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  1. #1

    Why are melee classes in MMOs always dull looking?

    Dont get me wrong I have loved melee classes since I started playing MMOs back in 1997 with UO and my dex fencer but they always seem to have the most visually lackluster abilities in pretty much every single MMO when compared to caster/mage types. I know I havent played all of them so maybe there is something out there with flashy melee classes. I know there really isnt much you can do to jazz up how a sword or axe swings but even in newer games like GW2 only casters have all the flashy abilities. Sure Guardians in GW2 have some decent visual affects but only if using Staff or Scepter which pretty much makes you a caster cause you are now a ranged class focused on healing and support rather than DPS.

    Is this ever going to change? The closest game to have melee classes with decent and flashy animations is SWToR and that was only cause they had light sabers. So is that what games have to do to make melee classes look less dull and boring? Just give them all glow sticks for weapons? Its obvious games have the ability to make weapons look cool, even games 12 years old like Everquest and DAoC as both had weapons with particle or glow affects. So why cant they make their attacks look cool and flashy as well? Like I said even in newer games melee classes still look meh compared to casters.

    Even if you dont like the game watch any youtube video for GW2 for Dagger/Dagger Elementalist, Dagger/Dagger Necros, or Sword/Sword Mesmers as they have to stay at or near melee range for their full damage potential. Some of the animations and effects are sick looking. So why cant they make normal melee classes look cool and flashy like that?

  2. #2
    Casters generally have better animations because they aren't in a big pile of mobs using abilities like melee are.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Hedleyazg View Post
    Casters generally have better animations because they aren't in a big pile of mobs using abilities like melee are.
    So basically its a cop-out for the Devs. "Hey we can save design time on melees cause they will always be huddled together so no one will ever see their animations anyways"

  4. #4
    Dreadlord The Casualty's Avatar
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    I dunno. I played FFXI many years ago (I think I quit in 04 or 05, but I digress), and I thought some of the skill chain abilities my Dark Knight had at his disposal were visually amazing, like Cross Reaper and Guillotine.

  5. #5
    I am Murloc! Ryngo Blackratchet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigrun33 View Post
    I dunno. I played FFXI many years ago (I think I quit in 04 or 05, but I digress), and I thought some of the skill chain abilities my Dark Knight had at his disposal were visually amazing, like Cross Reaper and Guillotine.
    Bingo. That's basically what I came here to say. Some games do it great, others like WoW in particular just kind of slept on it. However, the newer Ret visuals and little things like warrior's Bloodbath are a step in the right direction.
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  6. #6
    Yeah, I was going to say FFXI has some pretty awesome animations, as well.

    Last edited by Barracks00; 2013-02-04 at 04:14 AM.

  7. #7
    Gw2 thief dagger animations look pretty sick if you ask me.

  8. #8
    The Patient Harléquin's Avatar
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    I find that next to all the melee classes on Aion have really nice effects, same goes for again as people said FFXI

  9. #9
    Pandaren Monk barackopala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek Daniels View Post
    Gw2 thief dagger animations look pretty sick if you ask me.
    The dagger thief looks amazingly well and it's animations are quite nicely, you feel extremely agile with those jumpings and flipflops and whatnot, but yes, is difficult to find nice looking melee classes.

    Oh maybe 2Handed mace warrior on gw2, it's an underused combination but OH GOD IT LOOKS OP
    Last edited by barackopala; 2013-02-04 at 04:32 AM.

  10. #10
    The basic gist of it is that magic users use, well... magic. A no-gimmick melee pretty much just swings weapons around. When you get melee that uses magic as well, things start to look interesting. But a typical swing of a sword shouldn't look like the freaking apocalypse for something like a Warrior or Rogue. If you want that, you should probably play a JRPG. because everything looks like the apocalypse in those.
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  11. #11
    Pit Lord
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    Try TERA. Melee steals the show.
    ^ The above should be taken with two grains of salt and a fistful of "chill the F* out".

  12. #12
    Moderator Remilia's Avatar
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    TERA warrior go go.
    Or berserker.

  13. #13
    Herald of the Titans RicardoZ's Avatar
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    I never thought they were that bad. The only one that really bothers me is Dwarf and Human warriors' Shield Slam. It doesn't really look like it would hurt the opponent very much...it looks more like you're trying to shove them out of the way so you can be first to the fresh mashed potatoes at the buffet. I do worse with my bag getting out of the subway every morning.

