Jump to content

To Season or Not to Season - that is the Community Question


John Venema
 Share

Recommended Posts

17 hours ago, John Venema said:

 

Holger corrected me, so it is possible to have separate BGLs per season, something we can look into.

 

Not sure how it works, but the Misty Moorings scenery switches seasons through an app that lets the user choose the season.  I would guess this though using separate BGLs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, John Venema said:

 

Just to clarify, we have committed to releasing an LOD15 Summer only product, which is currently in testing, so hopefully released this month.

 

We are investigating, with community consultation, whether to release an LOD14 five-seasons product, or perhaps other seasonal solutions. Either way, a five seasons product won’t be released until after the LOD15 single season product goes on sale.

 

This solution works well for me. LOD 15 Summer only, initially, but I would also buy LOD14 five-seasons, if you go that route, to see how it fits in with my personal flying needs.

 

LOD15 with seasons has great appeal though :D

 

Thanks,

Roger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

I'd like to have LOD 15.

 

And an automatic change (or via the Configuration Tool) to the normal EU England / Wales ... in the other seasons. That's enough for autumn and winter. We can use True Earth for summer and spring.

 

Thanks

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need for snow. There are only a few regions around the world were it really snows. And in such cases all is white and you can´t distinguish anything, hence it is no interesting to fly visual above an only white landscape.


Also with climate change there is even less snow than before, so why do we need snow? If it would had no cost, the discussion would probably be a bit different but not much, but it does not make sense to have a lower quality product just to see snow. For that, let us go to the Alps ;).


Moreover, xEnviro is coming with snow that will accumulate above existing textures, so ORBX, please continue with your extraordinary great job of doing the world for VFR flying, mainly in spring and summer, when one enjoys the most of the landscape.


No snow is the best option to keep the current quality and costs under control.

Edited by PA38
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John V

Could you consider LOD15 all seasons on a HDD? I would be more than happy to pay for the increase in resolution quality, the cost of the HDD and postage, just so I could have the best you have on offer.  There would probably be a few more who would take this up as an option.

I seem to remember Earth Simulations were going to offer this as an option to customers.

 

Thanks

Nigel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, PA38 said:

No need for snow. There are only a few regions around the world were it really snows.

 

Snow exists and we sometimes get it. The seasons don't work realistically in P3D anyway, so it's not an issue of whether the snow comes in and out at the 'right' times. Last year we had two-foot snowdrifts on Dunstable Downs in March, which will never happen in the sim regardless of whether Orbx makes five seasons. It doesn't matter that it's relatively rare, snow-covered landscapes with the accompanying weather are some of the most compelling and challenging to fly in.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Doc_Z said:

 

Not sure how it works, but the Misty Moorings scenery switches seasons through an app that lets the user choose the season.  I would guess this though using separate BGLs.

 

Yes, I believe that is the case. If memory serves me correctly, Tongass & another had batch (.bat) files in the respective addon's directory that, when manually selected & executed, performed the [.bgl] "swaps" (change to summer, change to winter). If I remember, there were two seasons included.

 

Regards, Russ

Edited by Russ in NE
included add'l. words
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps add Orbxdirect/FTXCentral support for the purchase/usage of additional download "blocks" (bandwidth) that can be used to cover the costs of downloading the additional TE seasons at LOD15?  Beyond the first or two free downloads that would presumably be covered by the base price of the TE seasons products.

 

As for me, I plan to buy just the LOD15 summer-only products, for the time being (until I can afford 4TB SSDs). :)

Edited by DesertPilot
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the 5 season's effects can be achieved by the pics JV first showed with lower sun and leafless/brown trees. Hard Winter for GB is unrealistic, covers the whole of GB in white stuff and removes all the details of the work done by Orbx.  LOD 14 or 15 makes absolutely no difference when the ground is all white. It makes a difference in the non-white seasons of Summer , Spring and Autumn (Fall). We are initially talking here about TEGB. I believe we may have had 3-4 winters in my life where there was significant wide spread snowfall that lasted more than a couple of weeks (and I am OLD :D)

 Now for PNW then we are talking that we would like 5 seasons because it would be important to show the extensive and regular snowfall that exists in that part of the world. This again could be achieved regarding Spring, Summer and Fall with JV's lower sun and bare trees solution. Then we would only need a Hard Winter snow blanket option. Hard Winter could be set at any LOD because the LOD doesn't matter when the ground is all white. That should reduce the download size of the file (?)

 Regarding my personal choice.......... I am flying XP and will probably use X-Enviro if I want snow covered ground. I do have extensive P3D but XP is now my goto sim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard winter only has to cover the whole uk when you use generic landclass textures!

You can make whatever coverage you deem appropriate with photoreal.  Granted there is some cost associated with creating that level of bespoke realism, but I'll take as much of it as any dev with provide - and shell out for it as well.

