Cockpits or no Cockpits


Ive been talking about these cockpits in the saga thread and I seen some talking in the pioneer thread about them and was just curious about what people like about them and if they think that they should stay in certain mods or not.

Personally I feel they do add a sense of realism in having portions of your screen blocked off. But if a dog fight is in process I would much rather see the clear view with nothing but combat data in front of me.

I enjoyed Wing commander 3 and armada(also the kirathi saga remakes) in that you could have both but I rather not have anything in my vision. Anyways just curious on the peoples thoughts on this subject.
I love cockpits. I was very disappointed when I started playing WC4 and there was just a green HUD.
I also like cockpits. I don't realy notice it during a dogfight. My propisiton is to have the choice by up to the person playing it.(in the options screen)
I generally like cockpits, but it is irritating when the itts diamond vanishes because your target is off the screen (when the diamond would otherwise be visible) in some of the games. I usually just put up with it though. I personally like the way Armada and WC3 did it, where hitting the face forward key when already facing forward toggled them off and on.
I don't like having the cockpit in my way since my vision is already restricted to the computer screen. In real life you could see a wider field of vision by using your peripheral vision and seeing out the sides top and front.

It seems like most people like the cockpit though. That was also the case in a thread that took place 8 months or so ago on this same topic.
I think the cockpits made this game. Besides the handling of the fighter and the loadout of them, I couldn't help but pick out ships that I thought had a cool interior on them. In Privateer, I was never a fan of the Orion because of it's cockpit...but it was still a pretty solid ship.
Depends. If we are talking about single player story driven games then I am all pro cockpits. If we talk about multiplayer PvP combat the obviously I'd go for the most efficient option, which would be best visibility.
I've always been puzzled by the no-cockpit debate.
Sure it blocks your screen, but that's the idea..."realism" Even in PvP if both people have cockpits then it's a perfectly fair fight.
Who buys an F-16 simulator, for example, and gets upset when the real cockpit is there? If one were to go the forums for one of those sims and say you'd prefer no cockpit, they'd laugh. Sure it would be easier...but that makes it unrealistic.
The clear screen with no semblance of a ship is soo unrealistic that it might as well just be an arcade game.

You certainly have the right to choose not to have it on (switchable), but when people advocate for no cockpit at all, that deprives the people who enjoy them of that enjoyment.
The apparently very conscious decision to squash the 'interactive' elements in Wing Commander IV was a very, very odd decision -- it's one I'll never understand. The game was supposed to bring PC gaming to a Hollywood movie style audience... so why they decided to cut out *exactly* the elements the series had been praised for over the years (the hand on the cockpit, the stirring scramble scenes, the mechanic commenting on how much damage your fighter took, etc.) is beyond me.

They made two non-contradictory (but also non-supportive) claims regarding this specific decision at the time: one, that it would improve the performance of the game and two that their testing had proved that people just turned the cockpits off anyway.

I can believe the first, I suppose: Wing Commander IVs performance is marginally better than Wing Commander IV.

The second doesn't make a lick of sense -- of course the QA guys turned off the cockpits after developing a dozen of these games... and the same probably goes for the veteran players... but I can't believe that logic applies to the vast majority of people who would be buying the game.

Beyond that, I don't understand why this immediately became the *industry* standard. Wing Commander IV wasn't a great success... and I think even at the time a lot of people recognized that the cockpits issue was a mistake. So - why did it spell the end for all cockpits everywhere? Privateer 2, Freespace, etc. all came out with 'WC4' invisible cockpits. It's testimony to the importance of Origin to the market in the mid-90s... but I think it's also a case where developers completely lost sight of their audience.

There was such a bitterness about it, too -- you got the impression, from developer interviews and such at the time, that this was an amazing decision that everyone would love and that they were finally getting rid of those silly cockpits once and for all! I don't get it...

