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Bnej

Effects and Missiles

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Couple of comments:

Love the style of the game, sloooowly getting the hang of it.

Over about 1000m, I don't see any hit effects. It'd be great if the sparks/dust/explosions on hits were bigger, just as an eye-candy thing. If the intent is to make it hard to tell if you hit, fair enough, but it'd be nice to make the hit effects and muzzle flash look a bit beefier.

Is there any chance of hole decals as in WWII Online? In that game there are holes and gouges that appear in armour on AP strikes.

On ATGMs, from the features page I got the impression that the missiles were based on a SACLOS or Laser guided type missile - where you have to keep your target for the duration of flight. In game, that's somewhat spoiled with the target lock. Also, after they are locked, they do some pretty physics-defying manoeuvres. A real ATGM will never come back and hit the far side after passing the target. smile.gif It kind of kills the immersion when it's next to the regular ballistic rounds.

I'd prefer it if it were forced manual guidance, and they behaved more like a real projectile - then maybe beef up the penetration so they don't have to make a top attack? It's really bad right now when you see the round pass you, then it comes back and smacks you on the backside!

If you've seen Steel Beasts Pro PE, that does a fantastic job of modelling wire-guided missiles.

Also, a real missile doesn't trail smoke like that, normally it's a big dust cloud at launch, then all you can see is the guidance flare and the missile.

Anyway, if you're looking for a real sci-fi type of missile, fair enough, but if it's meant to be like real ones, it's a bit too weird for me. smile.gif

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I like the smoke trails, and I think the magical 'world of the future' can probably be used to justify them, as well as some of the extreme turning behavior, though I think coming back and hitting the back side of the target might be a little much.

I haven't tried to guide them much without a lock, but one time that I did, I ended up with a missile that went maybe 1000m out, and then just turned circles and loops. It continued flying well past the time it took to reload the launcher. Seems like a bug, but I haven't tried to reproduce it once.

I understand that the missile are fire and forget once you've achieved a lock, but I was wondering if that just means I can stop holding my reticle on the target, or if I can actually break LOS.

Finally, it seems like the prey should get some sort of warning when someone locks on. I imagine with the network model it would be difficult to do for just lock on attempts, but an actual launch should trigger an alarm.

Chris

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I enjoy the smoke trails too. I'm sure it's not realistic, but it's just so much fun! ;)

My only issue with the missiles is that I can't seem to hit anything, even with a lock. It seems to always impact right behind the target, rather than on top of the target.

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Well I think no matter how far in the future a missile will never turn at right angles. smile.gif Smoke trails I can live with... but the missile launches straight up then turns 90 degrees right away. It looks odd...

Anyway I hope they're going to at least get smoother flight paths.

WRT missing the target, I think having the range on AUTO works better for missiles, they seem to use the range setting to determine where to land?

Also: Don't agree on missile lock warning. A real TOW-2 missile gives you no warning unless you see it, there's no laser to paint you, it's guided from an optical box at the point of launch.

I'd like to see the missile modelled like one of:

- TOW/TOW-2 - optically guided from launch, guidance system watches a flare on the missile and adjusts by wire to keep it in the crosshairs.

- Hellfire K - Keep the target painted with laser for duration of flight, missile guides itself onto the target, this would allow a missile warning. Longer range than a TOW cause you don't run out of wire. smile.gif

- Javelin - Short range, also has a fair bit of minimum range. Fires into the air towards target, turns towards the ground, guides onto the best IR signature for a top attack. Can't hit if it flies over the target in the first part of flight.

I'd REALLY like missiles representing all three types - apart from SB Pro, no-one's really done guided missiles properly.

[ March 19, 2006, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Bnej ]

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Strangely, while I totally agree with the physics aspect, I like the 90 degree turn visually. I don't know why, since I generally like realism much more (which would be a curve).

I agree with Bnej about the lock-on warning, but have no strong feelings one way or the other about 'fixing' the course correction physics.

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Sure, an optically guided missile gives no lock on warning, but a modern day tank crew probably has an edge in spotting and responding to missile launches. In addition, the manual describes missile lockon as being a very active process with sensors overcoming countermeasures. Sounds plausible then that the target might have some warning. But again, its all science fiction, so we can justify what we want if it makes for good game play and interesting tactics. I think the warning of an incoming missile would make things a bit more exciting than finding out how you died from the text msg after your tank exploded.

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"modern day tank crew probably has an edge in spotting and responding to missile launches"

nope. Missile launch is quieter than a gun report, and most missiles have either no smoke trail or very little (low smoke propellents, for those that burn throughout flight). Unless you have someone looking the right way who sees the launch dust, the first thing you'll know is when it hits you. That's the only reason the things can work, because otherwise the tank has 12-15 seconds to knock out the launch platform (that's 2-3 aimed shots) which will cause the missile to miss.

In this game I have no problems spotting the missile trails, usually I can tell if they're coming for me or someone else too - unless I'm using the gunsight. I think a "lock warning" would be a further disadvantage to the weapon, given they are already slow and can be shot down by air defence.

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Hi all

i like this game so far, but it could be even better...

the flightpath of the ATGM should be more dynamic, not this straight forward flight as it is. the smoketrail is maybe not realistic, but it looks cool smile.gif

About the hit-effects i have to agree with Bnej, there could really be a little bit more dust and stuff fliying arround, just for the eye-candy thing smile.gif (everybody likes big explosions)

And about various rocket-types, why not some kind of a multi-rocketlauncher where you can fire several minirockets at one (or two?) targets.

Or a special lockon-feature, when you lockon long enough you can send two rockets, at the cost of a longer reloadingtime after the doubleshot. Or TV guided rockets could be a great feature too, where the camera switchs into the head of the rocket when u fire, and you can guide this little bastard to its target smile.gif

Just some impressions and ideas

oh and sorry for the bad spelling :rolleyes:

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I think the current ATGM is far too agile, I'v had one come at me front on, turn 90º then do a full 180º to slam into the side of the tank all in the space of a metre or two..

It also packs quite a punch..

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Yes, and there should be minimum range. Nothing pisses me off more than AI having ATGMs inside the base in Ice Fields map. Once you go into sight of them you are instantly killed. Much easier to take out Thors from the base...

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I'd agree with a min range. And I agree that the ATGM is a bit too agile. I'd guess that the sharp angles it turns is partly a result of netcode. You can only send velocity updates so often, so fast moving objects end up with very jerky paths. I could be wrong about that though.

Bnej, thats interesting about the the trouble spotting ATGM's. I'd always assumed there was obvious dust/smoke from the launch booster. None the less, I still think that its fair that an self guided missile trips a warning for its target.

Actually, that would be kind of a neat choice of fire modes. Either self guided, as currently modelled, only with a missile launch alarm for the target, or mode b, where you must keep the sight on target (relax the envelope a little) for the duration of flight, but the target gets no warning.

Chris

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I was thinking, what about allowing ripple-fire for manually guided too?

So if you use lock-on you have to lock each missile, but if you guide them manually, they all follow your crosshairs and you can change the aim point as they impact.

I mean, if you look at the launcher graphic they're all in a block, so a big reload delay doesn't *really* make sense.

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I was thinking of that too.. like laser guided hellfires, you could launch one from behind cover, wait a few seconds for it to go down range, then unmask and guide it in. Less time exposed to return fire that way.

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You can already do that.. Just fire the missile without a lock and it is guided by where you point the cross-hair.. You can even launch multiple missiles before the first impacts in this way, but I don't think it was really intended for that to be possible..

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I am a complete noob to DT but I wanted to throw out some comments, okay, a barrage of them....

First and foremost the ATGMs are surprisingly so 1985. They have not evolved much despite the huge leap in technology.

The current ATGMS in use today are more sophisticated and more lethal against the tanks they are meant to be used against. To me, it would seem that in the world of DT, the ATGMS would have at least a similiar ratio of capability against the targets they are meant to destroy.

Here is a video of an old Javelin missle test against a combat loaded T-72 at 4000 meters.

Javelin missile 2001 test

The smoke trails of the DT ATGMs look cool, but no ATGM does that and it completely gives away the vector from which the missle was fired from.

I do not understand why the missiles are not fire and forget, like the javelin. The Javelin's warhead locks onto the thermal signature of the target (whatever target the gunner selects-a vehicle, helo, building, cow, etc...) and follows it to impact. The missile will still track the target even if the vehicle moves or is already on the move. The targets only chance of not getting hit is if it accelerates suddenly and the warhead seeker looses it (not likely), if masking terrain or vegetation blocks the seeker's acquisition, the seeker malfunctions, or if the orginal lock was poor.

Today's Javelin, TOW, and Hellfire ATGMs reach out beyond most tanks effective range on flat terrain. Is this the case in DT?

How come there are not any ATGM missile turrets? Should'nt there be some kind of fortification to protect turrets like a bunker?

The ATGMs should also have a direct attack capability as well as a top attack flight profile so that the gunner may choose the best attack profile. Obviously, top attack is optimal since the warhead will detonate onto the weaker upper deck armor of the vehicle, but sometimes a direct flight attack is best for the situation, especially for short range engagements or for a target that has overhead cover.

In the future, I would expect ATGM platforms to have a multiple target tracker, much like combat aircraft today. The gunner should be able to lock onto multiple targets and launch either several missiles rapidly in succession, or even more practically, 3-5 simultaneously, and for that matter, if there is anti-matter radar that shows most targets, what is preventing the ATGMS being fired in top-attack mode at these signatures? Assuming that all friendly vehicles have some kind of IFF or Blue Force Tracker in them, ATGM vehicles should be hurling missles without direct line of sight, or at least in tandem with another vehicle that does have line of sight to a target.

The ATGM vehicles should have at least a 20mm or 30mm gun or at least a BB gun for self defense. Kinda like a Bradely IFV. Maybe they are there, but can the DT vehicles pop smoke or some other screening measure?

I would modify the graphical interface a little or allow the player to modify it. Memorizing all the hotkeys is great, but having some optional function keys around the edge of the screen, like many modern tactical computers today, would be ideal. That way a player can just click and go, or if he wants, he can still use the hotkey. A computer voice that sounds off bearing, range, and time of flight to a selected target make it a sexy female voice!) would be outstanding.

On the command map, the commander should not only be able to put in waypoints but also checkpoints that all friendly players can see. Each checkpoint should have a name or number for use as a reference point on the map.

Additionally, some kind of grid system should be overlayed on the tac map. Last known enemy positions, destroyed vehicles, good DZ locations, no-go terrain, etc... should be able to be put on the map by the team commander or be automatically displayed and updated as they occur.

Just some initial thoughts. I know this sounds very critical coming from a guy who has never designed a game in his life. Overall the game is very good and fun to play.

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Great comments, LtCol. I hope you will have time to post more now and then!

First and foremost the ATGMs are surprisingly so 1985
I'll grant you the main point there, but they're really more 1995. There is, in fact, a fire and forget mode. To use this mode, keep your reticle on target until a lock is achieved before releasing the weapon. In this mode, the missile guides itself to the target so you don't need to manually guide it. It will do a popup when close to the target and strike down into the target's (presumably) thinner top armor. As a consequence, you will frequently kill the target's turret in this mode, so you might still want to use the manual mode to get a chassis hit, etc.

More on the "1995"'ness of this in a moment...

The gunner should be able to lock onto multiple targets and launch either several missiles rapidly in succession, or even more practically, 3-5 simultaneously, and for that matter, if there is anti-matter radar that shows most targets, what is preventing the ATGMS being fired in top-attack mode at these signatures?
Much of the equipment used in DropTeam is anachronistic by deliberate design. The Rim is recovering from a sort of "Dark Age", using some remaining extremely high-tech systems (e.g. dropships, ion beams) right along side many more primitive systems that Liveships are still capable of manufacturing. The background story goes into detail about why things are this way in The Rim at the time of DropTeam's setting. It's a brief window in The Rim's history and one that won't last very long. People throughout The Rim will shortly recover the lost capabilities for manufacture of more advanced systems. As that starts to happen, the current anachronistic set of systems will be replaced by higher-tech systems like those you described here. Luckily for all of us playing the game, we can watch this process happen through updates to DropTeam and its sequel.

but can the DT vehicles pop smoke or some other screening measure?
Coming soon due to popular request.

the commander should not only be able to put in waypoints but also checkpoints that all friendly players can see
Sounds interesting. Can you explain how these would be different from waypoints (how you would like to see them implemented)?

