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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.