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Author Topic: Major feature cuts from Warhammer Online  (Read 3014 times)
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TiLT
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« on: July 12, 2008, 10:22:32 PM »

Came across this little snippet of information today and figured some of you would find it interesting: http://www.massively.com/2008/07/11/mark-jacobs-announces-major-features-cut-from-warhammer-online/

In short, Mythic is removing 4 out of the 6 total capital cities from the game for launch, as well as removing 4 character classes. This could be a public relations disaster of grand proportions for them. The publisher (or Mythic themselves, possibly) must be really desperate for quick cash if they see this as a better alternative than just delaying the launch itself.

I'm not really interested in the game myself, but this seems to indicate that Mythic isn't in full control of the game even after their long beta period. Funcom is running into some considerable problems lately because of their troublesome AoC launch (their stock value has nearly halved since the game's release), and now it might look like Mythic is running into similar problems. I wish we lived in a perfect world where every MMORPG launch could be as smooth and painless as WoW and LOTRO...
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2008, 10:28:39 PM »

The next MMO to hit a major home run will make zillions of dollars.
The MMO subscribers are just longing for a new MMO to jump ship to.

Why can't the suites see this? Instead of curtailing the budgets and rushing the completion of MMO's they should let
them cook till they're done and then reap the benefits of a well made game.
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008, 11:18:48 PM »

This is old news. And good news. At least they're upfront about it instead of outright LYING to people like Funcom. I prefer a developer who has focus on quality over quantity. I'm fairly certain that we'll see a lot more contend added with patches and don't forget expansions. Mythic is notorious for releasing FREE content each month.
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 12:10:17 AM »

Quote from: Sparhawk on July 12, 2008, 11:18:48 PM

This is old news.

if by old you mean yesterday, yeah, old news  Tongue  the beta will make or break this game for me, but if they start cutting more stuff I may hold off for a bit even if I do like it.
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 01:35:50 AM »

I saw an item the other day on the MMO news sites that noted that Mythic was removing the "EA" from their company's name and their individual titles (going back to "Mythic" instead of "EA Mythic"). So I dunno if that means nothing (could just be semantics), or if it indicates EA is subtlely "distancing itself" from Warhammer Online if they've gotten cold feet about the Massive Costs of an A-list MMO. Depends on if you're paranoid or not.  paranoid icon_razz

As far as features go, if they've paid any attention to AoC's nightmares of not delivering on lots of things that were promised at launch (again, I'm enjoying it but I'm not blind as to how it launched and how much catching up they still have to do), and spending an awful lot of time in updates "fixing" its large number of classes, then pulling out a a few features and classes they know they can't deliver in WO at launch seems like a smart idea, imho. In fact, it would be amazing if more devs started being realistic about what they can deliver instead of letting their marketing departments and producers go beserk in over-hyping a game's features and qualities. icon_neutral
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 10:27:16 AM »

I could see that being the case.  If the thought of losing funding came into play, I can see it being better for them to cut what they know they can to get it out and working and making money.
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 04:22:12 PM »

Hmm..it will be interesting to see how it develops, but I remember EQ2 getting very badly criticized for failing to have more than two capital cities in its launch, primarily due to the comparison with WoW.  Somehow, WoW was able to get a starting city ready for launch for each starting race.   

Perhaps even worse is the fact that a few of the races are not even going to have a melee tank class.  Time will tell, but I think these cuts will hurt.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 04:25:03 PM by Fez » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 05:48:36 PM »

Quote from: Fez on July 13, 2008, 04:22:12 PM

Hmm..it will be interesting to see how it develops, but I remember EQ2 getting very badly criticized for failing to have more than two capital cities in its launch, primarily due to the comparison with WoW.  Somehow, WoW was able to get a starting city ready for launch for each starting race.   

Perhaps even worse is the fact that a few of the races are not even going to have a melee tank class.  Time will tell, but I think these cuts will hurt.

If you want to call 5 huts on the beach a starting area   icon_biggrin.

But yeah, outside of gnomes and trolls everyone got their own area. Not to mention the two new starting areas with the expac.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 06:12:26 PM »

Quote from: Fez on July 13, 2008, 04:22:12 PM

Hmm..it will be interesting to see how it develops, but I remember EQ2 getting very badly criticized for failing to have more than two capital cities in its launch, primarily due to the comparison with WoW.  Somehow, WoW was able to get a starting city ready for launch for each starting race.   

