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Everything posted by tripecac

  1. I just noticed a big 38% off banner on the ORBX forums. This reminded me of a topic where John Venema (the ORBX CEO) promised “no more sales, ever”: I questioned the validity and wisdom of that promise, and the topic ended up getting locked, and I received a "warning" and an accusation from Ian Routely that my line of questioning was "borderline" and displayed "no understanding of how these things work." In retrospect, was my line of questioning completely out of line? Were my questions about development costs, software depreciation, and ORBX's update plans for PNW really so threatening that their censorship, warning, and condescension were justified? The way John and Ian handled their side of the discussion left me feeling deeply shocked and insulted, to the point where my enthusiasm for ORBX was (and remains) greatly diminished. Their harsh (and very public) reaction to my line of questioning ended up costing them hundreds of dollars from me, and possibly many more from other people who read their reactions to that topic. Coincidentally, I just watched Straight Outta Compton last night. Perhaps that stirred those old memories, of John and Ian shoving me to the [virtual] curb.
  2. Okay, I downloaded and installed FSX SceneryConfigEditor, and used it to disable these: 3) FS Genesis - World Mesh, North America 4) UTX USA 5) GEX North America I also disabled ORBX's Olympic Peninsula freebie; I had forgotten about that. The game loads, NZ scenery looks fine. I can't tell for sure if it loads faster or not; my impression was yes, but that could just be wishful thinking. I suppose if I want to be scientific about it I should time it before and after making those changes, but oh well... So far it hasn't seemed to break anything, and might be a tad faster (certainly not slower), so that's good enough for me. Is there any advantage in disabling the base FSX scenery as well? For example: - Las Vegas - Rio de Janeiro - St. Maarten ... - Australia - Asia - Africa etc? Or are none of those likely to bog down the load time (significantly)?
  3. Okay, so it's not hurting anything (in terms of performance) to leave the North American scenery enabled when I fly in NZ, right? How about that FS Genesis world mesh? Any idea if it is being used in an ORBX-covered area?
  4. I fly primarily in New Zealand. I would like to reduce load times. I've got the following add-on scenery installed: 1) GodZone RealNZ Southern Lakes Adventure (Wanaka, Tekapo) 2) ORBX New Zealand South Island 3) FS Genesis - World Mesh, North America 4) UTX USA 5) GEX North America Clearly, the USA scenery isn't being used when I am flying in NZ. I'm not sure about the FS Genesis World Mesh; it might be getting overriden by ORBX's NZSI or Godzone RealNZ. My questions are these: 1) Is FS Genesis World Mesh even being used? If not, is it slowing down the game or increasing load time? 2) Will disabling FS Genesis, UTX, and GEX increase the speeding of loading (or perhaps even frame rates)? 3) Is disabling scenery just as effective as uninstalling scenery completely (in terms of loading), or should we uninstall scenery if we want to minimize load time? Thanks!
  5. Problem fixed (I think), at least for DX10; it appears to have been a cpnflict between 2 add-on scenery packages. Fixed by renaming a particular scenery file. DX9 still does not work. No big loss, though, as DX10 seems fine so far (in my limited testing).
  6. Today I started up FSX for the first time in months. I flew the standard route that I always do when getting back into FSX, which is around Wanaka Airport in New Zealand. I am using 2 sets of add-on scenery in that area: ORBX's New Zealand South Island, and GodZone's RealNZ Wanaka. After flying for about 3 minutes I noticed some black textures on nearby mountains. And then I noticed water textures in the middle of the town. As I flew closer, the water textures changed to other textures quickly, as if it were cycling through different textures looking for the correct one. Weird. Clearly a glitch. I checked my settings and noticed that FSX was using the DirectX 10 preview, so I switched to DX9 and restarted FSX. This time, no textures loaded at all: the image of the plane on the Free Flight page was completely black, and when the actual game started, it just flashed "Loading 100%" over and over, with black in the background. I switched back to DX10. The Free Flight image was there, and I could start flying. But again, some of the nearby ground textures were corrupt. So, DX10 has corrupt ground textures, and DX9 has no textures. My video card is an ATI Radeon HD 5850. I'm running the latest driver (13.12). I usually use DX9 but a few months ago, a driver update (13.9) "broke" FSX for me; it would not run at all in DX9. The standard advice was to roll back to a previous driver (13.4), but since I play other games I did not want to do that. I found that switching to DX10 enabled FSX to run, but I didn't have time to do much testing of DX10 at the time. I don't know if today's texture glitches were also present back on 13.9; I didn't fly around enough back then to notice them. I also don't know if the texture glitches have always been present in DX10, since I have mostly flown with DX9. So I don't know for sure whether they are DX10-specific. I am, however, 100% sure that these texture glitches did not exist back when I was running FSX in DX9 before the 13.9 update. My scenery add-ons have not changed since then, so I suspect the problem is driver related. NOTE: If I disable RealNZ Wanaka, the glitches go away (but I lose the detail that RealNZ Wanaka provides). So there appears to be a conflict between the video card and the add-on scenery. Here are my questions: 1) Are the ground texture glitches a known problem for DirectX 10? If so, is there a fix? 2) Is there a way to get DirectX 9 working on current Radeon drivers? Or is rolling back to 13.4 the only known fix? Thanks!
