Enge and I have had a brainstorm about some key class files, and subsequently I have managed to once again compile some of these. As a result, I have improved the AI function in the sim, redressing some errors and other bugs which have existed in the current version of the files since the time when we lost the ability to re-compile them (appx. one 1/2 yrs ago). There are too many subtle fixes to mention, but some of the key behaviour traits which have been changed concern the AI’s gunnery, corrections to aiming while firing, bomber formations, and so on. Briefly, to summarise:
AI pilots now hold their fire until closer ranges. The range at which they fire decreases with pilot Skill rating. Currently, all AI pilots of all Skill levels start shooting at 500 or 700 meters, depending upon the “attack type”. Now the range will vary per “attack type”, and if the target is a fighter or bomber. Average pilots, for example, vs a fighter target using a ‘normal’ attack open up with machine-guns starting from 350 m, and then with cannon from 275 m, IF “on target” (hopefully they will determine this property better now). And so on… you can see that there are a number of variables about how and when they will shoot.
When firing at a target, the AI will now check twice as much to determine if they are “on target”. They will be able to correct their aim more than previously, again as per AI pilot Skill. Hopefully, as a result, they will waste less ammo. I have tried very hard to make them avoid this current behaviour where they keep firing at a target which they just miss, expending all of their ammo. Being Oleg creations, the AI wil still do this, but I hope much less than previously.
Bombers have an annoying habit of maneuvering like fighters, and breaking formation. This is very hard to control. However, I think that there will be some improvement now in this behaviour. It seems to be the case, but more testing will tell the tale.
I propose that these files should be introduced into our current installation (P6.4). The changes are very much needed, and they look to be stable and bug-free. We will want to test this claim, of course. But, I feel that these are too important to leave for the P7 release. AI updates should be immediate, in my view.
Therefore, please find me on Skype and obtain these new files. They are tiny and will transfer in 2-3 seconds. Thanks, and hope to see you all for coops!