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Skeksis

Simple Spotter Plane Introduction

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Their first application and deployment can be done in the simplest form…

 

STE9W2c.png

 

The player only launches and recalls planes.

All flights are AI controlled and just fly at a single altitude.

All air to air battles/damage AI controlled, simple figures of eight flight patterns will do to simulate a dogfight.

All surface to air battles/damage AI controlled.

No air to surface damage (yet!).

2”, 3” and 4”guns to have surface to air ability. And introduce a ‘priority’ state for these guns to target either air or surface targets, since they will have two functions in the combat field.

Maybe introduce some machinegun calibres but not really need in the first stage .

Obviously some development, models, dogfighting animations and dying & damage animations but all-n-all a simple setup to start with. And a plan to build on and continue the realism theme, as in designing complete historical ships with their floatplanes onboard.

Edited by Skeksis
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I can't tell by the schematic if the extended visual range is locked with the plane itself or just automatically applied to the ship in a whole 360 degree

 I think the spotter plane should have its own visual aura. It would be weird and not so intuitive mechanic if that spotter plane could see a ship on the polar opposite side of the friendly battleship it launched from, but not a battleship just outside the extended visual range right next to it. 

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I do sort of like the idea that the specific combat number crunching is done under the hood while a abstract dogfight is visually presented on screen.

Though I would like to avoid health bars. 

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Seems unintuitive and totally disconnected from reality.  There would be no reason to fly the aircraft over the enemy, so why even bother with a visual representation or combat, especially since combat would be mostly irrelevant for their function.  They weren’t used as frequently as you might think, so I would say just wait for something with higher fidelity in the future.

Edited by akd

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The second I see a "damage aura" with "damage dealt in increments"...the second I See any kind of "hitpoint", "Dps" or the sorts of mechanics, the second my brain just switches off and becomes completely uninterested.

Besides, as Akd points out, floatplanes weren't used in combat. As far as I can't really recall the only use of them in an actual fight was on the River Plate where a floatplane was launched, a Seafox from HMS Ajax, which pretty much had no impact whatsoever in the encounter.

To be completely honest most fleets found floatplanes of little relative use. To the the point that by 1943 a vast number of cruisers that were going through refits were losing their floatplanes and catapults, the space and weight savings going for other, far more pressing needs. In general the weight and support facilities needed by those things was considered a waste given the limited usefulness those planes had proven to have. Not to mention the massive fire hazard caused by the avgas handling and storage facilities those planes demanded, which those ships could perfectly do without too.
 
One notable exception being Japan, but that only due to their doctrine about how to provide naval recon for carriers, where the carriers didn't use any planes for scouting instead reserving them for striking roles - that was the role of supporting cruisers (the Tone class, and the Mogami's rebuild, were prime instances of that role). But without carriers in the game those would be pointless too.

I've insisted on it elsewhere, but I'll do it here too: air power is an exceedingly complex matter that needs to be in this game...after the foundations are already built, solid and work as they should. And air power should be introduced as a whole. Not in little bits here and there, particularily so not in roles so limited historically that not even the fleets using them considered important enough to retain their planes on rebuilds. The complication of adding that stuff is not justified by the objective usefulness it would have in the game.

Floatplanes have a place in the game. Same as carriers and landbased air power. When the rest is working as it should.

Edited by RAMJB
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1 hour ago, akd said:

Seems unintuitive and totally disconnected from reality.  There would be no reason to fly the aircraft over the enemy, so why even bother with a visual representation or combat, especially since combat would be mostly irrelevant for their function.  They weren’t used as frequently as you might think, so I would say just wait for something with higher fidelity in the future.

You've miss understood, the drawing is a schematic, it's not to scale, spotter planes wouldn't actually fly over the enemy fleet unless you sailed or sent them there and/or when they spot/fly over approaching DDs/enemies.

Academy missions tells us "The Enemy Is To The North", in the campaign who's going to do that? Spotter planes can replace that notice with realistic searches, that's intuitive! Granted, I don't anything about the campaign but if applicable the Dev's can draw inspiration from this else it's another round of vodka laughs! 🤣

It is historical, I have pictures!

