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remi
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So, to a US pilot it makes absolutely no difference in stress levels whether he's knowingly going up against e.g. a Soviet Su-27 (or to put it in your terms, it is somewhat likely that he might 'go down in flames') or a Libyan export MiG-23MS with poor short range missiles only (he will 'emerge victorious' unless he completely disregards everything he knows about his job and parks his jet's ass just in front of the Libyan pilot)? Respect. But what about an average sim pilot?

 

To the armchair aviator, it may make a difference. To the actual fighter pilot who's putting his life on the line, it makes no difference. You bring your best game against your adversary, whether its a Soviet Flanker or a Libyan export Flogger. Read stories of actual fighter pilots. There wasn't a single one who said "Ah, its just an export third-generation fighter aircraft, this is going to be easy." Instead, its more of "I'm going to win, no matter who I face."

 

Immersion is a big factor for me. As an average sim pilot, I want to feel that sense of danger, no matter how laughable the enemy's arsenal and skill level may be.

 

I don't really get where you're going with this. WWIII against SU didn't happen so as pointed out already all the scenarios related to it are technically alternate history. What was suggested here that didn't have an 'air of plausibility' in it?

 

Well, its already been pointed out that the USSR was not the "evil empire" juggernaut that everyone used to think they were. Their war plans also indicated that they were really waiting for us to take the first shot; they would just (try to) deliver a counter-punch ten times stronger. So while there is a bit of fascination there regarding the true, fact-based possibilities, it really takes the air out of the scenario when you realize that the USSR wasn't all that interested in fighting us after all and that a war wasn't even that likely of a scenario.

 

I'm anxious to find out what would be this historically more relevant scenario for a Tomcat compared to the North Atlantic ones.

 

There's a great book from 1980 titled CV: Carrier Aviation by Peter Garrison/George Hall. There is a passage that goes like this:

 

A war between major powers would not be so simple. The carrier is vulnerable to concerted attack. Carrier officers admit its limitations. We are planning, they will say, on neither unthreatened peace nor a cataclysmic war between major world powers - in which the surface fleet would be passed by - but on something in between.

 

What I want to see is that "something in between." I've already mentioned battling Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. I also want to see them take advantage of the F-14B module and have a '90s-based scenario (I prefer '90s music over '80s music, anyway :D). Somebody mentioned an Operation Southern Watch scenario; there were numerous instances where a major regional conflict could have legitimately occurred:

 

- Korean Nuclear Crisis, 1994 (still the closest we've come to war with North Korea in the post-Cold War era. I know Korea-fatigue may exist due to its prevalence in the Falcon franchise, but its still a more unique and complex environment for the Tomcat to operate in)

- Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, 1996 (what if this turning point in Chinese military strategy went hot?)

- Khobar Towers Bombing, 1996 (what if the U.S. conclusively identified Iran as being behind the bombing? Would they have retaliated against the Islamic state?)

 

Or, if you really need to face the USSR, how about focus on the Pacific region? In the 1980s, the Pacific emerged as a focal point in U.S. naval strategy. What makes this region unique is not only its size, but, unlike the Atlantic/Europe theater, the U.S. would shoulder most of the burden.

 

There are so many directions you can go, so many scenarios you can explore without always resorting to NATO-Warsaw Pact and/or North Atlantic/GIUK Gap/North Cape. In my view, warfare is most interesting when you take something "out of its element."


Edited by CheckGear
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An F4U as well?! :huh:

Please no..... if they did that, my weak heart could not take it! Not with an F-14 at the same time..... and if they added an F-8 in the mix, i think the universe just might implode! :helpsmilie:

 

:megalol:

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only simulator I can recall that featured the F-4U Corsair was a 1992 indie/shareware game by Kevin Stokes, titled Corncob 3D. Anybody recall that?

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Well, its already been pointed out that the USSR was not the "evil empire" juggernaut that everyone used to think they were. Their war plans also indicated that they were really waiting for us to take the first shot; they would just (try to) deliver a counter-punch ten times stronger. So while there is a bit of fascination there regarding the true, fact-based possibilities, it really takes the air out of the scenario when you realize that the USSR wasn't all that interested in fighting us after all and that a war wasn't even that likely of a scenario.

