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CMBN LOS mechanics testing my patience


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Hello

This is not the first time I have brought in to question the spotting/LOS/LOF mechanics in this game.

Just happens that this one PBEM I have been playing has been full of those "what a load of bs" moments that really make you question whether the spotting/LOS/LOF mechanics in the game are worthy of being considered realistic.

I originally posted about this situation which lets a tank hide behind a tree and prevent it from firing at enemy tanks or the enemy tanks from firing at it, though allowing both to have LOS on each other. I can understand the tank being to close to the tree trunk and physically blocking the gun from pointing at the enemy but surely any enemy tank should have no problems targeting the part of the tank exposed either side of the tree trunk. Yet the game seems to have a "LOF/LOS is completely reciprocal" rule which as far as LOF goes, should not always be the case.

With that oddity, lets move on to two other oddities that happened on consecutive turns later in that same PBEM.

1. Stationary unbuttoned good order Sherman (Reg) in trees can't spot (let alone get a sound contact of) a PzIV that suddenly appears stationary in open 80m away, firing main gun and coaxial and hull MGs at other targets for 40sec. At the end of the 40sec with it's own TC killed during the 40sec, the PzIV without moving somehow spots the Sherman in the woods, aims, fires, Sherman destroyed without the Sherman having any idea of anything.

Here is a video from the Sherman's perspective

Here is a video of what actually was happening

The other odd thing is how none of the other units which first spotted the tank actually ever saw it move from it's original position to where it ended he turn. A stationary tank just suddenly appeared in the open.

2. An stationary unbuttoned Firefly is facing up a long, straight road, up against the right side of the road. At the start of the turn, it has LOS to a Panther about 650m up the road but no LOF. The turn commences and the Panther advances down the road towards the Sherman presumably to get LOF on the Sherman it had already spotted. The Panther stops after 7 secs, spends another 7 sec aiming it's gun and fires at the Firefly. The Firefly at no point lost LOS of the Panther and it's gunner at no point made any effort to even aim his main gun at the Panther as evidence by the crew state messages on the left. The driver did seem to make an slight pivot adjustment when the first round hit but still, the Firefly seemed unable to get it's gunner to establish LOF and aim at the Panther.

The Panther perspective

The Firefly perspective

Both these situations are indicative of a less than realistic LOS/LOF mechanic that is resulting in less than realistic situations like these, and these are not isolated incidents.

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I feel your frustration and this is definitely a tough day on the front for your troops.

<snip>

I originally posted about this situation which lets a tank hide behind a tree and prevent it from firing at enemy tanks or the enemy tanks from firing at it, though allowing both to have LOS on each other.

I did not reread this whole thread but I remember at the end of it being left with the impression that the situation was entirely with in believable limits and felt nothing was wrong. Perhaps you never agreed with that thought. Just don't forget things not going your way does not equal broken. No offense meant - just a reminder. Clearly you have a series of bummer moments here but sometimes you loose out.

1. Stationary unbuttoned good order Sherman (Reg) in trees can't spot (let alone get a sound contact of) a PzIV that suddenly appears stationary in open 80m away,

<snip>

The other odd thing is how none of the other units which first spotted the tank actually ever saw it move from it's original position to where it ended he turn. A stationary tank just suddenly appeared in the open.

So, this looks like your tank never saw the enemy PzIV. Tank commanders do not hear well and I have often found they do not hear nearby enemy tanks moving around. I might be more surprised about not having a sound contact once the enemy tank stated shooting. Still, not totally out of bounds for your TC in a running tank in the woods. Being in the woods, I can totally see how your tank would have trouble spotting the enemy tank through those trees.

Your tank gets hit right at the end of the turn and the enemy tank materializes right at the moment. I actually speculate that what really happened is that your tank never saw the enemy but at that final moment of the turn your tank is actually destroyed and the visibility of the enemy is because when you select a destroyed vehicle you see the aggregate spotting information not the spotting info from that destroyed vehicle. What makes me think that is the other, further, tank also shows up at that moment. I suspect that the turn ended as the status change of your tank was still being processed. When you watched the next turn did you tank show as destroyed right at the beginning of the turn?

I suspect that this situation is one where your tank just never saw the enemy. Sure it might be bit of luck, for the other side, that they saw your tank because that looks like a lot of foliage to see though. I suspect this could have gone another way on another day but at the same time that is not a great place for your tanks to see the enemy approaching your woods.

