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Toppaso

The BoX module format - a limit for the future?

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Hello everyone,

 

Relatively new player here, used to play a lot of the original IL-2 from forgotten battles onwards back when I was still in high school.

The original game sparked my interest in WWII and aviation in general (went on to graduate as aeronautical engineer) and will always have a special place in my heart.

By the way I see a lot of familiar usernames from the time when i lurked the IL-2 forum back in the day :)

 

In the last year or so I slowly gathered the will to fly again, picked up almost everything released for BoX so far, replaced my old joystick, and now I'm having a blast both online and offline.

Many thanks the dedication and love the devs have put into this; and I'm looking forward to the next additions to the serie!

 

Anyway I was wondering about the current format of standalones products and if anyone feels like me:

 

At first having 8 flyable planes + map & dynamic campaign for each module seems like a great idea both from a commercial and player perspective.

But doesnt the need to have UNIQUE planes for each module limit future flexibility and expandability?

there are a LOT of theatres that IL-2 could expand into, with great maps and careers, but not so many that could offer both an UNIQUE & ATTRACTING planeset for new players and players that already have everything...

 

I mean german planes fought on almost every front (save for the pacific, hint hint ;)), how many plane sub-variants can the devs realistically come up with?

I for one would love a Med/North African scenario, but if we already have every iteration of 109 E,F and G models.. that means that axis fighters are going to be only italian, which is absolutely fine for me but maybe not for the broader audience. Or we could have some trop variants of 109 we already have in the sim, which will probably feel like a rip-off to the people that already have those planes.

 

Wouldnt it be possible to have bigger planesets (i dont know 13-15 planes) that contain some shared planes that can be found in other modules, and you could have a discounted price if you already have those modules? Or maybe completely separating the sale of planes and scenarios/maps?

 

Does anyone see a workaround or solution to this?

Would like to hear what the community thinks, maybe its just me being whiny :)

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Yes, it will definitely be a limiting factor in future. I like the option of having a discount for those who already own some aircraft included in future expansions.

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5 minutes ago, Arthur-A said:

I like the option of having a discount for those who already own some aircraft included in future expansions.

 

^^This is the option I'd like to see in future as BoX expands. If a theatre has planes that are already included in other expansions, give those already owning those planes a decent discount since they're only really buying a map. I think that would be fair as the expansion would also be less work for the devs, since they aren't designing a bunch of new planes from scratch.

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At a certain point I think they will have to decouple the aircraft from the theatres if we stay in WWII in Europe, or go to smaller plane packs at lower prices.

More maps, careers, and maybe a higher focus on content other than planes to make a new module attractive.

It would be interesting, for example, for a Battle of Italy expansion that included two or three maps of different battle areas and say 4-6 planes instead of 10. New Italian types, lesser-known variants of some Allied types.

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57 minutes ago, Toppaso said:

I mean german planes fought on almost every front (save for the pacific, hint hint ;)), how many plane sub-variants can the devs realistically come up with?

 

Well, the Bf 109 series still has the G10, G6/AS and G14/AS to offer; the FW 190 still has the A9 (technically the A7, too). Other very late German fighters would be dangerously close to 46-territory, like the He 162.

 

Still that is enough for at least two late war modules, like Battle of Seelow Heights or Battle of Rimini. The 109s in particular could help to make an Italian scenario more attractive to the casual player, suplementing later Italian planes.

 

After that... Battle of Manchuria? 🙂

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1 minute ago, FliegerAD said:

The 109s in particular could help to make an Italian scenario more attractive to the casual player, suplementing later Italian planes.

 

I'd much rather fly a couple of actual Bella Maccinas.

Like the MC 205, the G55 or the Re 2005.

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29 minutes ago, Goffik said:

 

^^This is the option I'd like to see in future as BoX expands. If a theatre has planes that are already included in other expansions, give those already owning those planes a decent discount since they're only really buying a map. I think that would be fair as the expansion would also be less work for the devs, since they aren't designing a bunch of new planes from scratch.

 

Yeah some sort of shared planes between modules with a discount if you already have them seems like the better idea,

 

I think if you were to completely decouple planes from scenarios sale most people who fly online would flock to buy the high-performance late war birds, which in turn would leave early war planes with low sales volume and it would end up encouraging the dev to focus mostly on those... I think not a good choice for the sim in the long run

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13 minutes ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

I'd much rather fly a couple of actual Bella Maccinas.

Like the MC 205, the G55 or the Re 2005.

 

Sure, that's why I said "casual player". And seeing the target audience of BoX is not all that casual anyway, I would try an Axis plane set with Italian designs only. Well, perhaps one or two German bombers...

