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

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Cool One User's Take After Seven Months of MSFS

    I’ll probably get flamed for this, but after seven months, I am moved to record one person’s opinion of the good and the bad about MSFS. I do this not to whine, but to receive serious feedback and, I hope, stimulate some highly desirable changes.

    My basis for comparison is P3D v. 4.5, with a full suite of Orbx scenery, plus Rex SkyForce and TextureDirect. Actually, I was pretty content back in August, before someone gave me MSFS for my birthday. I would have preferred to wait until the bugs were out. I think I was right. But I was stuck with it.

    THE GOOD:

    First and foremost, the scenery, the Bitch Goddess that draws me back every night. Cityscapes are particularly impressive, considering how much data must be involved in rendering all those buildings. New York (my hometown) with photogrammetry enabled is a knockout. (I could find the apartment building I grew up in!) Mountains and forests are also splendid. (My favorite: pine forests in snow.)

    Loads pretty fast, compared to my P3D setup.

    Not many performance issues. Some CTDs, but this has greatly improved over time. I guess they work on it.

    Easy weather changes. A great improvement over FSX/P3D, where you had to reload the scenario to change the flight conditions. In MSFS, you can adjust the clouds, time of day, etc., in a heartbeat.

    Aircraft textures. These were pretty good in P3D, but they are now astonishing. Looking out over the wings, you can see normal unevenness and dimpling in the skin, etc. How the heck do they do that?! Interiors are also improved.

    VFR Map: Cool! Toggles on and off in a second. In FSX/P3D you had to pause the flight, go to World/Map, etc.

    THE NOT SO GOOD (in no particular order):

    The flight parameters display in external view is absurdly large, making screen shots useless. In FSX/P3D, you had SHIFT + Z to give you readouts (including FPS) in small letters at top of screen. Why not in MSFS?

    Info on nearby airports (runways, ILS, elevation) is hard to come by. I believe it’s unavailable within the sim unless it’s your set destination, and you noted it before takeoff.

    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.

    Speaking of cameras: you can’t preset a view in External view, like you can in Cockpit mode. Why the heck not?

    You can’t change your plane, or even your livery, after you load a scenario. You have to go back to Main Menu, which takes a couple minutes. (Yes, I know about Dev mode, but that hasn’t worked for me, and in any case it doesn’t address liveries.)

    Pause, including a hard pause with ESC key, does not pause the time! Okay, we can deal with this by resetting the time when we return to the flight. But why is this necessary?

    The seasons don’t change in MSFS-World. In FSX/P3D, the autumnal equinox brought us glorious fall foliage in New England, and after the solstice, snow on the ground. But no more, alas.

    GPS: very cumbersome to enter waypoints. With the exception of some planes, there’s no keyboard input, and you have to monkey with the inner and outer knobs to move the cursor and then scroll through the whole damn alphabet, plus numbers, four times! In FSX/P3D, you could just key in the codes. Maybe this is the way you do it IRL, but IRL I have real fingers and real thumbs.

    No Quiet key. OK, you can turn your speaker volume all the way down, but gee . . . . say you’ve got Joe Biden holding on Line 1 and the Pope on Line 2, and you want to cut the background noise fast, right?

    Clouds are terrible in comparison with P3D plus Rex SkyForce. In P3D I could establish half a dozen different cloud types in different layers, and they looked really real. (Of course, there may be a performance trade-off.)

    THE AWFUL

    Water textures (a subject of separate threads). The consensus, I think, is that you have to turn the winds unreasonably high – at least 20 knots – in order to see any real wave action. This was particularly disappointing in view of the Trailer’s depiction of waves and whitecaps. With Rex textures, you had much more realistic water (OK, but no whitecaps), and even got bathymetry, like on the Great Barrier Reef! Someone on this forum has suggested that Asobo could easily tweak this. I hope they do.

    No Manual! Not even the old FSX Learning Center! The SoFly “Manual” is next to useless; a lot of pretty pictures of FS history, but it doesn’t even cover the MSFS pull-down menus in any detail. I understand there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube, but they are of highly uneven quality, and software of this complexity should have its own publisher’s guide. And it should cover the aircraft. Where are the operative knobs, and what do they do? To this day, I have not learned how to use the flight planning console in the CJ4 or Airbus. And I’ve spent time on it.

