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IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover Latest instalment in the acclaimed IL-2 Sturmovik series from award-winning developer 1C: Maddox Games.

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:06 AM
Das Attorney Das Attorney is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 142
Default Beating the bugs...

Behold the COD

After lots and lots of seemingly wasted hours, I've actually got an install of Il2COD that works pretty much how I want it to.

The PC I've got is pretty good. It's about a year old but runs most games pretty well still. I've put the specs at the bottom so you can compare.

Following are a list of problems (some of them inherent in the game, some of them are issues on my PC) and also a point by point solution for them. I hope at least some of this helps you. This is probably going to be a wall of text, but that's the nature of the beast.

Multiplayer sound cuts out.

99% Solved by disabling AI voices in the sound options. I also disabled the in-game music too, although that was more of a personal choice.

Some folk have suggested switching off trees in the Video options. Try it if the above doesn't work for you.

Endless bullets cause seemingly no damage. - RAF only.

Unloading all your ammo into He-111's just to cruise past and watch them give you the finger through the holy windows of their holy airplane?

If you haven't looked into Convergence, then this is probably you.

Check out these two threads. I could repost the info here, but it's better if you check them out yourself. The youtube linky below is well worth checking out; the guy knows his gunnery. Thanks to SEE for the link



For your reference, here's a list of wingspans for all the axis planes in IL2COD (rounded to the nearest foot). Courtesy of Wikipedia

G50 = 36 ft
BR20 = 70 ft
CR42 = 32 ft

BF110 = 54 ft
BF109 = 32 ft
HE111 = 74 ft
DO17 = 60 ft
DO215 = 60 ft
FW200 = 108 ft
HE115 = 74 ft
JU87 = 46 ft
Ju88 = 66 ft

Cannot select Loadout in single player

Loadout is one of the most important choices for me. I normally fly RAF planes and the small calibre weapons that they are equipped with are set with a historical ammo belt. Unfortunately, historical loadouts aren't the most efficient as they're set up to be a 'jack of all trades', where they seem to be moderately useful on everything, but doesn't excel at anything. As most of the scraps I get in involve metal skinned planes (like the Luftwaffe), it's better to load up on mostly Armour Piercing with some incendiary rounds (to ignite the fuel tanks), and some tracers to help with targetting.

Unfortunately, you can pick the loadout in the Plane Option screen, but it does not apply for QMB or SP missions. The only places it does work however is Multi Player or in the Full Mission Builder. If you're an MP pilot, then you know what to do If you prefer playing SP though, the only way to get the loadout you want is to do the following:
  • Go to the FMB: Extras > Full Mission Builder
  • File > Load Map > Choose the map of your choice
  • Hold CTRL and left click on the map somewhere. This will deposit a plane onto the map.
  • Right click and select Properties. It will open the Object Window.
  • Under the Type Tab, you can select the plane you want to fly.
  • Under the Group Properties Tab, navigate down to Ammo Belt and click the ... button. You can now set up the belts as you desire. Save the belt setup and give it a name. Then OK.
  • Now go to the #1 Tab and put a tick/check into the Player field.
  • Now we need something to shoot at.
  • Right click anywhere on the screen and Unselect.
  • Now CTRL left click somewhere near you.
  • Right click and select Properties.
  • Select the type of plane from the Type Tab - the clue is in the title
  • Goto the Group Properties Tab and change the army to the opposite of you. (if you are Red, set it to Blue etc)
  • Now go to FIle > Save As - name your mission
  • Then File > Play Mission.

You will now have a basic mission to test out your custom loadouts against a foe. Bear in mind that this is a really basic mission. Have a play around with changing other properties and altering the waypoints. There's much better guides for the FMB. The purpose of all this is to get you using the custom loadouts. Have fun

Graphical Problems (framerate problems, stutter etc)

A lot of what is suggested here works for some and not others. It worked for me, so I wanted to pass it on. To get the best performance, be prepared to restart the sim what seems like endless times. I've got ATI at the moment, so some of this stuff is not applicable for nVidia users. I suspect though that the sim is more nVidia friendly (for a number of reasons) so maybe a nVidia card is preferable.. This isn't a comment to start a silly flame war between the two camps. Just an observation.

Word to the wise: When you're messing about with the graphics options, it's best only change one thing at a time and then put it through some sort of standard test. It doesn't matter really what the test is, just that you check any changes using the test you selected consistently. Only change one thing at a time because otherwise changing variable x and variable y might offset each other. Ultimately, you won't know the true picture unless you isolate each element.

Check your drivers!

It's not always best to have the latest driver for your GFX card. I tried the new 11.6 drivers, but they slowed the sim down drastically. I'm sure it's not specific to the sim as it had negative impact on other games on my HD - namely Arma 2. Going back to 11.5 put things back where they should be. Other people have reported different results so don't be afraid to check what's best for you.

Texture loading

On max settings, IL2COD is loading well over 1GB of texture data. I've got a 5870 with 1Gb of vRAM, so if I have the graphics set to Texture Quality Original and everything else set to High, then I'm trying to load up more graphics than the card can handle. This results in massive st-st-st-stutters. This is most apparent when flying low. At that point, the GFX card is handling the high res cockpit textures, and high detail textures for the ground, buildings, trees, grass, roads etc.

