Dark and Darker's combat system discussion
One of the primary issues plaguing Dark and Darker is the lack of depth in its combat system, which offers very few opportunities for outplaying opponents or showcasing skill expression.
As a result, most encounters become nearly unwinnable if the enemy possesses better gear or counters your approach, such as a Rogue lurking in stealth and ambushing a Ranger. Factors like third-party interventions, zone advantages, or superior gear often determine the outcome of fights, leaving players feeling helpless.
Although the game is marketed as hardcore, it essentially functions as a casual extraction game. This isn't meant as a derogatory comment but rather highlights a crucial point. The game's pace is slow, and its mechanics are straightforward, making it challenging for players to distinguish themselves from others. While Rangers can showcase their skills through FPS prowess, melee combat remains extremely basic, lacking depth or complexity.
Meaningful differentiation between players primarily boils down to the timing of engagements and target selection, along with gear quality. These are the only factors that significantly impact gameplay. The game lacks intricate mechanics to master or develop expertise in, with the exception of the parry system associated with the Longsword.
In essence, the combat system is exceedingly simplistic, bordering on casual gameplay. The game's design inherently ties one's power level to their gear(so all players want to use Dark and darker gold get the best items), which often results in players feeling disadvantaged against better-geared opponents. The concept of being able to defeat fully BiS legendary teams with starter gear is unrealistic and can be attributed to players who may overestimate their abilities.
It's important to recognize that the game's challenge level isn't as high as some portray it to be. Such expressions might be influenced by streamers like Mendo, who might emphasize difficulty for various reasons, including engagement with developers. However, this doesn't change the core gameplay experience.
No matter who you are, if you find yourself in a 3-man group with basic gear facing a fully BiS legendary team comprising classes like Bard, Cleric, and Barb, your chances of survival or victory are minimal. This scenario illustrates the inherent advantage of the better-geared team, as they are faster, deal more damage, and possess superior defense.
To address these issues, the game desperately needs to introduce more complex combat mechanics that allow players to outmaneuver their opponents beyond just movement. Implementing mechanics like parrying attacks or feinting could level the playing field, enabling players with less optimal gear to compete on the basis of skill.
In summary, while concerns about broken gear are valid, the core issue lies within the game's combat system, which currently lacks depth and meaningful mechanics. Addressing this fundamental aspect should be a priority to promote a more engaging and balanced gameplay experience. Simply patching gear-related issues is a temporary solution and not a comprehensive fix for the game's underlying problems.