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A Further Caucasus Update


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Once Marianas is done, could Caucasus be revisited?  I know it had a spruce-up a few years ago, but given the new map tech and techniques learned could it be revisited again to get it to modern Marianas or even Syria standards? 

 

At least higher depth imagery and terrain quality/accuracy would go a long way, especially given it's a free map and you have return-on-investment to think about.  If feeling flush then expanding up to Rostov-on-Don and across Crimea (maybe across Turkey at the same longitude) would be a big change, although I know Crimea has been talked about before as a contentious topic.  If not a map boundary expansion then adding the multitudes of missing airfields, towns, power/rail lines would keep it current with the times.

 

Food for thought, but something like this could be pushed out to people like Ugra to do if ED won't.  Especially if it was done with a border expansion, I for one wouldn't mind paying for a 'DCS: Caucasus/Black Sea' module.  You'd have the existing Caucasus as a free 'trial'/cut-down version included in DCS with Marianas, and the option to get a 'full' version as a module to write over the top if you want it.

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Having both a free and a paid Caucasus would divide folks too much i think. But i would too love to see the map fleshed out too: more and more accurate towns mostly, right now its a clusterfuck really. And textures...  😄

 

Resizing was problematic due to the mapping tools iirc, but dont nail me on that one.

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The issue is that changes may break the myriad campaigns on the map, especially because ground items rely so much on precise placement of the buildings and trees and such. Texture modification shouldn't be as much an issue, but changing airfields layouts, buildings, forests or mesh would, I'd think.

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2 hours ago, Desert Fox said:

Having both a free and a paid Caucasus would divide folks too much i think.

Well the main problem with that as far as I can see, is multiplayer synchronisation: if we would have a paid version with say vastly improved (higher resolution) terrain mesh, units placed on the free version of the map in a mountainous area would be floating in the air to someone who has the paid version (or the other way around). That would massively mess up helicopter operations, for example.

You can't have it both ways...

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All potential troubles aside (deviding the MP community would be the main one), this is a wish thread and with that in mind I'd also say, Caucasus deserves an overhaul (if done right, I'd gladly pay for it).

 

Large areas of Georgia are insanely beautiful and there are lots of eye catching landmarks that deserve to be in DCS. To name a few:

 

Georgie-Katskhi-Pillar.jpg

(Katskhi pillar)

 

georgie-reisverslag-4-ananuri-monastery-

(Ananuri monestary (allthough maybe just outside our map boundery))

 

aerial-view-city-black-sea-coast-batumi-

(Batumi skyline)

 

Panoramic-view-of-Tbilisi-Georgia.jpg

(Tbilisi)

 

omalo%20tusheti.jpg

 

mestia%20svaneti.jpg

(mountain villages)

 

Enguridam.jpg

(Inguri dam)

 

+ in general: the mountainous areas could use some more steep cliffs, peaks and valleys.

 

 

 

The above are just a few shots from Georgia, you can imagine how drastically the city of Sochi differs from "our" DCS Sochi 😉 


Edited by sirrah
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+1 I'd love to see a reworked Caucasus map, even if paid.

 

For compatibility and for the MP folks, maybe keep the current map, and if you own the paid version have the option to just used the paid (to conserve storage space) or to have both.

 

I'm okay with the size of the map being what it is, I'm mostly interested in improving the map's accuracy. If you look at the included chart in the map view, you can see there's so many features that aren't there, when they should - that and the colours seem all wrong (the Black Sea, close to the coast around Batumi is more turquoise like the SoH map), the rivers are more blue, when they should be silty, the whole map looks like its mostly plains when in fact it's mostly lush (at least on the western side), there's plenty of areas that could be drastically improved.

 

One of the main areas that's a bit of an eye-opener is Poti, which is well within the detail area, if you compare it against the included MAP view (the chart), and Google Earth, the layout is completely wrong, the airfield isn't there (though you can see it in SAT view if you zoom out enough), the lake has a few missing features (it actually exits into the Black Sea, with a bridge over the mouth), there's a river missing and the port (the main strategic target in Poti) isn't there at all.

 

There's a few other things, like the textures, which are fairly low resolution (the rocks looking particularly back), and is generic and not photo-realistic - the map is all one colour apart from forests, mountain tops and fields, whereas IRL it's more varied and more lush.

 

https://imgur.com/a/lfSGIeP


Edited by Northstar98
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I could live with the way some coastal areas or plains look on the map (though a texture upgrade, like some mods provide, wouldn't hurt - same for the trees), but those mountains and cities are very sad in the current map compared to Syria. It is a shame since the mountains are the highest ones we have in DCS right now, but the detail is just not there. Imagine flying a helo in detailed mountains, picking off rebel fighters in a valley or rescuing a downed pilot at 3000m... I know it is probably a lot of work, and I don't know how it could be done without breaking all existing content for this map, but it truly deserves an upgrade. This is a beautiful region IRL, and the fact it is the only free map for now doesn't show the true potential of DCS. I wish something could be done to improve it in the future, once Marianas are out. 


Edited by Qiou87
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Place yourselves for a minute on the developer’s seat ... would you spend man-hours to update a Map that was already updated just 3 years ago, knowing that it would bring zero income to the company?  🤔

 

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36 minutes ago, Rudel_chw said:

Place yourselves for a minute on the developer’s seat ... would you spend man-hours to update a Map that was already updated just 3 years ago, knowing that it would bring zero income to the company?  🤔

 

I definitely would be expecting to pay for it, if it were to be considered.


Edited by Northstar98
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38 minutes ago, Rudel_chw said:

Place yourselves for a minute on the developer’s seat ... would you spend man-hours to update a Map that was already updated just 3 years ago, knowing that it would bring zero income to the company?  🤔

I find this argument in a lot of threads in the wishlist section, and I think it is a reduced view of ROI. I think about other games like No Man's Sky for example, being improved for years without actually trying to sell any DLC. I'm sure the devs still found it worthwhile or they would have stopped. Similarly I guess that certain improvements to DCS, while "free", provide incentive for people to buy paid modules in larger numbers.


The idea that ED's devs should only invest time into what brings immediate cash is, imho, short-sighted. There are benefits to improving the core of the sim, and the "base map" that probably gets more use than all other maps combined. A lot of DCS players only see the Caucasus map, at least for a while, why shouldn't it reflect the best DCS can bring in terms of terrain?


Edited by Qiou87

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One other thing that no one has probably considered. Updating the map will probably break nearly every single mission and campaign\script on that map. A lot of campaigns for the older modules are currently broken for these very same reasons. 

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3 minutes ago, Lurker said:

One other thing that no one has probably considered. Updating the map will probably break nearly every single mission and campaign\script on that map. A lot of campaigns for the older modules are currently broken for these very same reasons. 

 

It depends whether or not you want to replace the map or make an extra one; and then give owners the choice of installing one or both.

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28 minutes ago, Qiou87 said:

The idea that ED's devs should only invest time into what brings immediate cash is, imho, short-sighted. 

 

Immediate? .. developing a Map takes years of development, during which the Company spends but does not receive.

 

29 minutes ago, Qiou87 said:

A lot of DCS players only see the Caucasus map, at least for a while, why shouldn't it reflect the best DCS can bring in terms of terrain?

 

The Caucasus Map was actually revamped barely 3 years ago, in fact it is more modern than Nevada or Normandy, for a free Map I believe it is good enough ... adding pretty landmarks is not that important, IMHO. I'd rather see the development of additional Maps instead, like Korea or North Vietnam.

 

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25 minutes ago, Rudel_chw said:

 

Immediate? .. developing a Map takes years of development, during which the Company spends but does not receive.

 

 

The Caucasus Map was actually revamped barely 3 years ago, in fact it is more modern than Nevada or Normandy, for a free Map I believe it is good enough ... adding pretty landmarks is not that important, IMHO. I'd rather see the development of additional Maps instead, like Korea or North Vietnam.

 

What @Qiou87 is talking about: if one installs a game that has free content, and that content isn't up to current standards (Caucasus isn't and let's not talk the Su-25T) most folks won't even bother to ask what the pay-content looks like. It's the first impression and more than in the past, this impression counts a lot.

 

That's also what he means with "immediate cash" i guess: Caucasus nor the Su-25T drop any "immediate" revenue when brought up to date and improved, but it's THE gateway that drags new customers in and later, encourages them to pay cash for more. Secondary effect income.

 

Whenever i tried to introduce folks into DCS with the Su-25T, conversation while teaching was often like "yeah ignore this, that's broken right now... yeah this is a long time bug... ya, that's buggy right now... oh, don't press G while on the grou... *gear retracts on ground* nevermind, just respawn". Not that many stayed. If i wasn't that much into combat aircraft for decades, i would not have stayed either probably back when i started DCS.

 

First impression should be best you can deliver imho, it's what you are measured by.


Edited by Desert Fox

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1 hour ago, Rudel_chw said:

 

Immediate? .. developing a Map takes years of development, during which the Company spends but does not receive.

 

 

The Caucasus Map was actually revamped barely 3 years ago, in fact it is more modern than Nevada or Normandy, for a free Map I believe it is good enough ... adding pretty landmarks is not that important, IMHO. I'd rather see the development of additional Maps instead, like Korea or North Vietnam.

When you release a paid module, it brings immediate cash. Yes, it takes a while to develop, but the return is immediate. If you improve a "free" part of DCS, no cash is coming when you release it. But it definitely has secondary effects, pushing people to play the game more so they buy another module which they otherwise wouldn't have. That is what I meant.

 

I am not talking about the age of the map, or even landmarks. All cities look terrible and absolutely nothing like the real world. The mountains also have a low-detail mesh and poorly-detailed textures which doesn't really gives you the feeling of flying in mountains. This is what I would find interesting. Normandy and Nevada could be older than Caucasus, but their cities look a lot better for example.

 

Besides, when the OP says "after Marianas", it means probably after Marianas modern + WWII versions release. So we are talking about starting this improvement in 2022, and if it takes years, it would be 2024 or 2025 before this upgrade releases. By then Caucasus would be 7 years old...

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In contradiction to what my earlier post indicates, I'm not so much interested in seeing landmarks (the overall quality of landmarks within DCS is too poor anyways), but I wanted to indicate the contrast between DCS Georgia and real life Georgia and that we could use some more variety. 

 

All villages in our Caucasus map look grey and dull, while irl some of them have lots of colour and more modern buildings

Also, the rural villages (especially in the mountains) currently aren't properly fit for helo ops. Mostly due to the slopes these building look ridiculous when you come closer.

 

 

Anyways.. I'm not saying we need this now (obviously there are more pressing matters that need to be solved first), but this being a wish thread, there's no harm in wishing improvement for this beautiful map at some point.

 


Edited by sirrah
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5 hours ago, sirrah said:

In contradiction to what my earlier post indicates, I'm not so much interested in seeing landmarks (the overall quality of landmarks within DCS is too poor anyways), but I wanted to indicate the contrast between DCS Georgia and real life Georgia and that we could use some more variety. 

 

All villages in our Caucasus map look grey and dull, while irl some of them have lots of colour and more modern buildings

Also, the rural villages (especially in the mountains) currently aren't properly fit for helo ops. Mostly due to the slopes these building look ridiculous when you come closer.

 

Anyways.. I'm not saying we need this now (obviously there are more pressing matters that need to be solved first), but this being a wish thread, there's no harm in wishing improvement for this beautiful map at some point.

 

Same, all the buildings save for a couple are completely generic; my main gripe is that the map isn't that accurate (again, Poti is a prime example of this, having the wrong layout, missing an airfield, a river, as well as the main strategic target - a port, and Paliastomi lake has a few inaccuracies too) and is missing a fair number of things, even within the detail area.

 

The generic green texture is also completely map wide, and comparing against IRL, the DCS Caucasus is a lot more barren than it actually is, especially in the western half.


Edited by Northstar98
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1 minute ago, CarbonFox said:

I would welcome an expansion of the map if it included Rostov, Crimea and Southern Ukraine.

 

That regions has a "little" political problem.

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1 hour ago, Silver_Dragon said:

 

That regions has a "little" political problem.

If I recall correctly, the Crimean contents was actually removed in favour of the Caucasus further east exactly because it didn't have "a political problem" - i.e. deemed less suitable for a realistic combat scenario.

 

Thats the thing about prospective warfare maps - they tend to be contested areas.


Edited by Seaeagle
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2 hours ago, Seaeagle said:

If I recall correctly, the Crimean contents was actually removed in favour of the Caucasus further east exactly because it didn't have "a political problem" - i.e. deemed less suitable for a realistic combat scenario.

 

Thats the thing about prospective warfare maps - they tend to be contested areas.

 

Crimea was deleted on FC-1 by map limitations on object count technology previously to EDGE engine.

 

On moscow, Crimea (russian annexion) and Ucrania (Separatist Dombas region), has a very sensible political theme. ED team has on Moscow, and they has talked in the past about them, they dont go to add that regions by the actual Russian / Ucrania conflict. Has the same situations with Chechenia / and some central and south caucasus republics.


I put the same answer some time ago


ED team members has talked the same on the russian forum, none plans to build Crimea or other "sensible" region. Kate (COO) and Chizh has talk the same.


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Oh don't get me started on Crimea

 

I realize it's not a historically combat active area, but I don't come from a military background so I'm kinda not tied to those interests in how my mind thinks what's interesting or not, I do realize that's a minority and not an overpowering opinion so I obviously won't force it upon anyone else not try to make a case for it to be a deciding factor, however I did come to peace with nothing happening in DCS with crimea, despite hints of some activity if I'm not mistaken (if you go to certain zoom levels you can see some texturing in that area), because all of this infrastructure that's being constructed and rebuilt in the real Crimea is all ongoing or starting and I guess any modern map development would rather wait for that to be finished first, so in the case we get Crimea 5-10 years later it'll look great with that new infrastructure we'll have a lot of new stuff on the ground to enjoy.

 

All the Crimean construction mania reinforced my interests in DCS having that supply-transport-civilian-tech-structure support that we'll be getting a taste of with the "Dynamic Campaign" which I'm so happy about!

 

 

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7 hours ago, Northstar98 said:

 

Same, all the buildings save for a couple are completely generic; my main gripe is that the map isn't that accurate (again, Poti is a prime example of this, having the wrong layout, missing an airfield, a river, as well as the main strategic target - a port, and Paliastomi lake has a few inaccuracies too) and is missing a fair number of things, even within the detail area.

 

The generic green texture is also completely map wide, and comparing against IRL, the DCS Caucasus is a lot more barren than it actually is, especially in the western half.

 

 

Roughly the same spot, just to compare. Looks like this for the whole map, which really is pretty sad. Avoid to fly on Caucasus if possible tbh. (shot is from grid LN07)

Screen_210123_000442.png

Screenshot 2021-01-23 000422.jpg

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