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Flight Joysticks
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 6:00 pm
CoMM
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Default Flight Joysticks

Figured that some of you may want to know what's out there for flight sticks... There are a handful of decent ones around $50 which vary in their features and quality. The best i found at that price range was the Saitek Cyborg X since it has a nice throttle lever and many adjustments to make it fit your grip. All of the $50 models are pretty cheap plastic however, and flight sticks take a beating, especially from me. I've gone through about 5 of the Cyborg X joysticks within the past year alone, once i trash each to the point of being non-functional.

The model i'm looking at now, and plan to buy here in a few minutes, is a Saitek X65-F, which is much more sturdily built. It uses pressure switches to sense movement without actually shifting the stick around, which is the same tech used in newer jets and choppers. This is way too much of a stick for most casual gamers, but FYI on the price/class differences from the lower cost ones. The other "top of the line" model comparable ot the X65-F is the Logitech Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog G940, but i preferred the X-65F since the pressure sensitive movement is just something i want badly, and i need my yaw in the stick versus in the pedals. Both of these more expensive models are around $300.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 6:13 pm
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Wow........ I think the last Joystick I had was a Microsoft Sidewinder w/ force feedback. It has to have been at least 6 to 7 years since I have used it. At the time I was really into MechWarriors and Crimson Skies. Looks like they have made a bunch of improvements on the quality of this sticks. I may pick up a new one if the new version of MechWarriors is any good. see link

MechWarrior Article

It's been a long time since I played a good Flight/Air Combat game. Anybody have any suggestions.

...........................Nuffsed
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 6:35 pm
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It's been a long time since I played a good Flight/Air Combat game. Anybody have any suggestions.
I play Hawx and Hawx 2 when i want to do some dogfighting. Those are the 2 newest ones i could find with realistic graphics but with a sim fighting environment when i looked recently.

For realism, most would point to the M$ Flight Sim, and that's a good sim but i don't prefer to simply fly. The best true combat sims are done by a company called DCS (digital combat simulator)... They released one last year called DCS : Black Shark, and one this year called DCS : A-10C Warthog, which are sims for each specific vehicle, including simulated battle scenarios. Only look at these if you want a true sim however, since they are very advanced and realistic, and even the included "arcade" settings require about 50% real flying, versus about 5-10% realism in most flight games.

And i noticed this next quote on the page for the Logitech Warthog naming a few games it works well with... There are a few here i haven't heard of. I have IL-2, and that is a good combat sim also, although not for the breakneck speeds of newer jet dogfighting.

Quote:
Flight Simulator X by Microsoft®. IL-2 Sturmovik™: 1946 by Ubisoft™. Falcon: Allied Force by Lead Pursuit LLC. Lock On: Modern Air Combat X-Plane 9 by Ubisoft™. Enemy Engaged 2 by G2 Games. DCS: Black Shark.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 7:38 pm
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Here are a few good midrange models: Saitek X52 ($100) and X52 Pro ($170)

Here's the entire flight sim & PC group from that sales site... I found it really hard to get the X-65F in the US so it's impressive to see the stock that this specific site has at a minimum. I stumbled across it from a link on the Saitek UK site, pointing back to a US distributor. Saitek's US site doesn't even show the X-65F yet.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 7:50 pm
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Heh I play the hawx series nightly. I use a thrustmaster T.16000, http://www.thrustmaster.com/product....3&PlatformID=5

The key to playing hawx, from my experience, is mastering the manual mode and using in flight high altitude stalls as a heat seeking missile evasion technique once you have exhausted your cache of flares. Not too many peeps can keep up with someone who is good with manual mode, you can really control the throttle much better than in auto mode.

I read somewhere they are gonna come up with a chopper fighting game soon. That should be cool sh1t
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 10:12 pm
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Heh I play the hawx series nightly.
Cool. Maybe we could look at some online stuff. I haven't played online at all yet. We could do some squad stuff if they have a decent online environment though.


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The key to playing hawx, from my experience, is mastering the manual mode and using in flight high altitude stalls as a heat seeking missile evasion technique once you have exhausted your cache of flares. Not too many peeps can keep up with someone who is good with manual mode, you can really control the throttle much better than in auto mode.
I really hate the limitations they put on the easy (normal) mode. And i really, really hate that the only way to get the actual handling of the jet is to go into the "manual mode" where it's in an awkward 3rd-person view. At least they could have offered the option of staying in the cockpit during that mode. If i switch to that awful 3rd-p view it's just to do a quick stall turn.

BF3 jets suck way worse in that aspect as well. They're dumbed down like Hawks' normal mode except way worse to where you can't even stall them out. It makes fighting pretty difficult, with it being more about seeing the other person first. Once two people are lined-up if the guy on the rear knows what he's doing then it takes some advanced moves to ditch him.

Oh, and fighting the Hawk's local competitors you shouldn't ever even need to go into manual mode, or even use flares. I only run on the hardest settings and i mainly just use manual mode to screw around or when i really want to do a stall turn quickly. The rockets are damn easy to dodge simply by evading with a hard G turn at the last second, or whenever they're somewhat close. Another technique i use to dodge while staying on course is a barrel roll with speed and Gs, and then you can use that same barrel roll with a speedbrake to watch them blow by.

I've been doing some fighter combat research lately so we can share some of that stuff soon if you want. As i said about BF3, it's so limited that one needs to know real advanced combat moves to be able to shake someone with a joystick once they're comfortably on your ass.


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I read somewhere they are gonna come up with a chopper fighting game soon. That should be cool sh1t
That would be nice. I looked all over for a decent chopper game but all i found was DCS : Black Shark which is more of a realistic sim than an arcade shooter.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011, 1:01 am
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Cool. Maybe we could look at some online stuff. I haven't played online at all yet. We could do some squad stuff if they have a decent online environment though.

Oh, and fighting the Hawk's local competitors you shouldn't ever even need to go into manual mode, or even use flares. I only run on the hardest settings and i mainly just use manual mode to screw around or when i really want to do a stall turn quickly. The rockets are damn easy to dodge simply by evading with a hard G turn at the last second, or whenever they're somewhat close. Another technique i use to dodge while staying on course is a barrel roll with speed and Gs, and then you can use that same barrel roll with a speedbrake to watch them blow by.
Playing online multiplayer is an entirely different game almost. Even the hardest level AI is easy to beat like you said with the g turn and barrel rolls. Just like with any game their are some high end players online that take it to another level. If you're not adept at using stalls you'll get tore up pretty badly until you learn. G turns dont work when they can just stall flip and get right back on your ass in 2 seconds. Multi AA is about the best missile to use online but most of the take downs are with the machine gun turrets cuz no one can hit anyone with any of the missiles cuz they are all too good at flying. They launch the multi aa missiles at you to get you to fly into their gunfire

Couple of options for online multiplayer is you can team up for the campaigns and all go at AI together or do team based duels i.e., 2v2 3v3 dogfights.

I can't afford to buy bf3 yet and maybe won't be able to for a while so I'm playing all teh games I have that still get decent traffic, civ 4, bfbc2 and hawx are about it
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Monday, November 7, 2011, 8:38 pm
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I got a batch of my shipments today...

I have to say, holy crap this X-65F is an amazing piece of hardware. Yes it's a ridiculous amount of money ($400), but then again this will undoubtably last me for 5+ years. And at the rate i've been trashing $50 joysticks, it will pay for itself in a year or two anyway.

There are very few pieces of plastic on it (i.e., only on the buttons, hat switches, decorative inlays, etc). Most of it feels like cast iron. It literally looks and feels like it should be mounted in a multi million dollar piece of military tech. The stick is rigidly fixed with zero movement, yet it tracks pressure very accurately. It's going to take a bit of time to get used to the pressure stick but i love it in the little bit i've used it so far, albeit a little awkward. Between the stick and throttle it has about a dozen buttons, something like 10 hat switches, 4 on-the-fly hardware sensitivity steps shown on a rear display, on-the-fly switching of 4 unique modes for all the buttons, etc, etc.

It seriously has an amazing amount of construction put into it. I would only expect metal quality like this from a US mfg but i think this is done in Japan or something. FYI, it's a quality piece.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 11:26 pm
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Very nice I will see if they have one to check out next time I'm at microcenter As with most things you usually get what you pay for
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Thursday, November 10, 2011, 4:43 pm
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Quote:
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Very nice I will see if they have one to check out next time I'm at microcenter
I doubt you'll find it at any local retailer. I saw it listed on Best Buy's website but only for online order (likely from another distributor), otherwise it was a terrible bitch to find where to buy it at. I think the Game Shark company I got it from is the exclusive US distributor at the moment, and that's only online. After looking about a month ago I thought I'd have to wait another 6 months or so until they decided to officially release it in the US.
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