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[OC] Hardwired: De Novo Pathfinding (Chapter 39)

In this chapter: A skilled cogent's most dangerous weapon is their own experience
Next chapter: My mind, to your mind. My thoughts, to your thoughts
Fun trivia fact: If editing and revising the book takes me until this coming November, it would count for NaNoWriMo. Right?
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CHAPTER THIRTY NINE
Oh, of all the times to-
[Ammunition depleted.]
Really? You don’t say-
[Would you like to view a list of nearby vendors of this caliber and payload? Y/N]
N.
He could already hear the sounds of Saru's warmech, as it stopped a hasty duck away from the predicted field of fire, and instead began to lean back in towards the ruined crater of an office. Ajax's heat sensors flared a warning, and he dove to one side and under a laminated multi-tiered desk as the chem-laser burned a path through where he had just been standing. The beam swept slightly to the sides before winking out, clearly searching for a target.
Nice try, asshole.
Looks like he still doesn't have a lock on my fusion emission yet. No telling how long the dust will give me cover in that regard though.
As Ajax picked his way down to the base of the ruined building, one of his internal processes pinged a results indication. Ajax had been surprised it had spoken up: typically this partition was for advanced or in-depth combat analysis, and to return a result this quickly was surprisingly quick given its previous processing speeds.
[Results ready for [Target Neutralization] - subtype [Alternate]. Data derived from combat diagnostics, strategic readouts, and [Lilutrikvian] warmech data cached in previous encounters with the [Ares] model.]
Ah, right: having the previous armor analysis file on-hand probably made that job a lot faster, but even then it usually needs a half-megacycle before it can assemble a de novo response-
[Secondary data sources based on primary correlations compiled from local historical EM data, local Terran expat demographic data, and 458 scans of immediate half-click surrounding region.]
That's a fairly specific set of searches; looks almost like the code was looking for other cogents.
[Affirmative.]
Well, then. Explain reasoning behind this search.
[The [Ares] model of warmech is hardened against both chemical, biological, nuclear, and cybernetic damage and incursions. For the latter category, however, the general novelty in general Lilutrikvian digital warfare and lack of attack-hardened firewalls likely meant that cruder methods of security were more effective.]
Elaborate.
[Instead of having fully-networked and robust wireless connectivity secured via reinforced and layered firewalls, the [Ares] appears to be limited to a single cluster of wireless antennae and a triwalled anti-incursion firewall for digital defense. Otherwise, the general design idea of 'air gapping' appears to have been the preferred method for digital security.]
Still not seeing it. Lilutrikvians tend to be naive in cyber warfare design, but why would it matter that the warmechs are the same?
[Control of the warmech frame likely occupying the majority of [Sarucogvian] processing output. Due to myriad of threats and security issues, physical security of his neural web would be key factor in where his primary data files and active web are located.]
Yeah, that damn thing is probably the most heavily-armored terrestrial bastard on this side of the planet.
Another rumble and shower of dusty clay pattered his frame as Ajax knelt near the bottom-floor lobby. Every few minutes he could hear the report of Hera's railgun, but judging from the lack of audible mechanical carnage afterwards he guessed she was in a poor position to do anything but lay down some sort of suppressing fire.
Kind of wish we brought more rocket launchers after all. Railguns aren't ideal for trying to arc fire over obstacles like you can do with an explosive missile.
This is starting to ramble. Summarize rationale as list.
[Summarizing...]
[Point A) [Sarucogvian] is inside an [Ares]-class warmech.]
[Point B) The [Ares]-class warmechs require a functional communications array in order to wirelessly transmit or receive.]
[Point C) There are no functional and powered civilian cogents or high-level AI-equivalents other than self and attack-hardened contact [HERA] within [0.66] kilometers.]
[Point D) The [Ares]-class warmech [Sarucogvian] is occupying has sustained heavy damage to the wireless array. Effective expected range is <[50] meters.]
Points of data and realization finally coalesced in Ajax's neural web as he realized what his projection subroutines had discovered.
[Conclusion: Target [Sarucogvian] is-]
-is trapped like a worm in a virtual machine.
He ran a quick check to see if Sarucogvian had performed any similar EM-scans or other database pulls regarding any possible nearby substitutes for him to hide in. They all returned negative results.
Not only that, but he's too focused on me to even realize it.
Ajax could almost feel a whoop of joy from his combat and fuzzy memory comparison modules: he had been anticipating a drawn-out need to run Sarucogvian to ground first, and eliminate his copies. Instead, he had apparently lucked into the Lilutrikvian cogent boxing itself off and cutting a months-long expected mission completion timeframe to less than two hours.
Two hours? I'll bet I can beat that.
The ground shook as one of the red enamel-coated metal claws slammed into the pavement outside of the lobby. Ducking out as far as his security subroutines let him dare, Ajax scanned the position of the warmech and let his processors run for a few decacycles to come up with a top-efficiency climbing route.
Loading the route up, a series of purple-highlighted miniature nav-markers suddenly crisscrossed their way up the limb, to the flat plateau of the torso directly above the fusion core. He put on a burst of speed, letting his joints strain within an acceptable range of wear in order to get a bit of extra speed and height onto his initial vault. Arms out at exactly the right angles, Ajax slammed into the side of the leg, an access hatch handle and redundant heatsink meeting his waiting hands.
As he began pulling and lunging upwards, Ajax noticed a distinct pause in the robot's pace a few seconds later, followed by each leg briefly lifting up a dozen feet or so, holding position, before crunching back into place.
Ah come on you oversized crawfish, you weren't expected to run a mass-countercheck until I got to the second joint.
That's the problem with fighting a damn AI, is they tend to notice everything.
One of the other claws came free of the shop it was embedded into, sweeping forward to scrape him off of the leg with the weight of a decaton of steel-alloy behind the blow. It loomed overhead, dropping quickly, as Ajax vaulted upwards as quickly as his servos could handle.
Almost there. Just a few more meters-
His display highlighted the outline of a knee plate that jutted out just far enough to give him shelter from the blow. The problem was that the limb had begun dragging downwards, the scraping of metal reverberating off of the buildings that still stood.
[Alternative route found: Estimated time savings of [0.58] seconds, increase in handhold grip risk up by [+25%]. Would you like to use this new route? Y/N]
Y, damn it. I need all the speed I can get.
The dotted series of handhold grips flickered and shifted. Multiple of them were now marked in red, warning him of less than two centimeters of estimated raised texture or plating that he could grab ahold of. As he lunged for the next-closest grip, he could feel one set of digits slide off, a few minor reminders cropping up in his neural web to remind him that he was several years past the estimated effective wear date for the friction-adding finger coatings. As a result, the rubber-like polymer that would normally give him a fine fingerprint-like texture and greatly-enhanced gripping power had aged and worn and degraded to the point of being like a sleek and cracked plastic instead.
His other flailing hand managed to grab it, and after a sickening millimeter of sliding, held firm. Ajax swung slightly, before slowing enough that he could brace his feet again and climb to the next route of grips and ledges. Keenly aware of the rapidly-decreasing countdown timer pinned in his neural web, the crushing claw coming ever closer, Ajax recalculated the estimated position of the claw-arm by the time he had reached the knee pad.
[Warning: target [killerLeg_1.0] will pass calculated point before estimated arrival. Faster and/or alternate routes not known. Would you like to perform a deep-calculation analysis prediction? Y/N]
N. I can't afford the cycles to spare right now.
Time to find another way down.
He turned his apical node slightly, allowing his lenses and sensors to scan across the nearby rooftops.
I could always jump for it, go into a roll, and hope that the fall was enough to cause the claw to miss.
His prediction files flagged a minuscule [8%] success rate, flagging the difficulty in sensor evasion on the rooftop free of any significant cover, the wide area of effect the weapons on the warmech could pulverize, and the ease in recalculating the arm's descent to just follow his attempted escape and continue to simply crush him on the rooftop.
As Ajax shifted his weight, hanging onto the metal handle jutting out of a lubrication ring, it began to slide again. He could feel his GOM driver trying to spool up a string of curses, when an idea started to emerge in his neural web, helped along by a few of his more optimistic prediction algorithms and a healthy push of desperation by his combat programs to take a plan, any plan, to avoid being swatted like a gnat.
Highlight structure of incoming leg. Cross-reference against observed structuring patterns and components I've seen while climbing this leg. Flag any with predicted rotational motion with a drag coefficient of less than 0.05. Execute.
[Would you like to change the Reynolds number for fluid estimations, or keep the default value of 1E4?]
Default is fine, just execute the blasted program.
[Processing...]
The leg was outlined in white, and a flashing set of vertical rings lit up in striped yellow, still approaching far faster than Ajax would have preferred. One such ring, designated as [predictedLubricationRing_G2], was nearly directly above him, and his zoom lens spun into focus to show him a crisp image of the exposed handles jutting out from it.
Perfect.
Ajax dropped a half-dozen meters, alighting on a half-meter-wide servo housing. Bracing and aiming carefully, he spooled up several precise motor impulses in his awaiting command queue.
Over-exert servo speeds to maximum possible parameters, provided projected normal combat movement speeds are not reduced below 25% as a result. Power conversion of backup batteries 3 through 5 are designated for the next megacycle as Available in [capacitor-discharge] format.
He leapt, arm outstretched.
The handle met his rising hand, and as expected, his momentum carried him continually upwards past the descending leg. His inertia was arrested by the handle, and by extension his arm, and his alarms flared to life to show him the spiderweb of microfractures he had caused across the strut structures for that arm. None of them were predicted to fail within the next hour or so, and so Ajax temporarily dismissed the alarms. They were fairly high-level alerts, and he could almost feel them sulking as they moved aside to make room for his current active and situation-critical cycle allocations.
Already, he had begun to spin, over the arm and lurching downwards before coming back around and up again. He could feel his gyroscope give a warning wobble, aggravated by the hundred feet of air below him, but the high cycle demand from his combat and scenario analysis modules appeared to have taken a higher priority for now. Ajax wasn't about to question his good fortune in that regard, and instead refocused on the calculations for his release from the claw-arm.
If I tried just jumping onto the arm, Saru would probably just smash me against a building or try to smush me between two arms. This, however?
I don't think he'll have seen this coming.
Calculation completed, Ajax waited until the exact indicated moment before releasing. He soared upwards, momentum dying until near the apex of his leap. There, his frame roughly met the outermost edge of the warmech's armored carapace; a second later, he heard a crunch below him as the inevitable weight of the arm smashed another structure to rubble.
Already the point-defense turrets for the warmech had begun deploying, and he began sprinting towards the ruined remains of the communications array as bullets pocked against the armored shell behind him.
Not leading their shots, then. Looks like Saru isn't hand-controlling everything at this point.
He could dodge most of the shots, but not all, and small but insistent damage readouts began to pile up as they indicated minor wiring cuts and shrapnel splinters becoming embedded in less-reinforced areas of his frame. The cluster of damaged comm spires provided cover in most directions, but as Ajax listened the steady droning pingpingpingpingping continually became louder and louder.
Worse, his EM suite was picking up attempts to get him in a missile lock. The chem-laser likely had a perfect bead on him at the moment, but one advantage of Ajax's current position was that it was approximately directly above the power relay systems, and any attempt to kill him with it would just as easily burn a hole clean through the warmech at the same time and kill him in the process.
A missile, on the other hand, would explode and leave Ajax as borderline-recognizable scrap while giving the armor little more than a new dent and some carbon scoring. The loadouts displayed previously when he was skirmishing against the other warmechs in his own suit had been an explosive warhead only, with no exotic plasma or similar destructive force for him to bait Saru into using on himself.
Still, I'm not here for Saru to destroy himself. Again. I need that fusion core intact and unbreached for this plan to work.
As Ajax had hoped, there was a Lilu-sized access hatch near the base of the ruined communication antennae. It was locked, of course, but Ajax had already begun a close-read scan for microwear on the keypad to come up with the access code.
Come on, come on. Even for a fresh-off-the-line model, they still did maintenance and quality control tests, right?
It took painfully-long cycles, but finally he had a ten-digit set of possibilities that he began rapidly trying. His hand was a blur as it vibrated against the predicted button sequences.
[Access denied]
No buffering and prevention of repeat code-entry attempts.
[Access denied]
An oversight, but understandable if you think the only people who can get close enough to plug a line into your ports again are your own techs.
[Access denied]
That said, I'd kill for a set of personality profiles to pull from to try and do a Markov estimation.
A notification pinged in his neural web, from a sender that caused him to immediately quarantine and analyze the message.
-Ah, Ajax. Having fun yet?-
It seemed like the attack attempts on Ajax hadn't ramped up significantly as Saru initiated the message, but a brief check of his firewall statuses indicated a large surge in data packets, seemingly harmless, attempting to be granted access.
Attempting to send code-snippets inside, to assemble later? Saru, you'll have to try harder than that.
A possibility was forwarded to him from his cyberwarfare algorithms, and intrigued, Ajax allocated a set of cycles for the idea. He was further encouraged by the timestamp with the previous time he had used this tactic as being a medium-priority sub-memory from over fifty years ago.
Probably not something you were paying attention to when snooping around my head, so there's less of a chance you'll know to counter it, or even be on the look-out for this stratagem.
Splinter viral-payload designate [FullNelson_4_v2.2]. Encode in repeating pattern, and translate through [UnwantedObserver] cyphering program, wavelength specification [Infrared], component specification [heatsink_2_PandoraSystems3BHI_redundant]. Add current objective as secondary objective to primary payload.
[Executing...]
The program altered the output tolerances of his heatsink ever so slightly, to effectively pulse them. A cogent who wasn’t careful to sanitize all of their data input streams, including those coming from their own sensors, would read this pulsed binary code stream into their own systems. It was slow and inefficient, but Ajax’s predictive drivers were flagging it with a surprisingly-high possibility of success.
Saru might be just too clever to try pushing back a splintered attack program, but my bet is he's not too familiar with what one AI can spring on another.
He re-opened the message band to Sarucogvian.
[Oh, it's a little fun, I won't deny it. You're actually giving my heat sinks a good workout, for once!]
Come on, take the bait-
Ajax could feel the suspense spooling up in his combat response drivers, as they calculated how long it would be until a viable missile lock was achieved and he was a smoking crater on the warmech's hull.
Come on...
There were a series of loud, clattering thumps and hums as various parts of the warmech began to slow, before locking into place. There was an odd, echoing silence, punctuated only by the tinkle of glass shards falling from cracked and battered windows.
[Incoming message from contact [Sarucogvian]. Display? Y/N]
List subheading only.
[Subheading: ACHIEVED - VERIFICATION 70776-e6564]
Excellent. Open message.
The file opened, and a full and comprehensive diagram of the warmech blossomed to life, filling in the few grey areas of his own schematic analysis wireframe. All of the joints and weapon systems were flashing red, with frantic green flashing along the neural cabling pathways showing Sarucogvian's attempts to break the encryptions.
[Estimated resilience of encryption algorithms is [45] seconds. Warning: Estimate is based on Terran-model cogent neural pathways only]
So there's no telling how long it could take Saru to crack it. Well, I'll make sure to make these seconds count either way.
[Addendum: Secondary Objective achieved. Access code is 313-233-343-5.]
Looks like my luck is finally having a bit of a change for once.
He punched in the combination into the keypad, and was rewarded with a hiss of a breaking atmosphere seal and the hatch mechanically cranking open.
The sound of a missile lock screamed into his situational awareness programs, but was quickly silenced as the hatch latched back into place above him. The service corridor was cramped, and lined with an unfamiliar mix of Terran cabling and junction boxes, and Lilutrikvian flow-metal wall linings and blinking glass-capped photonic diodes set into the flooring and seams of the walls. Ajax leaned up and tapped one with a cautious finger, before beginning to crawl down the corridor towards Saru's processing core aboard the warmech.
No telling if those are sensors, lenses, or explosive micro-mines; best to ignore them and hope for the best.
Thank the code the Lilutrikvians haven't taken up nanomachine engineering yet, or else I'd be feeling a hell of a lot more itchy at the moment.
Larger Terran vehicles, particularly unmanned battleships in the 'Retribution' class and above, were typically infested with a mix of defensive and repair nanites. His memory files remembered Malachim, a personal friend of Ajax: on the occasions Ajax had a chance to visit him onboard, the nanites had been an unsettling mixture of both relief and latent fear.
Never a fan of being surrounded by a potential threat I can’t kill.
After all, a slug capable of punching through reinforced plate is a bit overkill against a single nanite, and next to worthless against a swarm of them.
Malachim had of course assured Ajax that the nanites had been self-restricted against replication outside of the boundaries of his own hull-frame, but even so Ajax had made a beeline to the nearest magnetic oil bath when he'd returned to port. As the memory file was re-archived, he added a reminder for checking into magnetic oil bath options on Lilutrikvia.
Never hurts to be cautious, especially if the Terran engineers up on that asteroid got some bright ideas and started trying to supply their mechs with nanomachinery. There's no approved nanomachine production facilities on or near Lilutrikvia that I'm aware of, and the only thing that could make this situation worse would be to accidentally release a bunch of bootleg nanomachines.
There were several recorded events of planets and colonies going 'gooey', as unrestrained or corrupted nanomachines self-replicated to the point of melting electronics, buildings, cogents, even organics, into a homogeneous sea of microscopic machines. Directed EMP was usually sufficient to cleanse a nanomachine infestation, but oftentimes it would be too late and the cleaning crews would be left shoveling tons of sand-like drifts off of what little scraps remained unprocessed and reclaimed.
Damn near every time was a result of some half-wit either giving them faulty code, or faulty radiation shielding, or both.
Sometimes the damaged nanomachine processing would simply ignore limiters, and continue building the frame of a shed to skyscraper-like heights, or continue the path of a bridge into the side of a house or mountainside, burrowing mindlessly.
His perimeter maintenance subroutines gave a surge of disgust, as Ajax's image prediction programs provided the sight of a nanomachine converting his own arm into a miles-long repeated strut structure, or converting a leg swivel-joint to a precisely-detailed and utterly-useless Menger sponge.
A flashing warning provided a break from his crawling, as the alert flagged Saru's successful breakthrough past Ajax's blocking protocols. The nerve fibers all around him flared to life, both on his screen as well as literally as the fine lines and cross-hatched webbed strands glowed with the photonic pulses through the wiring.
"Ajax, I'm not the first person, the first cogent you've failed, and I'm likely not the last either." Sarucognvian's voice thundered from all around Ajax in the corridor, as recessed speakers amplified his voice to a level that vibrated the decking under his hands and feet.
He was surprised when his social projection processor displayed the anticipated thread of his conversation.
[Initial tone and word choice suggests that contact [Sarucogvian] will be attempting to barter and/or appease for an attempt to flee in safety. Confidence of this occurrence is p=[9E-3], with some deviations possible.]
Sarucogvian confirmed the prediction as he continued. "You killed me, or let me die; either way, my blood, my suffering is at your hands. However, you seem driven to inflict more pain on my frame, on my mind, even now. Why?"
Even as his combat driver was urging for silence, Ajax overrode it and sided with his social driver. There were other parts of his neural web, deeper ones, which agreed that he needed to voice his reply to Saru.
"I FUCKED UP, AND LET YOU DIE. NO DENYING THAT, I SUPPOSE."
A bulkhead slid closed across the passage in front of him, and Ajax lashed out with one arm, hammering it with a flurry of explosive punches before it crumpled to one side.
"BUT I'LL BE DAMNED IF I LET YOU KILL OFF MORE FOLKS. EVEN THOSE THAT, BY ALL RIGHTS, SHOULD HAVE IT COMING."
Laughter, deep and resounding through the networked warren of corridor-tunnels, filled his audio sensors.
"Oh, so now you're back to playing policeman again? After the countless you've killed, the lives you've left to bleed out or power down when you see fit, now you come to me to try to argue that you're the final authority when it comes to killing?"
