Noel

Considering XP 11.x--some questions

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Hello,

I'm using P3D V3.0 currently, fly almost daily.  Most of my flying is done using FSCaptain to log my pilot career.  I have two main gripes w/ P3D which have me being open to moving to XP 11.x:

1.  I don't like the affiliation w/ LM.  This is primarily because of their emphasis on P3D as their training platform w/ very little direct support for their real base which IMO is the large paying beta-testing group which would be users like myself.  I don't like pretending I'm a student which is BS.  I 'play' pilot and that's as far as I'll ever go with it.  The charade about licensing and who 'gets' to use it for the hefty fee involved for the pro license is bologna.   I don't like the fact they continue to have a 10y/o ATC system.  I've paid for two Pro licenses and still ATC is FTX OEM.   Now if they make a serious upgrade to ATC I will likely stay w/ it for the next big release, we'll see.

2.  I'm not fond of ORBX as a developer.  The cost of products is no small part of this.  I've bought many products from them, but when they summarily decided it was fine to disable 'Global Only' as an option for folks who also paid for regionals I began not wanting to support them and this platform.   Many months ago JV suggested they were going to restore this functionality, but that never happened and last time I checked it was off their current radar.  I enjoyed being able to fly complex aircraft into complex airports and that was very doable on my system until it became impossible to do this w/o also having regional scenery enabled.  Plus, I find their corporate attitude not very customer friendly nor focused and I think that comes from their sensing they ultimately have a monopoly.

What I see w/ XP 11 is some amazing graphics.  That's really nice to have, BUT my real passion is flying w/ FSCaptain.  So my main questions are:

1.  Is there something comparable to FSCaptain for XP 11?

2.  What planes could I sub in that would be comparable to my 3 main planes in P3D:  PMDG 737NGX/777, Majestic Dash 8 Q400.  The Dash 8 is really hard to beat for regional flying--I love it.

3.  How is performance compared to P3D in comparable scenarios?

4.  Are seasons yet represented in XP11?

5.  ATC options for XP11?

Thanks!  I'm not real interested in a deep personal exposure by learning the demo.  I'm sure there's a lot there.  But the above questions can be answered directly by folks familiar w/ both platforms so thanks in advance.

 

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15 minutes ago, Noel said:

1.  Is there something comparable to FSCaptain for XP 11?

2.  What planes could I sub in that would be comparable to my 3 main planes in P3D:  PMDG 737NGX/777, Majestic Dash 8 Q400.  The Dash 8 is really hard to beat for regional flying--I love it.

3.  How is performance compared to P3D in comparable scenarios?

4.  Are seasons yet represented in XP11?

5.  ATC options for XP11?

 

1. I'm leaving that to others to answer it, since I don't know.

2. There is an amazing 737 Classic, but not NG. The FF 777 is very good, but not PMDG. Said that, given their 757/767 quality which is comparable to PMDG, it is very probable quite soon to have an "equal" T7. Dash 8, there is one, but is quite old, and I don't know if there are plan to be upgraded to study level. But there is a study-level Saab 340A from LES.

3. Generally X-Plane, as long as you are above 20fps is very fluid. X-Plane runs now on the OpenGL equal to DX11. Soon will move to Vulcan which is equivalent to DX12.

4. There are winter mods, but X-Plane 11 will have eventually procedural seasons via shader.

5. I will leave that too for others.

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1. Unfortunately: No. I use SimAcars (free) at the moment. It logs stuff like Landing rate, etc., but doesn't give a rating like FSCaptain.

2. I fly the Flightfactor 757 pretty often as it fits for not-too-long-flights. I am waiting for IXEG to update their 733 to V1.1 before I consider purchasing. No 737NG at the moment except for the modded default 737, which is okay. If PMDG had started porting their NG for XP earlier, they sure would have earned lots of money now... I also consider the JarA320 although people say it's not as good as the Aerosoft A320 for FSX, which was the perfect plane for me. If you are into regional jet, you might also look at the CRJ200 by JRollon, I believe there is a newer version in the making!?

