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Han

Discussion on the plane visibility issue

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I have noticed that spotting planes below, especially 109s and 190s seems often quite hard, maybe it is an rendering issue. My wingman and I often fly quite some time over an objective and eventually spot one plane and wait a bit after if there are more, but once we attack that one plane then all the other planes appear around us the moment we dive in and infact we get into a quite crowded area which was not seen at 4000m above the objective before. They simply seem to render too late or never.

On the other hand spotting russian or british planes which use a camo as well is quite easy, they seem to shine, i don't know why.

 

Since I fly in real life and i am often confronted with military helicopters nearby flying low over our dark forrests with their dark camouflage. Therefore and at least for me it is easy to spot them just looking into the square they are flying, maybe because the human eye is REALLY good at seeing moving objectives, which infact are the helicopters moving way faster in relation to everything around. The distance is like 4 or 5 km, but i am not so good at telling the distance to them.

 

I can imagine that spotting is one of the hardest things to model in a flight sim.

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Posted (edited)

My key points are as follows:

  • Focus should be on a realistic overall experience, with some consideration of hardware limitations
  • Major visibility aids (if implemented) should be optional and controlled by servers in multiplayer
Edited by Mitthrawnuruodo
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Posted (edited)

Thank you for opening this discussion, Han. 

 

There has always been some conflict between the requirements of realism and subjective fun: some people are more interested in the first, some the second. I am personally in the group that enjoys the feeling or illusion that I am in a real plane simulating air combat, rather than a dogfighting game, but I realise that not everyone shares that view.  My own view is that the base case should be your team's best estimate of reality as a simulation, with options for players or server operators to make life easier and increase the "fun" element. Which is what you have now: there are always icons. 

 

In my own reading I am also struck by how often pilots would remember that after a short but intense bout of action "the sky would be empty": even though there might have been 50+ aircraft in action at the start of the engagement. I also note how often the real life pilots on the forum tend to the view that spotting other aircraft in the air is difficult. There are however a couple of points where there could possibly be improvements.

 

I am now using a 4K monitor and one situation which does frustrate me is the way in which I can lose sight of a target 300m away, which I am following, right in the middle of my screen, against ground textures, especially forest. Is this relalistic? I honestly do not know, I have never been in that position, but from watching ground vehicles moving in cover I would say not: the movement is usually easy to see in real life.  This may be partly down to the colour palette, reflections and general lack of depth perception on a 2D screen. 

 

The other observation as a player of career in RoF, is that game seemed to create the reflections of the sun of wings effect very well, which seems missing or much less obvious in the GB series - and FC.

 

Apart from that I am happy with the spotting system. 

Edited by unreasonable
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Is the p-40 engine blowing up from the slightest change in humidity realistic? Are the asinine American engine limitations realistic? Maybe some things should have a bit of give and take. To claim we are striving for realism and have silly things like this in the game still kind of defeats the whole argument.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Han said:

...
Secondly, there is the problem of 4K monitors, where the DPI (pixel quantity per square inch) is much higher. The existing algorithm for increasing long-range LODs of aircraft takes into account only the size of the aircraft on the screen, expressed in pixels, but DPI is not taken into account. This means that on monitors with increased DPI (which are 4K monitors), the linear (in millimeters) size of the aircraft at a large distance (with all other things being equal) will be smaller than on a fullHD monitor. This happened because 4K monitors entered mainstream use not so long ago.

...

 

Is it possible to take into account the resolution setting and adjust the LOD accordingly (i.e., more detail than we have now for a fullHD (1080p) user and much more detail than we have now for a 4K user)? I guess the monitor size would be a factor too so maybe it would not work.

 

It seems to me that we all live in different worlds, with different monitors and different settings. Someone with a given monitor and settings may not be getting a true real-life experience. That is, they may find it almost impossible to see a contact that they are actively searching for rather than finding it somewhat hard.

Edited by JimTM
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Han, I feel that the biggest problem is not the initial spotting of contacts, the biggest problem is that contacts that you have already spotted frequently "disappear" if they go into the shadow of a cloud or pass between you and a forest or a city.

