Counter Mechanics are Broken in PvE

Discussion in 'Old Arkham (Bug Archive)' started by Scott Zyur, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Mack10 New Player

    What really sucks is that just before T6 dropped, I was actually getting to be somewhat competent at this game. I could confidently answer any LFG shout for a troll. People were inviting me to join their leagues. I was about to organize my first EO run. I thought that maybe the counter mechanics were just off because the devs had put the foundations of WM in place, and perhaps once WM went live things would make sense. Sure, it was wonky on the test server, but I attributed that to not having any muscle memory for the new combos.

    Then the update hit, and the bottom dropped out. The negative effects of overlong counter vulnerability windows in PvE were exacerbated rather than eliminated. The game became sluggish and unresponsive. My toon was getting countered and hit for major damage by enemies that hadn't even spawned yet. I began spelling the word "lag" with no fewer than 7 "a"s. Teammates' power bars in alerts were now at least 2-3 seconds slow in updating, meaning that people were starting to complain in group chat about interruptions in PoT, which I hadn't heard in months. I even had one guy trying to give me a public tutorial during a raid in how to use Instant Power. I digressed there, but the point I'm making is that the problems with the current PvE counter mechanic implementation are causing other problems which decrease the overall quality of gameplay.

    Repeated attempts to master the mechanics are futile when they don't work as one is told that they should. When you're constantly rechecking your skill tree to check if the combos labeled [Block Breaker] and [Interrupts] are still labeled as such because they only succeed at it 30% of the time - despite keeping your nose to the screen and calling out the vulnerability symbol over enemies' heads to ensure you're using the appropriate move.

    Repeated failure at what is a very simple rock-paper-scissors concept leads to frustration. When compounded with failed public efforts to get some sort of resolution or even a little bit of edification from those who created and run the system in question, then this little quote I read on Hacker News becomes relevant:

    Burnout is caused when you repeatedly make large amounts of sacrifice and or effort into high-risk problems that fail. It's the result of a negative prediction error in the nucleus accumbens. You effectively condition your brain to associate [the activity] with failure.

    I like my games to be challenging, but being set up to fail and having players' concerns about it met with indifference by the devs is troubling - especially when they have always seemed like a sharp, talented group that really care about the player base and making the best product they can. This whole "ignore, not reply to" approach is incredibly out-of-character.

    The upshot is that an important and overarching aspect of gameplay (one which affects all players regardless of level or powertype) is in need of adjustment, and the only people who have any agency in the matter are either unable or unwilling to address it. As a customer who has been a video game and DC fan all his life (not to mention who answers his phone "Helllooo BAT-man"), it sucks that my only recourse is to close my wallet and quit playing what has become my favorite game.

    My hope is that someday this matter, whether through code adjustments, hardware or network upgrades, gets addressed and resolved. When it does, you won't find any other player happier not to be an ex-player any longer.
    • Like x 1
  2. SkullGang Devoted Player

    My main problem ? Insane amount of immunity for NPC's. I have actually counted to 14 before I was able to counter them back. It's absolutely ridiculous how their initial immunity will last like 10 seconds and they can farm more off of you even if you are not doing anything. Oh yeah lets not forgot the absurd amount of stunning. The second they use their staff i'm getting stunned, breaking out then being juggled. Shouldn't my breakout prevent me from being juggled in the first place ? Increase our immunity duration because these staff NPC abuse that stunning ****.
    • Like x 4
  3. Bokugo New Player

    They wont fix it. They wont even acknowledge its broken or post something here.

    Either get used to it, or leave.
  4. Mack10 New Player

    That seems to be the case, but I have a better idea. How about I attend a dev panel at SOE Live and ask them about this topic directly? They will have to say something then, even if it is "Yo, Security! Get this fool outta here!"

    The twist would be that they would get thrown out by security, because that's what playing PvE with these glitchy counter mechanics is like.
    • Like x 1
  5. Mack10 New Player

    Correction for better metaphorical accuracy: they would get thrown out of the next panel session.
  6. Dark Suzumebachi Well-Known Player

    All I can say is generations. As long as they have the number of players coming equaling or passing the number leaving these issues that we label as a "problems" will be known as just how the game is to new players.

    This is just an hypothesis but I assume this is the reason why the problem that the players who played through that change are overlooked. You have the beta generation, launch, free to play/replay, and I'll add the counter mechanic generation as well. These seem to be what little left of the launch/beta community left has to talk about as a major change to how the game plays. I consider myself as I been playing for a year now to be the free to play/replay gen. Compared to how I was told how it was before ftp and replay badges I had it easy and I 100% agree.

    I say generation because I find it easier to look at how to deal with big game changes. The ftp/replay era I would assume greatly outnumbered the launch players who left. I know many left when they introduced pvp seasons and the counter mechanics into pve. The launch of the ps4 only increased the number of players do to DCUO being free to play. This will be the phase out of those who played before the counter mechanics and are leaving do to the state of the game, leaving those who came in after only knowing that the current state of the game is a game and not a problem.

