ErichB

One of the elephants in the room with P3D

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5 hours ago, ErichB said:

  Right now, the beginners choice is xplane.

One of my flightsim buddies just got a 6 TB drive, just for XPlane scenery...

We are all in for a ride  :cool:

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I made the switch to P3D in version 3 and don't regret it. I don't understand the "huge" cost people are saying (I am not accusing anybody of exaggerating). Here is my experience:

1. I am not an Orbx user but MegaScenery user. Cost to upgrade: zero.

2. I have all the FSDT airports. Cost to upgrade: zero

3. Also, all Flightbeam airports. Cost to upgrade: zero

4. Active Sky, Toposim mesh are used. Cost to upgrade: 0 (AS may have had a small cost, I forget if this is the case)

5. And, Turbulent Design, Flytampa, iBlueYonder, all zero.

I use a combination of freeware and default aircraft. I could care less about learning systems. They do have some limitations but I am sure that freeware authors will come out with new aircraft. IRL, I have my PP cert and don't need to spend hours learning systems when I have proven I have IRL.

So the only cost was for the P3D software (and a new/previously owned video card -- a 1070 8 Gb to replace my old AMD R9-270X, 2 Gb). The card cost was $225 (purchased here). I needed it for other non-game software so not all the cost could be counted for the P3D change.

Edited by pgde
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Reading the previous posts, all I can say is that I'm running P3Dv4.3 and will for sure wait and buy P3Dv5 when it's released, but why to wait for one year or more to enter into P3D?. I can fly VFR with P3D and it's quite good and satisfactory for me, apart from the fact that is a full-developed simulator with tons of good and complex aircraft, excellent AI Traffic, ATC, real weather and flight planners addons that make the flights quite immersive and close to real!. Also, finding the proper few tweaks, P3D can become super fluid.

And FSX, a thing of the past, as well as FSX:SE, being old 32-bit platforms. No comparison possible.

Cheers, Ed

 

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6 hours ago, dave2013 said:

I'm disappointed to hear about this I must say.  I'm still using FSX:SE and intended to switch to P3Dv4 in a few months in the hopes that LM has greatly improved the terrain engine and that the graphics are much better overall.  I'm actually not doing it solely for the 64 bit feature as I rarely have the VAS issue being that I don't use payware airports and super highly detailed scenery products. 

So I'm wondering: is it worth it to make the switch?  What do you guys think?

Thanks.

Dave

I would definitely say it is worth making the switch from FSX to P3D, but it's a bit hard to swallow at the time since as I say, it feels a bit like paying for something you've already got (more on this below). How I got around that, at least to some extent, was to make a mental cut-off point in my purchasing of stuff, and from that point onward, I only bought stuff which was FSX and P3D compatible, or which offered some sort of transitional discount, so that I was future-proofing things to some extent.

A case in point for this was the purchase of the FSX version of the Quality Wings Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I bought that when I was on the cusp of switching to P3D, but I did so in the knowledge that Quality Wings/Flight 1, had promised that buyers of the FSX version would receive a substantial discount if they subsequently also chose to buy the P3D version too. There was a bit of a time limit on that deal, but even that time limit was fairly generous, and so the P3D version of the 787 only ended up costing (I think) something like an additional 25 quid to buy because of that.

To be fair, it's important to get it in your head that in switching to P3D from FSX-SE, you're not really 'buying what you've already got' in quite a few regards, not least the fact that development and support remains ongoing. First up, there is of course the fact that it is 64 Bit, and that as we know means it won't bomb with some pretty things thrown at it; specifically, things such as that QW 787 will take FSX-SE down if there's some half decent scenery running too, and it invariably does it at the end of a three hour flight as your shiny payware airport swings into view, which was incredibly frustrating for me since that would generally occur with an Air Hauler 2 flight, so I'd not only have to make the flight again, but also I'd often have missed the delivery deadline for cargo and get penalised for it as well, thus flying the route again knowing that was going to happen was a bit like rubbing salt in a wound.

