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Fixing the 'depth' issue.


jmarso
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My biggest gripe with DCS for a long time (so #1 for fixing on my 'wish list) is that it's a mile wide and an inch deep. Rather than just hi-fidelity aircraft models, I'd like to see ED focus on the product more as a game in terms of its roadmap. For example, pick two or three different decades and concentrate on those in terms of modules, maps, and so on. WWII is an obvious choice for one of them. Yet I still have to ask, why a map of the Marianas, rather than the Solomon Island chain (The Bismarcks) where so much more fighting took place, in diverse scenarios, for so much longer?

 

We've got Korean war vintage aircraft, but no Korean war map.

 

We've got Vietnam war vintage aircraft, but no Vietnam era map.

 

The Persian Gulf map is great- the portion that is finished. I'm still a little incredulous that the mapmakers managed to miss the island of Bahrain in its entirety. What we also lack for that map are sufficient Iranian, Saudi, and Iraqi assets and modules- again, a lack of depth.

 

We've got a LOT of mid to late Cold War vintage aircraft, but no maps that go well with any sort of Cold War scenario, and very few CW era naval units. The Caucasus map is pretty but in terms of realism is severely limited for any realistic large-scale East-West conflict. In reality, no western navy would put any substantial naval force into the Black Sea expecting it would survive against Russia. True Cold War (or east vs west) hot spots (map locations) should include Germany, the Med, Norway, and the Kola.

 

What ED has done so far is analogous to this: created the best chess pieces ever made, the best backgammon board, and the best D&D dice, and called it a game while announcing the upcoming release of some awesome checker pieces and a new, custom made gameboard for Monopoly to go along with the existing assets. What I would like to see are aircraft, maps, missions, and non-player assets that are era / conflict specific with one another. If you want to make something like the P-40 Warhawk, great. Make the Nakajima Ki-43 to go along with it, some Japanese bombers, theater and era -specific liveries and asset packs, maps of Kunming and the Burma Road, and produce the "Flying Tigers over China" campaign for DCS. This has been achieved to a degree with the Normandy / Channel maps and WWII stuff that is out so far, and needs to be done in other eras. Once a particular conflict/era is fleshed out and playable, move on to the next one.

 

Janes used to be good at creating not just study simulations, but simulations that were still polished, fun games to play. What I think ED should do is pick a past conflict like Korea or Vietnam, or a spot on the Earth for 'The War that Never Was' or something like that, make a map or two that's feasible for the era, and begin fleshing them out in terms of modules, asset packs, and campaigns. Third party module-makers should then be challenged to participate in that same milieu. Modules, particularly aircraft, need to be released in more finished states when they go into early access, and they need to be concentrated on, finished, and polished before the devs dive into the next project. For example, why develop and release the F-16 before the F/A-18C is even close to finished? (We know the answer- because a new product means a flood of new money, even when it's released in a beta-state.) But people will also pay for the other things that make it a game as well. You can carve the prettiest chess pieces in the world, but you still need a gameboard to use them on and opponents (real or AI) to play against or they are just decorations. The Super Carrier module is great, but there isn't much out there in the way of opposing (or even allied) naval units, civil shipping, and so on. And I'm sorry, but user-made mods don't count in that asset tally.

 

Just my .02. The work being done in DCS is incredible, but if you want to broaden the player base and make a study sim that people want to stick with, it needs depth in terms of maps, missions, and assets- not just aircraft so detailed that we can argue about how the cockpit labels are smudged. It doesn't need the 'mile wide, inch deep' approach. It needs to be about a quarter mile wide and deep enough for diving. ;)

 

 

 

 

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jmarso said:
My biggest gripe with DCS for a long time (so #1 for fixing on my 'wish list) is that it's a mile wide and an inch deep. Rather than just hi-fidelity aircraft models, I'd like to see ED focus on the product more as a game in terms of its roadmap. For example, pick two or three different decades and concentrate on those in terms of modules, maps, and so on. WWII is an obvious choice for one of them.

I absolutely could not agree more, there's so much stuff missing that's really needed to really flesh DCS out.

jmarso said:
Yet I still have to ask, why a map of the Marianas, rather than the Solomon Island chain (The Bismarcks) where so much more fighting took place, in diverse scenarios, for so much longer?

The reason as I understand it, is that ED are developing new terrain technology and using the Marianas as a test bed (presumably because the level of work required is less, having a tiny amount of land area (the whole of the Marianas has about the same land area as Qeshm island on the SoH map, and you can make the map really huge (like 2000x1200km IIRC) without adding any significant workload, as it's all water and bathymetry).

jmarso said:
We've got Korean war vintage aircraft, but no Korean war map.

 

We've got Vietnam war vintage aircraft, but no Vietnam era map.

Absolutely agreed:

  • For WWII you're all set, there's a decent number of BLUFOR and REDFOR modules, a reasonably comprehensive set of assets, though there's still plenty to be done (again, for both sides) and at least 2 maps. It's by far the most fleshed out era (though naval is very lacking).
  • For early Cold War (50s - early 60s), there's the MiG-15bis, MiG-19P and F-86F and that's it. We are getting the ZSU-57-2, but aside from that (and using the WWII assets pack as filler), there's literally nothing else.
  • For the 70s, we've got lots of assets, including a fair number of SAMs (SA-2d/S-75M, SA-3b/S-125M and the upcoming SA-5b/S-200M), but only the F-5E-3 and MiG-21bis as playable modules (F-14A-135GR early coming). Again naval is lacking.
  • For the 80s you've basically got all of the stuff of the 70s, there's also FC3 and some more AI assets like SAMs, ground vehicles and a select number of aircraft, as well as basically every USSR naval asset.
  • For the 90s you've got everything from earlier, plus the AJS-37 and our current F-14A/B Tomcat maybe a few more ground vehicles.
  • For the 2000s plus, we've got the overwhelming majority of popular BLUFOR (both A-10Cs, AV-8B N/A, F-16CM, F/A-18C), as well as the GREENFOR JF-17, a few naval assets (mostly from the Supercarrier Module and the Chinese asset pack, even if the latter are kinda questionable from a graphical perspective). A few tanks but literally nothing else.
jmarso said:
The Persian Gulf map is great- the portion that is finished. I'm still a little incredulous that the mapmakers managed to miss the island of Bahrain in its entirety. What we also lack for that map are sufficient Iranian, Saudi, and Iraqi assets and modules- again, a lack of depth.

Absolutely agreed, it's the same for most maps too, only difference is again the most fleshed out era in DCS thus far - WWII, but only because of the asset pack.

One thing I'm kinda incredulous about is that we only have like 5 surveillance RADARs in DCS, of which there are only 2 modern ones (1L13 and 55G6, both severely outdated graphically speaking), 1 is completely non-functional eye-candy, with nothing in the mission editor for it, despite it being one of the best modelled RADARs in DCS (P-37), there's the P-19 (though that's more the common acquisition RADAR for the SA-3b/S-125M, and it could do with some touch ups to the vehicle) and finally the FUMG 401 - which is WWII. There are absolutely no Western surveillance/GCI/Early Warning RADARs whatsoever in DCS, things like the TPS-43, -75, -80 to name just a few.

We're also missing a lot of support/logistics vehicles, and most SAMs are missing their full battery components (including commonly associated search RADARs, like the P-18 for our SA-2, and the P-14 for the SA-5 we're getting).

jmarso said:
We've got a LOT of mid to late Cold War vintage aircraft, but no maps that go well with any sort of Cold War scenario, and very few CW era naval units. The Caucasus map is pretty but in terms of realism is severely limited for any realistic large-scale East-West conflict. In reality, no western navy would put any substantial naval force into the Black Sea expecting it would survive against Russia. True Cold War (or east vs west) hot spots (map locations) should include Germany, the Med, Norway, and the Kola.

Agreed, mid-to-late Cold War is where easily the vast majority of AI assets are, the things missing are full fidelity player modules and appropriate maps (things like Germany, Baltic Sea (though that map would be humungous to be fully fleshed out) as well as the North Atlantic/GIUK Gap or similar).

jmarso said:
What ED has done so far is analogous to this: created the best chess pieces ever made, the best backgammon board, and the best D&D dice, and called it a game while announcing the upcoming release of some awesome checker pieces and a new, custom made gameboard for Monopoly to go along with the existing assets. What I would like to see are aircraft, maps, missions, and non-player assets that are era / conflict specific with one another.

Absolutely agreed, I would've much rather ED concentrate on a particular decade and then develop modules, maps and assets that fit it.

Like that list above, WWII is easily the most like it and fleshed out (at least compared to others), early Cold War is a few modules and that's absolutely it. 60s is no modules but the ones from the 50s, with basically no other assets either. 70s has the same (small) number of modules, but way more assets. 80s have FC3 but no modules, but easily most of the assets. 90s have again a small number of modules (all of them from 1 developer it seems)), and the assets from the 70s and 80s among a few others.

2000s and beyond have a load of BLUFOR modules, a few maps, but literally no other contemporary assets.

jmarso said:
Once a particular conflict/era is fleshed out and playable, move on to the next one.

This.

It's part of the reason I'm still interested in a certain 3 character, 'light' simulator, because it has assets and maps that go perfectly hand in hand with other, that are much closer to being comprehensive than DCS, it even has a comprehensive list of variants for assets too, but it's nowhere near the fidelity of DCS.

jmarso said:
What I think ED should do is pick a past conflict like Korea or Vietnam, or a spot on the Earth for 'The War that Never Was' or something like that, make a map or two that's feasible for the era, and begin fleshing them out in terms of modules, asset packs, and campaigns. Third party module-makers should then be challenged to participate in that same milieu. Modules, particularly aircraft, need to be released in more finished states when they go into early access, and they need to be concentrated on, finished, and polished before the devs dive into the next project. For example, why develop and release the F-16 before the F/A-18C is even close to finished? (We know the answer- because a new product means a flood of new money, even when it's released in a beta-state.)

Absolutely agreed :thumbup:

Though I'm personally okay with reasonable amount of early access-ness. The main issue for me is why develop 2000s+ aircraft when close to no other asset fits them and the overwhelming majority of assets is mid-to-late Cold War, with no hope of getting peer REDFOR aircraft? Wouldn't it have been better to do an early aircraft? F-16A (any block, preferably 15) to a late 80s/mid 90s F-16C Block 40. I mean for them both, we would basically have all of the weapons fully implemented by now.

Then maybe move onto newer variants like we have (provided we can get assets that are contemporaries), right now there's no air defence system (apart from those on board ships) that are newer than the start of the 90s.

At least Heatblur are sticking to modules that all fit within the same approximate timeframe (mid-to-late Cold War), as well as a few other assets (when/if they do finally make it). But there's still a heck of a lot to go. One of my worries with this Forrestal late carrier, is that there's going to be absolutely no other BLUFOR naval assets to go with it, and the REDFOR ones that do are all super outdated. Plus the fact that the naval side of DCS is still very, very underdeveloped. Though I guess it's just not the priority amongst the rest.

jmarso said:
But people will also pay for the other things that make it a game as well. You can carve the prettiest chess pieces in the world, but you still need a gameboard to use them on and opponents (real or AI) to play against or they are just decorations. The Super Carrier module is great, but there isn't much out there in the way of opposing (or even allied) naval units, civil shipping, and so on. And I'm sorry, but user-made mods don't count in that asset tally.

Agreed, I'd definitely pay of a mid-to-late Cold War asset pack/maps

jmarso said:
The work being done in DCS is incredible, but if you want to broaden the player base and make a study sim that people want to stick with, it needs depth in terms of maps, missions, and assets- not just aircraft...

Definitely, I think the work that is done is fantastic, some improvements? Sure, but what they do is fantastic, it's the things that's missing that are the issues for me.


Edited by Northstar98
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Couldn’t agree more, it’s so frustrating when you have a great scenario for a mission in your head for a specific plane only to find that there’s no contemporary assets you can use. Like why aren’t there any T-34s to blow up with my Sabre? 

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Very well said.

The Marianas map is due to come out soon along with (so I've been told) the F4U Corsair.

What is desperately needed is WWll carriers like the Yorktown or Enterprise and associated aircraft. F4F, F6F, etc.

