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Everything posted by 71st_AH_Yankee_

  1. I think this is the key here to recognizing that there is a problem with the currently implementation of the M2, or AP ammo in general. Basically, if the sim was a reflection of reality, the allies would have switched to HE ammo for the M2. While we can argue the USAAF was trying to get 20mm guns and had logistical issues there, ultimately the real difference in the sim mostly comes down to the effects of AP vs HE ammo. If the P-51 had only 2 guns that fired .50 HE ammo, it would likely be more effective than what we have now. If all 6 guns used HE ammo, it would be an order of magnitude deadlier. That's probably not how it was in reality, and so a fix is needed. Likely a combination of beefing up aerodynamic effects of AP ammo, toning down HE effect a bit, and then of course the eventual addition of API ammo for the M2. In the meantime, however, it certainly makes things a lot more difficult for anyone flying the M2-only planes, and plays a large role in the lopsided kill totals we see online.
  2. No, they are not. They _can_ be effective, when you land a good burst at convergence at center mass. But you can say the same about every single weapon in the sim, including .303s. Otherwise you need to depend on luck (you need to sever a wing spar, a control cable, and so on). Learn to shoot is a terrible response, because by that logic a .22 pistol is just as powerful as a .45. Just learn to shoot! By comparison, HE weapons will quickly cripple a target even if nothing vital is hit, through aerodynamic damage. Your quick mission scenario will easily demonstrates how disproportionally effective HE weapons can be by comparison. There IS something wrong with how AP and HE ammo are modeled, and of course there's the lack of API ammo. You can tell this simply by looking how effective .50s using HE ammo are in this game right now. If the P-51 or P-40 was loaded with HE .50 ammo instead of AP, they would be several times more lethal than it currently is, perhaps even by an order of magnitude. If that was a reflection of reality, you can be absolutely certain the allies would have used HE ammo. No, correction is indeed needed. Whether it is that AP ammo needs to have a stronger aero impact, HE's aero impact needs to be lessened, or API needs to be introduced to bridge the gap, something needs to be done. Most likely all of the above are needed, to varying degrees. Until then, when an allied pilot shoots down an enemy plane with their .50s, they're succeeding while playing hard mode.
  3. Ultimately, to me the best argument about _something_ being wrong with the 50s is simple: if you were to replace the AP ammo in the game with HE .50 cal ammo (like the Yaks use), the USAAF planes would be far, far more lethal. A p-51 with 6 .50s shooting HE ammo would be monstrous. And if that was a reflection of reality, you can bet the allies would have made the switch. Of course, it's not a reflection of reality. That simple "thought experiment" is enough to show that there is a problem, and something should be done. AP aero effect should be boosted, or HE effect toned down, or API ammo introduced to bridge the gap. Or, more likely, a combinatino of the above. And, of course, there is the fact that in a historical discourse that has been replete with all parties being quick to point out the follies and failures of each side, comments that USAAF airplanes were poorly armed and had significant trouble shooting down their targets (compared to the other air forces) are curiously absent. In a world where Ronson M4s and Krupp Stalh is everywhere, that absence is notable. Thank you.
  4. Because the nation that basically won WW2 through logistics absolutely could not have resolved procurement issues for 20mm if it had wanted to, right? If the .50s were as weak as they are currently depicted in the sim, you can rest assured that the USAAF would have found a way to obtain 20mm weapons from its allies. If it could get engines from the british, getting 20mm cannons would not have been beyond their capabilities. But in truth that is a complete red herring. The issue is not the gun, nor its caliber. The .50 is fine: it's got pretty good ballistics and range and so on. The problem is with the modeling of ammunition effects: HE ammo is king in the sim right now. As previously written, the USAAF could have made its fighters far more lethal if it had just stripped all but two of its machine guns (that's right, gone down to just 2 .50s) and loaded them with HE ammo. Heck, give us 4 .50s with HE ammo, and we'd be back to the pre-DM update lethality on USAAF fighters, let alone 6 or 8. Since the USAAF didn't do so, there is no doubt that there's something iffy with the the current DM (and let's not be absurd by suggesting that the USAAF couldn't have procured HE ammo if it had wanted to). Either HE effects are too strong, AP effects are too weak (particularly aerodynamic impacts, as discussed by Barnacles), or API ammo is what would bridge the lethality gap. Or, more likely, a combination of all of the above.
