Icarus should probably have the UNITTYPE_Gunship type

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by manlebtnureinmal, January 6, 2021.

  1. manlebtnureinmal

    manlebtnureinmal Active Member

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    Icarus are often used aggressively now in the early stages of matches; this is a good thing.

    However, there is a strategy that sometimes happens in later stages of matches, less often at the highest levels of play, that seeks to abuse the fact that Icarus are not priority-targeted by surface-based AA—this differs from how surface-based AA interacts with other air-to-ground units like the Bumblebee, Kestrel, Wyrm, and Zeus.

    This inconsistent behavior can lead to unintuitive outcomes of engagements for players who unfamiliar with this detail.

    I propose that this be amended by giving the Icarus the `UNITTYPE_Gunship` type. This will result in a more consistent user experience for players.

    Furthermore, this will help AIs recognize the proper threat type that Icarus are (and possibly also control them vaguely "better"). On this note, giving the Icarus UNITTYPE_Offense might also be useful for the AI's threat management and build responses, but this is a separate issue with its own pros and cons. Quitch is probably the person in the community who could best say whether UNITTYPE_Offense is a good idea or not.

    There will be some balance side effects resulting from this change, but this is primarily a user experience and API issue.
    Last edited: January 6, 2021
  2. mjshorty

    mjshorty Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of this as it has both implications in balance and in the skill ceiling.

    -Its not hard to physically click Icarus with anti-air, the reason bombers, kestrals, pelicans (along with other late game air units where mass numbers get into huge amounts) was that it was physically difficult and inconsistent targeting them because they move so fast but with Icarus I have found I can far more consistently target down Icarus with spinners (and vice versa with Icarus targeting spinners).

    Please note this is the biggest reason why I think the targetting change should not take place, the others are smaller details to me.

    -It drives a compelling skill play, with an Icarus player needing to bait shots with fighters properly (which can be difficult, if you put your air force in to early, they will die pointlessly, and if you put in Icarus to early, they will also die) and you need to properly target spinners and not waste shots on other units. From the Spinner player's side there's some interaction and satisfaction of killing off Icarus and theres a meta dynamic between skilled players if its worthwhile doing an Icarus run if they know the other can possibly target them down.

    -The skill aspect is a separation between good players and bad ones but is not broken. There should be many areas that showcase your skill, from macro, micro, and tactics and this quirk is not overly exploitable since both sides can react to it. In low level games its not expected for either side to field these tactics and you dont see blatant Icarus abuse throughout all modes from low and high skilled 1v1 and team games, (unlike the issue of grenadiers massively affecting both low level 1v1 games and team games or ares titans dominating high eco games as an example.) Low level players simply cannot abuse Icarus easily because its not an easy tactic to use and requires some setup and high level players have counters.

    -The interaction is obvious. The visual queues between Icarus and Spinners are hitscan/homing projectile, which shows players exactly what they are targeting and so it can be seen that they do not target eachother after a quick inspection, much like how torpedoes don't affect pirhannas and other water-hover units. Yes players are surprised for the first time when their submarines/torpedo defenses dont fire at pirhannas but that aspect is quickly incorporated in their game knowledge after the fact (and there are a lot of things in the game that must be incorporated with unit knowledge, game theory, and tactics and to me Icarus/spinner interaction does not take much to discern on inspection unlike my issues with radar jamming/stealth not being so obvious)

    -The balance implications are significant. Icarus currently have a somewhat overwhelming impact on early gameplay not because of their interactions with spinners and AA that has a small presence, but how easily they sweep through early game units such as dox+strykers+boombots and are in need of a few small nerfs, but with the spinner+icarus change, they would need buffs to stay relevant which would make snowballs more significant if they can pierce the AA in armies and more quickly sweep out the non-covered armies.
    Last edited: January 7, 2021

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