really depends. i don't think casters need more clickies.
i do think melees could benefit by having more though. if you can turn on autoattack and walk away without significant loss, i think that could use some improving.
that said, i don't think there's a need to make the melees click more often to get their current results.
I seldom seek out a class or PrE for its clickie ability, strong passive abilities certain catch my eye first and foremost. I definitely use them once I have them, and have found some to be much more useful than I initially suspected.
My biggest issue with clickies are limited use. I like clickies that cost SP or HP to use, or at least regenerate uses over time. Severely limited uses make me prone to "save them up" for when I need them, which usually just means I completely forget I have them.
My wife is greatly enamored of the slow recovery rate on Turn Undeads from Radiant Servant, and I agree that its been very freeing to her play style. She will now use the Divine line much more frequently, and she says that makes it MUCH more pleasant to play the characters. We both lament not having this for Action Boost based clickies, even on an Echoes of Power style (doesn't regen until its run out)
Generally speaking I prefer taking passive abilities on my characters, I forget about too many things. ;)
But I have to say my monk is very fun to play, partly do to the active abilities, and I have been using more active abilities on my various characters.
BUT; I much prefer active abilities that regenerate over time, or have a simple cooldown (or monk abilities that regenerate as ki regenerates) over active abilities that have a set number of uses 'per rest'. I am loathe to use 'per rest' abilities 'in case' I need them later. Obviously that refers to 'newer' content as oppossed to stuff I've done so many times I don't even notice I am doing it ;)
clickies that do some active single feat ... good
clickies that do some passive bonus for a duration .... not so good - rather just have the ability permanent
I'm torn on this -- On the one hand, for my personal play style, I really like having active attacks and abilities where you have chances to optimize combat and more fully control the flow of the fight.
On the other hand, I've seen a lot of posts where people have brought up the point that having a more active type combat and quests makes it more about player skill and less about the character's ability / skill set.
D&D in PnP was more about what your character could do and nothing about how good you were at twitch controls and response time. Of course an interactive MMO *has* to have some level of control that will rely on player skill or it would end up just being a MUD.
I guess that's a long way of saying I feel it has to be an equal balance so that there is some player skill involved but not so much so that it would put off all the people that don't like FPS / twitch games but still love DDO.
Wow is nothing but clickies with auto-attack, so I definitely don't recommend going more in that direction.
The beauty of DDO imo is the active style of combat. You attract gamers who are more leaning toward arcade/action games. It's brilliant.
In that case, clickies bring the combat into a more active, intensive gameplay. Which is great.
However, at a certain point, there are just too many clickies to use. I think this game has plenty of clickies at this point. The fact that the buff bar can go across the screen now is some sort of testament to that.
If it was up to me, I would say it's time to start adding to the combat system in ACTIVE but not necs. "clicky" ways to keep things engaging and fast paced. IT also makes things less grindy. If you can make an active combat system that allows fast-twitch, practised players a large advantage over just auto-attacking, it closes the power-grinder gap vs. skilled twitch but non grindy player.
Right now with combat (just talking melee here since ranged and spell casting are a whole other ball game), the only real variation is twitch vs. full attack animation sequence.
This can actually provide a pretty amazing difference between two combatants identically equipped. However, in what I feel is a step backwards, you guys did some big re balancing a long time ago with glancing blows and twitching to favor standing and swinging a little more. Why is this unfortunate? Anything that emphasizes standing and auto attacking/swinging mindlessly is NOT good for a game that makes it's bread and butter having a really fun active combat system.
This would take money and time and resources, but I'd rather see Turbine go in the opposite direction: create incentives and disincentives to several ways of playing melee combat actively.
Its partially there: glancing blows for THF, and increasing attack bonus with all forms of melee if you stand still. But this is pretty minor.
I would like to see 3 or 4 combat styles developed (for both THF and TWF (which is sort of unfavored right now for anything but rogues and monks) with distinct pro's and con's that would be important and applicable given a certain fight scenario.
