…or what’s that 800 pound gorilla doing in here?
Remember the story about the 800 pound gorilla? When asked, “Where does he sit?” the answer is, “Anywhere he wants”.
The point is that even if the topic of copy protection is not about the 800 pound gorilla, people in the room know it’s there, and that will become the point of focus. You cannot ignore it.
And so it is with DCS: Black Shark and copy protection.
So no, it can not be ignored, nor should it be ignored. But does it take over? Does it influence us with it’s weight and gorilla history? It’s an individuals choice. Is it right for me? My choice. Right for you? Your choice.
SimHQ does not and will not have an official position because the staff itself is as varied in opinion as the sim community. But SimHQ does believe in discussion of the topic. Not flaming and insults, discussion. Almost any conversation about Black Shark has the capability of turning on a dime to the “gorilla side”. This is something our community is very passionate about from all points-of-view. SimHQ knows that and recognizes it. Not everyone is going to agree on what copy protection is right, or even if there should be copy protection. One thing the staff is in total agreement about — we are all dead set against any software piracy.
Now then, our English version of DCS: Black Shark arrived with StarForce FrontLine ProActive (more commonly known as “version 6”). SimHQ has DCS: Black Shark installations on two machines (using a different serial number for each) and so far SimHQ has encountered no problems with either computer. Is that conclusive? No, probably not, but we would say it’s indicative. I cannot tell you how it will behave on your computer, but to this point, SimHQ has had no issues. This is not a political point of view, it’s just a fact. If that situation changes, we’ll let the community know. So as was said earlier, it’s each individuals decision.
The Interface: Menus, Options and Settings
The DCS: Black Shark main menu is the same for the Russian and English versions, with of course the exception of the languages. Going clockwise from 12 o’clock, the selections are: Campaign; Campaign Builder; Editor; Logbook; Options; EXIT; Replay; Encyclopedia; Training; Mission and in the center, Instant Action.
The overall interface design must be commented on. A big congrats to the person(s) responsible for melding the contemporary transparent appearance and color scheme with a combat helicopter sim! The design is very clean, well thought out, and a big step-up from the Lock-On days. Icons and symbols are clear and concise. Easy to read type completes the overall look. Finally! A flight simulation set of menus that work as effectively as the features in the sim.
We’re going to jump around while discussing these different sections.
Lets first take a look at “Options”. There are 3 tabbed areas in Options: System (Graphics and Audio); Controls and Gameplay (Difficulties and View Options).