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Old 2008-04-14, 09:47   #1
Atrovenator
Post Comprehensive Armour Improvements in Project Reality: Suggestions

Bear in mind that as I am writing this, I have absolutely no concept of what aspects of armoured operations in PR have been necessarily simplified in the name of 'preserving game balance' or because of engine limitations. I do know however that the modern main battle tank is a ferocious and deadly piece of equipment. When employed in a direct conventional engagement or as part of a well-supported counterinsurgency operation they are capable on both fronts of supporting friendly troops, providing direct close fire support and aggressively prosecuting a combat mission against hostile forces with minimal casualties. Simply put, tanks, (with their electronics and information warfare capabilities) should really rule the ground battles in PR with an improved command/control/intelligence gathering interface and increased integration with other combat elements (specifically CAS). Bear in mind these are just suggestions based on my knowledge of real-life armoured capabilities and are modeled on my second-hand learning about several different types of MBT. I understand that many of my suggestions would be 'overpowered' by current standards, but it is probable that with the evolution of PR, 'balance' is something that can be negotiated on a per-map basis rather than by nerfing/unnerfing kits or vehicles. If you've got a response, by all means give it, but bear in mind 'omg, tats stoopid' responses are more than likely to elicit abrasive hostility.

My recommendations for the improvement of armour, then, are as follows:

1. Addition of a 'commander' position to the tank. This position will be accessible to the technical specialist (engineer) riding along with the armour, but will also encourage the inclusion of a squad leader in an armour group. Rather than adding a fourth position this will simply be an upgrade for the third, (currently the exposed .50 cal gun). The upgrade will permit the gunner to button/unbutton at their leisure to completely avoid hostile fire. While unbutton they will have access to the .50cal MG and on right-click, their binoculars allowing them to act as a spotter without the current need to dismount (how may times have I run my competently spotting engineer over because we've been rolling into combat?)

While buttoned however, the tank commander will receive a display similar to the commander interface in vanilla with three separate zoom levels. (The 'birds eye view') The only details that will be represented however will be the position of the tank and other friendly vehicles APCs, IFVs and AA. No friendly infantry (or their vehicles such as comm trucks and soft skins) will be marked and the positions of hostiles (even when zoomed in all the way) will of course, not be noted. The commander however, will be able to track quickly and easily the precise positioning of friendly armour assets in his area and to issue precise move orders (while maintaining a concept of the given topography of his area using the full zoom.) This will enhance an armored units ability to negotiate terrain.

2. Drivers need to be able to see, even a tiny, tiny display the size of the minimap in the bottom right corner, -what- their gunner is aiming at. The inclusion of a driver gun-cam (and a commander driver cam) will get rid of all those panicked moments we've had where the driver is screaming 'take the shot' and the gunner is saying 'too high' or 'too low' etc. Alternatively, the addition of both a driver and gunner view for the commander seat would permit the maximum amount of coordination between the two elements.

3. Turret rotation should be static, not free. Or there should be a toggle to change between the two. When the hull repositions, it should not throw off the shot laterally, because as far as I'm aware, most modern MBTs have internal servos that will keep a turret in position while the body continues to rotate, allowing for a laterally steady shot. This would permit tanks in PR to engage on the move, a huge improvement that would drastically alter the flow of battles such as those on Kashan and Quinling.

4. Laser designation of targets should be something a tank's driver can do as an alternate fire, allowing coordination with CAS. Additionally, the gunner should be able to see the laser mark, allowing the driver to simply call out a target identified and marked, while turning their attention elsewhere, knowing that the gunner will be able to get a kill.

5. Integration of the compass into the HUD for both drivers and gunners. It just needs to be moved up so it's more 'center screen' and themed to match the hud details. Dunno if this is possible or realistic, but it'd definitely help with target identification as calling out a target right now necessitates the gunner looking down from their aim to align to a degree. Alternatively, remove the compass entirely and simply place the degree mark as a numerical value beside the aiming reticle, giving the spotter a -precise- numerical bearing rather than the familiar 'uhhh... about 250?'

6. Drivers, for frig sakes, a one-click 'spotted' without the commo rose. It's not like we're doing anything else anyhow.

