Alternate Spotting on/off comparison – IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte

Alternate Spotting on/off comparison – IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte

I did a poll yesterday and here is the result so far.

poll result

There is a new option tick-box in realism settings to enhance long range visibility of other aircraft. Here is a comparison of the same flightpath past a 12 bird dogfight with 6 AAA, with the Alternate option ticked, the with it unticked.

Latest action

Latest action

I am liking the fast paced action on the Official EU 1C server – if you want to practice dogfighting and hone your skills, there’s no better place, and I’m very enthusiastic about the new fairly well populated and growing servers for Flying Circus. Flying Circus is a blast – its SO MUCH FUN!!

Fokker D.VIIF Vs SE5a & Bristol F2 (IL-2 Sturmovik: Flying Circus – Volume I)

What a great thing this is! There is a real great enthusiasm in the multiplayer Arras map, and it is just really good fun. The D.VIIF is the more powerful version of the best fighter of WW1 – the Fokker DVII. I bagged a player driven SE5a and a probably ai Bristol F2. Then I made it back across the front line ‘no mans land’ and searched for the nearest airfield. I not the village near where I landed was complete with a black and white cow and other interesting detail. Also I went into the fight with radiator shut and I luckily caught it and opened it just in time.

Hawker Tempest Vs Bf109 & FW190 (IL-2 Great Battles)

A great fun dogfight session on the EU 1C server, I bagged 5 fighters in 16 minutes with the Tempest, the action is very fast paced and yes its on the arcade-side of gameplay because map icons and aircraft tags are on, also external view is on, but its very fun and not much investment of time to get straight into the action. The benefit too, is you can practice maneuvers over and over again, for example, right now I am working on my scissor attack and I pulled one off in this vid.

P40 Vs FW190 & Bf109 (IL-2 BOM)

 

How to Multiplayer – NOOBS read here.

How to Multiplayer – NOOBS read here to:

– Lessen problems, maximise results

target

I’ve figured out a few things in multiplayer – heres what I know.

Yesterday, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I awoke with a headache! Basically I reckon all the neck-craning and kind of looking out the window with trackIR (Window of the plane that is) and further holding my squinting gaze in a particular area of the ground below for several hours had taken it’s toll. This is a kind of neck and viewing stress position and I think the way to overcome this, is to actually use the mouse to spot until a target appears and then switch to TrackIR.

When I do spot a target and I dive, I notice some kind of adrenaline effect and I have to basically tell myself to breath slower/deeper whatever.

The big problem is finding the action. Firstly ask where to fly?, Which target will the enemy strike first? Say you have 4 main ground structures that you need to defend, I’m seeing that often the enemy will mass swarm one target at a time and sequentially move up (or down) the map hitting one target at a time until they destroy each target in turn and consequently win the map.

target 2

The map shows a cross on the targets that have already been destroyed, so for example, if you can see of your four ground structures, the one in the South has a cross on the map (its destroyed), You can fairly reasonably assume the next target to the North will be hit next, unless maybe there is something bigger and juicier further up.

destroyed ground structure

Our Bomber Base (A ground structure we must defend) changed icon to a cross when destroyed. But North is the Engineer Corps, that can be defended next.

Really important to grasp zoom.

You want to fly along in zoomed out view, because this makes other aircraft visible as dots, but if you’re zoomed in or at normal neutral zoom, you wont see them. Its counter intuitive, but for now that’s how it works and if you want to spot another aircraft, you had better be zoomed out.

Secondly, to find an enemy aircraft you can head to the likely current target of the enemy’s focus and basically circle around above it, waiting until the enemy arrives. You likely wont directly see the enemy aircraft below you when you look down at the ground and the structure below, but you will see their attack taking place, because you see the AAA start to open up with tracer from multiple directions, triangulating the enemy plane and you see the tracer from the enemy plane, as well as smoke and vapor trails the damaged plane gives off. From all this you can infer a enemy’s location and start you diving attack. If your very high up you must cut the engine power in the dive to avoid GLOC (Geforce induced loss of consciousness) on pull out.

target 4

You can also (On Combat Box server and others too) see status messages on the top of the screen “Enemy aircraft detected near our bridge 1410” and that gives an indication of which target they may be heading to.

Always press “i” to bring up the compass in the bottom left corner of the screen so you can effect your navigation around the map.

In the Tempest Ive found best success when actually slowing right down when I get near an enemy aircraft so I can strongly maneuver without suffering GLOC.

target top down

I find if I fly directly to a fight-area, such as a ground structure Im defending or attacking, and without climbing high up first, often experienced opponents will be waiting on the direct route to there from my airfield and will strike there, with great effect. To avoid this I now fly an obtuse rout to a destination, usually anything as long as its not a straight line from A to B.

You can sometimes get an idea where the action is from the in-game chat, sometimes a experienced multiplayer pilot will say “They’re in the North” or what have you. And also by keeping tabs on the destruction status techno chat auto messages, that tell you “PlayerXYZ destroyed bunker” “Player ABC destroyed Opel Blitz” etc. You can sometimes get a mental picture of what areas on the map might be under attack from that and comparing it to targets on the map.

If you don’t do those things, you are relying on pot luck to bump into the enemy and you may – as I have done far too much – end up flying around for 1.5 hours without finding any combat. You get sick of staring at the screen hunting for pixels and you get blase and then you get shot down out of the blue and that whole deal of a long long boring flight ended by getting shot down without even seeing the enemy plane, is very disheartening.

target high

The above is a way of proceeding where you rely on the method of finding enemy aircraft by going to your structures that you defend and circling above them and looking for tracer. There’s at least 2 more chapters to these enemy locating methods, which I haven’t covered, including when you fly out to attack an enemy’s structures as a bomber aircraft and when you fly into enemy territory as a fighter. I will cover those in later articles when I figure them out more. BUT I kind of know how to operate a bomber, and in brief, as a bomber aircraft going to an enemy structure to destroy it and make it back to your base, my best results occur when I DON’T FLY A DIRECT LINE from my base to the target and I fly an obtuse course, going to the target in a way that I end up approaching from the flanks – sides, or even from the rear, because the enemy fighters are MUCH less likely to see you there as they don’t often look there. You also want to fly high as energy is your friend in the escape. As a diving bomber, you can come in from high drop your bombs on the juiciest targets – say a line of parked planes at an airfield, then zoom up, turn around once only and dive on the second line of targets, say a single AAA gun or a truck and shoot it up, then with all your energy shallow climb zoom out of there and get away – either directly home, or off in a obtuse way – up to you on the return.

target 3

Also, with Allied aircraft, IMPORTANT, if you drop your bombs, from the deck ie low level, often they just don’t detonate! You need to be higher up and fast when you release to ensure detonation. Say release not less than 300m, 1000 feet above the deck and you will ensure it goes off, but obviously its harder to be accurate compared to a Axis bomber, which can release at zero altitude and expect flawless detonation every time. If you forget this one point in an Allied bomber, you will have wasted your 10-20 minute time of taking off flying to the target with a well selected route and aiming accurately, because it would be the same as dropping a dud on the target.

Finally – and I haven’t figured this all out yet, if you fly as a fighter to a enemy’s structure, you need to find a way to spot them, and you can easier see them silhouetted against the horizon if you’re low, and on the deck, but then you lose your energy advantage, but if your high up above them, you wont see them, unless you spot a pixel down there stiring in the forest, and dive on it to see what it is, or unless you see a air to air combat below, then you know its go time, but it is – I think – much harder to find enemy aircraft in enemy territory for the reasons above. Conversely as also mentioned earlier, you will more readily find enemy aircraft above your structures, because your AAA will be firing big bright bursts of tracer right at them, essentially pointing the way.

That is my basic understanding of multiplayer currently.

Hawker Tempest – Multiplayer – IL-2 Bodenplatte

Ive started flying to my defend points and circling above at the cloud level, until I see tracer from the AAA and then I know a target is flying somewhere below.

Tempest – several hours on the Bodenplatte map (IL-2 Bodenplatte)

In total was scored 2 kills in this session. I am starting to get a further ‘grasp’ of multiplayer and some new realisations are: well Ill write an article on it, but there is a lot to it anyway. In summary though: The enemy tends to focus on one target mostly at a time. If you want action, you need to find out what they are hitting. They seem to go from south to north or vice versa. I spent the first 30 minutes circling the tanks in the North, only to run out of fuel, with almost no action. Then I realised thanks to the in-game message chat thing, that the enemy was hitting the depot in the centre, so I went there with a new plane and got a kill. Then the action did shift North to the tanks, and I was back there again. However I could hardly spot or keep track of anything around me, even though in review I could see there were plenty of targets near by.

Tempest Vs Ju87, FW190, Bf109 (IL-2 Bodenplatte)

A multiplayer air combat including several victories.

Hawker Tempest ground attack mission full & duel with ME262 & Bf109K-4 (IL-2 Bodenplatte))

There were no axis on the server to begin with and only me and one other on Allies, so I just did ground attack the whole time and towards the end a 262 showed up at the Panzer column.

Some air combats in the Tempest

Flying Circus Multiplayer is now a thing – And it’s FUN!

Flying Circus Multiplayer is now a thing – And it’s FUN!

As of Friday I’m seeing two Flying Circus servers in multiplayer and they have some numbers on them. For some reason I felt quite elated in the two or three flights Ive done there and as the numbers grow, this has the potential to be even more awesome fun than it already is.

 

SE5a Vs. Albatros & Fokker D.VII on Arras Map (IL-2 Sturmovik: Flying Circus – Volume I)

Here is a multiplayer flight on the Arras map flying SE5a’s and Vs. a Albatros and a Fokker D.VII, then after that another D.VII. So Flying Circus is here, map and all, Is it any good? See for your self!

 

 

Flying Circus – Dolphin

Here’s a live vid I did.

 

Latest action

I have been focusing on the Hawker Tempest lately, here are some vids of it and also I did a 1st multiplayer Flying Circus vid, it was pretty awesome.

Tempest Bodenplatte map

Part of my marathon Tempest livestream

Hawker Tempest Bodenplatte Map

Tempest

P40 Vs FW190 & Bf109 (IL-2 BOM)

Tempest – Rhineland map, Combat Box

Ok I want to say upfront there was barely any action in this stream and also alot of the action that took place was poor quality… I was having huge trouble spotting aircraft in this stream, to the point I could see flak triangulating a plane directly below me, but couldnt ever see the plane and so on. I am starting to wonder if I should reduce my screen res to 1080, for multiplayer, because I fly in 1440p, and as far as targets go, I cant see S*%t. lol. There were around 30 players on the map and it is such a vast huge map, that it seemed empty. It may also only be worthwhile being on the server if it is close to 60 players. ***Update: I just had a look at the forum and it said Expert Spotting has been turned on on CB for the last 24 hrs. Man I gotta say Im running 1440p and I REALLY had trouble seeing anything in this map.

Tempest – IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte

Albatros DV – Multiplayer – IL-2 Sturmovik: Flying Circus – Volume I

Flying an Albatros DV in multiplayer. Pretty great fun, although I had a long wait to chase and climb combat. Am looking forward to the servers getting more permanent and populated.

Tempest compilation (IL-2 Bodenplatte)

On the EU 1c server: It is really good for practicing PvP because you are straight into the action and you get a great deal of combat experience and minimal travelling time.

IL-2 Bodenplatte – New Stuff – ground units trucks etc

Here is a look at some new stuff in IL-2 Bodenplatte. These are the Ai vehicles and ground units as well as the player controlled planes and the Ai B25.

Tempest Vs. Train – Combat Box

P51 high altitude (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte)

Mustang single player vs some D-9 & K-4 at 31,000 feet.

Tempest: Effect on He111 (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte)

Mustang Vs FW190 (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte)

P51D Mustang – High Altitude dogfight – IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte

High alt the Mustang is a bit faster than the K-4 but the difference is not too great.

