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Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 retrospective

A simmers look back on 2012

 by Fred 'Heinkill' Williams

2012 was a great year if you are a WWII combat flight sim fan!

I wouldn't have expected it to be, going into the year, with a totally broken IL2 Cliffs of Dover on my hard drive, a BoB Developers Group which had gone into hibernation over the 2.12 update of BOBII Wings of Victory, and War Thunder not even in closed beta testing yet.

But my new SSD drive emerged from 2012 running a working IL2 Cliffs of Dover, the 2.12 update to BOBII, the War Thunder Open Beta and to top it off, there was the pleasant surprise of a nicely put together P-51 release from the DCS/Eagle Dynamics stable.

What started as a famine, ended as a feast! Here were the highlights for me...

IL2 Cliffs of Dover

In January 2012, more than half a year after EU release, this was still a buggy mess despite a major official patch in October 2011. Even users with Über PC specs were struggling to get decent frame rates. Online, the server code was bugged and the devs were still recommending not to use the main game map of the BoB theatre of conflict - The Channel Map.

Some users were undeterred though, and a highlight was the work of user Enlightened Florist, to create a dynamic campaign mod which filled the offline gap left by the terrible campaigns delivered in the original game. Another was the release by 3rd party developers, Desastersoft, of the 'Fighter Aces' series of add-ons, which gave the game not only much needed offline content, but new features such as campaign medals and promotions, RDF and sector controller simulation, in flight mission orders, random mission scripting, the ability to call reinforcements and airstrikes while in flight, and the Knickebein bomber guidance system.

Through early 2012 the developers 1C delivered a round of beta patches to try to improve graphic and flight model performance. By then I'd logged about 200 hours in the game, and despite all the frustration among the community, there were still plenty of players out there - my Operation Sealion Mission pack quickly passed 1,000 downloads just a couple of weeks after release.

Shot from Operation Sealion mission pack: the rolling series of beta updates made the game playable for many, and made possible combined arms land and air missions like those in Operation Sealion.

But all was not well at 1C. They had started a pattern of random developer updates, which left the community more confused, than informed. Hoping to hear news of fixes to the many remaining problems in Cliffs of Dover, readers were usually treated instead to vague information and screenshots not of work in progress on Cliffs of Dover, but from a planned Battle of Moscow sequel.

A typical 'Cliffs of Dover' development update from 2012...nothing to do with Cliffs of Dover - a screenshot from the now abandoned sequel.

To their credit though, although they had written Cliffs of Dover off as a commercial failure, a small team at 1C did keep banging away trying to fix the code, and after intensive work over Autumn, a year after the previous official patch, they delivered what was to become the final patch for Cliffs of Dover in October 2012.

Then the 1C project team self-destructed.

Project lead Ilya Yevchenko, who is no longer with 1C, wrote, "The situation sucks. I see no reason to sugarcoat it with bull. I don't want to go make empty promises or try to prove that black is white. We released a faulty game. We did more than even seemed possible to fix its faults and add improvements, but in the end it was not enough."

The final patch did fix a lot of the outstanding problems in Cliffs of Dover, and was enough to spark new interest in developing content for the game. Some fantastic scripting work was done to allow engaging multiplayer battles online, particularly on the ATAG and Repka servers, and together with a band of talented scripters and beta testers, a group of us released the REDUX campaign for offline flyers, which passed the 1,000 download mark within a couple of weeks.

Mission themes available on the ATAG server for online gamers. Some very creative scripting for online missions emerged in 2012

After the last patch, some were quick to declare Cliffs of Dover dead. But I suspect that like BOB2 and EAW, enthusiasts will keep it alive for several years to come.

And finally, from the ashes, a potential new WWII sim platform was born.

Rise of Flight developers 777 announced they were merging with 1C to form 1C Game Studios and release the next game in the IL2 franchise, which would be, not Battle of Moscow, but IL2 Battle of Stalingrad. Their announcement mirrored a leaked press release I was sent at the time of the Russian Igromir gaming conference earlier in the year, so plans for this had obviously been underway in one form or other for a long time.

Whether this new collaboration will result in a new WWII combat flight sim is still to be seen, but the 777 team has a good record so far with their WWI sim, Rise of Flight.

The new IL2 title could emerge into the daylight in 2014.

War Thunder (open beta)

Described by the developers, Gaijin, as an 'MMO combat game', this title takes up where their graphically excellent but ultimately flawed game 'Wings of Prey' (based on the old IL2 engine), left off.

In 2012 it went from closed beta, to open beta, and in 2013 should go Gold.

As it's an MMO and not a combat flight sim, perhaps I shouldn't include it in this roundup, but I spent a lot of time playing it this year and I think it has great potential. (I'm not so hung up on the whole 'is it a sim or isn't it?' debate that seems to vex a lot of people.)

Wings of Prey looked great (if you didn't mind the strange metallic filtered look) and played even more smoothly, no matter what was happening on screen. It had a scaleable approach that allowed players to jump in arcade style, or turn off all the prompts and fly from the cockpit. But offline gameplay was firmly aimed at the arcade end of the spectrum, and the online experience was crippled by limited mission types (airstarts only), poor server support and few players online.

War Thunder keeps a lot of what was good about Wings of Prey (gorgeous graphics and framerates, large range of theatres and aicraft types) and has tried to dramatically improve the online experience.

War Thunder can be played from the cockpit, with flight aids turned off...

or in full-on third person arcade mode

The offline experience is still very much a work in progress (and at the moment retains the Wings of Prey X-Box style approach to mission design), but as it's still a beta and features are changing all the time, it isn't easy to predict what the final game will look or play like. But there are some things that are certain.

- It will offer dozens of aircraft and theatres to fly in and gorgeous graphics that are kind on mid-range PC specs
- Commercially it will be based on the MMO model of buying aircraft and weapons upgrades and repairs either with cold hard cash, or by 'grinding' to earn in-game coinage. Most simmers seem to either love, or hate this model, with a few (like me) who sit on the fence.
- The pointless 'it's not a sim/yes it is' debate will continue throughout 2013!

For a preview of War Thunder, based on the beta of 2012, click the link here.

BOBII Wings of Victory version 2.12 (closed beta)

Yes, another beta, but as the BoB Developers Group readily accepts new members who want to beta test their updates, it has been possible for enthusiasts to get a hold of this update during 2012 and give it a really good workout.

Which is fantastic news for fans of this venerable WWII combat sim, first released in 2005, because once again the BDG has managed to breathe enough new life into the game to keep it on my SSD, against some pretty tough competition.

So what is it about the 2.12 update that makes it worth a place in my 2012 highlights? Well, quite simply, the BDG has taken an already insanely detailed simulation of the Battle of Britain, and lifted it to a whole new plane of historical accuracy.

The German air campaign in particular has been given a thorough reworking, so that the player who takes on the challenge of fighting the Battle from Hermann Goerings (rather large) chair, has unprecedented control over strategy and tactics, intel and resources.

See an example of the German campaign in action in in this AAR thread here.

Secondly, and once again, the BDGs crew of modellers has gone crazy reproducing historically accurate models of objects, buildings, vehicles, aircraft, AAA emplacements and major landmarks, which have all been added to the game. So many in fact, the code had to get a major refresh to be able to manage all the new object types.

Brighton Beach, as seen in the 2.12 update of BOB2 - just as it was in June 1940.

When you add this new level of detail to a sim which still has what is arguably the best offline gameplay and combat AI of any WWII flight sim, you get a 'must have' update that will prompt a lot of players to put BOB2 back into their current game list.

The final 2.12 update will be released in early 2013.


I've never had quite the reaction to any of my articles and reviews that I had when I reviewed the DCS P-51D late this year.

People are very passionate about the DCS platform, and pretty soon the review comments thread was thrumming with healthy debate.

While the debate raged, I set about enjoying the sim I'd just bought. By now I have about 50 hours in the DCS P-51D and can say I wouldn't change anything in that review, and am enjoying it immensely.

It's a great P-51 simulator and if, like me, you enjoy tinkering with mission design, there is plenty of potential in the mission builder. At the moment, I am tinkering away at a series of missions based on 77 Squadron RAAF's exploits in the Korean war. The DCS P-51D has limited attraction as an air to air combat sim, but using the excellent DCS mission builder I can put together some engaging ground pounding missions that I one day might be able to string together into a half decent campaign. See the AAR based on the work in progress here.

Screenshot from the 'Mustangs over Korea' missions being created for DCS P-51D

I hadn't followed the development of this high fidelity WWII prop fighter by DCS closely, so it came as a pleasant surprise, and if DCS wanted to add to the stable of DCS piston engined fighters (say with a nice opponent to the P-51D like the FW 190) I'd be the first to buy it!

But wait, there was more...

2012 obviously contained a lot more than just these developments for WWII combat flight sim fans.

If you were an EAW fan, 2012 brought you a bevvy of lovely skins and missions and the game moved from version 1.28E to 1.28F to get ready for the big leap next year to v 1.30. IL2 1946 fans got spoiled as usual with skins and missions and campaigns, plus version 4.11.1 from Team Daidolos (which significantly improved the AI, and lifted the game to 79 flyable kites with 41 maps). But it is easy to drown in the number of mods and submods now available; HDFX or Dark Blue World, or Full Monty, or Ultrapack3, or Supermod4.7 or...or... IL2 1946 fans were truly spoiled in 2012.

Bring on 2013 I say!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas release for BOBII version 2.12?

New from Buddye on the SIMHQ forums that the patch is in final preparations.

He finishes his post with a Christmas tree?

Could Santa be delivering us a BOBII update for Christmas?

From this (BOB WoV original release):

To this: 'Leaked' screenshots from the 2.12 update


Friday, December 14, 2012

Great thread full of BoS factoids

SIM has done a great job going to primary sources (Jason, Blacksix, Luthier and Loft) to compile a great 'just the facts' thread about Battle of Stalingrad (BoS).

Since I couldn't do it any better, here it is!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Battle of Stalingrad, you heard it first on BOBGAMEHUB

Back in August I circulated a press release I had obtained saying 1C was going to partner with BUKA to release Battle of Stalingrad.

I subsequently labelled it a hoax after it was denied by 1C forum admin BlackSix.

Well, substitute 777 for BUKA and you will find the press release was very close to what has just been announced about the future collaboration between 777 and 1C on the Battle of Stalingrad!

So maybe it was not a hoax after all, just an early draft that was withdrawn because the Buka didn't work out, but now the 777 deal has fallen into place instead...

Here is the content of that release again, compared with what has been announced by 777 and 1C:

New aircraft - Incredibly detailed true-to-life modeling of aircraft systems based on thousands of hours of dedicated research. Every single aircraft component can be damaged for realistic and immensely satisfying results.  (NO SPECIFIC DETAIL ON AIRCRAFT TYPES IN THE ANNOUNCEMENTS)

-Flyable aircraft – Over twenty famous and highly detailed Russian, German, British and US 'lend-lease' aircraft available, with all crew positions open to players. All flyable aircraft have been painstakingly researched, resulting in incredibly accurate cockpit interiors. Flyable aircraft may include: (Luftwaffe); Go 145, Do 217M-1/He 111H-6, Do 17/Ju 88D-1/D-5, Ju 87B/R, Fw 189A-2/A-3, Bf 109F-4/G-2, Bf 109G-4/G-6, Bf 110G-3, Fw 190A-5/F-3, (Italy, ARMIR) Macchi C.200, Macchi C.202, Fiat Br.20. (Allies): IL2/T/3M, Su26, Mig-3, Lavochkin LAGG-3, La-5, Yak -2/3, Yak -9/T/U, Hurricane I/II, Pe-8, Pe-2 .

-Non-flyable aircraft – 15 additional AI-controlled aircraft are also available, created with the same attention to historical accuracy, for an even more varied and immersive combat environment. Non flyable aircraft may include (Luftwaffe) DFS 230/Go 242, He 46/Hs 126, Ar 66/Junkers W 34, Ju 52, Caproni Ca.311; (Allies) I-153 Tchayka, I-16 Mushka, Yak-7/7B, P39 Q/5 Kobrushka, Il-4, Tu-2.

-Two exciting historically correct campaigns – The campaigns thrust the player into the middle of the battle. On one side, is the German Luftflotte 4 hitting ground targets with Ju87s, fighting for air superiority over the city, and trying to keep the airbridge open to its beseiged troops. On the other side the Russian Air Force or VVS, initially limited to small daylight or night operations, but increasingly throughout late 1942 and 1943 able to take the offensive in daylight as well.

- Massively Only Multiplayer: (1C/777 confirmed that the game will not be labelled as MMO only, but will include "both SP and MP game-play options but giving some new unique experiences". IE large scale multiplayer is still an option). 

Up to 128 players at a time able to engage in cooperative, head to head, deathmatch, or dynamic campaign contests in which players can fly or crew aircraft, man anti aircraft weapons, drive and crew ground vehicles including tanks, artillery and anti-tank weapons.
-Interactive training – Comprehensive interactive training for new players – fly a real Luftwaffe trainer plane with a computer controlled instructor through a series of training missions. 

The battle will take place on a large area covering Southwest Russia. The huge map will contain thousands of historical cities, towns, roads, airfields, radar stations, ports, and industrial areas – all located exactly where they were in 1942-3.Includes a painstaking recreation of Stalingrad in 1942, with all buildings and locations accurate and destructable.

Latest-gen graphics engine with DX10 and DX11 API support. Huge variety of photorealistic German and Russian ground vehicles, buildings and other environmental elements recreate minute details of the defence of Russia.
Customizable difficulty – Dozens of realism options allow newcomers to the franchise to reduce the difficulty and focus on the fun while learning the ropes of being a pilot.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cliffs of Dover REDUX out now

The RAF campaign REDUX available NOW

Mission design and storyline by Heinkill
Scripting by Bolox and Gabuzomeu
Beta testing by EAF92_Splash, Slot, and W1ndy.

Welcome to this ‘redux’ version of the stock Cliffs of Dover RAF campaign.

Why a ‘redux’? Well, quite simply because the original plot of the RAF campaign read like it was written by a 20 year old Japanese console gamer and in the developers’ rush to get the game on the market many of the missions were either badly designed or just plain broken.

The user community and 3rd party developers have stepped in and filled the campaign gap with some highly entertaining and professional single player content, but it is still offputting to new players that the stock campaign that comes with the game is just so…terrible.

What has been redone?

The entire plot of the campaign has been rewritten. The campaign is now inspired by the career of real life BoB pilot ‘Red’ McColpin, one of the first US airmen to serve with the RAF in WWII. 

Clear mission success and failure criteria have been created, together with an innovative system that displays the player’s and squadron’s kills and losses during the mission and throughout the campaign, and awards medals for campaign progress.

Regarding historical accuracy, an attempt has been made to recreate a sense of history as the campaign unfolds, with authentic Ministry of Defence RAF Fighter Command campaign combat reports used to provide the player with an end of day summary of theatre wide events at the end of each mission. You will relive the terrible events of summer 1940, just as they happened.

