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ilmavoimat

Jedi flak

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The flak in this sim is just ridiculous. How does a hand laid, hand loaded single barrel flak gun manage to hit an aircraft doing 500kph at 50 metres when the rain is so thick I can barely see the target??  If i can't see them how can they see me let alone hit me and they're not moving? It's getting to the stage that it's not worth even flying bombers as you stand bugger all chance of getting back, if the flak doesn't get you the fighters will as no-one seems to want to cover mere mud movers!

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9 minutes ago, ilmavoimat said:

How does a hand laid, hand loaded single barrel flak gun manage to hit an aircraft doing 500kph at 50 metres when the rain is so thick I can barely see the target??

Orders, comrade, orders!

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It's not the fact that it does hit you (plausible) but rate at which such ridiculous hits land. 

I wouldn't mind if it was a 1/1000 event, but those incidents are so often they've become a norm, rather than an incident.

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8 minutes ago, ilmavoimat said:

The flak in this sim is just ridiculous. How does a hand laid, hand loaded single barrel flak gun manage to hit an aircraft doing 500kph at 50 metres when the rain is so thick I can barely see the target??  If i can't see them how can they see me let alone hit me and they're not moving? It's getting to the stage that it's not worth even flying bombers as you stand bugger all chance of getting back, if the flak doesn't get you the fighters will as no-one seems to want to cover mere mud movers!

The ackack excels at zero deflection shots. Go head-on against one and you're history. However, it's extremely poor at deflection shooting and very very stupid. All you need is one buddy. Send him ahead of you to attract the AAA, and let him fly wide circles around it anywhere between 500-2000m of altitude, and maintaining a distance of 1-2km to the AAA sites. The AAA will lock on to him and only switch to you if he leaves their lock on range. That way you can comfortably kill all AAA sites, and you can kill the remaining targets together.

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You are probably flying the wrong way. Change direction and altitude and the flak is completely useless. If you are flying straight and at a constant speed then bye bye.

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I find the rapid fire, low alt flak absolutelly murderous, specially so where there is concentration of it, like around airfields. But it seems to me very realistic, and counterable with proper tactics. Of all things in the game needing balancing, this is not one of them.

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In the early days of combat box (I understand its different now), AAA was _murder_. But I learned to deal with it: instead of first clearly AA in my P-47, I'd focus on doing high speed diving runs and focus on the target. I'd climb to 5000-6000', dive into the target, drop a 1000 pounder and the 500 pounding, convert some of that speed back to altitude, then dive back on another target and then just keep going. AAA couldn't touch me, so long as I didn't dive directly at it.

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Before going balls to the wall at your target, circle it and look at where the AAA is coming from, then plan your attack accordingly.

 

only fly directly at AAA if you're trying to destroy it, if you have no choice supress it with MG's, it'll give you a fighting chance.

 

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The flak is ridiculous because it shoot at the first plane that enters their range and stops until this plane left their range but all other planes have a clear path to their targets - Remember this if you are the first plane who enter the flak fire range the flak will always follow you and shoot at unitl your are down or left their range..............

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I haven't played a flight sim in years that didn't have super accurate flak - Il-2 1946 was the same way. Partly its an attempt to compensate for the fact that no sim can render the sheer AMOUNT of flak around highly defended routes or targets. Flak in the real war could also be surprisingly accurate and many, many more aircraft were lost to flak than to fighters. Read some pilot memoirs of guys who flew airfield attack missions. They attacked airfields with large numbers of aircraft to try and saturate the defenses and still lost large numbers of pilots, even on surprise attack runs. Second runs on airfields were borderline suicidal if the flak had not been suppressed. Also keep in mind that it was extremely rare for a solo aircraft to attack a defended target, whereas in the sim it is very common, so you are more likely to bear the brunt of the AA's attention on any given attack run.

The other part of why this happens is that the AI are essentially 'aim-bots'. A firing solution on an aircraft flying at a consistent speed and course is simple to calculate.

A human being uses depth perception, hand-eye coordination and experience to conduct a deflection shot and people can get insanely good at it under certain circumstances. People can shoot dimes out of the air with longbows, for example. Even people with relatively little practice can hit clay pigeons with a shotgun, and that is really hand aiming a rather imprecise weapon. But the faster the object goes, the more you have to lead the object, and at a certain point that becomes much more difficult for humans to do because of the way our vision, depth perception and brain works. Not so for the AI - if you are going 1000 kph straight and level, the calculation for hitting you is the same difficulty for the AI as if you were going 400 kph. Its just math to the AI, and computers are very good at math. 

