Dodge Timers

Tl,dr: Dodge is far too strong, please find a way put some finesse back into it.

In past balance patches, the time player characters are untrackable by enemies has been drastically increased.
The reason this was done was to make the game playable for players with a bad connection, which could be both the hosts and the clients fault, or due to the network in between, and thus happened quite frequently.

Before those changes, the “dodge windows” were quite tiny, requiring proper timing to dodge the heavy attacks of elites, and due to tracking and movement also usually required the player to adapt to the incoming attack: An overhead was better dodged sideways, a horizontal swipe by jumping backwards.

And while the change was necessary, and they probably wanted to be careful with endless temp health for everyone on its way out, I believe they way overdid it. Patrols are now mostly trivial, and light weapons with a high dodge count allow moving through a horde without ever blocking - I know I usually don’t when playing slayer.
As such, I’d like Fatshark to consider changing this again - a good middleground where it doesn’t completely trivialize content while still allowing dodging as an option for those that aren’t hosting.
For the record: I don’t want ice-skating back.

A few possible ways to make dodge dancing a little more challenging:

Suggestion 1
Have clients get a slightly longer untrackable-timer just by virtue of being clients. Say, +100ms?
1b: Instead, the game could also take the highest ping of said client over the last few seconds and add to the timer based on that, within an acceptable window. (Say, 50-300ms?)

Suggestion 2
Have the dodge window for heavy attacks decrease with difficulty. Right now I believe it was about 3 seconds. That seems about fine for recruit, but Legend players should probably get along with a bit less.

Suggestion 3
Dodge Windows are smaller, but get larger the more enemies are nearby - similar to how enemies deal less damage in groups. Thus, dodging the attacks of a single stormvermin or chaos warrior takes a bit of effort (though with few enemies the player could also just block), while patrols aren’t immediately the death sentence they used to be.

Suggestion 4
The dodge window length, and possibly dodge distance, decreases slightly with repeated dodges.
Thus avoiding a stream of heavy attacks is easy at first, but can’t be sustained for the next 5 seconds without interrupting their attacks at least once to get a short break in.

Obviously, I have no idea if any of these can even be implemented. But, should it be possible, any of these might offer an approach to change. I believe I’ve also read one or two ideas regarding the subject that I didn’t think of, so if you feel like you have one of those, please add it here.

4 Likes

First, why I don’t like the dodge-time-window:

It makes the game too easy for legend. (I will explain if asked too)
Before it’s implementation there was much finesse to dodging because enemies were tracking you during dodges. The most efficient time to dodge was slightly before the end of an attack, depending on your dodge range you were allowed to dodge sooner while on low dodge range you had a very tight window. If you where fighting multiple enemies the whole thing was hard even with higher dodge ranges because they would not attack at the same time. There was a skill in it.

I dispute this as the elite only stops tracking you after the the host received the dodge input of the client. So on high ping (300 = 0.3s) the elite stops tracking you 0.3s too late. While this does indeed help a bit it is by far not the ideal solution. Any solution that is done automatically no matter what any client does should be better.


My suggestions are:

Turn rate limiters:

These will limit the rate an enemy can turn. Fast enough to track any player just walking around them but because of this not fast enough to hit someone dodging.
This still allows them do track you and will still involve the skill to dodge later depending on your dodge range but enemies will behave predictable. This also means bosses won’t 180° anymore.

Reversed window:

Enemies will track but instead of stopping when you dodge they automatically stop to track you at some point at the end of their attackanimation (readied weapon above head).
The window might be adjusted for the difficulties starting at the whole animation for recruit and ending with 0.2-0.3s on legend.
This is probably far easier for low dodge range weapons to dodge then my other suggestion.
Off topic: Won’t do anything against instantly turning enemies but could be used together with a limited but fast turn rate.

8 Likes

The “elite nerf” I find over the top is them targeting your previous location for so damn long. It just doesn’t make sense. They have eyes, right? So I, for one, welcome your proposal! Right now I’ve taken to just dodging in a circle around a CW patrol and spamming heavy attacks. They’ll all miss just as surely as a gas rat will, and that’s kinda ridic.

2 Likes

You nailed it. The angular velocity limit is what I suggested during BBB - it also helps with insta retargeing bosses too. And it feels legit and realistic.

2 Likes

Guess the topic of the next BB is set :smiley:

Yup, that’s the kind of suggestion I was hoping for. I think we can easily combine them, but even then, that might not be good enough for someone with a high ping who will only see the attack rev up with 200 ms delay.
Might need to keep some grace period of dodging for clients in addition to that.

Though as we don’t know what hinges on it, I would assume it’s better to first try this for heavy attacks only - max tracking speed limit from start of the animation, then close to the end a short period of non-tracking.

Can someone describe how limiting rotational speed is different to simply reducing the attack window?

I can definitely see the benefits with regards to bosses, but I’m not sure what it would do for smaller enemies.

Not knocking the idea, just trying to understand it better.

Edit: Moved the next part in from another thread:

Mobility as it is now completely nullifies a big chunk of the available traits, talents, item attributes and, to an extent, careers. The ease of avoiding damage through mobility completely overshadows blocking, pushing and other forms of damage mitigation.

Crowd control and tank play are almost entirely redundant. Some would say totally.

It’s made glass cannon careers/builds hugely overpowered compared to tankier alternatives because the “glass” part is almost a non-issue. Careers and builds that are tanky, mobile AND cannons (I’m looking at you, AnF Zealot) are completely broken.

The effect it’s had on the overall difficulty of the game is huge, even when playing low damage, low mobility heroes.

1 Like

The dodge change was such a massive alteration to the game - and while it’s good the game is more fair, I honestly haven’t been hit by an attack I was certain I had dodged since it launched - it’s definitely one too far in making the game easy.

I don’t think changing timings between difficulties is a good idea, though, as it will make the shock of going up a difficulty even higher, and for new players it’s already a heavy shock. The fact that enemies just don’t attack as much on lower difficulties seems enough to me.

That said, I definitely support some more work on this. Enemies should only be locked in once they start the actual attack swing.

3 Likes

I am still uncertain whether this is truly the case. I mean, it was a rare occurence that I lost a round of Legend even before and when it was, it was usually because of exactly what you described: Eating a bogus hit that shouldn’t have hit you in the first place. Now that this is gone, my Legend success-rate is close to 100%, but in all honesty, I have pumped beyond 1k hours into this game and it KINDA should be like that. I am realistic enough to see that even if the game was “too easy”, I wouldn’t be able to tell by my own performance since I know the game, more or less, inside an out, have multiples of every red weapon there is, have 5 to 6 different loadouts for each heroes (some like HM have even more) which are all incredibly optimized, so it kinda makes sense. I still see so many people just getting stomped on legend that this kinda serves as my “grounding experience” if you will. Legend is still absolutely unforgiving, if you make a mistake, it could very well be the last one you make since mistakes add up faster than on highest level Tetris.
Just gotta keep the perspective. For a majority of players, Legend is still unfathomably hard and breezing through it like the veterans do a feat truly deserving to be called “legendary”.

For more challenge, I think Fortunes of War has been a fantastic trial balloon on where we should go if we want that “Legend+” experience.

2 Likes

Doesn’t change the fact that Patrols are trivial and hordes hp sponges.
What kills you are mostly specials in combination with something.
I don’t think a single person should have a realistic chance against a patrol, bombs and potions notwithstanding.

1 Like

But it was kinda that way before, also. Not necessarily with all carreers, but isn’t that a good thing if now everything is roughly on the same page? I mean, Slayer already laughed at patrols, for example.

It was that way before for very few classes, for players that were really good at what they were doing.
The dodge window for a CW overhead was about a half second. And you actually had to look at the type of strike: overhead, dodge sideways; swipe, dodge backwards.
That’s basically what I meant with “realistic” - if a very good player, with the correct class (and a good ping), can do it most of the time, that’s ok. But there should be a reason to avoid those things.
Which was a problem in the past, they were mostly silent and frequently stuck.
I’m sure a Sienna with Conflag also laughed at an SV patrol, but she was kinda pointless against bosses.
Everyone being on equal footing isn’t automatically good - it excludes specialization in a team, and if it’s reached by all content being equally trivial, I’m not sure I want that.
And yes, it’s not trivial for most players, but I know that legend was harder before.

1 Like

laughs in shade, zealot, huntsman, unchained, WHC, BH, Slayer…

But was it harder for the right reasons or the wrong reasons? Difference between playing as host or as client was sometimes huge and it doesn’t seem this way now. Those bogus hits and phantom strikes have almost completely stopped for me, even though I am not too happy that hyperstacking is now a thing with Skaven. I’d rather if they dabbled with overall enemy movement a bit before touching the dodges again, it seems to be in a good spot for now. There’s little point for the game being harder if it is for technical reasons.

I dunno, I never really suffered much from phantom strikes.
Yes, being hit when it looked like you shouldn’t have been was a problem, but they did more than just change dodge timers. For once, phanton strikes flying through enemies was most definitely not connected to dodging.
While dodge is the way it is, there is no way blocking has any notable significance. The only thing shoulds are good for is blocking ratling fire. Glass Cannon builds are just plain better. I can dodge backwards from a CW overhead, then move past him and hit him in the back before he is done with the attack.
That’s no technical reasons. That’s silly.

To note, I have mentioned the reasons they did it for, and I acknowledge those reasons, but I rather liked having to watch the opponent and pick an action based on their attack. Meanwhile, the game doesn’t actually fix the problems of players with a high ping at all.

3 Likes

With this game, I wouldn’t be so sure :wink:

Kinda like Ice-skating chaos warriors and maulers are. :smiley:

But yes, it may or may not be connected. Maybe I should have said: Leave things as they are right now, as they are by and large, alot mor evened out. Legend is still plenty hard for a vast majority of players. I am all for tweaks and such, but considering the technical sides of this games overall development, I’d rather have them not touch any of it, you know what I mean? I get where you’re coming from and I am not against those suggested changes, just concerned about the overall good foundation the game currently has going away again.

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