Review: Falcon 4.0: Allied Force - Part
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Once you have entered the IP and hit
the JOIN button a small satellite window should open and a
bar will move across the window as the connection to the server
is made. If you have successfully set up your router and ports
this process should only take a few seconds. If your settings
are incorrect the window will alert you that a connection
was not able to be made and to check your ports and server
IP address. It took several different router configuration
tests before I was able to successfully connect. Once I had
the process figured out, each subsequent connect attempt only
took seconds. If you are having difficulty I would encourage
you to attempt to hook up via telephone or voice comms (such
as TeamSpeak or Ventrilo) to another experienced
user who can help you with the setup. When Tom Cofield first
attempted his connection we were able to point him at the
router setup web site www.portforward.com and give him a couple
tips, then he was soon connected.
Regarding the voice comms, we say TeamSpeak or
Ventrilo because F4:AF doesn't include an internal
communications module (except for the type-in chat window).
That's a shame because the keyboard route just doesn't get
it while in the heat of battle. Voice comms are a "must"
in F4:AF. Hopefully this will be one of the early additions
Lead Pursuit makes available in their updates.
Once you have connected, you can open
the MP CHAT box to type messages to other users that happen
to be in the chat room at the same time. I would encourage
the use of some form of voice chat software since it greatly
eases both the setup of the connection and the setup of the
game once you are connected.
We concentrated on multiplayer cooperative
missions with ground strikes because that puts more load on
a sims multiplayer system than head-to-head air-to-air combat.
The reason is, the sim needs to track more items with MP co-op
ground pounders. We also spend most all of our time on F4:AFs
Start a new campaign or if the server
has a campaign started already, then simply go to the CAMPAIGN
menu and after several seconds the campaign server name will
appear in the top of the box. In our case, we named our TEs
and campaigns "Gizmo". In order to join the game
select the name and then click COMMIT at the bottom right
corner of the screen.
One thing worth mentioning is that
when you click on the title of the named game that you wish
to join, it should turn green then you can hit the COMMIT
Once you hit the COMMIT button you
should be taken to the Rules of Engagement menu. In this menu,
if you are the server, you can set the ROE that you want to
authorize. If you are joining the server, you can select only
items on this menu that the server has authorized, but you
aren't forced to. For instance, the server can authorize the
use of labels and simplified flight model, but you don't have
to use those rules. You cannot however, use a selection that
the server has not authorized (you can't make the game any
easier than the minimum level the server has set).
The variable ROE for different members
is an outstanding feature that allows new F4 pilots to peacefully
coexist with veteran pilots. During our testing we had no
problems with some members using simplified settings (avionics)
and labels while other participants used nearly full realism
settings. We didn't have any stability problems during our
testing with mixing the two settings.
Once you have set the ROE click on
OK and you will be taken to either the TE planning screen
or the campaign planning screen where you can select a mission
from the Air Tasking Order (ATO). In this instance Doug (Gizmo)
and I (BeachAV8R) were flying on a 4-ship OCA strike. If you
are playing with two online players and two AI players it
makes sense to have the human players lead each element (flight
positions #1 and #3) since each human player will then control
their own wingman.
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