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View Full Version : Need some advice and info on purchase of PF



idmStarfire
04-19-2005, 05:13 AM
Hi, guys. I have been thinking of purchasing Pacific Fighters, but I have some questions. Any help you guys could give would be most appreciated.

First of all, just a short history. The first PC game I ever bought was the Dynamix flight-sim "Aces of the Pacific". It started my lifelong (so far, at least) interest in military history and technology. However, since the days when I would play AotP obsessively, there have been no good flisght-sims that capture the feel of the pacific air war. I'm just wondering, for those of you who have played AotP before, is Pacific Fighters as good?

1. Does it have a dynamic campaign spanning all the war years for both the US and Japan?
2. Are there separate campaigns for the US Navy, USMC, USAAF, etc?
3. Can you choose which squadron to join? (i.e. fighter or bomber squadron, the plane type, etc)
4. Do you get promoted or earn medals in the campaigns, and if so, does it have any impact on gameplay or options?
5. I read somewhere (I think) that you can choose squadron members. Is this true?
6. Are there historical missions?
7. I have read some worrying stuff in reviews on the hillside-loving AI and lack of torpedo bombers. Have these been addressed in patches, or are planned to be addressed?
8. Are there multiple crew positions for the planes? (i.e. can you man the tail-gunner position on the Dauntless?)

Thanks in advance for the help, guys.

idmStarfire
04-19-2005, 05:13 AM
Hi, guys. I have been thinking of purchasing Pacific Fighters, but I have some questions. Any help you guys could give would be most appreciated.

First of all, just a short history. The first PC game I ever bought was the Dynamix flight-sim "Aces of the Pacific". It started my lifelong (so far, at least) interest in military history and technology. However, since the days when I would play AotP obsessively, there have been no good flisght-sims that capture the feel of the pacific air war. I'm just wondering, for those of you who have played AotP before, is Pacific Fighters as good?

1. Does it have a dynamic campaign spanning all the war years for both the US and Japan?
2. Are there separate campaigns for the US Navy, USMC, USAAF, etc?
3. Can you choose which squadron to join? (i.e. fighter or bomber squadron, the plane type, etc)
4. Do you get promoted or earn medals in the campaigns, and if so, does it have any impact on gameplay or options?
5. I read somewhere (I think) that you can choose squadron members. Is this true?
6. Are there historical missions?
7. I have read some worrying stuff in reviews on the hillside-loving AI and lack of torpedo bombers. Have these been addressed in patches, or are planned to be addressed?
8. Are there multiple crew positions for the planes? (i.e. can you man the tail-gunner position on the Dauntless?)

Thanks in advance for the help, guys.

zaelu
04-19-2005, 05:44 AM
1.Yes
2.Yes
3.I think yes.
4.Yes
5.Don't Know.
6.Think yes, but they are very long. Some people find them boring.
7. The AI I think was patched, the torpedo bombers... well there are some, some are to come... and some problems, read the forums for more info http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif .
8.Yes.

But, my personal opinion is that the beauty of the game is not in the original campaign. Also... Pacific Fighters is complete when you have the "Il2-Forgotten Battles" and the "Ace Expansion Pack" merged with it. I think you could find them at a very good price now.

idmStarfire
04-19-2005, 05:59 AM
Thanks for the reply, Zaelu. You said that the beauty of the game is not in the original campaign. What do you mean by this? Do you mean the multiplayer or single-missions are much better than the campaign?

Von_Zero
04-19-2005, 07:19 AM
Online is soooooo much better, imho, virtually since i started playing online i've stopped playing campaigns... just some various missions, for fun... That doesn't mean offline isn't fun.. au contraire, the missions and campaigns made by the comunity members are much better than the satndard campaigns, and can guarantee you a wonderfull experience.http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
As Zaelu said, Grab Il2 Forgotten Battles and Aces Expansion pack, and merge them with Pacific Fighters. The result will be the best simulator ever, with Planes and Maps for the Western front, the Eastern Front, the PTO, and a non-hystorical desert map. Honestly i can't even remember the total number of planes in game, but i think it reaches something like 170+. Considering the FM (wich btw, will be greatly improved withe the next patch), there isn't really any reason for wich you shouldn't get this game. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

pettera
04-19-2005, 10:24 AM
I don't think you can go wrong buying it. Pacific Fighters (PF) on its own is fun. Combined with IL2 Forgotten Battles (FB) and the Ace Expansion Pack (AEP) its hard to beat.

If you want the full potential you must fly online. This requires a full install FB+AEP+PF since 99% of all servers run the full combination. FB+AEP is quite cheap I think, and they are sold in the US as a Gold Pack.

The full combination offers tremendous variation so you will be busy for a few years if you want to try all campaigns and aircrafts (>100).

That said, I have the impression that the PF campaigns doesn't offer all that some had hoped for. This could mean that we are spoiled brats from IL2, IL2:FB, AEP and numerous patches including a lot of extra stuff, or that PF should have included more aircrafts, ships and maps. Personally I think all of these "games" are very good value for the money.

The forthcoming patch will include new flight models, new maps and some new aircrafts. Some aircrafts however had to be abandoned since a US company sued UBI for copying their designs. Pretty bizzare, but true.

Happy shopping. Looking forward to meeting you in the unfriendly skies! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Petter

Iggy-Snaps
04-19-2005, 03:11 PM
S! I also owned Aces of The Pacific on a 486 windows 3.11 machine. Buy PF you will get your moneys worth and then some

Bearcat99
04-19-2005, 03:33 PM
Like Petterra said though... try to find the Forgotten Battles Aces Expansion GOLD pack (FB + Aces Expansion Pack.. Basically FB 1.0 and FB 2.0) first.. Then get Pacific Fighters (FB 3.0) Even if you are mainly interested in the PTO (it appears you are from Australia).. get the whole sim so you can fly online as most of us use the fully merged version of the sim... plus I can almost gaurantee you that you will enjoy the flying in it. It will be unlike any sim you have ever flown.... including the original IL2.

idmStarfire
04-19-2005, 05:01 PM
Thanks for all the advice, guys. Looks like I will definitely be getting this game!

Two other question I have are, would I need to purchase the original IL2 as well, or does that come in the FB+AEP gold pack? Also, I noticed that all the fan-made campaigns I've seen are only about 10 missions long at most. Does the dynamic campaign have a full 1939-1945 span (like AotP), or is it a series of short dynamic campaigns which can be played in any order?

As for playing online, I'd certainly hope to do so. The last WWII flight-sim I played was Air Warrior II during the open beta (I played so much I destroyed my CH flightstick and throttle. Hehe.). It'll be good to get back into multiplayer sims again. Unfrotunately, I'm in the midst of my phd at the moment, and can never seem to find time for gaming... However, I'm sure I'll see some of you guys online when I do manage to find the time for a little multiplayer fun. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Once again, thanks for the help!

jarink
04-19-2005, 06:47 PM
You do not need the original IL2. Forgotten Battles was basically a re-write of the original and the current IL2 FB/AEP/PF is all based on it.

Most of the fan-based campaigns are static (specific missions in specific order) There are a couple of external utilities to make the dynamic campaigns better, most notably Lowengrin's DCG, which can be used to supplement or completely replace the in-game dynamic generator.

To get back to your original questions,
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes, but it does not really have any affect on missions available to you.
4. Yes, the main impact on gameplay is that higher ranks allow you to command a flight or squadron and assign/modfy the loadout (bombs, rockets, amount of fuel)
5. I think there is a way you can modify some of the campaign files to do thins, but nothing available in-game.
6. Yes
7. Yes and no. I have found on the latest patch, sometimes planes will still fly into hillsides if conditions are correct. The lack of carrier-based torpedo planes (Only B5N and TBF are in game, AI only) is a constantly discussed topic; some additional planes may make it into a later patch, but whether they do or which ones are not certain.
8. Yes

Bearcat99
04-19-2005, 06:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by idmStarfire:
Thanks for all the advice, guys. Looks like I will definitely be getting this game!

Two other question I have are, would I need to purchase the original IL2 as well, or does that come in the FB+AEP gold pack? Also, I noticed that all the fan-made campaigns I've seen are only about 10 missions long at most. Does the dynamic campaign have a full 1939-1945 span (like AotP), or is it a series of short dynamic campaigns which can be played in any order?

As for playing online, I'd certainly hope to do so. The last WWII flight-sim I played was Air Warrior II during the open beta (I played so much I destroyed my CH flightstick and throttle. Hehe.). It'll be good to get back into multiplayer sims again. Unfrotunately, I'm in the midst of my phd at the moment, and can never seem to find time for gaming... However, I'm sure I'll see some of you guys online when I do manage to find the time for a little multiplayer fun. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Once again, thanks for the help! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This sim is unlike any you have ever flown. The flight models are awesome.. although some complain about innacuracies it is byfar the most realistic comercially available WW2 flight sim made to date. Hit the Sturmovik Essentials link in my sig ... hit it hard and often cause there is too much stuff for one visit. Keep Airwarfare.com close.. very close.....

