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Posts posted by sainta117

  1. Actually, I was thinking about it for roleplay reasons. Ths situation of having multiple ships with identical crew seems a little strange (You'll never believe what MY resnig did! Oh yeah? Well MY resnig did THIS!). Oh well, I'll get over it. Anyway, thanks for the info; I appreciate the quick response.

  2. Not a silly suggestion at all; my understanding from what SC said earlier in this thread is that DF generally increases when one's pilots are engaged in a prolonged (at least 5-8 minute) dogfight. After a minute or two most pilots have expended all the missiles they're going to shoot, so usually those kills would occur with guns. Accordingly, making pilots use guns only would seem likely to make dogfights last longer and therefore increase the likelihood of DF increasing. I was actually using this strategy early on, until I realized that it was rare for a pilot to get a kill using missiles alone, and that the result was that most kills in 1 on 1 dognfights happened with guns, and took at least five minutes anyway. So I went back to using missiles, in the hope that the odd missile kill would help to raise BA.

  3. Raziel, after SC suggested it I did about 4 hours of testing on planetary targets on two seperate occasions (yesterday afternoon and last night). All of my testing was done using hyperdine ATS missiles. For the first half of the day I tested them against live enemy targets, with a depressingly low kill ratio (roughly 8 missiles launched per one hit, and less than one kill per sortie on average). I did manage to score ten or so kills across both pilot/copilot teams (see results above) on enemy targets.

    Since that was going so slowly, I decided to switch tactics. I had read in earlier posts that individuals trained DF by attacking cargo pods, so I tried laying out some cargo pods and having my pilots do bombing runs. That went much faster, as the kill rate was much higher (cargo pods don't dodge, and they take less damage to kill). Scorpion and nightwing racked up quite a few direct kills with munitions(I don't remember the number exactly, I wrote it down somewhere). I would estimate that they hit about one in three of those, at 54% AI and 15% DF and 15% BA for Scorpion and 63% AI, 14%DF and 15% BA for Nightwing (they're my best two pilots, that's why I used them).

    I couldn't say how good the enemies are, I haven't been keeping track. I also haven't been testing against air-breathing fighter craft, as I assumed that they would be the same conditions as space dogfights. Currently I'm still testing the "high AI is necessary" hypothesis, but if that doesn't pay off, I may try some atmospheric dogfights to see if they work.

    SC, if it isn't too pushy, could you identify some of those 23 variables so that I can ensure that my testing conditions are optimal? If you don't want them posted on the board you can PM me. If there's some factor that needs to be changed then all of my data will have been erroneous, and I'll have to start over, but at least I'll know that I'm really testing under reasonable conditions. I really want to get this right, and I don't want to post specious information here (that would defeat the whole purpose).

    Incidentally, I've been re-reading the manuals for UC and BCM, and a couple of online FAQ's, and I was wondering how "AI mode" applied to fighters in UC. I know that it can be set instead of autopilot on the CC, but I'm unclear on whether it's automatic with fighters or has to be set.

  4. OOPS. Yeah, that's exactly what happened.

    Underlord, I appreciate your interest, but please don't imply that I'm opposed to the SC on this issue, you're getting me in trouble. Thanks! By the way, how did your testing go?

    To the community in general:

    This topic is getting way more political than I intended. I just want info from the community on their experiences with DF and BA in UC and earlier games, or their interpretations of my findings. If you aren't here to talk about your experiences with this, or to suggest other ways to test, or to comment productively on this topic, please don't post. If you have knowledge or insight to contribute to our understanding of what is happening (or not happening) with DF or BA, please post. But please, please don't start any fights here, 'cause I'll probably be the one who gets banned for it, and that'll suck.

  5. Look, SC, I'm not trying to pick a fight here. I'm only reporting what I observe. I haven't asked you to change anything, or review anything. I don't maintain that there's anything wrong with this sim, or that it's broken. The bottom line is that I want to find out how to use a feature of the game and I'm conducting testing to find out how to do so, meanwhile soliciting feedback from members of the community who have more experience than I. As I said before, if you'd like me to stop posting my results, I'll stop. So far you haven't said to do so.

    I should also point out that I'm not responsible for other members of the community suggesting that I am opposing you or your authority in some way. I'm not. I don't intend to. I'm a scientist; I'm interested in truth, not politics.

  6. I doubt it. From what I've seen, the most important thing to SC is that this game work properly and that it continues to be the best starship command sim in existance. The only thing that I want to accomplish here is to understand why I've so far been unable to increase DF and BA, and to let others in the community know how it works. Besides, if there is something wrong I'm sure SC wants to know that so he can fix it for the next game. He's always shown a very stong interest in supporting the game and making sure that it is all it can be. However, I'm hoping that I'll eventually figure out a way to train DF and BA reliably, so that I (and everyone else) can go back to enjoying the game. Plus, then I can stop obsessing about this and go back to writing my dissertation.

  7. OK, went back to testing DF, I left FC's 7,8,1,&2 with pilot and RIO in close proximity to pixan all night with SAD and escort orders(invulnerability mode on, of course). Today the pilots had increased their kills by anywhere from 4 (roamer) to 9 (scorpion), with rogue scoring 5 and shadow 8. It appears that they were in a continuous dogfight for about 7 hours. No DF or BA increases observed (AI went up though). Incidentally, they all still had five missiles out of their original load.

  8. Succinct reply, SC. Was my interpretation rubbish, or do you disagree with my observations? I just reported what I saw. A 50 AI pilot with a 50AI RIO WILL expend 10 missiles reliably against a grounded cargo pod, but not against a SAM site. The interpretation, I grant you, is considerably less concrete, since I'm still trying to understand the phenomenon.

  9. My recent experimentation with trying to increase DF and BA has actually provided me with an interesting tidbit of info on this issue. Fighters will also expend their full missile load when bombing grounded cargo pods, but not against live enemies on the ground. What I'm starting to suspect here is that one condition under which pilots will fire those last few missiles is when the enemy target is particularly weak, and can be killed with one or two missile hits. There may be other conditions under which the AI will launch their reserve missiles, but this seems to be one trigger for it.

  10. Hmm. More data here. I've been testing Underlord's two-seater hypothesis (you need a pilot and a copilot/RIO. After about 70 Hyperdine ATS launches, I had 6 confirmed missile ground kills for hellraiser (roamer RIO), 5 for scorpion (nightwing RIO), I saw each one of them land on the target, saw the flash, heard the bang, saw the target dead. No BA increase yet. Interestingly, pilots don't seem to acknowledge ground kills verbally like they do space and air targets. I'll keep at it, more data tomorrow. I'm going to have some fun killing stuff in space for a while. After all, I'm supposed to be doing this for fun.

  11. Thanks Malmaison, I appreciate you contributing your experience. So you say that you are definitely sure that DF and BA improved in BC3k and BCM, but you haven't seen it in UC? I've heard similar statements here and elsewhere on the boards and it matches my results, but it sounds like you have a very long history with this series to draw on, so your observations should carry more weight than mine.

    For my own part, as per SC's suggestion, I've spent all afternoon running Scorpion and Nightwing through bombing runs in the midwest(it's flatter there, so fewer terrain intercepted missile tracks), both against live enemy targets and against dropped pods. So far I have about a dozen confirmed ATS missile kills (heard the boom, saw the impact), but no BA increase. We'll see if I have any better luck tomorrow.

  12. I'm not sure what a god mode cheat is, but if you add the -i switch to the command line that the game runs from you can be invincible. I don't know about any money cheat, but if you sell off all of your crap (missiles, mines, spare parts, etc) and just keep radium and ATS missiles, you should be able to buy a whole mess of hyperdine missiles (several hundred) and use those for a while. or you can just trade cloning modules or deflector arrays from galcom to wraith in a shuttle to rack up some cash first.

  13. Actually, yes, they destroyed a number of SAL units and SAM units. I tried to verify that each kill was done with ordnance, and I know that half a dozen of those kills were definitely madewith ATS missiles. Unfortunately, there were no increases in BA. Having read your earlier post, I'm currently running a series of sorties with the same pilots to see if I get similar results. I suppose it would be technically unethical for a researcher to keep their fingers crossed for a particular outcome, but I really do hope it works. I'll post my results here, when they come in.

  14. Ok, not too much more to report, I'm still grinding my pilots to higher AI levels to see if there's a difference in their ability to acquire DF and BA up there. I've also tested the hypothesis that pilots need to die at least once to "reset" their stats before they can improve them. At this time, I'd like to commend Lace on her remarkable dedication to science, volunteering to dogfight a very high AI enemy with no missiles and no remaining reactor power. She will be receiving her combat shield and purple heart at the next officer's mess (or rather, her clone will). Unfortunately, this tactic also seems to have failed to break the skill barrier, and Lace still sucks just as bad as the rest of her buddies, at least as far as DF and BA go.

    The invincibility cheat hypothesis no longer holds water either, I've racked up about 10 kills with a single pilot with invincibility turned off, and seen no effect. By the way, congratulations to Starfire on becoming a quintuple ace. Well done! Anyway, despite all of this disappointing news on the research front, I'm confident that sooner or later, we will manage to increase DF or BA by at least one increment. I hope.

  15. Actually, I did some research just now and discovered that apparently the Constellation in Baltimore is NOT the original. Evidently somebody from the Navy recently found evidence that she was broken up and rebuilt from the keel up in 1854, which technically means that she was a different ship. I know that the Constitution is still afloat, but she dates to the War of 1812, having been launched in 1797. Despite her questionable origins, I figured that the celestial symbolism of the Constellation's name was more appropriate for a starship.

  16. I captain an Aestrom class carrier christened the GCV-Constellation. I named her after a frigate that saw service in the American Revolution. I was aboard the original Constellation when I was a kid and it made an impression. These days she's anchored in the inner harbor in Baltimore, so if anyone wants to see her it's still possible.

  17. Hi underlord. Thanks so much for offering to help out, I'd really appreciate a second opinion. I'm concerned that I may be doing something stupid that I'm overlooking because I've been doing it for so long. Right now my pilots are in the mid forties to the low fifties in AI. I've tested this both with and without the invulnerability cheat enabled and seen no difference, so you decide which to use.

  18. First, please be aware that this is a slightly older post, and predates your recent reply to my thread in the UC gameplay forum; I don't want you to think that I'm ignoring your responses to my posts. And incidentally, I appreciate your attention, you've been regularly reading and responding to my questions, and been very forthcoming with information.

    Second, please understand that I don't doubt your explanation for how it works in the slightest. I'm sure that's exactly how the system was designed. The problem is, nobody I've spoken to seems to have ever observed DF or BA to increase in UC. Obviously, I can only make this determination based on what I have observed, or what has been reported to me. Since not many people have brought this problem up in the forums, I've assumed that other people haven't had any problem training DF and BA. However, despite a fair amount of action on the forum, nobody has posted any reports of such an increase in UC in response to my questions. That could either suggest that they don't have examples, that they don't remember or care, or that they're ignoring me. As for myself I'm in the process of conducting some pretty extensive testing on this phenomenon, and I'm reporting what I've seen. What I've seen is no increase in DF or BA despite testing many different approaches to training it. Perhaps it's a hazard of my profession, but I want to understand the conditions under which DF and BA increase, since it seems to be very difficult to improve these skills through normal gameplay.

    If you feel that I'm causing trouble, or being disrespectful, I apologize, and I'll stop posting my findings here. I do feel that a better understanding of why this happens (or doesn't happen) would be beneficial to the knowledge base of the community, and might even provide useful information for future BC/UC projects. I really don't mean to be annoying or make trouble, I'm just trying to understand an anomaly in my observations.

    I understand that "bug" is a word with a very specific meaning, and I may have used it inaccurately. Given the enormous complexity of the UC system, it is very likely that unintended conflicts or consequences might have arisen as a result of interactions among large numbers of variables (you mentioned 700+ in your post). It is generally held in the modeling and simulation community that as a sim system becomes increasingly complex, these unintended features become more and more prevalent. It is my concern that such an interaction may have occurred that resulted in an increase in the difficulty of obtaining measurable increases in DF and BA beyond what was intended.

  19. Thanks for the info, SC. I'm sorry if this is a duplicate thread, I wasn't able to locate that previous thread even after you told me where to look. I think I have a handle on this issue though, at least at a low level. At least at low levels, the AI seems to use reserve missiles to chase down fleeing craft, particularly shuttles, probably because it calculates that they can't catch them without using missiles. Otherwise, they don't seem to like using them.

    If anyone happens to know where the thread the SC is referring to is located, please let me know. I'd love to see what other people have come up with for an explanation.

  20. I'm quite certain that that is so. I'm not arrogant enough to assume that I can guess all of the calculations that the AI is doing behind the scenes just by a little testing, but it seems to me that it should be possible to increase DF and BA ability by at least a point somewhere by some means. I've only gotten a few responses from other players, but they all reported never having seen an increase in DF or BA either.

    Right now I'm testing two last hypotheses: 1) that the AI level of a pilot needs to be extremely high before DF and BA start increasing, or 2) that playing while using the invincibility cheat (which I've been using for practical reasons-- losing test subjects, even virtual ones, tends to make running a study more diffcult) prevents pilots from increasing their skills.

    Right now, I'm training some pilots up to 100% AI (lots of sorties, lots of kills, lots of time left on duty) and when they reach that threshold, I'll try again to increase their DF and BA ability. In the meantime, I'm going to see if the invincibility cheat has an effect on it by running my test scenarios without it. That's going to be more difficult, but I think it's possible. I'll keep posting my findings here, since there seems to be some interest in it.