Flying the New Falcon 4.0 Online
By Kurt "Froglips" Giesselman
The release of iBeta's Realism Patch version 2.0 has brought a whole new level of realism to Falcon 4.0. It has also created a whole new level of confusion about which patches and settings are required to setup a realistic yet playable online game. There are several utilities available, thanks to people like Joel Bierling, Julian Onions, John 'Cleanur' Hirst, and Michael Barnes, that provide the tweaking flexibility to accommodate a wide range of computer setups and types of connections. Patches developed by people like Sylvain Gagnon, Madmax, Poogen, and many others are an important part of the 'new' Falcon. Michael 'Huntsman' Paddon has even thoughtfully organized all the patches on the Delphi Falcon forum for easy download.
We must start with several basic ground rules that apply to any multiplayer session in Falcon 4.0.
- All players must use identical setups when connection online (LAN, Internet, or direct modem). Any player who uses higher settings for the bubble, squadron sizes, aircraft activity may force those higher settings on the entire online group.
- The player with the widest bandwidth connection and the most powerful PC should act as host for any online session whenever possible. Unfortunately, the broadest bandwidth connection (cable, ISDN, ADSL, DSL) and the most powerful PC (fastest CPU and most RAM, the host's video card doesn't effect the quality of the online game except on the host's PC) are often not under the same roof.
- Falcon has been so thoroughly revamped at this time that you should view it as a new simulation. Old TEs may not function properly (remember that every Microprose patch seemed to require tossing out all your favorite TEs because they would no longer work properly?) You should begin to review your collected Falcon 4.0 add-ons as to whether the developer has stated they are compatible with Falcon 4.0 1.08i2 and iBeta's RP2.X