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VHOJT

What I need from MSFS and why I use P3D. What about you?

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Hi all,

I was having a ponder while operating an old favourite service of mine - QF9 from Singapore Changi to London Heahthrow in PMDG's 747-400.  Nothing quite beats an MTOW departure and an always interesting route across many fascinating countries to get from the East to London.

P3D v5 (now I got an 8GB 1080 from a friend to replace my 6GB 980ti) works very well for me.  Performance is good (with hyperthreading off for me and my ageing i7 6700K, despite trying many viable affinity masks) and, even though I swore I wouldn't use EA, I can't do without it.  The sim looks and feels great, is stable - and I can fly into London with AI traffic and without a worry in the world as to FPS dropping below the sacred 30 FPS for vsync with my 4K monitor.  Gary's FPS-friendly UK2000 Heathrow will be updated no more for P3D, a shame given as Gary's sceneries have a unique and nostalgic feel to them for me - I think UK2000 EGLL was my first scenery purchase 22 years ago as a 12-year-old (well, I guess my mum must have purchased it for me as I wasn't gainfully employed at that stage.  Thanks Mum!)

Which made me think: developers either have, or are on a trend to leave the platform in the droves.  I feel it's only a matter of time before Randazzo (given his comments discussed in the other thread) abandons the platform while we have waited so long for some updates such as the LNAV update.  Understandable I suppose, they are a business and need to survive.

I believed the hype about how good MSFS will be for the community - an influx of new users, increased development, a beautiful sim etc.  In some ways, MSFS has been a great thing.  I haven't used it much, as I really only get around in high-detail simulations such as FSLabs/PMDG (going to try my hand at Majestic Dash 8 or the MadDog soon).  I have done  a few little sight-seeing trips, and MSFS does look fantastic.  It's also given LM a small boot up the bum and their sim has improved considerably in v5, albeit along a bumpy path.  MSFS has got new users involved, and a lot of people excited about flight sim, which is fantastic.  I am guessing it is also pretty fantastic for developers making products for it with the cashflow.  It also has decent performance for what it is - although P3D v5 really has made enormous gains in performance.  I was thinking my computer was junk running v4, but with v5 I am amazed.

But there is a downside: I believe MSFS has partitioned the community between "simmers who have a bit of fun", and "simmers who have a bit of fun with OCD-tendencies" such as myself - ones that enjoy a good thorough planning session and operating a flight as realistically as possible versus a less-realistic but just-as-fun approach.

The main reason for this so far is probably the lack of high-fidelity aircraft available for MSFS, although this will change in the near-future with the Fenix A320 and PMDG 737 - and hopefully some long-haul aircraft to follow at some stage.  (Personally I am excited about the idea of an A380 - but will believe that when I see it - such a thing has been promised many times!) I realise a lot of us also mix and match sims - MSFS for VFR at the moment, P3D for IFR etc.

I feel this partition at the moment slews the MSFS development agenda slightly, in that less attention is paid to things that are really important for a high-fidelity simulator that would make it more appealing for people like me.  A particular deal-breaker for me is historical weather:

One such thing is historical weather for me.  Working part-time, doing a mathematics major and having a garden larger than a small country to look after, I am time-poor.  I like to spend a couple of hours planning a flight, checking enroute airports and weather and NOTAMS, getting a fuel-optimised route etc.  I might do that on Wednesday night.  Come the weekend, I will pull out the flight plan, set the weather back a few days with Activesky and blast off on my long-haul flight.  I can also review flights by going back with historical weather, or do them again if I want to.  With MSFS, none of this is possible.  Fine - I can do a short-haul Jetstar flight from my home city to Melbourne with live weather  - no big deal.  But what if I am sitting around on a Saturday in Australia, and I want to do an easyjet hop from LGW to NCE?  For a start, no flights are operating at the moment as it is the middle of the UK night.  It is foggy in the middle of winter tonight, and the temperature is 0.  Not really day-time weather.  With historical weather, no problem.  I can do a realistic daytime European flight with no problems.  There won't be unrealistic fog at 3pm at LGW.  The temperature in NCE won't be 5 degrees at 3pm.

