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sanh

Is P3D dying a slow death?

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I just heard the news that the upcoming P3D (every 3 month) release that's due this month will be a hotfix only. Is P3D dying a slow death? To be honest I have not really seen any real change in P3D since 2.1 came out nearly 3 years ago with volumetric fog and cloud shadows. If they were both running side by side (2.1 & 3.4) would you be able to see a real noticeable difference? This is nearly 3 years of development.   In terms of the actual simulator (not tools like the Director) its pretty much minor tinkering and changes that make little overall difference to the sim. When you look at other games and the advancement we see (even on games on a smart phone) its amazing the progress that has been made and its disappointing to see that Flight Simulation does not look that much better than it did a decade ago when FSX came out. Only the textures have really changed.

 

The progress in our niche market seems so slow. We only live for around 70 years and the last decade has been a fairly disappointing one for Flight Sim in my view.

 

Add-ons have improved the scene considering but even they are at their limits of what can be achieved with the old ESP engine. Will the upcoming REX Sky Force be able to do much with the same legacy weather system that predecessor products struggled with for the last decade (flat spinning clouds, tunnel rain effect etc.). Its pretty much new hacks or workarounds (no dis-respect to REX or other great add-on providers) to overcome an old flawed system.

 

I am 39 so time is on my side but when I am 49 I suspect the 'best simulator' will still be based on a 2006 product and will look like it does today with a few more tweaks or enhancements thrown in. I don't suffer from OOMs so a 64 bit product ain't going to make much difference to me.

 

I wonder how improved Flight Simming will be when I am 69 (30 yrs from now). I somehow doubt the advancement will be as much as it has been in the previous 30 years and that's a shame. I was just hoping to see as real as it gets in my lifetime :)

 

Disclaimer: these are just my views and I hope I am wrong :)

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Things come and go. I wouldn't think so hard about it. As far I as know, Lockheed Martin is still working on updating the old ESP engine, so there are still things to look forward.

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ya poor sole. 39. your just a kid. :) most of us guys started out on fs 1 doing those mail runs. And what we have today is progress compared to those days. trust me. 

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P3D at old 32 bit is not progress. It's just the status quo with a few graphics enhancements.

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Visually maybe not much for a while, but VAS and stability have made some strides forward I think.

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Started simming in the mid 80's. The improvements in home flight simming have been spectacular. I would never would have dreamed I would see performance and features like I see today in P3D. I know a bit about simming since I have worked in in the commercial and military flight sim environment for years prior to my retirement. It is amazing what can be done today on a home PC. 32 bit is no issue for me since I don't have any VAS problems, no crashes, and every flight is trouble free. Couldn't be happier. 

 

I guess if one was totally disappointed with today's offerings, getting a degree in computer programming and creating your own sim would be an alternative.  :wink:

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Everything will have a slow death if it doesn't make progress over a certain period of time. P3D has been improved quite a lot of times since its first version, and most of the issues with VAS (but not all) has been resolved after the release of the v3.0. Plans have been also set by LM on the platform to go to 64-bits in the very near future. As far as I can see, I could not say P3D is not progressing, so thinking about its slow death is something out of question for me. My suggestion: don't expend too much time on this and go... flying!!!.

Cheers, Ed

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IBTL.

 

P3d dying?  Nope.  Best contender hands-down for simulating a commercial airline environment for this hardcore heavy tube driver.

 

XP11 falls way short and I dont see it improving given Austin's priorities.

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Having been in the flight sim community for over 30 years and involved with many different projects and developers, I hope you're happy that I disagree with most all your musings.  The past decade in flight sim has witnessed major changes of significant benefit to the user base, both payware and freeware.

 

 My very best wishes.

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just heard the news that the upcoming P3D (every 3 month) release that's due this month will be a hotfix only. Is P3D dying a slow death?

 

I think that it's important to remember that what is wanted or expected by the home-user, is not what is wanted or expected by LM's client base, which is military/commercial.

 

While a home-user upgrades their systems 'fairly' frequently, the military is still very much behind the technology curve in many respects.  

 

The fact they are as receptive as they are to home-uses amazes me..

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i honestly use both x-plane 10-11 and p3d, i don't see p3d going anywhere,both companies have there own agenda'sI i honestly think dovetail will probably be the wave of the future when it gets released.i have been simming since flight sim 2004. Although i was old enough to be around when flight sim 98 was around i just didn't get really heavy into the flight sims until fsx.p3d,x-plane and even dovetail will always have flaws that people aren't happy about. thats just my take on it. 

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I think that it's important to remember that what is wanted or expected by the home-user, is not what is wanted or expected by LM's client base, which is military/commercial.

 

While a home-user upgrades their systems 'fairly' frequently, the military is still very much behind the technology curve in many respects.  

 

The fact they are as receptive as they are to home-uses amazes me..

 

The military is far from being behind the technology curve. Their  focus is just different. 

i honestly use both x-plane 10-11 and p3d, i don't see p3d going anywhere,both companies have there own agenda'sI i honestly think dovetail will probably be the wave of the future when it gets released.i have been simming since flight sim 2004. Although i was old enough to be around when flight sim 98 was around i just didn't get really heavy into the flight sims until fsx.p3d,x-plane and even dovetail will always have flaws that people aren't happy about. thats just my take on it. 

 

I think Dovetail will create a game like their Train sim, much more than what LM has with P3D. Having experience with Dovetail's Train sim, I don't think the current group of active simmers would be very happy accepting what Dovetail considers as a good product. 

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I just heard the news that the upcoming P3D (every 3 month) release that's due this month will be a hotfix only. Is P3D dying a slow death?

 

At the risk of sounding harsh and snarky...  can you point me to Lockheed Martin's statement which holds them accountable to releasing proper point releases every 3 months?

 

And from another perspective, was the X-Plane franchise dying a slow death when XP10's point release cadence started slowing down? 

 

Lockheed Martin plays their hand close to the vest. They don't show their cards until releases are imminent, especially with point releases. So while Laminar Research chose to yell from the mountaintops that XP11 was on its way, Lockheed Martin is (most likely) just toiling away on P3Dv4 in blissful peace and quiet, unhindered by announcements or press releases that they have to hold themselves up to. Contrast that with Dovetail, who have already had to reset our expectations with a production delay of their pending release.

 

Everything in due time.

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Sorry to say, but this is the most  :diablo:   topic I have read in 2016...

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The fact that LM has been releasing updates every 3 months does not indicate to me that P3D is dying a slow death.

 

Of course, there has not been a revolution in the last 4 years that is comparable to the change between FS98 and FS2002 (which is quite an immense change if you compare the features). However, the scenery engine of FSX/P3D v1 provided a good template for realistic scenery in terms of autogen density and texture resolution, so that add-on developers like ORBX could build on it and produce some very realistic scenery, for which there is not as much room for improvement as it was for any FS98 scenery if you regard reality as the ultimate standard. P3D has improved the lighting, performance, VAS and other details, which are very welcoming additions and bring graphics even closer to reality (and it is rumored that the next version will be 64 bit). So why would that be a "death sentence"?

 

Also keep in mind that between FS98 and FS2002, CPU power increased tenfold from <300 Mhz to ~3000 Mhz, if my memory serves me right. 16 years later we have CPUs with stock speeds of hardly more than 4000 Mhz, even though today's CPUs are multicore and have a better architecture. I think that there is no hardware available at affordable prices today that would be capable of running an ultrarealistic sim with high settings and complex airplanes at >30fps. This goes along with the pattern that an improvement in graphics by the same margin requires disproportionately more computing power, but the increase in computing power has slowed down over the recent years in favor of improved efficiency / power savings. X-Plane shows that a different engine may well improve the rendition of specific features, such as night lighting, but even with a different and improved engine, there are no FPS miracles. I might be wrong on that...

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I don't see it dying at all. With UTX, GEX, Orbx, the multitude of weather engine options, REX HD Airports, Chris Bell's upcoming Blue Marble, Black Marble, vEarth, the amazing advances in airport scenery quality, the overwhelming choices we have for immersive aircraft (A2A, Milvix, Eaglesoft, PMDG, Majestic, FSLabs, Aerosoft, TFDi, etc), the virtual aviation world is almost as real as it will ever get. Other than VR or being there in person, I just don't see how it could get much better, but that's just me. I think we are entering the good times of flight simulation. P3D is just a blank canvas for developers as far as I am concerned and I think Lockheed Martin is doing everything it can to make it cleaner and better performing.

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The main draw for me in flight sim comes not from the core sim, although that is obviously very important, but the 3rd party providers that give us the real good stuff and keeps the hobby alive. These people can only operate in a stable environment, where things remain static for fairly long periods, and therefore I'm glad we have not had any major revisions for some time. P3D is the most complete flight simulator there is, with nothing coming close to the scope it offers. I've got XP11 and it is very nice in some respects, but it is also very limited in many areas, and seems far more of a dead end than the alternatives; this is true for what I want out of a sim, for others this may well be the opposite.

 

Games are able to use far more cutting edge tech as they only exist for short periods, and their scope is very narrow. They don't need to provide a platform that exists over years, but that does mean we are limited to iterations of older tech, unless we are happy to fly under one vision; for example, if LM or LR made major revisions every year, we would have fewer 3rd parties, if any, adding to the mix as they could not exist in that environment.

 

The ESP platform, for all its faults has given us some of the finest content you could wish for, and that is because it has roots reaching back over many years.

