Hey Asobo, Everyone else and welcome to all Xbox simmers, great to have you onboard.
While SU5 introduced many great things to MSFS such as Discovery flights, Floats and ski’s, better performance (at a cost), water and tire effects its undeniable that it also introduced a great deal of changes that were never mentioned/announced and are causing issues in-game and in the community.
This is not the first time this has happened, Asobo is making a habit of not releasing full patch notes and making changes to the sim/game that were never announced and/or promised not to change.
this is where my personal problem lies with the continued development of this game, and the main subject of this post.
This letter is not to rag on Asobo, but to help them understand why a decent amount of people are unsatisfied about SU5, Feedback is more than welcome. My native language is not English, so i might make some mistakes.
1) Broken promises
Prior to the Release of SU5, Asobo in the QnA stream assured the performance updates on PC would not mean a graphics change or downgrade - they found the improvements by optimizing code.
Post Su5 Result:
- Draw distances for terrain and LOD are a fraction of what they were beforehand unless you tweak the CFG, and even then you can’t get it where it used to be.
- Incredibly poor ground textures when at higher altitudes.
- Due to the shorter draw distances, you can see buildings, objects and high-res textures load-in infront of your plane. Even on airports/taxi.
- Panning the camera, using trackir or VR shows the culling system in-use and you can visually see the terrain load-in.
Note: This comes across as incredibly untrustworthy and is a blow in the face for many PC Simmers that had a great looking sim before, something that set MSFS really apart from the competition before, VFR flying was unmatched. We still havent heard if this was an unintended consequence/bug or something they have done to merge the PC version with the Xbox version.
Let me clearly say i do not want low-end pcs to lose the ability to use the new LoD or performance settings, but allow high-end pcs to revert to how it was via an option or slider. (Slider to adjust/disable the scenery culling (reduce panning pop-in and stutters) - #83 by ChaoticSplendid)
2) Unannounced Changes / Don’t fix what aint broken
We’ve had this several times over the past few Sim-updates, where we thought we were seeing a decrease in photogrametry detail, texture resolution. This Update cranked it up to 11 and changed several things for the worst that most of us didn’t see coming or wasn’t even announced.
- PC UI change - PC now has to use the legacy UI to use the original in-cockpit UI, however this new UI, even with all the right settings is not the same as before. The tooltips are larger, percentages and headings are missing and it doesn’t feel as snappy as it did before. Try it yourself, load up the default A320 and turn the heading knob using a scroll wheel, its nowhere near as snappy and fast as it was before. Now obviously this UI change was never announced, and to put the new controller-centric UI as the default post-SU5 on PC was mind-boggling to say the least.
- Graphics/Post-processing completely changed - On PC the image exposure settings changed, shadows are drawn differently and a highly aggressive sharpening filter is drawn. The only way to adjust this currently is via the usercfg which is… subpar to say the least. Why was this added? the game looked fine, and even if you do add it, allow us to turn it off via the menus. (just like you did with bloom and lens correction)
- Complete re-do of how controllers work on the PC version - its practically impossible to use an Xbox controller now for just camera operations in showcase and/or external mode.
- Changes to how the mouse-wheel interacts with turnable knobs and trim wheels. The mouse-wheel used to be pretty much 1:1 when turning 1 click, the knob turned 1 click. Now there seems to be a disconnect/delay (again try this with the hdg knob in the default a320), when quickly scolling to change heading it starts lagging behind quickly, no more quick adjustments.
Asobo please understand that when things are liked or working properly, you should not (in my opinion) changes those around completely without the option to remain or revert back to the original method. Thats why game franchises sometimes still have (true) legacy settings that date back to the late 90’s because thats the controller layout they “used to” have. When it comes to something incredibly noticable such as graphics, they should be options/optional on PC, let people figure it out themselves.
In addition to that, why did you choose to overwrite control, ui and graphics settings by existing players? for existing players new features should be optional, not swtiched on by default.
3) Lacking Patch Notes / communication
Experienced PC development studios know, always publish good and complete patch notes, modders and users need to know all that changes to adapt their mods and/or work-around issues post-update. It also promotes transparancy and increases trust in the development process.
I find that the Patch notes, especially for SU5 are lacking tremendously in regards to everything that changed. From small ECAM changes in the default a320 to most of the items above - its just not done properly. And i would ask Asobo to look into improving patch notes.
Asobo and MS do a great job with their feedback snapshots, QnA’s on twitch… however i find that post-patch it can take weeks to get a straight answer if something changed or why it even got changed… or was it a bug? this is incredibly tiresome, especially when you create and maintain mods.
4) Update process
Ill keep this short and sweet
Please for the love of all that is good, improve the patch download and installation process its a pain in the backside
I’m not the best at writing, and i feel there is a huge disconnect with how i feel and what i want to put down on “paper”, this is not me being salty, hateful… i just really want Asobo to know where they can improve as they are probably all really doing their best.
And please no hate towards Xbox players, its not their fault either. Feedback is welcome, and ill gladly update and add to the post with proper feedback.
Notable Comments (Edit 2, 3,4 or 5 losing track )
I thought i’d dedicate this section about notable comments, written by some of the posters here that i fully support:
- Open letter: Re Update Process and the PC version - #36 by Sharpex95 @Sharpex95 - regarding update scheduling/cycles and the seemingly deteriorating technical state of the sim.
- Open letter: Re Update Process and the PC version - #56 by kido007dz @kido007dz - utilizing an official Wiki of sorts to document patch notes would be a terrific idea.
- https://www.reddit.com/r/MicrosoftFlightSim/comments/ovd239/ive_found_the_reason_why_ground_texture/ - Reddit post that explains that Asobo cut draw-distances in half + cfg tweak to change it back to Su4 (kinda)