Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Secret World Combat

A hot topic on the official forums over the weekend was combat. At first glance the combat seems very simple and the beta was a little buggy occasional losing your current target. Also my mouse has multiple buttons and I usually link the wheel click to the TAB button which didn’t seem to work.

For me it took a little time to get used to moving while triggering abilities as a lot of MMO’s require you to stand still to cast abilities. But once I became more mobile I found it more interesting and dynamic. A good thing was the Funcom developers picked up on the forum posts and posted the following:


Word from a Dev: The combat

Hi guys!
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to test our game and provide us feedback. We read everything and we really appreciate it. I've seen some discussion about the combat. Some love it, some find it trivial, and some find it difficult to get into.
I want to give you some of our thoughts behind the design of combat and on the way forward.

The base abilities:
When we fist sat down to design this we were afraid that a lot of people had not played a classless game before. Our biggest fear was that some players would buy the wrong abilities, and thereby gimp themselves. Our solution to this was to make the first two cells in every weapon into a very basic build. The result is that every weapon will have a builder, some form of single target finisher, some form of aoe, some form of extra resource giving, a self buff and a very basic crowd control elite. We did this so that we knew if a player bought a full weapon in the base abilities, they would at least be able to play the game. This is the reason why playing only with the base abilities feels a bit sameish.

The base abilities vs the advanced abilities:
It's in the advanced wheel the weapons' personalities starts to shine a bit through. Out in the advanced wheel you'll find:

  • Elemental's manifestations
  • Blood magic's different types of barriers and spreading DoTs
  • Chaos magic's invulnerability
  • Sword's teleport to target
  • Fist weapon's combo attacks
  • Hammer's knockups
  • Pistol's gunkatas
  • Shogun's traps
  • Assault rifle's Snare-backflips

While the base wheel gives a small sampler on the flavor of the weapon, it's in the advanced wheel you can specialize. Each weapon have two roles, where the one role is always damage dealing. The other role is "tanky", "healy" or "supporty". There are 3 cells per role per weapon. Some cells focuses on single target, some one AoEs and out here you also find the abilities that don't require any resources to cast. We will make more and more of these advanced cells available as we move forward in this beta phase.

Fighting in TSW
I've seen some comments that some players play like this: builder+builder+builder+builder+builder+finisher, and then repeat. It is possible to play like that, but it's not necessarily fun, and definitely not efficient. Each builder build a resource for both your weapons. That means that when you have built to 5 you can use two finishers. There are also lots of abilities which will make resource building faster, in different flavors for different weapon types. Keep in mind that already in the base, shotgun and pistols can build resources on multiple targets at the same time. After that it's just to tab+finish+tab+finish etc. Also, remember that all melee weapons start with 5 resources, and that gives a nice burst damage.
My protip to you: Get 2 weapons and two finishers as quickly as possible. You won't regret it 

In conclusion
We know that combat in TSW can be a bit difficult to get into, but please look under the hood. The base abilities are what they are - basic. When we open up more of the wheel, look for trigger synergies (crit, penetration, evade, block etc) and look for state synergies (afflicted, hindered, weakened and impaired). You can make some really cool things happen 

Again I want to thank you guys for your feedback. I've seen some great threads about mouse mapping and different key mappings (I use 1-4,q,e,f myself). We will look into mouse mapping going forward. I can not guarantee you that it will be in for launch, but promise we will look into it.

All the best,


What I did like was the way they indicated on the ground monster finisher abilities.

The Exploding Corpse video shows a circle appearing on the ground then a smaller circle expands to the larger one. Once they are the same size the zombie explodes doing damage.

The Sweep Attack video shows a semicircle with two lines. Once they move together the zombie firefighter axe swings.

The Ground Attack video is similar to the exploding zombie but instead black spikes shoot out the ground.

The Hinder Attack video shows a much larger circle expanding, but instead of damage the effect is hinder.

Let’s not forget this is just the starter area later fights could get very interesting the video released through gamespot shows the system gets even more complex.

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