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Feedback for Helicopter Cockpits

Vega ParadoxVega Paradox Member Posts: 1 Civilian

So I've flown helicopters in games like DCS and Arma 3. Recently, I picked up trying to fly helicopters in Squad. From my experience, I find some aspects of the cockpits in Squad to be surprisingly lacking, especially towards being user-friendly for pilots. I don't want any of this to come off as a complaint, I simply think these are some areas for improvement or consideration.

So, here are some points of contention:

  • Lack of adjustable FOV. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    • Not only does the regular FOV slider not apply to or change the cockpit view's FOV, but there is no separate FOV slider for the cockpit view. Like many people, I don't own TrackIR (and from my research this game doesn't support it, but I'm not positive) nor do I use a HOTAS for flying in Squad, so visibility is usually restricted to the default view. It'd be helpful if there was some way to stretch this default view to gain as much visibility as possible.
  • Lack of adjustable camera view.
    • When flying in DCS, I found that the POV hat switches on a joystick were simply too clunky to use effectively. Most of the time I opt to use the game's adjustable camera view instead. With this view, I was able to toggle a free-look mode in which I could position and zoom the camera as I pleased, and then toggle the free-look mode off, and have my camera view remain at the position and zoom I'd set it to. It would be incredibly helpful if a feature like this existed in Squad.
  • Some more quick-look / zoom keys could go a long way.
    • Currently, a pilot can quickly glance at the instrument panel by holding the shift key. It would be helpful if there were more keys like this, specifically ones that allow the pilot to quickly glance at their feet (to get a view of the lower right cockpit window to see the ground) and allow the pilot to quickly glance to their left or right (to see through the right cockpit door and to see a roughly 20-35 degree view to the left to see out the left cockpit door and more through the left of the main window). One could also be included to glance towards the back cabin of the aircraft to look for any soldiers inside or to look outside the left side cabin door. You could press these while in-flight without having to free look, allowing anyone who uses a mouse & keyboard to retain flight control while changing their view.
  • The layout of the instruments.
    • Speed and Altitude: these two are quite obviously the most important statistics for any aircraft. A pilot should be able to easily glance at them and get an idea of their current height and momentum.
      • Why is it, then, that the speed and altitude across both the eastern and western cockpits are not only located fairly far from each other but also are not very prominent on the flight display (compared to other instruments)? Regardless of how realistic this may be, this is less than user-friendly. Ideally, these would be located on a heads-up display. Instrument panel wise, they should also be closest to the pilot's eye level or default view - on top of being large, readable, and central - so that they don't have to do much work to view the information. They should also be given their own dials (like the RPM dial, though keep the digital number display) so that they are further separated and have contrast for readability.
    • The lack of a Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI): a VSI is pretty self-explanatory; it indicates the rate at which your altitude is changing. This is pretty crucial information to helicopter pilots in real life and would be pretty useful to helicopter pilots in Squad as well, especially given how easy it seems to land too hard in the current flight model. A VSI could aid newer pilots and potentially seasoned pilots alike by giving them a reference point for their sink rate. It is also useful for trying to maintain a set altitude, though this is admittedly less crucial in Squad. On the instrument panel, this should be given equal priority and prominence as other instruments like the speedometer and altimeter.
    • The artificial horizon has far too much prominence: in a helicopter, I believe the attitude indicator, or artificial horizon, is mostly used in low-visibility or IFR settings, or as a general reference of your attitude if you don't have any good reference point in sight. In Squad, this instrument is almost irrelevant from what I can tell given that helicopters don't often seem to flight at exceptionally high altitudes nor do they find themselves in low-visibility settings like fog (correct me if I'm wrong). Rather than having the attitude indicator take up a significant portion of the main flight display, it should be given equal prominence to instruments like a speedometer or altimeter. In other words, it should be resized to a smaller scale that isn't intrusive or distracting.

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