Channeling No-Cancel Bug

Discussion in 'Arkham Asylum (Bug Discussion)' started by Crash Allen, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    This is a follow-up to an issue I mentioned in the Empowered Channeling bug thread. Absorb Heat often refuses to cancel, whether or not the player is using Empowered Channeling.

    0:00 Quick demo showing that shift = block and that, with no other inputs and nothing else going on, Absorb Heat can be instantly cancelled by blocking

    0:16 In combat, if you only press to activate Absorb Heat then press nothing else except block and no external effects are being applied to you, Absorb Heat may still instantly cancel during block.

    0:22 In a realistic combat situation, with other powers and attacks being rotated and clipped, Absorb Heat will either be very resistant to cancelling, or...

    0:32 it may refuse to cancel altogether until the cast is complete, which is a death sentence in Elite raids and makes the power unusable as tank, even with Empowered Channeling.

    The probability of this bug occurring, in order of likelihood, seems to result from:

    1. the player clipping weapon attacks (or really doing anything quickly) in between powers or immediately before casting;
    2. pressing any other power/attack input while Absorb Heat is casting;
    3. Being struck by an enemy;
    4. Jumping during the cast;
    5. Starting the cast stationary then having moved, or starting the cast while moving then becoming stationary;
    6. Being affected by beneficial/detrimental status effects during cast or having status effects active upon initiating cast; and
    7. There is still a chance for it to happen even if none of the above applies.

    Definitely a bug, as the power is supposed to be cancellable via blocking at any time during the cast, it sometimes just doesn't work. Makes it an extreme liability in fights where we have to block on a moment's notice, (Throne E vs Sea Beast; CoTe vs Murk; SGe vs Tala meatballs; FIe vs Harpies, Phoenix, Forge, and Merciless; and MoMe vs Merciless and, to a lesser extent, Freeze & Ivy), often mandating we swap it out for Mass Det so we can cancel casts more reliably. It also makes it virtually unusable as Tank, even with Empowered Channeling, which is unfortunate because with Empowered Channeling + the Tank role interaction it has it would be one of our best powers for active tanking single targets and self-healing.

    Note: This has been an issue for as long as I can remember.
    • Like x 9
  2. Medicine Active Player

    This is due the reason you trying to cancel it to fast, there is a delay window. Test this again by waiting 1s to block cancel after you pressed the Ability.
  3. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    That's simply not true at all. My very first example (actually most of the examples) immediately disproves that. I have over 10,000 hours on fire and know Absorb Heat inside and out. It can be cancelled at any point in the cast, a bug just prevents it from working consistently.
  4. Medicine Active Player

    I can only tell you what works for me, i tested it. Tried to cancel it in an area -1000ms and after 1000ms + and it worked everytime. Where are you from and which server you´re playing on?
  5. Crash Allen Dedicated Player


    And as you can see from the video and details, you won't get consistent results as you're suggesting. Take it up against elite Merc, Murk, Seabeast, Tala, or even Zeus or US as part of a normal combat rotation clipping weapon attacks between powers, moving around, getting healed/damaged/buffed and behaving normally in general and enjoy how many times you eat the one shots when block cancel bugs out. Testing it in a vacuum is worthless as, as shown in the video, it takes very little actual combat normalcy for the cancellation to bug out. While it is possible, while being extremely careful and changing your play to try to prevent the bug from happening, to go an entire fight without it getting you killed, you're always rolling the dice and it's not how this is intended to work.
    • Like x 1
  6. Medicine Active Player

    You´re right somehow, but as you said yourself it never was different. Which seem to be more a question about delay window, which is increasing while in combat. For me it always worked fine, except from server delays or personal connection delay to US (if i play there).
    With that said plus the inconsistency, you know what the problem could be (Delay window, Hardware delay, Server delay or Network delay). Which doesnt mean that it can´t be improved.

