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Steeltrap

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  1. Next time you open the game, read the "news" section, namely the notes for version 7. Part of it speaks about (I'm paraphrasing from memory) "changes to sensitivity of gunnery, so ships like DDs have a better chance of evading shots" etc. Now the hot-fix speaks about changing dispersion so closer targets, specifically mentioning DDs, ought NOT be so difficult to hit. So they introduce a change in v7 to make them harder to hit, now a hot-fix to make them easier? It's almost as though the gunnery model is the problem, and rather than playing hokey pokey with factors not known to the players (an approach to design I personally despise for good reasons, but that's an entirely different matter) perhaps it might be a good thing to look into the core of the gunnery model as we've been asking for only 4-6 months. The impression they're giving is they're throwing darts at a board and hoping to hit something a majority of players might like. How that relates to a good design, let alone "realism", escapes me. Chasing popularity is NOT part of core element design. You do that later once all your interlocking essentials are solid, reliable and passing the success criteria established for them. That I'm prepared to write posts like this is the surest sign there is that regardless of what the devs are doing, it's high time I took a break. Which is exactly why I'm going to. Lastly, if you really DO want something less pulled out of, ahem, thin air and more deserving of the claims to "reality", might I suggest people spend less time posting about all sorts of WW2 ships, not to mention extreme weapons and other trivia, and CONSTANTLY press them on the basics? Assuming of course you don't all reach the same conclusion RAMJB and now I have. Cheers
  2. Topic's been here a week, nobody has put any posts related to specific issues other than myself. I was going to post 2 more, but have changed my mind. The devs, however, ALREADY HAVE all the details. They could share them and ask for our opinions, such as "here's the table of speed v to hit adjustment, what do people think?". I was in fact compiling such a table when I concluded it was a waste of time and effort. They've had months and months of feedback/constructive criticism and suggestions. None of which makes the slightest difference. Meanwhile, their answer, if the hotfix announcement is to be read as written, is simply to "make stuff up" ("dispersion value" changes to address problem of missing close targets) to produce a different result and see if people are happy with that. How does that address the genuine root causes of why it was so hard to hit certain targets? "Dispersion values", which I fear are DREADFUL BLOODY HIDDEN NUMBERS JUST AS WG LOVES DOING, may well have contributed, but what about the HUGE penalties for target speed and manoeuvre? They're irrelevant are they? As I said elsewhere, I'm not going to bother any further because the simple fact is all evidence points to the devs not caring one way or another. Cheers
  3. If they put this as it is now on Steam early access with the words "realistic" or "realism" or similar, all the while failing to address the fundamental root cause elements we've been discussing OFTEN FOR AS MUCH AS 6 MONTHS, I suspect that might prove interesting. I looked at my posting history following the situation of Nick wondering why we were discussing bulkheads. It's as though it was all news to him. LOL. I've also provided some questions/feedback in the "hotfix" post Nick made. I see very little evidence to suggest there's any interest in a genuine discussion of core elements. All I see is a willingness to apply band-aids over band-aids to produce results that are "popularly accepted". That's not how one arrives at robust system/process design (something I do IRL for large corporations as a professional consultant), although to be fair it's entirely possible they're working on those things and simply not sharing them, merely doing tweaks so people will keep playing thus producing data for them (which it seems is our REAL value to them). I had hoped to have some influence on the design of the game because I've been interested in the genre for 40+ years now, with genuine dialogue between us and the devs. Looking at the hotfix, plus other recent events, let alone my posting history (and many others', too), I no longer feel I'm doing that at all. I'm simply producing numbers remotely (well, I was until I turned it off because nobody was willing to answer my questions about it). I find that profoundly disappointing. Mind you, that's my problem. There were no promises, and I certainly don't believe I'm owed anything. Don't think I'll be posting much because I see little point, and I've no interest in playing until and unless those core elements that DOMINATE any other consideration with respect to a game claiming "realism" as its point of differentiation are addressed. We've been posting about them for 4-8 months and they've not been, nor is there any evidence to suggest they WILL be. I'll watch the Steam launch with interest. In fact I am curious to hear everyone's thoughts on a particular aspect of that: How long do you think it will take the sorts of people attracted to such things to come to the same conclusions WE have? My recent review of my posting history, all 16 pages of it back to October last year, showed me it didn't take ME very long. Most of those elements remain unaddressed. What do you think the consequences of that may be? I for one hope they are REALLY CLEAR about what they're promising, ABSOLUTELY EXPLICIT. For all my own issues with things to date, I hope that because I want them to succeed. In fact I'd like to think everything I've posted since I arrived was with that underlying motivation: build the best, most "realistic" (as is reasonably achievable) game covering this period. Nothing's changed for me with respect to that. I've simply reached the point where I have had enough "hoping" so it's time I did other things in the interim. Cheers
  4. Hi Nick, Thanks for the notes. Am seeking clarification of some points, plus providing some feedback as part of same. Look forward to hearing from you when you have the time. Cheers I for one HATE how the AI does this even now. I see it make significantly less than ideal choices and it annoys me substantially. Making it do it even MORE often is, in my experience, a RETROGRADE step, not a plus. Am I, for example, constantly going to struggle with the AI wanting to override MY fleet/division fire control orders? Just because something is closer doesn't make it the GREATER threat, and fire control decisions ought to be decided on the basis of THREAT, NOT PROXIMITY. Leaving aside the issue of proximity does not automatically mean greatest threat, how is the AI overriding my orders consistent with ME being the Senior Officer of whatever forces are in battle? That's a significant premise of the game, isn't it? I fail to understand the logic behind this. If a shell is going to ricochet, surely it's going to do so when the armour is thickest and at an angle? The problem as I see it is when shells ricochet from things they ought not, not when they ricochet from "strong armour". Again, either the description is unintentionally imprecise, or I fail to grasp the logic driving this. Don't you simply have a formula for determining if a shell is/is not effective against armour? Might a more accurate description of the change be: Partial penetration occurs when shell penetration is within x-value of effective armour. This value is being increased, so you ought to expect to see more partial penetrations, even potentially on thick armour IF the shell striking it is within that x-value. In the absence of important specifics in the announcement of this change, it sounds like there will be more partial penetrations "for reasons". What they are, we don't know. What difference they'll make, we also don't know. WHY the change is being made at all, we don't know. How any of it relates to realism we certainly have no clue at all. It might seem that I'm being overly picky, but the fact is the ways in which these things are introduced/explained matter. Are you addressing root causes here, or chasing results without any particular reference to any specific factors that currently are frankly rather poorly implemented? Take two of the most repeatedly complained of issues, namely the HUGE penalties for "target speed" and "target manoeuvres". Are these being addressed? Are there PLANS to address the gunnery comprehensively at SOME point, or will we continue to see band-aids over band-aids because the genuine root causes, such as speed and manoeuvres adding potentially huge penalties when REALISM ought to demand a system that reflects DEVIATION from the expected position of the target ship according to the gunnery solution at the time the shells were fired, are NOT being addressed? Do you consider the current model to be good enough, and that's not going to change until after the Steam launch, for example? I for one would LOVE to know the answer to THAT. If their impact is to be more critical, what exactly are the means by which we (and the AI) can prevent them? Is it more or less "shove in MAX bulkheads, armoured bulkheads, and otherwise armour the hell out of your turrets and you're sweet"? If that's the case, is anything being done to encourage the AI to do this? Feels like we're cheating if WE know this answer and the AI doesn't, because it doesn't matter to me if the AI piles more/larger guns etc on their ships yet they continue to burn and pop all over the place due to a failure to grasp those essential truths of the damage/damage control models. Aren't these historically known factors? Why not simply USE THOSE as the base instead of making up numbers and then trying different sets of numbers now and again? If using historically valid numbers creates problems, the next step in my opinion ought to be to move to the next element along the total processes that relate to torpedo use in the game and address it. And the next, and the next, until you've done them all. My own professional experience has taught me changing bits and pieces here and there is a recipe for an increasingly unstable system, and that's a FAR GREATER nightmare to deal with that getting the fundamentals correct. Might this be viewed as "Engine sections that are fully flooded/damaged are not repairable"? While it's clear a fully flooded section cannot be repaired, and thus a section that is partly flooded can be, it's NOT clear if a partly damaged section can be repaired but a fully damaged cannot.
