The VR experience

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I have been flightsimming in VR since 2016 and the Oculus Rift.
I remember having some very real physical reactions when flying in VR. Crashing into the ground suddenly became a rather unpleasant affair that caused my heart rate to increase. Not much, but noticeable. There were other instances where I noticed signs of adrenalin, that I hadn’t experienced when flying on a monitor.
These new sensations faded and my mind took control over matter and decided that VR flying probably wouldn’t kill me, after all.

Technology doing what technology does, moves along at an incredible pace.
Five (5!) years later I now have a high res Reverb G2 VR headset and a monster of a PC to run my favourite flightsims.

I finally decided to start on the Epsom Campaign for the DCS Spitfire, by @wagmatt and @bunyap2w1. I have waited with this campaign because I wanted DCS, The Spitfire and the Normandy map to mature past the early bugs and I wanted a better PC to enjoy this campaign properly…
I flew the first mission and got really immersed by the briefing, radio chatter and the incredibly living environment. I don’t think I have quite grasped how to use the Spitfire radio with real comms, so I failed to give my flight the command to RTB, after we had toured the French countryside. Anyway, there I was, on short final with my wingman tucked in beside me, gear down and everything, when good ol’ no.2 decides to go around…!
With a WROOAAR of his RR Merlin he cut across my path so unexpectedly and close, that I screamed out loud in fear…! Real fear. Ok, maybe not real fear of dying, but scared enough that my heart started pounding and my hands and brow started sweating. The reaction startled me for a second, and then I started laughing at myself, glad that nobody was around to see it.
You can get immersed by a good flightsim and a well made mission. Add VR to the mix and you have the recipe for the best virtual experience I have ever enjoyed.

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Last night while flying as a RIO, I instinctively waved at my pilot when he turned around to look at me. I burst out laughing when I realized he couldn’'t see what I was doing :rofl:

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Great story Troll. I just finished Reflected’s Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodley campaign, the first that I’d ever flown completely in VR. Other than the squirming one does to check the fuselage tank on the Mustang for fuel management, it was pretty amazing. I feel like I could be right at home in a real P-51 pit for sure. I’m pretty sure that I could start and taxi it to the threshold without a checklist.

I’ve begun learning the Tomcat in order to fly Fear the Bones F-14A campaign, and a funny thing happened last night. Using the campaign’s training Mission that Greg includes, I was doing pattern work around the boat. My second approach was way left and high, while I was heads-down trying to determine if DLC had deployed. Probably because how often you get reminded not to use more than military thrust for a bolter, I was conservative applying power and our Kitty just barley had enough airspeed not to take a swim. I expected some really sarcastic comment to come out of the backseat, but no. Just a slowly building chuckle that turned into a devilish giggle from Jester. Was embarrassing and aggravating, but absolutely perfect for my screwup. I was surprised at my emotional reaction. Having it happen in VR, where you are in the world rather than looking at it, makes the situation all the more believable.

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I think what has killed DCS for me at the moment is that VR in MSFS is so easy to jump in and out of, which has spoiled me I guess. DCS screams for having that ability because briefing and mission editing etc is so much easier in 2D on a decent monitor. VR comes into it’s own when you click “Fly”. Hopefully ED will migrate over to OpenXR at some point.

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Life is so much easier today. I have a ladies powder mirror velcro’d to my cockpit. I pull it off to use to look behind me into the back seat. The side walls have transparent sections each side where you can physically see the fuel remaining. (Long Eze)

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Fantastic story! VR immersion is next-level and I still get those butterflies when spinning or in steep turns.

I can remember years and years ago playing Enemy:Engaged late at night and having my office chair suddenly break just as a missile smashed into my helo on the screen - gave me a hell of a fright!

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Closest I can come to that experience @Troll is a vivid dream I had years ago circa 1998/99 when I first started playing European Air War for hours on end. One night while still early in my EAW experience I was dreaming I was flying a P-47 and I was being chased by a FW-190 just like I had been multiple times earlier that day while actually playing. In my dream just after I saw tracers going past my plane I did a split-s to get away from him just like I had on many earlier occasions while playing. Now what me makes me know for certain this happened in a dream is that as I did that split-S I literally pushed myself over from my back to my stomach just about as fast as I did that Split-S in my dream. The roll in my bed was so fast and violent that it woke me up instantly. I have no clue how I did not just roll out of bed but I basically did that roll in one spot. Somehow in my sleep I had pushed myself up off the bed, flipped from my back to my front, and landed in almost the same spot as where I started. My heart was racing as if I had actually been being chased and then as I realized what happened I started laughing at myself for having become so immersed in the situation in my dream.

Wheels

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I think everything should.

I am always amazed how well the reprojection works in MSFS.

I agree!

I can imagine, :scream:

I rarely remember my dreams, and I can’t recall ever dreaming about flightsims. I did, however, get nightmares from the original Far Cry. That game was awesome up until the point where you uncover the plot and get attacked by those…creatures! The first encounter I had with one really startled me. I was expecting to fight humans and there was this monster jumping me! Gave me nightmares! I stopped playing the game.
I’m glad that wasn’t in VR! :wink:

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I will never ever do that in VR! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

btw for some reason I cant get that easily immersed even in VR. but I have spent little time in it so maybe it will grow on me with time.

or maybe its just the picture jitter I experience with the hs what kills the immersion…

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For me it took time. Time for the brain to learn to cope with the “wrong” information. Time to get used to ‘being there’. Time to get the machine to work, as VR is pretty rough tech, needing a lot of intricate tuning and such.

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A Lot Rubbing Hands GIF by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

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I see, I see, but I am not ready to undergo all of that now. I just folded down and going to try to return it.

it just didnt offer that much ‘juice’ for me to adopt it right now. coming from big 4k TV screen I think I wont be missing that much. did yesterday three flights on pancake in IL2, DCS and XP and I think I can do the return just easily.

the biggest concern of VR for me is small sweetspot and smaller fov I guess. and of course that picture jitter with the pimax hs and htc base station 2.0

That’s one of the things I’ve really been enjoying with the Index. It has just simply worked, out of the box, without much tinkering and tuning. Steam VR seems to work pretty good, without another layer of VR software on the side.

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I think thats the mistake I did. as a VR beginner I should have gone for the Index

Great story @Troll - I couldn’t agree more with all you’ve said. I’ve mostly used VR with X-Plane and probably have a disproportionate amount of time flying it in IFR in that capacity. All those years of writing for the magazine took me all over the virtual world to shoot interesting and challenging approaches. More than once I would get behind on a procedure due to being in a virtual aircraft I did not fully understand…and breaking out of the clouds at the wrong point or purposely wedging myself between cloud and granite sometimes elicited real fear. Familiar fear. Not quite to the level where you sit in the cockpit after shutdown with a knee shaking with nervous energy…but definitely a nibble of that feeling of dread.

VR is a pretty fun experience and though I still have room in my life for 2D stuff…it is a wholly more immersive experience for me.

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The Oculus Rift and Rift S were the same. And using them with sims and games that supported Oculus natively was a great experience.
As you say, adding the WMR to Steam VR or Oculus to Steam VR conversion layers increase the level of complexity.
I hope that everybody will move over to the Open XR platform, directly.

Flying IMC has become a more serious affair for me, in VR. Especially in DCS, where I normally fly VMC I wouldn’t hesitate punching through a cloud layer in 2D. I just left the controls alone until I had a horizon again. In VR I get a little bit of vertigo or suffer from the same illusions as with real flying, and I start drifting…

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From the “Real World” of VR…

Afterburn Podcast F15 Driver talks about showing their “Wow and Wow” simulator

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That’s a fascinating story about the campaign to win over Pentagon brass with “the 3 wows”

Growling Sidewinder again in VR, this time in a Battle of Britain scenario. I’ve been enjoying his VR takes on sims other than DCS.

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