So three years after my last post I had to return to this thread with some additional thoughts (think of this as a long awaited Part 3).
I absolutely love this sim. I've finally had some additional time to sit and enjoy WOFF:UE and my latest round of campaigns have been incredibly satisfying.
My 1918 pilot, Robert Olsen, is busy trying to stay alive with the 103rd down in Verdun. He's lucky to still be flying, after rolling his SPAD VII on takeoff on only his second mission. Thankfully, Olsen was only scraped up and a bit shaken, but none the worse for wear. He just completed his third mission and received his first confirmed kill. It was a white knuckle mission as our flight found a group of five German Rumpler's headed for a friendly airfield due West of Epernay. I attacked, using the iron sights to line up my target and after firing several long bursts into the Rumpler, I could see the machine stutter a bit in the air - perhaps the pilot was losing control. Then, as I closed within less than 10 meters, I fired one more burst and watched as the upper wings pancaked and took the plane right out of the air. Behind me, two wingmen were knocking down another Hun and I stared as the smoke trail curled in the air behind him. I then attacked another Rumpler, only to have my Vickers run dry before I could down him. I gritted my teeth and slowly turned for home as I watched the stricken bomber lumber back to his side of the lines - damaged, but in one piece nonetheless.
And that's when WOFF came alive yet again. This is a sim meant to be enjoyed without time compression, without visual aids, without help. It's a sim best served with cold realism. Heading back, knowing I was unarmed, I kept a worried glance over my shoulder, hoping there were no escorts around. Thankfully there weren't, and as I came down through the clouds I could see the sun breaking on the distance, and saw the warm light bathe the green fields below me on this cold February morning. I settled back and in an instant, remembered why I love flight sims so much - it's the flying. Adjusting my mixture and listening to my engine purr along, I just took in the scenery and the sights. Circling back at the field some twenty minutes later, I genuinely felt like I had gone somewhere else and back, rather than simply playing a game. I kicked the engine down, brought the plane in, and set down in time to hear the distant sound of a dark barking, and a gramophone playing.
This sim is just bloody marvelous and it makes me incredibly optimistic that my copy of WoTR will only improve with time. What makes WOFF:UE work so well is the atmosphere and the sense of danger. It's a game that can hold you hand if you want, but a simple tap of a few keys and there you are, back in WWI, no help, no aids, and only your wits to keep you alive.
So thank you again, for the umpteenth time, to Pol, Winder, Shred, OvS, Matt, and the entire crew for making this fantastic sim. As I mark my 20th year flying WWI kites in the virtual skies, I'm thankfully that WOFF is and remains on my modest hard drive.
Cheers! And enjoy this sim every chance you get!