Finally, the landscape of SE England and France has been populated so that the previously empty ports of Dover, Folkestone and Calais, and combat stations Tangmere and Manston have been made into living locations, bustling with activity.

The team behind the Redux campaign mod has thoroughly enjoyed working to bring this to you. We hope you enjoy using it, as much as we enjoyed building it.


35MB download here:


ZIP file (also containing self installer) at Airwarfare website:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Channel Battles for CoD: review

Wellington take down - Desastersoft's Channel Battles 

The last patch for IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover solved many performance issues, improved frame rates and made the game more playable for many players.

So this review will focus on the question, "If Cliffs of Dover becomes more playable on my PC, what can I do with it!?"

How about loading up Channel Battles, the latest add-on from third party developer, Desastersoft?
In May I reviewed one of the most comprehensive third party add-ons to Cliffs of Dover, Desastersoft's Wick vs Dundas.  

Wick vs Dundas did not just add a whole lot of skins, objects and missions to Cliffs of Dover, it put the new content into a well packaged new campaign platform allowing the player to gain promotions, and win medals, by their progress through the campaigns. It also increased the interactivity and immersion of the offline experience by adding radio calls triggered by in-game events, which could change your objectives "on-the-fly".

I won't recap all the features of the Desastersoft add-on platform here. For that review: go here.

Instead, I will look at the upcoming English Language release coming from the German Desastersoft stable, "Channel Battles", and give you a play-by-play taste of what campaigning in the Channel Battles add-on has to offer.

And the good news is, although the English language release is still a way off, and the add-on is currently only available in German, I will show you why you don't need to wait! Don't speak German? No problem, with the patented "Heinkill workaround for German add-ons".
I am using Cliffs of Dover version 1.08 beta patch for the review.

The Package
I got a hold of the physical jewel case from Desastersoft, but the add-on is also available as a download. The jewel case comes with a beautiful map of RAF and Luftwaffe airfields, which you will use during the campaign, as you'll see. Also included is a German language handbook, which if you are not German, you won't get much joy from. But trust me on this, you don't need it.

Packaging - Desastersoft's Channel Battles
The physical Channel Battles package with DVD-ROM, handbook, and map.


Cliffs of Dover rumour roundup

Another month, another bunch of Cliffs of Dover rumour mongering.

The latest, sparked by Foobar at who implied that 1C Maddox had merged with and 'assumed' 777 studios (the makers of Rise of Flight). The 1C team had been let go and the CoD code and rights sold. Jason from 777 jumped on that to deny any such 'merger'.

"1C did not "assume us" and ROF is completely owned and operated by 777 Studios and development plans remain the same for ROF." - Jason

Threads about it were deleted from the 1C official forums and Foobar removed his post.

No official news from 1C has been forthcoming since, so here is the current list of known knowns, unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns, for your collection:

- Development of the IL2 Sturmovik CoD code platform will continue, with some sort of sequel of unknown nature, which is due to enter alpha stage in 2013 (source: former 1C official spokesperson Blacksix.)
- 1C Maddox is working on an MMO (I have seen nothing to contradict this yet, see my earlier post)
- The sequel will be 'Battle of Moscow', will be set on the Eastern front, use the same format and engine as CoD and will include a Stalingrad map/scenario (rumour based on screenshots released by 1C).
- Cliffs of Dover bugs and issues will be 'fixed' if/when it is merged with the sequel (this is more a hope, than a rumour).
- 1C has relieved team member Blacksix from his role as spokesperson ("My work in this section is also finished ...I will answer the questions, but in general, that's all. As you well know, I can not tell you now about the future of the series and you have to wait for the official announcement from 1C "), and no one else from Maddox games has posted anything on the 1C forums or for several weeks. Lead developer Ilya Shevchenko has not posted on since 18 October 2012, so this must mean...(dot dot dot...add your own ending here.)

Seriously folks, nothing to see here - move along.

BOB2 version 2.12 gets closer! And a bomber skin mod!

This news from Bader of the BDG:

"Good news is that we have been battling with some obscure crashes for some time. Osram has done some excellent diagnostics and found that we have been hitting an internal animation number limit, of 8000 animations (there are so many more things going on visually in BoBII now than even a couple of patches ago with all the objects and effects in big battles).

This now seems to be fixed, so we are now in final test stage. This looked like a couple of weeks a while back but with testing you never can say. So it's no good to commit just yet."

At the same time a new bomber mod has been released by Aces, which takes away an annoying 'shine' which affected bomber skins at dawn and dusk.

Download Link (Mediafire):


Complete redo of stock CoD RAF campaign avail soon!

Coming soon, a complete remake of the stock RAF campaign that will replace the RAF campaign in your Cliffs of Dover main menu.

The campaign replaces the ridiculous original plot with one featuring Carroll 'Red' McColpin, one of the first 'American Eagles' or US pilots who joined the RAF to fight before their country entered the war. He later led the 404th Fighter Group in support of the D-Day invasion and the drive across Europe. In 400 missions, he recorded 11.5 victories and collected 29 awards for gallantry. Following the war, McColpin remained in the Air Force, serving in several command and senior staff positions, ultimately becoming the commander of the 4th Air Force.

"For myself I reasoned that as I had flown most of my life and knew there was going to be a global war, why not start flying for England, a country that needed help and believed in our precepts of democracy, and one that would be our ally soon enough in any case. I knew America was on the verge of war. When the Battle of Britain started I decided that I couldn't stand by and do nothing."

- Pilot Officer Carroll McColpin.

McColpin will start in 607 Squadron at Tangmere as he did in real life, then move to 602 Sq at Manston.


-Completely rewritten plot and mission briefings: NO MORE SPITGIRL (though she does appear as a B-actor 'Easter Egg' in one mission) and you will no longer have to shoot fellow RAF pilots, and get shot down over France in order to succeed.
-Mission bugs corrected (ie flights with no targets, wrong loadouts, wrong units, wrong waypoints)
- Scripts rewritten by Bolox and Gabuzomeu:
-Extra challenges added to every mission. No more recon missions with no enemy aircraft or objects. No more enemy flights not engaging. Mission difficulty increased - you will need to keep your head on a swivel, even as you return to base.
-Corrected AI skill levels and mission objectives to minimise chances of dumb AI behaviour or tactics
-More activity and objects at Tangmere, Manston, Calais Marck airfield and Dover and Calais ports.
-Medals and promotions added: Start as a raw pilot officer flying on the wing of 607 Sq Ldr Vick, progress to Flight Lieutenant leading your own flight, finish as 602 Squadron leader, leading your full squadron in a Big Wing engagement over the Channel. Plus Bolox and Gabuzomeu have scripted in the ability to win medals based on progress through the campaign and personal victory count.
-Historical photographs replacing in-game screenshots in briefings.
-Historical quotes added: end of mission screen shows either quotes from Winston Churchill, or Adolf Hitler.
- Historical RAF Fighter Command combat reports are displayed at end of every day.

Current status is that all missions have been remade, we are now fine tuning individual missions and campaign structure and beta testing.

You can get a preview of the readme document here: 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Updated review of Cliffs of Dover: the final patch

The final patch (v 1.11.20) for Cliffs of Dover was released by 1C, and enough time has passed for the dust to have settled.

On the plus side, players are reporting much smoother online play, with higher number of players (70-100) playable on popular servers such as ATAG and REPKA. On the downside, some players, mostly players still using Windows XP, have reported difficulty even updating to the new patch.

(If you are one of these, and your update doesn't work, try the recent 1.08 patch version, which was not perfect, but better than anything previous.)

A poll on the 1C homepage indicates that the patch has lifted the average player satisfaction from 5.5 after launch, to 6.5 today. Still far from enthusiastic ratings, but an indication that the final patch has made the game playable, and enjoyable, for most.

