The Daily Grind: Which MMOs have the best combat feedback?

I’m quite fond of 20XX, but I really hate the upgrades you can pick up in the game that eliminate hit stun. Sure, it means you don’t get knocked back by things, but it also means you can easily overlook when you’re taking damage until you explode. I consider that slightly less than a desirable outcome, you know?

MMOs, in general, do not have the same sort of combat feedback as platformers, but they can have similar problems. One of the problems I found in early versions of The Elder Scrolls Online was combat feeling floaty and devoid of impact, making it hard to tell if my attacks were actually making a difference. (That’s no longer the case, I should note.) Similarly, I’ve always found Final Fantasy XI with its slow pace to give you a pretty clear picture of whether or not your attacks are landing and doing something; the answer might be “no,” but at least you have an answer.

Of course, there are lots of different games with many different combat styles; TERA has excellent feedback about whether you’re doing well in combat, with everything feeling like it has a solid impact, but the similarly designed WildStar sometimes feels devoid of a strong sense of impact. So let’s turn the question over to you. Which MMOs have the best combat feedback? Which games are great about making you feel like you’re hitting something and causing an impact, and which ones leave you unsure?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

49 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMOs have the best combat feedback?"

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

World of Warcraft: Legion. They did great job improving melee animations.

Reader
Lily Cheng

I’d say Mabinogi definitely has the best combat feedback of any MMO I’ve played.

Reader
Ben Stone

Neverwinter has a really impactful combat feel. They really nailed it. Other thinga though… Not so much.

Reader
Bryan Turner

I don’t mean to knit pick that’s a picture from ARPG Diablo 3 not an MMO.

Reader
Bryan Correll

I think you mean ‘nitpick.’ ;-)

Reader
Bryan Turner

Auto correct.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

I know folks either love it or hate it, but I have to say that my best answer to this question is Black Desert Online. or GW2. I do prefer more of an action combat thing than having to stand perfectly still lest my skill/spell be interrupted, etc.
I always loved original Diablo. It was just pure gold.

luxundae
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
luxundae

The game I play that does this the most is The Secret World. I was just playing through the Tokyo storyline again last night and spent a good chunk of my time getting dropkicked by filth-infected and ending up flat on my back, then thwapping them with a hammer so they end up flat on their backs. In my experience so far, most mobs (even really large ones) have animations for falling backwards and then struggling to their feet again. I assume just to make me happier when I use my hammer…

Reader
Tanek

This probably illustrates what MJ mentioned in one of her columns. The way a player experiences combat in TSW can be VERY different depending on weapon and skills used. I don’t use a hammer in any build and when using claws I don’t really get any feedback at all.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

Yes. Also, I feel that TSW does communicate status effects (like being knocked down) extremely well.

The problem is that attacks that don’t do status effects aren’t communicated well at all. Did your attack hit? Penetrate? Crit? Was it blocked? Glancing? The floaty combat text will tell you, but the actual combat animations don’t communicate any of that information.

Reader
Robert Mann

I’ve never been that picky about combat feedback in most MMOs, so long as I can tell what is going on. I mean, ideally yes a good combat system with accurate animations and all would be lovely, but when you have a world as immersion breaking as most MMOs are being worried about combat immersion is just a little ridiculous. I personally care far more about fixing all the problems with the worlds around us, and then looking at fixing some animation issues with characters, than vice versa.

Thus my input on the topic would likely be very skewed, as I’d have to be so jarred by the combat that I in turn felt it more breaking than things like watching dozens of mobs pop back in from the ether.

Reader
rafael12104

The best, hands down, is Blade and Soul. It is complete and seamless. The animations are great and when you hit you see the impact immediately. But more than that, your eyes are your best weapon. You can see what is coming from your opponent of mob. It isn’t necessarily telegraphed with and aoe range, it is simly understanding the animations and the timing. It is the best way I can explain it. It is fast but once you you know your class and your opponents, you really get the sense that you are in a real fight.

Unlike BDO mobs aren’t walking into your spam of aoes. And it is crisper than Tera visually and in terms of impact and counters. Yup, BnS combat is the best in MMORPGs, IMO and
the immediacy and impact of the combat is part of the reason why.

miol
Reader
miol

One of the problems I found in early versions of The Elder Scrolls Online was combat feeling floaty and devoid of impact, making it hard to tell if my attacks were actually making a difference. (That’s no longer the case, I should note.)

o.O What?

Even Bree keeps saying in your podcasts, how bad ESO’s combat animation still is!

Crow
Reader
Crow

I kind-of agree. ESO’s combat (as of a month ago) still feels floaty and kind of muddy. It works and isn’t much of a huge detriment, but I wouldn’t raise ESO to be the bar in much of any way.

BDO, TERA… WoW. To an extent I find LotRO combat to have a lot of “weight” behind it.

I dunno. I don’t have issues with TSW’s combat so maybe I just don’t get it.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Rottenrotny

Best: WoW, easily. Really nothing even comes close.
Worst: TSW. Terrible animation, boring.

I’ve been playing SWGEmu recently and omg I’m always surprised at how bad the combat is. If it weren’t for how awesome most everything else is I don’t think I could play it.
Another MMO that I feel has a poor combat feel: FFXIV. S o s l o w. P l e a s e j u s t l e t t h i s f i g h t e n d. Z z z z z