Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2012, 11:48:23 AM

Title: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2012, 11:48:23 AM
Ok, so how's AVWW's Multiplayer feeling? :)

When I play it, it's fine, but that's what I thought in the past too and we got a bit of a wakeup call when I figured that meant it was ok ;)

So please vote (even if you never ever play MP, just pick "I've Not Played Multiplayer At All", that helps me put the statistics in context), and if you have any specific feedback please post here.  And if you know of any MP bugs, please post below and link the mantis record (or describe it if there is none).

Many thanks :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 14, 2012, 12:02:18 PM
And I'll add my thanks as well, in advance. :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 14, 2012, 01:38:10 PM
If anyone wants to join me to test I'm on Tolls server now. We need more people so we can make sure the poll is accurate.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 14, 2012, 04:33:12 PM
The only multi-player world I found was in its 6th continent (Moara).  I'm still getting used to the game and saw all these neat and beautiful toys that... welll... I have no idea how to use and wasn't sure if building spells, etc., would use a communal fund or whatnot and screw up the regular players there.

Um, if anyone is starting up a 1st Continent MP game and is willing to help the noob, I'd be in.  First I need lunch though.

I assume there's a way to setup profiles and the like so I can list myself as Wanderer when entering games / chat log as well, but I can't seem to find one.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Toll on April 14, 2012, 04:44:40 PM
Going by memory, so I might be off, but Settings -> Network should have your multiplayer name in it.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: tigersfan on April 14, 2012, 04:52:59 PM
The only multi-player world I found was in its 6th continent (Moara).  I'm still getting used to the game and saw all these neat and beautiful toys that... welll... I have no idea how to use and wasn't sure if building spells, etc., would use a communal fund or whatnot and screw up the regular players there.

Um, if anyone is starting up a 1st Continent MP game and is willing to help the noob, I'd be in.  First I need lunch though.

I assume there's a way to setup profiles and the like so I can list myself as Wanderer when entering games / chat log as well, but I can't seem to find one.

If you making spells is messing up others, then that's a bug and that's exactly the kind of stuff we'd like to know.

By and large, we tried pretty hard to make the game as similar as we could between Single Player and Multi Player.

Outside of not knowing what a specific spell does, playing on the 6th continent should be pretty much the same. And for the spells you don't know what they do, it might be fun to craft them and have some fun with them. :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 14, 2012, 05:02:05 PM
Going by memory, so I might be off, but Settings -> Network should have your multiplayer name in it.

ah hah, that did it, thanks Toll.

Tiger: Yeah, but noone else was in there so I'm not sure if it'd have the desired testing anyway. ;)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2012, 05:12:48 PM
If you craft a spell it just uses your player-specific "use" of those crafting resources, and no one else sees a change in the stockpile.  If you use a guardian power that counts for everyone, though.

I suppose those could stand to be clearer in-game, but that's how it's supposed to work :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 14, 2012, 05:26:38 PM
Something that may sway these results is that the only server that's up and running most of the time is Tolls and this server is on continent 6 so it has existed through alot of updates. If this affects the game or not I don't know but a true test would be a brand new world on the current version and a good number of people actively playing together.

I keep jumping in and out of MP and the most people ever on is two so testing the actual MP interaction and gameplay is very difficult. Although after playing an extensive amount of SP today MP doesn't feel as polished or smooth and some odd things seem to happen. I'm not sure if some of the issues I experience are due to lag as my connection isn't the best.

I don't mean to be negative as I really want the MP side of the game to feel as good as SP but I don't think it's quite there yet. I am happy to do all I can to test and feel with some kind of organisation some real MP data can be gathered.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 14, 2012, 05:32:21 PM
Bear in mind that if you've got a latent connection, you're never going to get as smooth an experience as in solo, simply by definition.  That's just not possible without faster-than-light networking or something, and not something we can fix.  But in general we want it to be as smooth as possible, and under good lag conditions it should be extremely close to solo is the idea.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 14, 2012, 08:26:28 PM
I've fired up a new public server called Wandering Nomads.  It's advertising on the internet, and I believe I've removed all the firewall blocks.  Can someone test to see if they can access please?

Also, if there's interest, I'll fire up my TS3 server for this as well.  Is there a way to put a 'welcome' message on your server?  Would make it easier to announce where the TS3 server is and the connection requirements.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 14, 2012, 08:38:01 PM
I can confirm I see it on the listing, although I did not connect because I'm running a beta build of 0.928 and cannot just yet.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 14, 2012, 08:43:14 PM
Confirmed that it can be connected to (Thanks, Oralordos).  Is there supposed to be a limit on the # of text messages you can send / second?  I send a text, then hit T to put in a second comment quickly and it won't fire.  Wait 10-15 seconds, and it's good to go.

Also, my GODS.  Is EVERY dead villager supposed to spawn a ghost?  I've got a room that's just chock full of eerie goodness.  The only time I saw one in SP was when I had a 10/10 upgraded character die on me.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Oralordos on April 14, 2012, 08:59:03 PM
(Thanks, Oralordos)
You're welcome. :)
Is there supposed to be a limit on the # of text messages you can send / second?  I send a text, then hit T to put in a second comment quickly and it won't fire.  Wait 10-15 seconds, and it's good to go.
I saw that was in the mantis tracker marked resolved. It will be fixed next version.
Also, my GODS.  Is EVERY dead villager supposed to spawn a ghost?  I've got a room that's just chock full of eerie goodness.  The only time I saw one in SP was when I had a 10/10 upgraded character die on me.
Yes they are. I think you just need to give up on that room man. 10 or so ghosts on Skilled difficulty are difficult to fight in those enclosed passages.

I have a suggestion for anti-griefing. You need to put in permissions to change difficulty settings. You have them for glyph-transferring and such, but not for actually changing the difficulty around.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2012, 08:59:35 PM
Is there supposed to be a limit on the # of text messages you can send / second?  I send a text, then hit T to put in a second comment quickly and it won't fire.  Wait 10-15 seconds, and it's good to go.
That's a bug that's already been fixed for 0.928 :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2012, 09:41:22 PM
Is EVERY dead villager supposed to spawn a ghost? 
Back in the day there was a concept of "end turn" and some strategery involved there (later realized to seriously lack cohesion with the rest of the game).  At that time, if you spawned a ghost and that made a total of 4+ it would round up 4 of them into a unit on the world map that would advance towards your settlement at the end of each turn.  If they reached the settlement it was wholesale slaughter, particularly before we changed it so people dying in a settlement didn't spawn ghosts.

