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OzWhitey

How do you folk think P3D's engine compares to the latest sims?

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Hi all,

 

As you're no doubt aware, there's two new 64 bit sims out - Dovetail's Flight School and version 2 of Aerofly's flight simulator.

 

Because I like new stuff, I bought them both today so I could see what was better and what was lacking when compared to my beloved Prepar3D v3.2  :) I also re-installed X-plane and bought the v2 of DCS World with the NTTR map.

 

Obviously, for many of us these programs aren't going to replace P3D any time soon. I'm normally flying with Prosim/cockpit, and I don't think my hardware is going to be supported by Flight School any time soon.

 

But I do think it's worthwhile thinking about the difference in the engines, as it gives us some ideas about where the P3D devs could improve things.

 

So far, I've only got around to flying Flight School and X-plane today (the other downloads are still incomplete - we'll get there!). Here's my thoughts:

 

  • Flight school has better night lighting than P3D. More of a glow to the lights, and they look sharp well off into the distance. X-plane is famous for its night lighting, and I think it still has an edge over P3D as well.
  • Flight school has lots of autogen, but it pops in a way that seems more like FSX - something the newer P3D engines have improved greatly.
  • P3D v3.2 has great water - I love taking off from airports by the sea, you can really see the waves as you get ready to spool up the engines. Flight school's rendition of water isn't even in the same ballpark. And although my Aerofly v2 is still downloading, I know they haven't even tried to model water.
  • Flight school has a very crisp interface at the start screens. P3D still looks pretty close the FSX - it would be nice if this was modernised.

Anyone else given DCS v2, Aerofly v2 and Flight School a try? Where do you think they outpoint P3D v3.2 at the present time?

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I have been simming since 1986. So far, P3D is  the best thing I have flown with. 

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I started to play WarThunder a WWII sim last week.

Great terrain, and airplane graphics, what it is impressive is that FPS are in the 100s , not a single tiny hicup, lots of planes, smoke and combat and with every graphic option maxed out.

Flight Dynamics are good too.

 

Just got me thinking I wish Prepar 3D run at 100fps.

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There is still a lot to do with AeroFly, but from what I have seen, I can say it may very we be a formidable contender in the near future. The graphics are simply beautiful. Is it ORBX quality? No, but very close. The lighting has a way to go. I don't mean the lighting is bad, most is just not implemented yet. Reflections and shadows are really well done. No water movement as of yet. The airports are outstanding and plenty of them. They are taking this slow but sure and you should go check out some of the 3rd party videos. There is considerable input from the video authors and most is very positive.

 

Bob

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Just got me thinking I wish Prepar 3D run at 100fps.

 

It would if they limited it to a 200 km x 200 km map size like Warthunder, but then it would be useless for most of us.

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Let's tap the brakes on Aerofly folks...

 

Everything runs great when the scenery is simple ortho only.

 

They aren't modeling night lighting, water or basically any systems of the aircraft.

Start doing all that P3D does and we'll see how the performance is.

 

Until then - Total non starter (Aerofly) for me as a real world pilot.  It's a simple "game" at this point and unsuitable for anything approaching "simulation" of flying.

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Visually, the P3D v3 engine isn't all that far behind any more. They've implemented most of the rendering features that gained use after FSX had come out in 2006, such as real time shadows, HDR, better water, even environmental reflections on vehicles. Some of the textures on roads, rivers, autogen and trees look a bit dated, but thanks to the higher draw distance, it doesn't look that bad.

However it seems everything in the sim causes a huge perofrmance hit. Features that are trivial to enable in other gamaes/sims can hit the frame rate relly hard in P3D. Also the overall framerate would be unacceptable to anyone who's used to other games/sims. 60 FPS is considered the bare minimum these days. With P3D, you're lucky to hit 30 or even 20 FPS consistently. Also, since it's 32-bit, you simply can't enable all of those features due to OOM errors.

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Let's tap the brakes on Aerofly folks...

 

Everything runs great when the scenery is simple ortho only.

 

Until then - Total non starter (Aerofly) for me as a real world pilot.  

I am not a pilot and as such I've certainly got a bad hand (but simming for 25 yrs., if that counts). 

 

You may recall it's Early Access. I agree there are essential elements like autogen, cockpit clickspots, night lighting, Saitek panel support... and...and missing. However, I am really glad there's another company to step out and make a new engine and being devoted to further develop it. I wish they'll have success.

 

Personally, while it doesn't replace my fully stuffed P3D, I enjoy flying in AeroflyFS2 and I am going to support IPACS:

 

Kind regards, Michael

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I use P3Dv3 for my PMDG 777. Just re-installed it to test the changes since the initial release, which I used for a week and then dropped to get back to DCS and IL-.2

 

Graphically, for a civil flight simulator, and since I do not own Aerofly FS 2, I'd say that all summed up, including weather rendering and even effects without using a 3pd weather injcetor, which I do use, P3dv3 is for me the best platform - even ahead of X-Plane 10.

