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Ability Delay -- Character Responsiveness (This will make or break SW:TOR)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Ability Delay -- Character Responsiveness (This will make or break SW:TOR)

Starglide's Avatar


Starglide
01.23.2012 , 12:18 PM | #951
Quote: Originally Posted by Xcore View Post
Apologies for not responding on YouTube, its very limiting in the size of reply etc.

Well, I agree with everything you say here. Having read the Blog Post by Georg, I have mixed feelings if they understand the core values of gameplay feeling and the entire issue properly. The problem is, describing a "feeling" of such intricate nature is very difficult. I think it'd be much like a F1 Driver complaining that the car doesn't "feel" right... He would try his best to articulate the problem but in the end, for someone who doesn't experience it themselves, it is very hard to understand and even harder to resolve.

This problem as is known, stems from multiple contributing factors and even totally different factors interacting to form a new factor altogether. For example, general delay between keypress and ability execution + animation visual effect + sound effect.... THEN you perhaps add the stipulation of "proc" instant following a cast in rotation and perhaps all this is following a stun? Etc.

On top of all that, there is the Client/Server interaction and netcoding. What about the entire "illusion" of responsiveness that WoW creates? For example in WoW, let's say we're both running against the gate in AB to get out as soon as it starts... The game begins and we both race towards the first flag, on my screen at home "I" am far ahead of you (in fact, isn't it odd that on your screen at home "you" are always ahead of the others in WoW?). So were both capping the flag but I should be the one that does it at the end of the cast time... However, mine gets interrupted as yours actually succeed... I was never actually ahead of you!

The above is likely a huge technical contributing factor to the feeling of responsivess...


So as to Georg's Blog Post, I am not entirely convinced that they understand the more intricate issue here. Perhaps I am wrong, I'm sure that some of them have salaries high enough to know what this is all about? /sarcasm.

What Bioware needs is, someone important enough in position to have this "feeling" and understand and can communicate the intricacies of the issue. As I would recommend any developer, hire a little team of serious, experienced, hardcore players to identify and define these things. By experienced I don't mean "being 40+ years old and having played MMOs since Ultima Online". I mean, get some Top100 experienced WoW Raiders, get some serious Gladiator PvPers, get some Pro Starcraft 2 players etc.

WoW doesn't have this issue because their Devs used to be serious, hardcore EQ Raiders... they would look at this system and say, "we can't play like this... let's do it better". Bioware Devs had no idea this delay even exists as they themselves aren't the type of player to notice... at all.

It's a logical conclusion, how else would you explain such a game? With such nice Sceneries, such nice stories, such nice sound effects, such nice animations... But yet such glaring and horrendous responsiveness? It's becsuse they aren't the kind of player themselves, playing on that level to notice.

I really see a standard Bioware Dev be someone

1) With sub-optimal spec because he doesn't know about EJ
2) Sub-optimal chants, gems, reforging and itemization
3) 3% over hit cap...
4) Roughly 2-5k below expected DPS
5) Backpeddling while tanking
6) No sense of proactive but only reactive healing
7) Triggering immolation traps and standing in crystal prison traps on Shannox
8) Impossible to do current content hardmodes with
9) Minimal keybinds
10) No "pre-potting", double potion on encounter...

This isn't an insult, or at least meant to be. All of the above points are ok for an average player, but such a player simply cannot notice the more intricate nuances in gameplay. Such a player will create beautiful stories, animations... sound effects etc. but not a good game...


So again, of course I am happy to read Georg's post and it shows that they're taking It serious. However I remain sceptical if they really will be able to get behind this. Is clipping needed? I am not sure 100%, ideally not, it appears ArenaNet is not clipping but using a more elegant system with Guild Wars 2. However, if it is needed, it should be properly introduced as in WoW.

Lastly, Bioware blaming it on hardware performance and optimization is a little weak. If anything, this would only be a minor contributing part overall and perhaps larger in Warzones but as you correctly stated, this goes beyond just Warzones.

I don't believe that Bioware is a company that can admit to mistakes or even be honest in regards to failures or flaws. They're in a tough position with EA and the need for SW:TOR to succeed but still, it has been proven since Mass Effect 1 and Garrus' face texture that Bioware simply isn't like Blizzard.

I can remember countless instances where Blizzard has admitted to failures openly. I cannot ever see Bioware do something like that without putting a serious spin on it...


I am hopeful but remain sceptical
Unbelievable post. It is uncanny how literally inside my head you are. It is clear that every ounce of feeling I have towards this issue is not only felt by you as well, but meticulously explained to perfection.

I want to touch on a few things you stated as I wholeheartedly agree and feel the need to elaborate. When you mentioned that developers of WoW came from EQ, I would also like to touch on the fact that every time a new expansion rolls out, even dating back to early development, Blizzard has ALWAYS invited top raiders to come and check things out. I remember there being reports that Blizzard was flying world ranked guilds to come help test and provide feedback for future content.

This is something BioWare, if not already, needs to consider. The budget is there and they need to select those who 'feel' this problem but also come from a ranked perspectives. Being a world 327 player myself and 2x gladiator, I can tell you that the problem stems further than what they mentioned and even what others do too. I sit in a vent channel with other members who claim they don't feel it on certain classes, but then want to claim priority as they feel they truly understand hardcore or competitive play. But I will state this, no self-respected TRUE competitive player does not 'feel' the issue and/or takes this game seriously because of it. Going back and speaking to ranked friends, all are laughing at the lack of control the game produces and refuse to ever come over unless it is fixed (but they expect it NOT to be). This brings me to my regurgitated statement that the rush to complete content is futile considering the competition is severely lacking and that regardless of you perspective, experience or ability to 'feel' the issue--it is STILL there. Like I have said 10000 times, even when you are not targeting anything, alone in a phased area, if you press your ability that will obviously cause red text to state "No Target"; there is still a slight delay from the time you press that key, to the point the ability on the UI lights up ending with the red text. It may be a smaller delay than the one expressed in the 'conditions' BioWare vows helping cause the issue, IT IS STILL THERE. Every ounce of delay needs to be fixed. Which is why I lit up with joy when Xcore explained how important sound plays a part, but followed by continued disappointment realizing this is another subject BioWare needs to address in order to achieve a full resolution.

The developers first mistake was the focus on a small percentage of MMO game play (leveling). I do not know why developers feel the need to act as if they know the 'secret formula' to competing with WoW, yet boast that it is removing the grind. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. WoW is successful because their end game content is tight and this is based on one simple fundamental factor--combat is fluid.

Combat fluidity is:
  • The singular reason WoW's leveling experience is bearable and quite fun (although repetitive).
  • The reason you are excited to get your next ability
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in a battleground
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in open world
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in a duel
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in a arena
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating a boss in an instance
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating trash in an organized fashion

The list goes on and on. Even misdirecting to friends or fooling around in stealth as I aggro and shift threat to my tank scaring him. I can literally go on forever as to how a fluid system severely directs players to an extraordinarily entertaining experience. This is the TRUE formula of success for an MMO.

BioWare's position and waste of developing hours focusing on leveling frustrates me as the writing was on the wall since day one. End game content is what makes a long lasting MMO, but this does not stem from content. Even though there are separate departments and I applaud BioWare for trying to show the community that they will be steadily releasing content; I can only frown at the obvious display of inexperience. An inexperience that stems exactly from what you state. That it is apparent BioWare developers do not come from a true knowledgeable player's perspective.

It also frustrates me that BioWare does not entirely admit they are wrong (like you stated), but that they also refuse to make a statement expressing the cause is related to an issue without stating player conditions is a contributing factor (or at least a sub-factor).

Consciously or subconsciously the true end game content stems from the fluidity of the most fundamental part of any part of the game (end game included), COMBAT RESPONSIVENESS.



P.S. I refuse to stop regurgitating points and I refuse to shut up about this matter until I 'feel' it is completely taken care of. I have followed the game for 5 years and the only reason I play is because of BioWare, the genre is SW in an MMO and that I quit WoW to invest in this title (not only financially but temporal). It is the singular complaint I have and the single thing I think separates this game from become a true market leader. I also invest the time I do in giving feedback to this matter because I do believe the combat has the ability and potential to attain fluidity. But it needs to be made a priority. Time is not on our/their side.

