Water Mask Still Missing?

So the patch notes for say…

Water mask has been edited to display actual aerial image near the shore in some areas

So I admit that it does say, “in some areas”, but I find it odd that in the “Around The World” videos from back in August there was obviously an internal build that had this all done…

But here’s what it still looks like in this new build (ultra settings)…

I can be patient for this to come, I just don’t understand why it was obviously working properly when they created these videos but still doesn’t work in-game. Were the videos faked (i.e. not really actual in-game footage)?


Some shoreline water masks are present in version 1.9.3. However it doesn’t always work as expected if the area is limited, such as with a lake.

Here is an example of Dowling Lake in Alberta, Canada.

Here is the Bing Maps image

Perhaps these situations need to be manually corrected and I have submitted a Zendesk ticket. However it does show that more water masks were added in 1.9.3.

Even the latest World Series video (Europe) does not match the in-game footage.




I really don’t understand how they get this wrong. It gets pointed out, they announce they are looking into it. Then it’s announced they have mostly solved it.

Next patch is released and it’s not fixed.

Next video is released showing water mask in all its beauty. Still not working in game. The point is raised again, they look into it and say it’s mostly fixed.

Next patch is released and it’s still not fixed, despite being evident in recently released videos.

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They know all about the issue, but there isn’t really a “fix”. The best they can do right now is have the scenery designers try to patch up certain areas. A large scale fix is on the backburner somewhere.

They’ve pretty much admitted that the screenshots and promotional videos come from a special build that the Marketing department is using:

Art department is supposed to actually go back and patch that part of the scenery, but apparently they aren’t. I’m assuming they’re busy with other stuff like the Japan scenery. And the dev team is busy fixing crashes and autopilots, so they don’t have time to implement a more permanent fix either.

I don’t know why it’s ok to show promotional material as in-game footage, when it’s not actually in the game, but apparently it’s a rampant practice.


This is the thing I don’t get. They say they haven’t fully fixed them, since it was pointed out in June but they are working on it. They release another video featuring the water mask in all its glory. Still not working in game.

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Yeah, that’s the problem right there. The marketing videos and screenshots aren’t showing water masking at all. They’re showing the default Bing imagery with no masking applied. Everywhere is “shallow water” on their build. The problem with that is it looks like junk in most places due to the imagery quality, so they had to turn it off in the release build.

During alpha, many believed there was a “magic build” out there, and that these screenshots and videos proved it. “They have all the water masking working gloriously, see!” But it was really that they were pulling shots from an internal build with no masking at all. And they’re still doing it, knowing that they don’t have this feature in the game. It’s a tease, and it’s not good.


They need to say no to the marketing department, when they are asked to show off the game in all its glory. Since it’s not possible for the actual released version.

It’s disappointing, since I enjoy this game, that it has been so badly managed in regards to it’s presentation to the public. News that is vaguely worded so that it is constantly being read in a number of different ways, videos being pumped out showing in game footage that clearly isn’t in game.


I hope they will fix it.

The real fix is to implement volumetric water and extend the terrain mesh to include the seafloor. Right now the water is just a flat surface (with bumps for the waves) with no actual depth underneath. Seams in the imagery tiles, boats, and clouds will be a lot less of a problem when they’re under 50-100 feet of water. And you’ll feel like you’re actually landing on water in the A5 instead of a blue-green opaque oil slick.

Maybe a sim/world update a couple years from now. I’ll stick to flying the cubs over land in the meantime.


Thty are still missing at most places and MS/Asobo continues with the fake advertisments in their world trailers. Just plain embarrassing and ridiculous, they do not even add a corresponding disclaimer to their videos…


After every patch is released I keep visiting French Polynesia just to find that water masking is still missing. I’m wondering if perhaps those region videos are showing stuff coming in the world updates for those particular regions…

Then they should declare it as such. Check the novel trailer about south america: Nassau looks stunning, you go there in the sim and it looks ridiculously blunt…


all the shallow waters on Japan has been removed in the latest patch! :frowning:

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Nope. They pretty much confirmed in the QA videos that the marketing team is using a special internal dev version that has the water masking disabled entirely, and just allows the default Bing imagery to show through. There is no special scenery they created being shown off in those videos. And it is misleading advertising.

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Where did they say that?

Sebastian states that the team making video clips leaves everywhere “shallow water”. By that he means they simply turn off the water masking when they’re cherry picking screenshots and clips. This exposes all of the default Bing imagery, but all of the glitches that go along with it, so they only pick the best spots for their promotional materials.

The scenery/art team is supposed to actually go back and create water masks for these areas, but many (most?) of the areas that have been featured in trailer videos for months and months remain covered up in “deep water” aka masked. They’ve unmasked some areas, but I don’t have my hopes up that they’re going to get to every location featured in these trailer videos… let alone the thousands of other spots needed to add value to regular flights beyond intentionally visiting a specific landmark location that has manually edited water masks, which is about the best you can do right now.

Frankly, I think it’s a waste of time for the scenery/art team to be working on water masking. There’s simply too many locations across the planet, and these manual efforts are drops in a bucket. This team should be doing airports and POI landmarks, and a programming team should be implementing a long term and global fix, which Joerg alluded to when he brought up adding bathymetry data.


I think I could live with the junk if that means seeing odd squares, abrupt changes and other oddities every once in a while. Surely beats dull water everywhere.

Me too, but it’s not just once in awhile. There’s usually a a blocky seam everywhere because as soon as the shallow water detail ends, the aerial imagery usually does too. And then the other big problem is the waves are baked into the aerial imagery. It would be totally immersion breaking seeing stuff like this in the game:

Their fix was pretty clever: apply a heavy blur to the water x meters from shore so that the color of the water preserved, and then apply a generic water texture on top of that.

Of course the problem is they’re still flaunting screenshots with no water masks at all from cherry picked locations where the default Bing imagery is presentable. I suspect this “special marketing version” is actually a much older build of the game, not a new version of the game or scenery that has yet to be released like many seem to believe. They originally had the Bing imagery on everywhere, used this version to take screenshots and make videos from all over, and then later added the blurred water mask “feature” to fix the imagery quality issues. The marketing material is either old, or they’re still using that old build to produce marketing material.

hmm, I guess you’re right. Might be a bit too much if this is all over the place. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: