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some concerns about Wildstar combat

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by jimjimjim, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim New Cupcake

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    I've watched a lot of videos and I have some concerns about the way combat looks to be shaping up in Wildstar. Overall the game looks really interesting and the zones and questing look like highlights. I will play the game for the zones alone, no doubt.

    I was less impressed by the combat. For the game to hold my attention, it needs to have deep, interesting combat. Here are some areas of concern for me:

    1. "Ability telegraphs." This whole idea seems entirely pointless to me. The important thing is to make abilities dodgable and give you incentive to dodge them (IE: they will kill you if you don't dodge them). If these two conditions are met, then people will dodge abilities, because they have to.

    So, then, what are the bright zones on the ground for? If you ask me, they make it too easy. These ability telegraphs won't add anything to the game for an experienced player, who will be aware of which abilities hit what. They do nothing but tweak the learning curve a little bit (more like a lot, actually), which seems entirely unnecessary. I'm especially concerned about PvP, where a steep learning curve is a good thing. Give incentive to dodge attacks and abilities and give the movement tools to the player required to avoid them. Leave everything else up to the player. If you have to use a telegraph, then find a different way to do it than zones on the ground.

    2. "Break-out game play." I like the idea of disarms throwing your weapon to the ground. I'm less sure about "spamming f to get out of stuns early." What is the point here? Yeah, it's an interesting idea, but at high levels of play is it going to make stuns useless? Is there a minimum stun time that can't be reduced by tapping f? Does it make crowd control too weak in PvP? It seems like it might.

    Bottom line: stuns and disables have to be balanced. Adding a way to get out of them could make them too weak, possibly even useless--depending on the implementation of course. Just because stuns are frustrating doesn't mean they need to be neutered. It also strikes me a little silly "how fast can you spam f?" Not exactly stimulating gameplay.

    3. Casting and attacking while moving. This really bothers me. Should some spells and attacks be available while moving? Sure. Should they all be, or almost all of them? No. Making you choose when to stand still and when to run is a really, really good way to introduce complexity into a game like this. It makes kiting more interesting and it opens more powerful spells that require combos in order to complete, if they can be completed at all.

    I'm sure moving and casting could be implemented well, but I think it's a big mistake to think that it's a positive gameplay feature to be able to run and cast every spell. It's a detriment unless it's handled correctly.

    4. Attacks and abilities look the same. I watched an hour long stream of the stalker class and the spellslinger class. Almost all of their abilities look similar. There needs to be more variation in cast animation and impact animations. I'm especially worried for the spellslinger, who had his ability bar full and it still only looked like he was spamming 2-3 spells when he was actually using 10.

    5. Inflated HP/damage. The spellslinger video showed him doing 700-1000 damage on special attacks vs the stalker's 10-30 damage. The spellslinger was in his mid 20s, the stalker was level 3. In my opinion ramping up hp/damage this fast is a mistake. It does very little except put hard caps on leaving zones meant for your level, and making lower level players weaker in comparion to players only 5 or 10 levels ahead of them. There's no reason everyone should have 10,000+ health at the level cap when you could scale it differently and use smaller numbers. Bigger numbers are not better, in fact, I'd much rather see small hp/health values instead of absurdly inflated ones.

    Admittedly, the difference here is more cosmetic than anything else, it just strikes me as completely unnecessary to ramp up stats that quickly.
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  2. kongpong

    kongpong Cupcake

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    Almost everything that makes you worry are actually the reason I like the game..

    1. They are fine with me and I think in the PVE questing they are not going to mean near as much (dmg wise etc) as the ones you will see in instances\raids. I think they are just preparing you as you level possibly for eldergame.

    2. I rather have all their options as oppose to just having a debuff on me for 4seconds etc.. At leastI have an option to end it faster..as far as spamming F...ya its boring but I rather have that option vs nothing. (looking at you double rogue stun lock WoW pvp)
    Also I do like the fact that every CC I can tell what CC I have on me vs having to remember X debuff icon.

    3. One of the things I love the most. I am sick of the standing still to do anything MMOs. Not all skills you can move on but most you can and I love it.

    4. Ya I can agree with this.

    5. Not to worried about this you were looking at level 3 vs a level 35 so ya its going to be a gap to hard to tell much there imo doesn't bother me.
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  3. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

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    Number 1) They have the ability to make the Telegraphs dimmer or turn them off completely if you so choose - we've only seen fairly low level combat so far (minus the live stream the other day) and the telegraphs of mobs that go of are fairly slow- but watching the Stormtalon dungeon that they showed off, you'll NEED to see the telegraphs sometimes!

