Speed Variations and AI Reaction Times

GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
edited December 2018 in Bugs and Known Issues
I realize these issues have been brought up before, but I think it's time to have a serious conversation about it. In light of the most recent EQ, it's given my theories more credence and I think it's important to discuss. Let me be clear that it's not my intention to have a conspiracy conversation. I do not wish to speculate that their intentions are to set us up, or are messing with things to cost us, or any derivative thereof. Fact of the matter is the cause is not as important as the end result for me in this conversation. Please keep it respectful.
So, for quite some time now, I've mentioned the struggles I've had with content that is harder. The harder it gets, the more lag I have. It's also no secret that the AI has increased in its reaction times. Many people have reported instant Blocks, intercepts that are automatic, and general speed issues where the AI moves much faster than we can Evade, or controls freezing. This is clear with the newest EQ.
What I've observed as well, in Master specifically, is that the AI reacts at different times than, say UC. It's as if it's more hesitant, until we move, then it Blocks or Intercepts. Same reactions that most harder Fights have if you try to use a Heavy. It's as if it automatically intervenes, unless you chain it in a Combo. For me, I've noticed that stronger Champs than I'm using also seem to move faster. Sometimes it's as if I'm mid-move and the AI takes control, meaning my hits are bypassed for the AI to connect. I'm definitely not the only one who has noticed behavior like this, if you ask the majority of the Player Base what their largest issue with the game is, they will likely say performance issues.
Now, on to my theory. I believe that speed variants are the cause of the lag in the majority of devices because simply put, most aren't equipped with adequate processors to handle the variation in speeds. We have our controls operating to the best of their ability, and AI which has been optimized to go much faster than the two movements can be processed. After buying a new phone and having much better movement, it somewhat confirmed it for me. However, the concerning part is a few months after buying it, the issues started creeping into my phone.
What's concerning to me is that it's not financially possible to keep up with increasing requirements at that rate. As to how it's happening, I'm not clear. One could suggest the game is only being optimized using the latest devices and software. It's also to be expected that devices become outdated over time, but what I'm seeing is quite an alarming rate. The argument could also be made that changing the time of reaction and the speed adds a layer of challenge, sort of "switches things up". Again, I'm not here to speculate intentional or not. The end result is what concerns me.
Fact is, I've been adamant about being worried about speed variants. Adding a layer of challenge and making improvements is important, but not to the detriment of performance. What I believe is happening, is the AI is so quick that it's overriding our controls, and the processors are overclocking and freezing. The issue wouldn't be so prevalent, but the sheer number of people who report these issues suggests that it's become a larger problem. I honestly believe it needs to be examined because the increasing speeds and variations in our reactions versus the AI is rendering the game incredibly difficult to play. I think this is crucial. It absolutely takes precedence over making it more challenging, faster and better Champs, keeping us on our toes, optimizing for the newest devices, whatever the cause is.
The FIRST thing that needs to matter is the ability for as many people as possible to play the game the best they can. That's the most basic priority, in my opinion. That the controls work. Now, my reputation precedes me, and we all know I support the game and the people who provide it. However, I had to bring this up as constructively as I could because of that reason. It really concerns me, not only for myself, but for others, and the well-being of the game in general. I want people to enjoy playing. I believe they do as well. I just think some ends are becoming frayed, and it's becoming more of an issue.
If anyone would like to share some thoughts, feel free. I'm open to a healthy conversation.
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Comments

  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    *overloading....If they were overclocked they'd go faster ;)
  • sbdjdksbdjdk Posts: 178
    Ok
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    Ok. XD
  • RafikiiRafikii Posts: 239
    Im not huge on tin foil hat theories, but there are parts that i agree on. ill say it now, uncollect AI is easier to fight than master ai

    fight me.

    for the longest time so many people would say the difficulty is the exact same. but i always noticed, A. i can intercept EASILY in UC, but masters...? they never dash in first unless im back stepping..
    b. especially after i was bless with my first Sparky... when building Poise charges, UC ai dashes in once, then backs off if i dex. Masters doesnt do that. masters dashes in, and just delays combos and hits slower.
    c. UC i cant always hit into their block if theyre holding block away from me. masters, i always get intercepted when i dash into their block from across the screen.

    sorry i went wayyy off topic, just kinda wanted to rant about AI activity tho ha
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    No worries. I just wanted to open a conversation about what I've noticed and the importance of controls operating in a speed that can counter the AI.
  • DTMelodicMetalDTMelodicMetal Posts: 2,799 ★★★★★
    @GroundedWisdom The best way to adapt to the topic of your post is to work on MCOC fighting strategies that are effective in more difficult content. Some players think MCOC becomes easy after you get certain champions. The best example of this from my time playing is Blade. Many players thought all they needed to beat all content including LOL was Blade. The problem with this mentality is meta changes can make favored champions less effective.

    Instead of hoping for certain champions like Blade Corvus Sparky Domino and Void the better long-term strategy is to practice different fighting strategies you can use with lots of champions. Specific strategies that are useful in all game content for all champions and thus worth practicing include:

    1) Learning to stay at close range to the AI without getting hit to bait special attacks
    2) Controlling position during fights to prevent being cornered
    3) Parry reaction time
    4) Learning the differences in champion recovery time for heavy and special attacks to know when counter attacking is a safe option
    5) When to use certain styles of intercepting AI attacks

    Certain champions are easier to use for certain types of intercepts than others because of the speed and range of their light/medium attack animations. Doctor Octopus, Proxima Midnight, Dormammu, Venom, Doctor Voodoo, Sparky, and Gladiator Hulk have great range on their light attacks. This make light intercepts ideal for them compared to other champions like Crossbones, Magik, Blade, and Corvus. Crossbones, Corvus, and Luke Cage are usually able to shallow evade attacks (think evade without feeding old MD/Dexterity) and counter with medium attacks. Proxima, Sentinel, and IMIW have a harder time doing this because their medium attacks take longer to make contact.

    Concerning the other points listed above, arena infinite streaks and LOL Red Hulk and LOL Star Lord are great places to practice. ROL is a terrible place to practice and will make you worse because ROL's AI is passive or similar to Map 5 Sentinels. Keep in mind that you'll eventually want to try out new strategies/techniques you've been working on in high pressure game content like Uncollected Event Quests and Alliance War. It can also help to record your own fights so you can go back to see where you mess up and what you could've done differently.
  • DrZolaDrZola Posts: 4,604 ★★★★★
    Sounds like you’re seeing what I’m seeing.

    https://forums.playcontestofchampions.com/en/discussion/comment/676456#Comment_676456

    Can’t say that I see it in Master recently because I’ve stopped doing Master. But the “harder” AI does tend to present problems for my iPhone, my router, the servers, the code...whatever. At some point it stops mattering what the cause is.

    I weep when I watch someone like Dave play. Things seem to run so smoothly on his device, while I get regular frame skips, “latency” and dropped inputs—most frequently at the point of contact or when there are multiple inputs (user and AI) happening at around the same time. Either that or I’m simply blacking out for a split second while I’m intercepting or dashing back or mashing a special.

    I gave things a shot on another, slightly older device yesterday. It was far, far worse—laughably worse.

    Makes things not so much fun.

    Dr. Zola
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    @GroundedWisdom The best way to adapt to the topic of your post is to work on MCOC fighting strategies that are effective in more difficult content. Some players think MCOC becomes easy after you get certain champions. The best example of this from my time playing is Blade. Many players thought all they needed to beat all content including LOL was Blade. The problem with this mentality is meta changes can make favored champions less effective.

    Instead of hoping for certain champions like Blade Corvus Sparky Domino and Void the better long-term strategy is to practice different fighting strategies you can use with lots of champions. Specific strategies that are useful in all game content for all champions and thus worth practicing include:

    1) Learning to stay at close range to the AI without getting hit to bait special attacks
    2) Controlling position during fights to prevent being cornered
    3) Parry reaction time
    4) Learning the differences in champion recovery time for heavy and special attacks to know when counter attacking is a safe option
    5) When to use certain styles of intercepting AI attacks

    Certain champions are easier to use for certain types of intercepts than others because of the speed and range of their light/medium attack animations. Doctor Octopus, Proxima Midnight, Dormammu, Venom, Doctor Voodoo, Sparky, and Gladiator Hulk have great range on their light attacks. This make light intercepts ideal for them compared to other champions like Crossbones, Magik, Blade, and Corvus. Crossbones, Corvus, and Luke Cage are usually able to shallow evade attacks (think evade without feeding old MD/Dexterity) and counter with medium attacks. Proxima, Sentinel, and IMIW have a harder time doing this because their medium attacks take longer to make contact.

