Discussion: Live dev Q&A January


Since the Japan update back in October we’ve had 5 story office blocks on every farm and rural location in Britain. If they’re still there after the UK update…ya know, I wouldn’t actually be that surprised.

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Lucky you.

Right then, problem diagnosis time: What server do you connect to? Is there a specific location you like to fly in or do you fly anywhere in the world? Are you on the full version or the Xbox live $10 a month version (hey I don’t know, it might correlate)? What game version are you running? What setup options do you fly with (live weather, live players, live traffic, etc)?

Well, at least that is just a scenery issue. I’ve been plagued with the random CTD after the (VR) update. Exception code 0005 which is a memory address error. Some random set of events is causing the sim to write to or read from a protected or stale register. I’ve tried all the placebo fixes, some don’t work, some work a few days, some a few weeks. But, eventually, the software will CTD. A few times it has caused a BSD. The last time I thought I found the magic bullet and the software was stable for almost two weeks before it once again gave me a CTD. I really wish they made VR an optional update in the marketplace as opposed to shoving the code onto all of our machines and introducing instability in a handful. :frowning_face:

Believe it or not, the weather bug (at least currently) only affects a relatively small number of folks. My son also has MSFS and runs it on a similar rig to mine, and he doesn’t have the issue at all, whereas I do.

I’ve tried repeatedly to replicate it on his system. I’ve tried every permutation of switching weather, server, etc that I could possibly think of. Every single time without fail, his live weather works as intended.

I’m convinced it’s something server side, as over the weekend, my Live Weather started working fine without having to restart between flights nor having to use the workaround. It just worked. And it was wonderful. I didn’t change anything at all. I went from it not working one day (and it hadn’t since the last November update) to working. Then after 3 days, it stopped working again. Now it’s hit or miss if it will even work on the 1st flight. No settings were changed on my end. Nothing.

Now with the videos that were posted, hopefully they realize it’s an actual problem and not user error as they had been assuming.

That’s another discussion, which, incidentally, has been going on for some time elsewhere in these forums. But to quickly answer your questions:
Don’t know (I let the system decide, but I reside in Denmark), I’ve been to every continent, Steam Premium Deluxe, same as everybody else, live weather (obviously, as that’s what I have no problems with), no live players, typically no live traffic.

Just my 2 cents: I don’t count in which proportions this is happening but very often, when trying to setup a flight at Hawaii with live weather, the icon on the top right showing the kind of weather is depicting a storm over a gray background, but once loaded and ready to fly it is live weather as expected (no storms).

However, it is very had to diagnose this kind of problem without proper metrics and I’d suggest you also support this with your vote:
Debuging log - Self-Service / Wishlist - Microsoft Flight Simulator Forums

Blimey, really?!

Ok, so your son…he lives with you? So you’re on the same internet connection, same server, etc… What’s the hardware differences between PCs?

Years ago, with Operation Flashpoint I think it was, the in game voice chat didn’t work for anyone with a particular network card for some reason. I remember distinctly having to remove my network card and use the onboard intel network socket. Maybe it’s something like that?

I run a Ryzen 2700X, Gigabyte X470 board, 32GB RAM, NVMe SSD, Gigabyte RTX2080
He runs Ryzen 3700X, Gigabyte X570, 32GB , NVMe, Gigabyte GT1070.
We both have Premium Deluxe edition. He also had MSFS Standard on MS Game Pass initially. Now he has PD edition via Steam like I do.

He lives with me. We’re on the same home network / connection. We have identical data settings in game. We both use auto connect to the servers (USA East is our default). The only differences in the in-game configs are graphics settings (mine are higher) and peripherals.

We’ve also tried it from both his laptops (new late 2020 HP Spectre x360 and and older MSI gaming laptop). Also no issues there whatsoever with weather. As much as I try to break his weather, I can’t. It just works no mattery how much I switch it, turn it on and off, how I select it from the start screen (presets or custom weather). His live weather always works and always has.

So I KNOW the problem exists without a doubt for me (and many others). And I can’t get it to break and cause the issue on other computers. I can totally understand why the folks at Asobo can’t get it to break either. And they were skeptical and thinking this was user error. So I’m not holding it against them that they can’t reproduce it. Treating it as an issue with “dumb users” for months and not taking it seriously ■■■■■■ me off a bit, but not being able to reproduce it is another story.

I’ve tried with all the computers hard-wired to my router (desktops normally are hardwired to 1Gbit LAN), using wi-fi, bypassing my router and connecting directly to the cable modem, wi-fi via my phone’s hot spot. In all cases, I experience the problem on my computer, and can’t replicated with his 3 computers. I really don’t think it’s something on our end.

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In fact it can only be something on your end, triggering the failure in FS2020 somehow:

  • you do have different video cards but I doubt it has any impact unless there is a “Nvidia network layer” driver installed somewhere.
  • you do have different chipsets but I doubt it has any impact on this either, unless and related to the X570 Reverb G2 bug, there is something in the BIOS affecting the network adapter too.

In addition, you might have a few Win10 settings which are different, or some “updates” which are different between both, causing the difference at the root of this problem.

In any case, until Asobo implements a sound logging system or remote connect to your computer, I agree this is the kind of problem which will never be solved in a short time and only solved if there is a service bulletin from AMD/MS triggering a developer to reviewing his code, or if during a formal code review they spot something odd.

What leads me to that conclusion is that without actually making any changes to any of my settings, Live Weather suddenly started working last Friday night. It worked exactly as intended for all of 4 days. Then on Tuesday, it stopped working. I changed nothing. No Windows Updates or driver updates (I do those manually) occurred in that time. No in-sim settings were changed.

It went from not working for months to working perfectly to not working at all, all with zero changes on my end.

Exactly! This indicates a bug in the FS2020 code which might be just due because the lib/API they are using for the network layer is not the same between these 2 computers.

For example: they could have implemented the “try to connect” function in a way which is for example not retrying (bug/shortsighted), and the network card driver and/or Win10 config might often fail the first connect on 1 machine but never on the 2nd one.

In essence this is not in this case a FS2020 bug per-se, yet, if the FS2020 is not handling failures in the way you’re expecting, it is somewhat a FS2020 bug still. However the trigger for this bug might not be FS2020 bad code at all, but something servicing the resource from the computer to FS2020, like the network driver and/or Win10 registry setting and/or Win10 update etc…

It might have worked once or twice out of nowhere because this time, the entire software stack from the network driver to the FS2020 code was well aligned and didn’t fail 1st connection (sun eruption burst, surrounding electro magnetic fields, lower atmospheric pressure and snow storm whatever it is intrinsic or not).

In all cases, without a logging system there is not way to tell, you or Asobo neither.

And this is the point. I’ve done everything I could on my end to try to diagnose the issue without success. It’s a bug somewhere in their code. Probably a rare alignment of conditions that cause the sim to not be able to connect to the server and get the weather. In the end, it’s still a bug in the code, and not user error as Asobo had been assuming, nor is it something that users can fix. This is something they need to track down, find and fix.

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We definitely agree on this!

I’ve been a software dev for the last 27 years (in information management). On a few occasions over the years I’ve struggled to reproduce bugs that users reported and was never able to reproduce. When I finally did manage to track down the causes, in every case, it was always a problem in hte software where in a very rare, specific set of circumstances that couldn’t possibly be planned for, the bug was triggered.

It was akin to only happening when “planets aligned on a Tuesday in March where it wasn’t cloudy, the user was wearing a flowered shirt and drinking decaf coffee before 10AM” kind of thing.


Things I learned (or read between the lines):

Memory is important and can be the bottleneck (Seb). Glad I got 32GB at 4000 and CL15. Again: Check your BIOS settings. That DDR3600 you paid extra for may be running at 2166. This was true for FSX also, and it’s worth repeating. As much as quantity, memory speed and latency is critical.

DLSS. His response to the question “DLSS??” was something like “um yeah” followed by a pause implying “next question”. Disappointing and a bit condescending. This tells me there are no plans to implement DLSS or enable it in the DX12 port. Consider putting someone else on the call with Seb and Jorg. That response was bad form and really bad marcom.

XBOX, XBOX, XBOX. Seems like “it’ll be there with the XBOX version” was the answer to many questions. This tells me they are crunching on the XBOX version and barely working on the PC version updating. I’m guessing it’s behind schedule and super high priority and needs minimum DX12 functionality to run well on the lower XBOX specs. In light of the disaster that was Cyberpunk, I’m sure they are under strict orders to not release an XBOX title that runs on PC and sucks on XBOX. Given the sorry state of optimization on PC coupled with the lower XBOX specs, they have their work cut out for them. Godspeed…

XBOX is totally team red. So looks like no team green optimizations likely any time soon (DLSS, RT, etc). This is unfortunate. Maybe when the XBOX release happens they can go back to fixing all the INTC/NVDA bugs. MSFT is a business, and I try to remember that there’s extra revenue to be had by releasing the XBOX version and not much incremental revenue to be had by fixing the PC version since most of the market with PC’s have already bought it.

Replay: They’ve evidently had this among the dev team since day 1. It’s required functionality so marketing can gen up all those beautiful videos and set them to music. If the codebase has been there for so long, how hard can it be to slap on a UI and release it to us? But then again, it would be a few FTE-days taken away from the XBOX release I guess.

Weather. They consider the weather engine to be core to the sim. They are not enthusiastic about 3rd party weather addons. In light of this, the live weather bug is all the more puzzling. It’s not rare. Every time I go on a group flight, some poor guy (or 3) has the problem and has to be tutored on how to work around it. While not complicated, many people to not live their lives for MSFS, nor spend all their waking hours cruising the forums learning all the bug workarounds. Point is, it’s very common and I was shocked that they can’t reproduce a common bug (common by my observations) on a system they consider to be core functionality.

Caution to the team: The XBOX gamers are going to expect to pay their hard earned money (or unearned stimmys) on this title and expect it to work properly. If the thinking is that us “simmer enthusiasts” are nitpicky complainers, wait till gamers get their hands on this and experience all these bugs. Expect the expressions of displeasure to be much more vocal and public about CyberFlightSimPunk2021. Yes it’s pretty, but pretty only gets you so far in life.


About the Xbox launch; don’t think you need to worry too much about this.
It is only confirmed on XBox Series S/X (Not the XBox One), and those new XBox variants are more powerful than most people on PC are running (and no I’m not talking about the 1% that spent 3-5K on a specific simming machine with 5950X/10900K (which are a waste of money btw) and a RTX3090).

All the optimizations they find for the XBox will directly translate to the PC as well.

Which many of us keep saying, and have said, since the alpha.


Were the questions / answers of this Q & A ever compiled and published here? Can´t seem to find them…

i have no idea about how Asobo works internally … but if they did it the way, you describe, that would explain a lot of their quality issues. If i had to lead a devolopment team, the people who introduce bugs would be exactly the same, who had to fix them.
(and i really think, Asobo does it that way)

Spliting your team into the (lucky) guys who develop fancy new stuff and the (poor) ones, who are responsible to “clean up the mess”? No better way to ensure bad Quality …

just my opinion though …


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