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View Full Version : Some suggestions / constructive criticism



XyZspineZyX
09-03-2003, 12:03 PM
No doubt I could fill a couple of hundred pages cataloguing all my little grievances about this flawed masterpiece of a game. Thankfully, that isn't going to happen (and believe it or not I have better things to do), but I just thought I'd share some observations of potential improvements that could be made, whose benefits would be large compared to difficulty of implementation:

(1) Include, as an extra realism option, the ability to get rid of the target arrows that appear around the border of the screen when the cockpit has been removed.
At present, you can have this ridiculous situation where the enemy is in front of you but out of sight, and the best way of determining where he is to look away in a random direction until his arrow appears.

There's a hell of a lot that could be done to improve the mission briefings in the single player mode - here's a start:

(2) For bombing missions, give the altitude of the target. Otherwise, there's almost no hope of correctly using your bombsights, if you think about it.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg - if you want to see what briefings *should* look like, go and play Microprose's latest B-17 game. (In fact, since the early 90's, Microprose has been producing more professional-looking briefings and de-briefings than those in IL2 and FB.)

(3) While we're on the subject of bombing... it's extremely difficult, at the moment, to do a successful bombing run, even if you know the target altitude. While you're using the bombsight, you don't have enough information to keep the plane level. This is because, on the speedbar, the altitude is rounded to the nearest fifty metres. For similar reasons, it's hard to keep your speed constant. Realism aside, it would certainly make the game more playable if, while using the bombsight, the player had a miniature VSI gauge and speedometer to look at, in the corner of the screen. Again, this could be added as an extra realism option.

(4) The results you get at the end of a co-op mission are completely naff - just a listing of the scores of the remaining players (which will usually be fewer than the number who participated in the mission). Instead, there should be something similar to the debriefing at the end of a single player campaign mission. It might sound 'nerdy' to say this, but it would be a lot more rewarding if there were adequate stats after the mission - I bet it would make co-ops more popular. Here are the kinds of things I'd like to see, after the dust has settled:

* A 'time line' of all the major events - when people are shot down and/or crash their planes, when ground targets are destroyed etc.

* A table of all the participants, whether or not they quit during the mission, stating what they flew, what they shot down, what became of them etc.

* An 'order of battle' giving the aircraft each side had at the beginning, contrasted with what remains at the end.

* Some sort of 'unbiased assessment' of which side actually won the battle. Any such procedure for judging battles would of course be arbitrary, but the same is true of our current score system.

(5) Get rid of the present scoring system altogether. Everyone I've spoken to so far agrees that it would be better if the numbers of kills vs deaths for each player were listed instead of score. I guess the present system is in some way meant to reflect how desirable each outcome is from the perspective of the pilot (so that killing four enemies before getting killed yourself gets fewer points than than killing just one but making it back to base alive). However, a score is also, I think, meant to give some indication of the pilot's skill, but here the present system fails, because someone can accumulate a very high score just by sticking around for a very long time. Obviously this would no longer apply if we had kills vs deaths instead of score.
Furthermore, 'vulches' could be listed separately from regular kills. I bet if this were done, then much of the stigma about vulching would evaporate.
Finally, it would be better if scores (or numbers of kills etc.) were reset at the start of each mission, instead of carrying over indefinitely.

(6) At the moment, it's possible to create missions in which the AI planes are flyable, but only from external views. This makes it pretty well impossible to use them for dogfighting, and hence it isn't all that much fun to fly them.
Surely it wouldn't be too difficult to allow the player to fly them from inside, but with no cockpit (just like when you choose to fly a regular plane without cockpit).

(7) Would it be so difficult to have a 'radiator down' key? It's annoying having to press r five times to get from position 6 to position 4.


That's all, for now.


(...gets down from high horse...)

XyZspineZyX
09-03-2003, 12:03 PM
No doubt I could fill a couple of hundred pages cataloguing all my little grievances about this flawed masterpiece of a game. Thankfully, that isn't going to happen (and believe it or not I have better things to do), but I just thought I'd share some observations of potential improvements that could be made, whose benefits would be large compared to difficulty of implementation:

(1) Include, as an extra realism option, the ability to get rid of the target arrows that appear around the border of the screen when the cockpit has been removed.
At present, you can have this ridiculous situation where the enemy is in front of you but out of sight, and the best way of determining where he is to look away in a random direction until his arrow appears.

There's a hell of a lot that could be done to improve the mission briefings in the single player mode - here's a start:

(2) For bombing missions, give the altitude of the target. Otherwise, there's almost no hope of correctly using your bombsights, if you think about it.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg - if you want to see what briefings *should* look like, go and play Microprose's latest B-17 game. (In fact, since the early 90's, Microprose has been producing more professional-looking briefings and de-briefings than those in IL2 and FB.)

(3) While we're on the subject of bombing... it's extremely difficult, at the moment, to do a successful bombing run, even if you know the target altitude. While you're using the bombsight, you don't have enough information to keep the plane level. This is because, on the speedbar, the altitude is rounded to the nearest fifty metres. For similar reasons, it's hard to keep your speed constant. Realism aside, it would certainly make the game more playable if, while using the bombsight, the player had a miniature VSI gauge and speedometer to look at, in the corner of the screen. Again, this could be added as an extra realism option.

(4) The results you get at the end of a co-op mission are completely naff - just a listing of the scores of the remaining players (which will usually be fewer than the number who participated in the mission). Instead, there should be something similar to the debriefing at the end of a single player campaign mission. It might sound 'nerdy' to say this, but it would be a lot more rewarding if there were adequate stats after the mission - I bet it would make co-ops more popular. Here are the kinds of things I'd like to see, after the dust has settled:

* A 'time line' of all the major events - when people are shot down and/or crash their planes, when ground targets are destroyed etc.

* A table of all the participants, whether or not they quit during the mission, stating what they flew, what they shot down, what became of them etc.

* An 'order of battle' giving the aircraft each side had at the beginning, contrasted with what remains at the end.

* Some sort of 'unbiased assessment' of which side actually won the battle. Any such procedure for judging battles would of course be arbitrary, but the same is true of our current score system.

(5) Get rid of the present scoring system altogether. Everyone I've spoken to so far agrees that it would be better if the numbers of kills vs deaths for each player were listed instead of score. I guess the present system is in some way meant to reflect how desirable each outcome is from the perspective of the pilot (so that killing four enemies before getting killed yourself gets fewer points than than killing just one but making it back to base alive). However, a score is also, I think, meant to give some indication of the pilot's skill, but here the present system fails, because someone can accumulate a very high score just by sticking around for a very long time. Obviously this would no longer apply if we had kills vs deaths instead of score.
Furthermore, 'vulches' could be listed separately from regular kills. I bet if this were done, then much of the stigma about vulching would evaporate.
Finally, it would be better if scores (or numbers of kills etc.) were reset at the start of each mission, instead of carrying over indefinitely.

(6) At the moment, it's possible to create missions in which the AI planes are flyable, but only from external views. This makes it pretty well impossible to use them for dogfighting, and hence it isn't all that much fun to fly them.
Surely it wouldn't be too difficult to allow the player to fly them from inside, but with no cockpit (just like when you choose to fly a regular plane without cockpit).

(7) Would it be so difficult to have a 'radiator down' key? It's annoying having to press r five times to get from position 6 to position 4.


That's all, for now.


(...gets down from high horse...)

XyZspineZyX
09-03-2003, 12:19 PM
You talk about realism settings then want to fly the plane with no panel? I support what you say about multicrewed bombers though. I'd like to see some kind of programmable, pop-up autopilot, a bit like those some of us are familiar with in CFS, but seeing as the panels are not mouseable this appears to be impossible.