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Microsoft Only Gets a "C" from this Long Term User

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Putting aside some messed up systems where no game can operate properly, The overwhelming majority of users should have been able to run this beast right out of the box. We cannot blame the beta testers. If we could read all of the Beta reports I venture to guess we will read the stuff of this forum. It was ignored.No, what happened is that MS released a product not ready for prime time. I say this openly at the risk of being called a troll as I have been a month before the release of COF by the usual suspects. On June 28 I reported the missing bridge at Chesapeake Bay and the inability of setting the spot plane view from the full display. Troll Alert was the response.I have been purchasing and using FS from day one from the Bruce Artwick first offerings. MS has made a mint of money over the years from this community. While the gurus of this community can tweak and driver this beast into submisson the regular buyer cannot.I am sorry to report that this latest MS effort falls short of a quality product. I don't care if it only costs $55, it does not cut the mustard. No, I am not going to sell it. I am going to live with it. But the honest review will say, eyecandy notwithstnding, that COF only deserves a "C."Old Alive Navy Pilot

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Geez, all you had to do is cut-and-paste this thread: [a href=http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=121&topic_id=118913&mesg_id=118913&listing_type=search] "A Couple of Bugs I Have Heard Of - First Bugs" [/a]

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It's funny how perspectives differ. I invested $80 in more RAM, and another $90 on another video card, after I received the gold release. I wouldn't have invested that money in my system if I thought COF didn't "cut the mustard." As for what went on during beta testing, that I can't tell you and I won't take the bait this time either. You inasmuch suggest that testers were ignored. Speculate away if you want. What I can tell you is what the job of any tester is--to make comments and observations in the best interests of the company that invites them to participate. Common sense says that means the company should deliver for the customer, but the other half is what is reasonable to accept to get the product out the door. 100 pct. perfection? No product on the market is perfect. Do missing bridges mean hold the presses? Personally, I would have been happy with none, since third party designers have more time and thus can do a better job. Now I have to write stupid exclude statements for those bridges I don't like :)It's funny that you have been around the sims as long as you have, yet really you introduced yourself to this forum by your first thread, and now this one. I think that's why you got slammed with the troll label. There's people I respect in these forums who have real issues with the sim, and I do too. I doubt I'll ever remove FS2002, but FS2004 still has a place. IMHO, COF's a VFR/Bush sim, and FS2002 is an IFR/Heavy Iron sim. COF has the potential of becoming both with third party development and support from Microsoft. But everyone here would also agree third party support alone kept FS2002 alive in the absence of Microsoft's attention.What's really funny, and it goes back to the first thing you mentioned--I was able to run this beast "out of the box", on a system running 98se and rather old hardware. And as I discussed in another thread, nine out of ten users here got up and running w/o issues. Those with problems have to speak up to get attention and help, but that doesn't mean they represent the majority. Other than the two items which you repeated from your last thread, what are some of the other issues you've seen? Please back them up with screenshots if you can. Screenshots speak louder than words, and tend to quiet those who run around accusing others of being trolls..... -John

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>I reported the missing bridge at>Chesapeake Bay and the inability of setting the spot plane>view from the full display. These two items would not even make my list of 50 most important features of the simulator. Apparently they are super important for you - fine. But don't be surprised if most don't give d*mn about them.Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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100% agree with you. The new additions to the sim a great and welcomed for sure you have to love all of that, great job there! But also as a long time user there are certainly enough issues right out of the box on just to many systems for an application that gets this much distrubution and all at the same time with so many resources available to avoid this, whoever made the dicision to put it out like this...well, that doesn't matter the fact is it is not going very well. 3rd party support? I won't go there.

