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What will combat be like?


Pathfinder Online

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Sovereign Court

Is it going to be like Oblivion/Skyrim with a kind of FPS action, or more like Diablo where you click on target and watch animation?

Are you going to have the classic MMO cooldowns, clicking on various icons at the bottom of the screen to create combo effects such as with Guild Wars?

Mass battles with NPC armies, will it be like Total War where you can get an aerial view to create battle lines, flanking maneuvers, etc?


Hopefully nothing of what you mentioned.

Hopefully more like in Neverwinter Nights.....but I can only hope....

Goblin Squad Member

I ask about which game engine they'd use and got a vague answer,
so we will not know how the combat system will work or it's mechanics.

Odds are they are observing our responses and will take notes.

Goblin Squad Member

I've tried several MMO's and never got past day 1 because of the combat. The only one that has held my interest is DDO and a lot of that has to do with their combat. I would like to see something similar to their's.


Mok wrote:
Is it going to be like Oblivion/Skyrim with a kind of FPS action, or more like Diablo where you click on target and watch animation?
superfly2000 wrote:

Hopefully nothing of what you mentioned.

Hopefully more like in Neverwinter Nights.....but I can only hope....

The Neverwinter Nights I played was point and click...

Grand Lodge Goblin Squad Member

I hope it is like Pool of Radiance 2. Game goes turn based at the start of combat. Everything else is realtime

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

No need to reinvent the wheel.

GCD's, hotbars, ASWD + mouse for movement and camera control, please.
Locked encounters on attack, and instances for important/contested areas.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Provos wrote:
I hope it is like Pool of Radiance 2. Game goes turn based at the start of combat. Everything else is realtime

I'd love that (or like Temple of Elemental Evil), but since a) they've already announced that they won't even be using a class/level based system and b) that they'll be adapting the rules to fix a MMO, rather than strictly porting them over, I'm thinking turn based would be highly unlikely.

Goblin Squad Member

MY question for combat is:

Are we balancing for a party of 4, or are there going to be Solo-Options?


Kryzbyn wrote:

No need to reinvent the wheel.

GCD's, hotbars, ASWD + mouse for movement and camera control, please.
Locked encounters on attack, and instances for important/contested areas.

+1

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Kryzbyn wrote:

No need to reinvent the wheel.

GCD's, hotbars, ASWD + mouse for movement and camera control, please.
Locked encounters on attack, and instances for important/contested areas.

This is what I think of when talking about on-line games.

Goblin Squad Member

I believe Guildwars 2 has a solution for not locking combats on attacks. Those who participate and help if it is sufficent will get a proportional amount of reward. So everyone who helps defeat the dragon ravaging the town can get a bit of exp or rep. I believe they also will be using dodge and tactics of combatants from the back have advantages vs those attacking from the front.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't like the idea of real time combat in a potentially lag heavy space. Its imperative for that type of gameplay to be fluid and precise, something you simply can't get online, not perfectly at least.

That said, I want something more active than the simple auto-attack and press specials as much as possible. I think Wrath of Heroes, TOR, and other MOBA games like LoL are on the right track in removing an auto-attack but keeping a lot of the more heavy RPG percent elements effecting damage and hit chance, etc.


Kryzbyn wrote:
ASWD + mouse for movement and camera control, please.

If by "ASWD" you mean "WASD as standard but can be changed", I'll agree. Whether we call it ASWD or WASD isn't my issue, just that you can change it. ESDF is more intuitive. Your left hand is in the standard position for typing AND you have some extra keys left of the movement keys.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Kaeyoss: Yep that's what I meant.

@ Thomas: Since every MMO out there now uses real time combat in spite of whatever lag there is kinda refutes that observation.

Goblin Squad Member

Not nearly. Conan tries, DCUO tries, but all suffer severely from a lag environment. It creates a severely frustrating experience. Most every MMO out there has kept the same general system. It also limits accessibilty, sure those games can be great if I'm playing on a top of the line rig with a T1 connection, but not everyone has those luxuries.

