IL-2: Great Battles Series’ multiplayer community is growing more quickly than ever before with new servers with dedicated virtual flyers joining in all of the time. One of those groups that have made quite a splash is the Knights of the Air (KOTA) server offering a mix of realism and a variety of scenarios to as many players as possible. I reached out and talked with three members of the KOTA team (-[HRAF]Amergin, -[HRAF]Arrow19, -[HRAF]BubiHUN) to find out a little more about their server and the community they are creating around it.
Introducing Knights of the Air
KOTA is aimed at trying to find that difficult balance between being appealing to new players and having a lasting impression for more veteran players. KOTA does skew towards the more experienced player with no “GPS” player icon difficulty turned up. KOTA is still easier to jump into compared to a more involved server with a prolonged campaign like Tactical Air War.
According to the latest tally, KOTA currently runs thirteen scenarios featuring a mix of historically inspired and “fantasy” scenarios (that I think you’ll find are still quite realistic feeling) including a couple of scenarios that feature aircraft from the IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte title – these will see some big updates once the western Europe map becomes available.
Teamplay is a big focus on the server and there are plenty of groups flying team missions including some impressive bomber formations.
Here is a list of the scenarios that the server currently has in circulation:
Knights of the Air Q&A
Now, let’s get to the Q&A as we ask -[HRAF]Amergin, -[HRAF]Arrow19, -[HRAF]BubiHUN each about their flight sim experience and learn a little more about KOTA in the process.
How did each of you get into flight simming and which was your first flight sim?
-[HRAF]Amergin: It would fill the whole interview only by listing what sims I played. Started with Apache Helicopter Simulator on my Commodore 64, and as the technology advanced, I played more simulators. I am more interested in WW2 simulators, and playing European Air War was determinative. Then I tried out IL-2 1946, Cliffs of Dover, and War Thunder, and finally I arrived to IL-2 GB. Aviation is an important thing in my personal life too, and I fly when I have the chance.
-[HRAF]Arrow19: As a child I saw an old film on TNT its called Final Countdown, after I was interested in flying. Circa 2008 I worked in a small radio station then I browsed some CD-s and found LOMAC CD went go home popped up into my DVD-rom installed it and after 3-4 days of struggleing I didnt give it up. After I fly mostly with Falcon variants (Redviper/Openfalcon/BMS4.32-4.33) then we find each other in Il-2 and the and the rest is history.
-[HRAF]BubiHUN: I was always interested in Aviation since I was a little boy, mostly in military aviation. I started playing simulators in IL-2 1946, the next stage was War Thunder for me then I finally arrived to IL-2 GB.
When did the Knights of the Air server start?
We decided to setup a Multiplayer server for IL-2 Sturmovik Great Battles during the Summer of 2018 and Knights of the Air is live since 20 of August.
What was the concept behind the server? How does KOTA distinguish itself from some of the other servers out there?
We are running our server on a really stable hardware with a really good connection, so players from all around the world could play more or less without lag. We have many players joining from Australia, USA, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil and from Europe. We wanted to create an immersive environment, where professional and beginner players can have a really good time. This is why we are running static maps, which are historical and semi-historical, with realistic(with balance kept in mind) planesets. We planned air battles for a greater area, with longer distances between airfields and targets, so even bomber pilots can have a really good time here. This is why our server provides not just tactical, but strategic teamplay too. Although, we made a little bit smaller missions, with shorter distances first of all implement the newcoming planes into environment. Our community is very helpful, and regarding their feedback we made many changes on our scenarios. We gathered enough data to have realistic modifications, and of course, realism is nothing without realistic navigation and this is why we have no GPS on the server since the first day of this year.
What kind of scenarios are you currently running?
We have missions for all of the published expansions, one of them as made by General Zhukov Marshall’s memoirs, and we were able to build up a mission wich shows the hard battles around the Kuban Bridgehead, we have missions aroun Stalingrad where we detailed model of the main part of the city, as Red October Factory or the port of Beketovka. These models had been created based on real air recon photographies, from 1942. These scenarios are as realistic as possible, and we have many semi-historical scenarios.Also we have some missions where the latest planes and tanks are available too.
Not long ago, we gathered far enough data do build up realistic scenarios for the upcoming expansion, the Battle of Bodenplatte.
Are you encouraging voice communications?
We made a discord server where we created many voice channels for our players, these depends on our community native languages, wich will be expanded in time. And parallel we have a Teamspeak server running. We build up our missions on this way, to encourage the teamwork, for the fighters to defend bombers, and for bombers to destroy targets in groups.
What is the team most excited about in 2019 for the IL-2 series and what it might bring to the KOTA server?
We hope there will be some updates for the Mission Editor, better optimalization for the multiplayer engine, dserver improvement and we hope the multiplayer part of this game would get higher attention so we can build up more, enjoyable scenarios for the whole IL-2 GB community, and we also hope the next years interview could be conducted in Hungarian 🙂
Is there anything else that I left out?
We would like to say a big thank you for our fans and supporters and to szelljr, for making beautiful Hungarian skins for us. You are all awesome!
Get involved in the Knights of the Air community
It doesn’t take too much to join into the KOTA server. Hop on to IL-2: Great Battles Series and hop into the KOTA dogfight server from the list of available IL-2 servers and you’re ready to take to the air.
The Knights of the Air server maintains an IL-2 statistics database so you can check out your pilots successes and see how other pilots are doing. It also tracks wins and losses by team so you can see how each side is doing. Running a server can be expensive and the KOTA team have a Patreon account setup if you want to support the team with a small donation. Finally, voice communications can be so essential to online teamwork and there is a KOTA Discord and TeamSpeak server setup.
Special thanks to 1./KG4_Ben_C for some action shots from the server.