Weapon Accuracy

Along with generally replacing targetmoveerror with … whatever the leading thing is, there are some other changes weapons need.

First, a lot of weapons need to drop the inaccuracy while moving.

Specifically, tanks and vehicles, as well as assault infantry.

Tanks and vehicles mainly because at the moment they are naturally disadvantaged on the attack, due to the slow turret traverse rates, slow movement, and already awful accuracy. A stationary tank can pick off many more of its own kind if they are moving.

Assault infantry need it because, well, they’re assault infantry, and I’m sick of seeing SMG guys shooting wildly into the air when they move. With the smaller submachineguns they should be able to fire better while on the move.

Secondly I think turret traverse rates need to be increased. Yes, they’re realistic, but its really bludgeoning gameplay. I think general tank and vehicle performance will be increased if all turret traverse speeds are proportionately increased.

I went ahead and increased the Sherman and Tiger turret traverse rates for experimentation – upload SVN and check them out (GERTiger and USM4A4Sherman).

Nemo, as he pointed out, plugged in Yuri’s awesome mod options lua which allows us to configure universal ranges, reloadtimes and… I forget the other. I’ve slightly tested out halving all ranges and I must say it does not seem to greatly impact gameplay detrimentally – infact, I’d say it would be better for gameplay. Further testing is required however it is promising.

Furthermore, I feel that infantry is too weak/artillery too powerful. Case in point, that insane game where Caia built 30 guns in a massive line and just owned everything for three hours. Currently, artillery annihilates things, even tanks; they can fire fast, are relatively accurate etc. There are a few propositions.

  1. Holdtime - I’m not sure if this tag works, but in OTA and early versions of Spring, holdtime required weapons to “lock on” to their target for a set amount of seconds before being able to fire; if the target moved a certain distance it would have to be reaquired, meaning that the weapon would be unable to hit fast-moving targets (to a degree). However, this would only help averting artillery from destroying very fast targets; infantry are slow, and wouldn’t really be helped.

  2. Force fire - in the real world, artillery is only used in pre-planned missions; they do not fire at will at anything they “see”. They are given orders and co-ordinates by frontline units or headquarters, a method of fire is determined and planned, and a set length of bombardment carried out. This can easily and quickly be represented by making artillery force-fire only; you have to actually select your infantry and tell it to fire somewhere for it to do so. It is a little micro-ish but no more than any other feature, really, and you can easily group your artillery so a quick button press will select them all.

  3. Area attack only – only allowing artillery to fire in an area attack rather than at individual targets; we can set the specific minimum size of the area. So rather than “target that tank”, it will be “target the area the tank is in”. This will in effect greatly reduce accuracy against specific targets or groups of targets without having to deal with the implications of actual accuracy decrease per the actual weapon, which will lead to instances of shells hugely overshooting or undershooting and generally acting stupid and unrealistic.

Personally, I would like to see all of these implimented – however, if area attack is implimented there is no need for holdtime, as you won’t be able to target a specific enemy unit. So, requiring force fire, and forcing area attack, should be done.

We can/should do the same for attack bombers in the future; have a very large radius for attack, and when they go in to bomb, they will, iirc, target a random location within that area to drop their bombs, mimicking the inaccuracy of carpet bombing.

As a side-note: Some weapons have both artillery and direct-fire attributes; specifically, the Soviets were reknowned for their field and SP artillery being capable of both accurate direct fire and long-range bombardment. This is a quality I’ve long-since wanted to impliment, and with area attack and force-fire, I believe we can; the Soviets would differ, in that some of their weapons – namely, the ISU-152 and ZiS-3, and perhaps the 122mm and 152mm howitzers – will be able to carry out both long-range area bombardments and short-range direct-fire at the units’ discression (ie, they will have a short-range, non-forcefire version of their main HE armament which will be able to be used against close-up targets, be able to target specific enemy units, etc).

So, discuss.

FYI, I tested out the Tiger and Shermans with faster turret traverse rate and concluded that faster turnrates would, if anything, improve the effectiveness of flanking tactics.

In the test I did, I spawned a single Tiger tank, had it hold position, and spawned 4 enemy Sherman tanks. I had the Shermans essentially “drive by” the Tiger, and observed the result.

With the original, slow traverse rates, two of the Shermans were killed and the Tiger suffered less than half damage before the Shermans moved off out of LOS range.

With the new, faster traverse rates, the Tiger was destroyed, at a cost of a single Sherman tank.

It seems almost illogical but the basic premise is that slower traverse rates benefit stationary tanks the most. This is mainly due to Spring’s shitty pathfinding and unit behaviour; tanks on the move are constantly making course corrections, meaning that slower turrets are very hard to align properly on the move. For example, a Sherman may be driving through a field and start aiming at a tank in the distance; suddenly, pathing detects an obstacle, such as a tree, infront of it; just as the Sherman was about to fire, the entire tank shifts 90 degrees, then back again, preventing the Sherman from firing for 10 or more seconds, which can mean the difference between a successful and failed attack in this game.

However, with faster turret traverse rates, the benefit goes to units on the move; they are better able to recover from slight movements and thus better able to bring their guns to bear on the juicy backsides of a tank they are attempting to encircle. Despite the Tiger having a comparitive boost to its speed, it was still only able to get a single shot off before the faster Shermans got enough shots into its rear.

I was thinking that a good system for artillery would be volley force-fire. The player selects the artillery target, has them fire, and the artillery fires off a volley of 4-8 (whatever) shots, then stops and has a cooldown time equal to the volley time, and has to be force-fired again.

Perhaps Repeat On/Off coult control whether it would continuously volley-cooldown or only volley once.

Well, that could most easily (though somewhat hackishly and not as spiffy) be done by making the artillery weapons burst weapons with a verrrry long burst… equal to, say, 5 shots, and then a long reloadtime. Only problem is being able to instantly redirect the shots mid-volley.

There is a tag IIRC that causes all shots in a burst to be fired at the same thing (so redirecting a burst before it ends is not possible). I’m not sure if that applies to area attacks, but it probably should.

Hrm.

For a truly crazy idea that I haven’t thought through thouroughly but I thought I’d throw out: I like the letter t.

Actually, the crazy idea is: what if artillery had fear applied to it?