I don't want this post to become a ramble, or a rant, but rather an honest and open expression of my feelings towards whether to upgrade to FS4 and I'm sure many of you will have gone through a similar process. I have made a tentative return to Aerofly FS2 after being away for a while, mainly because I saw that FS4 was available on Steam and I wanted to remind myself of why I was so captivated by the sim the first time around. To be honest, like most of you I'm sure, it was the super fast load times, the photo scenery and the smaller, friendlier community surrounding the product - a community that has produced and shared a lot of user created content.
After having installed some portions of IZ0JUB's incredible scenery for the UK, I felt inspired to look at creating some custom objects and cultivation of my own again, however, I have quickly run into the same frustrating issue that I had forgotten I had experienced before and what ultimately contributed to putting me off making any content last time. It's simply the omission of what used to be an 'exclude polygon' in FSX scenery development. The ability to easily remove or exclude an area of pre-generated cultivation with a simple exclusion file seems sorely lacking. I realise that ScenProc supports the use of KML's to exclude areas for airport development, but I'm just referring to something simple that can be created to override pre-generated cultivation files and not involve completely re-generating them just to add a small feature or two.
So... what I'm getting around to saying is that I am feeling reticent to pay full price for an upgrade to FS4 when it seems that very little has changed. I very much understand that it is still a product in development, but let's be honest, so was FS2 and it would seem that many of the features hoped for and expected to be developed for that version of the sim never materialised and now have become something only available in a full price upgrade.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm more than happy to support IPACS in their development of a fantastic flight simulator with my money, and this post is not supposed to be a whinge by any means, but I guess what I'm looking for the second time around is some reassurance that IPACS are actively working with and listening to their user community to improve the creation of user generated content to be the best it can be and fill their sim world with quality enhancements.
What tools and/or improvements have been, or are in the process of being developed for FS4 that enable easier creation of user content, especially with regard to refining and adding to existing user created content rather than creators just having to re-make someone else's work?
Constructive responses definitely appreciated