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...landed this afternoon, which puts me in one helluva pickle, seeing as how I have a LOT of work to do. Yet the Albies and the Camels and the Fockers and the Spads and the Nieuports keep calling to me. I am distracted by images of wings being ripped off of planes, fabric being riddled with bullets, wood splintering, pilots screaming, fuel tanks rupturing and catching fire, both friend and enemy alike spiraling into the earth.

 

:heat:

 

BD

 

 

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...... I am distracted by images of wings being ripped off of planes, fabric being riddled with bullets, wood splintering, pilots screaming, fuel tanks rupturing and catching fire, both friend and enemy alike spiraling into the earth.....

 

 

Tried to think of something clever to say, but no need .... yup, it's all in there.

 

Just hope you checked the envelope for bandits. - They're everywhere.

 

......BD?

 

.....BD?

 

Come in BD!

 

Oh no. BD?

 

.............

 

BD?

.....

 

Gone? He can't be gone already. He just got here!

 

 

(OK, I know there's no radio, but this is OFF in WW1, and you have to do the 'da-da-dit-dit-da' translation bit for yourself).:grin:

Edited by Flyby PC

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I am distracted by images of wings being ripped off of planes, fabric being riddled with bullets, wood splintering, pilots screaming...

 

BD

 

 

For a moment there I thought you were on the ground next to UK_Widowmaker when he found out the replacement planes weren't Snipes again. :lol:

 

Hellshade

Edited by Hellshade

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Tried to think of something clever to say, but no need .... yup, it's all in there.

 

Just hope you checked the envelope for bandits. - They're everywhere.

 

......BD?

 

.....BD?

 

Come in BD!

 

Oh no. BD?

 

.............

 

BD?

.....

 

Gone? He can't be gone already. He just got here!

 

 

(OK, I know there's no radio, but this is OFF in WW1, and you have to do the 'da-da-dit-dit-da' translation bit for yourself).:grin:

 

He's flying in 1916 so its Semaphore... or do we hear the sputter of a dying engine over the hill... and a trail of blacksmoke following a dot weaving throught the sky...

 

Though I did just find this on the Futuristic Interweb thingy...

 

http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/southern-indiana-man-crashes-wwi-plane,-again

 

Glad he got out okay...

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For a moment there I thought you were on the ground next to UK_Widowmaker when he found out the replacement planes weren't Snipes again. :lol:

 

Hellshade

 

:rofl:

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You will begin to live a life beyond average greyscales - the life of a WW1 fighter pilot.

It will be phantastic!

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And mine landed yesterday. After fighting with it to keep it from crashing, I've now completed my first campaign flight, a balloon busting machine where, I'm happy to say, I did manage to find a shoot down one of those infernal British observation platforms (very hard to spot it turns out, I had no idea what altitude to be looking at and was way too high at first). I've filed my claim for my first kill, hopefully it'll be approved.

 

Initial thoughts are HUGELY positive about the game. I think the interface menus could use some tweaking, they sometimes seem a bit "busy" if that makes sense, but overall it's just one hell of a great flight sim. Flight models feel good, graphics are really amazing, and I'm going to have a hard time not getting lost in the damn thing for endless hours. :pilot:

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TrollBreath: Initial thoughts are HUGELY positive about the game.

 

Well, you'll soon find out - this is NO game.

Sounds like you made your first flight without any aids like Labels or TAC right from the start?

That's tough. But I get the impression already, that you'll love OFF.

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Labels and TAC turned off. Makes it tougher then it probably would be even in real life since a monitor can never totally replicate human vision (at least not yet), but I find all that stuff just gets in the way. What I ended up doing was honing in on where the guns protecting it were located, and working down in a spiral in that general until I finally spotted a bit of yellow moving contrary to the way the rest of the terrain was rotating. Leveled out, made a single pass.... it went up like a torch. Took some machine gun fire on the way out that damaged the left wing, but made it back across the front with no further spottings or incidents. May invest in a bigger monitor to improve overall visibility.

 

I do remember at one point as the formation was heading towards the target scanning around and seeing a flight of 8 or 9 planes cruising at right angles to us at a very high altitude. Impressive... in RB3D there was never more then 8 planes total on the screen at a time, and here we had my flight of three and eight more in the same space, making for a very immersive, "stuff is going on all around you" feeling.

 

I did crash the plane on landing, though, I turned a little too hard after I touched down and heeled it over onto its left side, but was sufficiently slowed (tail was dragging by then) that I walked away unharmed. So it wasn't as easy as all that. Oh, and I DID use warp, I just can't play for two hours straight at a time, have a real life to maintain. But it still ended up being more then a half hour of real time, even with that concession.

 

You're right... this is not game, this is a real hell of a simulator, and I'm already impressed. Can't wait to fly more missions soon.

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Trollbreath, sounds like my experiences have been identical to yours. I had some early crashing issues and assorted errors. (I had installed Hat in the Ring directly over Heaven and Hell, assuming the latter would be automatically updated, so I had to reinstall everything. That fixed the error messages, but the crashing issues persisted, so I went in and set everything to “Run as Administrator.” Except I soon discovered that if you run the OFFManager.exe as administrator, TrackIR doesn’t work. So now just the CFS.exe is being run as administrator and all is well.)

 

 

As for how I feel about OFF at this point, all I can say is that it sets a very high standard by which all other flight combat sims will be measured. I can't help but kick myself for not getting it sooner.

 

Since I spent a lot of time in Rise of Flight, I couldn’t help but compare the two. In terms of terrain complexity and just sheer beauty, RoF can’t even come close. Sure it renders water better, but it’s basically like Il-2 but with better trees—neatly arranged forests, and not much diversity.

 

 

Another winning aspect of OFF is that the world seems much more active. RoF by comparison was very sterile and empty. During a campaign, the enemy dutifully show up at the appropriate time and place, but aside from that, there really isn’t that much else going on. Of all the missions I flew in RoF, I wasn’t once bounced, out of the blue, by a flight of enemy fighters. Yesterday, I landed my Camel after a mission. It was a beautiful spring day, and the birds were chirping, cars were driving around, guns were going off. It really added to experience.

 

I got to tell you, though, there is one aspect that RoF has OFF beat—the in-game map. The OFF map is just awful. There is absolutely NO WAY you can navigate with it without that damn flying plane icon, which I hate. I’d like to be able to disable the icon, and navigate by roads and rivers and landmarks. I’ve checked the downloads section, and there just isn’t a good map to work from. Maybe we need to all pitch in and hire a good cartographer for this game? What do you say? I got ten on it and it’d WELLLLL worth it not to have to look at that awful in game map!

 

 

Some other observations: The Eindecker and I do not get along. My first flight, I tried to out-turn DH2, both when I’d run out of energy…and altitude. I plummeted into the trees and my pilot, Charles Bukowski, was killed instantly. His family has yet to be notified.

 

 

My French pilot, Jean Paul Sartre, was killed while chasing an Albatross. The Alby went up, Sartre went up after him, fired right into the cockpit. The pilot screamed and the plane stalled…and tumbled back right into my N-17. Just before that, though, I was following another Albatross, just lining up to squeeze off a shot…when it just suddenly exploded. It had taken a direct flak burst. Awesome.

 

 

Luckily my American pilot, Ernest Hemingway, and his British counterpart, George Orwell, are still alive and well. (The Camel and I are still good friends. The SE-5? We'll see. We'll see.)

 

BD

Edited by BurningDaylight

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Daylight, I'm telling you, that damn Eindecker is a killer. Of its pilots mostly! :-) Interestingly, having spent the week playing RB3D prior to getting my disk, the flight model is almost exactly the same in both games. Turn too tight, you lose all lift, and pretty soon your doing a pretty nice impression of "falling leaf", which given the usually low altitudes involved with that plane results in Bad Things happening to your pilots. I've already lost one German pilot that way (I didn't realize that Quick Combat could result in your pilot's death if you weren't in campaign mode... doh!... that's what happens when you get stuck in the mentality of one game and have to switch up to another).

 

I agree the map is rough, but I managed it alright on mission one. It's not pretty, not even as nice as good ole RB3D, but it's enough I can get where I need to be and back again. Which is all I expect at this point, since I so far mostly find myself staring at the cloud effects around me with my mouth hanging open, wondering why the heck I'm not getting soaking wet. And don't even talk to me about flying in snow... that's incredibly disorienting (as it should be).

 

Like your pilot names, by the way. You've got the who's who of authors going on over there.

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.

 

BD and Trollbreath, sounds like you are definitely now in the club as you have both endured your intitial baptism by fire. As to the in-sim map, I don't use it. I fly with external maps and it works quite well. Here is a link to the very large Nat Geo Map I just pieced together a high res version of for folks who wanted another option:

 

Nat Geo 1918 Western Front Map Download

 

 

Also, be sure and grab Waldemar Kurtz's Alsace and Vosges maps and rabu's excellent map set in the downloads section. I have made use of them all with very good success.

