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sainta117

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Everything posted by sainta117

  1. Hi all, long time lurker, but this is my first post. I've been playing UC for about a year, and I've noticed that no matter how many kills they rack up, or how many sorties, or how much cockpit time my pilots get, they never improve their DF or BA stats. Their AI goes up just like everyone else (a bit faster, actually) but even when I got two weeks (game time) into an ACM campaign, DF and BA never improved. I've tried a number of strategies to fix this, including dropping containers for target practice and using invincibility mode to let them fight near enemy starbases. No matter what I do, it seems that they never get any better. I've done a search and only found one mention of a similarproblem, so I assume it's unusual. No one responded to the question in that post (which I seem to have lost track of), so I'm guessing either it got overlooked or no one knows the answer . I have two computers, and I've seen the same problem on both, so I assume it's my fault somehow. I'm hoping someone can tell me what I might be doing that's preventing my flyboys and -girls from improving their skills.
  2. sainta117

    Ejected Pod

    I didn't find any mention of this using the search system, so I thought I'd ask about it. I keep running across ejected pods in my current campaign. They look like survival pods that a pilot from a destroyed fighter might take refuge in. The problem is, I don't seem to be able to do much with them. I can't get a grip on them to tow, and I'd hate to just frag 'em, cause they're harmless, even the enemy ones. To make matters worse, one of 'em is Ter/Mil, just like me, and I can't help feeling like a crappy Commander leaving some poor downed aviator to suck vacuum out there. Anybody know what I can do with these things?
  3. sainta117

    Changing pilots' names?

    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.
  4. sainta117

    Changing pilots' names?

    Is there anyone here who knows an easy way to change the names of pilots or officers in UC? I already know how to change their portraits, so I thought it might be similarly easy. I wanted to set up a unique crew specific to my ship.
  5. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  6. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  7. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  8. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  9. sainta117

    5 missile reserve?

    I've noticed that when my fighter craft are loaded with missiles, they only seem to want to use the first five weapons in the racks. After that, they just fly around with 5 extra missiles hanging under the wings. Once in a great while, somebody will use an extra couple, but I would estimate that that happens less than 1% of the time. Loading them with fewer missiles doesn't seem to resolve it, nor does reordering them to attack their target. Since they can deploy those reserve munitions, and do so on occasion, and because I haven't seen any other mention of this on the forums, I'm thinking that there must be some order I'm giving or not giving that's causing it. I understand if they're trying to save me money by using guns whenever possible, but it tends to lead to long, circling dogfights (not necessarily a bad thing, but still a bit confusing) Also, it seems a bit bizarre that they make superhuman efforts to kill bogeys using their guns, while 5 unused sts missiles hang in the racks. Could this be linked to DF or BA skill? My experience suggests that it doesn't seem to be connected to AI level. Does anyone have any experience with this, or know what I'm doing wrong?
  10. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  11. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  12. sainta117

    5 missile reserve?

    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.
  13. sainta117

    5 missile reserve?

    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.
  14. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  15. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  16. sainta117

    Training BC AI

    Not sure I understand, Underlord. Why would your starting DF and BA numbers match mine? They're randomly assigned when you start a new game. And since DF and BA don't seem to change, they stay at whatever random number was assigned.
  17. sainta117

    Training BC AI

    The whole list? Ok, here goes (see below) I'll try the two pilot thing later, once I finish single pilot testing. Unless you want to try the pilot/copilot tests? DF BA 15 15 14 15 5 12 12 8 5 7 13 15 11 9 11 5
  18. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  19. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  20. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    Yes, I did that early on; I ran a number of strike and patrol missions with no effect. I haven't done it since the AI of my pilots has improved, though. I'll try that now and see if it helps. Thanks for the suggestion, SC. I appreciate your ongoing input on this topic.
  21. sainta117

    Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

    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.
  22. sainta117

    Best Ship Name

    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.
  23. sainta117

    Best Ship Name

    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.
  24. sainta117

    For the next in the series

    Yeah, after I read your post I tried that myself, and it does seem to work better, although it IS entirely possible to take a station without it. I think I'll use your method from now on, it seems to be easier.
  25. sainta117

    Training BC AI

    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.
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