Flight Simming - General Discussion

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DarkMellie
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Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by DarkMellie » 28 Dec 2015, 14:15

Hiya, just wanted a space to talk about Flight Sims as I know we have a few keen e-pilots around.

Here's a few of my favourites as well as a semi-detailed breakdown.

For discussion around flight gear, head here.


DCS World

See brimlad's excellent FAQ here.

DCS World Modules are currently on sale on Steam... you can get the Warthog for $24 and the WW2 planes for $35. Bloody good value!



The Nevada Test and Training Range Map (NTTM) is in Alpha under DCS World 2.0. It's beautifully detailed but, imo, hardly worth the wait... but with that said, the wait has been for the better engine (EDGE) and just the ability to have different maps loadable into the game so I guess it's a move in the right direction. You also need to install all your existing modules from within the game client (which is laborious).

There's a fairly decent stable of aircraft now if you've been away for a while and they're also starting to do paid campaigns (which is a boon, was getting very tired of in-the-box scenarios). Aircraft now include; M-2000C (a Mirage I think?), L-39 Albatross (twin-seater training aircraft), Hawk (another training aircraft), MiG-15bis, MiG-21bis, C-101 AvioJet (trainer and aerobatic), Bf 109 K-4 Kurfurst, Fw 190 D-9 Dora, F-86F Sabre, P-51D Mustang, A-10C Warthog, UH-1H Huey, Mi-8MTV2 Magnificent Eight, Ka-50 Black Shark.... with plenty more yet planned. There's also the 'Flaming Cliffs 3' set of aircraft that are simpler variants... you'll still have a solid flight model, but rather than clickable cockpits you'll use simple keyboard commands... you no longer need to own LOMAC in order to purchase FC3 (they must have resolved the licensing issue).

While it's possible to learn them all, there's a significant amount of flight and study time needed to be proficient in each single aircraft so my tip is to pick the ones that interest you and focus on them. So far I'd call myself proficient in the A-10C and Black Shark with limited proficiency in the Huey, and a beginner with the MiG-21bis. I'm kinda keen on the new mirage, but I think I'll wait for the FA-18 when it finally gets here.



DCS World comes with the Black Sea map as standard and with the free (and excellent) SEAD SU-25T Frogfoot which can be used on multiplayer servers. Modules are around $50+ and, imo, worth it due to the amount of work that goes into each of them. You can join any server running any aircraft but unless you own the aircraft module you would only see an external view (so no cockpit of flying, essentially).

The beauty of DCS is that your aircraft don't work by magic... so when you press a button to do a thing, it doesn't just go 'button pressed, do thing'.... that button press will then work its way through your aircraft exactly as it's designed in real life... so if a stray bullet has taken out a vital part of that chain, your button will no longer work.



Along with the Combined Arms module which allows a human player to act as traffic control, DCS can be an intensely realistic experience when played with an organised group. If you're keen on that sort of thing, AEF's DCS-161 Squadron has a roster of experienced pilots who take the time to induct all new players... it's such a small scene that it's in everyone's best interest to help it grow! Equally, you can co-op or solo the excellent mission roster. At a guess, it might take 20 hours to be able to get your chosen aircraft off the ground (less for the WW2 craft) and deploy weapons, add another 10 hours for navigation and landing, and then another several 100 before you can actually deal with stuff like having vital components in your aircraft destroyed by ground fire or missile impacts.



Rise of Flight

From the excruciatingly studious nature of DCS, to the purity and simplicity of the World War One battlefield. Rise of Flight is a gorgeously put-together flightsim of biplanes, triplanes and energy conservation over the fields of France. Now a Free to Play that comes with the Spad 13, Albatros D.VA and Nieuport 17, there is some complexity to the controls (on harder difficulties you can choose to manage your radiator and fuel mixture and more) but really it's all in the actual flying. The key to staying alive in the still populated multiplayer skies is spatial awareness and height. Being able to spot the tiny specks of your targets in the massive gamespace and then having enough height to not get involved in a deadly turn-based fight are skills that will take you many, many hours to hone.

The cockpits are recreated perfectly as are the planes from the era, and interestingly you can see the huge steps in engineering that occurred within this single conflict.



Extra planes can be bought (or you can buy the Channel edition for a much larger starting stable) fairly cheaply, sitting around $5USD for a single aircraft and with a current sale offering $2 planes, and there's not a great deal of difference in how they operate (but definitely in how they handle). You can also buy packs for some aircraft for a similar price that let you change the weapons on your aircraft (something new and cool that they didn't have when last i flew it).

Given that one of the games greatest aces, Requiem, flew for years just using a joystick hat to toggle look, it's absolutely possible to be proficient in a battle without TrackIR.


IL-2 Sturmovik - Battle of Stalingrad (and upcoming Battle of Moscow)

From the makers of the now-fixed-modded-and-superb Cliffs of Dover, BoS (and the upcoming BoM expansion) is a World War 2 flight sim that straddles the line between arcade and realism, delivering thrilling multiplayer battles in creaking, leather and brass ensconced aircraft. I haven't put a lot of hours into this one as I bought it on a whim that it might one day be great, but the long alpha program has meant waning interest from other pilots (BoM will undoubtedly bring people back to the fold).



Someone else might be able to expand on this one for me, because any time I play BoS I think about...


War Thunder

I'd link you to my early preview of this but satan went and killed GoN. War Thunder is the pinnacle of playable flight sims because it so easily encompasses everything I love in the genre. If you just want to experience flight and shooting lots of planes down, you go into arcade mode with your mouse and keyboard and just rip shit up. As you progress you'll research new planes, train better crews and get matched against players at similar levels. If you want a little taste of simming you can play hard modes which slow down the kills and ramp up the navigation. If you want to go all out, you can play what used to be called Full Real Battles and be fixed to your cockpit with no markers on enemy planes meaning you having to get close enough to determine if they're friendly before limiting your machine gun bursts because you can't reload without landing.



This compact, all-encompassing set of gameplay modes means War Thunder is still being played and paid for by thousands of pilots around the world every day. Sure, the sim-mode is more sim-like in that it's primarily a visual experience moreso than a studied one, but fighting in such conditions against other players is as real as it gets.



So, I've left a few out (like X-Plane and Flight Sim 10) as the ones above are the only sims I've played in the last few years, but I'm keen to hear now from you as to either your opinions and breakdowns of your favourite sims, or even your favourite flight simming experiences! Was it doing a night-time run with 4 friends in Cessna's from Melbourne to Hobart in Flight Sim X? Was it circling with 3 other Warthogs while another 2 players ran Frogfoots on a SEAD mission before a player-controller JTAC gave you directions such that your squadron wrecked a brigade's worth of artillery and tanks threatening a peaceful town? Was it flying with Requiem himself and getting your first ROF player kill using the Drag'n'Bag technique?

Let me hear it :D
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GamingKen
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by GamingKen » 29 Dec 2015, 21:57

I was surprised to discover just the other week that I own Rise of Flight. Apparently I purchased it (some package/module anyway) at some point on Greenmangaming, but I don't think I have played it even once. I really should download ti sometime and give it a try. I also keep meaning to download War Thunder again. I think I got turned off in the past because it was highly geared towards mouse and keyboard use, and sticks/gamepads seemed to be at a disadvantage against them, but I never tried the sim side to it much, nor really gave the game much of a chance. It did always look pretty damn beautiful!
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by Kinky Kel » 30 Dec 2015, 09:42

All I've been wanting to do for the past Month is played DCS again. I need to re-install it and get my flight stick out and youtube to start up sequence again. I loved getting shot down by you Mellie :)
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DarkMellie
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by DarkMellie » 30 Dec 2015, 15:04

:D

Hit me up any time. I've got RoF, DCS, IL-2 BoS, IL-2 CoD + TF Patch and Elite Dangerous, all ready to go... I just need a wingman.
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Disco
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by Disco » 21 May 2017, 16:09

I went hunting for my joystick this weekend and can't seem to find it.. I binned by X52 Pro ages ago as it was no-where near as good as my cheap Logitech stick. gotta hunt for something else now.
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29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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brimlad
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 09 Jun 2017, 11:24

DCS World 2.1 is going great guns, Normandy map is up and Nevada is such a fun map to fly especially around Hoover dam

spitfire in Normandy
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spitfire over Normandy, map is still laggy but it's only a month old and still alpha
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Nevada map is rocking !
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Xplane 11 is looking and flying exceptionally well

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Disco
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by Disco » 09 Jun 2017, 12:02

I'm a bit hesitant to get back into flying now that I don't have Track IR
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Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 09 Jun 2017, 13:20

it's very good trackir, but Disco why do you no longer have it ?

I broke my trackir pro clip and I just use the clip to the front of a cap which works just as well as the led's
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Disco
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by Disco » 09 Jun 2017, 13:25

brimlad wrote:
09 Jun 2017, 13:20
it's very good trackir, but Disco why do you no longer have it ?