    Concerning the other points listed above, arena infinite streaks and LOL Red Hulk and LOL Star Lord are great places to practice. ROL is a terrible place to practice and will make you worse because ROL's AI is passive or similar to Map 5 Sentinels. Keep in mind that you'll eventually want to try out new strategies/techniques you've been working on in high pressure game content like Uncollected Event Quests and Alliance War. It can also help to record your own fights so you can go back to see where you mess up and what you could've done differently.
    I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. It's not physically possible to respond. The game lags, freezes, and bypasses any attempt. It's not a Fight-style issue. The speed of the AI has gotten to the point that devices are not capable of processing and responding correctly. There is no adaptation when the controls won't work. You may get one Evade off, but try the second, and you are going half the speed that the AI is. Try to advance with a Medium, and you go slow motion into their fist. That particular one is prevalent in the Arena. I'm saying it's altering to the point that you can't Fight properly. Not that I need to be quicker.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    DrZola wrote: »
    Sounds like you’re seeing what I’m seeing.

    https://forums.playcontestofchampions.com/en/discussion/comment/676456#Comment_676456

    Can’t say that I see it in Master recently because I’ve stopped doing Master. But the “harder” AI does tend to present problems for my iPhone, my router, the servers, the code...whatever. At some point it stops mattering what the cause is.

    I weep when I watch someone like Dave play. Things seem to run so smoothly on his device, while I get regular frame skips, “latency” and dropped inputs—most frequently at the point of contact or when there are multiple inputs (user and AI) happening at around the same time. Either that or I’m simply blacking out for a split second while I’m intercepting or dashing back or mashing a special.

    I gave things a shot on another, slightly older device yesterday. It was far, far worse—laughably worse.

    Makes things not so much fun.

    Dr. Zola

    I agree. I think there's a fine line between advancement and detriment, and it's not feasible for people to purchase a new device every 3 months. That was the period I had my new phone that it started lagging as well. Not as badly, but noticeably. Seems to get worse and worse every month. It's no secret that some Champs are faster than others, but DH just highlighted this. He's going so fast our devices are seizing. Hence the freezing. I think it needs to be looked at because whatever the cause, having our controls work is more important than the wow factor.
  • DTMelodicMetalDTMelodicMetal Posts: 2,799 ★★★★★
    @GroundedWisdom I didn’t see the main point of your OP. I saw you mentioned different AI reaction times in different content, I missed the part where you said it’s not financially possible to keep a current device to minimize lag. I agree it’s not ideal when a FTP phone game requires hardware updates to avoid lag. Graphic intensive PC games like The Witcher 3 and GTA 5 make sense, there not the case for MCOC.
  • Zuko_ILCZuko_ILC Posts: 1,224 ★★★★
    I realize these issues have been brought up before, but I think it's time to have a serious conversation about it. In light of the most recent EQ, it's given my theories more credence and I think it's important to discuss. Let me be clear that it's not my intention to have a conspiracy conversation. I do not wish to speculate that their intentions are to set us up, or are messing with things to cost us, or any derivative thereof. Fact of the matter is the cause is not as important as the end result for me in this conversation. Please keep it respectful.
    So, for quite some time now, I've mentioned the struggles I've had with content that is harder. The harder it gets, the more lag I have. It's also no secret that the AI has increased in its reaction times. Many people have reported instant Blocks, intercepts that are automatic, and general speed issues where the AI moves much faster than we can Evade, or controls freezing. This is clear with the newest EQ.
    What I've observed as well, in Master specifically, is that the AI reacts at different times than, say UC. It's as if it's more hesitant, until we move, then it Blocks or Intercepts. Same reactions that most harder Fights have if you try to use a Heavy. It's as if it automatically intervenes, unless you chain it in a Combo. For me, I've noticed that stronger Champs than I'm using also seem to move faster. Sometimes it's as if I'm mid-move and the AI takes control, meaning my hits are bypassed for the AI to connect. I'm definitely not the only one who has noticed behavior like this, if you ask the majority of the Player Base what their largest issue with the game is, they will likely say performance issues.
    Now, on to my theory. I believe that speed variants are the cause of the lag in the majority of devices because simply put, most aren't equipped with adequate processors to handle the variation in speeds. We have our controls operating to the best of their ability, and AI which has been optimized to go much faster than the two movements can be processed. After buying a new phone and having much better movement, it somewhat confirmed it for me. However, the concerning part is a few months after buying it, the issues started creeping into my phone.
    What's concerning to me is that it's not financially possible to keep up with increasing requirements at that rate. As to how it's happening, I'm not clear. One could suggest the game is only being optimized using the latest devices and software. It's also to be expected that devices become outdated over time, but what I'm seeing is quite an alarming rate. The argument could also be made that changing the time of reaction and the speed adds a layer of challenge, sort of "switches things up". Again, I'm not here to speculate intentional or not. The end result is what concerns me.
    Fact is, I've been adamant about being worried about speed variants. Adding a layer of challenge and making improvements is important, but not to the detriment of performance. What I believe is happening, is the AI is so quick that it's overriding our controls, and the processors are overclocking and freezing. The issue wouldn't be so prevalent, but the sheer number of people who report these issues suggests that it's become a larger problem. I honestly believe it needs to be examined because the increasing speeds and variations in our reactions versus the AI is rendering the game incredibly difficult to play. I think this is crucial. It absolutely takes precedence over making it more challenging, faster and better Champs, keeping us on our toes, optimizing for the newest devices, whatever the cause is.
    The FIRST thing that needs to matter is the ability for as many people as possible to play the game the best they can. That's the most basic priority, in my opinion. That the controls work. Now, my reputation precedes me, and we all know I support the game and the people who provide it. However, I had to bring this up as constructively as I could because of that reason. It really concerns me, not only for myself, but for others, and the well-being of the game in general. I want people to enjoy playing. I believe they do as well. I just think some ends are becoming frayed, and it's becoming more of an issue.
    If anyone would like to share some thoughts, feel free. I'm open to a healthy conversation.