That's the kind of game I make ;)  Thankfully it didn't take long for us to realize from player feedback that losing is not, in fact, fun (in this genre) ;)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 14, 2012, 10:43:55 PM
Alright, still goofing off in that MP world.  One of the problems I'm running into is the alternative unlockables aren't counting down.  Example, I've just popped a boss tower mission.  There's water and lightning espers all over the place and I just successfully completed, even to getting the rewards in the log.

However, Water Esper and Lightning esper are still at max to kill counts, Win 4 Missions is still at win 4 missions.

In Unlockables to pursue, Win 3 Boss Tower missions is also still at Remaining to Win: 3.

Is this a bug or are there special conditions for these to complete in MP?  I've been alone in this world for a bit.

I should also mention that the first mission I did I didn't even get rewards from even though I made it to the top of the tower.  It's quite possible it expired during the completion, but it took me 6-7 runs at it to get it completed.  This was a single run, so I got rewards, but no unlock counts.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 14, 2012, 11:03:28 PM
Missions should never expire if you're in them, so it sounds like stuff just isn't unlocking properly AND that missions aren't always granting rewards properly.  Sounds like some syncing issues of some sort, really.  Keith, I suspect this particular one is more up your alley.  Got that for Monday?
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 14, 2012, 11:15:21 PM
Missions should never expire if you're in them, so it sounds like stuff just isn't unlocking properly AND that missions aren't always granting rewards properly.  Sounds like some syncing issues of some sort, really.  Keith, I suspect this particular one is more up your alley.  Got that for Monday?

Hunh, I hadn't thought of it being a sync'ing issue.  You're right.  I dropped out of the game on my server to main menu then hopped back in, and things look a little more sane.  I'm pretty sure I've killed a lot more water/lightning espers than that, but at least something has moved on these so it's not completely laughing at me like the Scorched Earth AI...  Still don't know why that first mission didn't succeed though.  Until I can reproduce it we'll call it hearsay...  :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 12:23:27 AM
Further info: Desync happened again, apparently, but in good news, it didn't matter if my online reports were wrong, things still unlocked.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 03:09:02 AM
Dropped in a Mantis item but chat disappears too easily.  VERY easy to miss if you're busy.  Human Text Chat should either be made very obvious or 3-4 lines of it should always be visible in MP in the upper right.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 15, 2012, 09:29:45 AM
I should also mention that the first mission I did I didn't even get rewards from even though I made it to the top of the tower.  It's quite possible it expired during the completion, but it took me 6-7 runs at it to get it completed.
By 6-7 runs, do you mean you died and had to come back?  Or you had to leave the mission entirely (abandon it) and go back to the settlement to heal?  Or what?

Anyway, very interesting, thanks :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 10:31:43 AM
I should also mention that the first mission I did I didn't even get rewards from even though I made it to the top of the tower.  It's quite possible it expired during the completion, but it took me 6-7 runs at it to get it completed.
By 6-7 runs, do you mean you died and had to come back?  Or you had to leave the mission entirely (abandon it) and go back to the settlement to heal?  Or what?

Anyway, very interesting, thanks :)

Death, respawn, return, ATTTAAAAAAAAACK!
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 15, 2012, 12:42:52 PM
Death, respawn, return, ATTTAAAAAAAAACK!
Yea, why change from AIW tactics if they still work? ;)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 04:44:45 PM
Enchant containers and mp:

Was dualing in different regions with another player.  We were both tagging enchant containers but the other wasn't seeing it.  What's the criteria for shared enchant pickups?  Do the containers I pickup just speed up his next pickup, or should he be just soaking enchants and could be in the settlement getting his inventory filled?
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 15, 2012, 04:46:16 PM
Both your percentages go up, but only the person who actually picks up the enchant container will get an enchant at that time.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 05:09:05 PM
Both your percentages go up, but only the person who actually picks up the enchant container will get an enchant at that time.

ah hah, cool, thanks.  Wanted to confirm before I posted something in Mantis.  I do see the enchant %'s going up though, so that works.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 07:24:05 PM
Server's back up.  Sorry about that, had a massive windows update that needed to be done and then had a bit of an argument with my PC about re-launching the server.  Should be good to go and advertising now.

Reason for reboot need: Mission screens were not reporting status, meteor mission would not complete, anachronism mission would not report # left nor fail.  Entire game seemed to have a glitch.  If repeatable will report.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 07:30:43 PM
That's odd.  On server reboot I'm getting achievements to re-spawn.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 07:40:48 PM
I am officially a dumbass, I forgot to set it to advertise, sorry guys.  Nice if it would remember your last setting for the forgetful amongst us.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 15, 2012, 08:16:14 PM
I am officially a dumbass, I forgot to set it to advertise, sorry guys.  Nice if it would remember your last setting for the forgetful amongst us.
Think of it as a sobriety test.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 09:22:25 PM
I am officially a dumbass, I forgot to set it to advertise, sorry guys.  Nice if it would remember your last setting for the forgetful amongst us.
Think of it as a sobriety test.

Greeeaaaaat....  :o

Wandering Nomads server is brought up to 0.929.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 15, 2012, 09:53:06 PM
I'm sure he'll be creating a Mantis ticket but attaching here in case I go offline in the meanwhile.  We're having a problem with Player #10 in the attached world zip.  Room is constantly dark.  New player and default player are both functional, just this character has an issue.  No hud, nothing.

Char name is Chomper.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 12:00:21 PM
Alright, still goofing off in that MP world.  One of the problems I'm running into is the alternative unlockables aren't counting down.  Example, I've just popped a boss tower mission.  There's water and lightning espers all over the place and I just successfully completed, even to getting the rewards in the log.

However, Water Esper and Lightning esper are still at max to kill counts, Win 4 Missions is still at win 4 missions.

In Unlockables to pursue, Win 3 Boss Tower missions is also still at Remaining to Win: 3.

