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My journey from DCS to IL2


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Not sure what sub-forum to post this in so came here:

 

TLDR:

 

Over a two week period this Christmas I went on a flight sim journey from full fidelity modern planes to Helicopters then cold war jets and finally to WW2 planes and the amazing content that is IL2.

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Hey folks, not sure if anyone will find this interesting but I thought I would document the journey I went on over two weeks of annual leave this Christmas.

 

I have played both DCS and IL2 previously. With DCS I studied the F18 for quite some time and became quite proficient with it.

 

This time back though I came armed with VR. The quest 2 after update 23 and my quite powerful PC rig has been a turning point for flight sims (for me). I can read everything in the cockpit and the immersion is staggering.

 

On my first day off from work I got heavily back into DCS and bought the A10C II module for Xmas believing this would consume me for the whole holiday period. I was very wrong!

This module is excellent though, setting your SPI with the HMCS nearly makes everything too easy! I found that I picked up quite a few of the systems much faster than I expected. The base knowledge transfer from the F18 really helped.

 

For some reason I then fancied having a go at helicopters. I bought the KA50 and thought threw the Huey in the shopping cart on a whim! Once again, I really enjoyed the KA50.

 

Late one night though I fired up the Huey and I just couldn’t fly the thing for love nor money! That to me then became my first real challenge of the holidays and I was hooked! 

 

I spent three days doing nothing other than watching instructional youtubes, taking off, transitioning to a hover and landing. Finally, I got the point I could consistently land on helipad in the Huey. One of my big achievement of the holidays was landing the Huey on the hospital roof top helipad in a custom single player mission.

 

The Huey is simply my favourite module in DCS now. Nothing feels better to fly. Slap on a Vietnam Spotify playlist and you are grinning from ear to ear! So off I go to multiplayer servers and after doing some CTLD runs I find the shortcoming of the Huey, which is fun meaningful content. This I think is DCS’s biggest issue especially for single player.

 

So back on to the module shop I go. Having finally realised that learning loads of different systems is not necessarily my prime motivation from a purchase anymore. I now pick up the F-5e Tiger. Another great module. I can now honestly state that I enjoy combat in this more than I do in the modern aircraft. Even doing bombing and rocket runs more manually is just much more satisfying and you must “fly” the plane to hit the targets.

 

It was when I was looking for single player content for the F5 that I came across DCS Liberation (an external campaign generation mod). I have a cold war campaign running and it is excellent.

 

It is becoming quite apparent to me that I enjoy the flying aspect more than the “systems aspect” of flight sims. So once more I made a trip to the module shop (thank god for the Xmas sale). This time I get the P51D. Maybe I have finally found my flight sim niche with WW2 planes I though as I was getting similar vibes to flying the Huey, but also just loving the dogfighting etc.

 

I try to fire up a WW2 DCS liberation campaign and start to run into troubles. Scripting errors and whatnot. I am really struggling to find any good immersive DCS WW2 single player content!!!

 

It’s at this point I thought to myself, maybe I should re-install IL2. I must confess I was starting to see myself as a full fidelity cockpit snob. But what the hell, I’ll download it and fire it up.

With only 2 days left of the holidays I fired up IL2. The planes fly near identically in both sim, credit to both development teams. However, I immediately start to notice some real positives about IL2:

 

1.       The VR performance is streets ahead of DCS

2.       The campaign generator and scripted campaigns are exactly what I needed

3.       I can fire it up and be in a mission extremely quickly

4.       I spend less time tinkering with settings and controls and more time flying

5.       I didn’t miss the full fidelity cockpits as much as I thought,

6.       With key binds on the Hotas I am still managing mixture, radiators and other systems. If you are a full “cold start” person IL2 may not be for you

7.       For me IL2 has hit the fidelity “sweet spot” in WW2 planes

8.       It is actually quite nice to not have a different control scheme for every plane!

 

I spent the last of my Xmas money buying the remaining content on IL2 that I didn’t own. I have now been playing it non-stop. I fired up DCS last night and honestly spent 20 mins in it before switching back to IL2 and doing 2 scripted campaign missions and one career mission. Approximately 2.5 hours of playtime.

 

Some thoughts on IL2 now I am back into it:

1.       It would be nice if the command menu you open with the tilde key was mouse clickable (the equivalent menu in DCS is)

2.       There is what I call the circle of pixilation, it looked quite bad over the sea in the Kuban map due to the cloud reflections being pixelated. It would be nice if I could increase the range as I am pretty sure my rig could handle it.