P51D Mustang low altitude dogfight (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte)

Next I will do a high altitude dogfight to see how the performance is at around 25,000 feet against the same Axis fighters. I imagine the Mustang will then be relatively faster.
On the deck here, the P51 is slower than the K-4 and mostly slower than the D-9. The greatest risk is to go 70 manifold and burn out the engine trying to go faster. Better to just keep the power under 60 and preferably down in the green arc and just turn fight around with the occasional burst of speed.

P51D Mustang Air combat compilation (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte)

Mustang mostly on the 1C EU server.

P51D Mustang – Roaming far and wide – IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte

Mustang roaming around the Bodenplatte map.

P51D Mustang Vs Bf109 & Ju87 (IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Bodenplatte)

Zooming around in the Mustang – its a heck of a good fighter.

Spotting aircraft in Multiplayer

Spotting aircraft in Multiplayer

There are two modes for spotting that servers can run one is normal post update and the other is expert spotting.

The dust has mostly settled from this advancement and I have noticed some new aspects emerging.

Best thing I note is I can now actually navigate very well, by looking FAR into the distance in any direction and I can see a city or a lake out there and reference it on the map. This is so excellent.

On the day of the update I went on a server and I was amazed to see the sky was full of activity – there were contrails and smoke trails and flak bursts and multiple aircraft dotted the sky. I thought that was very good.

As of the last 24 hours Combat Box has been running Expert Spotting and the vid below is a long flight I did in this environment. My conclusion was that I couldnt see any aircraft.

It occurs to me that possibly higher screen resolution like 1440p makes spotting more difficult and I will be testing this idea soon. Many pilots say reducing the gamma makes spotting easier, but I dont really notice much difference whenever I try it.

One aspect is that if I see a plane in the distance and I zoom in on it, as soon as I zoom in it disappears and only reappears when I zoom out.

The VR pilots are often engaged in discussion about spotting as they have a different graphical representation than the rest of us viewing the game through a monitor panel/screen.

Often I only know a plane is there, because I see tracer fire either from another plane or the ground AAA units. I can see the tracer no problem, but the plane is totally invisible.

Often I see a plane over forest just disappear as I dive on it and am looking straight at it.

I reckon – this is again just my perception – that long distance I can see aircraft quite often, but as I fly to them they disappear. Ie in short distances/range the plane ghosts and vanishes, even though a minute or two before and from longer distance I could see it. My opinion is that the long distance spotting ability is GOOD and enhances things, but also the blind spot type thing in the near distance wants addressing.

So often in multiplayer I fly for a long time (40 minutes) without spotting a single plane, even though there are 20-30 player in the server. This is usually at higher altitude looking down, I just hardly ever see anything below. My multiplayer spotting technique basically is to hug the deck and spot silhouettes on the horizon.
This works for spotting, but then one loses any altitude energy advantage.

Another high visibility thing is lights, so when the lights are on, a plane can be easily seen near or far. Basically gun-fire-tracer and external navigation lights on a plane can be seen very very well, but the plane itself is usually on the subtle end of the visibility spectrum and often confounds a pursuer by phasing in and out of the scene as though it were visually a stealth fighter.

I dont want icons as a vis aid, but if some way could be made to make the planes more visible and consistently visible. Another idea is to use some stylisation like how in Battlefield V, the sniper scopes glint in the sun as soon as they are pointed at you so thats how you know the sniper has a bead on you – you see the stylised sun-glint. Stylisation is not as good as realism though.

There is also further complexity because it may be the case that different monitor types and also VR headsets may yield different spotting capabilities by responding to the game differently. In multiplayer this would give a potential advantage/disadvantage to whoever has the right hardware. That is a theory and I dont have an answer for it and I havent tested it.

I think IRL sun-glare and movement are two big visual cues to the presence of a far off moving metallic object.

In WW2 the pilots in 1945 would mostly have coordinated where to go to find the enemy by being in radio contact and also had radar guidance from ground fighter commands and also IFF would have debuted at some point in the aircraft. So spotting has an additional non-visual dimension to it.

Surprisingly there are quite a few players saying now spotting is too easy, to them I say what planet are you on! My take is that ease of visual acquisition should be increased, a great deal more, without going to the point where it might decrease FPS or impact another key metric like multiplayer ping, speed, general performance etc.