Why I love the struggle with this sim (written after release)

I am in awe of the teams ability to bring to life such an audacious undertaking. I’m really excited about this sim and here’s why. I’ve been obsessed with aviation since I was a child. I was fortunate enough to be able to learn to fly, starting the day after I was old enough to get my drivers licence to drive myself to the airport and part with all the money I had saved for that one purpose and then to eventually become a professional pilot a few years later. The joy never left me. The joy of doing my first solo flight, of getting my commercial licence and the subsequent licences and ratings, of seeing a students face after I had sent them on their first solo and the joy of staring out the window for a few quiet moments as I contemplated the raw beauty of the weather, the geologic history of the features below me as I flew over new terrain or countries and of the lives of the people living down there. The sense of freedom, adventure, beauty and wonder never left me. Nor did the feeling of gratitude for being born when I was, for had it have been anywhere in human history up until a hundred years earlier, I never would have lived to see any of it.

These days, I’m just an enthusiastic simmer (or a passenger). I know a great deal more about aviation than I do computers (I am a self confessed computer ignoramus) and although I’ve been simming for a couple of years now I’m still a bit of a newbie at it and I still have many more hours logged in real life than in the sim. I have two other flight sims but this is my first from Microsoft (I’m not a die-hard MS fanboy). The one I used almost exclusively before MSFS202 has an outstanding flight model and I only really fly a few “study level” aircraft on it. It’s brilliant for technical, procedural flying. It has provided a gratifying level of immersion when combined with a few selected add-ons like Vatsim 3rd party weather etc. and I was very happy with it as a sim. The 15 year old me would have died to have had this and it’s brilliant for IFR. All the wrinkles have been ironed out BUT I have never really stared out the window and been gobsmacked by the view or been filled with that sense of wonder like I (still) am in a real aircraft. In that sim I’ve never been able to see villages along the rivers in the deep valleys of the Karakoram mountain ranges in northern Pakistan or the family farm in Australia complete with the trees lining the long driveway in that my father and I planted ourselves all those years ago, nor the beautiful detail in the shallow braided rivers on the south island of New Zealand nor the swirling colours of any number of river deltas all over the globe nor the seasons or scattered showers that you choose to fly through or skirt around or city centres like NYC in the level of detail that makes it hard to drag your eyes back into the cockpit or to be able to conjure up the nostalgic feelings of navigating via VFR landmarks around the areas where I learnt to fly and navigate and taught so many others early on in my career (a nod to ORBX’s brilliant Sydney city scenery). The list is endless. It’s the first sim that’s made me FEEL all these things.

The first time I fired MSFS202 up on launch day, I was gobsmacked. I had a grin from ear to ear and I just thought to myself “Now THAT’S more like it!” I played it until I was slack jawed and drooling and sleep deprivation finally got the better of me. Not much has changed since then.

Now, as I said, I am a former pilot so it does drive me crazy at times when things don’t work as they should, especially from a procedural flying point of view. It’s an immersion killer. I, like many other simmers, was underwhelmed with the state of certain aspects of the sim, especially the lack of functional avionics. There have been more than a few occasions where I thought that I just couldn’t take the frustration any more and that I would just leave it for a while and come back from time to time to check on the progress and to be honest, if it wasn’t for the astounding and prolific work of some the community creating and constantly updating their add-ons (a nod to the Working Title gents), I probably would have. It’s especially frustrating when things go backwards like old, fixed bugs returning, on top of new bugs, some of which appear to me to be such glaringly obvious problems that I can’t believe they weren’t picked up and fixed before they got into the sim. I get the frustration, I really do but as I said, although I am learning a great deal, I’m a computer ignoramus. It’s not like I even understand what’s involved in any programming , let alone something as complex as this sim. I am completely unable to do or fix anything so I sure am grateful when someone does, whether it’s the devs, the community modders or individuals just helping people out on the forums. To that end, I don’t whinge on the forums that things are broken or that people don’t know what they’re doing or that I’ve wasted my money, nor do I waste my time on seeding, feeding and spreading negativity or stamping my feet shouting “Just fix it now!” The lack of civility and the level of vitriol from some people on the forums leaves me feeling embarrassed for both them and the people that it is directed towards. You know if you are one of these people. Please, just stop it. Keep it constructive and keep it civil. Post your bugs, discuss your issues, vote for the issues that are important to you, find temporary workarounds, utilise some of the mods available to you and be patient. If that’s still not doing it for you, do what I did. I silently threw my hands in the air in dispair, logged out and fired up my other sim. Take a break. It was great! It runs like a dream on my new computer, yes, the one I bought for MSFS2020. Study level airliner, Simbrief, Navigraph, 3rd partry weather engine, ortho scenery, Vatsim, local Vatsim event and I’m off! Loved it. Everything worked perfectly and perfectly with each other. It was only a pretty short time in cruise but I had a little bit of time to sit and relax. I was really enjoying myself and as I sat back and thought about what a gratifying experience it was to have everything work perfectly again and I stared out the window at the world below… down on the very expensive but very poorly rendered “live weather” clouds that did little to to replicate what real weather actually looks or behaves like and the poorly colour matched low res ortho photo scenery tiles that consume hundreds of gigs of space on one of my hard drives and the autogen scenery that now seems so pathetically outdated… and I sighed. The world outside looked absolutely potato by comparison now. I was snapped out of it by ATC contacting me and I got back to work but as I descended through unconvincing looking clouds that did not move my aircraft around at all as I flew through them and did not look like they could possibly contain the even less convincing rain that they did, I came to the realisation that the level of immersion that I had enjoyed so much just a few short months ago had been irreparably diminished and would not return again in that sim, at least in its present form. It did not make my jaw drop. It did not fill me with joy. I did not wonder about what that indecipherable smudge on the ground was and take a closer look. I did not look at the skyscapes and just think WOW! I did not get that feeling of discovering or seeing something new or amazing. Upon landing, I changed the sim time to night time and flew the return leg in the dark. It’s still good but somehow not great anymore. It made me feel a little bit sad that I felt this way this way about my beloved sim but, once you’ve taken the trip, it’s hard to see the world the same way again.

