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Old 05-27-2020, 08:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Icon10 Weekly summary of community suggestions.

Hello everyone,

Kind of a crosspost here, but on the Discord I've been keeping track of the community's suggestions. I thought I'd post it here as well to see what you think as well (and well, maybe this is a better place to grab Neal's and the devs attention as well. :P ).

Now, I try not to make these suggestions willy-nilly, but keep historical accuracy, easy of implementation and influence on gameplay in mind as well. You won't find stuff like: 'Would be nice to have a type XXI' or 'Would be cool if we could have an action replay', although there's plenty of those suggestions as well.

Moreover, I'd like to repeat the necessity of customizability in this game. Wolfpack is walking on a bit thin line between a fun, relatively easy game (although the learning curve is a bit steep) and a (more) hardcore simulation. You chase two hares, you lose both, so it would be grand if the developers could find a way to keep both audiences equally interested, and I really feel custom options in terms of realism and difficulty will go a very, very long way.

At any rate, here we go:

Stuff that needs fixing.
- The EOT. It doesn't seem to reply properly some of the time.
- Torpedo range (for the sake of historic accuracy). Should either be 50hm or 75hm.
- Noise of the bilge pump. Turn op the volume! Contemporary accounts give that this thing was loud (loud enough to drown out engine noise of other ships on hydrophone. Described as 'cutting through the wall of your stomach', able to be heard miles away, etc.)

Things that ought to be customizable.
- Torpedo duds.
- Premature explosions on torpedoes.
- Steering of torpedo not functioning correctly (as in, turning to a different gyro-angle than was set.)
- Torpedoes failing (bouncing off) based on impact angle.
- Time of torpedo reload (as in, around 30 minutes rather than 3.)
- Reloading torpedoes making noise that can be detected, together with the ability to postpone reloading.

Stuff that would be really nice if it would be implemented.
- Colored filters for the periscope.
- Different graticule on the periscope (for historic accuracy as well).
- Option to turn of lights completely in the boat.
- German language support for dials, control surfaces, etc. inside the boat.
- Adding a parallel headset to the hydrophone.
- Proper physics during the advance of a turn.
- Ability to set speed of torpedoes through TDC (or rather the Tvre! Wir sind keine Amerikaner!)
- Ability to overpressurize/break compressor if left on too long (to be honest, I'll have to read up on this a bit, as I can well imagine there would be some sort of safety on this thing and moreover, I'm not quite sure if it would be possible to start with because of physics, and all that jazz...)
- Ability to use A/D/left/right to spin UZO.
- Convoy starting in formation and on course, rather than scattered.
- Mouth movement for player models when talking in game.
- Sound of torpedo impact underwater. At this moment, the hydrophone just goes quiet on impact.

Other stuff that has been brought up a couple of times.
- Behavior of escorts. They seem to give up quite easily. Apart from that (I hope someone can confirm), they seem to be absolutely blind to uboots at periscope depth.
- Behavior of merchants after being struck. As someone (Colonel Frost) on the Discord pointed out: 'It is difficult enough for the merchants to remain on station in good weather. The current freak out then return to base course with 20 minutes is highly improbable. It's great for playability, but not for [historic] accuracy.' Could be an optional setting as well.
- Having Wolfpack available as a package deal (as in, discount for buying 4-5 copies). Any ideas on a summer sale perhaps?

I'll try to update this once a week. Let me know what you guys think!

Last edited by ElJammos; 05-27-2020 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:21 PM   #2
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Playable escorts!

And the ability for escort players to move between escorts, either at will, or at the direction of the "convoy commander" (see below).

Player inter-ship transfer having a 6 minute cool-down period, {preventing one player being able to DC attack with effectively two ships.}

Circa 6 crewable positions on each escort, broadly similar to U-boats.

Once all players leave an escort, it reverts to AI control, and follows an algorithm to rejoin the convoy in the open slot by a route that will not bring it into collision with any ship in the escort screen or the convoy itself, regardless of alert state. This behaviour may be manually over-ridden by the convoy commander to allocate it to a different slot even if already occupied. (the presumption being the 2nd escort will be moved elsewhere before the returning one arrives.)

"Wide" escorts screen - the ability for escort slots to be widened or contracted by the convoy commander.

Convoy commander (CC): A playable (escort) position whereby he can send AI escorts to wide or contracted screen positions, or two patrol a particular area for a set amount of time. Once a player crews the captain position on that particular escort, he can see the ordered manoeuvre on his map, but is not constrained to obey it.

CC can also vary the convoy course up to twice an hour, up to +/- 15 degrees. If the command is given whilst convoy alerted, the convoy will adjust to the new course once the alert is over.

If the CC is killed, the position becomes open to all other escort players, or the original CC if he logs back in and no-one had taken the role in the interim.

"Nice to have" - related to the above

1. A scoring system, the values of which can be tuned over time. The faster the U-boats obtain the target tonnage, the higher their score. The loss of U-boats diminishes the score.

2. If the escort screen sinks 1 or more U-boats, prevents the tonnage being achieved within a specified time period, damages U-boats, the higher their score.

3. The relative scores are not known to players until game-end, at which point all discover who won.. Moaning by players in the forums can be employed to tinker with the score values obtained by the metrics above! <grin>
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:39 AM   #3
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Those are some fine suggestions, Fidd! Thank you! I'm sure you've seen Koji's work on the playable escorts already? I'll try to summarize them a bit for next week's update. Link to Koji's project here as well.
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:18 AM   #4
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Indeed, I'm well aware of Koji's superb work. I'm just casting some bread upon the waters as to how playable escorts/Convoy commander might work out as a "competitive game" between the two "sides". And what other gameplay wrinkles need to be thought out for playable escorts to be a success.

I forgot to add that when considering the victory conditions, the time spent in game by all players should be recorded, and summed for each side at the end of the game, at which point the ratio of these times be employed to adjust the required score for a "win". So, if you've 4 fully manned U-boats, but only one player in escorts, then the victory conditions would be heavily biased against the U-boats, as they are effectively playing versus AI rather than manned escorts....

Last time I discussed this with Koji, he was not in favour of escort players being able to "teleport" between ships. So we differ in that respect. I - and Gurudennis - thought that this is a gameplay necessity to strike the right balance between "fun" and time expended in play. I think it's more or less self-evident, that spending 2-3 hours in game as an escort captain, with the Asdic continuously pinging, but by happenstance being on the "wrong side of the convoy" - and therefore having no opportunity to prosecute a search/DC attack - is a fairly surefire way of making escort play deeply unattractive.

The important thing here is to greatly improve the "intelligence" of the escorts from the current cretinous AI. With players able to move between escorts, no U-boat captain will be able to assume any escort is AI directed, and therefore every escort has the potential to move at speed into asdic range, and therefore he'll need to keep an eye on all visible escorts, not just one where he can be certain he's out of visual range.
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