kyrtaps

Optimal set of addons - please help

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Hello!

 

After three years long break, I'm going back to fly on PC's simulator. I'm a virtual (off-line, not vastim) pilot of PMDG B777 flying for Emirates Airlines. My hub is FlyTampa-Dubai Rebooted. I fly according to the real-world schedule.  As I see, P3D4 looks amazing (much more better than my old FSX). I would like to compose the best set of addons for my style of flying. Please, advise me, because I'm a little bit confused. What I need? what is unnecessary? Bellow my ideas and second thoughts:

 

1. Base: P3D v4 + FSUIPC5

2. Land: - FS Global Ultimate; - ORBX FTX Global Base + Vector + OpenLC Europe + N. America + Australia; - sceneries of airports; Do you recomend something else?

3. Atmosphere: I got Active Sky… but what else? REX Sky Force 3D + PTA + tomatoshade? or/and ENVTEX?? or ASCA? and or ??? I'm confused... Help!

Do I need AI Lights Reborn or Drzewiecki grass & snow textures or all is included in the abovemenioned addons?

4. Boeing 777:  PMDG + Extension Pack + FS2Crew + 777 Immersion + TSS Sound Pack

5. AI Traffic: MyTraffic 6 or Ultimate Traffic Live or something different?

6. Ground Service X? Is it a good choice? I used to use AES, but it isn't for P3D4.

7. I used to use FSPassangers. I like it. Cabin crew voices, scheudle time and landing rate... Any alternative? Is FSCaptain similar?

8. Is it any good ATC (SID, STAR, taxi) working with AI traffic?

9. Flight Planning: PFPX + TOPCAT (doesn't support 777-300ER??) + Airac Cycle 1811 + ??

 

Thank you. Best regards,

Patrick   

Edited by kyrtaps

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5 hours ago, kyrtaps said:

Do I need AI Lights Reborn 

Yes 😋

I would recommend UTL instead of MT6A, the models of UTL were compiled for P3D.

Regards,

Simbol 

Edited by simbol

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Or a matter of preference.  I am on the other side (the dark side?) and would never consider using modifications to sounds, lighting or shaders.  I am aware that this is heresy in most circles but there are certain things are are purely a matter of personal preferences.

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@Patrick: I'm a bit in the same boat as you. I had a 3 year absence and I'm returning. I had FSX and installed P3Dv4 last week. Decided to restart/relearn with small G/A aircrafts before going to the 777 which I had for FSX.

1) Quick return on experience:
- If you want FSX colours in P3D, turn "HDR" off
- If you don't care about trees moving in the wind, turn "Dynamic 3D Autogen Vegetation" off

2) You have quite a good list

3) You might consider OrbX HD trees

4) I'm considering ENVSHADE + ENVTEX. But not sure yet. I eliminated PTA because I don't like tweaking, trying...

5) After maybe 2 years of "freeze", PFPX will have a "major" update soon. I read that many guys are using Simbrief at this time. If you knew FSNavigator for FS2004, and fly small aicrafts, there is its successor: FS Tramp. I love it but it is a 30 euros/year subscription. There is no fuel calculation if I recall correctly.


@Dan: me too I am hesitating to change light, shaders... to avoid potential unexpected problems

 

Edited by Simicro

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Thank you all. 

@simbol thx; UTL will be my choise;

@downscc check https://www.rdpresets.com/rd-pta-preset.html  photos looks amazing, truely realistic, I would like to achieve the level of simulation

@Simicro welcome aboard 🙂 sky in HDR really looks good, but inside of the cabin looks strange; however rdpresets is working on PMDG 777 LCD Enhancement so I'm waiting for the results; I think, I don't need better trees because I prefer heavy aricrafts (much more bigger then trees :) It seems PTA works good with REX, ENVTEX works good with ASCA... so I'm also confused.

