The big news this week is that DCS World 2.8 is coming and its bringing with it some new features, particularly surrounding the sim’s rendering technology for clouds. This week we also get an announcement for Octopus G’s La-7 which is now formally announced as a module.
DCS World 2.8 and what that means
The underlying core technology behind DCS World is getting an upgrade in a forthcoming patch. The introduction of DCS World 2.7 brought with it a series of enhancements to the sim’s cloud rendering technology and DCS World 2.8 looks set to offer more updates in that area.
The big change? Dynamic weather fronts with moving clouds. Although impressive, the current weather system has static cloud formations. If you left your airbase in sun and flew into a dense cloud, you’d see the same cloud and the same airbase would still be in the sun when you returned 40 minutes later. No longer with 2.8.
Several short videos were released showing off the moving weather systems including this one below.
Eagle Dynamics report that they have also adjusted the “tone mapping” and “exposure control” which I’m assuming will have some sort of impact on the lighting. Notably, they say a Gamma setting of 2.2 is recommended. Adjustments to shadows on MFDs and cockpit shading is also reportedly adjusted.
I suspect there are mostly tweaks to the experience which will add up together to create a more impressive effect.
There’s also some interesting elements that have been updated including tweaked cloud rendering in general, tweaked rendering for VR, and several new visual effects. Those include rainbows and, a first for any flight sim that I know about, the ability to render ice halos which tend to happen during colder weather (especially aloft).
Some of the visual enhancements are nice but the moving weather fronts has created legitimate excitement within the community.
Octopus G La-7 announcement
Third party developer Octopus G is the next developer to get a spotlight and their DCS: La-7 project is now officially a module. Already previewed some time ago on the developer’s Facebook, the images we see today show a visually impressive cockpit and exterior model.
The La-7 is the late war WWII fighter developed by Lavochkin as a follow-up to the successful La-5. The La-5 itself was a development of the earlier and somewhat troubled LaGG-3. I’ve written some historical pieces and flight sim relevance on both LaGG-3 and La-5 for the IL-2 series for those interested. The La-7 took the late model La-5FN and cleaned up the airframe reducing weight and streamlining the aircraft. The result? A capable interceptor with excellent low and mid altitude performance and overall agility that matched or sometimes exceeded its rivals.
There is the question of where this aircraft sits in the DCS World WWII line-up as it, like Octopus G’s I-16, don’t really have a historical home (yet). On the other hand, the La-7 is a perfect dueling partner for the late war Bf109K-4 and Fw190D-9. We’ll see how that shakes out.
For all of this and more, be sure to check in on the DCS World Weekend News.