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

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- Historical weather, preferably open to third parties. 

- P3D style customizable AI flight plan system. 

- PMDG 777 and 747. Unfortunately this still seems very far away. 

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11 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

Sure there are ... has always been niche hence why the price of such products are so high.  $200, $300, $400, $500 for a very realistic Concorde in P3D would not be a problem ... how many hours would one be "dug in" working out all the aspects of such a product?  100 hrs, 500 hrs?  How many hours do folks have in FSLab A3xx aircraft?  Lets say average buyer has 500 hrs in Concorde at $500 aircraft add-on ... still a very good value at $1/hr worth of enjoyment ... relatively cheap to other aspects of free time consumption in life activities.

Cheers, Rob.

Whilst it is true that lots of people have a lot of hours clocked up in the FSL A320, including me - I actually bought it twice, once for FSX and once for P3D - that's largely because it is a far more popular and usable aeroplane than Concorde ever was in reality, or can be in a sim, so it's a much more attractive proposition to a wider range of rivet-counter simmers who like to replicate real world stuff. If a sim user craves reality in a replication of a Concorde, presumably that would extend to the realistic route operation of the thing too, and unfortunately that means they're looking at about four routes worldwide, none of which have been flown since 2003, and that's it. As far as I'm aware, most of the 'serious simmers' (TM) get really nerdy about only flying their pretend aeroplanes on real-world routes, and if that's true then it definitely limits the appeal a Concorde would have for a lot of people.

I went on a Concorde flight years ago, and I was like a big kid when I was sat in the left seat of the most famous one of all - G-BOAC which now resides at my workplace in the airpark there - so believe me, I'm a big fan of the thing, but in all honesty, we have to acknowledge that we are talking about an aeroplane which genuinely did require three people to operate it in real life, which only ever served with a handful of airlines, and which flew on just a few routes, and is quite tricky to operate. As beautiful an aeroplane as it is, not to mention being a real pinnacle of engineering brilliance, it is difficult to imagine a more obscure and route-limited airliner in operational terms, unless we include the Dassault-Breguet Mercure 100. This is in stark contrast to the A320 and its family variants, which is famously easy to operate, has been and still is operated by literally hundreds of airlines (even American Airlines just on its own has about 450 of the things), flies pretty much every route there is, including transatlantic long hauls, and even managed to eclipse the 737, which was the world's most popular airliner. Not to mention it being the aeroplane on the box art for MSFS. I strongly suspect it's this wide variety of application and appeal which sim users can indulge in that allowed FSL to charge 140 quid for a copy of their A320 and know that it would be bought, and what has prompted others to also make versions of it, but even then some people went for the Aerosoft version instead because of that FSL price tag (and yup, I bought that Aerosoft one too, and the Black Box one as well for that matter, plus a few others besides).

If anyone imagines for a second that a price tag of $500 dollars would be acceptable to enough people to justify confidently greenlighting the development of a super-realistic Concorde to be priced at that figure, I'd be interested to try some of what they are smoking. 😉 And I agree that's a shame, but sometimes we do need a reality check.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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14 minutes ago, Chock said:

If a sim user craves reality in a replication of a Concorde, presumably that would extend to the realistic route operation of the thing too, and unfortunately that means they're looking at about four routes worldwide, none of which have been flown since 2003, and that's it. As far as I'm aware, most of the 'serious simmers' (TM) get really nerdy about only flying their pretend aeroplanes on real-world routes, and if that's true then it definitely limits the appeal a Concorde would have for a lot of people.

I’m not that nerdy Chock. 😁 Flying LHR-JKF-LHR or LHR-BGI-LHR would soon become very boring indeed.

My most flown routes in v3 are EGCC-LPPT and ENGM-EGLL. The flight from Manchester down to Lisbon takes 1hr less than a Boeing/Airbus even taking into account the longer route.

EKLAD departure then along the N Wales coast and then a big left turn just before Anglesey. Once on a southerly heading hit the reheats and full power and climb at 5000-6000 fpm.

