Missing water masks after WU16

I can´t see a water mask either!

This doesn’t happen in all areas for me. For example I can see the masks near Virgin islands, harbours in St Barts and St Martin, TFFR, St Lucia etc.

I could also see the masks near the Hamilton Island in North East Australia where you mentioned. Atleast near the shore line they were pretty good detail wise, the ones near the reefs were a bit low resolution but they were there.

But for me the watermasks don’t show up in the northern Caribbean like in the Bahamas.

Not sure if it has to do anything with the build number of the MSFS client, the forum says that the current build number is 1.35.21 but in my PC the version is 1.36.2. not sure if they pushed an accidental beta build since I am enrolled in the beta preview. I’ll add some screenshots to compare with you guys and clear up any misunderstanding on my part.

Edit: attaching screenshots:


Near Hamilton island Australia

Near Virgin Islands (British TUPJ and US TIST)

I too, hope that they issue a quick fix on this!


This is a big disappointment. The one WU which was specifically touted for its water masks has not only very-poorly delivered in its area, but gone on to bork water masks in many other areas.

We’ve been saying it for years, but really, their QC needs a good hard look.


Explained on today Q@A on the missing watermask

And the new way for shallow water still in progress and will be improved.

I wish I understood that explanation a bit better. Sometimes Jorg’s answers are confusing, possibly because he’s not a native English speaker, but in short it sounded like he said the water is so flat in the Caribbean, that they removed water masks but removed too much of it? I really don’t know what that means.


If this is low resolution then you can be sure it´s either comming from the offline data set (the infamous 60 GB CGLs we all have as backup at the Official folder) or is comming from the lowest detail layer on server. But this is clearly not the high resolution layer we had before the patch as reefs were perfectly visible even at 300ft as in my pictures. I mean… just look at WU16 trailer and compare it with what you see in game now and what is seen in many old screeshots at any world discovery thread in the forum.

This version was mandatory for everyone. I also have it and was not in beta. There´s still no information about release notes

Perhaps by “flat” he meant shallow, or with a very shallow gradient (from shore to the deeper sea)? Just guessing.


I wonder if this is actually world-wide? I flew the Hawaii Bush Trip the other day and went over Pearl Harbor, and the “water” was really bad. A noisy satellite photo, not real water. Could have just been a server issue at the time, too.

Honestly he said a lot without saying anything at the end other than they don´t know exactly when it will be fixed. Ocean is flat in game everywhere, so there are not such terrain gradients but only small terrain imperfections comming from the original DEM data. Ocean is just a water animation placed in tiles a few feet above mean ground level. Just land anywhere and you will never sink.

What causes the effect of depth and the color changes at sea are the original satellite images provided by server which are placed below the water animation while you fly as in the case of inland terrain. Those are the ones missing now. Anything which has been processed during this experiment will be a higher priority layer displayed on top of the currently available low resolution textures. That´s why some areas near the coast still look fine, as those were the target areas of the experiment. However, as soon as you go a few miles away from the coast the low resolution textures or plain blue textures start to appear everywhere.



Yup, though I was referring (obviously not very well) to the real-world, not the sim :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes yes, I understood your post. What I mean is that the problem is not caused by the new water masking technique they used. That´s fine, as they are placing a new layer on top of the coastal area satellite images (a ring around the island as Jorg explained) and that will clearly improve the resulting water mask because it´s just basically the same satellite image but corrected to remove imperfections. That´s fine and will work well for sure.

However during the process they deleted the rest of the textures outside that ring or they simply forgot to include them in the pack uploaded to server for the live version. I think Jorg was referring to that without saying it when he explained that they removed too much. Solution will take some time as restoring the older backup and placing those new improved rings in the data set all together again is not a matter of minutes due to the involved data size, but well… It´s fixable for sure. However I´m afraid it will take some days.


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Here’s what I understood of the explanation:

Bahamas have really large areas of shalow waters unlike other areas where the water masks are limited to only near the shore lines and not farway from the islands itself.

This caused them to add large areas of masks but somehow that ended up looking bad due to imperfect blending with the actual water (not too sure about this part), so they had to remove it last minute, and they are working on a fix.
And if this is all there is, then the rest of the world shouldn’t be affected, and if that’s the case, that mostly matches with my observations. Although other users seem to be having some issues in other areas too… but i think that’s just general low resolution textures in deeper ocean areas.

I think the new water masking method is a manual anyway and i don’t think they touched any areas other than the Caribbean in this update. The issues in the other areas might have already been there and we are just noticing them now, unless ofcourse someone have before and after pictures / videos to prove otherwise.

A great place to verify this would be to do the bora bora sight seeing activity…

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Like several of you, it’s surely a bug. They can’t remove intentionnaly water masks already their. Nassau and Berries Islands where very nice now they are so dull. I’m sure they will fix that. How you can promote a world update with new water mask tecnique and nothing of the final product. Something goes wrong during the process.

André Vaillancourt.


you should watch yesterday’s live stream :slight_smile:
all your questions are answered

Jorg mentioned that the watermask issue is probably server side and should be resolved in a couple of days. We should cross fingers for this promise to be actually kept.
As I’m by nature pessimistic, I’m also usually protected from being disappointed.


Do you have the same issue if you follow the OP’s steps to reproduce it?

Provide extra information to complete the original description of the issue:

If relevant, provide additional screenshots/video:

Was there any update on the timeline for when the server-side water masking fixes would be rolled out? I believe Jorg and team mentioned a few days to roll out?


I second this. When will this get resolved?

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Right, all he said was “a few days”. No specific timing, unfortunately.