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Can we now have an "intelligent" criticism of FS2004.

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I must admit, having FS2004 for over a week, I was at first starstruck but now the honeymoon is over, and it is time for us to band together and discuss some issues that need to be discussed.First of all, the "p" word. Microsoft never released on for FS2002, FS2000 did have one, but only after constant nagging by the FS community. Plain and simple FS2004 needs one too. Lets address some of the more egreious issues and please helpful posts such as issues and suggestions on having them solved. Posts that tell me to "upgrade" or "works fine here" are just as a big of waste as, "this game sucks" type comments.Now on to the issues.1. Both ATI and NVidia Video cards have some "Serious" graphics issues that can prevent the ATI's from going full screen, and AA issues that cause the screen to black out. This is unacceptable. Of the major brand video cards that are out there, most of all the video card GPU's are manufactured by one of five companies. Intel, ATI, NVidia S3 and Matrox. In gaming cards there are really only two choices, Nvidia and ATI. It is therefore unacceptable that we should be having the "full screen" or menu selection issues with AA on. I mean can Microsoft tell me that they developed this program with non-WHQL certified drivers!!!??? What is the point of WHQL certification if Microsoft develops using beta drivers? This error should have never been there, and to pawn it off of the manufactuer of the cards is cheap.2. Does ANYONE get good frame rates (above 15) with the AI weather on anything but minimum settings? Having a 600MHz machine, I can understand why it is too much for me, but my friend has a 1.6 Mhz machine and gets similar low frames in the clouds. I am purchasing a new computer soon, and am concerned that even an Athlon 2400+ is going to have a hard time 3. Missing bridges: While dynamic bridges are a good idea, the mistakes made in deleting "real ones" The missing of the Coronado Bridge in San Diego Harbor is but one. 4. Autogen mistakes in runways like houses intercepting runways.5. S/U issues and install issues regarding the New Copy protection being used on it.Some of these issues are minor, yet some of them are extremely a big problem.While FS2004 is amazing in many respects, but using uncertified drivers to develop and then relying on the perspective drivers to be released by the manufactuerer is plain silly and a mockery of the WHQL process since MS doesn't even adhere to it. FS2004 currently has some major performance and appearance issues that need addressed. If we don't discuss these things, there is little chance to get these issues heard. An update is needed. 6 FPS using a 600Mhz machine is one thing. 6 FPS on a 1.6 GigHz machine is a bit ridiculous.I am not trying to bash the product or claim how bad it is and try and get a refund. I desparately want FS2004 to work, But I think that MS definitely needs to patch this, and I feel that if we don't begin an intelligent dialog, that Microsoft will not patch 2004 at all, and we will all be experiencing those beautiful clouds.One Frame at a time Here's my vote for a patch..

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Maybe I am of a select few, but when it comes to a patch, I don't think it needs to come from Microsoft. I would expect a lot of issues to be solved by the video card manufacturers. I am using an ATI 9500 pro and am getting 25-30 FPS settings on max except for the clouds are on medium. Granted I have a system that helps out the video card. The card does not do all of the work. I have seen many posts for people to make requests to their video card manufacture in hopes that the next set of drivers will help those that have issues. I don't see any major problems with my graphics though. The terrain is beautiful, the planes are nice and shinny when they need to be, dull when they need to be. The reflections are nice, etc. etc. I just finished a flight in the DC-3 from Anchorage to Fairbanks and I tell you it was the most impressive flight I have take so far. They all just keep getting better and better.This probably wasn't the post you were all hoping for, but I am anxious to see what ATI and Nvidia put out in their next set of drivers. I think this might fix a lot of the things people are mentioning. As for the bridges and houses in the wrong place I have not seen any. I am not saying they are not in there, but are they so few and far between that they may just go un-noticed by most....

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I just bought mine today so I haven't had adequate time to test different settings. However an initial night flight encountered black squares blinking during takeoff roll. Will do more testing tomorrow.P4. 1.8768 SDRAMGeforce 2 Ultra 64MBNvidia Drivers 44.03Windows XP HomeBrent Hebert

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Hi, "FS2004 currently has some major performance"Nope, There was tons of post about many positif performance, on mid, lower, I am afraid major problems on performance is not true. see the pic below.Reducing the realism on weather for better frame rate, you can use fs2k2, you will have the non accurate result and all the well know wrong implementation visual in fs2002 for ONLY better frame rate. Do not expect miracle, you will not have anything for nothing.If Ms was implementing Weather a la IL2 sturmovic cotton ball with few clouds here and here and low density weather for better frame rate, it will be not realistic at all, I don't want to get back with limited layer only few clouds , and all these stuff non accurate, specialy not for a cv sim, which require all cloud type, CB,stratus, high height, dense many layers weather etc. Weather should have better room with futur newer system, tons of people have wait long time to see this in Ms, I will not start to talk about frame rate and complain about this, even if you CAN have good frame rate with some tweak in fs2004, it was well know before they works of this, "realistic" weather require frame rate, at least you know now.The 6 fps is way too low, probably he use 4x AA or overload details, we don't know about his system, you should use the search you will see about this.I get 20 fps most of the time, all to full right, except shadows, clouds ultra high 40 mil clouds, clouds % to 100. sometime the frame rate drop but still fluid.Full screen I do not have this problem with gforce. Only the 2x AA, but I dont`t use the create flight page. I go direct to the flight, so no problems, until nvidia release new driver that's will fix that's. The graphics issue will be fixed with newer driver with AA.Ps:I was unable to run fs2002 at full right at the release, why ? the best card available was gforce2 64meg , you have your own conclusion._http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/28251.jpg_ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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>3. Missing bridges: While dynamic bridges are a good idea,>the mistakes made in deleting "real ones" The missing of the>Coronado Bridge in San Diego Harbor is but one. While this one is disconcerting, when you're "in the groove, this one also kind of cracks me up in a way.... one of the missing bridges goes to some of the Microsoft campuses. (Hey Microsoft, someone there has to have used I-90 at least once! ROFL)

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Hi, "black squares blinking during takeoff "did you use tweaker ? Try this: but your card will suffer I thinks, you card do not support reflection, gforce2 and gforce4mx do not support fs2004 at full capability.Fs9.cfg under: (DISPLAY)TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=40 <------------ to a higher value ex: 400This setting controls the rate at which textures get transferred to the video hardware. Higher numbers will result in the textures getting to the hardware faster and avoiding "popping" textures when switching view but may increase stutters and require more physical memory on the video card (and some more, not recommended for video card with less than 128Mb). ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Hi wathomas777,I'm with you. I like the sim. I am also a little dismayed about the driver issue. I would just like to see MS put out a patch to fix a few deficiencies and oversights. The game hasn't been out all that long and I have seen numerous posts concerning missing bridges and areas of scenery that are messed up or missing that were NOT broken in FS2002. Then there was this post about a fairly important part of scenery missing. It has an interesting screenshot in it. It may be fixed by someone in the community, but I think MS should be responsible and do the right thing. Here's a link to the post...http://www.forums.simflight.com/viewtopic.php?t=9856I think it should be kept in mind that some of the missing bridges and scenery are 'Landmarks' and used by VFR pilots. It's hard to expect software that comes out anymore to be perfect. Especially something of this complexity. So patches have come to be expected, imho. And a patch shows that the manufacturer cares about their customers and thier product. To re-iterate, I like the sim very much, regardless.Here's my vote for a patch.Sincerely,Jimmy Richards

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>Can we now have an "intelligent" criticism of FS2004. >Here's my vote for a patch..Erm... LMAO!!!I have no doubt that the issues raised so far will be amended or overcome in time, with or without a patch (Got to applaud you for identifying and posting them! Thanks). More than likely without. As far as performance issues go, I see none. Really... there are NO issues with this version of the sim in my eyes. It's been out a week or so. Are you married? How long was your honeymoon???? Does your wife need a patch? If so... how long has she given up smoking for? :)I HAD an issue with my graphics card (GeForceFX5200Ultra) but it was fixed within 1/2 hour. Thanks to the posts here, I found the latest driver locations and had it sorted in no time! And that is just one issue of may... which will be sorted. Have faith.Thing is, you say that "works fine here" is a waste... but it's not. It DOES work fine! But then it depends on what your expectations are. I guess MY expectations work on a slightly more long-term basis than others?FS2002 was a great sim. It was out less than a week before people started to criticize it, intelligently or not, and start voting for a patch. It never came but it was NEVER any worse off because of that. I personally didn't see any reason for a patch for FS2002 and as far as I can see, there's little need for a patch for this version either.... so far. That's not to say that I don't want to push any boundaries or improve things... of course I do. I just would rather look at it intelligently.Some 3rd party developers would probably dearly like to see some issues dealt with, but as I'm not a technical developer, I can't comment on that.I vote for putting your handbags away and enjoying it more.Works fine here. I'm loving it. :DSi.:)

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-"However an initial night flight encountered black squares blinking during takeoff roll.-"I've noticed that with the taxiway signs when using 16 bit vs. 32 bit, to ease the hit on my old GF2 with clouds.Kurt M

