First we must begin with the most common argument or reasoning against this. “It’s not a PvP focused game!” This argument has 2 major flaws.
First, the PvP isn’t the only problem, PvE also sucks tremendously, npcs can do things that players can’t, they can block and parry while using an attack and use attacks during times that they should be stunned. Npcs also have auto-aim and always act as fast as they should be acting, meaning that an npc can use m1s faster than a player due to the player having high latency, this means that they can land many more m1s in a trade than a player would.
This also applies to actual attacks, meaning that npcs will be able to launch attacks far faster than a player. Placed self explosions are also practically guaranteed damage since npcs can ignore walls unlike a player and just put an explosion behind a pillar.
Second, a game like Arcane Odyssey is essentially just a long process to getting ready to fight max level players, if the combat sucks then there’s really no reason to be playing, well how could fishing possibly be combat oriented? The goal remains the same; you either get items to make yourself stronger which only helps if you’re fighting someone, or fish which you can sell to make your equipment better which has the same effect, or cook the fish for some boosts either in combat or just to refill the hunger bar.
Essentially, everything you do in Arcane Odyssey is with ultimate purpose to become stronger in the game, leaving the combat as it is now leaves the players with nothing to do once they’re done with the story unless they have a meta build (most players don’t even read it and just skip through the story.)
Now that the most common excuse is out of the way, I’ll explain why the combat sucks
The Poor Balancing
I won’t really say much about this but it’s the most obvious and is already in an on-going process to get fixed, I will say that nerfing some things and buffing others will likely only be a temporary fix until the community finds how to exploit the future builds. Why is mage the most broken class? Most mage builds can deal over 400 damage for free from a 5 hit self explosion with the size of Thorin’s Refuge. The reason why this is meta is because its the freest way to confirm lots of damage without much risk, what I’m essentially saying is that even when mage gets inevitably nerfed, a build which can land lots of damage for free and easily will become the next meta, and when that also gets nerfed another build will come after that one to take its place and it’ll be a never ending cycle because of how the combat works, which is why it needs a complete overhaul. It seems like weapon based builds will become the next meta.
The Mechanics of AO’s Combat
I believe one of the main issues with combat in this game is that using most moves will lock you in place and render you unable to do anything during this time, this means that players or npcs can get easy damage on you since you’re completely immobile. (The length at which you’re locked in place is also bound by your latency, so if you have high ping like me then you’re just screwed) For some reason all your attacks are based off of the player camera angle instead of being cursor aimed, this leads to moves hitting a wall that just so happened to be in-front of your character’s view which is extremely frustrating.
For example, lets say you use placed explosion at the top of sailor’s lodge and you’re aiming at a target on the docks, since the railing is front of your character as they’re pointing at the docks, the explosion will be right in front of you instead of where your cursor was aiming, this is one reason as to why high jump is so used in combat. Nothing in the air will get in the way of your character’s view so nothing will get in the way of your shot.
The Redundancy of Moves
As a lightning sailor warlock I’ve noticed that half of my fighting style moveset is completely useless. Using crash deals less damage than I’ll take for trying to get close to my opponent since they’ll always be able to follow up right after with a self explosion or weapon move which deals 3 or 4 times the amount of damage that I dealt to them. Rushdown is just a buggy mess and honestly a pretty useless move since it doesn’t deal much damage and gets me punished as well for using it. There’s almost no reason to alter most moves either, why make smash a shockwave when it has no range? It deals more damage than shot but it’s range is so small and the endlag is so large that I might as well just use m1s. To finish this paragraph, there is no reason to use certain moves over others and no reason to customize most moves since the best is will always be whatever has the most damage and the most aoe.
To conclude this topic, the main problem with the combat is that whatever can deal the most damage reliably will always be the meta in the current state of things. The current meta is made to capitalize against the fact that using moves will lock you in place, when this should only be true for moves such as self-explosion. Finally, the combat needs to be changed because once you’re done with the story (which is the main focus) then there’s nothing more to be done other than fight, and if the combat sucks then you might as well just play a game with better combat. The worst part is that I don’t really know how to fix this combat system completely, other than maybe removing move casting stun — but that might not fix all the problems, so I’ll just leave this here and hopefully Vetex knows what to do about it. Feel free to let me know if I’m just trash or if there’s something I’m missing in the replies, until then have a good day and thanks for reading.