ErichB

Xplane and my simming future

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I've taken another serious look at XPlane - as I have done year on year (for many years).  For the first time this year, I am seriously considering a move to Xplane - for GA flying only though.  I have watched Q8 Pilot's brilliant XPlane series of videos - Osamah deserves an award, because he truly has sold that sim to me. He showcases products and the sim in a very unbiased fashion - I love his work. I have never seen xplane look that good ever - and that horrible brown sepia filtered look of xplane has finally vanished.

That aside. I'm convinced that GA is the way to go for xplane. I've not touched GA in P3D for about two years now -  I get no sense of immersion when flying GA other than with the limited A2A GA collection.  I'm stictly a PMDG guy.  (So the ZIBO modded 737 looks highly appealing

BUT, ........WHAT ON EARTH............. is going on with XPlane weather?  It cannot be taken seriously as a sim for airliner flying if the weather environment cannot be modelled and represented correctly - both visually and otherwise.  There are some addons which make it look somewhat plausible but my goodness it has a long way to go.   I heard HiFi simulations were thinking about doing XPlane weather, but I've also heard it mentioned that the weather API is so limited it makes it difficult to achieve with XPlane what they've managed to achieve with P3D.  

I was listening to a recent YT development Q&A update with Austin and the XP dev team and was somewhat disappointed.  Everyone (again ) is going nuts about VR, and they're desperate to roll out XP to every platform on every device...............that's all good and well when it comes to raking in the money but .........  I was left thinking, all of this hype and not much of a mention about improving the physics and capabilities of the very environment in which an aircraft  operates...why?  Sudden cloud and weather changes.  Still??    It's 2018

Does someone have any updated  information on HiFi's potential step into XP and when the weather API is due for an overhaul?

 

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2 hours ago, ErichB said:

It cannot be taken seriously as a sim for airliner flying if the weather environment cannot be modelled and represented correctly - both visually and otherwise.

Amen to that. The lack of proper weather was one of the reasons I abandoned XP after flying in it for a few months. And it is also one of the main reasons why I don't use Aerofly FS 2 as my main sim. A flightsim without a proper weather engine is like a sailing sim without water. Or a train sim without rails. Or a driving sim without roads. It just doesn't make sense to me to create a flight sim without "the very environment in which an aircraft operates". I posted about this a hundred times on the Aerofly FS 2 forum and still they won't even promise they will look into it in the future. Seriously, a flight sim without weather...? You gotta be kidding. 

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I have been immigrating to X-Plane for the last couple of months. It is a progress! And yes, weather is a huge problem but apparently since people like you, who cares about the weather have not moved onto X-Plane, only those who doesn't care use X-Plane and as you can imagine they ignore :D (overstatement I know :D and for the time being I am one of them) Most think their "compared to AS almost nothing yet relatively expensive" payware weather software is just astonishing.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, J van E said:

. I posted about this a hundred times on the Aerofly FS 2 forum and still they won't even promise they will look into it in the future. Seriously, a flight sim without weather...? You gotta be kidding. 

For AF2, it's difficult to force a (probably resource intensive step)  without knowing what their business model is for the future of the sim. Their priorities, I am guessing, do not include a realistic weather engine.   For a start, it's just a regional sim.   Also, generally, (and I don't mean you because I know what you're like :)) the people who would want to fly in a sim like AF2 are probably not that concerned with weather or actual aeronautical realism.  It's a 'wow factor' visual experience sim on an extremely limited scale. which puts it way off my (and others) radar for further consideration.  

Xplane has evolved rapidly over the years -  from its 'blade element theory snobbery'  - only liked and understood by those with the mathematical/engineering genius of Austin himself, to a much more broad based, better looking and much more likable simulator.  It has moved from the fringes to the beginnings of mainstream which means that its fundamental constituents have to show that they can be taken seriously.

 

Edited by ErichB

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, ErichB said:

Does someone have any updated  information on HiFi's potential step into XP and when the weather API is due for an overhaul?

 

Unfortunately there's no update, i inquire them my self, the reply was vague, no denial of the project being abandoned, but no preview for a possible release.

XP as some serious limitations in weather depiction and my believe is that HIFI is struggling to make something with similar quality as they have is P3D.

Laminar is more concerned in improving the flight model instead of fixing the weather features, the result is a great flight model and a poor sky, XP is a great unbalanced simulator.

Edited by dmarques69

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Before activesky next, there wasn’t s weather engine in fsx/p3d that could smooth out weather either. Actually when I switched to x-plane in 2010 it was because the weather was better represented in x-plane than in fsx and later p3d. Flying over the Atlantic was terrible with the previous weather engines with constant wind shifts that lead to crash after crash or sim freeze up. Of course, it is with my opinion that active sky next and their recent release are the best in the business, x-enviro does a pretty good job of injecting weather into x-plane and fairly smoothly. 

