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Constant negative steam reviews are driving me nuts!

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Absolutely.  The only way to fight negative one-liner reviews is to put up mature positive reviews that are realistic, free of hyperbole, and talk about what's important.

Agreed. I was honest in my review and although overwhelmingly positive I did address issues that I found problematic as well as extol the game's good points.

 

Its a great game. people need to know :)

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I think the simple fact is that, however hard it may be to face up to, this game lacks an incredible amount of polish, and gamers these days are less tolerant of roughness around the edges.

 

It's a good simulator, and I personally understand that there are often teething issues with new engines, but if you look at it objectively we have:

 

- horrible dedicated server performance

- random crash bugs that have persisted for years with no fix

- graphics bugs that have come and gone, and seriously broke the game for certain card owners

- AI problems

- random sound glitches

- a really demanding game, graphically and cpu-wise (people are accustomed to being able to run at max settings these days)

 

and on top of that, we have

 

- no community/squad/player management tools in game (only the vote ban that basically doesn't work at all)

- awful in game server browser

- no way to configure certain options that were present in the old games (icons, etc.)

- problems with cheating

 

And all this is compounded by overly-aggressive forum moderation and a dev team that, even though they're all nice people, are just frankly not so good at communicating with the community which leads to frustration.

 

Finally, after all is said and done, this game is really expensive. To get all the content/aircraft costs serious money, whereas most gamers are now conditioned to expect games at the $59.99 US price point, or perhaps $79.99 for premium titles. To get all the content in this game you're looking at close to $300, plus you need TrackIR/stick/pedals/etc.

 

Like I said, it's a good game but it lacks polish in a big way. A lot of us who fly sims are used to this, because we realize that sims are huge investments, and this team in particular seems small, with a lot on their plate. But your average gamer who started out on CSGO and tried war thunder and is now maybe thinking about picking this game up has a completely different perspective.

+1

I changed review from down to up after upgrading video card.

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Guest deleted@30725

I think it could be a very easy game to mark down.

 

  • There is no in-game guide. A new player will load the game possibly having no idea what to do or how to make the plane work. Learning the expert stuff takes time and there is no game tutorial which can make it frustrating to learn for a new player. I certainly found trying to work out all the keyboard controls a bit of a nightmare to begin with.
  • The AI is still a bit wonky in some respects.
  • The pop in is not that nice
  • Playing online can be a tough challenge with no real clue of what to do at times.
  • The game is expensive to get everything. It's less of a hit for people who started in beta, but a new player wishing to get all the current content and having to pony up that kind of cash is a tough pill to take.

This version of Il2 is a game that takes time to get used to. I didn't like it when I first go it. I had different expectations from what I ended up playing. I hardly played it the first few months I owned it. My joystick failed to work as I wanted it to feel for over a year which made the experience unpleasant and there were a bunch of other issues. Then, of course everyone in the beta was introduced to the unlock system that turned the fun of flying missions into a grind for points and parts. I got hit by random stuttering for a time also which made the game nearly unplayable. I sold my joystick, I 'quit' in frustration quietly several times, but each update brought new content and slowly fixed the issues.

 

Since the last few patches the game has few operational issues. I'm not going to lie that it's been tough at times to like Il2, but for some reason I fell in love with this game. Some 'thing' about it that I really enjoy. But after so many hours playing it I may have gotten used to a lot of the issues that new players fresh to the game may see with clarity and yet I find myself charmed by the experience and the overall presentation of the game. It's what kept me fighting through the issues and is what has kept me buying almost without question everything this team makes.

 

No other game have I so blindly given money to without a second thought to the quality. I know that what they make will be good and they keep delivering. I have since mastered many of the issues I once face. I know how to use the planes, I know how to read all the planes instruments and what keys to operate the functions. My stick works how it should and my graphical issues have gone. I find myself looking at other flight sims, but never feeling right till I'm back in the Il2 worlds.

 

In the end the core part of the game - the flying is some of the best I have experienced and the damage modelling is so very well done. For me the game has a certain 'spark' like no other. The competition is far from perfect with their own set of issues.

 

But this version of Il2 is the one I open when I want some ww2 flying and shooting. For me, this one is the best. I also like how as customers our feedback influences the game. We are listened to even if they can't make everyone dream a reality the community has influenced positive changes.

Edited by deleted@30725

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We deal with this shit on Yelp with our business.

