You know what I miss? Missing. Just once, I’d like to take aim at a mob in a massively-multiplayer RPG and send an arrow whizzing over its shoulder, cursing as it canters away into the woods or sets my hair on fire or whatever. I’d like to send my sword spiralling into the ground, so that when I do hit, damage can really, y’know, damage.
Say hello to a new breed of clumsiness-ready MMOs: Neverwinter, the reinvigorated Tera, and now, Wildstar.
“During development, we experimented with several different aiming methods,” say developers Carbine. “Traditional MMO tab targeting, crosshair aiming, crosshair soft targeting, and MOBA-style skill shots. Each of these methods has its pros and cons, and attracts some of us more than others. In the end, we decided to put together a new system called freeform targeting.”
In Wildstar, enemies and allies can be quickly located via the tab key, but nearly every ability in the game allows for some degree of manual control – meaning there’s another thing to think about beyond your long-perfected cooldown attack pattern.
Carbine’s system will add an element of stat-less skill to all walks of Wildstar, from raid tanking to PvP. Healers, meanwhile, will need to roll and evade constantly, grabbing any available second they can to line up a blessing. “You’ll know a healer when you see one,” say Carbine – presumably by the worn-out knees of their pants.
That said, expert MMO players will still have the array of options they’ve become accustomed to.
“Keep in mind, moving and aiming are just the meat and bread of the Wildstar combat sandwich,” stress the developers, metaphorically. “We’ve still got all the fixings.”
Yum. Is that your mouth watering, or are you falling asleep?