View Full Version : Authenticity vs realism and WW2 Combat sim vs just a sim...

10-18-2012, 04:20 AM
I think there really needs to be a difference recognised between "simulating WW2 fighters" and "WW2 fighter simulation" - the difference being that the former deals with REALISTIC simulation of flying WW2 fighter aircraft - including many detailed and controllable systems etc. - while the latter deals with AUTHENTIC simulation of flying fighter aircraft in WW2...

Have a GOOD think about what I've said there.

If the majority of gamers really want it to be the way of "realistic simulation" rather than "authentic simulation" then so be it - maybe I'm just an anachronism then - but I for one have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting - for faaaar too long for someone, ANYONE to PLEASE give us a nice AUTHENTIC simulation - ie. the kind of thing we had in decades past with games like "Aces of the Pacific" and "Aces Over Europe" and "1942: Pacific Air War". Those old games achieved SO MUCH with regard to making you really experience and appreciate the differences in aircraft and immersing you in the intensity of air combat against amazingly convincing AI (certainly more convincing than the AI in "modern" sims!! ) that the potential for what could be done today if COMPETENT sim designers set their minds to the task is staggering!

The IL2 series is amazing and very enjoyable in a "ooh look at all the knobs and levers I can fiddle with" way - BUT - the whole series IMO deals with "realistic simulation of WW2 fighters" and gives little to nothing as far as being an authentic simulation of flying fighters in WW2.

If you fire up a "WW2 fighter simulation" (ie. as opposed to firing up a "simulation of WW2 fighters) then you take on the PERSONA of a pilot in the scenario the game represents. It's reasonable then to assume the pilot you play does indeed understand the systems and can competently "take care of the office" - leaving you to be the fighting brains of that persona. In that respect accurate depiction of CERTAIN controls, fidelity of Flight Models, damages and weaponry are all JUST as important as they are in a "REALISTIC simulation of WW2 fighters" - but the nitty-gritty of detailed and accurate systems control can be set aside in favor of convincing AI behaviour and scenario / campaign detail and scope.

I'm NOT talking about reducing manual systems management to just stick, throttle, flaps and gear either - ie. I'd WANT things like gunsight range adjustment in cases where the real thing had it, and I'd WANT flight control trimming where it was available in the real thing (and not available where it wasn't).

I think there should definitely be the capability for multiplayer participation in campaigns, but the absolute core of any "authentic simulation of flying fighters in WW2" needs to be a very detailed and complete campaign (ideally at least somewhat dynamic - imagine if axis could actually win the war! ) - that stands up adequately as purely single player but is enhanced tremendously by multiplayer participation. A well enough designed campaign - especially if it's dynamic - would allow you to just launch it and watch the whole thing unfold with all missions played out by AI - imagine that! (indeed, in European Air War you could do just that - ie. set up a multiformation bomber mission and launch it then sit back and watch it all unfold from the various camera options like a movie - ie. the entire mission played out entirely by AI).

In practical terms multiplayer would need to be in the form of ad hoc participation in missions that are generated by the campaign in a game - ie. I could have been playing for months as purely single player, but decide to throw my game open as a host for online players to participate - so the game would open a lobby once the next generated mission was ready to launch and away we'd go. And I could go online to find other players who are opening current missions to online players within their campaign games too etc.

One wonders if something similar to that is indeed what 1C allude to when they talk about this innovative thing that's coming in the CoD sequel (Storm of War? ). I really hope that's the case and that the next game isn't going to be geared toward some sort of online focus that compared to a decently designed (and ideally dynamic) player independent campaign will just be another sterile example of "look at us all jollying about in our super accurately simulated WW2 fighters"....

10-22-2012, 03:53 PM
Who knows.. I do not have the same level of faith in 1C that I used to. We will see though.. hopefully sooner rather than later.