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Tchernobog

Reflex and CPMA Movement Physics

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I recently went onto the ArenaFPS reddit page asking what the exact differences were between Reflex's movement physics and CPMA's. Smilecythe made some comments and it seems like he has a pretty good idea on how to improve movement in Reflex. 

Here's the thread for anyone who wants to read, share your thoughts on it if you'd like. 

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArenaFPS/comments/4u794y/reflex_and_cpma_movement_physics/

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6 hours ago, Tchernobog said:

I recently went onto the ArenaFPS reddit page asking what the exact differences were between Reflex's movement physics and CPMA's. Smilecythe made some comments and it seems like he has a pretty good idea on how to improve movement in Reflex. 

Here's the thread for anyone who wants to read, share your thoughts on it if you'd like. 

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArenaFPS/comments/4u794y/reflex_and_cpma_movement_physics/

Opinions... I like Reflex's movement. It's a nice change from CPM and the +forward behavior is useful not just in race but also other modes. I got over the whole wallclipping thing but I'll be interested to see how it's implemented.

Keep in mind that thinking about movement in isolation from other gameplay mechanics is problematic. If you make the movement faster/slower, you'll need to start rethinking weapon balances.  It has to be thought of as an ecology - a tweak to one mechanic can have consequences across the board.

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2 hours ago, lolograde said:

Keep in mind that thinking about movement in isolation from other gameplay mechanics is problematic. If you make the movement faster/slower, you'll need to start rethinking weapon balances.  It has to be thought of as an ecology - a tweak to one mechanic can have consequences across the board.

You don't even need to change the speed and behavior of movement though to fix what (I perceive as) the unintuitive nature of W vs. A/D strafing. Imho it's pointlessly complicated (learning both W and A/D strafing). This is particularly the case with all the players coming from source games, who have specifically learned NOT to hold W for aircontrol unless they are trying to travel through the air sideways.

"It would also then be more consistent in my opinion, if 'one key' turning emulated QW movement and 'two key' turning emulated Q3 movement" - @Smilecythe
Definitely a suggestion that I am a fan of. To mitigate what some consider the problem of removing W strafe behavior, you could make A/D at tighter angles put the player at a constant speed.

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Calling it W-strafing is so weird, because you're not actually strafing. That said, w aircontrol is not something new as it was very much the dominant way of moving around in Painkiller.

Personally I like the Reflex movement a lot, and to many people cs aircontrol doesn't feel intuitive at first, it only feels intuitive to you because that's what you're used to.

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55 minutes ago, Terifire said:

Calling it W-strafing is so weird, because you're not actually strafing.  

Not in Reflex maybe, but in QW/Source it's strafing in every sense of the word.

56 minutes ago, Terifire said:

That said, w aircontrol is not something new as it was very much the dominant way of moving around in Painkiller.

It's the most dominant way to move left and right forwards, because it's the only way to do that (S to do the equivalent in backwards). Painkiller movement is essentially QW, except W/S and A/D do the complete opposite things. In Painkiller A/D fills the other half of the movement which is sideways movement, you see it being used in almost every high skill duel video. Also in Painkiller if you change strafing keys in air, you won't be turning differently until after you land. This makes it an interesting challenge to do the simplest things such as rocket boosting off of a wall. 

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15 minutes ago, Terifire said:

I am confused here, with w people mean forward right? How is that strafing?

In Reflex/CPMA, forward/back gives you the same exact maneuverability as left/right does and that takes away the possibility to circle around objects with your front or backside fixed on them. You can do an experiment, find a pillar somewhere (or create a map with a pillar on it) then try circling around it using A/D with either your right or left side always fixed on the pillar. Easy right? Now try circling around it with your forward side fixed on the pillar or just try to point your crosshair at it and go around a full circle. It should then become apparent that an essential part of the movement is missing. 

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8 minutes ago, Smilecythe said:

In Reflex/CPMA, forward/back gives you the same exact maneuverability as left/right does and that takes away the possibility to circle around objects with your front or backside fixed on them. You can do an experiment, find a pillar somewhere (or create a map with a pillar on it) then try circling around it using A/D with either your right or left side always fixed on the pillar. Easy right? Now try circling around it with your forward side fixed on the pillar or just try to point your crosshair at it and go around a full circle. It should then become apparent that an essential part of the movement is missing. 

Like so? 

It's still moving forward, just turning, not exactly the same as moving sideways.

There is a difference between +w aircontrol and +a/d aircontrol though, at low speeds +w gives more control, but a/d gives more speed while turning.

