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So where is the alleged "heroic combat"?

Erian's Avatar

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

Amazingstoke's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 05:50 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by Erian View Post
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.

Past this, TL;DR.

Xavier_Phaze's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 05:57 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Amazingstoke View Post

Past this, TL;DR.
nuff said

Erian's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 06:08 AM | #4
Too lazy to read and make a constructive reply, but not too lazy to post BS eh? This "only max level counts" attitude doesn't fly, especially if you bothered to read beyond that point. What exactly makes dogpiling on a single godly NPC more "heroic" at 50 than at 27? And if you know so much better, you could at least reply to the question of whether boss fights do in fact get better and more varied at the mid- and high levels.
"Beware of the blindness of those who would follow,
and the damnable lure of those who would lead."
- Tamoko, Baldur's Gate

InfiniteShift's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 07:34 AM | #5
Firstly, having a lightsaber and the ability to use the force does not make one invincible. So don't expect to be able to conquer massive horde of enemies.

That aside, I do agree that some of the combat does not feel heroic. However, as the trolls have hinted earlier, a majority of the early game, I'd say probably between 1-35 or so, depending on how fast you progress through your class story, doesn't exactly feel heroic at all. As you progress beyond that, the difficulty begins to ramp up significantly, having fairly strong reliance on your companion, although this may differ depending on your advanced class. The class story quests later on, at least for the bounty hunter class, makes your character feel significant and important, to some degree, and at least makes your character seem 'heroic'.

At max level however some of the fights begin to challenge you. Having successfully completed every hardmode flashpoint, except False Emperor, the difficulty or at least some of the animations/sizes/etc of some bosses do give you great satisfaction when you destroy them the first time. One fight in particular, Mentor from Directive 7 gave off a great sense of satisfaction when I killed him the first time. The amount of chaos that goes on throughout the fight made the fight fairly engaging and heroic for me. There are some fights where you take on massive enemies, others where you take on an elite squad of veterans. There is the occasional "bunch of scrubby PC weaklings against a single godlike NPC" fight however.

Long story short, I feel that the solo content isn't particularly amazing and don't feel heroic at all, aside from the story, however some of the flashpoints and operations are pretty fun and heroic, while some others are mediocre at best. There is little in terms of taking on a swarm of enemies, aside from some flashpoints with obscene amounts of trash. Mind you I have only done Empire side content, and nothing beyond level 28 on Republic side. I believe that's only the Taral V and Directive 7 and Esseles and Blacktalon flashpoints that differ for the two factions.

Akomo's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 07:44 AM | #6
I enter heroic combat everyday.I can actually get killed if i make a mistake , or aggro too many mobs.I cant solo a 4 man instance as i shouldnt be able to.Heck a two man will kick my butt.

A gold elite battle droid i can take.A gold elite sith?Forget it.Im talking equal level here.So unless i tweak it to the T to beat that one sith i suppose i probably could but why?then im not having fun anymore.

On a pvp server getting a quest done in a pvp zone is pretty heroic since you can get ganked at any time.I have been already quite a few times.

I dont feel sorry for you.
Super Muppet Extraordinaire!

Hosi's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 08:08 AM | #7
your right.
heroic combat should mean that i can 1shot everything that deres come against me with my lightsaber
i demand bioware make them infinite damage god weapons
Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy/Jedi use their powers to defend and to protect/Jedi respect all life, in any form/Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy/Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.

SpeckledHen's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 09:01 AM | #8
I am surprised by the reaction you are getting. From reading your post, I know you don't want the ability to one shot enemies.

I can tell you are not necessarily pining for World of Warcraft (WoW). I have never played WoW past a 15 day trial.
The issue I have been having is that the Player vs. Environment (PvE) content does not really do a great job preparing you for the Flashpoints or Heroic missions.

So far (I am level 29), normal missions (non Heroic missions or Flashpoints) only require 3-4 abilities at most. Also, they do not require any real coordination between human characters. I guess what I am trying to say is that the game does nothing to really prepare you for the Flashpoints. The difficulty ratchets up dramatically.

The game, ironically, almost assumes that you have played another Massively Multi-Player Online Game (MMO). Because if you haven't, you will be sorely unprepared for flashpoints. I, myself, did not understand the importance of crowd control and my own crowd control abilities (Concussive Round, Concussion Blast, Cryo Grenade). It wasn't until a Jedi I had grouped with explained it to me, that I realised how important they are. And, then, the switcheroo. These abilities do not work on certain bosses.

For those bosses, a decent level of team coordination/composition is required. Again, the game pretty much assumes that you played another MMO and understand all this.

I am not whining and saying that the game needs to hold our hand. That is not what I want. However, I do think that the developers may want to think of differentiating its group content more from other MMOs. Because, as of now and from what I have read on this forum, the group content does not seem all that much different from other MMOs. Also, I do find it ironic that it seems the developers half expect people to have been trained in group content on other MMOs.

EDIT: I know my post is long enough as is and that most people probably won't read it. My one suggestion to improve things would be to allow us to respec our skills for group content. In Mandalorian Raiders, I grouped with two Smugglers and a Jedi. At the time my commando hybrid build had 11 points in gunnery and 7 in healing. It became obvious that we did not have enough DPS for the hounds and their hound master. So, it would have been great if one of the smugglers could have respecced as a healer, and if I could have respecced for more dps. However, that option is not available. We had so much trouble with the mission, that we disbanded.

I think the ability to respec would help group content along. Groups disbanding because they do not have the right composition, to me, is a bad thing.

Sith_Ecks's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 09:20 AM | #9
I think the combat is rather "heroic" feeling. As a 32 Sith Juggernaut the only types of mission that I can't handle are Heroic areas that are meant specifically for 2-4 players and Flashpoints.

I don't expect my 1 character to be able to go into these areas alone and be one bad-mutha-shut-yo-mouth. They simply aren't meant for that to happen and the only way that you can go into these areas and kick butt is by being way higher level than them. Effectively taking away any actual fun or challenge to them.

Now, for regular missions and other non-heroic areas (this includes nearly every story quest) there is absolutely no problem with me taking on groups of 3-5 enemies at a time and this is the only MMO I've ever played where I could successfully do that on a melee character.

But I think the real "Heroic Combat" is just in the combat animations and such. For example, when I use Ravage, a 3 hit combo lightsaber attack and the first hit is normal, the second knocks the target to a knee in a defenseless posture and the third strike finishes them knocking them to a ground. While sure, they get back up if they have more hp, it's an awesome way to "finish" an enemy when that last strike kills them.

And most notably when you aren't actively pushing a skill how you automatically deflect blaster fire and parry vibroblade and lightsaber strikes. It's quite cool to watch sometimes.

Tarengrim's Avatar

01.01.2012 , 10:29 AM | #10
And again we are back at the good old "What does heroic Combat mean to you" Discussion.

For me, none of it really felt heroic. I actually felt more heroic at the lower levels, when I could take on two or three Imperial Troopers without even noticing it, and not at endgame solo content where you are (depending on your class) not too successful, should you try to attack a mob by yourself, without companion.

And there I always wonder, why not take two or three of these Soldiers from Ilum (or however that ice planet was called again) and put them as Bodyguards for all important people you meet/kill over the course of the game? Would make it so much easier.

And for the sake of it. Stop spreading all doom if the Esseles is attacked by some Star Destroyer. I have A ship docked, that can wipe that thing from space, as have my three friends. I do not need to board it, we can just shoot it down...