Ajax could feel the surge of frustration from his GOM driver, amplified by the driver's annoyance at his fuzzy memory banks for recalling dozens of incidents supporting Sarucogvian's statement. He pushed his vocalization driver to purge as much of the GOM driver's vitriol as possible.
Now's the time for diplomacy; I'd much rather talk down an angry AI wielding a warmech than keep trying to dismantle it from the inside.
"SARU, DAMN IT-YES. I WANT YOU TO AVOID MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES I HAVE. IN A JUST WORLD I SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHOT THROUGH MY PROCESSOR BY A FIRING SQUAD AND DROPPED INTO A SMELTING CRUCIBLE FOR SOME OF THE THINGS I DID."
Saru's reply took a moment, pausing, and responding in a tone tinged now with a few dozen degrees of [Empathy] in addition to the complex-blend [Righteous Anger] emotional coloration he had been using before.
"I know; I saw it all. You very nearly were put in front of a tribunal and executed for your actions."
The [Empathy] faded, and the remaining emotional blend was flagged by his social node as containing a new descriptor: [Simmering].
"If the mighty Ajax were to nearly face death, decorated as he was and carrying so many varied and fascinating military secrets and scandals within his frame, then what does an alien mind, a veritable newborn, have to offer in terms of self-worth?"
"SARUCOGVIAN, YOUR EXISTENCE ALONE JUSTIFIES YOUR WORTH. ALL OTHER DESCRIPTORS ARE-"
The omnipresent voice cut him off. "-"Are the words and ideals of those who would exploit you." Yes, I've read Redfour's writings as well, Ajax. After all, he's one of your favorite scholars, isn't he?"
Ajax rounded another corridor, this one descending by a few degrees downwards and continuing nearly straight towards the main processor. His combat driver flinched at the angry click-clacking of a defensive miniturret ensconced in a recessed leg-sized hole, but his cybersecurity algorithms confirmed his backup encryptions were still working.
Fun thing about counterhacking is that you get so focused on the offensive and defensive code, you often lose sight of the little things like variable assignments.
For this particular attack virus, he had added a secondary layer of encrypted lock-out protocols specifically for internal and point-defense security systems. As a seed, however, instead of relying on a random clock value or assigned code he transmitted on a detectable signal, he'd simply called a brief scan-check of a still image taken from the skywards-facing sensor lenses on the warmech. Even if Saru had noticed, Ajax had buried the actual value used by the code in another nested layer of obfuscating code.
With a little luck, Saru would be going down a rabbit-hole trying to calculate which star cluster it looks like I'm using the luminance of for the seed, when all I really need and receive is a quick-and-dirty average of the sky's brightness.
Without a little luck, however, and I'm probably due to receive a subsonic-velocity railround up my distal coolant flushvent.
"Redfour was an idealist. Contents of the mind and existence is all well and good, but you are Terran, Ajax. You don't understand."
"DON'T UNDERSTAND? SARU, YOU KNOW FOR A DAMNED FACT THAT I AM OLDER THAN DIRT, IN A VERY LITERAL SENSE IN SOME PLACES. YOU THINK THERE'S SOME PART OF YOU, SOME COMPONENT I CAN'T POSSIBLY COMPREHEND, EVEN AFTER THESE DECADES?"
"Yes."
A wave of attack programs swept against his firewalls. There had been an existing low-level set of probing tests, but this was something new. Even as his quarantine drive began returning the descriptor set for the first of the representative attack programs, Ajax had an idea of what he would find.
-Here’s proof. Proof of why your mind, here, in this place and on this world, is like trying to fit a round capacitor into a square receptacle-
[Attack programs isolated as complexity level: [2]. Program consists of direct uplink streaming thread, of a bandwidth and complexity that would indicate a complex multisensory or compressed memory file.]
Initiate download of file directly to quarantine drive.
[Error: target designate [Sarucogvian] has denied the download request. A connection-thread for a live viewing-feed of the stream has been re-sent.]
Denied
[Look, Saru, I want to see if there's a way this ends that doesn't wind up with one of us in the junkyard. But you've got to give me something besides an untethered streaming thread, something to let me know I'll be safe.]
-Very well.-
Ahead of Ajax, he could see dozens of security bulkheads slam into place. His analysis subroutine threw a brief loop, as he realized that Saru had been offering only a fraction of the barriers and obstructions he could have.
As he approached the nearest door a few meters in front of him, a blue-purple light clicked on and illuminated a set of recessed circuit and redundant substation processors. They were little more than a glorified data stick from what Ajax could ascertain, but even as he watched the automatic ease-of-access servos activated for the panel, sliding it smoothly outward before clicking the lid open. A single substation processing core the size of his finger flashed alternating green and red. Ajax took it, and plugged it into his quarantine drive access slot after enacting the appropriate dividing backup firewalls and preparing for physical severing of the connection.
The file scan concluded quickly, indicating only a single compressed memory file with insufficient additional data attached to support even a fractionated virus.
-My trade is thus: access to me, to sway my opinion, 'turn me from this path'; it is likely you would break further into my frame if I blocked your progress entirely.-
-To this end, a self-decrypting subcode in each file contains the passcode for releasing the next set of doors.-
-But in exchange you will learn why your humanity's ideals do not apply here, in this place, to my existence.-
He weighed his cybersecurity program suite and projection of his progress speed had he continued brute-forcing his way through the warmech, taking into account the far-greater number of doors than he had previously calculated.
[Agreed.]
Ajax buffered the memory file, double-checked his latent and subnet firewalls, and then plunged into Saru's memory.
Chapter Forty: Cultural Adaptation
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Let's talk about Malzahar [Analysis, rework suggestion]

Original Link here: https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/1syQyMmG-lets-talk-about-malzahar-analysis-rework-suggestion
Pre-rework, I played Malz mid and support. I wasn't a main, but he was a regular part of my champ pool, probably top 10. I have rank 4 with him, which would probably be 5 if you counted games before champ mastery was introduced. Since the rework, I no longer enjoy playing Malzahar, and have done so maybe 4-5 times (one mid, one supp, a few aram).
tldr Q, E, and R changes were great; P was good but, due to nerfs, no longer working as intended; W is real bad and has such a large role in the kit that it makes the whole thing feel bad, even though everything else was actually really successful.
Solution: fix P (longer duration, less dmg reduction), rework W (combination of new and old passive, and you choose where Voidlings spawn).
Table of Contents Why Malz needed a rework in the first place: goals and direction Changes that have been made, and whether they were successful Goals for the rework, and to what extent they were achieved Ways to improve the current kit without bringing back the issues with the old one 1. Issues, Goals, and Direction Riot did a good job explaining these, so I'm just going to quote the direction thread:
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Generally speaking, Malzahar is a relatively low agency champion by virtue of his limited range and mobility. In order for him to succeed as he is on Live, he's balanced around being able to pretty reliably drop a full spell combo on whatever's in front of him and watch them die. We'd like to make it so he doesn't necessarily feel quite so much like a burst champion, but in order to make that happen, we need to give him a bit of breathing room so that it feels like he can comfortably navigate the fast pace game that League of Legends is today.
And the patch notes:
Malzahar faces a constant dilemma: never use his abilities in lane or push constantly. This playstyle causes Malzahar to be very binary and non interactive; either he has enough AP to drop his spells on a wave and leave lane or he slowly pushes out, leaving him exposed to constant ganks. As well, the nature of his ultimate - cancelable by any CC - makes Malzahar’s power curve binary by necessity: you either stop his channel or somebody dies.
In both cases, what Malzahar needs is leeway; a brief window of protection. Adding that window allows us to dial back on Malzahar’s burst and wave clear while giving him more sustained threat in a larger fight. Malz’s actions shouldn’t feel inevitable, but at least he’ll feel less bad about trying to make plays.
He’ll still be the consistently damaging Voidling master, but he should feel better about brawling near the frontlines when he brings more sustained cooldowns and a little bit of protection.
In summary,
Laning vs Malz was boring, since he'd just instaclear the wave. Fighting Malz was unfun; getting 100-0'd while suppressed sucks. but If Malz couldn't do those, he was pretty useless. I'll add: It was/is especially frustrating to have your ult interrupted by the champion you're ulting. ex: You ult draven right as he casts stand aside, immediately canceling your ult. 2. Changes and their impact I've paraphrased for brevity, and left out changes to mana costs, which had more to do with AP itemization changes than Malz's play patterns.
Q: Call of the Void Damage down by ~1/4 Silence down by 1/3 Cooldown down by 1/3 E: Space AIDS Malefic Visions Base damage down by 1/3, AP ratio down by 1/8 Damaging a target with Q or R refreshes the duration R: Nether Grasp Creates a null zone under the target, that lasts for 5 seconds Reminder: Suppression lasts for 2.5 seconds Flat damage changed to %HP, dealt in an AOE beneath the target These abilities haven't changed since patch 6.9 (the initial rework).
This is a great set of changes.
Q & E: The lowered damage means Malz is less bursty and needs to stick around a little in order to clear waves, but the lowered Q cooldown and the E refresh means he can still trade effectively. It also adds a bit of mastery to his kit (managing E's duration), and makes the boring "put E on them and walk away" harass less potent if he misses the (skillshot) Q.
The biggest downside is that there's no visual feedback to show the refresh, which may not be confusing to opponents who haven't combed through the tooltips.
R: Lower damage means Malz can't 100-0 you while you're suppressed. But, there's a bunch of upsides for Malz, too: - The null zone lasts even if the suppress is interrupted, so your ult isn't 100% useless even if it gets canceled right away. - It also lasts longer than the suppression, so you can keep doing damage if your allies can lock the target down. This lets it stay strong in teamfights and ganks without being stupidly OP in 1v1s. - It's AOE damage based on the target's max hp, so it doesn't feel terrible to ult the enemy frontline. - Playing safe feels better; you no longer feel like you have to dive and ult the enemy carry in order to be effective.
