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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:49 pm 
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BDG
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Location: South East Texas, USA
As we alway try to define issues, problems, new features, and wants during the beginning of our cycles, I recommend everyone make your list in this thread.

The BDG members are doing the same action in our Beta forum. We will merge the two list in a few weeks and start the process of scope, risk, skills, cost, and priority.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:38 pm 
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Hullo Buddye. Thanks for opening up this thread. Please read these comments as mere suggestions to stimulate thought rather than requests, as I have no idea whether they may or may not even be possible, let alone desirable. Also, apologies for throwing them out as and when they occur rather than in an ordered list. I have plenty of 'good ideas' but always have trouble remembering them all at once. Here goes.... (N.B All suggestions made from R.A.F perspective).

1. Improvement in damage model to allow more realistic forced landings, and to limit survivability in a burning aircraft. Although it seems to me that my a/c will not catch fire quite so readily in 2.12 as previously, it was often the case in days gone by that I could glide a burning plane for five minutes or more and land it successfully which is surely not right. Could fire in the player's aircraft be made fatal after a short time, either by killing the pilot or causing explosion or failure of control surfaces? You may say why not just bail out for realism, which brings me on to...

2. Changing the effect that bailing out when flying as squadron leader has on the morale of the squadron. At the minute, it appears that if I fly as leader and bail out under any circumstances, the squadron leader is deemed to have been killed and morale suffers. If I have taken the place of James Leathart of 54 Squadron -for example - and bail out, James Leathart will no longer appear as squadron leader even if my pilot would clearly have survived.

3. Increasing the intelligence and pro-activeness of the ground controllers in both the campaign and 3D modes. As I see it, at the moment the player has to fulfill the tasks of commander (managing squadrons, deciding on responses and tactics etc) and also of sector controller (making sure squadrons have a decent chance of intercepting). This is because of the limiting way in which R.A.F squadrons have to follow set waypoints or patrol above set targets and seem to have almost no initiative. If the 'Authorise' button is used then intercepting fighters' routes should in theory adapt to the movement of the incoming raid, but this is very often not the case. They often fly past the target to reach the projected initial point and then turn back and give chase. The route generated is not usually the optimum either, never seems to make full use of squadrons at 2 mins Standby (although a squadron ordered off on a patrol from 2 mins will take off in that time) and the squadron(s) authorised are often not the ones that the player would have picked first. All of this means a lot of tinkering is needed to set up a really good interception. Similarly, using the most effective tactic of scrambling patrols in the path of an oncoming raid means having to stay 'on the ground' to play the controller's part in guiding them to the attack. This is fine [b]unless the player wants to join in the interception and fly the mission from takeoff.[b] There isn't time to do both properly. My impression is that historically squadrons would be scrambled over base or over a convenient landmark without any previous knowledge of where they were off to and were then 'talked on' to the target raid by the controllers. I think it would be good if this could be simulated more accurately. As a commander I'd like to be able to decide the number and identity of squadrons to be scrambled in an easy way, then jump into the cockpit (or get on with responding to other raids) and have a competent AI controller guide me and the other friendlies to the raid without having anyone locked into pre-set routes. I think this is supposed to happen anyway if I scramble aircraft over radar stations, but it never seems to work. Obviously it would be best if some way could be found of simulating the historical percentage of successful interceptions. But my impression is that the real controllers were very good and achieved 80/90%+ success rates, especially against larger raids. If it were possible, getting rid of the waypoint system and having intelligent and flexible AI controllers would have several benefits. As said already, it would take some of the burden off the player as commander and allow more flying, particularly for those who like to fly whole missions. It would add realism and immersion in the 3D game. Imagine taking off with no clear idea of where you are heading and getting instructions from control, as would have happened in reality, without having to use waypoint padlocking, the 'magic map' or, for those who don't like those things anyway, having to previously go to the mission folder to check bearings and altitudes and then navigate visually. Even better if the controller actually got in touch with you, rather than having to ask all the time. The current ground control when flying in 3D is almost useless, often vectoring the player to a range of different waypoints without any logic, vectoring the player to intercept himself, giving bearings from the bandits instead of to them (but not always, just to keep you guessing) or simply not replying at all, so changing this part of the game would get rid of that annoyance too. Finally, it would be more true to the way in which things actually happened. I've no idea if any of this would be possible, but the fact that the airfield towers can track and guide the player accurately in real time gives some hope that the same could be achieved with the fighter-controllers.

4. Following on from the above, a change in A.I behaviour of aircraft when going to meet a raid. All aircraft currently climb at what I presume is the recommended rate for economy, which is fine for going to a patrol but in my opinion unrealistic when scrambling to meet the enemy. Pilots in accounts that I have read often talk of climbing flat out; certainly doing everything possible to gain as much height as possible while still intercepting early enough to make a difference. For example Hugh Dundas in his memoir 'Flying Start' recalls being unexpectedly scrambled to meet the only attack to come from Norway (on 15th August). "I set course and rammed the throttle through the gate ..... We did not wait for each other or try to form up into flights or sections." Would it be possible to add an AI behaviour to simulate an emergency climb, to be used when scrambling rather than going out on patrol?

5. Adding an AI behaviour that would cause a homeward-bound group of aircraft to scatter and evade if attacked when low on fuel and ammo rather than attempting to stay as a formation. To be applied more to fighters than bombers. Might be more realistic and reduce casualties.

More to follow.... sorry for being long winded!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Airman

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:37 pm
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6. More flexibility in setting up R.A.F Directives. I may not be using them properly at the moment, but I always find them too clumsy and inefficient and usually end up turning them off. For example, they can be used to set up patrols over convoys but with no ability to fine-tune which squadrons are used, which convoys are covered (not all of them need to be) or at what times the patrols occur. I might want to keep all squadrons based on the coast free for rapid-response and use those inland for patrol duties. I may want to spare some weaker squadrons the job without completely standing them down, or spare my own favourite squadron so that I don't have to fly patrols or let them fly without me. But there is no way to specify. It all has to be done manually and very laboriously in the Mission Folder after auto-generation has taken place. If possible, it would be good have the chance to make detailed plans at the start of each day, with the option of reviewing them at any time during the day rather than having them all reset at the start of each period. Perhaps with one screen to plan patrols by selecting squadrons, targets and times from drop-down lists for instance, rather than having to go to the map, select target, go to the Mission Folder edit squadron, edit route and then repeat. Another screen to plan the readiness state in general terms and/or in more detail. Another to set guidelines for automatic responses or to turn them off. Basically what is there now but with scope for much more fine-tuning and more user-friendly. And to have these controls the same for all groups, not just 11. This could save a lot of time for the commander and could be a good compromise between the commander campaign and SPC. Could even replace the SPC altogether. If it were possible to set up much more detailed directives, then the player could do that and then sit back and watch it all happen while waiting for his/her own favourite squadron to come into action, tinkering as much as desired.

7. In the meantime, would it be possible to change the way in which a squadron is 'locked out' after being manually edited from a patrol or scramble. Example: the Authorise button is used to scramble a squadron, a squadron is automatically selected (usually the closest available and certainly not always the one the player would choose), the squadron state changes to 'Takeoff within 5 mins', the 'Task' button is used to change the squadron to a better one but the status of the original remains at 'Takeoff within 5 mins'. It will not be available for use until it has been returned to 'At 5 mins', but the only way I can find of doing this is to order it to patrol something and then delete the patrol, when it automatically returns to 'At 5 mins'. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but it's very annoying.

8. Provide the option to hide the 'Hostiles' folder that gives details of enemy raids, and the 'Target' column in the Mission folder that says where the raid is going. At the minute it is easy to determine the destination of an incoming raid by looking at either of these, which is an option the real controllers of the BoB would not have had. The same goes for the aircraft types, which should ideally be left blank until the raid gets within visual range of the English coast. They could guess at these things, but not know. So for those who are mad for historical accuracy and realism it would be good to have the choice.

9. Further to the above, change the way that the R.A.F can know the proportion of fighters to bombers at an early point. This mostly affects the SPC, where the automatic response is almost always exactly proportioned to the bombers involved regardless of escort. The AI commander also seems to be able to tell from the beginning whether the fighters are ahead of the bombers or with them. In the case of the fighters being ahead, it seems to know exactly when the bombers will appear and adjust R.A.F takeoff times accordingly, which often results in swarms of enemy fighters being above the friendly airfields when takeoff time is reached. Either that, or the enemy fighters have all gone home and don't have any chance at all to interfere. (By the way, if you ever want to see a squadron of R.A.F fighters flying backwards in perfect formation, try tinkering with the takeoff times assigned by the A.I commander in the SPC. In the case above, where enemy fighters are approaching with the bombers away behind them, it is tempting to go to the mission folder, select the route of the player's squadron and rewind the time at the initial point in order to get airborne as soon as possible. I tried this, and it must have confused the game somehow because as I took off an already airborne formation of Hurricanes from a nearby airfield was passing overhead - in reverse!

That's all I can think of for now, but will add more if and when they occur. As I said earlier, these are only meant as suggestions based on thoughts I've had when playing in the past. Most of them are probably pretty far-fetched. As a general thing, my humble opinion is that the look of the game, the historical accuracy of landscapes and objects, the flight models and the behaviour of A.I aircraft (particularly in combat) are already excellent, especially after the release of 2.12. To provide more 'immersion' within which to enjoy these features, this leaves areas such as campaign A.I, damage modelling and user interfaces.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Airman

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10. Better A.I formation flying!

