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About statrekmike

  • Birthday 09/16/1983

Personal Information

  • Flight Simulators
    DCS World, IL-2 1946, IL-2 Cliffs of Dover, Rise of flight, BMS Falcon 4.32
  • Location
    Providence RI
  • Interests
    Military history, guitar, aviation

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  1. If we go by that as a rule, you wouldn't be able to review a great deal of what is out for DCS right now. I don't say this out of cynicism or to convey snark. It is just that a lot of DCS modules are not 100% complete. Additionally. Every DCS developer has to deal with the reality that releasing a early access product for money will naturally lead to reviews in order to help people make more informed choices. In many ways, the reviews that are more coherent and reasonable (and not just angry gamer outrage stuff) are the ones that lead to better early access releases in the future. RAZBAM is charging for the map right now and prospective purchasers have the right to know what they are getting for their money.
  2. I gotta admit that I am really confused at this notion that Wags tutorials are "too long and don't get to the point". If anything, they are exactly to the point and don't waste any time on anything but directly describing what to do to complete a specific procedure. No time is wasted on anything else.
  3. So a big thing to keep in the back of your mind as you fly the Su-25T (or even the other version of the Su-25 that comes with the Flaming Cliffs 3 pack) is that it is best seen as a sort of Russian equivalent to the A-10 and as such, it will have a similar focus on ground attack, anti-tank, and CAS. It isn't a dogfighter. It isn't going to be used in air to air combat. Any air to air capability it has is (like the A-10) purely defensive in nature and really only will be effective if the attacker makes a lot of mistakes and leaves you a opening to attack. If you want air to air combat, the Su-25 isn't really going to give you that experience in any meaningful level. Also. The Su-25 does not have a radar. In regards to stalling issues. The Su-25 is a heavy airplane to begin with and the more weapons you carry, the heavier it gets. This has a direct impact on your speed and maneuverability. If you are experiencing a lot of stalls, you need to have a lighter touch on the controls and not turn so aggressively that you stall the airplane. You will also have problems if you overload the aircraft with weapons. This is a pretty common mistake but if you look at real-life images of combat aircraft on missions, they generally carry a lot less than you are likely to see on a DCS public server. Finally. Viewing targets is a complicated topic but there are two things to think about that might help. 1.) While it isn't listed in the minimum requirements, DCS really does require some kind of head tracking of some sort. In my own experience, the only really viable long-term solution is IR LED based tracking (outside of VR but that only really matters if you own a VR headset to begin with and have a system that can run DCS in VR at a worthwhile level). There are face tracking options if you only have a webcam but even in the best possible circumstances, face tracking has a lot of problems and a lot of limitations. IR LED based tracking is a lot more reliable and is possible to do on a pretty tight budget. You can build your own setup (just look up "DIY IR headtracking" on Google). You can buy a inexpensive setup made by a small company (like Trackhat or Delanclip) or you could get TrackIR itself (which can get pricey). 2.) It is easy for us simmers to get really fixated on using the various targeting pod, datalink, or other related sensors to find ground targets but in doing so, we only really make things harder for ourselves. Since the Su-25 is a close support aircraft first and foremost (like the A-10), a lot of target spotting is going to be done with your own eyes since the sensors on the airplane are not really meant for searching wide areas for targets and instead are more about target designation once you have spotted them with your own eyes or with the help of some other asset (JTAC or the like). To be clear. Spotting targets by eye isn't easy. It is a skill that needs to be practiced and developed. At first you will struggle to find targets but as you start learning what to look for, it gets easier. Obviously IR headtracking is a big deal here since struggling with view controls while also trying to fly and spot targets by eye isn't going to be very pleasant.
  4. It is a issue because it isn't just CBU craters that are bugged. It is craters in general. It just manifests faster with CBU's because they produce more craters faster. Perhaps it is better to put this in practical terms. Last night, I created and ran a mission with my group that involved a large artillery barrage. That barrage created A LOT of small craters and as a result, looking at that specific area of the map through the targeting pod of the F-16 turned the sim into a slideshow. It was the same thing that causes the CBU framerate hit but it took longer to manifest since they were created over the long term via a artillery barrage as opposed to a few CBU's. To bring this back to the Apache. If you are on a server where people are shooting a ton of rockets in a general area (which isn't unreasonable), you will also encounter the same crater bug. This will be a bigger issue on larger-scale public servers where you might have a wide variety of munitions being used in a given area by a lot of different players. In faster, higher-flying aircraft you can get out of the performance impact area pretty quickly but in a helicopter you are not so lucky. Either way, this has been acknowledged as a crater specific bug (and not a CBU specific bug) and apparently it has been fixed in a upcoming build.
