The land and sea environment on DCS: World

From a question by BeachAV-8R on the RAZBAM AV-8B

On my test with my ship MODs in the past, the ships never was a SFM or similar, you can add ship dimensions, x_nose and tail and Width to sea trail dimensions, a top, cruise and race speed, a speed up, minimum radius to rotate, and range (total range and economic).

Actually has none AI implemented on ships, except a evade logic and attack logic. Not a “formation” with a Picket line, ASW (no search paterns) and AAW zone cover the main TF ships or a “turn to target” to show weapons vs treat axis.

The ships only was affected by sea conditions based on the wind force, but DCS World has none compared with a sea state scale or a Beaufort scale with wave height, periods and a long etc. Actualy has only a very “simplified” model and can require a “rebuild” of DCS: W engine to see something similar (I dont suprise none about them on Hormuz).

To a “realistic” sea environment, ED need a dedicated team to build a plausible Sea environment (weather, sonar, special effects, submerge and submerge physics) and of course realistic Bathymetry, but all of them has out of the scope of DCS: World, similarly to get “access” to build Mods to insert “cockpits / bridges / CICs / Weapons stations” into ships (no dlls and / or cockpit injection by luas). Not sure, but the “future” Carriers modules dont show “suprises” on that aspect (I expected wrong about them).

The situation has similarly to a dedicated “ground” environment, the CA team actually has a “minority” and none upgraded has actually on sight and no cockpits or dlls to insert them as a “pilot-able” vehicle outside to a “CA” export.

And of course, a FPS has out of question.


I’ll totally sound Don Quixote-esque but I have a dream I can almost see, far in the distance, and I need more people to see it.
We as gamers need to push for this.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot and this thread pushed me over the edge.

We need a standard Synthetic Environment.

Not necessarily tied to a Graphic Engine but definitely a standard set of variables.
So that instead of having so many fragmented simulations un-interconnectable we can finally get a “One Vision/One world/One mission” type of engine.
This way everyone could just select a portion of the world and the modules needed for the mission or the campaign they are preparing. Not unlike DCS mixed with X-Plane / FSX.

It’s the final Paradigm Shift we need in the simulation gaming world.
We already have amazing graphics, believable physics, and a wealth of options for peripherals integration.
What’s left to achieve is unity.

As i said above, a fight against Windmills. :slight_smile:
Forgive my silliness.

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Perhaps it helps that the men (and presumably, women) who develop our favorite sims reside mostly in Russia. One would guess that they migrate from one development team to another as manpower needs flux. If we gamers fantasize about some great unification, then the coders probably do the same, just more thoughtfully. The problem becomes one of control. By submitting to a common library of tools, each team forfeits much of their freedom to the restrictions of the library. The other negative incentive is us. We will mostly buy everything out there. That clears away most of the economic incentives to unify parts of the code.

I would love to see ED approach the sea warfare element the way they did armored combat. And certainly sea conditions would be as much a part of that as is atmospheric weather for air combat. But this takes us back to negative economic incentives. Combined Arms doesn’t seem like a resounding financial success to me. Maybe the payoff will be when DCS finally gels into some sort of real combined arms environment–a warfare sim instead of an air combat sim. Given the history I don’t see this happening. If anything, some sea variability would fit ED’s history. They did a pretty good job with dynamic weather at a basic level. Doing the same for the water would be more than enough to please the gallery.

The problem I see with the unified air-land-sea approach is that different platforms often have a different “frame of action” (for the lack of a better term), both in area and time. And as such they are difficult to combine with often a small common denominator gameplay wise. Some examples to illustrate the point:
-In a SpecOps raid against a facility, the guards are supposed to do 24/7 duty and be surprised. There is not much point to play the raid on the guards side.
-The same is basically true for submarine simulations. A submarine depends on stealth and its presence being unknown. If the opposing side can be played simultaneously (either in another sub, a ship or aircraft), the sub has already failed its primary objective, because the other side already knows it is there.
-In a strike mission with playable aircraft and playable SAMs, the aircraft have a frame of action of two hours (the mission duration), while the SAM site has a frame of action of 30 seconds (the duration the aircraft are in range to shoot at). Gameplay wise they do not match very well.
-Naval warfare has a frame of action over hours and days. To seriously play with ships and submarines you need time acceleration, which make them incompatible with simultaneously played aircraft.

