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SmokeDiddy

Make-Up Required

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Please forgive me for this prose, but I have to say it.  I have been a long time MSFS user going way way back.  It wasn't until about 8 years ago that I got really serious with my simming.  I am amazed at the level of experience of sim enthusiasts and pilots that enrich this hobby on a daily basis.  I am not a RL pilot, but I do enjoy the feeling of flying - even if I have to do it from my desk.  Anyways, thank you all because i have learned a volume of stuff about flying, right here on AVSIM, and the funny thing is, I don't feel I've even scratched the surface.  Please do not think I am bashing anyone for the sim they use.  I get it...we all have that one (or several) sims that we have grown into and love above all others.

Nevertheless, with the EA release of FSW, I purchased it and installed it thinking that it would be the next progression from FSX-SE.  I flew it for several hours and determined it's nowhere near ready for prime time.  In the mean time, I had removed my instance of my beloved FSX-SE....ahemmm...this is what happens when you get old, you do stupid things without thinking them through.  However, since I do have my personal simming space, I needed something that I could use every day.

Luckily for me, XP 11 was recently released along with P3Dv4.  I jumped on the XP11 bandwagon first (since Austin lives right down the road) right off and wasn't sure about it out of the gate.

Then I noticed most of my FSX-SE planes, sceneries and some other add-ons were being converted over to P3Dv4 where they were co-developed for FSX and P3D.  So, I pulled the trigger on P3Dv4.  Off to the skies I went.  I felt at home with P3Dv4 as I felt it was really my 64bit FSX-SE.

With all that being said, here I sit 4 months later perplexed with what I feel is a pig being covered in make-up and at the end of the day, you can cover that pig in make-up but under all that make-up is still a pig.  The pig I refer to is P3Dv4.  What has triggered my perplexity was a post on this forum where someone innocently posted that Hotfix 1 was just released by LM for P3Dv4 even though it was released in June just prior to when I purchased P3Dv4.  I didn't read all the way down the post, so I trotted off through the link given to see this new Hotfix.  Well, by the time I got logged into the download section of LM's website, I found a link to the instructions on how to update P3D.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  From top to bottom about ten scrolls of my mouse.  This is a very donkey way to update an application I think, especially given the total size.  So you're given a choice to download the complete installed or download components and run them individually...but then you have to uninstall the old to add the new, but don't forget to click no to deactivation, etc., etc.  By the time I got to the bottom of the instructions, I sat back and wondered why they would create an update that is so old school and cumbersome - it is beyond me.

So, I started reflecting back over the last few months with my experience with P3Dv4 and XP11.  I know that XP11 will tell you when an update is available when you start it up.  Not so with P3D, you have to find out somewhere.  Additionally, the install will just happen in XP11 if you click the Download and Install.  Sure, I suspect some things might get bumbed up in the process, but I haven't had that happen in three updates since I've had the sim.  I always wondered why LM recommends you place 3PP stuff outside the core install location - this is another donkey thing.  Scenery is another thing that just isn't right in P3D.  Stuff seems washed out and old school, but I look at what comes out of the box in XP and it seems so much better looking.  It's true, many XP airports don't have any buildings, but the ones that do, are much more pleasing to the eye.  I can alwys use the installed libraries and WED to create the buildings around the airport very quickly.  Undulating runways are something else to behold as well as night lighting not to mention flight dynamics amongst other things.  Yes, I know, P3Dv4 has dynamic lighting, but it half works.  I will give P3D 3PP devs this however, they have a bountiful selection of add-ons for sure.  But you know, under all those decent add-ons, is still this same ole pig.  You can cover it up, but again at the end of the day, that pig is still there.

