What's your take on telegraphs in ARPGs, good or bad?

…or whatever it’s called (see pic below). It’s that highlight thingy on the ground that hints you where the monster’s upcoming AOE attack will hit.

  • Good
  • Bad
  • Depends on implementation
  • Don’t really care

0 voters

I personally appreciate having it in MMORPGs as it kind of compensates for the lag and desyncs in most cases, but I think for ARPGs it kind of dumbs things down especially boss fights where you are supposed to observe and learn about the monster’s attack patterns. Takes away the immersion too IMO. It’d be nice as an option though instead of being forced.

I remember the first time I got shotgunned at point blank by Zantarin and it made me do some research about how that happened which eventually led to me learning how to properly observe bosses’ attack patterns instead of just assuming I can facetank everything.

Do you think GD would be better with telegraphs?

1 Like

Yeah I like telegraphs from Wolcen

1 Like

Telegraphs similar to the one shown in the picture should just be an option.
As a new player it would help you tremendously with learning the patterns,
then you could switch if off for immersion for example.


Depends on the game and the implementation.

In hard games like Children of Morta i appreciate area highlighting (as long as it looks better than whatever I’m looking at in your screenshot). In Grim Dawn, the monster animations are enough telegraphing.


Outside of MMOs and specific abilities where the telegraph is built into the design (delayed oneshot AoE that bursts from the ground with minimal animation coming from the caster) I don’t find myself wanting them. For ARPGs it just seems like it would be more clutter in the long term.

1 Like

I like telegraphs. If I am supposed to be able to evade an attack based on the boss’s animation, I much rather have a full telegraph because I suck at picking up the subtle hints in the middle of a fight.

1 Like

It would be cool to have the option. Could turn it on to learn specific boss behaviors ranges and patterns, then turn if off again.

I would not be sad if this never came to fruition though. Like most other things in the game, learning the patterns of bosses, ranges of their attacks, and their damage types is all part of the journey.

1 Like

these Wolcen telegraphs make the game too easy. boss prep animations are perfectly sufficient


Totally agree on that. Learning the “tells” of a boss is part of the fun (atleast for me), because it makes you feel like you mastered the boss instead of the game telling you to dodge. This would be like an easy mode.

The problem might be, that most players won’t turn it off because it makes fights easier.
On the other hand, everyone who would turn it off, probably doesn’t need this enabled at all since they “test” range, damage, etc. of the attacks actively or passively everytime they fight this boss.


Funny how you take a random screenshot from Wolcen, and it JUST happens to be:





But you have enough willpower still to play this game? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Well, I would think there’s more than enough Rage going around at the minute to spare. :rofl:


LOL daaaamn. Wolcen on Blast island!

1 Like

I like telegraphs, but I don’t particularly like Wolcen way of telegraphing, you don’t need to make red rectangles or circles on the screen and completely break immersion to telegraph a skill. Two examples I could give from PoE is the elder expanding nova, where the skills telegraphs to you what is happening and it’s pretty easy to figure out the safe and danger area after dying once or watching someone doing or explaining the fight. Also the Slams, that don’t particularly show anything on the floor every time but follow very similar patterns of the creature disappearing on the floor or slowly raising it’s weapon.


Wolcen is more action and less RPG. You got dodge rolls with invincibility frames and overpowered bosses with really strong AoE pools. Like the Lambach - this is a God of War/Dark Souls kinda boss, without those telegraphs it would be a rage quit by 50% players in Act 2.

In GD you don’t need that. Also, GD is oversaturated with procs and effects. Additional telegraphed AoEs would just be clutter. Besides, let’s take one of the best and most difficult action games - Sekiro - as an example. No AoE telegraphs. You don’t learn the moves you die. Same in GD (on higher levels of SR at least) - you gotta know stuff like Grava null balls or Theodin’s slam dunk.


Telegraphing lethal attacks is very important so your player base don’t uninstall your game in frustration, but IMO, Wolcen went a little over the top. I think that “immersion-breaking” is an overused term but it applies here. You can telegraph an attack without putting giant colored shapes in the game, or you can disguise those shapes in the form of special effects, like the dust rising whenever the boss will hit an area with a charged attack or sparks appearing in areas where he’ll strike with lightning.


^ THIS. Now that you said it, it does seem like they went the easier route by simply putting in highlights on the ground instead of designing effects and animations to signal an upcoming skill use.

Voted good, and I think some attacks in GD such as meteor drops should have them.
Not necessarily those huge red boxes on the ground, but something like an expanding shadow coupled with an SFX would be nice. Or a hard-to-miss enemy animation that players can react to.

I think Krieg is an example of a boss with good telegraphs; everything he does has a very clear animation which makes his attacks fair. I was surprised to see that the first major boss has such good cues but some bosses such as Anasteria or Alek have extremely dangerous attacks that are much harder to see.
That makes many high end encounters, such as in the SR, more a stat check or a kite fest rather than skill-based.

Hopefully with all the upgrades GD has gotten over the years, we’ll get an improvement in the above areas someday as well. One can hope, right?


Voted Good.

GD already has a few fairly pronounced telegraphs. Zarthuzellan, Ekett’zul, and Bolvar come to mind.

In my nonexistent “ideal” ARPG locked away in the grey matter of my head, something somewhere between what GD has and what Wolcen has would be optimal. GD doesn’t need many telegraphs because its AI is fairly simplistic - most simply run up to the player and start meleeing them over and over. True Caster AI is few and far between in Grim Dawn, but I would LOVE to see more of it. For casters which have larger intervals between casts to remain dangerous from afar, their “spells” need to be quite potent. However, in order for that potency to be “fair”, the cast time and cast point (DotA term for the point at which a spell actually comes out in an animation) need to be somewhat obvious to players. This is where telegraphs come in to play.

I don’t know if something as obvious as Wolcen’s ground markers is actually necessary, but I wouldn’t be so hasty to outright rule the idea out, either. I think it’s more nuanced and situational than could be described by anything catch-all. Look to PoE - the Shavronne (/Brutus) fight is pretty fair but nonetheless dangerous at high levels, because even though there are a lot of dangerous spots on the map (the exploding books), the AoE of their danger is well described to players. On the other hand, Doedre (the fat version of Doedre) I find to be much more difficult because it’s somewhat unclear with PoE’s camera angle where her projectile attacks will wind up.

There are times in Wolcen when I wished there were MORE ground-geometry telegraphs (the Edric fight) and there were other times when I wished there were fewer (the Lambach fight). Striking that middle ground is key.

Edit: I vehemently disagree with the immersion argument. Telegraphs such as Wolcen’s ground geometry are an example of where we, players looking down on our characters in an isometric view, would have less understanding of the characters’ surroundings than they themselves would. In the screenshot in the OP, that character would have a better view of the attack its enemy was throwing out, and so inherently the most immersive thing would be for us to know what the character knows. Without that mutual understanding, immersion is lost.

TL;DR, ground geometry telegraphs are simply an optical translation between two angles in an isometric scene.

1 Like

Another great example is how slow projectiles can be on Grim Dawn -especially those that leave a ground damage area of effect after hitting. It telegraphs the attack and allows you to react without needing a cheap “progress bar” on the ground that is neat for a little while but will become extremely old and a chore very fast, not to mention utterly immersion-breaking.

I prefer a game with telegraphed markers over one with no telegraphs at all but I prefer Grim Dawn’s approach over Wolcen’s approach by far. Maybe Grim Dawn could have used more mechanics that are telegraphed but please let’s keep immersion-breaking UI out of grimdark games.