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The amount of detail that would be needed to be rendered to make it acceptable as a FPS would make it unplayable as a flight sim.

I don’t know if you’ve tried combined arms, but even ground vehicles are basically only there to be killed by the aircraft. Oh- and it doesn’t work in VR


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Posted (edited)

I consider CA to be a bad prank pulled by a sullen EA intern. That being said, the ground visuals in DCS are surprisingly good when you fly a helicopter. After touch down in the grass there is astonishing detail in your immediate vicinity. To me it looks like ED uses shaders with automatic level of detail, so in theory a FPS would work in that environment as well as a flight sim. 

 

As you point out, more important is the question who in their right mind would want to play infantry in DCS? It's worse than bringing a knife to a gunfight - it's bringing a Rifle to a BVR standoff weapons fight. You stand there, brandishing your M4; I drop my Paveway from some 20 miles away. When you hear my jet exhaust, you are already dead. End of you - big grin on my face.

 

Fun?

 

Not for anyone playing the target practice dummy 

 


Edited by cfrag
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13 minutes ago, cfrag said:

I consider CA to be a bad prank pulled by a sullen EA intern. That being said, the ground visuals in DCS are surprisingly good when you fly a helicopter. After touch down in the grass there is astonishing detail in your immediate vicinity. To me it looks like ED uses shaders with automatic level of detail, so in theory a FPS would work in that environment as well as a flight sim. 

 

As you point out, more important is the question who in their right mind would want to play infantry in DCS? It's worse than bringing a knife to a gunfight - it's bringing a Rifle to a BVR standoff weapons fight. You stand there, brandishing your M4; I drop my Paveway from some 20 miles away. When you hear my jet exhaust, you are already dead. End of you - big grin on my face.

 

Fun?

 

Not for anyone playing the target practice dummy 

 

 

Great points.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, cfrag said:

As you point out, more important is the question who in their right mind would want to play infantry in DCS? It's worse than bringing a knife to a gunfight - it's bringing a Rifle to a BVR standoff weapons fight. You stand there, brandishing your M4; I drop my Paveway from some 20 miles away. When you hear my jet exhaust, you are already dead. End of you - big grin on my face.

 

Fun?

Of course if you frame it like that...

 

What makes you so sure you'd be able to spot the infantry unit in the first place? Why do you assume that player controlled infantry would be static? What makes you think they would operate without CAP or air defenses?

The scenario you've described just sounds like a lame mission made by a particulary lazy mission designer.

I could just aswell create a mission where you spawn in Kutaisi surrounded by Tunguskas, SA-10 and manpads and use it to prove how boring it is to fly jets...

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Eight Ball
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3 minutes ago, Eight Ball said:

The scenario you've described just sounds like a lame mission made by a particulary lazy mission designer

  I think he described most servers LOL

 

  The huge size of DCS environs are a bit wasted on infantry, in order for it to work they either have to spawn IN the immediate area of an objective (which directly leads to the described scenario) or with unreasonably long travel times. I can't see how anybody who ever played Arma would think ''this, but scaled up to 50x the waiting and travel time is a good idea'' or ''this but the roving aircraft are sniping me from 50x as far away'' is going to work very well.

 

  The only way infantry work (and to a large extent vehicles, too) in DCS is if you scale the AO down do much as to eliminate strategic considerations like artillery and aircraft altogether at which point... why waste the time and resources on DCS when you could buy any of 15 games that do it already far better than DCS is ever likely to because they were designed to from the ground up?

 

  Not every ''cool idea, bro'' that wanders through this forums translates into practical usage.

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Posted (edited)

But Combined Arms isnt ArmA. You don't actually have to sit in the tank while it's transiting.

You give your tank platoon a bunch of waypoints then hop in a helo or aircraft and provide air cover for them or deploy air defenses along their path or just go bomb a completely different target on the other side of the map while they are heading towards their objective.

Same goes for the infantry. You'd wait for a chopper to bring them closer to their objective or for a airplane to paradrop them right on top of the AO.

 

If you guy arent interested in this kind of gameplay, it's all good but there's no need to come up with artificial limitations.

 


Edited by Eight Ball
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Posted (edited)

Initially can just be basic infantry vs infantry as a separate module 

 

Arma3 has a massive scale like DCS of course only parts of these landscapes are used at any one time 

 

later the combining & incorporation of aircraft for air strikes & air support would be fantastic 

 

the implementation of the first steps towards this is a no brainer

I’d pay for that module 


Edited by adrianstealth
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I believe that the issue is indeed that these unit's have vastly different playing styles that don't mix well. It's already incredibly difficult to create a mission that mixes Helicopters and Aircraft well, mostly because helos are slow compared to fighter jets. I greatly enjoy flying both (Bug, Harrier, Tomcat as fast movers, and Gazelle and Huey on the rotor side) but finding a server that uses both types well is almost impossible - the scenario is either set up somewhat lopsided for rotorcraft (placing aircraft at a serious disadvantage), or the whirlybirds are pretty much sitting ducks. I'm perhaps of very limited imagination, but given this, I find it difficult to imagine an MP mission where you successfully mix aircraft and foot soldiers. Remove all aircraft and DCS becomes pretty much pointless, because there are any number of FPS games that do that part better. 

 

That being said, I'd be delighted to be proven wrong. The fact that I, too, own CA proves that I'm at least willing to try.  

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4 hours ago, Eight Ball said:

Of course if you frame it like that...

 

What makes you so sure you'd be able to spot the infantry unit in the first place? Why do you assume that player controlled infantry would be static? What makes you think they would operate without CAP or air defenses?

The scenario you've described just sounds like a lame mission made by a particulary lazy mission designer.

I could just aswell create a mission where you spawn in Kutaisi surrounded by Tunguskas, SA-10 and manpads and use it to prove how boring it is to fly jets...

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other important point is that he fails to recognize a mission designer doesn't have to include the use of jets. It could be 2 ground forces fighting to take control of an area. Combined Arms is an amazing module that adds significantly to the DCS World experience, and unless your only interest is to fly planes/jets, then you are missing a key part of the digital combat simulator without CA. 

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4 hours ago, Mars Exulte said:

  I think he described most servers LOL

 

  The huge size of DCS environs are a bit wasted on infantry, in order for it to work they either have to spawn IN the immediate area of an objective (which directly leads to the described scenario) or with unreasonably long travel times. I can't see how anybody who ever played Arma would think ''this, but scaled up to 50x the waiting and travel time is a good idea'' or ''this but the roving aircraft are sniping me from 50x as far away'' is going to work very well.

 

  The only way infantry work (and to a large extent vehicles, too) in DCS is if you scale the AO down do much as to eliminate strategic considerations like artillery and aircraft altogether at which point... why waste the time and resources on DCS when you could buy any of 15 games that do it already far better than DCS is ever likely to because they were designed to from the ground up?

 

  Not every ''cool idea, bro'' that wanders through this forums translates into practical usage.

So is this what happens in real world combat, when jets show up all the soldiers go home?

 

My understanding is that DCS is meant to simulate the real thing, and IRL aircraft do get deployed to areas where vehicles/soldiers are operating.

 

The large maps may represent a challenge in terms of frame rates, but it is not impossible. There are many examples of combined arms working in online servers. The other point is just because DCS includes infantry, it doesn't mean it has to be used on every server. If the server you frequent is focused on air-to-air, nothing is saying that has to change. My feeling is that DCS would be better off keeping its focus for players on vehicles (planes/tanks) and add an improved AI only asset for realism.

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13 hours ago, Callsign112 said:

The other important point is that he fails to recognize a mission designer doesn't have to include the use of jets. It could be 2 ground forces fighting to take control of an area. Combined Arms is an amazing module that adds significantly to the DCS World experience, and unless your only interest is to fly planes/jets, then you are missing a key part of the digital combat simulator without CA. 

 

Perhaps. But take away the aircraft, and DCS is not much to write home about; no one in their right mind would play DCS for their vehicles or on-foot simulation. Other sims have a gigantic advantage in that  arena. Vehicle simulation (in CA) is cartoonishly bad - drive a Leo II downhill and it will accelerate to 270 km/h - until it hits a slender 3 inch birch tree that stops that 60 tons machine of death dead in its tracks. With no finely tuned aircraft simulation to act as a counter balance, a DCS mission is just a shoddy driving/RTS combo with so-so visuals, an (admittedly impressive) array of different ammunition types and next to no strategic elements, the RTS part has been done much better, as has been vehicle control. So - ships? Right. Yet, even if we had ships we'd run into the same problems: integrating controlling a Ticonderoga class ship with some infantry on the ground will probably mesh equally bad as infantry does with aircraft (in the same mission).

 

Note - I'm not flaming DCS here - it is one of my favorite pastime, and has been for some time. It's the idea that DCS currently has any legs to stand on without aircraft in the mix. You don't have to include them, but if you don't you end up with an unengaging scenario because you are not bringing anything to bear that DCS is really good at. I've tried a lot of CA-only missions, only to come away underwhelmed. Creating a mission that does not play to the strength of of the platform (and ground vehicle simulation is definitely not DCS's strength) consciously underplays its value. You may get lucky and get a decent experience. You are not playing to the platform's strong suit, and more often than not you are wasting your time (i.e. you could have had a better experience with a mission that does, or play a similar ground-based mission on a much better competing product). 

 

So, can DCS be used to create an engaging FPS experience? Maybe, not in it's current form, and it then competes with many other games that do that part much better. 

 

And is CA really an amazing module? Only in the sense that I feel that it is amazing that DCS's quality control have allowed such a shoddy piece of software that is anathema to everything else they do with regards to realism to be sold with their name on it. I *want* CA to be successful. I own it. It's really, really bad.

 


Edited by cfrag
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13 hours ago, Callsign112 said:

So is this what happens in real world combat, when jets show up all the soldiers go home?

 

My understanding is that DCS is meant to simulate the real thing, and IRL aircraft do get deployed to areas where vehicles/soldiers are operating.

 

Usually, (at least when I was in the military) only a small fraction of soldiers engage the aircraft, with the majority of foot soldiers engaging other soldiers or some ground-bound mechanized troops. And those that do engage aircraft usually are sitting in a bunker or truck, operating computers. That is the problem with bringing reality to the game world - it needs to make the transition in an engaging fashion. In the game world you would then need to pit a player infantry unit against a player aircraft, with very predictable, uninteresting results. If you don't pit them against each other, they might as well play on different servers, and it no longer is a combined multiplayer experience. 

 

And no, DCS is not meant to simulate the real thing. It's meant to be an engaging way to spend your time (a game) with as much realism as possible without inconveniencing or harming you. That's a long shot from reality. That's why real soldiers don't rage-quit when the aircraft show up against which they have next to no chance. They just hope to survive. But that does not make an engaging game, nor a good premise for a game.

 

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Posted (edited)

Considering that you can already play as MANPADs I don't see why not, ultimately most of the issues described above are mission editing issues.

 

It would be better though if we got something like a dedicated CA map with a large improvement to the resolution.

 

Spoiler

On another note has anybody looked at the new infantry units or the recently posted 3D modelling whitepaper? It's getting funny (and maybe a bit silly) that a flight simulator has far better infantry models than a load of its aircraft, some of which haven't been updated in 20 years... I'm all for super detailed anything, even infantry, and I don't wanna pee on anybody's chips, but I don't understand how ED prioritises adding/replacing certain models; wouldn't it be better to replace the current stuff first? Rather than adding new? As well as replacing current stuff like for like?

 

Same for the ships in all honesty, it's great that we've got the Seawise Giant and the Handy Wind, as well as the La Combattante IIa, but what about basically every other ship in DCS, especially pretty much every Soviet/Russian ship? The easy majority of them are decades old and look super bad, and even the ships updated in 2014 (Slava, Ticonderoga, OHP) are kinda showing their age. Heck even the current SC Kuznetsov still has some glaring issues.

 


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4 hours ago, cfrag said:

 

Perhaps. But take away the aircraft, and DCS is not much to write home about; no one in their right mind would play DCS for their vehicles or on-foot simulation. Other sims have a gigantic advantage in that  arena. Vehicle simulation (in CA) is cartoonishly bad - drive a Leo II downhill and it will accelerate to 270 km/h - until it hits a slender 3 inch birch tree that stops that 60 tons machine of death dead in its tracks. With no finely tuned aircraft simulation to act as a counter balance, a DCS mission is just a shoddy driving/RTS combo with so-so visuals, an (admittedly impressive) array of different ammunition types and next to no strategic elements, the RTS part has been done much better, as has been vehicle control. So - ships? Right. Yet, even if we had ships we'd run into the same problems: integrating controlling a Ticonderoga class ship with some infantry on the ground will probably mesh equally bad as infantry does with aircraft (in the same mission).

