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An issue regarding the targeting of ships when another ship passes close to the targeted ship.


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Sorry about that title.  I'm tired and it's late and I've been thinking about how to post it.  I tried searching but wasn't able to find anything at least in the last few months describing what I wanted to discuss.  So here goes.

What I've noticed is that if ship A is shooting at target B, and ship C passes between the two but very close to B, all of a sudden ship A will have 100% accuracy to hit ship C no matter what its accuracy was against B.  It does not matter if B and C are enemies or friends.

Here's a more practical description, and I'll see if I can grab screenshots later.  Unfortunately I'm not set up to record video, but it would, I think, be easy enough to recreate this in the game in a custom battle.

So when I first noticed this, I was using torpedo boats to swarm enemies.  This happens no matter the class of ships involved.  I would select a TB that is loaded and close, turn it in on a heading to get in close to the target to guarantee a hit, only turning the launches from 'off' to 'aggro' within .3 km.  Meanwhile the whole TB squadron is using their deck guns to light fires and add to the damage on the target.  Often, the TB making the run would pass close to the target ship, directly in between the target and another member of its own squadron.  Suddenly the TB on the attack run is getting hit multiple times in a row, and I noticed it wasn't the target ship's fire, but it's own sister ship, doing the damage, and sometimes spoiling the attack.  I watched closely, testing this, and it seems that every shot fired by the TB further away would hit the TB within about .5 km or less of the targeted enemy.  Always on a direct line - if my TB was to one side and close, then it was no problem, no friendly fire.  Only when they form a straight line and my boat interceded between the friendly shots and the target, at close, did this occur.

I further tested this in campaign when two enemy ships would be very close by, and with the same result.  I had an armored cruiser targeting two CL, and I was initially engaging the closer.  The two enemy CL started a 180 degree pivot, and ended up handling it badly, so that the two almost collided.  I instantly switched to the CL further, and even though my guns were now not locked, they began hitting the closer CL (closer by about .1 km) with near 100% accuracy.  This is a deeply exploitable game bug, I have found, and now watch for it, while trying to keep my TBs from shooting each other. 

The OppFor AI is also guilty of this - I had a TB again attacking an enemy BB.  A second enemy BB was engaging my boat, as was the target BB.  My TB passed extremely close 'behind' the target BB (from the perspective of the second BB), and the second BB fired a main gun salvo...which detonated the target for me (just after I launched torps too).  It looked like perfect accuracy and most of the shots penetrated.  The ammo explosion plus flooding plus torpedoes just to be extra did the trick, easiest BB sinking I've had.  The lone surviving BB turned to flee, but as the AI designed it with a speed of 16 knots, it died soon after, and I didn't lose a single TB.

As a method to recreate this, load a custom battle with two friendly ships, and a single enemy transport, or what have you.  Move one ship to close range with the TR, holding fire.  Second ship, try to coordinate position so that all three are on a straight line with each other.  It should be Friendly at range, friendly close to TR, and TR.  Then turn on guns for the ranged ship, and observe.  Friendly close should, again, be getting super friendly with that freighter, and once the ranged ship opens up your close ship should be getting hit by every or close to every shot, even when the friendly at range should be able to shoot over your close ship.

I hope this helps and can be rectified, because right now, it's game breaking, especially in the 1890-1900 campaigns where torps are launched at knife fight ranges, plus every other situation where these overdesigned canoes are brawling.  If anyone else has experienced it, or there's already a topic open, please link.  If there's media of it, that would be helpful.  It can't just be me (can it?) but I couldn't find anyone else discussing this.

Edited by UnleashtheKraken
grammar, spelling, phrasing.
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It seems to me that nearly all shots that didn't hit the selected target go short. So if a ship passes close to the selected target get hit by nearly all those "misses". I used this many times in conoy missions to destroy those cargo ships quick without using torpedoes. 

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4 hours ago, Karlchen said:

It seems to me that nearly all shots that didn't hit the selected target go short. So if a ship passes close to the selected target get hit by nearly all those "misses". I used this many times in conoy missions to destroy those cargo ships quick without using torpedoes. 

