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Arras map - a lot to like...

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Well having had a good poke around the new Arras map there's a lot to like and the inevitable few bits that could be a little better, which leaves you wondering what is or isn't still on the to-do list by way of final tweaks still to come?

 

Some of the character/landmark building modelling is superb and the new tech to generate a  European pattern of roads and street layouts when infilling towns and cities with generic buildings really does feel European and as if it has evolved over hundreds of years. Without knowing the architectural styles of that bit of France well enough I won't criticise these generic buildings I'll merely say that my first impression was that I thought of Germany or Austria rather than France, I may be wrong or it may be that they have to be generic to populate the Bodenplatte map as well?

 

There's some real nice detail on some of the WWI airfields, right down to having football fields for the recreational use of the pilots and ground crew, and if you peep inside the first aid tents there's all the beds laid out. 

 

A big plus is that I was wondering in advance if this map might be the "straw that broke the camel's back" in terms of giving in and buying anew PC to run it, however even my old rig churns through everything at far faster frame rates than my monitor can keep up with even with all the graphics settings maxed-out. So the devs have certainly done an excellent job at optimizing all the new features without slowing things down seemingly at all.

 

In terms of the not so good; It's hardly a major concern but the feel of the map was more summer than spring which may be on account of sharing textures with Bodenplatte. I just think I was expecting something a little "fresher" but this is really a petty complaint as if I'd been told it was a summer map I wouldn't have questioned the colour choices and this may change as/when Bodenplatte gets it's Spring textures.

 

They say the only cause of disappointment is expectation, and without knowing the budget and time/resources allocated to creating the no-mans land it seems unfair to say the devs could have done better, after all they have delivered all they have promised and it is a big step forward from Rise of Flight with a few nice little touches to like... it is just that like ROF I was left wanting more from the no-mans land as it looks too empty and devoid of clutter and debris to feel like a scene of carnage and devastation and is somehow of a lower standard than everything else on the map. Plus whilst it was never promised I was still hoping for something more than flat 2D textures for the trenches. From a decent altitude I'd go so far as to say no mans land  looks OK maybe even good which may be all that most want from a flight simulator... just don't look too closely as it doesn't seem to have progressed as far from ROF as many of the other improvements seen in IL-2, or is that just me being overly critical?

 

 

Overall then a big thumbs up with far more to like than dislike and well worth the money, so if there's a whiff of an FC vol.2 on the horizon I'll glad throw more money the devs way.

 

So folks are there any particular bits of this map  that stand out for you?

 

HH

 

 

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TBH I'm rather disappointed with the Arras map. As you've said, it appears to be summer rather than spring, the generic textures are far more repetitive than they need to be, plus they don't look anything like the land in northern France/Belgium. The towns and airfields look fine, and the villages too, but the lack of farms and the coal industry of the region hurts the map quite a bit. No man's land could be better, and the trench system needs to be way more extensive and detailed.

The map isn't a resource hog so there is scope for a lot of improvement to be made, and I hope that it is in the plans. FC needs to sell and a really great atmospheric map would have helped; as it is, it doesn't really seem to be much of an improvement over RoF - there's not really anything new so far.

Fingers crossed.

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Posted (edited)

Man, I think it's great and there's only up from here.

 

Anything negative about the ground I can think of is really a moot point. It's all just a blur when I'm turn fighting down low in my SPAD. 

 

We were on a server last night, about 15 or so, and it was quite immersive for us. My only requirement was that it made me feel like I'm flying over the front, and for me that was achieved. Everything else is just icing.

 

Well...I'm pissed the cows dont die when you shoot them.

Edited by US103_Talbot

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Just now, US103_Talbot said:

 

Well...I'm pissed the cows dont die when you shoot them.

 

 

Stick with parachutes them.

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5 minutes ago, US103_Talbot said:

Well...I'm pissed the cows dont die when you shoot them.

 

You should tell the devs about your beef.

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Posted (edited)

And the bicycles, which also make fence segment they lean on undestructible.I should take a tank to see if it can destroy a bicycle or run it over, but am little afraid.