7. Combination of the new and old smoke screen systems. Smoke canisters do not come out of the main gun on tanks, nor is a loader compelled to unload the prepared sabot, heat or what have you in order to deploy smoke from the launchers. It should not limit a tank's ability to shoot, as the primary functions of smoke are either strategically offensive (to cross an open place) or strategically defensive (to cover a withdrawal/repositioning from hostile anti-armour fire).

8. Inclusion of a no-smoke view for drivers and gunners, which simply reduces all the contrast giving an 'infra-red' type look, and removing any smoke, preventing hostile armour/infantry from hiding behind smoke screens.

9. HESH shells in insurgency

10. Loader shouts for all in the tank, buttoned commander and driver included. When I am gunning, I am compelled to echo 'sabot up' every time the main gun reloads, so that my driver (if he's worth his salt) can pull us back into a firing position.

11. Shovels for crew kits. Or the ability to 'request shovel' from the tank. Because it's not like they don't come strapped to tanks in the first place.

12. Omg LAZERZ.

13. That is all.
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Old 2008-04-14, 10:15   #2
LtSoucy
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1)Driver spot is commander spot.
2)Follow the barrel with the display drivers have
3)It has been inplaced for 0.756 but almost never used
4)They can by going into camorose I think.
5)No, the compass is in the best spot. It would get in the way and not be liked.
6)Driving is every hard in the new PR armor units. Is it really hard to go into camo rose?
7)The old smoke system was better but if your a driver and trying to retreat gunner never has a clear shot
8 )Right-click as driver I think gives you night vision. helps in those spots.
9)HE and SABOT are good enough for tanks.
10)would help but, in the think of armor battles all the yelling over TS/VOIP overrides the ingame sounds of crewman.
11)No, There crewman not a engi unit. There are already enough shovels on the current battlefield.
12)You must be joking.
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Old 2008-04-14, 12:47   #3
fludblud

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atrovenator View Post
12. Omg LAZERZ.
actually, doesnt the chinese Type 99 (Type 98 doesnt exist! fix it!) have some sort of laser blinding module mounted on its turret?

could consider the idea as a form of assymetric balance against the unstoppable challengers on qinling

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Old 2008-04-14, 13:08   #4
[uBp]Irish

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very interesting post. I too am a hardcore armor junky, and some of your changes were nice.

i'll just go down the list

1. Like Soucy said, the Driver position is considered a hybrid mix of driver and TC. Weird I know, but in most tank squads, they attempt to get 3 people in a tank, but it somehow only works for the first 5 mins. I do like this idea though, I always wished i had binocs as a .50 cal gunner.

The Commander idea is very interesting, would be something as a great way to integrate a tank crew force. I'm just wondering if thats hardcoded to the commander position though.... If not i'd say why not, its not really going to be game changing except for people getting to see where other friendly vehicles are.

2. One of the most annoying aspects of this game is that the Driver and Gunner dont have their view on the same plane. Its amazingly frustrating when I'm a gunner, and have to actually keep saying "creep up, creep up, no visual" to my driver and he's screaming "HE SEES US!!!" and I have to echo "no shot dimwit.."

3. They've worked on it..not sure its going to get much better with BF2 engine..

4. While i agree this is a good idea, i think it might be a little too overpowering. I'd be more likely just to blow it up with myself and my gunner than waste the time calling in an airstrike. I think of CAS as something squadleaders/Spec Ops use to help them out when i'm not doing Infantry Support. Most of the time if i'm doing Armor Interdiction, I'll take them out myself than have the frogg/a-10 waste the ATGMs.

5. Totally Agree. I wish there was a better compass system for a gunner/driver. Usually if i'm gunning and i'm spotting, i'll call out the target for confirmation (if needed) by saying "2 Ticks Right of NE, or 4 Ticks Left of 245" because i'm still trying to figure out the tick markings. The other thing i hate is that when i have to look at the compass, it takes my eyes off my shot picture, or when i'm recieving a heading, i have to find the heading and then look throughout the screen and general area for it, really just need the compass up higher to the sight.

