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Ssnake

Steel Beasts Complexity

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13 hours ago, thewood said:

Is SB perfect...no.  But for every failing of infantry in SB, I can point out something neat it can do that none of the others can do or do easily.  The SOPs especially place infantry well above most of the games above.  I also point out that fortifications, trenches, and foxholes are the biggest issues I see in SB.  Its the one that frustrates me the most.

 

That is also the point that frustrates me most. I suspect, like me, however, you still have "Wow!" moments playing or using SB. My most recent was watching a T-55, at the short halt on dry ground (African Savannah terrain), shooting at a distant target. The way dust rose from the ground and the tank rocked backward on firing was simply awesome. I could just watch that over and over. Whomever made that tank and modelled its physics and behaviour and the world in which it operates obviously has a deep understanding and love for armour that comes across in this simulation as in no other.

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In fact, it could be argued that the AI involved in things like that reduce the complexity of the game fairly significantly.  In a game like Combat Mission, it takes a lot of tweaking to get a unit to go hull down and use alternate firing positions.  In SB, its almost automatic.

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On 3/5/2020 at 8:04 PM, thewood said:

In fact, it could be argued that the AI involved in things like that reduce the complexity of the game fairly significantly.  In a game like Combat Mission, it takes a lot of tweaking to get a unit to go hull down and use alternate firing positions.  In SB, its almost automatic.

Dont confuse complexity with micromanagement.

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1 hour ago, stormrider_sp said:

Dont confuse complexity with micromanagement.

I try to never make that mistake.  But one can lead to the other if not done right.

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several years ago, if i recall correctly around the time the unbuttoned passengers became visible on infantry fighting vehicles but before vehicle crews were visible- (IIRC 2012), i once saw something that i never saw before nor since- an infantry unit crawling up to an enemy infantry unit positioned in a gully, and the AI unit deliberately used an RPG

and took out the enemy group down below rather than using rifles. when i saw it happening i was fixed on the scene developing because it was so unusual- watching the unit deliberately set up for an RPG shot, aim and take fire and take out another infantry group. even as it was happening i wondered, "no, this isn't going to happen is it"- and it did and to this day i remember it and i cannot help but notice this is not typical behavior for the infantry in steel beasts, that is, RPGs are conserved to use against vehicles rather than infantry. maybe the unit had depleted its rifle ammunition and/or some other calculation just happened to come together to do this, but i never saw it naturally happen as a function of autonomous AI behavior ever again.

 

on the one hand i could see the purpose of AI units exhibiting more aggression with their RPGs, but on the other, the cost of which for a vehicle centric simulation may entail frustrated players when AI units would tend to spend their RPG loads and not have the sense to preserve them for enemy vehicles as players intended. in this respect, the weight of consideration towards simplicity maybe the better part of the compromise for the larger picture- they may not kill other infantry with their RPGs however much you want the autonomous behavior to do so in some situations, but at the same time, that means they can remain a threat to vehicles since the AI doesn't spray them all and have nothing left over. it could be an exploit where players send out waves of infantry to cause an opponent to use up their RPG ammo, and then would be defenseless against their armored vehicles. the complexity of more autonomous behavior in this case may be exploited, if that makes sense.

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Yeah, these kinds of balance consideratiosn are always on our minds. If you tweak it for one situation, it's likely to also tweak it for a gazillion of other cases that you didn't have in mind. What most people want is a mind-reading user interface (that respects privacy at the same time, of course).

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Allowing infantry RPG gunners to carry different types of ammo. Fragmentation against dismounts and HEAT for armor.

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6 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

this is not typical behavior for the infantry in steel beasts, that is, RPGs are conserved to use against vehicles rather than infantry. maybe the unit had depleted its rifle ammunition and/or some other calculation just happened to come together to do this, but i never saw it naturally happen as a function of autonomous AI behavior ever again.

This may have had something to do with the ammo type that the RPG team had.

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i don't think that is what it is. in theory, any of the rpg weapons could be dual use against both infantry and vehicles, all of them in steal beasts are rated to have some level of penetration- even the dedicated anti-personnel rockets have some chance of doing damage to both infantry and vehicle targets. i'm not sure steel beasts

refines the decision making to: |"anti-personnel warhead"-- use against infantry.