Decel starts abeam Porto when around FL560 and 25 mins later the pax are deboarding. Lots of fun even if the route was never flown in real life. Isn’t that the whole point of a sim? 😉

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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).
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9 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

$500 with 1000 sales is $500,000 (doesn't take a lot of sales to generate good income when priced accordingly).  To get the same level of income at $40 aircraft, you need 12,500 unit sales (assuming NOT going thru MarketPlace where they take 30%) and the support for 12,500 users will be higher than 1000 users.  

But you have me confused, current FSLabs A320 + SL version is $200 add the A321 + SL + A319 one is at about $400 ... so not really sure where you are going with this?  It's a price point that seems to be working well enough to keep FSLabs going.

Cheers, Rob.

True. However, it's not $400 all at once.
Quite a bit harder to hand over $500 in a single transaction, rather than a similar amount spread over a few years.

If, and I do really mean if, there was a payware aircraft that had everything modelled systems-wise and it performed well into a complex scenery environment, I could probably just about convince myself to pay that amount. I don't think many others would, though.

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42 minutes ago, F737NG said:

True. However, it's not $400 all at once.
Quite a bit harder to hand over $500 in a single transaction, rather than a similar amount spread over a few years.

If, and I do really mean if, there was a payware aircraft that had everything modelled systems-wise and it performed well into a complex scenery environment, I could probably just about convince myself to pay that amount. I don't think many others would, though.

This ^^^^ plus $500 for something that can be used as a training tool is one thing and you may be able to get to 1,000 customers, the aircraft in question, the Concorde is useless in that respect and as such it is literally an enthusiast purchasing a single add-on for $500.  To think you would get 1,000 P3D users at $500 a piece and have $500,000 in sales is pretty comical.  Yes, the numbers add up, the reality of it is another thing entirely.  If it takes pricing add-ons at $500 a piece to make them viable in P3d it goes back to the other PMDG thread and why developers are abandoning P3D.  

I know this thread is about what I would like to see in MSFS and why to stick with P3D but what I would hate to see is P3D add-ons at $500 as that would be the consumer nail in the coffin for P3D and mean it was only commercially viable. 

 

Edited by psolk
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6 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Lots of fun even if the route was never flown in real life. Isn’t that the whole point of a sim? 😉

Yup, for a lot of people, it most certainly is. 🙂


Alan Bradbury

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5 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

$500 with 1000 sales is $500,000 (doesn't take a lot of sales to generate good income when priced accordingly).  To get the same level of income at $40 aircraft, you need 12,500 unit sales (assuming NOT going thru MarketPlace where they take 30%) and the support for 12,500 users will be higher than 1000 users.  

But you have me confused, current FSLabs A320 + SL version is $200 add the A321 + SL + A319 one is at about $400 ... so not really sure where you are going with this?  It's a price point that seems to be working well enough to keep FSLabs going.

Cheers, Rob.

500,000 Dollars would be nowhere near enough to support the effort of making something of the kind of level FSL aims for. By my recollection, FSL's A320 was in development for well over six years for just the base 320 variant, but they were at least fairly sure it was a pretty safe sales bet. I know you are just spitballing that 500 grand figure, but as an example number, on a six-year development cycle, even if all of that figure could go toward the wages of a developer team and nothing else, that's less than a hundred grand a year available to cover it; you're not going to get many really top end people for less than 100 grand a year. You'd be hard-pressed to get just one for that kind of money if they were really decent at the job.

It's also worth noting that if one develops a super-duper realistic version of a PC-based sim aeroplane which is a type currently in service, there is the potential to have it gain more serious licensing revenue as a training tool, for example the Majestic Dash 8 super-duper version has all the error codes and such for the systems diagnostics on its FMC, which is of use for training engineering personnel on the type, and so on. That's not a sales avenue open to a Concorde simulation obviously, since it's no longer in service. If we were back in 2000 when Virgin were trying to get hold of the Concorde and might have actually managed to get it had Aerospatiale not pulled the plug on things in 2003, it would have potentially been a not bad bet to try for, but not these days, for either P3D or MSFS, or any other sim for that matter. We know that recently, MS mentioned that they were wining and dining the airlines for tie-ins with the MSFS platform, which makes sense; but what that entails we don't know exactly, however we can guarantee it will not be for a simulation of an aeroplane which none of them are using.

Whilst it's true that we'd be into around $400 Dollars if we went on an A320 variant shopping spree at FSL's store, we would end up with several different aeroplane variants for that spree. And are people spending that kind of cash regularly in significant numbers at the FSL store if they are busy flying their A320 they bought years ago? Is that price point keeping FSL going? I don't know. Maybe, but I do know quite a lot of developers seem to be reporting that they're not seeing too many P3D sales of late, and of the new development teams we are seeing emerge, none of them are going for P3D as a target platform either, when there is the more lucrative MSFS market to aim at. In that kind of climate, I'd not want to be banking on recouping the costs of some pretty big wage bills by charging 500 notes for a single product, and especially not for P3D. Seems that would be very risky to me when there would be much safer aeroplane types to bet on as development targets, and better target platforms to aim for as well from a financial risk standpoint. Seems to me that the smart move would be to develop something like Active Sky for MSFS, or a more realistic ATC or AI add-on for it.

Back on the original topic, none of this stuff makes much difference to the notion of whether P3D is a more viable choice for simming airliners at home than MSFS is at the moment, because we know the answer to that one is, yes absolutely, at the moment P3D is definitely the better-supplied choice for simming things like the 747, 777 etc, but we also  know that's largely because of things which most of us have already bought and paid for a long time ago, which is a good position for us to be in, but not great for a developer who is stuck with those products we already have on their virtual shelf and with nothing new to offer for a market which they know is suffering dwindling sales anyway.

 

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Alan Bradbury

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6 hours ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

I think the idea behind my comment was that far fewer sales are needed to support higher priced aircraft.  You also can't ignore the support side ... more buyers is more support (and support isn't cheap be it in dev time or hiring a dedicated resources, ultimately one wants to isolate developers from support and rely on support resource feedback to trickle up to a priority queue). 

I tossed out $500 as a sample not a definitive value of what the price will be for the FSL Concorde ... same for 1000 sales.

Agree, that's why I'm surprised PMDG released the DC6 (maybe that was just an experiment that didn't work on XBOX, did they ever get DC6 fixed for XBOX?) ... but to continue with the 737 on MSFS seems like an odd choice for PMDG ... something new (DC10, L1011, A380, E175/195, ATR 72-600) would seem to be the better option for many reasons:

  • Nothing at the "complex" level to compare to on other platforms (entire avoid the X vs Y and missing features)
  • Existing customers would likely get onboard with a new aircraft not same old same old
  • It was almost a ground up re-make so why not go with a new aircraft
  • It would be easier to get a lite version out to be followed by a complex version once MS/Asobo provide sufficient SDK support

PMDGs plan seems to be to get the 777, 747 out for MSFS after the 737 ... rinse and repeat?  I don't get that ... unless they've drastically added considerable new functionality to these 3 aircraft for MSFS only?  But trying to get a feature list for the MSFS version seems impossible even when it's currently in BETA for MSFS.

I'd be much more willing to buy a different PMDG aircraft in MSFS than the same one's I already have for P3D.

Cheers, Rob.

 

I see from RSR's post, most 737's systems are still been debugging in P3D, as MSFS not yet have that tool for it.

Just wonder if that would make easy for any non-visual upgrade transfer back to P3D version then...

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On 2/13/2022 at 11:28 PM, Ray Proudfoot said:

Have Asobo given no indication as to whether they will add historical weather?

When asked about it in a Q&A relatively recently, Jorg (the product owner from MS) said 'why would you want that?' It seems they just don't get it. 

Basically it's the worst of all worlds right now unless you want to fly 'live' or are willing to do lots of manual work. Avoiding manual work is why I buy add-ons!

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12 minutes ago, neilhewitt said:

When asked about it in a Q&A relatively recently, Jorg (the product owner from MS) said 'why would you want that?' It seems they just don't get it. 

Basically it's the worst of all worlds right now unless you want to fly 'live' or are willing to do lots of manual work. Avoiding manual work is why I buy add-ons!

Strange from a Microsoft employee. Presumably he never worked with the Aces team. Will it ever be considered a heavyweight alternative to P3D? I have no idea if XP supports historical weather. Is the XBox version limiting what is possible?


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).
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2 hours ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

 I have no idea if XP supports historical weather.

Not on it self, but with ASXP.

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10 minutes ago, C2615 said:

Not on it self, but with ASXP.

Thanks. Same company, different sim. 👍


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).
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3 hours ago, neilhewitt said:

When asked about it in a Q&A relatively recently, Jorg (the product owner from MS) said 'why would you want that?' It seems they just don't get it. 

Basically it's the worst of all worlds right now unless you want to fly 'live' or are willing to do lots of manual work. Avoiding manual work is why I buy add-ons!

That interview and comment was from almost a year ago. Literally I think it was like last March.  Since then they have asked for details on what users are looking for specifically and REX claims they are putting historical WXR into their MSFS offering but it is yet to be seen. 

Correct, as of today your only options are Live weather or Presets. 

What is interesting is despite the MSFS wxr being closed or locked REX somehow already has an offering... https://rexsimulations.com/weatherforce.html 

So clearly you can impact MSFS weather from 3rd party applications.  

Edit:  This has also been said many times but even myself, someone who has been simming since the Commodore 64 had to have it explained why historical weather was SO important to some.  Some users like myself who consider themselves fairly serious simmers for years have used ActiveSky in Live Weather Mode.  Even on extreme Long hauls I never cared about if the weather was factually correct to the time of day I prefer accurate real time weather updated dynamically.  Asobo similarly did not understand the need and hence asked "why?" and requested feedback from the community.  Quite reasonable actually.  I've literally never had ASP3D in anything but Live Weather Mode personally so I didn't understand why either.  Now I do.    I've never used P3D's native weather engine only ASP3D so I assume P3D has historical weather downloads built in natively?  

Edited by psolk
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55 minutes ago, psolk said:

I've never used P3D's native weather engine only ASP3D so I assume P3D has historical weather downloads built in natively?  

P3D has no native weather engine whatsoever (other than presets). Any real-time weather injection requires a third party add-on. 

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Jim Barrett

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52 minutes ago, psolk said:

That interview and comment was from almost a year ago. Literally I think it was like last March.  Since then they have asked for details on what users are looking for specifically and REX claims they are putting historical WXR into their MSFS offering but it is yet to be seen. 

Correct, as of today your only options are Live weather or Presets. 

What is interesting is despite the MSFS wxr being closed or locked REX somehow already has an offering... https://rexsimulations.com/weatherforce.html 

Hmm - I could have sworn it was more recent than that, but I will freely admit I didn't check. Nonetheless there are no announced plans to add historical weather to the sim right now and I can't see it on the wish list either. But given how the live weather modelling works, to provide historical 'as-live' weather, MS would need the archive data from MeteoBlue (which does exist, but presumably would cost extra) and the ability to dynamically generate a weather model from that data for anyone who wants to fly at any time other than live. Which might be a server infrastructure issue.

The potentially easier fix is to improve the ability to generate an evolving weather model from per-station METAR data, which AIUI is done current with live weather synthesis alongside the MeteoBlue model data. Lots of moaning on the forum about the end result of that, BTW!

I believe from what I've read that WeatherForce creates a custom weather theme file and saves it into the weather theme folder (like ActiveSky does in P3D) and the sim picks up changes in that after some interval. So weather changes abruptly when the theme changes. 

At any rate... it's not possible to do in MSFS what you can do in P3D with an add-on like ActiveSky or FSGRW - have automatic and updating weather that is accurate(ish) to the date and time being flown. Nor can 3rd party ATC programs get weather data for anything other than live weather and that's by pulling it from NOAA, not from the sim.

For me, that stops MSFS from being useful to me beyond as-live flying. Which I don't do often. 

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