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Moxy

BoS released...............

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We're already skeptical, Hess. After taking part in the alpha and beta, we have seen the route taken by the developers and have flown the FMs already. Unless things have changed with the 109 at high speed in the last couple months, it probably won't stay on my hard drive.

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We're already skeptical, Hess. After taking part in the alpha and beta, we have seen the route taken by the developers and have flown the FMs already. Unless things have changed with the 109 at high speed in the last couple months, it probably won't stay on my hard drive.

 

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We're already skeptical, Hess. After taking part in the alpha and beta, we have seen the route taken by the developers and have flown the FMs already. Unless things have changed with the 109 at high speed in the last couple months, it probably won't stay on my hard drive.

 

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Experience, opinions and comments after one week of BoS play or why I think the game is successful after all.

 

Let me say that I was really disappointed after releasing the game. Flight model is not what I would expected exactly, strange rudder authority and the absolutely PoS needs of offline play to unlocking mods of individual planes. These are my biggest complains about the new Il-2 Battle of Stalingrad. My depress became even deeper when I had joined the multiplayer for the first time.

 

But as I play it more and more, my frustration is smaller and smaller. I had to remember all the times I switched from one sim/game to another and there were many things done a different way. My virtual life of serious pilot began with Falcon 3.0 (I don’t count the games like F-19, Aces over Europe, Pacific, or even the 8-bit stone age era of Tomahawk). Than the Falcon 4.0. And this was my first problem. This game from 1998 set my expectations so high that when Il-2 was released, I was really pissed. OK, it was the “sim†of planes from WWII but that was the only thing on the positive side. Everything else was worse. Static campaign made from preplanned missions? No clickable cockpit? And the graphical representation of cockpit itself? It all was like return to pre Falcon 4.0 era, in general 4 years old in time it was released. My first thoughts were like “YGBSMâ€. This game is big obsolete piece of sh.t and I don’t understand why so many people are so excited about. Are they blind? But the Il-2 survived next ten years and became the most successful sim.

Then in 2003 I discovered the online world. It was thanks to the good old WWIIOL. In those days 1000+ players on the ONE server was common practice. Some in the air, some on the ground in tanks, ground powders, AAA gunners, truckers and so on. There was nothing like AI. The flight model was different than in Il-2 (it used the continuously computed FM instead of table based FM in Il-2). Il-2 fans claimed their sim is better, WWIIOL fans claimed theirs better. Still WWIIOL was way more excited to play (for me) just because of the multiplayer experience Il-2 could not compete. When the WWIIOL died slowly I switched to the Il-2 once again. And once again I feel like in very bad joke. How the hell can so many people like this game? Strange FM, sometimes very strange DM (I could repeatedly shot down B-17 with single 20 mm hit into the wingtip), no online campaign (it became better later), very simple terrain, these stupid forests instead of every single tree modeled and so on. But after first disappointments I realized I can live with and spent some funny years with that game.

I think similar thing happened to me during my first experience with BoS. I play CloD, I play DCS and now there is BoS. Both the other games are better in some way. But they are worse in the others. For the first I saw these cons but now I’m discovering the pros.

 

I try to summarized it. BoS cons:

- flight models feels like ultra light plane with overrated engine. It’s my personal opinion, maybe this is how it should work in fact. I don’t know. It’s different, but I can live with;

- rudder authority. It rolls the plane rather to made it side slipping;

- visualization of cockpit gauges seems a bit obsolete. But this is another thing I can live with;

- unlocking mods. This is something irritating me a lot. It is unacceptable thing unless the it should be finished during multiplay.

 

BoS pros in compare with DCS and CloD:

- it offers multiplayer experience. This is where the DCS loosing a lot;

- this even stands for the CloD especially with the features BoS offers for future online campaigns;

- DM. Maybe it isn’t so detailed like in the CloD but still I think it’s better. According to my experience the E-1’s armament in CloD (2 MGs in wings) is better and more effective than 20 mm canons (including MG-FF/M). The number of 20 mm hits needed to destroyed planes like Spitfire is ridiculous. Especially if you compare it with the historical sources (3-4) hits needed to single engine fighter destruction. Or the current presumption that ten 20 mm hits from M-61 are needed for MiG-29 size plane destruction;

- the whole environment and ground war in BoS offers deeper immersion than either DCS or CloD.

 

Now few thoughts about the multiplayer. My biggest mistake came with my RoF experience. Because Syndicate server was always one of the best there, I joined it on BoS. It was huge mistake. There is the one and only mission, running on that server (or I have just a bad luck?). And even this mission is not on the top of what you would expect from these guys. I named the enemy icons on briefing maps while you are in the air and so on. So I joined a different server, the Heavy metal or something like this and whoa, it’s totally different story. Different missions with highly detailed plans, moving ground units, air supply made by players and lots o other features. Something I haven’t seen for a long time (never in CloD and last time in the ADW in old Il-2). With 130 pilots limits it’s the best what we can find on the whole internet. (it is limited to 33 atm due removing some bug in the game). Still there was no sign of lagging under the full stress of 130 people on the server. It offers probably the best multiplayer experience of WWII combat available, with all respect to the CloD.

 

One last thing. BoS and CloD are hard to compare. CloD became playable after ten years of development and like two years hard work of Team Fusion (which made a damn good job). BoS has like two years of development from zero to current (IMO) very good and competitive status.

 

That’s my personal up to date experience from BoS.

 

Sorry for wall of text and more detailed description.

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No need to apologize, that was very well thought out and quite enlightening.  I still haven't taken the time to fly it since updating my game to the release version, I've used what little time I've had for Skyrim and DCS: MiG-21.  Your points are all valid, I just need to get in and see if I can come to accept the FM or not.

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I think this could be a good read about the BoS comparison with other sims.

 

http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/12476-reasons-why-i-almost-exclusively-play-bos-unbiased-ww2-sim-r/

 

I'd add that flying 190 (I fly it almost exclusively) in BoS is probably the best 190 experience I've ever had. If I compare it with WWIIO, Il-2:1946 and DCS then I have to say that the BoS version is the best one. It's "feels" the same way as real pilots describe it.

 

There are many small features which move the immersion in BoS to absolutely different level. When I saw walking soldiers around the airfield for the first time I was shocked. They look so "alive" than most of up to date first person shooting game could be lucky to have them in. The snowy landscape seems a bit monotonous but it really looks like the snow field on winter sunny day. The 6DOF is the best I've ever see. And the "outside" graphical models of planes are miles ahead of CloD or DCS. They look "alive". And so on and so on.

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Hi Pragr,

 

That's a very interesting read!  Thanks a lot for posting it.

 

While I don't completely agree with the author's conclusions, I definitely can see that he's attempting to be impartial.

 

I think where the author and I diverge is when it comes to the subject of "what we want from flight sims".

 

Forgetting the unlock system, as I think it's one of the more minor issues...

 

As a hardcore simmer, I want the aircraft to act and react historically.  I think that in 2014, clickable cockpits, an authentic damage model, and an authentic flight model, should be the standard, not the exception.  In other words, sims should be trying to push the envelope towards realism.

 

Now, I of course understand that realism is always a hard target to hit.  And that from person to person, "real" is often very subjective.

 

However, I think it's important to note that Oleg Maddox and company created IL-2 in 2001 to be the most realistic sim possible with late 1990s / early 2000 technology.  And that this is a tradition that he and his company continued for as long as they were in collaboration with 1C.  Despite all it's initial problems, no one can argue that IL-2: CLoD was trying to push the historical envelope with what was possible.  It just took Team Fusion and a bunch of modders to follow through with Oleg's original promise.

 

As a result, it's hard for me to look at IL-2: BOS and not see something that is slipping backwards, rather than boldly moving forward.

 

Perhaps it's because I expect complexity, while of course acknowledging that simplified settings should be available for inexperienced or causal players.  What 777 has basically given us with BOS is a perfect melding of Rise of Flight and the original IL-2.  That's not bad!  Seriously.  But, personally, it's no longer what I'm looking for.

 

Despite my great love for all things Rise of Flight, I often find it about as deep as a puddle.  The maps are sterile, and the lack of complex aircraft management is noticeable.  And for all my love for the original IL-2, it's 13 years old and not something that should be used as a benchmark. At least not any longer.

 

Further, for me, all 2014 flight sims need a robust back-end, which provides for large-scale tournaments (like Ghost Skies).  Yes, we're able to massage Rise of Flight into good solid "Flanders In Flames" missions.  But there are significant limitations to what Butzzell (or any other map builder) can do in ROF.  And FIF has already starting hitting the complexity wall, where going too big creates weird anomalies, like clocks going backwards.

 

Solid World War II Tournaments, like Ghost Skies, need to accommodate over 60 people on a server.  How else are you going to recreate aspects of large scale air battles?  They also need internal stats tracking that allow for automation.  And we need killable objects that record what they are and who has killed them.  Most importantly, we need the ability to have more than 90 objects on the ground without taking up 30% of your CPU capacity!

 

BOS, in all of these regards, has inherited the worst parts of Rise of Flight.  Basically, ROF's "Achilles heel".  With the limitation in ground objects, the only thing that BOS is currently able to provide are solid dogfight battles or specific "coop" missions.  Large online campaigns just aren't currently possible.

 

Maybe this will change.  And I hope that it does.

 

But, like with Rise of Flight, I can't help but feel that these flaws are hard-coded into the game.  More than likely, the back-end that was delivered when the game was released last month, will remain with the sim for as long as the game is supported.

 

Now, to be fair, DCS can't run Ghost Skies either!

 

Even though DCS has complexity and a lush back-end, the game struggles with 6v6 on a stable server.  You get lag and stuttering and a lot of headaches.  Maybe DCS World 2 will change some of this.

 

However, for the moment, the only game that gives us the maximum ability to create a viable and realistic WW2 campaign is CLoD.  And it's crazy to say that, considering how painful that game's release was.

 

Either way, let me know what you think.  I definitely value your opinions greatly. :)

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Actually I largely agree with you. Still there are few points I would add.

 

I'm still surprised that ground objects could consume so much of CPU. I know this is a big problem of RoF. As I wrote in one of my previous posts it shock me, because the Falcon 4.0 fully dynamic campaign consumed about 5 % - 10 % of CPU. That was in 1998 when many players play this game on 486 and only very few had first generation of Pentium!!! I'm really disapointed (and that's the most polite word for my actual feelings) that after sixteen years we have nothing comparable. In fact, I'd prefer WWII sim with Falcon 4.0 kind of campaign way more than clickable cockpit. But this is matter of personal preferences.

 

I fear that CloD would not satisfy the needs for trackable objects. According to my experience from ATAG server stats in CloD are working the strange way. Especially when you considered the ground objects. Just few examples: Sometimes I hit the locomotive but was credited with whole train including all rail cars. On the other hand when I hit the artillery position consisted of many guns, tracks etc it was counted like one single target. Many times I had not credited by kill because someone hit the ground position before me. Which is frustrated when you know that you destroyed a big part of those ground units and get nothing. Ships are very similar problem. If you hit one it needs a time before it gets down. That's ok, until you realize that if anyone else hit the ship after you did, he gets the credit even if the ship would go down due your effort. I need to note that I haven't seen any moving ground unit on ATAG DF missions or campaign except the trains. The battlefield seems sterile and dead even when you're right above ground units. But my experience are based on user point of view. I have no idea what is actually possible with CloD mission builder. I participated in three online campaigns on ATAG. They are good in some way but they're limited by the the CloD features. Flying around the map is one of the least. But flying bellow trees is what I consider totally unacceptable. It's ridiculous when you see so many pilots vulching AF and hiding in trees, where nobody can't hit them. 

 

While I think the clickable cockpit is essential feature for modern plane simulation I doubt it's as important for WWII simers. I've spoken with many people flying CloD. All of them claim how the clickable cockpit is the best and most important feature. But as we talked about their game experience they told me (in nine out of ten cases) they mapped almost all functions on HOTAS they use. So they use the clickable cockpit for switch on the fuel tank only (and very few of them to set up altimeter). What a waste of resource when it seems developers need a considerable time to create such complex design feature. CloD needed about 10 years to get into playable state. Moreover it bankrupts the developing team and need two years of free moders work (of course it was not just because of clickable cockpit). DCS seems to face similar problem. Black Shark was published in 2009 if I'm right. Now in 2014 we have like five or six additional planes, few others in Beta phase. Basically no multiplayer and very fragmented plane set.

 

I like all these three sims. CloD is for some reasons my least favored. I'd add the horrible style of 6DOF and head move in general to my complains I mentioned above. The "lean on gunsight" feature is something I hate way more than all flaws of BoS :) And I know my problem here is that I don't use any kind of TIR or free track. Fact, that CloD developers/moders are not able to implemented such basic function like head moves is beyond my brain.

 

Now to BoS. I'm not sure about number of ground units available and trackable in BoS. In the single player campaign there are hundreds of ground object all around the map. I'm not talking about airfields, planes on the ground, buildings in town, bridges etc, but about tanks, artillery, trucks, trains, AAA, gun nests. Many of these ground units are fighting together. All could be individually destroyed by player and credited to his score. Actually the whole battlefield in BoS single player feels "alive". I have no idea how the ground part is working in multiplayer or how much CPU consumes. According to Heavy metal server, there are at least dozens targets in several columns, each with their own targets, they use sequences of actions, they are moving and they are trackable by BoS parser. Before the last patch the player limit on Heavy Metal server was 130 people online and was full every day (I have to say LDs are using top-end setup for their server). About the the stats. I haven't found any kind of stats yet, but when I checked the in game server stats, there are right numbers of destroyed targets. IMO this is the first step to get some kind of more complex statistics. 

 

Last note. BoS was done less than two years since the game development was announced (December 2012). Once again if I would compare it with CloD state two years after announcement...

 

In the perfect world we would have the simulator combined the best of BoS, CloD and DCS and all this in time scale of BoS development. But sadly we are not living in perfect world. Under the real world conditions (limited by time/money ratio) I can see the clickable cockpit in WWII era simulation is "waste of resources". On the other hand I accept that another people can see it the other way.

 

IMO only time will show. I'm not sure about the next step of TF. They talk about the new map for about two years now. WWII DCS would be available this year. Another map for BoS (they talk about "summer" map and I have no idea if it would be 1943 or 1942) would be available this Christmas or early on 2015. Based on experience I have with announcements made by all three teams so far, the new map for BoS seems most probable. Then we'll see how fast and effective the 1C studio can be with respect to new additions to their project.

 

EDIT: It seems another map is almost done:

 

http://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/5594-will-there-be-other-maps/?p=195137

 

Winter again, but still amazing. And that guy is working on autumn map too.

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