Flight Journal: Our First Massive Multiplayer Mission for DCS World!
Last night (10/13/2023) we hosted our first DCS World event, which we had been preparing for quite a while. I am happy to report that it was a resounding success, specially since we also did it in collaboration with the VRC Black Aces community !
In terms of hosting missions on our own server, we have always used publicly-available community-made sandbox missions. These were mostly for our own private use with our password locked server; so yesterday's event was not only our first public event, but also an awesome way for us to test our mission creation skills.
This event allowed Aaron "Ribbon-Blue" Mendoza and Caio "Hueman" Barreto to create a very specialized mission, one that had to be both reliable and entertaining. Usually, these two concepts don't get along, as what makes a mission entertaining and dynamic usually makes it more unreliable. It was a challenge that I never expected Ribbon-Blue to take, but I can say that not only did he manage to achieve his goals but also surpassed my expectations in the process.
Before the event, we had only tested the mission a couple of times and with a limited amount of players. This meant that, even though we had proved that the mission was stable in a multiplayer environment, we never stress tested it. Time was up, so we started the mission. EVENT DAY! When the event started, both Blue and I just kind of stood there watching it unfold before us. We opened the F10 tactical map and watched how more than 30 people immediately joined the mission and got their jets started. Watching that wall of aircraft fly right towards the frontline was a sight to behold for both of us. The initial stages of the missions were, understandably, chaotic. Everyone was still trying to figure out what the enemy composition was and how they would tackle different tasks. From those, it was clear that one task was very well covered: CAP. Constant CAP was established as soon as the first aircraft got in the air, with dogfights and engagements occurring soon after they got into their positions. One early engagement stood out from the rest, one between four pilots and a JF-17. These pilots not only struggled to engage the Jeff, but also managed to get two of the four pilots shot down in the process. This elusive JF-17, which was part of a 4-ship formation, managed to evade several missiles while establishing enough dominance to turn tighter than every other fighter in that furball.
That one engagement lasted over 7 minutes, and ended with a single missile shot that came from a plane that wasn't even in the air by the time the dogfight started!
SURPRISING ORGANIZATION One aspect that surprised me a lot was the amount of sporadic collaboration that happened during the event. People were self-assigning tasks and organizing waves of attacks to defeat the enemy.
SEAD and DEAD missions, as well as preemptive strikes, were planned and sorties were made. This was extremely important because the mission has some deadly air defenses in place, as well as an established EWR network that feeds the AD units and interceptors alike. Fog of war is also a factor, which limits the amount of intel you can get from the tactical map.
Seeing players use pre-planned weapons such as SLAM-ER and HARM was a sight to behold, I was not expecting to see anything but constant air-to-air for five hours straight. Instead, air to ground became a focus in the middle of the session, once air superiority was sort of established through their sheer amount of allied fighters running CAP.
WE WILL RUN MORE EVENTS! What we learned yesterday, primarily, was that we now want to run even more events. Last night was an awesome experience. Seeing people having fun with the mission Blue spent countless hours creating was great, specially considering that this event was kind of improvised to begin with.
We'll notify both on our and the Black Aces' discord servers, and Twitter/X pages, whenever we host another event. Be it a multi-day mission or a DCS night, stay tuned for those.
About the writer: Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000s, leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities, but only started being active around the mid 2010s. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as the co-founder and writer ever since. Twitter | Discord : Cubeboy