I felt it my be of interest to others to share my experiences of 3 different Joysticks over the past 5 weeks or so.
I came to RoF using my old Logitech 3D Extreme Pro. This was great for Elite Dangerous and with easy to assign buttons it served its time there well. However with RoF it was very stiff to use and I soon noticed pain in my right forearm.
And so I started to do some research. Here in Australia we have a very limited choice, eg. Logitech, Flight Master and CH. Logitech I know, I looked at Flight Master (Warthog) however I had read that it was also quite stiff to use and the cost was prohibitive. The reviews on the cheaper version were not overwhelming, squishy buttons to name one issue. So I purchased the CH. Its a good stick to use however the software is from Win XP days and extremely frustrating to use. In the meantime Luft had sent me a link re the VKB sticks.
Well they look great the reviews very good and so I decided to risk it. I purchased the Gladiator from the US. They are Russian by design and made in China (of course). Its great to use, has over 62k measurements when its being moved vs 256 for the CH stick. It by no means improves my flying when compared to the CH however its the configuration software that is mind blowing. Its around the same cost of the CH stick however it has an ARM processor in the stick and the configuration can be saved and it is written to the stick itself. This allows the stick to be able to be moved to another pc and it carries that latest config with it. One downside is the configuration manual is over 100 pages long and atm a direct translation from Russian and with all the technical terms makes it hard to follow. However I have already done some key mapping and once a few basic setups are turned on its easy to do. And all mapping can be tested before saving the file.
The CH stick and the VKB are around the same price for me here in Australia ($100 usd). Have I wasted my money on getting both? Some might say yes. However, I can see myself always playing RoF and so having a good stick is essential and a spare is worthwhile as well simply because as I said availability here in Australia is limited.
The attached pics show the stick which is very stylish and an image of 2 of the configuration menus. That is only screen with many more things to tweak. Way more than I will ever use however I am wading my way through the manual and am sure I will use more of it over time.
While it wont necessarily make me a better fighter pilot, although changing to the CH from the Logitech had almost immediate improvements, having a good stick allows one to focus more on SA rather than being distracted by a joystick that is a challenge to use.
I have used the VKB already in Elite Dangerous and it needs work. There is a big dead zone and here the Logitech was better as the VKB is very sensitive.