Goblin Squad Member

Thomas Gordon wrote:
Not nearly. Conan tries, DCUO tries, but all suffer severely from a lag environment. It creates a severely frustrating experience. Most every MMO out there has kept the same general system. It also limits accessibilty, sure those games can be great if I'm playing on a top of the line rig with a T1 connection, but not everyone has those luxuries.

YMMV I guess. I have neither of those things. I have a 3 year old system, and I get SWTOR to run well...


Azten wrote:


The Neverwinter Nights I played was point and click...

Nah...the WASD or arrow keys work as well...and thats what I am using mosltly...in combination with point and click...best of both worlds so to speak.

NWN being the meta-action game that is is (phased turn-based) actually requires you to be somewhat agile on the battlefield. Far from a shooter...but still...


I know I might get flamed for this but I found the combat system for Dragonage 2 was awesome....

Goblin Squad Member

Personally I see the Pathfinder ruleset much easier applied to traditional MMORPG combat mechanics but in my heart of hearts, I'm pretty tired of that which is why my two more anticipated MMORPG's are Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World.

Both those titles are hoping to introduce a more action based, exciting combat element I've been craving.

SWTOR's combat is a bit of a compromise between the two which could work but again, I personally wish for something more exciting - it's just much more difficult to pull off.


Thomas Gordon wrote:
It also limits accessibilty, sure those games can be great if I'm playing on a top of the line rig with a T1 connection, but not everyone has those luxuries.

I have a pretty crappy connection (only 2Mbit DSL) and I can play games without any lag. It's mostly about the server - the server has to handle dozens of connections at once.

Sure, I'm not playing MMOs (though the 64 player servers I'm hanging out and shooting people on aren't exactly small), but I know people who do. They don't have lag trouble.

I doubt this game will require a top of the line computer, or even a current cheap computer. In fact, I'd bet good money that you can have a computer you bought a couple of years ago in the supermarket and play the game with all the quality details maxed out and still have no FPS trouble.

I haven't heard anything about them being in contact with EA DICE to license the Frostbite 2 engine for the game or anything like that.

Goblin Squad Member

Network latency is the big factor in making decisions about how a combat system works in an MMO. As the battlespace gets bigger, the need to keep all the clients in synch with the server creates an N^2 problem - the amount of data that exchanged is the exponent of the number of players.

You can't do "turn by turn" in an MMO. Imagine what happens when 50 people are in a combat. How long do you give each player to act? 10 seconds? So that's 500 seconds you're allocating PER TURN - who is going to sit around and wait for 8 minutes for a round to resolve? (This is an example of how you have to think past the tabletop to make on-line play work. You have to design for much, much larger groups than a tabletop.) Anyone who has played on-line poker can attest to how frustrating it is to sit and wait while player after player "times out" because they got distracted and forgot to pay attention to the game to know when it was their turn to act...

There are all sorts of combat potentials in a sandbox MMO and each needs to be considered when building the system.

People will fight monsters as a group
People will fight monsters as multiple groups (i.e. PvEvPvE)
People will fight Many vs. One
People will fight in asymmetric group sizes
People will fight One vs. One
People will fight in Large Groups (i.e. armies)
People will fight other people who are trying to just run away without engaging
People will fight from ambush or stealth and will try to make a quick kill rather than engage in a toe-to-toe brawl
Some people will be making ranged, not melee attacks

etc. etc. etc.

So when you ask "what will the combat system be like", in a sandbox game, I have to fall back on saying that until we're further along in development we won't have any firm answers.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:


People will fight monsters as a group
People will fight monsters as multiple groups (i.e. PvEvPvE)
People will fight Many vs. One
People will fight in asymmetric group sizes
People will fight One vs. One
People will fight in Large Groups (i.e. armies)
People will fight other people who are trying to just run away without engaging
People will fight from ambush or stealth and will try to make a quick kill rather than engage in a toe-to-toe brawl
Some people will be making ranged, not melee attacks

etc. etc. etc.

