September Preview: Control Responsiveness
The Champion team has made a major push to improve the overall responsiveness and fluidity of Champions in the September update. During the process, we reviewed every Champion in the game to ensure all elements of their skills were coming together in sync. Wherever a basic attack or skill didn’t line up, even a little, we made adjustments until they did. The end result is a great leap forward in the overall fluidity and feel of Infinite Crisis, and we can’t wait to get it into your hands.
Did you miss our livestream on changes coming to Control Responsiveness? Watch it here! You can also find many of the upcoming Infinite Crisis changes in this very article, and on the forums.
Dynamic Avoidance - We’ve changed our dynamic avoidance logic to reduce the avoidance area around players.
- Why? – The worst case scenario was two allied melee champions chasing the same enemy target. They would waste so much time avoiding each other that they would never catch their target. In the new world they can both pursue successfully.
Attack Hold Window – Previously, there was a small 40ms window before a basic attack executes when you could not interrupt the basic attack with movement commands. We’ve stretched that window to 160ms. This change makes it easier to thread movement actions between basic attacks without accidentally canceling your basic attacks.
- Why? – Internally, we were experimenting with different attack-hold windows and how they felt during attack-move dancing sequences. This new window felt the best to the widest range of players.
Hit Timing - We’ve done extensive work to ensure that animations and VFX of our basic attacks correctly coincide with when the damage is delivered. The result is that basic attacks are delivering damage more quickly.
- Why? - This makes actions like last hitting easier, and takes something that worked and makes it feel right.
Basic Attack Release to Movement - We’ve significantly sped up how quickly your character releases back to movement after basic attacking.
- Why? - This makes basic attacks much more responsive overall and eliminates general feelings of lagginess.
On Target Death Improvements - We’ve changed basic attacks and targeted skills to immediately cancel if the target dies before the skill has reached its payload.
- Why? - This frees your champion up to perform other skills more quickly and prevents wasted skill plays.
Skills - General
Cosmetic Release - We’ve changed skill animations to make all skills more responsive. In the new system, a skill plays its animation up to the point where the payload is delivered. It then switches over to a cosmetic animation. If you move your champion, start a basic attack, or use another skill, the cosmetic animation will immediately stop in favor of the new action.
- Why? - This gives us the best of both worlds: responsiveness and visual fidelity. It reduces the amount of time you’re locked into a skill play across the board, and simultaneously lets us play complete animations instead of cutting them short.
Skills - Missiles
Missile Creation – Skill shot missiles are now created sooner in skill animations, greatly improving skill shot responsiveness. We’ve also worked to ensure that all skill shot missiles are creating at the correct location and timing to sync up with the missile fire animation.
- Why? - Many missiles were being created slightly out-of-sync with the cast animation. This lead to a general feeling of lagginess and made it harder to hit with skill shots.
Missile Collision/Expiration – Previously, we overhauled how missile collisions were calculated, which fixed issues related to missiles passing through targets they should hit. This introduced an issue where missiles were colliding a little in front of their target, on the clients. (Collisions were happening correctly on the server.) We’ve worked to ensure collision visuals are now happening at the correct locations on the client. This has no gameplay ramifications, but has big feel ramifications.
- Why? - It makes a huge feel difference when Mr. Punchy actually collides with the target it hit, rather than exploding a meter before it looks like it should
Missile Detonations - We found missile damage and effects were happening in the correct place, but the visual FX were appearing in different locations based on client frame rate. These visuals should now always happen at the correct location, regardless of client frame rate.
- Why? - Accurate VFX are absolutely necessary for competitive play.
Missile Speeds - Though not universal, we’ve sped up many of our missiles in the September Update.
- Why? - With our focus on responsiveness, champions are spending far less time in one location during each skill use. We felt the need to improve our skill shots’ speed, accounting for all potential targets’ improved ability to juke.
Join the Discussion!
For all the nitty-gritty details, see our Control Responsiveness changes thread on the official forums.