Perhaps even worse is the fact that a few of the races are not even going to have a melee tank class.  Time will tell, but I think these cuts will hurt.

EQ2 did have every race have their own 'district' at least at launch. Yeah, it wasn't that good overall (especially on the 'Evil' side), but it worked. And it got better as the years went on. And as already stated - yes, the starting area for two of the races in WoW was...less than perfect. Just slightly. smile

But some races not having a melee tank class? Good lord. This is why I like EQ2 so much - every race can be every class (eventually). If you want to be a Paladin on an 'evil' race, you can. It just takes a bit of work.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 06:13:58 PM by Destructor » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 08:25:15 PM »

MBJ posted a follow-up in the warhammer alliance forums

"Folks,

Okay, it's been a long day so I'm going to post some quick responses, comments, etc.

1) We are not cutting out 2/3 of the content, 1/3 of the content and frankly, what we are cutting out in terms of content is, in most cases, stuff that people have never even seen yet. While the capital cities were parts of the end game, a city capture is only supposed to happen once a month and even when you take out 4 classes out of 24, somehow this doesn't add up to a huge content change. All the starting areas, PQs, quests, zones, etc. that were not city-based are still in the game. And since the cities, prior to our decision to double-down on 2, didn't have all the PQs/Quests/etc. that they have now, we aren't losing a lot of content.

2) We announced this now, rather than in two months, precisely so people would not be surprised when they buy the box. If you feel that you don't want to play WAR now because we've cut classes/cities that you've never seen, you are certainly free to do so. Just like when we announced the last delay I said that people should not pre-order (or should cancel) and just wait till either we lift the NDA (coming soon) or until the game launches. Now, if we don't lift the NDA and if we hadn't made this announcement and then you bought the box, you'd have a heck of a right to get angry. As I've always said here and elsewhere (multiple times), that while we're in beta, things are set in mud and I've also said that we weren't afraid to cut things that weren't great.

3) The two capital cities are just the first two capital cities. Other cities will absolutely be done and put into the game post-launch once we see how all things shake out when we launch. Oh, by the way, the people who have said here and elsewhere that you're really paying for beta when we launch because I said that we will change things post-launch, LOL, nice try. One of the really unique things about MMOs is that we can make changes to the game after launch in order to make them better. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. No MMO is any different, we all change after launch. How much we change and how much we change for the better is really the key.

4) Regarding Punkbuster, it will either work really, really well or we won't keep it in. We'll know as we progress through beta.

5) Regarding another pushback. Well, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people who are saying that we should have delayed again were some of the same people that said last time that if we delayed again, they would lose interest, cancel their pre-order, epic fail, etc. I've addressed in great detail, why we have made the moves we did but we didn't make these moves to avoid delaying the game again. Frankly, I think another delay announcement would have had a dramatically worse effect on the community than this announcement.

6) As to whether this game is going to be unfinished at launch, well, depends on how you look at things. I've said over the years that MMOs are never finished until they shut down, that's the beauty of MMOs. However, if you mean by unfinished that "we're not going to have everything in the game that we hoped to when we started out" well, you'd be right. OTOH, no MMO that I can think of (WoW included) had everything that they hoped when they started out on the project. That's how these things go. Now, my definition of unfinished are treasure lists that are blank, spells that don't work properly, typos, graphical glitches and unbalanced classes. In terms of that, we will certainly not be an unfinished game when we launch. So, if you are not going to buy a game because it doesn't have absolutely everything that you'd hoped (or even that we hoped it had) it would have, then don't buy WAR, it's as simple as that. Of course, you would never buy any MMO ever and probably most games as well (unless the dev either doesn't talk about stuff that they would like to put in the game or they lie to ya). Stuff changes all the time during development and especially during beta.

7) Regarding the cities, the cities in WAR were not there to be the places people go to right away, this was not WoW or other MMOs. All the Tiered content is still there for each of the races.

Regarding "Keeping our promises" and stuff like that. We are keeping our promise and that is to make a great RvR-centric MMO with Warhammer. We never promised that we would have in 24 careers but just that is what we were working on and hoping to put in. Frankly, one of the few promises I have ever made is that some of our decisions would piss people off and well, I've kept my promise.

9) I'll re-emphasize again that another delay would not have meant that the 4 careers would be still in and for certain, we wouldn't have launched with 6 cities, I don't care how much time we had. Six cities sounded really good on paper but we believe it wouldn't have worked out that way at launch.

