Thoughts on MAC after flying new MiG-29

Because developers have finite resources split between everyone’s largely diverse wants and interests. Resources spent on a FC3 can be spent to the detriment of [insert-your-module-of-choice] development for instance. It is a purely selfish reason, but a reason nonetheless.

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More time in the MiG-29A last night in VR. I am beginning to prefer this pit over the Sukoi offerings, without understanding why. Over Normandy, I can get a steady 50-60 fps with the new RTX card. Hmm, this might become addicting.


To be honest, from the perspective of a developer, it’s actually easier and less time consuming to do an FC level module than a high fidelity one. Systems simulation gets very complex very quickly. I don’t know how ED is handling it, but they probably have separate system modeling guys who likely do little, if any, actual work on the FC level aircraft.

That is true, but ED probably has even less guys that can do the complex Flight Model that FC planes also need. I think it is mostly just Yo-yo.

Also, do not underestimate the flight model development cost. I remember ED sharing with us that the development cost of the Bf109 flight model (surely a simpler one than that for a supersonic fighter or a helicopter) was $200,000

Difference being there’s a lot of data out there for the 109. If you’re building a simulation of that as close as you can get it for desktop hardware, that’s a lot of data to pipe in and tweak for your simulation. You might think that a prop would be simpler, but reality is it’s actually more complex than a jet, if you factor in a lot of the quirks from the piston engine, prop, etc. Not nearly as complicated as a helicopter, but I suspect more complex than a jet.

My impression is for the FC level aircraft is a lot of the data isn’t available or if it is, ED can’t use it. Not to say it’s all unrealistic or that PFM is no work at all, but I’m not convinced it goes to the same level that the F/A-18C does.

But ED always stated that the FC3 module was one of the best selling ever…

It is, but I was just saying that even though the systems operation is simplified, FC development does still need a lot of those same resources as full-blown modules due to the complexity of the flight model and everything related to it. (Hydraulics, etc)

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Isn’t FC3 also one of the least expensive and oldest offerings too?

“Best selling” doesn’t necessarily mean “most in demand right now” or “where demand will track in the future.”

Just being a stickler :stuck_out_tongue:

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Have no qualms with that.
But if it sells like hot cakes… make more hot cakes…

Mmmm! Cakes! :cake:


Mmmm cake


I can say that online, the FC aircraft tend to be the most commonly flown by the online crowd, outside of the Bug.


Well, to me it seems that mostly the Eagle and various forms of Flankers are to be found online. The newly updated Fulcrum also seems to be taking a lot of marketshare. I don’t know if this will be permanent or is just a novelty factor thing. I sure do love flying it myself, though. It also seems very competitive loadout-wise with setups like 2×27ET, 2×77, 2×73. Payware Frogfoots seem few and far between, even though I think it’s a lovely jet. Also, the A variant of the Warthog doesn’t seem to have anywhere near the popularity the C variant has. So, what to conclude from all of this? That FC3 is popular? That highly capable 4th gen fighters are popular or that 4th gen fighters are popular among the crowds that love FC3? I suppose we’ll find out once MAC drops. If things remain mainly 4th gen fighters or if more frames will become popular after its release.

As for liking or disliking what sort of aircraft are being worked on by developers, I’ve personally come to terms with the fact that aviation is a very broad definition. If people are working on an aircraft that I like, great! If people are working on an aircraft that I don’t like, then I hope the people that do enjoy that type are going to enjoy flying it. At times I let curiosity get the better of me, and I enjoyed flying aircraft like the AJS-37, Mirage 2000C and the Hip more than I thought I would, even though I didn’t feel particularly warm to hearing that they were being developed.

