Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance

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"then you nerf them until they aren't broken anymore" and then in everyother use case they are useless.

Could you imagine if you did that in Apex Legends or Oveerwatch with an AI bot. Any character with fast movement speed would have to be removed, purely because the AI would dodge all of the enemy bullets.

Oh and all guns with decent accuracy would have to be banned because of aimbots.

Honestly, the the "maximum potential" balance idea is dumb. It would be better to balance around the "likely" potential a human is going to draw out from that unit, and if there is one specific individual that is breaking the game, because they are abornormally good at "drawing out" potential of that unit, then nerf it.

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you see, like I said in my post, UI mods that dont do decisions for you should be allowed, not those that do, in your aimbot example, aimbot constantly makes decisions about where to move cursor based on where enemy is, this would be in FAF something that microes units for you by giving them orders by itself, not something that allows you to better and easier give those units specific orders

idk if you even read the post considering

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Holy shit, If that isn't allowed in the game for whatever reason, I really hope its allowed in some mod.

I think you guys are throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. That kind of mechanic is amazing, if they'd had that at launch, it would have sold a lot more games.

This guy has done a tremendous job working on that mod.

Sure, it would affect balance but that's a non trivial and exciting new game feature.

I hope it has a place somewhere.

If it were up to me I'd move to have this integrated into the core game immediately, and would deal with whatever balance issues that causes as they arise.

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I know sc2 went a different way from FA. That doesn't mean that they both aren't utilizing the same toolkit. In the end apm will matter between equal players regardless of what you try to do. Either that or the game has no apm factor which just absolutely destroys the skill ceiling.

In the end it's a subjective call on what the balance/game team are willing to consider intended micro mechanics vs beneficial automation. There is no objective reason to say one is better than the other. On that note, it's absolutely something that wouldn't be allowed as a UI mod, same as mods/macros that reclaim things for you automatically. If it's found that you use it, then you get banned because it's an unfair competitive advantage.

These things are binary, either it's integrated into base game as a command or it's kept out of the game.

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@FtXCommando said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

These things are binary, either it's integrated into base game as a command or it's kept out of the game.

Yeah, I agree, and I think you should integrate it.

Would be one of the most exciting additions to the game in years.

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@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

APM and attention resources imo arent supposed to be used up "trying to control your units"

Being able to move and "control" something - be it your own player character or a bunch of units - Is a fundamental aspect of skill across the entire spectrum of video game genres and there is no acceptable reason why this game: a generic robot RTS who thinks it's a milsim, should be any different.

Imagine a shooter game where being able to aim required no effort, and it was only about where on the map you stood. Or what about something like War Thunder, wherein controlling a plane was not required and it only mattered when you decided you wanted to attack, and what. The game instantly loses all the depth that bought players to the game, and Supcom would be no different.

The decision making in supcom is not enough to carry the game on it's own. Most choices are a linear option of "do I match it or not" and meta strategies will continue to further dominate the game because a competent player can no longer use the full aspect of the games skill ceiling to counteract that. It's like if everyone in shooter games had an aimbot. The winning player will be the aimbotter that chose to use the gun that dealt the most damage. Without aimbots it's typically the player who has a mix of both better control of his character and smart positioning who wins, despite perhaps using a gun that is less powerful.

I think begging for a game with less micro tech and intricacies looks good on paper but will be the death of the game.

@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

Its not about who can click faster

Every dev team for RTS games in the modern era states this line because it specifically targets the "I am a casual player and I am disillusioned with starcraft" demographic.

alt text

This image is from the kickstarter campaign for Iron Harvest.
The game crashed and burned after players found it lacked any depth.
If they knew any better, they would have left that outdated line of thinking for turn based games.

@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

some pro players may have gotten very good at managing their attention and APM to fight bad controls and this may, to them, ruin an aspect of gameplay or remove value of their skill

Can we please go one conversation without the classic "you only dislike my opinion because you're some kind of FAF 1%er who manipulates X to stay good"

It's cringe.

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@biass said in [Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance]

Dude, you are playing the low APM RTS.

I don't know what the APM is for top players, I'm sure its much higher than mine, but I doubt its half of what the Starcraft guys are doing.

It does work, and it does make for a much improved game.

Pointing to some failed game in an attempt to refute the idea that games should have complex higher level features to replace near inhuman amounts of APM in more primitive games just isn't a good argument.

Given the context - you know - arguing in a forum for perhaps the most successful tactics > APM games ever made - I don't see how you think this line of reasoning is at all persuasive.

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@moses_the_red said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

Pointing to some failed game in an attempt to refute the idea that games should have complex higher level features to replace near inhuman amounts of APM in more primitive games just isn't a good argument.

It isnt, thats why I stated the case about a completely different topic - that being listening to marketing statements - and you either misunderstood or attempted to quote me out of context.

Try again some other time.

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@biass

it isnt even about apm difference however, because those players that have better apm will be able to use that apm easier as well, allowing them to do more than players with less apm just like they already can, but instead of wasting it on trying to control units, they can use it to tell more units what to do in same amount of time. Instead of for example having to tell bombers what to spread attack only after they get into positions already, player can queue what they should spread attack after move orders (same apm use btw) and at same time when those units are executing their already queued attacks, the player can be doing something else with their apm, instead of only then telling them then what to attack (due to not being able to queue them), like another attack at same time those bombers are doing their already queued attack, something that wouldnt be possible (and currently isnt for spread attack) if they had to control those bombers at that time simply because controls are trash and dont allow them to queue it before, while needing same apm as doing it on fly takes, once again factory queue example

so the skill ceiling of apm would still exist, with more apm you could be doing more than someone with less apm, it would just not be about who can fight controls better with apm, but who can do more and better with it, it would simply allow all players to do more real gameplay with their apm instead of 90% of it being trying to control units, instead of there being 1 fight going on at a time there could be several, and all because players had more time to do them by not having to waste 90% of it trying to tell units to fight in just that 1 fight

also aimbot comparison is kinda wrong considering I already explained that UI mods that allow you to tell units what to do easier are the ones that should be allowed, not the ones that tell units what to do on their own, like I already explained to whoever it was before, aimbot moves cursor on its own, like a UI mod that microes units automatically, not a UI mod that allows you to simply give/manipulate units' orders easier, aiming is a gameplay aspect of shooters, having to tell your units what to do at specific time because controls dont allow you to queue it, isnt a gamplay aspect of strategy, again factory queue example

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@biass said in [Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance]

You were quoted in context, you're claiming that automation reduces depth in your post.

It doesn't, it just changes what the focus is.

In the same way that pathing doesn't reduce depth, being able to better communicate your intention to the UI doesn't reduce it either. It adds it by increasing the options that a player has at any particular point.

This RTS IS the low APM RTS. That hasn't reduced the quality of the game in any way or removed depth.

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Like 80% of the reason this is considered a low apm RTS is because of a 500 m/s delay and a janky as fuck collision mechanic that prohibits any serious unit micro, not because of some deeply nuanced strategic depth.

Honestly maps like sentons or kusoge for 1v1 also bring out a ton of apm to even begin playing properly. I have no idea how you can compare apm between sc2 and faf considering the strategic zoom mechanic for adjusting angles + the factors I mentioned above making effective apm a lot different from actual apm. Basically, apm matters on maps where you need immense apm to even begin macro'ing properly because unit micro is already such an incredibly minor thing in FAF that there's no need to put much more effort into it other than basic kiting stuff.

This is why anything that begins looking at adjusting unit micro needs to be giving a serious look at whether it will absolutely lead to an INCREASE in unit micro ability, any sort of minimization should be blocked.

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@moses_the_red

You were quoted in context, you're claiming that automation reduces depth in your post.

I quoted the specific line about "clicking faster", stated that it was a marketing term, stated why it should not be used and gave an example. It has NOTHING to do with previous statements on automation or depth.

@moses_the_red said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

This RTS IS the low APM RTS

The only base you have for this entirely irrelevant claim you keep repeating, is your artificially crippled gameplay experience that the vocal majority of users on this forum have consistently condemmed. The upper boundry for APM in this game is almost limitless, and your flat, one lane clone of a map you abuse for playcount is not indicative of FAF or supcom gameplay in ANY way.

If you want "the low apm rts" than I shall direct you over to the total war series. Just because we're not AOE or SC2 doesn't mean we're low APM.

@Mach

something?

Can you please write in proper sentences? I can hardly understand what you're saying and I don't even know if what you said actually related to what I said at any point.

However:

@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

instead of there being 1 fight going on at a time there could be several

This is baseless, fighting in mutiple places at once is not a symptom of some arbitrary control issue, and making random UI mods will not fix it. It's simply a matter of people doing what is more efficient to do.

@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

having to tell your units what to do at specific time because controls dont allow you to queue it, isnt a gamplay aspect of strategy

You have not yet justified why this should not be the case, no matter how you try and make it look in your wording.

