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Is A More Responsive Feel Possible?


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Do you think it might be feasible to make the game feel a bit more responsive?

 

I understand that the game was made in a time of dial-up, where lag was enormous and the weird rubber-band feel of some powers didn't really matter. 

 

It's now the far future, 2021, post apocalypse and also pre at least another one or two. Lots of us don't even know what dial-up was! With that in mind, do you think that a more responsive game might be feasible by reducing come cast times, or is the rubbery feel of the game part of the way the client and server communicate on a fundamental level?

 

Is the rubbery feel desirable? Maybe it is? Has the snappy, responsive alternative already been tried and rejected?

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Posted (edited)

Are you looking more for the twitchy first person shooter console type play?  

 

Is you internet / pc slow?

 

I ask because I'm not exactly sure what you are describing.  CoH has always played like a standard MMORPG to me.  I do occasionally experience some pauses / lag / rubber banding etc but nothing more noticeable to me than when I play many other MMO's.  I am playing from northern California and my connection (through AT&T) is decent but not stellar (20 ~ 35 kbps).

 

There are times when the server seems to be under a bit of load (Everlasting) but not really anything outside of what I would call normal.  Or are you just saying "Hey, it's 2021.  Can't these things go faster / smoother?" to which the answer is a definite maybe?

 

Maybe you are referring to animation times?  Maybe all of the above?  Are you interested in something more like Age of Conan combat?  Just curious.  😀

 

Edited by KauaiJim
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On 5/4/2021 at 10:30 PM, KauaiJim said:

Are you looking more for the twitchy first person shooter console type play?  

 

Is you internet / pc slow?

 

I ask because I'm not exactly sure what you are describing.  CoH has always played like a standard MMORPG to me.  I do occasionally experience some pauses / lag / rubber banding etc but nothing more noticeable to me than when I play many other MMO's.  I am playing from northern California and my connection (through AT&T) is decent but not stellar (20 ~ 35 kbps).

 

There are times when the server seems to be under a bit of load (Everlasting) but not really anything outside of what I would call normal.  Or are you just saying "Hey, it's 2021.  Can't these things go faster / smoother?" to which the answer is a definite maybe?

 

Maybe you are referring to animation times?  Maybe all of the above?  Are you interested in something more like Age of Conan combat?  Just curious.  😀

 

 

Yeah, not really sure myself what the OP was trying to explain.

 

It may come down to the game engine being a limiting factor on what the HC devs can accomplish. Granted, they we able to discombobulate the spaghetti code of the bases, so who knows.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Oubliette_Red said:

discombobulate

 

I have to say this is a great word that I had entirely forgotten about!  For fun I just checked - 'discombobulate' , 'discombobulated' , 'discombobulator' and 'discombobulation' are already taken as names on Everlasting.  Would be awesome names for confuse toons whoever has them.  👍   

 

My 'best guess' as to what the OP was talking about is maybe the slower reaction times when the server is under load.  I start getting some temporary mapserver disconnects and pauses for abilities firing during combat, occasional rubber banding - that sort of thing?  That would definitely make someone think the game is rubbery and unresponsive.  For me this is only noticeable in certain conditions and those tend to be common conditions that cause unresponsiveness in almost all of the mmo's I've played; lots of players in a zone, lots of chat, busy market & email, basically the server is humming with activity - then I come along and try to run AE farms or something where there's a ton of fast number crunching going on and the graphics are maxed out with particle effects and lighting everywhere...  Well, yes, under these types of conditions this and most other mmo's that I have played will be less responsive.

 

Now, if the OP is having those types of response issues when things aren't under so much load then maybe something else is going on?  With mmo's responsive feel can be affected by anything from server load to the internet to your isp to you home network to your pc (which can be your cpu, your gpu, your memory, your os, your drivers, etc).  It is certainly possible the code on the server and client can and will be continually improved however as you stated there are limitations.  I would be 'all in' for any improvements that can be made but I honestly am not having any real issues beyond what is common for these types of games.  

 

Edited to add:   Snarky mentioned Excelsior rubber banding more lately, I have noticed it a bit on Everlasting also.  Again, it always seemed to be happening when the server was buzzing like a bee hive that had been kicked and I was doing something seriously busy.  Basically to me it seems like the 'trifecta' of (1) busy server load (2) heavy internet usage time (3) me doing something cpu/gpu client/server intensive.  If there is some way to improve responsiveness under those conditions (other than things like turning your graphics settings down) then that would be great.  But I think maybe there are so many 'moving parts' that can affect responsiveness that even if the game client and server were running perfect, well, you still have the entire internet, your isp, your home network, your pc....

 

Edited to add:   WHAT?  "Discombobulationatizer" is not a suitable name????  I think I discombobulated the name checker!  Okay, I got "Discombobulist". 🙂

Edited by KauaiJim
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On 5/5/2021 at 3:13 AM, Herotu said:

I understand that the game was made in a time of dial-up

Game came out in 2004. 

In 2004 I, and everyone I know, had broadband internet. Was that only a UK thing?

Just thought I'd mention it 😉

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26 minutes ago, Lunchmoney said:

Game came out in 2004. 

In 2004 I, and everyone I know, had broadband internet. Was that only a UK thing?

Just thought I'd mention it 😉

In 2004 I was still using DSL. 

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Posted (edited)

DSL was considered broadband.  I believe the reference to dial-up was to the 56kbps (or less) days.  Or perhaps that is what the OP meant, however (usually) DSL was much faster than dial-up.  Possibly it was just a loose reference to this being an older mmo, but it is inaccurate.  When dial-up was still a thing the internet was mostly bulletin boards and AOL.  Predates CoH by a little bit...

 

The rest of that sentence "where lag was enormous and the weird rubber-band feel of some powers didn't really matter" is also puzzling to me.  Responsiveness has been a priority in mmo's since the beginning.  I do not recall a 'time' playing mmo's when enormous lag and rubber banding really didn't matter.  Maybe it's a perception thing? 

Edited by KauaiJim
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1 hour ago, KauaiJim said:

 

Edited to add:   WHAT?  "Discombobulationatizer" is not a suitable name????  I think I discombobulated the name checker!  Okay, I got "Discombobulist". 🙂

 

Why not go the big afro, *fabulous* shades, flares, platform boots and all the rest as the "Disco Combobulist"?

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1 minute ago, MTeague said:

 

Still?  On dial-up?  Even now???

 

image.jpeg.7f6879e0ea96fa9df4a69e2675873b3c.jpeg

They live out in the country-ish and don't really have access to a lot of high speed internet choices.

 

I feel sorry for them as well.

 

But then, they're also using a computer that's about 12 or 15 years old too.

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1 hour ago, KauaiJim said:

Discombobulationatizer

22 characters there.  I believe the limit is 21.  Try Discombobulationatize.

 

I tend to get some rubber banding when the camera points towards a gap in the terrain even when i dont see it.  As the game tries to load everything that is now 'in line of sight',  ill get a significant drop in framerate and the game says 'oh by the way, you were back there a few feet'.

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6 minutes ago, Twisted Toon said:

They live out in the country-ish and don't really have access to a lot of high speed internet choices.

 

I feel sorry for them as well.

 

But then, they're also using a computer that's about 12 or 15 years old too.

Why not just surf the internet on a potato at that point?

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I actually find this game VERY responsive, and primarily for 1 reason one. The ability to Auto-cast, and Queue powers.

 

Very FEW MMOs allow you to do either of those out of the box (yes, mods can help resolve those issues..) and City does it best. Being able to queue my next attack seamlessly, and have it execute, then queue up another attack while I'm mid-animation has made City of Heroes my go to MMO since basically day 1. No other MMO has come close to that, even with lag.

 

Heck queuing up powers actually lets you beat lag sometimes, because your 'queue' is sent to the server before the client catches up, so you can 'queue' many powers together and not die even if you're lagging like no other, as lag is a client-side problem, and not a server-side issue.

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1 hour ago, TheZag said:

22 characters there.  I believe the limit is 21.  Try Discombobulationatize.

20.  I was curious so I just logged in to check.

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35 minutes ago, Ironblade said:

20.  I was curious so I just logged in to check.

 

Suits me for not checking my character.  CopyrightinfringementMan i had to shorten to CopyrightinfrgmntMan and it fit exactly.

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Less "turn-based" I am guessing. The game really plays out like a series of turns in fast order. Before root changes, I had a huntswoman who played exactly like a fps. Run and gun, never rooting. Was "responsive" im guessing in the way the OP is probably looking for. Post root changes, shes not as fluid. But the roots are what make things a. cool, and b. probably the source of the turn-based feeling.

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Nah, it's always been a part of the game - it's not a Homecoming thing specifically

 

It's not actual rubber-banding.

It's a rubbery feel.

 

Like there's a cast-time on all the powers - so there's a buffer or something - a lack of snappiness.

You know, it's like when you run miles away and around a corner and then 10 seconds later some power hits you.

Or when you shoot at a mob and your shot follows them around a corner.

Or when you do a knockback on someone who's getting up off the floor and it doesn't knock them down again.

 

But it's not rubber banding where people run forwards and then do the exact same movement over and over. That's not happening at all, the ping seems great, in fact!

 

There's something there that I, evidently, haven't defined sufficiently in the OP. Something that always felt a bit... weird.

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12 minutes ago, Herotu said:

You know, it's like when you run miles away and around a corner and then 10 seconds later some power hits you.

But i LOVE this! It is SO COH!

 

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1 hour ago, Herotu said:

Nah, it's always been a part of the game - it's not a Homecoming thing specifically

 

It's not actual rubber-banding.

It's a rubbery feel.

 

Like there's a cast-time on all the powers - so there's a buffer or something - a lack of snappiness.

You know, it's like when you run miles away and around a corner and then 10 seconds later some power hits you.

Or when you shoot at a mob and your shot follows them around a corner.

Or when you do a knockback on someone who's getting up off the floor and it doesn't knock them down again.

 

But it's not rubber banding where people run forwards and then do the exact same movement over and over. That's not happening at all, the ping seems great, in fact!

 

There's something there that I, evidently, haven't defined sufficiently in the OP. Something that always felt a bit... weird.

So your problem is with powers not being insta-cast?

 

Hard no from me if so, sorry. Best game ever doesn’t need to take tips from inferior games.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Herotu said:

Nah, it's always been a part of the game - it's not a Homecoming thing specifically

 

It's not actual rubber-banding.

It's a rubbery feel.

 

Like there's a cast-time on all the powers - so there's a buffer or something - a lack of snappiness.

You know, it's like when you run miles away and around a corner and then 10 seconds later some power hits you.

Or when you shoot at a mob and your shot follows them around a corner.

Or when you do a knockback on someone who's getting up off the floor and it doesn't knock them down again.

 

But it's not rubber banding where people run forwards and then do the exact same movement over and over. That's not happening at all, the ping seems great, in fact!

 

There's something there that I, evidently, haven't defined sufficiently in the OP. Something that always felt a bit... weird.

 

Thanks for explaining further Herotu.  I get what you are saying (or at  least think I do).  

 

Yeah, I believe what you are talking about is a two-fold thing.  For one, mmo's are large scale complex software that has to do a lot of communicating. On the server side it gets impacted by load and network conditions.  On 'our' end it's our pc and home network.  A lot of variables.  If you want to get an idea of what's going on server-side, there are fully built servers out there you can deploy yourself (ourodev).  I think the term spaghetti code is sort of fitting also.  Any time you get software this big with this many fingers in the pie you get a lot of stuff that is shoved in, glued on and made to work you get all kinds of areas where touching one thing affects another.  That hot mess usually is rather delicate to start playing around with.  So there's that part of it.

 

Secondly, I believe mmo's in general sort of evolved from games like Might & Magic (which came from D & D) which were all turn based games.  I think Hew might be on to something there.  As mmo's evolved it seems to me like they sort of kept that turn based feel even though it's live action.  It might be something that's just baked-in by the very nature of the beast itself.

 

There is a very distinct different feeling between say Super Pickle running up and bonking some ruffian clowns on the head versus say me running around in a war scenario trying to sneak up on an enemy an put two in his chest before he puts two in my head or a sniper vaporizes my noodle.  Call of Duty and other console games like that are better designed for that kind of twitchy hold your breath instant reaction to others type of thing.  Consoles have the SERIOUS advantage of being a more controlled and standardized hardware (and software) platform.  While console platforms are very realistic visually and feel more touchy fast response wise the trade off is that pc games for me are infinitely more flexible and have more options and more to do. 

 

So, I actually prefer CoH playing just the way it does.  I will say though there are times when standard mmo lag can be annoying but overall it doesn't bother me too much.  As far as shots chasing mobs, I always find that humorous.  I dunno, just me I guess.  😁

Edited by KauaiJim

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6 hours ago, Uun said:

In 2004 I was still using DSL. 

By 2004, most of my county had been wired up with fiber optic internet, courtesy of the local Public Utility District.

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22 hours ago, TheZag said:

 

Suits me for not checking my character.  CopyrightinfringementMan i had to shorten to CopyrightinfrgmntMan and it fit exactly.

At least it's longer than it used to be.  Once upon a time, I wanted to make HandToHand Wombat and the limit was 16 characters.  I ended up going with Unarmed Wombat.

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

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