Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

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X3DW
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Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by X3DW » Fri, 28. Dec 18, 06:00

I'm not new to the game, but I am new to anything larger than the Nova Raider I've been flying since forever.
So, I bought a Split Dragon to entertain my son today. First time I've flown anything that big.
I shoved 8 HEPTs up front and ... uh I think a PBE in the turret. Not sure. Anyway, I then went into Hatikvah's and proceeded to get ripped apart by a nova, an elite, and 2-3 M5s. Aside from the thing turning so slow (I know, it's one of the faster corvettes; to repeat, I'm used to a nova raider and faster), there was something else, something I'm shocked that I'm not finding in common discussion via tons of searching on google. Why is the targeting reticle so bad?

I know what you might be saying -- dude, you suck, you can't aim, turn on auto-target, etc. However, with no other settings changed at all, I would've won this fight with my solo nova raider 80%+ of the time (same setup, loaded with HEPTs). It wasn't the speed of the Dragon (though the turning is way too slow), it was the reticle. It absolutely was not aiming at the targets. Using my nova, I sweep in, strafe past, and basically lay down the plasma blobs even at distance. Xenon Ns fall easily. I'm just trying to make the point that, yes, I can hit fast moving targets -- meaning I know how to keep the mouse aim target under floating reticle -- even with HEPTs. But enter the Dragon and suddenly everything is hanging behind, way off the mark. Air ball!

Is this a known problem? Is it fixed with any mods? I'd read about a huge mod once long ago that supposedly fixed turret problems but I don't recall one that mentioned this. To be expected to add "extra" lead (guesswork) to a floating reticle that's already supposed to calculate and display your target's lead is clearly a failure of the software.

If not, why does it seem people love a class/ship (I've only tried the Dragon) that has terrible manual fire accuracy?

Thanks for any insights.

Alan Phipps
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by Alan Phipps » Fri, 28. Dec 18, 14:24

I'll move this to X Trilogy Universe (gameplay) forum where more players will see this.

As far as I know all the main battery weapons use the same aim-off and targeting algorithm code and so I just cannot see why a particular ship would appear to be different to others in that aspect with the same weapon loadout. The only other relevant variables that might differ much that I can think of would be gun platform speed and weapon placement offset and convergence onto line of sight/point of aim. Main battery is not a turret and so turret-only mods would not affect this aspect.

Perhaps the only 'bug' possibility that I can see is if the ship somehow thinks that a different weapon is in the same group with the HEPTs, but even then the different bullets of different weapons in the battery would take different trajectories to intercept points on the predicted path of the target (if in range).
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jlehtone
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by jlehtone » Fri, 28. Dec 18, 15:13

X3DW wrote:
Fri, 28. Dec 18, 06:00
I know how to keep the mouse aim target under floating reticle -- even with HEPTs.
I don't. I never use the mouse or "that targeting mode". The mode I use has the crosshairs fixed on dead center. I turn the ship with joystick (and/or keyboard).

The auto-aim circle of a target shows the necessary lead. Slow bullets need more lead than fast ones. For example, CIGs have circle closer to target than PBG. When I have both in the active group, the lead is for the PBG.

The full auto-aim mode corrects the guns as long as I'm on the ballbark. CIG and PBG would fire at different vectors, yet both hit the target, like Alan mentioned.

As said, I don't know the "mouse mode", but I know it to be different.


If you want to mention a "problem", say that the lead circle will not show up until target is under 5 klicks from you. I wan't my first, fully charged PPC volley hit the target the moment it is in range, which is over 7 klicks. (I get my wish most of the time even without the circle, except with those awful Tokyos.)


Yes, (most) Corvettes do not turn much (compared to Fighters). The (current) system was introduced in X3R and most X2 M6 pilots judged X3R M6's as "bricks". Just wait for M2.

With Dragon I do wait the M5 to do an attack run on me. Head-on is best way to hit them. Boom and zoom. Works against larger ships too. Superior speed and strafe. (Someone had abandoned some engine tuning instructions ... :roll: )
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X3DW
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by X3DW » Sat, 29. Dec 18, 04:48

jlehtone wrote:
Fri, 28. Dec 18, 15:13
The auto-aim circle of a target shows the necessary lead. Slow bullets need more lead than fast ones. For example, CIGs have circle closer to target than PBG. When I have both in the active group, the lead is for the PBG.
Exactly. And what I'm getting at is, there appears to be something amiss with (at least) the Dragon's reticle. Either the math doesn't account for the turning speed properly or the same as it relates to the target or something else I'm unable to wrap my head around. All I know is, using the same exact setup, settings, modes, whatever we'll call it -- everything the same -- it works great on my Nova and works not at all on this Dragon I'll be returning to the fine Split folk.

I've attached some pics in the hope that they will demonstrate that I'm not imagining things. Weapon layouts are balanced L-R in all shots.