  5. At the risk of sounding rude or pushy, I do seriously hope a fix is coming soon since this very, very easily qualifies as a game breaking issue and will only become a more visible, more controversial problem as the Apache comes out. This kind of thing should be a very high priority because it impacts one of the most fundamental aspects of the sim.
  6. Again. I think there is a misunderstanding of what I wrote. the "clarification" I was asking about was for Heatblur to specify if they were talking about "2022" being a generalized date for more info or if it was the release window. At no point did I ask for any kind of definitive release date. I don't do that, doing that is generally pretty dumb in the DCS scene because there is seldom a real answer to give. Thankfully. Heatblur quickly put up some new posts shortly after I posted that did exactly what I was hoping they would do. They clarified what "2022" meant.
  7. My post has nothing really to do with how it will release, if it will be early access, or what early access will mean in that context. My post was about clarifying (for the sake of getting ahead of inevitable rumors, wild conjecture, and feverish hype) if "2022" means some kind of module release or if it is just a placeholder date for a more fleshed out announcement with a lot more detail (in comparison to the teaser we got today).
  8. Might not be a bad idea to kinda clarify (even in the most general possible terms) what the "2022" really stands for here. Are we talking about the year of a more fleshed out, official announcement/overview or are we talking about an actual early access release. If it is the former, it might be a good idea to get ahead of any (perhaps inevitable) fever-pitch hype/conjecture/guesswork turned rumor by the community.
  9. To be bluntly honest, I think that award would probably more rightfully go to something like the A-10C module or even the F-14 module in terms of not just simulation accuracy but also overall polish and workmanship. The Harrier module isn't bad but in the grand scheme of DCS modules and when one puts all personal bias for the aircraft, the module, and RAZBAM aside, it still struggles to meet the standard set by the A-10 or the Tomcat module.
  10. I have read that book a couple of times now and to be brutally honest, I think it serves as a great example of why you shouldn't just trust stuff you read in military memoirs at face value. Hampton's whole thing about the HARM's effectiveness isn't exactly wrong but it isn't exactly right either. He makes it VERY clear throughout the book that he doesn't really place a lot of value on the idea of suppressing a SAM site. This makes sense. His job is to kill the sites and since the HARM isn't really meant to actually do that, he obviously won't care much for it when other weapons better suit his specific mission. If he were in squadrons that favored SEAD specifically, I strongly suspect his rather strong opinions would have been different. Hampton obviously knows a great deal about flying Wild Weasel missions and like every other pilot's memoirs I have read, there is obvious pride taken in that specific role. I think of it like this. If I were to sit down and watch a marathon of old Discovery channel Wings episodes, I would hear a great many pilots say how their various aircraft were the most important, their specific roles were the most important, and their fellow pilots the most talented in their various branches. Not all of them can be 100% right. Hampton took great pride in his specific job and that comes through in his lack of regard for weapons that are not really designed to do that job. If the HARM were as useless as Hampton makes it out to be, there is a pretty good chance that the Navy and Air Force would have long since moved on to another weapon system. SEAD is a major, high-profile role in modern air campaigns so it isn't exactly something the USAF and USN can afford to slouch on. If you read his words about the HARM carefully, you can tell that his issue isn't so much that it doesn't do its job, it is that it doesn't do his job because they are obviously not bombs or mavericks. He has a lot of romanticism for the role he played and while that is totally understandable, it also means that one needs to be careful and not just take any one single pilot's words as law. What Hampton doesn't really talk about in his book is that sometimes all you really need to do is suppress the SAM. Sometimes you don't need to kill the entire site to complete the larger mission. I would even be willing to bet that a few HARMs suppressing a SAM's radar allowed him to get in close and kill more than a few SAM sites. To be clear. I am not saying that Hampton is wrong. I am saying that he is right in his own very, very specific experience as a DEAD focused combat pilot. Obviously he is extremely experienced and extremely well trained but that doesn't make him immune to making ego-fueled hot takes that don't give the complete picture to the reader. His ego is very, very much on display in that book so it isn't exactly a surprise. I am sure that a pilot who largely shot HARMs in their career would write a similar book but would also have a pretty different take on the HARM missile as a whole. Likewise. I am sure that a general in charge of a larger air campaign or even dedicated mission planners would have a much better "high-level" understanding of how each weapon fits into the overall airpower ecosystem.