Compounding error upon error, Origin had managed to solve exactly the problems people have brought up in this thread in a much more elegant manner years earlier -- later Wing Commander games should have had a Strike Commander style virtual cockpit rather than the you-can-see-everything-for-no-reason HUDs they eventually wound up with.
Yeah, the loss of cockpits was and is a true tragedy. Certainly it was a major reason I loved the Raptor so much from Wing Commander 1. The Cockpit was part of what gave a fighter flavor. Without a new cockpit all you had was a ship that went a little faster and fired different weapons...the uniqueness was gone. No where was this more than in Privateer II. I know a lot of people didn't like this game but I tell you apart from a little bit of a balancing issue, this was a great game! With unique cockpits this game would still be gracing the memory records of the big gaming magazines. What I think I hate worse than the HUD from WC IV, Freespace etc is the sucky "compromise" (ala Wing Commander Prophecy and Freelancer) where you got cockpit struts but little else and the same ole' generic HUD for each fighter. Looking at the Pioneer project, I can easily say that the thing I'm most excited about is the really neat cockpits. It almost makes me wish I hadn't seen them so I can be surprised by them in the game...
I always felt that to some extent, having the cockpit there was what made the ship what it is, ya know what I mean? A Broadsword just isn't a Broadsword without its cockpit. I was disappointed when in WCIV that the Longbow had no cockpit, even though it had an extremely cool one in WCIII. (with a yoke instead of a flight stick)

Wing Commander Prophecy fixed this problem, sorta. There's just "cockpit struts" but it's not really the same thing they had in the pre WCIV era.
Maybe it was simply easier to not have to make complex artwork for every single ship. WCIV has a reasonable number of flyable ships: 3 Confed, 3 BW and 1 Black Lance. And now imagine how hard would that be for Privateer 2. How many ships the player could fly?

Maybe Chris Roberts decided to, ahem, cut costs. Maybe there was a choice to be made between a real life shutle model and scramble scenes.

I don't know, I remember I found it strange that there were no takeoff or landing scenes. But I didn't miss the cockpits much, I found them obtrusive before. They looked good, but got in the way of the gameplay. I like the way things are handled with a standard HUD. However I don't know why the game couldn't offer it both ways.

Maybe the great effect of the scramble thing was unique to WC1. By WC3, it felt more like an homage and reference for game veterans. And truth be told it didn't make all that sense that everyone should be running like crazy for a routine patrol.
I prefer not to have cockpit art enabled while flying, however, I do like to be available so I can switch it on and have something to look at during a relatively dull moment :)
hey, the last game that didnt have cockpits what x3 reunion.

and many many ppl said they hate the game for not having cockpits. some of them didnt even buy the game because of it.
I'd say if you were going to boycott X3 for any reason, it ought to be the danged copy protection... If I ever buy the game, it won't be until Starforce is removed from it like they did with X2... Which is a shame because I'm getting a graphics card that would rock the hell out of it this week. X2 has some rockin cockpit art, come to think of it.
Delance said:
Maybe the great effect of the scramble thing was unique to WC1. By WC3, it felt more like an homage and reference for game veterans. And truth be told it didn't make all that sense that everyone should be running like crazy for a routine patrol.
As it is said in WCA (TV Series), No mission should be considered routine until it is over. But you're point is well taken. ;)

On the subject of cockpits, I find that I used to prefer the no-cockpit style play. In low-res games, it was too hard to see what was going on with cockpit elements blocking half your view or more. But with modern graphics cards and graphics support I find that I prefer it with cockpits. You can still see much of what's going on, and it lends a good feel to the ship you're flying. You get the feeling of being in the ship, not just flying it...

So my response is based on the screen resolution of the game being played. If it's 340x480, then no cockpit is my preference. But if it's 1200x1600, then I prefer the cockpit...
I love cockpits, and nowadays, a Wing commander with a fine virtual cockpit would really rule and give ships more personality.
I prefer cockpits because they give me more of the feeling of beeing in the fighter. Also haveing a cockpit that blocks your view is kind of a challange. You need to fly different to get your enemy in the view again or you have to learn to fly with one eye looking at the radar while you try at the same time to get what is happening in front of you.