 

at any rate i did several tests with LAW rockets and different RPG types to see if i could replicate it, and i never was able to do it. that is why i remember this incident so well, because it was such a one off. if it were normal behavior, it would not stick out in memory

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to be late to your question(s) Ssnake! (have been totally occupied by CMANO and DCS lately)

I would just like to add that "no" - it is not too complex.

My goal with the sim is to create scenarios and learn different solutions based on terrain and maps. I know how to handle only 2-3 units ingame and still look forward to learn other systems. It is a good thing to have these "unknowns" to be explored!

I usually create simple scenarios, but it often turns out being pretty complex to complete, and that is a strong point with this sim.

 

I hope SBProPE will stay the same in terms of game/sim mechanics.

Edited by Ingolf

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Maybe I am a bit late to the party with my answer, but I'll share my thoughts on the issue originally posted. I am 100% a civilian, and I find myself fascinated with military subjects. A sim like Steel Beast allows me to indulge and study military stuff I never would have been a part of. I have my "collection" of study sims that never leave my hard drive: Command, Dangerous Waters (naval combat), Falcon BMS and Il-2 (fighter planes), and Steel Beast (armored combat).

 

I find that on Steel Beast, and the other study sims, the actual systems and weapons and vehicles are a bit daunting at first but soon stop being hard to use; the "switchology" becomes less and less intimidating... the complexity and frustration always comes from not knowing how to deploy and properly use whatever weapon system or vehicle is being modeled. This becomes the long term "hobby" aspect of all my study sims. And it can be very frustrating and/or satisfying. And there are so many questions to find answer to: for example in Steel Beats, am I supposed to have 3 vehicles in a platoon? 4? How do I set up a hull down position? What is the difference between a retreat route and a retreat condition? Of course, I am a civilian, so a lot of the unknowns of being a career military man can become a stumbling block... And sap a lot of the fun, because if I went thru the trouble of learning the proper switches and mechanics of using, say a M1A1, I don't want to be just playing a fantasy world-of-tanks scenario where I just go around blasting evil ruskies... I want to be able to simulate proper procedures and tactics, and use all the skills I developed within the simulation.

 

Here is where a good study sim vs. a bad study sim can contrast: the good study sim thru a combination of tutorials, campaigns, missions templates, information and atlases, a fellow players community, youtube videos, good AI, tool tips, etc. teach and inform on tactics, procedures, history, deployment; this learning aspect beyond just the "cockpit switches, blinking lights, and bells" maintain my interest. The complexity of the sim is not on the switches/keyboard combos of key presses, but in how you apply your skills using these systems. 

 

The other day I played a scenario I downloaded from this website where a M1A1 platoon has to move towards an objective, capture it, and secure it for a short time. I used (what I think) is proper bound & cover tactics using pairs of M1s... and I was able to achieve the objective with no losses. That was such a sweet moment achieving my objective! It took me months of reading about tank tactics, trying out stuff, watching videos... to finally understand how to properly execute these tactics to be able to fight with my M1 platoon and survive the mission. I wish there where more missions available that taught me this stuff. And more missions that took me by-the-hand and guided me thru the process of learning how to deploy these tactics... The "aha!" moment when I was finally able to deploy my M1s efficiently was priceless and is the reason Steel Beats becomes a hobby.  

 

So to round up my answer: I do not see a problem with Steel Beast becoming more complex in the system/switches and vehicles it offers, the actual complexity found within the simulation is how to properly use them in a "realistic" manner. As a civilian, I love learning how to properly fight within the simulated world. On average I spend maybe 10-15 hours a month "playing" SB, and it takes me 6-8 months where I feel comfortable using whatever system I decide to try. The sim becomes a hobby when I start to study and research the proper way to deploy & maneuver and use the systems simulated on the sim. This is what gives the sim a long life on my hard drive... I keep coming back for more "aha!" moments... anything that SB can do to immerse me on this learning process is highly  appreciated.

 

I had Steel Beats for years, specially version 3... I finally decide this week to upgrade to version 4 and I am sure I'll be using it happily for a long time. 

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