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  1. Yet, people seem to use this "it's not a game" argument , or shall we say defence mechanism. Everytime people point out how ridiculous Prepar3d looks and behaves and all the 15 year old bugs with stuttering and morphing terrain textures and Commodore 64 looking autogen etc, we hear that it's because Prepar3d is "not a game" and "it's all about procedures" and "I don't need the visuals to fly my heavy". It's always fun to remind the "it's not a game" people that LM picked FSX as the base for their sim, i.e. a game where you got points for dropping flour bombs and went on rescue missions to save the lost elephants.
  2. Again, exactly the same arguments as we still get from the grumpy old FS9 guys - "it's so stable, it just works". That's fine and all, but just be aware that the rest of the world will be moving on with or without you. This topic was supposed to be about the future. No matter how good you think a software is today, if the developer doesn't care, someone else will happily take their place. And the 3rd party market and the community will follow. And everything will start to degrade. I know that the intentions are good but I think that the community's defending of LM instead of putting pressure on them to fix things and keep up with the competitors is partly to blame for this situation. If the X-plane or MSFS developer or any other software developer would act the same way as LM, people would be furious. But because of the FS/FSX history, the Prepar3d users have learned that this is considered normal and they tend to think that active development is when you get a tiny hotfix once a year.
  3. I guess it depends on how you see it. Many people in the flight sim community seem to use FSX as a reference as to what is being actively developed or not. In that case anything that hasn't been completely dead for five years is considered being in active development. The way I see it though, Prepar3d as well as its 3rd party market is as close to being abandonware as you can get. I guess the significant parts you're refering to are things like going 64-bit. I think that's just maintenance and catching up for old time's lack of development, it's hardly something exciting compared to what one should expect from a big software developer. It's hardly new either, I've seen zero things to be excited over in Prepar3d for several years now. And there is zero communication from LM, zero roadmap, zero plan, zero response to bug reports, zero bug fixes. Almost half a year since the last tiny hotfix. Even though most bugs originating from FSX haven't even been fixed yet. That's not what I call active development. I assure you that I don't enjoy this situation, like many others I've spent thousands of hours and dollars. But I also see where the wind is blowing. The discussions on every flight sim forum right now is an exact repetition of the discussions we had when the glory of FSX started to fade away. Even after declared dead, people were totally convinced that its future was bright and that 3rd party developers were going to keep it alive forever. "It's awesome, I enjoy every flight and it looks good and all addons work and it does exactly what I want it to, I'll never need anything else", they said. Some still say that to this day and poeple will still say that about Prepar3d years from now. That's fine but I'm not going to let my denial get me again. I want to take part of an active community working together, contributing to a software that is constantly improving. I never ever again want to be a part of a community that thinks that the current state of the software is good enough and it therefore doesn't matter if it's no longer maintained.
  4. When a business who sells you something tells you, the paying customer, that they don't disclose timelines or future plans, it means one of two things (or both): There is no timeline or future plan. They have absolutely no idea. You mean absolutely nothing to them, you are not their target audience and they could not care less about you. One could wonder why they even show up at expos year after year just to tell you that there is nothing to show or tell you.
  5. If it's changing because it's stil in early development and/or new features are introduced that has to cause some fundamentals changes, then I'd say deal with it. In the case of Prepar3d however, which can not be considered neither new nor being very actively developed, addons break all the time anyway, even after minor updates. It's just that the 3rd party Prepar3d devleopers have fortunately/unfortunately learned during the years that this is the way it is and are ususally very good at updating their software. I'm not trying to say that MSFS is a smooth ride for 3rd party developers, not at all, but the acceptance of problems is much higher if you see that the devloper take things seriously and tries to improve. Those will finally catch up. I'd rather see a developer with ambitions and intensions who break things on the way, rather than a developer with no ambitions or intensions at all. No matter how hard it is and has been for developers to enter the MSFS arena, most of them have now invested a lot of time and effort that they likely don't want to got to waste. To think that they will give up and go back to Prepar3d is a bit naive. Just look at the Prepar3d 3rd party market, it's already very close to dead. There are still some big releases but those are addons that have already been in the making for a long time. I find it very hard to believe that any Prepar3d developers in the year 2021 will make a business decision to start developing a new addon that is going to be released years from now.
