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About p-hienz

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    Military History, Game Design, Geopolitical History

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  1. p-hienz

    Faces of War [WW2]

    The storage box on the back of the turret looked a bit off to me, so I checked, and sure enough, I did spot a few minor differences. Perhaps the box you have is in fact accurate, and its just a model I've not seen frequently, but in any case, the one shown below is the most common I've seen, and probably a better choice. Note: there is an incline highlighted in red, and the orientation of the vent shrouds. Also, just because I found two minor details on the back that seemed off, I decided to quickly look over the front. Though everything looks impeccable, as a side note, similar to the rear turret box, I found most of the PzIIIs had a round chassis mounted MG mount. I did find a few examples of a box or other shaped Chassis MG mount, but according to photos, it was less common. Now that's me being very petty. Otherwise, this looks fantastic, and I am really looking forward to seeing more of this PzIII. The Faces of War mod is by far the highest quality of the big 3 WWII mods for ARMA. For what ever reason, the guys working on the Iron Front project keep using really badly compressed textures, and their models lack thickness, everything is made to look like paper. And the textures that look like they were ported from 2010 don't help either. Even on their new content looks old. Liberation is the only other source for a PzIII. but there are no textures for it, it only comes in a really old dark tan. I really hope this project continues, its already my personal favorite. And with Renner´s Unit Retexture Pack, and the various British packs, its even better. While on the subject of giving feedback, may I also suggest to whom it concerns, that the panzerfaust mounting orientation when carried on one's back be changed so it is more accommodating to German kit, so it looks less like Boba Fett's jepack missile?
  2. I have arma closed ATM, can you have civs pilot the plane, with troops in the turrets? Civ pilots might be less reactive.
  3. I need them to be active, because they will without a doubt take fire from the 109s, and they have turrets I want to return fire. But that's not a problem. The pilots are the issue. The turret gunners, aren't going to cause trouble, I just need the pilots to fly in a straight line and ignore enemy contact.
  4. Trying to get a formation of B17s to fly in a straight line at cloud level. to use as the maypole for a dog-fight. That's all I want to do. as you can imagine it has been unnecessarily difficult. Surprisingly altitude isn't the problem. I've found init scripts that effectively specify altitude, and the map isn't mountainous, so adjusting to ground isn't a problem. But every time, without fail, no matter how many AI features I disable, no matter what script, or way-point, or lack of way-point, or combat mode, or lack of combat mode, not even setting them to careless, will keep them from rolling into a massive quagmire. Spacing doesn't seem to make a difference, as they keep drifting into each other's flight lines, no matter how far apart place the formation, and once they start to drift too close, all hell breaks loose. B17s aren't very maneuverable, and ARMA AI think every plane is an F35. The formation consists of 3 squads, each in line formation, as that is the only formation the planes will follow at this size. The 3 lines are staggered 3 plane lengths apart in all directions. So long as they stay near their path, they should be nowhere near the other planes. But like I said, nothing can persuade these AI from turning into a skytrain, and then inevitably splintering apart when one of the planes jumps suddenly out of line, or worse, the formation leader bangs a hard right because he saw a 109 3 miles away. IDK how to get the 109s and Mustangs to follow the formation, I havn't even gotten that far, as getting the B17s to keep to their flight path is a prerequisite.
  5. Necroing this! What is this setvelocity thing?, it sounds like it might be what I need, I'm trying to get a formation of B17s to fly in a straight line, there is no need for them to turn, I just want them to fly straight at high altitude (Relatively high by WWII standards) I've tried a dozen different init codes, they all fall apart upon contact with an enemy, or if they don't make contact, they break into a massive climbing roll and break formation 6 miles down wind for no reason. attaching too another plane does no good when the other plane eventually does the same thing. Besides, a formation of 30 B17s attached to one point or multiple pace planes is tricky. Disabling AI features only seems to work temporarily. And truthfully, these planes DO need some active input, as they tend to list and dive slightly over time if you don't hold the stick back and steady. So even if disabling AI worked, which it doesn't, it would just result n them gong comatose and slowly rolling out of the sky as if they had a heart attack at the stick.
  6. I'm wondering why they don't expand more on the current models they already have, like the SdKfZ 7/1 They already have a flatbed, it shouldn't be very hard to make conventional variant: Also, the allied forces have very few cosmetic options. The paratroops were the only ones to get fleshed out. Their vehicles and gear are all very stock, and have no alternative models, not even the option of putting a gun or tarp on the jeep. These are all small details that go a really long way.
  7. After I saw the zeltbahn helmet cover, and tent, and back pack: I started to think, are there plans to add the zeltbahn poncho?
