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New Aircraft Spotting Enhancement


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11 hours ago, alphagamer4 said:

I am going to share my perspective in a brief post. I believe there is room to compromise when it comes to realism and accessibility in DCS. 

 

I believe the realism can be maintained via the detailed cockpits / study-sim aspects of DCS while still allowing greater accessibility to gamers by making targets easier to see.

 

While I do not mind playing DCS in a singleplayer format, I think making DCS more accessible to gamers in a reasonable manner via making targets to see (especially in VR) is a good thing from a multiplayer perspective. It welcomes more gamers to the fold, increases the number of customers for ED, etc.

 

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that we make DCS "call of duty" friendly. Simply stating that DCS is a game, not real life.

 

It is a game, but its sub branch is a simulator.  The ethos is not to make a game but trying to simulate systems and the  combat interface where possible by digital means.  To make it easier (and unrealistic) to spot targets for new players and "gamers" is not want this process is about, that is unless ED want to sell themselves out for the $, which listening to Nick i highly doubt.  Whilst cash is important for any business, there are things that ED could have done to make this more appealing to the mass market but thus far they have refrained.

 

What we cannot do however is to affect the only simulator in this space that has modern graphics and VR (ive played Falcon/BMS for 22 years on and off) ruined by unrealistic dots to "help" new gamers coming in that have a few hours in the game or even a few months. 

 

You cannot have realism if you start introducing mechanisms that make it unrealistic on target spotting, white and black dots are certainly not realistic!  It is pointless being in a level d sim to then have war thunder style gameplay, which is what your asking for with dots.  The problem is people want things on a plate and its the gaming mentality that is at odds with what this product is trying to be, a simulation.  No its not real life, far from it as the worst that happens if your pc might crash! 

 

What is like real life is that you have to study somewhat to learn the system's if you are not already familiar with them in this game.  I come across online alot of the younger players on comms coming on just not putting the time in to study and constantly asking questions that if they actually read and learnt the manual they would know.  It's a bad reflection on them.  I rather suspect largely its these same players asking for dots on targets to help them, not correctly using rwr either.  If you have already lost the SA picture in your head around you, you've pretty much already lost the fight anyway.  

 

But having something hard coded that affects all users, and the ones that actually like "realism" that have been with the product since lock on days is for us  hugely frustrating and actually ruin's our gameplay.  We are not at the start of the journey with only one or two modules bought but well over $1000 dollars invested (worth every penny unless we have it ruined by stupid dots).  


Edited by Hawkeye_UK
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11 hours ago, Hawkeye_UK said:

 

It is a game, but its sub branch is a simulator.  The ethos is not to make a game but trying to simulate systems and the  combat interface where possible by digital means.  To make it easier (and unrealistic) to spot targets for new players and "gamers" is not want this process is about, that is unless ED want to sell themselves out for the $, which listening to Nick i highly doubt.  Whilst cash is important for any business, there are things that ED could have done to make this more appealing to the mass market but thus far they have refrained.

 

What we cannot do however is to affect the only simulator in this space that has modern graphics and VR (ive played Falcon/BMS for 22 years on and off) ruined by unrealistic dots to "help" new gamers coming in that have a few hours in the game or even a few months. 

 

You cannot have realism if you start introducing mechanisms that make it unrealistic on target spotting, white and black dots are certainly not realistic!  It is pointless being in a level d sim to then have war thunder style gameplay, which is what your asking for with dots.  The problem is people want things on a plate and its the gaming mentality that is at odds with what this product is trying to be, a simulation.  No its not real life, far from it as the worst that happens if your pc might crash! 

 

What is like real life is that you have to study somewhat to learn the system's if you are not already familiar with them in this game.  I come across online alot of the younger players on comms coming on just not putting the time in to study and constantly asking questions that if they actually read and learnt the manual they would know.  It's a bad reflection on them.  I rather suspect largely its these same players asking for dots on targets to help them, not correctly using rwr either.  If you have already lost the SA picture in your head around you, you've pretty much already lost the fight anyway.  