 

People will have some minor gripe about something we never even heard about, and rather than talk to us and try to get it fixed, they head right over to Yelp and sling a bad review that stays up there forever.

 

Usually they are so stupid that when we read them we come away pretty sure that we wouldn't want them as clients anyways. We just always make sure to respond to their reviews as thoroughly as Yelp allows, and stay secure in knowing that we do offer a good service, as the vast majority of our clients will tell people.

 

I look at it similarly with IL-2. Most of the people leaving bad reviews probably wouldn't make it far in this game anyways. As long as the guys leaving good reviews are providing the details needed to dispel the claims of the bad reviewers; the potential players who can make it in a game like this will have all the info they need to make a decision, and will more than likely give it a try.

 

I hate to be the guy to say it; but I think most of the bad review people (who aren't complaining specifically of hardware issues) are just war thunder types. Not to say anything is bad about that game; but the bar for entry is much, much lower than in IL-2.

 

In other news, just checked and the review I wrote is at 33 of 34 readers "found helpful". :)

Edited by hrafnkolbrandr

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There is no in-game guide. A new player will load the game possibly having no idea what to do or how to make the plane work. Learning the expert stuff takes time and there is no game tutorial which can make it frustrating to learn for a new player. I certainly found trying to work out all the keyboard controls a bit of a nightmare to begin with.

 

 

That's a great point also, and definitely falls under "polish", IMO.  We take it for granted because we've been flying sims for a while, but I can totally see newcomers to this game being totally lost.

 

There's a "manual" in .pdf form floating around somewhere, but the game really needs an interactive tutorial.  I think I made a suggestion a long time ago about having "ghost planes" like the original Mario Kart had when you did time trials:  A translucent aircraft that you can see but not collide with that you can follow along behind as it leads you through learning to taxi, take off, land, BnZ a bomber, strafe a train, etc.

 

I've always thought this would be the best way to learn.

Edited by JG13_opcode

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That's a great point also, and definitely falls under "polish", IMO.  We take it for granted because we've been flying sims for a while, but I can totally see newcomers to this game being totally lost.

 

There's a "manual" in .pdf form floating around somewhere, but the game really needs an interactive tutorial.  

 

The manual is included with the install, it is in the Data folder.

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The manual is included with the install, it is in the Data folder.

It is?

 

I don't see it.  Is it a .pdf?  Even if it is, this is kind of the point of the post isn't it?  If you know "stuff" about this sim like, "where the manual is", it isn't so bad.  But look at if from a brand new user.  Overwhelmed and having to jump through a bunch of "tribal knowledge hoops".  It is easy to see how it could be off-putting.

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The manual is included with the install, it is in the Data folder.

 

 

Wow.  I've had this game for years and never knew that that was the case.

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It is?

 

I don't see it.  Is it a .pdf?  Even if it is, this is kind of the point of the post isn't it?  If you know "stuff" about this sim like, "where the manual is", it isn't so bad.  But look at if from a brand new user.  Overwhelmed and having to jump through a bunch of "tribal knowledge hoops".  It is easy to see how it could be off-putting.

 

Yep it's a PDF. at least it is in mine.

I certainly understand the point being made though, for beginners especially who may not frequent the forums it can undoubtedly be daunting. 

Wow.  I've had this game for years and never knew that that was the case.

 

Well at first there was no manual, until LukeFF got it completed. Probably sometime in 2015, at least that is the date showing on mine as when it got installed into the directory. June of 2015 to be precise.

Edited by dburne

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Guest deleted@30725

The manual is included with the install, it is in the Data folder.

 

Actually in the steam version I could not find it where you said.

 

But even if it was there, how many people who use steam are really going to go through the trouble of these structure:

 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad\data

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True enough, I always thought this game could use a dedicated training course like CLoD had in one of its campaigns. Even RoF had a training campaign. And a link to that manual from the game isnt a bad idea. 

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Actually in the steam version I could not find it where you said.

 

But even if it was there, how many people who use steam are really going to go through the trouble of these structure:

 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad\data

 

I certainly would, but guess I am a little weird in that regard lol. First thing I do with a new game is search the directories for a manual ( if not obvious after installation) and if not there search the website. But really any more I get the bulk of my information from the forums.

 

Guess that is why more and more are doing away with manuals, those of us that read them are probably a dying breed... 

 

For those that don't have it and would like it, it is also posted in the Announcements forum.

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/16752-il-2bos-user-manual-released-first-edition-english/

 

Edit - Whups, appears the above link is a broken link - never mind.

Edited by dburne

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There's a simpler solution :)

 

See that huge settings button? Diminish the distance between the gear and SETTINGS to the distance between regular letters, push the settings button to the right wall (like Site is right now) and add a Manual button to the left using the space freed up that simply points to Data\Manual.pdf

 

This way a new user would see it the first time they launch it, and can opt to read it or not based on their experience.

 

launcher-style1.jpg

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There's a simpler solution :)

 

See that huge settings button? Diminish the distance between the gear and SETTINGS to the distance between regular letters, push the settings button to the right wall (like Site is right now) and add a Manual button to the left using the space freed up that simply points to Data\Manual.pdf

 

This way a new user would see it the first time they launch it, and can opt to read it or not based on their experience.

I hate to say it, but most kids today won't read manuals. Unless there is some hand holding training missions that will literally walk you through all the basics, you'll still get the negativity. In games in which the manual is clearly there but there are no training missions, people will still gripe when they didn't know how something works.

 

When you ask, "Why didn't you read the manual?" They will say "I don't have time for that."

But they had time to play the game anyway. Makes no sense, but that's the way it is now.

Edited by StickMan

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The manual is not included for me either (Steam install).

 

 

They should include it on the steam tabs like other games have it (e.g. Arma III). Both the user manual and the mission editor manual.

waozdy.jpg

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I hate to say it, but most kids today won't read manuals. Unless there is some hand holding training missions that will literally walk you through all the basics, you'll still get the negativity. In games in which the manual is clearly there but there are no training missions, people will still gripe when they didn't know how something works.

 

When you ask, "Why didn't you read the manual?" They will say "I don't have time for that."

But they had time to play the game anyway. Makes no sense, but that's the way it is now.

I have a strong feeling most people who quit it because of lack of instruction were in their 30-40s. It's a genre aimed at a generally more mature population, and a good bunch of those players go nuts for manuals (see DCS). It would definitely help even if slightly, though if you understand the overall logic of it this game is stupidly straightforward.

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I wrote a positive review in German.

 

By the way, the points raised here are simple but important. We should help the Devs getting a bit of focus on a few issues that can be solved easily, like the manual button, and links towards tutorial sections / YouTube Videos (Sherrrrriiiiiif  :clapping: )

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There's a simpler solution :)

 

See that huge settings button? Diminish the distance between the gear and SETTINGS to the distance between regular letters, push the settings button to the right wall (like Site is right now) and add a Manual button to the left using the space freed up that simply points to Data\Manual.pdf

 

This way a new user would see it the first time they launch it, and can opt to read it or not based on their experience.

 

launcher-style1.jpg

 

This is a very good idea. There's support materials out there both official and unofficial. The devs should do their best to make sure that the manual is pretty up to date but make it obvious that more help can be found on the forums (in the specific place where third parties have posted their excellent manuals and materials). You want to drive people towards content that is useful and helpful.

 

Almost 7,000 people have read my review (mostly positive and certainly in-depth) of IL-2: Battle of Moscow. https://stormbirds.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/il-2-battle-of-moscow-full-review/

 

Not too much else I can do there.

Edited by ShamrockOneFive

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There's a simpler solution :)

 

See that huge settings button? Diminish the distance between the gear and SETTINGS to the distance between regular letters, push the settings button to the right wall (like Site is right now) and add a Manual button to the left using the space freed up that simply points to Data\Manual.pdf

 

This way a new user would see it the first time they launch it, and can opt to read it or not based on their experience.

 

 

 

Except that all the users on Steam never see the Launcher.  I think better if the written manual could be opened in game, as a movable/resizable window similar to the ROF map, so that you could sit in the cockpit and look at the guide and the cockpit at the same time. So it needs to be easy to get at through a hotkey or obvious on the main menu page.   TBH there is a lot that needs doing with the GUI to make it easier to use and understand, but I suppose we have some legacy issues that are hard to get rid of without a complete rewrite which Jason seems to lack the resources to do for the time being.

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We'll see how things go after the new Campaign system gets introduced.  The singleplayer experience has been completely unremarkable so far, and that's where the vast majority of the company's customer base is to be found. 

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We'll see how things go after the new Campaign system gets introduced.  The singleplayer experience has been completely unremarkable so far, and that's where the vast majority of the company's customer base is to be found. 

