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JimAttrill

Is CFS3 worth trying?

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Even though I bought a copy of CFS3 in order to get OFF to work I have never tried it on its own!  Is it worth having a go at it (I have lots of disk space available).  If I do install it are there any good mods available and where do I get them?   I rather fancy flying a FW190 against a Spitfire IX which Eric Brown thinks are just about equivalent in performance.  (See "Wings of the Lufwaffe" by him).

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Try this:

 

http://combatace.com/topic/81279-blitzkreig-1940-cfs3-eto-expansion/

 

http://combatace.com/topic/81631-cfs3-eto-spanish-civil-war/

 

http://combatace.com/topic/81323-arm%C3%A9e-de-lair-1940-cfs3-eto-expansion/

 

CFS3 is not great at air-to-air but not bad at fighter-bomber or even medium bomber ops. It's a lot better with the ETO Expansion. There's also the Mediterranean Air War (MAW) expansion and a PTO one, tho I'm happy with CFS2 and IL-2 '46 + DBW for the Pacific.

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I think CFS3 is a good replacement for European Air War. You can just jump in a fly a decent mission. The graphics aren't up to today's standards but I can live with that. I have the MTO add-on which adds a lot of less "glamorous" aircraft like the Lysander. (Which can be easily copied into a used in your base CFS3 install,)

 

If you have it it is worth installing own it's own.

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For me the pinnacle of CFS3 was MAW. - Mediterranean Air War. I don't mean just the sim, but the CFS3 community seemed to be at its strongest, happiest, and most productive too. There were some undoubted improvements with ETO, VISO's vehicles stand out, and the air bases, but overall it seemed to be lacking 'something'. In MAW, the ambiance was such that you felt you were flying in the Med, and the effects were superb. I'd recommend you explore, I have some CFS3 baggage colouring my recollections.

For me the best bits in European CFS3 were 'indy' mods - one offs that were integrated with others. Reg's hangar, or Groundcrew as it was once upon a time had some great stuff, especially because most of it worked and there were missions that supported the new work. I haven't been there in 4 maybe 5 years now. I also remember Pat Pattle and his Orne River Bridge mission to put horsa gliders down on D-Day. That was a mod I really liked.

 

To put them all in perspective however, for general appreciation, OFF trumped them all. And that was OFF 1. I remember trying to get the OFF scenery and weather to work in my CFS3, but never that successfully.

 

What OFF can't give you, is barreling in on a shipping convoy at 400mph with 109's on your tail and a big Molins cannon pumping out the bad news from your Mosquito. Or the firework display from all the cannons in your Beaufighter, which always seem to have so much ammunition. It might be rubbish I'm speaking, but I got a feeling why you might prefer a Hurricane over a Spit, or vice versa like real pilots did.

 

You also got the big bombers too. I had the Memphis Belle payware add-on, which was ahead of the pack when it came out, but trumped by the very excellent Firepower add on which gave you the excellent Lancaster.

 

Groundcrew had a superb series of Me110's, complete with Schrage Musik. That was an education.

 

I've heard there is now an iconic Sunderland, the flying porcupine as the Luftwaffe called it, and after many many promises, I think somebody built a decent cockpit around a mosquito. It was a constant gripe of mine the Mosquito wasn't fast enough. Veteran pilots used to quip about 400mph speeds as something mundane, and being able to outrun anything. They did concede a FW190 had about 5mph on you at 50ft altitude, but you were ok if you went in to a dive. I believe CFS3 could not do justice to aircraft with superchargers. To simulate the accurate performance of superchargers at the correct altitudes, I understand the flight models would be hopelessly over powered at lower altitudes, so concession had to be made. That's a CFS3 constraint that doesn't matter in OFF.

 

Blimey, it's all coming back now... Who could forget the AVH 1% mods... A family of Corsairs... Lavotchkins eventually.. Happy days.

 

I am intimidated by how much I was once intimately familiar but which I have now forgotten.

 

So yes. Do it. But CFS3 can damage your free spare time.

Edited by Flyby PC

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Fantastic info Flyby pc..its got me looking thru the net again drinks.gif.pagespeed.ce.9olfNKsCP-.gif

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Simviation is still kicking... http://simviation.com/1/browse-CFS3-5-0

 

Italian Wings is still there too... http://www.italianwings.it/ Can't remember where I got my Ruski stuff... Big pack of Lavochkins. It'll come to me.

