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LAdamson

FS2004 Show Stoppers

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I would like to know if the following information I picked up is true:1. When there is low visibility on the ground (like a ground haze layer) once you break 1000 Ft. There is still a ground haze but you can see through it for miles above it to the surface.2. Flying at night, you can see clouds that are light colored and not black coming at you for miles even though there is a black sky?3. The clouds are dense and you can SORT OF fly through them, however they will rotate still to face your direction if you look from the outside or side view you can see a flat cloud go by. Not volumetric but more of a cloud wall.4. Like number 1 there is RAPID visibility changes, not gradual (BUT NOT CLOUDS which you can fly to and from and they stay there). One minute you can see forever (UNLESS there are clouds) and the next second it is gone and vice versa. No smooth visibility transition to determine ahead of time?I Would REALLY like people who can test this to let me and everyone else curious know.I KNOW personally what it's like flying at night with a VFR rating and having a cloud start dimming the lights below and ahead of you is like and it comes up on you as a black mass.

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**** "1. When there is low visibility on the ground (like a ground haze layer) once you break 1000 Ft. There is still a ground haze but you can see through it for miles above it to the surface."****This is true, and as far as I've seen, it mimics real life. I have landed in conditions where it's hard to see a mile away, yet from above, you can make out surface detail. Depends whether one is discussing haze vs. fog....**** "2. Flying at night, you can see clouds that are light colored and not black coming at you for miles even though there is a black sky?" ****I've observed this. Very much akin to flying with a full moon, all the time. Very realistic for full moon flight, but I agree that things would look better if the color of the clouds reflected the night lighting conditions, just as they do in the daytime.**** "3. The clouds are dense and you can SORT OF fly through them, however they will rotate still to face your direction if you look from the outside or side view you can see a flat cloud go by. Not volumetric but more of a cloud wall." ****I agree that these are not volumetric clouds--I don't remember them being advertised that way. They are 3-d, but 3-d in the sense they have depth when viewed from a distance. They still apply the same old trick of rotation, and flying in and out of them doesn't come close to equalling the realism of the real thing. Once doesn't get the sense that one is in the cloud with varying transparency, rather than flying through layers of a cloud. And, due to the rotation issue, I've flown through clouds that should be at least one mile thick, and I've been through them in seconds.**** "4. Like number 1 there is RAPID visibility changes, not gradual (BUT NOT CLOUDS which you can fly to and from and they stay there). One minute you can see forever (UNLESS there are clouds) and the next second it is gone and vice versa. No smooth visibility transition to determine ahead of time?" ****No on the transitions.... Although from above, you can see the effect on vis--certain areas of ground will be obscured by varying levels of haze. However, if you are approaching a line of T-Storms 60 miles distant, you'll see them as being 60 miles distant (if you've enabled your weather to display clouds that far out).I think the title of your thread is a bit misleading though, and invites Microsoft bashing for those with such an agenda. The weather is still far ahead that of FS2002, and I'd take it over Fly!'s volumetric clouds any day. If one wants to pick apart FS2004, I can be honest and say there's a million ways it can be done. Some seem intent on an agenda to do just that--searching for the faults. I have no doubt people will find them. But working in a devel shop as I do, I'll argue that none of the things you mention merit the loaded phrase "show stoppers." The sim delivers more functionality than it's predecessor. But 100 pct. realism? No way. I'll tell you this much, though. Normally, I grow irritated if the fps counter falls off of my precious lock. In a Tampa-Houston flight last night, it did, falling from 29 fps to 14 on final in Houston, as it is prone to doing when flying into an area with many buildings. I didn't care--the view and realism at sunset was spectacular. Flame me all you want for enjoying eye candy and not being a "real" pilot who prefers 100 pct, to the letter realism. But I think this sim is a great addition to the hobby, and not one thing you mention is a show stopper by anyone's definition who knows the profession of creating entertainment titles and/or software titles in general.

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Hi John, Are you experiencing any Win98se related issues? I'm still using 98se myself! (I can hear the rest of the forum groaning..) :7Mike CollierDispatcher/SOCAmerica West AirlinesKPHX

