How does the combat system work in Age of Conan? Edit
The quick answer is: unlike anything you've ever seen before in any MMO. One of the key features in Age of Conan is the revolutionary approach to real-time combat. With real combat we have created a system that really brings players into the game and make them active participants in the battles they fight. That means giving them complete control over their attacks in real-time, and where they aim their attacks. This is a much more hands-on approach to MMO combat, where the players must make strategic decisions regarding how they stand in relation to the enemies they are fighting. We call this the Real Combat System, and it promises to bring a unique element of action to MMO combat.
What is the Real Combat System? Edit
When fighting with a sword, an axe or other melee weapons in Age of Conan, you actually have to direct your weapons in certain directions yourself, in real-time. Whereas in other games of the genre you usually just have to target something and then click a “fight” button, in Age of Conan you have to perform the strikes yourself in one of six different directions. This makes battles much more interesting in terms of action, and you have a far greater control on how your character fights. With the unique targeting system you can also hit multiple enemies at once, so if happen to slash your sword through two enemies standing next to each other, both of these will suffer damage. It is all, in one word, real.
That's great for melee fighters, but what about ranged combat? Edit
Players who enjoy fighting with ranged weapons will also experience the real combat system. Whereas in most games of the genre you will equip a bow, click a “Fire” button and then see your character fire the arrows automatically, in Age of Conan you will actually have to string the bow yourself, aim and fire manually as you would in a single-player game. This makes archery more demanding, but it also makes it incredibly much more exciting.
Does this mean the character's skills are obsolete? Edit
No, not at all, Age of Conan has a deep RPG skill system. This is still a role-playing game, and you will have skills, feats and abilities that make up how powerful and flexible you are. Players will have to raise these through experience points, which they gain through combat. There will also be separate skill evolution in PvP and crafting. The Real Combat System is just a way to add more human skill and interaction to a genre that is known for its rather static and non-interactive combat.
What are these player-made battle formations I keep hearing about? Edit
That is another special feature in Age of Conan. Players (and even computer-controlled enemies) will be able to create formations that will increase the participants damage output and defense rating, as well as giving special types of attacks. A formation will have a leader who can designate spots in the formation for players, and the players have to stand at the specific spot for the formation to reach its maximum potential. Formation combat will naturally be very useful in PvP battles, but will also play a vital role in PvE. You can break out of a formation at any time should you wish, but being inside one will improve your chances of winning. Many formations work in an almost rock-paper-scissor kind of way. For instance if you have a formation of horse riders thundering down on you, a good pike formation may do the trick in breaking them up.
Is it possible to fight while riding on horseback? Edit
Yes, absolutely. As a player you will be able to acquire mounts such as a horse or a camel, but you need to be level 40 to get one. A central part of the combat system actually revolve around being able to fight from the back of your mount. Not only is it possible to swing your sword and strike your foe while mounted, but it can actually help you deal greater damage if you plow through your enemies while mounted. Players will for instance be able to equip a lance, a weapon that becomes extremely lethal if you are able to time your attack right.
So the way you ride will determine damage output? Edit
Basically, yes. Your mount can either walk, jog or gallop, and the speed at which you travel will determine how much damage you do. At the same time, making a coordinated attack that strikes true while galloping on a horse can be difficult to master. Once you are skilled at it however you can do some serious damage.
What level of gore will there be in combat? Edit
Staying true to the original books of Robert E. Howard and the Conan license in general means that the combat will be bloody, barbaric and brutal. Age of Conan will be a Mature rated game, and this allows us to bring a truer depiction of combat than what you normally see in MMOs. So, there will be blood, there will be decapitations and the violence will be graphic and true to the lore.
How will you actually control your attacks? Edit
We have tried to take the best of the combat systems in past MMOs, but in addition you can control your characters combat moves in real-time. Contrary to other massive online games, you thus won’t fight only by clicking a series of icons. You will have to use your keyboard or a gamepad to strike in certain directions and you have to aim your attacks manually. All in all there is a massive amount of strategic opportunities, but the initial system will be quite easy to learn the first time you enter the game.
Will there be dodging or blocking in the game? Edit
There is dodging, yes, but you don’t actually hit a dodge or block button to prevent strikes from hitting you. These are character skills and whether or not you avoid hits are determined from calculations going on in the background. You will be able to step back though, and use the terrain to your advantage by running behind things and so on. It is very dynamic.
How is targeting done in Age of Conan? Edit
There is no targeting in Age of Conan per se, at least not in the traditional sense. You do not walk up to something, click it and then start attacking it. You will actually have to move up to your foe and strike your weapon towards him. So you constantly have to make sure you’re facing your enemy and that you’re close enough to hit. Also, if you strike several enemies at once you will actually hit them all – so you can, indeed, charge into a crowd of enemies and strike them all at once by doing a wide melee attack. This will make combat much more frantic, dynamic and exciting. In ranged combat you need to aim correctly in order to hit an enemy.
Will you be able to queue attacks? Edit
Yes, you will be able to queue attacks, but only a few. When you make a strike, the game will put this into queue and perform it when your current strike is complete. So you can line up strikes, or attacks, if that is what you want. Or you can fight dynamically and perform strikes as they are completed. There will no be a macro system for the real-time combat.
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