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Barnacles

To be clear, the feature of restricting planes is one of my favourite features of the server, because as seen with the Tempest, it means that when fighting the allies, you will generally see a good variety of the Allied rides. You do tend to see a lot of mustangs but then they were common by that time in the war.

The icing on the cake is you have obviously based this on a lot of hard work and expense, searching out the orbats in books, which is really cool, and lets me claim to my wife that it's educational playing IL2 ūüėĄ

But, it's a hard pill to swallow for a fan of the Tempest, to often not be able to fly one, because of 5 squadrons, yet every time he goes up he gets shot down by a DC engine K4, which were one squadron at best. Not saying you've got the tempests are wrong, but although I see that LW planes are limited, in accordance with the rough ratios from history, I don't think that those limits translate themselves to what you see in the air on the server. Ie: Although there might be 60:60 G14s V K4s, that doesn't necessarily lend itself to anywhere near a 50:50 ratio in the sky.

And this isn't a balance thing for me (a G14 is as dangerous to me as a K4). Alonzo's obviously working very hard on that, it's just a variety thing. And also the perception of fairness when it comes to plane sets is important in terms of encouraging people to pitch in sometimes.

Now the last thing I want is Tempests filling the sky, but it'd add something I think to attempt to get closer to the historical ratios.

What worked well in the past was to have the front airfields have the older planes, that way you saw people take the G6s and A8s, because it saved them some time.

Please, this is not a moan, I fly both sides, it's kind of just pointing out that the current mechanic is fantastic for ensuring the VERY rare planes are rare in the server (ie 262s and Tempests), however, the limits placed on the more common (but nevertheless not entirely all pervasive) planes do not really affect what you see at the coal face.


 

Edited by 71st_AH_Barnacles
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QB.Creep

Totally agree with you Barnacles. I would upvote your post if I wasn't out of reactions for today thanks to that idiotic thread about VR. :)

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CIA_Yankee_
50 minutes ago, 71st_AH_Barnacles said:

To be clear, the feature of restricting planes is one of my favourite features of the server, because as seen with the Tempest, it means that when fighting the allies, you will generally see a good variety of the Allied rides. You do tend to see a lot of mustangs but then they were common by that time in the war.

The icing on the cake is you have obviously based this on a lot of hard work and expense, searching out the orbats in books, which is really cool, and lets me claim to my wife that it's educational playing IL2 ūüėĄ

But, it's a hard pill to swallow for a fan of the Tempest, to often not be able to fly one, because of 5 squadrons, yet every time he goes up he gets shot down by a DC engine K4, which were one squadron at best. Not saying you've got the tempests are wrong, but although I see that LW planes are limited, in accordance with the rough ratios from history, I don't think that those limits translate themselves to what you see in the air on the server. Ie: Although there might be 60:60 G14s V K4s, that doesn't necessarily lend itself to anywhere near a 50:50 ratio in the sky.

And this isn't a balance thing for me (a G14 is as dangerous to me as a K4). Alonzo's obviously working very hard on that, it's just a variety thing. And also the perception of fairness when it comes to plane sets is important in terms of encouraging people to pitch in sometimes.

Now the last thing I want is Tempests filling the sky, but it'd add something I think to attempt to get closer to the historical ratios.

What worked well in the past was to have the front airfields have the older planes, that way you saw people take the G6s and A8s, because it saved them some time.

Please, this is not a moan, I fly both sides, it's kind of just pointing out that the current mechanic is fantastic for ensuring the VERY rare planes are rare in the server (ie 262s and Tempests), however, the limits placed on the more common (but nevertheless not entirely all pervasive) planes do not really affect what you see at the coal face.


 

 

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.

 

 

Edited by 71st_AH_Yankee_
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RedKestrel

TBH, there's an obsession with which fighters are available versus which are not, and how many there are, but I've become gradually convinced that the relative proportions of different fighter types doesn't matter much at all in terms of mission win rates. The 262 is a possible exception here as it is so fast and can get so far so quickly that it becomes a major force multiplier and increases the odds of successfully intercepting ground attackers before they drop. The clear factor of who wins missions is who can get decent numbers airborne, and who runs the most effective ground attack operation - a combination of tactics and effective ordnance. The win rate change after the DM patch really illustrates that, it dramatically affected the effectiveness of bombs, rockets, and cannons, and the win rate changed overnight despite no new super planes. The availability of super fighters on one side or the other just makes people want to fly more for one side or the other -its a morale thing, more than a winning thing. 


A huge chunk of the kills made by fighters are bouncing ground attackers. A big proportion of those kills are destroying enemy ground attackers after they have completed their mission, often abandoning their position over the friendly target to chase a low and slow ground attacker that is no longer any threat. In those scenarios that plane type is almost irrelevant. 

 

(Really the tactic of circling a friendly ground target and bouncing attackers as they attack is probably the least effective way to spend your time in a server. You can get a lot of kills that way but your side would benefit so much more from you attacking enemy ground targets than closing barn doors after the horse has dropped 2500 lbs of ordnance in the stable and booked it.)

I mean, its not a revolutionary thought that ground attack determines who wins maps, its literally built into the design of the server. But people seem to forget that.

 

2 minutes ago, QB.Creep said:

Totally agree with you Barnacles. I would upvote your post if I wasn't out of reactions for today thanks to that idiotic thread about VR. :)


You'll have to be more specific I think, there's like three idiotic threads about VR going on at this point, unless a few are locked. Those threads reproduce asexually, like amoebas or people who spend way too much time on Internet Forums. 

 

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-SF-Disarray

I disagree, to an extent, that the fighter availability isn't important. You are correct that ground attack wins missions at the end of the day but there is the limiting factor of fighter intercept. If there are an abundance of D9's and K4's to be countered with standard fueled 51's and Spit 9's and a handful of Tempests, more German fighters will make it through the defenses to the Allied ground attackers. Fewer ground attackers making it to target means fewer targets get attacked and you can see where this is going. If there were more planes that were better able to answer the interceptors more ground attackers would make it to target. I'm not arguing that this is THE factor that explains the disparity in ground target kills. But it is a factor that should not be ignored.