 

I believe the JU-52 was a MAW introduction... Complete with paras. And lots of Italian planes too.

 

I say again, I'm well behind the times now with CFS3. - I got out just as ETO was coming in...

 

My big beef with ETO was collapsing the whole Sim Outhouse when they launched ETO. There were pages and pages of hints and tips going back years that was lost forever, and not just CFS3 either. It had taken me years to get to know my way around and where to find all the obscure stuff you needed to make missions run. CFS3 was always really buggy, especially online with multiplayer, and a lot of people needed help to enjoy their sim. A big part of the fun was helping newbies up and flying multiplayer. ETO carpet bombed the lot, and in turn became the benchmark CFS3, but I bugged out. Some improvements were good, but a load more good stuff had been lost. A V1 that sounded good, Serrate radar for night fighters... Everything might still be out there, but the old Sim Outhouse was the treasure map to find it, and cross reference the comments from people who get things to work... That's my baggage. I don't wish ETO any ill will, but I was mightily fond of that big database, and mightily p___d off when their download wrecked it. I know it wasn't deliberate, but I still bite my tongue. Everybody else had CD's or torrents for their releases, but ETO would insist they knew best.

 

It also got really nippy with effects. In its effects file, you added lines into XML files for new effects to work, but I never figured the ETO way of doing things. You couldn't fly ETO aircraft in normal CFS3 because it was always all or nothing effects, and a lot of ETO effects in my opinion were inferior to MAW, but your effects xmls were a nightmare to reverse engineer. You'd have a favourite effects file where everything worked, and interbreeding with ETO effects and suddenly things you hadn't altered didn't work any more.

It was time to have a monster sulk or move on. I had a quick sulk, but then up and away.

 

Apologies by the way for these posts. I do type in the appropriate paragraphs and punctuation, but it posts as unbroken script...

 

Wait a minute, I edited that and all my paragraphs magically appeared. Hmmmm...

Edited by Flyby PC

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I'm finding this an interesting discussion.  I had stayed away from just using CFS3 as is because a lot of what I read on other forums always seemed to slag the sim and these are some compelling positive posts that might just get me to give it a whirl.  I recently re-installed IL-2 1946 (Steamised version) and hadn't got around to exploring the headspinning number of massive mods.  I may give CFS3 a go...I think JF has some models compatible with CFS3 too as payware.

 

Kind regards,

Dave

Edited by Baldric

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Out of the box, CFS3 is a bleak and unfinished Beta release product. With HEAVY modding, it can be pretty good, pretty excellent in fact, as OFF is living proof.

It has 2 Achiles heels. First, is the game engine. It cannot cope with superchargers or jet engines, at least not accurately enough to keep the purists happy. There is a ceiling to which you cannot develop your accurate flight models beyond. It doesn't sound a big issue, but the 1% in the AVH 1% group was to have the simulated performance within 1% of the real aircraft. A lot of these modders are perfectionists, and if you cannot get it correct, life has no meaning.

 

Second, an this is the biggy, because its easy to alter a flight model, Microsoft quite properly layered in a fearsome anti cheat protocol to stop multiplayers doctoring their aircraft and cheating. This protocol is probably the most effective protocol in the whole CFS3 program, and even the discrepancy of a single blank character in an aircraft's flight file gets it kicked out as an incompatible missmatch. So therein lies the dilemma. If you want to fly multiplayer, you either fly the crappy and limited CFS3 vanilla stable of aircraft, or you spend hours, days, weeks, making sure everybody you fly with has the same modified system, with perfect alignment right down to the same DNA and everybody drinking diet Pepsi [ ;) ]. The protocol would try the patience of a saint, and online squads like the Boys of 60, MOG, RCAF guys, all despite some reluctance migrated over to the IL2 fraternity where you booted up and just flew.

 

Then, IL2 etc, after some delay I think it's fair to say, suddenly cracked their own modding fraternity, and improved their own theatre as CFS3 had been doing for ages, but unhindered by a much smarter anti cheat protocol.

 

With CFS3, you build your own little world. You figure out how to tinker and tweak things to keep the bits you like, and ditch the bits you don't. You end up with gigantic mothership mega gig installation of CFS3 where everything works, and 5 or 6 satellite installs where you tried out some things, but then forgot what you changed but don't delete just in case there was a working version of an effect or something. Flares that actually worked, or effects you needed for a particular version, as in Firepower version, and non-Firepower version. -( Prime example Firepower and Memphis Belle both called their B17 the same thing which conflicted if installed side by side).

 

Then, within that global scenario, you got 'steps' if you like. Say for example, when OFF came out, or MAW, PTO, ETO, you had a 'threshold' development. You suddenly had a standard vanilla version of much improved modded aircraft, so for a time flying multiplayer was practicable with good aircraft that were compatible to fly together, more or less, until changes and developments led to more missmatches etc. So every threshold released resulted in a blip of multiplayer activity, which would slowly lose the same war of attrition with the CFS3 missmatch protocol.

 

The journey with CFS3 is never over, but it is very demanding to get to something worthwhile.

 

Edited by Flyby PC
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Now you have me thinking about my Firepower cd sitting in a neatly packed attic box of old games. I've thought about installing it a few times, but was afraid I'd mess up my OFF HitR .

 

I remember CFS3 being buggy at first. Shortly after buying Firepower, IL2 was on my PC and it just seemed to run smoother and was easy to fly online for me. Then I joined an IL2 squad and forgot about CFS3 until buying OFF a little over a year ago.

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Thanks for that info, Flyby.  The skirl of the pipes stirs the blood, m8.

 

 

Kind regards,

Dave

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Does indeed. Beneath the Sgt MacKenzie sound track, there is a piper effect in the actual mission which was a special addon by Stumpjumper for the Boys of 60. Brought a lump to the throat.

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Installed CFS3 again but it doesn't work.  I get the first flash screen and then it crashes.  Can't be bothered with it any more. 

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I flew around a bit in vanilla CFS3...OFF sure improved things. :biggrin:

Went back into OFF HitR and everything was fine.

 

I may install that FirePower addon to CFS3 and fly a bomber...still a tad worried about my OFF setup getting corrupted for reasons I don't understand.

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Jim, why did you need to reinstall it?

Well I never installed it in the first place.  Just used it for OFF and then WOFF.    Maybe I should re-reinstall it again again.  Gets a bit boring really....

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It now seems that CFS3.exe crashes on a call to COMMON.DLL with "APPCRASH".  This happens with CFS3 itself, OFF and WOFF.  They are all installed on different drives and have their own common.dll's  and cfs3.exe's. 

 

This is obviously something wrong with my computer itself or with Windoze.  Rebooting doesn't help.    Any ideas?  I am fed up with reinstalling over and over again. 

 

I shall post this on the other forum just in case...

Edited by JimAttrill

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I had to set the cfs3.exe to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3 on my Windows 7 (x64) machine, but I don't recall if that's because of the same error you're receiving. Best of luck. :)

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That odd, my CFS3 sparks right up when I click on the desktop icon.

As far as I know, only 1 install is needed to run CFS and or OFF and WOFF

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Blowing away some cobwebs, but you need to delete a file, uisel. something... It's a hidden file in your attrib folder, but where that is depends on your operating system.

 

It's the file that records your settings when you exit, and if it records an error, it will load it up next restart. When you delete the file, your CFS3 goes back to default, and the uisel file gets re-written.

 

I'm VERY rusty about this. Part of me recalls this might be a patch issue too. Later versions of CFS3 were patched, but older versions had to be patched. There was an update on the actual CFS website. CFS3.1a I think it was... Bad news is Microsoft shut down its site.

 

Another issue might be having several CFS3 installs all using the same attib folder. You might need the multiCFS3 tool from..... Mudpond???

 

Now you're beginning to appreciate what a life saver the big Sim Outhouse was. You could ask a question and be directed to the exact problem and solution.

Edited by Flyby PC

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That is strange, I swear I only installed CFS3 once and can fly OFF and CFS3.

 

When WOFF arrives, will I need to reinstall CFS3?

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I installed a new version of W7 on another drive, installed WOFF and now it works.  The problem was somewhere in Windoze as all versions of CFS3.exe crashed.  I have no idea why. 

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No you don't need to reinstall CFS3 for WOFF, if CFS3 is already installed.  When installing WOFF it will ask you for CFS3 on CD/DVD or installed.. and dadaa you already have it installed so point it there.

 

You also don't need CFS3 installed even if your CFS3 CD/DVD is v3.1 (most CFS3 in recent years is already v3.1).

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