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!