Of course then we would also need Japanese assets: A6M, Ki43, etc. not to mention Japanese carriers.  Gotta have targets to shoot at.

 

Bottom line:   All of this makes for good discussion, but a hell of a lot of work for a small dev team.

                      They are doing a great job. It's just going to take a lot of time and hard work. Thank you ED for a wonderful sim.  spacer.png


Edited by rayrayblues
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On 12/3/2020 at 5:11 PM, rayrayblues said:

Very well said.

The Marianas map is due to come out soon along with (so I've been told) the F4U Corsair.

What is desperately needed is WWll carriers like the Yorktown or Enterprise and associated aircraft. F4F, F6F, etc.

Of course then we would also need Japanese assets: A6M, Ki43, etc. not to mention Japanese carriers.  Gotta have targets to shoot at.

 

Bottom line:   All of this makes for good discussion, but a hell of a lot of work for a small dev team.

                      They are doing a great job. It's just going to take a lot of time and hard work. Thank you ED for a wonderful sim.  spacer.png

Oh yeah, of course, the stuff the developers do get right is fantastic and they should definitely feel proud about it. If there was a simulator that did it better all around I wouldn't be here. So absolutely, credit where it's due.

However, it's just there are some big hurdles (arguably kinda self-inflicted) that do play a pivotal role in what I at least feel is one of DCS' biggest failings. 


Edited by Northstar98
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  • 2 months later...

I understand how we got here because I was here all the time whilst it happened, but yes, it's a bit of a mess.

One issue is DLC maps. Instead of these being community made ED held on to a higher quality version. That's not a bad thing, but we have nowhere to go with our different units that don't fit so we cannot dig ourselves out of the hole. I think the maps should stop and it be moved to the community and supported openly rather than a licensed, complex and timely affair. I don't even suggest to make half as much as the current quality of say the Syria map, you could have generic ice landscapes that could approximate a quarter of the globe, sea landscapes that approximate two thirds of the earth and with a little effort on ED's side a way to add generic naming of small towns directly to an island "splodge" that would cover a massive amount of scenarios and unlock some of the pain, without even trying to challenge the quality of the DLC.

Supporting the unit count/artwork/installation size going forward has obviously been raised internally as an issue that ED have to manage aggressively going forwards. They cannot have unlimited assets in the sim, its getting huge, and every time they update the EDM format it causes masses of work whilst all the units are reexported and checked. A lot of these units are legacy lomac models from a different era and whilst they are perfectly workable, the age is obvious.

There are some more fundamental issues with the sims direction in that it's customer base pays big bucks for teen series modern modules yet doesn't want 80's muck. I say that based on common sense anecdotes, that the F-16, F-18 sell more units than say Sabre or Mig 15, this isn't a surprise. So, the maps we get are where those modules were flying, which in the last 20 years has generally been over desert.

At some point the teen series has to done. We have to see some classic Mig-29A vs F-16A Fox2 and fox 1 fighting, stuff which ED can do both sides of the coin because it wont upset the RF laws. The best hope for DCS to be authentically made with two sides in full fidelity, is the 80's. But the people buying DLC are wanting the 2050's. It's a human issue. Kids want the future, that amazes them. Adults want the past, because frankly it tends to be better! The older the aircraft, the more it hits declassification and the more authentic a simulation of simplistic behaviour can be done. I dont know that you can fix the way people think and as long as DCS chases the money, they wont be able to please the ones that keep the lights on and they wont cater for what actually can work.

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  • 5 months later...

Bit of cross-posting (sorry!), as I got here from other thread (here, also worth reading):.

 

On 11/22/2020 at 12:32 PM, jmarso said:

My biggest gripe with DCS for a long time (so #1 for fixing on my 'wish list) is that it's a mile wide and an inch deep. Rather than just hi-fidelity aircraft models, I'd like to see ED focus on the product more as a game in terms of its roadmap. For example, pick two or three different decades and concentrate on those in terms of modules, maps, and so on. 
(...)

 

We've got Korean war vintage aircraft, but no Korean war map.

 

We've got Vietnam war vintage aircraft, but no Vietnam era map.

(...)

 

We've got a LOT of mid to late Cold War vintage aircraft, but no maps that go well with any sort of Cold War scenario, and very few CW era naval units. The Caucasus map is pretty but in terms of realism is severely limited for any realistic large-scale East-West conflict. In reality, no western navy would put any substantial naval force into the Black Sea expecting it would survive against Russia. True Cold War (or east vs west) hot spots (map locations) should include Germany, the Med, Norway, and the Kola.

(...)

 

Just my .02. The work being done in DCS is incredible, but if you want to broaden the player base and make a study sim that people want to stick with, it needs depth in terms of maps, missions, and assets- not just aircraft so detailed that we can argue about how the cockpit labels are smudged. It doesn't need the 'mile wide, inch deep' approach. It needs to be about a quarter mile wide and deep enough for diving. 😉


Couldn't agree more.
 

I'd even like to get into this sense, this ongoing impression that there's an overwhelming preference for most modern tech. 
That the older 50s/60s/70s/80s jets (ones we have, and others we should have) do not gather same interest as the most modern jets. Or even as the WW2 based piston fighters (for which other developer also base its business).

 

Imagining an hypothetical pole to decide between two modules, say, a "F‑105 Thunderchief VS F-35 Lightning II", the latter may get most votes, and conclusions taken from it.

But then we realize - we have no Vietnam map and assets.... or of Korea, and of other war scenarios of the 20th century for that matter. 

And if we think about it, this is really the main problem of DCS and its current modules.

As it is, the problem seems to be this kind of "mixed bag", where in DCS we have so many aircraft modules of different decades, all funneled into one time-period for hypothetical scenarios (early 1990s to early 2000s?), which of course will indirectly push preferences towards the most modern aircraft. ....for which, ironically, is near impossible to get detailed data.


I'd really prefer ED to focus on specific periods, on maps and assets, and then match the current and upcoming modules (both BLUFOR and REDFOR), be it for historical events, or semi-fictional ones relating to those. To focus on that specific content purposedly as a whole fitting package, so that war scenarios can be recreated and/or be believable.

At least for me, that is an important part of the simulation.

But most of all, I really believe it'd all make much more sense in DCS because, after some time, it can feel shallow.

 

As side note, we haven't had a combat-flight-sim developer making such purpose content, with focus on 1950s to 1990s conflicts, since Thirdwire with Strike-Fighters II. 
...ED, please think about this, and what an oportunity it could bring.

 


Edited by LucShep
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On 12/3/2020 at 10:48 PM, Baco said:

Agree! maybe sell Assets packs at 5 to 0 dollars, with themed assets.  Gte 3rd party developers that concentrate on Assets, they can sell cheap packs, in big numbers...

 

Asset packs are a mixed bag, Ideally Eagle would have factored assets as simply a devleopment cost of period modules. Though if we must have them, then I would agree we need themed asset packs and bundles. Right now if you buy the WWII asset pack and the Normandy map you save $15. I figure it would make sense to do a WWII bundle where you get the asset pack, and your choice of a Warbird and a period map all for 50% off the regular price. Most of us wait for sales to buy things so it evens out. I'd do a similar deal for a Korean war asset pack though I would add an additional bundle discount to anyone who owns the WWII asset pack based on the overlap.

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On 8/3/2021 at 1:22 PM, LucShep said:

Bit of cross-posting (sorry!), as I got here from other thread (here, also worth reading):.

 


Couldn't agree more.
 

I'd even like to get into this sense, this ongoing impression that there's an overwhelming preference for most modern tech. 
That the older 50s/60s/70s/80s jets (ones we have, and others we should have) do not gather same interest as the most modern jets. Or even as the WW2 based piston fighters (for which other developer also base its business).

 

Imagining an hypothetical pole to decide between two modules, say, a "F‑105 Thunderchief VS F-35 Lightning II", the latter may get most votes, and conclusions taken from it.

But then we realize - we have no Vietnam map and assets.... or of Korea, and of other war scenarios of the 20th century for that matter. 

And if we think about it, this is really the main problem of DCS and its current modules.

As it is, the problem seems to be this kind of "mixed bag", where in DCS we have so many aircraft modules of different decades, all funneled into one time-period for hypothetical scenarios (early 1990s to early 2000s?), which of course will indirectly push preferences towards the most modern aircraft. ....for which, ironically, is near impossible to get detailed data.


I'd really prefer ED to focus on specific periods, on maps and assets, and then match the current and upcoming modules (both BLUFOR and REDFOR), be it for historical events, or semi-fictional ones relating to those. To focus on that specific content purposedly as a whole fitting package, so that war scenarios can be recreated and/or be believable.

At least for me, that is an important part of the simulation.

But most of all, I really believe it'd all make much more sense in DCS because, after some time, it can feel shallow.

 

As side note, we haven't had a combat-flight-sim developer making such purpose content, with focus on 1950s to 1990s conflicts, since Thirdwire with Strike-Fighters II. 
...ED, please think about this, and what an oportunity it could bring.

 

 

As someone who is on Team Thud, what makes this really annoying is that we inevitably have Team Fat Amy screaming about the lack of balance as there is no modern RedFOR fighter as I sit here pulling my hair out wanting to explain there would have been balance if they had gone with the Thud. Simply put I don't care if Team Fat Amy buys DCS or not.  I'd rather see DCS focus on the cold war. 

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1 hour ago, Desert Fox said:

Fully agree with OP. And for me, the Hind will be the last DCS module i bought pretty much. Eagerly waiting for the Bo-105 and i would definitely get a full fidelity Su-25a if one was made. But apart from that, aircraft wise i'm fed. You can only learn so many modules, when you go deep basically dedicate to one or two at max, and i definitely hit my limit already. No more buys for me.

 

I admire your self control. For me it's pretty much "A new model? Whatever for? I've not even flown 10% of those I already own, and... Oh, you mean it's on presale NOW?" <reaches for wallet>

 

Let's face it. We are addicts. At least I am 🙂

 


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4 hours ago, Desert Fox said:

Maps wise, i would buy European/Baltic theaters. But apart from that, i'm fed. I don't need yet another desert map based on the aircraft and time period i fly. Afghanistan maybe, big maybe. Definitely not running back and forth in anticipation of it. I am not interested in any other regions. Flew Marianas twice since it was released and it's boring already, not my cup simply. No need for more maps. No more buys for me here too.

I would like to see some East Front and Cold War maps. With the East Front I would like to at least get a Stalingrad and Kursk. Stalingrad would be a good place to play with the I-16. In regards to a cold war map, the internal German border though Korea and Vietnam would be nice as well. I'd also like the F-4 Phantom II and some century fighters to be opfor against the MiG-19, 21 and upcoming 17. I know we have the F-8 in the pipes and I would pre-order it now if it could speed it up.

 

4 hours ago, Desert Fox said:

A new Combined Arms or the planned IADS would be steps in the right direction (leaving the path of aircraft/map modules only), but would also miss something very important in its' core:

WHAT i am really missing, is flesh to the bone. When i bought my first map back then, Persian Gulf, i was so disappointed. It was literally the bare map. That's it. No units that fit into, not even appropriate skins for those units that exist already. We still miss a lot of needed factions for Syria. Not talking about their assets. OP really nailed it perfectly: i bought a monopoly board and since then i play it with chess figures. What i don't need is yet another game board and i don't need a pack of poker cards either. I want game parts that complement what i got already: factions and their assets that fit into existing modules' and maps' environment.

I'm with you, I'm the guy who started the polls on fleet ops and Combined Arms II. I would love to have an online game where you have one playing the fleet, another the ground troops and a third flying aircover. Then asset packs, I think they should come as part of a bundle consisting of the asset pack, an appropriate map and module for 50% off the normal price. For example the WWII bundle would be the WWII asset pack, one of the two maps, and either Combined Arms or a Warbird. otherwise x amount of each module sold should go to the assets.

 

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On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

I'd even like to get into this sense, this ongoing impression that there's an overwhelming preference for most modern tech. 
That the older 50s/60s/70s/80s jets (ones we have, and others we should have) do not gather same interest as the most modern jets. Or even as the WW2 based piston fighters (for which other developer also base its business).

