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LoS Restrictions Have Been a Problem Since 2015


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Note: I am not against the idea behind LoS. Nor do I think everything should be LoS. It should be a tool in DE's kit to more fine tune the balance/gameplay of abilities.

 

In update 15.0 in March of 2015 DE added a LoS restriction to Radial Blind. Keep in mind that this was deep in the CC meta, Radial Blind was one of the most powerful abilities in the game, this wasn't an "uncalled for" nerf. What it was, was a buggy mess. Enemies that seemed like they should have been blinded weren't and there was a justified outcry about how LoS was dumb. At some point DE band-aided Blind's LoS by having it be enemies Excalibur has seen in the past second or so, and to this day that band-aid has held fairly well.

But let's not move past that DE did not fix LoS. No no, they doubled down on it two patches later with Vivergate where they added a LoS restriction to Radial Javelin, Polarize, and Energy Vampire. While their intentions were understandable, they had just gotten tons of feedback as to how LoS was a buggy mess and then slapped it on a bunch of frames to kill a loot cave (killing the loot cave was a fair goal, Viver was dumb).

And ever since then DE has slapped LoS on things for it to generally go horribly. I know DE has had problems with pattern recognition but given the arguable worst update in Warframe history was tied to LoS I would think something would have stuck.

 

What's my point here? Well, given it has been over five years, whatever mechanics DE uses to code LoS need to either die or undergo a massive revamp. LoS isn't bad, it is a good tool to have, but it needs to work and I don't think that anyone thinks that LoS is working as intended. I'm not a developer, I don't know how difficult this is a thing to do, but as a consumer I find a core mechanic being still broken after five years ridiculous no matter how much of a pain it is to fix.

And as a community our response to broken LoS shouldn't initially be to just remove it. If a thing clearly isn't working as intended then we should be asking for DE to make it work as intended before screaming that the change is bad (because we can't know if it is bad).

 

LoS = Line of Sight

Edited by DrBorris
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Also a problem with line of sight restrictions is that DE clearly doesnt care about how tiles play out, they just care about how good it looks. The new corpus ship defense showed that in a very bad way. With LoS restrictions you become heavily tile set dependant. I get the standpoint of wanting to prevent khora standing in some small cave and hitting everything above but that also means that any kind of ledges, stairs or wall standouts now suddenly become a massive obstacle for the ability khora is structured around.

I agree that survival camping is a problem but just nerfing the top camp frame doesnt solve that issue. Survival itself inherently encourages camping and just slapping LoS restrictions on things doesnt solve that, even if LoS wasnt broken in this game.

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45 minutes ago, Drachnyn said:

Also a problem with line of sight restrictions is that DE clearly doesnt care about how tiles play out, they just care about how good it looks.

There are ways DE could go about to get around this. They could for example tag certain entities as invisible for LoS. When people talk about area of effects being problematic without LoS they are generally talking about abilities going through walls, not the other side of a box. But that would require a lot of work to go back and do. It may not even be a thing Evolution Engine is capable at the moment, so that would require dev time as well.

DE can't have it both ways, I can give it that, but personally I think the value of having a good LoS will net in the long run to be a good use of time.

Edited by DrBorris
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A good example to show how broken LoS is Use Ember in the new Simulcrum room. Get her fire blast up to 100% armor strip, go to the side of the group of enemies, and watch as several of the enemies do not get their armor strip despite clearly being within LoS of ember and within the range of fire blast.

And yeah, LoS implementations these last few years have been very questionable. From Xakus 4 having LoS for enemies, but not containers, Hildryns 2 having it, Baruuks 2 having it. All while other abilities that provide the same effects don’t have such restrictions.

Edited by (XBOX)GearsMatrix301
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LoS is a tool, but it's not a good tool. The way DE handles collision geometry makes LoS too fragile. Increasing the resolution means doing more checks which means worse performance. But depending on the geometry, it doesn't matter how accurate your checks are, they're always going to create a false negative. For example, the stairs on the Corpus Ship tileset have little horizontal slats. Hitting in between them turns them into a shot trap and causes Whipclaw to explode harmlessly.

Spoiler

DIsvhdo.png

And ingame:

Spoiler

giphy.gif

giphy.gif

No matter how accurate your LoS check is, if shots can be eaten by geometry it doesn't matter.

One solution, at least for Whipclaw, would be to use a spherecast instead of a raycast. This would at least prevent cases like this by pulling the explosion off of walls/obstacles so it "airbursts".

Spoiler

n8uu9HG.png

But this means that aiming too close to a corner will cause it to explode early. So it's not even that good of a solution. A better solution is to address the problem without having to rely on something as unreliable as LoS.

Edited by PublikDomain
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This is a cool post, thanks.

I don'teven know how they can fix this. I'm not talking just about khora, but the balance against "through wall" stuff. I think just a few things should pass by walls (I'm not entirelly sure of wich thing could need it, but I can't remeber everything in game), that S#&$ is broken as hell no mater how harmless they are. Radial javelin still passs through some walls... Sometimes I don't even want to kill or break stuff inside a room until I enter, but Umbra does it for me with a single RJ regardless my intentions :crylaugh:.

I don't know anymore, I would value more communication about the change and a deeper explanation, even if it's kinda worthless with some people, as they had to do with the Venari Healing "fix" in Scarlet Spear.

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1 hour ago, vanaukas said:

This is a cool post, thanks.

I don'teven know how they can fix this. I'm not talking just about khora, but the balance against "through wall" stuff. I think just a few things should pass by walls (I'm not entirelly sure of wich thing could need it, but I can't remeber everything in game), that S#&$ is broken as hell no mater how harmless they are. Radial javelin still passs through some walls... Sometimes I don't even want to kill or break stuff inside a room until I enter, but Umbra does it for me with a single RJ regardless my intentions :crylaugh:.

I don't know anymore, I would value more communication about the change and a deeper explanation, even if it's kinda worthless with some people, as they had to do with the Venari Healing "fix" in Scarlet Spear.

I'm confused as to what passing through walls has to do with line of sight. Is it not possible to just make it so that the wall blocks stuff? I thought this was already a mechanic in game. If the walls blocked things, then this entire LoS thing for Khora specifically wouldn't be a big deal since the issue with her isn't hitting things through walls, but around corners.

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Just now, _Tormex_ said:

I'm confused as to what passing through walls has to do with line of sight. Is it not possible to just make it so that the wall blocks stuff? I thought this was already a mechanic in game. If the walls blocked things, then this entire LoS thing for Khora specifically wouldn't be a big deal since the issue with her isn't hitting things through walls, but around corners.

I used to think the same honestly, but it seems we got all wrong. I wish it was more simple: You see it? Killable. You don't? Then no.

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1 minute ago, _Tormex_ said:

I'm confused as to what passing through walls has to do with line of sight. Is it not possible to just make it so that the wall blocks stuff? I thought this was already a mechanic in game. If the walls blocked things, then this entire LoS thing for Khora specifically wouldn't be a big deal since the issue with her isn't hitting things through walls, but around corners.

Whipclaw could hit through walls before the change. For example, being in the left room you could hit enemies through the wall in the right room:

UTT0AI5.png

This was entirely doable and very reliable. It sounds like a problem, and it is, but it doesn't really show up in practical gameplay unless players are being encouraged to camp in a sewer for hours at a time for a resource that only drops reliably when you farm it that way. By adding LoS you can prevent this, but now you have an ability that will get caught on random geometry and make hits that should connect poof into nothingness.

giphy.gif

You've solved one problem by introducing another. And the problem you've introduced affects legitimate players far more than the ones camping in a sewer. Not only because sewer campers can still hit through walls using Strangledome, but also because DE went and destroyed the farm people were encouraged to participate in in the first place.

You could try and mark individual walls to block line of sight, but Warframe is a massive game with a ton of tilesets you'd need to comb through. There's no practical way to address this in a timely manner. And what about the ground? Certain terrain shapes can block what should be allowable hits. You can't make the terrain block LoS, or legitimate hits can get eaten by small dips and hills in the terrain. You can't not make the terrain block LoS because obviously the ground should block hits. LoS isn't a practical solution.

Instead, DE could have addressed this by addressing the reason people were playing this way to begin with. Which they did, so the LoS nerf wasn't necessary to begin with. Or they could address this in other ways, like by adding damage falloff so hitting through walls still works but is just much less practical.

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7 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

Whipclaw could hit through walls before the change. For example, being in the left room you could hit enemies through the wall in the right room:

UTT0AI5.png

This was entirely doable and very reliable. It sounds like a problem, and it is, but it doesn't really show up in practical gameplay unless players are being encouraged to camp in a sewer for hours at a time for a resource that only drops reliably when you farm it that way. By adding LoS you can prevent this, but now you have an ability that will get caught on random geometry and make hits that should connect poof into nothingness.

giphy.gif

You've solved one problem by introducing another. And the problem you've introduced affects legitimate players far more than the ones camping in a sewer. Not only because sewer campers can still hit through walls using Strangledome, but also because DE went and destroyed the farm people were encouraged to participate in in the first place.

You could try and mark individual walls to block line of sight, but Warframe is a massive game with a ton of tilesets you'd need to comb through. There's no practical way to address this in a timely manner. And what about the ground? Certain terrain shapes can block what should be allowable hits. You can't make the terrain block LoS, or legitimate hits can get eaten by small dips and hills in the terrain. You can't not make the terrain block LoS because obviously the ground should block hits. LoS isn't a practical solution.

Instead, DE could have addressed this by addressing the reason people were playing this way to begin with. Which they did, so the LoS nerf wasn't necessary to begin with. Or they could address this in other ways, like by adding damage falloff so hitting through walls still works but is just much less

ty for the proper explanation, now it's more clear

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I have been in Ember, surrounded by enemies with my 2 at max heat, and let loose with what I thought was going to be a nice, strong Fire Blast that was going to hit a bunch of enemies and strip armor and ramp up my passive for an epic cast of my 4.  I was surrounded.  Enemies in every direction, all obviously had LOS on me because they were shooting me.  Actively shooting me.  Surrounded.

I.  Hit.  Nothing.

This has happened to me several times.

This exact issue has been reported and clearly documented dozens and dozens of times and DE has never acknowledged it and it probably isn't even on their radar.  They take one look at issues like these and say "Looks good from my house." and leave it.

One of the many reasons I am so vehemently against player nerfs is because DE doesn't have a clue what they're doing on so many fronts and they almost always screw stuff up when they go re-touching on something they actually managed to not screw up the first time around.  Everything they do is either over-nerf or over-buff, and while they will 100% eventually get back around to nerfing the hell out of anything they accidentally made useful, they almost never get back around to fixing things they nerfed into the dirt.  Take a look at Viral and Gas if you want an example.  I'm waiting on a Viral nerf because I know it's coming.  I'm not even going to think about pretending to hold my breath for Gas ever not being total trash again.

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40 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

Whipclaw could hit through walls before the change. For example, being in the left room you could hit enemies through the wall in the right room:

UTT0AI5.png

This was entirely doable and very reliable. It sounds like a problem, and it is, but it doesn't really show up in practical gameplay unless players are being encouraged to camp in a sewer for hours at a time for a resource that only drops reliably when you farm it that way. By adding LoS you can prevent this, but now you have an ability that will get caught on random geometry and make hits that should connect poof into nothingness.

giphy.gif

You've solved one problem by introducing another. And the problem you've introduced affects legitimate players far more than the ones camping in a sewer. Not only because sewer campers can still hit through walls using Strangledome, but also because DE went and destroyed the farm people were encouraged to participate in in the first place.

You could try and mark individual walls to block line of sight, but Warframe is a massive game with a ton of tilesets you'd need to comb through. There's no practical way to address this in a timely manner. And what about the ground? Certain terrain shapes can block what should be allowable hits. You can't make the terrain block LoS, or legitimate hits can get eaten by small dips and hills in the terrain. You can't not make the terrain block LoS because obviously the ground should block hits. LoS isn't a practical solution.

Instead, DE could have addressed this by addressing the reason people were playing this way to begin with. Which they did, so the LoS nerf wasn't necessary to begin with. Or they could address this in other ways, like by adding damage falloff so hitting through walls still works but is just much less practical.

Wow that cleared things up for me thanks!

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48 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

Which they did, so the LoS nerf wasn't necessary to begin with.

It looks necessary to their eyes. Being able to deal millions of damage in one button press and you can kill Room 1 of enemies and Room 2 of enemies at the same time looks pretty cheesy. Saryn, Mesa, and Equinox can't reach that high levels of damage.

They also balanced things around usage and statistics. If an item is used by 50% of the community, that's a red flag for DE to swing the nerf hammer.

Edited by DrivaMain
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the only problem is it suffer the issues melee had when changes to line of sight, the ability should punch through so it dosent get blocked and become unreliable (like hildy haven as example where her line of sight was at feet level x.x)

or when you could not melee through enemies, or when 2 mm of invisible wall would block the enemy.