Diving straight towards AA is normally suicide because it presents the easiest shot imaginable to the AI, and they won't experience fear in a way a human crew might at seeing an attack aircraft diving directly towards them. If you are looking to clear AA from a target you can enhance your chances of surviving by basically adopting a curving dive at high speed, and only letting your sight drift across the AA position as you are pulling the trigger. This minimizes the amount of time you are providing a zero deflection shot. Of course, this is all easier said than done, and mastering that attack profile has been largely beyond me. The other option is to open up with your guns at long range to try and drive the gunners away from the AA gun before you actually hit it. 

The other thing to note is that the AI has a certain delay between being 'activated' by sighting an approaching aircraft, and when it is able to lock onto you and fire. A single, high speed run, oriented correctly on the target to minimize direct exposure to AA, minimizes the time the AI has to activate and get guns on you, and therefore minimizes the chance of getting hit. When I'm hitting ground targets alone I try and line up with the target so that as many high-value objects are in a row as possible, dive from about 1500-2000 metres to get maximum speed, drop all my ordnance, and then descend to treetop level and jink until I'm out of range of the AA. This has the added bonus of getting you out of range of any fighters that may be drawn to the target by a notification it was attacked, and if there are fighters orbiting the target, intercepting you becomes riskier and more time consuming. 
 

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Flak is IMHO relatively realistic at novice level.  In PWCG almost all flak is set to this level. I do use one level higher for areas where flak is zoned in.

 

I would like to see higher levels of flak toned down but in the meantime I just don't use them.

 

@RedKestrel Very good point about a computer doing a calculation vs a human.  It is, however, possible to account for human behavior in AI and you don't need a supercomputer to do it.   The first step is to understand the conditions that impact human performance (G forces or weight of gun for gunners, speed of target as you mentioned, etc.).  There is already an algorithm in place to make gunners less than perfectly accurate.  To make this more realistic the factors affecting human performance have to be quantified in terms of the existing algorithm, tossed in with a bit of randomization ... the result is something closer to human behavior.  As stated before these are fairly minimal calculations that should add nano to micro seconds to CPU load.  

Edited by PatrickAWlson

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It is not correct, that it is better to not fly straight on. I was much more often hit by AAA, when I was flying any kind of turn than when I was flying straight. The AI is very good in tracking your turns, especially funny with heavy AAA shooting at you, because in fact they would have to know where you are turning, before you start to turn. The only turning AI is not able to track is rudder turns. Neither fighters nor AAA have good aiming on aircrafts that fly turns using the rudder. But apart from that only speed will help you.

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2 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

I haven't played a flight sim in years that didn't have super accurate flak - Il-2 1946 was the same way

Cliffs of Dover, here you go. Best flak fire i have ever seen in my life. Proper heavy flak suppression fire. Medium has very hard time hitting you on higher alt, if you fly low around them to strife targets, sooner or later you get few hits. All this hits some planes, sometimes it's instant kill and mostly just damage, one engine killed etc.

 

4 minutes ago, RedKestrel said:

Partly its an attempt to compensate for the fact that no sim can render the sheer AMOUNT of flak around highly defended routes or targets.

Well again, clod. Also DCS does pretty good job with heavy flak spammed all over the place. It sounds really weird like only sim you played was box. DCS, CloD, 1946, all can put tons of flaks and lots of bombers. So yeah...

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Just like Bnz, you want to make a slashing attack, not come in head to head. Also throw some mg rounds at them from a distance to make gunners abandon their emplacement

 

i also think that aa is better than irl is that one gun in game stands in for say 4 that would really be there protecting a target.  

Edited by Hajo_Garlic

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You need to also watch for the reloads and identify what gun is actually firing at you. If it's just a small caliber machine gun you can play a little more aggressive but if your facing down any sort of 20mm and up cannon try to either knock it out fast or wait for it to lock onto something that isn't you then go for the kill. 

 

When I'm ground attacking in a 110 I always go for the aaa first. I have had far more success then leaving it and trying to take out my main objective. 

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57 minutes ago, danielprates said:

I find the rapid fire, low alt flak absolutelly murderous, specially so where there is concentration of it, like around airfields. But it seems to me very realistic, and counterable with proper tactics. Of all things in the game needing balancing, this is not one of them.

 

Mmm, remember Clostermann describing a low level attack on an airfield late war as the most scary thing he did... The quad 20mm where nasty with their rate of fire and accuracy at close range. I think they even had trials of a radar controlled version? 

