I've sent this to techsupport (Warning; very long read)
Meanwhile I learned there is no 'scripting'
,so scrap that in the post. Unfortunally, I cannot include the pictures I refer too;..
if someone is really interested, I will send
the 'Enemy Engaged Comanche vs. Hokum -- Campain Engine Problems.doc' (511kb)
I am _really_ interested, if all of you
mates are running into the same problems as well; so please respond, if you want. Thanks.
Hello, Dear Techsupport
for the BEST Chopper Simulation that truly IS.
Since what I am going to try to explain is not an technical problem, you might want to pass this letter to the programming team (please!) which currently works on the new patch to make this chopper just perfect
thank you very much!
For quite some time now, I am greatly enjoying CoHokum (with Apache vs. Havoc installed) now. The simulation is installed on an:
Pentium III 700MHz with
384MB SDRAM (PC133)
ELSA GLADIAC GeForce GTS 2 /32MB
There are NO technical problems whatsoever; this game is running in D3D, 1600x1200x32 with silk-smooth speed, NO Lock-ups in the current experimental version of the patch 1.45x (no problems) and there are NO 3rd-parties utilities, skins or sounds installed into the game.
The problem I am going to explain, is within the games campain (retaliation?) engine and, have been the same state with all released versions for the game so far. (With the latest 1.41c version, the behaviour is exactly the same)
Please understand, that I am no programmer and also an german guy, so I really hope I can state my point without too many errors; thanks for understanding. This is going to be a long letter with pictures to exactly pinpoint the problem(s).
How would me and a LOT of simmers be satisfied to see those improved/fixed !
My understanding of the games campain retaliation engine is, there are "hotspots the 2 enemy sides are trying to Destroy/reach/conquer/ (This are scripted actions, right? IF A happens, do B or C)
First thing I noticed is the difference and number of actions, that occure within the different locations (maps) of the game. There are a LOT of actions which are scripted into the game;..to name a few:
Transfer BDA Insertion CAP CAS Advance Retreat Repair Recon Support Strike - BAI
Well, only idea I have to describe is, there must have been different people doing the different theaters locations, correct?
Please let me give you 2 examples, what I mean:
In the Lebanon scenario, there are an almost insane number of 'support' missions generated, while in the Caspian scenario, not even ONE mission with the the order 'support'
Likewise, in the Caspian Scenario, there is an great number of 'transfer' missions generated;...but not even ONE support Mission.
I am talking about imbalance; I really hoped for every of the above scripted actions in every scenario, furthermore; JUST generated by the engine _as needed_. (I mean, it should 'react' or 'retaliate' a bit more flexible with ALL possible scripted actions Can I say, the 'checkstate' of the current theaters 'situation' should be checked more thouroughly?)
But this is only an minor problem;...the MAIN problem, me and many more simmers run into so far is of more grave concern:
As I did understood the campain engines behaviour, the complete campain should be able to ->start take all nessesarry actions as needed and finish the campain all by itsself....is this correct? From what I've read, there are so called 'hotspots' set on the map, which the AI is trying to reach the goal to win (or retreat if overrun)
And it would continue to find 'solutions' to 'retaliate' the actions and reactions of either side. The player could take action in the campain as wanted/prefered or entirely sit back and watch it...
Ok, of course I LOVE to take part in this game, but to verify once I found the real 'fun-killers' I just let the campain run 3 times (it does not matter, which scenario, because the outcome is always the same) twice in time compression, once in real time.
Up to roughly halfways into a campain (minus the imbalance of actions, I told you before) everything works out; units get destroyed in the initial battle and the actions, that led to their destruction are 'retaliated' by the enemy (CAS invokes Airsupport ect.)
Also, and this is VERY important, new units become generated at the main airports as replacement/reserves. (One can watch this nicely)
But suddenly, the complete campain gets _stuck_ and there is no way for the player to do anything about it;...which absolutely kills the campain you fought maybe for days in! Why cant the player do anything anymore? Because the retaliation engine does NOT generate the needed mission to jump into an chopper to carry on into the campain!
Believe me please;...I have played CoHokum every campain more than one time, because I am an absolute chopper sim fan and this is again, the BEST chopper simulation out there, bar none....I've played in all avaiable difficulty levels, but the campain WILL always get stuck (Go ahead, please try for yourself; just let it run!) in the last quarter of an ongoing campain.
I did some screenshots of my currently ongoing (now stuck again!) campain and I want to just beg you (!) to look into this to furthermore improve (fix?) the best of the best.
The Caspian Theater; almost (!) finished, now stuck again:
picture here, showing situation 3/4 into campain; 2 recon missions shown)
Please notice the 2 Recon missions #351 and #352 which both should be generated from FARP40; but no matter how long the player waits for cleareance, are NOT. Lets have a look at the situation of FARP40:
picture here; closeup of FARP40 showing 4 choppers on deck and 4 choppers circling it, trying to land, but cannot because pads are full!)
