This is somewhat of a rant, somewhat of a moan but also a plead i guess to devs that seem and i use the word seem in such a way that i can only assume this is the case from what i have seen in the last 6 or 7 months.
Where do i start!?
I guess it has to start with FS2020...Now when this new and shockingly amazing looking simulator dropped i like all of us that love this hobby drooled over its beauty and possiblities. MS and Asobo had given us all hope that we might be able to get a chance to grab onto something that might in many ways save us alot of money based on its incredible accuracy for land terrain and cities alike. If like me you have spent hundreds maybe thousands of your hard earned money on buying packages to improve your P3D and FSX setups over the years you might have looked at FS2020 and all the pre-trailers and beta screenshots and thought..."Hang on a minute if it looks this good im not going to need things like OpenLC or FTX England, TrueEarth, Global Vector or even a weather engine like ActiveSky because this sim is suggesting that all of this basically comes in one united package"...No brainer right!?
I am heavily into AI traffic in the sim, I think AI brings unpressidented levels of realism, immersion and satisfaction to what you see at a Heathrow, LAX or Vienna for example especially if you are using the ever accurate AIG AIManager utility. It is obvious that AI in FS2020 isnt taken seriously at all, youve got generic A320s all over the place in random airline liveries that dont even operate the aircraft type...I mean come on...a Norweigian A320 at JFK!?!? What is that about!?
Sceneries is whats really gotten me frustrated, we have all seen the masses of airport and 'cityscene' upgrades being lobbed at this half baked simulator and for what!? Now i have voiced this before but the more i witness this happen the more i shrug my shoulders in disbelief at what is happening before my eyes. Now to take this back we have all depending on your own longivity within the hobby have supported some fantastic teams over the decades and poured a far amount of cash into their pockets and in many of cases rightly so but i wonder what teams like FlyTampa, UK2000, GAYA, Simwings and JustSim are playing at.....Ill give you a few more examples:
29 Palms Mykonos
When Mykonos v2 was announced i think back in March 2020 to be getting its well well overdue reboot for P3D we were fed screenshots which boosted excitement that we would be able to get this fantastic rendition back in P3D correctly compliled with the latest SDK and updated features for P3D V4 & V5. Some months later (Feb 2021) after the release of "Failed Simulator 2020" 29Palms released shots of Mykonos v2 (or v1?!) in FS2020!?!? Now take a look at this video
The video shows Mykonos in FS2020...Guess what...thats not 29Palms but agree with me...it looks pretty sweet doesnt it? So im left scratching my massive head wondering WHAT ARE THEY PLAYING AT? Mykonos (in FS2020) IF anything requires an airport upgrade and lets be honest here...LGMK is a pretty tiny airport so there wouldnt be masses to do as to say comparing that to a rendition of Frankfurt Main or Chicago O'Hare which are miles bigger. Now if you go to Mykonos in P3D and what do you see by default?....An absolutely unrealistic visual of what the island looks like in true life and thats even using ORBX OpenLC Europe. So you tell me...which sim would make more use of an full island upgrade? They also then flirted on the difficult workload of bringing an accurate sateilllite image in for the P3D version which would follow the initial FS2020 release.....Im confused? V1 had a satellite base so whats so different this time? It just seems to me like a really weird way of handling a scenery that got them alot of attention when it dropped all those years ago and is now sort of a 'meh...if we can be bothered attitude'.
LH Simulations Budapest
65Million years ago LH annouced Budapest was going to get an entire overhaul and be brought to P3D. Now not only being probably one of the longest running development projects ever this was another case of multiple preview renders of the scenery in P3D and then as soon as FS2020 dropped those all vanished and it was annouced that the update would come to FS2020 first and then eventually P3D....obviously a P3D version is great but some of us have waited a long a*s time for this one and to have FS2020 take the upper hand from out of nowhere was alittle dissapointing but hey it might happen before the end of my days...
Flytampa Vienna & Athens
This one is real hard to jibe at because i love these guys alot but whats going on with these two projects!? We can literally say Vienna v4 was suggested over a year ago maybe atad longer to being close to a release and Athens...2 years ago? I know like most of us that FlyTampa refrane from saying to much about release dates but ive seen them release 3 FS2020 versions of airports now and i am gagging like many to know when i can start enjoying their LOWW & LGAV reboots which must surely be at a near end?!
So your probably wondering (if your still reading up to now) what im moaning about...Its the basic point of FS2020 being still very incomplete and massively still in beta form.
Regardless of the sim being released to the public it was never ready and more and more users have reverted back to what?....P3D!
Why? Because its stable and can still look great if your able to select good shaders and get your settings right and it has all of the following included...dynamic lighting, real weather dipictions with ActiveSky, AI traffic with PBR, an extensive catologue of scenery enhancements from ORBX and a decent list of study level aircraft.
All of these airport renditions being thrown at the new sim look lush, no quarms about that..hell they even make JustSim material look pretty sweet but we cant enjoy these airports with a real satisfying 747 or 777.....No accurate A32X fleet..There is a reason PMDG said they were halting dev on the new sim and thats because it just isnt ready for anyone to sink their teeth into.
FS2020 could still be the pie in the sky but its not something that i personally understand at the moment...We are sim hobbiests so i see the current setup in this new sim as basically having something like the old default 737 that you got in FS2002 or even the 747-400 for example and flying into a nicely enhanced FlyTampa Las Vegas with its half baked flightdeck and totally inaccuate AI system that acts miles worse than AI behaves in P3D....you get all that scenery eyecandy and no deep realism to the aircraft you are actually flying or the action around the airport itself unless you use static aircraft models...Many of us have forked out heavily on PMDG material up until now because its the best and many opted for AIGs top notch FREE AI system which further adds to the immersion with a range of realistic highly detailed models and paints.
P3D is still alive! There is still money to be had in this sim. Realistically i do wonder when FS2020 will iron itself out and rectify all the wrongs and kinks it currently has intertwined within its walls. The idea and visuals are there...I love what they've done theres no hate towards ASOBO or MS BUT its just not a complete sim yet and i am totally confused at the behaviour of the 3rd party developers many of us have supported over the years with our money that we decided to hand over for their great work. I feel like FS2020 needs to be put down for awhile, it needs more time in the garage and in the meantime P3D needs to still be seen as the sim that still can deliver alot of pleasure and enjoyment.
If Flytampa or Flightbeam announced a release tomorrow of a P3D Heathrow or JFK your telling me you wouldnt buy it!? It was pretty much a no brainer throwing my cash at WF Scenery for Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong.
I just dont get what the rush is and why we need to be building FS2020 up with airports and cityscenes when there are fundamental discripencies within the sim as a whole!? Who is buying this stuff up to the levels that the devs think..."Ok lets keep going!"....Bewildering it really is but hey what do i know 😛
Lets not forget that P3D gives us stuff like....