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1 hour ago, InProgress said:

Cliffs of Dover, here you go. Best flak fire i have ever seen in my life. Proper heavy flak suppression fire. Medium has very hard time hitting you on higher alt, if you fly low around them to strife targets, sooner or later you get few hits. All this hits some planes, sometimes it's instant kill and mostly just damage, one engine killed etc.

 

Well again, clod. Also DCS does pretty good job with heavy flak spammed all over the place. It sounds really weird like only sim you played was box. DCS, CloD, 1946, all can put tons of flaks and lots of bombers. So yeah...

So, are we talking about heavy flak (i.e. the explosive high altitude stuff) or just AA in general (the rapid fire stuff down low?). Down low the 1946 AA gunners were just as murderous as the ones in BoX. up high the explosive stuff seems roughly as accurate between the two sims. I've been 'one-shot' by heavy flak in both sims about the same amount of times.

As far as Il-2 1946 being able to spawn lots of flak, in my case I was never able to even play a mission with dense heavy flak without FPS turning into a slideshow and/or CTD. 

I haven't spent a lot of time in CLoD and haven't played DCS. So maybe those sims do it better. 
EDIT: I stand corrected on CLOD, as I did a bit of a search and saw video that they did  manage to produce realistic levels of heavy flak on a mission. So "no sim" is an exaggeration. It would be great if something like that could be done in game. That being said, I have no idea what kind of rig you would need to run to get the effect I saw in the video, my experience with CLoD didn't give me much hope of running dense flak missions like that.
 

Edited by RedKestrel

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55 minutes ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Flak is IMHO relatively realistic at novice level.  In PWCG almost all flak is set to this level. I do use one level higher for areas where flak is zoned in.

 

I would like to see higher levels of flak toned down but in the meantime I just don't use them.

 

@RedKestrel Very good point about a computer doing a calculation vs a human.  It is, however, possible to account for human behavior in AI and you don't need a supercomputer to do it.   The first step is to understand the conditions that impact human performance (G forces or weight of gun for gunners, speed of target as you mentioned, etc.).  There is already an algorithm in place to make gunners less than perfectly accurate.  To make this more realistic the factors affecting human performance have to be quantified in terms of the existing algorithm, tossed in with a bit of randomization ... the result is something closer to human behavior.  As stated before these are fairly minimal calculations that should add nano to micro seconds to CPU load.  

I don't think I implied it would be hard on CPU load or anything like that to be more realistic - I didn't really talk about changes to the AI at all. IMO opinion the AI gunners don't currently take a lot of the things you mentioned into account, and that was what I based my comments on, not what they should be.

I would love to see such improvements and I think we will, especially now as it seems the devs have an AI programmer on staff. But OP is getting frustrated with the flak as currently implemented in the game. Future hypothetical improvements, easy or not, don't help him if he can't have fun now. I've been flying a lot of attack and bomber missions on TAW lately and the flak  there is murderous, BUT its possible to fly in such a way as to still survive and have fun, so my explanation and advice went in that direction. 

 

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4 hours ago, RedKestrel said:

Diving straight towards AA is normally suicide because it presents the easiest shot imaginable to the AI, and they won't experience fear in a way a human crew might at seeing an attack aircraft diving directly towards them.
 

And that is one of the things that still bugs me about sims like this today. Surely there must be a way to code `fear`. Such as adding an extra second or 2 to the reaction time of the AA or even have it not fire at all (they fled)? This could depend on the veterancy of the gunners in question. Of course an experienced crew would stand their ground and  open fire pretty much straight away.

 

Would`ve expected this detail in Ai after all these years of flight sims.

Edited by seafireliv
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3 hours ago, seafireliv said:

And that is one of the things that still bugs me about sims like this today. Surely there must be a way to code `fear`. Such as adding an extra second or 2 to the reaction time of the AA or even have it not fire at all (they fled)? This could depend on the veterancy of the gunners in question. Of course an experienced crew would stand their ground and  open fire pretty much straight away.

 

Would`ve expected this detail in Ai after all these years of flight sims.

 

Yeah, but if you do that, why not do it to pilots too? It would be asymetric otherwise, with our virtual avatars flying fearless right into a wall of AA fire while the gunners would be suppressed quite easily.

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7 hours ago, seafireliv said:

Such as adding an extra second or 2 to the reaction time of the AA or even have it not fire at all (they fled)?

