Question feedback before I dig in.

I'm endlessly frustrated by the amount of manual best practice this game requires, so for a start I'd like to modify the default/idle behavior of the t1 fab.

I would really appreciate some hand-holding to get started. General tutorial links cause my brain to blank.

But before I even begin I'd like to know if it's possible for a t1 fab when idle to attempt to reclaim the nearest mass.

If so, that's where I'll start.

Possible followups would be it auto building t1 mex, and reclaiming enemies the same way a t1 tank would fire its main gun.

Thank you for your time and help.

Hey, you might want to have a look at our discord server. There's a dedicated channel for modding, and you're likely to get significantly faster response there.

"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."

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@innomen said in Question feedback before I dig in.:

I'm endlessly frustrated by the amount of manual best practice this game requires, so for a start I'd like to modify the default/idle behavior of the t1 fab.

Honestly i am surprised a little bit, supreme commander does provide okay level of automation compared to other games (like starcraft 2 for example)

But before I even begin I'd like to know if it's possible for a t1 fab when idle to attempt to reclaim the nearest mass.

short answer = likely not possible
can be technically challenging
and will need to make whole community to accept this change
will need to provide good reasons why this change is required

There once was a guy who made a mod to make idle engineers to walk around and search for reclaim. (mod by iBogunov)
i used this mod couple of times and i didn't like it

  1. my idle engineers no longer reported as idle
  2. they wander off in random direction to get something like 1 tree.
    when i wanted to group up engineers in one place to start something important like 1rst t2 power or assist my t2 t3 factory - engineers would just move far away to try to find some reclaim
    i once dropped engineers from the transport and before i could pay attention they all walked away

ofc you can fix 1 by simply still reporting those engineers as idle, but need to somehow distinguish automated behavior from player induced one and that required lots of additional coding and maybe engine changes
We don't have source code to easily do engine changes

2 can be fixed by only attempting to reclaim stuff that is in range
it can lead to additional CPU load af every idle engineer on the map checking if they have a reclaimable thing in their build range

or having a special mode that you can put that engineer into, so it gonna go around and reclaim stuff... but that is pretty much the same as clicking couple of attack moves.
and attackmoves have an advantage, that once engineer finished reclaiming an area they will stop and report as idle so you can easy pay attention to them and give them more tasks
while in the automatic mode they'd just go and suicide or 20 of them would go to pick up 1 air scout wreck that is worth 8 mass from the lake that is 5 km away or something like that

tho ofc i am not against adding a functionality that i can simply not use if i don't want to. But someone will have to do the work

Possible followups would be it auto building t1 mex, and reclaiming enemies the same way a t1 tank would fire its main gun.

sounds like an ok idea tbh, can also make them repair things in their range,
make sure that only engineer goes to build some mex, not all 20 of them
Edit: already imagining TMLing mexes on enemy side of the map and my poor idle engineers trying to reach enemy base
Edit: another genius idea, make engineer idle in FFA game to check witch mexes are not taken without need for scouting

tho again it may introduce performance issues as people in this game like to build 300 engineers per player in a 4v4 game

i am still skeptical tho, because in early game you usually have a factory that is building engineers and don't you usually select them as soon as they become idle and make some tasks for them...? if they gonna do some random stuff and move away from the rally point it can kinda feel weird... you'd also have to cancel their automated orders 1rst, what if they wander off and build ally mex or break trees
or reclaim something that ally wants to rebuild

anyway, sounds like something that is not gonna happen cause nobody gonna code it.
also need to 1rst decide how it is all gonna be implemented
what engineers will prioritize while idle, what exactly will be happening, then review it and agree that it is a good thing, then there is a chance that someone can try to code it

TA4Life: "At the very least we are not slaves to the UI" | http://www.youtube.com/user/dimatularus | http://www.twitch.tv/zlo_rd

If anything, it'll be a mod. Such changes are never going to be accepted into the base game 😉

"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 do well in real time, and I want replies that are less flippant than real time. I'm from the mIRC era 😛 Being old is a double edge sword 🙂

Seems absurd to me that fabs just stand there and wait to be killed when they could just reclaim/capture enemies right in front of them or when they'll ignore the pile of metal in front of them when the metal count is negative. And a button to make fabs auto build mexs on nearest unclaimed mex point like auto making tactical missiles seems like it would exist also. (Like from a lore/immersion perspective.)

/sigh

I'm apparently an alien. In any context I'm in I find myself wanting things that seem obvious to me that no one else wants. SSDD(ecade) I guess.

@innomen Well consider that a Fab is a Structure and not an active unit per say. It was never setup to be as this is what you technically have engineers and attack units for.

@resin_smoker Ugh that's a terminology error on my part then, I mean fab as in fabricator as in the little t1 buildy units. Engineers. My bad.

@zlo said in Question feedback before I dig in.:

iBogunov

Can you link me to his mod? Seems like a perfect starting point for me.

(this is so hard for me you guys have no idea)

If you're interested in playing against AI, you can always set the game speed to adjustable in the lobby and then play at a lower game speed. You can use numpad +- to change the game speed. That might be rebindable but I'm not sure.

Every -3 difference will be halving the game speed. -3 is half speed, -6 is a quarter, and -9 is an eighth, although actually playing at -9 would be a true test of patience.

Ok... so the engineers should pickup reclamables then. Yeah, I've done this with limited success. That being said, here's why it wasn't a practical or functional mod.

  1. an engineer that can auto pickup or auto-assign itself tasks, could choose to ignore a task you've just given it.

  2. The game is really bad at this sort of thing to the point that the AI, needs map markers to know where to go. Effectively cheating, to do something we can do easily.

That being said, here are a few methods, I know "kinda" work (I tried the 1st two)

For a "Basic" automated engineer you 'd need a unit toggle, to activate independent actions. Once active the unit could randomly path around an area, and simply reclaim, what ever is nearest it.

Something a bit more complex would scan an area, make a data table of what it found. Filter through the table for reclaimables, and then sort them by distance. Then assign each of those reclaimables to itself in an order que. The limitation of this method, is that several engineers scanning large areas of the map at the same time tends to be very SIM resource intensive. Especially if there are multiple players all doing the same thing, while also building up and fighting each other.

Lastly, a UI based method could work really well, but would be crazy hard to implement. Maybe using something along the lines of a player painting / highlighting an area that is auto assigned to an engineer nearby. This would be the best approach, as the player need not zoom in, just designate an area, which is scanned, filtered, and sorted just like in the 2nd method. The BIG advantage here is that your not using up SIM resources as bad as a completely Unit based system would. Back in the day there was a UI mod that used the 2nd monitor screen as a white-board. Allowing teammates to mark up the map and draw notes for each other. Adapting that to control your engineers would be Awesome-Sauce... Unfortunately UI mods are not part of my skill set. Though, I know its possible as I've seen Domino mod a UI based map editor for FA using similar tools.

While sure, none of these methods are fully automated, your not going to have that in FA as the game engine just isn't capable of this. Even the AI uses a predetermined build table and map-based flags to setup the computer players objectives. Unless that has changed in the last 10 years...

There's also the Ninja Reclaim Drones and Reclaim Turret mods which provide various units which auto-reclaim.

@resin_smoker I had no idea it was like this, thank you for explaining. Disappointing.

@deribus said in Question feedback before I dig in.:

There's also the Ninja Reclaim Drones and Reclaim Turret mods which provide various units which auto-reclaim.

I guess that's the best option. Thanks all. /sigh

Edit: I want to say thanks again for the suggestion of the reclaim drones. They save the game for me. Effectively they are 90% of what I wanted. Manually building mex is much more tolerable with a stream of reclaim coming in that I don't have to micro.

You can also end all series of commands with an attack move. As an example: if you send out an engineer to build a few extractors you add an attack move command at the end. That way it will reclaim instead of idle as you describe. It won't build extractors though. The engineer also won't show as idle.

I think in general if you feel like your units are idling too much then you're not batch-queueing enough commands. The more commands you queue at a given moment (which usually takes very little to no time) the less often you need to check on the unit :). If you're not aware of it: distributing orders (the hotkey) can also be very useful to quickly batch commands to units with little effort. Especially when you're dealing with many-to-many relationships (many engineers that want to build many extractors)

originally responded in: https://forum.faforever.com/topic/5257/add-a-latest-replay-url/17 , heh

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

I just want to say I tried Chat GPT 4o the other day. It basically built my whole mod for me. Good thing no one is paying us or I'd be worried.

Just keep swimming