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Discussion on the plane visibility issue


Han
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51 minutes ago, blue_max said:

No no no, I would very much like the option to be able to spot every aircraft inside 10km at a glance. Sure, every now and then I'll hop onto a full realism MP server. But mostly I play this game because I want to simulate the fun bits of air combat, not because I want to simulate looking around in confusion.

You do know some are there for objectives. 
Your vision will only be fun for the best climber and diver. Any other plane would be utter suicide. 
 

 

1 hour ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

I honestly think a common solution is possible.

I believe this because I don't think very big changes are needed. Certainly no changes as big as 'alternate visibility' are needed. Just a subtle darkening of medium distance targets might be enough or a reduction in the effect of haze on aircraft.

 

No one wants to be able to spot every aircraft inside 10km at a glance, but I think the majority would like to be able to reliably spot a plane inside 4km if they are looking in the right direction.

 

Like the last attempt at visibility changes, it is likely that you won't get it 100% right first time, so perhaps it would be a good idea to make the first round of changes as optional.

 

I find Brownings approach and opinion on this matter to be the one and only path to go, if 

we do not want to evolve into a dogfight only oriented brand. I think it is enough with servers hosting them

Edited by 216th_LuseKofte
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37 minutes ago, 216th_LuseKofte said:

You do know some are there for objectives. 
Your vision will only be fun for the best climber and diver. Any other plane would be utter suicide. 
 

 

I find Brownings approach and opinion on this matter to be the one and only path to go, if 

we do not want to evolve into a dogfight only oriented brand. I think it is enough with servers hosting them

Yes I know. The point is that people want different things from this sim. I was reacting to the fact that Browning wrote that nobody wants to be able to have unrealistically easy spotting. Yes, there are people that want very easy spotting. There are people that want hardcore spotting. Both should be catered for.

 

The tragic thing in this thread is that the people that want relatively easy spotting always say 'everyone should be catered for, it should be an option', while the hardcore purists go all puritan and say 'IF IT'S NOT REAL 100% ALL THE TIME ITS DISASTERTIME!'

 

So, in conclusion, let's agree that the current system should be adapted into something that most players can set up to be happy with, even if these people will not be playing with each other on the same MP servers.

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I love how this 1/3 supporters try to justify their position, suddenly realism doesn't matter to them, pathetic.

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28 minutes ago, blue_max said:

Yes I know. The point is that people want different things from this sim. I was reacting to the fact that Browning wrote that nobody wants to be able to have unrealistically easy spotting. Yes, there are people that want very easy spotting. There are people that want hardcore spotting. Both should be catered for.

 

The tragic thing in this thread is that the people that want relatively easy spotting always say 'everyone should be catered for, it should be an option', while the hardcore purists go all puritan and say 'IF IT'S NOT REAL 100% ALL THE TIME ITS DISASTERTIME!'

 

So, in conclusion, let's agree that the current system should be adapted into something that most players can set up to be happy with, even if these people will not be playing with each other on the same MP servers.

 

I for one don't want easy spotting but am all in favor of choice.

 

As a side note, all this made clear in my mind...

THE PROBLEM WITH THIS GAME IS:

People love it too much in too many different ways.

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6 minutes ago, J2_Bidu said:

 

I for one don't want easy spotting but am all in favor of choice

I want a realistic spotting, not difficult or easy. I want moving objects against a background to be as authentic as possible. 
The “lod’s “ changes is to drastic. Planes get small too quicly You easily loose a A 20 you suppose to fly formation with just by having a quick look at the map. 
It is obvious a problematic fix for this, and not disagreements among users fault this haven’t been fixed. 
Both me and Blue max should shut up once realistic rendering is achieved. 
I have not been active before on spotting topics except alt vis mode. I simply taken it for granted that we have the best spotting / rendering the devs can accomodate

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6./ZG26_Custard
30 minutes ago, J2_Bidu said:

 

I for one don't want easy spotting but am all in favor of choice.

 

As a side note, all this made clear in my mind...

THE PROBLEM WITH THIS GAME IS:

People love it too much in too many different ways

 

Maybe we can have three modes? Realism, fun mode and icons mode? I can understand why folks want an easier spotting solution but my major concern is what happened with the alternative visibility mode. It was embraced wholeheartedly across most servers initially. However, in short order it was abandoned because it turned the online experience into one massive furball. You could see contacts taking off from their airfield from half way across the map. Whatever the development decide to do I hope it pleases the vast majority of players. One can of course dream. 

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51 minutes ago, J2_Bidu said:

 

 

THE PROBLEM WITH THIS GAME IS:

People love it too much in too many different ways.

Ha! So true!

 

Anyway, Han already said they're looking at it so no point in discussing further. For now... haha :)

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Few days ago I made 2 video of what I see in RL. I was at 21000ft(7000mt) while the contact was at 15000ft(5000mt), slant range betwen us was never less than 2,5nm (4,6km). When it disappears (at 0:30 of RL spotting 2) we were around 6nm(12km) slant range. You will see how contrast makes a huge difference, how relative speed make huge differences and you can immagine if the contact was dark brown with camouflage paint.  

 

I'm not here to say that spotting in this game is perfect but I can not say that is completely wrong. The main reason of this videos are to say to people that write around in this post: "in RL spotting  is easier because... bla... bla... bla..." Sorry to correct you guys but you are wrong!

 

Spotting a military colored aircraft over the landscape is f..ing hard in RL, while spotting a civilian white aircraft is easier and can not be taken in consideration if you want to simulate a combat simulator, period. 

 

Ground contrast, aircraft dimensions, paint scheme, visibility, illumination, line of sight between moving objects make a huge difference in spotting and tracking an aircraft with a dimension of around 10x10mt gray / dark versus a bright white (like civilians) skin.

 

So solution about this question will be a compromise. Now this compromise will be Dev's job but again, if you have in mind that spotting is easy you are wrong and, to make happy 2/3 of the community, most probably this compromise will move toward the arcade side. Obviously gaming has limits like screen resolutions, colours, contrast etc etc. so Dev's will have an hard work to find a solution.

 

I'm of the opinion to not have the zoom-in and work on a better spotting on default FOV, but it is my personal idea (zoom-in could be a server option). I really hope everybody agree that the zoom-in is the most arcade  part of the sim. With zoom-in I see players shooting at sniper ranges and spotting at satellite distances... you like it?  I don't. (btw I use it because is part of the game but I don't like it).
On the other hand, zoom-out is more acceptable. Having a bigger FOV (similar to RL FOV) increases overall SA specially in a furball dogfight and it actually does not help like the zoom-in with ultra far spotting and unrealistic range shoting. 

 

I hope the solution will keep this game a simulator of pro and cons of WW2 flights and not shooter game... 

 

Here the videos, please view them in fullscreen.

 

RL contacts 1 video:

 

RL contacts 2 video (use of camera zoom from 0:45):

 

 

Fun exercise, spot the contact without knowing where it is from the beginning:

 

 

Now immagine the contact dark green with camouflage...

Edited by ITAF_Lynx11
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@@ITAF_Lynx11

 

Unfortunately your "spotting test" is a bit flawed for us observers. We are watching a video which has been compressed for YouTube and captured using a phone camera? This is no substitute to a human eye, and I believe the videos above are not valid enough to prove your point.

 

(But I get your point!)

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36 minutes ago, ITAF_Lynx11 said:

Few days ago I made 2 video of what I see in RL. I was at 21000ft(7000mt) while the contact was at 15000ft(5000mt), slant range betwen us was never less than 2,5nm (4,6km). When it disappears (at 0:30 of RL spotting 2) we were around 6nm(12km) slant range. You will see how contrast makes a huge difference, how relative speed make huge differences and you can immagine if the contact was dark brown with camouflage paint.  

 

I'm not here to say that spotting in this game is perfect but I can not say that is completely wrong. The main reason of this videos are to say to people that write around in this post: "in RL spotting  is easier because... bla... bla... bla..." Sorry to correct you guys but you are wrong!

 

Spotting a military colored aircraft over the landscape is f..ing hard in RL, while spotting a civilian white aircraft is easier and can not be taken in consideration if you want to simulate a combat simulator, period. 

 

Ground contrast, aircraft dimensions, paint scheme, visibility, illumination, line of sight between moving objects make a huge difference in spotting and tracking an aircraft with a dimension of around 10x10mt gray / dark versus a bright white (like civilians) skin.

 

So solution about this question will be a compromise. Now this compromise will be Dev's job but again, if you have in mind that spotting is easy you are wrong and, to make happy 2/3 of the community, most probably this compromise will move toward the arcade side. Obviously gaming has limits like screen resolutions, colours, contrast etc etc. so Dev's will have an hard work to find a solution.

 

I'm of the opinion to not have the zoom-in and work on a better spotting on default FOV, but it is my personal idea (zoom-in could be a server option). I really hope everybody agree that the zoom-in is the most arcade  part of the sim. With zoom-in I see players shooting at sniper ranges and spotting at satellite distances... you like it?  I don't. (btw I use it because is part of the game but I don't like it).
On the other hand, zoom-out is more acceptable. Having a bigger FOV (similar to RL FOV) increases overall SA specially in a furball dogfight and it actually does not help like the zoom-in with ultra far spotting and unrealistic range shoting. 

 

I hope the solution will keep this game a simulator of pro and cons of WW2 flights and not shooter game... 

 

Here the videos, please view them in fullscreen.

 

RL spotting 1 video:

 

RL spotting 2 video (use of camera zoom from 0:45):

 

 

Fun exercise, spot the contact without knowing where it is from the beginning:

 

 

As much as I would love to look at those videos and directly compare them to my IRL experience, the fact is they aren't apples-to-apples. What you saw in real life was then compressed and muddied by the limits of whatever camera you were using, which was then compressed and muddied by YouTube's compression algorithm, which is then displayed on my screen with all the same limitations of limited size, pixelation, etc.

 

You simply can't compare in any realistic manner. Fullscreen 1080p is still recorded imperfectly, compressed, and displayed on a screen. All of those individual steps make it more difficult to see a contact. Furthermore, to make matters even worse, you recorded in 720p (not your fault, but definitely indicates an older camera), and vertically (indicating it was likely a cell phone). So not only was your capture device utter crap (again, no offense but that's just fact), but even in fullscreen mode, it takes up at best a mere third of my screen. That's nothing like looking with my own two eyes in real life, and limits my view to far less than the theoretical max of 921600 pixels, which is already incredibly limiting. I can get a higher-resolution view of wherever you were using google earth!

 

If I wanted to be really extra, given the FoV of your camera(?), resolution (720p), and range(?), we could do some math and figure out exactly how many pixels we have per square meter at that range, before any of YouTube's compression, screen issues, etc. But I think I've made my point.

 

A few nights ago, I watched a GA aircraft fly by, and was able to get my phone out to take a picture. It was nearly invisible in the picture, despite grabbing my eye and being quite easy to see and track. And it's not like my phone camera is awful, it's 12.2 MP, HDR, and fairly new. Was it a white-painted aircraft with nav lights on at night (a best-case scenario for the gap between technology's ability and the human eye)? Yes, but my point remains the same. Had I uploaded a video to YouTube, it would never have shown up at all.

 

You can't upload a video like this, and expect it to provide a clear example of what you discuss. Spotting being hard in this video proves nothing besides the fact that your recording and everyone else's display technology are inadequate.

Edited by DJBscout
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I'm amazed by the number of people trying to post phone pics and videos as "proof".  If you actually took those, then shame on you because you KNOW how much bigger, sharper and clearer all of that looked to your eye vs the resulting photo/video.

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4 minutes ago, DJBscout said:

 

As much as I would love to look at those videos and directly compare them to my IRL experience, the fact is they aren't apples-to-apples. What you saw in real life was then compressed and muddied by the limits of whatever camera you were using, which was then compressed and muddied by YouTube's compression algorithm, which is then displayed on my screen with all the same limitations of limited size, pixelation, etc.

 

You simply can't compare in any realistic manner. Fullscreen 1080p is still recorded imperfectly, compressed, and displayed on a screen. All of those individual steps make it more difficult to see a contact. Furthermore, to make matters even worse, you recorded in 720p (not your fault, but definitely indicates an older camera), and vertically (indicating it was likely a cell phone). So not only was your capture device utter crap (again, no offense but that's just fact), but even in fullscreen mode, it takes up at best a mere third of my screen. That's nothing like looking with my own two eyes in real life.

 

A few nights ago, I watched a GA aircraft fly by, and was able to get my phone out to take a picture. It was nearly invisible in the picture, despite grabbing my eye and being quite easy to see and track. And it's not like my phone camera is awful, it's 12.2 MP, HDR, and fairly new. Was it a white-painted aircraft with nav lights on at night (a best-case scenario for the gap between technology's ability and the human eye)? Yes, but my point remains the same. Had I uploaded a video to YouTube, it would never have shown up at all.

 

You can't upload a video like this, and expect it to provide a clear example of what you discuss. Spotting being hard in this video proves nothing besides the fact that your recording and everyone else's display technology are inadequate.

 

I was waiting about this kind of reply.

In my country we say: "There is no worse deaf than someone who does not want to hear" but about this discussion I will like to create a new way of saying: "There is no worse blind than those who do not want to see ". Even with a 8k video someone can not agree ... but I agree with you about video compression. On the other hand I personally say that what is present on the video I posted is not SO different from real life in terms of spotting and tracking over a landscape. You can trust me or not, you can trust people that say that it is easier without specific evidence or not, is all about your choise.

On my side I have some proof (with compression) of video evidence on how contacts become less-visible or disappear in relation of ground contrast plus my word as expert about this argument in real life.

 

Last but not least, I'm here not to justify aircraft visibility in this sim, but I say that the replica we have now is closer to the correct one rather than to the arcade one... I'm also for some corrections but not on arcade revolution about aircraft visibility.

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[DBS]Browning
2 minutes ago, ITAF_Lynx11 said:

I'm also for some corrections but not on arcade revolution about aircraft visibility.

You stand with the great majority here I think.

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2 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

You stand with the great majority here I think.

 

with this addition

5 minutes ago, ITAF_Lynx11 said:

the replica we have now is closer to the correct one rather than to the arcade one...

 

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[DBS]Browning
1 minute ago, ITAF_Lynx11 said:

with this addition

 

I think most people would agree with that also. Our current ability to spot aircraft is certainly closer to real life than it is to an arcade game, however, there is room for it to be more realistic.

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25 minutes ago, ITAF_Lynx11 said:

 

I was waiting about this kind of reply.

In my country we say: "There is no worse deaf than someone who does not want to hear" but about this discussion I will like to create a new way of saying: "There is no worse blind than those who do not want to see ". Even with a 8k video someone can not agree ... but I agree with you about video compression. On the other hand I personally say that what is present on the video I posted is not SO different from real life in terms of spotting and tracking over a landscape. You can trust me or not, you can trust people that say that it is easier without specific evidence or not, is all about your choise.

On my side I have some proof (with compression) of video evidence on how contacts become less-visible or disappear in relation of ground contrast plus my word as expert about this argument in real life.

 

Last but not least, I'm here not to justify aircraft visibility in this sim, but I say that the replica we have now is closer to the correct one rather than to the arcade one... I'm also for some corrections but not on arcade revolution about aircraft visibility.

 

When did I say aircraft don't become less visible against the ground? They absolutely do, especially when camouflaged. The crucial issue here is by *how much*, as planes in game will disappear against the ground at less than a kilometer. Even in your heavily compressed videos, with all their limitations, the ability to track enemies was similar at 4.6-12km slant-range as it is in-game at a kilometer. Trying to track the aircraft in question felt nearly identical to trying to track a target at much closer range in IL-2 (see my previous comment about flying with my wingman, and losing both him and a 109 at ~6-800m.) Even then, I was more able to reacquire the plane in-game than I am enemies at much closer ranges.

