The problem with Bombers

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Bronsteijn24K
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The problem with Bombers

Postby Bronsteijn24K » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:42 am

Ok so, Im sure some of you have noticed that AI controlled bombs dont work very well at conquering powerstations outside of rendering distance, particularly the Mnozjetz. When outside render distance the would constantly circle the building but never make it above to drop a bomb.

Im proposing to increase the radius of bomb weapons from the default 130 from most bombers to 325. This will give the AI enough room to drop a bomb on a power station instead of trying to get directly above it. Bombers are supposed to be good at conquering sectors and killing tanks and when a squad of Mnozjetz try to take a powerstation with your host on top of it, they are really ineffective.

This is simply a suggestion and would like to know anyone's feedback on the idea.
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Re: The problem with Bombers

Postby CharlotteLabyrinth » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:44 am

I am glad that I was not the only one who noticed this! I always found Mnosjetz capturing power stations outside of a player's render distance to be very problematic too. As some people may already know, unit physics work very much differently at the outside of player's render distance. :D In fact, the truth of the matter is that the majority of in-game bugs and irregular cases like this (unit stacking, altitude change, tank stuck etc.) emerge from the said discrepancy between environments formed by the layer of render distances. Would really love to see them alleviated in UA:S someday.

However, I'm afraid that the solution of changing the weapon radius would also make Mnosjetz to become exceedingly effective against tanks as well as other units at the same time; and if when radius_type are functional (which I can't seem to replicate in the original game), default weapon radii are still used to calculate hitbox against gun type units (turrets, flaks, & radars). :!: Albeit causes a lesser problem.


Some other factors that may be responsible for a problem with Mnosjetz capturing power stations:

Low height (150) - It almost always makes Mnosjetz to collide with target buldings. So it attempts a detour climb around the target structures and, combined with its low maxrot value, make it loses its track in the progress (it chiefly depends on a geometric model of a structure, especially amounts and angles of polygons). I personally think this is a major lynchpin of the problem, but when Mnosjetz's high armour and deliberately sluggish physical characteristics are taken into account, making it flying higher may cause imbalances between other units. :(


Low maxrot (0.6) - Self-explanatory; causes Mnosjetz to circle around targets rather widely. This slow turning rate is one of the main characteristics of Mnosjetz as it can make a slow but effective circling manoeuvre around its targets. But since Mnosjetz also stays very low once it inevitably collides with buildings, depends on a changed angle of incidence it can't recover its normal tracks back again and had to mindlessly circle around its targets without directly approaching above.

On a side note, Tien-Ying 7 has an unrelated but similar problem where it constantly circles around its landing spot, without being able to break properly at the right spot due to its momentum gained from its fast speed. For now, this can be fixed by changing its maxrot from 1.1 to 1.2, but doing so grants an upper hand against other fighters in a dogfight. :| Again, balance issue interferes...


Low sdist_sector (10) - Most bombers have 300 so they will retreat back to their adist_sector distance once they approach within this distance relative to target sectors. This is beneficial as it allows bombers to fall back and readjust their attacks when their positions are not optimal, and when many bombers are attacking enemies this retreat makes them to disperse all over the place to cause a diversion against enemies. :)

Mnosjetz has very low value because the developers probably didn't wanted it to waste time by flying all over the places way too frequently. With its high armour, slow turning rate, and low altitude flight, Mnosjetz is better suited to stay close and tenaciously circling around its targets without retreating as much as possible (and the slow turning rate subtly forces it to wander off from its targets to some extent). But this also means it will not recalibrate its attacks from a far distance unless it gets really really close to targets, which is definitely not the case when capturing power stations. However, it does help Mnosjetz to conquer skyscraper sectors as the low sdist_sector value allows it to 'climb' high structures without retreating. While ironically, Ghargoil 3 and Yang have a problem at capturing a lone skyscraper because of the opposite reason. :lol:


Concerning the bomber's ineffectiveness in the situation where a host station is sitting over power stations, I think slightly tweaking AI modules to ALWAYS employ anti-host station units to capture power stations around host stations instead of bombers could be a yet another solution in the case of UA:S, considering that anti host station units are generally also very effective at capturing sectors under AI controls. Unless we build a completely new logic for managing this task (which takes time and effort), it will involve some trial and error to make it happen just like any other AI tests. Well, remains to be seen... :geek: :ugeek:
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Re: The problem with Bombers

Postby MarcOlle » Tue May 16, 2017 3:51 pm

CharlotteLabyrinth wrote:However, I'm afraid that the solution of changing the weapon radius would also make Mnosjetz to become exceedingly effective against tanks as well as other units at the same time; and if when radius_type are functional (which I can't seem to replicate in the original game), default weapon radii are still used to calculate hitbox against gun type units (turrets, flaks, & radars).


Long time I don't mess with the game files, but wouldn't be possible change it, so it shoots more than one bomb at the same time? What I mean by that, you create several bombs spawning at the same time, but with different radius/damage each, so it do less damage when it hits a tank at long distance? With that, a building would be easier to hit and take full damage, while vs tanks it would be harder to do a massive burst.
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Re: The problem with Bombers

Postby CharlotteLabyrinth » Wed May 17, 2017 3:04 pm

MarcOlle wrote:
CharlotteLabyrinth wrote:However, I'm afraid that the solution of changing the weapon radius would also make Mnosjetz to become exceedingly effective against tanks as well as other units at the same time; and if when radius_type are functional (which I can't seem to replicate in the original game), default weapon radii are still used to calculate hitbox against gun type units (turrets, flaks, & radars).


Long time I don't mess with the game files, but wouldn't be possible change it, so it shoots more than one bomb at the same time? What I mean by that, you create several bombs spawning at the same time, but with different radius/damage each, so it do less damage when it hits a tank at long distance? With that, a building would be easier to hit and take full damage, while vs tanks it would be harder to do a massive burst.


I think it is not possible due to following reasons:

  • UA does not have a concept of 'Area of Effect' damage. Weapons are either fully hit or not on the targets, so there is no damage reduction that is relative to distance upon the hit registration. This is what makes the work of adjusting proper radius value for each weapon very crucial, as the slightest change will universally affect the in-game environments.

  • Units can be assigned with only one type of weapons at the same time. It is possible to adjust the number of weapons discharged from units, but it is impossible to make units employ multiple types of weapons simultaneously. If there are no variations present in the weapon's properties then there is no point at differentiating them in the first place.

Please keep in mind that in the original UA, the 'radius' value alone determines the effective hitbox size of weapon's hit registrations against all targets, regardless of the target vehicles' 'model' classifications (such as 'tank' or 'gun'). Therefore if the value is quite large, it can make the weapons almost 'stick' to their targets (see Bronsteijn's ion cannon) even without precise aiming.


However in Zidane's UA_Source, the functionality of the obsolete 'radius_(weapon type)' parameters in the weapon scripts has been reinstated by default (it was disabled by developers in the original UA for uncertain reasons), so every weapon's hit registrations against different type of vehicles will work very differently from the original game.

For example, all helicopter weapons in UA_Source will hit 'tank' type of vehicles better than the other types of vehicles. This includes Bronsteijn's weapon, but at the same time the Bronsteijn's weapon has reduced hit registration size against other type of vehicles models such as 'heli' or 'plane'; so now it is handicapped when fighting against helicopters or planes. (There is still no difference between hit registrations against different model types in the original UA.)


Also by 'building', do you mean sector structures such as neutral buildings or power stations, or functional objects such as flak guns or radars? Because unit AI and weapon hit registrations also work quite distinctively between those two.


Anyway, the initial purpose of this discussion was to rectify the Mnosjetz's problem with only minimal modification possible. :P

By the way, welcome back! :D
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Re: The problem with Bombers

Postby MarcOlle » Wed May 17, 2017 8:41 pm

CharlotteLabyrinth wrote:Units can be assigned with only one type of weapons at the same time. It is possible to adjust the number of weapons discharged from units, but it is impossible to make units employ multiple types of weapons simultaneously. If there are no variations present in the weapon's properties then there is no point at differentiating them in the first place.

Uhmm... I thought you could assing more than one weapon type because not all units have machine gun....

CharlotteLabyrinth wrote:Also by 'building', do you mean sector structures such as neutral buildings or power stations, or functional objects such as flak guns or radars? Because unit AI and weapon hit registrations also work quite distinctively between those two.


Anyway, the initial purpose of this discussion was to rectify the Mnosjetz's problem with only minimal modification possible. :P

By the way, welcome back! :D

Buildings I mean the sector structures, so you could hit it with a much larger distance from the target. And well I think changing so it shoot a barrage of bombs that look like only one wouldn't be a great deal of modification, aesthetically.
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Re: The problem with Bombers

Postby CharlotteLabyrinth » Thu May 18, 2017 7:54 am

MarcOlle wrote:
CharlotteLabyrinth wrote:Units can be assigned with only one type of weapons at the same time. It is possible to adjust the number of weapons discharged from units, but it is impossible to make units employ multiple types of weapons simultaneously. If there are no variations present in the weapon's properties then there is no point at differentiating them in the first place.

Uhmm... I thought you could assing more than one weapon type because not all units have machine gun....


Machine guns cannot be replaced to be a secondary type of weapon. The 'mgun' parameter is a hard-coded function that can be only used as a machine gun and nothing else. So basically, units can only be armed with one type of weapons and one type of machine guns at the same time.

If you assign different weapons in a place of the machine gun for a unit, the only changed parts are the visual graphics of the unit's machine gun; in which case the machine gun will simply have an explosion effect (if the assigned weapon has an explosion effect) upon the impact on a target, but its core function will still remain unchanged.

Most of all, even if such modification was possible to accomplish, considering how unconventional method it is to replace a machine gun with another weapon, it should only be treated as a special modding trick.


MarcOlle wrote:
CharlotteLabyrinth wrote:Also by 'building', do you mean sector structures such as neutral buildings or power stations, or functional objects such as flak guns or radars? Because unit AI and weapon hit registrations also work quite distinctively between those two.


Anyway, the initial purpose of this discussion was to rectify the Mnosjetz's problem with only minimal modification possible. :P

By the way, welcome back! :D

Buildings I mean the sector structures, so you could hit it with a much larger distance from the target. And well I think changing so it shoot a barrage of bombs that look like only one wouldn't be a great deal of modification, aesthetically.


You cannot change the effective hitbox size against sector structures by increasing weapon's radius value. No matter how large the weapon's radius value is, whether it be 30 or 300, there is absolutely no difference between the weapon's hit registration towards sector structures.

It is because sector structures are classified as 'sector' objects and not 'bact' objects, and weapon's radius values are only effective against the 'bact' type of objects (i.e. every faction-controlled object in the game such as host stations, units, or flaks etc.) in the game's algorithm.

By contrast, the 'sector' type of objects conforms to a discrete logic for calculating weapons' hit registrations on them, of which the resultant value is a very small unknown constant. So it is actually a static value that does not take weapon's radius into account.


As a (on-topic) side note, Bronsteijn24k's suggestion of increasing the bomb's radius value is based on a fact that the AI bombers will assess their weapons' radius values in the weapon scripts, to determine how far away from the centre of a target they will make an attempt to drop their bombs.

This solution might work for Zidane's UA_Source, considering the fact that UA_Source has reinstated the full functionality of obsolete 'radius_(weapon type)' parameters in the game so every hit registrations will work separately against different types of vehicles (the only type of unit that is still affected by 'default' radius value is 'gun' type of units).

However as I mentioned before, in the case of the original UA the 'radius' value alone is solely used to determine the hitbox size of weapons against every type of units; so increasing the radius of Mnosjetz's weapon will affect its hit registration against all type of vehicles, making it extremely overpowered against everything. Therefore, the solution of increasing the weapon's radius is not a valid option in the original UA.
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