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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@RelaxBro 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:

Nerfing thigs - makes players feel like if they keep use it, it will get nerfed more. Psycology proofs that. And so they do not want to use it anymore. Because 1) It was better 2) It may and will get worst if they keep use it.

People don't care about history. They use a unit because it's fun, because it works, because it makes them feel powerful and gives them control over a situation. In-game, they don't care if it's 5% weaker than it used to be. Maybe on the forums they say they care, but during the game, they use the units that work for them.

We could nerf RAS SACUs by 10% and people would keep making them because they like having RAS SACUs.

So now how FAF works - try to do something that need more control - be punished and overcome or be punished again, and also after you do that, be punished again, because you move to next level, do all over again. Try to do somethit that need less control - be rewarded and you also can improve to be rewarded more.
People do not want be punished, they want to be rewarded.

Microing units successfully provides an immediate dopamine hit, it's a fast and simple way to provide this reward during games.

But well, that wont affects 1% of 1700+ ladder (or its just seems so), or anyway. Who caries what balance do to players
below top level.

It's important to balance the game for top players, not all players, because the rest of us will eventually end up copying the top players as best we can. There is no trick that only top players can do. Everything is available to us, even if our execution is comparatively poor. You will see 300-rated players using triads to ground fire subs while they are mismanaging their economy. You will see 500-rated players following the exact pathway to a big economy (t1 into t2 into storages into t3) and then suiciding monkeylords as mass donations. By definition, you can't balance the game for medium-rated players because we're making a lot of mistakes, and while we can't play perfectly, we can change which mistakes we're making.

That post will not be readet or answered, tho. Because Im average joe, and must be grateful that can play at all, and even Tagada won't getting someting that coutns like reall answer.

Sadly, I think you're right. Shift-g move is a good thing and I think the establishment doesn't want to talk about removing it because they know we won't agree. They want to sneak the change past us and present it as a fait accompli. They say "we already had this discussion" and we're just supposed to accept that?

@Tagada 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:

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.

How is this possibly a controversial opinion????? The top players who fetishize having unstoppable ACUs are just WRONG about what they want to do to the game. We shouldn't let them take away shift-g move.

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.

I don't think you will find any random guys who DISAGREE with you about this. A change that makes it impossible for us to kill 2k-rated players even if we have them surrounded with a swarm of units is NOT something that the average guy would ever agree to.

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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:

Will probably not be answered because you can’t proofread your posts.

Oh, thanks, I hope my disgraphia, amuse you too, not only gave a reason to not argue.

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Think most top players actually really hate how strong ACUs are in this game. I remember hearing a suggestion to slash the ACU default gun damage from 100 per shot to 50 per shot.

As far as I know the shift+g change mainly revolves around fixing the backdoor for exploits. The balance stuff is more secondary and is more of a question of "do we want this aspect of gameplay kept in the game in spite of the fact it keeps this backdoor open" rather than being a simple question of "is gameplay better with or without shift+g for movement"

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Then find somebody else to proofread your post. You having a medical issue doesn't make your post more readable, unfortunately.
Nobody can argue a position that is incomprehensible.

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@BlackYps 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:

Then find somebody else to proofread your post. You having a medical issue doesn't make your post more readable, unfortunately.
Nobody can argue a position that is incomprehensible.

No. Because there will be no arguing anyway. I wrote this because I can, nothing more, nothing less.

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I agree with the points made by @Mach & @Tagada and disagree with @FtXCommando and @biass. FAF is an amazing game to me because I can control my units as I see fit without being restricted by the game designer’s limited imagination. If the game developers start restricting the player’s ability to control units their own way, I’ll leave the community and I’m sure others will too. Be warned.

Ability to control units vs APM is a stupid argument. Adding new ways to control units won’t decrease your APM, RSI will. New control methods will only shift where your APM is used. Admittedly if you have nowhere to shift your APM then that’s a bad thing for a game but FAF is sufficiently complex and epic in scale that this won’t (probably) become a problem.

Radical point. Pro FAF players (mostly old codgers who are dogmatically set in their ways, while blindsided by their fear of change) want split-move removed from the game because they screwed up their ACU positioning and got punished for it (similar logic for the removal of snipe-acu-mode). Why not just get good and not position your ACU like an idiot, or better yet, have an army with your ACU! If that still doesn’t give you enough survivability, before engaging add an ACU upgrade that gives you survivability when facing off against a huge T1 army swarm!

