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Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346564] Wed, 10 August 2016 02:09 Go to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3052
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
As I've stated elsewhere, I'd like to do more things to SAM sites than simply blow them up. An easily understood idea would be to 'hack' a SAM site - it's offensive capabilities are lowered by lowering it's radius.

It's just that SAM sites do not have a radius at the moment. Every sector is covered by a fixed SAM (or none at all), defined in SamSites.xml. That does seem rather arbitrary... and it has the side effect of no 2 SAM sites covering the same sector airspace. Either you control it or the enemy does. So sad.

To change that, I propose instead having SAM sites cover all sectors withing a radius. Then we could alter their radius by SAM status/hacking/staff present/whatever else we can think of. To test how well that would work, I've dabbled a bit with the airspace display: I named the SAMs A, B, C and D, gave them colours and coloured the airspace they control (control if distance to SAM is <= radius):

http://i.imgur.com/CKjVozi.png
Here is what we get if radius is 5.0.

http://i.imgur.com/bgmXp7m.png
Radius = 6.0.

http://i.imgur.com/InqA2oX.png
Radius = 6.5. This seems like a good value. We can still land in Omerta. While we could now land in the swamps in the south-east, the next towns are a garrisoned military city and the town most loyal to the queen. Not exactly easy pickings for a few mercs without support.

http://i.imgur.com/g6uxUrc.png
For comparison, the current airspace.

A consequence of this change would be that it would also be harder to get a free airspace. Taking out or at least sabotaging SAM sites would likely take a much higher priority - SAM A would really nerf your ability to blitz in the center even if you take C, and D stops you from harassing the enemy as soon as they leave Meduna.

What I would really, REALLY like is to get rid of the old system altogether (instead of once again stacking another alternative feature onto the old one).

Anyway... thougths on this?



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346565 is a reply to message #346564] Wed, 10 August 2016 04:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Enneagon

 
Messages:42
Registered:July 2016
Location: Latvia
One potential problem I may see is triple coverage of Estoni, thus making it hard to be used as helipad (for long, even next to ever considering coverage by D).

While it may be seen as incentive to do something with those SAMs...

How about uneven starting radius?

Say:
A=6.0
B=6.0
C=8.0
D=5.5

If my rendering in head is right that should give Estoni covered by C exclusively and any sector except starting spot in Omerta to be covered by something. All while there still rather little practical differences from vanilla map.

Don't know how much problem the C coverage of Meduna might be... Maybe it can be so, under player control it could never reach the initial oversize, but only 6.0 or so?

Anyway, it already fine tuning.

[Updated on: Wed, 10 August 2016 05:01]

Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346568 is a reply to message #346565] Wed, 10 August 2016 11:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2124
Registered:May 2009
A few thoughts:

A new tag in SamSites.xml could define the radius for each SAM site. This way we can have different ranges. We can also have overlapping ranges.

Do we have to cover every single sector on the map? In my opinion - no. If a few outer sectors have no SAM cover, who cares? With radius tags the players or modders can always adjust that to their liking.

If SAM ranges overlap the danger for our heli should increase. So if HELICOPTER_SAM_SITE_ACCURACY in Helicopter_Settings.INI is the chance for one SAM to hit the heli the chance should be increased if multiple SAMs can fire at us.

I guess you can use most information from SamSites.xml except for <SAM_CONTROLLED_SECTORS>. This could be dropped starting from build x GameDir y. I leave it up to you if you want to keep backwards compatibility by some Ini parameter.



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346571 is a reply to message #346568] Wed, 10 August 2016 21:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3052
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
http://i.imgur.com/Moe9PiW.png
This one uses different radii:
A 6.75 (to cover A8)
B 6.5
C 5.9 (reduced as it's still the most important SAM but now less important)
D 5.0 (now Estoni is just outside of range)

What I could do alternatively is to tweak SamSites.xml to allow for overlapping sector coverage, as displayed above. That would allow modders to finetune everything - but then the 'hack/damage to lower radius' idea wouldn't work.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346572 is a reply to message #346571] Wed, 10 August 2016 21:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pheloncab

 
Messages:267
Registered:August 2004
Location: So. Cal. or texas
Could the XML be used like some of the INI files? where it is read in at the beginning of the game, and then is part of the save after that? I know that means changes can't be retroactive but once its in the game as a internal variable then hacking and all that could occur to the value in the save right?

Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346573 is a reply to message #346572] Wed, 10 August 2016 22:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3052
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Yes, but why? We already store the status of each SAM. Hacking would be a second, similar value. From that and the data read we can always calculate what sectors are covered.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346575 is a reply to message #346571] Wed, 10 August 2016 22:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2124
Registered:May 2009
Flugente wrote on Wed, 10 August 2016 20:40

What I could do alternatively is to tweak SamSites.xml to allow for overlapping sector coverage, as displayed above. That would allow modders to finetune everything - but then the 'hack/damage to lower radius' idea wouldn't work.

Why wouldn't it work? Say we have SAM B and want to establish a trade route to San Mona we could hack SAM A to reduce its coverage. Bingo!
What if we have SAM C as well and want to get some more breathing room in the center sectors? We could simply hack SAM A to get close to Grumm for example.
I'd say it all depends on the area of coverage. If it's too large I agree that hacking doesn't help much. If it's set right hacking could help a lot.



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346576 is a reply to message #346575] Thu, 11 August 2016 00:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3052
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
What I mean is that if there is no defined radius, it is unclear what '80% radius' would mean. Take the classic Drassen SAM for example. What would reducing its range to 80% mean? Will we only stop covering the sectors in the very southeast of the map, or elsewhere to?

Then again, tweaking the xml is likely the better way, as pure radius will always lead to either huge overlaps or huge uncovered areas, at least with the vanilla map.



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346577 is a reply to message #346571] Thu, 11 August 2016 01:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Enneagon

 
Messages:42
Registered:July 2016
Location: Latvia
Flugente wrote on Wed, 10 August 2016 21:40

What I could do alternatively is to tweak SamSites.xml to allow for overlapping sector coverage, as displayed above. That would allow modders to finetune everything - but then the 'hack/damage to lower radius' idea wouldn't work.


Why would you do that?
As I understood the whole point is to get rid of lists and make the coverage interactive (well, it could as well probably be done with even more lists and lists of lists, but doubt anyone wants to explore that avenue).

Just that under (unnecessary) assumption that originl gameplay should be preserved, for new system to easily replace the old, reasonable effort could be attempt to find parameters that give initial feel as close to original as possible (supposedly but not necessarily as default settings, but as preset if possible), ideally with new features bulding on top of that (unless the whole point isn't to overhaul the original significantly of course).

System discussed here isn't especially critical one I believe, and this seems to me as quite an evolutionary change fairly close to original from the start (thanks to map geometry), so replacement seems reasonable.

So far identified issues that might need fine tuning are rather minor, and such fine tuning seems possible.
Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346579 is a reply to message #346576] Thu, 11 August 2016 01:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Enneagon

 
Messages:42
Registered:July 2016
Location: Latvia
Flugente wrote on Thu, 11 August 2016 00:44
What I mean is that if there is no defined radius, it is unclear what '80% radius' would mean. Take the classic Drassen SAM for example. What would reducing its range to 80% mean? Will we only stop covering the sectors in the very southeast of the map, or elsewhere to?


Hmm, I would risk to say Drassen SAM is the worst for the question. It should be taken or disabled totally in order to clear Drassen airport and here no much variance for that. The only question could be regarding its usefulness for player defensively (can't comment on that).

Reducing western or central SAM radius can make huge difference.

We can have fixed radius per operating mode or such, and still have fine tuned initial radius - nobody said queen is able to run them at 100% either. Or in contrary, somehow managed to get 115% range until it melded by player.
Re: Distance-based SAM site coverage[message #346584 is a reply to message #346576] Thu, 11 August 2016 09:55 Go to previous message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2124
Registered:May 2009
Flugente wrote on Wed, 10 August 2016 23:44
What I mean is that if there is no defined radius, it is unclear what '80% radius' would mean. Take the classic Drassen SAM for example. What would reducing its range to 80% mean? Will we only stop covering the sectors in the very southeast of the map, or elsewhere to?

Then again, tweaking the xml is likely the better way, as pure radius will always lead to either huge overlaps or huge uncovered areas, at least with the vanilla map.

SAM coverage is rather circular unless there are big obstacles in the way (like mountains). That means that Drassen SAM for example will cover areas outside the country to the east and north too. When we reduce the radius as result of a hacker attack we should shrink the circle. Of course we will not notice the reduced range to the east and north as there are not enough visible sectors in those directions. We only see the reduced range to the west and south.

I don't mind if a few sectors are not covered by SAM. There are two important questions regarding SAM coverage in my opinion:

1. Can we get to uncovered sectors? Not if there is a covered area on the way where we are at risk of being shot down.
2. Are important sectors covered (Towns and installations)? If yes - I don't care if some farm or some deserted plains on the edge of the country are not covered.

The current system with manually defined sectors of coverage is artificial. They are not circular at all. I would prefer circular coverage with XML based ranges.



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

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