We have our very last update for the year from Eagle Dynamics and it comes packed full of news on the long awaited dynamic campaign system for DCS World. There are some interesting details that you’re going to want to read about. We also have a happy new year message and a reminder about the Christmas Sale. Let’s go!
Dynamic Campaign Engine (EDDCE)
We’ve all being waiting a very long time since the first time that a true dynamic campaign system for DCS World was first talked about. It sounds like the wait will be continuing but the progress does sound good as well. The system is being called EDDCE and I think it’ll be a big deal when it finally arrives on the scene.
Today’s update give us a view into the development process that Eagle Dynamics has followed to date. The global structure of the dynamic campaign was created back in 2021 while 2022 saw a fine tuning process to the components.
Part of that fine tuning process has been to build a system where huge numbers of units can be present in a campaign without bogging down individual missions to the point of being unplayable. It’s quite a system and this week’s update details it best.
To increase the number of units in the campaign without over-tasking the CPU, only units that are ‘visible’ to the player or that ‘see’ the player (eyesight and sensor range based) are fully calculated. For the remaining units, lighter algorithms are used which are based on pre-calculated data sets. It is good to note that when preparing such data, separate mechanisms are used in EDDCE to easily process all upcoming equipment and weapons which will be added to DCS. To ensure that unit calculations do not negatively affect gameplay, seamless transitions between the lighter and the fully-fledged calculation models have been implemented. This will allow the player to see all the units in their correct place, performing their tasks while moving across the entire map. When interacting with the player, all units use the normal DCS algorithms.
We’ve also learned a few more details on how the system works with a strategic AI that controls each side and creates tasking orders based on available resources, offensive and defensive needs. The tasking isn’t just for air operations but also for ground and sea too. Missions are generated with air patrols, SEAD, strike, etc. Notably, the player can jump into any potential role that is available to them.
It is important to remember that the player can take control of any AI unit and participate in its mission task and/or take indirect control over the strategic AI decisions, in addition to direct control over specific tasking orders.
Interesting to say the least.
There’s no indication in the update of any release schedule and this is probably for the best as we’ve had suggested windows of opportunity in the past and none of them have been hit. Indeed, during this update they did reference that the process has taken far longer than anticipated.
New developer screenshots
These new images in the DCS World screenshots section appear to be new as of this week (or I missed them) but aren’t referenced in the update. So, incase these are new to you as well, we’ve got some lovely detail shots of the B-52 and B-1 Lancer.
There’s also a reminder that the DCS World Christmas Sale is still on and will continue until the 8th of January at 23:59 GMT. Plenty of modules are on sale on Steam and in the DCS World eShop until that point.
You can read about the sale, the dynamic campaign, and more on the latest edition of the DCS World Weekend News.
11 Comments Add yours
Do we know if EDDCE would be suitable for WWII as well?
They haven’t said but I really do hope that this is a flexible system that can handle any scenario.
I think I heard it does not. But I could be wrong.
On FB the post did mention that their (ED) intent was to make the EDDCE flexible and open for adding new entities without having to patch the whole system so I read that as yes it will likely support any module on DCS. No confirmation clearly but I imagine it will support anything from WWII through the Cold War to Modern – – at a strategic level it’s the same game per se. Might require modified rule sets for each but that would be a good tool to have regardless to better allow ED or players to modify campaign rules on a per campaign basis.
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AFAIK this is the most AND the most detailed info we’ve received on DC as of yet.
Agree that the ability to selectively control any unit is very interesting. Obviously there are questions about the level of interaction with un-owned modules (including Combined Arms) and units that have only the most basic “controls” available (e.g., ships).
But if done well (and no, I don’t expect to be able to jump into a Strike Eagle if I don’t own it), this could be a MAJOR improvement to game play.
Being able to selectively participate in any given AO (e.g., to “rescue” AI from a bad situation), will significantly improve the level of engagement and satisfaction with the game overall.
p.s.: i’m sure the folks working on the B-52 are kicking themselves that after 60 something years of remarkably similar models, the BUFF is now getting visually distinct NEW ENGINES…!!! 😉
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Great review Shamrock. Microprose designed a beautiful DC for Falcon 4.0 in 1998, and Rowan’s Battle of Britain had a good DC in 2000. They both had their flaws but given it’s been over 20 years since we’ve seen anything like them, I suppose it’s safe to say they were a bit ahead of their time.
I’m looking forward to this one.
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Yeah I think those were definitely ahead of their time. This is taking a long time to put together but hopefully its worth it when its done.
It’s about time! Great to hear.
I have always thought that a critical, yet under appreciated, ingredient of a truly immersive simulation is to be connected to a larger story where what you do in one mission matters in the next, where there is an element of husbanding pilots and airframes and where you are aiming for a persistent strategic objective in a dynamic, sandbox-esque environment. The alternative is a hollow, disconnected series of linear missions where nothing really matters and thus, it is hard to fully connect with the game, no matter how technically brilliant it is. It is still lacking. Meshing the technical and visual brilliance of DCS with the unpredictability and immersion of a dynamic campaign is probably as good as it gets at the moment.
For me, that is absolutely the best fun I’ve ever had in a simulation and Falcon 4, still more than 20 years later, is the undisputed king.
I also note that the developers of Falcon 4, and a limited number of others, made this perfectly workable more than two decades ago so arguments resisting the inclusion of a dynamic campaign resting on how hard it is always sounded disingenuous to me. I always thought it was a matter of lack of will or choice in focus, not capability.
I have always wondered why it has taken DCS so long to recognize what I think is a self evident fact re their outstanding technical simulation. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’d encourage less focus on spamming modules and more focus on improving core gameplay like dynamic campaigns! 🙏
I see it somewhat differently in that if other current flight sims had it and DCS did not, then yes, why not, ED?
But the fact that Falcon is still the only one that did it exceptionally well, AND the fact the devs said they’d never have started if they knew the amount of work it would take, etc., etc.
The companies do what makes money – all of them.
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This is true. It’s a business first and they have to make money on whatever it is that they do. I hope this ends up working out well for everyone… my fingers are crossed!
This might be just thing I need to bother with DCS in SP again. Other than making DCS run better and VR optimisation, this is the next most important thing DCS needs.