Edited by kevinfirth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, flsm (Frank) said:

Given the high number of Likes for tonywob's comment above, it may not be worthwhile for orbx to create seasons other than summer.

 

The responses in this thread seem to be clearly in favor of 4-5 seasons, not sure why you'd single out responses to Tony which are XP-centric?

 

Back on topic ... I should add, my preference is LOD15 for all seasons which would match up with LC at LOD15.  This would make the transition almost seamless.  I can tell the difference from LOD14 to LOD15 (field lines are jagged and less depth perception from clear shadow edges).  Whatever the cost or delivery options, I don't mind and I'd be fine with buying a 1TB external USB HD for $10-$40 with content on it if bandwidth costs are a big concern.

 

I would recommend changes to FTX Central so that an "uninstall/re-install" provides a prompt for "Remove or Inactivate".  As it stands now the default for FTX Central Uninstall/Re-install is a full re-download of the product(s) which is probably why you are seeing huge costs in bandwidth.  I know I frequent uninstall/install Regions, OpenLC, etc. etc.  On an "Inactivate", the Verify files process would compare to file signatures and only download/update those that don't match local vs. server signatures, this would greatly reduce bandwidth usage/costs ... this should NOT be an end user option, only the prompt to "Remove or Inactivate".  If user elects to "remove" then they should be made aware of possible additional download bandwidth charges or counts (whatever works better) and the files are actually deleted.  If the user selects "inactivate" the scenery and/or add-on library entries are updated and whatever other files need updating.  My hunch is this would cut your bandwidth costs by 50%.

 

Cheers, Rob.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

As it stands now the default for FTX Central Uninstall/Re-install is a full re-download of the product(s) which is probably why you are seeing huge costs in bandwidth

 Why not just backup the initial download? That would solve the whole problem.  For the life of me I just can't understand why so many folks avoid backups.........Doug

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

I know I frequent uninstall/install Regions, OpenLC, etc. etc

 

Why on earth would you use FTX Central in this way?

 

If our customers are using FTX Central like some always-on cloud service or a virtual drive then clearly we have to begin to re-think our service provision levels. We aren't Apple, Google, Steam or Amazon. 

 

I recently built a brand new PC and did a fresh install of P3Dv4.4 on it. To move my 100's of GBs of ORBX products I simply copied my old v4.4 installation over the top of the new v4.4 install. It only took a few minutes and I was up and running on the new PC. I assume people doing rebuilds are using a bit of common sense and not re-downloading hundreds of GBs of Orbx products each time they re-install a sim or PC. My goodness!!

 

Why in the world would I use FTX Central to re-install my large Orbx multi-GB sized addons, and in fact do it over and over again? That just shows a flagrant disregard for the service we provide, or a complete lack of understanding of business costs.

 

If anything, this topic has given us impetus to review bandwidth usage by our customers and rethink the entire model. Those people espousing their willingness to happily pay for extra data and large products may well find that to be the case moving forward. And no, we are not in the hardware shipping business, so HDDs are not going to be an option. Count on one hand how many FS companies do that successfully and are still in profit.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last week, I decided to do a fresh install of Prepar3D 4.4 from scratch (because I wanted to clear out some junk, including some old 3rd-party airports/sceneries I no longer use).  But before reinstalling Orbx, I made sure to copy the "ORBX" directory from my backup of my previous Prepar3D 4.3 directory over to 4.4 (and then deleting the User Documents/Versions folder).  That saved FTXCentral from downloading a few hundred GB of data.

 

Aside of speeding up my Orbx reinstall, I wanted to help avoid unnecessary use of Orbx's download bandwidth.

 

I wonder if FTXCentral could be enhanced to allow users to do a complete backup (and then restore) of all the installed Orbx stuff, to help with FSX/Prepar3D reinstalls? 

 

Edit: I composed this before seeing JV's response above...

 

 

 

Edited by DesertPilot
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, DesertPilot said:

Aside of speeding up my Orbx reinstall, I wanted to help avoid unnecessary use of Orbx's download bandwidth.

 

I wonder if FTXCentral could be enhanced to allow users to do a complete backup (and then restore) of all the installed Orbx stuff, to help with FSX/Prepar3D reinstalls? 

 

Edit: I composed this before seeing JV's response above...

 

 

 

 

Here are the directions for backing up and restoring

 

 

EDIT: I think the reason people remove regions they are not using is to have faster load times for the regions they are currently using. Their are many ways to do this. To uninstall and reinstall through FTX Central is not a good idea.

Edited by Matthew Kane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Matthew Kane said:

 

Here are the directions for backing up and restoring

 

Thanks Matthew, I'll be sure to use those directions in the future (especially the Orbx stuff that doesn't reside in the ORBX directory).

