• Maina Chen

Close Quarters Combat

Stealth games are not my forte. It's a personal problem, really. I'm the type in MOBAs, MMOs, and RPGs, to charge in for a direct assault. In a RPG I'd be a warrior, a berserker, a lancer, a pugilist, or some sort of defender/tank role. Hand-to-hand and close quarters combat where I'm brandishing a sword, has always been my preference over the magical elements.

And I'm not saying that magic doesn't interest me at all. It's amazingly cool to be able to wield a staff so you can inflict your enemies with status effects or pull off a fantastic summon or even support your team so you all can live longer. The only big problem I have with it is that usually the mage, mystic, or bard character has the absolute worst defense and you have to focus on kiting to get away.

It's not impossible, I just have terrible depth perception. As much as I tried being a master of the elements I couldn't quite handle where to target my skills and how to place them.

In PvEs it's not as hard, the monsters are pretty stationary and if you combo your skills right, then it doesn't take much to finish them off. You can take a break and chug your health potions to regain the hp you lost. Fire a magical arrow or beam at them again and as they're taunted, they'll blindly run towards you until they can land an attack in. Then comes your barrage and boom they're dead.

A PvP is another matter. You're not fighting monsters with the same few basic commands instilled in them like: attack, chase, lose the target, defend, and (sometimes) heal/buff. You're not fighting NPCs either. It's another person like you sitting at their computer, with strategies and a thinking mind. You have to always plot out the next move with an awareness of your cooldowns, and what you can do to bind them. The worst thing for a traditional mage is not being able to fight from a distance.

There's something visceral and real (I'm going to get a little graphic here) about being able to curb stomp your enemy's head in after a failed assault, or being able to throw them over your shoulder and nail them to the ground. When you're fumbling around for an edge in the fight and it takes everything you have to finally get them, finishing them off and living to fight another day--that takes the cake.

Which was why in the MMORPG Aion, released by NCSOFT, who combined PvP with PvE to make PvPvE, was such a hit with my friends and me. Its intensive game play focused on two warring factions: the Asmodians and the Elyos. The Asmodians with their dark wings and features, resemble more like fallen angels compared to the Elyos whose appearances are the opposite with fairer wings and features.

Almost anytime in the game we found ourselves trying to complete quests and tasks, we'd also see characters flying towards us with their names encased in red text. That was the immediate sign that the enemy was coming and that they were invading. The game forced you to be alert and the NPCs would even arm themselves to try and fend off the attackers.

Asmodian Templar

When I used to play, I was an Asmodian Templar, which was the defender or tank for the team. One of my favorite aspects of the game was the PvP, and how it was really damn hard to kill me. The hardest fights I've ever had was with other templars or with priests. The only way to win  was to be meticulous with skills, combo when available, and always, always, have your stuns and shield bashes ready.  It almost became an endurance test of who would run out of skills, out of mana, or out of health.

There was something very exciting about being nearly unkillable. The best compliment I ever received was when an opponent called me a "raid boss" (but that happened in League of Legends).

It was also hilarious to know how dependent my team members were of me because I absorbed all the damage, taunted the enemies, and kept the aggro on me; but it also made me realize how dependent I was on my healer. If they didn't keep their eyes focused on me, then chaos would ensue after I died. I'd watch them frantically trying to revive me while the boss would pick-off my teammates one-by-one. The panic and mayhem was incredible.

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