Rise of Flight United

Rise of Flight United

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Trupobaw Sep 13, 2013 @ 6:31am
Trup's DLC buying guide
Before we start, two other guides you may find useful:
Before you buy FAQ - is this a game for me?
Guide to career squadrons for steam players - best milaege from least DLCs

With so many DLCs there is lot of room for confusion as of which one to buy, whether you need them all or any at all. The way the planes are bundled is little confusing (like, why D.II in Bloody April pack if D.III would make more sense). So I took a look on each pack - as single product if possible - and try to tell you why would you want to buy or why don't you need it and what does it add to your game. I am not going to review each plane in particular - if you want to learn more about them, I suggests Benders excellent (and mostly actual) guide here.


If you don't want a long read, here are some flowchats showing succession of planes and DLCs in career:
German Career Flow Chart v 1.01[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
British Career Flow Chart v 1.00[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
French Career Flow Chart v 1.00[dl.dropboxusercontent.com] 
American and Belgian Career Flow Chart v 1.00[dl.dropboxusercontent.com] 
British and German multicrew planes Career Flow Chart v 1.00[dl.dropboxusercontent.com] 

My experience is mostly with single player career mode, but I've seen enough multiplayer to add comment from both points of view. Multiplayer is every plane for itself, anyway; you really want the plane, you buy the pack it's in. It's career planning where people need different planes in succession, and question which planes you need to run which careers for each nation that I'm after.

The seven plane packs offer extra planes and their non-standard modifications. The first two (Bloody April and Furious Wings) bring out the career span to full length (first for Britons, second for other Allies, both or just second for Germans). The other two (Birth of Warbirds and The Ultimate Best Fighter) flesh out the very beginning end very end of career, mostly for Germans, and bring utility two-seaters. The last three are mostly oddball stuff to be run alongside (or regardless) of "mainstream" career tracks - alternative fighters, fighting two-seaters, strategic bombers, seaplane and odd utility two seater.

Ace Pack -

The Ace pack includes extra instruments, gunsights and weapons for your starting planes and personal affects for your pilot. Depending on producer, your factory standard planes come fully equipped or have only tachometer (and maybe compass). Ace packs adds missing instruments, better gunsights and sometimes bullet counters or non-standard weapons. In single player and on some multiplayer servers you can turn on "simple gauges" which give you the same instruments in HUD form, you only need these instruments if you want full realism.

Without simple gauges, you need these instruments for both Nieuports, Albatros and Pfalz. Both F.okkers and S.E.5a benefit from them somewhat, while SPAD and Camel benefit mostly from extra gunsights that every plane receives. If you fly without icons and like the Camel, you want this one for wing cutout mod alone, or you won't see your opponent from under your wing. Depending on your plane and settings preferences, you may want this DLC badly or skip it.

The personal packs are coloured scarfs and streamers to decorate and help identify your plane and pilot. The pistols are of marginal use against enemy planes, but great for headshooting griefers who jump into gunner positon of your plane without asking first. But the packs are mostly for fun, a streamer flapping in the wind brings more pleasure from flying.

Furious Wings (SPAD 7.C1, Albatros D.III, Halberstadt D.II, Nieuport 11.C1)

This is easily the most useful pack for flying fighters in maximal length Career mode, unless you fly only British squadrons when it is just helpful. It has all planes used by American, and Western Front French fighter squadrons and all but one Belgian fighters (which appears in onnly one squadron. For German pilots, Halberstadt and Albatros D.III are enough to start career in fall 1916 and play until the end of the war. More importantly, every German squadron in the game flies Albatros D.III exclusively at some moment (may 1917?) so you need this plane to "bridge the gap" between early planes and Albatros D.Va. Some British squadrons flew SPAD 7 as early as winter 1916/1917, so you can have long alternative British career using this one only.

In multiplayer, players want this one to fly planes other than N.17 on early 1917 servers. In particular, servers that don't host Albartos D.Va usually host D.III or Halberstadt. Since the last flight model update the D.Va is somewhat stigmatised as "easy mode" plane, and German players are seen switching to almost as good but less condamned D.III. Halberstadt is unique among German planes, small agile machine that can beat Nieuports at their own game. N.11 is slower but even more agile varianat of N.17, and SPAD is quality of its own.

Bloody April: (Albatros D.II, Sopwith Pup, Nieuport 17.C1 GBR, Sopwith Triplane)
Second in my ranking of most useful packs, it does to Britons what Furious Wings does for other nations. Three fighters in this pack close the gap between 1916 and Sopwith Camel / S.E.5 and at least Pup is flyable from fall 1916, so you can fly full-blown British careers by buying just this one. Albatros D.II is a powerful 1916 plane; most German players will want to fly it in career instead of / alongside Halberstadt D.II. The only long-running French squadron on Channel map uses British plane types before switching to SPAD 7, so you need both this and Furious Wings to play that unique unit.

In multiplayer, you need this one if you want to fly British planes on every server. You do; most servers are Brits vs Germans. The potency of this pack in MP somewhat lessened with 2015 flight model fix, but it's still very important.

