Hello fellow WWI simmers,
The info. below is relevant to installing ROF (united edition) properly in Win10 (in Bootcamp) on a Mac with discrete graphics cards (in my case a 2013 Mac Pro with FirePro D700 cards, but should work fine on other high-end Macs too). Installing ROF in WineSkin, as was the case a few years ago, is still not worth experimenting with - I recommend the Bootcamp installation route instead.
First off, install ROF into the main directory of the "c" drive of your Bootcamp install, for the game to launch properly. Also, I recommend, after installation, digging into the relevant "game," "updates," "mission editor" folders, etc., and making shortcuts to the relevant exe files either on your desktop or pinning them to your taskbar - since the main ROF exe "hub" in Bootcamp on a Mac, once you've updated your ROF install to the latest edition - will fail to launch.
In-game video settings that work well are as follows:
resolution of 1920 x 1080
fps limiter on (set to max. limit available of 120; this helps to nearly eliminate cloud flickering when used in conjunction with AMD control panel settings included further below)
vert. sync off (turning it on eliminates cloud flickering but caps fps at about 60; better to keep off and use the fps limiter setting capped at 120, which allows for nice, smooth fps in the 80 to 100 range)
no gamma correction
super sampling off
anisotropic level 8x
shaders quality high
light sources 10
texture detail high
reflections details medium
shadows detail special high
landscape mesh detail 100%
landscape textures detail high
forest detail high
grass quality high
forest view distance far
objects view distance 60%
multi gpu/sli on
AMD control panel settings (I recommend setting up a separate profile/settings file for ROF):
antialiasing use app. setting
antialiasing method adaptive multisampling
morph filtering off
anisotropic filtering use app. setting
texture filtering high
surface optimization off
wait for vert. refresh (off, unless chosen by app.)
triple buffering off
shader cache (AMD optimized) -----> changed from "on" to optimized, seems to reduce some cloud flickering further with this setting
tessellation mode (AMD optimized) -----> changed from "limit to 16x" to optimized, again seems to help slightly to reduce cloud flickering to a minimum
AMD crossfire mode (AFR compatible) -----> this is the best setting, but also very good is the "default" setting (frame rates are smooth, and cloud flickering is at a minimum this way too)
frame pacing on
A few representative pics. below (fps average between about 60 and 120, depending on action/congestion/weather etc., usually hovering around 80 or 90). I also recommend picking some of the mods for ROF over on their official site to get the look you want. I've got about 40 or so mods installed through JSGME - the main ones to get the landscapes in my pics are "landscapes ver 4" and "landscapes ver 4 for winter," also the "high texture landscapes" package, "greater ground detail" package, etc. (search the official ROF site for mods/packages since they are hosted across several pages over there). Also good is Gavagai's "reduced lethality" mod that makes the aircraft less flimsy, as well as AI-improvement mods. and other relevant ones hosted there. With the relevant mods. installed, it flies a lot like modded FE2 (unmodded ROF looks very "shiny"...probably too shiny...with the in-game settings above, reflections are more realistic in the sim).
One other tip, to get the crispy graphics as in my pics., go to the following website and download the "ATI SetLod" app. (if you're running an AMD graphics card) - and set the LOD bias to "-1" if you are using antialiasing at 4x in ROF, set to "-0.5" if using aa at 2x, and set to "-2" if using aa at 8x (make sure to run the app. in administrator mode for this to work, then log out/in or restart Win10). You will appreciate the extra sharpness, especially at altitude (more pics. located under the screenies section for ROF):
Back-to-back missions in Sopwith's trend-setter!
For most non-multiplayer combat flight simmers, can anything be more frustrating than losing the pilot you have been carefully guiding through the perils of a single player campaign? The answer, of course, is 'Yes' - losing two campaign pilots, one after the other.
It happened to me in Wings over Flanders Fields, yesterday. First to get the chop was my current German fighter pilot, who was flying an Albatros D.III with Jasta 5 in May 1917. The mission started normally, but soon after this picture was taken, shortly after take-off...
