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darelc
02-04-2006, 10:33 AM
Hi,
I saw PF for sale, and remembered that I quite liked IL2 so i bought it.

I hope I won't be flamed for the following critisms. I know there are alot of fans of this game here, but I think the playerbase could be increased by fixing some of the newbie diffulty issues.

1) Default key settings are missing for PF! without going in and remapping your keys it is not even possible to take off from a carrier, not so obvious for a newbie (chocks away!)

2) Patches are not cumulative.. You need to install the games and patches in absolutely the correct order otherwise you are toast. I tried to do a merged install with FB and PF and it just keep crashing with an application error, it was then I reaslised that I would have to have this Ace expansion pack as well (not so obvious to someone who isn't familiar with the game!). Why arent the patches cumulative as well? why do you have to download and apply them all in the correct order? surely that should be easy to fix and would help people keep the game up to date.. Why not have an ingame update feature?

3) Default graphics settings are too high, atleast for my card it put the textures on the highest settings , and for that I got about 5 fps http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif how about some more sane defaults?

4) User interface is very clunky http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I can't understand how they can spend months making a beautiful plane, cockpit and flight models but spend no time to make a more friendly user interface, it would give alot for little work..

5) The minimum requirements of the game should state that you need a joystick, flying with keys is near impossible. Is there a way to set the stick to fly with mouse? on the box of the game it reccommends only a mouse and keyboard.

6) Network play.. the ubisoft lounge thing is terrible bloatware, lucky i found the hyperlobby through a post on here.. but again its not obvious, can't ubisoft or maddox do a deal with the hypersoft guys for some kind of integration? or write their own ingame "lobby" instead of having to have third party software..

7) The existing community seems a bit eliteist and anti newbie also http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif not everyone is mechanically intimate with a zero.

8) The sound is terrible http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I have a 5.1 system and the music is harsh, and the flight sounds somewhat basic.

That's the negative, the positive is that the game has some really lovely details in it, the flight models are incredibly realistic and the dogfighting is really fun.

It would be great to see an "all in one" with all the planes and objects, with a complete new front end and thousands of online players http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Taylortony
02-04-2006, 10:41 AM
call in here as well we are really quite friendly......

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/23110283

btw i know someone that flies it on the keyboard only. but as you say i dont know how he does it but he is good http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Skycat_2
02-04-2006, 01:18 PM
I agree with you on every point you have raised, but to varying degrees for each.

The patches could very easily be offered in a cummulative fashion, especially in the case of the 4.01/4.01m patch that overwrites many of the files from the 3.01-3.04/m patches anyhow. I don't know if the upcoming 'Free Addon' will overwrite existing .SFS files in the game folder or will introduce completely new ones? At any rate, once it is out it seems that one large cummulative patch could be offered. How large would the file size be, I wonder? 300Mb perhaps?

There is the other side of that, however: the v4.02m upgrade patch is only a 30Mb download. I'd hate to be forced to download a cumulative patch for only a small update if I already have the game up to v4.02m. So, you need to have the individual patches available for people who are at "x" version of the game already. Maybe there could be a blanket "cumulative patch link" where the version hosted is updated everytime a new patch is issued for the general community; older 'individual' patches could be deleted from the main download site to make room.

Anyhow, the patching system has always been a messy affair and to the credit of the moderators the information presented on the Ubi Soft Pacific Fighters home site's download page is about the most organized it has ever been throughout the history of the series.

You're correct that important key functions should be made default. This would have been easy to do with the 'stand-alone' version of PF where basically the developers had cart blanche over the control section, as new key commands wouldn't have affected prior configurations like 'merging' does. In the case of 'merged' version, which was made an expansion for FB+AEP after deliberation, I think the broader community would have been annoyed by having their custom config.ini overwritten.

The user-defined features (chocks, hook, canopy open, wings fold, seat raise, manual gear raise in Wildcat) should have been explained better. There are some paragraphs in the PF readme of what the new features are but it doesn't specifically say that you have to manually define the keys for those features. The 'chocks' paragraph even makes the chocks seem to be optional and not neccessary ... it would be nice to know that they are turned on by default, though.


I tried to do a merged install with FB and PF and it just keep crashing with an application error, it was then I reaslised that I would have to have this Ace expansion pack as well
I understand that this can be confusing if you aren't familiar with the three titles in the trilogy (Forgotten Battles, Ace Expansion, Pacific Fighters). In defense of the developers, the Ace Expansion Pack had been out for almost a year -- as had been the bundled FB+AEP "Gold Pack" -- before Pacfic Fighters was released. I think the common perception by the developers and within the community at the time was that if you had FB but didn't at least know about AEP, then you were living under a rock in the Mojabe desert or something. PF 'merged' requires AEP to make the bridge between FB and PF, and last year AEP could be found very easily if you wanted it. It's still around but disappearing quickly it seems ...

While I suppose that it is possible that people might assume that all the AEP content was included on the PF discs if they'd chosen the FB+AEP+PF install option from the loading screen, I think there is a point where the included ReadMe absolves the developers from culpability:

Installing PF is easy, as long as you pay attention to there being two different install types. Please make sure to select the correct one, and then follow the on-screen instructions. The two options you have are as follows:

1. Install PF as a stand-alone product
2. Install PF into IL-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles (FB) with the Ace Expansion Pack (AEP).

The first option will give you the set of aircraft, ships, maps, campaigns and all other game components that only belong in the Pacific theater of operations.

The second option will only work if you already own Il-2 Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles(FB) and the Ace Expansion Pack (AEP), which include a large set of Russian and European front content. This option will join the complete series of IL-2 Sturmovik line of flight simulators into one product, where you€ll be able to access to both IL-2 and PF content, and allow such things as Soviet and Luftwaffe planes over the Pacific, or Japanese bombers over Europe.

I believe that the upcoming trilogy DVD wil be well-received because it does make the installation process easier. Maybe the box art should simply say: "Lots of planes. The whole series up to v4.03m. Quick and easy install." Hopefully the developers will consider the ongoing confusion with the user-defined key commands and offer a broader list of 'default' commands to cover everything from chocks and manual landing gear to mirror toggle and supercharger selection.

Chuck_Older
02-04-2006, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by darelc:
Hi,
I saw PF for sale, and remembered that I quite liked IL2 so i bought it.

I hope I won't be flamed for the following critisms. I know there are alot of fans of this game here, but I think the playerbase could be increased by fixing some of the newbie diffulty issues.

1) Default key settings are missing for PF! without going in and remapping your keys it is not even possible to take off from a carrier, not so obvious for a newbie (chocks away!)

2) Patches are not cumulative.. You need to install the games and patches in absolutely the correct order otherwise you are toast. I tried to do a merged install with FB and PF and it just keep crashing with an application error, it was then I reaslised that I would have to have this Ace expansion pack as well (not so obvious to someone who isn't familiar with the game!). Why arent the patches cumulative as well? why do you have to download and apply them all in the correct order? surely that should be easy to fix and would help people keep the game up to date.. Why not have an ingame update feature?

3) Default graphics settings are too high, atleast for my card it put the textures on the highest settings , and for that I got about 5 fps http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif how about some more sane defaults?

4) User interface is very clunky http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I can't understand how they can spend months making a beautiful plane, cockpit and flight models but spend no time to make a more friendly user interface, it would give alot for little work..

5) The minimum requirements of the game should state that you need a joystick, flying with keys is near impossible. Is there a way to set the stick to fly with mouse? on the box of the game it reccommends only a mouse and keyboard.

6) Network play.. the ubisoft lounge thing is terrible bloatware, lucky i found the hyperlobby through a post on here.. but again its not obvious, can't ubisoft or maddox do a deal with the hypersoft guys for some kind of integration? or write their own ingame "lobby" instead of having to have third party software..

7) The existing community seems a bit eliteist and anti newbie also http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif not everyone is mechanically intimate with a zero.

8) The sound is terrible http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I have a 5.1 system and the music is harsh, and the flight sounds somewhat basic.

That's the negative, the positive is that the game has some really lovely details in it, the flight models are incredibly realistic and the dogfighting is really fun.

It would be great to see an "all in one" with all the planes and objects, with a complete new front end and thousands of online players http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

1) Too true. PF has lots of issues

2) A cumulative patch would be HUGE, as in: too big, so they don't make a cumulative one, is my guess, plus, tevhnically it may be touchy since so many permutations of FB, FB+AEP, FB+AEP+PF, and of various versions are available. the community helps out on this point

3) Seems like a pain...but a pain that can be fixed by the player in about 30 seconds http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

4) Horrid interface. You get used to it, but it remains less than intuitive

5) Don't know about how the mouse as stick works. I must confess that personally I expect that players interested in flying a flight simulation of any kind would sorta guess a control stick of some sort would be a good idea http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

6) Ubi is a mysterious and non-understandable entity. Don't even try to comprehend it

7) I a$sume you mean the online-play community. This would match my a$sement of any online gaming community. The tough guy hotshots think that the sim exists for them. My advice: stop giving a rat a$s what the elitist idiots think- about ANYthing. Never wrestle a pig, my friend; you only get dirty, and the pig like it

8) Sound is mega-terrible. The game engine is not new, no matter what the date of your game box says

darelc
02-04-2006, 01:41 PM
Ok thanks for the responses everyone http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif glad it's not just me going crazy. I tend to take my broadband for granted when it comes to large patches I guess - but they could have both cumulative and non cumulative perhaps.

