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TRACOM: Is it worth it?

 
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TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 2:43:04 PM   
Q-Ball


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Just wondering what actual benefit is seen from moving elite pilots to TRACOM. I know what it's supposed to do....improve beginning experience of rookie pilots.

Does it work?

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 2:59:47 PM   
witpqs


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I never use it. Playing Allies.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 3:16:17 PM   
dr.hal


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There are a lot of threads with speculation on this subject both for and against but I don't recall reading a definitive answer based upon player experimentation. I'm, like George, not a user of it, as I tend to use my best pilots on the front line.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 3:34:54 PM   
RangerJoe


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As Japanese, it helps by speeding up the process of training. The new pilots are not more experienced, they can go through training faster. Since each pilot in training costs 5 HI points per month, it can add up. Plus, it saves the pilots for later defensive work. Another good thing to do for either side is to put the experts in on map training units since it raises the overall experience and training level of the unit so the trainees are more likely to gain experience to the group average. Even just one or two will work in a unit.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 4:07:55 PM   
geofflambert


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Just Japanese. Just 10 IJA and 10 IJN. I got a huge flood of IJN pilots at one point due to TRACOM but after that the cupboard was mostly dry. For a few months I had more IJN recruits than I had open training slots for. I got a more modest jolt for the IJA. Is it worth it? Of course it is. You don't lose the pilots and can bring them back at any time. All pilots go KIA/WIA eventually but these don't.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 4:16:49 PM   
cantona2


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I do not use it. I use my top pilots at the front. I do have dedicated training squadrons that I fill out with rookies on 7-12-41 then i do a check at the end of every calender month and move those trained up pilots to the pool and repopulate with rookies. This is as Allies I may add.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 4:58:45 PM   
Kull


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As usual, the best solution is to "Ask Alfred":

quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

3. Unless you are prepared to make the necessary investment 10 pilots of a particular nationality, then you don't get much value out of sending pilots to TRACOM. To benefit from TRACOM you mst have 10 USA pilots to speed up the graduation rate of USA pilots. If you had a mixture of 6 USA + 1 Aust + 2 British + 1 USN, that would not work. You would need all 10 TRACOM pilots to be USA.

Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

Training is not really improved by having experienced pilots amongst the rookies.

Pilots in TRACOM will speed up the graduation process. Pilots enter flight school and it takes them 12 months to graduate. TRACOM can push some pilots to complete a semester quicker, thereby ultimately graduating in less than 12 months. However additional trainees do not enter flight school to fill the spots vacated by the quicker graduating pilots.

Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

Graduating pilots come out with experience which is within a range +/- of the national average. Having pilots in Tracom will aid reducing the negative spread but will not boost them to above the national average.

Alfred




quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

The working of TRACOM and pilot training/experiences is one of the most common subjects I have answered over the years.  The most recent thread is this:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3832564&mpage=1&key=tracom�

Of the two things which TRACOM does, only one is visible to the player viz the faster graduation.

1.  Faster graduation, if it occurs at all that month, does so only on the first of the month.

2.  Faster graduation occurs much less than 50% of the time.  Allied players, provided they have at least 10 pilots of a discrete nationality in TRACOM, tend to see it more often because they have many more nationalities available than do Japanese players who are limited to only two nationalities.

3.  Faster graduation is more likely to occur to nationalities in the lower national graduating pilot experience cohorts.

Alfred 


To summarize:

1) The primary benefit of TRACOM is to speed up the training process for some pilots, so they spend less than 12 months in training. This is particularly important for Japan since HI is precious and it costs "X" amount of HI per pilot per day ("X"=5 according to RangerJoe) while they are in the training system (i.e. prior to graduation and entering the reserve pool, at which point they cost nothing).

2) This is a REAL benefit since accelerated graduation does NOT result in additional pilots entering the training system to make up for the early graduates.

3) The second benefit is a bit more esoteric. Pilots do not graduate from training AT the "nationality experience level", but within a "plus-minus" range in which the "high point" is the national average. "Having pilots in Tracom will aid in reducing the negative spread but will not boost them to above the national average".

4) HOWEVER. In order for TRACOM to work, you need at least 10 TRACOM pilots of a given nationality to speed up the training of pilots of THAT nationality (For Japan, that means IJA and IJN are two different nationalities).

Edit: On reflection, I think some of the confusion is due to the term "National Average". It would better be described as "National Maximum".

< Message edited by Kull -- 2/11/2020 5:20:16 PM >


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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 5:08:37 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Just wondering what actual benefit is seen from moving elite pilots to TRACOM. I know what it's supposed to do....improve beginning experience of rookie pilots.

Does it work?


I think it 'works' by periodically advancing 'class groups' through the training more rapidly. 0-3 month recruits accelerate more rapidly into 4-6 month groups and so on. They will graduate with the same national stats that any 12+ month school graduates do, but the pilot group tranches may be larger.

Do you need more 12+ month graduates coming out of your flight school? Are your 'replacement' pools sucked dry? If not, then the accelerated training groups may not help you that much. But it *doesn't* improve beginning experience of rookie pilots in the replacement pool. Just (sometimes) gives you more of 'em.

With that being said, I use a limited amount of TRACOM slots. The acceleration of pilot tranches is nice when it happens, but I mostly save my top tier pilots for mid-late war for better planes with armor. Lowers the chance of my Subura Sakai getting shot up in some craptacular Oscar in 1942. Saving my primo pilots until I can get them into Franks or Georges will-I think-preserve my late-war competitiveness.

ETA: Cross-posted. Looks like this just got covered with Kull's post.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 2/11/2020 5:10:39 PM >


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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 5:14:14 PM   
GetAssista

 

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As Japan I routinely cull 80+ IJAAF pilots into "training instructors" and then TRACOM in the first months of the war, so that they man best planes later and not die in flimsy Oscars. I believe AI/PBEM makes no difference here. IJNAF is another story, there is always a shortage of fighter pilots i a PBEM.

TRACOM bonus is insignificant and too random to rely on. Although there seems to be a bug where oversized TRACOM (several hundred guys) can eventually increase IJNAF graduation xp to ridiculous levels. I have saves with 55-60+ xp quoted in the "Replacement pilots" intelligence screen stat in mid 43 stock 1 game against Allied AI, and it is really that high contrary to the scenario-set level of average 35 xp. I've seen it consistently in my AI games where I accumulate 200+ TRACOM for IJNAF. IJAAF has consistently smaller TRACOM cause of fewer starting high-xp pilots and flight school graduates are at healthy 35 xp as expected from the scenario. Dunno if 200+ TRACOM can break their school too.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 6:16:04 PM   
Kull


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References to this table come up a lot, and unfortunately it's parked in a very non-intuitive location (the Editor Manual), so here it is:




Attachment (1)

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 6:39:37 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull

References to this table come up a lot, and unfortunately it's parked in a very non-intuitive location (the Editor Manual), so here it is:





Oh no! Not the

RTFM

again!

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 2/11/2020 6:41:06 PM >


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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 6:41:53 PM   
alanschu

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

As Japanese, it helps by speeding up the process of training. The new pilots are not more experienced, they can go through training faster. Since each pilot in training costs 5 HI points per month, it can add up. Plus, it saves the pilots for later defensive work. Another good thing to do for either side is to put the experts in on map training units since it raises the overall experience and training level of the unit so the trainees are more likely to gain experience to the group average. Even just one or two will work in a unit.


Nice I had no idea this was the case. *EDIT: Sounds like it might not be haha*

< Message edited by alanschu -- 2/11/2020 6:44:23 PM >

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 8:12:21 PM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: alanschu
quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
As Japanese, it helps by speeding up the process of training. The new pilots are not more experienced, they can go through training faster. Since each pilot in training costs 5 HI points per month, it can add up. Plus, it saves the pilots for later defensive work. Another good thing to do for either side is to put the experts in on map training units since it raises the overall experience and training level of the unit so the trainees are more likely to gain experience to the group average. Even just one or two will work in a unit.

