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Zombie Centurions & Damage Allocation


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#1 Hayashi

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

The story


I think I've figured out why the centurion appears to be unkillable. It has everything to do with MWO's damage transference mechanic.

You see, the Centurion has huge arms which completely envelops the side torso, and huge side torsos which completely envelop the centre torso.

We have known for some time that Centurions appear to be nigh-unkillable after their arms have been blown off. I think I've found the reason.

Now, in Mechwarrior Online, there are two types of damage allocation. One is when you blow off a side torso, and the arm immediately has its health reduced to zero and blows off as well. The second is when you shoot a destroyed side torso... 50% of the damage will be transferred to the Centre Torso.

The fault here in the Centurion is that when the arm is blown off the hitbox of the arm is not blown off. It still exists, and it is still blocking the side torso hitbox. Now when you shoot the centurion from the side thinking to hit the side torso since it's arm is no longer there, the game still THINKS the arm is still there, so it transfers exactly half the damage to the side torso.

BUT! The side torso 50% transference mechanic still exists! Therefore, when you shoot the mech from the side again, this damage is halved, and halved again, and now your weapons will do exactly 1/4 of the damage they should. That is why it takes forever to kill a centurion!

The tests


To blow a side torso (zero internal health) from full health from the front - 12 shots with a medium laser. To blow a side torso from full health from the side - 21 shots with a medium laser. To blow the centre torso from full health from the side after blowing off the side torso: 56 shots with a medium laser.

So in other words, if you were to shoot a centurion from exactly one side, it would take... about 100 shots with a medium laser to kill it from full health. That's 500 damage.Well, actually slightly more than that, because Testing Grounds mechs have deficient armor.

P.S. Font sizes changed to reflect relative values so as to reflect the absurdity. For your reference, 500 damage is sufficient to CT-core 5 Heavy mechs from full health.

Current interim solution


Until a fix is implemented, shoot between the centurion's legs. That area counts as Centre Torso no matter how they turn their upper body.

Other applications


Stalkers have effectively double the CT armour if shot from the side after the Side Torso is blown off. And since the Stalker has a very long... erm... centre torso, most of the time you're facing its side. So when you shoot it, most of the time you're actually dealing only half the damage you should. That's why Stalkers appear to live longer than Atlases - because Atlases have a very easy-to-hit Centre Torso from even the side, whereas the only way to hit a stalker's CT is usually if it's aiming directly at you... not a good situation for you. Again, shoot between the Stalker's legs to fix this.

This was also the reason why Ravens used to be impossible to kill, and now are very hard to kill on the torso. The arm is shielding the side torso - which means that shooting the side torso as it passes with its side facing you always dealt 1/2 expected damage. This makes the Raven seem like it's very easy to leg in comparison why is why many players have always been legging it... but it was never the case that the legs were weak, but it was that the rest of the Raven was too strong.

Light mechs in general present you with the side profile nearly all the time, unless they're shooting you. I didn't test all the light mechs by shooting them from the side, I'm sure someone might want to, but the thing is that if its arm hitbox wasn't eliminated, shooting them from the side would always do 1/2 health.

Perhaps those players 4 months ago who remarked that it seemed like light mechs have doubled armor were actually completely right.

This whole ST shielding nonsense isn't a factor when we consider slow mechs who turn slowly since you have a lot of time to shoot them. Whereas any mech that can turn fast can in that turning motion instantly reduce any damage you deal to a fraction of what it should have been... which makes all fast mechs necessarily overpowered.

And lastly, this is why if you shoot the leg of a mech after you already destroy the leg, you will take forever to kill it. The damage is first transferred to the side torso at 50% rate, then transferred to the centre torso at 25% rate, if you keep shooting the destroyed leg. Whereas if you shoot the other leg it will blow in seconds.

Recommended fix


Not-so-preferred:
Completely remove the arm hitbox the moment the arm is blown off. Other mechs like Dragons and Catapults don't have this 'eternal arm' issue. Also, change the system such that shooting a destroyed leg will transfer damage to the other leg, rather than to the side torso it's attached to as per the MW4 system.

OR

Preferred:
Remove this 50% allocation mechanism from the game completely, and allocate full damage to the next component once one component is destroyed.




Until this damage allocation problem is fixed, the chassis will never be balanced correctly because the same weapons don't do the same damage on different targets. This has made the Centurion completely broken ever since its inception, and we can fix it now.

Once all of the mechs finally have this annoying damage allocation bug fixed, we'll no longer see absurd situations like JR7-F dueling an Atlas head-on and winning with >50% health to spare.

Thank you.

Edited by Hayashi, 26 May 2013 - 07:40 AM.


#2 AlexEss

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

Now the next step is to test if this is a general fault or just a bug with the centurion. The cicada would be a good step to start with as it also have massive shields on each side. and then work your way down the list.

I'd do it but my maths is the worst this side of the pentagon worlds.

#3 Thorqemada

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

Yeah, make Mediums even weaker - 2 PPC 1 Gauss can kill each side section of any Medium with 1 good Alpha and each other with 2 Alphas.

Edited by Thorqemada, 26 May 2013 - 07:38 AM.


#4 Ravennus

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

This is a great theory, and very interesting... even if I have rarely had so many issues killing a centurion. (maybe I'm just good at aiming for their CT or rather large cockpit)


That said, have you actually tested this in-game? I know it would suck for your team mates.... but perhaps drop with a buddy in a cent and let him stand there as you shoot at him from the side and see if you theory holds up?

#5 kuangmk11

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:45 AM

View PostThorqemada, on 26 May 2013 - 07:37 AM, said:

Yeah, make Mediums even weaker - 2 PPC 1 Gauss can kill each side section of any Medium with 1 good Alpha and each other with 2 Alphas.

Balance via bugs is not the way

#6 Lefty Lucy

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

I'm pretty sure that this "arm hitbox still exists" hypothesis is all in your mind.

#7 Hayashi

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:53 AM

View PostRavennus, on 26 May 2013 - 07:42 AM, said:

This is a great theory, and very interesting... even if I have rarely had so many issues killing a centurion. (maybe I'm just good at aiming for their CT or rather large cockpit) That said, have you actually tested this in-game? I know it would suck for your team mates.... but perhaps drop with a buddy in a cent and let him stand there as you shoot at him from the side and see if you theory holds up?

I've observed problems shooting them from the side. That's why I started the policy of shooting every target in the groin... and I haven't had any weird damage issues since.

The team would murder me if I did something like that. Frankly, shooting teammates in an active game should be something left to the PGI QA department. I've sent in a Support ticket.

View Postkuangmk11, on 26 May 2013 - 07:45 AM, said:

Balance via bugs is not the way

This. The sniper situation can be solved through other ways... for instance actually doubling all armor once again across the board. Early closed beta first had the doubling because Swaybacks were one-hit killing their enemies at the time. Now that the one-hit kill situation is back, the same solution might work again. The power of the weapons has increased vastly since that time. Functionally DPS focused builds (high refire, low alpha) do better the longer they fight, which can be achieved by upping armor. Alpha focused builds (slow refire, high alpha) do worse the longer they fight. If the situation is that DPS weapons are now outclassed in favour of one-shot-kill situations, increasing the length of battle would bring the situation into balance.

For instance, nobody complains about a spider being cheesy when they poptart with one ER-PPC, because it takes 12 shots to core you with that. Whereas a Stalker with 6 PPCs will core you in 2 shots, which is a far more severe problem for new players (and a windfall for the alpha builds) given that that means two Stalker PPC boats will kill a target in less than a second.

View PostLefty Lucy, on 26 May 2013 - 07:46 AM, said:

I'm pretty sure that this "arm hitbox still exists" hypothesis is all in your mind.

When the evidence points towards its existence it is more absurd to think that the situation is not this way, than that the situation is this way. I didn't set out to prove that the arm hitbox was still there; I came out with this theory to explain what can easily be proven is the reality.

Edited by Hayashi, 26 May 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#8 Ravennus

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 07:59 AM

It still needs to be tested before we start making claims like this.

I agree that we need to be able to setup custom matches, or allow more than one person in the training room.... but for now, that's not possible.
Another idea is to organize a sync drop. Looks like you are part of a clan, so perhaps give that a try?

#9 TexAce

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:04 AM

this can be tested fast. Take a Hunch 4P with med lasers and a cent and drop together and test

I exptected exactly this all the time

#10 3pak

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:16 AM

As a person who unwittingly bought a Centurion as their first 'Mech and later purchased a Cataphract, this explains a lot. Every time I used my Cataphract, I would be much easier to kill than if I used my Centurion.

#11 Keifomofutu

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:17 AM

View PostHayashi, on 26 May 2013 - 07:53 AM, said:

I've observed problems shooting them from the side. That's why I started the policy of shooting every target in the groin... and I haven't had any weird damage issues since.

