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X-Plane 12 - Early Access: thoughts

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We've waited for XP12 since the announcement.   Thankfully it's finally here. Here are my initial thoughts.

X-Plane is, and will continue to be, my sim of choice. When it first loaded up, other than the trees,  I could see little difference between it and XP11. However, I noticed immediately that I was getting more FPS. BUT (there's always a but, right?), I did not have any plugins installed. Everything was/is default.



X-Plane is not MSFS. The graphics will (probably) never match MSFS. I'm personally OK with that. However, I was a little disappointed that LR did not address the ground textures. But hey, they never said they would. I suspect the ground textures will improve over time. The airports are obviously the same as XP11. XP12 is supposed to have many more assets that can comprise buildings, cars, etc. With the 1000's upon 1000's of airports, perhaps LR is leaving it to the community to improve airports. However, it would have been nice to have improved airports out of the box.  The trees look great. There's just not enough of them. Again, left to the community? Bear in mind that much of what's left to the community might come at additional cost. The cloud textures are fantastic. While they don't look exactly like MSFS's they are doable for me. There is room for improvement though. Polygons: LR talked about getting rid of the straight lines around lakes, beaches, etc. Perhaps this has yet to be implemented? There's a lot more I could say about the visuals but at the moment I prefer my XP11 textures with all its add-ons. I expect that XP12 add-ons will eat into FPS as I add them. I know there's a lot I didn't mention, like wet runways, and changing seasons.  I'm delighted to see this stuff implemented. I'm hoping for undiscovered gems.



I haven't spent a lot of time here. I can say that I loved the Citation X. I have the payware version of the SR22 so it's hard to draw a comparison that's objective. I can say that the default SR22 lacks the depth of payware SR22. That's to be expected. The Evolution is a blast to fly. If Austin's Evolution performs like this one then I can see why he enjoys flying it. I'm not an airline guy. However, I heard that the flight computer on the Airbus is a big disappointment. I think the additional default aircraft more than justify the price of XP12. I've been spending so much time in the XP11 - CL650 (recently purchased) that I just haven't explored much of XP12's aircraft.



This is where XP12 is suppose to shine. Quite frankly, I haven't been able to discern much difference from XP11 - yet. LR has devoted a lot of time explaining how 1st principles apply to XP12. I thought much of the same principles applied to XP11. There is a developers blog that talks about this flight modeling and Austin has talked extensively about it in interviews. I tend to think of flight dynamics as under-the-hood stuff. Its power will be revealed when needed.



Two words: Love it. I hope LR will keep developing it.



XP is my sim of choice. During this beta period I'll continue to fly XP11 for the most part and build XP12 as add-ons and version updates become available. I'd hoped to see graphics and visuals closer to MSFS but LR is not Goliath. I trust that the sim only get better, graphically, with time. I don't feel like I wasted any money getting XP12; I believe LR has a long way to go, given that MSFS is a thing. What are your thoughts?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agreed.   THe clouds in the beta are wonky, they look like some kind of strange compositing is happening and the shadows are not as high res and crisp as I was hoping (either shadows of clouds or the sun cast shadows on aircraft).     But this is a great beta and it will only get better.



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