Change Mantis to T1 tank icon

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@FtXCommando said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

Actually do wonder about the merits of a unit that could change its icon at will

Not possible in current code or atleast not without doing some funky coding stuff (its not an engine limitation because they can change at will if unknown)

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So it seems that the main argument in favour of changing is increased readability, with the benefit being mostly for newer\less attentive players as the timing and behaviour of the unit will quickly distinguish whether it's a Hunter or a Mantis.

The main con seems to be taking away factional asymmetry, a lack of which is a pretty common talking point for SupCom. In my opinion the more asymmetry the better, so long as it's balanced.

I think this "behaviour reading" is a skill that is satisfying to learn, and removing the need for it would lower an early milestone for figuring out the game (as a pretty new player myself). While in general I dislike "ivory tower design" where things are difficult to learn just to reward players who learn the game, I think learning to read the game state zoomed out is an integral and distinctive part of the game, and learning to distinguish Hunters from Mantis is one of the first ways a player can utilise that skill.

Disregarding the "cybran disinformation design" discussion as I don't have any new points to raise (and as it's an aesthetic instead of a balance question), I think the main question is instead: is confusion whether it's Mantis or Hunters disproportionally powerful? I don't think so for the aforementioned "attentive players will know" and also because labs aren't that relevant beyond the early game. A mixed force of Mantis and Hunters is a bit of a silly hypothetical in my opinion, an equivalent mass force of pure tank will beat it anyway.

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Tbh, i dont like this idea. For starters, i dont think its really that big of a problem to begin with: even if LABs were used commonly with mantises (which they ussualy are not), you can tell the difference by simply zooming in a little or hovering over the icon until the unit name appears. Its not difficult to tell them apart really. Besides, using the tank icon for the mantis would not only take away a bit of its uniqueness (whats the point of it being a bot if its classified as a tank?) but it would also cause other, arguably worse identification problems, more specifically with Rhinos, as they would have the same icon as mantises and these two are actually used together often (i dont believe it would be a problem as its easy to check whos who and Aeon and UEF deal with the same situation with no problem, but if the reason behind the change is that its hard to tell a mantis from another unit then theres no point in doing so if such a change causes another, potentially worse problem).

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Besides, if most players dont suffer from this "problem", then it seems unecessary to add this change to the upcoming patch notes. From what ive read, only one or two people complained about this, and its getting changed/has changed anyway, which doesnt sound fair to me.

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@soulgamer31br said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

Besides, if most players dont suffer from this "problem", then it seems unecessary to add this change to the upcoming patch notes. From what ive read, only one or two people complained about this, and its getting changed/has changed anyway, which doesnt sound fair to me.

This line of reasoning isn't fair.

It has bothered me but I didn't think I could change it. If I now complain about this you will say it wont count.
THis is a good change, most people will be happy about it.

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@valki said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

This line of reasoning isn't fair.
It has bothered me but I didn't think I could change it. If I now complain about this you will say it wont count.
THis is a good change, most people will be happy about it.

Fair enough, but the question is: is it really a problem? If it bothers you, thats one thing, but if it is actively hampering you its another one entirely. From my experience, its not a problem i suffer from and its not one that would hamper me, because at the very least i can still differentiate a mantis from a hunter by zooming in a litlle and seeing the actual unit. Even OP admitted that he had only minor confusion when faced with a combination of LABs and Mantis.

Besides, my point still stands. Changing the symbol to that of a tank could cause more confusion regarding the rhino, which as far as im aware has the same icon AND is used alongisde mantises more regularly than LABs are.

But even then, you have to consider that both Aeon and UEF have t2 tanks that have icons exactly like that of their t1 tanks (and they look somewhat similar, specially in the case of the pillar and the UEF t1 tank). However, you dont see UEF players complaining about this, even though its much easier to confuse both units and pottentialy more detrimental than in the Mantis/LAB case (sending t1 tanks instead of t2 tanks to a certain position can be the difference between holding out an attack or succumbing to one), and thats because its still relatively easy to tell them apart: all you have to do is zoom in a litlle or hover the mouse of the units icon. Besides, as i said, there appears to be a minority of players that are affected by this, while the majority can play just fine with similar icons for different units, so it doesnt seem fair to me that such a change was already accepted.

At most, a slight change in the mantis icon so that its different to that of the hunter (or alternatively, a change in LAB icons so theyre more different) would be more than enough to solve this problem, without taking away a unique characteristic of the mantis.