JunkoIfurita
04-19-2005, 07:12 PM
Hi idmStarfire,

Everyone seems to have answered your questions well, but I thought I'd just add my two cents (in no particular order).

1.Regarding the Dynamic Campaigns - yes, the campaigns spand the length of the war (at least, the US Navy, Imperial Japanese Navy and the USAAF careers do - the rest of the careers are a little piecemeal as we lack some of the maps. Definitely still enough to keep you going for at least 1-2 years, though, if you have the patience). The major gripe that people have with the campaigns is that, due to the fact they are historical, they can get extremely boring. Flying 150 Nautical Miles on recon is accurate, but hardly enjoyable if you only have a few hours a week to play.

Lowengrin's DCG adds a lot to the game as well. Basically it is a pieace of software that replaces the stock Dynamic Campaigns - whereas the stock campaigns are only partially dynamic (the front moves historically), DCG campaigns are for those who want their actions in every mission to have some small effect on the movement of the front, and the air superiority. It's a little difficult to set up, but well worth the time.

3. As to the AI flying into mountains - this was in New Guinea, and as of the patches it has been fixed. Make sure you install the 3.03 and 3.04 patches (that's all you need, or the 'm' versions if you have the Gold Pack as well). This fixes a lot more, too, notably the 'broken' US Marines career.

4. Playing online. I'd like to add that all online gameplay is fun, but if you spend your entire time just hanging out in the Deathmatch servers, you're missing out on a whole aspect of this game. The absolute BEST way to fly online is to join a good squadron: for example, if you fly in Australia you should seriously consider joining the WTE (Wedge Tailed Eagles). You'll be trained properly in squad tactics, formation flying, defensive/offensive flight. The WTE (which has closing on 40 active members in the 2TG - 2nd Talon Group) also runs an internal 'World at War' campaign, in which the WTE's four squadron's face off against each other in various nationalities: it's a campaign that will eventually span the entire war (Eastern, Western and Pacific Fronts), and is made up of co-operative missions built by the WTE's group of skilled mission designers. That's just the tip of the iceberg - head on over to http://wte-anga.com/ and check us out. I only joined recently (in the last month), and already feel like one of the boys http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Cheers,
Junko 'Kimura' Ifurita
(WTE_Junkers in the 2TG - currently of the training squadron, soon to be a Spit jockey with the 76th Squadron RAAF, if they'll let me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif )

EDIT: I forgot to add, to fly with the WTE 2TG, you'll need the Gold Pack as well as Pacific Fighters - we do a lot of European/Eastern front stuff.

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idmStarfire
04-20-2005, 04:54 AM
Thanks for all the replies, guys.

Junko, you mentioned that the historical missions can get boring because of the distance to be travelled. However, isn't time compression available? Or is there a function like in AotP where you can just fly to the next waypoint if there are no enemies around?

I would imagine that there must be some feature that could speed up the hours of absolute nothing in between the exciting bits. At least, I hope there is. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

NietzscheMadMan
04-20-2005, 06:46 AM
I found PF standalone to be pretty fun, but you must buy FB and ACE to get the full experience. I purchased both for 9.95 USD a piece at Comp USA in Louisville, KY. I'm sure you can find them for about that online. It definately makes all the difference.

There's nothing like trying to dogfight an ME262 in a Zero...

Tully__
04-20-2005, 08:16 AM
FB contains all the map and aircraft content of the original IL2 Sturmovik game. There are some missions missing, but the downloadable IL2 missions will work (almost always) in later versions. The only exceptions are related to takeoff location and can easily be remedied in the full mission builder that's built into all the game versions.

I'm with the rest, get FB Gold Pack and Pacific Fighters and come join us online.

idmStarfire
04-21-2005, 12:32 AM
Thanks, NietzscheMadMan and Tully.

Could someone clarify on the time compression thing I mentioned above?

Thanks, guys.

JunkoIfurita
04-21-2005, 04:34 AM
Hey again,

The speed up function does help - you can speed the action up by 2x, 4x or 8x (as well as 1/2 and 1/4, useful for gunnery practise when on your training wings).

There's also a time skip function. Unfortunately due to the way the AI is calculated (VERY complex), this function can't simply skip to later on in the mission, but simply blacks out the screen and makes all the calculations without the added load of displaying the graphics. It CAN be quite fast, but only on extremely high end machines. For the rest, it's no faster than 8x, and you don't get to see what's going on ^_^.

You can't pin this on the game though - the reason older games could have a 'warp' function that would instantly roll you foward to the action was because they were pre-scripted missions where nothing happened of note outside the player's immediate vicinity. In sturmovik and Pacific fighters, it's not prescripted (only the flight paths, the AI handles the rest). AI aircraft will come up against AI aircraft, ground battles will be fought, and combat will happen, often with no direct effect on the player (although it does affect the dynamic campaign as a whole, which is why it is implemented). Therefore, even when you aren't seeing anything on the screen, many AI calculations are being made.

