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golden eagle

Getting Started - New to OFF

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I just got my copy of OFF BH&H last night. I had a copy of CFS3 but had never played it after checking it out... I liked IL2 series better so spent my time playing that. I have been off to submarines for some time now and wanted to get back to flying so after som research picked OFF for my WWI experience due to the historical research and faithfulness of the game from what I read about in the reviews and forums.


I have spent some time here in the forums today to figure out the best way to get started and I have a couple of basic questions.


How best to learn the flight interface of CFS3/OFF? There doesn't seem to be any training missions (I did check out ROF ICE free version and enjoyed the training on that)so I am looking for advice on how to come up to speed so I can begin a career.


That brings me to my second question. I am researching what career I want to play right now. I enjoy playing under the name of an actual ace and following thier career for the squadrons they flew in and the airplanes they flew. When possible I also like to use paint schemes of thier actual aircraft to make it as realistic as possible. Most of the famous aces flew for more than one unit and many started as observer/bomber pilots and then switched to fighters. Is this possible in the game? Can I switch from bomber/observer to fighters with the same pilot over the span of a career? Also, If I start with one unit can I ever go into that pilot and transfer to another unit?


Thanks in advance for any help you can give me in getting started!


A Newbie: Golden Eagle

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Welcome aboard!


Re getting started, I think there are five points worth mentioning.


First, use the Quick Combat (QC) option - nearest equivalent to the IL2 QMB - to get used to things. You have to create a pilot first, and Quick Combat can kill him (I think the 'pilot never dies' QC option only comes with the HiTR expansion pack). So make it 'Captain Tester' or whatever so you don't kill him off (tho you can hand-edit the OFF pilot dossiers to change 'Deceased' back to 'In service'). In QC, you can fly ANY plane on your pilot's side, fighter or 'bomber'; so you may need to create a 'Hauptmann von Tester' as well.


Second, experiment with the game settings in the OFF Workshop. HiTR adds some extras but you can control quite a bit here and it will make a difference. There is no substitute for trying for yourself, as opinions vary.


Third, get used to the CFS3-style visual aids that OFF has - mainly, it's 'tactical display' (aka the traditional MS CFS 'radar') and the labels - IL2-like but more conspicuous (Olham's lower-vis mod for these is recommended). And the padlock if you use it. Find out what works best for you. Then there's the OFF map - basically a minor improvement on the really awful CFS3 one. Some use paper maps instead, you can get them here. Others find they can fly without the visual aids. Or just dip into them when needed.


Fourth, check out the OFF FM, DM and other mods here on CombatAce, to improve anything you're still not happy with, using Jonesoft Generic mod enabler to enable and disable them.


Last, use the CFS3 config option, accessible from Workshop, to set up your graphics options, GPU driver for aniso only, maybe AA as well.


BTW HiTR is definitely worth getting, more planes and units, better terrain, more game config options.


Re a career, you can choose a paintscheme for your flight (or just your plane, in HiTR) and OFF has thousands available via drop-down lists (no preview tho). You can d/l skins here at CombatAce or make your own, if not available in-game. The stock OFF skins you can choose, include many aces.


If OFF has the plane type, your campaign squadron will change to it when your real-life squadron changed. I think I recall seeing Alb DII's takeoff alongside me when I was flying a Halberstadt DII with Jasta 2 in late 1916 so i think some combinations of planes within a unit are modelled (maybe Fokker Triplane and Albatros too?). If you want to transfer to a different squadron, I dunno if you can do in-game that but you could create a second pilot with the same name in a different unit and you may be able to hand edit their dossier (log book) by cutting and pasting from the old one into the new one. This is probably what you'd have to do, to mimic the career of a pilot like MvR, Voss, Ball or McCudden, who switched units over time.

Edited by 33LIMA

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Thank you. This is very helpful.


I did find a sticky that had some advice as well.


I also found something from CFS3 that I printed out as well as a key board chart. That should get me started up the learning curve but I am sure to be back with more questions! :salute:

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