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Monday 7 July 2003

Help with Heli's [spiro]

IÂ’ve been playing Battlefield 1942 since it came out and still love it to pieces. From defending a base in the Conquest mode to driving flat out across the desert with a spitfire up your arse in CTF, this game rocks.
Then you add the Desert Combat Mod and things really get interesting. I play generally as Anti Armour class and to be honest even assault troops donÂ’t really stand a chance, the RPG is a 1 shot kill on all but the most heavily armoured vehicles and infantry donÂ’t stand a chance. The stinger against helicopters is a waste, needing 2 hits to kill, against infantry; itÂ’s a railgun with 100% damage.
Having been killed by helicopters on a regular basis in DC I decided that itÂ’s about time to learn how to fly them. I mean, how hard can it beÂ…..
Well, bloody hard is the answer, rudder, collective and stick to control as well as remembering that it doesnÂ’t respond like a Jet. Taking off is easy, probably easier than fixed wings, you simply raise the collective and up you go. Flight dynamics depending on whether you are hovering or flying forward at speed differ greatly and once out of control its incredible hard to get it back under control.
The mouse keyboard combo just isnÂ’t doing it for me in this situation, I have for a long time believed that they are more than adequate for the job and when flying fixed wings that is true. But I canÂ’t get the hang of choppers and its pissing me off, so I buy the Wingman Extreme Digital 3D. joystick, its by no way the most expensive on the market but it has everything I need from it.
Spending a few minutes setting up the stick so the collective is on axis 3 (throttle) pitch on axis 1 and roll on axis 2 I practice flying and IÂ’m still having a problem, I have to use the keyboard for the rudder control. This doesnÂ’t sound to bad until youÂ’ve tried flying them, if you rudder left, you rotate left on the rotor axis, but to stop you need to rudder right. So the instance arrives when you need to call for back up or call in a spotting, do you take your fingers off the rudder controls and risk crashing ?
A lot of the people playing DC will not call in sightings if they are flying, theyÂ’ll just try to kill the target. Not a problem if they succeed but if they fail then none of his team will know that there is a threat approaching. So I stuck the rudder control on axis 2 of the joystick, this puts total control of the chopper in my right hand leaving my left to call in sightings and check the map etc.
The difference is remarkable, I can now fly for long periods of time with out crashing and can (most of the time) get from A to B with no problems, hitting targets will come with time. Landing and hovering is more of a miracle than anything else. I have managed once to hover on the spot long enough to capture a base, chuffed to hell I promptly crashed but who cares.
The addition of a joystick has improved my enjoyment of this already amazing game, I would recommend it to anyone.


  1. Logitech kind of crept up on me until I realised I look like a discount enabled employee. I have a logi keyboard, mouse, wheel, and gamepad. They all rock tho :)

  2. Spiro: according to the specs, the model you have has a rudder twist? So you should be able to have roll, pitch, rudder and collective all on the stick?

  3. I do, thats what I was saying !

  4. I use mouse and keyboard for the Heli and it does me grand. The one thing I'd like however would be a way to set the throttle properly. To hover I keep having to tap the up key, which I usually don't go properly.
    If you get into a cycle of over/under correcting your collective at low altitude during a base cap, you usually end up splattered across the land-scape.
    I haven't played .38 yet, it looks shitty with people running around rocketing each other Quake style. The gameplay in .35 was much more realistic, and I hear they nerfed the Iraqi sub machinegun which was my favorite gun. :(
    Is the EED server on the server master list? Will it show up if I do a refresh in ASE?

  5. The over/under correction used to happen to me all the time with just the mouse and keyboard. But last night I got myself into a massive spin and managed to correct it with the joystick in no time at all. I'm not by any means saying that the M/KB isn't good enough, just that I find it a huge improvement.
    As for Snatch 2, as far as I know its not up and running yet.
    .38 is interesting, I haven't noticed the change with the sub machinegun but thats only because I only play as Anti Armour or Support classes. Something I have noticed though is the Abrams isn't nearly as powerful as it used to be, to the point where I almost prefer the T72 now. Apart from the stupid bloody fuel tanks on the back which prevent full 360 degree rotation of the main turret.