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47 minutes ago, DerRichtigeArzt said:

crew efficiency should not only depend on the crew itself. if they got forced out of a compartment by water then they should not be able to perform thier duties

Plus damaged equipment and electricals should also play a part. lots of things that are missing, that should be implemented into the game at some point.

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On 10/23/2021 at 1:31 AM, Commander Reed said:

Speaking of captains, I'm really excited to see the edition of Officers! The crew is a good start, but I'm looking forward to assigning the Commanding Officer, XO, maybe even the chief engineer, ect.

Example: The better the chief engineer, the more bonuses you get or somethin'

personally I would love to some soft RPG elements where you have option to skill your admirals, captains or officers.

Or different archtypes.

One engineer given you more speed another better damage control ect.

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8 hours ago, Cpt.Hissy said:

@SodaBit

But why you are within secondary range?

The range on 8" guns is about 15-16km, which, for the mid 1920's when I'm fighting this battle, is still considered "medium range" for most big guns. Generally, that'd be about where you can start reliably hitting each salvo, so you'd want to be in that range. With the equipment I had to hand, I'd like to be between 13 and 16 km away from the enemy, but that's well within the range of an 8" gun. It's kinda frustrating when the enemy can keep you at a range where you can't reliably hit them with your main weapons, with what is supposed to be their close range backup weapons. 8" guns on a BB can't really be considered a close range backup weapon.

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56 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

Following RTW2, retreat is based on a no action or loss of contact timers (not unrealistic retreat zones).

The battle generator doesn’t always put forwards all the ship in the region for battle either. So retreat, or to go on the run to escape, to re-join the fleet, for the next generated battle, which might have a chance for more reinforcements to join, is very a plausible action, for both player and AI (things to explore).

Without the ‘Enemy to ____’  directional (cheat) message, the vectoring retreat becomes a very good AI. At first most players would just lay in a course of the last known enemy position and lose the enemy altogether. Without the cheat message players are going to have to find the enemy. Finding it’s vectoring/circling retreat can be challenging.

Probably the current cheat message is doing a disservice to the game by letting players know how the AI retreats/works. And letting players know this to early. It should be removed asap and replaced with an retreated/loss of contact mechanic, enable draws in academy missions/custom battles (no win, no loss criteria).

Radar might be problematic too, for both player and AI retreats. IIRC RTW2 doesn’t have radar, doesn't point cheat out the enemy. Might put the player into an endless retreat situation if speeds are matched.  

I would be happy with how RTW2 handles it (which is realistic), the problem right now is we have neither. RTW's victory doesn't count on sinking all or X percentage of ships like we have here either. For reference I'm not talking about the campaign (which we can only make assumptions about anyway), but the game as is playable today.

The directional messages won't help if the fleeing ship is faster, just reinforce how you will have "lost" the battle because the AI decided to make a straight line away from you until the timer expires. Not really engaging gameplay is it? But I agree I it should be got rid of once other updates are made. 

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I have a Naval Academy balancing issue to report. In the Mission "The Modern Battleship," where you fight a fleet with pretty much one BB, The amount of money you are given in exchange for tech upgrades is mediocre at best. Even with the extra money your techs are so bad that you couldn't hit what you are aiming at. The best designed BB I was able to do was Maximum firepower upgrades (exceptions being turret rotation (Which was enhanced Hydraulic) and reload (standard) due to being too expensive and too much weight), Near Maximum Armor Upgrades (14 inch belt, 4 inch bow and stern, 8 inch deck, 2 inch bow and stern deck, 14 inch gun turret armor, 14 inch conning tower + 130% armor from tech), 16x 16 inch guns (30x5 inch guns), maximum range finder and radar with decent speed and maneuverability from a good diesel powerplant.