Edited by J2_Trupobaw

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Posted (edited)

If thousands of people were queuing up to buy FC (with thousands already sold) I'd guess we'd have a no-mans land x100 better, but given the financial reality I reckon the Arras sandpit is pretty damn good. I bought my brother a copy of FC this afternoon on the strength of it and he loves it (the whole enchilada, not just the map, both VR flyers). :)

Edited by J3Hetzer
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Although the Arras map does fall a bit short of what I had hoped for, especially in no-mans land and the use of similar flat trench textures to RoF, it does still largely meet my expectations. I think we all kinda knew it was going to be similar to what we had seen of  the planes for FC - an incremental evolution of RoF rather than a revolution. I agree with Cat in that a really good map would have helped to sell the FC product and separate it from the old RoF, and while I have very little to complain about regarding the rest of the map, I think better trenches and more detailed craters/destroyed villages/hell-on-earth atmosphere in no-mans land would have helped differentiate FC from RoF and sway more of the RoF diehards over to FC - that and a new plane or two of course!

 

Having said that, there are still some positives: the barbed wire and fortifications are a nice addition, and the increased number and detail of the dead trees is good too.  We must also remember that FC is a niche product with limited appeal, so it probably doesnt make sense to spend more resources and money on building something fancy that only a small part of your overall customer base will even notice, let alone appreciate. Also, there is the performance impact to consider as well - the more junk you throw into no-mans land and the more detailed you make it the more customers you have jumping on the forums saying: "wth! I am only getting 25fps over nomans land! you ruined my game, and now my wife left me and my car broke down and my life is ruined! I want a refund! waah!" :P

 

So yeah, I was hoping for a bigger step up over RoF (and would've taken the performance hit for it - others might not be so willing) but I'm not unhappy with what we ended up with. It will serve its purpose and its fine. 

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Posted (edited)

I've flying 30 minute over the map, Douai to Cambrai,  and i'm a bit disapointed. A lot of small village are missing, "Guesnain" is wrongly orthographed (Guisnain in game). The Douai belfry is missing, a huge visual reference of the region, here a picture of the belfry in 1918:

BeffroiDouai1918.thumb.jpg.3dfd99324dd0506cffdffe7e2f99a37a.jpg

I think that the Cambrai belfry is missing too, but the cathedral seems modelised.
I didn't fly over the no man's land yet, but the cities doesn't look devastated. I hope some coal industrie aera are in the game.

However, the map look nice, but a lot of visual reference are missing (from Douai to Cambrai at least). I hope this is not the first and last build we will receive for the map.

I'll be flying over the rest of the map tonight or tomorrow.

Edited by Gerd_le_bourrin

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11 minutes ago, Flashy said:

So yeah, I was hoping for a bigger step up over RoF (and would've taken the performance hit for it - others might not be so willing) but I'm not unhappy with what we ended up with. It will serve its purpose and its fine. 

 

I think that sums up my feelings pretty much as it is "fine" it is just difficult to enthusiastically throw strings of superlatives at it!

 

Sure the game engine will handle a heck of a lot more but the other way of looking at it is to say with such a niche product it could have been nothing at all and we all know that what is technically possible and what is economically viable don't always align.  A good WWI sim is better than no WWI sim and whilst I doubt we'll ever know about the turnover or customer base financing this development it is safe to assume it is a small number of customers paying a small price and so there probably isn't the budget to deliver everything we'd all like .

 

HH

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The map is clearly not done guys. Buildings in the mud aren't destroyed, cities are mislabeled, etc. What we have currently is pretty nice though and is a step up from RoF for sure.

 

Easiest way to go look around is get on the shooting stars normal ai map and hit f11 and free fly around. 

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The only gripe I have at this point is they didn't start the FC planes from the right end of the war this go around. Lol. Eindeckers vs DH2s etc. Lack of vision and common sense imho, the game's plane-set progression would have matched reality and hooked a lot more players, something we're now relying on good maps to do. Will this one wow the un-decided? No idea but if it brings back existing owners who left due to no map and too few planes at least we'll have a war. :)

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I think a lot of us would like a set of older planes. 

But that could be the niche within the niche within the niche. 

I suspect the devs wouldn't have considered it a viable option. 

If we get more volumes who knows... 

 

S! 

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1 hour ago, J3Hetzer said:

The only gripe I have at this point is they didn't start the FC planes from the right end of the war this go around. Lol. Eindeckers vs DH2s etc. Lack of vision and common sense imho, the game's plane-set progression would have matched reality and hooked a lot more players, something we're now relying on good maps to do. Will this one wow the un-decided? No idea but if it brings back existing owners who left due to no map and too few planes at least we'll have a war. :)


Early war has always been less popular with MP that FC is aimed at. A shame. 

 

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Posted (edited)


Of course the first thing I did when I opened the new map was to go check out Boistrancourt Aerodrome because hey, our squad has of course been waiting for this moment with great anticipation.  Much to my surprise and dismay, not only is the airfield not even present on the map - although the lovely textures on the ground make it's correct position readily apparent -  it is almost compeltely lacking 3d trees and even more disturbing, is now located entirely inappropriately ON A HILL, so we can't even make it an effective airfield.

 

If anyone knows how to use the terrain leveler icon in the >locations< menu in the Editor, please get in contact with me.  The editor manual specifically notes that it won't go into detail on how to utilize the terrain editing functions of the tool.

 

As "lovely" as I guess this is compared to the original ROF map, it does not hold a candle to the level of detail that Paf put into modeling the original Arras mod map.  And if they couldn't take the time to model everything historically, themselves fine I get it, BUT.... all of that work was freely offered up to Jason for inclusion into this project over a year ago by both forum message and email.  INCLUDING custom models to make specialized landmarks.  We didn't even get a response...

 

Now I'm sure some people will chuckle at this and see it as a minor gripe.  Certainly it does not by any means render the Arras map uplayable.  I just ... expected more, from a company that I and others previously have put a lot of hope and faith to do the job right.  My mistake apparently, or maybe  as Trupobaw said they'll continue to add more detail and fix it in a future update... but I'm not holding my breath.

Edited by J5_Matthias
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9 minutes ago, J5_Matthias said:


Of course the first thing I did when I opened the new map was to go check out Boistrancourt Aerodrome because hey, our squad has of course been waiting for this moment with great anticipation.  Much to my surprise and dismay, not only is the airfield not even present on the map - although the lovely textures on the ground make it's correct position readily apparent -  it is almost compeltely lacking 3d trees and even more disturbing, is now located entirely inappropriately ON A HILL, so we can't even make it an effective airfield.

 

If anyone knows how to use the terrain leveler icon in the >locations< menu in the Editor, please get in contact with me.  The editor manual specifically notes that it won't go into detail on how to utilize the terrain editing functions of the tool.

 

As "lovely" as I guess this is compared to the original ROF map, it does not hold a candle to the level of detail that Paf put into modeling the original Arras mod map.  And if they couldn't take the time to model everything historically, themselves fine I get it, BUT.... all of that work was freely offered up to Jason for inclusion into this project over a year ago by both forum message and email.  INCLUDING custom models to make specialized landmarks.  We didn't even get a response...

 

Now I'm sure some people will chuckle at this and see it as a minor gripe.  Certainly it does not by any means render the Arras map uplayable.  I just ... expected more, from a company that I and others previously have put a lot of hope and faith to do the job right.  My mistake apparently, or maybe  as Trupobaw said they'll continue to add more detail and fix it in a future update... but I'm not holding my breath.


It might be that having handed it out to a third party to build they stepped back to let them get on with it (as an artist myself I wouldn't be happy with somebody looking over my shoulder while creating the goodies).

1 hour ago, J2_Trupobaw said:


Early war has always been less popular with MP that FC is aimed at. A shame. 

 


That whole early Red Baron period (DII vs Hawke's DH2) is very appealing to me, and Immelmann's Eindecker malarkey. But then you need all those wonderful early 2-seaters too. RoF had it all, shame they couldn't have just added VR and the upgraded engine to it and charged accordingly, I'd have paid the same price as I did for FC to have it. All those planes, gone.

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To be fair RoF didn't have it all in that respect.

The trouble for a server offering old crates is that in the fighter dept. anything above E3 and DH2 is dominant and they become redundant. You can throw 2 or 3 of the 2 seaters into the mix, but still short of older crates. 

Maybe an older crates module would have been a better idea than the Russian adventure ? All Hamilton Academicals now of course ! 

