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Author Topic: Some Info about SEOW  (Read 902 times)

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Kopfdorfer

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Some Info about SEOW
« on: June 11, 2018, 11:56:15 AM »

Hey Guys,

I am setting out to educate the remaining IL2 flyers out there who don't already know ,
just what SEOW (Scorched Earth Online War) is and why I love it so much.

For an overview , see the wiki article here :

http://seowhq.net/seowwiki-en/index.php?title=Main_Page

As well as some words and thoughts I intend to host a few Q and A sessions on TS (dates to be announced) ,
and ultimately a few sessions on how to plot missions using the SEMP (Scorched Earth Mission Planner).

I am a user but not an expert , and so in depth queries should be made at the top , at SEOWHQ , here :

http://www.seowhq.net/

If you are interested in learning about the Mission Planner , the first thing is to ensure that you have a functioning
Internet Explorer v11. This is the interface the SEOW system was built to exploit , and frankly , though it can be done ,
I don't have the technical expertise to troubleshoot a browser that can't interact with the Mission Planner.
If someone with carnal knowledge can , by all means step up and offer your services.

I hope a few of you will follow along and join in , and ultimately I hope to run a few SEOW Campaigns before IL2 finally starts
pushing up the daisies !

Kopfdorfer
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Kopfdorfer

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 11:59:25 AM »

Just What is SEOW ?
Why would I want to use it ?

I am aiming to provide some basic information about what SEOW (Scorched Earth Online War) is , what it can do , what it can’t do , and why it might be an appealing means of IL2 Mission and Campaign generation.

We all know that to fly an IL2 Mission , a mission (.mis file) needs to be created somewhere by someone. Normally this is done using the in-game FMB (Full Mission Builder).

The advantage to this is that we (as the mission designer) see everything we do , and we control most of what occurs in the mission , at least up to the random elements of AI programming and human unpredictability.

Unfortunately , this means that the Mission Builder has vital knowledge as to what will unfold in the mission ( how many , when and where ) , and very little will be a total surprise to him/her.
This eliminates the tension and drama of a real combat flight mission.
The same holds true when the same mission is flown repeatedly (even the very best of missions) .
Sometimes the Mission Builder , pleased with his/her creation , can’t resist leaking information about his mission to the participants that truly removes an element of surprise and drama from the pilots flying it.

Another thing that occurs in one-off missions , and indeed in pre-scripted campaigns as well , is that there is (usually) no consequence for brash unconsidered actions.
No matter how many P-51D-20-NTs are lost , you will have the same number of the latest models available on the flight line of the same base all set for the next mission.
There is no risk or consequence for poor (or excellent for that matter ) performance.
Not so in reality. Planes destroyed must be replaced (if available at all) either by ferry flights , or by shipment. This takes time – if it happens at all.
If you lose an aircraft , you might be sitting out the next mission – if you were lucky enough to get back alive.
If your unit loses too many aircraft , you might be forced to fly an inferior replacement aircraft , pulled from the line for refit , or distributed to other units.
You might be required to use a vital fighter for a recon flight , because all the recon aircraft were shot down due to inadequate fighter cover.



Another element that occurs in normal online IL2 flight . whether in Dogfight mode or Coop mode , is that the measurement of success by individual point allocation leads (again) to less coordinated teamwork and unrealistic risk taking because of the lack of
consequences , and the limited application of group objectives/goals.

Again for many virtual pilots this is fine , but for me if there is no interaction necessary to achieve a group objective , I must ask myself why am I flying online at all ?

Another element missing in most online missions/campaigns is the importance , difficulty , and danger of reconnaissance and transport flights.
I understand that most online pilots will not choose to fly these aircraft even if available – no points can be accumulated by flying them , and they are certainly neither sexy , nor powerful , nor fast. But they were/are essential to successful military operations in every theatre in the past and in the present.
They can and should be represented as more than just slow moving targets in the combat flight sim world.
I have found some of the most exciting missions to be flown in these aircraft types.
(Nothing gets my adrenaline up more quickly than to be flying along stealthily , taking recon photos in my Storch or Sentinel , and spotting an incoming flight of enemy fighters.)

The final and deepest element that is poorly represented in most Dogfight or Coop Online Missions is Fog of War. We all know way too much.

For me uncertainty holds the key to the core of the reason why I fly this sim in the first place  – excitement.
For me excitement is raised by not knowing where and when the enemy will appear from. It comes from not knowing what type of aircraft I will be facing and how many there are. It comes from not knowing precisely where the target is located and having to search for it – all the while looking over your shoulder.
It comes from being surprised by the tactical situation , and having to resolve it in seconds.

Aerial warfare did not evolve in isolation. It is fundamentally welded to the other elements of war , on the ground and at sea. If these components are not represented within a combat flight sim with integrity ( doesn’t have to be perfect ) immersion suffers.

Technically the structure of SEOW offers a system to generate missions that are related to each other by the results of the previous missions flown/run.

Because IL2 uses the .mis file as the basis for an online mission , SEOW must be able to generate a .mis file for each mission to be flown in the campaign.

1)   When creating a SEOW Campaign , you must first create a template.
The template is based on an existing IL2 Map for which specific data has been captured and stored in a database (SEDB). Because this is work that is done outside of the existing IL2 Map , not all maps’ data have been captured to date , but enough have to keep you flying interesting campaigns for a long time.
(If you are dead set to campaign on a Map for which the data has not been captured , it is entirely possible by following info in the SEOW Wiki , to capture and input the data from any map you like – IF you are willing to do the work.)
       The campaign designer will use the FMB to add any aircraft , ground units , sea
       units and objects he/she wishes to populate map with and create the template for
       the campaign.
2)   The Campaign Designer will then “Initialize” the template using the Scorched Earth Dynamic Campaign System software , the SEDCS , which in effect is taking all the data from the Template .mis file and storing it in a database.
3)   Now the designer connects the SEDCS to the Scorched Earth Mission Planner (SEMP) which is a GUI interface that can be accessed online by the “Commanders” for both sides of the campaign (and the Campaign Administrator).
Using the SEMP , the “Commanders”  can see their units’ locations , each units’ characteristics , and can plot their movements by land/sea/air for the upcoming mission.
4)   When both sides have made their plots (all of which are unknown to the opponents), the SEDCS is activated to “generate” a Coop Mission (.mis file).
5)   The Coop Mission is then flown. Neither side knows what objectives the opponent has in mind for the mission. Flights may all be human flown , all AI flown , or a combination of the two.The loading screen can (and in my opinion should be) set up so that each side sees only the aircraft available for their side.
6)   The Mission Log File is analyzed using the SEDCS , which modifies the original Template in the SEDB according to what was damaged/destroyed during the mission.
7)   The process begins again.

The other excellent attribute of the system , is that you can design and implement your own unique Victory Conditions for each campaign. These can be as simple or as complex as you make them. Because SEOW allows you to assign your own Point Values to every object in the HSFX lexicon , you need not be tied to the default in game point values.
And your Victory conditions need not be confined to Point Value. You may have to achieve a certain outcome by a certain Campaign Time or Date , you may have to control 1 or multiple “Control Points” which you can select and construct for your campaign. The combinations are limited only by your own ingenuity.

It is possible to have a tense immersive campaign with just 2 participants (one commanding each side) , but the real enjoyment of this system comes from flying with and against squads of opponents.

The depth of campaign is controlled by the designer. Some of the best campaigns are the simplest , but campaigns can be made highly complex , involving supply usage , industrial production , dynamic recon (recon info decays over time , so you often must keep up recon flights over the same area to keep track of enemy movements) , spies , active radar , and much more.

For a good overview of SEOW and what it has to offer , see the wiki page here :

           http://seowhq.net/seowwiki-en/index.php?title=Main_Page

As you will see , there is an incredible complexity of choices available to you for your own campaigns. Don’t let the amount of information there discourage you  - 
The fundamental power of the SEOW system is that you can configure the system to what you want from your campaign – you are required to use only what you wish.

If you have questions about the System , I strongly recommend you read the Wiki.
Also , if you haven’t already done so , download Teamspeak , and drop in to the SEOWHQ Teamspeak Server , introduce yourself , and ask some questions. The guys there are mostly experts , and will be able to answer any questions you have , or to direct you to someone who can.

I am willing to answer the ones I can ( though only the simpler ones !) , so you can contact me through SAS , M4T , or Hyperlobby.

The last thing I need to mention is HSFX.
HSFX (currently at v7.0.3) is a mod pack designed specifically for integration with the SEOW System. For this reason , it is the best and most dependable Modpack available for this use.