 

Note - I'm not flaming DCS here - it is one of my favorite pastime, and has been for some time. It's the idea that DCS currently has any legs to stand on without aircraft in the mix. You don't have to include them, but if you don't you end up with an unengaging scenario because you are not bringing anything to bear that DCS is really good at. I've tried a lot of CA-only missions, only to come away underwhelmed. Creating a mission that does not play to the strength of of the platform (and ground vehicle simulation is definitely not DCS's strength) consciously underplays its value. You may get lucky and get a decent experience. You are not playing to the platform's strong suit, and more often than not you are wasting your time (i.e. you could have had a better experience with a mission that does, or play a similar ground-based mission on a much better competing product). 

 

So, can DCS be used to create an engaging FPS experience? Maybe, not in it's current form, and it then competes with many other games that do that part much better. 

 

And is CA really an amazing module? Only in the sense that I feel that it is amazing that DCS's quality control have allowed such a shoddy piece of software that is anathema to everything else they do with regards to realism to be sold with their name on it. I *want* CA to be successful. I own it. It's really, really bad.

 

 

Its not about getting rid of the planes/jets, its about improving other elements of a combat simulator.

 

If you own CA and you want it to succeed, then that is exactly the argument being used in my posts to argue for more improvements. If you see it as a shoddy piece of software, that's unfortunate because I don't, but lets hope we see improvements with it that are able to help change your mind, or would you prefer they keep it so the Leo does 270k/hr downhill?

 

On the flip side of the coin your tossing, take away the tech packs and I don't see it as a combat simulator anymore. I don't know about you, but I completely support and appreciate ED efforts at bringing us the tech packs and maps that they have. If all I could do is stare out of a canopy looking for other planes, I probably would be spending a lot less time using DCS.

 

Regarding infantry, I wouldn't argue for a FPS. One of the reasons I like CA so much is because it keeps the focus for players on vehicles/aircraft with controllable AI infantry. I think the controllable infantry units are in need of improvements, but I think a FPS would be a stretch.

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4 hours ago, cfrag said:

And no, DCS is not meant to simulate the real thing. It's meant to be an engaging way to spend your time (a game) with as much realism as possible without inconveniencing or harming you. That's a long shot from reality. That's why real soldiers don't rage-quit when the aircraft show up against which they have next to no chance. They just hope to survive. But that does not make an engaging game, nor a good premise for a game.

 

I would argue that even in the current state of DCS world which is constantly being improved, it already simulates real world combat in an engaging way.

 

And regardless of when you were in the military, it is up to the mission designer to decide how the battle unfolds, and which units attack/defend. Building a scenario where the target is taken out by a jet 30 miles away before a ground unit can get there as an argument not to have ground units in DCS is being disingenuous. If the mission designer wants the target engaged with ground units, they wouldn't have a jet do it from 30 miles away would they? And how is that an argument against playable/improved infantry/AI?

 

I don't know what combat simulator you are using, but the DCS world I use is pretty much meant to simulate real world as close as possible. This entire forum is filled with literally thousands of posts regarding the accuracy of flight models, radar systems, missile guidance systems, tanks that go 270k/hr... The point is if you buy ED P47, or Heatblur's F14, you are buying a model that is meant to simulate the real plane/jet. In other words, Heatblur is trying to simulate the real world jet. I agree with your statement highlighted in "RED" but I don't agree with the "BOLD" that it contradicts.

 

 

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My apologies for me being unclear - I do support and cheer CA on. I've purchased it, and from where I stand, the only way is up. It's unfortunate that I did not make that clear. There are a number of wholly different issues at play here: 

