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2021 Supercarrier ATC/AI improvements.


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Hi guys, I’ve a question regarding planned updates to the Supercarrier in 2021. Two areas that are in need of attention are the ATC comms and AI behaviour/interaction with user aircraft. I’m interested to know whether we will see any improvements this year.

 

In the official Jan 8 updates, the following was stated:
 

“Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Over the past year, our primary ATC focus has been on the Supercarrier. Now that the Supercarrier ATC system is nearing completion, we will next move on to airfield ATC radio communications....”


Does this mean we will receive an update to the Supercarrier ATC soon (ie 2021)? Will it be implemented prior to the airfield ATC improvements, which are obviously still a long way off?


The following was also stated:

 

Enhanced AI Behaviour

...Additionally, the new ATC and radio communications will demand a significant amount of AI engineering. This work is ongoing and will probably never really be finished but we do hope to deliver substantial enhancements during the latter half of 2021....

 

Current AI behaviour airborne around the boat is generally good when only AI are present. Unfortunately they seem to have absolutely no awareness of player/client aircraft, and hence it can quickly become a bit of a mess when a combination of both are present. As ED have frequently stated, single player ops is by far the most common in DCS (though definitely not the most vocal), and therefore AI interaction with player aircraft is most important. Can we expect an improvement in AI awareness around the Supercarrier this year as the above statement suggests?

 

Lastly, since the release of Supercarrier last year, and the initial updates that quickly followed, attention on this module seems to have largely disappeared. The current impression is it’s now sitting in the corner unfinished, collecting dust. From a commercial standpoint, it would seem ED have most likely backed themselves into a corner here. Most people who were/are interested in this module have already bought it, so future sales numbers just aren’t that high any more. Also, any further improvements from here on are complex and time consuming. The result is simply a very low return on any future product investment. Unfortunately this leaves us, the customers, out in the cold, having paid for a half finished module that no longer attracts the development attention needed to complete it. I realise ED have a huge amount on their plate at the moment, and the Supercarrier is just one small part of that, but releasing an update sometime in the near to mid future, would go a long way to reassure your customers that this module is still alive and improving.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wish this would get some attention.  AI need some desperate love across the sim, and this is one area in particular that just seems to have been abandoned once it got "good enough" for the initial release hype.

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I know this is probably a bit naïve, but I am hoping with the release of 2.7 into OB we will start hearing about some of these initiatives.  I'd echo @norman99 request for confirmation on plans.  I'd go as far as requesting/suggesting a quarterly progress report/update from ED on where things stand against the projects. 

 

....now when's that new quarter start?  😇

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, the pictures in the newsletter look nice, I’ll give ED that.

 

Unfortunately as a single play user, most of what was discussed is completely superfluous to our needs. It’s not like I’m going to operate my own cut lights, or tell myself to start engines or recovery ops on the 5MC. ED keep saying that single players are by far their greatest number of user, and yet the improvements needed to enhance the single player experience alway seem to be the least important.

 

There was not a single sentence in the update that answered my original questions re AI & ATC for the Supercarrier. Seems we’ll have to put up with the fact AI aircraft have little to no awareness of the players aircraft and how to sequence efficiently around them. Also no mention of light wands, plane directors for launch/parking, proper departure & bolter procedures/comms(for all cases), ACLS(which was supposed to be released early this year), or any of the other highly requested and promised features. I guess we just have to hope the “many other improvements” statement incorporates some of these. 
 

I’m trying not to be negative, I really am, as I know a lot of work has and is going into this module, a lot of which has never been attempted before, but I’m just surprised at where the focus is being directed at the moment. Again, the update had nice looking pictures, but maybe that’s the point. Nice shots of ready rooms and PriFly probably help sell the product, whereas it’s just not as easy to generate excitement over AI and comm improvements where pictures don’t tell the story as well.


Edited by norman99
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Well, I'd love to have the option to use the briefing room for campaign cutscenes. DCS needs better storytelling tools, and this would be just the thing. Realistic briefings with animated characters would add a lot.

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11 hours ago, norman99 said:

Well, the pictures in the newsletter look nice, I’ll give ED that.

 

Unfortunately as a single play user, most of what was discussed is completely superfluous to our needs. It’s not like I’m going to operate my own cut lights, or tell myself to start engines or recovery ops on the 5MC. ED keep saying that single players are by far their greatest number of user, and yet the improvements needed to enhance the single player experience alway seem to be the least important.

 

There was not a single sentence in the update that answered my original questions re AI & ATC for the Supercarrier. Seems we’ll have to put up with the fact AI aircraft have little to no awareness of the players aircraft and how to sequence efficiently around them. Also no mention of light wands, plane directors for launch/parking, proper departure & bolter procedures/comms(for all cases), ACLS(which was supposed to be released early this year), or any of the other highly requested and promised features. I guess we just have to hope the “many other improvements” statement incorporates some of these. 
 