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Posted (edited)

Personally one of the frustations I have with the current spotting system is at close ranges, and when the target aspect is from the 12 o clock or 6 o clock. Many times for example in planes with armored glass I have lost a plane I was going to shoot at after checking six o clock just before taking the shot, or needing to zoom in considerably to just keep the track on them, even if they are at less than 2 km away in front of my nose. And I have a 1080p monitor.

Like Scharfi says , I think it has to do with the rendering and level of detail of the planes. It doesn't seem to be consistent from 5km to 1km range.

I set up a quick test, 1v1 quick mission me in P-51 vs AI Bf 109 G-6. I run away in level flight then I cut throttle and let the 109 come closer, in high fov which is the fov I and most players use to scan the sky, given the monitor size limitation compared to our eye field of view, and take screenshots as it comes closer to compare:

unknown.png

These are the results:

unknown.png

You can see that from 5km to 1.5 km there seems to be a problem with the rendering, the distance is significantly closer yet the LOD doesn't really scale up, the contact flickers as well, for example at the 2.5 Km picture it was rendered as a single pixel only! Note this is with the sky in the background.

These are my graphic settings:

unknown.png

 

Edited by -=PHX=-SuperEtendard
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Answer Han’s question please. All comments here should revolve around that central question. Don’t go off on tangents please with technical essays. When we know what you want, then we can craft a solution or solutions to please more people. Don’t use current conditions as a talking point. It’s a waste of time. We can see the current conditions with our own eyes. 
 

Jason

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I think realism is the ideal for most of us.  But it needs to be balanced against the reality of equipment limitations.  If the rendering formula and color etc are perfect, but the average user has trouble seeing an airplane at 1 mile in ideal conditions, then its not translating into a realistic user experience.

 

So I'd vote for a realistic result - even if that means fudging the numbers on scaling or whatnot.  I think there is also a reality that one size will likely never fit all, due to the variety of hardware being used.  In light of that, I think we also need an additional "limited" icon mode - just a very slight spotting aid that kicks in within say 2 miles or less and doesn't tell faction, distance or aircraft type.  This would hopefully allow people with physiological vision problems or hardware limitations to still get a realistic type experience.

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I also agree with who said: the main problem is lost contact that you have already sports spotted.

For what I know, was really hard to spot somebody else: a lot of pilots talks about empty sky right after a big furball, but I never heard about somebody that lost s contact that he was tracking!

 

 

About realism or fun: I think that nobody want something similar to WT, otherwise we will play that. But still something should be change in the range of 5 to 1 km. (CLOD don't seems to have this problem)

 

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I think tweaking the LOD for 4k monitors should be the goal here. Try to find a way to take into account resolution used by the user and incorporate an LOD scaling into that. Its not perfect, but neither is peripheral hardware in general. 

 

Having total options available to the player to modify LODs on a slider scale is a bad move in my opinion. Especially when you consider multiplayer and having to have another option setting for the administrators to oversee. Its another way to divide the community, its much more programming involved, and adds more complexity layers to the already large and growing preference options over the years. Icons should be the solution as they already are. You have two options, on or off and that goes for your server selections as well. Its fine in that regard.

 

I am in agreeance that realism should take priority over widespread comfort and availability. The more you slip into pleasing the comfort aspect the more you become like all the other products out there, and I would lose much of the reason to love IL-2. 

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1 hour ago, Field-Ops said:

I think tweaking the LOD for 4k monitors should be the goal here. Try to find a way to take into account resolution used by the user and incorporate an LOD scaling into that. Its not perfect, but neither is peripheral hardware in general. 

 

I tend to agree with that as well.

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Probably we need a poll here? But overall, I don't mind being half-blind if it is indeed realistic. So realism for me. But I would like for the visibility to be more or less equal for all players, at least in the MP setting. I am really sick of the situation when there is a large group on comms in near proximity of each other, no one sees any contacts... Except one guy who magically spots everything.

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My problem is that at certain angles/distances the aircraft completely disappear or only a few or even a single pixel is rendered. I feel the rendering needs to be more gradual or smooth? What I mean is that the airplane pixels shouldn't become smaller as you get closer like in @-=PHX=-SuperEtendard post above. If an aircraft is rendered as 3 or more pixels at 5km+ it shouldn't drop to a single/less pixels when getting closer. (I know angle of aircraft and lighting has to be considered as well but aircraft shouldn't render smaller than their farthest distance.)

 

Currently I have situations where I'm closing on an enemy just to have them render out or render in very small pixels when I get closer. Having a contact disappear/become nearly invisible when you are looking right at them is very frustrating.

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Han,

 

Thank you for your dedication and opening up the discussion.

 

For me, my vote is for realism.

 

Regarding your research of Soviet pilots in combat,  I recall seeing a documentary on the production of the movie Battle of Britain (1969). In it, the camera man stated when shooting over England on a clear day they couldn't see the Spitfires directly below them, so they decided to film the dogfight sequences against fluffy white clouds as a backdrop,  which was totally unrealistic because the Luftwaffe wouldn't have knowingly sent a mission over a cloudy target.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Britain_(film)

"To reflect the cloudless skies of summer of 1940, many upward-facing shots were filmed over Spain, while downward-facing shots were almost all below the clouds, over southern England, where farmland is distinctive. However 1940 camouflage made it difficult to see the aircraft against the ground and sky, so a cloud background was used where possible."

 

Regards,

G

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Posted (edited)

I think that spotting has an issue like some have said already.

You can see the contact 10-15km away which is good, but the "spec" does disappear when there's nothing really around it that should warrant it disappearing.

I have a great video for this.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/717855503

This was in open sky.

This is extremely exaggerated over trees and cities where anti-aliasing shimmering happens.

The reflections off the plane from the sun and the edges of the plane basically act as another camouflage. 

 

If the reflections off buildings could be tweaked and the shimmering over trees, I think tracking/spotting would improve greatly.

Here's one you can watch him disappear as he breaks the horizon in to the city.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/717862635

 

Edited by GridTac
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Posted (edited)

Genuine issues that (maybe can be solved):

 - the disappearing planes.
 - the wierdness at short ranges

Genuine issues (that are probably unsolvable)
 - the differences between peoples set up and hardware

Other than that i think spotting is dead on. As described above, and borne out by my experience, spotting anything when airborne is insanely difficult. I feel this is borne out well in game :)

Edited by -RS-Nolly
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It has been already said, but the ability of the human eye to distinguish movement against a somewhat still background needs to be _simulated_.

 

A bit easier contact visibility will bring more fun, at least for me.

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It needs to be a healthy medium of realism and fun, with the current spotting (and some other issues) it is not as fun IMO

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The real problem is plane disappearing not the distance rendering. I have lots of times where I see contact suddenly disappears then re-appear in a few seconds, I have actually recorded some instances where planes disappears for at least 2 to 4 seconds. I'm not quite sure if this is game related or multiplayer related, but the problem is quite crucial because a few seconds of disappearance, especially when the one you are spotting is blended into the terrain has a high chance of losing track of your contact, and many times in multiplayer I loose my attack momentum just because of it. But then again this issue could have been multiplayer related but this needs to get checked.

 

Another concern for me is planes have further render distance than tracer rounds. Tracers should have at least  the same render distance with planes. Lots of times I see furball from distance but see no tracers. 

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I personally Value the realism a bit more.  The difficulty spotting is something that is a reality if the situation.  I base this off of spotting other plane when in the passenger seat of an aircraft in the General aviation sector which are easier to spot due to aircraft usually being a bright white color against what is often a tan or a green background.  Though it can be more difficult against the blue sky.  Either way its difficult.  I have also talked to a few different WWII veterans including 2 Tuskegee airmen and they have attested to the difficulty in spotting other planes along with current air force members who also admit that visually spotting without radar is also difficult.  

 

Now as far as what is the current situation, I personally don't have a lot of problems spotting aircraft.  However I am running a valve index and usually what my eye catches are single pixels moving as opposed to remaining still.  This is something that you do not get with systems like trackIR as because the image on your screen is moving and not stationary you have a harder time spotting movement that isn't directly caused by head tracking due to the acceleration of trackIR.  So in this setup you have to spot using the small part of your eye that can see fine detail and when it comes to scanning and spotting planes, the movement is usually what is easier to spot.  There is also the resolution factor mentioned in the original dev post which also makes spotting potentially more difficult.

 

As far as my experience with the game, I can say that the VR spotting feels pretty on the nose with the valve index headset, but having played this on different setups and with trackIR I do notice that there is a disparity in the ability to spot contacts at long distances.  I honestly think in regards to this that concessions for gameplay are reasonable for 2d monitors and even more concessions for 4k monitors due to the variation.  Not to mention the fact that the scale is different depending on monitor size as well.  If you are playing on a 24 inch monitor that is 1.5 feet away from you, you will be trying to spot smaller harder to see targets than a screen that is 50 inches and 1 foot away from you. 

 

This may be a bit too technical for answering the question, but I think its important to outline the key aspect of what I believe to be the problem with spotting.  Not everyone has issues spotting and while some of it is down to skill, hardware also plays a big roll as well so I think it is ok to make concessions to bridge that gap between the various hardware situation.  I personally think zoom is a good way of accomplishing this.  Also perhaps using the dot method used by war thunder wouldn't be a bad idea either.  and for those of you who don't know what that is, basicly the plane doesn't render in until it gets to a certain distance.  That distance is far, but there is a switch.  Once that switch is made it is a somewhat large black dot that you can see until the aircraft gets into a range that is beyond what a pilot could realistically see at.  Now for IL2 the dot should probibly be smaller than the example used in war thunder along with going to simply a smaller dot rather than just not rendering, but I think this could be a good way to even out the spotting capabilities of different monitors.  This dot would replace the texture at a distance that no one could reasonably tell the type of plane and as a post above demonstrated with the actual rendering you do get inconsitant images at different distances and this could be used as a standard thing to avoide those issues.  I also think this should be something that is optional, but I am just putting in an idea.

 

Thanks for the poll.

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3 minutes ago, Garensterz17 said:

The real problem is plane disappearing not the distance rendering. I have lots of times where I see contact suddenly disappears then re-appear in a few seconds

I keep having this issue too.

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While at it I'd like to request a bump in the rendering distance for tracers and contrails.  The rendering distance for fire and their smoke trails off of planes is waaaay farther than tracers and contrails as it stands now.
I can't really comment on plane spotting though, as I use the Rift S.  Last time I played IL-2 on a monitor was December....it's been a while

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I also have large struggles with tracking targets, and it's not fun, at all. (as an aside, why on earth do I hit a massive block when trying to look upwards? I get a bit above the top of the front window, then my pilot's head refuses to move any further. And this is with a 180 degree max on opentrack, where "90" barely got me looking over the top of the windscreen)

 

My only recourse so far is to use reshade on servers that allow it, and purposely introduce a small halo onto enemies via careful sharpening settings. Even then, my visibility is at best a few km. I may only use a 1080p screen, but because it's a 17" screen, the DPI is still quite high.

 

There should (ideally) be DPI-based scaling, and also a way to simulate the effect of motion. Currently, planes still blend right in. I can be tracking a plane's outline, then suddenly it turns and blinks out of existence, before my very eyes. It's not fun when you're finally tracking a target and it disappears because reasons. When I can somehow inexplicably see stationary power pylons, dugouts, individual houses, and small boats better from long distances than a moving enemy, something is wrong.

 

While planes might have truly been as small on the screen as in real life, IMO the priority should be to simulate the information a pilot would have, not the exact size a plane would be. Given the severe limits of the technology we have, some compensation is in order to allow us to provide for things like glint off the skin/canopy, motion, and other effects that make spotting much easier in real life but are not found in-game.

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Hans, I would like to give my take...

 

I am running a 27" 3k monitor, spotting is very difficult for me.

 

In real life spotting is not difficult from high to low. In a jetliner you can still spot a car sitting in a driveway at 30,000 ft, and anything moving is generally very easy to spot both in the air and on the ground. In good weather conditions 5-8km plus away, no problem. Conversely spotting above can be hard in real life especially the higher you get the deeper the blue in the sky plus the glare of the sun as big factors. In regard to realism I think these factors are reversed in the simulation to some degree. I can usually spot them above, below is horrendous for me and often lends me to fight with improper tactics having to dive below them to pick them up instead of going straight at them using my advantage of altitude.

 

Another key factor in spotting in this simulation is sound and this issue should be addressed as well. I can hear some aircraft from very far away and others not at all. I can actually hear them below me before I can visually spot them, like radar. To some degree it pretty cool to hear the aircraft but the reality would be that you wouldn't hear anything. For the sake of fair/balanced game play either all the aircraft should have the same external volume/range or they shouldn't be heard at all.

 

I would absolutely love to see some improvements in spotting as this seems to be the only real weakness of this brilliant simulation in my humble opinion.

 

Keep up the great work.

 

Thank you,

Mad-Moses

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I would say overall spotting is well done in game as I find it hard in real life to spot planes  in the air when flying around unless you can spot them against a high contrast background like the sky or water for instances. What I find difficult about the spotting is the inconsistency at mid ranges. usually between 1.5 or 2 km to about 4. The way the planes are render, for me anyways, it's almost impossible to spot them. I have no issues long range or even up close. 1.5km and in. Also like @MeoW.Scharfi pointed out the camo difference between the planes seems odd as well. But that could close to real life. I have no idea.

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Posted (edited)

S! all,

I know it's a dirty word, but the easy fix would probably be some type of "icon". While I don't like the idea of having icons, there used to be a system to address this issue in original IL2-Sturmovik. I had to dig up the old settings that were used in Warclouds, but it goes something like this:

 

There are a number of parameters available for the mp_dotrange command. They are

FRIENDLY & FOE indicates that this use of the command applies to friendly or enemy units
To apply the same settings to bothe sides, omit this parameter.
DOT Specifies the range at which the dot becomes visible.
NAMERange at which Pilot name becomes visible
COLORRange at which the icon takes on the army color
TYPE How far the aircraft type information is displayed.
RANGE Distance at which range information is displayed
ID Where the aircraft ID numbers become visible.

This command is case sensitive. "mp_dotrange" must be in lowercase and the parameters are in uppercase. Range is specified in km after each parameter, and I believe that the minimum you can specify is 0.05km.


The default distances are DOT 16km and all other information 6km.

The command: >mp_dotrange DEFAULT
will restore the icons to the default distances.

The command: >mp_dotrange
without any parameters will display the current icon settings in the console.

One version of custom icnos I have seen in use is icons for friendlies, no icons for enemies.


To get these settings, you need to type in the chat window the following console commands immediately after you click fly.

>mp_dotrange FRIENDLY COLOR 0.1 DOT 15 RANGE 5 TYPE 0.1 ID 0.1 NAME 2.5
>mp_dotrange FOE COLOR 0.1 DOT 15 RANGE 0.1 TYPE 0.1 ID 0.1 NAME 0.1

This will give you friendly information at the following ranges.

Aircraft dot 15km
Range 5km
Pilot name 2.5km
All other 100m

I must admit that I have trouble spotting planes from a distance. However, I've also had the experience on many occasions where the plane I'm tracking or engaging simply disappear at close range.

 

Thanks for your time.

 

HB

 

PS, see my signature for my hardware setup.

Edited by JV44HeinzBar
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29 minutes ago, -332FG-Magic_Zach said:

While at it I'd like to request a bump in the rendering distance for tracers and contrails.  

 

I agree about contrail...

We did some missions online in which there were 80 players flying at 7k, everybody was doing contrail but still this doesn't help you: watching replay I saw that contrail is render at a maximum distance of 9km while everybody can agree that you can see contrail much much further in a clear sky day

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Posted (edited)

I think even with better visibility we would still miss enemies and friends around us, just like in reality. Like many others said the problem is that the rendering of planes across diffrerent distances is sometimes inconsistent.

That said the spotting got much better with the new lighting, I dont have many problems anymore. Another factor which was worsening the spotting was the low performance after Bodenplatte got released. Lower FPS and stuttering meant that the overall experience was less pleasant and straining for the eyes. I recently upgraded my system and lowered my settings to get 100FPS and more, and its much better. You guys also fixed the stuttering.

But the rendering, LOD issues remain.

Edited by DerSheriff
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All in all the visuals seem ok with me and quite consistent to veterans reports. Two aspects I like to point on:

- The easy option of zooming in and out in Il2-GB is a somewhat "bad" habit. Some are able to arrange themselves much better with the problem of target detection using that non-historic zoom-option. Others makes it even worse when choosing a wide view (want to see anything and miss most) or operate in high zoom (will miss most in high detail). Don't know how much the developers are strictly using "no-zoom"-flying for their experience - but it might be worth a try.

 

- Loosing contacts against the ground is very easy. While there is a somewhat comparable chance for my human opponent to loose sight on me, too, it seems to be no problem for the AI to stay in contact. So if there's a "realistic" level of loosing contact, it should be true for Ai-pilots, AAA and AI-gunner, too.

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Posted (edited)

thx han

 

for yr point of view and opening up this topic.

for me ,there is a realistic way and on the other hand the arcade way.

 

for me il 2 should be more than 75% on the realistic side, because il2  is a combat flight sim but with a lot of fun factor, still like the old il2 1946 game with better graphics and FM and DM!

i nearly can handle spotting contact with my pimax 5k plus and my hardware in vr because i am used to it,

but sometimes contacts disappear,without reason instead i come nearer to the contact.

important for me is an immersive flight of il2 in vr , and not to loose  and compete against  cheating ,and top notch hardware, and ultra ultra monitors and trackir, which i called the exorcist mod, because  turning 180grade to check yr six on multiplayer games,which is highly unrealistic!

i hope you understand what i mean,because for me il2 is on the right way, its getting better and better over the last years,and i really really like your work and of your dev team.

regards from germany

 

 

 

 

Edited by II/JG11ATLAN_VR
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Well Han, for satrterst lets take your opinion as a honest view on matter and playing on "realism" card to justify flaws in gaem engine etc.

The problem is, the visibility in game is heavily bugged. Sometimes you can see a plane from 2-3km and a second later its gone. Nowhere to be seen! Sometimes (rare bug) I cant see a single plane though I can see AA firing at them (in MP). The problem is much more complex than "you cant see a plane from 20km becasue its unrealistic". I agree that if we want to simulate WW2 combat situations we cant take visibility of an modern pilot in modern plane in peacetime but the above bugs should be fixed. Also there is that problem with planes in front of the clouds.

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To be honest, I think that the question is a bit unfair and perhaps a bit blatant. Hardly anyone here will say that they reject realism. I myself am no exception, of course I want realism but the question arises (as some of you have already pointed out here) to what extent it is realistic to see airplanes disappear at close range. It cost me my virtual head more than once because enemies simply disappeared despite all efforts, only to appear shortly afterwards and shoot me down^^. I also agree with Scharfi the others that perceiving a movement in reality is much easier. Of course it's not exactly the same from the ground but still a day and night difference..

And unfortunately it can't be realistic in any way to zoom in completely to spot an opponent. Our eyes have no zoom function ^^ (if we speak about realism) and the fact that you have to use it to not be completely blind misses the general idea. Therefore I liked the idea of scaling (with the now as alternative visibillity known variant) quite a lot.  No question, on long distance the contacts were way too easy to see, but the approach was good. (Even though this variant was rejected and killed by the community). Accordingly, I believe that you should continue in this direction. Even if it then goes more in a direction that is considered to be"unrealistic".

 

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Posted (edited)

Han I must admit, I am finding it increasingly hard to spot targets in the occulus rift S. Although I cannot speak for everyone who uses a rift, I do not use zoom to spot, only to ID once spotted.

 

Sometimes I find it hard to find my wingman only 300 yards away, when I glance at my map for a few seconds and in this case I know his approximate position

Edited by Herne

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Posted (edited)

I think the game should be oriented towards realism, but I do not think that is at all contradictory saying that spotting right now is not adequate. You listed examples of why you think spotting should be "uncomfortable," and I think part of the disconnect here is that myself and others have very different impressions of what pilot descriptions entail. I also think that this ongoing debate about this is hampered by the use of the words "hard"  or "easy" or "uncomfortable."

