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OFFworld Interest  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. How badly do you want to multiplay OFF/WOFF in a shared, persistent online universe?

    • Keen! How can I help? Of course I'll chip in for early access in development!
    • Sure I'd think about buying or subscribing upon full release.
    • Meh, might try it if it's free.
    • No thanks.

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Good evening, all.


With OBD rightly furthering its strengths in WOFF's immersive single-player campaign, multiplayer WW1 aerial combat has become the territory of other games (hard to call anything else out there a 'sim' in comparison). OFF multiplayer has fallen by the wayside for good reasons including technical/compatibility nightmares and the death of Microsoft's CFS GameMatch service. I can solve those problems, but have something much grander in mind. The following is a brief outline of my thinking at this stage, as an initial gage of interest.


The goal is to merge the rich depth of OFF's campaign and the thrill of its aerial combat into a massively(?) multiplayer online role-playing combat flight simulator (MMORPCFS?), where players can fly both singleplayer (PvE) and multiplayer (PvP) missions in the same persistent, shared online Great War:


Serve in the same squadron as your friends, with a common roster of human and AI pilots and OFFbase ground crew. Submit claims from multiplayer as well as singleplayer missions and witness claims by both human and AI wingmen. Even friends without OFF would be able to join and take the role of Ground Crew!


Encounter other human pilots OFFbase and fly alongside and against them in multiplayer combat missions. Or fly your own AI-only singleplayer missions to advance your career and the persistent campaign if no other human flyers are available and no multiplayer missions are scheduled for your squadron.


Global campaign open to all well-behaved OFFers would begin early in the war (date TBD) and advance time across all participating player squadrons with each mission until Armistice. But anyone would be able to create and share multiplayer campaigns for private clubs, special events, etc.


Start the campaign at low rank, but earn achievements and promotions as you build your persistent online career. Replacement pilots could begin at ranks you've reached in-game but no higher, while transfers between squadrons open new career possibilities. Multiple pilots in different squadrons and nations would be supported.


One highest-ranking player per squadron can serve as Squadron Commander:

  • Score multiplayer mission claims for confirmation based on player reports
  • Reward medals and promotions as well as approve/reject those granted by OFF Manager
  • Coordinate with other squadron COs to approve and assign transfers
  • Generate and schedule multiplayer missions and schedule parties in the Mess
  • Assign flight leaders and alternates
  • Authorize players for lone wolf missions
  • Disciplinary options for breaking formation, friendly fire, cheating, etc.

Of course, it would need a Matchmaker system:

  • Far more than just a replacement for the defunct CFS GameMatch directory
  • Publicize and help players sign up for and join scheduled multiplayer missions
  • Let players post future availability to help COs schedule missions
  • Make roles available in hosted mission files for player squadrons on both sides of the lines
  • Synchronize all players' date, time, frontlines, weather, etc.
  • Synchronize all players' available aircraft to eliminate mismatch errors while affording individual armaments/skins, gun convergence distances, fields-of-view, etc.
  • Require/enforce OFF Workshop and CFS3Config difficulty settings for difficulty/fairness and to prevent cheating
  • Generate and publish web-based killboards

Expanded OFFbase Mess Hall where you can hang out with your fellow human squadmates:

  • Built-in chat client
  • Multiplayer mini-games, both turn-based (move a chess piece) and real-time (drinking contest)
  • Publish and share tales of your deeds from your Journal in a squadron Library

And of course, full integration with WOFF after release (aka WOFFworld?). Combining the depth of that experience with the stakes and emergence of a persistent shared online campaign would be the greatest simulation of the Great War,.


I've done enough research and experimentation to know this is feasible on top of my OFFice system. But to make it a reality I need help from all of you. This would be a paid effort. The final form could take the form of either a single purchase or subscription, but I would need funding to get it off the ground, so to speak. I'm thinking of charging via PayPal for 'Early Access' to the closed test campaign and a chance to shape it's features and development.


So if you would truly value something like OFFworld, let me know. I'll try attaching a (non-committal) poll to this topic, and if you're reaaally serious about contributing feel free to message me privately. As I said, this is just an initial, informal, gage of interest. If it's going to be dead in the water, I'd rather know now.


