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Damage displayFollow

#1 Aug 17 2011 at 9:33 AM Rating: Good
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I've been playing FFXIV on and off since launch. One thing that continues to bug me and it's not a major problem but I wish I could change it...

When I'm attacking something...their health drops before my character actually performs the action. I mean I see that an attack has missed before the screen says I missed or even before my character moves. Is this a setting or just a game design?

It's annoying because I find myself watching the health bar and not watching my character since I know what the outcome is before my character even performs my skill.

Thanks
#2 Aug 17 2011 at 11:03 AM Rating: Good
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yea, some will say its lag due to where the servers are located...but I would say its one more issue they did not address before releasing the game, and have yet to put it at the top of the list of things to fix.

Its definitely an immersion killer.

Edited, Aug 17th 2011 1:04pm by Simool
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#3 Aug 17 2011 at 11:16 AM Rating: Good
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It's a responsivness issue.

Just like FFXI, they make the button react 'quickly' (damage is dealt about as instantaneously as the server lag can handle) while the visual effects try to make the fight as visually impressive as possible. The damage display appear in sync with the animation, because that makes more sense to the player.

I'd rather have a semi-responsive experience with "laggy" graphics/damage display than actually having to wait on my animation to finish before the damage is dealt.

At that point, it's a design call, and it's one I agree with.
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#4 Aug 17 2011 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
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This little issue bothers me, as well. I hate using a TP move, watching the monster's HP drop all the way down to zero, then... seeing my action actually take place. It's the epitome of anticlimactic.

More simply put, it looks like crap and there should be no reason SE can't figure out how to synchronize some of the most basic aspects of the game to reach at least mediocre levels. I suppose it's an interesting learning experience, at least: for I have found that, in FFXIV, everything I didn't even know could be a problem is a problem. And there would never have been a time five years ago that I actually (in just about any other online game I have ever played or seen played) would have appreciated the simple pleasure of HP dropping in relation to actions preformed; or the prompt selling of items to an NPC; etc. etc.
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#5 Aug 17 2011 at 1:20 PM Rating: Decent
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The evade display is worse. I have to press my Jarring Strike/Haymaker macro every time I anticipate the mob swinging at me, because if I wait until after the Evade message pops up, I only get one skill off. If I guess correctly, Jarring Strike goes off before I even get to see "Evade."
#6 Aug 17 2011 at 1:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Docent42 wrote:
It's a responsivness issue.

Just like FFXI, they make the button react 'quickly' (damage is dealt about as instantaneously as the server lag can handle) while the visual effects try to make the fight as visually impressive as possible. The damage display appear in sync with the animation, because that makes more sense to the player.

I'd rather have a semi-responsive experience with "laggy" graphics/damage display than actually having to wait on my animation to finish before the damage is dealt.

At that point, it's a design call, and it's one I agree with.


I can also see why they do it this way, but I hope they have intentions of optimizing checking with the server about performing actions. If actions actually started "instantly" more or less, I don't think I'd care if the enemy actually took damage on the proper frame, I'd actually prefer it.

Some of the moves just need a little less anticipation and a bit of a faster execution (Luminous Spire?) but I'd prefer that frame damage system, and abilities not cutting eachother's animations off, even if that does mean I have to "commit" to a few seconds of not being able to use another move like shield bash. I mean, that's what mages have to do all the time, whenever they have to deal with cast times, they can't stun (FFXI reference obviously.) No reason melee can't have a similar situation.

The game would feel a lot more responsive. Of course it's a lot more difficult to pull off effectively, but it would feel better, certainly.
#7 Aug 17 2011 at 1:40 PM Rating: Decent
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RamseySylph wrote:
Docent42 wrote:
It's a responsivness issue.

Just like FFXI, they make the button react 'quickly' (damage is dealt about as instantaneously as the server lag can handle) while the visual effects try to make the fight as visually impressive as possible. The damage display appear in sync with the animation, because that makes more sense to the player.

I'd rather have a semi-responsive experience with "laggy" graphics/damage display than actually having to wait on my animation to finish before the damage is dealt.

At that point, it's a design call, and it's one I agree with.


I can also see why they do it this way, but I hope they have intentions of optimizing checking with the server about performing actions. If actions actually started "instantly" more or less, I don't think I'd care if the enemy actually took damage on the proper frame, I'd actually prefer it.

Some of the moves just need a little less anticipation and a bit of a faster execution (Luminous Spire?) but I'd prefer that frame damage system, and abilities not cutting eachother's animations off, even if that does mean I have to "commit" to a few seconds of not being able to use another move like shield bash. I mean, that's what mages have to do all the time, whenever they have to deal with cast times, they can't stun (FFXI reference obviously.) No reason melee can't have a similar situation.

