How iFrames Augment Dodge Rolls

What do you think of having invincibility frames in dodge moves such as rolls? Doesn’t this lessen the importance of in which direction and where to the player rolls?

I made two picture examples and an animated example for this one.foxroll iframes.pngroll example.png

Basically, dodges are about moving and being invincible for a time. This gives them two utilities:
1. iframe through enemy attacks with good timing.
2. Move out of the way of enemy attacks ahead of time.

Enemy attacks in many action games are active for more than 1 frame. They cover a slice of space, which you can see with the red in the image below fairly easily. So ignore the hand moving for a second and just consider that space. It’s basically an AOE. You use dodge in order to move off that AOE without taking damage from it. Similar to say, jumping off a pit before it collapses. It’s still important to move so you won’t be above the pit when you land.

So then there’s the way the hand swipes across that slice. Because it’s moving, it’s obviously not occupying that whole slice at the same time, so you only need to be invincible when it’s overlapping your position in the slice, and you need to not be on top of it when your invincibility ends, even if you’re still in the slice.

This means that if you dodge towards the hitbox coming at you, you’ll go through it. And if you dodge away, in the same direction as it’s going, then it will likely catch up to you when your invincibility wears off. This means that if you want to get through attacks like that most effectively, you need to roll opposite the direction they’re attacking, and avoid rolling in the same direction they’re attacking.

So in short, the direction you roll is actually a big deal.

Plus, you’re not invincible through the whole roll. So if you roll early, then you’re getting out of the way of the enemy attack instead of relying on iframes, so positioning again comes into play, and in that case, rolling the same direction as the enemy attack is actually better, since you’re moving ahead of it instead of along-side it.

I really like Nioh’s dodges which move quickly, but have very few iframes. It’s just enough to get through attacks, so it really exemplifies my examples above.

I honestly think that dodges that exclusively serve the purpose of moving you out of the way are kind of a fault, because they don’t have both of these dynamics, and because invincibility frames act as a type of leniency for the dodge, making it slightly more forgiving for the purpose of getting out of the way, plus having iframes prevents you from being put into checkmate scenarios where you’re forced to take damage, without having already committed to a bad action. Of course they’re not necessarily always bad.

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