GreymaneAlpha's Avatar


GreymaneAlpha
01.23.2012 , 12:47 PM | #952
Quote:
I want to touch on a few things you stated as I wholeheartedly agree and feel the need to elaborate. When you mentioned that developers of WoW came from EQ, I would also like to touch on the fact that every time a new expansion rolls out, even dating back to early development, Blizzard has ALWAYS invited top raiders to come and check things out. I remember there being reports that Blizzard was flying world ranked guilds to come help test and provide feedback for future content.
That's one of the most baffling things about SWTOR: the seeming lack of input from hardcore players from other MMOs. "Cinematic combat" is probably the most damning example: anyone that had ever played any MMO competitively before would have been appalled at the idea of giving animations precedence over actions. It's such a mind-blowingly stupid thing to do that it just completely confounds me.

Coming from WoW, I expect that when a cast bar finishes, the ability goes off. I should not have to stand for another half-second in a warzone while my healing animation finishes and the server deigns to tell me that the ability had completely gone through before I can start moving again. If I try to mount, I should be mounted and able to move WHEN THE BAR IS FINISHED. Not a second later when the mount appears. In warcraft, you float around for a half second moving at your mounted speed. Does it look silly? Maybe. Does it feel natural? Absolutely.

Or Force Wave: who the hell thought that it was a good idea to have a clutch AoE knockback ability on a two-second hidden cast time?!

Even very basic lightsaber attacks: sure, I guess it's cool that when I hit my sage's crappy auto-attack, three animated swings lead to three hits at three distinct times. Or rather, it was cool for about two minutes. That's the kind of thing that impresses idiots watching youtube videos from E3. Once you try to hit someone in PvP you quickly wish had WoW's combat system, where damage occurs WHEN YOU HIT THE BUTTON, not a second later.

The engine is very poorly made to have all these various 'bugs' that the developers keep finding for responsiveness....but even if they find every bug and optimize every routine, there will still be the throttle limiter of "cinematic combat" that will make the game forever feel awkward. And this WILL impact the long term survival of the game. And for what? So that a few more super-casual noobs will buy the game when it comes out but never play to 50, never pay for more than a few months, and probably never buy any future expansions?

Any experienced, competitive MMO player would have vetoed the 'cinematic combat' idea, if there was one on the development team. Mass Effect 2 players, however, probably would have thought it was a fine idea. I think we can guess which players were on the development team.

diantoscr's Avatar


diantoscr
01.23.2012 , 01:07 PM | #953
this game is perched on the tip of a needle right now... on one side is near perfect success, on the other is catastrophic failure. and what is holding it in the balance right now is this issue.

Xcore's Avatar


Xcore
01.23.2012 , 01:23 PM | #954
Quote: Originally Posted by Starglide View Post
Unbelievable post. It is uncanny how literally inside my head you are. It is clear that every ounce of feeling I have towards this issue is not only felt by you as well, but meticulously explained to perfection.

I want to touch on a few things you stated as I wholeheartedly agree and feel the need to elaborate. When you mentioned that developers of WoW came from EQ, I would also like to touch on the fact that every time a new expansion rolls out, even dating back to early development, Blizzard has ALWAYS invited top raiders to come and check things out. I remember there being reports that Blizzard was flying world ranked guilds to come help test and provide feedback for future content.

This is something BioWare, if not already, needs to consider. The budget is there and they need to select those who 'feel' this problem but also come from a ranked perspectives. Being a world 327 player myself and 2x gladiator, I can tell you that the problem stems further than what they mentioned and even what others do too. I sit in a vent channel with other members who claim they don't feel it on certain classes, but then want to claim priority as they feel they truly understand hardcore or competitive play. But I will state this, no self-respected TRUE competitive player does not 'feel' the issue and/or takes this game seriously because of it. Going back and speaking to ranked friends, all are laughing at the lack of control the game produces and refuse to ever come over unless it is fixed (but they expect it NOT to be). This brings me to my regurgitated statement that the rush to complete content is futile considering the competition is severely lacking and that regardless of you perspective, experience or ability to 'feel' the issue--it is STILL there. Like I have said 10000 times, even when you are not targeting anything, alone in a phased area, if you press your ability that will obviously cause red text to state "No Target"; there is still a slight delay from the time you press that key, to the point the ability on the UI lights up ending with the red text. It may be a smaller delay than the one expressed in the 'conditions' BioWare vows helping cause the issue, IT IS STILL THERE. Every ounce of delay needs to be fixed. Which is why I lit up with joy when Xcore explained how important sound plays a part, but followed by continued disappointment realizing this is another subject BioWare needs to address in order to achieve a full resolution.