 

That's a gross simplification. Yes, the Soviet Union wouldn't have invaded for no apparent reason, but their exact plans and intentions were not known back then. Both sides suspected each either and prepared for the war. It could have taken just one decision too far for things to escalate. E.g. if some people on the US side had their way, they might have placed some nuclear weapons in Norway to threaten the Soviet strategic installations around Kola which in turn could have pushed the Soviet side into panic and thus trigger them to invade Norway to take those 'first strike' weapons out.

 

- Korean Nuclear Crisis, 1994 (still the closest we've come to war with North Korea in the post-Cold War era. I know Korea-fatigue may exist due to its prevalence in the Falcon franchise, but its still a more unique and complex environment for the Tomcat to operate in)

- Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, 1996 (what if this turning point in Chinese military strategy went hot?)

- Khobar Towers Bombing, 1996 (what if the U.S. conclusively identified Iran as being behind the bombing? Would they have retaliated against the Islamic state?)

 

So these are the scenarios which are somehow 'historically more important' for the Tomcats? I'm not saying the Korean or Taiwanese scenarios couldn't be interesting, though, Korea even more so.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only simulator I can recall that featured the F-4U Corsair was a 1992 indie/shareware game by Kevin Stokes, titled Corncob 3D. Anybody recall that?

 

Of the ones I played, here is a list:

 

1) Aces of the Pacific (1990)

2) 1942: Pacific Air War (1994)

3) IL2: Pacific Fighters

4) Every MSFS version I ever had.

5) War Thunder, if you want to count it as a sim

 

It's probably one of the most simulated planes in the history of PC flight sims tbh, right up there with the P-51D, Bf-109 series and Cessna 172. It is one of my favorite planes of the period, but it has been done a LOT over the years.

 

Edit: On topic, it's been stated that the map will be small, cold and oceany. The small part could mean either geographically small or small as in not much landmass. The North Atlantic, unless only modeling a tiny sliver of someone's coast, is not a realistic possibility. Somewhere in the Bering Sea or Northern Japan is the most likely spot.


Edited by King_Hrothgar
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That's a gross simplification. Yes, the Soviet Union wouldn't have invaded for no apparent reason, but their exact plans and intentions were not known back then. Both sides suspected each either and prepared for the war. It could have taken just one decision too far for things to escalate. E.g. if some people on the US side had their way, they might have placed some nuclear weapons in Norway to threaten the Soviet strategic installations around Kola which in turn could have pushed the Soviet side into panic and thus trigger them to invade Norway to take those 'first strike' weapons out.

 

There is always uncertainty in international relations, but my point is that ultimately things happened the way they did largely because neither side was actually looking for a fight. Yes, wars tend to occur as a result of miscalculations and misperceptions, but when you study the actual history of the Cold War (the history of the USSR in particular), you get the sense that the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact was almost "incapable" of going to war.

 

It interests me, as an amateur military historian, that, even to this very day, the mid-to-late-1980s is the time period of choice when it comes to developing NATO-Warsaw Pact scenarios for sims and wargames. In reality, after Gorbachev came to power, the USSR began to fall apart at the seams very quickly. There was so much internal discord that it seems very unlikely that the Soviet state and society and the alliance (which wasn't much of an alliance at all) could wage war. My assessment, based on the facts available to us today, is that the USSR-Warsaw Pact's best chance at success in war was sometime during the 1975 - 1985 timeframe. The early-'80s are a more realistic time period for war between NATO and Warsaw Pact, as hostilities reached a new high after a period of detente. If we stretch things a bit, then the USSR may still have had something left in the tank as late as 1986. After that, however, the Eastern Bloc underwent a kaleidoscope of changes that left it largely incapable of doing anything except maintain order in their population.

 

I know this sounds like a digression, but when viewed in historical context, it takes the immersion factor and interest out of such a scenario. Now, if the scenario was set in the early-'80s, then it may seem more "real" and more enjoyable, since we get to get a glimpse of how the "real" USSR may have performed.