...I noticed friendly flak bursts behind, in the direction of the airfield we had just left. Their target was a marauding flight of S.E.5s, and although I got one of them after a tough dogfight, when I turned back in search of the rest of my own flight, all I found was two more S.E.s. I did not survive the wounds which resulted, despite managing a forced landing.
Turning for succor to my concurrent Roland C.II two-seater campaign, things went rather better...for a while.
We soon ran into a flight of our opposite numbers, in the form of some Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters, and although they started with a height advantage...
...we seemed to be getting the better of them. I forced down one with hits from my forward-firing gun, but then allowed myself to become distracted, watching while my observer had a crack as the Sopwith went down...
This lack of attention to where I was going caused me to commit a cardinal sin in the WoFF Roland, which is to say, I let the nose come up too high, in a turn. I only noticed and recovered from the resulting loss of height in time to clip some trees with a lower wingtip. The crash in a field which followed robbed me of my second campaign pilot in the space of an hour!
They say when you fall off a horse, the best thing to do is get straight back on, so that's what I did. Except this time, I was in the mood to fight for King and Country, rather than Kaiser and Fatherland. And replaced both pilots by parallel ones - one each in Rise of Flight and Wings over Flanders Fields.
For a mount, I chose the Sopwith Triplane. I recall that my first serious knowledge of this machine came with one of the very first books I ever bought, the little Hippo Books Aircraft of World War 1, by well-known aviation writer JWR Taylor.This informed its readers that '...Triplanes were flown operationally only by Naval squadrons, who gained complete supremacy over the enemy in the spring and summer of 1917.' That's as may be, but the Triplane seems to have been a modest improvement over the delightful Pup and was soon overshadowed by the Camel. And it's not the most attractive of aircraft, to my eye - when RFC ace James McCudden wrote that he thought the reported Fokker Triplane was a rather quaint thing and expected that seeing one shot down would remind him of a Venetian blind collapsing, I suspect it was the earlier Sopwith Triplane he was picturing in his minds eye. Neverthess, the Germans were sufficiently impressed by the 'Tripehound' to embark on a serious bout of immitation, with many planemakers churning out triplanes, only Fokker's being particularly successful.
For both RoF and WoFF careers, I named my pilot Richard Collishaw, potentially a sibling of famous Triplane exponent Raymond Collishaw. Would the name bring me luck? Let's find out, starting with Rise of Flight!
...to be continued!
More incidents and accidents in my current Rise of Flight career
Stachel’s next two missions follow what’s becoming a familiar pattern – first, a patrol west to the front, turning south to fly down the trenchlines. Then another interception in the airspace a short distance to the south-east.
Both times, I used PWCG’s pilot selection screen to ensure I was leading a flight of four aircraft, with pilots I had led before. I appreciate the ability to do this in First Eagles 2 and prefer it to the random, changing flight allocations of Wings over Flanders Fields. It means I’m flying with people I can begin to identify with...and care about. I’ve chosen to bring along two inexperienced pilots and to balance that, I’m taking Hermann Fromherz in his distinctive Blaue Maus.
Despite being badly injured in the crash on Friday the 13th – saved only by a pilot injury limit set inadvertently in Pat Wilson's Campaign Generator – I’ve been off duty only a couple of days, till April 15th! Evidently, Richard Stachel has the constitution of a particularly indestructible ox.
By this time, the real-life Battle of Arras was in full swing, though the only sign of this in Rise of Flight is some scattered shellfire and a mantle of smoke and dust low over No-Man’s Land.
The line patrol was uneventful…for a while. The first bit of excitement came when I spotted another group of aircraft to our north, as we approached the lines. I watched this lot carefully for a while, before deciding that were friendly, probably another patrol of Albatrosses like our own.
The next excitement came when I saw my three flight-mates nosing up and slightly right. This was serious, the real thing. They’d spotted something, obviously! I do wish WW1 sims could come up with some way – other than on-screen aids – of letting you know a flight-mate had made a sighting. I don’t expect them to dive in front, waggle their wings and point, as per real life, but even a flash of red to simulate a warning flare, anything but just breaking formation without audible or visible warning! As I have said before, I prefer the First Eagles 2 way, where your flight won’t break formation unless attacked or ordered to.
Looking up and ahead in the direction my boys were climbing, I saw three aircraft above us, on a nearly reciprocal course. As they flew overhead, I identified them as tan-coloured SPADs, a type I haven’t met before in this campaign.
I gave the attack order and turned in under them, expecting them to drop onto us. But no! They just flew straight on. Perhaps they hadn’t seen us under their noses, or were put off their stride by our reaction. Anyway, around we came and went for them. One turned right, pursued by at least one Albatros; the other two banked left, moving fast, and I cut in after this pair.
I slipped in behind and below the nearest SPAD but could get no closer. Speedy little devils, these SPADs. And this fellow had enough sense to hold onto his height.
So, I had to go up to his level, which of course extended the range. This is where the firepower of two machine-guns can come in handy. I let the revs build up again after my climb - Rise of Flight is I think the only WW1 sim which links your rate of fire to your revolutions per minite - and cut loose. I hoped either to hit, damage and slow him, or to cause him to make a turn which I could cut across.
He opted to make the turn, so I opted to cut inside it.
A few more bursts did the trick. The Englishman rolled over and fell earthwards in a steep dive, trailing light grey smoke. I didn't dally to watch him crash, but something about the fixed, inexorable way he was going down told me that this was the end for him.
Behind and below me, the party was still in full swing. And our flak had joined in, just to make it that bit more interesting for all concerned.
I was wary of joining in a general melée for fear of a collision, so, as is my wont, I orbited above, waiting for an opportunity. This duly presented itself in the most common form: an enemy broke away from the fight. So I rolled over...
...and came down after him at full power...
The speed built up in my dive enabled me to catch him up quickly. He was probably damaged, for he was flying straight and level. But this was no time for restraint or any misplaced sense of chivalry.
I closed right in and blasted him, throttling back to stay in position. He just kept going so I just kept blasting him. He wasn’t taking any evasive action at all, but he wasn’t going down, either. He just sat there in front and soaked up my bullets. This was taking much too long. A look behind confirmed my tail was clear so I resumed shooting, shaking my head at my expenditure of ammunition on this one target, but unable to think of anything cleverer to do.
At long last, the SPAD's prop spun to a stop. That'll do, I decided, more from a desire to preseve what rounds I had left, than from any finer feelings for my foe. I last saw him gliding west, slowly losing height...very slowly. It occurred to me that he might well reach his own side of the lines, but for now, I was more concerned to see how my flight was getting on.
'Quite well, thank you very much', was the answer to that. If anyone was annoyed at me (probably) finishing off the SPAD that someone else had damaged in the earlier scrap, they didn't show it. They were too busy chasing the last SPAD back over the lines. As I watched, one of them had a crack at him from astern, then pulled up leaving the SPAD trailing black smoke as well as white - but still flying, wings level, and apaprently maintaining height.
I was pretty confident that Englishman wasnt going to make it home either, but I still gave him a long burst for good measure, before breaking off too. By now, we were well into No-Man's Land so rather than risk straying onto the enemy's side of the lines, I turned back east and ordered a recall. The others were soon wheeling around after me.
And they were all there! I love bringing back all my people at the end of the mission. If we have managed to knock down some of the other side, so much the better.
The RoF mission end screen credited me with two victories, so that is what I claimed in PWCG. However, the map debriefing gave me all three SPADs shot down!
They must have been from either 19 or 23 Squadrons, which were the only RFC units in France to operate this type.
Meanwhile, the news was bad for the French Army...
...but rather good for Richard Stachel, who is now the second highest scorer in Jasta Boelcke; although in private, even Satchel isn't convinced that his real score should be quite so high.
Anyhow, to cap it all, Stachel now has another 'gong' to add to his collection. No, not the Blue Max, not yet, but the Order of the House of Hohenzollern.
But as Richard is about to be reminded, you have to watch these aggressive English fliers; just when you think you have their measure, you learn that life isn't always so simple...
...to be continued!