View Full Version : Questions about SH3

01-31-2005, 12:21 AM
I see much talk about men on the U-boats, what they can and can€t do, and so forth. But what I want to know is will SH3 have enemy AI or will it just be SH2 with fancy art? Case in point, in SH2 I noted several times that I could be wasting a cargo ship with in sight of destroyers who sailed on pass in the distance like nothing was up. So I disabled all the sonar and set up much battles where I would be sinking cargo ships right under the noses of the destroyers. And sure enough they just sailed on by with in mere meters of my ship while I wasted cargos all around them.

Now back in the early 90s the old U-boat game known as WOLF PACK put out by Noval Logic, Inc. and Broderbund, the destroyers without Active Sonar would at the very least hurry to an area where shipping was being sunk and try to drop depth charges in areas where the U-boat was likely to be (just like they really did in WWII). As far as that goes the destroyers in that old game also maintained watch at strategic points along a moving convoy€s parameter. The convoy also could be set to zig-zag. In SH2 I was very sad to see none of this.

I was also shocked that in the early part of the of the war 39-40 I had to begin to dodge Active Sonar in Brit convoys from as much as 6000 meters of more! The Brits only had about 60 destroyers at the start of the war that had active sonar. Those were the U-boat happy days. But had the real U-boats had to face the sonar abilities seen in SH2 they would never have been able to sneak into the middle of convoys UNDETECTED, right under the noses of the escorts to shoot their targets from almost point-blank range. What I found was that for me to duplicate the same effect I had to run in very deep, always dodging depth charges €" then come up SH2 SLOW €" since I could never mess with the diving planes €" and in this was match the point-blank shooting seen in the early WWII.
I was only when I realized that SH2 gave no real AI to the destroyers that I suddenly understood why it crammed so much active sonar the early war €" without it the destroyers ran around doing nothing whatsoever.

But that was my other gripe. Did the makers of SH2 just take the written specs put out by the companies and militaries to create their sonar and radar specs and abilities? Because I don€t care what those old specs claimed. The truth was in WWII €" especially in the early part €" active sonar was only 50% likely to spot a U-boat at about 1000 meters. Radar €" while it may in the spec-books vaunted to have massive ranges €" in TRUTH in actual battle, they were lucky to sight a U-boat with one except at about 2000 meters in 41, and 7500 by 45. Radar could pick out periscopes at 1000 meters in 43. Which brings me to my other shock in SH2 €" the fact that I could always run right past destroyers with my periscope up with impunity. Heck, even in the old Wolf Pack that would earn you gun fire aimed at your periscope! In WWII even cargo ships could shoot at periscopes when sighted at 300 meters.

I hope that all these mistakes are remade in SH3, and I hope that the enemy finally is given true AI. Does anyone know? The 3d and fancy art means little to me.

01-31-2005, 12:37 AM
You seem to be experiencing one of the Save Game bugs. When reloading a Saved Game, the AI goes passive.

I would agree that SH2 was a trainwreck. But SH3 looks awesome, especially from the Dev's description of the dynamic campaign.

01-31-2005, 01:02 AM
No, no save game trouble at all - I tested everything in stadard play. Simply go in to the systems areas and cripple the sonar or go into the Units and make everyone passive sonar and you will see what I mean. There is zero AI.

Yes, SH2 means nothing now, but what I want to know will SH3 have at least the AI seen in Wolf Pack back in 1991? I could care less about the morale of crew men aboard a Nazi ship - since I don't recall that every being mentioned as a factor in any history. Its pointless.

And I am waiting to see if I will again be nailed with active sonar in 1940 at 6000+ meters and have destroyers running to my exact zenith point no matter how deep or silent I run. In SH2 I shook every depth charge attack by the standard U-boat tactic of crossing the 'T'- but there were never any AI indications in those battles either. In the old Wolf Pack I could cut engines and drift throwing the destroyers off by a 100 meters, and by such tactics lose them over time. In SH2 I either had to come up and sink them all (which proved TOO easy) or I had to run straight until they quite after 1 to 2 hours. The only AI I detected was the same seen in monsters in old shooter games from the early 90s.

I fear is that the programmers were happy with their equipment settings in SH2 and will simply drag all that over into SH3. They need to actually read the accounts of the real U-boat captains and then ask themselves, could those men have done those things (in the happy days) had the allied active sonar and radar really had the vaunted spec-book abilities? The answer is no. But what a spec book claims, and how real equipment really performs in the field during war IS ALWAYS TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. One can even seach the net about WWII active Sonar and U-boats to learn this.