 

Definitely a good point. I think the new Career mode will change things up quite a bit. Scripted Campaigns has gotten us at least part of the way there too.

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Is it possible to write a steam review without having bos steam version? Currently dont have a internet connection but will get it soon again gotta support this great game!

 

Tbh i bought this game quite some time ago and i felt overwhelmed and thought this game is too hardcore for me so i continued playing war thunder untill i got fed up with certain unhistorical bs things in war thunder like fighting cold war vehicles with ww2 vehicles and i watched bismarcks vids about Bos so i started playing again and now ive got bos, bom, bok a tm warthog and soon mfg crosswinds

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With all this discussion about lacking features and solutions I feel like we would benefit a lot if we could have another Q&A session over the team speak or discord. Last time we had one was so long ago and many things have changed since then.

Text communication is OK but once or twice a year some verbal communication is needed in my humble opinion.

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...

And all this is compounded by overly-aggressive forum moderation and a dev team that, even though they're all nice people, are just frankly not so good at communicating with the community which leads to frustration.

...

 

Err, outside of weekly dev dairies and Jason's inputs. Seems pretty good from over here TBH.

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Besides Jason, BlackSix is also constantly posting useful information here, Han and Gavrick are regular lurkers and in the Russian forums Han, Gavrick and AnPetrovich handle communications.

 

On the opposite, I feel that communications here are stellar.

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Regarding a manual, isn't it kind of normal today, if you want to find an answer to questions you might have about the game to visit the game forum and ask them there ?

 

To be fair there is a whole load of helpful info included in game, on the Map, briefing specification tab, for specific information on your current plane.

 

Regarding price, if you enjoy all the game has to offer, both SP and MP then I think what we have is very good value. If you enjoy MP only, I still think the game is good value. Not sure I can put my hand on my heart and say the same for single player campaign though. Love the scripted missions, but the existing campaign really did feel to generic. There must be an enormous amount of work to get even the single seat, single engine aircraft working and flying just right and I don't think you can praise the dev's high enough here. I really would like to show my appreciation with having more options on stuff to buy to support the game. Could be in the form of physical goods, cosmetics, eg plane skins whatever.

 

There are areas where BoX could be improved, AI and server performance for example but particularly as far as server performance goes, I think what we have is pretty damn good. 

I still haven't got around to writing a steam review. Might just copy and paste the above lol.

 

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I just offered the guy who was complaining about it not being for casual gamers, to explain the game to him.
Maybe if we help the people who are dissatisfied with this game, instead of hating on them in the comments we can not only help to improve the reviews but get new players into the boat at the same time.
Regarding a manual, i think it would be a good community project to compile a manual that explains everything, easily understandable, not too technical, from plane operations to multiplayer, where to find enemy planes on WoL for example and how to setup your keybindings.
Everytime a new player comes along and is overwhelmed they can read a manual by players for players explaining the important stuff.
Another way of increasing accesibility would be a mentoring program like there is for Wargame and steel division.

Edited by =ARTOA=Bombenleger
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I just offered the guy who was complaining about it not being for casual gamers, to explain the game to him.

Maybe if we help the people who are dissatisfied with this game, instead of hating on them in the comments we can not only help to improve the reviews but get new players into the boat at the same time.

 

 

If that was a negative review, that basically said it's not for casuals, that could be taken by some to be a positive, especially if they were after a bit more "sim"

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Tutorial missions would be welcomed. The game does throw you into the deep end somewhat.

 

Also, id like to be able to choose the language of the radio chatter. Eng/Russ/Ger no matter what side im on.

 

I love the game but its not easy to get into. That said upcoming changes will really help like the coop mode.

 

MP, for me, is frustrating as im utterly outclassed. Id like a PvE server to enjoy the company of others but having a chance of survival.

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 Id like a PvE server to enjoy the company of others but having a chance of survival.

Check out the finnish virtual pilots server.

Sadly its often quite sparsely populated but even with many players the mission design always offers you some ground target that you can attack with minimal chance of being intercepted.

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Tutorial missions would be welcomed. The game does throw you into the deep end somewhat.

 

Also, id like to be able to choose the language of the radio chatter. Eng/Russ/Ger no matter what side im on.

 

I would love the English language option as well. Flying in VR I do not have the HUD activated so don't get the chat there, and have no idea what my wingmen are saying.

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I think Jason said there's a few paid professionals out there trying to smear IL*2 as well.

