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J5_Hellbender

AI two-seaters are the solution to the altitude problem (yes, they count towards your streak)

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It's true.  I've seen dudes in RoF utterly stomp noobs one kill after another, until they log off, never to return.

 

I always made it a personal policy that after two kills, if it seems like the person is a novice to ask if they need help, or if they would like to be left alone to practice on the AI.  It's easy enough to avoid the SPAD turning on the deck, or the Albatross spewing smoke and spraying bullets all around an AI 2-seater lol.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr
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It certainly wouldn't help to denigrate their AI kills as "noob fodder" and tell them they deserved a lesser score because they counted for nothing. Anymore than it would have helped to foster morale amongst the real pilots if their reports had included a requirement to assess their victim's skill, with "apparent novice" meaning it wouldn't count towards ace status and awards.

"Sorry Eric/Hub, 90% of your kills were poorly trained and tactically naïve sprogs, no medals for you. And wipe those bars off your rudder, you wannabe." 😀

 

One of the greatest things about having AI in the mix (having had approx. 200 members flying for over a year in a war I ran, who loved it) was never knowing if the plane you were stalking (or being attacked by) was human or AI. That tension was a big plus to the experience.

Edited by J3Hetzer
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Fast food servers can and have been great arenas for the noobster. In ww1 terms the only mp option has been rof. And within that, for the last 3 or 4 years that's been nff servers. 

As an ex-admin I always helped noobs as many others did on these servers. There's lots of virtual pilots benefitted from, and been gateful for such assistance. Hell some have even gone on to be regulars on the pro servers.

Yes there's always a few who just fly and kill anything in front of them. They're best seen as a benchmark. In call of duty etc do people not shoot in case the opponent might not know what they're doing ? 

It's also been an arena where the more full real crowd have come for occasional fun, or just for practice. 

 

There's many likely reasons for low flight sim numbers, all been discussed at length. 

But to blame a dogfight oriented server for driving people away from the game, is sensational at best. 

Anyone new at this whose first experience is in mp, and takes the huff when they get shot down the first two times won't be playing long under any circumstances. 

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11 minutes ago, Zooropa_Fly said:

Fast food servers can and have been great arenas for the noobster. In ww1 terms the only mp option has been rof. And within that, for the last 3 or 4 years that's been nff servers. 

As an ex-admin I always helped noobs as many others did on these servers. There's lots of virtual pilots benefitted from, and been gateful for such assistance. Hell some have even gone on to be regulars on the pro servers.

Yes there's always a few who just fly and kill anything in front of them. They're best seen as a benchmark. In call of duty etc do people not shoot in case the opponent might not know what they're doing ? 

It's also been an arena where the more full real crowd have come for occasional fun, or just for practice. 

 

There's many likely reasons for low flight sim numbers, all been discussed at length. 

But to blame a dogfight oriented server for driving people away from the game, is sensational at best. 

Anyone new at this whose first experience is in mp, and takes the huff when they get shot down the first two times won't be playing long under any circumstances. 


We'll agree to disagree on that one, rather than get into a pointless tit-for-tat debate. :)

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Some folks are just not interested in all the "other" stuff and simply want to press B and go. Other people do care about all that "other" stuff. In my opinion J5 has provided a place that welcomes all flavors.  

 

Want to fly around in the stratosphere and occasionally snatch one up? Check.

 

Want to fly directly level to a fight right after take off? Check.

 

Want to fly a mission and sneak around everyone? Check.

 

Want to kill only AI or only Humans? Check.

 

Want to occasionally team up with folks and complete all the above tasks? Check.

 

Want to strafe cattle? Check.

 

I really don't see what else there is to do. 

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35 minutes ago, US103_Talbot said:

I really don't see what else there is to do. 

There could be a place for the CO-OP type servers, but that's another ball of wax.

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Was only speaking of J5 sever specifically. Should have clarified.

 

Coop would be fun depending on then missions.

