Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default

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Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default

One of the most common pieces of advice I see for new players is to make a template of PD surrounded by walls. It's by far the most used template and even some more experienced players can be annoyed if they lose access to it for one reason or another.

Why not have FAF add the 4 (one for each faction) templates automatically? It'd be a QoL feature like mex assist for storage and should be fairly low impact to everyone who doesn't want it.

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how about to change to main hotkey order for PD with this template

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What if we made it just like the mex assist feature where if you assist the pd it'll surround the pd with walls? This way we're not potentially messing with people's templates. It's not as efficient, but it's a less intrusive compromise and a stop gap if something goes wrong with your templates for a game. I also like the suggestion from @Eternal-. A potential issue I could see with adding a template is how would this interact with someone like me who has a pd template but it's more minimal with 4 walls instead of 8?

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The problem with that @Exselsior is that you can't just queue up multiple walled PD with one set of orders, you would have to start your PDs and then do more clicks when it finished to queue up the walls. And if you wanted to make multiple PDs your engineers wouldn't start making walls until all of the turrets were done, unless you babysat them. So it would actually cost more APM and it would promote bad habits.

And we can't make point defense default to having walls around it (default to using a template instead of a singular build order) because people don't always want walls around their PD, for example if they're making teleport defense.

One solution is just to make PD higher so it doesn't benefit from walls, and give it a corresponding HP boost. Then find some other way to make walls relevant in the game as walls -- not just relevant as extra armor for t1 PD. It wouldn't ruin the game--you would still suffer if you spammed PD too closely together because splash damage would damage multiple turrets at once.

Maybe walls just shouldn't block any shots at all. That would be better than having them block shots from some units but not others (because if we raise t1 PD height, some units are low enough to the ground that maybe vanilla walls would still block their shots depending on terrain elevation). Walls would still be able to block units from moving forward.

We could also find a way to nerf the ability of engineers to quickly reclaim the walls without making the walls take longer to build. If it took 5x as long for engineers to reclaim walls, it would be harder to just send an engineer to the front to make a hole in the line and more painful to use your ACU to open a hole (but still very doable).

This would make the game less complicated. I'm not seeing a downside.

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@arma473 What you said is accurate, you can't make walls until pd is done and it takes extra click. But my point isn't to replace the pd with walls templates, it's if for some reason your templates break and you're in a tight spot for a game it's a slight improvement and a compromise from just starting every game with faf automatically adding pd with walls a template. It takes hardly any time or effort to actually create that template if you want it.

Also, I think walls are in an okay spot right now - they force you to think about unit mix and factional differences when dealing with pd and I think that is healthy gameplay.

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@Exselsior said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

A potential issue I could see with adding a template is how would this interact with someone like me who has a pd template but it's more minimal with 4 walls instead of 8?

It wouldn't affect you. What I'm saying is if you were to reinstall FAF you would have a game.prefs file with the PD + walls template already there instead of a blank one. If you want to edit that template later then you're free to do so, and that's not any more work than making if from scratch.

@arma473 said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

Maybe walls just shouldn't block any shots at all.

I'd like to avoid this becoming a general wall balance thread. If you want to discuss that please make one in the balance forum

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@Deribus said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

@Exselsior said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

A potential issue I could see with adding a template is how would this interact with someone like me who has a pd template but it's more minimal with 4 walls instead of 8?

It wouldn't affect you. What I'm saying is if you were to reinstall FAF you would have a game.prefs file with the PD + walls template already there instead of a blank one. If you want to edit that template later then you're free to do so, and that's not any more work than making if from scratch.

In this case I like this idea for another reason as well: new players can actually see something in the template tab from the start. Having a useful default template there would be a nice thing to have even outside of the QOL improvements from having to recreate that template if you reinstall or whatever.

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Separately: if right-clicking on a PD gave orders to make walls, would that come before or after repairing the PD? Would I have to double-click it and then cancel the assist order on the PD itself if I wanted the walls to be built before the PD is repaired? Or would I always be forced to build walls around a naked PD before I had the chance to repair it?

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@arma473 It would work like capping the mexes works currently - repair then make walls unless you cancel the assist on the pd.

That being said after thinking about it slightly more I don't see as much of a point to my idea and I can't think of any downsides to what @Deribus is suggesting. I like that for both the QOL reasons and for what I said earlier about now having a default template that new players will see so there's an example for them already created.

