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DD_Fenrir

We need to talk...

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... about the future.

The future of flight simming in general and the Dogz place within the idiom and the community. 

Now let's be clear, I have not started this discussion with the aim of having reached some definitive agenda or decree about how the Dogz will move forward from hereon in. Think of this as a brainstorming effort. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts, conjectures, opinions and even crystal ball consultations on the genre flight sim and what we think the Dogz will look like in the future. 

The first point of discussion will be the state of the sims we currently fly (if I miss any candidates please let me know).

So in that vein let's look at our primary - Il-2 1946:

Il-2 is a grand old lady, with a breadth of content unrivalled by any subsequent simulator offering. And it does not skimp on depth - it strikes a fantastic balance between simming enough realism to be satisfying without becoming inaccessible or tedious. In short, it's fun. With mod support we have unparalleled access to theatres and even eras.

However there are issues technically and community wise that I suspect will come to make 1946 less and less viable as our primary sim in the future. It could be argued that perhaps some of these issues already are snapping at our collective heels.

1) 32-bit Program Support - we have to acknowledge the possibility that at some point in the future, windows support for 32-bit programs will disappear - this means no more Il-2:1946! There are of course ways around these things but this is an important aspect that must be recognised.

2) Player Base - the Il-2 community is dwindling. As people dedicate more time to more modern offerings or move squads wholesale to the next big thing the community around Il-2 contracts. Those still persevering end up in ever smaller and less relevant squads  or go offline only. Newer entrants to the genre will generally want the newest, best looking and higher fidelity sims, and whilst some could be brought round to the delights of 1946, they will be a minority. We could perhaps pick up some these and also target the veteran disaffected types whose squads moved on to newer things against their opinion, both of which could boost our attendance in the near term but these cannot but delay the inevitable - that being that Il-2:1946 will eventually become a anachronism of the flight sim genre. If the Dogz stay with it then it is likely our fate will be similar.

Pause cos babies making noise. To be continued...

 

 

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A personal thought.

For me, il2 is still number one. So far.. There is still a lot to explore. Unfortunately, graphics and technology are outdated, which means we may look after a replacement sooner or later, me think. I have wondered if BOS is a worthy follower. Have not tried it yet but as far I have seen, and heard, it looks good.

Personally, I like CLOD a lot but it's starting to be a bit boring to fly the same map and mission every time. Hoping for updates in a close future. If that happen, I will stick to Clod for a bit longer.

As for DCS, I'm not interested, yet, as it seems more like a flight simulator than a game like IL2. Or BOS. It's no as important for me to press the correct buttons, flip the right switches and be totally devoted to the realistics, like in DCS. I want varied missions, co-ops and maps. I'm for a continuation of IL2. It seems that it may be relevant to look closer a replacement for IL2 in the foreseeable future, though.

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I go all the way with Swep. In every aspect . IL2 is bringing fun to disperse all our mundane stress and problems, and that within seconds of clicking "fly".

My two cents...

~S~

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Since the question has been up earlier, I think it's important that anyone who is still interested in continuing to fly with Dangerdogz gives his opinion in a near future. It is important to take a stand on how we will relate to this - if we want to keep doing this together - and how.

A few questions we may have to ask.

1. Who doesn't fly with us anymore because they think IL2 isn't intresting any more?

2. Who doesn't fly IL2 because it doesn't fit their schedule? But still wants to.

3. What other fly sim(s) would be intresting to replace IL2

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I think the long term future is BoX as it is constantly being improved, coops are coming, you do not need to have all versions to fly on all maps, and carrier ops might be in beta this time next year. Clod TF 5.0 will be great but it is very slow in arriving. DCS seems to be, for me at any rate, a study dogfight sim. Great for modern stuff but limited WW2 possibilities. I know that some of us would prefer not to have to update their computers to fly with us but the cash per hour is quite inexpensive and an upgrade wouldnt hurt HSFX either :)

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We have already acknowledged the fact that we need to move with the times to some degree. CLOD has taken the place of IL2 on Thursdays and it needed to due to popular demand. 

For me, as long as the squad, ( an online group of well established friends), share whatever flight sim on whatever day I will be happy. Tom makes some very good points about the future of IL2 and I share Swoops love for the variety it offers. 

From what I have heard DCS is probably the best flight sim on offer but maybe not the best thing to replace IL2 if and when we need to because of its complexity. I have no expieriance of BOS or BOX but it sounds like it might be a possibility along with CLOD if it expands.

As Tom has asked, everyone needs to express an opinion here so we know where we are......