The developers first mistake was the focus on a small percentage of MMO game play (leveling). I do not know why developers feel the need to act as if they know the 'secret formula' to competing with WoW, yet boast that it is removing the grind. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. WoW is successful because their end game content is tight and this is based on one simple fundamental factor--combat is fluid.

Combat fluidity is:
  • The singular reason WoW's leveling experience is bearable and quite fun (although repetitive).
  • The reason you are excited to get your next ability
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in a battleground
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in open world
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in a duel
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating an opponent in a arena
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating a boss in an instance
  • The reason why you feel satisfied upon defeating trash in an organized fashion

The list goes on and on. Even misdirecting to friends or fooling around in stealth as I aggro and shift threat to my tank scaring him. I can literally go on forever as to how a fluid system severely directs players to an extraordinarily entertaining experience. This is the TRUE formula of success for an MMO.

BioWare's position and waste of developing hours focusing on leveling frustrates me as the writing was on the wall since day one. End game content is what makes a long lasting MMO, but this does not stem from content. Even though there are separate departments and I applaud BioWare for trying to show the community that they will be steadily releasing content; I can only frown at the obvious display of inexperience. An inexperience that stems exactly from what you state. That it is apparent BioWare developers do not come from a true knowledgeable player's perspective.

It also frustrates me that BioWare does not entirely admit they are wrong (like you stated), but that they also refuse to make a statement expressing the cause is related to an issue without stating player conditions is a contributing factor (or at least a sub-factor).

Consciously or subconsciously the true end game content stems from the fluidity of the most fundamental part of any part of the game (end game included), COMBAT RESPONSIVENESS.



P.S. I refuse to stop regurgitating points and I refuse to shut up about this matter until I 'feel' it is completely taken care of. I have followed the game for 5 years and the only reason I play is because of BioWare, the genre is SW in an MMO and that I quit WoW to invest in this title (not only financially but temporal). It is the singular complaint I have and the single thing I think separates this game from become a true market leader. I also invest the time I do in giving feedback to this matter because I do believe the combat has the ability and potential to attain fluidity. But it needs to be made a priority. Time is not on our/their side.
I agree with everything you say here, I think that most high level players would, whether PvE or PvP pros.

I truly wish Bioware would heed these warnings, advise, help offered here. This isn't about catering to hardcore or casual crowd, this has nothing to do with the entire hardcore or casual drama.

Fundamentally, this is about realizing that certain players are more attuned to the finer aspects of gameplay as they do it not only "more" (playtime) but also at much higher levels, mentally and physically. Having more refined gameplay such as in WoW is better for everyone, from a Casual Soccer Mom all the way to the most elitist pro gamer and everyone in between.

CCP flies top gamers to Iceland for dialogue and improvements etc.
Blizzard has constant connection to top players and yes, has flown them to test, develop, discuss

Bioware, who knows... the launch state proves that no-one on their teams is at that higher level and can perceive this issues. Perhaps someone is but doesn't voice it... or isn't being listened to?


I've mentioned it before, to someone who has played MMOs at the top levels and generally extensively, these issues are glaring. There is nothing subtle about this, I entered a Warzone last night with my fiancee and I swear, just by clicking the speeder to go down in the Alderaan Civil War... I just want to cry! Everything showcased in my video happens in every single Warzone I play. This Isnt isolated, once In a while.

All this could be prevented, smoothed out, fixed etc. If only Bioware would open up to more experienced gamers of the genre and stop believing "we know what to do, its our game, we're the devs"... it'd be for the best of the game's success. I feel like a doctor who "knows" how to save a patient but the patient chooses to ignore me and continues with homeopathic drugs.

I truly don't believe that they realize that as you point out, this very "hard to notice for most" issue is in fact behind It all. The success of WoW, failure of any other competitor etc.

Starglide's Avatar


Starglide
01.23.2012 , 01:33 PM | #955
Quote: Originally Posted by GreymaneAlpha View Post
That's one of the most baffling things about SWTOR: the seeming lack of input from hardcore players from other MMOs. "Cinematic combat" is probably the most damning example: anyone that had ever played any MMO competitively before would have been appalled at the idea of giving animations precedence over actions. It's such a mind-blowingly stupid thing to do that it just completely confounds me.

