games have drawn all sorts of different crowds over
the years. From the
early days of “Pong”
to today’s First Person Shooters, there have been many
in genres, earning interest from the very young gamer to the very old
enthusiast. Video
games have become an every-day
part of our modern lives.  And those lives may very well
change with  href="">Age
of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Funcom, the developers
of the game, will be bringing a whole new combat system to the
Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) industry.

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: left; width: 136px; height: 100px;"

title="Title of Your Image"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 150px; height: 113px;"
alt="World of Warcraft" title="World of Warcraft"

style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft User

today’s popular MMOGs such as  href="">World of
Warcraft and  href="">EverQuest
2, the standard combat system includes selecting a target,
as a vicious
goblin, by clicking on it, and then hitting an auto-attack button that
will cause the player character to perform a standard attack
repeatedly, whether it be swinging a
sword, firing arrows, or blasting the opponent with various spells. style=""> While this standard attack
will certainly do
damage, the real meat of the fight comes from players clicking
on various icons representing different attacks and
abilities they can perform. It
has become a pretty standard system, and MMOG players have learned
the system well. It
is simple and it is

of Conan wants to change this system and introduce
their own.  The
game aims to deliver a “Real Combat System” that
sheds away the old method of fighting in the game, and
bring an all-new combat experience to the gaming field.

this new approach, all attacks will be in real time. This
means if a player chooses to swing their
sword, they will be able to do so - anytime, anywhere.
Where they swing
their sword will also be up to the player. They
can aim for their opponent’s legs to
cripple them, or slice at
their head to deal the death blow. They
won’t have to select a special ability from their icons to do
all of their attacks; they’ll
simply execute the command with a keystroke or gamepad button. style=""> This also means the player
will have to be
within striking distance to hit their target, or they’ll just
end up swinging
wildly through the air.

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title="Title of Your Image"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 150px; height: 120px;"
alt="Age of Conan Ranged Combat"
title="Age of Conan Ranged Combat"

style="font-style: italic;">Age of Conan Ranged Combat

who prefer to stay at a distance from the battle
will have a similar feel to the combat system. Gone
are the days of clicking a single "ranged attack” icon on the
screen and watching the player character perform the actions. style="">  Ranged
players of Age of Conan will
actually have to string the bow, and take aim at the enemy whether from
a first-person point of view or an "over the shoulder" camera angle. style=""> 

does this all mean for the MMOG industry? If
is able to deliver such a system,
in a working, comprehensible interface, it could potentially reshape
the future
of MMOG development by immersing players even more into the
game. Immersion is the one aspect that all MMOG developers aim
it is what keeps their customers playing their game for months or even

take a brief look back again, to see what has drawn
players into the gaming field over the years.

the bare bones of all video games lie in their appeal
to hand-eye coordination. This
is the
raw “fuel” that makes things fun. Whether
it’s rotating a paddle to make a
bar on a television screen go
up and down, or if it’s quickly tapping a unique series of
buttons in specific
order to execute a devastating attack in a computer-generated street
fight; the
one thing all games have in common is they require hand-eye
coordination. And
it’s fun.

to date, haven’t explored that "fuel" to a great
degree. Although it
is involved
in the game-play, as outlined earlier in this article, combat
tends to
stick to a specific system of moving the mouse and clicking icons on
screen. This
greatly depreciates the
value of the medium on which these games are played.
It’s a computer.
It’s a video game.
Have fun with it. Players
want to feel a part of what is
happening on the screen. With
a combat
system as involving as what Funcom hopes to deliver, players will be
able to
feel as if they’re just that: a part of the battle.

system also promises to deliver what MMOG players have
been wanting for a long time: a clear and obvious standard to measure a
skills, and not by their in-game gear. With
MMOGs today, any gamer has the ability to earn a virtually limitless
arsenal of
powerful items and abilities. These
items, however, cannot be used as a yardstick to the player’s
abilities in the
game. With a huge
boom in the
secondary market, with shady dealings of people and companies that sell
items, cash, and leveling services for real life currency; the line
that was
once in place that would give players the ability to measure a player
by the
type, or tier, of in game gear they were wearing has become completely
blurred. With Age
of Conan, however, as soon as you
enter combat with another player, you’ll be able to identify
if the player is a
skilled, learned player, or if they are someone that perhaps
hasn’t been able
to master the demands of the game.

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title="Title of Your Image"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 150px; height: 120px;"
alt="Dark Messiah of Might and Magic"
title="Dark Messiah of Might and Magic"

style="font-style: italic;">Dark Messiah of Might and Magic

new as the Real Combat System is to the MMOG industry, it
is old-hat for other types of gamers. First
Person Shooter games, in particular, are
renowned for their
evolving combat systems.  href="" target="_blank">Dark
of Might and Magic offered a very dynamic and powerful
combat system for
swordplay and sorcery, and Ubisoft implemented the mechanics with
success.  style=""> The difference here though,
is that “Messiah” was a single-player game, with
some multiplayer options. “Age
of Conan” will be a massively multiplayer
game where thousands of players will be playing simultaneously;
sometimes with
each other, sometimes against each other.
If the genres are able to merge well, it will attract a
completely new type of player base. 

the new aspects being brought to this game could
make it more difficult and frustrating for players. This
could possibly lead to low subscription
numbers, and that’s something all MMOGs want to avoid.

If it succeeds
though, we could
potentially witness a new era in gaming that brings together the best
of several genres of games: MMOGs, First Person Shooters, and Strategy
Games, with plenty of hand-eye gameplay as the fuel to keep it
burning hot for gamers from all walks of gaming experience.

Will Funcom strike gold
with their
potentially revolutionary new combat system, or is it just a gimmick to
attract new customers?

us know what you think in the Ten Ton Hammer forums!

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and articles!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016