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Rick Rawlings

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About Rick Rawlings

  1. Man, this looks great. It is nice to see that you are negating the graphic differential with the other WWI sim, will there be any changes to the FM? I suppose there will still be no mouselook. *sigh* I guess I will have to finally figure out FacetrackNoIR! Maybe the bread shortage won't be constant "news" this time... RR
  2. Phase 4

    This seems silly. MVR did not "change the war" so shooting him down early would not "change the war". Many aces are now listed as Historical Squadron Members with N/A for there stats, anyway, so I am not sure how that would change much. Just list them as KIA, mention it in the papers and move on. As it is now, shooting the same guy down a couple of times and watching him explode on impact each time (on your side of the lines, no less!) only to show up again two missions later is a much greater drag on immersion. RR
  3. Phase 4

    Most of what I would like to see is just tweaking of things that already exist but may need to be fine-tuned! 1. Shared kills to reduce kill stealing. 2. Allied Lone Wolf missions should be over enemy lines, like German Lone Wolf Missions are now. 3. Add your own Lone Wolf Missions to your daily flights once you are an ace. 4. Personal Plane once you are an ace. 5. Expand Kill Claim sheet to cover every flight with pull downs to report on what happened during the flight. Be able to claim kills whenever you want, not just when the campaign "knows" you got one, this will aid with the suspense. Also have it in either a handwritten or typeface font, to increase immersion. 6. Scheduled leave/morale tours/meet the Kaiser to break up the flying schedule as happened in the real war. 7. Increase witness list to include ground and balloon observers. 8. Occaisional maintence problems with planes. 9. Have aces friggin die when you shoot them down. (chance to live on crash, just like the player) Have it show up in the paper a few days later. 10. More correlation between what happens in the air and what the duty board says in terms of who in your squad lives and dies. 11. More info on the war than just the newspaper. Letters from home, perhaps? Just some polish to make it look more like a "big game" release. 12. Uncouple career pilot from QC. Be able to fly for both sides in any plane in QC without having to swap pilots. 13. Balloons count as kills on non-ballon missions, but up the AA cover around them considerably. 14. 2 seaters evade. 15. A.I. can't see through clouds, lower detection ranges 16. A.I decide when to initiate and disengage from combat in a more self-preserving manner. Should be more inconclusive fights than there are now. 16. A.I. Gun jams/ run out of ammo (May happen already, I always fly against the Germans, so who knows?) 17. More visible damage. 18. Reload Lewis gun works. 19. Massive overhaul of clunky GUI. 20. Bombers! 21. Parachutes for late war German pilots. 22. Parachuting observers for balloons. 23. Mission Recorder! 24. Mouse look 25. 3D model viewer for planes and equipment. 26. Capture enemy pilots alive on crashes. There should be some notification of the fate of your enemies if they land in friendly territory. There could even be some visual of this like in IL-2 Sturmovik when you bail out of your plane on the ground and run a short distance and drop to the ground. 27. A little more fanfare for medals received and promotions granted. 28. Ability to pick flights (from a drop down menu, maybe?) when squadron commander. I'm sure there are other things that will come to mind but that's enough for now RR edit: *uggh! Remebered one!* 29. Revisit Spad XIII and Eindecker flight models :)
  4. I am on the middle section (normal, I think) and find AA to be pretty reasonable there. I have been taken out occaisionally, but if I am dodging, it seems pretty reasonable. There should probably be more AA and more accurate near Balloons, as they are currently very easy to take out. Otherwise, I like it as it is. One point, however, once you engage the enemy, your AA should stop shooting! I have been killed by my own Archie as they were aiming for the enemy before! RR
  5. Frank Luke

