The issues with manual reclaim

The current manual reclaim situation is undesirable:

  1. When used properly, it gives additional artificial advantage to those with higher apm on top of the advantage they already get from high apm otherwise. Even if it's only from clicking during the first minutes of the game, that can result in large butterfly effects.
  2. When used improperly, it's arguably a noob trap.
  3. Many people find it annoying/frustrating to do, especially when low-value reclaim is densely mixed with high-value reclaim.
  4. It contributes to bo-based advantage and perception of bo-based advantage, which is one of the leading reasons people stated they don't play ladder in this thread.
  5. Feeling like you have to do it or are at a disadvantage contributes to ladder being more stressful/intense, which is one of the leading reasons people stated they don't play ladder in this thread.
  6. While attack move is a viable alternative for many situations, there are many others where it's an inferior substitute that doesn't resolve the problem. Notably, if there is enough high-value reclaim mixed in with a lot of low-value reclaim, attack move gets the high-value reclaim much more slowly, while manual reclaim is more annoying/frustrating/sweaty/stressful/apm-consuming/etc.

I think this situation should be improved. I am open to different ideas for how that could be accomplished. For example, if someone knows a reasonable way to sufficiently adjust how engineers act when using patrol/attack move, there might be a solution there, but I am not aware of that being a realistic option atm. So, if you have a good idea, feel free to share it.

If no one has a better idea, I think we should add a reclaim brush, as I think that would improve the situation. Some details about how the brush could work:

  1. It could be represented with a circle when being used, where the brush would give manual reclaim orders within the areas it's used on.
  2. It could be restricted to only give manual reclaim orders to reclaim that is above a certain value threshold (ie: only >35 mass).
  3. There could be different hotkeys that enable you to use the brush with different threshold levels (ie: there could be 1 for >10 mass, 1 for >100 mass, 1 for tree groups, etc).
  4. There could a cap on the processing cost per unit time, a cap on the max number of extant orders that could be queued with the reclaim brush, and a small enough brush size to avoid technical issues.

PS: Many additional points and counterpoints regarding adding a reclaim brush were previously made here.

pfp credit to gieb

No

source: the last thread

do NOT change core mechanics. It doesn't matter if it's a noobtrap or not

queuing with a newbie to show him the beauty of tmm and meeting tagada be like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLcRpdZ0Xb0&ab_channel=Tomoko

Manual reclaim thread: electric boogaloo 2.

Skill issue

Skill issue

Me

The embodiment of depression...

Maybe the previous 15 reclaim threads can give you a hint on the outcome of this one

I wish engies had aoe on their reclaim so 1000000000 shit trees wouldn't block the stuff I wanted.

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this is the usual situation of bad controls, and with the expected usual excuse of "but there is nothing better to do ingame so its ok" from pros, imo if there is nothing better to do in the game at start than manually clicking rocks, then that's the game itself being bad in beginning in general, outsourcing gameplay to osu simulator doesn't fix the early gameplay, it just makes it annoying to those that don't enjoy clickspamming miningame and gives advantage to those who are good at it (but not necessarily at the game itself) over them, and like said in the op, additional advantage to those who memorized the map reclaim positions and optimal reclaim paths to then execute at start of the game like a recital of memorized text paragraph, there is zero excuse for bad controls that manual reclaim is

anyways for the solution, is it possible to get engineers to retarget reclaim beam automatically (from attack move) as fast as they do when given reclaim order queue manually? ik it would likely ruin the sim speed but it would close the gap between the 2 a bit without any major changes, at least make the engineer consider the next reclaim target while it is reclaiming the current target so it can retarget as soon as it is done without standing there and looking around for almost a full second between auto-reclaims while the manually queued one speedruns the reclaim for no apparent reason

@Mach it is the time that the engine waits before scanning for new targets. It is similar to the weapon check interval, but in this case there's no value in the blueprint to tweak it.

In general I'm in favor of features that would make the game feel more modern. But this particular example is just not what this engine is made for. To quote myself:

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

This already exist it is a SIM mode

Well, there was a great solution in existence already years ago: Area Attack and Area Reclaim commands. Those are quite natural commands that many other rts come with by default. There was a mod that allowed for those commands, so they where already implemented.

Manual reclaim was still technically better, but you could easily tell engies to reclaim large scattered fields. Sadly, there is considerable resistance from the people in charge regarding improvements to the way the game plays. For some reason clicking rocks was deemed more fun and skill then clicking units (there was little opposition to auto overcharge).

Overall the resistance against improvements in this area probably hurt player retention, the opening post sums up the reasons quite well. Maybe that has a lot to do with perceptions, but that is sometimes all that matters.

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What if Attack moves, always turn to patrol's, instead of going Idle..?

That would make attack move worse

Doesn't Attack move have a larger reclaim range? which would make attack move better..

I'm re-thinking my suggestion now... doesn't really help the matter

@chiefbigfeather

Well, there was a great solution in existence already years ago: Area Attack and Area Reclaim commands.

That still exists, they're attack-move commands.

Overall the resistance against improvements in this area probably hurt player retention, the opening post sums up the reasons quite well.

No it doesn't, most of his arguments are senseless or unfounded:

When used properly, it gives additional artificial advantage to those with higher apm on top of the advantage they already get from high apm otherwise.

Having higher skill is rewarded. This should not be controversial.

... that can result in large butterfly effects.

Unfounded.

When used improperly, it's arguably a noob trap.

This translates as: People who do not understand the mechanic are not benefitting from the mechanic/penalized for not using the mechanic. Again, how this somehow is a bad thing is beyond me.

Many people find it annoying/frustrating to do, especially when low-value reclaim is densely mixed with high-value reclaim.

'Many people' unfounded, as the previous threads seem to indicate popular sentiment is against these changes.

And then the rest of the arguments boil down to "people just don't like it because it stresses them out in ladder games". I mean, perhaps playing competitive ladder is not for people who do not want to be competitive. And that's fine! AI games are popular, and that's all well and good. But trying to bring people who don't want to do sweaty competitive play into the competitive scene seems to me like trying to find a non-answer to a non-problem and is impressively counterintuitive.

"Design is an iterative process. The required number of iterations is one more than the number you have currently done. This is true at any point in time."

See all my projects:

@elhooo_oood

Attack move commands from that units inherit from a factory have an increased range, but normal attack-move commands given to a unit do not.

If your engineers go idle with attack-move commands, that indicates that they either have nothing to reclaim anymore, or your storages are full. You can chain several attack-move orders, spacing them somewhat apart, so that when the first attack-move command is completed/invalidated, the engineer moves on to the next (by when they're hopefully next to new reclaim or your storages have depleted some).

"Design is an iterative process. The required number of iterations is one more than the number you have currently done. This is true at any point in time."

See all my projects:

I don't see how manual reclaim is breaking the game. With all the scout laming, tree clumps have never been weaker. Most of the time they just break because of lamers and all those clicks are for nothing.

With regards to maps like Wonder where you need to manually reclaim to get the mass in the craters, that is a calculated risk you must take. Some players prefer not to take so much mass but instead shoot the enemy commander. Some prefer to take the damage and keep reclaiming. It is a delicate balancing act between how much you should reclaim vs how much you should fight with com. This decision is skill expression.