DCS: F-4E Post Release Update & Changelog

DCS: F-4E Post Release Update & Changelog

 


Dear All,


Once again, we'd like to thank you all for your amazing feedback, comments and well wishes after the launch of our F-4E. We wouldn't enjoy doing what we do without all of your enthusiasm and enjoyment of flying our products. Thank you so much!

We've been working hard after launch day on the 22nd, and have had some very important changes in the bag since the 23rd; but these have now accrued into a somewhat longer changelog for this weeks' update. 

Our primary focus has been on improving performance, and general improvements across the entirety of the module, as well as adding a few features that we cut at the last second. Performance improvements have been focused on very busy multiplayer missions and scenarios, and doubly so on lower end hardware which was causing significant bottlenecks that we were not able to test before release. The F-4E is a very complex simulation; the most complex we've ever created; and so we've fought long and hard- and will continue to do so- to try and eek out every bit of performance we can.

We've also worked hard to squash as many general, aircraft, JESTER or otherwise bugs as possible - some of these have been significantly influencing gameplay- such as JESTER failing to call IFF voice lines or the UI freezing with odd combinations of map markers. Hopefully this hotfix patch will alleviate some of these initial issues, and from next week onwards we will again re-constitute the team and go through all of your wonderful feedback for the next rounds of improvements and fixes.

Some new additions include e.g. the reintroduction of the virtual browser and the addition of online connectivity rules for HBUI - as well as some QoL improvements in JESTER. 


The full changelog is as follows:

F-4E Release Hotfix Changelog

   Performance & Core 
  • Performance: Major improvements to Radar raycasting performance, especially on busy MP servers

  • Performance: Radar thread affinity changed - may increase performance where the main thread was saturated on busy servers or missions

  • Performance: Fixed Object Cache being over-saturated causing severe performance loss on busy missions with thousands of objects

  • Performance: NEW: Added special option to reduce radar performance impact - can improve CPU performance on lower end CPUs at the cost of some additional visual noise and clutter on the radar screen

  • Performance: Changed amounts of radar threads across different core setups

  • Performance: NEW: Added Lower Refresh HBUI special option. This option will reduce the UI refresh rate to 30 fps, matching the F-14 Jester UI. This will reduce CPU performance impact on CPU limited machines, especially in heavy missions

  • Performance: Fixed INS, ADI and other various system bugs with the “Reduced Tickrate” option enabled

  • Performance: Refactored some JESTER code paths that may have caused lowered performance when an enemy was nearby
  • CTD: Fixed a crash if Saved Games path had non-standard characters (e.g. Cyrillic)
  • CTD: Fixed crash if DCS install path had Chinese characters in it
  • CTD: Fixed crash on empty coords text entry
  • CTD: Fixed some instances of a CTD after damage and ejection

  • Multicrew: Fixed a major multicrew desync error when someone leaves and rejoins (can be another WSO) the aircraft
  • Multicrew: Reduced network load due to an errant buffeting sensor being propagated across the network every frame

   
  JESTER AI

  • JESTER: Fixed being able to spot bandits very far away on the radar scope during some modes
  • JESTER: Fixed JESTER breaking some inputs or being unable to correctly set some switches when using HBUI elements (e.g. the Manual)
  • JESTER: Will no longer call aircraft on the ground as BFM threats or targets
  • JESTER: Fixed doubled calls for some calls, and fixed him saying “Gear Up” and “Flaps Up” randomly at times far after takeoff
  • JESTER: Fixed Jester not asking for alignment when starting cold on a runway
  • JESTER: Fixed missile reports having wrong order of words sometimes
  • JESTER AAR: Added JESTER automatically saying "Ready Pre-Contact" to the tanker
  • JESTER: Fixed a bug when cycling the AAR door very fast caused Jester to get stuck in radar-on mode
  • JESTER: Fixed Jester being in wrong DSCG mode when switching TGT-FIND/DT fast

  HBUI

  • HBUI: Fixed the Map Markers menu causing the Jester UI to freeze and become unusable
  • HBUI: Fixed a crash when entering empty coordinates in the Nav section of the Jester Menu
  • HBUI: NEW: Added Virtual Browser, and added “Online Mode” levels to HBUI. UI and Browser access is now controlled using a Special Option dropdown which allows selecting between:
    • Full - Free browsing
    • Offline - only offline UI features will work
    • Whitelist (Default & Recommended) - sites defined by a special whitelist file are allowed, anything else is blocked
    • Users can customise the whitelist file: hbui_whitelist.txt found in the Saved Games folder.
    • By default it has regex rules, currently covering:
      • Google
      • Youtube
      • Kneeboard.live

