Below are a few areas that I think should be focused on to attract new players and give current players a more compelling reason to return to play MSFS:
- Overall Performance (fixing stutter in airports and cities)
- More Natural Landmarks and Scenery (less airports and cities)
- Plane FX
Overall Performance (fixing stutter in airports and cities)
As it stands, MSFS is a technical achievement and I realize this game is “10 years in the making” and it’s still in it’s infancy so it does little good to harp on existing issues that are slowly being addressed at a later time. However, I think refocusing some short term goals will make the game much more appealing and add more replay appeal for new and current players.
More Natural Landmarks and Scenery
Currently, MSFS gameplay feels like I’m floating above a bing-maps-wrapped globe of varying quality in a hi-res aircraft skin. While it is initially impressive and pretty, the visual eye candy has a distinct lack of detailed and popular landmarks to visit. The first thing most players do when first purchasing the game and logging in is compiling a list of visual landmarks to visit that they just googled. The Great Wall of China, National parks, Natural wonders, etc. Many, if not most of these visual landmarks aren’t in-game or not detailed (iconic mountain formations) so it’s a letdown when they see a lump or flat image of what should be a major visual landmark.
The good news is these landmarks are already compiled in all the google search lists for “top 10 places to see by air” or similar search. They just need to be fleshed out and I imagine they would take the same amount of time that is spent on airports.
While adding more detailed cities seems to be a current focus, the stuttering and poor performance in these areas makes them less compelling to visit (especially with the melted-building photogrammetry visuals) and many players just end up avoiding these updated areas completely which is a shame. So my recommendation is putting more focus on natural scenery locations.
When it comes to thrilling flight, MSFS really needs to look at DCS World. The plane FX for that game are on point which is why any fan-made videos for DCS look exciting and it looks really fun to fly around in and make videos. MSFS looks pretty but the lack of plane FX is very noticeable by comparison to DCS. MSFS has these impressive commercial aircraft but it’s such a let down to land without tire smoke. MSFS is missing the “umph” when it comes to flying.
Especially now that MSFS has jets, we sorely need smoke fx, vapor trails, vapor cones, landing gear tire smoke, fire, flames, and smoke for aircraft failures and emergencies, etc. Adding these FX in sooner rather than later will increase player retention and add so much more immediate satisfaction than these “world updates” that suffer from performance issues.
I mean, you’re stuck in a plane the entire time in this game, I would think plane FX would be more of a priority than adding 50 new airports that notoriously just cause more lag.
Well that’s my two cents. Thanks for reading.