DCS World now has sandstorms and overwing vapour effects

A new DCS World beta patch has dropped and with it come several changes and fixes but what really managed to fly under the radar were two new graphical features – sandstorm and overwing vapour effects. They are here folks and I’ve got screenshots!

Al Dhafra and Dubai Dust

My first sortie to check out some of these was flying from Al Dhafra AFB to Abu Dhabi and then up the coast to Dubai. I wanted to see how the new effect works and if it has the same terrible Z-buffer effect that the clouds do against mountains or if it works more like the fog in DCS World does. It’s more like fog with a sandy colour to it.

The following screenshots feature a medium visibility sandstorm as seen from various altitudes. Down on the deck, the effect is most pronounced lowering visibility and affecting the colour of the sky. Once you get up to altitude it becomes a little more subdued.

Over what I can see of Bandar Abbas

My next sortie was with an IRIAF MiG-29 flying over Bandar Abbas with an earlier morning and the lowest visibility settings possible. The effect immediately sets the mood of the flight.

The sand appears to block the sun until you get up to higher altitudes.

Midday with good and poor visibility

My next two sorties were from the airfield at Khasab in a USMC AV-8B and I flew two variations with varying visibility levels.

The thickest and lowest visibility setting offer an extremely heavy fogging effect that prevents you from seeing very much until you get higher where you can see directly down onto at least some of the objects below you. Get down into the murk and you can’t see much of anything.

At far lighter settings, however, and it just lightly disrupts your ability to see things without outright preventing you from seeing anything.

First pass at sandstorms?

This seems like a pretty good first pass at sandstorms in DCS World and it looks pretty good. I’m not sure if this is a finished effect or if they intend to further expand the visuals on this. It’s certainly good enough already and it can add considerably to the mood of a mission by reducing visibility and casting the terrain in a orange glow.

One criticism is that the aircraft don’t currently inherit the same orange glow even when you’re down in the sandstorm. That would be a nice visual effect and possibly something yet to come.

Overwing vapour effects

I didn’t have as much time to capture this effect but here are two screenshots that more or less show off the effect. Combined with the leading edge vapour and wingtip vapour, the Hornet can show off a lot of humidity during high-G turns. Have a look!

Check out the latest patch notes on the DCS World 2.5 beta here.

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