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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@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 Maybe it's my out-of-date-1500 game knowledge, but I think people looking forward to being able to take significantly more risks with their ACUs in average and high level play might be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

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@speed2 monkey/crab can, but it will destroy them, Dunno if this is linked together.
Edit: also/subs air can stack to some extent, so there is probably 'some' way.

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Well so far found these 2 things:
Capture.PNG
From unit.lua. Changing ACU's SizeX and SizeZ to that of GC allowed it to walk thru any non t4 units like they arent there. Cant find any smaller "minimum size" to get it to work on specific tiers only or where code that uses this even is yet.

capture2.PNG
From GC's .bp file. This seems to be the thing that causes damage to units that GC and thus ACU too, touches (works even without part above). Cant find this weapon in weapons.lua tho or anywhere else yet. If this is removed the unit just walks thru same units but doesnt deal damage.

edit:
HMMM
Capture.PNG
(armordefinition.lua)

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How would you balance the ACUs though...? They are already VERY strong against T1 spam aren't they?

Tagada I don't want to derail this thread, especially as I basically agree with everything you're saying about FAF and we have both said this is side point, so I'm deleting my longer reply. Let's just agree to disagree that balancing production/income/supply/correct worker vs army supply for a given situation/injects/chronos/MULEs in SC2 is easy.

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From a coding perspective we either allow all of these type of UI mods (this mod from @Mach, SpreadMove, the flanking mod that @Speed2 mentioned), or we do not allow any of them: by removing the sim callback that enabled it in the first place.

And because anybody has full access to all the local lua source code you cannot prevent some UI mod from accessing the sim call while allowing others since you can remove the code that 'prevents' that from your local code - e.g., as long as the call is there it can be used.

As @biass mentioned: there is no regulating this as it would takes hours on hours of time. That is infeasible.

Therefore the choice boils down to:

  • We keep the sim call and allow UI mods that influence the sim more directly to be produced and become part of the game experience, including spread move.
  • We remove the sim call and all UI mods like this one, spread move, flanking, etc, will no longer function.

Edit: you can not disable all UI mods - that is with the engine (that we cannot edit) absolutely impossible. You can only make it harder to use UI mods - but that is counterintuitive in my opinion.

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@Jip ecomanager as well. You sort of disable all ui-mods altogether because most of them issue some type of orders (hotkeys change command processing queue for example). Only 'visible reclaim' and score board will work.

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@techmind_ You cannot disable all UI mods - that is not part of the equation. We introduced a sim-call to allow spread attack / move to function. This allowed a UI mod to directly interfere with the sim and because everyone has the same sim code it doesn't desync. Hence, we can remove that specific call again.

Your example (of ecomanager) uses engine UI calls (and is unrelated to this topic as far as I am aware) and we can therefore never disable it - just make it harder to use.

edit: I believe it uses this engine call:

and is being used here:
17a3734c-ca21-41ca-9e3c-32102d91578c-image.png

Which is unrelated to the sim call we introduced to allow spread attack.

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@Jip Ok, checked the code yeah ecomanager uses 'native' call to build stuff not simcallback. I was wrong. Nothing prevents you from using 'native' move command.

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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:

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?

If the game was ended by a shift-g then did it really have the potential to be interesting? Shift-g only works against someone not paying attention, who overextended way too far, with no OC or t1 arty to kill clumps, ect.

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.

We already have a select next air scout hotkey that did pretty much the same thing and in the same number of clicks, just with rapidly pressing the hotkey at the same time.

I agree that split move for random dodging can be pretty useful, but it also messes with unit formation pretty bad often you wind up with clumped up units or with some units out of range and not shooting, its good for stuff like destroyer micro but is in no way required.

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? Combine this with target priorities and it is even more busted.

It would take even more skill if you had to move the units one by one to exactly where they needed to be. As people like Tagada have mentioned the benefit is not that it adds more skill but that it gives more control. You can do things that would otherwise be unreasonable even if you had really high APM and it helps with mitigating part of the massive defender's advantage this game has, or at least with pushing the opponent back. You can control other things on the map more and not have the game be decided by one battle on one part of the map. Before ATP was out lots of people complained about units shooting at the wrong target and costing games. ATP makes it a lot easier to push without building up such an overwhelming advantage.

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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:

My bet is it's in the engine

Its footprint.lua and I believe tied to Experimental Keyword in categories. Footprint.lua indicates well footprints and what a unit can or cannot traverse well as what size of buildings to ignore.

Also for Experimental Footfall both SCTA walking experimentals have not had footfall weapon or damage statted. And they still do it.

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@Evan_ said

If the game was ended by a shift-g then did it really have the potential to be interesting?

Clearly no games have ever be ruined by shift g