Because it has not been upgraded for sometime , there are some excellent recent mods which are not incorporated. It is possible to add many of these through the JSGME.
The best place to have access to these is JP Dore’s wonderful site here :

                 http://www.derrierloisirs.fr/il2/bdd2012/

Adding maps is usually a straight forward download/place in jsgme/activate in jsgme process (unless you are missing objects).
For aircraft mods to work with SEOW , information must be added to the SEOW Database. This requires a bit of work , and is not within the realm of my technical abilities to advise on.

Many SEOW campaigns come with their own JSGME Mod Packs which are incorporated to include later mods and changes in the technics.ini to include custom Columns , Trains , and to make such subtle changes as varying vehicle , column and ship speeds , ship armour protection , armour formations and much , much more.
This type of application is for the experienced and technically advanced user.

I suggest you start with a basic campaign , and go from there to where your curiosity leads you.
There are a selection of pre-formatted campaigns available here :

                          http://seow.sourceforge.net/

In my opinion , the SEOW system is the culmination of the IL2 realm (even without the latest in mods) and is well worth the investment of time required to learn and use it.

Check it out , and make your own determination.

Kopfdorfer


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tomoose

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 03:46:13 PM »

KD;
I think I asked before so apologies if so, can SEOW be used Human vs AI only? i.e.  AI are the opposing force for the campaign.
cheers,
T
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Kopfdorfer

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 06:29:51 AM »

Yes it can be used for human against AI only.
The "but" is that a human must plot the moves of the AI side.

(For advanced coders - and this has been done - a script can be written to
move AI in a series of patterned choices with random execution. The caveat is that it is feasible
only for a limited scale campaign , or the coding would be as difficult as putting together the campaign from scratch.)
I wouldn't have a clue how to do this unfortunately , but if you are interested , 4Shades at SEOWHQ is your man.
See the discussion thread here : 
                             http://seowhq.net/seowhqforum/viewforum.php?f=51&sid=cf79eff3b64b34347c0bf4c1e95cb3bb

If you get SEOW up and running , and want someone to plot the enemy moves for you , let me know.
I would be able to arrange for myself or someone else to do it for you.

Kopfdorfer
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VARP_Thor

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 07:51:26 AM »

Good job Kopfdorfer!

You can attach my video here. Maybe it can help people to ovevercome initial tech setup. The second video, where i plan to actually make the campaign, will be done during the summer....i hope. We will probably fly that one on September.

About Human vs AI, true, it can be done on different ways. Scrypts, triggers, human planning of one or multiple missions in advance and combination of those. The best, of course, is human vs human scenario where it isn't just a flying circus, but strategy game also!
Cheers,
Thor
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tomoose

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 10:36:17 AM »

Kopfdorfer and Thor;
thanks for the info.  I have no problem plotting the moves of the "bad guys" and keeping it to myself when flying with the rest of the group.

As I mentioned in my PM Kopfdorfer, the install/setup looks really intimidating.  Perhaps Thors video will help with that.
Is there a step-by-step instruction manual for install/setup?  Did I miss that?

thanks again,
Tomoose
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FNRennier

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 11:19:21 AM »

Excelente!
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Kopfdorfer

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 12:00:33 PM »

Here is Thor's Video Guide to setting up the SEOW System on your PC.

http://2ndvarp.net/showthread.php?4735-SEOW-video-guide-lessons

Kopfdorfer
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tomoose

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 12:57:18 PM »

Well, it was going OK with the video (great job by Thor), but my XAMPP Control Panel, starts MySQL then immediately stops it with the following text in the window "...may be due to a blocked port, missing dependiencies, improper privileges, a crash, or a shutdown by another method."  I have no idea what to do next.
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tomoose

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 02:55:59 PM »

Still no joy (a couple of hours of messing around).  Apache starts no probs.  MySQL flashes a PID but no port (I know it's supposed to be 3306) and then stops.  I've put a rule in the Windows Firewall to allow access to 3306 but still no joy.
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tomoose

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 04:45:20 PM »

Some progress.  Uninstalled XAMPP and re-installed on 'C' drive which apparently did the trick.  I got as far as the SEOW "front page" on IE.
:)

UPDATE:  Hour one of transferring SEDB74_reference.  Hours to go, LOL.

BLUF:  There's NO way I could have gotten this far without Thor's video.  :)
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Kopfdorfer

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Re: Some Info about SEOW
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 07:55:13 PM »

When you get it up and running you will be needing "Navicat" or something equivalent to allow editing in your database - and you will want to do this !

If you get that far and you want to go further , let me know and we can converse on Teamspeak.

Kopfdorfer
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