  5. I'd go one better and say that WE certainly would know today if there was such a disparity. Think of all the ways the allied were actually deficient, all those problems they dealt with, the disadvantages they operated under in multiple arenas. Historians have harped on these and highlighted them for decades now. Whatever flaws the allied had, we definitely heard about them by now and people with and without agendas have pounced on them ad finitam... and never have we heard about the M2s somehow being a major deficiency for allied planes. Indeed, quite the contrary, the USAF kept on using the .50s for quite some time yet. Why even when they glued two mustangs together they thought 6 .50s was good enough. Whereas, if the current state of the sim was even REMOTELY close to reality, the allies could have just put two .50s in the P-51D, loaded it with HE .50 ammo (which absolutely could have been procured by the USAAF), and would have a much deadlier aircraft than what we currently have.
  6. My thanks to the dev team for all the hard work, and indeed for finding solutions to the VR issue. The new zoom is excellent, and I'm confident once the kinks are ironed out this will restore true parity between the 2D and VR base. I had no issues with the new zoom last night, and it truly is wonderful. I feel like I'm flying on my monitor again, except my neck hurts. It's great! Thanks again to the team, this is truly a win for everyone involved, I feel.
  7. Good post. And to be clear, that IS the only issue. 2D players have a significantly better zoom provided by the game. This means they have an Observation edge over VR players, and it is baked in the game itself. Thus, VR players are inherently at a disadvantage over 2D players, regardless of display resolution. In a competitive setting, it relegates them to being second tier, because at LEAST half the fight is about position and decision making before engaging in the first place. There's a reason Observation is the first step of the OODA loop. That's what the mod rectified. Granted, it had functionality that went too far, BUT those had been disabled and removed in the latest version of the mod. Thus, the mod would remain a valuable tool that serves to remove this inequality between VR and 2D players... and that's why people really want this mod. So we can play the game competitively, while knowing we are no longer at an inherent disadvantage.
  8. Agreed. There's enough FUD being sown on this issue already, we don't need more unintentionally created. Beyond that, the problem is that the game provides better Observation tools for 2D players than for VR players. Namely, the 2D zoom is better by a massive margin than the VR zoom, and thus the game favours 2D players who have an inherent built-in advantage over VR players. That is what the mod rectified, and that is what VR players are asking be corrected (either by a mod or by fixing the inequality in the game itself). Thank you.
  9. This has nothing to do with hardware. Yes, people with better monitors have an edge. Likewise, people with a better VR headset have an edge over those with poorer ones. BUT 2d players have an inherent _built in_ advantage over VR players: Their zoom is better than the VR zoom. This is how the sim is built: it provides greater Observation capabilities to 2D players over VR players. That's just a fact, and is what the zoom mod rectified. If the mod is not allowed (and let's be clear, we don't know this yet, all we have is hearsay. Lefuneste is still upating the mod), then the game developers are essentially relegating VR players to having objectively worse observation capabilities than 2D players. Again, this has nothing with resolution, VR displays, bigger monitors. NOTHING. It's all about the game providing a better zoom to 2D players than what they grant VR players. No matter how good anyone's hardware is, it will _never_ overcome that fact. Because of this, if the mod that fixes that is not allowed or the zoom imbalance rectified, then VR players will always be relegated to second class.
  10. Awesome man, thanks for the update. Really appreciate it. It's also worth noting, as I understand it, the new version will have the 2d zoom disabled, so concerns about the mod are being addressed at the same time. That being said, you noted in your OP that the .cfg was updated. Is that to give the best visibility settings after the new patch, or something else? Thank you.
  11. Also, to be clear, here is why having a viable zoom (either natively or in a mod) in VR is absolutely important: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop Note that the first element of the OODA loop is "Observe". Currently, in VR, without the zoom you cannot properly observe, as observation includes _identifying_ the contacts. Without that information, you cannot effectively engage the rest of the loop. So, unless VR is condemned to be a novelty with no place in serious MP play, this issue must be rectified. Either a viable zoom is implemented in-game, or a proper mod approved, or else IL-2 will relinquish its place as the best simulator for VR play. Thank you.
  12. Absolutely agreed. Indeed, without a better in-game VR zoom, or a mod that permits a better zoom in VR, I'm pretty much done flying.
