DCS Open Beta releases, development progress, and more!

It’s Friday and that means there’s a DCS World Weekend News update coming out from Eagle Dynamics. There’s also a smattering of other news items from around the DCS World community that I wanted to cover from the past week so let’s cover it!

Open beta release

DCS Open Beta version released yesterday and with it the usual long list of updates across the entirety of DCS World.

Highlights include revisions to the F-14B’s flight model, tooltips added to the F10 map, new direction and speed vectors, cockpit and external weapon sound updates for DCS WWII aircraft, eight new liveries for the JF-17, and a very long list of updates for Mirage F1.

Heatblur also released the free Operation Reforger II – Flanking the Bear campaign for DCS: F-14 owners adding yet more single player content to their impressive F-14.

The Enemy Within campaign gets an overhaul

Baltic Dragon has been busy making sure that the well known The Enemy Within 3.0 campaign has received a series of updates that makes it compatible with the DCS: A-10C II Warthog. The fixes include compatibility with the A-10C II’s new radio unit.

F-15E almost ready to launch?

We don’t yet know the release date for the DCS: F-15E Strike Eagle by RAZBAM. This aircraft, long awaited, long teased, is somewhere close to launch. This tweet, posted earlier today by Eagle Dynamics, might suggest that the wait is nearing an end. Is it just a reminder or does it portent an impending release? We still don’t know but I have a feeling it will be soon.

OverlordBot sunset, MOOSE might not be far behind?

Two community tools for DCS World are or might be on their way out.

OverlordBot is easily one of my favourite community built experiences in DCS World when it comes to multiplayer immersion. The system lets you have an AWACS experience through voice commands. It’s not perfect but it is so immersive compared to the standard AWACS system that I’m genuinely surprised that it or a similar technology hasn’t appeared in DCS or in other sims.

Update 3.0.1 of OverlordBot was released several days ago and it contained bug fixes as well as a notice that the system was being sunset – i.e. shut down. Multiple problems including changes with the Microsoft-based system that powers the system as well as what appears to be enduring issues with DCS World are stated reasons for the developers to pack up shop.

There’s both the official statement as well as a lengthy statement including this paragraph that seems to be a good summary of some of the issues.

Our pleas for game mechanic enhancing scripting APIs have been dismissed. Our concerns around stability and frequent server-breaking changes have been rebuffed, our suggestions have been thrown into the great JIRA backlog graveyard in the sky and our bug reports have been blackholed due to unrealistic reporting requirements to get ED to deign to spend some time actually investigating. ED is a fortress against whose walls all outside feedback breaks against.


Another community tool, MOOSE, is used by some to create complex scenarios. One of the developers posted to the MOOSE community Discord with the following statement. It’s echos similar themes.

I’m stepping away from contributing to this Discord and the DCS forums now. Since 2009 I’ve been playing DCS, and in 2016 grabbed a hold of moose for an awesome ride with Sven.

I’m stopping because the SSE is not evolving. Bugs like event player_enter_unit remain remain unfixed for 5 years and the community is working flat out trying to navigate a shakey, unloved, API. ED don’t spend much time developing the API, they might argue that it earns them nothing. That approach prevents them from evolving beyond DLC “campaigns” that are mostly rich media and sound. We are not in competition with them earning money, we enable it. Remind them, if you read this.

Community engagement is a two way process. You enable it with tools, it helps you grow your business by word of mouth. Free is free…people like that and when they see something they like, they will buy it. But they need to be activein the community and more engaged. Without daily changing content online, there is no community and is no breeding ground for excitement about the next module. ED just don’t see it that way it seems.

So, enough. If you want community, go ask Eagle Dynamics to put a penny in the meter for the community, because the community is running on empty. I doubt it’s just me that’s tired of scripting bugs. I’m not going to perpetuate the status quo by helping people navigate all the silly pitfalls of the SSE if ED are not going to return the favour with a little bit more evolution of the SSE itself. Spread the word before it dies. Good luck with your scripting journeys.