To be honest, it's hard to gather interest for this when it isn't fleshed out at all. I know that for the early-to-mid Cold War I wouldn't recommend DCS, where we have a few aircraft (F-86F and the G.91R for BLUFOR and the MiG-15bis and MiG-19P for REDFOR), 2 air defences (and they're both essentially the same gun on different platforms (AZP S-60 and ZSU-57-2)), 1 tank (T-55A) and 1 APC (MT-LB).

On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

Imagining an hypothetical pole to decide between two modules, say, a "F‑105 Thunderchief VS F-35 Lightning II", the latter may get most votes, and conclusions taken from it.

But then we realize - we have no Vietnam map and assets.... or of Korea, and of other war scenarios of the 20th century for that matter.

But here, the F-35 would be a pretty bad choice too IMO, just adding yet another era to be nowhere near fleshed out - the last thing DCS needs. The F-35 would be cool, but seeing that in a realistic BLUFOR vs REDFOR situation, the latest we've got is a simplified 9-13S MiG-29S from the mid-to-late 80s (but with a 2003 missile).

On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

And if we think about it, this is really the main problem of DCS and its current modules.

Agreed, at least as far as content goes.

On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

As it is, the problem seems to be this kind of "mixed bag", where in DCS we have so many aircraft modules of different decades, all funneled into one time-period for hypothetical scenarios (early 1990s to early 2000s?), which of course will indirectly push preferences towards the most modern aircraft. ....for which, ironically, is near impossible to get detailed data.

I'm okay with it being a "mixed bag", but the main issue for me is that it's as wide as the ocean, with modules spanning the late 30s/early 40s right now up to the early 2020s, but an inch deep in that pick any decade (or even era) and hardly anything is truly fleshed out.

See below for an extensive breakdown:

Spoiler
  • Early WWII has a single aircraft and absolutely nothing else (I-16)
  • Late WWII is possibly the most fleshed out era in DCS with:
    • A fairly equal number of peer-to-peer BLUFOR and REDFOR modules, done to a similar level of quality, with more on the way.
    • 2 dedicated maps, with a 3rd on the way (though hardly anything for that map as of yet).
    • A dedicated asset pack, with plenty of vehicles and air defences, of course there's stuff missing (especially ships, but also a few US air defences)
    • The era where numerous new technologies came to first:
      • VT AA shells.
      • AI improvements
      • Completely overhaulled damage model.
      • Torpedoes (both aerial, surface and submerged launch, even if the latter 2 are somewhat broken).
      • Submerging submarines.
  • Early Cold War (1946 - 1960):
    • For full-fidelity modules you've got the F-86F, MiG-15bis, MiG-19P and a G.91R on the way.
    • Only ground units are exclusively REDFOR, with 2 air defences units (AZP S-60 and the ZSU-57-2), 1 tank (PT-76B) and 1 APC (MT-LB). That's it, there's absolutely nothing else apart from what you can recycle from WWII.
    • No map.
    • No naval assets.
  • Mid Cold War (1961 to 1975):
    • Only has 3 full-fidelity modules, 1 of them a trainer (F-5E-3, MiG-21bis and L-39C), though there is also the F-8J on the way.
    • Maybe a couple of AI aircraft (F-4E).
    • Quite a few REDFOR air defences, with the S-75M/SA-2d, S-125M/SA-3b, the upcoming S-200V/SA-5b, the 9K33/SA-8a and the 9K31/SA-9a. There is also Rapier (though without Blindfire for the UK). We have a couple of REDFOR vehicles, though hardly any BLUFOR vehicles (can only think of the Land Rovers, maybe the Chieftain Mk.7/L and the Leopard 1A3), there are however a few REDFOR vehicles (T-55A, BMP-1, BMD-1, BTR-RD, BRDM-2).
    • No map.
  • Late Cold War (1976 to 1991):
    • Only the Mirage 2000C as a full fidelity module (and only just, our 2000C is 1989 at the earliest), though there is an early F-14A (suitable for pre 1994 missions) in the works, as well as an A-6E (variant depending, TRAM and WCSI fit here) and an A-7E. There is also a 9-12 MiG-29 in a 'hope-to' state. Here is where we also have the C-101, L-39ZA and the Mi-8MTV-2 and (without 9M120), the Mi-24P too (though it has Lipa removed). Finally, there's the Christen Eagle 2 and Yak-52 (though both unarmed).
    • All of the FC3 aircraft apart from the F-15C, and if you exclude R-77, the 9-13S MiG-29S.
    • There's a few more AI aircraft (mostly REDFOR - Tu-22M3, MiG-23MLD, MiG-25, Su-17M4).
    • The majority of air defence systems: MIM-23B I-HAWK PIP Phase 1, Rapier FSA for the UK, Roland 2, Gepard, M163A2 (?) and MIM-72G for BLUFOR; for REDFOR we've got the 2K12M3/SA-6b, S-300PS/SA-10b, 9K35M3/SA-13, 9K37M1/SA-11, the 9K38/SA-18 (though uses the 9M342 missile of the 9K338/SA-24 from the mid 2000s) and the 9K330/SA-15a.
    • The majority of REDFOR ground vehicles, and a few BLUFOR ground vehicles.
    • 1 map (Caucasus) (?) - though is wholly unsuitable for BLUFOR vs REDFOR Cold War missions.
    • The majority of REDFOR naval assets.
  • 90s:
    • Heatblur's current offerings: the AJS 37 and the current Tomcats (though with LANTIRN the Tomcats are late 90s/early 2000s), there's the J-11A too and there's also possibly the A-6E (depending on what variant HB does) as well as a few more AI aircraft (namely the Tu-160). Here's is also where the Ka-50, Gazelle and the WIP Bo-105PAH-1A1 fits.
    • There's a few more air defences present (MIM-104C Patriot PAC-2, 2K22M/SA-19).
    • Probably the majority of BLUFOR ground vehicles as well as a few more REDFOR.
    • We finally have a map (Caucasus) but it's only really suitable for the 1991-1992 South Ossetia War and the 1992-1993 War in Abkhazia.
    • The remaining REDFOR naval assets (excluding the CAP naval assets, and the Pr. 636 Improved Kilo). There's also (pedantically speaking) HB's Forrestal (Phalanx Block 1) and the Type 148 Tiger-class [La Combatantte IIA], given that it's a later fit (TRS 3050 Triton-G, Racal Cutlass B1 ESM, Racal Scorpion ECM.
  • 2000s:
    • For modules we have the most popular BLUFOR modules: A-10C, F-16CM and the F/A-18C (the F-14A/B reaches into here too). The F-15C fits here, and so does the 9-13S MiG-29S with the R-77, the AH-64D Block II and the MB.339A MLU will also fit here.
    • There's a couple more AI aircraft (namely the F-15E).
    • There are only 3 more air defence systems, that being NASAMS II, the HQ-7b Self-Propelled and the 9K338/SA-24.
    • The rest of the BLUFOR naval assets, as well as the CAP naval assets.
    • As for maps from a purely pedantic perspective, there aren't any that strictly fit here, though most payware terrains could be made to fit around here as well as the Marianas, even if they are generally newer (only one I'm unsure about is Syria).
  • 2010s:
    • For modules we have the later A-10C, AV-8B N/A, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the JF-17. There's also the OH-58D and technically the Mi-24P but only due to the removal of Lipa, otherwise we would have a Mi-24P from the 90s (though only from 9M120 Ataka, without 9M120 we would have a mid 80s Mi-24P, just missing Lipa - this aircraft is rather unique in that it really hasn't changed much since it was produced, only thing I'm unsure about is engines).
    • We have maybe a couple more AI aircraft (namely the Su-34 and H-6J)
    • A few more ground vehicles (LPWS, ZTZ96B, ZBD-04A, T-72B3 and BTR-82A).
    • Here are where the SoH/PG, Syria and Marianas map strictly fit around, though this is arguably more pedantic.
  • And finally onto the 2020s:
    • Only the Eurofighter Typhoon (seeing as it's a Luftwaffe Typhoon, but being heavily teased with the MBDA Meteor, which only entered Luftwaffe service in 2021) and absolutely nothing else.

