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About BilboBaggins

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  • Birthday 01/01/1955

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    Austin, TX
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    Veteran MSFS2020 FSX XBox X PC

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    Older and wiser and properly medicated.

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  1. I will be circumspect in my reply on this, but I'm confident MS/Asobo have plenty of good reasons (not just fiscal) for a new release. Tech and audience are both evolving, very rapidly, now, even more than in the past, if you can even imagine that. No doubt there are updated versions of Xbox on the way; main areas would be storage capability and perhaps a ramp-up in RAM and GPU capabilities (incremental, not dramatic, but on both fronts, hardware prices are coming down rapidly, and will continue to do so). And then there are the new things, like my current toy, the ASUS ROG Ally. Amazing bit of tech; I've been experimenting with MSFS2020 (my full, 400GB install) on it. I see two things inevitable in a next step. First, yes of course lots of detailed improvements in areas everyone knows about on the tech side: flight model, rendering/procedural, helicopter and glider flight modeling and control options, study-level sim support, and so on (the stuff most important here). But there are also some interface and use changes I think would be significant. Take, for example, the controller options and presets manager for that -- a good start but, compared with, say, DCS, still quite primitive. I can easily see a substantial improvement there, with the ability to manage presets more fluidly, so as you're switching to different types of aircraft to fly, access to and refinement of your control interface is more ergonomic. Along with this, the logic of presets in the options settings should invariably be extended to the render engine. Right now, we have "PC" and "VR". What we need is the ability to create various kinds of Graphics configuration presets for flying in different areas. I want one preset that will make flying in heavy traffic at KJFK during rush hour running a PMDG-737 render smoothly and happily; another that will give me all the graphics detail where it matters, or flight sim modeling detail where it matters, in less demanding situations. You want consistency of look across the board, certainly, but you have the same issue here evolving we had with FSX, which is that a configuration that was good for heavy urban/atc/study sim environments wasn't good or necessary elsewhere. I think of this as a kind of "level of detail" problem. You want focus of all compute resources, for an increasing variety of platforms, from high-end Intel/AMD PC to hand-held "game" console (ASUS Ally is just the first; this is very much a growing field, Steam Deck and Ally are very much 1.0 versions of what's to come here), for the situation at hand, no matter what kind of flying you're doing. So along the lines of this logic, streamlining what is being done given the player's/pilot's focus at the moment is very much an ongoing optimization process. I suspect '2024 will do a lot here to make things work better for a wider variety of situations. And then, the part most dismiss here but I think is a fascinating, evolving possibility: the "living world" aspect of flight simulation. In Electronic Arts/Codemasters' F1 sim (PC or console, doesn't really matter), F1 has been evolving year to year to incorporate more of the world around the core F1 simulation, which has been fundamentally excellent for years now. There's I'm sure as always a small contingent who see anything but the vehicle and track modeling as extraneous (as someone mentioning the evolution of Train Simulator 3 here confirms). But, given the resources and the overall marketplace (Battlefield 2042, Starfield, Call of Duty, Streetfighter 6 as prime examples), there's an entirely new approach growing in the what I would no longer call "games" business but "virtual worlds" business: concentration on providing the entirety of the context for the core experience, in ways which aren't just fluffy add-on but inherent to the experience of the simulation. MSFS for 2024 is clearly moving in that direction, which I think is a correct one. There's more of a "role-playing" aspect implied in the mission advances, with much more, I can easily imagine, to come. Think about fleshing out all the real-life situations for flight simulation, beyond the stuff we already focus on: air traffic control, large airport runway air traffic environments, weather, flight planning, seasonal stuff, day/night environments, winds aloft, and so on. These are already "virtual world" enhancements to the core sim, and have been there since the very start, with subLogic's development of Air Transport Pilot out of BAO's original Microsoft Flight Simulator. The next stage of virtual world building, then, is implied in all the new mission ideas hinted at. I think there's very much to be done there, without it becoming burdensome or distracting from the core simulation. We'll see a start of that in 2024. Along with the VR/TrackIR type cockpit environment evolution. That won't be controversial if it contextualizes ongoing work within the core sim, and makes it more approachable for, yes, a wider audience, without dumbing it down at all. You can start F1 23 in hardcore mode and it's as difficult an F1 driving simulation as any out there, and then some (with things like MotoGP23, Ride5 and of course Forza/Gran Turismo right alongside it). It's time to bring MSFS into the current