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Patch_whiner
06-05-2004, 07:04 AM
The AI characteristics in IL2FB/AEP
-----------------------------------

AI programming must be one of the most difficult fields of computer programming. To make a rather
limited (in human terms) capability machine possess the intricacy of a person is impossible. This
simulation is renowned for its physics modelling. It portrays very nicely the characteristics of WW2 aircraft to levels, which many other simulations are unable to reach. But when we buy a copy of this we are asking for so much more than 1 genius' work on the flight models (FM) and physics. In a similar way to a racing car team a number of elements must be satisfied. To succeed in F1 you need a genius in the design office, a very good driver in the car and an excellent pit crew. To succeed in a combat flight simulationyou need the following:

1. A brilliant physics model
2. Well honed flight models (FM)
3. Well honed damage models (DM)
4. Correct gunnery physics
5. Superb graphics engine
6. Superb bug free programming
7. Class user interface
8. Online/LAN capability
9. Mission creation/editing tools

number 10 is what this text is all about. The little robots that fly around in your strange world. This list is not complete. AI has ruined many an aspiring sim. I played a lot of racing games before IL2/FB/AEP and usually these classics had very good AI. Ubi-softs F1RC had Kamikaze AI, to this type of AI you don't exist. EA's F1 2000 had similar problems:

1. You don't exist and get rammed
2. AI has erratic unpredictable behaviour
3. AI crashes into each other
4. AI gets stuck

Even the class games had their AI traits. It is obvious that the AI in any game is never subject to the rigours of the physics model. If this was the case in a Nascar game you would only require 43 X the processor power to do all these calculations. Knowing the AI will never behave the same as you, the programmer usually errs in favour of the AI for certain events. Because the programmer can't match the same world you are in for the AI, then the simulation is either too easy or too hard. The former is undesirable, so for a racing game you find:

1. The AI never has cold tyres
2. AI brakes never lock or wheels spin

The AI's in a racing game are much easier to do well than a combat simulation. This is because:

1. The AI takes virtually the same path each lap
2. There are far fewer types of AI vehicles
3. As professional drivers the AI is expected to
make few mistakes, go quickly etc.
4. More limited possible situations like crashes,
pit stops make programming easier.

And still racing car simulations have poor AI. This shows the mountain there is to climb for combat
simulation AI. In FB/AEP, there are hundreds of different aircraft. Each with its unique characteristics and techniques used in combat. Each with a set of performance/endurance etc. characteristics that should be adhered to. A pilot who has flown for 2-300 hours in one type of aircraft has a finely honed procedure of how to fly this aircraft. Programming this lot for a limited PC is virtually impossible. If you expect the Pe-2 bomber to behave differently than a He-111 in all the intricacies of pilot behaviour then you are asking too much. The AI pilots should have very mixed abilities and their performance is variable for some and not so variable for others. They should make mistakes sometimes. When using a computer to play a simulation it is unnatural. There are aspects where you have advantages and other elements where you are at a disadvantage. This creates an imbalance. The advantages for a simulation like IL2 are:

1. You have no fear of death
2. You can use maps to see exactly where you are relative to the enemy
3. You can tone down the difficulty
4. You can pause the game to think
5. You can gain a high experience, which you would not have attained due to death/injury
6. Many elements may not be modelled which make life harder
e.g. dirt on windscreen, fatigue, aircraft with faults, complex stalls
7. You know the side an aircraft is on by its icon
8. Nausea and sickness while in combat due to violent movement
9. Many aircraft procedures are not undertaken/modelled

The disadvantages for a simulation like IL2 are:

1. You can't see as well as in real life
2. You can't feel the aircraft
3. Using a joystick and keyboard is different/detached from
operations inside the aircraft
4. The AI is not subject to the same detailed physics model as you
5. Avoidable accidents due to impatience and boredom occur which
would be far less likely to happen in reality

These lists are not exhaustive.

Criticism of IL2 FB/AEP AI
--------------------------

The original release of FB 1.0 was a simulation, which while not being buggy was not really finished. With such a large expansion, inevitably some areas were going to take retrograde steps. Not only had many planes (including bombers) been added, a dynamic campaign generator was also added. Modifications were made to the graphics engine/sound/AI reworking. To expect this lot to be at the same quality as the original game was asking too much. The AI in FB/AEP is quite different from the original IL2 simulation. When I bought FB I found the AI to have some characteristics very much changed:

1. The AI became far more aggressive
2. The AI accuracy for gunners and enemy fighter aircraft was much higher
3. More active AI

This simulation had become very difficult to survive. There was and still is a fundamental contradiction: If it's so difficult to hit an opponent from your aircraft or even worse from a gunner's position, how are the AI gunners and pilots so accurate? Perhaps 1C has made the AI/gunners so accurate in order to balancethe simulation because the list of advantages while playing (see above 9v5) is larger than disadvantages? Or perhaps AI realism doesn't sell games. In FB/AEP the AI has several advantages:

1. AI have simplified physics and are able to perform
manoeuvres that will see you stall if you try them
2. AI is able to see in all directions and go for
you like a heat-seeking missile
3. AI find missing difficult, AI hit probability once on your tail is
novice 15%
average 90%
veteran 95%
ace 100%
4. AI gunner's extremely accurate being adept at engines and pilot hits

I was flying a campaign in a Yak once when I was attacked by an FW190 at low altitude. A Yak is very manoeuvrable, it is quick and it is also small and tough. Its forte is turn fighting. An FW190 is less manoeuvrable, is very quick, small and very tough. It has far more ability to BnZ. This planedid not attack by BnZ. It was turn fighting, literally rotating on its axis on the map. I was turning hard when the FW190 opened fire and immediately disabled my aircraft. This is unrealistic because:

1. The FW190 would attack by swooping passes (BnZ) in which
it would be rather difficult to hit a small, hard turning Yak
2. It would probably take more than one pass and more than 20 seconds
to completely disable another aircraft
3. An FW190 with its hugely powerful, heavy engine and low drag
would not turn with such rapidity.
4. My Yak is travelling at 400km/hr while travelling in an arc
surrounded by an enormous volume of air that an enemy can miss in

I can forgive the AI characteristics because this is very hard to program but surely the hit probabilities could be made less severe (or more like the original IL2) without too much difficulty. A fighter aircraft is aninverted `T` in section, which does not present much area. From the rear it is difficult to score hits on. I often think the AI sees you like a Lancaster bomber in plan flying through the air in front of him i.e. something very difficult to miss. Of course, once your aircraft has been damaged you are then a sitting duck against this level of
opposition. I don't mind being shot down, it is only the way it's done I object to. IL2 FB had large numbers of patches issued, these did make some modification to the AI's but not in the areas I'm discussing. The main alterations were to sort out FM/DM for all these new aircraft and also graphic/sound issues. There were also new planes added. Overall FB/AEP gives you more than IL2 originally did but with less balance. FB/AEP has never had the uniform integrity of IL2 because of its AI. It is a common problem with the expansion of anything, there is more but the quality deteriorates. In such an ambitious attempt to add multitudes of planes and all their attendant
programming the AI has been left behind. This makes FB/AEP a realistic combat fighter simulation online or a bomber simulation offline, it is only when being in a fighter offline that problems start. This is perhaps not surprising as the IL2 itself is a bomber, perhaps if there were no flyable fighters there would be few complaints. Survival in campaigns is very hard. This may be in part due to a strange phenomenon in all these simulations: the commonness of aces. In the real world, an ace is a superman, a one in a million person who can perform miracles. In FB/AEP an ace is rather common. Half of the single missions you are flying with/against aces, and after a couple of flights on a campaign you will have been blown out of the sky by one. For campaigns you can adjust CampaignAI=Hard/Normal/Easy. I can't imagine who would set this to hard. Unfortunately if set to easy that means you will attack with aces against novices. This adjustment is a knife-edge. Preferable would have been MaxAIskill=0,1,2,3 as the MaxBomberSkill. Then you could ensure you would never meet aces. The effect of the lack of balance in this simulation is that the class of fighter plane you fly is not reflected in the sim. 3rd party add-ons are rarely able to adjust the balance when it lies deep inside the AI code.
With good AI code for a combat flight simulator the AI:

1. Should miss regularly
2. Should be unable (except rarely) to destroy another
aircraft in a matter of seconds
3. Should be unable to sustain indefinitely an attack
on the players tail. Differing speeds/climbs/turn radius/dives/rolls
make it very hard to stay glued 50m behind your apponent

It would be nice to be attacked (and missed) from the side/above/below instead of from front or rear, but this is difficult to program. All of my comments rely on something I don't actually know. That is whether is was as difficult to shoot down an enemy as is simulated. If in fact it was like early video games where the enemy more or less dances around your cross-hair waiting for you to fire then the AI may be ultra realistic as it is. What about the thought that it was terribly dangerous in a fighter and 1C has modelled the lethality of war correctly. This is and has been the source of many bitter arguments on the internet forums. If it's so easy to hit the cockpit or engine or so easy to disable ailerons why can't I dish out this punishment 9/10? Perhaps I'm just a poor pilot but it takes time to ruin the integrity of a solid structure firing shells/bullets that :

1. disperse
2. lose their effectiveness with distance
3. change their path due to gravity
4. are difficult to aim due to gun platform instability

No review I have read on the internet goes into much detail on the AI. They rarely perhaps mention gunner accuracy but generally you can only assume the AI is of the same quality of the rest of the simulation. Reviewers tend to show these products in their best light. They may have limited time to do reviews of complex simulations. FB/AEP follows a modern trend of slightly dumbing down which many simulations do now, the reason for this is:

1. marketing dosen't like too realistic simulation that will
only appeal to a few e.g. Grand Prix 4 where tyre camber/pressure/temperature
were all added into a more complex physics model but the bean counters asked
this to be deleted for fear of making the game too purist and limiting sales
2. money

Most of my criticisms are there for two reasons. Firstly AI programming is very complex and secondly and very significantly these criticisms don't affect sales. You should have been diving at mach 1.5 to avoid the bomber shooting your engine.

AI hit probability once on your tail (on which it is difficult to remain):
novice 15%
average 30%
veteran 40%
ace 70%

Patch_Whiner
Shot down in flames, aint it a shame to be shot down in flames - AC/DC

Patch_whiner
06-05-2004, 07:04 AM
The AI characteristics in IL2FB/AEP
-----------------------------------

AI programming must be one of the most difficult fields of computer programming. To make a rather
limited (in human terms) capability machine possess the intricacy of a person is impossible. This
simulation is renowned for its physics modelling. It portrays very nicely the characteristics of WW2 aircraft to levels, which many other simulations are unable to reach. But when we buy a copy of this we are asking for so much more than 1 genius' work on the flight models (FM) and physics. In a similar way to a racing car team a number of elements must be satisfied. To succeed in F1 you need a genius in the design office, a very good driver in the car and an excellent pit crew. To succeed in a combat flight simulationyou need the following:

1. A brilliant physics model
2. Well honed flight models (FM)
3. Well honed damage models (DM)
4. Correct gunnery physics
5. Superb graphics engine
6. Superb bug free programming
7. Class user interface
8. Online/LAN capability
9. Mission creation/editing tools

number 10 is what this text is all about. The little robots that fly around in your strange world. This list is not complete. AI has ruined many an aspiring sim. I played a lot of racing games before IL2/FB/AEP and usually these classics had very good AI. Ubi-softs F1RC had Kamikaze AI, to this type of AI you don't exist. EA's F1 2000 had similar problems:

1. You don't exist and get rammed
2. AI has erratic unpredictable behaviour
3. AI crashes into each other
4. AI gets stuck

Even the class games had their AI traits. It is obvious that the AI in any game is never subject to the rigours of the physics model. If this was the case in a Nascar game you would only require 43 X the processor power to do all these calculations. Knowing the AI will never behave the same as you, the programmer usually errs in favour of the AI for certain events. Because the programmer can't match the same world you are in for the AI, then the simulation is either too easy or too hard. The former is undesirable, so for a racing game you find:

1. The AI never has cold tyres
2. AI brakes never lock or wheels spin

The AI's in a racing game are much easier to do well than a combat simulation. This is because:

1. The AI takes virtually the same path each lap
2. There are far fewer types of AI vehicles
3. As professional drivers the AI is expected to
make few mistakes, go quickly etc.
4. More limited possible situations like crashes,
pit stops make programming easier.

And still racing car simulations have poor AI. This shows the mountain there is to climb for combat
simulation AI. In FB/AEP, there are hundreds of different aircraft. Each with its unique characteristics and techniques used in combat. Each with a set of performance/endurance etc. characteristics that should be adhered to. A pilot who has flown for 2-300 hours in one type of aircraft has a finely honed procedure of how to fly this aircraft. Programming this lot for a limited PC is virtually impossible. If you expect the Pe-2 bomber to behave differently than a He-111 in all the intricacies of pilot behaviour then you are asking too much. The AI pilots should have very mixed abilities and their performance is variable for some and not so variable for others. They should make mistakes sometimes. When using a computer to play a simulation it is unnatural. There are aspects where you have advantages and other elements where you are at a disadvantage. This creates an imbalance. The advantages for a simulation like IL2 are:

1. You have no fear of death
2. You can use maps to see exactly where you are relative to the enemy
3. You can tone down the difficulty
4. You can pause the game to think
5. You can gain a high experience, which you would not have attained due to death/injury
6. Many elements may not be modelled which make life harder
e.g. dirt on windscreen, fatigue, aircraft with faults, complex stalls
7. You know the side an aircraft is on by its icon
8. Nausea and sickness while in combat due to violent movement
9. Many aircraft procedures are not undertaken/modelled

The disadvantages for a simulation like IL2 are:

1. You can't see as well as in real life
2. You can't feel the aircraft
3. Using a joystick and keyboard is different/detached from
operations inside the aircraft
4. The AI is not subject to the same detailed physics model as you
5. Avoidable accidents due to impatience and boredom occur which
would be far less likely to happen in reality

These lists are not exhaustive.

Criticism of IL2 FB/AEP AI
--------------------------

The original release of FB 1.0 was a simulation, which while not being buggy was not really finished. With such a large expansion, inevitably some areas were going to take retrograde steps. Not only had many planes (including bombers) been added, a dynamic campaign generator was also added. Modifications were made to the graphics engine/sound/AI reworking. To expect this lot to be at the same quality as the original game was asking too much. The AI in FB/AEP is quite different from the original IL2 simulation. When I bought FB I found the AI to have some characteristics very much changed:

1. The AI became far more aggressive
2. The AI accuracy for gunners and enemy fighter aircraft was much higher
3. More active AI

This simulation had become very difficult to survive. There was and still is a fundamental contradiction: If it's so difficult to hit an opponent from your aircraft or even worse from a gunner's position, how are the AI gunners and pilots so accurate? Perhaps 1C has made the AI/gunners so accurate in order to balancethe simulation because the list of advantages while playing (see above 9v5) is larger than disadvantages? Or perhaps AI realism doesn't sell games. In FB/AEP the AI has several advantages:

1. AI have simplified physics and are able to perform
manoeuvres that will see you stall if you try them
2. AI is able to see in all directions and go for
you like a heat-seeking missile
3. AI find missing difficult, AI hit probability once on your tail is
novice 15%
average 90%
veteran 95%
ace 100%
4. AI gunner's extremely accurate being adept at engines and pilot hits

I was flying a campaign in a Yak once when I was attacked by an FW190 at low altitude. A Yak is very manoeuvrable, it is quick and it is also small and tough. Its forte is turn fighting. An FW190 is less manoeuvrable, is very quick, small and very tough. It has far more ability to BnZ. This planedid not attack by BnZ. It was turn fighting, literally rotating on its axis on the map. I was turning hard when the FW190 opened fire and immediately disabled my aircraft. This is unrealistic because:

1. The FW190 would attack by swooping passes (BnZ) in which
it would be rather difficult to hit a small, hard turning Yak
2. It would probably take more than one pass and more than 20 seconds
to completely disable another aircraft
3. An FW190 with its hugely powerful, heavy engine and low drag
would not turn with such rapidity.
4. My Yak is travelling at 400km/hr while travelling in an arc
surrounded by an enormous volume of air that an enemy can miss in

I can forgive the AI characteristics because this is very hard to program but surely the hit probabilities could be made less severe (or more like the original IL2) without too much difficulty. A fighter aircraft is aninverted `T` in section, which does not present much area. From the rear it is difficult to score hits on. I often think the AI sees you like a Lancaster bomber in plan flying through the air in front of him i.e. something very difficult to miss. Of course, once your aircraft has been damaged you are then a sitting duck against this level of
opposition. I don't mind being shot down, it is only the way it's done I object to. IL2 FB had large numbers of patches issued, these did make some modification to the AI's but not in the areas I'm discussing. The main alterations were to sort out FM/DM for all these new aircraft and also graphic/sound issues. There were also new planes added. Overall FB/AEP gives you more than IL2 originally did but with less balance. FB/AEP has never had the uniform integrity of IL2 because of its AI. It is a common problem with the expansion of anything, there is more but the quality deteriorates. In such an ambitious attempt to add multitudes of planes and all their attendant
programming the AI has been left behind. This makes FB/AEP a realistic combat fighter simulation online or a bomber simulation offline, it is only when being in a fighter offline that problems start. This is perhaps not surprising as the IL2 itself is a bomber, perhaps if there were no flyable fighters there would be few complaints. Survival in campaigns is very hard. This may be in part due to a strange phenomenon in all these simulations: the commonness of aces. In the real world, an ace is a superman, a one in a million person who can perform miracles. In FB/AEP an ace is rather common. Half of the single missions you are flying with/against aces, and after a couple of flights on a campaign you will have been blown out of the sky by one. For campaigns you can adjust CampaignAI=Hard/Normal/Easy. I can't imagine who would set this to hard. Unfortunately if set to easy that means you will attack with aces against novices. This adjustment is a knife-edge. Preferable would have been MaxAIskill=0,1,2,3 as the MaxBomberSkill. Then you could ensure you would never meet aces. The effect of the lack of balance in this simulation is that the class of fighter plane you fly is not reflected in the sim. 3rd party add-ons are rarely able to adjust the balance when it lies deep inside the AI code.
With good AI code for a combat flight simulator the AI:

1. Should miss regularly
2. Should be unable (except rarely) to destroy another
aircraft in a matter of seconds
3. Should be unable to sustain indefinitely an attack
on the players tail. Differing speeds/climbs/turn radius/dives/rolls
make it very hard to stay glued 50m behind your apponent

It would be nice to be attacked (and missed) from the side/above/below instead of from front or rear, but this is difficult to program. All of my comments rely on something I don't actually know. That is whether is was as difficult to shoot down an enemy as is simulated. If in fact it was like early video games where the enemy more or less dances around your cross-hair waiting for you to fire then the AI may be ultra realistic as it is. What about the thought that it was terribly dangerous in a fighter and 1C has modelled the lethality of war correctly. This is and has been the source of many bitter arguments on the internet forums. If it's so easy to hit the cockpit or engine or so easy to disable ailerons why can't I dish out this punishment 9/10? Perhaps I'm just a poor pilot but it takes time to ruin the integrity of a solid structure firing shells/bullets that :

1. disperse
2. lose their effectiveness with distance
3. change their path due to gravity
4. are difficult to aim due to gun platform instability

No review I have read on the internet goes into much detail on the AI. They rarely perhaps mention gunner accuracy but generally you can only assume the AI is of the same quality of the rest of the simulation. Reviewers tend to show these products in their best light. They may have limited time to do reviews of complex simulations. FB/AEP follows a modern trend of slightly dumbing down which many simulations do now, the reason for this is:

1. marketing dosen't like too realistic simulation that will
only appeal to a few e.g. Grand Prix 4 where tyre camber/pressure/temperature
were all added into a more complex physics model but the bean counters asked
this to be deleted for fear of making the game too purist and limiting sales
2. money

Most of my criticisms are there for two reasons. Firstly AI programming is very complex and secondly and very significantly these criticisms don't affect sales. You should have been diving at mach 1.5 to avoid the bomber shooting your engine.

AI hit probability once on your tail (on which it is difficult to remain):
novice 15%
average 30%
veteran 40%
ace 70%

Patch_Whiner
Shot down in flames, aint it a shame to be shot down in flames - AC/DC

Bearcat99
06-05-2004, 08:20 AM
Gee monie!! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif That is an incredibly long winded thread... WTF exactly was your point? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/blink.gif You think the AI sucks? You think its OK given the limitations of current programming? What??!! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/53.gif Are you a lawyer? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/88.gif (No offense... http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif)

Personally I think the AI in FB is good.. actually I think its quite good. I see them make mistakes.. like panic and bail after a few shots up the rear... Ive seen AI spin out and crash while I am pursuing them.. or they are pursuing me.... or overshoot to fall victim to my guns.. Ive seen them collide... Ive seen them shoot friendlies.. (other than me... ai friendlies)... and as far as sim AI goes FB is true to form... heads and shoulders above any competition.... less predictable than most. Even changing the starting altitude in the same QM will alter slightly the wa the AI behaves.

A bit of unasked for advice.... if you want to get meaningfull responses try to be clearer in stating your point. No ned to go all around Dicks Hatband to say.... what was it exactly you were saying again..?? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Oh.. and one more thing..... set your convergence to @ 200 that will help with your accuracy.. the learning curve is very steep in this sim. Also dont judge your gunnery solely by online performance.. Online is a lot of fun.. but unless you have a decent rig and all the people you are flying with have great connections lag can throw off your aim and you may not even realize it. Thats why to test gunnery i never do it online. I have thought I was pumping my entire load into a guy only to find i actually hit 10% of the time when it looked to me like he should have gone down in the first few bursts. It also helps to vary the AI skill set too.. I usually go between rookie and veteran (with an Ace or 2 in element lead spots) in my QMs and FMs for that matter.. kind of sprinkling them around. It makes for a more interesting and tealistic fight IMO.


<UL TYPE=SQUARE>http://www.jodavidsmeyer.com/combat/bookstore/tuskegeebondposter.jpg (http://tuskegeeairmen.org/airmen/who.html)[/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>vflyer@comcast.net [/list]<UL TYPE=SQUARE>99thPursuit Squadron IL2 Forgotten Battles (http://www.geocities.com/rt_bearcat)[/list]
UDQMG (http://www.uberdemon.com/index2.html) | HYPERLOBBY (http://hyperfighter.jinak.cz/) | Sturmovik Essentials (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=23110283&m=51910959) | MUDMOVERS (http://magnum-pc.netfirms.com/mudmovers/index.htm)

USE THAT X45 STICK AS A BUTTON BAY!

[This message was edited by Bearcat99 on Sat June 05 2004 at 07:38 AM.]

Atomic_Marten
06-05-2004, 09:22 AM
This is a good thread in my opinion and you point at some good and bad sides of the game. And it seems that you played it a lot, 'cause it's the only way to make such a review of this game. And I agree in most of your review. Like Bearcat99 says, it's pretty impressive thread http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Patch_whiner
06-05-2004, 09:48 AM
Bearcat99

There is no actual point to my `thread'. I admire FB/AEP's AI programming but not as much as I admire the physics model/flight model programming. I would not expect the AI to behave realistically like real people, but surely they could be made a little more human by missing occasionally when on my tail. If I attacked a plane which was flying straight and level even with such an easy target I might well miss or only do minor damage. In this simulation anyone flying straight and level will be disabled 99% of the time if attacked by the AI. The program does not realise the huge volumes of cubic metres of air which it is possible to fire into and miss, or the tinyness of an aircraft which is protection.


PW

Covino
06-05-2004, 10:15 AM
Considering the difficulties involved with coding flight sim AI, I think they've done well. I don't think I could ask anything more of the AI that wouldn't take too much CPU or too much time to code.

One thing is for sure though, AI is probably the most difficult and facinating area of programming. Which is why I'm going to attempt a third-party bot for another game once I finish learning C++.

Patch_whiner
06-05-2004, 10:47 AM
Atomic

Thanks for the reply, perhaps others will agree.

EvilBen

I can ask more of the AI - miss me more often. AI novices should fly in straight lines and empty their ammunition at the first sign of opposition "Spray and pray will only amuse your opponents" I read somewhere. Instead they fly in circles which makes them hard to hit. Once the level goes up to Average they become "one pass" disablers of enemy aircraft. As for Veterans and Aces every burst they fire hits metal.


PW

LEXX_Luthor
06-05-2004, 11:22 AM
patchwhiner:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>AI novices should fly in straight lines and empty their ammunition at the first sign of opposition "Spray and pray will only amuse your opponents" I read somewhere. Instead they fly in circles which makes them hard to hit.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>So you want to hit more. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Many real life novices turned in circles when they panic--you know how *everybody* thinks aircombat is just turning. Its instinctive to turn to get enemy off tail.



__________________
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif Flyable Swedish "Gladiator" listed as J8A ...in Aces Expansion Pack

"You will still have FB , you will lose nothing" ~WUAF_Badsight
"I had actually pre ordered CFS3 and I couldnt wait..." ~Bearcat99
"Gladiator and Falco, elegant weapons of a more civilized age" ~ElAurens
:
"Damn.....Where you did read about Spitfire made from a wood?
Close this book forever and don't open anymore!" ~Oleg_Maddox http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Atomic_Marten
06-05-2004, 11:34 AM
I fly Russian campaign currently with I-16. What I do is ONLY turning in combat on approx. 50m alt. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif

I out-turn them all http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif. 3 times for me http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif

And now for real. I agree that it is ultimate stupidity *just* turning with your A/C in combat. But as LEXX_Luthor says, most of the time it is favourite air-combat move.(However, I'm not joking about turning in I-16 http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/53.gif)

Tater-SW-
06-05-2004, 12:02 PM
It would be nice for the mission builder to include a new waypoint type, "inattentive." That or make a property for a given flight. This new property would be in addition to AI skill levels, and would be a measure of how much the pilots look around before getting into a fight. If the value was set low, there'd be a better chance of actually bouncing them (for your own flight, this would change the chances of a friendly calling out a contact as well).

Another toggle by flight might be AI fighting style. Some planes seem to TnB more than others, if the programmers indeed have a few styles of AI ACM in there, why not allow a mission designer to force one or the other upon them? A new flight property in the FMB might be a pull down between TnB and BnZ under "AI combat style." If they haven't done this, maybe they should. The BnZ style could give the planes a limited degree of turn they'd follow a con through based upon their skill level (lower skill, more likely to turn with a con to get a shot, and bleed E or get scissored).

You've gotta figure that a lot of the AI involves some varied values plugged into the game someplace, give mission builders more control of it!

tater

nearmiss
06-05-2004, 12:03 PM
patch_whiner

Sure would be nice if you could provide some third party authority that can speak factually about the AI issues you mentioned. At the very least it would be nice if an authority would corroborate what you've said.

Most of us have read many postings about the AI, and you'll find most of us still don't know what is going on with the AI. The only way we'll ever know the matter is when 1C:Maddox decides to explain the logic involved in the AI programming.

I've been a member on these boards appx two years now, and never read anything from an authority at 1C:Maddox about the AI programming.

Personally, I done all kinds of isolation scenarios with the AI within the FMB. There are behaviours I've isolated and confirmed. I've explained on the boards and then with the new patch the strange behaviours had disappeared. In other words I think 1C:Maddox does read some of the postings, but they never acknowlege it.

So, if you've got a carefully explained phenomenon or issue with the AI, carefully explain you observations. You might get a fix in the next patch or update.

Venting with out good substantial argument will return to you the same hot air you're spewing. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/88.gif

I do appreciate your posting. It indicates you're not a simple whiner, and you do have more than a passing interest in the AI. I respect that http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif and most everyone does.

Say it if you believe it. It might help to explain or provide examples where the rest of us can connect with your comments. Just saying a thing is so, isn't always enough to give a posting much attention.

-------Smokin' http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/784.gif

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[This message was edited by nearmiss on Sat June 05 2004 at 11:13 AM.]

