Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 - Out now on PC
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  • https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-07-13-microsoft-flight-simulator-launches-august-2020-on-pc
    UPDATE: Microsoft has clarified how the airports in the various editions of Microsoft Flight Simulator will work, after a request from Eurogamer.

    Standard edition players will be able to fly from all the airports in the game, but there are "hand crafted" elements that will improve the experience from those airports included in the different editions. So, the premium edition Heathrow, for example, will be better than the Heathrow in the standard and deluxe editions. But that does mean standard edition users will indeed be able to fly from Heathrow, as well as all UK airports.

    Here's the statement from a Microsoft spokesperson:

    "Microsoft Flight Simulator includes nearly every airport around that globe that is represented in Bing Maps, which is roughly 37,000. However, of those 37,000 airports, we have specifically hand-crafted 40 of them (depending on the edition - 30 for Standard Edition, 35 for Deluxe Edition, 40 for Premium Deluxe Edition) for the most realistic and immersive simulation experience."
    I've asked what the difference is between, for example, standard edition Heathrow and premium edition Heathrow.
    It's looking pretty spectacular, hopefully it all runs and plays smoothly because I could right do with a nice chilled flight sim to woosh about in.

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    This is a very handy guide on optimising your settings for the best quality/performance - https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/how-to-graphics-settings-and-performance-guide-8-18-2020/132407
     

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  • regmcfly
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    It sure looks amazing and for my Game Pass I'll tootle around on PC.

    I want to know *what* the "hand crafted" elements are that make one version of Heathrow and 4 other airports £60 better than the base game.
  • Standard Heathrow looks like this...
    ZuYIUQ7.jpg
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • regmcfly
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    Plenty of room to land. Terminal 3 is 19 miles thattaway
  • That video I put there is a guy breaking down of all the little details and things from the trailer, if you go to 19:55 you can see how the space under things like bridges isn't open, basically the sort of artifact you see in something like Google Earth when looking at the 3D view of cities. I don't know the techical specifics but I believe it's because of how the ground is scanned from the air, that generates 3D data which is being used here to make a representation of buildings and objects without actually manually 3D modelling everything. It's nice that they aren't hiding the rough edges, and even some of the blurry textures in the middle of nowhere look plenty good enough for some immersive flights.

    The premium stuff will be manually modelled and edited stuff, probably more animations for cars and other vehicles too I assume. It will be for those who want to make really realistic flight videos, and have those airports look really lifelike I guess. If you aren't into that and just want to fly about it probably won't make much difference.

    It's going to be an amazing game for finding places and taking screenshots I reckon.
  • Oof just noticed it's 150 gigabytes.
  • ...and that's just Heathrow.
    Come with g if you want to live...
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    Phew, just the 150GB
  • Heathrow expansions, always controversial.


  • Basically it looks to be the best flight sim ever, in terms of accesibility and realism. The combination of the weather system and flight physics looks really engaging.

    An additional system requirement seems to be internet bandwidth, 5/20/50 Mbps for the min/Recommended/Ideal specs. I guess because it's getting all the world data from the internet, Bing maps apparently. Power of the cloud indeed. This might mean longer loading times for jumping into an area if your internet is a bit pants, or more stuff visibly popping in as you fly along.

    There's an option for real world weather, and there's even real world air traffic data, so in theory you could virtually fly alongside a relative who's making a plane journey.

    Some real care has been taken to record and implement sounds properly, apparently something that has not been a strong focus for most existing flight sims. I'm all about good sound, so this is a big deal for me.
  • Cross platform multiplayer between Xbox and PC seems to be in, so it'll be fun to pootle about the skies in a badger squadron. I think it would be great to do little tours of people's local areas, the detail looks to be good enough to be able to point out houses, local pubs, hills and trails and whatever your favourite places are. Flying along listening to stories and anecdotes about other places would be really nice I think, especially in these locked down and isolated times.
  • So this makes more sense to me now as to why you're paying more for some airports, as it sounds like most are generated pulling data from Bing, and the ones specificaslly mentioned have ben specifically created by hand. 

    I guess we'll see how much I play this before dropping any money on it, but as I'll be playing on Gamepass I'm much more likely to pay for the expansions.
  • The general vibe from seasoned simmers about the pricing seems to be pretty positive. Things like the weather, specific locales, even trees are typically additional paid addons in other games, so relative to those this seems like great value considering it features the entire world rendered pretty convincingly.
  • The physics as shown in the video above sounds dang impressive
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    The general vibe from seasoned simmers about the pricing seems to be pretty positive. Things like the weather, specific locales, even trees are typically additional paid addons in other games, so relative to those this seems like great value considering it features the entire world rendered pretty convincingly.

    Flight simmers have also been waiting for 14 years for another one of these so I can imagine they may be positive about any pricing to get it airborne again.
  • Relative to other sims it's honestly not that bad, take a look at the 271 pieces of DLC for Flight Simulator X for example, just detailed Northern England scenery costs 25 quid.

    X-Plane 11 has £1696.92 worth of add-ons available. The impressions I'm seeing are that much of the base content for MSFS 2020 surpasses stuff you would typically pay money for as DLC or 3rd party add-ons in other sims. I think the way they're using aerial photography/photogrammetry and other pre-existing data for weather, and the clever procedural AI techiques to stitch it all together and generate stuff has automated much of the work necessary to recreate the entire planet, meaning they can offer a lot more for the money than was done previously.

    The deluxe editions kind of seem mainly like fistbumps to the developers, with some extra goodies for enthusiast simmers.
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    Oh I know that these games, like the train ones, can be riddled with micros. I do suspect MS will add those in addition to the price of the game as they design more and more bespoke airports etc.

    Sorry, this completely looks like I'm shitting on it. I'm really keen to play it, and back in 2000 bought a flight stick for Flight Sim. It's just that pricing that I can't get my head around - which of course doesn't affect me because I'll be playing it on Gamepass....
  • No you're right that they'll probably start the gouge at some point, the base game though seems to offer quite a lot and hopefully any extras are priced reasonably.
  • regmcfly
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    I'm just gonna look to fly over some cool places. Landing is optional.
  • Yeah exploration will be ace. Looking forward to landing at my local runway too. Not sure how good the terrain quality will be down here though.
  • regmcfly
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    What would be your top 3 flights?

    I want to do -


    Utah red rock (where I lived)
    New York (see how they do it)
    Venezuela angel falls
  • I'd quite like to try and find some places that I've been to before, but haven't seen in a long time. There's somewhere in Derbyshire/Peak District that I'd like to see from the air.

    Somewhere in the midlands
    Japan - Mount Fuji and Hokkaido
    Maybe the Okavango Delta, or other weird and wonderful places with fascinating river patterns.
  • I'm curious to see how effective the coverage of high detail is. I expect there will be areas that are a bit janky and low res, that's fine though really and all part of the fun.
  • Manchester-Blackpool (local innit)
    Some Arctic Circle flights (because that's gotta be some cool views
    New York (for same reasons as you)
  • One of those weird eastern European cities designed by dictators would be cool too, fun to just explore different conceptions of what makes a good city layout.
  • if i play this it will be to take the biggest and/or fastest plane, take off, try to do a loop and then try to land it....
    no doubt I'll crash and never play it again.
    "Like i said, context is missing."
    http://ssgg.uk
  • Update: I incorrectly read the release on the 18th as being for both PC and Xbox, seems like the Xbox version will land later, probably by the end of the year to coincide with Series X...
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    if i play this it will be to take the biggest and/or fastest plane, take off, try to do a loop and then try to land it....
    no doubt I'll crash and never play it again.

    I see you have played flight sim before.
  • The fluid turbulent airflow simulation and decent surface detail should make mountain valley swooping particularly entertaining.
  • regmcfly
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    I'm curious to see how effective the coverage of high detail is. I expect there will be areas that are a bit janky and low res, that's fine though really and all part of the fun.


    I'm expecting Glasgow to be like one of those Gran Turismo 2 cars in GT6
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