Combat flow

Wolcen has an outstanding visual and audio presentation. I really enjoy what I see and hear. But somehow, the game just feels unsatisfying and odd to play to me. It took me a while to figure out why exactly that is, and here is what I think:

It comes down to the fluidity of the whole experience. I have played and compared a lot of ARPGs recently, Path of Exile, Grim Dawn, Diablo 3, Last Epoch and Wolcen. And this allowed me to better understand what's wrong here.

Wolcen does not allow me to get into a fluid, smooth flow between movement and combat. There are several reasons for this:

  • The character moves too slow in early and mid game.
  • The enemy encounters are too far inbetween. Together with the slow movement speed, there is lots of boring walking empty space.
  • During walking / dodging through this empty space, the willpower / rage resources drop so far, that I am not ready for the next encounter.

Note: this is most likely intended, so you have to re-engage your resources by using generator skills. But all it achieves is slowing the player down and breaking the flow. This feels bad.

  • Encounters often have too few enemies, sometimes I fight just 2-3 tiny critters, which are annoying to hit and just plain boring of an encounter.
  • Attacking small enemies is too difficult. Sometimes I am accidentally "dancing around" a small enemy, just because the game thinks I want to move, but I just missed the enemy by a few pixels. This completely destroys the momentum.

I suggest the following changes to the game:

  • Increase the base movement speed of the character by 10 or 15 %
  • Add 50 % more enemies to encounters
  • Make groups of enemies around 25 % closer to each other
  • Make it easier to hit small enemies, by being more generous with the area you can click around them to trigger an attack.

This should allow the rage / willpower to be ready for combat more often, making it less annoying to the player to micromanage the flow of them.
It also would increase the action, which is honestly lacking in the game right now. Compared to the competitors, I almost fall asleep in Wolcen.

Replies: 1

Created: 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Category: Feedback & Suggestions

I agree that combat flow is the main issue in the game. However i don't think it's due to mob density, for me personnally there are a few major points that should be fixed:

  • As you said, animation are way too long. I think it wouldnt be as bad if you could move during the animations tho and if animations could overlap. In short : make it so that the time in which you are "locked" is way shorter than the animation and/or reduce animation times
  • Add aim assist. Really. Do it. I think that's the main culprint behind the game feeling so clunky. In poe, d3 or last epoch when you launch a skill anywhere near a mob it's auto targeted at the mob closest to the cursor. This could make a world of difference, just please try implementing and test it yourself. I think you will be mindblown at how much it makes the game feel smoother. (For basic attack you can just add aim assist to the shift left click.. tho it's pretty horrible to move and auto attack on the same button, usually the first thing i disable in arpgs).

Those are the two main things i think. And they are really easy to fix as well. To add a few more nitpicking points you could:

  • Increase base attack speed as it's very slow at first especially with two handers. Playing with a bow feels super slow for the first 20 levels even if investing everything in agility.
  • Reduce particle effect on player aoe as they make it impossible to see the ground and hurt fps a lot ( lightning anomaly is a good example of this )
  • Increase the values skill modifier have. I think it's a great system but i would like to be able to have customize my skills even more. For instance make some skill be "almost free" and do no damage or do a lot of damage but with a really big cooldown. Right now you can't really push things far enough i feel. For me modifiers shouldn't be marginal improvement to skills but rather ways to create a new custom skill that fits your build ( the way you can change bulwark to do damage or the tears smthing comet spell to be a blizzard or the add a cooldown to fireball are good examples but it's still a bit light compared to the skill customization i would enjoy given the relatively small number of skills.
  • Add generators (sorcerer skills that generate willpower, warrior/rogue skills that generate rage) or, taking the above, allow skills to become generators using modifiers . Right now it feels a bit forced to go into hybrid if you wanna actively regen or use the lame auto attack which feels horrible ( tho with aim assit it wouldn't be as much of an issue ).

Anyways that's what i would suggest to fix the clunkyness. The nitpicking points are subjective and debatable but for the two main points i think it really would make the game feel objectively way better for the huge majority of players.

(Edited 4 months, 3 weeks ago)

Created: 4 months, 3 weeks ago

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