As for MAC, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this product simply isn’t targeted at me. It seems like the perfect DCS: Starter edition, with limited access to two maps and a healthy amount of airframes to choose from. I already own all maps, and all the aircraft included in the pack, and enjoy flying them at the fidelity they are already represented at. However, it would be extremely easy for myself to get behind this product if it offered something new, maybe even including some of the newer techs developed for DCS. Unfortunately, full fidelity modern Russian stuff likely isn’t going to be a thing, so I can’t help myself but fantasize that MAC could have included a new Russian frame. Maybe they could have gotten one of the Skatezilla’s fantastic Su-30 models, transpose either the Su-27 or -33 FM to it, and make it work, with multicrew (fully understanding that this is a lot of work). We’d have an airframe that can do aerial refueling with 2 pilots, I think it’d be fun to learn new people how to fly in a jet as capable as this one and, if given a weapon like the Kh-31, could try to shoot and sink the Stennis and the Forrestal which could allow for some, in my mind at least, entertaining multiplayer scenarios. Alas, for now my fantasy will remain just that, and I am sure everyone has different ideas on what direction they would like DCS to progress towards.

As for systems depth, I agree with some guys that there is actually a fair layer of depth in FC3 that is unfortunately obscured by keyboard controls. Think things like the altimeter settings, the bingo bug, quantity and interval settings for weapons. These are modelled, their respective controls are present in the cockpit and even animated! The only thing that is missing is that you cannot click them, you have to remember their keyboard controls, or map them to your HOTAS. For things like this I’d love a semi-clickable pit that is generally not clickable but has some functionality to it.


I’m sorry, I was under the impression that ED did not make 100% of the planes themselves but rather had multiple 3rd parties working on a large number of them.

If developing an FC level plane does indeed take less rarified skillsets than a full DCS version, it would certainly stand to reason that there are developers who could tackle an FC plane that are unable to do a DCS version because it requires more than they could do. This widens the field of potential partners.

You know, kind of how engineering firms don’t have their top paid engineers answering phones, sorting mail, or cleaning windows. Where is it written that people capable making of DCS level modules are the only ones who can make FC level ones? In fact, didn’t that very thing happen with the Hawk or one of those other modules? They were going to start with FC level and then move it up to DCS but fell short? Sounds like a prime candidate to make more that are FC only.

Not everyone can make a Ferrari or Porsche. Some are only going to make Toyotas and Mazdas because there is a market for them too.


I like the mix of complex and simple. It doesn’t really change the skillset required online. For me anyway, once I learn the clickable systems my workflow is very similar to what I’d be doing with a simplified model. It comes down to preference.

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I’m with you on this. The mode of interaction is less important for me as the quality of the system. I think the free SU-25T is more in depth systems wise than say the Harrier despite it not having a clickable pit. The F-15C radar is more developed than the Mirage radar despite it being FC3. Going back to the :honeybee:, I still use the keyboard for gear, flaps, hook, launch bar, etc. all of the Hotas functions are mapped to my Hotas. If you have to take a hand off a control to interact with a switch in real life anyway, what’s the difference in taking a hand off to push a keyboard button?

The one area where clickable interface has the advantage is the UFC and MFD/DDI interaction. Setting laser codes, adding waypoints, tacan, etc, it’s necessary for this to be modeled.

With all that being said, my main argument is for more FC3 versions of the “simpler” aircraft without DDI’s and CDUs and UFCs. Planes like the A-4, F-8, F-100, older MiGs, etc.

As I see it all the developers for DCS platform, including ED, are like minded individuals. They all strive for full fidelity.

We still have to wait for first FC level 3party dev.

Why? Imo because all the present devs came to DCS as this platform enables them to create what they realy want - full fidelity military modules of high quality.
The rest of the devs does not consider enough atractive to undergo all the hasle of development, licensing, ED quality checks etc. just to release FC level stuff. There are P3D, XP, AF2 etc. for this kind of stuff.

Does ED even accept less than high-fidelity from 3rd party now?

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Unless I am mistaken, absolutely none of those except for DCS feature the ability to fly in combat.

If all you want to do is learn systems and practice flying, yes, those will suffice. If you want to practice fighting, they fall very short.

Funny you mention the A-4, as there is currently a free mod in development, which was made by developers who do not have access to the full SDK (toolset) of third parties due to the fact it is freeware, and what they made is almost the complement of FC3-level.

In FC3 the cockpit is not clickable and the systems operation is not like in the real aircraft but the flight model and systems relevant for flight are extremely accurate.
In the community A-4E mod the cockpit is clickable, systems like radar and weapons are operated like the real thing, but the flight model and systems are simplified.

The only thing they have in common is great graphics.

EDIT: Here is a link to the Mudspike summary of the ED forums thread.