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AA interaction with landed units

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12 days ago
I thought about implications of change that would make anti-air unable of targetting land units (landed air units).

Why the change?


While I agree that Reef needs a lot of tweaking and there should be a way to force planes to abort rearming in the face of danger, I think it's worth considering this change as well.

There are few interactions that do not seem healthy or enjoyable right now:

  • Reef being detrimental to your team as you have no control over landed planes and its hard to manually select which air pad planes should land on Multiplayer B916955 6 on DeltaSiegeX
[Spoiler]
  • Laser anti-air has difficulty hitting landed units or units that are being built in fac/drones. It's possibly due to nanoframe having slightly different hitbox or the factory shielding the units. It looks silly, is confusing and annoying for the player controlling the anti-air units.
  • Commanders with drones on the frontline get poked or shut down shields because of drone generation. Splash AA can splash and keep poking the commander as well. While there's "solution" by toggling off your drone production I'd argue that it's not newbie friendly. It's annoying when razors of chainsaw deplete shields because of some drone commander underneath it.
  • It's visually silly when you see your dedicated anti-air turret happily shoot at ground level units. It makes you wonder and question why it's not shooting all ground units?

What would be other implications of this?



I don't see that many implications other than fixing above issues. One that comes to mind is whether emergency landing of bombers when caught off guard by Raptors wouldn't be a thing, and I don't honestly know what to think about it without experiencing it. It could be always alleviated by making units land more slowly. It's also not necessarily game breaking as the units are then vulnerable to all the ground dangers.

Other changes to accompany



Together with this change drones should be tackled as well to be more useful. In their rest state they should be landed on the host unit and thus be protected from the anti-air. The planes should be vulnerable to the anti air the moment they engage and get airborne.

Well the center of issues with this interaction lays around Reef, so I'll chuck in my view on a Reef rework as well:
[Spoiler]
+8 / -0
As far as I know making the interaction of planes rearming on a Reef more sensible has been a "PRs welcome" issue for years but the effort-to-payoff ratio on the task is not appealing.

That being said, the easiest way to deal with it is just to delete Reef. I don't think the unit has ever been in a particularly healthy place, and drone units in general have always been a headache. I don't see any reasonable amount of buildpower making it a better choice for large-scale reclaiming in sea battles than Conch (which can hide underwater).

As opposed to the situation some years ago Scylla appears to be a real unit now so removing Reef would not directly lead to there being one realistic ship strider option.
+1 / -0
12 days ago
It did recently dawn on me that disarm missiles are perhaps the only viable choice against enemy Shogun late game, especially if Aspis is used. It's also the only reason to build it right now.
+0 / -0
Disarming Shoguns was one of the main purposes of the disarm missile. I think the missile is underrated but that is not the same as thinking it is good.
+0 / -0


12 days ago
It sounds like these issues would be solved by disabling AA interaction with planes on an airpad (reloading or repairing) as well as those being constructed (either in a factory or as a drone).

Figure out how to do it and it can be done.
+3 / -0

11 days ago
In dat case landed switht trolling will be extra good.
I found that aa fire on ground most annoying in reef cases. Better sould be just remove airpad from reef or set option that planes only use player own airpads and allied airpads only on direct command.
+2 / -0
11 days ago
Landed swift would still take AA damage, the AA protection would only apply to airpads and construction sites where air units have to be and cannot be controlled easily.

(There is at least one edge case: what happens if a unit lands right after being targeted by AA, but that's not a very big case)
+0 / -0
9 days ago
quote:
(There is at least one edge case: what happens if a unit lands right after being targeted by AA, but that's not a very big case)


I see little reason for it not to get hit exactly once even on the ground if the target was locked while in the air, especially if we're talking about a homing missile. After that, it would be out of reach.
+0 / -0


8 days ago
airpad on reef is never seems desirable in practice
+0 / -0
When enemy AA is killed, having airpads close to the front really ramps up the bomber dps. It's not desirable because currently it's borked and planes are dumb and hard to control.
+1 / -0

8 days ago
quote:
When enemy AA is killed, having airpads close to the front really ramps up the bomber dps.


Yes but in practice its very rarely and with reef even more rarely situation. Sea battles is rare and reef as useless unit appear even more rare. And situation when ground airpad had under aa fire i can't even remember.
I suggested just one button 'use friendly airpads' because it will not solve problem with reef getting into aa fire but also because you cant set allied airpads way point.

quote:
planes are dumb and hard to control.


