Sunday, September 20, 2009

Swing speed nerf in DDO

I read a few days ago that a patch had reduced swing speeds in Dungeons and Dragons Online. My experience has been that often players of MMOs perceive nerfs disproportionately. That is to say, the real effects are minor compared what you would imagine based on the whining you will see on message boards. That's why I had an open mind until I could try it for myself.

This time, I am sorry to say, the whiners are correct. Turbine looked at one of the best aspects of their game (the real time combat) and decided to gut it. My guy in game, with a 16 strength (mine is at best 9), now swings his sword slower than I could swing a sword in real life. He spends most of his time holding it behind his head, and takes a swipe every five seconds or so. The following post, from a doubtless soon to be deleted thread on the official forums, is me at my most ticked:

The entire time that DDO has been online... players, game critics, and even rabid detractors of this game have generally agreed that the combat system was pretty fun. In response to this praise, you nerf the hell out of swing speeds the moment the game starts to become popular. This decision defies any logic that is known to me, or that I can imagine.

Yes, this horse is already beaten in multiple threads. I'm sure this will get deleted, and perhaps get me a ban. However I am upset enough that I really don't care. At least I have said my peace. My best wishes to all of you in your future endeavors.

Apologies that this post is so different from my norm. However, I do feel that Turbine has made a major mistake.

Some have claimed that the actual swingspeed remains unchanged, and that the only change has been to the animation. That is possible, however my characters also seem to be hitting a lot less often than I remember hitting pre-patch. Regardless, the bit of the attack animation where your character holds the sword behind their head and waits to swing absolutely hammers one of the core strengths of the game one week ago: the combat felt real time.

The CMs have already hinted that some adjustment is coming. However, they could have saved themselves a hell of a lot of effort in the first place and not screwed with something that most observers agreed was pretty good.


  1. It's hard to keep a positive attitude when everyone is trying to tear us down. I haven't logged into DDO in a while, but this is disappointing to hear. The intensity and speed of combat was one of my favorite parts of the game. We'll have to see what kind of compromise they come up with.

    Oh, and how does a change this drastic come about in a game that is almost four years old? They didn't notice a problem before?

  2. What amazes me is all the time in beta and they NOW change something as important as that! Reminds me of what happened in Champions on the first day of release.

  3. You guys have both picked up on what really drove me buggy. For three+ years they thought the combat was fine. Now, when the game is finally getting some attention, they decide to screw with the combat system.

    Perhaps this is a bit of insanity from cynical land, but I am beginning to suspect this is a publicity stunt.

  4. There really were some serious problems that were addressed with this new system. While it still needs tuning, it really does go a long way to improve the situation where DPS actually went DOWN on some levels, as well as make more weapons effective again. The change that Eladrin proposed to it, (increasing over-all attack speed by 10%, and reducing Haste from 25% to 15%) will not only fix the problem of attack speeds being too slow, but it will also make Haste less of a MUST-HAVE.

  5. As Ustice pointed out, they were attempting to fix several flaws within the combat system. It required them to play a bit with the attack rates and they've just set it wayyy to low for a weird reason.