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Behind the Screen : September 2017

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Behind the Screen : September 2017

 

You get great months and then you get those really hard draggy months and guess which category September 17 fell into, yes the second one. Part of the issues is that there is a lot of betas flowing around and September became the update and rerelease month par excellence. The two biggies came out with xEnviro finally coming out with their v1.07 and finally is the word here. And then there was WorldTraffic3 in release as well. Secondary was that a lot of airports scenery (mostly Aerosoft) was also updated to X-Plane11 and so much was updated X-PlaneReviews found it all a bit overwhelming, but as they say when it rains it...

 

All these plugin releases also created a bit of a issue on the system side that has severely slowed the site down over the last few weeks. Plugin conflict is one of the worst things to fix, and far worse when you can't see the actual cause?

 

I actually don't have a lot of plugins running, but three I think are essential in using X-Plane11. One is xEnviro, Two is WorldTraffic3 and last but not least is XPRealistic the excellent motion and effect plugin...  I just can't run X-Plane11 with any of those excellent addons running alongside me in there. But here is the sudden issue in that none of the plugins above suddenly like each other, even if they have all been very good friends all year. Every time I run two or more of the plugins together now I lose my mouse pointer and screen input, menu bar works fine, but not in my main screen, and this issue has caused havoc for weeks now?

 

Your point of view is that why bother and just do the reviews? That is all and good, but that will give you less of the full experience and and very visually with xEnviro and WT3, but underlying is the fact that you need to find the cause and because if it happens to me then it is not going to be before too long before you start being mouseless as well.

 

You expect plugin issues while there is a beta program running and I was running a few side by side, but not with releases? So it is all very confusing.

 

WorldTraffic3

I have been a big part of the development of WorldTraffic3 from the start. But don't get me wrong this is all Greg Hofer's work and not mine, I can only help or encourage where possible and add in ideas on how to make it all work as best as possible.

 

First to note is that the plugin is totally and absolutely horribly complex, that it works at all is simply up to Mr Hofer's genius, but it does work and extremely well, but there are a few comments that have to be laid out to understand that the release of WorldTraffic3 does not mean it is a completed project and that point is actually very far from reality.

 

Mr Hofer can only do so much in making the plugin as efficient and durable as possible, but overwhelmingly WT3 does totally rely on outside layouts being correct and set to being totally effective. If you have any issues with WT3 then look inward at X-Plane11 far more than the actual plugin itself, yes there will be bug fixes and more refinements to come and quickly, but 90% of WT3's issues are not residing in the actual plugin itself but in the X-Plane11 framework that it now uses.

 

Even though the tools to create a really good ATC and ground route structure at airports with WED (WorldEDitor) has been available for awhile, and even if the released airports and mostly with the default Global Airports that reside in your custom scenery folder it doesn't mean that these ATC structures are all created equal.

 

In fact of the many I checked, they were all really quite average with most missing parking position lines and traffic flow lines that are not completed or simply missing. And then WT3 has to interpret this poor layouts and try to make your airports look busy and exciting. When you have a correctly set up ground route structure and I use Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo scenery as a benchmark, then WT3 is simply astounding in it's operations, but in most cases the layout even if it says on the packaging that the scenery is ATC- Traffic flow is WED compatible is that they usually are not, and this is the biggest hurdle that WT3 and to a point X-Plane itself has to climb over, and not just for WT3 either as these ground routes are becoming more and more important to the effectiveness and general everyday use of the simulator. Then there is the factor of many sceneries and mostly freeware that don't have any ground route layouts at all, and yes I am poking an stick at tdg here as although he makes simply excellent scenery and does astounding work, this one little oversight will cause for most of his work to be totally unusable in the WT3 universe and I am quite angry about that because to insert ground routes for someone as talented as he is at WED is just simply astounding as well.

 

So the point is for WT3 to be a major and important part of your X-Plane experience is that a very significant focus will have to go on and be made on the WED ground route layouts...   then and only then will WT3 deliver the incredible return on the investment you require, in other words don't blame WT3 but fix the fundamental basic issues of WED first and make the whole system work together.

 

I have also noticed that some users are generating auto ground routes and posting them up on the X-Plane.Org. This is really a waste of time and actually a big diversion in the fact these ground routes can for one be very easily generated within WT3 quickly and easily anyway, but worse are they actually "Corrected" or refined ground routes with the sorted correct parking assignments completed and in most cases the answer is no.

Again you want fully well defined or completed ground routes and not just quick and nasty setups that users will take for the real thing and only they make your airport sceneries totally functional with the WT3 plugin, this is an IMPORTANT point to understand, in that the layouts required by WT3 need to be the best we can distribute and fully setup for instant use and be secure in that they will deliver the required standard that we require to make X-Plane the excellent simulator it is. Over the last few months in checking most sceneries we do fall very short or if anywhere near the mark to make WT3 effective at this point.

 

But what I love about X-Plane is that as a collective clever set of tinkerers and changers we do have the skills and talent to fix this ATC WED layouts for the better and quickly, and then distribute the changes for everyone else to benefit from, that is the promise of not only X-Plane as a simulator but for WT3 as well.

 

From this point forward this WT3 icon will tell you in a review of the WT3 layouts and notable points on what does or doesn't work, or if that scenery even does not have the required layouts to generate ground routes. To a point I found most good payware scenery released recently are doing very effective ground routes or at least acknowledge that well set up WED ground routes are now as big a major feature or is a major feature on selling their product.

 

I would like to thank everyone who participated in our fourth anniversary competition in August, of course X-PlaneReviews would like to pick many winners but we have to settle for just five, it was very hard in the end but the final choices were the worthy winners.

 

See you all next month

 

Stephen Dutton

1st October 2017

Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews

 

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