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Interface Procs are Bugged...my Test Results might show why


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This bug has been brought up numerous times over the last year. You can check that out here, here, and here. I have not seen much discussion on this by the devs, with the only mention of looking into it came from @Captain Powerhouse where he stated this. However, I have no idea if he actually looked into it. Nonetheless, I decided to look into it by creating large sample sizes of data and hopefully identify a trend (for those who don't like lots of numbers, feel free to scroll down to my conclusion, which is in big-bold letters at the bottom).

 

Here is what we think we know. The DoT does its proc check after each tick and will cancel all subsequent ticks if there is a miss. This means we have the following expected performance numbers for a DoT that has a 75% chance of “ticking”.


Probability of 0 ticks: 25% (25% to miss on first tick attempt)
Probability of at least 1 tick: 75% (75% to hit on first tick attempt)
Probability of at least 2 ticks: 56.25% (75% x 75%)
Probability of at least 3 ticks: 42.19% (75% x 75% x 75%)
Probability of at least 4 ticks: 31.64% (75% x 75% x 75% x 75%)
Probability of all 5 ticks: 23.73% (75% x 75% x 75% x 75% x 75%)

 

This also translates to the following expected performance:


Probability of exactly 0 ticks: 25% 
Probability of exactly 1 tick: 18.75% (75% x 25%: hit on 1st, then miss on 2nd)
Probability of exactly 2 ticks: 14.06% (75% x 75% x 25%)
Probability of exactly 3 ticks: 10.55% (75% x 75% x 75% x 25%)
Probability of exactly 4 ticks: 7.91% (75% x 75% x 75% x 75% x 25%)
Probability of all 5 ticks: 23.73%

 

This tells us that on average, for every successful attack we hit, we can expect 2.288 DoT ticks. (0*25% + 1*18.75% + 2*14.06% + 3*10.55% + 4*7.91% + 5*23.73% = 2.288).

 

Now that we know all the math for the expected performance (which was suggested/verified to us by Captain PowerHouse in the similar Bug Report last year), let’s look at the results we get from testing.


For this test, I removed all recharge bonuses for my build and used auto-Kick repeatedly. I did this because it would create a 5 second cycle between Kicks, which make all potential DoT ticks play out before I could perform the next Kick attack. This made it much easier for me to parse my combat log to measure the number of ticks generated from each attack (which I will compare to the probability of EXACT results I just provided). Finally, I removed all results where my final Kick attack resulted in the defeat of the enemy. I did this because we could never be sure of how many ticks of damage the target could have had if they remained alive (once they're dead, the ticks stopped). This includes removing results where the death occurred on the 5th tick. Even though we know exactly how many ticks happened, it is unfair to cherry pick (please don't make me explain the math). So those were my test conditions. Now, onto the results.


Test 1 (10 Feb 2020): T3 Degenerative Radial (+75% chance DoT only)

313 Successful Kicks. 
No Ticks: 149 (47.60%)
1 Tick: 29 (9.27%)
2 Ticks: 34 (10.86%)
3 Ticks: 20 (6.39%)
4 Ticks: 22 (7.03%)
5 Ticks: 59 (18.85%)
Average: 1.7252 Ticks per Successful Kick 

 

Test 2 (11 Feb 2020): T3 Degenerative Radial (+75% chance DoT only)

1192 Successful Kicks.
No Ticks: 522 (43.79%)
1 Tick: 178 (14.93%)
2 Ticks: 109 (9.14%)
3 Ticks: 82 (6.88%)
4 Ticks: 86 (7.21%)
5 Ticks: 215 (18.04%)
Average: 1.7290 Ticks per Successful Kick

 

Test 1 and 2 combined:

1505 Successful Kicks
No Ticks: 671 (44.58%)
1 Tick: 207 (13.75%)
2 Ticks: 143 (9.50%)
3 Ticks: 102 (6.78%)
4 Ticks: 108 (7.18%)
5 Ticks: 274 (18.21%)
Average: 1.7282 Ticks per Successful Kick

 

These results show that the actual performance is nothing close to the expected performance. So, what’s going on here, exactly? First, let’s look at the ratio of the test results with the expected results.

