Dec 30, 2011

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 12 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Are You Affected By The ‘Ability Delay’?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

The “Ability Delay.” A large majority of players won’t even notice this largely intangible idiosynchrocy.If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can probably just safely vote “There is no such thing!” in the poll below and move along. But if you find yourself trying to figure out why something about combat doesn’t feel quite right, this is for you.

A few days ago, a thread cropped up on the official forums (and subsequently lit them on fire) worked to describe what some players are perceiving as a delay in the responsiveness of abilities in combat in some cases. This, in one way or another, has plagued nearly every single MMO that has come out since World of Warcraft – some worse than others. Say what you will about World of Warcraft, Blizzard built a masterpiece when it comes to combat and responsiveness in an MMO.

The original poster, Xcore, did a good job at explaining and then providing examples (along with other posters doing the same.) So for the first time, we have a snapshot of the issue:

What is Character Responsiveness and Ability Delay? — It is not Latency or FPS lag

It is the feeling of connection between the person behind the keyboard and the Avatar that is being controlled. Basically, the better the Character Responsiveness is, the smoother the Game Plays! You may HATE World of Warcraft and believe it is the worst abomination on the planet… that is fine. HOWEVER, you “must” objectively admit that it is the absolute, smoothest Character Responsiveness in a Western Available MMO ever.

If you are a WoW player, and have played WoW with any amount of skill, competitiveness, you cannot help but cringe when in a Warzone in SW:TOR. It feels unresponsive, frustrating… as if something is wrong with you! but there is nothing you can do about it!

After no less than 2 iterations of the tread with over 400 pages (about 4,000 posts), forum super hero and Principle Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller recently chimed in this long-running thread with these words:

This issue is under active investigation.

The complication is that there are actually a number of different issues with very different causes and potential resolutions lumped together in this thread.

All we can say for now is ‘we are actively working on the topic of character responsiveness’.

 So, with that acknowledgement we know that BioWare is aware of the issue and is working on it. The down side is that there is a real issue there, and the fix may not be simple or even possible.

I’m curious, of all the AAJ readers out there, have you experienced this? Does it bother you if so? What are your thoughts about what’s wrong and how to fix it?

Are you affected by the 'Ability Delay'?

View Results

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  1. I didn’t really notice it until I started doing a lot of healing. At first I thought it was me or lag, etc. but I don’t think it is.

  2. The delay kills me from time to time because I can’t get a heal off fast enough but overall it doesn’t bother me.

  3. Since my main is a gunslinger, which is very dependent on the cover mechanic, I notice it a great deal when trying to move in and out of cover.

  4. As I’ve been pvping in this game (and loving every bit of it, except for unkillable powertechs ganking me), I have seen it, especially with Shadow Strike (requiring me to be behind the target) – sometimes it fires from the front, and sometimes I’m behind and it won’t go off.

    By and large, it’s not nearly as bad (to me, at any rate) as some people claim it to be. I’m also close enough to the servers that my latency is quite low (<60 quite frequently) and that might be helping me a bit.

  5. ScytheNoire says:

    I can’t see how someone can’t notice it. It’s very apparent. It’s not a game killer, yet, but WAR had the same issue.

    But didn’t they try to chalk this up to the animations before?

  6. SilverSage says:

    Hardcore gamer (PVP)… may be concerned and it is a good thing to bring up the topic… as BW would be glad to work with it… but as a enthusist gamer at most… or even casual… it is far from being a game breaker… i have a good feeling that being a new game these things will get polished as time goes on.

  7. The lower the fps rate, the longer the response rate.

    Quite anoying, makes PVP and healing close to imposible for me

  8. And here I was thinking I was the only one. It’s REEAALLYY frustrating. I can play the game despite it, but it’s still a thing that MUST be fixed.

  9. It’s certainly frustrating since there is generally a 2 second delay between clicking the ability, and it during off. Mainly noticeable in warzones where 2 seconds is a long time. Using the backstab ability as an assassin / shadow is a nightmare! Sometimes the animation kicks in, then quits or starts again to quit again.

    I turned all my shadow graphics settings off, and this helped a little, but there is still noticeable delay in warzones. Outside them, it’s still there but very minimal. Sometimes worse than others, and other times pvp is unplayable due to this

  10. Never happend to me, and all I do is PvP.

  11. Anyone tried turning off Tripple Buffering, and setting their Post frame buffers to min(usually 3)? Both in game, and the gfx controllpanel.

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