Discussing ED’s new DCS: F/A-18C roadmap

Matt Wagner from Eagle Dynamics released a new roadmap for the DCS: F/A-18C today and it comes on the heels of a general roadmap for what Eagle Dynamics is planning to do over the course of 2020. The roadmap includes items that Eagle Dynamics plans to finish by the end of 2020 and the report that Eagle Dynamics is planning to call the F/A-18C released at the same time. Let’s have a look!

A lot finished before the end of 2020, a few things not

The complete roadmap released by Matt Wagner is viewable here so if you want to have a look right away, jump on over and have a look. The key items that are coming include a completely finished Litening targeting pod, the introduction of the AG radar, the SLAM air-to-surface missile, and various improvements to various systems and flight model tweaks.

Eagle Dynamics also plans to add things like mark points, updated flare numbers, the SLAM-ER, more AG radar modes, and the ASPJ ECM jammer.

There’s also a long list of items that Eagle Dynamics is not planning to finish before the end of 2020. So, with the announcement that Eagle Dynamics is going to consider the F/A-18C finished at the end of the year but also planning “sustainment” after release, what does early access mean?

Back to the early access discussion

It seems every few months the discussion on what constitutes early access and what doesn’t crops up. When it comes to this discussion it’s interesting that Eagle Dynamics is planning to call the F/A-18C released but it’s clear that development will continue on it for some time after. The long list of features coming later on is likely going to be an issue for some while it will hardly affect others.

My standard ultimately revolves less around the label of early access and more around capability. At this point I feel like the Hornet has nearly everything I need to fly and do most missions. With the addition of AG radar and the completion of the Litening pod, I think I have nearly everything I want. Does the ATLFIR targeting pod addition inclusion fundamentally change how I will fly the jet? I suspect not. It was promised so it’s still going to be good to have but it doesn’t change my experience and I can patiently wait.

Will some of the future features like the TALD decoy change things up? Maybe although I think it’ll be something useful in certain scenarios and not others.

So, at the end of the day I think the distinction between early access and development post early access is kind of academic. Is ED still going to be doing work on this module? Yes. Is it going more slowly than most would like. Probably. I’d love to see it finish up faster too, but I also get that they are doing their best to run a business and stay afloat – especially now that we’re in a whole new dynamic when it comes to economy.

What do you think?

No doubt some of you have some thoughts on this. Does the development schedule work for you? Does early access distinctions really matter? Finally, is anything causing you trouble with the Hornet at this point and what killer features are left? Let me know in the comments!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Solonas P says:

    DCS Hornet is another beautiful fighter that gives you the experience without being a real fighter pilot to enjoy flying and engaging anything from A/A to A/G missions.At this stage of development I can’t say anything wrong about it other than the work that has been done is amazing.Yes they are factions that are not available so far or not even started on.The big question is can I enjoy this fighting jet even without them;Going back 30 plus years when I enjoy flight simulators I can remember what the developers given in that time of hardware and coding.Nothing from that experience can even get closer what we have right now from the Hornet but I truly enjoy the flight and the experience and studying of the beautiful birds I spend my teen age.Saying that it’s a big YES if you are for the passion of flying fast jets and even compared it with other available aircraft they are in development or even fully released.That doesn’t mean I want it unfinished or EA get lazy or greedy and I don’t want to believe that in any way.I want them to succeed and be more stable in there way of working and archiving there goals as they promise.I believe they are pulling more effort in there coding so they will not have to fixing everything all the time.That would be easier for them for feature aircraft and older unfinished aircraft like the Hornet to be completely faction as they advertised.For any one that has the passion of flying and enjoying this amazing fighter from DCS I recommend it as a investment and studying this beautiful bird.Finally I want to thank you SHAMROCKONEFIVE for your support and kind words even if we are two strangers when people support each other it makes a huge difference in good but in bad days.We all need that.Keep the good work.Take care and be safe .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CanadaOne says:

    My only problem with the Hornet is it’s too complicated. I would be delighted if it were half as hard to manage. It is what it is however. But I had such a riot doing carrier runs off the Stennis last night with the trial F-18, and I have the SC pre-ordered, so I might just have to get it. And it’s a Canadian plane. That seals the deal.

    The early release stuff doesn’t bother me. The Grim Reapers did a great interview with Nick Grey from ED and he explained the early release idea and it made a lot of sense. He said if they could only release a fully functional F-18, or the like, it would take years to get and cost $250 a plane instead of $100. He said they rely on the early release flyers to act as bug detectives and help out the programmers.

    I’m sure I’ll buy the F-18 and I’m sure I’ll never learn it all. And that’s okay.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      DCS World modules and their complexity are always interesting to me. For whatever reason, the Hornet and the Harrier I sat down and I got the MFD interface in maybe an hour and consequently… the Hornet is my jet. Everything else is more of a challenge.

      I find the A-10C to be incomprehensible but I think that’s just me 🙂

      There is lots to like about the early access release system for me and I don’t mind testing things out. And then the distinction between release with continued development and early access continuing on really doesn’t matter that much to me.

      It just depends on what matters to each person.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. clannk says:

    I came into DCS largely because of Hornet, and that was shortly after Hornet was EA released.

    I’m more than happy to have gotten the chance to use / learn the Hornet while it’s being worked on. And having a new weapon or avionics system come along every so often has actually been kinda nice.

    I have no (de)lusions about being a pretend fighter pilot, so all the complaints about Early Access don’t affect me at all.

    Maybe it’s just because I grew up using non-combat simulators as often as combat simulators, but I’m one of the seemingly rare ones who takes just as much pleasure from flying the model as I do from fighting in it.

    EA is therefore a great benefit to me since I get to fly so many more aircraft so much sooner than I would’ve if they weren’t released until they were “finished”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Doctor Drago says:

      So much this. I’ve been having such a blast with DCS, it’s everything a kid raised on Dynamix and Jane’s sims could ask for! So I get pretty demoralised reading all the whining and complaining on the various forums, to hear them talk you get the sense that the whole sim is broken and it’s not even worth booting up anymore! We have the opportunity to fly these incredible technical simulations, which, even in their “unfinished” states, are so far beyond any other simulation experience it’s ridiculous. I’d rather be flying them and experiencing their evolution than hurling a novella of entitled complaints into the echo chamber!

      Incidentally, this is my first time commenting here, though I’ve lurked for a while. Thank you, Shamrock, for a site that has become my go-to for sim news, and for your optimistic, measured attitude! Loving this blog, including the new look. See you round!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Thanks Doctor Drago for your comments! Appreciate the kind words.

        I do my best to try and look at the bigger picture of things. DCS World development can try everyone’s patience at times, however, by and large things work and you can have a great time with it while focusing on the great many things that we have.

        I’m more glass half full 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’ve had a similar experience! Although not my first DCS World module, the F/A-18C was the first one that I really made mine and from day one I’ve been having a good time learning systems as they slowly came online.

      I think it benefited me as it did you.

      Like

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