DCS news on JHMCS, dynamic campaign, F-14, dedicated server

News and information is trickling out about all sorts of different DCS world related items and I’m doing my best to stay on top of the stuff that all of you may want to know about but might have missed. We have news about the JHMCS as well as other Hornet features, a word from Matt Wagner about the DCS dynamic campaign, a video with Heatblur on the F-14, and even a mention about the dedicated server for DCS. Straight into it!

New Hornet features and weapons coming

The DCS: F/A-18C is getting some fixes, upgrades, and some new weapons and they are coming soon – although maybe not as soon as you had hoped. The goal, straight from Matt Wagner, was to bring some new features into the next beta patch on October 31st. However, according to Matt, that is now not possible due to some difficulties:

I wanted to express my personal apologies for not being able to get the new Hornet features to you next week as originally planned. My foot tastes great thanks! Even a couple of days ago, a hot fix was looking good for 31 October, but in just the past 48 hours we’ve come across too many issues that would bring far more pain than joy if we released those features next week without needed testing. They really need another week in the oven.

Although sincere at the time, I’m sorry for want turned out to be a misleading statement.

In my opinion, these kinds of issues happen in software development and no apologies are required. Still, Matt has been very good at communicating challenges and letting us all know what’s going on.

Another week puts us at November 7 for beta implementation of these new features and that seems soon enough for me. But we also have some details on those new features and on what the team is working on right now:

After extenstive (sic) testing, the A/A radar break lock errors look to be fixed. A side-benefit of the revisited core-antenna logic is that the ACM modes lock much faster now (VACQ in particular). This is planned for release in the next OB update.

JHMCS AIM-9X cueing is also testing well (VR recommended). But display of radar-locked target data to the HMD needs further testing.

FPAS page needs a bit more work on the NAV TO function.

Team is plugging away at the L Mav.

Once I’m happy with the above features, I’ll create a new Hornet update video to explain each one.

Again, we’re getting some good details on the status of these new features. To recap, the F/A-18C is getting the JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System) with AIM-9X integration. We’ll also likely see this feature gain added options in conjunction with targeting pods and other features later on. You can see a recent test recorded by Matt right here.

There’s the FPAS page which will provide information such as time to various fuel states including bingo fuel.

We’re also getting our first Maverick in the form of the AGM-65E which is a laser guided example of the Maverick. We’ll need a buddy lase or JTAC to mark the target for the near term but eventually the Hornet will have its own targeting pod capabilities.

Dynamic campaign system

Eagle Dynamics has been working on making sure that they not only have a top notch combat flight sim world with plenty of content but that the content is supported by an equally impressive game. DCS greatest weakness is largely to do with how its content is interacted with rather than the content itself.

YouTuber Patchwork published a video about dynamic campaigns and made some good points (even mentioning IL-2’s new Career mode) about what a good dynamic campaign would really be like and where the shortfalls can be found in some of the currently available systems. It’s a good video you can watch here… but it’s not the end of the story either.

 

 

Eagle Dynamics Matt Wagner responded to the video with an interesting couple of notes on what they are working on right now:

The dynamic campaign for DCS World is in VERY active development. The campaign will be real-time and basically be an AI-driven RTS playing out that the player participates in. We will talk more of this next year.

This sounds interesting and exciting. I’ve already been impressed by arrangements such as Hoggit’s Georgia-at-War setup which features an AI scripted “General” who plays against the players on the server. It’s fairly simple but it works really well despite a few glitches and bringing something more sophisticated into DCS World would be a boon to good gameplay.

SATAL Heatblur F-14 interview with Jabbers

YouTuber Jabbers had a Heatblur interview as part of the SATAL (Squadron Air to Air League) event happening just a few days ago. The interview starts off with some fantastic information about how Heatblur is modeling jet-wash and the negative effects that it can have to the TF-30 engine on the F-14. It goes on from there!

 

 

 

Heatblur working on a new complex jet

Cobra, one of the Heatblur developers was responding to a post on the Heatblur forums about a month ago talking about what was coming after the F-14. While all eyes are certainly on the F-14, there’s always a look toward what is going on in the future. We’ve got an interesting response:

We’re working on another complex jet which will make good use of our own technologies. We’re also looking at expanding the F-14 product, but will look more closely at what exactly that means after release. That said, 2018 will be mostly the year of improvements to both the F-14 and Viggen.

We don’t want to be stuck in the eternal Beta rut.

I think he means 2019 in that response seeing as 2018 is rapidly running out of time. Still, its an interesting response that Heatblur has other types in their pipeline. Surely, most of their focus is on the F-14 and content surrounding that but we know they are doing other aircraft and supporting content for both AJS-37 and for the F-14. We also know that Heatblur has some complex models for the A-6E and the J-35 Draken which are intended to be AI first but could evolve into fully fledged models too.

