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sainta117

Pilots not improving skills (DF & BA)

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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.

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hmm,yes I think you're right,when I think about it I dont remember DF&BA skills increasing either.But when pilots' AI increase they certainly get better(both at space and planets) so no need to panic

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Both of those skills are tied to the actions performed according to those skills. If they are no proficient in launch missiles - which DO kill their targets, then BA (yeah, I know, they're not bombing per se) won't increase. The DF won't increase unless they were engaged in a protracted (approx. 5-8 mins) dogfight with an opponent which they ended up killing.

These stats aren't just there for show. Each one is tied to a specific set of actions which in turn is tied to the overall AI.

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That's a very clear explanation. I tend to use my pilots carefully, launching them to execute quick strikes on enemy cap ships and then recovering them or bringing them into close escort ("fly to"). Usually if a dogfight becomes protracted, I bring them home and use another tool to finish the job (like the PTA system on my Carrier Asset). I figured it had to be some element of my command style that was causing the problem. Thanks for the rapid response.

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I've been testing this over the last couple of days, and I have so far been unsucessful in increasing either BA or DF skill. I've set up 1 on 1 dogfights between my fighter assets and enemy fighters by attacking starbases in invincible mode. When they scramble their alert fighters, I pair up each fighter with an opponet. So far, I've had dogfights ranging from 2 to 15 minutes in length. All of the fighters were eventually defeated, but no DF was gained. I then tried to increase BA by doing surface attack runs. I figured that the relatively weak surface targets would be more likely to die with a single shot, and would be more difficult to damage with guns, so that porportionally more kills would be gained with missiles. I was able to confirm several missile kills on ground targets (mostly SA missile batteries and SAL's of various sorts). In these cases, BA also did not increase.

This suggests a number of possible explanations: 1) there is a certain percentage chance of increasing DF or BA whenever a trigger condition is achieved by a pilot (protracted dogfight kill, missile kill),

2) there are subunits to DF and BA points, and it is necessary to acheve some number of subunits before an apparent change is seen in the associated statistic

3)some minimum AI level is required to improve these skills, or AI directly increases likelihood of skill improvement (leaving aside indirect increases due to better performance in combat) This seems a likely possiblity, due to SC's remark that it is tied to "overall AI." I'm not sure how to test this quickly, though, as I know no way to rapidly increase AI.

4) invincibility mode (being a cheat) is set up to prevent skills from accruing in pilots.

5) some other factor is at work that I have not identified.

Another issue is what is considered a "dogfight" by the program. If ship A has ship B targeted, But ship B has ship C targeted, are ships A & B in a dogfight? Also what if a ship switches targets during combat? Does this then mean that the accumulated "Dogfight time" is lost?

If anyone else has managed to gain DF and BA skill for their pilots in UC, would you mind posting anything you remember about the occasion on which they earned it, or indicate that you've never seen it happen? I'd like to get a feel for how rare the event is so that I have an estimate of how many trial repetitions are needed to test some of these hypotheses.

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Hmm. Has ANYONE increased their pilots' DF or BA skills in UC? I'm starting to wonder how difficult it really is. After almost a week of testing and dozens of dogfights I haven't been able to gain a single point of either for my pilots.

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Its not a random number counter that just gets increased you know. There are no less than 700+ AI calculations involved in the decision which determines when those stats are modified.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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IS there a money cheat and what is the "god" mode cheat? i would also like to run some test with the money cheat (if it exist) i can get a crap load of ATS missles and use them with invinc. pilots to see if i can get them to increase. Of course im going to make a new game and run it without auto npc generation.

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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.

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Guest Malmaison

Since BCM, I've never seen any increase in pilots BA or DF stats. It doesn't matter how much you train or how you assign them.

In BCM they would in fact raise over time, the best way to raise DF stats in BCM would be to go into nullspace, drop 10 cargopods per fighter, turn those pods red through the "attack" sub-menu, and have your fighers destroy the pods.

You could raise BA stats by sending pilots to attack either neutral civilian buildings, or prep a hostile mission zone by first taking out the launchbays and SAMs, SALs, early warning radars, and any command bases. Then have your pilots attack ground units without threat.

In BC3K 2.09 the pilots advanced in DF and BA. In BCM (at least as far as 1.09) they advanced. It was tricky and time consuming but possible.

With UC I've never seen a pilot advance in either DF or BA stats. However, once they reach a certain AI level, UC pilots actually are more competent then pilots in either BC3K or BCM.

So..once u advance your pilots...BA and DF stats are moot.

Just my two cents.

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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.

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Guest Malmaison

Yes, though I have no proof to the fact, I can remember getting my pilots up to around 80 Df and 65 BA (using BCM 1.09.01)

But since every pilot was at 65-100 AI, it's hard to tell if it was the AI level or the DF/BA stats that were a factor...and also this would be from months and months of constant play, and thousands of hours of gametime.

Possibly I could find an old savegame.

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Eh i'll just let it go i'll just play my reg game and use my Fleet C&C which im itching to use BTW lol.

Saint not you ruin your trading idea's or what not but if you trade OTS missles from galcom to wraith you can make upto 1.1 mill per missle.

There are a few other items i used to trade but i cannot remember i think FC assets and the likes make you a pretty penny too. But the OTS missles are the best as far as i know. especially the highest priced one at wraith it will get you 2 mill more or less.

But OTS-Tanix i think is the one i trade all the time then the highest one being the OTS whatever the highest priced one is LOL....forgot the name but have fun man.

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Guest Malmaison

If you want to make a mint, quick? Run HT items from Genesis in the Moon region, to Wraith in Lyrius space.

Then run AD items from Galcom to Wraith. Most people use a shuttle, but I use my CC, because of all the hostiles in transit. Keep two pilots on active and rotate a pair of fighters. I generally do 1 and 3, then 2 and 4. That way I can prep and still have fighters ready to launch.

You'll probably make more off the spare cargopods you retrieve, plus the extra EP.

There is a much better run, but being you are probably Ter/Mil, it wouldn't work for you anyway.

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Eh i like my earth to wraith OTS trade route its quick easy and not to many enemys around once i start to max out the amount of OTS missles i can have onboard (IE the most expensive ones) in my SC i will use my CC or maybe i'll get a nice transport for a little while i think since i have Fleet C&C now in my game that i can order a transport to me then leave my CC and get in the transport no?

Does it not work like that?

If it dosnt then oh well i just like using my SC because my CC is so slow its a firestorm i like it though its a good ship =).

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Guest Malmaison

I never did like Firestorms..Megarons are the best ships...well actually, Warmongers, but they are cruisers and can't cloak.

Oh well.. play as u like..nevermind me

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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.

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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.

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