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dave2013

MSFS - My Take

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6 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

That's the part I don't understand, it's already supposed to be there so what happened?

Nah, this is word not allowed.  No one ever claimed Azure (or the Blackshark.AI algos) were in a place where it could create a perfect rendition of the entire planet with no errors.  Even one of the official trailers for the sim briefly showed a photogrammetry area with the blob trees.  The point was to create a believable rendition of the planet out of the box, from the point of view of a plane high in the air, by knitting together a bunch of different data sources and technologies to parse that data.  The sim overwhelmingly succeeds at that 95% of the time, even as people find terrain errors all over. 

The planet is a large place, and I predicted months before the sim even came out that we'd all have a front row seat to months of "so this is the future? lol"-style posts as people found and drew attention to the places where the algorithms got it wrong, or bugs surfaced.  There was never any chance that a bunch of automated processes would get it 100% right, nor that Asobo could ever hope to give the entire planet a "oncer over" check for errors.  All they can do is refine their data sources over time, and refine the tools that process them - and indeed that appears to be part of the purpose of their "world updates".  The community itself has also overwhelmingly responded with lots of easy-to-apply terrain fixes to some of the problem spots.

At some point people need to evaluate MSFS as what it is - a nascent v1.0 release for a next-generation platform that is going to see years of refinement, exactly like P3D and X-Plane have over the years - instead of smugly and/or snarkily evaluating it based on the fever dreams of some of it's most over-hyped supporters from months ago (as though there weren't people pushing back against the overheated hype even back then).

It's an exciting new platform that integrates lots of exciting newer technologies and features, being worked on by a huge group of developers for the forseeable future, who give every indication of being completely committed to making that platform as good as it can possibly be.

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I honestly don't understand a lot of the naysayers.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but my experience has been amazing.  And I'm not new to this.  Some claim the flight model is "spot on", others claim it's complete garbage.  Lol!  Well, that was predictable.

I think much of the problem is that it's just different.  If you want a deterministic, well behaved flight model then you have plenty of options, but maybe MSFS 2020 is not for you.  There's nothing flight simmers like more than to get up on their high horse about "realism" while they're flying their desk.  I applaud Asobo for having the courage to step outside of the well accepted box and take a shot at the future.

Personally, I've found the flight model in MSFS 2020 to be very interesting.  It's certainly more alive and I don't find it to be as "random" as some have claimed.  I've had very smooth flights (usually at higher altitudes and/or in calm smooth air...not a cloud in the sky).  I've also had flights that were quite bumpy, often at lower altitudes and in and around clouds.  Is it perfect?  Well of course not, but I find it to be quite believable.  

But the part that amazes me the most is that it's only been out for 1 month.  Are any of you old enough to remember P3D 1 month after release?  Or X-Plane 1 month after release?  Or how about FSX 1 month after release?  Apparently not.

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1 minute ago, nbhall68 said:

But the part that amazes me the most is that it's only been out for 1 month.  Are any of you old enough to remember P3D 1 month after release?  Or X-Plane 1 month after release?  Or how about FSX 1 month after release?  Apparently not

Yes and FS95 and previous. Are you old enough?

Edited by Adrian123
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1 minute ago, Adrian123 said:

Yes and FS95 and previous. Are you old enough?

Yep, my first flight sim was subLOGIC 1.0 (yeah, even before Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 ever existed).

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2 hours ago, hangar said:

I think what he's trying to say is that... other than the visuals, what makes it more life like than it's predecessors for you?

..and for him the answer is little or perhaps even nothing.

I'm going to have to admit that I have no idea what makes it more lifelike than the predecessors.  The visuals are the big difference so it must be that.  And it IS a lot more lifelike, more like being in an actual small airplane.  There is magic going on, and I can't put my finger on it.  I guess that's OK, you don't have to understand how the magic happens to appreciate it.

It's probably much different for airliners than for GA flying.  I spent some time at 11,000 feet (testing my service ceiling) and it wasn't nearly as impressive as down low.

Yes, there are terrain anomalies.  But except for occasional brown cities in the midst of greenish desert, I haven't seen a problem in two weeks of flying.  Back around Pittsburg there were mesh gaps and lots of elevated water, but the community is able to fix most of elevation problems.  Out near El Paso and Las Cruces you can see a lot of the brown terrain in greenish desert and it is quite jarring.  There are also a few small areas of slightly blurry terrain with no autogen in the middle of good terrain in the area.  Stuff you just gotta ignore, because 99+% of the world looks great.  I just flew over some desert that, while not spectacular, was gorgeous.

The amount of detail is just mind-boggling.  I was picking out every ranch along my last fight path.  Still missing radio towers, but I suspect that'll be fixed at some point.  The Mount Rushmore monument was missing, but the visitor center was there.  The Crazy Horse monument was just buildings (probably depicting the scaffolding there) but it was obvious where it was.  While you might find the occasional detail they get wrong, the skyvector.com charts have even more errors and I had no idea they were as low resolution as they are when I was using them in P3D.  In MSFS every chart error stands out.

And it's still magic.  And it's all just beginning.

Hook

Edited by LHookins
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Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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40 minutes ago, nbhall68 said:

Are any of you old enough to remember P3D 1 month after release?

Oh, they're old enough.  They just don't remember what it was like to be a beginner. 😄 I still remember my very first flight on the Apple II, and the joy and wonder we got from all the early flight simulators just from being able to fly.  Even if it was wire frame or filled polygons.  Look how far we've come.