  • HBUI: The Virtual Browser now also has a new landing page, allowing users to add their own bookmarks
  • HBUI: Ensured that the Auto Startup clicks use the enforced version bypassing browsers
  • HBUI: JESTER Radial Menu - Small resizing adjustments to the Jester Wheel (thank you amadeus!)
  • HBUI: renamed JESTER radial menu "Unknown" to "Bogey" and "Hostile" to "Bandit"
  • HBUI: JESTER Radial Menu - Added "Navigate To Main Menu" bind for Voice Attack users - will also open the wheel if it's closed, so that it can serve as starting point for any VA macro sequences
  • HBUI: JESTER Radial Menu - Rename "Jester Presence > Enable" to "Force" for more clarity
  • HBUI: Added Special Option to select UI Theme (auto, light, dark)
  • HBUI: Added Special Option to shift head-tracking origin vertically
  • HBUI: Updated in game manual to latest version
  • HBUI: Removed browser forward nav button in manual
  • HBUI: JESTER Radial Menu - Improved keyboard controls (W opens, "Back" closes wheel):
    • additionally to their regular function of navigating forward and backwards in the wheel, W ("Center/Click") and "Back" can now also open and close the wheel


  Radar & Weapons

  • Radar: Fixed other RWR possibly triggering through terrain
  • Radar: Fixed WSO maverick slew speed wrong
  • Radar: Improved CAA lock reliability
  • Radar: Fixed aspect switch setting wrong closure
  • Radar: Fixed radar gimbal not boresighting in elevation in cage mode with half action held
  • Radar: Fixed radar starting in standby mode despite being off
  • Radar: Fixed caged mode allowing the antenna to be moved in acquisition
  • Radar: Fixed bug allowing a short half second period of time without raycasting
  • Weapons: Fixed TV weapon gimbal limits 
  • Weapons: Fixed gimbal limits not being respected
  • Weapons: Fixed sidewinder gimbal limit
  • Weapons: Fixed sidewinder half-aperture size
  • Weapons: Fixed AGM-12C not arming
  • Weapons: Direct mode now shows the correct solution for the depression value in the bombing calculator
  • Weapons: Added time of flight and bomb range to the bombing calculator output
  • Weapons: Fixed various issues with the Shrike WRCS mode
  • Weapons: Fixed Shrikes not updating after settings changed in rearm menu
  • Weapons: Corrected missiles (AGM-45 and AGM-12) ejecting incorrectly
  • Weapons: Made default Shrike volume quieter
  • Weapons: Updated Shrike range calculations and added Shrike range and altitude bias
  • Weapons: Corrected the WRCS AGM-45 Behaviour to give shrike range indications before target insert.
  • Weapons: Changed pylons to rail instead of ejection as this provides a much more realistic profile for AGM-12 and AGM-45A
  • Weapons: Fixed air to ground missiles being fired unarmed if the fuse switch was in the wrong position
  • Weapons: Fixed Normal Jettison consent on ground
  • Weapons: Fixed Mavericks/TV Bombs being jettison despite not being selected

  Avionics & Systems

  • RWR: Fixed the “New Guy” audio frequency not changing sometimes or playing the incorrect sound.
  • RWR: Fixed diamond not going to new guy contact for a short period of time
  • RWR: Made aircraft radars that used HPRF for track use MPRF instead (WIP: not yet audible, new sounds will be added)
  • RWR: Fixes to E-2C carrier frequency and beamwidth
  • RWR: Fixed Track Only Radars broadcasting with no target
  • RWR: Added fixed radar for units such as the F-86 Sabre (WIP)
  • RWR: Fixed range being displayed incorrectly sometimes
  • Avionics: Fixed JESTER BATH alignment not finishing in conjunction with HDG MEM available
  • Avionics: Adjusted NWS heading hold toggle function: now the AFCS has to be ON to toggle it
  • Avionics: Small fix to alignment completion
  • Avionics: Fixed a bug where the pitch steering needle was jumping on ILS approach
  • Avionics: Fixed AJB-7 heading oscillations when electric power was being applied
  • Avionics: Added a kneeboard page with diagrams for INS alignment options

  • Engines: Fixed nozzles having insufficient oil pressure at idle
  • Engines: Fixed controls dying too soon with the engines off or windmilling
  • Systems: Added ejection and canopy jettison inhibit when canopy is open (and not jettisoned)
  • Systems: Fixed pod and ECM jettison
  • Systems: Fixed neutral horizontal stab position
  • Systems: Minor improvements to hit damage
  • Inputs: Added 2 missing Crew Chief binds (ARI Disengage check and Stab Aug check)
  • Inputs: Added Slow/Fast binds for HSI course/heading and Reticle Depression
  • Inputs: Changed SYNC knob to sync with right click instead of left click
  • Inputs: Updated Chinese keybinds
  • Inputs: Added bind for "Tanker: Intent to Refuel"
  • Inputs: Ensured that all backend-called commands are executed properly.
  • Inputs: Added (fictional) Tape Player Volume Knob (Recorder-On Lamp rotate-to-dim)
  • Inputs: Fixed following inputs that require rebinding:
    • Fixed Radar-Missile CW switch [UP]/[DOWN] binds broken
    • Fixed reversed binds Radar Polarisation CIRC 1 and CIRC 2
    • Fixed 3-pos switches on radar panel [DOWN]/[UP] binds to skip centre
    • Fixed Pilot Body SHOW/HIDE binds being reversed (and pedal crank)
  • Crew Chief: Fixed GPU not appearing on some occasions after moving the aircraft
  • Crew Chief: Adjusted GPU appearing/disappearing logic
  • Crew Chief: Fixed GPU spool up sound not playing sometimes

  Content & Visuals

  • Missions: Fixed various issues with training missions (- fixes almost all community reports)
  • Missions: NEW: Added IA missions by Kaba (thank you!)
  • Missions: NEW: Added IA mission Paradise Lost Free Flight by Reflected (thank you!)
  • Missions: Updated missions by Sedlo, Reflected and Activity (thank you!)
  • Missions: Added more slots to Through The Inferno COOP versions
  • Missions: Updated Syria Landing mission to LOC RWY 08, added base
  • Missions: Added base to Caucasus Cold start mission
  • Missions: Updated training missions 1-4 CN localization
  • Visual: Made Cockpit much brighter with Global Illumination Off
  • Visual: Fixed AI afterburner visuals
  • Visual: Fixed nozzle and horizontal stab LoDs
  • Visual: Fixed minor LoD bugs

  • Sound: Possible fix to random sound playing on spawn in multicrew
  • Sound: Fixed gear sound bug on spawn in multicrew.
  • Sound: Fixed Tapeplayer clipping audio
  • Liveries: JASDF Jets now all have olive drab ALQ-131s
  • Liveries: Improved JV Jets nose gear door art
  • Liveries: Fixed JV Jets accidental overpaint on landing light
  • Liveries: Updated IRIAF and IIAF liveries by ISAAC (thank you!)
  • Liveries: Helmets on IIAF/USAF Jet fixed to red helmets (thank you!)

 

We hope you enjoy this update, and thank you again for all of the wonderful support,


Sincerely,
Heatblur



23 comments


  • Joker

    This is hands down the nicest aircraft in DCS. You can really see all the hard work that your team has put in. I would put this model as number one if for one thing(should be easy to implement). The VR touch controllers to have the grab option for the stick and throttle. Not sure why your team left it out(most likely it being a niche market and time/cost). It’s what keeps me going back to other aircraft and preventing me from buying any other of your models. I would play this with a HOTAS as it’s intended. It’s just I live out of a suitcase 20 days a month. Cheers and great job with the F-4E.


  • VVMFA420

    The devs at Heatblur and other 3rd parties are single-handedly keeping the DCS ecosystem compelling. Thank your hard work!


  • APOLLO

    I would like to congratulate your team for this module that – in all aspects- sets an new standard in flight simulation community products. I can’t stop being amazed by the overall result and the complexity of this task that has has given us the mighty Phantom alive in our screens and in our lives! Phantom has a special place in the hearts of many former aviators and technicians that flew it maintained it and literally thousands of aviation enthusiasts. Personally a had the luck to fly once in the back seat of a Hellenic Air Force F-4E AUP and I must admit that flight model and graphics, brought up in my mind the EXACT feeling when I was in the air with the real aircraft! Surely for your team that was not an easy task in order to make it happen..
    For that reason I would like to congratulate you once again for a job WELL DONE!!!


  • Rebel9

    Enjoying my F-4: Thanks
    Informing your customers of what’s added & fixed in an upcoming patch, that’s novel & much appreciated 😎
    Glad to see in the notes you’ve ‘brightened’ the cockpit, definitely a plus for me (old and knackered😂)
    Many thanks


  • Jeff Izo

    The Phantom is awesome. As a former Air Force C130 pilot, I almost feel back at home in a plane from the era I flew…..even if I’m only 48 now. Your simulations are the closest feeling to flying a real aircraft. Especially in VR.


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