 

I would like like an activesky product in x-plane but x-enviro satisfies my needs, and as a real world pilot, I don’t see it as a big problem or a bad product. A lot of people talking about updrafts, microbursts and thunderstorm representation and the lack there of in x-plane, and having had thunderstorms blow up around me I real life with little to no impact, at times I feel the flight sim community is looking more for a little drama in their flights than actual representation of wind interaction with the airplane or actually worrying about whether your actions will lead to freezing wing and engines, which the weather engines for fsx/p3d don’t model well at all. 

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And another topic that chews over the same thing that's been chewed over 100 times before (just run a quick search on this forum and you will see what I mean :)) ... Keep repeating the same thing over and over and it will get fixed? Vent your feelings to Laminar, if enough people do that then they might do something about it.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, petabread said:

Of course, it is with my opinion that active sky next and their recent release are the best in the business, x-enviro does a pretty good job of injecting weather into x-plane and fairly smoothly. 

 

I respect your opinion, but your xenviro must be different than mine, the weather injection i see from it is anything but smooth, a lot of stutters and abrupt weather changes, not to talk about the other problems that the product has, like the haze representation, sunset and so on. Still is the best we have in XP for now!

Edited by dmarques69

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No doubt it has problems but it’s the best we have in x-plane right now, I don’t have the stutter issue though and the abrupt weather changes are much less than default, it kind of reminds me of the activesky 2012 days.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, petabread said:

I would like like an activesky product in x-plane but x-enviro satisfies my needs, and as a real world pilot, I don’t see it as a big problem or a bad product. A lot of people talking about updrafts, microbursts and thunderstorm representation and the lack there of in x-plane, and having had thunderstorms blow up around me I real life with little to no impact, at times I feel the flight sim community is looking more for a little drama in their flights than actual representation of wind interaction with the airplane or actually worrying about whether your actions will lead to freezing wing and engines, which the weather engines for fsx/p3d don’t model well at all. 

You make a fair point there.  This community is full of drama queens.  But, simulated realism is all we have, so the notion that something 'could' happen, but 'probably won't' makes the experience more interesting regardless of whether it happens or not.  Why bother otherwise.  May as well take the dog for a walk.

 

47 minutes ago, Glenn_C said:

And another topic that chews over the same thing that's been chewed over 100 times before (just run a quick search on this forum and you will see what I mean :)) ... Keep repeating the same thing over and over and it will get fixed? Vent your feelings to Laminar, if enough people do that then they might do something about it.

It wasn't my intention to chew over an already chewed cud.  I'm sure it has been discussed before, but so has every other topic more or less..  Head over to the P3D forum and you will find volume 10 of the same explanations written by the same people about FFTF.

My original post was just to express amazement at XP11 and I happened to have a bit of a BTW moment about weather.   You may have resigned to it, but it is (still) a totally relevant issue.  Frankly, if Austin and his crew don't already know that weather needs attention then....

 

Edited by ErichB

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Posted (edited)

XP still need to be polished in various fronts...

 

- Flight and Systems modelling  ( they keep adding nice features, but breaking other stuff, and not addressing long time bugs / limitations )

- Weather modelling, specially some visuals, but also effects...

- Daylight calculations based on full date and latitude, they can be in sync with RL during some periods of the ( reference ) year, but are completely out of sync in other...

 

are the ones that more directly concern me since I do not use in XP or P3D AI or ATC...

 

Edited by jcomm
typos
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57 minutes ago, Glenn_C said:

And another topic that chews over the same thing that's been chewed over 100 times before (just run a quick search on this forum and you will see what I mean :)) ... Keep repeating the same thing over and over and it will get fixed? Vent your feelings to Laminar, if enough people do that then they might do something about it.

Is it fixed? No. So, people will keep on talking. people paid money for this.

Not all the problems of xenviro are related to LR. No option for custom or historical weather or no option for a flight plan. A weather software without these options are like a flight simulation with no "sufficient" weather model. Come on you dont even get to see destination airport weather data until you get close enough.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, ErichB said:

My original post was just to express amazement at XP11 and I happened to have a bit of a BTW moment about weather.   You may have resigned to it, but it is (still) a totally relevant issue.  Frankly, if Austin and his crew don't already know that weather needs attention then....

I'm sure Austin and crew have better weather slated for some time in the future. By "better weather" I mean a true 3D model, vertical convection in CB's, and other improvements that can't be done by 3rd party developers.

The reason it's taking so long, I'm fairly sure, is because Laminar is prioritizing optimized frame rates for VR ahead of weather (and default seasons, apparently). A more advanced default weather engine will no doubt have some impact on frame rates, probably a dual hit on CPU and GPU. So for better or worse, VR is holding back deeper improvements in the sim.

We'll get there eventually, and meanwhile I can find enough other things in the sim that make it my main flying platform. I can also appreciate some of the non-graphics related weather effects X-Plane does include in the default sim, like in-flight icing and dry/wet/icy runway conditions. 

Edited by Paraffin
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24 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

The reason it's taking so long, I'm fairly sure, is because Laminar is prioritizing optimized frame rates for VR ahead of weather (and default seasons, apparently).

Having watched a recent Q&A posted on Youtube with Austin and his team, that was my understanding of their priority list too.