    Long story short, those who played before a major change that resulted in people leaving will only be replaced by those who play after.
  7. Mack10 New Player

    It makes sense that they keep their priorities and resources focused on the long term rather than engage "every half-wit with a complaint." The devs/mods probably figure it's easier just to give players a place to vent about this until they exhaust themselves, which explains why they didn't close this thread 6 pages ago. I know they figure this issue was settled last year, but as you point out, it's a different generation now. They should give us the courtesy of acknowledging our concerns about this also.

    Even if they hold the exact same position as before and see no need to modify it, then it should be a piece of cake to dismiss our concerns. They've already done the hard part of making and presenting the bulk of their case, it's just a quick copy and paste with minor updates reflecting recent game changes. The fact that they won't even do that much bothers me more than the issue for which I'm posting in this thread, and which was the final factor in deciding to cancel my sub.

    Other players are getting frustrated, too. I'll quote a couple examples:

    And those are from different forum threads entirely, though they would be just as valid in this one.

    To reiterate what I've said before, I don't mind that the counter mechanics exist (in fact they have been a part of the game since before I started playing), I just wish that they would do something about inconsistency in the PvE implementation.
    • Like x 3
  8. Anarcho-Captain New Player

    That is not at all the experience we're having. We can SEE what the AI characters are doing & we try to properly use attacks that correspond to what they're doing... BUT the results are: nothing happens. It's not that they're too tough to beat. If the mechanic is supposed to go "When an AI is blocking, just do a heavy range attack & knock him down" then why does the AI get to just keep blocking all my heavy range attacks. I understand the instances where the AI doesn't fall down because he's about to lunge me, but even that is a stupid mechanic because I can't do that to them. The second I get hit while blocking I'm knocked down. I don't get to say "but but but, see I was faking you so I could lunge you." Nope. I get knocked down. This is just dumb.
    • Like x 1
  9. RichardHead New Player

    FYI the counter mechanics are fine.... you do know if ANYONE in your group gets BB or Interrupted (even tank) the add starts flashing white and is immune too ALL BBers and Interrupts for a set amount of time..

    Those idiot dps who wanna melee and have no clue what they are doing is what is breaking the mechanics for you they are constantly getting BB... so dont complain here complain at your groups
  10. Mack10 New Player

    That doesn't explain blocks being broken 2-3 moves later or stacking vulnerability windows that cause normal powers to get countered when playing solo. These issues are caused by how the game is coded, issues with how lag is processed on the server, hardware limitations, network problems, or a combination of all these. Bringing problems to the devs' attention (ostensibly to help improve gameplay quality for everyone) is what this area of the forums is FOR, hence the posts.
    • Like x 2
  11. RedeemerD New Player

    FYI counter mechanics are also broken in T5-T6 solo. Where no one is there to spoil your BB or Interrupt. And that's not all, I've seen how a non-clippable animation is clipped by an interrupt move. I've seen how it is clipped by block.

    E.g. the first sub-boss in The Hunt. He often uses the flamethrower move, and as soon as i see it, a lunge at him, and it happened a million times, that the flamethrower animation starts, and as soon as I lunged, he cancels it either with block or with an interrupt, which by the way usually somehow knocks me down. An interrupt that interrupts an interrupt, awesome, right? Totally working PvE mechanics?

    I also seen, how BB aren't working. When just all of a sudden a guy is in block stance and my BB are just going through him, and in the end of my move, a mob usually jumps at me, with knocking me down.

    And if you still insist on "everything's ok", I challenge you to go to Metro Battlezone without a tank, just 4 people in T6 equip, and try using counter mechanics on someone like Black Adam. Have fun with BB, mate.

    Having played this game from the day it went F2P, I can say that what happened with the game is just moronic. It's not hard. it's tiresome, that the rules of the game don't apply to others. It's like playing chess with someone whose roster consists only of Queens, when you are playing with the default. The more I play, the more I become irritated, the more I'm convinced, that buying/prolonging legendary is a big mistake. Because if you can't make a balanced system and then you even ignore the people who are pointing out the problems, without even saying - "Hey guys, we're looking into it", you are losing respect. Because it is a bad game design. You don't make only the players obey the rules of the created world. Damn, imagine a racing simulator, where only you are driving with all the laws of physics, and everyone else is on a flying DeLorean and roads have become obsolete, how much fun will that be?(OK, granted, it would be awesome to see a flying DeLorean and compete with it).

    The funny thing is, that a lot of players are concerned about this, they are just not that vocal. I already know about 20 people who are thinking of leaving legendary, just because it is not fun or enjoyable to play, it's a chore. SOE treats everyone in this thread as they are nothing, not even granting us a response. Well, maybe they don't deserve our support. Hope that one day, community will teach them to fear ignoring their own customers.
    • Like x 1
  12. Ash Inferno Well-Known Player

    Yup, getting sick of the double breakout, lack of immunity afterwards. I don't think the npc's are cheating (unless the machines have taken over), but break outs are definitely screwed up and have been for some time now.