I broke my trackir pro clip and I just use the clip to the front of a cap which works just as well as the led's
A puppy who shan't be named chewed through the cables
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Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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brimlad
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 30 Jul 2017, 11:31

First spitfire campaign for DCS was launched on Friday and it is awesome, historically accurate with plenty of detail and 12 missions which I'm looking forward too !
Fly the legendary Spitfire LF Mk. IX over Normandy in June 1944 as the allies attempt to break out of the D-Day landing beachheads. Battle German forces in the air and on the ground as the allies push south over 12 missions south of the Juno and Gold landing beaches. The missions consist of a combination of armed reconnaissance, intercepts, and directed ground attacks.
takes me back to CFS3 days :D

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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by boars » 24 Jan 2018, 00:50

Been a while since I have playted any flight sims... had a bit of a bash in X-plane 11, not too shabby so far.

Now to work out how to import the local satellite data to make things look prettier.

Also not sure why I cannot seem to spawn myself on the international airport... taking off on the cross runway, which I assume is a light aircraft strip (?) is a bit odd.
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brimlad
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 24 Jan 2018, 13:09

xplane 11 is great fun, I tend to fly the beechcraft baron 58 as it has such a realistic feel; tasmania and the east coast has some great flying but the entire world is there to enjoy. the addons can be expensive but you just look for the steam sales, I recently bought the Frankfurt airport detailed dlc as it is a major hub in Europe, massive airport with so much happening.

when you say local satellite data I guess you mean google earth data and there are tutorials at xplane.org to do such but it does require some cpu grunt to make it work well... xplane loves many cores.

you can select the strip to spawn on, you just need to work out which code is for each strip at a particular airport and you can google that info as xplane is true to life; real world weather is also pretty cool I like to look at bom weather satellite and see where there is some crazy weather in oz and try my luck in the baron... great fun
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DarkMellie
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by DarkMellie » 24 Jan 2018, 20:11

I have XPlane on my wishlist, shall try it some day!


Fa 18-C Hornet is up for prepurchase in DCS... I just don't think I have the hundreds of hours in my to learn to fly it anymore...
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 25 Jan 2018, 07:41

xplane 11 is the best general flying sim available atm worth the dollars though it is a time sink.

DCS: F/A-18C Hornet is available for pre-purchase but the early access version won't be available till may; the $20 discount makes it a good buy and should be an awesome plane especially with carrier ops

the DCS: AV-8B Night Attack V/STOL is also on my wlist looks really good with a great assortment of night and carrier ops; I'd buy it but I'm knee deep in ww2 planes and I've only done 8 of the 12 Normandy missions I bought last year.
another big year for DCS
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 14 May 2018, 09:23

DCS World 2.5.1 YAY!

unification has arrived and DCS is one again , no more 1.5 and 2.5 beta, all planes, maps and missions on the same platform and it seems pretty stable and the old caucasus map looks great in the new terrain engine... good times ahead :)

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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by Disco » 14 May 2018, 09:37

DarkMellie wrote:
24 Jan 2018, 20:11
I have XPlane on my wishlist, shall try it some day!


Fa 18-C Hornet is up for prepurchase in DCS... I just don't think I have the hundreds of hours in my to learn to fly it anymore...
That's my issue, the learning curve is too steep for flight sims for me - I wish there was an easy mode or something.
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29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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DarkMellie
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by DarkMellie » 14 May 2018, 20:13

So glad there's a single install once more and holy shit the Persian map looks absolutely incredible.

Will probably update and maybe do a bit of flying but yeah, I sadly think my FS days are behind me.


Disco, there is an easy mode, tunes it down to about 20 controls. Also the Flaming Cliffs 3 aircraft are all simple-control-model only.
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brimlad
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by brimlad » 16 May 2018, 14:10

Persian map does looks awesome and very suited to the f-18 and the harrier; I'll probably grab it while it's on pre-release special.

and Disco what Mellie said, you can download DCS World 2.5 for free and it comes with 2 free planes and when you turn on the assists and lock in arcade mode flying is pretty easy. Some of the flaming cliffs 3 planes are sold separately at about 10usd or cheaper on sale so you just grab one or two.

Remember though that if you use the steam version then you need to buy the modules through steam as the steam version is different to the DCS version.

https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/ ... ?PAGEN_1=3
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Disco
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Re: Flight Simming - General Discussion

Post by Disco » 16 May 2018, 14:32

Yeah but you know then I'd like someone to play with lol
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Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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