But I don't know if the devs feel the same.

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12 minutes ago, FliegerAD said:

 

Well, the Bf 109 series still has the G10, G6/AS and G14/AS to offer; the FW 190 still has the A9 (technically the A7, too). Other very late German fighters would be dangerously close to 46-territory, like the He 162.

 

Yeah I know it is still possible to do that, but lets take this late war italian scenario as an example:

 

If you already own BoBp, do you really want another late war 109/190 in place of a more unique (even if less historically relevant) plane? probably not, even because you could probably fly the campaign with a lets say a G14 or A8 that you have.

 

On the other hand, if you dont have any other module and buy this Battle of northern italy set... not being able to fly a 109 or 190 would be a bummer to say the least.

 

In the end I think with the current format devs have to chose between appeasing a potential new buyer that doesnt have any other module, and the aficionados who already own everything...but they cant do both

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45 minutes ago, Toppaso said:

I think if you were to completely decouple planes from scenarios sale most people who fly online would flock to buy the high-performance late war birds, which in turn would leave early war planes with low sales volume and it would end up encouraging the dev to focus mostly on those... I think not a good choice for the sim in the long run

 

The actual number of people that MP and people that only SP is always up for debate.

 

If you search around you will find that the sim engine right now does not support large numbers of multi-engine/multi-position a/c (e.g. no flyable B-17). Because CLoD is a subsidiary, all Battle of Britain is off the table. PTO is back burner-ed due to lack of technical details on Japanese planes. North Africa, at least 1941, is being worked on by their subsidiary using the CLoD engine, so no expansion there.

 

All that leaves a limited expansion set to begin with. There has been a lot of speculation on this (especially in the Polls folder). But it's all speculation. The devs will continue to produce as long as the creek don't rise I would guess, because it is also a labor of respect for the history. They'll give us their decision; some will like it and some will hate it, and I'll keep crashing into trees sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

 

I'd much rather fly a couple of actual Bella Maccinas.

Like the MC 205, the G55 or the Re 2005.

 

I am a big fan of the Cant Alcione. That's some good looking plane. All of those italian planes were 

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2 hours ago, Toppaso said:

Yeah I know it is still possible to do that, but lets take this late war italian scenario as an example:

 

If you already own BoBp, do you really want another late war 109/190 in place of a more unique (even if less historically relevant) plane? probably not, even because you could probably fly the campaign with a lets say a G14 or A8 that you have.

 

On the other hand, if you dont have any other module and buy this Battle of northern italy set... not being able to fly a 109 or 190 would be a bummer to say the least.

 

A mixed plane set of German and Italian fighters would not be capable of perfectly pleasing both groups, indeed, but then what plane set would? There are always trade-offs (see the reaction to the BoN plane set). 

 

Let's say the Italy 44/45 scenario includes the Bf 109 G10, the G.55 and the Re.2005. The new players get what they expect, a competitive 109, and all the others get fancy new Italian rides - even if they totally dislike the G10. ...which is not a given anyway, I guess a number of people would be happy to complete their 109 collection. On the other hand new players might take a liking to the Italian planes. Then some older fans of the series may not care for the Italians at all. And so on.

There are a lot of variables, and you will never satisfy everyone.

 

However let us not forget the other options like the late war Eastern Front. Bring in a late 109, a late 190, some bombers, and you got the German side covered. (Plus crazy stuff like the Bü 181 Panzerjäger). And I was not kidding about Manchuria 1945; at least carrier ops would not be an issue, even if research of Japanese planes still is.

 

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12 minutes ago, FliegerAD said:

Let's say the Italy 44/45 scenario

 

The problem with the late war Italian scenario is that the fighters were mostly withdrawn from the front to fight strategic bombers. From Torch to Anzio is a fight; after that, it's really rather rare to see the Axis forces contest over the front against allied tactical air.

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I don't think that will happen, that planes will be sold twice. The series is already benefiting from the fact that some sets overlap. And there were no discounts or anything like that.Bobp for example will profit a lot from Normandy, as well as a (future) late eastern front scenario (which will come sooner or later) will add nice things to Bobp again (at least for the Germans). Also, it theoretically offers the possibility to add other more exotic types. And in total there are easily 4-5 expansions in it before it gets short. What might be worthwhile is to sell maps and the career mode separately (as a pack). Although I have little hope that this idea will be taken up. But let's see what will happen in the future.


 

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9 hours ago, Toppaso said:

Wouldnt it be possible to have bigger planesets (i dont know 13-15 planes) that contain some shared planes that can be found in other modules, and you could have a discounted price if you already have those modules?

