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

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220 posts found
  Adamantine

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3321

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

6/12/14 9:31:07 AM#41

Less choices means - you have less choices.

Duh.

I tried GW1 and I very quickly ended up disliking the whole idea. Not interested in repeating the experience.

Maybe if they came up with a complex system such as for the Guardian in LotR I would bother, but only having 6-12 skills total ? Just have fun with that, but I'll look elsewhere.

 

  JOverlord

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/14
Posts: 141

6/12/14 9:42:03 AM#42

6 skills. So lets see what that means.

1. Basic Single target attack

2. AOE attack

3. Mount

4. CC

5. Break CC

6. Heal

 

So you complain about only pushing 3 buttons but now im limited to pushing 1 button and have no way to improving that or changing anything based on the situation. If I change it to something else with no heal, CC, or break CC. So upping my skills to 4 buttons I have no way to counter being ganked by someone. I just have the ability to pull down my pants.

If you have ever played any kind of PVP you would know you need way more than 10 buttons to PVP efficiently. If you ever raided you would know you need tons of abilities even as just a dps to counter whatever is thrown at you.

  CrazKanuk

Elite Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 1032

6/12/14 9:42:17 AM#43
Originally posted by Adamantine

Less choices means - you have less choices.

Duh.

I tried GW1 and I very quickly ended up disliking the whole idea. Not interested in repeating the experience.

Maybe if they came up with a complex system such as for the Guardian in LotR I would bother, but only having 6-12 skills total ? Just have fun with that, but I'll look elsewhere.

 

I'd be interested to know what your rotations are. I've played every single class in WoW and each and every one can/could be boiled down to a single bar. Sure, I've got my holy $#^& bar, but 90-95% of the time I can get by on one bar, even 5 or 6 skills when I'm facerolling. 

 

I'm not suggesting limiting skills per se, but make it so that people actually need to make trade-offs, create more passive abilities, create some passive RNG abilities, so instead of long CDs and having to remember to pop them ever so often, reduce the CD and make it an RNG with attached stat modifier to increase proc rate. 

Crazkanuk

----------------
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Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
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Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
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  Naevius

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 319

6/12/14 9:51:36 AM#44

 


Originally posted by Azrile It does dumb down the game because it turns every mob into ´mob´  ... 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

 

Nothing prevents a a game like GW from having disarm, turn, and fireball skills - you just need to figure out which you wish to carry on your limited bar. Makes the game more interesting.

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

 
OP  6/12/14 9:57:20 AM#45
Originally posted by Tbau
Originally posted by Creslin321

Actually, it's ideas like this that made me create this OP in the first place.  No one will argue that they want less mob variety.  But there is really no correlation between mob variety and a limited skill bar.  So this is a straw man argument.

In fact BOTH examples given above work AGAINST this argument.  WoW is given as an example of a game with no mob variety, yet is does not have a limited skill bar.  And Everquest is given as an example of a game with lots of mob variety, yet it DOES have a limited skill bar.

So I mean, you guys have basically worked to invalidate your own argument ;). 

Your argument is invalidated because you are leaving out the known fact that EQ1 became the first MMORPG to have players create their own UIs to replace the games limited version which was done for the purpose of the console version. The player created UIs popularity alongside what was done by players for AC1 led to the next gen of MMORPGS, DaoC/SWG to have more toolbars and SWG even went farther with a customizable UI. It also led Blizzard to allow mods in game.

and the train keeps on a rollin.

ummm this seems completely irrelevant to the argument.

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

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

 
OP  6/12/14 10:06:28 AM#46
Originally posted by JOverlord

6 skills. So lets see what that means.

1. Basic Single target attack

2. AOE attack

3. Mount

4. CC

5. Break CC

6. Heal

 

So you complain about only pushing 3 buttons but now im limited to pushing 1 button and have no way to improving that or changing anything based on the situation. If I change it to something else with no heal, CC, or break CC. So upping my skills to 4 buttons I have no way to counter being ganked by someone. I just have the ability to pull down my pants.

If you have ever played any kind of PVP you would know you need way more than 10 buttons to PVP efficiently. If you ever raided you would know you need tons of abilities even as just a dps to counter whatever is thrown at you.

