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Few questions before buy

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Are all vehicles done at a same level of quality

There is a big range, some are fully modelled and some quite basic.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

...shell who historically is known to be unreliable...

Shell ballistics and damage are very detailed and accurate for each round, but unreliability I believe is Not modelled.
 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Are ammo loadouts simulated according to their historical loadouts?

This depends on the Scenario Designer, how accurate they made the scenario. (You could edit any scenario yourself to fix it though)

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

I'm most interested in analysis tools...

Yes Steel Beasts has a very detailed After Action Review tool, shows every shell hit and damage event.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Are Steel Beasts information on shells and armor thickness reliable source of information

Yes Steel Beasts has a very detailed shot by shot after action review you can save and reload or share after action review flies too.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Are Steel Beasts information on shells and armor thickness reliable source of information?

Yes, ammo is only added to the Sim when lots of real world data is available.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

What are limits of this simulation?

Infantry simulation is very basic and quite abstracted and can be frustrating especially when you’re new to Steel Beasts.

Helicopters are also just a basic simulation.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Does this game can simulate reliability issues? 

Not directly like day to day failures, but a scenario designer could script in detail damage and repair of many systems on any vehicle.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

Does game has powerful battle editor?

Yes! A very detailed scenario editor.  And also a map editor.

 

23 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

I can see this simulation is leaning heavily on mid to late cold war from vehicles available in the wiki. I'm more interested in earlier vehicles,

The available vehicles are a bit more focused on late cold war or after,  but with the scenario editor you can create battles with any selection of the playable vehicles.

Edited by ben

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3 hours ago, Calicifer said:

Here are my main questions. I'm mostly concerned if game can give me historically accurate picture of combat at any time during cold war. I can see this simulation is leaning heavily on mid to late cold war from vehicles available in the wiki (I'm under impression that game properly starts at 70's as there is a distinct lack of earlier vehicles in a wiki to make proper fights with. I'm particularly interested in late 40's - 60's combat at the moment). I'm more interested in earlier vehicles, but there isn't much of a choice in the market. My main problems are when game inaccurately portrays engagements in a sense that newest and rarest tanks become common sight in a field or that game assumes that vehicles are firing most modern and expensive ammunition types and fails to simulate fights with more probable loadouts. 

  1. Are all vehicles done at a same level of quality or some vehicles are more complete than others? Can I trust wiki to be able to play with any armored vehicle presented there? 
  2. More important question is, how game simulates ammo types? Does game tries to simulate quality of any particular shell? For example, I'm firing a shell who historically is known to be unreliable. Will game simulate such a thing or all shells performance is theoretical (like advertised on paper)?
  3. Are ammo loadouts simulated according to their historical loadouts? I'm often frustrated with other games where they do not show any respect to introduction date of a shell and how common it was at that time.
  4. I'm most interested in analysis tools for study and understanding combat. For example, Steel Armor has post combat analysis where I can see impact of every shell and what it did. DCS world has flight recorder after battle to allow player to analyze everything what had happened in a match. Does Steel Beast has any of such features?
  5. Are Steel Beasts information on shells and armor thickness reliable source of information? Like everything else I would read about particular vehicle, can I trust said information to be reliable and true or should I take something with a grain of salt like one would do reading a wiki? 
  6. What are limits of this simulation? In a linked thread I saw that game does not simulate night fighting properly. Is there anything else that I should be aware of? 
  7. Does this game can simulate reliability issues? 
  8. Does game has powerful battle editor? Can I put my desired variant of a tank with shell types and conditions if I want to? Is it intuitive to use? 

Your questions seem to have been largely answered, so I'm keeping this reply short. Simple questions maybe, but not so simple to answer, and the unspoken contex in which they were asked matters a lot.

  1. Depends a bit on your metric for "quality" and "completeness". All vehicles have a data model for their protection/vulnerabilities. All ammunition has its data model for its exterior and terminal ballistic performance. All vehicles have a complete AI for the crew behavior. To that extent one could say that they are all of the same "quality level" and all meet a common minimum standard for "completeness". But your metric may be different. As mentioned in the previous post, not all vehicles have crew positions, and not all crew positions are modeled to the same level of detail.
  2. We do not have a very good model for kinetic energy munitions prior to the APDS days. There's but two or three of them and we somehow hammered that round peg into the square hole that the results aren't completely broken. But the reality is that for the 1940s to mid 1960s period a different model would be required which we haven't bothered to turn our attention to because, well, so many tanks, so little time.

  3. You may adjust them to your preferences, within the limits of our ammunition database

  4. Yes

  5. No.

    Of course we try our best to research things properly, and to keep things internally consistent. But if you wanted to quote data from Steel Beasts in your military history PhD thesis, be prepared to have your work rejected. We work from publicly available information and secondary sources only. If it's classified and still in use, we don't want to know lalalala-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU-lalalalaaaa because we'd then have to adhere to associated security protocols and probably couldn't make Steel Beasts available to you in the first place. If it's declassified and has been hidden in a 1950s archive box in some tank museum, we're not the ones who will dig it out. We'll use it with glee if it's brought to our attention but we can't afford paying a full-time research team that does nothing but tour the tank museums of the world and make their promotional videos about it.

  6. This is an incredibly broad and open question, worthy of its own thread, and even then I think I would answer only specific questions

  7. No.

    There are no standardized open source data available for this. Maybe we should still try to do what we can, but for the moment assume that Steel Beasts results represent the best case of all equipment and ammunition working at peak performance.

  8. a. Yes

    b. Only the variants and ammunition that comes with Steel Beasts

    c. I believe it is, although "powerful" and "intuitive to use" are competing requirements once that you reach a certain level of complexity or have a particularly high and specific demand for "intuitiveness".

    Also, what's intuitive to some tends to confound others, think of the reverse polish notation for pocket calculators.

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Thank you for your answers. I have few more questions:

 

1. What are developers roadmap? What major things we can expect in near (1-2 years) future?

2. Are interior elements in a vehicle interactive? 

3. Is AI smart enough to simulate real life tactics and behavior? 

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48 minutes ago, Calicifer said:

1. What are developers roadmap? What major things we can expect in near (1-2 years) future?

We prefer not to disclose our plans, since they are subject to change. As a rule of the thumb,  we are announcing new features when release of major update or upgrade is close enough.

Quote

2. Are interior elements in a vehicle interactive? 

Yes, if vehicle has interior modelled, then some of elements are usually made interactive, depending of data available and some other considerations.

Quote

3. Is AI smart enough to simulate real life tactics and behavior? 

Well, our AI is semi-automatic, so it relies on  user-defined control logic to operate in realistic way. On its own AI could handle simple things like, for example, taking cover or adjusting position to engage target of opportunity.

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Posted (edited)

For goodness sake...I have been involved in investment M&A inquiries with fewer questions than this thread about a US$90 game.

 

btw, even without scripting, the unit AI is very good.  Depending on what orders its set up for, it will adjust itself to check on enemy sightings nearby, look for its own hull down position, and retreat out of danger.  All with out a line of script being written.

 

And I am not so down on the infantry model.  Its a fairly decent one with some abstractions, rationalizations, and squinting.  Is it as detailed as ARMA3, no.  But there are things you can do with it you can't easily do there also.

Edited by thewood

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12 minutes ago, thewood said:

For goodness sake...I have been involved in investment M&A inquiries with fewer questions than this thread about a US$90 game.

Those are legit questions, and 90$ are still a considerable sum of money, if purchase of computer game is considered.

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6 hours ago, Calicifer said:
  1. Does this game can simulate reliability issues? 
  2. Does game has powerful battle editor? Can I put my desired variant of a tank with shell types and conditions if I want to? Is it intuitive to use? 

question1) : the answer given from the official channel is no, but i think this is premature, because the answer is yes. it's not explicitly baked into the model, that is, for example, the model doesn't automatically suffer performance issues from wear and tear, however, you can simulate these conditions with regard to question 2), the powerful battle and scenario editor allows users to assign component damages and failures, even shots that drift in a specified way- these reliability issues can be attached to random variables and/or explicit conditions for them to occur, but the point of it is that they must be scripted by the user rather than something that occurs automatically. in this regard, some answers to your questions

are present but implied through the user defined scripts in the scenario editor rather than the computer keeping track and assigning them; much the same way your question could be answered with regards to unit behavior- the computer does not automatically withdraw units or cause them to surrender (simulating failing a morale check for example),

however, the scenario designer can define when these situations occur through the editor; explicitly the computer doesn't do it, implicitly a well designed scenario is capable of some of these behaviors

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56 minutes ago, Jartsev said:

Those are legit questions, and 90$ are still a considerable sum of money, if purchase of computer game is considered.

And the simpler answer for this type of detailed questioning is buy a one month demo.  That will answer a lot of questions.  Or download the manual.

 

Not against asking questions.  But this many detailed questions aren't really going to do much that a good look at the manual won't get at.  And then if it still doesn't get the one month license.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Calicifer said:

...

  1. Are Steel Beasts information on shells and armor thickness reliable source of information? Like everything else I would read about particular vehicle, can I trust said information to be reliable and true or should I take something with a grain of salt like one would do reading a wiki? ...

Steelbeasts is a public software and therfore uses publicly available data and calculations...otherwise steelbeasts would be classified and we would not be able to use it as a game...

Edited by Grenny

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Posted (edited)

Just a thought but given these threads seem to re-appear with a bit of frequency and roughly the same questions are asked each time ....

 

Is it worth putting a summary of these Questions and respective Answers along with the graphic of playable vehicles (updated to keep current) on the purchase page?

 

I'm not against people making informed decisions before making a purchase but if the list was there to read potential buyers could perhaps read them first and then post any residual questions here, rather than a "Spanish Inquisition" (with apologies to Monty Python) approach every few days or so?

 

Edited by Gibsonm

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The utility value of FAQs is overrated; yes, you get fewer questions in a forum if there is an FAQ. But I think that's mostly because of the psychological deterrence factor of people routinely and unspecifically pointing at FAQs.

 

I don't mind answering the same questions a couple of times.

 

Whoever doesn't want to answer, who thinks that it's "too many questions", or that "it's been answered before" I can but say that you shouldn't feel compelled to answer in threads like this. Leave it to me, that's fine. Often enough such Q&A threads reveal that experienced users actually don't know everything after all, or that a certain question can be seen and answered from different angles which may in the end actually help everybody to learn something. Why would you engage in any conversation, if not to learn?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Calicifer said:

3. Is AI smart enough to simulate real life tactics and behavior? 

Aside from built in tactics for routes and waypoints, the AI will not make maneuver decision on its own, such as what you might find in a randomly-generated Arma 3 mission. You can, however, create an OPFOR that behaves in a realistic manner by using in game triggers, etc. 

 

As a quick example:

 

SS_17_23_54.thumb.jpg.a84f09554a0ff77d17ef4432409af098.jpg

 

To have a platoon of tanks moving using the alternate bounding technique, I split a tank platoon into two sections, and applied some basic "Embark If" conditions. In this example, when 1-1 A reaches Waypoint 1, 1-4 A will bound forward to Waypoint 2, which will then make 1-1 A embark to Waypoint 3, etc. I placed in this logic at each route as depicted; the routes that have a dotted as opposed to a solid line indicate that they are logic driven. If I were to run this scenario, both tank sections would bound forward until they reached Waypoints 3 and 4, respectively, move into a defensive position with the left and right limits of direct fire as I specified, and then sit there until the end of time, unless I directly give them another order. 