 

38 minutes ago, Matthew Kane said:

EDIT: I think the reason people remove regions they are not using is to have faster load times for the regions they are currently using. Their are many ways to do this. To uninstall and reinstall through FTX Central is not a good idea.

 

Especially when one of the ways to disabling specific regions is as simple as deactivating those in the scenery.cfg file, I believe.  Perhaps add "Deactivate" option to FTXCentral to accomplish this for selected sceneries (along with a corresponding "Activate" option for deactivated sceneries). :)

 

Edit: I just reread carefully the previous posts, and I see Rob already made the deactivate/activate suggestion several posts ago.

 

Edited by DesertPilot
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, John Venema said:

 

Why on earth would you use FTX Central in this way?

 

If our customers are using FTX Central like some always-on cloud service or a virtual drive then clearly we have to begin to re-think our service provision levels. We aren't Apple, Google, Steam or Amazon. 

 

I recently built a brand new PC and did a fresh install of P3Dv4.4 on it. To move my 100's of GBs of ORBX products I simply copied my old v4.4 installation over the top of the new v4.4 install. It only took a few minutes and I was up and running on the new PC. I assume people doing rebuilds are using a bit of common sense and not re-downloading hundreds of GBs of Orbx products each time they re-install a sim or PC. My goodness!!

 

Why in the world would I use FTX Central to re-install my large Orbx multi-GB sized addons, and in fact do it over and over again? That just shows a flagrant disregard for the service we provide, or a complete lack of understanding of business costs.

 

If anything, this topic has given us impetus to review bandwidth usage by our customers and rethink the entire model. Those people espousing their willingness to happily pay for extra data and large products may well find that to be the case moving forward. And no, we are not in the hardware shipping business, so HDDs are not going to be an option. Count on one hand how many FS companies do that successfully and are still in profit.

Maybe some people just dont understand? Maybe the assumption that everyone understands how, and is confortable even copying folders is wrong? I assume OrbX have the ability to see which users are using  the most bandwidth?

 

I dont mind paying the marginal download costs of my own scenery choices, that just seems fair - but I would heavily get upset if the costs of other peoples excessive bandwidth use got transferred to me, or if a small number of people abusing the system caused the unlimired download thing to be lost to everyone...

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will not buy either option since both would quickly fill up the 512 Gigs in my laptop (and I do not plan on carrying around an external HD, graphic card, etc.).  I hope Orbx continues releasing regions (especially for the rest of the U.S.!!!).  If I were going to buy one of the 2 options, I would go with the single season LOD 15.  I guess if I had a magic wand, I would select 3 seasons (late spring, mid fall, and winter) at LOD15.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will also assume there are some of us such as myself who would really only need 3 of 5 visible options, 1 - summer, 2- fall (for brown tones) and 3- hard winter.  I don't care so much about winter without snow or spring vs summer. 

 

Forgive me if this has already been mentioned but would a lower LOD mean better FPS?

 

chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Matthew Kane said:

 

Here are the directions for backing up and restoring

 

 

EDIT: I think the reason people remove regions they are not using is to have faster load times for the regions they are currently using. Their are many ways to do this. To uninstall and reinstall through FTX Central is not a good idea.

 

That's the method I use. In fact when I saw people asking questions about updating to 4.4 I began linking people to those instructions. Shortly thereafter I think they were moved so that only registered users could see the information........ 

 

It made me wonder if a lot of people were going to end up doing it the hard way, which of course is to redownload everything.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, John Venema said:

Why on earth would you use FTX Central in this way?

 

Because I can and I have a fast connection ... FTX Central allows it, encourages it to be frank ... it's just easier ... it follows in line with the "Steam" process.  Agree you should rethink, hence my suggestion to have FTX Central default to something else using a more intelligent process to "uninstall/re-install" ... combine that with the P3D Add-On method which would further keep ORBX products isolated and easier to manage.

 

I also think many users are NOT comfortable copying files around manually it opens up the potential for mistakes and increases support tickets.  I am comfortable, but if I can get something done faster using alternate method then I'll use it, that's just common sense ... that's "not" abuse, that's using what I pay for ... my ISP bandwidth and my Orbx products. 

 

You can solve this issue by adjusting FTX Central's processing, if bandwidth is costing you 6 digits then it would be cost effective to spend the money on very slight FTX Central coding adjustments ... this is a design problem, not an end user problem.

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

 

 

Edited by Rob Ainscough
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, HiFlyer said:

It made me wonder if a lot of people were going to end up doing it the hard way, which of course is to redownload everything.

 

I've been a registered user for years, but I wasn't even aware of those instructions (aside of reading about copying the ORBX directory over in some scattered posts)--simply way too many posts to read through (and I'm busy with life).  I think it might be helpful if FTXCentral had a complete, automated backup/restore process that can be done with a few button clicks (and that is visible to users when opening FTXCentral). 

