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HSFX or Not?


Gothkrieger

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I can talk from my experience.  Expert mode works fine with DCG.  I haven't experienced anything like CTD.  It is stable.  However there are a few things I would complain about.  Some of them may be inherent stock game issues, not due to DCG:

 

1. Unending compaigns.  I just feel some of the campaigns never end.  Chiefly among these are Tarawa, Normandy.  Both campaigns I flew 50+ missions and never ended.  For Tarawa one, both Japanese air and ground forces were completely knocked out.(There is only one tiny island after all)  I flew tedious and noneventful escort missions everyday and bombers often brought their loads back due to lack of targets.  However the US ground forces never seemed to advance to the airport.  They always stopped a little short of the base.  Since I never tested the same campaign under stock verions,  I am not sure whether it was due to the HSFX or faulty campaign logics.

 

2. Waypoint problem.  I believe DCG always generate a bit zig zag waypoint pattern after takeoff.  However the system would also force the escort fighters to stay with bombers in transit, so the fighters after taking off would skip the first few waypoints to stay with the bombers.  Then when the package run into the enemy, the fighters would suddenly "remember" those waypoints.  As a result, instead of stay with bombers to fight off enemy, they would turn tail and run back to the waypoint 1.  I believe this is a stock issue.  Not sure how to resolve it.  Maybe have DCG generate exactly same set of waypoints for both bombers and escorts?  Or don't generate that zig zag pattern at the beginning?  Not sure. 

 

2. Frequent friendly mid-air collision.  No matter how often you order your squadron to fly loosely.  They still ram into each other like headless flies.  This problem I believe is from stock, not a DCG one.  I also tested it under dgen mod.  There is a way to manually fix it under dgen mod.  That is to make lot of vertical separation between 2nd and third flight in the mission file under \missions\campaign\.  I usually use at least 200 meters.  That way even though they overlap horizontally, but vertically they are separate. However I don't know how to do the same thing under DCG.  Maybe Paul and his team can put something in the DCG engine to always make sure there is enough vertical separation between 2nd and 3rd flight elements, (i.e. white and yellow flights?)

 

3. Stupid AI behaviors.  Sometimes you will see a fighter ram into its enemy after its gun fire has already heavily damaged the target.  This once again I have seen in both DCG and Dgen, so not sure if it's a DCG specific problem.

 

4. AI wingman won't detach to land on its own when player's intention is clear to land and will follow the player until its speed gets too low and crashes.  That once again may not be a DCG problem.

 

Otherwise.  Playing expert mode under DCG is fun.  I especially like the part that axis starts with a strong force with many aces in. And as attrition reduces the force, the opposition becomes weaker.  Under dgen on the other hand, every mission is unrelated to the last. It feels that you are not really fighting in a war.  Also, when you shoot down an enemy ace, DCG records it for u.  So if Paul and his folks can find a way to at least fix the unending campaign issue, I think DCG is golden.

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#1 seems to be a campaign design problem. Generally, a campaign scenario ends when certain objectives OR certain dates are reached. If the campaign designer doesn't specify an end date, or the end date is in the far future, then the campaign will never end (or seems never end) when the battle outcome is a draw (objectives are not reached by either side).

 

#2 the zigzag pattern after take-off is a known DCG issue; escort fighters behaviour is a game AI problem; possibly the same set of waypoints for bombers and escorts could be a workaround, but first one should test its effectivenes in the FMB.

 

#3 and #4 are game AI problems, for sure.

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Both Tarawa and Normandy that I played are default campaigns that come with DCG, not a third party product.  Also, I have seen Allied column march off from the beach towards the objective, but stop short of it.  There was no opposition whatsoever between them and the objective, but they just stop there, not moving.  Then the next mission, the same thing happens; marching off from the beach and stopping short of the objective. 

 

For #3 about factoring in a bigger vertical separation.  Is that something doable?  It's always between the 2nd and 3rd flight.  If they can be separated then the friendly midair can be avoided a lot.

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2. Waypoint problem.  I believe DCG always generate a bit zig zag waypoint pattern after takeoff.  However the system would also force the escort fighters to stay with bombers in transit, so the fighters after taking off would skip the first few waypoints to stay with the bombers.  Then when the package run into the enemy, the fighters would suddenly "remember" those waypoints.  As a result, instead of stay with bombers to fight off enemy, they would turn tail and run back to the waypoint 1.  I believe this is a stock issue.  Not sure how to resolve it.  Maybe have DCG generate exactly same set of waypoints for both bombers and escorts?  Or don't generate that zig zag pattern at the beginning?  Not sure. 

 

I have the impression that this AI behavior of the escorts only occurs when the escort and bomber flights are starts from the same airfield/carrier! 
If the escort starts from a further away airfield and must first fly to the starting bombers, the subsequent behavior does not occur!
I am often noticed in DBW 1.71, that the AI behaves strangely when waypoints are too close together like ground attack points for ship attacks!
Also in this case the AI fly over the target and back home!
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2. Frequent friendly mid-air collision.  No matter how often you order your squadron to fly loosely.  They still ram into each other like headless flies.  ... There is a way to manually fix it ....  That is to make lot of vertical separation between 2nd and third flight in the mission file under \missions\campaign\.  I usually use at least 200 meters.  That way even though they overlap horizontally, but vertically they are separate. However I don't know how to do the same thing under DCG. 

 

Currently it's impossible from within DCG. Various flights of the same squad use the same flight altitude. You can fix it only manually in the generated mission file (as you have already done so).

 

I mostly use full "air density", but with only two flights per squad, so I don't have this problem.

 

Anyway, a solution could be if Paul changed a bit of code so that each subsequent flight would have a -100/200 m flight altitude (provided that flight altitude is at least 1000 m).

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