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!