1 Tick: 13.75%/18.75% = 0.7335
2 Ticks: 9.50%/14.06% = 0.6757
3 Ticks: 6.78%/10.55% = 0.6426
4 Ticks: 7.18%/7.91% = 0.9072
5 Ticks: 18.21%/23.73% = 0.7672
Average: 1.728/2.288 = 0.7553

 

There’s a little bit of variance still happening, but it seems there is a pattern, which is the probability of X Ticks are all being weighted by approximately 0.75 (75%). I suspect an extra 75% probability to proc is being applied in the front end and it carries itself through the rest of the ticks. I notice similar behavior with the 25% proc as I performed a small test (using a T4 Reactive Core) of 172 samples and only saw 9 ticks (5.23%, when I expected 25%). I don’t have enough samples with the 25% proc yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it is also having the 25% probability to proc applied an extra time on the front, which cascades down to the probability of the subsequent ticks.

 

If my hunch is correct, then the probability of X ticks to occur would no longer be:

X: Current Expected | Actual?
0: 25% | 43.75%
1: 18.75% | 14.06%
2: 14.06% | 10.55%
3: 10.55% | 7.91%
4: 7.91% | 5.93%
5: 23.73% | 17.80%

 

And for completion, here are the numbers for the 25% DoT (needs more testing)

X: Current Expected | Actual?
0: 75% | 93.75%
1: 18.75% | 4.69%
2: 4.69% | 1.17%
3: 1.17% | 0.29%
4: 0.29% | 0.07%
5: 0.10% | 0.02%
 

As for continuing testing, I'll do so when incarnates become free again on Beta. As of now, I'm limited to the 75% T3 Degenerative and the 25% T4 Reactive.

 

Edit: To be clear with my phrasing. I suspect only the first tick is having an extra 75% (or 25%) check applied to its proc. All subsequent ticks should be working as expected (with just the single 75% proc checked).

Edited by Bopper
Edit for clarity.
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Update:

I have ran a new test using a 50% Spectral Interface DoT Proc (w/ 10% chance to Immobilize). If we were to assume the DoTs are working as intended (they're not), we would expect the following results:

 

Probability of 0 ticks: 50% (50% to miss on first tick attempt)
Probability of at least 1 tick: 50% (50% to hit on first tick attempt)
Probability of at least 2 ticks: 25% (50% x 50%)
Probability of at least 3 ticks: 12.5% (50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of at least 4 ticks: 6.25% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of all 5 ticks: 3.125% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)

 

This also translates to the following expected performance:


Probability of exactly 0 ticks: 50% 
Probability of exactly 1 tick: 25% (50% x 50%: hit on 1st, then miss on 2nd)
Probability of exactly 2 ticks: 12.5% (50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of exactly 3 ticks:  6.25% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of exactly 4 ticks: 3.125% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of all 5 ticks: 3.125%

 

HOWEVER, it is my hypothesis that the first tick in the DoT proc is getting checked twice, thus resulting is a NEW expected performance:

 

Probability of exactly 0 ticks: 75% (100% - 50% x 50%: doesn't hit twice on first)
Probability of exactly 1 tick: 12.5% (50% x 50% x 50%: hit twice on 1st, then miss on 2nd)
Probability of exactly 2 ticks: 6.25% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50%: hit twice on 1st, hit on 2nd, then miss on 3rd)
Probability of exactly 3 ticks:  3.125% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of exactly 4 ticks: 1.5625% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)
Probability of all 5 ticks: 1.5625% (50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50% x 50%)

 

So I ran a new test, and here are the results:

 

2,096 Successful Kicks

No Ticks: 1,479  (70.56%)

1 Tick: 317  (15.12%)

2 Ticks: 147  (7.01%)

3 Ticks: 83  (3.96%)

4 Ticks: 42  (2.00%)

5 Ticks: 22  (1.05%)

 

Conclusion: Interface DoT Procs are bugged on their first DoT tick, as they are being rolled twice. This requires the first tick to be successful both times in order for the tick to fire, greatly reducing the intended DoT Proc performance.

 

Also, thanks to @Gulbasaur for first noticing this behavior in his original Bug Report last summer. His testing should have been recognized sooner.

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This seems like it's an error in maths, as though a perenthesis was used improperly, or not at all.

 

For example in the formula above we see

 

100%-50%•50%. GERMDAS stipulates that order would be multiplication first, followed by subtraction, in this case. Hence, the 75%.

 

If we modify the equation as such,

 

(100%-0%)•50% our result is then 50%. Just a simple example.

 

Perhaps a Dev can post the line code that includes the formula to eliminate simple errors in order, just to eliminate the easy stuff?

Edited by SwitchFade
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@Bopper Nice work!

 

Can confirm, there's an extra roll for the mod to attach. I didn't catch it when I checked this out last time (was assuming it was a duplicated Chance but didn't find one), but the numbers clearly indicate that's what's happening so I looked again, and found it hidden in the Requires.

