Point’n’Click is somewhat disliked by some players. I often see players wishing for ASDW movement when an upcoming game is announced, sometimes, I’ve seen reviewers put MMORPGs down when they don’t have ASDW as if it was a failure of the game and not a gameplay-based choice.
In [mainly Action] MMORPGs however I actually think that Point’n’Click is the way to go for movement. I’ve seen people pester publishers until they sent a note to developers and forced them to implement ASDW movement, the result is always something clumsy, resulting in clipping while moving, poor camera control – some may argue that ASDW allows strafing, but in most MMORPGs this is pointless since the small move of strafing doesn’t take you out of the enemy attack range – since the game was not intended to have that, and the implementation is poor done and made in a rush (since it’s often done only for the international version of the game, not for the home market).
The reasons behind the people who prefer ASDW may vary from person to person, but mainly because:
A) People are used to it – many times players are used to this kind of movement.
Most console game controllers have their D-pad or Movement analog stick on the left side (and the ones that don’t are often called awkward), arcade sticks are at the left side. Also, because FPS-games (since Quake) use the mouse movement for aiming and camera control, ASDW became more or less a standard for moving.
This kind of movement is great when you have free FPS action or some side-scrollers (in others the arrow keys are better). But in MMORPGs, it makes clumsy to move and at the same time reach the upper numbers and function keys (F1~F12) with your other hands – if you have big hands then it gets even worse – and some accessibility decisions may hinder some gameplay strategy (using TAB to aim to the nearest adversary may be a problem in PvP or heavy PvE since the enemy it targets may not be the one you want to hit).
B) People think Point’n’Click is slow – I heard that people had to click and wait the character to move there and stop, to then change directions, or, to keep clicking non-stop as if they where controlling each character step.
For me, based on personal experience, think that Point’n’Click is the most efficient way of moving in a MMORPG (and RTS, have you seen the hands of professional Star Craft or Warcraft III players? That speed it's madness!). It frees your left hand to hit keyboard shortcuts faster, giving you better control over multiple shortcut bars, or controlling summons, using key combinations to open menus, etc. For competitive MMORPG experience (faction war/guild siege, PvP, PK) it gives a huge advantage. Let’s take a look at two examples:
While it’s graphics may look simple, players who have ventured in high level PvP and War of Emperium know that combat can be intensive and a difference of seconds gives you an upper edge, Priest and Wizards understand how that very little split second between Safety Wall and Guillotine Fist (a.k.a Extremity Fist or Asura Strike) is precious to save your life and render another character defenseless for having burned all his SP and the skill drawback of not naturally recovering HP/SP for five minutes. Wanna take a look?
By hitting F12 you can alternate between three nine-slot (F1~F9) shortcut bars, however, using battle mode (by typing /battlemode, /bm or setting either as an ALT+Number Shortcut List) you can have the three shortcut bars between Q~O, A~L and A~> key rows, speeding up the use of skills, usage of items and changing equipments that are fundamental part of one’s strategy.
Sword of the New World (Granado Espada):
The game allows you to control three characters at the same time through the Multiple Character Control (or MCC) System, and if you want to use the skills of each of your characters and synchronize special attacks or change stances quickly in order to increase the effectiveness of your three-family members team you need to make good use of mouse and shortcut keys.
But then you say – “Yeah, but moving is still annoying, I have to keep clicking non-stop, all that clicking sound get’s me mad!” – So, I’ll show you the Point’n’Click-Fast-Move-Method (No, it’s no Zen master secret, is simpler than you might think):
1) This is a simple wireless mouse, its layout is more or less like common and has somewhat became a standard, two buttons and a scroll wheel. The left button controls the walking command, the right button controls the camera angle, the scroll wheel control the camera zoom.
2) Most of the times while playing, the camera from behind is generally the standard position, since it generally give the farthest sight limit.
3) To move, instead of clicking just near of you, click near the target you want to reach. If you’re walking to somewhere outside your line of sight, click at the farthest you can, and when you’re reaching it, just click again at the farthest you can, this will economize clicks and keep you moving without having to stop.
4) By holding down the right button and moving the mouse, you can change the camera angle, and scrolling the wheel you can change the zoom. Now here’s the trick, it doesn’t interfere with your moving and can be done at the same time.
5) With that in mind, now do it together. Go moving and use the right button and scroll wheel to change camera angle and improve your field of view, this way you can anticipate enemies and in PvP environments prevent ambushes, all while keeping your left hand free to use the shortcut keys to attack.
Now, it’s your time! What kind of movement you think its better? And why? Have any revolutionary idea for a new movement style? Share your opinion in the comments.
My best regards and have fun!
"That's it! Touchscreen movement is the future... or maybe not!"