Painintheass : )

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I’m broadly in agreement with Tom here; IL-2 ‘46 is nearing the end of its useful life, there is only so much that can be done with the physics engine it uses and in some respects the level of modding that has taken place has pushed the game very close to its limits already. I’m also not certain that the team behind HSFX is still extant so we may never get to v5.

 

So what about Cliffs of Dover? With TFS now a company in it’s own right with access to the source code and with v4.5 imminent this for me provides a good balance between playability and immersion. Obviously the lack of alternative scenarios is a drawback, but heck, there’s not much better that toodling around in the skies over 1940’s Kent in a Spitty is there?

 

BoS and it’s variants have promise and they certainly seem to be keen to develop the game further. One to keep an eye on definitely.

 

DCS. This, I love. It’s just too damn hard to make it more than an exercise in frustration for the more average pilot. While the guys who have the will to master it have my utmost admiration, I just don’t have the wherewithal to spend hours beating the damn thing into submission. It is a stunning piece of work though and maybe one day...

 

There is one thing I am 100% certain of though and that is that the Dogz has been a source of considerable joy to me for 10 years now and I hope it continues well into the future.

 

There you go, just my 2$ (that’d be inflation then)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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One aspect not yet addressed is the sea change in the way we purchase sims: the days where we got 100 airplanes with 10 or so flyables for £35/$50 are gone; the fidelity of 3D modelling alone demanded by the community these days - let alone the FM and DM demands - requires a quantum increase in level of skills and time invested when compared to a similar output for something along il-2 lines. Ergo, we will get less airframes per buck so to speak. 

This means that the modern trend is to break down game content into individually purchased modules. 

Whilst this is great in that people only purchase what they want it can cause issues. 

For example, an aircraft set written into a custom hosted coop mission might contain only flyable airframes that are further purchase modules; a member that has not purchased that or those modules is by default excluded from that event. 

An extreme case I grant you but when applied to maps - as the trend these days is to make additional map content payware - the issue becomes more of an issue.

DCS suffers particularly in this latter regard; I suspect BoX too. CloD doesn't yet but with v5.0 on the horizon it could well enter this category.

The way we deal with issues of this nature will require consideration. The infrequent paid upgrades to Il-2 presented similar issues back in the day but with a greater number arriving in shorter intervals the issues could be more profound.

The last thing any of us would want to do would be to exclude, alienate or offend our squad mates by using or creating content that they cannot access on a given flight night; but at the same time having to limit the content available for use on the grounds of lowest common denominator is also creating potential for discord. 

Again care and thought should be given to these aspects of modern flight simming in the multiplayer squad arena.

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- IL2 1946 still is a lot of fun. Looks like there's no real development any more, sure TD is still there, but do we want to leave HSFX and all its contents? And, for how long can we keep it running technically, where Windows moves on, and graphics drivers with it... and hardware too ... ?

- CloD - Beautiful, but too limited still. Future? Quite unsure me thinks.

- BoX - Could have a grand future, once there's coop mode, and more maps/planes.

- DCS is beautiful, but not really suited to our wants/need, not right now, and not in the near future.

What to do? I could not tell. And I do not really have a specific preference for one of 'm. Me thinks we should focus on the group, and somehow find some common game/sim we all can enjoy ... I'll just go with the flow, and do what I can for us all ... 

 

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Maybe have a poll? We can then evaluate the different strength and weakness of each of the choices.

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Let me throw something else into the mix - which makes for worrying reading as well I'm afraid.

image.png

This graph shows the the total number of members who submitted new content, followed something, or reacted to something on the forum per month since 2008 - Anomalies aside the trend is clear - last month 22 individuals contributed to the forum (to be clear, this is not the same as just visiting), so far this month it's 19.

Sorry for posting this, but I felt that we perhaps weren't aware of just how much things had dropped off.

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I've taken the liberty of pinning this topic and I've also taken Crash's idea and created a poll (also pinned)

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For me il2 is still the king- it offers the diversity of planesets and gameplay that the others simply do not. However how long can it still reign ? 

If it is coming to its end then obviously we must look at alternatives. So here are my thoughts on the pretenders to the crown

CloD - this is a hobbiest development, cant see where its going or how fast

DCS - too complicated for the more casual type of flyer which I think is the majority

BoX- looks to be the best option, but still frustrated by cost of getting into it and lack of some game modes such as co-op. If they can fix this then Id be willing to move to it

Where does that leave the Dogz , well firstly unless we sort out the finances and support the site then at one point we will be even more casual. 

I also dont believe we will recruit many more younger players to join us as the WW2 sim base was always smallish and generally appeals to older folk with the likes of battlefield more suited to the younger generation.

For the established players the variaty of sims has split even this small base,with mod versions and other sims.

We are known in the IL2 community and have a server for CLod so that leaves the alternatives and why would anyone established in BoX leave their squad for us?  

So in summery to keep the Dogz going I think we sort out the finances and wait developments. Once BoX has co-ops then we can have a further discussion on hosting these, however this would split the group further as we already host il2, CloD and DCS.

 

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Does anyone know if BoX has a trial mode a la 'Rise of Flight'? Might be an opportunity for those who have not bought the game to have a look and see without the outlay?

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Just for info, there is no dedicated DCS hosting on the DDz server or any particular evening dedicated to DCS - any hosting is done ad hoc by DCS owners generally after a primary event (Il-2/CloD), or on pre-arranged events, generally on unallocated nights.

I would agree with the general sentiment that DCS - as much as I love it - is not for everyone and that a more accessible sim in the vein of CloD or BoX would be more appropriate for the Dogz.

Regards attracting BoX or CloD players - the fact is we have never really made a recruitment drive in either area. There will still be a wide array of new and even existing players unaffiliated who could be persuaded to join us.

The group was running for many years under Il-2:1946 and it's predecessors and the DangerDogz more relaxed approach to flight simming was fairly unique; no training regimens, no attendance related membership, etc. These casual flyer attractions brought a regular influx of new members even when the game was 10-12 years old. I feel that the same would be true nowadays.

 

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6 hours ago, DD_Fenrir said:

 ...and what we think the Dogz will look like in the future.

old-dog2.png

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For my 2¢, the reason I stopped flying was that I got tired of the 30+ mins between missions. Once I was dead couldn't respawn in coops. Also I love DCS and it drew me in..

DCS will never be a viable sim for this group because of it's complexity, pc requirements, and everyone won't want to focus on the same aircraft as other A10C, Huey, and other squads have. It just won't work for an old farts squad. :-)

Long term BOX is the only viable option. If you were flying that I'd be there now. Or if I could find a laid back DCS squad, I'd be there now. But they have too many requirements and even though I love it, I'm old.. Slow to learn..

Good luck figuring this out. I've got my eye on you.

Snack

Sent from my Moto Z Play using Tapatalk

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@ Jabo There isnt a trial version available and the only way to see it is via Youtube or purchase. Coop mode will be here from what I can gather when Kuban is released, maybe Arthur has better info :)

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3 hours ago, Crash said:

@ Jabo There isnt a trial version available and the only way to see it is via Youtube or purchase. Coop mode will be here from what I can gather when Kuban is released, maybe Arthur has better info :)

That's too bad.

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Will have to start looking at mission building when I have BoK then.

The heavy Eastern front bias does not excite me much though comrade.

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I've played a little with mission building in Box. It's confusing. It's based on RoF.  Not nearly as easy as IL2 1946.

And I believe that you have to host on a separate server, so hosting and flying on the same pc may not be possible.. But I think they may be working on changing that, but I'm not sure.

Arthur should be part of this conversation.. He probably knows all the answers..

Sent from my Moto Z Play using Tapatalk
 

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16 hours ago, Jabo said:

Let me throw something else into the mix - which makes for worrying reading as well I'm afraid.

image.png

This graph shows the the total number of members who submitted new content, followed something, or reacted to something on the forum per month since 2008 - Anomalies aside the trend is clear - last month 22 individuals contributed to the forum (to be clear, this is not the same as just visiting), so far this month it's 19.

Sorry for posting this, but I felt that we perhaps weren't aware of just how much things had dropped off.

This ties in the the drop off on flying nights. 2011 50 new content 20ish flying  2017 25 new content and we seldom get more than 7 people turning up for coops. :(

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On 14/11/2017 at 10:51 PM, delta7 said:

For me il2 is still the king- it offers the diversity of planesets and gameplay that the others simply do not. However how long can it still reign ? 

If it is coming to its end then obviously we must look at alternatives. So here are my thoughts on the pretenders to the crown

CloD - this is a hobbiest development, cant see where its going or how fast

DCS - too complicated for the more casual type of flyer which I think is the majority

BoX- looks to be the best option, but still frustrated by cost of getting into it and lack of some game modes such as co-op. If they can fix this then Id be willing to move to it

Where does that leave the Dogz , well firstly unless we sort out the finances and support the site then at one point we will be even more casual. 

I also dont believe we will recruit many more younger players to join us as the WW2 sim base was always smallish and generally appeals to older folk with the likes of battlefield more suited to the younger generation.

For the established players the variaty of sims has split even this small base,with mod versions and other sims.

