Threat Classification Target Priority System

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Threat Classification Target Priority System

by Ninja » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:55 pm

As we all know, Iron Marines gameplay is extremely polished, fluid, and thoroughly enjoyable. However, there is one thing lacking, (all right, there are multiple things, but I'm only addressing one thing here) and I find its lack to be pretty counter-intuitive. That subject is target priority. Wait! Don't get me wrong, target priority exists; I just think that it exists in an unsatisfactory form. For those of you who don't know about target priority because the game doesn't like revealing its relevant mechanics (*glares at IM developers* :veznan: ), I'll link you to JB's post that mentioned it. It's in the first spoiler.

Now that you all know about priority, I'll discuss my suggestion for a solution to the problem. First, let's establish the problem.

The Problem

Target priority is an idea that is, in all honesty, sort of necessary for IM. Being able to choose which foes your units will attack is paramount to effective success in many situations that the game throws at you. However, the current system is poorly executed, and thus makes it difficult to use a key addend in the equation of victory.

Upon analysis of the system (according to our limited knowledge of it, of course), you can see that it prioritizes enemies with a brute force approach. What I mean by that is this: simply tapping on an enemy to make all your units bombard it is without the proper finesse that certain moments require. For example, what if you want one squadron of marines to eradicate encroaching Spitterbugs, but want another nearby team to focus their attention on a dangerous Hammergrub? With the current system, this is simply impossible: if you prioritize the Hammergrub, all the Spitterbugs are ignored by the first squadron.

That's the obstacle; now let's see how to get around it.

The Solution

To be completely honest, I didn't even have to come up with this. In fact, the solution is already in the game! But for some reason, the IM developers decided to not fully implement the system. Instead, only one unit is allowed to make use of it, and that unit is Sha'tra, our residing KRF veteran. And on top of that, he only has one ability that can make use of it. That ability is his instakill, Abduction. If you're observant, you can see that Abduction no longer targets enemies randomly, but has a refined AI which targets adversaries according to their in-game threat classification, which can be seen in their introduction cards. It always removes the enemy with the highest threat classification.

This is the solution that I propose. When selected, each unit (or squadron) should have 3 buttons displayed. When tapped on, a button will set the fighter'/s' sights on the enemies with the indicated (indicated on the buttons, I mean) threat classification. This will allow different squadrons/units in close proximity to each other to assault different enemies when needed. Ironically enough, the old priority system can be kept in addition to this threat classification system to increase finesse. Threat classification could work in tandem with basic priority commands by overriding them so that units/squadrons could be ordered to attack enemies even within a specific threat classification. The threat classification commands for other units/squadrons would be preserved when a basic priority command is issued due to the enemy selected not being within their threat classification commands.

In fact, threat classification priority is viable even from a developer's standpoint. Sha'tra's usage of it shows that it's already feasible in the game's code, so I don't think it would be too hard to universalize. What that means is that this suggestion is actually possible for implementation in this game. I sure hope the developers consider it.

TL;DR: Basically, I don't like the current priority system and I think it should have another system layered onto it to provide more finesse in priority commands. My solution is a system that prioritizes enemies according to their threat classification.

(First post in IM suggestions :yey: )
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Re: Threat Classification Target Priority System

by The Kingmaker » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:11 pm

You make excellent points but I do think that having more buttons goes against Iron Marines' whole "nothing being disclosed ever" shtick

My idea in this area would be that 'moving' ranged troops over enemies causes them to attack those enemies, so that you can individually or en masse target enemies, with perhaps the target being for secondary targets - or it could increase damage taken by the targeted enemies (by ~10% at most, probably not including bosses) which I think would be easy to implement, intuitive and would work effectively.
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Re: Threat Classification Target Priority System

by Ninja » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:02 pm

The Kingmaker wrote:You make excellent points but I do think that having more buttons goes against Iron Marines' whole "nothing being disclosed ever" shtick

My idea in this area would be that 'moving' ranged troops over enemies causes them to attack those enemies, so that you can individually or en masse target enemies, with perhaps the target being for secondary targets - or it could increase damage taken by the targeted enemies (by ~10% at most, probably not including bosses) which I think would be easy to implement, intuitive and would work effectively.


Yeah, the buttons perhaps go too far. They would have to universally update the UI, too.

That's sounds like a pretty cool idea. That does seem intuitive, but I do feel as though many players would miss out on it due to the fact that units don't attack while running, and therefore, running over enemies is somewhat counter-intuitive in the first place. I guess that the players could see it when their units are just running to the other side of the enemies. That would require some pretty minute observation, though.
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Re: Threat Classification Target Priority System

by The Kingmaker » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:41 am

I was suggesting that movement wouldn’t occur at all actually - movement would be replaced with attack if the ‘destination’ was an enemy; the troop would move to be in range and then attack until that unit is dead
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Re: Threat Classification Target Priority System

by Ninja » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:47 pm

The Kingmaker wrote:I was suggesting that movement wouldn’t occur at all actually - movement would be replaced with attack if the ‘destination’ was an enemy; the troop would move to be in range and then attack until that unit is dead


Ooooh ... that actually sounds pretty good. However, it might become hard to move your units at all with that, since their movement could be interrupted by an enemy moving into their destination.
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Re: Threat Classification Target Priority System

by Big Bad Bug » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:27 pm

It seems to me that such could be achieved simply by having the current unit selcted obey the priority target set by the player. If no units are selected, then the priority applies globally. ;)

It would also be nice if this was implemented and then some units wouldn’t ignore the priority, such as Engineers or Channelers who are capable of attacking flying enemies but choose ground enemies even when the priority target is set to be a flying unit.
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Re: Threat Classification Target Priority System

by Ninja » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:04 am

Big Bad Bug wrote:It seems to me that such could be achieved simply by having the current unit selcted obey the priority target set by the player. If no units are selected, then the priority applies globally. ;)

It would also be nice if this was implemented and then some units wouldn’t ignore the priority, such as Engineers or Channelers who are capable of attacking flying enemies but choose ground enemies even when the priority target is set to be a flying unit.


You make a good point. ;) This is definitely a more succinct solution.
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