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Setting aside the fact that by turning this way, you don't gain any speed. But I've got to say, 0:10 - That's a very good control you have with W. Honestly I did not know that was possible, but it still doesn't rid of the inconsistency problem. You can also rotate around the pillar with your left/right pointing at it by using W as well right? There's two possible ways to use W as you've just illustrated. 0:10 - Now try to do that same maneuver with A or D only, turn around the pilar with A or D while keeping your crosshair fixed on it. You will notice some weird inconsistency in turning behavior. 

When you're done pondering about that, I would also like you to try this:

51yfWcr.png

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I personally do not like how Reflex movement is primitive and slowed down compared to CPM.

  • Because of higher friction it has higher circle jump trajectory, thus it takes more time to perform and you get lesser speed.
  • You always either get stuck on long stairs or fly to the ceiling cause of triple jump. In CPM you can scroll stairs without loosing speed.
  • Weaker A/D turnings = you have less control => less abilities to keep speed on turning, lesser speed acceleration.
  • Lack of skimming. It is just such a pain to try perform double jumps, rocket jumps, you get stuck when you hit a player model, you get stuck whet you hit corners, you get stuck when you hit badly clipped mesh. The movement is very rough atm.  So let's look how the dev-team will implement it.
  • Low gravity value and perhaps a higher jump height. I must be crazy but it's kinda seems to me that it's should be different.

Summing up, I want to say that the movement system should be built by someone who is not familiar with that on the basic level but who really understand all the subtleties and aspects of it and who really has dived deep into it.

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2 hours ago, Smilecythe said:

Setting aside the fact that by turning this way, you don't gain any speed. But I've got to say, 0:10 - That's a very good control you have with W. Honestly I did not know that was possible, but it still doesn't rid of the inconsistency problem. You can also rotate around the pillar with your left/right pointing at it by using W as well right? There's two possible ways to use W as you've just illustrated. 0:10 - Now try to do that same maneuver with A or D only, turn around the pilar with A or D while keeping your crosshair fixed on it. You will notice some weird inconsistency in turning behavior. 

When you're done pondering about that, I would also like you to try this:

51yfWcr.png

That is possible, but it's very hard to line up, i can't do it without losing some speed. W/S circling only works at a fairly specific angle speed, if you turn harder you'll lose speed, if you turn a bit less it's even possible to gain speed, but it's pretty iffy. So despite looking a bit like A/D when circling around a fixed point it isn't really like it.

Personally i don't really care about the inconsistency, the function W/S turning has is different from A/D turning and that's fine with me, current W/S turning definitely has more use than QW W/S turning. I'd not be opposed to the one key QW two key Q3 option either though.

In general i don't think movement is in a terrible place at the moment (except for the lack of skimming), so while i'd personally enjoy a bit more aircontrol i can handle movement being not being a priority on the list of things to fix right now.

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Yes, I know it's possible. But just because you can get around it with iffy techniques, doesn't mean it can't be made more consistent. Here's a simple way to look at it: When you run forward with 320 ups speed, you would expect that you can run left and right with 320 ups as well. It would be weird if running behaved differently when you run to left or right, let's say you run slower or that you can't turn as smoothly while running sideways or some shit like that. This is a good metaphor for how airstrafing works in both CPM/Reflex and why I have issue with it's inconsistency. 

There's a total of 8 directions that you can move. Left, right, up, down and every diagonal direction in between when pressing two buttons simultaneously. In CPM/Reflex, pressing two directional keys triggers Q3 like airstrafe/acceleration behavior, pressing A or D triggers QW-like behavior and pressing W or S does a little bit of everything(?). Every maneuver you can do with A/D you can also do with W/S (except you don't gain speed), however you can't do the maneuver shown in Terifire's video (0:10) with A/D. There's inconsistency in behavior because what you could do facing to other direction isn't doable while facing another direction. This is comparable to what I said in the first paragraph. 

Summing it up, I think it would be consistent if turning with one key results in QW like behavior and turning with two keys results with Q3 behavior, without fail no matter the direction of view or movement. 

16 minutes ago, seekax said:

current W/S turning definitely has more use than QW W/S turning.

Current W/S movement is essentially used for the same kind of movement that you'd do with A/D, just with more freedom for sharper turns and less acceleration. To me, there's very little value in a technique like that. There's very little value in having two different techniques that does the same thing slightly differently. QW's W/S turning opens up a whole spectrum of movement that's either lacking or iffy in Reflex at the moment. 