See the updated full review HERE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New modded version of stock RAF campaign for CoD

Available soon...

A modded version of the stock Cliffs of Dover campaign based on the exploits of ‘Red’ McColpin, one of the first US airmen to serve with the RAF in WWII.


The official US Airforce biography (next page) skips quickly over his time in the RAF but after serving initially with the RAF's 607 Squadron, in May 1941 McColpin joined the second Eagle Squadron, No. 121 Squadron, as a pilot officer and then went to No 71 Squadron, the 1st Eagle Squadron.

No. 71 was formed at RAF Church Fenton on 19 September 1940 with Brewster Buffalos. Appraisal by Royal Air Force acceptance personnel criticised it on numerous points including lack of armament and pilot armour, poor high-altitude performance, engine overheating, maintenance issues, and cockpit controls, while it was praised for its handling, roomy cockpit, and visibility. The aircraft were deemed unsuitable for European conditions Hawker Hurricanes replaced them from November and Spitfires from August 1941.

In November 1941 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. In January 1942 he was posted as a flight commander to the 3rd Eagle Squadron, No. 133. McColpin went back to the United States in June 1942 to participate for 10 weeks in a War Bond tour followed by 4 weeks home leave. On his return, being an American, an ace and having served in combat with all three Eagle Squadron, McColpin was appointed to command 133 Squadron.

General McColpin was the only American to fly combat in all three RAF American Eagle Squadrons. His total missions in these Squadrons exceeded three hundred, including missions flown with 607 Squadron. He was a double ace before Pearl Harbor and was the first American to be decorated, in Buckingham Palace by King George during World War II. McColpin was credited with 12 kills, 5 probable, and 12 damaged.


Retired Sep. 1, 1968.
Died Nov. 28, 2003.

Carroll Warren McColpin was born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1914. He participated in civilian flying activities in Los Angeles, Calif., and in 1936 obtained his pilot's certificate. In November 1940, he volunteered for duty with the Royal Air Force and was commissioned a pilot officer (second lieutenant) in the Royal Air Force. He advanced to the rank of squadron leader (major) in the RAF before transferring to the U.S. Army Air Force in the grade of major, at London, England, in September 1942.

General McColpin served in the 607th, 71st and 121st RAF Fighter Squadrons and commanded the 133rd Fighter Squadron in England in 1942. Following his transfer to the USAAF in September 1942, he commanded the 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group. Returning to the United States in 1943, he was assigned duty as assistant deputy for operations, 3rd Fighter Command, Drew Field, Fla., and he subsequently assumed command of the 407th Fighter Bomber Group at Lakeland, Fla. in September of that year.

In January 1944, General McColpin was appointed commander of the 404th Fighter Bomber Group at Myrtle Beach, S.C. and moved that unit overseas to England where he remained in command through the English, French and Belgian campaigns.

In December 1944, General McColpin transferred to the 29th Tactical Air Command as director of combat operations. He returned to the United States in March 1945 and served as deputy and later as commander of the 3rd Fighter Command Gunnery School at Pinellas, Fla., until February 1946, when he proceeded to Germany to command the 335th Fighter Group at Schweinfurt, Germany.

General McColpin returned to the United States from Germany in October 1947, to command the 31st Fighter Group at Albany, Ga., until February 1950, when he entered the Armed Forces Staff College as a student. Upon his graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College in July 1950, General McColpin was assigned to the Continental Air Command at Mitchel Field, N.Y., and later to the Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colo., as director of operations and training. In June 1952, he was transferred to Eastern Air Defense Force Headquarters as the deputy for operations, were he remained until entry into the Air War College in July 1954.

After graduation from the Air War College in June 1955, General McColpin assumed command of the 64th Air Division (Defense) at Pepperrell Air Force Base, St. Johns Newfoundland, Canada. He was transferred to Headquarters North American Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colo., on Aug. 1, 1958, as director of operations and served in that capacity until July 1962.

General McColpin commanded the San Francisco Air Defense Sector at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., from August 1962 to June 1963, before his assignment as commander, Portland Air Defense Sector, Adair Air Force Station, Ore.

In October 1964, General McColpin was named vice commander, 28th Air Division (SAGE), headquartered at Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

1C patches the patch

The last ever patch for Cliffs of Dover got a step closer this week, when 1C released a 'hotfix' for the latest version of their release candidate patch.

The hotfix corrected problems that prevented some RAF aircraft from being started, and caused users with SLI/Xfire configurations from experiencing crashes.

Other reported issues casued by the new patch may also be addressed before the patch is finalised.

Monday, October 1, 2012

"We released a faulty game...": a mea culpa from 1C Maddox, developers of Cliffs of Dover

"The situation sucks. I see no reason to sugarcoat it with bull. I don't want to go make empty promises or try to prove that black is white. We released a faulty game. We did more than even seemed possible to fix its faults and add improvements, but in the end it was not enough. There has to come a point where we begin to focus on the future, and Cliffs of Dover just becomes something we can all learn from"

- Ilya Shevchenko 1C Maddox Development Lead for Cliffs of Dover.

With these words Shevchenko tried to close the door on an unhappy chapter in the history of the otherwise successful IL2 Sturmovik franchise.

Posting today on multiple forums, Shevchenko provided answers to a lot of the questions which angry and frustrated fans have been asking about the current and future state of the Cliffs of Dover sim.

Among the answers were some suprisingly frank admissions:

"Q. Did you know that B6 (official 1C spokesperson) doesn't even like CLOD?
A. Why would that be a surprise? I know very few people that, you know, love love Cliffs of Dover."

His own frustration also showed through in his posting.

Quizzed on why 1C was more interested in making a new game, rather than fixing Cliffs of Dover, he said, "Fixing Cliffs of Dover does not bring in any money, and it has not pretty much from the start. Even if we spend another year working on nothing but Cliffs of Dover and release a super-mega-ultra update with co-op, blackjack, and hookers, how many copies do you honestly believe the game will sell? Then the entire team can happily go and look for a new job, preferably in a third world country where it’ll be easier to hide from our investors."

Here is the full text of the Question and Answers, part I and part II.


Good afternoon everyone. Sorry it took so long to get to your questions. Finally got some spare time on a quiet weekend. Went through a bunch of them, still have a lot left. Hopefully will get to them tomorrow.

I also answered a bunch of Russian-language questions on Sorry, no energy to translate them into English. Hopefully someone might help me out and provide a translation for me.

Here are the answers to your questions.

The single player experience in Cliffs of Dover has been roundly criticized as being decidedly below standard. Can you tell us specifically in what ways you think it is lacking, and explain what you intend to do to improve it?
First of all, I disagree with it being “below standard”. Your definition of single-player standard is probably different from mine. If you expect Mass Effect or Skyrim, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Cliffs of Dover was intended to be a sandbox game more than anything, expansive, open, giving complete freedom to the players. If you’ll remember, the original Il-2 owed much of its success to user-made content. We aimed for the same with Cliffs of Dover. Instead of building complex single-player content in-house, we gave the tools to the community. Cliffs of Dover has a much better mission builder with scripting support, supports complex moddable briefings and debriefings, and so on.
Unfortunately 3rd party support never materialized the way we hoped it would, and we ourselves cannot at this point go back and redo single player.
Still, I strongly disagree with your criticism of the single-player. The two campaigns, quick mission builder, and the full mission builder offer a lot in terms of single-player. Standard? I’ve played plenty of AAA games where the entire single-player content is under 20 hours with 0 replay value, and I didn’t even feel like finishing the entire thing. At the same time I’ve logged way more than 20 hours in quick mission builder alone. What does that say about industry standards?

1. Please could you look into the netcode, its killing Multiplayer servers.
Latest patch should take us closer.

2. Could you reconsider your position on Co-ops, again this is preventing a lot of people from wanting to continue using your product now and in the future.
Redoing co-op is a huge task. We are a business. We have to make a profit somewhere somehow. We cannot keep pumping resources and releasing free patches for Cliffs of Dover forever.
And regarding not using our products in the future if we do not redo co-op now. I believe the majority in this community actually will. If we offer a much more comprehensive co-op experience in a future product, and especially if such an experience still allows you a trip back in time to fly some Spits and 109s over the Channel, well, I really hope that most people will want to get the sequel.
To reiterate - I've never said that we'll never address co-op, I've only said we cannot do it within the Cliffs of Dover project.

3. It was claimed that within recent patches a 50% performance increase was gained but as of yet I have seen no evidence to support this, in fact my performance actually dropped whilst at the same time features were taken out of the game. Could you tell me how I go about getting this performance increase or what system I should use to get the best out of CLOD, I currently have a i72600k running at 4.7Ghz, 2x GTX680 in SLI and 16GB of DDR3 at 1600mhz.
There are plenty of people on the forums reporting a significant performance boost.
You should be getting excellent FPS in the game with your top of the line system.

4. Could you tell us how you test your alpha/beta patches before release, many of them have broken has much as they have fixed and your customers are left scratching their heads wondering how you could of missed some of the most obvious bugs, such as the hurricane not starting. Also could you tell me what online servers you or your employees use to test the game.
Ooh somebody’s real grouchy.

Can the sequel be merged with COD like the original il2 series and if it can will we get to test features that will be appearing in the sequel I.e. Weather etc.
This question Ilya! Please confirm that the sequel will be able to be merged with our current game as in all previous IL2 releases.
Definitely not planning to release any sequel features as add-ons for Cliffs of Dover, sorry.

Also, please, please introduce a coop mode similar to the one we had in IL2 as you are loosing potential sales without this!
As I said earlier, this just doesn’t make sense financially. Redoing co-op in the way that the community wants cannot possibly be profitable within Cliffs of Dover. At this point there’s just no way that any given feature can lead to any kind of profits.

How many people are there working on IL-2 Sturmovik series now?
Slightly over 50.

Why were the Flyable G50 and Br20 modelled for CoD, when they only played a very minimal role, and more common aircraft left out, such as a flyable Do17 and indeed even the CR42?
Was it originally intended to move to the Med theatre after the BoB?[/quote]

I was not a part of the decision making process about any flyable aircraft in Cliffs of Dover so I cannot answer this question.

Have you addressed the bugged Mixture issues in the RAF types?
Have you addressed the Engine Overheat issues in the RAF types?
Have you addressed the issue of the Spitfire under performing in terms of relative top speed compared with the 109 (e.g. see graphs in 1st post in this recent thread Thank you.
We keep working on aircraft performance, and hopefully the most recent patch showed some improvement in that respect.

Would it be possible to hand out information on how to handle each aircraft the proper way?
after 1,5 years, there is still too much confusion about the different types of planes, and how they perform the best way,and how to get the most out of them.
For example every month there is another thread about the prop pitch management of the 109, and even among the experienced 109pilots there doesnt seem to be a consensus on whats the best way...
for example:
there is historical information around in the net and in books, but we dont know whats implemented in game, what works best, and how it is intended to work...
Our goal has always been that the actual aircraft flight manuals should be used with Cliffs of Dover. If that’s not the case, the only people that know the guts well enough to write a flight manual are our aircraft programmers – and in that very case their efforts are better spent bringing the performance in line with the actual flight manuals.
In other words, there’s never a situation where writing a flight manual for Cliffs of Dover is a good idea.

1. Can you tell us anything about the forthcoming sequel and where you intend to take the series after that?
I cannot talk about the sequel until the official announcement, sorry.

2. Do you consider that you've achieved about as much as you can, performance wise, with the game engine at the moment and that people's systems now have to be improved to improve performance?
Yes, we’re pretty of the same opinion. We’re not doing further optimization at this time, we’re improving features instead. Specifically landscape geometry and clouds for starters, but all that is for the sequels.

1. Is going to be more view distance whitouut touching much the performance? I think in the first versions the view dstance was more.
It’s really hard to compare versions, too much has changed. I’m not sure if we can do anything to drastically improve performance as related to view distance at this time, sorry.

1. Why was Clod released (in the condition it was in)?
We had to release on the announced release date. Never any question about that on any levels.

2. Have you had serious problems re-writing the various code routines?
As clearly shown by some of our beta patches in the past, no, of course not, why would you ever think that?

3. Do you still have some of the original engine coders?
Yes. We even still have the core of the original 2001 Il-2 team working on the products.

4. Do you have anybody responsible for 'gameplay?' - serious question.
Yes, but not with Cliffs of Dover at this time. Honest answer.

5. Do you think releases (both game and patches) have been handled competently?
Well, it was either test with the community, or keep the patches brewing internally with tests taking much longer. If we had done this, the community would have imploded months ago being torn between the latest conspiracy theory of us closing down, and screams of "where's the promised patch give it to us now show us your progress".

6. Do you think the strong criticisms of Clod, on a forum such as this, are fair and reasonable?
I do think that people that post on the forums are naturally much more passionate and particular about the game than the average player. I do believe that we deserve most of the criticism that we get, if not always the tone in which it is offered. So, that covers fair.
Whether it’s reasonable is a more complex question to answer. The vocal minority always claims (and sincerely believes) that they represent the silent majority. We have our own opinion of what the silent majority wants however, and that often clashes with the forum consensus. At other times forum criticism can be unreasonable simply because some forum posters just don’t understand the simple realities of running a business.
So, in short, forum criticism is almost always fair, but not always reasonable.

1. will this game ever run good on windows xp using dx9? 'good' defined as 30 avg fps on black death track.
That’s quite an interesting way to define “good” performance. Black Death was never intended as a 30 FPS benchmark goal. It was rather intended as an extreme way to bring any system to its knees.
Just upgrade to Win 7, please.

2. will you ever consider getting rid of steam and going to hyper-lobby format?

3. what pc components, drivers, supporting software...etc. do you now recommend to run the game optimally, given so much of the code has changed since original release date since the game was first spec'd out.
I cannot answer that question off the top of my head, sorry

4. was the epilipsy filter a fraud? honestly, it was so absurd. very hard to believe in hindsight.
No that was indeed a real situation, a real publisher requirement, and our desperate attempt to address it at the last second.

5. surprise, did you know that B6 doesn't even like CLOD?
Why would that be a surprise? I know very few people that, you know, love love Cliffs of Dover.

6. did you hire any of the Daidalos Team member to work on CLOD when you put out those help wanted advertisements a while back?
We need full time employees in our Moscow office. Most of our current employees only speak Russian, so new employees have to be fluent in Russian as well. I’m not aware of anyone at Daidalos who fits all those criteria.

7. will the final patch include moving dogfight server and rearm, refuel and repair capability?
Of course not, who ever said that it would?

8. after the final patch, where do we go to join 128 player battles online?
We don’t run our own servers if that’s what you ask.

9. why did oleg leave? the real reason.
The only person who should ever answer this question is Oleg himself.

10. if you could do it all over again, would you?
Yes, just differently.