Each platform can be worthwhile to be played on its own. I like to have sims about submarines, tanks or SAM sites. But combining them for simultaneous play will often not work very well, other than some very specific pairings or the common MP brawl. As such it might be better to spend your resources on your core experience and not waste it on a unified battlefield with dubious results.

I would see a potential “DCS naval CA” very skeptically, even though I love naval sims. The frame of action for ships is so much different than for aircraft that any combined gameplay would be extremely narrow and probably very arcady. So while I wish that the naval environment in DCS is greatly improved, I would like it to be improved entirely so that in enhances the experience in the cockpit. To play ships and subs I meanwhile wait for Cold Waters instead.


Yep. Totally true.

With the way CA was implemented, and the possibility of controlling ground assets, one could make this argument towards player-run Air Defenses and some other aspects of land-based warfare that (at least to me) at a glance would seem like an incredibly fun and interesting addition to a multiplayer environment but in reality the ‘frame of action’ would be far too dull to allow for realistic gameplay. Likely ending up, as @MBot stated, with more ‘arcadey’ or limited gameplay, and in a multiplayer environment, from a players point of view, its a bummer to spend weeks learning a system, time starting up and arming, a long flight, only to be shot down by a player in a ‘point and shoot’ air defense system.

Trying to to sound elitist against ‘casual’ players here, not the intention :smiley:

My point is not that every game HAS to have all the roles and/or vehicles. All I’m saying is if there’s a common underlying layer common to all simulations integration between “forces” is easier but not only.
A company that already has a background in making cars/ships/airplanes/mechwarriors/magic carpets could apply their skillset and develop for that “MegaSimWorld” without having to create an entire environment for it. As FSX/X Plane third party developer they would be able to see their module applied in a slightly different environment.

Off the top of my head imagine what happens in Real World Military Sims and the DIS protocol.

Once I’m off the phone and at my keyboard later on I’ll express better.
But in short a common Environment might really allow for the next evolutionary step in development and multiplayer integration within the realm of simulations.

(Also as in DCS you have full study modules and less fidelitious ones- the same could apply in there)

Sorry, but the “maintain arcade all outside of high performance aircraft’s” has none realistic. Actually some players use low speed helos making “bored” transport / rescue missions, with hours of “bored” flights or more on 24/7 servers.

That is applicable to a “bored” ship or air defence commander? No, not has applicable. In the past other games as Dangerous Waters or Fleet command was very popular by the naval simulator fans and some multiplayer games has 3-6 or more hours hunting or making escort mission.without none type of time acceleration on team vs team. If ED get the capability of a 2D arcadish (similar to a Dangerous Waters) or 3D simplified CIC, Bridge, Weapons control panel implementation, surely that “naval” branch get fresh meat incoming.

A example has the incoming Type VII sub and E-boats incoming wo WW2, Surely if some type of “pilot-able” system will can implement (not require advanced systems and sonars, only straight runner torpedoes and some type of periscope with 2D pseudo control, and the game can start.

And about air defense, Sam simulator have actually your niche, and you only play vs AI. CA open a “branch” over the air defense with “pseudo” 2D fire pannels, but none has the “realism on the switch” of Hasp on the SS with complex controls and / or battery commanders using “Medium / long” range SAMs or some interesting SAMs as a Sa-8 or a Shilka on “realist” mode.

Frankly I doubt that there is a commercially significant amount of people that are willing to play 3-6 hours of steering a ship in open ocean. And even then this would be a short time in naval terms in regards to maneuvering. There was the excellent Sicilian Wedding scenario in Sub Command (or was it Dangerous Waters?) that went on for several days. I would hate to play that one in real-time…

The same is basically true for SAMs. The SAM Simulator looks excellent and I am sure it is great to play the engagements. But I am not so sure about the fun of looking at the radar screen for hours waiting for the engagement, which you had to do in a MP environment. Of course in the 24/7 server with the eternal central dogfight, fueled by never ending streams of fresh aircraft, there are also ample opportunities for human controlled SAMs.