    Last but not least, my bugaboo: the Palette (also a subject of separate threads). I find many situations so washed out it’s just not worth it. I attach a typical screenshot in full daylight with little cloud cover. I’d say the ground looks like it was shot at f/5.6 when it should be at f/8 or even f/11 (but the sky's fine). I’m not saying the world can never look like this; just that it doesn’t usually, and certainly not on a pretty day with clear air. (For that matter, look at some of the screenshots when your flight is loading: wan, pallid.) And the color options in Accessibility don’t help with this. Okay, so there’s a fix of sorts: change the time to very early or late in the day and throw in more clouds, and you’ll get more realistic color saturation. But I can’t believe Asobo couldn’t tweak this.

    Check back with me in another seven months!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Thanks for your comments, which I agree with in part. While some of your criticisms are on target, others simply reflect a lack of familiarity with the features and capabilities of this sim. For example, you can make screenshots free of extraneous text, etc., by using the camera system; it just takes some time to learn. You can also exclude cockpit or external views of the plane even during flight, by using the drone in "follow plane" mode. Other things you mention such as color brightness in the palette, etc. are adjustable. The "washed-out" scenery you describe is mostly a function of sun angle, which is also true in real-life flying.

    This sim takes far more time to learn, and far more attention to detail, than FSX and FS9 which I used for years, but it delivers incomparably more, in my opinion. Patience will reap many rewards.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac6737 View Post
    I’ll probably get flamed for this,
    Yeah, probably. Maybe the exhaustive detail will save you, because the flames will have to be equally exhaustive, but one never knows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac6737 View Post
    ...say you’ve got Joe Biden holding on Line 1 and the Pope on Line 2, and you want to cut the background noise fast, right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Arizona
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    I found your criticisms to be pretty balanced and constructive. I don't agree with all of them, and some might be a problem with your hardware or settings, but others I do relate to and agree with. Clouds, for example, are spectacular in MSFS so I don't know why your experience sounds so different than mine. Different hardware maybe? Either way, commentary like yours would hopefully be very useful to Microsoft as they continue to improve this software, which it has promised it will do. So I do appreciate it and I don't think you deserve any flaming.

    The drone and camera functions are annoying difficult and bizarre. No idea why. Hope they're working on that.

    I sim-fly a lot over oceans and the water thing doesn't bug me as much, but maybe that's because I actually live in the desert and don't know what the ocean normally looks like from 5,000 feet in the air. If it's inaccurate I again hope that's on their agenda list.

    The seasons thing also seems like an oversight that should be fixed.

    Disagreement, respectfully: Info on nearby airports etc. I'd rather they fix the other issues you've listed than spend time on creating artificial tools to provide us with comfortable, fake access to airport information. It is incredibly easy to do exactly what real pilots do and (lay version) just google this stuff. There is a massive amount of really cool airport data available for free on the Internet, from various government, nonprofit, or even commercial websites. Maybe in another sim you're very used to not having to look it up, so I understand the irritation at MSFS using a different approach. But it's not that hard to familiarize yourself with the resources available outside the sim. On the same note, it will also be literally impossible for Microsoft to compete with the data available from those outside resources. Some of the favorites I have bookmarked, by the way:

    (sectional charts and more) https://skyvector.com/

    (weather) https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-forecast/now/

    (weather) https://avcams.faa.gov/

    (weather) https://www.windy.com/?33.656,-106.362,6

    (time zones) https://24timezones.com/#/map
    Last edited by neilends; 03-25-2021 at 11:41 AM.
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  5. #5

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    I agree that Asobo did not listen on many things! I was a beta tester and I feel they wasted our time by not listening to what we reported that needed to be fixed! I'm apauled they did this as well, and feel as though they ignored the beta testing staff and went ahead for a quick release!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    For example, you can make screenshots free of extraneous text, etc., by using the camera system; it just takes some time to learn. You can also exclude cockpit or external views of the plane even during flight, by using the drone in "follow plane" mode. Other things you mention such as color brightness in the palette, etc. are adjustable. The "washed-out" scenery you describe is mostly a function of sun angle, which is also true in real-life flying.
    Thanks for the constructive comment. As to this excerpt:

    1. Not sure about the "camera system," but I already make screenshots free of clutter: I disable the onscreen flight parameters in Settings. The screenshot in my post, of course, has no clutter. I was just saying it would be nice if I could have the data in tiny letters at top of screen.

    2. I don't understand the second sentence. At all.

    3. Adjustable? As I indicated, I know about the in-sim tweaks in Accessibility (for the color-blind and perhaps for the cranky) but I didn't find any of the settings helped. Is there some adjustment of which I am unaware? Could be.

    4. It's true in real-life driving, too. I just think there is general overexposure in MSFS, and therefore lack of color saturation. That's my position, and I'm stickin' to it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Utah, USA
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    I appreciate your post. I recently bought a new CPU and monitor that will run MSFS. For now, I installed my old FSX and favorite aircraft and scenery. It runs like a Ferrari. I've been following the 2020 forum for several months. Most posts include the words
    " hope", "think", "should" and "ought to", among others.

    Maybe in about a year, when the use of those words diminish on this forum, I'll buy the DVDs, only if the bazillion patches are included in the package...Sorry

  8. #8
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    I totally agree with most of what has been stated.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnJohn View Post
    I agree that Asobo did not listen on many things! I was a beta tester and I feel they wasted our time by not listening to what we reported that needed to be fixed! I'm apauled they did this as well, and feel as though they ignored the beta testing staff and went ahead for a quick release!
    Regarding Beta testing - I often have wondered if the beta testers actually tested extensively and noticed those 'problems' which have been raised over the past months but now I know that perhaps most if not all of them WERE reported by the beta testers but either ignored or shoved to the bottom of the list.

    I guess that Asobo had/have a list of bugs and 'nice to haves' as 'long as your arm' and it will take time to address them all BUT I just wished that more emphasis was given to known bugs than releasing more scenery - having said that I assume that there are separate 'teams' which works on bugs and scenery.

    I wonder if Asobo read this forum?
    John
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilends View Post
    The drone and camera functions are annoying difficult and bizarre. No idea why. Hope they're working on that.
    The drone works flawlessly for me, I can't think of a way to improve it.

    I don't understand the OP's complaint "you can’t control the plane when you’re in drone view". I don't see why anyone would want to fly two 'planes' at once. If I want to use the drone I pause the plane I'm flying and use the drone; I use the real pause, not the active pause which I have no use for.

    If you assign the drone commands to a joy stick (or preferably an Xbox controller) you have efficient control of the drone's position and direction of view; I don't see what more a person would want.
    i7-10700K, ASUS Prime Z490-P motherboard, 32 gig, GTX 1080 Ti, 1TB M2 drive, Thrustmaster T16000M, Logitech Rudder Pedals , xbox controller.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnJohn View Post
    I agree that Asobo did not listen on many things! I was a beta tester and I feel they wasted our time by not listening to what we reported that needed to be fixed! I'm appalled they did this as well, and feel as though they ignored the beta testing staff and went ahead for a quick release!
    I don't blame Asobo, I pin the blame on Microsoft. Asobo is a contractor, they were hired by Microsoft to create the sim, they did create the sim and it is the best so far. But software is always a series of compromises and these compromises are usually dictated by resources, aka money. Microsoft signed off on the version that was released to the public back in August and when they did that, they accepted what many are still calling a beta version of flight simulator 2020.

    Microsoft has always been the greediest of the greedy, it is a deeply held part of their corporate culture. If you've been following their behavior since 1981 as I have, it would be obvious that Microsoft intends to harvest the maximum amount of money out of the least expenditure of capital possible.

    I suspect that Microsoft is paying Asobo the equivalent of two junior programmers salary for the maintenance and upgrading of MSFS2020. Asobo cannot be expected to be a charity.

    Point your finger in the right direction please.
    i7-10700K, ASUS Prime Z490-P motherboard, 32 gig, GTX 1080 Ti, 1TB M2 drive, Thrustmaster T16000M, Logitech Rudder Pedals , xbox controller.

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