3.       A Hotas button that acts as modifier, removing any need for keyboard in VR is huge. I still need do a few things looking through that small gap at the end of my nose

4.       Even though I have the same Hotas setup for all planes I wouldn’t mind the ability to select a binding “profile” to have more than one.

5.       I would love a flight log to see the hours I have spent in each plane and the associated stats.

6.       It would be great if flight replays could be automatically saved at the end of each mission

7.       It would be nice to have a "dot only" icon as identification can still be tricky in VR.

 

In summary, it has been quite the flight sim journey for me over Xmas. I feel that IL2 really has nailed a sweet spot between fidelity, pricing and content. It would be awesome to see the game move into early cold war content too 😊

 

Keep up the amazing work and thank you very much for the game you have developed!

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Hi and welcome. 

I had this game, since  the first day.  I loved it with and without VR. 

DCS and GB is not really competing in other ways than time available for flying. 

I have ups and downtime with both these games.  If you choose to be active here , you will find this forum to be very much more friendly than ED forum.  

For me after latest GB patch my Rift s run equally on both games.  

I fly choppers in DCS and my absolute favorite is MI 8. But Huey is great.  But I like the MI 8 campaigns better. 

Thank you for your point of view, I need this game and I need DCS.  For several different reasons

 

 

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It's absolutely not going to be one or the other for me. I think they are both great Sims and financially I have invested quite heavily in both now too.

 

I suppose the point I was making is that iL2 is filling my need for single player content and it does it really well. I also "surprised" myself with the journey towards lower tech modules and planes, I didn't see that coming for me personally. I thought I was going top spend 50+ hours in the Warthog!

 

I know DCS are working on a campaign generator which is desperately needs especially for their warbirds content.

 

My problem with relying on the DCS mission editor is that I know what is going to happen. With iL2 I just need to click "next day" in career mode to get up and running and the only thing I am losing out on that I can see, is some clickable cockpit buttons which is just not as important in cockpits that inherently have less interaction than modern fighter jets.

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4 hours ago, Saiyon said:

7.       It would be nice to have a "dot only" icon as identification can still be tricky in VR.

 

If you're into single player the game has a Mods On mode which is worth investigating.

:salute:

 

 

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16 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

Both are great sims, as is FS2020. I'd be surprised if any serious flightsimhead didn't have all three. 

 

 

 

Yep this.

In order of my preference to play:

IL-2 GB

DCS

MSFS 2020 ( this may well move into #2 slot though soon). Don't see anything topping IL-2 in my preferences on the radar.

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1 hour ago, dburne said:

 

Yep this.

In order of my preference to play:

IL-2 GB

DCS

MSFS 2020 ( this may well move into #2 slot though soon). Don't see anything topping IL-2 in my preferences on the radar.

 

Used to be IL2 by leaps and bounds for me, but now...

 

DCS

IL2

FS2020

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Well written, I agree with a lot of that. Still have to say that flying the planes do not feel the same to me, not at all. Somehow the sense of speed is much better on DCS, especially when slowing down in climb for example. And stalling feels great too. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/5/2021 at 11:36 PM, kestrel79 said:

Very good comparison! I agree with a lot of what you said. It's great to have all 3 :)

 

will fully second that!

 

Additional IL2 got the numbers on different WW2 server like finnish dynamic war, combat box, TAW and berloga etc

 

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On 1/6/2021 at 8:45 PM, CanadaOne said:

 

Used to be IL2 by leaps and bounds for me, but now...

 

DCS

IL2

FS2020

 

I just can't tear myself away from MSFS at the moment and I never thought that would be the case! There's no combat but the immersion that can be had in VR in the right setting (for example I just flew through some African mountains during bad weather and a storm) is just so far beyond all other flight sim experiences.

It gets a little rougher on the eye (or performance if you try to alter this too much) in built up areas but under the right conditions, no other flight sim has ever taken me so close to the reality of flying a real plane, and unlike DCS/GB where there is no real incentive to explore generic toy towns, one keeps flying solely because one wants to see what he will experience/see next!

I've always found DCS does scale better than GB, but MSFS does scale so much better than either of them which makes sense of course. You feel as if you are really flying over mountains!

 

The main thing is the immersion and atmosphere but this doesen't always need to mean high graphics settings and I think its best not to get too greedy or obssessed with chasing graphical perfection. As with DCS/GB I think it is best in VR to fly at dusk or sunrise to limit over exposure and conceal some of the gnarly wrinkles while keeping performance as good as possible. Another thing that helps greatly is simshaker seems to work so well with MSFS. With DCS (and GB especially) it's a bit eratic and hit and miss from module to module. With MSFS it just seems so seamless.

 

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I haven't actually bought MSFS yet, worried that I will get bored with it. But every weekend I get closer to hitting the button on that purchase.

 

I have been playing IL2 non-stop recently and have now progressed in single player to having all aids turned off, map markers, labels everything. The only thing I still see is the Russian translations on the left etc. I have also fallen in love with the Yaks! I have been steadily playing through scripted campaigns and I am finding it all very immersive in IL2.

 

It also helps that I have really dialled in my VR settings and it just all looks ace. I got oil flying into my face the first time the other night in VR that was just epic :)

 

DCS is my go to for helicopters. I still love flying the MI-8 in particular. I lot of what I originally wrote still stands. Outside of multi-player DCS single player content is still pants. Terrible AI and no campaign generator are really hurting that sim. The worst AI I have seen is taking the Sabre up against a Mig-15. I have bought some of the campaigns on the store and they are not bad, but just nowhere near as immersive as IL2.

 

I am still a big fan of both sims and no doubt will keep bouncing between them but I am still clocking a lot more hours in IL2.

 

I am secretly really hoping that IL2 is looking to move into Korea and some of the early jets. Just take my money already!!

 

Also an earlier poster in this thread mentioned how toxic the ED forums are, and my god it is hard to believe that IL2 and DCS are a similar community when comparing the forums. Whatever community magic that is going on over here is awesome and needs to be maintained!

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11 hours ago, Saiyon said:

I haven't actually bought MSFS yet, worried that I will get bored with it. But every weekend I get closer to hitting the button on that purchase.

 

I have been playing IL2 non-stop recently and have now progressed in single player to having all aids turned off, map markers, labels everything. The only thing I still see is the Russian translations on the left etc. I have also fallen in love with the Yaks! I have been steadily playing through scripted campaigns and I am finding it all very immersive in IL2.

 

It also helps that I have really dialled in my VR settings and it just all looks ace. I got oil flying into my face the first time the other night in VR that was just epic :)

 

DCS is my go to for helicopters. I still love flying the MI-8 in particular. I lot of what I originally wrote still stands. Outside of multi-player DCS single player content is still pants. Terrible AI and no campaign generator are really hurting that sim. The worst AI I have seen is taking the Sabre up against a Mig-15. I have bought some of the campaigns on the store and they are not bad, but just nowhere near as immersive as IL2.

 

I am still a big fan of both sims and no doubt will keep bouncing between them but I am still clocking a lot more hours in IL2.

 

I am secretly really hoping that IL2 is looking to move into Korea and some of the early jets. Just take my money already!!

 

Also an earlier poster in this thread mentioned how toxic the ED forums are, and my god it is hard to believe that IL2 and DCS are a similar community when comparing the forums. Whatever community magic that is going on over here is awesome and needs to be maintained!

 

Nah I doubt you'll regret it. I have posts on this forum where I express the exact same feeling will I get bored? But it just ends up being one more arrow in the flight sim bow and a different type of experience. I never found the ED forums to be toxic though. The main problem for me was how little activity there is over there, but I always found people willing to help and be kind. It's a bit like how certain football fans insist other football fans are bad people comparative to themselves! I've met some pretty unpleasent individuals here too on occasions!

 

I actually find the GB AI worse than the DCS to be honest (it just flys around in circles) although DCS AI is appalling for certain german modules (FW's just cannot win) the last time I checked. GB is better on the campaign side of things but I find DCS is much better for just loading up a quick (planes vs planes) mission and having fun. I never feel compelled to do that with GB as its all or nothing for me.

 

Both have their strengths and weaknesses but DCS is improving all the time on the WW2 front. Helicopters and  jets though make it an experience that is just not to be missed. There are also campaigns you can buy (big show etc) and a lot of user made content but it does need more WW2 stuff. The performance is so much better than it used to be (I can fly battle of britain missions now smoothly that used to be awful due to the amount of assets) and the atmosphere (damage model/setting) has also gone up several notches.


But by far and away where DCS really has an edge over GB for is the modules themselves. GB planes for me just feel so much more... samey! With DCS I get more of a feeling that each module is an individual and I love the full fidelity and clickable cockpits especially in VR. The spitfire and P51 or the I-16 are just brilliant, and for me they just feel more like genuine simulations.  There seems to be more depth perception in VR as well with DCS as I feel more like I am in a real cockpit able to interact with and look around the controls from any angle.   

