I swear on the tutorial it told me that diving around I could avoid damage.. I tried it first with bullets and they just swerve mid-air and hit me, I though ok.. I can deal. but then I tried it against Gorn throwing boulders at me.. the boulds are like heat seeking missiles they follow me too, pretty ridiculous.. did they take this feature out and forgot to remove it from the tutorial or something?
Nope, it never worked in beta either...the "rolling dodge" mechanic basically is only useful for positioning. I've yet to be able to dodge grenades, boulders, or close combat strikes using the dodge, but at least I can look cool or something? x_x
I think it's because the hit probability is figured as soon as the animation for the hit starts, not when the hit actually lands. So even if you dodge away from that boulder in mid-toss, it has already been decided at the start whether or not the damage is going to hit you.
I suppose you can "dodge to avoid damage" by dodging behind cover, so they can't shoot at you even more? Dunno. Just one of the things that bothers me.
Yes you can basically only dodge grenades and mortar shots. Photon grenades though are quite hard to avoid, I suspect it's because they have a big area of explosion. Plasma grenades (which are the one you want to avoid most anyway) are dodgeable quite easily.
I've actually been practicing trying to roll/dodge those freaking boulders, and sometimes if I time it while the boulder is in mid-transit, when it hits, it actually scrolls up 'Dodge - 2' instead of your typical damage numbers.
It may animate that it follows you stupidly, but I think it does actually add an element of 'dodge' to the damage rolls, at least for those damned heat-seaking boulders. ;P It definitely does help when you see the red targeting circle light up around your feet when a mortar is about to take a pot shot at you to roll the crap out of the way ASAP, and same for incoming grenades if you're quick enough.
I'd test and see if rolling around while people are blasting you with beam weapons actually changes the damage numbers to say 'Dodge - x' just like the flanking modifier.