Sim wars episode 86. The return of the return of the return.

January 26, 2018
nobody, apparently.

Written by Jessica Pearce

It is a time of great strife for the rebels. The Evil dark side of the sim has once again made a push for total supremacy. All that stands in their way are the few true resistance fighters. The true way was shown to all and now the final, final, final showdown is about to begin......

It’s a tale as old as time. The light and the darkness compete to destroy each other. It’s as old as time because the fight never ends. The sim wars are a constant battle it seems, but a pointless battle.

The truth is, the constant bickering of Sim A users verses Sim B users is a pain in the ass. It’s a pain in the ass because as soon as someone pops up to proclaim the truth, the ensuring argument drowns out all other discussions and discourse, and I’m sick of it.  I know people have opinions. That’s fine. But trouble begins when people believe their opinion is a fact. And facts are of course sacrosanct. Facts don’t lie, but opinions can change.

Ok , maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but having been around this hobby for along time, I’ve grown weary of seeing new users suddenly ‘popping up’ with their opinion that Sim A is better than Sim B, and that’s a fact. It’s the forum equivalent of running up to a policeman and punching him in the balls. A fight is going to break out, and it serves no purpose that to cause aggravation. Take this little snippet from today, taken from a sim B group.

“there are times when the arrogance of Sim A users gets my goat , they really have no idea of what they are missing by not using sim B, well it is their loss not ours!! Sim B is so much more realistic visually it just blows me away every time I fly with photoscenery. Yes it is not a finished product , yet, but what works , works well.”

Now this wonderful user could have just posted, ‘I love the way my sim handles this. It looks incredibly realistic to me. I’m very happy with my choice.’

Instead they start off with an insult to Sim A users based on, well based on nothing as far as I can see. He’s angry but I’m not sure why. It’s frantic dick waving for no other purpose that to wave that dick! And frankly. I’m not a fan of dicks on any form! It’s clear that the post above was written solely to punch the policeman in the nuts. It’s a sim B group, who cares what Sim A are doing? What followed was actually more impressive. The Sim B group proceeded to talk rationally though the comments, correcting the originals posters comments, and gently scolding him. It was for the most part very congenial. The same can’t always be said for other groups. More often than not, these arguments degenerate into more frantic dick waving, with each side claiming to have the biggest. Don’t think Sim A users are innocent. Some Sim A users are just as sure theirs is the one true sim. And don’t even talk about Sim C. They’re absolutely sure theirs is the best, even if it’s kinda new and only has a small following they know the truth damn it, now where’s our dick to wave.

Don't kick the cat!

For some users, like our friend above, they seem to have a need to not just confess their deep and undying love for their Sim of choice, but to denigrate the competition. I’ve always found this to be an odd comparison. You don’t need to kick the cat the prove you love the dog more! The worst offenders are the converts. Those users who use to use Sim A, but through an act of near religious vision, see the light and convert. Suddenly they just can’t hold back. ‘I can’t believe I wasted my time with ‘meh’ when ‘meh’ is so much better.’ They become the preachers of this new found religion and go forth to speed they’re unwanted opinion across the forums, leaving a trail of bitter arguments and frantic Dick waving in their wake. 

Perhaps even worse than the convert is the ex convert. These guys have seen the light before realising that the light was was a 10 watt bulb on a string. The return to their previous sim, repentant and extolling their story of how actually, sim ‘Meh’ isn’t better than the good old sim ‘Meh’ they had. These guys become lightning rods and beacons at the same time. For their old sim friends, they’re proof that their sim truly is superior, so commence the dick waving. For the cast aside sim, they serve as a constant thorn in their side, popping up in any discussion to declare ‘how they’ve used the sim, but in the end, Sim ‘Meh’ was better’. The result is, yup you guessed it, more dick waving.

Finally, my least favourite type of dick waver is the ‘swinger’. Swingers are real pains as they will pop up with 20 screenshots in a thread, declaring how beautiful they are and how Sim Meh just can’t compete with it.’ They’re usually well meaning guys,  yet they still feel the need to kick the cat. Two weeks later, up they pop with 20 more pics of another sim declaring how you can’t do this with sim Meh and kicking the cat once again. In two weeks it’ll change again. For these guys, it’s not about being right, it’s right now that matters. A sims superiority only exists in the time they’re flying it.

We are Superior because my cousins uncle......

Perceived superiority is a damn pain. Superiority can’t really be measured with a like for like examination. I’ve had the pleasure of flying a few PA28’s in real life. I’m familiar enough with how the aircraft flies to form an opinion on the sim version. I’ve flown a few across three sims and three different developers. Sim A and Sim B had the same model made by the same developer. The aircraft felt more like the real thing in Sim B. In sim C the same aircraft performed fairly well and was life like enough to feel good. However sim A had a top of the range PA28 and it, without a doubt was the most accurate. It sounded and flew exactly like the real thing, within the limits of the sim that is. I prefer sim B, but the aircraft that I felt came closest to the real thing was in Sim A. What does this mean. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The key words in all of that was ‘feel’ and ‘felt’. It’s not empirical evidence. All it shows is that it’s the quality of the data that’s used to create an addon that counts, not necessarily the sim itself.

When it comes to the sims themselves, what others see and superiority is often just a different way to achieve the same thing. Every sim is basically trying to do the same thing. Take for example ground textures. One sim layers all the data on top of each other, drawing each layer simultaneously as you fly over. Plus side, the different layers can be changed and modified, improved and recoded easily. Downside, all that data can slow down the rendering system, leaving scenery to load in a blotchy way. Another sim solves that by hard baking all the data onto tiles that load up ready to go. No ‘on the fly’ rendering required, textures stay crisp. Downside is you need a lot of memory to load in a number of tiles to keep you from seeing the edge, plus it’s not that easy to change the various bits of data (landclass, vector data, textures and so on). Neither system is perfect, or indeed superior, just different. So to claim to have found the perfect solution to a sim problem is disingenuously say the least.  

Put it away!

Through all of this frantic dick waving, many miss the point. It’s not about A,B or C. The important point is the word sim. We all share a love of flying, a love of simming. We should be happy that we all enjoy flying. The fact that we do in different sims matters not a jot. Next time you feel the need to wave that dick to the those bastards over on Sim B, or C, or A, try taking a deep breath and then go flying. Keep the dick in your pants.

Threshold encourages informed discussion and debate - though this can only happen if all commenters remain civil when voicing their opinions.