That’s if you have Windoze, that is.
Ironically, it’s such an historic and active time in Flightsim land, despite the lingering death of FSX. It’s as though 20 vultures were circling around the carcass, waiting to start picking at the twitching arms and legs..
Just as I’m reinstalling all of xplane 10 on my hard drive after the SSD ‘cleanse’, plus finally working out how to recover the disk image I took of the 200 gigs or so of addon scenery/planes (really Windoze, it could have been so much easier!), then more flightsim news comes out.
The first bit of BIG news is the MS Flight update – click the link here. For those who can’t view it due to MS insistence on crappy interfaces, a summary. Enjoy my humour in the comments:
-Added support for TrackIR – Farkyeah!!
-Added support for axis-based brake control devices
-Added settings specific to Intel Ivy Bridge graphics hardware
Improved error reporting (wow, as a user i”m Sooooo interested in THAT)
New UI Features
-Added “Glance” command; when R key is pressed and held, allows player to look toward the closest Point of Interest Marker
New Environment Features and Improvements
-Added two new weather themes: Heavy Weather and Mixed Weather
-Added new in-cloud effects
-Adjusted coloration of clouds at higher densities to be more realistic
-Adjusted cloud randomization – hahahaha, that’s very funny, why don’t they say ‘Nerfed the cotton wool procession’! Let’s see if it is actually natural looking..
Reduced load times across the board – Geeze, on my SSD it’s quick enough already. Sweet!
Adjusted “Skip to Waypoint” feature: players no longer spawn
inside intervening terrain pieces. What’s an ‘intervening terrain piece’? A mountain?
-Fixed issue causing in-cockpit tooltips to display incorrectly
Fixed graphics issues
-Fixed issues in fog layer and cirrus cloud rendering
-Adjusted reflections to be more realistic (no more giant plane reflections)
-Fixed vegetation flickering issues
-Fixed banyan tree rendering
-Fixed crash that occurred for some users when changing graphics settings during cut scenes
-Improved in-flight terrain textures for users with Vertical Sync enabled
Addressed multiple Games for Windows – LIVE related issues which can cause Microsoft Flight to crash. – hahahaha, what’s this fix, Killing Games for Windows? Please?
Addressed multiple issues causing Windows Vista users to experience a crash after completing a mission or challenge – C’mon, who’s STILL on Vista? You deserve to still have multiple crashes.
Fixed multiplayer issues
-Reduced bandwidth consumed during multiplayer sessions – that explains my $2,360 net bill this month.
-Fixed error experienced by final users to join multiplayer sessions
-Fixed multiple crashes that occur during multiplayer sessions – Nope, it still happens. With other Kamikaze noobs that is.
-Reduced choppiness in rendering other users’ planes during multiplayer – woohoo, this sounds noice. THIS fix might suck me back in. noooooooo…..
IL-2 Cliffs of Dover – Attack of the Bugs
What a missed opportunity this game/sim has been. I feel so sorry for the thousands of loyal fans of the IL-2 series, having to wait so long for the massive quantity of bugs to be fixed.
I purchased this sim (I can call it that, even though it has many ‘game’ attributes. It’s very hard to fly their planes well, let alone live for long) over a year ago, on sale for $14. I wonder why?
I quickly discovered why, it took me many hours of bug report searching to get a complete loading of the thing to marvel at the scenery and WW2 planes. Only quickly though, it crashed to desktop within minutes.
The sim was rapidly abandoned by me, in fact uninstalled. Then last week I thought “I’ve got a nice clean SSD, I wonder if they’ve fixed it”. So a quick install via the Steam network delivered me a pleasant surprise.
It loaded up the very first time. It even let me use the options menu without crashing! Seriously, at its worst, you’ve never been so nervous moving your mouse around an options screen.
It’s still not all rosy though. I’ve experienced a frozen pc within 30 mins of flying every time. Thank god for a quick SSD bootup! There are serious rendering issues still going on, as you’ll see in the screenshots of the houses below.
However it does run very slickly on my pc. The lighting, reflections and shadows, in both cockpit and scenery, are breathtaking and beat any other sim I’ve seen, including DCS’ stuff (ok, reflections in DCS are to die for) Xplane still has a ways to go, especially the visualisation of shadows at reasonable fps. And reflections. And sound. Here’s a video I just filmed to highlight some of the good features of it:
The skies can be alive with AI. Explosions and smoke are awesome. Clouds very good. Liveries limitless, with (get this) a slider to control the weathering of your livery, down to oil streaks down the side! General handling is challenging, weird in parts (the dev, Oleg Maddox, is famous for putting all his effort into the Ruskie planes).
Alas this is all for nothing however. IL-2 CoD is a great demo of what a game can do, but it is impossible to devote yourself to it, due to its many glitches and bugs. The forums show the developers are doing their best to grapple with the bugs (as evidenced by the improvement in ‘only’ one year), but they are only grappling them, not squishing them.
I’ve heard there will be sequel to this disaster. I’ve included some preview pics of their Soviet Petlyakov Pe-2 bomber, the one preceding the more well regarded Tu-2. You all knew that didn’t you? I sincerely hope they have learned their lesson and release a fully tested and quality controlled sim. If it is, then it should do very well and I personally will purchase. But only after hearing of minimal issues. Like many, I wouldn’t touch it with a 20ft pole, without proof that it runs reasonably. Will be fun to follow their progress.
Check out the damage model, the entire frame can be exposed eventually:
Little touches of humour!
Look at the detail in the houses! I looked a little too closely
I won’t go on any more about these guys, see my other post here. Just some more pics of their cool P-51D sim, showing off its reflections and mission editor capabilities. As the headline says, with this, a fixed IL-2, a growing MS Flight and just as fastly accelerating X-Plane, we are all very spoilt little children.
Kind of sums up life, don’t it?:
Oh, and one benefit of keeping track of DCS is this great site, they have the best collection of real world videos too, check this one out! Some classic footage of the development of jets (the deadly ones) over the yrs.
Have a great weekend everyone, and isn’t it cool to have Chip back firing on all cylinders!