long5hot

long5hot's beginner's guide series

I've received plenty of comments on my other videos asking for my control setup, and quite a few of them showed a basic ignorance of what the various key binds do and how they can improve your flying. In addition to that, I've had requests for guides on attack angles, how to aim in relation to the lead indicator at various ranges, basic defensive maneuvers and the fundamentals of energy fighting.

Some of these have been covered by other people already, but I thought I'd start recording my own thoughts in a few videos in case people find them helpful. If it helps just one player progress away from grasscutting using the mouse only & never looking around, with no understanding of energy or ACMs, then its worth it.

So here are the videos, hopefully more to come...

Part 1 - Guide to the User Interface, Control Setup etc.
Part 2 - Introduction to Energy Fighting
Part 3 - Attacking Energy Maneuvers
Part 4 - Defensive Maneuvers
Part 4.1 - How to Aim
Part 4.2 - Avoiding G-LOC
Part 4.3 - The Climbing Spiral
Part 5 - Squad Fighter Tactics
Part 6 - Night Battle Tactics

Also I seriously encourage every new player to the game, or veteran who wants to improve, to read this - http://www.virtualpilots.fi/feature/lento_ohjeet/inpursuit/inpursuit.pdf - as it is an excellent guide on how to survive and improve in online air combat.

Edited by long5hot
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Hopefully I can keep things simple and easily understood while not missing anything. Its harder than you might think, putting yourself in the shoes of a new pilot after playing the game for a long time. I'm sure there won't be much in these vids that vets like yourself don't already know, indeed there's probably a lot you could teach me, but I can only do my best ;)
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Leading the way on the "thank you" front, as people can't thank the 1st post!  :good:

Gonna watch it anyway as i appreciate the effort and hard work you put into your videos to help people. Good job mate.

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Very nice! I had already figured out what you covered by asking you questions in other topics, but the first video covers about the extent of what I've been using, can't wait for more videos.

Although, having said that, I never put 2 and 2 together and realised you don't need the c key to look around when maneuvering with keys. This was an issue for me, as I was using c while maneuvering, and thus unable to use right aileron or rudder lol.

One question though: I notice you have your "aim sensitivity" set to 21%. (I believe that's the one that dictates how often you pick up and move the mouse if you turn sharply without using keys) What is "aim control sensitivity", that you have set at 96%?

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Thank you for taking the time to make & upload this stuff. I find it very helpful!

 

Yesterday I tried out some things... but I just can't get used to the elevator being on the [W] and [S] buttons... for me the [W] button HAS to be the "go faster" button... it seems to be embedded in my brain...

 

Of course you can imagine that it led to some funny situations... ;)s

Anyways... more experimenting tonight!

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I'm the same, w & s are throttle keys and always have been and i have a bad habit of keeping the w key pressed down during dogfights/climbing/maneuvering etc...long after WEP has climaxed! it's kind of like trying to push the accelerator through the floor in a car to go faster than possible lol.
Changing it now for pitch keys would ensure chaos ensues a lot more than usual!

Pitch keys are set on < & z, which i can just about manage with my pinkie finger. Snap rolls to the left are awkward as i have to look down to make sure my fingers are on the right keys, which really doesn't help when trying to judge the distance and when to start the roll at the same time!
The joys of having old fingers and a slow-ish brain lol.

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I'm the same, w & s are throttle keys and always have been and i have a bad habit of keeping the w key pressed down during dogfights/climbing/maneuvering etc...long after WEP has climaxed! it's kind of like trying to push the accelerator through the floor in a car to go faster than possible lol.
Changing it now for pitch keys would ensure chaos ensues a lot more than usual!
 

 

lol same for me, it took me just a few days to adept, though I still pull up hard when I am trying to hit the breaks on the airfield :Ps .

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I have no idea what that aim control sensitivity thing does - I've tried it on different settings, couldn't see a difference.


I tried it on your 96% last night, plane felt a LOT twitchier. I'm guessing that it relates to how quickly the plane tries to follow the mouse cursor.

I also noticed with it cranked up, it seemed easier to smoothly keep the guns on a plane when turning. (like when you approach a plane at a high deflection angle and turn to keep pointed at him

And with you using the keys for maneuvering, it makes sense you wouldn't see a difference.

I will say though, that it's hard to transition from occasional key use to constant. I tried it last night and was TERRIBLE. Also kept trying to use the C key while maneuvering, which, when you let go, snaps your view back to where you left off :)

Another question: how do you get such smooth maneuvers? Is it solely a matter of practise? It seems that if I try anything but a pure elevator turn, I can't keep the same altitude, due to keys being "all or nothing" (I can't seem to be able to add just a little bit of rudder for example, so when I turn with the wings at less than vertical, my plane veers up or down rapidly)

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Firstly, it wasn't my intention to insist that everyone uses my control setup - far from it. You need to find what works for you, and I absolutely appreciate how hard it is to retrain your brain once you're used to a certain configuration. All I can do is explain what I use and why, and leave it at that.
 

