Siege of Mirkwood: Combat System Changes

With due to go Live on December 1, 2009 – developers for have released a new developers diary outlining changes to the combat system.

Turbine is making some pretty big changes in the combat mechanics side of the game, these changes will likely speed up the combat pace (which some people seem to think is ‘slow’). I am not quite sure how I feel about these changes, I will actually have to play with the changes in place to make a determination. I am a bit worried from reading the dev diary though – the changes coming will impact game play quite a bit.

Heres a list of the changes for basic combat mechanics:

    • All weapon speeds have been normalized around the following categories of weapon, i.e. all weapons in each of these categories use the same speed rating:
      • One-handed weapons (sword, axe, mace, hammer, dagger, club, spear and implements)
      • Two-handed weapons (sword, axe, hammer, staff, club, halberd, rune-stone, and implements)
      • Bows and Crossbows
      • Javelins
    • The “weapon speed” rating has been removed from item examination.
      Damage variance, or the range of damage per weapon, has also been standardized so that the high end of the damage range is consistent for a given category of weapon at a given weapon level. This reduced the high end of the damage range for some weapons and increased it for others. Almost all weapons will show a damage range change with this update.

Like I said, a lot of stuff changing there – here’s to hoping it is a good thing. The changes listed above aren’t the only things changing though, animations are changing as well and special/boss level enemies are receiving a buff (Elite +). Here’s a look at those changes:

    • We have updated skill queue processing to ensure that the execution of auto-attack skills is much more consistent. Previously, it was possible to starve out the auto-attacks or have auto-attacks delay the execution of your chosen skills, depending on your play style. Further prioritization and more aggressive management of combat animations makes it a lot more difficult to do either of these things so, overall, players should be a lot closer in terms of effectiveness.
    • We introduced a new skill timing which we’re calling “immediate.” These skills execute almost instantly when chosen, causing any prior skill to complete and make way for the “immediate” skill to proceed. These skills ignore the remaining “action duration” of the previously executed skill. We have added the “Immediate” key word to skill tooltips to make it easier for you to identify which skills use this new timing.
    • We also updated the existing “fast” skill timing which we have used since the game launched. The “fast” skills will not accelerate the execution of any prior skill, but they will execute “as soon as possible” whenever a previous skill animation completes. These skills also ignore the remaining “action duration” of the previously executed skill. We have added the “Fast” keyword to these skills’ tooltips.
    • The update to skill queuing and combat animation management has fundamentally changed how animations overlap and blend on the client. We have added two new combat options (see “Combat Options” on the Options panel) which allow you to tailor some aspects of our new animation management scheme so you can choose the appearance you prefer. NOTE: These options do not have any impact on your combat effectiveness; they are cosmetic and only affect your visual play experience during combat.
      • “Play Optional Combat Animations” – This option is off by default. With the new animation management scheme we sometimes bypass auto-attack skill animations in order to get to your chosen skills more quickly. By enabling this option your client will still play these optional animations. You will see more animations and appear to be attacking more frequently; however, you will also see more animation blending or interruptions as your chosen skills execute over your auto-attack skills.
      • “Allow combat animation blending” – This option is off by default. When disabled, you will only see one combat animation executing at a time on any attacker; we do not attempt to blend animations, rather we interrupt any running animation prior to starting a new one. When enabled we will allow all prior animations to continue and will attempt to blend your next skill animation in.

This will help with the feel of speed in the combat I think, I can understand why it was done I guess – but I don’t know how much of a fan of the change I am. I like the combat animations the way they are right now – but as the saying goes ‘The only constant in life is change’.

Lastly here’s a look at a blurb regarding the more powerful enemies:

Powerful Creatures

Players aren’t the only ones to receive enhanced combat effectiveness. As the power of Sauron increases, the most evil creatures throughout Middle-earth grow in might. Care should be taken when fighting powerful creatures; they are now much more dangerous than you may remember.

What does this mean for me?

The change above will affect Elite, Elite Master, Nemesis, and Arch-nemesis creature types from level 30 and above. These powerful creatures will do more damage and have bonuses to their critical ratings.

Coupled with what has been outlined in other dev diary entries, Siege of Mirkwood is bringing a big wind of change to the game. Whether or not this will be good or bad in the long run will have to wait for release, but I am cautiously hopeful. I love the game and only want it to do good – I just hope that Turbine isn’t catering too much to the ‘instant gratification’ crowd and forgetting about those who enjoy the ride through Middle Earth.

Read the entire developer diary entry here.



~ by Branadoc on November 17, 2009.

One Response to “Siege of Mirkwood: Combat System Changes”

  1. […] new statistics that will offset some mob changes that will come with the expansion (see my post on Combat Changes for a blurb about mob changes). The new statistics are Melee Critical Defense, Ranged Critical […]

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