Why Shouldn’t Games Let You Move And Cast?

It seems that Syp has sparked off a bit of a blogstorm. You see, he suggested that all MMOs should let spellcasters move AND cast at the same time.

That suggestion has sparked off a furious debate in the comments – and today we have both Syp and Rowan Blaze defending the original point in a pair of fascinating posts.

First up – after Syp’s initial post, he expanded his points in a fuller article explaining his position

“First of all, I’m not a developer but a gamer. I don’t care — nor do I have to care — about balance difficulties or whatnot when it comes to MMOs. I just report from my perspective, which is a gamer. And my perspective is that casting while moving is fun and freeing, while needing to come to a screeching halt and standing still like a redcoated British soldier during the Revolutionary war while I slooowly load my musket under withering enemy fire is annoying. Maybe that was the solution for “balancing” a long-range damage dealer a while back, but if devs can’t figure out other ways without breaking down into gibbering panic, then that’s on them, not me.”

Syp’s chief argument is that the “no moving whilst casting” limitation is an unnecessary crippling of spellcasting classes – and only caster classes. He points out that Hunters, for example, and equivalent classes, have many, many instant attacks, whilst fundementally playing very similarly to a mage or other caster.

Rowan Blaze writes on the same subject, looking at the history of moving and casting, and asking just when it became so sacred to not move?

“The old-school arguments about things being correct the way they were—the “if it ain’t broke” argument—forget or ignore that almost everything in a game is a design decision. The choice to balance this or that class against another can be done a bunch of ways. Tell me this old-schoolers, was there ever a game where the casters dominated so thoroughly that the devs made the decision to nail their feet to the ground?”

Rowan makes a good point about unnecessarily penalising casters working with impatient tanks, in particular. I’ve suffered from this multiple times myself – although one could argue melee classes suffer as much.

What do you think? Should casters be able to move too?