Another part of v1.31 falls into place

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DOCI thought I'd do a little piece on one of the aspects of the game we improved during v1.31 development (and why it was done) and see if I couldn't clear up a few misconceptions at the same time. I think what improved most with this work is not going to be what many would first think of when we announced the work was going to be done, but something else entirely.

I'm talking about the larger bombs (German 250kg, French 200kg, and British 500 pounders) versus the "hard to kill" AFV's like the Matilda, the StuG.IIIg and a couple of others. But first, here's a little history lesson about the game and how it handled these types of event consequences.

There is no denying that some tanks proved hard to get kills on with bombs in previous releases. While we are lamentably restricted to direct hits on the heavier AFV's to get kills with this game engine (unless you can track both sides with a near miss!) even with the fact that kills were possible before on tanks there were a number of issues. One was that the speed your aircraft was going (either really slow or really fast) would negatively impact part of the event consequences you should have been expecting. You almost had to find a "dive speed sweet spot" to be a highly successful tank killer with a dive bomber or fighter bomber.

We fixed that so that as long as a direct hit is scored your chances of success are now very high indeed, and this includes the previously "hard to kill" AFV's. When impacted by a 500 pound high explosive bomb, all tanks are vulnerable. A near miss ,unfortunately, is not able to be improved much over what it was before. That's probably a good thing given how easy it is to drop a bomb and score a near miss in the game. *wink*

But here's the really cool thing that we pulled off with this work. Yes, 500 pounds of bomb landing on a tank and killing it is a good thing, but the best thing we got out of this is the visual feedback of battle damage. They blow up and burn and exhibit visual smoke effects from that critical damage much more often than previously. In the past you often could kill one of the "difficult" tanks (or even the easier ones for that matter) but not see any evidence of your success. You cannot see the dead crew inside or the dead transmission or other systems so unless you caused it to blow up or turn into a raging BBQ you (and anyone else watching a bunch of tanks get bombed the same) you might and probably would think that the tank wasn't damaged at all, let alone mission killed, until it despawned.

That's pretty lame for a WAR game and a battlefield experience.

Now, we see most post bomb direct hit impact events on AFV's resulting in turrets blowing off, flames and smoke pouring out of openings, some kind of visual feedback that the tank was hit by a direct hit. This is good for a war game. Instead of the common experience after seeing a bunch of tanks get bombed being a bunch of despawing tanks, and little else, now you will see them blowing up and burning fiercely, or at least smoking badly.

For me, during the dozens and dozens of hours of testing done during this bomb development phase, that became the most significant improvement to the overall game from this work, not the actual changes to make bombing the harder to kill tanks work more like it should, although that too was very important. It was the realization that the battlefield just took on a visual WAR look that was missing before, for all those involved. The pilots scoring direct hits and the others on the ground who witnessed it happen. It is again a subtle aspect to consider but like many subtle things, it's more important to the overall look and feel of the game than might first be apparent.

0 #17 Dave 2010-05-04 13:24
Always nice to get feedback like this. THANKS DOC. Now if only i can have a gun shield for my bofors and an end to the head homing shrapnel that zero in on me when a bomb is dropped no where near me ill be ahappiest bunny in the whole wide theatre
0 #16 Alfawulf 2010-05-03 13:32
I know as an avid ATG user I've experienced the "no visable damage" kill alot. Very irritating when you're trying to be a weapon of stealth!! Hope vis damage on kill will extend to all things WW2OL!!
Good fix guyz!! thnx 4 the hard work!

0 #15 Sniper11 2010-05-03 11:14
Looks great to me. Nothing like seeing a few smoking tanks outside of a town right before I take a CP.
But I still want to see a RPG or tank/inf mines for use to use.
0 #14 Pauker 2010-05-02 02:05
Stronger bombs are fine for air-boys.
Do we see multi-barrel AA and SPAA?
0 #13 Dex250 2010-05-01 16:45
Nice! :3
0 #12 wrath04 2010-05-01 12:27
To hell with those flyboys... I want to see a flakpanzer to take em down ;)
0 #11 Kidd27 2010-05-01 00:32
Doc is the wind beneath my wings
0 #10 spleef 2010-04-30 21:37
Therein lies the reason you get the big bucks, DOC.

Please keep up the good work.
0 #9 rckgunny 2010-04-30 21:00
the guy at warbirds has panther tanks how come crs don't?are you crs guys still working out of your moms garage?
0 #8 KC23 2010-04-30 19:19
I use to turn up my nose about graphics Vs gameplay. A virtual gameplay snob of sorts. However, I have come to really apprecate the importance of game world ambiance to the improvement of a game's enjoyment.
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