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My perspective is that P3D is the core engine that has permitted a lot of excellent third party addons to extend its realism and beauty - complex aircraft systems, scenery, and multi-aircraft (AI, MP) features. I was thrilled several years ago when with default aircraft we could actually achieve 60 frames per second which provides a smooth, fluid flight as long as I kept everything simple. Then, unfortunately, the doubling of clock speed every 18 months stopped abruptly and we are stuck at 4 Ghz apparently for a long time. Then it became evident that the 32-bit, mainly single-core graphics engine of P3D (M$S$ ESP) just couldn't take advantage of more memory or multicore CPUs to any great extent - not bad though for a 10 year old set of code that grew up on Pentiums. Many of us have piled on with more features - super complex and wonderful aircraft models, detailed city models with thousands of buildings, and finally Virtual Reality with its demands for 90 FPS Stereo! So what to do? Well, I am very encouraged by the developers of Aerofly FS2 - not for what their product offers in feature comparison with P3D (many features aren't yet there in FS2) but just because they have coded a 64-bit, multicore, graphics engine that can provide over 250 FPS on a single HD monitor and the 90 FPS Stereo needed for VR Headsets (I have tested it quite a bit) without resorting to half-baked attempts to interpolate frames. The result is a great aerobatic, fluid visual with lots of room for feature growth in a multicore environment. Since Aerofly has done it, I assume that Lockheed Martin developers can do it - if they redesign the core graphics engine with performance as a key criteria - testing all along the way of development. If that happens, we can return to focusing on something other than FPS tweaks, settings reductions, and OOMs - the future for flight sim is bright. BTW, next year's VR with HD++ screens will be super.

 

Dave

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Aerofly is a small area . P3D is the whole world...

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I agree that P3D hasn't yet turned into FS11, but it has extended the life of FSX/ESP considerably. All software dies eventually - it's only zeros and ones anyway - but it ain't going away tomorrow. Lockheed Martin don't seem interested in creating a totally new sim, so for now any hope of real innovation has to come from DTG or X-Plane. All I know is that I'm not investing in a new $3000 rig until an FS11 equivalent arrives. I wasted my money once hoping that Microsoft Flight would turn into something. I ain't doing that again. Currently I'm having a great time in P3D v3.4, and will continue to do so until my current rig dies. After that I'll probably find something else to waste my time on, unless FS11 arrives to reel me back in. 

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Prior to the disbanding of ACES studio, we saw big changes in the MSFS platform pretty much every two years...changes which broke the majority of our add-ons at each iteration as I recall, so perhaps big changes are not what we should wish for.

 

Honestly, the baselining of FSX that occurred when ACES was cashiered is largely responsible for the massive number of add-on options for both FSX and P3D today--for the first time we had a long-term stable platform to build on without having the rug pulled out from under us every two years. The fact that LM has, with P3D, been able to migrate us to DX11 from DX9 (no trivial feat), massively improve VAS management, implement HDR lighting, tesselation, and a host of other improvements that may not "look" dramatically different in a screen shot but which add significantly to performance, all without breaking most of the add-ons we use, is far from "dying a slow death." It took a LOT of work to take a code base written by others, study it, and make the kinds of changes we're seeing. Clearly what that entails is not understood and/or appreciated by some.

 

When and if 64-bit P3D appears, break everything it shall, and then the hue and cry will sound like a GE90 spooling up to takeoff EPR. The usual actors will come out of the woodwork demanding--and right now darn it--FREE upgrades to a 64-bit version of their airplanes, sceneries, weather, ATC, ground texture, cloud/sky texture, and AI add-ons. Lord knows if Pete Dowson would have any inclination at all to create, from ground level, FSUIPC for a completely new platform...personally I cringe just to think of simming without the FSUIPC interface. With no understanding of the work involved to make migration to 64-bit happen, more still will vent rabidly about how this is just a money grab by the evil greedy captains of the mega-behemoth sim industrial complex.

 

For me, P3D's steady progress has meant not having to shelve a major investment in add-ons just to find out that a new 64-bit engine doesn't mean your CPU or GPU works any faster. We might well be left with the wreckage of hundreds of add-ons forced into obsolescence only to find that processing and video performance with even more add-on content heaped onto the sim in a larger memory space are still limfacs that prevent it from being anything like the holy grail it's assumed to be.

 

When my trees drop their leaves in the fall, I don't lament how they're dying a slow death beause they didn't double their height like Jack's proverbial beanstalk this season...no, I'm confident they'll bloom into something incrementally bigger and stronger next season.

 

My two cents...

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OK guys, this is a P3D topic in the P3D forum.  It is NOT going to be another P3D vs XPlane thread.

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I am 39 so time is on my side but when I am 49 I suspect the 'best simulator' will still be based on a 2006 product and will look like it does today with a few more tweaks or enhancements thrown in. I don't suffer from OOMs so a 64 bit product ain't going to make much difference to me.

 

I am 47 now, and the years have taught me not all new things are necessarily better... If you look at the Russian space program, they use the same technique since the 50´s with very little changes.Compare that to the space shuttle.... My point is, slowly but surely it does improve. Last version was a small step back when it come to VAS management, but this hotfix will - hopefully -  take care of it.  

There might be better software coming out, XP11 looks promising,  I've tried it and yet I come back to my old love.... it's like my old Morgan. It can be a pain, sometimes I am afraid it will let me down, but in the end it is worth it and I wouldn't trade it for a brand new car.... 

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