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What should the aggro cap on Homecoming be?


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Like the title asks "What should the aggro cap be?"

 

This is a theoretical question that's been thrown around for ages. For a long time it was believed the cap was impractical or impossible to change and the discussion was moot. Recently though the Ouro devs who maintain the core CoX gamecode have discovered the mechanism for determining the aggro cap, a const value buried in the C code. A few servers are now successfully running with a raised cap, or with no cap at all.

 

However, just because you can doesn't mean you should. So there's the question: What should the aggro cap on Homecoming be?

 

(I have my own thoughts but I'd like to hear other players first.)

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4 minutes ago, DougGraves said:

If we make it unlimited we can make tankers useful at level 50 again.  Go back to just having fire/ice tankers herding the entire map while everyone else stands around the doorway.


That sounds about as fun as watching paint dry.

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We all have seen the rooms that have two+ large groups in one room within line of sight of each other. And you know that if you don't pull one group away, the other group(s) will take notice and pile on in a big mess. As a tank, you already have aggro on the first group and any attempt to taunt the other group(s) will fall flat until enough of the initial mob die to bring you under the aggro cap. In this situation, you have to rely on the other members of the team to recognize the danger and manage it. For a group that has played together before, that isn't unreasonable. For a pug that could have wildly varying degrees of experience & strength of build, there is a higher degree of chance that the scene will devolve into chaos and face planting. 

 

Do I understand why the aggro cap is where it is at? yes, and part of me agrees with it (to force teams to think about how they engage). But a part of me really misses aggroing half a map and dumpster diving. I think uncapping the aggro limit would be dangerous to the health of the game as it would steer groups to behave in that manner and make that the expected approach all of the time. If the HC team decides to raise the cap, I wouldn't complain, nor would I complain if they left it right where it is. 

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Perhaps a more useful question is how hardcoded 17 is?  

 

It started off unlimited, but seriously how much is now dependent on that number without anyone knowing testing it?

 

Perhaps give Tanks an inherent pet at a certain level?  35? 40? 50? That can grab another 17 but then just funnel the mobs right to the tank? or be symbiotic like a MM pet except whatever hate the pet grabs just goes right onto the Tankers armor/defenses/health?  The pet becomes a defacto appendage of the Tank and gets around breaking anything dependent code-wise on the agro cap of 17.

 

PS, if you do the pet, for the love of Paragon either make the thing customizable or able to be invisible.  I will not run a Tank whose only choice is a mekman helper or some other nonsense.

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22 minutes ago, Snarky said:

Perhaps a more useful question is how hardcoded 17 is?  

 

It started off unlimited, but seriously how much is now dependent on that number without anyone knowing testing it?

 

Perhaps give Tanks an inherent pet at a certain level?  35? 40? 50? That can grab another 17 but then just funnel the mobs right to the tank? or be symbiotic like a MM pet except whatever hate the pet grabs just goes right onto the Tankers armor/defenses/health?  The pet becomes a defacto appendage of the Tank and gets around breaking anything dependent code-wise on the agro cap of 17.

 

PS, if you do the pet, for the love of Paragon either make the thing customizable or able to be invisible.  I will not run a Tank whose only choice is a mekman helper or some other nonsense.

 

 

Homecoming is running on a different code base than the i24 servers, but from what I've been led to believe because of the way the aggro cap was shoehorned in after the game was in production, it's controlled by a single line of code:

 

#define AI_CRITTER_AGGRO_CAP 17 // number of critters that will aggro you at any one time

 

I haven't hunted down the actual portion of the code where this is set (I'm told its controlled by the mapserver code). Some servers that are running modified i24 code apparently have it in a config file. No idea if Homecoming is the same due to its divergent code base, but it should be pretty similar.

Edited by oedipus_tex
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3 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

No offense to the OP, but this topic has been done to death.

 

While I appreciate it has been talked about before, the topic was discussed when it was thought impossible or impractical to change the cap. Now that that is no longer the case and there are other CoX servers running with different aggro caps it's worth talking about whether Homecoming should stick to 16 or go with something else.  

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Actually, I would prefer you refer to any of the following threads instead of me just saying it has been done to death. And also, that was just the first of more than 10 pages containing "aggro cap".

 

Edit: oops, I included this thread 😁

 

Edited by Glacier Peak
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3 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Actually, I would prefer you refer to any of the following threads instead of me just saying it has been done to death.

 

 

Thanks I'm familiar.

 

Back on topic: Now that the mechanism for raising the aggro cap is known and has been sucessfully deployed what should the aggro cap be?

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2 minutes ago, oedipus_tex said:

 

Thanks I'm familiar.

 

Back on topic: Now that the mechanism for raising the aggro cap is known and has been sucessfully deployed what should the aggro cap be?

Well if you took the time to read at least three of those threads that were already started before yours that explicitly discussed other servers being able to raise their aggro cap, you would be more informed and perhaps less likely to start another thread about something that has been discussed to death. Seeing as how you're not inclined to use the search button to answer your own question and would rather continue kicking the camel, I say good luck to you!

 

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4 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Well if you took the time to read at least three of those threads that were already started before yours that explicitly discussed other servers being able to raise their aggro cap, you would be more informed and perhaps less likely to start another thread about something that has been discussed to death. Seeing as how you're not inclined to use the search button to answer your own question and would rather continue kicking the camel, I say good luck to you!

 

 

I appreciate you have strong feelings about this topic. I think highly of the Homecoming team and have strong feelings about City of Heroes too. I also have my own private server with a binning engine and the ability to change the cap for myself, so this question is more than just academic for me.

 

IMO this topic comes up a lot for the same reason other topics come up a lot. The aggro cap is a fundamental aspect of the combat system. There are threads about it for the same reason there are threads about damage, recharge, accuracy, or the defense equation. If a Homecoming moderator would prefer to roll this thread into one of those, that is fine with me. I figured a discussion that would include the actual code mechanics would derail other discussions too much.

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I'd be more curious as to why they picked 17 as the cap.  Why did folks who were presumably much more familiar with the values and mechanics of the game pick 17 over 15 or 30 or 200?  I pretty sure even when it appears they just tossed darts at the board they had a more specific reason(s).  If not then even that conveys meaning as to their thought on its significance.  

 

Beyond that I see no strong or particular reason to change the existing value(s) to the threat and aggro mechanics.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Doomguide2005 said:

I'd be more curious as to why they picked 17 as the cap.

Yeah I'm wondering why 17 was chosen too. Presumably it had specific significance over 16 or 18.

 

Anyway, in my opinion an aggro cap is absolutely necessary for the teaming dynamic of the game and the current cap of 17 seems about right. As much as it would be satisfying as a tanker to 'herd all the things', it would be more boring for everyone else. The current set up does create some odd situations where mobs over the cap are standing around looking at you but that's only really a solo thing, on a team those mobs would be making life exciting for the squishies and that's a good thing.

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1 hour ago, Doomguide2005 said:

I'd be more curious as to why they picked 17 as the cap.  Why did folks who were presumably much more familiar with the values and mechanics of the game pick 17 over 15 or 30 or 200?  I pretty sure even when it appears they just tossed darts at the board they had a more specific reason(s).  If not then even that conveys meaning as to their thought on its significance.  

 

Beyond that I see no strong or particular reason to change the existing value(s) to the threat and aggro mechanics.

 

 

 

Max spawn size, I would guess. Probably 16 max spawn + 1 AV.

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1 hour ago, Glacier Peak said:

Well if you took the time to read at least three of those threads that were already started before yours that explicitly discussed other servers being able to raise their aggro cap, you would be more informed and perhaps less likely to start another thread about something that has been discussed to death. Seeing as how you're not inclined to use the search button to answer your own question and would rather continue kicking the camel, I say good luck to you!

 

you seem determined to derail this thread . why is it so important to you that you need to rudely talk over people? Who died and elected you to crusade about this?

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18 minutes ago, Coyote said:

 

Max spawn size, I would guess. Probably 16 max spawn + 1 AV.

I would guess you're probably right.  It's very likely linked to spawn and or AoE caps (at least outside Incarnate content).  But why +1 over.  If for an AV why not just adjust the AV ai in threat mechanics?  What is different about 1 over vs +3 or +1/team size?  Did they have a specific reason or did it just work well in internal testing?  Inquiring minds want to know 😜

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I'd be fine with leaving it *right* where it is. Unlimited was, and is, ridiculous and boring for everyone else, and would be even more broken with today's Incarnate system where it's not just blasters who can kill mobs in a single nuke. People can already "manage" more, but it takes a bit of work. With todays "oh, I def capped everything before breakfast" builds, *something* should take a little paying attention to.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

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I feel like if you were to modify the aggro cap you'd also have to modify how AoEs work, how defense and resistance works, spawn size and positioning and above all other things, enemy AI. Herding is pretty easy even now so unless you modify the broader game to make even a marginal change in aggro cap interesting I don't really see the point. But, if you disagree, I'd be interested in hearing your particular case.

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3 hours ago, oedipus_tex said:

 

While I appreciate it has been talked about before, the topic was discussed when it was thought impossible or impractical to change the cap.

I'm wondering who thought it was impossible or impractical.

First, there was no aggro cap, then it was a specific number.  OBVIOUSLY that number appears somewhere in the code.  That's how computers work.

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I used to hail from Infinity.  Mainly on Everlasting, now.

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1 minute ago, Ironblade said:

I'm wondering who thought it was impossible or impractical.

First, there was no aggro cap, then it was a specific number.  OBVIOUSLY that number appears somewhere in the code.  That's how computers work.

 

There are lot of reasons people thought changing the cap may be impractical. For years it was unknown if the number was limited by the size of an internal array or there was some other limiting factor. The code for this game was started sometime in the late 90s, with the aggro cap shoehorned in (into the mapserver for that matter) after the fact. That this part of the code turned out to be so clean is a  surprise. The OG devs never let on how it worked, and there wasn't a way to know until someone hunted it down.

 

It's worth having a look at this to see how important array sizes are to CoX and its method of storing information: https://rubidium.dev/2020/03/07/code-archaeology-reading-city-of-heroes-bin-files.html

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