I think the title hardly does my point justice. I know a topic like this is rife with technical limitations and factors well beyond my or the developers control, but hear me out on this one for all its worth. I would also like to address my placement of this topic in #general, I felt that this was better than #features because we know clouds are in development, and I want to have a discussion about what clouds will/can be not whether they will be in the sim.
Anyway now that that’s out of the way, we know clouds are in the works, perhaps the most anticipated feature in recent memory, and certainly one of them most requested. I’m very happy that clouds are coming, don’t mistake me for that, but I want to bring up what I feel should be an important part of their development that we haven’t heard anything about.
Will we be seeing other changes to the weather model that clouds will tie into, or will the just be useless eye candy? Short of a windsock clouds are probably your single best visual clue into what the weather is going to be in front of you. Whether that’s a puffy cumulus to indicate a thermal to help your glider get some altitude, or a lenticular cloud indicating rotary turbulence or a great lift depending on how you approach. Will clouds just be a the weather says it should be here so drop some in? Or will they be generated and affected by the game’s weather model?
I totally understand that without major changes that may very well not be possible modeling all the clouds and their atmospheric effects is impossible. But I would like to make sure that either those changes or some half way mark are in progress and or planned, or at the very least the tools we have in the simulator now will be used to make these clouds feel real. Currently we have relatively rudimentary things like wind direction turbulence amount, etc, and if implemented correctly, especially if thermal activity could be added it would definitely be possible to get a reasonably crude but effective feeling on the clouds. If it is implemented, and whatever changes your planning on making or not making, I really do hope that clouds actually impact the flight and are not little more than eye candy. Perhaps this is a factor in starting with Cirrus clouds a non precipitous cloud that has very little if not no impact on passing planes.
Thanks for anyone who has made it to the end, but I just want to make sure this doesn’t go unheard since I haven’t heard anything about this in the all be it small amount of news about clouds we’ve gotten, and a lot of the excitement here in the community has been about the looks, so I just wanted to get this side out there. Clouds could certainly be the single biggest change to how we fly in the simulator in a long time, but if you can pass through a cumulonimbus cloud with no punishment they will become little more than a party trick for the simulator with no real impact. We’ve seen this before Aerofly FS2020 mobile where they added clouds, but best I can tell they have no real impact on the placement of the thermals, or perhaps I should say the location of thermals has no impact on them, nor do they generate any turbulence or take any effect from the rest of the weather in the game. That combined with there very short draw distance makes them if anything annoying imo. I really hope Infinite Flight doesn’t go this route of visually appealing simulation wise useless.
I have a sneaking suspicion a lot of users are going to pile on with you’ll see when they come, and this should be closed. I would ask that you refrain from commenting that, especially repeating it several times, and wait for the moderators to come along. Perhaps this is destined for the grave yard, but let’s not kill it before it’s dead. Any comments on this are appreciated though.