REGARDING LONGER WEAPON COMBOS; Yes, having more intricate weapon attack strings is a great idea. However, here's a few things that need to be addressed if they are ever to be a successful addition to our offensive repertoire. #1: I cannot stress NUMBER 1 enough. The PvP aspects that NPCs use in PvE are simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH as is to advance into a system that utilizes longer weapon combos as a mainstay. There's plenty of threads that point out 1 or 2 glaring issues, but there's really like 5-6, I'll list the main 4. + Whacked out feints (fake-outs) with ridiculous counter mechanics that cannot be replicated. + Non-intuitive AI, the CPU doesn't take into account what's happening to decide what to do. An example of an AVERAGE level of awareness is blocking when your health's low or assuming your opponent will when theirs' is. + Non-combative AI, the CPU is designed to trick you, not to battle you. Sometimes a boss will turn around and block five times in a row without ever throwing an attack. Basically this turns a fight into watching the icon above the enemies' head, which is pretty VERY lame. + Farming immunity, the CPU can pick up immunity from ANYONE throwing an attack... often this includes pets.So even if YOU are doing exceptional, the group can easily negate the counters you'd be doing. You think it's annoying NOW when the enemy is constantly immune... this effect will grow with longer weapon attacks. _______________________________________ #2: Power Usage; regardless of what you've heard, power out is not a true issue. Increasing the lengths of weapon combos is going to lessen the need for power. I'm not COMPLETELY opposed to that idea... but look at the other non-damage roles right now. + Tanks practically cannot grow up in today's community. Few will use a tank for anything but T5 raids. + Healing was given huge stats, no doubt to help noobs... Few will run 2 healers in a raid anymore. Troll is the LAST role you can always have 2 of in a raid without hearing any arguments from anybody. If the new weapon mastery "upgrade" means that just ANY troll can solo raids... we'll be offing yet another role into the unnecessary pile. ________________________________________ #3: Experience; I could wrap this section up in a single paragraph, but I feel an overview is helpful in gaining perspective. This is a touchy subject, but let's take a quick look at what DCUO actually has going for it. Story; sorry to break it to you, but we're looking at decent. Most player's can't even tell you what's happening in any given instance. Even those who can are begging their controller to skip the cutscenes. Graphics; I'll have to give it to 'em on this one. The graphics on this game are pretty solid, even if it is next to impossible to read on a standard definition TV. The 60FPS upgrade is another testament to good graphics being a core of this game. Gameplay; This can be broken down soooo many ways... I'll be brief and stick to what's relevant. 1) Weapon Combos: Not bad, certainly not great. This game will never compete with a true fighting games complexity, nor should it have to because that's not what we're playing. But, plenty of games use the 2 button set up that alternate between each other and holds/taps... Unbalanced weapons add to the mediocrity. 2) Alternative Offense: In this game, that's your super-powers. The diversity of options, cool animations, and power interactions all help to make this the shining jewel in this whole game. Even if it is an inadvertent inclusion, clipping is what makes this category go from really cool to really cool AND unique by creating another tier of skill. 3) Other: + The camera angles are rarely bad, plenty of other games' have camera angles so bad you'd never think twice about this camera. Although not perfect, it's definitely above-average. + Targeting system seems to have gotten a downgrade, very difficult to switch between two targets near each other. So mediocre. A simple addition of a lock-on scroll (at least in PvE) would vastly improve this rating. + Movement; the best flight system I've encountered. Acrobatics is really cool. Super-speed is pretty cool too. The only negative thing to movement is the running-backwards glitch associated with acrobatics & super-speed. + Online Play; once again... we're looking at decent. Anyone who DCs 5x in a row will argue it sucks, anyone who's made a ton of friends within the community will say it's awesome. Having huge pros AND huge cons puts anything into the average heap. AFTER ALL THAT, if you're wondering "what's your point?" Here's your answer: There's 3 things people look for in a game; Story, graphics, and gameplay. A game survives when 2 of these 3 are really good. A game fails when 2 of the 3 are less than average. Right now we have average story, great graphics and great gameplay. With the way I broke down gameplay here's it's report card: C+, A+, A, B-, A-, B-. That equates to a B+ average. So weapon mastery is doing just this: trying to improve the weapon combos (which IS A GOOD IDEA). Even though the improvement they're making isn't going to make it unique, I think it will improve it through complexity. Take the C+ that it is now and make it a B. That is a good idea. That's not the only thing they're doing though, they're nerfing clipping which is a big part of what makes Alternative Offense so great. Take the A+ and knock that down to an A or even an A-. Let's take the shining star we have and take out one of it's bulbs so that I might better see the duller ornament further down. We aren't taking about a simple upgrade, we're talking about an exchange. We're talking about averaging. Average is NOT a good thing. Say weapon combat improves to a B+ (the highest you can really give a game using the same system 100 other games are using). That's a whole rating grade improvement. Say nerfing clipping degrades your powers' combat at most to an A-... you'll still be stuck with a B+ average, but now you don't have a shining star anymore, you just have more average. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ TL;DR: #1) The ridiculous CPU AI's PvP mechanics in PvE will become EVEN more annoying with longer weapon combos. #2) Trolls will likely become needed less and face problems healers and tanks already do when less power is needed. #3) Although advancing the simplistic weapon system is a great idea; keep in mind that the advancement isn't going to create uniqueness. Repressing the power system that IS unique at the moment; will make the system more average. Unfortunately for many game-makers, gamers rarely play a game for years on end if it's just average. I could get into more, but these are the main challenges the new weapon-mastery ordeal is facing. EDIT: One thing I should point out is that with burst-damage powers your options of effective powers will be inherently reduced. Single target or AoE. I personally believe that the direction this is going will make most DPSing play very similarly. I also don't think that's a good thing. I'm sure I missed a thing or two, but I'm not getting paid to do this.