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Duelist (or VTC+bullseye) aiming tips

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2002 10:37 am    Post subject: Duelist (or VTC+bullseye) aiming tips Reply with quote

This is a Duelist. it is an ammo users best friend. it's also prohibitively expensive for n00bs on a budget not only because it's expensive, it's also uninsured even if you have the level to buy it 'over the counter'...The other modx targetting computers are the 'VTC1'&'Bullseye' (also expensive)

They are so expensive and necessary for ammo wpn use that i highly recommend any n00b on a budget to stick to laser weaponry for now. (since it's easier learning to compensate for "drift" because "lasers" in jumpgate are 5 to 10 times faster than "bullets")
    Compensating for this "drift" is not unlike "leading" your target using lasers w/o tgt comps, but i digress...
*click for larger image*

*A duelist gives you both diamond and circle in one modx*

Now, the diamond shows not only your target's vector, but is modified by your gun's potential vector...The only difference between it and the circle is the circle shows YOUR vector, modified by your gun's potential vector. (this is a bit confusing even to me, though i've tried my best to cut the gobbledeegook)
    hopefully i can find someone wiser than i to chat about it
Anyways, it's not just a matter of lining the circle onto the diamond and pressing the trigger since this handydandy targetting computer seems to have a wee problem calculating Acceleration. (not sure about this paragraph and the previous one)
    math. i hated math. and trigonometry and calculus. yuck
BlueGhost wrote:
Duelist = Relative Vector.

Delta Relative Vector / time taken for projectile to reach ship > size of target = miss.

Hence the Duelist will provide false data when a high Delta Relative V occurs. So a non-duelist user will be better at shooting people when A they are in a High Delta V manouver, OR when their enemy is in a High Delta V manouver...As most High Delta V manouvers occur exactly prior to a kill shot.
NewDawn's Guide wrote:
To help keep the target lined up, roll your ship until the attack angle is flat horizontally. This makes it so that when you compensate for the duelist's error, you only have to do so along one axis (X axis for instance). Afterburning on the approaching joust will help tighten up your duelist and will help lengthen your joust after passing the target. Some ammo weapons require that you manually either lead (shoot ahead) of the duelist or trail (shoot behind) it. Knowledge and manuals such as this are a fine starting place, but experience is the best teacher: practice, practice, and more practice

Also note that if you have guns of different speed equipped, only the gun you have selected (the one showing in that wpns display to the right of your radar) is used to calculate wpn vectors

Also note that the VTC1 is really really handy at showing your vector (though the faster your gun's "bullets speed" the less help this will be) while flipping beeks sideways and burning that AB fuel to correct your fat laden cargo back on track towards the distant jumpgate.

Also note that mining lasers (if selected in that wpns display to the right of your radar) disable this vectoring diamond/circle stuff...which is a crying shame.
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Sgt 1st Class
Sgt 1st Class

Joined: 05 Dec 2002
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2002 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The duelist base the targeting displays on where you are now, not where you will be. That is, it takes a snapshot of your and your targets current speed and heading in that instance, and show you where to aim to hit in that instance. It cannot predict any course corrections you, or your target, will make during the time it take the bullet/pulse to travel the distance between your ships.

The higher speed of the ammo (that includes jumpgate "lasers" since the pusle does not travel at lightspeed), the less time to change vectors, thus the more accurate duelist. (Actually, the duelist is always 100% accurate - if you don't move you will hit if you aim where the duelist tells you to aim.) The best gun for accuracy should be the Thief (and mining lasers and insight, but they do no damage) as it hit the target the same tick you press the trigger.
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Test Pilot
Test Pilot

Joined: 01 Feb 2002
Posts: 273

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2002 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horizontal vs Vertical
NewDawn's guide is almost correct.

The example screenshot shown by MajorFreak is the ideal horizontal case - crosshairs, vtc1, bullseye, and flux all in one horizontal line.

