As an avid online gamer, I’ve developed a terrible habit of jumping onto the band wagon of all the most recent MMOs – scrambling for beta keys and jumping onto any that may have escaped my hawk-like senses. My search has been on-going for years now and always toward the same purpose – to find an MMORPG that can truly hook me; make me lose myself in hours of gameplay and, frankly, fall in love. My journey thus far, however, has been far from fruitful.
The sad truth to it all is that there will always be someone with the same gear, the same statistics and most games boil down to being the same recipe with slightly different ingredients. As most gamers can probably attest to, we can tell when things feel the same and on the other side of things – we can always think of improvements to our beloved addictions. Some developers can make breakthroughs and changing the formula, even in slight amounts, can be risky but rewarding.
Before I start, I realize that some guys have already implemented a few of my points – and they will be mentioned – but this article is set on a general scale and not pointed in particular to any one game or series. I love the Massively Multiplayer Online genre and only wish to see the games made more enjoyable – after all, most of us are spending hard earned money ($15) each month on them!
Combat mechanics in MMORPG’s has forever been the same. Usually you target your enemy and mash a combination of numbers to create what, on screen, appears to be a mass of stiff movements and numbers flying about the two parties. It all seems a bit dated. Your ability to dodge or counter an enemies advances is determined by a set statistic – pretty much the same as every other character of your race, class and level and boosted only by the gear you’re wearing.
The only title I’ve seen to amend these mechanics is Tera. Within Tera, you can dodge, dive and weave your way through an enemies attacks; making it more about timing and execution than spamming cool-downs. In my opinion, this style of visceral combat demands more skill and concentration in even the smallest of skirmishes and makes things thoroughly more enjoyable for the player.
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This article was first posted on March 22, 2013