Obviously succeeding decades/eras will carry-over plenty of assets and modules from previous decades/eras, but hopefully you can see the problem.

 

On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

I'd really prefer ED to focus on specific periods, on maps and assets, and then match the current and upcoming modules (both BLUFOR and REDFOR), be it for historical events, or semi-fictional ones relating to those. To focus on that specific content purposedly as a whole fitting package, so that war scenarios can be recreated and/or be believable.

At least for me, that is an important part of the simulation.

Absolutely, I'd say have a coherent set of building blocks is very important for making missions that are believable from a historical perspective, and even for mission editing in general.

On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

But most of all, I really believe it'd all make much more sense in DCS because, after some time, it can feel shallow.

Completely agreed.

On 8/3/2021 at 7:22 PM, LucShep said:

As side note, we haven't had a combat-flight-sim developer making such purpose content, with focus on 1950s to 1990s conflicts, since Thirdwire with Strike-Fighters II. 
...ED, please think about this, and what an oportunity it could bring.

Yes, while that was much more sim-lite, with a lot of simplifications, it did have a fanastic set of assets that were comprehensive and peer-to-peer, and that is something I loved about it. The only one that has it beat is C:MO/C:MANO, but that isn't a flight simulator.

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

Fully agree with OP. And for me, the Hind will be the last DCS module i bought pretty much. Eagerly waiting for the Bo-105 and i would definitely get a full fidelity Su-25a if one was made. But apart from that, aircraft wise i'm fed. You can only learn so many modules, when you go deep basically dedicate to one or two at max, and i definitely hit my limit already. No more buys for me.

I'm basically with you, though I would say I am very interested in purchasing aircraft that fill the eras out a bit better, as well as maps.

Though there's only really the Mirage F1 and G.91R (and maybe the MB-339), and as for maps - none are in active development (or at least AFAIK, apart from maybe the Falklands).

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

Maps wise, i would buy European/Baltic theaters. But apart from that, i'm fed.

Agreed, though personally, one thing that I've been wishing for lately is to transition to a spherical coordinate system, so we can have maps that fit on a sphere, instead of the flat Earth maps we have now.

But maps like the Baltic, Germany, Barents Sea/NATO Northern Flank and the GIUK gap I would be all over, same with a Balkans, apart from that I'm not really interested.

I find it hard though to do stuff in our current theatres beyond the very basics, and the reasons for that you go into later.

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

Flew Marianas twice since it was released and it's boring already, not my cup simply. No need for more maps. No more buys for me here too.

I was pretty interested in the Marianas, though purely fictional scenarios, my main gripe with it is that it has just so many issues with its geometry and mesh that makes it difficult to set stuff up properly.

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

A new Combined Arms or the planned IADS would be steps in the right direction (leaving the path of aircraft/map modules only), but would also miss something very important in its' core:

WHAT i am really missing, is flesh to the bone. When i bought my first map back then, Persian Gulf, i was so disappointed. It was literally the bare map. That's it. No units that fit into, not even appropriate skins for those units that exist already.

And that is my main gripe with the map too, apart from the map, there's basically nothing else, there isn't a single Iranian naval asset, nor Omani. There's stuff for the UAE, but Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain etc are pretty much completely absent.

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

We still miss a lot of needed factions for Syria. Not talking about their assets.

Absolutely, I think DCS needs a major rethink in how coalitions/sides/factions are handled and personally there's no better system than C:MANO, where you can add, remove and rename sides at will, you can set their posture with respect to other sides individually and even configure global doctrine, ROE and skill level.

You don't add 'countries' to it like we do, it still has a list of countries and their appropriate equipment, but you can add whatever you like to whatever side, even if it's the same country on 2 opposing sides.

I should really make a separate wishlist thread about it, but I've not used anything else that had more flexibility than what C:MANO has.

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

OP really nailed it perfectly: i bought a monopoly board and since then i play it with chess figures. What i don't need is yet another game board and i don't need a pack of poker cards either. I want game parts that complement what i got already: factions and their assets that fit into existing modules' and maps' environment.

Absolutely 100% agree.

On 8/5/2021 at 11:20 AM, Desert Fox said:

DCS modules have such depth, but flying them in such a shallow environment makes everything really feel artificial and provisional. It's about time to expand from doing yet another aircraft and yet another terrain. The WWII part of DCS goes the right direction here: pick a conflict or an isolated part of it and provide what is needed to recreate it in DCS (or spin-off hypothetical directions).

