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Bearfoot

On Balancing the "Game" While Keeping the "Sim"

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So, lot's of discussion on balance.

 

I agree that it is a step in the wrong direction to nerf a/c to achieve balance.

 

I agree that it is a step in the wrong direction to soup-up a/c to achieve balance.

 

No comment on whether any a/c in the game are actually souped-up or nerfed (my impression is that all a/c are actually quite a bit over-powered than I would expect given my 0 real-world experience flying a Bf-109 of any variant or a Yak-1 of any variant).

 

But I do have a suggestion to achieve game balance, though I do not know if it is possible.

 

Would it be possible to selectively boost the the under-represented side with AI fighters? Specifically, if there is currently a 2:1 ratio in favor of side "A", then anyone who joins side "B" will at least have the choice of being assigned an AI wingman? Not sure if the server mechanics would support this, or this would even be possible with scripting. An AI wingman would be great, but if that is not possible, then maybe just a launching of a scripted flight of AI every now and then, either as a CAP defending airfields/targets or send them flying toward enemy airfields/target and hope for the best.

 

Of course, the AI are dumb and will no way make up for human players. But they can make a difference, if nothing by absorbing the attention/bullets of the other side for a short while. Depending on things, the target balance ratio need not even be 1:1, but may reflect some desired historical (or ahistorical) ratios for a particular battle (e.g., 1.5:1 or 2:1). 

 

Just a suggestion for a realistic way to achieve balance, thus allowing this framework to function better as a game without eroding it as a sim, which would happen if a/c were nerfed or boosted. At the same time, avoid the jaded battleground of exhorting folks to fly for the other side to redress numbers (speaking as one who personally adopts this policy myself, but recognizes that everyone has their own choices to make in this regard).

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Many onliners have horror stories about how they got their manhood shrunk by the presence of AI, so I'd expect a fair bit of resistance to it. Personally I like the idea of having AI though and would welcome a new net code that could cope with more than a few at a time.

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The CLoD ATAG server had AI flights on both sides, I recall. It seemed to function well and I appreciated it a lot when the server was quieter, which was always when I was on - given my timezone.

 

As for AI flights in this sim, yeah, I like the idea. I imagine it would be fun to come across enemy (and friendly) bomber flights and fighter sweeps.

 

And, I suppose if one particular side was outnumbered one could just have more AI flights on the other - somehow.

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AI is dumb and 0 challenge in a dogfight. The reason I play online is to go up against other people. If I want to fight computers I'd play SP.

 

The only thing the Ai does is ruin fights with real players by zooming past once and knocking you out with its super duper aim when you finally have an advantage.

 

No thanks.

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AI is dumb and 0 challenge in a dogfight. The reason I play online is to go up against other people. If I want to fight computers I'd play SP.

 

The only thing the Ai does is ruin fights with real players by zooming past once and knocking you out with its super duper aim when you finally have an advantage.

 

No thanks.

 

 

I am not proposing replacing a single human with AI. I am saying adding AI's to make up the numbers for the imbalance.

 

You will still be flying against humans. And AI, if you happen to be on the side with more humans. If the AI is actually contributing 0 to the situation, then the situation will be unchanged for you. Though, in reality it will. You actually will not know if you are flying against a smart human or a dumb AI immediately, and the time taken to stalk the dumb AI, minimal as it is, will buy time for the smart humans to get away to continue with their mission or come and get you. Or even the bullets you use up against the AI means that there will be less to use on the human. Or, maybe, just maybe, while you are focusing on a smart human, one of those dumb AI will get you. And if none of this works out, well, as I said nothing's changed for you: the same humans you were flying with/against will be there. If it helps, you can imagine those dumb AI to be the hordes of poorly-trained pilots that were pervasive at least in the early part of the war.

 

(EDIT: reading your post makes me think that you really did not read the original post beyond the title. I am so tempted to make some sort of dumb AI vs smart human joke here, but I refrain because it is late and you may not be able to help yourself ;) )

Edited by Bearfoot

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Nope. I read your post and understood it perfectly. If you want to shoot me down while I'm looking at something else, fly with a wingman.

 

And yes, the Ai is very easy to spot in comparison to players.

 

I could see it being done for ground attack aircraft maybe. But any server that does it with fighters is a server I won't fly on.