Nice I had no idea this was the case. *EDIT: Sounds like it might not be haha*

It might be, actually. Go here and read InfiniteMonkey posts https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4215656. He did many tests on training (the actual game, not some theoretical knowledge on how code should work). My own tests coincide with his results when I did those. But he tested much more

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 9:07:05 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

quote:

ORIGINAL: alanschu
quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
As Japanese, it helps by speeding up the process of training. The new pilots are not more experienced, they can go through training faster. Since each pilot in training costs 5 HI points per month, it can add up. Plus, it saves the pilots for later defensive work. Another good thing to do for either side is to put the experts in on map training units since it raises the overall experience and training level of the unit so the trainees are more likely to gain experience to the group average. Even just one or two will work in a unit.

Nice I had no idea this was the case. *EDIT: Sounds like it might not be haha*

It might be, actually. Go here and read InfiniteMonkey posts https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4215656. He did many tests on training (the actual game, not some theoretical knowledge on how code should work). My own tests coincide with his results when I did those. But he tested much more


I'll assume you posted the wrong link by mistake, because "TRACOM" doesn't appear once in that entire thread.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 9:31:41 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull


quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

quote:

ORIGINAL: alanschu
quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
As Japanese, it helps by speeding up the process of training. The new pilots are not more experienced, they can go through training faster. Since each pilot in training costs 5 HI points per month, it can add up. Plus, it saves the pilots for later defensive work. Another good thing to do for either side is to put the experts in on map training units since it raises the overall experience and training level of the unit so the trainees are more likely to gain experience to the group average. Even just one or two will work in a unit.

Nice I had no idea this was the case. *EDIT: Sounds like it might not be haha*

It might be, actually. Go here and read InfiniteMonkey posts https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4215656. He did many tests on training (the actual game, not some theoretical knowledge on how code should work). My own tests coincide with his results when I did those. But he tested much more


I'll assume you posted the wrong link by mistake, because "TRACOM" doesn't appear once in that entire thread.

I think the thread linked was a departure from the TRACOM OP subject header. GetAssista's comments are pertaining to the value (or lack thereof) of keeping a TRACOM-eligible stud pilot in a training squadron in order to accelerate training of noobs in field. At least that's the way I read it.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 9:32:10 PM   
GetAssista

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull


quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

quote:

ORIGINAL: alanschu
quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
As Japanese, it helps by speeding up the process of training. The new pilots are not more experienced, they can go through training faster. Since each pilot in training costs 5 HI points per month, it can add up. Plus, it saves the pilots for later defensive work. Another good thing to do for either side is to put the experts in on map training units since it raises the overall experience and training level of the unit so the trainees are more likely to gain experience to the group average. Even just one or two will work in a unit.

Nice I had no idea this was the case. *EDIT: Sounds like it might not be haha*

It might be, actually. Go here and read InfiniteMonkey posts https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4215656. He did many tests on training (the actual game, not some theoretical knowledge on how code should work). My own tests coincide with his results when I did those. But he tested much more

I'll assume you posted the wrong link by mistake, because "TRACOM" doesn't appear once in that entire thread.

Nope, I referred to the second statement of the two. Because the first one is obviously clear for everyone here. It is the second one ("another good thing") that some people still have doubts about.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 10:03:20 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

7.1 PILOT EXPERIENCE:

Orange means that that experience increased in the last month. Green means the last day.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2263271

Pilots can lose an EXP point if their plane is damage or lost due to an operational loss.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2542861

Skills are what counts for most individual actions, including training.

Experience, in general, counts in non-combat areas.

If you leave a VMF/VMB on a CV for 90 days it becomes CV capable


FAQ / Info for Newb's

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2260137

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 10:15:16 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

Nope, I referred to the second statement of the two. Because the first one is obviously clear for everyone here. It is the second one ("another good thing") that some people still have doubts about.


There's an easier way to make your case. Show the relevant text from the manual. In this case, we have item #5 (circled below) from the Pilot Addendum which clearly states that the presence of 80+ pilots "increases the chance of successful training". That is an answer which is crystal clear. No guesswork or need for debate.

By contrast, the same addendum also tells us to be wary of blanket statements such as "overall unit experience levels" matter. That is only POTENTIALLY true. Overall unit experience level factors are only applicable to pilots who have an individual value of "less than 50" when you combine their 1) experience, 2) kills, and 3) missions. In other words, it only matters - at most - to a subset of pilots being trained in that group, and possibly to none at all.





