Open Discussion about Archery and Corners

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Linkamus, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Linkamus

    Linkamus People Like Me

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    I'd like to open a discussion about whether the archery wall bug should continue to exist on TAKP, or not.

    I want to stress that I'm not trying to devalue the amount of time and effort the devs have put into this server, or to question their vision. I am simply giving my opinion as a player that loves this game to death.

    As someone who plays and has played a ranger since 2002, my opinion on this is obviously going to be quite biased. With that said, here are the reasons I think the corner bug should be removed:

    1. It's a bug
    • "Some of the more egregious bugs were/will be fixed however." (Pulled from the TAKP wiki). Whether or not you would consider the wall bug egregious or not is certainly subjective. However, I personally find it quite egregious. It's absolutely ridiculous that SOE let this bug exist as long as they did.

    2. It makes the ranger class feel broken
    • I love that TAKP strives to be accurate, and polished. Sometimes, those two things are mutually exclusive, unfortunately (see perma-pac). My feeling is that polish > accuracy in most, if not all cases. Obviously I'm no game developer, so my opinion holds little weight here, but I just don't understand why a bug like this would be left in the game that makes it feel so broken.

    3. Archery is not that over-powered
    • Don't get me wrong, archery is amazing DPS, but I definitely do not think it is over-powered; especially against high AC Luclin bosses. Also, making mobs immune to arrows when they happen to be in a corner seems like a very poor game design choice if the goal is to "balance out" archery.

    4. It's disheartening as a player / takes away from the fun of playing a ranger
    • It's quite disheartening when you spawn Cursed and think "All right! Time to put these AAs I spent weeks/months getting to good use!" only to see dumbfire pets push it into the corner, and your trueshot discipline go to waste.

    5. The bug as it exists on TAKP is not the same as it was on AK
    • On AK, the corner bug was more of a nuisance that forced you to try different angles before you could actually hit the mob. Most mobs, you could actually find certain angles that would allow you to hit them when they were cornered (not all mobs, mind you). Here on TAKP, from our experience thus far, it appears as soon as a mob is pushed completely into a corner, archery works 0% of the time, regardless of your angle.

    I'm quite curious to hear other people's opinions on this matter.

    As a final note, I just want to say thanks to the devs for making this server a reality, regardless of what - if anything - happens as a result of this thread. I hope I have not offended or undermined any of the amazing efforts put into this place.
     
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  2. Ravenwing

    Ravenwing I Feel Loved

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    An interesting and difficult dilemma.

    I liked that the archery bug forced us to make some tradeoffs on AK: if we wanted to get the most out of our rangers, we had to forego corners and instead manage the raid's push, sometimes against mobs with mid-range AEs (or AE ramp) that made potentially getting it wrong dangerous. Without the archery bug, we could have had the best of both worlds, and it would have made encounters like Fennin Ro much easier.

    On the other hand, I've come to realize that a large part of the challenge on AK boiled down to numbers: before the successive influxes of boxes that came at the very end of the server's life - first with the Intel client, which made boxing more feasible; then free-to-play, which made it cheap; and finally the PC client, which made it accessible - we were always walking the razor's edge with just enough healing, just enough DPS, just barely enough everything.

    Here on TAKP, where we have so many three-boxers, that's simply never the case. We'll never have to choose between getting the most out of our rangers and taking too long to kill a mob, because we can log on as many wizards as we think we need, and then some. That changes the equation, and I can see why rangers would be miffed by the corner bug when the answer to "is it worth it to accommodate the rangers?" is almost always going to be "no, we don't really have to."
     
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  3. Linkamus

    Linkamus People Like Me

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    Yup, which makes me a sad ranger, indeed!

    How about if a mob is cornered, nukes don't work either, to make it fair? ;) (kidding of course)
     
  4. Darchon

    Darchon I Feel Loved

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    AK Archery was also somewhat balanced out by the corner bug due to archery generating 0 aggro.

    Yes you could do high DPS with no risk of overaggro, but you can’t do it against cornered mobs.

    On TAKP I think we have normal aggro generation from archery. It would make sense to me to not have the corner bug because it’s no longer no risk DPS.

    That being said I will always favor 100 AKuracy over balance changes.
     
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  5. Foxboxx

    Foxboxx Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh yes, the wizzy box swarm does make for sad rangers. Even a poorly geared wizard is going to outdmg archery on practically every raid encounter, with or without the corner bug =(. Aside from that, I would like to focus on point 1 and 5, though.

    I do believe not having this bug goes in line with the laid out intentions of the server. There's nothing taken away from the server by removing it, as honestly it's not going to make any encounters particularly easier (wizzy boxes will always outclass us.). It just allows us to enjoy our main on raids, and enjoy occasionally rivaling wizzy dps for a couple min every 70+ minutes.

    If Akkuracy wishes to be maintained in all regards on this though, then point 5 is important here. The corner bug on AK was avoidable in the majority of cases when you found the proper angle. You would see us rangers starting raid encounters by strafing around the room, trying to find the angle arrows would land on a cornered mob. Not every mob would have this arrow sweet spot, but more often than not there was one. On TAKP, the corner is just an on/off switch. There is no nuance to it; no angles to be found. You simply cannot arrow them, and as a result, we're relegated to being less than warrior DPS on any non-permarooted mob.
     
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  6. Tuluvien

    Tuluvien People Like Me

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    Yep, often by strafing into a wall and firing perfectly parallel with it you could reliably hit a walled or cornered mob on AK. I do feel that with the number of changes from original AK that have been made for various reasons that it would be only reasonable and sensible to remove this bug if possible. Especially with archery inducing normal hate, I believe that laying this full-out unavoidable impediment to rangers on raids is just kind of skewed. I don't really see a reason for it in balance, akuracy or fairness.

    Every ranger knows well that life ain't fair, but I just don't see the logic in keeping us down on this one, unless it is a lot of work to fix. I really have no clue if it is, as I lack any knowledge when it comes to that sort of thing.

    I too would take complete MACuracy over any changes that have or will be made, buy I understand why we would deviate from that in many ways and can wrap my head around most of them. To fix or alter those things but to artificially emulate this bug just seems odd to me.

    As has been stated, I love our devs and all of their devotion. Thank you for everything .
     
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  7. pharmakos

    pharmakos People Like Me

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    this is the best argument for removing the corner "bug" IMO

    why fix one bug and not the other?
     
  8. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    Archery hate is currently a guess at what AK might have been, see this thread: https://www.takproject.net/forums/index.php?threads/archery-agro.8164/#post-45342

    I did not test archery hate on Live, so I can't say what it is there. (I really should have) Currently here it's weapon damage + arrow damage with no multipliers.

    However it did occur to me after that thread that archery might have been 1 hate a shot if Sony wanted to make archery very low hate because main tanks were plinking permarooted NPCs with it. This is entirely conjecture. Sony dev posts seems to indicate archery non-hate was the result of players falling off the hate list. (see below)

    My opinion of the matter is that archery needs to be balanced, so that's either low hate and no cornering, or fixed hate gen requiring jolts. If this changes, the devs have to vote on it because it's very subjective and deviates from AK.

    For the record, archery hate was (seemingly) fixed on April 11th, 2003.

    How archery hate was handled is actually somewhat complicated and might have affected all ranged attacks, including spells. Some old research:

    March 4, 2003: https://web.archive.org/web/2003081...bhunter.com/article.jsp?articleid=-1881449117
    March 6 2003: https://web.archive.org/web/20030914175013/http://eq.crgaming.com:80/viewarticle.asp?Article=5047
    In a follow-up reply at http://forums.interealms.com/ranger/showthread.php?threadid=20087 which no longer exists nor is it on wayback, but was pasted to my old guild's private forum:
    Post from a ranger on my guild private forum, March 8 2003:
    They did a large patch on April 8, 2003. This is where they seem to have removed the limit to the number of haters on NPC lists, but made no mention of it.

    Another post quoted on my guild's private forum with no source given other than 'the ranger forum':
    Ranger posts on my old guild private forum, April 11 2003:
    Doesn't say if he is talking about before or after the April 11th fix.

    That's a lot of words but still doesn't answer much. In the first wayback link, Hartsman mentions that the team (even in 2003) was completely different than the original team, so they didn't fully understand the code which is why fixes took so long. Comments they made can't be fully replied upon and indeed they mention a walling fix that didn't appear until like 2005 if I recall.
     
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  9. Linkamus

    Linkamus People Like Me

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    I would love to have to use jolt if it meant I could shoot at cornered mobs.

    I think generating proper aggro with archery is a great and fair trade off for fixing the corner bug.
     
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  10. Tuluvien

    Tuluvien People Like Me

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    I dont know numbers or figures. I know on AK on a raid disaster if I had been exclusively archering I would be summoned way down the list, after bikers and debuffers and pretty well everyone else. Also in a group situation I couldn't pull aggro from a knight even with discipline and an elemental bow. It could be pulled from a warrior without hate weapons on, but still took some shooting. I would guess it was along the lines of 1 hate.