Is this a bug or are there special conditions for these to complete in MP?  I've been alone in this world for a bit.
Ok, this one is fixed for 0.930, thanks :)  Looked real quick but didn't see a mantis record; let me know if there is one so I can flag it.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 16, 2012, 01:17:51 PM
Yes, there's a mantis for it:
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=7096

Hyrf is getting a similar issue now (#5) and I'm seeing a massive error list in the server-screen but I can't catch it and it's not in my unhandledErrors.Txt.  I'm assuming that this fixes that, and that those errors are actually on Hyrf's side.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 01:20:15 PM
Hyrf is getting a similar issue now (#5) and I'm seeing a massive error list in the server-screen but I can't catch it and it's not in my unhandledErrors.Txt.  I'm assuming that this fixes that, and that those errors are actually on Hyrf's side.
Oh, I wasn't talking about that bug, rather about the unlocks thing.  Getting to the black screen problem later.

If you're seeing the error message on the server-screen those errors on your end.  Do you have an ArcenDebugLog.txt file?
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 16, 2012, 01:27:59 PM
Hyrf is getting a similar issue now (#5) and I'm seeing a massive error list in the server-screen but I can't catch it and it's not in my unhandledErrors.Txt.  I'm assuming that this fixes that, and that those errors are actually on Hyrf's side.
Oh, I wasn't talking about that bug, rather about the unlocks thing.  Getting to the black screen problem later.

If you're seeing the error message on the server-screen those errors on your end.  Do you have an ArcenDebugLog.txt file?

Ah hah, so I do.  The last two entries:


4/16/2012 10:12:06 AM
ProcessAssertionFailure while IsInAbilityDeserializationOrProcessing, Message:Object reference not set to an instance of an object

  at Chunk.GetSettlement () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Chunk.PerformChunkLoadInitialization (Boolean IsFromTheNetwork, Int32 LoadedChunkVersion) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Chunk.TryToLoadFromDisk (Int32 ChunkID, .Region Region) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.GetChunkByPrimaryKeyIDInner (Int32 ChunkPrimaryKeyID, .Region Region) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.GetChunkByPrimaryKeyID (Int32 ChunkPrimaryKeyID, .Region Region, Boolean Keepalive) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Ability.GetChunkIfExistsOrGenerateItOnServerOrNullOnClient (.GameEntity EntitySwitchingChunks, Int32 TargetChunkID, .AbilityUseResult Result, .Region Region, Boolean ClientNeedsTheChunkEvenIfEntityIsAlreadyThere, .AbilityUseResultType& EarlyOutResultType) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Ability.TryExecuteInner (.GameEntity UsingEntity, .GameEntity TargetEntity, .QueuedAbilityUse QueuedAbilityUse, .AbilityUseResult Result) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0

UsingEntity:#81252 type:Boris
TargetEntity:null
QueuedAbilityUse.Ability.TypeData.Type:SpawnInChunkFromMainMenu
QueuedAbilityUse.TargetChunkID:904
QueuedAbilityUse.TargetRegionID:75
QueuedAbilityUse.UsingEntityID:81252
UsingEntity.TypeData.Type:Unknown because execution context chunk or region ID <= 0

   at System.Environment.get_StackTrace()
   at ArcenDebugging.ArcenDebugLog(System.String Message)
   at ArcenDebugging.ProcessAssertionFailure(System.String Message)
   at Ability.TryExecuteInner(.GameEntity UsingEntity, .GameEntity TargetEntity, .QueuedAbilityUse QueuedAbilityUse, .AbilityUseResult Result)
   at Ability.TryExecute(.GameEntity UsingEntity, .GameEntity TargetEntity, .QueuedAbilityUse QueuedAbilityUse, .AbilityUseResult Result)
   at QueuedAbilityUse.TryExecute()
   at Game.ProcessSimStep()
   at Game.RunNextCycle(Boolean DoRendering)
   at Game.RunFrame()
   at MainCameraLogic.Update()

4/16/2012 10:14:09 AM
ProcessAssertionFailure while IsInAbilityDeserializationOrProcessing, Message:Object reference not set to an instance of an object

  at Chunk.GetSettlement () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Chunk.PerformChunkLoadInitialization (Boolean IsFromTheNetwork, Int32 LoadedChunkVersion) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Chunk.TryToLoadFromDisk (Int32 ChunkID, .Region Region) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.GetChunkByPrimaryKeyIDInner (Int32 ChunkPrimaryKeyID, .Region Region) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.GetChunkByPrimaryKeyID (Int32 ChunkPrimaryKeyID, .Region Region, Boolean Keepalive) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Ability.GetChunkIfExistsOrGenerateItOnServerOrNullOnClient (.GameEntity EntitySwitchingChunks, Int32 TargetChunkID, .AbilityUseResult Result, .Region Region, Boolean ClientNeedsTheChunkEvenIfEntityIsAlreadyThere, .AbilityUseResultType& EarlyOutResultType) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Ability.TryExecuteInner (.GameEntity UsingEntity, .GameEntity TargetEntity, .QueuedAbilityUse QueuedAbilityUse, .AbilityUseResult Result) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0

UsingEntity:#81252 type:Boris
TargetEntity:null
QueuedAbilityUse.Ability.TypeData.Type:SpawnInChunkFromMainMenu
QueuedAbilityUse.TargetChunkID:904
QueuedAbilityUse.TargetRegionID:75
QueuedAbilityUse.UsingEntityID:81252
UsingEntity.TypeData.Type:Unknown because execution context chunk or region ID <= 0

   at System.Environment.get_StackTrace()
   at ArcenDebugging.ArcenDebugLog(System.String Message)
   at ArcenDebugging.ProcessAssertionFailure(System.String Message)
   at Ability.TryExecuteInner(.GameEntity UsingEntity, .GameEntity TargetEntity, .QueuedAbilityUse QueuedAbilityUse, .AbilityUseResult Result)
   at Ability.TryExecute(.GameEntity UsingEntity, .GameEntity TargetEntity, .QueuedAbilityUse QueuedAbilityUse, .AbilityUseResult Result)
   at QueuedAbilityUse.TryExecute()
   at Game.ProcessSimStep()
   at Game.RunNextCycle(Boolean DoRendering)
   at Game.RunFrame()
   at MainCameraLogic.Update()

I've got to go to work, I'll try to get anything else you need from me for you tonight.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 02:10:45 PM
Ah hah, so I do.  The last two entries:


4/16/2012 10:12:06 AM
ProcessAssertionFailure while IsInAbilityDeserializationOrProcessing, Message:Object reference not set to an instance of an object

  at Chunk.GetSettlement () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
Ah, ok, that one's easy enough to fix, thanks.  Whenever you're free after work any other (distinct) errors from that log would be interesting :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 04:07:45 PM
I should also mention that the first mission I did I didn't even get rewards from even though I made it to the top of the tower.  It's quite possible it expired during the completion, but it took me 6-7 runs at it to get it completed.  This was a single run, so I got rewards, but no unlock counts.
Ok, I'm not able to reproduce this, running your world in MP:

First test:
1) Enter boss tower mission
2) Achieve victory
3) Got "Victory!" message and rewards, etc.