 

But the modules have to be better as that is what one is paying for and where all the focus and money goes so it is only right it should be that way, just as the campaign side of things would be neglected somewhat. Can’t have everything. With DCS you are paying for the planes themselves and the rest is a user made sandbox with a fantastic mission editor. GB is more watered down module wise but a more complete overall gaming experience with better WW2 atmosphere (at least for now). But I do think the GB SP experience is let down by its AI.

 

Don't forget too though that DCS has a fantastic mission builder. Everything you need to make good content is at your fingertips (though it is rather like eating ones own food) and there is also a lot of quality content made by other people out there. WW2 is lacking but there is certainly no lack of content for things like the jets and the choppers. And the immersion and atmosphere of much of that content is incredible. I remember one MI8 mission over the ocean. Just fantastic immersion in VR and really gave me a feel for how terrifiying it would be to maintain concentration in such a setting (low down over ocean in bad weather)!

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

As an avid VR-simmer, i think there is just no way arround IL-2
Love DCS for it´s modern tech tho´and FS2020 for it´s looks.

Does anyone else feel like fs2020 is way to arcadey feeling, even on realisitc?
I just cant get over the fact, that FS feels like flying through honey!

And one of the reasons i avoid DCS, everthing just takes ages.

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I love them all for what they have to offer - Il-2, DCS, and MSFS 2020.

I use IL-2 for my WWII flying, DCS for Jet flying, and MSFS 2020 for relaxing GA flying.

I heartily support all three and we being such a niche hobby are fortunate to have them.

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3 minutes ago, dburne said:

I love them all for what they have to offer - Il-2, DCS, and MSFS 2020.

I use IL-2 for my WWII flying, DCS for Jet flying, and MSFS 2020 for relaxing GA flying.

I heartily support all three and we being such a niche hobby are fortunate to have them.

 

Exactly. 

 

I think we have our own golden age happening right now with DCS, IL2, and FS2020. And each is seeing substantial improvements on an ongoing basis.

 

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6 hours ago, dawud said:

As an avid VR-simmer, i think there is just no way arround IL-2
Love DCS for it´s modern tech tho´and FS2020 for it´s looks.

Does anyone else feel like fs2020 is way to arcadey feeling, even on realisitc?
I just cant get over the fact, that FS feels like flying through honey!

And one of the reasons i avoid DCS, everthing just takes ages.

No it does not take ages, DCS got tools for making fast fun. But for me it is phases. 

Now I am sick of GB, I am not able to muster anything else than a short qmb session if at all. Next phase I probably can't get enough of it. In these phases, it is good to have another sim, if not I would have sold my kit and never come back

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9 hours ago, LuseKofte said:

No it does not take ages, DCS got tools for making fast fun. But for me it is phases. 

Now I am sick of GB, I am not able to muster anything else than a short qmb session if at all. Next phase I probably can't get enough of it. In these phases, it is good to have another sim, if not I would have sold my kit and never come back

 

I used to migrate back and forth between flight and racing sims. I’d get burned out on one, then go back to the other - repeat.

 

Since I’ve been creating content however (and no wheel anymore) I haven’t spent more than 20 hours driving (in Assetto Corsa (Competizione) with my X-box controller.)

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6 hours ago, Gambit21 said:

 

I used to migrate back and forth between flight and racing sims. I’d get burned out on one, then go back to the other - repeat.

 

Since I’ve been creating content however (and no wheel anymore) I haven’t spent more than 20 hours driving (in Assetto Corsa (Competizione) with my X-box controller.)

 

Yeah I got a wheel setup a few months ago, have it all set up here on a Wheel Stand Pro ready to go, probably have not done 20 hours with it yet.

It just is not the same as flight sims for me. But I am sure I will occasionally use it.

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16 hours ago, LuseKofte said:

 

Now I am sick of GB, I am not able to muster anything else than a short qmb session if at all. 

 

I'm putting all my hopes on the Advanced QMB. It's the IL2 Hail Mary at this point.

 

If the Advanced QMB is good, money will follow. If not, well...

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On 4/14/2021 at 1:55 PM, LuseKofte said:

Now I am sick of GB, I am not able to muster anything else than a short qmb session if at all. 

 

I hear ya. Seems DCS will be getting all my money from this point on. 

 

Can't wait for the Mosquito! It's going to be great in the new clouds.

 

Mosquito-2s.jpg

 

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