jwilly

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Everything posted by jwilly

  1. German DDs had no armor, with mild steel hulls, superstructures and gun housings to protect against splinters only. A solid-AP-shot round of 37mm or larger might penetrate the hull into a boiler or engine room near the water line amidships/aft and break something critical...wiring, ductwork or machinery. No guarantees, but there wasn't much space in WWII destroyer engine and boiler rooms that wasn't filled with essential equipment. Small caliber HE OTOH would be a nuisance, potentially destroying light topside equipment and maybe harming AA crew at battle stations but not much of a threat to seaworthiness. HE shells wouldn't be a major risk until maybe 75mm/88mm caliber. No sensible captain, though, would ever operate his ship within range of a shore mounted gun that showed an interest in hitting him and an ability to do so. The shore bombardment destroyers at D-Day waited until the battleships and cruisers had softened things up and ended the return fire before moving in close. I'd think that a 75mm or 88mm AT or tank gun, with its precise direct-fire sighting and its high velocity and flat trajectory, would be a real threat to any unarmored ship within 1 or 2 thousand meters of the gun.
  2. Not to single you out, because a lot of folks here have expressed the above view in past discussions...but consider that the ground game is built on the concept of combat instances. That's because combat is why people play games like WWIIOL. The stuff in between the fighting--the travelling from one location to another, the sitting in a defensive position watching around you for hours and days, with usually nothing happening ever--isn't any game-fun. It doesn't contribute anything to the game's marketability. Almost no one plays a WWII game because they want to sit in a foxhole and watch a field for two hours, and have nothing happen. So, CRS mostly excludes that. If the ground game had been better concepted, they would have entirely excluded that. So why should a naval game include the traveling from one location to another, and the defenders watching the horizon for hours and days with nothing happening? Or maybe the naval game will have AI to intelligently move naval assets around the map, with players spawning into crew positions when combat is imminent...but what's the point? The commercially saleable gameplay is the combat. The fight, if it's realistic, won't last long enough for more players to travel across the map to join in. Why not just do what the ground game does, and provide a players'-intentions-determined context for each side's units to define the start of a fight, and let them go at it? Then apply the outcome of that fight, and other fights in the same time period, to the rest of the game. All the British coal convoys are sunk in the past few days? The Germans get victory points, and maybe the British get smaller spawn lists for the next few days. Not spending all those development resources to build strategic naval AI to move stuff around on the map...that would generate no additional CRS revenue...would allow those resources to be used for something else that does generate revenue. And, a further economic consideration: AI operated naval strategic activity...all of the game world's maritime movement, operated continuously on the map...if at all realistic, would result in very little combat activity. It's a big game map, and real naval activity is very low spatial-density. Real naval activity also is very low chronological-density...99.999% no action, interspersed with .001% combat terror. But, naval subscribers would pay their money for that combat, not to be bored. The game needs to offer as much naval combat as its customers are willing to pay for, and a minimum amount of boredom. Those customers won't be paying to fire up the game when they get home from work, and do nothing for two hours because their convoy isn't found by the enemy. In an instanced naval game, OTOH, CRS's system would start up an instance when players want to fight. More players than will fit into one instance? No problem, start another one. Or ten more, if there are that many customers. That's a commercial focus. CRS needs that. Some of the players want to be air attackers? No problem, start an instance during daytime with good enough weather that air attack works, and match players that want to pilot bombers against players that want to do air defense. Ditto for MTB attackers: the instance is at night or in low-visibility weather. Or, do an instance for submarine attackers. Sometimes the attackers would be surprised that the instance they drew has them bumping into a hunter-killer patrol instead of the convoy they were looking for. Oops. Sometimes the convoy is lightly escorted relative to the attacker force. Sometimes it's the other way around. The point is, the naval game should be all about delivering combat-gameplay when customers want it, with a minimum of scarce development resources expended on the no-action context for that naval gameplay.