  7. Ah, ok, thanks. I guess I either didn't test long enough, or didn't set the sliders high enough to encounter the problems other people are having with 13.9 and DirectX 10. Have people confirmed that the betas for 13.10 and 13.11 also have the same problems as 13.9? Also, would copying the 13.4 atiumdag.dll to the FSX directory fix the problem, even if 13.9 or later is still installed? (In other words, are there any solutions less drastic than rolling back to 13.4?)
  8. I recently installed the Catalyst 13.9 drivers. As with everyone else, I get a crash to desktop when trying to start Free Flight mode using DirectX 9. Instead of rolling back to 13.4, I simply enabled DirectX 10 Preview. Now, FSX loads, and I can fly around as before. Using menus doesn't break it, at least so far. DirectX 10 might not be as efficient as DirectX 9, but it's a lot easier than rolling back to 13.4, and doesn't put other games (or the computer in general) at risk. So I am curious: why are people recommending a rollback to 13.4? Why not simply switch to DirectX 10, at least until we get a Catalyst version that works? Are some people having problems with 13.9's DirectX 10 as well? Or is DirectX 10 *dramatically* slower than DirectX 9 on some machines?
  9. It's hard to click on the little "-" and "+" controls on the GPS. Is there a way to get the GPS to zoom in and out using keyboard shortcuts?
  10. Does anyone know how to get Spot View to rotate in the correct direction?
  11. I downloaded FSUIPC but after reading the docs suspect that time sync feature is for the registered version only; is that the case?
  12. I'm in New Zealand, and often fly FSX here too. However, i have my default flight saved as an aiport near Seattle. For some reason, the fact that the default flight and my physical location are in different time zones confuses FSX. For example, I start FSX at 9:19am, and go to Free Flight. The default flight is near Seattle, and the Current Time and Season says 8/12/2012 9:19am, which is the current time in NZ, not the current time in Seattle. When I load the flight and then go to World / Time and Season..., I see that the local time is 9:19am, which is wrong; the actual local time in Seattle right now is 2:19pm. If end the flight and then select Auckland Intl as my current location, I see that it is dark, and FSX says that local time is 03:19:32, GMT is 16:19:32, and the date is 8/13/2012. In other words, FSX thinks the current time in New Zealand is actually 18 hours in the future. So, it's as if FSX assumes that your computer's time is the current time at the default flight's location, not your actual location. It doesn't seem to be "aware" of your computer's actual time zone. The workaround is to change the default flight to an airport in your own time zone. So, if I start at Auckland Intl, and then save that as the default flight, the next time I open FSX, the time of day issues are gone; all time of day calcuations seem correct at that point. This is a relatively painless workaround, but what would be ideal is to get FSX to become aware of our computer's actual time zone, so that it can base time of day calculations off of that instead of off of the default flight. Of course, maybe these "errors" are intentional. Let's say you live in Seattle, but want to fliy a "grand tour" around Africa, where each day you fly to a new airport, and save your current position as the default flight, so that tomorrow you can continue where you left off. If you fly at a time when it's actually dark in Africa, it will be a real pain to have to keep changing the Time of Day each time you load FSX (in order to get daytime scenery). So maybe FSX is trying to be "helpful" by assuming you always want to fly your default flight at the time of day where you are now, not at the actual time of day at the default flight's location. (Of course, if you happen to fly at night, the "helpful" feature will be annoying). Anyway, has anyone else investigated this issue? Is there a cleaner workaround than setting the default flight to the same time zone as your computer? Thanks!
  13. This morning I started Flight (in Alaska), jumped to the airport in Kodiak, and then started GMap. It loaded fine, except when GMap was loading, Flight also seemed to re-load the scenery. Strange! Does this happen to you too?
  14. I started Flight, switched to an airport in Hawaii, took off, started Gmap, and it still says it cannot connect to MS Flight. I then switched to an airport in Alaska, and still no go. But then I tried running it as Administrator, and it worked. Looks great once it's running! I just hope I can get it to run consistently... Do we have to jump to/from Hawaii each time we started Flight in order for GMap to work?
  15. I start MS Flight, and then start GMap, and when I click the GMap button it says "Cannot connect to MS Flight". I've tried GMap versions 2.0 and 2.1 (the most recent version - July 4 I think). Neither work. I've also tried starting GMap before and after Flight starts. I'm using the Steam verison of Flight, install on my D drive. Any ideas on how I can get GMap working?
  16. Wow, thanks for the info! I'll try to watch the IL-2 tutorials through to the end next time. I don't suppose there is a way to skip or fast-forward through the movie parts?
  17. I installed IL-2 1946, patched it to 1.11.1, and finally got antialiasing, widescreen, and TrackIR all working. I played a couple of quick missions, and, once I realized that we have to add planes manually, had a blast! I love shooting down rookies! :) So far, I'm having a lot more fun with IL-2 than I did with Rise of Flight. What is confusing me, however, is the tutorial system. The training missions don't seem to be missions; they seem to be more like movies, with no interaction. I couldn't find a way to fast-forward through them, and didn't watch until the end of them, so I don't know if an interactive segment follows the movie; does it? And then there's the question of which campaign to try first. I want to start simple and work my way through them, ideally chronologically. However, I have no idea how they are ordered. Is there a description of these campaigns somewhere, with recommendations on which to try first? (One thing I like about Flight and FSX is that they baby-step us through the basics, even if we have been long-time followers of the series). I'm still wondering whether to get Wings of Prey. I've read that it's based on an earlier version of IL-2, so I'm guessing they share some of same learning curve. Do they have enough in common to warrant using Wings of Prey as a stepping-stone to IL-2?
  18. Is Wings of Prey multiplayer/online only or is there a decent solo campaigns? It's hard to tell when reading the Steam description. Is the Wings of Luftwaffe DLC worth getting (for solo play)? Right now Wings of Prey is $10 (as part of that indie bundle) and Wings of Luftwaffe is $15, for a total of $25. It would be nice if both went on sale as a bundle, but I don't know how often that happens. The base game has 50 missions and 40 planes, but Wings of Luftwaffe only adds 10 missions and 2 planes. So, why is it so expensive (as a DLC)? I'm guessing the emphasis is multiplayer support, but right now that doesn't interest me. So is Wings of Luftwaffe overpriced? Should I skip it until I actually finish Wings of Prey (assuming I get it)? Or does it make sense to wait for a bundle and get them both?
  19. Would Wings of Prey be a gentler intro to WW2 simming? Does it have a steep learning curve? Would learning Wings of Prey help prepare me for IL-2? Or would it just result in 2 steep learning curves?
  20. Here's the Wings of Prey on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/45300/ -- it doesn't have a video but the screengrabs look decent. The other bundled apps don't, however! Thanks for the recommendation to patch IL-2 to 4.11.1 instead of going the Ultrapack route. That will save some time (research, download, install)! Is IL-2 easier to learn (flying-wise) than Rise of Flight? I'm really having trouble with the latter; I've crashed on the 2nd and 3rd tutorial missions, which is pretty sad, given the decades I've spent (off an on) with the MS FS series!
  21. Thanks for the info! For solo play of IL-2 1946 do you recomment Ultrapack 3 or the latest patches (1.11.1 I think)? My understanding is that Ultrapack 3 is based on an earlier version and is compatible with the latest patches. I'd be getting it from Steam, if that makes a difference. Wings of Prey is currently part of an Indie Bundle on Steam for $9.99 (with HOARD, Swords and Soldiers HD, Demotlition Inc, and SOL: Exodus... most of which look pretty dumb). Does this mean that Wings of Prey has that unpolished indy feel, or was it just unfortunately to get bundled with those other games? The DCS series seems to get great reviews, but those are all single aircraft, right? And most are modern? For some reason, I'm just not that interested in jets and missiles; they seem somehow impersonal. I've watched some videos of Warthog and it looks like the player had fun, but I think I prefer the WW2 environment. I also like the idea of trying out different planes (e.g., fighters, bombers, whatever). I can see how getting used to a single plane would help us perfect our skills, but I'm more interested in seeing new stuff than honing [virtual] skills. (Although I will say, it is very satisfying to be able shoot things from horseback in Mount and Blade, and that took a long time to learn).