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@moses_the_red this game is not a low apm game, and I agree with biass that your understanding of the game is warped by your personal experience. I don't know if it's within your capacity to, but try to imagine what "perfect" gameplay in FAF looks like, à la AlphaStar in StarCraft II. "Perfect" FAF would have insane APM, because you can also get always value from better micro. T1 Engineers are microed to pick up reclaim with optimal efficiency (move commands to centre mass of reclaim, followed by manual reclaim orders). T1 Artillery are individually microed to target fire groups of units. Transports are used everywhere, ferrying units and engineers. Redundant units and structures are recycled continuously. If anything, FAF has a higher APM ceiling on certain maps compared to StarCraft II, especially as the game goes on. Look at maps like Kusoge or Maridia for 1v1. You should be able to see the APM required to play the game optimally becomes incredibly high.

@FtXCommando, regarding the mod, and the move to ban it or integrate it, I don't see how this disperse move mod constitutes gameplay automation. At the end of the day, the amount of times you actually have to interact with the sim is unchanged. Lets consider some alternative ways to do the same thing, say, splitting 5 bombers and giving a move order. I could:

  • Select a bomber directly on screen and individually give move orders. This requires 5 actions to select each bomber, and 5 interactions with the sim itself: giving 5 move orders.

  • Deselect bombers from my initial selection by right clicking the unit portrait at the bottom and giving each group a new move order. This requires 5 actions to deselect the each bomber on my UI, and 5 sim interactions (move orders).

  • Give a move order with all bombers selected, deselect a bomber from my selection by right clicking the unit portrait, and give a new move order, repeating until all bombers are deselected. This requires 5 actions to deselect each bomber, and 5 sim interactions (move orders).

  • Split my initial selection of bombers into 5 groups using UI party, and selecting the each group and then giving move orders sequentially. This requires 6 actions (one to make the group and 5 to select each individual group), and 5 sim interactions (move orders).

  • Using the disperse move mod, giving 5 move orders and then pressing disperse move. This requires 1 UI action, and 5 sim interactions.

I don't see how this mod constitutes "gameplay automation" or how it's different from any other UI mod.

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And to add to the discussion: if this UI mod is not allowed / banned because of the APM reason then so should 'Advanced Target Priorities' because of:

In the end I don't care about whether such things as what you mentioned are integrated in the game. That's a balance/game team call. What I do care about is whether they are modifications or not. If they are ui mods, then whoever doesn't have it will be at a supreme disadvantage because they are effectively operating with 1 less unit ability or in other words, giving up apm for no reason other than a lack of out-of-game information.

There are numerous situations that are only possible when ATP is enabled and in general will reduce APM. As an example: ignore pd over mass so that your run destroys a mass extractor, instead of 1 or 2 pd while allowing you to micro-move your units at the same time. Or: prioritize shields over everything else so that the moment you get under the shield it is instantly destroyed, without thinking about it another second.

edit: in my opinion they should both just be integrated. They add a lot of value to the game.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

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didn't read your post but, the pr you are showing is here to preventing cheating : UI mods abusing the feature to give order to units (ie auto dodging, auto hover bombing etc etc). It is also here to remove the split move to trap ACU with T1 units (balance decision in accordance with the balance councillor).
It isn't ready (would have made it last patch otherwise), it shouldn't cancel single move order (as zlo pointed out). Spread move / disperse move not working after that, would be an unfortunate side effect.

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@biass said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

@Mach

something?

Can you please write in proper sentences? I can hardly understand what you're saying and I don't even know if what you said actually related to what I said at any point.

its very simple, apm would no longer be needed 90% for "translating orders player wants to give thru UI" but for giving those orders in first place (like it is supposed to be). "Translating orders" is not what apm is for, your apm should distinguish you from a player with lower apm by you doing more attacks, more raids, more queues in the same time they do less, not by you both spending 90% of that time spam clicking for something that could take 1 button press otherwise, yes the result is the same (more apm means you do more stuff), but by not having trash controls both players could do proportional-to-their-apm more stuff exactly the same as before, separating them. Instead of 2 commands for low apm player and 4 for high apm player, with trash controls, low apm player could do 10, and high apm player 20, with better controls.

However:

@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

instead of there being 1 fight going on at a time there could be several

This is baseless, fighting in mutiple places at once is not a symptom of some arbitrary control issue, and making random UI mods will not fix it. It's simply a matter of people doing what is more efficient to do.

Fighting in multiple places at once doesnt even happen, because players have to give their orders in stupid ways in that one place, while they could have been attacking in another location at same time if they could give those same exact orders, no automation, easier. Fighting in fewer places is a symptom of current bad controls.

@Mach said in Very long post about spread attack, UI mods and why improving player's controls and UI is apparently and wrongly considered a bad thing in FAF, also balance:

having to tell your units what to do at specific time because controls dont allow you to queue it, isnt a gamplay aspect of strategy

You have not yet justified why this should not be the case, no matter how you try and make it look in your wording.

Once again queuing units in unfinished factory example, literally the same thing as queuing spread attack after move orders, but considered fine because "it was already in game" and "this is a UI mod that plays the game for you". Why dont we remove ability to queue units in unfinished factories for same reason then? This would be better gameplay aspect of strategy according to you then.

And like I said in original post: The difference between UI mods that play the game for you and UI mods that allow for better unit control is whether those mods give out orders on their own without player action, or simply allow player to give out explicit orders thru their own actions, but easier. This means things that automatically control your units without you doing anything banned, and things that allow you to give out explicit orders, but easier, allowed. It is not gameplay automation, it is automation of stuff that shouldnt even be necessary for player to have to do manually.

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I think that you need to be extremely careful when comparing SC2 and FAF (in context I am right now Number. 3 on FAF ladder and in Platinum league in SC2 after couple weeks of playing), while it's true that if an UI mod for SC2 exist that does what an UI mod for FAF does then it would absolutely busted and banned for sure (eg. a Disperse move for marines to avoid Banelings to kill them with their AOE) because it removes a vital part of SC2 which is unit micro. The same can be said for an UI mod that would control economy in FAF where it would automatically add pgens, pauses everything that uses power (E-please or whatever it was called mod). That's because a lot of FAF depth lies in economy and macro, much more then in SC2 (in SC2 unless you are Zerg (Queen injects) the economy is basically Select all Nexus/CC/Hatchery make drones while having the hatchery's waypoint on mineral line/Gas).
The point:
Now back to the topic, I believe that UI mods like ATP (Advanced Target Priority), UI party, Spread move, Disperse move actually increase the micro potential because of the importance and trade of's of Micro vs Micro.

Note: While in theory assuming perfect gameplay and APM of >300 on normal and probably >500 on big maps this wouldn't be true but we are mere mortals and taking into account that I am top 5 player It's safe to assume that If I can't do this and it's not optimal for me to invest my APM into it then it's not gonna be possible nor actually beneficial for other players.

Reasoning:
I will try to now explain why I think that is and give a couple of examples. First of all we need to consider what these mods actually do, most of them allow us, the player, to better tell the units what we want them to do via orders or improve the way we give/queue the orders. ATP allows us to specify what we want the unit to target, Disperse move allows us to split the units more efficiently, same for UI party. As Archsimcat already stated you still do the same amount of work in game by giving orders, the part that is improved/simplified is the UI. Instead of needing to somehow (different methods for that as stated by Arch) select 5 groups i can select one, give the orders and tell them via a UI mod to just split. You may say that this is bad and takeaways the micro aspect of the game, but my point is that it doesn't, it allows you to better "translate" your actions to units and because of that micro more.
Why is that you may ask? Because if I am not allow to use that option then I won't do it at all, I just won't micro it (Excluding some edge cases like splitting very important units that you give a lot of APM attention like engies early game when there is nothing going on, your first 3 t3 units, your T4's etc.) and neither should you because it's just not worth it. Why would I spend 3 seconds on splitting my t1 tanks so that your bomber has 100 less mass killed value if this would mean that I am inefficient with my Mass/E/BP balance causing me to make 5 tanks less? Because of the importance and focus on economy most of the time it's just not worth it to invest a lot of attention nor APM into extensive unit micro in this game, It's just how it is.
Let's go over a few examples:
Example N.1 Mod in question - Disperse Move
As stated above a situation is as follows, a t1 bomber attacking my t1 tanks. If I would have disperse move option there is a chance I might quickly select my 4 tanks, give them 3-4 move orders around them and use my keybind for Disperse move. Take probably around 1-1.5 seconds. If I wouldn't have Disperse move I wouldn't bother to move my tanks at all, if I would have tried I could probably manage to move 1 away but realistically speaking, ask yourself, do you really see it out side of edge cases like first 2-3 minutes and special units? No you don't, I don't do it, I don't see it because it's too much hassle for little gain and it's more important to queue 1 more pgen so I don't power stall in 2 minutes.
Example N.2 Mod in question - ATP (Advanced Target Priority)
I have a few units doing a run by and I want to kill enemy mexes. I select my units and using ATP I use my keybind to tell them to focus mexes and move them in between mexes. I then have to options depending on the game state, I can either micro the units by giving move orders to avoid enemy units, dodge shots etc. to get maximum value out of them or leave them be if that's not really important. Now the same situation without ATP, I select my units and either just move them in and pray, move in and then queue Attack orders on mexes or just queue attack orders on mexes from the start. It takes a little bit more (given low amount of targets, don't kid yourself you don't need to queue more then 2-4 usually) time and "micro" to do so then using ATP BUT it doesn't at all allow for any future micro, I won't move micro my units cause they will move but stop shooting the mexes so I just queue and forget.
Another thing is a more strategic aspect like deciding that I want to prioritize targeting of t1 arties given the game state and both mine and enemy unit composition. Without ATP it wouldn't be possible and this takes a potential strategic and micro aspect of the game.

Over all the argument is that these mods don't take away micro from the game because Yes, they simplify some part of micro but if it's not simplified it's not used (except some edge cases where the mod isn't actually taking away the skill needed cause given low amount of orders value gained from the mod is so small it can be ignored) so nothing is lost, we actually gain the possibilities for micro and increase the potential of it. I would hate to see banning or blocking via changes such UI mods since it would make the game dumber, more boring and actually decrease both the focus on micro and it's potential.
Another thing I would like the bring up is balance, if the mod follows the basic rules (as stated by Mach) and it's not a cheat mod then it really doesn't make units OP (Few exceptions like Shift G + ATP on ACU priority). Did t2 arty/unit drops became OP after ATP? Yes they can be stronger bcs of ATP but it requires extra attention and micro (in order to get more value you need to set targeting to eg. power and then MICRO your arties so that they don't die to defences and stay at the edge of their range). T1 bombers doing Spread attack? Yes they will utilize their AOE more efficiently but it takes more clicks then just move + A-move or just A-Move.
All these mods do is take an aspect of micro that is in theory possible but not worth it because of the time required to achieve it being long due to UI being bad or UI limitations and making such move a viable one.

Back to Keyser.
"the pr you are showing is here to preventing cheating : UI mods abusing the feature to give order to units (ie auto dodging, auto hover bombing etc etc)" Agree with that, these are and should be considered cheat mods and therefore be banned."
"It is also here to remove the split move to trap ACU with T1 units (balance decision in accordance with the balance councillor)." I think this is a very weak argument for removing such an excellent feature like split move, I also don't see why unit blocking of ACU is so bad while for example while blocking an ACU with spamming of t1 aa is not (absolutely busted since it fucks with pathfinding insanely). I really fail to see how units getting on top of the ACU and blocking it is such a bad thing, yes it may be frustrating but I think it's healthy. ACU's are absolutely busted compared to units and you want to keep your ACU in range of enemy units while keeping your units outside of enemy's ACU range. If you move in your units on top of enemy ACU you should be able to block him at the cost of clumping up your units and making them more prone to OC. After all it's only effective if you have a lot more of units bcs of how attacking vs defending unit formation works. If blocking wouldn't be possible it would make ACU even stronger (bad idea in my opinion) and even if you have 50% more t1 tanks you still wouldn't be able to kill enemy with an all in because of defenders advantage in engagements and Vet on ACU etc.
" Spread move / disperse move not working after that, would be an unfortunate side effect." I think that there should be a focus on finding alternative solution if that's the case, it would be a huge loss for micro and gameplay to lose those mods.

Please make sure that your posts contains some actual information, don't make ridiculous claims like "oh this will make bombers OP" without giving it a second thought nor actually argumenting your position. You can have your own opinion but sharing it as facts is just foolish. This thread as all others derail and become a spam fiesta of people arguing and quoting each other back and forward for no real result. This stubborn guy won't change his mind about XYZ so just don't bother. This is not the place for that. Without deeper game knowledge or game balance you shouldn't really claim anything, you can hint that you think or in your opinion something is ... but it's really not that useful for the discussion. It may seem "elitist" but in 99% of the cases it's just the truth, if you don't understand the game well enough you can't say what's OP or UP cause most of the time you can't properly use it or counter it.

Footnote: I've spent a lot of time on this post and thought it through so I won't respond to some low effort quotation and BS claim by some random guy, so just don't bother. I am looking forward to get some answers from other top rated players, but mostly Balance and Game Dev Team as well as to use it in the near future in any related discussions so I won't need to spend 1h again explaining and argumenting my points.

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we have already had the discussion about the balance side of this decision several time. I think everything been said on that part.

as for the point on spread move / disperse move :

  • I think this is only used to split air scout, so it wouldn't be a huge lose (although zlo showcased some use for reclaim naval field)
  • I will try to find a way to not break it, but i'm highly pessimistic about that.
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Imo ban all ui mods from ladder and tournaments (give custom lobbies option to ban ui mods). Integrating adv priorities is debatable. I agree with tagada that shiftg and adv prios add micro rather than removing it.

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Thread #16373573 where I say again that it's not possible to ban UI mods...