A lot of people say they don't like Action combat in a MMOs. Some people have stated it is not a natural evolution of the genre (which I totally disagree with). Let's look at why MMOs traditionally used tab targeting systems. A tab based targeting system initially was due to the high computer cycles it takes to handle all of the information needed for a true action combat system. Computer hardware just was not good enough in Massive Online environment. FPS games may have 5 or 10 or even 20 players per team but that is all. I believe 1 server in Lineage2 could handle 1,500-2,000 connections at a time. With later technology WoW servers, I believe, could handle up to 8 or even 9000 connections. So that is a lot of server side calculations when we toss in the physics needed for collision detection. Tab targeting systems? They revolve around a user clicking a skill the request being sent to the server and the server crunches some numbers (enemy level, armor, resistances vs. player level, attack power, bonus.. etc..) and the damage result is displayed. I mean you don't miss do you?? Hybrids Games? Games such as WildStar or GW2 or Neverwinter that have tab targeting options. I can hit the tab key and a target is selected I can cast a spell and most likely I'll hit them if I'm facing the right direction. In Neverwinter you don't have to select anyone you can simply aim at them and if they are generally in front of you .. you will hit them. Some dodge mechanics exist in each of these games to quickly move out of harms way. Some calculations are performed to determine if I'm in range and in the case of guild wars 2, if my weapon actually made contact. What is a true action combat system? To me a true action combat system takes into account not only the collision but where it occurred. Similar to FPS games a head shot does more damage then a shot to the leg. In a MMO a swinging sword would naturally do more damage to the opponents head then his foot. So if you swing at a kobold while you have his back to him... you are going to miss. In world of warcraft we could demonstrate where I'm facing almost complete away from a target out of range with a rogue and yet.. I'm still hitting him. Of course there are other aspects of action combat such as the feeling that you are making contact. Good sound and animations based upon contact with the target really convey this to the user. Screen shakes, visuals, large combat dmg numbers.. etc.. Collision detection is a very very important aspect of any action based game. To keep it realistic is a give and take proposition. You have to be very careful about how realistic the collision detection is because you want the player to feel like they are hitting someone (see they are hitting them) but sometimes the method you use to ensure this is too great a hit on the GPU so the fps drops to a grinding halt. Various Collision detection Techniques Computing AABBs (Axis Aligned Bounding Boxes) Quadrant Approach to bounding boxes (what is the furthest edge of my polygon, then create a 360 bounding box) Dividing polygons into quadrants.. etc... Things holding MMO's back from Action Based Systems Latency System Restrictions Player based desires (casual crowd is where the money is.. going for action combat is costly (see cost bullet below).. may turn off the casuals who don't care and are not used to action based combat) Technology Cost - It cost more to put the physics into the system to handle action based combat (Collision detection is a big part of this, testing, models, hitboxes, etc..) So while Action MMO's may not be for every one you can see that 3 of the things holding back more Action based MMO's are related to technology. As the technology and speed of user based connections increases those barriers will slowly melt away. I feel that eventually even the casual MMO'ers will be faced with more games utilizing an action based system then those that do not. Is this the normal evolution of the genre? I feel it is because it's mostly technology based. As technology improves games simply take advantage of that. This is a quick crude post. I could have gone on in much more detail but this post is only here for people's edification. To educate them a little and to get them talking about what they like or don't like. Not to argue.