These DCS A-10C v1.1.0 low-level flight experiments were kept deliberately simple and prosaic. Nothing complicated was attempted and basically the AI takes-off then flies over a coastal plain, over a few small hills, up a steep valley and over a dam wall and lake, then over a few ridge lines connecting classic deep glacial valleys, at a suitably low-level to avoid early detection and warnings by medium range GBAD radar. All waypoints in the flight are thus set to 65m AGL (~200 feet AGL). This is a very low level of flight, but strike pilots are typically trained extensively to do this consistently. I of course realise the Ai in this program, nor any human or aircraft can fixate rigidly on maintaining that sort of height, in practice (though pending death would help). But what I do expect and what should occur is that the Ai will try to smoothly and efficiently attempt to approximate a 65m AGL within the smoother valley floors, and also to not exceed 65m AGL by much as it noses over any high ridgeline, and to be back well below it again within a few seconds.
I wanted to see if the Ai would again begin to fly over the dam lake at a steady 65m AGL, and it did, but as soon as it reached the end of the lake and met terrain again any semblance of low-level flight became a debacle, leading to crashes into terrain, and the ludicrous 'heavy-metal yo-yo' behaviour as the AI repeatedly over and under reacts to the changing contours of rising and falling terrain.
The flight plan follows the valley WNW for about 150 km and the flight emerges from terrain masking, back toward the edge of the coastal plain near the SAM site, thus unmasking from cover at waypoint 16, and either attacking, or else RECON of the SAM site, then a rapid dash back into steep terrain. I tried this exact same rout and SAM placements for SEAD, CAS and RECON modes with Western and Russian types, to see the effect of weapons on the Ai.
All the aircraft in these tracks were set to EXCELLENT AI setting, and the opposing SAMs are set to AVERAGE AI level. The tests were done with a Tornado (1 & 2), Su25T (3) and Su34 (4).
TRACK 1 http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?325zlbv6mj8m0cd
The first track shows a 4-ship Tornado EXCELLENT SEAD flight armed with ALARM and Sidewinders, that takes off then completely ignores the mission flight plan's waypoints and instead flew almost directly on a track to the nearest (Buk) emitter and attacked it from about 2,000 feet up (despite being set to 65m), where upon all 4 aircraft were systematically destroyed. Some of the SAM units were destroyed. There were no tactical 'pop-ups' of pincer manoeuvres used by the Ai, to find it's targets and fire, then dive back towards radar degrading clutter, and terrain-masking. The Ai RWR should sense the emitter type and thus fly an appropriate arc to avoid a direct pass over or too close approach to the SAM (Buk, with TORs and Tunguskas nearby). Instead the SEAD aircraft simply flew straight in at about 1,800 feet AGL toward and over multiple active SAM systems, in full and continuous radar view. Naturally all aircraft got wasted. Thus tactical target 'addressing' was a complete FAIL also, and thus egress and RTB observations were not applicable. FAIL
TRACK 2 http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?815j26xrrxhp2oa
This attempt worked only slightly better -- i.e. extremely badly. It is exactly the same scenario as Track 1, except this time I removed the ALARMS and other weapons and set the Tornado to EXCELLENT RECON role. So a 4-ship RECON flight takes off and does attempt to follow the mission waypoint plan this time. The usual absurd yo-yo routine as aircraft leap vertically up to 5,000 feet AGL soon develops. But it's worse than what you see in LOMAC and FC1 and 2, because the DCS aircraft fly an open formation in transit, so only the lead aircraft flies down the actual path plotted through the valley, so it the only one able to meet the time speed and alt requirements. The rest are all over the shop and the flight becomes very disorderly, disconnected and uncoordinated. Thus it can not reach the waypoints as planned and tactical surprise and coordinated time-compressed attacks are also completely out of the question with such a chaotic nonsense of yo-yo-ing aircraft. They are highly visible to any EW or AEW or even fighter radars, much of the time, thus completely defeating the point of planning a low-level undetected approach. And keeping ultra low most of the time is the only way you're going to minimise detection and break tracking by AEW and vectored fighters.
The manic yo-yo-ing finally stopped only when one crashed and the others finally ran low on fuel while still about 120 kms short of their closest approach to the recon 'target' area. Yeah, that's right, they got about 50 kms along the flight path before they ran out of fuel, caused by a combination of the aircraft not having the flight performance envelope necessary to reach the next turnpoint, due to the ridiculous afterburning climbs to avoid a ridge line that is soon >2,000 meters below!
Pure FAIL insanity - DCS - digital COMBAT simulation
The mission planner provides no feedback of the intended flight path's consequences regarding topographical profile changes directly along the planned flight path transect, and it does not calculate the turn radius arc and pitch radius arc sizes required to pass smoothly at about 65m (instead of >2,000m) above the ridgelines. The mission planning system itself needs to be forward-looking, even as the plan is being manually created, in order to anticipate and calculate to and inform the mission builder something like;
"This aircraft type at that height and temp, with that load-out, at that speed, in that flight formation, can not make the turn radius requirement to the next waypoint, or else it can not pitch sufficiently to nose-over the next ridgeline. Please manually move the waypoint further away until it can, or else allow auto adjustment to speed, load-out or waypoint location (in that order) so the aircraft can make that turn.
Do you want to auto adjust now? [Yes] [No], etc.
The mission planner should simultaneously recalculate if the aircraft is going to have sufficient fuel to complete the planned waypoint route for the attack and RTB. If no, the fuel should be increased, or waypoints edited, or else speed reduced, until it can achieve RTB at the planned base, with a sufficient fuel reserve buffer for emergency evasion needs.
I personally think an emergency evasion from actual direct attack by fighters or SAMs, or from mechanical failure and damage are the only valid reasons for ANY aircraft to autonomously disregard flight plan waypoint details. In which case a low level flight SHOULD STILL KEEP FLYING AT LOW LEVEL, and the aircraft should RTB as a soft 'mission kill'. You should be informed of its failure to achieve its planned task.
TRACK 3 http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?9fyu1bah2n6p1b6
With this track I took exactly the same scenario as the first two and simply replaced the Tornado with the Su25T, and swapped the Russian SAMs for NATO medium and short range Hawk, Avenger and Chaparral units in unchanged locations. I gave the Su25T EXCELLENT CAS role, with no weapons. The track developed in much the same way as Track 2, except the combination of the Su25's lower performance and the open formation within a narrow valley led to it being more prone to collide with high terrain. But the three surviving aircraft eventually simply gave up on terrain-following yo-yo-ing altogether the moment they flew high enough (thousands of feet above a ridgekine) to be detected by the Hawk SAM radar once in range of it. Thus once an aircraft is detected by the Hawk SAM radar it then flies level at about 2,000 feet AGL!
The completely wrong tactical response!
But the aircraft that are disordered and have fallen behind due to the open formation keep on yo-yo-ing until they also are individually detected, then they too fly level at about 2000 feet AGL in view of the SAM system. Now common sense would tell a pilot this is a particularly dumb thing to be doing right in front of a Hawk battery, especially when there's a deep valley right below you.
But the DCS AI is indeed depressed, at it's general inability to fly low-level, so is ready to end it all.
Thus the remaining aircraft fly toward the SAM in lower mid-level flight, totally ignoring their 65m AGL mission planning waypoint alt level, plus they're now strung-out over a 6 to 7 km distance, due to the yo-yo nonsense. So they independently trundle towards their dooms, with the airbase's SAM defences whereupon they are one after the other blown out of the sky without further ado. Good riddance. But if there were AEW and fighters around, they would not have made it even that far anyway.
Turkey shoot = SYSTEMATIC Ai FAILURE
TRACK 4 http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?82y8dw9uy29rl8j
Exactly the same as Track 3, except I replaced the Su25s with Su34 in EXCELLENT RUNWAY ATTACK role, with iron bombs to see if they could fly any more sanely, but they were even worse than the others, with three of them crashing into terrain, and the fourth did so many afterburning yo-yo's that it simply ran out of fuel, aborted to the nearest runway. This is an aircraft with a loaded combat range of several thousand kilometres!!! But it could not make a 200km low-level attack because of the staggering inefficiency of the way the aircraft attempt to fly at low-levels.
Another sad and pathetic EPIC FAIL of low-level attack flight tactics. I considered making another track with the A-10C, but what's the point, the whole thing is the mother of all cluster effs.
What I'm most appalled by is to see a supposedly dedicated low-level flight attack combat sim, in this ludicrous state of terrain following and target addressing dysfunction. This is actually supposed to be a Hi-Fi simuilation of low-level ground-attack! WTF?!
I won't dwell on that, but I suggest to the developers of FC3.0 that if a flight is set to fly below 200m AGL in the planner that formation should automatically change from open formation to line-astern formation to prevent the sort of transitory discombobulation and carnage that results from open formation transits at low level. And if set to go above 200m AGL by all means use open formation.
I would also add that the ground attack aircraft still actually need a pre-attack IP waypoint where the AI switches from a line a-stern transit NAV formation, to an open attack formation (STILL AT LOW LEVEL!!!) and that attacks should remain from 65m AGL so that a multi-axis pincer of low-level arcing/flanking manoeuvres (say 45 degrees either side of the target, from the IP), and flying brief tactical pop-ups and turns-toward the target manoeuvres to quickly find targets and fire weapons, then to pop-down into the weeds again and turn parallel away again of the beam, to minimise exposure, plus make the SAMs work much harder for their lock and kill.
The aircraft should make one or at the most two concerted attacks, in quick succession to minimise total exposure time, each with multiple SEAD weapons released, then immediately fly directly toward the next planned waypoint, at very low level to egress and recombine the flight in a line-astern formation at the next waypoint for a low-level RTB (an AEW, fighter and SAM evading withdrawal).
Aircraft should on no account swan-about @ 2,000 feet AGL, within the vacinity of defended targets. I really don't know why I nor anyone else has to explain these things or has to take the time to explicitly spell them out. If ED does not know the state of this sim's AI behaviour they are simply O U T O F T O U C H
If they know about it then why is it still like this? The Ai developers simply aren't reality-checking their output, or else are not permitted to develop them further by the Producer.
Tactics and the manner of target addressing matters greatly. The classic-case of low-level SEAD tactics being successfully used is the IDF's F-4 operations over the Bekkar Valley against Syrian SAM sites, in1982. The Syrian SAMs were almost completely wiped-out while the IDF lost zero SEAD attack aircraft. This sort of tactic is what I expect to be able to routinely plan for and execute within Lock On FC2.1 or DCS. Since LOMAC v1.0 to the present day, this series has been totally incapable of doing anything even remotely like this. Within DCS it actually got more dysfunctional.
An excerpt from: “FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL” - interview with Israeli Airforce regarding the 1982 "air war" over the Bekkar Valley eastern Lebanon (3832, Nov 16th1982)
F.I.: What types of electronic warfare were used?
IAF: You don't expect us to tell you that, do you? Electronic warfare was used all the place, all the time, by both sides.
F.I.: Was the Hawkeye effective?
IAF: It was used all the time. It can close the gaps in ground radar and lets us see the targets as they take off, never mind where they are within 200 miles.
F.I.: How did you out the SAM sites?
IAF: It is difficult to tell you, for publication. Since we've not finished the war against the SAMs, all the ideas, tactics and weapon we have for them. Knocking them out was much simpler than some of the press reports imply. If I told you it was done with conventional iron bombs you wouldn't believe me. But that is how we did it - with bombs, COMING IN VERY LOW AND DESTROYING THEM ONE BY ONE. It is true we used many deception techniques, decoys and electronic warfare to help us get in, but we destroyed them with bombs.
F.I.: How did the Syrians counter your attacks?
IAF: They have the most complex and dense SAM system in the world: SAM-6, SAM-3, SAM-2. They are three or four Gun Dishes on every battles ( Gun Dish is the fire control radar used with both SAM-9 and the ZSU-23-4 self propelled quad-23mm AAA system) plus 23mm, 37mm, and 57mm AAA. They knew we were going to attack. They welcomed it, they were ready. The only thing is they put too much faith in their SAMs. Maybe they were misled by their initial success in the 1973 war. In the first few days then, we had to fight the Egyptian armour crossing thw Suez Canal and were vulnerable to the SAMs. But afterwards we destroyed 43 SAM batteries on the Egyptian side.
IF THE SYRIANS HAD STUDIED THAT WAR WELL, THEY WOULD HAVE SEEN THAT WE KNOCKED THEM OUT WITH THE SAME METHOD AS WE DID TODAY. The Syrians have invested 75% of their defense budget on ground-to-air defense. They've got three times as many SAM batteries as in 1973. They have 80,000 of their regular soldiers on SAMs, only the best - educated ones. They have 1,000 tanks without crews as a result. I don't know … they were so sure that we'd knock our heads on the SAMs, that they would work as the Russians said they would. Maybe they were led to believe that mobility would solve their problems.
They forgot that with mobility you forsake the protection of being dug in under cement cover, like they used to be. So when they are mobile they're above ground. Once above ground, A CLUSTER BOMB WILL KNOCK OUT A WHOLE BATTERY, SO THE ONLY PROBLEM IS TO FIND THE BATTERY.
F.I.: What about the use of drones against the SAMs?
IAF: We did use drones, but not specifically against SAMs. Drone use was exaggerated by Press reports. They're in the evaluation stage. It is a new weapon. We use drones throughout the war , that we used them on the days we knocked out the SAMs too, but not specifically for than reason, mainly to locate ground forces to attack them. But we used RPVs in all kinds of ways. We used them as decoys and for reconnaissance. And we used mini RPVs (IAI Scout). But the used of drones was exaggerated by the Press . I believe that we really don't yet know what it means to operate such a weapon.
F.I.: Are SAMs too highly rated?
IAF: I've mentioned the 1973 war. I don't know if you know, but in that war the Syrians and Egyptians together launched some 2600 SAMs. They hit only 39 of our aircraft. The rest of the 102 aircraft we lost were hit by AAA. By the way, they also shot down 45 of their own aircraft. The capabilities of their SAM system were exaggerated. They were led to believe that they were defended, with a clear sky, under the SAM umbrella. That's why they invested so much in the system. But in this war they lost 100 aircraft and all their SAMs in Lebanon. I believe the Syrians in a dilemma today.
F.I.: Then Russians are also in an air defense dilemma?
F.I.: Is it equipment or an operator problem? If Israelis had manned the SAM batteries, would the result have been different?
IAF: I don't think so. They made several mistakes but they did he best they could with the equipment they have. I believe that deficiencies of SAMs are such that, for us, it will never be a primary weapon.
F.I.: Why not?
IAF: It's a passive system. You invest money and manpower in a system which sits and waits for an air force to fly over it. An aircraft can be used for other purposes. I quoted the launching 2600 missiles in the 73 war. We launched 40-50 Hawks and killed 22 MiGs.
[CAPS my emphasis]
The key point above is the IDF were able in 1982 to routinely use terrain masking, "COMING IN VERY LOW AND DESTROYING THEM ONE BY ONE", through the valley terrain to take out whole SAM sites and the only complication was, "TO FIND THE BATTERY", and to blind it, rendering it ineffective.
As it turned out (and this article does not mention it) the IDF first used a very low-level approach and anti-radiation missiles, from F-4s, to take out EW and search radars, then Kfirs used pop-up "toss bombing", (possibly laser-guided and supported by special forces) from terrain-masked areas, to suppress lingering defences, that were flushed out via drones and decoys, then the IDF flew attack aircraft right in at very low levels and dropped cluster weapons on what remained of SAM site infrastructures.
See also: Operation Mole Cricket 19 - June 9, 1982
The Mastiff RPVs went in first to cause the Syrian SAMs to turn on their radars by convincing the Syrians that many attack aircraft were overhead. Once the Mastiffs were tracked by Syrian radar, the tracking signals were relayed to another Scout outside of the missiles' range. The Scout then relayed the signal to E2C Hawkeye aircraft orbiting off the coast. The data gathered was analyzed by the E2Cs and Boeing 707 ECM aircraft. Once the SAM crews fired missiles at the drones, the F-15s and F-16s provided air cover while F-4 Phantoms attacked the SAM batteries, destroying them with AGM-78 and AGM-45 anti-radiation missiles. The rapid flight time of the missiles minimized the F-4s' exposure to the SAMs. The Syrians reportedly fired 57 SA-6s, to no effect.
According to Ivry, many of the SAM batteries were on the Syrian side of the border. Said Eitan, "From the operational point of view I can say that we used the mini-RPVs, long before the war, to identify and locate all the Syrian missile batteries. We then used superior electronic devices which enabled us to "blind" or neutralize the missile sites' ground-to-air radar. We rendered them ineffective to take reliable fixes on our aircraft aloft. But in advance of direct aerial attacks, we used long-range artillery". The Syrians responded by launching about 100 fighter aircraft to stop the attacks.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mole_Cricket_19
As you may have realised, all the elements to acheive thios sort of lossless attack on sams and hardened targets is present in FC already. EXCEPT:
1) Ai has no ability to approach attack or egress in cover at low-level
2) Ai addresses and approaches the target in a completely suicidal way
3) Ai fails to egress immediately after a concerted but brief attack
4) Ai flies in extremely silly and inefficient ways, wasting fuel for no reason, and failing to RTB along the planned evasion route
Very low-level flight, in terrain masking mode, using SEAD weapons and ECM and drones is how you destroy such SAM systems. Lock On FC2.1 and DCS FC3.0 should be able to both plan and execute such very low level attacks, and suffer zero or nearly zero losses when planned and executed correctly.
All of this detailed terrain, detailed radar shadow modelling with clutter/noise degradation, and detailed modelling of SAM performances, but no capacity to use classic and prosaic low-level flight and attack tactics to address the needed target types, means you get a tactically senseless turkey-shoot every time. Not all attack aircraft fly day-or-night in any weather at low level, but those that were designed to definitely should.
At present there's no incentive to use the mission editor to plan strike attack packages as it just turns into a silly arcade-style shoot-'em-up that's not even remotely representative of actual air-to-ground and ground-to-air combat.
But if this all worked as it should then it would then be up to the individual planner/ mission commander and lead pilot to develop and use their skill and planning smarts to work out how to use what's available to best effect to destroy all of the enemy targets, and also survive.
In which case, instead of being given a finished mission plan (as FC does now in missions and campaigns) you could instead be presented with a defended primary target's location and (imperfect) recon intel, and asked to develop a tactical plan to kill the targets with minimal or no loses. This I would find vastly more engaging and enjoyable and provide an incentive to learn and get it right, because then its all down to how well you plan and fly and execute with coordinated timing.
Add a modern multi-role flyable supersonic low-level interdiction precision strike aircraft (not a mere battlefield CAS aircraft) and you've got combat sim nirvana, where any possible scenarios can be developed and planned out, and spectacular and tactically meaningful campaigns generated.
For me, if FC is not moving in that concerted direction, it's going to remain a low-level tactics joke.
This AI mess has gone far too long and I see no evidence that Eagle Dynamics has made any serious attempts to address these glaring and self-condemning deficiencies that I (and others) pointed out in detail to Matt and Karl, about six years ago. I can even provide links to the posts where this was previously discussed. They have known about these problems all along and have done nothing at all about it. It's clear to me now that ED is not serious, and has not been for a long time, about providing a realistic combat simulation. It flouts the terms DCS (digital COMBAT simulation) but it is just playing with 'techie' geekish details of avionics, sensors, comms and weapon's systems. The combat sim part itself is very much a secondary or tertiary consideration of the DCS producers, but it's actually the primary purpose for the customers.
In the absence of actual detailed developments aimed directly at addressing these crucial low-level air-combat simulation failures, as a fundamental core realism issue for ED, rather than just giving us more cheap vague verbal assurances of potential but nebulously inexact evolutionary progressions to come one day ... in a galaxy far, far away ... that's all this is being "considered" or else "seriously looked into", ... but alas, ... how sadly, ... it may not make it into this particular patch, or into this upcoming rendition, called FC3.0, due to production schedules, priorities, commercial constraints, and resource limitations ... oh blah, blah, f@cking-blah ... !!!
I've heard it all before.
I can even provide links to where such reassurances were given in the past when these things were discussed with ED. So no offence Nate, but I've heard these fob-off lines before, they amount to zip. Apparently that's the normal response that issues from ED to any real criticism of the state of things, when Matt in actual fact has no intention of ever doing anything about it. Firstly, you get a professed shared-concern, and collegial sincerity for getting these issues looked into and dealt with, but hey, we don't know precisely when this will occur, but do have faith in us dear customer, its already in the developmental pipeline, or soon will be.
Except that it isn't, and it never has been.
ED just says they're looking into it but they don't. Been there and done that Nate. So I'm rather cynical and out of patience for what Matt and ED spokespersons say, especially when they're always hedging, and failing to produce any improvement to the underlaying Ai catastrophe, but keep making 'new' sexed-up versions of the same underlaying dysfunctional tactical krud, with a few more ancillary (nice to have but non essential) baubles. The mission planner keeps getting expanded and reviewed, but the AI is never able to do what the mission planner can plan.
I can imagine how demoralised the mission editor programmers must feel to see such a system fatally hobbled by an AI that's incompatible with executing planned missions--and it's NEVER fixed!
Given all this, and the time that has elapsed I see no compelling reason to buy another Eagle Dynamics product as I see no evidence ED is in any way serious about creating a realistic tactical air combat simulation, with the core tactical aspects of low-level strike and interdiction combat.
I distinctly remember the first time I read the feature-list for LOMAC v1.0 and thinking - WTF?! No multi-role strike aircraft are on this feature list? What?! But we were all assured that plans were in the works toward that end, and all in good time little grass-hopper, al in good time ... well that time is well and truly up Matt.
$hit - or get off the potty!
In the low-level flight multi-ship package attack regime you only produced a shallow spectacle of generic air-battle 'cheese'. Actions not words Matt, because nothing you can say at this point is going to convince me you mean a damn word of it, or will deliver. ED is apparently pre-occupied with launching more and more high-brow commercial plans for this same underlaying broken-a$$ Ai, resulting in the usual tactical drivel with a new specular gloss. While everyone is still apparently cheaply quelled by the logical 'necessity' to go down this path, rather than make what exists, actually work properly. It's ridiculous, and it has gone on for far too long.
No more slack-cuts or giving you the benefit of the doubt. You've comprehensively blown it and will have to work very hard to get any of my money in future.
And to the DCS FC3.0 Beta testers;
I just want to convey this; If you're not going to hold ED's feet to the fire to create a tactical combat sim that actually functions and fights in realistic tactical ways, what exactly are you doing?
Does your definition of combat 'realism' mean you're prepared to agonise over avionics modes and such, whilst just accepting this absurd situation of a protracted thoroughly unrealistic tactical low-level combat that is almost completely dysfunctional?
I would hope not but why is it like this then -- still? I don't want any clever excuses. You're just being fobbed-off repeatedly by Ed's commercial production process and decision-making, that prioritises the development of ancillary gadgetry, that's all ultimately irrelevant if the underlaying tactical sim itself develops the air combat fight in a totally unrealistic and fundamentally porked way. You just passively accepting this absurd situation. Why are you content to let this sim remain in a complete mess like this? What's in it for you? So inside track news on the next version? So sense of collusion and attachment to these growing failures?
