AoC’s Combat: Truly revolutionary or more buttonmashing?

I have been reading forums a lot over the past few days to gather information on AoC.  I want to share with you guys a conversation that has been going on in this thread on the AoC Vault.  The topic is a poll on AoC’s Combat System and basically raises the question of whether or not Funcom succeeded with their revolutionary combat system.  In theory the system sounds great and I wrote about that a few weeks ago.  But in practice, how does the system play out?  Here’s is part of the conversation that sheds some light on the problems that I see with AoC’s combat system.  (Note: I am MeanKeenLurikeen and at the time of writing this the poll shows a majority feel the combat system is a lot of button mashing.  Also note that much of this is aimed at melee/ranged combat and not spells since spellweaving isn’t testable yet.  I’m reserving judgment on casters for now.)

MeanKeenLurikeen: It feels pseudo-twitch to me. I like executing combos and feeling as though I control the actions of my character completely. That said, eventually the constant need to press buttons and react properly will get old. When it gets old the “buttonmashing” mindset WILL set in for me. I’ll macro all the combos and attacks with my g15 and it will feel just as simple and traditional as a regular mmorpg.

Z1_Z1: I hope they change it and make the comboes randomized so that you can’t macro them. As of right now if you have a G15 or anything that can macro the combo’s it makes the entire system borderline pointless and a waste of Funcom’s time to develop.

MeanKeenLurikeen: The day they randomize combos is the day I quit then. There are times when I come home from a long day and all I want to do is grind away on mobs or run a few quests. If I have to focus in on exactly every action I’m taking at all times to be effective then I’m out. I don’t think Funcom would be that silly.

Z1_Z1: What is the point of the combo system if you can just macro them, they should just revert back to 1 click skills than. If everyone macro’s the combos than Funcom wasted resources developing a combo system that everyone will just macro anyways. And on a PvP server where everyone is trying to get the upperhand I can guarantee everyone will be macro’ing the combo’s.

MeanKeenLurikeen: You have basically summed up precisely why some people are stating that the combat system is not truly as twitch or revolutionary as once thought. If combos are simple enough to be macro’d because they are just additional keypresses then all that the game has done is add an additional middle step between input and result. I like the additional step. I think it adds character to the combat and the fatalities are a vivid realization of this. But I digress, it’s still buttonmashing.

The Konami Code

Age of Conan’s Combat system is “pseudo-twitch” (you’ll see me saying that a lot) because it requires the player to recognize a weakness in their enemy and then execute combos and attacks to take advantage of that weakness.  I think that part of the system is fantastic.  The second part of the system is executing combos with precision.  Combos are abilities triggered by activating the combo then executing certain directional attacks as instructed by the HUD.  The combos are always the same and as a result the new car smell wears off quickly.  When that happens the simplicity of the combat system becomes transparent and I feel like macroing each of my combos on a G15.

I don’t like button mashing when it can be avoided (although I am guilty of it in games like SSBB..heh).  I never once felt like I was button mashing in DAoC.  To be quite honest I never felt like I was button mashing in WoW either.  Actually.. I have never once EVER felt like I was button mashing in a mmorpg until AoC.  AoC’s combat system, because it is less restrictive, opens itself up to the feeling of buttonmashing real easy.  It’s like playing Mortal Kombat or another fighter game on the consoles.  Button mashing works really well but those who can execute the attacks with more precision will do better.  BUT there is still a chance that button mashers CAN win.  It’s really a unique situation for a mmorpg to be in.

Is the system prone to button mashing?  Yes, very much so.  You’re pressing more buttons in AoC in quicker succession than in any other mmorpg and the more you level the more buttons you press – fact.  And for me it WILL get old.    Is it revolutionary?  Nah.  It’s newer and it’s rather unique but after seeing it in action it’s not revolutionary and definitely not a direction that every mmorpg in the future will go.    It’s much more involved than other combat system but it falls just short of the goal.

Overall the system gets a solid “good” rating from me because it’s different.  I commend Funcom for trying something new and for being pioneers of the “no auto attack” system.  Looking at the system as a whole it has a lot of neat mechanics like active blocking/dodging and shields that do make the system fun and will hopefully help to keep that new car smell for a while.

Graev and I will be speaking more on the system in today’s Podcast.