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2 hours ago, ErichB said:

Having watched a recent Q&A posted on Youtube with Austin and his team, that was my understanding of their priority list too.

And as much as it is so meaningless to me, VR is indeed the future in flight and overall simulation... ludic and professional...

Together with motion platforms it can bring closer to the home user the sophistication of LevelD platforms, and an interaction with the environment that is certainly unique.

 

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I really don’t think the weather looks so bad. I use default wx. You see fronts, hardly ever weather shifts. You can actually fly into weather. Overcast looks like overcast. The only thing that’s not so good is variable wind. It’s way to aggressive and not like in real life where it is more gradual.

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3 hours ago, costamesa said:

Is it fixed? No. So, people will keep on talking. people paid money for this.

Not all the problems of xenviro are related to LR. No option for custom or historical weather or no option for a flight plan. A weather software without these options are like a flight simulation with no "sufficient" weather model. Come on you dont even get to see destination airport weather data until you get close enough.

You can get X-Plane to download real world weather then just call up the metar of your destination and that's it. That is usually quite accurate, I use http://en.allmetsat.com. People know the weather is not perfect when they purchase I would hope. Buying something these days especially for flight simulation without reading reviews etc is just asking to get burned. There are enough add-ons that are not worth a dime that sell for a hefty price. The best thing I can say to people who want a 'perfect' weather system in their flight sim is go buy P3D and Active Sky, X-Plane at the moment is not for you.

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12 hours ago, ErichB said:

It cannot be taken seriously as a sim for airliner flying if the weather environment cannot be modelled and represented correctly

True, but keep in mind that most sims if not all, just don't do well in this arena, you have to purchase an addon.

For me, xEnviro meets my needs and eventually with the latest 1.08 update coming soon, should look/handle weather even better.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, J van E said:

It just doesn't make sense to me to create a flight sim without "the very environment in which an aircraft operates"

...AFAIK, the other sim, does not even have one. These comments about XP no having a decent weather system just don't make sense, when you are flying one that does not even even include one out of the box...Go figure!

Edited by CarlosF

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5 hours ago, jcomm said:

Flight and Systems modelling

Jose, please tell me which sim has perfect flight and systems modeling, XP, P3D, FSX (don't know about the other ones out there) rely on third party intervention and most of us just don't fly stock aircraft for the same reason.

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Posted (edited)

People please, don't hold you breath if you think that some day XP will have the perfect platform with perfect flight dynamics, perfect systems modeling with perfect weather modeling, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Austin is one smart guy but he is not perfect.  XP is a great platform in which third party developers can contribute with their magic, just to mention a few:IXEG, JRollon, Leading Edge, xEnviro, SkyMaxx, etc.

Edited by CarlosF
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Use the Noaa plugin, plus a freeware cloud mod. Weather looks pretty good.

default p3d weather is still the same as fsx 2006. Even with active sky, it’s still sprite based 2d. Turn your head and watch those clouds spin. Far from perfect.

im glad lr is focusing on vr, by the way. They’re doing a great job there.

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The weather is very frustrating in XP, especially as a real world pilot who would like to train specific IFR approach situations and have the experience be very realistic.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, CarlosF said:

Jose, please tell me which sim has perfect flight and systems modeling, XP, P3D, FSX (don't know about the other ones out there) rely on third party intervention and most of us just don't fly stock aircraft for the same reason.

Which woman is perfect ?  Mine :-)

It's a combination of factors as we all feel, each one in it's own way because we place different expectations in aspects of a flightsim that are important for us.

X-Plane, default, is a rather complete / complex flight simulator, no doubt about it, and can serve even the purpose of being used for IFR practice, just as good as professional tools, but simmers mostly want their aircraft modelled to exhaustion, and this or that aspects of the simulation, being it AI, Weather, Scenery, ATC... as perfect as it is possible.

Honestly I think X-plane offers by default, and in a much more cheaper way a lot of features that appeal to most users, this being the main reason why so many users from the MSFS-based platforms are visiting or even migrating into it. 

As big as X-Plane is, though, in all aspects, including the growing developers team, and even as most point out being there for many years now ( I remember starting to use it's demos by around 1996 maybe ) truth is it can't compare to the HUGE infrastructure that was once behind the development of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

BTW, another example of a very very promising platform that has been growing very well, but not at the eyes of us "desperate" simmers looking for alternatives, is AEFS2, with an even smaller team.

So, please Carlos, don't bash X-Plane ( ahahahah - just kidding ya hermano :-) )...

I like X-Plane 11 a lot, I even think I feel better playing it than P3Dv42 sometimes, but it's the "desperate" simmer in me, like the football addict always wanting miracles for the supported team, that make me complain endlessly :-)

As we say around here: "Quanto mais me bates, mais gosto de ti... "

Edited by jcomm
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I don’t get it. I’m s real world pilot too. When I use the real wx download option it looks good enough. I can do plausible IFR approaches in the soup. I have had ASN on fsx. I don’t think it’s much better.

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