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  • #16
    Well, I guess I should check in. . . In the spirit of the thread's subject line, I'm here.
    (Long post to follow... TL;DR at the bottom.)

    As for flying, I'm still very happy with my Honeycomb setup. The desk space they both take up can be hard to manage at times, however. I often find myself debating whether to slide the yoke into its intended center position at the expense of not doing anything else on the computer until I decide to slide it back to the left edge of the desk. Thus, there are definitely times I don't fly when I could have/would have otherwise. I do still have the T.Flight HOTAS-X as a backup or when a stick is required, but frankly it doesn't get much use outside of Eliteangerous, and I face the same desk space utilization conundrum -- from left-to-right, the Honeycomb Alpha, the HOTAS-X, a small mousepad, and the Honeycomb Bravo, placed contiguously up-front, would use all of the desk space, and I'm too lazy to find a more versatile workaround. When not in use, the Honeycombs are slid to the extreme left/right of the desk making way for more productive hardware (keyboard/mouse) and the HOTAS-X gets pushed back to the monitor stand. I'll often find myself hopping into an impulse session without adjusting my productive hardware layout, so it's: yoke on the left of my desk, keyboard and mouse in the middle, and throttle quadrant on my right, and I'd fly like that -- with my left hand on the right stalk of the yoke, like driving from the passenger seat of a car. At least my rudder pedals stay in front of me at all times.

    I'm pretty happy with MSFS in general. In particular, I've been enjoying gliding, especially in VR (still using an Oculus Rift, whose audio has failed so the earpieces are removed). My complaints, though few, are with the built-in ATC & AI traffic.

    My flying is not frequent, and it's for only short periods when I do fly, unfortunately. I haven't done a fully planned IFR A-to-B flight without some form of time-acceleration or slewing in a while. Instead, I find myself going for the quick experiences... Hopping into the F-18 to find some unknowing player to form up on (also great fun in VR!), doing some patterns in a Cessna, sight-seeing (I've done countless circles around my home), a landing challenge or two, and maybe a no-ATC departure in something more commercial -- put it on autopilot during climb out -- and leave the room to handle other responsibilities -- then when I get back, just find the nearest suitable runway and book-it back down to Earth so I can turn off the accidental office space heater (my overclocked PC)... can you believe this Florida heat in November?!

    Outside of flying, I'm now an entrepreneur! I took ownership of the company that hired me back in 2012, and I have some big shoes to fill. It's a small business with only about 20 people, but we're a great team and looking to grow over the next few years.

    My wife recently moved into the office/computer room with me; she works from home now and we sit back to back facing opposing walls. Can't say I'm not jealous of the "work" computer I built for her -- my first white case with aRGB strips & fans everywhere. What Snow (her computer) gets in performance from a modern i5 computer blows me away compared to what I can eek out with Blackbox2, my i7 build from a couple of generations ago.

    If you're still reading, here are my thoughts, for what they're worth, on the latter posts of this thread:

    I think that fundamentally what gave us the impetus to band together in the first place was in-game communication. I miss that -- we miss that. Remember reading above where I mentioned a favorite thing to do was don the VR headset and jump into the F-18 to form up on an unknowing player?... I'd LOVE to be able to chat with that player in-game. You may recall my stance on "recruiting"... I still shudder at the word because I can't imagine that being any fun. But, I'm sure I could get that player, on whose wing I stayed for 30 minutes, to visit here/on discord in less than the time it takes for you to say "Rotate," if that were an option in-game, during the experience. That's not recruiting, to me; that's just sharing a moment and realizing how much fun it would be to share more of those moments. That's how it worked. still has all the right things in the right places to be a haven for sharing those experiences; nothing's wrong with what we've got. I'm actually grateful, silently appreciative, and frankly pleasantly surprised by the fact that we still have what we have (the website, discord, group flights, those of you who remain active -- I understandingly exclude counting myself in that group, and I say 'we' with the same understanding).

    (Side note, remember that Microsoft Flight! allowed open-channel voice comms? OMG were they nuts?! lol... but it worked!)

    Travis, I get your frustration, and even share it, believe it or not. To your question in post #14, as I mentioned in the above, we are where we are, in my opinion, as a result of the lost ability to communicate in-game. I agree, we have the foundation. To your point about de-staffification, I wonder, does it matter? To me, no. While I still take pride in looking back and knowing I was part of this community to the extent that it in return granted me privileges and responsibilities greater than many others, It's not those privileges and responsibilities that fulfilled me, it was the ride, which I was along for alongside everyone else. It wasn't at all the orange circle next to my name on TeamSpeak or the moderator access on the forum that brought me here. It was coincidence. When Flight! came out and this community budded, I was an out-of-work single guy with lots of time on my hands. I enjoyed being that guy, but that's not me anymore. If, with my change in direction, so too go any rank I may have obtained or been bestowed in the community, either real or perceived, I get it. But I do still doubt whether that act gets anywhere closer to the objective of a more fuller community. I love your ambition to meet that objective, though.