6. I want to say Drivers can spot, but it would be nice if both driver, gunner, and .50 call turret could actually spot enemy assets. Usually if you're with your SL as your driver/TC/.50 cal he can put the attack marker on it so you can have a visual reference, but it would always help to have the map icon as well from your own vehicle.

7. Agree. I hate having to be gunner and switch to smoke to pop it. Give it back to drivers.
Heres something else. What if upon launching of smoke, there are also flares that pop out like in POE... It is really annoying when we have a counter only to visual reference but an ATGM is still point, click boom. Right now i think this is actually something most tanks have as countermeasures, we just dont see though regularly because we havent been in a big engagement against a military that has such technology. LGBombs would still hit, but it would throw off ATGMs..just a thought

8. Engine limitation i think. That Black/white HUD for driver never did anything for me, or am i missing its purpose.

9. Believe its been suggested already. I just use heats and demolish the building personally. Range is limited and usually when you engage an insurgent in basrah, you're pretty far away. THe time it takes to load a HESH round into the barrel, would give the insurgent enough time to lay his IED and explode it so he can get his virgins.

10. Yep already do the whole "LOADED" so my driver can hear. would be nice if this was kinda.. global, or atleast as something that popped up in chat so they could read it.

11. Well, the whole reason we were given carbines, smoke, binocs and.. a knife was to pursuade us not to want to leave our armored beast...personally, i dont ever leave it and doubt i would even if i got a shovel.

12. Already have them.

13. K good stuff.

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Old 2008-04-14, 21:50   #5
Atrovenator
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Originally Posted by [uBp]Irish View Post
very interesting post. I too am a hardcore armor junky, and some of your changes were nice.

i'll just go down the list

1. Like Soucy said, the Driver position is considered a hybrid mix of driver and TC. Weird I know, but in most tank squads, they attempt to get 3 people in a tank, but it somehow only works for the first 5 mins. I do like this idea though, I always wished i had binocs as a .50 cal gunner.

The Commander idea is very interesting, would be something as a great way to integrate a tank crew force. I'm just wondering if thats hardcoded to the commander position though.... If not i'd say why not, its not really going to be game changing except for people getting to see where other friendly vehicles are.
What it would do is lend a blasphemous amount of power (comparitively) to a tank that boasts a full squad, vs a tank that only has say, one crewperson. Good luck driving, gunning and commanding when there are 3-man pieces out there operating at the cutting edge of their role. I get the impression from the brevity of soucy's responses that he's probably someone who one-man's tanks. 12 negatives and not a shred of input seems to imply a lack of interest in legitimate contribution, just my .02 cents and I shall say no more.

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2. One of the most annoying aspects of this game is that the Driver and Gunner dont have their view on the same plane. Its amazingly frustrating when I'm a gunner, and have to actually keep saying "creep up, creep up, no visual" to my driver and he's screaming "HE SEES US!!!" and I have to echo "no shot dimwit.."
Pls, Pls, Pls give us guncam.

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3. They've worked on it..not sure its going to get much better with BF2 engine..
Having no knowledge of the engine, you might actually need a piece of coding to simulate the actual literal function of a counter-pivot servo. Out of curiosity are the majority of the RL variants based on Pneumatics or on moving parts and gears? I can't see that it would be too difficult to create an 'if X is turning at Y degrees and turret != 0 degrees then rotate turret at y degrees' or something like that. I figure if they can disable the turret when 'tracked' they can make it move when turning.

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4. While i agree this is a good idea, i think it might be a little too overpowering. I'd be more likely just to blow it up with myself and my gunner than waste the time calling in an airstrike. I think of CAS as something squadleaders/Spec Ops use to help them out when i'm not doing Infantry Support. Most of the time if i'm doing Armor Interdiction, I'll take them out myself than have the frogg/a-10 waste the ATGMs.
This was based on my personal (Derived from the US army manual on the tank and battalion command) perspective that tanks should almost never be attacking or defending against hostile armour unless your CO either a)feels like risking all of his pieces based on his accumulation of accurate intel, b) feels like risking all of his pieces because he's a moron, c) has absolutely no alternatives or d) is hoping for mutual armoured attrition.

