Home > Uncategorized > The VVS 504th Attack Squadron & LOMAC

The VVS 504th Attack Squadron & LOMAC

Hi all. Lets start this one with a small warning: this post is all about flight sim gaming and it’s probably going to be quite a long one. So please enjoy it but don’t say I didn’t warn you … ever ;-)

The time: yesterday evening.
The place: Hyperlobby.
The sim: LOMAC, Lock On Modern Air Combat.
The mission (should we choose to accept it ;-): Bomb stuff!

With my computer upgrade in mind I decided that it would be great fun to also join a flight sim clan or group, like I did with Grand Prix Legends. The fun we have had on-line with GPL is just to good to ignore, so why shouldn’t this be the case with a flight sim.

As of halfway in May I signed up with the VVS 504th Attack Squadron. The first time I read about the 504th was on the forums of Ubisoft, the ones that made LOMAC. They were enlisting pilots and when I found out they where flying both the Mig29 and the SU25 (beauty and the beast anyone? :-) I was sold.

While I was doing some reading in their forums I found out they seemed to be suffering from a shortage in bomber pilots. So even though the Mig29 was (and secretly still is) my favorite plane in LOMAC I joined the 504th 1st Bomber wing. Sounds awesome right? Well the reality is even better than it sounds.

It seemed like the ideal opportunity to get to know this trickery plane better, as it’s not as computer packed as just about all the other fighter planes in LOMAC and therefore a whole lot more difficult to navigate and lock targets and stuff. Actually all the things you get used to when driving a luxurious car, accept for the power steering ;-)

Flying the SU25 is a piece of cake. Go fast enough and an empty plane will want to go up by itself, so everyone can get it airborne. Doing a mission and returning home in one peace is a completely different story, but I’ll go into that later on. First I’ll do some explaining about this multiplayer/on-line virtual world.

Next to LOMAC I use two more programs with multiplayer games and one other for LOMAC updates. Hyperlobby was already mentioned above and the other one is Teamspeak. Both names are to a certain level self explanatory, and I’ll try to explain the rest as good as I can. The third util is Loman, but I’ll come back to that another day when I have nothing else to write, hehe.

First about Hyperlobby. This is a mixture of a chatting program and multiplayer game hosting/connecting/etc. The main screen is divided into a couple of sections. There is a list of logged on pilots, another list with hosted multiplayer games and main chat area. First you log in, select a sim you want to use (LOMAC or IL2 – Sturmovik for example) and then you’re in :-)

In the chat box you can ‘talk’ to everyone on-line and discuss details and ask questions. Man there are some wizards out there, and most of them are willing to help anyone out. There is a huge amount of knowledge on-line. Some know little, some know a lot but all together they know just about everything. Just great.

When a host starts up a multiplayer session, pilots can join and when the host says go, they go. Hyperlobby then starts LOMAC by itself, connects the joined pilots to the host and they find themselves in the what-plane-do-you-want-to-fly-today (has nothing to do with Microsoft) kind of screen ;-) And that’s when the fun starts.

The only downside to this all is that the only contact you have with fellow pilots is via chat boxes or even worse: in the game it’s a single chat line. And also during flight. Imagine this: using a joystick, and anywhere around one hundred and fifteen keys and combinations on your one hundred and one keyboard at the same time to keep your plane airborne and alive and at the same time chatting with team members … Yeah, that would be very bad, unless they found a way around it … wait a minute!? They did! It’s called Teamspeak ;-)

This Teamspeak is literally what the name says: you speak with your team. Sounds simple, right? My thoughts exactly ;-) The only thing you need is a microphone (a headset is strongly recommended) and of course the Teamspeak software. When you fire it up it connects to a designated server and you can start talking live with anyone in the room. Over the internet. Truly an amazing discovery :-)

So your ‘team’ first needs to log on to a Teamspeak server. Next, in our case and thanks to the guy responsible for it at 504, we have a number of rooms and channels to choose from. The bomber wing room is the one I log on to. In there we also have some choices: four comms channels and the tower channel. Think of them as radio channels. They are used in missions to keep the channel free from distracting ‘clutter’ which immensely helps your concentration.

For example. With yesterdays Bomber wing practice we had/were a two unit squadron: a SEAD unit and a strike unit. The SEAD unit was on comms channel one and the strike unit was on two. Each of them able to freely talk to each other without disturbing the other unit. Simply perfect. And when you need some one on the other unit, simply switch channels from within the flight sim and talk away. Brilliant, just brilliant.

What makes it even better is that it’s not just limited to Lock-On. It’s active from the moment you start it in Windows, and for as far as I’ve tried out it works in or during just about every application or game. So the possibilities are more or less limitless.

I can think of things like my racing team being able to talk to each other during the race, keeping track of crashes or other difficult situations, that sort of stuff.

You’ll be ‘hearing’ from me ;-)

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