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Old 04-15-2018, 05:00 PM   #1
Sylosis
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Default Am I ready for the stepping up my game..

First off, I'm not a super hardcore DCS simulation guy. I really enjoy DCS, don't get me wrong, I'm just saying this to point out that I'm not the kind of guy that has built a cockpit replica of the A-10 in my basement, to play DCS (I have nothing against it, as a matter of fact, find it pretty cool).

That being said, so far I have limited myself to play with tags on. Not that I necessarily want to go EASY mode all the way, it was just a question of training. I thought I'd leave them on until I find that I'm good enough to turn them off.

But, the thing is, I don't think I'll find an obvious indicator that I am ready for turning them off. I think the only way to know is try it...

My "fear" is though, that I'll just take forever to locate ground targets. When it comes to air combat and the likes, I'm not extremely concerned. It's really ground attacks that worries me.

I mean, just this morning I was attempting the first campaign mission of the SU25T campaign, and I was having an impossible hard time locating targets on the TV. The tanks and other targets are essentially the same color of the ground in my monitor (I know that it is exactly purpose behind their camo paint). I was helping myself by at least aligning my reticle with the tags on my HUD, but even then I was really struggling to find my targets on TV. However, I should say the mission is at dusk, and it is cloudy, making visibility relatively poor. And, the default loadout doesn't include Night Vision pod... I guess maybe that would help if I added one before takeoff. So anyway, I was getting shut down easily because I was getting too close, not being able to find targets... Which made me wonder about turning the tags off or not. If I'm that bad, maybe I should leave them on...

Anyhow, I guess I'd just appreciate any kind of tip from anybody who was also juggling with the idea of turning tags off.

Thanks in advance.

oh and, maybe relevant information:
32" Monitor (165Hz 1ms 1080p MSI Monitor)
TrackIR
i7-6700k 4Ghz
GTX1060 6Gb
16GB RAM

Last edited by Sylosis; 04-15-2018 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:53 PM   #2
Yurgon
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Visibility is always an issue in a sim, and however easy or hard it is to spot targets is only an approximation of reality. That said, to the best of my knowledge real pilots struggle with this in much the same ways we do. And I think the one bonus they have is that they have comms with other units and they can be guided onto targets much better than we can.

I think good missions shouldn't make it too hard to spot targets. For instance, if a player was given a grid 1km * 1km and told to find and kill a group of 3 tanks in that box, changes are the pilot might have to RTB because the fuel runs out before those targets are found. On the other hand, waypoints right on top of a target group wouldn't be that realistic in a dynamic situation - the enemy doesn't usually do us the favor of waiting to get killed.

Well designed missions should give the player a fair and honest chance to find the targets, and should also come with very clear instructions on what to do, what to expect, and what not to do.

A very important lesson though is not to focus on sensors too much. Shkval and TGP displays are like the proverbial soda-straw. They're great for guided weapons, but they're terrible when scanning a large area. Look out the window! Many, many targets can actually be seen with Mk-1 eyeball. Once you know where they are, it should be pretty straightforward to get sensors on target.

I think zooming the view is completely okay. A-10A pilots used to bring binoculars in order to find targets - like a hand-held TGP
Since we lack a lot of helpers and comms that real pilots would have available, I think the zoom makes up for that, and I use it a lot when scanning for targets or when figuring out how best to attack them.

The switch from labels on to labels off is probably going to feel pretty terrible at first. My experience says that flying with labels off is like 100% more rewarding, though. And if you feel that you're just not given a fair chance, maybe the mission is just bad.

From a technical point of view, with your display I think you're set up fairly well. Since I went from 1080p on 24" to 1440p on 32", spotting targets has become a lot easier, and I think the larger screen helps more than the better resolution.

And of course, like always the ultimate answer is that it takes practice, practice and more practice. If you enjoy this, it's the way to go. If you find it outright frustrating, then labels are always available. It really depends on you.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylosis View Post

Anyhow, I guess I'd just appreciate any kind of tip from anybody who was also juggling with the idea of turning tags off.
I have similar play methodology to you, my eye sight sucks, so I compromise, I still use labels, but some time ago I modified them so that show only a single character when getting close, ie for a ground unit it might be @ or # and for aircraft a ^, this gives you some aid, but still difficult to find.

DCS has implemented a more complex system for managing the label views, but I haven't fiddled with it yet, it allows you to progressively offset and fade the label markers, so the closer you get to target the less you see.

ie: Copy file from "..\DCS World 2 OpenBeta\Config\View\labels.lua" to "..\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Config\View\labels.lua" and modify to suit your own formula.

Regards, Ian.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:37 PM   #4
Sylosis
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Thank you, gentlemen, for your advice. I might first try the "fading off tags" and see how it works. Then the next step might be to completely turn them off.

It's true that, looking at interviews and such from real pilots, they seem to be struggling just as much as we do. I remember watching a F-16 pilot (if I remember things right) and he was explaining that he was asked to support a group of soldiers getting fired at and when he got there it was very difficult to identify who was who (friendly or foe). Only way he was able is the guys on the radio gave him precise info as to where they were, so he was then able to know which group was actually the enemy.

That kind of radio chat isn't really possible in DCS, as you pointed out...!
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylosis View Post
That kind of radio chat isn't really possible in DCS, as you pointed out...!
Well, it is in MP.

If you find a group of people to fly with who enjoy such engagements, it might come fairly close to situations like the one you described.

Also, in MP labels are often forced off by the host. If you rely on them, many servers wouldn't be much fun for you to join for air-to-ground action.
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