Will I in SH3 be forced to turn a U-boat with a turning ratio nearer to a Battleship than to a destroyer? The graphics may be nice - but look, Enigma Rising Tide had nice graphics, but its combat physics was micky mouse.

What I long for is a U-boat game that will allow a skilled player to reduplicate what the real U-boat captains did. One should be able to have a log that reads almost exactly like the real logs of U-boats.

01-31-2005, 01:13 AM
Here is an example of AI seen in the old 91 Wolf Pack: there were different levels of destroyer captains - some were bold, some where crafty, and some were mindless like the SH2 AI, and some were fearful. The crafty destroyer captains would turn off their engines - thus vanishing in a U-boat's passive sonar - and would sit and wait listening. If they couldn't find you they would intelligently depth charge in random patterns trying to scare you into moving fast and giving away your possition again. Unlike SH2, they did not spend hours unloading their depth charges exactly right over your sub. Much of their fire was way off target - near your last known location or around it at random.

NOTHING like that ever took place in SH2. Will it in SH3?

01-31-2005, 01:18 AM
Have you even been to the Official site and read the DevTeam bios? Read any of their interviews? Read the FAQ's there and at Subsim? Don't come down on them YET. This team is NOT the same that did SH2!!

Yes, they did succumb to the hype of fps type of games. And they have left out quite a lot of weapons/defenses that were in use. But there have been quite a few additions compared to SH2. And what they left out hopefully can be added/changed.

02-01-2005, 05:54 PM
I understand what Kartasik is saying and for the most part he is right. In SH2 I very much hated the fact that in 4 or 5 patrols I can be the tonnage king, moving targets on my charts is not real, and playing possum (resting your boat on the ocean floor) or Silent running were useless. I have read that these issues will not carry over into SH3. Where I disagree with you Kartasik is that Food supply, leaking oil, failing equipment, and MOST OF ALL CREW MORAL!! played a very important roll in the U-Boat war, and is what I really want to see more of in these U-Boat games. As well as your argument about the weak AI. I am a U-Boat nut and I am going to get this game as soon as it comes out in my local stores. If its no fun then I just file it away with the other worthless game that I spent money on. But this one is defiantly worth a shot!!

02-01-2005, 09:04 PM
The Dev's fully answered the dynamic campaign question in the Chat, and in totally put my fears to rest.

02-02-2005, 04:19 PM
Please don't worry, SH3 is completely different to SH2, see excerpts from subsim.com review below:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> And believe me, after the Jekyll and Hyde AI of SH2, AI in SH3 is a top concern so we ran a few tests. Running submerged with the phonograph tooting "J'attendrai", the boat running at full, and otherwise making noise, the nearest escort charged right at us and dropped a string of well-placed ash cans all around our hapless U-boat. Interestingly enough, by using the external cam to watch the pattern, we observed some of the bombs were shallow, some deeper than our U-boat, and a few right on target. So, even though we gave the DD a good target, his aim is not perfect (though two more passes did us in).

Then we replayed the mission and this time observed the highest order of stealth. We put the boat in front of the convoy, submerged, kept a zero bow angle on the nearest escort, ran at slow, and kept the periscope in the well. No music, not joking, just silent sweat and concentration. One escort passed by, not detecting us at 1800m range. After we torpedoed a merchant another escort spotted our periscope. How do I know this? Because it started shooting at the scope! In Silent Hunter III if you spend too much time focused on the target you€ll end up hearing high speed screws fast approaching and when you spin the scope 'round, you€ll be face-to-face with a hard-charging destroyer. We crash-dived to 120m and again employed the external cam to measure the escort€s accuracy. By maintaining silent running we soon managed to slip away with minor damage.

That€s a sample of the AI but bear in mind, SH3 is not finished and we were unable to ratchet up the realism settings. A thorough evaluation of a gold copy will determine the true nature of the game€s AI but at this point I feel a lot better about it than I did SH2....

The escorts appeared to vary their search techniques, stopping at times or sailing at slow, as if listening for U-boats. Other times it seemed that one DD would sit off while another made a depth charge run, mimicking the tactics that made Captain Johnny Walker, one of the great heroes of the Royal Navy, so successful. And as for "headhunting", well, good luck. These DDs aren€t as easy to hit as the ones in SH2. Launch a torpedo and the AI escort is likely to spot it or hear it and evade. Payback is hell. Again, these are just first impressions but they lend a great deal of confidence to the eventual gameplay.

For the full review, look here: