I upgraded from ASN to AS16 & ASCA not long after it was launched, coming from an ASN / Texture Direct 4 with Soft Clouds setup.
To be honest I’m not completely and utterly sold on the upgrade and the revised per-platform pricing, though I can appreciate why they’ve done it.
Is the weather depiction better than ASN? It’s really hard to say without doing a side by side comparison. Maybe it looks better, but I’m wary of wishful thinking applying here. They say it’s better, and after flying it a while I kinda think it’s better. I guess the test is that apart from the occasional popcorn and some cloud repetition, which was worse at launch I think, there’s nothing there that I look at and think “eh?”
There’s a much more prevalent overcast effect - basically where you cannot see anything. But personally, to my mind and based upon my experience, it’s overdone. I found myself dealing with this wall of nothing very very frequently and it appeared to run counter to the METARs in question. I’ve recently turned clouds in P3D down from max to high to counter the crippling effect of SGSS that I need to make P3D look good. So while reducing cloud density a notch triggers an AS16 warning about not getting the full effects, I think it actually looks better as I no longer have to deal with the overcast wall of nothing. But that’s just me.
The new wisp effect sometimes looks OK and other times looks, well, kinda contrived and forced. It also tends to go off at times that don’t totally make sense. It does seem to be a little better after the recent patches but again it’s hard to truly judge things.
The interface has been reworked, and while it’s clearer in places, the map display (ie the most important one) is in my mind actually harder to interpret and read. Something about the colours used.
ASCA is nice in that it varies the cloud texture set you’re seeing over longer flights, but the clouds themselves are arguably more prone to repetition and less refined than those of Texture Direct with Soft Clouds.
A lot of this is down to personal opinion, not forgetting that I simply won’t fly without Active Sky something running. Is ASN great? It sure is. By extension so is AS16, and is made better by having ASCA coupled with it. HiFi provide great support too. But is it worth the full upgrade price? Pondering that, I guess I’d have to say yes if that what it takes to keep HiFi in business turning out such great products, patches and quick P3D updates.
I’d be interested to hear other people’s opinions of AS16.
[EDIT:] PS - I believe some of these update notifications are actually behind the latest versions available from HiFi. Check there first, plus they have incremental updates so you don’t have to uninstall and reinstall the whole product.