I'm not sure the best way to structure it, part of it would probably taking weapon like effects (or even feat based abilities like stun, sunder, and trip) and allowing them to proc or at least be modified by certain combat styles. It's not TOTALLY unlike monk stances, but instead of it being a clicked on but then passive ability, it would be dynamic and real time based on how you're moving and swinging your weapons.
For example, adjustments that could be made today:
Fastest single target DPS: THF Twitching
-This allows for the most rapid succession of hits. However, hits are less well thought out (less AB, already present) less forceful (so less glancing blows). This could be fleshed out further: like a stacking DoT, this could start to exhaust an enemy from the rain of rapid blows, successively lowering AC, AB, concentration, etc. Take your pick.
Highest Multi Target DPS: Standing and swinging wide arcs:
-Highest glancing blows, least accurate on a single target, but should have higher crit range, as these are intentional, forceful, fully committed weapon swings. This is more like an "active" combat style of the power attack feat.
New potential combat styles:
TWF variants: things like a run and gun, a single target precision flurry of blows, the ability to engage 2 targets at once to increase overall DPS but at a reduced overall rate of attack (sort of like a double strike but more geared toward spreading damage over multiple targets, almost like TWF glancing blows, would require agro perhaps). This could be done with more creative and adaptable targeting physics. Instead of having 1 or 0 targets, TWF (And THF and SnBm why not?) you could have 0-x targets, activating certain active combat characteristics.
This is pretty off the cuff, but it captures a number of ideas I've had for a long time about how to make MMO combat MORE active, more engaging, and more strategic then just clicking a mouse button 1 zillion times an hour, or just holding it down.
Ideally this would factor in things like jumping, movement, proximity to mobs, and of course all of the fun stuff like active clickable feats, passive feats, weapon, etc.
It would be REALLY nice too if FINALLY Turbine would balance weapons, so TWF wasn't always khopesh, and THF wasn't always exclusive of mauls, great clubs, quarterstaff's etc. More passive ability (or even some new active ones) that are DEPENDENT on weapon type would be great. You know, longswords are GREAT at thrusting and thus doing pierce damage, but I don't have that combat style option. I only get to hack and slash with it. Scimitars on the other hand, pretty much only slash.
And while a falchion or great axe or great sword are biug and heavy and cut people good, none of them have the inherent (as in non-enchantment based) knock back, knockdown, and concussive power of a maul, a great club, or even a quarterstaff.
Passive, weapon type attributes which synergize with active combat feats and styles would go a LONG way to incentivizing more varied weapon types and combat fighting styles.
And you would need these things to work on red and purple names so that its not just for having fun on trash. In fact, make insane high DPS less emphasized, and make varied, strategic, and intelligent combat styles more emphasized.
This may all sound very general and wishy-washy, but there are a least a few, easily implementable nuggets in here I think that could really keep this game fresh and interesting for non-casters.
This should also be extanded perhaps to Sword and Board combat styles. Some progress has been made there
I prefer passive abilities and toggles(luv toggles) to something i need to click every minute and half to keep it going. If it lasts shorter than 90 seconds I generally ignore it except for Manyshot. I really, really don't want to be forced to micromanage at that level (less than 90 secs) to succeed. I know metamagics are toggles but I must say that I very much appreciate now being able to assign them to specific spells indefinitely... it sure cut down on the micromanaging during combat. By the way, I absolutely despise 30 sec boosts (skill, atk, AC, etc)... pretty much only use them when absolutely necessary. Specifically, I'm required to take the AC boost on my dwarven defender for her PrE but I almost never use it... really doesn't seem much point to it. I do use her haste boost for red names and tougher situations.
Originally Posted by MadFloyd
1) GREAT topic!
2) Tempest, human twf builds, (The most fun I have btw) even though I get 5 uses of the human versatility, I seldom use them. If the character is built right, has the right weapons, and some decent buffs, I find the overall experience to be adequate.
3) SD III, human S&B, in order to get the 84 or better intim & threat, I use the human versatility a lot. In fact the build would suffer greatly without them.
4) Kensai III, human, combo S&B & twf, situational, but the human versatility & kensai clickies are muchly needed.
