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    • Erik

      2019 Drive   05/31/2019

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EAWPRO NoCD version

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It's confusing me too, as EAWPRO can now be placed over v1.0 v1.1 or v1.2.

Comparability of add-ons designed for 1.2 is mostly nill, as conversion needs to be made to them to get them to work with EAWPRO. But that's not your concern.

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    • 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.
    • 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.
      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.
    • 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!
    • By VonBeerhofen
      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, :)

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