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I have used Turbulent Design´s Terra Flora for long now and I´m very pleased with them, very natural looking trees. Also I´m using Envshade by Toga, very pleased also with that, day and night.

Regards

Virtpilot

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kyrtaps: thanks for the link. Amazing screens indeed but also other interesting materials. I did not buy yet the P3D 777 by I'm curious too for the LCD Enhancement.

dowscc: I'm curious. Why would you never consider using modifications to sounds, lighting or shaders? Fear to screw up things, CTD or things like that?

Edited by Simicro

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1 hour ago, kyrtaps said:

UTL will be my choise

I recommend you consider atc & traffic together ...... compatibility for what you want (eg UTL not suitable for VoxAtc)

 

8 hours ago, kyrtaps said:

FS Global Ultimate; - ORBX FTX Global Base

again, check compatability.

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8 hours ago, kyrtaps said:

Hello!

 

After three years long break, I'm going back to fly on PC's simulator. I'm a virtual (off-line, not vastim) pilot of PMDG B777 flying for Emirates Airlines. My hub is FlyTampa-Dubai Rebooted. I fly according to the real-world schedule.  As I see, P3D4 looks amazing (much more better than my old FSX). I would like to compose the best set of addons for my style of flying. Please, advise me, because I'm a little bit confused. What I need? what is unnecessary? Bellow my ideas and second thoughts:

 

1. Base: P3D v4 + FSUIPC5

2. Land: - FS Global Ultimate; - ORBX FTX Global Base + Vector + OpenLC Europe + N. America + Australia; - sceneries of airports; Do you recomend something else?

3. Atmosphere: I got Active Sky… but what else? REX Sky Force 3D + PTA + tomatoshade? or/and ENVTEX?? or ASCA? and or ??? I'm confused... Help!

Do I need AI Lights Reborn or Drzewiecki grass & snow textures or all is included in the abovemenioned addons?

4. Boeing 777:  PMDG + Extension Pack + FS2Crew + 777 Immersion + TSS Sound Pack

5. AI Traffic: MyTraffic 6 or Ultimate Traffic Live or something different?

6. Ground Service X? Is it a good choice? I used to use AES, but it isn't for P3D4.

7. I used to use FSPassangers. I like it. Cabin crew voices, scheudle time and landing rate... Any alternative? Is FSCaptain similar?

8. Is it any good ATC (SID, STAR, taxi) working with AI traffic?

9. Flight Planning: PFPX + TOPCAT (doesn't support 777-300ER??) + Airac Cycle 1811 + ??

 

Thank you. Best regards,

Patrick   

My add-ons fill niches.  My Carenado add-ons, for instance, each fill different roles and have different flight profiles, engines and so on and are different in looks.  I try not to duplicate.  I am heavily invested in Carenado and God Bless them, when my old system crashed last year and I switched to P3D on my new system I was able to redownload, although I repurchased a couple of titles from them and Alabeo before I realized that.  Great service for their users, not often mentioned or given by some developers who have you relicense if you upgrade to a new sim or system.

My only scenery add-ons are MSE's now discontinued version 2 photoreal sceneries for most of the western states, plus my own scenery I created with FSE (if you wish, you can download and install my Colorado photoreal scenery I made and shared with Avsim's library, made for FSX but works fine in P3DV4).

Get add ons that suit your tastes, your budget, and get them gradually, not all at once.  You want to be careful with add ons, install them one at a time, fly, look for issues before you add another, otherwise you can find yourself uninstalling many add-ons or even (and often unnecessarily) the sim altogether.

Most of all, fly often and enjoy the sim, don't go so crazy with add-ons that you have so many you don't get to use them, as I did with FSX.  Now I have fewer than two dozen add on aircraft for P3DV4 and far less for Xplane11--again just those that fill a niches of flight I enjoy.

John

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21 minutes ago, Simicro said:

dowscc: I'm curious. Why would you never consider using modifications to sounds, lighting or shaders? Fear to screw up things, CTD or things like that?

