A few thoughts ahead of the IL-2 live stream

In two days, 1C Game Studios will be hosting a live stream featuring Albert Zhiltsov (Loft) and Daniil Tuseev (Han). We don’t know much about the stream except that they will be doing back to back streams in both English and Russian. Presumably the future of the series will be discussed and we may even have some product announcements at that time. Here are some thoughts about the upcoming stream and where things might be going in the future for the Great Battles series.

What we know

Over the years I’ve written my share of speculative articles about the future of the IL-2 series. Reading between the lines of developer comments I’ve had an ok-ish track record of guessing roughly where things would be going next. That said, I’ve been surprised in a good number of instances too so my credibility as some sort of oracle is probably low. That doesn’t mean that I can’t look what we know and hope for things on my own wish list.

First, lets start off with summarizing what we’ve learned by statements made both as recent as a few days ago and some from several weeks back. From that, we know the following things:

  • There will be piston engine (i.e. propeller) airplanes.
  • The map will not have a massive urban area on it.
  • It will be something new.
  • It will not be the Pacific.
  • The team is expanding by 1.5 times its current size.

The first three points we learned about some weeks ago thanks to a Q&A that 1CGS did with Engima. The last two we’ve learned about this weekend with a post by Han.

We also know that there has been something of a shakeup within the organization around this sim with Executive Producer, Jason Williams, having announced that he has left the team and Andrey Solomykin (An.Petrovich) having announced a departure a short while before that.

Taking stock of change

I have to admit that I’m more apprehensive about what’s happening with the series than I have been in quite some time. Judging by the comments section recently, I suspect that so are many of you.

Two high profile departures and a shakeup definitely mean that things are changing for 1C Game Studios. World events aren’t making it easy to feel reassured either.

Over the last three main product cycles we have seen the series mature and come into its own. It’s consigned to ancient history (in software terms) but if we think back to a few years ago we would remember that this series didn’t start with VR, or with the ability to display terrain out to the horizon, or show 4K textures, or even have DX11 support. Nor did the series launch with Scripted Campaigns, a proper Career mode, much less any of the other advances that we’ve seen both big and small.

I’m mostly happy with where the series has ended up and that means that I do hope that it will continue to improve. A change of leadership can mean a change in direction and so I and many of you are articulating that concern in different ways.

Do I think we’ll see some sort of regression? I hope not and I don’t necessarily think that it will. But the fear? Yeah the fear is there. And so I do hope that we hear from 1CGS about where things stand now and what we can expect into the future not just in terms of product but in terms of philosophy for the series.

What I hope is next?

My hopes for a return to the Western Front have, over the last few years, been nearly fully realized minus inserting a few more bombers. There’s really little else I could ask for in that area having been a long time fan of that late 1943 through 1945 time period from an aviation history perspective. But now that it has been realized, I am ready for something different but also something that still feels like it belongs in the current mix.

I already know this isn’t the answer but I really wish that the series was doing the Pacific in some capacity as its next thing. It won’t be (Han confirmed that) but that’s what I’d love to see next. I didn’t necessarily even need aircraft carriers as I’ve long studied the jungle battles of New Guinea and the island hopping up the Solomons. Alas, those are not what’s next.

So, what I hope then to see is the series to continuing to build on its strengths but also attempting to push beyond them just a bit. I’d love to see the Mediterranean theatre with a mix of fighters, fighter-bombers, and a side product that included a significant heavy bomber. Tank Crew but in the air so to speak. That’d really be an interesting place to go.

Speaking of Tank Crew, I’d love to see a follow-up sequel. Set on the Western Front and mixing in a variety of tanks from that part of the war and a specialized map, perhaps set around the Battle of the Bulge (an area of the Bodenplatte map that isn’t well realized), and featuring enough space for some fighter-bomber operations. That’d be terrific!

Another hope? I really hope that the team continues the vision for Flying Circus and offers up a Vol 3 with the inclusion of ten more Rise of Flight aircraft with a focus on some earlier airplanes. The 1917-1918 time period is now well done so a 1916-17 focused volume would be great.

I’m not sure if we’ll see some or any of these but absent any other information I’m going with my hopes. Might we see a return to the Eastern Front? I think its possible and maybe even likely and while it wouldn’t be my first choice, if it was presented in the same compelling way that we’ve seen Bodenplatte and Normandy, then I think it could be a fun expansion too.

Stay tuned

The exact times are still to be confirmed but keep an eye on the 1CGS announcement section of the forums for the details as they come out closer to the stream. The English stream is tentatively scheduled for 10-11 am Central Time (North America).

