Targeting without altering movement orders

Players should be able to tell their units to attack a specific target (either a specific location or a specific unit, when it's in range) without altering their units' movement orders.

This would make the game more functional and more intuitive, and it would improve QoL when playing. Jip indicated that this issue can be fixed upon approval from the balance team, and note that this would not take away the regular attack or attack move orders.

Currently, if you tell a unit to attack another unit, it basically replaces the unit's move order with an attack order. This is often undesirable. Example situations:

  • ACU is trying to not get stuck surrounded by t1 tanks, but a tank goes to block the ACU, and the ACU can either keep trying to walk away, or it can be ordered to shoot a particular tank trying to block it, but if that attack order is given, then it won't keep moving like it should, because the move order was basically replaced with an attack order.
  • GC is walking and shooting, and you want it to shoot specific target(s) without stopping/altering its movement.
  • You are trying to attack something with land unit(s), but they keep getting in range and then stopping, and then becoming out of range and unable to shoot the target until if/when they get back in range again, only for the process to repeat again.

Specific target priorities can help, but they do not sufficiently solve the problem. Example situations:

  • Your ACU is being chased by many mantises while 1-2 particular mantises are blocking its path.
  • Your army is fighting 2 GC's and you want to target the one with low health rather than the new one while continuing to move your units in the desired direction.
  • You are trying to make your destroyer dodge while trying to target another specific destroyer that has low health, rather than the other destroyers that have high health or are under shields.
  • You are trying to move your cruiser and make it evade the enemy, but you want to keep shooting its tml at a specific target rather than a specific type of target.

pfp credit to gieb

Did not realize this was something that could actually be fixed. I fully support it and think it's needed. Right now your only options are cancelling move orders which obviously isn't always good or using the target priorities mod which doesn't even always work correctly or provide the desired target change.

Though I'd like to see it, wouldn't it create the same problem that got snipe mode removed from normal units?
Think that allowed units to focus down ACUs too quickly while also staying in range.
So you would need to prevent people from using this on enemy ACUs which would completely destroy the Intuitiveness again.

We can add a warning (same place as where the target priorities are communicated to the player) when you choose an invalid target (like an ACU).

Intuitiveness is all about communicating the situation.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

that would be great, i am using this in some other RTS and enjoing it

TA4Life: "At the very least we are not slaves to the UI" | |

@nex why was snipe mode removed from normal units? wouldnt that just mean less control to the player?

FAF Website Developer

Because losing a game for 2 seconds of mismicro of ACU isn’t fun. Even better when the mismicro is the result of your own units bumping your ACU to the front.

The ACU should just be able to walk over or through its own units. Kind of like an experimental - it would still try and find the best pathing if available, but if not, then just clips right through.

Though this may be problematic in T2 or T3 stage, so, it should probably only be limited to friendly and allied T1 units.

~ Stryker

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

@ftxcommando I guess it’s more of a team game issue than ladder. Pretty annoying not being able to do that on 1v1 where it can matter so much.

FAF Website Developer

@femboy said in Targeting without altering movement orders:

I guess it’s more of a team game issue than ladder. Pretty annoying not being able to do that on 1v1 where it can matter so much.

It was allmost 100% a ladder issue. THe main issue was not only, that a 2 second missstep could cause defeat, but even more, that once a critical mass was reached it was possible to suicide ones army into the opponents army + acu to get a kill, no matter if the opponents army was a bit larger or not. because enemy units cannot be bocked very well, and, because with snipemode the army couldnt tank enemy fire either, just having 40 tanks and suiciding them+your own ACU into the enemy army would be enough to kill an enemy ACU that stands in the front row of his tanks.
Snipemode therefore made it very risky to use your acu to poke at the enemy army, instead one had to put the ACU in the 3rd to last row to be actually safe. Even more, it made retreating harder, since you could not sacrifice a part of your army to tank for your ACU while kiting backwards, because your opponent could allways turn on snipemode, forcing you to send a larger part of your army to your ACU to be safe.
Both these effects had a very bad impact in 5x5 and 10x10 gameplay.
On 5x5 you must use your ACU to trade or you lose. Since your ACU is at the front (and due to trading it will soon be at 5-8k HP) your opponent could allways! all in with his tanks and ACU and in the worst case get a draw out of it. Thefore even when a palyer would be significantly ahead the game could still end in a draw (he only needed to deal 2.5-5.5k dmg for that which is very easy with snipemode+shift g), since you cannot just send your ACU back on a 5x5 without completely losing your advantage in the next 3 minutes.
On 10x10 maps being forced to send most of your units to your com, while also being forced to play safer (to not die to a random all in - just reacting 2-3 seconds to late could already cause a draw) caused 10x10 to be rather stale and static since one needed most units with the ACU to not get randonly all in-ed (so less units available everywhere else) but also had to play more defensive to not randomly die. On top of that, snipemode is even worse with high tech units, due to their higher range ond conentration of dps, making it allmost impossible to survive a random shift g+snipemode of any (non obsidian) T2 unit into your army - your com would die even before your could rly use your army to block the enemy army.

Forumpros doing balance .
When a canis player remembers to build more than 3 units .

Putting all your units on snipemode, running into enemy ACU, killing it, and watching the opponent rage was actually the most fun thing ever implemented on FAF. Please bring it back.

As far as I'm aware, is it the case that as of now only ACUs and Experimentals can use snipe mode?

put the xbox units in the game pls u_u

snipers, percies, labs

Reality is that the game wasn’t balanced around units being able to target ACU at will and you would need to rework either a huge portion of maps, make 5x5 just not a map category anymore, buff ACU hp to a ridiculous level, or nerf damage on units/give armor to ACU, or some sort of combination of all of this which will then also cascade into having to probably rebalance the entire game from the bottom up.