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Questions from a returning (former) simmer

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Hi all.

 

First, I'll admit that I committed the cardinal sin of not simming for a few years. Things/life/head trauma got in the way and I'm just now returning. When I last flew, it was with FSX/Acceleration (boxed, patched and tweaked). I had a then-capable pc and had a fair bit of experience installing freeware - AI aircraft, ai flightplans, afcads and scenery. I even created a number of FSX afcads on my own and a couple small scenery sets (including stock library objects, some photo-realistic ground textures, land classing and flattens/exclusions) that I was testing for release before I left flight-simming. That computer, its FSX installation and most of my add-on files are now in a dump somewhere after a house fire.

 

In just this last week, I've "returned" and realized that my memory, knowledge and skills aren't "what they used to be". I do not even have FSX installed yet. In quickly browsing the forums over the last week, I am amazed at how the FSX development environment has changed and evolved. For instance, I had never heard of P3D until I started reading the forums again last week.

 

My situation and "near-term goal" in simming is limited to offline/non-multiplayer flight in small, single engine prop aircraft and helos with "as real as you can get via freeware" flight environment (weather, visuals [ground and air-clouds]). I have somehow managed to retain/find my old FS Genesis FSXmesh files that cover the entire globe (I just found out that FS Genesis no longer honors my old Galaxy membership, so finding those files again was financially lucky)and UTX terrain textures.

 

Okay, so here are the questions. (I'm sure I'll have more quickly, but these are the ones currently burning holes in my brainpan.)

1. I lost the boxed discs for FSX but can get them off eBay if necessary. Or should I go with FSX:SE?

2. Aside -what's the deal with P3D? (short quick answer preferred... The real question seems to be whether I should focus on FSX or P3D. Are they mutually compatible, duplicative, what?)

3. Any suggestions on Tutorials/guides I should review - files/threads/posts here or on youtube? As I said or implied, what I don't remember fills thousands of threads here and where to start again is a bit overwhelming.

4. What are the "must have" freeware environment packages now? (I don't even remember what I used to have - and most of the ones I had back in the day were payware.)

 

Thanks for your time and any replies.

 

John Martin

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I'll answer question 2: If you have a good PC (meaning upper middle class for gaming), go P3D. In version 3, it's compelling. I was tweaking for years in FSX, I am flying in P3D.

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Okay, I guess I probably should have described my system.

 

Here goes...

i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz (not over-clocked as I wouldn't know what I was doing)

12GB mem

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650

Win 8.1

2 - 2TB drives with over 3GB currently empty/available

Saitek X-52 joystick/throttle combination

Generic pedals

Monitor - currently a singleton, but considering buying a triplehead2go

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That's about mine (I have a 680, though) and I am very happy with P3DV3. I can't max out everything, but it's enough eye candy to give me an immersive simming experience.

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Being you are basically starting fresh, I'd definitely go FSX Steam Edition or P3D... they both have in my opinion significant advantages over boxed.

 

Steam Edition is even on sale for $5 right now, can't go wrong at that price.

 

Longer term however I'd go with P3D. I jumped on at v2 and now have updated to v3 and love it.

 

Most, but not all, add-ons work with both sims... just be aware that Steam purchased add-ons only work with Steam Edition.

 

Good luck and have fun!!

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Yeah. I have avoided Steam like the plague up until recently. I just don't like the idea of having my  pc try to connect to steam just because I want to run a program/play a game.

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Yeah. I have avoided Steam like the plague up until recently. I just don't like the idea of having my  pc try to connect to steam just because I want to run a program/play a game.

 

it can run in offline mode, as do most steam games. though you'd be missing live weather updates if you run without a computer that is connected to the internet. the steam version is rather improved over the old boxed one, with better memory management and numerous bug fixes, it's definitely worth the $5 on sale. and using it online is seamless and transparent anyway, unless you rarely have a connection to the internet for some reason like you are in antarctica on a satellite uplink or something there's really nothing to worry about.

 

we have similar systems and i can say from experience that p3d performance is pretty underwhelming with a 650 videocard, they are not kidding about the 4Gb recommendation for the videocard either. i get much better frames in fsx, but i will probably switch over after my next system upgrade..

 

for freeware scenery stuff i like http://www.freewarescenery.com/fsx.html they have a very comprehensive list of links to various sources including some of the fine files in the avsim library. i think there is more specifically for airports and localized regions not full 'environment' packages though which frankly i'm not sure about since i mostly use payware stuff for that.

 

cheers and happy new years!

-andy crosby

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I appreciate the comments Gary. I'll look at that website this weekend.

 

While watching the bowl games yesterday and today, I've been trying to re-acquaint myself with everything from terminology to available add-ons (both payware and freeware). Heck, I am going through the same learning curve as far as scenery layering that I did twice before - with FS2004 and FSX. My, what you forget when you don't use or reference things! Luckily I finally found something from one of the scenery design companies that has cleared things up - but I saved and printed it out as a reference until I'v re-ground it into my thick skull again.

 

I browsed the FSX Scenery Files category here and am amazed at the number of scenery packages that have been developed during my absence. But the sizes of these scenery packages seems to have grown into the stratosphere! Lucky for me I have more available disk space than common sense or money!

 

I have one last place to check (my former sister-in-law's rental storage place) for some discs of things I used to have. If I get really lucky, I might find about 4GB of stuff I won't need to download again. I still need to figure out which land class package to get to replace the default.

 

So much "fun" re-building an FSX system...search, download, install, mess with the scenery configuration, test, adjust, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum! Lol. Things could be worse and there are definitely less "fun" ways to start a new year.

 

Happy New Year's all!

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Well, I got lucky. My ex-sister-in-law's storage unit had a box of old stuff that I had forgotten about, including some 7 year old software and discs. So, I have saved myself at least a few hours of time to download gigs of environment and scenery packages a second time. Now the (somewhat rhetorical) question is where to start (re-)installing them into my sim - real-life locally and then mmove further and further out, or some sort of systematic state-by-state process. And of course, that doesn't deal with the ai-traffic question - which packages and what density settings? When I simmed before, I was into the military ai stuff big time. My interest in that stuff is still there, but not nearly so much, at least for now. But air base installs are easier to "track" because there ae relatively few in comparison to all the civilian airports.

 

Where to start? Decisions, decisions.

Could have worse problems, for sure.

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