Coming from WoW, I expect that when a cast bar finishes, the ability goes off. I should not have to stand for another half-second in a warzone while my healing animation finishes and the server deigns to tell me that the ability had completely gone through before I can start moving again. If I try to mount, I should be mounted and able to move WHEN THE BAR IS FINISHED. Not a second later when the mount appears. In warcraft, you float around for a half second moving at your mounted speed. Does it look silly? Maybe. Does it feel natural? Absolutely.

Or Force Wave: who the hell thought that it was a good idea to have a clutch AoE knockback ability on a two-second hidden cast time?!

Even very basic lightsaber attacks: sure, I guess it's cool that when I hit my sage's crappy auto-attack, three animated swings lead to three hits at three distinct times. Or rather, it was cool for about two minutes. That's the kind of thing that impresses idiots watching youtube videos from E3. Once you try to hit someone in PvP you quickly wish had WoW's combat system, where damage occurs WHEN YOU HIT THE BUTTON, not a second later.

The engine is very poorly made to have all these various 'bugs' that the developers keep finding for responsiveness....but even if they find every bug and optimize every routine, there will still be the throttle limiter of "cinematic combat" that will make the game forever feel awkward. And this WILL impact the long term survival of the game. And for what? So that a few more super-casual noobs will buy the game when it comes out but never play to 50, never pay for more than a few months, and probably never buy any future expansions?

Any experienced, competitive MMO player would have vetoed the 'cinematic combat' idea, if there was one on the development team. Mass Effect 2 players, however, probably would have thought it was a fine idea. I think we can guess which players were on the development team.
I agree completely. I want to also mention a few other aspects where the system fails to be viable for a MMO (I say this because for a single player game this system may be acceptable).

It is currently possible when engaging your next ability that the que system in TOR is broken. Towards the end of a channel in WoW, if you cast your next ability towards the end (so it ques), the next ability will go off at the exact second the channel is complete. We have already covered that this is a perfect display of fluidity lacking in TOR, but lets look at the que system for a moment. Notice how the next ability goes off upon the end of the channel. Currently, in TOR, if you cast an ability while you are channeling, not matter if it is close to the end or not--it cancels the channel. It does not correctly que so that when the channel is complete, the next ability executes. This means that even the que system, although apparently adjustable *rolls eyes, is extraordinarily broken as it does not exist.

This is another location where fluidity is lacking since the que system purely functions off of the GCD and not off of abilities. This is where it seems as not only is the animation > application results in lack of fluidity, but BioWare also failed to keep some type of rotation in mind when linking the que system with animations and the GCD. It seems as if the very departments in which create these separate aspects that constitute the entire propriety failed to communicate with each other. It is ironic as these issues persist because of the communication that is occurring between these actions--or lackthereof.

WoW's system also has an input lag option in which you can toggle for users with lower end PCs. This displays somewhat how the system works as it removes input lag from your UI completely and lets it occur client side but the overall action still calculated via server side. If you toggle this option, no matter how bad the PC, when you press an ability you will see it light up immediately because it is reacting to input client side, tricking you into thinking it has been executed, showing the animation immediately and the numbers, but then reacting on the server a bit later. This gives the feeling of control even on the worst of PCs. But this is just to express the difference in 'feeling' is resulted in the way the client is communicating with everything else.

Currently, no matter how good the PC (I know since I play on a amazing gaming rig), the lack of control starts at the very core--the time the key is pressed. There is a small delay, because for whatever reason, the key input's first execution is not occurring client side which results in the que system not occurring client side and the GCD not occurring client side. Add all these hairline delays up and you have something that becomes clunky. Opposition would be the input being client side (instant), GCD beginning client side (instant), queing your next ability (client side) but then calculating all these on the server and internet speed being a result of how fast you SEE the numbers (absolute completion of executed abilities). When you have everything occurring on the server, even the simplest of inputs will have some sort of delay. Add animation being priority and you have one of the worst designed combat system for feeling of control (which is what an MMO is all about).

There are simply too many priorities over input at the moment. Obviously what I stated above is hypothesis as someone but Blizzard developers knows exactly how their system works, but I would bet it is something like that. Currently in TOR there are simply too many priorities over the users actual actions. Let me give another example:

If you miss in WoW, you basically don't know you do unless you see the text from the combat log or the numbers floating above the mobs head. Why? Because whatever you execute after the GCD is up goes through, including animations. Currently, if you miss a channel with TOR, such as ravage for a Sith Warrior, even if the GCD is up after 1.5 seconds, you still have to wait for the animation that would be on a 3 second channel to complete. This causes a 1.5 second delay before your next ability because the priority system in TOR is Animation > Application. The game literally does NOT know you casted another ability because the que system is basing when it should cast on when the previous animation completes. Not when the GCD ends on the client. This is why when you do not miss, it cancels the channel. Because after the GCD, the que is canceling the actual ability because it is functioning on the animation. You started a new animation therefore it decides to cancel the last. It is not subject to the application of said ability or channel.

Another example is when you cast an instant ability. Notice how when you cast an instant ability you have to be either standing still sometimes, or wait for the animation to complete from your last ability. Lets use Ravage again as a reference. You start to cast Ravage which is a 3 second channel, but as soon as you do you notice you're low and want to pop an instant defensive ability like Saber Ward. The GCD isn't quite complete, but you should be able to pop this ability as it is not on GCD to save your butt.... wrong. You will hit the ability but it will not go off because the system is confused as it is waiting for the Ravage animation to complete totally disregarding the application priority and proving that animations are more important to the system. It even seems as if the game becomes confused when you are using basic moving keys like WSAD because it is evident standing still will help execute said ability.

There are a million example where this system fails in more aspects than one. Doing simple tasks like mounting becomes a tedious unresponsive experience and completely tarnishes the much needed feeling of control necessary to the genre as a whole; proven by lack of extreme success from any other MMO besides WoW--the most responsive MMO to date.

It breaks down like this: it seems as if BioWare tried to fit the animation within the GCD as opposed to the action of the user's ability.

Xcore's Avatar


Xcore
01.23.2012 , 01:43 PM | #956
Quote: Originally Posted by Starglide View Post
I agree completely. I want to also mention a few other aspects where the system fails to be viable for a MMO (I say this because for a single player game this system may be acceptable).

It is currently possible when engaging your next ability that the que system in TOR is broken. Towards the end of a channel in WoW, if you cast your next ability towards the end (so it ques), the next ability will go off at the exact second the channel is complete. We have already covered that this is a perfect display of fluidity lacking in TOR, but lets look at the que system for a moment. Notice how the next ability goes off upon the end of the channel. Currently, in TOR, if you cast an ability while you are channeling, not matter if it is close to the end or not--it cancels the channel. It does not correctly que so that when the channel is complete, the next ability executes. This means that even the que system, although apparently adjustable *rolls eyes, is extraordinarily broken as it does not exist.

This is another location where fluidity is lacking since the que system purely functions off of the GCD and not off of abilities. This is where it seems as not only is the animation > application results in lack of fluidity, but BioWare also failed to keep some type of rotation in mind when linking the que system with animations and the GCD. It seems as if the very departments in which create these separate aspects that constitute the entire propriety failed to communicate with each other. It is ironic as these issues persist because of the communication that is occurring between these actions--or lackthereof.

WoW's system also has an input lag option in which you can toggle for users with lower end PCs. This displays somewhat how the system works as it removes input lag from your UI completely and lets it occur client side but the overall action still calculated via server side. If you toggle this option, no matter how bad the PC, when you press an ability you will see it light up immediately because it is reacting to input client side, tricking you into thinking it has been executed, showing the animation immediately and the numbers, but then reacting on the server a bit later. This gives the feeling of control even on the worst of PCs. But this is just to express the difference in 'feeling' is resulted in the way the client is communicating with everything else.

Currently, no matter how good the PC (I know since I play on a amazing gaming rig), the lack of control starts at the very core--the time the key is pressed. There is a small delay, because for whatever reason, the key input's first execution is not occurring client side which results in the que system not occurring client side and the GCD not occurring client side. Add all these hairline delays up and you have something that becomes clunky. Opposition would be the input being client side (instant), GCD beginning client side (instant), queing your next ability (client side) but then calculating all these on the server and internet speed being a result of how fast you SEE the numbers (absolute completion of executed abilities). When you have everything occurring on the server, even the simplest of inputs will have some sort of delay. Add animation being priority and you have one of the worst designed combat system for feeling of control (which is what an MMO is all about).

There are simply too many priorities over input at the moment. Obviously what I stated above is hypothesis as someone but Blizzard developers knows exactly how their system works, but I would bet it is something like that. Currently in TOR there are simply too many priorities over the users actual actions. Let me give another example:

If you miss in WoW, you basically don't know you do unless you see the text from the combat log or the numbers floating above the mobs head. Why? Because whatever you execute after the GCD is up goes through, including animations. Currently, if you miss a channel with TOR, such as ravage for a Sith Warrior, even if the GCD is up after 1.5 seconds, you still have to wait for the animation that would be on a 3 second channel to complete. This causes a 1.5 second delay before your next ability because the priority system in TOR is Animation > Application. The game literally does NOT know you casted another ability because the que system is basing when it should cast on when the previous animation completes. Not when the GCD ends on the client. This is why when you do not miss, it cancels the channel. Because after the GCD, the que is canceling the actual ability because it is functioning on the animation. You started a new animation therefore it decides to cancel the last. It is not subject to the application of said ability or channel.

Another example is when you cast an instant ability. Notice how when you cast an instant ability you have to be either standing still sometimes, or wait for the animation to complete from your last ability. Lets use Ravage again as a reference. You start to cast Ravage which is a 3 second channel, but as soon as you do you notice you're low and want to pop an instant defensive ability like Saber Ward. The GCD isn't quite complete, but you should be able to pop this ability as it is not on GCD to save your butt.... wrong. You will hit the ability but it will not go off because the system is confused as it is waiting for the Ravage animation to complete totally disregarding the application priority and proving that animations are more important to the system. It even seems as if the game becomes confused when you are using basic moving keys like WSAD because it is evident standing still will help execute said ability.

There are a million example where this system fails in more aspects than one. Doing simple tasks like mounting becomes a tedious unresponsive experience and completely tarnishes the much needed feeling of control necessary to the genre as a whole; proven by lack of extreme success from any other MMO besides WoW--the most responsive MMO to date.
Well sir, having read every single reply in these 6 threads so far... this is absolutely one of the best gems period.... thank you.

Ima go ahead and /qft this bad boy and add to OP when I get home tonight....

Starglide's Avatar


Starglide
01.23.2012 , 01:44 PM | #957
Quote: Originally Posted by Xcore View Post
I truly wish Bioware would heed these warnings, advise, help offered here. This isn't about catering to hardcore or casual crowd, this has nothing to do with the entire hardcore or casual drama.
Exactly. It is about the experienced consciously feeling and knowing what the issue is while the inexperienced subconsciously feel it and go back to WoW.

I have stated this so many times and I really want to make that point understood and seen.

JediMasterShake's Avatar


JediMasterShake
01.23.2012 , 01:50 PM | #958
Bump for the immense amount of time and effort put in by the community to constructively troubleshoot and get to the core of this issue. I've unsubbed, but still wish to see this game succeed - especially in this very important area.

We need to be clear as a gaming community that when new games are released, this, over any other feature, is the most important to have.

Responsiveness before everything.
Make a fast break, or that'll be the last mistake that <bleep> will make, is what you get for messin' with
Master Shake.

Matteis's Avatar


Matteis
01.23.2012 , 01:54 PM | #959
Well, I'm certainly going to continue posting in here even though a fix is allegedly on the way. If this patch that has the fix doesn't actually resolve the issue, there is going to be hell to pay. BW will have to go mod-crazy on the forums to address the chaos that will ensue. I also think that's going to be the day that subs will either rise or drop significantly since this issue is that critical.
Annihilation Droid XRR-3: "I have been armed with twenty-four distinct weapons technologies."
Squadron 157, server HK-47, August 5th, 2011.

Xcore's Avatar


Xcore
01.23.2012 , 01:57 PM | #960
Quote: Originally Posted by Starglide View Post
Exactly. It is about the experienced consciously feeling and knowing what the issue is while the inexperienced subconsciously feel it and go back to WoW.

I have stated this so many times and I really want to make that point understood and seen.
Part of the problem here is that most of those who consciously feel it just leave and unsub, go back to WoW... and on top of that, especially those who subconsciously feel it, simply feel weird, clunky, bad playing... get frustrated, can't put finger on what exactly the issue is and... leave.

So in the end, you have games like WAR, Vanguard, LotRO and countless others failing without ever knowing why. Then the developers and publishers believe it is because they didn't have X feature etc.. and so we keep getting these clunky, feature full, expensive and ambitious MMOs...

So unless this issue is defined and brought to attention, developers and publishers finally push for gameplay we'll not have a decent MMO until Titan...

Well played Blizzard....