  • CA is a great concept, one I've been dreaming of ever since I played Parsoft's A-10 Attack back in 1995 when they first spoke of the 'digital battlefield' and the ability to jump into any vehicle 'chit' on the RTS map. CA's implementation, though, is severely lacking; it is currently in a bad state, and I hope that it will improve. Given enough improvements, I'd even willing to pay for a CA II even though I've been badly burned by the first iteration. But we need to acknowledge that CA in it's current form is a bad stain on ED's reputation.
  • I'm not convinced that a multi-role MP scenario with player-controller Infantry and player-controlled Airplanes meshes well (probably not even co-op - you know: have a player-controlled Blackhawk drop off and retrieve player-controlled commandos). That's just saying that my limited mind can't come up with good scenarios, and I'd be happy to be proven wrong. 
  • DCS as a platform for FPS is entirely doable even today. I doubt, though, that it would be able to offer an interesting enough experience that it can compete with more FPS-focused platforms, e.g. those based on CryEngine. Those engines leverage the much smaller geography since all units move inside 40 km^2 (an area that couldn't even cover the distance between Senaki-Kolkhi and Kutaisi) and can splurge on visual splendor since there is no complex physics simulation going on in the background. So, doable - yes. Enjoyable - perhaps (an FPS doesn't require top notch graphics to be fun - I'm still having fun in 1999's Unreal Tournament). Competitive with other FPS engines for visuals - no. 
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Who would want to play infantry in a sim which depicts full scale war? Even in WWII, infantry was just not where you would want to be. 70% of the casualties were from artillery meaning in a game you’d be getting killed regularly by opponents you couldn’t see or engage. A US rifle co took something like 170% casualties just in the span of time from D-Day to the Eagles Nest. In modern warfare they would fare even worse. Look at conflicts like the Gulf War or Kosovo that were won almost entirely by air power. As a “fun game” playing infantry shoot em up is only fun in arcade games like Battlefield. 

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4 minutes ago, Callsign112 said:

I would argue that even in the current state of DCS world which is constantly being improved, it already simulates real world combat in an engaging way.

 

It does, and that's why I enjoy it so much. And yes, I'm aware that there are people that say 'combat can and should never be enjoyable', but we both know that that is not what we are talking about. You and I are also aware that in order to make a game out of real-world combat, 99% of reality needs to be dropped. Example: after I die in a game, I can play it again. That is why I drop all pretensions about realism and focus on the fun parts. Simulating many physical aspects of combat is fun; that being said, I don't ever bring up 'realism' as an argument when - as we have seen - we fail even the simplest of all ('immortality') tests. I love DCS, because it is not as realistic as it can be, and because it makes all the right decisions to be fun instead of accurate. 

 

Which was the point I was trying to make: Some aspects of reality don't translate well into a game, and some impossible real-world things make a game much better. Some simple examples: pause the sim for refreshments -- even during solo combat -- or to take a leak so you don't have fly a long mission wearing real-life diapers. A universal radio that can (only if you want it to) automatically tune to the correct frequency. Field repairs that can completely repair, refuel and re-arm a badly dinged-up plane in under 5 minutes. Fun! Those are the right decisions made by ED, even if the results are completely, utterly unrealistic. It makes for a better game.

 

But even with unrealistic license I'm having difficulties to imagine how we can create a good, engaging MP game where one player is flying an aircraft while the other is on foot. Again, I'd love to see it happen - I can't imagine it myself. 

 

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Ultimately with a campaign system being built infantry will be required in some detailed form.  They're necessary for the fidelity of any believable campaign generated Helicopter war, who's only real purpose is direct infantry support.  Helicopters are already a defacto player and growing, they certainly don't diminish any ongoing air war for fighters, they add to the experience.  Its the infantry giving the jet jocks the very reason for controlling and contesting the air space in the first place.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing things like canned seal teams and other helo usable spec ops, the campaign sets a waypoint for water drop for a specific target, they move by whatever means the mission calls, zodiac or swim, set charges or directly destroy a nearby target, and other assets pick them up later at a specified time and point, or assets swing in with direct fire support as they require via radio comms.  Infantry can give a campaign system some real depth.

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43 minutes ago, cfrag said:

My apologies for me being unclear - I do support and cheer CA on. I've purchased it, and from where I stand, the only way is up. It's unfortunate that I did not make that clear. There are a number of wholly different issues at play here: 

  • CA is a great concept, one I've been dreaming of ever since I played Parsoft's A-10 Attack back in 1995 when they first spoke of the 'digital battlefield' and the ability to jump into any vehicle 'chit' on the RTS map. CA's implementation, though, is severely lacking; it is currently in a bad state, and I hope that it will improve. Given enough improvements, I'd even willing to pay for a CA II even though I've been badly burned by the first iteration. But we need to acknowledge that CA in it's current form is a bad stain on ED's reputation.
  • I'm not convinced that a multi-role MP scenario with player-controller Infantry and player-controlled Airplanes meshes well (probably not even co-op - you know: have a player-controlled Blackhawk drop off and retrieve player-controlled commandos). That's just saying that my limited mind can't come up with good scenarios, and I'd be happy to be proven wrong. 
  • DCS as a platform for FPS is entirely doable even today. I doubt, though, that it would be able to offer an interesting enough experience that it can compete with more FPS-focused platforms, e.g. those based on CryEngine. Those engines leverage the much smaller geography since all units move inside 40 km^2 (an area that couldn't even cover the distance between Senaki-Kolkhi and Kutaisi) and can splurge on visual splendor since there is no complex physics simulation going on in the background. So, doable - yes. Enjoyable - perhaps (an FPS doesn't require top notch graphics to be fun - I'm still having fun in 1999's Unreal Tournament). Competitive with other FPS engines for visuals - no. 

