We had a few spare minutes on the show floor and decided to check out Neverwinter. I heard good and bad things about this game, just assuming it was just the typical cookie cutter MMO experience, but from what I played they made strides in changing up the typical combat system.
The demo we played through consisted of playing as a warrior, mage, or rouge and going through a pretty linear instance that ends with a boss fight. Nothing mind-blowing and typical of an MMO, but the fact the combat made it enjoyable to get to the end, really caught me off guard.
For example I played as a mage, I am not really a fan of magic classes in games, but this played very well. I had three main skills with Q, E, and R, that let me use telekinetic-styled powers. I could wrap them up and hold them in the air, hit them with a strong force push, or do massive force damage. Apparently I was under the impression that you had to build energy from using a basic skill, but I guess I was wrong, I witnessed a bar that would fill up and deplete but I learned that it was tied to my ability to evade. For example as the mage I could teleport instead of sprint/dive, so I guess this was a means to not let you spam it. You also had a right mouse attack that allowed me to use a freeze ray at the cost of mana. They even had two daily skills mapped to 1 and 2 that were elite skills that did massive damage and had very cool effects.
It was the closest to real-time combat I have seen in an MMO since Guild Wars 2, but where it really exceeded was removing the automatic hit system. Where arrows could miss you, a sword swing would be out of range, or a spell would fall 10 feet away and you would still take the damage.
Neverwinter was able to either judge your distance or for certain skills show a projection on the ground that you needed to get out of before the skill hit and you were able to completely avoid the attack.
It shouldn’t be that impressive, but after playing the Elder Scrolls Online and not witnessing it at all, it sort of just legitimized how something small can change your entire perspective of the experience.
Unfortunately we were playing it almost like a single-player game, but I would like to think it would be even more fun combining, dodging, and taking down bosses with a few friends.