The aircraft I was flying is an outstanding piece of freeware and a masterclass in what can be achieved from a default aircraft by a dedicated, knowledgeable, clever modder and a few knowledgeable and clever friends, a capable SDK and a LOT of time and effort. Yes, these things take time and good things come to those who wait… and help. In short, like everyone else, I wanted that aircraft in MSFS2020 and I wanted it yesterday. They will get here soon enough.

So this is why I’m so excited about MSFS2020. At the moment, it can’t do the things that my other sims, and other sims on the market can do, things a flight sim should really be able to do. It’s really frustrating at times but the point is that these are all things that have been done before. These are not new or insurmountable problems. They will get fixed and once they are, and it can do all the things that the others can do just as well, (the procedural flying, improved and tweaked flight models, VR, extensive 3rd party options, fully fleshed out SDK etc.), it will not be as good as the other sims, it will leave all others in it’s wake with the level of immersion it offers. It will be the one that can take me as close as possible to the real thing again and to the feeling, that for me, has always gone with it. I’m trying not to fixate wholly and solely on what it can’t do right now but also on what it can do and what it will be able to do, and that is be the sim that the 15 year old me, who started flying before the modern internet had even launched, could not possibly have even dreamt about. I’ve waited 35 years for this. I can wait a little longer. I’m excited with the direction it’s moving and rate at which it is doing so.

I have been here from day one and I’m staying with it, as frustrating as it is at times. For me, today is one of those frustrating days but I applaud the whole Microsoft / Asobo / Blackshark crew for even daring to dream so big and following through. I love that Jorg, Seb and Martial are so active in responding and communicating with the community as best they can given the enormous workload that they already have on their plate. I take my hat off to the community mod groups like Working Title and Fly By Wire for the amazing work they have done and continue to do and the many, many individuals who offer their hard work up for free for all of us to benefit from. To all the 3rd party payware creators both on and off the official marketplace I can’t wait to see what you can come up with in the future. Thank you to the forum/media admins and last but not least, thanks to all the nameless, faceless individuals out there on the forums day after day helping others out as best they can with all their respective issues, for no benefit to themselves (I am definitely the recipient of some great free advice from someone who doesn’t even know that they’ve helped me, let alone how much he has helped me) and especially those whose are helping people who are suffering with the frustration of CTDs, downloading and performance issues (which I have fortunately not suffered from), and have not yet got to experience the sims most redeeming features. Legends, the lot of you. What a great community.

Sometimes the sim is a struggle at the moment but I’m loving the struggle because it’s a struggle that I know will be won and every flight simmer will benefit from it, even those that don’t use it (yet) and are customers of other sims that will eventually and inevitably have to lift their game in order for their product to try to compete. Everyone wins with the success of this sim.

Now I have to fly away to a remote location for work for a couple of weeks. I’m already looking forward to seeing what you clever people can and will do in that time.


P.S. If you vehemently disagree with what I’ve written and you’re riled up enough to want to contest my every point, that’s fine but just keep it civil and be patient as I may not even have internet access for much of the next few weeks.


That was a great read, thanks, and I can’t say I disagree with any of it.

I came in from X-Plane, and was a brief user of P3Dv3.5 before that.

When I saw the videos, and finally got my hands on it, I just couldn’t believe they had gone to the trouble of modelling grass, that even reacts to the wind in some fashion. Not having to hand crank out Ortho for areas I want to fly in…the benefits here are obvious.

I agree that over the next year or so, as some of the core features are enhanced, and get to where they should be, the other sims are in serious trouble.