@RelaxBro made the point that the majority of FAF players are casuals. I hope the balance team takes that to heart when thinking about interfering with UI mods. If the mod doesn’t add AI elements to units, leave it alone.

I suggest adding a visible counter to mods which tracks how many players have downloaded it.

I second the nomination of adding @Tagada to the balance team (if he isn't already). He makes well though out points, rationally considers other people's opinions and explains his reasoning.

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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:

As far as I know the shift+g change mainly revolves around fixing the backdoor for exploits. The balance stuff is more secondary and is more of a question of "do we want this aspect of gameplay kept in the game in spite of the fact it keeps this backdoor open" rather than being a simple question of "is gameplay better with or without shift+g for movement"

if that is the reason for it being considered for removal, Id like to remind you (or whoever decides about this stuff) that you shouldnt remove things from game just because "someone might exploit it" (or create a cheat mod or whatever your fears are) if it means removing it will stop all legit mods from working too (such as disperse move)

if you can find solution to stop cheat mods (or whatever this backdoor is) from working while legit mods remain fine then fine, but removing code that allows both is just lazy, idk how big problem cheat mods are (never saw someone using (obvious) one ever on FAF) but moderation should be able to keep cheaters banned until this better solution is found (and if at all), otherwise this can be compared (although it is even worse than) to removing friendly fire from nukes just because teammates can nuke each other (or basically any way of griefing), once again moderation is there for that, dont break the modding scene just because some people might exploit it when you can already counteract those cheaters thru moderation

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I am really liking the split move. I honestly thought that was how the split command would naturally work with move orders. Though I understand the concern that it could leave open tools and such for cheat mods, I do hope it stays in. It will be interesting to see the new techniques it will allow. I'm sure I'll find a few, but to be honest, seeing the top tier guys like @Tagada use it for some crazy awesome thing on casts will be amazing to see! 😄

Now to make spread build, so I can relive my AOE:II wall building childhood.

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Arran said:

FAF is an amazing game to me because I can control my units as I see fit without being restricted by the game designer’s limited imagination. If the game developers start restricting the player’s ability to control units their own way, I’ll leave the community and I’m sure others will too. Be warned.

I find empty threats of "people will leave" if you don't get change X inherently vile.

Every game that ever exists had it's movement and control restricted by intention of the game designer. Stating this means nothing.

Arran said:

Pro FAF players (mostly old codgers who are dogmatically set in their ways, while blindsided by their fear of change)

I'm not a pro player and this is straight cringe

Arran said:

I second the nomination of adding Tagada to the balance team (if he isn't already). He makes well though out points, rationally considers other people's opinions and explains his reasoning.

I don't find someone who needs to open every discussion with his current leaderboard position, and then saying to only bother replying if you're "relevant" especially conducive to a proper work enviroment.

I understand that the forums are probably in the worst state they've ever been in, but I rather people not stall progress because they don't want to deal with someone being patronizing. We had that for a long period of time just recently already.

Also, this is a Game Council issue, not a Balance one.

Just for clarity: I'm personally FOR disperse move because I use spread move to help scout, and the former is just the latter without the fat. However i'm not okay with leaving open a backdoor for little QoL changes.

Also, I find the strange game design talk of APM discussion to be cringe and so that's what I talked about in my old posts. You're not designers, just discuss the merit of the changes without some strange moral delving dive into the fundamentals of what APM is used for,

Mach said:

if you can find solution to stop cheat mods (or whatever this backdoor is) from working while legit mods remain fine then fine

This is of course, the utopic situation that benefits everyone. However this is FAF.

@Mach said:

but moderation should be able to keep cheaters banned until this better solution is found

We essentially don't have any competent, and constantly motivated moderators on FAF to try covering this base. FAF needs to make these minor sacrifices because it is aware of this fact. The damage from people ruining lobbies is always going to be far greater than the loss of some good ui mods. Who is going to be able to notice if someone is cheating or not? Who is going to do that for the thousands of games played each day? It's just not going to happen.

I do of course hate to see that happen, because I'm obligated to help grow the "modding scene" but the core FAF experience does need to take priority. As TMM and etc is brought into the client, it's best to remind everyone that this is a video game/client that needs an acceptable level of integrity, and going further down the road of this game/client becoming some kind of amateur developer playground is not a strategy that benefits the end user. Those being people who just want to play FA mutiplayer.

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So now it is like - "we are gonna to remove something, because someone can cheat, but we do not have any evidence, community of FAF is bad enough, to have a lot of cheaters, so we do not have to proof that there is any"

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@biass Dont want to repeat, but I never had anyone ruin my matches by using cheat mods, whenever I lost it was not because enemy used some auto micro mod, but because they simply played better, nor have I ever seen anyone else complain about something like that so I once again ask, is this remote possibility of someone creating a cheat mod worth destroying who knows how many legit mods? You say we dont have moderators to cover this problem, but so far I havent seen 1 example of this problem existing since I joined FAF other than 1 forum post 4 years ago or whenever about some russian auto monkey surrounding mod (that I never saw used either). Or even any of those people that just want to play FA multiplayer complaining about someone cheating with mods (ofc other than some pros for someone even using a ui mod in general or a gapper for not understanding how units work/thermoer forgetting to ban an air unit from match because they didnt know it exists), so idk how its exactly ruining the experience of FAF to anyone. I really think you are nuking an ant here. Just dont remove the code and investigate when people report it instead, until real solution can be found (the one you deem impossible apparently). To reuse example again, no one watches every replay for if someone friendly nuked a teammate, they just report it and then you confirm it and ban the offender, just like this should be done.

And why is it suddenly decided (and by who even) that this "potential cheat mods must be stopped at cost of any number of ui mods being destroyed" restriction should be added and for what reason? Where are the players ruining lobbies with them? Where are examples of uprise in cheating or matches that were ruined by them? Where are people that are leaving because someone cheated in their match? So far not seeing any reason for this at all and nothing that prompted it, seems more like dictators' playground to me. Maybe thats what should really change in FAF.

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Yes nobody ever complained about it. That's why pepsi was banned from FAF tourneys for half a year

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The issue with removing shift+g - a core game mechanic that a lot of other game mechanics, such as spread move and disperse move, rely on to work - to address concerns with cheating, is that it is solving a completely hypothetical issue. I believe all balance changes should be done with the same overall process in mind: Problem -> Justification -> Solution. This case, with the issue of shift+g, I believe the justification is insufficient.

For example, take this video that a few people I've asked have directed me to when I asked about the potential cheat mods people could construct using shift+g.
https://www.loom.com/share/27b2c79fe62b4784b579031d0854b6ef

I don't believe removing shift+g, and all associated mods like spread move and disperse move, just in case people make mods that do this, is justified. Beyond the fact that this cheat mod is extremely blatant and easily discoverable, it is also completely and utterly useless. Are we really worried about people making hacks like this?

The other case that I've heard mentioned is the fact that Espiranto was caught using an autoclicker in a tournament and he was banned for it. In that case, isn't the current solution already... working? Why can't we just keep doing that? Identify the cheaters and then ban them on a case by case basis, instead of removing entire core game mechanics for a hypothetical issue. Just my 2 cents.

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So how many people besides that 1 were banned to prompt this? And afaik wasnt he using a macro / autoclicker and not a UI mod? Also like arch (and me before) said, he got banned, just like anyone using a cheat mod can. Why is this not sufficient?

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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:

And why is it suddenly decided (and by who even) that this "potential cheat mods must be stopped at cost of any number of ui mods being destroyed" restriction should be added and for what reason? Where are the players ruining lobbies with them? Where are examples of uprise in cheating or matches that were ruined by them? Where are people that are leaving because someone cheated in their match? So far not seeing any reason for this at all and nothing that prompted it, seems more like dictators' playground to me. Maybe thats what should really change in FAF.

How do you think it goes? You have a perfectly normal game, and then a very evil person decides to use E C o m A n A g E r. Now the match is clearly ruined!

Seriously

These mods give all minor advantages which are too tiny to detect them influencing the outcome of the game. This doesn't mean however that they cannot influence the outcome. If you have 2 completely equally skilled players with a 50% winrate vs eachother while having played an infinite amount of games, giving one of them "e please" or "ecomanager" will skew the results in favor of the one using these mods, even though it is undetectable on a game to game basis.

You say the mod influencing the win % by a mere 0.1% isn't impactfull enough to be considered a threat? Sure. Now let me add another mod. and another one. and another one. Oh look now i have 30 ui mods that automate the game for me giving me a net total of +5%. I'm sure my opponent thinks that's very fair.

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The only reason espiranto was banned was because it was clearly visible and because he caught attention. I am 100% sure there are other players using autoclickers that are not getting banned cause there is no way of detecting them unless reported. People don't watch their opponents replay after every game to check whether he reclaimed too quick or not in order to find out whether they're "cheating" or not.

You know how much time it cost to come to the decision that pepsi was cheating? Like 4 dudes analyzed his games and discussed in order to come to the conclusion that he abused an autoclicker. A very efficient solution indeed.

Also this is for something like autoclicker which is way easier to spot than other mods like ecomanager or eplease which autopauses e draining structures. Try to prove with evidence that he is using the mod and not manually doing it. Also very efficient and easy to do.

And as a mention: Ur talking to someone who absolutely despises shift g getting removed and i argued hard against it. However acting like certain ui mods are/can not be a problem is ridiculous.

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@TheWheelie 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:

Also this is for something like autoclicker which is way easier to spot than other mods like ecomanager or eplease which autopauses e draining structures. Try to prove with evidence that he is using the mod and not manually doing it. Also very efficient and easy to do.

Well, I just found a 100% effective solution. Ban and remove ability to pause. So there will be no way to auotopause something ever again

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Not sure if intentionally shitposting or just retarded

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Where I'm wrong? We have possible way to use shift+g to cheat, so we removing it. And we have possible way to use pause to cheat, so we removing it.

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@TheWheelie
I am not saying there are no cheat mods or possibilities of them. But I also dont think we should stop all ui mods from working just because of that possibility.

I already explained the difference between mods "playing the game for you" and mods fixing the trash controls you have by default by allowing you to give out orders easier. But here it is again with some more clarity: no UI mods should be allowed that give units "AI" aka allow translations of sentences like "if this then this else this" or "in case of this, this" into orders, but only "this, then this, then this". There can be no decision making that unit itself does (aka giving commands on its own without player), but any order queue of any orders that player wants to give them or manipulate, they should be able to do effortlessly and is fine. For any ui mod you can think of, see which category it fits and you will understand whether its playing the game for you or simply fixing your controls.

And yes this "rule" excludes ecomanager from allowed UI mods which yes I too think should not be allowed, because it does decisions on its own, gives units orders on its own etc. and probably whatever e please mod is. Again, check which category it fits.

And obviously better controls improve your winrate, someone with a steering wheel would have a better race winrate over someone turning their car with a clamp, and like I said before, some of those should be integrated in base game so no one has to search for those mods and thus has equal ground.

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Why are you all considering shift-g, some random spread move thing added by FAF, a core game mechanic? It isn't a game mechanic at all. It is just a UI mod that wouldn't ever have existed if not for FAF. FAF gave you this ability in the first place and now they are considering removing it since it allows people to easily make cheats. Hardly a dictator's playground.

I am not convinced that cheating is a big problem, or that it ever will be, but I also don't think spread move improves the game anyway. I have seen countless games that could have been interesting be prematurely ended because of shift-g surrounding an ACU after it was out of position for 1 second. Despite this, you guys still make the argument that shift-g only enhances the skill of the game and makes it better? Wouldn't it take a bit more skill to have manually microd all of the units to block the ACU, so it took some effort and APM to get the win instead of a single key combo? How about being clever and hiding some stuff in a part of the map that normally wouldn't get scouted? That won't work anymore because your opponent will just make 10 scouts and give a split move to scout the entire map and find your stuff on accident, might as well remove fog of war. Split move also gives you quite good automatic micro for many units. Just spam a bunch of move orders and hit a key and they will move around in unpredictable directions dodging everything. Combine this with target priorities and it is even more busted. None of these things enhance the game or increase the skill cap they just reduce micro that would have been impressive to perform and watch before into something everyone can do with the press of a button. As the power of these things becomes more realized micro will become less of a novelty and more of a mandatory part of the game.

Even without the threat of cheat mods, I would prefer to remove the ability for UI mods to issue move orders. Now that so much attention has been called to this I expect more people to start pushing the boundaries of what can be done and the line between acceptable and cheating will not be so clear. More people will probably start using actual cheat mods as well now that everyone is saying how easy it is and that they are difficult to detect. Allowing this ability to exist in the first place was a mistake and now it should be corrected.