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LAdamson

How real do we want our FSX?

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After much anticipation I remember reading one post that read, no more FS series coming from MS. To some extent, that satisfied me and I was happy with FS9 and so much was still coming out from 3erd parties that made the original FS9 so enjoyable to play.Then there was the official announcement of FSX and of course the whole marketing hype that goes along with any announcement of upcoming products.Then the open policy of MS to the community with the release of FSX BETA, WOW! The promise of DX10 and what it will bring, double WOW! I thought.With the whole guessing game of when the Beta would be released, then when the RTM would be released, then the emotions of the first fix, SP1 and so on. All I can say, is it has been a true roller coaster ride for me and lots of monies spent in hardware, something I have never before invested in to play any FS series in the past. I never knew there was going to be a FS2004 Century of Flight until I saw it on the shelves, once a brought it, it was like a much needed patch to the one before, nothing really fancy but a whole lot smoother and refined, especially with the later released update for the same. Although I like to some extent the constant communication from ACE I believe there are limits and some things are best kept unknown. Recently knowing so much about the inner workings of the game, thanks to very talented people here, it is like when I studied mass media in college; it is hard to enjoy a movie without identifying the flaws. To a great extent it has ruined my ability to enjoy the game! ####, I have spent more time tweaking, reading post then enjoying the freaking game! I guess this is to say, we as humans will never, NEVER be satisfied and it sadly ends in the total annihilation of something that otherwise was not too bad to begin with. Just take a deep breath and look at what we have done to the entire world with what we think as, making it better than it was. Additives, drugs, war, technology, artificial this, artificial that, flavor enhancers, etc. All in the name of Human superior INTELEGENCE! Try it sometimes, go outside, take a deep breath, look at the trees, leaves, plants, sky, animals and use your imagination, WOW it is great, remember putting your hand outside the car window and learning instantly about aero dynamics and drag without even knowing it? Remember playing with a paper airplane, a kite, blocks and imagining whatever you wanted them to be? Remember simple graphics in games that where complimented and enhanced not by a patch but by your imagination? This is not to say that there should not be advancements, but there also exist balance, and for game developers, don

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What an excellent post. It pretty much resembles my feelings towards FSX and flightsimming in general.I agree that the information provided is almost too much - from everyone. I remember a few generations of flight sims ago that there was no need for any tweaking to get me "wowed". There was no Internet to even find tweaks and to vent over the quality of a game/simulation. I just enjoyed it with the resources that were available to me. Now it seems to be endless hours of tweaking, trying new drivers, trying new settings, discussing or being upset about this and that to squeeze out a few more fps or to make the sim look better. A few years ago, everyone seems to have been more content with what was offered, including me.As for "how real do we want FSX?", I would say we're demanding too much, but the movement towards virtualization seems to be unavoidable. People date online, shop online, fight online, argue online, play online and fly online. Unfortunately, it is a trend that seems irreversible.When I started flying in real life in 2000, I was overwhelmed how easy and how much fun, but also how incredibly expensive it is. FS gives ordinary people, who have a great interest in aviation, a more or less semi-realistic experience how it feels to be a pilot, to be an ATC controller or just to test out flight dynamics. Of course, it is nothing like the real deal, but a lot of people just cannot afford a PPL license -or- are just too lazy to try it for real. Heck, people don't even like to walk in the rain or snow anymore ("Oh the hassle") and avoid exposing themselves to the elements. Everything has become more sterile, with perfect air conditioning and perfect surroundings. I am sure that a lot of people don't even know anymore how it feels to sweat or freeze. A few days ago, when it was raining here at work, a co-worker offered me an umbrella for a short walk to my car. I declined and he looked at me with a big "?" and told me that I cannot be serious to walk 300 yards in the rain to my car. I told him: "Sure, I can" and started walking. I think that pretty much sums it up.Back to FS: Flight simming has become incredibly complex, overwhelming and confusing and I am not talking about the flying part. We all got too demanding, too impatient for the perfect flight sim, because we have reached a point where the virtual world is close to resembling the "real deal" in terms of visuals. However, I think that developers are concentrating too much on visual aspects and overlook the attention for details and the "core" of the flight sim.Many necessary technical improvements when it comes to the flying experience have been ignored for years: Most of all flight planning and ATC, maybe a working co-pilot. Both are all big parts of the flight simming experience for me. For example, flight planning usually takes in real life a good 1-2 hours (for me) and is for me half the fun of flying: Understanding the weather, the topography, the planned route and waypoints.I also caught myself by getting obsessed to the level into detail. I want hyper-realistic VFR scenery and at the same time the level of technical information from the flight sim when it comes to IFR flights, in the form or plates, procedures, ATC - just to name a few. Everything is within reach now, but... we have to realize that we're not there yet and have to be patient!!As for FSX: Well, I consider it to be visually stunning and a great improvement over FS9. However, FSX has been plagued by many avoidable bugs and a lot of logistical mistakes (especially in terms of DX10) and I would even go so far to say the FSX has been the most buggy release so far. It is enjoyable, but it is not even close where it could have been. Partially to blame is the "over-information" and a hype that has created almost a hysteria. Everyone waited for DX10 to see how FSX could be really unleased, Aces released their magic screenies and everyone went "whooooaaaa". Now DX10 is here, it's merely a "technology preview" with some nicer looking water and jaggy cockpit shadows and some marginal performance improvements and everyone is wondering where the new magic shaders are and what the real improvement of DX10 is. Clearly a "not-so-good" advertisement to present some allegedly ground-breaking in-house technology.Even after 12 months and SP2, we still have many, many little non-DX10 things that need to be addressed, from general stability issues to little nitpick fixes and, as far as I am concerned, a vision of the development team that points into a different direction from my desires.Acceleration for me is a miss, because it does not address or very little of my current issues with FSX, but on the other side produce a lot of arcade-style, if not to say (XBox-dumbed-down) content that I don't particularly care for. There are other niches for those sims (Red Baron, Combat Flight Sim, other simplistic sims) and I feel that the resources that are available have been used to further expand the sim without addressing core issues first.Just imagine about some people would feel like to have a MS payware addon that would bundle ASX, UTX, a very good flight planner and some expert ATC. For me this would be absolutely heaven. I would even buy such an add-on for $100 or more. So, yea, compared to this "dream addon" Acceleration is a dud for me.But, again, that's just me. The great thing and a major attraction to pursue this hobby is the modularity, because you are free to choose and pick and make the flightsim your own.To tell you the truth: My feelings towards FSX are the same as my feelings towards Vista. I am really trying to like it, but I just can't, because a lot of little issues make compare the new enhancements and I have to admit that the overall experience has been less pleasant than in the previous versions (FS9/XP). While both updates do certainly feature some enhancements, I just cannot enjoy them like I want them to, because they're less user-friendly, more confusing and much more technical. 12 months later, I remember the times when I fired up FS9 and Windows XP and had virtually no problems and simply enjoyed the OS/application. Now my experience seem to have gotten reversed, because I am getting emerged in technical nonsense details that need fixing, that are not or poorly documented or that are simply beyond my ability to make them "work", before I can even get any enjoyment out of the OS/application.Pat

