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#4271453 - 06/19/16 02:12 AM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: - Ice]  
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Originally Posted By: - Ice
When I last played DCS, I was concentrating on making a mission that would generate AI flights once a player was at an airfield or when at a certain distance during RTB. The idea here was to give the game a little more atmosphere. Because of all the "loading times" that I had to endure, well, I didn't endure it for long.

The first few flights I had with my buddies in Falcon 4 BMS, we were on egress and panicked as 4 blips seemed to be coming right for us. Turned out it was a flight of 4 F-15s on RTB and one of the players exclaimed "you don't see that in DCS!" and he was right. Most of the time, for that to happen, we would have to script it in ourselves. This time, we did none of that so nobody really had a clue whether it was friendlies or bogeys. Just the thought of that, the thought of stuff happening around you that most of the time have nothing at all to do with your mission, gives a very strong immersion factor. You are part of a theatre that is ALIVE, that is has so many things going on.

DCS could simulate such a thing with it's quick mission editor, but fly outside the "bubble" and there's nothing.

A lot of people like DCS because it gives them lots of aircraft to fly in. Sure. Some people love driving cars and don't realize they are doing so in an empty parking lot.

Dynamic campaign? Yeah, that won in one of the polls. Good luck with that. It seems like ED is having a hard enough time just making aircraft and scenery.


One of the main impulses for me to hit my target or destroy a plane is that, if I fail, I will cause someone on my side, be it a soldier or a pilot to die. So, I constantly think to myself "If I fail, this plane will go and bomb an airfield killing hundreds of friends! I better get this guy or people will die!". Or when I'm doing a CAS, and they are shooting at someone from NATO, I think "I have to kill that now, and make it stop shooting!". Sometimes , when I have left over missile or bombs on my plane I go target of opportunity hunting with the idea that, if I thin them enough, there will be less casualties.

I don't do any of that on DCS, if I fail to deliver something, I just restart, if for some reason someone on my side die, and wasn't scripted to recognize it, nothing will happen. If I go hunting for targets of opportunity, it will make no difference. If I go outside the bubble, as you mentioned, there is nothing... it is all so...lifeless!

That was a flight I had a few minutes ago, it was a magnificent failure! We got pounced by more than 6 Su-33's, we took a few of them out, but in the end, we couldn't stop them. I was the last pilot, took two down with guns, but I missed one, and that one shot me down with a missile and then with guns. Didn't even reach my target. My two wild weasel F-16 that were following me got shot down as well. It was...a disaster! And, this was completely out of the blue! It wasn't scripted, it was all by chance and choices made by the campaign.

It's tough when a 1995/1998 simulator beats DCS in immersion factor!

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4271502 - 06/19/16 11:57 AM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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that was always DiD strength - immersion, gameplay and an overall sense of fun.

nowadays - I get the most fun out of this



but in that screenshot, you have 4 developers dedicated to providing the most fun and immersion possible.

#4271506 - 06/19/16 12:23 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Tom_Weiss]  
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Originally Posted By: Tom_Weiss
but in that screenshot, you have 4 developers dedicated to providing the most fun and immersion possible.


You almost caused me physical damage there, the way my eyes rolled.

#4271509 - 06/19/16 12:38 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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wink

I remember back in the days of LO and FC1.1 how much effort I put in mission making, spent a tremendous amount of flying time testing them, always having to watch the FPS I got as the margin was so narrow.

#4271563 - 06/19/16 03:55 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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The version I enjoyed the most was Flanker 2.51, for me was the perfect balance between realism and mission options.


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#4271611 - 06/19/16 07:15 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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Excellent post and right on target DrStrangePool!

Another aspect of Falcon is that you know that even if you can "respawn," each airframe you lose is one less airframe for your squadron. If you don't take down those enemy fighters, they may well go behind your FLOT and wreck havoc on allied assets. Even if you save the campaign and in the back of your head, you're thinking "I can just reload anyway," that next flight won't exactly play out like the first one.


