So, I purchased the DCS Spitfire a while back because it is one of my favorite Warbirds. While I enjoy the plane, I don’t enjoy flying it in DCS. Sadly, ED’s WWII assets are not enough to prompt me to buy another Warbird, theater, or scenario.
Interestingly, I’ve always been a fan of the IL2 series and find its Battle series satisfies my WWII needs. Although the sim has some cons like lack of clickable cockpits, I find the environment, aircraft modeling, campaign, immersion, etc. are enough to keep me engaged. In fact, I went out and pre-ordered Battle of Bodenplatte because it will include some of my other faves like the P-38J, P-51D, Tempest, and P-47D (which was released early).
I know everyone’s likes and experiences are different but I find it difficult to see why others (clickable cockpits aside) would jump into the DCS WWII experience. Please share your thoughts…
For me, it’s all about learning the plane and flying it with friends. DCS doesn’t scratch the same itch than BoX: DCS makes me feel like I’m operating the plane while BoX makes me feel like I’m in a game trying to rack up kills.
I have every BoX plane, but even if there’s a Spitfire Mk IX on there too, I always get back to the DCS Spit. For me, it’s just not the same when you can’t click anything in the cockpit, you can’t start up (or fail to start) your engine by yourself, when you transmit on the radio using the stone age RT box… I have come to a point where flying BoX planes just constantly feels like it’s missing something. Campaigns like the Operation Epsom, Operation Charnwood, The Blue Nosed Bastards or The Big Show are good enough if I want to get immersed in the Single Player world.
I like both. There is more depth with GB right now, but I have to agree with @Chuck_Owl that having clickable cockpits is a big part of the experience. Obviously, it’s not a deal breaker. But, I like to feel that if I won the lottery, that I’d be pretty comfortable in a Mustang cockpit when I go shopping . It’s great watching the Kermit Weeks videos of warbird cockpits and flights, knowing that I can use the same procedures in DCS.
In DCS right now I can fly in Normandy in a Mustang, Bf-109, and FW190, as well as some interesting campaigns. Reading the background docs for the Blue Nosed Bastards from Bodney, and then going to fly the missions is very much worth the effort and cost IMO. In fact it’s pulled me away a bit from the Tomcat, which is saying a lot. Flying back and forth over the channel does take some time, and I will admit is not for everyone. But the campaign missions in GB have similar sortie requirements. They just have the AP and time jump ability, which are really nice. YMMV
I love both for reasons mentioned. But in VR DCS runs too poorly for close in knife fights. With jets the sim feels sufficiently smooth. But props, especially over France, its just not pleasant. IL2 is pretty and smooth and allows VR players to zoom at levels equivalent with 2D players.
I agree with Mr Smoke, I’ve tried quite a few times for DCS over Normandy, but in a decent sized mission it really struggles in VR. IL2 does have really good performance in VR, and for eyes-on stuff that is really valuable.
I do very much like to study sim nerd out on DCS, like per module and the systems etc, but for WWII not really got much into it in MP gaming.
For my WW2 combat flight sim kick I go with IL-2 BOX series. Many, many aircraft to choose from. Many maps to fly within all of which are beautifully detailed and of good size for those period aircraft. Each aircraft is beautifully modeled both visually and in terms of engine management, i.e. mixture control, rpm control, propeller pitch control etc. Flight models are believable and unique to each aircraft. So many choices and so many options to play in this simulator gives me what I want in a WW2 combat flight sim.
I bought the P51 in DCS before I knew what IL2 really was. I enjoy flying it around, and joined the multiplayer scene a few times on the “Burning Skies” server. It just seemed like there wasn’t enough content to keep me interested, and the online WW2 servers are not very populated. Without a pretty serious investment there really isn’t much to do.
If I want to fly warbirds, I fire up IL2. They have cornered the WW2 market IMO. Flight modeling, systems modeling, damage modeling are all great. Tons of content and an active online player base.
If you are into combat flight sims, you really should own both.
I do agree. They both have their strength and weaknesses. In DCS I feel more like I’m flying an aircraft, but in IL-2 I feel more like fighting a war.
DCS need more WWII content and better VR performance with crowded skies.
IL-2 need…clickable cockpits.
That’s what I’m missing, at least…
And, the IL-2 franchise has Flying Circus…!
I think it was @smokinhole who said they should implement VR controller use in FC.
WWI fighting is perfect for VR, and VR controller support.
And this thread is about WWII, so I’ll leave it at that.
I seriously doubt that will happen. The conversion would be a huge shift in their stated belief concerning that expense vs return, and further slow their pace of development. It’s interesting that they’ve found this happy place somewhere between FC and study sim level. Sort of like FC aircraft with a PFM.
I think that nails it for me. In DCS when I fire up the Spitfire, I feel like I’m flying and interacting with a plane (one that wants to kill me if I mess up ) whereas IL-2 makes me feel like I am part of a battle front. Interestingly, I want to press buttons and turn knobs but I don’t really miss the interactions that much because I come from the keypress generation. Still clickable cockpits add immensely to immersion. 1C made it clear that clickable cockpits are not in their roadmap because their focus is the combat experience. Doesn’t bother me because, I’ve always been a “Get 'em both” kinda guy.
Only a little time in IL2:BoS and I’ve yet to determine whether or not I’ll invest more into it in the future.
Thus far, BoX feels like an enhanced IL2 of ye olde, which I spent countless hours on many years ago. The formula is simple and it works: get a close enough picture of flight and have a wide stable of aircraft and make it relatively straightforward to pick up, but difficult to master. It does very well at this from the little time I’ve played it, as well as runs well and looks good.
In contrast, DCS:WWII, of which I only have the Spitfire is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s much more extreme, much more hardcore, and that much more difficult. The problem is that I don’t think DCS is well situated for it and the AI is especially not so, given the massive cheating advantage it has. Coupled with other performance difficulties and while the challenge of wrangling these old warbirds is likely far more realistic, I think it falls short as an enjoyable game. You have to be really dedicated to it in order to enjoy it, and that’s just not the average WWII airpower fan.
Despite this, I’d like to see some more serious WWII planes in DCS more for the challenge of the aircraft rather than the scenario alone. Managing all the diverse systems in the aircraft helps to bring home just how difficult it would have been for young men in real life to simply fly them, much less fight with them. But I don’t think those aircraft should be added at the expense of the modern combat focus that DCS has.
Not really big on WW2 and the Spitfire has challenges that a new player needs to overcome, such as take/off, landing and navigation - or trying to hold it on course for that eternal trip to France and back. On the other hand it is generally faster and more agile than the A-10C and lets you get the better of the AI despite their obvious helpers…and only a few simple cockpit switches for operation.
Thought the Big Show was overall pretty good with Normandy and the assets pack (both of which were gifted) and would have been better if I had immersed in the book but little time for that. The AI is not too bad at flying in formation at least and reminded me of Yankee Air Pirate missions with large formations etc. The general radio menu is the same regardless of time period though.
The missions didn’t have unrealistic objectives to meet - lucky really because once you missed the initial FW-190 I often had trouble finding any others to shoot at.
DCS could cater for this but it requires many years of work and unless it picks up in popularity don’t see the resource going into it.
If they want to make time periods remotely serious then TK had a simple solution with a date system that just pulls in every object in service (ship, weapon, aircraft, skins etc etc) for a selected date - expect the architecture of this game needs to be changed drastically.
As I see it there is some performance problem ( like no speed trees iirc etc. ) with the Normandy map which could be the reason that MP comunity for DCS WWII is so thin. I would realy like to give BlueFlag WWII a try.
But as mentioned above the SP part could be enjoyable.
I agree with that ’ feeling of flying something rewarding '. I mean my last days in IL2 online were like takeoff, combat, bailout over friendly teritory and over again. I didnt have the urge to return planes to where I took off.
In DCS I always consider landing as chalenge and part of the game
I think ED needs a lot of work into WW2. I do like the content we have. I like the planes anyway. There is too much missing. BoX on the other hand satisfies my WW2 needs. And now with Flying Circus it is even better. I can’t imagine Not having both. The engine management in BoX is enough to keep me engaged.
I can’t help but think that DCS WWII would have been better off starting with a North Africa or a Pacific theatre instead of the tired western Europe. Had they done that in a limited segment to check interest, I think they would have been out ahead.