But if not, the fun can begin soon. Shared synchronized OFFbase squadrons, with all pilots and ground crew, are already mostly up and running over a decentralized network on top of the latest OFFice release. Anyone willing to pay to share their "singleplayer" OFF and OFFice campaign with a friend?

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I would go with this as it sounds like fun... of course it would depend upon the pricing etc.


But I am playing War Thunder to get my WW2 fix at present so would be nice to have a WW1 fix as well...

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This sounds pretty incredible Lothar! I'd be the first to sign up and help test, but like Mud, I live rurally and high-speed Internet is still a few years away. I hope enough other members do show interest and this gets off the ground as it seems like it would be awesome. What might something like this cost or have you not determined that yet?

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A neighbor, (he lives 1.75 miles away), hooked up to Hughes Net last year.


What a piece of crap that is. On a crystal clear day a flock of geese can cause it to loose signal and it takes much time to get it's sheet together again. There is also a daily cap on how much he can use.

He came over to my house a few times this winter to access Gmail.


For now, I'm thrilled with the offline campaign. Thinking about going to OFFice. Had a friend D/L it last week, but haven't had time to get ducks in a row.

Now I see there is a new version......


What do I need to back-up before installing OFFice and how do I do it?

I just don't want to ruin the good thing that I got going on now.

Edited by MudWasp48

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Here's what I have in mind:


A $12 buy-in for the first stage, PvE "singleplayer" in a shared persistent online campaign. This would support development and testing of the persistent campaign engine itself, along with the underlying networking etc., basic communication and coordination features, and the core work to bootstrap into the second stage. While the underlying campaign and interactions in OFFbase would be multiplayer, missions themselves are individual "shards" with AI wingmen and against AI enemies, with results synced to the persistent campaign.


The second stage, PvP "multiplayer", would begin when the most basic multiplayer missions can be generated and flown in the persistent online campaign developed in the first stage. The buy-in would be a little more, say $20 ($8 upgrade for 1st stage members), and support development and testing of all necessary interface, security, and synchronization features to make it usable and stable for a full general release.


All the unnecessary bells and whistles like social minigames, achievements, web-based kill lists, etc. would depend on the level of support, possibly a third-stage continuing from the 2nd if necessary or following expansion pack. The goal of the first two stages would be the basic functionality to get it up and working so people can fly consequential missions with and against each other.


The first stage is ready to begin, with a single shared squadrons and its pilots and crew. To grow from individual shared squadrons to a full shared persistent multi-squadron war that supports multiplayer combat, that's where you all come in. And of course, the $12 would be a minimum--chip in more to spur development or just to say thanks for OFFice and OFFbase and all my other mods and utilities for OFF.




I get your pain, Shiloh and MudWasp. The first stage of OFFworld wouldn't require "high-speed" internet by any means--not much bandwidth use at all. Dial-up should work just fine, though you'd still have to be online while playing.


As for getting OFFice up and running, Mud, if you've already got the full 500MB download of OFFice 1.0.2, all you need to download for the new version is the small update to install on top. No need to back anything up first, but I recommend creating a new pilot in a new squadron to try it out. None of your existing pilots in other squadrons will be touched. If you don't like it, it's easy to deactivate and go back to flying OFF normally.

Edited by Lothar of the Hill People

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Went to run OFFice from an USB drive and the little bugger is not working.

Guess I'll ask a favor again on D/L'ing stuff. Sucks being on dial-up

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The USB, "thumb drive", that held the download, Flash Drive, umm, ah, hmmm, (sounding like a policians', sporksman now), there are other names for them

It looks like a malfunction. Other drives work. never had one fail before. This one is dead.


The other USB flash drive holds HitR is good


Just need to get a new/another copy and have it saved to a device I can take home.

Not a problem with your work, just the media that it was saved on.



Lothar, I enjoy the two seaters. There is not much in the campaign stock that recognizes bomb runs and hitting targets. It's all about downing enemy aircraft.

Is there anything in your mod that adresses this?


Not a HUGE issue. It just sucks flying a bombing run, kicking butt on ground targets, avoiding the enemy fighters, and making it home with no claim form recognition.

It would be great to have a low chance of living through flying a mission to bomb a target of great importance, and have that scaled against an easy hit the enemy airfield just over the mud.

Maybe an important shipment or official is on a train that is moving, that kinda stuff.


No problems with your mods, just the device I stored them on is junk...

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Not a problem with your work, just the media that it was saved on.


Ah, hate when that happens. Good luck getting it sorted out.


Lothar, I enjoy the two seaters. There is not much in the campaign stock that recognizes bomb runs and hitting targets. It's all about downing enemy aircraft.

Is there anything in your mod that adresses this?


Not a HUGE issue. It just sucks flying a bombing run, kicking butt on ground targets, avoiding the enemy fighters, and making it home with no claim form recognition.

It would be great to have a low chance of living through flying a mission to bomb a target of great importance, and have that scaled against an easy hit the enemy airfield just over the mud.

Maybe an important shipment or official is on a train that is moving, that kinda stuff.


I've mostly flown two-seaters myself (love me some DFW C.V), so yes OFFice does feature a number of enhancements for two-seater campaigns. You can indeed write reports after your missions to document your adventures, even if you don't have claims to file. You share lodgings and interact with your observer/gunner, who has a name and a unique personality, and who builds a career just as you do. German campaigns have a different dynamic, since he commands your missions and likely outranks you.


As for missions themselves, OFFice includes a dynamically enhanced version of Bletchley's mission mods. Not only are missions more historically accurate for the role (no more sending bombers up for scrambles), but there's more variation and more to do and a few missions with a bit more... character.


OFFice truly is a massive improvement over stock Phase 3 + HitR. Getting back to the subject of this thread, it'd be great to bring the best of OFF and OFFice into a shared, persistent multiplayer campaign where what you do in the air (and on the ground) matters, not just to yourself and your AI squadmates but to the war other OFFers are flying in as well.

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Thanks for the reply.

That does sound like a good time with the two seaters.


A basic question on two seaters... when I go to the gunners' seat, I can only control the gun movement by flightstick or throttle wobbly thing

Is there a way to use the mouse to aim the the rear gun?


So the PvE would let me play single player, but require the data from the mission to be uploaded whie I'm playing?

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A basic question on two seaters... when I go to the gunners' seat, I can only control the gun movement by flightstick or throttle wobbly thing

Is there a way to use the mouse to aim the the rear gun?


You could try finding a program that lets you use the mouse as a fake "emulated" joystick, but this could interfere with your ability to use the menus or other mouse controls.


So the PvE would let me play single player, but require the data from the mission to be uploaded whie I'm playing?


Depends on what you mean by "playing". The first-stage PvE OFFworld doesn't transfer any data while you're actually flying, just before and after and when you're playing on the ground, OFFbase.


So you'd go online, let the campaign synchronize, then launch OFFbase. All the stuff you do in OFFbase, interacting with your fellow squadmates and such, will sync with the shared campaign. Then you launch OFF from the OFFbase Hangar to fly your OFFbase-enhanced mission. As soon as your actual mission starts, you could alt-tab out and disconnect your dial-up. Just remember to alt-tab out, dial-up the internet again to sync to the latest campaign data before you quit your mission and exit OFF. Then your mission results will be synchronized with any changes from other players while you were in the air.


Unlike standard OFF where what happens to your flightmates in the air is forgotten as soon as the flight is over, in OFFbase you report your flightmates' results too, witnessing any claims and reporting crashes and stuff. If you see your wingman downed in a fireball, he won't just magically reappear as if nothing's happened. WOFF will do this automatically, but you don't have to wait "two weeks" to get a crude version of this persistence feature today in OFFbase/OFFice.


Even worse, in standard OFF, if your pilot dies or is permanently captured, poof! your campaign disappears. It's as if your squadmates never existed. OFFbase makes your own squadron's campaign persistent, which truly allows OFF's deep campaign engine to shine. This brings in all the joy and terror of building your squadron, protecting your flightmates and seeing them through the mission and back home--the stuff that got us all hooked on games like Wings and RB3D in the first place.


