Greedy Goblin

Friday, March 27, 2015

To lasthit AND not to lasthit (and Zkillboard help request)

At first the help request, the real post will be below the line. Skip, if you have no clue about kill API management.

The Zkillboard main page looked like this when I made this post:
Clicking on a kill report leads to its page. The kill is identified with a numerical ID. For example the top kill is identified as I wrote these IDs on the picture. You can see that they aren't random, they are increasing in order in time (older kill has lower number). However they are neither a Zkillboard assigned serial number, as you can see holes (45514167 is after 45514158 and not 45514166). So I can only think that the number is provided by CCP and the holes are because Zkillboard doesn't have all kills just those which are uploaded by players. As this is the front page, many kills are not yet updated and will appear later (or never).

So far, so good. Now comes the problem! 43517157 is a kill in 2015 January 1, 00:00. The previous kill, 43517156 is still at the very end of December 2014. 42763723 is at the very end of November 2014 and the next kill, 42763724 is at the beginning of December. This means that the 2014 December kill reports are all in the 42763724-43517156 range. This contains 753433 positions for kills. Not all slots have kills uploaded, for example 42763726 leads to an error page. The problem is that Dotlan says that in December there were "Highsec ShipKills: 430738, PodKills: 56724, Lowsec ShipKills: 323728, PodKills: 86013, Nullsec ShipKills: 323028, PodKills: 182785". That's 1.4M kills without WH kills. That's more than two times more than the 753K slots on Zkillboard.

One of them must be wrong. How many kills there were in December? Any ideas?

SynCaine wrote his piece protecting the last-hitting mechanic in MOBAs. This means that all rewards from a mob go to the player who lands the killing blow, even if someone else did all the other damage. He and others thinks this is a very good skill-check. The other party claims that it's a dumb gimmick that rewards only reflexes and "muscle memory" instead of decision making.

I won't decide who is right. I played League of Legends only a bit. I hereby suggest a solution that satisfy both sides: auto-lasthit function. If it's turned on with a hotkey, the avatar doesn't attack any player and hits minions only if that hit will likely land a killing blow. Movement is still managed by the player, the auto-lasthit function only attacks minions in range. If you manually attack a player or minion, the function turns off and the avatar keeps attacking that target as usual.

This way those who hate lasthitting can just turn this on and focus only on movement, while those who consider it a skill-mechanic can hit as they wish. If they were right, they will still beat the "autohitter noobs", especially as auto-lasthit only uses autoattack and doesn't lasthit with skills.


Anonymous said...

My guess would be that dotlan is wrong.

My basis - I encounter it giving extra kills in one of my alliance's home systems all the time. It always has someone on. NOBODY kills or dies there without at least a shot from our alliance, and even if they do, we know about it.

Right now it says 4 kills happened there in the last 24 hours. I've been on for at least 10 hours tonight, and asked people who were here around the clock if there were any kills. There were some. Two ships. One capsule. And it says 4/0 on dotlan, as in 4 ships and 0 capsules. Both kills are on our killboard, so even if we totally missed 2 more ship kills, capsule is still not there.

Now, killmails. Those IDs are likely autoincrement database keys. They are NOT guaranteed to be in order, but HIGHLY LIKELY to be in order. Since the nature of killmails is that they are permanent, so there is no selective deletion, the autoincrement is EXTREMELY LIKELY to be in order. Which makes it more trustworthy. First mark at which order might break naturally is more than 2 billion kills, but meh, I don't think we're there yet, and if database is of any recency, it uses 64 bit keys, and even your grandgoblinies won't kill as much as it can store.

I am not sure if there are false killmails generated, or killmails not generated in some cases, I worked with eve API, but not the kills one. So I cannot tell you if amount of increments can tell the amount of kills. However, it's a good guess that no more kills than increments have happened.

Anonymous said...

It's no secret that ZKillboard uses ID's provided by CCP's Crest API (or the EVE API before that)

The developer of ZKillboard even made a post about this very thing in recent days (today I think)

dobablo said...

If last-hit is a skill thing then any assistance would harm the integrity of the competition.

I'd include opt-out toggle. Those that want to opt out get half their proportion of total damage dealt as a reward. The remaider of the reward goes to the player making the killing blow. If an opt-put player makes the killing blow the resource are spread between the team.

For example Autonoob opts out of killing-blow mechanics then does 80% of the damage to a target. He gets 40% of the reward. If Skillsnipe gets the killing blow he gets the remaining 60%. If Autonoob gets the killing blow then everyone gets a 12% (5man team).

Anonymous said...

Having little experience of LoL, I'll speak only for DotA, where last hitting, while relying a lot on habit and muscle memory, can turn into a decisional problem when you have to choose between last hitting hostile creeps (which will net you gold) and denying friendly ones (denying gold and a good part of xp to the opponent). As both creep waves start fighting each other at the same time, the moment of death of the first ones is often too close to be able to do both, and anticipating what your opponent will do allows you to either contest it, or secure the other objective yourself.

Ryanis said...

ZKillboard positive Kill IDs are from CCP.
Negative IDs are not-API-verified kills.

Hanura H'arasch said...

Just a quick note: if anyone downloaded the CREST dump from zkillboard (see it would be helpful if they reuploaded it, as the original link is down.

Xmas said...

Last hitting is a skill that's needed to play a game like DOTA2 well.

Basically, in DOTA2 killing a creep gives XP and Gold. Everyone around the 'hostile' or 'neutral' creep gets XP for the kill and only the last-hitter gets the gold. There are heroes that need gold for equipment to become fulfill their game role and there are support heroes that only need levels to fulfill their role. And there are heroes with certain abilities and equipment which make last hitting easier or unnecessary.

Basically, what I'm saying, is that a well-designed MOBA will have heroes, equipment or abilities available which make creep-wave last hitting skills not a priority.

That said, at least on person on your team should be focused on winning the creep kill battle.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 07:14

I think this is the one you mean

Samus said...

My feeling about last hitting is that it is a dopey mini-game, and while it may be some skill, it is a skill totally unrelated to the rest of the game. From here on out, I will be referring to it as "Bejeweled," because that's the kind of mini-game it is.

I didn't sign up to play Bejeweled. I signed up to play a game that's about using strategy and skill to coordinate with your team, kill your opponents and take objectives. But the game is designed so that you spend more time playing Bejeweled than playing the real game.

"Bejeweled is an important skill in the game."

Okay, how important should this skill really be? The gap between the better Bejeweled players and mediocre ones is 200 cs at 20 mins, versus 100. With 15 cs roughly equal to a kill, that is a 6.7 kill advantage. That "super fed" guy in mid lane who went 5-0? Yeah, he isn't as fed as the guy who ignores his opponent and is just good at Bejeweled.

And it goes all the way to the top. There are several professional players who have said their only real advantage was that they could out-farm their opponent. You can actually be a professional at this game, based entirely on your skill in Bejeweled and not the actual game.

Personally, I think it should be more or less automatic by the time most players start playing ranked. The only reason you should ever miss is because the opposing player was actually skilled at farm denial or harassment, and not because your reaction time was insufficient to click at the exact moment between minion #17's attack and minion #18's attack.

Xmas said...

The Blizzard MOBA sounds just right for you then. They've toned down the importance of the creeps and made a game that focuses on team fighting.

Anonymous said...

Last-hitting in games that have it is important mainly due to the time/opportunity cost of taking a last hit. I actually like Gevlon's suggestion because it keeps the strategy while removing the useless skill tax. Denying is a shit mechanic and killing your own units is stupid. D5 LOL jungler, for what it's worth.
The problem is autofarm is a confusing mechanic, so games don't go that route. HOTS is a decent alternative to last hitting, or maybe Infinite Crisis (where creeps drop money pickups, but you get it automatically if you last-hit).