This appears to be a problem resulting from failure to aim itself at targets. In my tests, I was able to get the Hellcat to fire when it was on the Tanoa runway if I stood almost directly in front of its weapons, so it seems like it does fire as long as it's kind of pointing towards its target. However, once it took off, it flew around somewhat randomly and never pointed itself at me again. I had the pilot and copilot set to 100% skill level, yet I was in no danger from the Hellcat while standing right out in the open and occasionally shooting in its direction to get their attention. It didn't matter if I was an infantryman or using a vehicle.
- Operating System
- Windows 7
- Operating System Version
- Windows 7 Home Premium
- AI Issues
- Find a nice large open area to place a Hellcat (armed version) on the ground or in the air.
- (Optional) Set its pilot and copilot to 100% skill level.
- Set yourself nearby as a vehicle or infantryman for a hostile faction.
- Give the Hellcat a 'move' or 'seek and destroy waypoint' near your position.
- (Optional) Configure the waypoint with Combat mode: Open fire. Behavior: Combat.
- (Optional) Shoot in its direction occasionally to be absolutely sure it notices you.
This was first reported on the forums this year on March 7th by Mrcurry: WY-55 Hellcat (Armed) will not attack engaged targets. Per his report, it sounds like the Hellcat was previously working and got broken at some point. Mrcurry stated he tested all the other helicopters and AAF vehicles and had no issues with them.
Just to be sure, I tried flying another helicopter against the Hellcat to see if it would shoot at airborne targets. It did actually shoot at me, but didn't hit me even with 100% skill level. It was only one time in a ten minute test, and I think it may have just been random due to how I was positioned in front of it. For contrast, it never shot at me when I was on the ground except for when I walked in front of its weapons while it was sitting on the runway.
The Hellcat's flight was so random that at times I was unsure if it really had spotted me. Just to be certain, I did verify that I really had been detected by using a trigger.
To be thorough, I verified Mrcurry's work by re-checking all the helicopters with built-in weapon systems. The ones with independently-aimed weapons (AH-99 Blackfoot, Mi-48 Kajman, UH-80 Ghost Hawk, CH-67 Huron) killed me almost instantaneously once the weapon was pointed in my general direction. The PO-30 Orca was similar to the Hellcat in that it has to aim its whole body to point its weapons at a target. It was slow to kill me since it was inaccurate even at 100% skill level (aimed to my right pretty consistently), but due to decent spread between its shots it did finally manage to kill me within a few minutes after making 2-3 passes on me.
I checked the new Apex VTOLs as well. The V-44 Blackfish (armed) never fired on me. With 'search and destroy' it flew around seemingly randomly but didn't fire even when the weapons were kinda-sorta pointed in my direction. With 'move' it made repeated flyovers but did not attack me and didn't really get into a position where the weapons could aim at me anyway. With 'loiter' it insisted on a clockwise flight path around the loiter point, even though its weapons are on its left side. I tried positioning it into a counter-clockwise path so it would have the weapons aimed towards the center of the loiter point, but it simply turned and got back on a clockwise path where it couldn't aim at me again. This was at 100% skill level for all crew members.
The Y-32 Xi'an did manage to shoot at me when I put it on a 'search and destroy' waypoint. Unlike other air vehicles with independently-aimed weapon systems, the Xi'an took several minutes and 5-6 passes, and it fired about 5-6 missiles with each pass. Despite the severe inaccuracy it did eventually manage to take out the turret on my NATO AA vehicle. Like my tests above, this was when I set it to 100% skill level.
I searched the forums and this bug tracker for similar issues. The only potentially related issue I found was here: Hellcats cannot lock on to vehicles or infantry. Diesel5187 reported on May 7th this year that a lock-on ability for Hellcats had been removed which broke a mod he had made to change the Hellcat's missiles. I'm not sure if the removed lock-on ability was needed by the AI to aim and fire the guns, but it might be something to test for a possible fix.
As always, any help would be appreciated!
Addendum: I'm not certain it matters, but I just verified that at least as of the current version (1.62) the PO-30 Orca does have the ability to lock-on to targets while the WY-55 Hellcat does not.
As of the current version (1.68.141112), the bug with the Hellcat is still there, though slightly improved. I tried standing on the runway of Tanoa Airport, facing down a hostile Hellcat in what should have been certain death. Pilot and copilot were both at 100% skill level. The pilot fired occasionally (a huge step up from not firing at all!), usually missing, but incidentally damaging me a few times (!). He made a dozen or so strafing runs on my position. I gave up waiting to be killed after 10 minutes. Despite the improvement, the Hellcat still poses almost no threat to infantry when piloted by AI. Would it be possible to increase the AI's accuracy when piloting the Hellcat, provided their skill level is adequate?
I also retested the Y-32 Xi'an and the V-44 Blackfish. As always, I used AI at 100% skill level and placed myself out in plain view on the runway of Tanoa Airport. I'm pleased that the Y-32 actually killed me as an infantryman. However, when I was operating an AA vehicle, it was still very inaccurate and took many passes to try to destroy me (in fact, I think it ran out of ammo by the time I gave up on it). The V-44 remains completely harmless to infantry and vehicles alike. It just does simple flyovers, even when that would be suicidal (like harmlessly flying over enemy AA). It should probably have a default script to begin a counter-clockwise loiter around spotted targets.
w.r.t. scripting the armed V-44 Blackfish to effectively loiter around a target: radius, altitude and probably speed will be key factors too. Only certain combinations result in guns' gimbals being able to aim at the desired target.
Followup: As of the current version (1.76.143187) the Hellcat bug appears to have been resolved. I tested playing as both an infantryman and as an offroad gunner. When I set the Hellcat to maximum skill level, it did take a few seconds to get lined up on me, but it killed me quickly and efficiently on the first pass. Couldn't have done it better myself. If anyone is still having any issues with it, make sure to set AAF as hostile to whatever faction you're playing, give the Hellcat a "DESTROY" waypoint on yourself, crank the pilot and copilot's skill up to maximum, and then wait for death. It shouldn't take long.
This bug can be set as resolved, though I would still request that you show the Blackfish some love. See Blackfish bug reports which match my findings at the following links: