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[Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling

 
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[Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 4:16:16 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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It might be a good idea if tankers had an "open for business" flag that stayed off while in transit, but switched on when they reach their mission area.

Similarly any plane auto/instructed to refuel would head for the nearest open tanker, rather then fruitlessly chase a transiting tanker (if nearest) as happens just now.

Now, one problem would be when a transiting tanker is close to its circuit area, a plane needing fuel would head for a far-off tanker already open. A workaround would be for the player to set a course so that it reaches the nearer tanker by the time it's open. For this reason it might be worth adding a "refuel" instruction to the course waypoint's menu.

To deal with emergencies, the tanker's open flag could be switched on/off by the player, so a transiting tanker could be made to slow down and provide fuel.



Another idea is to allow ground refuelling; why head to a far-off tanker if there's a nearby friendly airbase with enormous tank farm, assuming a suitable runway and facilities?

If such a base is nearer, a refuel instruction could use that. This could include carriers, though clearly only for compatible aircraft. The plane lands, refuels, takes off and resumes its mission/course.

Ideally there would be a calculation to decide which refuelling source takes the least fuel to reach, perhaps similar to the current bingo calc, though in general I'd guess distance would be the main factor and a simple rule-of-thumb would suffice. Also, the refuelling time may need to be taken into account, as air-to-air is faster than surface with all the associated taxiing.

In any case, maybe extending the refuel command to choose a specific tanker/base would be useful. Probably the simplest approach would be to keep auto & instructed air-to-air refuelling as at present, but allow player instruction to refuel at a base if they so choose.

So if the nearest base has 35 B-52s queueing to take off, then probably best to skip that one


One last idea: I notice that planes approaching a tanker seem to chase the tanker itself, rather then fly an intercept course. This will be slighly more costly on fuel and (I guess) cpu to recalculate the course each game 'tick'. If an intercept course is used, then it only needs to recalc whenever the tanker changes course, such as at a waypoint. It would be similar to how fighters fly intercept courses to their target. A superclever approach would be to base the intercept on the tanker's predicted circuit, taking waypoints into account, though that's probably overkill.



Also, where's the best place to post suggestions? Here or in the voted features thread? Creating a Suggestions Section could be useful, as an idea in a thread could get well hammered into shape/oblivion by follow-up posts.
Post #: 1
RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 5:48:38 AM   
Russian Heel


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Ideally, in my opinion, instead of a generic 'support' mission there would be a mission type for AAR (and one for each other support mission type like stand off jamming, etc.) Then in doctrine you could select specific refuel tracks to use (or allow the AI to choose) and maybe even schedule pre-strike/post strike tracks to hit, but of course for that we'd need a more detailed mission planner, which I know has been talked about and am patiently waiting for more than anything. I hope the 'support' mission is just a stand in for specific support mission types.

< Message edited by Russian Heel -- 1/19/2014 6:49:15 AM >

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 2
RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 7:01:56 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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I agree, a fully-fledged mission planner would be the best solution; tanker tracks could be placed at certain locations and flown at the right times, so that thirsty combat aircraft could be synchronised to rendezvous with them while on missions. All sorts of actions & phases could be synchronised between missions.

However, I reckon creating that would be a big job in terms of both design and implementation, so I don't think we can expect it any time soon. Not that we should hold back from throwing design ideas into the forum...

In any case, having certain autonomous behaviour is a good idea even with such a mission planner, so that planes could be instructed to go "auto" at required waypoints. e.g. a tanker could be instructed to fly a set of waypoints to a refuelling track, fly that track on auto for 1 hour (providing fuel to any that want it), then fly on to a different track.

I'm guessing the "open" flag and "refuel at base" could be implemented relatively easily (says he who has no knowledge of the code ), would enhance the current game, and would still be useful whenever a mission planner is finally added.

(in reply to Russian Heel)
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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 7:09:52 PM   
spookyer

 

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Sounds like great ideas, I have been avoiding tankers all together at the moment because my aircraft insist on going back to tank even if I order them RTB.

