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F-22 Total Air War 2.30 (Final) Released


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21 hours ago, mikew said:

It would be better to try and find out why the TAW exe is being muted in the first place and stop it happening somehow.

I can confirm it happens on my end if MIDI music is on. I am forced to disable it, now the game no longer starts muted. I do miss MIDI music, but at least I can play the game with sounds.

It used to work just fine on Win10 a good while ago, then this issue started out of nowhere. I wonder if a Win10 update messed something in regards to MIDI music, but other old games (Comanche Gold for instance) work with proper MIDI music on my end. I guess it's just how TAW works that the issue arises.

 

@Home Fries I love TAW, I'd really like to update the launcher with the latest versions of dgVoodoo and nGlide. The given wrappers of the 2.30 release no longer work on my end, so I manually installed the latest dgVoodoo release.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In EF2000 (Reloaded) one can control the MFDs via keyboard-shortcuts (Ctrl + [a-q]).

 

But for the life of me I cannot find any such thing in this game? Does anyone know of any "hidden" keys for that or does someone know how this could be accomplished?

 

Thank You!

dlder

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/4/2021 at 1:58 PM, Home Fries said:

Falcon 4.0 has been the gold standard of dynamic campaigns for the last 20+ years, and it's still around in the form of Falcon BMS.

 

Hm... I've tried to learn Falcon 4 some years ago but I never really managed it; do you maybe have a good tutorial series for beginners?

I've thought I'd learn DCS, but I've heard from several people, that only Falcon 4/bms has a "real" campaign.

 

And I also heard, that BMS tries way too hard to be realistic; in a un-fun way, sacraficing gameplay & fun for realism: what's your take on that and should I play Falcon 4 or do you still recommend BMS?

 

Thanks!

 

PS: sorry for OT^^

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On 9/19/2021 at 3:42 PM, rfxcasey said:

Can someone please tell me how to completely uninstall this, my installation got mess up and I need to clean it out.

 

12 hours ago, dlder said:

 

Just delete the folder; I don't think there are reg changes...

There are no registry entries, other than for any of the Microsoft libraries you may have installed (e.g. VB6) and possibly if you used the Zeckensack Glide wrapper.  Even then, the registry entries are for those programs, not TAW.

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On 9/21/2021 at 1:06 AM, dlder said:

 

Hm... I've tried to learn Falcon 4 some years ago but I never really managed it; do you maybe have a good tutorial series for beginners?

I've thought I'd learn DCS, but I've heard from several people, that only Falcon 4/bms has a "real" campaign.

 

And I also heard, that BMS tries way too hard to be realistic; in a un-fun way, sacraficing gameplay & fun for realism: what's your take on that and should I play Falcon 4 or do you still recommend BMS?

 

Thanks!

 

PS: sorry for OT^^

It totally depends on what you consider "tries way too hard to be realistic."  You need to learn the systems on the jet to a high degree, and there are very few simplifications for gameplay.  Honestly, though the tutorials don't walk you through everything interactively (they put you in the scenario and expect you to read the manual/follow directions), the upside of this way is that if you want to practice something again, you can load the tutorial mission and not need to sit through a bunch of voice overs just to practice.  And you will want to practice something until it becomes second nature.  The approach I recommend is to take one lesson per day and just focus on that until you nail it (second nature).  In about a month you'll be competent with the systems, and that's when you'll experience what it's like to be information and task-saturated as in real life.  The Falcon 4.0 campaign is the only campaign that has actually given me flashbacks to operational flying, and learning how to use the different sensors and radio calls to build the picture in your head is one of the most rewarding experiences in military flight simming.

 

It isn't easy, and it requires time.  I got Falcon 4 when I was flying operationally, and I had to put it on the shelf while I was still operational because it was too much of a commitment.  It wasn't until I got to a shore command that I started playing with it.

 

And as far as which version of Falcon to run, BMS is the only right answer.  It is a massive improvement over the original Falcon 4.0 and is still kept up to date for newer operating systems.

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Inspired by this thread and after reading with great interest and some dose of nostalgia History of TAW article I have dusted off TAW 2.30 mod and must admit that despite the age that old girl is holding amazingly proud and strong. So far it was working straight out of the box, which is considering 64bit win 10 and all kinds of new device drivers now is a great feat and amazing accomplishment all by itself.

My return is not so much to enjoy the simulation again, or relive familiar places there but rather to familiarize myself with the overall game design and pick up anything interesting related to campaign AI, UI interface, and "the feel and gameplay" of TAW which I so fondly but vaguely remember.

