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What The F

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:20 am
by TWC_BlindAsABat
I have just logged into the Mission Server hoping for a bit of BoB action and I see that a chunk of the South Coast centred on Shoreham is now apparently German territory.

BTW specifically what this is about is that German bomber pilots can start at the airspawns, do their raids at Portsmouth, Bembridge, Hamble, etc, and then land or R&R at Shoreham or the other German airstrip on British soil (the one more westerly on the map, near Needles & Bournemouth). That is a reasonabe length bomber run for Blue pilots.

Similarly, the Red pilots can start at the airspawn, hit Querqueville, then land at Crepon. Or airspawn, Le Havre, land at Dieppe, and so on. Again, bombing runs of reasonable length and also very comparable to the ones available to the Germans.

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:52 am
by TWC_Flug
I've been working on all of the Mission Server missions to make them more bomber friendly.

It is a great concept to think the pilots are going to spend more than 30 minutes flying from Portsmouth to Le Havre, drop their 4 bombs, then fly more than 30 minutes back. But the reality (more than a years' worth of stats backing it up) is that no bomber pilots at all actually do that.

So the concept is three-fold:

- Forward air spawns for bombers (both for Blue & Red)
- Two small bases on each side for bombers to land and R&R (no new planes available there, meaning that you can't spawn in there & just take off--but you can land your bomber there so that you can continue your career/mission and also you can R&R there)
- Bombers can ditch in friendly waters and (almost always) survive. That is why there is German territory on the ocean near British land, and British territory on the ocean near France. If you are a bomber pilot who is injured, you can make your way towards the nearest friendly territory--water or land--and you just MIGHT survive if you can make it that far.

At first I was just drawing small circles of friendly territory around each base on enemy territory. But then I realized that the same bases could be made by drawing one zig-zaggyy front line instead, and that zig-zaggy front line gives the bomber pilots some important advantages.

So, it is a-historical but no more so than (honestly) most ATAG or other server missions. Anything involving both armies having bases on Great Britain is also a "farce" as are the Isle of Wight missions with German air spawn, etc etc etc. This is a game with some historical background, not 100% historical accuracy. If you have 100% historical accuracy but terrible gameplay (which these maps had for bomber pilots) that is not good for anybody.

This map was not working for bomber pilots at all and now it does. We like having maps that use this side of the map because they are not as often visited, and there are some pretty cool places. But you have to have some way to deal with the super-wide channel crossing here, which really disrupts normal game play. This is the solution I found.

Before you bitch, jump in a bomber and try it. If everyone doesn't like it we can put it back that way it was with a boring 30 minute flight each way to drop 4 bombs, and almost certain to end in your death, and generally so boring and pointless for bomber pilots that no one was even bothering to try it . . .

What we have now is a map that works for fighter pilots, just exactly as before, and additionally it is ALSO an amazing map for bomber pilots.

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:20 am
by TWC_Flug
BTW the other new addition to Missions 1 & 2 (the missions that use the western side of the map centered on Bembridge, Gosport, Le Havre, etc) is many, many new bomber targets in both France and England. Each mission has two dams and a major fuel dump that are mission objectives and if the bombers take them out it will turn the map.

But in addition there are literally dozens of other factories, fuel dumps, etc scattered around both French and English territory. As you fly around you will see the little 'black dots' on the ground--each of these is a target for bombing and each will give the bomber pilot quite a lot of ground target points if successfully bombed.

Earlier this afternoon, testing out the mission, here is the Bomber Mission I flew:

- Air spawn at westernmost spawn point, about 10 minute flight to the Theville area
- Nearing the coast I saw numerous available targets. I bombed 3 of them successfully with my 4 bombs.
- Dodging flak, went feet wet towards Crepon.
- Saw many more potential targets on this leg of the flight. Chose one near Crepon to drop my final bomb.
- Land Crepon. R&R. (You can't spawn initially at Crepon or Dieppe but you can R&R.)
- Taking off from Crepon, spot many potential targets along the horizon in all directions--more than enough for several flights
- I bomb the dam at Ouisterham, damaging but not destroying it.
- Dodging the flak out of town I spot two more targets and successfully bomb both.
- Out of bombs, I return to Crepon for another R&R.
- I return to finish off the dam at Ouisterham, since that is an important mission objective. I manage to finish off the dam and hit one other target.
- However, flak at the last target damages my aircraft seriously. I head for Crepon.
- Flying at treetop level and just above stall speed, with one engine, I am desperate to make Crepon or at least friendly territory nearby.
- My plane grinds to a halt no more than 1/2 mile short of the front, and I am captured while trying to escape.

During the flight I racked up dozens of ground kill points and those were rewarded by some nice promotions--in game, check via chat command <career.

(Besides adding objectives & numerous bomber targets to the map, I've been redesigning the rank & promotion system to work better for bomber pilots. In the past year we only had one or two bomber pilots get even ONE promotion. Now bomber rank & promotions are based more on accomplishing what bombers are good at. And we have to face the fact that bomber pilot lifespans on the mission server (and all other CloD servers I have been on) are notoriously short. So your average bomber pilot is likely to have a short but meteoric career But with the new rank & promotion system, bomber pilots have at least some potential to reach a decent rank before the inevitable death. So, hopefully we will see some of the best bomber pilots achieve ranks equal to those of the best fighter pilots. I think if we had some really excellent bomber pilots they could even *exceed* what fighter pilots are doing currently. We'll see--it all boils down to achieving as many ground victories as possible per mission, and also staying alive for enough missions to accumulate your promotions.)

The point of all of this is to take the Mission Server, which already has some amazing action for fighter pilots vs AI squads, and add another dimension with the bomber activity. It's going to take things to the next level when you're dealing with all the existing AI activity and realize that "the Blues have 20 minutes to take out the Southampton Dam and they'll turn the map". So then you have to figure out how to defend Southampton in addition to all the rest . . .

Also, that one single career, short though it was, was more successful with more ground targets destroyed and higher ace level and rank achieved, than ANY bomber pilot career on the server in the last year.

So I think these additions make these missions into something that bomber pilots can fly, enjoy, and be successful at.

I'll be looking for the first Bomber Pilot Wing Commander, Air Commodore, or Marshal of the RAF! I think those ranks ARE achievable now by a canny and skilled bomber pilot . . .

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:52 am
by TWC_Hoss
Each to there own but I think its brilliant Flug keep it up

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:04 pm
by TWC_Flug
Also I forgot to mention one other interesting choice in the new missions, which is that Allied bomber pilots can earn the opportunity to fly the HE 111. Another "strange" choice that makes sense within the confines of what CloD can do right now.

More details here:

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:09 pm
by TWC_Flug
BTW, BlindAsABat, I appreciate you raising this issue as I have been working all this out over the past several days and just rolled it all out on the live server late last night, and I haven't had a chance to explain or talk with anyone about it yet (not even Fatal--he' been rather busy with Hurricane Irma and all). So I definitely expected that there would be a lot of WTF?!!? type questions--no worries . . .

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:23 pm
by TWC_Birdtail
I also like what you have done Flug.....keep up the good's appreciated.
Question....I have been on a couple of bomber missions to France and both time did not encounter any AI fighters....are they there or does certain bomber movement trigger them to scrabble?

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:44 am
by TWC_BlindAsABat
I can see what you are trying to do, Mr. Flug, and acknowledge that the map has changed since I first posted my question. It seems certain that having airspawns close to the target areas will make life more interesting for bomber pilots (Hoss took out two dams inside 30 minutes last evening) and having somewhere "safe" to put down will, likely, extend their careers. If the "home away from home" aerodromes start to get used for R&R and thus become forward bases there maybe some unforeseen consequences, which could radically alter the balance of the game.

Whilst I note that the airspawns are restricted to certain bomber aircraft types, can any type of aeroplane can land and R&R at the "home away from home" airfields? If so then not only could we have German bombers based within a few minutes flying time of key British installations, so close as to make active defence impossible without standing combat air patrols, but there would also be nothing to stop the blue team staging fighters out of them. Four, or even a pair of, 109s staging out of the concrete runways at Shoreham would probably make Ford unusable (flight time from Shoreham is less than five minutes) but could also provide serious escort for the AI bomber streams that fly Westwards along the coast to attack Portsmouth and surrounds. Bembridge would also become even more of a dodgy proposition if human flown German fighters were using their new Western airstrip. These new "challenges" maybe a good or a bad thing, but the point is they will, if they succeed in their aim of making the life of Blue team aggressors more attractive, change the game in ways that may not be wholly beneficial.

Time will tell how many Blue team pilots use these new facilities and what advantage they take of the opportunities offered. It may be that few do and things will work out OK (though I note that last evening the Red team bomber pilots were rushing to take full advantage). I do wonder, however, if the desired outcomes could not have been achieved by simply creating targets to the East of the combat zone, i.e. in Kent and the Pas de Calais, and opening aerodromes there. The concentration on the West where the English Channel is at its widest is, I think, a uniquely TWC thing and Hellfire Corner got its name for a reason.

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:16 pm
by TWC_Sp00k
Have we always had a death time restriction in there? I cant remember.

Re: What The F

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:48 pm
by TWC_Flug
TWC_Sp00k wrote:Have we always had a death time restriction in there? I cant remember.

Yes, though we've always had "<override" also.

I'm thinking maybe we should switch it to like 30 seconds, but no override allowed.