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TonyB

20 largest airports as seen in COF - screen shots - do you know link to it?

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Some website has a set of screenshots for the 20thlargest / busiest airports as seen in COF.If you know where that is can you post the link or directions.Thanks,Myles

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It looks like the addon scenery companies need not fear going out of business!MIA & KLAX look OK, but the rest seem no better than the default FS2002 ones. The buildings are so basic, they just look like Generic Autogen. The Mesh at CDG is still bad with those aweful stretched textures. It looks like I will be buying FS2004 for only two reasons:1)A better ATC2)Better weather effects.Is that the best we can hope for after two years developement?Freeware and smaller companies come up with better in much shorter time frames and make a lot LESS MONEY than Microsoft! Seems that FS2004 is a patched FS2002, which is something Microsoft should have done to FS2002 anyway. If smaller companies and Freeware people offer fixes and patches to the software, it is not unreasonable.After all the dust settles, I think the flight sim community will be left feeling the same way.Regards Nitram London UK

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I'm intrigued by your attitude, Nitram!What would you have liked Microsoft to have done to the program? It's not easy to simulate the entire earth and include everything that everyone wants all at once.Looking around at other software, you may have noticed that the vast majority of them had the basics down quite a few years ago. Excel, Word, Quicken, Autocad... If you want the job done, all of these programs were fully functional 3 or 4 versions ago.The company I work for seems to be functioning just fine with Office 97... anything more recent just seems to be compatibility patches and pretty graphic updates. Why should Flightsim be any different? I'm just happy that there is a new version!Simpit

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That is not what I am saying!Other smaller companies have done more with less resources and continued to improve their products with patches and updates.A 100 Billion Dollar Company adjusts an old product then leaves the rest of the world (their own customers) to patch it up. They do not even provide patches! I do not expect miracles, but I do expect more than an ATC adjustment and 'volumetric' clouds. Correct AFCAD would be a start!There are smaller companies and freeware designers who have done that and they are not on their way to there next Billion!Making LHR a bit more realistic by using a 'UK' type texture for buildings would be a start. It is one of the busiest airports in the world after all. It seams that MS has a building set consisting of little boxes that will fit anywhere. What is the point of superb sunsets and lens flare effects, when CDG Mesh looks as bad as it did in FS98?All I would like to say is that if a payware company could design a better ATC and volumetric clouds (although I can live with the FS2002 clouds), I would rather give them my Money because:1)They would probably be more accurate2)Updates would be availableHaving spent two years adjusting MS2002 with hundreds of dollars of Addon's, I am lothe to spend another $50 messing it up!Just an idea, why does n't MS sub-contract out some of scenery to the other payware companies and spead the workload?In the UK I paid

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The good thing about FS2004 is that Microsoft seems to have taken backwards compatibility into account with this version. If they had done a major overhaul, I doubt that you could move most of your Addons over. As it is, you should be able to move most of them. The problem that Microsoft has is this: They have several gigabytes of data to manage that millions of people take personally. (An aside here, but Flight sim continually proves to me that visualization is very powerful. If all of the data that makes up the Flightsim world were presented in the original numeric format, how would anyone tell if there were any errors?) So their world is painted in broad strokes, and they try to please most of the people most of the time.They have to write the world engine, but addon companies can concentrate on what they want to do and do it very well. There is a reason why they have so much money - they know when to stop spending it and sell what they have made. I also get fustrated sometimes with their attitude, especially when our local experts have to spend many hours trying to decipher the new stuff in each new version of the software in order to enhance the software, but that's just the way it is.By the way - What's wrong with the AFCADs?Simpit

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Its your last statemnet that seems like you would be happy to hear that the next version is for the most part an upgrade than an overhaul with the exception of the weather. I'm not taking sides on this issue but I have found that I am happy with 2002 and now that the weather engine is new in 2004 all we need is upgrades for awhile. Heres my point, you take all the "hundreds of dollar of addon's" you spent and keep them for more than one, two or three new versions. Meanwhile MS does us simmers the favor of not reworking the entire hard code of the sim but instead releases no longer new versions but upgraded versions. With the exception of maybe a good working FMC you pretty much have everything you need in the sim. You have real weather, ATC, AI, taxiway signs, systems, auto-gen, auto bridge, landclass with major landmarks like roads, towers, rivers etc, virtual cockpits, gps, and an extreme amout of airports. So theres very little things that could be new unlike just one verson ago when there was half that and well 98 was great at the time but well... So to me its gotten to the point that if MS took two years to nail the weather engine and made this release a tribute to 100 years dropped the price from the prior pro version down to 50 then thats great. Theres very little that needs to be redone now that the weather is fixed. Every thing else can be improved without changing the whole sim. So maybe MS will go in the direction of every 2 years or less releasing patches/upgrades for the hard code of what we have now allowing people like you who have "hundreds of dollars of addon's" to still get to eat your cake and have it two by not having to throw out everything you have in order to use the next version. I would love to see in a year or two an ATC, AI, a/c characteristics and auto-gen upgrade for CoF which would cost about 40 bucks and just improves everything we have with out installing a whole new sim. Something that takes care of all the little things that we feel should of been released with this version but MS took high priorty in getting the weather to frame rate to a happy medium for us. Teh nthey could do it again for the next release where it just up grades the hard code with out needing a complete new install. When MS develops a grapically new way to make the sim then they could redo the whole sim and we would start from scratch again. I do know that there is a very good chance that a lot of your addons you spent "hundreds of dollars on" (yet dont understand how your money falls out of your pocket so loosely to those developers but with out a sim they are worthless) might not work properly in CoF since the scenery is now BGL or the AFCAD is different and certain virtual cockpits might have been wrote outside of the SDK but the fact still remains...you have a vaild point overall but pointing fingers and down talking the FS team at MS maybe is not the correct action. The developers do a job let it be freeware developers, payware developers, or those who are employeed by a corporation-thats just there job and if you ask me all of them do there own part to make my past time a great experience. Kilstorm

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If you want to see a good LHR take a look at Gary Summon's London Airports. If you look at the FS2004 version, over half of the Airport is missing with taxiways just ending nowhere. Getting Major Airports correct should not be left now, when MS is now building onto their original 'Gigabytes' of World information that they already have. If they were to approach scenery designers in different countries, we could have a more accurate sim, but they continue to focus on American Airports while giving the rest of the world a rendition of there imagination (A good example is the Millenium dome placed next to the houses of parliament.) They also think that we live in houses built like their own so the landclass in Europe is wrong. It is not just Americans paying for this software but lots of other countries.As I said before, all I expect from MS is better ATC (menu choices, altitude etc) and a bit more weather eye candy (clouds). But you can bet that all of the Freeware and Payware addon companies will be busy producing patches while I expect MS will not provide any, (should FS2004 have any bugs). Instead the customer will end up picking up the pieces (and the tab!) while Bill Gates buys another couple of islands !I am surprised that the USA as not been renamed the United States of Microsoft!

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Kilstorm,I totally agree with your post. I would rather keep my addon's and FS2002, then mess the whole thing up.If a FS2002 ATC to FS2004 Patch were available, that would be all I need!!!!!There is nothing more annoying than being told that IFR is cancelled because my addon RFP 747-200 does not climb fast enough!

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>MIA & KLAX look OK, but the rest seem no better than the>default FS2002 ones. The buildings are so basic, they just>look like Generic Autogen.You've got to be kidding me - go load up Denver (KDEN) and Phoenix (KPHX) in 2002 and tell me those 2004 screens don't look a million times better! I've been both hundreds of times in real life and those pics look very true to life.Ryan

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Sorry, read my post. What about LHR.Microsoft seems to only concentrate on US airports.The rest of the world tends to look 'American' too.It is not just Americans who buy this Flight Simulator!!!!!!!!

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Again, you are taking the database personally.Gary does excellent work and can spend the time to make each airport he does the best he can. But he is concentrating on the British isles, not 24,000 airports all over the world. He can go visit each and get information on each, which would be VERY expensive for Microsoft to do.So they provide a good base product, and leave it up to Gary and others to satisfy the particular needs of the local areas. It would be impossible for ANY company to do different.As far as your "United states of Microsoft" comment goes, I think you would be hard pressed to find people ANYWHERE in the world that are more knowledgeable about other areas of the world than where they live. It's just a fact. You work with what you know.If you're not upset over the fact that there's a missing railroad bridge over the Tenessee river just upstream of Knoxville, why should I worry about the shape of houses in the U.K.? (By the way, the default autogen looks funny in parts of the U.S. as well. We are not one homogenous nation). I think you are asking a little too much of the base product.Simpit

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I disagree with: "I think you would be hard pressed to find people ANYWHERE in the world that are more knowledgeable about other areas of the world than where they live" because I have aerial photos via airliners.net etc, that show airports. Those airports have there own websites also. I have a shot of KSFB that looks like the MS landclass. LHR can also be found along with CDG plus there are enough websites showing the correct layouts.If MS came to this forum and contacted some of the "locals" perhaps this would change. How they can call it FS2004 is beyond me. They should just call it 'FS2002 The Patched Version!'As for missing bridges, I am talking about Major Airports and generic Landclass and having correct AFCAD at those Airports.These things are the most important to a pilot."why should I worry about the shape of houses in the U.K.?"Because of Microsoft's slogan "AS REAL AS IT GETS" I suppose!Anyhow this is not a US versus the rest of the world issue, but a company doing the minimum to gain the maximum.

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