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I have always believed in extending a warm welcome to newcomers.

 

They can even choose their source of heat: Vickers, Lewis, Spandau, Parabellum...

 

To treat anyone, regardless of skill level, any different than you would an AI, is patronising to them. Besides, no one appreciates things that come easily. The difficulty and learning curve are part of the process, of the hazing if you will, which we've all been through. Those who go exclusively after newcomers for the sheer enjoyment of seeing someone suffer and to drive them away from the game are borderline sociopaths. We have those too, but they typically don't last that long. It's hard to fly angry all the time, as the reality is that everyone has good and bad days. In my experience, the vast majority of people here will bend over backwards to assist someone new in need of guidance. Not to make it that much easier on them, but at least to warn them of the mistakes which they themselves made while learning. I think that's how squadrons are formed.

 

Speaking of which, if you're looking for one, and you don't mind to fly together with yanks in a plane that vaguely smells of camembert, the chaps over at the US 103rd Aero Squadron are looking for people. God forbid you'd want to fly Central. In that case, pick your favourite tail colour (green!), or number, stick a J in front of it and apply right away.

Edited by J5_Hellbender
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As a bonafide new guy who started playing flight sims again a month and a half ago after maybe twenty years of not the thing that puts me off the most is people being grumpy in chat. Following that it’s everyone quitting en masse when the ten minute warning goes out. I expect to get blown out of the sky and generally fail but rudeness and the feeling of being deserted are definitely the two most negative parts I’ve experienced so far. Generally though everyone has been friendly.

 

Today I flew a Bristol at a bunch of higher altitudes from 3k - 10k feet which was fun. Even with a low pop I still find it fun to take off and try to bomb something. I flew mostly over the Northern part of the map and it seems everyone sticks well south because apart from a bit of friendly cover I didn’t see a sausage.

 

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28 minutes ago, meheleventyone said:

 I flew mostly over the Northern part of the map and it seems everyone sticks well south because apart from a bit of friendly cover I didn’t see a sausage.

 

 

Obviously never flew over German territory.

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Maybe score for a kill should be based on the score of the V-life that you ended.  AI included.

 

That said, regarding @Zooropa_Fly and fast food servers-  If I had needed to rely on Wargrounds to get multiplayer and practice stalking and fighting, there is no way I would be anywhere near as invested as I am today in RoF and FC.  I'm very thankful for NFF and steady numbers it drew (and still draws, to a lesser extent) when I came back to these games.  Though I particularly enjoy Arty's servers, when they're populated.

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr

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7 minutes ago, Zooropa_Fly said:

 

Obviously never flew over German territory.


It’d be hard to bomb targets without doing so and thankfully I can actually navigate to them. But thanks for the needless negativity.

Edited by meheleventyone

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6 minutes ago, meheleventyone said:


It’d be hard to bomb targets without doing so and thankfully I can actually navigate to them. But thanks for the needless negativity.

 

It was a sausage joke.

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10 minutes ago, Zooropa_Fly said:

 

It was a sausage joke.


It was the wurst. 😭

 

Sorry for not getting it the first time.

Edited by meheleventyone
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1 hour ago, meheleventyone said:

As a bonafide new guy who started playing flight sims again a month and a half ago after maybe twenty years of not the thing that puts me off the most is people being grumpy in chat. Following that it’s everyone quitting en masse when the ten minute warning goes out. I expect to get blown out of the sky and generally fail but rudeness and the feeling of being deserted are definitely the two most negative parts I’ve experienced so far. Generally though everyone has been friendly.

 

Welcome!

 

Please take everything you read here and especially on chat with a large grain of salt. Most of us have known each other for longer than we care to admit and we take things too far all the time. It's all in good fun. Usually.

 

Quitting at the ten minute warning seems odd to me. Maybe it was bedtime in Mother Europe? We take those sort of things seriously. The last 10 minutes is when people actively seek out trouble and start popping flares to signal their position, as there's no need to limp back home anyway if the mission ends.

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Don't listen to this guy^

 

King George has a firing squad specifically on stand by for Bender and Darling since they decided to betray their countrymen and join the boche.

 

 

 

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Bender, the altitude problem might have its worst enemy with the new update (visibility). Spotting got exponentially harder in all directions for a lot of people (even worse than before), especially looking down, then I'm kind of thinking about quitting the high altitude flying because you spend a couple hours in a mission and see no one other than occasional tracers below. Then you descend to land and see a myriad of nearby planes and skirmishes, dogfights as you head back home.

 

Sometimes it is cool to get above and enjoy the flying, but the chances are that you will see nothing below. It is dangerous as well, because people sneak from below and you might not see a hint before it is too late, no matter how many zigzags you do in your patrol.

 

Flak needs to be very well thought as well, since it was a paramount source of foe identification during the war. They even used different shell colors to communicate with their own squadrons, indicating enemy aircraft. So if people can’t see and we still have no proper WWI flak, the tendency is that people will eventually descend to find some action.

 

Note: I hope we get a large patch of land south of Cappy. On approach to land on my field, on the Somme River, a bit south, I got a warning that I was leaving the map area.

 

The meandering Somme is a classic.

Edited by SeaW0lf
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2 hours ago, J5_Hellbender said:

 

Welcome!

Quitting at the ten minute warning seems odd to me. Maybe it was bedtime in Mother Europe? We take those sort of things seriously. The last 10 minutes is when people actively seek out trouble and start popping flares to signal their position, as there's no need to limp back home anyway if the mission ends.

 

Thanks. I thought it was strange too and I can understand people taking it as a signal to leave but I’ve seen a lot of 10-15ish servers suddenly desert. Then the next map starts and after a while more people join. It could be a bedtime problem as I’m in Iceland so a little behind mainland EU and too far ahead of EST.

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On 10/18/2019 at 12:11 PM, J5_Hellbender said:

This is what I suggest:

 

  • Every 15 minutes, a 4-ship flight of two-seaters appears alternatingly on one side of the map. This means that each side would have a two-seater flight appear every 30 minutes, meaning a total of four flights during a 90-minute mission, with the first and last 15 minutes no new flights appearing.

    0:00 [MISSION START]
    0:15 Entente flight A
    0:30 Central flight X
    0:45 Entente flight B 
    1:00 Central flight Y
    1:15
    1:30 [MISSION END]
     
  • Each two-seater flight takes roughly 30 minutes to complete its mission. This includes take-off (airstart?) and landing. The Entente flight would consist of Bristols (F.II) completing a high altitude recon mission, not too far behind enemy lines at 10,000ft. The Central flight would consist of Halberstadts (180hp) performing a low level trench attack. The outcome of the mission counts towards one side winning, though this is not really of consequence to most players.
     
  • The incentive here is to either hunt or escort said two-seater flights, in the knowledge that downing AI planes counts towards your air victories. In other words: if one side leaves its AI two-seaters unescorted, they are potentially easy kills. But if you go after these easy kills, you may very well run into a human escort. The high altitude Bristols obviously put the D.VIIF at an advantage, while the low level Halberstadts favour the Camel (and SPAD, SE5a, Dolphin...). Human two-seaters can also join the AI formation and help to complete the objective or simply provide additional escort.
     
  • In case such AI flights are already taking place and I simply had no idea they were happening, they do have to be announced to the map. The imminent departure of these flights is announced on their own side (green flares at the airfield, in-game message). The flight crossing into NML (at their mission altitude) is announced to the entire map (red/yellow flares at the trenches, in-game message).

 

 

The concept is not hard to implement as far as how it's done in the mission builder - and I have things like this before in camapigns with one VERY important technicality:  Your timing on the AI flights is too fast and your numbers for the AI flights are too high.

 

There are some complexities involved with deleting flights that complete their mission while others spawned by the same triggers are still in progress but by  sending AI flights spawned by different triggers that issue can actually be avoided.  Althought it's a bit of a pain to build a mission that way, it would more easily fit into a system with a rotation of AI planes in unique flights going on different types of missions.

 

You're proposing a four ship AI flight for both sides every 15 minutes and you want a 30 minute mission.  That means at any one time, you would have 16-24 AI planes in the air if none have been shot down.  If you're using previous flight shootdowns instead of just a timer tied to a clock as the trigger you can better limit AI plane spawns.  Black September played around EXTENSIVELY with AI planes in the air doing ferry flights, which were all times and extensively tested because I was forcing those planes to actually land at their destination, and I can tell you that anything over 10 AI active at one time starts to become a problem  once you start getting the server number up over 30 players or so.

 

Right now the FC Flugpark mission has a 3 ship AI Trench recon for each side that when killed is replaced by another flight at a random position attempting to continue the recon.  So that means we've been stable with 6 AI.  There is currently (if I recall correctly) a 20 minute pause between AI flights after the previous one is killed.

 

I'm willing to (and already considering) in future maps randomizing the missions the AI is doing further to make them do bombing, arty spotting and such, but the number vs server performance issue is I think going to prevent the kind of large scale implementation you're dreaming of.

 

This was also an issue in ROF, and the only time I saw someone  pull it off "successfully" was for a co-op mission hosted by 777 to gather video footage with about 30 active AI planes.  I say "successfully" because we had to run it about 6 times over a four or five hour period because it kept crashing, player disconnects, or the server not loading plane skin textures correctly due to the load imposed by the AI planes.

 

IL2 will literally scream in server chat the minute it even thinks it might start at some point in the future to become actually overloaded.  It's rather annoying actually the way it does it, and I think that were we to push down that road the spam would drive people away even though the server itself might handle what is going on without a crash.

 

So in short - can this be done exactly as suggested?  Not exactly, but certainly to a degree.  Do I see the value in it as a way of keeping the server population more engaged when we have lower active player numbers?  Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by J5_Matthias

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9 hours ago, US103_Talbot said:

Want to strafe cattle? Check.

 

 

I was unaware we currently had "cattle strafing" support.

*Makes note*

 

I wasn't ready to check that off till C1 delivered the horse and cow models for artillery battery teams and milk wagons. 

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1 hour ago, J5_Matthias said:

I'll ignore the complexities involved with deleting flights that complete their mission while others spawned by the same triggers are still in progress because by sending AI flights with different triggers that issue can actually be avoided - and it would allow a rotation of AI planes going on different types of missions.

 

You're requesting a four ship AI flight for both sides every 15 minutes and you want a 30 minute mission.  That means at any one time, you wpuld have 16-24 AI planes in the air if none have been shot down.  If you're using previous flight shootdowns instead of just a timer tied to a clockas the trigger you can better limit AI plane spawns.  Black September played around EXTENSIVELY with AI planes in the air doing ferry flights and I can tell you that Anything over 10 AI active at one time starts to become a problem  once you start getting the server number up over 30 or so.

 

Thanks for getting back so quickly about this, Matthias, and again sorry for doing this out in the open, I was really just brainstorming.
 

 

What I meant to say was exactly one AI flight taking off every 15 minutes on alternating sides (not one AI flight on both sides), with each AI flight lasting 30 minutes.

 

To clarify:

 

Mission starts at 0:00

Entente Flight A: takes off at 0:15, lands at 0:45

Central Flight X: takes off at 0:30, lands at 1:00

Entente Flight B: takes off at 0:45, lands at 1:15

Central Flight Y: takes off at 1:00, lands at 1:30

Mission ends at 1:30

 

I have no idea about the complexity of mission timers and taking off/landing/despawning AI planes, so a different approach may be needed if this is too complex.

 

 

Which is actually what you already mentioned:

 

Quote

Right now the FC Flugpark mission has a 3 ship AI Trench recon for each side that when killed is replaced by another flight at a random position attempting to continue the recon.  So that means we've been stable with 6 AI.

 

I had no idea this was happening (probably thanks to the visibility), but his may very well be good enough for what we're trying to achieve, which is to center dogfights around these two-seaters. A change of recon altitude might be needed: you really want the Entente flights to be too high for comfort, and the Central flights too low. The number of planes in a formation I can't really judge, but I'll certainly take 3 over none.

 

 

Just a few more questions, regarding AI flights in general:

 

  • Are these AI flights departing from an airfield or do they spawn in as a formation with an airstart? The point being: it would be nice if a human two-seater of the same type could join the formation by having some advance warning. Scouts should normally have a bit less trouble catching up.
     
  • Could you have a message displayed to people on the same side as the AI flight when they take off/airstart, to signal their location? I know we're not supposed to have radio or anything fancy like that, but it could be a number of green flares being shot up from the airfield/planes themselves and a message displayed along the lines of: Green flares are fired from Cappy (1106), a Halberstadt flight is about to take off! or Green flares are fired from Bristols flying over Saint Gratien (1103) at 10,000ft!
     
  • Likewise, could you have a message displayed to people on both sides as the AI flight crosses into No Man's Land? As an example: Yellow flares are fired from the trenches, a flight of Halberstadts is coming over low! and Red flares are fired from the trenches, a flight of Bristols is crossing over high! 
     
  • The AI doesn't really have to do anything if that is too complex, though it would look really fancy if AI Halberstadts could (fake) attack a trench with machineguns (that's me dreaming). We can pretend that the Bristols are doing a high altitude recon and the Halberstadts a low altitude recon. I do wonder what the survivability is of low Halberstadts if AAA is in the vicinity, but that's another story. So if the two-seaters don't get shot down, they fly around till the end of the mission, I take it? And if they do get shot down, can you leave a little bit of time between destruction and respawn? Maybe even limit the number of times they respawn to limit abuse?
Edited by J5_Hellbender

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14 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:


Me and my brother are regularly flying against a mix of high and ace AI and while the AI certainly doesn't fly like a novice its gunnery isn't particularly good or bad. Going into a fight against five of them is no cake-walk but neither is it insta-death. We've not tackled the 2-seaters yet though (they're set to normal, to nerf the arcade rear gunners hopefully).

Flying around for half an hour, try two hours and seeing nothing (the common lot of the WW1 pilot). My brother got bored of that so I turned on the AV. Lol.

I guess the difference is e-sport vs simulated combat experience and I totally get why most are into the former. But call stuff accurately and stop pretending the AI is unrealistic. If it is it's only because it actually flies and fights better than most of the real pilots did. Most of them were too scared to do more than a standard bank when attacked, if they even saw their attacker coming. Pretending otherwise is sheer snobbery in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

I don't know what your experience is in multiplayer flight sims is, but before you start throwing around words like 'snobbery' when experienced old-timers basically laugh at the AI, I suggest you get really, really good knocking down the AI, and I mean like Ace of Aces at it...and then come into an MP server. 

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7 hours ago, meheleventyone said:

 Following that it’s everyone quitting en masse when the ten minute warning goes out.

 

Lots pf people leave at the 10 minute warning because there isn't time to take off and get up to altitude before the mission ends.

 

13 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:

One of the greatest things about having AI in the mix (having had approx. 200 members flying for over a year in a war I ran, who loved it) was never knowing if the plane you were stalking (or being attacked by) was human or AI. That tension was a big plus to the experience.

 

In RoF I could usually determine if an aircraft was AI within a few seconds of the fight starting.  There really wasn't a lot of tension.  The only thing AI is good for is bait for noobs who get fixated on them.

Edited by BraveSirRobin

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17 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:

PvP-only servers present about as bogus a sim experience as I can think of. It's not a simulation of WW1 air combat, it's an e-sport.

