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Tom Allensworth

What Is Your Spending Limit in Payware

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Taking under consideration with the present MSFS FS9/2004 platform and its limitatations WHAT IS THE MOST YOU WILL SPEND ON A THIRD PARTY Model and panel as well as scenery.With the recent offering that being Dreamfleet 727 and ATR which is comanding a $34.95 price.....Wilco is asking $39.95 for the ERJ and $29.95 for the CRJ, I remember just a year ago $24.95 was a standard price. Scenery is now creeping into the +++$25.00 area and is frame rate intensive.Is there a limit to what you will spend on Flightsim extras.Anyone want to hedge a virtual bet that the PIC 767v2 and the PMDG 747 will command a mid $40.00 price.

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I don't really have a limit. As the price goes up, I tend to look a little harder before deciding. One thing I try to keep in mind is the fact that the packages are getting more and more complex and the develpment time ins also getting longer. That means, overall, more and more recources ($$$$$$) are being spent from conception to release. With the FS market being as limited as it is, the price will naturally go up. Up to this point, I can say that I have been amazed at the level of complexity and quality the top development houses are producing. (The recent ATR, ERJ and 727 come to mind) Heck, I spend more than the cost of one of these packages just to take my wife out to a movie and dinner and I get many, many more hours of enjoyment frome the add-on packages.

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Hi,Let's just say I can have a very nice night out for about a 1/3 of what some of these places are TRYING to charge for an add-on.Some of these developers price it pretty fairly.Some, I feel are just out to make a buck, buyer beware, and PLEASE beware of perceived false claims of things like value given etc....It is getting outrageous.My Price Point is somewhere around $20 or so, depending on the product, and whether what I would consider to be a REPUTABLE Developer that has met my expectations and has integrity as well.When any payware Product costs MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL program, I think a Line has been crossed, and I won't pay it, period.You can buy the entire program for $29.95, and some are charging quite a bit more than that for one small add-on. That is very sad indeed, and I just won't participate in any pricing scheme that prices above the program.Now maybe, and I mean Maybe, if they guaranteed that a release so late in the cycle of MSFS2004 that they will upgrade to future versions, that Might, and I mean might be a justification for a higher price than the current price of the main program, MSFS2004.But I doubt any will do that.Me, I'll stick to Freeware, and some high quality, good value aircraft I have purchased from some developers.Regards,Joe

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It fully depends on what's offered, but if that's enough, I would be prepared to pay quite a lot. Firstly: it would have to be a big four-engined propper, either a liner or a bomber.Secondly: it would need to have all systems modelled that would be possible to model within the limits of FS9.Thirdly: flight dynamics should be absolute tops.Fourthly (and that's the most important issue for me): EVERY working switch, button, rotary, axis or whatever (and they should ALL be working), should be mappable to yoke, throttle quadrant, and the various (lots of!) GoFlight hardware. In many add-ons this is already the case for many switches, but I want it for ALL.For such an aircraft, let's say SuperConnie, Shackleton Mr3, or B-29, I would pay up to 500 euro's, that's about 550 US bucks. Yep, that's a lot of money, but it would buy me a lot of fun!Jaap Verduijn.

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I don't have a fixed limit, but with rising prices, I really limit the number of add-ons I purchase. Lately I have passed on a number of the popular addons. I just wait for the ones I am most interested in. For example I didn't buy the Flight1 ATR. Now, I hear it is excellent, however I just don't have a lot of interest in that particular plane. (I tend to fly what I see out of my local airport). I also held off knowing that the DF727 was coming. (I'll probably get that soon)I limit my purchases to those planes that I have a definite interest in (and of course they need to be high quality). I really have no issue with most prices. I have no problem paying for quality. Personally I'd rather have a small number of quality addons rather than a large number of mediocre ones. Also, I will very rarely ever buy any addon immediately when it is released. I always try to wait a few days to see some opinions on it first, no matter who the developer is. I have saved myself quite a lot of money on purchases I might have made prematurely.

