I would like to add to this if you're going to roll this feature out at all then roll it out like you do other features such as wt etc in worlds. Put it on only certain worlds so players that like this feature can happily play it and you don't alienate 90% of your loyal player base. If you force this on all players you will end your game completely, if you want it available for new player then implement it on only certain worlds as an option just like churches, wts, speed etc. You will get far less blowback. Do not get me wrong I still think whoever created this feature should be immediately fired and its completely idiotic but if I had the option to not play on a world with it I would be less likely to quit because of it. @JawJawSo i had like half a dozen people link me this thread/video last night but decied to hold off saying anything until this morning so i could properly consider all the implications of the proposed change.
I'd like to begin by saying that i appreciate where Inno is coming from with this change. It seems clearly targeted towards helping new or noob players and give them more of a fighting chance so to speak. The biggest hurdle to most new players is getting to the point where they are able to defend themselves and this will allow them to do so at a much earlier stages with no risk or cost or effort. I genuinely believe that the original purpose behind the change is benign and that inno have good intentions to some degree.
But as we all know
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
Going with the premise that intent is to allow new players a better fighting chance to squeak through to the mid-game (and therefore increase player retention) the execution of this intent is unbelievably bad and ultimately self-defeating as i will explain later.
The crux of the problem here as many others have alluded to is it essentially removes any involvement and effort from the defender to snipe a train. With the new feature its just fire and forget and its guaranteed in its current state to be infinitely more effective than what you can do manually. Sniping is probably one of the more powerful tools available to someone defending against a noble train. The act of sniping is not hard obviously because its just hitting a certain button within a certain period of a second which anyone and everyone can do with even a minimal amount of practice in a vacuum. But there is something of an art to it. You can tell the difference easily between a bad sniper and a good sniper by the way they snipe and how consistent they are and how they work around anti-snipes and take into consideration other factors etc.
This feature automatically makes everyone a godlike sniper. From now on you will always be able to hit every snipe perfectly with zero effort at all times of day and in every situation. Antisnipes are now completely useless as you can just get your snipes to be 1 ms behind a noble every single time. You can snipe every single train every single time without having to actually do the act of sniping because you just que up your delayed support. In essence the skill ceiling just got literally halved because half the meta behind sniping is now redundant. Its no longer a guessing game where you try and work out what your opponent will do because half the pieces just got removed from the board. How someone places their antisnipes is a good metric for skill but no more.
This also additionally removes the satisfaction of doing a good job. Im not sure about others but i feel a bit of a rush when i time perfect snipes to hit a sub 10ms gap because thats not easy to do consistently. There's none of that anymore. Sniping becomes repetitive and stale and joyless as you remove all involvement to do with sniping and make it computer generated instead.
So what happens now that sniping is guaranteed to be perfectly done every time? People will primarily resort to one of two things:
a) Split trains
b) Noble nukes
Both of these are hard to deal with when done on a large scale due to various reasons. Split trains are manageable because its just a case of getting the snipes big enough to deal with the split nuke with the nobles but thats easier said than done because with enough split trains inc you often struggle to have the troop liquidity available to deal with it. Im talking mid-late game here with large fronts and nuke counts and noble counts etc. Split trains are much harder to deal with than regular trains because currently primary tool for defending is sniping so therefore by giving everyone guaranteed snipes it pushes everyone into split trains which makes sniping harder which defeats the object in the first place.
Secondly noble nukes are now much harder to deal with because often the best defence against them is to recap the noble nukes to save the village as it would often require too much defensive troop investment to kill them off. However with the ability to send timed def to land 1 ms after the last noble its going to be exponentially harder to do a successful recap. Obviously you should always be timing a pre-nuke to a recap to a village when defending but this makes it so much harder to do because the attacker can time as much defense as they want for free perfectly to land after their last noble. When you are defending on a large scale you often dont have a lot of available nukes just lying around for recaps. Whereas conversely the attacker often has available defensive troops because they are not defending currently. Now its basically a guaranteed cap if you do noble nukes properly with very little possible options to defend.
So in essence thanks to this change making everyone godlike snipers all that happens in the long run once you get past the early game is that you make defending harder. What im expecting will happen is that the early game period will be extended as it becomes much harder to cluster up thanks to low numbers of troops to be able to adequately deal with snipes. Then late-game becomes an extended slug-fest where everyone just slams noble nukes at each other over and over and over again as the sniping is now largely negated as a defending tool.
With the assumption that the original philosophy was to help new players learn to defend i can think of so many better ways to do that.
The obvious method would be to implement perhaps the ezsnipe script into the game and then how about simulate a noble train incoming via the questing system and then have the player practice defending that way. This gives everyone an equal footing and opportunity to defend themselves and retain their sense of enjoyment at defending successfully without removing the interaction between defender and defending.
If for some reason this feature has to be implemented because of whatever 'reasons' then it should be considerably toned down.
Removing the ability to set an exact MS but be able to hit a specific second and reducing the delay to 1 minute would mean that you still have to hit the right ms yourself but you have some leeway and opportunities to learn and practice. Something like that i could (grudgingly) accept i guess. It would be powerful without being overpowered
However should this go live without any changes at all then i dont think i will continue to play anymore. One of the reasons i enjoy TW is because of the scope of the possibilities within the game to attack/defend other players. Being able to exploit and out-think my opponents by taking advantages of subtle nuances is kinda what sets me apart from other players and allows me to get ahead (in my own inflated opinion anyway). Having a single feature arbitrarily invalidate half of game strategies is just too much for me to stomach.