  8. Why do you guys keep ruining these awesome textures when you port them into the game? I've seen reskins of these models with higher rez skins, they look amazing compared to the vanilla IFA3 skins. The FOW models are better as well.
  9. That is the lite version... I thought there was a preview version somewhere with the WIP stuff.
  10. Who do I gotta know to get my hand on the preview version?
  11. 1.) I'm not talking about physics, or dynamic lighting, I'm talking about the perimeters by which the game operates: Dynamic Mission objectives that change along with current events in game. Logistics that give you a firmer grasp on what you have available to work with. 2.) I'm talking about recreating a Fictional WORLD WAR Scenario, not another boring "Combat Operation" I already explained. NOTHING, the US military has deployed to the middle east has any application in a WWIII scenario. The B52 has been in service since the 1950s, and isn't slated to be taken out of service for a long time. The L-ATV is absolutely worthless. Its an armored car, Literally, nothing more. It's logistical abilities are that of a taxi cab. Its tactical application in Battle is pretty much as a taxi cab as well. Humvee's are not front line vehicles. They are light transports. MTVRs and M939s are medium transports and then you got your big ass 8 wheelers, and specialty transports. The MRAB, L-ATV, are all just 1 time solutions to a temporary problem. Fighting a war where there is no front line, just a big grey area. I guarantee if you Give a developed country's army a "grey area" to fight in, they'll be chasing your PMCs all the way to the sea. I'm talking about WWIII a REAL WAR. Not peace keeping in Nigeria. I explained in the beginning of this LONG thread what I meant by "Context". Your talking about context from a narrative sense, which is how it is traditionally used. I understand how you'd come to that conclusion, But I'm referring to Tactical and logistical Context. Information vital to deciding the next course of action. ARMA the game is just a story with some interact-able scenes. The thing people love about ARMA is that once you play the campaign you can make your own missions. But no one knows how to work "Context" in the form of tactics and logistics into their scenarios. So they just play out like a really dull version of Battlefield. Its a sand box game, with no structure. The ARMA III Campaign is good, and it fits the theme of this game. But compared to the WWIII scenario in old Cold War Chernarus, ARMA III is tiny. Fighting Russia is a war: Fighting the Takistani National Guard or some disgruntled mountain men isn't really a "WAR" its just another "Combat Operation" if your trying to simulate literally walking through a park, and then an IED exploding, ARMA as it stands is capable of that. But ARMA Never quite captured WWIII as effectively as it did Arrow Head. I believe it was do to the lack of Logistics and Tactics. Those are an essential part of War time Operations. The reason I have been brutally beating on the MRAB and modern military ideology is that people keep forgetting that all this modern tech is designed for combating Takistanies and Islamic militants. And has never been tested against a REAL military force. Lead by competent leaders, or a well trained/ organized troops. When was the last time US service men had to worry about Enemy aircraft? when was the last time US servicemen had to worry that the gun on their tank wasn't big enough? When was the last time We lost an Aircraft Carrier to enemy action? When was the last time we had a Draft and America had to send their sons and fathers to fight on foreign soil? There has only been one war in American history, and in the history of the world that raised the stakes that high. I don't meant to belittle the ISAF or Operation Desert Storm, but give credit where credit is due. Our great grandparents earned the title "Greatest Generation". I'd almost find it laughable if it wasn't so serious. When someone compares Afghanistan or Iraq to Vietnam. OR when they said Vietnam was the worst war in US history. I scoff. "In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields." I needn't explain that poem, you all know it, you know what it's significance is. You all know what REAL WAR is. I'm just reminding yall cuz some of you mistake war with building bridges for the UN or something. I call the "War in Iraq" a war cuz people died, and that deserves credit. "Our quarrel with the foe" isn't insignificant today just cuz we didn't sacrifice 100,000 troops last year.. But Afghanistan ain't WWIII, is what I'm saying. If you think IEDs are our greatest worry in a WWIII scinario, you obviously don't know what a real WAR is really capable of I don't mean to completely ruin the fun of this, I know its just a game, and this sort of dark gloom kinda takes the fun out of virtually murdering one another. But Once you learn about REAL Wars, you learn some things change, some things don't. Technology changes, but war is the same. When and if the time comes, those fancy armored cars won't win the war. History has proven its quantity over quality. Humvees may be obsolete, but the concept isn't. A simple, utilitarian design, that can adapt to any situation, that can be mass produced and utilized to fill any role. That was the idea behind the striker too. I'm not saying these vehicles will never go out of style, but their replacement must do everything they do and more. L-ATVs and MRABs can't replace Strikers and Humvees, they fail at every hurtle. There is only one thing L-ATVs and MRABs can do that humvee's can, only one reason why they exist: They can survive an IED. Let me clarify something, I never saw combat, I never even served. I know there are worse things in this world than IEDs. You don't need that big of an imagination to see it. IEDs are just really shitty land mines. What makes them so terrible and EODs can't rely on a manual to disarm them, each one is unique and many are faultily wired. Each one is a death trap not just for the Soldiers who cross paths with it but the Engineers who have to disarm them. They are unpredictable. But we're not talking about IEDs anymore. This article is about simulating WWIII. Or at least, a microcosm of WWIII since ARMA III Can't handle the same burden as Battle Ground Europe. IEDs are dangerous