Update 5.203 / IL-2 Sturmovik: Great Battles
Update 5.203
Update 5.203

Dear friends,

We have released a new update 5.203, which includes a new ground combat generator mode for Tank Crew owners, which we told you about in one of the previous editions of the Dev Blog, new mission types for the scenario generator and career mode, updated descriptions of all WWII aircraft, added popular campaigns created by enthusiasts AEthelraedUnraed and Juri_JS, and much more (the full list of changes is below).


One of the most important innovations in this version is the introduction of a new dynamic battlefield system in the pilot's career mode to create the most interesting and varied scenarios and to optimize the CPU load (usually, the graphics card's performance limits the saturation of the battleground to a lesser extent because the objects are far apart and they are not rendered with high detail all at once). Since this system directly affects your gaming experience, let's learn more about it.


Dynamic resource allocation system

The new system now works in WWII career mode escort scenarios, where the player's fighter escorts AI-controlled attack, bomber, or transport planes - there are several unique variations, from escorting Ju-52s flying out of the Stalingrad cauldron, or bombers on their way to V-1 launchers in Normandy, to escorting transports with paratroopers during Operation Varsity at the end of the war.

It is based on a dynamic resource accounting mechanism. Both individual combat vehicles and groups of them are assigned a certain performance cost - for example, a truck requires very few CPU resources, while a group of heavy aircraft requires many - and request permission to appear in the game world from the resource controller. The resource controller first checks the amount of resources required, and then, in the case of an aircraft group, the probability of its appearance. The only exceptions to this general rule are such key elements of the scenario as the player's unit, its cover or other groups covered by it, and a group of the player's air targets - they will appear in the mission anyway.

If a unit or group is destroyed, crash-landed, just landed, or otherwise removed from the game world, the controller will use the freed-up resources to create a new group. A bonus effect of introducing this mechanism is that it virtually eliminates the problem of many objects appearing at the same time for ground vehicles, which can cause a noticeable "stutter".

Early warning posts

Enemy interceptors appear in the air for a reason - they are summoned by observation posts located along the front and rear lines. They are organized into three large interception zones along the front line - each zone is assigned its own group of interceptors. The posts request the appearance of interceptor groups from the Resource Controller and then direct them to the group of aircraft to be intercepted: interceptors can either appear in the air at a sufficient distance or take off from their home airfield. In the current implementation, Airborne Warning Posts do not initiate intercepts of single aircraft or groups of fighters that don't cover strike aircraft.

Additional Events

When generating the next day in Pilot Career mode, additional events are selected that may occur on the player's route that day if a friendly aircraft is passing nearby. For example, there could be a pair of enemy fighters on a free hunt or a group of friendly fighters, an enemy reconnaissance plane at high altitude, a group of transport planes flying to the rear, an airfield cover flight of 4 fighters, and so on. They will not suddenly disappear into nowhere - if you follow them, they will fly their full route and land on their airfield, and to save resources, if they are far enough away from enemy planes or the player's plane, they will be removed.

Other changes

Player squadron aircraft are limited to two flights of 4 aircraft each and the second flight if covers the first by default. Large-caliber anti-aircraft guns will stop firing when friendly aircraft are nearby and will not distinguish the player's aircraft from other available targets. Ground vehicle firing modes have been optimized (they pause between bursts of fire).

Effect of career settings on performance


The "Air Forces and AAA" setting has the greatest impact on performance because aircraft consume the most CPU time - it limits the appearance of air groups (other than the player's link) and anti-aircraft artillery units on both sides in the scenario. The higher this setting is, the more aircraft there will be in air groups, the more anti-aircraft artillery units will be operating simultaneously, and the higher the chance of a random event being triggered (and the higher the CPU load).

The "Ground Forces" setting controls the number of ground vehicles to which resources are allocated, independent of the "Air Forces" and "AAA" settings. For example, you can set "Air Forces and AAA" to the minimum and "Ground Forces" to the maximum. By combining these settings, you can find a setting that will allow you to play comfortably in Pilot Career mode on your computer.

As for the "Power Balance" setting, as you can see from its variants "enemy inferiority - parity - enemy superiority", it makes the enemy forces weaker or stronger than the forces of the player's allies, both quantitatively and qualitatively (experience level of pilots, marksmanship, etc.). For example, at the first setting, the chance of a group of enemy interceptors arriving is so low that they may not appear at all, at the equal setting this chance is about 50%, and at the enemy superiority setting they will almost certainly appear.

The new battleground system will be extended to other types of career missions if it receives positive feedback from the community.

5.203 Changelist

  1. Advanced Quick Mission mode for player-controlled ground vehicles has been added to the Prokhorovka map - it is available to all owners of Tank Crew: Clash at Prokhorovka;
  2. Career: a dynamic battlefield generation system has been added to all scenarios of player flight escorting bombers, attack or transport planes;
  3. Career: evacuation mission previously only available on the Normandy map has been added to all theaters; 
  4. Career: added night variants of Attack Railway Junction and Traffic Interdiction missions;
  5. Advanced Quick Mission mode on Western Front WWI map: added Balloon Defense, Artillery Spotting, and Photo Reconnaissance mission types;
  6. Advanced Quick Mission mode on Normandy and Rheinland maps: added glider towing;
  7. Descriptions of all World War II aircraft updated: additional instructions added for manual startup and approximate fuel consumption at different modes (work on the descriptions continues);
  8. Added popular unofficial campaigns: Kerch-Eltigen Operation (Bf 109G-6 pilot in late 1943, by Juri_JS) and Battle of Hürtgenwald (P-47D pilot in late 1944, by AEthelraedUnraed);
  9. Flying Circus Career mode: corrected career progression of American Sqn. 94 and Sqn. 95, German Jasta Boelcke, Jasta 11, Jasta 12, Jasta 14, Bosta 13, FA(A) 235;
  10. Flying Circus Career and AQM modes: parked aircraft have been added to all airfields used by players;
  11. Western Front WWI map: started adding new settlements to a previously mostly empty part of the map;
  12. Updated campaigns "Lightning Strikes", "Havoc over Kuban", "Hawks over the Bulge";
  13. Synchronized ShVAK guns on all aircraft have the muzzle velocity of projectiles increased by 25 m/s, from 815 to 840 m/s due to the difference in the length of the rifled part of the barrel;
  14. All Soviet aircraft from the middle of 1942 (except for I-16 and Il-2 rev. 1941) have late-type HE ShVAK ammo with increased weight to 96 g and increased explosive filling to 5.6 g;
  15. Fixed taxiing on High Halden and Woodchurch airfields on the Normandy map;
  16. Fixed mission point placement near the edge of the map in free hunt missions;
  17. Corrected the audible ranges of airplane engines in first-person view;
  18. Fixed a problem with the vertical stretching of modification pictures in the equipment customization menu;
  19. Bf 109 G-2: fixed wrong technochat message about negative propeller pitch value ("-1%");
  20. Bf 109 G-6: added MK108 cannon reloading tumbler animation;
  21. P-38J-25: fixed uneven clock hands animation;
  22. P-47D-28: corrected animation of gyroscopic sight sun filter handle;
  23. Typhoon Mk.2b: fixed animation of the right rudder trimmer;
  24. Yak-9 and Yak-9T: fixed bug with collimator reticle not disabling when the reflector is broken;
  25. Fw 190 A-3 and A-5: fixed minor graphical bugs in the wing model.