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>WHAT IS THE MOST YOU WILL SPEND>ON A THIRD PARTY Model and panel as well as scenery.For me it is purely a function of the quality of the product being offered. I rather buy fewer expensive products but of highest quality than large number of mediocre creations. The more impressive final result, the more I will be willing to spend. PMD747 for mid $40 ? I very much doubt it, assuming they meet their lofty goals you can expect the price not less than $60-70. Those that expect to pay $24.95 for an aircraft either have modest expectations for the quality/realism or think in terms of 2002 technology.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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Hmmm..FS2002 came with two versions, professional and Standard, yes?Wasn't The professional version more expensive than the current version of MSFS2004 when it came out?And if so, with the technological advancements of MSFS2004, isn't that a Price cut for newer technology.Sorry, but I don't see the connection here.These developers also get Free SDK's, they also can obtain software that makes their designing easier than in the past too.Oh yeah, one more little caviat,Isn't it true that as technology advances and more people use that technology that the price actually goes down?Regards,Joe

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For me there really isn't any limit (so long as I'm able to pay the rent, bills, food and tax I don't mind). The question for me is how much value for money do I get out of the product?I want complexity and realism. I want to be able to spend hours just reading the manuals to figure out how to get thing working. I want to discover nice surprises in an aircrafts functionality many months after buying it.I don't want half measures. I don't want a CTRL-E kind of operation! I don't want switches that don't do anything. I don't want engines that keep the same performance when you open the bleed air valves!I want systems integration. I want cause and effect. I want damages and failures when you don't look after the plane. I want something to happen when the left main DC bus comes offline. I want braking and nose wheel steering to fail when hydraulics come offline. I want every payware tuboprop model to be at least as good as the fanda dash 8!I've got the PMDG 737 (including the upgrade) and it goes a long way to making me happy. I've also got the F1 Piper Meridian which has very nice avionics, but the turboprop model is a bit naff compared with the Fanda Dash 8 (it's also a CTRL-E aircraft which isn't good!). By all expectations only a disaster will prevent me buying the F1 ATR. None reach the holy grail of flight simming yet, but we're getting closer each year.No folks, if the price of the same product (e.g. a loaf of bread) goes up, then that's inflation. If prices are going up with increasing complexity, functionality and realism, then that's the price of progress! Anthony

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>>Sorry, but I don't see the connection here.The connection is that now VC is very demanding, full functionaly, folks demand much more out of VC not to mention the rest of the aircraft. Display technology also changed, etc. However I don't see connection between how many people use the "technology" - the number of buyers of some of those add-ons remain most likely the same but the number of hours to make the product went up in the last years. And, btw, you can still get aircraft for $24.95 (just look at Eaglesoft) but they are not all-equipped, super-complex, etc.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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On a bit of a mission there eh Joe? I base my buying decisions on my interest in the product, my impressions of its quality based on reading forums like this, and my available free cash. If some folks would rather spend their money on a hockey game, more power to them. I choose to spend my fun money on flightsim add-ons (amongst other things). I'd much rather spend 35 dollars on a plane I'm going to get 20, 30, 50 or more hours of enjoyment out of than the same amount on a night out at a crummy movie. In the end, its a free market and if enough people chose not to buy based on price, then the price either goes down or the developer stops developing...

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You said:"On a bit of a mission there eh Joe?"I like those supporting certain points of view I disagree with are simply offering my opinions.Do you ask the same question of those that trump out the same arguments of cost, benefit comparison everytime, or just certain points of view you may disagree with?Are you on a mission with your question?Nice of you to add something about the original question after your little comment to me.

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I wouldn't tell my wife that. I know how you meant that, but d*mn it was funny.Good response though. I agree with your comments and feel the same. I know what it is like to stay up all night fighting with a compiler or debugging some code that looks fine, but has a hidden problem. Those hours are worth something. Another point is they are not selling 1.2 million copies like game developers. There is a limited market for these products. I know they do it because they love it (right guys?) But there has to be something in it for them. If there were not, they may go away and program something else.In summary, I review each purchase to determine value. If someone came out with a simulator that guaranteed me a type cert in Dash-8 and wanted $300 dollars for it, I might pay it. If I were looking to do some desktop flying with the aircraft only, then I wouldn't pay it. There is also the dear to the heart issue. If something is dear to you, then you may pay more for it. I will pay more for scenery in the areas I tend to frequent, than ones I do not. I will pay more for certain aircraft than others. It is impossible to do a market study on something like this, where individual passion is the motivator.Setting an artificial ceiling is fiscally sound if you are on a budget (and even if you aren't). Hobbies should have a place in your budget and not consume it. However setting one ceiling for everything is like saying I will not pay over $12,000 for a new car. If you set the limit, then you either have to break it or do without a new car, because the prices are going up.Dennis Mitchell

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Have to agree with Anthony and others here - I'm quite willing to pay for complexity and detail at whatever price that maybe. If I were to break down the hours of enjoyment I've had out of my PMDG 737 it would work out a fractions of pence. I even get a great manual that is like a book in to the bargain.Heck - price does matter to some extent to contradict myself a little....It just means I gotta save up for longer.The future of this fascinating hobby looks great to me if the complexity and attention to detail carries on in this vain, and we the buyers, are willing to pay too. Best Wishes Eddy :)

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I don't have a limit, but I do think carefully about whether I'm going to purchase an add-on or not.For instance, I check out this forum and the support forum for the add-on to find out whether there are any showstopping bugs in a new release. I check AVSIM and FlightSim for reviews. I check out the add-on's web site for the manual, which I download and read carefully.One thing I will say, though: I'm less inclined to buy an add-on if I already have the same aircraft from another developer. For example, right now, I am hesitant to buy Flight1's ATR or Dreamfleet's 727 because I already have Aerosoft's ATR and CaptainSim's 727--even though, by all accounts, the former two are MUCH better than the latter.Cheers!Joel

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>Hi,>>Let's just say I can have a very nice night out for about a>1/3 of what some of these places are TRYING to charge for an>add-on.>>Some of these developers price it pretty fairly.>>Some, I feel are just out to make a buck, buyer beware, and>PLEASE beware of perceived false claims of things like value>given etc....>>It is getting outrageous.>>My Price Point is somewhere around $20 or so, depending on the>product, and whether what I would consider to be a REPUTABLE>Developer that has met my expectations and has integrity as>well.>>When any payware Product costs MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL program,>I think a Line has been crossed, and I won't pay it, period.>>You can buy the entire program for $29.95, and some are>charging quite a bit more than that for one small add-on. >That is very sad indeed, and I just won't participate in any>pricing scheme that prices above the program.>>Now maybe, and I mean Maybe, if they guaranteed that a release>so late in the cycle of MSFS2004 that they will upgrade to>future versions, that Might, and I mean might be a>justification for a higher price than the current price of the>main program, MSFS2004.>>But I doubt any will do that.>>Me, I'll stick to Freeware, and some high quality, good value>aircraft I have purchased from some developers.>>Regards,>Joe Well good for you Joe. It's worthless telling a person their mind made up that flight simulator add-ons are much mre advanced than they were years ago and prices reflect many things. Do you actually think some of these developers are cashing in with 5 full time team members charging 30 bucks a pop for over a year of very long hours commited? Maybe you think products like Elite and On Top desktop sims are "too much"? They certainly do not compare to some flight sim add-ons in complexity yet cost 3 times as much! And there is the key, certain developers are not about to cross into FAA territory. PMDG's NG was shown to some big name airlines who were very impressed in how complex the NG actually is. Look at this pilot's opinion of this 40 dollar "game" here p://homepage.powerup.com.au/~speedy/"b]NZCH is a hotbed of flight sim activity and the PMDG 737NG addon for MSFS9 is an amazing piece of work. It is so good we can use it to train for real world operations. In terms of an positive endorsement I don't think you can say much more than that about any sim[/b]" So much for "spending too much on a *game". Time will fail me if I presented opinions for aircraft like PIC's 767 which in fact is STILL used by a number of pilots to fly routes that they have not flown or need to pratice on! Certainly cannot do that with any *freeware* plane and that's a FACT. DreamFleet's 727 another AMAZING piece of work! Are there other developers that don't fit this higher quality standard? Certainly IMO. But I will not get into that here.... I don't make very much money in my field of work, I can say with child support taken out monthly that I make less than MOST guys here! Yet I pay my rent and bills and still have found a way to purchase of lateFlight 1 172Flight 1 ATRFlight 1 152Fligth 1 727MegasceneryNon FS games of lateFAR CRYSTAR WARS BATTE FRONTBATTLEFILED 1942 & VietnamCALL OF DUTY and expansion packHALF LIFE2MEDAL OF HONOR Allied assaultMEDAL OF HONOR pacific assault DVDIL2 FORGOTTEN BATLES AND this does not include all the DVD movies! All within the last 4 months! Best Wishes,[h4]Randy J. Smith[/h4]http://www.rawbw.com/~bdoolin/shinault/southparkcartmad.gif[h3]PMDG 747![/h3]Caution! Not a real pilot, but do play one on TV ;-)ASUS KV8 DLX | AMD 3200 64 | 1 GIG PC 3200 DDR | GIGABYTE 5700 ULTRA | ViewSonic VP192b 19" |

