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sonar

Maybe it's me but...

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Ok, you are right, no use complaining about lack off community effort if I haven't contributed anything myself. My first  scenario "Cutting the line" is up at the scenario depot, feedback appreciated.

cheers.

 

 

So I downloaded this scenario..gave it a go. Will provide complete feedback ASAP. Thanks for making this...I love urban scenarios. 

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@sonar

Full review posted at the Depot.

Here's my BLUF

OVERALL: Very fun little scenario. Lots of tactical problems, nice balance, and only 1 Hr, which I really appreciate.
For your first battle, I liked it a lot…it's a great map…would love to cross it over to CMBS and play too!

Edited by grunt_GI

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Back to the infantry failings aspect. For a start, anyone who is reasonably familiar with WW2 infantry in action should realise what the problems are, they arise during the playing of a game particularly where it's attempted to use infantry in their historical role. If someone can't identify such problems as they arise then maybe they should just stick with playing with the tanks or something.

One problem I've found is with trying to use infantry infiltration tactics, particularly in the use of ground and cover which is essential for such tactics. Try to advance a squad down a narrow gully and you find that some stay on the exposed high ground and not in cover no matter what you do. That then draws artillery fire which often lands in the gully inflicting heavy casualties. Hopeless. Another procedure which should be able to be used is for the infantry to follow and take cover behind advancing tanks, once again trying this historical procedure is usually impossible to do properly. 

The problem in this forum seems to be that very few players want to play the game as realistically as possible, trivia is more important than substance. So BF pander to the majority and neglect difficult to address improvements that would make the game much more realistic.

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Back to the infantry failings aspect. For a start, anyone who is reasonably familiar with WW2 infantry in action should realise what the problems are, they arise during the playing of a game particularly where it's attempted to use infantry in their historical role. If someone can't identify such problems as they arise then maybe they should just stick with playing with the tanks or something.

One problem I've found is with trying to use infantry infiltration tactics, particularly in the use of ground and cover which is essential for such tactics. Try to advance a squad down a narrow gully and you find that some stay on the exposed high ground and not in cover no matter what you do. That then draws artillery fire which often lands in the gully inflicting heavy casualties. Hopeless. Another procedure which should be able to be used is for the infantry to follow and take cover behind advancing tanks, once again trying this historical procedure is usually impossible to do properly. 

The problem in this forum seems to be that very few players want to play the game as realistically as possible, trivia is more important than substance. So BF pander to the majority and neglect difficult to address improvements that would make the game much more realistic.

I agree that infantry misusing terrain in that way is infuriating, especially when they don't take advantage of hills or ridges and instead stand or crouch in full view at the crest of one. To fix your gully problem though you can just split the squad and move them that way instead of moving the entire squad at once. As for infantry hiding behind tanks I'd imagine that was a fairly rare occurrence, I know I wouldn't want to hide behind something that attracts big guns, and especially if the vehicle gets hit a chance of a major explosion.

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As far as infantry skylining goes, I'm pretty sure that the issue is the game isn't smart enough to know when you want the infantry to see and when you don't want the infantry to see.  The game always tries to put infantry in a position to spot and fire at enemy soldiers so it will tend to place squad members in position to do that even in situations that you don't want them to.  If infantry never sought higher ground in order to spot enemy soldiers then there would be just as many complaints going the other way (my infantry refuse to take firing positions near the crestline - fix or do somefink).  It is simply a game limitation.  I suppose in theory it could be mitigated by having a command to have soldiers either seek firing positions or to remain out of sight, but BFC isn't big on adding micro commands to the game so I would expect that limitation to remain.

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The problem in this forum seems to be that very few players want to play the game as realistically as possible, trivia is more important than substance. So BF pander to the majority and neglect difficult to address improvements that would make the game much more realistic.

I think most people here would love to see infantry behave more intelligently and appropriate to the situation, space out more, use crests and ridges, etc. The problem is that the game developers are unable to program it with the skills and resources they have available.

Also, I think on a personal level, they might be more interested in tanks.

