Upcoming developers patch

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I enjoyed the last format where we try to reveal upcoming changes. It introduced us with some early feedback and people have an idea what to look out for when they play on the fafdevelop branch. The next patch will include changes that (partially) integrate some of your favorite UI mods. We'll announce the changes here, along with what mods are deprecated by the introduced changes. We're open to feedback and suggestions - we're here to make the game experience better overall 🙂 .

With that said, lets dive right in with the first changes!

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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-- Control groups --

Control groups in Supreme Commander has always been a bit messy, especially when you look at how other strategy games approach it. We're streamlining their behavior, without removing the capability to have the old behavior. You can find the exact details on Github:

Deprecated UI mods

The following UI mods are known to collide with these changes, and are therefore deprecated:

  • group_split
  • Control Group Zoom Mod
  • additionalControlGroupStuff

Make a post in this thread if you think some of these features are worth keeping around and we'll discuss whether the UI mod should be re-implemented or that we can integrate the behavior into the game.

Settings

With these changes, there are three places where you can adjust the behavior. Lets go over them one by one.

  • Set behavior

Triggers when you try to create a control group with your current selection. The settings allow you to 'steal' units from other control groups, or the old behavior where a unit can be part of multiple control groups

  • Factory behavior

Triggers when a factory is assigned to a control group and it starts producing a unit. The settings allow you to create units that are not attached to a control group, or the old behavior where a unit inherits the control group of the factory.

  • Double tap behavior

Triggers when you select a control group twice. The settings allow you to choose between a series of behaviors:

    • none: nothing happens, the behavior is disabled
    • translate-zoom: the old behavior, where the camera is translated and zoomed in / out to see the entire control group
    • translate-zoom-if-lower: the old behavior, but it does not zoom in. It only translates the camera and zooms out as required.
    • translate`: the old behavior, but it does not change the zoom at all. It only translates the camera.

These changes give you full control over what some of the UI mods implemented separately.

  • Double tap decay

Allows you to define the amount of time (in miliseconds) when something is considered a double tap. Defaults to the old value (which is 2 seconds).

Hotkeys

For completeness sake I'll include all the related hotkeys. Some of these are unchanged from the old behavior.

  • ['set_group1'] = '<LOC key_desc_0015>Set Group 1'

Defines the units for control group 1. Steal behavior can be adjusted using the Set behavior in the settings.

  • ['group1'] = '<LOC key_desc_0004>Recall Group 1'

Recalls the control group by selecting it.

  • ['revert_selection_set'] = 'Restore selection to the one before recalling a control group'

New behavior that allows you to switch back to the previous selection when you previously recalled a control group.

  • ['append_group1'] = 'Append control group 1 to current selection'

The old append behavior, where the control group is added to the current selection.

  • ['add_selection_to_selection_set1'] = 'Append the current selection to control group 1'

An alternative to the append behavior, that allows you to add the current selection to the control group.

  • ['combine_and_select_with_selection_set1'] = 'Combine selection and control group 1 and select the control group'

An alternative to the append behavior that allows you to merge the current selection and the control group and then immediately recalls the control group.

-- Command and cursor interactions --

There are a lot of small improvements we can make to command and cursor interactions. A proof of concept was made by @Strogo in this forum post. We're now integrating the majority of his work, while refactoring how cursor interaction works from the ground up. You can find the exact details on Github:

Deprecated UI mods

The following UI mods are known to collide with these changes, and are therefore deprecated:

  • Advanced Camera Stuff (we're integrating the range rings of this mod)
  • Random UI Improvements

Make a post in this thread if you think some of these features are worth keeping around and we'll discuss whether the UI mod should be re-implemented or that we can integrate the behavior into the game.

Settings

With these changes additional settings come in to help you customize the behavior to your liking. Lets go over them one by one.

  • ignore mode via Ctrl

When enabled and holding (left) control, forces the game to ignore any other command but move and attack move commands. This allows you to run away without accidentally reclaiming. Or make it easier to micro your units without accidentally directly attacking another unit.

  • Default selection threshold

The higher the value, the easier it becomes to select and target units or props. The value is in (screen) pixels. This can help you select individual units or props, especially on displays with higher resolutions.

Note that Interaction with units take precedence over props. When multiple entities are in range, the one nearest to the mouse location has precedence.

  • Reclaim selection threshold

The same as the previous, but specifically for when you're in reclaim command mode. Makes it less tedious to reclaim by making it more difficult to miss click.

Note that Interaction with units take precedence over props. When multiple entities are in range, the one nearest to the mouse location has precedence.

  • Replay selection threshold

The same as the previous, but specifically for when you're watching a replay. Should make it easier to track units while they are on the move.

Behavior changes

Issue tactical / strategical missiles

Tactical and strategical missiles can no longer target specific units or props. Instead, they always ground fire. This guarantees that they target exactly where you click. Prevents the intel bug (of 'dead structures') from causing all sorts of issues, such as your order not going through because the unit is 'dead'.

Other features

Disabled reclaim cursor

At a certain (camera) distance from the terrain you can no longer issue reclaim orders. This is now made visual by adjusting the cursor. This should improve the UX, and prevent issues such as the one described in this forum post.

-- Improved performance of reclaim labels --

The performance of reclaim labels have always been questionable. There have been many attempts at improving their performance - and finally here we are! Reclaim labels no longer have a significant performance hit on your fps. On top of that, reclaim is batched to make it easier to understand the amount of reclaim that is on top of each other. The batching is disabled the moment reclaim commands valid.

Deprecated UI mods

The following UI mods are known to collide with these changes, and are therefore deprecated:

  • Advanced Reclaim&Selection Info
  • Advanced Reclaim Info
  • Better Reclaim View
  • disable reclaim UI
  • DynamicReclaimGrouping
  • EzReclaim
  • OnScreenReclaimCounter
  • Optimized Reclaim View
  • SmartReclaimSupport

Sadly, the list is quite large. The reason for this is that apparently all the UI mods related to reclaim did not adhere to good modding practices. This is partly because the old implementation was indeed difficult to hook. We've taken this into account with the new implementation. We'll be integrating some of the features of these UI mods (such as color-tuning reclaim based on their value), but due to the amount of UI mods we can't integrate everything.

-- Recall --

A new feature that was requested by other contributors to decrease the amount of effort that it takes to close a losing game. You can now recall via the diplomacy menu. A recall is similar to 'conceding' in other games: if you and your allies decide to recall, your team is taken out of the game.

The recall conditions are as follows:

  • With a team of 2 or less players: all players need to agree
  • With a team of 3 or more players: all but one player needs to agree

-- Observers can see mouse locations --

A new and unique feature to help trainers train and to help casters cast: as an observer you can view the mouse locations of the players that are playing! As a result, it is immediately clear what someone is paying attention.

This feature does not work in replays, and it does not work when you watch a live-replay.

Looking for feedback

We're open to all feedback, but we're specifically looking for feedback on the naming and descriptions. I'm not a English native speaker so they may be a bit wonky. I'm also not able to translate to other supported languages of the game. We're very open to have these translated too.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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reserved for changelog

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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Added a second sneak peak: all about command and cursor interactions!

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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This post is deleted!
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I would really like to see the ability to lock units to another unit to be built in for example locking shields and flak to an experimental. Also, one query can the tml's targeting be optional so that a tac bank can be used to select up a bunch of structures and shift-g them. I'd imagine if structures can't be targeted, they will indefinitely fire at the ground attack markers as opposed to firing at structures until they are destroyed.

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Ground fire has a salvo limit that can be defined in each unit

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I'd really like the ability for engineers, combat engineers, and sacus to reclaim only. Currently,
when your mass fills up, they begin to assist units or repair. This gets them stuck in a loop and no longer reclaiming. It would also be nice to be able to disable auto-assist on smds and nukes for engineering stations.

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I think you are using the Patrol order with your engies, right? Try using instead Alt-Right click (queue up a few with shift), that should solve this issue.

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I can not begin to describe how pleased I am that you make a point of mentioning which mods are integrated or otherwise conflicting. On that note, one of my favorite features from Random UI is the 'easy reclaim', which I did not see mentioned here. Being able to only click reclaim without move orders has been amazing. Is that also being integrated alongside the hard-move commands? (now 'ignore mode').

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@jip said in Upcoming developers patch:

Deprecated UI mods

The following UI mods are known to collide with these changes, and are therefore deprecated:

  • Advanced Camera Stuff (we're integrating the range rings of this mod)
  • Random UI Improvements

Make a post in this thread if you think some of these features are worth keeping around and we'll discuss whether the UI mod should be re-implemented or that we can integrate the behavior into the game.

Is there some secret to turning on the range rings? As at the moment faf develop forces additional camera stuff off but does not display the shift (or ctrl depending on settings) range rings.

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The range rings are not integrated yet, once they are I'll add it to the post. There will also be (Youtube) clips on some of the new (and old) features of the game so that there's more awareness.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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Can I suggest a feature?

Contextual drag selection:

  • Alt drag box to select only engineers
  • Normal drag box to select only army
  • Shift drag box to select everything
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@immortal-d said in Upcoming developers patch:

I can not begin to describe how pleased I am that you make a point of mentioning which mods are integrated or otherwise conflicting. On that note, one of my favorite features from Random UI is the 'easy reclaim', which I did not see mentioned here. Being able to only click reclaim without move orders has been amazing. Is that also being integrated alongside the hard-move commands? (now 'ignore mode').

Yes it is - it is already in! You can set a separate selection threshold when you are in reclaim mode (via hotkey or via the reclaim button in the UI). See also the settings (when you are on FAF Develop).

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@immortal-d said in Upcoming developers patch:

I can not begin to describe how pleased I am that you make a point of mentioning which mods are integrated or otherwise conflicting.

And if there is anything else we can do to make the patch easier to understand / process, do share.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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@archsimkat said in Upcoming developers patch:

Can I suggest a feature?

Contextual drag selection:

  • Alt drag box to select only engineers
  • Normal drag box to select only army
  • Shift drag box to select everything

I think that would be really awesome!

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@jip I think making a guide to where does the mod menus is after integration and how to views the options of the mod after might be good

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@archsimkat I think It would require engine changes, I can only tell that for engies shift+alt is possible through UI

My github repo with UI Mods

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@archsimkat
alt3.gif

My github repo with UI Mods

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Nice work 4z0t! Let us know when the mod is up 🙂