rheinis

FSW from a Simmer perspective

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Although I did made a comment about the 3PD (3rd Party Developers) business model issue, I did buy the Early Access edition of FSW. Just to give it a fair chance. I know the business department is not the same as the developers department and I do like to think the devs of FSW are quite passionate about this sim. Also, I really like my current FSX-SE "2017" setup, for me personally only being bottlenecked by the 32-bit limit, wich I already reached with the addons I have. A new debugged 64-bit FSX optimized for current hardware is basically all I need (and of course the money to buy the addons again) Again, that's personal, so don't start one of those very tiring sim comparison wars(!)  Anyway - being it an Early Access product waiting for feedback - here's my feedback.

 

The Menu

Well, it's different. Just have to get used to it I think. Don't like those mysterious looking icons. Just tell it like it is, with text. Personally, I think the FSX-SE menu is far easier to navigate and will get you sooner where you want to be (that is, after you exit the VERY annoying startup screen of the online content) As for the options, as far as I can see right now there are LESS options than in FSX, especially concerning graphics. Not very practical if you want to fine-tune the performance or looks of the sim. Also, I'm not sure why I need to create a pilot profile. I'm the only one using this sim and don't like to start a career mode and so on. Just want to choose an aircraft, airport, time and weather and start flying. For that matter, the message [ In order to gain credit for flight time you must land at an airport ] is already starting to get on my nerves...

 

The Aircraft

I flew 4 flights, all in the Cherokee. To be honest, I never fly default aircraft (or missions, for that matter) so no point in reviewing any of them. It's up to the 3PD's - and not me - to decide if FSW is a good enough platform for them to create top notch addon aircraft. If this will be the case, then that's already a HUGE step forward for me to start investing in FSW. Talking about airliners by the way.

 

The Test Flights

  • PHNL, Sunny Day
  • LOWI, Gray & Rainy
  • EHAM, Cold Fronts
  • KPAE, Cold Night

 

First Impression

I think FSW certainly has potential. I know, it looks a lot like FSX but at least it looks more like FSX 2017 than the vanilla FSX, wich I think is a good starting point, since it is 2017. I like what they have done with the lighting. In fact, early last year I created an ENB Series profile for FSX (DX9, not using it anymore, took me a week to fine-tune though) wich kinda resembles the new FSW lighting (see https://library.avsim.net/search.php?SearchTerm=heinis&CatID=root&Go=Search then take a ZipDive! to see the screenshots) Sunny days now really look bright and sunny. But there is room for improvement of course. On a sunny day the trees are turning neon, the reflections on the autogen and ground textures are sometimes a bit too exaggerated and also buildings turning near black isn't very realistic. So it seems to me that the daylight is spot on but the effects of this daylight on objects needs a lot of improvement. On the other hand...flying on a cloudy day in the rain...WOW ..that's what I mean with potential! The weather looks fine for a base sim, no need to compare it to AS16, not fair.

 

Things to consider

The next list is made of observations I made wich got my attention and I would like to see fixed:

  • FPS: considering my specs (see my signature) I get very low FPS. Flying over a big airport like EHAM the FPS dropped below 20 and introduced stutters. That's using the same NVIDIA Inspector profile as I do for FSX, but with ambient occlusion turned on.
  • Scenery anomalies: flickering textures, popping, poor LOD (especially over mountains), "snowlike" haze over buildings, flickering black 'dots' on horizon, very bad reflections of buildings in the water, missing buildings on default airports (compare EHLE for example with FSX), my home city is missing (instead there are a couple of farms, where there should be a big city), shadow of airplane on runway pops in and out of sight when using the hatswitch in spot view
  • World filled with 'Ghost' Airports, no AI airliners present. Made me think of Stephen King's "The Langoliers", creepy...
  • Speaking of creepy, those nights...
  • Can't turn Force Feedback off
  • Not possible to make inflight changes to aircraft, airport, time, weather.
  • Once you've opened the ATC window, it stays in sight (haven't found a way to get rid of it)
  • Like the raindrops, but having them only on the windows and not seeing them on the fuselage still looks a bit weird. Still, like the raindrops.
  • Anti-aliasing could be better
  • My CPU temperature has sporadic spikes of 76C, where with FSX it never exceeds 60C. My GPU on the other hand stays mostly below 60C.

 

Conclusion

Like I said, for me FSW has a lot of potential. But the things above have to be fixed and I should be able to see and fly airliners before I'm willing to invest money in it. If the base sim is good and 3PD's can have the freedom they want, I think FSW can go a long way. And FSW desperately needs the 3PD's. It's only natural that they just cannot make aircraft addons themselves of the same top quality as some 3PD's because they just don't have the people, the time and the expertise to do that. These top 3PD's are working with LOTS of very passionate people for over a year or more on just one single airplane. That's not to say DTG can't create it's own addons, but there HAS to be room for the "elite" addons as well.

Anyway, in the meantime I wish DTG all the best and hope they're still with us in a couple of years so we can all enjoy this 64-bit FSX version  :smile:

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