As I said, I think the frame of action of various platforms is often very different and sometimes incompatible with real-time multiplayer.

@komemiute ED actualy has a plan to create DCS: WW = Whole World.
Search the net, trust me, it is somwhere out there :slight_smile:

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The SubSim community surely think you are wrong.

Mbot, not all players like have “maverick” and flying F-16 in the front, others as my, like “bored” missions with transport ammunition and supplies on a C-130, parachute them into a forward base, or play with a artillery detachment, covered by a Sa-8 / 2S6 detachment meanwhile the air defensive command get me treat axis or make a long approach with a pr.205 Osa I to attack a merchant convoy with P-15 on a littoral environment.

If we go to only by “commercial success”, we need shut down all hardcore sims outside multi-role aircraft’s and attacks helos and go to War Thunder or Similar or make a “eternal” Quake air wars, funny to ones, but very bored to others.

The land and sea environment has the pending subject into DCS: W. Expected on a long future we can be some “improvements” on that branch and if feasible land and sea modules into them.


Yet the most wanted feature in the Silent Hunter series was the grand campaign, which allowed you to cruise the seas for weeks, search and track convoys and carefully position yourself for attack. A feature which is entirely incompatible with real-time multiplayer.

Let me ask you the following question. Which naval sim would you prefer to play? One where mission duration is 3 hours, where you cannot make a pause, you cannot accelerate time and you cannot save/load. Or one where mission duration is 12 hours, where you can make pauses, accelerate time and save/load.

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I always prefer the first option on multiplayer. In my times of Dangerous Waters, I played with some formed and active Spanish navy personal on real time, hunting subs on the Sonar post on the ASW screen of a TF with a O.H. Perry meanwhile a SH-60 cover us with a sonar sonobouys screen in front and other player on the SM-1/CIWS station cover the ship with SAMs vs air attacks and a commander give orders to the crew in the bridge, and all making patrols with 3-5 hours on real time with others players with Kilo subs intent making a hole in the escort to attack the merchants.

Some of the improvements I would like to see to the naval environment of DCS are actually rather small. For example I would like to see a revision of the range of all shipborne search radars (significantly short right now) and the ability to assign the EWR property to them, should the mission designer desire to do so. The EWR property already exists in DCS and allows AI aircraft to receive external target information, as well as the players to get radio based threat warnings. The EWR property right now can only be assigned to two Russian search radars. I would like it to be assignable to all ships and ground units.

This would have a profound impact on the naval environment. Right now there is no incentive to fly at low level as long as you stay outside of the engagement range of naval SAMs. If the ships search radar would be able to direct AI fighters though, flying at high altitude would lead to interception hundreds of kilometers away from ships. If you stay at low level though, you should be able to approach a ship undetected down to 40 km distance or less in the radar shadow of the curvature of the earth. That is exactly the reason why Argentine Skyhawks and Super Etendards have been hugging the sea in the Falklands War. A relative small adaption of a feature already existing in DCS would therefore have a significant impact on the naval environment as experienced from the cockpit.

Some other air-ship-centric improvements I would like to see, both smaller and larger:
-Revision of all naval SAMs. Right now even the mighty S-300 can be avoided entirely by flying comfortably at 10m ASL.
-Dual Purpose Naval Guns that also shoot at aircraft (flak!).
-Ships deploying chaff and jammers to decoy anti-ship missiles.
-Ships temporary maneuvering to manage the aspect they offer in engagements/the arc of fire of their weapons.



Sorry for the rant about to follow, but I see these types of discussions derail so quickly and it’s so frustrating to see so much negative energy put into a product that works so well, overall.

Yeah, it’d be great to have a unified equations of motion engine that worked in all environments – land, sea, air, space, subterranean, etc. – with realistic representations of Newtonian and quantum physics in engineering units with a well-documented highly accessible open-source API that has a support system behind to rapidly adapt new ideas from third-parties, seamlessly connecting to every possible combination and perturbation of input controllers, delivering both an enjoyable experience to VR, 3D, and traditional 2D flat-screen viewers all while maintaining high performance across the range of gaming systems we all have at home. This, of course, is all to support an ultra-accurate representation of every technology system available now, in the past, in the foreseeable future, (or in whatever alternate universe a developer chooses to create!).

I like that we enjoy our sims to the point where we can dream in them - imagine new universes and applications that even the original developer couldn’t have imagined. There is so much passion in this hobby that gets underrated, undervalued, underappreciated, but it’s because we always seem to steer that passion into criticism of rivet counts or features we want but aren’t as developed as we want RIGHT NOW.

“What Could Be Better With This” is not the same as “What Is Wrong With This”.

I hope no one takes away that I think we shouldn’t identify or discuss what’s wrong with the games/sims we play. I sincerely believe open and honest (and respectful!) discussion of the faults we see in the products we use is good for the community, the developer, and future products, I just think that there is a difference between complaining about the impact to gameplay as delivered vs as desired.

For example, rather than compile a wish-list of what we want and when we want it and how easy it would be for someone else to do it, how about we deliver a bit of it? @MBot has done fantastic things with scripts, to bring us that dynamic campaign feel that many of us miss. This is a great example of acting on our wishes, rather than just dwelling on it.

How do we do more of this?


So I see some of this as problems of scope or, likely more correct, scale. The scale of battle for infantry is in the kilometers. The scale for armored warfare is in the 10’s of kilometers. The scale for naval engagements is in the 20’s and 30’s of kilometers and the scale for and air war is in the 100’s. Since time and distance are linked, there is an analog for how those scales change to affect the willingness of players in a game (or simulation) environment to take part in. Ask an infantry player to keep up with a tank column and the infantry player is going to be bored for most of the engagement. Ask anyone to sit through a naval engagement at realistic times and distances and any land-lover is going to go home bored. Take a look at how combat is handled in the TV show The Expanse where the show runners intentionally show the immense scale through combat (contact → missiles/torpedoes away → let’s sit and chat for a while about plot → PDCs and impacts happen).

And yes, all of these are arguable. Welcome to our hobby. :slight_smile:

The problems in scale are more apparent when we try to bridge between those scale ranges. Take a look at any game in the ‘war fighter’ category and the compromises that they have to take to implement combined arms.

Add to that the limited time that most of us can put into these games and the multiplayer aspects that @MBot mentions above! It fragments the player-base, arguably, more than most decisions that developers have to make. A game that is good in one aspect inevitably has to make compromises in other aspects - it is really difficult to be a successful generalist. We can only have some of our cake and we are lucky if those pieces of cake we get are the ones we actually want to eat!

But I think I sense @EinsteinEP’s point as well. We spend hours arguing and criticizing what we have when we could be working within those systems to bring out the gems. I have been struggling for over a year on how to pull together the various aspects and scales of DCS to implement a multiplayer campaign. @MBot has done a great job of exploring these capabilities. The MOOSE scripting framework has made mission development, for me, much easier by allowing me to implement complexity without having to bury myself in it. Each add-on, map and module makes the simulation environment that much richer and all of it makes it that much more complicated to actually implement and use.

And the problem remains, if we ignore all the dreams, wishes and arguments about that a product could, or should, include we still have trouble making use of what we have … which is better than anything that we had before. I know that I do.


I hate to keep mentioning it, but I think WW2 Online did a pretty good job of dealing with scale. Basically a 1/2 scale map covering 52,000 square kilometers. Having flown many sorties from England in both fighters and bombers, and flying missions as far away as say Karlsruhe on Germany’s Western border, I never felt that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Of course it was designed at the onset as a MMOFPS based on persistent campaigns spread over days and weeks and supported as many as 1500 players. I believe that one BoB scenario that the BEF hosted had as many as 4000 players involved with around 1200 online at a time. It felt massive. I remember leaving ARF Folkstone with over 30 Spits and 20 Blenheims in tow a few times to cross the channel.


I can’t help but feeling drawn in this discussion.
I think my idea was grossly misunderstood.

