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I understand the game-design decision that attempts to add a realistic depiction of hand-crank turrets.

 

Feedback: The current in-game solution, of making me repeatedly smash up/down/left/right isn't fun or realistic. 

 

1. It's not fun, and I don't enjoy using these vehicles. 

 

2. Smashing up/down/left/right' repeatedly isn't the same as smoothly manipulating the manual traverse/elevate mechanism in some of these vehicles.

 

2A. Up/Down/Left/Right doesn't give you the same precision as real life hand-crank turrets, so we're actually being imposed with an unrealistic penalty. 

 

3. Nobody makes scenarios with these vehicles (because they're not fun) and I avoid using these vehicles as much as possible. It seems like a giant waste of developer time to even add them.

 

4. I was really looking forward to the Fennek. That feeling departed me very quickly. The Fennek will continue to sit idle with the Scimitar and Warrior. I wonder what other vehicles/features could've been implemented instead of the Fennek. 

 

5. BTR and BRDM are exempt from this rule? Both vehicles absolutely have hand-crank turrets. 

 

Recommendation

Moving a mouse with your wrist is a similar motion as manipulating a hand crank turret: allow players to use the mouse, reduce the in-game traverse/elevate speed to match the players mouse movement.

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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40 minutes ago, DK-DDAM said:

should proberly be inside the support section.

It's not a support issue. There's nothing 'wrong' other than I highly disagree with how the developers depict hand-crank turrets. 

 

I could report that the BTR and BRDM don't have their crank-turrets modeled correctly, in accordance with the rest of the hand crank turrets in game. 

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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The fennek at least allows you to 'decouple' the cranks and just shove the turret around, IIRC that works by holding down the 'P' key while moving the mouse (in azimuth)

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Just now, Retro said:

The fennek at least allows you to 'decouple' the cranks and just shove the turret around, IIRC that works by holding down the 'P' key while moving the mouse (in azimuth)

Yup, and that is really crappy too. 

 

You get extreme movements only, with the mouse on the edge of the screen. 

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AFV's with manual traverse are I would say are the best the sim can do without having such equipment on your desktop (Dark). Is it perfect, no, is it a pain in the ass, sure. Having served in such AFV;s we found many tricks to make this system of traverse work, and without dare I say without issues.

 

Crews found that having their AFV in the proper bearing towards the target, through proper driver commands. Directing the driver to point the gun also works.

 

Only with a hand crank device will this get any better for the operator of such manual traverse. Maybe a steering wheel would work?

 

I don't have a issue with them in the sim, and a great deal of TGIF missions use them with players openly taking such AFV's to command.

 

Trust me, as a operator/instr of the Scorpion turret with power traverse system I feel your pain, but I like many adapt and over come such issues, the benefits out weight any traverse issues of these AFV's. 

 

Just my 2 cents, after taxes......:)

 

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I agree with Apocalypse, with hand cranks in real vehicles you still get a fluid movement, slow but fluid.

the way it is implemented at the moment makes those vehicles very hard to use.

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3 minutes ago, 12Alfa said:

" very hard to use"......compared to a powered traverse, yes. Compared to a Inf with a RPG and a trg at 100 meters....not so much....:)

So because the Infantyr model is even worse, the hand crank implementation is ok??

Nah, both should get a rework eventually...

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1 minute ago, Grenny said:

So because the Infantyr model is even worse, the hand crank implementation is ok??

Nah, both should get a rework eventually...

Hey, it's not me saying .. very hard to use.

I have no issues with hand cranking........:)

Edited by 12Alfa
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Its not fun

Its not consistent with all of the in-game hand crank vehicles

It causes people not to use those vehicles

 

(is that what we're doing here? developers working hard to implement vehicles that people don't enjoy or don't use? sounds like an inefficient use of developer resources.)

 

I am saying it is a very poor design decision and there's literally no reason why the players are being penalized for using these vehicles. 
 

Just let us use our mouse to traverse/elevate. Stop over-thinking the design. 

 

This game is so frustrating sometimes. 

Edited by Apocalypse 31
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14 minutes ago, Apocalypse 31 said:

Just let us use our mouse to traverse/elevate. Stop over-thinking the design. 

 

This. Most people don't have hand-cranks available that they can plug in for a realistic experience, and slapping the arrow keys as quick as possible isn't the same as using the hand crank. 

 

1 hour ago, 12Alfa said:

Trust me, as a operator/instr of the Scorpion turret with power traverse system I feel your pain, but I like many adapt and over come such issues, the benefits out weight any traverse issues of these AFV's. 

 

Having a different control scheme doesn't take away from having to use techniques like vehicle orientation to minimize turret travel time. I would argue it in fact gives you time to focus MORE on those techniques since you aren't slapping the arrow keys like a mad man.

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Hm.

With many design decisions there's also a bit of a subjective element. The decision to use the arrow keys is probably best characterized as an artistic decision - to create a bit of flavor and variety, and instill a sense of urgency (if not panic) in the user when having to deal with manual controls. The question is, if the real design is crappy, should we attempt to make it a crappy experience even if we cannot replicate the system behavior with full accuracy. Or should we opt for convenience, at a loss of individuality of the depicted system and its behavior.

I think it was the right decision to use the arrow keys for hand cranks 20 years ago when we had but the Leopard 2A4 and the M1A1 as the only playable vehicles in SB Pro. Their hydraulic hand cranks aren't the greatest design ever, so in a way I still think it was an adequate decision. For the BTRs and BRDMs we decided to allow the use of mouse controls, knowing that it would be considered inconsistent, because the turrets are lightweight and operated by mechanical hand cranks with reduction gears, allowing for a smoother operation.

The Fennek's weapon station is, IMO, another terrible contraption IRL, so I don't really have a bad conscience about using arrow keys again. I will readily admit that strictly seen from the perspective of convenience allowing mouse and joystick controls would be the superior solution. I'd like to collect more opinions from other users before making a change here. Maybe other people actually like it this way.

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59 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

I'd like to collect more opinions from other users before making a change here. Maybe other people actually like it this way.

 

As someone who has used the hand cranks on Scimitar, Scorpion and M113A1 (T-50 Turret), my 2c is happy to keep with what you currently have.

 

Now if you want real "fun" you could introduce the "shoulder squeeze" elevation control as well - where you use your right shoulder braced against the 0.50" to maintain the elevation setting, effectively requiring you to restart the engagement every time you clear a stoppage.

 

"click and drag" with a mouse certainly removes a whole bunch of effort compared to RL, but I can see why some would like it removed.

 

Or perhaps only introduce the click and drag when the "realism" setting is at low?

 

Edited by Gibsonm
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1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

if the real design is crappy

But its not crappy - maybe it's not as awesome as having hydraulic or power traverse, but it is still being used in vehicles because of its simplicity.

 

1 hour ago, Ssnake said:

and instill a sense of urgency (if not panic)

You don't have to create conditions for urgency or panic - when a player occupying a Scimitar/Warrior/Fennek spots anything then panic immediately sets in because you know you're probably at a disadvantage. EVEN if the player was able to use a mouse - the traverse speed would still be much slower, to replicate a slower traverse mechanism/movement. The result you're trying to achieve can be achieved without the extra burden of smashing buttons.

 

I would also say that it's probably much easier in real life to manipulate those control surfaces than in game. You have motor skills, feeling, and the sense of touch all playing a role in how a person can effectively operate a vehicle. We can't have those things in a game, so we get subjected to smashing buttons repeatedly. I have a hard time linking those ideas.

 

With further gunner training, the control surfaces become natural. In SB it is very unnatural, and you're fighting against natural movements in-game. 

 

Below is how most players orient their hands based on standard SB controls. Using U/D/L/R is unnatural and goes against 'normal' in-game orientation- that is not the case in the real life vehicles. 

 

image.thumb.png.2def4265a2282b4fdd9bbd846639b83d.png

 

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Playing World War Two Online back in the day (2001-2005)

 

M10 Wolverine

Hand Cranked Turret

Letting player use the mouse to do it, just like most normal games, and not some wonky hand-jam.

 

I'd say the sense of urgency was there!

 

 

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Honestly my opinion is a bit biased. I have traverse wheels and like the current system. IMHO what is needed is access to an sollution which allows people to make traverse wheels at a reasonable cost. Both th U-HID and Leo Bodnar cards allow for rotary encoder input (essential for proper traverse wheels).

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I agree with Apocalypse.

 

I wish we had the choice to use normal mouse movement for scimitar etc just as we have in BRDM2.

 

Having a slow rate of traverse will still provide the sense of urgency without constantly jumping from mouse to keyboard with right hand.

 

I do like having arrow keys for the emergency crank on the M1 and Leo, since it’s a backup only used when damaged.  It feels like using a degraded mode.

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2 minutes ago, ben said:

Having a slow rate of traverse will still provide the sense of urgency without constantly jumping from mouse to keyboard with right hand

Exactly.

 

DCS also has the Warrior modeled and lets players use the mouse - there's no player penalty, in terms of applying additional input, but the traverse speed is slow and you still have to be smart about how you fight the vehicle. 

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While I love the fact that rotary encoders and hand crank replicas exist, I would never make user interface design decisions that take these as a given. Whatever we do, things must work well without them. They are specialty items and take up considerable desk space (and even "under desk volume") so even if they were in the consumer price range I think that only a very small minority of people will ever use them for recreational purposes.

 

 

UI design constraints are,

1) we only have so many buttons on the keyboard. While we can assign multiple commands to keys depending on context, you still want everything "memorizable" by putting similar functions to the same keys where you can, and to group related keys to similar positions on the keyboard. This isn't really up for negotiation.

2) a joystick (or control handle replica), while recommended, cannot be assumed to be available for everybody. Therefore the other input device, the complement to the keyboard, is the mouse. The mouse must work, in Steel Beasts at least, both as an analog pointing and control device for game application elements as well as camera/point of view controls and interactions with the virtual environment, and/or the fire control system, depending ont the context of user input. So we toggle between these modes by left click. Which also means that the left click isn't available for much else.

3) If we're not using the mouse for turret/sight control, all that's left is digital input from keyboard commands; naturally digital input can approximate analog movement only to a degree, like averaging/using tap rate smoothing. This is what we currently do. There's certainly the possibility to revisit the smoothing function to see if things could be improved a bit. Or, as has been proposed, do away with the keyboard input and switch over to mouse.

4) Where possible, be consistent with functions and UI concepts across vehicles.

5) Favor realism and variety over convenience.

 

I'm pretty tired ATM, so I'm not entirely certain if I missed important constraints, but the first four are at least the major ones that dominated our design decisions some 20 years ago. The fifth isn't a constraint, but the decision for the governing design principle where we actually can choose among at least two alternatives. I'm ready to concede that the more systems we simulate, the more the balance may shift in favor of unified solutions over colorful individuality in pursuit of elusive "realism". So, maybe we are at the tipping point now where the fifth element needs to be reconsidered.

 

 

Nevertheless, intensified lobbying by a small group of users will be less convincing than a broad support by many users of this board.

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6 hours ago, Mirzayev said:

slapping the arrow keys as quick as possible isn't the same as using the hand crank.

Neither is using the mouse. ;)

 

What I'm trying to say here is, we can only discuss tradeoffs here. There is no perfect solution because the closest-to-reality solution is an actual hand crank replica which however cannot be assumed as a given for the 99% majority of users.

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