For the second ever Community Q&A on this blog I talked to a long time supporter of the IL-2 community and the person responsible for creating and growing the unofficial IL-2: Great Battles Community Discord server. I am talking of course about milopugdog.
Screenshots credit: milopugdog, who not only does a great job of organizing the IL-2 unofficial Discord, but also takes some wonderful IL-2 screenshots.
The IL-2: Great Battles Discord
Discord is kind of like Team Speak in that its a great tool for voice communications but it goes a step further by incorporating chat room and media sharing capabilities into the complete package. The unofficial Discord for IL-2 has been a place for people to find teammates and wingmen, join new squads, chat about IL-2 and flight simming, or for new players to learn about IL-2 and get started.
Interested in joining? Use this invite link and connect to Discord either via your web browser or using the handy client software.
A Q&A with milopugdog
How long have you been interested in flight simulation? Which title was your first and what do you fly these days?
I’ve been somewhat interested in flight since I was very young, but War Thunder was a game that really grabbed my attention. At the time I was in middle school, and had an older iMac, so when it came to video games I was essentially limited to Minecraft, G-mod, TF2, and Portal 2. My brother’s friend told me about War Thunder after they had their Pony April Fools event, and I pretty much instantly fell in love with it. Due to it not being available for my OS at the time, I pretty quickly turned to a mod in G-mod called “WAC Aircraft”. After a while, I stumbled upon WINE, and a website called PaulTheTall.com who made wrappers for games like WoT and WT. I can’t explain how it works, but essentially it allowed me to play both War Thunder, and IL-2 1946 on my iMac. I was extremely pleased with myself after that, and neglected an unprecedented amount of schoolwork for the next 3 years. Nowadays I mostly hang around IL-2 BoX. I’m somewhat interested in some DCS stuff, but because I’m limited in the amount of time and money I can put into the hobby, I chose to go all in on one instead of half dedicate myself to the two.
What prompted you to start up the IL-2 Community Discord?
I originally wasn’t too sure about creating one. I myself had only downloaded Discord a little bit ago due to my friend group ditching Skype for Discord. However, after I looked around on the Forum to see if anyone had created a community, and didn’t see one, I had a sort of ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ feeling. After I made it, I created a short thread detailing what it was since the program was still kinda new, and how I think it could benefit the community over all. After some familiar faces started joining, and it just kept going.
How long has the IL-2 Discord community been going?
February 11th 2017 (I’d say somewhere around 1 or 2 AM seeing how it lands on a Saturday).
What have you noticed as some of the biggest changes since the beginning?
I think the biggest change I’ve seen is the kind of users that regularly use the discord. When I first started, there were a lot of people who you would regularly, and do see on the IL-2 forum quite a lot. However, now I think it’s drifted more towards people who either don’t really use the IL-2 forum, or don’t post on it very often. I’ve also seen a lot of people who maybe are on the fence about buying the game ask a lot of questions, and have support provided by people on the server.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges that the IL-2 series faces for multiplayer and multiplayer community? What do you think are some of the best aspects of the IL-2 multiplayer community and the experience overall provided by the series?
Let me answer two questions with one long winded answer with this one. Often you hear that someone’s biggest strength can be their greatest weakness, and that is definitely what I see with the IL-2 community. In our case, we have extremely good communication with the Dev team, we have good communication when it comes to talking say on Discord, or on the Forum. But one of the greatest areas we lack is communication in-game. Some people say we need more VoIP communication, but I don’t really thing that’s the problem either. I think that we simply lack in comradery when it comes to a team basis. From my experience, most people who spawn into a server, say WoL, get into a fighter, attacker, bomber, and move on their merry way to their objective, or scouting area. Although, there is no communication from anyone about anything. I’ve seen bombers take off with 4 fighters taking off right after, and all of them going to do their own thing.
One thing I do is when in an attacker or bomber, is I send a message in team chat saying “(plane) from (airfield) attacking enemy (objecive)”, and usually you’ll have other pilots say “omw” or something similar. That is really where this community shines. The simple fact that I just say who I am, where I am, and where I’m going gets pilots who I’ve never talked to before to travel halfway down the map to give me cove is the highlight of this community. It isn’t so much that people don’t like to communicate, or don’t like escorting. It’s simply that most pilots are failing on the most basic forms of communication.
What are you most excited about for the future of the series?
I’m honestly most excited for when the PTO finally comes out. The battles between the USN and IJN have been a favorite of mine since I was really young, and all I dreamt of when I really got into BoX was for a Midway expansion. I still remember when they announced all the PTO titles they would do… and also when they said that it would be delayed. However, for now, a lot of my interest is in the FC1 content. I caught the RoF MP community by it’s coattails, so I’d love it if there would be a FC map on the same scale that we see current BoX content.
What do you recommend to new players getting started with IL-2 and trying to learn the ropes in multiplayer?
If you’re just getting into BoX, I would recommend checking out the single player missions. There’s a lot of good practice from taxing, taking off, landing, and also engaging targets. If you’re the type that doesn’t like that kinda thing, I’d advise starting in Russian aircraft. The requirement to have more controls set up will help you figure out what control to bind where, how to comfortably use them, and it makes it so you don’t have to back track when you start some German plane that doesn’t hold your hand.
Is there anything else that you’d like to say?
When it comes down to it, I’m just another player. I’ve put a lot of time into the game, and especially the community. So my #1 favorite thing is to see people using the platform I set up, and being able to play with people on it. If there’s any sort of suggestion, or comment that you think would benefit the community, feel free to throw it out there.
I wanted to thank milopugdog for participating in the second ever Stormbirds Community Q&A!
I hope you’ll join him and hundreds of others on the IL-2 community Discord sometime to check in, coordinate some IL-2 multiplayer teamplay, or just hang out and talk to other IL-2 enthusiasts. Hope to see you on there!