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Request for michaelm

 
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Request for michaelm - 10/25/2012 5:37:21 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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If you have time, could you take a look in my AAR (Nothing Up My Sleeve") on the 7th page for a series of posts and screenshots plus comments concerning drop tanks and torpedo loadouts? If you'd like me to repeat them here I could.

I don't know if this issue falls under bugs, since it's an interface thing, or how hard it would be to address. I'd just like your opinion.

Thanks.

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The Moose
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RE: Request for michaelm - 10/27/2012 1:52:36 AM   
michaelm


Posts: 9081
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From: Sydney, Australia
Status: online
Centre-line means one attachment point. Thus only one device is mounted there.
In this case either the torpedo or drop tank is mounted.

The in-game database shows all possible devices. The actual devices mounted would be shown in the aircraft data for the group which is generally based on the mission selection normally.



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Michael

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RE: Request for michaelm - 10/27/2012 2:32:23 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: michaelm

Centre-line means one attachment point. Thus only one device is mounted there.
In this case either the torpedo or drop tank is mounted.

The in-game database shows all possible devices. The actual devices mounted would be shown in the aircraft data for the group which is generally based on the mission selection normally.




Right, but the problem is the interface allows the player to think that both a drop tank AND a torpedo are loaded at the same time. Both are in yellow as the mission is assigned. Also, the range rings show a regular range for the torp mission, and an extended range. Of the three ways to see what's up with the plane, only one is true. The range rings and the mission assignment screen aren't.

I looked in Tracker and only the early war Beest has this problem with drop tanks. No other TB that I can see has the tank sharing the attachment point. If the torpedo line could be redded out when a drop tank is ordered that would help avoid this for this one model.

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The Moose

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RE: Request for michaelm - 10/27/2012 4:38:09 AM   
michaelm


Posts: 9081
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From: Sydney, Australia
Status: online
The group's AIRCRAFT DATA shows what is carried on the mission.
The "Using Torp" line is often red for land-based groups so I can't see how that would make it any more obvious.
The range rings are for the distance a plane can travel, not mission specific - only mission related adjustment is for ASW halving the range from memory.

I don't know about others, but I quite often check the group's weapon load (from AIRCRAFT DATA) when performing missions when DTs are an option - more so now as I have been playing with the weapon profile option which means you need to know what weapons are used for a mission.

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Michael

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RE: Request for michaelm - 10/27/2012 5:19:03 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: michaelm

The group's AIRCRAFT DATA shows what is carried on the mission.
The "Using Torp" line is often red for land-based groups so I can't see how that would make it any more obvious.
The range rings are for the distance a plane can travel, not mission specific - only mission related adjustment is for ASW halving the range from memory.

I don't know about others, but I quite often check the group's weapon load (from AIRCRAFT DATA) when performing missions when DTs are an option - more so now as I have been playing with the weapon profile option which means you need to know what weapons are used for a mission.


And I NEVER use the aircraft data tab. It's not how I think, not how my head works. As it is now the interface lies for that mission combo/model/weapon. Yellow text in the game means "good" or "permitted." I agree that red can mean no torpedos are in HQ inventory, but in all cases red means no torpedo is loaded. Especially when for all other TBs you can use a drop tank and a torpedo at the same time, this situation is insidious. It needs an error trap. If that's outside of what you want to comsider fine, but it's not acting in accordance with interface norms as it is now.


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The Moose

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RE: Request for michaelm - 10/27/2012 9:40:03 AM   
PaxMondo


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Moose,

As Michael says, with the new filter available, you need to use the aircraft data tab more often now.  The main screen just doesn't show everything about aircraft load outs any more.  The tab will show you exactly what you are flying with for any particular mission. 

Many IJ aircraft have centerline ordnance conflicts and the aircraft data tab has always been where you look to see those.  Or at least it been that way now for at least a couple of years.

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Pax

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RE: Request for michaelm - 10/27/2012 5:53:00 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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Joined: 2/24/2009
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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

Moose,

As Michael says, with the new filter available, you need to use the aircraft data tab more often now.  The main screen just doesn't show everything about aircraft load outs any more.  The tab will show you exactly what you are flying with for any particular mission. 

Many IJ aircraft have centerline ordnance conflicts and the aircraft data tab has always been where you look to see those.  Or at least it been that way now for at least a couple of years.


I should leave this alone, but in typical Moose fashion I won't.

The issue to me is not the issue you name or the one michaelm outlines. I roger that there are combos of ordnance and that the aircraft data tab exists. I don't use it, except to see maneuver bands. Could I use it? Sure. Should I use it more? Probably.

But the issue is interface design, not that the data needed to play the game is available somewhere, if one only will play the game in one, set way. Interfaces, in game design theory, are baragins between the developer and the customer. The developer, by choosing design conventions such as colors and symbols, inherently promises not to lie to the player. To make the interface agree with itself in every way and in every corner the player can look under the design. The player IOW doesn't get a different story depending on which piece of the interface he consults.

In the case of the early war Beest there are three places the player can look into the interface and address this issue: the range rings, the mission planning screen, and the aircraft data tab. Two of them give one answer and it's incorrect. One of them gives a different answer, and it's the only one that can be correct based on the plane's physical characteristics.

I used the mission planner. It tells me, by the use of yellow text, a design convention, that I can have both a drop tank and a torpedo mounted. I planned a very critical mission on that basis. That the aircraft data tab says otherwise is nice, but it's a cop-out. How, in this example where two interface elements are 180 degrees from each other, can the player, newbie or not, know he should trust one over the other? He can't. That breaks the bargain with the player.

The issue of the range rings is harder, and I understand it's probably a code impossibility to fix, but there too the player is misled. There are four range rings shown for this model when drop tank is co-selected with torpedos. The gray ring, which should logically represent this combo, should not be there, since the plane can NEVER fly this mission. Players who lean on the range rings to calculate strike probabilities will also be led to making a decision which is impossible to fly.

As for bomb load-outs this is to me a different isuse. In mission planning terms for planes which can cary either the only real thing the player needs to know is that a bomb is a non-torpedo. Redding out the torpedo text indicates you've got some kind of bomb. If you want more than that you go to the aircraft tab, since the mission planner never, ever tells the player bomb details, and that's fine because that's what's in the bargain. But telling the player he has a torpedo loaded when he doesn't is not.

This issue concerns one plane for one side in one configuraiton. It's not the end of the world if it never gets fixed. But far smaller issues have been fixed as michaelm has continued volunteer support of the game. I mainly wanted to highlight the reality that not all players come into game management from the same direction, from the same process with the use of the same management screens. Where info can be accessed from more than one place the info needs to agree with itself. When yellow text means one thing everywhere else it shouldn't mean something different here.

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The Moose

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