I agree with Butzzell and Bender. There needs to be a differentiation between WW1 & WW2 servers. Maybe even a screen before entering the lobby that allows players to select one of two options: “World War I” and “World War II”.
Then if we could have at least 2 dedicated servers: one for realistic Wargrounds/Syndicate-style play and one for air quake, the stage should be set for things to improve.
Personally, I’d love to see a return of the Aces Falling server. I remember that it pretty much was always active with 6-20 pilots aboard in ROF. Here’s why it was my favorite airquake server of all time and why I think it would be beneficial for Flying Circus:
- It had airfields close to each other. Flight time from your field to the closest enemy drome was around 2-5 minutes max. You could be embroiled in combat within a minute of taking off.
- It has a very good mix of arcade and realism. Full engine management was on. Only cockpit view was allowed. Yet icons were allowed. With Il-2’s new icon-occlusion logic, this would be even better than in ROF.
- Most maps went beyond simple dogfight n die playstyles. They incorporated a unique capture-the-airfield mode. The mission started with 2-4 airbases per side. Each airbase had 4 AA trucks, 3 light trucks, the airfield hangars, and one balloon at 1500 meters. Once all of these were destroyed, the airfield switched sides and all the destroyed items respawned. You could then take off from that captured airfield. The mission ended either when time ran out or when one side captured all the bases. This added a true element of teamwork, gave the bomber guys something to do other than fly around and try to dogfight, and made for some EPIC battles. I still remember the desperation of trying to make a heroic final defense of our last airfield while a few of our bombers quickly tried to recapture one of our bases.
- It had an accurate stats webpage. For those (like me) who like keeping stats, it was a huge plus. For those who didn’t care, there was no need to check them.
- Since the first letter of the server’s name was “A” (Aces Falling), it appeared right at the top of the server list. Very easy for people to find.
- Because of its great mix of realism and arcade, it became a common ground where you could find both realism-oriented squad fliers and airquake pilots sharing the skies together. This helped keep numbers up on the server.
- It had good ping, at least for me and from what I’d heard from everybody.
All in all, I think once FC releases, it deserves a reincarnation of Aces Falling. Will it cure every ailment in the sim? No. FC is a new product, and as such is bound to have some teething trouble. What it will do is give FC a solid, reliable server from the get go. As word gets around about it, it should (hopefully) start to generate the following it used to have back in the day. All FC needs to be a multiplayer success (not talking about single player right now) is to have 1-2 constantly populated servers. And this could help it get the job done. 👍