Wow, so news about Cliffs of Dover. This doesn’t come around very often but this is a big one for the sim.
Team Fusion have ‘kept the dream alive’ with their modding of the original sim to fix the areas that they were able to access. The difficulty that they faced was that they never had access to the source code. This has prevented them from being able to fix all of the things that are most commonly requested. This would be things like the AI gunners being so inconsistent, or the range at which targets can be spotted, the way clouds form so that everyone sees the same clouds and I don’t know what else as no one has been able to answer the question yet.
So, there was an announcement yesterday, Wednesday 21st December 2016, that the developers of IL2 Battle of Sturmovik have agreed to release the source code to Team Fusion. Not only this but this is to become the official channel for all future updates to IL2 Cliffs of Dover. This is potentially big news. Up to this point Team Fusion have all been volunteers working on a project because of their enjoyment and commitment to Cliffs of Dover, they knew it had potential and they knew they could unlock a lot of it. It has kept people playing a sim that was no longer supported and may have been over ambitious for it’s time.
There are plans for a patch to come out on Steam in January 2017 which will update all versions of Cliffs of Dover with a unifying single install, no more downloading of a load of patches and having to turn off firewalls to avoid a file that always got picked out as needing to be quarantined. All future updates will be through Steam. This also means that new DLC will be payware, not freeware. However, considering the amount of work that they have put in for free for the benefit of the community I think we’re still getting a good deal.
It does mean tha the TF5.0 patch that we have all been waiting for will now be the first official DLC for IL2 Cliffs of Dover and will be available for purchase on Steam. It also means, from what they have said, that they will be adding some more aircraft into the mix – so the P-40 wasn’t originally going to be included, but it is now, along with other changes. There is talk of Direct X 11, which could well unlock the VR potential of the game.
We know that the new theatre is North Africa, around Tobruk and the Egyptian/Libyan desert from 1940-42. There is also talk of a range of different Hawker Hurricane models. This makes my day, so hopeful of a Mk IIc and a Mk IId. Using the 40mm Vickers S Guns on the Panzers is an exciting prospect! It may mean that Red finally get some useful ground attack aircraft – in addition to the much anticipated Vickers Wellington and Bristol Beaufighter.
We don’t know the full extent of what is planned or what can be achieved at the moment, but it looks quite exciting for the Sim. Hopefully enough people will buy the DLC to make it worth their while continuing. We know flight sims are not the most popular genre of gaming anymore, but we have enough to be able to make a difference and this one sim that needs and deserves community support.
I’m hoping it turns out to be better than its successor, IL2 Battle of Stalingrad, which has so far been a major pain for me. I think most of us are looking forward to Cliffs of Dover finally reaching it’s full potential.