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The Secret World

The Secret World 

General Discussion  » Why the Combat is Poorly Designed (With Video Included)

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306 posts found
  Krytycal

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/06
Posts: 527

 
OP  6/26/12 2:21:25 PM#1

 

I had some discussions yesterday regarding the combat in TSW, so I decided to throw a video together with some footage I got last night to help illustrate my point to the more visually oriented folks. Keep in mind that this video was shot after the NDA was lifted. No broken or perceived as broken abilities (i.e. Explosive Expert) were used during this video. I tried to focus on the more even fights (lots of 1vs1s, 1vs2s and some 1vs3s) since it’s hard to get a good idea of how the combat works in more chaotic zerg vs zerg fights.  Most of the opponents I’m fighting are CB testers with QL10 FATE gear (4k+ HP). I’m wearing QL10 greens as well.
 
 
I know the video is boring. I’m mindlessly smashing 2 buttons the entire time, and I facerolled everyone doing it.  I did this intentionally to illustrate why I think the combat is poorly designed and why it favors boring, repetitive gameplay. Here are the biggest offenders:
 
Superfluous abilities:  The majority of attacks (i.e. resource builders and spenders) feel like they’ve been copied and pasted. Heck, even a lot of the animations are identical. The minuscule differences between them don’t have a big enough impact to warrant using more than one of each. For example, once you have a decent synergy with a builder and a ST/AOE spender, you’re pretty much set to faceroll your way through 99% of the content in the game, including PvP, by smashing 2-3 buttons ad nauseum. If you played SWTOR, I have two words that describe this perfectly: TRACER MERC. Every build I’ve tried in two months’ worth of testing feels like a tracer merc, hitting the same 2-3 button over and over again. Every once in a while I’d throw in a different ability, mostly because I got bored though, it’s not actually necessary. So what’s stopping me from using my other slots to build an engaging rotation you ask? Well, continue reading.
 
Ability Cap: Or how TSW rewards you for using boring rotations. Here’s the thing most people don’t realize yet: due to the homogenization of attacks, passive abilities have a bigger impact on your DPS (and healing to some extent) than the attacks you use. You might think I’m bullshitting you. After all how could that be true when abilities like Thor’s Hammer hit so hard? Well, it’s actually not that good. People who have done the math will tell you that you’re actually better off just using a rotation like the one shown in the video (i.e. frantically spamming two buttons over and over). You can accomplish this with pretty much any two attacks if you know what you’re doing. Mine’s actually not even that good compared to some other mindless rotations I’ve seen, but I’m a sucker for Chaos and punching people in the face. I guess I’m glad the animations are identical in this case.
 
How does TSW reward you for this? Having the attacks not make much of a difference forces you to limit the number of attacks you have. Since the majority of them are more or less the same, you’ll do just as good with only 2 or 3 compared to someone packing 3 consumers and 4 spenders. In addition, you’ll have 4 slots where you can put things that actually make a difference like defensive CDs, damage buffs and CC. The problem with this is that those useful abilities generally have long cooldowns (5 out of 7 of my abilities have 45sec CDs), which leads to mashing the same 2-3 buttons 90% of the time. One way to fix this would be to raise the cap to 10 abilities. Were that the case, I can see myself including at least 2 new attacks to my rotation, since the numbers of additional active buffs and CCs I can have is already limited by the weapons I have equipped. While hardly game-changing, adding two more bread-and-butter attacks could go a long way in keeping me awake, and might even provide a slight improvement, but with a limit of 7 active abilities? No way Jose. There’s better stuff to consider. The other (and most likely to happen) way to fix this would be to nerf the handful of decent actives left into the ground, thus making everything as boring and uninspired as the majority of attacks. Until then, mashing the same 2-3 keys is the price I and many others will have to pay for the sake of effectiveness.
 
tl;dr: the degree of similarities between the majority of abilities and the limitation on how many you can use at a time just seems like a very lazy attempt at balance and it’s the reason why the combat feels lackluster. The other MMOs I’ve played that limited you to such a small number of active abilities compensated by giving you access to ALL the attacks with the weapon you were using so the combat wasn’t as repetitive. I know that simple, mindless rotations are not new to MMOs, but this is the first game I’ve played that actually punishes you for doing the opposite.
  User Deleted
6/26/12 2:27:20 PM#2

OMG this proves nothing.  First you edited out points where you basically smashed faces.

second and this is most important.

You used F.A.T.E. to automatically level yourself to QL10 max abilities.  Those people you go up against aren't. 

/end thread.

 

  User Deleted
6/26/12 2:29:46 PM#3

Thanks for the post Krytycal. I have to agree with the part about the whole builder and finisher. I combat does make alot more use of movement than current mmos, but the systems, instead of using the abilities in a situational maner, causes too much rotation spam. I still prefer it to traditional mmorpg combat, but they could have made it alot better. Also, i'd say a good way to counter this is by switching out of decks from time to time.

Anyway, while i'ts not very good, i'm not really playing this game for the combat. That's my last priority, so, whatever.

  Krytycal

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/06
Posts: 527

 
OP  6/26/12 2:36:15 PM#4
Originally posted by jdnyc

OMG this proves nothing.  First you edited out points where you basically smashed faces.

second and this is most important.

You used F.A.T.E. to automatically level yourself to QL10 max abilities.  Those people you go up against aren't. 

/end thread.

 

That was CB, I guarantee you nearly every 4K HP+ player I went up against was using  QL10 DPS greens from FATE. A lot of those players were also regulars in Fusang which I've been PvPing with for weeks. Things will be even more whack when you start having people with purple QL10 gear.

I edited out points because I didn't want to make the video too long. I would love to show you the 2 hours of footage I got facerolling people. Better yet I could show you in person if you're in CB.

Don't be such a blind fanboy, I love this game as much as the next guy, but it will never improve unless we recognize what's wrong.

  simmihi

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/11/10
Posts: 514

6/26/12 2:39:06 PM#5

Well i actually like it to be that way. About 4 buttons mashed during fight (1 builder, 2 ST spenders, 1 AoE spender), 3 more buff/cc/heal/etc buttons and of course passives. For me it's fine like this, really. I don't want a bar with 15 attacks.

  Laromuss

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/13/12
Posts: 328

6/26/12 2:39:57 PM#6

would you happen to have a link to the build you were using? I'd like to compare it to some others I've been testing out

  DaezAster

Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/12
Posts: 789

6/26/12 2:47:49 PM#7

Well I think there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to combat like hit detection for example. This game does have redundant skills, using a shotty I had two moves that were pretty much the same. I kept one and replaced the other with something more useful. 

My biggest peeve with combat was not being hit but still taking damage and that's one thing I would like to see fixed. I climbed up ladders and took damage out of the reach of my attackers. On the run with nothing touching my character I am taking damage. Also not being able to sprint when you really need to, to save your life.

After playing a while you acquire way to many abillities to keep redundant ones on your build though so I see your complaint as more of a self imposed problem. I used all 7 slots constantly with my shotgun/blood magic build. 

  Butch808

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/09
Posts: 321

6/26/12 2:58:53 PM#8
Originally posted by DaezAster

Well I think there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to combat like hit detection for example. This game does have redundant skills, using a shotty I had two moves that were pretty much the same. I kept one and replaced the other with something more useful. 

My biggest peeve with combat was not being hit but still taking damage and that's one thing I would like to see fixed. I climbed up ladders and took damage out of the reach of my attackers. On the run with nothing touching my character I am taking damage. Also not being able to sprint when you really need to, to save your life.

After playing a while you acquire way to many abillities to keep redundant ones on your build though so I see your complaint as more of a self imposed problem. I used all 7 slots constantly with my shotgun/blood magic build. 

That was done to stop exploiting and won't be changed.

  SlickShoes

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/06
Posts: 1040

6/26/12 3:02:51 PM#9

The way you have spelled and written JoKeRz really puts me off the whole post/video and I can't take it seriously now.

  Mardukk

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1385

6/26/12 3:12:10 PM#10

I agree for the most part with OP.  Although I don't mind nearly as much as some.  I'm not really playing this game for the "fun" combat.  I'm playing more to screw around with the skill wheel and the setting.

 

I do wish they didn't make CC's so weak in PvE and the range on ranged weapons so short.  Once again it looks like, due to them needed to balance PvP and PvE together, PvE got the short end of the stick.  If you want to make a character that's almost solely a buffer/debuffer/CC support class forget about it in this game.

  Krytycal

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/06
Posts: 527

 
OP  6/26/12 3:17:56 PM#11
Originally posted by SlickShoes

The way you have spelled and written JoKeRz really puts me off the whole post/video and I can't take it seriously now.

That's the name of the guild my friends and I play in. I didn't come up with it. If you're going to judge an entire argument based on something like that then it's hard for me to take you seriously.

  SlickShoes

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/06
Posts: 1040

6/26/12 3:25:36 PM#12
Originally posted by Krytycal
Originally posted by SlickShoes

The way you have spelled and written JoKeRz really puts me off the whole post/video and I can't take it seriously now.

That's the name of the guild my friends and I play in. I didn't come up with it. If you're going to judge an entire argument based on something like that then it's hard for me to take you seriously.

That's cool! I watched the video anyway a lot of the people you fought seemed truly clueless as to what they were doing, back pedaling to get away from you? some of them seemed to just outright panic.

  MattVid

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 407

6/26/12 3:52:38 PM#13

This is basically the reason why I don't plan on purchasing the game. I literally just spammed 2 buttons almost the entire time. No CD's on stuff, you just spam. I definitely like the feeling of using your CD's wisely like in GW2 over the combat in TSW so far.

If the combat was more interesting, it would be a must buy for me. Unfortunately, the gameplay >> all else, and I don't feel it is all that great. The fact that I only played the CB for a few days and have no desire to login anymore isn't good.

Also, a lot of the people you were fighting in that video seemed like keyboard turning retards. No offense to anyone he smoked ;)

I am glad some people enjoy it though, to each their own. I hope you continue to play and enjoy the game. I may take another look at it on down the road if some combat changes come. The whole quest system and world feels very refreshing, but just like SWTOR, it won't do it for me if the gameplay isn't solid as a rock.

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

6/26/12 4:00:25 PM#14
Originally posted by MattVid

This is basically the reason why I don't plan on purchasing the game. I literally just spammed 2 buttons almost the entire time. No CD's on stuff, you just spam. I definitely like the feeling of using your CD's wisely like in GW2 over the combat in TSW so far.

If the combat was more interesting, it would be a must buy for me. Unfortunately, the gameplay >> all else, and I don't feel it is all that great. The fact that I only played the CB for a few days and have no desire to login anymore isn't good.

Also, a lot of the people you were fighting in that video seemed like keyboard turning retards. No offense to anyone he smoked ;)

I am glad some people enjoy it though, to each their own. I hope you continue to play and enjoy the game. I may take another look at it on down the road if some combat changes come.

only the builder abilities have no CD.. its same as pretty much every other MMO. Most other MMOs play out the same even if they have no builder finisher system for every class you basically have a couple no CD abilities that you use till the longer CD abilities come up.. works the exact same here.. 

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  MattVid

Novice Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 407

6/26/12 4:10:47 PM#15
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by MattVid

This is basically the reason why I don't plan on purchasing the game. I literally just spammed 2 buttons almost the entire time. No CD's on stuff, you just spam. I definitely like the feeling of using your CD's wisely like in GW2 over the combat in TSW so far.

If the combat was more interesting, it would be a must buy for me. Unfortunately, the gameplay >> all else, and I don't feel it is all that great. The fact that I only played the CB for a few days and have no desire to login anymore isn't good.

Also, a lot of the people you were fighting in that video seemed like keyboard turning retards. No offense to anyone he smoked ;)

I am glad some people enjoy it though, to each their own. I hope you continue to play and enjoy the game. I may take another look at it on down the road if some combat changes come.

only the builder abilities have no CD.. its same as pretty much every other MMO. Most other MMOs play out the same even if they have no builder finisher system for every class you basically have a couple no CD abilities that you use till the longer CD abilities come up.. works the exact same here.. 

I realize that. But many of the "finishers" have no bearing on how many "builder points" you have built up. So I found myself literally just spamming 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2. Also, it is the exact same mechanic on every class in the game. And you can only have 8 skills on your bar.

Don't get me wrong, I like the less skills that make a bigger difference (I hate games where you have 8 hot bars on screen), but the pistol class and choas class felt pretty similar. Played both of these through the first zone. I might need to give it more of a chance to warm up to it?

Maybe it is more dynamic later with "finishers" that need 3 or more built up points, or something, I don't know. But I played through the entire first zone, and was in the second, and it didn't seem to get much deeper than literally just spamming 1-2, while popping a couple other abilities here and there. For 95% of the PvE, I literally just spammed AoE's while popping defensive CD's before engaging. Even the first dungeon seemed pretty mindless for the most part, I didn't even die :(

I like to get my ass kicked and be challenged. Pulling 5 groups of mobs at once and AoE'ing them down with ease seems a little too easy to me :P

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

6/26/12 4:22:46 PM#16
Originally posted by MattVid
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by MattVid

This is basically the reason why I don't plan on purchasing the game. I literally just spammed 2 buttons almost the entire time. No CD's on stuff, you just spam. I definitely like the feeling of using your CD's wisely like in GW2 over the combat in TSW so far.

If the combat was more interesting, it would be a must buy for me. Unfortunately, the gameplay >> all else, and I don't feel it is all that great. The fact that I only played the CB for a few days and have no desire to login anymore isn't good.

Also, a lot of the people you were fighting in that video seemed like keyboard turning retards. No offense to anyone he smoked ;)

I am glad some people enjoy it though, to each their own. I hope you continue to play and enjoy the game. I may take another look at it on down the road if some combat changes come.

only the builder abilities have no CD.. its same as pretty much every other MMO. Most other MMOs play out the same even if they have no builder finisher system for every class you basically have a couple no CD abilities that you use till the longer CD abilities come up.. works the exact same here.. 

I realize that. But many of the "finishers" have no bearing on how many "builder points" you have built up. So I found myself literally just spamming 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2. Also, it is the exact same mechanic on every class in the game. And you can only have 8 skills on your bar.

Don't get me wrong, I like the less skills that make a bigger difference (I hate games where you have 8 hot bars on screen), but the pistol class and choas class felt pretty similar. Played both of these through the first zone. I might need to give it more of a chance to warm up to it?

Maybe it is more dynamic later with "finishers" that need 3 or more built up points, or something, I don't know. But I played through the entire first zone, and was in the second, and it didn't seem to get much deeper than literally just spamming 1-2, while popping a couple other abilities here and there. For 95% of the PvE, I literally just spammed AoE's while popping defensive CD's before engaging. Even the first dungeon seemed pretty mindless for the most part, I didn't even die :(

I like to get my ass kicked and be challenged. Pulling 5 groups of mobs at once and AoE'ing them down with ease seems a little too easy to me :P

later on you get a wider variety of not only finishers but abilities that do more damage depending on how many resources you have built up..so basically you can have finishers for each weapon on top of skills that hit harder with more resources but these skills are generally on a CD.. Can't argue it's pretty basic at the start but really can't think of any themepark MMO that isn't right off the bat

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  pazuzuz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 12

6/26/12 6:04:47 PM#17
Originally posted by MattVid
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by MattVid

This is basically the reason why I don't plan on purchasing the game. I literally just spammed 2 buttons almost the entire time. No CD's on stuff, you just spam. I definitely like the feeling of using your CD's wisely like in GW2 over the combat in TSW so far.

If the combat was more interesting, it would be a must buy for me. Unfortunately, the gameplay >> all else, and I don't feel it is all that great. The fact that I only played the CB for a few days and have no desire to login anymore isn't good.

Also, a lot of the people you were fighting in that video seemed like keyboard turning retards. No offense to anyone he smoked ;)

I am glad some people enjoy it though, to each their own. I hope you continue to play and enjoy the game. I may take another look at it on down the road if some combat changes come.

only the builder abilities have no CD.. its same as pretty much every other MMO. Most other MMOs play out the same even if they have no builder finisher system for every class you basically have a couple no CD abilities that you use till the longer CD abilities come up.. works the exact same here.. 