When tanks tangle its nasty. To me, tank fighting is a mixture of chess and battleship. When you're acting offensively, it's chess. You move your piece, or your pieces in coordination to information you recieve (or believe you recieve) about the movement of enemy armour. If your positioning to neutralize a power piece is correct, then by all means it's your call. However, a lot of tankers in PR rush into the action for the thrill of the video game and get swiftly eliminated. Tanking is definitely a reactive waiting game responding to moves made, striking where they are weak and using the ol' one square over two squares up knight hook from chess to get rapidly around hostile units. Optimally I'm engaging infantry and light vehicles. Helicopters scare the piss out of me, and I'll only hunt a tank when he's unsuspecting or clearly blundering. The battleship game is more about calling out grid coordinates (often by physically searching them) in the hopes of coming up on the trail & tail of hostile armour moving in your sector.

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5. Totally Agree. I wish there was a better compass system for a gunner/driver. Usually if i'm gunning and i'm spotting, i'll call out the target for confirmation (if needed) by saying "2 Ticks Right of NE, or 4 Ticks Left of 245" because i'm still trying to figure out the tick markings. The other thing i hate is that when i have to look at the compass, it takes my eyes off my shot picture, or when i'm recieving a heading, i have to find the heading and then look throughout the screen and general area for it, really just need the compass up higher to the sight.
This may not be an issue for players with older computers running on smaller monitors or lower resolutions. However I'm a behemoth of a monitor and it's literally a full head tilt to look from my sights to the compass and back. For the sake of combat-critical timing, it would be a nice alteration.

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6. I want to say Drivers can spot, but it would be nice if both driver, gunner, and .50 call turret could actually spot enemy assets. Usually if you're with your SL as your driver/TC/.50 cal he can put the attack marker on it so you can have a visual reference, but it would always help to have the map icon as well from your own vehicle.
My qualm with the 2 button spot is that it takes lighting reflexes to spot a jet or a helicopter, which is ridiculous since it still -passed- through that airspace and you are just reporting it to your team. The left click for drivers right now doesn't do anything except a high pitch whine. Give us a boring old horn, or give us a damn one-click spot to precisely mark hostile targets since spotting is -really- the drivers role.

Quote:
7. Agree. I hate having to be gunner and switch to smoke to pop it. Give it back to drivers.
Heres something else. What if upon launching of smoke, there are also flares that pop out like in POE... It is really annoying when we have a counter only to visual reference but an ATGM is still point, click boom. Right now i think this is actually something most tanks have as countermeasures, we just dont see though regularly because we havent been in a big engagement against a military that has such technology. LGBombs would still hit, but it would throw off ATGMs..just a thought
The answer I recieved thusfar was that drivers popping smoke and moving was throwing off gunners. But frig's sake, a gunner is just there to shoot things. Lots of gunners freak out on me 'omg, you noob, I had the shot, loser, why'd you move, we're gonna die now because of you.'

It's not about making the kill and getting your points. It's about making the kill and getting points without placing yourself at unmanageable risk. And if the driver who has superior knowledge to the gunner about incoming threats, hostile positioning, has a higher perspective on the terrain and feels that a defensive situation is untenable... then more goddamn power to him for repositioning through the smoke screen. This doesn't change that the smoke screen should be irrelevant to contemporary MBTs, but since popping smoke is definitely a defensive mobility related option, it is something that clearly needs to be transferred back to the drivers.

I'd also like to see a smoke round, which can be used to block the fields of fire for enemy armour/fixed weapons like tows, as well as to provide large amounts of cover for advancing infantry. Give it the old armour smoke animation but make it fireable from the main gun. Then you'd have both an offensive smoke for gunners and a defensive mobility-related smoke for drivers. I don't know if these are actually used in the real world anymore because of the advancements in infravision tecnology however if our tanks aren't equipped with that, then what the hell, right?