I will try to learn this game (Once I decide on a decent joystick). Seems like there isn't so much life in the online multiplayer scene but heres hoping another release and patch will help this situation.

I definitely think that PF was worth the 149 Skr (16 Euro , 10 poinds) though.

x6BL_Brando
02-04-2006, 03:03 PM
I think the positive side of this is what broadband offers - that is, easy access to a huge storehouse of information on-line both here on these forums and on the other sites too numerous to mention. (Though I will mention www.airwarfare.com (http://www.airwarfare.com) as a good example of what I mean.) The patching thing IS confusing it's true, but they are numbered consecutively which is a big clue.


Seems like there isn't so much life in the online multiplayer scene but heres hoping another release and patch will help this situation.

I guess you haven't taken a look on Hyperlobby - http://hyperfighter.sk/ (937 people online @ 2200GMT) Feel welcome to ask how to set it up if you run into any problems. For better or worse that's how it's done around here.

Welcome,

B.

darelc
02-04-2006, 03:17 PM
hi http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

yeah i have tried hyperlobby (mentioned it in point 6 on my first post).

there are only 20 people in the pacific lobby, but now you mention it i see that forgotten battles has ALOT of people in it!

Skycat_2
02-04-2006, 04:13 PM
We can say assess now. I believe that crass ship has passed while we were sleeping in the grass.

Tully__
02-05-2006, 08:24 AM
1. Deliberate. The key assignments carried over from the original IL2 Sturmovik. Controls that were added in later versions did not have default assignments to avoid conflicting with user made key assignments for controls not assigned in the original game.

2. Again deliberate. It's done try to keep the file sizes down to something not impossible for dial up users to successfully download.

3. You may be right, though frame rate is dependant on more than just graphics card. Your processor, RAM, soundcard and processes running in background all have an impact as well.

4. While I don't mind it, your view is shared by a large part of the community. Again it's a legacy of the original game, the only large changes being the addition of the pilot photos in the campaign mode and the addition of a second screen full of difficulty settings. There's also a couple of extra switches here and there and the addition of mouse wheel scrolling functionality but the style hasn't changed since the very first version.

5. Only near impossible to fly with a keyboard, not completely impossible http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. And no, there is no way to assign stick control to mouse.

6. With regard to not promoting HL in the game documentation, who knows how marketers think? As for making their own lobby, why re-invent the wheel?
Fortunately the community will readily redirect people who take the time to ask to either Hyperlobby or AllSeeingEye, each of which have their own advantages.

7. Same in almost any online game genre, but not as bad in this one as in some of the FPS type games. Nevertheless for any newcomer with the patience to stick it past the first day or so there's plenty of willing help to be had from the friendlier experienced players.

8. The community mostly agrees, though some with the absolute top end in sound systems / sound cards will say otherwise. The game sound effects are synthesised rather than recorded as in some other sims and games. I think the music is intentionally harsh to get the feel of small field radios or portable gramaphones used in the era of the 2nd world war.

Tully__
02-05-2006, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by darelc:
hi http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

yeah i have tried hyperlobby (mentioned it in point 6 on my first post).

there are only 20 people in the pacific lobby, but now you mention it i see that forgotten battles has ALOT of people in it!
The Forgotten Battles room at HL is where the merged FB/Aces Expansion Pack/Pacific Fighters version is found, hence the huge numbers.

ATLAS_DEATH
02-05-2006, 09:49 AM
I'm trying to figure out why no one likes the interface... it does what it needs to do? What's wrong with it? You wanna play a track? Hit the button.. you wanna config your controls? Hit the control button.. Wanna make a mission.. you have two options.. I just don't understand why everyone hates it.

