One of my favourite past times covering combat flight sims like IL-2 and DCS World is looking towards future potential for those series. Both have made remarkable progress and 2018 has been a great year for both series as they have thrown off some old shackles and developed some great new content. Of course, we keep looking forward to the newest thing and right now there is considerable and equal parts excitement and apprehension on when that next IL-2 patch is coming. So, where is the P-47? How about the Bf109K-4, FW190D-9, Sopwith Camel or Pfalz D.IIIa? Let’s talk about that.
Reading into too much speculation
I love a good speculative thread on the community forums, on Facebook, or on Reddit where we talk about what might be coming and when. We frequently pick through breadcrumbs looking for the scoop. With excitement for a new aircraft such as the P-47 Thunderbolt for IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte at a high level it’s only natural that everyone is going to become increasingly anxious to finally fly this aircraft. I’m right there with you.
The problem is that sometimes speculating gets out of hand and the mere suggestion that the new aircraft is coming out this week, or next week, or two weeks from now becomes an endless treadmill.
Speculations begin to turn into facts and anxiousness for the patch release that is “definitely coming this week” turns to disappointment. I’ve seen it happen before and no doubt it will happen many more times after I write this editorial.
All of the people we interact with from the IL-2 development team are very careful to not promise release dates unless they feel certain they can meet them. It’s why you’ll rarely hear a date from them except for a vague generality. That’s the responsible thing for a developer to do. It’s especially so for a developer team working on a complex high fidelity product like a flight sim where any number of problems can hold up development ranging from employee health to historical resources to a problematic bug.
Remember: If a patch is due, it will be mid-week
Except for the very early days, 1CGS has favoured a mid-week release for a patch. If something goes wrong the team can then attempt to solve the problem during the remainder of the week rather than working into the weekend as the team did early in IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad’s development.
Anticipating a patch release? It will almost certainly happen on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
The best thing about the IL-2 series is how much IL-2: Great Battles has been able to build into the series over the last few years. IL-2: Battle of Kuban upped the ante considerably and added some large foundational pieces to the series such as Career mode, fixing flight model issues, and also upping visual fidelity in so many areas.
Unlike the early days of IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad, we now have quite a bit of content available. Some of it has recently been available for some great 66% off sale prices (some of those prices may come again around the holiday season) making it more accessible than ever before.
While it is fun to be excited about what is yet to come, I think it’s also important to remember just how much great content we already have. If you’re ready for the P-47 for its ground pounding capabilities, why not fire up a new Career with the IL-2, FW190A-5 fighter-bomber, or Bf110? Ready to jump up to some high altitudes? A Bf109 or MiG-3 flying at high altitudes online can be great fun. They aren’t the P-47 Thunderbolt but we have to do something while we wait. Right? (But seriously, I can’t wait to fly the P-47 :)).