Let's Talk About Autofollow And Why It Should Change

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by I_Love_My_Bandwidth, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    Autofollow. A few observant folks have noted that forward/backward movements of the 'driver' seemed to make things rather dicey. Almost as if both players and NPCs alike were using some kind of predictive algorithm to determine where the driver WILL be instead of where she IS.

    This predictive algorithm does not seem to apply to strafing. If you have players AF you, and you strafe, check how much more accurate and IMMEDIATE their movements become. It's precise. It's predictable (from a player-in-chair-perspective). And it rarely results in over-movement, mistaken movement, running off ledges, or generally running circles around the driver - all of which happen with regularity under the current system when the driver is not strafing.

    Why should this change? It's a QoL issue. And as long as the current predictive algorithm can be switched to whatever the Strafing function is using, it should be an easy fix.

    Don't try to sell me on the notion that this is somehow immersive, or introduces unexpected gameplay elements to inject "fun" into the experience. Perhaps at one time the AF function required this algorithm due to latency and bandwidth available in 1999-2002. This predictive function is no longer needed. Let's just switch it to a cleaner, more modern AF. Let's give the driver's forward and backward movement the same parameters as Strafe, and all will may rejoice.
  2. Nifty Slacker Augur

    I've never noticed any improved functionality in auto-follow during strafing. The followers jankily attempt to copy the leaders movement no matter the direction.
  3. Tucoh Augur

    I don't think I'd want them to remove the extrapolation behavior while moving forward. It's useful for maneuvering tight spaces when you get good at. Ex: the staircases in PoK would be much harder to move up if the /follow characters didn't think you were constantly slamming into the corners and then teleporting.

    Oh it does. It's the same dichotomy with npcs / characters following you: if you move forward or backward the server extrapolates your position based on your last registered velocity. If you strafe the server does not. It's essential to know this difference when positioning mobs and characters.
  4. Natal Augur

    The system used in EQ2 is orders of magnitude better. It is rare for a following toon to get stuck on anything in EQ2 or fall of stairways. In EQ it seems they get stuck on just about everything, even something as simple as a branch or a lamp or a door.
  5. Axxius Augur

    Auto-follow code is ancient, and the current devs won't touch it with a 10 ft pole. Unless Daybreak allocates time to completely rewrite it or something.

    Two things that can remedy some of the annoyance:
    • Max shrink! Shrunk chars get stuck a whole lot less than unshrunk ones.
    • Set the minimum Background FPS to at least 60. For whatever reasons, auto-follow pathing is calculated when the screen is actually updated. If you have a char auto-following you in another EQ on the same pc, that char will get lost all the time with the default setting that keeps background fps at minimum.
    Skewert, Tucoh, Yinla and 1 other person like this.
  6. Scorrpio Augur

    I gave up on AF. My mage carries LOTS of pearls.
  7. MysticOne Augur

    I get the circle of death if I use AF.
  8. Fian Augur

    A few year backs they changed how mobs followed you. Before that, they could rarely catch a running player. However, it appears the code for auto-follow and pets follow the same logic. I can't tell you how annoying it is for your pet to move on top of you, and you end up clicking it instead of what you were trying to click.
  9. Axxius Augur

    I used to get that a lot until I set Min Background FPS to 60.

    There is an option to [x] Click Through Pets.
  10. Dewey Augur

    If it would be possible, this would be an awesome change.
  11. BlueberryWerewolf Augur

    I've always found running over open terrain with obstructions like I'm steering a boat makes Auto-Follow work a lot better.

    Big, wide arcs when turning seem to help a lot as by the time the following character reacts to your movement change they're basically running in the straight line you would have.

    In tight spaces and going up ramps and things it helps to break curves up into segments of straight lines and give your following character plenty of room to navigate the edge.

    It is not a system that works very well, but you can work with it with some practice.
    Corwyhn Lionheart likes this.
  12. Tumbler Lorekeeper

    Did you make a ticket for it so that we can give it up arrows? After you do post the link thanks.
  13. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    What is the link for the ticket system? I tried https://daybreakgames.zendesk.com but it redirects me to the Self Help Site.
  14. Aurastrider Augur

    Some things I have found that helps.

    -Turn down far clip plane on toons following
    -levitate helps to keep toons on follow from getting stuck on ground items
    -I have a second in command that follows my main and all of my other toons follow my 2nd in command. This helps for moving around corners and such. If I need to turn right I move left first. Think of a big rig trying to make a hard turn with a trailer on the back. This also helps if you want to break your team from following once you get to your camp. Just unfollow on your second in command and your main can move about without everyone else joining.
    -Arrange your toons in a line before doing follow and don't have them stacked ontop of the toon they are going to follow.
    -Avoid movement when trying to engage autofollow especially on the lead toon.
    -Avoid sudden fast movement turns otherwise you will jackknife your crew and send them into the circle of death.
    -When in doubt add a mage to your crew and just COTH everyone.
  15. Momentum Elder

    Certain 3rd party programs can provide near perfect autofollow and pathing. This is such an massive QoL improvement and the program should be endorsed. At this point in the game, it is unreasonable to expect the limited dev team to rewrite the ancient autofollow.
  16. Gherig Addicted since Aug 1st, 1998

    Everquest Auto-Follow is a rite of passage. If you never ran your auto follows off a cliff to their deaths :eek: you are playing the game wrong
    CatsPaws likes this.
  17. Captain Video Augur

    This can be done quite easily in the tutorial. If your alt hasn't died at least once from falling to the bottom of the mine pit, it shouldn't be allowed to level.
  18. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    Then I have served my rite several lifetimes over, as I have been boxing two characters since 2002, and five characters since 2009, and added a sixth this year.

    I know it's a long shot, but can we please improve autofollow?
  19. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    I had a thought...

    Since the current iteration of AF relies on frame rate of the client, would there be a way to implement a text command to change the Clip Plane value? Something like /setclipplane 100, /setclipplane 0, /setclipplane 45, etc.

    In this way I could set up an AF hotkey macro which first sets that client clip plane to a small value, then engages AF. Then another hotkey that sets the clip plan back to its original value.

    This could work!
  20. Tucoh Augur

    If the EQ devs added a /setclipplane command to make it /autofollow more aggressively track onto players instead of removing the per-frame rotation mechanism I would donate all my stuff to charity and then quit EQ.