Requires target.isFriend? ! @ToHitRoll @ToHit / @ChanceMods < &&

That @ToHitRoll @ToHit / @ChanceMods < is the hacky way the Paragon devs used to get a consistent roll in order to tie multiple attribmods together.

 

In this case it shouldn't even be there at all, since the DoT attribmod is CancelOnMiss and has a TickChance of 0 (which gets increased by global chance mods based on which ability you have slotted). So the chance is being applied twice, once for the mod to attach, and then again on the first tick.

 

My guess is this was probably copied and pasted from the Reactive -Res debuff -- that effect had an attribmod for each damage type, and would have needed the hacky workaround to consistently apply them instead of doing a separate 75% chance roll for each type. We don't actually need the hack anymore since the I25+ engine has effect groups, but that's a whole different discussion.

 

I'll ping @Captain Powerhouseto remove the unnecessary part of the Requires and get that change in the pipeline.

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4 minutes ago, Number Six said:

@Bopper Nice work!

 

Can confirm, there's an extra roll for the mod to attach. I didn't catch it when I checked this out last time (was assuming it was a duplicated Chance but didn't find one), but the numbers clearly indicate that's what's happening so I looked again, and found it hidden in the Requires.

Requires target.isFriend? ! @ToHitRoll @ToHit / @ChanceMods < &&

That @ToHitRoll @ToHit / @ChanceMods < is the hacky way the Paragon devs used to get a consistent roll in order to tie multiple attribmods together.

 

In this case it shouldn't even be there at all, since the DoT attribmod is CancelOnMiss and has a TickChance of 0 (which gets increased by global chance mods based on which ability you have slotted). So the chance is being applied twice, once for the mod to attach, and then again on the first tick.

 

My guess is this was probably copied and pasted from the Reactive -Res debuff -- that effect had an attribmod for each damage type, and would have needed the hacky workaround to consistently apply them instead of doing a separate 75% chance roll for each type. We don't actually need the hack anymore since the I25+ engine has effect groups, but that's a whole different discussion.

 

I'll ping @Captain Powerhouseto remove the unnecessary part of the Requires and get that change in the pipeline.

This is fantastic to hear. Thank you Number Six.

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And THIS is why it's never too late to go check on things that everyone "KNOWS" is working right, just to make sure it is.  After all, it's this kind of work that made @arcanaville mildly famous for a while (still...!) in figuring out how Defense ACTUALLY worked.

 

Good job @Bopper.

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Just now, Redlynne said:

And THIS is why it's never too late to go check on things that everyone "KNOWS" is working right, just to make sure it is.  After all, it's this kind of work that made @arcanaville mildly famous for a while (still...!) in figuring out how Defense ACTUALLY worked.

 

Good job @Bopper.

Thank you. It's funny, I was actually going to test a different cause of the bug, but while Beta isn't allowing free incarnates I decided I'd atleast build up a base set of numbers to later compare to. But once I noticed problems with my "good data", I went back and did more thorough tests and research to identify the root cause. Gotta love it when math finds the answer.

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*Mutters gently under his breath, gesticulating vaguely at the post he did in the bug report forum six months ago*

 

Amazing work as always Bopper. It's been a pleasure collaborating with you on this and glad it's been picked up by the dev team this time.

 

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2 minutes ago, The Philotic Knight said:

Great work! I love how the thread title sounds like a clickbait listicle title.

Lol, that may or may not have been intentional.

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  @Bopper

 

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4 hours ago, Bopper said:

Lol, that may or may not have been intentional.

Honestly, it worked. I will remember it.

 

"I tested this bug and YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT I FOUND"

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I learn so much more than how to kill Skulls when reading these forums.  Great job @Bopper, @Gulbasaur and all the others who have worked so hard to figure out how Procs really work.  I’ve actually been only slotting my Interface powers to T3 until this got fixed as I wasn’t sure if it was WAI or truly bugged.  Sounds like I can safely T4 out the ones I want now, knowing even if they aren’t functioning properly right now, they will at some point “Real Soon Now.”

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:10 PM, Redlynne said:

And THIS is why it's never too late to go check on things that everyone "KNOWS" is working right, just to make sure it is.  After all, it's this kind of work that made @arcanaville mildly famous for a while (still...!) in figuring out how Defense ACTUALLY worked.

 

Good job @Bopper.

My rule was: when everyone thought the game was bugged I figured someone would eventually figure it out, but when everyone thought the game was working correctly that was when I should look really carefully, because who else would waste their time checking things everyone knew was working correctly.