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I do not yet have a copy of FS9, but from what I've heard of it and read, it seems quite amazing. If it is half as good as from what has been said in the reviews and people's experiences with it, then I'm already sold!!!I'll let you know in about a week (when its released here down under) if it requires a patch, but I'll probably be too distracted at the fantastic weather and visual effects to remember!Happy flying!James

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FS2004 needs a patch but I doubt if one will be forthcoming.1) On the matter of missing bridges MS will say wait for 3rd party scenery developers to make better scenery with bridges. Trouble is, as we all know, not all parts of the world will get fixed, but it will not sway MS2) On the matter of slow performance MS will say fly with simple clouds or upgrade your system to a Pentium 6...oh thats not released yet. Well get a P4 3.x anyway, it will do for now. 3) Video card drivers. In all fairness to MS they cant control this. So Video problems will in fact have to wait on better drivers. And some are quicker at fixing than others..right ATI? you hear this??My conclusion is FS2004 is great for me, and for me only, for the improved ATC and a very nice Garmin GPS. Now when I do my VA flights I dont have to worry about getting slammed into mountains. I fly a lot in Central and South America for my VA so this is a positive improvement. My downside is my lowly Pentium 4/1.9 flies like a slide show with 3D clouds, so I have to use simple clouds like MS said in 2) above and all is well. FS2002 patched.sorta!!

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3) Video card drivers. In all fairness to MS they cant control this. So Video problems will in fact have to wait on better drivers. And some are quicker at fixing than others..right ATI? you hear this??So what video drivers did the develop on. Did they develop on WHQL drivers and then just say, well, we'll wait for NVidia and ATI to release the beta drivers?How can you "test" your programming if you are getting the dark screens, or not being able to get full screens.My issue with microsoft is that they DEVELOPED using unapproved drivers. Development should occur with drivers that have passed WHQL. Plain and simple, otherwise what is the point. WHQL says "Microsoft has put their seal of approval on these drivers". If it's not WHQL certified, we should be using them. So what in the heck is Microsoft using them for?Had Microsoft used WHQL certified drivers, they would have seen the same issues, and if that's the case, how were they able to adequately test that it WAS a driver issue.See my point? If you are using approved drivers, and your program malfunctions, is it the driver or you? If you use beta drivers to test the program, then why are you using unapproved product to develop on?The point is, WHY ARE YOU DEVELOPING USING NON-WHQL DRIVERS, AND IF WHQL IS SO IMPORTANT, WHY NOT USE THOSE DRIVERS TO DEVELOP ON. I don't buy that I should have to wait for drivers that MAY or MAY NOT fix a problem because Microsoft developed the program using non-certified drivers. It's Microsoft's program, THEY certified the drivers. Make sure YOUR program works with drivers YOU certified. Plain and simple. To do otherwise is to put the cart before the horse.Secondly, What good is dynamic weather if it slows my computer down so much that I can't sim? If I am practicing an approach and I slow to 6 FPS, what good is that? Did I buy a flight simulator or a weather simulator.Entire computers are dedicated to "simulating weather". Perhaps since machines are so cheap, Microsoft could have "packaged" a weather module that you could add on to a dual processor machine or link it to a second computer and run some network cable between the two. But even if it were limited to dynamic weather, I would be cool with it. However, If I start a "theme" and then make the rate of change ZERO, I am basically loading a static weather scenario. I still get huge hits. This tells me that not only does dynamic weather cause an issue, but the clouds themselves are not optimized.I just don't buy a 2 GHZ or greater machine as having to dip into single digits. And if you are going to offer an easy "2D" alternative, at least offer them the same quality as you had in the previous game.I love the add-on community, but one thing it is doing is giving the developer an out. If something doesn't work, wait for third-party. If something is missing, wait for third-party, If something needs tweaking, wait for third-party.I certainly don't buy that from any other "vendor", why should I buy that from them. Brakes don't work well for your 2004 Ford Mustang, wait until someone develops better ones. Sorry, that doesn't fly.And it shouldn't fly for us either.

