Today is a big day. IL-2 Sturmovik team is glad to report that after almost three years of development Battle of Normandy is out of Early Access and is officially released - 5.001 update is out!
«You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.» Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The official release also means that in addition to Battle of Normandy Premium Edition in our webstore there’s now Standard Edition without two Collector Planes - German jet bomber Arado Ar 234 and British fighter Spitfire Mk.XIV (they can be bought individually). On Steam the new module and its accompanying Collector Planes will appear in the coming weeks - please stay tuned while we work out the details. As usual, Battle of Normandy owners who have linked IL-2 and Steam accounts can access all the new content in the Steam version already.
These years weren’t easy, but they were very interesting. During the development we have created many new technologies and approaches, did a lot of historical research, implemented new solutions. The last aircraft for Battle of Normandy were released in Early Access in August and today we add the last pieces - the map of the Northern France and Southern England, Pilot Career mode, Quick Mission Builder and Advanced Quick Mission Generator support for the new map.
We have told about the Career mode and the new map in our recent Dev Blogs, but must point out again that they set the new record in terms of the work involved. New mission types, new airfield types, new airfields appearing on the map after D-Day - bringing their total amount to 100 airfields with historically accurate layouts! New objects created specially for the module - ships, ground vehicles, buildings, coastal defenses, V-1 buzzbombs and their launch positions, dozens of new aircraft paint schemes, etc.
Battle of Normandy contains 10 player controllable aircraft (8 in the Standard Edition):
Each aircraft includes a slew of historically correct modifications - unlike other games where each modification would be counted as a separate aircraft model, in Great Battles you can freely select and combine them. For instance, Me-410 A-1 mentioned above has modifications that, when selected, make it a whole model lineup:
In addition to the all above, update 5.001 contains the results of the big work on the damage model improvements which are of course are applicable to all the modules as usual - as you can see in the long list below, it required many changes in various parts of the sim. The testing and tuning of these changes by beta-testers from the community took a lot of time. We think this is the big step forward for Great Battles series and hope you’ll enjoy it.
There are many other fixes and improvements - for instance, the mission loading time has been reduced dramatically, several times less on some PC configurations! The pilot and tank crew AI got better, etc.
1. All Battle of Normandy owners have access to Northern France and Southern England map in two variations (before and after the D-Day). As usual, in multiplayer mode the map can be accessed by all Great Battles players.
2. All Battle of Normandy owners have access to the mid-1944 Career mode (3 countries, 5 phases, 17 frontline states, 225 historical squadrons, 103 of them joinable by the player, many new mission types).
3. All Battle of Normandy owners have access to QMB and AQMG game modes on the new map for a quick action, also with many new mission types.
4. Numerous new aircraft paint schemes added, including different invasion stripes for various time periods of 1944.
5. PzKpfw IV Ausf.H. tank added (AI controlled).
6. Flakpanzer IV «Möbelwagen» SPAA added (AI controlled).
7. Gleaves-class destroyer added (AI controlled).
8. The loading speed of all missions on all Great Battles maps has been improved significantly.
Damage Model Improvements
9. Aircraft DM: RHA equivalent of the aircraft skin has been reduced nearly three times to the previous (wrong) values.
10. Aircraft DM: an issue that made aircraft skin damage too severe for larger bombers and some fighters has been fixed.
11. Aircraft DM: like the previously released change for larger caliber ammo, now all projectiles in the game loose integrity and stability after penetrating a significant armor thickness which affects their remaining ability to penetrate armor.
12. Aircraft DM: the relative speed of the target is correctly accounted for projectile penetrations calculations.
13. Aircraft DM: AP bullets and shells make slightly bigger holes in the airframe and aircraft skin.
14. Aircraft DM: powerful HE rounds explosions cause more damage to the airframe, aircraft skin and components.
15. Aircraft DM: small HE bullets cause less damage to aircraft skin.
16. Aircraft DM: it is now possible to damage radiators and fuel tanks when firing 7.62-7.92 rounds from more than 350 m distance.
17. Aircraft DM: bullets are less likely to ricochet from aircraft skin at low angles.
18. Aircraft DM: Bf 109 radiator collision model has been improved (previously its wrong shape could cause most smaller caliber bullets to ricochet when fired directly from behind).
19. Aircraft DM: the loss of the bullets energy hitting Bf 109 F-4 engine has been corrected.
20. Aircraft DM: an issue that caused bullets hitting Spitfire Mk.XIV MGs and guns to not lose energy has been fixed.
21. Aircraft DM: engine fire probability from bullet hits has been somewhat increased for WWI-era piston engines and jet engines.
22. Aircraft DM: engine fire probability from bullet hits has been reduced for WWII-era piston engines.
23. Aircraft DM: fuel tank fire probability from bullet hits has been reduced.
24. Aircraft DM: fuel tank fire and explosion probability from HE ammo hits has been reduced, now it depends on the HE power more.
25. Aircraft DM: it’s now harder to put out the fires by side-slip movement.
26. Aircraft DM: the several years old ‘crew health cheat’ (they required four point-blank 7.62 bullets in the torso or two in the head to be killed) has been removed. Now their ability to sustain damage is much more close to reality.
27. Crew DM: a random error that could cause a death from mild G-loads has been found and fixed, thus improving survivability rate during emergency landings.
28. Ballistics: ricochet tendency has been reduced somewhat.
29. Right wing MGs on P-51B can be correctly damaged.
30. P-51B and D fighters wings (middle-upper parts) can be correctly damaged.
Me 410 Improvements
31. Me 410A-1: weapon panel placards corrected for WB 151 and MG 131 modifications.
32. Me 410A-1: missing rods from bomb doors to the forward window added.
33. Me 410 A-1: speed and timer gauges in the pilot’s cockpit corrected.
34. Me 410 A-1: altitude and speed gauges in the gunner’s cockpit corrected.
35. Me 410 A-1: bomb holders for 250 kg bombs and for SB 1000/410 look corrected.
36. Me 410 A-1: radiator fenders indicators light up when the cockpit light is turned on.
37. Me 410 A-1: the rear landing gear state affects air drag.
38. Me 410 A-1: technochat message warning about the gun overheating restored for the gunner.
39. Me 410 A-1: now the gunner can use the entire horizontal range of the guns for aiming.
40. Me-410 A-1: radiators can be correctly damaged by AP projectiles, resulting in coolant leaks.
41. Me 410A-1 intercept missions added to AQMG game mode.
Tank Crew Improvements
42. M4A2, KV-1s, Pz.IV.G, Pz.V.D, Pz.VI.H1 hatches close when the turret blocks them.
43. The damage of the gun barrels base on Pz.III, Pz.IV and Pz.VI is calculated correctly when it is hit by fragments.
44. In multiplayer a guest gunner (who connected to someone else tank) won’t constantly hear the turret turning mechanism noise.
45. In multiplayer a tank owner won’t hear the gun or MG reloading sound when another player connected to his tank to the gunner or MG gunner station.
46. In multiplayer turning aircraft or tank turrets controlled by another player emit correct turning sounds.
47. AI controlled bombers keep formation a bit better during climb.
48. AI pilots will attempt to return to base in the event of an oil or coolant leak.
49. Me 410 pilots will correctly drop bombs in a deep dive.
50. Mosquito, Ju 88 C6 and Me 410 pilots will correctly drop underwing bombs.
51. Twin and 4x guns in AI controlled vehicles won’t judder during aiming.
52. Dropping an 1650 pounds bomb from Handley Page O/400 bomber won’t display an error.
53. A visual artifact in front of the right engine of Handley Page O/400 bomber has been removed.
54. An issue that caused guns and MGs to ‘float’ above certain breastwork has been fixed.
55. ‘No jamming’ difficulty option works correctly for aircraft turrets.
56. Me 410 is correctly counted in stats.
57. Visual bomb explosion effects has been corrected for cases when a bomb ricochets and goes off above the ground.
58. Proximity and CheckZone triggers in missions won’t erroneously count non-spawned and inactive objects.
59. External camera works correctly after flying beyond the map borders.
60. An issue that could lower the muzzle speed of an overheated MG before causing additional scattering of the fired bullets has been fixed.
61. Both P-47 have their idle engine RPM corrected (it was a bit too high potentially causing moving with brakes applied.