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Posted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
by Sean OConnor
OK, I'll get that changed! Is it just the dead Germans that need updating?

Posted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:09 pm
by flap
Hello Sean, I send you an email for the download link of Firefight a few weeks ago (I had bought the "all games package" last year). I have no reply so I wonder if it would have been sent into the SPAM folder (it happends quite often with my email address...)

Can you check ? Should I resend it ? (it ended with )

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 12:04 am
by Andy Brown
Sean O'Connor wrote:OK, I'll get that changed! Is it just the dead Germans that need updating?
Ah, OK! I see all the "dead" graphics include a number of the pinkish pixels. The UK dead graphic has only one, which is why it looks different. Might have a crack at changing them back myself. No big deal.

To be honest, Sean, if you're going to do some work on the graphics, I'd prefer it if you'd find some way of making elevation easier to understand.

On balance, the fractal hills are better in terms of their effect on gameplay. However, it is now much more difficult to visualise the terrain just by looking at the map. What would be most helpful is if you could come up with some way of shading terrain according to it's elevation (eg so that higher terrain appears lighter).

IMO, that would be a far more needed and useful improvement.


Andy Brown

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:49 am
by Wulf Corbett
Agreed - fractal hills are pretty, but I'm constantly putting units out of control because I can't tell where the hill tops are!

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:38 am
by Sean OConnor
I could add contour lines but that would be an option you could only select/unselect before the map is drawn (not in the middle of the game) as it would be a slow process.

Posted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:54 pm
by the space predator
good idea. I don't see other way to correct that.

Posted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:08 am
by Andy Brown
Contour lines would work for me. I've spent half my life looking at maps and would have no trouble interpreting them.

I suggested elevation-based shading only because that's what's found in many atlases and I thought more people would be familiar with it. But whatever works ...


Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:15 am
by Legacy
I can read a topo map... it's really not that difficult. Contour lines sound like a good call.

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:15 pm
by Knut
I'm not interested in topo lines as I think they'd look completely silly, and take away from the more "realistic" look you were going for in the first place with the creation of the fractal hills! You'd might as well go back to the contour hills, since that's really what people are asking for here. They want to have a perfect "eye of God" view and control over every little thing that happens, and don't seem to understand that one of the best parts of this game are the restrictions that attempt to replicate that of a company commander.

Sometimes when you a order a unit up a hill, they might go to far, or drop down into a swale or ravine that cuts off your LOS with that unit. Part of life, part of the game. Sure company commaders often (But not always!) had maps of the area they were working in, but that maps weren't that accurate, and, more importantly, their platoon leaders and squad leaders didn't always have that same map, and as often as not, didn't end up within 10 meters of where they were ordered to go.

So I so no topo, keep the fog of war element intact, as well as the chance that a unit may fail to respond to orders or fall out of contact at the most inopportune time! That is part of the fun of the game, gentlemen, and part of the challenge that commanders have always faced in real life!

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:08 pm
by TheKangaroo
While I certainly agree with your general notion there, I'd like to point out that some of the criticism about fractal hills is, that sometimes the look of them doesn't match the terrain too well, in a sense that a 100ft peak might look like a slight rolling hill or vise versa, which would be rather odd to confuse even without a map.

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:25 pm
by Andy Brown
Quite right, Kangaroo.

IMO, the fractal hills are better in they they more closely resemble real terrain. However, the location of major high points and key military crests is not obvious from the current graphics.

I don't mind that I can't make out every last bump and hollow. It would be nice, however, if just by looking I could quickly get some idea of where to place my troops for the best fields of fire. Currently, the only way to do that is by mousing over hill terrain with the cursor and a lot of trial and error using the "F" key (thank goodness it's working again!).


Posted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:36 am
by Knut
Well then I say be careful of what you wish for! Exactly what distance shall the elevation lines be set at? 10m? They're basically useless then. 5m? Do you really think that will help you keep a unit from deploying right over a crest? How about 1 or 2m, then you can enjoy attempting to make out the high ground in a bowl of spaghetti!

Any of them won't help in determining the real causes of most troops deploying out of radio contact. One, troops spreading out to their most favorable combat positions taking them out of your intended area of deployment, and two, the inexact science of determining LOS on a flat surface, elevation lines or not!

Again, I suggest you deal with having a little bit of reality intercept your best laid plans, gentlemen. Remember, very little radio control was ever really exercised among squads at this level, anyway. That's why commanders used so many runners!

Posted: Sat May 29, 2010 12:54 am
by Andy Brown

In my case, the request for some sort of elevation indication has nothing to do with command and control, which I generally don't have problems with, and everything to do with where I place those blue squad markers.

Place them too far forward of a crest and troops are exposed on a forward slope with real problems if they want to withdraw. Place it too far back and they can't see anything to shoot at.

It also helps if, when trying to work troops through dead ground in some sneaky flanking move, I know where the dead ground is. At the moment, the point where terrain blocks line-of-sight between two points is usually not obvious.

Counter arguments along the lines of "deal with the fog-of-war" aren't very valid because, in real life, the troops would be smart enough to adjust for these kind of things themselves. Unfortunately, firefight troops are only smart enough to go where I put the blue markers. It's therefore important to me that I have the information I need to place those markers sensibly. At the moment, this isn't the case.

The fractal hills do seem to significantly impact gameplay. I put it down to the fractal bumps in the ground making it less likely that all members of a squad will have l-o-s to enemy units at the same time. Consequently, two or three squads onto one now often doesn't generate the effective fire superiority it did under 4.x when lines-of-sight were much cleaner.

Just played a Hard, Inf Only defensive game where I was rated "Good" despite losing the objective. The game lasted 57 minutes and I reckon I only lost because my troops ran out of ammo. The fractal terrain meant that even though the attacker had a serious numerical advantage, its troops had difficulty blowing me away because only a few of them were able to see my guys at any one time. I never had a defensive game last so long in 4.x. One way or the other, the issue was usually decided in half-an-hour.

As for the contour interval, let's see what Sean comes up with. He's the man, after all, and it was his idea.



Posted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:08 pm
by UberMoo
I'm am extremely impressed with version 5.0 of this game. Well done!

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:55 pm
by Knut
Andy, again I think you are hoping for too much by thinking that by being able to see the hill contours more clearly, you'll be better able to deploy your troops.

As you stated, your main problem is placing your blue deployment line in position so that you can maintain radio contact with your unit. Then you go on and state how its a problem that your men will position themselves to their best perceived advantage on a hillside. As you see, those two problems are tied together. Whether or not you place your blue line here or there, your men will still be very likely to deploy themselves 5-10m away from the blue line and out of radio contact. The addition of contours won't change this. You now can check the same thing by checking elevation by floating your cursor over the hills.

The best way to solve your real problem, which is your dislike of losing control over a squad or two, would be for Sean to loosen up the radio los parameters, so that if you are only 100 yards away from a unit that just over a 20m crest you won't lose contact with that unit! Or, even simpler, accept the fact that during WW2 individual squads weren't carrying radios to stay in contact with there company commanders in the first place. But of course you'd then expect to be able to give a squad better orders and expect them to move on their own towards the sound of fighting or whatever.

I just don't think contour lines will change anything for you the way increasing the power (if not the range) of the radios themselves.