TD Aircraft

Missing function of the deploy key (F) on damaged Air units in TD.

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Major Kusanagi Motoko
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TD Aircraft

Post by Major Kusanagi Motoko » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:17 am

Release 2018_09_23:
(also during the previous playtest, i wasn't saying anything earlier as i was assuming this would be only a temporary glitch and will be normal again as usual in the current release).

Issue:
Selecting a damaged Apache or Orca in the TD mod and pressing the deploy key (F by default i think) will NOT send the selected (damaged) air unit to fly back to the nearest pad in order to repair anymore.

Motivation:
This changes air plays quite drastically. (jumping the cam back to cy will lose the selected damaged air units focus (select the cy); scrolling all over the map, not seeing the main army/priority frontline on screen, ect... is annoying since those are very dedicated hit n run units and need full attention and very short reaction times and regrouping)

Conclusion:
I hope this happened by accident and is not intended :) And my question: can this be fixed again?

abcdefg30
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by abcdefg30 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:24 am

Semi-intentional: OpenRA/OpenRA#14641 and OpenRA/OpenRA#14649
However, I expected to be able to use the repair wrench to order helicopters back (which doesn't work for some reason...).

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Sleipnir
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by Sleipnir » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 am

My favorite idea to resolve this is to introduce a new "Retreat" button to the commandbar (with its own hotkey). This button would order all selected units back to base, and queue up for the service depot / helipad / etc if they need to be repaired or rearmed. The existing aircraft RTB behaviour in RA would move from deploy to retreat, making it usable for cargo-carrying units.

AFAIK nobody is actively planning to work on this.

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Major Kusanagi Motoko
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by Major Kusanagi Motoko » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:36 am

abc & Sleipnir, thank you for your immediate replies and additional information provided (github-links).

All ground vehicles (all mods), all RA naval units, and both TD Air units Apache and Orca never need to rearm at any specific building.

If I am not mistaken RA Air and RA mine layer are the only units which need to rearm across all mods.

From a TD perspective i doubt that it made sense to have removed the deploy key F as a function for TD Orca/Apache to return to the helipad for repairs as explained in the ending segment of this comment, but is indeed a viable solution for the simplification / clarification of unambiguous functionality to repair and functional hotkeys C and F.

Never the less, RA Air return to pad for rearm and TD Air return to pad for repairs are very similar orders in Air plays for which the RA/TD player needs control keys in competitive plays.

From that perspective it should not have much impact for both RA and TD players whether that is the F key (deploy) or the C key (repair), rather:
a possible solution would be to have a designated hotkey for repairs on all mobile vehicles (ground, naval, all Air units TD & RA) to be send back to repairs to the repair pad/naval yard/sub pen/TD helipad (TD case only), lets say repair key C

and only RA Air units to be send back to the RA helipad for rearm, by using the deploy key F.

One problem with this solution is, that the C key changes the cursor into the repair wrench and not auto-pilot the selected vehicle(s).

Maybe there are other solutions and possibilities. From the perspective of very fast paced, competitive TD plays, it is a significantly faster option to have the selected, damaged TD Air unit to return to pad for repairs by only using a control key on the selected vehicle instead of changing into a different cursor, reason being those actions with TD Air units need extremely short reaction times and regrouping; of course this is the case as well for any mobile vehicle.

(Which would lead to a different problem: it would be needed to agree upon by everyone that a building will repair by being selected and pressed the C key afterwards rather than clicked upon with a repair wrench, which i guess as very unlikely :) )

Finally, from my experience, it seems, it was good as it was before.

I hope this analysis/ideas can be taken into consideration when rewriting the code on a solution in the future.
Thank you very much !

