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Why Do People Call GW2's Combat "Action"?


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#1 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:59 PM

I really don't get this. Besides a really poorly designed dodge skill, nothing in this game has really the least bit to do with action combat. I mean, when I think of action based combat, I think of games like Infinity Blade or Street Fighter, stuff like that.

The way I see it, this game is skill based combat with one (maybe two if you count red circles) action gimmicks thrown in. The vast majority of combat, however, lies in your skills bar. There are no blocks or parries or different attacks that counter those kinds of defenses.

I just really don't understand why anyone would consider this action based combat.

#2 Beyond Freedom

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:14 PM

It's totally not. The whole targeting system, apart from anything else, trivializes what could be engaging action combat.

Neverwinter, for all its many flaws, is much better in this regard.

#3 MazingerZ

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:22 PM

TERA did it better.  The only problem with TERA was that its customization was pretty crap.  When your only defense is to dodge, things can get boring really quickly in a game where you're not cutting the bad guys up like sausage in a blender.

Some people might prefer to be Spider-Man when playing a game.  Others like being the Incredible Hulk.  GW2 only lets you be Spider-Man or Spider-Paste.

Edited by MazingerZ, 10 February 2014 - 02:23 PM.

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#4 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:45 PM

Any game with combat that works in real-time with open-field mechanics is considered "action-based".

I don't disagree that it's not exactly the best implementation though.

#5 Nikephoros

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:51 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 10 February 2014 - 02:45 PM, said:

Any game with combat that works in real-time with open-field mechanics is considered "action-based".

I don't disagree that it's not exactly the best implementation though.

Exactly.  Sounds like you are making a semantic argument duderino, rather than substantive.  What, exactly, are you arguing for?  Making glassy builds die more?  Die less?  Tanky builds tankier?  Less tanky?  What is the point you are working towards?  If the point is just that you want people to use different terminology because its a pet peeve of yours...

#6 master21

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:10 PM

It's not turn based. It's not even hidden turn based.
Attacks does not chase you.
Attacks are in 100% connected with animation. You step out of range, you won't get hit, hit registering is at the end of animation. There are plenty of games in which attack isn't connected with animation (so there could be attacks without animation) and registering hit is at start of attack. So you can run away even miles and still get hit because hit was registered at start.
Movement plays a lot in gameplay. Starting from getting on sides or back to avoid something to pvp elements with snare effects which are really really important there.
Control effects and connected with that breakstuns. It's plain reflex based to use breakstun and it's element of action combat.

So for the mmo, and more of rpg game which guild wars is, it's action combat game.
Maybe dodge is different, games prefer dodge to dodge type of it, so you need to get away to don't get hitted. Still in those games dodge is unlimited and it's just faster directed movement. In gw2 we have dodge limited mechanic with added invu elements. It's good choice because it is mmo. Ping does not matter that much with gw2 dodge and constatly rolling ppl all over the place would look stupid.

Edited by master21, 10 February 2014 - 03:11 PM.


#7 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:23 PM

View PostNikephoros, on 10 February 2014 - 02:51 PM, said:

Exactly.  Sounds like you are making a semantic argument duderino, rather than substantive.  What, exactly, are you arguing for?  Making glassy builds die more?  Die less?  Tanky builds tankier?  Less tanky?  What is the point you are working towards?  If the point is just that you want people to use different terminology because its a pet peeve of yours...

It is a semantic argument, I suppose. But, if we are going to use the fact that this is supposedly "action based" as a foundation for making other claims, I think it is important. For example, you said in a previous thread that "Anet should not buff passive defense in an action based combat game."

In fact, I wouldn't even call dodging an active based activity. It could easily be a skill that read "invulnerable for 1 second" where there is no animation. The animation itself, as well as the direction of the dodge, really have very little to do with defense. The dodge skill is very much a skill rather than an action.

#8 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:29 PM

View Postmaster21, on 10 February 2014 - 03:10 PM, said:

It's not turn based. It's not even hidden turn based.
Attacks does not chase you.
Attacks are in 100% connected with animation. You step out of range, you won't get hit, hit registering is at the end of animation. There are plenty of games in which attack isn't connected with animation (so there could be attacks without animation) and registering hit is at start of attack. So you can run away even miles and still get hit because hit was registered at start.
Movement plays a lot in gameplay. Starting from getting on sides or back to avoid something to pvp elements with snare effects which are really really important there.
Control effects and connected with that breakstuns. It's plain reflex based to use breakstun and it's element of action combat.

So for the mmo, and more of rpg game which guild wars is, it's action combat game.
Maybe dodge is different, games prefer dodge to dodge type of it, so you need to get away to don't get hitted. Still in those games dodge is unlimited and it's just faster directed movement. In gw2 we have dodge limited mechanic with added invu elements. It's good choice because it is mmo. Ping does not matter that much with gw2 dodge and constatly rolling ppl all over the place would look stupid.

In that regard, couldn't we call GW1 (as an example) active based combat? I would say propose that kiting and being forced to stop while casting, combined with body blocking, to be just as active and mindful of positioning as in GW2. I mean, there was a definite front line, mid line and back line for that game. As such, I don't necessarily think that "being mindful of positioning" is enough to quantify a game as being active.

#9 Miragee

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:30 PM

View Postmaster21, on 10 February 2014 - 03:10 PM, said:

It's not turn based. It's not even hidden turn based.
Attacks does not chase you.
Attacks are in 100% connected with animation. You step out of range, you won't get hit, hit registering is at the end of animation. There are plenty of games in which attack isn't connected with animation (so there could be attacks without animation) and registering hit is at start of attack. So you can run away even miles and still get hit because hit was registered at start.
Movement plays a lot in gameplay. Starting from getting on sides or back to avoid something to pvp elements with snare effects which are really really important there.
Control effects and connected with that breakstuns. It's plain reflex based to use breakstun and it's element of action combat.

So for the mmo, and more of rpg game which guild wars is, it's action combat game.
Maybe dodge is different, games prefer dodge to dodge type of it, so you need to get away to don't get hitted. Still in those games dodge is unlimited and it's just faster directed movement. In gw2 we have dodge limited mechanic with added invu elements. It's good choice because it is mmo. Ping does not matter that much with gw2 dodge and constatly rolling ppl all over the place would look stupid.

So, after reading anet's conclusion too, they made action combat in gw2 because action combat was too boring and slow?

Your definition parts Turned-Based combat from Real-Time combat. It doesn't define action combat.

Edited by Miragee, 10 February 2014 - 03:31 PM.


#10 gw2guruaccount

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:30 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 03:23 PM, said:

In fact, I wouldn't even call dodging an active based activity. It could easily be a skill that read "invulnerable for 1 second" where there is no animation. The animation itself, as well as the direction of the dodge, really have very little to do with defense. The dodge skill is very much a skill rather than an action.

The fact that there is an animation and change in position is what defines it as an action. You can, for instance, dodge off of a platform and die.

#11 swordbreaker

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 01:59 PM, said:

There are no blocks or parries or different attacks that counter those kinds of defenses.

You got Block Skills, Blinds, Invulnerability and evade Skills and you got a lot of Option to counter some builds. Enemy got a lots healing -> poison, Enemy makes heavy damage -> weakness and so on.

The Problem atm is that you don't get punished for spamming your Skills. I think the Combat System is very well designed but the Class Skills and Trait are not.

#12 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:41 PM

View Postgw2guruaccount, on 10 February 2014 - 03:30 PM, said:

The fact that there is an animation and change in position is what defines it as an action. You can, for instance, dodge off of a platform and die.

So, in the end, any game that you can move position would classify as active combat? The dodge position and animation of the dodge have nothing to do with the actual combat itself. It is really simply a skill where you get invulnerability for a short period of time. The fact that you can move while casting, if this was a skill, would be the same thing. The act of moving have nothing to do with actually dodging an attack, it is the use of the skill itself that dodges the attack.

If, for example, somebody attacked, and the decision to dodge backwards, left, right or forward actually had an impact on whether the attack hits you would be much more in line with active combat. Unfortunately, that is not something that is a part of this mechanic. You will always 100% have a skill or any AoE effects miss you, which isn't even consistent with action.

#13 Kattar

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:50 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 01:59 PM, said:

I mean, when I think of action based combat, I think of games like Infinity Blade or Street Fighter, stuff like that.
If you're basing your judgement of an MMO combat system off a different style of game then it's not going to be the same, obviously. It's like saying you don't like bacon because it doesn't taste like chicken. Yes, they're both animals that came from a farm (or "farm"), but they're not the same and shouldn't be the same.

The "action based combat" claims stem from GW1 PvE perspective where you basically sat in one place and casted or hit things. PvP is always "action based" because you're playing people that are going to move and think more than a regular mob would. PvE wasn't like that as much.

It just seems like there's a good bit of over-analysis in your initial line of thought.