    It also would be good to check if this aint caused by ISP (To the time you´re playing DC)
    Click on "View Details" after the test is done. (If the test stuck reload the site and try again)
    Check Bufferfloat, Jitter, Packet loss rates and also the latency to US servers.
  7. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    There is no increased intrinsic "delay" though, whether in combat or not. Check out the 0:16 example again. I believe what you're perceiving as a delay is the game being confused and saying "no no no no no cancelling not allowed due to <x-factor>" then suddenly "ok allowed now," like in example 0:22. Then see example 0:32 which proves that sometimes, no matter what, it just says "lolno." Then, if in elite, you likely die. As you can see, I spam the living **** out of block for the entirety of the cast and it won't cancel despite not having done anything differently from the previous examples where it either did allow me to cancel or allowed me to cancel eventually (which is still a death sentence). The behavior cannot be consistently replicated no matter the circumstances. I have tested likely millions of casts by this point in every conceivable situation and with every movement type and form in the game and the only thing that's consistent about this bug is that it's completely inconsistent. It's not lag and no other powers experience these issues.

    This has been a problem for almost a decade now and has persisted regardless of geographical location or ISP. For example, whether I was playing on optical connection near the game servers, or when I was playing on cell-phone/satellite internet on Ellesmere Island, or shoddy satellite internet in a shack in Tuktoyaktuk, or really anywhere else around the world, the behaviour is/was exactly the same. Same goes for system. Have tested this across multiple extremely high-end (99.99% percentile at the time of build) gaming rigs and I've tested it on a now-14-year-old low-end/non-gaming/general-use/half-dead laptop ($500 new at time of purchase 14 years ago) and the results are identical. Given that that is about as broad a spectrum as is humanly possible, It seems probabilistically impossible to me at this point that this could be related to connection or system specs.

    It's extremely important to note that I don't know of any other channel or charged power that exhibits this behaviour. Eg. Every single time I cast Absorb Heat it is immediately followed by Heat Vision and guess how many times Heat Vision has prevented me from cancelling it. Answer: zero. In thousands upon thousands of hours of channeling spam playtime, no other power has ever prevented me from cancelling it, whether via block or jump cancel depending on the power. Not once* (*link unrelated). To the best of my knowledge, this is the only power where this ever happens and if it was a problem for every charged/channeled power, all charged & channeled powers would be competitively unusable for the simple fact that being prevented from reacting for 3-4s at a time is suicidal. There is generally one elite raid per episode where I have to either switch from Absorb Heat to Mass Detonation or I have to go into it with the knowledge that I have zero actual control over my survival if my rotation lines Absorb Heat up with the mechanics in a bad way and the game decides to prevent me from cancelling it. In the remaining episodes/fights, there's still always a chance it'll get me killed but it's a risk I have to take because Absorb Heat is fire DPS' bread and butter.
    • Like x 1
  8. Medicine Active Player

    So if it doesnt got anything to do with what i mentioned, i don´t get why its working for you sometimes. I mean if its a bug it shouldnt work at all?! Plus that it´s working always for me, i dont think we´re running different game versions. It makes it pretty curious if its working for me while others facing this. And overall you´re´s not the best way to cancel it, since you cant do it immediatly. From my perspective it got something to do with delay but i could be wrong. A developer has to check this.
    • Like x 1
  9. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    But how are you testing it? And are you PC or PS? As alluded to in OP:

    - If I'm out of combat and only press Absorb Heat and nothing else until I press block, it will almost always work (but not always)
    - If I'm in combat and I only press to cast Absorb Heat and nothing hits or buffs me in any way, it will almost always work (but still less reliably than if I wasn't in combat)
    - If I ever press anything else before, during, or after the cast, whether that be clipping weapon attacks, spamming power inputs, or if I get attacked or buffed in any way (ie. all normal stuff we have to do to stay competitive), the probability of it working decreases exponentially.
    - In raids, where all of those things are happeneing all of the time, it's often a miracle to be able to block (it can be done.... it's just so inconsistent so as to be eyeroll-inducing when it actually lets you). I have similarly tested in raids where I would only press to cast Absorb Heat and nothing else and it would still sometimes not cancel (but would be slightly more reliable than if not "coddling" it). That's essentially how I'm forced to use it if I'm being stupid and decide to try my luck vs, for example, MoMe lb Merc: normal rotation -> normal rotation -> pause for 0.5s and hold my breath while I cast Absorb Heat and pretend my kb is a Fabergé Egg for the duration -> go back to normal until next Absorb Heat. But it still isn't anywhere near a guarantee and the game may just decide it's my time to die for no reason... so I don't test my luck anymore vs fights with mechanical "block/move or die" one-shot elements... which makes me feel cheated by the game. I know I'm not the only player experiencing this with the power.

    To reiterate: no other superpower, whether charged or channeled, regardless of player power/movement/circumstances/whatnot, exhibits this behaviour ever.
    • Like x 1
  10. Brav Well-Known Player

    This has definitely been a consistent problem for as long as I can remember. It could most likely be a input queue issue because if you aren't careful and act too quickly or if any wrong action occurs before or during the ability cast, it can certainly cause this ability to bug out and leave you in a locked state for the full duration.

    If this happens during the wrong time in combat, it can certainly lead to the player being knocked out without much control on their end.

    Hopefully this can be looked into and a safety measure can be put into place to prevent this from occurring.
    • Like x 1
  11. Psycho Tech Committed Player

    ive been fire for nearly a decade, i can confirm seeing this, been ongoing for a very long time. to the point i have to be extremely cautious when i use it, incase i cant block cancel. like Ultimate soldier in sm, that was sketch as hell, you never knew when the block would fail & you'd get electric 1shot
    • Like x 1
  12. Brav Well-Known Player

    In addition to what was mentioned, I've done a few input tests recently and what I've noticed was any "active" (actively does damage on cast/Damage per second) channel ability that is not jump cancellable but instead only programmed to be cancelled when blocking, can also lock the player in the animation until the end, while it continues to process/add any additional inputs to a queue that were pressed during the animation time of that ability.

    So this particular issue is not solely a fire/absorb heat problem. I've noticed this can also happen to munitions channeled ability "Chain Gun", any combat taps or other default inputs used during the animation time can cause these type of channeled abilities to lock up.

    Key Notes: Default inputs are one of the common things that is currently causing these abilities to lockup so easily, especially for controller users. This can also occur for Keyboard Users but it is less common unless the player is using a mouse and actively tapping/clicking combat inputs during the channeled ability animation or if that player has quickly hit that channeled ability before a previous ability animation has ended.

    Temporary Solution: I've noticed that quickly refreshing the User Interface actually frees up/clears the previous input from the queue and allows the player to cancel the channeled ability to block. (Possible Problem related to these channeled abilities locking up due to additional inputs being added to the queue during the animation time).

    Tips: Controller Users (Target Lock Off Users), for now if you find yourself stuck in this situation a quick way to refresh your UI in combat is to press the left D Pad (Social Menu) either twice then hit the block key (R1) or Press the left D Pad once, quickly tap Circle then press the block button. (Target Lock On Users = Quickly Press Select (Chat Window), Circle then the Block (R1) button).

    Keyboard Users = Quickly Open and Close a Window then Block. Example: Quickly Press J (Journal) Twice then press the Block (Shift) button.

    Side Note: Quickly going from Controller to Keyboard or Vice Versa also seems to refresh the UI/Input queue and allows the player to cancel that channeled ability and block with the opposite device used.

    Side Thought: The UI may be related to this issue in some way. Though a New UI may solve some existing problems it may also bring forth other/new problems and challenges. Trying to work with our current UI may be a challenge within itself but it is a familiar challenge that can be managed.

    A New UI can also bring forth more options and features so there is definitely some good to come from it. It is definitely a decision that can not be made lightly. So which ever decision is made and what ever can be done to improve things, would definitely be appreciated either way.

    Hopefully a more permanent solution can be implemented for this particular issue. For now anyone who finds themselves in this particular situation and whom is willing and capable/quick, can perform the actions noted above. If not, then perhaps using another ability for those certain riskier boss fights may be a better option. At least until this is addressed within time, when the developers are able to.
    • Like x 1
  13. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    Really fantastic write-up and amazing catches, thank you. Few points:

    You are correct. I evaluated under "normal" use for however I was playing a given power and upon further testing and really trying to force it to bug out, I was definitely wrong about this. I'm guessing the nature of how some powers are best utilized in rotation may have contributed to my only experiencing this with an extremely high rate of incidence with Absorb Heat. Weirdly though, I'd never heard anyone complain about it with any other power and I asked friends who were on powers I'd not played to test it out; they had never experienced issues in normal use but were ultimately able to force replicate today after I asked them to retry upon reading your post. The extreme important of Absorb Heat for Fire DPS is likely another factor.

