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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)

Xcore's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:42 PM | #1

Before you label me a Troll please read my Early Review here:

Video Examples of the Discussed Subject

Thank You - Baznasty (Page 87) -- WoW Example/Contrast MUST SEE!:

Thank You - Sanchpanza (Page 123) -- TOR Example

Thank You - Samdbtto (Page 124) -- TOR Target Switch Responsiveness

Thank You - Badchx (Page 181) -- TOR Healing Issue MUST SEE!:

Thank You - Devolution (Page 210) -- TOR Melee Ability Delay MUST SEE!:

Note: Please, if you agree with these points and this subject, rate the thread. Perhaps this will raise Bioware's awareness. Anything we can do to make SW:TOR the best it can be because the truth is you and I are here because we want it to succeed and we see it's potential.

The game has been out long enough for the masses to finally realize the negatives. As people are getting out of the starting planets and the "new and shiny" feeling starts to subside, the cracks in this new wonderous world are becoming apparent.

Ability Delay and Character Responsiveness: -- It is not Latency or FPS Lag

I will attempt to discuss this issue and I will do so in a manner that I hope will make everyone understand it better. The "Character Responsiveness" for lack of a better term, is how "smooth" the game plays from your avatars perspective. I have played SWG and EQ to a lesser degree as well as Warhammer Online and several other MMOs and I must honestly say that Bioware has gotten this all too important aspect much better than any previous MMO that I have experienced (with the obvious exception, to which we will get soon).

You see, I really want you (The Reader) to understand the importance of this topic. To drive home "how" important this is. In fact I will say this: I am in no way shy to say that, the reason Warhammer Online, EQs, Rift, SWG etc. etc. could never "ever" get to anything near WoW subscriptions is the Character Responsiveness. All these games failed for many reasons, and a game "can" fail for many reasons and on many fronts but this single-one-category... is by "far" the #1 Reason why World of Warcraft is World of Warcraft.

Again, I must drive home the fact that no matter if you understand this issue or are new to the subject (and perhaps MMOs) or if you believe the game is fun and enjoyable and think that this is just a vocal minority piping up on something nonsensical. This is the undeniable truth and any game developer or serious gamer worth their salt will agree.

What is Character Responsiveness and Ability Delay? -- It is not Latency or FPS lag

It is the feeling of connection between the person behind the keyboard and the Avatar that is being controlled. Basically, the better the Character Responsiveness is, the smoother the Game Plays! You may HATE World of Warcraft and believe it is the worst abomination on the planet... that is fine. HOWEVER, you "must" objectively admit that it is the absolute, smoothest Character Responsiveness in a Western Available MMO ever.

If you are a WoW player, and have played WoW with any amount of skill, competitiveness, you cannot help but cringe when in a Warzone in SW:TOR. It feels unresponsive, frustrating... as if something is wrong with you! but there is nothing you can do about it!

If you have never played WoW, perhaps you come from SWG or EQ2 or Rift etc. that is fine! You are WELCOME in this thread, it is not WoW Players against the Rest! I just "need" you to understand that SW:TOR is "noticeably" and "objectively" bad in this crucial department. I am not writing this because I am trolling or because I love WoW, on the contrary. I am doing this because I want SW:TOR to be amazing, I love so many aspects of this great game... but if this is not addressed it "will" die like every other one.

Why is this "so" important?! -- It is not Latency or FPS lag

From here on I will say 0.5 for emphasis but reality is 0.2, 0.3 (ANY) Ability Delay is unacceptable.

And here is the real problem. It is so important because MMO gaming has become so "tight", so competitive and so smooth (through WoW), that it is completely and absolutely unacceptable for an ability or animation to be delayed by 0.5 seconds.

0.5 seconds is a lot of time, to our visual cortex. 0.5 seconds is the difference between interrupting a CC of the enemy player or not (and thus being disadvantaged/dying). 0.5 seconds is the difference between landing a Taunt on the "add" that just came into the room and thus having it come to you or it one-shotting your healer and thus wiping on the Boss you've just spent 3 Days wiping to.

Zero Point Five Seconds is a ******* Long Time

Bioware, I plead that you dedicate as many resources as required (all if needed) to address this. You cannot cram story/companions/new flashpoints - operations... Class Balance into patches and hope that is good enough.

I hate to be a crazed doomsayer but I must state: Mark my words, if SW:TOR's Character Responsiveness and Ability Delay is not on par with WoW's by March-June it will be just another Rift.

Bioware, please see the importance of Character Responsiveness and Visual Stimulation of Ability Animation Correctness. It should be impossible for me to have an ability's cooldown activated without seeing it animate.... this is unacceptable. I just truly hope that this isn't a core coding issue or engine issue, because then we're f'd.

Notable Mention:

Page 133 -- Poster: ajjw

"In a game like WoW, if your previous spell's animation is still playing when you use your next spell, the old animation immediately ends and that of the new spell beings. However in TOR, if an animation is still playing, the game will not let you cast another spell, even if the cast time and GCD have already finished.

In other words, if a spell has a 2s cast time but a 2.5s animation, you'll be sat there looking stupid for 0.5s unable to cast anything after the first spell, whereas in WoW the last 0.5s of the old animation will be "clipped" (ie cut off) and you'll be able to cast a new spell immediately, the animation of which will also begin to play immediately."

P.S.: It is not Latency or FPS Lag... also very important to understand.

taoyinyang's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:48 PM | #2
I updated my graphics card drivers, tweaked my NVidia settings and I have none of the issues you stated above.

Gunryu's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:51 PM | #3
Honestly I have to agree with this, I can deal with all the small bugs (character being stuck in an open room for example) but this is really annoying, I have died several times to this and it is quite frustrating, I too wish to see this game succeed as I already love it, but if this doesn't get fixed I dunno.

Zangton's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:51 PM | #4
Xcore, for what it is worth, thank you for eloquently wording what many of us are struggling to find the words for. I agree with you completely, and have been feeling the exact same way you do. I look forward to any other responses you may have.

Xcore's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:52 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by taoyinyang View Post
I updated my graphics card drivers, tweaked my NVidia settings and I have none of the issues you stated above.
... no... I'm not sure if I should indulge and attempt to clarify that this has "NOTHING" to do with hardware AT ALL or if you're trolling me.

Please, instead of me poking around trying to close the gap to your understanding of this subject... why don't you ask me what you're misunderstanding and I will answer and perhaps we will be on the same page.

bchorn's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:53 PM | #6
What timing do you have your Ability Action Queue Window? I believe that defaults to 0.5 seconds.

kottonmouth's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:56 PM | #7
perfect post, i agree with this entirely. i want this game to be it's very best and i hope bioware listens to you.

Xcore's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 08:59 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Zangton View Post
Xcore, for what it is worth, thank you for eloquently wording what many of us are struggling to find the words for. I agree with you completely, and have been feeling the exact same way you do. I look forward to any other responses you may have.
Thanks and the funny thing is, I completely sympathize with all the people who have no idea what we're talking about here or who don't see a problem etc.

I would just like to strap them into the chair and play WoW for 1 week straight (yes even if you hate it!) just to see the difference in Responsiveness that is being mentioned.

As for being eloquent, I try but at the same time I feel that people who have something inherently against WoW etc. go into Defensive Mode so quickly that the topic/subject and issue at hand is irrelevant and lost... thus they can never understand it in the first place.

In any case, I really am trying to sound the least possible condescending and arrogant and all I would like is some dialogue with a Bioware Developer, I really feel they need to communicate with us on this topic to put us at ease and to give a feeling of "We understand exactly what you're talking about, we'll try to fix it... here is what the problem is".

If Bioware, would just respond with anything. I am fine with them even saying "Yes guys, we know its a problem... we don't have a timeframe for the solution yet but we're on it"

Engeven's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 09:01 PM | #9
This is an amazing post, I was expecting a hate post but this post is pretty good and constructive.

It's already too damn difficult to explain what this is, I think majority of people will not understand what exactly OP means but as a gamer who played most of the MMOs, I totally get it and I couldn't have explained it any better.

It's a FEELING which prevents me commit too much to any other game than wow. WoW is awesome about this. this feeling will be less disturbing as we get used to gameplay by playing a lot (again speaking with my MMO experience) however at the end of the day we will realize wow just feels more right. But I will try not to quit swtor because of this since this is an amazing game and I will try to get used to it as much as I can.

Xcore's Avatar

12.25.2011 , 09:02 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by bchorn View Post
What timing do you have your Ability Action Queue Window? I believe that defaults to 0.5 seconds.
Yes default is 0.5 but it is important to understand that it is not the Queuing of Abilities that is the issue, it is the execution of an ability.

It has nothing to do with this sadly, for example... I cast "Aimed Shot"... about 0.5 seconds after I hit my button it starts to cast (at 40-50 FPS and 20ms Latency). Also, my "next ability" that I am spamming already before the Aimed Shot Cast Time is completed (as to not miss any time between) never goes off and no animation ever happens...

I mean, the whole system is just messed up, not smooth... not responsive.