So anyway, flying 250km flight path, even on 8x mode (theoretically...slower processors won't get quite get that), takes a significant amount of time. The good news is if you have the Gold Pack as well, all the land-based Eastern and Western front missions rarely stretch over 90km (and are often much shorter).

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idmStarfire
04-21-2005, 06:07 AM
I see. Oh well. I guess after playing Silent Hunter III, sitting through a 250km flight won't seem all that long.(at least, I hope it won't) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Thanks for the info!

ICDP
04-21-2005, 07:06 AM
My advice is DO NOT BUY PACIFIC FIGHTERS, especially if you are looking for a good offline experience. Merged with the older FB+AEP it makes a good online sim but offline the POOR AI AND CAMPAIGNS ARE TOTAL ****. Online is the only place this series of games is anywhere remotely decent.

Summary:
Offline = TOTAL **** (even with FB+AEP)
Online = Remotely decent

Buy PF and you WILL be dissapointed unless you are planning to fly EXCLUSIVELY online

VW-IceFire
04-21-2005, 08:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ICDP:
My advice is DO NOT BUY PACIFIC FIGHTERS, especially if you are looking for a good offline experience. Merged with the older FB+AEP it makes a good online sim but offline the POOR AI AND CAMPAIGNS ARE TOTAL ****. Online is the only place this series of games is anywhere remotely decent.

Summary:
Offline = TOTAL **** (even with FB+AEP)
Online = Remotely decent

Buy PF and you WILL be dissapointed unless you are planning to fly EXCLUSIVELY online <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Actually you're missing out there. Single player experience is greatly enhanced by the campaigns and missions released by the community. For example, Extreme Ones Battle of Britain for Forgotten Battles was a superb example of a very impressive and immersive offline experience.

I'm trying to do that myself with my campaigns that are available and there are other campaigns around too that I think offer a great single player experience.

So I disagree.

PF is a great product but its best bought together with the Forgotten Battles and Ace Expansion pack so you can take it online and offline.

idmStarfire
04-21-2005, 04:51 PM
Thanks, Icefire. Looks like I'll have to give Extreme One's campaign a try once I get Pacific Fighters+FB+AEP (maybe next weekend).

I was wondering if there is a list anywhere (either on these forums on on another website) with links to the good campaigns out there. Or is there some site that does campaign reviews?

While I will play multiplayer, I will most likely be primarily playing offline due to time constraints. Therefore, single-player campaigns are important to me.

Thanks!

canucksledge
04-21-2005, 05:20 PM
Also, keep in mind the game is still not as advertised on the box 6 mos later. Don't expect too much support on the product. Updates, as you can see if you look around, have not been as forthcoming as had once been the hallmark of these designers. You won't get the flying Betty, and some maps are missing, and very little representatiuon is made of American non-carrier ships. Most of the ships in the Pearl harbour scenarios are British.

For the money, it's the best current world war two flight simulator. In fact it's the only current second world war simulator, so there's not much to compare it to.

It's cheap now, it's pretty, and it's useable.

JunkoIfurita
04-21-2005, 05:44 PM
You can find a bunch of the community made static campaigns on the 'missions' download page from the main Pacific Fighters site.

Also, www.airwarfare.com (http://www.airwarfare.com) hosts a great deal of the community missions.

Some of the best that I reccomend:

Johnny Red 1+2 (British hurri pilot, flying with the russians. Based on a comic strip). 40 missions

Extreme_One's Two Little Ducs: Campaign following the exploits of a US P51 Mustang squadron (355th?) 60+ missions.

Extreme_One's BoB:

Boomer's 'Castaway': a fantastic PF-merged campaign that encourages survival as the most important objective. Tropical island style: this is really something special.

'When Tigers Could Fly': P-40B/C campaign following the AVG (American Volunteer Group) in China (uses russian maps to simulate China, with PF objects you get well immersed.).

'The Blue' by Bird_Brain: RAF early war campaign over North Africa, flying Gladiators and Hurris.

'Cat's Eyes': RAF Beaufighter Nightfighting campaign. 18 missions.

There are more about, and more excellent things on the way (Extreme_One and Bird_Brain are collaborating on a Battle Over Malta campaign, which you can expect great things from. Those two are a pair of the community's most experienced mission builders)

So, if that doesn't keep you going for the next year or so, then you can always try the DGen campaigns, which are really not too bad after all.

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