  3. It was quickly realized in WWII that ships were easily sunk by aircraft, so operations anywhere near an airfield had to take place at night or in limited-visibility weather. The existing naval game absurdly takes place during daytime and clear weather...just one of its goofy design choices. CRS doesn't have the coding resources to tackle visually realistic weather. Using mostly existing capabilities, though, they could achieve a visually pretty realistic night for boat-to-boat short range engagements that could withstand player gamma- and brightness-jacking and the like. But, it'd have to be done in an instance, because it wouldn't allow air players to attack the surface at night, which is a key commercial aspect of the campaign game. It wouldn't have starshells, flare pistols and searchlights, but it'd be a starting point. (Actually, there are some potential no-new-technology workarounds for flash/flickering illumination that could be tried, if CRS were interested in a naval game.) I think realistic feel could be achieved in a current-capability boats-and-freighters-vs-surface-raiders quick-combat game. The existing game of course is easily capable of realistic feel in a boats-and-freighters-vs-daytime-air-raiders quick-combat game.
  4. Yay! Thin case instant fuzed bombs (for use against soft targets) Thick case delayed-fuze bombs (penetrating, for use against factories, steel ships, fortifications) Rockets Incendiary/smoke bombs?
  5. A rise or berm is necessary at water's edge because the poorly-concepted terrain technology put the default ground level at 0 height, and the water level also at 0 height. Having no elevation change at the water's edge would look funky as heck. So, a berm is put there. That said, the complaint comes across as just another request to be able to kill without being killed. Naturally a land unit is going to take advantage of whatever terrain protection they can. Nothing unrealistic about that. If your vessel is so close to shore that its gunfire is flat-trajectory to the target, and the unrealistic gunsights don't allow you to pinpoint-aim your shots to hit the mostly protected enemy gun...well, you're too close to shore to survive. In any case, everything about the present quickie-kluge naval game is silly. Model functionality, choice of vessels modeled, unrealistic armament, no terrain, no weather, no night, twenty foot tall eighteen foot beam vessels on rivers with twelve foot bridge clearances and twelve foot wide dam locks, bad game integration and absence of purpose. The whole thing.
  6. The CRS argument was that funding RA would be an investment in the future of the campaign game, which had proven itself to not have a large enough market to support a paid staff, and at that point had nearly burned through all the funds its formal investors were willing to sink into it. The plan was that RA would generate much more revenue and would be able to support a much larger paid development team, which would be shared with the campaign game since much of the technology was to be used in both games. That could have worked. Certainly plenty of other tactical combat games were making money in that time period, and CRS had a bunch of technology that could be re-purposed in that direction. They just started the original company with the wrong product concept. The big-map, expensive-to-develop campaign game should have come after they had a solid revenue stream from a shooter.
  7. All of CRS's strategic development efforts over the years have had to consider limited resources. Rapid Assault was built on WWIIOL's engine because that allowed RA to utilize a large part of WWIIOL's code, and all of its live-object models. WWIIOL, as a game that to a significant extent is about maneuver and how to win the campaign game, cornered the quite small market for that game-type. The commercial premise of RA was that it would ditch the maneuver and the campaign game, and focus instead on the vastly larger market of players that want to play a game that is mostly about fighting. The WWIIOL engine is fully capable of presenting much higher resolution terrain. It doesn't do so now mostly because the very large map practically requires large (800m x 800m) terrain tiles, which inherently then deliver insufficient texture resolution and are very limited in ability to model steep or sharply modulated terrain. RA's terrain was to be built with much higher terrain texture resolution and a much greater capability for high-value slopes and small features. It was critical to the RA project being commercially realizable that it mostly use the existing model set. There definitely was no chance that all those models could be re-built. The existing game models trees using a library and code system that doesn't inherently provide that capability. In order for a tree to be able to fall in any direction, that tree must be a live object. It could not be a several-state terrain element, with one state for "tree downed to the north" and another for "tree downed to the east". There is a fixed limit on how many live objects can be managed within the interaction radius of a given player, set by the design of the database that holds the current status of all the live objects in the game. That's also related to the design of the data packet that is the basis for client <---> server communications. The game can manage more objects than was the case ten years ago...but not an infinite number. The database and packet stream still must be designed for a maximum number of objects. And, every one of those objects that was a tree would displace a player-object from the largest possible battle.
