**WINTER OF WOE - BONUS OBJECTIVE POINT**
As previously announced, the team will be distributing an additional point toward milestones to anyone who completed the Absorbing Man fight in the first step of the Winter of Woe.
This point will be distributed at a later time as it requires the team to pull and analyze data.
The timeline has not been set, but work has started.

"Why is it so Hard to Navigate Input Issues?"

Overview

Hello Summoners,

In a few days, we will be removing the option to Opt-Out of the Input System Refactor from the Settings Menu. We don't anticipate this change being particularly noticeable for Summoners, however, we wanted to take this opportunity to increase transparency and communication on the topic of inputs and bugs.

Recently, we saw an increase in reports of “input issues” or “broken controls” and, as a result, we increased our investigation efforts. This topic is a difficult one to address in its entirety and we’ve seen many questions and a great deal of frustration from the community. 

Firstly, it’s important you know: we hear you and we understand. Secondly, we wanted to have a discussion about why these issues are more difficult to navigate than you’d expect. Finally, we will propose a new approach to discussing these bugs so that we can streamline the process to squash them! 

TL;DR

Input System Refactor will be fully implemented this month. We have increased bug investigation. These are not the same issues we’ve seen before. We are increasing the availability of a fight-reporting tool to some players. Please report specific details when inquiring about a bug.

This is Not the Same Issue We’ve Seen Before

It’s important that we make everyone aware: these are not the same input issues the game has seen previously. 

Since they manifest similarly, it’s easy to believe that they’re the same issues as before, but behind the scenes these are completely different bugs.

We know this because the engineering team has rebuilt the entire control system, piece by piece, since that time. Therefore, the process we used previously to communicate from community to game team, or vice versa, needs to evolve. 

We will try to provide guidelines and recommendations later in this post. This is not one overarching issue, but a number of smaller issues we are currently working to resolve.

Reporting, Identifying and Tracking Control Issues

Before we look at what needs to change, let’s chat about how these processes currently operate. 


We receive information about suspected bugs from a number of locations: Player Support tickets, forums, members of the Content Creator Program, and various social media platforms. Our Community and Support teams translate these bug reports to our QA and Engineering teams, but can only give them the information that has been reported.

One of the biggest restrictions we face is the limited nature in which we receive details on any bug. 

As these issues are not ones we’ve seen before and rather a series of new, smaller issues (more on that later), simply referring to “input issues” or “control issues” does not equip us with what we need to properly investigate.

The more detail the better! 

Please include details such as:

  • Attacking Champion
  • Defending Champion
  • Game mode
  • Actions that occurred immediately prior to the potential bug
  • Device you are playing on
  • Any other details you can include about the specific encounter

The most helpful posts we’ve seen include video and we’ve seen the rare occasion where players have finger tracing included with the video. We acknowledge that this will be rare and challenging to acquire as we never really know when we’ll be impacted by a bug.

What’s Happening Behind the Scenes?

So, you submit a detailed report, what happens then?


When the game team investigates a bug there are a number of factors that impact the timeline to resolution. 

Some fixes require quite a bit of investigation and some are easily found once pointed in the right direction. Some fixes can be added to the current build directly, some require a hotfix or a new build to be implemented. 

This process may seem arbitrary at times because it happens entirely internally and, therefore, is not player-facing in any way.

It’s important that you know the team is constantly investigating and squashing bugs. 

And remember, our testing team will never be able to reproduce bugs at a rate of hundreds of thousands of Summoners playing the game at the same time; inevitably someone from that sample size will encounter a bug sooner than our much smaller team working toward the same end.

The following are recent, simplified “input issues” investigations, specifically failed dexterity reports. These reports are dense, but we feel it’s important that you have an idea of how detailed these investigations can be.

These bugs were reported using a special “Report Issue” system in-game. This system sends a special technical recording of the fight, including inputs and the resulting action, directly to our engineers. More on this later.

Report 1:

Tigra vs Cull Obsidian

Player Comment: “Swiped back didn’t work”


NOTES:

  • There are some really weird and interesting swipe patterns in this recording. They don’t seem to cause any issues but it might be worth following up at a later date.
  • There’s a clear dodge action @ 34.93 seconds in the middle of a long SP2. Not sure why the player would do that, perhaps it’s the input system flushing an old input sequence?


INVESTIGATION:

  • Attempted Dodge @ 9.36s (frame 281)
  • Inputs good, action failed x4 in queue
  • Dodge fails due to [specific code label]
  • Hit stun from previous hit (multi hit heavy) was 1.13 seconds
  • Easily able to reproduce this by simply heavy attacking with Cull (opponent) and trying to Dodge (player)


ANALYSIS:

In this example, the player perceives that they have control again after the previous incoming hit. The character stands idle for a couple of frames but the (data driven) hit stun window is still active. As far as the tech is concerned, everything is functioning as expected but it’s easy to see why the player expects to be able to dodge here. Reviewing a recording of my repro attempt also showed that the character is still in the medium_2_recoil state - it never actually transitions to idle.


FOLLOW UP:

We need to find out if anything’s changed since the previous version.

  1. Checked 37.2 - same result (any chance the server data’s changed?)
  2. Also tested player as Captain America - same result

TRANSLATION: While the player reporting this reported it just as “swiped back, didn’t work”, which would look like the input issues we had earlier, but the issue is that the animation for medium 2 recoil has a few frames at the end which make it appear to have returned to the idle state. This is particularly noticeable with multi hit heavies and a lot of knock back distance. Bug has been sent to animation team to remove frames at end of animation that make it look like character is idling.

Report 2

Joe Fixit vs Ghost Rider

Player Comment: “Was unable to transition from blocking to dexing during Joe Fixit SP1”

INVESTIGATION:

  • dodge attempts at:
    • 20.41s (Frame 613)
    • 42.82s (Frame 1286)
    • 56.54s (Frame 1698)
    • 64.57s (Frame 1939) - determinism break here: player got hit, 37.2 version survives
    • 81.15s (Frame 2437)
  • Dodge action entered but fails from queue x4
  • As with report #1, the reason dodge action fails is due to Hit Stun
  • Loaded into 37.2
    • Listed dodge actions still fail
    • [Removed] every gameplay killswitch available and the DEXTERITY has returned
    • Narrowed it down to [internal code label] killswitch
    • Debug stepped through the working version
      • Fails 3 times then passes (no longer hit stunned) on the 4th
      • Conclusion here is that hit stun duration is now longer
      • Hypothesis: Each time there’s a hit freeze we’re now increasing the duration by 1 frame
  • Unfortunately, that killswitch was removed in 38.0
  • Attempted to bring it back into 38.0 but it didn’t succeed in preventing the issue
    • Second attempt - it does make the replay show the correct hit stun 3 frame repeating pattern 
  • Tested in [next build] and THIS IS ALREADY FIXED in a future build
    • Just playing back the provided replay in main causes desyncs where the character is granted dexterity rather than knockdown
    • Hyperion fix (wrapped in [code label]) seems to address the issue
    • This suggests that this exact issue is only relevant for zero duration hit freeze events

ANALYSIS:

Hit stun (in this case block stun) window seems to have gone from patchy (3 frames) to continuous coverage for Joe Fixit’s SP1. This is likely true for all hits. It seems there was a delicate relationship of a 3 frame stun window and a 4 frame input queue. Given only a 1 frame opportunity, the player can still easily dodge out of this sequence.

TRANSLATION: A fix to the underlying hit freeze logic (correctly) began to pause the countdown of the hit stun window for a single frame each hit. As a result, the previous 1 frame opportunity to dex out of this attack had disappeared. The new system has been appended to provide a special case for these short duration hits so they once again behave as before.

So, how can we work together to resolve these issues quicker?

As mentioned above, the engineering team uses an in-game reporting tool, similar to what’s used to report suspicious accounts in Battlegrounds, to enable players to submit detailed match information to our game team. It was initially released only to members of the Content Creator Program and has since been expanded to an additional group of trusted Summoners. We plan to expand this tool’s availability but it is not a tool that will be provided to everyone.

Our request from you, dear community, is to be as specific as you possibly can with your reports. These details are essential in wrapping up bugs as quickly as possible. Again, please include:

  • Attacking Champion
  • Defending Champion
  • Game mode
  • Actions that occurred immediately prior to the potential bug
  • Device you are playing on
  • Any other details you can include about the specific encounter

We want to resolve these issues, and we want to do it in a timely manner, so please help us with clear descriptions. 

You have now seen internal reports and some of the specific language used, and we hope you understand the nuances of the topic. 

Thank you to the Summoners who have been doing this already! It’s reports like these from the community that equip us to fix bugs like a game-crash that Wiccan was causing, and bring our overall iOS crash rate down significantly!

We know reporting bugs isn’t your responsibility, but if you’re already here telling us there’s an issue, and you’re invested in seeing a solution, all we ask is you add a bit of extra detail to help us guide the ship through the storm.

Moving forward, we’ll be removing any posts that simply point to “input issues” without the above information. They only clutter the forums and make it harder for those of us looking for bug reports to find.


Thank you,

- MCOC Team

(this will remain in General until the end of the week, when we will move it to Bugs and Known Issues)
Post edited by Kabam Miike on
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Comments

  • NastyPhishNastyPhish Posts: 583 ★★★
    Thanks!
  • Noob_Master69Noob_Master69 Posts: 664 ★★★★
    As someone who's studying CS, this was a pretty interesting read! I hope we can get more of this level of transparency!
    You mention that the reporting tool will be available to some players but not all, what criteria are you planning to judge that by? Will it come to a point later on where we have to apply to get that?
  • PikoluPikolu Posts: 6,175 Guardian
    Amazing writeup, thanks for giving us insight into why these issues have been appearing!
  • JockJonnyJockJonny Posts: 234 ★★
    Just had some seriously frustrating issues doing throne breaker eq Defender Blocking and throwing specials mid combo etc

    But I have to give credit and many thanks for this write up. Just awesome!!

    It is amazing how frank and open communication can dispel so much frustration and negative opinions. Yes the problems still exist and yes they are still frustrating but knowing so much more about the challenges faced and the efforts being made help alleviate that a ton. At least for me haha

    Bravo!!
  • winterthurwinterthur Posts: 7,540 ★★★★★
    MCOC Team said:



    The most helpful posts we’ve seen include video and we’ve seen the rare occasion where players have finger tracing included with the video. We acknowledge that this will be rare and challenging to acquire as we never really know when we’ll be impacted by a bug.

    Can the game developer recommend app recording which allows finger tracing?
  • DemonzfyreDemonzfyre Posts: 20,771 ★★★★★

    MCOC Team said:



    The most helpful posts we’ve seen include video and we’ve seen the rare occasion where players have finger tracing included with the video. We acknowledge that this will be rare and challenging to acquire as we never really know when we’ll be impacted by a bug.

    Can the game developer recommend app recording which allows finger tracing?
    There isn't a recording app that allows for touches to show. It's usually done by enabling developer options on your device at least for Android. Apple may have a different way to show them but I have never heard of a standalone app that does it.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,348 Guardian

    MCOC Team said:



    The most helpful posts we’ve seen include video and we’ve seen the rare occasion where players have finger tracing included with the video. We acknowledge that this will be rare and challenging to acquire as we never really know when we’ll be impacted by a bug.

    Can the game developer recommend app recording which allows finger tracing?
    There isn't a recording app that allows for touches to show. It's usually done by enabling developer options on your device at least for Android. Apple may have a different way to show them but I have never heard of a standalone app that does it.
    I've been looking for such a thing for literally years, and I have yet to find a satisfactory way to do this on iOS.
  • TyphoonTyphoon Posts: 1,713 ★★★★★
    This is the type of transparency wrt bugs we have always wanted. Thank you.
  • Wiredawg1Wiredawg1 Posts: 504 ★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    Compensation please

    As compensation for having to deal with the issues with the old input system, Kabam is giving you a new input system free of charge.
    So are they going to comp like they did before? Considering the majority of players in my alliance are having this issue specifically in aq and aw.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 36,125 ★★★★★

    DNA3000 said:

    Compensation please

    As compensation for having to deal with the issues with the old input system, Kabam is giving you a new input system free of charge.
    Well, there's the emotional cost of continually getting hit in the face for reasons out of our control.
    How would you quantify that in the game?
  • RED_RED_ Posts: 2
    edited March 2023
    I think it is from device. Not game bug. When I play for a long time, my device heats up and then it gets wet with sweat in my hand, and at this time some touchEnd event not registered and next touchStart event ignored because previous event not still not ended. it happens sometime when entering map mode and when drag map it zoomed instead. Please check duration time from touch start to touch end event in your reports. i have iPhone 12 pro max OS: 16.2 Game client version: 38.1.0 also i use screen protector “ Glass Screen Protector for iPhone”. Sorry for my bad english
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 18,348 Guardian
    RED_ said:

    I think it is from device. Not game bug. When I play for a long time, my device heats up and then it gets wet with sweat in my hand, and at this time some touchEnd event not registered and next touchStart event ignored because previous event not still not ended. it happens sometime when entering map mode and when drag map it zoomed instead. Please check duration time from touch start to touch end event in your reports. i have iPhone 12 pro max OS: 16.2 Game client version: 38.1.0 also i use screen protector “ Glass Screen Protector for iPhone”. Sorry for my bad english

    Some people do experience this, and overheating can cause input related problems. When a phone or tablet overheats, heat protection systems designed to prevent the device from damaging itself often kick in and slow down the device to reduce the heat being generated. This can cause the game to be unable to keep up with handing game events on time, and cause player inputs to be skipped or delayed, or cause game events to happen at different times than expected.

    However, this is not the cause of all problems, because many input related problems happen on devices that are not in this state. Different players can experience what seems to be the same problem, but is actually just similar symptoms of two completely different issues.
This discussion has been closed.