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II/JG17_HerrMurf

Midway and Seaplane Tech

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Seaplane and Recon Mechanics:

 

I’ve been thinking a bit about Midway, and water tech, and seaplanes, and game mechanics. Mostly I’m just excited about those four things moving forward.

 

Part One, a Question:

 

I have questions about how to make recon work in a meaningful way. I’ve heard ROF has some interesting implementation but I’ve never played it beyond a few takeoffs and landings. What is the implementation and what are your suggestions for improving it? I'd be willing to do recon if it was interesting and rewarding for both me individually and for the success of my team in MP.

 

Part Two, a Statement:

 

I have an idea for seaplane implementation, particularly in regard to multiplayer. The idea is this; make seaborne rescues a real thing. Now, I don’t suggest the average player, shot down and out at sea, wait twenty to ninety minutes for rescue. BUT his downed avatar can. Let’s say you either ditch or bail out over sea in multiplayer. You wait the requisite amount of time (usually a few seconds) to respawn in your trusty DF steed and you are back in game. While all of that happens the pilot/avatar from the downed AC remains at sea and awaits rescue.

 

Enter the seaplane. The avatar puts out one or maybe two messages about it’s location, let’s say a guesstimate of +/- one kilometer. We can game it and give the guy a small light beacon or some water dye of limited diameter as a server side option.

 

To make it worthwhile for seaplane guys to make the rescue make it worth a significant amount of points – double the worth of the downed AC. Afterall, you don’t lose the pilot (12 points per fighter) and your nation doesn’t have to train someone to replace him (12 points per fighter).  As an aside, I think all ground targets should be worth more points in general as well - to get more people involved in strike missions. Make it valuable to both the rescue pilot and the team.

 

Capturing opposing pilots might be interesting but I have to give this some more thought........

 

This makes the whole endeavor challenging, not to mention finding him AND avoiding additional fighters. Make it high risk and very high reward. It would likely get a few folks involved in seaplane operations beyond recon, resupply and light bombing. Might sell some premium seaplanes as well – I’m looking at you PBY Catalina.

 

What do you think?

 

Murf

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Great idea about rescuing downed pilots. The player doesn't need to wait there but certainly it'd be great to have that as a mission type.

 

I had written something about this too (https://stormbirds.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/the-f1m2-pete-and-battle-of-midways-strategy/) but I was focused more on fleet strategy. A fun game mode for a multiplayer server would be to somehow have the fleets invisible to each other on the spawn map and then forward picket ships send out seaplanes to scout for the fleet. They are much slower but once spotted they can relay the information to the Air Marshal who could then direct a strike on the enemy.

 

So not only do you need to strike the enemy fleet successfully and defend your own but you need to find them first. A critical part of the Midway battle.

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The wifey, thinking like a gamer, wants the avatar to have an expiration date - say ten minutes - to create a sense of urgency for the rescue.

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I'm with your Murf.

As a mission designer, for single player I mostly just need the pilot/raft object and I can improvise using the complex trigger MCU from there.

For multiplayer I think you're spot on.

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After thinking about it a bit, I think I'd include capturing downed pilots now. Make them worth more to your teammates alive than dead. Let's call it twelve points (twelve to the pilot for the kill and twelve to the seaplane pilot with the capture.) Now a downed pilot is worth twenty four points to either side. Otherwise they would just get strafed in the water to deny the enemy team their rescue points.

 

Further, these points are tied to the pilot only. As a game mechanic, only the downed pilot is persistent regardless of how many crew were on board. You don't get to stack points because there were six crew members aboard.

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf

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They need to do something to make these aircraft worthwhile and interesting to play; because in the game's current state I can't see the reasoning to put forth the effort of implementing these seaplanes which will be no more than seldom-used curio showpieces.

 

Judging by how much effort has been put forth to create compelling gameplay options for the JU52, I can only suggest they stay away from these seaplanes altogether if they plan on giving them the same treatment.

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They need to do something to make these aircraft worthwhile and interesting to play; because in the game's current state I can't see the reasoning to put forth the effort of implementing these seaplanes which will be no more than seldom-used curio showpieces.

 

Quite a bit of that is a matter of mission design (talking single player).

I can do quite a bit with the Ju-52 where mission design is concerned, and would have no trouble with float planes.

 

Multiplayer is another matter, and I'm guessing this will get some attention.

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Recon and artillery spotting in ROF was fun. This sounds like fun. Besides, this would be in the PTO. Whats not to like?

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Then use the D4Y Judy, of which a few recon variants were at Midway.

 

Can be used as a bomber as well, so you get more functionality; and devs don't have to deal with hassle of working out catapult launch from cruisers in addition to everything they already have to do.

 

I get that people get off on the history aspect of all this and I understand these floatplanes were massively important; but from a strictly gameplay perspective, these planes are not going to be flown nearly as much as the enthusiast minority think they will be unless some serious effort is made to encourage it.

 

A wide majority didn't fly recon in RoF, and they won't here either.

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Well personally I'd fly recon in the Storch online all the time if I had it.

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I think you missed the part where I gave ten paragraphs of game mechanics to make seaborne rescue worthwhile.....plus the opportunity to be constructive on how to improve the game mechanics for recon as well.

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf

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I think you missed the part where I gave you ten paragraphs of game mechanics to make seaborne rescue worthwhile.....plus the opportunity to be constructive on how to improve the game mechanics for recon as well.

I didn't miss anything thank you.

 

I'm actually on your side, but with the JU52 implementation fresh in mind, I don't share near your optimism.

 

I think the JU52 is awesome, and seaplanes would be too; but if they're not going to go all the way with them, I'd prefer they don't go at all.

 

Most of what you suggest would be fantastic.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr

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I am firmly an offline player, thanks to distance from servers and a lack of time to invest in learning air combat. However, with mechanics as described above, I could see myself putting in time online flying recon and rescue missions.

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I like the idea HerrMurf!

In the RoF MP there were missions for bombers to go over enemy territory and photo enemy positions, once that is done new objectives generates (if bomber get back home alive).

As a fan of ww2 Pacific theatre i imagined that in il2 PTO we will have MP which could give equal opportunity to both sides despite player ratio and the idea is this;

-Enemy positions (carriers and ships) are not shown on map, just rough estimated area of posibble enemy location so sqadroon or scout plane (bomber or seaplane) will have to search it.

Once you spot enemy ships you will report enemy positions to friendlies and attack may start.

You fly over the sunny pacific, looking between clouds to spot ship trails on the sea, once you spot them enemy gets(or not depending on alt) notice it is spotted and can launch counterattack.

Now if you're in sqadroon you can attack or if you are in seaplane you'll want to run for your life.

I think it will give equal oppotmrtunity for both sides even if one side has way less players in case other side didn't spot your carriers. Also it gives room for tactics.

I would love to see this alongside your idea.

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There would need to be something in place to ensure that other aircraft can't out-recon the seaplane.

 

Maybe like a successful "photo" from a seaplane reveals an enemy ship's location on the map for all friendlies. (only at the position at the time the "photo" was taken; no live update without a plane on site)

 

A seaplane on site could therefore keep friendlies updated on enemy ship positions, and there would be strong incentive to fly them, protect them, and knock them out of the sky.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr
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Yeah as long seaplane have visual on enemy ships they will be shown to all friendlies, once seaplane loose them from sight map will show ships last position.

To make sure player spotted the ships and not default plane radar player will need to enter certain message into chat to activate enemy positions marker on the map. Something like "EP 1125.4".

And to avoid trolling and false reports icon on map can be activated only if ships are really there.

Edited by redribbon

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And when ships are spotted scout plane will also provide info of ships movement direction, and if ships spot scout plane they will change movement direction by default to make sure when scout plane is gone that enemy can't predict correct ships location.

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The rescue of pilots is a great idea.  I made some edited screenshots as storyboards of a similar arrangement using the storch before Midway was announced, but never got a chance to post them.

 

One of the difficulties in a Pacific theatre computer game would be the resolution of the player's screen, versus the tiny size of the downed pilot.  Spotting an airman alone would be difficult and quite possibly exhausting for many players after long periods.  A way around this would be to have audio triggers from the AI crewmen of your aircraft, which were activated when you fly within a certain range of the airman object.

 

"Gunner to pilot, I think there's something in the water about a mile to starboard.  Bearing 070..."

 

You fly that way to investigate.  As you get nearer, you trip another voice message:

 

"Navigator here.  I see it too.  Definitely something there.  Could be a life raft"

 

Closer still and another sample is triggered:

 

"Gunner to crew, I can see it clearly now.  It's a raft with one man inside"

 

etc. etc....

 

"There he is"

 

"It's one of ours!"

 

""Crew standby for water landing..."

 

You could do all kinds of stuff like that.  The player wouldn't even have to clap eyes on the little guy in the water to suddenly feel engaged and part of a successful search and rescue team.  You could even have "false alarm" objects that have the crew reporting on stray bits of wreckage or whatnot.  The potential is massive.

