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What's 'Alternate Visibility'?

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Posted (edited)

Alternate Visibility is the enhanced visibility checkbox under difficulty.

 

We are finding that it is highly resolution-dependent.  Those with 4k displays tend not to have the giant glowing contacts, nor the "inverted zoom" characteristic; while those at 1080p will tend to have contacts rendered larger at a distance, and wonky zoom characteristics.

 

I am at 4k, and things render at realistic distances, though "whitish" or as black dots depending on circumstance.  If I switch to 1080, I get the super vision that people have complained about.

 

For me, alternate vis at 4k is a good balance and gives a good simulation of what a good pilot might see, without needing to kill myself just to spot a few contacts.  At lower resolutions it is indeed unrealistic.

 

However, without alternate visibility, regardless of resolution, not only is spotting for me not appreciably better than it was before the patch; I also get bad eyestrain after a while which greatly limits my ability to play this game.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr
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Posted (edited)

It's an "enhanced" visibility option that was added in the latest hotfix of the Boddenplatte Patch.  The idea was that is that it is supposed to make it easier to see aircraft at longer distances because the ROF engine that came to IL2 always had a sort of 10km bubble outside of which things didn't render.  This was the devs attempt to make that functionality "better".  If only it were that simple...

 

First it was enabled for everyone automatically.  Then the devs hotfixed and switched it completely off for everyone.  Finally in the last hotfix it came back as a configurable option for each server.  So basically, the devs pased the buck because players were unhappy either way and now expect server ops to figure it out for themselves...

 

I feel that if I explain it much further I'll perhaps jade your opinion.  There's been pretty extensive discussion in the following topics where you can get more information:

OR If you want to see it in action for yourself, the Flying Circus Flugpark has it on right now and will keep it on through Sunday, and then will switch it off on Monday 10/14 so you can compare the two settings.

 

You can also run a Quick Mission yourself in the game and check the settings on and off yourself to test further.

 

 

Edited by J5_Matthias
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For an English speaker, it sounds as if it enables you to see every other aircraft.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, sallee said:

For an English speaker, it sounds as if it enables you to see every other aircraft.

 

No that's more like Icons On.  This is decidedly different and does not work through clouds.  In fact, heavy clouds can be used to effectively limit the effect of it.

Edited by J5_Matthias

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Thanks for the extensive replies, I'll give it a look in the morning. 

 

Salute ! 

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The way it works on my resolution it's best described as zoom out icons - contacts are big and visible when zoomed out, and become (realistically?) small when you zoom in. The effect is that you scan the skies while zoomed out, and when try to zoom in to see the contact better... you see it worse.

Great thing if it's a proof of concept, horrible if it's final product.

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Well, 

basically my opinion is, that the alternate visibility has several minus points as I experienced: 

1st: It is very very irritating that you spot some plane in the distance, and when u zoom it's not getting better and sometimes even dissapears

2nd: Where is the advantage when u spot something and u have neither the chance to identify if its enemy or friendly nor any clue which direction it is moving nor how far exactly this plane is away? Worst case would be that u detect friendly plane in 20 kms distance that moves away while you are trying to follow just to identify it... => pure waste of time for nothing

3rd: It's simply unrealstic, thus it has a negative impact on emersion and atmosphere....

4th: Can the Micro-Stutters that many players report after online flying maybe be caused by this mode (as the server simply must send more information to more clients)?

 

BUT: Before I would vote now on J5_Matthias poll there is still 1 point I am not sure about: When this mode is turned off, does this mean that everything is working the same way as did prior to 3.201?

As far as I understand, they invested a lot in the new spotting system and believe I did somewhere read that the spotting range for planes was anyhow increased by some kilometers, even when this mode is turned off, but I am not sure as I don't find that posting anymore in all the stuff on this topic...

And what about this sun glistening effect: That for sure makes an important difference on the spotting capability in a distance of 5 kms as well => is this effect bound the alternate-vis-mode too? 

 

Salute

 

Etzel

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2 hours ago, II./JG1_Etzel said:

BUT: Before I would vote now on J5_Matthias poll there is still 1 point I am not sure about: When this mode is turned off, does this mean that everything is working the same way as did prior to 3.201?

 

No, we can spot planes beyond 9.5km with normal visibility (critical to spot flak, ships and contrails), but looks like planes got even thinner than before 3.201 because of the sun dynamics (correct me if I'm wrong). So let's see when Jasta 5 turns AV off if we are going to be able to sort our spatial perception or if we are going to be dependent on zoom in all cases and nearby planes will disappear when we zoom back to zero. At least in some cases for me, they are disappearing even below 2km with zero zoom and normal visibility.

 

For example (high settings / 4AA), I did several runs now with a D7 flying towards two Albatroses coming to me from the side at 10km. I was at 2km altitude, mid-day. Zero zoom. I was turning towards them to meet them and going on a shallow dive to keep my upper wing below the horizon line and have the whole sky clear above me. I used Icons until they reached 6km and then turned it off to see when I was going to see them. I think the sun was lateral or sort of lateral. In six or seven runs, the furthest I could see them was 1.3/1.4km away. And depending on my dive, I was just seeing them pop out at 700/800m away. I even simulated a look at my six a couple times, but no need for it. I could not see bananas until they wore basically upon me. With the sun on my back, they were bouncing me from above at 500/600m when I saw them in a couple attempts.

 

This is so far what I’m seeing with normal visibility depending on the sun position. I think just when they are silhouetted against the sun you have a decent visibility.

 

Looks like the first update took visibility beyond 9.5km and contacts a bit more fatty at distance (I think we all agree that when we came from ROF, planes here looked way thinner and required zoom very early in the distance compared to ROF). Some loved the update, some criticized, and then they released a hotfix a day or two later with the Alternate Visibility for the 'arcade' crowd and normal visibility for the 'experts'. But Alternate Visibility is bugged in many people's system (just unplayable for me) and normal visibility looks to have an even worse spotting than before the update.

 

So let's see. If anyone has a different timetable for the updates and fixes, please inform us, because the lack of information is making people have no bearings to compare what was done.

Edited by SeaW0lf
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2 hours ago, II./JG1_Etzel said:

I did somewhere read that the spotting range for planes was anyhow increased by some kilometers, even when this mode is turned off,

 

Theoretically, provided your settings (config file dark gamma, ReShade, 32+ inch 4k monitor, binoculars in the cockpit, etc) allow it.

 

For me, spotting without AV is essentially the same as it was before the update.  If you weren't seeing the aircraft at 10k, you won't be seeing them beyond that either.

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AV on is bananas as Seawolf says. The whole thing with the plane looking huge when zoomed out and right on top of you, but actually they are on the other side of NML is driving me crazy. 

 

Maybe its only supposed to work well with the ww2 stuff? Has anyone tried it on that side?

Edited by US103_Talbot
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21 minutes ago, US103_Talbot said:

AV on is bananas as Seawolf says. The whole thing with the plane looking huge when zoomed out and right on top of you, but actually they are on the other side of NML is driving me crazy. 

 

Maybe its only supposed to work well with the ww2 stuff? Has anyone tried it on that side?

 

I have, it's not such a big deal with the closing speeds there.

 

In fact, on 4k most of the problems people cite, regarding too large contacts, shrinking on zoom, go away.  If you had your setup tuned for better spotting (special gamma, reshade, giant monitor, liberal use of zoom), you will still see way too much though.  If you don't have all that and are just on a 4k screen it's tolerable.  For me anyhow.  I have to be really dialing myself in to see unrealistic distances.  If I relax and scan casually- not so bad at all.

 

If you're on 1080, it's quite riculous though.

 

My biggest beef, by far, with FC, is related to my internet.  It's not greatly reliable, and while it stays connected, I get lag spikes now and again.  They only last a few seconds, and in RoF things might get weird but then things get caught up again.  In FC and BoX I just get kicked.  If I accomplish anything on a sortie I need to land ASAP because it can all go poof at any secound.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr
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I'm using 1080 and with AV OFF I can't spot contacts further than ~9km away. They do not render.

