TWC Mission Server Announcements & Updates

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Re: TWC Mission Server missions lengthened

Postby TWC_Flug » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:59 pm

FYI I've been working on the Mission server, making some upgrades that have been requested:

- Missions are now 3 hours mission instead of 90 minutes
- The Mission length is now easily changeable, so if everyone would like to see 5 hour missions or 17 hour missions or whatever, instead of 3 hour missions, just let us know
- Missions load up but don't actually start until someone logs in (reducing your chances of joining a mission with just a few minutes left--this can still happen, but only if other people have actually been in & playing the mission)

I've got these things working on M001 so far and will work on M002 & M003 as I have time over the next few days or weeks.

Please post here if you notice any problems or bugs.

The sort of problems that could happen:

- Lulls in the action (particularly after the 90-minute mark) because new AI aircraft/targets aren't being loaded as they should
- Unacceptably low framerate (particularly after the 90-minute mark) because too many new AI aircraft are loading somehow
- You join the server but there are basically no AI aircraft

Up through the 90 minute mark the missions should be same as ever--no change. So if you notice any changes when comparing what happens for the first 90 minutes vs the second 90 minutes, that could be caused by the current changes.
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Re: TWC Mission Server Planes Written Off problems fixed

Postby TWC_Flug » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:06 pm

We have had a problem where your plane could be written off (and count against you in the stats) even if you landed safely at a friendly base.

I believe I have tracked down the source of that problem and fixed it, in both the Mission & Tactical servers.

Please let me know if you get a notice that your plane is written off when it shouldn't have been.

FYI, planes are generally written off when:

- It is damaged fairly heavily
- You land on enemy territory (and leave your aircraft there--if you land & take off again all is well)
- You land on water
- You land anywhere away from a friendly airport, and leave your aircraft there, or crash it

Note that you can land & take off anywhere--friendly or enemy territory, or even water I suppose (if you can figure out how to do it!)--and your plane won't be written off, as long as you land and then take off again successfully. It is landing your plane in some random spot and then leaving it there that is going to trigger the "plane written off".

Note that it is fairly liberal in the definition of "friendly airport". You should be able to land at active OR inactive bases OK. You could be able to land on the fringes or outskirts of a friendly airport OK (as long as you are within 2K or so of the airport center point).

Also note that "aircraft written off" has a pretty modest effect on your stats. It is tracked just FYI and if you are writing off an inordinately high amount of aircraft this could adversely affect your rank a bit. But in general it is expected that active and aggressive pilots will lose an aircraft here and there--it's not really a big deal.
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Re: TWC Mission Server Announcements, Updates

Postby TWC_Flug » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:47 am

OK, all Mission servers now run for 3 hours.

Additionally, in M002 each side has THREE DAMS that you can bomb. If you bomb a certain two of the three, you will turn the map. Read the briefing (both Red & Blue).

Also, bomber pilots who play their cards right can rack up a large number of points/glory while taking these dams out.

Similar dams/opportunities to turn the map will be added to M001 and M003 soon.
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Re: Mission Server updated with bomber objectives, turn the

Postby TWC_Flug » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:56 pm

TWC_Flug wrote:Additionally, in M002 each side has THREE DAMS that you can bomb. If you bomb a certain two of the three, you will turn the map.


Mission Server Missions 1 & 2 now both have similar features which make them quite a bit more interesting for bomber pilots--while still being as interesting as ever for fighter pilots.

- Blue & Red sides each have 3 bombing objectives which, if destroyed, will turn the map. Use <obj and/or read the mission briefing for details. These are objectives that the bomber pilots will have to take out--hopefully with some fighter support.

- In each case, two of the mission objectives are dams (NEW!) and one is the fuel dump/industrial area that has previously been the focus of the campaigns & AI bomber attacks.

- Bomber-friendly airspawn & landing field: Blue & Red each have a mid-channel air spawn AND a small beachhead on the opposing side of the channel with an airport for landing & R&R. This means that bomber pilots can air spawn, bomb their objectives, and land at the beachhead airport. In short, bomber pilots can take out the Mission objectives & other targets in a somewhat reasonable amount of time and with some hope of surviving the trip and receiving a promotion.

- More POINTS & credit for things bombed: Due to quirks in CloD, previously, bombing things like fuel depots made a nice huge explosion, but did not result in any ground victory points being awarded to bomber pilots. However, a new system is in place that not only gives bomber pilots ground victory points when they hit these targets, but also VERY MUCH rewards both accuracy and thorough carpet-bombing.

For example, if you bomb a dam and destroy it now, you will probably receive 3-10 ground victory points. (Check your current points in-game using chat command <ses.) But if you really hammer the target with accuracy (all along the base for dams, make sure every fuel tank is squarely hit for depots, etc) you can get a lot more. A typical dam, for instance, has 50-100 points waiting to be collected by bomber pilots who have the nerve, patience, and accuracy.

Additionally, you can profitably do bombing runs on enemy airfields, industrial areas, fuel dumps, etc--as well as AA, ground vehicles, convoys, and so on--and rack up A LOT OF points.

- Separate life/career for bomber pilots: Remember that your life & career as a bomber pilot is completely separate (for stats/rank/promotion purposes) from your fighter pilot career. That means you can take a break and run a bomber mission to take out and objective--which, let's be honest, is a pretty dangerous mission--without endangering your hard-won pilot career rank.

- Longer missions: 3 hour missions, giving you time to complete your bomber objectives--and do some fighter piloting in between.

All this is implemented in M001 and M002 - M003 is still in the works.

All this is just a small foretaste of some of the things Fatal is working on for the Tactical Server--mission objectives, multi-mission campaigns to take or lose land, etc.





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Re: TWC Mission Server Announcements, Updates

Postby TWC_Flug » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:30 pm

FYI in a Mission Server update that is coming real soon now (TM), we will start dropping pilots from the stats page after 45 days.

For live pilots, you'll only be dropped if you don't fly the server at all for 45 days.

For archived "dead pilots", the stats will drop off the dead pilots list 45 days after their death.

Because I am a pack rat, I saved the current (very large) stats files for your perusing enjoyment:

http://brenthugh.com/twc/stats-archive.htm

There are some pretty AMAZING careers in there--the current top-ranked pilots are

JG1_Ludwig Charakter als Generalmajor 150-kill Ace
No.85_Cam Air Commodore (provisional) Century Ace


Among the most-decorated dead pilots in our pilot graveyard are these amazing performances:

x404 2017-06-10 General der Flieger Century Ace
Loose_Cannon 2017-02-07 Air Vice-Marshal (provisional) 300-kill Ace
BlackJack 2017-09-06 Air Vice-Marshal (provisional) Century Ace
No.85_Cam 2017-02-16 Air Commodore 75-kill Ace


Interestingly, 3 of the top 5 in the dead pilots list ended their career with a "self kill". I don't know if that means they were just so good they were like "Goodbye cruel world!" and actually just killed themselves deliberately to end the pain? Or perhaps they crashed on take off or landing or crashed into an enemy plane (often reported by CloD as a self-kill)? Or, perhaps the most likely, some mishap related to losing their internet connection leading to an in-game crash with? Any and all are possible, but if anyone wants to share their story about how their longest streak ended, I'm all ears for certain.
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Re: TWC Mission Server Announcements, Updates

Postby TWC_Flug » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:39 am

One more update to Mission Servers, this time mostly affecting Missions 1 & 2 (the ones on the western side of the map--Gosport, Bembridge, Le Havre, Theville, etc):

- Each mission/each side has 3 bomber objectives that will turn the map--two dams & one fuel dump

- Additionally, many many more ground targets for bombing on both sides of the map. You can spot these at a distance as the 'black dots' on the ground. All are defended by flak. All will give bomber pilots a good share of ground kill points if you hit them hard and accurately.

- Tweaked the map to create bomber-friendly flight scenarios and landing areas. (Discussed extensively here) Basically: Two air spawns for each side, two bases within enemy territory where you can land and R&R safely, areas of friendly territory on both land & ocean nearer your target areas, where you can pretty safely ditch if need be. The result is a somewhat crazy-looking front line but in the end it doesn't impact the fight pilot portion of the mission at all, while dramatically improving the map for bomber pilots--who are the most likely to spend a lot of time flying over the Channel.

(If you haven't flown bomber missions you may not realize that crash landing or parachuting on friendly land or water is pretty safe, but crash landing or parachuting on enemy territory has a very high chance of ending in death or capture--either ends your career. So bomber pilots need somewhere safe to go if they are to get more than one or two sorties per career . . .)

- Improved the way we tally ground kills, so that all the targets (mentioned above) are reflected in the Bomber pilots stats, if the pilot destroys them.

- Updated the rank & promotion system to be friendlier for bomber pilots. Bomber pilots now receive promotion more based on what they do best (bomb things) and in recognition of the fact that bomber pilot careers tend to be shorter than fighter pilot (based on over 1 years worth of stats . . . ) they can proceed up the career ladder more rapidly if they have some really successful missions.

- Generally speaking fixed a lot of bugs and added many mission details.

This basically completes this round of updates to the Mission Server (at least I HOPE it does . . . please let me know if you find any bugs etc) - in general the updates were designed to allow longer missions, refine the rank/promotions system, and make bomber pilot a viable career path.

Keep in mind that you can pursue parallel fighter pilot & bomber pilot careers. If your bomber pilot is killed your fighter pilot career still continues, and vice-versa.
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Re: TWC Mission Server Announcements, Updates

Postby TWC_Flug » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:50 am

I forgot to mention one of the most interesting updates . . .

The whole idea of ranks & promotions is that you get access to more & more aircraft as you work your way up through the ranks with more kills & more experience.

This works great on the German side, where there are tons of viable aircraft to choose from.

But on the British side, there are really only 3 viable aircraft. Particularly, there is only one usable bomber.

So . . . a while ago I decided to make the BR.20 available to British bomber pilots after 5 kills (ie, basically 1 successful bombing sorties). The story being that Allied forces had captured a few BR.20s, which are more advanced than the Blennie in a few ways, so HQ was making a BR.20s available to a few highly skilled bomber pilots on an experimental basis. Practically, for gameplay purposes, the idea was give give British bomber pilots access to an aircraft with more flexibility, bomb load, & advanced features for bombing.

However, it turns out that the current CloD BR.20 is a bit of a dog to fly & operate, and not that advanced.

So . . . for the new version of the Mission Server I replaced the BR.20 with the HE 111 P-2.

Bomber pilots will have access to this aircraft after completing 5 kills (ie, Ace level).

The HE 111 (again, a few obtained by a fortunate Allied capture of a German airfield, and made available on an experimental basis to just a few of our most experience bomber pilots) really IS more advanced than the Blennie in these ways:

- It can carry twelve 100 lb bombs rather than four 250 pounders. Since most of our bombing targets don't require a lot of tonnage to destroy (precision required vs brute force), this basically increases by THREE TIMES the amount of bomb targets you can destroy on a single mission.

- The HE111 has an actual working auto bomb sight that works well.

The HE111 has some disadvantages, too, so the decision to fly it versus the Blenham is a bit of a tradeoff. But the point is, once you have reached 5 victories, you can make the choice for yourself.

If the new version of CloD is ever released we can replace this with a more advanced British aircraft. But for now we have something to work with.

FYI when you fly an HE111 on the British side, the ID shields are replaced so you ARE recognizable on sight to friend or foe IF THEY LOOK CAREFULLY. Still, some British fighter pilots (live players) might try to shoot you down. Flip side is, German pilots might give you a pass . . .

Neither is an issue with AI aircraft, who will identify you properly always (as they are programmed to). The only confusion may come from other live players who are identifying aircraft by sight and behavior. But, for example, British pilots will be unlikely to try to shoot down a bomber that is operating in France and destroying German targets. Again, one of the tradeoffs you'll have to consider when you decide whether to choose this or the Blennie . . .
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Re: TWC Mission Server Announcements, Updates

Postby Fast » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:07 pm

Hi Wrecking crew guys.
I would like to signal a problem in the stats compilation. I did a bombing mission with a blennie. Was shot down over Le Havre. But the rank of Tyro was assigned to my fighter career not to my bomber one... Also, all my kills and points of my fighter career are still there.
:shock:
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Re: TWC Mission Server Announcements, Updates

Postby Fast » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:32 pm

Forget my last post, the problem was solved. Don't know how... ;)
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Trains - many MORE live targets - more bombers for Red

Postby TWC_Flug » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:36 pm

I just rolled out another nice update for the Mission Server that includes these updates:

  • Trains, many trains, on both sides in MIssions 1 & 2 now. Trains are suitable targets for bombers OR fighters. Just find some train tracks & start following them . . .
  • MANY new landscape targets in Missions 1 & 2. These are buildings etc that have always been part of the CloD landscape, but now they are bombable, they explode BIG, and they will give you many ground victory points if you hit them well.

    Specifically, nearly every fuel tank, large factory building, and train station in the campaign area is a bombable target that will help improve your ground victory count and advance your career. Check industrial areas and train stations of every city--Le Havre, Caen, Rouen, Querqueville, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, London, Gravesend, Reading, Basingstoke, Petersfield, Chichester, Worthing, Hastings etc.

    Fuel storage tanks and train stations are pretty easy targets. Large factory buildings are a bit harder (you have to hit them JUST right, or maybe do a couple of runs to really light them up), but when you hit it right you will know, and will receive a good share of ground victory points, because these are VALUABLE targets.

    Most of these 'landscape targets' do not show with visible black dots, but require finding and seeking. If you see a large factory building, a fuel storage tank, or a train station feel free to bomb away.

    This applies to Missions 1 & 2 for now (the Gosport/Le Havre map) - Mission 3 in progress . . .
  • More bombers available to Red pilots with promotions/ace level - The Blenheim is limited, particularly in that it can carry only 4 bombs. Now Red bomber pilots with some victories and/or rank can use a secret stash of BR.20s, HE111s, and even JU88s. These bombers can be key to achieving high rank as a Red bomber pilot, because they can carry up to 32 bombs and have a variety of high-tech bomb sites, allowing you to destroy more enemy targets per sortie, and allowing you to bomb from higher altitudes for greater safety.

    Use commands <ac and <nextac to check your available aircraft. Complete list of a/c available at each rank on the stats page.
  • Routine enemy patrols of areas with bombable objects - if on a bombing mission, be sure to check your radar: Both sides now have routine patrols of all the "backcountry" areas where the bombing targets area.
  • Many bug fixes - many thanks to everyone who has reported bugs on the forum or via teamspeak.

Please let me know any problems you notice.
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