'Early Access' Release Model Discussion

For the love of God will you PLEASE give me my helicopter. Half cooked, slightly raw, bit burnt I don’t care!
I’m eternally optimistic and will sing its praise whatever its like!!
Mossie. Yes, fantastic. I’m excited.
HIND, I am positively salivating. Only the Tomcat was more important in my wishlist. I really. Really. Need. To. Chooka. Chooka. Boom. Boom.


Stoked for the Mossie, but worried about the radios coming later in EA. I can’t figure out if that means we won’t be able to use ATC/wingman comms at initial release or what.

It may be that we can use simple coms

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Hopefully without having to tick that setting on/off every time we switch between the Mossie and other aircraft. It’s kind of a weird item to not include at release, but considering the Viper shipped without exterior lights I can’t say I’m not surprised.

Well, it’s release into Early Access. :slight_smile:
For those who want to be part of the journey to final release.
Features will be missing or broken, for quite a while.

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The standards of what is considered acceptable for “early access” have lowered since I got serious into DCS in 2014. They’ve dropped even since the Hornet. How long before we’ll be saying "Oh there’s no HUD? That’s okay because it’s early access. The line has to be drawn somewhere…

The WW2 early access releases have usually been very high quality, like the Anton and Jug, in comparison to the lackluster modern releases, so lacking basic functionality like radios is particularly odd to me.


And who should draw the line…?
As long as the developer state that it isn’t finished, I think they can release it in any state of progress that they please. The alternative is to wait until they deem it is finished. The EA is a period for users to try out parts of the module and give feedback while it is still in development.

I can see why, but consider that

The historical accurate navigation system for WWII aircraft

Is also coming after EA release.
I’m guessing here, but this is probably the Gee and Oboe radio navigation that the Mosquito Pathfinders used…
Considering this is new tech in DCS WWII, it may not be so odd that this ties into the radio system.
So while having a functioning radio would be seen as a normal feature for a EA release, it may not be the same for all EA releases.

So I guess you can say that I think it is natural that the developer gets to decide what features they need to incorporate into the EA release, and what can wait.


The consumers, with their wallets…
I stopped buying early access modules, after I bought the Hornet. Would I like the F-16? Absolutely, but I can wait till it’s finished.
Or rather, until the Hornet is finished, and I’ve learned all it’s systems and features, and finished a campaign with it.
I just don’t get all this, chasing the next new shiny half baked toy business, but to each their own I guess. I’d rather just have a few finished products and a solid base game.
Luckily spring is just about here, and I have a new lightweight tent inbound (hopefully with all its features in a finished state :wink:) and some nice hikes planned, so all is good.
Sorry for the rant :upside_down_face:


Without a navigation radio you can still navigate using a compass, watch, map, and dead reckoning. Without radios, you’re down to hand signals and flares, which we don’t get on a PC. I wouldn’t consider those equivalents for an analogy.

After the Viper release, I won’t buy EA products until they’re finished to a certain level. Typically the bar has been high for the warbirds but the information I have now on the Mossie puts me on the fence.

The thing I don’t get is…

What’s the real problem?

Developers offer the chance to test a module, clearly marked and announced with missing part, for those that do not mind having something with parts missing…

Can you accept a plane/tank/anything with those missing part? Buy it.

You find unacceptable all those missing part? Don’t buy it.

End of the story!


For those of us who grew up buying finished games when no concept of early access existed, the problem is expectations, I suppose.


Well, that is exactly what I’m doing.

The problem as I see it, is that developers have little to no economic incentive to finish a product anymore. Just dangle a new early access product in front of people, money is made, and all is forgotten about the last unfinished product.
I don’t know, I just don’t like that way of doing business :man_shrugging:


I enjoy the partially completed modules. I learn them in phases. Cold start procedure. Some basics. CCRP stuff. Navigation. Then incrementally included systems. Its fine for my kind of gameplay. I look at it as a couple year head start on the finished product.

I continue to be amazed at the fidelity we get for $40 to $80 in these modules and other sim modules. Comparing what we are flying today with the nostalgia of 10 or 20 years ago isn’t really all that useful unless you are talking about the overall gaming experience… A complete game out of the box that was fun, yes, but rarely patched, rarely added on to, rarely expanded, and usually was given up on by the developer. That we have a continuously evolving base game and varying degrees of completion of modules is a still a big win for simmers. I have a dozen aircraft I own that I know nothing about because they are all so complex. Complete? I doubt any of them are truly complete down the last detail…but enough so that if I choose one at random, it could take up a year of my sim-life.

I’d also argue that developers surely do have an economic interest in finishing products. You see that pressure on companies like Razbam and even ED…where they have pledged somewhat recently to go on a bug squashing mission (I think that was in one of the end of 2020 newsletters or something). So they recognize if quality suffers too much…people will avoid Product B, C, and D.

I dunno. With all the YouTube videos, online reviews, unboxings, previews, deep dives…there is no reason to be surprised with what you are buying anymore.

  • I’d just like to add the incomplete Hornet and Supercarrier modules probably represent the most fun I’ve had in years in DCS World. Just the basics of it (particularly in VR) is breathtaking.

What sort of point is this?

EA DCS modules are sold very clearly with the caveat that they’re incomplete.

Are you saying you can’t resist buying software?
Or that you expect something when they are clearly stating something else?

“I used to have a diesel car so now that I have an electric engine I still put diesel in it?”


Why? Do we want developers to stop this pracise? I don’t understand why?

It wasn’t an analogy.
It was a suggestion that the navigation radio code is interlinked with the rest of the radio code… Just offering a possible explanation as to why the radio units are not in the EA release.

I’m one of those.
I remember how many games were released unfinished and perhaps patched or abandoned. I prefer the EA and continuous development business model.
I also remember how eager many of us were to get in on the testing teams… :slight_smile:

Do we want them to? I mean, is it at all possible to continue development of a sandbox software, like DCS, and finish anything…? New development requires changes to the old code and consequently old modules. We would have to go back to the era of study sims where you bought an F-16 sim. It was situated in one, perhaps two, areas of operation. This would be updated once or more and then finished and abandoned. The development team would then move on to the next study sim, meeting new economical risks.
With the present business model, at least the income keeps on flowing… I actually doubt we’d see all these new modules if the developer would have to restart development everytime. The cost would simply be too high.

Now, I don’t think the EA business model is ideal. But I think it’s realistic and in fact the best model for the development of our hobby.


I absolutely disagree.

Software Companies are grilled every day for the smallest inconvenience…
“The glass of the Fw190 HUD is not perfect”
“two weeks!”
“why I don’t have a Dynamic Campaign”

So honestly saying they have no incentive when they are constantly bombarded by tons of negativity is a bit rich.

And the personal experience “well I never insulated them” doesn’t matter.
They are still hammered every day about whatever every user thinks it’s subjectively most important.

“why can’t they fix the AI? it’s a two minute job!”

Sorry but it’s disingenuous at best.


In principle, yes. This works as long as you as a customer have a good picture of what you buy in early access.

Now I dare you to find anybody else who follows the development of EDs modules as thoroughly as I do, and even for me the release of the Viper was somewhat of a shock. Systems that before were always done at release of early access were clearly omitted in the Viper and this was not indicated previously. I could have easily accepted the state the Viper was in at release had i not felt utterly duped, because I invest a considerable amount of time to prevent exactly this from happening (not knowing what i buy). This had never happened to me before with ED. At this point I decided that I would never again buy EA from ED.

So, while you do have a point, it all depends on how transparent the state of the module is at release.


Sure, the F-16 EA was a disaster. ED seems to have learned their lesson and are more clear on what features to expect from the Mosquito EA.

While I still have no interest in [email protected], I think that’s a good development.

So imho, EA is fine as long as there is enough information to make the buying decision. Nobody is forced to spent money on DCS (as far as I know).


Well you know, what’s done is done. Fool me twice…

I guess it comes with complexity. Compare DCS to a game 30 years ago. Which one is more complex. Hmm :smiley:

We’ve been dreaming about having what we have now.