DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

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Interkarma
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DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by Interkarma »

The final item remaining on alpha roadmap is to tune movement speed, jumping heights, and falling rate to better match classic.

Anyone familiar with this conversation will remember these movement elements are CPU-dependent in classic Daggerfall. So a 486 will experience something different to Pentium 1, which will experience something different to DOSBox. For the sake of accessible consistency, all classic benchmarking will be performed in DOSBox @ 50k cycles.

The outcome of this review will generally be that your characters will move a bit slower and jump a bit less high from next release. With that said, movement in classic Daggerfall is very clunky and I'm not intending to reproduce the exact movement of classic right down to the jank. I intend to maintain a reasonable minimum speed and jump height so that a level 1 player can still run effectively and jump low obstacles (e.g. run from trouble and easily jump onto the throne lift in PH).

This is not an area where it's possible to keep everyone happy. Some will be unhappy their character now moves a bit slower, while others will think the movement should be even slower still. All I can say is that I'm doing my best to find the balance between matching classic while keeping movement functional and fun. Or if not fun, then at least not hair-pullingly frustrating (which is what I consider classic to be, just so we're all on the same page).

I'll post the outcome of each item reviewed into its own reply below as the review is completed. I plan to work through these rather quickly.

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Interkarma
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DFU Movement Review - Walking / Running

Post by Interkarma »

I'm starting with a few basic measurements of walking and running speed based on character's SPD attribute. As above, classic is being tested in DOSBox @ 50k cycles. I'm importing the same characters from classic into DFU to ensure apples-to-apples comparison.

The test performed is to run the full length of city wall in Daggerfall city, starting inside the wall from NW corner and running directly East until stopping against NE corner. The time to cross that distance is measured using a stopwatch.

Tuning here was already done by Allofich some time ago, so I expect the outcome to already be reasonably close to classic. Please allow for a small margin of error in timings.

Code: Select all

           Walk 50 SPD    Run 50 SPD    Walk 100 SPD    Run 100 SPD
Classic       2:24           1:33          1:36            0:53
DFU           2:04           1:37          1:39            0:56
You'll notice from these results that DFU is faster when walking at lower SPD values and converges on very similar values at 100 SPD or when running.

The change I will be making is that lower SPD characters will receive a small walkspeed debuff so their range is closer to classic above. Runspeed will receive a very minor buff as classic runspeed is actually slightly faster than DFU in benchmarks.

Edit:
Following are the results post movespeed review. Player movement speed is now within an acceptable margin of error. Keep in mind this test is over a large distance travelled (a max-sized city length), and that classic does not have a strongly defined speed against varying hardware. I'm more than happy with the outcome of this review so far.

Code: Select all

           Walk 50 SPD    Run 50 SPD    Walk 100 SPD    Run 100 SPD
Classic       2:24           1:33          1:36            0:53
DFU Review    2:22           1:30          1:39            0:54
Other movement speeds such as horse/cart/crouch/swim remain unchanged. This review only impacts walk/run speeds.

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Interkarma
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DFU Movement Review - Jumping

Post by Interkarma »

Next on the block is Jumping skill. I tested this using a variety of characters with a Jumping skill ranging from 7-100. The first thing to note is that encumbrance appears to have no effect on jump height. An over-encumbered character will jump just as high as when their inventory is emptied out.

The testing method here was to line characters up against the same texture with horizontal lines to use as a measure. Each character was pushed up against the wall and the camera angled upwards to maximum so that camera angle and distance were all the same. This is where it becomes apparent the jump height in classic (in DOSBox @50k cycles) is significantly less than DFU, and there's very little difference between 7-100.

Here is 7:
jump_skill_7.png
jump_skill_7.png (6.47 KiB) Viewed 686 times

Here is 100:
jump_skill_100.png
jump_skill_100.png (6.75 KiB) Viewed 686 times

There is only a marginal improvement for such a large increase in skill, which doesn't mesh with my memories of playing the game in 1996. I recall being able to jump much higher in the DOS days with a higher skill.

Also of note is that classic's jump will pause briefly at the apex due to physics implementation. And we all know the physics glitch of being able to launch oneself into the air by jumping at the top of stairs and similar geometry. I am not intending to reimplement either of these behaviours in DFU.

I do intend to greatly reduce the jump height for low-skill characters and high-skill characters alike. But the effects of a 100 jumping skill will be more dramatic in DFU, with the character able to jump higher than they would in classic. But still not as high as in DFU currently.

For jump height modifiers, the following are in place. These might be tuned by end of review process. These effects do not stack at this time.
  • Athleticism is +10% jump force
  • Improved Athleticism is +20% jump force
  • Jump Spell is +60% jump force
Edit: Outcome of jumping review is as follows:
  • Baseline jump force has been reduced from 8.0 to 4.5. This is just adequate enough to jump onto lifts and up big stairs like those in Scourg Barrow. This is also roughly as high as classic while ensuring baseline function.
  • Jumping skill increases baseline jump force by a percentage equal to JumpingSkill / 2. This allows for a maximum baseline of 6.75. This is higer than classic but still lower than pre-beta DFU (8.0 at all times).
  • Jump enhancements will now stack with each other. Athleticism is +10%, Improved Athleticism is another +10%, and Jumping effect is +60%.
    Jumping effect now grants air control. This provides enhanced players with the ability to line up huge jumps, and it's just more fun. Otherwise Jumping effect will cause player to wildly overshoot what they're trying to jump onto and it isn't so much fun.
  • Extra forward momentum when jumping has been halved.

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Interkarma
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DFU Movement Review - Falling

Post by Interkarma »

Falling will be the simplest item in this list. Test will be performed by measuring time to fall from top of a tall building such as Direnni Tower in both classic and DFU, then DFU's falling force will be tuned to closely approximate classic.

Edit: After measuring this across several locations, I found that classic's falling speed is approximately 20% slower than in DFU. But when testing this change in DFU, it feels too floaty when combined with smoother frame rates and controls. The rougher frame rate and movement input in classic seems to give falling and movement a "heavier" feeling than DFU when timings are closely matched.

Have opted to keep the current falling force in DFU as-is. This has a better feel and in practise there is a mere fraction of a second between the two games even over a high fall.

This completes the movement review to my satisfaction at this time, and I will mark that item off the roadmap.

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pango
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Re: DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by pango »

On Discord server, Ralzar noticed that jumping changes broke the way he used to get thru "dungeon windows".
Image

I found a new reliable way to get thru them: climb the wall to the top then, without releasing forward key, press the crouch key and you'll "fall" thru the window.
It sort of works, but doesn't seem very natural. In any case it's different from what it used to be.
I can't really tell how it worked in classic, I remember those windows being a pain to get thru reliably.
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
-- Charles Goodhart

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Ralzar
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Re: DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by Ralzar »

I had 16% Jumping and actually managed to figure out a technique after a while.

Just had to jump against it and hit crouch juuuust at the right moment.

I dunno if it would feel more natural to be able to crouch, walk against lower wall to engage climb and then just climb through.
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King of Worms
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Re: DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by King of Worms »

I dunno if it would feel more natural to be able to crouch, walk against lower wall to engage climb and then just climb through.
it would, that was my 1st approach to that (failed)
Than I found out the same solution you guys did.. climb it and press crouch
Honestly, as long as you can get thru it, Im ok :)

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Re: DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by Falci »

Had I payed attention and seen this thread, I would not have started my other thread about jumping. :roll:

But I got to say that I was a bit disappointed to realize jumping in Daggerfall is not like in Morrowind where you can jump the whole map if you have the skill high enough.

That said, overall, I like the reworked movement. It has a great feel to it.

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Re: DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by Ralzar »

Btw, does the advantage "Athleticism" now do something noticeable? This seems like it should be that poor neglected traits time to shine :D
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Re: DFU Movement Review - Walking/Running/Jumping/Falling

Post by pango »

You can't jump on a horse in classic so there's no "reference implementation"...
However, watching a streaming, it felt weird not being able to jump over a hedge on horse; Should one's jumping skill (or lack of thereof) transfer to horses?
At least it feels like horses should be much more capable, even if you suck at jumping
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
-- Charles Goodhart

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