The Cost of Choice

I couldn’t think much the last few days. I’ve been too preoccupied with the thought of adding another sim to my collection: Prepar3d (P3D).

Basically, I’ve been flight simming for years, since I was about 13. I started off with Flight Simulator 98, then 2000, then 2004, then FSX, and now I’m simming with X-Plane 11.

I stopped flying with FSX mainly due to the low frame rates I was receiving (11-15 FPS on a system with a GTX 1080!) and the graphics weren’t something to brag about.

There became two new sims out in the market utilizing the same FSX engine: Flight Sim World and Prepar3d. I picked up Flight Sim World thinking it would be the next best thing…it wasn’t. The developers as of last week pulled the plug on the sim, ceasing all further development and removing it from the Steam store.

That left me with just X-Plane. It’s a great sim, and I consider it my primary sim. But there’s a few things that I’d like to see that I couldn’t get with FSX.

  • High Fidelity 737
  • Accurate C172
  • Custom Pacific Northwest Scenery
  • Accurate Dash Q400

So a few days ago someone brought up that there are some sales going on with some addons I’ve been eying. I gave it a few days…only thing holding me back is the cost of all the addons to bring it up to par with X-Plane 11.

I decided to cancel all my game preorders (I had a lot!) and just go ahead and get it.

This does mean I’ll be cutting back on gaming, which is a good thing. I want to work on tackling my backlog.

The biggest problem I think is the problem of choice. When you want to fly, say…from Port Angeles to Shelton, WA. Which simulator do I chose? X-Plane looks gorgeous at times, but P3D can also look equally as good. The C-172 I have in X-Plane is great, but the one in P3D is better.

It’s questions like that I will have to tackle, but at least I have choice now.

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New Shift

Start of a new week. Start of a new shift. I’ll be working more hours each day, but I’ll get three days off during the week. This is good and bad.

The bad news is that I’ll have less time in the evening to do what I’d like to do. This means I’ll have to cut back drastically on gaming. If I try to tackle a 40 hour RPG with one hour a night, it would take me over a month to play just one game. I just don’t have that sort of patience.

So I’ll devote some hours each night during the week to catching up with anime/TV. I think that’s a good idea since I have so many shows I’d like to watch: DBZ, Darling in the Franxx, Persona 4 (the anime), Stranger Things, Narcos, Westworld, etc.

I plan on spending my free time during the 3 days off with simulators and gaming. Perhaps with simulators set as a higher priority?

Simulators are another thing I’ve been struggling with balancing with gaming. On one hand, I really like truck/train/flight simulators and can spend hours on them. On the other hand, at the end of the day I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. When I have my plane in autopilot in the middle of a 3 hour flight…it’s like “Okay, now what?”. I could stare at the screen for 3 hours, or I could play a game on my PS4 or watch something on Netflix.

I don’t know, I guess I’m not the best at multitasking. The hyperfocus of my ADHD keeps me entranced into one activity at a time…the more I try to break that, the more stressed out I get, and I fall hard on my face :(.

Anyways, with gaming, my list this week is this:

Switch: Super Mario Odyssey
PS4: Yakuza 6
PC:
Nekopara
3DS:
Ace Attorney Trilogy: Phoenix Wright
Vita:
Danganronpa

With Simulators, my plans this week is this:
X-Plane 11: Fly a 737 for my Virtual Airline. Perhaps from KSEA to KORD. I’d also like to plan a cross-country GA flight from Amsterdam to Rome to replicate my real life travel plans; I want to fly in the beautiful DA-62 for this journey.
Euro Truck Simulator 2: Play just a little bit of it. Hopefully try to match the same travel plans.
Train Simulator: Nothing really. I might travel through the UK or something.
DCS World: No big plans. Probably do some practice in the Mirage 2000 or the A-10C Warthog.

That’s it for now. Might do some more blogging during my downtime here at work. Have a good week!

Hi world. Happy Friday.

It’s going to be a busy weekend. I’m going to see if I can get out of the city and drive around a different part of WA tomorrow. Just don’t want to be cooped inside the house the entire day. No guarantees though, it depends on what the rest of my family wants to do.