Second test:
1) Enter boss tower mission
2) Die, get "Defeat!" message
3) Respawn back at settlement
4) Enter same mission again (this creates the mission interior all over again, by the way, so no taking out the bosses one at a time like that)
5) Achieve victory
6) Got "Victory!" message and rewards, etc.

Third test:
1) Enter boss tower mission
2) Abandon mission by leaving, got "Abandoned" message
3) Re-entered mission
4) Achieve victory
5) Got "Victory!" message and rewards, etc.

Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Toll on April 16, 2012, 04:36:42 PM
I actually got this error once, and I'm 90% sure it was during a mission that expired while I was in it (time-wise, that is; I still completed the mission). I've never been able to reproduce it since though, no matter how hard I tried... I think it was during a boss tower mission, but it was a long time ago.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Chomper on April 16, 2012, 06:30:21 PM
Thanks again to all you guys at Arcen for putting time into our problems. I'm sure Hyrf and I will dig getting out of black screen status (and seeing what ridiculous havoc Wanderer is wreaking with this leafy whip chainsaw spell you've come up with).
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 16, 2012, 09:34:44 PM
Ah hah, so I do.  The last two entries:


4/16/2012 10:12:06 AM
ProcessAssertionFailure while IsInAbilityDeserializationOrProcessing, Message:Object reference not set to an instance of an object

  at Chunk.GetSettlement () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
Ah, ok, that one's easy enough to fix, thanks.  Whenever you're free after work any other (distinct) errors from that log would be interesting :)

Attached file in full.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2012, 09:49:31 PM
Attached file in full.
Interesting... hmm, not a lot else in there to work on, though some interesting messages.  I think the best way forward is to see what it does in 0.930 (whenever we can get it caged and down the river), since I think I fixed the main errors in there for that.  Thanks :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: TechSY730 on April 16, 2012, 09:54:31 PM
Attached file in full.
Interesting... hmm, not a lot else in there to work on, though some interesting messages.  I think the best way forward is to see what it does in 0.930 (whenever we can get it caged and down the river), since I think I fixed the main errors in there for that.  Thanks :)

Ugh, I know that feeling.

Without getting into too many details, today, I had to deal with a stack trace stating it couldn't find a file in a zip archive (even though when I opened the archive, it was right there), and I could also verify that the machine that was getting the error had the correct archive. Yet, I couldn't reproduce the issue on my machine.

The end cause?
A file handle not getting closed in time. This was complicated by the implementation dependent behavior of the ZipFile class when multiple of them are opened on the same file, which would explain why my machine could handle it just fine, but the machine that was failing couldn't.

Yea, that was a real pain to puzzle that one through.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 16, 2012, 10:28:55 PM
Server settings/defaults/ban lists/etc....

An interface to this would be awesome.  Also, having a list of all players who are listed in your server (there's plenty of real-estate in the server launch screen) and being able to flip on/off their admin status would be really helpful.  In particular for griefer bans, which is the only reason I'd want to give away most admin rights.

Either in game or external, I'd really like to be able to see these.  Also, some kind of response when changing defaults would be really nice.  Currently it only tells you when you set something that's already set that way.

From an administrative perspective the interface is awkward, annoying, non-friendly, and doesn't make it easy for me to host it, wanting to leave the problems to someone else.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 17, 2012, 01:06:03 AM
+1 If we can manage to keep settings and the like between updates.  Achievement resets, server settings, etc, all get reset on a new beta release.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 17, 2012, 01:14:45 AM
+1 If we can manage to keep settings and the like between updates.  Achievement resets, server settings, etc, all get reset on a new beta release.
Er, that shouldn't be.  That's all in settings.dat, which shouldn't be touched by the update process (if it were overwritten, you'd keep getting knocked back into trial mode).

So it's really resetting all that?  Or is it getting reset every time you restart the app, update or no?
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 17, 2012, 01:25:23 AM
+1 If we can manage to keep settings and the like between updates.  Achievement resets, server settings, etc, all get reset on a new beta release.
Er, that shouldn't be.  That's all in settings.dat, which shouldn't be touched by the update process (if it were overwritten, you'd keep getting knocked back into trial mode).

So it's really resetting all that?  Or is it getting reset every time you restart the app, update or no?

Just shutdown and restarted the server, and re-set the default glyph mode to 0.  It informed me it was already set that way.  However, just prior to the .929 release, I had set it, and needed to reset it coming into .930.  Also, achievements are definately getting reset on each new version.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 17, 2012, 01:28:35 AM
Oh, yeah, all the 'opt out' messages are respawned too.

One thing that DOES reset on each activation is my 'disable music' option.  Keep having to turn it back off.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 17, 2012, 10:41:19 AM
Hmm, concerning stuff on things being reset.  Are you running the client and the server off the same installation?  What may be happening is that you're running the server, then hop on the client and run around and generally deforesting the world with the leaf-saw, getting achievements, whatever, then quitting the client; this saves the client's settings to your settings.dat.  Then you're later quitting the server to do a restart and that saves the _server's_ settings to your settings.dat.  Since the server doesn't have any achievements...

Hmm.  Will probably need to split the settings.dat for server and non-server.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 17, 2012, 01:41:05 PM
Hmm, concerning stuff on things being reset.  Are you running the client and the server off the same installation?   What may be happening is that you're running the server, then hop on the client and run around and generally deforesting the world with the leaf-saw, getting achievements, whatever, then quitting the client; this saves the client's settings to your settings.dat.  Then you're later quitting the server to do a restart and that saves the _server's_ settings to your settings.dat.  Since the server doesn't have any achievements...

Hmm.  Will probably need to split the settings.dat for server and non-server.