    I just tested this out on Stoke Flames, which is cancellable via both block and jump. I always thought it was unaffected by this bug but it turns out it's just as susceptible: if you're spamming/clipping inputs, block cancel will no longer work but jump cancel will. So I'm guessing any channeled power that has a block cancel option has a chance of having the block cancel bugged out in this manner. This could also be a factor as to why the issue was underreported, since given the choice between block cancelling and jump cancelling, jump cancelling is the faster, cleaner, and more efficient method since it allows immediate follow-on action to be taken as well as immediate movement, so players would generally be cancelling via jump anyways and simply never notice the bug in play.

    This is, in fact, exactly what I'm doing since I'm clipping a ranged tap in between every cast, so it's probable that I simply stop clipping early enough that it doesn't bug it out sometimes. That said, while I could perfectly replicate everything you're saying exactly vs a training dummy, results get inconsistent during actual combat. For example, check out 0:22 of the video. I made a point to spam clicks throughout the cast, as we can see from my tracked inputs, and despite my not doing anything to refresh the UI, the queue cleared and I was able to eventually block even though I was still clicking non-stop.
    I've also tested extensively in combat with no other inputs at all (since this is how I'd try to survive with the power if I felt like testing my luck), pressing to cast Absorb Heat and nothing else at all, and the bug would still sometimes occur. It seemed to me that it happened as a result of external effects like friendly buffs, physics, or damage in but it's difficult to narrow it down in an active combat situation.

    I also went back and tested jumping more and it seems to force the queue glitch as well, which is very problematic because being able to jump and move around while using this is a huge part of its utility. I knew this was a thing but thought it wasn't a guantee it would bug out after a jump. I may have been wrong as I was unable to block cancel just now after any jumps were made during a cast.

    Despite the remaining inconsistencies in combat, your feedback here is super helpful. I would have never though to open and close a window and even though I definitely agree that this should be addressed, it's nice understanding what's going on better and at the very least having an option to force it to work.
    • Like x 1
  14. Melusine Midnight Well-Known Player

    I'd love to see it coded like Channel Hate with an attack-cancel mechanic.
    • Like x 1
  15. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    I'd hate that personally, as near the end I want to still be able to spam clicks to get that ranged tap clip in between AH and HV. Losing that would be non-negligible.
  16. Medicine Active Player

    So i wrote a little script to bypass this bug, it aint the best way but for the moment it works.
    Use it only inGame (Shift button)

    You will see a little icon on the taskbar, after closing the game make sure to right-click/exit
    • Like x 1
  17. Brav Well-Known Player

    I felt the same for a moment until I went on my rage and tested it. It is actually really smooth and I couldn't replicate the animation stuck bug like absorb heat and chain gun.

    It allows you to still be mobile and jump if needed without canceling the ability. The only thing that is programmed to stop it is either blocking or any weapon taps, which is actually a good thing. Especially if one wants to use this ability for single target tanking you can easily lunge out of it and counter the boss/target, perform a block break counter, block and roll/dodge or block if needed for a counter or mechanic.

    I would definitely like to see this for absorb heat. It will eliminate the current problem and will not need to be overwritten by the commands I previously mentioned.

    Having this setup for chain gun and any other similar channel ability may be helpful as well, though it is not as crucial like using absorb heat for fire is at the moment. This can definitely be a good start, especially for this specific ability.

    (Side note for crash, I am sure you can still get the weapon taps in, if you wanted. You would just have to time them accordingly (get use to hitting the weapon tap at a certain point during the cast just before it comes to an end or after), if you still wanted to slip a tap or two in before Heat vision).
    • Like x 1
  18. Crash Allen Dedicated Player

    I'm sure I could adapt. Would be difficulty to do consistently given that we can spam power input non-stop, so without a short grace period at the very end where we could click w/o it cutting off the end of the channel it'd be tough to beat out the near-instant activation of HV. It would, however, be much better for tanking that way, as you said, which would be nice.
    • Like x 1

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