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This might by possible to do according to the Devs. But it of course changes alot how air combat works. Would everyone be satisfied with such a drastic change? Patrol would then be a clear defensive mechanic only, and attack the only offensive mechanic for planes. Post your opinions here
OK, so that makes sense, but then why do we even have patrols for non-Intercepting units? Conceptually speaking, you are asking the pilot of a Tactical Bomber to patrol the skies against hostile....ants? Because that's what it's like to be on patrol, to lookout for invading ground units far below. Sure, you could fly around in the sky in a designated arc and, if you happen to see some enemy forces slowly rolling along your path, you could attempt to drop bombs on them, but to what effect?
The very difference in patrol concepts for an Interceptor versus the other three air unit types is the key problem. Interceptors are fast and they are in a wide-reaching patrol zone to attempt to shoot down other fast air units....because all aircraft are fast (relatively speaking). But non-flying units are not fast (there are no bullet trains in this game). So, ground and naval forces don't constitute an imminent and urgent threat, whereas air units do.
So why is there even a patrol option available for units that are strictly intended for offensive action? A Tactical Bomber should only be allowed to "Attack" a known target (presumably ground units). A Strategic Bomber should only be allowed to "Attack" a known target (presumably structures). And a Naval Bomber should only be allowed to "Attack" a known target (presumably ships).
Yes, the Naval Bomber has the job of seeking out hidden subs, but that's the only time where a Naval Bomber could conceivably act like an Interceptor because, in the semantics of the current game design, it's intended to "intercept" subs as the singular unit type that can spot them. Naturally, Destroyers should also have that ability but, for some reason, the devs recently removed all of their sonars. Now, if they were to restore the Destroyer's inherent ability to detect subs, then the Naval Bomber would not need to have the patrol feature either since they can still "Attack" a sub where it is known to be hiding.
I guess what I'm trying to say boils down to this: bombers of all types should only be allowed to attack known targets. It's not their jobs to find unknown targets on patrol. THAT's the job of the Interceptor (or spotters on the ground/sea). Once an Interceptor (or other unit) happens to locate an enemy target on the ground or the sea, THEN bombers are sent in to attack that target. And if the Interceptor (or spotters on the ground/sea) should happen to locate an enemy target in the air, THEN Interceptors are sent in to attack THAT target. And, in this case ONLY, should Interceptors on patrol actually attack.
Patrols are for watching, not fighting, except for Interceptors. Bombers aren't designed for watching, they are designed for offense only....and a patrol is not an offensive action.
To simplify my proposal, here's the rules as they should be:
-for spotting all enemy units
-for intercepting ONLY enemy aircraft
-for attacking ANY unit or structure (but mission-specific targets favor different unit types):
Tac Bombers - Ground preference
Strat Bombers - Structure preference
Naval Bombers - Sea/subsurface preference
Interceptors - Aircraft preference
To simplify the redesign in programming, instead of simply removing the patrol option from bombers (which was stated further above), the patrol options itself is relegated to spotting units and intercepting air units only. That's simple enough to code because you are pretty much just removing some of the previous options (not delete, per se, just "commenting out").
No ground or sea units can be attacked on patrol. This is the paramount change that would eliminate ALL problems with air units. Therefore, whereas each air unit type has preferential targets, except in the case of submarines, any target type can be attacked by any air unit type. And, any air unit type may operate on a patrol.
Since Tac Bombers (for example) are weak against enemy Interceptors, it's not smart to use them on patrol but it's allowed since you may have Tac Bombers grouped with Interceptors. And, since Interceptors are weak against Ground targets, it's not smart to use them on an attack mission against ground targets but it's allowed since you may have Interceptors grouped with Tac Bombers.
So, we need not restrict air unit types from patrols (as I've redefined above) because of their preferential targeting abilities. Rather, all we have to do is remove the ability for patrols to engage non-flying targets (and this includes parked aircraft on the ground).
Additionally, if we return the job of detecting submarines back to Destroyers, then there would be no need to have a special, separate, interception mission for Naval Bombers. That would further simplify the code cleanup.
Finally. as a compromise for the community, though this would complicate the code somewhat, I would maybe suggest that patrolling flights COULD attack ground targets so long as they are within allied territory. Ground units outside of allied territory should never be attacked by a patrol except maybe if the patrol's centerpoint is above allied territory. But that would be even harder to code and it would likely be simpler just to make it so that a patrol NEVER attacks a ground target outside of allied territory.
All aircraft can participate in attack or patrol missions, but patrols are for intercepting aircraft and for spotting units on the ground without intercepting them. As a compromise alternative, ground units can be attacked by patrols so long as they are within allied territory.
someone just had to get diabolical started. diab, they already raised the aa capabilities of everything with aa in the game. what more do u want?
and as far as leaving the game, that is not what i said at all.
sure, as long as we make armored units return to a home province to refuel (or wait for supply trucks), make naval units return to return to port to refuel, make infantry units have to rest after they march for 8 hrs. Arty should have to rest and not be able to fire after 3 rounds, as they wait for ammunition to be brought to them. during these rest periods, these units should be in a weakened condition, like refueling planes.
anyone get my point?
Would it be possible that once a patrol is established that the patrol circle and timer will be active until the planes either attack or land at an airfield? You could still re position planes in their green slice of pie, but as they are moving they still have the patrol circle and the timer still ticks.
Under these rules:
1) The only way to end a patrol is to either attack, or refuel.
2) Once an attack order is given, the patrol option is not available until after refueling, even if the attack is cancelled
Now as for speed of the patrol moving I wonder if it should be slower, perhaps 70% of the straight line speed, although that would interfere with returning to base while providing air support to planes that did an attack run.
However, your idea makes me realize that it would make sense to give all orders a maximum time limit before they must refuel. Dx Calc made that point and that's the most logical approach for realism's sake. So, as he said, a plane on patrol should still have to refuel at least once per hour, so that would even things out fairly.
R.I.P. Swirl, chaos has earned you peace.
so realistically infantry units can march across the USA without resting? armored units can fight in one spot for 12 hrs without breaking free or running out of ammo? just admit this thread is just a good "in" for you to beat your dead horse yet again, Diabolical.
I did not take your comment personally Dx. You may be correct in your brief analysis anyway.
you could just put the edge of your patrol circle on their edge. With your suggestion you could just move off the edge before you tic and a continuous timer would not change that.
I am liking the suggestion by Dx about a limit of two targets. If that is possible it may be the most elegant solution.
as long as only 2 can defend back, sure
I suppose I am looking at this as a different problem than some. While it is true that you will currently take heavy losses against a superior force during an offensive patrol tick, I think the problem is that it can be avoided by an attentive player moving the stack around and resetting the patrol timer. Therefore my solution of making the patrol timer and radius always active eliminates the possibility that the battle can be avoided. This would make air patrol battles harder to disengage, so it would be similar to the ground unit battles in that once the attack is begun it is not reversible.
Maybe there should be. But currently there isn't. Maybe if there were, there'd be a penalty where half of your forces -- chosen at random -- remain behind to fight another round (to cover the retreat). Then, half of those survivors must re-engage the remaining opposition to repeat the process, then half of that half, and so on, recursively, until as many forces as possible to have survived and make the retreat makes it away (not as separate stacks, just a reduced single stack).
And, to facilitate the retreating feature, the escaping forces would automatically "jump" away a set distance similar to the jump-to-city/battle effect of making a command change when really close to a target....except in reverse. Then the escaping forces would be uncontrollably moving to their nearest allied territory borders (if possible). Until they reach that position, you wouldn't be able to make an orders change...at all. And, to be fair, your opponents wouldn't be able to interact with your retreating force either...except to manually move the same direction to re-engage them at the border later on.
Anyway, unfortunately, there is still no retreat option and, unless they suddenly like what I just proposed above, it's only fair to instead implement that idea that you've proposed...but it has to be in such a way as to make sense. If you can't retreat, then ask "why not?" Realistically, if you try to retreat from an air battle, the enemy can give chase and they actually would have improved odds of accurately targeting you from behind. So, retreat isn't possible in the sense that you likely wouldn't get away, anyway....at least until they change that rule.
So, if the motivation is to not let air units disengage, then I would say they must stick around for a full 15 minutes. Then, after they have their volley, they get a 2 minute cooling down period before the patrol timer starts counting down 15 minutes again. That way, only during the cooling down period, can you change the orders of the patrol. Or, you could change those orders any time, but the unit won't act on that change until the current 15 minute patrol timer is done. So that way, you aren't just stuck with the battle, but you also can't even start moving away to the edge of the opposition's patrol or engagement range.
Actually I like this idea, perhaps better than my own. A patrol circle can include many stacks of units, including ground, air, and naval. So if it could be limited so that a patrol group would attack a maximum of two air groups, two ground groups, and two naval groups at each patrol tick it would reduce the catastrophic losses. I am not a programmer, but it does sound like a simpler coding solution than my idea above.