The problem is the enemy BBs has armor that completely laughs at the highest AP penetration for 16 inch guns, the accuracy penalty from quadruple gun turrets was 15% and the fact remained that I had to sacrifice armor or accuracy to get more of the same caliber or bigger guns on the ship in the first place to even stand a chance to hit what I'm aiming at (and when I hit, do any sort of damage). I also tried triple barrel 18 inch guns in 4 turrets, but those couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn from range (0.9% base accuracy with full gun techs after 10 salvos at 20km at optimal speed). Due to this, and the fact that the enemy fleet had 4 Destroyers, 4 Heavy Cruisers and 2 light cruisers that could all carry long range torpedoes (The absolute bane of large BBs which have still fairly poor maneuverability especially after being hit by even one torp) by this era along with 4 Battleships armed with at least 15 inch guns with maximum firepower upgrades meant that without support from other capital ships I was dead from the moment I clicked the button to go into battle. The other issue is that the lack of accuracy by the mechanics changed recently made the ship I made incapable of hitting anything at range which was its desired function and the lack of armor I needed to mount the guns due to weight and cost limits which made it nearly suicidal, even at range, to attempt to use it as it was designed due to money and weight constraints severely limiting the ship’s overall effectiveness. This handicap combined with the enemy fleet which almost always mounted high caliber guns that seemed to punch right through my armor at maximum armor quality and normally have 1 in 1,000,000 chance to hit once, but instead hits anyway. When it does hit it cripples a module (like rudder or a gun) while my guns had the accuracy of a stormtrooper. These factors made my chances of beating the mission a lot harder if not impossible. In earlier patches I was able to pretty much make a Montana Class BB and I would be fine in the same mission or a Yamato and able to snipe BBs with much better accuracy. The Tech limits for this mission (even when boosted) combined with the lack of funds to make a true modern battleship with the new mechanics and features broke this mission for me.

Edited by BattleshipOfDestruction
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2 hours ago, BattleshipOfDestruction said:

 

You're aware of roll/pitch throwing off aiming right? When I took this into consideration it really changed my builds and increased my hit rate drastically

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On 10/18/2021 at 4:28 AM, Speglord said:

For the record I think he's just joking around since the Australian stereotype (well-founded) is that they always say "cunt" even when it's not meant insultingly.

It may be the stereotype, but I can assure you if you speak like that in large parts of Australia you'll be tagged a "bogan" (not a term I use) or "yobbo" or "peasant" and you'll pay a price in how you're regarded and where you're welcome. To be blunt, it's rather a "class" sort of thing.

Which is NOT to say it can't be used here as a very peculiar local form of 'affection' and humour, as you correctly said. Thing is that is pretty well known to be narrow in scope (usually within groups of male friends) and NEVER in writing somewhere other than private messages.

 

On 10/18/2021 at 5:39 AM, Commander Reed said:

Well, I'm not australian, and I didn't know that. Either way, I'd find it insulting in all scenarios.

I AM Australian and don't use it for the reason you mentioned and several besides.

It's barely ever heard in pretty much every major city, and certainly not in any decent, quality workplace environment.

 

Edited by Steeltrap
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On 10/26/2021 at 3:31 AM, Skeksis said:

Without the ‘Enemy to ____’  directional (cheat) message, the vectoring retreat becomes a very good AI. At first most players would just lay in a course of the last known enemy position and lose the enemy altogether. Without the cheat message players are going to have to find the enemy. Finding it’s vectoring/circling retreat can be challenging.

That describes pretty accurately why I've been saying for a VERY long time IF we don't get some sort of plot screen (which really we ought to) we need at least to be able to scroll through the messages to where "lost contact with x ship" comes up .

There's simply NO WAY the command staff of a ship let alone squadron/TF doesn't have a decent idea of where the enemy was last seen and in which estimated direction and speed they were heading. They kept real time plots, both at the ships' AND Admirals' staffs levels.

There will be modifying effects, sure, but the point remains in some instances the 'cheat' message is objectively INCORRECT and regardless ought to be entirely unnecessary IF there were a decent overview available.

