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Friday, February 28, 2014

New pilot uniforms for CoD

No sign of the 4.2 bug fix patch yet, but Team Fusion has corrected the uniforms for the pilots and crew in time for the next release. No more dress uniforms in the cockpit!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sadly we were right...there is no DCS WWII FW190D

We predicted that the DCS WWII beta FW190D would not be delivered as promised this month and unfortunately that turns out to be the case.

From the Devs latest update:

On the Fw 190D-9 front, we’ve hit a bit of an unexpected barrier. While we have gigabytes of original factory documents on this aircraft, as it turns out, some of the less important systems just don’t have a good enough technical description in any of the sources available to us. It was a lot easier with the P-51 because we had access to a living breathing aircraft and to the men who fly it. With the Dora, we don’t have that luxury.

We have a list of about a dozen questions on things like the circuit breaker panel and the oxygen system and info plates like deviation tables and Baumusterkartes. We need to have one last internal discussion Monday, and then we’ll probably post these publicly. Hopefully someone in the community will have some rare bit of knowledge that we don’t that will allow us to close that final tiny gap in our references.

Crash and burn, the current state of DCS WWII

It doesn't sound like a flyable FW190D is even close to alpha, let alone beta. Also promised for February 2014 was alpha access for backers of 80 USD or more. That aint going to happen either, and no word on when it will.

Strange that the devs choose to communicate with their backers in this way, without telling them upfront about delays. No apology, no 'sorry you paid for something you are not getting', just a 'we are delayed' comment in a general update.

That might be OK for a slight delay, but when you promised a flyable beta in February 2014 and clearly haven't even started on an alpha, it is just plain misinformation.

We are revising our estimated delivery date for the finished DCS WWII project to Q1 2016 (if it arrives at all) based on current lack of progress and general indications of the (usual for Shevchenko projects) apparent lack of project management skills and ability to meet deadlines.

Shevchenko talks in his latest update about the sadness of what is happening in Kiev, and how he hoped to be able to fly there in the near future. Maybe he should spend a little less of his backers money on aviation fuel, and a little more on the project they paid for?

And how long before Eagle Dynamics / DCS steps in and starts looking at how this project and the way it is being managed, is tarnishing their own brand? He is using the DCS name on this project, and so far, it seems that all it has generated, is broken promises and unhappy backers.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

'Most Wanted' improvement to Cliffs of Dover

A poll on the ATAG forum about which feature in the upcoming 4.2 patch is most wanted, shows that most players just want the bugs in the 4.0 patch fixed!

Top of the list was a fix for the 'lawndarts bug' introduced in patch 4.0, which caused AI aircraft which were in a dive, to bury themselves into the ground 9 times out of ten. The main reason the 4.2 patch has taken so long to release (several months now) according to Team Fusion, is because all of the AI flight models had to be recoded to overcome the issue and the work + testing is taking much longer than expected.

Next most sought after are new ground handling dynamics and revised (hopefully LESS deadly) AI gunner accuracy.

Surprisingly, 'mannable flak guns' in online play also polled well, indicating vulching is alive and well on the CoD servers and players can't wait for a bit of Bofors Revenge.

Poll Results: The most soughtafter 4.2 features are...

81. You have already voted on this poll

Single player lawndart fix 22.22%

New ground handling dynamics 14.81%

New coastal features and buildings 8.64%

Updated reflections, bump mapping 4.94%

Revised AI bomber gunner accuracy 13.58%

Revised tracer and particle effects to help FPS 8.64%

Mannable flak guns 9.88%

Animated pilot and revised bailout animation 6.17%

Revised AAA accuracy 11.11%

Corrected ammo lights in 109s 00%

Cool new skins for Battle of Britain II Bf109s


Galland Red 8, IIIJG26 North Africa







Aircraft of Battle for Malta for CoD


(Download these skins HERE)

Fliegerkorps X Bf110C7

Fliegerkorps X Bf110C4

Fliegerkorps X Bf109E/4N Catania airfield Sicily

Fliegerkorps X Bf109E4b Jabo

KG26 He111

LG1 Ju88

261 Squadron Hurricane I (100oct)

Hal Far Flight Hurricane I

249 Squadron Spitfire Ia (100 Oct), Luqa and Takali

Tiger Moth courier flight

113 Squadron Blenheim

Fiat G.50 Trapani airfield

Regia Aeronautica Ju87



Heinkel He115

'Fairey Fulmar' on convoy CAP

FW200 naval recon

Malta Wellington Strike Force

Walrus coastal patrol

Hal Far flight Gladiators

Regia Aeronautica CR42

Research and mission design by Heinkill
REDUX scripting by Bolox and Gabuzomeu
MTO skins from: Waler, AttFish, Wotan, V@s’OK, and Setback

Available March 2014.

