As Tree of Savior adds more and more things that depend on whether your character is considered in or out of combat, it has become apparent that the game doesn’t approach the idea of ‘in combat’ in a way that is consistent nor rewarding.
The chapter 11 update added a new caveat to using the scout skill ‘cloaking’ in PvP: you are not allowed to use it if you are in combat. While I can go on and on about how frustrating this is as a dagger scout (it’s terrible), I just want to point out that it feels like this restriction is a lot more than it should be. For instance, casting any buffs at all puts you ‘in combat,’ preventing you from going invisible for 10 seconds. This forces the scout player to either wait the 10 seconds or to buff while invisible. On paper, this doesn’t sound too bad, but in a PvP scenario this potentially means ten seconds stuck waiting in the sidelines or a couple seconds of invisibility wasted being distracted with buffing. When a couple seconds can make the difference in an encounter, this builds up to be very frustrating over many iterations in a match.
This problem is compounded with a bug where your character may cast a skill when reviving. Now I don’t even really have a choice since I immediately am put into combat as soon as I revive. This is extremely annoying in TBL where you can engage your opponents within 5 seconds of the start of the match. If that happens, I don’t even get a chance to go invisible. As a squishy scout, not being able to go invisible during the start of a round feels like a huge handicap because there is not much space to escape. This bug is also annoying in Gemstone Feud despite having more space to stall the 10 seconds to go out of combat. A sprinting scout can make it to the center of the map in about 15 seconds, which leaves you with about 5 seconds of invisibility before making it to the middle; that doesn’t leave much room to be invisible before encountering enemies. If you buff while leaving base that will leave you with even less time.
Certainly, these are things that I can try to play around, but the problem is that it’s not fun nor does it seem intended.
Archers also have a similar problem here with sprinting and being ‘in combat’. They also can’t buff and run.
Let’s look at a different place in the game where they talk about being ‘in combat’: logging out or changing characters. When you take or deal damage and then try to change characters, the game prevents you from changing characters for 10 seconds. It even gives you a little timer (which, I’d love for scouts’ cloaking and archers’ sprinting, by the way). Every time you are involved in damage, that timer resets. However, buffs don’t reset that timer. Using damaging attacks and not hitting anything doesn’t reset the timer either.
So can we have a more consistent definition of what is considered ‘in combat’? The game is using two different definitions for ‘in combat’. In some places it’s based on the last time you cast a skill or was damaged. In other places it’s based on just the last time you were involved in damage. Can we settle on the second definition? It’s a lot less frustrating.