Do You Think PSO2 and NGS is Missing Good Combat Design Features?

First, combat design (Combat Designers) and combat gameplay (Gameplay Programmers/Systems) are different, but they do overlap and go hand-in-hand. I've been thinking and noticed that PSO2 combat is nice and ok but there isn't any meaningful satisfaction in beating any boss or any amount of enemies. Although NGS gameplay is a step up from PSO2, it also seems very plain (not sure how to word it). My solution is to propose another sub-system or feature on-top of the combat system that adds much better visuals and possible improved sounds (sound design is totally different but you'll understand)...

This combat design feature should also have its own sub-options menu so users can tweak and edit many parameters/features; like removing shake or making it less shake or removing flashing or hit color upon impact, added visual lines, stun outlines, smoke, dirt/part impact, rubble fx, etc.

Here is NGS gameplay and although it does look fluid, it doesn't look rewarding or fun; which is why many other games are popular because of chaining combos, elemental chaining, reactive enemies, and more animations and attack patterns in general. In addition, in PSO2, the moves/sound effects sound cheap and having too many high-frequency weapon sounds really hurts the ears when everyone starts spamming it online. I think it would be a nice idea to add at least 3-5 sound variations of the hit per animation that way it doesn't start clipping. But how? You can add a post-filter function that randomizes a mask/parameter to change the pitch and frequency of the sound within good range-parameters upon weapon/attack impact. This then brings us to impact. Yes, NGS didn't showcase any big moves, but it would be nice to see IMPACT or an indication of that; not like knockback or something, but a more meaningful animation; let's say if the player deals 1 MIL damage, then the boss has an impact animation; this also can be applied to regular mobs as well, and make the game more satisfying overall.

NGS gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-almqon6820

Disclaimer: I am not promoting any of these games. I can't seem to be able to post examples of what I'm talking about, but here are some games with amazing and satisfying combat design with gameplay:

Project BBQ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuIDYE6hxzY

Punishing Grey Raven: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZZuXiJRmJY

Blue Protocol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWIBqv5xUd4

Vindictus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYcli-Wn81c

Tower of Fantasy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfWXKPO9tGs

What are your opinions? I'm curious what other types of features/designs other games have that make combat rewarding in a game... Maybe like combo skills and if you get 10 hits in a row (without getting hit) you can do another cool move into another move at 15 hits? Idk...

I think it'll be fine, and it'll advance over time. Just like PSO2 has, it didn't start out this fluid like we got it now.

As for the other games linked, they look flashy, but what I remember from Vindictus. At it's core, it was very shallow.

Blue Protocol isn't even out yet, and they are still trying to flesh out the game.

I know what you mean, Vindictus is one of my alltime favorite games and the impact from every swing actually feels good. A crit triggering a reaction from a monster is a nice touch like flinching or dropping their weapon. It’s something I deeply miss from other games, including this one. Nailing your chain combo should feel rewarding. I want to see or hear something that acknowledges that sweet combo.

I also love the feel of swinging a big weapon like hammer or switchaxe in the Monster Hunter series, the reactions when you break a body part or stun a monster, you just feel more in the moment when the monster is directly interacting with you throughout the fight that way.

I don’t hate PSO2’s combat in the least and think NGS looks even better but I feel it’s missing something.

@Milk said in Do You Think PSO2 and NGS is Missing Good Combat Design Features?:

I also love the feel of swinging a big weapon like hammer or switchaxe in the Monster Hunter series, the reactions when you break a body part or stun a monster, you just feel more in the moment when the monster is directly interacting with you throughout the fight that way.

All i got from MHW was that you aren't a superhuman hunter of monsters, but a bunch of drunken louts who bumble around and win thanks to superior blacksmithing. Like swinging a hammer doesn't look like you know what you're doing since you can barely lift the thing, and all the jumping and running animations don't look like you are an athlete fighting for your life, but a clown who is falling over during a gag reel. Obviously you got a different impression, but this is all i saw.

I have no opinion until I've gotten to play the game myself.

@Milk Yes! I agree with you; In Vindictus I also miss the slow-motion capture when finishing a boss and the critical moments where the boss is reaching certain percentages of HP (and throwing spears xD). As for Monster Hunter World, it was great overall; I wouldn't mind if NGS was similar to Monster Hunter World; at least the RNG for mats (key or stone from UH boss) wasn't as bad as PSO2 lol.

@Redex Fair point; hope Sega releases closed beta for NGS for Global or NA soon so people can try it out.

Other non-mmo game series with good combat is Tales of and Ys; Not sure what other action combat games have a similar style.

@Yggranya said in Do You Think PSO2 and NGS is Missing Good Combat Design Features?:

@Milk said in Do You Think PSO2 and NGS is Missing Good Combat Design Features?:

I also love the feel of swinging a big weapon like hammer or switchaxe in the Monster Hunter series, the reactions when you break a body part or stun a monster, you just feel more in the moment when the monster is directly interacting with you throughout the fight that way.