  5. Which is why I was suggesting tutorial missions to educate players as to the various info, what it means and how it interacts. The idea would be to have a sequence that more or less teaches someone how to design a ship from start and let them make informed decisions as they make the many choices necessary to arrive at a complete design. [EDIT] Thinking further, one significant element entirely uncommented upon is the potential to upgrade things via refits. Think of the spectacular career of HMS Warspite with multiple refits and changes, including entirely new superstructure (or Main Tower in the game), engines/boilers, TDS, elevation of main guns (started with 20 degrees, altered to 30) and so on. I for one think it's rather important to understand if/how things might be upgraded, and whether that might be a relevant question as you design a ship. In some instances about the only limiting factors were the base hull (although even that could be lengthened, for example) and budget. If displacement is an important limitation for upgrading, it might be worth having a larger displacement than might be optimal when the ship is built IF you are thinking significant upgrades can save you major costs, time and dockyard space in future. The more we know about all this the more there is to consider when making designs.
  6. Here's how I see it. Any game is sort of like telling a story. Players are like the audience. If your story is largely fiction and clearly marked as such, the only factor is whether players like the story. If your story is claiming to relate "realistically" (with all the inevitable caveats of that term, lol) the story is more akin to giving evidence in a trial where the players are the jury. Suddenly the question of how believable the story is becomes rather important if you want to "convince" the jury you've giving good evidence. Testers are something like the police or your legal counsel. Each design choice and element becomes a point of fact. Every time you choose to bend the truth, it's more or less lying. Sure, it could be "a white lie", one designed to produce an effect considered kind or concerning a matter deemed unimportant or irrelevant. It's still a lie. The more lies you tell, the harder it is to keep track of them. With enough lies, or potentially even only a few about matters that AREN'T trivial, your entire story might fall apart and the jury doesn't buy it. That's why I'm of the view the best policy is NOT to lie at all. If reality is a known, stick to it. OK, I realise the parallel is anything but perfect, but I hope it explains my own attitude to such things. I DO agree it's entirely reasonable to stretch/bend/shape "the truth" so as to make the story more appealing. Devs don't want to sell to 12 people forced to be in a room listening, lol. MY point is do the bending/shaping from a point of accuracy as opposed to building a system predicated on "lies". It worries me considerably there's a chasing of our opinions on how xyz "feels" when there are clearly rather significant "lies" that won't cut it if your goal is to put "realism" as a major distinguishing characteristic. Furthermore, many of these "lies" have been pointed out in considerable detail for 4-6 months or more. Bulkheads, nonsensical gunnery adjustment factors, etc etc. We point them out, then get "flash fires" instead almost as though intended to distract us with shiny things. When it comes to torpedoes specifically, there's no mystery as to what "the truth" is when it comes to carrying reloads etc. START with that. As you've said, and indeed we've all discussed here and there, torpedoes are another rather complicated story because they require consideration of how many hits are scored which then flows to how the AI aims and fires them AND avoids them, and if they DO hit that leads to the damage model and damage control. I entirely agree with you on those issues, where "forcing reality" in only ONE aspect can lead to perverse consequences. All the more reason to build as much reality as you can everywhere as I see it. Again, my approach is to build whatever "truths" are known BEFORE looking at the full picture. Each element ought to be designed in and of itself to be as "truthful" as possible. Done perfectly (yes, LOL, I know) you'd need remarkably little "bending" to have a result worthy of the claim "realistic". When you DON'T get perfection, which I trust nobody sensible expects, at least you've got pretty solid core elements from which to look to nudge/shape results. Chasing the results before the basics are solid is, in my opinion and own professional experience, a waste of time, resources and frequently dangerous with respect to long term success. Fooling around with gunnery characteristics in specific cases, such as secondary guns, is a great illustration of this as I see it. How