I have updated my sim to 3.1 this morning, so here is a bit of feedback:
- I only had to download the file "update_client.msi" from the "Downloads" section of the Prepar3D website. The file was only 123 MB
- I uninstalled the 3.0 "client" from the Windows Control Panel (the client is just one of the 5-6 lines for P3D). This took only a few seconds and released automatically my P3D licence. The rest of the files of the sim, including my addons, remained untouched.
- I installed the 3.1 client, which took a few seconds or minutes.
- I launched P3D, and got a window for activating my product (using the licence ID and password I got by email when buying the 3.0)
- I got some popups asking me if I wanted to enable the Orbx ObjectFlow modules, which I refused because they are not compatible with 3.1 yet.
- That's all. All my addons are still there and working, excepted ASN. But the ASN guys have already released a beta updated to make ASN compatible with 3.1
I couldn't test the performance yet, because I lacked some time for a real test flight. However, I could test two graphical improvements introduced with the updates:
- the dynamic reflection: it's a new setting in the graphic options, a slider. Instead of using the traditional envmap texture to draw reflections on the plane, the sim can now directly draw the real environment on your plane ! I made a test with the default R-22 after setting the reflections to maximum, and I could see the terrain, the hangars, the clouds, the autogen and the taxiways accurately reflected on my canopy window !!
However, this high setting is quite expensive on the FPS, so you might want to test lower settings first.
- the wake effect on 3D water: in the past, the wake effect could not be displayed correctly on 3D water... because the wake effect was flat and horizontal, and the water was not. Now, you can edit the wake effect to add a new parameter "Ground Decal=1" to each [Particle.x] section in the .fx file, and the effect is not painted directly on the surface of the water, instead of a flat polygon
As a consequence, the wake now displays perfectly even with big waves:
On this shot, you can also see the reflection on the prop cone: for that shot, I had set the reflections to "low", so I don't get any details but the sky and the terrain. No clouds, no effects, no objects. Only the blue sky and the dark blue sea
(which is already a nice change compared to the mountains and conifers I was getting over the ocean in the past).
- I don't have a screenshot of it, but now the seaplanes will move according to the waves if you set the water setting to "Ultra". No more big waves with still aircraft. Landing or taking off from water with some winds (and waves) is now quite challenging, I have to say