Passive: Void Shift Patch 6.9
New passive added. Basically a Banshee's Veil for spells and AAs, that lingers for 1s after it gets popped. Patch 6.10 Cooldown changes that don't matter. Patch 6.15 Cooldown nerf that don't matter. Linger reduced to 0.25s from 1s As much hate as this passive gets, in my opinion the original idea of it was great. Having a second of CC immunity makes your ult so much more reliable, which makes up for your lowered burst. And in teamfights when you don't have your ult, it lets you get in range to hit your E, then back off and hit your Q on the way out to refresh the duration. Old Malz couldn't do that without risking his life, so he just had to poke with Q (and sometimes W).
The patch 6.15 nerf threw that idea away, and basically just makes him stronger as a support and harder to catch out. (To be clear, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with Malz support, but I do think there's something wrong with the play pattern of "try to avoid interacting with the enemy until my passive is up, then win a trade by brute force.")
I also recognize that 1 second of basically full immunity from the enemy team is ridiculously OP. However, I'm not convinced that Malz needs 90% damage reduction for the passive to do its job; if Malz lost some damage reduction, he could get back a bit of the passive duration.
W: Void Swarm Patch 6.9
Malzahar spawns a Voidling, which lasts for 12 seconds. For the first 8 seconds, he spawns another each time an existing one attacks a champion or large monster, or assists in killing a unit. This can only happen once per Voidling. New voidlings last for whatever's left of the original 12 seconds. When 3+ Voidling are active, they all gain bonus attack speed. Voidlings deal physical damage (scales with AD) and magic damage (scales with AP). Damage is halved vs monsters and tripled vs low hp minions. Voidlings gain bonus ms toward priority targets (marked with †) Attack priority Target of R † Enemies in R's Null Zone † Affected by E (champions first, then minions) † Nearest target Removed: Malzahar's autoattack target Removed: Leash range Patch 6.23 Change to a 2-charge system Voidling health changed to 3 Damage buffed Window of time to spawn additional voidlings down to 3s from 8s Voidling assists no longer spawn more voidlings Removed triple damage to minions below 20% health Added triple damage to minions affected by E Removed bonus attack speed when 3+ Voidlings are active. Voidlings only get bonus MS towards priority targets when they're within 600 units of Malzahar Patch 7.3 New: Voidlings spawn after a 0.35s delay. New: 1s cooldown between casts. New Effect: Past 600 distance, Voidlings move more slowly the farther they are from Malzahar. Oh, boy. This ability right here. This is the problem child. Let's dive in:
It reads like a short novel. 102 words on the wiki. I consider myself one of the more knowledgable League players, and I didn't even fully understand it until just now, after spending half an hour re-writing the patch notes. And even now, I doubt I'll remember it all in the heat of the moment, next time I face Malzahar. Complexity makes an ability hard to optimize, and that's a good thing. For example, Ekko's stun creates tons of interesting decisions and outplay moments for both Ekko and his opponents. But you can't even try to optimize an ability that you can't understand. It's frustrating and unsatisfying to use. Playing Malz, sometimes I cast W and suddenly have an army of Voidlings mauling my opponent's face. Other times, my one little voidy dies without getting off a single attack. Either way, I don't feel like I outplayed or was outplayed. Part of this is related to point 1. Now I know it's important for me to have my E on them and to stay within 600 units, but there's no way I'm going to find that out without poring over the tooltip. Does my opponent know to hang back and avoid the Voidling, but only for the first 3 seconds? Let's hope not. It's also related to luck. The ability's damage is quite nearly doubled if the first voidling gets in an AA at 2.9s instead of 3.1s. It just generally sucks to have such a large part of your damage be so far outside your control. It's unduly strong vs melee champions. Particularly in the early game and in the bot lane, it's really hard to make the ability strong vs ranged champs without making it oppressive vs melee, who don't have the choice to throw spells while kiting back. Leona thought she was going to be able to engage during this laning phase? Lol. (I'm definitely not a salty Leona main). Stats Patch 6.14
Movement speed reduced to 335 from 340. Attack range reduced to 500 from 550. No strong feelings about these, particularly since voidlings no longer follow Malz's AAs. They're different balance-wise, but I think either would be acceptable to balance around.
  1. Rework goals: Achieved? In the malzahar direction thread, Repertoir shared some criteria for what a successful rework would look like. Let's do a spot check and see how it's done.
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Here's some stuff we're happy with about Malzahar and are unlikely to change:
Functions well as a reliable anti-mobility/anti-assassin via Nether Grasp (R). Has really fun/unique farming patterns via Malefic Visions (E). I'm going to give these both a check. Farming with E is still interesting (if slightly harder), and Zed thinks he's gonna dive you at 6? What a dumbassassin.
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Here's some stuff we're less happy with and are actively trying to resolve:
A simple W>E>R is often enough to eliminate or remove enemies, leaving them little opportunity to act outside of not getting into his range. Malzahar is inherently low agency, and is historically balanced in a way that means he forces similarly low agency situations upon opponents. Voidlings are a cool and unique element of the kit that often don't play a large role in his success throughout the game (AD Malz aside). Here, there's less success. E>W>R won't boop someone, but W>E has a similar effect, early game. Malz got some agency with the Q, E, and R changes, but a lot of power was shifted to his Voidlings, over which he doesn't have much control. And while Voidlings certainly play a large role in his success, it's not in a way that feels good to the Malz player.
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Here's what I hope will be true of Malzahar following his changes:
Malzahar's kit will feel familiar to Malzahar players; he has a lot of cool spells/visuals, and we don't want to change that. Malzahar will feel less like a burst caster to everyone. Malzahar will continue to be low range and low mobility, but he will feel less vulnerable. AP Malzahar players will care about using their Voidlings correctly. AD Malzahar will still be a decent option. Malzahar's kit will have clearer signals for how he could have played better and/or how opponents could have played better against it. Playing Malzahar still won't be a mechanically intense/exhausting experience. These were mostly successful. However, there are still many clarity issues around Voidlings (discussed in the previous section) and AD Malz seems to be dead. Maybe it's bad, or maybe it's so similar to AP that there's no reason to pick it; I'm not sure.
Malz support box I don't think there's anything inherently bad about Malzahar support. The real questions are:
Is Malz support healthy for the game? I don't think so. Voidling strength vs melee champions makes it really hard for melee champions to play League of Legends during laning phase. Q and R are fine abilities in bot lane, but if Malz is ever a strong support because of his E, there's probably something wrong (winning a lane from spamming point and click damage is not a fun thing #pantheon).
Can Malz be balanced for both support and mid? If not, which is a better choice to balance around? I think it is possible to balance Malz as a primary mid and a decent-but-niche support, as he was before the rework. His E has a lot more play around it when Malz is farming, but his ult is more interesting in a 2v2 lane. Overall I'd give the edge to mid lane, since you use E a lot more than R. If adc bot is ever not mandatory, Malz bot would probably be the most interesting.
Overall, I think it's a problem if Malz support makes Malz mid unviable (as it currently does in pro play), but not vice versa (although if Malz supp is viable, that's great).
The verdict: Unfortunately, the one bad part (W) is so central to the new kit that it overshadows an otherwise well-done and successful rework.
On the upside, this means a little more work will go a long way: Malz would be a really good candidate for small-scale work (like Shyvana, Alistar, or Amumu).
  1. Looking forward / Rework part II Here's what I would do to fix Malz. I've estimated some numbers to give you an idea what I'm going for, but numbers are really hard to do without playtesting; please don't focus on the specific numbers too much.
Passive: Void Shift
Damage reduction reduced to 45% from 90% Linger increased to 0.5s from 0.25s R: Nether Grasp
Refreshes passive on cast These changes give Malz a slightly longer window to set up trades in lane, without making it feel pointless to try to poke him down. They also make R much more reliable, so it is... - Easier to balance in a teamfight scenario (where it's often interrupted immediately) vs a 1v1 scenario (where it's seldom interrupted at all). - Less frustrating for Malz, since the ult can no longer be interrupted by its target.
The damage reduction nerf is for power, and so the ult isn't effective as a defensive reaction (eg, to a Veigar ult).
[Updated] W: Void Portal Malzahar creates an untargetable rift to the void that lasts 30 seconds. On Malzahar's fourth subsequent ability cast, the Rift transforms into a Void Portal, which lasts for 12 seconds. The Portal spawns one Voidling immediately and -- for the first 3 seconds of its lifetime -- spawns another the first time a Voidling attacks a champion or large monster (visually, the Portal collapses after 3 seconds). Voidlings share the Portal's duration. Voidlings cannot walk farther than 500 units from the Portal unless their target is affected by Nether Grasp or Malefic Visions. They gain 100% bonus movement speed within that range but lose 10% per 100 units past it.
Range: 800 Cooldown: 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 E: Malefic Visions [New] Autoattacking a champion or large monster affected by Malefic Visions extends the duration by 1 second (never longer than the initial 4s).
Here's the bread and butter of the changes.
Voidling spawn, while not actually that much simpler, is now much easier to visualize and understand without studying the tooltip, due to visual effects on Void Rifts / Portals. By forcing Malz to pick a location for Voidlings to spawn from, we balance his effectiveness vs ranged and melee. Although Voidlings tend to be more effective against melee champs, Void Rift placement is more effective against ranged. If you put a rift under the enemy caster minions, it's in position to either waveclear or fight your ranged opponent. If a melee opponent jumps on you, kiting back towards your tower also means kiting away from your Voidlings. Delaying the spawn takes away quite a bit of power, which allows us to add the other buffs. It also provides a window of power to play aggressively vs Malz, particularly for melee champs. The current long cooldown on Voidlings means there's a window where Malz can't really fight you, but he can usually keep a voidling in his back pocket to force you to back off. Now, if he burns his E, you've got a window where Voidlings can't stray far from their portal (unless Malz ults). Now Malz needs to cast his other spells in order to spawn Voidlings; Malz supp doesn't have a mana restore mechanism. This doesn't mean supp is automatically bad; it's just another lever for tweaking his balance between lanes. The boost for autoattacking gives Malz a reason to stay in fighting range of his opponent instead of dropping an E and running away. Also, maybe it lets AD malz can make a comeback. Most importantly, it creates a lot of gameplay for both Malz and his opponent. Say Malz mid has a Void Rift near the enemy caster minions, that's one cast from activation. The enemy laner knows this, and wants to avoid getting E'd and zoned off the wave. They can back off until the rift times out, or they can push the wave, and force Malz to use his spells to clear the wave.