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Hey Mike (BTW, how did you like our 116 deg. weather yesterday? I chose yesterday of all days to close on my home refi)....98SE has shown no problems...mine has always been a stable setup, and FS2004 continues in that tradition. I have been flying FS2004 about 2-3 hours a day, although I had it up for over twelve hours on Saturday to test out the new GeForce 4/4200. No lockups or crashes. I'm very impressed that 98SE cooperates so well with the sim. As I suggest above, the sim isn't perfect. My one issue--and it may be related to the age of my system--is that I get a FS2000'ish type stutter when I'm flying even in rather bland areas, and the weather engine seems to trigger it, along with ground texture loading. But I can't say it wasn't expected--everyone was complaining about blurred textures. It seems to me that Microsoft has given ground texture clarity top priority in this sim, but the flip side to that is more of a tendency to stutter. Same holds true of the weather engine.But I say it's cpu specific, as the stutters seem scaled to the density of the scenery--IOTW, the fps fall by a specific percentage vs. to a flat amount. I think once I throw a more able cpu at it, I will be fine--and I don't think it will require a 3 Gig cpu..... In the meantime, flying on the P3/800 is fine and realistic in 90 pct. of the scenarios I enjoy.-John

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John, I hate to break the news, but Im using almost an identical set-up to you with my press copy of 2004. Except for the CPU. I have a P4 2.8ghz and 512mb ram, along with a GF4 ti 4200 128mb vid card. I am seeing the same stutter you are talking about. most of the time my frame rate is fine, but this stutter is a bit annoying. I have also thought its due to the terrain textures or the clouds, but right now i haven't done enough testing to confirm it. Sems I have it even at minimal settings. I am using the 44.03 detonators and I do use 2x aniso and about -.4 LOD settings with rivatuner. I am hoping its due to the fact that my software is pre-gold release, but now Im not so sure.Hornit

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Thanks for the reply John! I apologize about my choice of words and I am in NO WAY looking to start anything negative. A better choice would have been questions. Looking forward to getting the sim regardless, I can't wait and appreciate your honesty!I will live with those items since the ATC, Weather, Taxiway Signs, etc... Will MORE than make up for it!!!! Thanks again John!

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Hornit...Hardly being bad news--you've just saved me the cost of an upgrade. Sorry to say, the stutters I mention are in the Gold release. They are present even if I alias to FS2002's scenery (putting airport and building detail on equal footing). And I think they're there because others made such a big stink about the blurries, since it is very hard to cause them now..... -John

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John, I bet the sure fire way to get rid of stutters is more RAM. I have 512MB now and I know if I put 1GB of RAM in there it would maek a big diff. in how fast the textures are drawn.BTW--I bet you talk to some real pilots and they'll say that they also ejoy looking at the "eye candy" outside their windows as well. So do I and many others.

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"John, I bet the sure fire way to get rid of stutters is more RAM"Been there, done that. The stutters seem entirely independent on the amount of free RAM remaining on the machine--and based on usage stats, FS2004 isn't using all that's available on my system (it did prior to my last upgrade, however). The stutters are even independent of the RAM on the vid card--they were present on my 64 Meg GeF/2, a 128 meg Radeon 9200, and my current GeF/4 (also 128 meg). I believe they are simply caused by some changes in priority to the sim vs. FS2002. And considering the tradeoff in superior graphics quality, I can't say I am disappointed.Also, the nature of them is different than FS2000. In FS2000, you'd throw the aircraft into a hard bank, and there they'd be. In FS2004, they happen only periodically, such as when new clouds are first drawn into a scene, or new textures. Avoiding view switches helps somewhat.

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Hi, "I agree that these are not volumetric clouds--I don't remember them being advertised that way. They are 3-d, but 3-d in the sense they have depth when viewed from a distance. They still apply the same old trick of rotation, and flying in and out of them doesn't come close to equalling the realism of the real thing. Once doesn't get the sense that one is in the cloud with varying transparency, rather than flying through layers of a cloud. And, due to the rotation issue, I've flown through clouds that should be at least one mile thick, and I've been through them in seconds."-When you fly through the clouds, they do NOT rotate, they melt, like Fly!. I have no issue with the rotating clouds which is very well implemented with no problem in this area (paper thing anomalie or anything else like we have seen in fs2002.) They turn in subtile way, you don`t really notice them. I set my weather display to Ultra high which I see no problem for the 3d clouds for fs2004.-The turbulance, is very well implemented, over FUIII.About the real thing, you are talking about particle inside the clouds which I never seen in sim. which require high power machine not available yet, to manage all clouds in fs2004 in the sky, probably fs2006 with more powerfull computer and higher video cardAnd these are default clouds setup which need alot of works, I can do better volumetric transition on clouds when you through the clouds.The fs2004 weather system is ahead from any previous sim available.ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Alright Folks,This thread has the potential of becoming very dangerous (and no, I'm not an admin - I've just been around here a long time). Despite the provacative title, the items Carmine inquired about, while interesting, are hardly "show-stoppers"... Carmine, please don't lose any sleep - I've managed to come up with some pretty "colorful" subject titles myself over the years :-)! However, the discussion about STUTTERING has me very concerned. Implying that the stutters cannot be fixed by turning down graphics settings IS a very serious matter (i.e. a Show-Stopper). I know that "blurries" have been the war anthem for the oppressed these past 2 years - but personally, I've happily endured the occasional blurred ground texture in exchange for FS2K2's smooth frame rates. As someone who has a P4-3GHz system in the mail (primarily for FS2004), I ask that any tester who responds to this issue of stuttering has done some thorough research with different graphics settings and weather/terrain detail... hardware specs and Windows version would also be beneficial. Considering that the software has not yet been released, we are relying on the beta team for the hard, honest facts. If FS2004 constantly stutters, I want to know about it - but after reading countless posts about how much better the new version runs on existing hardware, I find these claims very intriguing.Regards,Marc