10) As to how it's all going to work going forward, more details coming. Once things settle down we'll go into great detail about how it's going to work. Same game, some slightly different mechanics to make sure that people who do not have a CC yet are not put at a disadvantage but it's the same game.

11) On the whole smoke and mirrors thing, well, like I said in my response, we had a lot of information coming. If we wanted to engage in smoke and mirrors kind of behavior, we wouldn't have made this announcement, talked about it, etc. till the last minute.

So, that's it for now. It's been a very long day and I've been posting a lot so I'm taking a break.

In the end, I'm truly sorry that we had to announce any bad news but as I've said here before, I'd rather have you all pissed at us now than when we launch.

Mark"

http://herald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=153
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2008, 07:43:16 AM »

What most fail to understand is, the Capitol Cities are not Cities like WoW's.  These are NOT just places to go and put stuff on the AH and jump around the mail box.  Each City has 100s of quests, multiple dungeons and tons of things to see and do.  You can not compare them to Ironforge or Darnassus.  Not at all.

I'm anxious for Guild beta to start up tomorrow.  Seeing some fresh blood in Beta will be nice and having more people to fight with/against will make the beta even better!
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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2008, 12:09:35 PM »

Quote from: Sparhawk on July 12, 2008, 11:18:48 PM

This is old news. And good news. At least they're upfront about it instead of outright LYING to people like Funcom. I prefer a developer who has focus on quality over quantity. I'm fairly certain that we'll see a lot more contend added with patches and don't forget expansions. Mythic is notorious for releasing FREE content each month.

Sparhawk took the words right out of my mouth.  AoC had to do the same thing, only they launched without a mention that key features were not in. 

I see it as a good sign.  If I wanted a complete game I would play Vanguard.   slywink
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2008, 12:22:24 PM »

I don't have much interest in this one, but I certainly prefer forthright announcements like this - well in time before release - to lies and deceit ala Funcom.

Whatever the reason, the reality is obviously that some content isn't ready for release. There are various ways of handling that, like just releasing half-assed content (Funcom style), ignoring that the content was ever supposed to be there and omit it (Funcom style), or actually cut the content for release and make an announcement in good time.

I think they did the right thing under these circumstances, and it speaks well for the people in charge - though I couldn't possibly speak to the overall level of quality in WAR.
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2008, 02:31:52 PM »

Quote from: madpeon on July 13, 2008, 05:48:36 PM

Quote from: Fez on July 13, 2008, 04:22:12 PM

Hmm..it will be interesting to see how it develops, but I remember EQ2 getting very badly criticized for failing to have more than two capital cities in its launch, primarily due to the comparison with WoW.  Somehow, WoW was able to get a starting city ready for launch for each starting race.   

Perhaps even worse is the fact that a few of the races are not even going to have a melee tank class.  Time will tell, but I think these cuts will hurt.

If you want to call 5 huts on the beach a starting area   icon_biggrin.

But yeah, outside of gnomes and trolls everyone got their own area. Not to mention the two new starting areas with the expac.

Yeah, and in WoW there is even lore to explain the gnomes' city becoming, essentially, a dungeon (Gnomeregan). I guess more my point is that it seems like many of these games are starting to fail in terms of releasing a similar level of content to what we saw released in WoW.  I actually prefer EQ2 overall to WoW due to perhaps the level of complexity, but WoW certainly was a very fleshed out product at launch.  Maybe companies are starting to sacrifice content to work on the graphics, but, to me, it doesn't seem like the graphical improvements of a game like AoC over EQ2 or WoW are significant enough to make-up for the lack of overall content at launch.  And I'm just comparing the content at launch - the comparison gets even more skewed if you consider the extra 4 years of development time that EQ2 and WoW have.

That being said, it's better that they are upfront with the changes, and we'll see what the finished product looks like.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 02:34:09 PM by Fez » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2008, 03:18:55 PM »

on the plus side, WAR combat didn't seem like the 'hit auto-attack and go make a sandwich' combat that usually bores me (unless there is an option to keep on attacking and I wasn't aware of it due to no documentation).  I got to play for a bit at Origins 2008 (Disciple of Khaine if I'm remembering the class name right-  it was a dark elf with 2 blades and attacks that brought in essence or something like that), and since there was no NDA posted nor given verbally I can talk about (already did over at the Wanderers forums).  Their combat system is kinda like AoC, where you have to keep hitting the attack button to strike-  one attack was the basic attack with a really quick cooldown and then there'd be more advanced ones, naturally with longer cool downs.  After playing AoC I kept on expecting multi key combos to pop up. 

Graphics wise it reminded me of WoW.  maybe not as cartoony but nothing like the realistic look of AoC/EQ2 (unless they changed EQ2 in the years since I've played it  icon_wink).   It did run pretty smoothly, and I meant to go back and see if I could see what the system setting were set at the next day, but instead I decided to check out the miniatures room instead even though there were open machines available.

I liked how the game warned you that you were wandering into an RvR area and gave you a chance (via countdown) to get out before being flagged for RvR. 

Still, after 20 minutes I just walked away.  I'm going to give the open beta a shot but it definitely didn't suck me in right away like WoW or AoC did.
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 04:11:47 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 14, 2008, 03:18:55 PM

Still, after 20 minutes I just walked away.  I'm going to give the open beta a shot but it definitely didn't suck me in right away like WoW or AoC did.

a lot of that is because you've played WoW and AoC slywink

They never grip as much as they used too.  I'm extremely pumped for WAR, but it's still not the same level of 'omg I have to play' that I had back when I played DAOC.
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2008, 04:42:13 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 14, 2008, 03:18:55 PM

on the plus side, WAR combat didn't seem like the 'hit auto-attack and go make a sandwich' combat that usually bores me (unless there is an option to keep on attacking and I wasn't aware of it due to no documentation).  I got to play for a bit at Origins 2008 (Disciple of Khaine if I'm remembering the class name right-  it was a dark elf with 2 blades and attacks that brought in essence or something like that), and since there was no NDA posted nor given verbally I can talk about (already did over at the Wanderers forums).  Their combat system is kinda like AoC, where you have to keep hitting the attack button to strike-  one attack was the basic attack with a really quick cooldown and then there'd be more advanced ones, naturally with longer cool downs.  After playing AoC I kept on expecting multi key combos to pop up. 

Graphics wise it reminded me of WoW.  maybe not as cartoony but nothing like the realistic look of AoC/EQ2 (unless they changed EQ2 in the years since I've played it  icon_wink).   It did run pretty smoothly, and I meant to go back and see if I could see what the system setting were set at the next day, but instead I decided to check out the miniatures room instead even though there were open machines available.

I liked how the game warned you that you were wandering into an RvR area and gave you a chance (via countdown) to get out before being flagged for RvR. 

Still, after 20 minutes I just walked away.  I'm going to give the open beta a shot but it definitely didn't suck me in right away like WoW or AoC did.

I know what you mean about the auto-attack and walk away routine, but these days, in a game like EQ2, for example, you really need to use all your offensive capabalitiy (e.g, special attacks) to win battles.  This is in all level ranges, but especially noticeable in the 70+ level range, where I've had to plan my battles fairly carefully against equal opponents.  There is no set-and-forget auto-attack option, although there is still an auto-attack going on when you're not using your other attacks. 

So, between the games, the difference, for the most part, is cosmetic or semantic in nature.  In AoC you have to press the buttons for each attack and combo attack, but the same can be said for EQ2, where you will need to do all your special attacks (and there are a lot more of them in EQ2) and do your "combos" (e.g., leading with snares, debuffs, etc., before your other attacks to maximize damage).  I'm not trying to say that one system is better than the other, but I'm just noting how essentially similar they are.  Neither is to the level of a MMORPG FPS - and this is an area where I think there is still some room for another MMORPG.
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 04:43:22 PM »

When is the open beta for preorders supposed to start?
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 04:48:17 PM »

the capital cities FAQ is now up

http://herald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=155
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2008, 01:13:37 PM »

The capital cities thing doesn't really bother me that much.  If they're not going to be implemented correctly at launch, I'd rather see them held back until they're "good to go".  LOTRO scaled back on some of their launch plans as well and it worked very well - what came out was pretty engaging (especially the Hobbit area).

I don't think many people realize how much was missing from WOW when it launched.  Promised instances weren't complete (Mara was released a few months later) or tuned (Stratholme was impossible), a whole zone had no loot tables for a year (Silithus) and there were a number of unbalanced classes (Warlocks and Warriors were particularly weak).  Heck, one level 17 NE quest was almost impossible for characters under level 25 - Deep Ocean, Vast Sea.  But what WOW had in spades was a huge amount of FUN - a big, varied world, cool flying griffins to get from area to area, a great art direction and some great tongue-in-cheek humor.  If WAR focuses on these areas, the launch can still be very successful.
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2008, 03:48:03 PM »

I think it has been mentioned already but are people forgetting that there is exclusive content (up to end-game) for each race pairing in the game?  How many MMOs can claim that at launch?  Looking at a recent game like AoC, level 1-20 is shared, level 20-40 is unique for 3 regions, level 40-80 is mostly shared.  That's very little unique content whereas WAR should have 6 areas of unique content from level 1 to 40.  By unique I mean you could play as an Elf and potentially not see any of the areas if you play as a Human.

