Hello as the title suggest this post will be split up into multiple parts, because there is a lot to cover as far as the battle system goes. I named it "direction" due to a battle system really can't be created and hammered out until the game goes into production and lets face it I'm one guy I can't make a MMORPG all by myself. I am how ever assuming the role of lead designer of the game and will share with you the direction I want the combat system to go. As in my past few posts it will be broken into bolded topics for each area I discus so you can skim through and look at parts that catch your eye.
1: Battle speed
The speed of battle in a MMORPG is one of the first things brought up and planned when a game starts production since it is the core of the game play. I like fast battles but I don't like battles that are over ran by a mountain of abilities, that is a trend a lot of MMORPG developers go with and it really just makes your weapon a tool for ability damage modification. Since weapons will play a big role in character development I'm not thinking of slowing the battle speed down rather increase the use of basic attacks and lower the rate at which abilities can be used. As most of you know abilities are controlled by that little annoyance called the cool down and global cool down. These two functions allow developers to control the pace of battles and increase and decrease a classes power if there is a balance issue with ease. Players often regard them as annoying rather than thinking about the purpose they truly serve and I hope this post helps you understand that point.
I plan on working with global cool downs a lot to help aid in making basic attacks more usable, but not putting a damper on the fun abilities bring. The idea for a longer global cool down will allow more time for your basic attack to perform. If this where the way the battle system would go that would mean basic attacks would need more fun features added on to them.
Auto-attack is the ability that allows your character to attack with there currently equipped weapons with out you having to manually give the command to attack. This is a pretty standard feature of any MMORPG and even though I like FFXIV it showed why it was adopted into the MMORPG. To make it more fun I have thought of making the amount of attacks you perform increase as your weapon level increases. This was a fun feature in older RPGs mainly Final fantasy 1(who didn't love a black belt performing a 40 hit attack!) 40 hits would be pretty insane and cool but no was feasible in a MMORPG. So smaller weapons might reach 6 to 7 attacks and bigger weapons reach 3 to 4 attacks at max level. I like the feeling of your weapon being more than a stat stick and that's why I feel fun features added onto the auto attack system would be fun. proct and enchanted abilities will be present and they are pretty self explanatory so the next part will be about another idea I have for the combat system.
3: Trigger abilities
Trigger abilities where the first battle system idea i came up with back when i was about 19 years old so this is something I really like. They are not very complex but require player skill to use over just a random chance to work. The trigger ability was inspired to me by the basic shape of old civil war rifles blades and the gun blade in FF8. There will be two styles of these abilities one that has to be used while in the middle of a basic attack or right after a ability or spell is used(your not left out casters :D).
They will do small amounts of damage but can be used fairly often an easy example would be a double barreled shot gun and to use the second barrel you would have to trigger it when you go to attack and fire a second bullet. To make these style of abilities usable the UI will require an attack bar that fills up based on your attack speed and shows when your about to perform a basic attack.
Well sadly that about covers it for melee based fighting as I said there is a lot of work to be done and as far as a combat system goes I can only pitch ideas rather than give you a strong foundation of whats it will be like. I would like to thank everyone who has given me feedback and the people at the zam.com community forms that have helped me and given me encouragement. Part 2 will be about magic YAY MAGIC!