This is especially beneficial for manta - wide flux - and for ships with widely horizontally spaced guns - as your aiming can be a lot looser and still land shots on the target.

Unfortunately - this advice is sometimes wrong. Conflux have an approach logic that causes them to:
1. Always rotate so their "up" aligns with the targets, and
2. Untiltheire in gun range, they aim for a spot a couple hundred meters to the side of the target,
3. except when they instead choose to fly at a spot thats vertically spaced from the target.
4. Depending on their approach bias (horizontal or vertical) they will choose do dodge - horizontally or vertically.

Lining everything up horizontally when approaching a flux that wants to line everything up vertically is going to be an excercise in frustration. Its easiest to compensate by noting that the flux is not bending to your will and allowing a clean horizontal approach (as pictured) and switch to attemting to getting the flux, crosshair vtc1 and bullseye all lined up vertically.

For the very flat flux - manta - in the ships with widely spaced guns - raven, nix, etc - this does mean your aim has to be a lot better - but confining the problem to a single axis is a significant help.

Burning off drift

Especially with ammo weapons, you need to minimise the lateral drift of your own ship - and the conflux youre fighting in order to tighten up the duelists aim.

In a joust with a flux, as you pass the flux, watch the Target arrow (the pink one at the bottom of the HUD) to ensure that its pointing directly behind you. This will minimise any lateral drift on the flux (tightening the bullseye)

When you flip - do not aim directly at the conflux - instead aim directly at the vtc1 target and apply thrust untill your velocity hits zero and starts to climb again. As the velocity passes zero, NOW aim at flux. This will minimise your drift (tightening the vtc1).

The vtc1 is off
The vtc1 reticle makes the gross asumption that your guns are center mounted.

For ships like the Tow - that have the guns in an asymetirc configuration thats not centered around the ship axis - the vtc1 will aim off. In the tows case, the weapons fire will land closer to the top of the vtc1 circle, than the center, so one needs to line the center of the vtc1 near the bottom of the bullseye diamond.

How the damn things work
Both the bullseye and vtc1 (and thus the duelist) do their prediction by taking into account the current velocity vector of the ship, the known speed of the selected gun, and the current velocity vector of the target - as well as the current positions of ship and target.

The targetting comp does some really hectic maths (from my pov at least) and finds out essentially when a bullet/laser fired *now* will reach the same range as the target will reach in some amount of time.

The bullseye (diamond) then marks the position that the target will reach at that time, The vtc1 (circle) marks where the bullets will be at that time.

It may happen that the targets velocity is greater than the ship velocity + the ammo speed - in which case the vtc1/bullseye cannot be drawn as there is no possible way to aim at the target to hit it.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2002 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm going to get really esoteric here...way back in jan/feb 2001 there were alot of complaints about the VTC1 from tow pilots because the circle was a hair off to the left when zoom aiming at a distant JumpGate (back then you COULDN'T see a jumpgate unless it was within 10k so all you had was the distant waypoint and your radar target image)
    NetDevil "fixed" this...god only knows why they listened to the wynars...and thus setting the stage for a great many "the duelist is off" remarks once ND introduced the duelist a few weeks later.
I don't know if this will help people interested in exploring HOW the tgtcomps calculate vectors and stuff, but i'm guessing that the "off by a hair" cosmetic bug might just steer you folks onto the right track. (since i'm damned sure ND just shifted the VTC1 circle to the right a hair and kept the original formula)

a formula, i might add, which aimed a fuck of a lot better with that "off to the left by a hair" than without it.
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Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant

Joined: 06 Jun 2002
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok... here's how I use a duelist...

I spent some time learning how to hit moving targets with Plasma....

What did I learn?

If you aim exactly on the duelist, i.e. line the two targetting elements up exactly... you never hit anything....

So I thought for a while about why this might be and a couple of things occured to me.

