So I just got to point with fixing spread attack where some things are possible that are apparently controversial:
Now I dont know if my fixes will even go live from github once whoever decides things about FAF sees them and their potential, and these fixes may instead have that someone remove necessary code from base FAF that allows this, and possibly other mods depending on it, from functioning, causing this mod to go into oblivion instead and further ruining what I am trying to improve, but I managed to fix it (because it wasnt written properly in first place) and as a consequence, what is described here (as far as I understand it) is possible.
aka I can queue multiple different units to different move orders of any different numbers and then select all of those units and queue attack orders that spread attack then mixes properly without failing, all units will continue on their queued move orders and then proceed to attack every target like spread attack normally does. In zlo's example, I can queue strats to fly around aa in different paths each, and then queue attack orders and press shift+g to turn them into spread attack while strats are still flying to move orders.
Not only that, but this can be repeated in queue as many times as player wants, I can again queue move orders after a queued spread attack and once again queue spread attack after those new move orders which are already after previous spread attack and so on. Each spread attack will only effect last group of attack orders and leaves everything prior alone. This allows player to plan attacks way easier instead of having to manually give those orders after strats got into position first. You might say this removes micro from the game, but in my opinion, it merely allows that micro to be done beforehand if player chooses to. Player still has to queue those attack orders (micro), they just now have ability to queue it before if they want to instead of having to do it on spot when they may have something else important to focus on. This is almost exact situation as being able to queue units of factory that isnt completed yet instead of only being able to do so after it is finished and I find it hilarious that it would even be considered OP.
While I think a lot of pro players will see this as overpowered for their own reasons, these controls that I fixed literally allow a player to do nothing more than what they already could do, except easier, they dont give any units additional abilities or allow them to do something they couldnt without them, a player can already do all of this manually, they simply allow player to better tell those units what to do within limitations of what those units already physically can do, nothing more. And I think that its objectively correct that players should be able to tell their units what to do as effortlessly as possible, because the point of this game isnt to fight the controls, but to fight other players.
Speaking of fighting controls, some pro players may have gotten very good at managing their attention and APM to fight bad controls and this may, to them, ruin an aspect of gameplay or remove value of their skill (at fighting the controls) cough
Heaven, even some strategies that are designed to rob your opponent of attention and APM by doing something that they have to "translate for a long time" the response orders to (even tho they came up with them in split second), a strategy that wouldnt work if your opponent could "translate quickly" the response orders to, you can see how it has nothing to do with who can "come up with orders" faster or with better ones, but how fast they can translate them into the game thru UI, sure coming up with them exists already, but translating them thru controls shouldnt even have a time component to it, let alone entire strategies or even needed clicking skills. So instead of who can translate orders faster or attack opponent in a way they have to spend more time translating orders to counter, I think strategy is supposed to be only about who is better at coming up with orders in first place, translating them into unit orders thru UI after coming up with them should be effortless.
In general I think its time we separate player's controls and their "skill" in fighting those controls to tell their units to do what they want them to do, from balance equation and instead allow players to tell their units what to do in any way they want, because strategy is about that part, what should the units do, not how do I get them to do what I want them to do. And I think having to fight controls in fact reduces the strategy aspect of this game and we could see a lot more interesting things in games if players were spared the bad controls and could instead communicate properly with their units and thus have more time to come up with plans and better plans, and give out more plans in same time, when they wouldnt need to have a massive "time to translate their plan into orders". Instead of fighting on 1 front, player could be fighting on many, if only they could tell their units what to do easier instead of fighting the controls to get them to do something so simple that they could explain it in 1 short sentence "go here first and then bomb everything there" (which is what player can do with this spread attack fix). Are we really considering translation (not coming up with) of this simple sentence into unit commands a gameplay element and skill?