Overall, I am very underwhelmed with P3D.  It just doesn't feel like it is on the cutting edge and quite honestly, I don't think it will ever be in this present version.  Since I am old, I've had to start watching my money situation.  I ask myself, why spend hundreds or more on this sim when it is basically the same thing I had with FSX-SE except 64bit and no OOMs - which by the way I never had that issue with FSX-SE...some stuttering yes, but OOMs very very rare.  I understand P3Dv4 has some stuttering issues, but that's just stuff I have read on here, but I haven't seen them myself.  Then I think about XP11 and it's smoothness and fluidity and how it is being developed and the plethora of freeware add-ons and some great payware stuff too, but it is good enough to use out of the box on it's own.  It is true XP11 has some flaws and is missing some things that P3D has, but overall I find it much more immersive and definitely more fun than P3D.  Ummmmm...maybe it's the totally different sim that is XP more than the 64bit FSX that P3D seems to be has me mesmerized like a child at Christmas?  I don't know.

Again, this isn't a knock on any individual and the sim you use, but I am really struggling to understand why I have to buy all this stuff to make myself enjoy P3D in the same way I enjoy XP11.  Just knowing what P3D is out of the box is still the same P3D with all the make-up.  Of course, I can say the same about FSX.  There are many more things I could say about either sim, but I am tired of typing.  Please don't bash me for being honest and venting a little.  I still have my P3Dv4, but lately it has been collecting dust with FSW and it appears XP11 still wins the day for me.

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I remember first playing the fsx demo and was blown away by how it looked. Now XP-11 does it for me and anything esp based seems old 

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Very interesting to read your experience. I have Prepar3d 3.4 but held off on Prepar3d V4 for similar reasons. For me X-Plane 11 is my main sim and I have FSW to dabble with as it's been developed. Each to their own though. I know many on here love Prepar3d V4, warts and all. I suppose ultimately, it's based on a very old engine and not a consumer targeted product so therefore will be less user friendly to some degree. Anyway, this type of post unfortunately often turns into a contest of 'which sim is best'. The answer is really simple...none. Everyone has their own preference based on his/her own needs and wants. Let's not go there :)

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The thing about P3D, while it can indeed seem underwhelming, what you are paying for is what it CAN do, if you're prepared to invest a bit more in it. With v4 it has moved into a 64bit environment and the possibilities are endless. Think of P3D as your basic "operating system". And all the addons you use as "applications" that run on that "operating system".

 

Of course this is just the way that I see it. We all have different views. I've come to accept that it's a case of it being up to the user to make it into a really good sim, because the potential is there.

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4 hours ago, steve310002 said:

 I know many on here love Prepar3d V4, warts and all. I suppose ultimately, it's based on a very old engine and not a consumer targeted product so therefore will be less user friendly to some degree. Anyway, this type of post unfortunately often turns into a contest of 'which sim is best'. The answer is really simple...none. Everyone has their own preference based on his/her own needs and wants. Let's not go there :)

I certainly agree 100% and there are many reasons why P3D is an attractive sim to so many people.

1 hour ago, nealmac said:

We all have different views. I've come to accept that it's a case of it being up to the user to make it into a really good sim, because the potential is there.

No argument to be made here.

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On 9/15/2017 at 4:50 AM, SmokeDiddy said:

I certainly agree 100% and there are many reasons why P3D is an attractive sim to so many people.

No argument to be made here.

I agree, like FSX before it, P3D is simply a foundation to build upon.  I've added aircraft and scenery that cost more than the sim itself, but they lend to the realism and give many flight options to tinker with.  When Microsoft pulled out of flight simulations, I grieved feeling it was the end for such a long franchise.  I did not initially believe that anyone would pick up where they left off, but Lockheed Martin did, seeing a demand for such simulations.  And in the background, Austin kept churning away at X-Plane.  I am not sure how many simmers are out there, and by simmers I mean regular customers in the simming economy.  Someone must know the numbers.  But apparently there are enough of us to support the hobby.  It's a unique form of entertainment, with the only objective being the completion of flights, but every flight is unique and memorable.  I've purchased photoreal scenery that covers the southwest, where I live.  Makes for very real VFR flying.  Kudos to P3d for having an SDK to make photoreal scenery possible.

John

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