The game would feel a lot more responsive. Of course it's a lot more difficult to pull off effectively, but it would feel better, certainly.


SE could just put different damage delays for different abilities: auto-attack damage is done right away; long TP-move's damage is done 2-3 seconds after you use the skill; very long TP-move's damage is seen 4-5 seconds later; and so on.

I think this may be along the lines of what you're suggesting, as well.
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"Thus opium is pleasing... on account of the agreeable delirium it produces." (Burke para.6)

"I could only read so much for this paper and the syphilis poem had to go."
#8 Aug 17 2011 at 2:02 PM Rating: Good
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This drove me nuts in FFXI (till I got used to, can't do anything else about it on our end) and now here it is all over again. Of all the cool things they could have kept from FFXI we get this lol. Still lovin the game but once in a while it just makes you go sheeesh wtf.
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#9 Aug 17 2011 at 2:16 PM Rating: Decent
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I suspect that this little irritant is caused by the way health and damage are calculated and relayed to client machines. The Dev team probably wanted to make the hp bar as snappy as possible, so they implemented a module that relays the monsters health to each client in range any time the hp changed. This, in turn causes the GUI to update the monsters HP. At the same time, when a player executes an ability, the client messages the server saying "Ability X was used. Is that okay?". The server then runs the function for that ability, calculating and applying damage to the monster as it goes, then responding "Okay, nothing broke, go ahead and play the animation" to the client.

The problem is that the damage was already applied to the monster, this causes the server to dispatch a message to to client about the damage before the animation play message is sent. This is all conjecture, but based on the symptoms, it seems likely. The solution would be to asynchronously calculate damage after the client played the animation, but the you have to take into account the server-to-client latency which introduces all sorts of uncertaincy. Effectively, they're just getting screwed by their server-side architecture.

Edited, Aug 17th 2011 4:19pm by Hulan
#10 Aug 17 2011 at 3:52 PM Rating: Good
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As compelling as it is for them to have the game ask the server if it's okay to start using an ability, I really wish they'd just forgo that option. And instead have the client check locally if it's okay, then have the server confirm once the animation is started (and the data is sent) the only thing this would REALLY do, is make it so that in some situations where there's a terrible bug, or in situations where someone is attempting to hack...

The animation would play but nothing would happen. I'm okay with this, it really isn't going to negatively affect anyone. The reason they don't check locally is to prevent people from simply telling the game "I can do this" even when they can't. As long as the game checks that they can do it before the damage is applied, they won't be able to fool the system.

So in short...
  • Client: Locally check if move can be performed, begin animation.
  • Ping server, send latency.
  • On server: check if move can be performed, if okay continue, else cancel ability.
  • Server return damage dealt to client.
  • On server: Calculate: Seconds to damage frame - (latency to client x2) and wait.
  • Client: On damage frame, display overhead damage, display enemy reaction animation.
  • On server: after the serverside wait, deal damage on server, ping client GUI to update.


This would... I believe... be the best way to do it in order to maintain visual fidelity and keep everything in sync. Problems would arise in two situations.

  • Client to Server Latency x2 > Number of seconds from animation start to damage frame
  • Latency changes between executing animation and reaching the damage frame


The first is... possible, for some really fast abilities. But it wouldn't be any different than what currently happens by much, if your latency is really high, there's just bound to be delays.

The second one... It seems unlikely that your latency would fluctuate greatly in the matter of a few miliseconds, or at the most a few seconds, but the delay shouldn't be a huge deal.

Most of the time it should look pretty good with this method I would think.

Edited, Aug 17th 2011 3:16pm by RamseySylph

Edited, Aug 17th 2011 3:17pm by RamseySylph
#11 Aug 17 2011 at 5:51 PM Rating: Good
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Simool wrote:
yea, some will say its lag due to where the servers are located...but I would say its one more issue they did not address before releasing the game, and have yet to put it at the top of the list of things to fix.

Its definitely an immersion killer.

Edited, Aug 17th 2011 1:04pm by Simool


While I agree it's an issue with the game, it is also partly server location. I have almost zero problem with this, only very rarely that I get lag spike and it hits. I have no problem with Jarring Strike + Hay Maker macro /wait 2 after I see the "Evade" pop up, I have no problem running away from Mole digging even when I was casting a quick spell before the Mole dig, I have no problem buffing up before Feint. It's server location, but it can also be partly fixed by how the game respond.
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