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Why are Non-Targeting MMORPGs So Popular?

Mar 21, 2016 9:22 am



Nowadays, every time I see a new MMORPG title announced, I already know that there is a good chance the game will turn out to have a non-targeting combat system.
Once, a good friend of mine used a rather wise sentence which was something like, "If I want a @#!%?! crosshair  stuck in the middle of my screen I will go play a @#!%?! FPS game," and this is quite a valid point.

Like many others out there, I find it quite hard to enjoy any MMORPG that has a non-targeting combat system unless it is very intelligently done and you don't actually have to continuously follow your target with the crosshair.  It often feels like many skills in non-targeting MMORPGS don't always hit the target, even though the crosshair seems to be in the right place, and this was pretty much the case in Black Desert and Blade & Soul. It was not uncommon that in those games, I felt like some skills were just not hitting the target (ghost shots?) regardless of being close enough and on target.



I was slightly disappointed when it turned out that Bless will also bring a non-targeting combat system and so will tons of other MMORPGs. I might be considered slightly lazy, but I feel like there is no need for MMORPGs to have players not only take care of skill rotations but aiming too. Plus, it is often irritating that in such games you cannot click any of the skills on your action bar. Of course, hardcore players never click, and key bindings are a must to be considered a pro gamer, but sometimes there are cases when you simply want to use a skill by clicking on it.



Luckily, there are still some decent MMORPGs out there with tab-targeting and Riders of Icarus will also be bringing the traditional ways, but it just seems so surprising that people actually adore the combat in games like Tera, TESO, RaiderZ (although that one kind of failed), and so on, because for me, crosshair targeting is something that I only want to see in shooters, what about you guys?

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Mar 21, 2016 9:58 am
in case of black desert i think accuracy has a good bit to do w/ "feeling" like ur missing ur target.

I think biggest problem with targeting is moving games to xbox :D target cycling with a controller seems like it wouldnt be much of a problem, but how often do you actually tab cycle targets in WoW when faced with a large group of enemies?

maybe they are also trying to promote realism (cant hit wat u dont see) but who knows

Totally +4 Points 

1 DanielCsaki +4 Points 2016-03-21 10:06:05 /agree  

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    Mar 23, 2016 11:58 am
    This is exaggerated. Maybe your problem is the target in the middle of the screen but an action combat system is definitely better than a tab targeting one. First off it requires more concentration and ability and is a lot more fun in my opinion, also adds difficulty and realism to the game if done well. Compared to it, old ways seem slow and plain.

    Mar 23, 2016 12:07 pm
    why non.targeting are better? they are way more entertaining. Playing a game where you just have to tocuh skills without knowing where it goes or what you are hitting... just play a mobile game bro, lazy games for lazy people.

    Mar 23, 2016 12:13 pm
    Targeting/Crosshair MMORPGs Advantage: They're easy to identify with containing and focusing on the current target in hand. They are a Classical way of doing it, and FFXIVARR proves that fact it's a lot more easier to target and release the buttons in hand. Several other Games have proved that fact, and there's a lot of tactics and thinking through it, by figuring out "Who you want to focus on first?" and so on forth. There's nothing wrong with having that.

    Free Aiming MMORPGs: While intiricate and less of a hassle to use a Targeting method. It backdraws to the idea of figuring out what's your Max Hitrange and confirming if you succeded, and keeping an eye out on several Range of Fire and AoE, more then anything else. It's more sporty, sure. But while that is a fun way to do it and creates skills for a player, it's nothing more then a debated Freely Controlled Character without any of those Targeting or Crosshair cases.

    I hope i've explained this to you enough. If you got issues on understanding this or whatever, feel free to question it and come up with your own idea. I don't care either way. Have a good day.

    Mar 23, 2016 12:14 pm
    I cant believe targeting games still exists. Luckily, they are dying in the present, with all the technology we have nowadays a game where you arent free to attack wherever you want is kinda boring. What would you think about a targeting shooter? Dont like that idea a sassy, boring, easy game so why wouldn't you like a non-targeting mmorpg?

    Mar 23, 2016 12:58 pm
    As long as the non-targeting system allows for free mouse cursor movement instead of only that reticle-by-default BS(I'm looking at you, Neverwinter), I'd be all for non-targeting systems. I feel trapped when I can't move my mouse(and camera for that matter) independently from my character, and I just can't get used to that keybinding crap they're trying to force onto us.

    Fortunately, Blade & Soul gets most of this decently tolerable, even letting us players set our controls to mouse cursors by default instead of camera movement by default. As for engaging in combat while forcing us to face our character's rear... they unfortunately stick to that limitation.

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      Mar 23, 2016 6:34 pm
      there are like a million WoW type and WoW itself if you want a targeted game. I would hope online games would be moving away from that type of system. If i wanted 15-20 year old gameplay i would join those old 2d online games from like 1995. Heres a idea "STOP SMOKING A POUND OF WEED BEFORE PLAYING MMOS" then you might not have to play games that even a 2 year old could master.

      Mar 23, 2016 11:41 pm
      It's a lot more entertaining, gives more freedom both to players and devs. Why would anyone play a tab target game nowadays? When I played those games I felt like I was playing braindead and there's literally zero skill in this type of gameplay, it's lazy and I even fell asleep in some bosses playing like this. Many people actually afk'd like this during battle. I like challenge in my games and this style of gameplay is far from that.