And that's why in a limited skill bar game its important to have multi-purpose skills, and build some functionality into the basic game system.  For example, in wildstar, you break root by dodge rolling, and  stun can be reduced by a QTE.

Also your statement about PvP is completely false.  MOBA PvP is almost always waaaay more complex and involved thsn MMORPG PvP, yet moba's have like 4 skills.  If you want any evidence of this, the prize pool for the dotav2 international is over 9 million dollars.  Do you really think a game with bad pvp would generate such a huge prize pool?

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

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

 
OP  6/12/14 10:09:02 AM#47
Originally posted by CrazKanuk
Originally posted by Adamantine

Less choices means - you have less choices.

Duh.

I tried GW1 and I very quickly ended up disliking the whole idea. Not interested in repeating the experience.

Maybe if they came up with a complex system such as for the Guardian in LotR I would bother, but only having 6-12 skills total ? Just have fun with that, but I'll look elsewhere.

 

I'd be interested to know what your rotations are. I've played every single class in WoW and each and every one can/could be boiled down to a single bar. Sure, I've got my holy $#^& bar, but 90-95% of the time I can get by on one bar, even 5 or 6 skills when I'm facerolling. 

 

I'm not suggesting limiting skills per se, but make it so that people actually need to make trade-offs, create more passive abilities, create some passive RNG abilities, so instead of long CDs and having to remember to pop them ever so often, reduce the CD and make it an RNG with attached stat modifier to increase proc rate. 

This has been my experience with unlimited skill bars as well.  I played a shaman once in wow, and I had like over 30 skills it seemed...but I would normally only use like 5 of them.  The other skills were so specific that they just sat on my bar unused like 99% of the time.

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

  JOverlord

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/14
Posts: 141

6/12/14 10:18:01 AM#48

Originally posted by Creslin321

Originally posted by JOverlord

6 skills. So lets see what that means.

1. Basic Single target attack

2. AOE attack

3. Mount

4. CC

5. Break CC

6. Heal

 

So you complain about only pushing 3 buttons but now im limited to pushing 1 button and have no way to improving that or changing anything based on the situation. If I change it to something else with no heal, CC, or break CC. So upping my skills to 4 buttons I have no way to counter being ganked by someone. I just have the ability to pull down my pants.

If you have ever played any kind of PVP you would know you need way more than 10 buttons to PVP efficiently. If you ever raided you would know you need tons of abilities even as just a dps to counter whatever is thrown at you.

And that's why in a limited skill bar game its important to have multi-purpose skills, and build some functionality into the basic game system.  For example, in wildstar, you break root by dodge rolling, and  stun can be reduced by a QTE.

Also your statement about PvP is completely false.  MOBA PvP is almost always waaaay more complex and involved thsn MMORPG PvP, yet moba's have like 4 skills.  If you want any evidence of this, the prize pool for the dotav2 international is over 9 million dollars.  Do you really think a game with bad pvp would generate such a huge prize pool?

MOBA isnt MMORPG. The question you asked was MMORPGs.

Originally posted by Creslin321

Originally posted by CrazKanuk
Originally posted by Adamantine

Less choices means - you have less choices.

Duh.

I tried GW1 and I very quickly ended up disliking the whole idea. Not interested in repeating the experience.

Maybe if they came up with a complex system such as for the Guardian in LotR I would bother, but only having 6-12 skills total ? Just have fun with that, but I'll look elsewhere.

 

I'd be interested to know what your rotations are. I've played every single class in WoW and each and every one can/could be boiled down to a single bar. Sure, I've got my holy $#^& bar, but 90-95% of the time I can get by on one bar, even 5 or 6 skills when I'm facerolling. 

 

I'm not suggesting limiting skills per se, but make it so that people actually need to make trade-offs, create more passive abilities, create some passive RNG abilities, so instead of long CDs and having to remember to pop them ever so often, reduce the CD and make it an RNG with attached stat modifier to increase proc rate. 

This has been my experience with unlimited skill bars as well.  I played a shaman once in wow, and I had like over 30 skills it seemed...but I would normally only use like 5 of them.  The other skills were so specific that they just sat on my bar unused like 99% of the time.

Just because you dont utilize your skills doesnt mean other people dont. Also that 1% of the time I bet you were happy you had the option of using more than just 6 skills.