 

Since we seem to have taken-up the subject, how can flying against software programmed to behave in a set number of ways, be less genuine than combating other unique individuals all of whom will behave differently?

14 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:


Here's the thing, as I see it (my opinion)...all you veteran sim flyers, who have championed the PvP-only scenario, be it on fast-food air-quake servers or mission-oriented ones, have done more to drive away newcomers to the MP scene than probably any single other reason (there are others in the mix). While you were whooping it up and having fun clubbing them you killed your own environment. Most likely if they'd had targets they could cope with (AI) and a way to both grow their confidence and skills they'd have stuck around.

 

Does anyone join a server just to encounter AI planes, when they could set-up such a scenario off-line? A button labelled 'Multiplayer' should provide a pretty good clue as to what to expect.

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7 hours ago, US103_Talbot said:

since they decided to betray their countrymen and join the boche

 

That's, Bosche, with a capital B, Talbot....unless you prefer the variant spelling.😄

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5 hours ago, SeaSerpent said:

 

I don't know what your experience is in multiplayer flight sims is, but before you start throwing around words like 'snobbery' when experienced old-timers basically laugh at the AI, I suggest you get really, really good knocking down the AI, and I mean like Ace of Aces at it...and then come into an MP server. 


Probably more than yours, as I don't recall your callsign from the RB2 online community days (1994~), never mind any since (inc the original IL2 and Hyperlobby) until now. :)

4 hours ago, Cynic_Al said:

 

Since we seem to have taken-up the subject, how can flying against software programmed to behave in a set number of ways, be less genuine than combating other unique individuals all of whom will behave differently?

 

Does anyone join a server just to encounter AI planes, when they could set-up such a scenario off-line? A button labelled 'Multiplayer' should provide a pretty good clue as to what to expect.


Lots join for an authentic simulation experience with like-minded humans. Not everyone is into it as a e-sport. Lol, very few if the numbers in FC MP are anything to go by.

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2 hours ago, J5_Baeumer said:

 

That's, Bosche, with a capital B, Talbot....unless you prefer the variant spelling.😄

 

It is/was also Schleu or Chleuh in Frenchie heart country;

In all good humor and you guys being Yanks )))

Meaning:

"Du vert-de-gris, du doryphore. chacun y allant d'un sobriquet le plus méprisant possible pour qualifier l'allemand pincé par une étrille. — (Philippe Lhommet, Cauchois d'hier et d'autrefois, TheBookEdition, 2013, p.153)"

or about the colour of their uniform so not refering to a cabbage head LOL with Boche.

Edited by West

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Gentlemen, gentlemen, save the belligerence for when you're flying.

 

Where you see problems, I just see more medals.

 

The White Max: 25 AI kills

The Red Max: 25 human kills

The Pink Max: 25 human kills who did not yet have a single victory

The Brown Max: 25 human kills who afterwards disconnected from the server

The Black Max: getting killed 25 times in a row without getting a single air victory

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2 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:


Probably more than yours, as I don't recall your callsign from the RB2 online community days (1994~), never mind any since (inc the original IL2 and Hyperlobby) until now. :)


Lots join for an authentic simulation experience with like-minded humans. Not everyone is into it as a e-sport. Lol, very few if the numbers in FC MP are anything to go by.

 

There isn't a server that caters for 'e-sport' flying yet.

Closest is Shooting Stars, but even that's very different compared to their RoF servers of old.

 

The bigger picture everyone needs to remember is that we all paid the same $ for the game.

Whether you prefer simulating intense dogfights or doing recon's, like ai or not, care for your virtual life or not... it's all a game either way.

 

S!

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Unfortunatly, I don't agree with the OP's premis.

