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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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.

Great, this means that disperse move, spread move, spread attack, and whatever else are all cheating because when you give an order to an entire group of units they give themselves new individual orders based on some decision-making code in the UI mod.

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Should we as well say, that a built templates are cheat, because they automatically places generators and facts, one after another. And FAF is very sad place, where so many potentially interesting games was ended by snipe because ACU wasn't protected enough in some moment.
And if some player make scouts, sent them to places where he didn't expect enemy units to be, and where he do not have radar, pay attention, and counter every of that units groups, before they did much damage, he is a cheater, because he didn't control every scout manually.
Pls, don't mind me, its just another point of view, that not really important.

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@ThomasHiatt 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:

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.

Great, this means that disperse move, spread move, spread attack, and whatever else are all cheating because when you give an order to an entire group of units they give themselves new individual orders based on some decision-making code in the UI mod.

obviously there is decision making in code itself, otherwise, what would code even do? the decision making Im talking about isnt an if statement in lua, its the unit deciding on its own what to do, issuing orders to itself after player long left that unit alone, and based on something that player didnt specifically state to it

In mods you listed, this code is static, unit never changes its behavior depending on anything, there is no if, there is no in case of this, there is no decision making, there is only rigid "every unit gets these orders according to this specific unchanging algorithm every single time" (algorithm also stops running the moment players leaves the unit alone, because it only lets player give those orders easier), no unit decides what to do on its own or depending on circumstances, only doing what you specifically told it do, and there is no post-control giving of orders by the mod itself without player interaction (like ecomanager), for disperse move for example, every unit gets the closest order to itself (whilst keeping even distribution between those orders) from exact queue of orders you, the player, manually gave and then you, the player, manually told them to rearrange so, and then its done, it just has that order, it follows that order like it follows any other order, no decision making, no unit "AI", you just gave it that order more easily and faster instead of wasting your time doing a hundred pointless clicks for telling it to do something as simple as "split between these positions". You could use this argument for any control in game that already exists that could be more manual and thus increase "micro and skill" according to you. When does it end? When you have only vanilla controls and all UI mods are banned?

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@archsimkat said:

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?

Not really.

As Farms already eluded to: mutiple people who were both A: not part of the mod team proper: and B: were already invested in the event in question spent many multiple hours, including server tests and checking through replays etc. for ONE case that was pretty blatant, and visible to the public at large due to casting/being part of an event.

This is not something that can happen for every report. We can hardly call it working in my opinion. I think prevention is far better than a cure here.

This doesn't include the potential fallout of a tournament being ruined and how it impacts FAF's reputation too. This doesnt apply to casual games of course, but I would hate to see what happens when a sponsor decides he isn't getting a fair and respectable tournament out of his donor money.

@Mach You've gone from a couple of relevant movement related UI mods, to quote "any number of UI mods" to now "all ui mods". Stop inflating your position.

This is YOUR UI mod that is being questioned here. Don't try and hide this important point of information by claiming that removing the split g function will randomly destroy namestuff or supreme economy.

I'm sure if you call keyser a nazi a couple more times he will randomly change opinion and support you dude, real smart moves

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And last funny thing, just because Im bored. Mach do some mod, that brings some new control method, and share. So this and some other methods should be banned. An if hadn't share, and that mod for yourself, there a huge chance that he wold never have been spotted. So if in time, someone find new "loophole" which ui, better for him - to keep it low.

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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 You've gone from a couple of relevant movement related UI mods, to quote "any number of UI mods" to now "all ui mods". Stop inflating your position.

This is YOUR UI mod that is being questioned here. Don't try and hide this important point of information by claiming that removing the split g function will randomly destroy namestuff or supreme economy.

I'm sure if you call keyser a nazi a couple more times he will randomly change opinion and support you dude, real smart moves

Its not only about my mod if what allows all ui mods to have anything to do with move orders gets removed. Also when did I ever say anything about keyser? I dont even know who is deciding anything about this in first place because FAF is being illuminati about it as always. Is it only keyser then?

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@Arran 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 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 thought out points, rationally considers other people's opinions and explains his reasoning.

@Mach this is just paranoia really) Those hypothetical cheat mods actually can't work that well, because the engine itself is not exactly great) None of those who think about removing it even tried to made or think how to make one so they don't know about all of the limitations of the engine. All the devs who actually worked with game engine commands will tell you what this is just 'fancy movement orders' like 'formations/guard/patrol' so essentially why don't we remove guard\assist patrol.

TLDR: Theoretical possiblity causes this 'ban/remove everything reaction', because people, who made decisions are just incompetent in game engine/programming in general.

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FAF would be improved if we could integrate a simple, effective autoclicker that would make manual reclaim less cancerous. SupCom 2 apparently had something similar, where you could "paint" orders on the screen, or at least Chris Taylor talked about wanting to have that feature as part of SupCom 2.

Or perhaps just a "target priorities mod" for engineers, such as: "when you are on attack-move this time, only try to grab rocks/wrecks that have at least 25 mass"

My idea was that if you give an engineer an "attack move order," and the order immediately preceding this attack-move order was a manual reclaim order, that this should be treated as a special kind of attack move where the engie only goes after bigger reclaim and ignores the small stuff.

The autoclicker thing happened because FAF is broken by the importance of clicking on manual reclaim. That should have been taken as a sign that FAF needs to make the game less broken, not that FAF needs to crack down on Russian hackers.

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FAF would be improved if we could integrate a simple, effective autoclicker that would make manual reclaim less cancerous. SupCom 2 apparently had something similar, where you could "paint" orders on the screen, or at least Chris Taylor talked about wanting to have that feature as part of SupCom 2.

@arma473 I actually implemented that and it just got removed from vault)
EDIT: https://forums.faforever.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=18783

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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:

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"

Not everyone knows about it. But if you lurk in the relevant dev channels, you will notice.

Btw. this is one example of what it can do https://www.loom.com/share/3beeefd58b1b4a378b3d6e7cfdc1d1cc
Now imagine you add small delay between issuing those orders, maybe slightly random, also slightly random offset of those orders and BOOM it looks exactly like you'd be clicking it, but you just pressed a button once.

And there's no limit to what you can and cannot do, you have unlimited move and attack orders

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@speed2 each time unit takes command it have 0,5 second delay to issue them so issuing orders more frequently than 1-2 seconds will actualyl make your unit not fire at all).
This 'random' part also screws 'dodging', so it looks impressive, but will be actually counter-productive. I can micro lab way better manually than it is possible by having pre-made move order.
Also i am pretty sure i am the only one who bothers to do it just for lulz.

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But that doesnt apply for move orders. And that delay is started every tick, and there are 10 ticks per second.

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Honestly I've never understood the amazing amount of salt that comes out on both sides of the debate around using shift-G to more easily kill an ACU with T1 spam (and for that matter UI modding in general). Compared to now, comblocking required/will again require as little as 2-3 more clicks and being more zoomed in (move order past ACU, box-select first 1-3 tanks that pass ACU, move them to just in front of ACU). This is nearly as effective as shift-G with less risk of brutal overcharges. Maybe it's my out-of-date-1500 game knowledge, but I think people looking forward to being able to take significantly more risks with their ACUs in average and high level play might be in for a rude shock, especially as people are now more aware of the value of comblocking than in 2015. I think I'd prefer it stayed, if cheaters might be/are abusing it then get rid of it.

As a general point, I agree with having a UI that lets you more easily issue the orders you want to and to make more decisions for yourself directly through UI flexibility (UI Party's selection-splitting hotkeys are AMAZING for this, including just about replacing everything lost by removing shift-G) and indirectly through more thinking time. Having this approach seems to be a pretty fundamental design decision for Supcom both before and after FAF started, so it arguably damages the market appeal of FAF to go in the opposite direction. Scaling back UI control should only be done if something is absolutely ruining high level play, or clearly driving players away and endangering the community. I can't think of an example of the latter and I will just take the word of actual good players on things like ATP sniping being completely broken (actual balance decisions shouldn't be made by anyone else as they are, by definition, the people who best understand how to play the game optimally, sorry if that hurts people's feelings). I would quietly suggest that if people are concerned about lowering the FAF skill cap, they should read Tagada's post and then look at the skill cap as a unit/map balance issue. Given this game is meant to be about strategic choice based on all available info, not high-APM mechanics and managing a perma-zoomed in screen, we should be looking at making more unit comps and playstyles viable in various scenarios. If there are more meaningful strategic choices, not just a battle of execution in producing more of the "correct comp" than your opponent and/or taking better fights with it, good strategic players can shine. But again, I'm not good enough at this game to know if the skill cap is a real issue or better balanced units and maps are actually a good solution.

Also sidenote for @Tagada: Take your own advice on comparing FAF and Starcraft when you've only being playing SC2 for a couple of weeks and you're nowhere near the equivalent of even 1k FAF rating (Platinum players are ranked behind 30%-50%/70k-120k of active non-Korean ladder profiles, on FAF leaderboards that is currently 213-456 rating). You would be laughed out of town on any SC2 forum where you tried to argue that "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" - that's like saying FAF macro is basically shift-clicking mass points with a couple of engineers. Stick to FAF, you make a lot more sense when you do 🙂

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idk if I mentioned it here, but for spread moving t1 landpsam into acus a simple solution is to allow acu to walk over enemy t1 land units like experimentals walk over non experimental units, ignoring them in pathfinding and dealing damage to them, idk what balance problems this may cause but it sure would remove pathfinding abuse

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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:

idk if I mentioned it here, but for spread moving t1 landpsam into acus a simple solution is to allow acu to walk over enemy t1 land units like experimentals walk over non experimental units, ignoring them in pathfinding and dealing damage to them, idk what balance problems this may cause but it sure would remove pathfinding abuse

Can you make it walk just over T1 units?

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@Sir-Prize while it's true my rank on sc2 isn't impressive I've watched and analyzed quite a few pro games and also talked with some very good players like Arch and Blodir who were high diamond and Master. And yeah, I still fail to see what's wrong in that statement, FAF economy is balancing Mass/E/Bp while SC2 economy is making drones constantly and sending them to mineral patches/Gas. Ofc the decision making for economy is much more complex, cause you factor in IF you can afford to make drones, if you over saturate mineral line, do you run out of resources in a base and thus need to expand, can you defend your expansion etc. The point was that SC2 Economy is relatively simple and even an unexperienced player can do near perfect economy management after like 20 games of practice. The challenge is to do all that while micro'ing your army in 3 places at once. On the other hand FAF is the opposite, where the economy is much harder and more important then your unit micro.
This bit was just to clear up some comparison of FAF and SC2 where someone says that if SC2 would have UI mod xyz it would be busted as hell.

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@speed2 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:

Can you make it walk just over T1 units?

Well so far I only got it to walk over anything and deal damage, but once I find code that t4s use for that I might be able to copy it and change so only t1s get killed by acus and ignored in their pathfinding.

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Thats my point, I dont think there's any middle step, it's either everything or nothing.

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yes but experimentals dont kill each other or ignore in pathfinding, so obviously they are ignored somehow

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My bet is it's in the engine