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8 hours ago, DrivaMain said:

It looks necessary to their eyes. Being able to deal millions of damage in one button press and you can kill Room 1 of enemies and Room 2 of enemies at the same time looks pretty cheesy. Saryn, Mesa, and Equinox can't reach that high levels of damage.

They also balanced things around usage and statistics. If an item is used by 50% of the community, that's a red flag for DE to swing the nerf hammer.

If they were concerned about the damage, they should have addressed the damage. LoS restrictions still allow the exact same amount of damage to explode the exact same number of enemies at once. It's just that sometimes it doesn't work at all. Nothing about the "millions of damage in one button press" has changed.

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21 час назад, (XBOX)GearsMatrix301 сказал:

A good example to show how broken LoS is Use Ember in the new Simulcrum room. Get her fire blast up to 100% armor strip, go to the side of the group of enemies, and watch as several of the enemies do not get their armor strip despite clearly being within LoS of ember and within the range of fire blast.

Because corpses are objects. They'll eat bullets too. That one is a mechanic I wouldn't mind getting deleted.

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10 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

Whipclaw could hit through walls before the change. For example, being in the left room you could hit enemies through the wall in the right room:

UTT0AI5.png

This was entirely doable and very reliable. It sounds like a problem, and it is, but it doesn't really show up in practical gameplay unless players are being encouraged to camp in a sewer for hours at a time for a resource that only drops reliably when you farm it that way. By adding LoS you can prevent this, but now you have an ability that will get caught on random geometry and make hits that should connect poof into nothingness.

giphy.gif

You've solved one problem by introducing another. And the problem you've introduced affects legitimate players far more than the ones camping in a sewer. Not only because sewer campers can still hit through walls using Strangledome, but also because DE went and destroyed the farm people were encouraged to participate in in the first place.

You could try and mark individual walls to block line of sight, but Warframe is a massive game with a ton of tilesets you'd need to comb through. There's no practical way to address this in a timely manner. And what about the ground? Certain terrain shapes can block what should be allowable hits. You can't make the terrain block LoS, or legitimate hits can get eaten by small dips and hills in the terrain. You can't not make the terrain block LoS because obviously the ground should block hits. LoS isn't a practical solution.

Instead, DE could have addressed this by addressing the reason people were playing this way to begin with. Which they did, so the LoS nerf wasn't necessary to begin with. Or they could address this in other ways, like by adding damage falloff so hitting through walls still works but is just much less practical.

Or just remove khora or the two mechanics she utterly abuses from the game, because it's pretty clear what's broken here and it isn't geometry, and if you really think Steve and other people watching player metrics was fine with a particular group of players making six figures of kuva per hour, I'd like to also have you point out in the past when that level of farming was ever kosher. ever.

Edited by -Kittens-
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13 minutes ago, -Kittens- said:

Or just remove khora or the two mechanics she utterly abuses from the game, because it's pretty clear what's broken here and it isn't geometry, and if you [i]really[/i] think Steve and other people watching player metrics was fine with a particular group of players making six figures of kuva per hour, I'd like to also have you point out in the past when that level of farming was ever kosher. ever.

Ah, yes, just remove the Warframe entirely. That'll fix it! /s

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6 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

If they were concerned about the damage, they should have addressed the damage. LoS restrictions still allow the exact same amount of damage to explode the exact same number of enemies at once. It's just that sometimes it doesn't work at all. Nothing about the "millions of damage in one button press" has changed.

They are scared touching damage directly because it may remove the “power fantasy” feel and may make Whipclaw completely unusable. Their philosphy of nerfing is “Keep the insane damage, but make it less spammable“. 

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5 minutes ago, DrivaMain said:

They are scared touching damage directly because it may remove the “power fantasy” feel and may make Whipclaw completely unusable. Their philosphy of nerfing is “Keep the insane damage, but make it less spammable“. 

Ironically, the LoS change makes spamming Whipclaw even more important, because every once in a while your Whipclaw is a complete dud and you have to spam it again. DE's nerfing "philosophy" feels a lot more "make hasty, poorly-executed kneejerk changes without doing proper research or testing".

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10 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

Ironically, the LoS change makes spamming Whipclaw even more important, because every once in a while your Whipclaw is a complete dud and you have to spam it again. DE's nerfing "philosophy" feels a lot more "make hasty, poorly-executed kneejerk changes without doing proper research or testing".

^^This^^

I find myself spamming even more now because after ~800h on Khora I had gotten pretty use to her mechanics and now it's totally different. 

I became a pretty good judge on in game distances. I always chose very specific locations to cast Strangledome so I could get enemies stuck behind walls or on geometry in specific locations. I knew how far away I had to be and where to aim when I cast Whipclaw so that I could use the the blast radius to hit enemies behind walls or in another room. It took a lot of practice, learning tiles, knowing the range and duration of your abilities and quickly judging distances. 

Everyone thinks Khora is a brain dead campy frame. She can be played like that, but that's not how I played, I was always active. I could set dome and create chokepoints and leave them to group enemies. Meanwhile, I could move to another dome I had previously set, kill the enemies there and set a new dome before I went back to the other dome. With well placed domes I could cc huge areas and always be on the move killing things. I enjoyed a fast paced glass cannon cc frame. It was high risk high rewards

Now if I play her like I learned it's just a fail. I'll whip and totally miss. I have to go through doorways and whip enemies stuck on the other side of a wall. Before I could kill those enemies for 20m+ away. I waste 50m going there and back. Sometimes whip just fails on enemies still stuck in dome and you have to wait for dome duration to expire. I waste energy and time whipping because LOS detection is totally scuffed. 

It's not enjoyable anymore. It's not the frame I played for 800 hours. I'd rather DE reduce her damage or something if they felt she was too powerful. IMO LOS or Khora is not the problem melee is. 

A couple months ago I forgot to take an extinguished dragon key off after unveiling a riven. I was running a SP survival on Nyx testing a build and ended up taking it to max lvl doing -75% damage. I didn't notice a difference. Melee is that strong, even though I was doing -75% damage I was still walking through max lvl SP enemies with a Nami Skyla Prime. 

Sorry I didn't mean to rant. DE just killed my most played frame and I'm a little pissed.

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2 hours ago, Berzerkules said:

Sorry I didn't mean to rant. DE just killed my most played frame and I'm a little pissed.

They tried it with Venari and it was overturned, so as long as people keep posting about it the same can happen here. The LoS check is a clearly, unarguably broken mechanic when applied to Whipclaw. There are other ways DE can nerf her if they want to that don't break functionality.

Edited by PublikDomain
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2 hours ago, Berzerkules said:

Everyone thinks Khora is a brain dead campy frame. She can be played like that, but that's not how I played, I was always active. I could set dome and create chokepoints and leave them to group enemies. Meanwhile, I could move to another dome I had previously set, kill the enemies there and set a new dome before I went back to the other dome. With well placed domes I could cc huge areas and always be on the move killing things. I enjoyed a fast paced glass cannon cc frame. It was high risk high rewards

Now if I play her like I learned it's just a fail. I'll whip and totally miss. I have to go through doorways and whip enemies stuck on the other side of a wall. Before I could kill those enemies for 20m+ away. I waste 50m going there and back. Sometimes whip just fails on enemies still stuck in dome and you have to wait for dome duration to expire. I waste energy and time whipping because LOS detection is totally scuffed. 

Feels the same to me. It didn't change my 8 zone ESO performance at all. I used her in some of today's Steel Essence alerts... for solo Mithra Interception, some Sedna Survival, and the Ceres Defense alert. I guess Mithra and Ceres Defense are more open maps that would avoid any LoS problems. The Sedna Survival map is Grineer Asteroid with more obstacles (hallways and such)... I still didn't notice any big difference. Maybe you're a victim of confirmation bias after reading the patch notes? I mean, Whipclaw was always bound to miss/fail even before this update. I'm particularly attentive to failed Whipclaws since I use Naramon! Well, at least with respect to my playstyle, I'm thankful DE didn't break Khora for me.

Now just from gifs posted here, I suppose players who like to use Whipclaw by itself will notice more? But I can't really usually justify using Whipclaw by itself. It's gotta be a very high density of enemies...usually as a result of Ensnare/Strangledome.

On principle, I think Strangledome shouldn't be able to grab enemies through walls and floors. Though I'm very happy it does... ESO particularly has lots of closed map tiles like Kuva Fortress. It would be extremely challenging to beat Kuva Fortress tiles with Khora without Strangledome working the way it currently does.

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