 

Let's imagine we get a module with 8 new planes and 3 'reprints' for $65, or discounted to $50 for anyone who already owns the older planes. How many people would wind up paying the full $65? Is it common for new players to start with the latest title?

 

I don't have their sales numbers, but I have to imagine that as the series goes on they're facing a problem of older titles cannibalizing sales of the newer ones. If you're new to the series, you need to really love the Western front to start with Bodenplatte, when for the same price you could pick up BoM, and BoS, and BoK, and three collector planes when they go on sale. That will probably be even more true with a module set in Italy, which is somewhat of a forgotten front.

 

Throwing in a couple of additional existing planes, (109G-? and P-40E, maybe?), with a full price or preorder purchase of the next BoX would be a nice sweetener to encourage new players not to wait for the price drop, and solves the problem of new players being turned off by an Italian plane set. It wouldn't affect enfranchised players, who will buy it anyway, and it's unlikely to affect sales of the earlier titles as long as they don't choose to bundle unique planes like the A-20 or the Ju-87.

 

 

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On 2/15/2020 at 8:11 AM, Charon said:

 

Let's imagine we get a module with 8 new planes and 3 'reprints' for $65, or discounted to $50 for anyone who already owns the older planes. How many people would wind up paying the full $65? Is it common for new players to start with the latest title?

 

 

Sorry maybe I don't get it; you're saying that in this case if you charge 15$ extra for 3 older planes (that can be used in the scenario) new players are not gonna bother because for 20$ they could pick up a whole BoX module when on discount?

 

Or are you saying is it the other way around? that noone is gonna bother with the older titles?

 

I think that 10-ish $ would be a better offer for these 3 plane pack we're talking about... or even lower for that matter.

I think that anything that helps making the offer attractive for people that still havent got into the serie is good.

 

Once someone buys a title and gets hooked, it is more likely to come back and grab the other titles as well

 

I think that most IL-2 buyers fall into one of the two categories:

-they bought a module tried a bit and left it there...

-they bought a module, got interested, and slowly grabbed the others as well

 

just my 2c

On 2/14/2020 at 8:15 PM, cardboard_killer said:

 

If you search around you will find that the sim engine right now does not support large numbers of multi-engine/multi-position a/c (e.g. no flyable B-17). Because CLoD is a subsidiary, all Battle of Britain is off the table. PTO is back burner-ed due to lack of technical details on Japanese planes. North Africa, at least 1941, is being worked on by their subsidiary using the CLoD engine, so no expansion there.

 

I got mixed feelings about CloD;

I own it (bought it back when it released) and on one hand im really excited that north africa is being worked on, always loved the more 'forgotten fronts'

on the other hand splitting a small community between different titles seems i don't know.. wrong?

 

but i guess IL-2 devs have limited resources both in terms of manpower and investments, and maybe this was the only doable way in which we could get a new north african scenario.

If this is the case so be it, but still leaves a sour aftertaste..

 

PS: I have nothing against CloD itself, I think it is might be a little worse than IL2 in some aspects, a little better in others

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19 minutes ago, Toppaso said:

Sorry maybe I don't get it; you're saying that in this case if you charge 15$ extra for 3 older planes (that can be used in the scenario) new players are not gonna bother because for 20$ they could pick up a whole BoX module when on discount?

 

This. But actually it's worse than that. I expect the devs are encountering this problem already with titles like Bodenplatte.

 

I'm one of those new players, by the way. I watched some streamers, added BoS to my steam wishlist, and then bought BoM, BoS, BoK, and all the collector planes for about $100 the moment they went on sale. I could buy Bodenplatte, and I'm sure I will eventually, but what's the hurry? I still haven't flown half the planes I own. I might as well wait and see if I can pick it up at a discount.

 

19 minutes ago, Toppaso said:

I think that 10-ish $ would be a better offer for these 3 plane pack we're talking about... or even lower for that matter.

I think that anything that helps making the offer attractive for people that still havent got into the serie is good.

 

We're more or less in agreement; I'm just saying they should price the bonus planes at $0. "Buy X, get Y free" is a better sales pitch than "Buy X, get Y at a 50% discount", and we agree that players who stick with the series are likely to pick up all the games eventually. I don't think enough players are buying the series in reverse chronological order for 1C to lose out on much with this pricing.

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I would be perfectly happy to buy modules that have overlapping plane-sets. A discount for owners of the overlapping modules would be perfectly fair in my mind.

 

All I really want is more maps to fight on and extend the career mode. I'll probably never have enough time in my life to fly everything, but more chances to pick away at the war is something I'll take in a heartbeat.

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