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'Target briefly' command request


Odin
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With the release of Red Thunder seemingly imminent, I have a quick request regarding a modification to the 'target briefly' command. I think its inclusion in 2.0 was well merited, but I can't help but wonder if it could be improved through the following simple tweak:

At the moment it can be used to target for 15 seconds, but why not modify the command to replicate the 'pause' command, giving players the option to target a unit or area for 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, 75, or 90 seconds?

I most frequently use the target briefly command to target an area before assaulting it with infantry. However, I often find during turn based play that I want an area to be targeted for longer than 15 seconds either because I want to delay my infantry's advance or because its likely to take them 30 seconds+ to reach the area.

Likewise I may want a tank to target a unit or area for longer than 15 seconds, but still don't want the tank to use up a whole turn to fire at the location, because I fear enemy armour may appear to towards the end of the turn.

Including the above tweak, or something similar, would resolve these tactical dilemmas.

I did a search of the forum to see if someone else had already asked this question and couldn't find a related post, but I apologise if somebody has already put it out there. Likewise, if I've just been an idiot and not realised the option to stretch the 'target briefly' timing already exists, then please let me know!

Otherwise I'd love to hear other posters'/Battlefront's opinions.

Cheers

Odin

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I don't think you can stretch it but in the meantime you might get a unit to target briefly multiple times by attaching the order to very short movement commands with appropriate pauses. Just remember that, for example, turret rotation time is included in the 15 second target briefly command. It's extra clicking and won't be ideal in all circumstances but might be a workaround pending any changes to the duration.

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The "pause and fire-move-cancel fire at next waypoint" workaround works best with vehicles because you can plot very short movement legs and they can get from firing point to stopping point very quickly. At the moment, I generally work on the principle that if 15s isn't enough, it deserves a minute, and if I can't bring myself to give it a minute (with an SMG-armed team, say that I want to have some ammo left), I find some other unit to hose the target down with.

Trying to guess how many seconds of fire will produce an adequate level of suppression seems a bit risky to me; I'd rather wait til a turn break and assess the level of suppression before committing to movement. Once initial suppression is achieved, briefer shooting stops will have to do to maintain it, if the suppressing units have to move. It seems to me lately that the one big remaining reason for a longer "Target Briefly" has been reduced in importance, to whit: stopping suppressive fire as your assaulters move onto the target. It used to seem like the assaulters would be easily suppressed by friendly fire into the area they were supposed to be close assaulting, so it was a good idea to try and shut down as much incoming as possible as they got close but that effect doesn't seem as strong in later v2 updates, even as the "unfriendly" suppression has been increased.

Not that it's a bad idea, but I think there are enough workarounds to make it a pretty low priority. Much lower, for example, than getting the targetting line to originate at the waypoint you have selected, while you're setting targets.

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The "pause and fire-move-cancel fire at next waypoint" workaround works best with vehicles because you can plot very short movement legs and they can get from firing point to stopping point very quickly. At the moment, I generally work on the principle that if 15s isn't enough, it deserves a minute, and if I can't bring myself to give it a minute (with an SMG-armed team, say that I want to have some ammo left), I find some other unit to hose the target down with.

Trying to guess how many seconds of fire will produce an adequate level of suppression seems a bit risky to me; I'd rather wait til a turn break and assess the level of suppression before committing to movement. Once initial suppression is achieved, briefer shooting stops will have to do to maintain it, if the suppressing units have to move. It seems to me lately that the one big remaining reason for a longer "Target Briefly" has been reduced in importance, to whit: stopping suppressive fire as your assaulters move onto the target. It used to seem like the assaulters would be easily suppressed by friendly fire into the area they were supposed to be close assaulting, so it was a good idea to try and shut down as much incoming as possible as they got close but that effect doesn't seem as strong in later v2 updates, even as the "unfriendly" suppression has been increased.

Not that it's a bad idea, but I think there are enough workarounds to make it a pretty low priority. Much lower, for example, than getting the targetting line to originate at the waypoint you have selected, while you're setting targets.

Whilst I agree in principle with this (my bold bit above) - trying to determine the exact right number of seconds seems a vey fine distinction! - I also agree with the thrust of the OP: there is quite a difference between 15 seconds of firing (how many rounds go off?) and a minute, and a way to expand the choice seems reasonable to me.

I too use the workaround the Regiment0 describes, but it always feels like you shouldn't have to!

The existence of the variable setting for "Pause" makes it seem like it shouldn't be THAT hard (!) to apply the same countdown routine to a fire command?

But that being so (?), do we need the "Target Briefly" command at all? Is it possible - preferable? - to do away with TB and make the target command of variable duration: default is permanent until rescinded as now, but whilst selected, optional variable timings from 10 seconds to 90 seconds (i.e. lasts longer than 1 turn, but you cannot forget to cancel it ... :D) in 10 second steps can be applied?

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I think 15 second increments would be great; I don't see much need for finer control than this.

Even better if the options extend beyond 1 minute -- say, 15 second increments up to 2 full minutes. The reason I see this as useful is that this would let you "set it and forget it" (to borrow a phrase from an infamous infomercial). In larger battles, more than once I've set an Area Target for a certain unit and then forgotten to take it off at the start of the next turn, resulting in wasted ammo.