Yes, I only have the one PC.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 17, 2012, 02:14:56 PM
Hmm, concerning stuff on things being reset.  Are you running the client and the server off the same installation?   What may be happening is that you're running the server, then hop on the client and run around and generally deforesting the world with the leaf-saw, getting achievements, whatever, then quitting the client; this saves the client's settings to your settings.dat.  Then you're later quitting the server to do a restart and that saves the _server's_ settings to your settings.dat.  Since the server doesn't have any achievements...

Hmm.  Will probably need to split the settings.dat for server and non-server.

Yes, I only have the one PC.
Sure, and I run my MP testing on one computer, but the server is running one copy of AVWW, and the client is running another copy :)

But your setup is the more likely and intuitive, so just gotta keep it from playing stomp-stomp with the data files.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: mrhanman on April 17, 2012, 03:08:01 PM
One thing that DOES reset on each activation is my 'disable music' option.  Keep having to turn it back off.

:o

Wha...why'd you...oh, wow...huh?  The music is one of the most awesome things about this game.  Why on Earth would you disable it?

 :'(
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 17, 2012, 03:17:17 PM
I have all sound disabled when I play, because I listen to other stuff :)  Amusingly, not infrequently that "other stuff" is the AVWW soundtrack.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Terraziel on April 17, 2012, 03:26:58 PM
I have all sound disabled when I play, because I listen to other stuff :)  Amusingly, not infrequently that "other stuff" is the AVWW soundtrack.

I've gone one step further and actually swapped out about half the files of the soundtrack for other soundtracks. I have to say I do like a lot of the AVWW soundtrack, I just have better ones (most of which probably had a higher budget than your entire game so not something to take personally).
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 17, 2012, 04:04:14 PM
FYI, for 0.931:

Quote
* Fixed the fact that the logic checking for mission expiration was... totally bonkers, really.  Sorry about that.  It was considering someone outside the region if they were in any region, and on top of that it was running the checks on the client as well as the server in MP.
** This was causing numerous issues where people were completing missions but not getting credit (or rewards) for victory.

Heh, not sure what was wrong with me when I wrote that code...
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 17, 2012, 04:44:21 PM
+1 If we can manage to keep settings and the like between updates.  Achievement resets, server settings, etc, all get reset on a new beta release.
Er, that shouldn't be.  That's all in settings.dat, which shouldn't be touched by the update process (if it were overwritten, you'd keep getting knocked back into trial mode).

So it's really resetting all that?  Or is it getting reset every time you restart the app, update or no?

Just shutdown and restarted the server, and re-set the default glyph mode to 0.  It informed me it was already set that way.  However, just prior to the .929 release, I had set it, and needed to reset it coming into .930.  Also, achievements are definately getting reset on each new version.

Just in for 0.931:

Quote
* The server now saves its settings and inputbindings in separate files (serversettings.dat instead of settings.dat, etc) to prevent some very _serious_ issues that could result when running a client and a server at the same time from the same AVWW installation (namely, depending on the order in which you closed the applications, you could lose all info on your achievements and various other settings, etc).
** Going along with this, you can now open the settings menu from the server window, as otherwise there'd be no way (other than manually editing serversettings.dat, heh) to configure stuff like Port Number.
*** Going along with that, the server no longer auto-closes if it can't listen on the specified port, so you can get in to change the port if you need to.
That should handle the achievements, disable-music, and opt-outs stuff.

I really don't know why the default glyph-transfer permissions would have reset, as that's actually saved as part of the world, not as part of settings.dat, and only the server is saving the world (hur hur).  There's even a great big "if ( Game.Instance.ProcessMode == ProcessMode.MultiplayerClient ) return;" at the top of World.SaveWorldToDisk() just to make paranoid-ly sure ;)

Unless you're running the world on the server and running the world in singleplayer at the same time, which would be a colossally bad idea.  Hilarious, from a safe distance.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 18, 2012, 12:27:28 AM
Unless you're running the world on the server and running the world in singleplayer at the same time, which would be a colossally bad idea.  Hilarious, from a safe distance.

Nope, definately not doing that to my personal official test bed.  I might try it with ANOTHER world, but not Wandering Nomads. :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 18, 2012, 09:55:35 PM
YIKES!

Seriously BAD juju in Overlord room with 2 people.  The game glitched up horribly between the thousand flames, an ice bat, and 2 players.  It kind of seemed to get stuck in a loop of some kind until one char died (me) and then Chomper was free to act, but we both were utterly hosed until then.

Scenario: I was in room and spawned overlord.  Waited for Chomper.  Nearby is a hard-wall we could jump into for defense.  We both went in there and suddenly we got caught in what appeared to be a jump-loop where we couldn't shoot, move, or break out of it.  Meanwhile, an ice bat sat on our heads and laid waste to us.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 18, 2012, 09:58:46 PM
YIKES!

Seriously BAD juju in Overlord room with 2 people.  The game glitched up horribly between the thousand flames, an ice bat, and 2 players.  It kind of seemed to get stuck in a loop of some kind until one char died (me) and then Chomper was free to act, but we both were utterly hosed until then.

Scenario: I was in room and spawned overlord.  Waited for Chomper.  Nearby is a hard-wall we could jump into for defense.  We both went in there and suddenly we got caught in what appeared to be a jump-loop where we couldn't shoot, move, or break out of it.  Meanwhile, an ice bat sat on our heads and laid waste to us.
Sigh :)

Thanks for lettings us know.

Anything in the logs?
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 18, 2012, 10:36:26 PM
YIKES!

Seriously BAD juju in Overlord room with 2 people.  The game glitched up horribly between the thousand flames, an ice bat, and 2 players.  It kind of seemed to get stuck in a loop of some kind until one char died (me) and then Chomper was free to act, but we both were utterly hosed until then.

Scenario: I was in room and spawned overlord.  Waited for Chomper.  Nearby is a hard-wall we could jump into for defense.  We both went in there and suddenly we got caught in what appeared to be a jump-loop where we couldn't shoot, move, or break out of it.  Meanwhile, an ice bat sat on our heads and laid waste to us.
Sigh :)

Thanks for lettings us know.

Anything in the logs?
Nothing of particular note.  A ton of QueuedAbilityUse.Execute:rejected ProcessDeathInChunkConsequences are there, but from like 5-6 hours ago.  Some cranky firebats not knowing where they're supposed to be...

