New MMOs breaking the combat mold?

Chris Chester
C. Chester|03.08.08

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Chris Chester
March 8th, 2008
New MMOs breaking the combat mold?

With the recent death of Gary Gygax, one of the original creators of Dungeons and Dragons, lots of people have stopped to reflect on the way his work continues to affect the games we play. In many ways, the dominant style of MMO combat we see in games today, particularly in the Everquest and World of Warcraft vein, is a direct descendant of tabletop gameplay. As much as that model has served us well over the years, some, like JoBildo over at TTH, believe that the future of MMO combat is almost upon us, and once we see the light, we'll never want to go back.

It does certainly seem like combat is one of the most obvious areas where MMOs can use improvement, which is why it's really not so surprising to see so many developers try and attack it in order to become 'the next big thing.' Still, new combat systems haven't really done anything to help the success of DDO or Tabula Rasa, and rumors are flying around that the combat is just about the only thing going right in Age of Conan. You just don't see gamers defecting from World of Warcraft and its relatively old-school combat system, which leads one to believe that gamers are still more interested in the package deal. Including new ways to swing a sword will get you some curious attention at first, but in order to keep players coming back you've got to have a lot more than that.
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