Interesting RR Discussion

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Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:31 pm

I've been reading the interesting discussion about Rearm/Refuel code on another forum and had a few thoughts:

1. Given that you need to have a completely undamaged airframe in order for it to work the way it's been implemented elsewhere, getting a fresh aircraft (at whatever level of fuel you decide) isn't any less 'realistic'. I suspect that the number of people who taxi to an appropriate place to use the feature is somewhere in the realm of nil to slightly more than nil. So, assuming your pilot is getting out of the aircraft to debrief or whatever else (go to the bathroom, throw up, etc.), your aircraft wouldn't be in the same place you left it anyway. They'd have it pushed over to a safe place to do the work. So by respawning, all you're doing is having the erks move your aircraft for you.

Add to that the likely very limited number of pilots who ever stayed in the aircraft while the work was going on (I'm sure there were a few pilots who landed, yelled at the erks to get refueled and put new belts in, and waited in the aircraft before roaring off, but that strikes me as a little too Hollywood for the reality), and you've got basically a fairly video game feature in the context it is being used. I'm sure there are a few folks who try to use it in a historical way (taxiing to proper points, etc) but they're most likely the minority.

2. Rearm/Refuel makes the most context in a large scale campaign environment where flights involving refueling are most likely to take place. Rearming is the hollywood set up where a pilot comes down and says "Get me back up there!" I doubt that the ground crews are servicing 8 guns, extracting mis-diverted casings, fixing jams, replacing belts, etc etc in 2 to 4 minutes. The risk of sending up a pilot without his full weapons would have been huge. I'd like to see where the info about re-arming was found to create these timings. Maybe it was possible, but it's pretty incredible.

But refueling is valid and makes more sense considering some of the sector stations used by the larger wings at the end of the BoB and into the lean into France in '41. Spitfires with no drop tanks flying from the wing stations near london would refuel at southern bases before continuing in order to have the fuel needed to complete their missions. Even doing this restricted their combat engine settings time to a very limited number of minutes. To my knowledge, no-one is doing this sort of thing except in co-op missions or in campaigns.

3. As for the incentive about bringing back an undamaged aircraft, I doubt anyone is TRYING to get shot. I think if you're the kind of person who is going to use the RR functions, you're most likely flying in defensive intelligent ways anyway. Who takes off and says "well, I want to RR this time so I'll be really careful". More like "I want to kill without being killed this time, so I'll be careful." So I'm highly doubtful about the encouragement of better flying techniques with its use.

If you want to encourage people to fly better, have squadron events, co-op campaigns, and teach people the way to fly properly in groups. No game function is going to teach it. If you're flying as a team, and your leader is flying properly, you'll fly with him and learn how to do it. Lone-wolfing and mad scrambles for aircraft over airfields is not going to do it. I'm encouraged by the fact that some people are now regularly doing higher level group bombing runs with escorts, but that's a lot of effort for little pay off. Hitting a target is great, and it's a rush for a while, but eventually without some larger scope to the work being done, it'll tail off. I certainly got tired of it. That's why we're doing a persistant war campaign which has now been going on for over a year and will continue to go on until the next sim comes out.

-

So I kind of have to agree with Phil about RR being used mostly as a way to get more bang for buck in terms of kills per sortie. Even if it isn't being used that way, its result is the same. I'm sure people like it (certainly people ask for it), so all credit for having it, but as a realistic game play feature it leaves something to be desired.

Here then are my suggestions on how to do it if someone can:

1. Designated work areas for refuel/rearm

Set up some of those concrete parking circles as the designated spots for re-arm, re-fuel and restrict use of the feature to aircraft located on them. If possible, if someone starts RR from a different location, autopilot taxi them to the circle before it begins.

2. Remove the 'no damage' restriction

This might seem counter intuitive to what I said earlier, but consider that a pilot who screams at his ground crew to get him back up isn't going to know that he's got a shrapnel shot from an 88 gun in his port fuselage. If your aircraft is capable of flying, you should be able to make your own decision. Taking off in a damaged aircraft is going to be a bad idea anyway and people are likely to just get a new airframe in these situations without having to be told to.

3. Select Guns for Rearm / more time for the feature

Choose whether to have all 8 guns (for RAF types in the example) rearmed or just a few guns. More guns, more time. All 8 guns will take 8 minutes. Only two, 2 minutes. 1 minute a gun. So if you're trying to get your guns back from a forward airfield under attack, you're a sitting duck as you would have been.