    TL;DR- Hi! I'm here, not flying like I used to (obviously). Sucks that the community has fewer active members; not sure what to do about that, though.

    P.S.- Last time I was flying a real plane was a year and a half ago for my 40th birthday. I got to do the whole "flying circles around my home" for real! No progress towards the goal of a certificate has otherwise been made. You could say I'm still saving my money while spending my time; those two lines will cross, someday.
    Take the time, a second to soar; for soon after, beckons a second more.


    • #17
      There is a lot to ingest here, so just going to tackle this mostly paragraph by paragraph.

      The previous post, no, because I have not made a decision onto what is the exact right path to take, but I think I know now.

      I set up my sim stuff(at least on my desktop) for easy removal. So everything is mounted to one piece of wood.If I wanted to removed it from my desk(not including rudder pedals) It would take 2-4 minutes and I can throw it in the closet. I highly suggest anyone that can make there setup modular, especially if they are not using it weekly/daily, but still feel the need to use it.

      Glad you are happy with the new updates, haven't had the opportunity, etc to upgrade to VR yet. I know I can push into it, but I want to do it right for myself, and that first starts with a GPU upgrade, both in general and VR as a bonus.

      No one that flys in our community expects frequent flying. The problem is, no one shows up except the daily/weekly people that are always there. You can count on a few morning people. a couple afternoon people, daily, then sometimes half a handful of night people, and the 99% guaranteed group flight that happens weekly. David( OZ Flyer) still checks in with us on a minimum monthly basis. He might not be able to fly, but he chats with us for 15 min or more and carries on what he has to do. I have not talked to most of the staff here in at least a year or years. So maybe it is time for change? Change might not make things better, but I am not sure what can make things worse than the few keeping things "going" with everyone doing their thing(which is fine).
      Also the DCS channel has been fairly consistent too.
      Oh, yeah the typical FL heat has not been too bad. Almost exactly normal, sometimes I can keep the windows open, and just decided today from the rain and such to close up and let the A/C take care of the humidity. It hasn't been over 80 too much, so I can't complain.

      Congrats on the big undertaking, anyone running a business has bigger shoes to fill than they usually expect. 10+ jobs in one.

      Yeah, computing is still moving fast. I still don't care for RGB except for on my keyboard. I want at least a backlit/shine through keyboard so I can see the keys in the dark easy. It makes it easier when I lose my home keys or take my hands away when the lights are dim or off.

      Your experiences with MS Flight is something I can not relate to, as all or most staff(in the past at least) know, I came afterwords, but I do not believe originality is always needed, but definitely appreciated, because the community clearly started with like mindedness. This fact proved very fruitful for a decade or so including many people finding us without ever joining full comms, But were still there like the infamous 4D,

      Yeah I care about the community,
      As for de-staffication, if that is what we want to call it, if it doesn't matter, then people shouldn't care. I wouldn't suggest these rules to be unrealistic, but it could be the start to a new productive community. Right now, no one is doing anything. And there ins no motivation. Why try to move things forward when most of the people "responsible(loosely)" are not around? My opinion is try, because I still fly here. And new faces are not always bad faces. I am not going to advertise to masses, but mostly group flights etc. But I honestly can't say I support what is happening, or not happening here over all...

      I do enjoy flying with my friends that stayed, and the weekly group flight in my time zone.
      I just wish the one person that made a group flight series for the last 7 or so/more years wasn't the only one hosting them, with the almost guaranteed 4 people there flying them.
      The originality of the post was more so to encourage people to come around or see what the reasons were that they didn't with the new sim, as the initial flights after release were good, then quickly quiet.

      You might be right, this might not go anywhere, and I am happy to see if that is the case, even if it stir's up some bees, but at least maybe the sleeping bees might wake up.

      Someone even recently mentioned, there barely a need for our website, and I can't disagree at this stage. So on this final line, I am calling for a staff meeting on the second week of January. This gives people time to decide what they feel is or isn't important for them or the remaining community. And we can maybe agree on things from there. There are lot's of good people still here, and I feel our Discord should never be shut down, but there are other aspects to be discussed.

      And a big thank you for taking your time to give your honest feedback and personal story. It is highly respected.


