DCS World is by and large the greatest combat simulator ever made for PC, so long as you don’t want certain things and I am saying this as some one who LOVES Falcon 4.0/BMS which is to me the greatest THEATER Combat Simulator ever made for PC. What’s the difference? Well one is designed simply to run a mission the others designed to run missions and campaigns, but despite all this DCS World has you in a love hate relationship and one that if we went to councilling we’d likely have been put into restraining orders on. What do I mean by that? Well the simple fact is that for everything we all praise DCS for, there are just as many things which cause us headaches and Eagle Dynamics while better these past few months since Nick Grey got more hands on with everything still seems to either Ignore it, blame it on ‘mission editors’ or things like that.
Let us be clear about something here, DCS World is meant to simulate MODERN AIR COMBAT, so that means everything that can and does happen in the modern situation, however it often falls on it’s arse when it comes to doing this. Take this very groups flight last night, a mission were by and large no more assets were airborne then would not have been during a proper combat mission, ground forces were actually FAR less then what would have been deployed and yet we saw stutters for some and explosion making issues for others, coupled with Datalink and Radar issues, AI that didn’t want to communicate etc and yet if you ‘report’ this to ED you get ‘send us a track file’, so you do that and they will instantly normally point the finger at one of the following.
- you have too ‘complex’ a mission
- your using moose or something and that’s to blame.
However these are not valid excuses or causes to be pointing to why? Because in the case of the first item, that other combat sim Falcon BMS has far far far more complex environments going, hundreds if not at times over a thousand units within the play area and all working with out any hitches. And the second isn’t because MOOSE and the scripts like it only use DCS’s OWN LUA API! So if they are ‘breaking’ a mission it’s because DCS’s own engine isn’t handling the LUA API correctly.
Couple that with the other issues we see and you start to get frustrated, Missions that work for an extended time suddenly ‘break’ or run ‘worse’ after a patch (last nights), systems released to Open Beta in a state that has you question that they were tested properly in ‘Internal testing’ because if they were then they should never have made it to open beta.
Beyond all these issues we then have the improved but still massive lack of communication in the form of Roadmaps, deadlines etc. It’s not uncommon for us the user base to ask something about a feature or the like and either get told ‘Later in Early Access’, ‘Oh its coming’ or ‘Its early access’. These are not and should not be valid answers, ‘Later in Early Access’ should be something like ‘This will be coming after we hit milestones 2,3,4 and have released x,y,z’ and the ‘Its Early Access’ excuse is just that these days an excuse because Eagle Dynamics has that many MODULES in Early Access that lets be clear if you want to be able to play competatively on a MULTIPLAYER server you have little choice but to buy a EARLY ACCESS module. Why? Because the only ‘modern’ fighters are ‘EA’ titles, the rest are dumbed down Flaming Cliffs aircraft that a lot of us are NOT here to fly. And while the A-10C is awesome, it’s also not what a chunk of our users want to use.
Eagle NEEDS to get the road maps out, it also needs to start closing out EA projects with out starting new ones, but we don’t see that happening. Right now we have the Hornet and the Viper both in Early Access and if we get down right honest the UH-1H too, seems Bellsimtek was remerged into ED and the simple fact is that the UH-1H STILL has missing features (Multicrew), then ontop of this we have yet another ‘module’ about to come out into EA the ‘Super Carrier’ and no roadmap at all as to when any of these products are going to be ‘completed’.
Add to this the ever seemingly decreasing performance, the lack of proper threading and DCS is at times rapidly ‘frustrating’ and yet despite what is now a few hundred words of ranting, we all still use it… why?
Because in the end it’s the best offering on the market and what it does do well it’s second to none at, VR wise you get immersed to the hilt so long as you ignore the visibility issues (another love/hate), systems wise it’s matched only by the love and care some of the Flight Sim companies give to big names and unlike other flight simulators by and large DCS World is ‘Start and Go’, and the memories and stories you can tell when it is ‘Start and Go’ are what brings this community together.
We are reaching the end of the 2019 year, I hope.. No I BEG that 2020 is better, because we NEED it to be, we NEED Eagle Dynamics to start squishing Bugs, we need them to start addressing performance issues, we NEED them to start solving the issues with unit counts and we especailly need them to solve the issues with MP performance. We also NEED them to stop pointing at things like Scripting and mission complexity especially when these things are running on dedicated server machines etc. Because there is no excuse for a ‘modern’ game to handle things worse then a 20 year old one.
I love DCS, but god after this weekend it has me frustrated, because I want to be able to enjoy the game with my friends, I want to have more of those moments were Boozer PIO’s into a tanker, were Mez leads a flight to take out 2 – 3 times it’s numbers to watch Ocean and Sig get better and better in their birds, to see Boads trash missiles an cut back to kill a target, or Ali Cat finally remember what a system does 😉 These are the moments, events etc that make DCS so enjoyable when your having soo much fine and the like that you some times forget your in a game.
And yet, again this year they are being spoilt by the issues mentioned already. So my christmas wish this year is this..
Please Eagle Dynamics, Play me a tune, make the the best flight combat simulator, I’ve ever seen and…
- Please Eagle Dynamics, get us proper roadmaps to release.
- Please Eagle Dynamics, get performance and threading issues under control, especailly in Multiplayer.
- Please Eagle Dynamics, get your AI working properly.
- Please Eagle Dynamics, as part of 2, get it so that proper large scale missions can be ran, because with out it a Dynamic Campaign is pointless anyway.
- Please Eagle Dynamics, Give me a Data Cart and a way to PLAN MISSIONS in Multiplayer.
Now some will say this is a rant against DCS, it’s not.. I write this because I love DCS, anyone who flies with me knows it, it’s my hobby these days and I want it to do better, I want it to BE better.
And I believe honestly it can DO better.