 

 

So these are the scenarios which are somehow 'historically more important' for the Tomcats? I'm not saying the Korean or Taiwanese scenarios couldn't be interesting, though, Korea even more so.

 

These scenarios may not have been what the Tomcat's designers had in mind, but it is ultimately where the Tomcat was utilized. So yes, they are historically more important.

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Of the ones I played, here is a list:

 

1) Aces of the Pacific (1990)

2) 1942: Pacific Air War (1994)

3) IL2: Pacific Fighters

4) Every MSFS version I ever had.

5) War Thunder, if you want to count it as a sim

 

It's probably one of the most simulated planes in the history of PC flight sims tbh, right up there with the P-51D, Bf-109 series and Cessna 172. It is one of my favorite planes of the period, but it has been done a LOT over the years.

 

That's right! Aces of the Pacific did have the Corsair featured on the box art. Hard to believe I forgot that.

 

Somewhere in the Bering Sea or Northern Japan is the most likely spot.

 

:worthy:

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Edit: On topic, it's been stated that the map will be small, cold and oceany. The small part could mean either geographically small or small as in not much landmass. The North Atlantic, unless only modeling a tiny sliver of someone's coast, is not a realistic possibility. Somewhere in the Bering Sea or Northern Japan is the most likely spot.

 

Agreed, seems to balance the practical issues of map construction with operational/storyline flexibility to make a great campaign. Plus, it would work well for both Cold War scenarios and mid-90s scenarios should they choose to separate the F-14A and F-14B campaigns.

 

-Nick

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I know this sounds like a digression, but when viewed in historical context, it takes the immersion factor and interest out of such a scenario. Now, if the scenario was set in the early-'80s, then it may seem more "real" and more enjoyable, since we get to get a glimpse of how the "real" USSR may have performed.

 

It does, but only because no exact time-frames were specified in the discussion before.

 

These scenarios may not have been what the Tomcat's designers had in mind, but it is ultimately where the Tomcat was utilized. So yes, they are historically more important.

 

So, the Tomcat was 'utilized' by the US in Persian Gulf against Iran and around Taiwan and Korea? And it was not 'utilized' in the North Atlantic?

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So, the Tomcat was 'utilized' by the US in Persian Gulf against Iran and around Taiwan and Korea? And it was not 'utilized' in the North Atlantic?

 

The Tomcat was also more likely to be used in one of these regional conflicts more than a global conflict pitting the superpowers. Again, "something in between."

 

And, like I said, we've already seen plenty of the North Atlantic/GIUK Gap/North Cape, not only in sims, but in wargames in general. Time to see some other places.

 

On a sidenote, I think the main theater of DCS World/FC needs to shift away from the Black Sea/Caucasus to th Baltic region. That is the new frontline of NATO's growing conflict with Russia.

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It does, but only because no exact time-frames were specified in the discussion before.

 

 

 

So, the Tomcat was 'utilized' by the US in Persian Gulf against Iran and around Taiwan and Korea? And it was not 'utilized' in the North Atlantic?

 

Not utilised in the North Atlantic?

 

requote:

 

Mike "Raz" Aroney

We participated in an exercise in 1982 named Northern Wedding, where we had NATO forces acting as adversaries along with the harsh weather of the North Sea. There was the likelihood of some real adversaries pitching into the fight; the Soviets weren’t going to be happy with American carriers that close to their turf. The Admiral was counting on a robust Soviet reaction, since he was whipping up the most provocative defense posture ever attempted with the Tomcat; he surmised the Soviet Bears would expect to encounter Tomcats at 200 miles from the carrier, making it simple for them to pinpoint the American ships. The plan was to surprise the Russians by intercepting their Bears at the unheard-of distance of 1000 miles, under a mission code-named “Sly Fox.” The package, consisting of Prowlers and tankers with the Toms, would fly under EMCON and keep their radars off, letting the Prowler pinpoint the Bears. At the intercept the supporting aircraft stripped off to let the F-14s slide upside the Bears. They were caught totally off-guard by the unexpected appearance of the American jets. As the Toms camped on the wing, or tight by the rear gunner’s blister, the Bears searched in vain over the cloud cover, trying to hunt down the carrier in thousands of square miles of stormy seas and confusing radar contacts. Sly Fox birds worked under total EMCON – no talk, radar emissions, TACAN, or datalinks. Those Bears really had to labour to find the ship.

 

I remember the exercise quite well as they used our local beach at Sinclair Bay for some of the landing exercises, and seeing the aircraft carrier parked on the horizon it looked huge from the shore.

 

Other Northern Wedding operations:

1986

http://www.usskidd.com/hist993.html

During amphibious landings at Larvik, Norway, KIDD simultaneously controlled flights of F-14 Tomcats, F-18 Hornets, and Marine Corps Harriers making intercepts on simulated "hostiles". She also conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises against Norwegian diesel submarines in concert with three Canadian frigates and provided fire support of the Marines on the beach along with IOWA. With the conclusion of the exercise, Amphibious Task Force Commander RADM Fogarty noted "If asked which cruiser I would like to have as our Anti-Air Warfare Commander, my answer would be USS KIDD!" KIDD was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" for her excellent performance in Northern Wedding.

Pic from operation Ocean Safari conducted in the North Atlantic during 1985

F-14A_of_VF-102_with_Tu-16_in_1985.jpg

Sons of Dogs, Come Eat Flesh

Clan Cameron

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Not utilised in the North Atlantic?

 

requote:

 

 

 

I remember the exercise quite well as they used our local beach at Sinclair Bay for some of the landing exercises, and seeing the aircraft carrier parked on the horizon it looked huge from the shore.

 

Other Northern Wedding operations:

1986

http://www.usskidd.com/hist993.html

[/font]

Pic from operation Ocean Safari conducted in the North Atlantic during 1985

F-14A_of_VF-102_with_Tu-16_in_1985.jpg

 

Love VF-102, BTW. VF-14 and VF-102 are my favorite East Coast squadrons.

 

I think you can make a case for the the Tomcat being relevant in all of the major oceans, especially in the northern hemisphere. One of the cool things about the USN was that they operate all over the world and can be rapidly deployed to conflicts of all sizes and scopes. There are potential opponents in numerous locales. Also, the USSR forward deployed a lot of units and CVBGs would encounter both patrols (Tu-95s, Tu-142s, and IL-38s) and fighters on a routine basis.

 

I have not doubt that LNS will put together some compelling scenarios. Realism actually favors small scale operations with a few fighters engaging a locally aggressive force (both A-A and A-G). This could happen in a lot of places. I'm excited to see what they put together, though I'm sure some will complain about the location that they pick.

 

In my mind, it makes little difference once you hop in the cockpit with an objective.

 

-Nick

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I have not doubt that LNS will put together some compelling scenarios. Realism actually favors small scale operations with a few fighters engaging a locally aggressive force (both A-A and A-G). This could happen in a lot of places. I'm excited to see what they put together, though I'm sure some will complain about the location that they pick.

 

In my mind, it makes little difference once you hop in the cockpit with an objective.

 

That's why I think the "in-between" scenarios would work much better.

 

While I agree that the enemy is the enemy no matter his flag or his aircraft, I think it does make a bit of a difference, at least in terms of immersion. Immersion is something the older flight sims did much better than contemporary ones.

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That's why I think the "in-between" scenarios would work much better.

 

While I agree that the enemy is the enemy no matter his flag or his aircraft, I think it does make a bit of a difference, at least in terms of immersion. Immersion is something the older flight sims did much better than contemporary ones.

 

My thought is that immersion has more to do with creating a believable scenario both in terms of combatants and the circumstances in which combat occurs. Where the campaign takes place does impact immersion, which is why LNS is taking the time to develop new theaters. That said, Northern Pacific vs Northern Atlantic vs Persian Gulf (which will be an option either way with SoH map) vs Indian ocean vs Western Pacific vs Mediterranean vs....all of these could be home to an excellent campaign or individual missions.

 

I don't quite see how the North Atlantic would be more immersive than the Indian ocean per se, it's more about how the other features of the map are created (the right AI units and carrier operations).