It was experiences such as this which made me switch, I had bought the V1 version of P3D out of curiosity, but I never was that impressed with it still being 32 Bit, however, when the 64 Bit version of P3D arrived, that was the factor which made me go for it properly and I do actually have two licences for P3D V4, because I have it on a laptop as well as a desktop. So I can in all honesty say that P3D V4 was so good, I bought it twice lol. Note here that for anyone else considering this, many add-on licenses do not allow me to install products on both copies, P3D licensing is a bit more strict in that regard.

But, there is no denying that straight out of the box, whilst P3D V4 does offer the promise of a lot of potential with its 64 Bit architecture, when you get past all the fanfares and marketing speak it is quite a surprise to see how fairly cack P3D looks 'straight out of the box', and that's because for most users, they're used to a tweaked and souped-up FSX which has been honed for many years with various add-ons until they've got it the best they can in terms of appearance, so to go back to a stripped base program is quite a shock visually at least. One particularly shocking thing is the weather/clouds in a default P3D V4, they look appallingly bad and I can promise you that the first thing you'll want to do is address that. For me that was one of the annoying expenses, because I had bought Active Sky via Steam for the FSX-SE version, and that meant there was no P3D V4 Active Sky discount upgrade route available to me to add Active Sky and AS Cloud Art to P3D V4, so I waited until they had a slight, but nevertheless welcome sale to purchase it. 

A big plus for P3D V4 is that it has cloud shadows, which can of course be added into FSX-SE too if you pay for a couple of reasonably inexpensive add-ons, but even so, that is one expense you don't have to indulge in again when switching to P3D, since the capability is built-in. There are numerous other plus points to P3D V4 over FSX/FSX-SE and they're fairly easy to find out about, so I won't rehash that here, suffice to say that the performance improvement on modern hardware is perhaps the greatest reason of all to make the switch. But back to the other aspects of doing so...

As with the discount for that 787, users of the iFly 747 and 737 for FSX get the pleasant news that there is a fairly generous discount for upgrading these to a P3D version. So that's another big thank you and some further respect for Flight 1 in having acknowledged that although there is indeed some work involved in converting an FSX product to be a P3D V4 product, it's not the complete do over that some developers would have you believe it is since all the research and development work, and indeed the 3D modeling and image work for the textures (unless they are going for increased polygons and resolutions, which they generally are not), is already done. This is never more obvious than when you come across several products which are literally a 'dual install' capable .exe file, allowing them to be installed in both FSX and P3D. There are numerous Just Flight add-ons which enjoy this capability, and along with a few other good reasons to do so, is one of the reasons why I'm a supporter of their efforts, because they're one of the developers who have not blagged people into believing that they've inexplicably somehow had to do all the R&D twice.

This sort of thing is in fact why I flatly refuse to buy the PMDG 737 NG or the 747-400 for P3D V4 when I had previously bought them for FSX, since they offer no discounted upgrade path at all. As a result of that, since their new 747-8 requires the 400 base package, I won't be buying that either. I did however buy their DC-6 because I never had that for FSX, so it's not as if I have some of total boycott of PMDG, but I do nevertheless suspect that I'm not the only one who thinks having to buy a 747-400 base package - when I already have an iFly 747-400 - just to get a 747-8 (which they frequently have pointed out is a very different aeroplane to the 400 variant) is not exactly good value since it would come to the best part of 200 Dollars to do that, as opposed to iFly, who'll be throwing their 747-8 upgrade at their 400 users for free. I like the PMDG 747-400, it's great in FSX and not bad value for what you get, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna buy it twice at full price lol. PMDG make some great stuff, there's no denying that, but I think their marketing strategy often leaves a lot to be desired, and they're certainly not alone in that.

These are some of the difficulties/choices/decisions you will come up against if you do decide to switch to P3D from FSX. But as I say, if you look around, there are some developers who've been kind enough - and indeed smart enough - to realise that a bit of loyalty to their customers is such that it will engender the same response in return. And some other developers better be aware that it's a two-way street; the hobby can get expensive, and that makes loyalty from your customers a commodity which in the long run, is of more value than making a quick buck from selling them what is largely the same product twice during a transitional period for a base sim package. As noted, I don't expect to get things for free, and I'll cheerfully pay for the work involved in creating different versions for different platforms if there is indeed work involved, but I want honesty from such transactions and the marketing behind them.

So in the end, if you want to make a switch, consider making it a 'rolling switch' by looking out for products and developers who are inclined to make that easier and less expensive.

Edited by Chock
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11 hours ago, Chock said:

Even the GUI of P3D is a miles better design than any other competing flight sim. 

I have all three Sims.. I agree with all that you said except the above.. Xp11 gui is miles ahead of p3d4 and LM needs to catch up with xp11 on gui design.. 

But for widebody tubeliners, p3d4 is the way to go.. 

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I'm ever more convinced to make the switch.  We'll see if P3Dv5 will be out early next year, otherwise I'll likely go ahead and get v4.

I completely agree with you and others regarding PMDG's practices where P3D is concerned.  I consider it to be a blatant money grab, and I will not be purchasing their P3D products unless they offer a discount for the FSX versions I already own - period.

Thanks for the responses everyone.

Dave

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6 hours ago, pgde said:

1. I am not an Orbx user but MegaScenery user. Cost to upgrade: zero.

I am an ORBX user and in fact own all of their packages. Cost to upgrade from FSX to Prepar3d4: zero (over all incarnations FSX->P3D1->P3D2->P3D3->P3D4).

Kind regards, Michael

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13 hours ago, downscc said:

I like to do low level mountain flying in the PMDG DC-6, and maybe it's because I'm using Pilot's mesh but I don't see mountains popping up in front of me,, but I do agree that the P3D rendering engine is long over due a significant update.  I will often see a slight shape shifting, which is weird but I'm used to it.

As for cost, no one who has paid to fly will ever call this an expensive hobby.  I know it's relative, but I know sportsmen that pay much more for hunting or fishing and I suspect that even bowling is more expensive than this hobby.

I agree Dan, at the end of the day, it can be as cheap or as expensive as you like. As with any hobby, once you become hooked and engrossed with it, you try as much as possible to acquire the finest and best you can afford. Let's face it, anyone can buy a copy of FSX for a few dollars, a cheap joystick and enjoy it as a PC game. That's how most of us got started, I'm sure. Then once you become enthralled with things, you want to get a better plane, then better scenery, etc etc. It's very easy to tot up how much money you've spent on the hobby from day one, and frighten yourself 😱 but it's how much a year is spent, surely, in the same way you'd look at your golf membership and cost per game. 

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Can't say i really notice the scenery popping and giant trees etc. What really still gets me is the atrocious night lighting. I love night flying but the state of it in P3D just kills it for me.

Xplane is much better in some respects although it suffers from popping which ruin things as well.

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I'm simming for almost 20 years now. Never looked at any other sim than FSX & P3D. I must admit, lately, whenever I see an Xplane screenshot I cry a little. I never used Xplane, I'm not using it now but I have to admit that it's is overtaking P3D so fast it's unbelievable. I invested a small fortune in FSX & P3D addons but I'm seriously thinking in switching to Xplane when next versions come out. Of course, it all depends on what P3D v5 is going to bring us but even with that, the situation is very complicated - if they introduce the new engine than the compatibility with all the addons is most likely going to be broken, so the addons are not the excuse to stay with P3D anymore. If they don't introduce the new engine than it most likely can't look much better than it looks now - which is not good at all. So the only way I'm staying with P3D in the future would be that v5 is going to bring us as good or better visuals and performance than Xplane. Simple as that.

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7 hours ago, Chock said:

 

So the big question is:

Will you be prepared to accept a new terrain engine for the sake of longer term gain which will most likely render all current scenery addon's useless - and therefore stick with the platform but have to pay for the scenery add-ons (again) - or would that just make you switch platforms entirely?

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9 minutes ago, ErichB said:

So the big question is:

Will you be prepared to accept a new terrain engine for the sake of longer term gain which will most likely render all current scenery addon's useless - and therefore stick with the platform but have to pay for the scenery add-ons (again) - or would that just make you switch platforms entirely?

It's going to be a clean slate and people will choose the better platform.

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12 minutes ago, ErichB said:

So the big question is:

Will you be prepared to accept a new terrain engine for the sake of longer term gain which will most likely render all current scenery addon's useless - and therefore stick with the platform but have to pay for the scenery add-ons (again) - or would that just make you switch platforms entirely?

I am pretty sure LM will keep some extent of backwards compatibility which has always been one of their declared goals, and certainly for a reason.

I can imagine, even a new terrain engine keeping basic compatibility. I recall having been told by experts the transition to 64 bits would render all our addons completely unusable because of some byte ordering or longer/shorter variables or other strange stuff I didn't comprehend, which was plainly wrong.

Kind regards, Michael

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6 minutes ago, pmb said:

I can imagine, even a new terrain engine keeping basic compatibility. I recall having been told by experts the transition to 64 bits would render all our addons completely unusable because of some byte ordering or longer/shorter variables or other strange stuff I didn't comprehend, which was plainly wrong.

Yup, I remember that.  

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Like may others, I use both P3D and XPlane. The use of the platform depends on the kind of flying and availability of high-end aircraft. I do also come from FSX, bought thousands of sceneries and add-ons and recently "discovered" Xplane 11 and its features (I tried XP8 before, but it was not convincing for a switch). Especially night flights in XP11 are a joy! However, none of the platforms is perfect. Default P3D suffers from blurred terrain and popping-up textures and default XP11 has no seasons. For GA I usually go with XP, for airliners either XP or P3D. Especially with airliners you are usually so busy in a one-man cockpit with ATC that there is no much time to look outside the window when being in the approach phase.

Sometimes I think it would be great to have the same amount of natural haze in P3D as in Xplane in order to mask some of P3D's blurries.

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4 minutes ago, Cargostorm said:

Sometimes I think it would be great to have the same amount of natural haze in P3D as in Xplane in order to mask some of P3D's blurries.

This raised my curiosity.. maybe an add-on could replicate this under P3D.. please send me screenshots privately so I can study possibilities..

All the best,
S.

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5 minutes ago, simbol said:

This raised my curiosity.. maybe an add-on could replicate this under P3D.. please send me screenshots privately so I can study possibilities..

All the best,
S.

This can already be done using Active Sky if you set a visibility parameter.

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17 minutes ago, ErichB said:

This can already be done using Active Sky if you set a visibility parameter.

I know but I am interested to see the PICs from XP11 haze :), just researching as I am looking for the mouse that scare the Elephant :wink:.

S.

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15 minutes ago, simbol said:

I know but I am interested to see the PICs from XP11 haze :), just researching as I am looking for the mouse that scare the Elephant :wink:.

S.

seattle-city-xp-(4).jpg

Is this enough? I am glad Prepar3d doesn't come with this by default like XP11 where you have to jump through a few hoops to get rid of it. There certainly are hazy situations in the real world, and Prepar3d can cope with them (as Erich mentioned, e.g. using AS). However, if you want to have a clear shiny summer day on the backside of a cold front, it needs a lot of patience in XP11.

Kind regards, Michael

Edited by pmb
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1 minute ago, pmb said:

I am glad Prepar3d doesn't come with this by default like XP11 where you have to jump through a few hoops to get rid of it. There certainly are hazy situations in the real world, and Prepar3d can cope with them (as Erich mentioned, e.g. using AS). However, if you want to have a clear shiny summer day on the backside of a cold front, it needs a lot of patience in XP11.

Kind regards, Michael

Well this is the problem.. some people want the haze all the time and others don't.. we humans are very difficult to please..

This is why no Aliens in the universe have contacted our planet yet as they are scared we will be disappointed about them, I know, I know.. my conspiracy theories are crazzy.. 

S.

 

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Meh....I fly only GA in P3Dv4.  I notice a few of the things pointed out in this thread, but for whatever reason, I'm not too bothered with it.  I will say though that most of the flying I do is down in the Caribbean and most of the sceneries are payware, so there is much photo real used.  I do own ORBX PNW and a few payware airports in the region, so I fly there some, but not nearly as much.  I can agree that the land classes on big bodies of land has much to be desired.  I also own XP11 and I like it to a point, but ground handling, especially on the runways takes most of my enthusiasm straight down the toilet, but I keep it around in hopes that the ground handling and some other key features get fixed some day soon.

I understand the case of why many would prefer to fly high alt in P3D, but I'm just not into the heavy metal or jets of any kind, so it's low and slow for me.  

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1 hour ago, ErichB said:

So the big question is:

Will you be prepared to accept a new terrain engine for the sake of longer term gain which will most likely render all current scenery addon's useless - and therefore stick with the platform but have to pay for the scenery add-ons (again) - or would that just make you switch platforms entirely?

I'd absolutely go with buying it again if the benefits were such that it was a marked improvement in in utilising the GPU to  provide better looks and performance gains. But having said that, I think my point about the offer of brand loyalty and at the very least some kind of nod to it for previous customers who had purchased the many add-ons to tweak up P3D V4's appearance and its content, is relevant in that circumstance. Beyond any improvements which a new version of P3D might offer, the TPD market and what it could offer for a new platform too would be a factor in making such a switch. As noted, I don't expect anything for free, I concede that any developer is deserving of fair payment for any product they sell and which I want. 

I usually buy any and every flight sim which endeavours to push the envelope and widen the appeal of flight simming, since I'm very much of the opinion that we either 'use it or lose it'. Competition is good and it drives development. To this end, even though I don't use other flight sims as much as I use P3D, I've religiously purchased every new version of XPlane since way back when, and a number of add-ons for it too, and I also buy pretty much any other new sim which comes out just to offer my support; I was a heavy supporter of efforts to get FSW off the ground and also of AeroFly FS2, although an exception to that rule with buying all the new stabs at flight sims was the recently released wings Over the Reich, because I felt it was not much more than a reskin of O.F.F. and they could have certainly improved its looks a bit, so I voted with my wallet on that one although I wouldn't rule it out if they choose to pretty it up a bit.

But back with what most people would regard as P3D's, main contender, my support for XPlane, or rather the lack of it in wider terms is because of Laminar's continued lackluster efforts in improving things such as ATC, seasonal changes, AI and weather depiction. They've been promising that stuff for several versions and it's always 'jam tomorrow' where they are concerned with those improvements. I expect my criticisms of P3D and what I think it needs will indeed be addressed and we've seen some evidence of that too, whereas with XPlane, I would not be inclined to continue hold my breath waiting for that to happen, because I've already been doing that for years without much evidence of it occurring.

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3 minutes ago, Chock said:

But back with what most people would regard as P3D's, main contender, my support for XPlane, or rather the lack of it in wider terms is because of Laminar's continued lackluster efforts in improving things such as ATC, seasonal changes, AI and weather depiction. They've been promising that stuff for several versions and it's always 'jam tomorrow' where they are concerned with those improvements. I expect my criticisms of P3D and what I think it needs will indeed be addressed and we've seen some evidence of that too, whereas with XPlane, I would not be inclined to continue hold my breath waiting for that to happen, because I've already been doing that for years without much evidence of it occurring.

Profound, but true.  P3D keeps me breathing and satisfies my need to sim every day I can.  There was a time when I was holding my breath on XP and big mama kept asking why my lips are always blue, so I've been happy with P3D for the most part and will stick with it for now.

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1 hour ago, pmb said:

However, if you want to have a clear shiny summer day on the backside of a cold front, it needs a lot of patience in XP11.

I dislike the haze in X-Plane, however every time I fly in real-life (which is a lot), it's pretty much how it really looks. 

I prefer bolder, brighter colours and better visibility in the sim because it is simply more pleasing to the eye on a computer monitor (or in VR). It's never been possible to feel like it's a sunny-bright day in X-Plane because of this, so I think compromises have to be made

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No haze at all has never looked realistic to me in P3D/FSX. I have seen screenshots of PlayHorizon UK VFR Photographic Scenery from the air in broad daylight without any haze, and they have always looked way too "harsh". I set my haze distance in P3D to 20 miles, and I stick to that!

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