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PilotPete99

Worth getting FSDT KORD?

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Can anyone who has both the DD Chicago Airports as well as the FSDT KORD shed some light as to whether it is worth getting the FSDT product now that it is on sale? I wouldn’t normally consider buying a second version of an airport, but since O’Hare is my home airport, the wheels in my head are turning. I know FSDT is supposed to be superior, but I am curious if there is enough of a difference to warrant buying it. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Cheers, Pete


Pete Solov - Lake in the Hills 3CK

and Schaumburg Regional 06C
Proud AOPA Member - PPL 2001
Real World Piper Cherokee Pilot

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I'm not a fan of DD airports.  But I am a fan of their city skyline packages.  Chicago is no different.  Only advantage i see to DD is better performance.  I'm personally running:

ORD:   FSDT

MDW:   Fly Tampa

City: DD

They play nice together.  


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KORD has undergone radical reforms in runway and taxiway layout in the real world(RW). Runways 32/14L&R have been eliminated or transformed into taxiways.  Runway 27/09C has been added north of 27L.  Many taxiways have been renamed.

DD runway layout is correct.  RWY 09L/27L is shown extended to west and taxiway construction to the southwest is shown complete, although these changes are depicted under construction on the current Jeppesen Airport Diagram. 
 

 FSDT KORDv2 is not updated to recent real world runway changes. 
 

regards Barry

Edited by deirpo
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Good point Barry. Fsdt has also been almost 100 percent focused on msfs. They were asked in their forum and said eventually but that the scenery they sell isn’t a subscription. Not to be critical. But the planned designed changes at ord were known for some time. I’m surprised they didn’t already have it ready. 

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1 hour ago, deirpo said:

FSDT KORDv2 is not updated to recent real world runway changes. 

Picture of FSDT's KORD v2 ADE file overview

Compares rather well to the latest AIP info for O'Hare that I can find:
https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aip_html/part3_ad_2.0_illinois.html
Especially when considering the scenery was released over a year ago.
 

3 hours ago, PilotPete99 said:

I know FSDT is supposed to be superior, but I am curious if there is enough of a difference to warrant buying it. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Depends what you want from the scenery.
Visually, FSDT is comfortably ahead. I like the quality texturing across most of the airfield and the stand information boards with 'live' weather, stand coordinates, and route info (based on programmed FMC details).
Another plus point is that animated vehicles stop, rather than plow through your aircraft during pushback or taxi.

There is some visual strobing of runway surfaces at night and performance is a little lower than Drzewiecki's.

FSElite did a review on the release version (some of the problems have been fixed).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Y7Z61rXEg

Good news is, you can download it from the FSDT website for a try-before-you-buy 10-minute demo.
Though at the price it's being offered on sale, I think it's a steal.
 

Edited by F737NG
  • Upvote 2

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Just now, F737NG said:

Picture of FSDT's KORD v2 ADE file overview

Compares rather well to the latest AIP info for O'Hare that I can find:
https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aip_html/part3_ad_2.0_illinois.html
Especially when considering the scenery was released over a year ago.
 

Depends what you want from the scenery.
Visually, FSDT is comfortably ahead. I like the quality texturing across most of the airfield and the stand information boards with 'live' weather, stand coordinates, and route info (based on programmed FMC details).
Another plus point is that animated vehicles stop, rather than plow through your aircraft during pushback or taxi.

There is some visual strobing of runway surfaces at night and performance is a little lower than Drzewiecki's.

FSElite did a review on the release version (some of the problems have been fixed).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Y7Z61rXEg

Good news is, you can download it from the FSDT website for a try-before-you-buy 10-minute demo.

Thanks for that. By the way, how much is the FSDT MSFS version if you own the P3dv5 one? That may make it worthwhile to buy if I will save on the MSFS as well. For some reason I searched but could not find this information anywhere.

