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Update 4.601

Dear Friends,

Our team is proud to tell you that the work on update 4.601 is finished and it is up already. This update brings you three new toys at once. The first one of them is Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV Collectors Plane (included in Battle of Normandy Early Access). This late model of the legendary fighter has great fighting capabilities while retaining its captivating charisma. It has several historical modifications that make the Spitfire family in our project even more variable.

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The second one is a new Collector Vehicle - Soviet self-propelled AAA - 25-mm 72-K gun installed on GAZ-MM chassis. Recreated with attention to detail, this vehicle is a new object class in our project. The experience you'll get operating it is unique - the life of the low-caliber AAA crews in World War II wasn't an easy one. It comes with a special mission type in QMB mode and new single missions.

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The third one is the first airplane of the Flying Circus Vol. 2 - French-made single-seat fighter Nieuport 28.C1 that was exclusively used in US squadrons. This speedy plane with good weaponry for its time was used by the most famous US fighter ace of the Great War - Eddie Rickenbacker. This aircraft had a unique way of regulating the rotative engine power by ignition breaker. All in all, an interesting machine - and it officially starts Flying Circus Vol. 2 Early Access program.

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Also in this update are two very important new technologies, one of which is tactical numbers that can be customized before the mission. At the moment, it fully works on all Tank Crew tanks thanks to our partners at Digital Forms. P-51D-15 also got this capability for USAAF and RAF (it depends on the aircraft country specified in a mission) and it works on Nieuport 28.C1 too. Later this year we plan to enable it for all other aircraft (it takes a lot of work).

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The second new technology is Dynamic Visual Damage (DVD) that visualizes the hit marks from various projectiles on aircraft and tanks. Please note that is a visual tech that is intended to make the battle damage more vivid. In the absolute majority of cases, the DVD hit marks will properly show the impacts, but there are limitations caused by multiplayer and performance that in some cases can make them inaccurate - the good level of performance is always our priority. Nevertheless, this new feature should greatly increase the damage diversity. Just like tactical numbers, this new tech already works on all Tank Crew tanks and P-51D-15 and Nieuport 28.C1 planes. Again, we plan to enable it for all other 60+ aircraft this year.

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Also in this version is a huge update of the graphical effects. This isn't an easy task to do since we not only have to make them look awesome but retain the level of performance. This time we have all-new explosion effects for all HE munitions in the sim with increased variety - now there are clearly visible differences between, say, 50 and 100, 250 and 500, 1000 and 2500 kg bombs. The water explosions became much better and the explosions better light the surroundings.

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Martin =ICDP= Catney updated a lot of the external textures he made for us and this time two of the previously released aircraft were updated to 4K - Macchi MC 202 Folgore Collector Plane and Ju 88 A-4 bomber (Battle of Moscow). Please note that soon all the aircraft in our project will have 4K quality external textures. Oyster_KAI continued his work on improving the tremendous amount of aircraft cockpits, namely all Spitfires, Bf 109s, Bf 110s, Ju 87, Ju 88 and U-2VS. All the text above is just the highlights of the new update, you can read the changelist below:

Main features
1. Spitfire Mk.XIV Collector Plane is available to all owners of Battle of Normandy Premium Edition;
2. Nieuport 28.C1 is available to all owners of Flying Circus Vol. 2 and the Early Access program for Vol. 2 officially starts;
3. 25 mm 72-К AA gun on GAZ-MM truck is available to customers who prepurchased it;
4. New special mission type for QMB mode and 5 single missions added for AAA guns;
5. Dynamic Visual Damage (DVD) technology is added to the sim, that shows (with some limitations) the hit marks of projectiles on various objects. At the moment it works for all detailed tanks of Tank Crew - Clash at Prokhorovka, 72-K GAZ-MM AAA, P-51D-15 fighter, and Nieuport 28.C1 airplane;
6. Dynamic tactical markings technology is added to the sim, allowing to customize the tactical numbers on aircraft and vehicles. At the moment it works for all detailed tanks of Tank Crew - Clash at Prokhorovka, 72-K GAZ-MM AAA, P-51D-15 fighter, and Nieuport 28.C1 airplane; 
7. More detailed railyards added to 19 cities on the Rhineland map (Bodenplatte): Antwerp, Liege, Mainz, Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Duisburg, Brussels, Charleroi, Düsseldorf, Munster, Koblenz, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Nijmegen, Essen, Enschede, Hengelo, Osnabrück;
8. Completely new graphical effects are added for all munitions in the game for ground, water and object impacts and for midair explosions;
9. All F, G and K series Bf 109 fighters got the corrected tail models. Now the sturdiness of their elements are on par with the rest of the fighters and these elements can be shot off individually;
10. 4K quality external texturing added for MC.202 fighter and Ju 88 bomber while all Spitfires, Bf 109s, Bf 110s, Ju 87, Ju 88 and U-2VS cockpits were updated;

Aircraft improvements
11. Spitfire Mk.XIV added to Rhineland Career mode (Bodenplatte) to the following squadrons the player can join: No. 41 Squadron RAF, No. 130 Squadron RAF, No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron RAF, No. 402 Squadron RCAF and No. 610 Squadron RAF.
12. The player flight takes off correctly in the 15th mission of the “Achtung Spitfire!” campaign;
13. An issue that could cause a AI fighter to approach to an air target too close and potentially to collide with it has been corrected;
14. AI fighter correctly attack balloons;
15. AI pilots aiming the MGs and guns at ground targets has been corrected;
16. Less experienced AI pilots engage the ground targets at closer distances;
17. Flying Circus aircraft visibility at large distances has been corrected to correspond to other aircraft in the game (it was 3 times lower);
18. Fuel tank and ammo explosion effects can be observed on other players in multiplayer;
19. An issue with potential fuel tank catastrophic detonation in case of engine(s) fire has been corrected;
20. The power of a fuel tank explosion now depends on the actual amount of ignited fuel or fuel vapors in a partially spent fuel tank;
21. Modeling of the putting out the fuel tank fire by sideslipping the aircraft at high speed has been improved;
22. Multiple ammo storage explosions are now possible (previously it could happen only once);
23. Maximum ATA near the ground level with C3 injection system on Fw-190 A5/A6 has been corrected (increased);
24. Roll shaking at high speed corrected for AI or mouse controlled Sopwith Dolphin;
25. A visual bar on the rotating Fw 190 A-6 spinner removed;
26. Rear formation light corrected on Fw 190 A-6;
27. Fw 190 A-8 small clock hand restored;
28. Added missing luminous paint on some Tempest, Spitfire Mk.IX, Bf 110 G-2 and Ju 52 instruments;
29. P-38 formation lights corrected;
30. Spitfire IX mirror position corrected;
31. Oil from the damaged engine on canopy effect corrected on P-51D-15;
32. A small visual issue corrected on MC.202 (attitude indicator tube); 

Player controlled tanks improvements
33. All detailed tanks now have tactical numbers in Last Chance and Breaking Point tank campaigns;
34. Radio antennas on all Tank Crew detailed tanks can be damaged by enemy fire (in addition to damageable radio equipment that was modeled before);
35. Detailed tanks won't 'freeze in the air' after colliding with another object that was later moved;
36. AI gunners will properly burst fire the coaxial MGs of the detailed tanks;
37. An issue with the inability to hit the gun barrel on some tanks has been fixed;
38. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M lower turret armor has been corrected;
39. The missing part of the Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.M ammo reserve can be damaged by enemy fire;
40. T-34-76 UTZ (1943) coaxial MG can be damaged by enemy fire;
41. Additional external parts of Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.H1 like various covers and splashers can be shot off;
42. KV-1 and SU-152 splashers and rear deflector can be shot off;


Additional improvements
43. A graphics issue that caused z-fighting of the shadows on certain buildings in MSAA x4 mode has been corrected;
44. External objects like trees, buildings and aircraft drop visible shadows on the player aircraft or vehicle and its cockpit in non-VR mode;
45. Gamma can be lowered down to 0.5 for more comfort in VR mode;
46. A visible city blocks shadow 'border' at large distances has been minimized;
47. A visible city blocks fog 'border' at large distances has been minimized;
48. An issue with certain European buildings glowing in the night has been fixed;
49. A GUI issue that could cause the regiment symbols to disappear from the Career creation screen has been fixed;
50. A GUI issue that could cause the mission start coordinates to reset to 0 on the Career HQ screen;

51. Water explosions of large bombs have dedicated graphical effects;

52. 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000(1800) and 2500 kg bombs now have more diverse graphical explosion effects;
53. Soviet Tank Crew tanks headlamp lens, visor, and mirror textures have been improved;
54. The issues with pilots and tankers animations have been fixed in multiplayer;
55. The bomber group leader will correctly proceed to the next waypoint after dropping the bombs.
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