I set up a quick mission like this: bandits at 10km distance, directly ahead of me, head to head, and a few hundred meters higher than me. Clear weather. Zoomed all the way in and there was just empty sky. After a few seconds they started to pop up from the thin air. Pre-patch behaviour.

 

Another thing when having AV OFF and Distant objects (buildings) ON: some buildings disappear/reappear when I look in their direction and turn my head slightly. And I'm a lot closer to them than 10km (I'd say something like 3-5km tops). If I look directly at them, they're invisible. When I turn my head slightly away from them, they pop into view. (I'll post video later.)

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8 hours ago, J2_Jakob said:

If I look directly at them, they're invisible. When I turn my head slightly away from them, they pop into view. (I'll post video later.)

Strange that in DCS I have seen the same effect in the past - don't know if it still occurs, since I haven't played it recently.

Also, back to BoX, I've seen this behavior in every kind of entity (ships, trucks, planes, buildings, etc).

Same for the all-zoomed-in vanishing objects. At 100% zoom, they vanish, a little bit less, they are again in sight. 

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Well, 9 km is really huge distance for fighters. I checked now on google maps the area where I use to fly IRL to see the distance of 2 landmarks I know exactly now and must confirm: Spotting small planes (like 2 seaters for example) IRL on a distance of 9 kms is really damn hard up to nearly impossible; so from that perspective I have no problem with that behaviour as it seems realistic to me... But the question is: Is that distance fixed, no matter which type of plane pops up?

Because when I think of HE-111, A20 or Ju-88 I would say the distance when they pop in should be at least 25% more than for fighters.... 

...if this is not the case I would be a little disappointed 🤔

Edited by II./JG1_Etzel

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People are reporting all kinds of anomalies in different monitors and stuff. So you have to test on your setup and report a bug in case something goes wrong.

 

For example, with no AV in my system (so this is the expert stuff), planes are disappearing / or popping out at very close distances, like 500/600m.

 

On the video below (high settings, 4AA)

 

1 - At 11s I enable Icons to show the planes.
2 - Then I disable icons to see how they look (the video quality is poor, but you can see the dots when I turn off Icons).
3 - When they disappear I turn Icons on just to show where they are and when they disappeared to me.
4 - When they reappear I turn icons on just to show more or less when they popped up (the one on the left is the first one to pop up).

 

 

So this is the new sun feature, when planes look different depending on the sun position. So I'm not sure what will be done about that. I don't usually go on the other sections of the forum, but when I did, people are reporting similar bugs I think for both visibilities modes.

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2 hours ago, SeaW0lf said:

People are reporting all kinds of anomalies in different monitors and stuff. So you have to test on your setup and report a bug in case something goes wrong.

 

For example, with no AV in my system (so this is the expert stuff), planes are disappearing / or popping out at very close distances, like 500/600m.

 

On the video below (high settings, 4AA)

 

1 - At 11s I enable Icons to show the planes.
2 - Then I disable icons to see how they look (the video quality is poor, but you can see the dots when I turn off Icons).
3 - When they disappear I turn Icons on just to show where they are and when they disappeared to me.
4 - When they reappear I turn icons on just to show more or less when they popped up (the one on the left is the first one to pop up).

 

 

So this is the new sun feature, when planes look different depending on the sun position. So I'm not sure what will be done about that. I don't usually go on the other sections of the forum, but when I did, people are reporting similar bugs I think for both visibilities modes.

 

@SeaWolf did you see the pictures in devblog 159 where it was the same pics but in the different engines (RoF and FC)?

 

Just looking at those pictures it was very clear why the spotting is so much worse in this engine, and why planes straight up disappear against the environment.

 

Go look at them and tell me your impressions.

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@SeaWolf I haven't experienced that with normal vis, but your video is troubling. Still strongly dislike Alt-Vis though, its very gamey

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10 hours ago, hrafnkolbrandr said:

 

@SeaWolf did you see the pictures in devblog 159 where it was the same pics but in the different engines (RoF and FC)?

 

Just looking at those pictures it was very clear why the spotting is so much worse in this engine, and why planes straight up disappear against the environment.

 

Go look at them and tell me your impressions.

 

I could not find it. Are you sure it's the 159?

 

5 hours ago, US103_Baer said:

@SeaWolf I haven't experienced that with normal vis, but your video is troubling. Still strongly dislike Alt-Vis though, its very gamey

 

Yeah, I might stop flying with Alt-Vis. Planes are teleporting and I can't see who is who at the distance. Yesterday I had to guess or see who was firing at whom. I'm just flying these days to access the problem, not to really fly.

 

If you [or anyone else] want to check the track of the video above, and you have to turn AV off in your game as well I suppose, here it is. See if the Albies disapear along the way. I imagine that some people will see the dots until they bounce, but aren't they supposed to get big as they get closer?

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1 hour ago, SeaW0lf said:

 

I could not find it. Are you sure it's the 159?

 

 

Me neither lol. (C'mon Hrafn get a grip)

But I think I remember it !

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3 hours ago, hrafnkolbrandr said:

@SeaW0lf @Zooropa_Fly

 

Sorry, I meant 197.

 

Oh, yea, ROF has a superb rendering and reflection. Some of the prints really do look real. When I fly with SS checked, it looks gorgeous. That helps a lot with spotting, but the AWOL planes here I think goes beyond that. For some reason the engine does not render the planes, and I wonder why. Even the dots at 2k makes no sense.

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54 minutes ago, SeaW0lf said:

 

Oh, yea, ROF has a superb rendering and reflection. Some of the prints really do look real. When I fly with SS checked, it looks gorgeous. That helps a lot with spotting, but the AWOL planes here I think goes beyond that. For some reason the engine does not render the planes, and I wonder why. Even the dots at 2k makes no sense.

 

It's not the reflections, it's the contrast.  Look how crisp the edges are in the Rise of Flight photos; compared to the FC photos, where the edges of the planes just blegh (yes, blegh- not blend) into the background scenery.  The "haze" is done so much better in RoF as well, which really helps things.

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5 minutes ago, hrafnkolbrandr said:

It's not the reflections, it's the contrast.

 

But that's the rendering and the reflection / shadows. Way superior. Here everything looks meh and opaque because the rendering might be missing some layers of reflection, shadows, etc. It looks like a draft, not a final product. People say CloD is like ROF, with a very good rendering and spotting.

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When update 3.201 was launched, a bug was present that made aircraft visible at extreme distances

it was corrected in a hot-fix within a day or so.

The fix was how the Devs intended visibility to be

Some people complained that they liked the enhanced version so it was reintroduced as “Alternate Visibility”

 

The most realistic setting, according to the chief engineer, is to set AV off since it allows aircraft to be visible at unrealistic ranges.   

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Where was it confirmed a bug?

 

I missed that part so it makes it sound like you are straight up lying right now.  Not accusing; this is just the first time I've heard it claimed so it's a bit jarring.

 

And from the chief engineer's post, it is clear that even with AV off, people with certain hardware and visual modifications are still able to spot targets at unrealistic ranges.  Just with AV off they don't have to share that perk.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr

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21 minutes ago, hrafnkolbrandr said:

Where was it confirmed a bug?

From the hotfix change log:

“We just turned on 3.201b hotfix that addresses the following problems:

7. Airplanes long-range visibility algorythm was corrected to minimize plane size amplification effect;”

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Heh.  Pretty crazy to imagine that nobody from the dev team popped into the game to have a look at their new visibility setting before releasing it...

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1 hour ago, hrafnkolbrandr said:

Heh.  Pretty crazy to imagine that nobody from the dev team popped into the game to have a look at their new visibility setting before releasing it...

That is crazy. But crazy stuff happens all the time in this business. 

 

They corrected it a few days later so obviously it wasn’t the effect they originally wanted. It’s clear that they don’t believe AV is a realistic setting and that AV is a setting for “fun” and not for “simulation”

 

Posted by SneaksieOctober 4

“Dear friends,

Having observed very differrent responses to the visibility change yesterday which returned to more realistic values, we have decided to add a new difficulty option called 'Alternate visibility'.”

 

“I understand that many players like to see airplanes in the game at distances more than 20 - 30 km because in this case it is easier to play, and it is more interesting to see many other planes around you, not so boring or something. I got it.
 

I just want these players to understand and accept the fact that this is far away from the real life, and this is not about the 'simulator' or 'historical reconstruction' because it breaks proper tactics of air combat.”

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2 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

 


 

I just want these players to understand and accept the fact that this is far away from the real life, and this is not about the 'simulator' or 'historical reconstruction' because it breaks proper tactics of air combat.”

No , it can take away surprise, I know one squad which use icons because this force use of  tactics (and they are very serious about it) . But as visibility goes I choose alternative view off.

Edited by 307_Tomcat

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Is surprise not a tactic?

 

Speed, surprise, violence of action?

 

Destroying one's OODA loop?

 

Icons on does nothing but reinforce complacency. You always know where the enemy is, so why bother checking any other direction?

 

Edited by US103_Talbot
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Another tactic is to use third party programs to alter the way the environment is displayed on your screen, and to alter your gamma in the config file; because spotting is so realistic in this game.  So realistic that many find it unplayable.

 

I still can't figure out why if spotting has been fine all this time, almost every time I get intercepted in a bomber it's after I've already dropped my bombs.  Surely some expert should have seen me coming...

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr

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Last Thursday's fly-in was run with Alt-Vis on so it was a good chance to experience it in squad flying scenarios for a decent period of time.

 

A good experiment but our opinion hasn't changed and I didn't hear anyone express a positive view. In fact is say opinions were reinforced. 

 

Firstly it was so easy to see planes at extreme distance that they might as well have had icons on. You could turn away and search/track any number of other targets then turn back and see the first flight without difficulty. Naturally they had the same ability so any sort of stealthy stalk was out of the question. It felt like a whole skillset was being negated.

 

Second, the implementation where positive zoom results in a smaller or disappearing object is just counter-intuitive. A total immersion breaker. Could you get used to it? Yes, but why? The normal Viz is harder to see planes at long distance, but versus planes being EASIER to see at great distance? I don't think so.

 

Third, the large dot/blob at max zoom out gave a false impression of height (and range of course). So it became an unreliable source anyway.

 

I could go on. Let's just leave it with alt-vis feels really gamey and difficult to justify with our slow ww1 aircraft operating in relatively small map areas.

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Let's face it, both modes [edited] compared to RoF.  You either have a mode where everybody sees everything, or a mode where half the people see nothing.  Unless you're flying with VR, switching over to FC is basically a downgrade at this point.

 

This title needs some serious work.

Edited by SYN_Haashashin
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Well all our guys are in the x% that have no problem with normal vis in both SP and Online training sessions.

 

Will test SeaWolf's file when I get home tomorrow and IF it's reproducible within predictable parameters then its a bug that needs fixing and I'm sure they will.

 

But still doesn't justify using a gamey alternative which definitely creates disappearing planes.

Edited by US103_Baer
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I agree that normal vis is much better at this point due to the fact that we can rely on the zoom to get our bearings, but the bug I posted with normal vis is happening in some instances depending on the sun position (it happened at Syndicate IIRC), so I imagine that a lot of people (perhaps with a similar monitor of mine, IPS, which is vastly superior to a regular 1080p, and I have both at home) will suffer bounces coming from nowhere. Another point is that I personally will have to fly many times with zoom at let’s say 30-40% to avoid this, or that when I zoom out some of the planes in my near field of view will disappear, which then creates a problem with spatial perception. Sort of what happens now with AltVis on. When planes disappear and appear seconds later, especially when there is multiple contacts around, you don’t know if it is the same plane or another one. In other words, you have to be twice as careful to don’t just resume tracking apparently the same contact, but look for another possible one to appear from thin air.

 

I'll try to give a feedback next week wen Jasta 5 goes AltVis off.

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25 minutes ago, US103_Baer said:

Well all our guys are in the x% that have no problem with But still doesn't justify using a gamey alternative which definitely creates disappearing planes.

 

I'm not trying to justify anything but the $70 I pissed away on FC.   😄

 

Still frustrated as hell that I need to change the sensitivity settings on all three axis anytime I switch from BoX to FC aircraft.  Apparently the art of having separate aircraft presets is an art lost to time.  Another instance where FC is a step backwards.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr
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