to the person laying them as well as the target. Organized armies use reliable standard mines for territory denial. Not just for killing stuff. They are methodical, they are thoughtful. To get away from Flander's field and get back to the game: They are a challenge to combat. Compared to the Russian or Chinese Army, ISIS is just a little rat. I'd put North Korea above ISIS, simply because N Korea has China backing them. Granted, as they stand N Korea would probably fall as easily as Saddam's regime. But with China protecting them, its not that easy. Stop thinking about IEDs and start thinking about how you're going to get 30,000 combat troops into the Ukraine during a World War. Consider that the enemy can reach out and touch us in ways a hijacked civilian air-liner cannot. Its fictional, but its still scary to put yourself in that situation. Just to think about it, In a way its kinda healthy though. To remember how much we take our situation for granted. AGH, see what ya did, you made me get all philosophical about World Wars, now I'm too depressed to talk about video games any more.
  12. That falls under "optimization". Making the units only spawn when they meet enemy or players would take a huge load off the server. But you need a system that can keep up with them in real time. And you still need a huge server to handle the influx of units spawning in and out of existence. Imagine a jet flying over enemy territory: Units would be spawning in under-neath him as he flies by, and despawning as soon as the jet leaves that area. It can be done, but it'll be hard. In AAA games, the textures and 3D models are greatly simplified when they aren't in view. This drastically reduces the amount of RAM needed to render them. The Trucks shouldn't despawn completely, but should rather be replaced with an invisible Cube that can simulate the truck's driving, without bogging down the engine or the server itself. The Trucks can't despawn completely, or else it would have to respawn each time. This influx would not only cause noticeable spikes, but the AI would suddenly have to plot it's course on the spot. It would spawn stagnant, and it wouldn't even be pointed in the right direction unless you worked some incredibly complex code in to compensate for it's orientation in real time. Despawning on paper would work great, but in practice, simplicity is best. Simply changing the way the vehicle is rendered would be alot easier, and more practical.
  13. The Vanilla campaigns for ARMA haven't disappointed me, yes there are some holes, and there are times when some "context" in the form of back ground info would help. But, we also have to take into account that as a grunt, you're not suppose to know EVERYTHING that is going on. So the lack of context can be forgiven, as long as the scenario is still realistic. But, one thing the Campaigns don't have is an alternative ending. You're role isn't just small, its completely inconsequential. The story is linear, the events are prewritten, and nothing you or anyone else does affects them. Even if you complete the mission, the end result is scripted. You're not fighting the war. Its a savage amusement park ride and your just trying to survive long enough to see the end of the story. Its like playing a WWII game as the Germans knowing Historically how it is all going to end. It sucks the role playing element away by making your role completely obsolete. This whole "War Simulator" thing I've been harping on about is the idea of a fictional war, with no predetermined ending. A war that each time you role the dice is different. It plays like a randomly generated war, but its not random. Everything correlates. Even as the level designer, once you place the units on the board, and give them a little push, the war fights itself. But your role as a player, however small, is still vital. The intel you get as a recon mission will decides the next plan of attack. Your failure directly affects the outcome. Your success directly affects the outcome, and though you may still find yourself losing, you know its for a reason. Not just cuz the level designer said so. Even if you can't see the context working behind the iron curtains, knowing its there makes all the difference. Where as in the campaign, you rely on suspension of disbelief. You accept the CSAT invasion, cuz you don't have any reason to deny it. The writer said so, so it is. Knowing that the situation is being generated in real time however, you know that your actions DO affect it. If the CSAT invade its not a plot device, its a real invasion, with logistics, and objectives. The enemy isn't there just to greet you, they have their own plans. Its more interactive. When you stumble upon an enemy convoy, its not just scenery, that convoy is doing something. You might not know what, the "context" behind why that convoy is carrying all those troops to Gorka might not be handed to you on a silver platter. But you know there must be a reason. All thats left is, what are YOU going to do about it? Most logically, report it to Command. And then it'll probably be handed off to a larger more capable force that can take the convoy out. But even if you don't get to take out the convoy yourself, you know your actions affected the outcome of that situation. And a half hour later, when pillars of black smoke erupt from Gorka with a bang. You know you had a part in that. Its not just a scripted event. That is what made Battle Ground Europe an awesome game. It wasn't just the size of the game, (Though a full scale map of Western Europe was impressive) It was knowing every enemy you took out, ever town you help capture was going towards a larger goal. Players and clans had genuine celebrations at wars end. Winning the War in Battle Ground Europe was the Gamer's equivalent to winning the Super Bowl. The server reset, and a week later, the War started again. Sometimes the war lasted for 5 months, sometimes it took 13. It sounds nuts, and it kinda is. But I for one loved it. ARMA III can't become the next Battleground Europe. Not any time in the foreseeable future. Battle Ground Europe had to cut alot of corners to achieve that size and scale.That sort of Continental Warfare would require Herculean efforts to replicate to the standard ARMA III operates on. But something similar to it, on a smaller scale, is Very Possible.
