Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Erik

      2019 Drive   05/31/2019

      Can you lend a hand?  GET STARTED TODAY
Sign in to follow this  
VonBeerhofen

Advanced AI maneuvering

Recommended Posts

 

A new filter was programmed which allows more diverse maneuvering for the lower AI skill levels. Expert planes remain unaltered by the new filter. The lower skills now have a 10% chance to do expert moves when the enemy is within 2000 feet. Expert planes are programmed to enter this phase when the enemy is closer then 1000 feet, simply because they react faster then lower skills. Additionally, the lower skills can still optionally follow the original game's maneuvering phases when not selected by the random routine. This essentially seperates rookie pilots from the more skilled and asigns them to their own maneuvering phases with a newly added phase for the greenest, which wasn't there previously.

In short, the lowest skill, which in v1.2 was set the same as medium, now has it's own maneuvering phases and criteria for carrying them out and with the medium skilled they have an additional random option to do expert moves if the enemy is closer then 2000 feet. An additional benefit of this is that planes are less likely to get stuck in a repetitive or endless loop, like endlessly flying circles around each other because the game only allows that one option for a particular skill level under certain circumstances. The random expert moves will make em do something entirely different.

Another benefit is that these lower skill levels are more likely to react sooner when an enemy gets close, i.e. within 2000 feet. This behaviour changes real time and makes it much less predictable as to when the none expert planes will start using expert maneuvering or when they stop doing that. The routine doesn't influence the preprogrammed reaction times for each skill level, so inspite of being able to detect the enemy sooner their moves will remain as sluggish as in v1.2. You can't become an ace pilot in a single battle but you can occasionally do the right thing either by accident or by learning from mistakes.

Furthermore the criteria calculation now also allows higher skill levels to be introduced (Advanced Criterium Emulation or ACE for short, :D), EAWPRO already has many provisions for this but it's only partially active due to a limitation in the cofiguartion screen to select only 3 skill levels. I hope full implementation will follow.

How this will play out in the end is beyond my prediction but anyone with advanced knowledge on AI behaviour is welcome to write an essay about it, :)

VonBeerhofen
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't grasp it all VB  But it seems to make a more challenging bomber intercept..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It changes a lot of things Russ, but it's effects are hard to describe on a single page. One thing which I was after was to keep the bombers together in human controlled missions but differentiate between bombers and planes carrying bombs. I've flown escorts in heavy bombers but the game doesn't really have mission types for such and it is quite useless when your group of heavies start attacking the enemy fighters only using their defensive guns. You can't aim or shoot yourself as these planes have no offensive guns, except for the B26.

Now you can fly missions in which you must try and remain with your escorts to enlarge their and your combined defensive fire poser, while controlling your own group and try to keep em out of harm's way. They will follow you where ever you go and if you fly a bit evasive they will do too. Still you need to stay with the escrtees and the fly very slow (app. 100Mph in the approach). The new routine allows AI in your group to get away from harm on their own, AFTER they dropped their load or when they don't cary any.

You can try to regroup them as such will improve your defensive capabillities but they sometimes get hit and slow down. Your option is to also slow down to help them but more often it's a lost case. The AI will NOT engage enemies and for now the attacking command has no influence because of this new bit of programming as far as I can tell. The AI want to get back to base asap but may get drawn into a squirmish where they try every trick in the book to get rid of their attackers. Their defensive guns can still bring the enemy down and when the coast is clear they head back again following the programmed waypoints.

It just makes more sense to fly the heavies this way, it gives the missions a purpose. For the other bomber types, invaders, divebombers, attack-bombers and fighter-bombers things have changed too, they're more free to engage the enemy since they have offensive weapons but when things quiet down around them they will still head to the target, drop their bombs and try to get back to base, as those are it's main objective. After dropping their bombs they're free to do whatever the game has programmed for them, if necessary fight to the death.

These are just initial observations with a few planetypes, and I'm sure there are a few surprises in store, perhaps a B17 trying to loop out of trouble and finding out that it can't do it, that's not new behaviour when flying heavies in v1.2 and I kept all of that just because it looks awesome when they try and fail. Mind you they're very good at getting back in control after a stall, :)

Here's a picture of my escort of B17's in a B26, notice that the enemy in twins (410's and 110's) are all over us, but my group remained calm, except me as I was keeping an eye on enemies closing in and lost contact with the B17's. I had to find em again to stay protected but one of my planes got seperated and had to go it alone. There's another routine for seperated planes and it did what it had to do, try to get back in formation and get thell out of there after delivering it's payload.