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Anders - May 3, 2008

This is a really strange post. They ARE going for a Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter type of fighting in a mmo something we have not seen before. Where you move around, dodge, jump to the side and execute combos, block actively and so on. They have stated many times they want to take the action of a fast/fun console game and bring it into an mmo.

As for button mashing four hour wow raids in ssc/tk/bt and sunwell as a hunter and mage was basically just smashing one or two buttons for endless hours for best dps. For hunter it was even a fucking auto/steady shot macro and for the mage it was scorch, scorch, fireball, fireball. This went on for years playing these.

Also as a healer in wow you setup something like grid (was a resto shaman/holy priest) and then you basically don´t see what is happening in the game besides a stup “whack-a-mole” game as you heal.

One of my friends who MT in sunwell got into beta and said after five minutes of seeing the difference from wow that he had pre-ordered it.

So it can´t be all bad ?

Ghecko - May 3, 2008

u cant have real time fighting without button smashing… mby if they implement a microphone comand system and just say.. fire ball and u cast fireball :)) ( JOKE)

Dingo - May 3, 2008

So basicly it will be like somekind of guitar hero game mashin those arrow buttons lol

kmxs - May 3, 2008

I think you need to define the type of mashing going on as well. Keep in mind AoC Queues attacks so if you mash away your not going to be able to do your combos in quick succession of each other. Pressing the right button once at the right time is 100% more effective then just mashing away. As a Guardian I can’t be wasting queues when my abilities pop for taunt and knockback and what not I need to be choosing my attacks and being ready.

Button mashing at lvl… omg 13!>>?!?! might give some results because well, the game is very very easy at this point. Once you get into higher levels and the instances are hard button mashers are going to be dropped from groups as fast as keyboard turners.

Yes, their combat is revolutionary just for the reasons you stated as well. active dodge, block, shielding. Taking notice of enemies dynamically changing weakpoints. combo button press succession is 1 small part of it. Sure mashing away at your sword cuts and combos with reckless abandon works now. But even now, you “can” see a difference in not doing it, so how much more will that be exaggerated later?

I do agree on the combo specific part about the macroing, to a degree. Keep in mind that once you start a combo, you don’t have to finish it. And late game with the abundance of combos and multiple sword cut progression to finish the combo, instead of just 1 combo, 1 press.

What does this mean? That sometimes as a tank, I’ll hit a combo start and the mob will break off for a caster, at this point I can hit my taunt or knockback and choose not to finish the first combo which would waste valuable time. Or if your assassin. Maybe you started a 3 hit combo only to realize the dunamic shielding moved to the side your combo finishes on, which gives it no more benefit then a sword slash. Do you really want to waste stamina and time at this point or start a new combo on the side with weakness?

You really need to weigh in some of the long-game ideas they are going for. Ask yourself the question, would you trust anyone in World of Warcrafts opinion that hasn’t hit max level? Heck even more level 69’s and fresh 70’s have no real idea how to play the game. Try not to be short sighted here and give it a chance, even people who don’t macro with their g15’s will have advantages when it comes to min maxing. The more control the better, you can throw it away, but it will cost you.

michael, St Erroneous - May 3, 2008

How do the combos interact with active dodging?

What happens when the interface pops up a combo opportunity and, during the mashing for it, you notice an incoming attack that you really want to try to dodge? Are the systems orthogonal – say, the combos only use the attack keys, and the dodge functions use the strafe keys? Or does dodging reset the combo sequence? Is timing important for the combo sets, or can it be triggered even if running the sequence near instantly (macro heaven)?

I wonder how Spellweaving is going to feel compared to the melee system. Melee as described (with the active dodges, directional attacks launched at the “open” side, etc) seems a PvT (whether the Target is a player or a monster) system. It’s not obvious that Spellweaving will be “target interactive” – ie the target does (move erratically or, erm, viable examples fail me) will not really feed in as actions the caster must compensate for to improve Spellweaving success.

That would make Spellweaving, to me, feel like a minigame, an abstracted PvE system. I know giving casters something to do other than F1, f2, f3… must be good, but if the SW “minigame” isn’t directly focused on battlefield events, then it could prove to be a distraction from the action, and dangerous in a sense in PvP, unlike the melee system which draws the players in.