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2 minutes ago, Smilecythe said:

Current W/S movement is essentially used for the same kind of movement that you'd do with A/D, just with more freedom for sharper turns and less acceleration. To me, there's very little value in a technique like that. QW's W/S turning opens up a whole spectrum of movement that's either lacking or iffy in Reflex at the moment. 

Being able to do sharper turns without losing speed seems quite useful to me, i use that quite often to connect strafes around sharp corners. I can't think of many scenarios where W/S turning is useful for anything but showing off. In bhop people use it occasionally for telehops, which don't work in the same way in reflex. In reflex you could maybe use it to circle around your opponent, but how often are you actually going to do that.

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5 minutes ago, seekax said:

Being able to do sharper turns without losing speed seems quite useful to me, i use that quite often to connect strafes around sharp corners. 

But whats the point of being able to do those same moves with less sharper turns? This is like having a strong rocket launcher and a weaker rocket launcher in the weapon arsenal.

5 minutes ago, seekax said:

I can't think of many scenarios where W/S turning is useful for anything but showing off. In bhop people use it occasionally for telehops, which don't work in the same way in reflex. In reflex you could maybe use it to circle around your opponent, but how often are you actually going to do that.

You've never used it, that's why. QW and Painkiller players use that movement a lot. Here's a good (rather extreme perhaps) example of W turning in Quakeworld: 

It's not showing off, it's circling around your opponent while facing directly at him. This kind of movement is especially convenient in use with LG for example. 

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9 minutes ago, Smilecythe said:

But whats the point of being able to do those same moves with less sharper turns? This is like having a strong rocket launcher and a weaker rocket launcher in the weapon arsenal.

You've never used it, that's why. QW and Painkiller players use that movement a lot. Here's a good (rather extreme perhaps) example of W turning in Quakeworld: 

It's not showing off, it's circling around your opponent while facing directly at him. This kind of movement is especially convenient in use with LG for example. 

That map is basically one big square, most reflex maps have hallways, this type of circling happens very rarely.

This is the type of jump W turning is very useful for, people use it all the time in race. Sure you could do that with A/D as well, but it would make the jump a lot harder.

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7 hours ago, klyph0rd said:

You don't even need to change the speed and behavior of movement though to fix what (I perceive as) the unintuitive nature of W vs. A/D strafing. Imho it's pointlessly complicated (learning both W and A/D strafing). This is particularly the case with all the players coming from source games, who have specifically learned NOT to hold W for aircontrol unless they are trying to travel through the air sideways.

"It would also then be more consistent in my opinion, if 'one key' turning emulated QW movement and 'two key' turning emulated Q3 movement" - @Smilecythe
Definitely a suggestion that I am a fan of. To mitigate what some consider the problem of removing W strafe behavior, you could make A/D at tighter angles put the player at a constant speed.

You don't need to learn both. Unless you're planning to get deep into race, a player with be just fine learning to circle jump,  bunnyhop, and use strafe around corners.  Do you really think people are going to be moving around non-race maps at >1200ups regularly? 

The CPM-style movement in Reflex allows for more dodging options than QW movement. Removing it would hurt combat.

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12 minutes ago, seekax said:

This is the type of jump W turning is very useful for, people use it all the time in race. Sure you could do that with A/D as well, but it would make the jump a lot harder.

You're thinking about the movement too much in how convenient it is to move forward. There's a reason why Defraggers/Racers never complain about this inconsistency and that is because there's only one necessary way to move in race; forwards. That is the best and easiest way to go from point A to point B, moving sideways would be just a spontaneous challenge and showing off.. But fighting against an opponent in an arena is a different story. 

Imagine if Reflex movement was just running (no jumping), you would go forward if you press forward key and then for some reason, you would also move forward if you pressed left or right (only difference being that you can make sharper turns). This would eliminate strafe dodging entirely, only way to do that would be to move left and right while facing forward to those directions. This would of course not be a problem in a race like mode, because the best way to move there is facing forwards. 

There's absolutely no point in having two different techniques that do each other's job differently. Unless of course this game was made for racing and where movement would emphasize on moving forward and forward only. 

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10 minutes ago, lolograde said:

The CPM-style movement in Reflex allows for more dodging options than QW movement. Removing it would hurt combat.

Wrong. You would just have to not use W as a medium between switching from A/D and W+A/D. That is the only imaginable restriction it would put to your movement; you using the wrong keys. It's as simple as that. 