Pikes on the MOOSE community Discord

These certainly air some of the challenges that community members have had trying to enhance the DCS experience. While I’m sure I have benefited from MOOSE, OverlordBot has been transformative in the online experiences that I’ve had.

Not all of the comments have painted the same picture.

ED community manager NineLine responded on the DCS World Discord in response to conversations about the OverlordBot issue.

We have been and are already working with server owners and the creator of the post, I do not understand the post as we have reported and requested all his changes even if we do not have the time to do it right this moment. What he does with his mods is his decision, we do our best to support all aspects of DCS and will continue to do so. Much of our core work has been on MT, we feel this is much more important than anything being worked on.

Nineline on the DCS Discord

A server admin for the well known Dynamic DCS (DDCS Server) also chimed in from the MOOSE thread with this comment.

I’m an admin for the DDCS server. Ed has been doing amazing for server engagement. I mean if you have an issue and bring it up they pretty much fix it. DCS is in a growing pain but it will pull through and for the better. The MT is a big win for ED and the future is bright.

Red_Teufels on r/Hoggit

As with many issues, these appear to be multi-sided problems with both complex causes and likely equally complex solutions. Ongoing conversations and airing of issues can always have the potential lead to positive outcomes so I remain hopeful in the long run but there are clearly challenges to sort out too.

More on the DCS World Weekend news

As always, there’s more development screenshots and information over on the DCS World Weekend News so be sure to check that out right here!


27 Comments Add yours

  1. butcher75 says:

    A very complex game with complex problems. I can’t help but feel the Dynamic campaign will clean up so many issues. I seriously can’t fathom the effort the community have gone to in developing free mods, my hats off to them. As for the F15E I don’t think we will see it before June.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I think many of us have high hopes for dynamic campaign and all of the advances that it will hopefully bring.

      And yeah the community has really done incredible things. Clearly it hasn’t been a smooth ride always but I appreciate the efforts all the same!

      F-15E release date is proving to be a tough one to pin down. June might be correct!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Blue 5 says:

    I had not heard of this OverlordBot. Sounds very interesting.

    I have the Eagle pre-ordered but frankly I would swap it for a Phantom. Guessing ‘sometime before September’ is most likely forecast. Alongside Sinai….?


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Servers like Enigma’s Cold War, the Hoggit servers and others all have OverlordBot on a specific radio channel so you can interact with it.

      You can ask it for different kinds of information. So for example I’d say “Overlord, Magpie 1-2, bogey dope.” And it’ll get a report back. Or I can ask for a tripwire with a specific radius. “Overlord, Magpie 1-2, set tripwire 30.” Any baddies that enter 30nm to me get a call out.

      It’s so immersive!


  3. Raptorattacker says:

    Well, I tried it and I’ll be damned, I’m hooked!! Strictly a Warbirder though, I gotta make SOME conditions!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Awesome! Also beware the module creep. First it’s warbirds and then maybe just one Korean War jet and then how about an early Cold War jet and then before long you’re hooking fuel receptacles from your fly by wire Hornet 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  4. CanadaOne says:

    My response to RazBam asking if I have my F-15E pre-order yet is, “No. Because you porked it on Steam and then treated that part of the customer base with silence and disrespect.” They knew the Steam customers would buy it anyway so “Shut up and wait” was RazBam’s unofficial-official stance.

    I’ll still get it, of course. I’m sure the module will be great and a ton of fun. But that does not take away from Razbam and ED handling the initial roll out, and the customer relations, poorly.

    Thus my venting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I think that’s fair venting. It was not a smooth roll out but hopefully things go more smoothly from here!