      Even in gameplay videos, it's painfully boring to watch. This type of gameplay was created due to the limited infraestructure and networking of early MMOs. Now there's little to no excuse to use it.

      Also I hope people don't compare action games with target lock like Devil May Cry to tab target non-action games like most MMOs out there...

      The crosshair is not even neccessary, it's just seems to be something popular to include. It's really only needed when you play a ranged class, many action games do not use targeting or crosshair like Monster Hunter and Dragon's Dogma unless you play a ranged class (and even there, it's kinda optional).

      Mar 23, 2016 11:49 pm
      mainly cause there's no more "hit rate" or "dodge rate" or "evade rate" in most non-targeting games.

      It's most now about actual skill in dodging attacking that go in and attack right after dodging to make a hit.

      Personally I don't really care if a game is Targeting or Non-Targeting as long as it have a fun system.

      Mar 24, 2016 2:33 am
      Because mmo players are not only kids! There is more older people than kids that play serious games. Older people comes from work and want to relax. Not to play action games that requires physical and psyhological effort... Thats why action mmorpgs fail fast...

      Mar 24, 2016 3:42 am

      I don't think there's anything wrong with target based combat. As long as it doesn't restrict the player to keep their character standing still and mashing buttons.

      When I think of new MMOs I really wish they have non-target action based combat, just so the industry get's different implementations. When we do see target based combat, it's usually sub-wow quality. I say sub-wow because, in WoW has been moving away from the stand-still-and-mash-buttons restriction for a quite while now. Demon Hunter seems to be the newest example.

      While I really enjoy crosshair based ranged classes to some extent.. In many cases I feel that, it causes problems with 3rd person camera. I think this has to do with the way the environment is designed to be more in line with the player keeping a good distance from the character. Whereas thinking about single player games that have succesfully pulled of crosshair targeting with ranged characters, there have been over-the-shoulder type implementations of the 3rd person camera perspective. And the environment and game design has followed that view. Which is why it worked.

      I'm still waiting for the MMO that brings us Fable / Dark Souls styled perspective and combat mechanics. But that requires quite a lot of changes in design choices all around the board.. And player density will be something that needs to be really well thought out and hell, it may not even work. Here's hoping...

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        Mar 24, 2016 10:41 am
        Reply 10#   127.*.*.1


        There's hundreds of casual MMORPGs out there. Everyone is free to do and play whatever they want. I don't think there will be many more games that use a tab targeting system anymore simply because it's old and now that new ways of playing have been implemented a lot of people wouldn't want to go back.

        Mar 24, 2016 9:58 pm
        When comes to opinion there will be all sort of things, but when comes to control style there will be two parties for mmorpg anyway.  First is the classic so I need not to explain why it's good and not.  Second one is Non-Targeting which will have players more actively engage, but not necessarily a better way to play, and it will eventually wears you out and get tired faster than the classic style.  I have seen ppl miss by a mile for Non-Tar style.

        Oddly not only the classic have the tab-targeting but the trinity system too, while Non-Tar tend to be roll-less which again, made those players more focus on DD roll primarily and tend to forget your party members altogether sometime.  So at the end both side have ups and downs its all comes down to your play style between the two systems.  Also I wouldn't say Non-Tar are any more popular than classic one IMO, just something new beside the classic control scheme vs Non-Tar free roaming.  

        To sum it all up, to those into classic are more party base with some tactics build into the game design while Non-Tar is more on actively engage in dodge and counterattack timing than tactics and somewhat focus away from party mechanics.  The real winner is the one MMORPG have both system in it >_>, we should focus on game company releasing the game first and their crap early access nonsense.  Skip the beta, early access/founders junk, and release the game on a set date for all.  That's more of a concern problem than the play style preferences IMO.

        Totally +5 Points 

        1 DanielCsaki +5 Points 2016-03-24 22:01:51 Perfect theory  
        Mar 24, 2016 10:00 pm
        Reply 13#  Sol2009


        Sol, where have you been buddy? I've been missing your wise words! Oh and, like in most cases, I totally agree!:)

        Mar 24, 2016 10:07 pm
        Reply 14#  DanielCsaki


        Hehe yeah the post should have been up 2 days ago but I was busy playing Fallout 4 DLC and played way late so I postponed the post, sorry for my late posting XDD.  It's good to know that someone share my opinion even just a little bit, my opinions are always fair for anyone both sides of the coin, the players and the companies.

        Mar 24, 2016 10:11 pm
        Reply 15#  Sol2009


          I wouldn't play Fallout 4 at night, it would surely give me a few nightmares.

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          Mar 24, 2016 10:30 pm
          Reply 16#  DanielCsaki

          Well the fact is we love open world, loot collecting, char focus development, in our RPG and it's always fun to try a different start up and test if your char will survive better/regret your previous choices and it's always fun to experiment within Fallout Universe so it got me playing very late at night sometime.

          Mar 24, 2016 10:57 pm
          Reply 17#  Sol2009


          Yes, in that sense both Skyrim and Fallout can get one's creativity going.

          May 8, 2017 1:45 pm
          Non targeting mmos are popular because the game will require skill and concentration and gives you a chance to beat high level players/ enermy
          This is targeting mmo: HIGH LEVEL BOSS NOTICED YOU AND NOW YOUR DEAD

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