This post was from last year. I really should check those dates. Carry on! 🙂

 

A short note on dedicated servers

DCS World needs a dedicated server, badly! For a long time it’s been on the roadmap for Eagle Dynamics to build us a dedicated server platform and we’ve got the smallest of tidbits of information on this. Responding to a question on Facebook, the Eagle Dynamics Facebook page admin responded with the following:

It’s in internal testing.

It’s small news but it’s also interesting news. It means that a dedicated server software package now is in existence and in testing. It may still be some time before it’s available to download and trial but I suspect any partially featured dedicated server system would be above and beyond what DCS multiplayer server providers have to deal with right now.

New is fast and furious right now

There’s so much going on right now it’s hard to keep up. Did I miss something important? Did you find something out there I should feature? Leave me a note in the comments!

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Capt. Zoomy says:

    What I think Patchwork was trying to say in his video when he talked about being a cog in a big war was that in DCS right now there are triggers and things which bring other aircraft and vehicles into the mission, but, it feels like they are there to just to set the scene. The war entirely revolves around you, and therefore other elements are just window dressing. In some ways this is better than what seems to be happening in the campaign in IL-2, but, let’s save that for another discussion.
    What I have always felt the few times I dared to venture into the campaign in Falcon 4 ( I own the game, but, rarely play it) was that you were a cog in a big war, AND, the war would go on without you. That is the key to me. It’s not that my role in the war is inconsequential, but, it isn’t the lynch pin that everything revolves around. The other vehicles and aircraft you see are all on their own missions that contribute to the war effort as does your efforts, but, no one is necessarily key.
    What Matt said about the DCS dynamic campaign being an AI-driven RTS that the player participates in sounds very much like what Falcon 4 and Falcon BMS do. I’m excited!

    By the way I am curious about how the career system works in IL-2. It seems to me that I remember hearing that there was supposed to be a war going on there but most of the time, even though I have the density at the front turned up to maximum, nothing is happening on the ground, and everything in the air is centered around my flight. Admittedly, I have been flying bombers mostly lately, and that often puts me in the clouds, but, I still can’t say I have ever seen anything happening down below that I wasn’t tasked to be involved in. Have you heard anything about how the career system is supposed to work or if they are still fleshing it out? I seemed to remember their being more mission types that were supposed to be coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      More mission types are indeed expected but I don’t think those will address what you’re talking about. What they will likely do is add up some additional diversity perhaps adding things like anti-ship strikes for Kuban (or Stalingrad).

      What 1CGS has done for IL-2 has turned around a lackluster single player experience into one that players were largely looking for. They wanted the squadron/pilot/mission interaction and that’s all there.

      There is definitely ground activity in each mission. You’ll see tracer fire in pockets along the front line, artillery, and AAA. What is lacking is what was mentioned in the video – all of this is in service of whatever mission you’re on. None of it is an actual dynamic campaign system nor did the developers set out to create that.

      1CGS is unfortunately a very small team with a very limited budget and they have made what is probably the absolute best of what was available to them. Career mode is good, very good I think, but it isn’t the gold standard that Eagle Dynamics may now be shooting at (after many years I may add).

      Falcon 4’s campaign system is still, from what I understand, the absolute best possible that nobody has been able to surpass. It’s also what contributed to the death of the original publishers so there’s a reason why other studios haven’t tried since.

      With Eagle Dynamics now nearly a year out from the major upgrade that 2.5 was and sitting in a fairly good and well established position now, it seems like a good idea to try and tackle the area where they are weak and maybe build something to rival what Falcon did years ago. Pretty interesting to see what approach they take even if it ends up being a bit different.

      Like

      1. Capt. Zoomy says:

        Well, like I said I’ve probably spent too much time up in the clouds.

        Like

  2. VK-94 says:

    Your quote about the next plane being developped by Hearblur is an old statement from 2017 made by Cobra on their section of the ED’s forums. That explains the 2018 year of consolidation for their line up.

    I’m quite happy about their decision to delay their Tomcat project to offer us the best experience possible at the product’s launch. I wish all the planes under development would follow the same path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That makes things make so much more sense. I clearly missed that!

      A correction to the story has been made.

      I do think they made the right decision to spend some more quality time with it. The F-14 module will be all the better for it.

      Like

  3. Dingo_19 says:

    I think and important part of the ‘cog in the machine’ concept is that actions have consequences, and that risk/reward decisions have influence beyond the current mission. For example:

    Flying over a mountain range, there is an RWR spike (let’s say it’s a Shilka). I could fly lower to evade, or go offensive to try any destroy a target of opportunity.

    If the only benefit of trying to find and destroy that asset is that I get the entertainment of turning the jet around and clicking buttons, then that false ‘illusion’ feeling is pretty apparent.

    If, however, destroying that AAA piece means that a simulated friendly mission being flown later that day – that I might not even partake in – has a greater chance of success, then the risk/reward decision has a real ‘weight’ to it.

    (On the other hand, I might bin the plane or lose my wingman attacking it, and make future missions more difficult)

    Like

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