macro buttons and those who actually use their head and know their class.

Yes, a competitive player will also have macros ready. But again, he / she will know when to deviate from that.

A mediocre raid healer will just press his automatic macro to top off his assigned players in the raid. A master healer will know the encounters: he or she will see when the boss is starting his specific animation that results in a massive chunk of damage to the tank and instead of relying on the macro which gives an alert when the tank gets low after the attack, he will prepare his biggest, longest cast to heal the tank up to full the moment  it hits.

A mediocre DPS will keep spamming his macro that promises either burst or sustained. A master DPS will know when the boss transitions from a static to a mobile phase and will position himself in the right spot beforehand, shuffling the order of his skills to adjust for the switch.

The same in PvP: people who know their class and know how to exploit even the gimmicks will prepare and position accordingly while mediocre players will follow the "optimal" path provided by a macro.

 

Limiting skills often takes away those things that are perceived "useless" by many, but actually give the chance to those who truly understand how to play their class to rise above the masses.

Again, that pisses me off

 

Finally: it really needn't be one way or the other. You can perfectly well limit the skills available in one set but allow people to switch between different sets on the fly, even in combat (possibly adding a cooldown here and there).

Look at Age of Wushu. Only 6-8 skills per set, but you have the ability to switch between a whole host of skillsets in the middle of combat. Granting you the chance to switch your builds to match your opponent and allowing those players who have mastered a host of sets to shine.

Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16852

6/11/14 5:37:10 PM#17

I don't mind a limited number of skills at the same time at all, as long as I have a wide variety to choose from.

Having loads of very similar skills just leads to skill rotations and macros.

However, the game needs to focus on timing and using the skills right, if you just click any skill that is off cooldown then it is still the same thing.

I do love the thief in GW2 with no cooldown and instead a cost of using the skill that limits you, unlike say, the guardian from the same game that feels like a poorer version of the same class from older MMOs. Now, if I just had some more customization for the thief it would be an totally awesome mechanic.

I think future MMOs should have something similar that makes you think before using the more powerful skills besides if it is off cooldown or not.

More skills do not make a game more fun, it is how you use your skills and that should require some quick thinking.

  User Deleted
6/11/14 5:47:48 PM#18


Originally posted by Azrile

Originally posted by Foomerang Perhaps the topic title should read: "Why limited skill bars can be a good thing."
It can be a good thing if you are building a ARPG or a MMO based more towards that.  But the fewer buttons you have, it means the less thinking you have to do before smashing the next button.   Which is really why we say ´dumbed down´...  you are pressing keys without thinking.   It also means there is less penalty for pressing the wrong key, or more bonus for pressing the right key.

Again, this isn´t about a game being fun, or which game does what.    We are talking about the ´thinking´ required before you press a key.... and that is what we mean about dumb-downed.

personally, I like to see the difference between mobs.  I don´t want to attack every mob exactly the same way.  I also want there to be a greater delta between pressing the right key and pressing the wrong key.


I agree. I think it boils down to what kind of game you're making to determine what type of combat you're going to have.

I don't necessarily think that less means dumbed down, or less choice every time. But I also dont think it means meaningful choices every time either. Same with having all your skills available at all times. If done right, its very engaging and tactical. Done poorly and its just a matter of pushing the correct couple buttons to obliterate whatever mob type you are facing.

In either case, you are encouraged to study a mob in order to have the most success in a fight. Whether that is memorizing their weakness and pulling out a counter accordingly, or knowing this mob does a telegraph that arcs behind you so dodge accordingly, it has a similar effect and feel of accomplishment when done correctly.

I feel comfortable at about 26 abilities when I play mmos. Wildstar has 8, plus a class ability, sprint, and 4 directional dodge. And also two skillbars for placing various trinket effects, potions, one offs, etc.

It works well with that game. But thats just for that game. I wont say its good for something like FFXIV even though I dont like the combat in that game, it has its style and its audience so no need to change it. Not every mmo has to have every aspect catered to my own personal preferences.

I play the things I like, ignore the stuff I dont, and learn the stuff I want.

  Apraxis

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

6/11/14 5:56:47 PM#19
Originally posted by smokeybha
Originally posted by Azrile

It does dumb down the game because it turns every mob into ´mob´ 

I will give two examples of skills that are being ´taken away´...

Lets suppose you are fighting a goblin, and then a skeleton.

With your 6-8 keys, those two mobs are exactly the same (assuming same level).  They both run up to you and whack you with swords.

Now lets add a skill  ´ turn undead´. 

This spell can be used to fear the skeleton for 4 seconds, but not the goblin.

Now these two mobs are completely different in how you fight them.

Now lets add a rock elemental that punches you in the face as it´s main attack.

And now lets add ´disarm´   another skill that is getting taken away when we reduce the game to 8 keys.

That skeleton attacks you, you can turn it ( fear it for 4 seconds)  and then you can disarm it, which reduces the damage it can do to you.

That goblin runs at you, you can disarm it

That rock elemental runs at you, those two skills are useless

Just in that brief example,  You now have 3 mobs which would be exactly the same in your game, but would be completely different if players had those two extra abilities to use.  Yes, there will ALWAYS be players who even if you gave them disarm and turn undead would still cast fireballx8 in the face.  But in a good game, those type of players should always perform worse than players who use all their skills effectively.  If I turn that skeleton and then disarm him, maybe I escape the encountered uninjured, where if you cast fireballx8  you finish at 75% health.

By removing skills, you turn every player in Fireballx8  and you turn that skeleton, goblin and rock elemental into ´mob lvl 12´

 

I will use WOW as an example, even though it has a lot of action bars, they still have dumbed it down

When fighting mobs while leveling, there are two mobs..  have ranged,   does not have ranged.   That is it... everything else is just the graphic used to represent the mob.  You may fight a ranged mob differently than a melee only mob.

As far as your skills.   1-90  I can level any character easily by only using 3 skills.  Nothing about the mob at all changes what keys I press.   I run up to the mob, any mob, and press  123332     mob is dead.   Nothing about the mob, nor nothing the mob does changes what abilities I use and in what order I use them.

that is dumbed down gameplay compared to what I talked about before.

Good points really.

No, not a good point. His observation is true, that in most modern games every mob is basicly the same. But the assumption that it depends on skill bars and some skills for useable only against mob type b is the problems.

Give Mobs a little bit more advanced AI, give them some skills(like yourself.. just limited skillbar skills lets say 8 different skills for every Mobtype).. combine that.. advanced AI + enough skills for every Mob and you do get a lot of different mobs, and a different feeling of every mob.. without the need to introduce 100 fucking skills for every single mobtype.. which is just another easykill mob b with mobtype b skill. Seriously. No, not a good point.

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3189

I actually still like MMORPGs

6/11/14 6:01:22 PM#20

I think a lot of people tend to forget that EQ1 had an extremely limited skill bar. In fact if you weren't a caster at all you didn't have any skill bar really. Warriors had like two or three skills to use. It was a pretty basic system and yet some how that was enough for everyone back then.

WoW and EQ2 really started the trend of 50 skills for every class. EQ2 being the worst offender that game seriously has like 10 skills in a normal rotation you need and then the situationals are just out of control. Most people just make a macro that fires off every skill as soon as its available. One click combat, real advanced.

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