View Full Version : Visual range too low in SH3?

07-01-2005, 03:27 AM
My crew and I seems unable to spot anything beyond 8 km. That seems a tad unrealistic to me. You can spot a 20 m tall object from at least 16 km away if you are 1 m above sea level. Surely a humoungous T3 or C3 with a large cloud of smoke billowing up should be visible to your crew at more than 8 km in clear weather considering they are elevated above the sea surface more than 1 m.

07-01-2005, 04:32 AM
I've been thinking that too since this game was released. In SH2 you could spot ships at a distance of about 10nm (I don't know exactly what it is in km or m but definately more than 8000 metres), and you could use higher time compression at about 8nm I think what isn't possible in SH3 too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
Maybe the visibility is limited due to performance issues...

Another question on visibility and spotting: Does moonlight and your direction of attack affect spotting abilities of escorts or enemies in general (for example: do they see better when you attack at night with full/no moon/clouds?)?

07-01-2005, 05:19 AM
It's a good bet that the view distance is performance related. Those sexy ocean graphics are heavy on the polygons and texture effects. Remember the number of polys in view increases with the square of the view distance. Increasing the view distance by 50% would more than double the polys per frame.

07-01-2005, 01:13 PM
Well, the waves at more than 3-4km dont have to be such a high quality, so thats no good excuse to limit the viewing distance. I guess the designers have just not felt the necessity to allow shadowing or spotting a convoy at a safe distance - which is a real pity and speaks for their understanding of naval warfare...Mr. Oesten interviews dont seem to have helped that much :-(
Its the same with the air attacks. By the time the crew spots the plane its already diving with NO chance of submerging in time. Then its just a question of luck if they hit you or not.


07-01-2005, 03:17 PM
I dunno, I'm kinda glad I don't have to swing out that far to avoid being seen on surface. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

07-01-2005, 03:19 PM
We were taught in the Navy that a 6'man looking out standing on the ground should be able to see 7 miles to the curvature of the earth, that is about 2 meters tall less 6". A man in the water can only see about 1 1/2 to 2 miles while floating on a flat sea. I was disappointed my self from not being able to see further out and wish could be corrected.

Correct on the planes too, got nailed down around Africa and sunk after many good patrols and renown. Blah
Jimmy EN1(SS)

07-02-2005, 03:51 AM
I am disappointed, and a lot. SH2 seemed to have longer visual spotting range. This just plain sucks. It now stands perfectly clear why there is so many ships on the sea at all times, and a plethora of radio contacts. Thats just to cover up the fact that the sub is unable to spot anything at realistic distances. How are you supposed to discover a convoy 20nm off in a calm sea if you can just see 8 km? By radio contact from BdU of course. Strike "Making realistic visual range" off the to-do list.

Im off playing SH3 for now, thats how much it sucks. I guess DW is an uglier but better game, so Ill go get that now and let this gussied up tramp sail off into the distance and drown.

07-02-2005, 07:12 AM
I love this thread becuase it is so true.

07-02-2005, 09:43 AM
Very good thread and right on the spot.

I just reacently started to wonder the view distance myself because I have probably once or twice tumbled across a contact on surface during day time. All the rest I have picked up by Bdu contacts and from hydrophone.

I really wish devs could improve this aspect of the game and give us realistic viewing distances. Such a important part of naval warfare, shame it aint right.

07-02-2005, 12:19 PM
Question. If you can't see more than 8 kms in-game, does that mean the enemy can't see any further than you?

More of a distance in sighting them would be nice. But, then you'd be sighted up just as easily, especially running on the surface.

07-02-2005, 03:25 PM
Of course it works both ways, but that doesn't change that the very short spotting range is a major FLAW in the design of the game. Not a bug, an outright bad decision. Im sure it was made for technical reasons. But clearly they could have made some kind of render "hack" that put things beyond their short 8km range in a simple render mode so that it wasnt rendered as a full poly but a simple model. Then let you get those contacts by the old AOD "Rauchs√¬§ule am Horisont Herr Kaleun". Why just yesterday I had a DD jump on me in CLEAR DAYLIGHT, calm seas etc. It spotted me and started shooting at me, because it was close enough. I should have seen its tell-tale smoke way earlier.

Now, I seem to hear that the devs are no more patching SH3. They are busy with something else. Good, I doubt that a big-*** problem like this cant be patched just like that. But if they're making an expansion pack they darn better well make a much more realistic spotting range in the game - and crew that can spot smoke at far ranges. Otherwise Im not buying, thats said. Im not going to do a Pacific Campaign or a Patrol Disk with this phoney system. I want a proper subsim.

Do not be mistaken, SH3 have entertained me for long, enough that the investment was worth it in entertainment value. And they made lots of good decisions like a mostly data driven game that is highly mod'able. That allows us to customize skins, sounds, damage models etc., to put some life into the sim that they forgot to give. But we can't mod our way out of limitations like that one.

Somehow I feel we have been served a painted up jezebel. It passes the test at a glance. The engagements are, well, engaging. AI could be better, but I guess it ALWAYS could be better. The plotting tools could be better, but you can still be doing manual target plotting and solutions. But the stuff between the engagements is quite thin. The short visual range is one of the problems that makes the campaign such a bland experience. To scoot around to find your own contacts is hopeless, so you have to rely on BdU reports. To smugly stalk a convoy from almost beyond the horizon is also not possible. The sim is all hollywood-centered around the sexy action.

When you get into the meat of it, the paint flakes and reveals all the cheap tricks and oversights. It detracts. The campaign is drudgery. The complete lack of world ambience like found in AoD is missing. They could have used special missions integrated in the campaign like in SH2. We could have had lots of radio messages with news. No wolf packs is an old gripe. Seacows and milkcows are another thing that would have been cool. Realistic plane behaviour is another. The BFG-9000 deckgun is a TRAVESTY and should never have been that good.

This is a good game, but lacks somewhat on the sim side of the fence. So please, if you make more Silent Hunter, then make us a GOOD SIM. Else I wont be buying more Silent Hunters games. I fear the heyday of good WW2 sub-SIM's (With emphasis on SIM) are past us.

07-02-2005, 04:54 PM
Well I was thinking that maybe we could "simulate" a better field of vision by making radio reports 100% when a ship or convoy is within 20 KM of your U-boat to simulate a crewmember seeing it but this would only be realistic in good weather. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

07-03-2005, 01:36 AM
Whats especially unfair about the short viewing distance? The signature of a U-Boat is much smaller than that of a destroyer, let alone a merchant. At maybe 15000 meters the destroyer would have a hard time spotting the U-Boat (unless its running at full speed), while the U-Boat could easily spot the destroyer. But at 8000 meters its almost balanced. So there is almost no shadowing the destroyers (and convoys), you are either too far away to see them, or too close and get noticed...

Its kinda like when you drive around in medium or thicker fog. Suddenly the whole convoy pops out in front of you at 2000 meters, shells start flying, end of that attack.

At first I was really impressed by this game, but the more I play it, the more appearant it becomes that the developing team cared more for graphics and getting the looks of the U-Boats right (which are important things) than they cared for realistic gameplay employing realistic tactics (which is of utmost importance). Disappointing.

07-03-2005, 05:25 AM
Yes. Don't admit defeat, just blag it and you'll be fine http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif