jcomm

Revisiting FSW...

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Inspired by a thread I was following here at the FSW Avsim forums, I decided to try FSW again.

It had been a long while since my last experiments with FSW, and they were positive, but by that time no missions apart from the intial default ones were available.

The Alaska free pack I tried made me soon realize I should try the "Epic Approaches Mission Pack" payware missions, and I ended up buying also the two other DLCs, Piper Arrow III and the Big Bear City airport.

I confess I didn't even had the chance to try the TrueSky stuff - which looks very nice, and plausible, and makes me really look forward into the weather engine DTG is working on.

Not a long time at the desk flying FSW - I actually started again from step 0, going along the LAPL training lessons, but I couldn't resist picking the Alaska mission and I played it for a good while - WOW! My good old MS FLIGHT spirit is back !!!

FSW is not MS FLIGHT, and in some way, I am glad it isn't, because the way DTG is dealing with it's business regarding FSW welcomes 3pds and has been proiding users with a good deal of updates and added features, but one thing I really miss in other sims, excluding Condorsoaring where I generally replicate RL flights I did, or plan to do, and IL2 or DCS where there is always some task to run, even if one simply enters an MP server and goes direct into dogfight / flying circus, was the structured mission concept. 

Creating missions like the one that is now offered for free, or the payware Epic Approaches is certainly a very rewarding task for those who want to do it, but above all can, if well designed, bring an excellent environment for playing this flight simulator without having to just pick an aircraft and fly a circuit or a flightplan, eventually connecting to an online V-ATC service ( something I seldom did in my simmer life... ).

It was really rewarding, and, I am glad I gave FSW this new try - for me it is already my early Christmas Gift, and one I am sure is going to give me some good and even didactic hours at the desk :-)

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Posting before he changes his mind........ Hey Jose!!  :emu_melk: :biggrin:

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27 minutes ago, HiFlyer said:

Posting before he changes his mind........ Hey Jose!!  :emu_melk: :biggrin:

Yep!  An old technique, to cement my complex simming-assigned neural network ... :-)

I'm always trying to find perfection, but it's a limit - Bummer !

Of course not saying I find FSW perfect, but I do find it more fun to play than any other civil flight sim ( Condorsoaring excluded, but that is used more as a tool ... ) presently available.

And yes, I could have missions running on other MSFS-derived platforms, but not as easy to go as in FSW, and those sims don't have TrueSky and cost a lot more to bring to the level of scenery ( complexity / quality / updated airfield and navaid data ) than FSW...

 

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I'm really looking forward for the cereer mode Stephen talked a while back. I really like free flight mode, but sometimes I just want some objective and those missions (and in the future the "jobs" on the career mode) are great to fill that need. 

Like you I enjoyed a lot the released missions, I have both DLCs. 

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Shrug...well its on sale at Steam so maybe I will pick it up and try it out, against my better judgement mind you...

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16 minutes ago, Boomer said:

Shrug...well its on sale at Steam so maybe I will pick it up and try it out, against my better judgement mid you...

There are no heavies in this sim, just a warning :biggrin:

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Getting the notification: "jcomm posted one hour ago". 
I always come too late. Meanwhile there must have been at least three of four uninstall processes on his machine. 

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21 minutes ago, Boomer said:

Shrug...well its on sale at Steam so maybe I will pick it up and try it out, against my better judgement mid you...

Do that - it's innexpensive.

I actually bought all DLCs less the Camera one.

Hope you enjoy the Missions. TrueSky is also very nice, and the upcoming weather engine will probably turn things even better...

Slowly, but steadily, FSW DTG's Team are walking in the good direction.

@barrel_owl:biggrin:

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I remember when I was taking flying lessons in my  little cessna 150. I was told by my instructor that airline pilots got annoyed by our presence around the patterns. So I asked him why and  how they became pilots. He said: "Son, once they make it to the biggies, they quickly forget what got them there".

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58 minutes ago, tonywob said:

There are no heavies in this sim, just a warning :biggrin:

So far .......! :smile:

rsrandazzo (PMDG), quote: "We are very excited to see Dovetail's work beginning to bear fruit and we look forward to learning more.
At PMDG our money is firmly on Dovetail Games for the simming side and Prepar3D for the enterprise side of our business
."

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And there's mention of intentions to port the FSLabs A320 into FSW too !

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If missions are the reason for any change of opinion of FSW, there are a lot of missions available in FSX-SE along with a ton more realistic features.  

MS Flight is still free and still available: 

True sky does change things up a bit, but true sky does not play well with FSW currently - (go in the clouds and the ground turns gray- very ugly). Plus its the same old themed sky over and over....ugh.

If its the sale/price reduction justification, there is no need to be hasty, DTG will have more (even deeper) discounts often - they always do. 

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17 minutes ago, pracines said:

If missions are the reason for any change of opinion of FSW, there are a lot of missions available in FSX-SE along with a ton more realistic features.  

MS Flight is still free and still available: 

True sky does change things up a bit, but true sky does not play well with FSW currently - (go in the clouds and the ground turns gray- very ugly). Plus its the same old themed sky over and over....ugh.

If its the sale/price reduction justification, there is no need to be hasty, DTG will have more (even deeper) discounts often - they always do. 

For the many years I played MSFS, I never really enjoyed it's missions, excluding when I spent some time creating my own ones with the BAO Aircraft & Adventure Factory, by the times of FS4... But I confess I never invested on 3pd products for that either, so.... maybe there were  some great chances I never took ( ? )...

Then, I think that you're leaving out some interesting additional features like, being 64 bit ( now apparently a pre-requisite... ), have a World database update, that for instance allows small airfields I operate into and from IRL even here in Portugal being included in the default scenery, navaid updates at least around Europe, and the overall scenery that is for sure better than the default in FSX ...

TrueSky wis WIP, so I give them the benefit of doubt, and so far and since it's initial release, I can see that FSW progressed rather fast, compared to what I can remember from FSX ( less the contribution of 3pds ) and MS FLIGHT. And yes, I am well aware of what has been made available for MS FLIGHT.

Just for the above, I think FSW is a very good investment, and worth supporting, no ?

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I will purchase it and if I don't like it I will blame all of you. .. lol

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36 minutes ago, Boomer said:

I will purchase it and if I don't like it I will blame all of you. .. lol

If you feel you've been tricked after trying it, the best I can do is offering you a glass of good Portuguese wine or beer, or a glider flight, if you ever decide to pay us a visit...

Madona is enjoying it around here !

BTW: Even LPMN, the small airfield I mostly operate from IRL, is included in FSW :-)

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35 minutes ago, pracines said:

True sky does change things up a bit, but true sky does not play well with FSW currently - (go in the clouds and the ground turns gray- very ugly). Plus its the same old themed sky over and over....ugh.

I own FSW (got it for 0 € as a Flight School user), but given I enjoy a fully stuffed Prepar3d4 I don't see any reason in actually using it aside occasional tests. The snowy terrain seen from clouds even in summer as mentioned by Paul is certainly an ugly feature which has been reported numerous times but does seem to resist improvement so far.

I'll not comment on the meander course of the Dovetail Sim which I followed (initially with much hope, btw!) from its very beginning in 2014 and which gives me a very uneasy feeling on the whole approach.

Kind regards, Michael

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6 minutes ago, jcomm said:

For the many years I played MSFS, I never really enjoyed it's missions, excluding when I spent some time creating my own ones with the BAO Aircraft & Adventure Factory, by the times of FS4...

I think that you're leaving out some interesting additional features like, being 64 bit ( now apparently a pre-requisite... ), have a World database update, that for instance allows small airfields I operate into and from IRL even here in Portugal are now included in the default scenery, navaid updates at least around Europe, and the overall scenery that is for sure better than the default in FSX ...

Just for the above, I think FSW is a very good investment, and worth supporting, no ?

Just for the above? No. Investment in something with the hope that it will be worth it someday is always an option. I'm saying that it currently is not worth supporting with the many other realistic options we have had available for a very long time. When FSW fully exceeds what we have already had, then it will be worth supporting. I would never tell anybody what to support or not support, I'm just saying that for virtual aviators, FSW will get old (boring) fast for all but about 100 people in the world, while FSX-SE/ XP11/P3Dv4 have stood the test of time for millions of people.

Yes FSW has some neat features, 64bit (we should have been at 64-bit about 15 years ago) broken windscreen (for what 1 mission?), rain effects (ok, does it always rain?), database update see here: https://www.fsaerodata.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=136   

These neat features are not nearly enough, and I understand its still being developed, but just like anyone would say to me "hang in there and let DTG work on it", I say the same, "wait until they fully exceed what we already have, then buy it"....to each their own, I'm just giving another perspective.

FSW will get the opportunity to prove itself, currently its not ready to prove itself. This topic is very premature, for the reasons I give, and according to the statements made by DTG about the features that are said to be implemented in the future....we have to wait and see....as far as we know the project could get cancelled. 

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41 minutes ago, jcomm said:

Madona is enjoying it around here !

Pfft, she's hiding from the Secret Service she has word not allowed off.

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44 minutes ago, Boomer said:

I will purchase it and if I don't like it I will blame all of you. .. lol

You should be able to get a refund if you don't run it for more than 2 hours. 

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20 minutes ago, pracines said:

we have to wait and see....as far as we know the project could get cancelled. 

No way can any developer cancel what "The Uninstaller" keeps installed !!! No way !

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28 minutes ago, pracines said:

You should be able to get a refund if you don't run it for more than 2 hours. 

On Steam, yep.

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I regard FSW as being a bit like having made a nice casserole and shoved it in the oven. It's there, simmering away whilst I do other things, and every once in a while I can check on it and think, mmm, that's going to be nice, but one has to be careful not to burn it. There certainly is a lot to look forward to with FSW if they don't stuff it up, what with trueSKY, PBR, updated navaids, good default textures including built in Orbx stuff, built in Accufeel, interactive checklists etc.

But disregarding the things it promises for a while, currently there isn't really anything in FSW in terms of simulating a flight which you could not do in another flight sim, you could even make identical missions to what it has for your other sims if you so desired, since the mission editor included with FSW is one which is available for other sims too. So I never really see much reason to start properly tucking into FSW right now, other than to check it out once in a while to see how it is progressing.

I bought the JF PA-28 for it, to see how it was in FSW in comparison to FSX and P3D, which I also have it in. Oddly enough, it's better in both FSW and FSX-SE than it is in P3D, in FSW it has PBR texturing, the interactive checklists and Accufeel by default of course, and in FSX-SE it has AccuFeel too since I bought that for FSX-SE, but since you can't get Accufeel for P3D, it ranks third in that line up when in P3D. 

Considering I've bought all three PA-28 variants for FSX and P3D which JF make (Warrior, Arrow and Turbo Arrow), and bought it for FSW too, I was a bit PA-28'ed out by the time it also became available for XPlane 11, so that's the only sim I've not bought that add-on for, but I understand from users who have got it for XPlane 11, that it has a bit more going on in terms of simulation, so really, I think in the case of that add-on at least, the one FSW has to match is not FSX-SE or P3D, but XPlane 11 (except where ground handling is concerned, because that is absolutely sh** in XPlane). I'm sure it will, but I guess we'll see.

And so 'I guess we'll see' is kind of what I think of FSW. I do think it is worth the price of admission right now for anyone who is into flight sims, just for curiosity of nothing else, and some of those missions are fun. But the big one for me is, if they can get trueSKY polling real world weather METARS and replicating them on the fly in the simulation. If they can do that without it turning into a slideshow, then there will be no argument, it will be the best and most advanced flight sim out there and anything else it offers, such as PBR etc, will just be additional nails to bang into the coffin of other flight sims which don't step up to match that level of advancement. trueSKY on the fly with downloadable weather making it dynamic is the magic bullet it needs to make it become the go-to flight sim.

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Typical isn't it, I read all this FSW positivity within a week of finally jumping ship from FSX to P3Dv4 (and paying the associated changeover costs)! I waited a long time to see which side 64 bit was going to fall and I've bet my money it's P3D for the long term; FSW seems a long way from being mature and I'm unsure it will ever catch up with P3D given the resources and headstart LM have over DTG, and existing third party developer support. I really wanted FSW to do well because I think it would have kept addon costs down for us but I really feel that ship has sailed.

I will happily be proven wrong but I think DTG just got to the party too late; I would imagine at least 50% of serious simmers are now primarily using P3D and unlikely to move across to FSW unless the changeover costs are minimal; if publishers push P3Dv4 licence holders down the repurchase route I think that will be enough keep serious simmers away from FSW unless it brings out some seriously showstopping features or exclusive content. I don't think TrueSky alone would constitute that.

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To the party too late? Let's not forget all future newcomers. If FSW proves to be FSX true 64 bit replacement for $50, newcomers will not think twice to go with FSW.  Simmers who have already a lot of money invested in legacy sims( I include P3dv4) have no reason to change. It's the newcomers that FSW appears to be attracting, given its low entry  cost.

I can assure you that if the Iphone had tried to convert those folks who were happy with their land lines, they would not be where they are.

I am suggesting a much larger market for sims, and not one that always chooses the most expensive entry.

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While I am bullish overall on the future of FSW, the main thing that concerns me about DTG is that they can be very slow to fix obvious and simple problems.  In Train Sim World (which is graphically miles ahead of any flight simulator), their Great Western Express expansion has a glitch that makes all sounds extremely quiet.  While the volume can be boosted by editing a config file, it then makes the sounds way too loud in the base "heavy haul" content.  This is the kind of issue can probably be fixed by changing a few internal parameters; but it's been nearly 3 months and still no fix.

In FSW, the lighting and lack of Anti-Aliasing continue to be problem (better than Flight School; but still too washed-out and jaggy).  I know that TrueSky is still a wip; but how much effort does it take to tweak the terrain into looking presentable?  At a minimum, they could provide a few sliders to allow the user to play around with the HDR.  Improved Anti-Aliasing should be built into the DirectX API, so it baffles me why the AA options are so limited.  While I have been impressed with the "bigger" improvements FSW has introduced, I do worry that DTG will ignore the "finer" details that separate an average sim from a really good sim.

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