      1. CanadaOne says:

        Thank you for your endless patience with the masses. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Raptorattacker says:

      Yeah indeed! Luckily I’m NOT the world’s richest man and so that creep phenomenon is pretty easy for me to resist. That said…


  5. Urgent Siesta says:

    I’m glad you brought up the content creator issues. Much sound and fury predicting ED’s pending demise, etc. (as usual).
    The scary thing is “The Community’ utterly ignoring all the substantial advancements the game has been making while focusing on these (legitimate) issues as though there are no other development priorities that might take precedence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      All good points. I didn’t rush to report on it but waited a few days to see different responses and thus I’ve tried to cover it from different angles and aspects.

      I’m very sad to hear about OverlordBot go away personally. I also understand the frustration that the developer must feel. And I also recognize the forward movement we’ve seen in other aspects of the sim. It’s all mixed in!


  6. RurouniJones says:

    I think the thing that most people have missed is that we have been asking for these sames changes for literally 10 years and that these changes could be done little by little. An API here, a fix there. If ED had dedicated 1% of their developer time budget on this over those 10 years we would be in a _much_ better place today.


    1. NineLine says:

      Just to clarify, while it may very well be true you have been asking for these for 10 years, I am not sure how this had been done. 1) I have worked officially for ED for 5+ years now and 2) When these requests were made I entered them into our reporting system which was just over 1 year ago now.

      And for what it is worth I do not forget about them but the team must work on what is a priority and these are coming closer, but we have had much bigger things on the go.


      1. RurouniJones says:

        Two instances off the top of my head that I have quickly accessible links to. Both 2.5 – 3 years ago.

        June 2020 – Nineline Asks for Feedback on scripting. The API request Superset is in the comments of that post: https://www.reddit.com/r/hoggit/comments/hiw52u/scripting_usage_request_for_info/

        October 2020 – On a post centered around the API request superset BigNewy says “I can make no promises but I will pass on your feedback to the team.”: https://www.reddit.com/r/hoggit/comments/jgz9ub/so_you_want_better_multiplayer_missions/

        I am informed that Ticket(s) related to this topic existed in ED’s Mantis system before the migration to Jira and that they exist in Jira as well although I cannot verify that myself obviously.

        If the only thing entered was the last-ditch document we wrote containing the small subset of requested APIs then there are a lot missing that need to be registered (See: https://pastebin.com/Drh8ugS2 for an easy listing of the superset)


  7. Pikey says:

    As Jones said, nothing new is happening, the API was written back in 2012 over 11 years ago for version 1.21, and there was a further update to the API for 1.5 in 2015, for server based scripting prior to dedicated server was released. Since then very little (not nothing, just relatively little) has been added and not everything has been fixed, even.
    It’s a great game/simulation and I love it but (in my opinion) the community’s strengths are fatally ignored in its success. It’s the principle of give a man a fish, he eats for a day, give him an API and he can develop a factorio style fish factory taking international orders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NineLine says:

      I believe right around the time we lost the person that did much of that work.

      Work depends on staffing and priorities, current priorities are the performance of the sim, such as MT. I mean after all that factorio style fish factory will not be able to take even domestic orders if the underlying engine cant handle it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pikey says:

    In case anyone believes that EDSA are executing on the community’s wishes, I would like to point out what we asked for, in 2015, when the F-18 was just a twinkle in Wags’ eye. Twice as many people, voted for Dynamic Campaign (system) in 2015 (37%) over a 4th gen fighter (18%).
    The DCE is the most requested, least delivered-on feature, in DCS history. Fact.
    I have no expectations DCE will add a single tool to the API as its a paid for DLC. There is nothing for content creators in the roadmap, never was, and until change, there never will be, so i can’t see any reason to continue trying and it’s clearly not a unique sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NineLine says:

      Context is everything of course. See in 2015 we did ask for DC system, I was there asking as well. Then they started looking at what it would take to do such a system, what it would need etc. Then they had to hire a team that could pull it off. Then that team had to create from scratch, inside a game not designed for such a campaign system, a system for single-player, multi-player, multi-modules, multi-era and on and on.

      Now it’s starting to come alive but it needs to be everything everyone wants it to be, anything less will make all these years a waste. It is no easy task and we will not release it for the sake of doing so. So I am sorry Pikey, I appreciate your hard work on Moose and CBT, but this comment saying we do not execute community wishes is simply wrong.

      One more note… there is no content creators roadmap in the public eye, so again statements like this, while you may feel like this, are simply not based in any sort of fact. Sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A. says:

    Why are you propagating ED’s lies and letting them move the goalposts?


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That’s an interesting interpretation of what’s going on here. I don’t think NineLine’s statement to be disingenuous. Nor do I think the statements from the developers of MOOSE or OverlordBot to be disingenuous either.

      Folks may not like what was said or may see the situation differently. There’s been several great responses to this discussion right here as a result and I think that’s valuable.


      1. RurouniJones says:

        I think that, in trying to provide viewpoints from both ends of the spectrums, you are unfortunately giving your readership a skewed view of the reality that the opinion is evently mixed which is a common issue in a lot of news media.

        I speak to many many server administrators, large and small, as part of running OverlordBot and they overwhelmingly have a similar viewpoint as myself.

        I am afraid the DDCS admin’s views are very much in an extreme minority but unfortunately since this article only contains 4 sample viewpoints in total his viewpoint has been given more credence than I think it should.

        I believe it would help your readership get a much more accurate picture of the situation if the blog went out and interviewed, or posted a short set of questions, to the big server oeprators and as many smaller ones as possible to build a more representative picture of the operator community.

        Should you do so you can email me the details and I will pass it on to all the server operators I am in contact with.


      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        I might be guilty of a bit of bothsideism although most of the comments are sourced from the news at hand and the direct response so that’s kind of what I had to go with.

        I’m open here to a constructive discussion (which I hope is happening here – aside from the one accusing me of propagating lies) and I’m open to the challenges that you and others are having.

        I don’t feel like I’m the bannerman for this. I just don’t know enough and I’m spread a bit thin these days to be able to dig into the full challenges of a DCS server administrator. If folks like yourself are posting some feedback somewhere (like Hoggit or elsewhere) please let me know. A big conversation like that is newsworthy and worth covering.

        I’m also glad to see NineLine engaging here too. It’s not radio silence and that gives me hope that there are things that can be done to improve things! At least I hope so!


      3. NineLine says:

        This is a heated discussion with a lot of heated discussions around the internet. I can assure you we are not lying, we want to do what we can when we can. Its not as easy or as simple as some make it out to be. As well, even though we see a lot of positive comments from server owners, that doesn’t mean that we are saying that everything is perfect. We understand that there are users out there pushing DCS to its extremes, and that is great and the sooner we can support that better we will, and I will keep trying to push from my end, I have loved Overlordbot from its inception, its one of the coolest mods out there, it would be sad to see it go for sure.


  10. Pikey says:

    Does it matter if ED spent 8 years or 1 year if DCE is still not released? What use was the Ropucha model if it sat in the game files for years unused? If it’s not delivered on, its not executed on, there’s no ‘points for effort’ in software. In a place where promises are banned we only have deeds to make judgements upon and form our opinions. There is really nothing else.

    It might be easy to feel that there’s more intention when you are on the inside and see it, but from the outside there is only one set of goalposts, and that’s release.


    1. NineLine says:

      It’s easy to pick out the negative points, but there are just as many, if not more positive things going on as well. You are part of one of those things which was improved testing, including MP. I am not sure I get much else you are saying, such as banned promises… I mean we will do our best, and continue to strive to be better. I am not sure what you want to be said. I wish we could smack the easy button and produce a DCE that is all the things people want and expect, and as someone that spends so much time on Moose, I would think you had an appreciation for the complexity.


  11. Pikey says:

    I want to see the SSE be invested in.

    It’s what I said all along.


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