Speed of Melee Combat

Newsletter dated 22nd February 2020 talks about the speed of melee combat and showcases a new powerset.


  • The Ship of Heroes devs are showing off a new melee powerset called Martial Arts, and using the video to discuss with their supporters just how fast melee combat should be in their upcoming MMO.  After watching it, it seems pretty clear that they are thinking that melee should be more like BDO (Black Desert Online) than like CoH or WoW.  The devs openly acknowledge that melee has changed in MMOs over the last ten years, and they are at the cutting edge.
  • In this video, one hero with Martial Arts superpowers has a big fight with three evil cyborgs.  It is immediately obvious that there have been upgrades to animations during the last year – the fight is more fast and furious, and less of the “stand and take it” fighting from the years in which CoH was originally developed.  I especially like the Roll Away power which allows a melee fighter to roll out of melee range, recover, and buff his defense.  This sort of thing gives a melee player more control in combat.
  • This particular video is a developer video, as the SoH devs call them – the footage was prepared for internal use by the dev team in looking at the animations, FX, and especially the combat speed in this case.  Everything you see is current state, and will still get more polishing.  The SoH community has asked for more of this kind of unpolished video content, so they can enjoy the process of creating this game, and give real feedback.  The devs have complied.
  • The devs are announcing the names of the six melee combat powersets that they plan to have at launch.  There are also ranged damage, bugging/debuffing/healing powersets, and at least one control powerset scheduled for launch.  Two of the melee sets, Martial Arts and Street Fighting, deliver unarmed combat powers.  One powerset uses a short range energy shotgun, and is called Street Sweeping.  One set uses a single fiery sword, and another uses two swords, while the sixth uses a futuristic Spear or energy lance.  All of the powersets play differently, have unique appearances, and different animations and FX.  That’s quite a feat for an Indy developer.
  • The next big thing in Ship of Heroes will be a combat Beta specifically focused on invasions of the ship by waves of aliens.  SoH conducted their first combat Alpha almost two years ago, so this Beta has been highly anticipated.  Apparently the devs are shooting to have all six of the melee powerset available for the Beta, which is scheduled for sometime in the next five months (Q2).




Here's a few additional notes from the newsletter:
  1. The hero in the video is Uba, newly created by one of our dev team. Keen observers will notice that he has a new pointed ear model that is now available in the CCT, as well as a new hair look.
  2. We’re focusing on player abilities at the moment, so for now, the enemies in the video only have three attacks with animations. They’ll get more variety later.
  3. Each melee powerset looks and plays differently. For example, some sets have a “leap to combat” power, including Dual Swords and Spear. Others do not, like Street Sweeper and Martial Arts. Try them all out and see what fits your playstyle!
  4. Knockback animations are advancing a lot. Players can gain resistance to knockback from multiple sources: from their choice of archetype, from some powers as a feature, from some powersets, from some special enhancements, from other players as a buff, and as an infusion temporary effect. Resistance is generally additive across many sources.

The complete newsletter can be read on the official website: https://www.shipofheroes.com/the-speed-of-melee-combat-video/