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 7:35:40 PM   
RoryAndersonCDT


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What I do is set my global 'no refueling' doctrine to no, and only turn on refueling on a case by case basis for my strikers

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 8:04:08 PM   
Primarchx


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Same here. Even then they act flaky. I like the idea of setting a tanker to YES and that when an aircraft has to refuel it goes to the closest YES tanker.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Baloogan

What I do is set my global 'no refueling' doctrine to no, and only turn on refueling on a case by case basis for my strikers


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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/19/2014 8:51:29 PM   
Rudd

 

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quote:

I agree, a fully-fledged mission planner would be the best solution; tanker tracks could be placed at certain locations and flown at the right times, so that thirsty combat aircraft could be synchronised to rendezvous with them while on missions. All sorts of actions & phases could be synchronised between missions. 

Are there any excel gurus here? Somebody could make a spreadsheet, with factors such as how many fighters/strike ac, distance to target, pounds of fuel needed, distance to refuel circuit......

(in reply to Primarchx)
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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/20/2014 3:32:59 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rudd
Are there any excel gurus here? Somebody could make a spreadsheet, with factors such as how many fighters/strike ac, distance to target, pounds of fuel needed, distance to refuel circuit......

For a planner, such things should be calculable (to within acceptable accuracy) at mission plan time. If you're setting out a course of waypoints, you could, say, decide that the stage WP_6 to WP_7 be flown at a set airspeed & altitude, so the planner will calc the time and fuel burn. Alternatively you could decide on a set arrival time at WP_7, so the calc will be for airspeed and burn.

Thus the whole mission's fuel budget & timings could be calculated based on all the stages. Furthermore, multiple missions could be synchronised so that, say, a tanker and several thirsty fighters arrive at a waypoint at the same time, multiple bombers on different courses could arrive over the target simultaneously, or air sweeps, SEADs and strikes are sequenced as successive phases.

The complications begin when actions are added (e.g. refuel at nearest, attack target, fly CAP for 2 hours), and the fuel budget & timings for many such actions are not accurately predictable. Then estimates and allowances have to be brought into the mix. A mission consisting of different aircraft types would complicate the speed and fuel calcs, in case you plan to fly SR-71s and Piper Cubs together . Also, if we demanding players ask for enhanced weather effects down the line, then headwinds and storms could ruin the plans. Just like in real life.

Autonomous behaviour would still be a major part of planned missions, e.g. an escort for a strike mission would be expected to deal with threats, or a tanker would become "open for business" when it reaches a track. After all, avoiding micromanagement is one of the major strengths of CMANO.

However, I suggest we post any planner ideas in a separate thread to keep it on-topic. I have a few ideas I'm trying to mentally bash into shape and was planning to post them soon, so feel free to beat me to it

So for these refuel ideas, they mostly finesse the current autonomous behaviour and could be useful at present, as well as feature in any future planner-created missions.

(in reply to Rudd)
Post #: 8
RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/20/2014 4:09:23 AM   
Stevechase

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Russian Heel

Ideally, in my opinion, instead of a generic 'support' mission there would be a mission type for AAR (and one for each other support mission type like stand off jamming, etc.) Then in doctrine you could select specific refuel tracks to use (or allow the AI to choose) and maybe even schedule pre-strike/post strike tracks to hit, but of course for that we'd need a more detailed mission planner, which I know has been talked about and am patiently waiting for more than anything. I hope the 'support' mission is just a stand in for specific support mission types.

+

(in reply to Russian Heel)
Post #: 9
RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/20/2014 6:50:16 AM   
Dimitris

 

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Great suggestions all, guys. How do you propose we fund their development?

FOLLOW UP: I was accused of being sarcastic or dismissive with the above comment. Nothing is further from the truth. We very much appreciate feedback and suggestions for further improving the game (and a lot of the suggestions have in fact been incorporated in the updates released so far). This does not mean we are not concerned with the cost (monetary and otherwise) of adding these additional features or tweaks. As anyone in software development knows, code is not free.