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Paul...I'm really curious though. You are as fluent in systems as I am--wouldn't that make you expect that some of the issues are the result of the hardware on the other end, vs. the software? What do we really know as far as the shortcuts some mfrs have taken with their hardware and with their drivers? Just browse the release notes for Nvidia's latest driver set--and I'm not picking on Nvidia. But I do think a 5xxx, 4xxx, 3, etc.... should act the same way given the same software program. Do we make it Microsoft's job to bloat the sim with so much card specific code, that we end up with half of today's performance? I thought that's why we have a DirectX standard...Since FS2004's release, I've seen these issues reported as "fixes"--none of them being Microsoft's problem:-MB chipset drivers out of date-Reinstall of DirectX-Update of drivers and/or removal of hacked drivers-People tweaking cards, and tweaking them incorrectly-virus/Spyware/Trojan infection-People moving system folders around w/o making the right updates to the registryI don't let Microsoft off the hook, but I think this sim has no more issues than FS2002 did. We heard the same issues, had the same installation woes, and had to apply heavy tweaking to get what we wanted from the sim. I've had the label troll applied to meself many times, but in my favor I did own the sim and I didn't make my statements based on hearsay.I think COF has issues, the most serious seeming to be the performance drop some have seen around airports, but the originator of this thread?--there's issues there as well. A first time poster doesn't come in slamming a sim they don't even own, as was the case with the post which introduced "pm" to the forums...

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Hi John.If you remove all the BGLs that start with 'BR9', you'll get rid of all the autogen bridges.I actually recommend this. The default water and roads are not of the right shape/position, so the bridges could not possibly be right. They represent an annoyance to anyone changing the terrain.They can be excluded as a VTP2 layer 7, but the airport backgrounds ( skirtings ) are also layer 7.If MS gives us a timely SDK for terrain, we could replace the bridges as VTP2 lines... but for now it's impossible as the code is different than the previous SDK. Our only recourse would be to replace them as objects.Dick

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>I doubt I'll ever remove FS2002, but FS2004 still has a place.> IMHO, COF's a VFR/Bush sim, and FS2002 is an IFR/Heavy Iron>>-JohnI couldn't agree more. Once you've tasted GA VFR flight in FS2004, it is very hard to go back, especially when flying historic aircraft. But I'll still keep FS2002, as somehow I still prefer it when flying heavy IFR. But maybe some of that has to do with the fact that getting fluid performance in a complicated IFR heavy flight scenario is harder to achieve in FS2004 than it is in FS2002. I think after my next hardware upgrade (a long time in the future), I'd be happy to use FS2004 for both.

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>It's funny how perspectives differ. I invested $80 in more>RAM, and another $90 on another video card, after I received>the gold release. I wouldn't have invested that money in my>system if I thought COF didn't "cut the mustard." As for what>went on during beta testing, that I can't tell you and I won't>take the bait this time either. You inasmuch suggest that>testers were ignored. Speculate away if you want. What I can>tell you is what the job of any tester is--to make comments>and observations in the best interests of the company that>invites them to participate. Common sense says that means the>company should deliver for the customer, but the other half is>what is reasonable to accept to get the product out the door. >100 pct. perfection? No product on the market is perfect. Do>missing bridges mean hold the presses? Personally, I would>have been happy with none, since third party designers have>more time and thus can do a better job. Now I have to write>stupid exclude statements for those bridges I don't like :)>>It's funny that you have been around the sims as long as you>have, yet really you introduced yourself to this forum by your>first thread, and now this one. I think that's why you got>slammed with the troll label. There's people I respect in>these forums who have real issues with the sim, and I do too. >I doubt I'll ever remove FS2002, but FS2004 still has a place.> IMHO, COF's a VFR/Bush sim, and FS2002 is an IFR/Heavy Iron>sim. COF has the potential of becoming both with third party>development and support from Microsoft. But everyone here>would also agree third party support alone kept FS2002 alive>in the absence of Microsoft's attention.>>What's really funny, and it goes back to the first thing you>mentioned--I was able to run this beast "out of the box", on a>system running 98se and rather old hardware. And as I>discussed in another thread, nine out of ten users here got up>and running w/o issues. Those with problems have to speak up>to get attention and help, but that doesn't mean they>represent the majority. >>Other than the two items which you repeated from your last>thread, what are some of the other issues you've seen? Please>back them up with screenshots if you can. Screenshots speak>louder than words, and tend to quiet those who run around>accusing others of being trolls..... >>-JohnJohn, No fight here ok? But I think you are overreacting as there are some legitimate gripes here and anyone has the right to openly express that right? forget the bridges, this game right now cannot fully support graphics cards from ATI or Nvidia and this is hardware design that was available since the beginning. It is not like FS9 is breaking any new ground here with code, You can go check out Will Rock or other new game titles for that.There are many folks that just pick this game up and do not know how to get passed the AA/menu issues alone, how the heck did that happen? How can that be defended?As far as the Beta testers go I have been told by other members of the team that there where many issues that went ignored so please don

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This is where we respectfully differ John. I think the product was released before it was finished. Maybe it had something to do with the currency of MS ads and promotionals on the Cable channel. I think it was Wings. COF is just not a quality product for the casual user. You and I and the rest of this forum can overcome most of the shortcomings. While 9 out of 10 forum users will have no problem I would guess that many of the non forum innocent user will be taking it back because he could not get it past the splash screen on a working system and had no clue that it was AA.I have been on the forum since it started. Because the system recently reported to me that my password was no good I had to adopt a new handle. Naturally, folk assumed it was a first time non-owner user complaining. While I did not "own" COF on June 28 (as I do now) I did access the Gold version on 'Betaman's machine. Betaman reported many of these issues to MS. It seemed to me the reports went into a plenum chamber or black hole at MS.The missing bridges hit this old navy pilot hard because I used to rely on them in real flight when I was a little bit lost. All of the issues I know about are posted in the top of this forum. If I come across some new ones i will post with screenshots as you suggest.Thanks for the well reasoned comment, John.

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>Paul...>>I'm really curious though. You are as fluent in systems as I>am--wouldn't that make you expect that some of the issues are>the result of the hardware on the other end, vs. the software?Absolutely agree with you, but given MS's ability and wide range of resources for device/driver support the big ones here with both Nvidia and ATI are way off the mark considering the importance and wide spread use of that particular hardware has in running FS9.> What do we really know as far as the shortcuts some mfrs have>taken with their hardware and with their drivers? Just browse>the release notes for Nvidia's latest driver set--and I'm not>picking on Nvidia. But I do think a 5xxx, 4xxx, 3, etc....>should act the same way given the same software program. Often one fix can uncover another problem so you will see this has a long history especially where display devices are involved, backward compatibility is at the core of this in many cases as it was with ATI's decision not to enable AAing of Alpha textures with Radeon cards.The particular issues here with just the graphic cards from both ATI and Nvidia seem to point to something bad in the beta/testing faze as there are not "older" drivers that one can go back to until a fix is released>Do>we make it Microsoft's job to bloat the sim with so much card>specific code, that we end up with half of today's>performance? I thought that's why we have a DirectX>standard...That code is in there for backward compatibility and is demanded by DX not the other way around as the DX ver.XXX specification is presented and then hashing out the details goes on with support of the video card manufactures as well as game developers before it is settled on, software is written and tested on the new hardware to support it, but that doesn

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>>whoever made the dicision to put it out like this...well, that>doesn't matter the fact is it is not going very well. >>By now, with a company as large as MS, release decisions are not left in the hands of mere creative minds like designers. Companies this size are run by accountants and I would surmise that the release date, July 29th, (give or take a week) was set as much as 18 months previously. That drove everything else. The accountants had already figured in the grosses from FS9 for the years projections. It was going out no matter what.MS knows they have a captive audience and there is no real competition. If there were, they would have bought them by now. They have no incentive to make a "no lemon" policy just as the big three auto makers had none in the 70's. And we know what's happened to Detroit in the last 30 years.Just some thought.John

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It doesn't work that way. Accountants at Microsoft don't set release dates. That's set by the product team. If they are ready to ship and a serious bug is uncovered, they delay shipment. If they are locked down and someone finds that a bridge is not in the right place, there's not a snowball's chance that it will stop shipment.Jim

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I don't understand why I am the only one that is able to use FS2004 with no problems. The only problems I am noticing is what my computer may lack to operate it, or when I try to make a dash for the runway and end up crashing due to my stupidity. Other than that I am running 25+ fps and couldn't be happier with how my addons are working. The best part about it is that new drivers are expected out, patches to my already working addons are coming out! I couldn't be more pleased with the eye candy and how things run. It took about a week for me to get used to it, but the more I fly it the better it becomes. I am very close to uninstalling my FS2002. As a matter of fact, once all the patches are released, I think I will. COF is a step forward and if you are not able to take the step forward along with it (meaning your system), then you better just settle for FS2002 or FS98, which ever works best for you. Technology is always going to move forward and we have to move right along with it. If we don't how can we expect things to work like they should. So go out and get those needed upgrades so that you can make use of the entire game. I hate to think I am the only one enjoying the heck out of COF.