Look at those tracks and try telling me I'm wrong if you dare. What are you letting Ed off the hook so easily, giving them a free ride? Competition of ideas leads to excellence, not fawning sycophantic behaviours. It's necessary for creative and passionate people to push improvement for it to happen. If you don't push for it nothing will change. And almost nothing has changed in 6 to 7 years in terms of the parlous state of the low-level tactical combat, as described above1. Face it, Ed has gone stale, lost the creative spark, and so have you. You are simply not militating to add pressure for action to get these things addressed. You are being fobbed off by superficial small concessions and verbal gestures and flattery by ED.
And that's in part why it's STILL in a god-awful mess. You may even mostly fly on-line, and think the Ai is not so important to you, but even those SAM systems and ground forces are all Ai, and many of your opponent's attack flights are also Ai, and they can't execute low level plans, so you are not experiencing a low-level combat sim, but just the shabby appearance of it. So even in on-line play these systems can not and do not operate in realistic tactical combat modes, or roles.
Don't you want ED to fix this tactical mess? Why work on a 'new' version that doesn't fix any of this? I put this sim aside when FC1.1 was released because I was so disappointed by how it was performing. ED had basically ignored all of the issues discussed above, during FC1.1 development, even though these had been discussed at length openly prior to FC1.1 being even announced. Still, I regularly checked back on development to see if or when things moved forwards and matured, and was hopeful from reading glowing one-eyed reviews about FC2.1 that things had finally actually improved a lot.
But they haven't.
It's the exact same dysfunctional tactical Ai mess as LOMAC 1.0 and FC1.1, with almost ZERO significant improvements. Yes, there are minor but welcome tweaks here and there, but it's still completely porked as a tactical combat simulation. The lack of applied pressure is, in-part, why ED is still selling multiple versions of the same underlaying lemon to people who don't even comprehend how absurd it is in a low-level flight regimes and tactical employment regards, because they have not even known any sim that actually worked properly in those areas, or else are now habituated to the unrealistic stupidity that is FC and DCS.
Have a look at those tracks, or better still, make some yourself, then act on these observations. Be direct, don't just play-nice with ED, to avoid ruffling feathers. These guys need to be ruffled up as they aren't going to get the message loud and clear any other way. They have no passion for it any more. You know as well as I do that this comes down to ED's executive producer being out to lunch on these issues. He's clearly out of touch, or else blind to it all. He apparently thinks that the fact that a large chunk of the sim doesn't even work, is no biggie, no obstacle of selling more of this fault-ridden rubbish to more unsuspecting punters.
I won't respect or defer to that.
You may just see yourself as a beta-tester, of whatever ED condescends to provide to you for testing and reporting back observations, but you're collectively in a strong position to vigorously discuss and push ED to pull it's finger out, stop making the same lame old excuses and deliver a fixed Ai, and a low-level terrane following flight mode, capable of executing what's been planned so that stealthy strike attacks are both do-able, and survivable.
After all these years, do you still think ED (or Matt in particular) will EVER just get all this sorted out, one day, by themselves via making cumulative sequential "the right" commercial decisions and playing it safe?
It just isn't going to happen via that route--and so it hasn't. Matt will of course always come up with the next excuse as to why ED can't fix it right now, but will continue to offer the just over the horizon possibility of it eventually occurring ... in some great celestial commercial whet-dream time scenario ... in the fullness of time.
It's a fob-off.
ED's producers have by implication demonstrated that either they totally fail to grasp what's fundamentally wrong, or else, and I this is very much more likely, that Matt Wagner simply does not give a toss whether this 'sim' does not work, in any realistic tactical manner. His multi-year lack of prioritising the necessary resources and action to make it work, so that a mission plan is executed as planned (WYSIWYG missions), is self-evident and standing proof of this.
As are the tracks provided. I'm tired of endless excuses for this total failure and all the idiotic justifications for why it needs-be so, and I'm too peeved by the almost complete lack of forward progress after so many years, to be patient any more. Nor to buy into any more of this fetid promotional titillating swill coming from ED about how FC3.0 will make a significant difference to Eagle Dynamics' underlaying feet-of-clay, and the notion that it is a combat sim, par-excellence.
New blood ED.