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General Discussion  » Without 15-20 active skills/spells in the PC version, Wildstar will fail in the long run

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226 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/08
Posts: 27

OP  12/18/13 9:26:41 AM#1

To clarify, I am not saying we need to have the whole screen cluttered with hot bars, equivalent to a maximum level character in Wow. I am saying we need some where in the range of 15-20 active combat abilities per class to keep things interesting, and I am talking about for a single role, not role swapping. I am not against having people choose which abilities they will bring with them to combat, but the base number needs to be Increased to something higher than what I am seeing in the growing number of new mmorpgs including Wildstar. Some of these abilities can be situational, some of them can be on long cooldowns etc. Some of these abilities ca be more fluff, or for fun/humor, adding variety to the game.  The key is variety in combat.

I am not sure why Developers think limiting the number of active class abilities to 7-10 is some how going to improve gameplay, especially when recent action mmorpgs have failed with that configuration. For a single player game that is meant to be played for 40-60 hours, this limited setup can work. Mmorpgs are meant to be played for much longer, boredom will set in after 1-2 months and players will leave and limited active abilities are a primary reason.

The movement and targeting in Wildstar does not make up for this fact, there is not enough of it to justify such a significant reduction in core active powers. This is not an FPS where you are actually aiming in the true sense, it is just a slight improvement to the base combat system that has been in mmorpgs for years, reducing the powers offsets any improvements made.

TSW didn't hold people's attention very long, even with positive reviews, I think limited active skills was a major contributor, the other beeing poor animations in combat.

DCU was another game that had potential and failed, limited you to 6 active powers was a major reasons. The mouse based combos and blocking etc helped some what, but it was still not enough to offset the limiting combat system.

GW1 didn't exactly fail, but I and many others only played for small stretches due to the limits of the combat system. Arenanet knew this was a mjaor issue in Gw1, that is why they made a somewhat significant increase in active abilities in GW2. I applaud them, but i think they should have made a lot of the abilities not so directly linked to a specific weopon type. I think people would have played Gw2 longer with more variety in combat.

when I play a mmorpg for several months as a DPS character, I would like to have at least 4-5 single target DPS, 4-5 aoe abilities, and at least a few utility and CC abilities. I don't mind having to change ouit abilities out of combat, but I want more diversity in combat. So the number of skills doesn't need to be 40+ but certainly higher than 10 or lower.

I have played mmorpgs for a long time, since AO was released in 2001 and see this trend as a regression. AO (pre-expansion) limited the number of abilities your character had in combat, and it is one of the reasons I have never returned to that game after all these years.




























Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/23/07
Posts: 237

12/18/13 10:30:18 AM#2

GW (1) was really good in forcing players down a very narrow skill choice. And GW2 and TSW are still enjoyed by a good number of people "despite" the limited active skills. Even Neverwinter is praised for combat. The problem in most of those games is not the combat, but smthg else (e.g. "end-game" in TSW, or lack thereof).


Even in WoW, I remember having tens of spells as a Priest in Vanilla, but only using 8-9 ever in end-game raiding. Yeah, having that one ability that made you light as a feather was fun for running on water...but I probably used it less than 0.000001% of the time.


The thing is, abilities will always be split into Useful or Less Useful, usually CD-related. Which is why Damage PER SECOND is so important: you factor in dmg, utility, cast time, but also cooldowns. Even If you have 9999999 useful skills, 90% of which are almost always on CD, the game becomes more about watching icons go sparkly (come off CD) rather than actually playing.


Now... limiting it to 4 active skills, or 10 active skills, or 20 active skills is probably the bigger challenge, but it mostly relates to a normal player's ability to still be mindful of situations and CDs without having to look constantly at a huge skill bar. Honestly, 10 feels about right. Afterwards, you'll either cut out the less useful spells, or downright start playing the "cooldown-game" in rotating attacks if CDs are too high to create a stable skill set.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/19/07
Posts: 1908

12/18/13 10:49:45 AM#3

The number of hotbar slots available has NOTHING to do with the overall enjoyment of a combat system. A combat system is enjoyable because it's, well fun. I find Skyrim very fun and it's combat system is very simplistic, but it's also engaging. I like WoW, but some classes, like the shaman for example, have become very cluttered via hotbar actions (and it's even scaled back a bit). I also enjoy GW2, but I feel the weakness to that combat system isn't the lack of hotbars, but rather the lack of skill diversification.

Looking at WildStar videos, it seems that most of the abilities are some type of AoE. Just from looking at the ground targeting boxes in the class videos, we can see pbaoe abilities, more cone shaped abilities and abilities that target in a straight box in front of the character. The Medic video also showed some fire and forget ground targeted stuff. Honestly, the combat looks like a nice marriage between WoW and GW2. It's a what, 10 slot hotbar? 10 abilities should be more than enough to get what you need done, without being too utilitarian (like WoW) and too focused (like GW2).

Honestly, from what I've seen, combat is the least of my worries about WildStar.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/02/10
Posts: 692

12/18/13 10:53:18 AM#4
Im old, I only want 5 abilities max. 4 for each finger and 1 for my thumb :)


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/25/07
Posts: 711

12/18/13 10:54:57 AM#5

I don't want to play hotbar challenge.  No thank you.  It isn't enjoyable, I'd rather make a selection of 5-10 skills and go with them.  I love the way TSW is adding to their passive/active abilities by introduction of augments.  All tons of hotbars do is boil down to macro champions, like what ended up happening with Rift.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/13
Posts: 523

12/18/13 10:55:31 AM#6
Agree with OP. Part of the reason GW2 got boring so fast was the lack of usable abilities made the gameplay dry up faster then Joan Rivers. No idea why companies think this is a good feature to copy. Sick of every other new game having a cheesy dodge roll too. It isn't even used to dodge, it's just a cheesy 1 second immunity whether you roll right into the attack or not.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/06
Posts: 453

12/18/13 10:58:40 AM#7
No actually that will be its only saving grace, there is nothing worse than an mmo where you can have almost every ability known to mankind on your screen at once, its the worst concept ever, games with limited ability slots and tactical choice what you have at the ready ( much like EQ back in the day )  have had it right all along .


Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/25/03
Posts: 699

12/18/13 11:03:06 AM#8
This is your opinion and only an opinion. I prefer fewer so I don't have to take up screen space. Plus, whats fun about juggling 15 cooldowns when you're always watching your hotbar? I prefer the least amount of contact with the user interface as possible so I can watch the fight and pay attention to the surroundings instead. You want the fight to be more fun? Give the NPCs intelligence and DON'T, I repeat DO NOT telegraph their moves.

professional web programming and design.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/31/04
Posts: 363

12/18/13 11:13:46 AM#9

I don't understand, let me make sure I'm getting this right if you don't have a gazillion million abilities on your bar then the game is gonna fail?


I mean this is your opinion and just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it's gonna fail.....


I for one get sick of having 25 abilities I have to use every rotation......


And I can tell you right now that the # of abilities on your bar should be the least of your worries for this game......


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/14/05
Posts: 148

12/18/13 11:18:18 AM#10

For me the fewer abilities the better, especially when it comes to warrior classes. In fact one of the things I despised most about everquest 2 was the clutter of warrior abilties that all felt the same, by lv 20 I had about 12 abilities that were essentially an extra basic attack, they served little purpose other then to have me click on 1 through 9 every 10 seconds to maintain steady damage. Sure some of them added a little bit of DoT, some of them added a bit of fire damage, but since they were all on a 4-12 second cooldown there wasn't any reason not to just spam them all in a row, and hitting that many keys every few seconds got annoying fast.


I'd rather have fewer abilities on a higher cooldown that serve a more meaningful function in the game. Make using the right ability at the right time pivotal rather then giving players so many abilities they just cycle through them like auto-attacks.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/21/10
Posts: 1748

12/18/13 11:25:38 AM#11

just LOL. Just LOL.


Neverwinter , 5 main skills.  Very fun game.

reviews are !@#$ing stupid. Play what you love.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/10
Posts: 1434

12/18/13 11:29:05 AM#12

im looking forward to W* but I am a little worried about this. Will have to see, as others have said, im hoping its possible to have great combat with limited abilities.

that being said, I would have moved more along the lines of 36 abilities per class and 12 active abilities at a time .. but of course when you start playing that game, everyone has a different opinion.

there was an article that WoW devs actually stated that they wish they had done something more like this. this was back in the days when mages were spamming rank 1 AE to unstealth rogues & druids tho ..

so im more worried about the current quantity rather than whether it is limited or not.

LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/31/08
Posts: 2064

12/18/13 11:41:22 AM#13

I personally think GW2 has the best combat so far of any MMO just tarnished a bit by a lack of clear roles with the attempted (I say that since there are still tanking and healing roles technically) removal of the trinity.  I've played single player games where with 4-6 active abilities and still thought the combat was great.  I don't think GW2's main issue was the combat, but lack of endgame and real progression which Wildstar is addressing.

I'd also like to add that in games with an insane amount of skills many of the abilities aren't that diverse.  You have skills that do damage, heal, buff, or debuff, but the actual effects of the skill are mostly passive with a few exceptions.  Wildstar has skills that have completely unique mechanics to them so there is A LOT more diversity on a per skill basis.  The Spellslinger skill for instance where they essentially jump into their own instance for a few seconds has a great deal of applications to it:  It can be used to become completely immune to damage (unless there is another Spellslinger) and heal up, it can be used as a stealth mechanic, it can be used as a zoning technique, etc.

Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/09
Posts: 114

12/18/13 11:43:23 AM#14

Every class gets at least 30 abilities to choose from, that seems like a lot of variety. And with all the combinations possible you're not not so likely to find two people with the same selection, so that's like variety squared.


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/08
Posts: 27

OP  12/18/13 11:43:33 AM#15
Originally posted by nationalcity

I don't understand, let me make sure I'm getting this right if you don't have a gazillion million abilities on your bar then the game is gonna fail?

Wow, did you even read the subject line of this thread? I never said it needed a gazillion million abilities, learn to read. I even qualified my criticism with 15-20, saying specifically they didn't need as many hotbar moves as Wow. 

You are either arguing with yourself or building straw men.




Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/08
Posts: 27

OP  12/18/13 11:46:33 AM#16
Originally posted by Mechanism

Every class gets at least 30 abilities to choose from, that seems like a lot of variety. And with all the combinations possible you're not not so likely to find two people with the same selection, so that's like variety squared.

My point is variety in active combat, it is not about variety when you are sitting at a skill/ability screen.

You barely have enough room for any utility abilities or defense buffs with 10 total skills if you are a DPS class for example. So the range of things your character can do in a fight is severely limited, that is the point. 


And again, I am asking for around 15-20 actions, not 1 million like other posters here have implied.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/07
Posts: 324

12/18/13 11:49:01 AM#17
Limited number of active abilities is actually a selling point for me. I can't stand games like TOR and FF14 anymore with their 5 hotbars full of abilities. And as previous posts says, it's not the number of abilities availables that makes a good combat mechanics.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2977

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

12/18/13 11:49:24 AM#18

Honestly, its less about "How many" skills there are as much as how you utilize them. I don't think having to few is good, but given a decent number it can be enjoyable. So long as they have the skills work off one another and allow for the potential to vary it up and set up combos I think it can work great. Heck, maybe it can go aion route having combo abilities allowing you to have 1 slot for a chain ability that you can weave into other abilities?


But yes... simply put, having an in depth combat system and making combat flow smoothly can work better then having a bar spammed with abilities. Just cause say GW2 didn't know how to handle limited skills to keep combat engaging doesn't mean Wildstar will do the same. I mean heck, look at Neverwinter! Its limited on skills yet manages to pull off quite a fun and entertaining combat system. Not perfect but it manages to do a good job despite limited skill choice.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18487

12/18/13 11:54:50 AM#19
Originally posted by reckoner2

I am saying we need some where in the range of 15-20 active combat abilities per class to keep things interesting,


I would completely disagree with you.

As someone else said, it's how you use them, I would add how they synergize with each other.


  User Deleted
12/18/13 11:58:17 AM#20
Originally posted by reckoner2

when I play a mmorpg for several months as a DPS character, I would like to have at least 4-5 single target DPS, 4-5 aoe abilities, and at least a few utility and CC abilities. I don't mind having to change ouit abilities out of combat, but I want more diversity in combat. So the number of skills doesn't need to be 40+ but certainly higher than 10 or lower.


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but all those games you play with all those hotbars can be played with 1-3 macros.  There is nothing skilful or thought provoking about a simple damage rotation.  Removing macros doesn't make it harder either as you'll just lay them out across your hotbar and press them in order and as they refresh.  Unless you consider playing whack-a-mole a skill based game.  

I would rather have 8-10 situational skills than 8-10 hotbars full of skills I can throw into a single super-macro.


FYI, Wildstar supposedly has 40+ skills to choose from, but you can only use one hot bar at a time.

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