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MrGoTime

ROF, FE2, or WOFF? (and a question or 2 about FE2)

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So, I am getting more and more interested in WW1 aviation. I am very familiar with the Strike Figher series and am wondering if FE2 is the best next step towards pursuing WW1 aviation.

 

A couple questions:

 

1.) Which of the available WW1 sims do you prefer and why?

2.) I am a little concerned that FE2 is still going to have the "map" feature available and have tower radio calls and radio calls  and all that (which I don't think sound or feel very authentic to the early 1900s). Basically I am worried that it has all the same voice overs and tower communications/wing communications from the other SF games. Do they?

 

Hopefully those questions make sense. Any help you all could offer would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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Well, it all depends what are you searching for:

 

I like FE2 more, because :

 

-Very good AI, much better than the ROF one (I haven't tried OFF nor WOFF)

 

-A lot of freeware mods, giving this game the best planeset of all, and terrains, sounds, objects.......

 

-In this game you can play the good ol' Western Front, play over North Sea, the Galitzia Front, Italy or Palestine.........also over Gibraltar if you are into the  What if thing.

 

-It's easy to make your own mods, campaigns, etc

 

FE2 (or FE) has no tower calls nor radio calls. You have the inflight map (there is a mod somewhere if you think the stock inflight map has too information). You can give orders (hand commands), but you can't hear anything. 

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I didn't know that about the hand commands! Does the figure actually make the signals? That'd be super cool. It does look like there are some great mods available (yours, in particular, look fantastic).

 

I will have to check that out on payday, perhaps. I'm glad to hear that FE2 doesn't have the tower calls or radio calls, really glad actually. That, for me, would be an immersion killer.

 

Are there any other key differences in how FE2 is handled (vs the other SF games)?

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I love RoF because of :

- Graphism

- Flight model : it is a real pleasure to "feel" the planes

- Variety of missions (true arty spotting, true recon with camera ...).

 

I never tried FE and OFF felt no as "alive" for this topic.

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Each WW1 has its strong points, so it depends what you are looking for:

 

FE2: Hundreds of existing mods, good AI, almost total modding yourself, Western Front, Eastern Front, Italian Front, Middle-Eastern Front campaigns, lot of ground activity, single player.

 

ROF: Excellent FM, weak AI, weak campaigns, not much ground activity, limited modding, multiplayer.

 

WOFF: Excellent AI, very good FMs, best Western Front campaigns, lots of ground activity, realistic trees, medium modding, single player (the older OFF has multiplayer).

Edited by Panama Red

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Thanks all for the input. This is all very helpful! I thought I had a copy of First Eagles Gold, and sure enough, I have it in my DL section on Thirdwire. I must have bought it quite sometime ago and never really played it. Anyways, I am currently downloading it as we speak. I will definitely check out the Armchair Aces campaigns, as those seem to be the way to go. 

 

However, I want to make it look a little better...and there are quite a few different terrain files to pick from. Can anyone shed some light on which ones are the better ones to pick?

 

Also, does FE2 add anything significantly better to FEG?

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All three are excellent games, probably FE/FE2 and WOFF for singleplayers, as both have very challenging AI. You can get RoF for free, with the Albatros DVa and SPADXIII as flyables, if you wish to try it out. There are also some AI mods which improve things somewhat.

Edited by Sky High

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Haven't played WOFF - the considerable hike in minimum systems spec from OFF puts it out of my reach, despite being able to play RoF fine on great-looking medium settings - but I rate FE2 as much the best current WW1 sim. FEG with the latest patches is said by Third Wire to be the same as FE2 functionally but as Panama Red said the latter is better for multi-core systems. Biggest difference is that FE2 doesn't not have the seasonal terrain that FEG has and that campaign weather in FEG changes as you go but stays as it is at the start in FE2 (less of an issue if you play Ojcar's Armchair Aces as each month starts a new campaign, in effect.

 

WOFF's AI seems to have caught up somewhat on FE's but IMHO the sim is still too reliant on the CFS3 'tactical display' (eg to padlock or issue some important orders) and I'm not sure that the new 'dot mode' fix for planes being invisible beyond about a mile and a half is a really satisfactory substitute for better level of detail models which make the plane itself visible at longer ranges. The new hi-res plane and terrain textures look very good indeed, if you've the system to handle them.

 

With the free downloads, with FEG/FE2 you can have a couple of hundred flyable WW1 planes including variants, compared to fifty-plus in WOFF. Plenty you won't find in other sims:

 

img00066.JPG

img00078.JPG

img00235.JPG

img00144 (2).JPG

 

You can't gun in the 2-seaters, which you can in OFF/WOFF and RoF, but boy, there are a lot of them to fly in FE, multi-seat planes too; again, many you won't find in any other sim:

 

img00052.JPG

img00093.JPG

img00083.JPG

img00111.JPG

img01120.JPG

img00108.JPG

img00101.JPG

img00559.JPG

img01146.JPG

img00051.JPG

img00004 (2).JPG

 

And FE supports different theatres, including Italy...

 

img01117.JPG

 

...the North Sea...

 

img00030.JPG

 

(with no land admittedly but there are ships and seaplanes), the Eastern Front and soon, Palestine. FE planes - even the user-made ones - are nearly all excellent, and look great thanks to bump-mapping in many cases and self-shadowing (which WOFF may get from Ankor's new mod, but they still are seen thru CFS3''s distorting wide angle lens effect in external view).

 

There are other great touches in FE. The subtle head-bobbing means you feel you're in a moving plane not looking at a graphic superimposed on the scenery. You get excellent stall buffet effects - visible and audible - so you know when you're on the edge of a stall or a spin - much, much better than OFF or RoF and a pretty big plus in a dogfight. The aircrew animations - minimal in OFF/WOFF - are really great; none of RoF's visible hand signals and observers don't sit down but in RoF the gunners sit down too much and the RoF pilot animations don't feature adequate head-turning to scan; you get plenty of this in FE:

 

img00168.JPG

img01087.JPG

 

Flak is a much better target indicator in FE than it is in RoF and not excessively deadly.

 

IMHO FE's campaigns are absolutely second to none and on balance, not at all inferior to OFF's. The basic squad management element encourages you to identify with and look after your flight-mates. Depending on the campaign, front lines can move as ground operations develop. Squadrons can have ace pilots. Your planes usually have not only representative squadron, escadrille or Jasta colours, but unique markings for each plane in a  flight eg serial numbers and aircraft letters and for the Germans, individual pilot badges or markings:

 

img00986.JPG

img00157.JPG

img00097.JPG

img00198.JPG

 

The FE view system is great - at least as good as RoF's, on balance; and much better than OFF's CFS3-based view system.

 

No reason not to try and buy them all. All three are best at something no doubt. But in my experience FE is the best WW1 air combat single player campaign experience - patrol-leading and air-to-air combat are what it excels at and are the most important things for a WW1 sim to do well - and it's the best value by a large margin, when you consider the mods (and you should as they are free and effectively part of the 'package').

 

Try RoF too as it's free and give Pat Wilson's Campaign Generator a go; buy extra planes if you like it, if not, what have you lost?

  • Like 1

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Keif, I wouldn't swear to it, but I think trees do not present as collidable objects in FE2. I believe they do in WOFF-at least everything else I have managed to crash into has been fairly solid! Mind the fences.

 

Lima, a lot of people seem to be running WOFF quite well on sub-optimal systems; I think it was a case of excessive honesty by the developers. I find it a big improvement on OFF, which, quite frankly, I lost interest in fairly quickly. I think we now have a treasure of riches in our obscure little hobby. Not a bad complaint. I feel FE/FE2 will continue to edge it for sheer feeling of combat and elan, once you mod it up a little.