 

The only way A.I two seaters would be effective , in this role, is if NOT shooting them down had consequences. Certain popular aircraft can only be unlocked if these high flying two seaters are destroyed, for example.  The other problem is the A.I behavior and limitations.  They tend to dogfight, rather than run for home, rear gunners can often be snipers (unless they happen to be in your human piloted plane obviously 😂) and you can't sneak up on them because the rear gunner is just that, rather than an Observer who happens to have a gun to defend the aircraft when needed.

 

Probably, a problem with unlocks is that pilots will simply gravitate to servers that don't do this, which simply defeats the purpose.

 

Another suggestion, that has been mooted elsewhere, are airstarts.  I don't think this really solves the problem either as it simple recreates, mostly, what happens lower down, just higher up and with a more separated game area leading to frustration from lack of contacts and some/many of those that lose altitude constantly restarting to reposition rather than taking the lengthy time to re-climb whilst remaining vulnerable.

 

If the reasons WW1 pilots strove for altitude are not obvious to sim pilots, even without the discomfort of altitude, freezing temp's and long flights,  then sim pilots will not try and ape them.  The advantages of having the upper hand have to be obvious all the way up, from the deck to the very highest heights.

 

I might retract my original disagreement, but only if A.I two seaters behave like drones, that appear, in different places and reoccur on a required basis.  They simply fly straight and level, as if doing a photo recon trip, they don't shoot back ( or if they do, in a very limited fashion at point blank players taking the piss).  Air starts might be useful, aircraft locks might work, if there was a constant need to attack and defend these "drones" at a particular altitude.  The real objective wouldn't really be the drones, ironically enough, they are simply objectives, the real play is obviously human against human, around these objectives.

 

Edited by HagarTheHorrible

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Getting them to drop bombs on your AF's at a certain time into the mission might be another incentive to shoot them down.

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16 minutes ago, HagarTheHorrible said:

Unfortunatly, I don't agree with the OP's premis.

 

The only way A.I two seaters would be effective , in this role, is if NOT shooting them down had consequences. Certain popular aircraft can only be unlocked if these high flying two seaters are destroyed, for example.  The other problem is the A.I behavior and limitations.  They tend to dogfight, rather than run for home, rear gunners can often be snipers (unless they happen to be in your human piloted plane obviously 😂) and you can't sneak up on them because the rear gunner is just that, rather than an Observer who happens to have a gun to defend the aircraft when needed.

 

Probably, a problem with unlocks is that pilots will simply gravitate to servers that don't do this, which simply defeats the purpose.

 

Another suggestion, that has been mooted elsewhere, are airstarts.  I don't think this really solves the problem either as it simple recreates, mostly, what happens lower down, just higher up and with a more separated game area leading to frustration from lack of contacts and some/many of those that lose altitude constantly restarting to reposition rather than taking the lengthy time to re-climb whilst remaining vulnerable.

 

If the reasons WW1 pilots strove for altitude are not obvious to sim pilots, even without the discomfort of altitude, freezing temp's and long flights,  then sim pilots will not try and copy them.

 

Agreed on all accounts, but you've also disproven your own arguments.

 

  • Unlocks are silly. If people join a server and they can't fly the plane they want (within reason, limiting their number is fine), they will leave. Also, what do you want to lock for Central? The D.VIIF? Good, now they have nothing worth a damn. And what do you want to lock on Entente? The Camel, SPAD, SE5a and Bristol? Okay, I suppose we're all flying Dolphins, and some argue that even the Dolphin is better than everything but the D.VIIF.
     
  • I don't trust the AI, though I do think it's possible to force them not to engage and use their gunners only defensively. What I do trust is human greed. If people know the AI two-seaters are there and can add to their kill tally, especially when not escorted, they will go for them.
     
  • Airstarts (or at least forcing high altitude two-seaters) seems like a necessity for higher engagements. Most recon flights and combat by 1918 would take place well above 10,000ft. At present, the only reason for an Entente flyer to go all the way up there is to look for trouble. No matter what, he's at a disadvantage there against the D.VIIF. Historically it would have been your squadron commander ordering you to defend those two-seaters. Nobody cares about orders in a public game where your side winning is of no consequence, but people do care about kills, and perhaps even about other people not getting kills.
Edited by J5_Hellbender

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1 hour ago, J5_Hellbender said:

Gentlemen, gentlemen, save the belligerence for when you're flying.

