I’m not really in touch with modern PC gaming, except for a few titles I picked up in the spring when I got my new rig in anticipation of MSFS. Without fail, all of those titles involved what I expected; namely, a program in my Program (x86) folder or where ever I chose to install it. There’s an exe, a bunch of folders with data, and all of them run just fine, update just fine, and interface for multiplayer just fine. Several of them utilize cloud processing heavily, and those run just fine too.
MSFS threw me for a loop, having to download first a base launcher from the MS Store, then the sim itself downloading its content. And every patch is the same format. But finding the exe is a chore as it’s buried in protected folders, and the series of folders containing the game data is distributed in a way that’s just odd to me. I can’t just open a folder and say “here is the program”, as it’s distributed in a way I just don’t understand and clearly don’t appreciate.
Given the numerous issues a lot of people have had with either the initial install or the update patches, I have to ask if there’s a reason for MSFS not being released in a stand-alone, single folder package, like all my other games and programs? Is this the “new normal” for modern PC titles? Or is that just old-school, Win7 and earlier thinking? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know if there’s a correlation between how this program appears in Windows and the issues folks are seeing. But it’s hard not to wonder if that might be the case. Even if those of us with serious issues preventing us from even getting into the program consistently are not the majority, as seems likely, it still strikes me as WAY more people than I had expected having fundamental problems and that’s not something I’ve seen in other titles.
I mean, my rig is modern, falling somewhere between the recommended MSFS capabilities for mid-tier and high-tier. It is fully updated and running well in Win10. I’m fairly competent in diagnosing computer issues, and believe wholeheartedly that google is my friend in finding solutions to the more extreme issues which can arise. I should have been able to just fork over my money and hit install and it works, right? Or maybe with a limited amount of troubleshooting that any average-Joe could handle, at any rate? Well, that’s clearly not the case and I’m certainly not alone. Maybe it wouldn’t be an issue if I was an IT tech who knows all the tricks and secrets in Windows, but I’m not, I’m just a somewhat above-average-Joe, perhaps. And I’ve found myself going deep into the weeds with MSFS, just trying to get it to run on my modern system that hasn’t had an issue with any other title I’ve tossed at it. Once I get into the sim, sure there are still issues and works-in-progress that are slowly being addressed, but they don’t concern me so much, not compared with the almost dread that I feel whenever I know a patch is about to drop. It’s hard to stay enthusiastic about a program that very well may make me waste 48 hours or so of my life every few weeks just getting back to Stable-1, regardless of how much potential I can see in the program.
Anyhow, this is all just an extended, non-specific rant while I wait for my computer to invariable get stuck in yet another MSFS reinstall attempt. But I am still curious about my questions: Is the way that MSFS is organized in Windows the “new normal” for games? And is it just wishful thinking on my part to think that a return to the old-school method of a simple Programs (x86)-style program structure might make things a whole lot simpler to troubleshoot and use?