    I have no problem with archery inducing fair hate and needing jolting blades (that work on a bow?) Or jolt to correct If it meant j could shoot arrows at any raid target.
     
  11. lurari

    lurari People Like Me

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    To me this is very simple: Is this a "bug" or not?

    Shadowknight MC was considered a bug. It was fixed.

    Perma pac was considered a bug. It was fixed.

    Xegony in her broken state was considered a bug. She will be fixed.

    Tick pulling was considered it was bug. It was fixed.

    Cloth caps dropping from raid mobs was considered a bug. It's been fixed.

    If this is a bug, then this server, built to emulate Al`Kabor, has a long track record of fixing bugs and smoothing out the gameplay experience.

    What's "balanced" largely shouldn't a factor. If "balance" were a question, then Monk AC might have gained some traction. If "balance" were an issue, maybe we'd see some charm nerfs. Anytime we get into the "balance" discussion, you have subjective minds making opinions to deviate from Al`Kabor and even EQLive in order for the server to live up to someone else's Vision(tm).

    Archery bugs should be fixed. If you want to fix archery hate scaling, the aggro meter on Live makes it trivial to test. Arrow damage on AK was certainly low – either by design intent (e.g., hard-coded 10% bow damage) to or code flaw (e.g., only arrows, not bows, generated hate), it's hard to know now. However it's clear arrows getting stuck in walls was a geometry bug just like spots where you could safely stand and nuke mobs with impunity (I recall a few popular spots from Al`Kabor where mobs could never path to your location) – the EQ team in 1998 didn't write such great code, and the bug was fixed with a rewrite of the geometry code years and years ago. The EverQuest team decided this one was a bug and did a substantial code re-write to fix it.

    This project deviates from AKuracy regularly. This isn't a change requested for the sake of balance. It's a bug fix request. The EverQuest team saw arrows getting stuck in walls as a bug. If we're trying to re-create the Al`Kabor experience and fixing bugs along the way, this is a no-brainer.

    Fix archery.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  12. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    There's no way it's 1 hate if you pull off a warrior that isn't turgur'ed wielding rusty weapons. Sounds like weapon damage + arrow damage isn't far from the mark.
     
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  13. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    It's not simple at all. I'm completely in favor of raising the monk softcap; my colleagues aren't. I don't want buffs stripped when you zone low HP. I don't like AK's bugged group exp. Funny how I don't see people demanding that one be fixed because other bugs were. The team here has very different opinions on these things.
     
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  14. Tuluvien

    Tuluvien People Like Me

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    Yeah I freely admit I do not understand hate lists and how the numbers stack up, not really in my area of interest or experience. My evidence is only anecdotal. In several years on AK I know I only pulled aggro a couple of times and most were trueshot related and often involved laying on the mob while it was incoming. It was a hard thing to do without Oakwynd. I trust you guys will do what makes sense, I have no complaints, just would love to see the cornered mobs get pincushioned.
     
  15. Linkamus

    Linkamus People Like Me

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    I always theorized that when generating aggro on AK, that:

    A. Double damage on stationary mobs wasn't taken into account

    B. Double damage from AM3 wasn't taken into account.

    C. Double damage from trueshot wasn't taken into account.

    I have no evidence that this was actually the case, but it just made sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  16. lurari

    lurari People Like Me

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    Possibly.

    The fact that bows generally weren't super fast, had only minimal procs, weren't dual wielded, and could never double/triple/flurry already combine into a perfect storm of generating substantially less aggro than normal melee.

    I'd be curious if bow damage + arrow damage + damage bonus were implemented if anyone would notice. It's possible, due to the confluence of factors listed above (plus a melee hate bonus for anyone in melee range), that no one would bat an eye.

    Maybe bow damage + arrow damage + damage bonus isn't correct for the old 2002 era, and we'll never know. Perhaps there were underlying bugs the dev team couldn't remedy and resorted to something like a hardcoded 10% of damage done or some other solution, and it's possible this "solution" was exacerbated with the Mac port, creating an even more warped bug than what the original designers ever wanted.

    Monk softcap is a weird one because the nerf that we have here was way over the top and didn't achieve the results the dev team sought. We exist in that small window where the monk AC nerf was at its worst. The dev team patched it exactly how we have it, but they made adjustments shortly thereafter to achieve their design goals. I would think most people agree that situation isn't "balanced," or "fair," but calling it a true "bug" may not feel right just because the patch didn't meet design goals.

    Buffs stripping when you're low HP is a bug. I'm not sure who would be upset if this were fixed – it's a technical limitation because of how the client compiles your information when you zone; the game isn't intentionally removing your buffs as a penalty. Buffs getting stripped is a side effect. If we can fix pathing, etc. this seems similar to those things from my vantage point.

    Bugged group exp here is a big part of why we have a 3-box limit. From the start of the server, it's been an intended feature and highly influenced how people voted in the box poll. It incentivizes people to play with others. It's a core part of why the server ended at a 3-box limit; it would seem a little unfair to change exp after that poll and after so many years. The unintended side effect might mean fewer solo boxers getting into groups which helps no one, but solo (i.e., 1-3 box play) experience would remain the same and full-group experience would probably remain similar to existing levels, so you're really penalizing groups of 4-5 characters. In the end, I'm not sure anyone would mind if this were fixed – like the green con exp nerf, the LB con exp nerf, and the high level mob exp bonus, players will adjust and move on with their play. No one brings it up because the consequences are bad for the server/population/group-friendliness. Also, the "out of range exp bonus bug" we had on AK was already fixed, as a way of further mitigating this bug.
     
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  17. lurari

    lurari People Like Me

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    Right. These things aren't part of the hate per swing code. A discing rogue doesn't generate more agree than one who isn't discing. A backstab to the front or back generates the same amount of aggro. Crits don't generate any extra, aggro, either.

    Archery is very few "swings," and usually someone else has that "melee range hate bonus."

    It's possible we'd see AKurate behavior with bow damage + arrow damage + damage bonus, applied per arrow shot. When compared to a dual wielding melee with weapon damage + damage bonus, applying much more regularly through dual wield checks, double attack/triple attack/flurry checks, bows are going to naturally generate a lot less aggro. Would it be AKurate? Maybe. Would it be fair? Possibly. Would it be balanced? Perhaps.
     
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  18. Barnd0g

    Barnd0g Well-Known Member

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    If you fix this then - Monk AC...otherwise you are fixing things for one class and not another which will open up a can of worms for the Devs.

    I would say having to find angles to DPS the mob should be a built in skill set for any decent ranger, which will separate the good from the bad. If corning a mob completely kills DPS from all angles then I guess maybe there could be a tweak to make it closer to AK. However, to completely remove it even though it is AKurate will create a never ending discussion on which ones to remove and why.

    Fix monk AC and then I am all for the removal of this bug...but then I can guarantee every other class out there will have a set of glitches they will want changed next for their specific class...so I think either leave it or tweak it so that mobs can only be hit from certain angles to make it AKurate in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  19. pharmakos

    pharmakos People Like Me

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    Recreating the bug exactly as it was on AK would be pretty difficult I think, otherwise I'd agree fully that we should make this AKurate.
     
  20. solar

    solar People Like Me Staff Member

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    Cornering disabling archery is an inaccurate recreation of a glitch from old EQ. The monk AC is correctly recreated from what I understand.

    Generally on this server, inaccuracies make the game easier for players, like spell restrictions not being enforced or NPCs being inert due to mechanics not working correctly. In the case of mob cornering, this actually went the other way. It's more detrimental to players than it was on AK, because it blocks archery 100% of the time. It's a completely different behavior than AK had and arguably unnecessary. The logic we have is as simple as "in a corner? then no arrows". On AK the arrows not hitting was kind of random and it was hit or miss even when the mob was rubbing on a single wall. In a sense, there was a game in strafing around and trying to get a shot or two in, even in bad conditions, but it's a lot less exciting here because there's no chance it will ever work once it's cornered, and that's no fun at all.
     
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  21. sowislifesowislove

    sowislifesowislove People Like Me

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    That’s exactly what I remember from live years ago. Which to be honest, is exactly why it shouldn’t be active here. Taking a bug that’s hit or miss and making it 100% in an attempt to make it accurate is exactly the opposite of accurate.
     
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  22. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    I never heard a ranger say that arrows could hit cornered mobs if they found the 'secret spot' before. If people don't describe the bugs to me, it's rather impossible for me to replicate without a running AK server.

    Sounds like we need to make walling randomly disappear arrows as well. I can certainly make arrows hit/not hit walled and cornered mobs at random.
     
  23. Linkamus

    Linkamus People Like Me

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    It wasn't random. You just had to find the right angle to shoot from, and then you could hit consistently. Most mobs you could find a sweet spot. A few mobs you couldn't.
     
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  24. necra

    necra People Like Me

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    You can’t complain about monk ac and play a human monk
     
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  25. lurari

    lurari People Like Me

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    It's been brought up before, but no one has ever listed a full account of how archery worked because
    1) Staff has never asked
    2) There were several bugs that presumably would be fixed here anyway

    To give a quick account, according to my recollection, also cross-referenced across the boards with other posters' memories:

    How did archery hate work on AK?
    It was very, very, low. Low enough where some people just assumed it was 1 hate per arrow. Low enough where rangers would bow on raids as soon as a mob was in range and would never affect the MT, and in the event of a wipe, rangers would often be some of the last to ever be summoned/killed. When kiting (horrible idea, because no damage multiplier for a stationary mob), regular snares were necessary for hate generation. The one instance where bow aggro was reported to be high was with an Oakwynd – so probably not 1 hate per arrow, but some confluence of factors made bow hate trivial for anyone not wielding a GM bow.

    How did archery geometry work on AK?
    Like many things on AK and as you'd expect regarding EQ geometry code, unreliably! Arrows would shoot at a target's "center mass" – you noticed the difference looking up right away shooting a tall target like Blazzax the Overfiend in Plane of Fire. You needed line of sight with the center mass, and arrows would get "lost" if they hit someone/something else en route (sorry Enchanters! arrows from time to time broke mezzes hitting an unintended target, and arrows would "hit" fellow players or other geometry too – there was no guarantee an arrow would hit its intended target so players had some work to find the windows of line of sight to maximize their damage). Walled mobs presented a bit of a problem – because EQLogic, shooting a walled mob perpendicularly often resulted in a wasted shot (and zero damage!) because of where the mob's center mass was compared to the wall and well bugged geometry code; this could generally be prevented by standing along the wall and shooting the arrow parallel into the mob's center mass, but some exceptions/mob shapes/center mass heights/weird blobs may have existed that have been lost due to the sands of time. Cornered mobs were similar––because EQLogic, there may have a spot where the mob's center mass would be exposed and rangers would share this information, group up on that spot, and use it reliably in future encounters for great success––though there were mob shapes and sizes that didn't play well with corner geometry code that led to sad rangers.

    That's a bit of an overview. Did I leave anything out? Anything to add, bowfriens? @Linkamus @Lenas @Faults
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  26. Lenas

    Lenas I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    I think that the wall bug on AK was likely just a mistake with collision detection and ticks. Like, projectiles would be flying toward a mob, not register, and then tick and realize it's gone too far and hit a wall. Then you change angles to be parallel to the wall and all of a sudden your hits start registering because they don't "clip" through the mob and hit the wall anymore - on account of there no longer being a wall on the opposite side of the mob from you. It's the only way the bug ever made sense to me from a code perspective. This projectile "lag" would also sometimes cause arrows to bunch up together and then all register hits with the mob at once after you'd reposition. That was harder to recreate. Anyone remember that?

    I am not sure I want to advocate for archery working 100% all of the time corner or no. It IS very powerful and unlike caster boxes rangers will never run out of mana, have to sit, etc. if they just wanted to fire away. However, shooting successfully from a parallel wall was very much AK behavior. If we could find that middle point and play the strafing game I think I would be okay with that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  27. Faults

    Faults I Feel Loved

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    Sounds fine. I'm trying to avoid these contentious topics in a general sense. I'm in favor of making arrows hated and always functional rather than replicating some AK framework that I didn't like in the first place (begging RLs to keep mobs off walls). But it sounds like the gist of it - Linkamus/utdaan probably best resources I know of offhand (ader and lyrad too)
     
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  28. Torven

    Torven I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    Examples please.

    Surely you had threads or old lists if this were the case.
     
  29. Linkamus

    Linkamus People Like Me

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    If there was a bug preventing rogues from backstabbing while a mob is cornered, would you make the same argument?

    The only thing rogues have to do that rangers don't is watch their aggro (and watch for rage turns and such I suppose). This is why this conversation has leaned toward to fixing the bug, and as a trade off, making arrows generate proper aggro. This is what happened on live eventually anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  30. Lenas

    Lenas I Feel Loved Staff Member

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    Archery has some huge advantages that I'd rather not gloss over by comparing them to rogue backstabs. Like never having to be in range of an AOE.