+1, Yummy...!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Ryan Dancey wrote:
You can't do "turn by turn" in an MMO. Imagine what happens when 50 people are in a combat. How long do you give each player to act? 10 seconds? So that's 500 seconds you're allocating PER TURN - who is going to sit around and wait for 8 minutes for a round to resolve? (This is an example of how you have to think past the tabletop to make on-line play work. You have to design for much, much larger groups than a tabletop.) Anyone who has played on-line poker can attest to how frustrating it is to sit and wait while player after player "times out" because they got distracted and forgot to pay attention to the game to know when it was their turn to act...

I think you actually could do a turn by turn in an MMO, if you had a limiting factor on how many players were in a single given combat (say 8 per party, with a party either fighting NPCs, or an enemy party). Theoretically, you could even use a system like this for wars or mass battles, if you used a mechanism to have small parties fight each other and somehow track the overall results, similar to how a PnP RPG often simulates a war by having the PCs fight a series of more manageable battles that affect the outcome of the larger conflict. With the hypothetical 8 player limit in a battle, your 10 seconds per person hypothetical timer would be 80 seconds, assuming each and ever player took the full 10 seconds, which is only 1 m 20s, which isn't too bad. Would it be as fast paced as other games, no, but neither is chess and people still like that game (not to mention actual PnP RPGs). In a PvP battle with up to 16 people, it would slow down some, but letting players on the same side use a party chat to coordinate actions would allow them to make their moves fairly quickly still if they plan when it's the other side's turn.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has done this, which considering the mostly dead turn based single player CRPG market is understandible (if dissapointing to me). I understand that this isn't the game you're looking to make, but I don't think that means it couldn't be done (though I admit, I'm far from an expert on the MMO scene either as a player or as an employee). Would this hypothetical model appeal to most current MMO players? Probably not. Would it appeal to most PnP RPG players? I think possibly it could. You would still have the MMO elements for things that weren't combat based, such as crafting and economy systems, city/kingdom building, guilds, politics, and also for having hundreds or thousands of players on line at the same time to find people to make adventuring groups with for quests/dungeons, etc.


That DOES sound interesting Joel. However, I can see holes in it as well. One of the awesome things about Pathfinder Online is that you CAN be in a massive battle with hundreds of other players.

Although I would certainly be willing to pay for 'small party turn play' options. (Say you need a minimum of one person with such rights for every 4 people in the encounter or whatever.) The ability to switch between two different playstyles could make the game a lot more varied and fun.


Can't tell at a glance if it's been mentioned, but what about turn based combat?

Liberty's Edge

Use the tabletop rules to develop real-time rules. If a round is six seconds, and I can attack once and move 30 ft in that time, you now have a frame of reference for what my movement speed and attack speed are. I'd like to see combat done in a way that uses the tabletop rules, and perspective can be switched between first person and adjustable third person.

Goblin Squad Member

Azten wrote:
Can't tell at a glance if it's been mentioned, but what about turn based combat?
RD wrote:
You can't do "turn by turn" in an MMO. Imagine what happens when 50 people are in a combat. How long do you give each player to act? 10 seconds? So that's 500 seconds you're allocating PER TURN - who is going to sit around and wait for 8 minutes for a round to resolve? (This is an example of how you have to think past the tabletop to make on-line play work. You have to design for much, much larger groups than a tabletop.) Anyone who has played on-line poker can attest to how frustrating it is to sit and wait while player after player "times out" because they got distracted and forgot to pay attention to the game to know when it was their turn to act...


NWN has "phased turns". As I like to call it.

There IS a turn...only it's restricted in time...so the player has to decide what to do in each turn and sometimes it is played out in the coming turns. In this way you can preparate what the PC will do in the coming turns...which is valuable as the turns go on quite fast.

This is the only way to go. The NWN way.

Also NWN uses resting which *drumroll* ALSO fits better with the original rules. Instead of the stupid charg-o-meters you actually have to rest to regain (almost) all spells and abilities.

