My take on Patch 4.11 and some interesting data
Seems anything these days from Sarah Palin's latest hair style to the Super Bowl champs can elicit controversy and heated arguments. Perhaps the internet is just making us all a tad bit more argumentative since we can do so under fake aliases far from direct rebuttal. Whatever the truth may be, Team Daidalos has released their latest Patch 4.11 and the consensus vote as I see it, seems to be roughly 50 to 60% loving it and 10 to 20% on the fence and 30% disliking it.
While not a hater, the patch for me has some significant low points that almost erase away all of its AI and 6DOF goodness. More importantly, it alters the landscape of online play in a quite noticeable manner. When I first tested the patch in online combat, I was fairly pissed (we will see the stats here in a minute). The beautiful Focke-Wulfs, and TA-152s were all reduced in their flight models. Across the board, a new overheat algorithm was introduced to make the game 'more COD like'. (notice I did not say more realistic, although, many would argue with me on this point) And this overheat model, severely impacts some planes more than others. In particular, many of the American airframes that were traditionally used as Boom and zoom planes, were acutely affected. To get a sense for the patch, take a look at some simple runs you can do at your home with the quick mission builder (QMB) on the Crimea map at noon:
For the TA-152 H1, we have -
In patch, 4.10.1 it goes (and can maintain for some minutes) ~ 575 kph on WEP at 102/103% power at sea level in level flight, without riding into overheat. We will call this, its maximum speed without overheat.
In patch 4.11, it goes (and can only maintain) ~ 530 kph at 99% throttle with no WEP and auto pitch, for some minutes at sea level in level flight. Any more throttle, adding WEP or making pitch adjustments and overheat comes very quick (unless you drop pitch considerably, in which case you cannot approach the magic 530 kph number). A 45 kph drop is a serious adjustment indeed.
For the FW Dora D9 1944, we have -
Patch 4.10.1 maximum speed without overheat is ~580 to 585 kph, but in Patch 4.11 it is ~ 530 kph.
For the FW Anton A9, we have -
Patch 4.10.1 maximum speed without overheat is ~565 kph, but in Patch 4.11, it is ~525 to 530 kph.
For the Spit 25lbs, we have -
Patch 4.10.1 maximum speed without overheat is ~545 to 550 kph, but in Patch 4.11, it is ~530 to 535 kph.
For the 185 M-71, we have -
Patch 4.10.1 maximum speed without overheat is ~ 580 kph, but in Patch 4.11, it is 570 kph.
For the La7 3XB20, we have -
Patch 4.10.1 maximum speed without overheat is ~580 kph, but in Patch 4.11, it is ~555 to 560 kph.
I could go on, but I will stop here. Seems like a random set of results until we take a closer look and see this:
Overheat algorithm differences:
Turn and Burn planes:
185 M-71 10 kph drop in maximum speed from patch 4.10.1 to 4.11 (and across most altitudes)
Spit 25lbs 15 kph drop in maximum speed from 4.10.1 to 4.11.
La7 3XB20 22 or 23 kph drop in maximum speed from 4.10.1 to 4.11
Boom and Zoom planes:
FW Anton A9 37 kph drop
FW Dora D9 1945 42 kph drop
TA-152 H1 45 kph drop
FW Dora D9 1944 52 kph drop
You will notice that the overheat algorithm applied in patch 4.11 does not affect the top speed that you maintain in turn and burn planes that much. It does however, greatly effect many of the boom and zoom fighters. Why would this be important ? Lets, take a look at an example using the TA-152-H1:
In Patch 4.10.1 - I come up from making a boom pass on some guy in my TA-152 H1 and see a 185 M-71 approaching at my 10 o'clock. I put in a little coordinated turn, take an angled shot, and lets say I miss. So I continue flying past and move out of theater at about 570 kph. The 185 after he passes me, pulls to a quick hammerhead and reverses 180 degress to give chase, but he is already 1.8 km back by that time and though he can reach 580 kph level flight speed, I can reach ~ 570 or 575, it will be almost six minutes before he can catch me (the delta T from d=vt), and by that time , even in 4.10.1 he is in serious overheat, or I have made it back under my side's friendlies above, and he must break off or be shot down.
With Patch 4.11 - Now the 185 M-71 can give chase, and do so at 570 kph for quite a bit before he reaches overheat. I continue to stay straight and run from him, but my speed gradually deteriorates to ~ 530 kph (to push any harder and my engine blows) and he catches me before I reach friendly lines or before his engine goes. Not only this, but the difference is now not six minutes, but less than two. In less than 1/3 of the time required in Patch 4.10.1, I can be caught. And this means my boom and zoom plane is no longer zooming, it is now a boom and bail plane. Call it a kamikaze if you like. I have no option, I must cool my engine, and I can do nothing to increase the separation distance faster than about 530 kph. I will be caught by most late war turn and burn planes.
That is a game changer. It is a patch which hits BnZ planes hard (like the FW, the P51, the TA and Tempy) but leaves little restriction on the Spits, 185s and to a lesser extent the La's. Sure, I know... I know. Someone will say, come in 2000m even higher, or make sure you leave 2000m to dive away from, etc.... And usually I do, but that is why the overheat model needs reconsideration. It gets even worse, when you dig into the historical data. While I dont have time to dig into every plane's historical records from the manufacturer, I did look at two closely (the TA-152 H1 and the F4U-D Corsair) since Patch 4.11 came out. For the TA-152 H1, I found these two books which contain actual copies of flight test data from Kurt Tank:http://www.amazon.com/Focke-Wulf-Ta-152-Thomas-Hitchcock/dp/0914144537http://www.amazon.com/Focke-Wulf-Ta-152-Luftwaffes-High-Altitude/dp/0764308602
The Hitchcock book says the Ta 152-H1 could hit 598 kph sustained at sea level with the MW-50 boost for eight minutes and 58 seconds, before engine overheat damage began. (the Hitchcock book also shows copies of the Luftwaffe records from the flight trials) The Harmann book gives the level flight, sea level max speed at 609 kph with MW-50 and also lists 8 min and 58 seconds of boost without engine overheat at this speed. The Harmann book also lists the 598 kph figure but says that pilots in testing were able to optimize that for an extra 10 kph.
The Ta 152-H1 in Patch 4.11 can do max sustained of 530 kph without engine overheat, on the Crimea map with the quick mission builder (you can do faster but engine overheat will quickly come on). The difference between the real world data and the new Team D model is quite frankly,
For the F4U-D Corsair, the actual Chance Vought (the manufacturer) tested specs for the F4U-D (1944) Corsair, found here:http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/f4u/f4u.html
Give the following info:
On 100% power, no WEP - 318 mph (or 511 kph), at sea level, in level flight - This can be reached with 4.10.1 or 4.11. At this power level, with 2700 rpms for the Wasp, no overheat should occur in the first 30 minutes.. In 4.11, overheat kicks in after a few minutes (at about 2min 37 sec on my test run). (one caveat though, in real life they rode with the cowl full open and achieved 318 mph. If 4.10.1 or 4.11, you cannot achieve this 510 kph mark with the cowl full open. And this is also a requirement to reach the needed cooling for full 2700 rpm operation, so that no overheat ever occurs).
On 110% power, full WEP - 358 mph (or 576 kph) at sea level, in level flight - This can never be reached in 4.10.1 or 4.11. It also lists (second link in the final list) that water injection (full WEP) at 110% power can be maintained in level flight at sea level for 5 min and 37 sec before engine overheat begins. In 4.11, on the Crimea map, overheat kicks in at 91 seconds and top speed is 550 kph.
So, for two planes for which I can locate exact manufacturer data, the difference between what they did in real life and Patch 4.11 is huge. I am investigating the P51 Mustangs currently, but from exact copies of flight testing done by North American Aviation and the USAAF, the results once again, between Patch 4.11 mustangs and real life mustangs is huge (another post perhaps later when I finish up checking some historical records).
Let me address another nagging issue of Patch 4.11. It is biased to radial engines. According to the core programmers of Team D who designed the overheat algorithm, a radial engine will be more resistant to overheating. In actuality, this is often not the case. Have you ever seen the temperature differences between a properly water cooled desktop computer versus an air cooled one ? Properly designed and implemented water cooled engines (like the P51 Rolls-Royce) are not resistant to gunfire or AAA like a radial engine. That much is true. However, they are extremely durable when it comes to the overheat department (it is in fact part of the reasoning behind their design spec). Something for you IL2 fliers to mull over for a bit.
Now, with all that said, Do I expect Team D to have fixed all of Team Olegs mistakes and have every single flight model spot on? Hell no. In a sim as big and as old as IL2 1946, I dont think every mistake can be fixed in a day. I will say however, that for items like the P51 and the Corsair models, people have been screaming about this for ten years now. Do I believe that Team D is biased to allied planes over axis planes. No, I dont. I believe that Team D, which includes 22 members, is leveraging this patch based upon what three core programmers have added to the flight models and the inclusion of the overheat algorithm (more than that can program but the bulk of the actual algorithm design is left to those three). They are adding or subtracting from flight models based upon their interpretation of what they think flight testing shows (in fact, no one knows, since these three have never said anything publicly about the sources they use for changing flight model data or their decision making process). And we have to take their word for it, even if behind the scenes they dont know what they are doing, or if they are using incorrect data. To make matters worse, of these three core programmers, two dont fly online and the one that does, flies mainly the 185 M-71.
Finally, let me address one of the largest points of contention over the last ten years; The performance of American planes in IL2.
If a group of Iraqi programmers designed a sim about the air war during the Iran-Iraq war (1980 to 1988), do you believe the Iranian planes would be modeled correctly ? Even if the Iraqis tried their best to maintain strict fairness, do you believe any bias would seep in ?
For ten years now, American planes in IL2 have basically taken it in the butt. Patch 4.11 not only continues this trend, it exacerbates it, primarily due to the overheat model. Try flying the P51 around all the time at 60 or 70% pitch and power while fighting a 185 M-71 flying at 110% power without overheat on WEP for a fun time. The historical record shows increased performance across the board for most late-war American planes compared to what we have in Patch 4.11 (or 4.10.1 for that matter).
Isnt it about time, we Americans stopped getting the shaft ? Many of the flight models for our nationality need to be corrected and not in Patch 4.42, but Patch 4.12.
What has been the reception from official Team D members?
.. Well, to be honest,
.mostly a cold shoulder. If you go here:http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/forumdisplay.php?f=98
or here: http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/forumdisplay.php?f=202
And ask any serious question, such as:
Can you describe the specifics of how the overheat algorithm is applied ?
Why was the Corsair center of gravity changed in 4.11 ?
Upon what data are you basing the reduced performance of the TA-152 H1 in patch 4.11 ?
You will be greeted with no response from Team D.
Actually, you will be greeted by plenty of responses in the forums, but almost none from official Team D members, and the few replies they post are very detail lacking. At first, I thought, well it is just me, WhistlinggDeath's bombastic online nature that they are avoiding. So, I had a few other Hyperlobby fliers ask them different questions related to some of the specifics of patch 4.11, and so far, after ten days now,
. no response to any of the four of us. Many others (including several members of Team USN and others) have posted asking for specifics about overheat parameters, F4U Corsair changes, FW changes, etc... to basically be put on ignore.
Now some would say, Hey WD, why dont you close your $%^#@$! piehole, and be happy it is free ? Well, point taken, but what about the finely tuned and balanced sim that was handed over to Team D from Oleg's work that should not be upset ? Just because McDonalds always puts a pickle on my cheeseburger does not mean I want to eat it. So far, I can find no evidence that Team D is basing their new flight models on actual historical data. For all I can tell, several members of Team D could be turn and burn newbies who in fact, cannot competently fly a difficult plane like the P51 D-NT. So far, I can find no evidence that Team D is applying their overheat algorithm correctly or fairly (a 185 M-71 that only suffers a 10 kph drop in speed is not equivalent to a TA-152 H1 that suffers a 45 kph drop in speed). For me, this adds up to the totality that Patch 4.11 is an interpretation of what Team D would like for IL2 to become and they dont really give a damn what your opinion is. Of course, I did say at the beginning that perhaps 50 to 60% of people seem to love the patch (I think I would too, if I flew primarily offline), so perhaps for them, any added overheat realism, even if it is broken realism,
. is an improvement. Time will tell, but I think Patch 4.11 is a sweet upgrade to offline fliers, a pure cheesecake gift to online turn and burn pilots and a giant downgrade to more realistic boom and zoom and American pilots who fly online.
Does anyone have any evidence (meaning copies of actual records, test flight data, etc... ) that shows that the new Patch 4.11 changes are indeed correct ?