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DCS & VATSIM


Ethan Fortier
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For a few years now, VATSIM has held a very strict and regimented rule regarding VSO Operations. I understand this is mostly to prevent people who are unskilled and untrained from conducting operations they're unfamiliar with (or potentially harassing others on the network), thus degrading the general experience for everyone. With that in mind, I'm not sure if that's the reason VATSIM has never actively pursued compatibility with DCS, but it seems like it would be the easy button to prevent misuse and abusive activity.

Nowadays, DCS is getting more and more mature, and Eagle Dynamics is adopting the use of more 2nd party development to support the maturity of the DCS platform. Rumors are spreading that they intend on simulating the entire world (rather than limited regions at a time à la Caucasus). With that in mind, we're expecting to see a lot of:

  • Huge maps (possibly worldwide)
  • Very mature military aircraft
  • C-130's with very significant capabilities
  • A maturing and expanding fanbase

Especially nowadays, VATSIM has matured to a point where AFV and VATSIM Velocity allow for more realistic communication protocols as well as better performance of aircraft position updates. My layman view is that VATSIM is capable of handling DCS data (excluding live/training ordnance).

To satisfy their ops, some VSOs have to split their time between DCS and civilian sims, which is great except VATSIM effectively sees only a portion of the VSO's operational reality. One could argue that having those operations may add a bit more flavor and diversity in VATSIM, so I would like to ask if the VATSIM Board or the Operational team has considered the possibility of making VATSIM tools compatible with DCS in the long-run. 

As I said, there are multiple benefits, particularly if users are skilled enough to be in a VSO and use DCS appropriately, it can add an interesting dynamic to the VATSIM ecology for Air Traffic Controllers and for Pilots alike. Sure civilian sims can host "fighter planes", but the functions in a civilian sim can be quite anorexic compared to what DCS offers today, let alone what it's promising over the next few years.

I'd like to see what other people's perspectives are.

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