Birth of Warbirds (F.okker E.III, Airco D.H.2, R.E.8, Roland C.IIa):
The early planes and utility two seaters, another Brits vs Germans pack. If you play fighters, it's great addon to one or both DLCs above. The E.III an D.H.2 are very early German and British fighters, allowing you to start the career from the very beginning. They are not easy planes and are quickly replaced with planes from Bloody April / Furious Wings, but are very characterful and fun to play. You skip just few months if you run career without them, but I always keep one German career on E.III stage and spent more career months on D.H.2 than on any other British plane.

It's also one of two pack with utility two-seaters - R.E.8 and Roland, British and German. If you want less action packed careers involving photo recon, artillery spotting or bombing missions, I suggest these two. You may use these two seaters to bypass the Bloody April / Wings of fury era planes - fly on D.H.2, transfer to R.E.8 squadron then switch to Camels or S.E.5 as they become available.

In multiplayer, E.III and D.H.2 are useful mostly against each other and to show how badass you are by flying them aganst later types. They shine in always-welcomed "early" missions, alongside F.E.2s, Strutters and Rolands.

Roland and R.E.8 are recon planes of choice on many multiplayer servers, often required if you want to do something else than go up and shoot people.

Ultimately the best fighter (Airco D.H.4, Breguet 14.B2 , F.kker D.VIIF, F.kker D.VIII) :

Late German fighters and two allied two-seaters. You can skip this one if you fly only fighters and don't fly as German. You can play full length German career without it, but you don't want to. D.VIIF is D.VII on steroids and does everything that basic variant does, only better; D.VIII is probably best vertical fighter in game (and surely my single favorite fighter in game) and great fun to fly. Breguet and D.H.4 are late-war two seaters; Breguet is the main multi-crew French (and American) plane we have.

In multiplayer, D.VIIF is the titular ultimate best fighter and reason enough to buy the pack. It won't outturn the Camel (or Dr.I) and it won't outfly the SPAD, but it can fight them all and it's very forgiving to pilots errors. The D.VIII, Breguet and D.H.4 are all great planes, D.H.4 is pretty capable as fighting plane for a bomber (if only its wings didn't fall off in high-G maneuvers). .

Battle of Saint-Michell (Halberstadt CL.II, Sopwith Dolphin, Pfalz D.IIIa, Bristol F2B)

Aaah, the oddballs fighters and combat two seaters. These planes don't add extra service months to basic pack or do "the same, only better"; they run in parallel, offering very different experience. You can easily live without them, or let them make you forget you had "mainstream" planes. Pfaltz is intriguing alternative to Albatros D.Va, sturdy, able to dive at speeds that would make Albatros fall apart and stable gun platform, but not as noob-friendly. Once you are comfortable with Albatros, you may want to switch to this one. Ofter overlooked Dolphin is an jack of all trades like D.VIIF, quite unique for Allies whose fighters are often specialised. It's pleasant to fly but not forgiving to unexperienced pilots. Halberstadt is a two-seater ground attack plane, daddy of Ju-87 Stuka and IL-2, grandgranddaddy of A-10 and my single favorite plane in game, be it fighter or not. Cl.II career is full of low-altitude bombardment of front lines, truck convoys and occasional parked aeroplanes. Bristol is a green mean two-seated gunboat that can be used to bomb things like utility two-seaters and dogfight with single-seat fighters - often in the same mission.

In multiplayer, Pfalz is in decline since last fix made it less super-Albatros and more of top cover plane; you may want it just to avoid "easy mode Albatros" stigma. Dolphin players are somewhat rare but those I see do well. Halberstadt often appears in realistic missions in support of utility two-seaters. On dogfight servers where people normally bring only fighters, Halberstadt and Bristol are seen over enemy airfields, braving ground fire and bombing fighter pilots from tree-top level.

EDIT: This pack includes also Battle for St. Michelle single player campaign; I must have overlooked it every single time i was looking at DLC. A good set of scenarios (from what little I played), on top of four interesting planes makes good DLC even better. Thanks to Ahab for pointing it out.

Legendary bombers (Gotha G.V, Handley Page 0-400, DFW C.V, Brandenburg W12)

Another oddball pack, full of big multi-crew planes, three of them German. The Gotha and Handley-Page are two-engine strategic bombers capable of flying over British channel to bomb stuff on other side. DFW is *the* German utility two-seater, with longer service span than Roland. Brandemburg is Bristol wannabe with floats - a two seater fighting machine that can't, in fact carry bombs.

Like previous pack, these planes are great alternatives in career and don't require any other pack - their squadrons fly the same type for the whole war, be it strategic bombing, sea patrols or general utility flights (ok, some DFW squdrons start on Rolands) . In multiplayer, DFW is the default German two-seater; other three fall into "to fun not to have, to niche to miss if you don't" category.

Intrepid Flyers (F.E.2.b, Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter / Strutter B, Hanriot HD.1 / HD.2)

The newest DLC, gathering planes released after launch of Channel Battles edition, is another odball. It has three planes, two of which come in two variants. All planes are niche for some reason - a pure Belgian fighter, fighter-bombers, night bomber and a floatplane fighter. These specialisations, often narrow, are so different that taken together DLC pack offers very broad, varied and unique career experience.