 

Granted, the backup/restore might require 400GB+ of available disk space for those users who own virtually all Orbx products.  One technical workaround might be for the backup process to simply "move" the ORBX directory (and all other Orbx files in other directories) to a temporary directory on the same drive, before uninstalling/reinstalling Prepar3D/FSX.

 

Edit: Rob's "P3D Add-On method" comment made me think, why not permanently move the ORBX directory outside of the Prepar3D/FSX directory?  And add FTXCentral support to automatically "reconnect" the ORBX directory with the new Prepar3D/FSX installation, something like that.

 

Edited by DesertPilot
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Nick Cooper said:

As a matter of research, what motivates you to " frequent uninstall/install Regions, OpenLC, etc. etc."?

 

Many reasons:

1.  frequent testing where I need a clean slate
2.  reducing load times
3.  problem solving conflicts with other products

4.  ID possible performance issues
5.  recover space to allow for other products that use even more space

 

Just a few reasons.  

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be honest reducing costs of bandwidth is in everyone's best interest. ORBX is a niche market and if overhead drives it out of business we all lose

 

Backing up in FTX Central similar to Steam is a good option


Opting into a Peer to Peer download for store credit is also a good option. Leave your FTX Central running and people will download off the nearest quickest member in the community and you get store credit for your contributions, or disable and leave FTX Central off and opt out

Edited by Matthew Kane
  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

the new Orbx Central certainly needs to include smarter features...

 

win-win for everyone - both efficient Orbx products deployment & support ticket overhead - & for flexibility for the Orbx customer...

 

as of now, I have some intense airport add-ons sitting on my M.2 drive - where they belong, for maximum performance...

Edited by craigeaglefire
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ORBX does not make the various methods of re-installation obvious. Users should 'fall over' the alternatives you provide to re-install products without re-downloading. The interface has only Uninstall/Install options, so no wonder people end up using FTX Central to re-download product.

 

A few years ago, I accidentally deleted FTX Global, and was pissed to find that deletion was immediate and irreversible with nothing left behind, resulting in the need for a new download on my slow internet. This was when I saw the option to install from a manually downloaded zip. But it's NOT AN OBVIOUS choice as you have to look for it.

 

@Nick Cooper

has that really useful post on reinstalling without re-downloading, but this is not 'front and centre' information. I'm sure not all your customers register on this site to have access to this vital information. Again, it is there but not immediately obvious. I did previously try it, but twice not all areas subsequently showed in full detail, so I looked for a reliable alternative.

 

I 'accidentally' noticed the install choice of "Install from my manually downloaded .zip" and now only choose to download a .zip for my products when purchased (only needs to be done once), save it to my archive, and install from my archived .zip. It is fast, and FTX Central makes it accurate, as it gets any new updates for that FTX product.

A high speed portable drive holds all my archived ORBX .zip files. My internet is slow ADSL.

 

Re-installing P3D is an occasional reality. As  @Rob Ainscough  mentioned, reasons can be many.

Personally, I was caught out with Windows 1803 update, and ended up clean installing Win 10 three times before MS had a proper fix for not recognising Intel M.2 SSDs. As you know, a clean reinstall removes all Windows registry and User Folder information, and ALMOST EVERYTHING has to be re-installed from scratch, including P3D. I also did a clean re-install for Win 10 1809 once revisions to other non-sim programs I depend on were updated.

 

So, as @Rob Ainscough

says, adding a refinement to FTX Central could do yourselves a big favour in reducing business operating costs.

 

This is meant with sincerity, as ORBX and France VFR rule my flightsim world, and my white box was built for one main purpose - to allow me to flight sim in the most realistic and accurate environment I can purchase.

 

Cheers,

A.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

JV, LOD 15 with seasons would be Nirvana.  And I'm with Greg Swiss, I would pay  whatever you charge.  Maybe your business model might be able to calculate how many your top end buyers are and then set a price which you know you will get from us.  However LOD 15 one season is not for me.  Therefore I will buy the LOD 14 seasons compromise if necessary.

 

And I am with ozboater absolutely, after redownloading the Global Range, and regions on reinstallation...more frequently than I ever expected, I realised that it was faster to download the full zip even than downloading through Central and keeping a backup (this info should not be hidden under the red letters.)  JV using Central and being Australian non-broadband still, Central download rates keep cycling through 0 to about 512kb/sec whereas a straight zip download from my account maintains a constant speed and is thereby much, much quicker.  Still below 1mb/s I must say.

 

All of my full and my few backup zips are stored on a dedicated drive and make reinstallation a breeze as Orbx is the biggest task by far, but 5 minutes to install Global base, an OLC or a region is nothing compared to 6 hours downloading.

 

PS but now I realise that all I need to do is to have a back up of the Orbx folder and others and reinstall them into the new P3D4.4 install.  Talk about being a slow learner.......

Edited by macca22au
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...