  14. #14
    There isnt a heck of a lot you can do to make swinging weapons look amazing. Yes you can add effects to it, but its still a basic swing.
    With casters you can program all kinds of hand movements and body movements and have the mouth move to invoke some sort of incantation, there is a lot more room to work with for casters than melee.

    There are some cool melee animations out there in games though.
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  15. #15
    I think it's mostly due to the limitations imposed by combat systems in most MMOs that use the standard tab-targeting system. Designers having to also cater to people that cry foul with long animation lock doesn't help the situation either (just look at how many people cried about Tera animation lock that don't understand risk vs reward), so the norm in NA MMOs is to keep attack animations extremely short. Having these two design limitations already puts the combat animation designers in a restrictive position.

    The problem in a broader scope is stagnation and a limited talent pool in the design department in NA. Take a look at upcoming or recent Korean MMOs vs NA and compare animation quality without bias - the difference and variety in KR MMO melee combat is notably better with more acrobatics, fancy skills, and unique weapon designs.

    To that end, I just saw a clip of Neverwinter showcasing a mage (yeah I know, not melee) and the guy was running around in a dumb stance and throwing magic missiles with that dreaded hip-twisting turret on-the-run animation ... it was face palmingly bad.
    Last edited by Goosie; 2013-02-04 at 05:21 AM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek Daniels View Post
    Gw2 thief dagger animations look pretty sick if you ask me.
    GW2 thieves had more than one dagger animation? Granted, leaping forward and plunging into your foe is pretty neat, but it got old after a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cernunnos View Post
    There isnt a heck of a lot you can do to make swinging weapons look amazing. Yes you can add effects to it, but its still a basic swing.
    That's not quite true. I've been playing SWTOR for a while, and it really has some neat animations for the melee classes. It's not just "holy fuck look what I'm doing with a lightsaber"; some of the abilities are legitimately well coordinated and look good, even when you trade out the lightsaber for another weapon. Master Strike is a great example; I personally think Blade Rush and Overhead Slash also look pretty neat, but there's some disagreement out there, I'm sure.

    Related but not quite the same, Force Charge is one of my favorite animations in the game. You leap at the guy from forever away, do a frontflip, and slam your lightsaber into him. How do you make it more badass? Answer: By hitting spacebar first, so you're effectively double-jumping into a frontflip into an attack. It's great.

    There's also a great cinematic kill very early in the Sith Warrior's story. You're presented with three prisoners. If you choose to kill the second one, you force choke him and leave him to fall to the ground as you turn away. Just when you think your character's decided against killing him after all, he pulls out his sword and stabs it into the prisoner's throat - all without turning around.

    I think some of the best attack animations come from attacks with cast or channel times so the animation has enough time to do something - but those kinds of attacks are a bit unwieldy to actually make effective. Master Strike, above, is a three second channeled attack. The first two hits strike quickly (within the first second of the channel), and the third is delayed until the very end. In PvP, it's very hard to get off effectively unless you use the one particular spec that immobilizes the target for the duration of the channel. Even in PvE, knockbacks aren't too uncommon and can make it difficult to justify using, despite how great it looks.

  17. #17
    Ret paladin....We have different, special animations for everything now..... Stuff I didn't even see coming like the new TV animation.
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  18. #18
    Scarab Lord -Zait-'s Avatar
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    I always thought rogues were cool...

  19. #19
    Moderator Krekko's Avatar
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    I think a lot of the problem goes to (in WoW especially) the fact that Melee have a certain range, and going along with boss mechanics and gameplay mechanics you can only do so much without visually overloading the area.


    Between boss effects, spell effects incoming from other players, pets, fellow melee, and only THEN yourself it can become visually overwhelming quite fast.


    When you have a ton of people shoved in the same area it gets bad faster and faster. I'll never forget doing Sarth 3 drakes and the shit show that got at some points with a lot of melee.
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  20. #20
    Animations ala Warrior or Rogue in Dragon Age 2 would be pretty sick, and they where fluid without getting "stuck". put that into an MMO in melee classes and you have a winner.

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