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Combat Support in FlightGear

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FlightGear from the start has always stated that it's focus is on civilian aviation. That is where the core effort is concentrated. The project has never tried to block or hinder efforts to add combat features. Perhaps some may debate this, but in general 3rd party efforts like bombable are perfectly fine. Curtis Olson says that he played with a few combat sims and first person shooters over the years, but 'it's not my thing, but they can be fun.' Despite the worries of some, it's just that the core development is focused on civilian aviation. (And that could include military aircraft; the main focus of FlightGear isn't just trying to shoot each other out of the sky)

Cquote1.png I'm in the camp that isn't spending a lot of my own effort towards enhancing the combat and weapons feature set of flightgear. But having said that, I would like to make one small observation about human nature. My kids (2 girls) were in a daycare for a while that strictly banned any sort of weapons playing. If a kid so much as picked up a flute, pointed it at something, and said bang, they were thrown in solitary confinement and tortured for 36 hours. And then in that environment, guess what the first thing a 2 year old boy is going to do the first time he sees some longish rigid toy to play with ... of course he's going to pick it up and point it an someone and say bang, bang, bang. So I think we can debate nature vs. nurture all day long, but at some level, wanting to make things explode and enjoying it when they do ... is in our, uhhh ... genes (sorrry about that Gene) :-) no matter how hard we try to deny that. Of course, having some level of genetic tendency towards something doesn't necessarily make it right to act on that tendency ... take alcoholism as an example ... Personally, I really enjoy a TV show called Myth Busters, and they make their living off of "busting" or confirming many weapons and explosion related myths ... so that show is all about really cool explosions, guns, swords, breaking security, torturing plants and animals, hmmm maybe I better rethink my favorite TV shows here ... :-)
— Curtis Olson (May 11th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Cquote1.png As Curt said there are benefits in honing piloting skills if a dogfighting capability were available, but it could be argued that shooting people down is not necessary to achieve this. I would be amaed and pleased if the problem of network latency could be overcome to allow realistic dogfighting with guns, as opposed to combat simulation with missiles. There could be benefits to the mainstream MP facility if this were achieved. We should remember that realism is the watchword of FGFS (hey - we haven't said that for a while - bears repeating). We should guard against adding a facility which is compromises this. This is an Open Source project, and if someone wants to put in the effort, then good. As I said at the start of this thread it must be selectable, preferable at runtime, and when deselected must have no impact on frame rates c.f. 3D clouds etc. I don't think cheating is much of an issue - don't forget that MP uses _your_ version of the ac. So the addition of a couple of parameters to the version _you_ hold should preclude the Mach 2 Camel. It's already the case that you can't fire more rounds than are available locally (unfortunately, right now, all instances of an ac expend rounds at the same rate).
— Vivian Meazza (May 11th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Motivation

Cquote1.png I've been bemused by all the discussion vis-a-vis flightgear as a combat simulator and am somewhat agnostic on the whole question. As Curt noted we've already crossed over into the "twilightone". If you're opposed to the idea then lets remove ALL models of military aircraft AND civilian derivatives and ALL operations that have a military/combat purpose (e.g: tacan, HUDs, air-to-air refueling, carrier operations, etc). By the same token, if you are of this opinion and use any of these models or features your argument and position seems a little disingenuous. I've not done a count by type of the aircraft in Flightgear, but there are a large number of military aircraft which are designed and built for one reason only and one reason only -- combat or combat support.
— John Wojnaroski (May 12th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] Data change log for next release.
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Cquote1.png Adressing the concerns about combat flying, I agree to Curt, that FlightGear is an Open Source Project. This means anybody is free to work on whatever topic he/she wishes. Of course this doesn't mean to ignore the valid concerns of the other participants. I think it is very important that those who do not wish to use combat functionality can use the Multiplayer feature in the known way. Flightgear aims to be realistic, so anyone who likes to play games will notice, that in Reality combat flying is not as easy as those commercially available "sims" pretend. Just intercepting an AI Aircraft on a known course is not easy. Most "dubious clientele" will get offended by this. However my Interest in combat flight is a rather technical/historical interest. My aircraft are most WW2 aircraft, and I've learned a lot by creating them, digging through books and other historic documents. For a pilot interested in aircraft of that aera the "combat mode" is simply a part of the aircraft history, and should be possible to explore. That doesn't mean Flightgear will become a "shoot em up game".
— Detlef Faber (May 11th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Cquote1.png However, it's a bloody _game_. Things that go *boom* in games are typically pretty cool. (unless you're against the unfair exploitation and destruction of things that don't exist) The easiest way to solve this is to just have a multi-player server that caters only to combat ops. The regular server would just not pass traffic that involved weaponry. If you don't care for virtual combat, hey that's fine. You don't have to work on combat related systems or use combat aircraft. However, if you climb upon your high horse to ban this or that, don't be too shocked to find yourself flat on your back, staring up at the sky while I warm up my barbecue to enjoy some recently made horse steaks.
— Gene Buckle (May 11th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Cquote1.png The second problem I would like to address is to permit the modeling of rather complex weapons system. Most modern warbirds have a bunch off controls related to weapons, and at least several triggers on the stick, often there are some more on the throttle. We haven't the features for combat simulation yet, but we allready have anything to work on the complexity of the controls systems. That's something mandatory for a simulator, and for some of us, it's also a good fun to play with.
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Military Aircraft

Cquote1.png Flying high performance military aircraft is an entirely different experience than that found in a Cessna or an Airbus.
— Alan Teeder (Dec 15th, 2015). [Flightgear-devel] Flightgear.
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Cquote1.png in the past developers have expressed they prefer not to have guns and bombs built in from the core. High speed military aircraft where acceptable but preferably without ammunition and (hit detection).
— Erik Hofman (Dec 15th, 2015). Re: [Flightgear-devel] Flightgear.
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Cquote1.png Military aircraft are an important part of aviation and have their place in FlightGear. However, we want to focus on the aviation part. Modelling weapons and it's effects w.r.t. weight, C/G, drag etc. is fine. We do not focus on the disruptive effects of weapons and if those effects are modeled, those MUST be on opt-in for other users. Look at our project page at SourceForge: I have linked Richard's video about his F15 as a representation of FlightGears capabilities. A great video, a fantastic aircraft and no need for cheap effects.
— Torsten Dreyer (Dec 15th, 2015). Re: [Flightgear-devel] Flightgear.
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Cquote1.png Regarding military simulation, I think it's worth differentiating between being able fly high-performance military aircraft, and a combat simulator. My own view is that I enjoy the former, but am personally not interested in FG becoming the latter. Simulation of weapons systems is a bit of a gray area, as I've aimed to simulate the full aircraft systems.
— Stuart Buchanan (Dec 15th, 2015). Re: [Flightgear-devel] Flightgear.
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Bombable

Bombable is an addon for FlightGear that turns FlightGear into a combat flight simulator.

Multiplayer

Separate Servers

According to Curtis Olson, combat-oriented multiplayer servers would be best setup as a second alternate network completely disconnected from the primary civilian-focused multiplayer network, especially as nobody likes to fly around for a good hour on the MP server just to get shot down by someone who thinks it's funny to shoot random aircraft. As Erik Hofman says, the question is more about where to concentrate the most effort.

Cquote1.png From my point of view combat mode can work only on separate server(s), maybe we would need different servers for different periods of time.
— Maik Justus (May 11th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Cquote1.png Some people aren't ever going to want to participate in air combat, or have it interfere with their general aviation activities, and I feel it's important to respect these preferences. Hence some kind of segregation will be needed. Some possibilities come to mind: a. Separate combat and noncombat servers is one way to avoid unpleasantness.
— pebble garden (May 11th, 2007). [Flightgear-devel] FG air combat thoughts.
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Cquote1.png what's about using separate server(s) (not connected to the "classical" servers) for the dogfight mode? If you log on a "classical" server, you would have no dogfight capability.
— Maik Justus (May 10th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Cquote1.png I'd agree to seperate the "combat ready" flying from the "peaceful" flying. There is no reason why both environments should see each other at all. Nevertheless it should be a matter of choice which environment one wishes to use. This way nobody can get offended (If I fly in combat mode I have to be aware someone else could shoot at me).
— Detlef Faber (May 11th, 2007). Re: [Flightgear-devel] More ideas on dogfighting.
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Cquote1.png An IFF squawk setting could be used to indicate non-participation ("0", as default) or membership in a 'side' ("1", "2", etc.).
— pebble garden (May 11th, 2007). [Flightgear-devel] FG air combat thoughts.
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