 

  Kaneth

Elite Member

Joined: 8/19/07
Posts: 1592

6/12/14 10:18:38 AM#49
Originally posted by Creslin321
Originally posted by rygar218
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.

An excellent post. Couldn't of said it better myself. Classic EQ right there with disarm. Fear undead or hell even invis vs undead or other many spells and /disciplines. 

Actually, it's ideas like this that made me create this OP in the first place.  No one will argue that they want less mob variety.  But there is really no correlation between mob variety and a limited skill bar.  So this is a straw man argument.

In fact BOTH examples given above work AGAINST this argument.  WoW is given as an example of a game with no mob variety, yet is does not have a limited skill bar.  And Everquest is given as an example of a game with lots of mob variety, yet it DOES have a limited skill bar.

So I mean, you guys have basically worked to invalidate your own argument ;). 

Not only did they invalidate their own arguments, they also forgot an important aspect to mmos. Teamwork.

Yes, I believe soloing should be viable and rewarding, but it doesn't mean that there shouldn't be rewarding options for multiplay as well.

Let's take the example of Disarm/Turn Undead. Instead of Player A having both abilities, he only has Turn Undead, which is not effective vs. the goblin or elemental in the example. However, Player A joins up with Player B who has disarm and Player C who has Banish Elements. So, now these three teammates have a large arsenal available to cover a wider variety of fights, and can use their individual skills tactically to overcome a larger variety of enemies.

Now if developers created these types of experiences, along with a limited action set, and along with a variety of skills that are effective vs. enemies of different types (while being all but useless vs. other types of enemies), then the developer is creating two things. First, they are creating challenge for the solo player who doesn't have all tools to fight all things all of the time. So you'll have to use skill in order to defeat enemies which you are not effective against. Secondly, they are creating reasons for players to team up and cooperate, and not because these enemies are necessarily designed to not be soloable. Grouping becomes effective and it's not exactly an artificial reason to group (because the dungeon tells me to).

Additionally, if you've built your action set to let's say be extremely effective vs. the undead, then perhaps the player should go out of their way to seek areas that have a higher concentration of undead enemies.

The success of limited action bars really hinges on developers supporting that feature with a wider variety of gameplay options.

  Aeonblades

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/12/12
Posts: 2123

6/12/14 10:20:49 AM#50

Limited skill bars are destroying what little complexity this genre once had. Sorry, but even though I'm older doesn't mean I have trouble using a keyboard. Any game with limited skill bars is a shadow of what it could be, even the two I'm currently playing now.

 

It means less choices and a dumbed down interface/genre in my opinion, and that's not likely to change.

Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
Have played: You name it
If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  Tbau

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/07/14
Posts: 407

6/12/14 11:36:07 AM#51
Originally posted by Creslin321
Originally posted by Tbau

Your argument is invalidated because you are leaving out the known fact that EQ1 became the first MMORPG to have players create their own UIs to replace the games limited version which was done for the purpose of the console version. The player created UIs popularity alongside what was done by players for AC1 led to the next gen of MMORPGS, DaoC/SWG to have more toolbars and SWG even went farther with a customizable UI. It also led Blizzard to allow mods in game.

and the train keeps on a rollin.

ummm this seems completely irrelevant to the argument.

Of course, because it invalidates the argument you provided. Cant have that! Much like ignoring my first post.

Your argument breaks down to this.

I like less options and I hate more options, because of potato, or at least may as well be potato since its all based on your personal preferences, not actual facts.

Examples,

Fact: Less is not more.

Less does not give more options than more.

Less does not provide more depth of combat than more.

More, is more.

To remove more, for less is to make things simpler.

You, like things simple.

I don't, I like complexity and depth.

  Azrile

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/08
Posts: 2615

6/12/14 12:43:06 PM#52
Originally posted by timtrack

I'm a bit of a fan of both sides here. I do enjoy a complex system with many options and reactive abilities such as the skeleton/goblin scenario. However, i'm not as "hardcore" as i used to be and i don't play nearly as much these days. I just don't have the time. For that reason i enjoy the limited skill-sets as well, simply because i can be AFK for a week or a month and it will only take me a couple of minutes to get back in to the action. With more complex games it could take hours to get back in to your old keybindings and setting the muscle memory for that Fear Undead reactive skill you had on shift-F5. And maybe i only had 3 hours to play that week, and i had to spend them "learning" my game again.

Exactly.  I am in no way insulting twitch games.  I love playing Diablo3.

Another big thing is just the speed of the game.  If you have a lot of abilities and want that decision-making, then you can´t balance your game around mobs dying in 3 seconds like in D3.  You also have to push out the GCD, or make other resources much more important than GCDs for overall DPS.   In other words, in a game like D3, you are expected, and the game is built around you smashing a button every second.  Rogues in WOW are built around you smashing a button every second.  If you miss a GCD, you have a big DPS loss.   If you add more skills, then you have to give players time to think...  which means maybe making that 1 sec GCD to be 3seconds, or else make mana or energy the real constraint to your overall dps over the length of time it takes to kill a normal mob.

  Naevius

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 319

6/12/14 12:50:02 PM#53
Would Magic be a better game if you had ALL the cards in your deck?
  Azrile

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/08
Posts: 2615

6/12/14 12:52:47 PM#54

Actually, it's ideas like this that made me create this OP in the first place.  No one will argue that they want less mob variety.  But there is really no correlation between mob variety and a limited skill bar.  So this is a straw man argument.

In fact BOTH examples given above work AGAINST this argument.  WoW is given as an example of a game with no mob variety, yet is does not have a limited skill bar.  And Everquest is given as an example of a game with lots of mob variety, yet it DOES have a limited skill bar.

So I mean, you guys have basically worked to invalidate your own argument ;). 

Just not true.  WOW has ´unlimited´  skillbars, but they have gutted all abilities except the core rotation abilities.  Basically WOW let´s you put 100 skills on your toolbars, but only 5 of them will ever be used while questing.   Yes, WOW has a disarm, but it is worthless during questing.. mobs do just as much damage with or without a weapon.    They also make any non-generic mob immune to everything except basic damage.   You can´t fear, turn, disorient, stun, freeze or disarm bosses.   So while, yes, you can put a ton of abilities on your toolbar, you are just never going to use them.   Also, WOW has finally come to grips with this and is removing all those ´excess´ abilities in WoD.

  Azrile

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/08
Posts: 2615

6/12/14 12:57:06 PM#55
Originally posted by Naevius

 


Originally posted by Azrile It does dumb down the game because it turns every mob into ´mob´  ... 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

 

Nothing prevents a a game like GW from having disarm, turn, and fireball skills - you just need to figure out which you wish to carry on your limited bar. Makes the game more interesting.

so then you are going to use those same skills on every single mob?    With a limited toolset, you end up using the same skills on every single fight.  There is no decision-making.. you just mash the 1 key repeatedly.

  Chrisbox

Elite Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 1522

6/12/14 1:53:43 PM#56
Originally posted by Aeonblades

Limited skill bars are destroying what little complexity this genre once had. Sorry, but even though I'm older doesn't mean I have trouble using a keyboard. Any game with limited skill bars is a shadow of what it could be, even the two I'm currently playing now.

 

It means less choices and a dumbed down interface/genre in my opinion, and that's not likely to change.

+1

Played-Everything
Playing-FFXIV:ARR, DESTINY

  Smashix

Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/06
Posts: 9

6/12/14 1:54:45 PM#57

I'm not a fan of limited skill bars, but perhaps mostly due to the implementations I've seen. Take GW2, for example, since that is the game like this I have tried most recently and still play off and on if my friends are on.

I don't generally mind being limited to 10 skills, but I'm really limited much more:

1. I am limited by my weapon of choice. For example, as a warrior, if I use a bow, I will have the same 5 bow skills from level 1 to 80). If I use another weapon as my main weapon, or even if I switch between weapons, maybe I can have 10 skills from 1 to 80. What I have found in reality is that the long bow is the best weapon while leveling, even at close range, so I really use the same 5 weapon skills almost all of the time during levels 1 - 80.

2. I am limited because I can't even rearrange the skills how I like. For example, on my guardian, when I use a greatsword, "Leap of Faith", which teleports me to my foe while attacking, is locked to skill slot 3; the similar skill on the Sword, "Flashing Blade", which teleports me to my foe while attacking, is locked to skill slot 2. So when switching between those 2 weapons, I can't even count how many times I wanted to "charge" my foe but hit the wrong button.

Let me decide which skill slot to tie my skills to. I don't understand this arbitrary rigidity. If I want to pout a utility skill in slot 1, why not let me?

3. I wonder how many GW2 players switch to a weapon just for one skill? For example, on my warrior I switch from my longbow to my warhorn just for the 15 second speed buff. 10 seconds later, switch again, hit 4, rinse and repeat. What an awful workaround mechanic instead of implementing a real speed buff solution.

4. Even if you limit the number of combat skills, why the heck can't I have some out-of-combat toolbar slots for foods, etc.? Again, just an arbitrary choice that makes us press extra buttons all day long for no good reason.

So, in theory, one could some up with a decent implementation of limited skill bars, but in reality I haven't seen one I really like.

I tend to like games like WoW, Rift and EQ 2. While there is the reality that I use maybe 5 or 8 skills 99% of the time on any given characters, these games GIVE ME THE CHOICE.

Bottom Line: I'm the player/customer, give ME the choice to do what I want.

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

 
OP  6/12/14 2:40:23 PM#58
Originally posted by Tbau
Originally posted by Creslin321
Originally posted by Tbau

Your argument is invalidated because you are leaving out the known fact that EQ1 became the first MMORPG to have players create their own UIs to replace the games limited version which was done for the purpose of the console version. The player created UIs popularity alongside what was done by players for AC1 led to the next gen of MMORPGS, DaoC/SWG to have more toolbars and SWG even went farther with a customizable UI. It also led Blizzard to allow mods in game.

and the train keeps on a rollin.

ummm this seems completely irrelevant to the argument.

Of course, because it invalidates the argument you provided. Cant have that! Much like ignoring my first post.

Your argument breaks down to this.

I like less options and I hate more options, because of potato, or at least may as well be potato since its all based on your personal preferences, not actual facts.

Examples,

Fact: Less is not more.

Less does not give more options than more.

Less does not provide more depth of combat than more.

More, is more.

To remove more, for less is to make things simpler.

You, like things simple.

I don't, I like complexity and depth.

I really think you're missing the point...

Let's try this, imagine these scenarios:

 

Scenario 1:  you are a team captain, you have to pick 7 players for your team and there are 7 players to choose from.

Scenario 2:  you are a team captain, you have to pick 4 players for your team and there are 7 players to choose from.

 

Which of these scenarios contains the more complex and interesting decision?  Anyone should know it's the second scenario.  Picking 7 players from a pool of 7 isn't a decision at all...but picking 4 definitely is.  Same logic with limited skill bar.

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

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19077

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

6/12/14 2:56:52 PM#59
Originally posted by Chrisbox
Originally posted by Aeonblades

Limited skill bars are destroying what little complexity this genre once had. Sorry, but even though I'm older doesn't mean I have trouble using a keyboard. Any game with limited skill bars is a shadow of what it could be, even the two I'm currently playing now.

 

It means less choices and a dumbed down interface/genre in my opinion, and that's not likely to change.

+1

+1 - There might be a lot of valid arguments in favor of limited skill slots, I don't care, I like having almost an unlimited number of them, at least enough to slot every useful skill in my kit.

Currently playing ArcheAge and just opened my 4th skill bar and I think I'll make it to level 50 with 4 or 5 open slots to spare.

Nothing I hate more than being in a fight and knowing there is a perfect skill or skill combo to use if only I had been lucky or smart enough to slot it in advance.  Would much rather have all of them on the board and know that when I need it, I just have to press it.

 

 

Arrogant, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4824

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

6/12/14 3:03:40 PM#60
That's not very relevant either. In the game with more abilities to be used you can still only use one at a time.

It's a choice of which one of the 10 plus vs which one of the 7 plus. Only the seven gives me less ability.

Neither one necessarily makes for more depth.

And the other was relevant because it does people wanted more choice than 8 hotbuttons so they added many more. Even then casters had 8 hot buttons and 8 spell icons. People will say but they didn't have the Melee skills which is true but then melee only had a few skills as well. Auto kick stab bash mend

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

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