Eagle Dynamics almost never does release dates but today was an exception. Sort of. DCS World 2.5 is going to release in late January with the summer version of the heavily revised Caucasus map.
A late January release
Coming in late January, the DCS World 2.5 release date is not just a small anouncement but instead is a promise. This promise comes to us directly from Matt Wagner, the Senior Producer at Eagle Dynamics.
This is the full statement made today on Facebook:
Work is going well with the updated Caucasus map and the summer map is ready to go! However, there is still work to do on the Spring, Autumn, and Winter maps. Much of this revolves around integration of the new SpeedTree tech. This is a rather time consuming process and is not just a case of just dropping in new tech.
Additionally, a lot of work continues on updating the hundreds of missions and campaigns that need to be adjusted for the map changes. This primarily entails moving units and their routes out of the many new forested areas on the map. We want this move to DCS World 2.5 to be as bug-free as possible.
Finally, we have the holiday season fast approaching, and we need to give our staff time with their loved ones.
Given this, we will be releasing DCS World 2.5 by late-January 2018. This is not an estimate, this is a promise.
DCS World 2.5 will be released as a new download (NOT an update to an existing version). In other words, DCS World 2.5 will replace DCS World 1.5 Stable. The current 1.5.8 Open Beta will be updated to be DCS World 2.5 Open Beta. As such DCS 2.5 Stable and DCS 2.5 Open Beta will be available at the same time. DCS 2.1 Open Alpha will be removed, and DCS World 1.5 will remain but be unsupported.
Modules under DCS World 2.x will not need to be re-downloaded or activated. Just do not uninstall DCS World 2.2 Open Alpha prior to installing DCS World 2.5 Stable, as 2.5 will copy the modules over from 2.2.
Any files in your Users/Saved Games folder will not be affected.
Pilots statistics from DCS World 2.x will be carried over to DCS World 2.5.
Movement of DCS World 2.5 would then soon follow to Steam.
Matt “Wags” Wagner
Eagle Dynamic SA, Senior Producer
Getting the three other seasonal variations of the Caucasus map right is key and I’m glad that they are spending their time doing these. The new autumn and winter variations of the Caucasus map that we’ve seen recently have been much more distinctive in the way that they look versus their equivalents in DCS World 1.5
Also interesting is confirmation that DCS World 2.5 and the Caucasus map is using SpeedTree technology. SpeedTree is something I became aware of years ago and it seemed like it might be an idea way for a flight simulator to do large numbers of reasonably realistic looking trees.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first implementation as Normandy was confirmed as not using SpeedTree.
SpeedTree is a “middleware” technology that allows games and professional cinema teams to generate trees and vegetation and make the whole thing look convincing and realistic. In games it has to do convincing and realistic while also performing well.
A major milestone
The release of DCS World 2.5 will mark a major milestone. It will mean the end of DCS World 1.5 support and finally merge the DCS World 2.x and DCS World 1.5 content into one release. For many of us who have two versions of DCS World installed on their PC’s (one for the Caucasus map and one for Nevada/Normandy) this will make a huge difference.
This is what will happen with all of the variations of DCS content currently out there in the shift to 2.5.
- DCS World 1.5 stable will be replaced by DCS World 2.5 stable.
- DCS World 2.2 alpha will end and be replaced by DCS World 2.5 stable.
- DCS World 1.5 beta will be replaced by DCS World 2.5 beta.
To summarize, essentially we’ll be seeing the end of the alpha for DCS World 2 and the end of DCS World 1.5 to be replaced by 2.5 For those interested in continuing to beta test new features, DCS World 2.5 beta will be the release to have. For everyone more interested in stability – you’ll stay on the stable release.
This effectively marks the end of DCS World 1.5 which will no longer be getting updates. It won’t be going away just yet either as the switch to 2.5 could come with some bugs during the initial launch and of course some people may be struggling with 1.5 and will find 2.5 will be too much for their systems.
For others, like myself, DCS World 2.x performs as well as or better than 1.5 does so this is not automatically a downgrade in performance.
This is the future for DCS
DCS World 2.5 is the future for DCS and going forward this will be the release that gets the updated modules and features. New maps, new content, new features, and everything that keeps this series going will all be done through 2.5
In the near future we’re expecting things like a new cloud system (even above and beyond the updates that came with 2.2) as well as major content releases like the F/A-18C Hornet from Eagle Dynamics as well as new releases from other developers like Heatblur’s F-14.
Strait of Hormuz is also a 2.5 based map which will hopefully release sometime in 2018.
There’s lots to look forward to with this. We just have to wait a few more weeks!