 

And while we are on the subject of historical numbers why isn't attrition factored into the OoB for the German fighters that are available? Sure on paper all of these planes were there in roughly the numbers we see on the server but if you dig just a little deeper you will find that many of the K4's on the books for German units were in various states of disrepair or otherwise not combat effective; in some cases all of the K4's weren't working for units. If the Allies can't have 150 fueled fighters because the units working out of Europe in these missions didn't have it, but we'll just ignore the planes that flew into theater for the fight, why can the Germans use planes that are spread out all over the hanger floor?

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II./SG.1-MarkWilhelmsson

I constantly have advocated for a 1:4 ratio of K4s to G14s. Out of every 5 109s available, only 1 is a K4. This would be a very realistic restriction. Would something like this put the Tempest lovers at ease? If not, is adding more Tempests the only thing that will placate you?

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Barnacles

Totally agree that the type of fighter doesn't matter, but if someone's perception of fairness means that they see the rules are unfair to them, they might down tools. It's a fine balance to strike as let's be honest we all have various degrees of bias. At the moment I only mentioned it not because I desperately want an easy mode plane to club seals with, just brainstorming how to give the allied fliers who were rolling maps when bobp came out their warm fuzzy feeling back, without taking that away from the KW guys.

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Alonzo

Personally I'm with RedKestrel on this, I think that "coordination and number of ground attack sorties and effectiveness of the ordnance" is a much bigger factor than fighter aircraft availability. Spotting planes on the way in to a target is genuinely difficult especially if the attacker has bothered to climb and is coming in at a fair rate of knots; the bomber does tend to get through in our sim. That said, I think the recent DM changes have had an effect on pilot morale -- the .50 cal is a squirt gun against enemy planes compared to the 30mm pineapple launcher, and that's gotta be depressing. The winning meta appears to be "zerg the enemy targets until you win the map" and to be effective in doing that you need pilots. A numbers disadvantage can quickly lead to getting steamrolled.

 

Full disclosure: Talon and I emphasize the history/balance thing slightly differently. Talon is in favor of using historical availability as a primary input to aircraft availability. I think it's useful to inspire variety, but I favor game balance over history in the final calculus. Both of us strongly believe we should have varied matchups so it's not always 51s and Tempests vs K4s and D9s. The final result -- what you see in the missions -- is a balance of both our viewpoints.

 

Here are the mission results for the last 14 days, for maps with > 80 players. Bear in mind that there have been seven explicit nerfs to blue objectives since the DM update, as well as a general "this is too hard for red, make it easier for them" attitude to map edits. This is not the same as the simplistic X Allies Y Axis statistic on the web site. This is much more useful and what we use to look at what to tweak for balance. Apart from Crossing nothing looks unwinnable for red right now, and last time I dug into the stats for Crossing it looked like red was mostly going fighter mode on that map.

 

1664238874_ScreenShot2020-05-04at1_39_40PM.thumb.png.788397301d4dcc43c7e5be667688b46f.png

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Barnacles
3 minutes ago, II./SG.1-MarkWilhelmsson said:

I constantly have advocated for a 1:4 ratio of K4s to G14s. Out of every 5 109s available, only 1 is a K4. This would be a very realistic restriction. Would something like this put the Tempest lovers at ease? If not, is adding more Tempests the only thing that will placate you?

I think the tempest balance is ok right now. Just had an encounter with a wonderful individual in one who chased my damaged 109 back to Venlo, vulched someone who had just taken off then chute shot them. They could probably do with flying a less easy mode plane that might improve their skills.

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Alonzo
3 minutes ago, 71st_AH_Barnacles said:

Totally agree that the type of fighter doesn't matter, but if someone's perception of fairness means that they see the rules are unfair to them, they might down tools. It's a fine balance to strike as let's be honest we all have various degrees of bias. At the moment I only mentioned it not because I desperately want an easy mode plane to club seals with, just brainstorming how to give the allied fliers who were rolling maps when bobp came out their warm fuzzy feeling back, without taking that away from the KW guys.

 

Yep, and I really want to do this without filling the skies with Tempests. The problem I have with many of the arguments about the Tempest is that they're coming from people who fly the thing exclusively and literally won't fly a sortie without it. I've got other people in the flight community, who I trust and are much better pilots than me, saying the Tempest is borderline OP/broken and should be restricted. If we add more Tempests I'm not sure they're gonna win maps unless all the pilots promise to take a bomb load and do their duty before moving on to deleting enemy aircraft with the four Hispano's.

 

FYI for Mark Wilhelmsson, the aircraft numbers have been adjusted over the last two weeks and in almost all cases the K4/D9 are now at a 1:2 ratio with G14/A8. There might be a couple of outliers but it's definitely not 1:1 any more. I think you (and others) gave that feedback and I appreciate it and we did listen ūüėČ

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Barnacles
11 minutes ago, Alonzo said:

 

Yep, and I really want to do this without filling the skies with Tempests. The problem I have with many of the arguments about the Tempest is that they're coming from people who fly the thing exclusively and literally won't fly a sortie without it. I've got other people in the flight community, who I trust and are much better pilots than me, saying the Tempest is borderline OP/broken and should be restricted. If we add more Tempests I'm not sure they're gonna win maps unless all the pilots promise to take a bomb load and do their duty before moving on to deleting enemy aircraft with the four Hispano's.

 

FYI for Mark Wilhelmsson, the aircraft numbers have been adjusted over the last two weeks and in almost all cases the K4/D9 are now at a 1:2 ratio with G14/A8. There might be a couple of outliers but it's definitely not 1:1 any more. I think you (and others) gave that feedback and I appreciate it and we did listen ūüėČ

Totally agree. 

 

In fact the guy who chute shot someone was a 100% Tempest guy, so definitely avoid unlimiting tempests.

 

My only other concern with the ratio thing is unless you go really low on the numbers, the ratio of planes doesn't seem to matter. Ie I saw that there were 15 d9s and k4s at each airfield. So 90 airframes in total. So in theory (given 42 LW players) there could be 2 hours at least of nothing but k4s and d9s, especially given there will probably some 110s on the team.

 

But right on with that it the map doesn't hinge much at all with whether the fighter jocks are in a hot rod plane.

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ZG15_Siggie
Hallo,
es n√ľtzt nichts, sich dar√ľber aufzuregen, warum du die Karten nicht gewinnst.
Es ist besser, dar√ľber nachzudenken, warum dies so ist.
Wir, die ZG15, fliegen normalerweise die Me110. Wir greifen Bodenziele an, um die Karte zu gewinnen.
Auf der anderen Seite gibt es meist nur J√§ger in der Luft, die √ľber unsere Ziele fliegen, um uns abzuschie√üen.
Aber eine Karte kann nur gewonnen werden, wenn die Bodenziele zerstört werden. Die meisten haben das noch nicht verstanden.
Dieses ewige Jammern √ľber den Flugzeugtyp ist nutzlos, solange die Bodenziele nicht zerst√∂rt werden.
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Barnacles
51 minutes ago, Alonzo said:

 

all the pilots promise to take a bomb load and do their duty before moving on to deleting enemy aircraft with the four Hispano's.

 

 

Also for this month I am doing a bit of an experiment, I'm always taking off with a bomb/rocket load and flying both sides, mainly for fun but also for research into objectives and stuff.

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Talon_
6 hours ago, 71st_AH_Yankee_ said:

150 octane restrictions 

 

This was limited by logistical constraints IRL and is available on all maps bar one when it would have featured in history...

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41Sqn_Riksen
3 hours ago, III./ZG15_Siggie said:
Hallo,
es n√ľtzt nichts, sich dar√ľber aufzuregen, warum du die Karten nicht gewinnst.
Es ist besser, dar√ľber nachzudenken, warum dies so ist.
Wir, die ZG15, fliegen normalerweise die Me110. Wir greifen Bodenziele an, um die Karte zu gewinnen.
Auf der anderen Seite gibt es meist nur J√§ger in der Luft, die √ľber unsere Ziele fliegen, um uns abzuschie√üen.
Aber eine Karte kann nur gewonnen werden, wenn die Bodenziele zerstört werden. Die meisten haben das noch nicht verstanden.
Dieses ewige Jammern √ľber den Flugzeugtyp ist nutzlos, solange die Bodenziele nicht zerst√∂rt werden.

 

Wrong forum.

 

@Alonzo

 

After testing the RRR on the Rhineland map, I believe this could potentially be the tool to allow further limiting on the top tier planes. This would ensure pilots looked after their planes and would also decrease the suicide behavior we see a lot of times on both sides. Maybe consider expanding this into other maps?

Edited by Riksen
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VBF-12_KW
1 hour ago, Talon_ said:

 

This was limited by logistical constraints IRL and is available on all maps bar one when it would have featured in history...

 

I posted this a while back in another thread, but it's applicable here as well:

 

Quote

This point needs to be expanded on a bit.  People love to post the "Mustangs never used 150 Octane based on the continent" statement - and it is a true statement.  But it gives a very false impression that Mustangs with 150 octane weren't involved in these battles because they were based in England.

 

To illustrate this, I spent a little time digging through references looking at allied victory claims for the Market-Garden battle (Sept 17-25th) and the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16th - Jan 14).  I've included just claims made over our map area - the exception to this is the US 9th AF.  I just don't have detailed enough info for them, just raw numbers with dates and units but no locations.   I've included all claims for the 9th, but this likely overstates their involvement, as many 9th AF fighters were deployed well south of our map area - still I don't think this impacts my totals by too much.

 

For the Market-Garden battle (Sept 17-25th 1944), RAF Spitfire Mk. IXs claimed 23, and RAF Mustangs 9.  9th AF P-47s claimed 8 and P-38's 3.  8th AF P-51s and P-47s (all operating out of England and using 150 octane fuel) claimed 79 and 34 respectively!  As you can see, the 8th AF (flying out of England using 150 octane fuel) was the main Allied force involved over this battle!

 

For the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16th 1944 through Jan 14th 1945, which was the date that most of the Jagdwaffe was ordered to the east front and air combat dropped off significantly) the totals are:

 

RAF Spit IX: 131

RAF Spit XIV: 3

RAF Typhoon: 14

RAF Tempest: 53

RAF Mustang: 9

 

9th AF P-47: 258

9th AF P-38: 56

9th AF P-51: 17 (these were scored by Tac Recon squadrons of the 9th AF)

 

8th AF P-51 based on the continent (100 octane fuel): 80

8th AF P-47 based in England (150 octane fuel): 81

8th AF P-51 based in England (150 octane fuel): 319 !!!

 

As you can see from the numbers, P-51's using 150 octane fuel were used HEAVILY in combat in western Europe.

 

If people want them removed for balance, that's a fair argument to have.  But from a historical perspective they were the most important Allied air superiority fighter.

 

By the same token, we have a plenty of non-historical planes in various maps (D-9s showing up in summer time  maps, 110s everywhere, almost everything in Norway etc).  So if the decision is a balance one so be it, but it's worth looking at the MASSIVE air to air kill differential we saw last month and do some thinking on what kind of balance has been built.