I never thought smart or possible to do THIS [quote=“EinsteinEP, post:15, topic:3881”]
Yeah, it’d be great to have a unified equations of motion engine that worked in all environments – land, sea, air, space, subterranean, etc. – with realistic representations of Newtonian and quantum physics in engineering units with a well-documented highly accessible open-source API that has a support system behind to rapidly adapt new ideas from third-parties, seamlessly connecting to every possible combination and perturbation of input controllers, delivering both an enjoyable experience to VR, 3D, and traditional 2D flat-screen viewers all while maintaining high performance across the range of gaming systems we all have at home. This, of course, is all to support an ultra-accurate representation of every technology system available now, in the past, in the foreseeable future, (or in whatever alternate universe a developer chooses to create!).

Not one bit of it. Nope. And allow me to tell you that’s a stab I wasn’t expecting.
But given I’ve been working nearly 20 years in Military Simulation where integration between “players” (i.e.: different vehicles) is something not just possible but actually sought after, I think I can safely assume I know what I’m talking about.

That said- I’d like to extend my ideas so to clarify my point.

When I talk about a unified Synthetic Environment I brougth up the concept of “standard set of variables”.
In my mind this is a set of Minimum Common variables (MCv from now on) that different games/modules/call them what you want ( more on this later ) have to adhere to, or satisfy, so that they can all interact among each other.

It would be silly to have the most complex set of Environmental simulation of the entire Atmosphere for a submarine simulator, for example.
The MCv would simply make sure that the basics of every moudle would be exchangeable as, at the end of the day, it’s not my Sub Sim that calculates the physics of @Bogusheadbox F111 at 35000 feet (as it loses its wings and crashes into the ground- GET AN INTRUDER MAN!).
It’s his PC that calculates the Flight Model- and it’s my Sub module that takes care of underwater thermal layers.
As it is now with the DCS engine.

The Submarine module would use the simplest Look-up tables for anything above the waterline, as any flight model would simply ignore the Sub-water simulation.

What would take real guts is the calculation of Systems integration. How my plane’s Radar scan of the sea surface would stimulate the RCS modeling of the top part Sub, or how an S-3 Viking torpedo would deal with the insertion in water.

What I propose it’s a simple extension of the actual model in the direction of a “Industry Standard”. For example that would have allegedly allowed RAZBAM to import his _working _models in DCS with little to no trouble. He’d have to improve the 3D model or the sounds, but it’d work (almost) straight away.

Again, my original model is the DIS LAN, actually in use (although superseded in many fields).

That said, I rest my case. If we want a true leap forward in Mil-Sims… that’s the direction; that’s the Paradigm shift we need.
Until then there’s not going to be a proper Evolution only improvements.

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If you’ve worked with integrated sim development then you know there’s a lot more to it than just identifying important variables: e.g., an architecture that supports all that seamless integration needs to go along with it as well as the vision of how to add new capabilities that aren’t even thought of yet.

The point of my post wasn’t that it was wrong to want more from a product, just that is unreasonable to imply a product is broken or incomplete because there are items on someone’s wishlist that aren’t included.

And neither this post nor my previous are aimed at anyone, it’s my visceral reaction to any wishlist thread that judges products and developers against dreams.

Let’s dream our amazing dreams, let’s share our powerful visions, but let’s talk about how we make realize them instead of lament over how its not already done.

For example, @komemiute, can you develop a draf initial MCv? There are folks out there who know the DCS API and lua tools to traverse it - we can see how much of that MCv is reachable now. Then we can talk about what to do with it.

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I agree on this.

The draft MCv isn’t anything a single person should come up with for the sheer amount of specific knowledge that’s necessary.
To better answer you question- yes I could, as I have a passing knowledge of the several environment specifics (i.e.: I could put on an imaginary table what’s important for planes, for ground vehicles and for ships above/below surface) but it’d end up as specific as my weakest knowledge. Imagine Flaming Cliffs 3-level sims MCv.

What’s mandatory for a DCS-level something is a specialist gaming simulation developer for each branch (Sea, Air, Land) to bring not only proper detailed arguments but also the skill to make it possible.
If you take a Navy, AirForce and Grunts engineers/specialist, Sim enthusiast or Armchair developers you simply get the real world, exaclty as you stated in your rant. :wink: (tongue in cheek)

No, you need gaming developers. They’d have the knowledge of both their part of the real world and of the gaming world so that the result is a workable Industry Standard.

I hope I make some sense…