The Daily Grind: Which MMO has your favorite combat animations?

    
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Bang.

When the time comes, almost every MMO has a moment when it’s time for you to start cracking heads instead of chatting and socializing. Some games feature almost nothing else, others treat combat only as a measure of last resort. But today, the question isn’t about the mechanics of fighting things but the visuals. It’s about how it looks when you draw your sword, or spear, or gun, or… is that an umbrella? Did you just pull out an umbrella for a fight?

Leaving that to one side, when you throw down, it’s an open question about how good your various movements and skills will look. Some games use a fairly generic set of animations for all of their combat abilities; others use bespoke animations for individual attacks. But which one looks the best to you? Regardless of how you feel about the actual combat itself, which MMO has your personal favorite combat animations?

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!
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Sorenthaz

FFXIV, kind of hard for most others to compete.

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Neurotic

I really like some of LoTRO’s combat animations. One specific favourite is my Dwarven Guardian’s shield slam (I forge the actual name). It’s beautifully done, in that it’s not so much a straight push forwards, but also includes a sweeping motion. In real life, you’d be sweeping your attacker’s right arm out of the way, exposing them to a thrust. And it has a *really*, seriously crunchy sound effect too. I remember this from the first time I played LoTRO, back at launch, and have never forgotten how visceral and heavy that attack feels, even though I’ve barely played the game since then.

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Estranged

I miss WildStar.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

Same, brother. Every day.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Honestly? Path Of Exile with the bleeding moves from things like puncture. I tend to use attacks that make something bleed out, and want to see when it triggers. I also used to enjoy the Templar or barbarian (forget what they are called) when they had shield effects up, or the moves that let you know how many more triggers it has on you. (The one you can put that when you take damage, it explodes and harms them.) I tend to play defensive uber regen builds or high shielding, and want to be able to witness these. Of course, I just casually played, and never even finished act 5 because I couldn’t stop rebuilding characters and messing with passive skills and there was too many choices (I have decision-making problems) and not the right fits for how I wanted to play, so I stopped playing the game…(Also, they were turning lots of it into gambling, so that’s a no in my book.). But yeah, otherwise, they had some great animations! :P

Turing fail
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Turing fail

Warframe visuals are striking and dramatic with visceral results. Literally. Enemies fall in chunky messes.

Eve Online weapon and defensive effects are beautiful… on the rare occasions one actually zooms in far enough to see them.

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Johnny Quantum

I think Warframe’s seamless combat (blade & gun), movement etc. is the best of any game

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I like Warframe.

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Minimalistway

I miss this from WoW, the animation is so good and you know when the the sword hit the mob or when the mob is hitting you, i miss playing fury warrior with two giant swords on tiny gnome, or playing enhancement shaman with all kind of flashy abilities.

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Holden Nagata

SWTOR by far, both lightsaber and gun wise. hell even autoattacking with a lightsaber looks great IMO.

then probably GW2 because weapon anims are different between classes, spells don’t feel too noisy (until there’s a zerg ofc), AND due to combos you have another level of variety.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

Haven’t played in a long while, but remember loving the force leap attack wielding dual lightsabers.

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Holden Nagata

oh that one is still immensely satisfying :)

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Oleg Chebeneev

Lulz @SWToR and its wooden animations

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Some of the combat animations look nice. My issue with SWTOR was how segmented and overly specific the abilities were. Does my Sith Sorcerer *really* need fifteen *different* flavors of “zap enemy with Force Lightning?” I guess I just prefer something like Warframe where each playable ‘frame (character) has four abilities, plus primary/secondary/melee weapons. You don’t *need* five hotbars stretching from “1 to =” on the number line to hold everything.

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Turing fail

You’ve identified one of the reasons I haven’t revisited the game. The info overload I experience just looking at the control bars overwhelms any desire I have to play.

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Holden Nagata

if it helps, for solo and story content you really only need about 4-5 abilities along with cooldowns just in case. some classes have fewer than others as well–vanguard/powertech comes to mind for this. while others like sentinel/marauder have more than the average.

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Holden Nagata

oh yeah, heavily agree there, which is why I much prefer Consular (the republic mirror class). I could never understand why people thought Inquisitor was better when all you get is lightning to the point of oversaturation.

they could do with some skill paring too, my biggest suggestion would be to have specializations always upgrade existing skills instead of adding new ones. some DPS specs add 3 entire new skills…

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Rick Mills

Wow’s animations are great because they pack a punch – a melee shaman’s attacks literally feel kinesthetic – something ESO could learn.

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Dankey Kang

FF14, easily. Fell cleave is perhaps my favourite skill anim. GW2 has some great ability animations too, then again all animations from movement to mounts just looks fantastic in GW2.

People picking WoW got me puzzling tho, I mean, really?

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Minimalistway

Yes, really, why not, it’s a matter of taste after all :-)

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Ben Stone

Animation-wise WoW is one of the best at the moment. They kept updating theirs while other games got stale and old looking. Not sure when you last checked in on the game but the animations since the character model upgrade look fantastic.

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Ironwu

This is a tough one, for me at least.

Lots of MMOs have great combat animations.

But when the combat animations prevent movement and/or skill execution in an MMO, then I am not liking those at all.

I think the best combat animations are those which: 1) can be interrupted by abilities or movement or 2) those that consume exactly the amount of GCD time.

An example of an MMO that I don’t play specifically because of the ‘animation lock’ is Neverwinter.

To note, I personally think ‘animation canceling’ by utilizing a specific combat sequence knowledge is a good thing. Gives meaning to practice and learning that would otherwise not exist.