We are known in the IL2 community and have a server for CLod so that leaves the alternatives and why would anyone established in BoX leave their squad for us?  

So in summery to keep the Dogz going I think we sort out the finances and wait developments. Once BoX has co-ops then we can have a further discussion on hosting these, however this would split the group further as we already host il2, CloD and DCS.

 

I agree with delta's comments.

I also think that there are two aspects that need addressing by the Dogz. What we fly and how we cover the associated costs. This is a topic about what we fly so I won't comment further on website and server costs.

What we fly as a group is the most important reason for us being together. As individuals we can fly whatever flight sim we want when we want, sharing these times with others that choose to take part. However as a group that chooses to spend time together at certain times on certain days then we have to fly something at those times that is accessible to all that turn up. By accessible I mean it has to have minimal cost implication, relatively simple to run on pcs and relatively simple to set up and fly. The only sims that I know of that meet these criteria are IL2 1946 and CloD so it is understandable that these are the ones flown officially on particular days at particular times. We are so used to the '46 sim by now and, apart from computer glitches and pilot error, I believe it suits our purpose brilliantly. I would like to see IL2 46 flown by the Dogz until the time comes it naturally falls due to lack of technical or pilot support. CloD just doesn't do it for me because there is no variety. Some Dogz have said that even though it represents the period well it can be repetitive. 

I will fly IL2 46 for as long as it is physically and technically possible. It is fun, frustrating and I love the banter from the Dogz. I have absolutely no control over the technical support and progression of the game so the length of time it remains workable is guesswork, I am just grateful that it still works after all this time. I would like to believe we have a few years left in the game. We have a huge collection of missions to fly and Dogz are making efforts to improve and provide more content, teamwork and competitiveness in order to keep our pilots and perhaps encourage new members. What would be a shame in my view is IL2 46 dropping out of favour amongst the Dogz because pilots are spending their valuable flying time on other sims during official IL2 46 flying sessions. Their choice but my view.

I will be concentrating on setting up and supporting BoS etc. because that is my next step outside of '46. The content and plane set is expanding and it interests me. I understand that doing so isn't supporting the Dogz as much because I have chosen not to fly CloD and I also understand that this path is going to cost me money to get the full sim. Not every Dog would want to pay for content but unless CloD expands to make it more than just a speciality sim I don't see how we can move on from IL2 46 when it eventually expires.

So, for me:

1. IL2 46, 2. BoS etc, 3. CloD 4. DCS

Cheerzen

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1 hour ago, Sid said:

 

I agree with delta's comments.

I also think that there are two aspects that need addressing by the Dogz. What we fly and how we cover the associated costs. This is a topic about what we fly so I won't comment further on website and server costs.

What we fly as a group is the most important reason for us being together. As individuals we can fly whatever flight sim we want when we want, sharing these times with others that choose to take part. However as a group that chooses to spend time together at certain times on certain days then we have to fly something at those times that is accessible to all that turn up. By accessible I mean it has to have minimal cost implication, relatively simple to run on pcs and relatively simple to set up and fly. The only sims that I know of that meet these criteria are IL2 1946 and CloD so it is understandable that these are the ones flown officially on particular days at particular times. We are so used to the '46 sim by now and, apart from computer glitches and pilot error, I believe it suits our purpose brilliantly. I would like to see IL2 46 flown by the Dogz until the time comes it naturally falls due to lack of technical or pilot support. CloD just doesn't do it for me because there is no variety. Some Dogz have said that even though it represents the period well it can be repetitive. 

I will fly IL2 46 for as long as it is physically and technically possible. It is fun, frustrating and I love the banter from the Dogz. I have absolutely no control over the technical support and progression of the game so the length of time it remains workable is guesswork, I am just grateful that it still works after all this time. I would like to believe we have a few years left in the game. We have a huge collection of missions to fly and Dogz are making efforts to improve and provide more content, teamwork and competitiveness in order to keep our pilots and perhaps encourage new members. What would be a shame in my view is IL2 46 dropping out of favour amongst the Dogz because pilots are spending their valuable flying time on other sims during official IL2 46 flying sessions. Their choice but my view.

I will be concentrating on setting up and supporting BoS etc. because that is my next step outside of '46. The content and plane set is expanding and it interests me. I understand that doing so isn't supporting the Dogz as much because I have chosen not to fly CloD and I also understand that this path is going to cost me money to get the full sim. Not every Dog would want to pay for content but unless CloD expands to make it more than just a speciality sim I don't see how we can move on from IL2 46 when it eventually expires.

So, for me:

1. IL2 46, 2. BoS etc, 3. CloD 4. DCS

Cheerzen

Agree wholeheartedly

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