    Numbah 2) I believe they've said something to the effect that they didn't really like the "spam f" thing...and may or may not be changing it.

    Numba 3) Not all spells can be cast while moving - and iirc some of the spells/abilities are less useful while moving, but can still be used.

    Numero 4) They've not shown off all 30-40 abilities per class - they have to have SOME secrets, right? Also - each and every spell/ability is individually animated for each class/race/gender.

    Num 5) Meh - we don't know how scaling is going to be - sorry?
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  4. Katu_Kath

    Katu_Kath Robot Cupcake

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    1) they have said that you will have the ability to alter your attacks affected area, so that fire spell wont always go in a straight line 30 feet out, how are you supposed to dodge something if you dont know where it hits?
    2) it gives you some control over your character for a mechanic that is strictly for making people lose control of their character. Its a good way to give you gameplay while you are stunned, and prevents the "eternal sapping" problem of WoW.
    3) this is to allow you to be able to dodge attacks while still fighting back. Do you have to stand still and attack in any action game (exclude the MMO part here). the best parts of devil may cry, god of war, etc, is the ability to move out of the way and still attack.
    4) they havent released more than like, 8 abilities to us per class yet. they all look the same because they are the same 8 abilities.
    5) that one is a personal preference, nothing we can do about that
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  5. Bnol

    Bnol Cupcake-About-Town

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    1. Ability telegraphs:

    Telegraphs exist in other MMORPGs, they are just mob/encounter specific (rumbling ground, voidzones, etc.) instead of being uniform throughout the game. The only thing that other MMORPGs don't tend to have are friendly telegraphs to show where a free form heal will be placed. Certainly, you might not like the look of the Telegraphs used in Wildstar, but they do provide several things that normal spell effects do not.

    Universal Language and Precision:
    Sure, standing in fire is bad. But with telegraphs you will know exactly what is bad and what is good, and you also know the exact location of what is good and bad, where particle effects are not as precise. Yes, it reduces the knowledge requirement on the encounters, but also allows developers to utilize more locational healing and buff abilities, and also allows (and forces) a tighter and more varied placement of those effects. The more precisely you can communicate the game functions, the more you can require your players to react with precision.

    Performance and a wide array of comp specs:
    Telegraphs will likely not hurt performance as much as spell effects, which will be important in a 40-man raid. Also, certain players with low-end systems will have to turn spell effects down, or off, and the developers won't have to worry whether it is hard/impossible to see a certain spell effect with different settings, since players will still be able to see the telegraphs.

    Colorblind mode and Mod-ability:
    You can much more easily create a colorblind mode for telegraphs, instead of having to alter spell effects. Mods can also alter the telegraph colors, they can be customized to the individual's particular color deficiencies. Telegraphs being changed through Mods, allow players to tailor them to how visible they want. Some might want them even darker and more visually distinct. Both of you can get the information in a way that you want.

    2. "Break-out game play."
    There is a minimum stun time, even with spamming F. Yes, spamming a single key is not the best example of the break-out gameplay, but the disarm, tether, blind, disorient and knockdown are all interesting takes on CC and getting out of it. So I will take 5 out of 6 CC having more interesting breakout mechanics, compared to other games which have just mez, stun, root as their CC options.

    3. Casting and attacking while moving
    Not all abilities can be cast on the move, and even some abilities that can be cast on the move have a diminished effect when doing so. The diminished effect makes the kiting game even more interesting because you now have a choice whether to root yourself for full effect, or move for a diminished effect, and it is almost necessary to have these types of abilities with a limited action set.
  6. Elloa

    Elloa Cupcake

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    Not every game is made for everyone.
    I'd recommand you to test the game before to claim the combat will be boring. you will need to feel it and judge it by yourself after have experimented it. Maybe you will nto like it. That's very true.

    But the design, at least on paper, as I've not been lucky enough to play it, seems to be fun and exiting. It's a modern game. It need to push the gameplay further than older games.

    Have you played GW2 or Tera? I can tell you that once you play those games, it's getting very boring to be back on a game with static combat. For example, I recently played FFXIV, and I really didn't enjoyed the combat mechanics that I found boring and too static.

    I'm very exited to see how we will be able to play Wildstar with all those new and fresh mechanics, and use them in competitive environement, may it be PVE or PVP
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  7. ratthing

    ratthing New Cupcake

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    Personally, I am stoked about combat in WS. Final judgment reserved for a hands-on trial run (fingers crossed for a beta invite).

    As for your no. 2 concern, I can see breakout game-play being exploited in PvP. I know I will be making a one button F key spam macro. That's a decided advantage for those that macro as opposed to those that don't. Hoping WS adds macro'ing into the UI, otherwise they further widen the gap between those willing and able to use third party macro programs.
  8. Grytswyrm

    Grytswyrm Cupcake

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    1.) I think telegraphs will not affect the learning curve at all, if what they say about being able to play mind games on people with fake telegraphs stays in. Start to cast a straight line telegraph from you, if they have fast reflexes they will dodge, and if you have fast reflexes you will cancel that spell into an angled spell towards where they dodged to. I'm not saying it will be good or bad, but from what they are saying, it seems like it will promote difficult decision making, not stop it. Of course they could simply go back on all this, and it will suck.

    2.) The stun idea is terrible. Most people realize this. I liked the one idea where when you get stunned, you have sort of a ghost version of yourself spawn a certain distance from your corporeal body, and you need to run back to it to regain consciousness. At the very least there is still a minimum stun duration on the current version of the break out game play.

    3.) It can work. Much like everything else on this list, it CAN work, but it remains to be seen if Carbine will do it properly.

    4.) Who knows, just the beta. We'll see if they add spell graphic variety.

    5.) I actually disagree with your last sentiment about the numbers being cosmetic only. The faster things exponentially increase, the smaller level range there is for competitive combat. At one extreme would be where power level increases so quickly that even 1 level above you is impossible to kill, while 1 level below you is a free kill. Slightly less extreme, and it could be +/- 2 levels, or +/- 3.
  9. selodaoc

    selodaoc Cupcake-About-Town

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    Dont like break out gameplay either. I rather have DR
  10. ruff_ethereal

    ruff_ethereal Well-Known Cupcake

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    1. It gives Carbine the freedom to make super complex patterns like disco lights, checkerboards, and Eldan knows what else. Having to focus on animations or less blatantly obvious tells is taking away from other parts of combat, like knowing where your allies are or how best to position yourself to maximize damage. It puts less load on players which allows Carbine to compensate in other areas, like super complex mechanics.

    If it bothers you that much, they already have the option to turn them off completely.

    2. Beta is Beta. Things will change. There has been some talk of making Stuns an out-of-body experience wherein you have to run back to your body after getting your soul knocked out of it.

    Also, I like Breakout Gameplay. Stuns and disables you can't do anything to get out of feels lazy and just terrible, since it takes the reins away from my character, and I'm playing a game to play it, not watch it, damn it!

    In fact, spamming "F" is a lot more immersive than waiting for a cooldown timer! At least now I have something to do.

    3. There are already some powerful spells that can't be cast while moving, and if I remember right, some spells had disincentives if you use them while moving, like reduced effects. The Spellslingers Charged Shot, for one thing, as you either have to let it go early or risk getting blasted if you use it at a bad time.

    I find the casting while moving also supremely good. I hate just standing around pressing buttons, and getting to move around adds a very, very fun, frenetic pace to gameplay. If it keeps me from staring at cooldowns and add-ons all day, and actually paying attention to the action, please put it in.

    4. If you're talking about the Test Livestream, Scooter and Frost had to tone down their skill. If they were rolling around, switching cameras on a dime and lining up the epic combos, people would be too busy puking and they can't talk and explain. Talking and explaining is what they planned to do in the Livestream, not show off great gameplay.

    5. Yes, it is necessary to ramp up stats that quickly. It prevents people from getting too comfortable with their weapons, and a vast difference between 5 or so levels is a good thing. It keeps players fresh, keeps them updating their gear, and keeps them improving their skills and load-outs.

    In Borderlands 1, a 5 level difference was nothing. It was boring. In Borderlands 2, a five level difference was a very big thing, and it kept you upgrading your guns and keeping your wits about you. That was fun.
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  11. CriSPeH

    CriSPeH Cupcake-About-Town

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    1. Its like you said the Telegraphs wont do anything for an experienced player wont help, hurt or hinder them in anyway. So whats the problem if it helps the learning curve of less experienced players? I think they will grow on you!

    2. I am not exactly for the spam F thing but I don't see why so many ppl complain when such a vast majority of games use a spam mechanic. Sometimes to open chests or move heavy things or lift up doors or in a QTE sequence. I see it in so many console games where you mash a button for some reason. True the idea of it on paper doesn't sound good at all but if they never told anyone about spamming F nobody would care when they got to it in game.

    3. I thing there should be a mix of both.

    4. Totally agree, I haven't seen any skill that I thought looked particularly awesome yet.

    5. Beta.
  12. Mykor

    Mykor Cupcake-About-Town

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    1) As stated before you can disable the telegraphs if you choose so.

    2) I love what they did with disarm/blind/disorient. Not so much stunt. Maybe think of some other way to get out stunts (random keystrokes instead of F, for example).

    3) For some spells you will need to stay put until the cast time is over to get the full effect of it. Moving will produce a weaker version.

    4) They may have more spells that have yet to be unveiled.

    5) Personally, it does not bother me too much
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  13. Ico

    Ico Moderator • WSC's Gentle Flower

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    So would I be right in thinking that you don't like any of the features that make WS somewhat different (with the exception of Paths of course)?

    Without fanboi'ing out, I can only say that the features you seem worried for are the features that I'm actually looking forward to. That's with the exception of the stats ramping up, I don't like false stat inflation (WoW nearly doubling on each Xpac), however I have no worries about the initial stats, because, well, they're the launch stats.
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  14. Jicmonster

    Jicmonster Cupcake-About-Town

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    It is perhaps worth noting that there can be more to telegraphs then just dodging them. The obvious first example would be friendly heals. With an unknown ratio of heals in the game being skill shots, the normally simple act of receiving a heal is more complicated. It becomes as much about catching heals as it is about throwing them out. But besides wanting to stand in friendly healer telegraphs there can also be instances where, as odd as it might sound, you could want to be in an enemy telegraph.

    The warrior charge can travel a fair distance in a strait line but will stop at the first target in its path. In twitch chat, during the pilot episode, some people commented on how you could exploit that mechanic by having your team's own front line intercept this and other first target skill shots. Anyone familiar with MOBAs will recognize this mechanic as body blocking. In this way tanks/less injured players can protect teammates who are at low hp or are unable to dodge an incoming attack by taking the hit for them.

    Other issues such as deciphering what telegraphs are what during large fights, hiding your telegraphs within others, zoning enemies with your telegraphs, and countering enemy healing telegraphs can make the system more complicated then it could seem at face value.
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  15. MacHaggis

    MacHaggis Cupcake

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    While I'm a big fan of all the other 'breakout gameplay' concepts, the "spam F to shorten the stun" is an exception for me.
    I can only imagine it as being terribly frustrating (especially in PVP), it's a nuisance where just having a fixed stun to wait out seems like better gameplay to having to mash that poor 'F' key in frustration all the time. It adds nothing to gameplay but a sore finger and a worn down key.
  16. jimjimjim

    jimjimjim New Cupcake

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    Thanks for the input. I realize the game is in beta and, like I said, it seems clear from watching videos that non-combat aspects of the game will be excellent. Questing, exploring, and so on. I greatly look forward to all of these. I'm just concerned about the combat. And to be fair, the movement looks quite cool.

    I also have no problem with telegraphs if some of them are hard (or even impossible) to get out of. I just worry, based on the gameplay that I have seen, that it's too easy to dodge abilities.

    Obviously leveling up should be a big deal, but I think it would still be a big deal with roughly half the scaling that I saw in the gameplay stream. My view is that the health and damage ratio is what matters, the scaling is another issue entirely that won't affect balance at the level cap. But I think it's a mistake to use really steep scaling.

    Steep scaling adds gates to the leveling process, it doesn't let low level characters fight back at all against characters 5-10 levels above them, and there's something arbitrary about everyone having 10k health at 35 and probably 30k+ at the level cap.

    One final thing that I found worrying is only having 10 abilities at a time. This is mainly an issue if the abilities are bland and uninteresting which, I'm sorry to say, looks to be the case based on the gameplay. 10 abilities is fine if each ability is really interesting and changes your playstyle, but if many of them are buffs and so on, then I could see it becoming a problem.

    Don't get the wrong idea, I like the looks of the game a lot. I haven't played an mmo in 4 years and this is the first one to catch my attention. I'm just providing feedback.
  17. ruff_ethereal

    ruff_ethereal Well-Known Cupcake

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    Have you seen Stormtalon's Lair yet? That shows you just a taste of what telegraphs can be. Carbine has mostly shown low-level areas with easy-to-dodge telegraphs, which is why I think there is so much apathy for the system.

    Also, I'm fine with the LAS. It adds an element of skill to the game, in that you can only take some skills and will have to plan accordingly rather than have access to 50+ skills and macro them accordingly. If a computer has to play for you, I say there is a problem.

    P.S. I read in an interview that with the LAS, they've consolidated buffs, heals, and DPS. You could very well up your own attack speed by striking the enemy numerous times in succession, or have a heal that involves blowing up your enemies.
  18. nra

    nra Cupcake

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    Everything you dislike, I like.
    So as someone already stated, this may not be the game for you.

    Also you have seen footage from old builds, with fixed character builds.
    I for one do not judge too much, because I know that we have not seen (or more importantly, we have not _played_) enough to actually judge fairly.

    Keep your eyes on the upcoming livestreams and devspeaks that are going down the coming weeks, I think a lot of your concerns will be fade away soon.
  19. Veckna

    Veckna Well-Known Cupcake

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    A lot have already been covered so I'll just add my thoughts briefly:

    1. "Ability telegraphs." : can be turned off if you wish so that should make this a non issue for you?

    2. "Break-out game play." : I'd be more worried about people macroing the f key to essentially make themselves immune to stun due to almost instantaneous breakout. For that reason I'd guess that there will be a minimum breakout time for stuns.
    That then puts it in the same boat as reduced duration cc we see in many other PvP scenarios. The only difference is that instead of a stun automatically being reduced to 2 seconds (or whatever) the affected player has to interact.
    Not a huge difference but it does give the affected player the illusion of being able to do something instead of just sitting there staring at their vanishing health bar. Most people will find that a lot more acceptable/less frustrating as a gameplay experience.

    As mentioned though Carbine may well be changing that particular mechanic so we'll have to just wait and see what the end result is (the ghost version of yourself idea sounded pretty good).

    3. Casting and attacking while moving : this is already the case as mentioned (there are a range of abilities and cast mechanics from 'full mobility' down through 'reduced mobility/effectiveness while moving' to 'have to be stationary to cast').

    4. Attacks and abilities look the same : Personal taste I guess, the majority of animations looked fine for me - there's only so many ways you can animate people stabbing/slashing or shooting at things. Those abilities that did something else had appropriate animations (charged shot shooting a large energy ball, frost shot firing the snowball, gate having the portal graphics, stalker having a disk throw, the point blank bomb style aoe of the stalker, the various leaps/charges and so on). Not everything needs to be flashy - remember that they have 40 man raiding in there so all attacks being flashy will be a nightmare (GW2 anyone?) unless they have a system that adjusts detail based on group size (or has low detail animations for raids/warplots) but that might be a lot of extra work.
    Also we've not seen the majority of skills (an example of one of the flashier ones only recently revealed werwould be the Esper raining psyblades down on their opponents while spinning around).


    5. Inflated HP/damage. : You'd need to link your comparison videos for people to judge properly.
    The reason being is that things like the character level in relation to the mobs can have a huge impact on damage done (higher level character = bonus damage) and in videos where they are showcasing level 20/35 or whatever characters they tend to outlevel the mobs a fair bit.
    At lower levels the difference is a lot less pronounced. Also I believe (but may be wrong) that mobs can have differing defence values so unless you're comparing the same mobs (doubtful if they are differing level ranges) then that can also be a factor influencing damage.
    Player gear can also be a factor - the low level might have had poor gear/badly chipped gear, things like buffs present, milestones, quests (SWAT quest weapons did huge damage for example) etc can all influence the visible numbers.
    It may be you are correct but without seeing the comparison for ourselves there's no way to be certain.
    It may be a moot point anyway with the changes to the combat etc that Carbine were doing.

    Hope this helps.
  20. Nicodemus

    Nicodemus Well-Known Cupcake

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    As many have said, these are some of the core systems that Carbine has invested in.

    1. you can turn them off if you like, but things should be getting quite hard. also If you watch the PVP match between Zap-Robo and Arawulf - you can see that Telegraphs add a fun rock paper scissors, and ability fake out game play.


    2.Rather spam F then wait for control of my character to be given back to me. I like the run back body Idea.

    3.so much already said. moving and Attacking leads to interesting trade offs. the video above shows this very well.

    4. Each Video we see, there seems to be more polish on the animations. so hopefully we will see some in the attacks. I just don't want a Cluster[REACTED] of particles like FFXIV.

    5. Starting Curve isn't huge issue with me.

    6. LAS is a breath of Fresh Air if they do it right. I try to show my wife WoW, and even though she starts out with only one skill she has seen my screen, filled with bars, and that's a turnoff of the game. I look at it like a Collectible Card Game, with each card being an ability.
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