Combat system in Crowfall is action based. There are different movements (dodge and dash system) that allow your character to avoid and block attacks. Position also plays very important role in every fight, especially when many players are involved in battle.
A player has to use his mouse in order to target his attacks. Targeting is NOT “Tab-based”. Most melee attacks happen in cone, rectangle or spherical area in front of the character or around him. You will not have to spam Tab key in order to select your target. You just use skill and hit an area in front of you dealing damage to all players within that area.
The game uses advance physic modeling and all action in the game takes place in 3D environment meaning that all objects are realistic. Your character can’t pass through other characters. Projectiles also behave as they should. They hit the first aim they reach. If it’s a tree, it will be hit. Such modeling makes the game interesting to play: a player has to pay attention to his position in order to perform successful attacks and avoid damage.
Crowfall doesn’t use trinity system as it appears in traditional MMO games. Trinity means that there are dedicated healers, damage dealers and tanks. Each role is locked and player with one role can’t perform actions of other roles.
In Crowfall there are different roles but they are not “strict”. There are characters that are offensive; there are characters that are more defensive. There are characters with support abilities. But there are no dedicated healers. If a player wants to focus on healing he can pick special skills to be more effective in healing rather than in dealing damage. The same can be applied to tanks and damage dealers.
Healing is a very important part of any MMO and developers decided to use so called “combat healing model”. Your health pool is = your personal health bar * powers driven by the mana pool of every healer actively supporting you. Support archetypes have different skills, buffs and debuffs that help to survive other players.
Everything comes from character customization system. Every character doesn’t have fixed role and is a “mixed bag” of skills and powers. Of course when you create a new character he has pre-disposition towards a certain playstyle. But you can develop it in the way you like during the game, tweaking his abilities.
Progression is a key point of every game’s combat system. In most MMO games high level characters are invincible for low level. A difference in 5 levels between opponents makes combat predictable. High level guy always wins. But such system is not great for Crowfall which is PvP-focused game. That’s why developers decided to avoid traditional leveling system.
Such system also lowers the importance of grinding as primary way to grow in power. Players will have enough power for serious fights since early stages of the game.
Don’t get it wrong: progression is still important. But the strength of your character will not grow so fast and so dramatically. There are still enough reasons to progress and grow in power because sometimes a small advantage can bring success.
It makes difficult to keep everything balanced with large variety of builds Crowfall offers. But developers aren’t going to keep all the builds equally balanced in all combat situations. This task is impossible. Some builds will be better than others. But players have all customization option for tweaking. Players have to develop their own builds according to their playing style. Some players will find defensive style more effective and interesting to play, while others will like offensive abilities.
There is no build that will be 100 effective in all situations. Some builds are better for 1 vs 1 battles, while others will be more effective in group vs group fights; there may be builds that are great against mages but less powerful against tanks and so on. Player doesn’t need to search for a perfect build to dominate every time, he should search for situations where his build has advantages!