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      2019 Drive   05/31/2019

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Everything posted by VonBeerhofen

  1. EAWPRO NoCD version

    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
  2. Stuck. EAW on windows 7

    Have you tried EAWPRO on top of a full 1.x install? It's available from Mark EAW's website: https://eaw.neocities.org VonBeerhofen
  3. 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
  4. Making selections and user choices

    RiBob, I think v1.26 is the perfect game for newcomers and when they master that version then there's plenty of choices to move on to something harder. The new AI skill levels still have 3 user selections in the INI and configuration screen. All 3 are tougher then the highest skill level in v1.26 which makes EAWPRO the perfect addon to take it to the next level without needing to learn a new user interface, the transition is seamless. VonBeerhofen
  5. Making selections and user choices

    With some extra work I was able to influence the lower skill levels in the .INI to perform the same way, so players aren't immediately thrown into the deep end but can train lower skill levels first before entering the major league. It just seemed a bit silly to stick to the original AI behaviour in these lower choices after all the hard work done and I found a switch which allowed me to call my new routines in the same way without impacting FPS at all and making this uniform behaviour throughout the game. It's not something I'm going to test extensively though with 30 planes and all possible mission types and skillsettings, it would simply take too much time. Instead I'll just keep playing the game a lot as always and keep an eye out for anomalies. It's unlikely that it will cause problems though, since only higher skill levels are used which can not exceed the lowest or highest possible AI values. It will influence AI behaviour for all planes except the ones which were already attributed with the highest level. An additional note, ofcourse the flightmodels also influence the described events, but their influence is somewhat tempered by the program itself in most situations, to prevent enormous differences between planetypes which might lead to inbalanced battles. VonBeerhofen
  6. EAWPRO NoCD version

    RiBob, Please note that other versions besides 1.2 or lower are incompattible with the EAWPRO addon. VonBeerhofen
  7. EAWPRO NoCD version

    Mark, I hope there's still someone around in 30 years to help people at all. You can't be of much help if you haven't read all the stuff relating to this game's problems, and even after reading it you may find your knowledge is still inadequate. If there are no trainers then there will be no trainees either. VonBeerhofen
  8. Been there, done that and it took two years before my Dell 8100 got close to working properly. Dunno how many sound drivers I tried and videocard drivers but they just didn't like eachother. Pretty crap if you buy a 3000$ computer from a reputable manufacturer for your home recording studio. It didn't even run EAW untill two years later. I must say one other thing though, it's still working today once it was more or less working but it ruined the fun with homerecording. Pretty disappointing to see the soundcard manufacturer having a message up saying that any issues with the card should be taken up with the Dell company. VonBeerhofen
  9. Visit the EAW Launchpad for online games with EAWPRO, have a chat with like minded or for help and guidance relating to v1.2 derivatives! Teamspeak server details can be obtained via our (admission free) chatroom as it may change: http://www.chatzy.com/251310437564 Just leave a message or e-mail adress in our chatroom and we'll get back to you ASAP. Open all day ,no membership required, professional help or just a chat. And you can also have a look at my latest creations or just visit our screenshot gallery to get an impression of our games! https://rabartel.home.xs4all.nl/test/Gallery/image/ VonBeerhofen http://www.europeanairwar.net
  10. 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
  11. Selecting Heavies in EAWPRO

    No worries RiBob I won't. I'd like you to understand that without a doubt the remaining programmers are trying hard to improve things but even the smallest improvement comes with a lot of pitfalls and takes a boatload of time. We do have a personal life as well and our knowledge is limited, well mine is anyway, and in this resepect you may not really get what you want. Besides that, as you already mentioned, we all have our own priorities and may not be aware of some of the game's possibillites, after all we weren't part of the Microprose team and we're merely hobbyists trying to do whatever is within our power. EAWPRO will not stray away from the standard v1.2 user interface and because of that all the relevant information on how to use EAWPRO is already in the user manual, which I think is available from Mark EAW's website. There are a few new features in the selection but I think those are self evident for the most part. For anything which isn't in there you best keep track of what's been reported in the forums but there's very little changed in the user interface which is important enough to rewrite the manual. VonBeerhofen
  12. 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
  13. With the bombers becoming more usefull a new calculation for their positioning on the runway became necessary and has been successfully implemented. The new routine now uses the various planetypes in the calculation to offset their location in the grid. All planes are now using this new routine and spacing is in 3 categories for now, single engined, twins and quads. The two rows were seperated a bit more to make room for the B17 and other quad planes. VonBeerhofen
  14. EAWPRO NoCD version