F.E.2 is a British-only all-purpose fighter-bomber that is already obsolete when career starts. The double machine gun mount confuses AI gunner who spends most of the time switching between guns, and rarely get to shoot with human pilot. So, it's difficult in it's intended role of a fighter. However, it really shines at night bombing missions, which it flies at later stages of career. Night missions in RoF are stunning and F.E.2 is stable, pleasant to fly plane with good forward field of view. Dare I say "pleasure boat with bombs"? Most F.E.2 squadron switch to Bristols, so you want Battle for St. Michell to continue your F.E.2 career.

Strutter is a bomber that excells as a fighter ;) - much like the Bristol. A true working girl, you can fly it's two variants it in British, Belgian and French squadrons, as bomber, fighter or recon, from 1916 to early 1918, doing bombing missions with strong dogfighting element... or was it other way around? Buying it leads to very varied career experiences.

Hanriot HD1 is a fighter, alternative to Nieuport 17 and Sopwith Camel. It appears only in one (Belgian) squadron and not having it does not block your Belgian career that much; you'll more likely be playing this squadron to fly Hanriot then needing Hamriot to fly that one squadron .

Hanriot HD2 is floatplane fighter, used only by one French squadron. It's career is full of sea patrols, where you are shooting down any German planes that venture over sea rather than look for ships. This squadron flies only HD2s, so you don't need to look any other planes for full career.

Both Hanriots and Struttres are widely flown in multiplayer. The star of Hanriot HD1 seems to be rising after last patch turned super-Camel into historical-Camel, with more and more Entente players flying it. Along with the Dolphin, HD1 is closest Entente has to jack-of-all-trades fighter as prefered by Germans.
Last edited by Trupobaw; Mar 24, 2015 @ 2:53pm
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Showing 1-15 of 34 comments
Nefaro Sep 14, 2013 @ 6:21am 
Thanks for this summary.

After reading, it did convince me to pick up my first DLC pack (Furious Wings) and also makes me eye a couple of the others.

Sold! :)
fuzaan Sep 15, 2013 @ 5:27am 
Trupo I keep losing this thread. Admin can you please make sticky? Very good guide.
Jorri Sep 15, 2013 @ 7:01am 
Yes, sticky pls!
fuzaan Sep 16, 2013 @ 2:30am 
*Post only to bump thread back to the top*
Jorri Sep 16, 2013 @ 11:18am 
Trupobaw Sep 16, 2013 @ 12:44pm 
Originally posted by fuzaan:
*Post only to bump thread back to the top*
Originally posted by Jorri:

I just came to bump it with German career DLC flowchart pic, and what I see? Thank you gentlemen!

Notes: The flowchart is not a historical reference and contains many simplifications, but it should give an idea which planes and DLCs come one after other.

German Career Flow Chart v1.01 [riseofflight.com]
Last edited by Trupobaw; Sep 16, 2013 @ 1:49pm
Jeff George Sep 18, 2013 @ 7:48am 
Are there no campaigns that start as early as 1914?

Also, based on the flow charts, can you only start careers in 1917 with Steam edition of thew game?
Last edited by Jeff George; Sep 18, 2013 @ 7:53am
Trupobaw Sep 18, 2013 @ 8:51am 
No, The Rise of Flight started in 1918 and is generally rather developing new planes pastwards. It did not reach before 1916.

The career starts in September 1916, with beginning of organised air combat. Before 1916 there were no dedicated fighter squadrons and before Fall 1916 only allies had them. Playing from 1914 as pilots of recon planes or few solitary fighter pilots that fly alone most of the time and fight mechanical failure more often than enemy planes has it's romantism, but I don't see it becoming popular feature ;).

You can start in 1916 as French (flowchart in the works) but you'll need to buy Furious Wings DLC or click "Next day" a hundered times or so to get past late 1917 when all French fly SPAD7.

The planes in Steam edition of the game are chosen so that once you start a career, you can play it to finish (with so many nations and only ten planes in standard game to cover them all, you are bound to face either "buy more planes to start earlier" or "buy more planes to finish what you have started" situation - I think it's better they avoided the latter option caompletely :).
Trupobaw Sep 21, 2013 @ 5:31am 
Another flowchart (and bump)

British Career Flow Chart v 1.00[riseofflight.com]
Bowak Sep 21, 2013 @ 5:55am 
These flowcharts are excellent. Thank you for these.
diomedesbc Sep 22, 2013 @ 11:20am 
Pretty sweet - very informative.
captgeo Sep 24, 2013 @ 6:39pm 
thank you for the advice on the pkg's, excellent thread
Jorri Sep 28, 2013 @ 10:07am 
I've added Trup's great DLC guide to the guides section. Thanks Trupobaw!
ThereIs0nly0ne Oct 5, 2013 @ 3:25am 
Really good information and an opportunity to BUMP.
Nefaro Nov 27, 2013 @ 6:00pm 
Good time to bump this wonderful buying guide.
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Date Posted: Sep 13, 2013 @ 6:31am
Posts: 34