Planes in most cases aren't dumb. They just doing like they have to be programmed. But plane control is hard. About that i agree.
+0 / -0

8 days ago
Or maybe (thats a crazy idea) instead of adding any guns to reef give it surfboat capability and acquire any unit as a sidearm to transport.
+0 / -0

8 days ago
reef could just have small cloaker of the size of its reload pads, so AA forgets it. or felon-sized shields around the pad. problem solved. nobody will make reef anyway.
+0 / -0
7 days ago
I'd like to point out it's possible to kill Reef with Zephyr - I've done that in the campaign. Because even the drones being built can be targeted by the AA weapons, if the Reef is in the wrong orientation it will be hit by the AA, killing it.

So yes, count me in for drone racks, landed air units not being counted as air units, and/or air nanoframes not being targeted.
+0 / -0
7 days ago
indent
+0 / -0
It makes no sense for AA to target any landed air units, whether they're on airpads or reefs or nanoframes or just landed. Straight up bug.
+0 / -0
It makes plenty of sense from an engine standpoint, which differentiates it from a bug (unintended behavior). Unit has tag airplane? I have a weapon that says I can only target airplane? Alright good to go! A bug would be if I have a weapon that can only target airplane and suddenly can fire at hovercrafts that aren't tagged as airplanes. As far as I am aware, dynamically reassigning unitdef tags is not possible so this isn't a simple fix as "tag aircraft as ground unit while landed."
+0 / -0
3 days ago
There's no physical reason why an AA weapon would be able to target an airplane on the runway but not the truck next to it. It doesn't make sense as a narrative. That's a bug, whether you intended it to happen or not. Intentions can be buggy too. You ask whether what you coded is what you meant, and then you also have to ask if what you meant is what you should have meant.

Maybe the Spring engine does not allow implementing AA in a non-buggy way.
+0 / -0

3 days ago
quote:
There's no physical reason why an AA weapon would be able to target an airplane on the runway but not the truck next to it.


There is a balance reason why you shouldn't be able to target the truck next to it. You're playing a competitive game with reasonable expectations of not getting annoyed by tracking, long range weaponry (see: artillery ++ ranges) that can murder your ground units and even statics. This is why AA units aren't even able to target the ground and why they deal reduced damage when they hit ground units.

Realism in games often undermines the enjoyability of the game itself. Imagine how fun zk would be if screamers/artemises could target ground units with 100% effectivity or even razors. Every 20 seconds a small group of raiders/light units would just die instantly and striders could be bursted down. This would not be a fun game to play. The game would devolve into "spam razors then send fleas in to dislodge with artemis/chainsaw fire support" which would even defeat artillery (minus cerb/bertha). This would be a nightmare to play.

quote:
That's a bug, whether you intended it to happen or not.


A bug is a defect or fault in a piece of software that produces an unexpected result from the programmer's standpoint. In ZK context a bug is being able to send a krow into space using FPS mode. Nobody intended this to happen and was caused some weird physics abnormality. Another bug would be the napalm weapons not inflicting burn for Dante. A chainsaw attacking a landed krow is not dissimilar from a chainsaw attacking a flying krow from the engine's standpoint. A PR that changes this would be considered an improvement not a bug fix. It might not be intuitive to you the end user, but that does not make it a bug.

It is not a task of programmers to make games hyperrealistic unless that's what they want. The optimal outcome is to produce a fun game before all else. ZK is not realistic nor should it ever seek to become realistic.
+1 / -0
quote:
There is a balance reason why you shouldn't be able to target the truck next to it

This, and the two paragraphs following it, miss the point. No one is saying it should be able to shoot the truck. It shouldn't be able to shoot the grounded airplane or the truck. Real life surface-to-air missile batteries are not good at shooting ground targets.

quote:
A bug is a defect or fault in a piece of software that produces an unexpected result from the programmer's standpoint

This notion of "bug" is too narrow. A bug is when the software does something it definitely shouldn't, even if the programmer expected that to happen. For example, if a piece of medical software says drugs A and B may be prescribed together, when in fact there's a harmful drug interaction between them, then this is a very serious bug, even if the programmer expected the software to say that.

quote:
It is not a task of programmers to make games hyperrealistic

No one is saying to make it hyperrealistic. But it should make sense, to the extent compatible with good gameplay. Letting AA shoot at ground targets but only if those ground targets happen to have wings on them, does not make sense.
+0 / -0
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