Yeah, but this is something else.  When the target ship and interceding ship are very close, every shot fired by the ship further away hit the interceding ship in the examples I gave.  This isn't a stray shell accidentally hitting a friendly that's wandered too close to target, this looks like perfect, targeted fire on the friendly, and with accuracy that is normally only achieved by being in extreme close range to the target oneself.

This looks, in other words, like a game bug, with accuracy behaviors that are extremely out of the norm.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Haven't seen any feedback, and I'm continuing to see it in game.

Since the 'no friendly fire' fix, there's no more blue on blue.  But there is blue on red (but it's the wrong red and they're suddenly hyper accurate).  This also affects an AI ship shooting at player ships, and again, the interceding ship is suddenly getting hit by every shell fired, no matter the range or accuracy.

Paging @Nick Thomadis.  If more information is needed, I'll do what I can.  Please let me know if this is known and being looked at, and I'll drop it.  This very sincerely seems to be a bug and it can be exploited by the player, and while the AI doesn't 'exploit' it per se, it can still hurt the player if two ships cross, one is being targeted, and the untargeted ship is closer to the enemy that's shooting.

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Several times noticed this too. Targetting certain enemy ship, then another enemy passes in between & gets every single shot from all of my guns like if the accuracy suddenly gets trigered to 10000%.  Or the other way round when my other cruiser passed between my BB & enemy's BB - my cruiser simply sank a seconds later getting pen'ed from all possible guns. 

I wonder if it's one ship's guns get a boost in accuracy or that poor in-between ship gets pen'ed by both ships?

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14 hours ago, Littorio said:

I've noticed similar things, but isn't this essentially just that all the shells that would go short are hitting the second ship in your line of fire because it's closer?

No, because you have situations where you are targeting a ship and getting only 1% accuracy then another ship comes in between you and that ship at basically the same range (right next to the target ship) and suddenly it is getting hit with 50%+ accuracy.  If you switch target to said ship, accuracy will be low like the original target and most shots will go back to missing.  The misses are “faked” to some degree (i.e. not really tied to the accuracy and likely tending toward clustering too close to the target and biased short at closer ranges), but are allowed to hit anything their artificial path intersects with on their way to displaying a miss splash.

Edited by akd
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12 hours ago, akd said:

No, because you have situations where you are targeting a ship and getting only 1% accuracy then another ship comes in between you and that ship at basically the same range (right next to the target ship) and suddenly it is getting hit with 50%+ accuracy.  If you switch target to said ship, accuracy will be low like the original target and most shots will go back to missing.  The misses are “faked” to some degree (i.e. not really tied to the accuracy and likely tending toward clustering too close to the target and biased short at closer ranges), but are allowed to hit anything their artificial path intersects with on their way to displaying a miss splash.

Very curious. So you're saying there is some sort of...."magnetism" at work when one vessel passes in front of it's ally taking fire?

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44 minutes ago, Littorio said:

Very curious. So you're saying there is some sort of...."magnetism" at work when one vessel passes in front of it's ally taking fire?

No, the distribution of misses is not directly related to the accuracy against the actual target, but at the same time any shell path that intersects something in between firing ship and target is treated as a hit (it used to not be, with only the actual target having any chance of being hit by the firing ship, even if another enemy ship was parked in front of its guns, but this was complained about).  It seems that the game pre-determines whether a shot is a hit or miss against the target, then somewhat arbitrarily places the misses in a way that doesn’t really correlate with the accuracy on the actual target.  Target’s with, e.g. 1% accuracy should have much larger “spread” of where shots land in relation to the target than they do in the game.  The shots fired that miss are not being distributed in 3D by actual ballistics (precision) and error in aiming (accuracy).

At least that is my hypothesis at this point, but it bears further testing and closer examination.

Edited by akd
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I've been waiting for something to crop up like this and I'm legitimately surprise not everyone who's play this game at all hasn't seen it. I often use it to secure easy kills, like if a BB passes in front of a DD I'll target the DD, and the BB will be dead in seconds.

 

On 1/11/2022 at 12:16 PM, Littorio said:

Very curious. So you're saying there is some sort of...."magnetism" at work when one vessel passes in front of it's ally taking fire?

 

As akd said, he got it right. The game has no physical shot, it's all numbers. When a gun fires it determines if it's a hit or not and then just assigns the visual shell to hit it if so(You'll see shells arcing to the side in mid air it's real dumb).

As far as this issue is concerned though I believe they've cranked up the hit chance for 'near misses' to strike nearby ships waaaaaay too high.

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On 1/10/2022 at 8:56 PM, akd said:

No, the distribution of misses is not directly related to the accuracy against the actual target, but at the same time any shell path that intersects something in between firing ship and target is treated as a hit (it used to not be, with only the actual target having any chance of being hit by the firing ship, even if another enemy ship was parked in front of its guns, but this was complained about).  It seems that the game pre-determines whether a shot is a hit or miss against the target, then somewhat arbitrarily places the misses in a way that doesn’t really correlate with the accuracy on the actual target.  Target’s with, e.g. 1% accuracy should have much larger “spread” of where shots land in relation to the target than they do in the game.  The shots fired that miss are not being distributed in 3D by actual ballistics (precision) and error in aiming (accuracy).

At least that is my hypothesis at this point, but it bears further testing and closer examination.

I'm glad this issue is getting noticed.  One thing you can see in game is that the turrets of the firing vessel, when hitting the interceding closer target, are actually pointing at the closer ship.  They will fire and strike the non-target ship directly, they're not even firing (as indicated on screen) at the assigned target.  There's something goofy going on with the math when this happens.  This is not 'shells falling short'.  This is 'there's something in the way and now almost every shot fired is hitting the closer ship, achieving high 90%'s accuracy on the wrong vessel.  It looks like a glitch in the hit calculations occurs in this situation.

It's fun to do to enemy ships but damned annoying when my own captains decide to have their ships hug and one of them is the target of the enemy.  You can very quickly destroy capable battleships with this.  It is most noticable in early 1890-1910 era battles, because ranges are so close.  Later on it becomes less noticable, which is why I never saw it because I love fleets of superBBs having a go in custom battles.

10 hours ago, Fenn said:

I've been waiting for something to crop up like this and I'm legitimately surprise not everyone who's play this game at all hasn't seen it. I often use it to secure easy kills, like if a BB passes in front of a DD I'll target the DD, and the BB will be dead in seconds.

 

 

As akd said, he got it right. The game has no physical shot, it's all numbers. When a gun fires it determines if it's a hit or not and then just assigns the visual shell to hit it if so(You'll see shells arcing to the side in mid air it's real dumb).

As far as this issue is concerned though I believe they've cranked up the hit chance for 'near misses' to strike nearby ships waaaaaay too high.

So the game isn't even plotting a shot and firing and letting the shots land, and hit or not, it's all calculated at the moment of shooting.  I wondered about the shells curving thing.  Yeah, the error must be something somewhere in the calculation of stray shots hitting nearby ships, like...target ship is occluded by other ship...I bet the error lies there.

Edit:  I hope @Nick Thomadisand crew are aware of this.  It's a fairly significant factor in engagements and shouldn't be happening.

Edited by UnleashtheKraken
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10 minutes ago, UnleashtheKraken said:

I'm glad this issue is getting noticed.  One thing you can see in game is that the turrets of the firing vessel, when hitting the interceding closer target, are actually pointing at the closer ship.  They will fire and strike the non-target ship directly, they're not even firing (as indicated on screen) at the assigned target.  There's something goofy going on with the math when this happens.  This is not 'shells falling short'.  This is 'there's something in the way and now almost every shot fired is hitting the closer ship, achieving high 90%'s accuracy on the wrong vessel.  It looks like a glitch in the hit calculations occurs in this situation.

It's fun to do to enemy ships but damned annoying when my own captains decide to have their ships hug and one of them is the target of the enemy.  You can very quickly destroy capable battleships with this.  It is most noticable in early 1890-1910 era battles, because ranges are so close.  Later on it becomes less noticable, which is why I never saw it because I love fleets of superBBs having a go in custom battles.

So the game isn't even plotting a shot and firing and letting the shots land, and hit or not, it's all calculated at the moment of shooting.  I wondered about the shells curving thing.  Yeah, the error must be something somewhere in the calculation of stray shots hitting nearby ships, like...target ship is occluded by other ship...I bet the error lies there.

Edit:  I hope @Nick Thomadisand crew are aware of this.  It's a fairly significant factor in engagements and shouldn't be happening.

They may have attempted to do something in 1.03 patch:

Quote

Shell dispersion for missing shells should not happen so often close to the target.

I have not tested in battle yet.

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2 minutes ago, akd said:

They may have attempted to do something in 1.03 patch:

I have not tested in battle yet.

I was just reading that thread but my reading was that when two ships are at 'can't miss' ranges they will now actually hit each other.  Infuriating to soften up a target, close until you can hurl insults as well as shells, and my ship is STILL missing a significant portion of shots, when it's literally shooting a target that is now filling your sights.

I'm always glad to see work proceeding, but I doubt this has fixed the issue I'm trying to raise awareness of.  I'll try later today.

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Could be read either way, but it seems an odd, indirect way to simply say “accuracy at close range improved” if that is the case.  Accuracy can remain the same while altering the dispersion of misses (because the misses, and thus the accuracy, have already been determined before the dispersion is shown in game).

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1 hour ago, akd said:

Could be read either way, but it seems an odd, indirect way to simply say “accuracy at close range improved” if that is the case.  Accuracy can remain the same while altering the dispersion of misses (because the misses, and thus the accuracy, have already been determined before the dispersion is shown in game).

I get what you're saying, but I do not believe the extreme hit rate against an interceding ship is due to misses.  I think that the game hit calculation logic is doing something like 'this gun's shell trajectory on target is interrupted because not-target obscures target; not-target therefore is where every not-hit-on-target (miss) goes'.  You can even see when a firing ship is broadside, turrets that are not obscured by the interceding ship will fire normally against the target.  This is a per-turret problem, even per gun.

Edit:  I've been meaning to mention this.  In my original post I said this problem happened against friend and foe interceding ships to the firing ship.  Since the 'don't shoot at friendly ships' fix, it now only happens when two ships of an opposing fleet are close.  The friendly fire fix is excellent.  As much as I long for more variety and deeper customization of ships, I want to see...how to put this...'please my captains do not be braindead' fixes even more.  That said, I did just see a youtube video about the sinking of HMS Victoria by being rammed by one of her own fleet during a peacetime training exercise, and I'm quietly glad that friendly ramming damage is not a thing because if anything, rams apparently don't do ENOUGH damage in this game.

Edited by UnleashtheKraken
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Okay, I've tested it under the newest update, 1.03.  This problem is still happening. It's very noticeable against transports.  Again note that to test this, you should shoot at two close enemy, target the ship to the rear and be not far yourself - the shell trajectory seems to need to be obstructed. 

screen_1920x1080_2021-12-18_02-51-15.thumb.png.58dad27994abfed7df1a1817d5ae3cfd.png

Above:   The CL Diamond engages enemy transports.  The ship being hit is not the targeted one - that ship is partly hidden by all the damage messages against the interceding ship.  Again, every shot fired hits the wrong ship.  There are no long misses, or to the side.  The shot grouping is extremely tight around the center of the ship that is being hit.  Not just uncanny accuracy but uncanny precision too.  This is the best screenshot I took.  I'll try for something clearer.

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Was thinking about this... (it's better seen for 1890s battles with closer distances between ships)

You set aim at some enemy ship like 1km away, guns start shooting at that ship, taking into account own guns' dispersion, accuracy based on distance & that ship's armor thickness - all 3 factors because the target exists.

Then another enemy ship passes in-between closer to the targeted ship, obscuring it - that in-between ship doesn't exist for my ship's guns (because it's not targeted) so accuracy, dispersion & armor regarding that ship also don't exist for my ship's guns.

But since that ship obstructs the targeted ship once crossing the red aim line, the targeted ship with accuracy, dispersion & armor regarding it "switches off", so my ship's guns now have no exact ship they are targeting & simply continue shooting but straight along the red aim line, penetrating whatever physically is intersecting it without being affected by it as not seeing it.

This might explain why there's pen pen pen pen pen pen pen at that in-between ship without any block or bounce (at least I haven't noticed it, except for quickly changing damage numbers) from any of my ship's guns, even 51mm-76mm ones penetrate perfectly.

So, once the targeted ship gets obstructed: dispersion switches off, armor switches off, guns just fire straight along the red aiming line, penetrating whatever intersects it & intersecting ship's armor also doesn't exist as well as dispersion regarding that ship, unless that ship is a new target.

Edited by Captain Meow
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15 hours ago, Captain Meow said:

This might explain why there's pen pen pen pen pen pen pen at that in-between ship without any block or bounce (at least I haven't noticed it, except for quickly changing damage numbers) from any of my ship's guns, even 51mm-76mm ones penetrate perfectly.

So, once the targeted ship gets obstructed: dispersion switches off, armor switches off, guns just fire straight along the red aiming line, penetrating whatever intersects it & intersecting ship's armor also doesn't exist as well as dispersion regarding that ship, unless that ship is a new target.

I have seen shots bounce, the armor of the obstructing ship still seems to matter, but your suggestion about firing down the target line is interesting.  I had thought that the obstructing ship becomes a miss, but it then becomes the place where all 'misses' land, because of the pre-rolled hit chance on shot.  Not sure which (if either) is correct, I've only barely scratched at some C# code which I've been learning on and off.  Way above my level.

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Thanks for correcting, so the obstructing ship does have it's armor, but gets all shots once crossing the red aim line because my ship guns simply fire straight along it without any dispersion as it's switches off if the targeted ship is obscured. Which makes me wonder about the red aim line's "magnetism" that causes all shots go perfectly along it than somewhere.

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1 hour ago, Captain Meow said:

Thanks for correcting, so the obstructing ship does have it's armor, but gets all shots once crossing the red aim line because my ship guns simply fire straight along it without any dispersion as it's switches off if the targeted ship is obscured. Which makes me wonder about the red aim line's "magnetism" that causes all shots go perfectly along it than somewhere.

That very well could be.  I've tried paging Dar...I mean N. Thomadis a couple times.  There is definitely SOMETHING not right.  I'd feel reassured if they just dropped a 'yes, we know about this, fix in progress'.

Edit:  Actually after I posted, I thought about it, and I have seen behavior where when the shooting ship is hitting the interceding ship, the shells are definitely off the target line, hitting almost the center of the obstruction.  This reinforces my thinking that the obstruction now becomes a 'magnet' for all the misses, so long as the turret/gun that is firing is still obstructed.  It really LOOKS like the shooter is firing at the obstruction ship, even though targeting has not changed.

Edited by UnleashtheKraken
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On 1/10/2022 at 8:56 PM, akd said:

No, the distribution of misses is not directly related to the accuracy against the actual target, but at the same time any shell path that intersects something in between firing ship and target is treated as a hit (it used to not be, with only the actual target having any chance of being hit by the firing ship, even if another enemy ship was parked in front of its guns, but this was complained about).  It seems that the game pre-determines whether a shot is a hit or miss against the target, then somewhat arbitrarily places the misses in a way that doesn’t really correlate with the accuracy on the actual target.  Target’s with, e.g. 1% accuracy should have much larger “spread” of where shots land in relation to the target than they do in the game.  The shots fired that miss are not being distributed in 3D by actual ballistics (precision) and error in aiming (accuracy).

At least that is my hypothesis at this point, but it bears further testing and closer examination.

 

On 1/14/2022 at 3:54 AM, Fenn said:

I've been waiting for something to crop up like this and I'm legitimately surprise not everyone who's play this game at all hasn't seen it. I often use it to secure easy kills, like if a BB passes in front of a DD I'll target the DD, and the BB will be dead in seconds.

 

 

As akd said, he got it right. The game has no physical shot, it's all numbers. When a gun fires it determines if it's a hit or not and then just assigns the visual shell to hit it if so(You'll see shells arcing to the side in mid air it's real dumb).

As far as this issue is concerned though I believe they've cranked up the hit chance for 'near misses' to strike nearby ships waaaaaay too high.

 

Got it, I had no idea the shells were not physical and that hits were predetermined.

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