 

All of the F-14s real combat took place in either the Mediterranean or Persian Gulf region (for both USN and Iran). The rest was "near combat" situations (which occurred many times, especially near Libya) or the fears of naval planners, but not the kind of stuff that most are hoping for in a campaign. It would be a lot of "lock em up at 75 miles and watch the fighters turn around", "escort the Bear and cut him off when he gets close to the CVBG", and the rare "tangle with enemy fighters and end with them bugging out once you've sitting in the saddle at their 6'oclock". All good stuff, but real engagements will be fictitious.

 

I think that modern sims are certainly more immersive than the stuff I used to fly in the late 90s (Janes F-15, Hornet 1.0 and 2.0, Chuck Yeager's air combat). But I agree that the visuals and flight models have made bigger strides than the AI, missile modeling, and some of the other known issues. I bet a lot of that will improve over the next 3-5 years. All of these DCS projects are big undertakings, will take time to get everything together.

 

The good news is that there are GREAT things in the pipeline, just need to wait for everything to come together.

 

I was just looking at the details of NTTR and I hadn't realized how many geographical features were included, not to mention the tree detail, and huge expanse of flyable terrain. It's going to be amazing and awesome training area for tons of stuff, including the F-14 (even if it spent little time there outside of Red Flag).

 

-Nick

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I think that modern sims are certainly more immersive than the stuff I used to fly in the late 90s (Janes F-15, Hornet 1.0 and 2.0, Chuck Yeager's air combat). But I agree that the visuals and flight models have made bigger strides than the AI, missile modeling, and some of the other known issues. I bet a lot of that will improve over the next 3-5 years. All of these DCS projects are big undertakings, will take time to get everything together.

 

I disagree. Modern sims are definitely richer on the detail and realism, but they're missing a lot of the little things that made the older sims so memorable. Something as simple as a soundtrack:

 

${1}

 

or made you feel like you were going to war:

 

${1}

 

I was just looking at the details of NTTR and I hadn't realized how many geographical features were included, not to mention the tree detail, and huge expanse of flyable terrain. It's going to be amazing and awesome training area for tons of stuff, including the F-14 (even if it spent little time there outside of Red Flag).

 

Hopefully, they also allow us to simulate off-base squadron parties in downtown Las Vegas after a long week of training at Nellis!:beer::cheer3nc:

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I disagree. Modern sims are definitely richer on the detail and realism, but they're missing a lot of the little things that made the older sims so memorable. Something as simple as a soundtrack:

 

I'd agree that some of the old games were more immersive in some ways. I guess they were better produced as games. A lot of work went into music, intros, briefings, campaign presentation, squadron management, etc. compared to these somewhat rudimentary options we have in e.g. DCS World or Il-2 Sturmovik series.

 

The sim parts itself are naturally hardly comparable, but maybe that was another factor for the old sims - because the graphics were rudimentary, your brain/imagination had to work hard to fill in the large blanks and you were thus more involved. Today with the much improved graphics, there's less and less space left for imagination.

 

My favorite sim was the F-14 Fleet Defender. Besides the Tomcat itself, I loved the branching campaigns which were evaluated based on the successful mission percentage and how you had an overview of the two Tomcat squadrons and pilots. Losses were tracked, so sometimes you'd reach the final missions with not enough planes left so that could be rather challenging. The graphics were somewhat lagging even for the time, but the Tomcat systems were simulated pretty well for what was possible back then IMHO. I don't think I ever played those Pacific campaigns from the expansion so perhaps it's time to do so in preparation for the DCS release :)


Edited by Dudikoff

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Intro cutscenes and menu music don't add immersion for me, what does is the overall feel of the missions themselves and even the interface. For missions, a big part of immersion is creating a living war instead of constructing focused missions. Units unrelated to the player task doing their own thing and possibly getting into significant battles all on their own adds a lot. Similarly, missions shouldn't be "perfect." In war, units aren't at full strength, don't have ideal equipment ratio's and aren't in perfect formation. They certainly don't have all their air defenses ideally arranged along the attackers flight path!:smilewink:

 

