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By individualizing the aircraft in SF2...

It could not be helped... Doing a lot of .ini modding is a meditative times for me. 

After asking for the advice about it in another thread, I stayed with the rules by not dividing aircraft from user lists into a unique aircraft folder for each nation.  It could not be helped, because doing many .ini dancing made me feel relaxed. I just simply love to learn as I mod aircraft.

Each time I study about each nation briefly, in order, to find the right abbreviate for them.  To my surprise, I never knew that Central America nations had P-51s. I learned the same thing about another specific nations operating certain aircraft.  Since I also could no longer stand seeing aircraft name with incorrect nation's aircraft.  For example, seeing an Egyptian Mig-23s with (VVS) MiG-23s instead of seeing it with the proper nation's abbreviate.  Hence, I would rather to see (EAF) MiG-23s for Egyptian MiG-23s.  I had to break my self rules and started individualizing each nation's aircraft.  It was done several times over as the lesson are learned about tweaking the .ini files.  However, I was doing it slowly, gracefully as a fun hobby when taking a short break from modding SF2 screen and real life situations from time to time.  

I thought it might, would take me over a year, when in fact, it took me a few weeks to achieve it.  I learned the tricks of using Windows 10 search function, PowerShell (Cmd), and other tools, to make my task much more effective and efficient.

Not only it was fun doing it, I got to learn about the structure and the pro / cons between individualizing Nation's aircraft and using userlist.  This is what I learned:

Individualizing nation aircraft vs combined nation's aircraft (Userlist) method:

NOTE:  I applied the individualizing only on essential flyable aircraft (Example: P-51s, Vampire, MiG-21, Su-9, F-4s, etc.) .  I do not apply it on non-important aircraft, such as An-12, C-47 and other transport aircraft.  

 Individualizing nation Method
Each an individualized aircraft that is deviated from core SF2's aircraft benefits this advantage:
- Having their own customized weapon load
(For example, I am able to make a specialized version of EAF MiG-21s and configure their _data.ini, so they can carry both Russi and NATO heat seeker missiles.
- Nationalized weapons - I am able to mod any specific ordnance and make it only available for certain nations.  With that, I can use an individualized aircraft to use that ordnance. 
- Less chaotic camo list - I was tired of seeing combined nation's skin for one aircraft, so by dividing them into nation aircraft, I am able to just select any skins by default quickly.
- More dynamic way of learning about nation's aircraft - Because of that, I am able to experience the living library of learning about nation's own air force / naval force aircraft historically.
- By keeping userlist (Even with one nation included), SF2 will still detect and use them in terrains.  I get to see many aircraft with proper nation abbreviates, makes my SF2 much more enjoyable dynamically! 

Combined nation's aircraft (Userlist) Method
This method benefit from this feature:
- For any aircraft that you do not want individualized, will save you a lot of time.  By having multi-nations list in USERLIST.ini, SF2 will automatically use exported aircraft in mission.

However, there is a disadvantage to this, for anyone who are like me who prefer having organized aircraft list:
- However, there is con about this feature:  It will not work well with specific nation abbreviate tags.
- There are no ways of telling me which aircraft have certain nations in the list.  For example, if I select MiG-17F, and then I select on "nation", it give me a list of all nation, instead of limited nation list.  I could select USAF for that MiG-17F.  


Note: I have not experienced any CTDs (Thank goodness!) and by studying ODS 30 mod, I realized this:  As long I keep the core aircraft there, it won't ctd.  So it means I can specifically use the cloned core aircraft being nationalized and placing them in the specific SF2 installation that covers the certain theater geographically.  For example, I would move nationalized MiG-21s EAF / SyAAF / IrAF / etc to Sf2 - Middle East, while moving F-4Es ROKAF, F-104s ROCAF, etc. to SF2 - Asia.  Same thing applied to a different SF2 installation.  At the another hand, I made sure all SF2 installation have all core aircraft files.

This is done on one of SF2 installation with the purpose of individualizing all essential, flyable aircraft.  From there, I can use it to copy and pate into specific theater (geographically) version of SF2 installation.  Here are the screenshots:

(NOTE: I only installed a few add-on aircraft. I will install add-on aircraft in another SF2 installation later.  Just taking it slowly in an enjoyable way.)

Aircraft-List

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Edited by Eagle114th
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Just now, daddyairplanes said:

nice thing about SF2: it gives everyone to do what they want with their version(s)

Agreed!  SFP2 is the only simulation / game with the incredible features of moddability as well as having the abilities to have multi installation for different theater / era.  The way SFP2 is structured where you can edit .ini to almost every details is also incredible.  The modern game / simulation developer should learn from TK about the moddability of the game / sim.  There is no other sim like this existed out there yet.  

