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Erian
01.01.2012 , 05:30 AM | #1
Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but I thought there was at least one occasion of Bioware talking about how they wanted you to feel like a hero in combat, how you'd take on superior odds, how it'd be different from combat in other MMOs.

Only ... it isn't. At all.

In fact, I feel weaker and less "heroic" than in WoW (and I'm saying that as someone who grew to hate that game, not as a fangirl). Granted, that is likely at least in part due to having had several characters at max in each stage of the game while my highest here is 27. So I can't compare the full extent of their "toolboxes" yet. But other issues remain:

* There are skills that only work on redshirt enemies but don't do anything at all in any situation that actually matters, i.e. PvP and fights against elites and bosses. The Jedi Knight apparently has TWO of these skills which do exactly the same thing, only with higher/lower numbers. Whatever genius came up with that?

* Silver enemies and above are immune to the side-effects of many other skills. (This was a huge point of frustration for my Knight throughout Tython and Coruscant. Other classes apparently don't have that issue, which raises some other questions.)

* Some bosses are immune even to interrupts.

* At the same time, many enemies have no problems stunning us, knocking us around like footballs, slowing us, and so on. This is especially "fun" for us melee types.

* And above all, most of the time when grouping we're still dogpiling on a single humanoid enemy who could wipe each of us out in three seconds flat without breaking a sweat or blinking an eye. Even in story fights, the companion is usually crucial so it's not a gripping, epic duel but a 2-on-1.

Who's more "heroic" -- the NPC boss who has all the fancy moves to control and interrupt us, or the players who need to (massively) outnumber said NPC to have any hopes of winning and, at least for some classes, can barely affect him/her/it with their own non-damage abilities?

Now contrast this with the obscene amount of ego-wanking we get in our storylines and you have a situation that makes my brain throw a "divide by zero" error. I do wish they'd tone down the over-the-top ego-stroking because it feels extremely silly and pandering even without the game mechanical contradictions. But I also wish that I could indeed feel a bit more heroic in combat.

I'm fine with dogpiling on huge nasties like rancors, dragons, giants or tower-sized battledroids -- enemies who are obviously, massively physically superior to any single humanoid. I'm also fine with needing a friend's help occasionally in a fight against a single humanoid foe, especially when it's a Force-user. But it shouldn't be the default situation that is almost never deviated from. And random nameless elites shouldn't be able to resist half of what I can do.

When I first heard of the alleged cinematic, epic, heroic combat, I was hoping that group combat would involve many battles against huge enemies, or against an equal-sized group of enemy heroes, or against small armies, or battles that use the environment to our advantage. I was hoping for battles that required me to use every trick in my book, all my utility, instead of just brainlessly flailing away because I can't affect the enemy with anything but sheer damage. Looks like I was hoping for too much. Does it get better in the mid- and high-level content or does almost every fight still fall in the "bunch of scrubby PC weaklings against a single godlike NPC" category?

And does this bug anyone else like it does me?
"Beware of the blindness of those who would follow,
and the damnable lure of those who would lead."
- Tamoko, Baldur's Gate