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avalach21
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by avalach21 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:13 am

Sleipnir wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:50 am
AFAIK nobody is actively planning to work on this.
i will pay a bounty to anyone who does ;)
Major Kusanagi Motoko wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:36 am

One problem with this solution is, that the C key changes the cursor into the repair wrench and not auto-pilot the selected vehicle(s).
I'm not sure where you are getting the C key from. F is deploy hotkey. C is Repair hotkey. I believe what he is envisioning is based on the "retreat" function in D2k which you can look at as a reference - This "retreat" function would use its own separate hotkey which would send all you units back to your main base (I believe this is determined by your first/oldest(?) Con Yard? Maybe it's your closet Con Yard? Not sure exactly how it identifies "home" if your original Con Yard is destroyed.) The same hotkey would send air units back to their pads for repair/rearm. I hadn't ever before heard/thought of having this function also automatically have damaged units seek out repairs at a Service Depot.. Sounds interesting and useful enough.. I don't see any issue with that unless people would complain that the game is starting to "play itself." Also not sure how a RA aircraft would respond if it needed both a rearm and a repair (Some sort of priority logic?)

Also... I seem to remember at points using the repair cursor to order a unit back to a service depot for repairs but it doesn't seem like this works on every unit?? or maybe it's not available in all mods? If anyone could clarify that, that would be cool :-)

Finally I'd like to make a suggestion, especially if the mentioned retreat changes are implemented. I strongly feel that we should disable aircraft from auto returning for rearm/repair when they run out of ammo. I feel that, at least from my perspective, in many if not most instances, these air units abilities as a scout/vision provider are more valuable than their attack role, and more often then not, I want them to hang around and provide vision rather than immediately fly back to base. Often times their direct course back to base sends them through enemy bases/positions and they get shot down. More often then not, I find it a chore to carefully watch my helis and have to "catch" them right as they run out of ammo to prevent them from leaving me visionless and even worse, the highly likely event of them getting themselves killed in the process.

It seems this change would be easy enough.. I was able to do so by commenting out one line of code. IMO it feels better controlling the air units and if we do implement a specific key to have them return to base, then I see no reason why they should be deciding to do so automatically on their own (usually to less than desirable results).

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Major Kusanagi Motoko
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by Major Kusanagi Motoko » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:18 am

RA air plays differ a lot from TD air plays, especially the roles of air in terms of speed and distance traveled - a few examples:

Flying past defensive enemy lines, flank, try for arty snipes outside momentary AA range (insta hit n run), guarding a Chinook past enemy lines more safely with vision ahead - and most powerful - for base- power, tech, production snipes (combined with support powers, as buildings can't move away from an incoming airstrike).

Whereas in RA they are used for slower purposes (therefore also much slower speed).

Today, i had a chat with the current TD regulars and the consensus is that it was good as it was before, the missing function for sending TD Aircraft back to repairs on helipad has major impacts on the overall experience in TD at this moment.
Last edited by Major Kusanagi Motoko on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Major Kusanagi Motoko
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by Major Kusanagi Motoko » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:18 pm

If im not mistaken, the favorite solution is to introduce a completely new command/hotkey.

Sounds good; from what i have read on github on the issues #13538; #1464; #14649 and in the answer of Sleipnir here, i had a missinterpretation of the repair key (as it works on tanks: will be used for air as well), but that was my missunderstanding, thx for correcting me on that avalach21.

lawANDorder
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by lawANDorder » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:08 pm

avalach21 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:13 am

I strongly feel that we should disable aircraft from auto returning for rearm/repair when they run out of ammo.

Often times their direct course back to base sends them through enemy bases/positions and they get shot down. More often then not, I find it a chore to carefully watch my helis and have to "catch" them right as they run out of ammo to prevent them from leaving me visionless and even worse, the highly likely event of them getting themselves killed in the process.
+1

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Major Kusanagi Motoko
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Re: TD Aircraft

Post by Major Kusanagi Motoko » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:11 am

avalach21 wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:13 am

I strongly feel that we should disable aircraft from auto returning for rearm/repair when they run out of ammo.

Often times their direct course back to base sends them through enemy bases/positions and they get shot down. More often then not, I find it a chore to carefully watch my helis and have to "catch" them right as they run out of ammo to prevent them from leaving me visionless and even worse, the highly likely event of them getting themselves killed in the process.
well the main topic of this post is TD Aircraft.

This is might be the case in RA: Using a unit which is supposed to be mobile by nature as a static unit...

TD plays very much different. It is your responsibility to see the green/red lines for the move/attack vector, hence know what vector units will go if they return (position of your pad and route of reinforcements/ repairs).

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