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What Does It Take for terrain development choices?


Mike Force Team
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When I read international news, I learned that the United States has (had) military advisors in Taiwan.  The advisors were helping the Taiwanese military defenses deal with the recurring intrusions by the Chinese Air Force bombers and fighters.  For us virtual pilots, map campaigns in the Far East would inspire many missions and countless campaigns.   In the meantime, I know some various vendors are creating maps such as the South Atlantic Map.  What are the requirements from Eagle Dynamic's perspective to incentive them or a reputable software provider to create realistic maps that include Taiwan, China, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea?  

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7 часов назад, Mike Force Team сказал:

When I read international news, I learned that the United States has (had) military advisors in Taiwan.  The advisors were helping the Taiwanese military defenses deal with the recurring intrusions by the Chinese Air Force bombers and fighters.  For us virtual pilots, map campaigns in the Far East would inspire many missions and countless campaigns.   In the meantime, I know some various vendors are creating maps such as the South Atlantic Map.  What are the requirements from Eagle Dynamic's perspective to incentive them or a reputable software provider to create realistic maps that include Taiwan, China, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea?  

I'm going to pretend my opinion represents the entire DCS community for a second and say that all these should stand in line after Vietnam and Afghanistan that have been requested since time immemorial. I understand that Marianas are free so we can't really complain, but with 3d party devs choosing to make a theatre as massively significant in military history as the Falklands over any of the above I just don't know what to say anymore. It's like they're throwing darts in the map, and when the dart hits Vietnam and Afghanistan they just pull it out and try again, as if consumer demand does not exist in this area.

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The problem with DCS is that its USP is the thing holding it back, namely the glacially-slow development of modules (and even AI units), which in turn is due to our (as a community) demands for ultimate realism and fidelity of systems.  Factor in the sandbox nature of DCS, and we have a handful of units covering a time period of 70+ years and a bunch of seemingly unrelated maps.

Even if we had a Vietnam map, which units do we have that could realistically fight there?  The F-5 and UH-1 are too modern.  The F-14 could if you squint, but never really fought there.  Maybe when we get an A-6 and F-8 we might have something, but then it depends on the versions modelled.

Focus is what is needed.  Nobody wanted the Marianas.  Falklands is great, but it needs a SHAR and SuE at least to make it relevant.  Modern Falklands makes no sense.  Maybe when we get Eurofighter Typhoon, but again, we will be getting a German version first.  I know Razbam have plans for more South Atlantic modules, but what is the timescale, five years? ten?  Will I buy it? yes, of course, and it will be great, but that is not the point.

Syria is a versatile map, and a lot of the modern and LOMAC stuff fit in there, and Afghanistan would work in a similar way.  The SoH map seemed solely to be for the benefit of the Hornet.

DCS is trying to be too much, and this is ultimately why there is no coherence between the modules and the maps and what the players want.  Given a blank sheet of paper I would love to see DCS: Vietnam '68, or DCS: Falklands '82, DCS: Germany '88. DCS: Iraq '91, DCS: Afghanistan '06, etc.  Each fleshed out with relevant ground, naval and air units, with relevant FF modules.  The problem is, we are not starting with a blank sheet of paper, and it would be incredibly wasteful to throw away the excellent work which has been done so far.  This is not a complaint about what ED are doing, it's a wish for more, but since more takes time, it would be nice if they would focus on one period/conflict/region and finish it, before going somewhere else at random.

Regarding Korea and Taiwan, the elephant in the room is that any present-day conflict is going to involve lots of 5th-gen aircraft which do not feature is the DCS inventory, and realistically probably never will.  Again they would be great maps, but they would need to be modelled at a time which fits our current line up of assets, so 1990-2010 I guess.

A bit of a ramble I know, but just a few thoughts on the seeming lack of direction.

