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Jane's WWII Fighters Guide




This guide will introduce you to Jane's WWII Fighters, and show you how to update your game and add on various user made mods for it as a simple step by step process.


WWII Fighters v1.05/1.08

Start off by installing the official 1.05 or 1.08 patch, depending on where you are.
If you want, you can also obtain the original english ww2.exe, which you put in your WWII Fighters folder, and can then install the english 1.08 patch.

Graphic Settings

Play the game at least once. This will generate a file called ww2.ini where all your preferences are stored. Some of these you can edit from the game itself through the various setup menus.
Be aware that the game's museum interface runs at 800x600, and you will need this to be an available mod under your windows desktop options. ( Control Panel - Display - Settings ).

Realism

In the game's options you set your difficulty levels. I is recommended you set your flight model on the hardest setting ("Wicked"), as this is also the most interesting, introducing some real characteristics such as stalls. One setting you should NOT enable is "Full Collisions", or your wingmen will likely end up crashing into each other. Setting collisions to "Enemy Only" is safer both for your wingmen and for your sanity.
If you have a slower computer, disable 3D clouds ( but leave on Cloud layers), as these are real frame-rate eaters, and you might also consider setting engine sounds to "Simple".

Fixing the Game

Before you do anything, download and install the "Cochem Fix". This is a user made patch to fix some terrain glitches which otherwise cause the game to crash when you fly over certain areas. The fix is quick and simple.

If your game tends to crash whenever you fire your guns, one solution is to go to your windows sound options ( under Control Panel ) and turn off "Hardware acceleration".


Addons

Addons are now a major part of this game, with user made addons available for everything from terrain to new aircraft models, skins and flight models.
Addons are not necessary to play the game, but will certainly make it a more enjoyable experience.

A Word of Warning

Jane's WWII Fighters stores all the game files in a number of large compressed archives. They can be found in your game's "Data" folder. The most important of these are :
Most addons to the game will change one or more of these archives. Remember that the game was not designed to have this done, and it might well happen that an installation will go wrong and corrupt your archive. So, a word to the wise : Backup !

Backups

At the very least, you should make a backup of ww2.sqs. If you will be installing terrain mods, also backup terrain.sqs.
These backups must be created in a separate folder. This is very important, otherwise the game will continue using the original archives, even if you rename them.
The easiest way is to create a folder called "Backups" and copy ww2.sqs and terrain.sqs to it.

Moderation

Another word of warning, when installing mods, be moderate.
Install one or two, then test the game to check it still works. If it does, fine, you might want to make a backup of your now modified archive. If it doesn't work, remember those original backups ?

Installing Mods

Most mods come as a zip file with the new modified files and a batch file ( something like "install.bat") You will probably also see a file called sqzip.exe or elbzip.exe, this is the installer per se.
The zip file should generally be extracted to a folder in your game's data folder. I make a folder called "Temp" and keep that for all mod installations.
Simply extract the zip file, and double click the "install.bat" file, and your mod should start installing.

If you feel uncomfortable doing this, or if the "install.bat" is missing, you might want to try using SkinMaster or Resource Manager, which are programs with nice point and click interfaces, which can make installation a real piece of cake. Please read the relevant program instructions.

Some mod packages also do not include the "sqzip.exe" file. For this reason, it is advisable to download Sqzip separately and install it directly to your game's Data folder. ( SkinMaster will do this for you ).

Most mod installation packages will create a new folder in your game's Data folder. This is just a temporary holder for the files whilst they are installing, and once the installation is finished, you can delete this entire folder without any problems. SkinMaster creates a TEMP folder for this purpose, which gets cleared regularly, so don't store anything important in it !

Resolutions

You might notice that many skins are available in "High Res" and "Low Res" What is this ?
High-res skins are skins which use 512x512 pixel bitmaps, instaed of 256x256. Whilst most newer graphics cards can cope with these, some older cards ( specifically the entire Voodoo series apart from Voodoo 5 using D3D) cannot, and you will then have to use the "Low-Res" versions.


Recommended Mods

WWI Fighters has an enormous amount of mods available, but some have become nearly indispenable.

First, start by improving your flight models by using Target's Flight Model Pack v4 or v5. These greatly enhance the aircraft's handling characteristics, making them behave more like proper fighters, each with their individual quirks. v5 introduces spins, so be warned !

Next, get some beautiful smoke and Flak explosion effects by installing Snorri's Smoke. These will make your smoke and flak explosions seem less solid and more....smoke-like !

Shadow's new clouds effects, also increase the feeling of flying in a real world, allowing you to catch glimpses of the earth through gaps in the now more fluffy cloud layers.

Something for the ground crews, grab Swiper's Airfield Marker Board to relace that horrible yellow blob by a more realistic red/white chequered pattern.

For complete immersion, depending on your favourite side, grab Shadow's Allied Radio Soundpack or Zilly's Axis Radio Soundpack. These are complete replacements for the normal music.elb archive, and will replace the background music with very immersive radio chatter, giving you a feeling of being right in the middle of the action.

I will leave it up to you to choose from the miriad of skins available for every aircraft and ground vehicle in the game, just pick and choose your favourite ones !


Links

For first hand help, and news on the newest mods, go to WWII Fighters Online

To get older mods, you might want to order the Addon CD's

For a good source of older mods, nicely packaged together, you might want to try Skycat's Vintage Mods Site