Kein radar, damen.

Copied from my hangar post…

We’re not adding radar.

The options we’re considering may have other roles to fill than simple rear-field alerts, because if we did add rear-field alerts — for the purposes of nerfing skirting — the same weight of punishment will also fall upon the non-skirting pilots.

So we are currently looking at an “air grid” system, which is based on fixed location and size “sectors” – probably 16km x 16km or 20km x 20km. That’s a lot of area, as demonstrated by the visuals on my blog, and it can encompass a massive amount of aircraft.

This may – or may not – all be visible to clients, it may or may not have multiple levels – it might even just have one indicator for “plane(s)”. Heck – it might even have one color for “plane(s)” without distinguishing between friend and foe…

It will have a low update frequency of 20, 30 or 60 seconds, and it is likely it will cover the entire map – because covering the whole map (and I mean map, not play area) avoids a zillion pit falls, issues, concerns and problems.

Its unrealistic and ahistoric. But so are the problems we’re trying to solve. What we’d like to achieve is more realistic flights and engagements. We’d like more escorts and more bombing runs – frankly thats only possible if we get a few more of you shot down – but we don’t want to crush the bejeezus out of bombing efforts.

So – we are implementing – technically – a whole world grid. If you read my blog and see my talking about it, I’m a programmer, I talk about the technical side of implementation. That doesn’t mean that’s what production will decide you should see or what information will be presented.

I do kind of like the idea of maybe making resolution lower where there isn’t an observer aircraft or a town, and I’ll suggest that when we are actually talking about presentation design.

26 Comments

“I do kind of like the idea of maybe making resolution lower where there isn’t an observer aircraft or a town (…)”

If it’s relevant, that could realistically be extended with “or over friendly-coastal waters”. Historically both sides maintained flocks of civilian commercial fishing vessels that plied their coastal waters, including the Brits and Germans/Dutch/Danes/Norwegians in the North Sea, and the French/Brits in the south Channel. Some of those fishing vessels were equipped with radio, and many acted as skywatchers (and seawatchers) while waiting for the nets to fill.

Have you tried plotting the mean velocity vector of the aircraft in a grid cell on the grid-concept-visuals?

I thought about my earlier idea of reporting direction per “flight” of aircraft, but actually the mean velocity vector would essentially achieve the same thing – ie. report the direction of flight if the majority of the aircraft in a cell form a cohesive flight, and give practically no extra information if it’s justa furball.

Of course presenting the direction of flight for *every* grid cell might be a bit gamey. A clean programmatic solution might be to limit it to cells that are connected to a cell with a friendly CP in it by no less than N hops.

KFS

You seem a little bent out of shape over this. Ive seen you take worse criticism before – it aint a big deal.

As you said, there is no need to re-invent the wheel, so why not go with what has worked well in other games. What are you expecting from the folks in the hanger, a pat on the back?!

Strat bombing currently suffers from warped and incomplete game design – you should take the opinions of any one who STILL does it with a grain of salt.

If it turns into a mass slaughter then I really think the solution lies on the interceptor side.

Trout

If it’s any concillation, I’ve been calling it Air Grid instead of radar. :)

Note: whenever I say ‘you’ in the following comments, I mean the Rats in general, not KFS1 specifically.

For a very long time now I’ve been convinced that CRS should re-think the way it communicates with the player base. If you ask me, the ‘open and responsive’ policy CRS uses has been abused by players, especially in the forums.

CRS should consider several changes:
a) only 1 Rat should communicate with the forum. Preferably one who can give short, sweet answers to the few pertinent questions asked and really ignore/shutdown/brushoff most of the nonsense that really goes on. There are so many reasons to go with the 1 Rat approach, I won’t even bother listing them. But one benefit is that all of you can be spared the aggravation of this kind of nonsense you’re talking about. (Tip: not Doc for this role :)

b) stop talking about the details — across the board about everything you guys do, just stop– and instead talk about the goals. For example, Air Grid. Instead of this lengthy discussion about ‘how’ it should work, you guys should really be talking about ‘why’ it is being done. It’s a lot harder for players to argue with goals than with details because everyone just thinks they’re THEE expert on how everything works. The goal is what is important to communicate. The goals for Air Grid are: 1) stop skirting 2) reduce boring flights 3) encourage pilots to fly more organized and fly higher. If that is all you said to the community, can seriously tell me anyone would have objected? No way.

The technical details are really none of our business, we have no friking clue how your game technology really works. Talk goals, not details, and you can spare your team the aggravation. I understand you want feedback from players, but seriously players are going to give you their ‘how it should work’ diatribes whether you ask for it or not; you’re going to get feedback whether you like it or not so exposing the details is needlessly making life shitty for you guys. Have everyone focus on the goals.

I could go on and on.

I think if CRS re-shaped its communication strategy, in a comprehensive way, you’d find a much better relationship with the community and do much better with less headache.

Best regards,

I never read the forums, well almost never. I come here for the technical details. No where else in the MMO universe can you get an insight to what it takes to run a game like this.

It’s the openness of the Rats that have kept this game alive. Other MMO’s may not have even created community liaisons. If you don’t remember most told you nothing, and just wanted your monthly payment. The only things fixed in those games were the ones that prevented you from accessing the game.

breed,
I appreciate your point of view, but obviously I disagree. To answer your point would take many many more lengthy posts, which I’m not inclined to do at this time. So in the words of the immortal Inigo Montoya:

“Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” …

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. The Rats need a better way to skin their cat (now that’s irony), because I would contend that their current method does more harm than good.

“That’s all I got to say about that.” – Forest Gump

zheriz wrote:
stop talking about the details — across the board about everything you guys do, just stop– and instead talk about the goals.

Already done. How did you get here without seeing the banner at the top of the page?

Your response makes no sense to me KFS1, but okay. :)

Your response makes no sense to me KFS1, but okay. :)
He means that officially, they don’t announce the details. This is a personal blog and he’s rambling here.

Inconceivable!

I’m a programmer. Details are my language. Circular and pointless discussion of goals is fine for the forums where someone is getting paid to partake in them; this here’s me “offline” – its the back porch of my house. If you stop by, you’re here on my terms, and I speak my native tounge :)

I see what you mean. You don’t have to worry, because personal blogs like this are not what I was referring too when I talk about CRS’ communication strategy.

The Rats in the forum go into way too much detail about implementation, etc and get themselves needlessly into way too many pointless arguments with players. It’s not the Rats’ fault, it’s just the nature of the community and they’re open policy is being taken advantage of in that way. I’m not saying the Rats should stop talking to the community, but that there is room for improvement.

But that’s what I see from the outside.

Regards,

Any Idea’s on information decay i.e. you have a tight formation of aircraft crossing a grid line. The grid they are in shows red (in your illustration) when they cross the grid line on the next grid update insted of going to zero (if no other aircraft enter the grid) it goes to light then if for another update (if no more aircraft enter the grid) it goes off.

The only problem i have with the grid is that even with non-constant update, when aircraft move form one grid to another It immediatly shows whoever watching that the aircraft crossed a one demsional line which artifically greatly increases the ‘resolution’.

The more I think about it having decaying information does not solve this problem.

“I do kind of like the idea of maybe making resolution lower where there isn’t an observer aircraft or a town, and I’ll suggest that when we are actually talking about presentation design.’

perhaps a good way to incorpate the lack of resolution over non town areas would be somthing like the fallowing.

in a 16km Grid if there is a heavy(red) presence within 4km of another grid then it would show light presence in both, 3, or 4 grids depending on distance to neighboring grids.

You can see icons for – what – 3km? In a 16km grid that means you need ~5 aircraft to form a picket fence – assuming you have roughly the right altitude, and spot the enemy aircraft in an area that will take you over a minute to sweep (assuming you start from 3km in and stop 3km short) at top speed.

Lets say there are 20 aircraft in 1,1. They are heading west to 0,1.

If you bleed their data backwards (trail decay), this extra data gives you a directional indication.

If you transfer some percentage of the actual score of every cell to four or 6 neighboring cells, it acts like a cursor pointing at where the real aircraft are, it doesn’t provide any cover or concealment.

If you “edge bleed” their reports by spilling their contact over into an adjacent cell when they reach some kind of boundary, all you’ve done is increase the granularity of the locating system. Instead of having to sweep the 16km square blind, you get notice which edge of the grid they are in.

We’re not trying to hand the bombers over to you like desert, we’re trying to nix the skirting.

And we’re most definitley not trying to implement radar here. When we have the ability to add destroyable radar towers or fidelity adding spotter aircraft, we’ll be able to layer that on top of this system.

Maybe we can look at sampling individual aircraft at 2x the rate of display updates – so that individual aircraft plots are actually inaccurate, but that again raises the chance of a formations direction being revealed more easily.

Wow I can tell you’ve thought about this.
It took me awhile but I understand that there realy isint a way to implement edge decay or trail decay without actually giving more information to a human observer than without these grid traits.

I have a question is there any advantage (to decreasing resolution over areas that you want to deacrease it) by having adjacent grids update at different times (updates times would remain the same but grid 0,0 would not update at the same time as 0,1 but a staggered ammount later)

If I’m ‘seeing’ this correctly a flight of aircraft pass a grid line,
that grid updates and then shows no aircraft (infact no grid in that area for a time {update time-staggered time} would show aircraft) then (update time-staggerd time latter) another grid would show their position.

That would kind of mean that sometimes you get a trail on an aircraft and sometimes you don’t see it at all. You’d periodically get entire flights of bombers flying without ever appearing on AWS – unfortunately the probability is just high enough that it would happen “often” in playerspeak.

I have to admit to being very nervous of something designed to show players that occasionally hides them – I think its cool but its a hard sell to the player base “wtf, how did an EA get from A to C without going thru B?”

Actually The reason I brought this up is that bombers on their way to bomb factories are going to be outside of the ‘noise’ that occurs on along the front line.

I dont want bombers served up on a platter.

Personally I think this will be a huge advantage over EWS.
Bombers will be able to use the areas of noise along the front to obscure their position.

Still there is the problem (if you see it that way and I’m not 100% sure that it is a problem) that aircraft operating outside the noise will tracked and intercepted easier.

To get to their targets bombers will have to cross through areas where there is no noise.
This realy isint anything that can be done to change this except by interducing ambiguity into the system.
Thats kind of what I was aiming at.

“That would kind of mean that sometimes you get a trail on an aircraft and sometimes you don’t see it at all. You’d periodically get entire flights of bombers flying without ever appearing on AWS – unfortunately the probability is just high enough that it would happen “often” in playerspeak.

I have to admit to being very nervous of something designed to show players that occasionally hides them – I think its cool but its a hard sell to the player base “wtf, how did an EA get from A to C without going thru B?””

The only way that would happen is if a plane could pass though the grid in less time than the grid updates were staggered.

yea it aircraft would go off the grid every now and then but I dont see how it would be possible how an aircraft to skip a grid.

“To get to their targets bombers will have to cross through areas where there is no noise.
This realy isint anything that can be done to change this except by interducing ambiguity into the system.”

You mention noise and ambiguity. Low-intensity uniform noise wouldn’t be able to hide a coherent group of planes if there is an indication of the amount of planes in a grid. Higher-intensity uniform noise, on the other hand, would just hide everything – making the system next to useless.

I can only see “false flight” kind of noise being able to actually hide real bomber flights. I’m not sure if that would actually be good, though, since after hitting a couple of false flights a defending fighter pilot would most likely stop flying defensive flights and instead go back to strafing opels.

The simple system is best, stick to that.

I have to refute one point. You made the point that a bomber group coming from behind the front line will show up easily against a clear grid until they reach the front-line, where they can hide for a while.

This point is true and it is not true. It depends. Because:

* front-line airfields are often empty of aircraft inventory. There will be a lot of obscuring signals coming from fighters taking off in the back.

* Air Grid will change the behavior of pilots pretty significantly. Since you can see enemy fighters hanging around the front-line airfield (and they can see you after you take-off), the rational thing to do is to take-off from the rear fields where the air will more likely be clear. Some bandits can cover the rear airfields as well, but they can’t cover them all, all the time. There’s definitely going to be a lot more geographical depth to air combat with an Air Grid system in place.

* Air Grid is not aircraft specific, all you know is that there is *an* aircraft of some sort. It doesn’t say: fighter, bomber, transport, etc. A bandit interceptor is going to come salivating after a “bomber” signal only to find himself face to face with a squadron of fighters.

* …which, allows for a lot of interesting deception tactics since Air Grid can easily be spoofed. For example, a smart bomber squadron can get a fighter squadron to a) launch first and spoof any interceptors b) use fighters to spoof the signal even more by flying all sorts of decoy flights, parallel patterns, etc. I can think of a dozen ploys to pull.

Lots of people keep saying how Air Grid will be a disaster for bombers. If you ask me, bombers are going to be safer than they have ever been. :)

Regards,

KFS1 and Rats in general

I applaud your plan for “radar”, being more of general area of interest (not pinpoint), and in particular insure RDP missions are not killed.

> Is there discussion of areas deep in the friendly territory NOT visible by the enemy? With 30+ aircraft forming up over an AF will be a huge beacon for EA to come shoot us down in the 15 min it takes for us to get to altitude.

>Toggle the system on/off. The different colors may hinder reading the map under it, and I am certain will cause some FPS hit.

>Zheriz, you put good points, but remember the ONLY reason for this is to prevent “skirting”. It does not matter WHAT is flying in the ‘badlands’, just that something is there.

>IF ANYTHING, the “Fog of War” the system could produce will only add realism to the game, hinting at the true chaos the war really was.

Frant:
“Is there discussion”
“Toggle the system on/off. The different colors may hinder reading the map under it, and I am certain will cause some FPS hit.”
“but remember the ONLY reason for this is to prevent “skirting””
“IF ANYTHING, the “Fog of War” the system could produce will only add realism to the game”

Ah – you are the weakest link, 0 out of 4. Clearly you haven’t actually bothered to read anything.

https://kfsone.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/radar-step-1/
https://kfsone.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/air-grid/
https://kfsone.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/if-you-put-us-on-radar-when-we-spawn-we-quit/
https://kfsone.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/air-grid-visuals/
https://kfsone.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/air-grid-visuals-follow-up/
https://kfsone.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/kein-radar-damen/
http://forums.battlegroundeurope.com/showthread.php?t=191632

KFS1:
Ah – you are the weakest link, 0 out of 4. Clearly you haven’t actually bothered to read anything.

I have, but not all, I did see the updating checker board map, and I did see Gophurs Ratube (or what ever cute name it has).
I did read someone else wanted it to be toggleable, like me.

I know what you are saying at the tail end of “air-grid-visuals-follow-up”, that you have reports of activities, but not who. What I am visualizing is that there is some, maybe minor, home field advantage to the defenders. The attacker would have little to no reports because it would be the limits of intel data for them. And besides, the attacker can safely assume the defender knows they are coming and are looking for them.
I ask if some thought of that had been considered in the Air-Grid plan?

The toggle thing is amongst the things making me think you’ve not read a whole lot; a bit like asking if you can get a latte wih milk.

As I said in 2 other posts, this isn’t radar. So an even playing field is, imho the fairest/best/cleanest solution. Extra detail might be something we could add to a later, radar-like system with destroyable towers etc. But this isn’t radar.

I typed “radar”, not radar, knowing you where not doing traditional nor calling it radar. This was before it was settled on AWS.

Regardless, you answered my question on the “variable details”, thanks!

I did note you quoted it – but that was my point, if it didn’t come across very well – even though you quoted it, I didn’t feel you had shaken off the radar-like take on the concept. If you re-read your prior comment while reciting “not radar not radar” you might see the incongruity.

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