September 16th, 2017 by Bone Head
Wow its been an age since I sat down and put the random thoughts I have in my head down on pape……. screen, keyboard? Oh I dunno. So what tromped this little (hopefully little) outburst? VR that’s what.
There has been a bit of chit chat in our forums about Virtual Reality on and off over the years (the forums have been on the go for more than 15 years) and to be honest I was never really sure if it would appear in my lifetime. So either I have to thank the developers for getting it done quickly or the dangerous hobbies I used to engage in wernt as dangerous as I thought because for now I am still here and enjoying a virtual life alongside a real one.
Is it Expensive?
At £400 for a Oculus and a couple of controllers its not cheap and you are really going to need something at least as powerful as a Nvidia 970 but being gamers most of us have the computing power. I actually had just a 960 when I first tried the Oculus Rift headset and it worked OK to be fair, an odd stutter but I still sat there giddy with excitement as I was guided through the setup. If you haven’t experienced VR yet you really should. Its mind blowing.
Im all excited about gaming again. Its not as addictive as I thought it might get but it has sparked my imagination. I think in the next few years we are going to see some pretty amazing things. DCS flight sims are already mind blowing to look through VR goggles but they just need to organise the controls better, or at all come to think of it.
After many many years of using Microsoft force feedback joysticks I have bought a hotas, only because I want to try and fly with that immersive feel. One better than that though is VTOL VR that I bought through Steam. It looks very basic, however being able to manipulate the controls using your hands in a virtual world is chuffing awesome! Its not perfect, yet, but if DCS could incorporate something similar into their simulators then I for one would be happy to pay a premium for a high quality sim that was fully immersive.
Whilst Im on about DCS why wont they release a dedicated server program? Nag Eagle Dynamics on twitter about it 🙂
Right I best get back to the simulator, its not VR in many ways its better!
September 9th, 2017 by Bone Head
If you have been missing the B-F servers this morning please accept my sincere apologies …. if you contribute to their running that is. If you dont help us keep them running then I don’t apologise because we are short of cash and servers cost money to run so we host them in a leaky shed in Novotny’s back garden next to the outside toilet. Well at least this setup keeps him warm when he has to go take a number 2 in the winter.
So what went wrong this time you may be asking; well someone managed to kill the power in the building yet again, which was just long enough for the aged and overloaded battery backup to decide it had had enough. Most of the stuff is now back online I believe, we have forums you can leave a message on explaining why you think otherwise. I have mucked out the stats for our main IL2 1946 server and restarted to help keep Hoodoodat’s morale up as he and his fellow Americans now not only have to deal with Trump going nuclear (sounds like a dodgy fart after a curry the night before) but some pretty horrendous weather. So whilst Im on about it Im sure our entire community wish those of you faced with the storms all the very best.
We scrambled a highly motivated and skilled technical team to the server shed and began a thorough investigation before turning the power back on, drinking several cups of tea and talking bollocks to the cleaning lady. This kind of support doesn’t come cheap so if you are in a position to chip in a little bit in towards buying a new battery backup or even a mop for the cleaner please feel free because servers aren’t free, someone has to pay!
September 3rd, 2017 by ShamrockOneFive
This week was a big week for the developers of 1C Game Studios with the release of patch 2.012. The new patch included the Battle of Kuban black sea region map, a revised flight model for all aircraft in the next general IL-2 series, and a brand new aircraft in the form of the Hs129B-2. To say that it was big would be an understatement.
Welcome to the Black Sea
The Kuban river and the surrounding Caucasus region was the site of major fighting during 1942 and 1943. German forces attempted to seize the oil rich region to help sustain their war effort against the Soviet Union but were eventually stopped in a prolonged battle throughout 1943 ending with defeat and an eventual reversal.
The region is dominated by the Black Sea in the south, the Caucasus mountains, wide open plains and farmers fields, salt flats, and many more geographical features. This map more than any other in the series has unique looks no matter where you are.
The map also comes with a half dozen or more new ships for the Black Sea ranging from fast attack motorboats sporting torpedoes to submarines, destroyers and larger transport ships. They look incredible and are far more detailed than the original IL-2 ships – These have individual components that can be destroyed and when they sink… its dramatic to say the least.
Updated flight model
Aircraft in the IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad/Moscow/Kuban series have been extremely detailed with their flight models but there were problems. Aircraft tended to roll adversely when using the rudder (some call this “roll coupling”) and they tended to bob up and down during some types of flying conditions. This has changed with a massive overhaul of all aircraft in the series with revised flight model parameters.
What does it mean? Well, aircraft feel heavier and fly stiffer than before with the nose wandering less. Many aircraft get heavy control surfaces at high speeds as pressures increase and mechanical leverage lessens. The net effect is aircraft that feel substantial and are controllable.
A new ground attacker
The Hs129B-2 is an armored ground attacker designed for low level operations against vehicle convoys, artillery, and armored vehicles including light and medium tanks. Armed with optional bombs and 30mm cannons, the Hs129B-2 is a heavy hitter. If you’re one of those ‘mud movers’ like some of our Dedicated Bomber Squad guys are then this plane might be for you!
More content and updates on the way
Development of the new IL-2: Battle of Kuban is at a rapid pace right now with the new Career system to replace the old Campaign system (for all three titles) coming in October along with the Yak-7B. In November, we’re expecting the P-39L-1 and the A-20B to finally arrive rounding out the aircraft list for Kuban. Jason Williams, IL-2’s Lead Producer, also mentioned that after development is complete two additional aircraft will be offered as Collector Planes – The La-5FN and Bf109G-6 are sure to be crowd pleasers. He also revealed that a third-party contractor is working on a Po-2 (bi-plane used for night attack and artillery spotting) and Li-2 (DC-3 license built aircraft in Soviet service).
Graphical updates improving the draw distance and removing some of the haze from clear days are planned. As are other updates arriving in the coming months including a new multiplayer Co-op and Air Marshal modes.
Kuban Spring Training is now in full effect on the Battle-Field.com UK1 server. Just today the DBS squad was on the server playing against a server full worth of other players and having a great time.
We’re running the new Kuban map so even if you haven’t bought Battle of Kuban yet you can still hop online and check it out. Maybe do some sightseeing? Watch out for those fighters though!
Why not join us on the server the next time you’re jumping into an IL-2 match.
July 10th, 2017 by ShamrockOneFive
1CGS, the developers behind the next generation IL-2 series including Battle of Stalingrad and Battle of Moscow are hard at work on the next installment of the series due to be finished by the end of 2017. Last week the developers made the Spitfire flyable and it’s great!
The Spitfire and the Kuban battles
IL-2: Battle of Kuban covers the intense aerial battles of the Kuban region during 1943. The twist over other eastern battlefields is that the Kuban battle was fought using significant numbers of lend lease aircraft from Britain and the United States. Included in the aircraft set is the P-39L-1, A-20B and the legendary Spitfire Vb.
Over 150 Spitfire Mark Vb fighters with both the Merlin 45 and Merlin 46 engine were used by Russian squadrons on the frontlines of the Kuban battle.
The Spitfire Vb comes with both engine options in IL-2 and a standard loadout for Spitfires with B-Type armament – two Hispano Mark II 20mm cannons with 60 rounds per gun and four Browning .303 machine guns with 350 rounds per gun.
There aren’t many other options (a rear-view mirror can be fitted) but the Spitfire makes up for a lack of options by being generally an excellent fighter and bomber interceptor.
The Spitfire is overall an outstanding performer that is relatively easy to fly with good acceleration, climb and speed. It can also handily out turn nearly every fighter currently available in IL-2! The Spitfire provides an excellent rival option for the Bf109s and FW190s alongside its Russian counterparts like the Yak-1 and La-5.
What else is new?
The IL-2 series has been rapidly evolving. Full VR support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, AI and graphics performance upgrades, new sharpening filters, updated SLI/Crossfire capabilities, the new DX11 graphics engine (introduced late last year), better tree rendering and rendering distance, and impending shadow updates are all part of the progress of the base engine of the series.
Co-op and a revamped campaign system are still due later this year along with the Kuban map in spring, summer and autumn variations.
Six aircraft for the Kuban battle have already been released including the excellent IL-2 Model 1943 with PTAB anti-tank cluster bombs and a standard rear gunner.
At the moment, the following Battle of Kuban aircraft are already implemented and flyable:
- IL-2 Model 1943
- Spitfire Vb
Some aircraft are still to come later this year:
Multiplayer servers updated
Our Battle-Field UK multiplayer servers for IL-2 have been updated with the latest patch and our mission makers are currently adding the Spitfire into key scenarios. Join us online and take the Spitfire out for a few missions – get in close with those Bf109s and show them how well the new Spitfire turns!