They don't seem interested in letting third-parties have a go either.

Another problem for me will be any lack of weather radar.  Dodging bangers near Darwin in wet season, or flying into Bangkok at night dodging them is what it's all about.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but two things that are important to me and that I consider "deal-breakers".

So far, MSFS shows little interest in either as far as I am aware (haven't checked about WXR for a while).

So, even although there may be a PMDG 737 or Fenix A320, I can't seem myself hopping over there and using that sim as it lacks some critical features important to a simulator.  Which leaves me here, with P3D, with little third-party development or innovation on the 3rd-party side.

If you're a simmer who hasn't shifted, what's stopping you from shifting to MSFS?  Is there something we can do to make the platform more viable for our needs?  Do you feel staying with P3D is viable?  Do you think my demographical assessment is real?  Interested to hear your thoughts.  But for Pete's sake let's not descend into some sort of war with fan boys/girls  from either side.  

Cheers,
Rudy

 

 

Edited by VHOJT
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Rudy!  Just go fly what meets your expectations at the time. Each day and each destination can be different.  In regard to sims it's all in.

Edited by fppilot
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Frank Patton
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3 minutes ago, fppilot said:

Rudy!  Just go fly what meets your expectations at the time. Each day and each destination can be different.  In regard to sims it's all in.

That's pretty much what I will do in the end.

Cheers,
Rudy 🙂 

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53 minutes ago, VHOJT said:

That's pretty much what I will do in the end.

A happy note to end on!


 

 

 

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I do not quite see the purpose of this post. You said you can do everything you want to enjoyably with good performance in 5.3, a platform still under active development, so what is the issue? MSFS cannot do the two things you described at the moment, weather radar seems more likely but historical weather much less likely; and opening weather to 3PD has been categorically ruled out from what I can tell.

But P3D is an excellent platform and it is mature with a lot of really well developed addons. Maybe for a period of time it will see less development from 3PDs like PMDG, but what we have now will certainly continue to work for years to come. They are different platforms, they bring different things to the table of flight simulation. Rather than trying to make one simulator do everything everyone wants -- to be all things to all people -- it seems better to enjoy each platform for its strengths and not focus so much on weaknesses.

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Dan Scott

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Can't really see the problem. Whilst it's true that there is no (built-in) capability to pick a day in the past and automatically have MSFS do the weather for that day, it is entirely possible to look at a METAR for that day and set it up yourself, takes a minute or two, but there is nothing preventing anyone from doing that, and if you like, there are add-ons which can do that anyway. If the weather then changes at the destination, or en-route, you can change that whilst flying too very easily, so you absolutely can do historical weather in MSFS, just not automatically, and since there are a bunch of presets too, you can use those as well, or use them as a basic starting point which you tweak, to save even more time. There is nothing preventing us from saving and loading these flights either.

Here is the weather from a specific day in summer two years ago at EGCC in the mid-afternoon. It took me maybe a minute to set this up:

ewzL3cH.png

Not long to go until we have some super-funky hyper-realistic jetliners for MSFS, but in the meantime there are some fairly okay-ish ones which are built-in, which are decent enough to do long haul flights with if that's what floats your boat. Nothing wrong with using FSX or P3D or XPlane either of course, but it's not really true to say that MSFS can't really do what you want it to, and that capability is only going to improve further over time. Like most of us, I do miss having all of the stuff I've bought for those other sims over the years, but the advantages MSFS offers and the promise it holds for other stuff too, is more than enough to let me get over that pretty quickly, and as noted, there is nothing stopping me from cranking those others sims up if I feel so inclined; it's good to have options.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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What is it on Avsim now which sim threads are getting a joke, use the sim you want to use and enjoy.

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Raymond Fry.

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I fail to understand why some people get so worked up about certain posts. If you are not interested in the thread, then move on. Why is this basic concept so difficult to understand? :huh:

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Christopher Low

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Excellent post OP !

 

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3 hours ago, Chock said:

Can't really see the problem. Whilst it's true that there is no (built-in) capability to pick a day in the past and automatically have MSFS do the weather for that day, it is entirely possible to look at a METAR for that day and set it up yourself, takes a minute or two, but there is nothing preventing anyone from doing that, and if you like, there are add-ons which can do that anyway. If the weather then changes at the destination, or en-route, you can change that whilst flying too very easily, so you absolutely can do historical weather in MSFS, just not automatically, and since there are a bunch of presets too, you can use those as well, or use them as a basic starting point which you tweak, to save even more time. There is nothing preventing us from saving and loading these flights either.

Here is the weather from a specific day in summer two years ago at EGCC in the mid-afternoon. It took me maybe a minute to set this up:

ewzL3cH.png

Not long to go until we have some super-funky hyper-realistic jetliners for MSFS, but in the meantime there are some fairly okay-ish ones which are built-in, which are decent enough to do long haul flights with if that's what floats your boat. Nothing wrong with using FSX or P3D or XPlane either of course, but it's not really true to say that MSFS can't really do what you want it to, and that capability is only going to improve further over time. Like most of us, I do miss having all of the stuff I've bought for those other sims over the years, but the advantages MSFS offers and the promise it holds for other stuff too, is more than enough to let me get over that pretty quickly, and as noted, there is nothing stopping me from cranking those others sims up if I feel so inclined; it's good to have options.

How about the upper winds....did you set them up so your leg times and fuel burn were right?

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Harry Woodrow

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8 minutes ago, harrry said:

How about the upper winds....did you set them up so your leg times and fuel burn were right?

Not on that shot because it was simply for demonstrating that historic weather can be set, but there was nothing stopping me from adding the upper winds if I'd have wanted to, since you can add as many wind layers as you like.

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Alan Bradbury

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just chill guys and have a nice Sunday roast and a beer  happy days 🍺😎


ROG Crossair Hero X670e , 7800X3D, TUF 4090 , X4 NVME's. OS on a 2TB 980 Pro , MSFS on " 2TB WD Black , G Skill F5 32 GB RAM  6000 ( allegedly) Corsair RM1000 PSU, Artic Freezer iii 360 AIO  . Phanteks P600s Case ,TCL QM8B 50" 120/144 Hz ( allegedly ) TV, Warthog Stick and TCA Captains throttle ( full pack) Logitech / Saitek Rudder Pedals , Streamdeck XL / Streamdeck +

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20 minutes ago, harrry said:

How about the upper winds....did you set them up so your leg times and fuel burn were right?

That was precisely the point I was going to make. Weather is a lot more than ATIS at departure and arrival airports. Over long distance flights all sorts of temperatures and wind levels will exist.

You would have to have access to a huge amount of data and be very committed to enter all that into the sim every 20-30 mins.

It’s an extremely important aspect of flying and serious pilots must rue the lack of historical weather in MSFS. It’s one of the two primary reasons I won’t buy it for anything other than general sightseeing flights below 3,000ft.

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Ray (Cheshire, England).
System: P3D v5.3HF2, Intel i9-13900K, MSI 4090 GAMING X TRIO 24G, Crucial T700 4Tb M.2 SSD, Asus ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, 32Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR5 6000Mhz RAM, Win 11 Pro 64-bit, BenQ PD3200U 32” UHD monitor, Fulcrum One yoke, Fulcrum TQ (pre-production).
Cheadle Hulme Weather

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Like the Op Editor, I also have FS2020.  However, I can see the immersion factor with everything outside the Airport.  But the Airports don't have the right number of gates, accurate parking (even commercial airports...payware).  AIG Manager is in the works but still no realistic AI like P3D.  So Weather, AI, Realistic Aircraft are what is missing for me.   

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