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... these might not be show stoppers, but when someone tries to load a non-Gmax or non-FSDS2 plane ... it might turn out to be :-lol DOH!

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>If FS2004 constantly>stutters, I want to know about it - but after reading>countless posts about how much better the new version runs on>existing hardware, I find these claims very intriguing.>Hints of "stutter" on my system seem to go hand in hand with frame rates. I've done lot's of flying in the new "frame rate friendly" Caribbean area in the last week, and FS2004 gives that fluid smoothness impression of X-Plane. Because I like to load up slider settings in scenery areas and fly low, it's when fps quickly change from upper 20's to the teens and back............ that appear as stuttering. It's really no different than FS2002 on my system, and nothing like the irritating & consistant stutters of FS2K.IMO---- consistant fps of upper 20's into the 30's --- is most preferred unless type of flight is where scenery appears to move slowly anyway.L.AdamsonAthlon 1900XP/Geforce3Ti500/512DDRram 1600*1200*32

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"It's really no different than FS2002 on my system, and nothing like the irritating & consistant stutters of FS2K."Makes me go back to wondering if my cpu speed is the issue. Given a final approach into clear skies, roughly the same scenery density, and into KIAH, in FS2002 I get a smooth 25 fps all the way in. In FS2004, I'll get 25fps followed by a period of 13-17 fps, then 20 fps, then a falloff. Since I still have FS2002 installed, it's a scenario I've replayed with different variations to find something in common. What seems different, is FS2004 seems to labor at clearing textures more. In FS2002, it was not uncommon for a LOD 5 cell to blur for a moment, then reclear. It happened from time to time. In FS2004, I don't see that in the immediate vicinity of the aircraft--as if FS2004 takes a do or die approach to keeping the textures clear. Over the ocean, I agree it's smooth as glass. Moreover (and thanks to your suggestion), I fly w/reflections now, as they have no fps hit on my system and look far nicer than FS2002's.Everything's a tradeoff--I'm willing to concede an odd stutter for what you get in FS2004. And you are right--it is not as bad as FS2000 was, although it still can catch one unawares.Avoiding view switches on final or during high turn rates helps to reduce the issue.-John

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Hi Mark, "the discussion about STUTTERING has me very concerned. Implying that the stutters cannot be fixed by turning down graphics settings IS a very serious matter"Reference from actual acceptable system market:There is no such as stutters issue in Fs2004 with acceptable system.Testing with brand new system with no files corruption on any *.dll & drivers with stable Os windows XP.Mid system market P4 2.53gHZ 533 MHZ, Kingston 512 Ram 333mHz, gforce4 TI 4200 128 meg 8x, Asus P4P800 8X running at 533MHZ.I get no stutters, smooth flight, I set most slider to full except the antialasing to 2x at max, disable all shadows and dynamic scenery add-ons, still no stutters.I have spend most of my time flying fs2004 than tweaking fs2004 slider, problem will occurs on lower system, old Frequency system bus,mother board type, and ram type, with old windows version and old windows installation.Fs2004 is running the same thing with the actual system market, like fs2002 was running at the 2001 system market time.For sure you will want always more frame rate with upgrading your system to 3,4 GHZ and 4ghz when they will be available in the market. I consider even fs2004 run better then fs2002 for compare the system market from 2001 and 2003.Remember fs2002 most users did upgrade, the max system market was available at the fs2002 release time was 1.2 ghz, 512 ram, 64 meg gforce2.For those who will run fs2004 with 1.2 ghz, 512 ram, 64 meg gforce2 will have to tweaks MOST of the slider and disable feature to get acceptable performance.Performance can degrade alot on lower end system, old Frequency system bus,mother board type, and ram type, with old windows version and old windows installation. You will get your performance according to your system capability.ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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