Thanks for clarifying.

 

I agree with your first point, CA is certainly in need of improvements, but I still get value from it even in its current state and am happy I bought it. I think if we can acknowledge that CA needs updating, we should also be able to acknowledge the size and scope of what ED is trying to do. While ED could improve the situation by getting more modules out of early access, the amount of work that has to be done to tie it all together is huge. Take the latest 2.7 update for example. This was probably in the making for months, and all in an effort to bring us a more realistic SIM. While the community recognizes the benefits of 2.7, I sometimes wonder if we really appreciate the amount of work that had to go into it. So while I recognize that all of the tech packs are in need of updates/improvements, I see them as an absolutely essential part of the SIM, and one that we should all be supporting if the desire is to see an improved SIM.

 

Regarding your second and third points, one of the benefits of just having AI infantry IMO is that you wouldn't have to rely on large numbers of players to fill the servers and keep up the action. AI infantry could be used to fill the map to the desired level of action. So I don't think DCS World has to compete with other more established FPS because I don't think it has to. I think it can provide a much more immersive and engaging experience by keeping the player focus on vehicles (planes/jets/tanks), and adding a more capable AI infantry that could attack/defend real player positions.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Nodak said:

Ultimately with a campaign system being built infantry will be required in some detailed form.  They're necessary for the fidelity of any believable campaign generated Helicopter war, who's only real purpose is direct infantry support.  Helicopters are already a defacto player and growing, they certainly don't diminish any ongoing air war for fighters, they add to the experience.  Its the infantry giving the jet jocks the very reason for controlling and contesting the air space in the first place.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing things like canned seal teams and other helo usable spec ops, the campaign sets a waypoint for water drop for a specific target, they move by whatever means the mission calls, zodiac or swim, set charges or directly destroy a nearby target, and other assets pick them up later at a specified time and point, or assets swing in with direct fire support as they require via radio comms.  Infantry can give a campaign system some real depth.

Very well said. I really enjoy all the high fidelity vehicles DCS world offers, and I think THAT is what ED does best. They just haven't gotten around to demonstrating it so much on the ground vehicles yet. Keeping the player focus on using the high fidelity vehicles in saturated combat settings would bring us that next level of immersion. We could either play on the same side, as in coop, and coordinate our actions for and against other AI infantry assets, or oppose each other both with our own AI infantry assets that could attack/defend our positions.

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On 5/21/2021 at 11:32 AM, adrianstealth said:

Hi

 

ate playable ground troops planned?

eg in a 1st person shooter battle experience?

 

dcs being VR compatible & of a decent scale I think it would open up to a new market 

According to this interview with ED ground troops are not planned but they are planing to make individual vehicles derivable like tanks.

 

See Questions #15 at 47:46 and  #29 at 1:08:56 in this interview.

 

 

 

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While I certainly would like to see proper infantry simulation in DCS, I would agree that for it to be fun, a mission designer would have to constrict him/her self to keep the action focused into a specific area where the grunts are at play. That said, one area where I'd really like to see the ground component be improved is with downed pilots. I'm sure we can all agree it would be nice to capture or rescue a downed airmen, but that's currently something we can't do in DCS, and would have to switch over to ArmA to simulate.