I tried it on your 96% last night, plane felt a LOT twitchier. I'm guessing that it relates to how quickly the plane tries to follow the mouse cursor.

I also noticed with it cranked up, it seemed easier to smoothly keep the guns on a plane when turning. (like when you approach a plane at a high deflection angle and turn to keep pointed at him


That's great info thanks :)
 

Another question: how do you get such smooth maneuvers? Is it solely a matter of practise? It seems that if I try anything but a pure elevator turn, I can't keep the same altitude, due to keys being "all or nothing" (I can't seem to be able to add just a little bit of rudder for example, so when I turn with the wings at less than vertical, my plane veers up or down rapidly)


It is indeed solely a matter of practice. Best method is to fire up custom battles or free flight mission editor and fly against bots, forcing yourself to fly the way you want to fly rather than the way you do now. Spend a few days doing that, and it'll start to become habit - and then you'll be able to take it to PvP without having to overthink things or revert to your old behaviour.

Btw why do you need to keep the same altitude in an elevator turn? I'm happy for my plane to climb as it turns, as then I can use that height for speed on an attacking pass plus it often means the enemy loses sight of me. Depending on the plane of course, some planes can't retain energy at all well & get sluggish when deprived of it in a climb or loop - looking at you Spitfires. If I dive in a turn, I'm gaining speed and with some rudder I can cut the corner on my opponent in a low yoyo. Also when you're turning horizontally, you're prey to tunnel vision & energy fighter attacks, you've bet everything on turning tighter than your target, and you've ruled out the use of rudder - and you bleed speed with nothing to show for it.

Lastly, keyboard turning is probably not for everyone, and perhaps its not as essential for flying effectively as I thought (though I'll keep using it for sure). Look at AIM_120_AMRAAM's last Versus vid - he only uses the roll keys, everything else is mouse aim, and he dogfights like a pro. Watch the vid and see how he uses the mouse in a close quarters dogfight full of energy tactics, its really quite interesting :) Edited by long5hot
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As far as turning, I guess I'm more thinking of something gentler than a full elevator turn, like when a target passes you, but there's a K or so of distance. Am I correct in thinking that a tight turn followed by a straight line burns more energy than a constant, less sharp turn? But yes, now that you mention it, I don't have a good reason for maintaining altitude when turning :D

I will definitely check out that vid though, I'm sure I can learn to use primarily keys, but my pre-arthritic fingers may protest :D

Is that video from both perspectives? It would be interesting to see what he sees when just mouse aiming.

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Firstly, it wasn't my intention to insist that everyone uses my control setup - far from it. You need to find what works for you, and I absolutely appreciate how hard it is to retrain your brain once you're used to a certain configuration. All I can do is explain what I use and why, and leave it at that.
 

 

don't worry only Fors the mighty, may he fly forever, has the right to demand such things! :learn:

 

and no we aren't using your setup at least I am not doing it, but I wanted to remove the throttle controll form W/S for a long time anyway.

It just makes sense that there are moments when you want to be able to pull up no matter where you are looking at.

Edited by Freeborn
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The most urgent need for an up-elevator key, even when not using one in general, is when you're too close to the ground in a dive. In that situation you need to pitch up as fast & hard as possible, for which a key binding is far more effective than the mouse.

Also Skpstr, that last Versus vid was recorded by AIM so you see everything from his perspective as a pure mouse & roll-only keyboard player. Its interesting to track his mouse movements as he follows my location, as he's not using the C key to do so.

Edit:

As far as turning, I guess I'm more thinking of something gentler than a full elevator turn, like when a target passes you, but there's a K or so of distance. Am I correct in thinking that a tight turn followed by a straight line burns more energy than a constant, less sharp turn? But yes, now that you mention it, I don't have a good reason for maintaining altitude when turning :D


Yes, full elevator/rudder turns will come at the price of speed loss in most planes. If you're turning in order to pursue someone, keeping speed high is crucial so it does call for more of a gradual mouse-turn, unless you think the other guy might turn back to fight you in which case you need to get the nose round as quickly as possible. In both cases, you'll want to dive in the turn (low yoyo) in order to gain speed, which you can then use to close the gap on your opponent (unless he dives too). Edited by long5hot
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I watched the video you suggested, and I think I see what he's doing. I'm thinking he has the aim sensitivity that you have set low set high, so he can keep an enemy in view easily, and letting his plane "catch up" with his viewing reticle. I noticed that when he is not trying to turn after an enemy, he uses the C key. It does look like he uses elevator and rudder keys too, but only for looping and small adjustments, and usually with the target in view, so it's easy to see what adjustments are needed.

Took a few minutes to figure out the difference, then it dawned on me that when he's not using the C key, even though in both cases, the view is moving rapidly, when he's using the mouse and turning towards the enemy, the viewing reticle is visible.

IOW, the speed of his reticle is MUCH faster than the speed of his maneuvers, so his sensitivity settings are proba ly more or less opposite of yours.