I feel kind of spoiled by this, and although the other sims do a better job in some key areas currently, I just don’t have that desire to fire them up, and fly with them any more.

I sorely miss the Thranda Kodiak, and I spent a lot of time flying that around, once taking it across the US, and down to South America. Even that experience isn’t enough to pull me back.

Warts, and all, I just enjoy flying in MSFS more. The flight models of the aircraft I currently fly are good enough, for want of a better term, and that seems to have been one of the last bastions of defence of the other sims, apart from working avionics! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I can forgive all that, as these issues will be resolved in the fullness of time, and what is there that works is enough to keep me engaged.


Phew, and Excellent!
Have you considered publishing in book form? Haha.



Haha! Exactly the same for me. I was hooked by the grass from start - considering those sparse spots we get in most addons of other sims. :smiley:

And no matter what some people say - procedural generation can never match the authenticity of a real world satellite image.


I like the way this thread is going.
And yes and at last, stock, vanilla, default, out of the box [enough with the tautology]
DECENT grass.
I have waited for years for this and many of the other features of goodness we now have.


Really one of the best posts I have read on this forum. Spoken from the heart and the head. Worth reading and I think the majority will agree with what you have said. Thank you very much for your contribution.


What a great post!!!

I just want to say that, while MSFS still are not in the degree that we want, the ‘other’ sim can be close in terms of visual, using orthos and reshade. I fly there most of the time, but keep going back to MSFS just to check out if I can finish a fly of two hours without CTD or freezing.

I know, in one year or two they will be there, lets hope, but I’m gonna support the ‘other’ sim to the end, because they are in flight sim so many years and the sim evolved so great and with a fantastic communit. I choose both sims to keep!


Edit; Sincerery, grass is the last thing I thought when flying, as a matter of fact, I never paid attention to grass nor in this sim nor the “other”, to much busy with aircraft and flying… but who am I to disagree…


This is one of the best posts I’ve ever seen, and exactly my feeling. Based on what we’ve seen from the devs, most issues will be fixed by February. Some people probably would have preferred the sim be delayed until then, but I disagree. I prefer a VFR-only sim now and IFR fixed progressively over the next months, then waiting to release “both” in February.

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What an incredible heart felt post - really the best post on this forum bar none.


Thank you sir! You have hit the nail on the head. Great read and fully agree with you. Enjoy your trip and be safe.

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Excellent, all it will get better, and we all hope it does. Problem with us “computer raised and geeks” we want it yesterday, which is not possible. Like I mentioned in another post, suspect maybe 20 billion lines of code, all produced by different teams, and it all has to work together. Massive task.

In the humble words of Gretta: HOW DARE YOU :sweat_smile:
But this is truly one of the , if not THE best ( long) reads I’ve ever seen here.
I agree with your entire post completely.
Yes, it’s an amazing peace of art MS/Asobo have designed in terms of eye candy and possibilties and no, it’s not completed yet.
So be it…
I’m sure that the current bugs and such will be solved over time. No doubt.
Simply yelling that a specific plane is ‘completely un-flyable’ leads to nowhere most of the time.
I can understand the frustration of flying a plane that’s not doing what one expects but my personal experience dictates that it’s mostly caused by myself.
Trimming the elevator full- down before take-off for example…
Try that in a sim and you can restart the session. Do it in a real plane and you will get on ‘air crash investigation’
Again: I appreciate you contribution and wishdom :call_me_hand:


I never thought someone could echo my feelings about flight as this post did. I don’t have nearly the hours or experience of this gentleman, but my love of FS2020 and what is possible in general, and the awe inspiring love of flight in particular matches his eloquent words of wisdom better than I could have ever responded to.

Sir, my hat is off to you for showing the rest of us what the love of flight and flight simming is all about. My hope is that a few will take your post to heart and realize that the end result (whenever it comes) will be a rewarding and stimulating experience. May all your dreams and wishes come true!


Roughapproach I agree with everything you wrote. Thanks for putting what I’ve been thinking and feeling into words!

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I disagree with all of it, except the content :wink:

Seriously a great read and great to see such positivity , I tried to also convey how much I love it as well in a post but couldn’t do it as eloquently as you have.

From flying around the Yorkshire Dales in a Cessna to touring Europe in an A320, I absolutely love it.


Hi. your comment is really impressive and very positive, happy flights. Cheers

Ah! Blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth… but they will still all be a bit annoyed that they didn’t inherit it sooner… which they could have… if it had been done more efficiently in the first place. :roll_eyes: As far as I’m concerned, possessing the ability to be able to code anything at all, even the most basic things is tantamount to sorcery. I cannot even begin to conceive the scale and complexity of a task like this. Pretty impressive.

:joy: Brilliant!

A post was split to a new topic: Why I love the struggle with this sim (written after release) OlafP88

Hi. It was a joke friend, your comment is really impressive and very positive, happy flights. Cheers