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I thinks one of the posters hit on a key factor for me also. Documentation. There are several add-ons that I have purchased over the last several years that were fairly good, advanced aircraft with very poor documentation. This really does, in my opinion, make for a less than desirable product. One thing that several developers are doing is releasing the manuals in advance of the aircraft, (Dreamfleet as an example) I think this is the way to go. I can download the manual and get a really good idea of the quality of the aircraft by the quality of the documentation. I think most of the folks on the forums are fairly "hardcore" simmers. I don't want a Ctrl-E aircraft. If I wanted that, I would stick with the default. I also want to know how a certain system effects the operation of the aircraft, etc. I think this also gives those folks that have less experience with FS an opportunity to see if they are "up to the task" of a particular add-on prior to purchase. I know that for every complex add-on that is released there are those that jump in and buy it and are disapointed because they are in over their heads. Poorly written documentation just compounds the problem. Like I stated in my above post, as long as developers continue to put the effort in improving the products they produce, I will be willing to continue paying a premium price for a premium product. This is my ONLY hobby. Shoot, I have friends that spend more on one round of golf or one fishing trip than I spend on three high quality add-ons. To me, that's a bargain. :-smile12PS- My wife read my first post in this thread,,,,,I'm in deep doodoo!By the way, it's really enjoyable contributing and reading a thread where folks voice their opinions both pro and con and everything stays civil! I like it.

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Yes, Good for me. :-)So you go on comparing real world sim prices with MSFS.That is a good one. :-)Simply because a real world simulator charges more doesn't justify high costs in my book.So we've gone from talking about payware developers to comparing to approved FAA Devices and software when it comes to cost.Please spare me the details. I'll just have to chuckle and disagree.As for what a 5 member team makes or does not make.You must be an expert who has viewed all of their books huh. You can hypothetsize all you like about the poor, poor, payware developers, and all that time they put in, hours, etc....Same old stuff that was rehashed in the thread that was closed previously. Go read the responses there, as they are the same.BOTTOM LINE they get PAID TO DO SO. They made that choice, the same as consumers like me make a choice to comment on what I think are overpriced products or perceived values that are not there.Regards,Joe

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"Another point is they are not selling 1.2 million copies like game developers. There is a limited market for these products."Before I left the hotel biz (spent about fifteen years there) and went on an IT career path, I used to study long and hard the factors of return vs. units sold vs. cost. You'd think it's a one to one to one relationship, but it isn't. Despite the best of studies we'd put forth, often we found it's a gamble. Price something at $40 to get your ROI, or price it at $20? In the case of many add-ons, the costs are pretty fixed regardless of units sold. If you're making widgets, it costs more to sell 1000 units vs. 500 units. Rare is that true with MSFS non-hardware add-ons--the cut from services like Paypal is consistent for each and every item sold, same applies for bandwidth costs.I think some providers feel putting a lower price on their product diminishes it in some way. They see the investment of tens of thousands of man hours as justification for a big ticket price. Or, some rare providers think it makes them the "Porsche" of add-ons. Such providers exploit an old infomercial trick of overpricing something to make people think it's the hottest ticket in town. I only know of one or two providers that do that, though.I think the biggest loss is that some providers, by merely lowering their price 25 pct, don't see that they may double their sales and profit, given the web medium they sell in. Everyone has mental barriers that they won't break when it comes to what they pay for. The idea is to get people to say "I want to have that". Sell every possible unit one can, since the cost of creating it is static regardless of how many sell. It's a tough equation. The risk is always that the numbers won't increase high enough to offset the decreased price. To answer the original question, it's not the cost of one add-on I look at. For me, it's how much I'm willing to invest in MSFS before taking a break between releases. Unless someone releases a high quality Lancair IV-P, I'm at a "take a break" point now having spent somewhere around $150 for the excellent add-ons I own.-John

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The devs responded in that thread. You called them liars...

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> So you go on comparing real world sim prices with MSFS.> That is a good one. :-)How is it a good one?. Elite or On Top can be as well "real world sim" as the FS9. It is reasonable to compare software that offers similar functionality no matter what label is on the box and how it is distributed.>Simply because a real world simulator charges more doesn'tjustify high costs in my book.>Then maybe you ought to re-examine your book.If 5 vendors on the street sell ice cream at certain price it is reasonable the 6-th will ask similar price. In my book at least :-)Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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My personal spending limit on any one single addon is usually 25 dollars. however, I have recently expanded that limit to 25 euros based on dollar value. This is a personal economic limit that prevents me from being killed by my wife...Eric

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So you go on comparing real world sim prices with MSFS. Hello again Joe. Well I do not think that my comparing the two platforms was not relevant. Maybe it's the way one views the two and not the actual usage? Lets see, there are many pilots who in fact use flight simulator with add-ons as a type of training device. While it's true one cannot apply any hours towards real training this in itself does not lesson that fact that it teaches one about the real world aircraft. Elite sims are really no different than flight simulator programs except the FAA approval. In fact, flight simulator in my mind at least offers more realsim with visuals far superior than FAA approved sims. It's not like developers cannot produce a FAA approved sim within flight simulator. Look at On Top's offerings. It must replicate all functions and performance of the real aircrafts but with lousy "visuals". Flight simulator can do the very same thing and more convincing. Some are so close already. Flight 1's ATR was developed with the help of ATR. Certainly one can learn their way around the systems by using this product? It replicates the performance-AFDS-FMC and you can take it through a real AOM from startup to shutdown. Pretty well proves what can be done in a desktop sim. Please spare me the details. I'll just have to chuckle and disagree. Well I enjoy a good chuckle too Joe but chuckling alone won't support your argument. You must be an expert who has viewed all of their books huh. You can hypothetsize all you like about the poor, poor, payware developers, and all that time they put in, hours, etc.... Speaking from one who dedicated many months to testing a certain product I can say I have first hand knowledge of the inner workings at least in regards to TIME. I'm no developer but have some work on the PMDG NG, the CDU is my work ;-) and this might shock you it was FREE, free that I wasnot paid a cent for any time I spent helping out. I know a few other guys who have given MANY HOURS of their time, away from kids, wife and dog for the love of GIVING FREELY. Just remember that when you *click* on the download section of Avsim. Many of those same guys were so talented that they started to produce payware. Shall we now look down on them? As I se it I don't get down on my local grocer because he charges me for his TIME and service, software is no different.BOTTOM LINE they get PAID TO DO SO. And your point is? If what someone offers you for sale is not to your liking then pass it by, easy enough? But if somehow getting paid for working is somehow wrong then I ask you to put that question to your employer. There are folks in India that get paid CENTS a day, it's all reletive now isn't it?Simply because a real world simulator charges more doesn't justify high costs in my book. Well you have the right to believe anything you want Joe, I'm not knocking this but you seem to be implying that your view is the only correct view on the matter and to YOU this can be real enough. Do you feel that the flight simulator community owes flight simmers cheap offerings simply because one likes microsoft simulator regardles of TIME and QUALITY involved in the creation of their product? Why is it that this market should be any different than the rest of the software world? Who states what is a *good price*? Is this not the right of the developer? If the market can bare the cost the product does well and development continues with more advanced sims down the line, each building upon the last one (hopefully) and customers come to expect a greater degree of realsim and functions. I don't know if you are aware but building just ONE panel can take many months. Just one aspect of the overall product. Then you have the coding that in some cases is thousands upon thousands of lines of code that must be checked and checked again. Shall I go on? It's not like the developers load up some wonder "make a sim" software program and push the CREATE button. It takes a very long time and as we already know time=money. Best Wishes,[h4]Randy J. Smith[/h4]http://www.rawbw.com/~bdoolin/shinault/southparkcartmad.gif[h3]PMDG 747![/h3]Caution! Not a real pilot, but do play one on TV ;-)ASUS KV8 DLX | AMD 3200 64 | 1 GIG PC 3200 DDR | GIGABYTE 5700 ULTRA | ViewSonic VP192b 19" |

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Randy- I'm not arguing here, but I think one of the reasons FS can't get approved has to do with the gauge refresh rates- they're not high enough. The FAA has some seemingly arbitrary guidelines. A level D sim for example has to be made out of the real aircraft parts- even though it would be MUCH less expensive to produce one with aftermarket parts, but I guess they figure price is not an issue, realism and safety are. Did you know each seat in a real airliner (Boeing- can't remember which one) costs $80,000 and has 400 rivets? Crazy. Not to get off topic, but how'd you like HL2?

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