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#14 Miragee

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:52 PM

View Postswordbreaker, on 10 February 2014 - 03:33 PM, said:

You got Block Skills, Blinds, Invulnerability and evade Skills and you got a lot of Option to counter some builds. Enemy got a lots healing -> poison, Enemy makes heavy damage -> weakness and so on.

Sounds a lot like GW1.

#15 Featherman

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:57 PM

Most MMOs have combat that takes place in real time with open-field mechanics, but they're not considered to have action combat. MMO and action combat have similar elements but these days the perception is that they're so distinct that calling them the same thing is like trying to pass off a bicycle as a car. Action game players would probably not want to associate the gameplay of their games to MMO gameplay as they'd be protective of their perception of it.

But that's just the player. I seem recall in an interview a while back that the Director of Platinum Games, makers of action games like Bayonetta and MG:R, said something along the lines of action games being difficult to execute properly because they're tricky to define and understand, and this is in a medium where the vocabulary is already imprecise due to its age (the term action being a particularly young one). Any one perception of an action game could be right and we really wouldn't know, at least not yet.

However if you think about it, the differences between action games like Dark Souls and and even Zelda and MMOs like GW2 are very distinct, and as a result the comparison isn't doesn't have that much to do with semantics-In fact I'm more inclined to call foul on people calling the two genres the same thing based on superficial similarities, but I don't want that to be the point ot of this post.. One distinction between the two would probably be the weight and impact behind each individual action. Action games generally have hitstun mechanics (usually present among all attacks) so each attack connected, no matter how weak, can drastically impact the flow of gameplay. Because how impactful this one mechanic is, success is determined more by skillful and precise use of attacks with respect to timing and positioning and less by relative strength. In GW2 the statistical values determine most of the weight behind each individual action. All of the nuances of the skill are mostly written on the skill itself, so success is determined more by build than skill. You can attack through most situations and the game even aims for you. Positioning and movement matters in GW2, but it also matters in MMOs like WoW, Rift, etc.

The fidelity of mechanics is also important. Action games use more precise hitboxes and animations to approximate attacks because gameplay is based largely on perception and reaction, with actual dodging being done through precise positioning (not toggling invincibility). The hitboxes and animations are far less precise in GW2. Go fight an ettin for a good example of horrible animation synching.

Edited by Featherman, 10 February 2014 - 04:15 PM.


#16 master21

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:57 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 03:41 PM, said:

So, in the end, any game that you can move position would classify as active combat? The dodge position and animation of the dodge have nothing to do with the actual combat itself. It is really simply a skill where you get invulnerability for a short period of time. The fact that you can move while casting, if this was a skill, would be the same thing. The act of moving have nothing to do with actually dodging an attack, it is the use of the skill itself that dodges the attack.

If, for example, somebody attacked, and the decision to dodge backwards, left, right or forward actually had an impact on whether the attack hits you would be much more in line with active combat. Unfortunately, that is not something that is a part of this mechanic. You will always 100% have a skill or any AoE effects miss you, which isn't even consistent with action.

You look at this from strange angle.
You can't compare skill based game with action games like all those slashers with combo counters. It's like comparing rpg to race game.
GW2 combat is quite similar to Kindgom of amalur one.
This action rpg has basic attacks and activated skills. Only dodges are not the same. Amalur has unlimited dodge type movement, we have dodge more like skill.
Difference isn't that much really, but in mmo dodge to dodge mechanic could be not that good. First lag and ping effect it much. Second huge aoes and you just can't do anything with that. You need to design game with this in mind.
IMO this type of dodge (so limited but with invu) was a good choice, you still need to get out of aoe or you can even dodge from one bad spot to another but you have "more" time to react and if you have endurance you can always dodge out of attack.

#17 Krazzar

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:07 PM

Quote

Action role-playing games (abbreviated action RPG, action/RPG, or ARPG) form a loosely defined sub-genre of role-playing video games that incorporate elements of action or action-adventure games, emphasizing real-time action where the player has direct control over characters, instead of turn-based or menu-based combat. These games often use combat systems similar to hack and slash or shooter games.

GW1 was technically action-based, and so is GW2. The "action" title for games is pretty broad, but generally requires some skill in real-time environments. The level of skill required can vary quite a bit from game to game, but requiring less skill doesn't change a game into something other than an action-based combat environment. Whether you want to say one game is more "actiony" than another is personal preference, but it's the same argument as used with the term "RPG" in non-traditional RPG games.

Mechanics like RNG and other "static statistical systems" (I made that up, but you get the idea) can make a game feel less action-based but it still an action environment if you have some decisions to make like movement, dodging, blocking, and so on.  The level of action-ness depends on your frame of reference.  Personally, GW1 isn't very action-based because you can walk away from the computer or alt-tab and still win against the group (which is how I cleard some hard mode zones group-by-group).  By comparison in GW2, even if you have a ranged auto-attack and keep attacking after a minute or two your character won't be doing anything useful.

Edited by Krazzar, 10 February 2014 - 04:11 PM.


#18 Nikephoros

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:08 PM

View PostMiragee, on 10 February 2014 - 03:52 PM, said:

Sounds a lot like GW1.

And every other game ever, if you reduce it to generalities.

The main difference is the healing/dodging system in this game.  In GW1, if the frontliners died, you blame the monks.  If the monks died, you blame the blindbot etc.  In this game, if you die, it's usually because you personally made a mistake.

Edited by Kattar, 10 February 2014 - 04:17 PM.
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#19 Beyond Freedom

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

View Postmaster21, on 10 February 2014 - 03:57 PM, said:

You can't compare skill based game with action games like all those slashers with combo counters. It's like comparing rpg to race game.

He isn't. He's saying it isn't "action combat".

#20 Miragee

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:24 PM

View PostNikephoros, on 10 February 2014 - 04:08 PM, said:

And every other game ever, if you reduce it to generalities.

Yes, I just used GW1 because everyone just used to make up for how awesome more action based GW2's combat is to GW1's boring locked in a place sometime back. Now GW1 is suddenly action.

Edited by Feathermoore, 10 February 2014 - 04:34 PM.
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#21 Phenn

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:30 PM

View PostBeyond Freedom, on 10 February 2014 - 04:17 PM, said:

...GW2 was actually designed to have a trinity, but it has failed at it.

This is the heart of the matter. The supposed Trinity was Damage, Control, and Support. Given the high-mobility facet of the game, the latter two roles would demand a high level of precise timing and teamwork. To that extent, GW2 might have been an fast-paced action game, complete with specific and crucial counters to incoming attacks.

Instead, ANet rushed GW2 out the door, slapped a horrible buff, Unshakable, onto PvE boss mobs, generalized the professions to the level of brown mush ("if everyone's special, no one's special"), and shipped it that way.

Ever since, the devs have desperately tried to argue "working as intended," despite over a year's worth of play time showing otherwise. And rather than fix these fundamental problems, they cling to PvP like rats to a sinking ship hoping eSports will keep them afloat.

Don't get me wrong--I like GW2. I just wish it'd become what it was touted to be.

#22 Kattar

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:31 PM

As a reminder, if you see something off topic you should report it not respond to it. If you respond to it you're becoming part of the problem.

You are fooling yourself, user. Nothing here is what it seems. ANet is not the plucky hero, Guru is not an evil empire, and this is not the grand arena.



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#23 MisterB

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:38 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 03:41 PM, said:

So, in the end, any game that you can move position would classify as active combat? The dodge position and animation of the dodge have nothing to do with the actual combat itself. It is really simply a skill where you get invulnerability for a short period of time. The fact that you can move while casting, if this was a skill, would be the same thing. The act of moving have nothing to do with actually dodging an attack, it is the use of the skill itself that dodges the attack.

The dodge does actually change your position, and skills do actually have ranges and target areas where they produce an effect, so changing your position can in fact negate damage. Changing position with dodge is how some players like myself use that ability in addition to the invulnerability effect that it can provide. Ignoring or discounting the position change is just not a valid argument.

Edited by MisterB, 10 February 2014 - 04:43 PM.


#24 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:46 PM

View PostMisterB, on 10 February 2014 - 04:38 PM, said:

The dodge does actually change your position, and skills do actually have ranges and target areas where they produce an effect, so changing your position can in fact negate damage. Changing position with dodge is how some players like myself use that ability in addition to the invulnerability effect that it can provide. Ignoring or discounting the position change is just not a valid argument.

I'm not, I'm just saying that it isn't any different than any other game you can move around in. There were skill ranges in GW1 (as an example) and moving was just an integral to the game. None of that, to me, makes it action based. At least not to the point where we use that as some overall determining factor in how to discuss how combat should change in the game. The dodge skill's abilities have nothing to do with the movement. That is a fact. That is why it is more of a skill than anything to do with the action of the skill.

Edited by El Duderino, 10 February 2014 - 04:47 PM.


#25 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:52 PM

View Postswordbreaker, on 10 February 2014 - 03:33 PM, said:

You got Block Skills, Blinds, Invulnerability and evade Skills and you got a lot of Option to counter some builds. Enemy got a lots healing -> poison, Enemy makes heavy damage -> weakness and so on.

The Problem atm is that you don't get punished for spamming your Skills. I think the Combat System is very well designed but the Class Skills and Trait are not.

These are all skills that do this and have nothing "active" about the, Hence, they are skill based not action based, which is the point.

#26 Fizzypop

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:54 PM

Eh action is used to describe anything that's happening in real-time therefore not a really good indicator of a game's combat system. Pretty much all mmos are action based. GW2 combat system isn't really terrible. I've seen far worse. It is better than the traditional sit and cast. I mean I love wow and rift, but I can't move and cast spells that does annoy me. TERA's system is meh as well. It isn't bad and the animations are nice, but overall it seems just as interactive as GW2. For me I like complexity something really hard to get into today's action combat games.

#27 Miragee

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:01 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 04:46 PM, said:

I'm not, I'm just saying that it isn't any different than any other game you can move around in. There were skill ranges in GW1 (as an example) and moving was just an integral to the game. None of that, to me, makes it action based. At least not to the point where we use that as some overall determining factor in how to discuss how combat should change in the game. The dodge skill's abilities have nothing to do with the movement. That is a fact. That is why it is more of a skill than anything to do with the action of the skill.

Good point. Dodging by movement was actually possible and a integral mechanic (to the point it were used as a major mechanic in some pvp mini-games once figured out - Snowball Arena, Dragon Arena) used in PvP later on. It's quiet interesting since the doding is more demanding in terms of required awarness and speed (for reaction and execution) than in GW2. It was very situational though (for example countering Earth Ele's).
I think it is an action but a single action doesn't make the whole combat action-based, right?

#28 Echou

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

I always thought GW2 is an action-RPG rather than an action game. In action-RPG's are flavored with action game's reaction and movement skills but the combat is still RPG-like number racking and dice rolling. Compare Diablo 3, an action-RPG and Metal Gear Rising, an action game. In Diablo 3 your weapons and armor have different stats which work as factors (don't forget criticals and fumbles) how much damage you do/receive. You always dont do/receive damage when there's moving involved. In Metal Gear Rising only your movement and reaction skills are being tested, not stats.

It's a Real-Time RPG With Free Movement (RTRPGWFM).

#29 Phenn

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:02 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 10 February 2014 - 04:52 PM, said:

These are all skills that do this and have nothing "active" about the, Hence, they are skill based not action based, which is the point.

Do you not have to be ACTIVELY aware of a situation to ACTIVATE the proper skill at the right time from the right position to allow you and the rest of the party the chance to ACT in response?

I guess I'm failing to see the distinction.

Care to elucidate what, exactly, you mean by "action" over against "skill"?

#30 El Duderino

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:18 PM

View PostPhenn, on 10 February 2014 - 05:02 PM, said:

Do you not have to be ACTIVELY aware of a situation to ACTIVATE the proper skill at the right time from the right position to allow you and the rest of the party the chance to ACT in response?

I guess I'm failing to see the distinction.

Care to elucidate what, exactly, you mean by "action" over against "skill"?

I am totally cool with people who look at previous MMO's and something like GW1 and say, "Ya, that's pretty much all active combat" and/or "this is as active as an MMO will get when compared to something like Infinity Blade or even Elder Scrolls Games."

What I don't see is any difference that the actions of GW2 makes in their combat to elevate it to some status of "active combat" above and beyond other games, thereby influencing the way we talk about them.

So, if you want to say that GW2 has about as much action as GW1 (as an example) than yes, I buy that. On the other hand, to say something like "buffing passive defense is a bad idea in an action based game" then I think that is a bit misleading and probably wrong in general.

As far as the example goes, blinding someone is about activating a skill. It doesn't have to be timed up with a person's attack or some kind of counter-play based on another persons actions vs. the skills they are using. Therefore, the 'actions' in GW2 aren't really actions. You aren't moving based on another person's movement as you would in a game like Infinity Blade, instead you are activating skills in relation to other people activating skills. That, to me, is more about skill-based combat than action-based combat. The action attributed to something like dodge has no effect on the skill part of it that basically reads "invulnerable for 1 second" the same as blinding someone is about the attribute associated with the skill separate from any actions that might result or be a part of the activation of that skill.




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