And to the final miss understood belief, read this, its sums up the reasons for my topic... 

 

Edited by Skeksis
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1 hour ago, WelshZeCorgi said:

spotter plane should have its own visual aura

Yeah that would be way better but the post is just a idea to get things started, if this was under consideration. 

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Again @RAMJB, combat is not role of that said. Please stay on topic of spotter planes and there role in searching out the enemy, if you have details, please post.

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Yeah, I noticed you said:

Quote

Laying the foundations first will save the Dev’s a whole lot of headaches in the future, headaches that might negate future development. And yes that is my “assumption”.

Which this isn't going to do, because it is so primitive and far from the truth it's not even a placeholder model. 

As for combat ... you basically have everything except for ship bombing! You have air to air "auras" and surface to air "auras". So there is already fighting!

I think right now, initial vectoring is by the ship "smoke". Realistically, if at least the closest ships aren't close enough to see each other by smoke, for this game they aren't close enough to each other. Even with 10x time compression, it is going to be a real bore if the closest ship is spotted by a plane say three hours sailing time from you.

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42 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

Please stay on topic of spotter planes and there role in searching out the enemy, if you have details, please post.


I'm on topic, and I've already done so. The ONLY TIME that a naval engagement had place where floatplanes were launched, was on the battle of River Plate, December 1939. Nobody else even bothered to use theirs in any of the (many) surface encounters that happened between enemy forces which had several ships with perfectly functional catapults and floatplanes aboard. To the point that most fleets by mid-war were just taking the things off their ships. And some refits were (Amongst many other things like adding extra AAA), making crew messes and recreation spaces out of the space left by the floatplane facilities removed (this is actually true and happened in several ships). That's how useless they were thought to be.

Your suggestion is about how those things should work in battles in this game. And my answer is that given the almost null usage those things had in battles in history, whatever concern about adding them is FAR secondary to many other things the game needs first. Of which there's a list that could be several pages long; from a complete revision of gunnery and gun mounts to a total rehaul of the armor model, going through literally dozens (if not hundreds) of new hulls for the designer, not to mention further work in the designer to make it more flexible, and that's without even entering into the whole campaign mode we still know very little of and will need a tremendous ammount of time and dedication to get it right ...etc.

Meanwhile to have a thing that only was used once in the history of naval surface engagements (and which impact was pretty much none in the one surface engagement where it was used), there's little urgency to put it anywhere in the classification of "things that we need in this game for a good number of months to come".

And that only to add floatplanes, which, as mentioned, were as useful historically that the general perception is that taking them, and their their facilities off and substituting them a couple 40mm AA mounts was a far more valuable deal than having those highly flammable bombs aboard, in a good number of the ships that had them in the first place. 


Also, your suggestion has nothing to do with "roles of searching out the enemy". You're making a suggestion where a floatplane would "circle around" a "target", with "Antiair auras" "Air to air auras", etc. That's a combat mechanic suggestion. Something that would happen in the battle engine, so your suggestion is about the usage of those planes in battle to begin with, and accordingly the posts and aswers you're going to get out of it are related to the actual use those things had (or rather, had not) in naval surface engagements.

So I'd suggest that, if you want to tell others to "stay on topic", at least do so when they are actually off-it, and not as an underhanded way to try to silence diverging opinions on the merits of the ideas you're putting forward.


 

Edited by RAMJB

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9 minutes ago, RAMJB said:

You're making a suggestion where a floatplane would "circle around" a "target"

To expand to more realism, players would direct there aircraft to destinations and the aircraft would have there own visual auras. More work, more development and as everyone is pointing out, valuable weeks are diminishing. Post is just as basic as it gets for a basic implementation, build from there.   

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15 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

Post is just as basic as it gets for a basic implementation, build from there.   


There's nothing "basic" about it.

To get to the point of that "basic implementation" you need a lot more things beforehand. First you'd need some kind of flight mechanics for the planes, and damage model for them too. Then you'd need some kind of structural pieces to be used in the designer (catapults: both on turrets and separate ones - fixed and turntable ones, etc... And then floatplane hangars, recovery cranes, etc) to give ships the ability to launch, operate, and recover, those vehicles. Then you'd have to teach the AI how to incorporate all those needed pieces in it's designs. Then you'd need to model the planes themselves, several models of them to represent the several nations there are in game, and in different evolutionary models per nation to represent their visual and performance progression across the very long period of time those floatplanes existed - from the mid 10s down to the end of the game. Then you'd need some kind of UI mechanic to launch them, operate them, give them orders, recover them...

Oh...and you'd need AA guns too. With their proper AA mechanics, mounts, marks of guns, etc, neither of which exist at the moment. And then modify the damage model to account for, and give the proper results, of shells hitting the hangar spaces, avgas storages, the planes if they're on the ship, etc.


And then, only then, is where the mechanics by which those things would work in battle (of which yours is a suggestion) would matter. After which you have to implement the proper routines for the AI to properly use those things too.

I don't see anything  "basic" in what the whole proposal entails, if you ask me. 

Finally, "to expand to more realism"; players should keep their floatplanes on their ship's deck or hangar, whatever is the case, because, once again, those planes historically weren't launched at all during surface engagements.

Edited by RAMJB
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Not even to scout for contacts and plot intercept courses?

How useless were those scout planes?

Edited by Teckelmaster

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21 minutes ago, Teckelmaster said:

Not even to scout for contacts and plot intercept courses?

How useless were those scout planes?

Out of the japanese, which had  completely different carrier doctrine to everyone else and used their fleet's floatplanes as the main means of "carrier searches" (instead of using carrier planes for that, as the british and americans would do)...

They were used for general search and patrol purposes. Graf Spee got a good use out of hers as a raider (to find out potential merchant contacts), for instance. Some of them were used for SAR if the situation called for it. Liaison duties too at times. That kind of stuff.

All of them fall into "operational" roles. When it came down to actual engagements, exception made of the one sample of the battle of River Plate, those things were never used. By 1943 and at least on the allied side they were seen as more of a liability than an asset, at least on cruisers, but also on some cases of battleships (you'll note that Vanguard, for instance, didn't have any kind of floatplane facilities). As a result many ships saw their catapults and associated equipment retired, and the space and weight saved used for AAA mounts, extra crew spaces ,etc.

Translated into game terms those things would be of limited use in the campaign strategy map (limited use because single planes were of very limited effectiveness at search missions - consider how many times whole "fans" of long range recon planes doing organized recon missed to spot pretty large fleets during wartime, now think how effective would be a single rather short ranged floatplane in comparison)

But as soon as the game moved on to the battle engine, there'd be no real use for them. Other than being pretty huge and mostly widely exposed explosive hazards for incoming shells.

Edited by RAMJB

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The problem is that you are proposing a huge amount of additional work for something that would gain no fidelity over simply selecting a box in the designer for “has floatplane” and extending the visual radius of the equipped ship in combat in good weather.  This would come along with the same confusion and problems that simply extending ship visual LOS through radar has, but wouldn’t add a bunch of irrelevant fluff.  Dogfights and damage from AA aren’t needed because that was not their intended (yet seldom used) tactical role.  But even if they did play their intended tactical role as gunfire spotters, they did not simply extend the area a ship could see and target.  Aircraft were very good at spotting for range (i.e. “short” or “over”) but not so good at spotting for deflection, so in practice a proper gunnery solution still required seeing the target from the ship’s own director position.  Other issues: one aircraft could not spot for a fleet, but as it stands if anything sees a target, then everything can shoot at it.

Edited by akd

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5 hours ago, RAMJB said:

But as soon as the game moved on to the battle engine, there'd be no real use for them. Other than being pretty huge and mostly widely exposed explosive hazards for incoming shells.

The aircraft and it's associated fueling equipment is a pretty important part of the damage calculation and should be in the game.

 

3 minutes ago, akd said:

simply selecting a box in the designer for “has floatplane” and extending the visual radius of the equipped ship in combat in good weather

I agree that this is all we really need.  It is a simulation after all and coding in an actual flying aircraft might be more than is needed.  Still, it should be placed on the ship so that it can act as a potential bomb, as I mentioned.  You can't have a capability like that without the attendant down side.

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Well, my real point was that although that is much simpler to implement, you end up with the same thing: a feature that is poorly connected to reality.

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3 minutes ago, akd said:

a feature that is poorly connected to reality.

This is always going to be the issue.  How close do we come to reality in a game before it is unplayable.  We certainly don't want an overly accurate simulation, nor do we want some arcadey joke of a game. We can only urge the Devs to find a workable compromise.  These guys have been doing pretty good in their other games.

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A feature can represent tactical realities without being “real.”

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1 hour ago, Angus MacDuff said:

The aircraft and it's associated fueling equipment is a pretty important part of the damage calculation and should be in the game.

Of course. It should be. As soon as planes are in the game. Not before. And only if those planes are present in a ship. If the player decides he's not going to use floatplanes on a design, the aircraft and equipment aren't there and the damage calculations have nothing to do with it.

If the player doesn't **EXPLICITLY** put something on their ship, they should not be penalized when that thing goes off. Because if it ain't there, it can't go off. Simple enough, right?.


And as currently planes aren't here, and that's something that's seems it's not due to change for a rather long while; then they can not be mounted on ships; and henceforth they're not "a pretty important part of the damage calculation" because something that's not there because it can't be put there, can't go off at all.


Unless somehow you're suggesting that, as quite a good number of historical ships carried floatplanes, the player should be FORCED to have them too (Even while there's no use for that in game as planes aren't implemented).Which implies that when a ship the player has designed without planes is hit in the "aircraft storage areas" - aircraft which aren't there, and which the player never put there to begin with, should go off with a very large "Boom".

Even when the player never put that thing there to begin with.

You can guess what I think about such a case, so I won't go into detail ;).


 

Edited by RAMJB

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4 minutes ago, RAMJB said:

Unless somehow you're suggesting that, as quite a good number of historical ships carried floatplanes, the player should be FORCED to have them too (Even while there's no use for that in game as planes aren't implemented).

I'm simply shocked...Shocked...that you would infer that from what I said.  Like any other explosive component, I'm just saying that if it is part of the ship, it must be suitably vulnerable (based on location).  Gun magazines were generally deep in the citadel and less vulnerable (poor unlucky Hood).  Upper deck torpedo tubes and of course, Aircraft (and fuel) must be very vulnerable.

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Oh absolutely, seems I misread what you meant, then. My apologies :).

You can see in my own posts that I also point out that such a thing is of course inherent to the addition of planes to the game (And one of the reasons why any such addition is anything but "simple" ;)).

Edited by RAMJB

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I'm a little confused, are airplanes and carriers just going to be flat out not in the game? Not even in the strategy/campaign map? (not the battle map where we watch the battheships fight.)

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15 hours ago, RAMJB said:


Besides, as Akd points out, floatplanes weren't used in combat. As far as I can't really recall the only use of them in an actual fight was on the River Plate where a floatplane was launched, a Seafox from HMS Ajax, which pretty much had no impact whatsoever in the encounter.
 

This is inherently false. Floatplanes were widely used in action throughout both World Wars to great effect. An observation floatplane discovered the German High Seas Fleet at the Jutland before they ever came into visual contact with Beatty or Jellicoe's fleets and has been identified as one of the many battle-deciding moments that were wasted due to inexperience with radio communications. 

I think it's weird that you're ideologically opposed to scout planes being implemented but open to a multiplayer? One is clearly far more manpower intensive than the other. 

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3 hours ago, The Fundamentalist said:

This is inherently false.


It's not "inherently false". It's strictly true: No floatplane had any involvement in any surface engagement, exception made of the very limited (rather testimonial) influence Ajax's Seafox had during the Battle of the River Plate.

We're talking here about the actual use of those during active surface naval engagements. Not about their pre-battle (or more appropiately, routine) scouting roles - which they were useful in, albeit much less than proper recon efforts from proper bases (be it land based, be it carriers).

I ever mentioned how the japanese doctrine of naval carrier task force scouting was based around the use of massed floatplane scouting, used specialist cruisers designed for that specific role (The Tone class of heavy cruisers). In that regard Japan was pretty much unique, the rest of the fleets used their floatplanes mostly for routine patrol. Yes, other nations' fleets would usually try to do floatplane scouting if a naval engagement was likely but they weren't very effective in that regard. And japan's doctrine of using floatplanes in massed numbers as scouts instead of fleet carrier aircraft was one of the major causes that precipitated their disaster at Midway, so it's not as if that doctrine had too much merit to it.