So I guess I'd advise the devs that if they continue FC, rather than leak an E3 and DH2 in say the next module, they wait until they're prepared to give us a whole mod with say 8-10 older planes and maybe even a stretch of new map to go with them.. 

Better off to bed, the dreaming's started early S! 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, J3Hetzer said:

That whole early Red Baron period (DII vs Hawke's DH2) is very appealing to me, and Immelmann's Eindecker malarkey. But then you need all those wonderful early 2-seaters too. RoF had it all, shame they couldn't have just added VR and the upgraded engine to it and charged accordingly, I'd have paid the same price as I did for FC to have it. All those planes, gone.

 

I think the problem in ROF (and in Flying Circus) is that the missions are not sensitive to the period. I always flew with Nieuports and Halbs against two-seaters loaded with weapon mods zapping everyone out. Then you really have to be a hard core role player to sacrifice your time just to try completing a mission. But the early Verdum mission was a classic back then whenever there was no Rollands packing cannons and double spandau turrets. And there is the turret perks, etc. So early planes was never realistic.

 

The other aspect is that for what people say, the E3 owns the DH2 in ROF, when in fact [historically speaking] the DH2 retired the E3 from the field. So at least for me, I never took part in any mission based on these two planes.

 

The earlier I can get is the Nieuports and Albatros D2, Halb D2. If you throw in the mix the Albatros D3 and the Tripehound, then it becomes epic. Below that, in my opinion, they should work the turret physical effects, block the weapon mods and fix the E3 and DH2 duel.

 

I might be wrong, but those things above played a role in why people were so adverse to the early 1915/16 missions.

Edited by SeaW0lf
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No-man’s land looks very poor.  I would have been swayed to buy FC if it were better.  

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Well i am glad there's any map, and i am sure there will be updates coming. Heard grapevine chat (alas not implemented yet when you press TAB) for Rheinland there will be a winter version next spring. I am sure it must be a lot of work creating maps, and for Rheinland i also miss quite a lot; in my area, and as musician i traveled a lot in Germany and so many towns, villages, other places i know existed maybe already 500 years ago are not there. But shooting virtual cows can be fun, poor animals. See if you find them in the FMB, and create linked entries for them, maybe you can get them to move and run off like ships and trains. Don't forget the on damage command edits. Make them explode? Instant Corned Beef.

 

PS the more 'active' items the slower loading times and stuttering with old computer like my 10 year old gaming PC.

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Posted (edited)

S! All

 

The map is visually stunning.

 

Yes, NML needs broken cities. The trenches look very much like what Hollywood used in the movie Sargent York. The ground explosions look nice. The lack of ambient flack is a blessing.

 

Biggest problem is not being able to use a flat field as an airfield. The planes sink into the ground. Any mention on fixing this? And did no one try and land on open ground in testing?

 

Please remember that the present map and objects are probably the result of the work on the Bodenplatte  map.  When the update comes out with the proper WW I objects we may also see new buildings?

 

I have not checked a google Earth map but compared to the RoF map the FC map is missing several cities, a canal or two and way too many airfields were left off.

 

Do we need to make a list of the deviations?

Edited by JG1_Butzzell

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3 hours ago, JG1_Butzzell said:

 

Biggest problem is not being able to use a flat field as an airfield. The planes sink into the ground. Any mention on fixing this? And did no one try and land on open ground in testing?

 

 

Yes they did, but it's not new. It's a general thing across all maps, not just Arras. Anyone who's tried to land the U-2VS off-road in Kuban will tell you that it sinks and gets stuck.

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Posted (edited)


 

Quote

 And did no one try and land on open ground in testing?


😭. I don't believe testers are allowed to answer that. I suppose bugs outside scope of the patch are not fixed ASAP. I had the same problem with FC planes on Kuban map, though.

BTW if you land on airfield, I advise against landing short of it then rolling to the hangars - try to reach beat ground before touchdown. The guard posts seem to more or less mark boundaries of safe zone. I will miss WW2 fields...

 

Edited by J2_Trupobaw
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, J5_Matthias said:

As "lovely" as I guess this is compared to the original ROF map, it does not hold a candle to the level of detail that Paf put into modeling the original Arras mod map.  And if they couldn't take the time to model everything historically, themselves fine I get it, BUT.... all of that work was freely offered up to Jason for inclusion into this project over a year ago by both forum message and email.  INCLUDING custom models to make specialized landmarks.  We didn't even get a response...

 

This was something I was also pretty angry about to be honest when I first saw the map. There was so much work and detail put into that mod by people who were obviously passionate about getting it right, and making sure it was as historical as possible, and it wasn't even used. All the hard work had already been done for them and they just had to port it over to the new map and yet it was just thrown in the trash - not even worth a response.  It's difficult in the extreme to understand that decision and the only reason I can possibly think of why this was done is because the budget for the map was pretty low (again due to niche nature of FC product) so there just wasnt enough money to pay someone to convert that mod to Il-2 standards..

 

Btw, do you have a working link to that mod still Matthias? All the old RoF forum links seem to be broken.. Could you please PM if you do? 

 

11 hours ago, Zooropa_Fly said:

I think a lot of us would like a set of older planes. 

But that could be the niche within the niche within the niche. 

I suspect the devs wouldn't have considered it a viable option. 

If we get more volumes who knows... 

 

 

I have always loved the early war stuff more than than the late war, and I would have been thrilled to see an early war pack with a "reworked" Dh2 (the current one is useless vs any other aircraft in the game for some reason), E.III's, N11's, etc as well as some early two seaters like Be2's, Aviatiks, Albatross B series and DFW B series etc. But yeah, this seems like a futile hope because its such a small market..

36 minutes ago, Red_Cat said:

 

Yes they did, but it's not new. It's a general thing across all maps, not just Arras. Anyone who's tried to land the U-2VS off-road in Kuban will tell you that it sinks and gets stuck.

 

yeah this is a personal bug-bear of mine and has a pretty negative impact on the usefulness of a plane like the U-2. Restricting the U-2 to prepared airfields is a bit like restricting an off-road vehicle to tarred roads - it will still work, but it kinda defeats the point!  I have been asking for a way around this for a while now, and if we get more of these types of aircraft (WW1planes, Storch, Tiger moth etc) the issue will only become more annoying. As I understand it, the devs need to create a third type of terrain (prepared airfield terrain and unprepared ground being the existing types) that we can somehow place on the map to allow planes to land off-field, and I think they are reluctant to do it because it doesnt affect many planes at the moment and is therefore low priority (if it even IS a priority!) 

Edited by Flashy

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Posted (edited)

You can go back to IL2 1946, it was nice. I liked air racing, landing on flattops, and especially torpedo bombing with a Sturmovik. The landscapes were a bit primitive .....

 

Edited by jollyjack

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, J5_Matthias said:


As "lovely" as I guess this is compared to the original ROF map, it does not hold a candle to the level of detail that Paf put into modeling the original Arras mod map.  And if they couldn't take the time to model everything historically, themselves fine I get it, BUT.... all of that work was freely offered up to Jason for inclusion into this project over a year ago by both forum message and email.  INCLUDING custom models to make specialized landmarks.  We didn't even get a response...

 


My  guess is time constrains and performance issues. The map is quite demanding as it is, and after the release I had to lower my graphic settings to avoid visual artifacts. 

I think we should make a through test of the map now :), especially the difficult airfielfds. One thing I noticed is that La Targette (east) field is located on hill slope, and surrounded by trees ftom three sides. If someone with knowledge od mission editor could check terrain around the fields, or people with time could see if it's possible to land a fully fuelled and loaded Cl.II, we could make a list of problematic fields for devs. 

One sure thing about BoX is, things get eventually fixed. But it sometimes takes lot of time.

As of airfields... I suppose only fields used in Summer 1918 are represented. Jasta 5 moved to Cappy by the time FC timeframe starts. Velu, Boelckes last airfield, is gone, too.

Edited by J2_Trupobaw
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A friend asked me yesterday what I thought of the map, and I said: I'm whelmed. Neither under nor over. It fulfills its purpose of being a map to fly WWI planes on, even though it's a far cry from the minute details found on the RoF Channel map (which performed quite horribly, split the multiplayer community in two and probably didn't sell very well to boot).

