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Predictable Patrols

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Hello all!


I'm and old Phase I and Phase II and recently started getting back into Phase III. After giving it some time, I decided to take this to the forums as I'm not entirely sure if this is some sort of bug.


It feels as though every patrol is predictable. Despite different mission objectives and locations/altitude, I seem to be encountering the same situation every time. After warping to the objective (yes I know, but my free time is generally quite limited), I encounter an enemy patrol of fighters roughly 3/4's of the way to the objective waypoint. The enemy aircraft number and type is always different and variable, however; after taking off, I can always expect to encounter an enemy flight.


Back in Phase II and earlier, every flight was different. Sometimes I'd warp to a target zone and get intercepted on the way, others I would find enemy aircraft, or more realistically - I would find nothing. I greatly enjoyed those patrols where I would arrive at the objective and see no enemy aircraft, and would really have to keep a sharp eye for a flight in the distance. The sparse amount of enemy contact made a dogfight all the more exciting (as I was desperate for a fight!) - - the way things should be.


I am currently playing OFF BHAH, with HITR 1.47 in maximum difficulty (minus warping): -light regional activity, -OFF controlled aircraft spawns, -no in-game messages or radar, -gun set to weakest etc...


Since the only way to warp home and complete the mission with the whole flight is to destroy all enemy fighters, I am finding that with full difficulty I am easily claiming 3 enemy planes per flight (naturally, none confirmed yet for this lowly sergeant with 10 hours flight time). Back in phase II, I used to pull home 1 or 2 claims for ever 2-4 flights, which seems like a more realistic rate.


I realize I may sound as if I am complaining, but I honestly don't mean to do so nor to go sim-bashing; I believe that thanks to alot of hard work, OFF has evolved into one of the most definitive ww1 sims to date! (all the more outstanding is the fact it is a mod for a shotty microshaft simulator :blum: ).


Again, my reason for posting is to ascertain whether others are experiencing the same thing. I have reinstalled the simulator to eliminate a corrupt install, and I was wondering if I have been experiencing coincidences or if this period of the war is designed to be this predictable (Allied - Feb/March 1917).



Fair winds!

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I don't think I've ever flown a mission in OFF that was identical with some earlier mission, and I do also get missions during which absolutely nothing happens. They tend to be more common in the early war years. But starting in late 1917, at least in Flanders, you have to be extremely lucky if you meet nobody during a mission. Air activity levels increase dramatically as the war progresses. Maybe you're just lucky to have those encounters at the same distance?


However, you don't have to kill everybody to be able to warp. You can also fly away from the enemy and when the distance is long enough, you can warp.

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No, I'm not seeing the same thing happening again.

But in our "Krauts vs Crumpets" Full DiD Campaign we don't warp, nor use TAC, so I may miss

many enemy flights. When you warp, you will be pulled out of warp, when enemies are near.

But did you try another squadron and region?


Only yesterday I had an airfield defense patrol. We (5 Albatros D.V) spotted 4 Sopwith Pup high.

I saw nothing else. They came down on us, and we fought and shreddered them.

I was just about to collect my men, who came towards me from all directions, when I noticed,

I counted 5 altogether - but there should be only four!

The guy behind me, who I had thought was my wingman, turned out to be a SPAD!

In the very last second, I could pull my craft round, tracers whizzing past my starboard side!

Now, that's what I call a surprise - and not at all a common situation.


In addition to the surprise, these craft (there were also Nieuports then) were French.

And all the time since we had transferred to Bisseghem field, we had only encountered

British fighters. So, I can't say that there ares always the same things happenening.