Edited by Bulletpoint

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The problem in this forum seems to be that very few players want to play the game as realistically as possible, trivia is more important than substance. So BF pander to the majority and neglect difficult to address improvements that would make the game much more realistic.

And you think insulting a large proportion of the forum-contributor-lurker base is a good way of addressing your concerns?

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Wow, yeah I'm with @womble on this one. The fact that @Raptorx7 and @ASL Veteran offered you some constrictive suggestions is more than I would have expected you to get with such a post. 

Sounds like instead of insulting people here and the developwrs you should learn how to play the game.

There a little bit back at you ;)

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Some months ago I created a yet unpublished CMBN mod, that changes the standing idle, as well as some shooting soldier animations to kneel. Only left the binocs guy standing upright (when the game decides). Also changed the reloading rifle/smg/lMG and some Inf AT reloading animations to always use one stance lower. Since it was mostly considered beeing a possible cheaters tool during public mod discussions, I did not release it in full (just the prone medic mod). At least to me it proofed, that some individual soldiers suicidal behaviors could be decreased, without breaking the game. I solely play vs. the AIP, so the mod is in effect for both players and thus benefitting both. I play it for fun only on occasions, but don´t use it when crafting or testing scenarios off course.

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And you think insulting a large proportion of the forum-contributor-lurker base is a good way of addressing your concerns?

If people want to insulted then that's their problem, through years of off/on experience here I've learnt what the majority are like so no apologies. The fact that some are more interested in perceived insults says it all really, they obviously feel that they are more important than the game.

Back to my previous post. I've tried splitting squads of course, the problem still remains with narrow gullys. Certainly the Germans used to follow tanks during attacks, the protection from small arms fire was significant, it did as usual depend on the situation though.

The fact is infantry are part of the game and for their protection the proper use of ground is crucial, without that they are mostly useless/excessively vulnerable in attack. For an all arms attack their contribution is vital but in effect the game at best pretends to be something it is not. It's obvious that infantry have gone into the 'too hard' basket.

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If people want to insulted then that's their problem, through years of off/on experience here I've learnt what the majority are like so no apologies. The fact that some are more interested in perceived insults says it all really, they obviously feel that they are more important than the game.

Back to my previous post. I've tried splitting squads of course, the problem still remains with narrow gullys. Certainly the Germans used to follow tanks during attacks, the protection from small arms fire was significant, it did as usual depend on the situation though.

The fact is infantry are part of the game and for their protection the proper use of ground is crucial, without that they are mostly useless/excessively vulnerable in attack. For an all arms attack their contribution is vital but in effect the game at best pretends to be something it is not. It's obvious that infantry have gone into the 'too hard' basket.

For all the strong points of the game (pun not intended), it also has its limits.

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If people want to insulted then that's their problem, through years of off/on experience here I've learnt what the majority are like so no apologies. The fact that some are more interested in perceived insults says it all really, they obviously feel that they are more important than the game.

Back to my previous post. I've tried splitting squads of course, the problem still remains with narrow gullys. Certainly the Germans used to follow tanks during attacks, the protection from small arms fire was significant, it did as usual depend on the situation though.

The fact is infantry are part of the game and for their protection the proper use of ground is crucial, without that they are mostly useless/excessively vulnerable in attack. For an all arms attack their contribution is vital but in effect the game at best pretends to be something it is not. It's obvious that infantry have gone into the 'too hard' basket.

 

Or are the people mentioning the insults merely pointing out to you that you might get a more productive discussion if you lay off the insults. After all, you can't go in to a meeting and say "I want to discuss the problems we're having with system X, but I doubt you're interested because you're all a bunch of *****", and then complain that no-one wanted to discuss system X.

But yes, infantry is hard. Too hard. Like an awful lot of AI problems, it hits diminishing returns very rapidly. A brain dead system is easy to code. The current one, for all its faults (and infantry behaviour is the weakest point of the game), takes a lot of effort. Improving it? Well, you could spend a year working on nothing but the AI, and get something 10-20% better that would still to utterly dumb things on a pretty regular basis. It's trivial to spot problems. It's trivial to identify what the pixeltruppen should have done in that situation. It is an unsolved problem as to how to get a computer to accurately recognise a situation to know when to apply that solution.

