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Everything posted by Trident

  1. Yeah, it's a bit overdone, but I'm impressed - a pretty cool way to see the improved AI flight-modeling at work!
  2. I have to say, all four of the new effects (engine smoke, ship wakes, vapour trails, tire smoke) are fantastic! In this screenshot it even looks as though the amount of smoke depends on throttle, with intermittent bursts as the wingmen modulate thrust to maintain position relative to their lead! The ship wake effect makes me wonder if ED could not implement white caps as an indicator of sea state.
  3. But a much more realistic dust effect already seems to exist NOW in DCS - the aircraft dust trail is just about perfect (unless it saps too much performance to be used for large numbers of vehicles simultaneously?). I have never understood why ED made two different effects for essentially the same thing anyway: the dust is the same material whether it gets kicked up by a ground vehicle or an aircraft, so logically the graphical representation should be the same as well. It sounds like a banal issue, but inconsistencies like that (of which the above is far from the only example in DCS) actually kill my suspension of disbelief very effectively.
  4. Agree completely - alter the general shape of the explosion to include DCS-style "dust prongs" and that's pretty much perfection right there. The cannon impact effect wasn't half bad either, though I'm not so sure about the fire/smoke-plume effect - in this latter regard Wings of Prey remains the reference IMHO.
  5. Agree completely! As suspected, 3rd party aircraft development is a bit haphazard, based mostly on what the various groups have previously done, and not necessarily what would make the most sense with respect to a coherent combat environment. I don't blame anybody for it, nothing could be more logical to a 3rd party developer than to draw on existing experience and material when approaching a new sim engine, but IMHO new and better theatres are just as sorely needed. I only hope we don't end up with Iraq and Afghanistan though :( Desert Storm was probably the most interesting conflict of the past 30 years, but it's not exactly the most lush and scenic place on earth. Afghanistan at least has some stupendous relief, but the current operations there are singularly boring from a fast mover perspective.
  6. Ground clutter looks good, more interested in the terrain mesh at this point :)
  7. Agreed on both counts, some variety would not go amiss :)
  8. IMHO the Wings of Prey graphics engine is overrated in many respects, but it does have rather fantastic smoke effects and they seem to be based on a very clever puff implementation, too. What's more, the puffs aren't actually that small apparently, the textures are just done to a very high standard and are animated very convincingly. So, as Irregular programming has already demonstrated, there is a lot that can be done with this kind of smoke effect. Maybe somebody will eventually be able to "reverse-engineer" the general appearance of the WoP smoke in DCS? http://i5.fastpic.ru/big/2010/0527/09/1d6694f7cb9f44612ba1409eec4ae309.jpg http://i455.photobucket.com/albums/qq273/greershane/The%20FGM/acess2010-04-1023-56-25-99.jpg http://www.saw-paintball.at/host/aces03.png http://www.99ddd.com/picfiles/GamesPic/EditorImage/2010-6/2/20106217115976202.jpg http://i5.fastpic.ru/big/2010/1025/5e/60f1d56a7f2696c609473a63ee3db65e.png
  9. My two cents on the new explosions: Very promising, but not quite finished yet. IMHO, the following changes would improve them substantially: 1. As others have said, it's currently a one-size-fits-all thing which doesn't really work very well if simply scaled for warheads of different explosive power. I strongly suspect this is a beta issue though, but I'll mention it just to be sure ;) 2. A stylistic gripe: the incandescent fireball should in my view be brighter and more luminous with reddish areas, a bit like it used to be with the previous explosions actually. 3. The shock wave is still overdone, it should only be visible as a brief flash and never grow as large as it does because in real life its own expansion in space dilutes its strength rather quickly. In fact, the shock wave effect has probably not been changed at all, so hopefully this is another non-issue which will soon be taken care of anyway. 4. My biggest beef apart from the fireball: the dust prong animation (as Bushmanni has so aptly called it) is not physically convincing in my opinion. Initially the prongs move in a straight line which is perfectly sensible for fine particulate matter that is not significantly affected by gravity. However, they then proceed to fall to the ground quite quickly while dissipating and that looks weird because it doesn't make sense for fine dust. My recommendation would be to EITHER have the dust prongs simply dissipate without settling to the ground at all OR make them follow a visibly curved trajectory from the outset (as would happen if the material was dense enough to be subject to a noticeable gravitational pull). 5. Some small sparks (like those in the Black Shark 1.0 cannon impact or ammo cook off effect), following nice parabolic arcs would be welcome :)
  10. I like where this is going... still needs some improvement (the incandescent part of the explosion and the flames aren't nearly bright and luminous enough), but it's already a big improvement on the previous effects - the potential is obvious!
  11. Seconded! I'm still a bit baffled by P-51D, but there does appear to be some method to the madness after all ;) Things are looking promising, the improvements and new features which DCS: World provides are very interesting, I might have to try it out even on my lowly notebook here. Keep up the good work, ED!
  12. So the performance impact is mitigated to a great extent by LOD instancing (which however didn't work particularly well until not so long ago, IIRC) - fine. The immense visual dissonance remains.
  13. That's still the default Hornet model which has been with us since LOMAC v1.0, right? Amazing - what was the poly count again, something like 15000? What on earth do you need 100000+ polys for? Ok, the canopy doesn't look perfectly round yet, as do a few other small details, so make it 20000, maybe even up to 50000 if you want to have a very detailed damage model. But more than that (even on ground vehicles), while having a terrain mesh where you can almost count the triangles by hand? I really hope ED stops making vehicle models even more detailed than they are now, some of them are already far better than they ever need to be. Instead, they should make sure EDGE has the highest terrain mesh resolution they can possibly accommodate, that would be a far more useful application of resources IMHO. I like eye-candy as much as anybody, but the player spends 98% of the time looking out of the cockpit with the terrain as a constant backdrop, NOT admiring in external view the 3D HUD cable on the glare shield of the F-15E that he isn't even flying!