I realize that. But many of the "finishers" have no bearing on how many "builder points" you have built up. So I found myself literally just spamming 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2. Also, it is the exact same mechanic on every class in the game. And you can only have 8 skills on your bar.

Don't get me wrong, I like the less skills that make a bigger difference (I hate games where you have 8 hot bars on screen), but the pistol class and choas class felt pretty similar. Played both of these through the first zone. I might need to give it more of a chance to warm up to it?

Maybe it is more dynamic later with "finishers" that need 3 or more built up points, or something, I don't know. But I played through the entire first zone, and was in the second, and it didn't seem to get much deeper than literally just spamming 1-2, while popping a couple other abilities here and there. For 95% of the PvE, I literally just spammed AoE's while popping defensive CD's before engaging. Even the first dungeon seemed pretty mindless for the most part, I didn't even die :(

I like to get my ass kicked and be challenged. Pulling 5 groups of mobs at once and AoE'ing them down with ease seems a little too easy to me :P

Reading your post it seems that you only had one weapon equipped? Each builder builds one resource for both weapons, so at least you should be spamming 1-2-3-1-2-3.

Most inner circle cells have one consumer that benefits from/requires more than one resource. There are plenty more in the outer circles. I was running a chaos/pistol build myself, and there are very few areas in Savage Coast where you can pull five mobs and just aoe spam them using 1-2-1-2 etc.

I'm sorry you didn't find any challenges or fun with combat in TSW, but maybe if you gave it another try and looked a bit closer on the possebilities available in the ability wheel, you might find it more entertaining. Probably not though, I guess;)

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

6/26/12 6:07:20 PM#18
Originally posted by pazuzuz
 

Reading your post it seems that you only had one weapon equipped? Each builder builds one resource for both weapons, so at least you should be spamming 1-2-3-1-2-3.

Most inner circle cells have one consumer that benefits from/requires more than one resource. There are plenty more in the outer circles. I was running a chaos/pistol build myself, and there are very few areas in Savage Coast where you can pull five mobs and just aoe spam them using 1-2-1-2 etc.

I'm sorry you didn't find any challenges or fun with combat in TSW, but maybe if you gave it another try and looked a bit closer on the possebilities available in the ability wheel, you might find it more entertaining. Probably not though, I guess;)

Hey that's my build!!!:) planning on running that first come friday

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  Derpybird

Novice Member

Joined: 4/02/12
Posts: 1006

6/26/12 6:16:35 PM#19

I agree that the combat is poorly designed, and it seems that the developers have only recently been trying to improve it based on extensive comments on it from the CB.

However, I do not think that the combat was every the selling point of this game and it does improve the more you can mix and match tier 3 abilities on the wheel. Right now I'm running a build that is tolerable, and allows me to more fully enjoy the positive aspects of the game. I'm currently investigating Transylvania about to head into the second zone, and I do enjoy the characters, some of the quests, and the storyline.

"Loading screens" are not "instances".
Your personal efforts to troll any game will not, in fact, impact the success or failure of said game.

  Blacknd

Novice Member

Joined: 4/11/06
Posts: 626

6/26/12 6:17:42 PM#20
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by pazuzuz

Reading your post it seems that you only had one weapon equipped? Each builder builds one resource for both weapons, so at least you should be spamming 1-2-3-1-2-3.

Most inner circle cells have one consumer that benefits from/requires more than one resource. There are plenty more in the outer circles. I was running a chaos/pistol build myself, and there are very few areas in Savage Coast where you can pull five mobs and just aoe spam them using 1-2-1-2 etc.

I'm sorry you didn't find any challenges or fun with combat in TSW, but maybe if you gave it another try and looked a bit closer on the possebilities available in the ability wheel, you might find it more entertaining. Probably not though, I guess;)

Hey that's my build!!!:) planning on running that first come friday

The Chaos aoe ability "Escalation" will probably get nerfed. I've heard it referred to a few times as the best AoE threat builder in the game. Hard to argue with that considering everything it does.

Oh, and try Chaos/Shotgun ;) I found it to be quite fun. I tried it alongside Chaos/Pistols on my first character.

.. But in a good way.

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