So I was going to reply very quickly, but held off until this point to see some of the replies. A few I'll address directly as leveling the full weight of the responses on the mass isn't fair, as they will be a little pointed, and then give my 2p on the overall picture.
@3WA- "And how do you know you won't need to be able to fly an aircraft one day?" And how do you know he hasn't? And there is a big difference in being able to do the whole sticking your hand up to say "Yes, I can fly a plane" in an emergency on a commercial flight (which I would say some of us could if there was no other person with any kind of skill onboard), and what @ceecrb1is meaning (or at least what I take from his meaning). And it feels like you are in that camp - the ones I call "The Russell Casse Crew". Those who are learning the absolute minutia on the off chance that President Bill Pullman gives a rousing speech, and you can put your hand up and say "Yes Mr Pullman, I can 100% cold start an F/A-18 if I can borrow one from the remaining units in the USMC that still fly them. Oh - you only have the Super Hornets on this air force base. Ummm.....ok...I'll take the AV-8...oh.....umm.......F-14....bugger"
@Mower- VR isn't that exactly unaccessable. The headsets aren't super expensive if you stay at the entry level. Sure we can't all afford Pimax, but your barbed comment here screams of sour grapes. Sure we aren't all running around on Pimax's, and if you start at the entry point, a machine that can run DCS, can run it in VR providing you have a half decent graphics card (2060 or above will do). And it's not "like a Ferrari running a little rough", in DCS it's more like "Why is this running on 3cyls, when 2 minutes ago, I had 12cyls? I have done nothing yet it's broken." I love flying in VR for the immersion, that snap your head round and see the plane closing behind you, the geniune horror as you are flying with friends, barrel roll around their helicopter to fly face first into another friend who was obscured by the intial helicopter with a scream followed by stunned silence and an apology. The moment where you are so immersed in VR that you are flying at night and flip you NVG goggles up, to then realise you are starting at your desk and computer becuse you naturally flipped the thing on your head like NVG's...except it was your VR headset. Or the simple joy of going on a flight about the map with those same friends in formation. But when so many other VR games run at 60 (or more) FPS as more demanding AAA titles, to have DCS decide that you are getting 20 because it's rendering EVERY SINGLE SQUARE RIVET on a carrier in every minutia of detail (including ones we can barely see) and 2 player F-14's, is jarring. In a game here most the supporters are all about the realism, we don't need the best rivet graphic, we need the gameplay, the immersion and the depth to warrant the expense we go to.
@NineLine- some fantastic selective hearing on display. Good example is that you recognise that a group got together to build their own little community, but then massively gloss over that this small community got so fed up of the constant minor bugs, that the server got powered down. And I'd wager that is the same for some of the other big public groups. Take Grim Reapers for example, their Stoneburner server used to be busy all the time, and now is noticeably quieter, with some old faces moving off, and fewer coming in. With other matters, you are (somewhat condescendingly I might add, which also is an overriding tone in your entire reply) asking "well submit a bug report". As @FalcoGermentions, the fact that the AI units somehow have DUGA OTH radar fitted that also can lock you up while stationary in a bunker, cold, through 2 mountain ranges, and from the far side of Proxima Centauri, is not a small bug, and to then say "well I'm sure you can reach out to get help from someone else", smacks of a corporate "not our problem" response. "new modules are the lifeblood of the game" - no, having players and modules that work are the lifeblood of the game. Without player having modules that they feel are worth buying, that are worth their hard earned money, then it will dry up. I was vocal about the Mosquito not being in the free trail, and now having tried it, I'm glad I got to try and decide not to buy it. Something as simple as how it's not possible (certainly as of when I tried it a week or so ago) to bind both engines to one axis to control throttle input - clearly the only people who matter are those with Winirpl Hogthruster with twin inputs are hallowed enough to fly this aircraft - meant it's an instant hard pass from me. We need the small things sorted, not to have a constant stream of "Look over here, Shiny" stuff. Things like pretty much every aircraft seems to have entirely different versions of the same modules (AIM-120 for example, and the examples raised by @FalcoGer, or the way that some aircraft can pull target and waypoint items on the fly from the F10 map, yet others just can't). Remember the immortal words of great Colin Chapman - "Simplify, then add lightness" - in this case, have the basic functions and items all sharing the same core code, not a different code for every damn item on every damn aircraft, because it means that you end up with different ways of doing things that vary massively between airframes in the game. Plus, bonus, it will make your lives as developers easier, and as players we get a more unified experience (heck, maybe even more FPS for those of us in our "Ferrari" headsets). Yes, it's a sim, but it is, at the end of the day a game. A game that is no fun, gets left behind. And more and more DCS is less fun.
In general, I have put a lot of time and money into the game, between hardware to run it, and the time to get to the point of familiarity with enough systems to let me whizz around and drop bombs, lob missles, and scream around the map. But having to deal with things like Jester being as much use as a shaved chimp, and struggling to lock the same MiG-29 who locked up my aircraft from the far edge of the Milky Way when my F-14 was but a collection of loose parts in Grumman's parts bins, just isn't fun. The production cycle that is well described as "a mile wide and an inch deep" is driving people away. People need to be the ones who can objectively hold back and not just throw money at module because "OMG IT'S NEW", and the game needs to turn to "lets make the stuff we have better" not throw down a new module. I was excited for the AH-64, but now hesitant. I was excited for the F-15E, but it seems to be stuck in the DCS meme of "it'll be here in two weeks", i.e. "manyana, manyana".
Will I still fly, sure, sometimes. Maybe on a private server that might be spun up again, or maybe on somewhere like Acrobatics Online or Stoneburner, but it will be more from nostalgia than from a burning urge to play DCS. Will I buy more airframes? maybe, if it is compelling and complete enough, but it will be a very very measured decision. It will be the occasional experience, over the "go to game". Because as much as I love the airframes I have, the little niggles that are being mentioned, and have been for some time, are the G-load that have broken this F-14's wings.
*hits CRTL-E three times*, fires up Onward in VR, and awaits "the other flying simulator" to release their "Top Gun" pack [names semi-changed to protect the innocent, because I know that the ED team don't like us mentioning competing products].