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We've had AI on our Il-2 server in the later stages and they often were useful additions. It added some organized, mission type style game play. You could add some bomber formations that gave the fighter jocks something to escort or intercept, while it gave the bomber guys a formation they could join or use as a distraction. It did get a bit predictable, though. All in all, more pros than cons.

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ai is for SP, humans for MP, only.

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I think it's a great idea. They have to be woven into the multiplayer environment but they can be good.

 

As JtD mentioned, we used to insert small bomber formations that were fun for the fighter jocks to intercept but also for friendly players to escort or friendly bomber pilots to try and insert themselves into the formation.

 

The biggest trick was making sure that the AI flights didn't bog down performance on the server or client machines. Carefully balanced they can work wonders though.

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I'd enjoy the challenge of leading a formation of Ju-52s online to resupply an area.  With points awarded to me for each one that drops successfully, and for each one that survives.

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For what it's worth, I think people get confused about what is "the game" and what is "the server" and what is "the mission". I think this happened a lot with CloD, where people seemed to equate the game with the ATAG server and the missions it ran (runs, I suppose!). Which is a shame, because there's so much more to CloD (and of course BoS) than whatever happens to be the most popular online DF server at any given moment.

 

Having AI flights of any and all descriptions are totally possible right now in the game: it's just a question of the mission builder adding them (and appropriate triggers) to the missions being run by the server. You can even design missions so after a given number of spawnings (or deaths) AI flights could spawn, etc, etc. (I can't see how you'd spawn in a covering AI wingman in an MP mission, though.)

 

Likewise, there's nothing to stop anyone at all building missions and running them on an open server for people to join as and when they want to. I look forward to those halcyon hyperlobby-esque days to come when there's a plethora of coops and DF servers for people to have fun in.

Edited by No601_Swallow

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WoL had Ju-52 AI. Not sure why they removed them????

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We had a positive response on the implementation on AI bomber formation on the ATAG server. Limited amount of raid can be called on both side. Human player can also join the formation to escort or as gunners within the AI bomber formation.

o7  

Edited by ATAG_dB

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AI Bombers are cool and certainly would add in a positive way to a mission. But they won't achieve 'balancing'. And trying to do this by adding Ai fighters is a bad idea I think.

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DefaultFace, what do you propose, then to fix the problem of imbalance in the game? I see you and people like you shooting down solutions all the time but you never have anything to add. 

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This isn't a solution. I'm not trying to shoot down solutions to keep the VVS outnumbered. I haven't been around here that long but I haven't really had problems finding a server with semi decent numbers balance most of the time. Yes it does happen, and I have seen it. I'm not denying that it is the way it is, but I just go to another server.

 

TBH I don't really care either. Sure it sucks being on the outnumbered team, but that's not my problem. I spent plenty of time in DCS where there were 15 people max on a server, wondering if it's acceptable to fly the plane I want to now. Personally, I don't like russian planes. I think they're ugly and I'm not a fan of the feel of the Yak's FM. That's just me and my opinion. If other people want to fly only russian, or fly both sides, then they should do that. I just want to play the game and fly the planes that I payed for and not be blocked by a server from flying on a certain side, or a certain airplane, or silly things like removing headrests on one version of an aircraft but not being allowed to on the higher performing version of that aircraft.

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Nope. I read your post and understood it perfectly. If you want to shoot me down while I'm looking at something else, fly with a wingman.

 

And yes, the Ai is very easy to spot in comparison to players.

 

I could see it being done for ground attack aircraft maybe. But any server that does it with fighters is a server I won't fly on.

Well, I guess that's our tragic loss. We will try to cope with the emotional and material impacts, and, hopefully we will heal over time ;)

 

More seriously, I think there are many problems with this proposal. But you have not raised any substantial ones. But all you have raised are some vague idea that you want to shoot down humans and don't want to shoot down or be shot down AI. As I noted, your primary opponents will still be humans. The AI are there to spread your attention around. If they are so dumb compared to how smart you are, they will be a non-issue. If they are not so dumb (or maybe you are not as smart as you hope), then, all the better, they are doing their job.

 

Fact is, you are already flying against AI --- ground targets and AA. This just puts some of them in the air. No different from stiffening up the AA around an objective.