- Ice
#4271631 - 06/19/16 08:47 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool


I recognize that game! biggrin
Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool

It's tough when a 1995/1998 simulator beats DCS in immersion factor!

To be fair, the ground war is abstracted in both EF2000 and TAW. EF2000 (WARGEN1) abstracted it with airfield control based on turn and probability, and TAW (WARGEN2) had ground units planned, but then had them taken out because Atari rushed TAW to market. Falcon 4.0 (and to a lesser extent EECH) are the only flight sims that represent a ground war, and Falcon 4.0 can only due this because of the bubble system it uses. Also, Falcon 4.0's development effectively bankrupted Microprose, so I have a feeling that its campaign engine is a one-time-only deal.

ED has stated that they will not introduce a bubble system, as this goes against the philosophy of the military customers (which is to have the instructor/scenario designer have control over everything). I could see something like this happening with today's hardware as long as we had the following:
  • A dedicated server (with dedicated server software) that controls the entire battlefield
  • a ground bubble specifically for air clients, and an air bubble specifically for ground clients
  • Tasking specific to the client would always be part of their bubble (e.g. going to provide CAS to a unit currently outside the client's bubble)
  • Bubble size would be determined by the server, with possibly dynamic bubbles based on the number of clients

The bubbles would only apply to un-like units, e.g. the bubble for air units would only apply to seeing ground units and vice versa. Long range SAMs would need to be an exception, as the bubble would need to be at least 1.5 times their radar range (to allow for RWR hits).

This way ED could have their cake and eat it too. The server would keep track of everything, and since it has no requirement to render it could use the entire CPU to manage the battle as well as the information distribution. Clients would receive only the updates they need, which would keep internet traffic down, allow the CPU to deal with the client actions, and yet still not be unfairly surprised by threats since like platforms would be exceptions to the bubble. Of course, this would require some serious work in netcode, and it is a non-starter until at least the DCS 2.5+ dedicated server is released.


-Home Fries

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty."
- Robert A. Heinlein

The average naval aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring. These feelings just don't involve anyone else.

#4271633 - 06/19/16 08:56 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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to me, the high point was the Su-25T in FC1.1, in FC2 they made it too easy to fly and I lost interest.

#4271683 - 06/20/16 12:12 AM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: HomeFries]  
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Originally Posted By: HomeFries
Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool


I recognize that game! biggrin
Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool

It's tough when a 1995/1998 simulator beats DCS in immersion factor!

To be fair, the ground war is abstracted in both EF2000 and TAW. EF2000 (WARGEN1) abstracted it with airfield control based on turn and probability, and TAW (WARGEN2) had ground units planned, but then had them taken out because Atari rushed TAW to market. Falcon 4.0 (and to a lesser extent EECH) are the only flight sims that represent a ground war, and Falcon 4.0 can only due this because of the bubble system it uses. Also, Falcon 4.0's development effectively bankrupted Microprose, so I have a feeling that its campaign engine is a one-time-only deal.

ED has stated that they will not introduce a bubble system, as this goes against the philosophy of the military customers (which is to have the instructor/scenario designer have control over everything). I could see something like this happening with today's hardware as long as we had the following:
  • A dedicated server (with dedicated server software) that controls the entire battlefield
  • a ground bubble specifically for air clients, and an air bubble specifically for ground clients
  • Tasking specific to the client would always be part of their bubble (e.g. going to provide CAS to a unit currently outside the client's bubble)
  • Bubble size would be determined by the server, with possibly dynamic bubbles based on the number of clients

The bubbles would only apply to un-like units, e.g. the bubble for air units would only apply to seeing ground units and vice versa. Long range SAMs would need to be an exception, as the bubble would need to be at least 1.5 times their radar range (to allow for RWR hits).

