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  1. 'P' I think of as the "Point and Shoot" mode (as a quick reminder, it toggles between gunsight and auto-tracking, it can take a few seconds to switch between the two). In point-and-shoot mode don't forget to switch to cannon "c". I think of it as CP (combat pilot time), and hit my C and P keys. Mental jogs can help relax you in times of stress, also soothing music when available. In this particular mission you have the advantage that the Mi24s come down the valley towards you, head-on aspect. Lock them up for a long range VKHR shot, zoom in and make the gate as small as possible (use the [] bracket keys), target the chopper a little above centre if you can. Not important but it can help if it turns. You might also want to use the AA mode AND the AA/HO mode together if you have time to fumble for those controls. I wouldn't recommend the HMS in these situations. It's hard enough to fly and point your head in the right direction. Keep it simple. Also try using the wingman as a human shield, tell him to engage the bandits to give you some time in getting your targets locked up, this is funnier in multiplayer situations. Hope that helps a little.
  2. All new glory days Rup :) You'll find some more old folks if you drop by the SimHQ Teamspeak server at the weekend (late evening for you) and exchange technical notes on hardware, mission building and the bloody weather. Sometimes we even get some stick time :) I see your set-up is built around one of those neatly designed Akers-Barnes cockpits (I built one of those myself). Approx 5% increase after stepping up shadow settings one notch. Get a lot of flicker in the GUI with current nVidia drivers (this doesn't happen in flight). When I saw your diagram I realised that was what I was trying to do, I was thwarted I think by the resolutions I have "installed" into the tripple head, you can have 4. If it goes wrong or you select a mode it doesn't like the screen go blank and there's only so much crawling under the desk I'm willing to do. Good luck with new kit.
  3. The Windows 7 64 beta currently allows span mode and I spent some time experimenting with a similar set-up to ruprecht's diagram (TripleH2go @1280x1024 x 3 + TV) however I had to run in windowed mode and I could only get half the ABRIS image stretched across the 4th display (which was a TV). After a couple of hours fiddling I gave up. But it looked promising. W7beta hasn't yet crippled the output, seemed to be a few more options available for tinkering. Performance increase in Win7/64b made it worthwhile anyway.
  4. The light source is culled from the 3D scene when it's not located within the camera frustum. Not really a bug but a function of the 3d engine clipping things not in view, normally this is unnoticed but here it's glaringly obvious, if you pardon the weak pun.
  5. For interesting approach read ham-fisted? :) Certainly is. Adding groups and naming them can be a lengthy process, especially having to duplicate 8 player flights complete with waypoints. This will take the tedium out of that. EECH GSS was me, and the Longbow 2 editor. The Black Shark editor has a subset of the events available to LB2, it could use a few more, I wonder if more are available to the engine but are not possible to add via the editor.(???) Things like setting unit damage <n>, destroy unit <n>, re-spawn flag, set coalition to <n..>, don't shoot me flag; those would allow for even more dramatic mission possibilities. Those are available the LB2 event lists. But as it is, Black Shark offers a lot of possibilities.
  6. I've been playing around with exporting LB2 missions to BS for a while, not all the triggers are available and there's a few caveats but it's main purpose is to quickly populate a mission with unit names and waypoints rather than generate anything intelligent. Actually that needs correcting, it's main purpose is as a test for C# classes that generates LUA mission files, it was just convenient to convert some LB2 mission stuff to a C# class and do some a>b conversion (as the two sims use different co-ordinate systems obviously) . It's not such a stretch to spit out mission files for a quick mission generator or even build a snapshot campaign system. Underwhelming and boring screen-shot follows... Yes it really is that dull atm. I'll get around to fixing it up for release sometime soon but I'm having far too much fun playing rather than programming.
  7. Yeah I was going to say, you can see the camera mount and part of the tripod assembly and the lense hood and the... :) One of those situations where being a grip really does mean you should hold on tight.
