OzWhitey

Test pilot report - Dovetail games Flight Sim World

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Hi folks,

Here's my thoughts after some solid hours of flight time:

The interface is beautiful, at least compared to what we're used to. It's not the same as FSX, but you need to get used to that right now or you're just going to be angry - this is NOT FSX, there's no reason to expect everything to be the same. So as I was saying about the interface - it's crisp, quick and colorful, It does look more like a game than a commercial sim, but that's OK given what the devs are aiming for here (this sim is not Prepar3d either!). The music works well, the plane images look great and the flight planner is simple but works suprisingly well. If you want to keep things basic, you just find an airport you like, click on a nearby airport and your in-flight navigation devices (for example, the G1000 in the DA40) will be set for where you want to go. Almost anyone can now navigate from airport to airport, and the lack of an in-flight map doesn't seriously hurt usability because the in-cockpit navaids are easy to read and work well..

The planes:

There's some nice GA birds here - the Seneca looks great and the Diamond DA40 is very usable with a good representation of the Garmin G1000. The Vans is not so great - it looks like a port from the Commodore 64 version of flight simulator, Dovetail pls correct me if I'm wrong.

The FDE is pretty good. Firstly, if you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger, if you pull the stick back they get smaller - always important in an aircraft! Also, I can stall the DA40 and then kick it into a spin with the rudder pedals, it doesn't seem quite right but it's quite a bit better than FSX. Controlling descent during landing with the throttles seems realistic, the aircraft trims OK, landings if anything seem a bit too easy - ?maybe the planes are a bit too stable (we are talking about maximum realism settings here, of course). There's a lot of things in the cockpits to click that work, the systems depth is better than Aerofly FS2 - you can lean the engines, start them up and do most of the things you'd expect to do in a GA cockpit.

The plane creaks and groans and is trundles along the runway, I quite like those sound effects, and the squeak of the brakes after landing.

Controls:

No problems setting up a joystick, a throttle and some Saitek rudder pedals. The interface makes control setup a breeze, though as mentioned earlier it's a little different from FSX!

No jets:

Quiet now. The devs told us that we were getting a GA sim at the moment, and they delivered a GA sim.

Bits missing/No DVD option/Steam only.

Shhh! Enough already. It's early access. I know that you don't think that early access is a thing, but it is these days. If you don't want to fly an early access sim, don't fly an early access sim. Buy it when version 1 is released, and then you can complain if something you think is critical is missing. Steam is also a thing, get an internet connection that works or borrow a friends (by the way, you can download Steam programs onto a folder on your USB key or whatever you have in your fast internet location, and then just put them in the appropriate folder of your home computer steam installation. Steam'll usually sort this out, it's clever. I've got an unlimited internet plan, so if you're near Port Hedland drop in and I'll give you my wi-fi password. Problem solved!

Airports

Well, it's better than X-plane 10, in that there has been some buildings at every airport I've flown out of. I started in the west of North Carolina, which nobody seems to focus on as a sim area even though it's got some great airports and some nice hills between them. The textures on the airport structures need improving - Dovetail, please look at REX's Airports HD as an example of what can be done and licence that if you need to.

The runways, as have been previously noted, are too bright and don't exactly look pretty. Guys, get some decent textures already! (does anyone have Rex's phone number? Ta!)

Weather

Pretty good. I thought the raindrops might just be a gimmick, but they actually add to the immersion, at least when your sitting at the gate in a thunderstorm. Clouds and fog are OK, it's not Active Sky 2016 but its a credible effort. 

Engine and scenery

Here's the part that I think needs a lot of attention. I'm running a 2-year-old ninja gaming PC - water-cooled 5820K, GTX 980 etc - which on 'high' settings only gets me frame rates in the mid 20's. On 'ultra', it stil works but it's even slower. Compare this to Aerofly FS2:

  • The Aerofly cockpits are a bit more detailed.
  • The lighting engine is much nicer.
  • Some of the Aerofly scenery has more 'autogen' than what I've seen here.
  • Aerofly's minimum frame rate for locking is 120(!) And you can lock at 240 frames per second if it makes you happy. 

At the end of the day, not only Aerofly FS2 (with its performance-orientated engine) but P3D, FSX and X-plane all get me better frames than this. The frame rates here would have been acceptable in the early days of FSX (or great, in fact, in the year or two after release), but you're just not going to get the sort of smoothness that a modern simmer desires when your frames are in the 20's. Remember in aviation speed is life (...and altitude is life insurance, but it's the first bit that's relevant here). 