APM and attention resources imo arent supposed to be used up "trying to control your units", but trying to beat your opponent in strategy, the control of your units should be as easy as saying what you want them to do like example above. APM and attention should be used solely for coming up with those orders in first place. If you remember before advanced target priorities were a thing, bombers could fly into your base and take no damage from your aa and do their bombing freely simply because your aa was busy shooting at fighters, and you had no way of telling them to do otherwise other than manually telling turrets to shoot specific bomber (and likely missclicking on a fighter). I already used this example in infamous steam forum discussion, but this simply shows that bad controls lead to bad gameplay, should the player really have no way of saying "shoot the bombers first" to their units other than frantically spam clicking? Should it really be a strategy to send fighters with bombers, not to protect them from enemy fighters, but to distract enemy aa because other player has no way of telling those aa to ignore fighters?
Better controls may open different problems where units may suddenly become overpowered because they can finally be controlled properly and you may object to that, but like I had pleasure of explaining in Atlantis thread already, thats when you balance those units, instead of another problem with the game "balancing" them. Fix that problem first instead and then balance those units, because only then will you see them in their real form, the units you are currently seeing arent being used at their full potential because of those control problems. If fixing the controls reveals those units' real power by them becoming overpowered, thats when you balance them because only then do you know what they are really capable of. Not hiding behind double negatives to cancel each other out.
I know allowing any UI mods can escalate into players basically having AI microing their units up to point where player doesnt even press a button during a match so I have solution for where the line should be. For example there was a "russian hacker" story here on FAF where someone had a ui mod where units would automatically surround another unit, ex. labs surrounding a megalith. This was considered overpowered and bannable, because labs would otherwise have to be microed around the megalith manually, but this isnt a problem of ui mods, its a problem of labs countering megalith.
While I dont know the specifics of how that mod worked, this shows where UI mods can start "playing the game for you", because if this player had to tell his units to "surround the megalith" imo its fine, because this ui mod simply allowed that player to tell those labs what to do easier "surround that megalith", but if those units instead "automatically surrounded the megalith should it walk into range" it isnt. imo the line for UI mods that are allowed should be where the units themselves start automatically giving themselves orders depending on circumstances (aka "AI"), lets say a fighter that automatically stops attacking and gives itself a move order back to base if it flies too far from patrol waypoint.
This said in abstract form, where its easy to tell if its allowed or not aka a "rule" is: no UI mods 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, 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.
This game was designed from start to give players easier control over their units than other RTS games had thru its UI with the very strategic zoom and many features of orders and queues, they even tried to create something similar to the very thing I started this post with with coordinated attack, where you can queue move orders of different units and have an attack order that they attack at same time from different places. It is ridiculous that progress in better player control is being stalled like this for any reason.
Here are some interviews with linked relevant times where Chris Taylor himself states things about supreme commander's control system and what it is supposed to be:
Its not about who can click faster
With formation move as an example, you could say that not having formation move would add micro skill as you would need to manually give units move orders so they stay close together. Consider formation move a UI mod for example and say is it overpowered?
About player's control, queues and coordinated attack
I already showed factory queue above, if you replace this single attack target of coordinated attack (destroyer) with multiple targets, it literally is this very thing of queued move orders of different units that all then attack multiple targets (instead of 1).
Same coordinated attack from video above
There are probably other interviews mentioning things like this as well that I didnt find yet. You should still watch the whole playlist of those videos anyway because they are good.
Here is a video showing what properly working spread attack combined with Disperse Move UI mod can do. I dont understand how you can considered that overpowered. To me it is merely proper control of your units to get them to do what they could have always done.
Players should be able to give out explicit (no decision making by unit) orders in any way they want thru UI mods, and giving out orders should be as effortless as saying them. Balance should, instead of considering how bad controls are as a factor in balancing (micro) and thus banning any UI modification that improves that control thus tilting the balance which was based on that control being bad, balance units around their maximum potential that becomes more apparent as playerbase's controls improve thru UI mods and UI upgrades in general, allowing players to tell those units what to do easier and thus revealing the real power of those units to balance them based on.
The player's control over their units thru UI should be improving by FAF itself, not banned from it as "cheating", the line between mods "playing the game for you" and not (aka allowed or not) should be where they are giving units orders automatically without player action (unit "AI" basically), and those letting player more easily give and manipulate manual orders and queues of any complexity being allowed. This is better explained above in bold text.