 

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I've said it before and I will say it again. The main problem in DCS is community separation. Having a paid map of this and paid map of that immediately activates a vicious cycle the Battlefield caught itself in at some point: there was a clear stratification of players by their pack, which reduced player involvement (if we're playing with friends and my friend goes to a map I don't have, instead of running to the store page and upgrading my pack, I just switch, like the most does), splits the playerbase and reduces overall interest in the game. In DCS this strategy is absolute: there are not even packs of maps, there are just separate paid maps. So to get something to play (a campaign), you have to have a corresponding module, a corresponding map and sometimes a corresponding vehicle pack. If you miss any of these, you're out. But you're not the only one out -- the campaign designer is also out on your purchase. ED is out on their cut of that. And perhaps there's not much to do for you in the game, so perhaps the community is out on you -- and you might just be that mission creator that would make a great campaign making studio for DCS. Which returns us to step 1, the lack of content to play. 

So about that China map. You'll fly over it for several weeks -- then what, exactly? Perhaps some Taiwan activist will create a campaign of "Defending THE Taiwan from hordes of evil Chinese MiGs", which will give you something to play for a fraction of time you dedicate to studying the module of choice. But activists burn out quickly on their bare enthusiasm, and without a reliable business model you can't create content at a steady pace -- while DCS model with it's "hit 3 of 3" strategy straight out prevents that. So even if you get this map, it won't hold your attention longer than any other one. Sad and true fact. 

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They are not vulching... they are STRAFING!!! :smartass::thumbup:

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9 hours ago, Lace said:

 

Nobody wanted the Marianas. 

I did. :smoke:

If the map is well made, and covers some area of the planet Earth, I want it.  

 

9 hours ago, Lace said:

 

DCS is trying to be too much, and this is ultimately why there is no coherence between the modules and the maps and what the players want. 

Give me maps and give me planes. I'll figure out what to do with them. 

 

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Some of the planes, but all of the maps!

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5 hours ago, Beirut said:

I did. :smoke:

If the map is well made, and covers some area of the planet Earth, I want it.  

 

Give me maps and give me planes. I'll figure out what to do with them. 

 

Well ok, yes, we all would like the whole planet modelled and useable for operations, but who honestly would have put the Marianas map above Fulda Gap, or GIUK, or Afghanistan, Iraq, Balkans, Korea, Vietnam, etc. in a wish list?  I know people wanted an all-water (i.e. high FPS) map for blue water carrier ops, but the Marianas isn't that. I know it is 'free' in the sense it is available as part of the core DCS game, but it is certainly not 'free' in terms of developer/programmer time.

Likewise the aircraft and assets.  Ideally we all want everything, but I'm not going to live to 200, so realistically we need focus.  Look at the asset database for Command:MO, there are literally tens-of-thousands of air, sea and land assets, from the end of WWII to the near future.  There is no way DCS can offer an authentic battlefield environment covering all regions and all timeframes of the 70 years through WWII to 2010ish, at least not to the level of fidelity and visual quality we as a community demand.

The result is lots of artistic licencing. F-16C standing in for an 'A' model.  Caucasus standing in for Norway, SoH standing in for Kuwait, M2000 for MIII, Syria for Afghanistan, etc etc.

This is not a complaint about the work ED are doing.  DCS is the flight sim I wished for as a kid in the late 80's/early 90's.  What they have achieved is amazing, but also frustrating, knowing that they produce a couple of FF modules a year (for 2021 we've had the Mi-24, Mosquito, and maybe the AH-64 will make it in).  How long will it take to get the aircraft I want? When will we see an F-111 (or any currently unmodeled a/c) for example? It doesn't feature on the roadmap, so maybe 2025+, but by then, how much time will be going into reworking the then older F/A-18C? Surely that will be due an update, so as the number of modules increases, it stands that the development time of new modules will also increase as time is dedicated to the updating and maintenance of existing modules.  So we may never see an F-111, which seems to be one of the most wished for a/c on the forums.  What does that mean for the less popular but still historically significant aircraft?  They have no chance.  Will we ever see FF A-models? Probably not, because why would the air-quakers buy something which is less capable than what is currently on offer? If there is no financial incentive for the developers, it won't be made, so there will always be massive holes in the inventory when it comes to flyable assets, which means DCS will never be the true sandbox it prides itself on being.  It is a sandbox in that it has no particular focus, but not in the wider sense of sandbox depth like C:MO.  Perhaps it should stop referring to itself as such.

Lifted straight from DCS World front page (and long overdue a re-write):

DCS is a true "sandbox" simulation that is also designed to cover multiple time periods of interest such as WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War and others. Current regions to battle include the Caucasus, Nevada Test and Training Range, and Normandy 1944. New maps in development include the Persian gulf, Syria and others.

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1 hour ago, Lace said:

Will we ever see FF A-models?

Try F-14A 🙂

Guys, you need to manage your expectations. It's good to have personal wishes and likes but DCS is what it is. Either you buy into it or not. You as a customer decide if it is worth your money. Btw, you can still fly it for free. That means whole beauty of Caucasus (with 4 seasons) and Marianas is available for you, ground pounding in Su-25T awaits you, flying in FF TF-51D welcomes you, day and night flying, great or bad weather, clouds, ME, MP, all for free out of the box.

Some of you seem to never be satisfied whatever module, map or asset they add. Go back 10 years and imagine what DCS players were doing back then? They were enjoying what was available then and having great fun - just like you can do now but with 10 times more modules and assets on 6! more maps instead of 1 (one), US carrier ops and much more. DCS, like every study sim is hard and complicated for most people - too real - making it whole world, every module and all for free will not raise the interest in virtual piloting suddenly - it will still be niche. So you're right that it is problem with the community separation - most people don't like to become pilots.

You want ALL and NOW and it is NOT possible. There will be no focus on some period, map or assets while stopping all the other work - that is also not possible. Like you already have seen - popularity is not the only deciding factor for making a module - so don't expect TOP 5 wishlist items to be the next modules, ever. Mind that DCS is strictly connected to the other non-public project by ED and their customers (who don't read our wishlists) may decide what will be available in the future DCS.

Let me remind you some of the factors deciding what map is going into the production, some of them you probably know:

- how will it work on currents PCs depending on the size and fidelity - it might be available only with the next gen engine

- devs' internal wishlist

- feasibility - work to do vs money and time needed

- politics

- how will it work with mission creation

- DCS users' wishlist (yes, they read and know what you want)

...

Regarding modules:

- feasibility - work to do vs money and time needed

- devs' internal wishlist

- license, law and/or available documentation problems

- how will it work in DCS depending on its role

- does it need additional tech like more than 2 crew/cockpits, stealth tech, AESA radar or more than 2 engines...

- how does it fit to current modules/maps/assests

- DCS users' wishlist

...

All in all you may never see your favorite module in DCS or things that you see in other games. Please, think about it for a moment. How does it affect your play now?


Edited by draconus
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1 minute ago, draconus said:

 

All in all you may never see your favorite module in DCS or things that you see in other games. Please, think about it for a moment. How does it affect your play now?

 

It doesn't.  I (and many others) will continue to buy every module and map released, as by doing so we are supporting a company, and maybe eventually we will get the ones we really want.  Ever the optimist.  Nobody is asking ED to do this all for free, most of us are willing and able to pay more for a module than some people would pay for a full game.  I don't see many threads about the costs.  I buy modules knowing full well I will never fly them, because it does nobody any good to see ED or any of the 3rd parties fail due to lack of sales.

What grates, is that DCS is effectively a monopoly.  It is the only high-fidelity modern combat flight simulator on the market, and the problem with monopolies is without competition it is very easy to get complacent.  Competition is healthy and DCS has none (excepting the other WWII sim, and the generation-older Viper sim).

Again, this sounds like a complaint, but it really isn't.  I fully understand commercial pressures, and that ED and The Battlefield Simulator have other non-commercial clients who pay far more for systems trainers.  Take it as a compliment that we users want it ALL and want it NOW.  It's only because ED are doing such a good job that there is such demand.  If the product was mediocre, nobody would care which modules or theatres were produced.  

As for the F-14A, that does give me hope that perhaps if HB can do it, it will maybe set a precedent that each module will cover a number of variants rather than one model/year/block.  This seems like low-hanging fruit and would add much more variety to the line up, and though I'm not the biggest Tomcat fan, it would be nice to see ED follow suit with an F-16A, F/A-18A, FF A-10A, etc.

Playing DCS is like taking pleasure in planting an avenue of oak trees.  You enjoy watching the saplings grow, and know that one day the mighty trees will make an impressive sight, but at the same time it brings sadness because you know that you will be long dead before that happens.

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2 hours ago, Lace said:

Well ok, yes, we all would like the whole planet modelled and useable for operations, but who honestly would have put the Marianas map above Fulda Gap, or GIUK, or Afghanistan, Iraq, Balkans, Korea, Vietnam, etc. in a wish list?

I don't think it's a question of "above", it's simply that the map is a enjoyable, a bit of a test for graphics, and free. We get a Pacific carrier map - soon(ish) to be a WWII Pacific carrier map - and it's a footstep into a whole new region with a very nice looking, albeit limited, terrain.

I really don't see any negatives. I see variety. And that's my favourite thing about DCS. 

 

2 hours ago, Lace said:

 

 I know people wanted an all-water (i.e. high FPS) map for blue water carrier ops, but the Marianas isn't that. I know it is 'free' in the sense it is available as part of the core DCS game, but it is certainly not 'free' in terms of developer/programmer time.

 

I'm as much a critical PITA as anyone here, but I feel I have limited authority over what the ED programmers (should) do. And I love free maps.

 

That said, I'm still waiting for my F-104. C'mon programmers!  :wassat:

 

2 hours ago, Lace said:

Likewise the aircraft and assets.  Ideally we all want everything, but I'm not going to live to 200, so realistically we need focus.

If you feel your lifespan is limited, then the need for focus is yours, my esteemed friend. :happy:

 

2 hours ago, Lace said:

Lifted straight from DCS World front page (and long overdue a re-write):

DCS is a true "sandbox" simulation that is also designed to cover multiple time periods of interest such as WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War and others. Current regions to battle include the Caucasus, Nevada Test and Training Range, and Normandy 1944. New maps in development include the Persian gulf, Syria and others.

I love my DCS sandbox. And what I love most is that it is a sandbox. 

 

Give me planes and give me maps. I'll do the rest.

Some of the planes, but all of the maps!

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  • BIGNEWY changed the title to What Does It Take for terrain development choices?
On 11/1/2021 at 12:58 AM, Mike Force Team said:

When I read international news, I learned that the United States has (had) military advisors in Taiwan.  The advisors were helping the Taiwanese military defenses deal with the recurring intrusions by the Chinese Air Force bombers and fighters.  For us virtual pilots, map campaigns in the Far East would inspire many missions and countless campaigns. 

Note this are TODAY'S news and DCS has only historical aircrafts, not today's standard aircrafts. Even Hornet or Viper or Apache we have are ~15 years old historical variants and 15 years ago nothing interesting in Taiwan straight was happening.

There are no F-35, F-22, AH-64E, F-15EX, B-2 Spirit etc in DCS so what would be the point of today's map not coherent with DCS aircrafts?

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When I read the international news, China's military build up of its military forces is discussed.  Since China has been spending billions of dollars in weapons' development research such as their hypersonic anti-ship missile, a DCS map for China would inspire many in creating missions and campaigns.  Virtual pilots can use their planes and jets to experience gaming.  To make more interesting game play, include the island of Taiwan.  Either Eagle Dynamics, Heat Blur, or knowledgeable programmers can create and sell versions of assorted Chinese jets, helicopters, and bombers.   

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You've been answered already.

Too soon, too modern, impossible to obtain data for proper simulation.

Please don't crosspost the same idea in the wrong section. Here's a better place for you:

https://forums.eagle.ru/forum/207-dcs-wishlist/

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18 hours ago, Mike Force Team said:

When I read the international news, China's military build up of its military forces is discussed.  Since China has been spending billions of dollars in weapons' development research such as their hypersonic anti-ship missile, a DCS map for China would inspire many in creating missions and campaigns.  Virtual pilots can use their planes and jets to experience gaming.  To make more interesting game play, include the island of Taiwan.  Either Eagle Dynamics, Heat Blur, or knowledgeable programmers can create and sell versions of assorted Chinese jets, helicopters, and bombers.   

I would buy but it would be a shit show. I will not buy another desert map. If they make Afghanistan or Iraq I will not buy. If they make Baltic map I will buy. Simple as.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

DCS World has:

  • F-86F-35 that is very close to the last model used in Korea.
  • MiG-15bis that flew in Korea.
  • Two P-51D variants that are very close to those that flew in Korea.
  • WW2 troop assets that are a very good approximation of US ground units that fought in Korea.
  • WW2 A-20 that is a passable approximation of the WW2 A-26 that flew in Korea as the B-26.
  • On the horizon is the F4U-1D with a WW2 aircraft carrier, which together is a passable approximation for the F4U-4 and upgraded WW2 aircraft carriers that participated in Korea.
  • There is a free B-29 mod that fits perfectly in Korea.

The Sunday update just focused on Korean War air combat. Would Korea not be a great terrain to have even if no other assets were added?

The popularity of WW2 sims pulled ED into spending as much time and money on WW2 as modern jets. Like most people, I love WW2 aircraft, but there has always been plenty of WW2 flight sim options. Korea hasn't really been done commercially since Rowan's MiG Alley in 1999. I would bet a decent Korea map would sell better than "the Channel".

 

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Korea 1952 map would be awesome even with the current modules we have.

Vietnam 68 we have not a single module from that war so no point of this map at the moment.

 

I agree with some of the points here tho. Like, PG map is very good, but why make it 2020 looks ? It's cool to fly it MSFS style and enjoy the fancy buildings of Dubai but not really even close for proper late 90s war environment. Why not make it look less "modern" and with more war atmosphere. 

Syria somewhat similar to PG even tho it's a bit better as syria cities aren't as fancy as Dubai even nowadays. 

I still think Caucasus is the best DCS map as it does not have that peace time fancy towns and airbases feeling. It works for any 90s-2000s scenarios. And 2nd to that is NTTR which is good to pretend some trainings and red flags. They could add some more bases and not rely on 476th to make it really a range but still.

Desert Storm 91 would be amazing too, but sadly we don't have a single FF module to support this scenario aside F-14A. 

Afghanistan late 90s early 2000s is what would shine in DCS but sadly we don't have it 😞

I personally would enjoy a lot more 80s, early 90s variants of the "modern" modules, more interesting and challenging than droping JDAMs from 50k and Amraams from 30 miles. Also a bit more simple to properly reproduce scenarios. 

But sadly some part of the community just want as more modern as possible for whatever reason that is.


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For Vietnam, DCS World has:

  • Free period correct A-4E-C that is as good or better than many payware modules.
  • MiG-19PF that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-19S.
  • MiG-21bis that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-21MF.
  • MiG-15bis that is acceptable as a MiG-17F, just lacking some power and speed.
  • F-5E-3 that is acceptable as the F-5E-1s that served just before the fall of South Vietnam and is an acceptable stand-in as an F-5A.
  • F-8J, A-6E, and A-7E currently in development will make Vietnam very doable.
  • VSN mods are good enough for AI eye candy providing the F-4, F-105, and A-6 for now.
  • VSN F-104G is close enough to the USAF F-104Cs that operated in Vietnam.
  • UH-1H that is close enough to UH-1Ds and UH-1Hs from Vietnam, and is acceptable as a UH-1B/C gunship.
  • There are long term plans to develop the F-4, which belongs more than any other aircraft on a Vietnam map.
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17 hours ago, streakeagle said:

For Vietnam, DCS World has:

  • Free period correct A-4E-C that is as good or better than many payware modules.
  • MiG-19PF that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-19S.
  • MiG-21bis that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-21MF.
  • MiG-15bis that is acceptable as a MiG-17F, just lacking some power and speed.
  • F-5E-3 that is acceptable as the F-5E-1s that served just before the fall of South Vietnam and is an acceptable stand-in as an F-5A.
  • F-8J, A-6E, and A-7E currently in development will make Vietnam very doable.
  • VSN mods are good enough for AI eye candy providing the F-4, F-105, and A-6 for now.
  • VSN F-104G is close enough to the USAF F-104Cs that operated in Vietnam.
  • UH-1H that is close enough to UH-1Ds and UH-1Hs from Vietnam, and is acceptable as a UH-1B/C gunship.
  • There are long term plans to develop the F-4, which belongs more than any other aircraft on a Vietnam map.

So aside from some mods (with a single aircraft module), nothing apart from stand-ins.

And personally, some of your "is almost perfect as" and "is acceptable as" seem pretty questionable.

As for the A-6E, we're getting at least a TRAM which is post Vietnam, and if its a WCSI or especially a SWIP even less so.

 


Edited by Northstar98
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10 hours ago, streakeagle said:

For Vietnam, DCS World has:

  • Free period correct A-4E-C that is as good or better than many payware modules.
  • MiG-19PF that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-19S.
  • MiG-21bis that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-21MF.
  • MiG-15bis that is acceptable as a MiG-17F, just lacking some power and speed.
  • F-5E-3 that is acceptable as the F-5E-1s that served just before the fall of South Vietnam and is an acceptable stand-in as an F-5A.
  • F-8J, A-6E, and A-7E currently in development will make Vietnam very doable.
  • VSN mods are good enough for AI eye candy providing the F-4, F-105, and A-6 for now.
  • VSN F-104G is close enough to the USAF F-104Cs that operated in Vietnam.
  • UH-1H that is close enough to UH-1Ds and UH-1Hs from Vietnam, and is acceptable as a UH-1B/C gunship.
  • There are long term plans to develop the F-4, which belongs more than any other aircraft on a Vietnam map.

Following your logic, Caucasus map is acceptable as Vietnam so you have it 😉

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11 часов назад, streakeagle сказал:

For Vietnam, DCS World has:

  • MiG-19PF that is almost perfect as a VPAF MiG-19S.
  • MiG-15bis that is acceptable as a MiG-17F, just lacking some power and speed.
  • UH-1H that is close enough to UH-1Ds and UH-1Hs from Vietnam, and is acceptable as a UH-1B/C gunship.

1. Razbam actually promised to make MiG-19S, not sure when or if it's still coming though.

2. MiG-17 is coming as well from Red Star Simulations, not much news about it either.

3. Not sure if I get it right, but a UH-1H is a UH-1H... right? :blink:

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9 hours ago, WarbossPetross said:

Not sure if I get it right, but a UH-1H is a UH-1H... right?

Afair our DCS UH-1H is rather 80s version aicraft.

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The weapons aspect of the UH-1H is little different than what was on UH-1B gunships.

The main advantages of the DCS UH-1H over Vietnam aircraft are a few newer/better instruments as well as a flare dispenser.

In 1972, SA-7 man pads were somewhat effective against the UH-1H, so if you look at photos from that era, you will see many UH-1Hs with the IR suppressor.

Australia had UH-1H gunships in Vietnam that were nearly identical to our version, which is where the forward gun mounts/aft rocket mounts loadout comes from.

US UH-1Hs were always slicks with at most door guns.

If you fly the Forgotten's Vietnam PVE server in DCS multiplayer, you will find that the only thing really missing is the correct terrain. The overall feel of operating A-4Es, F-5Es, and UH-1s on interdiction and close air support missions while fending off MiGs is both fun and not too far off from history. P-51s and P-47s are permitted as A-1 Skyraider substitutes (which the P-47 does really well in an available free SEA camo skin). AI F-4Es are on patrol as well. 

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On 11/30/2021 at 1:51 AM, metzger said:

Following your logic, Caucasus map is acceptable as Vietnam so you have it 😉

And so it is being used as best as possible until better is available on the Forgotten's Vietnam PVE server. But having the correct geography would be a much bigger improvement than tweaking the MiG-19, MiG-21, and F-5 to have proper versions. If the correct aircraft were available, there would be almost no change in the end-user experience: the aircraft would look nearly identical at combat ranges and have only slightly degraded cockpits and/or performance. But having cities without Eastern European names as well as having Thud Ridge, Hanoi, and the Red River would be amazing. Ground support missions are more about navigation and geography. Air combat can take place over an empty ocean and the experience largely remains the same. But attackers and defenders exploiting terrain features to their advantage is a big part of trying to get strike packages through the most heavily defended airspace in history.


Edited by streakeagle
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