  6. It was inevitable that some developers who are used to do developing for a completely static platform was going to throw in the towel instead of having to develop for a moving target. They really got too comfortable and spoiled during the FSX era, and Prepar3d it not exactly moving much faster anymore. Is it going to be harder to develop for MSFS? Absolutely! But the business decision to only develop for a static platform is hardly a good long term solution for any software company. In my opinion, those developers won't be missed. I do however miss all those developers who really had ambitions and tried to push the limits but got pretty much zero support back from the developers of FSX/Prepar3d. This is a good way to get rid of skilled, creative people, and only keep those who want to make a quick buck by charging you for features and fixes that should really already be in the base sim. Your statement that MSFS was released prematurely is interesting. It's always a balance for such a company. They need to involve 3rd party developers and beta testers and regular end users early enough to be part of the actual development to be able to listen to their input and requirements so that the software heads in the right direction. Of course, bugs are going to be expected and features, especially in the SDK, are expected to be incomplete. Wait too long however and 3rd party developers will get tired of waiting, and they will not be able to take part in the direction of the software development. Many companies/developers wait for the initial release until the software is considered close to perfect. Guess what, that usually never happens. And by the time the software is finally released, the public interest is gone and the result is usually far from what the audience expected. Your argument about MSFS being released in "an unfinished state so consequently it has to be updated and fixed virtually monthly" kind of says it all. The fact that software is updated and fixed "virtually monthly" is usually considered a good thing. It means that someone cares and tries to move forward. Sure, if it was only about fixing bugs, it wouldn't be a good sign. Hower that is absolutely not what's happening with MSFS, except maybe for the first couple of initial releases. Are you really saying that the reason why Prepar3d is NOT updated regularly is because it's considered so good that it doesn't have to? Then we're in for a really interesting discussion.
  7. There is a fine line between dreams of the future and pure denial, though. For many years I dreamt that all, or at least some, of the FSX bugs were going to be fixed by LM. I dream no more.
  8. Where can we see this "claim of LM" that you talk about? I've been building and operating "professional" home cockpits for pretty much my entire grown up life. I've never ever seen any kind of statement or even support from LM towards the cockpit building community. I find your statement "until Asobo allows the data of the sim to be read and influenced from the outside" very strange. First of all, they've litterally been working closely with hundreds of addon developers for the past years to create and enhance the SDK. Is it complete? Of course not, you can't compare the features of a new SDK with one that's been in the making for 30 years. If you compare the rate of development for the most common sims on the market, what's the state of things in a couple of years you think? Anyway, if you're a cockpit builder, you should know that the SDK of the sim itself is not the primary way of interfacing with the sim. If you're using e.g. the NGX/NGXu, that's the SDK you're using as most things are a/c specific. Or you use e.g. Prosim. This "MSFS is just a game" argument is getting really old. The professional developers are now joining the party and things will change. MSFS is just the base platform just as FS9/FSX/Prepar3d is. It's just that it's a pretty darn good base that looks good and can also be used as a fun game. Don't let that fool you.
  9. What you call "some sort of new terrain/texturing" and "Bing-like model such as Asobo is using" is really years and years of research and development and extreme computing power in Azure, resulting in something that can be used by the end user. Simple photoreal terrain/texturing has been around almost as long as FS9 and there's a good reason why people generally don't use those silly looking 2d textures. It's not the lack of high resolution imagery or mesh data that prevents other sims from implementing this. If you think that LM will implement a nice looking 3d world any time soon, I wouldn't hold my breath. Remember that this is a company that still haven't fixed many of the 20 year old FS9/FSX bugs. We still have popping autogen, CTDs, morphing mesh, serious performance issues, jerky road traffic, floating buildings, CPU core 0 abuse, aircraft that jumps on the runway, a 20 year old ATC system... The list goes on. Of course it isn't all about the visuals. That's really a small part. The point is that some software companies innovate and move forward. Others don't. What makes Prepar3d good is the addons. But many, many skilled addon developers have already left the Prepar3d ship and the rest will likely follow soon. There will always be some people who think that the current state is absolutely perfect and don't really care about any future developments. I mean there are still people who enjoy FS9 and see no reason for upgrading. That's fine but one should realize that when the community gets small enough, the sim developer will give up.