This brings the adventuring to a halt just for some seconds. Usually the whole party rests in a safe spot and valuable time for afterthough, communication and roleplay is created...

Goblin Squad Member

KaeYoss wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
ASWD + mouse for movement and camera control, please.
If by "ASWD" you mean "WASD as standard but can be changed", I'll agree. Whether we call it ASWD or WASD isn't my issue, just that you can change it. ESDF is more intuitive. Your left hand is in the standard position for typing AND you have some extra keys left of the movement keys.

I've been playing comp games for over 15 years and I never thought to use ESDF... I kowtow to your ergonomic awesomeness.

On topic I am sincerely hoping for something along the lines of an action based game, I am dead tired of the select target and use my pre-arranged skills 1,2,3,4, and then 5,6 in case of emergency. Worse yet auto-attack.

I'm hoping to see a combat system along champions online if it has to be click target to engage and as fast and action oriented as Firefall/Dragons Nest.

http://www.firefallthegame.com/media#/firefall-pax-2011-gameplay-video

If they could get Red5's to supply them with their middle-wear that would be amazing.

I'm waiting to see what the combat system is like in this game before I start to get hyped for it - but I'll keep checking back regularly until then.

Goblin Squad Member

DDO best fantasy mmo combat. If you don't know that you haven't tryd it.

Goblin Squad Member

Pyronous Rath wrote:
DDO best fantasy mmo combat. If you don't know that you haven't tryd it.

So true, head and shoulders above WOW type games. Was soooooo disappointed in SWTOR combat.

Goblin Squad Member

Pyronous Rath wrote:
DDO best fantasy mmo combat. If you don't know that you haven't tryd it.

Sorry, tried to ignore this in the other thread, but I 100% disagree, and yes, I've tried it.

I want to use my mouse to move and look around, not spend time trying to regain the hand-eye coordination I had as a kid trying to click on things that are moving around the screen when I can barely even see where the cursor is sometimes.

I hope PFO does innovate with combat, but I most sincerely hope they don't take away my mouselook.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nihimon wrote:
Pyronous Rath wrote:
DDO best fantasy mmo combat. If you don't know that you haven't tryd it.

Sorry, tried to ignore this in the other thread, but I 100% disagree, and yes, I've tried it.

I want to use my mouse to move and look around, not spend time trying to regain the hand-eye coordination I had as a kid trying to click on things that are moving around the screen when I can barely even see where the cursor is sometimes.

I hope PFO does innovate with combat, but I most sincerely hope they don't take away my mouselook.

Um DDO has mouse look you just have to turn it on. Oh yeah I agree DDO combat is way better than point-click-watch the "classic" mmo combat control.

Goblin Squad Member

Pan wrote:
Um DDO has mouse look you just have to turn it on. Oh yeah I agree DDO combat is way better than point-click-watch the "classic" mmo combat control.

I remember playing very early on and everyone standing on the docks swinging their sword (swish!) every time they right-clicked expecting to be able to move around.

For those of us who don't know much about DDO combat, can someone lay out the particular features of it that are desirable?

All I remember (and I don't remember it well at all, so this may be wrong) is that you left-clicked to swing your sword from the left, right-clicked to swing from the right, and held down shift to block. I don't see how that's good at all.

But I'm actually a really big fan of the twelve button hot bar with tab targeting.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't know what others did but I made the midle mouse button my Mlook toggle worked amazing plus target nearest f target next e.

Goblin Squad Member

Go on YouTube and look at ddo combat it feels like a battle not click cooldown stand around I mean it's exciting.

Goblin Squad Member

Ok, watched this video and I think I see what you're getting at.

If you're saying "I really don't want my character to stand there and swing his sword back and forth until the other guy falls down", I'm right there with you. I would really like to see a hit from an Ogre knock a Halfling half way to next Tuesday.

But, if you're saying "I want everyone to have to perfectly time rolling/dodging out of the way, raising their shield, and darting in with a quick slash or thrust", I'm not on board, for reasons stated above. I don't want a twitch video game.