  14. Yes, the night lighting in XP10 is definitely industry-leading with respect to flight sims, here's hoping EDGE will bring similar capabilities to the table.
  15. And that is different to this: http://www.a-10c.com/en/series/black_shark/?PAGEN_2=2#22731 ... in what way exactly? Apart from it being a reciprocating engine in A2A's case and (as yet) turbine engines in DCS, obviously ;) IMHO the Accu-Sim level of modelling is only remarkable in that it is a M$FS add-on, where most of the other competitors on that market are bound by the severe limitations of the Microsoft simulation engine. Yes, this is something ED does not currently model AFAIK, but for both A2A and Flying Legends (neither of which simulates a proper, continuous WWII campaign/career) it is little more than a gimmick, frankly. It's certainly nothing that I would miss very much if it was not implemented and it definitely could not override the advantage of working weapons in DCS for me, if I wanted to buy one of the two.
  16. Nah, but that's a poor comparison IMHO. Nowadays WWII titles in general and P-51 portrayals in particular (including for realism-focused free-flight, see A2A Simulations) are a dime a dozen by flight sim standards, while tank sims, no matter the era, certainly are not. Furthermore Steel Beasts has an appropriate, consistent combat environment which Flying Legends will probably lack for sometime, at least. While I guess the fact that much of the work for the P-51 add-on is recycled from the tech demo means it hardly diverted any resources from other ED projects, I can't help but wonder what the plans are for its future. Will ED follow through and add further WWII units (aircraft, ground vehicles, ships), perhaps even another fly-able and/or a new map? In that case I'd find the argument that there will be no impact on other projects rather dubious and the saying "jack of all trades, master of none" comes to mind (at the very least it would delay further modern-themed modules). Or will the Mustang remain a one-off, a permanent oddity in the DCS world? Fair enough from my point of view, ED never made firm commitments to the contrary, but I dare say it would set them up for a storm of protest from others who assumed that more was in the offing.
  17. Yeah, I also noticed that the canopy scratches appear to be back. Very nice, I hope it will be re-introduced for all flyables.
  18. Which one? The DCS Black Sea map is pretty small by flight sim standards and still has about 170000km² of land area - that's more than the entire South Island of New Zealand! But the scenery gets drawn out to something like 80km - you can't just neglect that! 10km is CONSIDERABLY less demanding than 30km in this respect. You have to consider area, not simply distance alone: with a visible range of 30km the area of scenery that must be displayed isn't just 3 times but NINE times larger than with 10km - almost an order of magnitude! And that's without considering that the bare ground is drawn out to even greater distances in DCS, as mentioned above.
  19. I think Nate is onto something with HDR, the cold preset in particular appears to be way off the mark: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3494554/Re_Snowy_Warthog.html#Post3494554 Consider also this crisp, vivid FC/FC2 (so no HDR present at all) screenshot: http://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p=969465&postcount=1775 I think most who find DCS too washed-out would agree that this is much better, despite the basic ground textures for both likely being identical. So it appears that poor HDR configuration is the main culprit, as with so many other games. Sometimes I wonder if the quick and widespread adoption of HDR throughout the gaming industry hasn't been very premature, while it does promise significant improvements of visual quality in theory it often turns out to be DETRIMENTAL in practise. Not only do you pay a performance penalty, in many cases the graphics actually look less realistic than they did before. Whether this is due to poor tuning by developers who don't fully understand what HDR does or a fundamental problem with certain DirectX versions is anybody's guess, but clearly the effect is often worthless. Many titles would have been better off if HDR had not been added in an attempt to secure another buzzword for the marketing material. Comparing with photos is definitely difficult, as what a camera lens and chip capture is not necessarily the same thing as what the human eye would see in the same circumstances (which in turn is highly subjective). In particular it is useless to use ground level photographs, as what you see at altitude is determined by very different lighting conditions and the presence of atmospheric haze.
  20. Trident


    Agree completely, this argument should in fact kill the whole discussion dead. I really fail to see why this is even being debated - if rain was such a non-issue in real life, why do the vast majority of airliners and even some fighters have some form of water removal system (be it bleed air or wipers)? Quite apart from the fact that there is also the Ka-50 to consider for ED.
  21. Yep, the rest of the graphics, while perfectly alright, are nothing ground breaking (they do compare very well with stock M$FS, no doubt about that!) - but the night lighting is in a class of its own, the best in any flight sim to date.
  22. Looks very nice, good to see the 3D trees confirmed (although mentioning the words "forests" and "Nevada" in the same sentence seems almost like an oxymoron :D ). Any word on whether the new trees will be collidable?
  23. Yup, looks pretty good, though not ground breaking in most respects. However, the night lighting is nothing short of spectacular and the sheer density of the buildings (although generic) is pretty impressive too!
  24. Your premise is flawed IMHO - I certainly agree that ED are currently the best (a relative measure) combat simulation developer, but they are not perfect (an absolute). So there is still room for improvement and the state of the art does not stagnate either ;) Don't get me wrong, I hope they pull it off, but the publicly available information does raise some questions. I just like their combat sims too much to be comfortable with the idea of ED spending resources on something else ;)
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