DCS World FW190D due this month?

Our very confident prediction? You won't see it.

When Ilya Shevchenko ran a Kickstarter project to raise money for his new DCS WWII project he promised a lot of 'awards' to backers.

Among them was this one, for people throwing in $85 or more

DCS World Tier 2. Everything at the $50 level, plus a digital copy of DCS World FW-190D-9 with beta access (when available in early 2014).
Estimated delivery: Feb 2014

If you were one of those backers, you might be excitedly sitting at your PC hitting F5 on the project update website every day now, hoping to get a key to download the new flyable FW190 Dora you were promised.

Unfortunately, experience would suggest you are wasting your time. There has been nothing shown in the project updates from WIP on this aircraft - neither 3D models, or cockpit graphics, let alone shots of it in flight in beta stage (just a screenshot of a manual).

And for months now, backers of the project have been complaining that they did not get keys for the P-51D promised last year. See the latest in a long line of unanswered posts here:

  1. 13518_thumb2.small

    AirHog71 about 14 hours ago

    Hi IIya ... what's happening with the below? If it's going to be delayed then that's fine, but I think we need to be kept informed.
    Alpha Access to DCS WWII (available Feb 2014)
    Copy of DCS World: P-51D Mustang (available Oct 2013)
    SPECIAL: Copy of DCS World: FW.190D-9 (available Feb 2014). ONLY AVAILABLE WITH THE $80 PLEDGE OR HIGHER.
  2. Missing_small

    Matthew Hill 3 days ago

    How do we go about getting the P51 key for DCS world if not received yet?
  3. Missing_small

    Chance 5 days ago

    Has anyone received any communication about the rewards? It has been 4 months now.
  4. Missing_small

    Alfredo Croci on Feb 12

    Very nice all this....
    But when approximately will be seeing the game completed?
  5. Missing_small

    Chivas on Feb 10

    I received my P51 Key, soon after Kickstarter closed. Luthier has been giving regular updates, BUT it is concerning that Luthier hasn't bothered to address peoples concerns with the rewards. Another concern is the cryptic post my one of their terrain artists regarding some sort of lack of support there. Luthier should find a good communicator quickly to shore up the sims flagging support. You'll gain some of that support back with a good product, but you don't want the forums spammed with discontent, that the last unfinished product garnered.
  6. Missing_small

    Bodhi Stone on Feb 9

    Hi Ilya,
    Some of your backers are still waiting for their DCS World P-51 keys.

You can read the full trail of woe here:

Not only has the website comments section been overflowing with unhappy backers who claim to have not received what they were promised, but there has been no communication from the devs to address these complaints for several months.

Which is a mystery, because someone (Ilya Shevchenko supposedly) is posting project updates on the website right beside the comments. See the latest here: 

So what the heck is going on? Some people claim to have received their P-51 key and many claim they have not. There is little confidence the promised FW190D will be delivered, despite requests on the same website for devs to confirm a delivery date. Yet Shevchenko, the developer, is happily posting updates about writing manuals for the aircraft (though admittedly, not many updates of actual work ín progress on the sim).

Hmmmm...if the promised FW190D does not appear this month, or at least the devs provide an updated delivery time for it, we can only conclude, there is something very rotten happening with DCS WWII.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do you do your simming on a laptop?

If so, you are in a tiny minority!

Although good, grunty gaming laptops are now affordable and hugely popular with players of FPS and racing titles, it seems they are very much out of favour with simmers.

Which gaming rig do you spend most time per week using
Only one choice allowed (102 total votes)
Desktop PC-83 (81%)
Laptop PC-8 (8%)
iDevice-2 (2%)
Android device-1 (1%)
Console-8 (8%)
(Source, SimHQ)

I am one of the few. I use an ASUS G750JW. 17.3" screen, i7-4700HQ CPU, 8GB RAM, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M, 750GB hybrid SSD/HD drive, it cost me around 1600 USD here in Denmark, EU. The same money, for a purpose built gaming rig from the same supplier would have got me no screen, an i5 4440 CPU, 8GB RAM, GTX 770 2GB, and a 120GB SSD. Pretty much a wash, assuming you already have a good screen.

(If those prices seem high, welcome to Scandinavia...most of that is taxes...)