  22. The other day I was flying to the cruise ship aerocache in Juneau, and when I saw those big ships, I was thinking, "it would be neat if I could bomb them!" I'm not normally into [virtually] shooting things, but perhaps the frustrating demise of Flight inspired the urge to try some combat sims. The last combat air sim I really played was the sopwith mode in Flight Simulator back in the 1980s. So, I'm a bit out of the loop. My question is this: What air combat sim would you recommend for someone who enjoys the missions and casual sightseeing aspects of Flight and FSX? I'd rather have interesting scenery and objectives than uber-realistic flight modeling, weapon modeling (since I have no piloting or military background). If there's a 10-minute flight to a combat zone, I will definitely want a fast forward button. Also, I'm not interested in a super-challenging AI, since I'm more interested in the exploration/novelty than striving for perfection. I don't intend to play anyone online. In other words, I'm not that interested in a steep learning curve and eternally delayed gratification. I'm more interested in fun than challenge. So: I prefer aerocaches (something new) to hamburger runs (grinding), and hate the redbull racing missions in FSX, because they are too hard and repetitive. I've tried Rise of Flight (which is free), and find it too hard. The biplane in Flight is a lot easier to control. The planes in Rise of Flight seem horribly unstable and "fiddly". They spin often, and recovering is hard. After about 10 dogfights, I don't think I ever hit any enemy planes, and each time ended up spinning into the ground. This is not my idea of fun. Sure, I know if I invest enough hours in learning the subtleties of WWI flight models, I might start enjoying it more... but at this point in my life I don't want to have to pour hours and hours into learning computer games. I'd rather have some instant gratification, or at least a game that oozes potential, like Flight did when it was released. Rise of Flight seems pretty one-dimensional to me: you shoot at other planes with machine guns, and they shoot at you, and the terrain always seems to be the same. Perhaps that is interesting to true aviators and WWI buffs, but I'd be more interested in seeing a variety of missions and aircraft types... like the ones in FSX. I've watched videos for IL-2 and it looks more varied, but it also looks pretty complex. It's hard to get a sense for how fun it is to fly the different planes and missions, and how dependent we are on keyboard shortcuts. I'd rather just use the joystick 90% of the time, like I do with Flight and FSX. Some other preferences: 1) I prefer WW2-era combat to the more complex, technology-dependent modern ones 2) I'd love TrackIR support, since that has made Flight and FSX even more enjoyable 3) Steam would be great So, do any sims pop into mind? And, I'm curious: is anyone else in the same boat as me, frustrated by the drying up of scenery-based civilian flight sim options, looking for something new?
  23. There are animals in real-like Alaska. And other planes. And cars on the highway. And trains on the rails. And ferries on the waterways. Real life Alaska is not quite as desolate as Flight paints it to be. I hope we start seeing DLC focused around adding details to the areas we already own. Imagine a wildlife DLC... or an AI traffic DLC... Or a "denser trees" DLC for those of us who want forests to look like preholocaust forests. (And by the way, I don't expect to see trees deep inside Denali NP, but I *do* expect to see them near the park entrance, because that area was heavily forested.) In Flight's "forests", we'd be able to spot bears a mile away. Not so in real life, where walking in a forest in bear territory is a little nerve-rattling, because you never know what's around the next bend. Why can't Flight's forests look more like those in Skyrim?
  24. I have not done anying flying in AK. The sparseness is also apparent when comparing the against the splash screen: http://forum.avsim.n...d/#entry2409301 vs http://forum.avsim.net/topic/378436-does-anyone-know-where-in-alaska-this-splash-screen-can-be-viewed/#entry2408591
  25. Do the "forests" in the Alaska scenery seem a bit thin to you guys? I know real Alaskan trees tend to be thinner and shorter than their lower-latitude cousins, but in Flight, all the forests look *too* thinned out. I've been to Alaska a bunch of times in real life (but never flying around), and the forests never seemed nearly as sparse as they are represented in Flight. It's like they are in need of Rogaine. Cranking up the scenery to Maximum doesn't help on the tree density; it just drops the frame rates. Has anyone been able to find a "lush" place in Alaska? If so, what's the nearest airport?
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