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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Action MMORPGS and why I don't think they'll catch on.

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  Mkilbride

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/01/07
Posts: 639

 
OP  7/21/14 3:21:05 AM#1

At least not for awhile.

 

Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat.

 

The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding lie with the combat. It's not Tab Target. Now, I don't think Tab Target is anything super amazing either. But MMORPGS are designed for the long term. Long hours. Years, even. With Tab Target combat, you can easily create new skills and combat modes. Not so with action, hence why most action games rarely update the moveset years after release.

 

The main problem is the attention. Tab Target you can watch TV, talk to friends, for hours on end. Plus, grinding and such isn't to bad. However, with Action Combat, it requires your full attention, dodging, attacking, combos, ect. You have to remain very focused, it's tiring on the hands and fingers if you try to grind these MMORPGS. It becomes exhausting.

Running a dungeon 4-5 times in a game like Vindictus or Tera is brutal, but because they are setup like MMORPGS, you need to grind.  Hence, it's like replaying the same level of GoW or DMC 5 times over in a row. It gets stale, and yet it doesn't really become easier, you still need to give your full attention.

 

Action MMORPGS require alot of physical and mental effort, while Tab Target does not. So the difference between 5 hours of a game like Vindictus, or WoW, in those 5 hours in Vindictus, it feels like 10. You can't just kinda  "Blank out", during the boring parts. So people end up taking breaks. But with a subscription, I mean, the breaks aren't all that appealing, yet you don't want to play either, so obviously you won't subscribe to a game that is like that. Hence why you see these types of MMORPGS getting alot of excitement at release

 

"Skill based! Action combat! Not the same old Tab target!"

These things are thrown around alot. But then it comes out. Maybe it has a good story, world, and satisfying in general, you can't find anything "wrong", but it all seems terribly exhausting after awhile because on top of the usual MMO grind / exhausting, you now have fatigue from mashing a button 500 times a Dungeon instead of 50.

 

Perhaps one day it will work, but not at current or the future as I can see.  Not unless the nature of MMORPGS change to allow action combat. Even that odd Darkfall Online has a terrible grind where you spend all stay standing in a spot and kill monsters that pop up from it, over and over, just to level.

Alot of people play MMORPGS to get away from reflex intensive games, ones they can find unique or interesting builds, not just press WASD + Dodge key  + M1/M2. 

 

Every time an action MMORPG comes out, people just love the idea of a 'skill' based MMORPG, but it doesn't work because by their very nature, MMORPGS aren't meant to be that way. It's trying to fit something that wasn't designed for it in, and that is why until MMORPGS themselves change, "True Action Combat MMORPGS" will always fail.

Help get Camelot Unchained made, a old-school MMORPG, with no hand holding!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13861848/camelot-unchained

  Albatroes

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/29/14
Posts: 497

7/21/14 3:26:42 AM#2
Personally, when I have to do the same thing over and over again in a game, I want to do it as cruise-control as possible. I don't want to dodge and aim etc repetitively just to watch something I want go to someone else or not drop at all. That's not saying I do not like action mmorpgs, but as an investment I personally don't stick with them. That's why I like ranged classes in traditional mmorpgs like wow/rift w/e so I can just hang back on occasion and do the grind.
  Mkilbride

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/01/07
Posts: 639

 
OP  7/21/14 3:33:08 AM#3
You are exactly what I meant. You are the perfect example of the average MMORPG player. That is why I made this topic.

Help get Camelot Unchained made, a old-school MMORPG, with no hand holding!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/13861848/camelot-unchained

  Scalpless

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1355

7/21/14 3:49:12 AM#4
We haven't even seen any real action MMOs yet. Vindictus comes close, but it's not an MMO and is too flawed to use as a baseline. TERA and ESO? Please. They look pathetic next to real action games like DMC. They don't have tab targeting, but when you've got crazy autoaim (ESO) or a target that takes 2/3 of your screen (TERA) you might as well tab target. So, in the pseudo-action-MMO league, we've still got GW2 and that game has been quite successful.
  ElRenmazuo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/28/06
Posts: 4318

7/21/14 4:11:37 AM#5

I would find Devil May Cry style combat very tiring with a keyboard and mouse too.  With a gamepad I could grind all day laid back and my hands would never feel tired doing over 50 different skills one after the other in the blink of an eye switching between weapons on the fly.  And all without any hotbars filling up my screen.

I even found Final Fantasy XIV more comfortable to play with a gamepad and that game has traditional tab target hotbar combat.

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  greenreen

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1512

7/21/14 5:19:12 AM#6

Just because we haven't seen both in a game it doesn't mean it can't happen.

All you would have to do is store a flag for fighting mode and it's on.

What if a game has both - maybe someone will smooth people into it by making it something you can turn on and off or it changes according to the zone/area you are inside then you choose it without the client initiated toggle. That would reduce the fatigue on mobs and let it be something people use more in PVP to prove their skill when they start gloating. Even aiming could be slowly introduced like every nth skill used during fights you get an exhaustion debuff that forces you to concentrate and land some skill or you stay exhausted forcing you to pay a little more attention to the game sometimes or your ease of killing is removed.


