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Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225864] Mon, 06 July 2009 18:49 Go to next message
kollega
Messages:1
Registered:July 2009
Hi folks,

I am new to this forum, but I am an old, big JA fan and have done some mods of my own to Ja1 and JA2.
There is one or two things about gameplay which I find completely unrealistic, but which could be helped by some minor modifications to the game mechanics.

One thing is this: You or your enemy is 200m away and running. You snipe him down with a headshot.
Completely unrealistic. You cannot aim properly with a sniper rifle when your target is moving. This is where you need machine guns and tracer ammo, to fill the air with lead and hope that at least one bullet hits. In real warfare, machine guns are very important just for this job, while sniper guns are pretty useless here. In JA2, it
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225867] Mon, 06 July 2009 19:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Our Russian friends already implemented an penalty for shooting at moving targets in the Night Ops mod. Guess it's only a matter of time until it's ported over to v1.13

As for second suggestion, it's actually a very good point. But there a quite a few of skill checks to be done and code to be rewritten to transform a gun into a blunt weapon (that would be fun, I admit it). The quick and dirty solution would be for the enemy to drop the weapon if on successful sneak attack (either h2h or knife) if your merc is an expert in those arts (increase critical chance, make soldier drop weapon on critical h2h hit).

But controlling how the AI behaves is far from an easy task.

Welcome to Bear's Pit, glad you decided to join the fun.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225870] Mon, 06 July 2009 19:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
HAM solves the moving-target problem by externalizing the penalty.

Grapple Checks will be introduced (hopefully) by HAM 3.6 to solve the other problem.

Look these things up on the forum for more info.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225874] Mon, 06 July 2009 19:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Wham bam, thank you madam!

Smile

God I love it when I hear features that people "dream of" are already done or in the works. Some people around here should wear a red Santa hat Razz Albeit Diedranna would look naff with one...


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225876] Mon, 06 July 2009 19:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
I'll consider the hat once I've actually got things done the way I want them. Look me up in 2016. Smile


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225879] Mon, 06 July 2009 19:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Headrock the so ever optimist on duty Smile Didn't you say the same thing 6 years ago?
Very Happy

[Updated on: Mon, 06 July 2009 19:47] by Moderator



Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225880] Mon, 06 July 2009 19:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
Yeah, you outlined one of the Achillies heels of Ja2 combat. There is no provision for close range combat or really a use for pistols for that matter. Conversely, you can run to an enemy and beat him up across long SMG or short rifle distance before he has a chance to respond. There are inconsistencies and as long as any change made to make the game more 'realistic' is entirely optional (read: can be in effect commented out of the code) it is a win win.
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225975] Tue, 07 July 2009 10:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Starwalker

 
Messages:769
Registered:October 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
A penalty for target-movement already exists, maybe the cap of that penalty (maxiumum is 30 at the moment, I believe) should be adjusted?

EDIT: Or the penalty per-tile-moved should be adjusted (carefully) as well?

[Updated on: Tue, 07 July 2009 10:13] by Moderator



Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225983] Tue, 07 July 2009 12:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
In my opinion under normal circumstances the target movement penalty is quite good. The problem - as kollega writes - is when scopes are factored in. When using a normal (other than reflex) scope there is a real penalty outside of the periphery of the scope 'picture'. A very experienced hunter or marksman can negate this somewhat but in terms of target acquisition and your ability to really focus a shot once you have acquired it, swiftly moving targets are a total pain in the ass and perhaps a special penalty should address this.

Similarly, under normal (other than point blank) range draw cost works pretty good. But at point blank range there should be a significant difference between compact weapons like pistols and most modern smgs and long arms like rifles with the compactness of a weapon adding directly to it's draw cost value on a range of target vs. weapons length basis. Even among pistols, a shorter barrel means significantly quicker target acquisition. A short barrel isn't just a concealment advantage, it can be life and death in a close range engagement.

The reason hand to hand fighting is the way it is has to do with the fact that the weapon ranges are not 'true to scale' in terms of what you see on your screen vs. how far the game says it is. Each tile is supposed to be 10 meters for weapon range purposes, so this means that your 2 tile tall merc is 20 meters high if all things were equal. But all things cannot be equal due to the size of the maps and especially the fact that in a 2d environment you do not get the tactical advantage of elevation (hills and trenches) features.
So some 'unrealistic' compromise had to be made. The way around this - like so many other things - would be a more elaborate use of aps meaning perhaps new tags in the code to accommodate the sketchy nature of combat at either very close or very far ranges.
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225989] Tue, 07 July 2009 12:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2088
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
I'm not sure that the game could simulate that too well. Unless the game moves to full 3D with proper collision detection and bullet drop along with factored movement for targeting then its almost impossible to set that up in 2D. The biggest problem with JA2 is the range of 10m per tile. Unless the player were able to zoom out to make their characters ants it's not possible to simulate distance at 1m/tile (which is roughly correct). If there were more detail ingame (like doubling the size of all sprites, yet keeping the same ratio for JSD usage etc...) and zooming was implemented along with the Big Maps project (and that's a very big IF!) then it may be possible to address those issues along with the movement when targeting issue. Trouble is that is a pretty hefty overhaul and unlikely to happen any time soon.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #225991] Tue, 07 July 2009 13:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
As I said before, some 'unrealistic' compromise is always going to have to be made. This is the nature of the beast here but new tags for special conditions are a way we could at least fine tune some areas that are lacking particularly draw cost at close range and movement penalty at far range (especially using a scope which has a real disadvantage here). There is a reason older scopes were sometimes made so the iron sites could also be used and why they developed things like reflex scopes. While the movement penalty is good for normal applications, it really does not address scopes too well.
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226003] Tue, 07 July 2009 14:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Starwalker

 
Messages:769
Registered:October 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Khor1255
In my opinion under normal circumstances the target movement penalty is quite good. The problem - as kollega writes - is when scopes are factored in. When using a normal (other than reflex) scope there is a real penalty outside of the periphery of the scope 'picture'. A very experienced hunter or marksman can negate this somewhat but in terms of target acquisition and your ability to really focus a shot once you have acquired it, swiftly moving targets are a total pain in the ass and perhaps a special penalty should address this.

It should be possible to write some code that adjusts the normal movement penalty upwards according to the field of vision the shooter has (as scopes have a smaller field of vision).
So the movement penalty could be tied to tunnelvision.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226033] Tue, 07 July 2009 17:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
A penalty for target-movement already exists, maybe the cap of that penalty (maxiumum is 30 at the moment, I believe) should be adjusted?


As I said far above in this thread, HAM already does this. Has done for a couple of months now.

Quote:
A very experienced hunter or marksman can negate this somewhat but in terms of target acquisition and your ability to really focus a shot once you have acquired it, swiftly moving targets are a total pain in the ass and perhaps a special penalty should address this.


(And other ideas)...

This discussion is pretty old, so I can only repeat stuff I've said in the past, really:

A) It is QUITE possible to change the size of the movement penalty based on distance. I.E., there's an optimal distance (I'd say ~10 tiles?) where movement gives a very small penalty. Anything closer/father away than the optimal will exponentially increase the movement penalty. Thus, it is exceptionally difficult to hit far away targets, and also somewhat harder to hit very close moving targets. This penalty would apply to any shot.
B) It is ALSO quite possible to change the way scopes affect the movement penalty, based on the amount of tunnel vision they produce. At above the scope's Min_Range_for_Aiming_Bonus, the aiming bonus you get from the scope diminishes (possibly even to negative values!) with target movement. For realism, the FARTHER away the target is, the LESS penalty you get to your aiming. Far away targets are easier to follow with the sights as they move.
C) Unfortunately, taking vectors into account is possible but difficult, at least with my coding/maths skills. So it may be difficult to implement respective movement (I.E. characters moving perpendicular to the attack vector would be harder-to-hit than those moving toward/away-from the shooter). However, the game does have the tools to implement this, it's just that I personally lack the skills to make that happen.

HAM's externalized penalty was the first step to solve the movement issues, and I do hope to implement points A and B above in future versions. Point C not so much I'm afraid Sad


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226053] Tue, 07 July 2009 18:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
Sounds like you already have a pretty good handle on this. The only points I would like to add to are:

In example B)

While farther away targets may be easier to track (under normal circumstances i.e. movement of the person taking the shot completely negates this) they are way harder to acquire. I think you know this and may already address this elsewhere.

C)

Vectors could be a simple calculation of % of periphery meaning someone moving perpendicular to the shooter would get the full advantage of the movement penalty, any degree less than 90 might result in a reduced advantage for the defender. This might be as simple as angle = percent with 0 percent still resulting in the movement penalty (any moving target is harder to hit regardless of the vector) or any formula that tests well.

I have been completely silent about new features because the team seemed bent on trying to make the SMP from the regular play version and I firmly believe we need a separate version. I didn't want to contribute to farther muddying of waters already extremely murky from a modders point of view.
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226060] Tue, 07 July 2009 19:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2088
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Khor1255
I have been completely silent about new features because the team seemed bent on trying to make the SMP from the regular play version and I firmly believe we need a separate version. I didn't want to contribute to farther muddying of waters already extremely murky from a modders point of view.

That's not quite accurate Khor1255. For a start you are a contributor to the SMP, so I am a little surprised to see you distancing yourself. As for the new features, first the task is to get everything extracted and modable from a stable base (something you have been after for ages). Therefore it makes sense to go back to the beginning and start from a known quantity (i.e. Stracciatella as a bugfixed original) than the unknown mess of 1.13. Now there are a lot of things in 1.13 (like Headrocks' and Sandro's work for starters) that will port over to SMP even to the point it becomes part of the trunk. Just because we aren't including all this stuff from the get go doesn't mean it won't get in. I'd rather have the original campaign setup as a mod for an engine that can be altered to most modders wet dreams than have 4 years of waiting for 1.13 v2.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226081] Tue, 07 July 2009 19:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Khor1255

 
Messages:1834
Registered:August 2003
Location: Pleasantville, NJ
I am of exactly the same mind and have been from the start. I never wanted the SMP to interfere with the regular 1.13. Quite the opposite, I have always aimed on eventually porting my mod over to the current 1.13 but since you have been now modding for a little while yourself you know very well that using the current 1.13 is slower and less productive than even using the Vanilla map editor (or UB Editor for that matter) mainly because it creates even more weirdness than the normal unfriendly tools we are used to.

The 'distancing' was due to a real and profound erosion of confidence then interest in the project. If you cannot even communicate with the people you are trying to work with it is hardly productive to spend countless hours pitching ideas to a brick wall. I now have a little hope since we can now work on a mod friendly version than port over as many 1.13 features (provided they are COMPLETELY toggleable i.e. able to be in effect commented out until they are thoroughly tested against mod environments) as we want. Having a beta version (the 1.13) and a stable tried and tested version (the SMP) developing together can only be a win win for everyone especially since with this approach we might be able to simply diff out the two versions to see exactly where any new glitches are. The interwoven nature of the Ja2 code makes this a Herculean task by any other method and more importantly ties the hands of those wishing to develop storyline mods but are hampered by thing being broken that used to work. I'm not just talking about maps here but rather some of the very delicate quest routines and even something as simple as an item mod.
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226093] Tue, 07 July 2009 20:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
The problem with 1.13 isn't really in its new features, but rather in the way that it externalized the original JA2 hardcodes. It was a great help for modders initially, but lack of long-term planning culminated in 1.13 being "too good" for its externalizations. Starting with a bug-fixed JA2 gives us the chance to externalize things differently (E.G. LUA and all that) and more extensively. Practically all JA2 1.13 features can be ported over once this is done, and then the only difference between 1.13 and SMP would be the basic architecture. In such a case, 1.13 can be replaced by a copy of SMP, and then branch off again as a Beta platform for testing new features, albeit now based on the better SMP architecture. But as far as the "non-JA2" 1.13 features go, I don't think any of them pose any sort of problem for modders.

Features like the one we're discussing above, or rather ANY feature that does not impact modding at all, would probably work fine in both versions. They still would need work for porting, because of the difference in architecture, but they're not the ones causing problems in JA2 1.13, and won't be the ones causing problems in SMP either...


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226096] Tue, 07 July 2009 20:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Quote:
Vectors could be a simple calculation of % of periphery meaning someone moving perpendicular to the shooter would get the full advantage of the movement penalty, any degree less than 90 might result in a reduced advantage for the defender. This might be as simple as angle = percent with 0 percent still resulting in the movement penalty (any moving target is harder to hit regardless of the vector) or any formula that tests well.


Yes, that's the general idea, but I don't have the coding/math skills to make something like this happen. I think the biggest problem would be tracking the movement vector itself - I'm not sure the game has the "start point" recorded in memory, and without a start point you can't have a vector...


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226133] Wed, 08 July 2009 00:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
The code that controls facing, movement and body shape in JA2 looks like your worst dream come true. Anyone who would tackle that would be a damn hero. I looked at it and it almost gave be a blistering headache.

That's my 2c.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #226151] Wed, 08 July 2009 01:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Headrock

 
Messages:1795
Registered:March 2006
Location: Jerusalem
Oh you don't have to mess with any of that. The only thing I'm lacking is somewhere to record the character's starting GridNo at the beginning of his turn. It's possible that one already exists, but I never looked deeply enough.


Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #236242] Thu, 29 October 2009 07:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Snake Plissken

 
Messages:38
Registered:December 2001
Headrock

Grapple Checks will be introduced (hopefully) by HAM 3.6 to solve the other problem.


Do tell . . . how is this intended to work?
Re: Machine Guns/Close Combat and Realism[message #236346] Fri, 30 October 2009 17:10 Go to previous message
Schmidt

 
Messages:31
Registered:September 2009
Location: Br
I don't think you need movement vector. People face in the direction they run, the direction they face is surely kept in a variable somewhere.

Then, let's pretend that angle from shooter to target is A, and target runs at angle B (north is 0)..

You get full penalty if A is perpendicular to B. So, all you have to do is get those angles, subtract A-B , and make absolute value of sinus of the result of that subtraction.

Look at the graph of sine. If angle is 90, it's 1. That's what we want. If it's 180, it's 0.. guy is running towards us.. at 270 it's minus one, but we'll have the absolute value take care of that..

Disclaimer.. I slept about 2,5 hours today, so before implementing this, draw a few graphs and think about it.
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