Probably pretty obvious to a lot of people, but for a newer player, since the different sensitivities aren't well named or explained, it's harder to suss out and seems like black magic. :D Edited by Skpstr

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Btw why do you need to keep the same altitude in an elevator turn? I'm happy for my plane to climb as it turns, as then I can use that height for speed on an attacking pass plus it often means the enemy loses sight of me. Depending on the plane of course, some planes can't retain energy at all well & get sluggish when deprived of it in a climb or loop - looking at you Spitfires. If I dive in a turn, I'm gaining speed and with some rudder I can cut the corner on my opponent in a low yoyo. Also when you're turning horizontally, you're prey to tunnel vision & energy fighter attacks, you've bet everything on turning tighter than your target, and you've ruled out the use of rudder - and you bleed speed with nothing to show for it.

 

Strictly speaking I don't think you can do level turns without a joystick since most of the time it requires using an intermediate amount of rudder to keep the nose level.  What is more important that being perfectly level is that your turn characteristics match up with your plane; light planes love to climb and turn at the same time, heavy planes really don't.  Climbing and turning at the same time and tend to bleed speed fast under those conditions.  It's not so much about keeping the same altitude as ensuring your nose doesn't end up in a problematic position.  Conversely, there are heavy planes that actually turn quite well if they keep their nose below the horizon and pick up some speed during the turn.  I wouldn't recommend keeping this up for very long.

 

Many planes do have a stable state energy neutral turn they can perform and can be used for a kind of horizontal energy fighting.  The idea is that you let your opponent bleed out his speed trying to turn inside and then high yo-yo after he has to drop his nose to maintain the turn.  It doesn't seem to come up much since most planes that can manage this just have better turn performance and most planes can keep up a decent speed in turns under WEP.

 

 

As far as turning, I guess I'm more thinking of something gentler than a full elevator turn, like when a target passes you, but there's a K or so of distance. Am I correct in thinking that a tight turn followed by a straight line burns more energy than a constant, less sharp turn?

Yes.  A good shorthand is that G-force=energy; specifically energy leaving your plane.  If you don't pull any G's your energy profile should closely resemble straight flight.  In practice, you are managing turn rate, speed, and altitude; pick one or two and accept that the balance will be made up by the other(s).

 

One problem you might have is that a good turn requires you to manage your angle of bank, i.e. the angle your wingline makes with the horizon.  The optimal angle of bank for a good turn varies greatly between planes; it depends on your speed and the elevator/rudder balance on the plane.  If you have a strong elevator but a weak rudder you want a high angle of bank (60-80 deg).  If you have a strong rudder but a weak elevator you want a small angle of bank (20-40 deg).  Also, high speeds will need larger angles of bank for sharper turns, relaxing the angle as the speed bleeds out.  Full on 90 deg isn't a good idea unless you are going really fast since your rudder stops being able to contribute.

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That makes sense, but now knowing what the sensitivities do (they aren't well named or explained) with the 2nd sensitivity (I can't remember which) set fairly high, you can use the mouse to control fairly well the rate of turn without much, if any choppiness. I tried it 96%, but found it pretty twitchy, but 70% seems to be good for me.

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Please offer your thoughts on the vertical targeting option in the control set up.

I have been using this option for quite a while and have my doubts about it's effectiveness. It is said to help your lead indicator align to compensate for the gravity induced drop of your bullets.

Example: Pursuing an enemy flying straight away well within guns range and having good alignment on the targeting reticle but getting few if any hits on the target. 

I sometimes wonder if it hurts more than helps.

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To comment on my own question, I flew several matches today with vertical targeting enabled and disabled. This is not conclusive but my results were interesting. With vertical targeting on I flew matches in tier 2 Spitfires and BF109's. The results were poor in both turn fighting and BnZ tactics, with 1 to 2 kills in several matches and 3 in the best.There were also several assist and some complete misses in all matches. Hitting some ground targets between lulls in the air combat showed that the bullets were strikeing the ground above the target and I had to aim low to score hits.

 

With vertical targeting off I flew a couple more matches in my tier 2/3 Russian line. Two Domination matches provided plenty of targets with scores of 5 and 8 kills plus a number of assist. My bullets felt much more like they were going where I aimed them with much  more satisfying results.

 

While I have been using the vertical targeting option for a while in recent weeks my kill ratio has been poor. At this point I think the vertical targeting option is bugged and actually hinders your aiming. 

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Thanks for doing that Lead - yes its my experience too that vertical targeting isn't very useful.  It tries to calculate how much your bullets will drop by the time they reach convergence distance, and move the crosshairs up to account for it.  This will throw your aim off for targets outside those distances, and I don't know how it handles planes that fire several types of projectile with different velocities and drop rates.

 

Also don't know how well it calculates the offset when your plane's flying sideways or upside-down.

 

In the end, to me its just another instance of a computer trying to be smart & help you but getting it wrong more than it gets right.  Its a "Microsoft Clippy" feature, for those of you old enough to remember that.  Its better just to turn it off and figure out bullet drop on your own.

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