For months we’ve been anticipating the release of patch 3.001 for the IL-2 series. Thanks to Friday’s developer update, we now have a more specific time-frame. Two-to-three weeks puts release at close but maybe not as close as some of us had though. Let’s break it down!
Two to three weeks
The joke that is older than two generations of IL-2 titles is that everything everyone is eer waiting for is “two weeks” away. Han narrowly sidestepped this trope by saying that release was two or three weeks away. Han said,
All other changes and additions planned for 3.001 release are finished. Therefore, we plan to release this humongous update in 2-3 weeks. We want to release it as soon as possible ourselves: all we’re doing we’re doing for you and your feedback is very important for us. But we need to make a bit more effort to give you the result that will not only be massive, but also good functioning, so these days will be spent on debugging and refinement of the new functionality.
It’s clear to me that they are not only rushing towards a 3.001 release but they are also aiming for a quality release. With anticipation this high, having critical bugs go out in 3.001’s initial launch would no doubt sour the experience.
I fully expect there to be hotfix patches that arrive within days of the initial launch. No amount of testing can sort out every issue with a patch this large. Still, I’m betting that if all goes well, most people will be able to launch IL-2 and do what they do normally (probably while exploring the new content) without major game breaking issues.
Pinpointing the date
If we think of last Friday (March 2nd) as the date that starts the “countdown” on two to three weeks I’m making my guess at a couple of possible dates:
- March 13
- March 20
Why those two dates? Well, 1CGS developers like to release early in the week. Monday is too early (a day for last minute checks is always good) and the team needs most of the week to make sure that everything is working going into the weekend. Tuesday is a good day. March 13 fits within two weeks while March 20 fits within the three weeks and all of these fit within the prior statement that 3.001 would arrive before the end of Q1 2018 which is March 31st.
Just two big things and a lot of small ones
Two big items we know about are being polished right now. The P-39L-1 cockpit is one where a couple of weeks ago we saw an early texture pass (flat and without detail) and now we’re seeing the nearly completed version.
In addition, we now know that most of the new Career mode is being polished up and mission types are currently being added. Han said,
We have 20 Career mission types working of 25 planned for the release.
As I understand it, mission types are the basic “templates” that are used to generate different types of missions. The original Campaign mode also uses this system but there are far fewer types of missions. A mission type would be “artillery strike” or “defend the cargo ship” or “train strike” etc.
These templates go a bit above just the single mission because they include all of the different permutations and random variables that can be applied thanks to the powerful (yet complex) mission builder for the series.
We also know from earlier updates that more are planned for a post 3.001 launch.
There are 38 mission types planned, way more that we have had before (Rise of Flight career and the current BoX campaign have 22 mission types).
Naturally, its nice to see that Career mode will continue to grow in complexity and variety as time allows and the series expands.
The small things too
Those are the big two things but there are probably hundreds of small things to sort out too and of course squashing bugs is really important.
Remember, this is all for a “patch” that contains two new game modes, a revised map featuring two seasons, new graphics features that alter the entire look of the game, and five new aircraft – 3.001 is just a huge patch.
I’m still willing to wait it out for something special. And special I think it will be!