Last known enemy positions, destroyed vehicles, good DZ locations, no-go terrain, etc... should be able to be put on the map by the team commander
So you would like to see these work functionally like waypoints, but give the commander a broad set of icons to draw from?

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Claytonius, thanks for the gouge...

What I mean about checkpoints and other military symbology on the tactical map is that the commander should have a way of showing the tactical situation to his team in a simple manner.

-Checkpoints are like waypoints, but waypoints are really for a single units manuever. Checkpoints would function in a similiar manner but they would never go away and they would be ID'd in some way so that they can be used as a reference point. As such, the commander could order his team to rally at checkpoint charlie, or for a particluar player to push towards checkpoint 1A while ordering another player to establish an overwatch position 200 meters south of checkpoint 4. Things like that.

Spotted red dots should not be red dots but a symbol of the actual type of unit on the map. A diamond for tanks, a box for APC's, whatever. Suspected or last known positions could have a question mark. But something to give a player som e situational awareness. Dropping in right in front of a tank that other team mates knew about is pretty stupid.

DZ locations would allow a commander to get players to drop within a certain sector of the map so that they come in at the right place. No-go terrain would be good for illustrating where not to go.

These command and control tools would allow a commander to coordinate team actions in a more user friendly manner that is also more realistic. Players who joint a game in progress should only be allowed to drop into the commander's predesignated DZ, that way the commander can see what kind of unit dropped and where he wants it to go.

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thanks for the gouge...
No gouge intended at all Lt. Col!!!!!

Your description of improved checkpoints and symbology is very clear. It's easy to see what a difference these added features will make in the commander's ability to do his job effectively. We've put them on our feature list so keep an eye out for them!

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I agree with LtCol West. A Range Card would be a great addition to the game! Being able to mark routes, dead zone and keep outs would just plain rock! Maybe have it that the commander can draw a shape and and click on it and it fills it with the appropriate data (mines, impassable, dead zones and so forth that he can chose). For attack routes have a thing that you have way points from start to end, and when you finnish it fills it in as arrow with a long tail on the teams map. Then that way you can drive along the route the commander wants but still have enough flexibility the you can maneuver in that corridor without being attached to way points. Tall order but would be cool! Also giving the commander more detailed maps and info would make him a invaluable part of the team that you couldn't live with out.

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Originally posted by ClaytoniousRex:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />thanks for the gouge...

No gouge intended at all Lt. Col!!!!!

Your description of improved checkpoints and symbology is very clear. It's easy to see what a difference these added features will make in the commander's ability to do his job effectively. We've put them on our feature list so keep an eye out for them! </font>

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Originally posted by ClaytoniousRex:

[QB] Great comments, LtCol. I hope you will have time to post more now and then!

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />First and foremost the ATGMs are surprisingly so 1985

I'll grant you the main point there, but they're really more 1995. There is, in fact, a fire and forget mode. To use this mode, keep your reticle on target until a lock is achieved before releasing the weapon. In this mode, the missile guides itself to the target so you don't need to manually guide it. It will do a popup when close to the target and strike down into the target's (presumably) thinner top armor. As a consequence, you will frequently kill the target's turret in this mode, so you might still want to use the manual mode to get a chassis hit, etc.

More on the "1995"'ness of this in a moment...</font>

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Originally posted by aittam:

]does this mean that once their are locked, the strange sound in DT, they are fire and forget? 'cause i'm waisting some time to keep the target marked........

They seem to be fire and forget.

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Visual part of hit effects - they should have a relative velocity to the host vehicle. You can't see what kind of graphic the shot takes if you hit from the front if the vehicle is moving forward - the effect stands still in the same world space and is "swallowed" by the vehicle. It also tends to make it look like you're hitting further back on the vehicle.

In short, spark effect should probably take into account victim velocity.

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