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Thread: One User's Take After Seven Months of MSFS

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilends View Post
    I've actually already done this. I have used MSFS to scope out hiking areas in Arizona just to increase my familiarity with the landscape I am exploring on foot. I would definitely do this for any area I intended to hike in that was outside of Arizona, much less in other countries.
    Sometimes I think I'm more interested in geography than aviation.
    i7-10700K, ASUS Prime Z490-P motherboard, 32 gig, GTX 1080 Ti, 1TB M2 drive, Thrustmaster T16000M, Logitech Rudder Pedals , xbox controller.

  2. #42

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    For me, this singular feature of MSFS --- accurate real-world topography, shorelines, and placement of buildings and roads -- overrides other concerns and issues in this sim, however important they are (which are gradually being fixed in any case). As is pointed out in this thread, the ability to view the world in 3D in minute detail for the first time, opens the way to uses that go well beyond flight simulation, while of course tremendously enhancing the realism of flight simulation per se. To wave this off as mere "eye candy" is to completely miss the point. We have a revolutionary advance here, whose larger implications are only beginning to be recognized. Stay tuned!

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    For me, this singular feature of MSFS --- accurate real-world topography, shorelines, and placement of buildings and roads -- overrides other concerns and issues in this sim, however important they are (which are gradually being fixed in any case). As is pointed out in this thread, the ability to view the world in 3D in minute detail for the first time, opens the way to uses that go well beyond flight simulation, while of course tremendously enhancing the realism of flight simulation per se. To wave this off as mere "eye candy" is to completely miss the point. We have a revolutionary advance here, whose larger implications are only beginning to be recognized. Stay tuned!
    Much of the same capacity to view geography and locations, etc., is also available with Google Earth. It is amazing there too in what you can view remotely and be 'almost there'. In the high-res areas it has a 3D mode that is very similar to what MSFS will show. In the rural areas where they are using lower resolution, the 3D does not work. Even without the Streetview it has a lot of info. And the price is right, as long as you are willing to have Google apps on your PC. But it has no option where you can move along a course. Or at least I don't know if it has a way to do that.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patinthedesert View Post
    is also available with Google Earth. ... But it has no option where you can move along a course. Or at least I don't know if it has a way to do that.
    Google Earth has its own basic flight simulator.

    https://www.lifewire.com/hidden-flig...-earth-1616454

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patinthedesert View Post
    Much of the same capacity to view geography and locations, etc., is also available with Google Earth.
    I have long been an avid user of Google Earth, but MSFS2020 has brought GE's shortcomings into view for me. The flight simulator presents a much more realistic view of terrain; one can get a sensation of "being there" with the sim that is not available with Google Earth. Hills, ridge lines and valleys present very realistically with the sim, I used to think GE did so too, but the sim has shown GE to fall far short.

    Exploring the Yosemite Valley will bring this point home conclusively. Flying from Mariposa - Yosemite Airport to Yosemite Valley either overland or by following the Merced river is awe inspiring in the sim; with GE, the beauty of the terrain and the majesty of the valley is completely lost. You just cannot get a picture of the Yosemite region with Google Earth.

    But this does not render GE as obsolete or useless, there are things it can do that aren't available in the sim and GE's strong points compliment and enhance the versatility of MSFS2020. With GE, roads can be highlighted and political borders made visible, locations can be highlighted in several ways and notes stored at any location. Courses can be plotted in Google Earth on the grid system using true north and then adjusted for declination to get the magnetic course for the sim (or real planes). Google Earth can give the exact elevation for any point of the Earth which is of course missing in the sim. But the sim will allow you to "fly" through a valley and get a true sense of terrain, where with GE this kind of view can only be obtained by laborious adjustment of tilt, location, azimuth and elevation, one view at a time.

    One thing the sim is much better at is presenting lakes, they stand out in the sim, wheras in GE they are just greenish brown blobs that are almost invisible until zoomed in on. I have taken the trouble to color all the lakes in Northern California blue (using add path, blue, about 20 wide and about 15% opacity), to make them stand out as they do with the sim. That works.

    I always have GE open when I am "flying", it is my overview for the dead reckoning navigation that I use, but GE is just the assistant, the sim is the objective.

    It's notable that you mention street view, as Google has all but eliminated that function from GE now that they have begun forcing people to use the online version of their product. The "street view" that remains in the online version is limited in scope and difficult to use, all those cars traveling about with their cameras just strike me as so much wasted effort now.
    i7-10700K, ASUS Prime Z490-P motherboard, 32 gig, GTX 1080 Ti, 1TB M2 drive, Thrustmaster T16000M, Logitech Rudder Pedals , xbox controller.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patinthedesert View Post
    Much of the same capacity to view geography and locations, etc., is also available with Google Earth. It is amazing there too in what you can view remotely and be 'almost there'. In the high-res areas it has a 3D mode that is very similar to what MSFS will show. In the rural areas where they are using lower resolution, the 3D does not work. Even without the Streetview it has a lot of info. And the price is right, as long as you are willing to have Google apps on your PC. But it has no option where you can move along a course. Or at least I don't know if it has a way to do that.
    I am familiar with Google Earth and have used for years -- it is a great tool for finding places. But there is no comparison with MSFS, which is fully 3-dimensional (yes, even in rural areas) and offers an immersive flight experience complete with weather, ATC, ground services, AI planes and ships, and many other features. For those who prefer "flying" in GE to flying in MSFS, be my guest. I suspect that this will be a very small group.

  7. #47
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    Just my hiker's perspective:

    Google Earth is not that helpful for exploring an area I wish to hike. If you're properly preparing for a long hike or even a backpacking trip, you're already studying topo maps and route guides so intensely that they are basically emblazoned into your brain, in addition to being conveniently located in your backpack. Google Earth doesn't really add any value to this task. I don't think I would even glance at it. Route-planning for a challenging hike is as detail-oriented and demanding as route-planning for a pilot. GE will not cut it.

    Google's satellite imagery is slightly more helpful because the same trails you are studying on the topo map are instead depicted with the vegetation in the images--assuming you're in the same season of the year. The seasons thing is a problem though. The inability to navigate in a human-realistic way through the terrain is also a hindrance. Sure I can pop into one valley and then pop into another valley, using top-down views only, but that's not giving me the overall understanding of the landscape that "flying" through it in an acrobatic small airplane would.

    On top of all that, using MSFS to understand terrain is fun.
    Intel Core i7 10700KF (8-Core 5.1GHz Turbo Boost), RTX 3070 8GB, 32GB Dual Channel at 3200MHz, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. Monitor: Samsung C49RG9x. VR: Oculus Quest 2.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac6737 View Post
    Cameras are needlessly complex, especially the drone (which is somehow a subset of “Showcase”). Yeah, I know – there was no drone in FSX. But you can’t control the plane when you’re in drone view. So I find I hardly ever use the drone. I guess this is a matter of individual taste.
    Mac6737, I agree with just about everything you say, especially the cameras. I have now finally found some way to use the cameras effectively and it's ok. However, I don't like the drone views and believe it is only really useful for youtubers wanting to make videos, not the majority of us who want to FLY THE AIRCRAFT, not the drone.

    For me there are three things wrong with MSFS:
    1. no flyby view
    2. no flyby view
    3. no flyby view

    And please don't tell me to go and set up some convoluted way of positioning the drone camera. I just want to press a button and see my plane fly past, like it does in FS9, FSX, P3D, X-Plane, DCS World, Aerofly FS2, IL-2, Wings over Flanders Field, Combat Flight Sim, Combat Air Patrol, Rise of Flight, Strike Fighters, FlyInside. Just about every flight sim ever created had the flyby view, yet the one with the biggest budget and most brain-power ever known to man doesn't...
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  9. #49

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    The flight parameters display in external view is absurdly large, making screen shots useless.

    What bothers me about this, is you can't set a key to turn the heads up display off. You have to go into the settings. Isn't that stupid, for something you are gonna want to do all the time!

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by rooitou View Post
    And please don't tell me to go and set up some convoluted way of positioning the drone camera. I just want to press a button and see my plane fly past, like it does in FS9, FSX, P3D, X-Plane, DCS World, Aerofly FS2, IL-2, Wings over Flanders Field, Combat Flight Sim, Combat Air Patrol, Rise of Flight, Strike Fighters, FlyInside. Just about every flight sim ever created had the flyby view, yet the one with the biggest budget and most brain-power ever known to man doesn't...
    Setting up the drone camera is actually not difficult. You can place it in a fixed location to observe your plane in flight, or you can toggle a "follow the plane" mode that gives you an instrument-free view from the cockpit while you fly. I also use the drone to roam around and explore locations of interest up close while the plane itself is paused. It is really a tremendous tool!
    But since you said not to tell you how to do any of this, I will respect your wishes.

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