Have Funcom put an anti-magic/SW class into AoC? One of the EVE subsystems I love is Electronic Warfare, three-and-a-half distinct racial mechanisms for denying/breaking/reducing/pwning the effectiveness of enemy weapon systems. In AoC PvP – if I get there – I’d love to be able to anti-Spellweave to help my blob, which would make SWing much more battlefield-relevant.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

Michael: You won’t be able to dodge if you’ve macro’d a combo and it starts going off in succession like that, another solid point.

Also here is another. Late game PVP, you press your macro for starting a big combo, the guy dies when your first hit goes off. Do you really wanna be caught in another few moves and the combo finisher just swinging into the air?

Keen - May 3, 2008

Don’t be so sure of that kmxs. I can macro active dodging right into my attacks. Pressing 1 button will active dodge and execute a combo taking advantage of the effects of the dodge AND executing the macro.

Also, you can turn and have your combo finish executing on the new target, can’t you?

kmxs - May 3, 2008

you can turn and have it finish but the guy might not be, “right there”, and you may have only started a 3 press combo, do you want the big finishing animation to slow you down at tht point and waste stamina?

Also you need to actively dodge at the right time, say a guy starts a combo and you want to dodge at the right time. Sure you can macro it in so that its a blanket attempt but that doesnt see when the attack is coming. Come on man for a guy who raves over PVP you should love the control and twitch aspect. You can turn it into non-twitch if you want but your not going to be as effective as others.

michael, St Erroneous - May 3, 2008

@Keen: great coverage, btw. Thanks for all the info!

kmxs - May 3, 2008

Yah I give you too much negative feedback Keen, I do like your coverage of OB and OB vs CB clients. Also to back you up on that Lionex posted on the forums finally and stated that the OB Client is older then the PVP Weekend Client was.

Keen - May 3, 2008

I love pvp and have always wanted a more skill oriented system but I’m not sure that this more active combat is doing it for me.

Vort - May 3, 2008

You’ve only talked about button mashing for attacks and combos, add on the shield switching and you have a whole new set of button mashings to deal with.

I’m starting to think switching shields will become pointless soon.

L1H - May 3, 2008

I appreciate Funcom’s attempt to add some excitement to standard MMO combat. We all could use a little more ‘Street Sighter’ in our lives, but we’re talking about an MMO after all. If you had to ‘grind’ Ryu from a level 1 white belt to a level 80 black belt, how tired of “Hakoden!!” combo bashing would you get? I would be ready to hang myself. As for macros, I agree: never underestimate player’s ability to ‘optimize’ their game play.

Keen - May 3, 2008

Vort – I’ve given up on the shield switching. Argh!

L1H – You nailed it.

solamnus - May 3, 2008

I don’t think macroing is that much good. I didn’t play in beta but if Im not wrong, when you press a combo, there appears a first direction and you press button according to that direction. Everything is all right until now. However, then your enemy may run away and then you have to go near him to complete your combo(if you do panic and hit to air, combo will broke). Second hit direction stays for a while on the screen(4-5sec) and in this time you can run to your enemy so you can complete your combo by hitting last direction(it was what I saw from videos). If you macro them on keyboard, your hits will appear in order to your macro(and you cannot stop them) and when an enemy run away, your hits will just smash on air. By the way, Im not sure on this, Im wrong don’t blame me 😛

Keen - May 3, 2008

@Solamnus: There are situations where the macros won’t be ideal. You are correct about having a small grace period for combos. Sadly I find that if someone is going to run I can’t get a combo off on them anyway. 🙁

Sefran - May 3, 2008

Kinda clueless with your post, what exactly do you understand under a combat system that requires skill then?
Offcourse it will require button smashing, else you just have to play a FPS game.
Dont really understand why you are being so negative about it, or perhaps i had a wrong view on your post?

Or perhaps your idea of a more revolution skilled combat system involves aimming with a mouse etc? Perhaps in 5-10 years:D

And if the combos are macroable they will have to randomize it imo, else it basicly destroys the entire concept of requiring some skill.

Keen - May 3, 2008

@Sefran: Doubtful that they would randomize it. We’re 14 days from release. That would also alienate more players by adding more tedium into the system. It definitely doesn’t need that.

