If you hate long text, move on to 8. My Rating.
I spent all my life flying Airliners (ATPL >10.000 hrs), mostly Airbus. After flight school almost no GA flighttime.
About half a Year ago I noticed this “Game” beeing developed and tried to get involved to share my knowledge and help improving the result. That point was far too late, so I did not get that chance.
I must admit that I was disappointed but still very much looking forward the release day.
On release day it took me 5 minutes to resolve that “stuck on installation”-problem.
My Logitech Joystick was nicely pre-configured, so I had almost no problems to get started and do my first take-off.
The sensitivity of my stick was far too high, I had to reduce it by far, at least for small airplanes.
With the absence of most feelings like G-forces, smells, vibration, heat, blinding sun (etc) the only sensors I can use are my eyes. But how can I position my eyes, so that I have enough outside view to get a clue where I am and enough inside view to keep control of my airplane ? Finding and storing some useful positions seems to be essential as the standard pilot position does in many airplanes not fulfil this.
Other than with my EFB (Electronic Flight Bag) the Simulator does not offer me any maps to read out position, taxi routes and frequencies. First attempt was to use original maps that I still have. But then I switched on the movement guidance and just follow the blue triangles. But I noticed how much I can tweak my experience from close to realistic to arcade. As the reason for my retirement were my glasses, I am glad NOT be forced into card reading again.
Flying and trim - as a PC-Joystick does not give the same feedback as a real yoke where I release force until trimmed, I found out that trimmimg is a bit more complicated than in a real plane. As I was flying Airbus most of the time, where the autotrim is working fine for 95% of the time, that trimming and the absence of an aid there was a bit frustrating for some time (then I re-learned trimming )
Graphics - On a decent rig I can run all on Ultra, but for great views it is not necessary. I took the time to test all settings and now have a good framerate with half Ultra and half High settings.
And WOW!!! What is that, I did not expect to get that much. Just sitting in a small plane, somewhere in the mountains and testing the weather settings is simply great !!
Motivation - to see “what I am expected to do” I started one wilderness flight. Somewehere Inbetween I found out that my plane does not get refueled on those nice landing strips. So I lost propulsion when out of fuel and wasted 45 minutes of my life-time because it happened seconds before touchdown and so I had to repeat that “leg” after I found out how to refuel …
Then I searched for great views and took off at the Mont Blanc Airfield (LFLP?) and climbed up to the MontBlanc summit in a Chessna Caravan. There I found out that two guys had landed on top, but did not try in in the Caravan, expecting a crash due to longer distance needed than available, but very funny
Yesterday and today I tested the airliners and was very satisfied to be able to fly from EDDF to LFPG completely in IFR with autopilot (only used with cockpit controls, not the AI Autopilot!!!) on until 1000 feet in an Airbus 320 neo. The Boeing 747-8 was a mess, I think there is still much work to do.
Autopilot - In my opinion the AI-Autopilot should help me when I get a phone call, get tired, just need a break. But in most situations the AI-Autopilot does behave extremely dumb and dangerous. On a stabilized ILS Approach in LFPG (why are only easterly runways available for IFR ?) I tried that button and the AI did spin the airliner into terrain within a few seconds. So my expectation was by far not met !! That function needs a complete rework !! Big time !!
My Rating: Knowing that the team will improve the game keeps me from getting enraged. There is enough that I can do meanwhile, so I am relaxed. WOW, great views, great weather effects, but still a long way to go.
Thank you for the Great Game, Asobo. Do not get frustrated by the haters, because haters hate.
I am in love with this game and hope you take the time to make this gem a jewel.