This is not supposed to be some shameless plug for my newly created mission, I'm simply bringing this to the attention of the DCS community because I would really like to see an interesting multiplayer mission available for DCS 2.0 that we can all enjoy playing. And one that is always available online, full of other players to engage with.
Right now, only a couple of servers (in 2.0) have any more than a handful of players, and I believe this is due to lack of hosted missions where pretty much anyone of any skill level can participate and enjoy themselves, no matter what they choose to fly or do within the mission.
I have designed 'Operation Red Flag' to cater to ALL types of players; serious and the not so serious. My aim was to create something where the more casual players could play without effecting those of us who prefer to take it more seriously.
First problem with 2.0 is that being set in NTTR, it doesn't lend itself to many different mission scenarios without breaking realism. What I mean by this is that we wouldn't (really) expect a full invasion of Russian forces to head straight to Vegas. A lot of 'these types' of missions feel very thrown together without a lot of thought to realism and even professionalism (no offence to anyone).
I wanted to create a mission of professional quality and one that was perfectly realistic. Exercise Red Flag was the obvious choice of scenario, and so I started working on the ultimate training mission, just a few weeks ago.
Other than the obvious benefits, the Red Flag scenario is especially appealing because of the use of simulated weapons. Putting this in game makes total sense - being blown out of the sky for making a small mistake and having to start up and taxi etc etc all over again, (after a while) would make me quit and do something else. It would be far more fun to be told that you have been hit and would have been fatal, but still be able to carry on and enjoy engaging with the mission.
So I made a custom script that detects when the player has been hit by the enemy and tells the player what type of unit hit them. I used the 'IMMORTAL' setting on all the player-controlled units (this prevents friendly fire too, obviously!). This allows the mission to act very much like the real Red Flag, and coupled with TacView recording, you pretty much have an identical Red Flag mission.
Another great thing about this mission is that after a while, the RED units will regenerate. This means the mission never ends, and people can drop in and out when they like and just enjoy the game however they want to, and always have an objective to pursue if they wish. I have done this intelligently though - Red Air respawn back at their own base and have to takeoff again, like in the real Red Flag, and Red ground units delete themselves and regenerate back in as long as no Blue units are in the vicinity. This makes for a flawless, smooth mission restart that doesn't interrupt gameplay.
I'm promising great fun to all who want to try this out, but we do need players for it to work. Of course, none of this really works with only a couple of participants - if we can have several squadrons in at the same time, this would make for a superb gaming experience.
I'm now hosting 'Operation Red Flag' on a top-spec machine and I will leave it running 24/7 in hope that after a few of you read this, you'll want to join in and start playing on the server regularly.
I will be adding more to this mission. There are things I'd like to add but it was important for me to get this out of the door as soon as possible to build up the interest.
IP is: 220.127.116.11:10308 or 18.104.22.168:10308
OR look for 'EXERCISE RED FLAG' server.
It would be great to have those of you across the pond to host a version too!
You can find the mission file here: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/files/2640527/