Everybody uses the sim in different ways. I mostly like to TRY using the 787 for long-haul international flights, which means using the AI Piloting / Copilot features, and/or the cockpit autopilot instruments. And holy hell, it is frustrating.
I just submitted a ticket to the zendesk thing, but these issues have persisted since launch, particularly on the 787 for long-haul international flights. It’s so frustrating that the same issues have been around, in one form or another, since launch over a year ago. I’ve tried both the PC and the Xbox versions.
The most recent issues (there’s more than what I list here, these are just examples):
- At the gate, when I request to connect the jetway to the aircraft, the response is “Unable to connect the jetway to the aircraft. Please try again later.” I know this is mostly a cosmetic sim thing that doesn’t affect the flight, but it’s still annoying that it used to work and now it doesn’t.
- Taxiing problems. When told to “hold position” using the AI Pilot, the aircraft simply disengages. It doesn’t apply brakes and it doesn’t steer, but rather just keeps rolling straight at whatever direction it happens to be facing. Sometimes this can result with a crash into a building, rolling onto the wrong taxiways, or runway incursions. Very frustrating when you’ve just spent half-an-hour simming refueling, catering and baggage operations - or worse yet, completed a flight to your destination just for your aircraft to crash instead of holding position. Or sometimes ATC (ground) issues instructions to hold position for other AI aircraft / ground vehicles on the same runway, and everybody just sits there for eternity. Or sometimes “hold position” instructions for an aircraft parked at a gate near the taxiway. Or sometimes “hold position” instructions for… nothing? No aircraft or vehicles anywhere in sight. The one thing about the AI Pilot that used to be flawless was taxiing. Now it’s all messed up.
- “Please Expedite Your Climb” - If the AI Pilot can even manage to maintain the correct heading, it can’t maintain the correct altitude. Even though there was a recent ATC glitch that was fixed, the AI Pilot still doesn’t climb to the correct altitude, resulting in “Please Expedite Your Climb” over and over and over again, until you either decide to fly the plane manually or just quit the sim altogether. Not the best options for long-haul international flights.
- Approaches and landings: I have no idea if this has been improved since the Xbox launch - there are so many bugs now during taxi and in-flight, I just turn the thing off before I can complete a flight. But in the past the AI Pilot would overshoot the airport, resulting in a missed approach, which would then result in odd bugs (like flying back to a waypoint all the way back to the beginning of the flight plan, or ATC just simply stops responding), or attempting a landing far off to the right or left of the runway resulting in a crash or a missed apporach, or just flying straight past the runway to who-knows-where.
My main point here is that the AI Pilot / Copilot / autopilot has never worked right. At times, it worked just barely “good enough” to get through a flight and put up with the bugs, but more often than not it results in either manually flying the plane or just turning it off altogether.
Every update that comes along results in more bugs and disappointment, and the same recurring AI Piloting bugs are still there over a year later.
I know they are different teams, but the ratio of new content and world updates vs. fixing bugs with the core functionality of the sim seems to be way out of proportion. I wouldn’t mind skipping all of the world updates and new content for a while if it meant that the team could put more focus on fixing these problems that seem to never be fixed.
Maybe consider a team dedicated solely to the AI Pilot / Copilot and autopilot functionality for the aircraft? Because it’s a mess!