4. Add possibility of gun jams

Guns can be damaged in the game so it should theoretically be possible to code gun jams into the RR feature. At the end of the RR process, run the gun jam code to determine if any guns were damaged or not loaded properly. You could even change the selection process to ask the pilot if he wants FAST load or detailed load in which case the erks take more time, but lower chance of jams.

5. Fix overheat on the ground

Aircraft are overheating on the ground very quickly with the engine switched off. Unless this can be fixed, more detailed implemenation of RR may not be possible as 8 minutes on the ground with a shut down engine might just cause everyone to blow their rad.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:33 pm

Interesting note regarding wear and tear introduced to the discussion.

If true, it's interesting to be aware of. However, I've never known anyone in this game since release to have lost an aircraft due to engine failure, airframe failure, or any other kind of wear and tear not the direct result of a) bullets or b) pilot error. Any engine failures you're getting in a single sortie or two, have got to be because you were not running your engine properly. Push your engine too hard and it will fail eventually. That's not wear and tear, that's improper use. There's no reason for people to be blowing engines within a 4 hour period unless they're doing something outside of approved operational procedures, in which case they should expect a blow out (freshly spawned aircraft or 3h59minute run one).

So if anything, it's an under used and unfinished feature and one that allows the imagination to take over in lieu of it.

I could easily believe that the game has a persistant pilot for each player until the pilot is killed and that the G-tolerance of the pilot is increased by a small percentage after each successful flight. There's nothing to tell me that it's not happening. But since the percentage is so small, I'm usually dead before I can really notice the effect of it. So whether or not it's a real feature (it isn't - or is it?) I can choose to believe it is and fly with that assumption. Same goes for wear and tear as it stands in the game. Whether it's a real feature or not, it has such a negligible effect on the game and gameplay that it's a moot feature.

If the game had real wear and tear, engine hour maintenance, etc, that had any kind of affect on the gameplay it would need to be implemented far differently than it is. It would have to be persistant beyond spawning in. Further to that, without any means to perform maintenance routines on your engine or repairs to your airframe, there's no point to it except as a difficulty challenge. "Try to fly and fight with a poorly maintained aircraft". There are those who would choose this challenge, but I imagine most people would just start throwing away the aircraft every time to get the best performance they can each time they fight. If I'm going to get the opportunity to fly my own aircraft, I want the ability to put it up and fix it if necessary, otherwise, why bother unless you're a masochist?

The A2A games handle this well. Wear and tear is persistant over the life of the aircraft you're flying, regardless of whether you quit the game or not. Only when you've crashed is it reset (or if you do maintenance).

Would be great to see if someone could find a way to persist the wear and tear on aircraft beyond the single sortie.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  |450|Target on Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:15 pm

I am in shock that you so disparage Hollywood. Here and in the rest of the world we know that the Duke won the war almost single handed by stepping out into the open and unleashing his ever full Tommy gun at the enemy. If they managed to get him when he ran out of bullets (normally just as he was about to kill the last 5 enemy) he would just belt them with single punches that finished the battle in quick time.

It is just so typical of you putting down that excellent documentary machine that is Hollywood, who could forget the brothers that fought off the Japs at Pearl then, one flew to save England in the BOB finally they helped Doolittle bomb Tokyo. These are facts and I have seen the video evidence to prove them. You on the other hand are just spreading falsehoods.

I would like to point out that I have also seen p-47 fighter strafe tanks with .50 cals and destroy them, it is there in glorious colour for all to see, how can you not accept this? Shame shame shame!

Oh and by the way I like the idea of rearm and refuel but am happy to just re spawn, perhaps we could just propose a time limit before re spawning to simulate the process.
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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  GloriousRuse on Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:32 am

I think the RR times are mostly as is so that people will use them. I have no doubt that the actual time to pump a few hundred liters is accurately modeled. Modern ground fuelers can pump hundreds of gallons in just a few minutes. What isn't modeled is the organizational process involved in getting a truck out there, getting the fuelers on stand by, etc. Pre-planned refuels likely could go at nearly this speed per aircraft, as planes are essentially touching down with all the organizational moving bits already on stand by. Everyone and anyone at any field? Not so much.

I suppose in utterly desperate times, you could pit crew ammo as well...especially once pre-set gunpods come on to the scene later...but you would need some shit hot ground crews, and I can't help but think a squadron would be better off just having the crews ready the next flight unless you literally had no other planes and pilots (LW '44 France?).

Which is pretty much as Wolverine has said.

So then, in terms of gameplay, what it really does is let you preserve aircraft at non-standard fields to avoid trucking in the "high end" models from the rear fields. Want to keep your IIA and launch from Lymp? RR. Want to keep your N and take off from Wissant? RR. Other than that it is pretty much just statistics and a way for 401 to refuel en route to France.

For the former, so long as there's a window of vulnerability, might as well. For the latter, do you really want to wait thirty minutes for the squadron to refuel?

As for Hollywood -

.50 API from the top WOULD probably get some penetrations on WWII tanks.

.50 API is rated to go through 16mm of steel at 500m. Presumably when fired from a height the penetration goes up slightly.

The PZ IV series had 10mm of top armor, and the mighty panther had 16mm over its engine deck in the rear.

While you would need to avoid really shallow dives and the resultant deflections, a decently steep strafe should do it. Go P-47 go.


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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) on Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:20 am

As I wrote over at SoW, I'm not convinced that this general wear and tear in the background exists, except where it's directly related to engine mismanagement and the tolerances there are usually so fine that you either blow a gasket or don't.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  92 Sqn. Philstyle (QJ-P) on Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:47 am

Hi chaps, a bit late to the party!

My thinking is in line with Reddog, that the "wear and tear" ((which to me is the only really valid "historical" argument for favoring "rr")) is the key one from the point of view of whether or not "rr" is providing a more reaslitic experience. (The issue of whether or not one can relocate aircraft types across bases can be dealt with by other means in the game, and isn't dependent on the "rr" system. In  fact, some really complex supply systems could be imagined and implemented I'm sure, well beyond the rather simple side-effect of using "rr"). TF, or someone who actually knows (rather than just referring to phrases like "just like in real life") needs to provide some kind of quantification of this wear-and-tear effect.

I'm very tempted to run a test sometime when I am back at home. The test would be designed to try and put some parameters on this "wear and tear" that our dear leader has (rather ambiguously) described.

The test would look something like this

1. Channel map - full realism EXCEPT unlimited fuel would be turned on
2. Spawn in an aircraft on the ground and start engine, setting the RPM and fuel to something just below the TF suggested continuous running suggestion. Provided the chocks are in and the aircraft does not roll forward, monitor the engine temps to make sure they not too high (given that there will be limited airflow in radiator to keep it cool)
3. Leave the game to run, checking in on the aircraft every 30 minutes

What I'd be looking for at each 30-minute check is any sign that the engine has lowered performance. This will be difficult to see. But a short run-up to high rpm will at least confirm that it's not broken. I would suggest that if the engine claps out at some point, then we can be fairly confident that some wear and tear is going on.
I suspect the test would need to run all day though....


Last edited by 92 Sqn. Philstyle (QJ-P) on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:42 am

Well I'd then do a take off and climb to ceiling and time it at recommended settings. If it's any slower than a fresh plane we know something is going on.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:32 am

Glorious, I think Target is trying to get a warning for sarcasm :P

But I would ask people not to intentionally slag off on other community members or groups here on the forum. There's no need to keep poking the bear here.

The thing with landing at a closer airfield so that you don't have to go all the way back to a spawn point for the 'good' types of aircraft is that it's really only a gameplay element designed to try and limit the number of these types in frontline action. Most players are going to go onto a dogfight server and take off really close to the front as so to get action fast. Fewer will take the time to come from the rear airfields.

I have no problem making all aircraft available from all airfields. The selection criteria for our server is more to try and create the correct historical spread of aircraft and airfields. Admittedly I'm more knowledgable about the RAF distribution than the LW.

Phil's right too. A much more interesting system to me would be to have all airfields active with a certain supply of aircraft and have the whole system function like a bank. Deposit one IIa at Wilmington and Wilmington allows for another IIa to spawn in.

This could also be tuned to make sure people land safely rather than just ditch on the strip. You might even be able to check the fuel and ammo contents and then insert a delay before you can spawn as that type to simulate the refuel/rearm prep process. At that point, the only difference as far as I'm concerned from a system in which you sit on the ground in the same aircraft and wait is that you just have to make that imaginative leap. As I've said before, I don't believe the wear and tear is useful to us in any way within the timelines involved in an evening's play so I don't count that.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  GloriousRuse on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Target. I know, I just like double turning the Hollywood thing back on Target. I probably should have included a winkie guy or something.

Re: Attrition: This is my holy grail for scenario design. I need to learn how to use the FMB etc., but if I do, i'd love to publish some scenarios that hurt you for dying. Even if it wasn't a strict numerical countdown "you had 12 IIAs, now you have 0", something.

I'd love to see the messages such as-

"RAF Bomber Command cannot sustain these losses! Canterbury bomber fleet disabled!"

"The LW brings out the reserves to deal with aircraft losses! No N model 109s available!"

"Pilot losses are too high! Recruits can't max perform their planes (100 Octane/ 109/B 110/N models disabled)"

etc.

Something where the losses didn't necessarily translate to concrete victory/loss on an ATAG server (and very few people care about that anyhow), but was a definite kick in the teeth for your average "get me to the action!" guy because it takes away toys or removes the shortest flight times.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:23 pm

Attrition rules are certainly interesting. For a while I toyed with pilot attrition code that was tied into the Frontlines code that identified pilots who are captured/escaped/etc. So your side could only sustain a certain number of pilot losses before they capitulated.

I'd really like to see something set up that allows you to repair damage in game. IE if pilot losses are too heavy, someone needs to fly a Blenheim from an air spawn at the far North West of the map to the affected sector/airfield in order to resupply pilots. Intact factories deliver a steady supply of aircraft to the front. Bomb them out and the supply decreases or evaporates. Our current model of destruction works well for that (light, moderate, heavy, obliterated).

You need to make a lot of concessions to gameplay vs. realism in these kinds of setups though otherwise it's not much fun to play. It's no use putting up a 24/7 online war if no one plays it!

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:48 pm

With respect to attrition and RR though, I would consider it very interesting to have fuel as a managed resource. Spawning an aircraft would use 300 gallons of fuel (consider transport from factory, testing, etc etc) but refueling would only use whatever gallons you use to fill up with.

Have each airfield supplied with a certain amount of fuel (either destroyable by bombers or not) and then see who can stay in the air the longest.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  92 Sqn. Philstyle (QJ-P) on Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:58 am

GloriousRuse wrote:Re: Attrition: This is my holy grail for scenario design. I need to learn how to use the FMB etc., but if I do, i'd love to publish some scenarios that hurt you for dying. Even if it wasn't a strict numerical countdown "you had 12 IIAs, now you have 0", something.

Hi Glorious, this feature is already in place in the "long war" mission on the SOW server. The "better" fighters are limited in number, and the player can use the tab-4-1 menu to get information about how many of each type remains. Over the course of an hour, with good player numbers, this system would have an effect on player behaviour. At the moment, the low player numbers and the apparent preference for the dogfight server environment mean that no-one is really seeing the effect of this system on gameplay.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:57 am

Yeah, it's a pretty cool set up and more people should play it.

I wonder if an attrition style mission would be more appealing to people if the numbers persisted over the map rotation? Maybe setup the numbers in a table and then the missions themselves are all parts of a larger war.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) on Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:56 am

Wolverine wrote:Yeah, it's a pretty cool set up and more people should play it.

I wonder if an attrition style mission would be more appealing to people if the numbers persisted over the map rotation? Maybe setup the numbers in a table and then the missions themselves are all parts of a larger war.

That mission is persistent between mission loads. Destroy a target in mission 1 (ie the first time it's in the rotation), it stays destroyed through all future loads. End mission 1 with 15 Spitfires, you'll start mission 2 with 15.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  GloriousRuse on Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:19 pm

Is Long War open play? I thought it was a SOW campaign.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  Wolverine on Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:11 pm

92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) wrote:
Wolverine wrote:Yeah, it's a pretty cool set up and more people should play it.

I wonder if an attrition style mission would be more appealing to people if the numbers persisted over the map rotation? Maybe setup the numbers in a table and then the missions themselves are all parts of a larger war.

That mission is persistent between mission loads. Destroy a target in mission 1 (ie the first time it's in the rotation), it stays destroyed through all future loads. End mission 1 with 15 Spitfires, you'll start mission 2 with 15.

Ah very cool! We'll need to play this then as a group.

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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  AKA_Recon on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:13 am

yeah, that sounds great
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Re: Interesting RR Discussion

Post  92 Sqn. Reddog (QJ-R) on Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:46 pm

The Long War/Lange Krieg mission was intended to be a public mission, which could be part of the ATAG mission rotation. Obviously then I fell out with ATAG over the AI discussion, so I took it to Storm of War. It's running over there. I took some design decisions which might in hindsight have been better not being taken, so when I've finished the work on the SoW stuff, I'll probably rewrite it.

Essentially the Germans are presented with one target at a time which the Reds don't know. This could be anywhere in England. If they hit the wrong target then bad things happen to them, but they are free to take down radar stations at will (they repair themselves).

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