[This message was edited by nearmiss on Sat June 05 2004 at 11:14 AM.]

arcadeace
06-05-2004, 01:18 PM
I can agree with what you've pointed out as far as ace AI accuracy. I don't agree with your assessment overall the original Il2 AI is better. Its much easier, too predictable. I think you need more practice. In closed cockpit with no icons I'm increasingly scoring better against ace AI; I just continue to improve.

With due respect I think you should heed some of your words: "All of my comments rely on something I don't actually know. That is whether is was as difficult to shoot down an enemy as is simulated. If in fact it was like early video games where the enemy more or less dances around your cross-hair waiting for you to fire then the AI may be ultra realistic as it is." It does have a LONG way to go, but its quite an achievement at current standards. I don't think your criticisms will accomplish anything, other than venting. That's ok, they're well considered, but understand that's largely what you are doing.

http://www.onpoi.net/ah/pics/users/222_1082457373_222_1082441075_airaces.jpg

[This message was edited by arcadeace on Sat June 05 2004 at 12:39 PM.]

ruf9ii
06-05-2004, 02:43 PM
wow, too drunk to be bothered to read past 3rd line...but u sure as hell put effort into that.
kudos! :P

nearmiss
06-05-2004, 02:52 PM
This posting triggered some thoughts I've pretty well set aside.

I just put up a posting in the Oleg's Ready Room...I requested 1C:Maddox to put up some competent information about what pilot skill levels mean in terms of the logic applied in air combat playthru.

The thread is titled --&gt; 1C:Maddox, We need clarification of Pilot Skill levels?

Jibe in if you've got something to add. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif Maybe a stink will draw some flys, the kind that can provide "the answers".

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Patch_whiner
06-05-2004, 03:34 PM
nearmiss

I don't have any factual evidence. The hit probabilities I quoted for each level (Average 87%) was purely guesswork. Being born a long time after WWII I have no idea of the horror it was to fly one of these aircraft. I did do an experiment a little while ago where I attacked a He-111 with a Yak 1B 10 (and then vice versa) times. I found as a rear gunner the He-111 was shot down 8 times, damaged once and escaped once. I found as pilot of the Yak 1B I had engine/control surface damaged 6 times, killed 1 once and shot the He-111 2 times. To me there is an imbalance here. I think if someone could write a patch that substituted the AI of IL2 Sturmovik into FB/AEP then much of the criticism would stop. Or a utility that allows you to set the gunnery accuracy of the AI. This would then mean the value of the simulation would hugely increase. As it is from an offline point of view I'm sure I can't be the only one who gets a little bored with the crippling bursts from AI's. As for venting I know nothing will be done by 1C. Software programs are rarely altered by suggestions, I once niavely sent 55 comments regarding a concrete detailing package, lots of in depth points (much more detailed than my original post). They sent a revised version 3 months later - virtually everything was the same except cosmetic alterations.
Software dosen't change because :

1. It's time consuming to alter programs and time is money. There is
also a risk you might mess up the program also
2. The programmers may not appreciate what you are getting at - they are logical
programmers not users of the software
3. Programming resources may be spread quite thinly
4. If users put up with the code then why should business worry.

PW

nearmiss
06-05-2004, 05:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Patch_whiner:
nearmiss

I don't have any factual evidence. The hit probabilities I quoted for each level (Average 87%) was purely guesswork. Being born a long time after WWII I have no idea of the horror it was to fly one of these aircraft. I did do an experiment a little while ago where I attacked a He-111 with a Yak 1B 10 (and then vice versa) times. I found as a rear gunner the He-111 was shot down 8 times, damaged once and escaped once. I found as pilot of the Yak 1B I had engine/control surface damaged 6 times, killed 1 once and shot the He-111 2 times. To me there is an imbalance here. I think if someone could write a patch that substituted the AI of IL2 Sturmovik into FB/AEP then much of the criticism would stop. Or a utility that allows you to set the gunnery accuracy of the AI. This would then mean the value of the simulation would hugely increase. As it is from an offline point of view I'm sure I can't be the only one who gets a little bored with the crippling bursts from AI's. As for venting I know nothing will be done by 1C. Software programs are rarely altered by suggestions, I once niavely sent 55 comments regarding a concrete detailing package, lots of in depth points (much more detailed than my original post). They sent a revised version 3 months later - virtually everything was the same except cosmetic alterations.
Software dosen't change because :

1. It's time consuming to alter programs and time is money. There is
also a risk you might mess up the program also
2. The programmers may not appreciate what you are getting at - they are logical
programmers not users of the software
3. Programming resources may be spread quite thinly
4. If users put up with the code then why should business worry.

PW<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One thing is clear, at least it is to me. I'm just on these boards not cashing the checks. Oleg has to know he has a cash cow in IL2-FB.(he's cashing the checks) This sim has years of sales potential. The community of users is just as vibrant today as it was over 2 years ago. This ain't a dead dog sim.