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Oops my last post was actually meant for another thread!

 

Still, these things would aid a more positive world view of the game ;)

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This game is pretty straight forward.  If somebody is so uninterested that they can't take the time to discover the numerous resources available to new players or google where the manual is, then they are probably going to be completely hopeless anyway.  Even if the game took them by the hand and spoon fed them the information they need, would they bother?  And those types aren't going to take it well when they go on to multiplayer and get absolutely obliterated the first 100 times out, even if they manage to start the engine and get off the ground in the first place.  I think things like negative Steam reviews by people who shouldn't be playing the game in the first place are just par for the course in a genre like this. 

 

I came to RoF, and eventually BoS because of some positive things I read on the Avsim and the SimHQ website.  I was already a flight simmer, with flight sim hardware, and with realistic ideas about what a game like this is and is not. I think that is what the player base of a game like this is and will always be.  I've always been of the opinion that attempts to coddle some gamer-dudes who think they just purchased a shoot-em-up is a mistake, and won't succeed anyway.

 

(I think if somebody wants to carry the BoX torch, go on to the websites that cater to flight simulation, full of bored virtual 747 captains looking for a change of pace, and make your case to people who know what you're talking about and already have things like TrackIR and rudder pedals.)

Edited by Iceworm

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Guys,

 

I appreciate the discussion and advice, but here's the situation. A couple things,

 

1. The User Manual is out of date and will be further out of date when the latest features we are working on are released later this year. I hesitate to promote something that gives inaccurate info. Luke has been writing our manuals for years and I can only ask him to do so much and our product is in a constant state of flux and it takes time to finish all the changes I am making to it. Only then can I start to make permanent helpful guides stick and in multiple languages.

 

2. Steam reviews are almost impossible to combat and whenever we asked people to help by posting rational reviews we got hammered so we stopped overtly asking for help. If everyone from this forum wrote a reasonable review and talked about what we have now accomplished this year it would help, but I can't campaign for it. I've been betrayed by so called "helpers" in the past and I don't plan on subjecting myself to any of that again.

 

3. I have ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to make a an interactive training scenario. No tech, no resources, no money and no time. We can only make some missions that are instructional, but I'd have to have a third party make it. Who wants to volunteer?

 

4. I plan to spend more time on education and community events once Kuban is done and the general design of the product is about final. In 12 months I've had to change or throw out about half of what was released originally. Takes time to change all this plus build new content we can sell you to keep the lights on. A literally lose-lose situation for us.

 

We need this community to support us by buying what we make and helping others get successfully into the cockpit and have fun. You guys are really great at this and it helps keep us alive, but looking to us to do all sorts of educational and training efforts isn't going to happen without community help. I simply don't have the time, resources or technology to make everything amazingly simple. We tried to make the sim simpler in design and it was a disaster. It's hard to make a hardcore sim accessible. There will always be a learning curve.

 

And again, I have plans to do more that will help new users, but it's just me and a few volunteer helpers. I also need to design an entirely new website etc. It's impossible to do everything I need done. And there is so much more to the story you guys don't even know about. Please just continue to help train up new flyers and write rational reviews when you can to combat the hysterical ones.

 

But thanks for the thread. It's given me some new ideas for new users.

 

Jason

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Well, you are in a very difficult niche of entertainment, I do not know if you noticed all the fuzz about the GPS addon to MI 8 in DCS. I was regarded a retard for buying it for the extremely high price of 15$ .

If this is the attitude among us, well I do not leave flight sim much of a future. If a community like DCS do not understand that coders and 3 D artist need food on their table, who will?

 

Regarding instructional missions I am sure this and much more can be done by the community, personally I haven't opened ME for over a year . I simply would spend too much time learning it 

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I suppose actual "tutorial" missions in the classic sense may not be needed, rather say a scripted campaign that has one doing easy tasks such as ferrying planes from one airfield to another, shooting down barrage balloons and perhaps strafing run practice on unarmed convoys or ultra rookie enemy pilots to ease into combat?

 

Im sure we as a community could manage that or is the infamous editor that evil?

Edited by OrLoK

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3. I have ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to make a an interactive training scenario. No tech, no resources, no money and no time. We can only make some missions that are instructional, but I'd have to have a third party make it. Who wants to volunteer?

 

I'm making one with some instructional video in the beginning. Don't know if it works out like I plan it. Still in testing and due to real life stuff not as fast as I would like. Will write you a PM later.

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