When it comes to interface, having a virtual squad helps a lot. I don't mean real people, I mean a virtual squad of AI. RoF does this exceptionally well, the best I've ever seen. In RoF, you start out as a nobody. You aren't in command of anything except the latrine and your own plane when you are in the air. Captain George Lewis (AI) is in command with 11 more randomly generated names below him, then you. These named AI have their own stats independent of you. They fly missions, score kills, get medals/promotions and can even transfer out of the squad. And yes, they also die or get wounded too. They do this on missions you don't even participate in. In RoF as a lowly FNG, you can expect to fly maybe 1 of every 3-4 missions flown by your squad. If your squad loses a bunch of pilots, you will fly more. If they have a whole lot, you will fly less. If you wreck a bunch of planes and survive, you may end up with a dozen pilots sharing 3 airworthy planes.

 

All of that is purely a database tied to the career interface, it doesn't do much of anything inside the individual missions except alter the AI skill levels a bit and in extreme cases, your flight size. But it adds a lot of depth. I care about my AI squaddies in RoF and try to bring them home safely. In BoS, which uses remarkably similar generated missions, I couldn't care less about them. Why? Because not only do those AI not persist mission to mission, I'm not assigned a unit or even a country. And that design choice on the interface makes BoS missions no more immersive than a quick and dirty QMB sortie. So yeah, interface can make or break immersion all on its own, even with great mission design.

 

Hmm, this went wildly off from what I intended. We were talking about maps right?:doh:


Edited by King_Hrothgar
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Intro cutscenes and menu music don't add immersion for me, what does is the overall feel of the missions themselves and even the interface. For missions, a big part of immersion is creating a living war instead of constructing focused missions. Units unrelated to the player task doing their own thing and possibly getting into significant battles all on their own adds a lot.

 

When it comes to interface, having a virtual squad helps a lot. I don't mean real people, I mean a virtual squad of AI. RoF does this exceptionally well, the best I've ever seen.

Hmm, this went wildly off from what I intended. We were talking about maps right?:doh:

 

I meant it as an example of production values and also e.g. campaign cutscenes's with music; even if it's just static photos exchanging with some text, it still feels immersive to see situation in the campaign developing around you.

 

Virtual squad is very important, agreed, even if it's not that realistic to see pilots progress so much within a relatively short campaign (not referring to WWI here, but e.g. an F-14 campaign), it adds a lot of depth.

 

It did get sidetracked somewhat from the original topic, but it would be nice to have something like this for the campaigns.

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Intro cutscenes and menu music don't add immersion for me, what does is the overall feel of the missions themselves and even the interface. For missions, a big part of immersion is creating a living war instead of constructing focused missions. Units unrelated to the player task doing their own thing and possibly getting into significant battles all on their own adds a lot. Similarly, missions shouldn't be "perfect." In war, units aren't at full strength, don't have ideal equipment ratio's and aren't in perfect formation. They certainly don't have all their air defenses ideally arranged along the attackers flight path!:smilewink:

 

In regards to older sims, I think that perhaps they illustrated scale much better. For example something like Rowans BoB showed immense scale in the air battles, yes you were flying a spitfire, hurricane or bf-109 that was modeled well for the time but it was the ensuing whirling air melee that nailed it. Flying up into those masses of bombers truly was a spectacle that gave great context, scale and atmosphere for the flight sim.

 

Sims now are much higher fidelity in terms of simulating the actual craft, for me though they usually fall down in terms of context (ie DCS WWII aircraft w/ no corresponding maps/vehicles or the new Sturmoviks woeful "campaign"), scale (limited maps/poor utilisation of available maps) and the atmosphere (limited players/AI opponents).

 

Luckily DCS is improving in these areas, even things like the new Su-27 campaign has helped it a great deal. The fact that Leatherneck are bringing a map along with their plane is fantastic, it helps to sell the sim as something more than a high detailed study of aircraft systems and then not much to do with it otherwise as it were.

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......Similarly, missions shouldn't be "perfect." In war, units aren't at full strength, don't have ideal equipment ratio's and aren't in perfect formation. They certainly don't have all their air defenses ideally arranged along the attackers flight path!:smilewink:

 

When it comes to interface, having a virtual squad helps a lot. I don't mean real people, I mean a virtual squad of AI. RoF does this exceptionally well, the best I've ever seen. In RoF, you start out as a nobody. You aren't in command of anything except the latrine and your own plane when you are in the air. Captain George Lewis (AI) is in command with 11 more randomly generated names below him, then you. These named AI have their own stats independent of you. They fly missions, score kills, get medals/promotions and can even transfer out of the squad. And yes, they also die or get wounded too. They do this on missions you don't even participate in. In RoF as a lowly FNG, you can expect to fly maybe 1 of every 3-4 missions flown by your squad. If your squad loses a bunch of pilots, you will fly more. If they have a whole lot, you will fly less. If you wreck a bunch of planes and survive, you may end up with a dozen pilots sharing 3 airworthy planes.

 

..........

 

Hmm, this went wildly off from what I intended. We were talking about maps right?:doh:

 

Maybe off topic, but right on the spot. You just described the perfect campaign manager. Just add to that the option to start at different ranks (i.e. not always as an ensign). :thumbup:


Edited by captain_dalan

Current modules:

FC3, Mirage 2000C, Harrier AV-8B NA, F-5, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14B, F-14A, Combined Arms, F/A-18C, F-16C, MiG-19P, F-86, FW-190A, Spitfire Mk IX, UH-1 Huey, Su-25, P-51PD, Caucasus map, Nevada map, Persian Gulf map, Marianas map, Syria Map......ah yes, forgot the Super Carrier! Shows you how often i fly these days....

Modules in waiting: MiG-23, F-4U, F-8, Falklands Map

Wish list: South East Asia map, F-4J/N, A-6, F-15A/C, Su-27, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Mirage III, MiG-17.

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I'd agree that some of the old games were more immersive in some ways. I guess they were better produced as games. A lot of work went into music, intros, briefings, campaign presentation, squadron management, etc. compared to these somewhat rudimentary options we have in e.g. DCS World or Il-2 Sturmovik series.

 

The sim parts itself are naturally hardly comparable, but maybe that was another factor for the old sims - because the graphics were rudimentary, your brain/imagination had to work hard to fill in the large blanks and you were thus more involved. Today with the much improved graphics, there's less and less space left for imagination.

 

This is going to sound blasphemous, but I'm one of the few who believe too much detail and realism can be a bad thing, precisely for the reasons you stated above. Even the most hard-core study sim is still, at its core, a game. It has to be entertaining. Too much detail and realism, however, can make something feel very cold and dry. You do need to "fluff" it up a little. I'm not saying DCS needs to go this direction (I actually hope they stay on course), but I also wish they would also look past the more technical aspects of the sim and provide a fuller, richer experience.

 

My favorite sim was the F-14 Fleet Defender. Besides the Tomcat itself, I loved the branching campaigns which were evaluated based on the successful mission percentage and how you had an overview of the two Tomcat squadrons and pilots. Losses were tracked, so sometimes you'd reach the final missions with not enough planes left so that could be rather challenging. The graphics were somewhat lagging even for the time, but the Tomcat systems were simulated pretty well for what was possible back then IMHO. I don't think I ever played those Pacific campaigns from the expansion so perhaps it's time to do so in preparation for the DCS release :)

 

Fleet Defender is an old favorite of mine as well. I will say, however, that once DCS: F-14A/B comes out, it will be tough to look at Fleet Defender the same way. I think after all, obsolete is obsolete. :cry:

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Intro cutscenes and menu music don't add immersion for me, what does is the overall feel of the missions themselves and even the interface. For missions, a big part of immersion is creating a living war instead of constructing focused missions. Units unrelated to the player task doing their own thing and possibly getting into significant battles all on their own adds a lot. Similarly, missions shouldn't be "perfect." In war, units aren't at full strength, don't have ideal equipment ratio's and aren't in perfect formation. They certainly don't have all their air defenses ideally arranged along the attackers flight path!:smilewink:

 

I certainly don't disagree with you. At the same time, I prefer a semi-dynamic campaign. It is extremely difficult to simulate a dynamic campaign realistically, so I prefer things to go on somewhat of a charted course, but with your decisions impacting which course that will be.