Goblin Squad Member

Hmm you know that gives me an idea that would also help with lag like what they are doing with large fleet battles in eve. How about slow motion combat. A sort of cross between realtime and turnbased. Then you could have they dynamic action without the twitch factor. Mind you I think anyone with two hands and ten digits can play DDO combat just fine if they give it a chance.

Goblin Squad Member

Pyronous Rath wrote:
How about slow motion combat. A sort of cross between realtime and turnbased. Then you could have they dynamic action without the twitch factor.

That's a very interesting idea. I've often thought it would be cool for certain combat moves to look choreographed (think Matrix) with slow-motion shots of a sword hilt breaking an orc's jaw, and such. This is a lot like that, but has the added benefit of giving the player time to make decisions and react to changes in the environment or in the enemy's tactics.

I'm not sure many would go for it, though. I think the pace of combat has a lot to do with how much people enjoy it. WoW and Vanguard I thought had the timing perfect. LOTRO has the worst combat in my experience. Something about it leaves me always trying to move or hit something and not being able to.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Pyronous Rath wrote:
How about slow motion combat. A sort of cross between realtime and turnbased. Then you could have they dynamic action without the twitch factor.

That's a very interesting idea. I've often thought it would be cool for certain combat moves to look choreographed (think Matrix) with slow-motion shots of a sword hilt breaking an orc's jaw, and such. This is a lot like that, but has the added benefit of giving the player time to make decisions and react to changes in the environment or in the enemy's tactics.

I'm not sure many would go for it, though. I think the pace of combat has a lot to do with how much people enjoy it. WoW and Vanguard I thought had the timing perfect. LOTRO has the worst combat in my experience. Something about it leaves me always trying to move or hit something and not being able to.

slow motion sounds cool, but how do you handle the side effect of slow motion everything else? There's always someone fighting something somewhere, so if I'm sitting in a tavern, watching 2 people brawling on the street, are they moving in slow motion while I'm walking around in normal speed. If so, in this world Einstein's theory of relativity would be fully understood before the discovery of fire :)

Goblin Squad Member

Hmm good point and tricky too deal with. You could have a combat zone around combatents. Say triple the diamiter of longest ranged wepon. This zone could have a shimmery visable edge. When combat ends the zone disapates. Any other ideas?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The slow-motion punch should either be slow-motion for everybody, or normal speed for everybody. Nobody else needs to slow down for it, just the two combatants. It would have to be one which invoked a stunning effect on the victim, and the slow-motion attack would have to play out fast enough to come back to the next animation.

An attack with a powerful stun on one opponent, that leaves you momentarily vulnerable to attacks from others? Sounds like something with situational advantages and disadvantages, which is a good thing.


How will slow motion affect other players? Mass pvp, will everyone slow down because one person is thinking?

In general, I'd like to see combat which is a bit of a blend of Arkham Asylum, Guild Wars and DDO.

I like the idea of clicking for each attack. I like having to raise the shield myself, and I like the idea of being able to dodge big attacks. I don't want every enemy to require an extensive mix of these, especially seeing as I also want the usual action bar filled with abilities and spells, but I do want the difficulty curve to depend somewhat on my own abilities to know when to attack (is their guard up?), when to block (is he about to hit me with that massive hammer?) and when to dodge (will the massive hammer break my shield...?).

I specify guild wars for the hotkeys because of it's limited amount at one time. I don't want a screen filled with abilities and I don't want to be capable of casting everything I've learnt (which is potentially the games entire array of abilities) in one fight. I'd see it similarly to EVE and kitting out a ship (despite combat being non-simiilar in any way). If you had unlimited spaces for guns, it'd be pretty boring. Lots of people with different specialities sounds more fun to me.

Goblin Squad Member

EVE's time dilation only affects the current grid not the whole server.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

One thing I don't want to see in combat is scaling of hp to levels that are significantly out of whack with the tabletop game. The single most annoying thing I found about DDO was starting at 1st level, and getting into fights with "standard" kobolds who had 2-3 times your hp and therefore took a half dozen hits to kill. Have the low level monsters take a similar number of hits to kill as in the tabletop game, and scale up from there at a similar rate as the tabletop game.

While I understand that the MMO won't use the tabletop rules, nothing will make it feel less like Pathfinder and more like just another MMO than having stock monsters be ridiculously hard to kill compared to the tabletop version. I want a 1st level fighter type character to be able to kill a standard level 1 enemy with 1-2 hits and first level non-fighter types to need 2-3 hits, not 5-6 and 7-10 respectively.

Lantern Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hate turn based and severly dislike phased turns type of combat. ddo was probably the best of these styles I've yet seen (could barely tell which meant I could enjoy it)but kingdom hearts is what I would really like to see as a combat style.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My biggest wish for Pathfinder Online is no tab targeting combat. The standard press TAB, 1, 2, 3, 4 found in WOW, EQ, WAR and so many others is extremely dull.

The ideal combat system is FPS based: Active blocking, use of terrain and aiming of spells/weapons etc.

Darkfall Online has the best MMO combat system of all time. Darkfall has many issues but the combat system is fast paced, exciting and skill based.


While I can and do enjoy a more action based combat system in certain games, I just don't think it makes much sense in a game in which I'm playing the role of a character.

If I want to test my skills, speed and manual dexterity, there are any number of FPS's and the like in which to do so. In an RPG/MMO, I'm generally playing the role of a character, not myself. I enjoy making the decisions, but it's his/her stats that, I feel, should determine the outcome - not mine.

I admit it's a hard line to walk (where do you even draw the line?) I personally just find the more traditional wasd/hotkeyed abilities/target locking works better in MMOs from my experience.

Any hybrid that attempted to introduce more active combat (DDO, AoC, Tabula Rasa as examples) felt, in my experience, half hearted and clunky, as if they were trying to be both at once and succeeding at neither, leaving a wonky feeling jumble in place of a fully realised combat system.

I'm open to new approaches, I even liked Vanguards 2005 beta version of almost turn based combat. In that (unfortunately short lived system) you queued up abilities based on the abilities the enemy had queued up, the higher your perception stat the further down their queue you could see and plan against. So for example if I saw the troll was about to stun our tank, I could set up my ranger to lunge in and divert that particular blow.

But when all is said and done, a characters stats and skills should have more of an impact on combats outcome than simply player reflexes. Not only does it plainly make more sense to me, it seems to fit better and feels more natural in a role playing game environment.

Although, it really all comes down to determining where exactly you draw the line in regards to how much weight my input carries and how much my weight my characters stats carry.

I may very well be in the minority, I'm positive there are many clamoring for a fast paced/active combat system.

I just personally feel in an RPG it's important to differentiate between player & character, and twitch based combat doesn't really service that distinction well.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkaern wrote:

I may very well be in the minority, I'm positive there are many clamoring for a fast paced/active combat system.

I just personally feel in an RPG it's important to differentiate between player & character, and twitch based combat doesn't really service that distinction well.

Well I half agree and half disagree. In the end that goal falls short in any role-play game, considering there are 2 halves to the stats, you will never find a player in any game with a super intelligent wizard, and a no intelligence fighter/warrior whatever, that plays one super tactically and the other mindlessly, and in the event games had cha as a stat, it would be uncommon for a low cha character to by nature be less likable then a high cha character

I can't say I entirely disagree with your sentiments I'm kind of on the fence about the ideas, on one hand I do like the idea of player skill having more influence, primarally due to the fact that I greatly dislike the battle being decided before you set foot on the battlefield, if you are beaten once by person X, you will be beaten by person X every time until you level up or get a new item.

On the other hand I also do note that many of the people I would like to play with, may not have pin-point twitch reflexes etc.. The best idea I can think of for resolving something would be an increase of value on the tactical side over raw speed etc...

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