    Man, it never rains but it pours... while I certainly do agree that all aces need more recognition, you don't have to go far to find that at least to his contemporaries, Luke was the real deal, as far as that goes. I just happened to be re-reading Fighting the Fying Circus, which you can verify for yourself here: http://www.richthofen.com/rickenbacker/ and, to answer your question above (emphasis mine), Rickenbacker goes into quite a bit of detail documenting the considerable effort that he went through to get his own kills confirmed. It seems that for the American squadrons, you had to get confirmation from a ground source to count kills and, as there was some rivalry between the various squadrons, Rick was, by his own account, driving all over the front and practicing his French just to get confirmations. Luke just seemed to be doing what everyone else was doing. Rickenbacker also mentions witnessing several of Luke's baloon kills personally, or by members of his squadron, as they were often done at dusk and could be seen on the ground from his home aerodrome. If anything, Luke seemed to be a bit of an Albert Ball type figure, slightly out of his element socially, never had many close friends and was a loner in the air as well at a time when the life span of that type of behavior was measured in weeks for even the most skilled pilot. Rickenbacker goes on to refer to Luke thusly: "In my estimation there has never during the four years of war been an aviator at the front who possessed the confidence, ability and courage that Frank Luke had shown during that remarkable two weeks." Now, you can take that as you like, written in 1919 by someone who knew Luke personally and may certainly have had motivations to play up a fellow american ace, but then again, Rickenbacker is very candid in his book about the numerous mistakes made by all the pilots and by the various fighter commands and so maybe he is candid about Luke as well. It is certainly food for thought. Also, courage takes various forms. As for the two seaters, Rickenbacker also describes an interesting account of a duel he had with a very skilled two seater team that he tricked into running out of ammunition and then proceeds to have a debate with himself about whether to finish them off or let them go. War and courage are tricky and thorny issues to puzzle through, especially 90 years down the pipe, but this certainly is an engaging debate! RR
  6. Another few interesting points: Allied Lone Wolf missions have pre-planned routes over allied lines, which seems to defeat the purpose... I always list my regular wingman as a witness, figuring that any enemy a/c shot down on my side of the lines should be easy to confirm. Is this a bug? Shouldn't allied lone wolf missions be in German territory? If you are flying for Germany, your lone wolf missions properly take place west of the lines. I would still put down my regular wingman as a witness, may not be realistic, but a lot of times your ballon observers or infantry on the front could confirm actions in enemy territory and that is as close as you can get not knowing the names of any of those individuals. @Rickitycrate: You went on a Lone Wolf two seater mission?!? Isn't that by definition impossible? I mean... there's two of you! And did you have to get witnesses to confirm your recon? RR
  7. Thanks Winder, this is the kind of stuff I was looking for. Before I go over them I want to remind you that I am aware that this is the best flight sim for immersion since RB1! 1. Not sure what all the settings are here at lunch, I will try to check them at home in the near future. I know that I have mission duty set to light, time advance manual. I have a total realism of 110%, using auto mixture and I think normal on a.i. fire range. I have also seen posts from other people that were surprised when I mentioned that there was a hospital, so apparently some setting takes it out. 2. I can live with this, I was just hoping that there was some nice way to not be so blood thirsty... :) 3. This would make sense but, specifically, the last time it happened (I have been watching as it is a frequent occurance) the only damage I suffered was to my left wing tip (red damage labels are on). I was able to fly almost normally, just a slight dip to the left wing if I released pressure on the stick. Nevertheless, flipped and died on the ground at twenty-four miles an hour (z key) after touching down level. As an added point, are all crash landings fatal? Maybe this is tied into my hospital not working somehow? 4. Turn fight it?!? In a SPAD!?!?! :) Thanks for the responses! RR ps, I look forward to P4! edit for 2 spelling mistake(s) that I spotted (so far!)
  8. Well, obviously, I would love for them to chime in! I'm amazed to hear about the hospital, though. Both before and after a clean re-install I either die instantly or am completely unharmed, regardless of what happens on the screen. I agree with you about the clouds, but it isn't a show-stopper like the AI problems. It's most harmful when you a) come out of warp in the middle of a cloud or b) get the cloud-crushing effect outside of a cloud. Otherwise, you can avoid them. Unfortunately, however, if you wish to have a career you have to be able to a) land successfully and b) get out of the fight. Those are my main flying gripes. The kill stealing and lack of hospital are more of minor, but curious annoyances! RR
  9. Over the last several hundred flights, a few issues have come up... 1. Hospital. I reckon this has not worked since about 1.28 or so. Has anybody been to the hospital lately? I have been plenty wounded, but if want to simulate this, I have to manually advance time. Any info? 2. Stealing kills. If you want to get credit for your kills, you really have to follow them all the way in, because your wingmen, or even other friendly flights, love to swoop in at the last second and put a little burst in to your bird and steal it. I had this happen today when I was riding a Halberstadt in a climb, pumped enough lead into him to explode the engine and watched as he started on the way to the ground, only to have one of my wingman pop a little burst into him right above the treeline. Guess who got credit? Is there any way to work in a joint or shared kill system, or figure who does the most damage to a crate to award the kill? 3. Automatic dead crash landings. If I ever have damage to my wing, even if I can fly the plane, I always roll and die on landing. This happens so frequently that today I clipped a wing, was well enough to finish the fight, but knew that I would crash and die on landing. I made it back to a friendly aerodrome, leveled out at 5000 feet and cut the power to see how the crate would handle at stall speed. After practicing a bit, I came in low at full power, cut the engine a few feet above the field and settled in. Sure enough, at about 25 mph, the plane rolled and *boom* dead pilot. Currently the only way to avoid this seems to be to end the mission just as you touch down, but it would be nice if this automatic roll and death behavior was not so predictable. Is there anyway to teak the behavior of the plane? It seems as if it does not recognize that the gear are on the ground and stall-rolls the plane as if it were in the air. I don't care how bad the damage is, I don't think there is enough lift on one side of a wing to roll a SPAD at 25 mph under any circumstances. 4. A.I. Flight characteristics. Any way to tweak the A.I. flight behavior so it adheres to our restrictions. I have never seen an enemy plane break up under stress. Normally this isn't too noticable as I normally fly N17's and the Albatross I am up against should be able to out-dive me. I do, however, notice that all my wingmen are able to get to the ground well before me when the enemy dives away from us. I did not notice how bad it was, however, until I tried an American career. When I dove away at full speed from some Fokker DVII's only to find them gaining on me in the dive, well, I don't know how anyone can survive any length of time under those conditions. Anybody else notice these things and is there anything that can be practically done about them? Thanks for reading! RR
  10. Now why is that?