 

I would agree with you totally that pilots were frequently not aware of what was attacking them. Where I disagree is in following that up with the idea that such information is reflective of how difficult it was to see an aircraft when you were looking at it or in its general direction. I have played games where there were Icons over the aircraft, and people still got attacked by planes they never saw coming. And in the current build of IL2, it is possible to fly around and see almost any attack coming if you do certain things (such as starting constantly out the back of the plane while flying). People do or do not see things coming for a slew of reasons that do not have anything to do with the visibility of the thing attacking, and everything to do with other factors. A flying pink elephant is invisible if it attacks from a blind spot, such as below or behind. In games with smart scaling or other techniques to improve vision, all of the things you mentioned pilots going through still happen....just at different distances.

 

I have posted numerous times over the years documentation and even my own videos of distant planes, and I sent some of it to you guys in the text document, so I am not going to repost it all here. But I will give as detailed an impression of what I think spotting should be like in this game and what techniques should be available and why. Please note that when I used generalized terms like "any" or "all" that this is a limitation of language and I cannot be more specific without typing a small book. Please do not read into any generalizations I make, caveats and exceptions should be assumed. 

 

-All contacts withing about 3nm should be observable "at a glance" at 105 FOV. This is due to this being the peripheral vision zone of the eyes.

 

-Contacts from 3nm-10nm should be visible if the player is concentrating on scanning a section of sky, again at widest FOV. Very importantly, the manner in which they are visible should make it such that if you take your eyes off them that they can be required again. This is extremely difficult to quantify in words, but one of the biggest differences between planes I have seen in this game and IRL is that even a contact that was initially harder to pick up is a million times easier to find again if I look away. This is something I took pains to test when I have gone aircraft spotting from both the ground and from planes.

 

-Planes at super long ranges above the ones mentioned should still be visible, and I think the long range scaling in game does an ok-ish job of this over 10nm. It could be further improved but I think everyone agrees that at these ranges spotting is far from guaranteed. They should not be totally invisible however.

 

-Contrast is a major problem because of the relative color gamut of monitors that are available and probably artistic color choices in the game as well. Contacts need some kind of dynamic contrast to make them easier to spot against the ground or sky, depending on the specific conditions.

 

-Scaling should be done so that all monitors see things as close to the same as possible.

 

-Why zooming doesnt work, and why 105 FOV is needed: Because using zoom for spotting creates a time observation loop that is far worse than your eyes would operate IRL. In reality your eyes seen the equivalent to multiple fields of view all at once.  Forcing the player to zoom to see something creates a problem where the focus and effort to scan an area becomes an absurd chore compared to real life. 105 fov provides a wide enough view to allow the player to dogfight, but then you cant see anything in the current game. Zooming in, even snap zooms, take too long and it can be hard to point the zoom in the precise direction. I have asked for the spotting system being based around the widest fov not to make things extremely easy, but because zooming in to see things is extremely unlike the real world. If you guys make changes to the spotting, whatever techniques you use could/should be modified when the player zooms so they dont get double advantage. If you rely on zoom, you can be in a dogfight looking right at a plane about to jump into the fight and not see it because its only visible enough when zoomed.

 

 

-There are major problems with tactics induced by the current spotting. And as you mentioned, people with higher res monitors are much worse off.

     

-It is too hard to fly realistic formation spreads.

-It is too hard to do ACM with a wingman.

-It is too hard to implement group boom and zoom (because it is impossible to do things like the US Navy's rotary mower since you cannot possible have the level of SA needed in the game right now)

-You cannot fly high altitude sweeps. If you fly above 4000m you may as well be our of the fight. It is absolutely possible to see planes on or near the deck from as high as 30000 feet or more. I have seen this with my own eyes. Formations would be even easier. Nations in several theaters routinely flew sweeps at higher altitudes and were able to find the enemy.

 

As an anecdote, which I posted screenshots of before, it is difficult in this game to even escort a bomber. Or for that matter intercept them. I have been on many many flights where we could not see a He-111 that was around 2km away because of the current spotting.

 

How this could be fixed:

 

-Smart scaling like in Falcon BMS, based on the Serfoss paper. There have been several improvements to the intial scaling method and the video to this has been linked several times on the forums.