 

 

 

 

  Prenho3

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/19/13
Posts: 169

7/21/14 5:49:42 AM#7
Lineage 1 is more action oriented than a traditional holy trinity and still is successful, Lineage Eternal will take the action  concept further. I think the problem of these games is not the action approach but  they burn fast due to the post WoW style of development: rush to level cap and consume the end game content.
  Swids2010

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/22/13
Posts: 224

Pay to Win. If it can be earned in game its not pay to win FACT

7/21/14 5:51:57 AM#8
So because tab target is so simple you can watch tv at the same time this makes tera's twitch based combat bad im confused. Plus you mention lack of skills have you played Tera, on my sorcerer there are so many skill for me to use and switch out depending what I'm fighting then switch to say wow I remember at one point on my mage I think I got it down to 2/3 skills I used a lot with a couple other thrown in every now again when I needed them which brings it back too you want games to be boring. I personally like tab target and action I love FF14arr slower combat but I also return to Tera when I feel like some bat shit crazy fast paced combat.
  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

7/21/14 6:14:50 AM#9
Originally posted by Mkilbride

Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat.

The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding....

They aren't?

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  mbrodie

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/15/04
Posts: 823

7/21/14 6:15:53 AM#10
i also have to disagree action / twitch based combat brings in more depth.. and most of these games offer a "hold to continue casting" option, so it ends up being less spammy then a tab based combat system... i much prefer action oriented combat but thats my opinion
  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3469

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

7/21/14 7:28:43 AM#11


Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by Mkilbride
Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat. The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding....

They aren't?

That was my thought, too...

I have to disagree with the OP. The MMO playerbase has been swelled to overflowing with players that desire action combat. Most of these new players find "old tab targeting" boring and dull. Many even believe it is so 1999, as if action combat indicates newer, better technology. It is just a different way of handling combat.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  zwei2

Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 337

7/21/14 7:43:53 AM#12

Action MMORPGS tend to be shallow. that being said, I enjoy playing such games, like Neverwinter. Some gamers just prefer the action and arcade gameplay, thus there will be a market for these gamers. I believe they still cannot catch up with true MMORPGs cuz they are made to be boutique games, catering to the intended audiences.

 

And because the attention span they can evoke in gamers are so short, these games have to constantly promote new stuff in game (which unfortunately, most of the time, it is the ever fanciful cash shop items. Neverwinter's lockboxes, sigh~~~~)

The possibility of the universe collapsing into a singularity is higher than the birth of a perfect MMORPG.

  simmihi

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/10
Posts: 527

7/21/14 7:55:33 AM#13
Originally posted by mbrodie
i also have to disagree action / twitch based combat brings in more depth.. and most of these games offer a "hold to continue casting" option, so it ends up being less spammy then a tab based combat system... i much prefer action oriented combat but thats my opinion

Actually, I kinda feel that action combat hides the usual lack of depth that these games have. Shallow character development, lack of complex gaming systems seems to be the normal thing to be found in most action-mmo's.

  danwest58

Novice Member

Joined: 5/14/09
Posts: 597

7/21/14 7:55:42 AM#14
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by Mkilbride
Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat. The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding....


They aren't?

That was my thought, too...

 

I have to disagree with the OP. The MMO playerbase has been swelled to overflowing with players that desire action combat. Most of these new players find "old tab targeting" boring and dull. Many even believe it is so 1999, as if action combat indicates newer, better technology. It is just a different way of handling combat.

No MMOs have not been overflowing with players that want Action combat.  Its a very small part of the population.  Its just the vocal minority on the forums that want Action Combat.  For example I have played with well over a hundred players.  None of which will ever post a message on a forum.  None of them like action combat period.  Many of us played FPS at some time in our gaming lives over the last 15+ years and love the action however today not many of us can take that Action combat MMOs.  2 dozen tried WildStar and disliked the combat a few because how much it hurt their wrist, I didnt like Neverwinter or Tera because my wrist hurt after playing them games.  All of us are over 30 years old now and just cannot play games that require repetitive motions like Action Combat games require.  So we stick to Tab Target because how much we can macro and adjust our hotbars to change from repetitive motion to a different motion.  So no its not overflowing thats just your opinion.   If so many people wanted action combat why are these games not doing better?  Because its a small group of players.  

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

7/21/14 8:03:27 AM#15
Originally posted by danwest58
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by Mkilbride
Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat. The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding....


They aren't?

That was my thought, too...

 

I have to disagree with the OP. The MMO playerbase has been swelled to overflowing with players that desire action combat. Most of these new players find "old tab targeting" boring and dull. Many even believe it is so 1999, as if action combat indicates newer, better technology. It is just a different way of handling combat.

No MMOs have not been overflowing with players that want Action combat.  