    I'm not experiencing that at all. With the new updates the game runs smoothly even on my ios 6.
  • ThatOneMasterGamerThatOneMasterGamer Posts: 741 ★★★
    I agree,I try to do act 4 at the moment for uncollected but the AI is to insane,the main problem with the AI is the first classic champs.I can't do nothing,when their close to me and I'm blocking the AI does a heavy so fast that I can't act.Also the specials are getting blocked almost every fight.The AI also does a 10 HIT COMBO,HOW DOES THAT WORK.One AI also did a 15 hit combo,totally a fair game.
  • GhostboytjieGhostboytjie Posts: 1,296 ★★★★
    Wow the paragraphs.
  • EndymioNEndymioN Posts: 64
    You are right, your reputation precedes you, mostly because most of the time feels like you blindly defend kabam, but for once i actualy agree with you and noticed some of what are describing here as well. and sure i rock an "outdated" device by 2 years +/- but hes optimized just for this game, by that i mean removed everything that could inpact performance. And still even when we seem to bo running smoothly without lag, the game ai sometimes feels impossible to beat, just overpowering. im sure im not remembering all the problems, but you seem to cover almost everything in your post so for now ... lets see were this is going.
  • OmniOmni Posts: 574 ★★★
    I think it has to do with stupid challenger rating. Use a weaker champ and the ai should act more aggressive. I know it sounds counter intuitive but I never fight master with more than a single 4/55 and some support rank 3s and don’t have issues with the ai being passive
  • WayntosWayntos Posts: 517 ★★
    I noticed these things also. What should be a 5 hit combo ends up a four, last punch appears to pass through the opponent. Blocking specials after making contact with the first part of the special like Hyperion sp1 you hit them with the backhand but they block the laser. Also notice either at the begin of match or when they opponent gets to around 15% health they get stupid hard and it takes like 25 hits to knock out the last 7% health and when rhino or juggs are jumping around like spider-man ridiculously fast. Also when your champ throws a heavy out of the blue which you didn't trigger also did I mention the lag?