 

If the whole question is how visible aircraft should be, showing that video does nothing to refute what other people have been discussing. Other people have been pointing out that due to pixelation, color limitation, etc, you simply cannot simulate the image a RL pilot would see, as you end up at a severe disadvantage compared to them. You can't properly simulate depth of field, the brightness of glint (barring incredible, very expensive, technology like TrueBlack HDR 1000), or just how drawn the eye is to motion.  IMO, it makes far more sense to simulate the information a pilot would have access to, while remaining as faithful to the image as that allows. Maybe that means darker planes, smart scaling, or glint effects (hell, ANY glint would be a massive improvement at this point) from reflections to help simulate the incredible brightness of sun reflections. I can't tell you exactly what solution is ideal, and it's not my decision to make. That's for the devs to decide.

 

In short, you're arguing that these effects exist, which nobody disagrees with, and which you can demonstrate with videos like yours. If you try to go any further and say exactly how much visibility suffers, or how visible a given aircraft is, you cannot rely upon your videos to prove it, as the debate is about how much screens/displays hold back natural capabilities of the human eye. Your videos must be displayed on a screen, and thus suffer from all those shortcomings we're talking about (plus the additional shortcomings inherent to your recording and the video hosting), and as such cannot be used to demonstrate what the difference to real life is like. That's my point. You were able to track the plane in question at those ranges (likely much easier than us), when they disappeared from view for people viewing the video, demonstrating the gap in spotting ease and capability.

 

I'm not arguing for arcade visibility either, just so I can (ideally) see and ID the same planes that a RL pilot would, at the same ranges. Because of the limits of technology, that will require some sacrifice of "realism" regarding the exact image displayed, but IMO can absolutely still be done while maintaining (and even getting closer to) an experience that is close and faithful to the IRL experience.

 

EDIT: Saying that realism and better spotting are opposed to each other is a mistake. You can absolutely have both. With the current state of the game, IMO you can absolutely improve spotting and become more realistic at the same time, even without making any sacrifices to realism. Start with reflections/glint. The flash of sun off an enemy's canopy or wings at close range would be bright, clear, and could massively help maintaining tally against an enemy on the ground. Implement PBR so that a plane isn't the same level of brightness as the forest below it in different lighting conditions. Make the edges sharper and/or colors stronger, so the camo colors and forest colors don't blend so much, and the differences between them are as distinct as they should be. Make planes not shrink at mid ranges (sometimes as small as a single pixel!), so that they are never smaller than the dot/shape seen at longer ranges.

Edited by DJBscout
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2 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

I think most people would agree with that also. Our current ability to spot aircraft is certainly closer to real life than it is to an arcade game, however, there is room for it to be more realistic.

 

With the awareness that it is also realistic to lose the contact while you are looking to it, especially if it goes below a cloud shadow or if flies over a similar to skin-color background or is more than 15km etc. etc. 

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Thanks again to Han. Wanted to follow up on a few points:

 

1) Yes spotting should be hard, hopefully most of us agree with that. Yes spotting should be hard(er) against terrain that against the sky, hopefully most agree with that as well. At least 2/3 agree that its unrealistically hard which is great consensus and I'm glad the devs are taking action.

 

2) Most of us have our monitor at ~ a 45 deg FOV, so a zoom up to at least 45 degrees is ABSOLUTELY realistic, and in my opinion even up to 30 degrees (the current limit) is not that unrealistic as it helps to compensate for some other challenges associated with monitor resolution. I agree we should not have 10 deg FOV zoom or similar and thankfully we do not. Bottom line, stop saying zoom is "unrealistic" (at least up to 45 deg) , you are wrong at least for non-VR setups.

 

3) I am not a fan of smart scaling myself, I think it distorts sense of scale and distance and is problematic.

