Ashen Foundry

Combo System Hands-on at PAX

When I first saw the combo system in Ashes of Creation's PAX preview, I wasn't exactly on board. It seemed to me to be a system that would turn out to feel unnecessary, distracting, and also presented something of a concern for anyone with a repetive stress injury like carpal tunnel (which isn't exactly uncommon among PC Gamers). 

But I decided to wait and try it myself before solidifying my opinion - after all, it was only going to be a handful of days before PAX West kicked off anyway - and I'm glad I did. Getting my hands on Ashes of Creation at PAX for the very first time and having the opportunity to talk over my concerns with the developers afforded me with the chance to learn a lot about the system that wasn't immediately apparent from watching the initial video online, and in the end, it won me over as something that makes the game better as a whole. Enjoy the video above for the full discussion.

About Isarii:

An errant penman on a journey through sparkling galaxies, gloomful dungeons, and virtual worlds. When not delving into an MMO, Isarii writes for your favorite MMO sites, podcasts at The Dungeon Crawler Network, and rambles on his YouTube channel.

7 Replies
  1. #1

    Atropos

    Administrator72 Posts

    Great video @Isarii. A couple thoughts:

    1. I did get an explicit thumbs up on transparency for UI elements.

    2. From my chats re: mods and in-game API it sounds like they are reluctant to expose that level of information, despite my previous forays into modding, I'm not sure I disagree with that call, it can be a real can of worms.

    3. I'm with you on reserving final judgement until I see the diversity of secondary effects which can be applied to combos as well as the range of focus cost abilities which allow for more "skill-based" combat gameplay.

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  2. #2

    Isarii

    Moderator61 Posts
    Atropos wrote on Sept. 6, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

    1. I did get an explicit thumbs up on transparency for UI elements.

    Oh, awesome! I remembered myself explicitly bringing it up, but it was directly mentioned in response to me, so that's great. I think that can adds a lot of options for something like the combo meter that some players may want to put right in the middle of their screen, lol.

    Atropos wrote on Sept. 6, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

    2. From my chats re: mods and in-game API it sounds like they are reluctant to expose that level of information, despite my previous forays into modding, I'm not sure I disagree with that call, it can be a real can of worms. 

    Yeah, I'm not entirely opposed to this as well, as long as there's a lot of options available within the game (and it sounds like there will be). Given enough customization in the stock interface, modding becomes less and less necessary for me. 

    Atropos wrote on Sept. 6, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

    3. I'm with you on reserving final judgement until I see the diversity of secondary effects which can be applied to combos as well as the range of focus cost abilities which allow for more "skill-based" combat gameplay.

    It'll be really interesting when we have an actual focus bar to see how that works mechanically. Things like how high you can fill it versus standard focus consumption by abilities. If it's an all or nothing system like ultimate generally is, or if it's just a resource you can build up and consume, potentially blowing lots of focus abilities at once in a large burst if you happen to have many on your bar. A lot of unanswered questions there, but I think it has a ton of potential to turn into something really interesting.

  3. #3

    HappyHansel

    Member8 Posts

    I also wondered about carpal tunnel syndrome. If they make all that extra combo clicking too easy, it becomes a useless gimmick that makes our hands hurt for nothing. If they make it too hard, the button-mashing for most of us simply becomes an annoying game of chance.

    Your information about the deeper design of the combat system is intriguing. Thanks for that.

  4. #4

    Isarii

    Moderator61 Posts
    HappyHansel wrote on Sept. 6, 2017, 3:18 p.m.

    I also wondered about carpal tunnel syndrome. If they make all that extra combo clicking too easy, it becomes a useless gimmick that makes our hands hurt for nothing. If they make it too hard, the button-mashing for most of us simply becomes an annoying game of chance.

    Yeah, sadly, the demos weren't quite long enough to feel out whether or not RSI sufferers would have an issue, but I'm inclined to think it's not an issue with it only being on the one skill. Then again, it's my mouse hand where I tend to have the most trouble, so it's more Diablo style games I have trouble with than your typical MMO (those with crazy skill bloat like FFXIV and SWTOR notwithstanding). 

  5. #5

    HappyHansel

    Member8 Posts

    Oh, also: nice dog. :)

  6. #6

    Isarii

    Moderator61 Posts
    HappyHansel wrote on Sept. 6, 2017, 5:11 p.m.

    Oh, also: nice dog. :)

     Pupper cameos are the best cameos.

  7. #7

    Elloa

    Member17 Posts

    As I've already explained and mentioned in different videos about the subject, including this very interesting point of view by @Isarii, my main concerns is not so much about the interface that can be easily changed in future, but more about the system itself.

    I've been playing a lot of MMORPG, and I've been from total nub, to semi hardcore raider, capable player, and relaxed laid back player. I've also been taking care of communities of all kind, from roleplayers, to pvper (yes it happened once), family oriented guild and raiders.

     In my opinion , it's a big mistake when the game stop to be accessible to a large variety of players. There is all kind of players nowadays (while in the past gaming was more restricted to a certain type of players), and all those players have the right to enjoy the game and feel capable of playing it. Does that mean that games need to catter to casual? NO, certainly not. That's another mistake that has been done by the past, and this has desastrous effects. Games, idealy should adress to different sort of players: casual, hardcore, semi-hardcore, laid back, etc... This flexibility can be achieved by making the content flexible in difficulty. Either proposing different type of content such as "easy dungeon" and "hardcore raid" OR by proposing different type of difficulty for certain type of content. Such as normal, vet and hardcore difficulties for dungeons. OR Mythic+ type of system etc...

    I think it's not a good idea to make the mastery of the character part of the difficulty. Not only this will create a difficulty that no player can escape, leading to frustration and feeling of "being not good enough" for certain type of players. But this will also create a bigger gap between skilled players and less skilled players. Which in a game with open PVP is a BIG mistake.

    So I hope their system of combo will be created to make the combat more interesting, but not punishing for slower, more clumbsy players. I hope there will be enough customisation for every sort of players to be at ease with their character with a reasonable amount of efforts of course, and being able to better/challenge themselves in the actual content rather than the mastery of their character.

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