My problem with on next swing attacks

| Friday, July 24, 2009
Just to confuse you, I'll start off with what I like: they're buttons to press that don't interfere with the GCD and normal rotation.

Okay problem time:
Nothing happens.

I like to press buttons and have something happen. Maybe someone gets a buff or something mean gets hurt. Whatever it is, the button press does something. At worst I get a one minute timer and wait for a big burst of damage (curse of doom can be fun, and had some big uses for soloing things that are not meant to be soloed back in the day).

On next swing is more like Press button, nothing happens, something happens. Huh? I didn't do anything, why did I suddenly get a yellow attack? Oh... a second ago I did something. That's like having a cast time without a cast bar or mobility restrictions or... well now it sounds pretty good. But that cast bar means I'm doing something. On next swing means I'm trying to do something but only waiting will make it happen.

This is one of the things that didn't appeal to me when I tried CoH on my friend's computer. As far as I could tell, things queue and cast as they come up. This makes it less button-mashy and less timing-dependent, which seems nice, but it also feels less interactive. I felt like I didn't make anything happen; I wasn't a superhero, I was watching someone else be a superhero as I tweeted suggestions and he'd respond as he got them.

Ah, there's the big one, on next swing feels exactly like horrible lag. I'm sure you've seen the condition when you cast, nothing happens except you see the GCD spin around, and then you go and press another spell and again nothing happens but the GCD spins and then the spell button lights up as if to say "I'll cast this and that once I can do something."

On next swing attacks are blatant pandering to the Lag lobby.


DeftyJames said...

Don't know if this is coincidence or not but there is a discussion about this on right now regarding the feral Maul ability. I agree, it's a bad mechanic.

Suicidal Zebra said...

On Next swing abilities can work quite well and seem very interactive, see Diablo 2 as an example where abilities are not only 'on next swing', they totally replace the 'auto-attack' function. Unfortunately it doesn't lend itself to WoW for a number of reasons, the chief among them being that it deliberately limits the number of abilities able to be juggled effectively. Oh, and lag.

Klepsacovic said...

@DeftyJames: I'd be lying if I pretended this is a new issue that I created, just my bit on a common complain.

@Suicidal Zebra: The way you say it, it almost sounds like two DPS 'cycles' running in parallel: those based on instants or casts and those based on next strikes. That sounds cool. Unfortunately I've never played Diablo of any sort.

Dwism said...

when another of our DK tanks has all his abilities macroed to include our "on next attack" pop-up ability (rune strike), something is wrong.
On top of that, i whole-heartedly agree.

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