Between Jason’s update a week ago and this developer diary, we’re getting a sense of what 2019 will be for IL-2: Great Battles. From what I see, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes on a lot of different fronts that has me curious, excited, and hopeful for plenty of good things this year. What follows is plenty of speculation on my part what the next several months look like starting with what’s to come this winter.
The next few months
My best guess is that Patch 3.10 will be due out by the end of Q1 which means before the end of March.
This will likely be a content heavy patch with the M4A2 Sherman and Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M for Tank Crew, FW190D-9 and Me262 for Bodenplatte, and Sopwith Dolphin and Fokker D.VII (and D.VIIF) for Flying Circus potentially all arriving at the same time with that patch.
But Patch 3.10 may also include some other major changes.
Version 3.010 will be focused on improving the functionality of several modules of the sim and some of the changes are long-awaited and important. In the meantime, the work on all the Early Access projects progresses according to the schedule and many new things will be ready shortly after 3.010 release, in Q1 2019.Han, IL-2 Project Manager, Developer Diary #214
These major module improvements could be just about anything. Jason previously mentioned the Air/Field Marshal, an Object Viewer, a new MP Lobby, and PWCG Online Co-Op Campaign integration. It could also mean improvements to the graphics, flight models, damage models, or something else I just haven’t thought about.
We’ve already seen 1CGS tackle some big (and sometimes controversial) updates to the damage model and to the multiplayer networking code. Will we see more on both of these areas? Possibly and when it comes to the multiplayer code I would think almost definitely.
If you’ve been on a server recently you’ll sometimes see some “debug code” pop-up along the left side of the screen indicating an old damage model code being used during multiplayer play. What this means exactly is beyond me but the developers have indicated that it’s a necessary evil for a short period of time while they try and nail down some bugs in the code. We’ll probably see some of that removed sooner than later.
Beyond content updates, 1CGS is working on some other core functionalities and while we don’t know exactly what they are doing – they almost always surprise us with some cool feature updates.
If they could solve that pixelated aircraft in front of clouds issue I’d be overjoyed…
More far reaching
Between March and June is a stretch of a few months and Jason answered a question on the forums recently with the answer that the P-51D-15 would be coming around the June time-frame suggesting too that it could slip.
It is possible that we may see another Battle of Kuban scenario where some major updates require the team to focus on development rather than on delivering content in a more piecemeal way (we had a long stretch between August and March with no major updates – but March brought a lot of goodies). The P-51D-15 may come in June or July but it may also come with the P-38J-25, Tempest Mark V, B-25 Mitchel II in tow – or some combination therein.
By June the aircraft list for Flying Circus will likely also have grown to Albatros D.Va and S.E.5a and maybe the Bristol F2B and Halberstadt CL.II and CL.IIau. No doubt several new tanks will be in development by that time too.
The question I still have that is hanging on all of this wonderful feature and content development is if 1CGS can further fill out the Western Front aircraft line-up. Some players are after more high performance fighters to “add balance” to the multiplayer scenario and that brings types like the Spitfire XIV and Meteor III (a bit more speculative) into contention. Others are after more flyable bombers and the Mosquito and Ar234 come up frequently as achievable more tactically oriented types. I’ll throw a Typhoon into the consideration list too.
I haven’t talked much about the maps. With the information we have right now, there’s little for me to guess at.
We know Prokhorovka for Tank Crew is slated to come first and the Western Europe map for Bodenplatte is due after with Arras coming last. Will we see any of these maps before June or July? Possibly Tank Crew will see some updates in between March and June hat will add the map for that title and I think that’s probably the best call too as the map will help to sell the Tank Crew concept.
The big thing to take-away
What I want to try take away from all of this speculation is one thing: this series isn’t just growing in content for three separate titles but it is doing that all together and that is having some positive ripple effects on all three titles.
The forthcoming improvements to tank crew animations will almost certainly carry over to the rest of the series (1CGS even said so) and we’ve already seen vehicle damage take a step up thanks to tank crew and that has far reaching implications for the whole series.
No doubt there will be more changes yet to come and that has me excited for what 1CGS has planned for us. It’s all a bit of a mystery as to exactly what is happening between now and then but hopefully future updates will give us more clarity on that.
Stay tuned folks! Things are going to get interesting!