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Thread: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impressions

  1. #1

    Default Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impressions

    Hi chaps,

    Surfacing from 3 (4?) days of virtual reality madness here and thought I would share my impressions.

    Encouraged by Swoop and OD I decided that as I'd been a good boy, I deserved an early Christmas pressie to myself with getting Oculus Rift and dipping my toes in VR.

    I'd tried it at Cosford flight sim show on P3D where it seemed pretty cool and and also tried DCS using a smartphone hack, but it was a bit of a punt as my PC is now showing its age. Graphics card is OK (1070) by i7 2700K is now a bit slow and unfortunately my motherboard is a CPU upgrade-dead end.

    Ok - below minimum specs I thought - but here goes....

    The result is simply beyond F&^&%%&g awesome!!!!!! Much better than the smartphone. It is also way better than the demo I had at Cosford as with hundreds of folk trying the headset on, the fitting was kept loose. What I didn't realise then is there is a small sweet spot in the middle of the lens where everything is clear and focused.

    I spent first day just jumping into various DCS cockpits and having my jaw drop each time. Look at the rivets! Look at the wear and and tear! Flying the Huey was incredible - I was able to hover taxi, do spot turns, and even land in the vague place I had nominated.

    Meanwhile taking a Mustang up, you look back - and THERE is a bloody P-51 wing with sunlight reflecting off it. Simply insane.

    Weirdly even though my CPU is old, I only experienced stuttering/pauses on a couple of missions so far - first the big F-86 vs MiG furball dogfight mission (flying though contrails OMG) and then on the Hawk on a Mach Loop challenge. Maybe it is down to how well the pit is optimised?

    Drawbacks - obviously you need to dial the outside world detail down from a 2D screen - but your brain fills in the details in no time.

    For combat there is the obvious problem of spotting stuff. I've mostly been playing with labels on but get in close and its a bit of a wild guess if you are used to precision shooting of engines, fuel tanks etc in Cliffs. However, 1) it is easier to keep track of the bandits in VR than even with TrackIR (something about the body remembering head position maybe?) and 2) when you do get close, relative velocity is easy to see/sense - no more overshoots...

    Then fired up FSX which I haven't touched in years. You need FlyInside which interfaces with Rift + FSX and there too I was blown away by the immersion. Literally grinning with joy doing aerobatics in the default Mustang at Duxford - while a max rate climb in the Eurofighter from Coningsby saw me reach 45k in no time and had my eyes telling my brain that we were being pressed into my seat. Finally I ended up sweating like crazy in one of the default Acceleration missions - a night IMC carrier landing in a F/A-18. Bingo fuel I ended up losing my wingman and crashing into the sea... Even though it was virtual I was close to panic at one point.

    I also fired up War Thunder - which again hadn't touched for ages and once it had d/ld gigabytes and gigbytes I tested out a few planes. F^&% me! OK its got small maps, and the upgrade system is a baffling as hell - but bloody hell it looks absolutely amazing and smooth in VR. I was squealing with delight taking a Spit for a dusk test flight and seeing the metal reflections on the wing. Taking a Zero for a test flight meanwhile there are animated crew waving you off - amazing!

    Cockpits obviously not up to DCS standard, but still pretty good and with a pilot figure.

    Combat is unbelievably intense - I tried a few of the SP missions, and the experience of flak, AAA, contrails and smoke of aircraft going down was just incredible - you feel right in the middle of the action. Even though its a small map - one of the BoB missions gives Cliffs a run for its money in terms of sheer spectacle - He111s stepped up, flak, tracer, parachutes, smoke, contrails from high bandits. Heartrate goes though the roof.

    Spotting in War Thunder seems to be easier. There are blobs or smudges for long range contacts - but again once you get in close you can keep tally on them quite easily. Reflections & shine also give you good clues - I ventured online briefly and was grinning ear-to-ear after flying in formation with another player in a Yak on a low-level chase on the Stalingrad map. Just so atmospheric! Relative motion also means it is possible to pick up small contacts below you.

    Finally - the Oculus also made me cry. I bought the Apollo 11 VR experience which is billed as an interactive documentary. There are some sim bits where you get to control stuff, but its more like a 1hr 45mins documentary. Starts quite slowly with Kennedy's famous Moon speech and then you are at the launch pad in 1969 with Neil & Buzz looking up at a Saturn V. You then are put in the cockpit and experience the launch, complete with authentic radio recordings. Having watched Apollo 13 and Last Man on the Moon I ended up blubbing at this point through sheer joy and wonder at being able to experience what it was like at that historic point for humanity when we sent man to the Moon. I thought virtual reality tech would be neat, but I didn't expect to be moved emotionally by it.

    In short this has revitalised my interest in flight simming - even on the civil side just flying about and gasping at stuff. I really think this is the biggest breakthrough for flight sims since the invention of 3D graphics cards. YMMV however...

    Drawbacks.