NOTE: I’m deleting comments that are only made to be spiteful. If you don’t like what you read on our blog then the solution is simple, don’t read it.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

Why are you deleting my posts? Am I not understanding something here? Its not like I am acting in a way that would offend your viewers. I am making points based on your written article. Instead of refering to what I said your deleting my posts. I don’t get it bud.

Keen - May 3, 2008

@KMXS: I’ll leave this last comment of yours up and make myself very clear kmxs. You have your opinion. I have mine. No matter how wrong you tell me I am, that’s not going to change my mind about the combat system. I have played with the combat system now long enough to form a valid opinion. You’ve made your point clear that you disagree — in fact you do so on a regular basis. However I’m tired of the multiple continued “You don’t know what you’re talking about” and “don’t take what he says seriously” posts. Those types of posts are not welcome here and neither are you if you keep it up.

If you have something constructive to say then say it. If you want to disagree you can. But you certainly can not continually denounce my opinions on my own blog and expect to get away with it.

kmxs - May 3, 2008


Well if you can do me one favour, please leave this final post up. I won’t be rude in it.. I promise.
Keen said:
“No matter how wrong you tell me I am, that’s not going to change my mind about the combat system.”

“If you want to disagree you can. But you certainly can not continually denounce my opinions on my own blog and expect to get away with it.”

I am not simply saying you are wrong, I am giving substantiated arguments with detailed explinations of circumstance to lend credability to my claims. You choose not to refer to the circumstances I have explained. Also I am not writing this for “you”. But for your viewing audience, because it is my belief that you are giving a poor reprisentation of how the game actually plays.

I won’t bother you anymore, and I appologize if my previous posts came across in a way that was spiteful, that was not my intention.

Keen - May 3, 2008

@kmxs: Your arguments with detailed explanations were irrelevant to almost everything I said. Your last comment was about class balance and how macros lessen the reactionary capabilities of this combat system (and it included several slights toward me and my opinions which is why I deleted it).

Even if that last statement about macros were true (and It partially is) you’ve missed the entire point of this blog entry so much so that I question whether or not you continued reading beyond the first paragraph. I said that I liked the system and found it fun. I even said I give it a “good” rating. Macros are less than 1/5 the reason why this system is not revolutionary. Macros are actually a GOOD thing for me in this game because they help counter the biggest issue for me which is button mashing. You missed that point entirely when you went off on a tangent denouncing any and all substantial usefulness for macros.

I don’t understand why you feel the need to protect the game so much. If what I have to say really is false then won’t the game speak for itself? Won’t the game and Funcom be capable of proving me wrong? Unless of course I’m right, like I was about Vanguard, TR, and WoW. And the fanboys of those games exhibit the same type of “our game can do no wrong” behavior.

I hope you stick around kmxs. I like people to disagree just as much as I like them to be in agreement. I enjoy good quality discussions. But I don’t take kindly to people insulting me or telling me and my readers that my opinions should not be taken seriously. Keep your comments civil and in the proper context and we won’t have any problem.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

Well I’ll quote myself because I do read what you say entirely, sometimes more then once. I also think what I am saying is very relavant to what your saying.

“What does this mean? That sometimes as a tank, I’ll hit a combo start and the mob will break off for a caster, at this point I can hit my taunt or knockback and choose not to finish the first combo which would waste valuable time. Or if your assassin. Maybe you started a 3 hit combo only to realize the dunamic shielding moved to the side your combo finishes on, which gives it no more benefit then a sword slash. Do you really want to waste stamina and time at this point or start a new combo on the side with weakness?”

What I’m saying is. You can make it easier with macroing combinations, but you will lose control over your character during it to make “other” decisions. I think that is relevant.

I just heard the podcast and I agree that it could be annoying, one of the few things I do agree about. But I do think they accomplished what they set out to do, which is to give the player more control over their character and this of course effectively having the result of combat more based off the players input as a whole.

I would really like to hear Graev’s opinion and see how he sides in our debate here.

When you said: “No matter how wrong you tell me I am, that’s not going to change my mind about the combat system.”

I don’t think that is keeping a very open mind to the subject, I mean, I am giving you really good explinations why I think your wrong in your opinions and you might want to reconsider some of your initial pre-suppositions about how this system will play in the end game, which wasn’t stated, but assumed.

Keep in mind, I write long responses because your initial articles are very detailed, I am not just trying to wall of text you. It’s difficult to defend ideas in a few short sentences as people find so many little ways to de-rail what is being said with obscure comments that aren’t in context.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

Does Graev read the articles and responses btw? He doesn’t input much thats for sure =P

Keen - May 3, 2008

You’re focusing too much on the macros. Forget I ever said anything about macros. You’re completely right about macros removing some of the control. But the topic of macros is 1 part in many of the big picture here.

Funcom originally had a different combat system that was much more “revolutionary”. But that’s why they delayed their game last year. They had to completely rework the system because, according to Funcom, it wasn’t going to work. I’m willing to bet that it WAS revolutionary but went TOO far off the beaten path.

They have certainly given the player more control. That’s where my opinion comes in that they have given TOO much control. Every single action my character makes must be executed by me. I must actively dodge. I must execute combos. I must choose a direction to swing. I must change my shield. I must pay attention to their shields, etc.

If Funcom purely set out to give players more control then they have succeeded 150%. But they set out to create a revolutionary combat system to change the way we play MMO’s (I am REALLY trying to find the link where they said this..)

That’s where I think they came up just short of their goal. They gave the player a lot of control but in doing so created a system that will eventually grow old. I’m going to tire of pressing buttons all the time. I’m going to get annoyed with it. — AND HERE IS WHERE MACROS COME IN — Players (Like me) will macro stuff to avoid the tedium and in doing so will kill the purpose of the combo system.

I think you and I see almost eye to eye kmxs. We’re just getting hung up on different issues here because of our own personal tastes. I appreciate your words a lot (when they don’t insult me ;))

As for Graev, he’s playing GTA4 right now, haha. He does read everything. I need to smack him and have him give his input.

Keen - May 3, 2008

I’ve kind of lost track of the topic, so I’m not sure how to comment.

What are you asking, exactly? If I feel the combat is revolutionary or what I think about macroing?

kmxs - May 3, 2008


Well adressed both mashing and macros. but I can be more specific about the mashing. You can’t mash and be effective in combat, although the game requires an abundant amount of button pressing.

Although the macroing was 1/5th of your post it was the part that got the most attention and seemed to be the thing you leaned on as the failure of the system. It was probably 50% of the entire post. I focused on that because it was the point I disagreed with most strongly. I think Graev and I have the same opinion of the mashing so I don’t really need to have that debate.

@Graev – I was more interested in what your opinion of the macroing points both Keen and I made. Macroing and Mashing make up about 70% of the post together and I know your stance on mashing.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

Also Graev, I am not going to attack you =) I actually find you to be the voice of reason in the podcasts. You seem to reign Keen in when he begins to exagerate and I appreciate that your not just a “yes” man.

Keen - May 3, 2008

@kmxs: Since you and Graev don’t like the term “button mashing” as I apply it to AoC, I’ll change my terminology.

“Excessive Button Pressing compared to other mmorpgs”

Is that a bit more representative of the facts? To me the combat system is a bit excessive in button presses. I’ll grow tired of it eventually and the new car smell will wear off. That will cause me to macro, and so on.

Keen - May 3, 2008

Well, keeping in mind that I haven’t played much, I can understand how people might want to macro their combos and such instead of performing them all the time. However, I’d say that it would be better to have more control over your character instead of being caught up in macros. I hope that answers your questions.

And about the combat in general I wouldn’t say it’s revolutionary so much as it is… Innovative? I think that’s a good word.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

@Graev: Yah innovative is far better description then revolutionary. I know of some folks in WoW that make macros that cast all their DOT’s in a row for them for instance. That to me seems the same so yah people may do it but to their own disadvantage.

@keen + Graev: I don’t think you can perform actions much faster then the GCD would allow in WoW which was 1.5 seconds. I don’t know if either of you participated in much end game tanking but trust me the auto attack was going but you still had to be pressing a new button every 1.5 seconds, the same goes for rogues.