Cheers, Pete


Pete Solov - Lake in the Hills 3CK

and Schaumburg Regional 06C
Proud AOPA Member - PPL 2001
Real World Piper Cherokee Pilot

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1 minute ago, PilotPete99 said:

Thanks for that. By the way, how much is the FSDT MSFS version if you own the P3dv5 one? That may make it worthwhile to buy if I will save on the MSFS as well. For some reason I searched but could not find this information anywhere.

MSFS KORD upgrade for P3D owners was $13.99 (before sales tax), but I think you had to have bought both from their website.
Simmarket are currently offering it on sale for €10.79 (before sales tax) which is approximately $12.63.


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11 minutes ago, F737NG said:

MSFS KORD upgrade for P3D owners was $13.99 (before sales tax), but I think you had to have bought both from their website.
Simmarket are currently offering it on sale for €10.79 (before sales tax) which is approximately $12.63.

Got it, for some reason the P3d version seems to be much cheaper at Simmarket, not sure why this is though.

Cheers, Pete

Edited by PilotPete99

Pete Solov - Lake in the Hills 3CK

and Schaumburg Regional 06C
Proud AOPA Member - PPL 2001
Real World Piper Cherokee Pilot

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I’m flying from KLAS To KORD at this very moment.  Can you guys have it ready in the next hour and half ? Or should I use DD?  LOL

Love what you do,

Barry

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2 hours ago, micstatic said:

Good point Barry. Fsdt has also been almost 100 percent focused on msfs. They were asked in their forum and said eventually but that the scenery they sell isn’t a subscription

I think you got that explanation wrong: the comparison to navigraph was to make clear is wrong to expect we could release a scenery update exactly on time with real world changes because, while Navigraph “just” pay a license to get access to data that has been generated elsewhere and CAN automatically converted into other formats, a scenery requires manual work, on ground textures ( in several seasons ), to making taxisigns, ground markings, afcad changes, new approaches, removing things that are not there,etc. it almost the same as making a small airport.

And yet, although the manual workload it’s so much higher than “just” taking your monthly fee to pay for the new data, our scenery is NOT a subscription, and yet the update WILL be free.

THAT what I meant with “the scenery is not a subscription”, it was a (likely failed, it seems) attempt to have users understand they cannot expect or demand updates to airports to be released as fast as Navigraph, especially considering they ARE getting your money every month for that, but we don’t

 

 

Edited by virtuali
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2 hours ago, virtuali said:

that exactly what we are working at, right now.

This is excellent news. I know you will probably say “when it’s ready”, but still I gotta ask: do you have a release timeframe in mind?

Also, do the signs work in v5? I ask because several features of GSX were disabled due to complications with DX12. Does that span these destination signs and such as well?

personally I already bought the DD chicago city and airports but agree that I don’t like the airports that much. I’m okay with Midway, but am not overly fond of KORD. I might just install DD Chicago city and go back to FT Midway and get FSDT KORD. The terminal buildings in the latter look a lot better. Though I will say I’m not that fond of the ground textures. They strike me as a little washed out and non-descript. In that sense I do prefer DD.


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5 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

This is excellent news. I know you will probably say “when it’s ready”, but still I gotta ask: do you have a release timeframe in mind?

It shouldn't be too long, weeks, not months, for sure.

 

Quote

Also, do the signs work in v5? I ask because several features of GSX were disabled due to complications with DX12. Does that span these destination signs and such as well?

If you mean the active info panels, they don't at this time, but of course no other scenery has it ( because they were made with the Addon Manager... ).

We are testing right now the new features added in the latest 5.1, which should allow Render to Texture without using DirectX 12, but HTML5 instead.

The reason for not wanting to use DirectX 12 in the V5 version of the Addon Manager, was primarily because DX12 is the cause of so many instabilities by itself, that the last thing we wanted was risking users with those completely unfounded fears of it would assume it was its fault if the sim DXGI-crashed on them. So, we made a specific version for V5 that doesn't contain any DirectX code.