 

I dont know if they removed that feature, but when I shot at flak and miss, hitting all around but very close to it sometimes the gunners will run away and after some time they come back to gun (the only animation is them running away from the gun btw) and the firing continues.

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7 hours ago, seafireliv said:

And that is one of the things that still bugs me about sims like this today. Surely there must be a way to code `fear`. Such as adding an extra second or 2 to the reaction time of the AA or even have it not fire at all (they fled)? This could depend on the veterancy of the gunners in question. Of course an experienced crew would stand their ground and  open fire pretty much straight away.

 

Would`ve expected this detail in Ai after all these years of flight sims.

 

The responsiveness of the gun crews is already heavily influenced by their experience rating, both in terms of how quickly they lock on to a target entering their engagement zone (set by the mission generator) and in switching between targets. If the mission parameters allow the guns to engage at very long ranges (which I suspect is usually the case) you may not notice this effect in the game, but it is definitely there. I noticed it in both my P-47 DM testing and my airfield attack flak test mission. With a short trigger range (5-600m) the low experience crews will often fail to engage at all, the high experience crews almost always. 

 

2 hours ago, danielprates said:

@Bilbo_Baggins I am not sure about this data, but assuming it is accurate, it is revealing:

 

https://www.quora.com/WW2-Flak-guns-vs-Fighters-which-hurt-the-USAAF-and-RAF-bombers-more

 

My point is, flak in ww2 was a notoriously dangerous factor, so why the fuss about it being nasty in the game?

 

This kind of comparison is irrelevant. What is at issue is the risk per attack (from the players POV) or the risk per gun/plane engagement (if you are testing). RL flak comparisons are only useful if they also give an indication of the number of guns and targets, preferably ammo expended as well. 

 

As others have said, I find the low level flak experience setting just about plausible in terms of outcomes, but even at this level, if you try to carry out a Bodenplatte type attack in the game with realistic numbers of guns and targets I predict that you will still get 2-3 times as many planes shot down compared to the real thing.  

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Flak wasn't all it's being cracked up to be here, post some evidence, the most detailed study on probably the most effective flak screening of the war, interlocked US Navy pickets with VT shells and radar directed guns proves it.

 

Lucky to get a quarter of them on your best days.  

 

  http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/Kamikaze/AAA-Summary-1045/index.html#V

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6 hours ago, ethelward said:

 

Yeah, but if you do that, why not do it to pilots too? It would be asymetric otherwise, with our virtual avatars flying fearless right into a wall of AA fire while the gunners would be suppressed quite easily.

 

Well I was specifically talking about AA cos that`s the point of the thread, but of course give this to AI pilots too.

2 hours ago, Willy__ said:

 

I dont know if they removed that feature, but when I shot at flak and miss, hitting all around but very close to it sometimes the gunners will run away and after some time they come back to gun (the only animation is them running away from the gun btw) and the firing continues.

I thought something was like this in game too but was never sure.

One thing is at least is that AA guns have to traverse to hit you once you pass by, so I always know i`m ok for a few seconds once I past it.

2 hours ago, unreasonable said:

 

The responsiveness of the gun crews is already heavily influenced by their experience rating, both in terms of how quickly they lock on to a target entering their engagement zone (set by the mission generator) and in switching between targets. If the mission parameters allow the guns to engage at very long ranges (which I suspect is usually the case) you may not notice this effect in the game, but it is definitely there. I noticed it in both my P-47 DM testing and my airfield attack flak test mission. With a short trigger range (5-600m) the low experience crews will often fail to engage at all, the high experience crews almost always. 

 

Thanks for the info,

Edited by seafireliv
another thought...

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16 hours ago, RedKestrel said:

Down low the 1946 AA gunners were just as murderous as the ones in BoX. up high the explosive stuff seems roughly as accurate between the two sims. I've been 'one-shot' by heavy flak in both sims about the same amount of times.

As far as Il-2 1946 being able to spawn lots of flak, in my case I was never able to even play a mission with dense heavy flak without FPS turning into a slideshow and/or CTD.

Maybe it was like this back then? I have not played it back in 2001. But now it does not seem like this. I remember mission to bomb some port with tons of ships around. It was quite amazing since entire sky was covered in traces from AAA. Somehow i did not get hit but others were shot down. But i never really felt like AAA in 1946 are so deadly. Maybe if they put in on ACE, just like in box.

 

ACE or not but this should not be possible, even on ACE level.

Spoiler

 

 

And again, it was probably like this in 2001 and few years after. But today with modern PC, 1946 can handle lots of plane and objects, especially if you install mods.

Edited by InProgress

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