Add a beta version players can enable before releasing a patch

There can be minor bugs. But not sim breaker bugs. And latest updates have included some breaker ones.

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Despite the best efforts of the developers every update seems to bring with it unforseen issues that effect a significant number of customers. It is obviously impossible for Asobo to flight test every update with every permutation of computer hardware and software set up, so some errors will always escape testing. However the larger the testing volume the greater the chance of identifying obvious errors. I am sure that a number of us would be willing to flight test updates before they are released in order to provide feedback, where this was possible. If this team were permitted to update a couple of weeks before the release date then any glaring errors could be avoided. After all, it is in our own interests to assist in developing the simulation, so I think there would be no lack of volunteers.

I think part of the challenge with an external beta testing tier is to stand up a separate environment. As it is, there are already difficulties getting nominal paid users who bought the game through Game Pass and or MS Store authenticated and authorized in Production. Does Beta mean not only standing up a separate auth/auth but also a backend Cloud delivery for the sim components, i.e., Bing/Photogrammetry/Weather/AI? That’s both time and money to be calculated against changes to QA/UAT process.

Finally found this topic after a bit of searching. I was sure that I had read back in November or December that a pre-release beta version was planned for future patches around this time, but it has dropped off of the wish list.

Asobo is doing incredible work and I am just as excited for the future of this sim as I was a year ago, but there has to be a separate branch created for testing updates before a full release. I realise that it might be a complicated thing to do because of the nature of an always online product like MSFS, but you just can’t continue to have this situation where a user is forced to update the product if they want to use it, even though they know from reading reports that it is going to break some element of the sim.

Minor glitches etc are ok, but bugs that really get in the way of enjoying the sim should be getting caught in a testing phase.

I understand that expanded beta testing brings some problems for the developers, but this sim is supposed to work in a limited way as a stand alone system, for those who have purchased and installed the disc system. It seems therefore that the major problem experienced with the last update, involving the flap system, would have been detected, without requiring any additional external input had the beta system been tested by more people on different aircraft.
As for the earlier comments that some people will always complain, we’ll yes they will but remember this is not free software, users have paid good money for a working system. There are also plenty of people prepared to offer assistance if Asobo or Microsoft will allow them too.

I posted this as a new topic and quickly got shutdown and told to come to this topic instead. Whatever, I consider it a new old issue as the latest release has bugged out systems once again.

I think it’s safe to say this latest update was another hot mess. Many users sims have been rendered grounded, Huge performance degradation among other issues including download loops that are eating up bandwidth galore.
The one size fits all package is not working, there are too many user configurations in computer performance and the updates you think are helping all only solve some peoples issues and then cause more issues for others. I’ve had this sim for 6 months now and have only been able to really use it a handful of times as each successive update ends up breaking my performance or my peripherals. I’m doing more workaround investigation than actual flying. Guys, enough is enough. Please start pooling user resources and open a closed or public beta and let people revert back if necessary. As of today i can’t use my Sim due to a huge performance hit… again… I don’t exactly call this a great experience.

Well, if I had been on the test team I would have given it a pass as I’m not seeing any of these bugs being reported. Maybe more testers may have found some of these reported bugs but due to the wide variety in systems and add-ons there probably wouldn’t find them all.

Agree completely - I see none of the issues that others are reporting. Not to say additional testing wouldn’t help of course.

I don’t think it is safe to say this at all. As far as I can tell from the forums, some users are experiencing a drop in frame rates. That, as far as I can see, is that. Doesn’t make it a “hot mess” as far as I’m concerned.

The top bug in this place has over a 1000 votes, the latest release problem got 16% of those votes in less than 24 hours and climbing… Id’ say it’s more than just a “few” as far as i’m concerned.

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This thread was created way back in September and look where we are now. :thinking: The current release strategy, (well intentioned I’m sure) has unfortunately proven to be problematic.

Having a beta program for update releases is the only way to go. You’ve got my vote.

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I think Asobo MS should implement public betas the same way Blackmagic Design release Beta releases for their products, notably Davinci Resolve. To all licence holders anybody can test the latest public beta releases, these Betas are in a pretty good functional state and downloaded in one large Zip file, and Blackmagic take the information and reports they get from the users and implement the requested changes and work on the reported bugs. It’s up to you whether you want to use the beta versions, or stay on the current final release version. There maybe up to 10 beta releases through the year before final version release, maybe a stable version release of MSFS every 6 months. It works very well with BMD, take a looking at their download page and you will see a history of available Beta versions that were available for download before final version release. And they, like the Devs at Asobo, interact with the users on their forums. If MS/Asobo truly want a platform that is community driven, they are going to have to look at more interaction with users, and this will help third party development too as information can be shared by everyone, and I do feel sorry for the third party devs at the moment, as they are all playing catch-up as changes happen so frequently, especially those who may not get the same support input from Asobo as Aerosoft get. It’s nice to have surprise announcements (the annoucement that FS was coming back was enough for me), but if that is one of the causes of releases not being fully ready or tested because of a 'behind closed doors policy, I would rather not have the surprises and have as much community input as possible before any update release.

We all want MSFS to succeed and move forward, we all need this sim, and there is no community stronger as a tech hobby, as flight simmers, I’m sure we all want to help and be apart of the MSFS success story.

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I certainly would be willing to be a Beta Tester provide that MS and Asobo provided a way to have a second copy of the simulator on the PC without affecting the production version.

I put in 30 years working with TPF which is used by the airlines, banks and hotels. These are systems that need 99.999% uptime and work as close to perfect as possible. The world always know when an airline or bank has a system problem and that doesn’t happen very often!

Why, mostly good QA procedures and testing put in place!!

I think I know a thing or two about QA testing and how to prepare test plans.

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Yep, that is one of the down sides of the BMD system, other than dual booting two OS or having a separate machine, you can’t have both versions on that machine. But that is an internal decision. I think Asobo and MS would be surprised how supportive users would be in a Beta program. If they just released a single stable platform where all the basics worked as it should first, something that can be used as a solid platform to work off, and then add and test in a mass everyday end user beta environment with those willing to download and use the Beta versions (knowing the risk that it is a Beta version) I’m sure Asobo would move forward with the vision they have for the platform in a more stable way.

You have gamers and die hard flight sim enthusiasts and everyone in-between

You have very low spec and ultimate cutting edge computer systems and everything in-between

All using MSFS for very contrasting reasons.

No company in the World, not even the best high tech software developers can anticipate the diverse conditions that a simulator platform will be used for. Only a mass amount of user information gleaned from direct usage of the end user will move this thing forward, it’s just to much of an ambitious project, not a voting system, that probably represents a 5th of the user base, will be effective enough in giving the customer of what they really want. It’s time to draw a line at this development stage and proceed with a clear and pragmatic agenda.

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Gamers move on, find something else and give up on entire series all together until the next best thing peaks their interest. Simmers have been around for 30+ years on various versions of simulation but tend to stick with what works. I could care less that the graphics are better than some other sims, I use it for actual flight prep / currency continuation in down time so I can get a handle on routes or approaches i’m not familiar with before I actually go do it in the real world.
At the end of the day the gamers will find something else regardless and all that will be left are the enthusiasts, hardcore simmers and real world pilots like me that want a stable working platform. To me it only seems they are interested in the gamers and therefore it’s nothing but an arcade game at best. Maybe down the line but for now this platform is no good to me.

This is a good idea. They mentioned that they are thinking about this in their last Dev Update vid.

Try starting a flight at 76T then get back to us.

So far it looks like 100% of customers have this bug (you’ll get 2 FPS max I’m betting). The sim fps meter will report 15-20fps, but you’ll experience a slideshow.

There are areas across the globe exhibiting this same issue as of the last sim update - it’s just many people have yet not stumbled upon a broken area.

The way X-Plane does it is perfect. Have a beta channel, provide release candidates there, when the community is no longer reporting major issues, release it as the stable build.

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I would be perfectly happy to get official updates at a slower rate and let other people do the beta testing frustration while I fly merrily along. Voted.

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Same. I believe updates should be optional and beta tested to ensure it works on a variety of systems before it becomes a mandatory update. Or better yet, Just do away with mandatory updates altogether. If someone wants sim world updates then they can update but if someone is fine with the way their sim currently is they should not be forced into updating.

This would also go a long way for all the third party content, free mods included!

Agreed - this is a good idea. It is not acceptable to neither properly test a patch or update properly, nor use a beta team to validate the update before release.
This is counter-productive to the enormous publicity and goodwill MSFS has generated otherwise, and makes a promising simulator seem immature and amateurish, even in comparison to its competitors.
The potential is too great to let corner cutting and ridiculous commercially driven deadlines ruin everything for us their customers. Forget upgrading regions for the time being - fix the basics first!

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