Have you seen how many times the same questions are asked, and if so
Why are they not being answered unambiguously, or a way that appears deceptive?
Why is there so much emphasis placed on the sequels process when most want CoD fixed?
Because we’re a business. Our goal is to make money. Fixing Cliffs of Dover does not bring in any money, and it has not pretty much from the start. Even if we spend another year working on nothing but Cliffs of Dover and release a super-mega-ultra update with co-op, blackjack, and hookers, how many copies do you honestly believe the game will sell?
Then the entire team can happily go and look for a new job, preferably in a third world country where it’ll be easier to hide from our investors.

Can you please open the game up to third parties and modders to fix.
The game has amazing potential, but is obviously quite broken at the moment.
This has always been our plan, and we still cannot get around to it. We obviously cannot just release the source code, and making end-user tools is not something that we have the resources to do at the moment. This fact greatly upsets me.

Are you ever going to fix the severe particle effects fps issues without resorting to making the effect look like it was made with lego?
(blows a raspberry).

My questions would be all about the main map itself (many others are pointing out all the other issues, no need to add anything there) but they would need elaboration and this is not the place. So I will be short:
1. As a matter of principle would you be OK with one or two "communities" (actually myself and some others) working to correct the many flaws, lacks, incoherences, wrongs, missing elements etc of the MAIN map, under your control, when it is possible (even if still far away, the work itself will take probably more than one year anyway)?
2. An idea when this could happen (granted as long as it is not "never" the question is rather rhetorical...I suspect the answer)?
See above about tools. Map-making tools are number one on our list of end-user tools to release, whenever it is we’ll be able to.

1. What specifically is preventing clouds from being depicted in a volume and quality that is competitive with other sims currently on the market?
Are you saying there is a sim out there today that has clouds of better quality at greater volume, and offering better performance? I.e. matches all three criteria, quality, volume, and FPS?
Because I know there isn’t.

2. What is your assessment of the quality of current AI speech routines. What if anything do you intend to do to improve them in the future?
AI speech does less than half of what we wanted it to do for Cliffs of Dover. Unfortunately the person responsible for the task left without completing it and we’re still trying to pick up the pieces.

Will the sequel have AI comms that work properly and have a level of detail/available commands that is closer to what we had in IL-1946 series. Offline play in even the exceptionally good Desastersoft campaigns is badly stifled by the extremely limited AI comms system we are stuck with in Cliffs.
Yes it will.

Will it ever be possible to add collisions to trees?
This murders FPS. We have too many trees.
We can only do it on a map that’s not as tree-y as the Channel.

1. Can we ever expect authentic looking cloud cover and weather environments that actually effect gameplay?
That’s what we’re working on right now, for the sequel.

2. Lastly has there been any progress on making the AI work and fly like we would expect or are we stuck with either barrel rolls or no reaction at all?
It already does a lot more than barrel rolls or no reaction.

1. How do you expect your current business model to deliver a profit while using the traditional il-2, addon every 2-3 years approach, and do you plan to offer DLC content in the future?
Add-ons every 2-3 years has never been our business model, and we've evolved even further away from Il-2 lately.

2. Why are weathering layers of skins unable to be packed in such a way that they can be modified or improved by users?
We hated seeing horrible flat user-made skins everywhere in the original Il-2, so we settled on the technology that keeps the lower-end of the quality bar firmly set where no user effort can nudge it lower – even if that means also setting the ceiling for great skin makers.

1. Are the team hoping to continue the series (all being well) as was mentioned earlier in the development cycle?

2. Are you going to be in a position to give the planned overdue announcement regarding future development’s any time soon?
I hope so.

Can we increase even more the degree of realism e.g. available & working aircraft systems?
Just a side note, please remove the ever icing clouds, most of them are not, especially flying low, it's not that often sub zero.
We are seriously addressing our approach to modeling various systems. A lot of the stuff that we spent so much effort on with Cliffs of Dover ended up being a dud, no one wants it, no one uses it. At the same time a lot of systems people clearly want and need are not modeled with enough details.
So do expect a more sane approach in the sequels.

1. Is it possible to expand on the not before seen special feature that was mentioned? Will it come for the sequel or will it not come out now?

2. Any news on how the vehicle control will be implemented? Will that ship with the sequel?
We still don’t know what to do with the feature commercially.

1. Is it save to say that the the sequel will, besides adding new content, fix all major gameplay, graphic ,multiplayer issues we currently have?
Since I fear we may differ on our definitions of major issues, I’d rather not commit myself to that.
Obviously no one here wants to repeat the Cliffs of Dover release fiasco. We really do want to get it right next time.

2. Will there be a solid documentation for engine management, level bombing etc.?
We are planning for an in-flight checklist feature, for starters.

3. What happend to the offical announcement for the sequel?
Delayed due to external circumstances. Not under my control at all.

4. Is someone still working on improving and/or adding new/better sounds?
Yes, that’s our sound designer’s only job.

You said earlier:'we really want to release at least the map-making SDK to the public “as is”, which is why they’re not covered by the next patch v. sequels discussion.'
If this is released will it be possible for an organised community effort to improve certain elements of the main COD map or will the sdk be only for creating new small maps?
Yes, the SDK will allow people to edit existing maps.

As you probably know quite a few people are disappointed with the current map and feel it could be made better by making changes to tree coverage/ hedgerows/etc. These would not be difficult changes technically, but would be time consuming and labour intensive - and therefore ideal for talented community members to undertake whilst the developers focus on the sequel (almost like a Team Daidolos for COD).
If the choice is between NO further work on the map OR allowing an (organised) community effort to make improvements (with your final approval regarding quality) would you be agreeable to this happening?
See above.

Videos from the Igromir pre-release version of COD seem to show a better implementation of the map. Were changes made after Igromir for performance reasons, and if so can those changes be easily reversed?
The entire year before the release is really hazy for me. I cannot say what changes were made to the map after Igromir. I want to say it shipped largely the same. If anything, we might have reduced the number of smaller trees and bushes around the landscape to improve performance, and adding them back would be a quick, fatal fix.

May I expect a sequel including a comprehensive manual for the DM, FM, FMB, including scripting?
Probably not comprehensive enough. See our manuals for the old Il-2 products.

Can you comment at this time on whether the next sequel will be Moscow as previously stated, whether Stalingrad will be a separate sequel to follow, or how the MMO option will fit into the series?
I cannot talk about the sequel until the official announcement, sorry.

2. How about flak control? it's for the sequel?
Yes, not for Cliffs of Dover.

I'd be interested to know if you've addressed the aircraft visibility (or invisibility) issue? IMO, the problem has all but killed the game. Whatever the reason for it, it doesn't really work in a simulation. You simply can't shoot what you can't see.
We hope it’s been addressed with the latest patch.

Precisely how many separate projects does Maddox Games intend to work on at one time? Is the rumoured MMO to be developed by MG also?
I cannot talk about the sequel until the official announcement, sorry.
Do want to add however that the occasional rumors that pop up around here simply mystify me. Why would anyone go through the trouble of doing all that? Lame and so very very creepy.

Luthier, will you continue to support CLOD independently with updates 'AFTER' the release of a sequel?
No. As I stated previously, this current patch, once pushed out to steam, will be our final update to Cliffs of Dover proper. All future work will be done within the framework of the sequels.

1. Why are there no plans to sort the problem of not being able to use the main componant of this game (the Channel Map) for coops?
Please see above.

2. Will the terrible weathering on Allied aircraft be fixed?
It’s not terrible.

Hello Luthier, my question is simple, shall have we the correction of the bug of rear-view mirrors on the English planes for the next patch.
We “almost” got it into the release candidate, but decided not to delay it because of the mirrors. Really hoping to get it working for the final release.

1. Will dev fix the pop up trees and buildings or provide greater view distance for people with high end cards?
2. Why do you have pop up buildings and not fade in.
People in bombers can't fly higher than 3'000m because targets pop up seconds before they must drop bombs.
We are aware of the issue, especially in relation to bombers.

When will you fix the service ceilings in aircraft? The 109 is not able to reach 10000 meters. The real ones do.
Please see the most recent patch notes.

You say you are 'not proud' of Cliffs of Dover' and fair enough you should not be.
Will you be offering a discount on the sequel, to people who bought Cliffs of Dover, as an apology?

1. Will the lack of a decent Co-op mode be put right in the patch or the Sequel.
Please see above for my thoughts on co-op.

2. Will the Channel map be available for Co-op in the online mode.
It’s available now.

Are you working on the bombers bombsigths? The german one dont work completely , (the triangle that shows when the bomb drop occur isnt working)
We’ll see if we can get this in. The list of issues is dozens of pages long, and the amount of time to do everything is almost astronomical. We’re tying to prioritize.

I know you stated the next CloD patch will be the last, so that means any fixes, advances and such into the game engine that come from the sequel will not be translated at some time or another back into CloD? Will Clod be completely abandoned in whatever state the final patch leaves it with no hope small updates, etc?
Why would you think that? We’ve never done that before, and I’ve always stated that our plans remain the same. There were many issues in the original IL-2 in 2001. After a few updates to the original, Forgotten Battles was released and there were no more updates to the original Il-2. That doesn’t mean it was abandoned however! You can still play all of the original Il-2 content with 1946, all carried over and updated with the rest of the engine.

Any chance of stopping the trees and their attendant shadows looking like they're having an epileptic fit?
I would think most of the community should know by now that mentioning epilepsy to the team is a very, very bad idea.

If your team cannot fix this first game, and give us what was originally promised/expected, what is there to show us that the new game will be any better, and worth our support, dedication, and more importantly, our money?
Don’t give us your money on day 1.

First of all, I see that my brand of humor offended some people. I forget sometimes that some fans are so passionate about this game they can’t take anything but straight out plain answers, so I’ll answer some of the earlier questions again.

4. Could you tell us how you test your alpha/beta patches before release, many of them have broken has much as they have fixed and your customers are left scratching their heads wondering how you could of missed some of the most obvious bugs, such as the hurricane not starting. Also could you tell me what online servers you or your employees use to test the game.
The entire point of an alpha-beta patch is to TEST things. If an alpha-beta patch had no problems, it wouldn’t be called an alpha-beta patch, it would be called a release patch.
We release these test patches fully aware that a portion of the community will get upset over every issue and blame us for it, but we’re still doing it because it allows us to test our software on a wide range of hardware by a huge number of people, and locate and fix problems much faster than if we test in-house.
Programmers themselves usually do a limited amount of testing, and that’s precisely why it’s always a good idea to have their work tested by other people when they think they’re done. Our other employees are usually far too busy to thoroughly test patches, and external teams of professional testers we have access to are not, you know, simmers and if we test with them we’ll get nowhere near the feedback we get over here.
So, we will continue to use this approach in the future as well.
I just want to add however that if you are one of the people who gets really, really upset when alpha or beta software does not work perfectly then please, please don’t participate in beta tests. I’m not being sarcastic or snarky, I sincerely mean it. Beta tests will always be buggy by definition.

2. Have you had serious problems re-writing the various code routines?
You’ve seen how hard it was for us to redo graphics. AI and radio comms are even worse. Flight models? Nightmare.
The only time redoing a feature turned out well was when we redid the sound engine. Pleasant surprise for everyone.

Are you ever going to fix the severe particle effects fps issues without resorting to making the effect look like it was made with lego?
Yes, the current particle system still needs a lot of work.

You say you are 'not proud' of Cliffs of Dover' and fair enough you should not be.
Will you be offering a discount on the sequel, to people who bought Cliffs of Dover, as an apology?
I’m not in charge of setting prices in any way. I seriously doubt that any of the people who are responsible for setting prices and distributing the product would ever consider anything like that. If I were to suggest something like this to me they’d look at me with big crazy eyes, quietly walk away, and never speak to me again.


1. What exactly is the awesome feature never done in a flight sim before you told us about at some point?
Previously answered – can’t reveal yet.

2. What is, or when can we expect to hear the June/July announcement?
Previously answered. Sorry, not my call.

3. Will the radio comms be fully completed and working in the CoD patch? or at the sequel's launch?
Redoing and adding a lot for the sequel.

4. Will the most urgent AI bugs:
- AI not following your radio comm commands
- AI not following you as a flight leader
- AI not considering you a part of their flight
- AI flying straight into terrain
- AI landing procedures
- AI waiting for player warm up (even if they don't have player's CEM, they can be forced to wait for a few mins before starting up)
bugs be fixed for the CoD patch or sequel (which bugs in which patch/release)?
Sorry, sequel.

5. Was sighting ghosts bug fixed and will the fix be included into the CoD patch/BoM sequel?
We hope it’s been fixed in the RC patch. I see some reports that it isn’t, so we’ll start investigating on Monday.

6. Was the netcode looked for, and bugs like flying ships or warping planes fixed for the CoD patch?
See the most recent patch notes.

7. When can we expect to receive a dedicated server?
Dedicated server shipped with the initial release?

8. Will we get own airframe hit visual and sound effects added/bug fixed for the CoD patch/BoM sequel (and in which)?
This is something that we’ll make sure is in the final release patch.

9. Will model LOD/dots transition be fixed for the CoD patch/BoM sequel (and in which)?
We are looking into this, the current situation is unintended.

10. Will model LODS range (like terrain targets not visible even if in a proper distance, and warping out from dot to a big model - ships, buildings and facilities - things which are practically destroying bombing and recon missions) be fixed for the CoD patch/BoM sequel (and in which)?
We won’t address ground object LODs in Cliffs of Dover.

11. Will the aircraft loads GUI be fixed for the CoD patch/BoM sequel (and in which)?
Completely redoing the entire GUI for the sequel.

12. Will working clouds/rain (at least a basic, static, decent weather system) be available back for the CoD patch/BoM sequel (and in which)?
It’s nowhere ready at the moment, so you won’t see it before the sequel is released.

13. Will flickering shadows be fixed for for the CoD patch/BoM sequel (and in which)?
Unfortunately, it’s working is intended at the moment. See most other current gen games.
All our shadows are saved into something called a shadow map, a single shadow texture that is then placed on top of the landscape and other objects. The shadow map is of a standard resolution. The technology often leads to a case where a shadow map pixel is not the same size as a terrain or object pixel underneath it. As the camera moves, the shadow map is redrawn and reapplied, and the mismatched shadow map pixels appear to shift or shimmer. This is especially noticeable with a large amount of small objects.
The only solution is to increase the size of the shadow map, and that leads to a huge performance hit so it's not an option at this time.

14. Why can not the trees be made darker, as they should, by a simple texture modification?
Don’t have an answer.

15. What features were removed from the current engine (due to optimization reasons)? will they be added back into it, and when, please?
Few features were outright removed. The only thing, if I remember correctly, that we had and you guys could not access was player-controllable ground vehicles. Other features may have been modified, shrunk, or not completed to desired specs, but I can’t even remember anything that was cut per se.

Will there be anymore flyable aircraft added to COD in the future?
They’re too expensive to make to release for free, and we can’t possibly hope to make any money selling them as DLC for Cliffs of Dover.

Is the video recording to record the fixed and the outside view in a server with which it is deaktivatet. Because as far as I can remeber me this unfortunately did not work, and so online battles and events on Full Realitic can't be made movies or other video.
It’s working as intended. View settings cannot be changed in a track, otherwise people would just record a track online, quickly play it back on another machine, and see exactly where all the enemy planes are.

