Darkest Hour: Europe '44-'45 is a modification for Red Orchestra. It focuses on the western European front during WWII from Operation Overlord to the end of combat operations on May 9, 1945. Darkest Hour covers a multitude of combined arms and mechanized infantry engagements ranging through Normandy, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.

Darkest Hour can be downloaded from Steam here, and our active community forum is welcome to all players for their respected input and suggestions.

Darkesthourgame.com

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76mm GMC M18 "Hellcat" Jagdpanzer IV Kurz 8cm Granatwerfer 42
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Improving Mortars

4 comments by cmbasnett on Sep 27th, 2014

To me, nothing in our game more terrifying than being pinned down by machine-gun fire while the whistle and thundering explosions of incoming mortars draws ever closer. And nothing is more satisfying than working with teammates to land the perfect mortar round right on top of the enemy’s head. Our mortars are a system that’s unique to Darkest Hour, and one that’s dear to my heart as I was the developer that took most of the responsibility in designing and developing the system.

While the mortars have been generally well received, there are a number of problems that I feel the system currently suffers from. I want to take the time to discuss some of these concerns and offer solutions that could help alleviate them.

My intention is to spark debate and discussion so that we can, together, make a fun and satisfying teamwork-oriented system that’s as much fun to be on the giving end as it is to be on the receiving end!


Few players want to be a mortar observer

The Problem

While many teamwork-oriented players enjoy (or at least tolerate) taking on the role of a mortar observer, the average player shies away from this role.

For the average player, the issue seems to stem from a lack of incentive in taking the role. Right out of the gate it is an unattractive role, since most observer roles are outfitted with a bare bones loadout usually consisting of a standard issue rifle with no extra bells or whistles (or even grenades). The thinking behind this kind of loadout was to make the role a less effective combat unit than an ordinary rifleman, drawing the player’s in-game attention instead to his role as the mortar observer. While this has certainly worked in dissuading less combat oriented players from taking the role, it harms the team as a whole when no one wants to be the observer!

The Solution

The proposed solution is to outfit mortar observers with at least the same type of equipment the standard rifleman recieves. This makes the observer role no less attractive than a rifleman role based purely on equipment alone. In fact, it makes it slightly more attractive since they are also given some nice shiny binoculars as well.


Being a mortar observer is often frustrating

The Problem

Most of the frustration of being an observer appears to arise from the fact that marked mortar targets disappear upon death. This behavior was meant to act as an abstraction for the observer no longer being able to relay corrections to the mortar operator. While it fulfills that idea, it has created a fairly major issue.

The issue is that the mortar observer (if he’s behaving “correctly”) has virtually no incentive to willingly enter combat. This effectively takes that player out of the fight, usually marking a target and hiding as far away from the bullets and grenades as possible. This sort of thing just isn’t fun!
This is also doubly frustrating for the mortar operator, since he will routinely and without warning stop getting any feedback on where his rounds are landing.

The Solution

The proposed solution is to allow marked mortar targets to persist through death. This relegates the mortar observer’s responsibilities to that of a spotter marking targets of opportunity, rather than tying the player down with the added burden of avoiding combat. This will allow the observer to be an effective combat soldier despite his additional responsibilities.


Dude, where’s my round?

The Problems

New and veteran players alike often have a very hard time figuring out where their rounds are landing. There a couple underlying problems here.

The first problem is that, currently, a mortar needs to land within 100 meters of the marked target for the impact to show on the operator’s map. Aside from this being completely arbitrary and not scaling for map size, this becomes a huge issue for some players who are perhaps less skilled with the mortars in that they will likely get zero feedback as to where their rounds are landing on their first outings. This sort of system is one that forces teamwork rather than one that encourages it.

The second problem is that the operator has no indication of the distance to the target. In reality, there would be a team of operators who would have a firing chart available to them and could translate target grid vectors into headings and distances. In game, this sort of support is frustratingly absent.

The Solutions

I believe the solution to the first problem is to eliminate this 100 meter restriction outright. Removing this extra constraint won’t sacrifice teamwork, as effective use of the mortar still requires a dedicated observer to mark and update targets of opportunity as the battle progresses. Another solution being considered is to simply increase the 100 meter restriction as well as offering the motar operator a range table sheet in-game.

A proposed solution to the second problem is to display (perhaps with some sort of delay) the approximate distance to the marked target to within 25 meters. This will allow the operator to have a good mental starting point for firing off the initial round, resulting in more accurate fire and less frustration.


What do you think?

We want to hear from our players! Have your own ideas? Let us know!

As always, don't forget to like us on our Facebook page!

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Darkest Hour June 6th 2008 Trailer

Darkest Hour June 6th 2008 Trailer

Jun 4, 2008 Trailers 1 comment

A trailer showing off many of the new features, units and weapons of the upcoming Darkest Hour Beta 1.0

Darkest Hour Beta 1.0 Manual

Darkest Hour Beta 1.0 Manual

May 30, 2008 Guides 2 comments

The Darkest Hour Beta 1.0 Manual explains installing DH, how to set up the sdk, server and several new gameplay features.

Darkest Hour Feature Trailer

Darkest Hour Feature Trailer

Apr 11, 2008 Trailers 2 comments

The DH feature trailer....look here to learn more about our parachute and portable radio man systems. Release in May 2008

Christmas 2007 Teaser Trailer

Christmas 2007 Teaser Trailer

Dec 23, 2007 Trailers 1 comment

The Christmas 2007 Teaser Trailer for Darkest Hour.

Dog Green Teaser Trailer

Dog Green Teaser Trailer

May 11, 2007 Trailers 1 comment

The Darkest Hour Dog Green Trailer. Enjoy 5 minutes of action packed footage (which only shows 50% of the entire map) as well as numerous other features...enjoy...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 296)
Dave145
Dave145 Sep 28 2014, 8:58am says:

I wish I could connect to a server. But every time when I try the maps load really, really slow. And when I'm done downloading the map... they already play another and the fun starts again... :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
starfleet86
starfleet86 Sep 21 2014, 11:26am says:

Woo!

+1 vote     reply to comment
MjMikoolJr
MjMikoolJr Feb 5 2014, 6:13pm says:

Have you considered adding a Churchill tank and it's variants to the mod? I would love to blow up some bunkers with that thing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
malmborgaj
malmborgaj Jan 13 2014, 6:03pm says:

is it possible that there will be a fix that makes the AI better for when you play single player or is that a no go as of now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Mar 18 2014, 10:32am replied:

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

KleanupGuy
KleanupGuy May 20 2012, 4:22pm says:

is there a way to start darkest hour like ro from the directory and start steam then? cause i want it full gore, only gut reduced.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sergeant_Farmer
Sergeant_Farmer Jan 21 2012, 9:26am says:

Hey Guys!

I have a Problem. I have instaled Red Orchestra and now i will play/download Darkest Hour but i cant download these mod! The Download button in the Steam Store doesn´t work! It does nothing after the klick!

Help me please!

Greetz Farmer

+2 votes     reply to comment
Frost_Tale
Frost_Tale Jan 23 2012, 8:33am replied:

Me to i have the same problem you have everytime i click it doesent do anyting.

+2 votes     reply to comment
koschi104
koschi104 Jan 20 2012, 7:06am says:

I wish DH would come out for RO 2.... i love this mod so much

+6 votes     reply to comment
Hiatus
Hiatus May 2 2013, 5:03pm replied:

check out festung europa :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 Icon
Platform
Windows
Developer
Darklight Games
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Released Jun 4, 2008
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Tactical Shooter
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War
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