I will be listening in and reporting on the stream as soon as I’m able to. It unfortunately comes on a very busy day for me and so you may see a delay in my reporting on it. I will have news and possibly a reaction piece coming up as soon as I have time to so stay tuned for that too!

16 Comments Add yours

  1. harryvoyager says:

    Apparently they could start doing USN aircraft in a Mediterranean campaign, so there’s that.

    I’m hoping we see the March up Italy next, though. That would be cool, and complement rather than fight the Cliffs of Dover North Africa stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. BalticDude says:

      We already have Italian planes in CLoD Tobruk, so I don’t want a Mediterranean theatre.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. harryvoyager says:

        North Africa fell by the end of May 1943. Operation Husky started in July 1943, and the Italian campaign ran through nearly the end of the war.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pieter 98 says:

        I would love 1940 western front. There would be a lot of opportunities for Dutch, Belgian and French aircraft.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. BalticDude says:

    I’m personally hoping for a late-Eastern Front theatre with Ta-152H, Do 335, He-162, or Me-163 for the Germans, and La-7, Yak-3, I-185, Yak-9U, and Su-6 or IL-10 for the Soviets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pahec97 says:

      I’d love to see Berlin as well, but this plaen selcetion is at best problematic. I-185 and Su-6 are prototypes which, by this point failed testing. Perhaps replace them by Il-2M with swept wing and Tu-2. German line-up seems absolutely useless, being both mostly prototypes and u kinda shit.

      Like

      1. BalticDude says:

        I agree my line-up is not what I’m expecting but I hope for some of the planes mentioned to appear. We did get Arado-234 didn’t we? From the inclusion of that jet aircraft alone means we are able to get other aircraft with limited numbers.

        Like

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        You’ve got some interesting types in there. The I-185 and so is the Su-6. Neither were in serial production.

        But on the whole I wouldn’t be totally crushed if they did an Oder to Berlin type of scenario. I have a soft spot for the Yak-9U myself.

        Like

  3. pjbezemer says:

    Could be Finland

    Like

  4. Al-Azraq says:

    For me the priority list goes as this:

    1. Early Pacific

    2. Battle of Britain

    3. North Africa

    4. Mediterranean

    I love earlier battles when the forces where more balanced against each other.

    Also, I think 1C didn’t say no to Pacific, they just said no to carriers. Pacific without carriers is possible, although it would be disappointing if they wouldn’t add them later.

    Nevertheless, I think that finding out what we are getting next is secondary in this stream. What we really need is reassurance that the approach of the simulation will not change because my fear is that the Tencent acquisition has shacked up things a lot, and the recent departures are due to disagreements in the future view of the series between managers and investors.

    I hope I’m wrong and we get confirmation of that, or if they want to make it a War Thunder, just leave IL-2 as it is and let us play. Make a separate game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Al-Azraq says:

      So replying to myself, but found this interesting comment by Han in the forums which seems to rule out Pacific for this update.

      However, he also implies they are taking a more thoughtful approach now and stablish the base so the following expansion can be the Pacific.

      https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/81085-now-what/?do=findComment&comment=1228790

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Yes, that’s in the article 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I share your concern about changing the approach. Hopefully we won’t see a divergence from the core tenants that have made this iteration of the IL-2 series a success.

      Of your list I think we can strike North Africa and Battle of Britain – not unless there’s also a big shake up with the Cliffs of Dover team.

      Han actually did say no to the Pacific for the next installment. Mentioned in the article and sourced here: https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/81085-now-what/page/12/#comment-1228790

      We’ll see what they do.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. JG4_Molke1871 says:

    About your thoughts to FC3:
    After success of Flying Circus 1 there was announced a Westfront FC trioligy. Phase 1 Arras sector ( already have, maybe extended ), phase 2 Verdun Sector ( incoming, can see on the map picture last DD ) and phase 3 Reims sector. So I hope they continue to complete this plan before went to another theatre.
    And I hope they don’t stop this project maybe because limited resources. The delay of FC2 is already massive. For me FC3 have priority and it’s the only theatre where I can say I will preorder for sure. Preorder next BoX up to the stream and what they plan for the future.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. steelcitygator says:

    I’d love an early war FC so much. That’s my favorite era of the war so I’ve kinda stuck with RoF rn but would buy all 3 as soon as that dropped (and the collectors craft as well)!

    Like

    1. BalticDude says:

      Unless I get VR and they go on sale at least 50% off, maybe even 75%, I’m gonna stick with RoF

      Liked by 1 person

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