Hi Tony, my name is my signature, Dan Downs.

It is just my preference.  I don't like stuff that I personally consider arcade effects.  Brighter brights, flashy effects, or over boosted bass.  I am kinda of an old stick in the mud and I avoid stuff that modifies the work of great developers like Orbx, PMDG or Flightbeam.  It is also true that some of this stuff is showing up as the source of problems for at least a couple of users every few days in the forums, but that is usually due to the lack of understanding of how to configure and use that addon.  It just boils down to my dedication to flight simulation and not gaming.  I am more interested in accurate simulation of flight than I am in sounds and colors; believe me, there is nothing in a PC computer that can render the actual beauty of a scene in flight.  Juicing up the colors doesn't make it any more real compared to the real thing.

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John said it perfectly, Back when I was using FS9 (I went from FS9 straight to p3d bypassing fsx) I littered my flight simulator with add-ons, some I didn’t even use as I forgot that I had.

When I switched over to p3d I decided to only install add ons that will fill the void and get use out of it. I have the standard active sky and ASCA, I also have orbx global base, I installed a view add on (simple cam), I put precipitfx into the sim. For aircraft all I have currently is the majestic dash 8, pmdg 737, pmdg 747 and that’s it. I will be adding a single engine prop shortly perhaps the Carenado pc12. This will give me a broad range of aircraft to serve most purposes.

now that I have my aircraft to serve every purpose I will direct my gradual purchases in adding airports.

In my FS9 days I would purchase dozens upon dozens of aircraft and never use them, I never focused on airports which can greatly enhance the sim.

I would suggest starting slowly, but things I would consider a must off the get go is a ground enhancement, weather, and an aircraft add on that will fit your type of flying, once you have a good base, Be choosy and picky of what add on you decide to install. 

That pmdg 777 sure looks good though.

Edited by flyinpilot212121
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When I installed Prepard3D V4, I vowed to keep the system as simple as possible.  I have a LOT of stuff I have purchased over the past two years but I didn't reinstall most of it and life as a result seems like a simpler and happier place - less time "fiddling" with things and more time flying.  I use Prear3D4.3, OBRX Global, ORBX Regions, a few ORBX airports, and ORBX trees.  I also use REX texture direct, Active Sky for P3DV4, and ChasePlane all of which I consider "must haves".  While I have purchased many planes the only ones I'm using this year are the PMDG 737 and 747 as I'm determined I'd rather be a master of a couple of planes than a jack of all trades on a wide-variety of aircraft types.

I let all the other stuff go and the system is remarkably stable with only these solid products.  My system isn't exactly state of the art...but I get decent frame rates compared to some who have high-end systems but still can't resist slamming the sliders to the right.

A few days ago someone pointed out that instead of loading up on add-ons, get a quality control system - I suggest the MFG crosswind pedals, and the HOTAS Warthog stick and throttle.  Solid products.

Thanks,

Mark

 

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3 hours ago, downscc said:

Hi Tony, my name is my signature, Dan Downs.

It is just my preference.  I don't like stuff that I personally consider arcade effects.  Brighter brights, flashy effects, or over boosted bass.  I am kinda of an old stick in the mud and I avoid stuff that modifies the work of great developers like Orbx, PMDG or Flightbeam.  It is also true that some of this stuff is showing up as the source of problems for at least a couple of users every few days in the forums, but that is usually due to the lack of understanding of how to configure and use that addon.  It just boils down to my dedication to flight simulation and not gaming.  I am more interested in accurate simulation of flight than I am in sounds and colors; believe me, there is nothing in a PC computer that can render the actual beauty of a scene in flight.  Juicing up the colors doesn't make it any more real compared to the real thing.

