Saturday, April 26, 2008

Active Blockig & Why I love The Combat mechanics: Read if you have a Low end machine

Let me start out by saying that if you have a low end machine, you absolutely need 2 gigs of ram to run this game, no if ands or buts.

I first started the PVP weekend with: 1 gig of ram, a single core 3.2 g cpu and an old x800 pro, The game was playable on the island for the intro questing, but in PVP as soon as another player approached me my fps went minus 70.

On sunday morning, while my brother was at work i decided to borrow the gig of ram he had in his computer. After putting the mismatch ram into my computer, Load screens become fast as hell, and the performance was great, i was even able to turn the settings on HIGH and keep 15-25 fps!

I am going to be using the barbarian as my main example for why i love the combat so far.

Overall the PVP did feel a bit a clunky and it definatly needs more work, but at the same time it was fun as hell and I truly love what funcom have done to melee mechanics with their MMO.

The barbarian was hands down the funnest melee class i have ever played.
The class had enough instant moves to mix with your combos to always give you an offensive option.

The barbarian relies on switching weapons during the heat of battle, Two handed swords unlock your INSTANT stun and knock back moves, while duel wielding unlocks a couple high DPS combos, and your main DPS combos are shared between your two weapon sets. With this design, as long as the player toggles his equipped weapons and stays alive it's possible to have an endless barrage of effective attacks.

This Brings me to the Combo system.

At first the combo system struck me as nothing more than button mashing, but i was wrong. There is a lot of strategy that is accessible, its just a lot more fast paced than what any of us are used to, so the masses tend to button mash.

When you start a combo, you have about 3-5 seconds before you have to push the next button in the combo chain and you can toggle your targets all the while before executing the combo.

You do NOT have to finish the combo on the same person you started with and you DO NOT have to franticly mash the buttons in perfect rhythmical timing like your doing a hadoken in the game Street Fighter 2. The combo system in this game is the complete opposite, it is The player who decides when it is the correct time to advance to the next step in the overall sequence of the combo. I was able to start my combo on one target, choose a different target, and left slash them while taking evasive maneuvers and waiting a few more seconds for an opening, if an opening arrived on even yet another target, i could switch to them and UP slash who ever i chose to complete the combo and trigger the effects of it on them.

In one situation, i was coming up a ramp taking fire from a ranger and in front of me was an enemy demonologist. I was able to instantly send the mage flying through the air with my clobber attack, and sprinted to the ranger where i started my butcher combo, after i pushed the first attack button in the sequence the ranger had already leaped backwards to evade the combo and was out of my attack range, by this time an enemy assassin with low heath was already unleashing an attack on me. Still targeted on the ranger and in the middle of my butcher combo sequence, I was able to ACTIVELY block the assassins attacks before i switched my targeting to him and pushed the last button needed to trigger high a DPS attack, severing the assassins head.

Thats right, not only can you move around and toggle targets at any point in a combo, but you can actively block at any point and it wont break the combo either. And there is noticeable difference in your defense when you actively block. 1v1 fights with other melee felt closer to a real sword fight and was more action and fast paced than any other MMO game i have played.

^ above is a prime example of people complaining about other players just simply "running away" from their combos and wasting them....well its your fault for not attacking one is forcing anyone to trigger the combos, yes there is a time limit to the sequences but the time limit keeps you in the rhythm of the battle all you gotta do is use your head and don't panic! Also instant moves don't get used if your target goes out of range, so if the move doesn't actually get used like it was intended then it doesn't get spent and is till there for you to use when the time is right, (not counting a resist of course)

Edit: More clarification on the whole "combo" thing, The combo is not the move you are doing, the combo is the sequence of buttons it takes to unlock that move, and the second you unlock that move by hitting the last button of the sequence,(players choice) the effect is instant, they are animated, but they are animated to flow with the heat of battle. No one is standing around doing "Combo's" to the thin air, shadow boxing... unless they are retarded. (or trapped inside the PVP lobby all weekend)

Spell casting on the other hand seemed weak, i don't know if just because the casting is standard fair and the melee is so strong that it makes the magic seem worse than it is, but something just didnt feel right about casting and it needs some major polish from mechanics to animation IMO.

Ranged combat was very well done so far too i thought, I played the ranger after the nerf, so far the feeling of taking and holding higher ground for your survival is fun, and it all felt all felt pretty realistic.

Over all not its perfect by any means, PVP is clunky and needs lots of ironing but its by far the funnest i have played in an MMO.

I dont understand why people are calling this a skilless buton mashing system,sometimes there is no way around button mashing in any game well i guess if you are a skilless button mashing player, then its only natural you get out of it what you put into it.

I really hope Funcom keeps the pace up with the quality in this game, its going to get better and better and i cant wait,

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