I think one of the most glaring things that bugs me is that DCS often confuses the term “difficult” and “realistic”.
An example would be:
Flying at angels 8 to avoid a radar-guided Shilka = realistic
Flying at angels 8 to avoid the cupola gunner in a BRDM = difficult, but not realistic.
Someone once uploaded a track in which a AA-11 guided on and hit an AIM-9 in flight. After I saw that, I just switched it off. That’s the equivalent of taking a giant Fun Eraser and literally rubbing the enjoyment right out of the game for me. I can deal with missiles not hitting their target. I can’t enjoy missiles hitting impossible targets.
But, the problem I have is that other titles are either not ready for primetime, or you’re working harder to get around the limitations of the game’s code than you are playing the actual game. I haven’t found an air combat simulator that does everything I needed it to and be completely in “turn-key” condition since Jane’s USAF.
Having said that, I’m looking to give DCS a fair shake again. Specifically, the FC3 aircraft. The DCS A-10C is simply too much for me and I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it.
Seems like the FC3 modules are your starting block then.
As someone that gets a lot of enjoyment out of full systems depth modules I can say that
-Yeah they’re complicated.
-Trying to learn the ins-and-outs of a FSD 4th Gen while learning basic fighter techniques at the same time is maddening, for sure.
-Once you get the hang of it you start to miss features the jets really have when you swap back to FC3-levels.
There’s little intricacies to the radar, RWR, and waypoint/navigation systems that I’m used to from Falcon BMS and flying the A-10 that I know the real F-15C can do, but which are not modeled in the FC3 aircraft.
As for “difficulty” vs. “realism”… yeah I dunno. Every sim has its quirks. DCS has pretty superb flight modeling and attention to detail for module aircraft, but missile guidance & aerodynamics, visual recognition distance, bomb aerodynamics and air-to-ground weapon primary and secondary effects all feel extremely wonky at times.
Right now my go-to single player sim is Falcon BMS and my go-to multiplayer sim is DCS. The getting is pretty good right now on Blue Flag (buddyspike’s server) and Open Conflict to the point that it’s probably worth putting up with DCS’ idiosyncrasies to get your skills up to join in the fray.
What should happen with FC3-level modules is a sort-of this list; lifted directly from Strike Fighters 2 games…
Release three or four every year and you’ll have more money than if you were printing them…
• F-100D Super Sabre
• F-105D Thunderchief
• F-4C/D/E/F/M Phantom II (one or two is ok)
• Harrier GR.1/3
• Hunter FGA.9
• MiG-17 “Fresco”
• MiG-19 “Farmer”
• MiG-23/27 “Flogger”
• Su-7 “Fitter”
• F-104 Starfighter
• Mirage III/5
• Mystere IVA
• Super Mystere B.2
• A-1H/J Skyraider
• A-6A Intruder
Those are different planes with very different cockpits though.
Any plane with true HOTAS controls for ground attack i.e. targeting pods, mark points, etc would be pretty hard to abstract or simplify any more than you can already do with a HOTAS, I think.
^ This is more what I’m getting at.
Corp A makes FC-3 level F-104 Starfighter, sells a bunch. Little did they know that Corp B has spent the past 3 years gathering documentation and interviewing pilots trying to make a nice FSD F-104 Starfighter. What happens to Corp B’s work?
Alternatively, Dev Team C makes FC-3 A-6 Intruder. Dev Team D starts getting documentation to make a full systems Intruder. Are they now required to base their module off the existing code for the FC-3 level A-6? What if the FC-3 A-6 code has some big simplifications or inaccuracies that make a full systems A-6 impossible or impractical?
Corp B has spent man hours, thus money doing their research, creating a higher overhead. Corp B will need to do more work to finish the product, raising the price further. Corp B’s F-104 will cost more than Corp A’s aircraft. The market for the F-104 will be split between the two, with bias towards Corp A’s aircraft as it was there first, and is ostensibly cheaper. Corp B’s market will have shrunk from “People interested in the F-104” to “People who are interest in the F-104 to the extent they are willing to pay more for a hyper accurate version”.
Is this market large enough for Corp B to make a profit off their much larger investment cost?
There is no doubt that having both versions of the same plane in DCS at the same time would be problematic at best.
However, with a few exceptions there are generally multiple variants of any given plane that should allow some latitude just like the A-10. For example:
DCS F/A-18C, FCx F/A-18A or E?
DCS MiG-21bis, FCx MiG-21 Lancer/PFM/M/whatever
As long as you have a decent distance between the models it will work.
This only fails in limited areas like the F-117, F-22, B-58, and others that were pretty much limited to a single in-service variant. However, I think in the majority of those cases we’d see they wouldn’t be made as DCS anyway.
To me, the biggest benefits are shorter development time, faster learning curve (for those of us who don’t have months to spend learning the systems), and greater appeal by covering more planes for a wider audience.
Top sellers get the full DCS treatment where feasible.
There’s a comic that would take me entirely too long to find that goes something like
“How Nihilism is portrayed:”
*Depressed guy sitting back going, “None of this matters…” *
“How Nihilism should be portrayed”
*Depressed guy partying like a maniac saying, “None of this matters!” *