Modern Air Combat was announced today as part of the DCS World Weekend News update. Modern Air Combat (MAC) is the new entry point that Eagle Dynamics is going to offer to players interested in the DCS World offering up 14 combat aircraft in a mid-fidelity flight sim that should appeal to a wider audience than some of the study level DCS World Aircraft. I’ve got the details so lets dig in!
Modern Air Combat for DCS World
It’s a new name and a compelling new package of aircraft for new pilots looking to jump into the combat flight sim world without having to learn all of the complexities of a full featured module. Modern Air Combat offers a lot of content with a shallower learning curve and replaces an old product that many of us know by the name “Flaming Cliffs 3.”
MAC is essentially Flaming Cliffs 4 and it really isn’t oriented at the sim pilot with the joystick extension, the rudder pedals, head tracker, MFDs, and thousands of hours of flight on each of the DCS World modules. Instead, its a way to get pilots into the series and encourage them to get comfortable with a simpler aircraft setup.
Out with Flaming Cliffs and in with Modern Air Combat.
MAC brings a considerable amount of content to the table in the form of 14 combat aircraft, one full featured map, two partial maps, and all of the other integration and features that come with DCS World including instant action, quick mission generation, a full mission builder, VR, single player campaigns, and multiplayer support.
MAC is fully integrated into DCS World so new players will be able to expand into full fidelity modules later on if they so choose.
Here are some of the key features from Eagle Dynamics on MAC:
- 14 exceptional combat aircraft from the United States, Russia, China and Czech Republic.
- Shallow learning curve with consistent key controls between aircraft, and easy to fly with just a keyboard.
- Professional level flight models, but with option for forgiving flight dynamics.
- Play instant action, single missions and campaigns for most aircraft in single player or fly online.
- Supports Virtual Reality like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.
- Includes the Caucasus map and portions of Nevada and the Persian Gulf.
- Purchase MAC aircraft individually or as a pack at a reduced price.
- Flaming Cliffs 3 owners can purchase the MAC pack at a great discount.
And, perhaps more importantly, here’s the aircraft list:
- F-15C Eagle
- Su-27 Flanker B
- Su-33 Flanker D
- J-11A Flanker B+
- MiG-29 Fulcrum A
- MiG-29S Fulcrum C
- A-10A Warthog
- Su-25A Frogfoot
- Su-25T Frogfoot
- F-86F Sabre
- MiG-15bis Fagot
- F-5E Tiger II
- MiG-21bis Fishbed
It’s a good collection of aircraft and features the Caucasus map along with portions of the Persian Gulf and Nevada maps – the later two are playable only in single player although players can still purchase these maps from the e-Store later on if they want to.
Unlike the necessity for joystick control (and preferably a throttle too) that DCS World modules command, MAC is supposedly able to offer a more shallow learning curve and offer keyboard and mouse control for newer players looking to jump in without getting hit too hard by the learning curve. The introduction of mouse control, to the best of my knowledge, is new to the series and should be interesting.
Systems modeling is expected to remain at Flaming Cliffs 3 level – button presses are required to make things work but there are far fewer and starting up a jet and getting into combat can be done with a minimum number of presses.
Answering some questions
This brings up a ton of questions for current players and NineLine, ED’s Community Manager, has been on the forums and on r/Hoggit to try and answer players questions.
One person asked how the aircraft featured in MAC would be integrated into the series, particularly into the mission editor, and how server admins could control if and when MAC pilots could fly aircraft alongside more full featured modules.
The answer from from NineLine to that was:
They should be listed separately in the ME, so which is available will be based on Mission Design.
That seems like an easy way to deal with the situation. Servers wanting to cater only to hardcore players with DCS World modules will be able to limit their aircraft line-ups to feature only DCS World level aircraft. Other servers will probably offer the full package (as many do with Flaming Cliffs 3 aircraft) to gain greater numbers of players.
Another player asked what the situation was with the Nevada and Persian Gulf maps and how much of these maps would be added to MAC. The answer, again from NineLine, was:
This will be small portions of those maps will be available to MAC owners for single player only. If they want the full map or to play online, they will need to purchase the entire map.
He also replied in another thread offering just a tad less certainty:
What I am hearing as they will be listed separately in the ME, for example MiG-21 and MiG-21 MAC, so I am sure this will be the same for MP.
Other players want to know what will happen with Flaming Cliffs 3 and want more details on the discount. Again, from NineLine:
Its your choice to upgrade to MAC, if you dont, nothing will change for FC3 or FC3 standalones.
A discount will be offered according to the information available but we don’t know what the final pricing or what that discount will be ultimately when it launches.
MAC is expected to launch sometime in the fall of this year so we’ll learn more as the summer stretches on and into the fall and holiday buying season. Flaming Cliffs 3 has done well to introduce many pilots into the series (myself included) and acts as a kind of gateway and familiarization into the more complex modules.
Read the whole news update for this and more on DCS World Weekend news.