I really want to keep the texture quality as Original because I can't abide the lower resolutions. So I have to look at turning other options down to compensate for the computationally expensive texture option. I want to keep shadows as well, because it adds literal depth to the sim IMO. I don't even bother with AA as most people report it doesn't work, and I've always considered ATI cards to be second best to nVidia on AA anyway. The best things I've found to lower are as follows:
  • Uncheck SSAO
  • Land detail to Low
  • Land Shading to Low
  • Uncheck Grass
  • Forest to Low
  • Buildings to Low

Everything else gets run at high. I'd rather get a general impression of the terrain, rather than maxing out options at the expense of playability.

If you've got a SSD, get using it!

IL2COD takes up comparatively little space on your HD, so if you have got an SSD, it's definitely worth installing it on there and reaping the benefits of quicker texture loading.

A quick way of doing it is installing this:


If you've got spare RAM, consider a RAMDrive!!

DISCLAIMER: I'm not very technical so this is more of a layman's explanation of why RAM is faster. Technical bods please feel free to correct me

This is the quickest way of loading the texture files into game memory. No moving parts, no SSD. If you've got 4Gb+ of RAM, it's worth looking at. The basic idea is that you load the graphically intensive parts of the game into RAM. This is the quickest way for the program to access them, so will eliminate loading times from HD's and ergo potential bottlenecks etc.

The way to achieve this is through setting up a RAM Drive. It sounds like a hardcore jet propulsion system, but the reality is significantly more mundane. It's basically a virtual drive, which uses a user-defined amount of RAM to store the information. You then link the files stored in RAM to the appropriate place in the game folder and launcher.exe will follow the link and access the files from the RAM Drive. The RAM Drive can be shut down and loaded at will. So if you need to use the full RAM of your PC (for something like Music Production) then you would deactivate the RAM Drive. When you need it for IL2COD, then fire it back up and launch the sim.

Here's a couple of links that explain it fully. It isn't in the scope of this post to provide an exhaustive guide.



Make sure to establish whether you can run a RAM Drive by monitoring system usage of RAM while IL2COD (and things like your joystick, TrackIR etc) are running. If you can spare 0.5GB or more then it's worth looking at as an option.

Commentary: I think that there's problems with texture loading in this game that solutions like this are band aids for. I've put most of the texture files into RAM and I've still got problems with untextured buildings popping in and out. Stuttering has decreased somewhat, but I'm willing to bet that the texture management on this game needs a thorough overhaul. The shadows are really flakey on my PC, but I concede that nVidia cards are better at shading so hopefully NV users are having a better time there. I did have to tweak the settings on my GFX card in the Catalyst Control to make IL2COD a little easier on the frame rate, but that's something I'm still working on.

I can't get vSync working properly though. I've tried activating it in the options, and also setting on the ATI Catalyst Control (&Triple Buffering), but neither option seems to work.



i7 920 @2.66Ghz - can boost cut-out to 3.8Ghz
Gigabyte EX58 UD5
6Gig RAM

Don't forget to use the 'search' in this forum. Very handy

I hope some of the chit chat here helps you. I guess some of it is specific to things like hardware etc, but I wanted to cover a few topics that new users of the game might encounter. These things are/were certainly a big deal for me, so if anyone gets anything useful from this, then I'll be pleased.

That is all.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:38 AM
Ataros Ataros is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: USSR
Posts: 2,438

Excellent guide. Thank you!
Added a link to my stutters/performance page (link #5).
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:08 AM
Ze-Jamz Ze-Jamz is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: On your six!!
Posts: 2,302

Yea nice one..

Sure this will come in very helpful to some
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:15 AM
naz naz is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 152

I posted this in another thread...not really related to game bugs but for people having to download the entire game from steam even though they bought a DVD version...

it might be of some help to new steam users...

If you had to download the entire game from steam even though you bought a DVD version, there is a workaround. It is a common enough problem with Steam games (not just Cliffs of Dover). The quote below is from the Steam Technical forums;

"Using Steam launch options to install retail games from disc

Log in to Steam and click on Library.
Right-click on the game, select Delete local content, and confirm.
Insert the first disc into your computer.
Close Steam (Steam > Exit).
Press Windows Key + R to open Run
In the Run window type:

"C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe" -install E:

Replace E: with the CD/DVD drive you are installing from if is not correct.
Replace C:\Program Files\Steam if your Steam installation is not in the default location.
Press OK. Steam will launch and ask you to sign in if you do not have your password saved. Your installation should continue from the disc.

This process is only intended for retail store bought copies of Steam games (ie. Left 4 Dead, Modern Warfare 2). It will not work for backup discs of any Steam games"

Its probably handy to know if you ever have to re-install as this will save you some time and internet bandwith.

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Old 07-21-2011, 11:26 AM
LoBiSoMeM LoBiSoMeM is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 963

My two cents:

- In conf.ini, the line RenderTargetQual=3 controls the quality of textures in dynamic objects, like aircrafts. Reducing this settings improve performance too, if all other things fail.

Good tip for old VGAs.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:47 AM
White Owl White Owl is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 225

Add this to the advice about RAF fighters having trouble damaging aircraft with their underpowered machineguns: Get rid of the observer rounds. Observer rounds don't work at all. They don't visibly mark the target, and they do almost no damage, so they're a waste of space on your ammo belts. Use the De Wilde incendiarys instead; they visibly mark the target with a flash and puff of smoke, and they burn things too.

Do you still hear the wheels rolling on the ground after you takeoff and retract the landing gear? You can fix this bug yourself inflight. Takeoff, listen for half a second... if you hear that noise, gently bump the wheels once back down onto the ground. The noise will stop. Doing a touch and go will also correct it.
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