Ghost Skies CLOD Testing

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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 3./JG51_Stecher » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:46 pm

I'll be a good bit late tonight. Probably not on until 10:30pm ET.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 3./JG51_Stecher » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:50 am

On Tuesday we nailed down a mechanic to automatically enforce proper ground unit usage by dead/captured players. This was a long planned feature, but initially we were unable to get the penalty kick to activate using takeoff as the trigger event. Being under penalty will simply prevent you from rejoining the server at all. So in order to allow dead/captured players to return and participate as ground unit operators, but not as pilots, we were going to set up a squad on each team and players would need to change their tag before rejoining. Since it thinks you are a different player, we had to have a way of making sure people weren't using this to fly again.

At first, we hoped to just keep an eye on the debrief, but takeoff events aren't listed. Spawning events are listed, but spawning is also required as part of the process to access surrounding ground units. Fortunately, I was able to code in new kick sections that only activate when a player of the team's ground squad spawns into a plane. This immediately removes the plane, but its momentary existence grants access to all ground units within 20km of the player's spawn. So he can now go and jump into one of them and play, without the risk of exploiting the system to fly again.

If anyone wants to use a ground object during a mission, and they have not been killed or captured, they don't have to go through the ground squad tag change. You can just access them with your normal name. So everything air and ground is available if you are still alive and active. Only ground will be available, not planes, if you have been killed or captured.

There is no risk to the player's life while operating a ground unit.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 3./JG51_Stecher » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:16 am

I have a fairly significant correction to make on what we've been thinking regarding part of the fuel system.

Last night, we noticed a massive fuel usage disparity between two 110 pilots who flew the same sortie from the same base, and landed together. It was identified as being the result of them taking very different fuel loads from the airfields. Other pilots had their usage stats checked, and they matched up perfectly with the amount of fuel that they had taken. The campaign was not giving the unspent fuel on board at the end of the sortie to the airfield which they landed at. It was, however, giving the airfield all unused bombs and ammunition in exact quantity, and of course the aircraft itself.

I went digging into the code and was pretty convinced I found the section that controls the exchange of resources between aircraft and airfields. And sure enough the fuel section looked wrong, or at least different than the sections for the other three resources. I changed the format to match with the group, and was fully expecting to see my fuel given to the airfield like everything else when I landed. Unfortunately, it failed to do so.

Then, while browsing through HR's updated FAQ section on their site, I found the answer I did not want to find. The game simply does not provide anything for the campaign to pick up on as far as how much fuel you have on board at the end of a sortie. It knows how much you took off with, but that's the last time the campaign can take your fuel load into account. For whatever reason, CLOD makes the info for ammunition and bombs on board available at landing, but not the fuel. HR's explanation refers to a campaign setting that had never made sense to me before, but is now crystal clear why it exists, and what it does.

Given this shortcoming of the game, HR set up a configurable time limit, which essentially draws a line in your sortie. If you land before this time, you give the airfield back all the fuel that you took from it, including what you have used during the sortie. If you land after this time, you give none of it back, even if there's plenty left in the tank. It's an all or nothing system for returning fuel. By default they had it set to 300 seconds, or 5 minutes.

This setting makes sense for when something requires you to quickly return to base without doing anything that could be considered a normal sortie. Maybe you have just taken off and forgot to open the radiator and blew it, or maybe you forgot to grab the bombs you were supposed to take. You just turn around, land, and you haven't wasted your entire fuel load. On the other hand, it needs to be quite short of a grace period (I'd say if not 5, not more than 10 minutes), to prevent people from doing quick strike and return sorties, while not actually consuming any fuel from the airfield. It's got to be quick enough that you typically can't perform anything that would be considered a worthwhile sortie. This is of course not an exact definition, and so there's no perfect setting. But somewhere there needs to be a balance of not forcing you to waste a whole tank of fuel for a few minutes of flight, while also not letting you get away with productive sorties without using a drop from your airfield fuel stores.

This also makes it very important to not take more fuel than you'll need. Carefully consider your fuel load for the sortie you are planning. Not that you can perfectly predict such things, but it's best to not take fuel that will last 2 hours, if you expect to be back down much earlier than that. Because when you land, whatever you took out, is gone.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 14./JG5_Droz » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:51 pm

Is there any way to expand this system to say that if you return after 5 minutes, but within 20 minutes then you give back 66% of fuel, between 20 and 40 minutes you give back 33%, and after 40 minutes you give back no fuel? Just a thought. If the system is in there like that, it should be able to be expanded upon.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 3./JG51_Stecher » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:45 am

That's a good idea, and would be better than the all or nothing version, if we can't actually have the exact amount tracked. But, at least at this point, after looking through the code, I'm not seeing anything that I'm capable of working with to achieve a scaled system.

On a more positive note, we at least confirmed last night that the timer only starts when you actually go wheels up. So taxiing around, waiting for squadmates to takeoff together, etc, is not eating into your time to get back in the case of an aborted sortie. We'll be setting the time to 10 minutes.

Also, I tweaked the scaled capture risk and realized that there's a way to cap the distance factor. It's currently set to 30% increased capture risk for every 10km behind the lines you are. But it stops increasing after 30km. So anything farther than that, and you will always have a 10% chance of escaping. This was confirmed last night with 20 bail outs approximately 35km from the lines. We had a conveniently perfect 2 clean escapes during the 20 attempts. Noted, however, is that the weird occurrence of getting both a capture and escape event happened twice as well. In these instances, the capture takes priority and counts.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 14./JG5_Droz » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:11 pm

Then what's it's gonna take is adding extra coding into that area to get it to do that. If it can be done as is right now, then there is a way to code in what we actually want it to do. The functionality is there, just have to figure out how to work it in. Something far beyond my capability, but perhaps asking the guys who made the system might bring forth an answer.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 3./JG51_Stecher » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:17 pm

HR was tremendously helpful in many ways getting us set up and giving some clues to working with the cs file, but from asking about other potential functions we were look to add for GS, I didn't get the sense they wanted to put fundamentally new things in. Technically speaking, I'm sure some progressive fuel usage system is possible, but it would have to come from them, and so I wouldn't expect it. I'll reconnect with HR and bring it up just in case though. I believe they said they had actually passed off development to someone else, so the situation may be different.

Back in November they released a new version, 3.7, but we are working on a modified 3.6 file. It sounds like 3.7 introduced some IP checking for penalties, and if that is what it sounds like, we're lucky we branched off at 3.6 because we allow rejoins under special names for the whole ground unit system.

Whatever happens, Bard said it may be 2 weeks before he can replace the power supply on the server, so testing will be suspended until then. This isn't the worst timing for something like that as the cs file and campaign files are essentially finished. Our last test session on Sunday cleared up the last remaining issue we had. So we're ready to go on that end of things. We just need to finish up the new website (on Spies' server, not Bard's) so we can publicly open up GS with all the pertinent info easily available, and start the beta campaign.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby Stab/JG1_Klaiber » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:41 pm

We just need to finish up the new website (on Spies' server, not Bard's) so we can publicly open up GS with all the pertinent info easily available, and start the beta campaign.


Hi Stecher,

Regarding the new website, is it possible to remove the swastikas? Swastikas in historical places on historical aircraft are not a problem. But the large German War Ensign being used as a right hand border is unavoidable. I just can't open something like that at work.

The current website got around it by removing the cross from the GS logo. Perhaps something like that? Or perhaps just use a red and black stripe?

Thanks for all the hard work!

-Klai
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby 3./JG51_Stecher » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:11 pm

Yeah, we have another idea that will replace the flags. We're planning on using a top down shot of a Spitfire and 109 wing. I've been messing around with it to get shots that'll work.
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Re: >>>>>Ghost Skies CLOD Testing<<<<<

Postby Stab/JG1_Klaiber » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:57 am

Awesome, thanks!
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