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Regarding @Deribus' suggestion: Is the game prefs shared with the steam installation? If so, how easy is it to add in a template? We would have to write a parser that could open and interpret the game prefs file, find out if the template (or if an equivalent template is already there), and if it's not there, add it, but only do this the very first time someone loads FAF? And then they've got this template that will also exist if they try to play the game with Steam?

We should be careful about editing people's game prefs file. Perhaps just make a tutorial video about how to make this PD template and encourage new players to watch the video, follow the process, learn to make their own templates, and then learn to start using this one. Giving people a template that they can easily make for themselves does nothing for people who already know how to make templates, and for people who don't know, it takes away an opportunity for them to learn.

Also, if you break one person's game prefs file, you will never hear the end of it.

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@arma473 said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

Is the game prefs shared with the steam installation?

Yes, but it should be pretty easy to just point to a different file if we don't want mess with people's steam installations.

If so, how easy is it to add in a template?

ez pz

@arma473 said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

We would have to write a parser that could open and interpret the game prefs file, find out if the template (or if an equivalent template is already there), and if it's not there, add it, but only do this the very first time someone loads FAF?

You're overthinking it.

If templatecount == 0:
      add pd+wall template

Perhaps just make a tutorial video about how to make this PD template and encourage new players to watch the video, follow the process, learn to make their own templates, and then learn to start using this one. Giving people a template that they can easily make for themselves does nothing for people who already know how to make templates, and for people who don't know, it takes away an opportunity for them to learn.

New players already have dozens of tutorials to watch, watching one just for adding a template should be the least of their priorities.

Also, if you break one person's game prefs file, you will never hear the end of it.

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@Deribus As long as you're only doing it to people with zero templates, that seems like a good idea, and there would be no reason to make a separate game prefs file.

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There's no reason ever for you not to have a PD template as majority of the PDs you build are most effective when walled, so yes I agree a default PD template should be added.

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It would be very easy to add the template via Lua code the first time you launch the game

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kudos to mr PC for bringing that up to my attention.
Didn't read the whole thread, here is my pov :
1st : about making it a default template : i'm not sure how that would work knowing that people want to customize the order of their template, and some other might want to not have it. Of course people can remove the template afterward, but it might be more confusing than anything.
2nd : about "turning making a pd" into "making a pd + walls" : There are situation where you want to build pd only (eg : T2/T3 com drop, or tele defence, urgent defence set up with high bp)
3rd : about right clicking the pd to build wall, like mexx with storage : not super friendly apm wise, remove ability to repair with right click.

So 1st option would be the best one, i'm not completely convinced. Although if someone make a PR on it, there is high chances it get in.

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The original idea was the first option, and for it to only add the template for players who don't have any templates at all.

This way template order and alternate PD + walls templates will be non-issues since they prevent the automatic addition

Good for newbies too, since the existence of templates isn't made clear by the game anywhere.

The only players I can potentially see being negatively affected are players who have no templates and specifically want their template list to be empty. However, even for those players (should they exist) it's a few seconds of work to delete the template every game update.

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@keyser could it not be done to have a toggle in the setting that could be turned off if people did not want it as the right clikc on t2 mex to build mass storage is one of them settings ?

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" - Spock

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@rowey But it will only add the template if you have literally zero templates and it's easy to delete templates. Adding a toggle/setting for something that affects like 2% of the population in a small way 4 times a year probably isn't worth it. We don't want to overwhelm people with a silly number of settings in the client and more settings = more overhead to maintain the client.

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Including the template doesn't do anything beneficial. The problem is not that noobs don't know how to make the template., it is that they don't know there is a weird interaction between PD and walls that is strong. Learning this interaction and learning how to make templates is a pretty good stepping stone for new players. If you just include the template by default then they still won't know why it is there or what it does, and then it also takes away the learning opportunity of creating your first simple template.

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@keyser said in Ship FAF with PD + walls template by default:

2nd : about "turning making a pd" into "making a pd + walls" : There are situation where you want to build pd only (eg : T2/T3 com drop, or tele defence, urgent defence set up with high bp)

That's why you use your hotkey for building point defense.

@ThomasHiatt

"The problem is not that noobs don't know how to make the template....then it also takes away the learning opportunity of creating your first simple template."

If you already know how to make a template you aren't learning anything when you do it.