No, nothing from the fight that went haywire, nor any in unhandled.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 18, 2012, 10:37:43 PM
I should mention, that when I went back in again afterwards, we didn't get the freeze-up / death-jump problem. However, icebats are utterly frickin' evil if they sit on your head.  It may have been a combination of the icebat + living flames causing us to move without moving in that loop, but I'm not sure why we couldn't shoot.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 18, 2012, 10:40:48 PM
My guess is that the tons of flames caused a network bandwidth explosion.  But I can't be sure.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: TechSY730 on April 18, 2012, 10:43:55 PM
My guess is that the tons of flames caused a network bandwidth explosion.  But I can't be sure.

Burninating the glyph bearers! Burninating all the bandwidth!
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 18, 2012, 10:51:37 PM
My guess is that the tons of flames caused a network bandwidth explosion.  But I can't be sure.

Burninating the glyph bearers! Burninating all the bandwidth!

Quote from: Localization File
<ln id="MicroBossEncountered">Warning! Microboss {0} is here!</ln>
<ln id="MiniBossEncountered">Warning! Miniboss {0} is here!</ln>
<ln id="VengefulGhostEncountered">Warning! Vengeful ghost {0} is here!</ln>
<ln id="LieutenantBossEncountered">Alert! Alert! Lieutenant {0} is here!</ln>
<ln id="OverlordBossEncountered">AAAAH! The evil overlord {0} is here!</ln>
<ln id="TrogdorEncountered">*beeeeeep* %&@&[email protected], It's *beeep* Trogdor!</ln>
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 21, 2012, 05:08:11 PM
There needs to be less of an impact in multiplayer when multiple people are playing.  Right now it's practically pointless to team up when everything just ends up at double strength.  Add to that things like Urban Crawlers are firing double (or triple) shots and the only thing that playing with others does is get you dead faster.

Why bother?

I realize it needs to be balanced so that 2 people doesn't make it directly twice as easy, but two people working together SHOULD make it easier, not harder.  Direct numbers adjustment and firepower patterns are not the best approach, I'm finding.

I actually want to AVOID duo/triple combinations because of the difficulty increase.  It's actually easier to solo with a non-upgraded then a 5/10 one in a duo on T5.

Short version: We need to find a different way to make multiplayer enjoyable than straight numbers/ROF/damage increases, the difficulty outweighs the benefits.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 21, 2012, 05:43:36 PM
There's a rate of fire increase on multiple players?  I thought it was just monster health.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 21, 2012, 06:02:59 PM
There's a rate of fire increase on multiple players?  I thought it was just monster health.

Well, the Urban Crawler we were fighting was was dropping 2x and 3x Flak-shots instead of the usual one.  I assumed it was across the board and that's how it was implemented for that one.

Even then, unless you're in lockstep simply being in the same surface chunk can get you outright killed, since health drops are still the same but it takes you twice as long to kill any one critter, or at best the same amount of time if you're both running maxxed out.

It's counter-intuitive, but you're actually SAFER solo.  You get more health, things die faster, and it's harder to end up 'blockaded' by something that has stupid health volumes because you can kill the little guys faster.

As an example, try taking 2/3 people against a landspeeder.  OW.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Oralordos on April 21, 2012, 06:08:51 PM
As an example, try taking 2/3 people against a landspeeder.  OW.
Ugh I was just playing with Wanderer and we did that.
I defiantly agree here though. Sometime we should adjust all the numbers and such to make it so that playing with others is good, not something to be avoided.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 21, 2012, 06:41:45 PM
No extra firepower from enemies are intended -- that's a bug.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 21, 2012, 06:45:53 PM
No extra firepower from enemies are intended -- that's a bug.
In one of the early (long-ditched) MP models enemies could fire one shot at each nearby player; is that still true in any way?
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 21, 2012, 06:50:44 PM
No extra firepower from enemies are intended -- that's a bug.
In one of the early (long-ditched) MP models enemies could fire one shot at each nearby player; is that still true in any way?

Not that I've seen.  I had simply assumed an RoF increase and the flak cannon was implemented in a way that was just more obvious about it, apologies for the assumption.  Changing my complaint... there's a bug with Urban Crawlers and I'd still like to toss around ideas on ways to keep multiplayer from being an "I win" button that doesn't make it directly disadvantageous to the players no matter what.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 21, 2012, 07:06:56 PM
I still don't agree that multiplayer should be easier, though -- I'm certainly open to the discussion, but I think that difficulty should remain constant regardless of number of players.  That's my core premise and is unlikely to change.  New Super Mario Bros Wii got actively harder with more players -- I didn't like that.  Most strategy games become a cakewalk if you have too many players on your side.  I don't like that.  However many players I have with me at the time, I should be able to get a consistent, clear difficulty level.  If I'm having to lower or raise difficulty because of playing with different numbers of players, something is very wrong.

And so that's where the current math is doing things right, I think.  Enemies almost all have piercing shots, did you notice?  So that means that one player can't block a shot to prevent another player from taking the damage.  You both have to dodge, but the enemies don't need twice as many shots to accomplish this.

Then you have your damage against the enemy: presuming that all player damage output is able to be normalized to an average (ignoring specific character build bonuses, is what I mean), that means that two players will kill enemies twice as fast.  Three players 3x as fast, etc.  If you increase enemy health the corresponding amount when there are multiple players right there in the vicinity, then the same amount of damage needs to be dealt to enemies as if each player was playing solo.  In other words, there's no disadvantage at all, numerically speaking, and it should balance out to be the same difficulty as solo rather than a lessened or increased difficulty -- which is my premise, recall.

On the other hand, there is one thing already that breaks down the difficulty for enemies in multiplayer: you DO get an advantage, and a big one, already.  Namely: enemies don't get extra shots.  So if you and your friends all stand at different firing angles from the enemy, the enemy can't fire at all of you at once.  Meaning all that piercing and such doesn't help the enemy at all.  If you and your friends stay really close together then it's the same as solo, but if you flank the enemy then you suddenly have this crazy advantage already.

Which would be the point of "calling a friend to help," as it were.  In short, bugs aside, I think it already does what you want better than it does what I want.  Players really can probably abuse the ability to flank the enemies in large numbers in particular, and that's more the problem I'm worried about rather than it being not any easier.  So I actually do agree with you that, long-term, there is probably a problem; I just think that it's the opposite of the problem you were thinking. :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 21, 2012, 07:15:12 PM
Yea, bugs aside, the current model should make it easier in MP: it's easier if you're clever in how you use your numbers, and the more clever you are the more you can really take the AI for a ride (like splitting up the living fire in that overlord fight you just had).

