With its early access debut coming next month, Bless Online has a lot riding on how well it can present itself to a western market. Renovations and adjustments continue apace on the fantasy MMORPG, with the combat system receiving a top-to-bottom revamp in order to please future consumers.
The dev team said that it looked through the classes’ combat skills and “restructured their composition and effects” for the upcoming release. This revamp includes changes to rhythmic combat, incentives for grouping, and more ways to skill up your character.
It also emphasized, yet again, that the buy-to-play title will not feature pay-to-win aspects. “Bless Online’s monetization system will be user friendly,” the team said, going on to point out how the two main in-game shops work in conjunction with each other.
Get ready for Bless Online’s May launch by reading up on our interview with owner and operator Neowiz!
Back when I played TERA for a feature on Massively-that-was, I found myself playing both a Warrior and a Lancer. Playing as a Warrior meant deftly weaving back and forth, dodging, jumping, and springing all over. Playing as a Lancer meant standing there and, when necessary, poking the target. It was a wildly different amount of work for two classes which at least ostensibly had the same roles.
Obviously, this is not the only case. There was a joke in World of Warcraft that Enhancement Shaman was like frantically playing the piano and Frost Mage was like lazily tooting on a kazoo; you have to constantly be aware of what you’re doing on Red Mage in Final Fantasy XIV but you can sort of just hit abilities as they come up as a Bard. So what do you think, readers? Which MMO has the worst discrepancy in combat pacing? Which game has a few combat options that are constantly in motion, and others that just let you get up and go make a sandwich mid-combat?
Last month, Ship of Heroes ran its first alpha combat test with backers, and it was a blast (literally). With enough time to process the test, the studio put together a dev blog that shared what it has learned from the combat alpha to use in development going forward.
There are many critical notes that the devs provide, such as this one: “Enemies should attack relentlessly. We have already begun an enemy AI upgrade. This upgrade will be affected by the poll results you’ve given us on this subject. Our goal to is to add a new level of challenge to the AI.”
Heroic Games said that it will be polling the community for several decisions that need to be made about adjusting the combat. There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself, so check out February’s combat alpha highlights after the superjump!
It’s not really a superhero game unless you’re fighting someone or something, right? So Ship of Heroes has a certain obligation to give you a bunch of tools for doing exactly that. The latest video from the team shows off the new features added into combat to ensure that players can get as much joy as possible out of beating the tar out of criminals in the city which is on a spaceship.
Among the features shown off are target level-checking (letting you know what you’re facing at a glance), auto-rotating to face your target, and a smoother combat flow in general. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it; you can check out all of these features in the video just below. And it’s on the short side, so those of you allergic to watching an hour of developers fumble around for words won’t have to wait to see the good stuff.
Not content with the current state of the world, AdventureQuest 3D pushed out a patch this week that overhauled its classes and combat — a change that bodes well for the future.
“In this update we wanted to make combat feel more fun and exciting,” the team said. “We also wanted to give each of the starter classes a distinctive play style which would prepare players for upcoming classes. These updates will also set the foundation for us to start creating new classes.”
Players who jump into combat with this new patch will discover that potions now have a 10-second cooldown, movement speed is standardized in all directions, the global cooldown is reduced to a single second, damage-over-time abilities are affected by armor, crowd control has diminishing returns, buff and debuff icons, and they can be stunned. All classes now have an ultimate ability, have their own resource, have passive abilities and effets, and share a new class panel. The team also added new animation and particle effects for many attacks. Whew.
Good news, MMO fans! You’re getting to redesign your favorite MMO’s entire combat system. The bad news is that you’re doing so by removing one character option and that’s it. One class from World of Warcraft, one job from Final Fantasy XIV, one profession from Guild Wars 2, one ship type from EVE Online. You get the idea. There’s no adding; there’s just removing one thing and possibly giving some of its abilities to other classes.
And no, you can’t remove a role or drastically rearrange how roles work, either. If there are a dozen DPS options, you can remove one. That’s it.
So what would you pick and why? You can’t completely rewrite the game’s balance, but you can remove one thing from the game. What character option would you remove from your favorite MMO to revamp the combat? And do you think it would make enough difference for a major revamp to the game’s mechanics?