I’m trying not to be negative, I really am, as I know a lot of work has and is going into this module, a lot of which has never been attempted before, but I’m just surprised at where the focus is being directed at the moment. Again, the update had nice looking pictures, but maybe that’s the point. Nice shots of ready rooms and PriFly probably help sell the product, whereas it’s just not as easy to generate excitement over AI and comm improvements where pictures don’t tell the story as well.

 

 

We have mentioned many times the ATC is going to take time, it is very complex for AI and for SP/MP, early access takes a long time, there is no way around that.

Our new features will bring a whole new element to multiplayer, but single player will also benefit from them, it is very immersive and I hope you will agree when you get to try it.

 

thanks

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2 minutes ago, Sepp666 said:

@BIGNEWY can we expect the light sticks for the ground crew at night operations a little bit earlier than ATC or will this take also very long time? Sorry if you had answered before. 

 

I can not give time frames currently, if I do and things change I get pitch forks sent to me 🙂

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32 minutes ago, BIGNEWY said:

 

I can not give time frames currently, if I do and things change I get pitch forks sent to me 🙂

OK, I understand. Everybody has its own things that one is looking after, mine are those damn glow sticks... Really looking forward to see them as I like to start my missions early in the morning or late in the evening, because the sunset or rise is looking so nice in DCS, especially in VR. 👌🏻👍🏻

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1 hour ago, BIGNEWY said:

 

I can not give time frames currently, if I do and things change I get pitch forks sent to me 🙂

Haha, sorry, we can get a bit passionate about this whole DCS thing at times 😜

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15 hours ago, norman99 said:

... ED keep saying that single players are by far their greatest number of user, and yet the improvements needed to enhance the single player experience alway seem to be the least important.

 

Funny, I've read very similar sayings from the MP people: how ED never takes them into account, etc. 🙂

 

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Ok, besides the obvious ATC issues, what about the option for the IFLOLS overlay which has been requested since day one almost a year ago? There have been very little to no updates for the SC in terms of QOL features since release. How about the eye-hook distance being dynamically adusted for airframes like the Tomcat? Night lighting and ground crew visibility at night are also big and almost game-breaking issues. Let alone the fact that a cat-spawn after you have already died/despawned spawns you with wheel chocks that you can not remove when flying the Hornet. I think there needs to be an extensive roadmap and statement made by ED regarding the Supercarrier - a lot of people are losing patience.


Edited by Skysurfer
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On 4/3/2021 at 10:18 PM, BIGNEWY said:

 

I can not give time frames currently, if I do and things change I get pitch forks sent to me 🙂

 

Can you comment on if they are currrently/recently being worked on (e.g. wand models are completed but animations/coding hasn't been finished, etc.) or if they're still just sitting on a to-do list?

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57 minutes ago, Nealius said:

 

Can you comment on if they are currrently/recently being worked on (e.g. wand models are completed but animations/coding hasn't been finished, etc.) or if they're still just sitting on a to-do list?

 

It is still on the to do list, I can not give you any ETA. 

 

Thanks

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6 hours ago, Mower said:

Related, when is the issue of not being able to call CV ATC until within 15 miles from the supercarrier in online play?

If you mean the ATC list limit of 10 it is general DCS issue, not related to SC or MP.

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7 minutes ago, draconus said:

If you mean the ATC list limit of 10 it is general DCS issue, not related to SC or MP.

 

What's this list limit? I have always been able to call Mother from 50nm out, though she appears very low on the list of airfields due to distance. 

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6 minutes ago, Nealius said:

What's this list limit? I have always been able to call Mother from 50nm out, though she appears very low on the list of airfields due to distance. 

If your CVN does not make it to the top 10 you cannot contact its ATC. It is pretty common in bigger CVBGs where all Ticonderogas and other ships hit the ATC list with its helipads first.

So I propose either don't show helipads on the ATC list for non-VTOL aircraft or redesing the comms menu so we can choose only the type of message, not available units list, to ensure realistic radio use.


Edited by draconus

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On 4/3/2021 at 12:37 PM, BIGNEWY said:

 

We have mentioned many times the ATC is going to take time, it is very complex for AI and for SP/MP, early access takes a long time, there is no way around that.

Our new features will bring a whole new element to multiplayer, but single player will also benefit from them, it is very immersive and I hope you will agree when you get to try it.

 

thanks

I bet it will be awesome in VR. Eager to try.

 

keep up the good work and thank you.

Regards.

Fagulha.

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23 hours ago, draconus said:

If your CVN does not make it to the top 10 you cannot contact its ATC. It is pretty common in bigger CVBGs where all Ticonderogas and other ships hit the ATC list with its helipads first.

So I propose either don't show helipads on the ATC list for non-VTOL aircraft or redesing the comms menu so we can choose only the type of message, not available units list, to ensure realistic radio use.

 

 

Gotcha. I rarely have many other ships at all in my missions. I really wish ED would rework the comms system so that the option at the top of the list is the one your radio is tuned to, instead of ranking them by distance. With so many airfields or ships it makes VoiceAttack almost useless until you're right on top of the agency you want to hail.

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