The graphics also aren't very pretty. The water is better than Aerofly's - which is not really saying anything at all, because Aerofly doesn't have any - but not a patch on P3D with its sometimes-awesome waves when you're close up. The trees don't blend well with the scenery, they really look quite fake to me. On 'ultra', there is pleasing tree density in places, but nothing out of the ordinary by modern P3D standards.

Message to Dovetail

Great work with the UI (though FSX traditionalists won't love it at first), and your focus on some good GA default craft is sound. My real concern is the engine - I'm not sure how much you can optimise it further, and how you're going to get this looking like a true 'next-gen' sim. If FSW is going to succeed, you're going to need to get the engine right. Also, there's the whole 3rd-party support thing but I'm pretty sure that's already mentioned in a place or two. :)

My recommendation

I think that FSW is excellent value for the price that is being asked. Even if you just sit in the cockpit in the rain and push some buttons in the new planes, it's probably better value than a lot of other add-ons that I've purchased for considerably larger sums of money than this. Everyone has asked for a 64-bit FSX-based sim for so long, well here it is. I think it's worth giving the new program a chance, and supporting the dev with a purchase if you're able to. I won't be flying this sim very much at this point in its development - P3D for most purposes, and increasingly Aerofly FS2 for VR will remain my primary sims - but I will intermittently be coming back to FSW to try new areas and see how the project is progressing.

Cheers all - fly well, and keep the shiny side up!

Rob

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i dont give ###### on all this.. how are the basics ?

Weather? winds ? the feel. the real deal.. the rest is nice to have.

Did they improve on feel ?

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Ummm...let me get out my "feel" instruments so I can measure that for you....

How in the world do you expect someone else to report on "feel"?????!!!!

 

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I'm pretty sure that Rob described many of the "basics".

Rob, thanks!

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After reading the initial reports from the pioneers, some not good, some a little bit better, but none saying FSW is good enough at least in this early stage, I suspect P3D will still be the way to go.

Cheers, Ed

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Nobody, not even DTG is suggesting FSW is a replacement to anything yet. It's an unfinished product that was released to get feedback from the users who are willing to be early adopters.

Personally I think it's rough but playable with a bit of tweaking, but does not as yet really bring anything new to the table and before it does there's a lot of missing pieces they need to finish, bugs to fix etc.

If DTG wants to get the user base excited about this sim, then they should get their technical people out in front of users and talk about what they are doing in the guts of the sim that will give it the foundations to make some big leaps forward. And what will those big leaps be and when might we see the benefits? We don't need any more PR, marketing speak, contests and endless talk about raindrops and folding tray tables. Tell us why we should be interested in this platform and why it will have a future.

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I always almost feel sorry for developers who release the "early release" stuff, not because there are not people who will try early access, but because most of the people who do try it just don't get what "early access" means, therefore  giving developers major grief. 

At this point FSW has been released precisely with the point of early access - to get peoples thought on bugs, and comments about improving it. Not hyper complaining. And especially not to get trashed because it can't compete with another sim thats ver. 3 or above. Early Access is equivalent to  pre alpha, almost.

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6 hours ago, edpatino said:

After reading the initial reports from the pioneers, some not good, some a little bit better, but none saying FSW is good enough at least in this early stage, I suspect P3D will still be the way to go.

Cheers, Ed

Can't agree more..

regards,

Gerard

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15 minutes ago, jimcarrel said:

I always almost feel sorry for developers who release the "early release" stuff, not because there are not people who will try early access, but because most of the people who do try it just don't get what "early access" means, therefore  giving developers major grief. 

At this point FSW has been released precisely with the point of early access - to get peoples thought on bugs, and comments about improving it. Not hyper complaining. And especially not to get trashed because it can't compete with another sim thats ver. 3 or above. Early Access is equivalent to  pre alpha, almost.

That may be true. Many are forgetting (or ignoring) that it's Early-Access. But I also fear, that many are clinging on to - and thereby forgetting - what Early-Access means (or doesn't mean!), and therefore are settings themselves up for false expectations.

