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Better ui for transports project

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Hey, I've posted my idea in thread discussing the transporters balance, but I thought it's worth giving it a standalone post. One of deterrents in using transporters for me is the amount of extra micro they require.

Here's my shitty graphics and grammar, I hope you find the idea less shitty.

It can be sum up with few points:
  • automate micro of transports which gives more control than current "transport everything to shorten travel time"
  • safe travel with transports by following the path given by the player, not only the shortest path; transports shall retreat following the same path in reverse
  • meet in the middle for units and transports to maximize efficiency
  • natural use of the command as it's issued while controling units to transport with single command (no load, unload or selecting transporters)
  • shared interface for teams games


The biggest offender of transports for me is the interface. It just takes a lot of micro to set up anything with transports (be that ferry points, auto transport or manual Load + Drop). Moreover, they are pretty dumb and always take the shortest path which usually goes straight through enemy AA (possibly flex AA). I wish there were a command for units to air travel. It would behave like this (with some pictures so it's more clear). Some parts of this behaviour are already possible, but not automated and I wanted to present the full picture.

forgot to add: important: it calls allied transporters as well to complete airlift orders (On by default in settings, can be disabled).

Here's my crappy colored prototype of airlift icon:

If I come back for good to zk and start having fun with coding (which I ultimately planned to), I could try to make it reality. For now I'm sharing to see whether anyone else is interested in it.
+3 / -0

11 months ago
Before embarking on this you should do a full review of all the current transport UI. Adding to the wiki would be even better.
+1 / -0
An interpretation of the ferry command could be the following.

HOLD shift to add waypoints.

Read these in IssueCommand

Store these x,y coordinates in an ordered table.

orders[1] will be the center of a circle in which we get the nearest self-unit within that circle with no orders and issue a pickup order on said unit.

orders[#orders] will be the drop off location.

All other values in the orders table will be move points.

on completion of the drop, issue a reverse orders table worth of move orders.

If the user issues a command to the unit that is not a load or unload unit order and is not part of the reverse lookup coordinate table, clear orders table.
+0 / -0

11 months ago
On a related note, I can no longer see the ferry route button or the retreat zone button in the UI. Have these been removed?
Currently it seems like I can only make transports pick up things manually. Even having a load and dropoff area on repeat did not work properly when I tried it in the transport campaign mission. This needs improvements.
+1 / -0
AUrankAdminGoogleFrog where can I find that information? Directly in code or maybe by playing the game? For me the most of options are hidden and/or don't work. The only stuff that work for me are: manual load/unload, ferry points. Sometimes auto-transport travel works, but often it does not or works poorly. There's Embark/Disembark buttons on units which I'd suppose are meant to summon transporters and load selected units up (and then move up to next order of disembark) - in similar way that I suggested but less complex. This option never worked for me, so I can't really review it.

PS I watched your vid on transport options.

As you know and can tell by working with me on loading screens, I have often weird wordings and shitty grammar. For that reason I don't want to touch wiki.
+1 / -0
11 months ago
I could never figure out how to make ferry work. I spent some time just toying around with it in SP and couldn't ever actually get any transport/ground unit interaction. That and call transport for factories. The only way I can get transports to actually do anything is either manually selecting transports and ordering them to carry people, or using the load/unload as pulled circles with repeat orders set for the transport.

The whole of transport orders could probably use like, a tutorial or something.
+1 / -0

11 months ago
@zenfur try again and document exactly what works for you. Grammar is not a problem when editing the wiki.
+0 / -0

11 months ago
After a bit of testing, embark and disembark are commands that implement most of my suggestions. Still they are very clunky, non intuitive and buggy. Transports also don't always come back where they started from.

Why have 2 commands (embark/disembark) when all you want to do (always) is ferry - embark and then disembark? I think embark command is useful if you want just to call transports and then move them and disembark manually.

What I found that's working is issue orders, queue disembark, then press embark. One would think that you should queue embark first, then disembark.
+2 / -0
Disembark is probably mostly for completion but it might make sense if you don't want to be ferried all the way. For example:

                D      enemy anti air
 ravagers   E │

Ravagers want to use transports to go up the cliff and then move on to pwn the AA but don't want to be ferried there all the way. Disembark is then a way to say "dont ferry me further".
+0 / -0
11 months ago
I also found transport confusing. Ferry is quite clear, but unfortunately it's buggy, units inside the circle sometimes (most of the time?) are not being picked up. Embark and disembark are unintuitive.

The best way for me would be to have a command to issue both embark and disembark command with a single button, and treat all contiguous commands as movement for transport between load and unload.
units in point A, move command in point B, then click on "airlift" command, then click on C and on D, then attackmove command on point E.
What it should happen: units move from A to B, there they wait for transport; they are loaded, the transport move them on C and on D, unload them on D. Units unloaded then follow the attackmove order to E.
That's the most intuitive way IMO.
Most of the time I just want a bunch of units transported. Now I think I can get that done by issuing a move order and then pressing Embark... but I didn't get that when I was playing the transport mission of the campaign. That button is too much different in behaviour than the other commands.
+0 / -0

11 months ago

Disembark is probably mostly for completion but it might make sense if you don't want to be ferried all the way. For example:

That might be the case if transported units weren't paralysed and deselected while being transported.
+0 / -0

11 months ago
I'm thinking Airlift could be a single command, like Jump.
+2 / -0