There’s no planes, ma!

Since 1.28, a lot of players have been returning to the air and word of mouth seems to be bringing first time pilots in too. This weekend there was a lot of caffufle over the lack of availability of aircraft and calls for spawn list numbers that vary with population.

For ground brigades, we already kinda have that – as the number of objectives goes up and down, so does the number of brigades in play. But air and navy units are in play all the time so they are all continually being sucked dry. We also upped the resupply time to 7 hours to make ground fights that bit more meaningful and allow some room for a strategic picture to really have a bearing on fights – and to try and reduce the frequency of “epic” battles that dragged on for multiple days ;)

The first question, though, was “are we running out of aircraft?”

So I pulled the charts of vehicle levels in Air Brigades for the last 10 days:

British Air LevelsFrench Air LevelsGerman Air Levels

(The y axis is percentage of capacity present, very few people spawn tanks/trucks from an air brigades which is why those seem to stay around 100%)

There are some dips close to being out of equipment, particularly this last weekend, but its the overall picture that we are looking at, because clearly there were a fair number of aircraft available most of the time.

We probably do need to tweak the numbers up a little, perhaps reduce the resupply time for aircraft, but primarily what we need to do is figure out a way to make more players aware that the list of equipment you can see at Antwerp is specific to your brigade, not to Antwerp. It looks as though a lot of these players returning from 1 and 2 years ago see a spawn list and assume it describes what is in the city rather than what is in the brigade they’re attached to, and the current paradigm does sort of hide the plentiful losts of the DivHQs.

In the related discussion in the Hangar, someone brought up the issue of Aircraft Time To Battle relative to other units. I thought I’d repost here my calculations as to who has the longest TTB:

| Category       | Minutes |
| Aircraft       | 22.1833 |
| Sea Vehicle    | 21.1833 |
| Ground Vehicle | 14.0667 |
| Infantry       | 11.5167 |


What about availability by unit type throughout the map?

Oh, and by unit type I mean equipment type, like Hurricane 2c or BF 109 F-4.

What is TTB exactly? Is that average TOM, or time to first kill or something?

Time To Battle.

The Supply-By-Unit charts show a similar picture, but I can’t be bothered to make them into single images (which I had to do by hand for the brigade set).

I don’t know any easy answers but it seems to me no matter what you do it doesn’t really work.

You want attrition for air units to be meaningful but you have to tune the unit numbers for a certain target player population. No matter what you do, the off-peak/low pop player in Australia is going to consistently have a very different game experience to the American who typically plays after work and on weekends.

For myself, I don’t mind too much as long as I can get a ride. Even if it’s a lower tier ride than what I’d normally take up. Maybe the answer is to make the outdated equipment in almost unlimited supply? Ie when the 109f/P38 is out, there will always be H75’s and 109e available for the desperate and/or addicted.

I know KFS1, you don’t have to remind me.

Are we looking for the solution in the right spot? Just throwing this out there…..How about not limiting planes–instead, limit fuel as a function of population/production. When it’s wall to wall Spit/’o9’s in the air, reduce the fuel load on subsequent sorties. Fuel replenishment would be a direct function of the damage state of fuel depots across the entire respective side, affecting ground vehicles the same as air.

Ok back to my crack pipe!~


What’s the point of attrition if you tweak settings so units are always available.

My point is to not attrit, but reduce capabilities. You could even throw ammo loads in there. Or adjust the time to return a RTB’d vehicle to the pool based on damage at the time of despawn. Or when re-arming, adjust the refill rate based on ammo depot/factory state. Yeah, there’d be planes for everyone. But not everyone would be as mission capable. In my opinion, it would more closely represent real capabilities, because a nation would almost always have a reserve force so the number of planes would be irrelevant except in the death throes of defeat where more planes may be a bit unrealistic. But then again, in defeat a nation only has a limited number of spawn points/air fields.

Just an attempt at outside-the-box. Not necessarily the best answer.

Hm. TTB for naval units is interesting.

I guess the fairmile & map position scews it somewhat.

Average destroyer TTB is about 40mins.

As for the ‘lack of planes’ issue, not realy sure thre is a good solution to it.

You have to have attrition for the game to work.

My only idea would be to have 1 or 2 air brigades that are permanetly bases at the un-cappable airfields. These brigades can’t be moved.

This would mean that if your enemy manages to attrite you front-line airfileds you should always have some planes left, it would just be a LONG flight to get to combat.

This long flight time would hopefully mean that if you attrite the enemy you would have air superiority over the frontlines, but the enemy would have some planes to spawn.

The evidence in the data – which you only have part of until I decide/bother to do something with the supply-by-vehicle – is that players who can only access low rank equipment (bf109e, for example), are running out of equipment and changing brigades, so they continue to find equipment.

On the other hand, more experienced fliers appear to be only using all the equipment at a few brigades, the drain doesn’t continue through into other brigades at the same town or DivHQs.

Conclusion: A slight increase in low-rank equipment is necessary for low-ranking players, tweakage of the UI or player eductation is needed to get these older players to realize that the spawn lists are brigade specific, that you can change brigade in the same town and get more vehicles.

Since day 1, you guys have been continually working toward limiting supply. We’ve gone from Infinite Supply to having over 1000 different sources of supply per side (every single AB, AF and NB, pre-TOE) to having only about 50 supply sources per side (Brigades, Flotillas and Groups). What’s going to happen, for example, when you start limiting Tanks, (for the most part) to only Armored Brigades? Particularly when player expectations are that general types should always be available for folks to use (ie: tankers should be able to use a tank and pilots should always be able to grab a plane). You’re quickly approaching a point where continuing to further limit a fixed quantity of supply will come into conflict with, as you noted, variable (growing?) Player populations, but more importantly, in conflict with Player expectations of supply availability.

Perhaps its time to figure out a way to adjust Player expectations of supply availability. Perhaps its time for Personal Spawn Limits of some form or another. Perhaps its time to do away with everyone’s unrestricted access to limited supply. Then the incompetent or wasteful Few won’t rapidly burn thru supply that should be available for Everyone. Who knows…if folks know they, personnally, have only limited access to supply, they might actually start playing smarter.

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