    Beside all that great game!!!
  • OmniOmni Posts: 574 ★★★
    edited December 2018
    Ai In general is dexing more than it used to with the last update. Happens in all areas of the game
  • Ultimatesaber32Ultimatesaber32 Posts: 740 ★★
    Interesting proposition. I’m excited to see where this goes
  • StrawHat47StrawHat47 Posts: 13
    I'm not an expert when it comes to debugging but maybe the animations like the moving backgrounds when logging in should be removed. The game has really lagged lately, loading times are terrible. But nothing has been done about it though many have had this problem.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    Omni wrote: »
    I think it has to do with stupid challenger rating. Use a weaker champ and the ai should act more aggressive. I know it sounds counter intuitive but I never fight master with more than a single 4/55 and some support rank 3s and don’t have issues with the ai being passive

    I suspected that as well. On paper, from what it was intended to affect, there's nothing that would affect speed or aggression. However, it's a thought I keep going back to. Not sure if it's the CR or just stronger Champs in general.
  • KattohSKattohS Posts: 660 ★★
    Well I’ve noticed that the AI has the ability to throw fast or slow “action” heavies, SP1 & SP2.

    Also speed slides/glides across the screen before you can complete a swipe back.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    KattohS wrote: »
    Well I’ve noticed that the AI has the ability to throw fast or slow “action” heavies, SP1 & SP2.

    Also speed slides/glides across the screen before you can complete a swipe back.

    Yep, this happens almost immediately for me when charging a Medium. Especially in the Arena. They speed up and I eat their fist. Not every Fight. Some go faster than others. Which is why I think the variations in speed are causing issues.
  • DrZolaDrZola Posts: 4,604 ★★★★★
    I think I know what you're talking about. Here are some problems I face on my device:

    Expectation
    Wait for the enemy to dash, parry him, attack him.

    Reality
    Enemy dashes, I get comboed, and then I lose.
    Problem here is the amount of frames shown. In the latest devices, you can clearly see the enemy dash like if it was in slow motion or something. But in android and old devices, it doesnt show enough frames , so it looks like the enemy just teleported to you.

    --

    Expectation
    Do a 5-hit combo, and throw the special right away.

    Reality
    Tap 5 times, the game lags on the 5th hit. It doesn't happen and the special gets blocked.

    --

    Expectation
    Do a 5-hit combo.

    Reality
    Tap 5 times, and do a 4-hit combo. The 5th hit never happens

    While it doesn’t happen all of the time, in at least half of my fights this is consistent with my experience. The teleportation description is spot on. One addition:

    Expectation
    Tap special to finish out after 5-hit combo.

    Reality
    Special fails to register. Champion stands there exposed and usually gets comboed to the face.

    I would also add I’m beyond listing device, OS, connection, etc. Been there and done that—nothing happens.

    Dr. Zola
  • ThatOneMasterGamerThatOneMasterGamer Posts: 741 ★★★
    A couple of minutes ago I fought a Quake that acted like a player,the AI was spamming the heavy.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    edited December 2018
    Here's a gopde example. I'm fighting Elektra in UC. She is blocking immediately following any Special. The L1 she fires off has different timings of when it fires the two Ninja Stars, so it's hard to Evade. AA can't Evade them at all on my end. Then when you do Evade it successfully, she whiffs you as you advance towards her. Doesn't even move until you're close. Then there's the phantom Evade that comes instantaneously. It's althroughout the game. You're about to connect, and they jump back immediately. Doesn't matter if you're in the middle of connecting or not, it's like all Champs have this sporadic Evade like NC. They move faster than we can respond to. Champs are operating at speeds all over the place, and the reactions are almost automatic. It's not possible to play normally when they're bypassing our moves. This is an example of what I'm talking about. This is with my phone, so it's not the date of the device. The differences in timings are having many more adverse effects than just making the content more challenging. It's stopping us from playing properly. We can't play a game where the AI moves faster than we are capable.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    With my phone, it's an issue. With my tablet, it translates to major lag.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    It's also not consistent because there are some Fights that allow you to respond properly, and others where the AI is way too quick. Like I said. Too many speed variants.
  • EndymioNEndymioN Posts: 64
    yup, been doing massive amounts of versus battles and its very noticeable in many fights the speed variations, even tb nc effect... sometimes it plays well no faults other its all over the place the npc is nuts with its reactions..
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 27,002 ★★★★★
    It's really frustrating with Questing because there are 3 options. Spend insane amounts of Units taking them down dry, continue to restart until you get to the Boss over and over and get "the good RNG", or not do it at all.
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