The Flight Simulator team continues to provide regular and honest feedback about what is going on behind the scenes. We have seen MSFS continuing to get updates and improvements, often based on user feedback, with the goal of creating the ultimate flight simulation platform. A few days ago we got another live session from the developers, once again letting us know what they are working on for the near future. These are the best tidbits from that stream, which you can see in full below.
We’ll start with the announcement that the next Sim Update, which will be the sixth since the release of MSFS last year, will arrive to all users this month, October 19th. As usual, this update will be focused on the implementation of base platform improvements, but it seems to target LOD issues with special attention. The team revealed that trees will be rendered further out, and city night lighting should be more detailed when seen from high altitudes. The slider for Terrain Level of Detail will allow this setting to go up to 400, effectively doubling its value from the current 200. While this will certainly be taxing on the hardware, it will enable those with high-spec machines to push their hardware to the limits.
Furthermore, Sim Update 6 will also bring some new effects, such as ground effect and wake turbulence, and these are expected to improve with time. Working Title also continues to work to improve several functions of the simulator. Sim Update 6 will see a new flight planning system created by the WT team, and they are also working on continuous improvements to the G1000 NXi and CJ4, expected to be out later this year. The Boeing 747, 787, and the G3000 will also be updated in the future.
Something that the community has continuously asked for is for the weather system to be opened to third-party developers. It’s something that has been left on the table since the subject was introduced, but the MSFS team now seems at least open to discussing the idea. This, however, raises licensing concerns for the platform, so don’t expect a great many things to come out on that front. However, the current live weather system will be improved by Meteoblue, in order to make it more realistic and closer to real-world weather conditions. Bigger updates are expected to come next year or even in 2023.
Additional tidbits from the session are related to numerous changes across the board. These include the arrival of DirectX 12 later this year, significant VR improvements in the next Sim Updates, support for multiple screens in 2022, and glider support also coming with a new development partner. Also, expect a forthcoming Sim Update during 2023 to focus exclusively on fixing old problems, rather than introducing new features and changes.
One thing that was brought to our attention (thanks Murph!) is an issue that has been affecting some users, with aircraft disappearing for no apparent reason. While at first it was thought to be the usual ghosting effect that happens when getting closer to another aircraft, it has since been acknowledged by the development team, who is now finally investigating the issue. If you’ve been experiencing this problem, rest assured that it will probably be fixed soon.
One final note about another community request, the Scenery Gateway System. Unfortunately, it’s now been put on hold, as the MSFS team is looking for a new developer to implement this.
The whole stream is once again filled with great bits of information, and it’s actually quite entertaining to watch, so do check it out!