I've lost a scenario once because I couldn't remember where that last pesky merchant was and had no way of tracking back through the messages to find it. That simply ought not to happen in a game that's about fleet command etc. Your crew level may affect the reliability of your plot, sure, but not having one isn't acceptable in my book so I sincerely hope it's on their list of requirements before release.

Cheers

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On 10/17/2021 at 1:32 PM, killjoy1941 said:

Getting the AI to perform the way you're thinking is actually quite a feat.

Honestly, most people look at AI and game design in general without having any idea what it takes to make even the basic, discreet systems that go into getting the game to actually work. This isn't a shot at you - you're just asking a lot of questions and trying to fill in the blanks - it's an observation of the gaming community in general.

Anyway, let's look at AI as a general system, or more accurately, a collection of individual systems designed to replicate plausible human behavior. Let's even restrict it to station-keeping, target selection, and formation movement in UA:D.

The first thing you need to understand is there is no way anyone is going to design some sort of giant program with all the necessary sub-systems to manage all the things needed to get the enemy and non-player controlled ships to replicate a reasonable facsimile of human behavior. That's IBM-level Deep Blue stuff. What UA:D almost certainly has is multiple discreet systems which handle specific aspects of enemy and non-player performance. So how many are there and what do they do?

Here's a speculative and non-exhaustive list:

  1. Main battery target selection.
  2. Secondary battery target selection.
  3. Torpedo target selection.
  4. Station-keeping.
  5. Damage-induced retirement.
  6. Torpedo evasion.
  7. Collision avoidance.
  8. Screen orders.
  9. Scout orders.
  10. Battle line orders.
  11. Follow orders.
  12. Spacing sub-orders.
  13. Formation movement orders.

Each of those are separate, coded systems. Each has some impact on the others. Each has to be adjusted based upon actual experience in seeing them interact with the others. It's a lot of very time-consuming work, and probably isn't all that much of a priority at this point in time. Why? Because it's enough to know they function. If they function, the base system is sound, and can be improved at any time. For a game that is functionally pre-alpha (Steam Early Access would qualify as alpha in more traditional terms), it's vitally important that they work, but they don't have to work well. At least not just yet. That's usually late alpha or early beta stuff in traditional dev environments.

There are exceptions. If you want Nick and the team to be able to make incremental improvements to the AI as we go, record clips of bugs and AI failings, and submit those. The reason the AI auto-design system gets incremental improvements is because players relentlessly submit its problems in these patch threads, often with visual documentation.

If you want to see discrete AI systems in action, fire up UG:CW if you have it. Play any battle that has skirmishers and line infantry, then:

  1. Move infantry toward an enemy skirmisher unit.
  2. Observe how the skirmishers fall back when the infantry comes within range.
  3. Do it again, but instruct the infantry to hold fire before moving into range of the enemy skirmishers.
  4. Observe how the infantry can move much closer to the enemy skirmishers, up to a certain point.
  5. Do it again with hold fire orders. Notice how the skirmishers fall back at a specific distance every single time.

That behavior is governed by a system unique to skirmishers. They automatically retreat if an enemy unit approaches within a certain range, but the reason they seem to fall back every time they're fired upon isn't because you shot at them, it's because your unit targeted them. The "AI" uses the fact that it's been selected as a target to fall back, thus convincingly replicating a behavior that seems human. Something that simple makes it seem human, but that's a finished game with much simpler unit interactions than UA:D.

 

That's kind of a long answer, but hopefully that helps a bit. 🙂

Were you to go back a very long time you'd find me speaking about the needs of interlocking yet discrete processes that operate correctly within themselves for all the battle mechanics. The reason being I was criticising the tweaking of this, that and the rest (such as secondary gun accuracy, pen values and the like) when it was clear the systems themselves were far from settled.

Anyway, won't go on, but my background is as a business consultant to large corporations. I'm hired technically as "Senior Process Analyst" which is a fancy way of saying I tend to lead groups of people who specialise in process review and improvement or design from scratch.