market, and I'm not speaking just in marketing terms here; this is what simulation is now, across the board. Something as already excellent as MSFS2020 _needs_ to contextualize its virtual world this way, to not be left behind. It's a huge, missed opportunity otherwise, with so many excellent examples in other areas of simulation out there (Dirt 5!). Keep in mind my perspective, though; not only have I been using MSFS since it started, but I now "play" it on PC, Xbox and most recently, ASUS ROG Ally (the last is the most exciting challenge at the moment, in terms of figuring out the best way to optimize it in that environment). Many here would consider that ludicrous ("ludic" being the operative term here, latin for "play"). But it's what MSFS has always been about: maximizing ALL the possibilities on rapidly evolving technology, not just sitting comfortably in the past. There's a good chance for MSFS to really thrive here; don't kill it with suspicion, please. 🙂 /rant off
  2. Very thoughtful video. The issues might not bother at first, but with greater intimacy they can become huge annoyances. Best of luck to all the developers out there; it’s always a challenge!
  3. … and doing so will educate you a bit more on this system! 🙂 I’ve learned PMDG aircraft by failing a lot.
  4. Yes there is definitely more work to do, and as always, certain things will be inadequate for certain users, that’s always the case. i love bush flying as much as I do procedural. They’re both flying, just in different ways.
  5. I’m having a blast with the switchology on this one! Try starting it up at night from C&D at YSSY. Don’t forget push back; this does not turn on a dime. :) I suffer from insomnia as an old person, so studying the flow of electrical busses and fuel systems is a great way to get myself back to sleep. playing with the electric busses on this alone is like patching a Eurorack modular synth.
  6. I’ve recently been enjoying Cowansims’ helicopters in MSFS2020, using just the standard Xbox X controller with the helicopter controller mappings. it can be done! 🙂 I look forward to PMDG joining the platform. The recently released ATR in Marketplace is also a welcome addition. My only challenge will be re-buying these ambitious, serious sims, now that I’m retired; but it will happen, over time.
  7. Looked to me like rising debris, being blown by the wind and inferno below.
  8. That video suggests to me -- in the first four seconds of it, the only part where there's any indication of explosion of the plane -- on the ground, not at 30,000 feet -- that the plane indeed crashed, and was not shot down.
  9. I don't think we even know that the MH17 B777 was shot down. In fact, I highly suspect it wasn't. The tragic good news if that were the case might be that recovery of the black box has the possibility of leading to insight into why the other Malaysian Airlines B777, MH370, went down. That's all the speculation I'm willing to venture. Looks like Malaysian Airlines has had a great record since their last crash in 1995, so two of these, on the same plane, so close together in time, most likely is coincidence, but could be symptomatic of something else. I will leave it to the investigators to figure that out.
  10. As before: PLEASE refrain from the stupid speculation game. Everyone and their brother is jumping to make political hay of this for any purpose they can attach the event to, and we simply have NO idea what happened. And, for reasons different from MH370, it may also be difficult to resolve (tribal warzone, anyone?).
  11. This has been an interesting thread, lots of thoughtful (and entertaining) responses. I can't help but think this guy's financial strategies - do new business to cover old debt you can't pay back - is learned from the current state of the entire, corrupt global financial system, as basically, that's how it operates. And the minute the new "sales" (of financial instruments) slow...... KABOOM! It's criminal whoever's doing it, whatever the scale or seemingly logical justifications. And again, the biggest damage of all? A pervasive destruction of trust. This damages the ability to do business, sustain trade and maintain financial and currency legitimacy, with all the ensuing chaos that entails. Round 'em all up, I say!
  12. You want revealing, go look for a bikini for your Aussie girlfriend at..... :wub:
  13. Pankaj, that's just an artificial construct. Where the sliders are don't matter, the experience does. I have both installed, still, and use them differently. I don't add-on to P3Dv2, I use it as is, and it's great, as is. It is its own intrinsic experience. Here and there I might add in ORBX scenery, as they've been updating their whole library to be P3DV2 compatible. But the "zen" of P3Dv2 is in enjoying what's there, rather than desiring "more" in some sense. Take what is at hand and have fun with it. Learn its own nature. Don't cross with expectations from other flight sims; they all do things differently and have different strengths, and weaknesses.
  14. I know I could easily be happy the rest of my life with my current suite of flight sim software: Rise of Flight, DCS, Battle of Stalingrad (in development), FSX and P3Dv2.2. If I had to stop there, it'd be more than I could master in my remaining years. I'm actually at a point where I may do just that; there are a few incremental add-ons I'd consider, such as ORBX's landclass stuff when it's finalized, but really, what's out now is about all I could ever have imagined it might be. And I started with all this a long, long time ago, when microcomputers (as they were then called) were first invented. :)
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