B727-200
Topic Author
Posts: 1008
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 1999 11:28 am

From FS2K2 To FS2K4 - What Is Your Assessment?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:43 pm


G'day all,

Now that FS2K4 has been on a good number of our PC's for a while now, I was wondering what the general concensus is? I am looking for balanced, well weighted and constructive comments regarding MS's latest offering to us av-junkies.

The suggested sections are:

POSSITIVES
Nice touches, good progression from the previous version, or just the WOW factor.

NEGATIVES
Could have done more, regressed from previous version, or just poorly conceived/executed ideas.

GOING FORWARD
Taking into account advances in technology and teething of various features, what would you like to see improved or included in FS2K6.

SUMMARY
Snapshot of general thoughts (and rating out of 10 if you wish).

Here is my assessment:

POSSITIVES

It is nice to now fly around my country's airports and have mountains and hills to dodge (I live in Australia). The previous version had a very flat, poor representation of a number of countries, which I am pleased to see improved dramatically. Add to this the improved textures and I think MS have done really well here (particularly those magnificent sunsets).

Improved flight dynamics are really good on this version, particularly combined with the new weather generator. Turbulance now bounces the aircraft around instead of "swinging" it back and forth, which I feel is a great improvement on FS2K2. I don't think I need to say anything more about the visual improvements also put into the weather.

Finally, some of the improvements made to the ATC have been welcomed, particularly when combined with the new GPS. Although, I think you need to be an acrobatic pilot to fly some of those approaches. Attached to the ATC appears to be some smarter AI traffic, who thankfully clear the runway a little faster than in FS2K2.

NEGATIVES

One thing that really disappointed me in this release was the half complete job MS did on improving airports. For example, the new detailed YSSY (Sydney International) is totally out of scale (still) and has only one heavy parking spot? Why go through the effort of making an airport visually attractive and totally disregarding the technical side?? I know it is a lot of work, but why not at least include a tool so we can edit it ourselves?

Despite the great improvement to the weather, there are two things that have annoyed me on this version. The first is that most airports I land at seem to have low-visibility (I mentioned this in a previous email). The other is the shadows still cast during 100% cloud cover(?). Also, even on the lowest setting the dynamic weather changes too quickly, and there are always clouds being generated in this mode (not always the case in real world).

GOING FORWARD

A couple of things going forward would be nice to see:

- Clouds cast shadows (eliminate aircraft/building shadows in overcast conditions)
- Water spray from wet runways
- In-built tool to edit gates
- Wake turbulance / departure and arrival separation rules for heavy aircraft
- Position and hold after another aircraft has landed
- Speed adjustment on ATC voices so you can speed them up as you get more experienced (and not miss landing clearance because you cannot get a word in).

SUMMARY

In summary, I am pretty pleased with my purchase of FS2K4, as it offers enough improvement from FS2K2 to feel like a progression. Out of 10 I would give it a 7, purely because I think they missed a couple of really obvious things.


Rgds,
B727-200.
 
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RE: From FS2K2 To FS2K4 - What Is Your Assessment?

Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:59 am

Hi B727-200, I'll try and just give a general summary of my personal viewpoints, mainly based on a matter of taste.

SUMMARY

FS2004 has removed the most 'annoying' things of flight out of FS2002. Those were expected since it was the first time serious ATC was established on this popular game. This feature, for the first time, enhanced flight realism instead of scenery realism (which, rather sadly, seems to be the main goal of MS). Air Traffic Control did improve noticeably, as many of us expected. It has the following good improvements:
  • FL change requests available in the air

  • IFR clearance requests available in the air

  • "Taxi into position and hold" command

  • VFR unavailability subject to weather

  • Re-filing destination airport in-flight

  • The availability of requesting published instrument approaches

  • Progressive taxi no longer being a radio communication (That really annoyed me!)

  • Intermediate climb altitude granted when receiving IFR clearance

  • Multiple runway usage


  • One of the things that I wish could be improved further, is aircraft realism. The aircraft seem to be exactly the same as those in FS2002, with some additions in the VR-cockpit view, and the ability to handle switches from the VR. However, as a simple example, starting up the aircraft is just a matter of turning the start switch and activating fuel flow. The pneumatic and hydraulic systems could be added. A basic overhead panel with simple pneumatic and hydraulic systems would be a good start. Suggestion:

    For pneumatics:
  • Starting with battery ON/OFF switch

  • An APU started with battery power (which would eat up fuel and provide pneumatic & electric power)

  • Possible Air conditioning switch ON/OFF (only works when APU is running)

  • Start valves only work when APU is running and supplying air


  • For hydraulics:
  • ON/OFF switches for the hydraulic systems, only work when there's electric power

  • If hydraulics are off the control surfaces won't work and there's no brake pressure


  • It's a simple first-step improvement to make the flight simulation experience more realistic.

    Finally, I would have liked to see additional improvements on the ground control at the airports. It was a very good thing to see taxiway and runway markings, reducing the need to ask for progressive taxi. However the pushback procedure could be further enhanced by including ground communications such as request for pushback, and a small standard chat with the ramp guys just asking for removing the Parking Brake, etc. Parking spots could be made more clear to the simmer so there's no need to activate the pink progressive-taxi line at all when parking.

    I do believe the FS2004 was beautiful. The scenery is just outstanding, and weather has improved a lot as well. I usually never complain about scenery because it seems OK to me. Again, it is a matter of taste and I would have preferred improvements on the actual Flight Simulation experience, which did very well with the ATC improvements.



    How many of you would opt for Fsim improvements rather than scenery? Just as a matter of survey. If you got all the way down to here, thanks for reading  Smile
    -Alfredo

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