  10. Not true at all. There are thousands of people who develop software/sceneries/effects/sounds/whatever for free, because it's their passion and because they want a feature or enhancement that doesn't already exist. Some make a buck or two but the amount of people and companies who do this full time to pay their mortgage is not far from zero. When people talk about flight sim companies they often don't realize that the company is really just a single person doing this on the side as a hobby. They are themselves enthusiasts, they are not some kind of evil developers who just want your money (well, those exist too of course). Getting the community onboard has always been key to success for any flight sim. Just compare the amount of people creating really good freeware for X-plane (hundreds/thousands) with the amount of people creating really good freeware for Prepar3d (now down to like 2 persons or something?). Do you see LM actively engaging in the flightsim community? Have they ever? The reason for the Prepar3d 3rd party market to already be pretty much dead can only partly be explained by money and commercial developers. Who wants to contribute with a lot of time and effort to produce stuff for a flight sim software where the developer couldn't care less? It's not about creating a sim where people can see their house, it's about creating a sim attracting the community to work together and taking it forward.
  11. This "if internet doesn't work, MSFS doesn't work" seems to be a very strong myth thas has no end to it. There are many arguments against MSFS but this one is simply 100% invalid. Just because scenery data can be streamed doesn't mean it has to be. Already-streamed scenery is cached locally and can be used over and over again. If it's missing, yes the scenery will not look as good. This does absolutely not mean that the sim is unusable. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, preventing you or any 3rd party developer to create sceneries that is installed locally just as with the MS sim branch for the past 20 years. It's just that we're in 2021 now and installing gigabytes of world data locally that is pretty much already obsolete when installing it, isn't really the best way to do it if you want to keep up with technology. Saying that MSFS is more dependant on internet than any other sim is also mostly false because of all the 3rd party addons. My MSFS starts and runs fine without internet, I'm just losing features that depends on real-time data (e.g. weather and atc). My P3D installation on the other hand, barely starts. I have a ton of addons that pretty much demands a working internet connection and I would just sit in my sim clicking on error messages all day long if I had no internet connection. Just look at the reactions every time there is an outage on the REX/ORBX/whatever servers or some license activation service. People go crazy, saying that their sim (that is'nt internet-dependant) doesn't work anymore. I actually find it quite funny that the same people who say that MSFS is useless because it requires an internet connection (which it doesn't) are often the same people who say that it's absolutely vital to their sim experience that they use Vatsim, real-time weather, real-world AI, and other services and data requiring an active internet connection.
  12. Yes, many times. The scenery doesn't look very good at all in most sims, only slightly better than P3D. That's because multi-million dollar simulators usually serve another purpose than most people's home simulator.
  13. I think that this satellite imagery discussion seriously misses the point. What Asobo did was not just to add satellite imagery as textures to the sim. We've had that for at least 15 years in various forms, e.g. with the "flight simulator" within Google Earth, or addons like Tile proxy or Ortho4XP. No, what they did was to take this data as input and used some serious cloud computing power to fill out the blanks and transform the 2d images into data that can be streamed on the fly to recreate a high resolution 3d world while still not requiring a super computer or 10Gbit line on the user's side. That's the achievement, not the satellite imagery data. Any company with enough money can get access to the same satellite imagery data. This does not mean that the data can be automatically used in a sim to create a 3d world. To do this, you need extreme computing power and extreme programming skills.
  14. That's a very strange argument. First of all, those are the numbers for LM as a company, not for Prepar3d. The sim probably generates litteraly nothing for them money wise. As you probably know, a profitable company that wants to continue being profitable are always looking to cut costs and get rid of products and services that are not contributing to the company's success. However, the reason for LM to provide Prepar3d to the public for a small fee does of course not have anything to do with bringin in more money to the company. You have to rember what the core business of LM is. They certainly aren't spending time and effort developing Prepar3d as a charity, or to get famous for a sim with the best FPS and the most realistic sky textures and the best 737 flight dynamics. They are of course doing all this for their own purposes. By providing Prepar3d as a recreational flight sim to the public, they get a community that helps with testing and development. So the community, not the cash, is their payment and driving force. Only when you realize this, you can start talking in tems of what LM are "worried" about. Anything that will affect their community will certainly worry them. If the community gets smaller and contributes less, the cost and resources required to provide it to the public will no longer be worth it. Whether MSFS is worrying them in this sence, well, I guess everyone has their own opinion about that so I'll not try to speculate.
  15. Did you try to change the terrain mesh resolution?
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