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DC Power Animation Times and Power Cancelling

nevertwinevertwi Posts: 58Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
edited December 2018 in The Temple
The following Animation Times were measured by counting frames. Unfortunately the animation times differed in some cases for unknown reasons to the degree that an estimated animation span from 1650ms went down to 1350. That said many powers never showed a high deviation.

Overview:

Animation Times
Effect Triggering
Power Animation Cancelling
References

Animation Times

Before looking at the Animation Times it is important to know, which times the animation times mean. Lets assume the toon stays in the normal stance in or out of combat and no button is pressed. When a power is used, eg. Daunting Light, the animation of DL starts off until some point where the power goes often on CD and another power can be used. At this point the DC can cast another power, do something else or do nothing. In all of the 3 cases, an animation is played. For case 1 and 2 the animation of the other power or the animation of the "something else" is played. In case 3, the toon moves from the end of animation back to his normal stance. This makes the game looking more fluent, but is not important for combats. Thus the animation times showed in the tables are the times between the animation start and the end of the animation, the point where other powers can be used.
Or explicitely stated: The time between the begin of the animation and the normal stance is not the one showed in the tables.


For some powers there are just given animation timing spans, as i have not tracked them down.
Additional stuff:
  • When cast the powers have some "marking" that shows that the power is activated. This marking is for
    • At wills, Encounter powers and Dailies: A darker image for the power.
    • Divinity Encounter powers and Dailies: A golden blinking border.
    This was used to know if another power animation starts, but is not always accurrate. See the notes on the not properly shown powers.
  • When a power is pressed that can't cancel another power, this power is chained or cast immediately after the currently running power. The number of powers that can be chained is 1 and the power is, except in some cases, overwritten when another power is tried to chain.
  • Every power, except divinity at wills, do not need to be pressed for the whole animation time. On click they will either start their whole animation time or are chained.
  • An animation isn't showed and the damage is not calculated when the client is not connected to the servers anymore. But the CD of the powers are calculated on the client and still work as expected.
  • How tested and accurracy of the animation times:

    The animation times are tested by chaining different powers after each other. For the animation time of an encounter power this was done by holding down an at will power and then casting an encounter power. At the end of the encounter animation the at will is immediately cast, because the at will is still hold down. The number of frames the marking of the power is shown is then counted and the animation time is calculated. In some cases the markings are shown later than the animation began to cast or ended earlier. The shown idletime was then included in the animation span. At wills can be tested by clicking the button whithout holding them down. The first attack is then executed and the marki8ng is shown for the whole animation time. Then the frames are counted and the time is calculated as before. For the 2,3 and 4 attack of the at will, the button is simply hold longer to mark the 2,3 or 4 attacks. The animation times of the follow up attacks are calculated by subtracting the known ones. For divinity powers the mode is just switched with an full bar of 3 charges and animation times are tested like encounter powers. After that the animation times were randomly checked by casting other stuff as follow up powers. As an example: First cast some atwills, then use some divinity powers, to see if some error exists.

    The accurracy of the animation times should be taken with some salt as they may be falsified due to:
    • User error resulting in slower casting and non-chaining: This may result in longer animation times.
    • False Marking-reading: This may result in shorter or longer animation times to about +-50ms.
    • FPS error and reading resulting in longer or shorter animation times to about +-50ms.
    • Server influence: Unknown influence. Animations are just played when the connection is established.
    • Client bugs and wrong calculation of timers resulting in longer or shorter animation times.
    • Client lag resulting in longer animation times.
    • Other unknown issues resulting in longer or shorter animation times.
    Due do this i wouldn't wonder if all listed animation times are wrong for at least 50-100ms and some to about ~200ms. I guess that the most derivation comes from the client.

At Wills

Animation Time in ms Notes
Astral Seal 1250 Different Animations exist
Lance of Faith 1 850-900
Lance of Faith 2 700-750
Lance of Faith 3 1550 All 3: 3150
Brand of the Sun 1050
Sacred Flame 1 900
Sacred Flame 2 650
Sacred Flame 3 925
Blessing of Battle 1550

Divinity At Wills

Channeling Rate in s Notes
Punishing Light 1/3s After every ~1/3s a hit is produced. The first "hit" consumes just a tiny amount of divinity and deals no damage. The first real damage is produced at 2/3s. The animation times derivates around ~100ms. Client side Bug?
Soothing Light 1/3s After every ~1/3s a heal is produced. The first "heal" consumes just a tiny amount of divinity and does not heal. The first real heal is produced at 1s. The animation times derivates around ~100ms. Client side Bug? This at will can just be used when the hp of the target is not full. Mod 15 Updated
Both at wills need to be pressed all the time to deal damage / heal. When the button is not pressed anymore the power will immediately stop.

Encounter Powers

Animation Time in ms Notes
Break the Spirit 950
Prophecy of Doom 1750-1800
Divine Glow 1050
Sun Burst 1100
Healing Word 900
Searing Light 1150
Chains of Blazing Light 1350-1400
Daunting Light 950
Forgemaster's Flame 950
Exaltation 950
Bastion of Health 1550(CD) 1750(Next Attack) This power goes on CD, but don't allow casting another power straight after it
Astral Shield 1150-1250
Warding Flare 1500-1550(CD) 1700(Next Attack)
Geas 900-1000

Divinity Encounter Powers

Some powers seem to have a faster time to cast other powers as follow ups. Example: After a time of 550ms dBTS allows to cast dExaltation but not dSunburst. dSunburst can be casted at 750.
Animation Time in ms Notes
Divinity Break the Spirit 550 or 750 550 on some follow-up powers: dBTS, dExaltation, dFF and 750 on other powers. Not fully testet.
Divinity Prophecy of Doom 1650-1800 high deviated
Divinity Divine Glow 800 location based casting power
Divinity Sun Burst 800 or 900 800 on follow up powers: dSunburst, BotS and 900 on others. Not fully testet. The marking, that the power is activated, is not properly shown too.
Divinity Healing Word 700 location based casting power
Divinity Searing Light 1150
Divinity Chains of Blazing Light 700 location based casting power
Divinity Daunting Light 550 location based casting power
Divinity Forgemaster's Flame 550 or 750 550 on some follow-up powers: dBTS, dExaltation, dFF and 750 on other powers. Not fully testet.
Divinity Exaltation 950
Divinity Bastion of Health 700 location based casting power
Divinity Astral Shield 800 location based casting power
Divinity Warding Flare 1000(Marking disappears) 1150(Next Attack)
Divinity Geas 1000(Marking disappears) 1100(Next Attack)
Post edited by nevertwi on

Comments

  • nevertwinevertwi Posts: 58Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    edited April 2018
    • It is worth noting that dBTS x 3 then BTS or dFF x 3 then FF often does not work well when the power is tried to chained 4 times or in other words the button is pressed too often. After 3 charges it tries to cast the forth charge since the third charge has not consumed divinity yet. When in the meantime the mode was switched to the normal version, the chaining is not overridden and don't cancel the forth charge animation. The forth charge fails and thus time is lost. You can find an example video in this Thread.
    • Additionally i often encountered an idletime from around ~100-200ms between using a short divinity power and using an encounter power or daily after switching from divinity mode to normal mode. I'm not sure if it was me or switching modes has a short block.
    • Chaining of location based casting powers with the same power does not work, because no target can be chosen while its own animation runs. Depending on the player to recast, it will generate a short idle time for ~100-200ms, thus loosing time.

    Dailies

    Animation Time in ms Notes
    Anointed Army 1250
    Divine Armor 1050(Marking away) 1150(Next Attack)
    Flame Strike 2000(Marking away) 2150-2250(Next Attack) This power starts its marking ~100ms later. The timings of the 2 hits were so heavily derivated, 250-750ms, that both timings are not written down. The whole animation time derivated not much. The first hit produces 0 dmg floaters from weapon enchantments.
    Guardian of Faith 1650
    Hallowed Ground 1650 Seen deviation of 1350 to 1750
    Hammer of Fate 3000-3050(Marking away) 3100-3200(Next Attack) ~500ms between 1-2 hit, ~1000ms between 2-3 hit, casting timer can be broken, eg. showing value 3 for 3 seconds before the marking goes away instead of 3,2,1.

    Effect Triggering

    A power activates different stuff at different times. Examples are:
    • FF which goes on CD, does DMG and gives AP-GAIN at the end of the power animation, but the buff is delayed for about 500-750ms.
    • BoB activates its buff at the beginning of the animation and the rest on the end.
    • Divine Glow activates its buff in the middle of the animation.
    Important things about buffs:
    • All tooltips update their damage range once the buffs are shown in the buffbar.
    • The buffbar is actualized by the communication to the server. Once the connection is lost the buffbar don't actualize its buffs anymore.
    • Because of point 2, this results in a far higher deviation of buff-times shown in the buffbar and thus makes testing less accurrate. As an example FF buff duration was sometimes shown longer. Like for 8.2s rather than 8s.
    There is currently no plan to look deeper into effect triggering of powers and write them down. The reason for that is mostly the last point. As long they differ for such long time due to client-server communication, there is no real point in testing this from half over the world. Maybe somebody else can test this? At least here is room to put it down.

    Power Animation Cancelling

    This paragraph goes short into the questions "What cancelles what?", "Why cancelling?" and "DC possibilities of cancelling animations".
    • What cancelles what?
      The actions that cancel other actions can be shown in a table. Actions with higher priorities normally cancel actions with lower priority.
      Priority Action
      0 Normal stance animation
      0 Animations back to normal stance
      1 Movement
      2 At Will Powers
      3 Encounter Powers
      3 Daily Powers
      3 Artifact Power, Mount Power etc.
      4 Dodge, Shield
      Exceptions, not fully tested:
      The daily Hammer of Fate does not cancel an at will power though, but chains it after the at will. When holding down the at will before Hammer of Fate starts and then through the whole animation of Hammer of Fate, the at will will be immediately cast after ther daily.

    • Why cancelling?
      Cancelling actions are used to either
      • avoid an attack,
      • speed up the ratation or
      • gaining effects of powers that are earned on the begin of the animation and then cancelling the rest part.
    • DC possibilities of cancelling animations.
      There is not much of interest to cancel an animation on the DC. The reason for that is the time of the Dodge is larger than most other animations. The only usefulness is when the toon has to reposition itself. Then a dodge at the right time can shorten the animation time without lossing the effect of the power. Some excellent powers are Lance of Faith and HG. The first can be cast at 750 ms without loosing the effect and HG can be successfully cancelled at 750ms too thus having 1 second won for moving.
      The effective cancelling times for other powers are not checked and thus not listed here. There is currently no plan to test that for other powers.

    References

    • darthtzarr DC Class Review captures an old list of activation times, but the smallest number of powers have a similar animation time.
    Post edited by nevertwi on
  • nevertwinevertwi Posts: 58Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    Reserved Post
  • mebengalsfan#9264 mebengalsfan Posts: 3,166Member Arc User
    Animation cancelling is a tricky topic for developers. In some games players that cancel animation are banned from the game. Other games allow it and encourage animation cancelling, especially on DPS for added damage. Than some games work on removing the ability to cancel animation while allow it in their current game.

    The issue I have is if you are not aware of what abilities cancel what or how to do it properly you will take a big damage loss or miss a big buff, etc..

    I'm not going to dive into this topic much more than I know how to cancel animation, did it plenty in other games that allowed it without being ban, but it is something I am against and hope the devs can resolve this without too much fuss. If it is part of the game design, than I will adept as needed.

    Other than my POV on animation cancelling I like where you are going with this post.

  • thefabricantthefabricant Posts: 4,906Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User
    edited April 2018
    This is 1 of the highest quality threads on the official forums at this moment in time. Great work. It is missing hammer of fate at this moment and flamestrike, anything for them?
  • veywiil#8685 veywiil Posts: 208Member Arc User
    edited April 2018

    This is 1 of the highest quality threads on the official forums at this moment in time. Great work. It is missing hammer of fate at this moment and flamestrike, anything for them?

    Amen to that. I referenced this twice just today, mainly for the priority queue in an attempt to explain animation cancelling to someone.
    I'm a theorycrafter, that means I can answer fairly deep questions with scientific theory, mathematical proof, and some guessing. Ask me stuff!
  • nevertwinevertwi Posts: 58Member, NW M9 Playtest Arc User

    This is 1 of the highest quality threads on the official forums at this moment in time. Great work. It is missing hammer of fate at this moment and flamestrike, anything for them?

    Added both of them to the list.
  • plaviaplavia Posts: 540Member Arc User
    thx
    in PVP its very hard to cast HG (last boss tong as well). i usally dodge before casting it, but i think its cause of the control and not the animation canceling.

    hammers 3 sec with the low damage expalin why its so bad (i use it only when i need the control immunity, weekly garbage tasks)
  • mebengalsfan#9264 mebengalsfan Posts: 3,166Member Arc User
    kreatyve said:

    Animation cancelling is a tricky topic for developers. In some games players that cancel animation are banned from the game. Other games allow it and encourage animation cancelling, especially on DPS for added damage. Than some games work on removing the ability to cancel animation while allow it in their current game.

    The issue I have is if you are not aware of what abilities cancel what or how to do it properly you will take a big damage loss or miss a big buff, etc..

    I'm not going to dive into this topic much more than I know how to cancel animation, did it plenty in other games that allowed it without being ban, but it is something I am against and hope the devs can resolve this without too much fuss. If it is part of the game design, than I will adept as needed.

    Other than my POV on animation cancelling I like where you are going with this post.

    I have ran this particular thread by a dev, and the dev in question did not see an issue with anything mentioned in this particular thread.
    I played DCUO and they banned player initially for cancellation animation than they allowed and than they modified the game so only specific abilities would cancel and gain the benefit still. I personally don't like animation cancellation due to it basically not being part of the original game design for most games and it provides an advantage to players who learn about it and use it to its max potential. That is of course my own point of view on it. And like I said, I will adjust my play style based on how the devs will manage it. If they won't do anything, than I will take full advantage of it; otherwise I will try to play within the animation knowing some type of adjustment is coming to remove any bonus gained from animation cancelling.
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