The team would murder me if I did something like that. Frankly, shooting teammates in an active game should be something left to the PGI QA department. I've sent in a Support ticket.


This. The sniper situation can be solved through other ways... for instance actually doubling all armor once again across the board. Early closed beta first had the doubling because Swaybacks were one-hit killing their enemies at the time. Now that the one-hit kill situation is back, the same solution might work again. The power of the weapons has increased vastly since that time. Functionally DPS focused builds (high refire, low alpha) do better the longer they fight, which can be achieved by upping armor. Alpha focused builds (slow refire, high alpha) do worse the longer they fight. If the situation is that DPS weapons are now outclassed in favour of one-shot-kill situations, increasing the length of battle would bring the situation into balance.

For instance, nobody complains about a spider being cheesy when they poptart with one ER-PPC, because it takes 12 shots to core you with that. Whereas a Stalker with 6 PPCs will core you in 2 shots, which is a far more severe problem for new players (and a windfall for the alpha builds) given that that means two Stalker PPC boats will kill a target in less than a second.


When the evidence points towards its existence it is more absurd to think that the situation is not this way, than that the situation is this way. I didn't set out to prove that the arm hitbox was still there; I came out with this theory to explain what can easily be proven is the reality.


Rather than doubling armor again I would prefer to double internals to match armor instead. This kills two birds with one stone. It prevents the instakilling/crippling of lights and mediums from one alpha. It also leaves exposed internals up longer giving crit seeking weapons more of a purpose.

#12 Hayashi

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:21 AM

View PostRavennus, on 26 May 2013 - 07:59 AM, said:

It still needs to be tested before we start making claims like this. I agree that we need to be able to setup custom matches, or allow more than one person in the training room.... but for now, that's not possible. Another idea is to organize a sync drop. Looks like you are part of a clan, so perhaps give that a try?

Tested. My friend (Derpinator) loaded 32 points of armour on his right arm and 34/14 on his right torso. His right arm took 11 shots and his right torso took 23 shots to blow. For obvious reasons I can't be shooting 46 lasers to get the CT one confirmed... honestly crippling allies to test this in a live match is already going a bit too far.

The video of the test is uploading at the moment, and will come live in 60 minutes. Problem with HD video size and all that. You can count the lasers for yourself, and you can also see that I'm shooting the same location. This post will be edited later with the embedded video.



Oh. The reason for the nubbiness was I forgot which button was mapped to which group, so I accidentally launched the SRMs. Since that throws off the measurements against the left arm now, I used the fresh right arm to test instead.

Edited by Hayashi, 26 May 2013 - 09:43 AM.


#13 Jman5

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:22 AM

Yeah I submitted this to PGI a month ago, but I don't know if it got anywhere.

Here is what's going on:
When you shoot an arm, leg, or side torso off, there is "debris" left over. When you shoot and hit that debris, only 50% of damage transfers to the next component. A simple example most of you probably already know about is the leg. As you all know, when you shoot off a leg, it becomes limp, but sticks around. By shooting that leg debris, 50% of damage transfers up into the corresponding side torso. (if you've ever shot a broken leg and seen side torso flash, that's whats going on)

However, the problem here is that not all arm debris is created equal. Some mechs have practically no arm debris left over, while others have massive chunks that practically dwarf the side torso. The Centurion is one of those mechs that has a huge chunk of arm debris left over that looks like side torso.

What's more, is that damage reduction is re-applied for every destroyed component the damage transfers through. For example, say you destroy an arm and side torso, but then shoot the "arm debris". 50% of damage transfers to side torso debris and then only 50% of that transfers to Center Torso. Hence you have these nearly unkillable Zombie Centurions.

Now it's important to note that you can still do normal damage to side torsos if you understand where arm debris ends and side torso begins.


Here is a video I recorded in April showcasing the issue. Count the number of shots it takes to kill the left Side Torso when I shoot arm debris and compare it with how long it takes to shoot the Right Side torso when I hit it directly.


And before people say training ground means nothing, it was a real game against an afk centurion that originally tipped me off to this issue.

Edited by Jman5, 26 May 2013 - 08:47 AM.


#14 Krzysztof z Bagien

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:25 AM

From all mechs available in testing grounds only Centurion seems to have this issue.

#15 Lefty Lucy

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:27 AM

Ok, after making my previous flippant statement, I actually went into mechlab to test things out. Of the testing grounds mechs, Atlases and Centurions seem to have large "residual arm hitboxes." On the Atlas I think it has a much smaller effect on overall durability because the Atlases CT is so easy to hit anyways, but on the Cent you can basically only hit the CT by shooting a pretty narrow strip on the front of the mech.