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yellow5. Respectfully there are a lot of seasoned folks here and some other forums who have pointed out that even on a beefy system this sim has lots of problems running smoothly with even medium amounts of the "new" stuff turned on. With so many folks having issues with off the shelf (and definitely not new) hardware the complaints are warranted. Personally Im running a P4@2.9ghz and a GF4Ti4200, 768mb DDR ram and this sim with everything on can bring my rig to its knees. I'm not complaining either, just pointing out you are one of the lucky ones here in getting it to run smoothly. There are some FM issues which are different and a few things which are broken and I am sure they will get fixed but when guys with the fastest systems available and the latest hardware have issues with things as simple as menu screens , I have to agree, maybe this sim should have cooked a bit longer. No big problems here at this point, Im happy with it and have found some nice compromises to get this thing running nicely, but remember we are not the average users. I would bet the return rate is pretty high on this one at software stores.Hornit

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Sorry. I just don't buy it. This is a repeat of what we saw when FS2002 released. For a few days, people RAVED about how great it was. Then people started complaining. Same thing with CoF.When FS2002 released, I was flying on a pretty good machine running at 1.8GHz. I could run it with almost everything maxed out. With CoF, I have to turn things down a few notches to get good performance, but I can get performance equivalent to FS2002 when doing so.Sometime between now and FS2006, I will buy a new computer and will once again be cranking up FS to its highest settings. Today with my 1.8 machine, it just isn't possible.Is that Microsoft's fault? As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather have the ability to crank some settings up when I upgrade my hardware. I wouldn't want to buy a new machine and not be able to take advantage of the additional performance.Jim

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Hmmm....1.8 ghz in October 2001???? Something doesn't seem right to me :)

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In January of 2002 actually. I didn't buy FS2002 when it first hit the shelf. :)Jim

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Regarding product returns, I spoke with the manager at my local EB Games about this a couple of days ago. He said that he'd sold through about 90% of his initial stock of 80+ units and at this point hadn't had any returned. By Comparison, CFS3 resulted in a substantial number of returns. Frankly I think this product is brilliant. It has some annoying issues, but overall it advances the hobby and makes it even more appealing to the layman. That's a good thing, IMO.

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I've read all this thread ,and several others that are essentially the same,people blaming the software,the video card manufacturers,Microsoft ,etc. etc. etc.Anything but either themselves or their PC.It seems to me that the cause of the majority of peoples' problems is a lot closer to home.The PC itself- often overclocked in one way or another,often " living on the edge",sometimes older machines that just haven't the resources (and so on and so on............)OK - the new FS isn't without some flaws ,but then I've yet to see a simulator program that is.I think we may never see the 100% perfect piece of software.Trouble is,we all(I'm no exception) expect more out of each succeeding version.The software designers are trying to provide this "extra" at the same time as trying to guess a year or more ahead,what the average "state of the art" PC will be capable off.All I can say (and I've said it before elsewhere on here) is that it runs just fine on my PC(not OCed in any way,not cutting edge),It runs in WinME as well as XP(Dual boot here).It out performs FS2002 even when flying online.My system is Athlon 2000xp @ 133/133 .512MB DDRAM/K7S5A mboard with a Ti4200/128mb Graphics cardDave