 

You can also interject some random variables, for example below:

 

SS_17_25_10.thumb.jpg.dcea07d75d88ccf76aea336c11248997.jpg

 

There is a 50% chance that a platoon of enemy T-90s will spawn, and a 50% chance that a platoon of enemy BMP-3s will spawn, based on the value of random variable X1. It is important to note that you need to use the same random variable to ensure that it works as intended; for example if I used X2 for the BMP-3s, there would be a possibility that no enemy units would spawn at all.

 

These random variables can be applied to nearly anything, such as having a unit have a 50% chance to take the planned route to the right, as opposed to the left, the chance of surrendering versus fighting to the death based on casualties sustained, etc. There are also variables from X0 to X99, so multiple ones can be used. 

 

A simple (but brilliant) technique used by @Apocalypse 31 for some scenarios is setting each enemy side to correspond with a different course of action (COA), and then setting all units on that side to spawn based on a percentage from a random variable. So, as opposed to having Blue and Red, as default, you would have Blue, COA 1, COA 2, COA 3, etc. So if you build an enemy with four possible courses of action, you could have a COA be selected at random at the start of the scenario by using a specific random variable. 

 

Yes, you do have to build in the actual course of action, and the enemy will only be as smart, devious, imaginative, etc, as the scenario designer, but you can certainly create an enemy that fights using realistic tactics, and makes decisions within the bounds of what you tell it to do. Steel Beasts' mission editor is very powerful and intuitive, but you do have to put in some work to get a realistic AI-run OPFOR. 

 

Edited by Mirzayev

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Posted (edited)

This 'conditions tab' is my very favorite feature of Steel Beasts. It's so powerful and yet so simple.

Edited by stormrider_sp

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, thewood said:

And the simpler answer for this type of detailed questioning is buy a one month demo.  That will answer a lot of questions.  Or download the manual.

 

Not against asking questions.  But this many detailed questions aren't really going to do much that a good look at the manual won't get at.  And then if it still doesn't get the one month license.

 

Well, it is 140 dollars for me and asking questions are a lot faster than purchasing a subscription for a month and trying game for yourself. 

 

Quote

Just a thought but given these threads seem to re-appear with a bit of frequency and roughly the same questions are asked each time ....

 

Is it worth putting a summary of these Questions and respective Answers along with the graphic of playable vehicles (updated to keep current) on the purchase page?

 

I'm not against people making informed decisions before making a purchase but if the list was there to read potential buyers could perhaps read them first and then post any residual questions here, rather than a "Spanish Inquisition" (with apologies to Monty Python) approach every few days or so?


A good example of this is game which I'm currently playing: Steel Armor. When I started to play, I have to spend several hours just learning all the mechanics until I got comfortable in that game. Then I started noticing some things. In post action analysis tool I was seeing some really weird and seemingly impossible shell penetrations. GUI is abysmal and half of the time you are unsure what anything does. I could not fire my gun, gunner reported that gun's mechanism is damaged. What that was supposed to mean? Everyone is alive in tank, there is no visible penetration from the outside. Then commands are bizarre. There are many of them and none seem to do anything. My fast movement means that tanks stroll around 10 km/h on flat ground. Tanks AI has a nasty tendency of moving its tank rear to the front of the enemy and then stopping to return fire as begging to be putted out of their misery.

 

You see, there are a lot of tiny details which you can't notice easily from gameplay videos and playing game takes a lot of time. I watched Steel Armor gameplay, it looked solid. When I played myself, it starts fall apart with these tiny bits. I watched Steel Beasts footage and I looked at wiki. I would like to know what to expect before jumping in, so I asked what is most important for me at the moment. I have a list of games which I have to finish first and I do not want to just jump all over the place on a whim, it takes a lot of time and in the end you have achieved nothing, like completed a single game. 

 

Plus it gives other people more information on a product if they need it. Forums have longevity and this thread will help everyone for decades to come.

 

21 hours ago, Ssnake said:
  • No.

