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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Reticule vs. Tab Targeting

Posted by MikeB Sunday June 2 2013 at 11:32PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread, "Reticule VS Tab target - your thoughts?" by Mkilbride.

I see alot of threads about how reticule is the future of MMORPGs, that action combat requires more skill and somehow has more depth. That all MMORPG's should adopt such a system.

I personally don't believe this. I thought it was so, years ago when Vindictus game out, I was super amazed, and Reticule can be very fun. However MMORPG's really are meant for the long-haul and I find it can become tiring after awhile, being constantly vigilant. You got a scratch? You can't or you die. You wanna eat a snack while grouping? Can't. Wanna mindlessly grind some task? Can't.

Then there is also the debate about how it's more "skill based." one could make this argument, but I disagree again. I am a lover of games like Jedi Academy, Devil May Cry, Chivalry, Mount & Blade. But really it becomes almost the same after awhile. Press keys 1-4 for your attacks, or RMB / LMB top perform a combo. It ends up just being as monotone as Tab target can be - except you've got to put alot energy into it.

Tab target on the other hand, allows for better animations, more interesting skills, and depth that you can't have with action based combat. They both have their ups and downs, but after years of believing how action combat such as Vindictus was going to revolutionize the MMORPG, and how it must be more skill based, I've played alot of new MMOs since then and changed my opinion on the matter.

Both require skill. That's why I dislike fans of reticule who say they won't play a MMO without "action combat", because it's not skill based. I also dislike fans of tab target who won't do action combat because they say they don't want twitch based skill in a game. One requires dexterity, the other theoretical thinking. Both require their own type of skill, neither is more skill based in the end, I find.

What are your thoughts?

 

What's the community think? Read on for a couple of highlights from the thread!

pauly6478 can see the benefits of both:

I like both but I do like the mechanics of aiming my skills because it does take more skill. Having to aim a skill is and will always be much harder then auto lock. Its like playing a shooter with autotarget and manual target. One is just easier. 

But I do agree it does tend to get tedious after awhile aiming all the time.

I like both but I think most players now are just tired of the same ol garbage so they like having to aim now.

AlBQuirky is a fan of tab-targeting:

For me, tab targeting hands down. Like others, I get overly tired in action combat games. I do like the dodge mechanic, though. Tab Targeting handles this as a dice roll (Random Number Generator) if there is a dodge skill, which is fine for me.

Neither Tab Targeting nor Reticule handle misses, though. How far does that arrow or bullet go after missing the target to the left? Does it hit another monster in another close area? No. It misses and disappears, falling harmlessly to the ground "somewhere." Would reticule targeting be as fun then? Having mobs adding onto a fight when a player misses would cause all kinds of grief.

The biggest reason I prefer tab targeting is that my character, not me, is doing the combat. My mouse control is not good. Hopefully, my character is much better at aiming than I am :)

reeereee seems to lean towards reticule aiming:

What are you people even talking about with typing?  If you're typing while fighting in a tab target game you're either doing well under optimal dps/tps or the global cooldown is ridiculously long.

I find action combat game changing for PvP.  In games like WoW or Aion winning and losing revolves around the proper use of cooldowns, because among other things there is no dodging in non-action land and defensive cooldowns are used to simulate that.  I find it incredibly freeing to have character positioning rather than who pressed a cooldown button when determine the outcome of PvP.  I really can't imagine ever going back to a tab target game unless the content was mindblowing, and even then maybe not.

I'm going to be lame and say I don't really have a preference. I took great pride in my ability to excel in Age of Conan PvP due to the difference in raw player skill provided by the free targeting of that game's combat system, but at the same time, I don't really mind tab-targeting as I play SWTOR on a regular basis. I feel there is room for both, and as another user mentioned, it's really just about flavors. The trend right now is leaning towards a more reticule based "action" combat, but I think things will come around and find a nice balance with options available for all crowds.

 

What's your take? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!