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CIA_Yankee_
15 minutes ago, KW_1979 said:

 

I posted this a while back in another thread, but it's applicable here as well:

 

 

By the same token, we have a plenty of non-historical planes in various maps (D-9s showing up in summer time  maps, 110s everywhere, almost everything in Norway etc).  So if the decision is a balance one so be it, but it's worth looking at the MASSIVE air to air kill differential we saw last month and do some thinking on what kind of balance has been built.

 

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.

 

 

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CIA_Yankee_
3 hours ago, Talon_ said:

 

This was limited by logistical constraints IRL and is available on all maps bar one when it would have featured in history...

 

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. :)

 

 

Edited by 71st_AH_Yankee_
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Aurora_Stealth
14 hours ago, 71st_AH_Barnacles said:

Totally agree that the type of fighter doesn't matter, but if someone's perception of fairness means that they see the rules are unfair to them, they might down tools. It's a fine balance to strike as let's be honest we all have various degrees of bias. At the moment I only mentioned it not because I desperately want an easy mode plane to club seals with, just brainstorming how to give the allied fliers who were rolling maps when bobp came out their warm fuzzy feeling back, without taking that away from the KW guys.

 

Yeah I share the sentiment Barnacles, its very hard to satisfy both sides while maintaining people's opportunity to experience their favourite aircraft.

 

We all have our favourite aircraft, our experiences and our different viewpoints and that will always play a part with our bias (which can often be unconscious bias).

 

I'm not entirely sure that emotionally.. things will ever quite return to the same way for the players who wore the rose tinted glasses. In time.. people will learn to adjust and set expectations more realistically and morale will gradually improve once people find their feet again.

 

Frankly, before the update.. much of the earlier confidence displayed by some players on the Allied side.. (I have to say) especially when flying the Mustang.. were based on a warped sense of reality.. that heavier weapons did not imply harsher consequences or perhaps that there was relative equality between lighter and heavier weapon armaments due to the DM.

 

But now.. the consequences of taking riskier maneuvers or being exposed to heavily armed aircraft has real and harsh consequences and is felt the most by new or inexperienced players.. I urge those who have the experience to help offer advice and help pick people up online and offer support when possible - I'm trying to do this myself and urge others to do so as this has been a demoralising change for some.

 

Recently when flying in the Mustang online (applies to Tempest and others to some degree), I felt it to be a more anxious experience.. because now you know just how vulnerable you are.. you just can't fight your way out of situations like before and psychologically this is devastating.. and will play a part of people's future decision making.

 

Of note, it has been heart warming to see some fairly new players scoring their first kills online, although there is clearly a morale issue.

 

14 hours ago, Alonzo said:

 

Yep, and I really want to do this without filling the skies with Tempests. The problem I have with many of the arguments about the Tempest is that they're coming from people who fly the thing exclusively and literally won't fly a sortie without it. I've got other people in the flight community, who I trust and are much better pilots than me, saying the Tempest is borderline OP/broken and should be restricted. If we add more Tempests I'm not sure they're gonna win maps unless all the pilots promise to take a bomb load and do their duty before moving on to deleting enemy aircraft with the four Hispano's.

 

FYI for Mark Wilhelmsson, the aircraft numbers have been adjusted over the last two weeks and in almost all cases the K4/D9 are now at a 1:2 ratio with G14/A8. There might be a couple of outliers but it's definitely not 1:1 any more. I think you (and others) gave that feedback and I appreciate it and we did listen ūüėČ

 

It was a very formidable and powerful aircraft, but within a certain operational context.. its hardly a light fighter though and the low speed handling and agility is somewhat questionable.. from recent discussions this could in fact be due to pilot physiology which is covered in another thread. 

 

Until an update is made to the pilot physiology and G forces are tied to the pilot seating angle relative to aircraft center line we won't know if its the aircraft flight model or just the pilot pulling excessive maneuvers (suspect latter more likely) - this also applies to certain disparities with other fighters from my research..

 

The concept of decreasing the number of K-4's or increasing the number of Tempests won't change things much, because the bottom line is LW fighters were almost always heavily armed late in the war and that implies its generally going to be an uneven contest when it comes to the aspect of survivability.

 

The only other way to satisfy the demand for the Tempest that I can think of is to proportion a certain number of Tempests with a bomb or rocket load-out by default but increase the overall total (including standard config) somewhat.

Edited by Aurora_Stealth
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Talon_
4 hours ago, Aurora_Stealth said:

the low speed handling and agility is somewhat questionable.. from recent discussions this could in fact be due to pilot physiology which is covered in another thread. 

 

It turns inside Spitfires - the CLMax is all kinds of messed up.

 

4 hours ago, Aurora_Stealth said:

The only other way to satisfy the demand for the Tempest that I can think of is to proportion a certain number of Tempests with a bomb or rocket load-out by default but increase the overall total (including standard config) somewhat.

 

We cannot "force on" payloads so players can just unclick them.

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RedKestrel
19 hours ago, -SF-Disarray said:

I disagree, to an extent, that the fighter availability isn't important. You are correct that ground attack wins missions at the end of the day but there is the limiting factor of fighter intercept. If there are an abundance of D9's and K4's to be countered with standard fueled 51's and Spit 9's and a handful of Tempests, more German fighters will make it through the defenses to the Allied ground attackers. Fewer ground attackers making it to target means fewer targets get attacked and you can see where this is going. If there were more planes that were better able to answer the interceptors more ground attackers would make it to target. I'm not arguing that this is THE factor that explains the disparity in ground target kills. But it is a factor that should not be ignored.

 

Perhaps I spoke too strongly. It matters to an extent. But IMO it does not make as much difference as people think. Almost 100% of the wrangling on the forums from the allies has to do with proportions of Tempests and 150 octane, but in most cases the number of Tempests on a map isn't the deciding factor. Unlimited tempests might swing the tide, but additional numbers in reasonable proportions will add only marginal gains, if not also supported by better ground attack. air superiority is a means to an end, and that end is putting ordnance on target. 

Right now I estimate that, on any given mission, on Allied side we have 75% of players running fighter sorties, and 25% running ground attack sorties - on some maps, this is generous. With 40 players a side during peak hours, a significant number of those fighter guys in the air are already Tempests. Replacing some already effective fighters (vanilla P-51s and Spitfires) with Super fighters (150 Oct P-51s and Tempest) is only going to make marginal improvements. If Tempest numbers are half the allied fighter force rather than a quarter, functionally its not going to make a huge difference, when you simply don't have enough ground attackers to roll a target efficiently with the new bomb DM. 

 

19 hours ago, Alonzo said:

Personally I'm with RedKestrel on this, I think that "coordination and number of ground attack sorties and effectiveness of the ordnance" is a much bigger factor than fighter aircraft availability. Spotting planes on the way in to a target is genuinely difficult especially if the attacker has bothered to climb and is coming in at a fair rate of knots; the bomber does tend to get through in our sim. That said, I think the recent DM changes have had an effect on pilot morale -- the .50 cal is a squirt gun against enemy planes compared to the 30mm pineapple launcher, and that's gotta be depressing. The winning meta appears to be "zerg the enemy targets until you win the map" and to be effective in doing that you need pilots. A numbers disadvantage can quickly lead to getting steamrolled.

 

Full disclosure: Talon and I emphasize the history/balance thing slightly differently. Talon is in favor of using historical availability as a primary input to aircraft availability. I think it's useful to inspire variety, but I favor game balance over history in the final calculus. Both of us strongly believe we should have varied matchups so it's not always 51s and Tempests vs K4s and D9s. The final result -- what you see in the missions -- is a balance of both our viewpoints.

 

Here are the mission results for the last 14 days, for maps with > 80 players. Bear in mind that there have been seven explicit nerfs to blue objectives since the DM update, as well as a general "this is too hard for red, make it easier for them" attitude to map edits. This is not the same as the simplistic X Allies Y Axis statistic on the web site. This is much more useful and what we use to look at what to tweak for balance. Apart from Crossing nothing looks unwinnable for red right now, and last time I dug into the stats for Crossing it looked like red was mostly going fighter mode on that map.

 

1664238874_ScreenShot2020-05-04at1_39_40PM.thumb.png.788397301d4dcc43c7e5be667688b46f.png


I am, unfortunately, a pure zergling these days. I usually fly pretty ground attack heavy but I've been flying 100% ground attack on the server since the patch in an attempt to get more accurate with ordnance and come to grips with the new bomb damage DM. My survival rate is very low, and I'm mostly flying solo. There are always a few players who will fly cover for you if you call out on team chat, and I've been relying on that when I can. I'm hoping go get on Discord more often to try and be more coordinated, but it seems like every time I try Windows 10 has decided my microphone is a speaker or someone is on a video call or watching TV and they can't have me talking in the background. Regardless, I have to do better and work on coordinating, so I need to work out my issues with voice chat to make sure I'm being effective. Suicide-jockeying isn't a good solution.

I think the 'meta' has shifted substantially and we are still sorting it out. Fighter-vs-fighter IMO has not changed nearly as much as ground attack operations.  The win rates are getting back to normal but the number of targets knocked out in any given map is very low. Previously it was viable to spread attacks across multiple targets, with three or four targets going down before the mission ended. Now, spreading your attacks across several targets is stupid, as over the course of a 2 hour mission is it rare for more than 2 targets to go down. The same number of attack sorties are needed now to roll 1 that previously were needed to destroy 2 or 3. In order to make sure you knock out at least one or two targets, attackers need to focus on just the closest targets to maximize sortie generation and bombs on target. This, in turn, makes ground attack that much more dangerous, as you have to make constant, repeated attacks against a single target, which means that enemy fighters will know you are coming and be on station waiting for you. Normally you could alternate targets and dodge the guys who run to whatever target is under attack, but if you do that then you're spreading the damage too thin.

Doing the good thing for the mission win on a crowded server is nearly certain death for a solo player, and the odd still aren't great with cover, unless its overwhelming. 

As for morale, I think the bomb damage 'nerfing' has reduced Allied ground attack numbers, more than .50 cals reducing fighter numbers. If anything Allied side is more fighter heavy than ever. People get frustrated to make attack runs and get no ground kills. Many players consider ground attack to be a secondary thing, so if they are not having fun doing it they go back to fighters. 

 

18 minutes ago, Talon_ said:

 

We cannot "force on" payloads so players can just unclick them.


Also, even if you could, nothing stops people from jettisoning their bombs immediately after takeoff, with only a minimal penalty for the bomb racks. 

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Barnacles
1 hour ago, RedKestrel said:


Right now I estimate that, on any given mission, on Allied side we have 75% of players running fighter sorties, and 25% running ground attack sorties - on some maps, this is generous. With 40 players a side during peak hours, a significant number of those fighter guys in the air are already Tempests. Replacing some already effective fighters (vanilla P-51s and Spitfires) with Super fighters (150 Oct P-51s and Tempest) is only going to make marginal improvements. If Tempest numbers are half the allied fighter force rather than a quarter, functionally its not going to make a huge difference, when you simply don't have enough ground attackers to roll a target efficiently with the new bomb DM. 

 


My observations are similar. Maps are generally rolled by 5-7 players doing nothing else but ground attack. I think therein lies the 'problem'. Axis ground attackers generally use the 110 (so they do either a one way trip or RTB immediately on ammo expenditure, and definitely don't go on a fighter sweep with it) or the a8 (which they may decide to RTB immediately, because of a perception that it's not so competitive)

A lot of allies will still have a competitive fighter when the bombs are gone, so they go into fighter mode if they don't get hit by AAA or defending aircraft.

