In Syp’s latest Wildstar post on his Bio Break blog he mentions action combat fatigue as an issue with his gaming sessions in that MMO. He’s limiting his playtime to 60-90 minutes because combat is requires such concentration:
Really, my combat attitude is, “I want to point at something and make it die with minimum fuss.” WildStar, however, is all about the fuss. Every fight is some sort of small epic war played out on a tiny battlefield.
This was very much the same problem I had with Tera. I liked the game but found the combat too intense for evenings where I wanted to relax while gaming not get more wound-up.
In the comments of Syp’s articles there’s some discussion of this issue. It’s mentioned that Guild Wars 2 “got it right” with regards to the level of intensity of the combat. I’m inclined to disagree with that assertion given the frenetic pace of combat in any living story content I experienced, most of which involved crazy zergs of characters. It may well be that more recent content discourages such tactics and hence combat is slightly less full-on but in any case the combat was always tuned to reward “dodge as much as possible” as a tactic.
In the same comments one commenter commends Neverwinter’s action combat as less stressful and I would agree. Dodging is important but it’s not a must or a constant activity either. The difficulty level of combat in Neverwinter, outside of heroic dungeons, might well be ‘easier’ than that in Guild Wars 2 but then I’m talking about public content here. In both games the difficulty of such content scales based on participation levels, but personally I find Neverwinter’s difficulty scaling is better or at least set at a more enjoyable/less demanding level than GW 2’s was when I last played it. That observation is due to the tendency of any large-scale fight to always be desperate fights for survival in the later game, whereas in Neverwinter they was a lot more scope for tactical thinking beyond simple survival.
I may well be well out of date with such observations on GW 2’s combat, but somehow I doubt that the changes I read about in other blogger’s coverage of the game have fundamentally changed the core design decisions about the game that, for me personally, lead to the ‘action combat fatigue’ problem.