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>>>I certainly don't buy that from any other "vendor", why should>I buy that from them. Brakes don't work well for your 2004>Ford Mustang, wait until someone develops better ones. Sorry,>that doesn't fly.>>And it shouldn't fly for us either. I see your point for sure and feel your pain. Most of us do. I know I do. I really dont know the facts on the drivers used for testing, but I agree with you to some extent that MS could have done a better job. I have never been a beta tester and I do not know how testers report problems, and to what extent they have any "control" over items getting fixed. I suspect little or nothing. Therefore the beta program seems very ineffective. As an example I clearly recall a beta tester on the FS2002 team said 3D clouds was in the final beta release and was working well. It was then yanked before public release for no apparent reason. Well FS2004 clearly shows the reason. MS cant get it right with the clouds...In closing I dont buy Ford products anymore for that very reason :-) :-)

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Hi Chris - a question for you regarding the framerates you mentioned... i'm on a p4 2ghz machine, and I'm only getting in the region of 6fps as well; admittedly this is with a geforce 2 Ti 64mb but I was still expecting something slightly better - in FS2002 I never got below 12-15 fps (and higher in less scenery dense areas) with all sliders maxed (and with your wonderful cloud textures!) I've experimented with reducing various options in FS2004, none seem to make a large difference, although it would appear that, as expected, it is the clouds that cause me the highest fps hits. But even reducing density and 3d clouds to under 50%, as well as draw dsitance etc, it makes very little difference. I have also been having issues with AA (it does not work at all from within FS, only when selected in the tweaker) and 4x gives me massive hits (latest drivers from nvidia installed)... question is, is this because of my card, or should i still be expecting better fps?Having said all that - and to get back on topic - despite my fps woes, I am still enjoying this new sim enourmously. The atmospherics are fantastic, and crusing over the Luberon and Rhone Delta in the Cub last night around sunset was breathtaking; I had set clear skies but as the evening progressed, cumulus started building, growing into CBs, over the vastly improved European textures... and frankly, I can deal with some missing bridges when the sky is now suddenly so much more important to the sim-pilotthanks allrk

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It needs a patch, majorly, more than any FS has needed one to date, I keep seeing bugs left right and center, example-1: Go to Las Vegas at night and watch for the fireworks, and have some clouds around, the fireworks will be hidden by clouds that are miles and miles behind them.I haven't got the newest vid cards that people are having problems with, but even with a Geforce 3 I get issues, video driver you say? I say rubbish, 99 percent of other games seem to be just fine, but when it comes to FS, well, it's special isn't it. :-(2: When hitting Alt to bring up the menu, I click on one but decide to move to a different tab and the first one stays shown instead of disappearing as it should and had done in previous versions, small but still a bug.3: When going into Windowed mode and then going back, not sure if I have to minimize the FS window or not, but randomly it seems when I want to go back to FS and put it back into full screen it will just have a black screen and the cursor will jump between itself and the hourglass very fast and just keep on doing that all the time, I can bring up the menu, and stuff and the sound is there, but anything thats 3D in sim stuff is just blank black and never comes back.I have tried two different vid drivers just for peeps to know, but I will say it again, I don't believe this is driver issues for a moment, and I find it kind of funny that MS would say wait for a particular driver from Nvidia when in the process of making this FS over the last nearly two years there have been many driver versions released.There are many other bugs that are nothing to do with driver issues that I can't remember right now, but here is the killer one for me.4: I don't have a issue with the 3D clouds personally, but the killer on fps is the 2D panel, I haven't a clue why, other than MS messed up some how but 2D panel's run so slow it's terrible to use them, about 9-11fps in the less complex panels, and about 6-8 in the more complex panels like the 747, I can only imagine what it will be like with a very complex third party panel like a DF737 or PIC767 type one. But the thing is, if I change to the VC I get about 20-25 in the same situation and same zoom factor, whats up with that? Previous FS versions never did that, FS2002 never did that to me.I would not be surprised if there are more bugs in this version of FS than there is in both FS2000 and FS2002 combined, so does it need a patch? Sure it does, there is no doubt, and if they don't produce one this time, well, that will be disgusting behavior when most others don't have such a loyal following and seem to be up to the job of releasing them for they're games and sims.

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>A very good friend of mine showed me this...>>This is a very big problem...>>http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...&topic_id=12256 It now appears AC imported into FS9 WILL NOT fly the same as in the version of FS they were designed for. One can check that thread to see the problem. I checked the DF C310 I installed in FS9 and found I'd set wing_incidence and wing_twist during the design so they exactly canceled as far as flight pitch and induced drag go. So, the DF C310 accidently worked out OK in FS9 as far as that matter goes. However, most AC installed in FS9 will have changes in performance. While many users won't see any difference, AC with carefully adjusted pitch and drag will very likely be less accurate in FS9. Only those that were accidently set as I set the DF C310 are likely to be indentical as far as pitch and induced drag go when installed in FS9. This can probably be ameliorated, but one has to edit the AIR file and know what he is doing. ...... I just checked several commercial and other AC installed in FS2K2. It appears the end result for the AC I looked at would be small when installed in FS9. A change in flight pitch of 1/2 degree. But, also a change in induced drag that will be measurable. Thought, the end effect may help, rather than hurt, many AC. ;) MS regressed many flight dynamics details in FS9 back to the FS2K level. They had messed up the autopilot and other things in FS2K2. This regression will improve many things. They did not fix all the Flight Dynamics bugs introduced in FS2K2, MS probably wasn't even aware of them. ;) However, I suspect other serious problems such as mentioned in the thread above will surface. MS makes changes without telling anyone. And, some of them are buggy. And, I don't expect any MS 'FD SDK' to be of much value. The previous Flight Dynamics SDK's are almost useless and I ended up explaining aircraft.cfg settings in a file I prepaired for others. Ron

