Formation takeoffs are a blast and maintaining position on another human player’s wing is a great challenge. In close proximity to other human players we noticed a tiny bit of warping. Occasionally a large warp would occur, for me this was always the result of me taking a screenshot. Predictably, I also seemed to suffer less warping at higher connections speeds than when I connected at 56K up/down.
If you happen to lose sight of your flight lead or wingmen a good means of determining their position is the EXP view on the Horizontal Situational Display (HSD). Your flight member’s positions are data-linked in blue showing their position, heading, flight position number and altitude (in tens of thousands of feet).
If you are curious as to the numbers of human players playing on the server at any one time take a glance down at your kneeboard to see the numbers of players that are hooked up and the numbers that are playing on your team (in an opposing force TE the enemy can be other human players).
As is the case in single player mode, division of labor and a clearly defined plan are the keys to multiplayer mission success. The added flexibility of having two or more players in a flight is very nice since human players are much more adaptable to a fluid situation. When flying with Doug we worked very well together identifying threat aircraft on our flanks and positioning ourselves to cover one another. In one particularly exciting mission a MiG-21 snuck in under the action and managed to get on my tail. A spiraling, descending dogfight ensued taking me from 20-thousand down to the deck where I was quickly running out of airspeed and altitude since I was stubbornly holding on to my air-to-ground stores. From a few miles out Doug locked up the bandit causing him to disengage and go defensive. That was all the opportunity I needed, launching a “MADDOG” AMRAAM at him with no guidance at just outside of minimum range; just one example of many such exciting moments that my new foray into MP flying. [From my point-of-view, I was trying desperately to get a solid lock or a clear shot returning with full burners. My wingie and I were still far enough away that the 9 mike wasn’t a possibility. With Chris’ wingman taken out a couple of minutes earlier, the spiral downward only allowed for a brief moment to engage — and he didn’t have much time left. The MiG went defensive on my lock and that proved to be his fatal mistake. I was ready to take the shot when Chris said he had him locked-up and was going for it. Splash one MiG. Another example why using voice comms adds so much. Very exciting stuff. – Doug]