In other words...I think 1C:Maddox is beginning to get the idea they can be more responsive to their users, because users keep buying their stuff.

Near term I would expect to see the door of communication open even wider with 1C:Maddox.

1C:Maddox team members do read these boards, even if they don't respond. I know it's true because I've seen things implemented in the sim, that were suggested on these boards.

Practically everytime Oleg has posted on these boards there have been every imaginable type of response to his postings. All Oleg's gotta do is read...he gets enough information off these boards to find the issues. Users are very vocal about issues of concern.

It really doesn't do much good to rail on Oleg or the 1C:Maddox team, but barking loud and often "works over time".

I did appreciate your starting post it wasn't bad. Anytime a poster takes the time to articulate issues carefully that's worthy of interest.

--------------- http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ---&gt; cheese

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Udidtoo
06-05-2004, 05:43 PM
Complaints about AI have been my only real gripes with IL-2.FB/AEP. The things that really used to burn me like the Bumper car rally mentallity of flight mates has by and large been addressed.

You make some very valid points about what I feel are 2 of the simms weakest points. AI can still see you even thru the thickest of clouds and the difference betweeb the limits of my flight model as compared to the AI.

If you have flown offline as much as your post indicates as have I, then you have learned some of the ways to exploit AI weakness to offset its strenghts.

Sadly from my own point of view, useing those exploits are as big an immersion killer as watching my advesary dive in excess of 600+ and then just settle into a perfect lowspeed wingover, reverse direction and begin a climb back to alltitude, all with out loss of control surfices or damage incurred.

There is no greater way to illustrate the disperity than to let the AI take control of your own plane and follow another Ai plane to the deck. After you have hit about 570 or so, switch the AI off and watch the parts of your bird as they depart from your ride.

I am really hoping for one of 2 things.

1. BoB will address some of these issues.

2. The phone companies will loose their minds and decide that there is profit in running Almost 170 miles of Hi speed lines to me and about 15 other families that live in my neck of the Mojave. Then I'll just play real life wannabies like myself http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif

..............................
I always have just enough fuel to arrive at the scene of my crash.

LEXX_Luthor
06-05-2004, 05:47 PM
One area where flight sim AI could use new research is very large formations, say one click placing of 40 bomber formation, with escorting fighters, where you input numerical info on how close the fighters escort the bombers (like very close in later BoB missions, or ~very~ far escort for late war USA escort fighters). This should not mandatory behavior, but up to the Choice of the mission builder--say http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif if you have a dynamic campaigh where Goering stuffs himself to death on food and drugs, thus the BoB order for Fb109 escorts to remain close to bombers is never issued. Or if a mission builder decides the order for USA escorts to range far and wide was never given, but were still required to remain close to the bombers.


__________________
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif Flyable Swedish "Gladiator" listed as J8A ...in Aces Expansion Pack

"You will still have FB , you will lose nothing" ~WUAF_Badsight
"I had actually pre ordered CFS3 and I couldnt wait..." ~Bearcat99
"Gladiator and Falco, elegant weapons of a more civilized age" ~ElAurens
:
"Damn.....Where you did read about Spitfire made from a wood?
Close this book forever and don't open anymore!" ~Oleg_Maddox http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

nearmiss
06-05-2004, 06:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
One area where flight sim AI could use new research is very large formations, say one click placing of 40 bomber formation, with escorting fighters, where you input numerical info on how close the fighters escort the bombers (like very close in later BoB missions, or ~very~ far escort for late war USA escort fighters). This should not mandatory behavior, but up to the Choice of the mission builder--say http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif if you have a dynamic campaigh where Goering stuffs himself to death on food and drugs, thus the BoB order for Fb109 escorts to remain close to bombers is never issued. Or if a mission builder decides the order for USA escorts to range far and wide was never given, but were still required to remain close to the bombers.


__________________
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/10.gif Flyable Swedish _"Gladiator"_ listed as _J8A_ _...in Aces Expansion Pack_

_"You will still have FB , you will lose _nothing_"_ ~WUAF_Badsight
_"I had actually pre ordered CFS3 and I couldnt wait..."_ ~Bearcat99
_"Gladiator and Falco, elegant weapons of a more civilized age"_ ~ElAurens
:
_"Damn.....Where you did read about Spitfire made from a wood?
Close this book forever and don't open anymore_!_"_ ~Oleg_Maddox http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm with you on this one. It should be addressed in the BOB, because it was a big issue with the German fighter pilots.

Maybe we will have waypoints with escorts rangeing far and wide, close and tight, and high and rangeing far and wide. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/88.gif

Maybe we will have waypoints with protect the bombers first priority, ignore energy, altitude and speed advatage to tag along with the bombers and get our tail shot off by the spits.

Sounds almost poetic. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/35.gif

Regardless, if we get our expectations too high we sure as heck are going to get shot down.

---------------

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