It actually has, which is why we saw a big shift over the past half decade from MMORPGs to MOBAs both in players and development. I know, I know... MOBAs aren't MMOs. w/e

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  iixviiiix

Elite Member

Joined: 3/04/13
Posts: 596

7/21/14 8:04:47 AM#16

It not because of combat .

Those game have same code design as many "new" MMORPGs and get same "success" as other

so the combat wasn't main reason they can't have "WOW" success .

 

But the action combat they used kind of half-*** , not ready action.

If about "action" then there are many skill design in tab target more "action" than them .

 

IMO

Mage / archer  target on ground , people pass by and they take damage .or Warrior AoE , people around him get hit are more action and player skill / tactic than so call action.

 

 

 

  ThumbtackJ

Novice Member

Joined: 8/11/11
Posts: 507

7/21/14 8:16:48 AM#17
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Mkilbride

Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat.

The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding....

They aren't?

Was thinking the same. 

 

Wasn't it just revealed that TERA is the third most revenue generating MMO (behind WoW, obviously, and Lineage 1)? Seems successful to me. Vindictus isn't really an MMO though, is it? I thought it was more of a lobby/party based co-op actiony thing. 

 

Originally posted by Mkilbride

The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding lie with the combat. It's not Tab Target. 

 Could I then say Rift/SWTOR/EQ2/etc. went F2P because they have tab-target combat?

The main problem is the attention. Tab Target you can watch TV, talk to friends, for hours on end. Plus, grinding and such isn't to bad. However, with Action Combat, it requires your full attention, dodging, attacking, combos, ect. 

Uhm, don't many end-game dungeons and raids in tab-target MMO's have you moving out of telegraphs and stuff? I suppose you're just talking about the easy mobs during the leveling experience though.

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  borghive49

Elite Member

Joined: 11/10/08
Posts: 73

7/21/14 8:23:47 AM#18

I don't understand this obsession to combine a FPS style of game play into a MMO. I've played Wildstar, GW2, Tera and ESO while they all have some neat systems these combat systems in my opinion don't function very well in a group setting.  I personally don't think action combat works well for traditional MMOs. I'm not entirely against it I have just yet to see a good version of it implemented into a game. 

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3394

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

7/21/14 8:37:27 AM#19

The main problem I see with the MMO concept and concepts not based on RPGs is that with the former, you can have cooldowns and you can do attack routines etc. Such things allow for ping tolerance. Somebody who sits in Europe and plays on a server in the USA can still play pretty well.

With Action games, you can do online, but you need very short ping times. Because of the laws of physics, you have limits to what you can allow in the distance department. A europe-USA ping of 500ms is not exceptionally slow, and 300ms is already close to the limits. But this is half a second reaction time that a european player will lose over an US based, which makes them unable to compete if the game is action based and thus no longer has cooldowns.

 

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4847

7/21/14 8:39:33 AM#20
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Mkilbride

Vindictus, Tera, and to some degree, TESO. I love third person hack and slashes like DMC. Great fun. I love Vindictus too. Tera had neat combat.

The issue with why these games didn't / aren't succeeding....

They aren't?

This ^

All of the games the OP mentioned haven't failed. And some of them are actually doing surprisingly well. GW2 and TESO still have a ton of people playing, and last I played TERA (after it went F2P) that game also still had a healthy population, against all odds.

The main issue people tend to have with a lot of these games seems to actually have little to do w/ the combat itself:

GW2, most people don't like the grinding, the writing, or want Anet to add more content (classes / skills / weapons / maps) etc.

TERA, most people complained about the painfully bland questing in that game (the bulk of which being kill X of Y quests).

ESO, most people complained about the bugs, or the phasing issues, or the VR grind.

 

- The OP's theory (and that's all it is, a theory), is an interesting one. The problem is, there's no data to actually back it up. It's an assumption w/ no visible correlation to his conclusion. Retention issues can be seen across ALL games, regardless of whether they are action-based or not. Heck, FFXIV:ARR, the latest tab target game to be primarily hailed by the community, isn't stomping other games in sales or concurrent users. It's definitely not doing poorly, but it's more or less on par w/ everything else out there.

Another issue with the OP's assumption, is that he's assuming that action-combat games require your full attention for everything. Most actually don't. The tough fights (bosses, BAMs, pvp) usually do, but there's also a lot of really easy content that is very forgiving. Heck the early lvls of GW2, TERA, and ESO can all be more or less auto-piloted; unless you accidently stumble into a world boss, in which case u just run away. The harder content rarely has downtime when you're actually doing it (you wouldn't watch TV while doing a raid in WoW, and you wouldn't be watching TV while doing a dungeon in GW2). It's the times before / after the runs that you have the downtime.

From what I've seen action combat has already caught on. It's already popular, and to most people it already 'feels' better than tab targetted games. The biggest issue I've seen w/ action-combat games, is that they are less friendly to gamers with certain health issues (like arthritis).

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