 

4) I think the CounterStrike example cited above, along with Browning's post, give the clearest picture of best path forward by adjusting contrast and lighting, while leaving scaling true to life (ie 1:1). I think part of the problem is the global lighting model and the general method used for lighting in this game which does not accurately reflect the contrast ratios you will see in real life between an a/c and its environment.

 

 

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LLv34_Flanker

S!

 

1/3 wants a squinting simulator. Because gaming MUST be hard or you are just a pleb. 2/3 wants a reworked system that improves spotting to a point that it is a feasible solution for a screen/VR user. I dropped BoX due the spotting, horrible shaders/filters/whatever and "RMHS approved FM". And do not see myself coming back anytime soon either. And this sentiment is quite prevailing among a growing number of users.

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I"m enjoying my usual summer break from flight simming and life in general, but I've been following this thread with a lot of interest and I'm really glad Han and the team have acknowledged our frustrations and are working on improvements.

 

Spotting is the ball and chain around the neck of this otherwise top quality combat sim and the biggest reason why people I know won't fly it.

 

At the moment, spotting is unrealistically difficult to the point where it's causing eye strain and frustration. Even the most basic squadron tasks are a challenge.

 

For me, spotting should be as realistic as possible, but remembering that we generally buy combat sims in order to find enemy targets and then engage in some form of aerial combat. CLOD is a good example of a balanced and effective spotting system where everyone has a reasonable chance to spot something within an adequate range.

 

Good luck with the improvements 😉

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38 minutes ago, PreyStalker said:

Spotting is the ball and chain around the neck of this otherwise top quality combat sim and the biggest reason why people I know won't fly it.

 

At the moment, spotting is unrealistically difficult to the point where it's causing eye strain and frustration. Even the most basic squadron tasks are a challenge.

 

Oh yeah!

 

I'm flying IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles since 14/06/2020 (something like 3 to 5 hours almost in a daily basis)... and my eyes are already showing a great amount of strain and some noticeable degradation. For a 46 year old guy with astigmatism and myopia it is not looking good.

 

~S~

 

P.S.: of course I'm the only one to blame as nobody forced me to fly full real servers and for that long.

Edited by JG27_M-C
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E69_geramos109
2 hours ago, ITAF_Lynx11 said:

 

I was waiting about this kind of reply.

In my country we say: "There is no worse deaf than someone who does not want to hear" but about this discussion I will like to create a new way of saying: "There is no worse blind than those who do not want to see ". Even with a 8k video someone can not agree ... but I agree with you about video compression. On the other hand I personally say that what is present on the video I posted is not SO different from real life in terms of spotting and tracking over a landscape. You can trust me or not, you can trust people that say that it is easier without specific evidence or not, is all about your choise.

On my side I have some proof (with compression) of video evidence on how contacts become less-visible or disappear in relation of ground contrast plus my word as expert about this argument in real life.

 

Last but not least, I'm here not to justify aircraft visibility in this sim, but I say that the replica we have now is closer to the correct one rather than to the arcade one... I'm also for some corrections but not on arcade revolution about aircraft visibility.

Is the Usual thing here. Does not matter that you are a real military pilot telling your experience with tons of hours of experience. Some Nerd on the sofa will say that you are not right

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Jason_Williams

Guys,

 

This is getting a bit redundant at this point. As Han has said above, we have lots of info and opinions from you guys now, not just here but months of complaints etc. we have also sifted through. We have our own internal investigations as well and as Han has also mentioned we have some areas we are going to look at now and maybe make some changes. We'll let you know when we have something new in the area of visibility. We have no ETA on any changes, so please be patient. And there will be no perfect answer I assure you.

 

I'm moving this thread to the Suggestions section and I'll leave it open, but keep it civil or I'll just close it. There is no need to get heated. 

 

Actually the usefulness of this thread is now moot thanks to the flaming that has nothing to do with this topic really or our request. Take it elsewhere. Closed.

 

Thanks to all who have given thoughtful and useful info, opinions and followed our request. I'm sure it will be useful in any changes we make.

 

Jason

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