Many are complaining about the known bugs/limitations of the ESP core. Bad vector drawing, autogen placement and depiction, autogen popping, bad draw distance and an lighting engine which is toublesome at best. All these features (or lack of them) are still present and aren't fixed or corrected. Now, the performance part of the simulator will/may probably be fixed during the EA period. BUT (and this is a big one) all major re-writing of core code within the ESP engine WON'T be corrected. And to be honest, many of the problems (and complains) regarding FSX/P3D and now FSW is a part (and known trademarks) of the ESP core. 

I see many people are ducking behind or ignoring (quite valid) critism, simply because of the fact that it's 'Early-Access' - no matter what the critic points are! Many of the critics which is being raised won't / can't be fixed during the Early-Access. They're simply a part of the ESP core engine and I highly doubt that DTG are going to re-write that. 

What you see, is what you get - so to speak... 

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Excellent insight into FSW Rob! I agree with it all, but I should report that performance even on my system, and when I bring settings to where I usually had in FSX or P3D, is very good and stable.

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fyi: FSW is half off now on Steam. And $20 with an included approach mission bundle. Can't go wrong with that! I just purchased this morning.

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I've been impressed. It just lacks the usual addons, there are some bugs that need to be fixed, and some support for the jets to come like IFR flights.

Does it look like a game because of the bright UI? That's superficial. You're still pretending to fly airplanes people: don't take it so seriously. Menus and the option to fly missions don't make it any more of a game.

Absent big blunders and assuming continued third-party support, I can see FSW overtaking P3D relatively soon, possibly within the next year. Dovetail has access to Steam, which will bring in a lot of users and will in turn generate profit. Dovetail looks like it's moving faster than P3D, which only recently went 64 bit. LM isn't going to be interested in competing with FSW.

Nobody gave DTG a shot to begin with and were actively rooting for it's failure. Now we're seeing positive reviews with caveats. I can't see why those caveats can't be dealt with. The next step will be more backlash from the old guard as some contemplate having to change sims once again.

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Some of the old guard are responsible for many of the currently negative reviews - several because of the "I don't want to spend umpty-squat in add-ons again" type things.

We shall see. 

 

Having missed out on the FSX era (not having access to a decent PC for 15+ years), I've tried flying FSX after having flown FSW.  It's just not the same.  The level of detail in the planes and graphics quality are off-putting.  I know there are add-ons which address the detail for FSX planes, but I'm content to wait.

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Do not know about old guard but I am old I guess. I have 3 civilian FS at the moment, This one, AFS2, and FSX and am looking forward to seeing where it all ends up in the future. For the life of me I cannot see FSX 32 bit dying as they keep releasing add ons for it! I have all the US Orbx regions and am still buying new aircraft add ons for it. Logic would say 64 bit world is here go with it but ..... I like all 3. This FSW one I think desperately needs Orbx on board in a big way with the release of Regions not individual airports that can follow later. It also desperately needs a more balanced aircraft hangar. AFS2 is the odd one. Orbx has done a couple of sceneries for it and they are brilliant but it is more photo real than anything else and the frame rates are phenomenal even on an average machine. It is also the only one of these 3 that is Android friendly with top of the line VR support as well. Competition is good.

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Per a note on the Dovetail Forums, Orbx will be releasing stuff for FSW.  Just don't know when...

 

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5 hours ago, theohall65 said:

Per a note on the Dovetail Forums, Orbx will be releasing stuff for FSW.  Just don't know when...

 

What note? Can you link it? 

I Saw a thread on Orbx' Support Forums and one of the developers answered FSW will not  be free of charge for people that already own some of the sceneries, but those will receive a discount to buy the same scenery for FSW, which is a good thing. 

12 hours ago, carbonbasedlifeform said:

I've been impressed. It just lacks the usual addons, there are some bugs that need to be fixed, and some support for the jets to come like IFR flights.

Does it look like a game because of the bright UI? That's superficial. You're still pretending to fly airplanes people: don't take it so seriously. Menus and the option to fly missions don't make it any more of a game.

Absent big blunders and assuming continued third-party support, I can see FSW overtaking P3D relatively soon, possibly within the next year. Dovetail has access to Steam, which will bring in a lot of users and will in turn generate profit. Dovetail looks like it's moving faster than P3D, which only recently went 64 bit. LM isn't going to be interested in competing with FSW.

Nobody gave DTG a shot to begin with and were actively rooting for it's failure. Now we're seeing positive reviews with caveats. I can't see why those caveats can't be dealt with. The next step will be more backlash from the old guard as some contemplate having to change sims once again.