Right from the get-go, I can see that despite many great efforts of others and including even my personal contribution the terrain and visuals have not changed much and by today's standards this is sticking rather very visibly and obviously out.
It is not that I would personally expect anything drastically different. To contrary, I enjoy those old rudimentary graphics, but realize that the younger crowd could be perhaps not attracted here. And so naturally there may not be continuity in modding and interest in it anymore.

I am writing this, while wondering, if the change of the venue to other and perhaps more modern and up to date simulation platform (while preserving those TAW's elements of goodness)  might be working or it may be better just to let Her go.

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Polak! Nice to see you here.

 

You are asking some deep philosophical questions and I fear the answers will differ for each of us.

 

For me, F-22 ADF was the first combat flight sim that I stuck with long enough to get over the learning 'bump' so that I could just enjoy the game. Being able to do that was because I also bought a Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick around the same time. This was a total game changer, as even though I had bought EF2000 a year or so before, I only had one of those $10 analog joysticks that needed calibrating every 30 seconds.
After about a year of playing ADF, TAW came out and I didn't have to relearn how to fly to play the campaigns.

 

I bought nearly every flight sim that came out after about 1995, and nothing has given me anywhere the same level of enjoyment as ADF/TAW. There's multiple reasons for that, but I think in some way the level of sophistication of games in about 1999 reached some limit in how much effort my mind wanted to put in to interact with them.
This wasn't just combat flight sims, as I felt the same about other genres, where longer load times and more complicated gameplay made newer releases less enjoyable that the preceding one.

 

Anyway, I don't think that there's any platform out there that can reproduce that TAW feeling where 'good enough' graphics,flight modelling, AI, campaigns, AWACs mode, fast level loading etc combine to something greater than the sum of its parts.


I'd just like to see TFXplorer expanded to a complete TAW clone and then expanded to provide 'more' of everything, but I appreciate that may take a bit of work...

 

What did you have in mind?

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Mike, I truly and sincerely appreciate your prompt reply and read it with great interest if not pretty much full understanding and agreement.

 

I have retired and have now enough time to check on old gems of gaming and simulation with proper appreciation and hopefully better judgement supported by little experience and different point of view gained last decade or even two elsewhere. Perhaps my main "gospel"  is to declare that despite all of handicaps and shortcomings of early gameplay and graphics standards we were truly blessed and privileged to experience and sometimes further explore true wonders of creation in computer simulators and video games in general. That very often unbeknown to us bound us into tight  and kind friendly to each other communities which sad to say probable are rather hard to find around today. 

 

Soooo... if I find some slowdown in the activity and engagement it is of interest for me to try to find and is possible clearly identify what of elements of those otherwise wonderful old games make us eventually to decide to stop and not want to continue this journey of discovery or not to push further the efforts of trying to make those gaming gems better. Is it maybe simply our life circumstances which play major and hard to avoid impact of the age, eyesight, health issues and sometimes even worse.      

 

And this is basically it. There is perhaps more I would like to share, but for now it is just that.

 

So warm hello and how are my TAW friends? 
 

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Polak,

very nice to have you here! I’m also interested in the specific aspects that made EF2000/ADF/TAW such magic experiences. Being a technical person, it’s rather easy for me to port TAW’s world and physics to TFXplorer. The actual fun and excitement of gameplay though are so much harder to identify and grasp for me.

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Thank you Krycztij. I recognize that you have advanced TAW a great deal over those past years. Along with contributions of others members here I am sure. Big thanks and kudos for that. 

 

To attempt to answer the question what makes each simulator "magic" the Wikipedia says it is the REPLAYABILITY. We like to be surprised a little each time we play the game and this is why any simulator which has that little world of AI going inside is very much replayable.

 

Wikipedia even mentions TAW as such a titles which  have complex AI interaction along with Longbow2.  However, curiously it fails to name Falcon4 which many considers as perhaps the most advanced AI driven Dynamic Campaign out there. Be as it may this is I think indeed the most important factor in combat simulations which as long as they mesh in the element of strategy they may hope for longevity and fond lasting reception of the players.  

 

The other important factor is how easy is to hop in and enjoy without excessive studying manuals and checklists. This is too where TAW checks the box as well.

 

And finally I would say that graphics are (especially recently) more important factor in those games than in the past. The most known example of that would be DCS but this is not where my personal heart is as IMHO this  is also an example of "the beauty skin deep".  

 

Porting of the older titles is the two side sword and sometimes unfortunately may fall flat miserably despite work and expectations. But sometimes this is the only way to break through that brick wall when interest subsides and things more and more appears to be "been there done that".  TBC ...maybe.