 

Either way, thank you for your input. I'm almost certain there will always be servers where you can roam around shooting down outnumbered humans in your favorite plane to your heart's content without being challenged by any lowly AI.

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I think the first step that could be done is setting the max players per side to half of the total slots. So if there are 84 total slots, then it could have max 42 flying blue or red. That already will prevent situations like 52 vs 32 or similar.

I think that AI bomber/attacker flights with escort are not bad either, when server is kind of empty or unbalanced. No AI fighter CAP though.

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How do people feel about putting fighters up over the spawn points to discourage spawn camping? I know, I know "It is a valid tactic WAAAAAAAAA!" but it is also annoying as hell to be killed on the ground seconds after you spawn in with your engine still starting up. The AA guns defending the spawn points are a bit of a joke on a lot of the servers, I've seen HE 111's reliably penetrate the screen and make accurate bomb drops at any altitude. Having a few fighters dedicated to defending this point on servers where the spawns can't be taken by the other team would surly help.

Edited by Disarray
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How do people feel about putting fighters up over the spawn points to discourage spawn camping? I know, I know "It is a valid tactic WAAAAAAAAA!" but it is also annoying as hell to be killed on the ground seconds after you spawn in with your engine still starting up. The AA guns defending the spawn points are a bit of a joke on a lot of the servers, I've seen HE 111's reliably penetrate the screen and make accurate bomb drops at any altitude. Having a few fighters dedicated to defending this point on servers where the spawns can't be taken by the other team would surly help.

Maybe instead of firing a flare, when enemy approaches they can spawn a couple of fighters at 2K. When enemy leaves they disappear?

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Kemp is right.  The primary solution is to have a script that allows no more than X numbers imbalance.  Any screaming from problem people will die off shortly when the system remains in place.

 

 

I have to say though, the attitude from all the fighter guys about how AI ground attackers and bombers are totally welcome to give them more targets, but god forbid there are AI fighters is pretty funny.  No wonder DCS only makes fighters with WW2.

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the attitude from all the fighter guys about how AI ground attackers and bombers are totally welcome to give them more targets, but god forbid there are AI fighters is pretty funny. 

 

Yep, found this pretty comical as well

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Me and my squad are mostly prevented to fly Blue airplanes because of this unbalance, we do not think it is fun to fly around with no opponents. And the fact that so many refuse to fly red is the problem. Reducing numbers allowed for one side will only reduce players in my opinion. 

I think this will be the problem in PTO also, because suddenly will all Blue fly Red, and those red is forced to fly only Blue. I wish for a more open minded crowd, that took a little for the community. If there is to be a gameplay there has to be to sides.

This problem is one of the reasons I personally haven't flown public servers for month. You just get fed up. When HS 129 come, I give a shit , I fly Blue if there is only blue on map. The probability of coop servers only game is closer than ever. It could lead to fight AI only in the end

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I think the sweeping or CAPing AI fighters would make the life of bomber pilots extra hard and only turn the server into more of a dogfighting server, so I don't really find it a good idea.

AI escorts on AI bombers are another thing, though. Having a flight of three bombers with their combined defensive fire and an escort fighter or even 4 bombers with two escorts is not so easy nut to crack for a lone wolf.

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Hopefully WoL does not add more AI. If you want to fight AI, play SP missions.

 

If you have not noticed, there are no human enemies in SP.

WoL is the "most full" server anyway, so there is generally little need for AI, when most or all of the slots are already occupied by humans. Just a max 42 players per side would already help balancing things out. But if there is a 30:15 situation, what harm does it do exactly to have some AI flights around? 

 

Reducing numbers allowed for one side will only reduce players in my opinion. 

 

I disagree there. If there was a 52:32 situation on the server, as said before, it actually prevents these people to join that would be willing to play the outnumbered side. Or if there were no such players ... well, reducing from 52:32 to 42:32 is more fun anyway. Those reduced players can play 10:0 on another server then, if they refuse to switch sides.

Edited by II./JG77_Kemp
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what harm does it do exactly to have some AI flights around? 

 

It won't do any harm to me, because I won't be playing on that server. I don't play MP to play against AI.

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It won't do any harm to me, because I won't be playing on that server. I don't play MP to play against AI.

 

See, there is a solution for every problem.  