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Hi Snekgiant,What I am about to say is not necessarily aimed towards you. So forgive my use of the word "you". It applies to all who read this. :)"I believe game developers should focus more on those subtle visual and audible cues that trigger an active imagination and even trick the mind into associating it with the real thing"Now I do believe that imagination is vitally important, but that only works when one has a real life experience basis for comparison, right? At times I wonder if FS is "Flight Simulator" or "Life "Simulator".Perhaps another term one could use for the latter is "World Simulator".How real do you want it? Can one deal with such to begin with? No offense intended, but I do feel this is worth saying.At times I wonder just what is "reality" when it comes to FS, and I have been doing FS development for some 8 years now.Often I wonder about this, and have over those years.When it comes to real aviation, I can assure all without a doubt of two undeniable facts, and if you do not think they equate to realism, then you might need to try the real thing first. If some of you have done so, then I apologize, and think, perhaps, that you might have unintentionally forgotten about both.1. CostAh! You fly jet airliners, where you get virtually paid to do so. If you think that is an "out", guess again. Let's take you on a currency check and see how you do without any of your automation working, and perhaps with an engine out and other things going wrong. ;)Oh, you failed the check and lost your job? Now you can't fly any more?If you fly GA, anyone notice what 100LL is going for these days?Can you even afford to fly. Do you have any idea how costly it has become? Would you like MS to simulate that? Do you think FS is an expensive hobby when compared to the real thing?If you cannot afford it you cannot fly. That is "real" also.How real do you want it?2. Your life / healthAnother undeniable truth, yet one often forgotten about in FS.I guess MS could create a sim that would only work if you have something attached to your head that would kill you if you mess up badly enough. He he, let's not go there! ;)Sadly, and like it or not, that is real life, and we deal and train for that.Imagine taking up your girlfriend and mother in a plane. Their lives are in your hands. How does MS simulate that, and why is that so forgotten about by many?How real DO you want your FS?It's not just about SIDS and STARS, and waves crashing on the beach, or "realistic ATC" (does anyone really think that is possible in FS?) or leaves falling off the trees, and folks walking on the ramp, etc.Sure some is possible, but what is one's priorities as to reality?Everyone has a different opinion of "reality" when it comes to FS, believe it or not.Some folks just want to look at the aircraft model and determine how accurate it is, while it flies along on AP. Others, believe it or not, could not care less about an aircraft model, and just want the cockpit and systems to be 100% accurate. They are not even concerned about the graphics, the the accuracy of the systems.Others, are real pilots, who just want to practice IFR approaches in an aircraft by hand, and could not care less about the scenery. Decent flight dynamics and a smooth running simulator are all they need.Other's just want to look at the world around them, or watch virtual traffic, following the real schedule as planes take off from an airport.I am not intending to offend anyone, but as a program that attempts to simulate flying a plane, FS was quite fine back in FS98.Right now, MS is trying to make it far more than "Flight Simulator".Last week I flew a 1 year old, Level D, Falcon 2000EX with EASy cockpit simulator at Flight Safety at TEB.The scenery graphics were smooth (there was a room full of computers outside to run it!), as they should be for a multi-million $ simulator, but otherwise graphics were nothing to write home about.Otherwise, the sim did what it needed to, and I was quite proud that I accomplished a no-flap landing with #2 HYD failed. It was far more real than anything in FS, especially when I stepped on those breaks to stop her.It all depends on what you need / want and, sadly, MS has to create a sim that appeals to a broad range of tastes, and they will never please everyone. ;) I'll never forget the time in March of 2001. I was in the cockpit of a BA 747 enroute from LHR to JFK. The captain asked me what I did for a living, and I told him about flight simulation, and how many folks flew virtual 747s and how real such aircraft had become. They have since become more so.He said: "Yeah, that's nice, but you don't have a bunch of folks in the back, and your job and life are not on the line, is it?".How real do you want FS?As good as it is getting it will never be real enough, and reality means something different to many different folks."For those who want really realistic flying experience, fly a real plane or try and get into a real commercial flight sim and leave the fun up to the game developers and let them put in just enough realism without destroying the FUN part of it."Ya' know, while I do not quite agree with you 100% there, I dare say you might not by so far off the mark either. :)Nice post Snekgiant, and my apologies if anyone is offended by what I have to say, as I realize that when it comes to reality, that those of us who have dealt with it for real for several decades do not always have their opinions appreciated at FS forums.Seriously, despite some issues with FSX, for the money it is perhaps the best bargain in software out there!Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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"Can you even afford to fly. Do you have any idea how costly it has become? Would you like MS to simulate that? Do you think FS is an expensive hobby when compared to the real thing?"I don't want to get too far off topic, but the above statement rings so very true that I wanted to comment. When I bought my 337 I was paying $1.25 for fuel. My FBO now charges $4.95. Add that to the cost of my tie down fees, inspections, insurance, maintenance, and other expenses, and I have found myself airborne much less than I used to be. Flight Simulator (any version) is certainly no match for the real thing, but it does make a nice alternative when the weather does not accomodate you, or you need to let your finances catch up. I am grateful for any simulator that let's me recreate flight to a reasonable degree of realism for less than it costs me for an hour of fuel. Someday when my medical is pulled I will be happy that Microsoft has kept the series alive.-Mike