    Of course we try our best to research things properly, and to keep things internally consistent. But if you wanted to quote data from Steel Beasts in your military history PhD thesis, be prepared to have your work rejected. We work from publicly available information and secondary sources only. If it's classified and still in use, we don't want to know lalalala-I-CAN'T-HEAR-YOU-lalalalaaaa because we'd then have to adhere to associated security protocols and probably couldn't make Steel Beasts available to you in the first place. If it's declassified and has been hidden in a 1950s archive box in some tank museum, we're not the ones who will dig it out. We'll use it with glee if it's brought to our attention but we can't afford paying a full-time research team that does nothing but tour the tank museums of the world and make their promotional videos about it.

  • This is an incredibly broad and open question, worthy of its own thread, and even then I think I would answer only specific questions

 

I of course won't quote anything for research papers. It is more if information that is presented there is backed up by something solid or some things are just a speculated guess. Here is a perfect example with which now I have problems in Steel Armor. Chieftains there have loadout of 5 L23A1 shells marked as APFS (which should be marked as APFSDS). Game timescale takes in 80's. It is Iranian Chieftains delivered before Iranian revolution. So, the only shell which I could find was finished in 1985. Here are two problems with this shell. It has vastly different penetration data presented in publicly available sources. Second problem, did Iranians truly used those shells? I find it extremely hard to believe that British would sell its latest invention to new Iranian regime who turned hostile to western world in 80's. If I can't trust what simulator is saying me through its mechanics then it is poor learning aid.

 

Such games are also a great way to check some information which otherwise would be tricky to find. What a historic loadouts for T-72 tank in 80's? What ammunition types what tank carried? How those shells are named? When one shell type was replaced by another? Such information sometimes can be very hard to find for someone speaking just english, some information is locked up in books, other by language barrier. Such games often has a secondary value as melting pot of all the knowledge accumulated by different cultures. What I can't look for in Russian, a game might have already figured it out and presented to easy to investigate manner. In a same way how I adore War Thunder armor viewer, it helps me to get quick overview of vehicle armor and likely outcomes of being fired with anything. That is an extremely powerful tool, of course you won't put it in phD thesis, but it helps you immensely to learn and to substitute gaps in knowledge at least with something. 

 

...and in the end, academia is highly overrated and full of themselves. A difference between paper being accepted into scientific journals and constantly rejected is completely arbitrary (that is a fact). Scientific paper is likely to pass peer reviews despite massive errors in its own research (that is a fact). Scientists are being considered innovative by using video games to simulate pandemics...see world of warcraft pandemic and how papers are being written on it as it somehow is valid representation of a real world.  

Edited by Calicifer

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19 hours ago, Grenny said:

Steelbeasts is a public software and therfore uses publicly available data and calculations...otherwise steelbeasts would be classified and we would not be able to use it as a game...

 

I had heard some stories of simulators even from 90's getting some classified data and amazing military personal of knowing more than any civilian should. Usually such things are more akin to not publishing original material, but being able to use that. For example War Thunder developers said that they have access to sources which they can't disclose/make public. It seems that in such agreements using material in some way is acceptable, but not giving it away to public. Even, if in the end it is not 100%, if developers has access to sources and even if they can't put it into their game, they are still going to produce realistic game based on that game even if they do not take precise information from those sources.

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We're not wizards. We're engineers. We try to come up with the best solution, but that doesn't mean that we're never wrong.

 

We had the one or other row about certain munitions here in the forum. If someone can demonstrate that our numbers are wrong, we've demonstrated that we're willing to change our minds. But you usually have to cross a high bar to convince us that our own research is invalid. That it's implausible or that you read something else "somewhere on the internet" is insufficient grounds to change data. If we did that we'd be chasing conflicting claims of different fan groups and be accused of favoritism all the time.

 

To that that extent you can trust eSim Games to do our due diligence. We prefer using sourced data over speculation. But not alway is all the needed data available, and then we need to close those gaps with educated guesses.

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