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Again, everyone - thanks for the help. Here's where I stand:

 

I bought ROF Channel Edition and it's downloaded, I just have to wait to get back from work to play. The bad news is that I have to learn the control scheme and all that.

 

I have FEG installed with mods, also waiting for me. I like that because I am already familiar with the SF layout and control scheme. I am seriously debating getting FE2 though, but am having a hard time justifying the cost just for performance update (though we'll see once I start playing if I am ok with FEG).

 

I'll have to hold on WOFF, as I don't currently own it or CF3.

 

I'm pretty amped about jumping in. The biggest challenge will be learning the airframes. Aviation has always been a hobby, but I've never spent much time readying, studying, or learning about WW1 aircraft designations. I love the "roleplay" aspect of career mode type aviation and think ROF and FE will hopefully help fill in the gaps.

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Just a quick tip for MrGoTime, and then a question for everyone:

 

Since you have now purchased the ROF Channel Edition give Pat Wilson's Campaign Generator (PWCG) a try.  It is a free 3rd party mod that can be found in the RoF forum.  You can use all the planes from the RoF Channel Edition package with PWCG and you will see a completely different AI than what you will see from the RoF Career-B.  Unfortunately, from the get-go, RoF Career=B has had a terrible AI.  Pat Wilson did something starting with version 15 of PWCG that made the RoF AI competitive with the WOFF AI.  Not quite as good, but almost, and the PWCG fix puts the RoF Career-B to shame.  This would go for anyone...if you haven't tried PWCG 15.0+ then you are missing a quantum leap in the quality of the RoF AI.

 

Now for my question:  I've never owned FE and have decided to give it a try...hard to resist all these planes I'm seeing that are not available in RoF or WOFF.  And from reading this thread, it sounds like I can trade "Seasonal Change" in FEG for a better FPS in FE2.  I like the idea of seasonal changes as I tend to like to play through long time periods.  But how bad is the FPS hit vs FE2 if I were to go with FEG.  I've got a farily strong system and would be willing to trade a little loss in FPS to get the seasonal change in FEG.  Are we talking something like 35 FPS vs 40 or 45 FPS or is it a huge leap like going from 25 to 50 etc.  I know this is hard to quantify, but just looking for someone who maybe has had both and what their experience was between the two.

 

Thanks!

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FE2 give you approximately double the FPS you will get in FE/FEG (it's the nature of the beast), for instance I have a i7 3970x OC'ed with GTX 780 Ti and my FE runs about 40 FPS, versus my FE2 which runs at 70+ FPS.

 

Second, you can set up your FE2 where it has all twelve months if that is what you want, you just have to mod some ".ini" files to accomplish this.

 

Even the changing FE2 campaign weather can be created if you use one of the mods available here at CA.

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Hi Shoresroad!

 

I have a modest system (8800GT + early quad core) and have both FEG and FE2. I didn't get a massive FPS boost, just a modest one (don't have the figures).

 

A few people say they prefer FEG but most including myself seem to prefer FE2.

 

I have the FEG seasonal textures installed in FE2 as I like the stock terrain textures (winter set seen below on the user-made Vogesen terrain)...

 

img01253.JPG

 

...but could just as easily have gone for a modder's terrain texture set (Jan Tuma's is popular) which does include its own seasonal textures.

 

This set has is a modified version of the stock seasonal terrains for FE/FEG:

 

http://combatace.com/files/file/9756-first-eagles-stock-terrains-visual-upgrade/ (some mods lost their d/l page pics a while back but the mods are still there)

 

And here's Jan Tuma's set:

 

http://combatace.com/files/file/10549-first-eagles-seasonal-tiles-by-jan-tuma/

 

img00465.JPG

 

For the Western Front, the Flanders terrain is also worth having:

img00957.JPG

img01265.JPG

http://combatace.com/files/file/4424-first-eagles-flanders-terrain/

 

,,and there's the Vogesen terrain:

 

http://combatace.com/files/file/5933-vogesen-terrain-version-10/

 

...and of course if you fancy warmer climes - at least down in the valleys - there's Gterl's superb Italian terrain, which includes a campaign for the theatre:

http://combatace.com/files/file/14440-italian-terrain-incl-1915-1917-campaign/

img01114.JPG

 

'Second Generation' Third Wire sims like FE2 have a different install process than earlier ones like FEG, mainly as the former installs mods outside of the program files folder (they go into a sort of parallel file folder set - the so-called 'mods' folder, under your username instead). And for terrain textures, the name of the subfolder these go into was changed, too, from 'terrain' [singular] to 'terrains' [plural]. Worth noting if you're installing terrain. Most mods (except effects) designed for FE/FEG work fine with FE2, they just need installed the new way, which may not be described in their readmes. Main point is that the decal markings for planes need copied to a 'decals' subfolder - Stephen1918's planes are recent and have installation instructions for both FE and FE2 so check out his readmes.

 

Other things I think are better in FE2 are the effects - for example, smoke columns last longer and there are persistent aircraft wreck models whereas in FEG wrecked planes just explode and disappear:

 

img00602.JPG

img00500.JPG

 

I seem to recall finding the AI improved in FE2. Horizon distances are I think also greater in FE2, setting for setting and with a higher furthest horizon before the 'fog' cuts in (though I had to edit the setting MeshDetailSize - increasing it to 22, it's in FirstEagles2/Flight/Flightengine.ini - to avoid objects like the buildings in towns having somewhat too close a draw distance, now they are drawn far away).

 

img01029.JPG

 

The only negative to me is that weather doesn't change randomly in FE2 campaigns, but I believe there's a mod which provides a manual workaround.

 

Good hunting/gute jagd!

 

img00014.JPG

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Shores...thanks for the heads up about that campaign generator. I'll have to give it a shot. At this point I am still learning how to fly and find the enemy! But I am absolutely blown away by the sound and visuals of Rise of Flight. From my limited perspective, it seems to hit the nail on the head about the experience of flying during WW1...words don't describe it. It's way awesome. 

 

BUT...I installed FEG (the first one, gold) and a bunch of mods and was playing it and it looked ok. However, I also bought FE2 and started playing that. For me, it's hands down better than the first in performance and well worth the $25. 

 

I am loving both of them at the moment and switch back and forth. At least until I feel more comfortable with Rise of Flight. 

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Thanks for all the great information everyone!

 

I just purchased FE2.  Won't be able to start digging in with modding it up until this coming weekend but you have given me a lot of good information to get started.  In particular I'm looking forward to flying the Italian and Russion maps I've seen mentioned, as that's something different from what you can find in RoF or WOFF.

 

I've also found some other good threads of information on how to start modding FE2.  Are there some core mods I should do first on the western front before I start heading towards the Russian and Italian terrains and planes?  I would rather begin my gameplay there, but if there is some housekeeping I need to do first before going Russian or Italian I won't mind.

 

Thanks again!

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Thanks for all the great information everyone!

 

I just purchased FE2.  Won't be able to start digging in with modding it up until this coming weekend but you have given me a lot of good information to get started.  In particular I'm looking forward to flying the Italian and Russion maps I've seen mentioned, as that's something different from what you can find in RoF or WOFF.

 

I've also found some other good threads of information on how to start modding FE2.  Are there some core mods I should do first on the western front before I start heading towards the Russian and Italian terrains and planes?  I would rather begin my gameplay there, but if there is some housekeeping I need to do first before going Russian or Italian I won't mind.

 

Thanks again!

Shores,

 

I would first of all try Jan Tuma's terrain, Peter's FMs, Realistic Sky Mod for FE2, and some of the various sound mods and perhaps the 'headshake mod', which are a matter of personal taste. Get a feel for the stock planes and for the game as a whole. Later on, you can try the multitude of modded planes available.

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Hi Shores

Skyhigh's list is a good base set. If you want to head off to 'sunny Italy' then Gterl's combined terrain and campaign is great. No reason to delay doing that, you can start right there if you wish.

 

 

You might want to create a separate install for Italy: copy + paste FirstEagles2.exe into the folder you installed the sim alongside the original .exe so you get FirstEagles2 (copy).exe. Then remane this copy to something like FE2Italy.exe and run it. Doing this will create a separate 'mod' folder, alongside the sim's original one - like [your user name]/Saved Games/ThirdWire/FE2Italy. Install the mods for Italy there. This isn't strictly necessary, but it will mean that when you add more Western Front-only planes, you won't see these appearing in any single missions you run on your Italian install.

 

The Italian theatre d/l readme lists the other mods (planes, mainly) you need to install, so go get 'em. Most are available here at CA. As for the stuff you need at the A Team Skunkworks, you need to apply by email for access to the functional download page and once granted, take great care to stick to the site's rules particularly the limit on concurrent downloads.

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Hi Shores

Skyhigh's list is a good base set. If you want to head off to 'sunny Italy' then Gterl's combined terrain and campaign is great. No reason to delay doing that, you can start right there if you wish.

 

 

You might want to create a separate install for Italy: copy + paste FirstEagles2.exe into the folder you installed the sim alongside the original .exe so you get FirstEagles2 (copy).exe. Then remane this copy to something like FE2Italy.exe and run it. Doing this will create a separate 'mod' folder, alongside the sim's original one - like [your user name]/Saved Games/ThirdWire/FE2Italy. Install the mods for Italy there. This isn't strictly necessary, but it will mean that when you add more Western Front-only planes, you won't see these appearing in any single missions you run on your Italian install.

 

The Italian theatre d/l readme lists the other mods (planes, mainly) you need to install, so go get 'em. Most are available here at CA. As for the stuff you need at the A Team Skunkworks, you need to apply by email for access to the functional download page and once granted, take great care to stick to the site's rules particularly the limit on concurrent downloads.

 

Hi 33Lima,

 

Your post above leads me to my first question. I am also reading the forum to learn, but modding FE2 strikes me like modding IL-2 1946...its not something you master in one night.  I have two highly modded installations of IL-2 1946 and I'm happily playing RoF and WOFF, so I'm in no hurry and view learning how to mod FE2 as a fun new project. So some basics on the rules:

 

I have a stock installation of FE2 at the moment. I installed it at the root of C:

 

It looks like this:

 

C:/First Eagles 2

with sub-folders

-->Core

-->DX_redist

-->Flight

-->manual

-->Menu

-->Objects

-->Terrains

 

In an earlier post you wrote this:

"Second Generation' Third Wire sims like FE2 have a different install process than earlier ones like FEG, mainly as the former installs mods outside of the program files folder (they go into a sort of parallel file folder set - the so-called 'mods' folder, under your username instead)."

 

Based on my installation above, is this parallel folder set (the so-called "mods" folder) placed at the root of C: (ie: the same level as my First Eagles 2 folder, or as a sub-folder under my First Eagles 2 folder? Is this "mods" folder name user defined or does it need a specific name? If this folder name is user defined then for discussion purposes I'll call it FE2ModsFolder.

 

Second question. I decided to practice by downloading and installing the Vogesen terrain (by Gepard) and the instructions made sense except for this one "2.) the file "Burgen am Rhein.msn" put into your missions folder"

My stock installation doesn't have a missions folder. Is this "missions" folder in the parallel folder set you mention above (FE2ModsFolder). And if so is Gepard talking about FE2ModsFolder itself, or a sub-folder under FE2ModsFolder called missions?

 

C:/First Eagles 2

-->Core

-->DX_redist

-->Flight

-->manual

-->Menu

-->Objects

-->Terrains

-->FE2ModsFolder

------>Missions

--------->Burgen am Rhein.msn

 

or

 

C:/First Eagles 2

-->Core

-->DX_redist

-->Flight

-->manual

-->Menu

-->Objects

-->Terrains

 

C:/FE2ModsFolder

--->Missions

------>Burgen am Rhein.msn

 

or

 

C:/FE2ModsFolder

--->Burgen am Rhein.msn

 

or something else entirely different?

 

Thanks for your help as I get my mind around the directory structures that need to be used!

Edited by shoresroad

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OK, Jan Tuma's Seasonal Tiles installed.  I stopped and installed the Vogesen terrain first, as it has two folders common to Jan's mod and I assumed Jan's mod might overwrite some Vogesen files which it did.  So what I've got so far are the two folders from the Vogesen mod (Vogesen and wwiCambrai) placed in my Terrains folder, plus the Jan Tuma mod installed following that allowing Jan's mod to overwrite 3 files in the Vogesen folder.

 

And I'll stop there until I know where to place the "Burgen am Rhein.msn" file from the Vogesen mod, and also the answer to this from the Vogesen readme:

 

1. Vogesen Terrain is now compatible with the Expansion Pack of First Eagles. You will enjoy now the terrain in all 4 seasons. You will face snow in the winter and green in the summer.
If you dont have the expansion pack you should open file vogesen.ini and exchange line
CatFile=..\wwiCambrai\wwiCambrai.cat
with
CatFile=..\wwiVerdun\wwiVerdun.cat
 

Having FE2 how should I interpret the instructions above?

 

Thanks everyone!

Edited by shoresroad

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Hi Shoresroad

as Panama Red's link doubtless explains:

 

- the 'mods' folder for 2nd generation Third Wire sims doesn't get installed into the same folder you installed the sim, but into a sort of parallel folder structure that's crated when you install, path varies depending on flavour of Windows but in Vista 64 it's [your user name]/saved Games/ThirdWire/FirstEagles 2; and

 

- when first created when you install, the subfolder structire isn't a COMPLETE mirror image of you install folder; only some subfolders are created. You need to use Windows Explorer in the usual way to create manually any extra folders needed by a particular mod eg if the mod needs to go into a subfolder called 'Flight' and it's not there, just create it then install the mod into it.

 

That mission (.msn) file would go into [your user name]/Saved Games/ThirdWire/FirstEagles2/Missions, creating the last subfolder manually yourself, if it's not there, exactly as spelt.

 

Forget about the instruction about swapping the ref to Cambrai to read Verdun. I'm 99% sure this is because Vosgen uses some stiff from the Cambrai terrain, and this arrived only with the FE (1) expansion pack (FE plus expansion pack was later released as 'First Eagles Gold' or FEG. FE2 is an update of FEG and comes complete with the Cambrai terrain (but not the seasonal textures so if Vosgen uses the seasonal ones from FEG for Cambrai, then you won't see them in FE2 as this has only single season textures. To get seasonal textures you'll need to add Jan Tuma's set of another user-made set which has them.

 

If it's any consolation I find adding mods to IL-2 more complicated than FE2! No air.ini files to locate and edit etc. the most complicated thing I came up against was getting some markings (decals) to show on planes like the FE8 that are designed for FE(1), which took a bit of digging to trace the issue, then it was a simple Wordpad edit or two.

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Thank you Panama Red and 33Lima,

 

After reading the link and subsequent links above a light finally came on...I hope!

 

I kept looking at that long path for the "mods" folder you kept talking about and kept thinking "No, I installed the game at the root of C:\" so therefore anything added by FE2 will be based off the root of C:\...WRONG!...lol

 

So I finally looked where you kept telling me wondering why you guys were using such a deep path under the Users directory and then when I found it I realized it is hardwired into FE2...that's where it's going to be whether I like it or not...lol

 

So that's where everything goes "mods" wise I assume.  My Tuma terrains didn't work as I had installed them in the main game install C:\First Eagles 2\Terrains so off to move them now and hopefully get things moving.

 

Thanks guys!

 

P.S. I also saw the post that explains how to change the mods path in Options.ini but I think I'll leave it alone until I understand FE2 modding a little better :o)

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