Thinking of Taking the Mod Plunge. Recommendations? (Copied from the Yellow Room)
Thought I'd post this here, since this is still my real "IL-2 home", so to speak, and you are all still my home-boys.
Sorry about the different sized text and color change. Apparently, technical issues ensue when copying and pasting text to this forum.
"So here's the thing. Been sitting on the fence about this for years.
I'm not generally against modding. There are outstanding mods of professional quality for other games. For example, I never run Silent Hunter IV without the Real Fleet Boat and Run Silent, Run Deep mods. Dangerous Waters would have long since been deleted and collecting dust if it weren't for the LWAMI realism mods. The Power & Glory mod for GTR2 is a product of consistent and extremely high quality. However, I've long resisted installing mods for IL-2. Why? There are many reasons for that but here are just a few:
> IL-2 is a game that still(!) enjoys robust official support and gets new and improved content with each update. The vanilla version of 1946 is already full and rich out of the box, and it gets richer when infused with v4.11.1. Yet more goodness is inbound in the form of v4.12. IL-2 left unmodded is still a very good piece of kit any way you look at it.
> The particularly fractured nature of modding within the IL-2 community turns me off from using the mods, frankly. Usually you witness modding unite as well as expand a community, especially for games that no longer enjoy official support. Not here. The community has certainly expanded but the unity that used to make this community stand out has dissolved. Now you have different "camps" that seldom communicate with each other, except here in the yellow room on occasion.
> Many of us have read countless discussions over the years on how such-and-such aircraft flies and one's opinion on how it should fly, regardless of the abilities (or lack thereof) of the person flying the aircraft. The last thing I want to install is someone's idea of how their favorite aircraft should fly.
> One of the things that I truly appreciate about the entire IL-2 series is it's smoothness of performance, and near-total reliability. It's nice to be able to open an application and use it until your head falls on the keyboard from exhaustion, and not ever have to worry for a second about issues of instability. I can count on one hand how many times IL-2 has crashed since I first got version 1 back in 2003, and most of those times it was caused by something else on the computer, not IL-2 itself. Visiting the various mod site forums gave me the impression that I would spend more time tweaking than flying if I installed any of their work. Or suffer huge hits in performance because someone doesn't know how to make something suitably efficient while still having the same desired effect, or adds a ton of needless fluff - which leads me to a final point...
> More doesn't necessarily mean better. Just because one pack boasts more stuff than the other doesn't mean it's any better. I value quality over quantity. I'd rather possess two or three nice things than twenty or thirty mediocre ones. I live by this mantra.
The concerns stated above are the main reasons why I haven't committed to any mods. I've tried a few and seen others but mostly came away unimpressed, seeing that it changed something but didn't necessarily improve what it changed, and it's not worth the trouble. That was a while ago however, and I've noticed an appreciable leap in quality in some mods lately. I still prefer an ala-carte approach to installing individual mods. I'd like to steer clear of the large mega-mods as I'm afraid it's going to introduce a lot of stuff I either won't notice, or don't want or need.
Having said all of that, what mods would moddites recommend to someone like me, now exclusively an offliner? Which individual mods do you think are the absolute, gold medal, "can't live without" essentials to enhancing the IL-2 experience? If someone shoved a barrel of a .38 in your ear and forced you to pick a mega-mod, which one would you pick, and why?
Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_638ZOgmakE and read the posts after it.
Then go and get UP3 RC4, Plutonium Max Effects, 10-78 Coop Mission Pack that has the 352ndCross Channel map and 20 missions and more maps. It ROCKS. Looks just like it does in the video. Finally!! I got my eye candy BIG TIME! If you want realistic flight and damage do HSFX 6. But if you want graphics, UP3 and the Cross Channel Map are it.
"More doesn't necessarily mean better. Just because one pack boasts more stuff than the other doesn't mean it's any better. I value quality over quantity. I'd rather possess two or three nice things than twenty or thirty mediocre ones. I live by this mantra."
If that's true then why bother with the mods? The only thing they have over the stock install is 'more'. More flyable planes, more effects, more options. There is a little bit of 'better', such as better sounds but that's about it. They are mostly about more, period. And I've been a mod user since 2007, so I should know
The a-la-carte approach can cause problems with conflicts between included files, on mod can break a previous one. I"d recommend a mega-pack as most of the good individual mods will be included anyway with the conflicts pretty much resolved. The choice would seem to be UP3RC4 over 4.10.1, HSFX5 over 4.10.1 or HSFX6 over 4.11.1
I haven't had that much use out of mod packs myself, but I'd lean towards HSFX6 (pending a bit more community experience, it's only just been released).