Some time ago I read a guy saying FSW was a game because it has some achievements. :biggrin:

What he forgot is FSX has more than 200 achievements. Guess what people will say if DTG really implements a career mode on the sim (Which by the way I will really appreciate).

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3 hours ago, ca_metal said:

I Saw a thread on Orbx' Support Forums and one of the developers answered FSW will not  be free of charge for people that already own some of the sceneries, but those will receive a discount to buy the same scenery for FSW, which is a good thing. 

I think we should take Orbx's statements with "a pinch of salt". As John Venema has pointed out, the situation may change. 

The last thing I've seen is pronounced, is that product for FSW will be sold through Steam only. And that we have to buy their products for FSW at regular prices - even though we have already bought the same products for FSX / P3D (no discount). The reason given by John Venema is that prices on Steam are relatively favorable and that Steam has sales with significantly reduced prices.

My interpretation should also be taken with "a pinch of salt". The point is that the statements so far are unclear (and perhaps misleading).

3 hours ago, ca_metal said:

Some time ago I read a guy saying FSW was a game because it has some achievements. :biggrin:

What he forgot is FSX has more than 200 achievements. Guess what people will say if DTG really implements a career mode on the sim (Which by the way I will really appreciate).

Yes, a lot of strange analysis among the "hard core" folks. :smile:

 

EDIT   :

I realize that you have absolutely right, ca_metal - so far. :smile:

Ed Correia (Orbx) said this week, quote: "Any product that is redeveloped for FSW will be sold separately. It will not be a free" upgrade ".
 
It will be similar to what we do for Aerofly FS2 versions - at a discount to existing customers of that product. "

I expect that this is Orbx's official policy - so far.

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36 minutes ago, torium said:

I think we should take Orbx's statements with "a pinch of salt". As John Venema has pointed out, the situation may change. 

The last thing I've seen is pronounced, is that product for FSW will be sold through Steam only. And that we have to buy their products for FSW at regular prices - even though we have already bought the same products for FSX / P3D (no discount). The reason given by John Venema is that prices on Steam are relatively favorable and that Steam has sales with significantly reduced prices.

My interpretation should also be taken with "a pinch of salt". The point is that the statements so far are unclear (and perhaps misleading).

In that statement JV is completely right, things sold though Steam can't have discounts for things owned on the FTX Central. But I'm pretty sure if you buy through their site and you already that scenert in other platform, you will have a discount. 

I will buy everything on Steam because JV is right, Steam has lots of sales and regionalized prices. If you live in UK or US, not a big of a deal, but in my case (Brazil), the prices are quite better.

E.G. You can buy FSW, in Russia, for less than U$ 4.00, that's nice for people living in countries with weak currencies. 
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3 minutes ago, ca_metal said:

In that statement JV is completely right, things sold though Steam can't have discounts for things owned on the FTX Central. But I'm pretty sure if you buy through their site and you already that scenert in other platform, you will have a discount.

Yes you're right, and I want to repeat what I edited in in my previous post:

52 minutes ago, torium said:

EDIT   :

I realize that you have absolutely right, ca_metal - so far. :smile:

Ed Correia (Orbx) said this week, quote: "Any product that is redeveloped for FSW will be sold separately. It will not be a free" upgrade ".
 
It will be similar to what we do for Aerofly FS2 versions - at a discount to existing customers of that product. "

I expect that this is Orbx's official policy - so far.

 

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On 5/19/2017 at 5:17 PM, Johan_Dees said:

i dont give ###### on all this.. how are the basics ?

Weather? winds ? the feel. the real deal.. the rest is nice to have.

Did they improve on feel ?

you did not read his article ......

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They should have just carried on updating FSX-SE and eventually released FSXI-SE, would have saved them some greif.

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8 minutes ago, mattyshigh said:

They should have just carried on updating FSX-SE and eventually released FSXI-SE, would have saved them some greif.

I kinda disagree. I think it was time to start over and fresh - even though FSW isn't really starting over. But if they can overcome some of the idio-idiosyncrasies and shortcomings which rely deep in the ESP engine, I think it's great.

The implementation of trueSky is a good start, to be honest... 

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11 hours ago, mattyshigh said:

I guess, I am just sick to death of early access and everybody hiding behind it.

Really? I prefer having my voice heard, rather than a company's unilateral decisions about what I want, as a consumer. 

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