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Counter-arguments to those against making the FS series

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Argument: Making the FS series "too realistic" would making the learning curve too steep and scare away many users.Counter Argument: Improving the flight dynamics, for example, would make the sim easier to fly. Anyone who has flown a plane knows that flying a flightsim plane by hand is much much harder than flying a real plane by hand for a variety of reasons, and one of those reasons is definately poor flight dynamics. At the same time, if MS implemented more "realistic" engine handling, etc., the casual user would probably never notice the difference anway, so why not do it right? Argument: Implementing systems modelling as detailed as those found in sims like PS1.3 would scare away many users.Counter: As a PS1.3 user, I can attest that from a basic handling point of view, operating the plane is not that much different than using Wilco's 767 PIC. The two planes have somewhat similar systems in terms of FMC and autopilot handling. If you can fly 767 PIC, you could learn to fly PS1.3 very quickly. The only difference is that PS1.3 models the little things in much greater "detail," but most of these things the casual user would probably never notice.Argument: MSFS is only a $70 sim, so what do you expect? MSFS has been around for a long time and MS probably makes very large profits off the series. By now they should have definately gotten the flight dynamics part right. MS definately has the resources to turn the sim into something more than it already is in terms of a "realism". Besides, if MS improved the "realism" factor, they'd open up new markets for their product which would increase sales. Some flying schools use FS2002, but given the short comings in the product I'd be afraid to teach anyone to fly with the thing given that they'll acquire bad habits and incorrect information (especially as it relates to engine handling).Argument: To make the sim "realistic", everyone would need new, more powerful computers, which is not realistic.Counter: PS1.3 can run on a 486, and I suspect improving flight dynamics and engine handling, etc., is primarly a function of the quality of the code, not the quantity of the code.Anyone feel to add to the argument?

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One thing you have to remember though. My dad is a "casual" gamer. I play a lot of FPS and RTS games online, and tons of FS2002. I like the challenges of landing on a windy/rainy day or practicing barrel rolls in the Extra 300 or P-51. My dad on the other hand likes the eye candy. Which is what FS gives you. He flies the NYC area, Salt Lake City, Paris...etc just to see the sights. He turns the flight model to easy, crash detection off and just messes around to wind down from the day. Although more realism would be great, they'd have to implement an easy method too.

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>Argument: To make the sim "realistic", everyone would need new, more powerful computers, which is >not realistic.>>Counter: PS1.3 can run on a 486, and I suspect improving flight dynamics and engine handling, etc., >is primarly a function of the quality of the code, not the quantity of the code.I disagree, the two don't even compare they are running in totally different worlds.PS1.3 is a DOS application that has very little in the way of scenery, and the graphics are very basic compared to what is in FS. If PS1.3 were a windows app using the graphics FS is using, it would be using similar resources.It has nothing to do with quality of code, it has everything to with with what resources it is using.A windows app has access to far more O/S resources than a DOS app, that by nature means it needs more power.Ernie.

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>Counter Argument: Improving the flight dynamics, for >example, would make the sim easier to fly. Anyone who has >flown a plane knows that flying a flightsim plane by hand is >much much harder than flying a real plane by hand for a >variety of reasons, and one of those reasons is definately >poor flight dynamics. At the same time, if MS implemented >more "realistic" engine handling, etc., the casual user >would probably never notice the difference anway, so why not >do it right? >A few days ago, I made it a point to "casually" compare a Cessna 172SP to those Cessnas I have in FS2002. I'm using the word "casually" because I didn't attempt to make "hard over" control movements in pitch and roll. Just gentle movements from side to side and up and down.Conclusions: The toughest part of sim flight is the trim in calm weather. It's still touchier than the real thing. However, I was getting quite a bit of mountain turbulence in the 172SP which required constant attention to the trim. That compared more to MS.I am using Ron Freimuth's and Rob Young's air. files for the 172 and 182 Cessna's. Also use a joystick and rudder pedals. Takeoffs and landings in the sim are very close to the real thing, especially when using the VC cockpits. I like the way right rudder input is required for takeoff & climb, and the general sense of yaw and movement when landing with a slight cross wind. Even the bleeding off of speed while keeping the nose up seems quite real in MSFS. As to the use of the words "Poor flight dynamics", what are we referring too? IMO--- even the defaults are not poor, unless we're getting out of the real of normal flight such as full blown stalls and spins. I've flown simulated aircraft with actual poor dynamics and they are nearly un-flyable or require constant attention. The stock defaults at least allow simulated flight from point to point. They are farther enhanced by the 3rd party flight dynamic files. I'd prefer to call default FS2002 flight dynamics "average" instead of "poor".As to engine handling, I suppose we can have a $35.00 MS engine sim, or a 3rd party will offer an aircraft with more emphasis on engines, cowl flaps, carbs versus fuel injection, exact mixture/leaning curves, and proper power reduction during descent.For my $70 bucks, I've been thrilled with the FS2002 database for airports, navigation, and topography; which is my most highly need for realism. Those databases are also very useful for flight school practice, so I wouldn't shun the use of the sim based on engine controls! You're post tends to deal with the negatives of FS2002, instead of all the positives that I've found.......... which easily makes it worth the 70 dollars.L.Adamson

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The guys at Microsoft do a pretty good job for around $70 but I believe that they really rely on the public (both commercial and freeware) to enhance the sim for them. After all, that why they release SDKs. And each time a new version of FS is released, it contains a lot of ideas and features thought up by those who 'enhanced' their previous version. That's what keeps the hobby alive and commands such on-going enthusiasm.But no matter how far people tweak these settings and those numbers to try and make the simulator 'more real', it's never going to give you any real feeling of flight as there's no true visual perspective, no tactile feedback on the controls, and of course no sense of movement. Does it really matter if the Cessna engine's simulated performance doesn't exactly match its' real-life counterpart? The 'average' sim flyer could never tell the difference and because everyone's setup is different (CPU power, control device, graphics card etc. etc.), the same plane will 'feel' different to each user anyway.So for the money, I think FS is excellent value and those freeware enthusiasts who work so hard to further enhance the experience purely for the fun of all are truly to be commended and thanked.But of course, it'll never be real.Toni.

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I'm sure Microsoft can make FS anything it wants it to be. The point is: Why?I'm a 33 year commercial-instrument-rated pilot who also loves to fly Microsoft flight sims. The latest Microsoft effort, FS2002 is about as close to flying real aircraft as the average flight simmer is ever going to get. I really wish a program like this had been avaiable to me when I was learning to fly back in the late 1960's. Just to be able to get a visual ideal of what a crosswind approach to landing was like or to be able to sit at my computer and fly an instrument flight from one town to another and be able to do even basic VOR approaches, complete with procedure turns, etc. Nothing like this was available, even in the flight schools, when I learned to fly. I had to pay big bucks for everything I learned in real airplanes.Now, anyone who wants to learn how to fly a C172 can do so at home before they ever have to pay over $125 per hour at the local flight school. I'm not saying that just because someone spends a few hours flying a C172 sim at home that they then can go to the local airport, jump into a real C172, taxi and takeoff, fly the pattern and then come in and make a perfect first-time landing. Anyone who thinks that is in for a big surprise the first time they try the real thing (especially if there is any king of wind that day). But what I am saying is that person will be very familiar with all the flight instruments, the avionics panels and, in general, how to fly the plane. After all, about the only thing a real-world student pilot can't experience on the FS2002 sim is G-forces and real-world turbulence. It seems to me that a real-world student pilot taking the traditional lessons from a CFI at a qualified flight school will greatly benefit from being able to practice what he learned in a real plane on his home computer after the real-world flight.Most people can't afford flight lessons and even if they can, the cost of renting even C172 aircraft is up to $65 per hour for the older model planes and over $100 per hour for new C172's that have autopilots, GPS and other modern flight avionics. That's an expensive hobby.I say let the millions who will never fly real planes enjoy whatever Microsoft and other sim creators come up with and be overjoyed when these companies come up with even better flight sims.Buzz Jameson

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And what exactly do you suggest we do to generate progress aside from dealing with negatives?

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>And what exactly do you suggest we do to generate progress >aside from dealing with negatives?You're right.............I never really worry about running out of fuel in FS2002. I guess it "sucks" afterall!L.Adamson

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Well, at some point somebody thought it was a negative to not have fuel burn. And now you can worry about it.

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Rambling here about how poor MSFS is because it's not a full motion sim for $20 is not the way...If you have serious suggestions (with the emphasis on SERIOUS and not clueless rants) about improvements, I suggest you get in contact with the development team in person and they're probably happy to listen to you.

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The issue with the framerates has always bothered me and I'm pretty convinced it's the result of ineffiecient rendering code on MS's part. Take a look at new games coming out like Unreal Tournament 2003 or even some other recent flight sims like IL-2. Those games run a TON faster (like pinned at the refresh rate of the monitor) than FS and in IL-2's case the flight modeling is even better, yet people always say FS is slow because it's calculating so much in the background. I think MS needs to dump the rendering codebase and write it from scratch to support all the new NVIDIA pixel shader stuff etc... I just know the engine could be a LOT faster than it is... Hopefully this is what they're doing for FS2004 by getting rid of BGL files for the scenery. That kind of framerate would make the responsivness in the controlls go up exponetialy - hand landings would benefit especially...

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