Tully__
02-05-2006, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by ATLAS_DEATH:
I'm trying to figure out why no one likes the interface... it does what it needs to do? What's wrong with it? You wanna play a track? Hit the button.. you wanna config your controls? Hit the control button.. Wanna make a mission.. you have two options.. I just don't understand why everyone hates it.
From a functional point of view yes it works but from an aesthetic point of view is sucks. To many it lacks an immersive quality in the campaign area and some find it very non-intuitive, particularly some of the difficulty setting labels.

tigertalon
02-05-2006, 03:34 PM
Hello darelc, wellcome to madness.

I agree more or less with all your points bar one. And that is this community. I have never seen an simulation or game dedicated community more friendly than this.

fastbikkel
02-06-2006, 03:24 AM
I am also not able to take off. When i open up the throttle, it just stands in place and that's it. So that could be "chocks away" i just read.
Yeah it was disappointing, it does not say this info in the take off tutorial about those chocks.

The F keys also fail to work so far. But this might be a result of the realism settings i just thought of.
I like 100% realism.

tagTaken2
02-06-2006, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Tully__:
From a functional point of view yes it works but from an aesthetic point of view is sucks.

From a functional point of view... buttons are a bit close together. I've accidentally deleted pilots before (with significant time investment), and not saved tracks... and wish there was an option to turn off the *click*. Painfully loud.

Aesthetically? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

I installed the demo out of curiosity in 2001 and just found it too depressing (the music!) compared to CFS3. It was 3 months of wasted time before I gave it another try.

Taylortony
02-08-2006, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by fastbikkel:
I am also not able to take off. When i open up the throttle, it just stands in place and that's it. So that could be "chocks away" i just read.
Yeah it was disappointing, it does not say this info in the take off tutorial about those chocks.

The F keys also fail to work so far. But this might be a result of the realism settings i just thought of.
I like 100% realism.

but there IS A read me file that comes with the game when loaded, if you go to load the game from all programs under the start tab on windows you will find it, I have posted the parts you need below http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


Additional Features
(Things that didn€t quite make it to the manual)

Open / Close Canopy: This feature is mainly designed for carrier ops. It will decrease your airspeed somewhat and is not recommended for combat.
It is ONLY available in some of the new planes that shipped with Pacific Fighters. It is NOT available on older planes that were built for Forgotten Battles, Ace Expansion Pack or our older games.

Wing Fold: This key will toggle your carrier-borne aircraft€s wings between the up and down position. Not all aircraft are so equipped. None of the land-based aircraft have this feature, and many carrier-borne planes, such as the SBD Dauntless or the F4F-3 were also not historically equipped with folding wings.
We do not recommend using this feature while airborne.
That doesn€t mean you shouldn€t try it once. Or twice.

Change seat position: this key toggles the pilot€s seat height between two presets: high and low. This feature is intended for use during take-offs and landing to help look over the aircraft€s nose. High position should not be used in combat as it prevents you from using your gunsight. You must open your canopy first before raising your seat.
This function ONLY works on the A6M Zero, F4U Corsairs and F4F/FM Wildcat series of planes. All other planes did not have seat systems that could be controlled by pilot in-flight.

Arrestor Hook: toggles your aircraft arresting hook between the up and down positions. Used to land on an aircraft carrier.
NOTE: not all planes are equipped with the arrestor hook.

Chocks: These are used to fix your aircraft on the carrier deck, and to reach full throttle before beginning to move. Otherwise a heavy aircraft, especially carrying extra fuel or ordnance, may not be able to reach sufficient speed if it begins moving before reaching max RPM. This is especially true for slow moving or stationary carriers, as their speed is added to your plane€s speed during take-off. In other words, an aircraft carrier moving at 20 miles per hour adds 20 mph to your airspeed even when you remain stationary with your engine off. If the carrier however is not moving, it means you need to reach an even higher speed before you run out of deck.
You€re not required to use chocks, and can release them at any time and simply use wheel brakes, however chocks provide much better control over your aircraft€s speed when you increase RPM.
After landing, if you wish to watch other AI or human-controlled planes land, move to the front of the ship and engage chocks. Otherwise the motion of the ocean may cause your plane to slide and fall overboard.

Speedbar Units: You can use the Toggle Speedbar key (definable in the Controls section) to toggle the speedbar between metric units, and imperial units with speed in knots or miles per hour. The speedbar will toggle through measurement units in this order: Metric -> Imperial / Knots -> Imperial / Miles.


Craters: When bombs and artillery shells hit the ground, the crater they create will actually affect any objects running over it. This most importantly affects craters placed on runway surfaces. If an aircraft runs over the crater its gear may be damaged and it may crash. These craters however are not permanent, and will disappear over time. The lifespan of the crater will depend on the size of the bomb or shell that created it, and may vary from 1 minute 20 seconds to 10 minutes.


Time Skip: This feature allows players to quickly transfer between mission waypoints in cases when flying normally would take too long. When using this feature the 3D render is completely turned off, and only the in-game clock is shown in the bottom left corner of your screen. During time skip the game does fully model all normal AI aspects, such as fuel consumption, pathfinding, etc. In other words, all game processes run as usual, only in accelerated time.
Please note that this feature heavily relies on your machine's processing power, and its general speed will depend on your hardware specs and the number of AI aircraft and other objects in the mission.
No key is assigned to this feature by default. You will need to bind one in the Controls section of the game.



3d models of humans

PF includes 3d models of human gunners manning most of our guns on ground and sea objects, such as ship and land-based flak and artillery guns, drivers and other troops inside trucks and amphibious assault vehicles, etc. However these objects cause a decrease in game's frames per second when shown, especially when related to large ships such as aircraft carrier which can have a hundred or more of these gunners in close proximity.

Therefore we've made this feature turned off by default.

If you wish to turn it on, you'll need to open the conf.ini file inside your game's root directory with notepad, locate the
[game]
section, and insert the following line there:
3dgunners=1
If the line already exists and you wish to turn the feature off, replace the 1 with a 0, i.e
3dgunners=0



Icon Color

Please note that in Pacific Fighters Axis units are given blue color icons on maps, and Allied are given red. While the opposite was true historically for the Pacific Theater, we kept these colors since we needed to keep PF compatible with Forgotten Battles and AEP, and that color combination is correct for the Russian front. Changing the icon color would of course affect all areas modeled in the game, and as different colors were used in different theaters, it would invariably end up being wrong for some of the areas.
Thus we simply decided to keep the icon color unchanged.

Radio Calls and Measurement Units
Please note that all radio calls in Pacific Fighters use one common system, regardless of nation or specific language. Due to compatibility requirements all voice instructions from your flight leader will always be in the metric system. However speech subtitles will give you both metric units and their approximate imperial equivalents where appropriate.
For example, voice command of "Altitude 05. Vector 0-3-0" will have a subtitle of "Height 05 (1,500). Vector 030". This means your intended altitude is 500 meters, which is approximately 1,500 feet; and your flight heading is zero-three-zero degrees.

How to land on an aircraft carrier

First and foremost, come in from the stern (i.e. from behind).
In order to make it easier to learn, we€ve included a non-historical helper feature that may be useful for people who otherwise find it difficult to land on the carrier.
If you turn off the 3D cockpit (Shift-F1 by default, with €œNo Cockpit€ set to On in the Difficulty section), you will see an extra reticle floating around the virtual cockpit. When landing, try to keep decreasing your airspeed, and keep the reticle on the centerline of the carrier deck, at about 1/5th of the total length away from the stern. In other words, this reticle shows you the direction of your speed vector, and the landing angle should be about twice as shallow as when landing on a land strip.
Also, remember that a three-point landing is a requirement, not an option when it comes to aircraft carriers. First of all, it€s virtually unavoidable when you land at an appropriately low airspeed. Secondly, most arrestor hooks are simply not long enough to snag a wire if you land with your tailwheel high above the deck. Finally, a two-point landing is likely to cause a rather strong bounce, that can be especially disastrous if you did snag a wire. As your landing airspeed increases, so do the chances of catastrophic failure.
We very highly recommend practicing this a lot before going into combat, especially online. There you will encounter carriers moving at greatly varying speeds in greatly varying weather conditions. Start with a fast-moving carrier in clear weather first, as this allows you higher approach speeds and a stationary carrier deck.

darelc
03-02-2006, 02:47 PM
ok thanks for all the information guys.

I bought myself a Saitek x45 and I have had some nice little dogfights in PB multiplayer. I think I will wait for the gold edition rather than buy AEP so that I can get in on the real action (700 players in hyperlounge FB).

About the interface.. yeah it's functional and it works, I was just surprised that it hasn't changed since the first IL2 and the resolution is so low. Click on a switch - wait half a second- klunk! hehe http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif well it is all a part of the idiosyncracies of IL2 I guess.

The actual in game action and graphics are exceptionally polished.. kudos go to oleg and gang for the realism factor. (I still jump out my seat when taking shots from behind).

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif