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No.401_Wolverine
Nov-07-2014, 13:12
This Saturday at 9:00pm Eastern we will be testing a new mission design which I have preliminarily called "Warfront". This mission type involves Red and Blue competing in real time to capture and defend territory across the Channel map. The frontline is dynamic in real time and will reflect the actions (or inactions) of the two sides. If tested successfully (no performance flaws are discovered due to player numbers), this mission type could easily be adapted into a 24/7 'campaign' server.

In order so that the test goes as intended, here is a short guide to the new mission format and your expected roles in it.

JOINING THE GAME
Upon first joining the game and selecting a side, you will see that every airfield is available and have numbers assigned ("Airfield_1" "Airfield_84" etc). These are currently required to identify the airfields for the code process. The airfields are still labeled directly on the map, so this shouldn't be an issue.

You will also see that the front line encompasses a beachhead area in Normandy that gives the Allied side access to Crepon airfield and Plumetot airfield. This section of front line between Red territory and Blue territory will be the area of combat.

SPAWNING IN
When you create your aircraft and spawn in at your chosen airfield you may or may not notice immediately that there is flak overhead and/or artillery gun impacts all around you. There may even be fires burning nearby. This is because you have selected an airfield that is close enough to the front line to have come under fire. The artillery is not targeting the airfield directly, but enemy positions nearby. This will be normal.

It is possible that while playing you will see text across the top of the screen indicating that "The Allied/Axis forces have taken X." This notification is to alert you to the fact that a ground position has either been taken or lost. For example, if I receive the notice "The Allied forces have taken a position on the outskirts of Caen", and I were to check the map roughly 15 seconds after receiving this message, then I would discover that the front line has now shifted to give the Red forces a new position on the outskirts of Caen. Almost every populated (town texture on the map) area in the combat area (St.Lo to Bernay area) has an army position associated with it.

ARMY GROUND POSITIONS & TARGETS
Army positions are composed of AA guns and sometimes supply convoys, tanks, and other vehicles. Some of the larger cities (such as Bayeux and Caen) are broken into multiple army positions that make up the road entrances to the city and one or more central city positions. The city positions may be hardened positions that will require bombing to destroy or may be scattered vehicles and tanks taking positions in amongst the buildings and 'digging in'. In all cases, it is important to note that ANY visible target objects (ones that will produce the 'dots' at distance) is a valid combat target and will contribute to the capture/defense of a position.

The role of your air force in the mission is to contribute to the defense and destruction of army positions on the ground. In many situations, you will not be required to destroy all of the targets in an enemy position because your friendly ground forces will already have 'softened' the target and destroyed several objects. You will be required to seek out and destroy the last remaining enemy technicals that are too hardened or entrenched for the artillery to destroy. In some cases this will only require strafing. In other cases, bombs will be required.

Please remember that joining the server after targets have been destroyed will mean that their fire and smoke plumes will not render and you will have to get very close to the target to identify if it has been destroyed. If you remain on the server for some time, this issue will go away since objects get destroyed and replaced all the time and you will eventually have all objects refreshed. This is a problem with CLOD's rendering of effects and cannot be fixed easily or efficiently (by me).

THE MOVING FRONT LINE
By destroying and protecting the army positions you will be able to force the front line to move across the map in real time. This has more significance than simply redrawing the line and awarding you more territory.

Firstly, capturing an enemy position will replace all of those targets with fresh friendly ones. A brand new position of your own AA, artillery, convoys, etc will appear (and become targets for the enemy). These positions will immedately begin to help in attacking any nearby positions. In this way, pushing a front line forward that is contiguous and supported by good supply lines will make your captured positions more defensible and more effective at attacking the enemy. While possible to capture positions 'behind enemy lines', these positions will be exposed, further from air force reinforcements, and likely to be recaptured very quickly unless significant resources (players) are put into defending them, leaving other areas undefended.

Secondly, by moving the front line, you will be able to capture and deploy new airfield positions. Airfields are not targets directly. Why destroy something when you can take it? By attacking enemy held army positions nearby to an enemy airfield, you may be able to push the front line far enough so that the airfield ends up on your side of the line. When this happens, the airfield becomes closed to the enemy and opens to you. You now have complete control of that airfield (until you lose it).

Thirdly, RADAR towers are located in major cities across the map (in the case of our test scenario, in Caen, St. Lo, and Bernay). These RADAR towers are only accessible by the army who controls the territory in which they are located. You may access the RADAR towers via Tab 4-1 and use them to locate enemy and friendly forces in and around the city to a rough radius of 60km (or approx. 36 miles). The limited range of the RADAR is meant to reflect the use of mobile RADAR positions with limited power and scope. Many, if not all, of the RADAR towers overlap in some significant way, so it is not necessary to control all towers in a region in order to have RADAR coverage of common combat areas. If your RADAR tower is captured, you will no longer receive messages from it and attempting to contact it will result in a message telling you that the tower is now broadcasting enemy signals and is indecipherable. You will need to switch to another tower, or recapture a tower location. The towers will also give out weather information in order to determine wind direction.

Lastly, as the front line moves, you are shifting the position where your pilots can return safely. While it is possible to bail out over enemy territory and escape back to friendly lines, you are much more likely to return home if you can bring your aircraft down or parachute safely into friendly territory. By capturing territory, you increase the range at which your forces can retreive your pilots safely and bring them home. You must now, more than ever before, be checking your map to know where the line is.

TEST PURPOSES & GOALS
Please note the following about the test run:

•We are looking for any bugs that might pop up

•We are looking to see how the ground positions are balanced and if they provide the appropriate level of enjoyment to atttack/defend

•We are looking to see how the various aircraft balance and if any changes are needed to add or remove specific aircraft

•We are looking for suggestions about improvements or additions

•We are looking to have fun!

We will be restricting the maximum number of players on the server to 36 for the test, but this number may be increased based on performance of the server using the new system. There are no AI aircraft in this design. Ideally, we would like to see 18 red aircraft vs. 18 blue aircraft and a combination of bomber and fighter pilots participating to get as many impressions and viewpoints as possible.

For more information please drop by our forum at 401squadron.boardforum.ca. I will be conducting the Red side operations from No.401's teamspeak server, connection information available on our forum or by request.


Thank you!


No.401_Wolverine
C/O virtual No.401 Squadron RCAF

69th_Spiritus_Mortem
Nov-07-2014, 13:18
Nice work on this, major stuff. Hope testing goes well.

:salute:

Roblex
Nov-07-2014, 14:02
Very best of luck with that. If it works it will be awesome!

I have to say my experience with 24/7 dynamic maps has not endeared them to me. It can be frustrating to fight an epic 32 v 32 battle to gain some ground then wake up next morning to see that a single player in Samoa has reversed it all again without any opposition :-D

Some games use deadly AI that needs serious teamwork to counter the lone players in quiet times but I am not sure how feasible that is in CLOD unless the AAA is set to be deadly to a solo pilot. Others restrict the availability of the arena to evening prime times in Europe and USA and Australasia when there is less likelihood of someone getting the map to himself.

LBR=H.Ostermann
Nov-07-2014, 15:00
S!

Mama mia!

:thumbsup:

Nice Wolverine!

Continu0
Nov-07-2014, 18:06
Good Lord.... ATAG Campaign, SoW, now this... so many good things to come in MP!!!! Congrats!

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-09-2014, 00:42
UPDATE!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the test this evening. We ran with about 18 people on and experienced NO lag and NO warping.

We successfully demonstrated the front line moving by capturing several positions.
We successfully demonstrated the acquisition of an enemy airfield by pushing the frontline over it.
We identified a key bug that has already been repaired. (I stupidly forgot to give the Blue side indication messages about the front line positions being taken or lost: fixed!)
We tested the level of AA over the enemy positions and found it to be hard but not too hard.

All in all, a very good first round of testing.

We will be testing again next week at 9:00pm Eastern in a more competitive sense to see how the battle will actually play out. Both sides will have their own TeamSpeak channel and we will have no expectation of behaviour. The goal for both sides will be to acquire as much territory as possible and hold onto it. We will be open to 36 players again (18 per side). If we ever do hit 36 players and things continue to operate smoothly, we will increase the player limit to 60.

Again, thank you. I was worried that this project might not stand up to players on the server, but it appears there are no limits on it as of this time. I require only one simple script puzzle to be solved to make this mission operational on a 24/7 basis. Namely, how to update the initial army position mission files that are loaded, which are currently defined in the main .cs file, so that when the mission restarts the initially loaded army positions are correctly tied to the territory that has been captured. The front line file already is persistent across server restarts, I just need to make the initial mission load tied into that system as well. Technically the mission can already operate as a 24/7 system, but I doubt people want to fly at night. Also, if the server were to crash and restart, things would not be reset properly.

Again, thank you everyone and stay tuned!

III./ZG76_Ezzie
Nov-09-2014, 02:20
Sounds good Wolverine.

I hope to be back flying on your 401 server in a couple of weeks so am looking fwd to seeing how this goes and flying it soon.

Ezzie

Cassius
Nov-09-2014, 06:03
Great! You guys are awesome! Waitin for more news! :thumbsup:

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-10-2014, 00:08
The battle area now comprises the entire Cherbourg peninsula across to the river Risle. The server is currently in a 24/7 test phase and will be up continuously as the WARFRONT DYNAMIC BATTLE SERVER.

ATAG_Freya
Nov-10-2014, 00:12
:thumbsup: Great news! Thanks Wolverine. I highly recommend people give this a try, its very nice!

ATAG_Ribbs
Nov-10-2014, 11:48
Holy crap! Wohoo this is exactly what I'm looking for! I'm not sure how anybody that fly a flight Sim and wants the most realism of fighting an actual war could not want something like this. To me this is the Holy grail of immersion. I wish the whole community could band together to fine tune this and build off of what you have accomplished Wolverine! I outlined a couple things that would be neat as far as supply and Ai ferrying aircraft and supply's to the front, in the clod wish list thread. I'm sorry for missing the testing , I didn't realize anything like this was in the making! So many possibilities.. I'm so excited for this! I S! You and your efforts to make this possible! Many thanks Wolverine and 401st!

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-10-2014, 12:02
Holy crap! Wohoo this is exactly what I'm looking for! I'm not sure how anybody that fly a flight Sim and wants the most realism of fighting an actual war could not want something like this. To me this is the Holy grail of immersion. I wish the whole community could band together to fine tune this and build off of what you have accomplished Wolverine! I outlined a couple things that would be neat as far as supply and Ai ferrying aircraft and supply's to the front, in the clod wish list thread. I'm sorry for missing the testing , I didn't realize anything like this was in the making! So many possibilities.. I'm so excited for this! I S! You and your efforts to make this possible! Many thanks Wolverine and 401st!

I'm not in a position to check on the server right now, Ribbs, but as far as I know it's still up and has been since last night when we were fighting it out.

Allied forces suffered early loses on the beachhead of France north of Bayeux, but rallied together and captured the north and east of Caen, pushing the enemy out of Caen Carpiquet. The last I saw, everything had been bogged down in the assault on the Southern half of Caen. Not sure what the situation is now.

I'll check on the server as soon as I'm able to. It might be too dark to fly right now (I'm working on a system that'll shut the server down once it gets too dark to fly and reboot up fast forwarding to first light - with new weather conditions for the next 'day') but I'm hoping that the server hasn't crashed or restarted in the meantime. If it did, then the frontlines will be a little wonky and need resetting. This issue will also be fixed with the aforementioned system update. Shouldn't be too hard to do.

If anyone can actually get in there and see if the server is still chugging away this afternoon, that'd be nice. Thanks.

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-10-2014, 15:17
Please note that the Warfront Dynamic Battle Server will be shut down at 12:01 AM EST on Tuesday, November 11th to observe Rememberance Day.

We will be restarting the server at 12:01 EST on Wednesday, November 12th (hopefully with some improvements in place as well).

Thank you.

ATAG_Ribbs
Nov-10-2014, 19:30
The server is up, and its just light enough to fly :) Thanks Wolverine!

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-10-2014, 22:16
Server has been updated with new code to allow it to maintain front lines and army positions even across crashes and restarts.

EG14_Marcast
Nov-11-2014, 04:48
I tried last night......I fear I've bombed our own troops:sorry: Great fun!:thumbsup:

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-11-2014, 10:09
I tried last night......I fear I've bombed our own troops:sorry: Great fun!:thumbsup:

Yes, you will have to be very careful to check the frontline and figure out where to attack. There is no cross-over, so if you attack a target that is in enemy territory you can be assured it is enemy. Just make sure you can read a map!

The server is down for Rememberance Day, but will be back up running 16 hour dawn to dusk cycles at midnight EST tonight.

xvii-Dietrich
Nov-15-2014, 19:04
Great server. Fantastic concept.

We played it for ages this evening. Mostly flying Bf 110s and Stukas. There don't seem to be any Ju 88s available. Is that right?

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-15-2014, 19:50
Great server. Fantastic concept.

We played it for ages this evening. Mostly flying Bf 110s and Stukas. There don't seem to be any Ju 88s available. Is that right?

No, not currently. We may add a German bomber at some point, but I doubt it will be the 88. More likely the 111. This is simply due to balance. At least until the Wellington is an option.

xvii-Dietrich
Nov-15-2014, 20:53
No, not currently. We may add a German bomber at some point, but I doubt it will be the 88. More likely the 111. This is simply due to balance. At least until the Wellington is an option.

Okay, understood. That's fair enough. We just wanted to check we weren't missing something obvious.

No.401_Wolverine
Nov-16-2014, 00:48
Really good test tonight of the system. We had the usual problems associated with running with Skins turned on, but the server performed like a champ and allowed for some pretty heated fighting. Red captured most of Bayeux with only the town center left as a hold out and Blue attempted to keep Red's aircraft supressed out of Crepon with limited success. Red now controls roughly 50% of the Cherbourg peninsula.

We were operating at 36 out of 36 players at one point. Would appreciate any feedback those who participated might have. Server will now remain up 24/7 with the front line continuously reacting to combat action. The server runs an 8 hour straight before restarting and randomizing both weather and time start. Available times for the game are 4:00am to 8:00pm (dawn to dusk on the Summer map).

69th_Spiritus_Mortem
Nov-16-2014, 01:12
Congrats! Seems like things are clicking on the server. Lots of work Wolverine, lots of work, I salute you.


:thumbsup:

vranac
Dec-02-2014, 18:54
Hey Wolverine )

Something is bugged out, I just checked Pont- Audermar, Brionne and le Tilleul - Othon airfield and nothing was shooting on me there. I just bombed the airfield at the end.
There was one blue pilot on the server when I joined and he was damaged by flak, so it was working on the red side I suppose.

Nice try and I hope you'll continue to work on this project :thumbsup:

13737

No.401_Wolverine
Dec-03-2014, 09:39
Hey Wolverine )

Something is bugged out, I just checked Pont- Audermar, Brionne and le Tilleul - Othon airfield and nothing was shooting on me there. I just bombed the airfield at the end.
There was one blue pilot on the server when I joined and he was damaged by flak, so it was working on the red side I suppose.

Nice try and I hope you'll continue to work on this project :thumbsup:

13737

Vranac,

The reason those areas are not defended is because they haven't been added to the mission. The current mission encompasses only the territory of the Cherbourg peninsula all the way to the Risle river. Those targets are either on or across the river and do not have capture points available.

This is simply because I wasn't going to do the ENTIRE map without knowing if it works. I now know that it works, I just haven't had time to add more points as each town requires two specific mission files containing the target data plus the main script needs to be updated to include that point in the initial spawn + the triggers required.

The blue pilot was damaged by flak because of the guns on the western side of the river, at the valid targets, were fully functional.

So as designed, it's working. Red has simply taken pretty much all of the available territory (though I think Blue still holds St. Lo and the radar tower there the last time I checked).

If I get time to do it, I can add more territory as active targets. Seeing as the mission is not very popular, though, I'm hesitant to put all the time in.

No.401_Wolverine
Dec-27-2014, 00:07
Capturable territory has been increased on the WARFRONT server. Positions have been added to the following towns and suburbs:

Le Havre North (west side)
Le Havre North (Center)
Le Havre North (east side)
Le Havre South
Le Havre East Industrial (north)
Le Havre East Industrial (south)
Harfleur
Le Havre Airfield Town
Osteville-sur-Mer
Montivilliers West Road
Montivilliers East Road
Montivilliers
Lillebonne
Fecamp Southwest Road
Fecamp Northeast Road
Fecamp
Veulettes-sur-Mer
Yvetot North Road
Yvetot West Road
Yvetot East Road
Yvetot
Yerville
Dieppe West Road
Dieppe South Road
Dieppe East Road
Dieppe
Toutainville
Pont Audemer
Pont Audemer North Road
Pont Audemer East Road
Pont Audemer South Road
Pont Audemer West Road
Bourneville
Routot
Bourg Achard
Bourgtheroulde-Infreville
Montfort-sur-Risle
Glos-sur-Risle
Brionne
Brionne North Road
Brionne East Road
Brionne South Road
Brionne West Road
St.Eloin-de-Fourques
Le-Gros-Thiel
La-Haya-du-Thiel
Le Neubourg
Epreville-pres-le-Noubourg
Le Tilleul Othon
Les Andelys
Rouen North
Le Petit Queville
Le Grand Queville
Grand Couronne
Petit Couronne
St. Etienne du Rouvray
Franqueville St. Pierre
Darnetal
Mont St Aignan
Maromme
Canteleu

Two new RADAR towers have been added for use over the newly contested area. Dogrose/Granit for Dieppe and Rabbit/Saturn for Rouen.

Please post any bugs or errors encountered to the No.401 Squadron forums (401squadron.boardforum.ca (http://401squadron.boardforum.ca)).

This brings the current total number of target locations on the map to 140.

Further positions are being created to increase capturable territory eastward to the Somme and beyond. Current capturable territory is all of France west from a line drawn between Dieppe and Les Andelys (inclusive).

Thank you.

ATAG_Ribbs
Dec-27-2014, 00:15
Thanks Wolverine for all your hard work..cant wait to get back in there :) S!

No.401_Wolverine
Jan-02-2015, 04:24
UPDATE: Bug discovered in the tally recording, but it's being worked on. Despawning multi-crew aircraft will end up increasing the losses count, even if those pilots are home safe. Only affects multi-crew aircraft.

Newly added to the Warfront Server is a persistent claims and losses tally.

If a pilot is KILLED or is CAPTURED, they will be marked down as a claim/loss and added to a running total that will carry over persistently from now going forward.

The loss of a pilot is recorded if the pilot bails out and is captured, crash lands in enemy territory and is captured, or is killed or marked as presumed dead (drowned). Pilots who escape capture after landing or parachuting into enemy territory are not counted as lost.

A caution to bomber pilots: each member of your crew counts. Bring them home safe.

The totals will update regardless of whether or not you stay for the parachute ride down or not. If you are killed outright, the tally is updated right then.

These totals will persist across the server resetting, just like the frontline does. If you lose 20 pilots on Tuesday, those 20 pilots will still be lost the next day and the day after that, etc.

NOTE: Due to a Cliffs of Dover issue in which removing an aircraft from the game 'kills' the pilot, you may at one time or another see the tally reverse itself by 1 once in a while. This is corrected soon after and a requesting the totals again in a minute should display the corrected value.

TO SEE THE CURRENT TOTALS: Simply use the Tab 4 menu and select option 2, "Claims and Losses". The numbers will be displayed in your 'Server' info window.

PLEASE NOTE! These totals refer to PILOTS and AIRCREW, not AIRCRAFT. If you bail out safely over friendly territory, or escape capture from enemy territory, you are not counted as lost.

Any bugs or questions/comments, please post!

Thank you,


Wolverine

SoW Reddog
Jan-02-2015, 06:02
UPDATE: Bug discovered in the tally recording, but it's being worked on. Despawning multi-crew aircraft will end up increasing the losses count, even if those pilots are home safe. Only affects multi-crew aircraft.

Newly added to the Warfront Server is a persistent claims and losses tally.

If a pilot is KILLED or is CAPTURED, they will be marked down as a claim/loss and added to a running total that will carry over persistently from now going forward.

The loss of a pilot is recorded if the pilot bails out and is captured, crash lands in enemy territory and is captured, or is killed or marked as presumed dead (drowned). Pilots who escape capture after landing or parachuting into enemy territory are not counted as lost.

A caution to bomber pilots: each member of your crew counts. Bring them home safe.

The totals will update regardless of whether or not you stay for the parachute ride down or not. If you are killed outright, the tally is updated right then.

These totals will persist across the server resetting, just like the frontline does. If you lose 20 pilots on Tuesday, those 20 pilots will still be lost the next day and the day after that, etc.

NOTE: Due to a Cliffs of Dover issue in which removing an aircraft from the game 'kills' the pilot, you may at one time or another see the tally reverse itself by 1 once in a while. This is corrected soon after and a requesting the totals again in a minute should display the corrected value.

TO SEE THE CURRENT TOTALS: Simply use the Tab 4 menu and select option 2, "Claims and Losses". The numbers will be displayed in your 'Server' info window.

PLEASE NOTE! These totals refer to PILOTS and AIRCREW, not AIRCRAFT. If you bail out safely over friendly territory, or escape capture from enemy territory, you are not counted as lost.

Any bugs or questions/comments, please post!

Thank you,


Wolverine

The multi-crew issue is a pain in the arse and when/if you ever solve it I'd appreciate knowing how as it's something I've butted heads with multiple times for SoW recently.

No.401_Wolverine
Jan-02-2015, 06:08
The multi-crew issue is a pain in the arse and when/if you ever solve it I'd appreciate knowing how as it's something I've butted heads with multiple times for SoW recently.

I have an idea of how to do it, I just need to know how to pull the aircraft type from AiAircraft when doing the calcs.

AiAircraft.TypedName() might work? I just don't have the references to do it.
AiAircraft.Type() possibly?

Perhaps I need to get it from AiAirGroup.

If I can just pull the aircraft that's being despawned, I can adjust the 'adjustment' calculation to compensate for the extra pilots being "killed".

Right now, I compensate by simply subtracting one from the tally each time an aircraft is removed via despawn, but this obviously only works with single crew aircraft. If the script can know what type of aircraft is being despawned, then the values can be adjusted accordingly.

UPDATE: Okay, cracked that (thanks Salmo - I read a post of yours and found the answer buried deep on these forums). Now the only problem is that of aircraft that return home with SOME of their crew dead.

IE, if the gunner and bombardier are dead or bailed out and captured, the Blenny returns home and despawns and 'refunds' those two crew members.

It's not a perfect solution yet. The best solution would be for the script to identify how many 'living' crewmembers are still in an aircraft that is about to despawn and puts that number in as the refund.

Better still, a way of removing aircraft via despawn that doesn't 'kill' the crew.

No.401_Wolverine
Jan-07-2015, 01:09
Crew tracking appears to be fixed! Will continue to monitor it, but it was working quite well for the last few hours we were playing.

Also added! Tracking of territory taken and an efficiency score given for both sides.

Points are awarded for each enemy position taken. The number of pilots that your side has lost is subtracted from this total to give your team score. You can view these along with the pilots lost tracking numbers via Tab 4-2.

ATAG_Freya
Mar-24-2015, 20:23
401 site been down for a few days? Or is it just me?

ATAG_Torian
Mar-25-2015, 03:47
I wasn't online yesterday but it was up the day before and I am in the server now so it might be u.

No.401_Wolverine
Apr-02-2015, 23:26
Our forum has had a link change to http://401squadron.canadaboard.net.