< Message edited by Sunburn -- 1/20/2014 12:19:36 PM >


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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/20/2014 9:15:43 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sunburn

Great suggestions all, guys. How do you propose we fund their development?

Why, from the flood of extra sales brought about by such enhancements, naturally!

You bring up a good point, though - on one hand it's a pricey game where we customers feel we can demand a lot, on the other hand there's already tremendous depth in the game and devs have to eat. So it may well be justifiable to bundle major enhancements into buyable upgrade packs.

Adding land warfare would likely qualify, but what about a mission planner? Maybe. It probably depends how many bells and whistles it had.

Whatever the economics, a fully-fledged planner would undoubtedly be a major improvement for this already-excellent game. What's more, there's a growing player base who could likely contribute ideas and help bash them into shape from concept to spec, with a bit of guidance from the devs of course.

While it's still early days and bug-hunting is a priority, it does no harm to start thinking ahead about such things. That way bad ideas can get pulverised and good ones knocked into shape.

But sure, ultimately it's up to the team as to whether any idea is worth including or not, as it's their man-hours.

(in reply to Dimitris)
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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/20/2014 1:24:47 PM   
Rudd

 

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quote:

Great suggestions all, guys. How do you propose we fund their development?

I guess that was the point of my post, it needs to be a community driven project. It could start simple and shape into as complicated as we can conceive. I'm sure the devs have enough on their plate, it's not like they're sitting back and watching the show. We all know they're still busting their ass. I have no knowledge on excel though so I guess I shouldn't talk.

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 12
RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/25/2014 10:39:34 PM   
smudge56

 

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Id like to avoid as much as possible 'payable' upgrades. I like what has been done so far and the support has been exceptional. Its great that people have ideas for further enhancements to the system. This has possibly been asked before but the list of ideas you are looking at bringing in, can we see these or are we not allowed to see them just in case they are not brought in and we are disappointed?

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/25/2014 11:01:57 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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Sorry Blighty. We will not be sharing this as it includes are developmental ideas as well. I

Please do post when you want something though as we do actively maintain it and do upgrade priorities when we see things.

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/26/2014 8:18:45 PM   
smudge56

 

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No I understand mate I was just asking.

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/27/2014 8:17:13 PM   
Shemar

 

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Since the question of funding has been brought on...

My main issue would not be not paying for improvements, it would be making sure such 'pay for' improvements do not detract from the effort to fix bugs and generally maintain the game.

Beyond that an idea would be to use kickstarter for fan funded improvements. For example if the devs decide that a feature set is popular enough but also time consuming enough that the regular revenue stream from sales cannot fund it, they could create a kickstarter project for developing it. Yes that would mean that possibly the few pay for everybody to have the improvements (as I would not advocate for starting to support separate builds and feature sets) but if that is the only way to keep improving the game other than a pay for upgrade or expansion, why not try?

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/27/2014 8:52:51 PM   
Maromak


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FWIW I made a small donation prior to the release of Command. If it meant the difference between having a Mission/Strike Planner or not, I would be willing to make a similar donation.

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/27/2014 8:56:14 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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It on the plan and going to be worked on regardless. Its very high on Rags list

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RE: [Suggestion] Enhancing refuelling - 1/29/2014 5:09:06 PM   
HercMighty


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sunburn

Great suggestions all, guys. How do you propose we fund their development?

FOLLOW UP: I was accused of being sarcastic or dismissive with the above comment. Nothing is further from the truth. We very much appreciate feedback and suggestions for further improving the game (and a lot of the suggestions have in fact been incorporated in the updates released so far). This does not mean we are not concerned with the cost (monetary and otherwise) of adding these additional features or tweaks. As anyone in software development knows, code is not free.



Actually I hope there is enough interest in an expansion. The game needs to be polished for the initial goals of the release so your happy with it...but at some point ideas have to be put on a list for a future upgrade as most of us I don't believe expect not to have to pay for future content.

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 19
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