 

Where you see problems, I just see more medals.

 

The White Max: 25 AI kills

The Red Max: 25 human kills

The Pink Max: 25 human kills who did not yet have a single victory

The Brown Max: 25 human kills who afterwards disconnected from the server

The Black Max: getting killed 25 times in a row without getting a single air victory

I have earned the black max so, so many times..

  • Haha 1

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23 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:

"Sorry Eric/Hub, 90% of your kills were poorly trained and tactically naïve sprogs, no medals for you. And wipe those bars off your rudder, you wannabe." 😀

 

 


More like "Sorry Hub, 90% of your "kills" are at best unmanned target drones, they count as tugged target practice but not air-to-air victories. Write them down along with trains you've strafed and planes you've bombed on airfields. And wipe those bars off your rudder, this ain't 1940". 

Honestly, I always said that in online events like Bloody April RFC redshirts should be represented by swarms of AIs, with human players taking role of RNAS. They are useful as part of enviroment. But flying online is social activity, both for interacting with people you fly alongside, and people you fight against. AIs, trains, baloons etc are part of enviroment, not part of social experience. They can be farmed, their routes can't be memorised and (unlike novice joe who just connected to server for the first time) they are not unknown quality who may prove better than me, or grow to be better than me. I've seen enough new players come and grow into something I can no longer handle (cough, Seaserpent, cough,  Larner) by learning from their experience to cherish every victory over an actual person, even if he's not danger to me yet. Even if AIs shot me down, it isn't their competence or experience that overcame me - it's my incompetence alone. 

I have written several months ago about similarities between historical knights, WW1 "Knights of the Air" and online flying community. In short, the medieval knights (whether they were old hands of freshly knighted squires, whether they hated or loved one anohter) considered themselves part of the same, elite caste/group and regarded each other as peers. Defeating another knight was the only meaningful victory, while killing commoner fighters was below regard (and dieing to them somehting akin to hunting accident). The same attitude was held by WW1 pilots - enemy and allied aviators were peers, and however many grunts on the ground you've strafed or bombed, it was just doing your job - it's enemy airmen you've overcome, men sharing ther same experience and passion who would probably make good friends when not shooting each other,  that was primary measure of your accomplishment. Udet has destroyed a tank with his machine guns (remarkable for WW1 pilot),  most people never even hear of that.

So no, this ain't about e-sport. It's about (historical) experience of trying to match people who share the same passion, and being part of community where the same people shoot each other one day and fly side by side next. WW1 isn't huge anonymous community od 1946 Hyperlobby or Warthunder, either. 

As of immersion and "historical" experience of filling the skies with AIs - I'm all for it, but am not going to pretend they are anything more thandecorations. IMO these roleplaying elements are best saved for Career mode or Cooperative flying (which I also enjoy). But as far as my "score" is concerned, my squadron is recording air-to air victories since at least 2011 (we are more interested in persistence and making a real world history than one time streaks), we have people with thousands of recorded victories over opposing pilots (J2_Adam broke 9000 before retiring), each one with a name that was one time registered and confirmed in a parser. What's the point of trying to add that Trupo has downed 35 AIs today? I might as well try to count my career kills.

(That's another historical aspect here - nowadays, historians are matching pilots claims with enemy loses and pilot experiences, building shared history to all sides, and filtering out overclaiming. AIs are "victories" that do not match loses from enemy perspective, they are not part of shared experience. They are overclaimed planes that never were (compare Billy Bishop claiming 5 German planes, on the day when Germans lost single plane on whole front, to a two-seater observer :) . Yeah, he made them count to his official score. So what.))

Edited by J2_Trupobaw

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