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Fireworks and bridges, come on, soon we will hear people screaming for patches because a tree is placed a little to much to the left.If something major comes up that will ruin your flightsim experience then im sure we will see a patch, but at this time i have not seen or heard of anything that will do that.OHN

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Brent...I picked up an OEM 4200/TI for $89 at Shentech several weeks ago. It's running fine on my system, which has an old BX MB (AGP 2X). There's some bargains to be had with the 4200, which supports FS2004 very well. Using the 30.82 drivers shipped with the card, I've escaped the issues vs. black screens, panels, menus, etc....A side effect of my upgrade, is that FS2002 looks outstanding. I still fly FS2002 often, as it's an easier platform for me to tinker with aircraft design and landclass (which absorb 90 pct. of my simming time these days).I am flying FS2004 exclusively for my Microlight collection. Outside of the big cities, with moderate weather, I am getting a very fluid 20-25 fps... It's incredibly realistic for me, IMHO.Considering the nature of the thread, if I were going to list a an issue that merits discussion, the chief one would be FDE related--it seems like some common parameters (like incidence and twist) are now ignored. In spite of this, most of my favorite aircraft handle the same way as they did in FS2002. I haven't had to tweak any of my favorites, whereas the transition from FS2000 to FS2002 saw me having to tweak almost every aircraft in my collection.As far as the bridges issuw is concerned, so much of my flying is done in open country vs. around the major cities, I haven't been bothered by it much. I can understand how those who visit the cities more often would have a concern. OTH, when I fly around the detailed cities in FS2004, more "city specific" buildings have been added vs. the generic ones. Phoenix (my home city) serves as a good example, but there's many more throughout the sim.I know the dreaded "P" word raises emotions. Some seem to feel it means a product is bad. But even great products get patched. Will we see one for FS2004? Depends on how we discuss the issues. If they are discussed with respect for the work the Microsoft team has done, then we may see one. But many of the issues around FS2002 turned into Microsoft bashing. Since I had the chance to participate in this beta, it gave me a chance to see that we're working with a team of people, who could have as easily worked for a small company vs. the large one they work within. So "Microsoft" in this context is a small team of enthusiasts, who often receive mixed signals from the community as far as what we want. I hope we show them the respect they deserve, and recognize the talent they have.

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You haven't been reading much then as there are a number of major bugs people have been talking about, drivers aside, I call the one I mentioned about 2D panel fps and the one about blank screen after minimizing both very very major that most surely muck up my flightsim experience.And even if there wasn't major issues, almost every other software/games developer deals with the smaller issues just fine.Mmmmm, I thought sim's were about realism, I guess I'm in the minority.

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i may be in the minority (but i doubt it)i have my fps lock on 20 and it never varies over 1i run most everything maxed or near maxed outthis sim is totally fluid on my system regardless where i flyi have tried 3 cards (ti 4600, gf 5200, gf 5600) all functioned perfectly with default drivers that came with them. ti 4600 tops them all in overall performance on my system using the same drivers i used when running fs2002.the weather/clouds/ai traffic/autogen seem to have much less load on my system than fs2002.my sons old system , p4 1.5, 768 mgs ram, new gf 5200 running the good clouds and decent settings on the rest is locked on 15 and stays near there except at major airports where it drops to 9-10. but it is still very flyable even then.as for the need for a patch, different things bother different people. i have zero need for a patch and had no need for patching fs2002 either. but, i may not fly the same planes, areas that others do so i dont encounter the problems that some others do.imho this is the finest flight sim ever developed for the public.it's not perfect, but its a large step in that direction.hope all you with performance issues get them worked outdon

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I dont have any probs with 2dpanel fps and blank screen after minimizing, havent heard any betatesters talk about it either, but im sure it can be solved by tweaking your system or updating drivers.OHN

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I tried 200 on my old GeForce 2 Pro 64MB. It works extremely well! The inconsistency in smoothness I had with the setting at 40 is gone. It was sort of like regular "soft stutters" at a rate of 2-3 per second. Now it's nice and smooth and I get very infrequent texture loading. Nice.

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