  13. Except that shrapnel is not the major cause of aero damage of HE rounds. If that was the case, the mineshells would not be very effective at all, as the whole point of the mineshell is maximizing explosive through minimizing the shell casing. What makes the mineshells so effective in the current modeling is the explosive effect, and the large explosive charge, not the shrapnell. Granted, API has a much smaller explosive effect, indeed it's more of a conflagration than anything like a grenade blast, but there is still an effect. Against aircraft aluminium it would have some sort of effect on top of the bullet's kinetic impact (and any additional effects caused by oblique entry/tumble/what have you). And of course, it would definitely increase the chances of fires in general, as has been mentioned (that was the whole point, after all).
  14. Would need someone for what, exactly? I imagine the devs are the arbiters of such issues, and are the ones to demand proof, not us random posters. Concerning API effect not being modeled, Barnacles has heard it direct from one of the developers. No, I don't have a recording or empirical evidence of this conversation actually occurring. As for API itself being used, I don't have any specific sources. I've read of it in countless military history books and documentaries over many years, and I'm confident the devs are well aware of its existence and usage by the USAAF, and have access to actual first hand historical sources that document it. We're not under obligations to dig into the national archives for simple internet discussions, especially for a matter this benign and well known.
  15. To be fair, I fly red ground attack all the time, and I run into a lot of 109s and 190s when I get my bombs away. This is not a Red phenomenon, nor a blue one. Lots of people on both sides like to focus on flying CAP on objectives, and attackers get pounced on all the time. Which side does so more than the other, I think, owes much more to those factors Alonzo mentioned in his post. It depends on the map, the player mindsets, and the situation at the moment. So for example, on the old Y-29 I imagine very few red attacked, because most targets were deep in enemy territory and easy to defend, so obviously most red players flew CAP (I rarely flew it, because I knew striking was mostly suicide, and CAPping all the time gets boring). Likewise, if a map is a loss, there's little point in attacking, so might as well CAP. This is why, of course, balance changes are important. The important point to remember is that what the players do is _heavily_ influenced by the mission design. Make it hard for bombing, less people will bomb. Give one side the better fighter or bomber planeset, more people will fly fighters or bombers on that side. The tendencies that we see in the player base (be it one side outnumbering another all the time, or one side flying just fighters, and so on) emerge organically in large part from the mission design, not due to some strange hive mind decision from that side. And this is why changes like these are _very_ important, and needed to rectify the clear imbalance we've seen in the last months. Let us not forget:
  16. This. Precisely what I wrote in my first reply. And in any case, this is entirely besides the point of the OP, which is that the .50s should do more aero damage. Right now they're really anemic, even if you don't count the API effect. And of course the fact that API isn't modeled at all is a massive nerf to .50s, as that ammo was used extensively.
  17. I'm going to have to dispute the idea that you cannot fly a P-51 if there's a lot of bugs on it. The P-51 could fly very well with imperfections in its leading edge... what you're talking about is the notion that Laminar Flow played a major role in the P-51's performance. And the truth is that it didn't, for precisely the reason you are citing: the laminar flow was very easily disrupted by any imperfection on the leading edge, be it minor bumps or bugs or what have you. The performance of the P-51 is more related to its general aerodynamics (such as its radiator design) than any kind of special properties of laminar flow, which was a very ephemeral effect (for the reasons you mention). Regardless, concerning the main point of the original post, the notion that .50 cal weaponry would make neat holes in the skin of a plane is fairly silly. For one thing, as Barnacles mentions very rarely would strikes be perfectly perpendicular to the impacted surface. Hitting obliquely would create much more pronounced damage, as would effects such as tumbling. And that's for ball or AP ammo alone. When you consider that API was the shell of choice, the effect should absolutely be more pronounced than what we see in the sim at this time.
  18. Entirely agreed. This is especially true when we consider that the .50s don't just fire AP ammo, but API. I imagine that would do more than just drill a neat hole in a surface. Given this, and the above in the OP, the .50s almost certainly need to have their aero effects increased. Alongside this, of course, it seems very important that API effects also be modeled. Right now the .50s act like they're firing AP slugs only, and that severely decreases their effectiveness. As things are currently modeled, we'd be better off using the VVS .50s, with their mix of AP and HE ammo. Until we have proper aero damage modeled, and the API effects, the .50s will continue to be anemic.
  19. Aye, these will help. So would applying historical restrictions equally (either to both side, or neither).
  20. Sure, but those constrains were shaped by the historical context at the time, one in which the allies had air supremacy. There was little need to overcome those constraints much at the time, not when ground pounding was the main purpose of the tactical forces, and didn't have to worry about getting shot down by a rampaging luftwaffe. Besides that, the LW had their own massive logistical constrains at the time, far, far more dire than the allies did. Fuel issues, whole slew of aircraft that weren't available, and of course massive shortages of pilots and completely outnumbered. We don't simulate those because they wouldn't be fun, so why should the allies' constraints be enforced, particularly if red is struggling balance-wise? Let's use them for adding variety and some measure of flavour, but historical accuracy for the LW has long ago been thrown out the window, and for good reasons. Those reasons also apply for the allies.
  21. Absolutely agreed. Heck, if the problem is that red focuses on CAP more and doesn't bomb enough, that doesn't explain the significant disparity in shot down aircraft. No matter how you paint it, there's a balance issue at work here. Indeed, looking at Alonzo's data the disparity is clear. Discounting the legacy maps (which interestingly fully favour one side or the other), there are only 2 maps in which there is rough parity in victories, and 6 in which blue is winning far more than red does or is outright dominating. That's actionable data, right there. I also contend that the logistical constraints largely existed because there was really no _need_ for the tactical air forces to be using the superjuice at that point in the war. When 95% of what you're doing is supporting the troops, that extra bit of power is mostly irrelevant, especially when you consider the logistical impacts of using it (not only distribution, but handling and maintenance issues, as the 150 fuel was ridiculously unhealthy, it fouled up engines. So why use it when you didn't need it?). Whereas if the skies were still hotly contested by late 44, you can bet there would be a lot more air superiority units deployed, with the hottest airplanes, and the best fuel available. Which takes us back to historical limits being applied unevenly and without their historical context (not that this historical context should be enforced, nobody wants to simulate the complete air superiority the allied actually enjoyed, after all). That said, I definitely agree with Alonzo's emphasis on historicity being used to provide variety. That's certainly legitimate, and makes for more fun and varied maps.
  22. My one point is that we need to keep in mind that the ratios we see are inherently ahistorical in the first place. If we had real ratios, the allies would have 10 airplanes for every 1 LW. Obviously we don't want that, and so historical numbers and ratios already give way to balance. As such, while we CAN use historical numbers to add flavour and variety to the scenarios (like having some missions without P-38s, or without 150 octane, or without K4s and D9s), they should be secondary to balancing the factions. So for example, limiting Tempests should be done for balance reason, not because historically there were only 5 squadrons. Because those numbers only existed in a context where the allies already had complete air superiority, and little need for air superiority squadrons in the tactical theatre. This is, of course, also why the allies had plenty of older models still going around moving mud, while the LW was frantically fielding their top models, grasping for the wunder weapon that would turn the tide. If the allies had not gained total superiority and still needed to wrestle control of the air from the LW by late 44, the orbats would have looked very different indeed.
  23. There's a reason for that, though: the Tempests were deployed in limited numbers because this is what the allies needed. Tempests were dedicated to air superiority, something which the allies had limited need for in the tactical theatre. Given the complete air superiority the allies enjoyed, the need for dedicated air superiority units was minimal (most of those units were focused on the strategic campaign). If the LW had air parity the way they do in the sim, I think we can reasonably assume that the allied air order of battle would have been massively different, with a far greater emphasis on air superiority than we saw historically. Tempests would be pushed forward a lot more, same as Spit XIVs. 150 octane would have been ubiquitous in the tactical air forces. The very nature of the tactical and strategic missions would be drastically altered as well. And therein lies a major problem: we're using historical numbers to justify limitations being placed in a completely unhistorical context. In this instance we're limiting Tempests because few of them were deployed because there wasn't much of a need for their mission... while at the same time not enforcing the historical limitations that led to there being few tempests in the first place (or other air superiority units at the tactical level). To be clear, I certainly am not advocating that we should enforce historical limitations on the LW. Flying against 10 to 1 odds would never be fun :). But we should definitely review those limitations placed on the allies in the name of historicity, when those limitations are removed from their historical context by virtue of not enforcing historical limitations on the LW side. Tempest and 150 octane restrictions are good examples of such limitations that should be reviewed, particularly now that the balance strongly favours blue. Thank you.
  24. Right, but without the mod it is a massive disadvantage. The mod makes it far more tolerable, and viable to play competitively only in VR. Without it, VR becomes a major handicap.
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