 

But having something hard coded that affects all users, and the ones that actually like "realism" that have been with the product since lock on days is for us  hugely frustrating and actually ruin's our gameplay.  We are not at the start of the journey with only one or two modules bought but well over $1000 dollars invested (worth every penny unless we have it ruined by stupid dots).  

 

 

To your point, I think gamers are changing as a whole. While I can certainly understand your frustration to see a game that you spent $1,000+ on changed against your wishes, there are others who also spent $1,000+ who welcome these accessibility changes (for instance, like myself).

 

I don't mind spending hours to learn an aircraft's systems and control ecosystem. I do mind having to squint to make out objects. So I'm grateful that there are now dots that I can finally see.

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12 hours ago, Phantom_Mark said:

Bottom line is 1 pixel in 4k is not the same as one pixel clarity in 1080p, and certainly not the same as 1 pixel clarity in VR, IMHO.   And 1 pixel is all that suggests a visual contact at range.

Agreed. As a full 4K res. user, I should (to Hawkeye's point) never spot a single F-16 at 18 miles away... But I SHOULD see him at 5 miles... assuming I'm looking at his sector of sky. The new spotting has made that closer range spotting more realistic at 4K... they probably just need to reign in the farther out stuff.


Edited by wilbur81
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It is because of people like Hawkeye that we can't ever get spotting right in this simulator. Yes this is a simulator, we are not sitting in a real plane looking thorough a glass cockpit at a real sky. We are literally sitting in front of our monitors or peering through our very small sweet spot in our VR headsets. All at vastly different resolutions. Last time I checked human eyes didn't render in different digital resolutions, or had differing contrast levels. We can at least agree that fighter pilots usually had 20\20 vision or better. 

 

This has to be taken into account! Spotting should not be easy, but it shouldn't be this hard because it ISNT this hard in REAL LIFE. I'm sick and tired of people telling me, this is how it should be because these people have never sat in a real cockpit of a real fighter jet and had trouble losing targets right in front of their eyes while looking right at them, because this is something that doesn't happen in real life. It does however happens in DCS. Often. 

 

I'm sorry if this post comes across at being a little bit aggressive, but that's because it is. Spotting is a really big problem in DCS, more-so than any other sim I've played and it needs to be resolved once and for all. 


Edited by Lurker
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To your point, I think gamers are changing as a whole. While I can certainly understand your frustration to see a game that you spent $1,000+ on changed against your wishes, there are others who also spent $1,000+ who welcome these accessibility changes (for instance, like myself).
 
I don't mind spending hours to learn an aircraft's systems and control ecosystem. I do mind having to squint to make out objects. So I'm grateful that there are now dots that I can finally see.


Agreed. The other simulator which deals with WWII planes only recently introduced significant changes in spotting for the better. Against some very strong and vocal members of the community who wanted none of it with some of the same "arguments" used here. It has been like that for years, most often the excuse was it cannot be done or it isn't realistic.

The end result is an excellent system not overdone like in BMS, still difficult to master and not hindered by the need to do "twice the workload" of simulating what our eyes do on their own by zooming in and out - i.e. dots not being rendered in wide zoom.

The hard core "elitism" needs to go IMHO. Spotting contacts on a 2D monitor or in VR is inherently more difficult than in real life. Having is simulated like that is by itself not realistic meaning a working compromise is needed if one wants a realistic simulator experience.

Can someone tell me what was changed recently? I've been out from DCS for a while now...


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Maybe there needs to be a visual configurator, so like in the old days we used to have a splash screen come up where you setup your gamma and corner edges of your display etc, we have a thing comes up and we can setup some "basic" params to enable parity when it comes to visual contact sensitivity, you could do it in a way which could kind of make it a questionnaire, ie if you don't enter the right response it isn't a valid user response, maybe a number which becomes clearer or something idk ?

One the user has made a valid configuration that information and setting is stored for possible future use as well, maybe to tell a multiplayer server the player is using a verified and calibrated configuration ? - that option should be "optional" server side to enforce, and optional by the player to use - especially if they are only someone who flies in single player anyway.

Just thinking out loud here, so there may be holes in my idea 😄

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Any solution with more one system is destined to split the community and divide it even further. Such solution was also attempted and it failed miserably. Your can't have multiple choices in a competitive environment. IIRC DCS devs have learned this already with previous attempt at tackling the issue...




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2 minutes ago, [DBS]TH0R said:

Any solution with more one system is destined to split the community and divide it even further. Such solution was also attempted and it failed miserably. Your can't have multiple choices in a competitive environment. IIRC DCS devs have learned this already with previous attempt at tracking the issue...

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I think the notion that there is, and and never will be a solution is a very negative one to take tbh, never give up, and never stop looking for ways to do something is my attitude to life and work 😄    

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I think the notion that there is, and and never will be a solution is a very negative one to take tbh, never give up, and never stop looking for ways to do something is my attitude to life and work     
Exactly why I said a compromise is needed.

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Only way to settle this is to have distant LOD size multiplier that each user can adjust.  It's not just sim versus game.  It also depends on hardware.
Won't work for MP. There you need one option only. Else you end up with uneven playing field. The community will usually decide on the "lesser evil" and go with that one reentering other options useless...

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6 minutes ago, [DBS]TH0R said:

Won't work for MP. There you need one option only. Else you end up with uneven playing field. The community will usually decide on the "lesser evil" and go with that one reentering other options useless...

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Can be forced just like labels can be forced.

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1 hour ago, Taz1004 said:

 

Can be forced just like labels can be forced.

 

Exactly. Just give us the option to have something that alleviates the problem (to a degree) but isn't as obtrusive (or unrealistic) as the label system, and make it a an option. If you don't like it don't use it, and dedicated server admins can choose whether their servers will support it or not. 

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7 hours ago, [DBS]TH0R said:



 

 


Agreed. The other simulator which deals with WWII planes only recently introduced significant changes in spotting for the better. Against some very strong and vocal members of the community who wanted none of it with some of the same "arguments" used here. It has been like that for years, most often the excuse was it cannot be done or it isn't realistic.

The end result is an excellent system not overdone like in BMS, still difficult to master and not hindered by the need to do "twice the workload" of simulating what our eyes do on their own by zooming in and out - i.e. dots not being rendered in wide zoom.

The hard core "elitism" needs to go IMHO. Spotting contacts on a 2D monitor or in VR is inherently more difficult than in real life. Having is simulated like that is by itself not realistic meaning a working compromise is needed if one wants a realistic simulator experience.

Can someone tell me what was changed recently? I've been out from DCS for a while now...

 

 

 

Well stated, friend. I can confirm that spotting in IL2 Sturmovik is much more reasonable now.

 

 

7 hours ago, [DBS]TH0R said:

Any solution with more one system is destined to split the community and divide it even further. Such solution was also attempted and it failed miserably. Your can't have multiple choices in a competitive environment. IIRC DCS devs have learned this already with previous attempt at tracking the issue...

 

 

Agreed. In my perspective, I will always be in favor of changes that promote accessibility among gamers, not restrict it. The cost of DCS is already prohibitive enough for many gamers (not to mention the peripherals needed to enhance one's experience and competitiveness). The last thing we need is to make things more difficult for gamers (within reason).


Edited by alphagamer4
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Modules: Supercarrier | WW2 Assets Pack | Raven One | Serpent's Head 2 | The Ultimate Argument | The Georgian War | Aggressors BFM | M-2000C Red Flag | F-15C Red Flag | Aggressors ACM | The Enemy Within 3.0 | A-10C Red Flag | The Museum Relic Campaign. (All purchased on STEAM)

Maps: Persian Gulf | Nevada NTTR. (All purchased on STEAM)

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7 hours ago, Lurker said:

It is because of people like Hawkeye that we can't ever get spotting right in this simulator. Yes this is a simulator, we are not sitting in a real plane looking thorough a glass cockpit at a real sky. We are literally sitting in front of our monitors or peering through our very small sweet spot in our VR headsets. All at vastly different resolutions. Last time I checked human eyes didn't render in different digital resolutions, or had differing contrast levels. We can at least agree that fighter pilots usually had 20\20 vision or better. 

 

This has to be taken into account! Spotting should not be easy, but it shouldn't be this hard because it ISNT this hard in REAL LIFE. I'm sick and tired of people telling me, this is how it should be because these people have never sat in a real cockpit of a real fighter jet and had trouble losing targets right in front of their eyes while looking right at them, because this is something that doesn't happen in real life. It does however happens in DCS. Often. 

 

I'm sorry if this post comes across at being a little bit aggressive, but that's because it is. Spotting is a really big problem in DCS, more-so than any other sim I've played and it needs to be resolved once and for all. 

 

 

LOL i'd exercise more respect my dear friend, whilst some of us are just sim guys these days in civvy street doesn't mean that because were in our mid 40's now and past it lol we don't have real experience in this area to make comparisons.  If if real life you can see camouflaged ground units and spot things out to 25+ miles, especially in hot middle eastern environments then well my friend you either ate more carrots as a child than i did or your superhuman.  In game we've got some people reporting 40 miles but i can only go from what i have seen in VR on a hot rig with high settings. 


Edited by Hawkeye_UK

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DCS | F14B | AV-8B | F18C | F16C | A10C | JF17 | Viggen | L-39 | MIG 15 | SU27 | SU33 | F15 | MI8 | Huey | KA50 | Gazelle | P47 | Spitfire | CA | Persian Gulf | Nevada | Normandy | Channel | Syria

 

Liquid Cooled i7 9700K @ 5Ghz & OC RTX2080 Ti Ultra | 64GB DDR4 3200 MHz | 500GB SSD m2 | Oculus Rift S | TM Warthog | Virpil T50/Warbrd Base | Cougar MFD | Saitek Side Panel | Steel Series Arctis 7 Heaphones

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I think you are exaggerating the problem - I struggle to see anything beyond 3 or 4 miles in VR, ground or AIR, unless it is sharply contrasted, Shape, Shine, Silhouette...ya know, some of those factors are missing, which makes it even harder in a virtual world, 

 


Edited by Phantom_Mark
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8 hours ago, Lurker said:

It is because of people like Hawkeye that we can't ever get spotting right in this simulator. Yes this is a simulator, we are not sitting in a real plane looking thorough a glass cockpit at a real sky. We are literally sitting in front of our monitors or peering through our very small sweet spot in our VR headsets. All at vastly different resolutions. Last time I checked human eyes didn't render in different digital resolutions, or had differing contrast levels. We can at least agree that fighter pilots usually had 20\20 vision or better. 

 

This has to be taken into account! Spotting should not be easy, but it shouldn't be this hard because it ISNT this hard in REAL LIFE. I'm sick and tired of people telling me, this is how it should be because these people have never sat in a real cockpit of a real fighter jet and had trouble losing targets right in front of their eyes while looking right at them, because this is something that doesn't happen in real life. It does however happens in DCS. Often. 

 

I'm sorry if this post comes across at being a little bit aggressive, but that's because it is. Spotting is a really big problem in DCS, more-so than any other sim I've played and it needs to be resolved once and for all. 

 

I'd say there are games/sims that have nailed it.  Top of the list being WT followed by BMS followed by IL2.  Also 100% agreed i've been on this boat of fighting for better vision in other games as well such as IL2.  Again I think there are a few things that can be done, hopefully at once, to solve this:


A) Issues with determining target aspect at the 3-6 mile range.
Smart scaling, use a more advanced version of the original version that compensates for differences in FOV and screen res.  Link is to a demo feel free to try it out

 

B) Issues with max target range

A dot system for targets 6-20 miles is perfectly fine.  But it needs tuned.  It needs to fade to a bluish grey as you get farther away, it needs to turn off under a certain distance, and it needs turned off over a certain distance.  Spotting up to 12 miles is quite possible, i've done so irl, especially if cued by a radar but just finding the target uncued should be quite difficult and largely a matter of luck.

 

C)

Dynamic contrast adjustments.  WHat you'll often see with a single pixel as a target is that if the surrounding pixels are a very different color you'll get a color bleed which will make the pixel appear smaller than it is and blend in more than it should.  To solve this you need some mechanism to adjust the level of contrast between the target and surrounding pixels based on the currently surrounding colors.  THis should help out a lot with losing the target when you shouldn't against darker backgrounds where it should still stand out.

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