A lot of the classes in WoW were this way which has pretty much the same button pressing in combat, for the amount of buttons pressed during combat. I think the big difference here is in Conan you have to be a lot more concious of what your pressing on the outset and it makes it a bit of a tiring experience to learn. That being said, once it is learned I can’t see a lot of difference, but there is 1 major difference that cannot be allowed without this system. In Wow for instance you press 1 button to do a special, in Conan you press 2 – 4 in some cases to accomplish the same thing, the end result would be the same if not for the fact that the game considers the target to have 5 positions it can be attacked on. So then the shielding comes into play and the weakness of each side. In this case the AoC battle system does well, and it cannot be accomplished in WoW at all due to the nature of target auto-attack.

I think that instead of becoming tired of it later, you will adjust and remember the combos and then begin to enjoy it, but also find its not really any more pressing then what your used to.

I know when I work the right side of a mob and he weakens the left side I do massive damage on the weakened side. Maybe the real question is, do people want combat to be this involved? Maybe they want to focus on a bigger picture then smaller details. After all, it is a game still and the question of “is this fun” should deffinately be strongly considered.

I realize I’m rabbit-trailing so I’ll stop now 😉

Keen - May 3, 2008

I played up until TBC and completed Ony, MC, AQ, BWL, and some of khaz. Was actually in the first waves to do some of the encounters. PvP’d to rank 12 as well (old system). Paladin and Hunter were my two best equipped characters in tier 2. Had my fair share of WoW. *looks for a bucket to vomit in*

I’m going to reply in parts here.

“I think the big difference here is in Conan you have to be a lot more concious of what your pressing on the outset and it makes it a bit of a tiring experience to learn.”

Agreed. That’s what I have been saying. Having to pay attention that much and having to constantly be on the ball with combos, shielding, etc, is tiring. Albeit it will be less tiring later and more familiar, at that point I will probably be annoyed with it to the point of macroing it. At that point much of the system will be lost in translation.

“I think that instead of becoming tired of it later, you will adjust and remember the combos and then begin to enjoy it, but also find its not really any more pressing then what your used to.”

It feels like lots more pressing to me, at least at lower levels. With no auto attack I’m constantly having to keep myself at peak efficiency by executing keypresses. As more abilities and positionals unlock, I’m worried it will only get worse. I see what you’re saying though.

“Maybe the real question is, do people want combat to be this involved? Maybe they want to focus on a bigger picture then smaller details. After all, it is a game still and the question of “is this fun” should deffinately be strongly considered.”

Tadaaa! And there it is. Preference. I have decided that after seeing the game in action that I prefer the older combat systems in WoW, DAOC, EQ, etc etc. I think Conan is ‘too’ involved (to the point where I feel like I’m constantly pressing buttons to keep up). It’s still innovative (yay I used Graev’s word) but not my cup of tea.

kmxs - May 3, 2008

[i]”Tadaaa! And there it is. Preference. I have decided that after seeing the game in action that I prefer the older combat systems in WoW, DAOC, EQ, etc etc. I think Conan is ‘too’ involved (to the point where I feel like I’m constantly pressing buttons to keep up). It’s still innovative (yay I used Graev’s word) but not my cup of tea.”[/i]

I am not sure yet how I feel about it and I need to give it time to pan out. gaining things with this like collision on the mobs in proximity I deffinately do like. But time will tell, the best way to test this one is after playing it for a while to switch back to the old way. Either by spending some time in WoW or as in Warhammer is coming out using the target auto-attack system that will be a good test. Maybe it will feel boring at that point? I dunno.

Keen - May 3, 2008

I think it might feel relaxing. 😛

Phoenix - May 4, 2008

Maybe for grinding macroing is fine but in serious PVP it won’t work out that well, if you use all the time the same macros a professional pvper like me for example will kinda learn it after 2-3 fights and then f*** you up everytime we meet. So unless u’re fancy making new macros everyday I dont think it will be any good for serious pvp.

And as other have said it’s more effective to choose your hits on the way than just using macros.

Maybe not all players but I’m pretty sure the very top PVPers with fast reaction times will be able to beat up any kind of macros.

Phoenix - May 4, 2008

Ah just forgot, relating to WoW at least macros wouldnt work in pvp. Ever seen someone macroing spells/skills in WoW ?
The only macros you use in WoW can be like change stance > skill for warrior, or shield reflect macro. For other classess
it can be like shapeshift+heal, mostly those dont exceed 1-2 spells.

I’ve never seen someone macroing whole combo like blink>scorch>fireblast>nova>CoC>blastwave, simply because it’s not effective as you never know what your opponent will do.

I think the max lvl top pvp after 2-3months after release will get very fast and won’t able anyone to even use 3hit macro.

In WoW if you miss ability by 0,5sec it might cost you win or lost battle and AoC is supposed to be even more action based so macroing in fights just doesnt stand a chance imo.

kmxs - May 4, 2008

There were a lot more elaborate macros in WoW then that. I had a macro on my warlock that would set my focus target to their healer, then hitting alt and the same key it would tell my felhunter to follow/attack them with devour on and cast tongues. If I hit ctrl and the same macro it would tell my felhunter to cast spell lock on them. Since they were my focus target I didn’t even have to target them to do any of this.

Use a mod like X-perl and without targeting you can watch their life/mana and casting bar in the focus target. So as I am killing their team mates I hit ctrl and the key when I see their cast bar fire up and without even knowing where they are or targetting them they get spell locked.

That is a different kind of macro then Keen and I are talking about, but with tools like that it is deffinately a huge advantage to use more then a basic macro in WoW.

I had a large setup like that for focus target, hit ctrl on any key that uses a spell like fear or skillcoil for instance and it sends it at the focus target instead of my current target without actually switching my target.

I played on a 2300 rated team in the top 5 of Cyclone battlegroup and honestly thats what it took to stay on top. Kind of silly in the end to a degree, as moddable as your interface was it took a lot of effort outside the game to make sure you had the best of the best tools to stay competative. I’m not gonna get into the mods that were available, that was an entire other bag of worms.

Phoenix - May 4, 2008

Ye but what was he talking was like combo macro.
Ofcourse there were focus/target related advanced macros but thats totally different thing.

What we’ve been on about was combo macro so in comparison to wow warlock I can say that you for example macroed sentence like “deathcoil+dot+fear+bolt+CoEX” just because you cant be fancy smashing all of the 5 or 6 buttons separately.

And what I said is that it won’t work out at the top pvp, maybe you could do that at 1500-1800 rating vs some noobs but after 2200-2300 you probably know that 0,3sec reaction time and cancelling your spell and using other suddenly can change the fight totally.

kmxs - May 4, 2008

Fair enough, I must have misunderstood your post =)

Gman - May 4, 2008

AOC combat (and I’ve done a lot of it) reminds me of the old hand held game “Simon” we used to play back in the ’80s and 90s where a slab lit up and you had to press it in the order it lit up. I don’t see how it can be called innovative at all…

Merovingian - May 5, 2008

Quite interesting that people ALWAYS come back with the same excuses to macro/automatize gameplay.
“ZOMG I come back from work I’m tired I don’t wanna make effort in a video game!!!!”
Fun part is the very same Keen here made a quite harsh post against third party addons and automatizing of gameplay not so long ago on the VN forums. I guess automatizing gameplay through a programmable keyboard doesn’t enter his blacklist, at least not when it’s him who is doing it…

Keen - May 5, 2008

UI Mods and macro keyboards are completely different.

Alex Taldren - May 5, 2008

I can’t believe you guys deleted my comment. If I offended you somehow, I apologize. Although, I’d recommend growing a slightly thicker skin when it comes to how you handle people commenting to your posts. Otherwise, they just won’t bother discussing things with you anymore.

Keen - May 5, 2008

Alex, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. None of your comments were deleted by me. Did you include more than 1 link in your comment? That flags it for the spam filter. Also the use of certain words will place it in the spam filter or delete it immediately.

I’ll ask Graev if he might have deleted them. I doubt he did though.

Feel free to email or IM though next time before you make a public scene over nothing.

Buttonmashing? MMO Gamers’ Infinite Laziness « The AT Wire - May 5, 2008

[…] AoC’s Combat: Truly revolutionary or more buttonmashing? […]

Words of Replicant Jesus » Age of Conan - Prelaunch Thoughts - May 5, 2008

[…] back to Age of Conan, I know that this game looks pretty fantastic, the game play may be novel or tedious/button smashing according to some; but I guess I am just wondering where the meat is and if this is possibly an […]

Bildo - May 5, 2008

Hmm… was my comment deleted Keen? I didn’t see anything “spiteful” about what I said, in fact I’ve never been that way on your site.

Keen - May 5, 2008

No Bildo, i’ll check the spamfilter. WordPress uses a very strict Akismet spam filter and I have mine ULTRA strict.

*edit* Just went back and checked and none of your comments are in the spam filter. You made replies to two other blog entries and those went through as well. I know you better than to think you would ever be spiteful or malicious on someone else’s blog Bildo — I believe you and I share a very mutual respect even on topics that we disagree on. 🙂

*edit #2* But you’re the second person today to ask that. I wonder if some comments are not coming up. I have no idea why that would be though. 🙁

Mike - May 6, 2008

hm. I’ve been following this game for a year and haven’t really played MMO’s that much. I found WoW and Guild Wars kind of boring, and I hoped the combat system in AOC would attract my interest a little bit more being more action oriented.

I guess I’m having my doubts now after reading a bit more on it but I’ll give it a spin anyway.

Mounted combat looks fun.
Hope to read your article on that aspect of the game.

Krieg Jaeger - May 6, 2008

While the combat may not necessarily be revolutionary, I would go so far as to say, its the best for an MMO out there so far.

Macro’s could be used, but once again, the moment you start the macro, you’re stuck in it to some degree. If you’re fighting someone with half a brain and a decent shield, he’s just going to recognize the macro, and block it each time you start.

I think players that keep a good bit of situational awareness, and fight creatively, rather than scratch together a bunch of macro’s and try to grind AoC will find themselves having a much more entertaining experience, as well as more lucrative.

One comment on the OP at the top set me off.

“MeanKeenLurikeen: The day they randomize combos is the day I quit then. There are times when I come home from a long day and all I want to do is grind away on mobs or run a few quests. If I have to focus in on exactly every action I’m taking at all times to be effective then I’m out. I don’t think Funcom would be that silly.”

Funcom has stated numerous times, that the idea of Conan is that you’re stepping into a dangerous and deadly world, where you must keep your wits about you, or find yourself in a graveyard. Also, that they wanted to eliminate the feel of “walk to this bunny rabbit, click a few things, and walk onto the next” (or somthin to that degree)

If you’re looking for a relaxing grind through the rabbit field, this is not the game for you. The combat is supposed to be edgy, and fill you with a constant sense of imminent death. You are supposed to be put on edge, studying your opponent while he/she does the same, in hopes of removing the other’s head. In other words, realistic combat.

As such, In my opinion, a person who uses tactics and learns from his/her opponent, will do better overall.

Preston - May 6, 2008


I wouldn’t describe button-mashing as requiring effort.

lol - May 6, 2008

i think it sucks.

Reillan - May 6, 2008

Just one thing – if you totally get engrossed by the action of the game play, it won’t feel like button mashing.

I used to play Quake 2 competitively (ie, against the big guys with single-digit world rankings), and all I was doing in that game was clicking the right button at the right time. If it had been in an MMO environment like WoW, I would have been bored to tears because I can’t fight enough enemies quickly enough with enough challenge to make the game remotely interesting.

If anything, the feeling is worse in your standard MMO. I have to kill 30 harpies? Great. Root one in place, hit it with wrath ten times, root it again, hit it with wrath ten times, etc. There’s no skill involved in that, but it works.

I’m holding out hope that the AoC system will be exciting enough and fast-paced enough to get rid of that button feel.

Forsakened - May 25, 2008

You have to be kidding me, this is by far button mashing. This explains why in those videos you two got beat down with every class you were playing. Coming from one of the best rogues on my server in wow, after i played this game I canceled my account the next day. You stick to your “macroing and button mashing” and see how far it will get you in AoC. I can’t wait to see you use a macro and then not be able to stop it in time to do a dif combo that would be effective. I’ll just go ahead and block through all your macros and counter attack everything you do, knowing you are playing that way. AoC rocks, it’ll be nice to see many dif feat strings per character, rather than everyone running around with the same spec. In arenas(2v2) if a rogue misses a blind due to that <5% chance to resist, you can lose. Wow’s attempt to rid some of the b.s chance in their game is proven with the implement of resilance, stopping the dps from being chanced… But now they have to fix almost every aspect of the game to indeed create skilled combat.

Forsakened - May 25, 2008

correction… this is by far not button mashing***

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