about addressing the basic truth that 10.2 knots of straight line speed causing a -2.2% hit chance while 28.5 knots causes -69.4% (I started capturing these the other day), which is to say a less than tripling of speed results in a greater than 30 TIMES increase in penalty, is, well, do I need to say it? That's probably more than enough from me. Personally, I'm likely to take a break because I've reached the point where the serious "lies" as I see them make any other consideration utterly unimportant to me. Sure, I could continue to capture details on the speed penalties and produce a nice graph, same for "manoeuvre" penalties, but what's the point when first of all the devs could simply give us that info if they truly wanted our input on the gunnery model, plus we've been saying this sort of stuff for quite some time? Not that I am expecting them to, or demanding they do, or anything else silly like that. I'm simply indicating my feeling is it's a waste of time and effort for ME to tell them things they already know and in the absence of any indication doing so is in fact of any value. But that's just me. Cheers
  7. I've been here since about October last year I believe. I've done 20 of the 47 NA battles, and I hardly play at all. Why? Because many of those missions I consider to be nonsense AND arguably push you to "problem solve" for a specific set of circumstances. While that's fine if the idea is to do exactly that, I'd far prefer missions that specifically build, one after another, a player's understanding of the true underlying mechanics and the in-game design choices that affect them. There's a great depth of detail in the ship builder that you'd never know if you didn't spend time holding your mouse over pretty much most of the statistics down the right side of the screen, for example. The interplay of funnel capacity and engine efficiency and related smoke interference and its potentially negative effects on gunnery accuracy are great examples. Imagine this as one of many tutorials: DESIGN CONCEPTS: Engine efficiency and smoke interference (ship starts with speed slider, engine and boiler techs locked and main tower placed) (Note that * means the item is highlighted exactly where it appears in the interface, and terms from the interface are shown in italics and underlined) TIP: Hold your mouse over highlighted terms to see a pop-up giving more information. TIP: If something is coloured RED, it is producing a negative effect. If GREEN, it's positive. PART 1: Engine efficiency - IF you want your ship to travel at the speed* you've chosen as its maximum, it will require a certain level of funnel capacity* to produce a decent engine efficiency* if you want to be able to reach that speed within battle conditions. - The fuel you choose to be used to fire the boilers can affect smoke interference*, funnel capacity* or both. - The boilers* (induced, forced etc) you choose will affect the funnel capacity* of any given funnel* you put on your ship. CHALLENGE - put enough funnels* on your ship to reach 100% engine efficiency*.....(after player does so)....SUCCESS!! PART 2: Smoke Interference - Those funnels emit smoke from the boilers. Smoke can get in the way of your range finder* as it attempts to determine the range to your intended target. These things together are shown as smoke interference* (in this case highlight the stat but ALSO the value on the funnel the player placed). - Your main tower* reduces smoke interference* (show pop-up of main tower highlighting the smoke interference* value). In this case, the smoke interference* value is GREEN because it is making things better not worse. - Your ship's total smoke interference* is shown here (highlight the value on the stat panel). If the number is greater than 0 then the smoke interference* will produce negative effects on your gunnery performance. (bring up tooltip showing the smoke interference penalties; we know the value >0 because of the speed, funnels required to get 100% engine efficiency, and there's no secondary tower placed) - Your ship needs a secondary tower*. - Some secondary towers* also reduce smoke interference*. CHALLENGE - place a secondary tower* that reduces smoke interference*.....(after player does so)....SUCCESS!! ....I'd continue by illustrating how you're in a struggle between maximising engine efficiency and speed yet minimising smoke interference. Also illustrate how you don't need 100% engine efficiency (I hope not, as almost nothing I design has it, lol) and the like. As an aside, I know I gave feedback that the whole issue of engine efficiency ought to be reflected in the TOP part of the stats, and potentially even be a "rejected build" trigger if below a certain percentage. As it is, it's right at the very bottom of the scrolling stats. Point is there's a TON of important stuff that a newbie won't realise or understand. I know because I had to figure it out myself, and I'm something of a "I want to understand how this works before I DO anything with it" type and thus read all the tool-tips etc etc and the game won't tell them very clearly. I asked questions, too, and others who knew various things already were happy to explain/discuss. I've suggested to the devs at some point they might want to draw on the community to design a FAQ/Concepts companion for the game simply because of the danger of people getting really frustrated as to why their ship "looks good" but performs like a floating turd because of all the penalties it has from smoke interference, pitch/roll, and all sorts of other things that new player has no idea about. None of which is intended to be critical of how things are. Of course we don't have this sort of material as yet, nor do I expect we ought to. I'm old enough to regret the fact that game companies these days don't make decent manuals, because it's "easier" to shove a game out and let the community work it out. Back in the days when dial up was the best available, game companies (and war games in particular) produced gorgeous, detailed manuals because they had to and they were expected to. Anyway, enough rambling from me, lol. Cheers
  8. Strikes me as somewhat uncalled for in personal tone. It's not "someone", either. I suspect it's a good number of people, myself included. Just because some people would prefer a game to be a certain distance from reality and another a shorter or greater distance doesn't mean any of them are "not distinguishing the game from reality", merely that they would like the game to settle on a different point along the "as realistic as possible to clown-car arcade" spectrum. Arguing over where we ought to land ultimately is all well and good, of course. Cheers
  9. Smoke screens have no effect on anything not IN them. You can fire THROUGH them to ships behind without penalty at all. Plus smoke screens ought not be of any use to the ship laying them UNLESS the wind direction plus the bearing to the enemy means the trailing smoke moves to obscure them. Travelling semi-cloaking devices? Please. The vision system is also somewhat like WoWS with its "Borg sighting", where one ship can spot and everything else can engage even if they can't see the target directly according to their tower bonuses and the target's signature. Two more things to put on the list.
  10. I think the game is half correct. Historically it proved surprisingly difficult to keep DDs outside effective torpedo range, and that's REALLY all that matters because a DD's guns aren't going to do anything serious to a BB. Mind you, perhaps their guns can become a problem for CLs, so that's a different matter. Certainly I got sick of the "German Raiders" or whichever scenario it is because sometimes the AI would throw up a Transport fleet bristling with 4" guns and their combined fire became absolutely deadly if the weather forced you to get close. In that respect, while we can argue about the ranges at which we still can't hit, what damage ought to result if we DO hit, and what the hell a DD is doing closing to that range in the first place, LOL, I don't see it as the most critical thing, at least not for capital ships. I'd argue it's the consequences of them being able to get so close with essentially unlimited numbers and frankly pretty damn accurate torpedoes that's the real issue because we wouldn't care how close they get if they can't achieve anything once there. What I suspect really needs to happen is the AI be told to fire their torps from further out AND have their reload rates SIGNIFICANTLY NERFED. DDs lobbing 5-10 torps from 5km every 3 minutes while you can't hit them effectively gets pretty old pretty quickly. Doubly frustrating when you consider one reason the RN didn't embrace 8" armed cruisers was because with the exception of opening stages of combat it was decided the greater RoF and the fact the 6" guns could still be effective v the armour of those 8" "heavy cruisers" made the 6" a better choice. That same reasoning was even more the case against DDs and the like where RoF would likely prove really decisive, yet CLs can be remarkably poor against what arguably they were clearly designed to deal with. Not that I know because I don't play modern scenarios on the grounds that everybody else gives me the impression they play nothing BUT modern everything, so someone ought to play where we'll spend at least 50% of game play. 😎
  11. Bulkheads, from Dec 15th last year: And January 17th I could probably post 20+ examples of my own or others' posts, but I suspect that's overkill. Point is it's baffling that anyone could be surprised to see it continue to be mentioned when as far as I can tell the issue remains more or less the same as 6+ months ago.
  12. I see what you did there..... TL;DR? Done correctly, CVs would render most surface ships to the status of support ships as they did historically. If you could "rush" CV/air tech and accept the price in being behind in normal surface warfare as you did, you'd doubtless rule the waves. It's impossible to deny CVs are essential in naval warfare history. It's not true, however, they're essential to a game that says it's entirely focussed on surface combat. That's why I personally don't think the devs have much stomach for attack planes at all, and thus no CVs, but might implement search planes. On topic, I suspect we're not going to see CVs, or at least not for quite a long time after release if so. I think there's far more work to implementing them successfully than people appreciate. I also think, although this is entirely a guess on my part, they don't necessarily WANT to have aircraft beyond perhaps search planes (which I'd have no problem with) precisely because, as people have said, they DID become the dominant factor in naval warfare. Either you operated under friendly skies or you were potentially in horrendous trouble, which meant either land based fighter cover OR take it with you on a CV. One of my favourite computer games was the original Carriers at War. It was simple in its graphics (of course, given it was released in 1992) but absolutely BRILLIANT in its grasp of the core mechanics required to capture the nature of carrier warfare. That meant controlling your available aircraft on your CV(s), deciding how many to put on CAP, how many to use for searching and in what directions (if USN; the IJN used float planes), considering weather and especially wind direction, your effective strike range etc etc. Even better, you could play as the campaign that linked all the scenarios together, so there might be times where you decided to run for it and take a tactical loss so as not to get boned strategically. Had loads of fun playing it with a lifelong friend as you could hot seat 2 player, too. I mention this because the OTHER thing it showed VERY clearly was how every other ship was largely only of value for the various sorts of protections it might offer, namely AA, anti-sub or anti-surface. Sure, you could detach your BB(s), CAs and some DDs and send them off at flank TF speed in the hope of catching any stragglers if you knew they were close and you'd more or less won the air war, but that was it. In short, it was a great rendition of CV warfare made by someone who knew their subject and gave the mechanics a LOT of thought despite the graphical simplicity available. As an aside, the remake made in the early 2000s was a very lazy thing that LOST the "results of this scenario will carry over to the next" campaign, and that all but destroyed the replayability as far as I (and many others) were concerned. Plus it made REALLY obvious just how different CV warfare was. It was all about search patterns and aircraft endurance. As with most warfare, whomever gets to shoot first has a far greater chance of winning. thus searching was really crucial (consider how UNLUCKY the IJN was at Midway, where the one search plane that was launched late happened to be the one going where the USN CVs were, and even then it delivered a crappy, inaccurate report; many have wondered just what might have happened had it got there when it ought to and have given an exact report). The point is what is was NOT was ANYTHING AT ALL to do with SURFACE warfare. Once attack planes of sufficient power arrive, naval warfare changes forever. If you don't recognise it, you die (as did the Italians at Taranto, the USN at Pearl Harbour, and HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse at sea which finalised the particular discussion as to whether alert warships at sea instead of sitting ducks in harbour would prove vulnerable. And that means CVs change the very nature of the game, period. Nothing wrong with that unless, of course, you don't WANT the game to become a race to air power.
  13. THE DEVS THEMSELVES have said "NO AIRCRAFT BEFORE GAME LAUNCH" (let alone CVs). Don't you think any of the posters who know that ought to tell the OP? I'm not for one second saying people ought not discuss the topic because that's neither my responsibility nor intention. What I AM saying is the OP may well NOT know that's what the Devs have stated, and I don't see anyone else telling them that FACT despite many of you knowing it to be true. I find that a little peculiar. Cheers
  14. Like this? I saved these two images with the following titles: Odd shell trajectories.... ....And where they land Those two landed at 8.6km when fired at a target at 2.7km for which I had a 38% hit chance per shell. To be fair, I rather like the fact that things seem to have changed somewhat when it comes to incoming fire. That one salvo is significantly ahead, or astern, or long or short. It always felt to me they were all TOO close all the time, so in fact I think it's a step in the right direction. Clearly it might need some tweaking, however, to cut out the extreme outliers. That the two shells in my example also included a 3rd one (it was a triple mount) that you can see significantly below them that went a bit long is especially odd on the eyes, lol, which is why it caught my attention and I captured it (an advantage of never using TC during gunfire and having a finger hovering over the P key). Cheers
  15. GUNNERY FACTOR: "Target Manoeuvre" This is exactly why I said I suspect we're going to end up looking at the broader issue of the whole simulation of "the gunnery solution", how a ship gets one and then how it recognises it's no longer acceptable and produces a new one, which can even lead to shifting from full RoF back to reduced, spotting fire. As it is now, the system updates your numbers as soon as you fire, and then they shift in real time as you/your target manoeuvre or close/open the range.
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