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Weeeeellllll... I'm happy you find this to work for you...

Certainly not the way I do it or would want to deal with it but hey, to each his own, my way is equally (if not even more) insane after all.

Glad to see we're all a little bit insane. :-D

Edited by Gunrunner
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11 minutes ago, Gunrunner said:

Weeeeellllll... I'm happy you find this to work for you...

Certainly not the way I do it or would want to deal with it but hey, to each his own, my way is equally (if not even more) insane after all.

Glad to see we're all a little bit insane. :-D

Thank you for the reply.  Just curious, if you wanted the same goal as I do with the organized aircraft list, how would you do it? 

I like to explore how people would do it in their own various ways. 

By the way, I think maybe I am a bit too much insane, since I already reorganized weapon from big mod pack too.

(Note: Like I said, .ini dancing is like a meditative time for me.  Everyone can feel relax doing different things, like music, dancing, boxing, etc.  Since I am deaf with low vision, music is not exactly a meditative time for me.  When I just do .ini dancing, my mind goes into 'relax' mode where I Just automatically edit the codes and jump to next files in a flowing ways intuitively.)

weapno-list
 

Edited by Eagle114th
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One of wise modder here would say, "You ain't really playing SF2 until you start modding SF2."  He couldn't be more than true.  As the modders have stated above, SFP2 is the simulation / game that allow anyone to customize it to their own liking completly. 

However, of course, I get to fly SF2 from time to time too!  Thanks to the new updated, organized aircraft and ordnance list, I get to fly as Cuban MiG-15bis out of curiosity. It was challenging flying updated NA Terrains with MIM SAMs lurking around.

I was flying low, nag to the earth.  Then I happen to catch F-84s flying around, jumped on 'em and shot one of them down before I got caught off guard by one of MIM Hawk SAM missile.  (NOTE: I use MiG-15 / MiG-15bis flight model from KAW mod.  Their flight models is awesome!)

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(DARN THESE pesky SAMs!)
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Edited by Eagle114th

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Well, let's say in my install the French Air Force had an airbase in Dhimar from 1950 to 1968, then left it to the USAF from 1968 to 1986, where they came back and use it to this day.

In my Dhimar terrain nation list I'll have terrain specific nation entries for FranceDhimar5068 and FranceDhimar86xx but no reference to simply France (because the player can fly anything, anywhere provided it's the right timeframe), references to these terrain specific nations would exist in my planes, their skins, loadouts, userlists, that way I control exactly what shows up where and when, in what skin, with what loadout.

I also do a lot of duplication, but to deal with weird loadouts, nation specific designations but mostly to make a distinction between player and AI planes. Player plane designations are precise, AI ones are as fuzzy as possible because I don't want the HUD to tell me this is a Spanish C.12 from 1975, I just want it to tell me it's a F-4. AI planes have a lot of entries meant for terrain-specific nations, player ones have entries only for nations I intend to fly (to the point of culling planes and entries for nations I don't intend to fly, relegating them to AI only planes).

I also do a lot of weapon duplication to take advantage of SpecificStationCodes, to the point some weapons have one duplicate per plane/nation, allowing me very fine control of what shows up on what plane and when.

So, whereas you have a gigantic list of planes, each with their specific name, my actual files are probably as numerous, for different reasons, but I have only a small fraction of them showing up and while I may have dozens of entries for the same thing, I'll only see one name for all.

I'm not saying my way is better than yours, far from it... just that it better suits my tastes and needs... In fact I started by doing something very similar to you before the clutter, redundancies and the fact that it didn't help some other issues led me to my current madness.

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52 minutes ago, Gunrunner said:

Well, let's say in my install the French Air Force had an airbase in Dhimar from 1950 to 1968, then left it to the USAF from 1968 to 1986, where they came back and use it to this day.

In my Dhimar terrain nation list I'll have terrain specific nation entries for FranceDhimar5068 and FranceDhimar86xx but no reference to simply France (because the player can fly anything, anywhere provided it's the right timeframe), references to these terrain specific nations would exist in my planes, their skins, loadouts, userlists, that way I control exactly what shows up where and when, in what skin, with what loadout.

I also do a lot of duplication, but to deal with weird loadouts, nation specific designations but mostly to make a distinction between player and AI planes. Player plane designations are precise, AI ones are as fuzzy as possible because I don't want the HUD to tell me this is a Spanish C.12 from 1975, I just want it to tell me it's a F-4. AI planes have a lot of entries meant for terrain-specific nations, player ones have entries only for nations I intend to fly (to the point of culling planes and entries for nations I don't intend to fly, relegating them to AI only planes).

I also do a lot of weapon duplication to take advantage of SpecificStationCodes, to the point some weapons have one duplicate per plane/nation, allowing me very fine control of what shows up on what plane and when.

So, whereas you have a gigantic list of planes, each with their specific name, my actual files are probably as numerous, for different reasons, but I have only a small fraction of them showing up and while I may have dozens of entries for the same thing, I'll only see one name for all.

I'm not saying my way is better than yours, far from it... just that it better suits my tastes and needs... In fact I started by doing something very similar to you before the clutter, redundancies and the fact that it didn't help some other issues led me to my current madness.

Thank you for sharing with me.  It is interesting how you organize it this way.  As you said, each of us have our own tastes / needs / wants in SFP2.  

If TK ever happen to decide to add the features in filtering / organizing the aircraft list, that would be Godsend!  What I truly dream of is having the filter system on aircraft list working this way  (For single mission, mission editor, and other screens.):

- When selecting nations from the list, it would show the nation with (numbers) on right side, showing how much aircraft is available for flyable.
- After selecting the nation, it would only display the list of aircraft flown by that nations
- If anyone wants to see list of all aircraft available, can disable 'filter' system. 
- Customizable filter and display (For example, if I get to customize how aircraft name show up in both list and screen, for example toggle between '90 to [1990].

With that, I would be more than happy to wipe my current SFP2 installation and have a fresh start with the new system.

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Whoever said sanity was a requirement??? We're all complete nut jobs!! You just keep right on going, brother!

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3 hours ago, Wrench said:

Whoever said sanity was a requirement??? We're all complete nut jobs!! You just keep right on going, brother!

Wrench, thank you brother!

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Agree with all of the above.  SF2 has gradually drawn me in and taken more and more of my hobby time (from my other favourites IL-2 1946, MS Flight Simulator X, Orbiter, GT Legends and GTR 2 on Win XP and Win 7; and Forza Motorsport 4 on XBox 360). 

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 My installs have slowly evolved to where SF2 Vietnam is a Cold War Pacific based environment--with a detailed A-4K version of course, and I've really enjoyed recently installing Vampires, Venoms, Canberras (Kiwi and Australian) and USAF B-57s.  I have some really nice customised Vietnam era F-4s naturally, and I like to have accurate historical loadouts for all my planes (but customised to suit my preferences for SF2 gameplay too). 

SF2 has a "sim-lite" reputation, but I find it interesting how many times it actually reflects real world experience.  Just the other day I was reading about real world experience with convergance of the B-57B's 4x20-mike cannons, then found myself adjusting the "aim angle" ini  parametetrs in the sim, and creating new weapon stations to support dual 5-inch HVAR racks per images in the real B-57B flight manual.  I find similar parallels in gameplay too, for example modding the inis for my AI wingmen to fly lower in Europe; or working out methods for low-altitude level-bombing with Tornadoes and F-111s, and high-altitude bombing with B-52s.  And my SF2 mod folders are becoming nice libraries of documents and references that I've found online.

My SF2 Europe install specialises in mid to late Cold War USAFE and RAFG models, plus a growing collection of French Mirages.  I'll be exploring the Hawker Hunter here too in the near future (including the Swiss Air Force models which I really admire).

SF2 North Atlantic is home to some very nice customised Royal Navy models (HMS Ark Royal takes pride of place, and I have a cloned 'Royal Navy' terrain to get RN CVBGs and Amphibious Ready Groups for campaigns and single missions too).  SF2 NA is also home to a customised Arctic terrain for my Air Defence Command interceptors (with customised Soviet Long-Range Aviation to create the style of gameplay I like for my interception missions).

I've started exploring IAF aviation in my SF2 Israel install, and enjoy a customised KAW install too.

My computer is very old--so I have to make lower rez versions of some mods to get good frame rates.  I actually have a decent budget to build a modern Win 10 replacement, but I haven't done it yet--partly because the price of PC components (especially GFX cards) is outrageous right now, but partly because I still get so much enjoyment from my old but treasured sims on my ancient dual boot XP/Win 7 machine.

Kind regards and much thanks to the community,

Steve (Auckland, New Zealand)

Edited by KiwiBiggles
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    • By Eagle114th
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