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Old 03-20-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
Ocean Warrior
Join Date: May 2005
Location: São Paulo Brazil
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Default [REL]Visual and Hydrophone detection issue: a new workaround

Update Released!
March 29, 2007
"Stay Alert - crew fix" mod for GWX and Stock game version 1.c
This is a 8km version only.
This version have the new fix for the visual airplanes detection.
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Here the link:

Notice that inside you have two versions:GWX and stock. Install only the correct one for your game after adjust the file structure.
JSGME ready after choose your version to use.
Please read the readme inside.

Any feedback is welcome!

Thanks mates!


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First post:
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I'm working on a complete revision of the Visual and Hidrophone detection issue. These two are very important and at same time bugged conditions of the game.

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The problems:

a) Visual detection
In stock Sh3 and mainly after 16km mod we have two main problems on the Visual detection, some of them continue present even in the big mods.

1.The more easily noticiable stock problem with Visual detection by player crew is that the player frequently can spot the ships far before the most skilled crew, sometimes so annoying that even with external camera you can see the smokes and the crew stay blind!
Some players could prefer this way, they then can then detect the ships before the crew...but sometimes the crew is so blind that the first thing that you will see is a warship firing at you! Needs fix!

2.The other, which appears or become worst after the 16km mod, is that the player crew frequently is blind at fog conditions. This appears because ppl tried to solve that vampire night vision - 16km mod related, also present in stock, just less noticiable- and to soften this problem they introduced a annoying side effect: blind crew at fog conditions.

Also frequently the big mods uses the same sensors files for both mods: 16km and 8km what makes the 8km blind crew even worst!

The vampire night crew don't have a good solution (is in truth a stock bug) and if you try to fix it you always will make the crew blind at fog at some level. So, whatever solution that we acquire for the first problem we will also make the vampire night vision a bit more noticiable again. This is why I will at first only work with 8km installations.

b)Hydrophone detection
Here we have 5 main problems. Anyway some of them are a bit more subjetive problems, so if somebody have others results/comments let me know.

1. The player can always detect ships far before the more skilled crew. Just make a full stop and you can listen a single small merchant at least 30km away. A skilled crew only will detect this same ship 17-20km away at best. The player ability to detect at 30km is hardcoded and can't be fixed. I tried to mess with the hydrophones on sensors.dat and also raising the ambient_hydrophone sound but no dice.

2. The crew only have ability to follow nearest contact order for contacts at 25km or less even after changing the settings for max distance on sensors.dat file or adjusting the sensors.cfg. Seems that this is also hardcoded or will mess with a lot of others things to fix it.

3. You only will see the ship identification on notepad on Hydrophone room after you are at least at less than 10km of a ship. Before this or is not possible to have a identification or you have a "unknow contact" on the notepad. Seems that this is also hardcoded or will mess with a lot of others things to fix it.

4. SH3 don't shows differences distances to detect a warship, a single merch or a convoy. However, in real life these are very different conditions like you can see below during WWII:

If a submarine speed was 4 knots, the submarine's underwater sound detector average distance of detecting another object was:
- for a destroyer- 5 to 10 nautical miles,
- for a cargo ship- 3.5 to 7.5 nautical miles,
- for a convoy- up to 50 nautical miles. has a article regarding underwater sound detection here

5. I also don't see any difference when tried to mess with the hydrophones settings on sensors.cfg for sea state. So the same detection distance for a calm day or for a 15m/s day is present.

Obviously the final detection distance is always a bit random (not always the exactly same valour) and the max distance is easily adjusted on sensors.dat files but with the limitations exposed above.

The proposal workaround:
(First of all don't forget that a skilled crew is always necessary)

For the visual problem
-make the crew and the player see the smokes/ships at the same time to have a better behaviour in TC...and I think that you don't want to sail far away with a dumb crew, no?
-stop with the blind crew at fog conditions.
-also make the max distance the major possible to improve realism.

For the Hidrophone problem
-Make the max range detection the same for crew and player.
-make the max crew distance detection a bit major (25km) to have a better middle ground between a single merch detection and a convoy. 25 km to avoid the follow nearest contact min distance bug.

Possible side effects/limitations/actual stage of the mod:

-The visual problem is already fixed and tested for the 3 main goals: crew and player see now the ships almost at same time and no more blind crew in fog conditions The max distance is now also better than before. But take in mind that the vampire nigt vision crew is present but not more than stock in 8km. Notice that these fix break partially the Long range Gunnery mod present on GWX. The LRG mod is not well fitted for Sh3 anyway as it is now on GWX and in truth have more side effects than good things IMHO. However the good things of LRG mod will yet stay intact.

-The player will continue to listen far before the crew on hydrophones. It's possible to make the crew listen at 30km (raising the max distances for hydrophones on sensors.dat) but this brakes the "follow nearest contact" order (after 25km) and is to much for single ships. So I will go with a middle ground without brake the "follow nearest contact" order. The player needs to avoid to cheat the game using the hydrophones unless when you are following a convoy which in RL could be listen even far way than the 30km present on SH3. The crew will now always listen at 20-25km anyway, what is far more useful.

Any idea/comment is welcome!
I intend to release the mod in few days.
One gamer's must-have mod is another gamer's waste of time.
-Sailor Steve

Last edited by Rubini; 03-28-2007 at 11:44 PM.
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