Exactly.


Edited by Northstar98
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14 hours ago, Northstar98 said:

 

I'm okay with it being a "mixed bag", but the main issue for me is that it's as wide as the ocean, with modules spanning the late 30s/early 40s right now up to the early 2020s, but an inch deep in that pick any decade (or even era) and hardly anything is truly flushed out.

 

14 hours ago, Northstar98 said:

I'd really prefer ED to focus on specific periods, on maps and assets, and then match the current and upcoming modules (both BLUFOR and REDFOR), be it for historical events, or semi-fictional ones relating to those. To focus on that specific content purposedly as a whole fitting package, so that war scenarios can be recreated and/or be believable.

At least for me, that is an important part of the simulation.

Same, I  put some blame on the community for this situation, as people are opposed to having more asset packs. Looking at the maps and aircraft that we have I would love to see Eagle flesh out some historical Arab-Israeli wars as well as the 1980s tanker wars. I'd also like more maps. We have the F-51, F-86, and MiG-15 so why not a Korean war map and asset pack?

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10 minutes ago, upyr1 said:

 

Same, I  put some blame on the community for this situation, as people are opposed to having more asset packs. Looking at the maps and aircraft that we have I would love to see Eagle flesh out some historical Arab-Israeli wars as well as the 1980s tanker wars. I'd also like more maps. We have the F-51, F-86, and MiG-15 so why not a Korean war map and asset pack?

 

I don't really think that people are opposing more asset packs, as that would be a silly stance - more of anything is welcome by everyone. People are opposed to having asset packs instead of <some airframe / other feature>. Since ED works with a finite set of talent, they can only do so much. So if the situation is "here are five items, pick any two", asset packs tend to get left sitting on the table. I'd love to have an airfield asset pack: vehicles, utilities, markings for airfields. But not for the price of delaying the Apache.

 

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24 minutes ago, cfrag said:

 

I don't really think that people are opposing more asset packs, as that would be a silly stance - more of anything is welcome by everyone. People are opposed to having asset packs instead of <some airframe / other feature>. Since ED works with a finite set of talent, they can only do so much. So if the situation is "here are five items, pick any two", asset packs tend to get left sitting on the table. I'd love to have an airfield asset pack: vehicles, utilities, markings for airfields. But not for the price of delaying the Apache.

 

There's also the problem that asset packs adds another layer of splitting the community on top of what the terrains already do. If you really like an era, it's not so much of a problem, but it becomes one if you are trying to build a community or common group around your playing.

 

As a content creator, the double-split also reduces your target audience and makes it less worth-while to build anything. Yay, you've built this fantastically detailed mission using all the assets but, oh no, it turns out that all of 10 people in the world have the exact combination of aircraft + map + asset pack you've designed it around, and none of them like enjoy your voice acting. 😛

 

The WWII asset pack is reasonably distinct, and deals with a very specific conflict, so it almost gets around this, but it still creates a pretty significant threshold for anyone who wants to get into the era (or drag their buddies into it). You're still looking at well above $100 just to get started with a single plane, which takes some convincing. With more modern eras, though, that clarity quickly evaporates, and content will start to overlap. It can be problematic enough with just one asset pack — imagine how much more you narrow things down if you want to mix two of them. Even with the WWII pack, there are some things that it “holds hostage”, just to be overly dramatic, that would be really neat to include in other missions but which you can't because you can't trust the pointy-nose jet jockeys to own it.

 

…and that all circles directly back to the issue of ED spending time on these packs. Ultimately, it's content that sells. The more restricted and niche the audience is, the less worth-while it is to create content for them; the less content there is, the less worth-while it is to buy the required modules; and the less it's worth buying the modules, the less it's ED's time to make them to begin with. It was the issue they ran into when they first planned to restrict the Supercarrier, and they ended up reversing that in part because of how clear this vicious circle became to them. Put that consideration into the overall equation you describe, and it becomes an even costlier decision for everyone involved.

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1 hour ago, Tippis said:

There's also the problem that asset packs adds another layer of splitting the community on top of what the terrains already do. If you really like an era, it's not so much of a problem, but it becomes one if you are trying to build a community or common group around your playing.

 

Indeed, and this not only holds true for content creators but also for those of us who run servers. Each asset pack bifurcates your possible audience. That being said, though, content creators and multi-players are unfortunately a (heartbreakingly) small sliver of ED's client base, so for them only the cost/benefit portion of the equation is relevant. Worse, few of those interested in purchasing the packs realize that these packs do not automagically make their game better unless they also invest time to create missions. Many assume that once they purchase a pack, these units / structures magically appear in their missions, and - worst case - may even then berate content creators for being lazy or inept when that is not the case. Asset Packs are problematic when looked at from this perspective, but not enough to actively discourage their development.   

 

That being said, in my mind, 'Asset Packs' should be a precursor - paid "early access" if you will - to what will be incorporated into later releases. Supercarrier could/should be folded into an upcoming release to streamline ATC, and end the headache for MP creators whether or not to include. Same with WWIIAP. I paid for both, and would not mind if they become part of a homogenized game after ED have recaptured their initial investment, and then serve to broaden the game's overall appeal. 

 


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1 hour ago, cfrag said:

That being said, in my mind, 'Asset Packs' should be a precursor - paid "early access" if you will - to what will be incorporated into later releases. Supercarrier could/should be folded into an upcoming release to streamline ATC, and end the headache for MP creators whether or not to include. Same with WWIIAP. I paid for both, and would not mind if they become part of a homogenized game after ED have recaptured their initial investment, and then serve to broaden the game's overall appeal.

 

In terms of actually paying for it, I think the best way of doing it would probably be to just amortise the cost over modules related to the period or region or whatever. As in, if you buy a WWII bird, 5% (or whatever) of that is an “asset tax” that goes towards fleshing out the population of statics and AI units that give that aircraft a suitable environment to fly about in. The more popular any given era is, the more resources there would be to further vitalise that era with decorations and units. It would be somewhat similar to the classic Paradox model: here's a new for-pay DLC, and it comes with a bunch of free upgrades for everyone and a for-pay portion that further deepens the interaction with those new features.