  14. Back in ARMA II my uber PC could handle nearly 500 units, but ARAM III, with all the extra details and scripts; you need a massive server to hold it all together, no PC can host thise. Like I said, its best to make a mini version, test it, then just apply it on a large scale. instead of 30,000 AI, just start with a few 100. Have them go about their business. Let them resupply, and roam around the map, and observe what bugs you hit. Like trucks getting stuck at the entrance of a base, cuz they don't know who has the right of way. Or supply shortages caused by the AI not being given enough trucks. It like all things would be alot of trial and error. In development, you might just want to use a half duzen towns and bases. and see how the AI can handle running an operation on a small scale before renting a the star ship enterprise to host your game and having them resupply 70 locations at once. This sort of thing is too big to keep to oneself. The point of a "Full Scale War" is to be part of something bigger than a random skirmish. the final product would be hosted on a server, or even across multiple servers. Which is why you can add, Server configuration to the list of problems stopping this from happening. And the final product wouldn't be a mod, but a series of mods and patches strung together and then put together like a mission, except unlike normal missions, this one would regenerate itself over and over in a cycle, or until the war is won. Meaning all possible strategic objectives are captured. I'm sure just like the AI could be programmed to fight smart, they can be programmed to drive smart too. Its just a matter of finding the right guy for the job. I don't know exactly how the AI "See" but I know they aren't optical like we are. They operate on a virtual GPS, and they react to obstacles the same way a rumba vacuum does. They bump into it, and then just randomly swerve around till they find a rout around it. then they return to course. They need to react to obstructions BEFORE hitting them. And even recognize different types f obstacles. A fallen tree is a natural barrier, and can usually be avoided. Dragon's Teeth tend to be a bit more difficult to counter. If an AI truck finds a man made structure like a barricade blocking their path, they need to recognize that it was done on purpose and they are in danger. Rather than just ram into it till they stumble across a hole big enough to fit through. Which can damage the truck, and get they ambushed if they are dumb enough to drive into an enemy road block. Another thing AI drivers do I noticed, is they only bail out when the vehicle is completely immobilized. Worse still the crew will bail out even if parts of the vehicle AREN'T immobilized. Tank crews abandon their perfectly good Main cannon just cuz a track was busted. They need to know when to fight, and when to flea. Those are all the AI issues I foresee coming up. Good news is, unlike the boring logistics stuff, anyone can utilize improved AI crewmen. I mean who wouldn't mind having an AI driver that didn't get them killed? I love being a tank gunner, but if the driver stupidly runs into a ditch, suddenly I'm dead. Or order several trucks to form a convoy to move out, and be able to do so in a timely manner.