Hello Dan,

You gave me something to think about. As I stated in a previous discussion I have experienced several CTD'S in P3DV4 and most have been in the NGX, then ran the same flight in QOTSIII with the same settings just fine. Reading your post reminded me of the cockpit and engine sound enhancement add-ons I have in the NGX.Hmmm,I wonder. Think I'll remove them, reinstall NGX and see.

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Thanks for comments.

I had good set of addons in my FSX, so today I can't imagine my simulator without active jetways, a ground service, fs2crew and AI traffic. I can't imagine flight planning without PFPX and Active Sky intergrated with PMDG and PFPX. Now, moving to P3D4, I would like to improve visual effects, so I will buy ORBX and better colouds, sky, moon, lights ect. I'm sure that I don't need extra aircrafts, because I fly only 777-300ER. I don't need HD trees because it won't be visible from B777. ect.

OK, my questions are:

1. REX Sky Force 3D + PTA + tomatoshade? or/and ENVTEX?? or ASCA? and or ??? I'm confused... Help!

2. I used to use FSPassangers. Cabin crew voices, passangers satisfacion index and fears during turbulence without sit belt sign on, delays and landing rate... Any alternative for P3D4? Any integraton with GSX Level 2 Expansion (boarding)?

3. Is it any good ATC (SID, STAR) working with AI traffic?

Have a nice day,

Patrick,

Edited by kyrtaps

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47 minutes ago, kyrtaps said:

Is it any good ATC (SID, STAR) working with AI traffic

Not much, investigate about VOXAtc since it injects it own traffic.

I use ProAtc-X which is compatible with UTL, ProAtc-X uses SID and Stars but It doesn't touch the AI.

Regards 

Simbol 

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45 minutes ago, simbol said:

VOXAtc since it injects it own traffic

V742 uses the schedules & subsequently "controls" traffic from any "traffic.bgl" source ...... unlike any other ATC programs.

PATC reacts but does not "control" ..... fsuipc though can help "control" even UTL for these other ATC programs.

Vox requires additionally investment in TTS voices ...... so for the same money thereabouts, you have "controlled AI" or "supplied" voices.

Edited by vadriver
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voxATC sounds great! I will try the trial version. Thanks.

New FSPassangers for P3D4 should be before Christmass. I will wait.

So the last question... best clouds & sky & stars & sun & moon working with Active Sky... I'm still reading about it but it seems REX has bigger performance impact than HiFi products + Envtex.

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Dan: my bad, I was not asking for your nickname but the why of your preferences. Anyway, clear now, thanks. Makes me think.

Patrick: my understanding is:

1) Environmental enhancements textures: clouds, sky, moon,... Some of the items below have them all, some a few, etc.
- REX
- ASCA
- ENVTEX
-...

2) Shaders modifiers/enhancers
- PTA: many settings/tweaking options. Good if you like micro-tuning and not good if you like Plug and Play. However there are some presets available by third party or community.
- TomatoShade
- ENVSHADE: no settings/tweaking options. Plug and Play.

ENVTEX and ENVSHADE work best together the developer says. And I read PTA works best with REX addons..

Hope it clarifies a bit. I cannot make any recommendation because I do not own any of those addons. At this I'm questioning myself if I should get one or not.

PS: I'm interested by the comments on  the "optimal addons list", but I will refrain from commenting, until your questions are answered, to avoid to divert the discussions.

Edited by Simicro

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33 minutes ago, kyrtaps said:

So the last question... best clouds & sky & stars & sun & moon working with Active Sky... I'm still reading about it but it seems REX has bigger performance impact than HiFi products + Envtex.

What can your HARDWARE handle?  It's no use buying a "clouds" product that has 4096 x 4096 cloud textures if your hardware can't display them in a "timely manner" without bogging down your sim performance.  Out of the 5 "display objects" you listed above (clouds, sky, stars, sun, moon), your MAIN concern should be what level of CLOUDS can your hardware handle (with the type of flying you will be doing...default aircraft?  A complex system heavy PMDG one?).  If you can run 4096 x 4096 clouds at 4K resolution on a 4K monitor, the other 4 items will run fine too.  But nowadays, if you have to turn down the cloud resolution to get acceptable performance, it is no use trying to "compare" weather products.  They ALL have just about the same LOWER resolution display of the clouds.

The 3 main "clouds" players today are Active Sky (with their Active Sky Cloud Art addon), REX SkyForce, and "the rest" of the players.  A lot of people buy BOTH Active Sky (for the weather engine) and SkyForce for the cloud textures and cloud types.  But it becomes a personal preference in those kind of choices.  You can use one, or the other, or both at the same time.  It's really up to the individual user...but what their HARDWARE can handle must be considered so you don't end up spending money on things that you simply wouldn't be able to run during your simming session if your hardware can't do it.

And as many of the above posts have said, adding anything like a "shader" product can be a shot in the dark.  Some work fine with some weather addons, and some don't.  Personally, I'm like Dan.  I don't use ANY "shader" addon products.  I've seen over and over again where they can cause more problems than it's worth, like when they DO make your weather look "good", but at the expense of messing up your cockpit display.  So then you end up using another "tweek" to try to fix the cockpit display.  Why go through all of that?  If you have P3Dv4.3, good hardware, and some already quality products like Active Sky and/or SkyForce...and you CAN'T get the "weather depiction" and all the other "outside view" in the sim to look good already...you ARE doing something wrong.

Edited by FalconAF
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@FalconAF Important notes about tweaks and shaders, thanks Rick. I will read more about it.

I fly on full HD projector (100" screen). It looks great and I don't need 4K resolution now. I have AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and M.2 disk (work good). I'm considering to upgrade my graphic card (GTX 1060 -> 1080) and buy more RAM (I got only 8 GB, 3200MHz now). Black friday is soon 🙂

I've decided that my weather engine will be Active Sky (I'm buying upgrade, I have ASN for FSX). 

Now I'm choosing between REX Sky Force or ASCA. 

Best regards,
Patrick

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14 hours ago, downscc said:

It is just my preference.  I don't like stuff that I personally consider arcade effects.  Brighter brights, flashy effects, or over boosted bass.

Same here, however... I do use PTA. I never tweaked anything in it myself but just loaded the included MattDavies preset and that's it. Why? Not because I care about arcade effects like brighter brights etc. but because I absolutely care about the extremely realistic blue color in the distance, the so called Rayleigh scattering. To me this makes a WORLD of difference in P3D! Without it P3D looks totally unrealistic, dull and flat to me, which colors being the same all the way up to the horizon. This default PTA preset also isn't too overly bright or cartoonish: you just select it, install it and that's it. No need for tweaking or tinkering. And I never ever had any problems with my sim due to PTA. For me this Rayleigh scattering alone is really worth the purchase. Whenever I have to reinstall P3D PTA is one of the first addons I use, just for this (a random screenshot I took a few minutes ago to show you what I mean):

2018-10-20-14-49-23-881.jpg

 

Edited by J van E

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I will try TomatoShade & ReShade + Presets for PMDG 777 and clouds. More about it here: 

 

Edited by kyrtaps

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3 hours ago, J van E said:

I absolutely care about the extremely realistic blue color in the distance, the so called Rayleigh scattering.

Real world one would only see the bluish tint in the distance with lower dew points and in certain lighting so I am curious as to if the effect is always there? I assume that it also depended on altitude, for as you go higher you are no longer going to see it.

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On ‎10‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 12:02 AM, kyrtaps said:

much more better than my old FSX

I'm curious ..... where did you ask for "advice" before your 6 only posts here at avsim ???

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1 hour ago, vadriver said:

I'm curious ..... where did you ask for "advice" before your 6 only posts here at avsim ???

Nowhere :-))  I've read some topics and websites about new P3D v4.

I started flying ten years ago, but I prefer fly rather than writing on forum. 

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