 

That still leaves the issue of actually having the manpower to create those assets, of course, but it would help immensely with the issue of splitting the community in haves and have-nots.

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In terms of actually paying for it, I think the best way of doing it would probably be to just amortise the cost over modules related to the period or region or whatever. As in, if you buy a WWII bird, 5% (or whatever) of that is an “asset tax” that goes towards fleshing out the population of statics and AI units that give that aircraft a suitable environment to fly about in. The more popular any given era is, the more resources there would be to further vitalise that era with decorations and units. It would be somewhat similar to the classic Paradox model: here's a new for-pay DLC, and it comes with a bunch of free upgrades for everyone and a for-pay portion that further deepens the interaction with those new features.
 
That still leaves the issue of actually having the manpower to create those assets, of course, but it would help immensely with the issue of splitting the community in haves and have-nots.
Very good idea!!!!

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8 hours ago, cfrag said:

 

I don't really think that people are opposing more asset packs, as that would be a silly stance - more of anything is welcome by everyone. People are opposed to having asset packs instead of <some airframe / other feature>. Since ED works with a finite set of talent, they can only do so much. So if the situation is "here are five items, pick any two", asset packs tend to get left sitting on the table. I'd love to have an airfield asset pack: vehicles, utilities, markings for airfields. But not for the price of delaying the Apache.

 

When ever the subject of more asset packs comes up you will inevitably see people saying "no that will divide the online community" and I think ED is listening to them.  I'd really like more assets from the 1950s and 60s  and I don't care what gets delayed to do it.

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On 8/17/2021 at 3:57 PM, upyr1 said:

When ever the subject of more asset packs comes up you will inevitably see people saying "no that will divide the online community" and I think ED is listening to them.  I'd really like more assets from the 1950s and 60s  and I don't care what gets delayed to do it.

In any case, I really doubt an asset pack would delay the Apache, it's mostly artwork (3D model and textures), maybe some ballistic modelling for rounds etc.

The assets themselves from a programming perspective seem very simple, they're certainly nothing like say GHPC.

Personally though, I wish that current stuff would be upgraded to current standards before moving on, though there's plenty of stuff that even the newest assets would need extensive reworks to facilitate, such as damage modelling and proper suspension/wheel/track modelling.


Edited by Northstar98
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Modules I own: F-14A/B, Mi-24P, AJS 37, F-5E-3, MiG-21bis, F-16CM, F/A-18C, Supercarrier, Mi-8MTV-2, UH-1H, Mirage 2000C, FC3, MiG-15bis, Ka-50, A-10C (+ A-10C II), P-47D, P-51D, C-101, Yak-52, WWII Assets, CA, NS430, Hawk

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5 hours ago, Tippis said:

 

In terms of actually paying for it, I think the best way of doing it would probably be to just amortise the cost over modules related to the period or region or whatever. As in, if you buy a WWII bird, 5% (or whatever) of that is an “asset tax” that goes towards fleshing out the population of statics and AI units that give that aircraft a suitable environment to fly about in. The more popular any given era is, the more resources there would be to further vitalise that era with decorations and units. It would be somewhat similar to the classic Paradox model: here's a new for-pay DLC, and it comes with a bunch of free upgrades for everyone and a for-pay portion that further deepens the interaction with those new features.

 

That still leaves the issue of actually having the manpower to create those assets, of course, but it would help immensely with the issue of splitting the community in haves and have-nots.

I've been asking for this as well. 

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Talking about assets packs and maps.

 

Maps are slowly being made, whether by ED themselves or third parties, i don't feel like it is an area clearly needing priority works, Syria is an awesome map, whether being the third with a majority of sand, i still feel it was a great choice to bring it and even more with the addition of Cyprus ! The map matches very well with most aircraft that we have and not counting the ones in the works. Mariana as much as not the most interesting one still is counted as a map on which certain scenarios could be made but limited in my opinion. Falklands is in the works and could potentially come out late this year or i'd guess sometime next year ? If there was one map i'd wish to get, it would be the whole of North + South Korea. I know that area is already used in another F-16 sim, but i'd love to see it detailed as good as Syria is for exemple and of coarse on DCS (Not counting how much i'd love to use our future dynamic campaign on it). A lot of our current assets (Planes and vehicles) would actually blend in pretty good on a Korean map.

Anyhow, Ugra media seems to be focused on maps, and now that Syria is/should be finished, i would hope that they are already working on another new one to be just as good as Syria ?!?

Point here is that, we already have "plenty" of great maps to use for different conflicts so no need to have priority on this matter.

 

The assets, this is where i need to know, we heard a third party wanted to get into the business with ED and create only asset packs and maybe in the future go into making somewhat full fidelity vehicles !?! Where have these guys disappeared ? Havn't had news from them for long enough that i can't remember when was the last time they were talked about on the forum.

I was really happy to know some third party devs were ready to join us and somewhat "take care" of the ground side of DCS, yet here we are, feeling like this great idea has not been validated.

Same with the third party that talked about making an IADS module, awesome idea that again the majority of the community was happy to adopt, yet once again, i have not seen any news from them for very long and feel like it simply did not validate somewhere.

ED is doing some minor work on ground stuff, mostly updating textures as it is, but i was really counting on that third party team who came in proposing to build asset packs and clearly speed up the process on everything ground related.

 

I'm just hoping we'll see DCS evolve more into something with massive replayability and depth as a simulator. I do love the study level sim they've made, but i've seen myself loose interest coming on regurlarly because of too many details missing around the focus of study level planes we fly.

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11 hours ago, SparxOne said:

A lot of our current assets (Planes and vehicles) would actually blend in pretty good on a Korean map.

If we get a Korean map, the ideal period would be 1953

 

11 hours ago, SparxOne said:

The assets, this is where i need to know, we heard a third party wanted to get into the business with ED and create only asset packs and maybe in the future go into making somewhat full fidelity vehicles !?! Where have these guys disappeared ? Havn't had news from them for long enough that i can't remember when was the last time they were talked about on the forum.

I was really happy to know some third party devs were ready to join us and somewhat "take care" of the ground side of DCS, yet here we are, feeling like this great idea has not been validated.

Deka is making the Chinese assets we need more historical assets

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