 

 

 

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I would say that the big difference between DCS (which is the current rage) and Falcon 4 (including BMS) versus the ADF/TAW line is the excruciating level of realism.  As I mentioned a few posts up, Falcon's campaign is a benchmark that may never be eclipsed, in no small part because its inclusion pushed the development cycle years to the right.  However, both DCS and Falcon require a level of system knowledge that requires actual study (they take the term "study sim" literally).  In contrast, you can get ADF/TAW/EF2000 figured out in a few hours, then spend the rest of your time honing your skills and tactics.  I hesitate to call ADF/TAW/EF2000 "arcade sims" because they are clearly not.  I consider them mid-fidelity sims, and they scratch a different itch than the study sims like DCS/Falcon 4.0.

 

EDIT: Holy catfish, it's Polak!  Welcome Back!  For those who don't bother to read the credits, Polak is responsible for most of the texture work in TAW 2.0.

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Hi Home-Fries, nice to talk to you 1st time!  

Mid-fidelity is the right word and description. About complexity of FalconBMS I would say it even overshoots DCS which is only recently trying to be similarly complex. This is good and bad. Although I am not here to talk about them maybe later I will. Meanwhile, I am going to try to rekindle my interest in TAW and relearn the system.   

 

And there is my maybe strange question about the PDF manual. Do you know any way to split those side by side pages and make it single? I use a eReader on my phone which tends to start with the 2nd page on each 2-page screen. I need to try to change it. Maybe different reader? Thanks  

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1 hour ago, Polakreturned said:

And there is my maybe strange question about the PDF manual. Do you know any way to split those side by side pages and make it single? I use a eReader on my phone which tends to start with the 2nd page on each 2-page screen. I need to try to change it. Maybe different reader? Thanks  

That would require manually doing the job of splitting the pages, as this appears to be a scan of the spiral bound manual opened up to both pages.  Unfortunately, I don't have the full version of Acrobat to do this.

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Well, hello to any and all of you! 🙂

I've never played TAW "back in the day"; I was quite happily stuck with EF2000^^

So it's even better, now that I have a proper HOTAS and everything, and those people that made EF2000 and F22 playable on todays OS's deserve every thanks and appreciation!! Kudos to you!

 

@Polak: I'm totally with you on why these DiD flight-sim-light games are about the best that ever existed. It's the ease of use without being arcade that made them so ... well, awesome.

And the hope that someday a modern version of such games might get released, is unfortunately nonexistent. There just isn't a big enough market for it.

Those that don't wanna "learn" the real flightsims like DCS & Falcon4 are gladly playing arcade games like HAWX and Ace Combat; which can be quite a bit of fun for a little while.

 

Which leaves us; the mid-level enthusiasts, that either don't have the time, or patience to actually learn a real sim.

 

I will give these another go, as I'm just too fond of modern flight sims and good graphics (shame that DCS doesn't offer a dynamic campaign) but I'm not really optimistic I'll be able to learn them this time around^^

 

cheers!

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Quote

I'd just like to see TFXplorer expanded to a complete TAW clone and then expanded to provide 'more' of everything, but I appreciate that may take a bit of work...

I still have a lot to read on this forum to get a feel where TAW post development aka modding is ATM. Point me kindly to the threads which have most importance and potential. I also see many texture artifacts in TAW 2.30. Is this something  which maybe on my end? 

 

They are really 5 or 6+ elements important to further post development of this (but in fact any)simulation: 

+availability of the SC or ability to reverse engineer (maybe Ghidra?)

+openess of 3D format and ability to conversion from/to other editable 3D formats, flexible texture format possibly dds 

+ability to revamp the terrain to include latest DEM, GIS and PR data  

+access to expand or change the avionics 

+particle system and damage modeling 

+flight model 

 

I purposedly omitted AI, campaign and mission editing as this are is covered the best in TAW. 

 

Where is TAW at current juncture and does this community have any appetite to go further? 

Alternative is to redo Red Sea theater somewhere else, grab F22 with working cockpit and convert missions and campaigns.  All lots of work ...

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Unfortunately, I haven't retired so can only give a quick answer right now...

 

The information you seek is splattered all over this forum, but a good place to start is maybe the wiki:

https://taw.fandom.com/wiki/TAW_Wiki

 

...then a quick scan through the 'TAW Terrain' thread:

https://community.combatsim.com/topic/25920-taw-terrain-format/

 

But, I'd really recommend you download and try out TFXplorer:

 

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