5) Rouges, assassin builds are dependent upon the class clickies.
6) Paladins, class & race clickies aren't enough, they need some love.
7) casters, no comment
* I do think some effort put back into player abilities would be good. But not make the classes dependent on them suffer*
Edit: My previous answer was kind of short and pithy. So, I’m working on a better one. In the meantime…
Originally Posted by MadFloyd
I’m OK with them so long as they don’t overwhelm my gameplay.
I would say (1), but with the caveat that that active abilities should have a notable effect on combat, not just a minor damage boost to a swing.
For example, I love stuff like trip, stunning fist/blow, unbalancing strike, sunder, as well as notable boosts like rage, manyshot, and haste boost (though the super-short 20 is a bit short, I'd prefer boosts to be more like a minute (with balanced effects for the time frame, I'm not suggesting we should have 5 minute long boosts like the current haste boost)).
OTOH I dislike stuff like divine sacrifice and the monk elemental damage boosts (the fact that they're part of combo moves redeems them a bit) that you just spam for a bit more damage whenever they're off timer.
 I'd also not that I wouldn't want active effects to be absolutely required to be effective in "low level" (really 1-19) gameplay. Not that I think there's any real risk of that.
I love active (clickies) feats and enhancements.
My only gripe is that some of them need faster activation and/or need to last longer.
Super powerful like haste boost or damage boost... short duration is fine, be nice if they activated faster.
Less powerful like divine might... need a longer duration or a faster activation.
Dragonmarks also should activate like you're quickened. We pay a very steep feat cost for those, and they can be slow to activate.
But, in general, I love actions... On my barbarian, I love trip and stunning blow, and Supreme Cleave, and damage boost, and DR boost (in the lower levels), etc. etc. etc.
The more the merrier.
I prefer more passive abilities. Simply because of lag issues in the game. I go to trip a mob and the game and client don't agree on my exact (or the mobs) location and it tends to miss, then go into a cool down and essentially useless.
I like the idea others have suggested such as various combat stances, but there should be a penalty as well as a bonus to use them. Caster meta-magics should stay as is.
I personally don't like button mashing while fighting, I like to keep my keys and bars simple for healing and weapon/item swapping.
ADD ALL of this to my post.
Originally Posted by Thrudh
Not everyone likes clickies and having classes that don't require many of them is not a bad thing.
Originally Posted by MadFloyd
Would like to see Melee classes have a echoes of power effect on their core boosts/bursts.
Something like a 5 minute regen on core clickies.. excluding gear/buffs etc.. need the shrine for those.
Something that would keep them in the game for those extended duration fights or no shrine options.
Things like Frenzy, Rage, Rogue Skill boost, Human versatility, Fighter haste boosts.. etc...
Monk self heal/meditate would require something like a 10 minute regen.
Main character is a rogue - clickies are fairly simple (stealth, assassinate, unstealth, combat haste - that sort of thing) and managing them is pretty easy. I'm fine with that.
My second is a cleric - a gimpy healbot that doesn't do anything much other than heal raids or the odd epic these days. Thanks to the magic of twenty hot-bars, I can see all my clickies and have a pretty good idea where they are. As long as the icons are clearly identifiable, managing them is pretty easy too - don't really think about it, just waiting for the timer to go down.
My third toon is a monk. This guy is the one with problems. Because he needs to stand close to his enemies to actually hit them, and his enemies keep moving, he has a hard time maximising his DPS - I'm using the mouse and keyboard to position myself and that doesn't give me much time to hit all his many strikes and combos. This means that strikes are often wasted (missed because someone moved) or else just not done at all. I could get a super-fancy mouse with many many buttons to do the job, but I'm going to TR in a few months.
I would like the option of more automation for some clickies - a few set routines for example. A single clickie to spam a series of strikes until turned off. Ideally I could set it up so that it'd do one sequence for ToD (earth, light, earth, water, light, water) and another for Harry (extra planar strikes, wind and earth strikes etc.) and another for trash (any button that lights up is fair game) and so on. In the absence of that, a reduction in the number of clickies required to do my job when I'm fiddling around with postitioning would be a good thing for me.
Yeah these could all go to 2-minute timers... And make Extend work on them, so if want to burn a feat, we could get 4-minute timers.
Originally Posted by Monkey-Boy
I like that different classes have different playstyles. This includes (but is not limited to) the amount of active abilities. Playing my monks is vastly different to playing my fighter. This makes for good replayability for me - classes can not only do different things, but they feel and play differently.
Also, it makes it possible to improve your skill at playing these clicky-classes by better micromanaging these abilities - so you'll improve your capabilities not just by improving build or gear, but also by understanding and using these abilities.
Now, that being said... the micromanagement of some classes may be daunting to some newer players. Not all classes are equally dependent on active abilities, so there are still choices out there for the newer player. But a new player might not find his otherwise favorite class fun when faced with the daunting prospect of a (censored) load of different active abilities.
I'm not sure how big, if at all, a problem this is. But it's a possibility that newer players might feel annoyed at this.
Still, for me personally: I like these classes. But I do not like them exclusively. I like having the choice whether I feel up to managing a dozen or more active abilities today - or if I want to go kensai and use fewer. It gives variety for me, and keeps each class/build unique and flavorful.
Of course, if you want to help cure my altoholism, feel free to remove the active abilities ;)
EDIT: Some abilities are very short term, and could benefit from an improved duration. Monk buffs made level-dependet (haste like duration maybe?), extend working on Divine Might, and so on might be nice. But that's a relatively minor issue for me.
I kind of love this attitude also, it would be nice to be able to have a class or limited customization ability to make certain clicky's (item or enhancement/feat abilities) either SLA's, or permanent passive abilities. Maybe like the +1 ability point every 5 levels today.
Originally Posted by die
Make a process to bind/attune an item like say a royal guard mask (which would destroy it) and give you a permanent 1/day teleport. Or sacrafice a couple points of Con for permanent sup pot 6 (or a level based increasing version, not far off from your favorite character Raistlin)
That could add some really cool options to the game. Right now you can do this in a limited way with feats, but you have to sacrifice so much for something like a dragonmark feat. That system is not balanced with real world gameplay and optimization.
From a personal point of view, I use about four, maybe five active clickies on any character. 1-5 are the only keys I can easily reach with my left hand for my active hotbar. I haven't developed the skills needed to actively hit other buttons and switch hotbars while questing like some players.
That means no matter what class I play, I have about 5 items on a hotbar I actively use, and the rest of my hotbars are things I can click on with my mouse as needed.
So I would say I am middle of the road. I like having some go to spells/feats, some more buffy stuff, but I only use a select few even if many more are available to me.
My thoughts are as follows:
Every melee class should be more active and engaging than simply pre-buffing and auto-attacking. This includes things such as action boosts, rages, manyshot, etc. I would LOVE to see every melee class have the option of 1-2 ACTIVE ATTACKS with semi-short cooldowns that are used on top of regular attacks (think 6s to 10s between uses). When combined with stuns/trips/sunders available to all classes it provides alot of basic active tools to use in various situations. Obviously some classes that already have these types of attacks may not need new ones added but can instead look at getting more of the passive style buffs instead.
Examples of these types of abilities can already be found on paladins and monks in the form of smites and monk strikes. Another example is the sniper shot for Deepwood Sniper PRE for Ranger. These type of abilities make you think when and how you use them to maximize their effect and really would engage players more.
I am also fine with them being debuff style abilities as well. They don't necessarily need to do more damage on a melee swing than a standard attack so long as they apply additional effects. These can be things like bleeding wounds, chance for extra proc damage when people hit in melee, a curse type effect that makes people hitting the target attack slightly faster, etc. They provide flavor and unique benefits that can help provide niche roles for various builds.
What I would not like to see would be the game turn into rotating 1 > 2 > 3 > 1 > 4 > 1 > 2 > 3 like other non-action MMOs typically do. That is sort of a playstyle unique to casters and monks in this and I'd like to see it stay that way.