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51 minutes ago, Smilecythe said:

Wrong. You would just have to not use W as a medium between switching from A/D and W+A/D. That is the only imaginable restriction it would put to your movement; you using the wrong keys. It's as simple as that. 

I disagree. Dodging while at a standstill in CPM/Reflex is more effective than in QW. And that's a large proportion of when fights occur in Reflex, not at warp speed. Certainly not in duel.

A word to replace your use of consistency would be redundancy.  There's no imperative to make the behavior of every movement key be the same. The fact they operate differently is useful in some situations and I think that makes the movement deeper.

The only time you NEED to use W to switch strafe is when every ups counts: in race mode. If a player losing minor bits of speed around corners is determining the outcome of games, they are not playing the game right. 

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10 minutes ago, lolograde said:

I disagree. Dodging while at a standstill in CPM/Reflex is more effective than in QW. And that's a large proportion of when fights occur in Reflex, not at warp speed. Certainly not in duel.

A word to replace your use of consistency would be redundancy.  There's no imperative to make the behavior of every movement key be the same. The fact they operate differently is useful in some situations and I think that makes the movement deeper.

The only time you NEED to use W to switch strafe is when every ups counts: in race mode. If a player losing minor bits of speed around corners is determining the outcome of games, they are not playing the game right. 

Note that we're discussing about merging QW and Q3 style movement better, the argument is not that "QW is better". The argument is how the merging's been done wrong.

  • One key turning should behave like QW. (A/D or W/S)
  • Two key turning should behave like Q3. (W+A, W+D, S+A, S+D... etc..)
  • No turning mechanic should be sacrificed to making another way easier. 

Also read the post above where I already tackled the point you made.

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48 minutes ago, Smilecythe said:

Note that we're discussing about merging QW and Q3 style movement better, the argument is not that "QW is better". The argument is how the merging's been done wrong.

  • One key turning should behave like QW. (A/D or W/S)
  • Two key turning should behave like Q3. (W+A, W+D, S+A, S+D... etc..)
  • No turning mechanic should be sacrificed to making another way easier. 

Also read the post above where I already tackled the point you made.

What is this dogmatic imperative for consistency?  

Nothing is broken with the movement as it is now. No one is having panic attacks while learning to move or trying to get around a corner. You can concoct an endless number of scenarios in your mind of things you can't do but, honestly, limitations are essential to making the game interesting and challenging.

Keep in mind that your opponent is bound by the same mechanics as you are. If you've got to serpentine between pillars and can't do this or that, this is a question of positioning,  not movement system. 

 

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18 minutes ago, lolograde said:

Nothing is broken with the movement as it is now.

Sideways air strafing is broken. I know it's hard to understand, but it is and has always been throughout the history of CPM and any other game that takes after it's movement mechanics. If straferunning (+left, +right) was broken and the only way to dodge LG would be moving mouse left and right, I'm sure you would complain in similar manner. 

29 minutes ago, Terifire said:

Why SHOULD it behave in any way? This is what the devs chose, it's not wrong and not right, just different.

I don't think the devs chose bad sideways movement intentionally, they chose easier and more emphasized movement for going forward while knowing or not that sideways movement fucked up as a result. Above all else, I want you and the devs to understand the issue. Lack of sideways movement is not an issue when your objective is going forward (race), but it is when your objective is to go sideways (combat). You're limiting possibilities for movement and understanding how, is the key in following up with my arguments.

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21 minutes ago, Smilecythe said:

Sideways air strafing is broken. I know it's hard to understand, but it is and has always been throughout the history of CPM and any other game that takes after it's movement mechanics. If straferunning (+left, +right) was broken and the only way to dodge LG would be moving mouse left and right, I'm sure you would complain in similar manner. 

And yet it seems people are able to strafe and move around quite fast. Moreover, the movement,  as it is, is deep and rewarding enough to distinguish skill levels but NOT define them.

In QL, movement really is not that huge of a deal. Sure, really stellar movement can have an impact (especially CTF) but it is, for the most part, negligible for the large majority of players. Aim and strategy are the two primary pillars, movement is auxiliary.

On the opposite side of the spectrum,  you have games so movement-oriented it is really what separates players versus aim or strategy.  They run around maps basically jousting because they can escape and run so quickly. 

CPM had a unique balance of these three pillars: aim, strategy,  and movement. I remember watching a tourney finals between Silas and LuGia and they had wildly different styles and yet the games were competitive and close. That, too me, demonstrates a close-to-ideal balance and what I hope for Reflex.  That players can find their own style within the limitations.

 

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