  8. Suggested about 10K times. Search is your friend.
  9. Discussed multiple times before. WWII naval-commanded ground forces wore ground force field uniforms in the field. Any soldier would know that wearing blues or whites in the field would be suicidal.
  10. Assume for purposes of discussion that the British coastal coal convoys and the German coastal/Skagerrak iron ore convoys are modeled via instancing, for fights only. That doesn't stop the existing naval game from proceeding, or any other naval game mechanics from being developed, but there'd be no interaction between them except insofar as outcomes of convoy escort/raider fights would affect victory points and each side's supply. Say you're a German-side player and you want to raid a British convoy. You go to the convoys interface and click on that choice. I'm a British-side player, and I want to escort a convoy. I go to the interface and click that choice. Each of us waits for however long it takes for the instance to fill up. The interface might show us how the fill process is going, so we know what to do with our time. Each of us could organize friends or squaddies in advance, of course. That'd fill up the sides instantly. Maybe the interface could provide for limited-join fights for one squad against another. Or, reserve some spots for noobs. CRS would decide how it would be most commercially successful. We'd all spawn into the instance simultaneously. If the attackers had selected bombers, it'd be some randomly selected time during daylight with weather somewhere between clear and barely good enough for air attack. The British convoy would be a mile or so off a countryside coast, headed south low in the water or north empty. The attackers would approach from the northeast, east or southeast. If the attackers had selected torpedo boats, it'd be night, with weather somewhere between clear and barely good enough for surface attack...which might mean light rain or even snow, with fairly rough seas. They'd attack from any direction but straight from the west. All those setup choices except what we want to play would be made randomly by the game-system. The attackers would start with distant visibility of the convoy. The convoy would not see the attackers yet, though that might happen quickly. Visibility range would depend on time of day and the weather and sea conditions. There'd be X freighters and Y escorts...for now, British Fairmile B motor gunboats with autocannon armament. Dependent on eventual modeling, some of the escorts might be sloops, corvettes, frigates or armed trawlers. If the instance was during daylight and a player had indicated an interest, there might be a Coastal Command fighter overhead, flying CAP. There'd be Z attackers. From the air, they'd be torpedo- or bomb-armed He111s, or eventually Ju88s or other aircraft with enough range and suitable payload. On the surface, they'd be S boats with two torpedoes and light AA. Bombers would have one player, or two if there would be air defense. Escorts would have one player for helm and one for each major weapon. MTBs would have one player for helm/torpedoes and one for each other major weapon. Freighters would be unarmed and would be AI operated with control programming from several choices in advance by the escort commanders. Occasionally an attacker might spawn in, and...surprise...they've been intercepted by a defensive patrol comprising a heavy-fighter sweep during day or a group of destroyers at night. Not good if you're the "attacker". That'd be a random occurrence, not selected by the defensive player. The goal for each side would be to take as few losses as possible, and inflict maximum losses on the enemy...especially the freighters, with their individually low value but strategically critical cargo. Action would continue until any surviving attackers were out of visual range of all defenders. That might happen occasionally, but my guess is that usually, pressing the attack to inflict maximum losses on the defender would also result in maximum losses for the attacker, and it took more resources to build a three-engined S-boat or four-engined bomber than to build a cheap coastal freighter. Player success or failure in a given attack, for their stats, would be determined by relative points score. If you sink all the other side's cheap freighters, but you lose all your own expensive raiders, your side's losing ground and your stats should reflect that.