    This happens to me all the time in the game: "He's right on top of us! I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using?" RR
  11. I would also add that I don't think it matters much what you put in your claim form. Make sure you put down the name of someone in your flight, even if you are on a solo mission. Other than that, I get 70-80% confirmation with some relatively general stuff like: "Engaged tan enemy scouts northbound at 7000 feet elevation. After several turns, I was able to get behind one and fire 60 rounds into the cockpit, observing many hits. After this, the scout was seen to crash into a field four miles west of the front lines." Now, if I had said southbound instead of northbound or 5000 feet instead of 7000 feet or 40 rounds instead of 60 rounds, or ochre instead of tan, would it have made a bit of difference? I seriously doubt it since I am just estimating anyway and they mostly seem to get confirmed... Hope that helps, and remember, the calm, cool pilot tends to live longer. Writing you posts in your opponent's blood does not denote the temperment of a long-burning candle... RR ps- kudos to griphos on the bulleted format, very classy!
  12. About Spads

    I agree with a lot of what you said, my main question is... is that the way it is supposed to be? After a series of frustrating mid-air collisions that ended many promising careers, I foolishly attacked a flight of 6 Pfalz scouts from below them...and lived to tell, eventually shooting down 4. I was so much faster than them that I could attack and withdraw from the level without worring to much about being hit. I extended and attacked for dozens of passes, never turning more than half a circle in any attack. This allowed me to keep my speed up and I never stalled once, which is good because I was at tree top level. Even really concentrating, however, leads to a very ammo-intensive experience. I had a hit percentage of only 18%, as opposed to the mid-thirties on an N17, so you really have to change your whole mind set. In other flights, however, I have experienced the weird high speed stall and the just general loopyness of stalls in this craft. I have never heard that it behaved that way. I am re-reading "Fighting the Flying Circus to see if EVR mentions anything about the SPAD flight characteristics, but I haven't gotten there yet. I do not experience any problems with landing, cutting the throttle and gliding down much like any other plane.
  13. 19 and 20

    Sweet Story! I love those Neiuports! (Even with their irascible lower wings!) RR
  14. Hey Olham, I was having good luck taking on Halberstadts and Albatross in it, up until (as usual) an Albatross DII flew right through me! It's very maneuverable and if you get into a right hand turn with an enemy scout, you can just plop rounds into their cockpit all day long! RR
  15. The other odd part is that with my brief experience with the SPAD VII, the eirlier plane seems to fly better than the latter, without so much stallin' RR

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