      • #18
        I can only speak for myself but the main reason I don't really come around anymore is because the people that I enjoyed flying with don't come around anymore, either. Not to say that I dislike anyone in the group, but we all have our favourites, there have always been friend groups within the larger group and most of the people that I knew and flew with from 2012 to 2015ish aren't here anymore for one reason or the other. Some of them came back when MSFS launched but you know, people moved on, people got older, they got busy, they had kids.

        I left the Discord some time ago because it was basically inactive or people were posting off topic nonsense. I don't post on these forums anymore, I post on sim-outhouse because it's more active. I didn't see the point in sharing screenshots or updates on third parties or the patch notes to the latest Sim Update or whatever else I usually post because I didn't think there was a point if no one was reading it.

        As far as being "staff" goes, I still don't really know why I was given a staff role on Discord again, I didn't really want it and I told Kalo and Bob that when they gave it to me. For almost as long as I can remember the staff roles were almost always meaningless anyways and was basically just a role given to anyone who had stuck around for longer than a few years. As Wingman said, whether I was "staff" or not didn't really matter, I came here for the community and now that community is gone. Forcing people to take part in the community by dangling their "staff" privileges in front of them seems like it will have the opposite effect that you intend it to have. I know nothing gets me more motivated then a thinly veiled threat about something that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. People joined this community because it was welcoming and filled with warm and fun and interesting people to be around, not because they felt obligated to. You can't force a sense of community and belonging.

        Steam Group:
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        • #19
          A special thanks to Travis and all the people he mentioned for keeping our community alive the past few years. I apologize for not being around lately....personal life and work have gotten in the way so I have not been in the mood to fly in my free time lately. I do plan on hosting or attending flights again sometime soon™...hopefully in a few weeks.

          As Wingman and Ak pointed out we started/grew from casual flights that spawned a sense of community. I wouldn’t say the staff roles were meaningless, they were given as a tool to ban trolls on Teamspeak/forum...but somehow that/we evolved into an “administrative state” over the years, especially after Microsoft Flight got pulled.

          I would never want anyone to feel like they have a duty/chore to come to a group flight. I’m not sure if it would make much difference to remove inactive staff (I’m open to the idea), but it probably wouldn’t hurt to review the list at least and maybe trim it down. My thinking is it does not hurt leaving them be just in case they ever show up on Discord...I would still trust them to ban trolls.

          Originally posted by Wingman View Post
          I think that fundamentally what gave us the impetus to band together in the first place was in-game communication.
          I agree 100%, the only reason we formed as a group is because the wonderful Games for Windows Live had a feature to message people you recently have played with. Each week I sent out a message to my recently played list telling them about my next group flight...then as Wingman pointed out people could voice chat during those flights. The in game voice comms worked but were not ideal so we moved to Teamspeak.

          The community grew because of the good people that showed up and the weekly messages I sent out. How do we grow without repulsing Wingman by recruiting? (lol, I don’t like the thought of it either) The flight simulator website actually has a community events calendar we can post group flights to (I wont say we gave them the idea). It’s pretty active and people actually show up if you post an event. I’ve been meaning to ask Lazer if he would want to post his flights on that calendar with a link to our Discord..or I would be more than happy to post them for him. If we consistently post our flights on that calendar I know the community would grow’s a link to it:

          p.s. congrats on the business Wingman!


          • #20
            Go get your voices heard on the chat in game subject. It looks like it is gaining momentum! Vote if you want it.


            • #21
              Just stopping in to say hi! I'm still around, just don't do much multiplayer gaming anymore. I miss the group flights and the memories I have from doing flights. I've had some great times flying with you all when I didn't really have anyone to hang with! I still flight sim and go on a binge regularly. Life's been busy as I've now (finally) finished college and started a "real" gig as an avionics engineer at Cirrus. The past few years especially have been a lot of moving, working, studying, and meeting (way too many) new people.

              I see the group flight room fill up every Friday night and think: man, I really should pop in there of these days, I think I'll take action on that thought. Other than that, yeah, things haven't been as active recently. It seems like many of us have taken on some other hobbies, or life has just taken a new course.

              It's good to see Storm pop in this thread, too. Perhaps I'll see you all in the flight sim skies soon...


              • #22
                Space Taco, pop in whenever you want, even if it is not on voice comms or muted. If it is just for one leg, or just to say hi. No one is expecting full time commitment around here. It is nice to see friendly faces, even if not every week or month. If you find a Friday that is good for you where nothing is going on, jump in.

                It sounds like more flights will be happening soon. I might start a bi weekly flight night, and who knows, maybe some others might fill in like we have before for the other weeks(Coast in the past, maybe I can convince him to do it again soon).

                Thanks for touching base! And looking forward to hearing about your new career in avionics with Cirrus!


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