  11. Not realistic. Navies don't "capture and hold" water areas. They intercept and try to defeat enemy sea-control combat forces; if they succeed at that, they interdict enemy sea routes to a forward base to prevent resource movement; if they succeed at that, they try to capture that enemy naval base by delivering ground forces; and if they succeed at that, the process starts over with another enemy base. In our game, there aren't very many naval bases to be fought over. The British/German focus was directly on step 2, trying to interdict enemy sea routes to close off coastal convoy traffic that was critical to each side's industrial economy. "Control points" would be irrelevant to that. What matters is that each side has a frequent flow of convoys along a completely known coastal route, behind the respective coastal minefields, backed up by closely spaced coastal defensive airfields. If you want to attack the other side, one of those convoys is your target. Moving ships to capture sea areas isn't what will make CRS money. Customers would respond positively to a naval game in which they would spawn in a minute or less from fighting. Building a game in which gameplay consists of hours of no-contact sea-square capturing, or searching for the enemy, or no-contact convoy movement would be an anti-revenue move on CRS's part.
  12. Exploitable. Say I'm a tactical bomber unit supporting an AB attack. It's very tactically useful for me to bomb the snot out of the defenders while per plan the attackers run right through. So, someone spawns an irrelevant infantryman near the takeoff airport, and I MG him before flying to the target. That turns off my FF capability for 24 hours. Now my guys can attack while I bomb. That'd be an advantage, not a punishment. There are no potential punishments that would be both acceptable to players. Anything important enough to affect behavior would drive away a significant number of customers, who are accustomed to just shooting without being realistically careful and without realistic fear of death, and being surrounded by like-minded fighters. In real life, intentionally killing friendlies gets you removed from the war, or maybe even executed. And, everyone operates with Fear-of-Death, so they put a high priority on being very aware of friendly fire and not running into it. Games can't work that way, because all that matters is tactical success and there's zero fear of death. And, there's no commercially viable, non-exploitable way to motivate realistic behavior.
  13. Do we also need "good AI" to operate ground units when we don't occupy them, so that they move intelligently between battles? That situation is exactly parallel. We spawn ground units in the immediate vicinity of a battle. They fight, then if they survive they despawn, available to be respawned for another battle later. If ground units didn't despawn after battles, and instead AI took them over and moved them along a player-planned or AI-determined route, then it would make parallel sense to do the same with naval units. But, that's not how the ground game works. The proposal is that the naval game should function much like the ground game, in which one side decides it wants to attack, and thereby a battle is started up...partly because the resources to develop "good AI" that results in realistic game behavior don't currently exist and there's no logical prospect that they will exist in the foreseeable future, and partly because a persistent-ships naval game has never been done commercially on such a scale...all other game developers having concluded that there aren't enough potential customers to make it economically viable, because it wouldn't deliver much fighting when players want to play.
  14. Subs, agreed. Way too much missing from the existing mechanics set, and what exists would work wrong. But it'd be entirely possible to build an exciting naval game on the existing mechanics if you concentrated on Channel and North Sea action, and the fighting elements found there...mostly MGBs/MTBs, armed trawlers, and small and medium sized freighters, plus air assets during daytime; and, if the naval game isn't real-time linked to the ground game, and models just combat instances, not the 99% of maritime activity that's just sailing onward and watching the horizon and sky.
  15. Here are the 1939-40 British and German North Sea and Channel naval mined zones: There were additional German mine belts along the Norwegian coast. The Germans operated iron ore convoys from Narvik to northwestern Germany in the Fall-Winter-Spring months when the Gulf of Bothnia is frozen and ore could not come directly from a Swedish port. The British operated coal convoys from River Tyne loading facilities to Greater London, year-round. Those respective naval activities were by far the most economically and militarily important that occurred in waters that are presently mapped, excluding one time events like the BEF's evacuation.
  16. Submarines will not be useful in the existing game. Submarines could not operate effectively in much of the North Sea due to the fact that most of each side's critical coastal shipping operated behind each side's coastal mine belts, which submarines could not penetrate. Submarines could not operate effectively in the Channel due to the complex combination of tides, currents and ever-shifting sandbars, plus the relatively narrow central part of the Channel that was deep enough for submarged operation. Submarines that tried to operate there had high loss rates. Submarines of course could not operate in the Scheldt Estuary, which makes up much of the non-river navigable water in the existing map, because it was much too shallow. 1940 British convoys to the continent mostly operated from south-coast and west-coast British ports to French ports far to the west...all well out of practical gameplay range. And, the convoy activity across the Atlantic is well beyond the bounds of the existing map, and there are no mechanics to deal with the very long transit times to action areas even if the map were extended. *** I'd very much like the game's naval mode to be improved to provide good enough gameplay that it would contribute to CRS's success. I think the way to do that is to build a naval game based on the maritime activities that took place in the existing map-area...i.e. coastal coal and iron ore convoys.
  17. The bulk of the Kriegsmarine's destroyers were already sunk before the game starts. The Kriegsmarine from 1940 onward through the war was wholly incapable of fighting either the Royal Navy or the Marine Nationale at the destroyer-and-above level. The Marine Nationale had the most powerful destroyers in 1940...none of the German 1936 Type dual-turret ships were ready at game-beginning. At any point through WWII, the Royal Navy had more powerful and seaworthy destroyers than the Kriegsmarine, and several times as many of them. Plus, destroyers were rarely used as convoy escorts. They were much too valuable for such use, and their boiler firetubes tended to carbon up if they were run for very long at freighter speed. To make a balanced game with reasonable historical realism, the game's combat vessels should be motor gunboats...the Fairmile B is such a vessel, though the currently modeled armament is a poor choice...and motor torpedoboats. Most of the surface fighting that occurred in the Channel and North Sea involved MGBs and armed trawlers serving as convoy escorts, and MTBs serving as convoy raiders.
  18. Breaking tracks and gun barrels is a simulation of the limited ways that less-powerful weapons could disable, and thus effectively take out of a battle, more powerful tanks. In that regard, it's historically based, even though the users of those powerful tanks would like to be impervious. And, the game's play-logic depends on it. If the game contains weapons that cannot achieve even sustained disables, those weapons are no longer as playable. That breaks the logic of tier progressions, and noobs having access to only older/less powerful/lower tier weapons until they rank up. My guess is that the proposal would not be a sensible use of limited development resources, which instead could be used toward new weapons, new combat or movement mechanics, or new map development.
  19. So you want to model the tank/truck recovery process? And use combat engineers to conduct long repairs on recovered items? That's a lot of non-combat gameplay. What percentage of customers would play it? Would CRS generate more revenue using the same development resources to add more combat gameplay instead?
  20. The functional equivalent of the StuH 105mm.
  21. Having that mechanic also will need multiple types of bombs...another loadout selection...to be selected before takeoff. Thin case bombs have maximum blast destruction and maximum fragmentation lethality against soft targets. They always have instant fuzes, because the case cannot withstand full-deceleration impact against something solid, i.e. a steel or concrete object. Against ships, they cause topside damage (to AA crews, etc.) but no hull or propulsion damage. Against tanks, they sometimes break suspensions if they explode immediately alongside, or damage the engine's support systems if they explode on the engine deck. Against factories, they explode against the easily rebuilt roof, instead of penetrating through the roof structure and exploding among the difficult-to-replace production machinery. Thick case bombs are able to penetrate through strong objects and structures before a delay fuze operates. They are used against factories, steel ships, tanks and fortifications. They have significantly less blast volume and fragment count than thin case bombs. A delay fuze bomb that hits dirt will bury itself before exploding, resulting in a geyser of dirt and a crater but minimal or no blast and case-fragmentation damage.
  22. Or anywhere but in a front line infantry unit in an active part of the front. Being a quartermaster somewhere away from the front, or an AA gunner almost anywhere, or a clerk typing away in a commandeered hotel-used-as-an-office-building in Paris, was pretty safe too. Fighting infantry, not so much.
  23. If this game was real life, everyone here would be dead in combat. You don't get to respawn in real life. Be glad it's just a game. Note though that in many respects it's the most realistic game out there. Not implementing historically non-factual folk tales doesn't make the game less realistic.
  24. In factual history, the dry storage Shermans and the PzKpfW IVs were equally likely to burn after penetration. As Doc notes above, the later wet storage Shermans were less likely to burn. That was determined after the war by analysis of after action reports. But, folk tales often are not based on fact.
  25. I hope it's obvious that we all appreciate your work.