 

Probably the most infamous incident of this was when everyone thought high defense was broken, and it turned out that since everyone was testing high defense with luck inspirations, it was actually *those* that were broken (technically, mislabeled).  It didn't occur to anyone that inspirations could have a completely different value than what they were labelled as.

 

The Cryptic/Paragon devs did commendable work getting a 2004 MMO with 1990s technology to do things many 2020 MMOs don't do today.  But they weren't immune to goofy errors either.  I'm happy to see there are people still willing to put that kind of time into CoH to make it better for others.  It was always the playerbase that was CoH's most valulable asset.  In sixteen years since its launch I have yet to see its equal anywhere.

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2 hours ago, arcanaville said:

It was always the playerbase that was CoH's most valulable asset.  In sixteen years since its launch I have yet to see its equal anywhere.

Personally speaking, I attribute this to the fact that the draw to play was ... spoiler alert ... HEROISM (at least until City of Villains came along).  That set the "tone" for the community of Players that sprang up around the game, and that tone generally sided with "being heroic" and by extension being altruistic.  Heroes (and Heroines) are the "good guys" side of things, rather than any kind of cutthroat "every man for themselves!" kind of vibe for the game.  A lot of that no doubt had to do with the fact that PvP wasn't even in the game at first, so the community coalesced and congealed into being a friendly and welcoming place before the "trash talking PvP" culture had an opportunity to take root (let alone try and take over).

 

So City of Heroes called it's community to BE BETTER right from the get go, and I'd like to think that all this time later we're STILL trying to live up to that calling.

 

Why?

Because we're Heroes.

It's what we do ...

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20 hours ago, Redlynne said:

Personally speaking, I attribute this to the fact that the draw to play was ... spoiler alert ... HEROISM (at least until City of Villains came along).  That set the "tone" for the community of Players that sprang up around the game, and that tone generally sided with "being heroic" and by extension being altruistic.  Heroes (and Heroines) are the "good guys" side of things, rather than any kind of cutthroat "every man for themselves!" kind of vibe for the game.  A lot of that no doubt had to do with the fact that PvP wasn't even in the game at first, so the community coalesced and congealed into being a friendly and welcoming place before the "trash talking PvP" culture had an opportunity to take root (let alone try and take over).

 

So City of Heroes called it's community to BE BETTER right from the get go, and I'd like to think that all this time later we're STILL trying to live up to that calling.

 

Why?

Because we're Heroes.

It's what we do ...

I'm sure there was some of that influence, but there are lots of games where the in-game fiction is player heroism and the playerbase is not nearly as altruistic or cooperative.  I have often wondered how much the massive "failure" of the devs to make a balanced game contributed to this (I say failure because the original Cryptic devs did aim for a conventionally balanced classical MMO and missed spectacularly).  City of Heroes was so broken in its game balance that the dog eat dog race to the top wasn't as strong or intense as it is elsewhere.  I could just wander around the City with my Ill/Rad and help people take down Jack and Eochai because why not?  I didn't need to grind my fingers to the bone trying to accumulate level 61 gear.

 

This is all relative of course: there were always people who thought the game was too grindy or too hard or whatever.  But it was easy enough, wide open game play enough, that the people in a position to be helpful also had the time and inclination to be helpful.  The game encouraged exploring the "power-space" of builds and abilities, and that encouraged people to share those explorations if for no other reason than it was more fun to share than to keep to themselves.  Yes, some people tried to covet fire farms, but for every person doing that there were several sharing builds on how to solo a pylon eight seconds faster than the previous guy.

 

I have often wondered if this is even possible to replicate.  These days most broken games are ripped apart by their playerbases, and most balanced games set the players against each other.  To make a broken game that encourages its players to cultivate and celebrate that brokenness like it is a privilege, I'm not sure what magic game design dust can do that today starting from scratch.

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21 hours ago, Redlynne said:

A lot of that no doubt had to do with the fact that PvP wasn't even in the game at first, so the community coalesced and congealed into being a friendly and welcoming place before the "trash talking PvP" culture had an opportunity to take root (let alone try and take over).

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4 hours ago, arcanaville said:

the playerbase is not nearly as altruistic or cooperative.

Another factor that I would cite for this is ... how EASY it was to team up in City of Heroes (even before Super Sidekicking).  Just being able to invite ANYONE ... regardless of what level their character was ... into a team and be able to play together on a somewhat leveled playing field is something that far too many other games have just simply failed to replicate.  The ease of being able to form a pick up group, and the joy of playing in one, is something that all too often seems to be either an afterthought or not even thought of at all for other games.  Stuff like just being able to join a group to run a dungeon can sometimes turn into a horrendous chore where you can only run it with characters that haven't done it already (or whatever).

