The past few days have seen a nice little burst of news on the flight sim front, with 1C and Eagle Dynamics each providing some new information regarding updates and the futures of their respective games.
IL*2 Battle of Moscow
A few days ago we took a look at 1C’s update 1.107, which continues the build up to IL*2’s next release: Battle of Moscow. The update is now live and ready for players to dive into, and, fortunately, 1C did manage to get all three new planes into the download (Bf 109 F-2, IL-2 mod 1941, and the Pe-2 series 35). Check out 1C’s dev blog, right here, to get more details about the newest aerial additions to IL*2.
Other than the spiffy new planes, update 1.107 has also added and tweaked a number of other things, notably:
- Bf 109 F-2, IL-2 mod. 1941 and Pe-2 series 35 are available to players who pre-purchased Battle of Moscow. Those who only have Battle of Stalingrad can set them as AI controlled planes in single player or encounter them in multiplayer.
- Smoke, tracers and exhausts are now affected bywind.
- Roadside grass added.
- Random “Can’t load object” error that could pop up in multiplayer when attacking ships fixed.
- Multiplayer server hangup with “void SysOrientedTrail::drawNormal” error fixed (it was caused by large number of vehicles nearby).
- Plane gunners won’t die anymore when its pilot bails out (bug introduced in 1.106).
- Joystick ID preservation system improved, should work for 3+ controllers.
- Critical speed (when rudder and ailerons start to shake) increased for all Bf-109 modifications (based on German test report and several pilot memoirs).
For a full list of changes, see 1C’s most recent post.
Eagle Dynamics, the developer behind the ever popular and expanding DCS World, also took to the web to talk about their 2016 plans. Fans of DCS will be pleased to hear that Eagle Dynamics is pushing forward with some pretty ambitious plans for this year, which include a number of graphical and content additions to improve the game’s new engine.
In 2016, expect to see new clouds, weather, lighting, HDR, better explosions, over-wing vapor, enhanced rain effects, procedural grass and vegetation, and a new VR options tab to support this year’s, soon to happen, VR explosion.
The L-39 Albatros should be finished up (along with the L-29ZA) early this year, and the F/A-18C Hornet is still on course for a 2016 release, with an Early Access version due out soon’ish. DCS: World War II will also continue to get some love, as the P-51D, Fw 190, and Bf 109 are next in line to be tweaked and further optimized. Even more exciting, however, is the SpitFire IX, which is hopefully going to be finished mid-2016, while the P-47D is due out at the end of the year. DCS: Flaming Cliffs 3 isn’t being left out in the cold, either, as it will be getting a new 3D model for the MiG-29 “with the incorporation of the Professional Fight Models (PFM) to both the Su-33 and MiG-29.”
If you’re unhappy with the current Aircraft Carrier models in the game, then you’ll be happy to hear that the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the Kuznetsov-class carrier are planned to be released as modules this year. These models will replace the default ones with “incredibly detailed models with working elevators, interior hanger bays, animated ships systems, and the ability to walk around inside the ships.” While these modules are, undoubtedly, just window dressing, I’m looking forward to the deeper level of immersion they should bring to the game.
Last but not least on the aircraft front, there will be a scattering of new 3rd party aircraft coming to the game this year, which include, but aren’t limited to, the F-5E Tiger II (Belsimtek), the SA342 (Polychop Simulations), and the AJS-73 Viggen (Leatherneck Simulations).
Maps and Other Content
The recently released NTTR map is getting some further additions to flesh out the horizon. These additions will include:
- Tonopah Air Force Base
- New casino/hotels in the Las Vegas strip
- A number of airfields and landing strips in the central (detailed) portion of the map
- The National Training Center (NTC)
- Improved grass and ground clutter
Along with the usual tweaks and improvements coming to the NTTR map, the Strait of Hormuz map is also in the works and utilizes Eagle Dynamics new “T5 dynamic mesh terrain technology,” which the developer believes “will bring this map a new dimension in quality and detail.”
Eagle Dynamics is also at work on a third map for this year, which it hopes will serve as a cornerstone of DCS: World War II. The 1944 Northern France map will feature ground units native to that period of the war, which should provide even more depth and realism to your skirmishes above.
It’s always great to see developers sharing their plans and visions for the future. 1C and Eagle Dynamics have defintely started 2016 off a good note, and if they continue to meet their goals and targets, it’ll be a great year for the genre.