May 26th, 2017 by Bone Head
Ill be rigging for silent running later today and giving the planet a bit of a break as I power down the whole of the B-F network for the weekend.
Due to the final stage of essential maintenance on the electricity supply to the building over the weekend I will need to shut everything down this afternoon.
May 17th, 2017 by Bone Head
This weekend all the servers will be switched off to allow an upgrade to the power supply to the building. So you are going to all have to try Real Life Version 1. Thats the one where you peel your arse off that old sweaty computer seat stand up dropping pizza crumbs and crisps (chips if you are American :)) onto the floor then go and find your friends and / or family and see what they have been doing for the last 18 years ……. Well OK that’s what i will be doing. You can tell me what your plans are via Facebook and Twitter if you feel the need to communicate to someone digitally, Our Teamspeak server will be off too!
Come on chin up, you can do this!
May 1st, 2017 by Bone Head
As we move closer to the weekend where the servers will be shut down for a couple of weekends (see post below) I thought I would give you all a reminder of other ways you can get in touch with us here at B-F.
Probably one of the best ways is to join our FaceBook group as this is probably one of the more modern methods of sharing views etc. Forums are so late 90’s, which incidentally when Battle-Fields.com was started; late 1997 to be precise! There is also a twitter account that I use for my random musings but it is in the B-F name so I do occasionally post B-F stuff on there and rant at various games companies, as well as soup manufacturers who insist in leaving small pieces of stone in their products; its a long story!
Also if you are having difficulty registering on the forums feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use one of the alternative methods mentioned above. I make no apology for the tight security at our forum as spam and forums seem to go hand in hand and we get literally hundreds of rogue signups without our anti-spam wall in place!
See you all on the other side 🙂
April 23rd, 2017 by Bone Head
The power supply to the server room will be being upgraded during a couple of weekends in May.
I have yet to have the times and dates confirmed but will post them as soon as I have them. There is another option and it involves putting a bicycle on a rolling road with a generator strapped to it and me spending several hours trying to generate a few thousand Watts of power. Ive done some calculations and for me to achieve this I would need to eat about 178 pork pies and drink 40 pints of best bitter. So basically a normal night out. Trouble is Im not sure I can ride a bike and drink 40 pints so I decided just to turn the servers off whilst the work is being done.
Sorry for any inconvenience, if any pie manufacturers would like to sponsor Battle-Fields.com please contact me though the normal chanels.
March 26th, 2017 by Bone Head
Airdoc has created what can only be described as a stunning video of him and his mates from the DBS who fly on our servers. You really must take a look at the video on YouTube.
March 14th, 2017 by ShamrockOneFive
In the fall, Jason Williams from the IL-2: Battle of Kuban development team laid out a basic outline of what was expected to arrive to Battle of Kuban early access and when. So far the developers at 1CGS are ahead of schedule delivering the Bf109G-4, Bf110G-2, He111H-16 and FW190A-5 ahead of schedule and showcasing some impressive early progress on the Kuban map and their first major warship. Update 2.008 arrived a couple of weeks ago and with it came two aircraft and surprise update to an aircraft that we already have. Things are really coming together!
The Butcher Bird
First up, the FW190A-3 got a big flight model update in version 2.007 and it has transformed the fighter into a deadly one from one that left fans of the aircraft a little frustrated with all of the stalling and crashing that it was doing.
The FW190A-5 has now arrived on the scene with a higher top speed and climb rates as well as some extra firepower options. It also has an engine modification – also a new feature of Update 2.008!
The FW190A-5/U17 modification enables a 1.65ATA engine boost option making this a low altitude hot-rod even with the bomb racks attached. And it can carry eight SC50 bombs at once.
A Meaner Heinkel
We also now have early access to the Heinkel He111H-16 bomber. A meaner one. Yes… that is possible! A modification of the earlier H-6 version, this new edition comes with more powerful engines leading to a slight performance bump but perhaps more importantly is the overall improvement in firepower with slower firing light machine guns replaced by the MG81Z – a rapid fire belt fed light machine gun and a single MG131 heavy machine gun in the top gunner station. It also carries some seriously large bombs as an option – I’m sure our Dedicated Bomber Squad guys are going to love that option on one of the next Friday Night Bomber flights.
But wait… there’s more!