All i got from MHW was that you aren't a superhuman hunter of monsters, but a bunch of drunken louts who bumble around and win thanks to superior blacksmithing. Like swinging a hammer doesn't look like you know what you're doing since you can barely lift the thing, and all the jumping and running animations don't look like you are an athlete fighting for your life, but a clown who is falling over during a gag reel. Obviously you got a different impression, but this is all i saw.

Heavy weapons actually look heavy in the game but swings also feel like you smashed something’s skull. I wouldn’t say players look drunk, they’re just in extremely weighty armor and using oversized weapons. I personally main Lance, which is one of the slowest weapons but easy to block and you can charge up and mow enemies down. I feel the combat for the heavier weapons is realistic for the type of game is it. Now if I want high fantasy gigantic swords that cut like butter and feel light as a feather I can have that in God Eater 3(well sort of) but Monster Hunter series(including World) has never been like that. You can charge up a big weapon to hit faster but it’s still going to look heavy.

I really liked how combat in games like Dragon's Dogma Online went as each class had a distinctly different playstyle that channeled elements of other Capcom games and as a result each class had a distinctly unique focus that all had the same goal (damage or facilitating damage). This was effectively a middle-ground between Devil May Cry's extreme skill ceiling and control given to the player as an action game sandbox (It was up to the player to "be" good) and Monster Hunter's level of commitment in forcing players and monsters alike to play by the same rules for the most part. Dragon's Dogma Online played as a solid action game with a very heavy focus on the player reacting to enemies and knowing their role and their capabilities while still giving player the room to explore their opportunities (you get to pick out your custom skills and augments to flesh out your playstyle and character build) and very rarely you will encounter another player running your exact same setup (unlike Phantasy Star Online 2 where just about every Hero and Luster who meets one another will have the same capabilities but different handling on their weapons for the most part).

The things I would have been more of a feature don't exactly go towards the feel of the combat or how things look (though New Genesis definitely seems to be an improvement on how the players can interact with enemies as well as evening out the classes and their capabilities) I would have really loved for Sega to have made the menu and subpalette more "friendly" for controller users. Dragon's Dogma Online was amazing to me in that so much of the interface looks like it was lifted out of Final Fantasy XIV (I tried the trial recently) and that by extension everything in that every hotkey was customizable and bindable to match the keyboard capabilities (you had access to twelve hotkeys at all times just like keyboard players would have with F1-F12) and you simultaneously had access to emotes, map control options, camera options, and more without having to do any menu digging or manually creating macro inputs or shortcuts like you currently have to in Phantasy Star Online 2 using tools like DS4Windows, reWASD, or Steam Input which puts console players at a constant disadvantage. I cannot stress enough that I cannot understand how technique players can play on controller without the inputs I have (L1 is unbound so that holding it allows me to press buttons together such as L1 + Square for my first subpalette item) just like how the Back Palette currently works - though granting me subpalette actions instead. This is something Dragon's Dogma and Dragon's Dogma Online naturally did and it amazes me just how unintuitive Phantasy Star Online 2 is on controller (especially when the Vita version has the exclusive Left Analog Stick + Circle command for dodging that I recall) because the controller players have extra steps they must take to be efficient like keyboard/mouse players. The game doesn't exactly push for you to have those sorts of maintenance but I cannot imagine being a Phantom and having to swap rods in the middle of combat because you needed another set of techniques that could have just been subpalette options or to have shortcuts that allowed you to access things like "Phantom Time" without needing to use the subpalette (for example pressing L3 + R3 together). Even games like Warframe have enabled controller support to be fast, fluid, and just as responsive as keyboard/mouse controls in their own way without the need of having to scroll through a left/right bar to get to the item you want (the ability menu quickly maps your four core abilities and other features within easy commands and combinations whereas the gear menu is a radial and infinitely scaling menu that you "spin" your way through using the analog stick so you can set up the order and the items you have that you want access to).

To me, having a much stronger sense of the controls would definitely help make a tighter experience, at least for me. To me, games like Dragon's Dogma Online surpass every other game in that regard alone.

@Milk That only applies if the people swinging them are just humans, which they usually aren't. Like the hunters are, as far as i know, some supermen who were designed to fight in some war or something. How are you going to win if your weapon is too heavy to swing properly, if you can't move due to being over-encumbered by armor? The "weight" is the same thing people who are obsessed with dark souls who use it as an excuse to compare souls-like games and tell people who like them how they are all wrong.

Besides, it only looks heavy when you swing a hammer on the ground. Run up a wall and do the SPIN OF DOOM! and tell me how heavy it looks. Just hit the monster 20 times in a magical, physics defying spin. Also, if armor weight would matter: Men: So heavy you can't even move, while women: Nice little/big windows for monsters to bite, skewer or slash into = obviously the smiths hate hunters. Realism just doesn't add anything to a game, unless that is the games entire purpose, like in some survival games, and "weight" means absolutely nothing. It feels like you pressed a button to make the character do a thing.

You didn't say realism, but that is what the "weight" argument is all about. Still, i will stop derailing the thread now.

@Yggranya said in Do You Think PSO2 and NGS is Missing Good Combat Design Features?:

@Milk That only applies if the people swinging them are just humans, which they usually aren't. Like the hunters are, as far as i know, some supermen who were designed to fight in some war or something. How are you going to win if your weapon is too heavy to swing properly, if you can't move due to being over-encumbered by armor? The "weight" is the same thing people who are obsessed with dark souls who use it as an excuse to compare souls-like games and tell people who like them how they are all wrong.

Besides, it only looks heavy when you swing a hammer on the ground. Run up a wall and do the SPIN OF DOOM! and tell me how heavy it looks. Just hit the monster 20 times in a magical, physics defying spin. Also, if armor weight would matter: Men: So heavy you can't even move, while women: Nice little/big windows for monsters to bite, skewer or slash into = obviously the smiths hate hunters. Realism just doesn't add anything to a game, unless that is the games entire purpose, like in some survival games, and "weight" means absolutely nothing. It feels like you pressed a button to make the character do a thing.

You didn't say realism, but that is what the "weight" argument is all about. Still, i will stop derailing the thread now.

To be fair, some of us love Monster Huner for it´s absurd silliness.

The whole "drunken hobos with loot they have no moral right to wield clumsily killing dinosaurs with rocket powered greatswords ( I love you Wyvern Ignition Impact) while clearly on hard drugs" is extremely amusing to me.

@Xaiyeon Visually at least, some of the videos you linked just seem unnecessarily flashy to me, I personally prefer what I'm seeing from NGS.

Variation of animations, well, there's only a few photon arts in what was shown from NGS so far, once it releases there will be more photon arts, I guess.

I can't say anything about combos since I'm not familiar at all with the gameplay systems of those. Big moves with impact, there's the NGS version of the buildup photon arts (sword one was shown in the TGS stream), at 44:37 in the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbKAFIBSMhU#t=44m37s

Sound effects though, yeah, sound effects when together with several players has been a big issue in the current PSO2 and I wish we could at least lower the sound effects volume for other players (without affecting our own player character sound effects volume).

@Yggranya said in Do You Think PSO2 and NGS is Missing Good Combat Design Features?:

@Milk That only applies if the people swinging them are just humans, which they usually aren't. Like the hunters are, as far as i know, some supermen who were designed to fight in some war or something. How are you going to win if your weapon is too heavy to swing properly, if you can't move due to being over-encumbered by armor? The "weight" is the same thing people who are obsessed with dark souls who use it as an excuse to compare souls-like games and tell people who like them how they are all wrong.

Besides, it only looks heavy when you swing a hammer on the ground. Run up a wall and do the SPIN OF DOOM! and tell me how heavy it looks. Just hit the monster 20 times in a magical, physics defying spin. Also, if armor weight would matter: Men: So heavy you can't even move, while women: Nice little/big windows for monsters to bite, skewer or slash into = obviously the smiths hate hunters. Realism just doesn't add anything to a game, unless that is the games entire purpose, like in some survival games, and "weight" means absolutely nothing. It feels like you pressed a button to make the character do a thing.

You didn't say realism, but that is what the "weight" argument is all about. Still, i will stop derailing the thread now.

Final reply since yeah we are detailing the thread.

Hammer for example is part of balancing the class, it’s clumsy and slow to use but it hits like a truck and a favorite in groups to break the head. I don’t have any swing like hammer does with my lance but I also don’t hit as hard, either. All of the playstyles have advantages and disadvantages, for example if you wanted speed and no weighty feeling at all you could use dual blades.

As for the superhuman, a human couldn’t even lift those weapons or wear that armor, it’s made out of gigantic monster bones, ect. I have to wonder how safe it is to wear some of it from monsters like Vaal Hazak. Our players are “superhuman” Dragon Hunters yet we can still die to fire of all things, we’re certainly not invincible. I like to think we’re just slightly stronger humans that can survive fall damage and consuming 50k calories a day. 😛

The removal of perfect attacks in NGS continues to give me pause for thought. Timing the input of attacks was necessary in the original PSO (though not to deal extra damage but to continue a combo at all - if you just mashed the attack button it would end the combo immediately!) and added to PSU as part of its only expansion to make it more like PSO after all the criticism that it wasn't enough like PSO.

Now they're just removing it again? I can't imagine an overhaul celebrating the series' 20th anniversary would so brazenly forget part of that past, so I'm thinking the removal of perfect attacks is to make room for something else we haven't seen yet, which we may get to find out as first impressions from the JP closed beta start to emerge.

@Miraglyth Personally I'm fine with the removal of perfect attacks, while they were nice in the early years of JP PSO2 when the combat was slower paced, they currently just get in the way of the faster paced combat.

The visual clutter in large player groups also get in the way of perfect attacks.

I would rather have something like some PAs having invulnerable frames (some already do in the current PSO2) and timing my attacks to parry an enemy attack than having perfect attacks limiting when I can attack at full power.

PSO2 has been moving past perfect attacks in the last few years anyway, with skills such as first arts perfect attack addition (introduced in episode 5), and the time the red ring for perfect attacks is available has been increasing over the years, their complete removal was not unexpected to me.

Looks over at Techter

Yes