It seems that the Duelist (or vtc/bullseye) thinks in straight lines i.e. bases its calculations on the instantaneous vectors of both your ship (and its ammo weapon) and the target and calculates where you need to aim to hit the target if both your and your targets vector remain constant. Does this ever happen in practise? - only if you and your target are flying right at each other...

If there is "drift" in the shot then you have to start making a few educated guesses. If it's not flying straight at you (because you're on a different vector) the flux will constantly be turning towards you as it flies, that is, it will constantly moving itself INSIDE the current calculated aim point. This is critical to know with slow moving projectiles like plasma.

Seeing as how there's already a bunch of stuff the regarding horiz/vertical postioning that make life easier I won't explain it again but the next question that arises is 'Now that I have the flux/duelist cursor in a nice horizontal alignment, where do I aim to hit this sucker with some plasma loving?'

The most useful and insightful piece of advice I got about this was 'Aim between the duelist and the flux' With a slow projectile weapon like plasma there is usually a significant distance between where you see the flux and where the duelist is telling you to aim. Somewhere along this 'line' is where you need to aim.

Next, you have to take your target's speed and manoeverability into account... My basic rule of thumb here is: The faster the taget, the further INSIDE the Duelist you need to aim. This will also involve your own speed, so a little mojo is needed here. My own guessing process might go a little like this.. If I consider that aiming directly at the flux is 0 on a scale of 0-10 and aiming right on the duelist is 10 and that some point on the line between the two has a value somewhere between the two, then:

If my target is slow, like a squid (annoyingly difficult to hit sometimes) then I migth start out aiming at about 8 on my imaginary line i.e. closer to the duelist end.

A c6 manta might warrant a 5, much closer to the flux.

And a c9 Kraken will have me aiming about 4ish (mostly due to the superior accelleration, rather than maximum speed).

This method and a lot of practise now allows me to 1 pass c8's and 9's as often as not and has increased my accuracy with other ammo weapons significantly.

I hope this at least a little helpful to someone...

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Test Pilot
Test Pilot

Joined: 01 Feb 2002
Posts: 273

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. You are correct in that, the slower the gun, the more the bullseye/vtc1 tends to overcompensate - in order to hit the taget you must aim the vtc1 between the duelist and the target

2. You are incorrect in that you ascribe this to the fluxes approach behaviour. The Fluxes approach behavior tends to mean you need to aim further out.

e.g You are apporaching a flux that is aiming somewhere to your left. You in turn aim left to line up the targetting comps. This means the flux now sees you as drifiting left, so it aims further left to compensate - moving futher out - so you in turn are forced toturn slightly harder to keep the targetting comp lined up and so on. Until the end part of a fluxes approach when it gets in weapons range and turns to face the target directly.

The overcompensation is very simply a computational issue - the maths of the duelist is a lot more complex than one might think - there are some simple ways to compute a good guess, but they are simplifactions of the problem.

Im guessing that ND ahve made some horrendus simplifications that are ... causing the algorithm used to computer the intersection time as later than it actually is.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2003 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

offtopic (slightly)

wawa wrote:
when you fire your guns the bullets/laser/plasma will centre @ the distance of what you have in target, unless you get VERY close to something

Now that i've calmed down about, i am intrigued about "how close" one can get before the "centering" formula breaks down...i think i'll go into the sim and plug hitmen rounds from a tornado at a gust turned sideways.

hmmm...well, it's not much targetting a static object.
ship    miss distance (outer gun slots; tornado; side profile/perpendicular)
hurricane  156
wyvern     167
phoon      194
albatross  219
storm        221

I'm pretty sure it's coded to centre at your target's absolute position, regardless of target velocity...But, it's a toss up really. (but WAW forgets that the barracuda has no problems hitting it's target for centering/displacement issues)
    as you can see, the nix also has no real problems with centering/displacement either relative to the tornado, of course
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Chief WO4
Chief WO4

Joined: 09 Feb 2002
Posts: 473
Location: Tripoint

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:52 pm    Post subject: FTP transfer between mindphyre and razorskiss complete Reply with quote

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