19 January 2018

WildStar: Physics - Velocity of Movement

I have already mentioned in my Guild Wars 2: Velocity post that the reason I've been wondering about the movement speed of the character is that people said the character moves slowly in Guild Wars 2. Now we also know how fast the player moves. Another question this raises though is how fast the character is in WildStar then.

Preparing the Experiment

So let's figure this out. We want to know the velocity. To get the velocity of an object you can calculate it by dividing the distance through the time unit it took. To do this we again need a measurable distance to travel and the time it took. Like last time the easier thing to prepare is a way to measure the time it took. I'm going to use the clock app of my smartphone for this again. Though, how do we measure a distance? Every ability or skill in WildStar has a range. This range is defined in meters. Additionally, every skill in WildStar has a telegraph that shows the affected area. The greatest range is that of the range classes Esper and Spellslinger. The Spellslinger's longest attack is the true shot and equals the length of 40 meters. Now we need to find a fixed start and endpoint in WildStar that we can measure easily using the telegraphs shown by the ability.

Building the Experiment

We need a fixed start and endpoint that we can easily measure. Luckily the WildStar housing is one of the most empowering housing systems I've seen in games. You can place objects and move them around, change their size and color to a certain degree, it kinda feels like a mini or alpha game engine to build your own levels. This means we can easily mark the start position and the end position where our telegraph ends. The only downside of working with the telegraph is that its collision is bigger than the telegraph shown. So we have to expect errors here. Since I've used the Spellslinger's true shot telegraph for the range the two objects should be about 40 meters away from each other.

Executing the Experiment

We have everything set up now, the formulas we need, the distance, our stopwatch and the object we want to move through. The next step is to execute the experiment. To do this we let the character move past the mark we set for the start point until the character passes the endpoint. Once he reaches the start point we start the stopwatch. Once he reaches the endpoint we're gonna stop the stopwatch.

I've tested this with different parameters and these are the times I've gotten:
  • Character walking time: 4.61s
  • Character walking with movement speed flask time: 4.25s
  • Character running time: 3.09s
  • Character running with movement speed flask time: 2.94s
  • Equivar mount walking time: 2.10s
  • Equivar mount running time: 1.44s
  • Hoverboard walking time: 2.15s
  • Hoverboard walking time: 1.44s
  • Avatus mount walking time: 2.10s
  • Avatus mount running time: 1.33s
Now, these times are interesting. The first thing we're noticing is that all the mount times are nearly equal. The only odd one out seems the Avatus mount running time. I've tested the mounts several additional times to make this sure, but they all seem to be equal. I must add that I've bought all the available riding skills. So what do we conclude from this? It seems like the Avatus mount if you're not running, is equal to any other mount if you have all the riding upgrades unlocked. However, running with the Avatus mount seems to be faster than the others.
Anyways let's finish it off.

Calculating the Velocity

So we have our distance, which is 40 meters, and the time it took us in different cases. This means we can calculate the velocity of each case. To do this we just have to put the time and distance into our formula:
v = d / t
As an example, if we take the character walking time of 4.61s and replace the variable t for time with it, the variable d standing for distance is replaced by the 40 meters we can calculate the velocity which is v = 40m / 4.61s = 8.68 m/s. If we want this in MPH we need to convert meters to miles. 1 meter is approximately 6.21371 * 10^-4. So our distance is 40 * 6.21371 * 10^-4 = 0.02485484 miles instead. Doing the same calculations with miles instead of meter we will get the miles per second. However, we want miles per hour. If we do 1 mile per second we do 60 * 60 = 3600 miles per hour.
That's 3600 times as much. So we have to multiply our miles per second by 3600 to get the miles per hour. Our calculation is now 0.02485484miles / 4.61s * 3600 = 19.41mph.

Doing this with every case we get:

Experiment Time in s Distance in m Velocity in m/s Velocity in mph
Character walking 4.61 40 8.68 19.41
Character walking (speed flask) 4.25409.41 21.05
Character running3.094012.9428.96
Character running (speed flask) 2.944013.61 30.43
Equivar mount walking 2.104019.0542.61
Equivar mount running 1.4440 27.7862.14
Hoverboard walking 2.154018.641.62
Hoverboard running 1.444027.7862.14
Avatus mount walking 2.104019.0542.61
Avatus mount running 1.334030.0867.28

And there we have it. The velocity at which you move in WildStar.
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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.