Both Malz mid and support have a pattern to maintain constant pressure: create a new void rift on cooldown (every 20 seconds). Cast Q and E to get this rift to 2 charges and spawn a Voidling from the previous one. By the time that voidling times out, E is off cooldown again, so you can spawn the second Voidling with another QE.. or wait 10 seconds until your W is back off cooldown. If that went over your head and you want a visual, here's what I wrote when I was figuring it out for myself, to make sure there'd actually be a time when you could fight Malz.
Turns out it's a great pattern for pushing the lane hard, or forcing the enemy botlane to stay back... but in bot it's really mana intensive, and in mid, if your opponent can force a fight, they can mess up your timing and create a window when you've got no Voidlings to fight with. Trade-offs and counterplay!
What if it turned out this rework is underpowered/overpowered?
Aside from numbers tweaks, if it's overtuned I'd remove the passive refresh on ult, which is nice but not essential. If it's undertuned, I'd make R count as 4 spellcasts (ie, instantly activate any Void Rifts).
Closing thoughts Please, leave feedback! Do you play Malz? If so, do these changes sound fun to you? If not, do these changes sound more fun to play against?
Remember, no idea is perfect on the first shot; if you like some parts of this but not others, that's good feedback, too!
submitted by Gtsnow to MalzaharMains [link] [comments]

Let's talk about Malzahar [Analysis, rework suggestion]

Original Link here: https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/1syQyMmG-lets-talk-about-malzahar-analysis-rework-suggestion
Pre-rework, I played Malz mid and support. I wasn't a main, but he was a regular part of my champ pool, probably top 10. I have rank 4 with him, which would probably be 5 if you counted games before champ mastery was introduced. Since the rework, I no longer enjoy playing Malzahar, and have done so maybe 4-5 times (one mid, one supp, a few aram).
tldr Q, E, and R changes were great; P was good but, due to nerfs, no longer working as intended; W is real bad and has such a large role in the kit that it makes the whole thing feel bad, even though everything else was actually really successful.
Solution: fix P (longer duration, less dmg reduction), rework W (combination of new and old passive, and you choose where Voidlings spawn).
Table of Contents Why Malz needed a rework in the first place: goals and direction Changes that have been made, and whether they were successful Goals for the rework, and to what extent they were achieved Ways to improve the current kit without bringing back the issues with the old one 1. Issues, Goals, and Direction Riot did a good job explaining these, so I'm just going to quote the direction thread:
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Generally speaking, Malzahar is a relatively low agency champion by virtue of his limited range and mobility. In order for him to succeed as he is on Live, he's balanced around being able to pretty reliably drop a full spell combo on whatever's in front of him and watch them die. We'd like to make it so he doesn't necessarily feel quite so much like a burst champion, but in order to make that happen, we need to give him a bit of breathing room so that it feels like he can comfortably navigate the fast pace game that League of Legends is today.
And the patch notes:
Malzahar faces a constant dilemma: never use his abilities in lane or push constantly. This playstyle causes Malzahar to be very binary and non interactive; either he has enough AP to drop his spells on a wave and leave lane or he slowly pushes out, leaving him exposed to constant ganks. As well, the nature of his ultimate - cancelable by any CC - makes Malzahar’s power curve binary by necessity: you either stop his channel or somebody dies.
In both cases, what Malzahar needs is leeway; a brief window of protection. Adding that window allows us to dial back on Malzahar’s burst and wave clear while giving him more sustained threat in a larger fight. Malz’s actions shouldn’t feel inevitable, but at least he’ll feel less bad about trying to make plays.
He’ll still be the consistently damaging Voidling master, but he should feel better about brawling near the frontlines when he brings more sustained cooldowns and a little bit of protection.
In summary,
Laning vs Malz was boring, since he'd just instaclear the wave. Fighting Malz was unfun; getting 100-0'd while suppressed sucks. but If Malz couldn't do those, he was pretty useless. I'll add: It was/is especially frustrating to have your ult interrupted by the champion you're ulting. ex: You ult draven right as he casts stand aside, immediately canceling your ult. 2. Changes and their impact I've paraphrased for brevity, and left out changes to mana costs, which had more to do with AP itemization changes than Malz's play patterns.
Q: Call of the Void Damage down by ~1/4 Silence down by 1/3 Cooldown down by 1/3 E: Space AIDS Malefic Visions Base damage down by 1/3, AP ratio down by 1/8 Damaging a target with Q or R refreshes the duration R: Nether Grasp Creates a null zone under the target, that lasts for 5 seconds Reminder: Suppression lasts for 2.5 seconds Flat damage changed to %HP, dealt in an AOE beneath the target These abilities haven't changed since patch 6.9 (the initial rework).
This is a great set of changes.
Q & E: The lowered damage means Malz is less bursty and needs to stick around a little in order to clear waves, but the lowered Q cooldown and the E refresh means he can still trade effectively. It also adds a bit of mastery to his kit (managing E's duration), and makes the boring "put E on them and walk away" harass less potent if he misses the (skillshot) Q.
The biggest downside is that there's no visual feedback to show the refresh, which may not be confusing to opponents who haven't combed through the tooltips.
R: Lower damage means Malz can't 100-0 you while you're suppressed. But, there's a bunch of upsides for Malz, too: - The null zone lasts even if the suppress is interrupted, so your ult isn't 100% useless even if it gets canceled right away. - It also lasts longer than the suppression, so you can keep doing damage if your allies can lock the target down. This lets it stay strong in teamfights and ganks without being stupidly OP in 1v1s. - It's AOE damage based on the target's max hp, so it doesn't feel terrible to ult the enemy frontline. - Playing safe feels better; you no longer feel like you have to dive and ult the enemy carry in order to be effective.
Passive: Void Shift Patch 6.9
New passive added. Basically a Banshee's Veil for spells and AAs, that lingers for 1s after it gets popped. Patch 6.10 Cooldown changes that don't matter. Patch 6.15 Cooldown nerf that don't matter. Linger reduced to 0.25s from 1s As much hate as this passive gets, in my opinion the original idea of it was great. Having a second of CC immunity makes your ult so much more reliable, which makes up for your lowered burst. And in teamfights when you don't have your ult, it lets you get in range to hit your E, then back off and hit your Q on the way out to refresh the duration. Old Malz couldn't do that without risking his life, so he just had to poke with Q (and sometimes W).
The patch 6.15 nerf threw that idea away, and basically just makes him stronger as a support and harder to catch out. (To be clear, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with Malz support, but I do think there's something wrong with the play pattern of "try to avoid interacting with the enemy until my passive is up, then win a trade by brute force.")
I also recognize that 1 second of basically full immunity from the enemy team is ridiculously OP. However, I'm not convinced that Malz needs 90% damage reduction for the passive to do its job; if Malz lost some damage reduction, he could get back a bit of the passive duration.
W: Void Swarm Patch 6.9
Malzahar spawns a Voidling, which lasts for 12 seconds. For the first 8 seconds, he spawns another each time an existing one attacks a champion or large monster, or assists in killing a unit. This can only happen once per Voidling. New voidlings last for whatever's left of the original 12 seconds. When 3+ Voidling are active, they all gain bonus attack speed. Voidlings deal physical damage (scales with AD) and magic damage (scales with AP). Damage is halved vs monsters and tripled vs low hp minions. Voidlings gain bonus ms toward priority targets (marked with †) Attack priority Target of R † Enemies in R's Null Zone † Affected by E (champions first, then minions) † Nearest target Removed: Malzahar's autoattack target Removed: Leash range Patch 6.23 Change to a 2-charge system Voidling health changed to 3 Damage buffed Window of time to spawn additional voidlings down to 3s from 8s Voidling assists no longer spawn more voidlings Removed triple damage to minions below 20% health Added triple damage to minions affected by E Removed bonus attack speed when 3+ Voidlings are active. Voidlings only get bonus MS towards priority targets when they're within 600 units of Malzahar Patch 7.3 New: Voidlings spawn after a 0.35s delay. New: 1s cooldown between casts. New Effect: Past 600 distance, Voidlings move more slowly the farther they are from Malzahar. Oh, boy. This ability right here. This is the problem child. Let's dive in:
It reads like a short novel. 102 words on the wiki. I consider myself one of the more knowledgable League players, and I didn't even fully understand it until just now, after spending half an hour re-writing the patch notes. And even now, I doubt I'll remember it all in the heat of the moment, next time I face Malzahar. Complexity makes an ability hard to optimize, and that's a good thing. For example, Ekko's stun creates tons of interesting decisions and outplay moments for both Ekko and his opponents. But you can't even try to optimize an ability that you can't understand. It's frustrating and unsatisfying to use. Playing Malz, sometimes I cast W and suddenly have an army of Voidlings mauling my opponent's face. Other times, my one little voidy dies without getting off a single attack. Either way, I don't feel like I outplayed or was outplayed. Part of this is related to point 1. Now I know it's important for me to have my E on them and to stay within 600 units, but there's no way I'm going to find that out without poring over the tooltip. Does my opponent know to hang back and avoid the Voidling, but only for the first 3 seconds? Let's hope not. It's also related to luck. The ability's damage is quite nearly doubled if the first voidling gets in an AA at 2.9s instead of 3.1s. It just generally sucks to have such a large part of your damage be so far outside your control. It's unduly strong vs melee champions. Particularly in the early game and in the bot lane, it's really hard to make the ability strong vs ranged champs without making it oppressive vs melee, who don't have the choice to throw spells while kiting back. Leona thought she was going to be able to engage during this laning phase? Lol. (I'm definitely not a salty Leona main). Stats Patch 6.14
Movement speed reduced to 335 from 340. Attack range reduced to 500 from 550. No strong feelings about these, particularly since voidlings no longer follow Malz's AAs. They're different balance-wise, but I think either would be acceptable to balance around.