With OFFworld, what happens in the air matters, not just to you but other human pilots in the same persistent campaign. If an AI "friend" of yours is killed flying alongside another human pilot in their PvE mission, your character will feel the loss and this sadness will show in his interactions with others. If your character hates another player's character, and they get captured, your mood will brighten a bit. All this cascades through the social networks that develop in the squadron.


Expanding this persistent depth to multiple squadrons and nations, across the whole war, and sharing it with others... now that has potential for emergent narrative rivaling the stories you hear from EVE's single persistent universe. Win a major air battle against an enemy squad and it could take them a long time to recover from the decimation of their ranks and blow to the survivors' morale. Maybe this opens opportunities for others--even in other squadrons. Unable to advance in an elite squadron filled with higher-ranking aces, maybe a transfer into a decimated squadron where you'd have more authority is just the thing to give your career new life, if you can turn their morale around. The possibilities are endless.


Who's with me?

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I'll be posting an update to OFFice/OFFbase later today, mostly bug fixes and interface improvements but it now also keeps track of your squadron's history which can be reviewed at your leisure, helping to tell the story of your persistent campaign. For OFFworld, this means getting updates about the missions of your human squadmates, and being able to review the progress of your shared squadron. For example:



Lt. Hill is my pilot, Jennings belongs to Kaische, and Taylor's an AI pilot.

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 I realize this is sort of a retired thread, but can Office run on a standard vanilla install of OFF without the HitR update?

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Anyone care to join my 1st Lieutenant Luther Hill and the others in the 94th Aero's Mess Hall?




Plenty to do between flights (though I'm just teasing Kaische!):




Missions are flown in the same persistent campaign, what happens to you and your wingmen affects the development of the shared squadron. At this rate Kaische's Captain Jennings will be an Ace before me!




Of course, I see that not all of his pilots are so lucky. I can visit the fellow Jennings replaced in hospital:




Looks like this character'll be out for a few weeks yet:




But you and your fellow squadmates can help injured fellows heal with support, both moral and otherwise:




Already missions are more consequential, and thus more gripping and engaging, than ever. With your support, OFFworld can eventually feature full multiplayer combat missions in the same persistent online war. Just imagine if we were about to set off together to escort a squadron of human bombers... for a major multiplayer assault against a target protected by squads of human and AI Germans!




So join the brave men of the 94th Aero, where Lt. Colonel Cullen is a master of arms and the violin. Or suggest a squadron for an OFFworld German campaign. Just send me a PM to get started. Help bring life back to the OFF community, and you'll have more fun flying than you have in ages!


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Just checked in to the 94th Aero's "Hat in the OFFworld" campaign, and Captain Lindsay told me the news: Kaische's Capt. Jennings with yet another kill. My Lt. Hill wanders in to the Mess, and sure enough guess who has to rub it in?




Captain Jennings made Ace... Great hunting, Kaische! :flyer:


Want to join in on the fun? OFFworld Phase I is only $12. Send me a PM.


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Thank you Lothar, and in turn my congratulations to your promotion to Captain!


Wasn´t able to return after my last sortie to Toul, had to do a landing for repair at Verdun aerodrome after been shot at by some nasty DVII´s... Cpt Lindsay was not amused...


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The 94th's Adjutant first broke the news about Kaische's new Ace:




But the squadron's Chaplain had an idea:






Jennings doesn't feel too bad about his hospitalization now, but it's getting crowded in there!




But room for more... just send me a PM to get started!



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I'm tempted to join, Lothar.


However, RoF left a bitter taste when it comes to online connections with a sim.


I do appeciate your work! Had a few issues at first, but was just confused by all the acronyms. No big deal.

Switching squads is great, even see some of my former pilots at times.


Even if I never played the role stuff, just having all the mods together and the JSGME to control them is excellent.


Many Thanks!

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Glad you're enjoying OFFice, Mud!


OFFworld Phase I integrates the DropBox file-sharing API, hosted by Amazon's S3 cloud computing storage. No online connection problems so far, only worried about how it scales with more players. So the more playing to help me test, the better!