When the bug with flight of bombs underground, found at the time of a patch v1.05.15950 , and described here will be corrected? Do you know about that bug? The bug still is present аt BETA PATCH v.1.08.18956
It appears that the track did not record the bomb bouncing off the roof. If you watch bombs dropped at a shallow angle in real time (i.e. while flying) you’ll see that they’ll bounce. This is what happened, but apparently the bounce didn’t play back in the track.

Luthier, you spent considerable time making some vehicles drivable, I guess it dawned on someone at some point that due to the fact there is no collision model on the tree's any kind of ground vehichle usage is pretty much defunct, do you think you could of spent all that time better by trying to fix the flying part of the game?
I’m not the only employee here. We have different people with different skill sets. The person who worked on player-controllable vehicles has absolutely nothing to do with aircraft or any flying part of the game.

I want to ask that you don't loose sight of the fact this is a game and the importance of "Game Play" isnt lost in the effort to "fix" CLOD and release new content for the sequel. More content in a new theatre with slightly better graphics and dynamic weather and "better simulation" or what ever other features you introduce wont make up for bad game play and game dynamics... I think you know what I mean by this. The game, bottom line, also needs to be fun.
1. In anycase, my question is, do you think you can do better with "gameplay" in the sequel? Whether that be, "MMO" or a new "co-op" mode or team "death match", "capture the flag" these kinds of things from a flightsim perspective for the online world would bring a bit of variety. The other obvious thing missing from CLOD was a campaign...
Definitely very important considerations. In addition to myself, we now have several new game designers working very hard on improving gameplay elements and creating interesting, exciting, new online modes.
Now that the game engine is rather mature and we aren’t constantly distracted by FPS or crashes, we can finally take a deep breath and start, you know, making a game out of all this.

2. Will a sequel contain the ability or content for a dynamic campaign? or even better, a rolling dynamic online war, where choices your team makes determine the outcome of a battle over a number of days or weeks?

Agree and support and would like to add to this question...will the sequel include a dynamic campaign?
The community can build missions and static campaigns and for 1946 the best campaigns were comunity made. Desastersoft does great static campaigns. Heinkill does fantastic historic and alt history missions.
(hurts his eye winking, ow)

Question, is the Dev team aware of the "new" flicker issue in the zoom mode when dogfighting? Several members, including myself, are experiencing this bug for the first time. Other than with that, happy with the progress, and hoping the final patch and sequel are a hit.
Yes, we are aware of it. Sorry, we don’t have a solution yet, looking hard into it.

Will AI get the attention it deserves? Offline players are not happy with this at the moment.
It is getting the attention it deserves. Unfortunately the code is so bloated and complex, changes to it take forever. See how long it took us to get the graphics working – the AI is even worse.

Luthier, Is there any prospect of opening up COD for the community modders to improve content/gameplay & fix bugs? Perhaps with some sort of mechanism to allow 1C/dev's to "approve" altered content. I've always believed that there are community skills that could be utilised "for free" to improve COD which would relieve some of the load on the development team.
See earlier about the mods

When you state that no other developer would have supported this release as much as you people have really gets me annoyed, Mr Shevchenko could you tell me in what other form of business could such a complete mess have been released as a working product without a recall and demands for a refund??. I think you should be grateful that 1C are still employing you and the team given the failure in an 18 month time period to fix this product to a satisfactory level??.
Well I could always run for senate.

On ATAG it`s very easy to lose sight of targets or chase ones that simply aren`t there,
can that be fixed please?
We’re hoping it’s been fixed in Friday’s RC,

I know you have said that there will only be one more patch before the sequel but is there any possibility that features that were going to be in COD and are being made in the sequel could be tested in COD?
No, I don’t believe so.

Is there a way that you can make the sequel(s) independent of Steam please? I'm wanting to be able to buy a CD and install it and be able to play it in the distant future (I'm saying when I'm 36 in 20 years about) without having to worry about Steam. That is just hope that I have since I hope to continue flying this for as long as I can (devolpment of the original IL-2 started before I was born and it's my favorite game that I own).
Thank you for your support and your kind words! I can’t make any comments on online platforms for the sequels at this time however, and I really wish I could.

Luthier, you say that many core problems will be fixed by the sequel but there will only be one more CoD patch. The fact that the sequel can be loaded over CoD means that CoD will benefit from all of those improvements. These may be net code, LODs etc which we may have to wait for.
BUT! Unique CoD issues have only one more chance. This essentially means the map and the aircraft. Everything else would seem to be 'core' although I may have missed something.
As stated previously, it’s still my hope that we’ll release a map-making SDK allowing the community to change the existing map as they see fit.
Aircraft – as I wrote previously, they won’t be abandoned with the upcoming final patch. We are carrying everything over to the sequel, and they will get the same attention as new sequel aircraft and definitely benefit from our future efforts.

The BoB was to have been the flagship of the SoW series (as it was originally called) and for a very good reason. It was the iconic air battle of the war and particularly spotlighted air combat between the fighters. CoD cannot even come close if the FMs for the aircraft are incorrect. Anything else is just noise or are core issues that will be fixed anyway.
We still want to fight the BoB on a realistic basis as far as the aircraft are concerned, particularly the fighters.
Will you please confirm that if the FMs are still not close to historical data when we beta test them in the next patch (as regards basic performance like speed, climb and turn) you will put maximum effort onto this important CoD aspect and get them right or promise a final patch that fixes this single important aspect?

Originally Posted by kendo65 View Post
Can I say regarding the bolded bit from your quote above that I disagree somewhat. For sure some here will be hostile no matter what you do. Others, myself included, sometimes feel that poor communication needlessly creates antagonism - eg the delay in providing answers to these questions. A simple post on the forum saying they were delayed but upcoming would have been enough to smooth things over until they were ready.

Some of us who want to be supportive feel that the (lack of) communication here is sometimes more damaging than the issues with the game.

If that could be improved i think people would feel more involved and on your side.
I meant that it wouldn’t do anything for the bottom line, for sales. Whatever I do here today won’t sell any new copies, and it will have no effect on the sequel.
The only reason we ever did anything with the game, starting as far back as about last May, was for forum brownie points. It was clear enough even then that any additional fixes won’t pay the bills, that the only way for us to survive financially is to release a good sequel, fix any issues with Cliffs of Dover while making the sequel, and grandfather CoD content into it.
We made the decision then to try to release as many of the fixes as we can in the shape of free updates for Cliffs of Dover and hope that it restores some of the trust and placates the community. That unfortunately never materialized. The community is as hostile as ever, and for most of us the general atmosphere of “you fixed X, about time, let’s never mention it again, now why the hell aren’t you fixing Y” is extremely tiring. Again, don’t feel like being all PC today. Definitely not judging anyone for their attitude or saying they have no right to feel that way, but I personally can only take so much abuse, and that’s why I post here so rarely.
To me, the product speaks for itself, and my efforts on the forums are secondary. I feel that if the people aren’t happy with my product when they play it, I certainly can’t convince them to like it by posting about it on the forums.

Originally Posted by GF_Mastiff View Post
yea' but now there seems to be texture lod issues again with the 109s disappearing when 300 meters away either this is modeling issue or texture

planes are causing micro stutters when they get near my plane

Spits won't start

Hurricanes won't start

throttle settings are incorrect

Boost scale is way off

Single player customization ammo load outs are not working

objects and horizon are visible through the cockpits again

objects are visible through the terrain and clouds

now if those were fixed, I think 95% of us would be happy with it.
Great list, thank you! Do everything we can for the final release.