2. An stationary unbuttoned Firefly is facing up a long, straight road, up against the right side of the road. At the start of the turn, it has LOS to a Panther about 650m up the road but no LOF. The turn commences and the Panther advances down the road towards the Sherman presumably to get LOF on the Sherman it had already spotted.

This looks kinda bad. I don't like the look of this one. Especially given your tank does not try to shoot at the Panther at all. I am not sure what could explain that one as reasonable - any one else have thoughts?

On the bright side your Firefly survived a hit from a Panther! None of mine have ever survived a first hit from a Panther at those ranges. Sorry they did not move away before the second round came.

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Yeah, they're soooo unrealistic. All the (literally) countless times the algorithms get it right* in every game are for naught because in one or two cases they can't cope. Are they perfect? No; is anything? Does overstating your case make it more convincing? No.

* or close enough for Government work

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1. Stationary unbuttoned good order Sherman (Reg) in trees can't spot (let alone get a sound contact of) a PzIV that suddenly appears stationary in open 80m away, firing main gun and coaxial and hull MGs at other targets for 40sec. At the end of the 40sec with it's own TC killed during the 40sec, the PzIV without moving somehow spots the Sherman in the woods, aims, fires, Sherman destroyed without the Sherman having any idea of anything.

I suspect that if you turned on show trees the LOS would pass through some foliage. Foliage does weird, unpredictable things to LOS.

I had a similar experience once. In my case, my tank and an enemy tank were sitting stationary about 200 meters from each other on opposite sides of a copse of trees. I knew the tank was there because a friendly infantry unit had it in sight, but my tank didn't have LOS through the trees, which I confirmed with the target tool. After about 4 or 5 turns of sitting there, my tank suddenly turns and blows away the enemy tank. WTF? I could now trace LOS to the wrecked enemy tank. I don't know for sure how it works, but it seems that LOS through foliage may randomly shift from time to time. I think this may be what happened here because not only did your tank not spot the Pz IV for nearly a whole turn, but the Pz IV also took a long time to spot your tank that was only 80 meters away. If you go back to your previous turn, can you trace LOS to the exact spot the Pz IV is at?

2. An stationary unbuttoned Firefly is facing up a long, straight road, up against the right side of the road. At the start of the turn, it has LOS to a Panther about 650m up the road but no LOF. The turn commences and the Panther advances down the road towards the Sherman presumably to get LOF on the Sherman it had already spotted. The Panther stops after 7 secs, spends another 7 sec aiming it's gun and fires at the Firefly. The Firefly at no point lost LOS of the Panther and it's gunner at no point made any effort to even aim his main gun at the Panther as evidence by the crew state messages on the left. The driver did seem to make an slight pivot adjustment when the first round hit but still, the Firefly seemed unable to get it's gunner to establish LOF and aim at the Panther.

I don't see a spotting problem here, I see the TacAI not reacting to a spotted threat. At first blush it looks like a bug to me.

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I had a similar experience once. In my case, my tank and an enemy tank were sitting stationary about 200 meters from each other on opposite sides of a copse of trees. I knew the tank was there because a friendly infantry unit had it in sight, but my tank didn't have LOS through the trees, which I confirmed with the target tool. After about 4 or 5 turns of sitting there, my tank suddenly turns and blows away the enemy tank. WTF? I could now trace LOS to the wrecked enemy tank. I don't know for sure how it works, but it seems that LOS through foliage may randomly shift from time to time.

Happens to me as well multiple times. One minute blocked LOS the next clear.

Maybe they modeled the wind or something like that?...

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Yeah, they're soooo unrealistic. All the (literally) countless times the algorithms get it right* in every game are for naught because in one or two cases they can't cope. Are they perfect? No; is anything? Does overstating your case make it more convincing? No.

* or close enough for Government work

Does being an ass make you convincing as an apologist? No

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I think the conclusion must be that yes, there is still room for improvement in this game.

Even fans should readily admit that, and clever developers should take note of feedback, especially since they don't (have time to) play the game much themselves.

As I wrote in another thread, it's actually testament to the high level of believability already achieved that issues like these stick out all the more.

Back when I played the "Close Combat" series, I was able to put up with a lot more bugs and bizarre stuff, simply because it was less realistic overall.

Not to mention playing Command and Conquer back in the stone age :)

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Does being an ass make you convincing as an apologist? No

Good name. Too good for me. You can't see my point, your loss. Go play some other game with better spotting mechanics in a similar environment. Oh, there isn't one? Too bad.

Off the cuff, I reckon the spotting model works to 6-sigma standards. It's wrong about 3-4 times per million calculations. Maybe 10 times that; maybe 10 times less. Still pretty much as close to as perfect as is practically achievable. Apologise? Hardly: that should be celebrated. When people miss that point, they need reminding. When people are trying to score "cheap" points off the best game of its kind in the marketplace, "in its own house" they need calling on it.

Oh, and BFC are working to get to that 6-sigma standard, if they haven't already got it.

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I don't see any problem with the guy just pointing out an obvious flaw in he spotting system no matter how many times the system is correct. If I never pointed out the machinegun problem it never would have been fixed!

The firefly case is frustrating.

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Good name. Too good for me. You can't see my point, your loss. Go play some other game with better spotting mechanics in a similar environment. Oh, there isn't one? Too bad.

Off the cuff, I reckon the spotting model works to 6-sigma standards. It's wrong about 3-4 times per million calculations. Maybe 10 times that; maybe 10 times less. Still pretty much as close to as perfect as is practically achievable. Apologise? Hardly: that should be celebrated. When people miss that point, they need reminding. When people are trying to score "cheap" points off the best game of its kind in the marketplace, "in its own house" they need calling on it.

Oh, and BFC are working to get to that 6-sigma standard, if they haven't already got it.

iF THEY ONLY HAD IMPLEMENTED LEAN SIX SIGMA DONE BY A BACKBELT CM WOULD HAVE RULED!!! :D

I guess we all agree on CMx2 being the best games spotting wise. But why is criticism not allowed?

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If a player is trying to come onto this forum and tell everyone that they can't successfully carry out their battle plan because of the way the game's spotting routines work then that player probably has other issues with how they are playing the game that could probably be addressed. The spotting works the same way for both players so one player isn't getting an advantage over another. Could some things with spotting be improved? Sure - perhaps. Is it so bad that the game is broken beyond repair? For the vast majority of players the spotting is functioning well enough for the game to work and be playable.

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I don't see any problem with the guy just pointing out an obvious flaw in he spotting system no matter how many times the system is correct. If I never pointed out the machinegun problem it never would have been fixed!

The firefly case is frustrating.

Exactly...

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iF THEY ONLY HAD IMPLEMENTED LEAN SIX SIGMA DONE BY A BACKBELT CM WOULD HAVE RULED!!! :D

I guess we all agree on CMx2 being the best games spotting wise. But why is criticism not allowed?

Because a few on here are 'fanboyz' (did I get that right?) and attack all dissension...and act like asses in the process. The game isn't perfect, thus the need to assist the game to continually improve. Only way to do that is to point out flaws, perceived or not. The LOS system in CMBN still has some issues that will hopefully someday be resolved...keep the examples of flaws coming please.

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Because a few on here are 'fanboyz' .

Absolutely wrong - it is fanbois now go write that on the board 1000 times, sheesh illiterate urchin.

(did I get that right?) and attack all dissension...and act like asses in the process. The game isn't perfect, thus the need to assist the game to continually improve. Only way to do that is to point out flaws, perceived or not. The LOS system in CMBN still has some issues that will hopefully someday be resolved...keep the examples of flaws coming please.

Yes folks are a bit sensitive at times. I don't necessarily chalk it up to feeling the game can not be a subject of criticism, but more that the criticism is often unfounded or simply doesn't take into account the limitations the developers face and the trade offs we have to make. Taking myself as an example. Yes I agree it can be very frustrating when the idiosyncracies of spotting bite you in the ass. But really how much time have we spent on this forum talking ad nauseum of the nature of how spotting works and the unavoidable shortcomings? I sympathize with Lt Bull, but I play the game knowing there is only so much BF can do and that sometimes, just like in RL, **** happens. It is a game. It works with certain limitations. Yes sometimes those limitations can be frustrating, but when I run into things that frustrate me I don't typically open my front door and start shouting at the neighborhood that my new (cheap) router bit just bent and chewed up a piece of wood and the backguard of the router table at which point I found out the right guard of my new router table is no longer made. WTF it is brand new?!