    1) Its expensive £595 + whatever you need to upgrade your computer
    2) Combat seems to work fine in War Thunder - but more complicated/CEM aircraft in full real? ARe we going to be able to spot tiny ground targets on the Normandy map? Are there gonna have to be seperate VR/4K servers for MP?
    3) Nausea. If you get car/air/motion sickness - you probably will want to stay well away from VR and especially combat flight simming...
    4) Glasses wearers. Weirdly because VR tricks your eyes into thinking that stuff outside your cockpit is actually far away - if you need glasses for driving, you may need them in the rift too. You can wear glasses with the Rift, but it does put pressure on the bridge
    of your nose and begins to hurt. Solution is either contacts or prescription lens inserts.
    5) The 'gimmick' factor? At the moment VR is hot - but if it doesn't get mainstream consumer buy-in will it go the same way as gesture control, 3D TVs etc? If PSVR takes off - then we can look forward to wide angle 4K+ headsets in a couple of years, if not then Vive + Oculus might just be something like TrackIR - used exclusively by hard-core simmers but the tech progresses no further..
    6) Other dangers - divorce*, forgetting to eat, forgetting to feed the dog, not sleeping



    *In my case helps to have a very understanding wife!
    [SIG][SIG]

    It's a damn good job they're in the RAF, otherwise they'd be all out there blowing up banks. (Derek Robinson, 'Piece of Cake')

  2. #2
    F/O Mark0 EAF51/132's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impression

    Wow.....that's incredibile....thanks for to share your sensations and your esperienze. But.....








    YOU REALLY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING WIFE????



    THEY EXISTS?!?!


    OMG...,,..

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    S/L of OTU Starfire_EAF331's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impression

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashheart_EAF602 View Post
    6) Other dangers - divorce*, forgetting to eat, forgetting to feed the dog, not sleeping

    *In my case helps to have a very understanding wife!
    and lovely as well if I remember correctly
    "....Perspective only comes from knowing more than you need to know"
    - Chris Kubasik
    "But ignorence still prevails" -Starfire

  4. #4

    Default Re: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impression

    I only did 10 minutes at Duxford in the DCS Spitfire with an air start and landing.

    As you say %¨/.*°ing amazing, with the cockpit dials glinting in the sunlight, the precision with which one can fly because you can instinctively look exactly where you want to turn, you naturally find reference points for loops and barrel rolls and yes everything just comes alive in the cockpit, in the air and on the ground. I landed first time in one piece without wing banging and that after a long straight approach, something I only manage to do about 1 in 3 with Track IR after months of practice. I am utterly convinced !

    However when I got back home I found that my current GeForce GTX570 graphics card probably won't be powerful enough, I see people recommending 1170 cards. My son then told me that if want to upgrade the video card then i'll probably also have to upgrade the mother board, processor etc, (i'm using his "old" rig) so Father Christmas will have to dig very deep into his pockets - i've even been thinking about crowdfunding !

    Seriously, as a first step I might trade in my Delan Clip, PS3 eye camera and TrackNoIR system for a pucker TrackIR kit. BTW thanks to Starfire for his graphics card comparison table. He apparently spent a year before choosing the best card for his requirements.

    But if money is no object then I would not hesitate one split second.
    "Sit and spin the fire". Extract from Topsy Turvey Land, a poem by William Brighty Rands.
    "In the bar everyone knows what they should have done - the problem is in applying it in the heat of the action". F Barthe RIP

  5. #5
    S/L of OTU Starfire_EAF331's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impression

    Quote Originally Posted by EAF79_Topsy View Post
    BTW thanks to Starfire for his graphics card comparison table. He apparently spent a year before choosing the best card for his requirements.
    I turn I would like to thank OD for his insight on requirements for VR.
    My bonus son which is a hard hardcore gamer.
    ....as well as my girlfriends patients with my search and my technobable.

    I had planned to replace my old ATI 7970 last fall, but my car had a breakdown and the need became more urgent I had to much time on my hand for this task.
    "....Perspective only comes from knowing more than you need to know"
    - Chris Kubasik
    "But ignorence still prevails" -Starfire

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    S/L, X/O of 41 Wing, T/O EAF79_OD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impression

    You definitely can't run it, however you don't have to have a 1080Ti. You can get a GTX970 or 980 and run VR well. My GTX1070 runs really well the 1080Ti is just a beast and costs a fortune.

    It would necessitate a new PC for all intents and purposes though.
    Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to.
    "That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
    "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oculus Rift- addictive as crack cocaine if you like flight sims!!! 1st impression

    With the touch controller it takes it to another level. Lone Echo is recently out from Oculus Studio and that is the best thing I've played in VR, the level of detail and floating in zero G is just a step on from the usual "teleport" system for movement. Playing as Jack, a robot helping an astronaut, you have function built into your hands, scanners, burning touch, small jets etc, you can also see your arms and whole body. I can imagine using these touch controllers as hands on the ingame stick and throttle of your Spitfire while also using your hands inside the cockpit.

    Robo recall is just fun too

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