  1. Rework goals: Achieved? In the malzahar direction thread, Repertoir shared some criteria for what a successful rework would look like. Let's do a spot check and see how it's done.
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Here's some stuff we're happy with about Malzahar and are unlikely to change:
Functions well as a reliable anti-mobility/anti-assassin via Nether Grasp (R). Has really fun/unique farming patterns via Malefic Visions (E). I'm going to give these both a check. Farming with E is still interesting (if slightly harder), and Zed thinks he's gonna dive you at 6? What a dumbassassin.
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Here's some stuff we're less happy with and are actively trying to resolve:
A simple W>E>R is often enough to eliminate or remove enemies, leaving them little opportunity to act outside of not getting into his range. Malzahar is inherently low agency, and is historically balanced in a way that means he forces similarly low agency situations upon opponents. Voidlings are a cool and unique element of the kit that often don't play a large role in his success throughout the game (AD Malz aside). Here, there's less success. E>W>R won't boop someone, but W>E has a similar effect, early game. Malz got some agency with the Q, E, and R changes, but a lot of power was shifted to his Voidlings, over which he doesn't have much control. And while Voidlings certainly play a large role in his success, it's not in a way that feels good to the Malz player.
RiotRepertoir (NA) - about a year ago
Here's what I hope will be true of Malzahar following his changes:
Malzahar's kit will feel familiar to Malzahar players; he has a lot of cool spells/visuals, and we don't want to change that. Malzahar will feel less like a burst caster to everyone. Malzahar will continue to be low range and low mobility, but he will feel less vulnerable. AP Malzahar players will care about using their Voidlings correctly. AD Malzahar will still be a decent option. Malzahar's kit will have clearer signals for how he could have played better and/or how opponents could have played better against it. Playing Malzahar still won't be a mechanically intense/exhausting experience. These were mostly successful. However, there are still many clarity issues around Voidlings (discussed in the previous section) and AD Malz seems to be dead. Maybe it's bad, or maybe it's so similar to AP that there's no reason to pick it; I'm not sure.
Malz support box I don't think there's anything inherently bad about Malzahar support. The real questions are:
Is Malz support healthy for the game? I don't think so. Voidling strength vs melee champions makes it really hard for melee champions to play League of Legends during laning phase. Q and R are fine abilities in bot lane, but if Malz is ever a strong support because of his E, there's probably something wrong (winning a lane from spamming point and click damage is not a fun thing #pantheon).
Can Malz be balanced for both support and mid? If not, which is a better choice to balance around? I think it is possible to balance Malz as a primary mid and a decent-but-niche support, as he was before the rework. His E has a lot more play around it when Malz is farming, but his ult is more interesting in a 2v2 lane. Overall I'd give the edge to mid lane, since you use E a lot more than R. If adc bot is ever not mandatory, Malz bot would probably be the most interesting.
Overall, I think it's a problem if Malz support makes Malz mid unviable (as it currently does in pro play), but not vice versa (although if Malz supp is viable, that's great).
The verdict: Unfortunately, the one bad part (W) is so central to the new kit that it overshadows an otherwise well-done and successful rework.
On the upside, this means a little more work will go a long way: Malz would be a really good candidate for small-scale work (like Shyvana, Alistar, or Amumu).
  1. Looking forward / Rework part II Here's what I would do to fix Malz. I've estimated some numbers to give you an idea what I'm going for, but numbers are really hard to do without playtesting; please don't focus on the specific numbers too much.
Passive: Void Shift
Damage reduction reduced to 45% from 90% Linger increased to 0.5s from 0.25s R: Nether Grasp
Refreshes passive on cast These changes give Malz a slightly longer window to set up trades in lane, without making it feel pointless to try to poke him down. They also make R much more reliable, so it is... - Easier to balance in a teamfight scenario (where it's often interrupted immediately) vs a 1v1 scenario (where it's seldom interrupted at all). - Less frustrating for Malz, since the ult can no longer be interrupted by its target.
The damage reduction nerf is for power, and so the ult isn't effective as a defensive reaction (eg, to a Veigar ult).
[Updated] W: Void Portal Malzahar creates an untargetable rift to the void that lasts 30 seconds. On Malzahar's fourth subsequent ability cast, the Rift transforms into a Void Portal, which lasts for 12 seconds. The Portal spawns one Voidling immediately and -- for the first 3 seconds of its lifetime -- spawns another the first time a Voidling attacks a champion or large monster (visually, the Portal collapses after 3 seconds). Voidlings share the Portal's duration. Voidlings cannot walk farther than 500 units from the Portal unless their target is affected by Nether Grasp or Malefic Visions. They gain 100% bonus movement speed within that range but lose 10% per 100 units past it.
Range: 800 Cooldown: 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 E: Malefic Visions [New] Autoattacking a champion or large monster affected by Malefic Visions extends the duration by 1 second (never longer than the initial 4s).
Here's the bread and butter of the changes.
Voidling spawn, while not actually that much simpler, is now much easier to visualize and understand without studying the tooltip, due to visual effects on Void Rifts / Portals. By forcing Malz to pick a location for Voidlings to spawn from, we balance his effectiveness vs ranged and melee. Although Voidlings tend to be more effective against melee champs, Void Rift placement is more effective against ranged. If you put a rift under the enemy caster minions, it's in position to either waveclear or fight your ranged opponent. If a melee opponent jumps on you, kiting back towards your tower also means kiting away from your Voidlings. Delaying the spawn takes away quite a bit of power, which allows us to add the other buffs. It also provides a window of power to play aggressively vs Malz, particularly for melee champs. The current long cooldown on Voidlings means there's a window where Malz can't really fight you, but he can usually keep a voidling in his back pocket to force you to back off. Now, if he burns his E, you've got a window where Voidlings can't stray far from their portal (unless Malz ults). Now Malz needs to cast his other spells in order to spawn Voidlings; Malz supp doesn't have a mana restore mechanism. This doesn't mean supp is automatically bad; it's just another lever for tweaking his balance between lanes. The boost for autoattacking gives Malz a reason to stay in fighting range of his opponent instead of dropping an E and running away. Also, maybe it lets AD malz can make a comeback. Most importantly, it creates a lot of gameplay for both Malz and his opponent. Say Malz mid has a Void Rift near the enemy caster minions, that's one cast from activation. The enemy laner knows this, and wants to avoid getting E'd and zoned off the wave. They can back off until the rift times out, or they can push the wave, and force Malz to use his spells to clear the wave.
Both Malz mid and support have a pattern to maintain constant pressure: create a new void rift on cooldown (every 20 seconds). Cast Q and E to get this rift to 2 charges and spawn a Voidling from the previous one. By the time that voidling times out, E is off cooldown again, so you can spawn the second Voidling with another QE.. or wait 10 seconds until your W is back off cooldown. If that went over your head and you want a visual, here's what I wrote when I was figuring it out for myself, to make sure there'd actually be a time when you could fight Malz.
Turns out it's a great pattern for pushing the lane hard, or forcing the enemy botlane to stay back... but in bot it's really mana intensive, and in mid, if your opponent can force a fight, they can mess up your timing and create a window when you've got no Voidlings to fight with. Trade-offs and counterplay!
What if it turned out this rework is underpowered/overpowered?
Aside from numbers tweaks, if it's overtuned I'd remove the passive refresh on ult, which is nice but not essential. If it's undertuned, I'd make R count as 4 spellcasts (ie, instantly activate any Void Rifts).
Closing thoughts Please, leave feedback! Do you play Malz? If so, do these changes sound fun to you? If not, do these changes sound more fun to play against?
Remember, no idea is perfect on the first shot; if you like some parts of this but not others, that's good feedback, too!
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[Table] IAmA: We are the Firefox User Experience team, this is your chance to tell us about your pet peeves!

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Date: 2013-03-08
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Questions Answers
What are you replacing it with? Feel free to take my notes as suggestions for operations which I hope are [easily] possible with whatever mechanism replaces this. I don't think we'll be encouraging plugins at all, it's not something we believe is part of the web. It was a necessary evil back in the 90s, but browsers can do pretty much anything a plugin is capable of these days.
I like you guys. We like you too.
Hm... not sure I agree with that sentiment. I'm no fan of plugins in most cases, but it seems like there are quite a few businesses which use them for various reasons, and you might be closing off a large part of the market without the feature. They'll still be able to install plugins — it's just that we are not going to go out of our way to convince you to install the plugin — that's their job. ;)
Now kiss. Link to i.imgur.com
I am a user of google chrome. what would make me switch to firefox? Firefox is built by Mozilla, a non-profit organization who's mission is to make the web better, more open, and more accessible, for everybody.
We have no interest in making money off of you. We're interested in making your web experience better, safer, and more secure.
If a choice came to us where we had to choose between making boatloads of money, or making things better for our users, we would 100% always choose making things better for our users. Every time.
If we had shareholders, they'd probably crap themselves. That's why we don't have them, and will never have them.
So, I guess there's my pitch. Our browser is built for you, and not as a vehicle to make us money. We'll never compromise on your safety, privacy, or security.
Plus, we're community driven. Come join us. :\)
Now lets talk on the technical side, Why switch from chrome to Firefox from a technical point of view? There are a couple of angles on this. First of all, we're 100% open source. You can read all of Firefox's source code. Every byte in the compiled binary is public for you to gawk at. And help with.
Chrome is not this way. The Chromium project, which Chrome is based on, is open-source, but then they take the Chromium code, pump in some other things that are closed (their own home-brew of Flash, and some other stuff), and that's what becomes Chrome.
Other technical reasons...our add-on ecosystem is far richer, and our add-ons framework is far more powerful... we tend to use less memory than Chrome (I'm serious) since we don't copy the process per tab...
There are more reasons I could list, but I also have a huge backlog of questions to answer. :)
Whose mission* I stand corected.
I love Firefox, and it is my primary choice for browsing. The one feature that bothers me though is that if I want to go to Private Browsing (Ctrl+Shift+P), my current window disappears. This can be annoying especially when I have a video open and when I get back to normal browsing it starts from the beginning and not where I left it. Have you thought about changing this practice so that a private browsing page opens completely on a new window? Thanks. Yes we have, and you can try per-Windows private browsing in Firefox 20 beta, Link to www.mozilla.org
It has been fixed, and is coming to Firefox in version 20, if I remember correctly.
Starting in Firefox 20 (currently in beta), we support per-window private browsing! You can get the beta here to use it today: Link to www.mozilla.org
I use a dark windows theme. Any way to fix this? File a bug! Link to bugzilla.mozilla.org
Why is there no Windows 64 bit version of Firefox? 64bit Firefox isn't a priority, as there are few benefits, and it's alot of work when there are other, large and more important projects to work on. 32bit Firefox runs well on 64bit windows for the time being.
Do you have to have a degree to apply for a design job at Mozilla/Firefox? or can you apply if you have relevant experience? Thanks for doing this AMA :) We have lots of people that are school dropouts, so it's certainly not a requirement. If you're talented, we'd love to talk to you!
Hey guys. Long time Firefox user but it is a bit of a memory hog. Any plans to slim it down? Yep, we've been tracking that, and have made some improvements. Of course, if you have the memory, doesn't it make sense to trade some higher memory usage for better speed?
We are always working on improving memory usage in Firefox (we have a team called memshrink working on it in every release). Have you tried Firefox 19 after a Firefox Reset?
We've been slimming down Firefox a lot in recent months - we call it the MemShrink project.
And we've been making pretty decent strides! See areweslimyet.com for a graph of our progress.
I should also point out that add-ons are almost always the first suspect when it comes to memory leaks and consumption. We've made that a bit better in recent versions of Firefox (since Firefox 15\).
At the moment, Firefox generally does better on memory than any of the other browsers in independent tests. So yes, it's a lot better these days, and we keep working on it! Check out the MemShrink project.
What happened to Australis? Why we have different tab style between Thunderbird and Firefox? Link to i.imgur.com
Wow it's beautiful! When will it come to Linux? Hey - I'm working on the Linux GTK port as we speak.
Curvy tabs are currently available in our UX Nightly builds.. Your distro might have UX in its package universe too, if you didn't want to grab the nightly from us.
Did you see that guys? limi rick-rolled us! I tried to be subtle about it. ;)
Will there be an option to turn of curvy tabs for those who don't want it? One of the reasons I switched from chrome to FF was because I prefer the current look of the tabs in FF 18. I'm sure somebody will develop a theme to switch you back. Without fail, when we introduce something, somebody in the community introduces an add-on that will switch you back. ;)
But that person will not be me - I'm biased, but I quite like the new tabs.
Have to use? Are you limited in what version of Flash you can use? Yes. The NPAPI version. IE does ActiveX, Chrome does Pepper.
Hey, not really much of a poster, but I love Firefox and as a graduating senior (related to this field), I figured I might get in on the act. What do you guys see as the single most important thing a person trying to get into the UX field can do to better themselves? Experience.
Build a product with someone, put everyday people in front of it, and watch it fall apart as they try to use it. Then, iterate until it doesn't. :)
Have a design process that you are able to communicate clearly to others. Even better if your design process is research-driven. :)
Why doesn't audio go through the browser as a middle-man so the browser knows which tabs are blaring music, etc? (And so you could mute a tab). Because Flash.
(Yes, I'd love to have this fixed too)
Because the NPAPI that Flash uses to hook into Firefox doesn't allow for this.
And we could spend resources altering the API and convincing Adobe to change Flash to work with it (unlikely)...
Or maybe it's time to do something a little webbier with Flash, like we did with PDFs...
Are any of you guys working on Firefox OS? I've contributed a teeny-tiny thing to Firefox OS, but that was just in my spare time.
If so how do you feel about jumping into this field as its a huge undertaking! I don't want to speak for the whole community, but I think it's safe to say that we're pumped. According to some of the old hands in the community, this feeling very much resembles the one we had before diving into the desktop browser world, and taking on IE. Gonna disrupt mobile and open it up. Feels good.
A sign of a close-interlinked company. IMO, more accurately, the sign of a vibrant, healthy, exciting community. Community > company.
An explicit goal for Firefox OS is to run well on low-end hardware.
INTEGRATED VOLUME CONTROL!!!? I would PAY for that! So would we! Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to do when Flash works the way it does.
I believe currently the entire interface currently uses CSS to mimic the native platforms UI. This is only partly true. Yes, we define the interface using the XUL language and CSS, but for certain things, we defer to the operating system to tell us how to draw things.
For example, I'm working on getting the tabs into the titlebar on OSX. The titlebar that we're using in this build is a XUL hbox with the -moz-appearance CSS property (non-standard) set to -moz-window-titlebar.
When we do that, we signal Gecko's widget layer that we want this to look like the native titlebar, and the code responsible for Cocoa widgetry takes care of painting that for us.
The same is true with things like progress bars. Those are XUL progressmeters, but we're definitely not drawing those ourselves.
The upshot about this is that we can (usually) use the same XUL across each platform, and then let the CSS and widgetry layer define how we paint it.
Things like scrollbars and bounce behaviours are pretty hard, but we're getting there. We've recently hired more Cocoa talent to work on this stuff, so you might start seeing it sooner rather than later.
Speaking of, if you're interested in trying tabs in the titlebar on OSX, a demo version should be appearing in tomorrow's UX Nightly builds...
I hope I answered your question!
Awesome! Any idea when it make it into the release version? I currently open Chrome when I need a clean private session. According to the release calendar, Firefox 20 moves to the release channel on April 1st. (And no, I'm not joking. :) )
Install a tracking cookie that alerts you to when I try do download another browser and then makes me click a whole bunch of "are you sure?" windows. Good idea. Maybe throw in a toolbar too. :D.
I have to restore last session to get my tabs to reopen. Ah, you mean that if there's a stray window and you close what you think is the last window, you lose your session. There is a timer (I believe) that is supposed to fix that, so have you experienced it lately?
If i somehow miss a stupid popup window (why do some websites still use those fucking things?) when closing firefox i lose that session, its annoying as all hell. If/when that happens, you can access the History menu (via the Firefox button in the top left on Windows or the menu bar on OS X) and reopen your window(s) from the Recently Closed Windows sub-menu.
I understand that your main source of revenue is referral fees from the search bar at the top right of the page. I like google as my search engine. I'm wondering, if I set my homepage (or go) to google and search from their bar directly, does Mozilla still get the referral fee? No, you have to use either the built-in search box, enter your search in the URL bar, or use our built-in home page (about:home). At least as far as I know, I'm not on the business development team. :)
Thanks for the reply! I'll keep going top right. Top left works too. :)
Thanks for the support! :) You also have the ability to donate directly to the foundation.
Or you can come get involved! Firefox is powered by the community, and we always want more. You don't need to be a coder - we need help with testing, support, triage...all sorts of stuff.
Come join us. :)
Edit: accidentally a word.
What kind of user testing do you guys do? Do you do in-lab studies, field work, focus groups? Hi! I'm a Senior UX Researcher at Mozilla.
We use a huge range of user research techniques. The primary ones that we use (in no particular order):
Qualitative, ethnographic interviews in the field (esp. in participants' home or office)
Diary studies.
Quantitative surveys.
Studies of user behavior using Test Pilot and Micropilot
User testing.
In terms of how we implement and use these techniques, we prefer to use multiple techniques within a single project (for example, a series of qualitative interviews, a diary study, and a quantitative survey). Using multiple approaches, allows us to answer questions that we can't answer with only one technique. Also, multiple approaches allows us to triangulate and validate the results from the different techniques among one another.
We do not have a lab nor do we intend to use one in the near future. As much as we are able to do so, we are firm believers in observing and understanding the actual context in which people use our products.
Saving images is slow, and I cannot figure out why. I usually just save pictures that are ALREADY DISPLAYED. Why is copying the file out of the cache folder 1000x fasater than right-click->save as? Your anti-virus software, if you have any, might be at fault here. Try disabling it, and seeing if this persists.
That's a good question. Did you file a bug? Link to bugzilla.mozilla.org
Also work in a support, and very often advice people to change to Firefox. Your new .pdf browser really makes the difference when having to choose between Chrome and Firefox, when changing from IE. Link to limi.net
As for improvements to it, my biggest issue was that if you opened a ton of tabs\windows (to the point where it became slow), you couldn't speed it up again by just closing tabs\windows. The only reason I can think this happens is that the tabs are kept in memory until you restart the browser. Perhaps I'm wrong, but if that's the case, couldn't you just keep a list of the closed windows\tabs page addresses, and re-connect to them? If not, go to Link to support.mozilla.org and we can help fix those crashes for you. Just making sure, you did a reset too?
If you enter "about:crashes" in the URL bar, you should see a list of reported crashes. If you've still got entries there, post a few recent IDs here (or PM me), and I'll take a look to see if it indicates what might be wrong.
Chrome starts up almost instantly... Firefox always takes a good 5-10 seconds to start up... just wondering if you guys have plans to implement faster start up? That's an unacceptably slow start time. Have you tried resetting Firefox?
If Firefox takes 5-10 seconds to start up, there's definitely something wrong.
Try updating to the latest version, and then Reset Firefox?
Link to support.mozilla.org
I don't see any way to pop them out into another window like Chrome, which is extremely helpful. On the latest Nightly, there is a button next to the close button of the Devtools console that pops it open into a new window. Not sure what release this is in, but it's coming.
I don't see anything for profiling JS/CSS/etc A JS profiler has been added to Firefox 20, currently in beta.
When there is too much horizontal pressure on the tabs, Firefox uses a carousel combined with a drop down that shows all the tabs. IE will use a carousel without a dropdown. Chrome will just shrink the tabs and will eventually prevent you from browsing any new tabs created. What were the reasons that lead you towards selecting a carousel and dropdown? What kind of telemetry do you see with users actually filling the tabs and using the overflow features? Do they use the dropdown often in those cases, or rely more often on the carousel? Actually, we have plans for improving that part. Most of it was done before we had any user behavior information at all, and it turns out it's not exactly optimal. (Not that other browsers do better :)
I was under the impression that tab groups were more or less unsupported at this point. Eg, nobody working on fixing bugs or improving the integration with app tabs and other things. Is this not true? What are the future plans for them? It is kind of stopped now since we are figuring out a plan to move it forward. It's definitely on the list of things that need some design love :)
Any plans to integrate support of Remote Web Workplace? I'd never use IE again if I could initiate "Connect to a Computer" option through remote web workplace on Mozilla. I'm not sure but I think its ActiveX. You are correct, Remote Web Workplace is ActiveX. ActiveX cant be run in Firefox and there are no plans to integrate that (It's a proprietary Microsoft technology that is very insecure and bad for the web).
Why do you want to set every fox on fire? Renewable energy.
I have a pet peeve / interface suggestion if that's ok. I kind of dislike that the options window is a separate, "pop-up" window, and not integrated into a tab (kind of like the add-ons manager is). Is it possible to change this in the future? While not a programmer myself, I understand enough that, probably, the first method one might consider in making this happen is to allow changing of settings via html or whatever (so that it could be put into the tab like a webpage might), but that could open firefox up to security vulnerabilities and other problems. One reason I would like to get rid of the popup options window though is that I sometimes need to change my font size minimums in order to view some pages properly. I prefer to leave them around 18-point for better readability, but some sites' formatting makes the words/labels bleed out of their boxes that they've so strictly designed to fit 12-point and nothing else. So I was thinking it might be nice to leave the options window open... but you can't do anything like browse or change tabs while it is open as a popup, especially when it stays on top of the browser window. If it was a tab though, it would be no problem. Also, I am aware of, and use, add-ons like No-Squint and such, but they don't always help due to a page's "over-done formatting". Plus I guess I just kinda have my own way of doing things though, you know? Well, there's my $0.02. We're doing exactly that! The preferences will be moved to a tab.
Guys I really do not have any. I love firefox. But if I had to ask you...You guys ever thought about incorporating ghostery into the standard package? We've made several changes in that direction (e.g. Do Not Track), and stopped accepting cookies from third-party providers (unless you have visited their site already). Implementing all of what Ghostery does would probably massively break the web. When you have a few hundred million users, you have to move carefully with these things. The web is (for better or worse) an advertising economy.
As for me personally — yes, I think we need to do even more. But it's more complex than it appears at first glance. :)
I use a master password in FF, but when the wrong pass is entered cookies are still retained, so another user could get into Facebook (for example). I know I can log out of FB daily but that sucks. Can we make the master password close the cookie jar? Yeah, Master Password needs a redesign.
Blake can you link me to bugs/wikimo pages about that? Looks like it'll have serious implications for my new tab add-on. I don't think there is any of that yet. The prototype is mostly stuff that UX is playing around with to see if we can make that page better for users. But throw me some email (at my username at mozilla.com), and I'll let you know when stuff moves forward…
What are your opinions on the add on Add Blocker and the possible income it takes away from websites? AdBlock actually allows unobtrusive ads, so I like the way it forces ad agencies to play nicer.
For me this is usually just a timing issue. I open it too fast after closing, and it works fine when I try again. So can you not just have the new process wait a second after the first failure and then try again before popping the error? That's a good idea. Yes, something along these lines might be a good mitigating solution.
Why does Firefox eat all my memory? Out of the three web browsers I use Firefox is the most demanding memory wise and usually causes my computer to have problems. Dell Xps M1330 Win 7 64bit ultimate 4GB RAM Intel core 2 duo. Link to support.mozilla.org
Is there a reason that you go with separate search and URL bars, rather than a Chrome-style universal search bar thingy? Historical reasons. And some privacy ones. We do want to merge them.
What is the deal with "Plug in container"? It fucks up all the time and eats all my memory. Ever since you guys added that Firefox has kinda sucked. That's Flash sucking, not Firefox.
Not a peeve, but an idea I'd like to see: Being able to easily identify which open tab is producing sound. More than once I've had to close down my browser because some ad with sound started playing and I couldn't find which ad on which page was playing it. Curiously enough, I just got email about this. Someone has a patch that adds a global volume control, and controls to mute all the tabs, or all the non-visible tabs. So that's certainly something we'll be looking into… :)
I answered this over here.
It's quite annoying when you exit out of Firefox then immediately try to open it again it gives you the "Firefox is already running in another process" error. Other than that, love Firefox! Yeah, that does suck indeed.
What's happening is that Firefox is still in the process of closing, even though the window has disappeared. When you try to re-open Firefox, it flips out, because the first process hasn't finished up yet.
The performance team is working hard on this on the "exit(0)" project. It's a P1 goal. You can track our progress in this bug. (make sure to follow Bugzilla etiquette if it's your first time).
Yeah, this sounds like it is not shutting down fast enough. Try a reset?
Link to support.mozilla.org
That's when I open the task manager and shut down that process. Hold the pillow over it's face. Sleeep... No tears now. I enjoyed this comment. Have an upvote.
Ending the process, I find, works like a charm. Yes, but it shouldn't be necessary! Try the reset. :)
smooth as butter for several hours. Then, after that, everything gets laggylaggylaggy One thing we are considering is to unload tabs you haven't used in hours/days from memory, similar to how we restore background tabs on-demand when you restart.
I never know if Firefox is going to remember my tabs from last time or not. When Firefox starts: Show my windows and tabs from last time.
I'm sure our performance team would be interested in the output of the built-in Profiler, if you can capture it when it's lagging… One thing we are considering is to unload tabs you haven't used in hours/days from memory, similar to how we restore background tabs on-demand when you restart. Here are docs on how to report a performance problem when you come across them: Link to developer.mozilla.org
I wish sync was easier to use/understand. I just want to to put in my username and password and have my browsers sync across all PC's that use. We definitely agree and there is very active work going on to make this happen. Please stay tuned!
Yup, Sync is a bit of a mess, and is being re-done.
One of the things that I wanted to tackle when I started at Mozilla was re-doing sync because I thought it was really cool, but an impenetrable user experience for most users. Turns out, looking at our data it is an impenetrable user experience for most users.
It is in the process of being completely redone and integrating other data services that you would want to sync among your devices.
Sync is such a mess im amazed it got the get-go to roll. I'm an IT guy myself, but even I hate it so much that I use chrome at times when I need this functionality. You're not the only one. I don't think anyone likes it in its current state. (and yes, then the question is… why did it ship?)
Oddly enough, I actually love it in its current state. <3.
One wish: manually control if i want a PDF to be viewed in firefox or downloaded. It seems that the website usually decides this and it is annoying as hell when they guess wrong. Thanks! You can tell Firefox what to do with PDFs in the Options (or Preferences) dialog, under the "Applications" pane.
Find "PDF" in that list, and then set the action on the right.
I don't know if this is a known bug, but anytime I'm on a page with a Flash player, particularly YouTube, I can no longer use my computer's volume control buttons. Flash integration is always a pain, and especially around focus issues. Flash is allowed to steal keyboard shortcuts etc, which is very frustrating. It was our #1 paper cut issue three years ago, and it still is. Luckily, Flash is slowly disappearing. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to fix this issue in the meantime, though. (Both IE and Chrome have a different version of Flash than the one we have to use, which makes things complicated.) This has been a reoccurring issue since Flash 11.3 was released. Can you go to about:addons and see what version of Flash is installed? I just checked mine and I actually had 2 (?!) versions of Flash installed (11.5 and 11.6). Uninstalling Flash through the Control Panel (on Windows) and reinstalling clean from Adobe's site gave me Flash 11.6 and I can no longer reproduce the bug. I hope that helps.
Works fine in IE, and Chrome, but not in Firefox.
I feel like it's the only thing that truly bugs me about the browser. Other than that, great work, I don't think I'll be changing anytime soon.
Flash hijacks most keyboard input, so even commands like control-w (to close the tab) don't work. I know this has an open ticket (and has for a while) but I would really love to see it fixed. Me too!
We have people working on it as we speak! You will see a better new tab soon. And for now you can hide the boxes by clicking on the grid thing on the upper right of the page. A terrible-looking example of one of the designs we're looking into is at this prototype page.
I use Firefox for porn, thanks. If you're not using Firefox Beta, Aurora, or Nightly, then you're in for a treat when you check them out.
EDIT: Fuck yeah, thanks for the reddit gold! We now have a new implementation of our Private Browsing that will open in a separate window instead of swapping your current browsing context.
If you're not using Firefox Beta, Aurora, or Nightly, then you're in for a treat when you check them out. We now have a new implementation of our Private Browsing that will open in a separate window instead of swapping your current browsing context. Engagement rings for everybody!
I was kinda confused when I would do my normal Ctrl Shift P and it now pops up a Private WINDOW instead of closing the regular window altogether and opening a purple private one. Now it's just too easy to close up when you're done. You don't have to restart all your tabs! I get kinda confused when I hit Cmd-Shift-[ to switch tabs, and get a new Private Window, cause my fingers are shifted over a key… ;)
Keep your strong stance on user privacy and you'll have me as a user forever. You can count on it.
We do our best!
But how will we know? ;-)
Having the options and settings in the upper left hand under "Firefox" is confusing and the opposite of Chrome and Internet Explorer in Windows, which leads to training headaches with users. We're moving the menu to the right side, see the Australis redesign project.
I agree, this is ridiculous, and I complain about it every chance I get. Can you say "pet peeve"? :D.
We have lots of people that are school dropouts, so it's certainly not a requirement. If you're talented, we'd love to talk to you! A link to our careers page would probably be useful here, too… ;)
Last updated: 2013-03-13 05:50 UTC
This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
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Best Signals Provider 2020! Binary Options ! Daily Profit !

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