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Hi Lou Betti,I could not see where anything you said would be offensive. I hope nothing in my original post was offensive to anyone professional, hobbyist or gamer. While living in Mexico, some of my extended family and friends are commercial airline pilots, and all of them have great respect for MSFS and use or used it a lot. It was playing FS98 that got one of my friends so hooked on it, that he is now a professional airline pilot.I believe you to be correct when you said that reality is different for each individual, as one of my friends said (Pilot), MSFS is a lot harder in one respect than real flying because of the limited view and sensitivities of the joystick input.It seems like back in the days we had more options, I even remember instrument only software so you could practice strictly IFR.Always nice to hear from a real pro., I guess FS is so

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You are not kidding... We just took our Baron in for its annual this year after investing in two brand new engines a year ago. A crack was found in the right engines crankcase, and despite being under warranty-the downtime has already been a month and a half, and I expect another. The irony is we invested in these new engines at a huge cost just to avoid such a downtime. Now I figure 3-4 months out of service. Thank god for Fs-who's cost is just about what it costs to taxi the real bird across the field to the mechanic! I can very easily keep lots of procedures from getting rusty.As to reality-that has been becoming more and more a problem. As fs has gotten more and more diverse and real, people's interests have also. Therefore it is almost impossible at this point to keep anyone happy-everyone's conception of what is real is becoming more divergent.I bet the programmers long for the days when fs had 5 airports, a 172, and a learjet. No one was disappointed then-just grateful to have something! :-lolhttp://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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According to Microsoft, FSX has been the fastest selling game of the series. If this is true, does it prove that people want more a causual flight simulator experience?This versions i feel has been much about jumping into the plane and get to the action fast. It's a very fun intro to flight simming, but I wish it would be more new stuff for others than the newcomers too.Here's my wishlist for "how real i want it".1) Failures over time.In FSX you set a typical failure to happen within 10 hours of the flight. How about simulating wear and tear on the plane so something fails, say, after 50 hours without maintainance on the same plane. I.e. you get a failure but not on every flight.2) Basic tools for setting up your own Airline or Private Flight Club and manage it's economy. Buy/sell planes, maintainance, engine parts, fuel.3) Long-term "missions" ("career mode") for the pro's. Being promoted through the ranks and get permission to fly larger and more demanding airliners as you accumulate hours.4) Eyecandy in the right places. I'm especially missing cloud shadows cast on the ground and clouds affecting lighting (i.e. more grey and darker light with overcast compared to a clear day). I so enjoy how clouds cast reflection in water in this version!5) Improved weather system and forecast planning. No more 100kts windchanges at FL350 (unless bad weather IS reported). Tools for alerting and planning routes around bad weather.I do understand the need for making the sim more accessible to the causual user. Let's face it, not everyone getting to sim will be using it to simulate a IFR flight from EGLL to KJFK lasting for hours. But those of us that do would like being rewarded too.