 

When it comes to interface, having a virtual squad helps a lot. I don't mean real people, I mean a virtual squad of AI. RoF does this exceptionally well, the best I've ever seen. In RoF, you start out as a nobody. You aren't in command of anything except the latrine and your own plane when you are in the air. Captain George Lewis (AI) is in command with 11 more randomly generated names below him, then you. These named AI have their own stats independent of you. They fly missions, score kills, get medals/promotions and can even transfer out of the squad. And yes, they also die or get wounded too. They do this on missions you don't even participate in. In RoF as a lowly FNG, you can expect to fly maybe 1 of every 3-4 missions flown by your squad. If your squad loses a bunch of pilots, you will fly more. If they have a whole lot, you will fly less. If you wreck a bunch of planes and survive, you may end up with a dozen pilots sharing 3 airworthy planes.

 

This is definitely something the older sims did better. Team Apache was a top-notch example of a superb crew management system.

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Part of the reason that older sims did those things better is because they could put a larger percentage of coding labor into them since there were other areas like flight model, avionics and fancy graphics, where they did not need to spend as much time.

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In regards to older sims, I think that perhaps they illustrated scale much better. For example something like Rowans BoB showed immense scale in the air battles, yes you were flying a spitfire, hurricane or bf-109 that was modeled well for the time but it was the ensuing whirling air melee that nailed it. Flying up into those masses of bombers truly was a spectacle that gave great context, scale and atmosphere for the flight sim.

 

Sims now are much higher fidelity in terms of simulating the actual craft, for me though they usually fall down in terms of context (ie DCS WWII aircraft w/ no corresponding maps/vehicles or the new Sturmoviks woeful "campaign"), scale (limited maps/poor utilisation of available maps) and the atmosphere (limited players/AI opponents).

 

Luckily DCS is improving in these areas, even things like the new Su-27 campaign has helped it a great deal. The fact that Leatherneck are bringing a map along with their plane is fantastic, it helps to sell the sim as something more than a high detailed study of aircraft systems and then not much to do with it otherwise as it were.

 

Remember that in this day an age, hundreds of warplanes filling the skies is a rare occurrence. The Gulf War and Iraq War were really the only two instances where hundreds of warplanes were in the air at once. The scale of air warfare itself has decreased, primarily due to the nature of the wars we fight today, as well as the increased capabilities of each individual aircraft.

 

Because fighter aircraft are relatively short-range platforms, scale in terms of maps is very much a non-issue. Unless they are flying hundreds of miles across featureless deserts and mountains to get to their target, I would much rather a sim focus on a smaller, more richly-detailed area. Nothing will sap your enthusiasm more than flying on a large map, going to what is supposed to be a major city, and seeing only a few high-rises. :huh:

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This is going to sound blasphemous, but I'm one of the few who believe too much detail and realism can be a bad thing, precisely for the reasons you stated above. Even the most hard-core study sim is still, at its core, a game. It has to be entertaining. Too much detail and realism, however, can make something feel very cold and dry. You do need to "fluff" it up a little. I'm not saying DCS needs to go this direction (I actually hope they stay on course), but I also wish they would also look past the more technical aspects of the sim and provide a fuller, richer experience.

 

Well, I'd certainly agree. I wish DCS World could rework their UI and campaign support to allow for squadron management, various campaign options like limited ordnance (actually, they do have those warehouses, but those seem more for MP), better support for various images to go with the mission briefings, video files, music, etc.

 

Fleet Defender is an old favorite of mine as well. I will say, however, that once DCS: F-14A/B comes out, it will be tough to look at Fleet Defender the same way. I think after all, obsolete is obsolete. :cry:

 

Definitely, but the major point there for me is the campaign. DCS would have to add some of those options (the squadron management, weapon selection as part of the briefing, after action report) to retire the FD completely. I'm sure we'll get there, just hope it would be sooner rather than later ;)

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DISCLAIMER: My posts are still absolutely useless. Just finding excuses not to learn the F-14 (HB's Swansong?).

 

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