This way ED could have their cake and eat it too. The server would keep track of everything, and since it has no requirement to render it could use the entire CPU to manage the battle as well as the information distribution. Clients would receive only the updates they need, which would keep internet traffic down, allow the CPU to deal with the client actions, and yet still not be unfairly surprised by threats since like platforms would be exceptions to the bubble. Of course, this would require some serious work in netcode, and it is a non-starter until at least the DCS 2.5+ dedicated server is released.


I love what you guys have done for EF2000 and TAW. Thank you so very, very, very, very much!! I love it so much that I spent a few days trying to troubleshoot or find a way for me to move the position of my joysticks at the game controller window. Sadly, I failed there, but found a workaround that I will share on combatsim forum. It may help someone else running the same problem as I am.

My main concern regarding DCS is that they should at least attempt to create this bubble for the civilian market, as in, us users. I'm sure that it will pay off in sales afterwards. Create a sort of system that runs in parallel with the current mission builder, when the user selects the dynamic campaign it runs that part of the code instead. When the user selects "user made or designed missions/campaign" it runs its current campaign engine/mission editor.

At least it would make a good, sizable chunk of the users happy.

Edit: I would be happy with a TAW/EF2000 or Strike Fighters dynamic campaign. Which would be a huge evolution to what we have now wink





Last edited by DrStrangePool; 06/20/16 06:20 AM. Reason: extra thoughts
#4271726 - 06/20/16 08:42 AM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool
Edit: I would be happy with a TAW/EF2000 or Strike Fighters dynamic campaign. Which would be a huge evolution to what we have now wink


Amen to that!


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#4271744 - 06/20/16 12:35 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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I think the lack of a dynamic campaign, AI etc. is down to pure lack of coding skills / willingness from the side of ED.

Think about the evolution since the Flanker series. Lock on came out and it was a huge step forward in terms of graphics, but not much in terms of anything else.
FC and DCS are still based on the same old Flanker. I'm not talking about flight dynamics, modules etc. I'm saying that all of these great modules are just add ons to a game from years ago, and that core code has not evolved. Pretty much the same can be said for BMS.

What changed since the original Flanker?
- Graphics
- AFM
- Advanced systems and avionics

What changed since Falcon 4.0?
- Graphics
- AFM
- Advanced systems and avionics (only for the F-16)

So I'd say they have been equally slow in development.

The difference is in the base product:

- Falcon 4.0 had the dynamic campaign and decent AI since the very beginning. BMS has these things today and capitalised on these tremendously.
- Flanker had none of those things, DCS has none of these things today.

The way I see it, ED has to start cooking something new, instead of adding water to the old soup.

#4271765 - 06/20/16 02:05 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: HomeFries]  
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Originally Posted By: HomeFries

ED has stated that they will not introduce a bubble system, as this goes against the philosophy of the military customers (which is to have the instructor/scenario designer have control over everything).


And this is why ED's business model is flawed as far as commercial customers are concerned...we're getting the scraps, we're not the focus, and they can't change that unless they separate out two branches entirely. I don't think they're getting the sales to warrant that investment in resources and manpower, although it could be argued they might get those sales if they did...

As has been pointed out here and elsewhere numerous times before, a military simulator and an entertainment simulator can be represented as a Venn diagram of two overlapping circles. Where they meet is the aspects common to both, but on either side you have features/requirements that are of no use or are directly detrimental to the other.

If we make the assumption that they are prioritizing the military customers, then the only solution that can make the entertainment side have what it needs is to separate them and stop unified development. I don't see that happening now, all these years after the split with Ubi, unless they partnered with a publisher again.



The Jedi Master


The anteater is wearing the bagel because he's a reindeer princess. -- my 4 yr old daughter
#4271769 - 06/20/16 02:10 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool

Edit: I would be happy with a TAW/EF2000 or Strike Fighters dynamic campaign. Which would be a huge evolution to what we have now wink

I can't argue with that. The SF2 campaign (really, dynamic mission designer, but it works for me) was fun, but something like that just screamed multiplayer. At least DCS has the multiplayer capability, so a SF2 type campaign would be a great start. Nice thing about the SF2 campaign is that it is very easy to modify, so we would have a lot of campaigns available in DCS if this ever happened.

There are quite a few things that SF2 did that DCS should implement, including the decal system (tiered and based on an ini file, not the 3DSMax object, so you could place dynamic decals anywhhere), the dynamic mission designer, and the campaign system where the same campaign could be flown by different aircraft, different sides, etc. for a completely different experience.

Maybe ED should hire TK on a contract basis if he's not to busy with Android apps. winkngrin


-Home Fries

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty."
- Robert A. Heinlein

The average naval aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring. These feelings just don't involve anyone else.

#4271794 - 06/20/16 03:35 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Paradaz]  
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And maybe he could build us a Phantom while he's at it!

#4271812 - 06/20/16 04:27 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: Stratos]  
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Originally Posted By: Stratos
The version I enjoyed the most was Flanker 2.51, for me was the perfect balance between realism and mission options.


+1. Best version of the sim.


"A little luck & a little government is necessary to get by, but only a fool places his complete trust in either one." - PJ O'Rourke

www.sixmanfootball.com
#4271901 - 06/20/16 09:18 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: bkthunder]  
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Originally Posted By: bkthunder
I'm saying that all of these great modules are just add ons to a game from years ago, and that core code has not evolved. Pretty much the same can be said for BMS.

<snip!>

So I'd say they have been equally slow in development.


It is not fair to compare DCS with BMS. One is being developed by its own set of programmers/coders with access to the source code and can change and modify as they see fit. Another is being developed by programmers/coders who do so in their spare time, with no pay, and working with a 14+ year old code and some things cannot change due to being hard-coded in the source. Therefore, changing "graphics" in one sim isn't the same as changing the "graphics" in the other sim, nor is the time and focus available equally to both parties.


- Ice
#4271929 - 06/20/16 11:44 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: HomeFries]  
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Originally Posted By: HomeFries
Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool

Edit: I would be happy with a TAW/EF2000 or Strike Fighters dynamic campaign. Which would be a huge evolution to what we have now wink

I can't argue with that. The SF2 campaign (really, dynamic mission designer, but it works for me) was fun, but something like that just screamed multiplayer. At least DCS has the multiplayer capability, so a SF2 type campaign would be a great start. Nice thing about the SF2 campaign is that it is very easy to modify, so we would have a lot of campaigns available in DCS if this ever happened.

There are quite a few things that SF2 did that DCS should implement, including the decal system (tiered and based on an ini file, not the 3DSMax object, so you could place dynamic decals anywhhere), the dynamic mission designer, and the campaign system where the same campaign could be flown by different aircraft, different sides, etc. for a completely different experience.

Maybe ED should hire TK on a contract basis if he's not to busy with Android apps. winkngrin


I couldn't agree more with what you said!

Now that you mention the decal implementation, it makes me miss the old Il-2 days where we could make some custom skin and people in the server would download and see them or even decals.

#4271955 - 06/21/16 02:31 AM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool

Now that you mention the decal implementation, it makes me miss the old Il-2 days where we could make some custom skin and people in the server would download and see them or even decals.

With 50-80Mb skins, that's not going to happen. However, if ED added decals to their flyable 3D objects and allowed the decal files to be downloaded (these are usually less than 1Mb), then we could at least see personalized aircraft within the default liveries.

I posted some things on the ED forums along this line, along with a CONOPS for a tiered decal system. Only reply I ever received on the decal post was TLDR. attack


-Home Fries

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty."
- Robert A. Heinlein

The average naval aviator, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy, and caring. These feelings just don't involve anyone else.

#4272084 - 06/21/16 06:02 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: HomeFries]  
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The master of the weird
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Originally Posted By: HomeFries
Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool

Now that you mention the decal implementation, it makes me miss the old Il-2 days where we could make some custom skin and people in the server would download and see them or even decals.

With 50-80Mb skins, that's not going to happen. However, if ED added decals to their flyable 3D objects and allowed the decal files to be downloaded (these are usually less than 1Mb), then we could at least see personalized aircraft within the default liveries.

I posted some things on the ED forums along this line, along with a CONOPS for a tiered decal system. Only reply I ever received on the decal post was TLDR. attack


Hahahaha, true! I forgot that detail! But who knows, maybe in a decade, with faster internet we can. hahahahaha We can dream!

But your description regarding decals, I'm 100% in! That would be a great thing if they implemented it. We would have cake for everyone! As you so eloquently described in ED's forum post... hahaha

#4273042 - 06/24/16 04:17 PM Re: Campaign after Campaign? - is this the new focus [Re: DrStrangePool]  
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Originally Posted By: DrStrangePool
Originally Posted By: bkthunder
I've been flying Falcon 4.0 in all its flavours since it came out in 1998. Still by far the best simulation, not only in terms of avionics and FM (DCS is on par here), but the sense of war, the feeling that things are going on around you, that your actions have consequences. It's totally immersive even in SP, while DCS feels like nothing more than en empty box, with totally dumb AI and no ground war. Let's face it, DCS has absolutely nothing in terms of AI, weapons and ATC. There has been no noticeable evolution in any of these areas since lock-on.

ED has a very very long way to go, to even scratch the surface of how deep Flaocn 4.0 is and was, even in 1998.
But again, they are so self-celebrating, I don't think any of the above will ever get a serious look at.


This reminds me of a flight I had, during night time in Korea in Falcon. Strange, how I have no cherishing or even worthy memories from DCS, even if I played some of their missions and campaign.

I was climbing, had the night vision off and watching the last few drops of sunlight disappear in the horizon when I noticed, just over the DMZ, flashes on the ground. I kept flying and looking at it and thinking "I'm so glad I'm not on the ground right now!".

Then, on another mission, in the afternoon, a flight was escorting me to my objective, which was to bomb a few buildings. One of my escorts got shot down, and ejected. I completed my mission, and while I was turning, I saw the other escort flying in circles around where his wingman got shot down. It kept circling there for a good while, and since I had fuel, and missiles I decided to join too. Eventually he had to return, and I kept in there for a little while longer, since I still had my drop tanks and enough fuel to return. But, after a while, I had to RTB. That's when, on my way back, I noticed a blackhawk flying right under me. If that helicopter was meant to recover the downed pilot, or for something else, I don't know, but it was an amazing experience.



I never got into Falcon as much as I did FC and DCS, it just happened to be the one I missed (appeared when I was just getting into flight sims and also did not have much in the way of PC hardware). I also was never hooked on to the DC. When I finally did get Falcon, I did the same thing I do in DCS. Mission Editing. Even from this perspective, Falcon is quite strong. No doubt it does somethings better than DCS, and this is the basic 4.0 AF I'm talking about, which is the only version I own.

However, I don't think DCS gets enough credit at times. I can't say that you're wrong in not having any memorable DCS experiences, it is after all your experience. Yet the kind of thing you described above isn't beyond DCS. I try to evolve my mission making ability as time goes on, though my "golden era" was the FC2 days. I put out what I consider to be some really good missions back then when I was on the sim regularly. One of the standouts for me was a F-15 escort mission near a large city. I had placed significant ground forces around the city hoping to make the ground below a little more lively. It worked out far better than I expected, the city constantly deteriorated over the coarse of the mission. At first only a few points of fire and smoke were visible, but when the air battle was over and I was heading back to base, I could see that a big portion of the city was on fire. That was for me, truly an immerse and memorable experience.

The issue is, this kind of thing takes work to set up in DCS. In Falcon, you can let the game set it up for you. For those who don't want to spend time creating content, I see the issue. The ideal for DCS would probably be to have more content creators. It just hasn't happened though.

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