That was the primary reason ( in addition to the fact I haven't still 100% figure it out how DX12 really works, is *so much* more complex than DX11, and I'm not comfortable selling something I'm not 100% sure of  ), but there were other reasons too, for example the fact that DX12 has completely removed support for DirectWrite, which is an API used to create text in DX11, which we heavily relied on, since it's used every time you see a text that changes dynamically, like those Active panels at KORD for example. That API is gone, and there's no direct replacement, other than a very clunky and unreliable way to use DirectX 11 and Direct X 12 together, rendering some things in DX11 ( text, usually ) and the rest in DX 12. It adds another level of complexity, it comes with a performance hit and, guess what, it consumes more VRAM.

So, we decided to stay away from DX12, also because we knew LM was going to offer a less dangerous alternative, since we only need to draw some images and text dynamically on the scenery, and using DirectX just for that was a bit overkill. So yes, we are looking into Render to Texture with HTML now, which should bring back all those missing features we had in P3D4, but it's has just been released in 5.1 HF1, and it's barely documented in SDK, so it will take time to exactly figure it out how it works, and how we could integrate it in our product to replace DirectX.

Funny you asking for a feature which was so much hard-core "Addon Manager", which controlled DX11 in V4 ( I wonder how everybody still considers V4.5 to be the most stable version ever, considering how *much* we did with it and how many people use GSX, I guess the Addon Manager is not *that* "unreliable"... ) and so much hard-core Couatl, which does the high-level logic, and so much hard-core P3D native, which means we tried to use its SDK to its full extent...

 

5 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

I might just install DD Chicago city and go back to FT Midway and get FSDT KORD. The terminal buildings in the latter look a lot better. Though I will say I’m not that fond of the ground textures. They strike me as a little washed out and non-descript.

KORD is so big that we were worried about VRAM consumption ( we had the V5 Beta many months before it was released ), so we haven't gone overboard with resolution with that, since we have only four 4K textures to cover the whole airport, in the MSFS version we have 9 for example. Now that lots of users have V5, all airport developers should try to be more careful with photoreal texture resolution as well, since with DX12 you cannot ignore that issue anymore.

However, if you looked at KORD in reviews only, possibly made last year when it came out, lots of them were made before we made a big upgrade on the background: it didn't raised the resolution, but we had a better quality image to start with but, unfortunately, none of the review sites that reviewed the initial version was willing to replace at least the screenshot on their site to show the new background, which of course no users buying now will ever get to see, since our installers are self-updating, so you always get the very latest version the moment you install.

And, when P3D V5 came out, we released another update, that added *PBR on background photoreal textures*, which is a feature only possible with P3D V5, and this improves the overall realism of the scenery, which now blends much better with the rest of the scenery, since in V5 even the default landclass scenery is in PBR, so if an airport is not updated like that, it will stick out badly in V5. However, as common with PBR, it MUST be seen live to experience it, during different times of the day, because it's the only way to see how much better the background reacts to incoming light, you don't get it from screenshots, and you barely get it from videos.

Edited by virtuali
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Thanks for the detailed response @virtuali, much appreciated. I'm happy to hear about the impending KORD update as well as the return of the GSX features. I might just go ahead and get your KORD v2. With the sale especially it's price has come down substantially.

I should be clear about one thing: it's not so much addon manager that I dislike, it's the injection of the airport scenery. I prefer sceneries to be good 'ol style sceneries that do not need to be injected. I'm always nervous about things that are dynamically added. I realize that there's no other way for some things, like GSX, but when it concerns an entire airport I don't like it much. I also realize that it's exactly this feature that allows for the trial. Call me crazy, but I would probably prefer giving up on the trial if it meant that the scenery was no longer dynamically injected. As for why I don't like the injection, it's because I've had issues with injected things not showing up. This includes an addon manager issue at KSDF once, and recurring times with SODE. Granted, this happens very rarely (addon manager was only once, mind you), but it's enough to leave an impression. Hence, when I use FSDT airport, I usually make sure it's the departure airport, in fear that if I were to arrive the airport may not show up...


Benjamin van Soldt

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