    I'm noticing a trend with the shield throw, first hit being a stun, next a knockdown. But when I break out of the stun there is no immunity for the knockdown, hence the double breakout.
    • Like x 1
  13. Mack10 New Player

    Block-breaking blocks and interrupt-interrupting interrupts defeat the whole point of having counter mechanics in the first place. The opponents who can use them have the advantage of zero lag and computational knowledge of your actual position and input state, which is always different than what it appears to be. Hence, you see yourself attempting to lunge at the NPC that's using flamethrower, but on the server, the NPC sees your lunge and rewinds its state to be able to block rather than extrapolating the result of your command to lunge and taking its counter like a man (literally and figuratively). Instead of being rewarded for actually following the rules and winning that specific exchange, the NPC changes from scissors to paper when it sees you have used rock in response to its initial selection.

    That may not be what the devs were trying to accomplish, but it is happening far too often across multiple platforms for it to be considered just a one-off, occasional glitch that simply goes with the online gaming territory. Yes, it is the nature of the beast to see unexpected results from time to time. I get that. I also understand that this particular area of the game mechanics is sensitive due to savvy players who know how to alter data packets and affect the gameplay, and perhaps the devs' silence on this issue has something to do with that. Or they know full well what would need to be done to minimize the problem and cannot do so because of limited resources, and they can't be seen saying anything negative about their employer. Or maybe changing anything server-side would alter the counter mechanics in PvP also.

    Or maybe it's Future Lex Luthor messing with us, trying to frustrate us so that we'll stop running BIA and confounding his world domination plans. He's a smart one, that Lex. I wouldn't put anything past him at this point.

    Seriously, if nothing is going to change and nothing can be done about this, I (for one) would appreciate being told that officially so that I can accept it and move on.
    • Like x 1
  14. Kira_kun Active Player

    Do the mechanics have anything to do with Dominance rating?

    I have started seeing mobs with the block animation that are still walking around...

    Block breakers don't knock them down. Lunging and normal attacks don't work either.
  15. Mack10 New Player

    Dominance shouldn't be a factor, as counter mechanics are not a crowd control function.
  16. Ash Inferno Well-Known Player

    I ran a few legends matches the other day, Arkham I think, and block breakers didn't work at all. So it's not just pve apparently. :rolleyes:
  17. Trinidad James Loyal Player

    You mean Blue Immunity. White is Control immunity, Blue is Counter immunity.
  18. SilverwingsZOE New Player

    You can have all the dominance in this world,but if you step a mile away for a blink from a lvl5 goon wearing a rifle you will get stunned and knocked out to the ground,no matter your dominance armor or whatnot

    They said "dominance will now work towards the duration of you control effects,shield and I think aggro dumps/immunity superpowers like mental grandeur"

    Go to Downtown Metropolis ghost those annoying staff lanterns they will breakout in a blink,not happy?Stun them once again they will breakout without sweating,then they start their endless cc,juggle,stun moves I use grandeur it gives me what one or two seconds of immunity then I'm back to the ground,stunned and probably dead too

    Troll A&B ghost Manhunters they will breakout as soon someone damages them,pull them with lasso same,stun them with terror tendrills insta breakout,phantom flames?Nope,breakout.The only move that seems to work for now is TK push,I don't encase them nor have resonance but I guess they will breakout in a blink

    Now go to TD sometimes I can keep a bunch of amazons ghosted or stunned for 10 seconds even if they are taking yellow damage,the only one immune to my cc powers are officers,guards,sometimes annoying dogs or lorries since a mere lion is more tiny than them but as soon they health drop they control effects start to work

    On the other hand the less mana you have the more their cc effects do work on you.I was doing Supply Lines duo,at the Satyr boss I was out of mana and his ranged dw attack a bb that no longer works for us was knocking/pushing me away over and over had to pop a soda to prevent that

    Npcs with shields one throw,two throws,countless throw will mostly knock you down and stun you limitless times,but my shield throw will do that once and rarely twice in 10 to 12 throws

    We have no immunity,but they have tons especially those rifle and staff wielders is not fair and very far from fun,challenging or awesome.

    Now think about SM,some bosses do have rifle and they will probably farm immunity on trollers as it seems they love people ranging,waves of npcs with staff all at match level,we are only missing annoying people with shields and we are gold and don't even get me started with npcs with dual pistols even if for now there is a lack of it

    But a certain bright mind says they are awesome,so it's broken?Aint' fixing it.

    • Like x 1
  19. Kira_kun Active Player

    Awesome response!

    I suppose the most obvious advantage for AI is that their breakout has no CD and that their channels can't be interrupted.

    I feel that such mechanics for bosses would be fine, but not adds.
  20. Mack10 New Player

    Another obvious advantage is its ability to go back 2 moves in the past and punish you for what you did then, as is the case when you find yourself hit with block-breaking lunges, interrupting blocks, and counters to non-attacking powers and item use. Yet another is its ability to switch from range to block in the middle of your lunge, putting you on your back and granting it counter immunity while all you were doing was following the rules. The visual clutter in combat already makes it hard to watch what the enemies are doing and slows your response time, as does the AI's fondness for positioning enemies well outside of your field of vision (especially with that "one-enemy-immediately-zipping-behind-you" trick).