 

As an example here is a link to another thread where I posted one of my mission maps:

 

Reports From The Front

 

 

I have a second computer set up to port of my flying rig and I use that one to run my external map. Works out very slick, and it allows me to do one of the things I dearly love in a flight sim...navigating. I will be happy to share any info I have on this if you Gents are interested.

 

Glad to read you two are enjoying the OFF experience. It only gets better from here. :drinks:

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

.

Edited by RAF_Louvert

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BurningDaylight and TrollBreath - the aircraft are not killing you; you are destroying them, and kill yourselves.

But you'll learn to handle your crates, if you stay around for at least half a year.

And perhaps you find yourself better pilots.

Charles Bukowski couldn't have flown the Eindecker - he definitely drank too much.

Jean Paul Sartre may have been a good philosopher - but can such guys fly fighters?

Ernest Hemingway had his ways with war, hunting and fighting - he could make it.

 

RAF_Louvert's map is brilliant - you should try and use that for navigating.

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Oh sure, point out the obvious Olham. Yes, we are killing ourselves and destroying valuable military aircraft at the same time. Happy now?

 

Definitely going to check out the maps. Thanks for sharing the resource.

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Lou, Thanks for that excellent map and the idea of the extra computer. I flew the A2A Sim. Piper Cub from the Washington Coast to Maine with Google Earth open on my laptop. It worked pretty well.

 

TrollBreath, Quick Mission was how I lost Bukowski. I flew a balloon busting mission in campaign mode, decided I needed a little practice in the Eindecker before I actually had to engage the enemy. I didn't notice the little box that said, "Pilot Never Dies." So Bukowski's gone. I didn't like the Eindecker so much anyway. Herman Hesse has replaced him in an Albatross DII.

 

Olham, you gotta keep an eye on Hemingway, though. Planes weren't always good to him. I was going to enlist Hunter Thompson, but I figured instead of Fokkers, he'd just see huge bats swooping and screeching and diving around his plane. I didn't know if that would actually be an advantage or not. Sartre has been replaced by Louis-Ferdinand Celine (the guy's got some talent, so you just have to ignore the fact that he's a real douche.) Robert Service's and Rudyard Kipling's draft cards came up, so it looks like it's time for them to gather up their gear.

 

BD

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Glad to see that both of you gentlemen made the jump into Over Flanders Fields: Between Heaven & Hell and the Hat in the Ring expansion. I am sure that you will find it is money very, very well spent. I've been flying it since it came out and I still have suprising new things happen to me. It's a real war out there and there are many ways to die. My last campaign video I was shooting, I was too close to the Albatros I was firing at when suddenly an Allied flak burst hit him directly and my lower right wing got blown off too. Down we both went. The word everyone seems to use is "immersive" and it really is. Glad to have you both aboard and I wish you all the best in your new live(s) as WWI aviators.

 

Enjoy,

Hellshade

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.

 

 

Ernest Hemingway, (I wouldn't get into the ring with Tolstoy either); Jean Paul Sartre, (let's get down and do the Existential Bop); George Orwell, (clearly Wall Street bankers are fans of his work); Louis-Ferdinand Celine, (a bit too misanthropic IMHO); Rudyard Kipling, (forever a better man than I am); Robert Service. Oh BD, we shall get along just swell, my well-read gentleman.

 

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun

By the men who moil for gold;

The Arctic trails have their secret tales

That would make your blood run cold..."

 

.

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Lou, there’s way too much Orwell in the world today. I try to remind people that those were cautionary tales he was writing, not instruction manuals. New at Amazon, “George Orwell’s Guide To Executive Success: or How to Walk Upright, Even Though You’re a Repugnant Swine!”

 

 

As for poetry, I can appreciate guys like Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg (“I saw the best minds of my generation, destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, blah de blah,”) but I’ve always enjoyed the rhymers more. Robert Service and Rudyard Kipling are two of my favorites. Paul Laurence Dunbar is another good one. I think I learned to love Kipling through my grandfather. His rhymes were a bit clunky, but he still managed to get off some good ones. One of my favorites begins,

 

 

Here come I to my own again,

Fed Forgiven and known again,

Claimed by the bone of my bone again

And cheered by the flesh of my flesh.

 

 

I stole that rhyme scheme once to write a poem that began:

 

Here we come from the sea again

all my mates and me again

we’ve caught our fish and we’re free again

so we’re off to the Idle Hour.