Posted Image

#16 Koniving

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:38 AM

View PostHayashi, on 26 May 2013 - 07:33 AM, said:

Recommended fix

Not-so-preferred:
Completely remove the arm hitbox the moment the arm is blown off. Other mechs like Dragons and Catapults don't have this 'eternal arm' issue. Also, change the system such that shooting a destroyed leg will transfer damage to the other leg, rather than to the side torso it's attached to as per the MW4 system.

OR

Preferred:
Remove this 50% allocation mechanism from the game completely, and allocate full damage to the next component once one component is destroyed.




Until this damage allocation problem is fixed, the chassis will never be balanced correctly because the same weapons don't do the same damage on different targets. This has made the Centurion completely broken ever since its inception, and we can fix it now.

Once all of the mechs finally have this annoying damage allocation bug fixed, we'll no longer see absurd situations like JR7-F dueling an Atlas head-on and winning with >50% health to spare.

Thank you.


To these, My Preferred Fix is that the side torso be completely eliminated both graphically and hitbox-wise when destroyed; whether compacted or simply a huge gaping hole, the trouble with losing a side torso is that it's still there and HUGE in some cases!

I think it'd be better if the side torso simply looked crushed or had an exposed appearance much like the shoulder joint when the arm is blown off. Dangling tubes, chunks of metal, and that whole section of side torso no longer existing or counting against the player with weapons fire. The Centurion would 'zombie' so much better in terms of appearance, and be as difficult to kill without relying on a damage transference bug (since it'd truly only have the width of the center torso once both sides are gone).

Edited by Koniving, 26 May 2013 - 08:38 AM.


#17 Felicitatem Parco

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 09:37 AM

Science!



So, I performed a simple test in the testing grounds... I know the testing grounds Mechs use TRO values of armor, which are just about always symmetrical across the sides of the body, so I chose the Centurion bot there as an ideal test subject.
_____________________________________________________________

Mech Used: Jenner with 4ML

Target Mech: The Centurion CN9-A bot that is present in the testing grounds

Procedure:
1.) Approach within 100m of CN9-A
2.) Fire ML at the anatomical Left arm until destroyed (Left Arm destroyed after 10 ML, observed minor damage transfer to LT armor)
3.) Fire 10 ML's into the broken remnant of Shoulder Joint where the arm detached (LT armor reduced to "red" after 10ML, LT internal structure unharmed)

4.) Fire MLs at the anatomical Right Arm until destroyed (Right Arm destroyed after 10 ML, observed minor damage transfer to RT armor)
5.) Fire 10ML directly into the Right Torso's Pectoral region (Right Torso destroyed upon 10th ML volley)

Results: It was observed that shooting into the remnants of a Centurion's destroyed shoulder delivers significantly less damage to the Side Torso than shooting directly into the side torso delivers. It is also fair to assume that reduced damage caused by shooting a destroyed shoulder is further reduced during the ST->CT damage transfer process on Zombie Cents...

... so big residual arms = Meat Shields! I think the best way to "solve" this problem would be to change the damage transfer Mechanic to by-pass armor, but deliver signicantly reduced damage. That would encourage people to hide their damaged Side Torsos, instead of hiding behind them.

Edited by Prosperity Park, 26 May 2013 - 09:40 AM.


#18 Wintersdark

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 09:59 AM

Tested, with video:

10 shots for the arm, 20 for the left torso, then 34 for the center torso.



Note that I didn't think to try with the shoulder joint specifically, just didn't move.

Make of this what you will.

Edited by Wintersdark, 26 May 2013 - 10:01 AM.


#19 Jman5

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 10:01 AM

In all honesty, I think reduced damage transfer is one of the few things saving the centurion from being an absolute joke. With all the improvements to the network lag, the shifting meta game to high alpha precision sniper builds, and the introduction of more skilled opponents thanks to Elo, I'm scared to think what would happen if this was removed.

If anything, I think PGI should expand this to more mediums. Give them arm debris hanging out like the Centurion because the game is extremely frustrating at the moment.

#20 Deathlike

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 10:07 AM

For the record, the missile doors are closed by default, so if you're comparing side torsos, the left one will always be harder to shoot off (only by a little).

With that said, I'm wondering if it is "working as intended". It's the only thing that makes the Centurion worth taking at all...

Edited by Deathlike, 26 May 2013 - 10:08 AM.






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