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Magic Man

FS2004 Opening a can of worms

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You can't possibly be serious!If you've been at all following the development of FS2004, you'd know that huge improvements over FS2002 have been made. The flight dynamics of the new additions are being praised by real-world pilots who've flown them. Two good examples are:1. The Spirit of St Louis, with flight very accurate to its real-life counterpart. This is demonstrated by flight performance numbers very close to the real one, as well as an inherent instability, which makes it quite demanding on the pilot. This was done intentionally, by the way.2. The Wright Flyer. Once you try flying this thing when FS2004 is released, you'll certainly appreciate the skills the Wright brothers needed!I cannot say whether the existing carry-over aircraft have improved aerodymics, though.The weather is something that has been desperately missing from all flight simulator releases until this one. Most people will seriously be amazed at how good it really is. You'll be able to see precipitation in the distance just the way you see it in real life. Real-time weather will be updated every 5 minutes, and you'll be able to see weather fronts coming in from the distance. Clouds are composed of 2d spirtes, but, like in IL2, they're done in such a way that you'll be hard pressed to notice. This is because they are present in a volumetric space and rotate towards you when you look at them. The effect this creates is amazing as is seen from the video you can download of how clouds are created in FS2004. You'll also be able to fly around in a clear day with dynamic weather and start seeing cloud forming around you, just like in reality.The precipitation effects are amazing in FS2004, as is the dawn/dusk lighting and sun shine/glare effect. You'll find that the ground textures were done in the same way as in FS2002, but the bitmaps themselves are a lot better and blend better with the environment. The trees also blend nicely with the environment, which can't really be said about FS2002's clouds.The new aircraft do have amazing detail and even the virtual cockpit's rival and in some cases exceed the visuals of the current addons. This is because the texture quality is as good, and the glass on the dials actually reflects the light!Next time you post something, do a bit of research first!James

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Just have to ask this...How much of your reaction is based on real life experience with the BETA or is it all marketing Blurp. Microsoft is very good at marketing i wish they where just as good in delivering bug free stable products.The 2 planes you mention don't intrest me. Almost every add-on has a flight model tested and approved by real pilots thats marketing for you even products that fly like a ton of bricks have that marketing blurb to lure customers.However the new Ford Tri Motor and DC-3 interrest me. Still I'm sure that the new MAAM-SIM R4D G-max add-on will be better than the default DC-3. BTW if you realy like to fly the Spirit of St Louis LAGO has it as an add-on for FS2002.The FS200x series has become an incredible complex set of programs. I find it understandable that many of us will wait and see how FS2004 turns out. The new weather looks intresting but as another poster already mentioned. If it eats to much frames its the first thing I'll ditch. None of the stock aircraft in previous editions have come close to 3rd party add-ons. If I remember correctly FS2002 had some aircraft out of FS2000 that where virtualy unconverted (easly spotted by the missing VC) if FS2004 pulls any of those cost cutting stunts they will have a very angry customer here.My first reaction upon studying al those screenshots? Great they included Schiphol as a detailed airport! But eeeeh where the @#@% is the new Polderbaan!? New weather? Looks great but what about the frame rate. New aircraft? Mostly interested in modern airliners. Most screenshots of those aircraft show little improvement (if any) over the FS2002 ones (gauges look the same). So maybe they wil become clickable in the VC. It beter be as good as in Wilco's PIC A320 (effordless head movement and zooming with a wheel mouse) to make it worthwhile.In the end I have more money than sense when it comes to FS200x matters so I will be the first in line come july. But I still have the feeling I will be buying another slight bug fix that needs lots of 3rd party add-on's to become anywhere near the current add-on supercharged FS2002.

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I can see your point, but M$ seem to have incorporated a few featues which a lot of people have wanted for a long time-i.e Weather and better ATC. This alone will probably mean that the majority of poeple will buy it. Also, because FS2004 will be based on pretty much the same engine as 2002, we can probably expect the latest release to bejust as stable as the current release... All these great addons or most have stated that they will indeed update their products to work with FS2004,some are even saying they'll upgrade to take advantage of features such as clickable VC's(referring to PMDG). The fact is,M$ are not really expected to release these detailed planes which you talk about-they cant really be expected to IMHO,providing a solid,stable platform is their main job,not detailed planes-I'll leave that to the Developers ;)The price isnt that bad, for most the new features will probably justify upgrading to FS2004/COF-although a lot may actually wait for he price to come down first ;)My two european cents RegardsJohnhttp://www.bavirtual.co.uk 650Hours ;)P 2.53 GHZ512 RAMWINXPGFORCE 4 128MB Ti4600http://vatsim.pilotmedia.fi/statusindicato...tor=OD1&a=a.jpg