Please notice the Unassigned missions and now look at the yellow circle. There are sitting a full complement of choppers ready at this FARP, but the clearance of the mission Recon #351 and #352 is NOT granted (That is, on the map it stays in white color to indicate that it has been _generated_ but it is not _granted_
(orange color) to the human pilot to choose this mission. And yes, those sitting choppers are Comanches, NOT UH60 Blackhawks! (Which the player is unable to fly; but the BlackHawk could do, though unlikely, Recon missions as well, IF there is no other capable aircraft....but I depart....)
Now please notice the green circle: This are ALSO comanches but they are already 'circling' this FARP for the full 5 hours,...and that is without landing/refueling, mind you. I watched this situation closely and they are NOT landing. (Yes, the FARP pads are full from the sitting ducks...)
And no, they are NOT rerouting to another (free) FARP like it would happen when they return to an destroyed Carrier (The computer controlled choppers try to find another place to land then; this works!) Also, the player CANNOT jump into this choppers, because they are on their way back from a (finished) mission; thus refusing direct control to 'help' the situation manually. Also, the player cannot 'jump' into the 'sitting ducks' to move them away from the FARP to make room for the choppers attempting to land!
Ok, and to finish this description: This Recon mission, which would carry on the campain to the end, will NOT be generated by the engine from another (free?) FARP. It just plain will not, so, the game is totally stuck at this point.
All I would love to see is, that
the 'retaliation' engine detects this (very serious) error and tries to generate this
--for the progress of the campain needed-- recon mission from _another_ FARP after a certain time. Yes, those generated missions are valid for an certain time (and expire), but the engine is not able to detect an error like this and generates the same recon mission from the same FARP40 over and over again.
Next situation, same error:
(picture here, showing an _generated_ , but not _granted_ transfer mission from an _empty_ FARP)
For the same 5 hours, the engine generated an 'transfer' (#281 meanwhile) mission from FARP4 to the NW front. The problem here is:
There is NO chopper at FARP4. There is also NO transfer mission generated from another FARP to GET an chopper TO FARP4. (To progress the campain from FARP45, where transfer #281 points to)
The player is NOT able to take control of any of those 'sitting duck' choppers to rectify this situation = stuck again here.
Transfer #282 above is from FARP6 ~ 50km's to the east of FARP4 which ALSO has no choppers there.....methinks, the engine should detect this and try to generate a valid mission from another FARP.
Next situation; the aforementioned imbalance of generated missions:
(picture here; showing an range of 'transfer'
missions tangeting the front, but not pointing _towards_ the front [NW-corner of map] )
As I tried to explain before, in the Caspian theater there is generated an huge amount of 'transfer' missions
And 90% of them are generated along the yellow line (screening of friendly area? I dont think so...because the aircraft travelling along this transfer routes will NOT retaliate an attack by enemy
aircraft;...furthermore they ARE not attacked by enemy aircraft as well at all, even if you jump into this transfer and try to play sitting duck in front of an enemy aircraft! Invincible transfers?)
Most are originating from Batumi, the main airport;... the craft used (either chopper or A-10) are 'bouncing' back and forth between Batumi and the (former enemy) Airport to the east past the complete map. I do not understand this;...shouldn't those transfer missions be generated towards the front (90%) of the time?
Please don't misunderstand: Beslan in the NE corner of the map AND the 4 red FARPS there hidden now in the dark (Fog) are DEAD, I killed them all and there are NO choppers coming down from up there for 4 hours straight any more(also, the enemy does not make any attempt to repair those four installations), so I would expect
the 'retaliate' engine to generate and carry out only missions towards the front(HOTspot), in this case
the NW corner of the map. Granted, it does generate missions with this directions, but if you look close enough again, this missions are NOT valid, because FARP4 (and6) have NO choppers to send an transfer to the NW corner as generated by the engine. So, rather then sending aircraft screening the complete northern frontline all the time, the engine should detect the 'empty' FARPS to send aircraft THERE first, before it tries to send aircraft FROM those empty FARPS.
Damn, this is difficult for me to explain and I really, really hope, I dont get on your nerves;...I love this sim, mind you!
I hope and wish so much, you've read so far and can do something about it;...ALL of the needed scripted actions are ALREADY in place;...they just need to be checked by the engine somewhat more thourough.
Here comes the LAST problem, then I shut up and HOPE for the best:
The situation with Ground Forces is as follows; methinks, flawed.
(picture here; showing the now very few frontline units, which are NOT crossing an certain 'line' I have drawn into the pic)
This is becoming very annoying, since it is occuring in every theater and is directly related to the 'checkstate' of the 'retaliation' engine. It happens on friendly and enemy side alike:
In the beginning of the campain, there will be destroyed all preset ground units from either side; so far so good. CAS, CAP and BAI missions seem to be generated normally, but the less (ground)units on the map, the worse the 'support' and replenishment of the 'frontline' becomes. Ok, wait a minute: Somewhere I've read, there will be used an finite number of units in any scenario. Ok. But (I looked at the max numbers in the Caspian scenario of 'to be generated' units) in NO way, this number is EVER reached, because:
In this specific situation shown above (yellow circle) the ground units are ONLY moving along the dark-red line back and forth, back and forth. They are NOT using the green pathes towards the light-red 'frontline' they are NOT advancing any more. (In every scenario, mind you, the situation comes to this very point and plain stops to evaluate any longer)
Also, ALL friendly airports (main airport in this scenario is Batumi) are at 100% efficiency and are producing units like mad until the 'parking lot' is FULL, but those units are NOT sent (advance missions) from the airport to the frontline, (or replenish locations overrun by the enemy) but stay where they are, which kills the campain as well. Every campain so far (if still possible) I had to kill the last FARPS and airport with choppers only to finish it....now you will say: 'How can he finish it, if the complete thing gets stuck at a point?'
Using cheats! There is no normal way to finish the campains! Once there are only 2-3 (enemy)FARPS left, there will no more 'retaliations' created by the enemy and one has to kill ALL remaining units ('sitting ducks') with ONE chopper, always reloading! This is very sad.
Now, why are those frontunits not longer advancing, nor beeing replenished? Two answers, I could think off:
1. The frontunits on ground are waiting, until the airunits have softened up an spot on the map enough to advance further. Not very likely; I thought, they needed to work together as one force? Furthermore, if those
'Recon' missions described above will NOT be carried out, this means the definite end of the campain!
2. As you can see, there are bridges(4) towards the light-red line and they might be destroyed to HALT the advance of my groundunits;...but, there ARE 'Repair' missions, and I have plenty of UH60-Blackhawk in stock, they are just not generated !??
Is the engine capable of checking the state of the 'path' towards and over the frontline ? Is it capable to send out an Blackhawk mission 'repair' to allow the groundunits to advance past the frontline further into enemy territory OR to reRoute the units? Currently, it is NOT doing so, and it would be really GREAT, if it does so....
Please forgive mine humble attempt but shouldn't it work like this? (Only examples in my non-programmers language...
1. Check the map (hotspot) where to create the next recon mission.
2. Find an FARP near this recon location and create an valid recon mission.
3. If there is no chopper at this FARP, create an transfer mission to replenish this FARP, OR, create the Recon mission from another FARP. (And the error needs to be killed when the original FARP has choppers, fuel and everything needed, BUT those mission is just not _granted_ , though _generated_ from there! IF there IS no fuel, create an 'support' mission to replenish this FARP...)
4. If meanwhile the FARP target location gets destroyed or captured by the enemy, reroute the transfer flight, once it has reached this FARP to the nearest possible FARP.
5. Ground Units: If there is any tactical possibility to advance in tandem with the airforces towards the enemy frontline, find an path and generate this advance mission. (retreat, if the enemy proves to strong
there and there are to many looses; until the 'airforce' has softened up a bit more)
I feel, there MUST be more 'action' from the main airport(s) to create advance missions towards the frontline! Batumi -> Direction NW corner....also, some more AntiAir units should HAUL a** to protect their frontline/advancing artillery units on the way;..there are, IF any, only tanks send from the main airport! I think, this should be vastly improved. As you can see in the pictures, there are NO AntiAir units
(RadarRange Circles) left with the front armor units NOR are any replenishments sent from Batumi to protect the frontline any more. (Yes, there ARE AntiAir units in the 'parking lot' of the main airports!)
The real lovely addition would be to allow the player to alter the missions and path for the groundunits as well....IF needed only. (Reach point B from point A choosing engine-preferred path)
6. Check state of ALL bridges at any time;...if ALL bridges are destroyed towards the frontline, generate an 'repair/escort' mission to clear the path towards the enemy again.
7. If NOT ALL bridges toward the enemies are destroyed, check and find an ReRoute possibility to move on. (or generate an retreat mission to get away from an pinpoint until airsupport is created and sent!)
8. Either side: IF there are too many ground units advancing towards us, create an 'strike' mission against some bridge(s) to attempt to HALT the enemy advance;...that would create some VERY interesting
Finally, I'm done. Please excuse this looongwinded post, but I really felt to get this of my chest due ANOTHER spoiled campain after 2 days playtime...I do not mean to be rude or anything, just would LOVE to see at least some little of the aforementioned problems fixed. Since the Sim had an GREAT
success amongst the chopper fans (You KNOW this, come on!) there might be a little chance to implement some of this in the ongoing (I hope!) patch process.
Many thanks for listening;
Regards, troop mailto: [email protected]
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to point some things out to raise _our_ fun with this sim, agreed? Speak up!