PDA

View Full Version : Attack Animation



Drake Clawfang
05-19-2009, 08:07 PM
I'm just wondering if this is something that has been noted by the devs. Beyond cooldown and damage types, there's no other damage types in StarCraft -

First, some attacks are instant hits, some have an animation of a projectile. Projectile attacks have a slight delay between the unit attack, and the target taking damage. A perfect example is the Goliath, or really any unit with a missile attack - the missiles fire, but must travel to the target. The effects of this should be obvious - the Marine attacks, it does damage, the Goliath or Wraith attacks, they fire missiles that hit the target and do damage.

The other attack type is affected by the unit's "pose" when attacking. For example, the Marine's attack animation is quick - lower a rifle, it takes a split second. For units like the Siege Tank or Devourer, the attack doesn't immediately initiate, the Tank's barrel has to turn around and the Devourer has to rear back its mouth to spit the acid.

I apologize if something like this doesn't make a big difference in competitive play, but it seems like it could. I'm just wondering if this is something that's being noted by the devs.

GRUNT
05-19-2009, 09:00 PM
Oh, it definitely does, and I feel that this especially shows with Mutalisks.

It's tricky because Mutalisks never behave the way I want them to :p. Even when in range of their target, they never quite seem to fire off their glaive wurm with the responsiveness that I'd like.

However, rather than affecting competitive play, this is what makes competitive play so competitive. Different units require different micro skills to use effectively.

Pros make Mutalisk usage look so EASY. But even they don't always have impeccable mutalisk micro - it's not uncommon to see them move a clump of mutas into range of a target, and then pull back without getting a shot off, because their timing was a little off.

It's not very easy to do, but that's what allows for so many levels in skill :].

Drake Clawfang
05-19-2009, 09:27 PM
Ah, I see. Imagine then, other posters, how different Mutalisk micro would work if their Glave Wurms hit instantly like the Hydralisk's spines?

GRUNT
05-19-2009, 10:01 PM
At the point the attack is made, whether it instantly hits the target or not, the target WILL take damage unless the target is on higher ground, when a miss % factor might come into play (or behind a tree, I think :p).

Because of that, I don't think it'll affect micro too much. To use Mutalisks as an example again, you want your mutas to take as little damage as possible, so you'll always run them in, shoot, then pull back at the earliest possible second. Whether or not its projectile hits the target instantly or not shouldn't affect your timing and micro in terms of when you move your mutas in, order them to attack the enemy, and then pull them back.

Drake Clawfang
05-19-2009, 10:09 PM
True, but as unlikely as it may be, consider this.

A Goliath has 5 HP, a Scout has 5 HP. Seemingly an open and shut fight, right? Say the Scout flies at the Goliath from behind. By the time the Goliath turns and shoots, its missiles are in the air but the Scout is close enough to attack and both are destroyed. If the Goliath had a different attack animation, in another world it would survive.

GRUNT
05-19-2009, 10:32 PM
True, but as unlikely as it may be, consider this.

A Goliath has 5 HP, a Scout has 5 HP. Seemingly an open and shut fight, right? Say the Scout flies at the Goliath from behind. By the time the Goliath turns and shoots, its missiles are in the air but the Scout is close enough to attack and both are destroyed. If the Goliath had a different attack animation, in another world it would survive.

Yeah, it would. Frankly, I think that insta-damage is 'strictly' better than having some kind of projectile attack. However, as I pointed out with my Mutalisk example, there are times when it wouldn't make a difference.

In contrast, the most noticeable instance where delay between when the attack is made and when the damage is dealt can be seen with Lurkers (at least, this is my feeling). If Lurkers dealt damage in that line instantly, they'd be so much scarier :P. As it is, it's possible to dodge the darn things.

But then, the Lurker's attack doesn't 'home in' on targets like the Goliath's missiles would.

I'm sure that the devs realise this, but also weigh 'flavour' (it is rather cool to see all those missiles blossoming out of an army of Goliaths) vs pure effectiveness (insta-damage). I believe that oftentimes, the loss of effectiveness is way too minute (Mutalisk micro, for example) to consider having them do insta-damage, and so flavour wins. I know that the way I said this makes it sound as if competitive gaming is taking a blow, but I really don't think it is.

The tricky thing (at least to me) is the delay between when you order a unit to attack something and when it actually attacks. Regardless of whether the Dragoon's attack (for example) hit instantly, or travels for a little while (as it currently does), it takes a while to actually fire the shot - that's where the tricky bit comes in when you micro it. If you ask it to run away too soon, it won't fire because it didn't finish its animation.

Nicol Bolas
05-19-2009, 11:13 PM
I don't think it makes enough of a difference often enough to matter. Occasionally, you get pathological missile movement (where a missile takes forever to hit), but it's so rare that it's a non-issue. These little differences just don't matter enough to make a big enough difference to be a design element for, except in the most extreme cases.

The old Thor, for example, specifically had a turning-rate issue that units would specifically have been able to take advantage of. But in its case, the turning rate was very slow, not the 100-200 milliseconds of most turn&shoot animations in SC1.

Unless it's noticeable enough to be a balancing agent, it isn't worth bothering over. Some attacks will be some way, others will be another.

unentschieden
05-20-2009, 05:25 AM
It actually will make a bigger difference in SC2 but not in that way. The Raven has a Defence Drone that intercepts Projectiles.
Outside of that itīs so minor itīs a "soft" balance issue. There is a small number ofsituations the issue applies and in even less it makes a difference. Itīs like complaining that the WC2 Ballista had one more animation frame than the Catapult.

Blazur
05-20-2009, 09:08 AM
It's a shame there's no attacks which can be dodged, like the missile Nicole described. Nearly every attack is instant, or will seek out its target when there's a visual delay.

Take the stalkers attack as an example. Once that fires upon a target it will track that target until it connects. Likewise for the Yamato cannon on the BC. Imaging if there were attacks you could dodge by blinking away, burrowing or hopping up a cliff?

The closest we get to that is the HSM, but only because it has a timed life and might be able to get shot down. Otherwise this missile really acts like any other ranged attack...so is nothing spectacular.

I'd like to see bombs which works in a similar fashion and can be avoided. Really, the only attack right now which can be manually avoided is the nuke.

Nicol Bolas
05-20-2009, 12:11 PM
Imaging if there were attacks you could dodge by blinking away, burrowing or hopping up a cliff?

Why would you want that? I got my units into position to attack yours. I deserve to do damage, and if I don't, then it should be an explicit rule as to why not (Dark Swarm, etc), not the vagaries of how they happened to decide how my attack gets drawn.


Really, the only attack right now which can be manually avoided is the nuke.

And Psi Storm. The BC's missile barrage. The Infestor's Disease (and Fungal Infestation before it). Razor Swarm.

Eligor
05-20-2009, 12:33 PM
And not to forget the HSM, where forcing the opponent to dodge it for a continuous amount of time is the point of the ability.