  8. "Hold your position two I'm going to take a look. ORT to scan". Hover hold mode engaged I took my hands and feet off the controls partly to set-up for a missile engagement but also to loosen up after the unexpected start to the morning. The sweeping image on the TV was a mass of grey clutter as the TV camera in the nose swept left and right past scrub, trees, the occasional structure and sky. Although masked by the top of the shallow valley it would have been all too easy to get tagged were I careless enough to climb too high. It was time to move and not get pinned down, a combat helicopter has the advantage of mobility but not speed, the clock was still ticking. "Two, I'm going to extend and circle around" "One copy that, stay low, I'm poping up for a look" Flipping off hover hold and clearing stick trim I take full authority of the helicopter, pitch down and race away at near ground level along the top of the valley back in the direction we came from. After about 800m of travel I announce my intention to cross the valley and rejoin my lead. As a precaution my 222 countermeasure program was called upon as I dipped over the top and crossed the river to the other side. My flight lead spoke once more, "Taking fire!", Cyc is not a person who panics, he just sounded irritated. Out to my right I could see tracer fire coming from just beyond what was now the burning remains of the bridge, it was hard to see the vehicle. "Two, target sighted, masked ZSU north flank of, er, bridge", clearly my lead was too close for a safe engagement, knowing this would not stop him for doing something stupid it was time to deal with it. "Two setting up attack, keep your head down and watch the fireworks". Outside the range of the ZSU it was a one sided fight but we are now delayed and the potential for surprise greatly diminished, a mission failure wouldn't go down too well. I pulled my nose up and pedal turned toward the target dropping airspeed close to zero, once again flying the vsi as airspeed fell through three zero. The next minute and a half was going to be busy, the autopilot was tasked once again to hold position so I could have at least one hand free. The little green circles of the helmet mounted sight were locked off right over the suspected ZSU location, a ground stabilised image of the back end of the vechicle appeared on the ORT. HMS off, relock, seeker nudged to centre it on the TV. The bracket was adjusted until a positive track was indicated. Missile ready, the larger circle converged with the designator in the HUD, "Spot on, range two decimal three, release missile away"...the tell-tale spiral of the spin stabilised missile exhaust blinded the TV, I could see this going wrong, the spot wasn't quite on target the missile was going to fall short, I unlocked my target and thumbed the mini-stick moving the spot upward hoping that the new spot behind the ZSU would flatten the trajectory. The missile went right through the turret. "Dusted the little bugger", I said. "Ruined a perfectly good bridge" "Well I'm in a bad mood, I'm out of cigarettes". "I'll scan the area, reform. We need to pick up the pace, we're behind our TOS" I had to ask, "Can we expect anymore surprises?" He wouldn't say.
  9. The following is a fictional account but is typical of a flown virtual combat mission in many a helo simulator. Flying Helicopters sounds boring - he said? It was a passing comment I'd heard the night before. It was now dawn. Time to get ready, close the hatch and go through the final checklist. We had the maps out looking for every barn, pocket, saddle, tree line all the way from the FARP chemical toilets to the assembly area. In the end we picked a soft route, three valley turns. Cyc is leading for this one as he is, by his own admission, "by far the best navigator" among us. One river, fork left at the road bridge (which marks a guesstimated fence line), continue down the valley for 5km and a village marks the final turn into a box canyon where, we are informed, is the location of a munitions store and "high value" personnel. "High value" personnel is a phrase that couldn't be apllied to anyone in this brigade, the only thing of high value around here is a cigarette machine liberated on a recent furlow with the help of some 51st engineers during a daring (and shall we say high-spirited?) night raid. We are to link up with a second tasked flight at waypoint 003, arrival time is critical. Flight Lima should be taking off in a few minutes, our task is to clear the road, keep our heads low and reach the designated rendezvous on time, take up positions around the target area and prevent anything from leaving it, intact. That was the exact word specified and we knew what that meant. Surprise and swiftness was called for. Hatch closed, batteries on, inverters on, engine starter on, start left engine, check the gas temp, good, start right engine, radio check. "Echo two, engine one good, pressure good, generator running , radio check you copy?" There was a long pause. "One here copy. I can't read this handwriting." "Love letter from your crew chief?" I ragged. I could guess what it was. "Was there supposed to be a comma in there somewhere or are you looking to go sightseeing?" "Two, wouldn't be the first time, engine two good. Nav mode set." Cyc had an unerring ability to plan routes that challenged the fuel supply. Particularly when leaking it all over the landscape after over flying some crazy farmer armed with nothing more than a ZSU. He was good at finding those, it was a one sided attraction which even extended to museum visits when one nearly ran him over at a military vehicle parade, I'd forgotten that. "One ready for take off" "Two copy. Two final checks complete, ready for take off", I gave my usual thumb-up with my left hand, I never let go of the cyclic with the engines running at idle on the ground, superstition. If I ever did, it will be that one time when a freak gust of wind will cause the blades to flap too hard and tip the whole frame over, that's the trouble with training, even when you don't believe it, you believe it. After 5 minutes of making sure we got everything good to go, it was time to go and see how we could mess it all up. I heard Cyc's rotors bite the air hard, a flapping sound and sudden roar of increased engine noise was leaking into my own cockpit and through my steel helmet. "One positive rate, transitioning clear, vector waypoint one, maintain one zero zero at nine zero. Gear up" "Two copy vector waypoint one maintain one zero zero at nine zero," I replied in our shorthand just to confirm I'd understood. The collective needed a gentle hand, with a lot of power available in this machine it would be a mistake to treat this like some lightweight civilian turbine. The engine RPM twitched as the advancing blades, now a blur above me, mashed into the morning air. Small pillows of dust mixed with morning dew and hot gas swirled around my canopy in angry fashion. The mass of the fully loaded Kamov rose up and began to pivot on it's nosewheel, the familiar motion of being tipped forward in my seat, I pulled the cyclic toward me and very gently added just a little more collective. And then motion of take-off, the wheels were free, bob, sway, making little adjustments all the time, not thinking, just doing. "To be is to do, to do is to be", I think it was Satra, or was it Frank Sinatra? Amazing how the mind can wander at crazy moments. "Two positive rate, site clear." Letting go of the collective to reach for the gear lever, I thought about cigarettes. The red strobe light on the belly reflected back off nearby trees and tents around the FARP. Now I was tense. The first leg was a long slow ride with little cover so we hogged the west bank of the shallow river valley, racing to pick up speed. "One, go spread" I was already tailing by 300m, my lead wasn't watching his speed and already I was doing 160 cruising, I don't say anything but fly catch-up and watch my altitude. Flying an NOE profile certainly wasn't warranted, a low level profile at tree-top height was adequate. I cross over to the other side of the narrow river valley which had a 30 degree dogleg to the right 3km ahead. On the turn I was behind but on the inside so we would be entering the dogleg at the same time, just as we planned it. Settling into the mental slot I have behind my lead I take time to program the dispenser, 2 cycles of 2 flares, 2 seconds between them released from both wing pods. This was my preferred 222 program, capable of burning down even the most flame retardant of tractor sheds at this altitude, and on the rare occasions I'm allowed out with a wingman it scares the crap out of them. "One crossing the fence", hard to get out of old habits, we still called it the fence. The little red line we'd programmed on the ABRIS moving map display might have well been labelled "beyond there be dragons". There was a possibility of an armed recon moving up this far, no contact reports had been received. All the same, Shkval on, weapon master arm on, laser heated up and on standby. Looking ahead though the green hud and framed by the flight path marker was the bridge marking our first waypoint turn just 1km ahead. The lead helicopter popped a flare, then another and another in sequence masking his hard left turn into the bank. His shadow came up to meet him then he vanished in the mass of white smoke that billowed around the valley floor from his counter measures. The smoke was pierced by a black dart trailing a thin white thread if it's own. It past right between us and I heard the thud of a muffled explosion. "MISSILE! Break break, ummph that was close", cracked the radio, a little late, so he didn't just smack the ground after all. Leaning forward to get a better view ahead I broke through the smoke and sure enough the tell tale signs of a manpad right next to the bridge, nearby a small vehicle of some kind. Thumbing my cyclic out of instinct, I brought up my rockets, selected a salvo size, slight right pedal input to put the aim point over the dot and...release. WhuumpWhuumpWhuump. And release again ... WhuumpWhuumpWhuump. Black smoke and flame bellowed around the bridge, lost sight of the little sod. "Two engaging" I said, it occured to me Cyc might want to know I was being all heroic in that curious tactic we'd honed so well over the past few months, by letting the bad guys take shots at him while I get to shoot back. Once again my mouth lagged behind my trigger finger. Some things never change. There was burst of tracer fire, the sound of impacts on my airframe was follwed by a secondary explosion up ahead. "Taking fire!" I yelled. The river valley was shallow except a step where the road bridge crossed it, stupid to continue on so I broke right for the nearest ground cover, up and over the top of the valley, I started my dispenser program. "Two looking for cover, egressing to the east", I said, impressed with myself for how calm it sounded after my initial supprise. "Copy that" came the reply, "I think you got the launcher, the bridge isn't there anymore". I heard more impacts strike the rear of my ship, something was tagging me as I crested the top of the valley and nosed down banking hard right. Once clear I was kicking hard right pedal and pitching to bleeding off airspeed, which is harder than it sounds as this Kamov does tend to like flying backwards, sideways, any which way you like at speed without much complaint. It's at times like this that gravity and your own rotors are your worst enemy, it's drilled into you by your IP and you learn to be paranoid, for the next few seconds are focused totally on three things at once, the ground, my atitude and the rate of descent indicator or VSI which I am now flying. If it goes above -3 mps I am simply going into the dirt here and now, there is no room here to slip out of my own descending air cushion. A common mistake here would be to add power in anticipation of increased demand which would only make things worse. However my mother would have been proud at my sense of self preservation now given my reckless regard for it a short time earlier. Settling into a stable hover it was clear that there was no major damage. Cyc was taking position on the opposite side of the valley, "Two are you good?" "Affirmative, we're good. There's a gun near that bridge but I couldn't see it, took some hits in the tail, probable ZSU". "Rodger that, I nearly got one in the face. You did a number on that bridge." I wasn't sure if that was a complement, "I wasn't aiming at the bridge" I said in reply. I check the wind data from the nav computer to confirm my suspicions, nope, "I really am a lousy shot" I mutter.
  10. I like the MMO idea but it is my opinion that what really spoils a good MMOs are other players :) get rid of them and you're smokin. Microsoft Flight simulator sells bucket loads, on the high street it has a high visibilty including that of third party add-ons. Always a strong indicator. It would suggest sales of flight simulator products are much more healthy than one would think. Perhaps what's quite telling is one particular old gaming friend of mine, he would spend hours at a time on flight sims of 10 years ago, LAN meets, modem play. He won't touch new simulators, he doesn't find them fun, more like hard work. My wife thinks all simulators are boring and anyone who enjoys them are "clearly mad". If the circle of sim enthusiasts is shrinking she suggests this can be put down to their inability to breed or find suitable mates. hmmm. At bit harsh but clearly some are able to breed. You can only shift box if there is a market, there is a huge market for fun games, the game market is bigger than it ever was. If sims are not selling it's becuase they don't offer what gamers want, fair enough, a no brainer. To say this is becuase gamers don't like complicated games is trite, there's a difference between complicated and hard work. Warcraft, yes "World Of" is perhaps a shining example of misunderstanding among observers of games and game communities. It's easy to learn, but this is often confused with simplicity. Anyone interested in the profession of game development should study it. You can muddle through at different levels of ability but the finest player I've met (and biggest pain in the arse) is a retired special forces fella who pretends to be a woman. He and others can operate in dangerous places that a lot of parties twice their size have problems in, simply by being skilled and knowledgable about equipment and tactics (regardless of gender bending). People like this are easily identified on Teamspeak, they rattle off statistics and tactics exactly like someone explaining the finer points of a radar system would. Such gamers who love complexity could be brought into flight sims with the right approach.
  11. I've been having a lot of fun with it. I agree with you Thomas about the WIP beta release feel, really OFP was a WIP for a long time, art is never finished only abandoned. The big frame rate killer is all the post effects, looks great, not needed. My FPS is quite smooth as a result. The helicopter controls are just lame but that's a BI thing, they never were nor do I suspect they ever will be decent. That's not why you play this though. Will be buying more boxed units when available in the UK for the lan sessions. Hopefully the helicopter controls will have been improved by then (the eternal optimist). But it's not even speck on a speck compared to a certain Kamov sim :D
  12. I need to move house soon, can I borrow one of them Ka-32s? :) I was flying an A10 mission against a road convoy which had a couple of Hinds for cover, imagine my supprise when my plane disintergrated with no warning while running-in for a gun shot against a helicopter. Later somone examined the flight recording and posted a nice picture of me getting a full rocket salvo in the face. Ouch. That AI is a great shot.
  13. @AirTito Yo-Yo is totally on the ball. He's like the accuracy police I think :) @Scudslaker Oooh, would like to know more. Can't wait to see what you have in mind. Is it a desk-bound controller or something larger?
  14. Indeed, you don't need to touch the throttle control often, the engine governor should take care of keeping the appropriate amount of power available for you. You might want to be hands-on with the throttle as a matter of procedure or comfort, no matter what helicopter you fly the govenor will *always* lag. You can (and should) anticipate power demands although this is more important in ships where there is little extra power available. No style points for sitting on the apron generating so much bloody noise and burning all that fuel *wink* The little slider on the Saitek X52 I find perfect for engine throttle control in place of a twistgrip. If you don't have a controller with suitable axis it's not that big a deal.
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