Combat in an MMORPG can make or break the experience. As one of the main loops of the game (along with crafting and land) you’ll want to engage in combat at various points throughout your experience in Forgotten Runiverse – for story and XP progression, the crafting rewards, or even just the prestige of being at the top of the PvP rankings.
For many players, it’s a core element of the game and as such, we’re spending a lot of time designing and testing our combat system for Forgotten Runiverse to ensure that it’s fun, rewarding, and deeply strategic. To do that, we are planning for an ‘active’ turn-based system. You’ll customize your character’s abilities and equipment outside of combat. When combat begins, you’ll see a screen with your team of up to four on the left and the enemies you’re facing on the right.
At the top of the screen, an Action Time Bar (ATB Bar) tracks each character’s ability to act. When a character’s portrait reaches the right side of the bar, they can complete an action such as a spell or attack. Each character will reach the end of the ATB Bar at a different rate which can be changed by your character’s Memory Crystals and current status effects.
Players can all act concurrently as long as they’ve reached the end of the ATB Bar. You’ll have up to four action options to choose from depending on your character’s level and equipment set.
Abilities each have their own unique cool down so you’ll want to strategize when to use each action to not be left idle in the middle of battle for too long! For example, if you have a Meteor with a cool down of 3, and a Fireball with a cooldown of 2 you’d probably want to cast the Fireball first, then your Meteor so you could immediately cast Fireball again when your ATB Bar resets.
Actions and Abilities
As you begin the game, you’ll be a new Wanderer or Wizard in the Runiverse. This means you’ll have a limited set of skills at your disposal. You’ll also thankfully be facing less advanced foes (because every MMO needs a good ol’ Rat enemy to cut your teeth on). This means as you start out combat will be relatively simple without too many status effects, enemy resistances or complicated skills to balance.
As you progress in the game, you’ll grow your character’s abilities and earn more advanced Memory Crystals to customize your character with Base, High, Heart, and Soul Abilities. In any given combat scenario, you’ll have up to four active abilities to use. These abilities in Forgotten Runiverse build on each other horizontally – you’ll want a mix of each type of ability to ensure your character is versatile enough to deal with a variety of situations and enemies. You’ll also be able to use the basic ‘Block/Defend’ and ‘Attack’ options which will have a different effect and efficacy depending on the items you have equipped.
Memory Crystals in the early game are Basic Crystals which will allow you to start using other basic abilities like a simple Fireball or Heal spell. These abilities will scale throughout the game so they should always be a dependable part of your arsenal even in the late game. As you progress, you’ll unlock a variety of other abilities that will make combat continually more dynamic and strategic.
Eventually, you’ll earn the honor of specializing your character into one of the seven Wizard Color Paths. Each Wizard Cult tends to do things a little differently as you should know if you’ve perused the Book of Lore]. While your Wizard Color won’t entirely determine your combat style, it will nudge you in a direction – for example, Yellow Wizards are Chronomancers who play with time so you’ll find more status effects at your disposal than if you specialized into a more brute force Color like the Reds. Choosing a specialization will grant you the ability to utilize their High Crystals to unlock High Abilities that tend to be more powerful and complex but might be more useful in some situations than others.
Once you’ve built up some solid experience through quests and combat, you’ll unlock access to Heart Abilities. These abilities are influenced by your Specialization path as well but specifically act as passives to augment your playstyle. Most of these abilities will augment abilities that you already have – for example by adding an increased chance of Critical or of inflicting a Status Effect. They may also reduce skill cooldown time or have other special modifiers.
The last type of ability you’ll unlock is your character’s Soul Ability. This ability is your capstone ability. Your Soul Ability has its own ATB Bar to recharge and can be used to push your character’s specialization even further. These abilities are exceptionally powerful and can define your character’s playstyle, or augment an otherwise balanced build.
You’ll encounter three tiers of enemies throughout the game: Minions, Elites, and Bosses. As you’ve probably guessed, these enemies are progressively harder in each tier. Minions tend to be relatively simple encounters with few modifiers to their stats. You’ll encounter Elite enemies in smaller groups, generally flanked by a Minion or two. Elites will wield stronger attacks, have special resistance modifiers and can appear similar to Minions but with distinct visual differences. You’ll find Boss enemies at certain inflection points in dungeons and along your journey as part of quests. These enemies will typically have unique mechanics and abilities that they’ll bring into the fray. They’ll also have multiple ATB Bars which you’ll need to pay close attention to.
To add to the strategy of combat, you’ll be able to impact your enemies’ ATB Bar recharge in a few different ways. Powerful enemies can have multiple sets of ATB Bars to use and some spells may pause or slow some or multiple of these bars. The exact effect of your attacks on their action potential will depend on your spell – a stun or sleep spell may work particularly well against one enemy, but have a blunted effect against another with higher resistance or defense. You’ll need to be aware of your enemies’ strengths and weaknesses to be successful in battle. As you find yourself facing Bosses and other players you’ll really want to keep an eye on managing not only your own, but also the enemy’s ATB Bar.
Dungeons and enemies will scale with your character as well. This means dungeons you completed in the early game may make sense to revisit but won’t be a walk in the park since you’ll encounter stronger variations of the earlier enemies. So just because you enter a dungeon one time in the beginning of the game, doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience if you enter it again later on.
Getting to the Fight
We want combat to be a fun experience that you choose to engage with, so there are no random encounters in the game. You’ll always know when you’re going to have to fight, so you can prepare yourself and your team! As you explore the Runiverse you’ll find a variety of ways and reasons to begin a fight.
While Exploring the World
As you traverse the map you’ll see the native creatures of each area wandering their homelands. These creatures won’t chase you, but if you or a member of your party gets too close to them you’ll trigger a combat encounter.
There will also be active ‘PvP’ areas of the world where other players can start a combat encounter with you. The player who begins the combat encounter will begin the fight with an initiative advantage, so be sure to pay attention to your surroundings!
As you progress through the story and explore the world, you’ll discover Dungeons that you will need to complete to either progress the story or simply to test your mettle and earn great rewards. Some of these you’ll find on the map and can choose to enter, and others will be part of the story experience that you’ll enter by talking to an NPC for example.
Each time you enter a dungeon, you’ll engage in a series of fights – generally each one harder than the previous. You can choose to abandon the dungeon and stop fighting in between fights as well as gear up or occasionally gain buffs. Just keep in mind you can only keep the rewards you’ve accrued up until that point.
While there will be dangerous areas of the world where other players can start a PvP fight, you’ll also be able to really sink your teeth (or sword, or mace, or poison spell) into PvP combat – the Arenas.
Arenas will exist in the Wizard Capitals and can also be player-built on City plots to allow PvP events. You’ll be able to participate in ranked PvP solo, 2v2 or 4v4 matches at the NPC-run Arenas. Player-built Arenas will be able to have their own events, tournaments, and prizes!
Looking for Group
You can go into combat alone or in a party. While it can be fun to solo powerful enemies, there will be bonuses for playing as a group.
When you fight as a group, you’ll be able to strategize with your teammates to decide which enemies to target first, and might even find you’re able to combine your abilities to greater effect if you cast them at the same time. Combat is still dynamic and you’ll act concurrently with each other so when playing with friends you’ll want to communicate and time your abilities to not risk neutering each other’s attacks (say by casting a water spell on an enemy your friend just lit on fire) or to keep each other alive using defensive abilities. You’ll also earn additional XP and other rewards as a benefit from playing as a group.
To keep things balanced, the size of your party will impact the enemies you face. If you’re wandering alone and enter combat, you might get one enemy to fight, but if you’re walking with three other Wizards and enter combat then you could find yourselves matched against a whole set of enemies!
We’ll have more info to reveal about multiplayer in the game as well as how you’ll use your combat rewards for crafting and improving your character in the coming weeks and months. Make sure to sign up for our emails and join us on Discord to be the first to hear when new information drops!