Hook

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Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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2 minutes ago, LHookins said:

There is magic going on, and I can't put my finger on it.  I guess that's OK, you don't have to understand how the magic happens to appreciate it.

I think it's the combination of modern rendering technologies underneath, that give the sim's appearance something more ineffably "real".  Especially the lighting, from things both big and obvious (like the staggering sunsets and whatnot everyone loves posting), to the unsung heavy lifters like the realistic atmospheric scattering, and the interaction of light with materials.

Even in cases where the terrain might not be anything particularly special in terms of ortho resolution/autogen, the lighting elevates the overall scene to something that looks and feels like you're flying in a real world.  A lot of it is simply the difference between a sim that has this stuff implemented in it's core, versus something that has had some of that functionality bolted on through add-ons and updates.

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5 minutes ago, LHookins said:

I still remember my very first flight on the Apple II, and the joy and wonder we got from all the early flight simulators just from being able to fly.  Even if it was wire frame or filled polygons.  Look how far we've come.

Indeed.  I still remember the 2 frames per second I was getting on my Apple IIc and I was mesmerized.  It's hard to even believe what I'm seeing now.  I've had a lot of "journeys" in my life...flight sims have been one of them.  And what a journey it's been.

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17 hours ago, bean_sprout said:

My point is that the current harvest of sims are backward looking while FS2020 is not.

I don't really know what that means?  The only aspect that is "new" to MSFS is Photogrammetry ... everything else has been done before including streaming sat/aerial imagery (remember tile proxy?).  How is DX11 "forward looking" when P3D is DX12 and XP is Vulkan ... both newer graphics APIs?  Is 7 FPS on a high end system "forward thinking" or just bad optimization or an old graphics API (DX11) ... what happened to the 60 FPS 4K promo?

All 3 platforms support PBR.  P3D supports TrueSKY and is improving it (which IMHO does a better job than MSFS weather, thank goodness for REX's new MSFS weather engine release, hopefully it's better).  MSFS SDK is less capable than either P3D or XP.  There is no PDK or equivalent (and never will be) in MSFS SDK ... in P3D the PDK is how you can leverage performance.

Sure you can make a list of things we "hope" Asobo are working on in the future, I can make the same list for P3D and XP.  I'd love to share what LM are working on for P3D, but sadly I can't.  

The basic piston engine hasn't changed in concept since created 1876, it's evolved over the decades to be more efficient and powerful but it's the same compressed charged process.  The first electric motor was created in 1834 and hasn't changed much in design but has evolved over the decades to be more efficient, faster, more powerful.  The key is "evolved".

Cheers, Rob.

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Me and noobs have no interest in what has come before FS2020 and certainly not interested enough to install, learn, support, tweak and invest money into.  Old sim attrition will happen fast and furious but I'll admit that old timers will hang on tooth and nail for a while.

Regards

bs

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9 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

The only aspect that is "new" to MSFS is Photogrammetry ... everything else has been done before including streaming sat/aerial imagery (remember tile proxy?).

I disagree.  Blackshark.ai's depiction of buildings and trees on a global scale is impressive and that hasn't been done before (in my opinion).  It makes photo real scenery work better than ever.  I can buy $500 worth of MegaSceneryEarth for P3D (and happy to do so) but it doesn't work very well without Blackshark.ai.  And tile proxy was a total hack...didn't work very well in my experience.  If I have to hack ring 0 drivers and violate EULA's to make it work then yeah...I'm out.

9 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

Is 7 FPS on a high end system "forward thinking" or just bad optimization or an old graphics API (DX11)

This has not been my experience at all.  If you're only getting 7 FPS with MSFS 2020 then there is definitely something wrong.

9 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

There is no PDK or equivalent (and never will be) in MSFS SDK ... in P3D the PDK is how you can leverage performance.

"Never" is a long time.  Pretty bold statement.

9 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

I'd love to share what LM are working on for P3D, but sadly I can't.

And sadly, I can't get excited about something I don't know about.  I've never been a big fan of "I can't tell you but just you wait and see".  Having said that, when LM steps up...I'll be first in line with my credit card.  Can't wait to see it!  Sounds awesome.

Edited by nbhall68
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3 hours ago, nbhall68 said:

If you're only getting 7 FPS with MSFS 2020 then there is definitely something wrong.

Agree, and it was reported in the Tech Alpha many times by myself and others.  I couldn't pin point the cause, for example landing at PHNG and just taxi to parking and suddenly FPS would drop drastically ... turn off the engines, restart the aircraft and FPS recovered back to 30.  I have these oddities every so often in the released version also, massive FPS drop that I can't pinpoint why ... I have theories it's related to terrain shadows, time of day, weather conditions, and mountains but still can't pinpoint it.

3 hours ago, nbhall68 said:

"Never" is a long time.  Pretty bold statement.

It is, but unless Asobo drop WASM, I don't see how a PDK like implementation is possible.

Agree on the tile proxy, it was a hack, but the point being streaming of imagery isn't a "new" idea.

LM are unlikely to ever do "streaming sat imagery and photogrammetry" using their own servers.  But they might open the door to allow a more streamlined process (that isn't a hack like tile proxy) via the PDK and 3rd party willing to serve the data.  

Cheers, Rob.

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9 hours ago, bean_sprout said:

Me and noobs have no interest in what has come before FS2020

That's a shame, much can learned from history ... us old timers made what you are doing now possible.

Cheers, Rob.

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