I go for a portable, because I travel a lot for work, sometimes for weeks at a time, and so I can throw my 4kg rig into my hand baggage (it doubles as my work PC), put the power brick and a joystick into my suitcase, and I am covered.

With my Kindle or iPad mini, some papers, Bose headphones and a packet of mints, I get in just under the hand baggage allowance and don't have to watch hotel cable TV on those (few) nights I am not in a bar or steakhouse with colleagues.

I guess the reason most people are not like me, is the sheer weight of peripherals that can become 'essential' for dedicated simmers, and the fact other people leave their hobby in their mancave, where it belongs. I would blow my baggage allowance totally if I tried to bring pedals, throttle, TrackIR etc etc 

Good luck getting this in your hand luggage!

But still, I don't get why people don't go for the best of both worlds. Plug the laptop into a dock in the picture above, and you can still take your hobby on the road when your wife insists you join for that 3 day visit to the in-laws.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Team Fusion patch 4.2 preview

Team Fusion recently announced on the 1C Maddox forums that their upcoming mod patch will bring so many features it will be labelled 'Team Fusion Mod version 4.2', not 4.01 as previously discussed.

New coastal landmarks for the newly labelled 'update 4.2'. Above, Folkestone Harbour WIP in CoD, compared with the current benchmark, Folkestone in BOBII, below.

And the already mooted major upgrade in version 5.0 (believed to include new flyables, and a new map) is so big that version 5.0 will be jumped over as well, and the next release will be version 6.0.


Spokesman Mystic Puma said on the 1C forum:

v4.2 = Loads more work than a v4.01, more than a v4.1 and enough of a change so that after it comes out v5.00 can become v6.0
Actually, it really is just down to the amount of work that has gone into it, so instead of a bug fix patch, this really adds a lot more

Software numbering conventions state that: (after an initial software release) in subsequent releases, the major number is increased when there are significant jumps in functionality such as changing the framework which could cause incompatability with interfacing systems, the minor number is incremented when only minor features or significant fixes have been added, and the revision number is incremented when minor bugs are fixed.

For the project to jump by two minor increments from 4.0 to 4.2 would imply there was a release version which was not released, and then more content was added.

And for the project to jump not just one, but two major numbers forward from v4 to v6, would require two leaps forward which make the software incompatible with previous versions.

Is the hyperbola justified?

Late last year Team Fusion came out with patch 4.0 for their Cliffs of Dover mod. It was not the great leap forward they had hoped for, and the reaction from single player fans was not kind. The update was great for online play, but broke the single player game, so they have been working since then on fixing those bugs, and had planned this year to release an update called patch 4.01.

But this small hotfix became a major update, as the single player fix itself took more time than expected, allowing new content to be added:

- Single player 'lawndart' fix
- Integration of the Enlightened Florist dynamic campaign engine
- Reworked ground handling dynamics
- New coastal landmarks including Brighton, Folkestone, Dunkirk, Calais
- Updated reflection and bump mapping
- 'Lost' models eg bombs, trains and tunnels made available in game
- Changed AI bomber gunner accuracy
- Netcode optimisation
- Airfield sirens
- Revised tracer and particle effects to improve FPS
- Corrected ammunition lights in Bf109s
- Animated pilot in player aircraft
- Flak guns can be manned
- Revised 'default' AI values to improve AI combat abilities at all levels
- Revised bailout animation (WiP)
- Revised AAA accuracy

Certainly there is plenty of potential improvement there and if calling it version 4.2 keeps the team motivated, more power to them!

Now lets look at the version 5.0 update becoming version 6.0

Ships ahoy, for Team Fusion v5.0, err... 6.0?

The announced features for the next major update include:

- new flyables: variants of existing AI aircraft eg cannon armed Spitfire and Hurricane, flyable Wellington or Beaufighter, rather than completely new aircraft
- new ships including heavy cruisers and battleships, uboats and destroyers. No sign of an aircraft carrier yet. The ship models shown seem to indicate a move to the Mediterranean theatre.
- new map/theatre: again, all logic points to the MTO is the theatre of choice (makes sense given the planeset available is limited to 1940-41, and the ships being shown were classes that were fielded in the Med)
- new landscape features such as hedgerows
- modified contrail effects
- Uboat pens
- Barrage balloon nets
- New shader allowing effects such as low smoke and fog
- Cockpits repaints of Bf110s
- Improved sound engine

Updated maps with hedgerows: for version 6.0?

Not sure why the next release would be a 6.0 rather than a 5.0 but again, whatever keeps you motivated Team Fusion!

So what's next? Hurricanes on the moon perhaps?