Okay this was really an excuse to vent about my router bit. Sorry for the diversion. Carry on.

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You lot need to learn to read. Criticism = good; I think I do my fair share of harping on about things that aren't right. Bull**** posts about "whether the spotting/LOS/LOF mechanics in the game are worthy of being considered realistic" not so much.

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Okay Womble, you got him for being a bit overdramatic in his frustration. People do that.

He has a good point and possibly a bug find in the case of the firefly. Maybe not, maybe so. I applaud him for bringing the case to light no matter the result.

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Okay Womble, you got him for being a bit overdramatic in his frustration. People do that.

He has a good point and possibly a bug find in the case of the firefly. Maybe not, maybe so. I applaud him for bringing the case to light no matter the result.

Its actually not so hard to deliver constructive criticism without exaggerating and insulting the developers in the same process. Treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself.

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Foliage does weird, unpredictable things to LOS.

I agree. I played a PBEM quite awhile ago with a lot of foliage and trees, and finally came to the conclusion that you just can't count on foliage blocking LOS. If you can't see through it the units in the game can't either ... except sometimes they do.

That strikes me as more or less realistic. CMBN is mostly WYSIWYG. Figuring out the areas that aren't can get frustrating.

Come to think of it, most of those problems seem to be with LOS. I try to take the LOS-tool results with a grain of salt. Foliage of any sort - both ground cover and tree leaves - is especially problematical.

If you've got a blue LOS through leaves don't count on units actually spotting anything. But they might.

If you've got no LOS to an area with tall-ish grass and the LOS otherwise seems clear ... you're probably out of luck spotting Slow infantry, and any infantry is going to disappear quickly. But don't count on an enemy tank sitting there being unable to hit you.

IMO this is something you just have to pick up with experience, playing the game and, most likely, getting bitten in the ass over and over by LOS surprises.

I believe a lot of player frustrations, btw, are rooted in trying to micro-manage the units more than the game actually allows. (90% of the rest of the frustration would be trying to figure out *why* your squad was just gunned down to the last man. Poor morale? Bad leadership? High-skill on the part of the enemy pixeltruppen? Does that building not give as much cover as you thought? Or was the order you just gave very, very stupid regardless of the exact circumstances?)

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For problem 2 with the firefly I would recommend not having the firefly as close to the bocage.

Common sense says in reality you should try and tuck tanks in and peak around corners and not overexpose themselves but in CM things tend to go astray in this situation and somehow LOF gets obscured even though your eye thinks everything appears alright. I would guess that 80% of my odd* situations with tanks not spotting and shooting is exactly this.

If you have the map and take it to the editor to replicate the situation I would be suprised if what you saw doesn't happen over and over.

Then replicate the situation but move your firefly so it is part on the road and it will smash the panther like it deserves to. The proximity of the bocage was most likely wrecking things.

The sacrifice is typically several more seconds move to or retreating from the position. While it sometimes feels dumb I don't try and conceal the tank up against bocage like you did anymore, odd things happen and while it looks better tucked up against the edge I doubt you have any concealment from spotting benefit and you well know the downside.

* - rage inducing.

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You lot need to learn to read. Criticism = good; I think I do my fair share of harping on about things that aren't right. Bull**** posts about "whether the spotting/LOS/LOF mechanics in the game are worthy of being considered realistic" not so much.

And you would be the only one to know the difference between reasonable Criticism and Bull**** posts?

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Okay we all done snapping at each other in a totally useless display of unhelpful behavior? Excellent. Back to the OP. Here's the deal. Posting videos of frustrating issues that are driving you nuts while probably making you feel better and showing others what you saw that bugged you are absolutely useless to the beta folks who would like to help you. We understand the frustration. What we needed and what you most definitely had the opportunity to provide was the turn saves. If you had the ability to make video ALL you had to do was hit save. Then we would have something to review, see if the behavior has some possible good reason and if it doesn't we can provide BF and say - hey guys want to take a look at this?

As of right now, all we have is a rant. While it may make the OP feel a little better, it doesn't get us even an inch closer to having something for BF to work with so please folks, if you have an example and want to see if it something can be done - a save is a must, not just an additional bonus.

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