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A rhino icon looks different because it has 2 dots under the icon. A lab and a mantis use the exact same icon.

I have never confused pillars and strikers, particularly since pillars always go in the front in a formation so you can quickly identify and count them.

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Fair enough, but still, changing the mantis icon to that of a tank is a bit extreme. If its that big of a problem, wouldnt it be better to just change icon of the mantis to a slightly different one? Or the LABs icon.

As for pillars and strikers, i never get them confused either, but if they use the same icon then its a real possibility, specially considering how similar both look. But it never was a real problem, so i dont understand why the mantis icon being the same as a LAB is. If LABs were widely used alongside tanks then id understand, but theyre not. At most you have one or two mixed in with a scout and a tank for raiding. They lose their utility very quickly.

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The main problem is in 1v1 or 2v2 where you are focused mostly on base/engie management in the early game. You see a unit on your minimap. Was it a lab or a mantis? You couldn't zoom out and find the unit before it goes out of vision. Now you can't be sure what exactly you need to send to kill it.

I also don't really get the need for a whole new icon just for mantis, nor the argument that this destroys some of the uniqueness of the mantis. If it was unique it wouldn't function the exact same way as the 3 other mainline units which are all coincidentally tanks.

The uniqueness of it is covered by the fact it can help finish buildings with the 1 bp it has, not that it has a lab icon as a mainline tank.

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@ftxcommando said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

The main problem is in 1v1 or 2v2 where you are focused mostly on base/engie management in the early game. You see a unit on your minimap. Was it a lab or a mantis? You couldn't zoom out and find the unit before it goes out of vision. Now you can't be sure what exactly you need to send to kill it.

That makes sense. Altough ive never had this problem, i can see why people want the change.

@ftxcommando said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

I also don't really get the need for a whole new icon just for mantis, nor the argument that this destroys some of the uniqueness of the mantis. If it was unique it wouldn't function the exact same way as the 3 other mainline units which are all coincidentally tanks.
The uniqueness of it is covered by the fact it can help finish buildings with the 1 bp it has, not that it has a lab icon as a mainline tank.

My argument is that it kind of defeats the purpose of the Mantis being considered a bot if its icon is that of a tank. It just doesnt sit right with me, because then whats the point of it being called a bot? You might as well call it a legged tank if it uses the tank icon.

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I admit its more of a cosmetic question rather than a gameplay one, but still. The mantis icon has been the same for years. Changing it now just because are mixing it up with LABs feels wrong. Maybe changing the LAB icons to something slightly different could preserve this aspect of the mantis.

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Oh wait theres a mod that changes it back. Problem solved 🙂

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Is it possible that this could be "fixed" as a UI mod? Let people install a mod to see the mantis as a tank if they want.

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It could be fixed as a ui mod in a similar vein to advanced strategic icons, probably.

Has anyone ever actually mistaken a lab for a mantis?

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This should have happened a decade ago. The purpose of a unit icon is to inform the player of the role, capability, and danger of that unit at a glance, not to inform them whether it has legs or tracks.

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@biass what FtXCommando says here has happened to me, and I assume a lot more players. But then again I'm a noob so I don't think my opinion should count very strongly.

@ftxcommando said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

The main problem is in 1v1 or 2v2 where you are focused mostly on base/engie management in the early game. You see a unit on your minimap. Was it a lab or a mantis? You couldn't zoom out and find the unit before it goes out of vision. Now you can't be sure what exactly you need to send to kill it.

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@pa4sam said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

@biass what FtXCommando says here has happened to me, and I assume a lot more players. But then again I'm a noob so I don't think my opinion should count very strongly.

@ftxcommando said in Change Mantis to T1 tank icon:

The main problem is in 1v1 or 2v2 where you are focused mostly on base/engie management in the early game. You see a unit on your minimap. Was it a lab or a mantis? You couldn't zoom out and find the unit before it goes out of vision. Now you can't be sure what exactly you need to send to kill it.

It does, "noob" experience is very important, it would be a shame if someone left after a few weeks because the interface has too many unclarities... at least now it is 1 less.

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Thats not a great argument imo. The icon isnt that way because its supposed to trick your enemy, its because Cybrans have more bots and they use a bot instead of a tank in t1. Its that simple. That being said, i do agree with wath @biass said. Making a ui mod would fix the problem without enforcing a change many people dont agree with.