  15. It's going to take ALOT of work, but I do really like the mods. I've seen a few logistic mods. I saw a few years ago someone had done some AI coding. To make them more tactically challenging. As of now, The vanilla AI just stand there and shoot at what ever bumps into them. Programming them to seek cover and move automatically based on what intel is fed to them is a HUGE step forward. It makes them more human-like, and reactionary. If they see enemies run across a field, they asses the numbers. If they outnumber them, they'll fall back to a place with more cover. If the enemy threat looks small, they may go after them. Unless of course their objective instructs them otherwise or are scripted to do something else. Back in ARMA II, which I am way more familiar with, they had to be scripted to do everything. Every attack and counter attach had to be scripted in. So you couldn't count on the enemy to just think for themselves. This isn't news, computers only know what we program into them. But that lack of reaction is what kills most attempts at a Full Scale War. You need a system that automatically creates simple objectives based off real time intel. Not plain scripted events. a dynamic system. I can only do little things. But the idea is to create a system that can be applied on a large scale. Take a few towns, and assign them a value based on a checklist. Main Roads, rail ways, bridges, large hills, anything that is or could possibly have any future importance. Some things have importance because of their location in relation of something that more important. For example, an otherwise normal hill may be ideal for defending a more obvious objective like an Air Field. Making them all secondary objectives. The main objective would be made for each "group" of AI/players. More groups, more active objectives. The active objectives would simply be secure or defend the secondary locations that would have been scripted in. of varying value. This has been done before. Back before the Gamespy crash I played alot of Domination on ARMA II I'm sure there are a few of them left, but I don't know the IPs. They were not dynamic though. the objectives didn't turn on or off they where just a series of random preset locations that would randomly be assigned as the main objective. It was a good first step at simulating a large war. but it was all very arbitrary and fake. It lacked "Context" as I called it. IDK how to give objectives varying value. meaning one town may be worth more than another based on a list of criteria. For example a hill might be important because it overlooks a major supply hub. If the Hub is lost or moved, the hill should lose value. Likewise. Towns in the rear that are safe from enemy attack shouldn't have a high value. But if the enemy line moves near it, it should gain value. Thus more troops will be allocated to defend it. Areas that are being attacked at that exact moment would be given the most value, and the most troops would be sent there. this is where the logistics comes in. Instead of having a number ticking down. it would simply be a matter of taking the town before the defenders can reinforce it. Remember what I said about AI retreating when they know they are outgunned or out maned? That already exists, but what about when an objective is completely overwhelmed. The AI need to know when to throw in the towel. And when to throw in all they got. They need a system to prioritize objectives not just targets. Everything I see is focused on the AI vs Player level. But no one looks at the AI/Player to Command relationship. Every mission is made from scratch. This puts ALL the work on the solders of the level designer. The vanilla level generators don't take into account ANYTHING I just mentioned. What this game needs, is a new level generator. Something that level designers can plug values into and help them create larger levels. So they can focus their efforts on the "context" everyone exchanges scripts and ideas, but there is still no system in place. The vanilla ARMA is like a War themed Gary's mod. All the mods are mostly just reskins and new content. But very few mods like the AI tweaks exist. To me, the AI mod I saw years back, and the one Chrisb posted was the greatest thing I've seen. Again, it only applied on a squad level, but it was a step in the right direction. The AI took cover faster, picked out targets more logically, that bit from Chrisb where they dragged the wounded to cover. The one I saw a year ago utilized different nades, they utilized smoke to retreat. They didn't understand the concept of using the smoke to advance, but its still an improvement. IDK how the guy did it, That kind of code stuff is beyond me, all I do is mess with spawn scripts and stuff in the level editor. But its awesome. I love it cuz you need good AI to make a full scale war game. There are not enough players to fill all the positions, and in a full scale war, you have to rely on each other. Reliable AI are a must. One issue I saw back in ARMA II that I'm not sure was ever fixed was the navigation. War Needs supply. The AI drivers I remember were terrible at navigation, they could get to a spot on a map, but if as much as a pine code landed in the road, they'd waste 10 min regrouping. And setting up a convoy was a nightmare even with myself as the commander. Telling 5 trucks to move to the town over would cause a traffic jam like the witch I still find laughable today. That would need to be addressed before a full scale war could be done. AI and players need reliable Transport to replace the repawn system. As of now, player and AI just spawn at the objective or rally point. This is great for players. But logistically, material and men don't just appear at the front line. You need a transit system to at least simulate the movement of troops. Even if players still use the same spawn system. You need to make it a prerequisite that a supply truck must resupply the spawn point before it can be used. What I spent most of my time talking about was the IDEA, not so much how to put it in practice. I admit this is a lot of wishful thinking and not a whole lot of useful tips. But its something I've been working towards for years, and I wanted to see what other people thought of it, or what they had for input. The idea is create a series of scripts that can repeat themselves over and over and create a full war, instead of just a brief moment, or single skirmish. This gives you context as to what your running into. The events leading up the battle you join dictate the scenario, and knowing your actions have an affect on the overall outcome of the campaign give the battles more weight. Victory and defeat aren't just arbitrary values. You have a better understanding of what your doing. If you lose a whole platoon in order to capture a hill, what justifies it? was the hill important enough? Only "Context" can answer that. That will tell you whether you actually did good or not. As of now, battles play out like really drawn out death matches. It makes a more natural battlefield.