 

The original Sidekicking system was a tad cumbersome in that you only had a 1v1 relationship between two characters, so you'd need to have 4 characters in the right level range to allow 4 other characters outside of that level range to participate in the content ... but that eventually got taken care of by the Super Sidekicking system that made it so EVERYONE on the team was automatically sidekicked/exemplared to whatever level was needed for the active mission content, so you didn't need to find matching pairs to fill out your team(s) with.

 

The whole easy teaming and sidekicking system made it SO MUCH EASIER to group up together and play together that the game wasn't a competition with other Players, but was more about PvE in the more classical sense ... Players versus Environment ... particularly when a lot of the pick up groups were either running task forces or later on radio missions, not because they "needed" to but simply because it was FUN TO DO.  That also helped reinforce making the game an easy going friendly place in which the random people you meet today might turn up again later on for you to fall in with another time, and everyone was here to have FUN rather than strut their iLvl e-peen to inspire envy in anyone who inspected your character.

 

To put it mildly, there were (and are) a LOT of factors that encouraged the playerbase to be more noble than savage in their relations with other Players ... and that carries on even now ... including the fact that there's no "competition for drops" when in a group, there's no Need Or Greed rolling for loot or other resource acquisition points that can turn a group against each other (aside from envy over what someone else got purely courtesy of RNGesus).

Edited by Redlynne
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On 2/18/2020 at 6:02 PM, Redlynne said:

Another factor that I would cite for this is ... how EASY it was to team up in City of Heroes (even before Super Sidekicking).  Just being able to invite ANYONE ... regardless of what level their character was ... into a team and be able to play together on a somewhat leveled playing field is something that far too many other games have just simply failed to replicate.  The ease of being able to form a pick up group, and the joy of playing in one, is something that all too often seems to be either an afterthought or not even thought of at all for other games.  Stuff like just being able to join a group to run a dungeon can sometimes turn into a horrendous chore where you can only run it with characters that haven't done it already (or whatever).

Actually, our team up mechanics were not particularly special originally, except for one thing that is so obvious most people don't even realize the impact this has on the entire game until they played other MMOs.  What made teaming completely different from all other MMOs was a feature that had nothing to do with the teaming mechanics: travel powers.

 

Travel powers meant you could team with anyone, anywhere in the game world.  We were so spoiled we sometimes got impatient waiting for someone in Skyway to get to us in PI.  But travel powers meant you could team with almost any team anywhere, so quickly you could even switch to another alt and then get there in just a couple minutes.

 

Try doing that in most other MMOs.  Heck, try doing that in Star Trek Online, where you supposedly have hyperspace drives and it still can take a huge amount of time for someone to get from one side of the quadrant to the other.  CoH had, relative to other MMOs, super fast travel.  Not only that, super fast travel *with no cooldowns*.  And this was before base teleporters.

 

To join a team you have to get to the team.  Most MMOs don't make that easy.  Some make it ridiculously hard.  When I was playing SWTOR, I was on a pick up team where someone tried to join, and we waited literally for twenty minutes for him to get to us before they and we gave up.  Not only did it take several minutes for him to physically travel to approximately where we were, he had to *fight spawns on the only road* that led to us.

 

This is something that must have seemed like a good idea on paper, but was ludicrous in practice for an MMO.  This only makes sense in a single player game - fighting on the only travel paths to a destination - which is one of the reasons why I coined the term "massively single player game" during SWTOR's Beta.

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2 minutes ago, arcanaville said:

Travel powers meant you could team with anyone, anywhere in the game world.  We were so spoiled we sometimes got impatient waiting for someone in Skyway to get to us in PI.  But travel powers meant you could team with almost any team anywhere, so quickly you could even switch to another alt and then get there in just a couple minutes.

 

Try doing that in most other MMOs.

Eve Online. Your destination is 46 jumps away, bad enough doing that with an interceptor, God forbid flying a freighter. Or even crazier if you were living in a wormhole and had to go-to a trade hub, and your entry wormhole popped, so now you have to rescan for a wormhole and bounce around looking for literally a needle in a haystack.

 

It could take you hours to find the right wormhole if you are experienced and know them in and out. A day or so if your more casual of a wormhole explorer, or if you have zero scanning skill, a week or more to train the skills and actually learn how to apply them.

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