 

I certainly get it, in the eyes of some people the details and accuracy of the map are not only important, they're their passion and hobby. If I already had more time to fly than read the forum in between work/study breaks, I could also see myself getting down and dirty with the mission builder. For now, I'm rediscovering the joy to fly these planes with improved visuals under mostly improved conditions.

 

In the meantime I'm very grateful to finally see g forces implemented on crew. This, too, could have been more detailed, but at least it's there now and we can lay part of the argument to rest regarding gunners operating under a different ruleset than pilots. For the record, our experience in this past Black September taught us that even without g forces, the improved damage modeling means that it's no longer sufficient for a gunner to take potshots at wings and wait for aerodynamic stress to do the rest. In that respect, it's already a complete departure from RoF. I might even argue that it is more beneficial to fly purely defensively with an AI gunner as they have fewer constraints compared to human gunners when shooting at long range, but that is a topic for another day.

 

I once said that RoF would be the last WWI flightsim for a long time to come (I'll leave someone else to do the digging through my post history), at least until a gaming paradigm shift happens which puts flightsims front and center again (FS2020?). I'm not sure that I've been entirely proven wrong, yet, as Volume 1 still needs a few fixes and improvements before it can be called feature complete, but we're getting there.

 

What we need now more than anything is warm bodies on weeknights.

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Posted (edited)

In agreement. I like it, I think the front definitely looks more 'messy' - more trenches, more ground clutter, generally more, and it does look nice. But, it's not much more than fit for purpose. 

 

That being said, I got chills when I saw an alb over the mud for the first time in FC...

 

Re: Black September - I wonder how differently it all would have gone with the whole 'knockout' feature and G tolerances? Personally, I can think of one occasion where I would have been spinning down blacked-out...

Edited by US103_Larner

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Posted (edited)

S! All

 

I hope they will add the RoF airfield models. I really miss them. And Balloons. And a Shrubbery.

Edited by JG1_Butzzell
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The cities are overdone ( start recording a track and make a low flyover of one to see what happens). To compensate, other stuff is underdone.

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3 hours ago, US103_Larner said:

 

 

 

Re: Black September - I wonder how differently it all would have gone with the whole 'knockout' feature and G tolerances? Personally, I can think of one occasion where I would have been spinning down blacked-out...

 

Longdong Silver would have needed a c%^k ring.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, J5_Klugermann said:

 

Longdong Silver would have needed a c%^k ring.

 

Why bother? We all know it's just like the cooper bombs- doesn't work! 

 

😉🤣😂🍆🍌🌽🥒🥕🌭

Edited by US103_Talbot
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7 hours ago, US103_Talbot said:

 

Why bother? We all know it's just like the cooper bombs- doesn't work! 

 

😉🤣😂🍆🍌🌽🥒🥕🌭

 

All bombs work fine. No problem.

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I've not (at least from memory) had any issues with them either.

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I glad that we had dedicated map , but some questions too:

Why would you do NML full of shell holes and left buildings which were in the time destroyed in perfect state. Why NML is full of grass ... As one moder deleted NML layer from the map  it's look like there were no war at all. I wonder why we have Stalingrad in ruins ?

Overall, if 10 years was not enough to move tech to be able to model 3D trenches ,I think it can be useful what we have now  if you want simulate moving front or make new more realistic textures for NML. 

 

I just want more ppl in  and dedicated server for Sunday FC mission.

S!

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Posted (edited)

IIRC lot of Arras and Rhineland map was procedurally generated. Hence intact buildings, NML grass and other out of place objects. 

 

This map reminds me of CloD a lot; some features got lots of love, the rest didn't make it.

Edited by J2_Trupobaw

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This is just the default template guys. You can destroy all buildings if you want to and create a new template. You can also add destroyed villages in no mans land etc. (I will do this for the mission generator template).

 

Early days still.

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To be honest I think texture mod I have for RoF has a better NML.

The craters are more 3D thanks to the shading.

The craters thin out nicely just beyond the mud, either side.

Some textures remain visible through the mud - e.g. ploughed field. (But it's still brown lol)

 

For atmosphere over the front, nothing beats IL2 1946 mod DBW 1916.

Not likely possible in FC due to the huge performance differences, but there was a war going on down below.

 

Not finished of course, I'm sure there will be changes to come.

 

S!

 

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