On the other hand, if one guy dies and drops a vengeful ghost, it can quickly become a hilarious wipe ;)

And yea, if you just happen to both be in a chunk and one of you is all alone and runs into a landspeeder...
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 21, 2012, 09:52:49 PM
Yeah, that is one potential problem with the current model: the risk of total party kills when one character dies.  I'm not sure that can be resolved without opening up too many exploits, though.

And I meant to say in my last post: I'm also quite open to the idea that there may be factors in multiplayer that I simply don't know about that are contributing to an "X factor" making it harder than it otherwise would be just based on the numbers.  We haven't had enough concerted multiplayer testing with large enough groups to say for sure on that, to be honest.  With AI War I was playing the multiplayer weekly, but most of my play here has been solo. 

In AI War multiplayer, for example, one trouble with multiplayer is that multiple brains are simply less coordinated than one brain.  They just don't agree on things as perfectly, and even though they have the ability to split their attention more it's still harder by virtue of just having to coordinate alone.  So in order to maintain a "constant" difficulty between solo and MP, we actually had to make MP a little easier.  That means that for hyper-organized players it's substantially easier in MP.  But those are the very rare exception rather than the rule, and I count myself and my play group in with the rule on that one.

There may also simply be a matter of perception here.  If players feel like "why even bother with MP if it has no advantage" thinking just in terms of raw numbers and not the new tactics that open up to them (seriously, healing touch is just ripe for all sorts of crazy stuff, in addition to the aforementioned flanking benefits), then perhaps we need to make at least a token benefit.  Instead of making the enemies 1x the number of players past one, make it 0.95x the number of players past one.  So one player is 1x strength in either scenario, but two players is 1.95x in the new model rather than 2x. 

I'm quite familiar that issues of perception can cloud issues of reality -- another thing we had to deal with in AI War, and just part of human brain heuristics rather than an individual logical failing or something.  I include myself in this as well, for the record.  So my point is, even if it is a matter of "just perception," that doesn't mean that it's not an issue.  How players feel about various parts of the game influences how they choose to enjoy or not enjoy them, and that can be immensely helpful or detracting depending on what the perception is.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 21, 2012, 10:40:05 PM
Yeah, that is one potential problem with the current model: the risk of total party kills when one character dies.  I'm not sure that can be resolved without opening up too many exploits, though.
Everything descending into chaos because somebody got careless is not a problem, it's a feature ;)  If it does wind up as a problem then probably the simplest approach is removing vengeful ghost spawns altogether; it's just an orphan mechanic left over now that the rest of the whole structure that contained it is gone.  But it's kinda fun, at least from my perspective ;)

Quote
There may also simply be a matter of perception here.  If players feel like "why even bother with MP if it has no advantage" thinking just in terms of raw numbers and not the new tactics that open up to them (seriously, healing touch is just ripe for all sorts of crazy stuff, in addition to the aforementioned flanking benefits), then perhaps we need to make at least a token benefit.  Instead of making the enemies 1x the number of players past one, make it 0.95x the number of players past one.  So one player is 1x strength in either scenario, but two players is 1.95x in the new model rather than 2x.
I think that would be helpful for perception, yes.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 21, 2012, 10:42:26 PM
I don't think of the current vengeful ghosts mechanic as being an orphan feature, actually -- it's one of the defining things about the permadeath of the game, from the perspective of a lot of people we seem to bump into at PAX and such.  It creates risk/reward: you can't just make an easy grist-mill of characters into the overlord's room, or you reap what you sow with a ton of ghosts hanging around there.  That's wicked cool, and integrates so well into the rest of the strategic/tactical decisions of the game.

It's true it's orphaned from all the other features it was originally tied to, but it found a new anchor in my opinion.  But anyway, aside from that one quibble all agreed on the rest. :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: TechSY730 on April 21, 2012, 10:44:43 PM
There may also simply be a matter of perception here.  If players feel like "why even bother with MP if it has no advantage" thinking just in terms of raw numbers and not the new tactics that open up to them (seriously, healing touch is just ripe for all sorts of crazy stuff, in addition to the aforementioned flanking benefits), then perhaps we need to make at least a token benefit.  Instead of making the enemies 1x the number of players past one, make it 0.95x the number of players past one.  So one player is 1x strength in either scenario, but two players is 1.95x in the new model rather than 2x. 

I could support that. Make it a sub-linear growth rate, but just barely sub-linear.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: zebramatt on April 22, 2012, 06:21:26 AM
This is massively tangential but I actually don't agree that New Super Mario Brothers Wii got objectively harder with more people. The model they implemented was an amazing accomplishment: you had to cooperate.

It certainly felt harder with more people at first because whereas in single player (or with two very experienced players) you could rely on instinct and muscle memory, in multiplayer you had to communicate in order to achieve the same ends. I found if you played with a group you knew really well, you'd fall into a familiarity which was an extension of your friendship. You learned not just to all play the game in your own way, but actually a new style of playing together. Even I, the best Mario player I know well, had to re-learn my game to incorporate the notion of working as a team. In fact, it was arguably even harder for me to completely relearn how to play effectively.

But once you'd gotten into a rhythm with the people you played with, it became a joy - bouncing off of each other, picking each other up, grabbing a tricky shiny and ducking into a bubble, and just generally helping one another out - the likes of which I've never before or since experienced. And then it was not just easier than single player - because, let's face it, you relinquish as much control over your destiny as the number of people you're playing with - but actually more fun.

The time I spent on that game cooperatively will stay with me forever. Hats off to Nintendo for that. It was a remarkable achievement.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 22, 2012, 07:36:39 AM
zebramatt: I disagree on NSMB Wii requiring cooperation in a good way for players of lower skill, however that didn't stop my wife and I from really enjoying it. Check out Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii, if you like platformers and have not played it -- it and NSMB Wii stand side by side as the best 2d platformers on that system in my opinion. DKC supports only two players, but I felt it was much better in that the two players are insubstantial to one another. That's literally the one change is have made to NSMB Wii to call it perfect.

Okay, end tangent. ;)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: zebramatt on April 22, 2012, 10:05:09 AM
zebramatt: I disagree on NSMB Wii requiring cooperation in a good way for players of lower skill, however that didn't stop my wife and I from really enjoying it. Check out Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii, if you like platformers and have not played it -- it and NSMB Wii stand side by side as the best 2d platformers on that system in my opinion. DKC supports only two players, but I felt it was much better in that the two players are insubstantial to one another. That's literally the one change is have made to NSMB Wii to call it perfect.

Okay, end tangent. ;)

It's funny: I adored Donkey Kong Country Returns and played it absolutely to death in both single and coop, but the one thing it was lacking for me was the same sense of help/hinder cooperation which New Super Mario Bros Wii required when playing with a mix of skill levels! The fact that you could bump into one another in the latter was a total game changer for me - I'd argue that's what made it perfect!

Each to their own, I suppose.  :)
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: x4000 on April 22, 2012, 12:45:11 PM
That's why I'm glad there's more than one game designer, and more than one type of game, in the world! Variety is the spice of life, to be sure.
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Wanderer on April 22, 2012, 02:37:00 PM
And I meant to say in my last post: I'm also quite open to the idea that there may be factors in multiplayer that I simply don't know about that are contributing to an "X factor" making it harder than it otherwise would be just based on the numbers.  We haven't had enough concerted multiplayer testing with large enough groups to say for sure on that, to be honest.  With AI War I was playing the multiplayer weekly, but most of my play here has been solo.
Welp, guess I can discuss what I see and how it seems to work out and you can judge the merit of those observations for yourselves. :)

Quote
I'm quite familiar that issues of perception can cloud issues of reality -- another thing we had to deal with in AI War, and just part of human brain heuristics rather than an individual logical failing or something.

Which is quite possible.  So, without further ado:

Let's take Bob and Joe.  They both do ~200 DPS just getting going and not having gotten their upgrade stones yet.  They decide to go off together and raid some houses.  Hello Mr. Junkyard, we're here for your quickie-shacks.

Happily bouncing along they run into a blue ameoba.  Nothing extravagant.  Bob and Joe lay into it with a vengeance, each one avoiding most of the triple shots, each getting hit once.  So they've each lost 10 HP or whatever.  When the ameoba dies, 5 hp are released, just like normal.  Bob and Joe get a little back.  Because this health return doesn't change with multiple players, and both players are required to attack the piercing enemies, they have a net loss on their health return for the fight.

Now moving along they run into a landspeeder.  This thing is dropping double-strength miasma balls now so you can't pop them before they reach you typically, there just isn't enough screen real-estate.  While you're attacking, a simple lightning esper floats over you and starts whacking away from the other side.  You turn to take on the esper, which is double strength, so both of you have to turn and clock it.  Because of the heavier HP on the miasma balls, where one character could usually turn, pop the miasma, turn, put a few more into the esper, you've both got to be perfect if you're going to pull it off, or you're trapped.

After this nasty little scenario, which isn't that hard to envision, you have gotten your health orbs... which only can heal one of you.

Because of the nature of the current mechanism that is used to up the difficulty when there are multiple people, and since kill rewards stay the same, it becomes the equivalent of a net-loss in health.  Eventually, someone is going to die that wouldn't have if they both ran the area solo.

Add to that the healing spell is a net-0 spell.  Yes, in an emergency it could save someone's life... if you're on the ball and willing to give up your own HP to help them.  Considering one of my recent characters was taking on the overlord with 150 hp, that's not necessarily a good option all the time.  Sure, nice option, but it's not even in my primary bar, as it feels a bit silly to kill myself to help my partner, and if I'm running solo all it will do if I accidentally hit it is lower my hp for a time while I wait for the orbs to come back.

There are a few things multiplayers have available.  One, only one of you needs to have platforms going, so the other player can have two spells at their disposal.  Using different spell builds also helps to make sure that you won't run into a mob that's resistant to both of you on first hit.  But even then, there's not a lot of weakness in the game.  Example: Living Fire is not particularly suseptable to water.  This and a few other critters (blue/red ameobas, for example) seems odd to me, but that's a tangent.  How it applies here though is that in most cases your different spells won't be that impactful UNLESS you run into a resistant creature.

Another thing that they can do, as Keith pointed out we did against the OL, is divide a particular mob's attention, or their firepower.  This is of course very helpful, but in general you're running linearly through a cave/mazeroom/surfacechunk/whatever.  You're not, one hopes, spending a large amount of time where this is a critical concept.  Particularly in cases of our landspeeder above.  If one of you hangs out on the 'approach' side, and another doublejumps and storm-dashes over the landspeeder's head to 'split' fire... that second person has basically left their butt in the wind against 2x health enemies with no support while still taking fire from the primary problem.  You hope your buddy on the approach side doesn't get distracted and leave you out to die.

All of these things ARE influential in the gameplay, yes, helping to balance the two problems out, but they come with their own issues which almost balance themselves off.  Add to this if you're playing on an MP server ANYONE can enter your chunk while you're, say, halfway through it, and suddenly everything doubles in health and you've got no support yet.  Hope you weren't low on hp right there.  This is a VERY Pick Up Group kind of game by it's nature.  It doesn't need to be as heavily balanced, in my personal opinion, as an organized team playing AI War with a direct set of goals.  It's more like "Hey, buddy, Mind if I tag along?  I don't have upgrade stones yet and I'm getting whacked!"  "Sure, man."

THWACK THWACK.

"Um, dude?  Yeah, let's not EVER do that again, hm?"
Title: Re: (Dev Really Wants Info) State Of Multiplayer for 1.0
Post by: Terraziel on April 22, 2012, 03:25:06 PM
As always noting first that I don't play multiplayer, but because options are always good, how about making the per player increase another difficulty setting?

Because as I interpret the problems mentioned by Wanderer that is the easiest way of doing it. my initial reaction to much of it is that if they find the game too hard with X players then they should just turn the combat difficulty down, but obviously that isn't ideal because it would make it too easy whilst not in the same chunk as another player, and wouldn't be taking into account how many players there are.

So I say add another option to the multiplayer difficulty totem, maybe make it an admin command, which controls the increase per player. As a command it could be more granular but on the totem it would be more obvious so people are more likely to change it, that way people can adjust it to suit the groups skill levels.