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KG_Norad
17 Jan 04, 19:04
Quick poll to find out if anyone likes to assign missions, or do you play ATF the way you play BCT? I must admit I tend to play the same way I played BCT by maneurvering my units and allowing them to pick off what they can. I do use my recon assets a great deal to scout the safest paths though. For my part this is mostly a time issue for me. When I have more free time I intend to explore the mission planning aspect of the game. I am interested in your thoughts about which missions you like and are there any you would like to see that were not included?

Michael

Deltapooh
17 Jan 04, 20:34
I use them from time to time. Overall, I simply use platoon formations and path edit to develop a more detailed, and controllable mission assignment set up. For example, during breaching operations, I order the breaching unit to cut lanes, and assign one or two platoons to support the operation, and secure the farside of the new lanes.

This doesn't mean missions are useless. On the contrary, they are vital to the game. Without missions, realism is seriously degraded. In BCT:C, I always had a feeling that attrition warfare was the order of the day. In ATF, mission assignment establishes maneuver. If we were able to understand how the process works, like where release points are, we'd have the confidence to exploit what might be the game's greatest feature.

I would implore ProSim not to delete this feature, EVER. It just needs to be worked on to improve understanding and detail.

KG_Norad
17 Jan 04, 22:09
I most heartily agree that they should not be deleted! They are part of the fun, they provide depth. Thats a cool thing with ATF, you can play kind of loose and quick, or you can dig in and coordinate your units with the missions for a well thought out engagement!

Michael

Ivan Rapkinov
18 Jan 04, 11:17
you can play without missions?????

Deltapooh
19 Jan 04, 06:01
you can play without missions?????
NORAD is talking about the missions assigned to hierarchies.

Ivan Rapkinov
19 Jan 04, 21:48
NORAD is talking about the missions assigned to hierarchies.

yeah, I know - my point (missing a smiley ;) ) was that I always use missions, and to play without them would add a lot more micromanagment and detract from the "command" aspect that ATF provides.

hence my iffiness at purchasing POA

KG_Norad
20 Jan 04, 02:35
As I said just to make sure everyone knows. I am not against them. I just have not sat down to play with them yet! :nuts: Since I had BCT first I have had a tendancy to stick with what I know. This does not mean it is always best, just easier until I learn more about how it works. I do issue move commands to the Company CO through "safe" terrain to cut down on micromanagement.

Michael:D

Deltapooh
20 Jan 04, 05:35
I agree with Ivan Rapkinov, playing the game without missions does lead to micromanagement. Yet, I simply don't trust AI's enough.

On a related note, I think missions would be better suited for above-battalion level operations. I really like company combat. The scale is easier to manage. Yet, I still wish we had all of ATF's features in BCT. If we did, I think people would have little choice, but to use missions.

Pat Proctor
21 Jan 04, 00:35
I would be very interested in any interface or other changes people would like to see in missions.

We will definitely not be removing the feature. In fact, we want to make the experience richer and more customizable. I am just interested in hearing any suggestions players might have.

amrcg
21 Jan 04, 06:45
I would be very interested in any interface or other changes people would like to see in missions.

We will definitely not be removing the feature. In fact, we want to make the experience richer and more customizable. I am just interested in hearing any suggestions players might have.

I use missions a lot as I hate to micromanage. But I concur with Deltapooh when he says that "If we were able to understand how the process works, like where release points are, we'd have the confidence to exploit what might be the game's greatest feature". Another problem is that formations seem to be too rigid, i.e. the AI does not make minor adjustments that would allow to drive the vehicles through more covered terrain. This would be good at least during the movement towards the release point.

Antonio

kbluck
21 Jan 04, 13:15
I long ago learned that missions will only work reliably in the most simple of circumstances. I'll be a bit more blunt than Antonio; the pathfinding is atrocious. Even slightly difficult terrain throws the entire formation into chaos. I'm not talking Himalayas here; one small knob astride the axis with a tiny impassable area will completely bugger the whole operation.

I know, pathfinding is a fairly difficult problem, requiring a descent into the bowels of graph theory to be done properly. It seems to me a sort of "genetic" algorithm is in use in ATF, where once blocked they just cast about with random paths, hoping something will work. At a minimum, I would cut way down on the new waypoint distance; trying to sidestep a full kilometer blows any chance of keeping up with the rest of the unit, and usually just gets them in more trouble anyway. By "way down", I mean limiting it to 100m or so at the most, but allowing a lot more more "attempts" before giving up. In most terrain that might reasonably be considered for an attack or whatever, only a small adjustment will generally be needed to get around a terrain obstacle. If the terrain is so bad that a small sidestep won't work, it is highly doubtful a large one will either, since it is most likely on the way to the new waypoint the unit will encounter more impassable terrain anyway. The initial sidestep should be random, but the followup sidesteps, if needed, should be in the same direction. Otherwise, units will tend to flounder around in the same general impassable zone.

In the same vein of excessive disorganization is dismounting infantry. The dismount radius is HUGE! Dismounting a platoon ends up with teams scattered all over an entire grid square. You usually have to spend a half hour of game time just collecting them into a coherent formation. In a close attack, half the infantry can end up behind the enemy. I'd expect that sort of disorganization after a parachute drop, but not when unhorsing from an APC. Please, can we cut that radius down to 50m or so?

The other related issue I have is with suppress SOP. Specifically, the radius. I think you should do away with the radius altogether. When they're in suppress mode, I think units should simply suppress any yellow or enemy they can see. If you want to control the target zone, that's what fire arcs and range limits are for. I understand the principle, that a given unit can only obtain a decisive volume of fire over a limited area, but this will naturally happen anyway without artificial measures. If a infantry squad is trying to suppress an entire enemy company all by itself, it won't do a very good job regardless of whether you limit them to an arbitrary circle or not. On the other hand, that circle makes it way more complicated to set up suppressive fire, needs to be constantly updated as the operation progresses and units move around, and frequently results in units just sitting there doing nothing when they have obvious targets to shoot at. And just forget about programming the AI opponent to use suppressive fire on the attack except at well defined, preplanned SBF positions. Hope the scenario designer guessed the exact location of the blue forces, or there won't be any supporting fire!

My three cents.

--- Kevin