Here is the Dragon turning a bit. Note the distance of aiming reticle from center. I'm not doing a screeching hard turn, here. And yet the aim is way off.
https://postimg.cc/302k941K

A Nova Raider turning to a similar degree. Shots lean much more in the same direction (toward reticle).
https://postimg.cc/ZBG9rFr7

Nova Raider from other direction, just for the heck of it.
https://postimg.cc/wyyyybsR

Dragon straight shot.
https://postimg.cc/McrfG8X8

Dragon barely turning at all, yet the shots are still quite off/laggy/behind target.
https://postimg.cc/3dH4N1rW

Dragon turning a slight bit more = worse.
https://postimg.cc/NLX2QScW

And a bit more = terrible.
https://postimg.cc/LnBq1PhD

Last and most telling: the Dragon in combat. In this shot I am managing to hit the Pirate Nova. Look at how far I have to lead the reticle that's supposed to be already leading me. Twice the distance from center! And perhaps this telling in itself (the x2 factor), possibly indicating the math (one side of the equation -- the ship turning speed) is in error. Just a guess, I do not know.
https://postimg.cc/R30n90SR

Insights welcome! Thanks for reading.

jlehtone
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by jlehtone » Sat, 29. Dec 18, 21:10

Okay, (I had to check ingame):

There are two control modes: "Classic" and "non-classic". On one of them there is no mouse cursor and ship turns if one simply moves the mouse.

On the other there is cursor (the arrow) and simply moving mouse does not turn the ship. If one holds left button pressed, then cursor changes into circle and ship turns towards it. Right button fires guns towards the cursor, unless cursor is too far from the center.


Fight Software adds aiming options. The default is None.
The next is SEMI (which you do use). Semi shows small circle where you should fire at. It is red in your "combat picture".

The third is Auto-Aim, which makes the circle flash blue when your guns can hit the target. That is true at least for the boresight fire. Not sure if auto-aim assists the cursor fire too.


I can't fly a ship with mouse. I can't hit barn's door with cursor fire. That is not dependent on the ship: I miss with a scout and Dragon just as much. Never even tried, and "totally suck" at it. Yet, I have no trouble hitting targets with joystick and boresight fire in every ship. The Dragon can definitely hit.

If I can't hit with Nova like you can, yet can hit with different controls even on big ships, then where does that lead us?
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X3DW
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by X3DW » Sat, 29. Dec 18, 23:38

Hm. If I read you correctly, perhaps to a conclusion that this mode is not well suited (maybe even buggy or at least counter-intuitive) for larger/slower ships. I sincerely hope I do not have to rely on/learn a new flight method -- one I clearly decided against years ago -- in order to hit targets in said larger/slower ships. I'll experiment and report back.

BTW, be sure, for the second mode you described above, that you close the side panel (space key on my setup). Then, simply moving the mouse does steer the ship and moves your targeting reticle around.

X3DW
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by X3DW » Sun, 30. Dec 18, 00:58

Played around for a half-hour and my conclusion: it just seems messed up to me.

I tried the different modes (on, off, semi) and the classic and non-classic (not as different as I originally thought they were).
I loaded up just one slow HEPT into both a dragon and nova raider, then separately did target practice on a friendly I told to follow me, while standing still. So basically, a not-wildly moving, leisurely target for the most part.

Nova results: If I am aligned with the reticle, it hits maybe 70-80% of the time (there has to be some misses for the movement of the target, of course)

Dragon results: I miss probably 80%+ of the time unless I add extra fudge/lead factor from my own (growing*) experience

So to me, it just seems messed up. Perhaps the Dragon's movement speed isn't factored in properly, but that wouldn't explain why I get these results standing still (the reason I did it this way). Perhaps the turn speed is factored in wrong, and I need to try a different corvette to confirm. Perhaps it's some measure of both and/or their relation to the target. I dunno, and I'm not about to try and dive in to understand the math.

BTW Semi and On seemed to give me no different results. The only difference I saw at all was that sometimes the On reticle flashes; and it might be when I'm adding extra lead. Still, it missed way, way too much to simply be user error... with one ship but not another. Something's off.

*On a positive note, I'm getting a better feel for the Dragon. I just took out 5 pirate raiders without breaking a sweat.
However, if the targeting system works great for one ship and (with the same usage) terrible on another, something's wrong with the targeting system.

Triaxx2
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by Triaxx2 » Sun, 30. Dec 18, 13:57

PBG's your issue. The lead targeter takes the average of range and projectile speed of all weapons to calculate where you should be aiming. Drop the PBG from your main weapon and that should fix the issue. Or rather it's not an issue, but intended behavior.
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by jlehtone » Sun, 30. Dec 18, 14:58

@Triaxx2: He has only HEPT.
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SirNukes
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by SirNukes » Mon, 31. Dec 18, 04:39

This sounds like a perception issue. The Dragon is much bigger than a Nova, plus its cockpit is on the opposite side from its guns. When firing HETP from a Nova, the shots show up almost right away; in the Dragon, they have to travel significantly further to come into view. This delay gives the Dragon more time to turn, causing the shots to appear more skewed to the side. This is visual effect is enhanced by the Dragon cockpit sitting much higher than its gun mounts, giving a better view of the shots arcing.

For in-combat shot leading, the Nova can generally stay closer to a target and often on its tail (so it is moving away), which improves the lead indicator accuracy. The Dragon is more likely to be shooting at a target that is banking away after an attack run, where the steady turning will throw off the lead indicator. Also, since the Dragon is larger, npc ships will bank away at a further distance.

In practice, flying a typical corvette effectively may require a different approach than a fighter. If you try to chase a target down, they can often kite you while moving away for an attack run, meanwhile their buddies shoot you up. Instead, you can target a more distant enemy and gun them down when they do their attack run right into your lasers.

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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by Triaxx2 » Tue, 1. Jan 19, 13:16

Ah, I see. I saw mention of PBG and my brain blanked.

Okay, there's the issue: The Nova is a fighter, it's maximum turning speed? 53.8 The Dragon is a corvette, maximum turning speed? 3.8 Add in that the guns are mounted bottom side, rear of the ship and they've already traveled a hundred meters or so before even appearing visually past the nose of the ship.

Ultimately among corvettes, the Dragon isn't a particularly good anti-fighter platform because it's much better suited to killing other corvettes that it has the speed to chase down and the firepower to kill. However, there are options to deal with fighters. Missiles are the answer here, use what cargo space is available and fill it with Wasp and Tempest missiles. Wasps for killing M5's and M4's, Tempests for killing M3's. And save your guns for meatier prey.

If you want a Corvette that behaves like a fighter, you're going to have to go to the effort of boarding a Xenon P class. Otherwise I can definitely suggest the Argon Centaur with excellent turret coverage.
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X3DW
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by X3DW » Wed, 2. Jan 19, 03:22

Thanks for the insights; they are interesting points to consider. I am left, though, with the feeling that if these issues are indeed legitimate, and if the pilot needs ultimately to add (or subtract) extra lead in order to target effectively at all (which of course nullifies any measure of computer assistance to aiming, as any variation -- distance, movement rate, turning speed ... for both ships ... throws it completely off), this renders the reticle utterly worthless. That it should be so in any ship other than light classes is ridiculous, and it should've been corrected for in the game for larger ships for more than just consistency's sake.

Edit: In other words (I don't know why that sounds so wordy; it's a tough issue to describe, I guess), have the reticle calculations based on fixed, consistent spots on the bounding boxes for the forward facing guns on all such ships (something like that...); in this case, nullifying the problems of the guns being set back, low, the cockpit in the rear, etc. It wouldn't matter, if the reticle "calculation spot" was placed consistently on all ships (e.g., dead center of front face), rather than basing it on the *actual* gun locations.

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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by Alan Phipps » Wed, 2. Jan 19, 14:43

I think the others have hit on the main reasons for the perceived lag.

I further believe that the issue probably cannot easily be corrected within the current target reticle maths because the 'fixed' front battery guns incorporate a very limited ability to fire trajectories at an angle offset to their fixed alignment (like a limited gimbal). This is what allows mixed weapons in a frontal group to use simultaneously their different trajectories for different speed bullets.

I would assume that the reticle maths takes full advantage of these offsets at relatively low angles but once the weapon offset limits are hit, the prediction maths starts to break down; increasingly so as you aim off further. It is then that you would see reticle discrepancies. This is all just a theory of mine though.
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photomankc
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Re: Problem with targeting reticle on larger than M3?

Post by photomankc » Thu, 3. Jan 19, 18:36

I'm having a hard time visualizing exactly what your issue is but I'm almost the opposite. I've spent so much of the game in those big wallowing whale M6's that I'm terrible in a small fighter. One issue that I had in the M6 early on is that most fighters tend to get into a circling battle with you and at that those offsets the fighter only has to change course slightly to make the predictor mark almost useless. He can extend and turn to make the worst case for you, long range and high velocity vector. You are firing to where he 'would have been' not where he actually ends up. It's not a failure of the system I don't think, it's a limitation of the big, slow ships. They are more often chasing a fighter at extreme velocity offsets. The trick is to stop doing that. When one gets in close and starts a turning fight, target one farther out. When the target is within the parameters for a hit, and only a few ship lengths from the predictor, I'll hit them and they will go pop. when the predictor is 50 ship lengths ahead of the target the odds are poor but with a enough volume and dispersion sometimes they get unlucky there too.

Extend from the fight turn back and reduce that velocity vector for much better odds of a kill. Drop speed when you reverse on them and use thrusters to reduce that turn radius to more of a flip.

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