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Weird deaths in Kephess HM


LagunaD's Avatar


LagunaD
09.09.2012 , 10:55 PM | #1
My operations group has Kephess HM on farm, but there is something strange going on with Breath of the Masters, seemingly causing random deaths.

The problem happens like this:

Kephess casts Breath on me and punts
Other tank taunts while he's casting and gets aggro
I run away and start dropping circles
After the 3rd or 4th circle, while I am *well* outside the radius of any circle drawn on the ground, I take a tick of damage from "Breath of the Masters" (i.e. a circle), which triggers "Touch of the Masters" and one-shots me.

I am aware that taking any damage with the Touch of the Masters debuff is a one-shot. But I am getting killed by a circle when I am about 1 radius outside the edge of any circle.

Here is the relevant combat log text, with irrelevant heals and post-death buff removal (some of which shows up before the actual death) trimmed out:

Spoiler


What is killing me is the 9006 tick from "Breath of the Masters" (the tick from a circle), which triggers the one-shot effect from the "Touch of the Masters" debuff.

This week, I ran out of each circle as soon as it dropped, and never re-entered a circle that was already visible. And after the third circle, about the time the fourth should have appeared, when I was *well* outside any of the circles I had already dropped, one of the circles still ticked and one-shot me. I was about 1 radius *outside* the edge (so about 2 radii from the center) of the nearest circle when it happened.

All I can figure is that the effect radius of the circles is about twice the size they are shown, but I have seen videos with people standing right at the edge to drop the circles almost on top of each other, without getting one-shot. So I am puzzled how to avoid this seemingly random dying. You have to stay somewhat close to the previously dropped circles to be in range to re-taunt after the last one drops.

If there's a mechanic I'm missing to avoid this, I'm perfectly happy to adapt to it, but I honestly can't figure out what it is. I suppose lag might explain it (i.e. it looks to me like I'm out of the circles, but the server thinks I'm still in), but I have about 50 ms latency, no noticeable lag spikes, and my body falls *well* outside any circle when I get one-shot.

Thinking back, the problem may only happen when I'm stopped, waiting for the next circle to appear. In our group, the other tank takes the first Breath, and always runs to the long side of the arena, which typically leaves me the shorter side where it is rather harder to just keep running all the time. But I have seen videos with people stopping to drop the circles close to one another without getting one-shot, so it's very strange. One would think that the effect of the circles stops at their edge. It does not appear to be a newly spawned circle that kills me, because there is never a new circle visible at the spot where I get one-shot...

I am aware that Kephess has a cleave that can also trigger a one-shot if you have the debuff, but I am not getting hit by it, as the combat log shows.

Edit:

Through the magic of Google, I found a video made by someone else that seems to show something similar happening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW8QmyQOaOY

The tank ("Tidus", marked with xhairs) drops the last circle and runs out of it. When he is well outside the edge (almost a full second after leaving the circle), he gets one-shot for no apparent reason.

Kephess is in the middle of casting on a different target when he dies (and facing away from him), so it cannot be due to a cleave.
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Belechannas/Sage - Knox/Vanguard

Vixxa/Marauder - Niobe/Sorceror
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KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
09.09.2012 , 11:16 PM | #2
It sounds like you're lingering just a hair too long while dropping the circles. My co-tank attempted to do this on one of our early runs at HM Kephess, and it's really hard to get the timing right. My hat is tipped vigorously to tanks who can do this reliably (without cooldowns).

What I do is just run flat-out and then double back on myself after the third circle. This way, I drop five in the space of three (with a little added width) and end up right back where I started, which is nice for being in range to taunt off the next Breath. Obviously, when I double back, I follow the edge of my just-dropped circles, dropping the last two in the slight gaps between the first, second and third. We also tank him such that we have the narrow end of the room (far left when you enter) for filling with purple, so that we don't end up dramatically out of position on the next taunt.

One of the things I've noticed in hard mode is that the purple circles tick more frequently and start ticking much faster. You basically need to be moving at full speed the moment the purple circle drops. If you're waiting for it to fall, you won't be able to react fast enough to move out in time (without cheesing using Resilience or Guarded by the Force).

One other thing to keep in mind is that the game seems to have about *double* its reported lag when dealing with AoE circles. (think: pre-nerf Vokk on Hard Mode Esseles) I haven't observed the radius of the purple circles to be any larger than the graphic, but I have observed with *other* AoEs that the lag within the server engine appears to be extremely high in calculating edge effects. Thus, unless you appear to be well beyond the circle when it starts ticking, the game will still count you as being inside it.
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dilettante on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (retired sentinel) Nimri (ruffian scoundrel)
Averith (marksman sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (vengeance jugg) Effek (pyro pt)

LagunaD's Avatar


LagunaD
09.09.2012 , 11:41 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
It sounds like you're lingering just a hair too long while dropping the circles. My co-tank attempted to do this on one of our early runs at HM Kephess, and it's really hard to get the timing right. My hat is tipped vigorously to tanks who can do this reliably (without cooldowns).

What I do is just run flat-out and then double back on myself after the third circle. This way, I drop five in the space of three (with a little added width) and end up right back where I started, which is nice for being in range to taunt off the next Breath. Obviously, when I double back, I follow the edge of my just-dropped circles, dropping the last two in the slight gaps between the first, second and third.
That is pretty much exactly what I'm trying to do. Tonight, I had already reached the spot where I wanted to drop the next circle and stopped there. Boom, dead, before the next circle appears.

Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
One of the things I've noticed in hard mode is that the purple circles tick more frequently and start ticking much faster. You basically need to be moving at full speed the moment the purple circle drops. If you're waiting for it to fall, you won't be able to react fast enough to move out in time (without cheesing using Resilience or Guarded by the Force).
I suppose this has to be the explanation, but I had time to move ~2 radii from the center where the previous circle dropped, and stop, before I took a tick.

The video I added to my original post shows pretty much the same thing happening.

But if you're right, then the problem isn't that the circle radius is bigger than it appears, it's that the ticks are somehow time-warped to happen where you were ~1-2 seconds ago, rather than where you actually are.
Dagoreth/Shadow - Martina/Sentinel - Sandrine/Commando - Silmara/Scoundrel
Belechannas/Sage - Knox/Vanguard

Vixxa/Marauder - Niobe/Sorceror
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KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
09.09.2012 , 11:58 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by LagunaD View Post
I suppose this has to be the explanation, but I had time to move ~2 radii from the center where the previous circle dropped, and stop, before I took a tick.

The video I added to my original post shows pretty much the same thing happening.

But if you're right, then the problem isn't that the circle radius is bigger than it appears, it's that the ticks are somehow time-warped to happen where you were ~1-2 seconds ago, rather than where you actually are.
The AoE lag warping is the only thing I can think of (short of a serious bug) that would cause this. The video is pretty convincing though that it could be the latter and not the former. Maybe instance lag? (which would explain the third-party view in the video) I've seen similarly bizarre issues with ability timing on other bosses, but nothing I could really check w.r.t. AoE.

On any other fight, I would suspect a bug first (lag second). However, the Kephess fight has been remarkably bug-free (with the exception of the Gift of the Masters issue early in 1.2), along with most of HM EC.

Have you been seeing this issue for a while, or did it just crop up?
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dilettante on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (retired sentinel) Nimri (ruffian scoundrel)
Averith (marksman sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (vengeance jugg) Effek (pyro pt)

LagunaD's Avatar


LagunaD
09.10.2012 , 12:08 AM | #5
It has happened since our first kill, almost two months ago, and happened again tonight.

Now that you mention it, I can think of another example of AoE damage "time-warping", actually.

In the outdoor Black Hole daily zone, the stong mobs do a ground targeted AoE attack (small red circle). Even if you watch for it and run *immediately*, it still hits you no matter where you are. This got so annoying that I actually started trying hard to see if I could avoid the attack a month or two ago. (i.e. wait for the red circle to appear and start running immediately, and it still hits you when you are ~10-15 m outside the circle).
Dagoreth/Shadow - Martina/Sentinel - Sandrine/Commando - Silmara/Scoundrel
Belechannas/Sage - Knox/Vanguard

Vixxa/Marauder - Niobe/Sorceror
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PlaceAdHere's Avatar


PlaceAdHere
09.10.2012 , 01:58 AM | #6
My group has noticed similar random deaths on both SM and HM. We even had issues where the tank that did not have breath of the masters was receiving random 1shot deaths from it. I remember I breath casted on me because I was placing the circles and then the other tank just drops. We've had HM EC on farm and are just running SM to help some new people get gear and our main tank with our main healers on him is just randomly dropping.
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chaosme's Avatar


chaosme
09.10.2012 , 02:17 AM | #7
This is probably not an issue of server lag causing it to appear as if your toon is out of the effect of the AoE and the server still thinking that you are inside the AoE.

I play with an average latency of 300ms that spikes to 1000ms from time to time and when I get hit and killed by desynced AoEs, such as the red circles at Toth & Zorn and the purple circles at Vokk before it was patched, my toon always teleports back into the effect of the AoE and dies there.

As mentioned by LagunaD and as seen in that video, he is dying nowhere near where the AoE effect is. There is probably something else at work here.

Codek's Avatar


Codek
09.10.2012 , 08:59 AM | #8
Don't stop moving!

I have a strong threory (all signs I have tested point to this) is that when you are running, the server assumes you continue to run while it waits for the next packet of information for your location. As long as the server thinks you are running, it will place your character outside of the circle (may be on the wrong side but it adjusts it's information once your next packet is received so no harm is done).

The problem that your getting is that the moment you stop moving and the server recognizes this, it will assume you are not moving until the next packet is received to say otherwise. If this packet is received after the tick from the placed circle occurs on the server side, it assumes you were standing in the circle (even if you moved out of it). It receives the packet that you moved but can not determine when you moved out of it so it assumes the worse and kills you.

As long as you never give the server any indication that you stop moving, it will never make the assumption that you did not make it out of the circle in time. (Sorry DPS but there is no work around for you guys getting out of the Toth circles, it's just a hit or miss for you guys )


BW: Can we get incorporated time stamps or flags to get set for when the client recognizes we made it safely out of hazards for future raids please? TY
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Maestrodomus's Avatar


Maestrodomus
09.10.2012 , 10:45 AM | #9
Just lag and graphical error with ground plants. Happens a lot with Karragga's fire with far less consequences. In 8 HM you can either try to plant them neatly and hope you don't get one shot from lag, or you can just run constantly laying them down quite sloppily, but the downfall is you get further away making it harder to get back in time. Plus you'll lay down the 5th circle in a bad spot because he casts breath after the 4th and you'll be on your way back.
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Nepheron's Avatar


Nepheron
09.12.2012 , 11:12 AM | #10
Yep, we farm Kephess HM and this still happens from time to time (actually it happened just last night). Our best explanation is lag because it occurs inconsistently, it happens to tanks that are very familiar with the mechanic, and visually it appears that you are well outside the circle when you die.

While it is annoying, if it happens after the fist/second circle, we are now able to quickly res the tank, buff, heal up, have a dpser taunt for the debuf, then the res'd tank taunts just in time as if nothing happened. In a perverse way it makes that last phase a bit more exciting, but that's only because we've done it so many times. If this happens to a group while they are progressing, the rage/frustration would be pretty bad

Anyway, you are not alone - just wanted to chime in.