WildStar brought up an interesting topic last week with the revelation that the MMO would feature mobs telegraphing their moves so as to allow players the chance to dodge out of the way or otherwise react. This isn’t a new concept, of course; both The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 feature both special attack warnings and the ability to dodge.
So it makes me wonder if this is a growing trend in MMO combat. For so long, we’ve mostly stood in place when fighting an enemy without the need to move around or be aware of mobs telegraphing their most powerful attacks. For some, this shift to a more mobile and reactive combat experience might be a breath of fresh air, but for others, I can see it as being more annoying than engaging.
What say you? Is this the type of combat you’d like to see a lot more often? Do these telegraphed moves give you an additional advantage in a fight or prove to be a liability?
I think if you’re going to have a dodge mechanic, you need to design your enemies’ attacks/animations to allow for effective use of that. However, telegraphing does not always mean a big, obvious windup or just a targeting circle on the ground. You can telegraph a move by having it appear as part of a recognizable combo or sequence. That way players learn through experience when it’s best to dodge. It can also be situational, such as a counter attack that always happens after an interrupt or something. This of course makes effective, clear animation a must, if it wasn’t already.