But not even even the japanese, the ones who made the strongest case for the use of the floatplane, did use them during battle.


Just to name an instance of a situation where an engagement was being tried at all costs and where ship-borne floatplanes did nothing: when HMS Norfolk and HMS Suffolk lost Bismarck off their radar screens, leaving the british on the dark about the whereabouts of the german battleship, it wasn't a floatplane launched from either ship that regained contact with her. It was a PBY Catalina flown from Loch Ewe (and flown by an american pilot, something that was secret for years afterwards) which regained contact with Bismarck. And that's just one instance.


Also the floatplane on Jutland didn't do much - yes, they detected german ships from the air for the first time, but no , that report had no influence on the battle. Because the plane had an engine failure and had to drop down to the surface, from which it couldn't take off again. By the time the plane was recovered by HMS Engadine (the seaplane carrier that had launched it) and it's crew was able to report anything, the "run to the south" part of the engagement was already in full swing.

Not to mention, had that plane not suffered from any malfunction there'd been no difference at all in the course of events: that plane did sight the light cruisers of the german II Scouting Group. But she did not see the battleships of the High Seas Fleet. Not even the battlecruisers of Hipper's I Scouting Group.

And the light cruisers of the II Scouting Group that floatplane did "detect" (something that happened at around 15:30pm) had been already been detected (and fired upon) by the british 1st Light Cruiser squadron...one hour before Engadine's floatplane "detected them" (first shots of the battle of jutland were fired between both formations at around 14:30pm).

So I don't know who has "identified it as one of the main battle-deciding moments wasted of anything - or not", but he's surely hyping up stuff that wasn't exactly that epic. Engadine's floatplane "detected" something that had already been detected before. And couldn't even report it properly. And had it been able to report it properly ,all the report would've said is that it had seen some german cruisers that had already been both sighted, and engaged by the Beatty's scouting forces, one full hour before.

Wowzers.
 

At any rate, yes, floatplanes had some operational use. But no, we're not talking about that in this thread, and that's something I never said they didn't do. What I did say is that the actual participation of floatplanes in battle, out of the engagement of the River Plate (where it was testimonial at best), ammounts for nothing. Nil. Nada. 
And given that what's being proposed here is an idea for their use in-battle, I find it relevant to make clear that forcing the developers to introduce something that demands a lot of complexity (Even if the idea itself is simple, doesn't mean is easy to implement) yet had so little real usefulness in reality is not an idea that holds a lot of merit. Not at this stage of development where there's a huge list of things that this game needs before bothering with adding anything that flies into the mix. Later on, for sure (with the rest of things air-based: Carriers, land based air forces, etc). But not at this stage, and certainly not to add just "that".


Finally I don't know where you get the idea that I somehow am "open to multiplayer" when in other threads about that subject I'm saying that I'm not fond of multiplayer at all to begin with and that this game's multiplayer mode, if any, should come only AFTER planes (floatplanes, land planes, carrier planes, global air power) have been implemented in the game. And that planes should only be implemented AFTER the foundation of the game works properly.

I also don't know where you get the idea that I somehow am "ideologically opposed to scout planes" when all I'm saying is that planes need a lot of extra mechanics before even their most simplest form (that being floatplanes) can be added to the game. And that, accordingly, the best way of action is to focus on making the game we already have and that's already being worked on, working well and properly before adding even more complexity to something that's already very complex, and would add extremely little value to it on it's own.

Long story short: I completely support the implementation of all kinds of air power in this game. But when it's appropiate to do so. And judging by the experience and example set by precedent titles of this genre and their way to deal with air power, I'm firmly on the opinion that the best way to add it is to do it at a much later date, after all the things related to the surface engagement part of the game, and the campaign too, are complete and work as they should. Not before that.

I insist that I fail to see how that makes me "opposed" to anything other than trying to cram far too much stuff into the game at a far too early stage.

Edited by RAMJB
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