 

I was extremelly well impressed with the quality of the graphics, the shadows, and the smoothness and stability, even when using the PMDG 777.

 

I have ORBX FTX Global, which Ii used with FSX : SE, but I think I will not install it in P3Dv3 because the ground textures look to me as an upgrade from default FSX:SE.

 

Regarding DTG Flight School, all I can say is that I played it for 2 days, and uninstalled right away.

 

DCS World is a different matter. It's main aim is modern air combat, and for that it has probably the best flight dynamics we can find. Since I do not like air war, and even less modern air war, I opted for il-2 Battle of Stalingrad for the fidelity and sensation of flight it provides with it's ww2 fighters and bombers.

 

IL-2 is my goto sim when i want to "feel the sensation of flight". IMO it does a better job in this area than DCS World's ww2 modules, even if you do not have the clickable cockpits...

 

I believe I would go Aerofly FS 2 if I had the guarantee it would not end up unsoported as Aerofly 1 ended... and I spent my money on that one and am somehow reluctant about doing the same with v2. I also need some more detail and complexity on systems modeling, weather, etc...

 

So, to resume:

 

- I am staying with Prepar3d as my Civil Flight SImulation platform, and I plan to buy the PMDG 744 when it becomes available for this platform;

- For the highest quality prop aircraft flight dynamics, and to end up playing war games ( which I somehow ended up liking... ) I use il-2 Battle of Stalingrad / Moscow, and I intend to support future releases from 1C / 777.

 

I do not use any other flight simulator right now, other than ELITE, because I am a beta tester for them.

 

If I had the money I would not think twice about buying and using Airlinetools Flightdeck A32X

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What you should never forget when comparing such stuff: in P3D, you are able to start wherever you want and fly around the full globe to whatever destination you want. Real-time, no loading times in between and depending on your addons, all with real weather etc. Sure, some more modern flightsim engines look far better, but they usually only provide limited regions, never the full globe at once. Just think about the size the Nevada map occupies on your harddrive regarding DCS and extrapolate this on a whole world coverage. Same with AeroflyFS. The only engine comparable to P3D would be the X-Plane engine, which can look better, but also greatly depends on addons.

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I've put in a little more test pilot time since last weekend, and have a few extra reflections:

 

DCS v2.0 NTTR. Bought the Nevada map so I could have a look at the v2 graphics engine. What Prepar3d could take from this is the sun effects - when I fly into the sun in DCS now, I really feel a sense of glare. Makes the world feel much more alive, similar in concept to how dynamic shadows in P3D increased the sense of immersion over that seen in FSX.

 

Overall, I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be (have waited for this a LONG time). Visuals are OK, I still prefer P3D overall.

 

Aerofly 2.0: It's a solid sim, those who say it's purely an arcade game presumably haven't flown it. I took my 737 up to FL40, stalled her then added a good dose of rudder - and found myself in a non-recoverable flat spin all the way down to the ocean. FSX has never been great a modelling this sort of behaviour, so IPACS is doing something right. (Note: I've never tried doing this in a real NG - and neither have you - so I can't say for sure that this is what the aircraft would do. But it felt believeable!)

 

As for the engine - it renders the photoscenery pretty well. When v1 came out, I felt the engine was way better than the competing civil sims (smooth shadows, etc). Now, I'm not sure it has much of an edge over P3D or X-plane in any particular aspect. I liked the rendition of the upper cloud layers, think IPACS has done OK there. But overall engine quality seemed pretty standard for modern times, and of course it's missing a heap of things that P3D has. Happy I bought it to support IPACS development of a competing sim, though can't see myself putting many hours into it unless a lot of dev work occurs.

 

Dovetail flight school: I just find it hard to love this engine. Reminds me of FSX too much, I prefer P3D. As I noted before, I think they've done good work with the night lighting.

 

X-Plane: still trying to bond with X-plane after all these years - maybe one of these days :) Again, if Lockheed Martin could replicate the night lighting effects, that would be splendid. And the traffic on the roads is so much better quality when you get close to it - P3D's rendition of road traffic is still back in the FSX era, would be nice if some frame-rate friendly modern road and ocean traffic was added to P3D.

 

There's my thoughts. FWIW, despite that bunch of new toys I'm back to flying Prepar3d almost exclusively now. The new players - and the older ones as well - have a lot of catching up to do, and I certainly hope that LM keeps pushing things along. But given there's not a lot of engine updates in the 3.3 release, I'd hope that Lockheed would have a look at the competition for some inspiration for their next iteration.

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