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Old 05-03-2019, 11:55 AM   #16
Elphaba
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Who the hell branded it that?!

There’s one thread by someone having a self absorbed tantrum but overwhelmingly the reception has been outstanding.

???
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:26 PM   #17
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I'm very much in favour of a more nuanced damage model and associated repair problems. I also agree with the implication that an ill-considered or overly repetitive repair system would be a very retrograde step.

So it needs really careful thought.

I think it's worthwhile considering the aim of having the damage model and repair system. I contend that it's chief aim is to make the gameplay more varied, and individual missions more memorable: "Do you remember that trip when we lost the use of xyz"?

It follows from this that incidents of damage requiring "heroic efforts" should be relatively rare, ie one should perhaps play 10 missions for every one where it becomes a serious issue. Or, put another way, it should be a consequence of repeated DC attacks, rather than one or two. In the ordinary way, the most obvious candidates for damage, and damage control, that are not intrinsically lethal, are leaking pipes and unions, and addition of bilge-water with its attendant vertical-control/use of air problems. Other "nuisance" damage can be loss of lighting, loss of electrical services, damage to instrumentation, loss of batteries, (requiring dead-cells to be "bridged") and in extremis chlorine generation. The latter should arise, imho with a bilge depth above a certain value, and damaged cells) My personal favourite would be a slight trailing oil slick at the surface in daylight!

it's probably sensible to consider some damage beyond the scope of repair within the time-frame of the game ie irreparable damage. Broken pressure gauges would come into this category = leading to the issue of not knowing your depth, or at least having to use secondary gauges to determine it. Some damage, such as that to planes, would only be reparable with extreme difficulty well away from the convoy, so for our purposes it can be irreparable.

With all the preceding in mind, the next thing is to approximate the radius within which damage, if not destruction, can occur from DC attack. In-game estimates for dc lethal radius seem to be circa 15m, but this is, in my view, if true, wildly overly lethal. I have frequently read 25 feet ie less than half that value (!!!) as being the lethal proximity needed. If we allow that another 10 feet results in damage, then damage would be relatively rare, and outright sinking still less so.

Consideration should be given to reducing the function pf the boat as a consequence of having to isolate valves or turn them off to stop a leak. These might include: Reduction in rate of blow of trim and ballast tanks, inability to trim, etc.

My suspicion is that the devs substituted overly lethal DC's for the more difficult programming involved in getting an AI escort to prosecute a believable and long-duration attack. If so, then implementing player-operated escorts might need to be a precondition for winding back the lethal radius of DC's.

One wrinkle I've thought of as I type this, is to make the AI take care of the routine asdic of any given escort, with the escort players able to jump from one ship to another so that the attacks can be directed and prosecuted by human players in the event of a detection. This neatly solves, potentially, the need for heavily coded AI escort "behaviour" to prosecute more lengthy dc attacks and searches, whilst also removing the grinding boredom of routine asdic use. If the player operated escort is the one that locates the u-boat, that's all to the good!

Whatever the damage model is, I think designing it in mind for as yet unmodeled weapons such as hedgehogs, squids, aircraft-dropped DC's and bombs - or rockets would be smart so as be able to tailor the damage to the weapon type. For example, hedgehogs produced very little blast or concussive effect, but could punch a lethal hole if striking the pressure-hull, or cause serious damage to (say) a fuel-tank if it misses the hull proper. Similarly a rocket has virtually no abilty to cause damage, it'll either hit and cause tremendous damage, or miss by 5 feet and cause nothing, owing the the relatively small charge and principle of operation.

Lots to think about. Sorry for the wall of text! Thoughts?
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:57 PM   #18
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Further to the above, and after a prolonged and interesting discussion with Koji, who is currently putting in a lot of modelling and research work on playable escorts, I'd add the following to the preceding post:

1. With players changing which escort they are aboard and operating, instead of the AI, there would need to be a minimum period for changing from one boat to another, to make it impractical for one player to in effect run 3 escorts all attacking the same U-boat sequentially. I would suggest 3-6 minutes as a start-point for such a limit, subject to play-testing.

2. That there be a role of "Convoy Commander" (CC), who can detach escorts from the screen to attack any detected u-boat or to search a given area. AI escorts would hold their assigned stations around the convoy, or endeavour to return to them once unmanned by players, unless there is a command in effect to move some of them to a map-specified location. Such an order would be time-limited, with the maximum loiter time being proportional to the maximum speed of the escort and inversely proportional to the distance from the escort's usual station. In simple terms, fast escorts can be detached and loiter for longer than slow escorts, or those whose station is far away. No escorts would route back to their station via the area occupied by the convoy, but rather they'd arrive at the circle described by the escort screen and then move around that until back on station.

3. The convoy commander could (once/twice per hour?) put in zig-zags, either left or right, which the convoy would follow.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:11 AM   #19
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Are any of this ideas actually being worked on/going to be worked on, or are they just wishful thinking ?
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:54 PM   #20
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You'd have to ask Koji - and the Dev's - as to what - if anything - will/will not be implemented. As I understand it, Koji has been modelling the escorts and putting in a ton of research on both various iterations of Asdic, and the associated weapons systems, magazine capacities and so forth.

As I believe playable escorts will utterly revolutionize the game - in a very good way - and mindful of the incredible effort Koji has put in, I wanted to theorise as to how this might be implemented from a game-play point of view, and how the both AI and Player-operated escorts might be made to work.

It seems to me that however it's done, there is a need for escort-players to be able to transfer into AI escorts, and vice versa as situations change, so that escort-players are spared the mind-numbing tedium of routine Asdic searches as far as practicable, and are able to transfer into the nearest AI escort to the suspected location of a U-boat, and then can apply thinking and tactics far better than an AI operated escort could. Longer DC attacks/hunts would likely result, necessitating a reduction in DC lethality, but increase in incremental damage problems - some of the time - to the player-uboat crew.

I should emphasise that Koji does not agree with my take on the gameplay side of things, hence the discussions here and elsewhere.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidd View Post
You'd have to ask Koji - and the Dev's - as to what - if anything - will/will not be implemented. As I understand it, Koji has been modelling the escorts and putting in a ton of research on both various iterations of Asdic, and the associated weapons systems, magazine capacities and so forth.

As I believe playable escorts will utterly revolutionize the game - in a very good way - and mindful of the incredible effort Koji has put in, I wanted to theorise as to how this might be implemented from a game-play point of view, and how the both AI and Player-operated escorts might be made to work.

It seems to me that however it's done, there is a need for escort-players to be able to transfer into AI escorts, and vice versa as situations change, so that escort-players are spared the mind-numbing tedium of routine Asdic searches as far as practicable, and are able to transfer into the nearest AI escort to the suspected location of a U-boat, and then can apply thinking and tactics far better than an AI operated escort could. Longer DC attacks/hunts would likely result, necessitating a reduction in DC lethality, but increase in incremental damage problems - some of the time - to the player-uboat crew.

I should emphasise that Koji does not agree with my take on the gameplay side of things, hence the discussions here and elsewhere.
Thanks. Has their been a firm "yes" as to whether playable escorts will be added ?
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:17 PM   #22
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I don't know is the short answer. I think not to, would be an extraordinary decision, as the introduction of playable escorts, and the role of "Convoy commander" (CC) would hugely improve the replay-ability of the game, as the behaviour, persistence of hunt/dc attack and variability of "safe" approaches to the convoy would all become very different from one game to another.

For example, if a u-boat is detected, the most likely strategy for the CC would be to initially detach Tribals or Bitterns to force or keep the U-boat submerged, ideally at depth. The CC would then detach nearby Flower-class corvettes to prosecute the more prolonged DC attacks on said U-boat whilst the Tribals and Bitterns are sent haring back to the convoy to cover gaps in the screen. This also implies that the very act of detaching escorts to suppress a U-boat also open up oppurtunities for other U-boats, which in the ordinary game do not really occur. So right there you have a great gameplay mechanic and problem for the CC to contend with, ie how much do I detach to clobber this U-boat and for how long, without putting the convoy at undue risk due to the screen being degraded.

I envisage that having escort players able to "transfer" to and from AI escorts would be a very sensible mechanic, along with the AI escorts having a routine to follow to relocate back to their assigned stations around the convoy, without routing through any sea-area occupied by merchants. The transfer idea would allow the CC to detach a ship to an area he suspects a U-boat to be in, then for players to take it over once arriving at the area to prosecute searches/attacks on a more thorough basis than perhaps the AI can be coded to achieve; whilst not compelling the players to be onboard that ship until needed. As no U-boat can state with any certainty that an escort is, or is not, player controlled at any instant, they'll need to be more wary than they are currently.

Essentially it's a way of making the escorts a scarier and more effective proposition than they are currently, without having to code the AI to perform complex behaviours.

Last edited by Fidd; 01-23-2020 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidd View Post
I don't know is the short answer. I think not to, would be an extraordinary decision, as the introduction of playable escorts, and the role of "Convoy commander" (CC) would hugely improve the replay-ability of the game, as the behaviour, persistence of hunt/dc attack and variability of "safe" approaches to the convoy would all become very different.

For example, if a u-boat is detected, the most likely strategy for the CC would be to initially detach Tribals or Bitterns to force or keep the U-boat submerged, ideally at depth. The CC would then detach nearby Flower-class corvettes to prosecute the more prolonged DC attacks on said U-boat whilst the Tribals and Bitterns are sent haring back to the convoy to cover gaps in the screen. This also implies that the very act of detaching escorts to suppress a U-boat also open up oppurtunities for other U-boats, which in the ordinary game do not really occur. So right there you have a great gameplay mechanic and problem for the CC to contend with, ie how much do I detach to clobber this U-boat and for how long, without putting the convoy at undue risk due to the screen being degraded.

I envisage that having escort players able to "transfer" to and from AI escorts would be a very sensible mechanic, along with the AI escorts having a routine to follow to relocate back to their assigned stations around the convoy, without routing through any sea-area occupied by merchants. The transfer idea would allow the CC to detach a ship to an area he suspects a U-boat to be in, then for players to take it over once arriving at the area to prosecute searches/attacks on a more thorough basis than perhaps the AI can be coded to achieve; whilst not compelling the players to be onboard that ship until needed. As no U-boat can state with any certainty that an escort is, or is not, player controlled at any instant, they'll need to be more wary than they are currently.

Essentially it's a way of making the escorts a scarier and more effective proposition than they are currently, without having to code the AI to perform complex behaviours.
Ok, thanks for the info.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:06 PM   #24
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No problem. May I ask if this is something you'd like to see implemented? If yes, but not as set out in the preceding posts, what ideas do you have?
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidd View Post
No problem. May I ask if this is something you'd like to see implemented? If yes, but not as set out in the preceding posts, what ideas do you have?
I don't even have the game as my pc wouldn't run it. Don't think it would anyway; it can't run SH5 very well, i.e.

But I am following it's development; sooner or later I'll have a newer pc anyway.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:14 AM   #26
Fidd
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I had an interesting discussion today ingame on the subject of players being able to transfer between escorts (when playable escorts are implemented).

He contended that it was "unfair", which really surprised me, as it seems to me that having poorly functioning AI behaviour of the escorts is already unfair - in the uboats favour!

Currently a U-boat player if he's a bit careful, can expect no detection or DC attacks, provided he can remain undetected for 6 minutes or so and make 160m depth during that period. If he's less than capable, he can expect between 0-2 DC attacks, between the surface and 160m, and if halfway capable, can pretty much always avoid a critical hit.

With the caveat that DC lethality is overly dangerous as modelled currently in game, it seems self-evident to me that employing the AI escorts to prosecute asdic searches as of routine, without the convoy being at alert, would be a good start, and that allowing players to take over an AI ship at will to prosecute a more prolonged and thorough asdic search/attack would add to the difficulty of U-boats, as well as improving gameplay for both sides players.

Fundementally, allowing players to transfer between escorts is not much different to the current situation where U-boat players can re-enter a lobby to start or join new u-boats?

During our discussion today, it was suggested that escort players only be allowed to move to a ship which has detected the U-boat via asdic. This seems overly proscriptive to me, as for a start it means that a surfaced U-boat, easily visually acquired by a human player on an escort, cannot be attacked by that same escort, because it hasn't made an asdic detection, and therefore cannot be moved to the required position...

Thoughts?
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