It's possible that increasing things like tempests (which I'm wholly against, the balance is right now IMO)  may well INCREASE the likelihood that red will lose maps, because it's a very viable fighter when it's loosed its bombs, so you average Red GA sortie will last far longer, so blue wins because the META is to just bum rush targets.

The 110/A8 question isn't so relevant, the 110 has got a slightly bigger bombload, but it's popular because the gunner gives you the confidence to remain over targets and strafe with impunity. At least whenever I''ve tried it. 

 

 

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-SF-Disarray

The 110 isn't a viable fighter in the game? That's news to me. If the Tempest is broken/OP because it can turn inside a Spitfire than the 110 must be too because it will do the same thing, with gusto. I've also run into a fair number of 109 and 190 ground attackers that are more than capable fighters after the bombs are gone.

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RedKestrel
6 minutes ago, 71st_AH_Barnacles said:


My observations are similar. Maps are generally rolled by 5-7 players doing nothing else but ground attack. I think therein lies the 'problem'. Axis ground attackers generally use the 110 (so they do either a one way trip or RTB immediately on ammo expenditure, and definitely don't go on a fighter sweep with it) or the a8 (which they may decide to RTB immediately, because of a perception that it's not so competitive)

A lot of allies will still have a competitive fighter when the bombs are gone, so they go into fighter mode if they don't get hit by AAA or defending aircraft.

It's possible that increasing things like tempests (which I'm wholly against, the balance is right now IMO)  may well INCREASE the likelihood that red will lose maps, because it's a very viable fighter when it's loosed its bombs, so you average Red GA sortie will last far longer, so blue wins because the META is to just bum rush targets.

The 110/A8 question isn't so relevant, the 110 has got a slightly bigger bombload, but it's popular because the gunner gives you the confidence to remain over targets and strafe with impunity. At least whenever I''ve tried it. 

 

 

I think a lot of Allied pilots run ground attack in the P-51 for that purpose. The P-38, too, with its good climb rate and maneuvering flaps 'converts' to a fighter very well. The Tempest is the best of the bunch, with its insane low alt performance and turning ability, and 4 cannons for strafing. If it carried a bit more ammo it would be amazing for clearing AA and taking on fighters at the same time. I usually run P-47s just because I like to fly it, but it's still a dog down low, and its not very effective there. I just don't like the feel of the P-38 for whatever reason, I can't put my finger on it. Probably just familiarity with the Jug. 

 

Just now, -SF-Disarray said:

The 110 isn't a viable fighter in the game? That's news to me. If the Tempest is broken/OP because it can turn inside a Spitfire than the 110 must be too because it will do the same thing, with gusto. I've also run into a fair number of 109 and 190 ground attackers that are more than capable fighters after the bombs are gone.

Honestly, on the occasions when I attack enemy ground attackers, its the 110s I fear. The A-8s can't outrun you very easily, can't out climb you, and mostly can't out-turn you. The 110 does a lot of these things and has a gunner on the back. On the defensive it is much more fearsome than the A8.


 

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RedKestrel
1 minute ago, Bilbo_Baggins said:

 

What the fck does this shit mean?

As Alonzo said, "zerg the enemy targets until you win the map" - the Zerg being a playable race in Starcraft RTS, where the main strategy with them was to spawn a bunch of low cost attackers (Zerglings, the cheapest and most numerous unit) and throw them into the meatgrinder early on to win the match, before the enemy could prepare - the iconic "Zerg Rush".

As someone who runs constant ground attacks on targets and regularly gets pasted, I am the zergling in this scenario.


Don't worry about your lack of familiarity, my understanding is that Zerglings are pretty rare on Middle Earth. 

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Alonzo
2 minutes ago, Bilbo_Baggins said:

What the fck does this shit mean?

 

It's a reference to the game Starcraft where the alien bug race has small units called Zerglings that swarm in huge numbers over the enemy to overwhelm them. In World of Warcraft, "zerging" a boss is to attack, die, resurrect at the nearest graveyard and run back to the boss to repeat the same thing. Hence the parallel to ground attack meta in IL2.

 

Thinking out loud here. Would it be worth experimenting with a mission where one of the goals was to do not with ground targets, but with winning the air battle? It would give the fighter pilots a direct way to score points for their side. I guess we have that with Mitchell's Men but it's blue fighters taking down Ai bombers and red escorts with the (mostly impossible) job of protecting the bombers. Maybe a reverse of that on a map would be a change, or some kind of "protect the transports" mission where both sides had vulnerable planes that are an objective to protect/destroy.

 

The one thing that's quite difficult to do (I think) is to make "kill 50 enemy fighters" an objective. I know we can do it mechanically but the complex trigger required to do it is quite heavy on server resources. Maybe could do it in a special "air superiority zone" where the objective was to establish fighters in the air and take down enemies, and somehow that gives either an advantage to the mission or outright victory points.

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RedKestrel
12 minutes ago, Alonzo said:

 

It's a reference to the game Starcraft where the alien bug race has small units called Zerglings that swarm in huge numbers over the enemy to overwhelm them. In World of Warcraft, "zerging" a boss is to attack, die, resurrect at the nearest graveyard and run back to the boss to repeat the same thing. Hence the parallel to ground attack meta in IL2.

 

Thinking out loud here. Would it be worth experimenting with a mission where one of the goals was to do not with ground targets, but with winning the air battle? It would give the fighter pilots a direct way to score points for their side. I guess we have that with Mitchell's Men but it's blue fighters taking down Ai bombers and red escorts with the (mostly impossible) job of protecting the bombers. Maybe a reverse of that on a map would be a change, or some kind of "protect the transports" mission where both sides had vulnerable planes that are an objective to protect/destroy.

 

The one thing that's quite difficult to do (I think) is to make "kill 50 enemy fighters" an objective. I know we can do it mechanically but the complex trigger required to do it is quite heavy on server resources. Maybe could do it in a special "air superiority zone" where the objective was to establish fighters in the air and take down enemies, and somehow that gives either an advantage to the mission or outright victory points.

I like the idea of "protect the transports" - we kind of have that in the Crossing the Rhine mission, by trying to stop the airlift. Of course Ju-52s are somewhat more vulnerable than B-25s.

Of course the stability of Mitchell's Men is still a little problematic - is that related to the AI bombers?

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Barnacles
50 minutes ago, -SF-Disarray said:

The 110 isn't a viable fighter in the game? That's news to me. If the Tempest is broken/OP because it can turn inside a Spitfire than the 110 must be too because it will do the same thing, with gusto. I've also run into a fair number of 109 and 190 ground attackers that are more than capable fighters after the bombs are gone.

1. I very rarely see it taken as a fighter, (It does happen. @Mordrac https://combatbox.net/en/sortie/520166/?tour=21 ;) ) and I seldom see 110s having dropped their bombs go on A2A patrols. I doesn't matter if its the most capable fighter in the game, my point was it is used in a way that means that it carries out 3 ground attack sorties for every 1 of a lot of allied fliers.

2. The 110 has a low wing loading and a lot of power, it's going to catch out a lot of people who fight against it like they would a k4. (So will a Stuka or an A20) It is not an awful fighter but all things being equal, it's got the odds stacked against it against the allied plane set. I mean if you took up a 109 E7 on combat box now, you'd probably win a few dogfights, because people will assume you can't out turn them. It doesn't mean the FM is broken. As soon as they wise up to you you're screwed though.

 

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Alonzo
Just now, RedKestrel said:

Of course the stability of Mitchell's Men is still a little problematic - is that related to the AI bombers?

 

Unfortunately it's all witchcraft and voodoo, but I believe it's a combination of the heaviest Ai in the game (multi-gunner B-25s) as well as concentration of players in one spot in the sky.

 

There's an n-squared updates problem that the game solves by optimizing the amount of data it sends about aircraft further away from you -- if you look at a TacView or replay, planes > 10km will (depending on total number of aircraft your game client can see) be updated less frequently, resulting in 'jerky' flight paths. This doesn't matter since you're not shooting at something that far away. But the server appears to have logic that treats 10km as a cutoff whereby things within 10km are always communicated to your game client, regardless of load. So basically if you get a lot of units in 10 square kilometers, the "everyone needs to know about everyone" graph relationship causes big load spikes.

 

Mitchell's unfortunately compounds these two issues by having both concentrated Ai bomber flights and lots of players wanting to fight over them, since they are an objective. But when it works the result is absolutely spectacular and some people have said it's the best flying they've ever done in a sim. So for that reason I'm reluctant to scale down the ambition of what we're doing. It's a difficult tradeoff. And sometimes the thing runs to time with no crashes, other times it falls on its face as the first bomber wave gets to the enemy objective.

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Barnacles
29 minutes ago, Alonzo said:

 

It's a reference to the game Starcraft where the alien bug race has small units called Zerglings that swarm in huge numbers over the enemy to overwhelm them. In World of Warcraft, "zerging" a boss is to attack, die, resurrect at the nearest graveyard and run back to the boss to repeat the same thing. Hence the parallel to ground attack meta in IL2.

 

Thinking out loud here. Would it be worth experimenting with a mission where one of the goals was to do not with ground targets, but with winning the air battle? It would give the fighter pilots a direct way to score points for their side. I guess we have that with Mitchell's Men but it's blue fighters taking down Ai bombers and red escorts with the (mostly impossible) job of protecting the bombers. Maybe a reverse of that on a map would be a change, or some kind of "protect the transports" mission where both sides had vulnerable planes that are an objective to protect/destroy.

 

The one thing that's quite difficult to do (I think) is to make "kill 50 enemy fighters" an objective. I know we can do it mechanically but the complex trigger required to do it is quite heavy on server resources. Maybe could do it in a special "air superiority zone" where the objective was to establish fighters in the air and take down enemies, and somehow that gives either an advantage to the mission or outright victory points.

Just thinking out loud, but obviously, the ground attackers have a clear cut mission. Put an X through the blobs on the map.

I like the thinking of something less nebulous for the fighters. The "air superiority zone" sounds like a step in the right direction.

 

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RedKestrel
19 minutes ago, Alonzo said:

 

Unfortunately it's all witchcraft and voodoo, but I believe it's a combination of the heaviest Ai in the game (multi-gunner B-25s) as well as concentration of players in one spot in the sky.

 

There's an n-squared updates problem that the game solves by optimizing the amount of data it sends about aircraft further away from you -- if you look at a TacView or replay, planes > 10km will (depending on total number of aircraft your game client can see) be updated less frequently, resulting in 'jerky' flight paths. This doesn't matter since you're not shooting at something that far away. But the server appears to have logic that treats 10km as a cutoff whereby things within 10km are always communicated to your game client, regardless of load. So basically if you get a lot of units in 10 square kilometers, the "everyone needs to know about everyone" graph relationship causes big load spikes.

 

Mitchell's unfortunately compounds these two issues by having both concentrated Ai bomber flights and lots of players wanting to fight over them, since they are an objective. But when it works the result is absolutely spectacular and some people have said it's the best flying they've ever done in a sim. So for that reason I'm reluctant to scale down the ambition of what we're doing. It's a difficult tradeoff. And sometimes the thing runs to time with no crashes, other times it falls on its face as the first bomber wave gets to the enemy objective.

Thanks for explanation. I think a bit of my brain trickled out of my ear when I read "N-squared updates problem" but I understand the issue in broad terms. I think it is worth running but I have to admit that when the game server crashes after putting a couple strike missions into a target, it can be discouraging. 

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QB.Shallot

@Alonzo If there's a way to count X number of player aircraft shot down as an objective, that could help twist the map in favor of those will good defensive cover. Truly steadfast attackers will always make it to an objective, sometimes on fire, and still go to drop bombs and shoot up gun emplacements until they pop like a balloon. If their deaths can count towards the other teams victory, it might improve the flow of the game. 

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RedKestrel
24 minutes ago, QB.Shallot said:

@Alonzo If there's a way to count X number of player aircraft shot down as an objective, that could help twist the map in favor of those will good defensive cover. Truly steadfast attackers will always make it to an objective, sometimes on fire, and still go to drop bombs and shoot up gun emplacements until they pop like a balloon. If their deaths can count towards the other teams victory, it might improve the flow of the game. 

I'm not sure, I think that will just further reduce the number of people flying ground attack, as those flights are dangerous and would then also be a liability. The new strategy would be to have the entire team camp friendly objectives and kill whoever gets close. Since a lot of maps are won now based on a single objective being rolled, it would be better to cover your own than to attack the other side and bank on winning the kills game as your sole objective. 

I think there is definitely a place for air kills to influence victory though, if only to model the long term attrition that factored in victory in the air war. Perhaps having number of aircraft shot down as a tie-breaker in case of a draw?

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Aurora_Stealth
4 hours ago, Talon_ said:

 

It turns inside Spitfires - the CLMax is all kinds of messed up.

 

 

We cannot "force on" payloads so players can just unclick them.

 

@Talon_

 

Really, that is curious.. I'm surprised something like that would be off.

 

Oh, I thought you could lock certain aircraft features/equipment so assumed certain ones could be kept on. Either way it probably wouldn't change the dynamics much in the end if people just drop the payload.

 

2 hours ago, Alonzo said:

 

It's a reference to the game Starcraft where the alien bug race has small units called Zerglings that swarm in huge numbers over the enemy to overwhelm them. In World of Warcraft, "zerging" a boss is to attack, die, resurrect at the nearest graveyard and run back to the boss to repeat the same thing. Hence the parallel to ground attack meta in IL2.

 

Thinking out loud here. Would it be worth experimenting with a mission where one of the goals was to do not with ground targets, but with winning the air battle? It would give the fighter pilots a direct way to score points for their side. I guess we have that with Mitchell's Men but it's blue fighters taking down Ai bombers and red escorts with the (mostly impossible) job of protecting the bombers. Maybe a reverse of that on a map would be a change, or some kind of "protect the transports" mission where both sides had vulnerable planes that are an objective to protect/destroy.

 

The one thing that's quite difficult to do (I think) is to make "kill 50 enemy fighters" an objective. I know we can do it mechanically but the complex trigger required to do it is quite heavy on server resources. Maybe could do it in a special "air superiority zone" where the objective was to establish fighters in the air and take down enemies, and somehow that gives either an advantage to the mission or outright victory points.

 

@Alonzo

 

That sounds good, the aim of air superiority over a city being resupplied by the Luftwaffe (smiles at Stalingrad books)..

 

Would be an interesting experiment. At night you say? lol

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CIA_Elanski

I see charts about the "Crossing" where allied aren't trying to bomb.  And the next question is why.  I see no reason to drop bombs that don't do what they did a few months ago.  I see no reason to go below the enemy when the PK's are like candy on Halloween ( and bad costumes).  The .50s suck so I can't defend the attackers AS EFFECTIVELY as I did a few months ago.  Someone stole all the Tempest while I was re-booting.  So the chance of getting the target down is very low and surviving is even lower.  Do you all do things that are pointless over and over?  Is if fun or effective to bomb now?  

 

The fun chart is missing there!  Back to fighter.

 

 

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QB.Creep
7 minutes ago, CIA_Elanski said:

I see charts about the "Crossing" where allied aren't trying to bomb.  And the next question is why.  I see no reason to drop bombs that don't do what they did a few months ago.  I see no reason to go below the enemy when the PK's are like candy on Halloween ( and bad costumes).  The .50s suck so I can't defend the attackers AS EFFECTIVELY as I did a few months ago.  Someone stole all the Tempest while I was re-booting.  So the chance of getting the target down is very low and surviving is even lower.  Do you all do things that are pointless over and over?  Is if fun or effective to bomb now?  

 

The fun chart is missing there!  Back to fighter.

 

I'll second that where ground attack is concerned. It is much harder now - so the same amount of risk (high) for even less reward. Last night I shot six rockets at a row of tents covering aircrafts - scored direct hits and destroyed nothing but the tents lol. 

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Alonzo
16 minutes ago, mincer said:

What is the server's visibility setting?

 

Standard viz, icons off, GPS off.

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Barnacles
2 hours ago, CIA_Elanski said:

I see charts about the "Crossing" where allied aren't trying to bomb.  And the next question is why.  I see no reason to drop bombs that don't do what they did a few months ago.  I see no reason to go below the enemy when the PK's are like candy on Halloween ( and bad costumes).  The .50s suck so I can't defend the attackers AS EFFECTIVELY as I did a few months ago.  Someone stole all the Tempest while I was re-booting.  So the chance of getting the target down is very low and surviving is even lower.  Do you all do things that are pointless over and over?  Is if fun or effective to bomb now?  

 

The fun chart is missing there!  Back to fighter.

 

 

Elanski knows what he's talking about. .50" cals do nothing + bombs do nothing = dedicated allied ground attackers sad.

I will say though, that I can vouch that Alonzo is adjusting the objectives to the new DM as we speak, (which cannot happen overnight as it's an iterative process) so please don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, the Allied side needs you!

As for the .50" cals, it's a bummer. Hopefully the devs will suck back on how low they've dialled in the aerodynamic penalty for being hit with .50" cal, and the incendiary ammo comes soon. If all that happens I'll be happy.

Please bear in mind though that there were plenty of complaints before the DM update that the p51 was ridiculously tough in the face of mg151/20, and there was still a lot of blue victories.

 

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