I don't play much RT, but probably useful for RT'ers as well as this would reduce the need to "babysit" area firing units to get them to stop firing at the right time.

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I think 15 second increments would be great; I don't see much need for finer control than this.

That's my feeling as well. Let's not make this more complicated than it has to be.

In larger battles, more than once I've set an Area Target for a certain unit and then forgotten to take it off at the start of the next turn, resulting in wasted ammo.

Me too. :mad:

Michael

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I think 15 second increments would be great; I don't see much need for finer control than this. Even better if the options extend beyond 1 minute -- say, 15 second increments up to 2 full minutes. The reason I see this as useful is that this would let you "set it and forget it" (to borrow a phrase from an infamous infomercial).

I'm with you there Yankee Dog, on many an occasion I've laid down suppression fire on a building from numerous units, only to forget to cancel one or two them. giving a player up to 2 minutes would make life easier. I also agree with your suggestions about time increments, 5 seconds of suppression fire would be of little use.

Womble, I think your suggestion for waypoint targeting would be a good addition. But if modifying the length of of the target briefly command is a relatively straight forward addition (note I have no understanding of the intricacies of programming) I would love to see it included in 3.0.

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I think 15 second increments would be great; I don't see much need for finer control than this ... Even better if the options extend beyond 1 minute -- say, 15 second increments up to 2 full minutes.

Heartily agree. Less than 15 seconds is too granular. 15 second increments up to 90 or 120 seconds would be awesome.

And probably, as PhilM points out, you may not even need Target Briefly anymore. Just use the 15sec steps for Target and Target Light.

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Womble, I think your suggestion for waypoint targeting would be a good addition. But if modifying the length of of the target briefly command is a relatively straight forward addition (note I have no understanding of the intricacies of programming) I would love to see it included in 3.0.

[speculation=begin]

Well, you could think that either was fairly trivial (at least compared to getting the beast off the ground in the first place!). I'd conclude that the targetting line change would be easier, since it "should just" :) be a case of handing the same origin coordinates to the line drawing tool routines as are handed to the LOS-calculating algorithm (maybe rounded to AS-centre), whereas having a variable targetting period has to have some interaction with the user coded for, which it doesn't currently accommodate, even if an analogous function exists in the Pause command.

[speculation=end]

Heartily agree. Less than 15 seconds is too granular. 15 second increments up to 90 or 120 seconds would be awesome.

And probably, as PhilM points out, you may not even need Target Briefly anymore. Just use the 15sec steps for Target and Target Light.

And there's the "killer app". I frequently would like to "Target Light Briefly". If the functionality of variable targeting periods were to be added to the target tool algorithms, that would be included by default. 15s granularity would be entirely adequate, I reckon, too.

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Heartily agree. Less than 15 seconds is too granular. 15 second increments up to 90 or 120 seconds would be awesome.

And probably, as PhilM points out, you may not even need Target Briefly anymore. Just use the 15sec steps for Target and Target Light.

This would have the added benefit of moving Target Light into the realm of "able to use Target Briefly" which it can't at the moment.

It could function effectively the same as Pause now - one click = Target; 2 clicks = Target 15 secs; 3 clicks = Target 30 secs and so on.

Agree with those saying that 15 second increments is sufficient.

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You guys have had a year to play around with the Target Briefly Command. Definitely enough time to really get a sense of if one fixed time or adjustable times are the way to go. Fortunately for everybody, the code wasn't difficult to do since the UI already exists for Pause.

Yes this is as it sounds. 15 second increments has now officially been handed off to the testers for testing. But since we never listen to customer requests we're going to secretly remove the feature before we release the game to the public :D Just kidding!

Good job!

Steve

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I was sure that this had been requested before, so out of interest - http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=104877

Post 14 from June 2012 is interesting :)

"This new feature [Target briefly] is a solid improvement over what CM players have had for the last 12+ years (including the infamous CMBO Beta Demo, it has been that long!). However, it isn't the ultimate solution to all tactical needs. Unfortunately we ran into structural UI coding limitations which prevented us from going fully forward with things like time specifications, specifying Smoke, etc. But not to worry... the coding limitations are slated to be overcome, through a bunch of grunt work, for Upgrade 3.0. And when we get there, well... there will be a lot more than just the ability to specify different times for this new Command

And don't ask what I mean by that! We have not even released Upgrade 2.0 yet, so needless to say we haven't put much thought into the specifics of Upgrade 3.0.

Steve"

Can we now ask what you meant by the (my) bolded part? :P

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You guys have had a year to play around with the Target Briefly Command. Definitely enough time to really get a sense of if one fixed time or adjustable times are the way to go. Fortunately for everybody, the code wasn't difficult to do since the UI already exists for Pause.

Yes this is as it sounds. 15 second increments has now officially been handed off to the testers for testing. But since we never listen to customer requests we're going to secretly remove the feature before we release the game to the public :D Just kidding!

Good job!

Steve

Steve,

Great news! But can you confirm exactly what is being proposed / tested? Has "target briefly" gone, with both target and target light having the time increments included? Or have we "only" got a time-variable target briefly command, with the others left unchanged?

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