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>According to Microsoft, FSX has been the fastest selling game>of the series. If this is true, does it prove that people want>more a causual flight simulator experience?>>This versions i feel has been much about jumping into the>plane and get to the action fast. It's a very fun intro to>flight simming, but I wish it would be more new stuff for>others than the newcomers too.>>Here's my wishlist for "how real i want it".>>1) Failures over time.We can do that right now, but the problem is making it realistic, as so, so many variables can come into play when simulating such.>>In FSX you set a typical failure to happen within 10 hours of>the flight. How about simulating wear and tear on the plane so>something fails, say, after 50 hours without maintainance on>the same plane. I.e. you get a failure but not on every>flight.>>2) Basic tools for setting up your own Airline or Private>Flight Club and manage it's economy. Buy/sell planes,>maintainance, engine parts, fuel.Managing and airline is almost a "black art", but a flying club / partnership is not a big deal. I even thought about that as we simulate my Piper Dakota. However, to make it truly real you will need to spend real money from your wallet each month. I just sent a check today for $2300 to my partner who handles the finances for our Dakota, and I did not fly it that much over the last several months either! (maybe 10 hours)>>3) Long-term "missions" ("career mode") for the pro's. Being>promoted through the ranks and get permission to fly larger>and more demanding airliners as you accumulate hours.Certainly a good idea, and I believe that is something MS will improve upon.>>4) Eyecandy in the right places. I'm especially missing cloud>shadows cast on the ground and clouds affecting lighting (i.e.>more grey and darker light with overcast compared to a clear>day). I so enjoy how clouds cast reflection in water in this>version!Not a big deal for me, as I will often just drag the outside view out of the way in the 2D cockpit and do my IFR stuff. All depends on what you want.Most of the time I fly I have to make an effort to look out the side window to admire the view. On longer flights (1.5+ hours) I am usually just reading a magazine and keeping the panel in view out of a corner of my eye.I remember the day a couple months ago on a three hour flight back from Tennessee, my pilot friend and I got so bored on the Cessna 210 that I also fly, that I decided to unzip these zippers in the headliner and see what was up there in the ceiling. We compared notes between left (me) and right (him) side zippers!"Okay, we both have this plastic tube on each side, what is it?""Fuel?" he said."No, can't be, as it is somewhat transparent, and it is not blue in color. Maybe a vent" I said."Oooh, I have this little brass box thing on my side but you don't". I said.Every so often I took my camera and took a photo out the window. Then I put it on the glare shield and took a photo of the two of us!>>5) Improved weather system and forecast planning. No more>100kts windchanges at FL350 (unless bad weather IS reported).>Tools for alerting and planning routes around bad weather.No doubt. Certainly agreed.>>I do understand the need for making the sim more accessible to>the causual user. Let's face it, not everyone getting to sim>will be using it to simulate a IFR flight from EGLL to KJFK>lasting for hours. But those of us that do would like being>rewarded too.It is a tough hurdle to jump for MS, as there are so many different tastes to satisfy, however, let me say this.I recently took one of the AOPA online courses, this one concerned VOR approaches.After the course and test (yes, I got 100%), they had a survey to take.While I forget most of the questions on the survey, the one that stood out dealt with what simulator we real pilots use for practice.MSFS was well in the lead at 37%. The rest was split among everything else, including Elite, X-Plane, etc.Not too bad, eh?Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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>Most of the time I fly I have to make an effort to look out>the side window to admire the view. On longer flights (1.5+>hours) I am usually just reading a magazine and keeping the>panel in view out of a corner of my eye.>Out here in the "Wild West", it's nearly ALL side window views! Scenery is just too good to miss! :-hah L.Adamson

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