Hey! Thanks so much for the feedback! Especially that video you linked me to is amazing.
So here's my high wire balancing act: I absolutely want you to be able to bamboozle people, but I also need to give them at least a fighting chance to understand what's going on. Some tells will be necessary, but I agree there's WAY too many right now.
FOOTSTEPS: This is our #1 thing. You know footstep sounds are a problem in Apex in general, right? We've got top people working on this and we do not have a 100% answer on this yet, but one theory is that it has something to do with how sound channels: when too many sounds play at the same time, some get stomped on. (Again remember that we don't know this is for sure the problem; there may also be many problems!) So we're being extra cautious with those sounds, and in the interest of caution we turned them off for Decoys. That's obviously not the intended behavior. We're looking at re-enabling these sounds whenever it's safe to do so, that is to say when we're certain the footstep problem in general is either fixed or won't be negatively impacted by these.
MODEL/ANIM MISMATCHES: This is stuff like the offhand weapon not being on his back or even (yikes) the heirloom trophy giving the real one away. Believe it or not, I wasn't aware of those! But the video demonstrates them very nicely. No promises, but I'll talk to some of the smart people at Respawn and see how hard it would be to fix these.
AIM ASSIST: Yeah, I actually know why this is happening, and this one's a yikers. There's some stuff that's only turned on for real players, and decoys aren't real players (duh). I had to deal with that when I fixed a bug where briefly Bloodhound scan wouldn't scan decoys (talk about discovering the real Mirage easily). There are some workarounds there, but I don't know if there's one for aim assist. Ideally, decoys should have the same aim assist settings as the real Mirage.
So what tells do we want it to have? Well, the emitter lights I think are one. We can talk about how noticeable they should be, and how much they should be noticed in the middle of a fight (barely, I think), but one problem here is that we're adjusting a static difficulty check (how hard is it to notice the emitter lights) vs a moving target (how good at Bronze players at noticing these kinds of things? How good are Predators at the same task?). That means we can never find a value that works for everyone. This is why, as a rule, we try to oppose player skill checks with other player skill checks (how well do you aim vs how well does the enemy move, for instance; this scales with your skill level on both sides). This means tells for Mirage's decoys will always be broken either at low level (because they're undetectable to bad players) or at high level (because they're trivial to detect). We have to settle somewhere on this spectrum. I agree we're currently too close to broken (bad broken) at high level, and I want to push us some direction the other way, but if I ever made Mirage decoys convincingly confusing against Predator level players, no one else would have a chance in hell of detecting them, and that doesn't feel right either.
The one tell, btw, that I absolutely do want is when you shoot them; that they have no hit markers, they flicker briefly, and don't show damage numbers. You may say that makes them useless, but I don't think so: you pay a price for shooting them: you reveal your location, you use up a bullet in your gun, and you have to listen to Mirage say "BAMBOOZLED" a million times (okay that last one isn't real). I think giving them convincing damage numbers and hit markers is in the same category as allowing them to imitate gun fire coming from Mirage: I am 100% certain it would be very strong, and I consider it a nuclear option. It would do a lot of damage to combat legibility. Especially at lower levels, any fight involving even one Mirage would quickly deteriorate into complete chaos. Again, just because really good players can tell reliably what is and isn't a decoy doesn't mean worse players can tell at all. Trust me, I play a lot in Bronze and Silver (when I do play ranked) and Mirage is VERY effective against the average player.
TLDR: Yes, I want us to fix the things in the video you linked that are clearly bugged, but there will always have to be some tell.