 

One thing I'd personally like to see ED do is an actual ground combat simulator that a separate game, but able to 'talk' to DCS, basically a 'one server, two games' approach similar to what CCP Games did with EVE Online. Like, if I have a training server up and running, in DCS I can fly over a decently detailed training camp on my way to a bombing range. At the camp, I can see some 'alright' LOD troops running around, climbing, shooting, just training. Their animations are good enough to suggest what they're doing, but not super detailed. Meanwhile, the guys on the ground see a much more detailed training camp, with all the bells and whistles that I can't see from 40,000ft through a Lightning Pod. They're using weapons that aren't seen in DCS but are still decently represented (like you'd see a soldier carrying an M16 in DCS, but in the ground sim, he'd be using an M16A4). Where things are 100% represented however, is with the vehicles. On the ground, we'd get something with much more detail, but in the air, we'd see less of the micro details (like the dings, dents, etc). An example of that would be in the air, we'd see an M1A2SEP2. On the ground, we'd see that MREs that the ground pounders threw in the turret bustle, the extra ammo cans for their .50cal, the pin-up poster taped to the back of the Commanders Hatch, and so on. For them, they wouldn't see the high detailed models of our own aircraft, unless it was one that was parked at an airfield they were actively trying to take over. For them, that Su25T is just, an Su25T, but for us DCS pilots, it's our personal Su25T with a Russian Memphis Belle painted on the side.

 

What do you guys think of that?

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4 hours ago, Tank50us said:

 That said, one area where I'd really like to see the ground component be improved is with downed pilots. I'm sure we can all agree it would be nice to capture or rescue a downed airmen, but that's currently something we can't do in DCS, and would have to switch over to ArmA to simulate.

 

Well, if by 'capturing' you mean FPS-style running through the woods on foot then yes, currently there's very little support for that. With SAR missions you are in luck: Rescuing airmen can be done quite easily; there are Lua libraries (CSAR, CTLD) available that allow you to create these mission yourself, and there are very nice downloadable 'endless' missions like FARP Hollywood that focus on rescuing and troop insertion. And there are also at least two very nice SAR public servers that (focus on rescue and supply delivery. For Helicopters only, of course, no support for foot soldiers.

 

4 hours ago, Tank50us said:

One thing I'd personally like to see ED do is an actual ground combat simulator that a separate game, but able to 'talk' to DCS, basically a 'one server, two games' approach similar to what CCP Games did with EVE Online. Like, if I have a training server up and running, in DCS I can fly over a decently detailed training camp on my way to a bombing range. At the camp, I can see some 'alright' LOD troops running around, climbing, shooting, just training. Their animations are good enough to suggest what they're doing, but not super detailed. Meanwhile, the guys on the ground see a much more detailed training camp, with all the bells and whistles that I can't see from 40,000ft through a Lightning Pod. They're using weapons that aren't seen in DCS but are still decently represented (like you'd see a soldier carrying an M16 in DCS, but in the ground sim, he'd be using an M16A4). Where things are 100% represented however, is with the vehicles. On the ground, we'd get something with much more detail, but in the air, we'd see less of the micro details (like the dings, dents, etc). An example of that would be in the air, we'd see an M1A2SEP2. On the ground, we'd see that MREs that the ground pounders threw in the turret bustle, the extra ammo cans for their .50cal, the pin-up poster taped to the back of the Commanders Hatch, and so on. For them, they wouldn't see the high detailed models of our own aircraft, unless it was one that was parked at an airfield they were actively trying to take over. For them, that Su25T is just, an Su25T, but for us DCS pilots, it's our personal Su25T with a Russian Memphis Belle painted on the side.

 

What do you guys think of that?

 

There is more good news - what you describe is already implemented. It does not require multiple versions of the game, merely that the individual clients that connect to the 'world' server use a technique calle  'automatic LOD' - automatic level of detail switching (thankfully you seem to already know 99% of that, at least you are referring to it by the correct acronym). LOD works by substituting different Detail Qualities depending on your distance for terrain (including trees), objects, textures and effects. AFAIK, DCS's shaders currently support 3 to 5 levels of detail. That means that for every (or most) 3D objects in the game, DCS supplies 3 to 5 versions - from simple, low poly to highly detailed hi-poly, with low-resolution textures to high-resolution textures and lighting. That is how in an MP game I can hover over a highly detailed patch of grass in my helicopter and load in a high-detail soldier that stood next to a high-detail wreck, while you fly cover in your Hornet 20'000 feet above me and only see some smoke and perhaps the odd brownish pixel. As you correctly state, each client basically runs their own game, fed by the data retrieved from the server - that is (well, mostly) how DCS MP works. Then again, in a sense, you are correct: each model (Hornet, Huey, Harrier) *can* be seen as their own version of the game that connects to the server, so a ground-only module (like CA) would 'only' require a 'foot soldier' module that connects to the game (world) server, and you are all set. 

 


Edited by cfrag
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