All of which is to say I think I understand your point, and I'm not at all trying to say "don't teach me to suck eggs", lol. I believe I made the point maybe it IS impossible to do what I was suggesting, but I'd love to know WHY because, from a PROCESS perspective, it most certainly is NOT.

Indeed, I'd argue what I was suggesting in many respects is superior to having too many manoeuvre sub-processes as that complexity allows greater scope for them to be treading on each others' toes so to speak.

I'd still start with exactly the same logic: when the player orders a formation, what result is required for that to be classed as performed successfully by the relevant AI routine(s)?

Right now I think it fails that test on multiple levels, which is why I'd love to look at root causes of what it's attempting to do BEFORE looking at how the programming is attempting to achieve it. I still think the issues with it may well be at even that basic level. Of course I can't know, however.

It's a very interesting subject. IRL I've always worked out the process first BEFORE letting anyone try to automate/programme it. THEN I give it to system people and watch the requirements and testing at an absolutely granular level. 

Why worry about a bunch of painful, slow process junk BEFORE doing the sexy computer etc stuff? I like to use the analogy of "suppose you've a pipe that every now and then discharges raw sewerage into your office; are you SURE you want to put a pump on it BEFORE you address why it's producing crap? That's what you're doing if you automate/entrench a crap process in your systems. As an aside, it's not acceptable to say it pumps the crap into someone ELSE'S space so I don't have to care".

Usually gets the point across, LOL.

Thanks for the discussion.

Cheers

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8 hours ago, Afghanicus said:

You're aware of roll/pitch throwing off aiming right? When I took this into consideration it really changed my builds and increased my hit rate drastically

this! I never go above 20 in either now and I hit so much more, I havent lost a 1v2 in a while now and sometimes even do really good in a 1v3 (battleships, battlecruisers and heavy cruisers) 1v1 becomes trivial. I rarely play bigger battles because commanding the whole fleet is a chore...

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9 hours ago, Skeksis said:

That's interesting, instead of completely removing the directional message, as per my notion, have it post only upon the last contact lost, no more messages after that. And that last message could remain listed (unchanged) until a new contact is made, then fade away.

Simple adaptation and completely within the game's current environment. Supports retreating too.

Yes. The plot screen really IS necessary, but this will do as a stop gap. But they MUST make it possible to 'see' where the ship was last sighted relative to where you are NOW, because that's what would be on the plot.

As with most things, and it really does my head in we keep bringing this up (by 'we' I mean the players to the Devs), if you start with what is known about how things were done or worked, and model THOSE as reasonably as possible, you'd do a pretty decent backbone of a naval game.

The absolute basics for a 'command a fleet/TF at sea' game really must include some sort of plot, and the ability to order a course and speed rather than "let's go in that sort of direction but not at our best common speed if we're in a formation" (really, that's a thing?).

Many other things besides.

Revolutionary idea, apparently, LOL.

OK, jokes aside, I understand you can't get everything working as planned immediately, BUT it troubles me we don't get any real indication as to how several MAJOR issues that have persisted for as long as I've been here, and presumably since day 1, will be addressed. Indeed they're often not even acknowledged (anyone remember the "What's wrong with bulkheads?" hilarity?).

If you're at all interested in another one I've mentioned many times, I think aspects of the visibility system are a real problem. "Borg sighting" ('we are Borg; if one of us sees you, we ALL see you' 😆)  really must NOT be a thing in the final version IF that dreaded claim to 'reality' is to be listed anywhere at the time of selling. Ships could NOT fire effectively at a target they had no means of detecting DIRECTLY themselves, at least not in the sense as there being no discernible difference between shooting like that vs shooting at something they can detect. The whole "my transport can see you so my BB that's so far away when it shoots YOU don't even detect it can still shoot at you as though spotting you directly (and I'm talking WW1 era in this example)" is entirely unacceptable IMO. Will be interested to see if it's ever viewed as a problem, let alone addressed.

Cheers

Edited by Steeltrap
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22 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

As for the visibility system. It’s based on the ‘height of the observer’ coupled with dynamic RTS elements. Rich in tactics and gameplay. Including blind firing which forces the player into tactics like combat avoiding manoeuvres, sending in and risking scouts to identify targets for the main body shoot at, etc. etc. etc. lots of tactics. That has to be enough. Don’t think Dev’s can/will do much more than that.       

Think you are misreading what @Steeltrap was after. Not 1v1 ship sightings ranges, but the fact that if 1 ship in a fleet can see an enemy ship, all ships in range can fire at it without penalty as well. Or am I missing something?   

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29 minutes ago, Skeksis said:

I haven’t figure out how to do this with my fleet yet but if I could then poor little enemy. Actually scratch that, I have but only within certain years.  

No matter, these RTS elements are here and here to stay. I very much doubt Dev’s will revisit battle mechanics in such degree, if ever.

Yes, missing something!

Yea not arguing whether it will change, but could be done.  The easiest way would be to assign an accuracy penalty to any ship firing that is not in visual range. This penalty could be reduced the existing radio, radar, and crew mechanics. Still gamey, but I think many would accept it as a reasonable but less than ideal compromise. 

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23 hours ago, Steeltrap said:

Were you to go back a very long time you'd find me speaking about the needs of interlocking yet discrete processes that operate correctly within themselves for all the battle mechanics. The reason being I was criticising the tweaking of this, that and the rest (such as secondary gun accuracy, pen values and the like) when it was clear the systems themselves were far from settled.

Anyway, won't go on, but my background is as a business consultant to large corporations. I'm hired technically as "Senior Process Analyst" which is a fancy way of saying I tend to lead groups of people who specialise in process review and improvement or design from scratch.

All of which is to say I think I understand your point, and I'm not at all trying to say "don't teach me to suck eggs", lol. I believe I made the point maybe it IS impossible to do what I was suggesting, but I'd love to know WHY because, from a PROCESS perspective, it most certainly is NOT.

Indeed, I'd argue what I was suggesting in many respects is superior to having too many manoeuvre sub-processes as that complexity allows greater scope for them to be treading on each others' toes so to speak.

I'd still start with exactly the same logic: when the player orders a formation, what result is required for that to be classed as performed successfully by the relevant AI routine(s)?

Right now I think it fails that test on multiple levels, which is why I'd love to look at root causes of what it's attempting to do BEFORE looking at how the programming is attempting to achieve it. I still think the issues with it may well be at even that basic level. Of course I can't know, however.

It's a very interesting subject. IRL I've always worked out the process first BEFORE letting anyone try to automate/programme it. THEN I give it to system people and watch the requirements and testing at an absolutely granular level. 

Why worry about a bunch of painful, slow process junk BEFORE doing the sexy computer etc stuff? I like to use the analogy of "suppose you've a pipe that every now and then discharges raw sewerage into your office; are you SURE you want to put a pump on it BEFORE you address why it's producing crap? That's what you're doing if you automate/entrench a crap process in your systems. As an aside, it's not acceptable to say it pumps the crap into someone ELSE'S space so I don't have to care".

Usually gets the point across, LOL.

Thanks for the discussion.

Cheers

Yeah, it's a byproduct of the early access style of design.

On one hand small dev teams have a way to get ambitious projects off the ground, on the other most potential players have absolutely no idea how the dev process even works, so they get upset when things take longer than expected or more importantly, don't fit the idea of the product they created in their own heads.

The incremental changes are due to feedback coinciding with intended design. That's not too hard. But AI? That's almost always something that gets refined much later in the cycle than where we are right now. We'll probably get some with the campaign since that's supposed to be the larger, official early access introduction to potential players. The rest will probably come after the game is feature-complete.

The problem we have is a black box. We can't see their design docs, so we don't know why certain things are a priority and others are not. There's no way in anyone's version of hell Nick is going to make those available for us to paw through. I've seen that done once, and the resulting shitstorm was... unbelievable.

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