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It seems that when FS2002 was released a lot of issues came up and some along the lines we see in the forums. The reality is that we are the tip of the iceberg...we are the sickos that come here and post and tweak and are just hard core addicts to this insanity called FS.The rest of the folks that purchase the product load it up and if it works fine and if not the take it back or give it to someone they hate! I have friends that purchase tons of software without doing any research..."uhh I thought it looked cool"...and really the game is a piece of junk. They load it up take it for a spin and never touch it again...I know...I have worked on some of their computers and you should see all the junk on thier HD's.I want to thank the folks that post some legitimate gripes and problems with the COF. I have been able to tweak it with the help of the diehards in this forum to where I can fly VFR without to much of framerate hit with weather. My problem will come with the add-on heavy iron complex panel aircraft. I have the PMDG B737 and that puppy brings my rig to its knees.I have kept FS2002 on my harddrive and will be accessing it rather frequently. All aside COF has some great things in it and unfortunately a demand for more horsepower. I am no longer building rigs to fly MSFS products...not when all the other games can run very well on the rig I currently have. Sad but true.Here is the list of recommended games that perform very well in comparison to the demands of COF.Maddox Games; IL-2-Forgotten Battles (beautiful scenery and the water is spectacular)EA GAMES F1-Challenge 99-02EA GAMES F1-2002 with the GT MOD, and 360 Modena MOD and other many great mods that are out there.Medal of HonorUnreal Tournament IITony

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>If MS gives us a timely SDK for terrain, we could replace the>bridges as VTP2 lines... but for now it's impossible as the>code is different than the previous SDK. Our only recourse>would be to replace them as objects.Amen Dick. While I think that MS has released a fine product with COF, it amazes me that it takes so long for them to release the SDK's.IMHO, SDK's should be released before the actual product release. They should think about how many sales are being delayed because some folks don't have the 3rd party support in 2004 that they had in 2002.Unbelievable. There is just no logical reason for the SDK delays, other than the fact that they probably don't see 3rd party products as a real benefit to their Flight Sim sales. If this is true, so be it.One of the nice things about the Fly! series, was that their terrific SDK's were also released before or during the actual product release. They also gave developers a whole lot of advanced warning when there were significant changes made.Allen

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Look one of the problems here is that all the testing here is subjective:There is no one "benchmark" that people can use to evaluate their systems performance.Case in point:I have an Athlon 2400+ with 640meg of Ram and an MX420 card.I WAS running 1024*768 w/ 32 bit color. 3D clouds at 100% and draw distance at 40 miles. Scenery was very Dense and Auto gen was dense (one and two ticks to the left respectively)I can continue to bore you with details, but suffice it to say that I was running what I felt my "sweet spot" was. Slider locked to 18 and getting nearly that in all but the worst weather themes.So I decide to load one of the premade flights. I decide to take a flight to Mount McKinley in the Bush Pilot "adventure", and I call up the flight with my computer and I'm popping 5fps on the RUNWAY!!! What's up with that? Merril is not a detailed airport. There was not a huge amount of AI traffic in the air, and the sky looked 3/8. When I got in the air, it was worse. What's going on????Then I looked The weather slider was set to custom weather, and upon looking at the settings, microsoft had put no fewer than four seperate weather layers on. It was killing my system. When I went back to the "fair weather" theme, things went back to normal goodness.The point in all this, is that the weather and 3d clouds can kill even the fastest system out there. Microsoft seems to have put some of their historical flights with some pretty complex systems installed. So when we judge the sim, a lot has to do with what is being done with it. Because of dynamic weather, gone are the days that we could simply set the slider and forget it. With dynamic weather, you may be getting good weather at one end and end up with complex weather at the other end.So, now we need to take that into account. I am actually looking at moving down to 800x600 so that I can take into affect the absolute worse case scenario (as far as complex weather is concerned). That way, as I fly, I won't be jolted out of reality because of an advancing weather front. OR you can go back to FS2002 and STATIC weather and not have to worry about performance taking a huge hit because of that sudden thunderstorm that appeared over KORD during your approach, which brings your system to it's knees during final....

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Sounds about right to me. I built my ABIT P4 system with a 2Ghz CPU in November 2001. I still have that system - for Linux :-)Cloud9

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Tony,Do you actually have these games on your rig? I've never heard of Unreal Tournament II, but there is UT2003 and Unreal II.Cloud9

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