Attachment (1)

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/11/2020 10:43:02 PM   
RangerJoe


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Yes, it is difficult to train a new skill when the experience is over 50. So your trainees will do better before they see combat or even do missions. That is why 100% training is better for new pilots instead of a partial percentage along with an actual mission. So train them before they do missions, then send them out to fly combat.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 1:49:47 AM   
Professor Chaos

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull
There's an easier way to make your case. Show the relevant text from the manual. In this case, we have item #5 (circled below) from the Pilot Addendum which clearly states that the presence of 80+ pilots "increases the chance of successful training". That is an answer which is crystal clear. No guesswork or need for debate.


That part of the Training Addendum seems to describe two different ways to gain experience and skill: (a) training missions, and (b) a separate chance every day, based on factors 1-5, which includes the presence of 80+ veterans. Do veterans also improve the effectiveness of training missions?

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 4:19:22 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Chaos

quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull
There's an easier way to make your case. Show the relevant text from the manual. In this case, we have item #5 (circled below) from the Pilot Addendum which clearly states that the presence of 80+ pilots "increases the chance of successful training". That is an answer which is crystal clear. No guesswork or need for debate.


That part of the Training Addendum seems to describe two different ways to gain experience and skill: (a) training missions, and (b) a separate chance every day, based on factors 1-5, which includes the presence of 80+ veterans. Do veterans also improve the effectiveness of training missions?


Read post #7 of this thread https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4539162&mpage=1&key=pilot�

IIRC I have posted a "clearer" answer elsewhere (perhaps in an AAR) but can't currently locate it.

Alfred

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 8:41:30 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GetAssista

..... oversized TRACOM (several hundred guys) can eventually increase IJNAF graduation xp to ridiculous levels. I have saves with 55-60+ xp quoted in the "Replacement pilots" intelligence screen stat in mid 43 stock 1 game against Allied AI, and it is really that high contrary to the scenario-set level of average 35 xp...


There was a comment on last month's TRACOM thread that pushes this into focus. Possibly.

If you take positive action to empty your pools and pull those recruits early you might get them into squadrons at that high % level.

However, if you don't pull them early, then the exe clamps down and resets them at </= national max when they emerge from training.

I anticipate Alfred may poo-poo this, but I am just the man on the Clapham omnibus.


< Message edited by Ian R -- 2/12/2020 2:12:43 PM >


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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 3:06:48 PM   
Kull


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Professor Chaos

That part of the Training Addendum seems to describe two different ways to gain experience and skill: (a) training missions, and (b) a separate chance every day, based on factors 1-5, which includes the presence of 80+ veterans. Do veterans also improve the effectiveness of training missions?


It's hard to say for sure because it involves some element of "reading tea leaves". First of all, it seems likely (but I'm just guessing) that the five "end of the day" factors were part of a post-first-release code change, probably the one which led to the "pilot addendum" in the first place (which was NOT part of the first release, and thus has many elements not covered in the manual)

Secondly, the "dedicated training group" code was all stripped out in a follow-on patch, and it's possible that other, unannounced, changes were made to the training code at the same time. See this thread for a discussion on the why's behind the elimination of dedicated training groups, which includes several posts from the devs.

Anyway, here's where I'm going with this: The pilot addendum was not updated AFTER that change, and definitely contains misinformation (at least with regard to the training groups - see items 3 & 4 of the excerpt I posted above). So I suppose it's possible that there are other elements which no longer apply or were altered in some way. On balance however, it seems unlikely that the "end of day" experience-related factors would ALSO be replicated in the normal training code (the code which is applied at the end of each day-phase)

However, there definitely was a lot of post-release futzing around with the pilot training code. Careful parsing of dev comments in other threads may yield additional nuggets.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 3:19:56 PM   
RangerJoe


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I have found this as Allies, an excellent place to train pilots is the groups that can be bought out. The pilot experience is low but they gain skills very fast. The lower experienced pilots are more likely to gain the experience and skill.

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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 3:24:12 PM   
RangerJoe


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On that thread:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2314379

quote:

michaelm75au
.
.
.
And yes adding experienced pilots will assist with training.


Whoever michaelm75au is.


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Post #: 25
RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 3:30:25 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kull
There's an easier way to make your case. Show the relevant text from the manual. In this case, we have item #5 (circled below) from the Pilot Addendum which clearly states that the presence of 80+ pilots "increases the chance of successful training". That is an answer which is crystal clear. No guesswork or need for debate.


I'd also recommend caution in blanket recognition of the manual as being the be-all end-all arbiter of 'truth' in the game. Much has happened with the game code and revisions of the game since the manual was printed lo these many years ago. The manual as written is / was full of errors of omission and half-truths and needs to be seasoned with interpretation. Particularly for those of us that are not privy to the programming and haven't had the opportunity to 'peek under the hood' of the design.

For example, in the addendum you provided, there is room for selective interpretation of the text. The text: "These gain both skill and experience points" is not necessarily correct. More correct would be to say that "These may gain both skill and experience points" as this process is not a day-to-day binary choice. Those of us that have used pilot training know that there's never a guarantee that the training process (even assuming subvariables 1-5 are included) will gain either skill or experience points.

Furthermore, the manual doesn't state that skill or experience training is capped with on-map training efforts. Those of us know that training on-map will effectively never get above EXP or individual skill of ~75. Training asymptotically approaches these levels over time.

So there's a practical limit to the use of on-map training regardless of what is written in either the manual or in the addendum. Hence the need for debate, 'guesswork', gameplay experience and Kentucky windage. The letter of the manual and the addendum is insufficient.

ETA: Again, I'm late to the discussion. You clarify your position (and seem to be on my wavelength) in your post #24.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 2/12/2020 3:34:14 PM >


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RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 3:32:04 PM   
btd64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

On that thread:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2314379

quote:

michaelm75au
.
.
.
And yes adding experienced pilots will assist with training.


Whoever michaelm75au is.



Michael is one of the developers....GP

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(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 27
RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 3:36:47 PM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 6634
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quote:

ORIGINAL: btd64


quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

On that thread:

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2314379

quote:

michaelm75au
.
.
.
And yes adding experienced pilots will assist with training.


Whoever michaelm75au is.



Michael is one of the developers....GP


Thank you. I suspected that but I did not definitely know that.

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(in reply to btd64)
Post #: 28
RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 4:05:36 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2087
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

I'd also recommend caution in blanket recognition of the manual as being the be-all end-all arbiter of 'truth' in the game.


To that point (but primarily as a concrete example of the changes made to pilot experience and training), there's this. Although there isn't a "Pilot National Experience" chart in the Game Manual (the one posted above is from the Editor Manual), on page 59 there is a screenshot of the "as-released" Allied Pilot Replacements window (#1). Note the 1941 national experience averages (circled in red). By contrast, here is the same screen in the current AE release (#2), same date, Scenario 1. BIG difference, but it does match the table from the Editor Manual.

So I will agree that there's a lot of "smoke" surrounding pilot training - those algorithms (and even fundamental things like "national experience") have obviously undergone a number of changes. That said, while there are some areas where the manual isn't correct, in the vast majority of cases, it still is.




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(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 29
RE: TRACOM: Is it worth it? - 2/12/2020 4:22:21 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2087
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
Speaking of Nuggets, we have this from the coder himself. The quote is dated 12/13/2009, which is AFTER the patch which removed Dedicated Training Units. So it's *probably* a good description of the "as-is" code on the workings of TRACOM (doesn't address all aspects of pilot training, however):

quote:

ORIGINAL: michaelm75au

There is some behind the scenes action with training of raw pilots and TRACOM.

The number of TRACOM guys can increase the month's EXP rating of the raw pilots.
If the new EXP exceeds the national EXP, then a random number of pilots will 'graduate' early.
When this happens, you get a message "instructors accelerate training of" in the operation report.

In general, this jump is only going to occur in the last month of training, unless you add a huge number of pilots to TRACOM.

A rough guide is: for every 10 in TRACOM (of the correct nationality), the monthly EXP might be increased by one.

Adjustments to the pilot training happens on the first day of the month.
The monthly EXP increase of the raw pilots (ignoring TRACOM effect) is a random amount (-2 to +2).
The new monthly EXP starts out as an average of the pilots in the month and those moving from the previous month.



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(in reply to Kull)
Post #: 30
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