I was wondering when this 'feature' and or bug began. Apparently 3.6 did not do this and it is a new behavior to 3.7 or 3.8. I have played Harpoon AE for many years, and there also, weapons tight meant just that.
I too much prefer weapons to be tight. (That doesn't sound quit right.)
FreekS--- See below about putting ships on a mission.
Gees, after writing all this and just about to post, I noticed your comment about putting your ships on a mission. That sounds like it will help alot if I simply tell them to 'go there.'
I will leave the rest of what I wrote just in case any of it still has some meaning.
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You sound official. As though you are connected with Maxis. Is that so? (not rhetorical) While I very much appreciate help and suggestions from other players, it is also nice to hear something 'official.' I was beginning to wonder if Maxis had any official support for Harpoon. I couldn't find it.
I will write as though you are someone official. And thank you for your response by the way.
(I am adding this note here because I have read some of what I have written below and it sounds to much as though I am complaining. Well, I may be complaining just a little, but mainly I am just trying to let you know what is happening. And I am adding a few thoughts and opinions.)
Ooooookay.... No, I don't want my ships defending themselves. At least not without my permission. And not in the way they are doing so. I’ll try to explain below. And you are correct. I do micromanage the game. I have posted a few times, apparently not here though, that I launch every plane, place every plane, fly every plane, fire every missile, drop every bomb, shoot every torpedo, place every sonobouy, and everything else, by hand. I never use a mission or patrol. The simple fact is that the computer AI does not do half as good a job at this as I can do. And you are correct that this can be a little overwhelming, and tedious, but I much prefer it this way, as opposed to losing many aircraft that I would not otherwise lose. I started a poll on HHQ asking how others play the game and the considerable majority of people seem to play mostly by hand.
Since I have had some difficulty in playing the game, I may not be fully versed in the effects of this self-defense behavior, but this is what I have noticed.
This automatic defensive behavior is less effective, less efficient, wasteful of munitions, and a considerably lesser defense than what I can achieve. And it interferes with me mounting a better defense.
This behavior is less effective than what I can do. If you have, say, a group of 10 missiles coming in at you, right on top of each other, appearing as one missile, my ships will automatically fire at them in a large group of missiles, two outgoing for each incoming, and achieve a hit rate of 4 to 8 strikes. Whereas I, using methods I have learned from experience, can fire only 10 missiles and achieve a hit rate of 6 to 10 on the incoming 10.
This makes the self-defense behavior less efficient and wasteful. In the end, it fires from 1.5 to 3 times as many missiles as I would, to achieve the same effect.
It fires large groups of missiles causing a ship to be ‘engaged’ unnecessarily, and less able to defend against strong threats coming at you. This is the opposite of the intended effect of the defensive behavior.
It fires at threats in an order that I would not do, and from ships that I would not use, leaving others open for attack. Again making it more difficult to defend.
It confuses the screen with large numbers of missiles that are difficult to determine what they are being fired at. This confusion also makes it difficult to determine what has not been fired at. Again making it more difficult to defend.
I have played a scenario where my task force begins very near many enemy units. The enemy began firing at me almost immediately. Ordinarily, this would have been only a moderately difficult situation had it not been for the interference of the automatic defensive behavior. Only through very difficult work and constant checking of what was happening, tediously trying to keep track of things, and some luck, was I able to defend myself without loss. I nearly lost two ships.
I must say that on two occasions the defense has saved a plane for me. But, on several occasions it has made defense of my task force more difficult. I would rather lose a plane or two, than lose any potion of my TF because of interference by the game itself. (That would really be bad. So far it hasn’t happened, though has come close.)
If I may, I would disagree with your opinion of how the game was designed to be played. I have played Harpoon AE for many years and some version before that. It seems to me that the game was designed to be played in a wide variety of ways. From those who wanted to play it using mostly missions and patrols, to those who wanted to do everything by hand, and anything in-between. With this flexibility of game play, Harpoon gained a large and loyal group of followers. Many people, perhaps most, play the game with weapons tight. This automatic defensive behavior comes very close to nullifying the weapons tight setting, and is a major change in the way the game is played. I can think of many-a-time when I have passed up firing on an enemy in order to save my weapons for a more important target, or, to use what I considered a better platform to fire from. This automatic firing of weapons has on a few occasions already, robbed me of my freedom of choice. And I am sure others, with better imaginations, can think of many other situations where they would not want this automatic firing of weapons to occur.
I understand from your post that the game is in transition, and I am quite sure there are many things to consider. And, I understand that not everyone can be pleased. Perhaps not even me. But, I hope you strongly consider the major change in the game when you even partially remove the weapons tight feature. Would it be reasonably easy to implement three settings? Weapons tight, automatic defense, and weapons free?
Even if the auto-defense could do as good a job, or better than I, I am not sure that I would want this. It might be nice to have the three options above and play with auto-defense when things were ‘to large’ to watch over easily, and then switch to weapons tight if things got hectic and I could do a better job. Or, to play with weapons tight, and switch to auto-defense if there were situations where it could be helpful. But if I had to make a choice, I much prefer the weapons tight to the current auto-defense. (Actually, having three choices sounds pretty good.)
I guess I should state here how important I think this matter is. For me, this auto-defense comes very close to making the game unplayable. There are several reasons for this. One is that the auto-defense plays inadequately enough that it will cause me to lose ships through no fault of my own, and causes the defense of my ships to be much more difficult in intense situations. Also, in some situations, it virtually takes over the game and I am reduced to being a spectator watching two computer opponents play against each other. It also in some situations, in small ways, takes away my freedom of choice in how to play the game.
For new Harpoon players, who have not played Harpoon differently, this may not be so bad. But for longtime players, many of us may not find this undefeatable feature enjoyable.
Boy this post is long. Sorry. I even left things out. And, if you are an official person, you have answered may question that this is now a ‘feature’ of the game and not a bug. I hope this post has given you some things to consider, and that you might try to ‘please’ those of us who play with weapons tight. Try the three settings choices.