But to add to that, nobody is forcing  you to attack these AI flights if it is against your religion or something. You would be most probably able to recognize the AI flying in a formation anyway, unless there were DBS guys flying.

Edited by II./JG77_Kemp
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See, there is a solution for every problem.

 

If you want to play MP against AI, go fly on Wargrounds. There are AI in there. It's usually empty, so you'll get to fight the AI without anyone bothering you.

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So, Robin how do you propose to fix the problem?

I think the situation has actually improved a little lately. However, for early war missions that are still stacked, I would get rid of the F4 and lock the German mod options.

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If you want to play MP against AI, go fly on Wargrounds. There are AI in there. It's usually empty, so you'll get to fight the AI without anyone bothering you.

 

Please allow me to quote my original reply to you and try to understand the point I made there:

 

 

If you have not noticed, there are no human enemies in SP.
 

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See, there is a solution for every problem.  

But to add to that, nobody is forcing  you to attack these AI flights if it is against your religion or something. You would be most probably able to recognize the AI flying in a formation anyway, unless there were DBS guys flying.

We already have a server with AI. Wargrounds. It's usually empty. That probably is not a coincidence.

Please allow me to quote my original reply to you and try to understand the point I made there:

 

I haven't the slightest idea what point you're trying to make with that statement.

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We already have a server with AI. Wargrounds. It's usually empty. That probably is not a coincidence.
 

 

So according to your deep belief, all the servers that are empty, are empty because they all have AI flying around? Or could there be any other reasons that come to your mind?

That was a rhetoric question, just for brain exercise. No need to answer really, as I don't really see any constructive outcome from this discussion with you anyway.

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Try Coconuts server, too, there are AI-flights. CAP and CAS missions, not too many, but enough one has to take them into account. In contrast to the completely overdone long-range sniper-AI of the light AA-guns the AI-planes behave in a way not destroying the immersion.

 

edit: *light* AA-guns

Edited by 216th_Retnek

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I haven't the slightest idea what point you're trying to make with that statement.

 

Okay, I will print the main point out in bold for you: no human enemies.  Now, are you able to find any connection between that and a server that you advertise as "It's usually empty"? C'mon, it can't be that hard.

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So according to your deep belief, all the servers that are empty, are empty because they all have AI flying around? Or could there be any other reasons that come to your mind?

That was a rhetoric question, just for brain exercise. No need to answer really, as I don't really see any constructive outcome from this discussion with you anyway.

There aren't a lot of other differences. Wargrounds has better ping for people in N/S America. And yet they'd still rather not fly against AI.

Okay, I will print the main point out in bold for you: no human enemies.

So what? If you want to fly against humans, play MP. If you want to play against AI, play SP.

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Robin, you are playing against AI in MP servers. That is a fact, I'm sorry. All the AA guns on the ground are AI. Most of the gunners in bombers and attackers are AI. If you attack a moving tank or truck formation, it is being moved by an AI. So what is the difference? What is the big deal about adding some more AI in to help balance some things out?

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So what? If you want to fly against humans, play MP. If you want to play against AI, play SP.

 

Like I said, my previous question was a rhetoric question, just to exercise your brain to think outside of a box. I will offer another exercise, for free.

So, people are not supposed to fly against humans, if there is any kind of AI involved? Does it only concern planes or any other AI? Now ask yourself, why you have come to this conclusion. Then can ask why again. Ask yourself, could there be any other alternative to this line of thought. 

Just some simple exercises to help  you open up your mind to new thoughts.

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There aren't a lot of other differences. Wargrounds has better ping for people in N/S America. And yet they'd still rather not fly against AI.

 

So what? If you want to fly against humans, play MP. If you want to play against AI, play SP.

 

Let is keep this really, really, really simple.

 

It is not either/or.

 

I want to fly against humans.

 

I don't want to fly against disadvantaged humans. 

 

I don't mind flying against humans and AI if the AI add to the game, atmosphere, theater, and balance, without compromising on authenticity.

 

And luckily for all of us, until you buy the company and change the license terms to explicitly prohibit AI fighters in MP, you don't get to impose your the narrow vision that MP must be human only (as opposed to human AND AI ... which it actually already is) on the rest of the community. You do get to vote by blessing or not blessing a particular server by your hallowed presence, of course. 

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