Combat is the primary focus for this week’s update to The Black Death. The not-at-all-depressing sandbox decided to jettison parrying in favor of blocking, saying that the latter felt more fun and responsive. Depending on the weapon or shield used to block, a certain amount of damage will continue on through to the player.
Due to this change, the team discovered that some weapons were causing one-shot kills even though blocking, which wasn’t desirable. So the devs tackled that, ensuring that there would be at least “some back and forth” in each fight.
Another aspect of combat that was addressed dealt with tagging players on the noggin: “To reward skilled players, headshots are even more essential to winning a fight. A player wearing full plate but no helmet can be killed with a low tier weapon in a few strikes to the head, so be careful and remember to craft or buy the best helmet possible when dealing with other skilled players.”
Sometimes it’s the small details that makes a patch memorable. For Gloria Victis, it’s something as simple as additional music during character creation, terrain footstep sounds, and a Chinese translation.
These come courtesy of Wednesday’s patch, which also factored in plenty of new combat and performance improvements. Hit detection, player synchronization, and being able to block arrows with a shield strapped on a character’s back were all fixed thanks to player feedback and developer response.
We’ve got a buffet of Gloria Victis videos for you after the break, including one of the new music tracks, a look at crafting, and the combat update. Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments!
We don’t mean to surprise you, but Gloria Victis involves a whole lot of fighting things. You have various sharp bits of metal that you insert into some living creature or another, hopefully before they can do the same to you. So it’s important that combat feel as solid as possible, hence the new combat upgrade. You can watch the full trailer for the upgraded battle system below the break.
While the developers are still tweaking the specifics, the overall goal is for combat to feel more responsive, intuitive, and just plain fun. Hacking away at enemies should involve more skill and give players more options for how best to take on combat. It’s also worth noting that we are in the middle of the Steam summer sale, so perhaps you should take a gander at the trailer down below and then consider jumping in to do a bit of hacking-and-slashing of your own after all.
“Combat is your art. And mastering the medium is essential to becoming an Absolver.”
Multiplayer action RPG Absolver is putting great stock in its flexbile combat system, making it the be-all and end-all of your character’s purpose. To wit, the team posted a combat overview to show the three initial melee forms that can be learned and how players might choose to mix-and-match abilities to create their own unique fighting style.
The Forsaken style allows players to parry attacks, Windfall users avoid hits altogether, and the Kahlt Method allows for damage absorption. While fighting, players will move to one of four stances, in which there are different attacks available. By picking favorite attacks, players can slot them into a combat deck and create a sequence of moves for each of the stances.
See how the combat flows in the video below, and don’t miss the last couple of slides of the video, which confirm an August 29th launch on PC and PS4.
When Legends of Aria emerged from Shards Online, it changed more than just the name. In the first Aria-era dev diary, the team explains that the combat system for the upcoming MMO has evolved since its previous version.
“Our conclusion at the end of our Shards Online Alpha was that we had taken combat many interesting places and stretched the possibilities within our engine,” the devs wrote. “Our systems had become overly complex as a result of years of ongoing live development. To realise the combat dynamics and the relationships between skill choices that we desired, we needed to engage in substantial change.”
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?
Well, it wasn’t the news I was hoping for, but I’ll still take it! This week we learned about Funcom’s plan to relaunch the conspiracy-laden Secret World in late March. This March. That means this month. I’d have really liked to hear more about season two, which we know has already been written; the story is really the core of TSW, and I admit to a certain level of impatience to finally experience more of it. Knowing that seasons two and three are both written makes it that much harder to wait. But upon consideration, perhaps the idea of revitalizing the core game just before adding additional story is a wise move. Nab new players and bring back those who left before and you’ve got a bigger player base to enjoy new content — not to mention more reason to make more! Hopefully the news about the new content and next season will follow quickly on the heels of the relaunch.
So what exactly is happening with this relaunch? That’s the big question! The answers aren’t forthcoming yet; there is no official word, and we learned there won’t be until at least after PAX. (You better believe I tried!) That leaves only the bullet points offered in the quarterly financial report to go on. However, that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of ideas floating around about what specifically each could mean. So let’s do a bit of speculating.