3. XP is very fluid at 30fps and it's not difficult for me to achieve that. I definitely had a harder time getting stable performance in FSX:SE. Cannot compare to P3D though.

4. The idea of LR is to implement seasons on a shader basis (vs. texture), but that will probably only happen late in the XP11 run or maybe only in XP12...

5. I am using 124th ATC (free). It is rather simple compared to Pro-ATC X which I had in FSX, but it gets the job done to a certain extent and is in active development.

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Hi Noel, you know me from the FSX /P3D forums - I'd suggest the demo for XP11 if you haven't already

XP doesn't do seasons, it doesn't do ATC well, and I don't think there's an FScaptain -like addon

For tubes I'd say the best is the IXEG 737 and or the Flightfactor 757v2

For a regional turboprop the Leading Edge Simulations Saab 340 is superb - it works fine in XP11

i hated the no seasons too at first but then I found freeware Ortho4xp and made amazing scenery with auto gen automatically overlayed.

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Welcome Noel! You make some very good screenshots that show the capabilities of P3D. I'll reckon you could make some very good screenshots for XP11 too, should you decide to try it. :smile:

1. Not an FSCaptain user, but from what I see, currently there seems to be no comparable product for X-Plane. However, there are some products that may implement a few of its features. FSEconomy should be compatible with X-Plane 11: http://www.fseconomy.net/ . Then there's a plugin called xpassenger: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/18692-xpassenger/ . Then there's a free plugin in early development that seems to be the closest to FSCaptain in terms of functionality, you can follow its progress here: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/108724-mypassengerx-plugin/&

3. I don't use P3D, but from what I read online, the performance should not be a lot different. Although, X-Plane rendering engine does some things differently, so they're not directly comparable. For example, XP11 loads the entire scenery at once, so blurries are technically impossible. The autogen popup is less visible. Also, stutters are very rare. The night lighting is a lot more realistic.

As the main developer Ben Supnik explained, at the moment XP11 is not designed to be a 60fps application, In other words, you won't get super high fps even if you lower all the sliders, but on the other hand you should be able to raise the sliders and get good visual complexity and good fps. To get the most out of it, ideally you should have a good PC (with a balanced CPU and GPU and lots of RAM).

This will change, as the objective ofr Laminar Research is to make X-Plane VR ready, and they hinted that they're targeting performance improvements (the move from OpenGL to Vulcan is related to this).

4. Seasons are not implemented, except for some freeware products with limited features. BUT, you also have to consider that the scenery capabilities of X-Plane are a lot more advanced compared to P3D. First of all, freeware photoscenery is available for Europe and some other parts of the world. You can also create photoscenery by yourself with freeware/donationware tools.

Second, consider that you can add realistic 3D overlays (buildings, trees, etc.) based on OpenStreetMap on top of photoscenery. Even in this case, freeware products are available.

5. ATC is poorer, but there are some alternatives like 124th ATC (already mentioned) and I think there's a plugin for Radar Contact 4.

Lastly, some limitations of X-Plane:

.the AI is more limited compared to P3D.

.some weather features are visually poorer: poor depiction of wet and snowy runways, no localized fog, poor depiction of rain and snow.

.night lighting has a limited LOD, so you'll see lights popping up in the distance unless you have limited visibility.

.no regional water (e.g. tropical water) except for some custom sceneries.

 

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22 minutes ago, Murmur said:

FSEconomy should be compatible with X-Plane 11: http://www.fseconomy.net/ .

Yes, FSEconomy works fine with XP11. I do most of my flying of X-Plane in that game. I use it as basically a mission generator to help keep my interest up in flight sims. Most FSE pilots are flying FS9/FSX/P3D, but X-Plane pilots are a growing minority. We never "see" each other and don't directly interact except on the forums, but we're all flying assignments in the same virtual game space.

Note: FSE is focused more on GA and bizjet charter ops, not scheduled airlines that the OP may be more interested in. You can fly tubeliners on a "hired pilot" basis, but you can't own one, like you can with the other planes in the game. 

One other quirk is that FSEconomy is based on the FS9 airport and navaid database, and that won't change. In X-Plane we're using up-to-date airports and navaids. So there are a few conflicts here and there, but it's not too hard to work around it. 

Quote

.no regional water (e.g. tropical water) except for some custom sceneries.

We don't have it yet, but there were some dev posts indicating that a partial solution had been worked up, so we would see things like tropical water colors in the coastal shallows as default scenery. It didn't make it into the first XP11 release, but I think there is something pending here.

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OK thank you all for this overview.  This may seem a little premature, but from my interpretation of what I'm reading, XP has advanced in some major areas in some excellent ways, but it looks still to be a little lacking in areas I find myself spending time with.   And I'm maxed out now w/ PC time so doing the DEMO isn't something I want to do right now.  I think given this it's probably best to hang on until P3D V4 arrives and relook at the issue then.

Many thanks All!

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2 hours ago, Noel said:

4.  Are seasons yet represented in XP11?

Hi Noel

My response is bit late maybe since all your questions have been answered, and surely respect your decision. I will reply to the seasons question only which might help other users too.

It is possible to have simple seasons in xplane 11 via multiple freeware which i will link in the below. These freeware mod will give simple representation of seasons using trees and simple ground textures (winter/autumn) but not to expect something extraordinary. Photoreal will override default ground textures, so snow example will not show on top of photoreal unless your photo has originally snow, but still you will see changes in trees textures in general when you use photoreal. Seasons change will happen when you change the date and requires reload scenery.

*Seasons mods freeware 

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/29015-seasons-dataref-driven-libraries/

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35641-seasons-spring-v10/

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35658-seasonal-fall-ground-textures/

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35680-seasonal-winter-ground-textures/

 

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14 minutes ago, pilot83 said:

Hi Noel

My response is bit late maybe since all your questions have been answered, and surely respect your decision. I will reply to the seasons question only which might help other users too.

It is possible to have simple seasons in xplane 11 via multiple freeware which i will link in the below. These freeware mod will give simple representation of seasons using trees and simple ground textures but not to expect something extraordinary. Photoreal will override default ground textures, so snow example will not show on top of photoreal unless your photo has originally snow, but still you will see changes in trees textures in general when you use photoreal. 

*Seasons mods freeware 

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/29015-seasons-dataref-driven-libraries/

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35641-seasons-spring-v10/

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35658-seasonal-fall-ground-textures/

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35680-seasonal-winter-ground-textures/

 

 

2 hours ago, Noel said:

4.  Are seasons yet represented in XP11?

Those are all good seasonal packages, but there's another which is the one I personally favor for hard winter/snow textures. It's very easy to install and manage- you put it in your Custom Scenery folder like any other scenery package and adjust the snowy regions via a simple png file. The original instructions are in russian, but google translate does a good job in making everything clear in english. Here's an org forum thread with a link to the package and discussion about it in english:

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/111619-did-anyone-try-this-seasonal-package-for-xp/

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Like you I have been a FSX/P3D V3 user and I still use P3D to fly my PMDG aircraft around but the quality of X plane 11 compared to the other sims is staggering.  I am a Private Pilot and the closest thing to actual flying is X Plane 11.  As stated, the ATC sucks in X Plane 11 but flying VFR on Pilot Edge with Cherokee 180 by FlyteAIr is about as close to the real thing as you can get in a sim.  I am hoping that some of the developers ( i am also a fan of FSCaptain) will move to X Plane 11.

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If 'staggering' captures the difference then it seems only a matter of time before developers start committing en masse, which is encouraging for XP's future for sure.   I guess there is the built in problem of developers not wanting to produce content for a front end that doesn't have a large eno.ugh base of support, i.e., owners of XP11+

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