The tank issue does make me wonder though.  Missing 2 melee dps is probably no big deal, but how do the 2 races fill the tank role?  I suppose tanks from other races could migrate over to their land.  But will the other races have trouble finding equipment suitable for them?  e.g. Dwarf tank goes to Human land, will he find dwarf armor here?
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2008, 04:35:22 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on July 15, 2008, 01:13:37 PM

I don't think many people realize how much was missing from WOW when it launched.

That's the key statement.  If WAR can match that, they'll have a solid game.  There are always going to be things missing at launch, but the key is making people not notice because what is there is so good. 
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2008, 05:08:20 PM »

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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2008, 05:32:00 PM »

Tentonhammer had a 2 part interview with Mythic's Mark Jacobs about all this:

Part 1
http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/38045

Part 2
http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/38237

Although he comes across as, uh, maybe a bit impatient at times (it's in a way impressive they don't filter his answers through a PR flack), I had a much better understanding of their reasons after reading. Also, I have a former newspaper copy editor friend who works at NRA, and Mythic is right across the street from them. Maybe I'll take a photo next time I'm in the area.  icon_razz

I think the thing with MMOs, is if you have features in that are broken and bugged and don't work as promised, the players are reminded of it every day they log in and try said features. If the features and characters aren't there at all, it might bother someone initially but they won't be visually reminded of them all the time.

That said, there have been cases like Tabula Rasa where long-promised stuff like Personal Armored Units sat and molted in the back of my brain, and *did* bother me even if I didn't see them malfunctioning in-game. The latest interviews suggest those are nowhere near going into that game, which still bothers me today.  icon_neutral So, I guess missing features can in fact bother you, in some cases.
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« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2008, 02:47:36 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 14, 2008, 03:18:55 PM

on the plus side, WAR combat didn't seem like the 'hit auto-attack and go make a sandwich' combat that usually bores me (unless there is an option to keep on attacking and I wasn't aware of it due to no documentation).  I got to play for a bit at Origins 2008 (Disciple of Khaine if I'm remembering the class name right-  it was a dark elf with 2 blades and attacks that brought in essence or something like that), and since there was no NDA posted nor given verbally I can talk about (already did over at the Wanderers forums).  Their combat system is kinda like AoC, where you have to keep hitting the attack button to strike-  one attack was the basic attack with a really quick cooldown and then there'd be more advanced ones, naturally with longer cool downs.  After playing AoC I kept on expecting multi key combos to pop up. 

That is a minus for me. With the internet can have lag, etc. You need auto-attack. It is surprising to me that people think removing auto-attack is an improvement. Why you need to click 10 times if you can just click once to start the attack then only click if you need to use special attack, skill or spell?

Even with games like Diablo clones, developers have moved away from one click one attack into one click to start the attack and only click to use special attacks.
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« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2008, 05:40:01 AM »

Quote
It is surprising to me that people think removing auto-attack is an improvement. Why you need to click 10 times if you can just click once to start the attack then only click if you need to use special attack, skill or spell?

I don't know how War's combat works, but in AoC the idea of shields, and the necessity to choose which side of an opponent you're going to hit, makes a generic auto-attack impossible.
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« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2008, 06:21:27 AM »

Quote from: YellowKing on July 17, 2008, 05:40:01 AM

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It is surprising to me that people think removing auto-attack is an improvement. Why you need to click 10 times if you can just click once to start the attack then only click if you need to use special attack, skill or spell?

I don't know how War's combat works, but in AoC the idea of shields, and the necessity to choose which side of an opponent you're going to hit, makes a generic auto-attack impossible.

I don't play AoC so not sure if they implement it. They can make it so that if you don't choose side within a certain time after last attack, it'll just repeat the last choice. While people now have under 100 msec lag, the internet isn't something that is 100% controlable because it isn't a private network where you control the route from your end to the server. With internet, you packets passed through several nodes owned by different entity. So you can't guarantee that you won't have lag spikes.
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