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Quite new in BoX, and I came here initially because if the fighters.

 

Now, the moment I realized we had also Stukas and bigger bombers, and saw there's a transport plane as well, I started seeing this as a WW2 world more than like a fight arena.

 

This is where I got my feet really wet and purchased BoM and BuK.

 

Yes I do like these suggestions and would definitely fly them.

If they are worth the investment, I'm still too new and lack perspective and context, but as a player, I'd put my money there.

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Uuuh, rescuing missions in pacific is a very good idea!

I think this could be fairly easy done as well.

Just land near him and then start again, maybe online you could save lives that way (i.e. when one side looses pilots too fast).

Nice.

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Perhaps an addition to spice it up could be that, once a pilot hits the water, one vessel from each side is directed to those coordinates to attempt a rescue or capture. These would engage each other, but they take longer than the seaplane. Having those vessels gives a sense of urgency to the SAR pilot - should he take long, the downed airmen could be captured, the enemy vessel could bring his floatplane under fire, and the presence of friendly and hostile vessels could attract fighters and bombers to the area which would make the mission more complicated and risky.

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seaborne rescue is a neat little extra.  Spotting and tracking the enemy fleet is a must have for Midway/Pacific.  Pretty sure they already have the tech to do it from RoF so I would be shocked if it's not in the next game.

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I can see the rescue system being abused. Takeoff, immediately bail out, rescue, repeat.

There will always be gamers but it would be somewhat time consuming to do it. You could get just as many points in a similar timeframe by bombing a factory or fuel depot. Probably at lesser risk than low level extractions. Another way to lessen this is to make the seaplane base have no other AC types at that location but that is a map makers job not the Dev's.

 

The number of abusers would likely be pretty low I'd think.

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf

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Not to mention that it's easier to camp near crash sites and pick off the PBYs without escort.

 

SAR could also work for crippled ships in theory, no? Ship sends out a distress signal, sea plane comes to the rescue, 2 or 3 trips depending on the vessel and everyone is safely evacuated.

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I’ve been thinking a bit about Midway, and water tech, and seaplanes, and game mechanics. Mostly I’m just excited about those four things moving forward.

I'm with you, Murf.

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding seaplanes and mechanics, here are some instances from other sims where I've done recon/rescue missions.

 

 

 

Example 1

 

Rise of Flight (RoF) had a recon mechanic built into the game, which was pretty neat. The problem was that it was a bit buggy and didn't always work. I flew a lot of recon missions with the DFW, but I was never able to get the recon to work with the Hansa-Brandenburg W12 seaplane. I suspect that the mechanism was bugged.

 

 

RoF also had an artillery spotting mechanic. I never used this but, thinking ahead to Midway, it could be used for spotting for battleships... either for ship-to-ship gunnery, or for shore bombardment.

 

 

 

 

Example 2

 

Storm of War (SoW) was a campaign built using IL-2:Cliffs of Dover. It had photo-recon built into it. Recon-equipped aircraft had a camera with four canisters of film. In flight you selected the TAB-4-3 menu and it would take the photograph. You then had to make it back to base for the photos to be received. In my opinion this was the best feature of the whole campaign, as you not only had to get to target, but if you didn't make it home, you got nothing for it.

 

The SoW mechanism worked as follows: when you select TAB-4-3, the server records the time, your aircraft ID and position in the server log. Afterwards, it checks that the aircraft made it back to friednly territory and then, if so, compares the time and location of your photos to the target list. SoW had persistent damage, so recon was used for damage monitoring as well as target discovery.

 

SoW also had a built-in counter, limiting the number of photographs each flight could carry. We used high-alt bombers with sights and low-level close-up photographs to great effect. It also was particularly good as SoW was a 24/7 campaign, and it gave pilots something to do if the server was otherwise empty.

 

 

 

Example 3

 

In Silent Hunter 3 (SH3), we built rescue missions, where you had to find and rescue aircrews. The idea was based on historical scenarios (e.g. U-boat U-30, 29-Mar-1940, REF). Our mod (GWM v41) had a survivour object (a chap with a life jacket, who floated in the water). When you approached the area in your U-boat, a "zone trigger" would go off. This would a) give a rescue message to screen, b) credit your U-boat with the accomplishment and c) despawn the survivour object. A second "time trigger" was also in place so if you did not rescue the survivour in time, he would drown. Like recon, you needed to end the mission successfully.

 

 

 

I have questions about how to make recon work in a meaningful way. I’ve heard ROF has some interesting implementation but I’ve never played it beyond a few takeoffs and landings. What is the implementation and what are your suggestions for improving it?

For recon, what is critical is that the game can write a server log or something which reports "time, aircraft, location" whenever the photo button is pressed. If you can also get a server log message which reports "time, aircraft, location" for takeoffs and landings, then you can do the rest with server-side scripts.

 

When I last checked, the server log did not record aircraft information for canister drops from the Ju52. It is important to have all the information to hand, so the pilots can get the credit and the script writers have enough information to be able to decide if there was success or not.

 

One of the big issues with online gameplay is "what the stats encourage". If you can only get points for kills, then this is what you'll see to the detriment of all else. If, however, there is a reward for bombing, transport, liaison, recon, supply-canister drops, paratroop drops, artillery spotting, search-and-rescue, etc., then you will see a lot more varied gameplay, and a higher proportion of aircraft which are keen on survival of themselves over the death of their opponent. It can be difficult to encourage the "survival instinct" in some players. However, they will be more careful, if their mission has got survival built in as a criteria. Comparing the SoW gameplay to other servers indicated that they got that more-or-less right.

 

Radio mechanisms would also be good, although harder to implement. At the moment, there is little in the way of air-radio nav/comms in the IL-2 series, so having these would also help. Like a photograph, having a button which, when pressed, would send out a radio report of your area would be cool. It could also put an icon on the enemy map saying "here I am!".

 

 

I also agree with what hrafnkolbrandr wrote: "There would need to be something in place to ensure that other aircraft can't out-recon the seaplane." Yes.

Also, to address MAGNUM_PT ("I can see the rescue system being abused. Takeoff, immediately bail out, rescue, repeat."), it would be up to the mission builders to script out those sorts of options. Being unable to rescue yourself, or only having rescues count for points if rescued from enemy territory. Etc..

 

 

 

It would likely get a few folks involved in seaplane operations beyond recon, resupply and light bombing. Might sell some premium seaplanes as well – I’m looking at you PBY Catalina.

I agree that the PBY Catalina is a classic and could be used for so many things. It was also very common (over 3000 produced).

 

The Vought OS2U Kingfisher (REF) is another which I think would be an invaluable addition. There were 1519 of these produced. It was used for rescue operations (there are historical examples thereof) and can be ship-launched.

 

Two other options are the Curtiss SOC Seagull (322 produced, REF) and SO3C Seamew (795 produced, REF). These are interesting but, unlike the PBY and OS2U, are less likely to warrant inclusion in IL2:Midway.

 

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only having rescues count for points if rescued from enemy territory. 

 

Bingo

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I don't really like the idea of "rescuing yourself". It strikes me as a bit of a paradox.To avoid the rescuing yourself abusable paradox, it could just be randomly spawned downed airmen, that you have to go out and and find. Oincorporating the field marshal feature coming up, the air marshal could give a general area for a pilot to search. 

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only having rescues count for points if rescued from enemy territory. 

 

Bingo

 

Yes, this. I apparently missed this in my original description. Downed in enemy territory is the general intent.

 

I also have no problems in rescuing yourself if you spend ten minutes flying and searching to do it. I don't particularly like randomly spawning downed airmen but that's just a personal opinion.

Edited by II/JG17_HerrMurf

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Would a land-based rescue mission be possible to implement with the mission editor as of today? Could an event like a pilot bailing and landing trigger the mission?

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Would a land-based rescue mission be possible to implement with the mission editor as of today? Could an event like a pilot bailing and landing trigger the mission?

 Yes to the first, no to the second.

I actually have a rescue mission with the Ju-52 partially finished...although I doubt I'll get around to completing it at this point.

It's a matter of getting a bit creative with triggers and subtitles, but easily doable.

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The seaplane rescue is a great plan, just hope we get similar performance planes 

f194c8a9b065db0ecd4d9e980ab52e52.jpg

mitsubishiF1M.jpg

PBYcatalinatakingoffwithdepthchargesunde

H8Kemilyondrydock.jpg


Not like today one side did get a transport and the other not

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I think this sounds really awesome and would love to see something like it in the Pacific. Fingers crossed.

 

I used to love the seaplane zero variant in 1946. It was always exciting getting a float or two shot off and wondering how you were going to land.

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I imagine a PBY could loiter and pickup more than one pilot in a single sortie too. That would be interesting. You've already got three, do you hang around and push your luck for a fourth. Or head back for your points while you still can?

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Especially if they are worth double points. It can really help your team BUT low n slow n need to get em home safely to collect. Decisions decisions decisions.

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