VBH

]http://rabartel.home.xs4all.nl/BomberMixUp.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything makes sense to me VB...One question about your post  " Now you can fly missions in which you must try and remain with your escort " I always thought it was the escorts to remain with the bombers ,,Don't think a B-17 can keep up with a P-51,,didn't the Germans have problems with pilots who preferred to free hunt to clear a path and those who wanted them to stay tight with the bomber formations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I read everything about this new Bomber AI routines that you (VBH) have supplied I'm still sorta confused at what its going to produce for results.

Maybe I haven't read messages slowly enough yet. I mean I understand you been writing messages as to what your doing at the time with experiments but the outcome is a little hazy.
I removed all text on the FXEXE Help Doc on my site regarding this new AI stuff, cause I was waiting for a more finalized answer. Perhaps I need to re read what you wrote and examine it more closely.

 

My two questions are these:

It seems to me that if your flying a Bomber in a formation you have -some- commands that work on the way to the target, and -some- that work after the bombs have been dropped?
and What about when the Bombers are all AI, how do they behave on the way to the target, and how do they behave after the bombs have been dropped?

 

Hope all is well. I know your excited about these new routines and code.

Edited by MarkEAW
rearranged text

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

the commands menu in the game remains unchanged thusfar, however it's possible that heavy bombers may ignore certain commands which may conflict with their mission. When you don't want to fly them as fighters the attack enemy command is useless because they can't aim pilot operated guns. In the game anything is possible, in v1.2 they would just behave like fighters and go after the enemy, which is obviously silly.

In EAWPRO they can no longer do this but AI behaviour changes after their bombs are dropped or when no loadout is selected for the mission. They may turn on their enemy like in v1.2 (low probabillity) but when they do their main objective is still to head home when the enemy is killed or looses sight, but most of the time they get damaged and don't make it. In other words they won't go after the fighters but the enemy fighters will be going for them.

As Ribob requested, they will also drop their bombs if the situation demands to do so, irrespective of their location. Usually  it's because they're too heavily damaged. What ever else the AI routines tell them to do is not changed and almost impossible to predict. The command menu may change to give the human player more control over them but I'm not working on it right now.

VBH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW Mark,

I did try to edit in a very elaborate answer as to behaviour in the standard missions but it'became too technical and too long and probably too boring to post too. The short answer is to give it a try and see what you think, if something's not right I'm always willing to try and change things but I can not always do what people want as requests may be too timeconsuming to program or my time is needed for another project. I'll send you what I didn't post by e-mail but I don't think it's very usefull knowledge for anyone

VBH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All this discussion is far above my knowledge level, but, from my perspective, if it makes the game more realistic, whilst maintaining its' playability, I am all in favor.

Thank you VBH, for doing what you do.

Now, where can I download your latest creation, and please provide explicit instructions.

 

Much obliged, VBH!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RiBob,

new versions must undergo extensive testing in the Launchpad as well as with a few Betatesters. The release will be announced seperately in due time after testing. Just hang in there my friend, patience is a virtue.

VBH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, and thanks!  

I think the fundamental take-away from this discussion is that it is possible to have the bombers do things that defy common sense--and historical reality, as well as to have the bombers do what they actually did, both regarding common sense and historically relevant tactics.

For example, early USAAF Heavy Bomber formations, regardless of fighter escort, were found to be inadequate, and (then) Col Curtiss LeMay was fundamental in re-arranging bomber formations for increased firepower from defensive guns.  This change was a part of the reason why USAAF bombers suffered fewer losses in the later period.  Of course, there were other major changes, such as the introduction of long-range fighter escort, and the lessening of the Luftwaffe's combat ability.  The introduction of powered dual MG "chin" turrets on later B-17s is a good example of countering the German "Head-On" attack, which was useful prior to that point.

All of these topics require an essay in themselves.  

Fundamentally, I believe that experimentation is all to the good, as it broadens the knowledge base, and sometimes uncovers some aspects of the game that can be further improved.  For example, my Me 262 thread provided some food for thought in that some Modders found ways to replicate some aspects of the proposed historical scenario.  Another step forward, IMHO.  The credit is all theirs, naturally.

I don't claim to understand most of what VBH is saying above; My problem, not his.

I would suggest that any built-in (and so, non-user-definable parameters) be very carefully considered in light of historical accuracy.  Again, as an example, German attacks against USAAF bombers in say, 1943 are going to be very different than attacks made in late '44, for a number of reasons.

So much so that the game changes a great deal, and perhaps a fundamentally different scenario might be justified.  It seems that making a reasonably accurate sim involves a "sliding-scale" of one side's measures versus  the other side's counter-measure--and vice versa.  I think that it's necessary to develop different scenarios, at given points in time, to accommodate the progress of aerial warfare.  Of course, the perfection of a scenario within a given time-frame is a thing unto itself. 

All of these measures and counter-measures require experimentation to make them work as intended.  

What I would ask, from any and all Modders is to at least []]try[/I] to adhere to some reasonable degree of historical accuracy.  Sure, it's a sim, and no reasonable person expects perfect historical accuracy.  But I believe it's a worthwhile goal towards which to strive.

Some people say that EAW is a sort of "cartoon" and to not to expect much from it.  Well, there have been, and still are, a number of Modders trying to disprove that slur.

I wish the best to all of you! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By VonBeerhofen
      EAW has got a number of user options in the .INI file relating to AI behaviour which are obviously quite usefull for beginners, intermediate or advanced players. To improve the game further and make the game harder and the AI tougher, there's obviously a choice to add more options to the .INI or to change how the game deals with these entries in the AI routines themselves. As a diehard player I'm ofcourse more interested in more skilled AI and more dangerous events have researched and changed both options. I find it however near impossible to change all level choices and have therefore concentrated on changing the highest selections only.
      Fact is that as these choices are used in real time, it's not a great idea to add more choices and decisions for the AI, as well as users, which will slow down the game considerably. However there are jump tables which won't cost anything extra, since they simply load an offset value and then jump to the routine in question. It's mainly these tables I'm targetting when adding more options and where an .INI might have an extra useer choice I prefer to implement multiple choices which are automattically made by the game itself.
      The clarify this, a user can select skill level 1 or 2 but I for instance will give that choice to the game where possible. What I've done however doesn't relate to skill level 1 and 2 but to level 2 (expert) only, giving the game an extra level 3 choice in real time. This affects AI behaviour throughout the game without having to change any of the AI routines themselves. Ofcourse I did mess around in those routines too but those are just minor changes, like the aim moment or the moment to fire weapons or when to start moving etc. which are usually based on enemy distance and position.
      I hope you will understand that taking away the benefit of an extra user choice in the .INI gamespeed is not hampered in any way but the AI are more unpredictable in their choices and responses. I also noticed that some routines didn't handle all .INI skill levels, in that they for instance set skill 0 and 1 being the same for certain decisions. Where possible I changed this to make the so called dumbest AI pilots in the squadron a little dumber then level 1 or in other words, I gave em their own level as should be.
      Now since the introduction of the ACE level in the parameter selection screen activates the extra skill levels but also allows the lower skill levels to use the skills of one level higher it should essentially compensate for this extra dumbness of the lowest level and make level 1 sometimes as skilled as a level 2 AI, in real time ofcourse.
      As I wrote previously, this elevated level has no influence on the decision making speed of the default AI's skill level, meaning they will make better choices at times but not as quick as the higher skill level it's temproraily using.
      I hope you can still bare with me but the Betatests have shown that occasionally the slower reaction time, while performing a higher skilled action, is sometimes not fast enough to perform the move successfully, causing more areal accidents, like the one's I usually make myself when flying online, like misjudging approach speed or not noticing another plane by my side going for the same target. Planes may accidentally fly into a bombergroup and collide with one of em, because they're usually large planes flying at low speed. Such accidents can trigger adjacent planes in the group to explode too, sometimes killing 3 or 4 planes at once.
      The chances for this are set pretty low so it doesn't happen too often, perhaps one plane in 100, exact numbers are hard to give as it's subject to a randomness calculation, so sometimes it may not happen for weeks and sometimes you get 5 in one mission. I haven't seen any fighter collisions but they have an equal chance if it wasn't for the fact that they occupy less 3D space and are usually chasing eachother, but with intercepts planes may come from all sides.
      Since the skill levels also control the speeds at which the AI are flying (dumb AI usually fly slower) there's the same possibillity with ground impacts, however previous changes prevent AI to start new moves when under 500 feet and start pulling out of any dive they're in to avoid ground collisions. Now this has worked beautifully well, even in very mountainous areas, but this new behaviour will change things, I just don't know by how much. Thusfar I haven't seen any abnormal ammount of ground collisions but one is not always aware of these happenings when the battle area is app. 100 KM2.
      I hope this will give you an idea as to what to expect with the next release of EAWPRO in terms of more visble AI changes.
      VonBeerhofen
    • By VonBeerhofen
      This screen's horizon has always been a problem and was showing black areas on the left and right. The screen became pretty important to me to quickly check objects from all sides to identify any R/S issues and fix them, without having to fly the game, altough that would work as well but you'd have to concentrate on not getting shot down. The introduction of EAWPRO's HiRes skysets and UHR horizon posed yet another problem in this screen, but have already been partially fixed a long time ago. However the horizon problem stayed and always kind of atracted attention away from the object or plane I was watching.
      I finally found a solution which fixes this problem in D3D mode (Glide is still incapable of using my UHR Horizons) and the fix was tested with various resolutions on two different machines using different monitors and was verified to work with both traditional monitors as well as HDMI. I couldn't check any other monitor types but my HDMI monitor accepts nearly all possible resolutions up to 1920 x 1280 and they all worked fine, with standard skysets as well as EAWPRO's HiRes sets. I can't test XVGA mode, just don't have the dosh to buy one, and besides that I'm very happy with what I have already and have no room for anything more anyway.
      These screens were taken in my most commonly used resolutions on either machine, not very important but educational.
      VonBeerhofen
      HDMI in 1280 x 768

      SVGA in 1024 x 768

    • By VonBeerhofen
      It's come to my attention that some people do not understand how to select the previously none flyable planes which are not directly accessible through the plane selection screen. They can be selected and edited from from within any hangar by selecting the MISSION PARAMETER editor that sits on each desk in any hangar. When in the Parameter Selection Screen you then select the LOAD option at the bottom of the screen and a list of MISSION (.MSN) files will be displayed. You can select any of them, no matter which hangar you're in. The Default** ones contain your last flown mission for each plane, sadly they don't give much information about which number corresponds to which plane but they're sequentially American, British, German.
       
      The ones which display their name were SAVED from within the parameterscreen, very usefull to setup planecombinations and targets that you like but can still edit after it's loaded. I could give you a list of the default numbers but I think you can also write each number down after selecting each and note the plane you've selected. If you want to fly Mosquitos you select Mosquito vs ******. You can also save the Default missions with a name yourself. To do this you start with loading Default00 and you save it under the name P38J vs WHATEVER. Having all planes there you can quickly navigate between planes and load any on the fly without having to go back to the plane selection screens.
       
      When a mission is SAVED it'll store all your selections and you can store up to 256 mission files yourself, either before or after the mission is flown. It's more convenient to do things this way and has become a real timesafer when testing all possible combinations. The saved missions remain unchanged untill they're overwritten with a new one but every time you load one it will randomise the target location as part of a new airfield and target check to prevent CTD's when .MSN files are corrupt, don't work, or aren't at all present (which is the case in nearly all old addons). When a certain plane's selection has become corrupt you can still get to it's Mission file via any other Hangar and set it right again by editing the corrupt plane's mission parameters, provided you understand which one to select. Flying the mission will overwrite the old Default**.MSN file and things will work normal from there on.
      Note that when you reselect the same target and/or airfield already present in a corrupt .MSN file, the selection can't be set since either of the two is an illegal choice. Just select another one which displays the target number on mouse over and the file should be fine from then on as the editor only allows legal targets to be selected. Illegal target locations are greyed out in the editor, an indication of a corrupt .MSN file. Sometimes they can still be flown and will allow take off from enemy bases or attacks on friendly ones, but being corrupt you may not be able to enter these plane's hangars on startup directly, except with this method.
      VBH
    • By VonBeerhofen
      the original Microprose NoCD version from the Source Code is now implemented, making the the old NoCD hack redundant. It allows the game to run on newer operating systems, even when a CD drive isn't present. This change will be in the next release.
      VonBeerhofen
    • By VonBeerhofen
      intended for higher operating systems then XP. I managed to fix the lightning speed selection without compromising how it works on older systems, the only downside to it is that you need repeated mouseclicks to change the selections, holding down the mouse button will no longer incite the next successive selection. It applies to all keyboard input which uses this routine, possibly keyboard throttle and such too, but who's still using that option anyway? (retoric question)
      A big thx to Mark EAW who was so kind to test it's functionality!
      VonBeerhofen
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..