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8. Engine limitation i think. That Black/white HUD for driver never did anything for me, or am i missing its purpose.
Well there are no-smoke and no fog hacks, so I think that the engine could incorporate it. Try using the black/white hud on kashan the next time you play. It's not as useful on quinling (but has its moments) due to the terrain type, and the high level of detail. However I cannot play Kashan without the highlight. Contrary to popular belief it is neither multidirectional infra-red, nor is it traditional 'night vision' which would be red and green respectively. Rather, it is simply a high contrast mode. The dark contrast elements on hostile armour (especially in the vicinity of the treads and wheels on APCs and MBTs) show up on your horizon long before the rest of the armour does. This isn't a glitch, or a bug, it's a simulated high-contrast in a featureless terrain. The only application I've found for it so far in Quinling is in the large rolling gold fields to the far east of the map by the coal mine. On Al-Kufrah, with some limited exceptions (camping a hilltop) most of the armoured engagements take place with units encountering each other -well- within visual identification range. Situationally useful, but a must-have for Kashan.

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9. Believe its been suggested already. I just use heats and demolish the building personally. Range is limited and usually when you engage an insurgent in basrah, you're pretty far away. THe time it takes to load a HESH round into the barrel, would give the insurgent enough time to lay his IED and explode it so he can get his virgins.
I just want the ability to take out small areas of buildings, not just single structures. Basically my thought is a shell with an IED sized blast radius I'm not familiar with the real-life mechanics of hesh-shells, I just know that they're the compound-killer of choice when dealing with assymetrical forces.

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10. Yep already do the whole "LOADED" so my driver can hear. would be nice if this was kinda.. global, or atleast as something that popped up in chat so they could read it.
I don't know why they didn't add this from the get go. It's not obtrusive enough to be annoying but informative enough to be useful. Strange call to omit it on the dev's part. Any well organized armour squad needs the integral communication about who is ready to fire and who is ready to loading, to maximize their effectiveness.

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11. Well, the whole reason we were given carbines, smoke, binocs and.. a knife was to pursuade us not to want to leave our armored beast...personally, i dont ever leave it and doubt i would even if i got a shovel.
I take the crewman kit sometimes just for the gun. They gave us wicked weapons (except for the chinese.) However there are times when a shovel can be an invaluable asset to a team, when the only personell in position after a firebase has been levelled and the fight has shifted elsewhere are crewpeople still alive inside their armour.
Essentially my thought is this: a tank becomes stuck in mud, the crew are issued shovels to dig it out If their armour is neutralized, they are also issued shovels so that they may dig themselves in and wait for reinforcement or evac depending on the mission profile. But right now with limitation on officer kits in armour squads (see: sniperbait) and no shovels for crew, it's virtually impossible to 'dig in' even when the commander is there in person. I do usually roll two engies, four crew, but I really want to see more officer integration with armour. Tanks aren't taxis and engineers should have their own damn car (that wrench humvee from training on kashan, G-Wagons in the CF mod etc. etc. One of the most valuable things an engineer can drive is a supply truck. Not only does it almost 100% of the time save him from the first tank shell aimed at the support convoy, it also allows him to travel at speed over rough terrain with -supplies- should we need to halt/dismount, etc. (Though dammit, we need to be able to rearm our main guns off of supply crates to a limited number so that ammo-carrier trucks become more viable. When we're actively engaged and not needing repairs, the engi can perform the valuable service of scooting back to base to replenish the truck's supplies.
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Old 2008-07-25, 19:04   #6
culliganator
Default Re: Comprehensive Armour Improvements in Project Reality: Suggestions

I support the idea of an improved crew commander positon.
I support giving smoke back to the driver.
I support shovels for crewmen.

I can live without the rest.
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Old 2008-07-25, 19:35   #7
Scot
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Default Re: Comprehensive Armour Improvements in Project Reality: Suggestions

How about a new kit called Tank CO, with SOFLAM, Carbine, Shovel etc?? That way it also makes tanks work in pairs = more teamwork from a squad basis?? Also I agree with most of your points.

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Old 2008-07-25, 20:12   #8
Celestial1
Default Re: Comprehensive Armour Improvements in Project Reality: Suggestions

Why don't both the gunner and driver get smoke?

Gunners can use it when they have the time to use it, and drivers can use it as emergency protection.
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