Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Accelerate or Decelerate? Get the addon or not?...

So here's my rundown of Acceleration after a week's hard use. For anyone who's on the fence about it, read on, I'm going to give you a comprehensive list of the plusses and minuses.

Accelerated (the good stuff):

-DX9 Performance is definitely up. New autogen batching etc worked well.

-The F-18 is great overall. The hud kicks ass, sooo nice.

-The P-51 is there. That's all. I don't like em.

-The EH-101 is there. See above.

-The water rendering options are waaaay better. Low 2.x is just water. Mid 2.x is reflected clouds only (yay), High 2.x reflects clouds and terrain but not autogen (yay!), and Max 2.x reflects everything. That's how it should have been set up from the start.

-Multiplayer Fixes, LOTS OF EM. Canopy/exit animations now show correctly in multi, as do airbrakes and tailhooks. Awesome. Been waiting for that for six years. Landing gears no longer get out of sync when someone appears to pass through terrain. Wicked.

-Multiplayer lobby screens no longer jump around like a jack russell terrier. You can actually select a game or add people to your contact lists without feeling like you're playing whack-a-mole. Nice one.

-The Missions are great, assuming you can get the EH-101 which is used for most of them to behave like an actual helicopter (see below).

-Smoke effects no longer detach from your aircraft at low altitude.

Decelerated (the not so good stuff):

-DX10 is a disaster for most people, myself included. Could be FSX, could be drivers, could be Vista, could be all of the above. Whatever it is, help is needed urgently.

-Flashing clouds. It doesn't happen often but clouds aren't as stable anymore on quick track-ir movements.

-Landclass issues. I've seen fields of crops on the PEAKS of the alps, not in the valleys. This is with default landclass data, so either Sp2 models some extremely ambitious farmers or something's seriously porked there.

-Sloping water/rocks bug is back. They fixed this in Sp1, but the 'Thames river bug' is back in Sp2. That's going to put a small dent in my Iceland vector project.

-Vsync is no longer available through the fsx.cfg. It can be forced in the driver in DX9, is totally hosed in DX10. That's a DX10 showstopper for me right there. No Vsync no play.

-All sorts of texture problems, even on correctly compiled pure FSX aircraft. Most of these can and will be fixed, either by users or developers. I'll fix the ones I care about.

-Light effects on the external models can cause all sorts of weirdness texture wise in the VC. On my SR-71 the afterburner lights turn my artificial horizon into a mirror...umm... Haven't even begun to figure this out yet.

-The EH-101 flight model... is.... crap! To be remotely flyable it has to be run on lowest realism settings. It wanders, the engine surge, hovering is hopeless. Keep an eye on the guys at Hovercontrol, my bet is they'll fix it before the developer can.

-F-18 Afterburner effect is a cartoon in motion. I can and will fix that. The rear landing gear is ridiculously high and out of proportion to the chord line of the aircraft. Again I think I can fix that. Just what photo were they working from I'd love to know.

-The P-51 sometimes catches fire in multiplayer for no reason, even with engine damage disabled. It also has some sound issues when two of them are in a session.

-SP2 multi is not backwards compatible with SP1 multi. Doesn't bother me, but the lobbies are looking a bit like a ghost town at the moment, we'll see how it goes.

That's it for now. Overall I like it... I think. ;)


James said...

Great write up! I think I will grab a copy when they release it here and give'er a try. It's not like its $50 or anything so no worries if I don't like it.

Haedu said...

Hi Mike
I concure with all you observations. I can't understand how they could have porked the F-18 visual model so badly ( the landing gear are not right ).

I also concure with you on vista. While I like some of the features, I find it frustrating that I don't have drivers and software for something as simple as my saitek setup! this really frustrating. Regardless, I had already decided on a dual boot system because most of my analysis software that I use for work will not run in vista, even in compatibility mode. Perhaps the future is with Vista...but I'll wait :-)

Paul said...

Hey, Paul from USEC here. I am working on the EH-101, what a disastrous flight model, eh!

Lotus said...

Hey Paul, nice to meet you mate. Been talking to Dean in your group quite a bit lately. I hear you on the eh101, it's like flying an out of control wrecking ball haha. Been working on my own fixes for it as well, starting to make some progress. It's worth saving, an otherwise pretty cool chopper actually.

Paul said...

It is worth saving, the sound, the cockpit, the actual aircraft is a beauty. It's just that it seems someone overlooked the .air file!

I spoke to Dean last night and he mentioned talking to you. I know you from youtube, my name there is tutmeister. I make mainly crummy tutorial videos for our members!

Your up early, or staying up late aren't you btw! what is it, 3 am?

Lotus said...

Hey Paul, yeah I remember your name from youtube now. Anyway as I understand it the developer didn't have time to finish the flight dynamics. I have a hunch that corporate came in one day and just said 'ship it'. ;) Worked in games for many years and I've been there too many times to count, so I feel for ACES on that front. They really have a tough and thankless job sometimes. And yeah, I'm busted, it's 3am. I guess the title on my blog is accurate after all, hehe. I'll sleep when I'm dead... and well, I'm dead, off to bed! :)