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wmcmahon

New to FSX addons

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I guarantee there are tons of posts regarding this, and I have read a lot of them already.. but the FSX landscape seems to change every month and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right at this current moment.

 

I've been playing FSX vanilla for quite some time now and am ready to get into some mods/addons.  But it's rather overwhelming.  

 

I've got FSX + Accelleration SP1/SP2 installed already.  

 

From what I understand REX is a very good addon to get, and ORBX global.  However I heard that ORBX does not work very well with DX10?  Also if I plan on running DX10 should I get the SteveFX DX10 Fix package?  What sort of landtex addons should I get?  Or does ORBX global cover landtextures, should I get something more like, UTX?  Or is UTX no longer worth it?
 

I've gone through both PDFs here on AVSIM about tweaking your FSX to optimal performance.

 

I am currently running three monitors over ATI EyeInfinity.  I've already had to do the widescreen fix, and also some panel fixes... I'm still having issues with some panels.  Oh and I had to do some lighting fixes with some light decal file.  Anything else I'm missing?  I don't want to overload too much on addons, but I really want to make the game look fantastic.  

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I guarantee there are tons of posts regarding this, and I have read a lot of them already.. but the FSX landscape seems to change every month and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right at this current moment.

 

I've been playing FSX vanilla for quite some time now and am ready to get into some mods/addons.  But it's rather overwhelming.  

 

I've got FSX + Accelleration SP1/SP2 installed already.  

 

From what I understand REX is a very good addon to get, and ORBX global.  However I heard that ORBX does not work very well with DX10?  Also if I plan on running DX10 should I get the SteveFX DX10 Fix package?  What sort of landtex addons should I get?  Or does ORBX global cover landtextures, should I get something more like, UTX?  Or is UTX no longer worth it?

 

I've gone through both PDFs here on AVSIM about tweaking your FSX to optimal performance.

 

I am currently running three monitors over ATI EyeInfinity.  I've already had to do the widescreen fix, and also some panel fixes... I'm still having issues with some panels.  Oh and I had to do some lighting fixes with some light decal file.  Anything else I'm missing?  I don't want to overload too much on addons, but I really want to make the game look fantastic.  

 

WEATHER:

REX 2.0 with Overdrive is a great choice. I own it and not only does it enhance dawn/dusk/day/cloud textures, it also improves the runways, taxiways, etc.

 

Ground Coverage:

Let's start with some vocab to prevent confusion!

 

Landclass: Assigns textures to their proper spots.

Vector Data: Roads, rails, harbors, etc.

 

*FTX Global and GEX both function as scenery replacement files to enhance realism.*

 

FTX Global has excellent reviews. It's about $90 USD for the base pack. Then Vector (not out yet) is about $65USD and places roads, harbors, rails all in the correct locations. There is openLC (landclass) which will properly assign the base textures to match the real world. Each openLC will cost no more than $17.5 USD.

 

GEX + UTX accomplish the same goal. GEX functions like the FTX Global base product, and comes by the continent ($35USD each). So if you're into local flying in certain areas, you can save money this route. UTX functions as landclass, similar to openLC. However, each UTX package is $35 and covers a continent or land mass. UTX and GEX were built to run seamlessly together.

 

Aircraft:

 

I would check out Carenado if you're into GA flight.

 

Check out PMDG if you are into complex heavy metal.

 

Last but not least, let me know if you have any questions, I'll be glad to help you out either by PM or this thread!

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You have to ask yourself what you want out of your simming. It does affect the answers to an extent. Ignoring aeroplanes for the moment, the basics are textures, which are pretty much the pictures you see. People will swear by FTX Global and REX to replace default textures. Jeremy has covered the texture/vector data/land class thing.

 

You might prefer photoreal if you fly tubes. Landclass people and photoreal people will rarely see eye to eye... I gather you can buy regions of photoreal scenery. You can also buy dressed up landclass based regions if you fly reasonably low and sort of slow and like to look out the window. If you're looking at a magenta line at FL340 then they might not be of quite so much interest.

 

The other one is weather engine, since all aircraft fly through weather. There are four majors: Opus, FSGRW or some similar acronym, REX and Active Sky. People will argue black and blue that the one they use is the best. ASN is the new kid on the block, albeit with the longest pedigree.

 

Airports... If you have a hub, you might like to find an add on airport version of it. Honestly, I spend more on them than I really should for the amount of times I visit them - although well done ones are simply gorgeous.

 

Aeroplanes... Entirely to taste. There are maybe 6-10 generally recognized makers of quality aircraft, depending on what you want. Some would argue there is only one. I find that idea a little too limiting.

 

If you have an idea what you want to fly, sing out and people will narrow down the options for you.

 

Good luck.

 

Mike

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Jeremy and Mike should be applauded for their respective responses to the questioner. And I am still on FS9!

 

Sauviat

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Thank you both for your wondrous responses, so far I'm loving this mature community.

 

First off I should define my play style.  I'm an extremely casual simmer.  The closest I have ever got to "real" flight is my father was a pilot and I've taken rides with him in his Cessna.  I'm more of a gamer than anything, and visual fidelity and performance means a lot to me.  With that said, I don't think I'm really ready to take on huge metal beasts yet.  I'm fairly happy farting around in my ultralights, gliders, and if I'm feeling adventurous, the Cessna.  So I guess, high detailed ground textures are pretty important as I will be flying quite close to the ground.  Perhaps my priorities will change later. 

 

So I've purchased REX (which I understand) and FTX Global, I guess I'm still a bit confused as to what FTX Global does.  It seems to do a combination of both scenery and landclass, is that correct?  And as the name implies, it affects settings on a global scale?  Are the other FTX packs (region packs) more specific scenery for specific environments?  I guess then I don't understand the purpose of OpenLC, if FTX Global is already doing landclass, why do we also need openlc?

 

And then I guess the second point of confusion is, if I have FTX Global, why should I also get UTX? 

 

I'm not too interested in picking up new aircraft, although that carenado site looks really nice for what I'm interested in.  Again no metal beasts, I'd end up sitting in them on the tarmac playing with all the buttons all night.

 

So could someone maybe suggest an addon build that focuses on my specific needs?  

 

My hub airport is in Windsor Ontario... so I'm thinking of picking up some landclass specific to that area, can anyone suggest a good one? 

 

Again, thank you so much for the suggestions, I'm already starting to get some great ideas.

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GEX and FTXG do the same thing, so you don't need both. They're the artwork on top of the terrain.

 

Landclass defines what goes where. So if the LC calls up a town tile it will stick down a town tile from the library from FTXG. If it calls up desert, then it will show desert. Default FSX landclass is not perfect... It puts towns where there are none, forests where there should be towns and I've no doubt there are plenty of other examples. OpenLC is intended to fix that.

 

Vector data is where the roads, railway lines, power lines rivers (& coastlines/lakes too I think) are shown. This is what UTX does. It might also do landclass, honestly I'm a bit hazy on the details.

 

FTX region packs include all of the above, plus mesh (elevation data) and often have upgraded/additional airports/airstrips (they've also made a number of freeware airports for Global).

 

UTX Canada might well be worth a look. Or you could choose to wait and see what you think of the Orbx offerings that expand on Global. I'm not sure what Ontario area scenery there might be. You're bound to find something. Try the library here. You might find some kind soul has made some freeware stuff you can use. This would appear to be your next step, assuming you're not that fussed on weather engine or are happy with the one in REX (which I confess I know little about, even though I have it).

 

Check out A2A Simulations and Realair for GA airplanes. Milviz has a couple of very nice twins as well. Alabeo has offerings that are a little different - pretty eye candy too. Flight1, Sibwings, the list goes on...

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Ok, I think I got my list of addons, a little christmas present for myself.  

 

REX - For Weather and the beauty of the whole thing

FTXG - For the terrain artwork

UTX - Canada 

US Cities - Detroit (includes my home town of Windsor)

 

I might also get UTX - USA as I would enjoy plenty of border flights.

 

Is there some sort of install order?  I saw someone mentioning something about ordering something in scenery objects, but got a little confused.  Can someone enlighten me? 

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I just wanted to update everyone, I got everything running the way I wanted to!  I installed the addons last night in the following order:

 

REX - For Weather and the beauty of the whole thing

FTXG - For the terrain artwork

UTX - Canada 

US Cities - Detroit (includes my home town of Windsor)

 

It looks beautiful and I did a touch and go at CYQG.  Loved it.  Thanks everyone for their support.  Time to put this thread to bed. 

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