@bennewhouse : Default aiming position selection is a good question. I expect current selection methof to be a placeholder(probably geometrical center of a body part model) but I hope devs will put some thoughts into the autotargeting logic. For instance, centre of mass could be a good start this should be also affected buy visibility. If you only see half of a crabman who is hiding behind a low cover, autoaim should go for the centre of the visible part of that crabman, etc.
As for reasons not to pick manual aim, no there currently are none outside of autoaim being faster when you have good chances to kill or no particular spots to aim for. That is probably my only gripe with manual aiming: it provides such an advantage(at least now with rather basicautoaim) you will be using it for 90% of your shots which will negatively affect the pace of the game. As much as I like the idea of manual aim, I do think in a squad-based game we should not micromanage our soldiers to the point of babysitting each of their shots; we should rely on their aiming skills to do the job. I think leaving manual aim for snipers and such(maybe even tieing it’s availability to a particular skill) should be a good way to balance this.
@Madxav : zoom is there only for player’s convenience. The actual accuracy is represented by aim circles, which are quite reasonable for mist weapons. So while you can zoom in to look closely at your target, this is not affecting weapon accuracy at all.
@Siilk I’m not saying zoom affects accuracy, but that it is pointless having endless zoom with inaccurate weapons so both should be relative. When zoom is higher than the weapon accuracy it stops being convenient to players.
Regarding the OP, what i’d hope is that it simply aims at the point that yields the highest amount of damage. Simply shooting to kill something should be prioritized in the quick firing (non aiming), while aiming could be reserved strictly for more nuanced tactics (needing a particular limb blown off or a piece of terrain demolished)
@Anjovi Indeed, I expect them to improve the auto aiming system to calculate and aim to point of more damage. If an enemy is using cover, aim the the exposed part, if it has armor aim to the less armored limb. If the AI can guarantee this in auto aiming then free aiming would only be used when you need to blow cover or focus on a specific limb for some reason. This would also be useful for overwatch and return fire.
It’s not that simple with damage. Not even in terms of implementation but in terms of the actual decision-making. As we have per-body part armour and health on top of the actual per-bullet firing simulation, the decisions which target should be prioritized is rather complex and does not have a clear answer. Should less-aroumred but small part be prioritized over ones which are large and exposed but armoured? What if a preferred body part is nearly destroyed, with only 1 HP left? Will that count as more potential damage, compared to a large but armoured? Over a much smaller one?
As the shooting simulation in PP is way more complex than ones we had in recent FXCom games, determining the best target point for best possible shot is rather non-trivial and might boil down to a single unambiguous target. So, decisions like that are better left for players to make(hence the manual aiming) with default aim simply going for the geometrical centre of the biggest visible area of the enemy.
My concern is, having more damage in theory does not translate into actually getting it. Say between shooting large a exposed but armoured body which guarantees damage of 1 PH and is almost impossible to miss and a small, partly-obscured unarmoured head which is will yield 10 HP damage with a rather slim chance to hit it, which one should be considered a higher damage option? Keep in mind, current damage prediction is based on running multiple simulations and using the average. On average, both targets will give you ~100HP worth of damage over 100 simulated attempts. But the actual damage is not calculated on average, you either hit or you don’t so separating damage expectation from to-hit expectation is quite hard if not outright impossible.
That’s true, though i wonder if there might be a way to simplify it…In theory, I feel that if there was a way to have the game simulate all of the options and simply provide the best one, it might be the most ideal. Though in practise this might require processing power to simulate shots for every step you take and bog the game down…Though if not, that might be the way?
If regardless of the definition of “best”, predicting the best area to shoot at will be overly complicated, slow or outright impossible(some analytical tasks can be rather no-trivial, after all), going for a “centre of mass” shot could easily be an plan B option. It will be easy enough to implement, will require no extra background simulations and will guarantee maximal to-hit chance, simply due to target geometry.
On that note, I think auto-targeting can be tied into a skill of it’s own, some kind of combat prowess or enemy knowledge or something, separate from marksmanship. Sure, a soldier might be able to hit a dime form 500m, but will he know where exactly to shoot a crabman? So a rookie will pick a centre of mass of the enemy regardless of cover, an average grunt will aim for the centre of the largest exposed enemy area and a seasoned veteran will prioritize a weak spot.
Finally, I’d like to get back to manual aim vs autoaim. As manual aim will, no doubt, provide a quantifiable advantage compared to autoaim, I think the best way to keep it balanced is to make manual aim into an aimed shot which will cost more APs while keeping autoaim as a cheap snap shot. This will stop players from exploiting the advanced targeting at no cost and will prevent game slowdown due to constant manual aiming.
They already have this simulation - when you do manual aim it shown you the result of simulation. It would “just” have to do it for every point of the target that you can target and pick the best one.
Right now, during manual aim, this simulation does not have a visible performance impact (but running it for every “pixel” of the target might have such impact).
The main thing should be fun factor. Picking the best point to shoot at takes time.
Doing it now and then - yes, it is fun for me.
Being forced to do it every single shot - it is not.
Manual game should not be the main focus of the game.