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Murmur

X-Plane finally falling in line with every other gaming product?

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From http://developer.x-plane.com/2016/03/the-autogen-is-really-fast/ :

 

"In the long term, our plan is to change the rendering settings so a high-end gamer-class PC can run with every single slider topped out; if you want some of the super high settings in some areas of the sim by turning down other areas, this will be possible only by hacking the config files, not by the UI. The current rendering settings scheme is simply not friendly to users."

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Is that a step backwards or am I entirely misinterpreting it?

 

They are getting tired of the idiots that max all their sliders, can´t get 60 fps like in Call of Duty and then blame Laminar Research.... it´s a grim reality of life: a lot of people need to be protected from their own stupidity... :mad:

 

Jan

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Not really seeing the relation between that and the OP's title, really...

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Is that a step backwards or am I entirely misinterpreting it?

 

As I understand it, you still can go beyond the settings in the UI: e.g. if you know what you're doing and want to have a higher world detail distance, you can do this in the config files, but may have to lower other settings for still getting decent fps.

 

They are getting tired of the idiots that max all their sliders, can´t get 60 fps like in Call of Duty and then blame Laminar Research.... it´s a grim reality of life: a lot of people need to be protected from their own stupidity... :mad:

 

+1

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Is that a step backwards or am I entirely misinterpreting it?

 

I consider it a step forward.

 

Not really seeing the relation between that and the OP's title, really...

It's simple really. Historically speaking, only two gaming products (X-Plane and the FSX/P3D series) produced unplayable FPS on a top-of-the-line PC with settings maxed out.

 

AFAIK, pretty much every other gaming product is designed to be maxed out and have playable FPS on a top-end pc.

 

Probably blaming a vast part of the userbase as idiots isn't any useful. Evidently people at Laminar Research decided that it's much more useful to design the product to fall in line with users expectations, as every other gaming product tries to do.

 

It's a bit like the unfinished aircrafts that were part of the default fleet in the past, and have been now tucked in the almost hidden "Extra Aircraft" folder. People prefer to have just 10 well-made aircrafts, rather than to have 10 well-made aircrafts plus 10 mediocre aircrafts. :smile:

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They are getting tired of the idiots that max all their sliders, can´t get 60 fps like in Call of Duty and then blame Laminar Research.... it´s a grim reality of life: a lot of people need to be protected from their own stupidity... :mad:

 

Jan

 

Grim indeed. :p0128:

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I am not so sure if this is a good development.

 

I trust that most people find – maybe after some painful playing around – their (individual) golden spot. That will depend widely on what you fly and were you fly it! Your certainly need different settings if you are the tube-flyer as if you fly helicopters in urban areas or if you are the bush-flyer.

 

What would be really helpful would be a better understanding (feed-back from x-plane) as to why things are going slow: If there would be a message saying “you are running out of VRAM” or “your CPU is at its limit” together with some suggestions for adjustments of the settings this would be helpful. Or maybe even some “setup-find-your-sweet-spot-tutorial” or at least an indication as to what sliders have what impact (on CPU or GPU usage – I still miss that in all simulators).

 

Now: What I don’t understand (maybe a lack of understanding the software itself) why it is impossible to change the sliders “on the fly” and automatically. What I mean is this:

 

If you are sitting on the ground you need ultra-high resolution ground textures and mesh settings but you don’t need clouds in 80 miles distance and certainly no extended dsf!

 

If you climb out and are over 5000 ft you start to need the cloud distance and later the extended dsf but you don’t need any more the high resolution ground textures or the high resolution mesh or detail road traffic.

 

And there are certainly many more settings that could be traded off against each other. I understand that some settings can’t be changed on the fly (because there are “fixed” when preloading is done) but with more powerful hardware couldn’t it be done that there is a second x-plane-process loaded in the background (with the other settings) and then switched when it is ready?

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Now: What I don’t understand (maybe a lack of understanding the software itself) why it is impossible to change the sliders “on the fly” and automatically. What I mean is this:

 

If you are sitting on the ground you need ultra-high resolution ground textures and mesh settings but you don’t need clouds in 80 miles distance and certainly no extended dsf!

 

If you climb out and are over 5000 ft you start to need the cloud distance and later the extended dsf but you don’t need any more the high resolution ground textures or the high resolution mesh or detail road traffic.

 

Well, the need for extended DSF depends very much on local geography. It doesn't matter much in Kansas, but if you're flying around the Puget Sound area in Washington state, that big honkin' Mt. Rainier can be seen 100 miles away on a clear day. Until we got extended sight range in X-Plane recently, that whole area didn't look right. I'm still not 100% convinced that it looks right, but it's a lot better than it used to be. There are other areas with big distinctive mountains in the distance that need it too, like the Popocatepetl volcano outside Mexico City, or flying towards the Rocky Mountains and seeing them start to show in the distance. If there are weather systems that partially reveal or hide those big geographic features at that distance, then we need to see those too.

 

I do agree that X-Plane should be balancing this stuff dynamically, like not showing car traffic above a certain altitude, but isn't it doing some of that already? If it's not, then it should be.

 

Distance issues aside, it's hard to get away from the need for powerful hardware for high frame rates during takeoff and landing, together with believable high density scenery in built-up areas around airports. We'll always be balancing that trade-off, and I don't think it's much different whether you're flying a tubeliner or a helicopter or a Beaver floatplane. We all want high frame rates and juicy scenery at low altitudes. If Laminar can do some of that balancing for us, while also allowing config file editing for tweak-aholics (and I am one), then I think that's a good way to go. 

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