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Firstly, this reply is not directed to anyone in particular, it is merely me voicing my own opinion. I've skipped through SOME of the FS2004 topics in these and other forums, and have largely refrained from either reading them too closely, or posting any replies or opinions. Why? Simply because of the strange attitudes that people seem to have with regard to the imminent release of the latest FS installment. Everybody is perfectly entitled to their opinion, and if some don't relish the idea of buying a new FS product, then that is their right. However, SOME of the arguments against it are bordering on the ridiculous. In particular the idea that we should be put off by the fact that the new visual features of FS2004 (particularly the new weather features, clouds etc) will be a massive drain on framerates. As ANY new software is released it will take primary advantage of the high end technology that is currently available, and in some cases even exceed it, presumably on the grounds that soon to be available hardware will be on everyones shopping list. And whilst I agree that not everyone will want to upgrade their systems simply because an attractive new piece of software has been released, unfortunately the software designer is unlikely to care, as he knows that a huge amount of people will either already have that high end PC, or at least be planning on getting it some time soon. Unfortunately technology is moving to fast to keep all but those with the slightly healthier bank accounts happy. But that has, and always will be the case. I built my own PC about 18 months ago. At the time it was very fast, and having bought FS2002, I was thrilled that I finally had a computer capable of running it at a satisfactory rate. At the beginning of this year I bought a processor, 3D card, and memory upgrade. Now I can run 2002 with superb performance. But is my computer still 'state of the art'...not even close. Can I afford to build myself a whole new system this year? Not a chance. Will my system run FS2004 at a satisfactory speed? Very unlikely. Will I buy FS2004 when it is released despite this fact? Without a doubt. Will I eventually build myself a system worthy of FS2004? Yes, without a doubt. But will I be carrying out this upgrade purely because of software demands? Very unlikely.The unfortunate fact is that to run the latest games to their full capacity you will doubtless need a reasonable system. If people are not prepared to upgrade because Microsofts games department appears to be dictating that they should, then fair enough...don't buy FS2004...stick with FS2002, its still a FANTASTIC package. But don't complain about Uncle Bill and his viscious drive to lighten our wallets a little. His developers are merely doing what the market place demands. I'll buy FS2004, because it looks gorgeous, and I know that ONE DAY in the not to distant future I'll have the system to run it nicely. And so will everyone, eventually...it doesn't matter if its sooner or later.Kind regards,Al Summers.

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Same thing every 2 years. If you save this thread and compare it to 2 years ago or look at it 2 years from now, you'll see the same type of discussion.Now that said. Let's look at this from a slightly different angle. I basically look at MS Flight Simulator as the base platform. Every couple of years MS DOES make improvements to the base platform and they charge a very fair 50-60 bucks for it. I then rely on the add-ons that I want to make the sim that I want. Each of us have different tastes. Some want great scenery and do not worry so much about the plane. Some, vise versa and some want the whole deal. If you think of FlightSim now, it is basically al e' carte' (sp). Buy the base, and then purchase what you want after that. Look at the add ons you have purchased. Why would one think that you would get all that from MS for the same price as the base. You would not, nor should you you. That is what makes the "base" a great product. So much can be added it to it, unlike many other sims.

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>You used 540 words to state that your a complete moron. Well>done.>>KilstormEasy there big fella...Objective and polite criticism of ones post is okay but name-calling is out of the question.

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After reading a few posts in this and other forums and after reading some pre-release reviews here and other places I still do not see why everyone seems to be waiting with bated breath for FS2004.I have yet to see anything to convince me that it will be significant improvement over FS2002. There does not seem to be any major departures from FS2002 as there was from FS98 to FS2000. And I don't see that FS2004 is even going to be a significant 'bug fix' for FS2002 as FS2002 was for FS2000.Isn't it interesting that Microsoft has figured out that they don't need to have 'bug fixes' any more since they have duped us into buying the 'bug fix'. Something they started with the 'Win95sr2' bug fix for 'Win95' which has now migrated into all of Microsoft's applications.Does anybody really think that Microsoft is going to give us any new airplanes that are even close to RealAir Simulation's 'SF260' or their 'C172SP' in flight dynamics? And while the flight model of Geofa's Debonair is not as realistic as the SF260, I haven't seen any freeware or payware that is as detailed as the Debonair's visual model. The instrument panel has sun glare that I haven't seen on any other airplane. It is the only airplane that I know of in any simulator platform that has the engine cowling visible over the instrument panel which for me gives it the 'As Real as it gets' perspective (Sorry if some of the Payware has this feature as I don't own any payware airplanes to compare). The Debonair's wings looking out the windows are as real looking as I've seen (you can count the rivets). Unfortunately I'm too cheap to upgrade my (3dfx V5 5500) video card so the view from the 'Spot View' has blurry aircraft textures (which is also the reason I haven't purchased the SF260 yet).And to have native 'Real Photographic' scenery where you can pick out actual landmarks you still have to go to Flight Unlimited III. You can get a real photographic scenery add-on (the Los Angeles basin only) in a download for Fly 2 and I have a real photographic scenery add-on of San Diego for FS98 (which is usable in FS2002 but doesn't work as well as it does in FS98 which is why I still fly FS98 since I live in San Diego) but that's it. And unless I'm misinformed the 'Landclass' stuff isn't real photographic scenery either. But in any case I don't see Microsoft providing real photographic scenery even though they have satellite photos of the entire world on their 'Terraserver' which could be converted to Flight Sim scenery. I saw better Satellite scenery in the News coverage of the Iraq war than I've seen in any Flight Simulator.The bottom line is with all the great freeware and payware airplanes, scenery, and other add-ons such as the Garmin GPS, FSUIPC, Nav aids, FMC's, airport data, etc....... and a fairly stable platform to run it all on (FS2002), what could Microsoft possibly give us to match?Well I guess a lot of you will be paying your latest tribute to 'William the Conqueror' in few weeks to find out.Sskoup

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JP... I have removed his message entirely. Kilstorm, that's unacceptable behavior. Please don't repeat it. JP, I have given you the ability to remove messages here too.

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I treat Flight Simulator releases very similar to new albums from my favorite bands...Unless I am told ahead of time that it is completely horrible, I AM going to buy that album.Hopefully it will be bigger, better, and different. Flight Simulator is the most important program I have on my computer right now - it drives much of my hardware purchasing, and it accounts for most of my software spending as well. Much to my girlfriend's shagrin, it is a primary hobby of mine. There are people who won't get excited, or see the "big deal" with the new releases of Flight Simulator - expecially if the changes are not huge. Their attitude might change upon release, when people start raving about the program, OR their attitude might be bolstered by lackluster reviews and reports of problems - you never know! But either way - those who have seen the program firsthand have given a very positive feel to it, and considering that's all we have right now, it's very difficult for a flight sim junkie like myself to NOT get excited about it.It's just all about different degrees of interest. Those with a very high degree of interest are more likely to get excited, and those with lesser degrees of interest are more likely to be ho-hum about it. I'm eagerly awaiting July!-Greg

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To the original poster, you make little sense to me, do you expect a ground-breaking release with a million new features?? You mentioned about the SF260 and it's great flight dynamics, yet you said you don't have it. Same can be said for the new sim, you are going by what you have seen and read, wait till you try it before bashing it! You say you still use FS98, yet you are concerned about the scenery, c'mon, the scenery level in 2002 is way beyond 98, if you are happy with the level of detail in 98, you should have no problems with using 2002 or 2004 with the sliders to min. I have used the Debonair, and didn't like the texture mapping in the VC, it is a great package and a ton of work went in to it, but the visuals are not there for me, I am glad YOU are happy with it!As far as a "stable platform" to run add ons on, think again, I am hoping that the new sim WILL provide that. Even if it is just a new version with a bunch of small bug fixes, better stability, a few more detailed airports (Mine (DFW) especially), better clouds, weather, and ATC,I think I can justify spending $50, even $100 on it considering all the 100's of aircraft, scenery, utilities, etc, I have enjoyed for free, thanks to all the designers that have provided this for my pleasure, THANKS TO MS and having this sim! Geeeezzzz, some people Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpgCalVirAir International VAwww.calvirair.comCougar Mountain Helicopters & Aviationwww.cgrmtnhelos.com

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Right on the money Michael, could not have said it better.Steve

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In my humble opinion and based on what I read and saw regarding FS2004, It will be mainly a new version focused on what's above the horizon and I explain myslef:FS2002 branding was mainly done on the landscape, the autogen, the complex landclass distribution etc. That was a new thing and the version selling point was based on that innovationFS2004 will be mainly soled based on the skies innovation. The breathtaking lighting variation, the weather variation and the volumetric clouds are THE main improvement in FS2004. There are other improvements as well and small additions as well. So I believe either people buy FS2004 for the new skies technolody or they don't. CheersMichel

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>And to have native 'Real Photographic' scenery where you can>pick out actual landmarks you still have to go to Flight>Unlimited III. FUIII with how many square miles of this 'real photographic' coverage ? Thanks but no thanks.Michael J.

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For me, it's all about the weather. What is really lacking in every sim (except FUIII and CFS3) is a believable atmosphere model. The "floating wigs" as Richard Harvey so eloquently called the MS clouds will hopefully be gone with FS2004 and replaced with the much touted volumetric clouds. The gradual increasing and decreasing cloudscape that is pushed across the terrain by the winds aloft is enough for me to plunk down my dollars for this sim. Throw in the other nice improvements of C.G. loading, clickable VC's, more random autogen, better mesh and terrain, more detailed airports to go with the ones from 2002, a better sky, etc...and I'm sold. Tim13

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