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      Additional music options for OFF Manager, including period-appropriate piano scores for French and German campaigns

      Funerals for your dead pilots, convalescent home for the disabled, care packages for captured pilots, and prayers for those who need them
      Squadron memorial lists your ended pilots and archives their journals so you can trace the whole story of your squadron in the Great War
      The influence of your dead/captured pilots can linger as their careers become part of the squad’s institutional memory, shaping its future
      Interactions and social networks are dynamic, so events on the air and ground spill over to affect peoples’ behavior
      So don’t underestimate the role of the Chaplain in providing stability to your squadron--assuming he’s stable himself!

      Other pilots and squadmates pursue their own goals, building their own careers and social networks
      Engage in and witness nearly 150 different kinds of encounters, some more personalized, and more rare, than others
      Build friendships whose impact lingers even after death, and make enemies that transcend sides in the war
      Build friendships whose impact lingers even after death, and make enemies that transcend sides in the war
      Develop your character to expand their skills and capabilities as they gain ranks: advance your career, pursue a hobby, or change your approach to relationships
      With 88 distinct personality Traits in billions of combinations, summarized by eight dimensions of Attributes, every character is unique
      Tell your own personal story of life as a pilot in a historic squadron in The Great War

      Much of this highly configurable and/or optional, configurable with:
      OFFramp: rule all mods & plugins for OFF - More than just a mod manager, this dynamic scripting engine makes OFFice possible. Beneath the graphical interface where you customize your campaign and control OFFice features, ModRule plugins imbue the OFF Workshops and previously-standalone OFF mods with the intelligence, historical knowledge, and cooperative spirit of the OFF community. At the same time, powerful new ModRule plugins can tailor almost every aspect of the OFF campaign experience to heighten realism, immersion, and joy. Play OFF your way!
      OFFfov: the OFF field-of-view optical vanguard – This ModRule plugin helps set aspect-ratio-correct FOV settings by projecting a 3D model of your screen into the gameworld. Fly OFF close to a big screen as a true visual simulation, preserving perspective so objects are as close as they appear--or just make it look right for gaming. Your optimized FOV is applied to all OFFbase campaign aircraft seamlessly and automatically in all positions, including forward gunsights and rear gunner, as well as correctly integrating modded aircraft.
      OFFset: the OFF settings manager - Backup and Restore all your painfully-crafted OFF settings (Workshops and CFS3 Config), in full or in part. Handy if you need to reinstall the game or update graphics drivers, but also use settings profiles to switch between different play styles, or pre-configure hardware with settings recommendations from the experts. An OFFramp ModRule archives your settings on first run, so you can safely experiment. See the included OFFset.readme.rtf.
      OFFput: the OFF Pilot UnderTaker – Cares for your dead and broken pilot files by rebuilding corrupted XML files (frequently caused by retiring multiple pilots in OFF Manager). It automatically protects against some common problems and gives you a panic button that works when OFF Manager goes haywire and tells you to delete your pilots! Won’t back up your pilots for you, but makes restoration a snap.
      Realism profiles manage degrees of Dead Is Dead (DID) and Realistic Survival Strategies (RSS) community standards in OFF Workshops and CFS3Config, for a well-designed experience at any difficulty level.
      OFFice is of no use and will not install without Over Flanders Fields: Hat in the Ring (OFF), OBD Software's breathtakingly deep WW1 combat flight simulator. The official Hat in the Ring expansion pack is recommended: Make sure you patch both to the latest version:
      NaturalPoint’s TrackIR is essential for included realism profiles and simulation field-of-view settings:
      OFFice uses Microsoft WordPad (included with Windows) to view documentation.
      The full OFFice suite requires 3GB free hard drive space on your OFF partition. OFFice installs itself alongside OFF.
      Producer - Lothar of the Hill People
      Exec. Producer - OlPaint01
      Research - Bletchley, British_eh, Hasse Wind, RAF_Louvert
      AA, Balloons - Bletchley, Herr Prop-Wasche, Lothar of the Hill People
      Ammunition - Bletchley, Creaghorn, Lothar of the Hill People
      Damage Modeling - Herr Prop-Wasche, Buddy1998
      Dead is Dead Rules - Siggi
      Documentation - Lothar of the Hill People
      Encounters - Lothar of the Hill People, Bletchley, JamesL
      Game Design - Bletchley, Lothar of the Hill People, Creaghorn
      Maps - Lothar of the Hill People
      Medal System - RAF_Louvert, Lothar of the Hill People
      Mask, TAC & Labels - Olham
      Missions - Bletchley, Buddy1998, Lothar of the Hill People
      Music Production - Andy73, Lothar of the Hill People
      News & Photos - Creaghorn, Herr Prop-Wasche
      Rear Arc of Fire - 33Lima
      RSS Rules - British_eh
      Skins - Bullethead, nbryant, Olham, RAF_Louvert, Robert_Wiggins, UK_Widowmaker
      Software Engineer - Lothar of the Hill People
      Sound Design - Andy73
      Weather & Skies - Herr Prop-Wasche
      Weapons & Loadouts - Bletchley, OlPaint01
      Additional Testing - CaptSopwith, Cavaliere57, cptroyce, FreiherrWulff,
      JamesL, Robert_Wiggins
      Third-Party Sources and Included Tools:
      Audio Compression - FLAC: Free Lossless Audio Codec

      Bloom/HDR Shaders - ENBSeries

      Icons - Simon Child, The Noun Project

      http://thenounprojec...om/Simon Child/  
      Installers - Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

      Maps and Topography – Google
      Mod Management - JoneSoft Generic Mod Enabler 2.6.0
      Music Sources - Piano Society http://pianosociety.com

      - fair use clips (see included documentation)  
      Runtime Environment – REBOL 3 Alpha

      This software is free to use and benevolently modify via the ModRules interface, but not free to redistribute or otherwise misappropriate. Simple rule: don't be a jerk. Seriously. By agreeing to use this software, if you're a jerk about it you forfeit all your personal property to the program authors. So just don't be a jerk.
      Finally: while much of OFFice is geared toward making your OFF experience easier, safer, and more reliable, your mileage may vary. OFFice is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software.
      The Fine Print:
      OFFice will edit your pilots and OFF Workshop and CFS3Config settings! That's the entire point. You should BACKUP your pilots frequently anyway:
      campaigns\CampaignData\Pilots\ in your OFF install

      The OFFset plugin in OFFramp will archive your OFF Workshop and CFS3Config settings on first run, and can easily backup and restore them whenever. See OFFset.readme.txt.
      The OFFput plugin in OFFramp can rebuild your XML files should they become corrupted or lost. With OFFice, there’s no longer any need to backup or worry about the UIsel.xml or UnlimitedPilots.xml files in your Windows user profile, and restoring pilots from backup is a snap.
      Persistent squadrons mean you will no longer be able to jump between the same squad during different periods of the war. OFFbase will synchronize multiple squadron pilots automatically--those at an earlier date put on leave until caught up with the most recent pilot in that squadron. So don’t be surprised!
      OFFbase handles the outcome of missions itself--a key ingredient to tracking your squadmates’ outcomes too. It sets ‘Dead Is Dead’ in the OFF Workshops merely so all crashes that destroy your aircraft are treated the same and do not advance time. So don’t despair at the message from OFF that your pilot is dead--this just tells OFFbase your plane is done--your pilot may yet live. Rate the severity of the crash and trust the mercy of the simulated combat medics. You may be Injured, Hospitalized, Disabled, or Deceased, but in all cases you can continue your squadron’s campaign with a replacement pilot.
      JSGME requires Administrator privileges to modify your OFF install, and so OFFice will ask for elevation to install and run. OFFice can launch OFF Manager and CFS3Config as Admin, but you'll need to set CFS3.exe (and TrackIR if you use it) to run as Administrator manually (right click, Properties).
      OFFice uses JSGME to customize your OFF installation to create a more unique and historically accurate experience for each individual campaign. When it runs, do not interfere, and please wait patiently--it will take several minutes sometimes, especially on first run. Don’t worry if it says “Not Responding”, it’s just working really hard to customize the game.
      See also the OFFice/OFFbase Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
      Submitter Lothar of the Hill People Submitted 01/19/2013 Category OFFice / OFFbase / OFFworld  

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