  11. You are referencing two scenarios that can (and often do) have very, very different underlying context. In a lot of cases, controversies about realism versus "gamey arcade stuff" in DCS end up coming down to things like what pylons HARM's will work from or what specific weapons/systems are going to be implemented outside of the version of the aircraft being modeled. In those cases, ED will always skew towards the more plausible, more authentic/realistic choice when it is in their power to do so. This isn't always going to please everyone but ED has been pretty open about how that decision making process goes and why things happen the way they do. Even the now rather well-worn complaints about the Blackshark 3 additions are not really difficult to understand if one actually wants to understand them. What we are talking about here (adding some Blue Force Tracker functionality even if different enough to not get ED in hot water) isn't really different from how ED handles other major aspects of the sim. A similar arrangement exists with radar warning receivers, countermeasures, electronic countermeasures, various weapons, IFF, datalink details, and a number of other important systems. There are things that ED will always have to (for lack of a better term) half implement in order to get the basic functionality into the sim without getting into some material that can get them in a lot of trouble. I don't blame ED for not wanting to touch the whole Blue Force Tracker thing but I also would totally understand if they were to decide to go with a relatively basic implementation of it that captures the basic functions without getting into any serious detail. This is just the way this stuff has to go sometimes and we should be okay with this by now.
  12. This only really works if the SAM battery isn't defended (as it should be) by everything from short range IR SAM's to anti-air artillery of various types.
  13. Honestly? While this might be (unfortunately) controversial to say, I don't really find the Hornet to be more complicated to learn than the Viper because at the end of the day, it is all the same when you open up the manuals and put some time into following along with the listed procedures. I can see how going from the Viper to the Hornet may feel awkward at first but in terms of actually learning on a system by system, procedure by procedure basis? The manuals tend to even out the difficulty curve. Another contributing factor is the expectations that one brings into a given module learning experience. When I start learning a module, I try to approach it fresh. I don't really go into it with a lot of expectations built around other aircraft and as such, I tend to take each one as its own distinct experience where the differences are the interesting part. I don't put any real thought into (for example) the throttle response difference between the F-14 and the F/A-18, I just get a feel for each and take them for what they are. When the F-16 is further along in its early access (roughly to the point where the Hornet is now), I will really start digging into it and I suspect that learning it will be just like learning all the other modules. I will open the manual (and maybe Chuck's guide on the side) and figure out how it all works step by step. Thus far, that process has always been pretty much the same and it always seems to work out.
  14. In regards to the A-4 pilot interview. One of the things I have come to learn over years of reading combat pilot memoirs, interviews, and even the interview content one often finds in the often vague, not entirely accurate 'Discovery Wings' and 'Dogfights!' style television "documentaries", is that pilots are not always going to get into detail about how they did something and in some cases, they may not really even think about the various procedures they carefully practiced and will instead kinda simplify it for the audience as a sort of "intuitive" process. It isn't that they are lying or anything like that. It is just that we (as enthusiasts) sometimes forget that we are far, far more into remembering precise procedures than they are (especially long after retirement). I have a hard time believing that Mosquito FB Crews were not given pretty specific sets of starting altitudes, starting speeds, dive angles, dive speeds, and release altitudes via a chart and a lot of practice. Likewise. I have a hard time believing that said crews were not trained to use specific reference points in the cockpit. Does this mean that every pilot pulled out the checklist before each bombing run? No. It means that they were given a starting point to build skills up on. This is what we really need here. I can put a bomb on target with the Mosquito but a big part of why I play DCS is because it encourages me to actually learn the "by the book" way of doing things purely because doing so helps make each aircraft feel distinct. Hopefully ED manages to scrape together some charts/tables and put them in the manual because just kinda going on guesswork feels kinda wrong to me. Even when I put a bomb on target, I don't feel like I actually learned anything.
  15. Even in WWII, there were procedures in place for various types of bombing profiles in various types of aircraft. If there were not procedures, training would have been nearly impossible and nobody would have been effective. If you go out and look, you can find diagrams and even entire training manuals from the time that outlined various bombing techniques and typically included starting altitudes, speeds, dive angles, and even descriptions of the release point picture the pilot should look for. Had various types of bombing been approached entirely as a kind of guesswork, there would have been no way to effectively train pilots and very few successful ground attack missions in general. As far as precision bombing goes. Nobody is asking for that. It should go without saying that precision bombing in WWII was highly, highly conditional and seldom actually happened. What we are looking for here is a document or a set of tables that outlines the various bombing profiles because it is frankly outright impossible that such a thing doesn't exist. I know there is this romanticized ideal that WWII pilots did everything by the seat of their pants but they got trained. They had to have procedures to practice in the first place. Bombing targets was too important to leave entirely to the the romantic whims of chance and seat of the pants flying.
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