 

Where there’s always women waiting for us

Dinner and drinking and dating for us

A chance for meeting and mating for us

In the smoke of the Idle Hour.

 

 

I remember my grandpa getting drunk (it happened so rarely, and only at our Christmas Eve party) and reciting Kipling. "Twas Din, Din, Din, you Lazarushian Leather, Gunga Din!" The birthday before he died I bought him a copy of "Barrack Room Ballads", first edition. Printed in Germany in 1892. (An interesting note: It has a swastika on the title page--long before it became a symbol of such hatred and horror.) It's mine now. In fact, it's sitting on a shelf within easy reach of this desk.

 

In my early twenties, I struck up a conversation with some strangers in a bar (unfortunately, I spent a lot of time in bars in my early to mid twenties) which is something I've been known to do when I'm a few sheets to the wind. While discussing books with this very tall, very beautiful German woman, she plopped her head into her hands and said, "Charles Bukowski is jumping on my brain!" Naturally, I fell in love immediately. Unfortunately, she was already married. To a man with a pony-tail no less. But the man with the ponytail inserted himself into our conversation (naturally) and it turned out he was a huge fan of Robert Service too. So we took turns standing on our table, raising our beers, reciting poems, really belting 'em out: "Gold! We leapt from our benches! Gold! We leapt from our stools! Gold! We wheeled in the furrows, fired with the faith of fools!" and "This is the Law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain, send not your foolish and feeble, send me your strong and your sane!" and that old favorite, "I tried to refine that neighbor of mine, honest to God, I did. I grieved for his fate and early and late, I watched over him like a kid." Naturally, that very tall, very long legged, very gorgeous, red-headed German woman got the biggest applause, with her sexy German accent.

 

The owner of the bar was an Irish woman named Maggie O’Toole. One time I traded her a poem for a pitcher of beer (Mirror Pond Pale Ale, of course, the best brew ever beer'd.) It began like this:

 

"In this Irish Pub we drink

While Irish thoughts we think

We're the drunken fools of Maggie O'Toole's,

Of the Guinness Stout we stink.

 

We toil all day in an Irish way and it's the Irish songs we sing

And while we labor long to that Irish song, it's to an Irish hope we cling

That we'll drink again in our Irish den and raise an Irish toast,

To Maggie O'toole, who sits on her stool, our bright-eyed benevolent host."

 

Maggie was neither bright-eyed nor benevolent, but shoot, it was for a pitcher of Mirror Pond Pale Ale!

 

BD

Edited by BurningDaylight

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TrollBreath: Yes, we are killing ourselves and destroying valuable military aircraft at the same time. Happy now? :rofl:

 

Herman Hesse has replaced him in an Albatross DII. :rofl:

Oh me oh my - Herman was a very ernest man, so let's hope he will remember Dicta Boelke.

 

BurningDaylight, I could imagine Rudyard Kipling fighting quite ernestly for the British common wealth - I see him in a Pup.

 

But please, all you writers and philosphers - don't flood our side of the lines with pamphlets. :grin:

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.

 

BD, how ironically true about Orwell's writings becoming instructive material to so many in our age. As another BD once noted, "The times they are a changin", and he had something quite different in mind as well when he penned that.

 

Your Irish pub tale reminds me of one of my own from back in my years spent in service to Uncle Sam. One outstanding night of pub crawling in Edinburgh found us in the wee hours drinking whiskeys and Guinness, singing songs, and taking turns reading from an old tome of Kipling's works, (have no idea to this day where that book materialized from). The one that really got the place wound up was when I launched into an extremely alcohol enhanced, over-the-top heartfelt reading of his "Irish Guards" :

 

"We're not so old in the Army List,

But we're not so young at our trade,

For we had the honour at Fontenoy

Of meeting the Guards' Brigade.

'Twas Lally, Dillon, Bulkeley, Clare,

And Lee that led us then,

And after a hundred and seventy years

We're fighting for France again!

Old Days! The wild geese are flighting,

Head to the storm as they faced if before!

For where there are Irish there's bound to be fighting,

And when there's no fighting, it's Ireland no more!

Ireland no more! ..."

 

Good times...good times...

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

.

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Some deep, philosophical thoughts, gentlemen. It's great that we have such a group of intelligent, thoughtful, articulate pilots.

 

Now excuse me while I go toss down a few ales and then try and turn a few Spads into twisted, burning wreckage. I promise to be much more contemplative in my Posts from the Front. :grin:

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