Obligatory xkcd explanation:
 

http://xkcd.com/1425/

 

Edited by TheVulture

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I am interested in the speed by which advances in AI/robotics/ e.g. self flying drones will eventually make their way to our laptops. (Did you read about the robot that taught itself to walk?) Will IT breakthroughs provide more tactically aware pixeltruppen? If so, perhaps they will just not obey our human orders. Imagine the game play. Right now the software "sees" keyhole LOS that would take many minutes for the eye to find. That is one reason the CM battlefield can be very unforgiving. Today the terrain and troop modeling is not granular enough to provide the cover/concealment we expect 100% of the time - good or bad. When it does, an entire new set of challenges will be presented to the gamer. Like soldier's individual response to the fear of flying metal and the comfort of a clump of ground only they can dive into. 

Kevin

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Well, seems like it's a big thing getting the ss, and  a bit snow but in reality whats the difference between a Wehrmacht co as opposed to an ss co, apart from a few minor insignia changes. I would rather see work going into refining the infantry battle, which to me is where the most notable failings in the game reside and also the quick battle system, which is inconsistent in it's results to put it politely.

I am in the same camp as sonar.

I think the impact of - for example - changing the "sharpshooting" with machine pistols into a much more realistic hit pattern, would have a bigger impact on tactics than all snow in all scenarios of CMBF combined. Or the dispersion pattern of mortars to name something else. Their ability to be able to knock out single units like ATGs or HMGs has nothing to do with reality. Or what about the HUGE impact of gun flashes and gun smoke to spot a threat? Or improving tank gunning by implementing range estimation techniques, dependent on the equipment or if the tank knows the distances because he has been stationary? Or make recon vehicles behave like recon vehicles.

I am impressed by the look of the snow landscapes of CMFB, and I will definately buy it, but I agree, that the tactical substance of changes seems to be rather small, compared to the HUUUGE development effort, this release seems to be.

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I am interested in the speed by which advances in AI/robotics/ e.g. self flying drones will eventually make their way to our laptops. (Did you read about the robot that taught itself to walk?) Will IT breakthroughs provide more tactically aware pixeltruppen? If so, perhaps they will just not obey our human orders. Imagine the game play. Right now the software "sees" keyhole LOS that would take many minutes for the eye to find. That is one reason the CM battlefield can be very unforgiving. Today the terrain and troop modeling is not granular enough to provide the cover/concealment we expect 100% of the time - good or bad. When it does, an entire new set of challenges will be presented to the gamer. Like soldier's individual response to the fear of flying metal and the comfort of a clump of ground only they can dive into. 

Kevin

Kevinkin,

there is a lot of PR going on in this area. It could become the next tech bubble. IBM's Watson, for example. If you dig deeper into it, you'll notice that it's by far not the progress of AI (but IBM tries to suggest so) - it's primarily calculation power... The same trick IBM has been using in the past with Deep Blue beating Kasparov. They just built the fastest computer, not the best chess AI. But the PR worked...

For example: Watson can search around 10 millions personal illness records with statistical data classification within a few seconds. But IBM sells this as AI, helping doctors with better diagnosis. IMO this has nothing to do with AI, because no doctor will EVER look through millions of records to make a diagnosis. This is statistical analysis sold as AI.

Don't forget, that with worldclass PR people like Gates, Jobs, Musk, Bezos or Zuckerberg and with absolutely zero knowledge of the public and politicians about computer science, it's quite easy for them to sell spectacular stories. If Musk can sell his battery cars as environmental friendly, then everything is possible. Imagine the billions the military industrial complex could grab with promises of AI soldiers or intelligent weapons.