11. Tracking of career of individual pilots both player and A.I, with realistic outcomes? For example, all squadron pilots given names and a track kept of their activities. When an 'outcome' is in doubt such as when bailing out over water, a mechanism for deciding whether pilot survives or not? At the moment the outcomes recorded on the pilot's log book are pretty random. It's possible to crash and burn, only to be told that the left wing was holed or something like that. Would increase immersion a lot to know the fate of 'your' pilot, and the names and fates of your A.I friends. Perhaps an option for commander to get the sack if the player is killed, which would teach one to be careful in the air! Or to have seperate identites as commander and pilot in the framework of a single campaign, without each affecting the other. So when the player is killed he has to enlist a new pilot, but the campaign goes on as normal. Realise all this is probably a very long shot or just plain impossible.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:55 pm 
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Airman

Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:29 pm
Posts: 22
Danno wrote:
10. Better A.I formation flying!

11. Tracking of career of individual pilots both player and A.I, with realistic outcomes? For example, all squadron pilots given names and a track kept of their activities. When an 'outcome' is in doubt such as when bailing out over water, a mechanism for deciding whether pilot survives or not? At the moment the outcomes recorded on the pilot's log book are pretty random. It's possible to crash and burn, only to be told that the left wing was holed or something like that. Would increase immersion a lot to know the fate of 'your' pilot, and the names and fates of your A.I friends. Perhaps an option for commander to get the sack if the player is killed, which would teach one to be careful in the air! Or to have seperate identites as commander and pilot in the framework of a single campaign, without each affecting the other. So when the player is killed he has to enlist a new pilot, but the campaign goes on as normal. Realise all this is probably a very long shot or just plain impossible.



Thats what I asked for over at Sim HQ.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:03 am 
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Maybe this is just a silly wish but I´d like to remove the frustrating 96DPI limit ;)...In a Full-HD 15"" laptop I have to increase the DPI windows setting to be able to read the text in any other program. But I need to change it to default 100% when playing BoBII

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:59 pm 
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BDG
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Win 8 compatibility. Unless we can fix it, as was done for CoD, we will lose users as they upgrade to new PCs that come with Win8 preinstalled.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:47 am 
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Just better AI formation flying, they are just too quick in thier actions seemingly able to change thier speed, altitude or bank within seconds.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:49 am 
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Airman

Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:29 pm
Posts: 22
More detailed damage modelling (Visually at least).

Someone did a mod on a Spitfire that darkened the parts in shadow giving the plane more contrast..would like to see this implemented across the board.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:37 pm
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How about a few UI changes, including the main menu look/feel and perhaps the in-flight map? It'd be nice to see one based on a photo of an actual fighter pilot's map from that time, if possible. Also, better auto-detection of native resolution and aspect ration would be nice.

I should like to say that the menu has always been a bit odd in BoB, particularly the way in which the options are laid out. I feel that the reputation of the game has been hurt by it since day one, because it's not particularly pretty and the layout is rather cludgy. It gives the game quite a feeling of a lack of polish, IMHO.

Speaking of polish, the HUD could use a rethink as well. The peripheral vision markers, for one, are not great looking, and having the same marker for every enemy just piling up on the sides of the screen isn't really very helpful. Shouldn't they get larger and smaller, or more or less faded as the distance changes or something? If it can't be improved upon, it might be better to just remove the option from the game. It doesn't really help a new player and I doubt the experienced ones use it at all.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:23 am 
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Please DON'T take away the periph vision markers..I don;t have Track IR and find them invaluable..maybe give an option but don't turn them off. If you did I'd ditch the game, simple. The only issue I have with it is the marker doesn't show if the plane goes out of fov and is close..which is annoying as you've no idea where the plane is and often loose it until it gets some distance.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:24 am 
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Location: The Hague - Holland - 700m from a former V2 base
Would be great to see the Replay thing improved. (cockpit view, own engine sound) Or if it's still not possible... some music "of your choice". Now it looks like some silent movie.. with now and then a fly by or gun sound 8)
I used Fraps for a while, but a 5 min dogfight resulted in a 4 Gb file.. :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:29 am 
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Location: Leicestershire, UK
Is it possible to have a sound when the guns fire but are empty? Not sure how real it is, but on "First Light", there a clunk/rattle sound when the pilot presses the trigger and he's out of ammo. I guess it's the pneumatics activating the firing mechanism..

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:10 pm 
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There's already an option to turn off the peripheral vision markers if you dont't want them.
I always found them fairly useful pre TiR.
There is a mod to replace markings so all look the same.
Higher-res markers would be nice and ones that fade with distance nicer (game can do this with the ID tags already)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:13 am 
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Is it possible to have the windows widescreen monitor detection sorted out for 2.13. It's starting to let the side down in view of all what is being done to the rest of the program.

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