Originally Posted by mizzer
Yeah. I never fit in with your crowd.
Seriously, I appreciate your enthusiasm. Falcon 4.0 just wasn't for me (and I even tried the add-ons). It's a fine sim, I'm sure, but it was not what I was looking for. I just want to fly and have fun. I just wanted my weapons to lock-on and hit their targets. I just wanted to follow a pre-determined waypoint by lining up the little arrows, etc. I want something like Jane's USAF used to be: fun, easy to learn, and a bit like flying a real jet. BF2? Nah, that's like an arcade game. Jane's USAF offered enough depth to be challenging but it was also a lot of fun.
Roger that... At some point F4 could be dummied down to do exactly what you wanted. Actually even in the hard core mode you just line up the heading carat and fly the way points. Using the radar and understanding A-Pole Fighting versus F-Pole Fighting is a whole other ball game.
If you want a semi hard core LOMAC is the way to go. Easy radar modes fly your way points and shoot stuff down. It can get a little more hairy at the merge because the AI is pretty good.
If you're open to a good sim without all those things but still has a bit of a learning curve is IL2 1946. The learning curve is basically learning how to use the strengths of your plane vs the bad guy. Offline play is solid but nothing spectacular but the Online is one of the best for a WWII sim. Plenty of planes to learn both on the Allied side and the German side. The graphics have been updated so it still looks very good. Runs great on good hardware and is again a very rewarding game if you spend some time.
It has a very active online group and you will find plenty to do with this game. I think Steam has it for pretty cheap these days.
Black Shark. Can be dummied down but again it's more like Falcon in terms of Switchology. If you really want to fly Helos its about the best thing out there at the moment. The last king of the helo genre IMO was Janes LongBow II. Pretty ancient now and by Black Shark Standards too old to stand up.
Meanwhile you can read through this thread and take a look at Black Shark. Lots of guys having fun with it.
Also highly recommend if you do get into any of the above sims you look into getting your self a Tracker IR.
Go to their website and check out some of the videos. Pictures worth a thousand words. It's about the best piece of gear I've bought years. It really adds to the immersion of a sim.