I finished a study a few months ago and until then there was NO SIGN of any kind of real AI, that would be capable to model human thinking (civilian research, I must add). All models that are built on psychology do not work if one digs deeper and the other that more or less work, are based on huge data bases and statistics. Nothing of that has anything in common with intelligence or self awareness.

If you read or hear about another "huge success" in this area, first always look into the details (which mostly are very technical). What were the assumptions? What was the environment. What was the data, it was fed with? What was the software, working with the data, expecting?

I can make the grasping task of a robot look like a breakthrough, if I only put the machine into the correct environment. Politicians will never question the assumptions, because they are not engineers.

I can tell you, there there are many, many university institutes researching and claiming claim progress for fourty years - to keep the money flowing...

 

Until the spring of this year, there was not even one solution for such a simple task like an autonomous household robot bringing someone a glass of water, based on AI. There are many ways, to make a machines seem intelligent, but it has nothing to do with self awareness or learning by understanding the meaning of the data or information.

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As a research chemist and long time chess player who attended Deep Blue-Kasparov in NYC all those years ago I would be interested in discussing this offline.

Please PM me if interested.

Thanks

Kevin

PS: Not to end the thread and the previous CM stuff. Carry on Carry on ... 

Edited by kevinkin

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It's a red herring to talk about AI, because what this game needs is not true AI, it's better refined response patterns for the units. The current game is NOT working bad, it's just that it could be improved without science fiction robot intelligence.

Just as an example, make tank commanders duck down faster instead of waiting a long time while bullets clang against the turret. It's not any new coding that's needed, it's just tweaking the threshold number that determines how long he takes before ducking. Or my pet peeve: halftrack passengers not being able to duck just a bit to not get shot in the head. While I appreciate pretty snow as much as anyone, I would be more inclined to buy further games if basic stuff like that could be improved. 

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Or are the people mentioning the insults merely pointing out to you that you might get a more productive discussion if you lay off the insults. After all, you can't go in to a meeting and say "I want to discuss the problems we're having with system X, but I doubt you're interested because you're all a bunch of *****", and then complain that no-one wanted to discuss system X

I couldn't have put it better. I certainly would have found it hard to be more polite. :D 

 

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It's more frustration than anything, being rude or whatever is just part of that because I know damn well that nothing will change no matter what my attitude is. Mainly because the vast majority here seem satisfied with the way things are which I find very difficult to understand if they are real WW2 students. I did do a post a while ago about the control of infantry movement and action which received very little comment as if not many were really interested in something which plays a crucial role in real warfare. 

That's where I'm coming from.

Edited by sand digger

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It's more frustration than anything, being rude or whatever is just part of that because I know damn well that nothing will change no matter what my attitude is. Mainly because the vast majority here seem satisfied with the way things are which I find very difficult to understand if they are real WW2 students. I did do a post a while ago about the control of infantry movement and action which received very little comment as if not many were really interested in something which plays a crucial role in real warfare. 

That's where I'm coming from.

I think it is probably more fair to say that those who are enjoying the game as is have learned to adapt to the game environment as is.  Could there be improvements in the way infantry operate inside the game environment - sure.  However, what you want to do inside the game environment needs to have a realistic chance of being implemented within the restrictions of what the game code is capable of doing.  If what you are asking is not possible to do within the game code then it really makes no difference how much someone asks for something to be implemented does it?  The only people who knows what can and cannot be implemented within the confines of the game code is BFC and if BFC says something can't be implemented or won't be implemented then you are forced to place your faith in their evaluation of the situation.  Once you have settled that in your mind you can then play the game as it is rather than spending time complaining about what it isn't.

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Infantry combat is the biggest issue of the engine currently.

An easy fix could be some tweaking in the suppression/spotting/lethality department + the introduction of formations. Sadly BFC is not interested in getting a better infantry simulation at the moment. 

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Infantry combat is the biggest issue of the engine currently.

An easy fix could be some tweaking in the suppression/spotting/lethality department + the introduction of formations. Sadly BFC is not interested in getting a better infantry simulation at the moment. 

And you've made that known 10,000 times already. Point taken, Wiggum. 

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