    A complete install is against the agreement the coders have with Atari, if someone would give me the official go ahead then there's nothing in the way of what RiBob wants. It would however make EAWPRO freeware which may cause online play complications wit6h diferent versions. Another problem as Mark has described is that it's pretty inconvenient to have to remake the package every time changes are added, like the one's just now. Personally I think it's much easier for players to download a small .ZIP with the latest changes and dump it into their EAWPRO folder. It has been done this way for nearly 20 years and it has always worked, quick and easy most of the time. VonBeerhofen
  15. It has always bothered me that several twin engined planes performing in a bomber role were sitting ducks, so some pretty observable changes were made to this behaviour. They will now be more evasive and may actually even start fighting back, after all they're heavily armed and why not use this feature for a more challenging fight. Ofcourse their main objective is to bomb the target and they're still pretty successfull at that, even when under heavy attack. Their behaviour was enhanced without compromising the original routines, in other words they will still do as was programmed but with an additional chance to do something new. In most situations they will try to regroup but it may not always be possible when for instance these planes are under constant attack or suffer from target fixation, which is not abnormal in the game. Planes with extra (dorsal/tail/turret) gunners may try to bring down the enemy or at least try and slow them down so the rest of the group can make it out of the battle area safely, even when they have no primary weapons or these ran out of bullets. I programmed a distinct difference between Axis and Allied aircraft, in that the Axis planes tend to be more agressive, which I think is in line with reality and since I think there are more Allied pilots still flying it also serves as a purpose to make it a bit tougher for them, but it will also not be easy when you fly the other side. These changes will be in the next release of EAWPRO! VonBeerhofen
  16. Abort and Diversion of Bombers

    I don't think bombers were too squeemish about dropping their load but their objective would always be to get to the target and drop em there. One thing is certain, you didn't want to fly home with them as it made you less maneuverable and would cost extra fuel and obviously the last thing you'd want was to land a heavily damaged plane with it's bombs still on board. Even if you couldn't make it to the target there must have been plenty of oppertunities to drop em elsewhere, any place where flack is coming from would be a good spot. If you weren't sure you'd probably drop em in open country to do the least ammount of collateral damage, that is if you had such oppertunity. VonBeerhofen
  17. More visible AI changes in EAWPRO

    After an intense week of testing and finding out what's possible here's a few pictures of the fun I had: Bombing mission, the Heinkels are under heavy fire and I have an enemy plane padlocked Interdiction mission, While I went down to destroy the train my group dropped bombs from high altitude causing the secondary explosions in the background, close but no cigar! Escort mission, my B24's coplemented B17's en route to the target and I tried to stay in formation with them while under heavy enemy fire. In all missions fighters were fighting fiercely in the battle area, in total around 100 planes were smoothly doing their job on my ancient WinME Pentium IV with an old 32MB gForce2 and 256MB memory, haven't had this much fun in while, it was a blast! I tried all the altered planes as well, mainly twins, and they obeyed every command and in bombing missions focused on their task, unless they got hit and dropped their loads to attack the enemy. In one mission my group got through the enemy fighterscreen, destroyed the target and I regrouped as the enemy was landing. I flew back and told my group to start attacking while I strafed the airfield. One enemy plane was still eager to fight and I had to deal with him myself, but I got shot down trying to eliminate enemy gun positions on and around the airfield. My group was reluctant to leave after I made an emergency landing between the smoking planes, captured but still alive! VonBeerhofen
  18. EAWPRO NoCD version

    Almost forgot, a big thx to Mark EAW for testing it's funtionality! VBH
  19. EAWPRO gear fix

    Some planes just don't have landing gear, like float planes and the Reichenberg, or fixed gear like the Stuka. V1.2 had no provisions for these, hence the gearswitch was always active. The gearsound would play and a gear message would display on screen. That problem is now solved and the keys for this action are no longer active for such planes. VonBeerhofen
  20. Advanced AI maneuvering

    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
  21. Advanced AI maneuvering

    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
  22. 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
  23. Menu Parameter Selection Fix

    Wehey! VBH
  24. Advanced AI maneuvering

    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
  25. Advanced AI maneuvering

    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

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