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Old 10-05-09, 12:26 PM   #1
Bilge Rat
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Default SH and AOD -- sharing thoughts

Hello sailors!

Just wanted to share some thoughts with you regarding SH and AOD. I am playing these games since I am somewhat 'handicapped' running Unix :-) The classic sims are working excellent with dosbox.

Back to my experiences. First of all, AOD: I really like this sim! Besides the atmosphere I've read about in other posts I think that the AI is really challenging. Destroyers almost always get me even in the tutorial.

The graphics are also ok except for one thing: the enemy ships. From a distance I cannot make out anything about the ships. It seems that my crew has much better eyes than me. This is especially annoying when trying to figure out the course of the convoy. If there were no magic map, I would be completely lost, since you have to be thaaaat close in order to make out anything, but then the destroyers already got you.

This makes playing AOD less fun, at least for me. How do you play AOD? How can you keep track of a convoy only by visual sightings? I think that you *have* to use the map in order to compensate for the bad graphics (pretending that my crew does the heavy jobs of recognizing ships, drawing them on the chart, feeding the TDC -- is this what you also do? Is this kinda historic, too?). How do you deal with this shortcoming?

Speaking of graphics: the coastline is also something having to get used to. At first I thought that these strange swimming things are ships and -- of course -- had to check the map to find out that these things are part of the coast).

What about SH? I really like the graphics. The ships are rendered in such a way that I don't need the map in order to determine it's course (though the flickering of the 2.5D-sprites between two different angle presentations is getting annoying and confusing sometimes). Yes, there are even wakes and I can use the ship ID book in order to get more information about my prey.

I agree that the single non-continous maps are not very nice and the frequency of enemy ships are not perfect, but anyway...

But did anyone notice those dumb destroyers? It's so easy to attack a convoy and escape the escorts. Sometimes they just stop and wait. They are definitely neither aggressive nor intelligent (not to mention the high chances of sinking escorts even when surfaced). Does anyone know if this has to do something with historical accuracy? I was playing end of war, highest difficulty, expert enemies, since I thought escorts might have improved. Also I have never seen convois zig-zacking -- also historical? BTW, my version of SH is 1.11 (German edition that came bundled with SHII).

Some of you have noticed in other posts that AI in later versions of SH (2, 3, 4) is not better (sometimes even worse). Is this true? At least then there's no need to change the operating system :-)

When do you receive orders via radio? Never got anything via radio. Felt lonely on the seas compared to AOD ;-)

Alright, lots of thoughts, lots of questions, lots of lines. I am looking forward to hearing/reading from you fellow skippers...

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Old 10-06-09, 08:14 AM   #2
Pacific Aces Dev Team
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AOTD had the advantage of a true 3D environment, but at the expense of quality in the graphics. SH1 ships were sharper, but I always found annoying how the AOB changed in "jumps". Lot easier to estimate, though

Gameplay-wise both were very inmersive, I have enjoyed both a lot, but as you say the DDs in SH1 were easier to go by before getting detected (Afterwards it was a different story if there were many of them!).

What I didn't like much from SH1 and AOTD -though in this last one it wasn't so exaggerated- was the huge amount of enemy traffic.
One day I will return to sea ...
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Old 10-06-09, 08:21 AM   #3
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It's pefectly normal to let the crew do their jobs in AOD (I have played only a couple of missions in SH1, so I haven't much to say there).
Since the resolution is very limited, you - as a human player - can't determine visually where a ship is heading unless it's within a few hundred meters range. The computer crew just compensates for that limitation.
As they also set up the TDC, you can get the direction and speed of your targets without having to look at the map. Just mark the target and let the crew enter the data for you (though I think you already know that). That's probably the only way to avoid the "god's eye" view of the map.
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Old 10-15-09, 08:41 AM   #4
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With these games you really shouldn't pay any attention to the graphics. It's all about gameplay, not eye candy (that seems to be reversed with todays games).

Edit: I've been thinking about my statement, that todays games are all about graphics... I'm not so sure that's true. Maybe just a case of fond memories (hey kiddo back in my days things were done properly blah blah...). For example, when I think about it, there's more features in SH3 than in AOD. Hmm, I'll have to ponder this some more, maybe today's games are not so bad after all.

Last edited by IanC; 10-15-09 at 11:27 PM.
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