 

-At short ranges, something like what IL2: CLOD uses, although this would not be good enough for long ranges since planes in CLOD virtually vanish over 5km. But the appearance of contacts in CLOD under 5km is fairly good. Again this solution would need to be expanded since CLOD's spotting of 5km is worse than Il2 Great battles.

 

-LOD adjustments at certain ranges to make certain aircraft features stand out and prevent sub-pixel aliasing, such as when viewing wings on a plane head or tail on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by [TLC]MasterPooner
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Han said:

The requirements that we see on the forum say that "we should be able to easily detect targets at mid-range (1..5 km) against the background of the ground with the widest FOV (field of view)." So, this requirement calls on us to take some development that will allow us to detect targets in these conditions with a cursory view and wide FOV.

 

I personally do not expect that, I think that would be unrealistically easy. What I would say would be more like:

 

Once a target has been visually acquired, it should be possible to look shortly away e.g. to check engine temps or to check six, and then, assuming the target remains in the same quadrant and isn't hidden by the plane's body, it should be easy to reacquire the target.

 

This requirement should be met regardless of distance and aspect, during daylight and clear weather (i.e. non-rainy, non-foggy) with the exception of distant planes against the ground.

 

7 hours ago, Han said:

Somewhere in the fall of 2019, we began to notice an increase in dissatisfaction on the part of the community with how things are going with the detection of "contacts" in our project

 

For me it's always been a problem. Recent changes haven't notably affected visibility negatively for me. On the contrary, I find that reflections and exhaust fumes have improved the situation quite a bit.

7 hours ago, Han said:

This, in turn, leads to an increased saturation of the landscape, against the background of which - due to its variegation - the aircraft is more difficult to spot.

 

There are ways to optimize visibility there, maybe by tweaking the engine (something only the devs can do) and by picking the right combination of settings (something the user can do). For the latter part (user settings), maybe the game could offer a number of recommended settings, one of which would be "optimize for plane visibility". There are quite a few topics on the forum where people advertise their settings, but I don't trust these, and I don't want to search, read and try all of them.

 

7 hours ago, Han said:

We, the gaming community "IL-2 Sturmovik", inside of which I count myself on an equal footing with you, strive for the maximum possible realism in the simulation of air combat in all its aspects? Or are we striving to get the maximum "fun" from virtual air battles - which are based on real battles of the Second World War - and where should not be factors (albeit grounded in realism) that will excessively interfere with us in this?

 

To a certain extent, fun is derived from realism, so these two things are not opposite. Moreover, there are times when I want quick fun, and in this case, quick dogfights with icons is best. And sometimes I prefer a more long-winded, patience-craving gameplay. In that case I'll fly a fighter-bomber without icons on an online dynamic campaign server.

On the subject of icons, I think they are a bit too intrusive at the moment. I'd like more options to configure their size, transparency, what information should be shown (only a small dot, coalition, or full info with plane model and player name). It would also be nice to be able to turn off icons for ground units separately from icons for planes.

Edited by coconut
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To the OP, you talk like realism and fun are two opposite side of the same medal. I don't think they are, quite the opposite. If the question is "Do you think the current il2 implementation of contact visibility is realistic or fun" I would say neither.

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Hi Guys,

 

Please leave the spotting as it is. I think it is very realistic. If you make it too easy to spot, the game, in multiplayer at least, will always be nothing but a big furball where everyone can see everyone and everyone congregates to one area. I agree 100% with han in regards to real life pilots seeing nothing and losing each other. 

 

Where i think there can be improvement is finding ways to make the spotting more consistent amongst different set-ups. I run a 2k ultrawide monitor and i have had to play with my nvidia settings to eliminate all anti aliasing so that i can see contacts. The main issue is that on high graphic settings the dots blend into the sky and ground. Maybe just allow a little more powerfull sharpening and some more customability of the landscape and sky colours. 

 

Please no drastic changes as all that is required is using correct settings for your set-up and experience, ie positioning yourself so that sun makes contacts pop. 

 

What might actually be the best thing is to have a set-up tool where you can adjust your settings on the fly and in real time see the improvement to spotting. Have some recomended starting points for different set ups. 

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