As an aside, I was thinking about the area blast effect of nukes. The damage dealt by a nuke is not divided up per stack....all stacks in the blast radius take the full attack power as far as I know. (I did propose a gradient area of effect that would more accurately and realistically simulate the devastation over an even wider area....here.).
Because the destructive power dealt by a patrolling force gets divided proportionately as a percentage across all units in the patrol zone, maybe it would make sense....and to be fair....to make the opposition's destructive power be applied under that same proportionality. So, instead of limiting the number of engagements in the patrol zone, maybe instead you could proportionately limit the power of each engagement. In other words, if your patrol attacks multiple stacks in it's zone, and opponent stack "X" gets 35% of the damage inflicted because it represents 35% of the cumulated total target value, then the responsive attack value in that single volley from "X" against the patrol would only be 35% of it's own potential destructive power.
Likewise, if your patrol deals with many many opponents, not only would you only do a tiny amount of damage against each, but because of the SBDE limitations of crowded skies, you would only receive a tiny amount of damage from each....though cumulatively, that would still add up to a reasonably higher amount. Since this would simulate the SBDE effect of combining the enemy into one stack....without actually doing so....then my other idea of actually forcing them to fight with a single combined SBDE value would not be needed.
Wow, evidently, there are lots of ideas floating around in this thread and we can bounce ideas off each other and come up with improved versions. My idea here improves upon DxC's idea that Vorlon was liking. Now, let him or someone else maybe refine this particular idea until it gets even get more refined. And, like all the other great ideas in this thread, let's keep teasing them out to their best possible proposed designs.
R.I.P. Swirl, chaos has earned you peace.
The post was edited 1 time, last by Diabolical ().
that would make aircraft stronger, because the attacks wouldnt be as spread out
how does it get past the 14 minute exploit
i like my idea better.
i agree. but it makes sense. if u turn tail, u get a potshot taken at you. it kills the 14 minute exploit and doesnt nerf the unit. it would only apply going from patrol to patrol, so u could still get that final full attack in when the enemy was down in condition.
I've never subscribed to the idea that the game should follow someones idea of how reality works, although many of us seem very attached to this concept. For me the game just needs to make sense within the parameters of the game. In any case, moving your patrol doesn't mean you are running, nor would running mean you couldn't shoot back, but I don't believe in reality anyway. This wouldn't nerf units as you say, but it would totally nerf patrolling. Maybe the majority would like this, but I wouldn't like the constraints it puts on patrols. If you move into scout and accidentally let your planes stop over a massive stack of AA you are trapped. It also doesn't solve the main problem, because you don't need to patrol to use the method. You can simply fly your stacks non stop through the enemy patrol radius on their tic, like we did before the update.
The post was edited 1 time, last by DxC ().
ah, then the answer is just leave it like it is and stop advertising the exploit. most players will never figure ir out if we quit telling them about it.
Diab, I think your solution creates more new problems than it solves... for example, what happens when patrol circles are not the same between air groups? And there are other problems with it as well; like SBDE won't solve all the problems when air groups are taking losses during the battle.
@freezy, IMHO, the following adjustments would solve most of the current air war troubles and also give less-active-than-24/7 players a bit better chance in air battles:
- Patrolling is a defensive thing only; they don't have a "tick" but respond to enemy air-to-ground (or air-to-sea) action in their patrol circle only;
- If you want to attack ground troops or ships from the air, you HAVE TO use direct attack (AND run the refuelling risk afterwards);
- When you want to attack an enemy (patrolling or moving) AIR group, you should also use direct attack. This type of combat already exists, but should be rebalanced, because currently it is disastrous for the attacker in most cases;
- Enemy patrolling planes do NOT interfere with direct air-to-air attacks, even in their patrol circle (to avoid the same problem persisting because direct A2A attack would trigger defensive shots from all patrolling air groups)
Oh and diab, I think a software development discussion is out of scope for this forum... but if I was adressed with these "open doors" for my own software development, coming from someone that has no idea about my work procedures or methodology, I would be quite insulted and likely ignore it completely. I'm sure Bytro uses a fine methodology, or if they don't, are working very hard to adress the problems without any need to be told about general software development practices.
Whatever option is chosen of the 2, I think they both solve a LOT of problems regarding air units in regard to both abuse and their power/overpoweredness in general.
I'd imagine the coding wouldnt be so hard...I hope.