Original Post — Direct link
We all know that Lost Ark has been a huge success initially, and I wanted to try to deconstruct the reasons for that.

Lost Ark is a AMMORPG (MMO in name only imo). I tried out Lost Ark out of curiosity about a year ago on a VPN connection to the Russian servers. It was decent, but I wasn't a huge fan of the isometric perspective, and how it felt more like a 1-8 player co-op game with a small pvp game mode. I quit the game after a day because of that, so I don't know too much about the details of the game, but I think I know enough to know why it has become a viral hit: the combat.

Lost Ark is not popular because of the quests or story. I played through the initial story, and saw the pattern of quests. It is the typical boring story and kill X of this monster quests that 99% of players will skip through.

The reason why it is so popular is because of the combat. If the combat was just average, then I doubt that this game would've been this successful. People like the responsiveness, animations, aiming, approachability, and intuitiveness, that come with its action combat system.

I believe that Ashes is much more attractive on paper in terms of game systems, actually being truly massively multiplayer, dynamic, being more compelling and rewarding to play beyond just completing a series of themepark objectives, etc... but I think what we see truly matters is the combat. Through observation, a MMORPG can have average everything else, but if it just has excellent combat, then it can be a huge success. I do not know if it works the other way around, with having everything being excellent except having average combat, in 2022, and judging by modern combat standards.
26 days ago - Vaknar - Direct link
I agree with the general sentiment that combat is a major, if not THE defining factor of a good MMORPG. That's why our team is working so hard on it after receiving quite a bit of feedback after Alpha One!

What about combat do you think makes or breaks it in an MMORPG (or even any RPG!)?
26 days ago - Vaknar - Direct link

... But, it doesn't make or break TableTop RPGs.

This is SO true! I didn't even think of this! Funny enough, combat is actually one of my least favorite things about playing D&D haha! I think that's such a good observation.