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the impression of seeing often the same things is probably because of light airactivity. i had the same experience as you. since there are only few flights generated, you'll often see 3 enemies from the same squad often and that's it.


i also used for many months light airactivity. first because i didn't want to fight every sortie, because that completely unrealistic, and second because my rig just didn't handle more traffic in the air. but as i said, i have seen therefor often the same squads. one could think there are only the other and my own squadron in that area.


since i have a new rig now i tried to fly with nomal activity. now the sorties are really never the same. you can meet more friendly and enemy flights doing their own business, but you don't need to attack them, nor do they have to attack you, as it happens. you can see more friendly two seater formations and wave them hello etc. also i would suggest to set the cloud slider to 5. usually it has no FPS impact. but more clouds mean more enemies you miss or who miss you.


btw. for @all. the different slider settings for clouds do not make the clouds look better the higher the slider is. the higher the slider is, the higher is the sheer number of clouds, layers, haze, fog, cumulus, groundfog etc. even airfields can sometimes be quite covered in fog. so for me the only option is cloud set on 5.



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I believe that - wherever research has provided the knowledge for the devs to use - all units are flying at the times and places they historically did. Therefore, whom you may encounter and when is mostly dictated by: the period in the war in which you are flying; your mssion time of day and where on the Front you are.


What is as yet not historically accurate, I believe - owing to limitiations of CFS3 and some aircraft models not developed - is the type of mission flown, the aircraft (a substitute may be used), and the ace encounters. On the latter I mean that, for example, if you're flying with No. 56 or No. 60 squadron you can't guarantee to meet Werner Voss on his own over Poelcapelle on 23rd September... he'll be in the area but you might pass him by or he might get shot down before you get to him.


Warp can have the drawback of pulling you into combats you'd otherwise not know existed, and as noted above air activity over Flanders in early 1917 was such that with warp on you're going to come across someone. Also, missions tend to cluster at particular 'peak' times of day and will be within a limited range of x+/- miles over or y+/- miles up/down with reference to the front line. If the other side has the same parameters chances are there's going to be someone there doing something similar at roughly the same time and yours and their operations have the potential to intersect at common points in the mission, e.g. for a given area, if it always takes you an hour get 5 miles over the lines and Jasta 2 happen to always be patrolling 5 miles behind then you're always likely to encounter them an hour in. That's near enough what really happened as the lone wolf period gave way to patrols in strength, the key thing being whether you spot one another. Warp doesn't allow you NOT too so I'd suggest it's your use of warp that is making it seem predictable.


Try setting up several campaign pilots in different parts of the Front, at different points. Even in 1917, look at where 1917's major battles were and deliberately set up a pilot in some backwater area. Then see if they all have the same experience... if they do, then you might have an issue.


Oh, and as Creaghorn notes... normal air activity will be more... eh, normal :grin:

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Thank-you all for the very quick and informative replies! I am beginning to understand what is occurring now.


I had never thought to set the campaign on normal regional activity, and I imagine that such a setting will have more effective results. Thanks for that info!


I understand how warping significantly changes the dynamics of the sim. I was also beginning to think that the 'enemy detection -> warp drop out' range was increased as well. It also just occurred to me that I am flying as a wingman; if I were to lead a flight, the wingies would be less likely to engage in a fight and I would not be pulled into a fight situation so often.


I suppose I am not gaining the full experience with warping; playing DiD and full difficulty is good, but I can see now that not warping would make things much better. Now if I could only warp through work and dropout at home in front of my computer running OFF... :blink:


Hopefully I'll finally get a promotion (and at least one of my dozen or so claims confirmed) which will change the dynamics as well. Going to try some early war lonewolfing patrols to see how different the dynamics are too.



Again, thank-you all very much for all this info - I am greatly appreciative as it will no doubt change the gameplay substantially!


Happy hunting all! :salute:

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Nordo, you can change from wingman to flight leader in Workshop by clicking "always lead".

It does work for the German Jastas - with the British, I still found myself behind others; not sure

if I was the leader, but it didn't look like it.


A warping tip from Hasse Wind: open the inflight map, then press the warp command, but put

your fingers over the "stop warp" key(s). You will now see your yellow aircraft run along the line

in the map. If you now only warp a bit, and then break off again, you may not run into enemies

so easily. And when the enemy labels are still white, you may stillhave the chance to climb away

from them, without them noticing you.

Edited by Olham

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