But before that, I have some games I’d like to play. Where do I start?I picked up Disgaea 5 for the Switch. It’s enjoyable so far, I just love the art style and the humor. I’ll try to play some more of that tonight.

I’ve got some big plans for flight simming. Flying at the moment, even with FSEconomy, is starting to become stale and lonely. So I’m going to try to fly on VATSIM (online). I’m a bit nervous since talking online isn’t my strong suit…especially when it comes to procedures. But being nervous just makes me worse when it comes to certain situations. I’m just going to fly, enjoy it, and not let anything get to me.

I’m stuck when it comes to Train Simulator. I’m conflicted because I don’t like DTG’s practices regarding DLC. But the simulation aspect is enjoyable (when it works). They are a terrible company, but I buy their products because there’s not much else in the train world. I’ve considered Run8, which looks like a great simulator (with multiplayer). But it looks frighteningly complex. With that said, I’d love to run some more US scenarios in TS/TSW. Maybe I’ll do that this weekend.

Also planning on running Euro Truck Simulator 2 this weekend. My wheel has been collecting dust the last few weeks and I’d love to get into some driving. Maybe I’ll play some Forza or Project Cars 2. Just want to do something other than flying.

Gotten into wrestling. There’s WWE Backlash this weekend that I’m looking forward to. It’s a bit difficult to get into since I don’t know many of the wrestlers, their motivations, or their stories. But it’s a nice “sport” that I can just sit back and watch. I’m also planning on watching more Sounders matches in the coming future…maybe some F1 stuff as well?

I guess what I really want to say is that I don’t want my life to consist of just games, simulators, and anime. I want to experience much more of it. I want to add more variety. Variety is the spice of life!

That’s it for today. Have a good weekend.

Friday Update

Hi World,

Had a good week, been playing a lot of Yakuza 5 in preparation for Yakuza 6. It’s a bit slow at times, but it holds my attention just enough to keep playing. I’m going anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour + each day so it may take me a while to get through it. Hopefully I can put some more hours into it this weekend.

I’ve got a lot of other games I want to play: Super Mario Odyssey, God of War, Street Fighter V, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Deemo for Switch, Monster Hunter Stories, etc…so I have plenty to do this weekend.

I’m watching Persona 3: The Anime. Finished watching the first three movies and now on to the fourth and final one. I put it on hold yesterday though to continue on with DBZ Kai. I’d like to get into another anime, such as Konosuba or Steins;Gate 0, but I only have so many hours in a day.

Also focusing a lot on X-Plane 11. Picked up some new aircraft today to play around with this weekend. the E170/E195 and the Pipistril Panthera. I’m also generating some local ortho scenery for my home state. I changed my mind on orthos…they take a huge amount of space, but for local VFR flying, it’s certainly a lot better than staring at generic textures.

Also been bouncing between weather addons. I have issues with xEnviro. With the latest update, frame rates are down about 15% from default…even at optimal settings. Even worse, I can’t fly the Saab 340A due to some conflicts between their plugin and xEnviro…and I’m way too impatient to wait for a fix.

On the other hand, I am using Ultra Weather XP which is nice. There’s some issues I have with NOAA reporting old data (overcast on a clear day, for example) so I’ve disabled that plugin. Using default I see some other oddities as far as weather reporting, perhaps due to bugs in the latest beta revision. It also has some weird way of updating where the surrounding weather will suddenly regenerate as you enter a new METAR station. I hear some of that is fixed with FSGRW…but that costs some money that I don’t know I’m willing to spend just yet. The default isn’t too bad, so I might just stick with that for now.

I’ll be playing some Train Simulator tonight. There’s finally a fix to a route I’ve been wanting to play for weeks. Along with that I’m eager to do another route in the Class 390 or perhaps a German route. I’d also like to do another NYC scenario this weekend. Probably tomorrow morning.

Also on my todo list: new beta update for Euro/American Truck Simulator I’m eager to try out, and I’m itching to play Car Mechanic Simulator.

That’s it for now. Have a good weekend!

Weekend Update

Another weekend has passed. I mostly spent the time playing X-Plane 11 and Super Mario Galaxy. Also watched some Dragon Ball Z.

With X-Plane, spent most of Saturday morning trying to deal with a buggy beta software and a buggy beta aircraft for a VA flight. Had some issues with the throttle which totally ruined my engine start-up. I made a second flight later that morning where I ran into mostly operator issues…me forgetting to turn off the Packs during engine start-up, forgetting to set my landing profile in the FMC, etc. It was a bit of a rough landing at KMCO with -400 fpm, but it’s still enough for me to record for my PIREP…which means I’ve got my flight for this month settled.

Other than that I picked up some new addons. Scenery addons mostly; KMCO and KMIA since I fly in those areas a lot. Next week, I might pick up KORD and KFLL since I love Nimbus’s scenery for XP11.

The hardest part sometimes with flight simming is figuring out what airplane I want to fly. While the principal of flight is much the same for each aircraft, handling the systems of an Airbus is completly different than a Cessna, a King Air, or a Boeing. It seems as soon as I get proficient with one aircraft and start learning a new one, I begin to forget about how to operate the old aircraft.

I’m pretty good at the C172 and the B738. I’m not “great” at them though, but they are my pick-up planes for when I want to simply pick up the sim and fly.

As far as learning new aircraft. I’m not sure where to start next. For GA, I want to learn more about Piper aircraft, so maybe the PA-28 for my next flight? No idea what to do for turboprop (King Air? Q400? Saab 340?). Airliners I definitely would like to fly more of the Airbus A320 or the MD-88. Each aircraft takes hours to learn though…and finding the time and patience to learn each aircraft can be daunting.

Other than that, been playing tons of Mario Odyssey. Great game, and it’s a shame I put it on hold a few months ago because I’m enjoying it a lot.

Update for Thursday

Hey World,

Did a little bit of Train Simulator yesterday. Not a lot though as I had things I wanted to do with X-Plane.

The main thing is I “re-joined” a Virtual Airline. I was previously a member of Delta Virtual, but after 90 days my membership lapsed. After that, there was some internal issues and the VA split into two. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I ended up going with the new VA since I don’t know the status of the old one.

That said, I hope to at least get one flight in each month. I need a good reason to get back into practicing flying with airliners now that I’m somewhat competent in flying them.

I also have FS Economy which I plan on doing some more hours in, it’s perfect for GA flying, and I need more practice in the C-172 and the PA-28, so I’ll have my hands full.

I’ve been thinking a lot about normal gaming. I mentioned a bit about the Switch. I think one of the reasons I love playing that and the 3DS so much isn’t just the familiarity of the games themselves (Mario, Zelda, etc…), but the portability. Being an adult gamer I don’t always have a lot of time or patience to sit in front of my TV and play a game for 4-5 hours. But with a portable system, if I have something that I need to tend to, it’s as simple as closing up the console…plus being able to play at work during breaks is a definite plus.

That’s not to say PC or PS4 gaming doesn’t have its place. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn or the Witcher are fantastic, yet they are sprawling games that require at least an hour of devotion to do what you need to do. Yet in the evening, between visits from family, grocery shopping, and other responsibilities, every hour counts.

Anyways, not sure what the plan is tonight. I did some C-172 practice yesterday. Tonight, I might practice in the Piper Warrior II. Unfortunatly I’m flying in real world weather, and it’s been crappy weather here at home. I tried VFR flying around London but even there I’m trapped underneath a blanket of clouds. Maybe I can switch over to LA or Florida…just somewhere clear.

In Train Simulator I’ll continue my journey to Newcastle, then to Edinburgh. From there I might travel to Glasgow or Perth, not sure which yet. With Glasgow I could travel down to Carlisle, so that might be a fun trip.

I picked up Dragon Quest Builders for the Switch (double dipped on that). It’s one of those games I rather play on handheld. Maybe I’ll sell the old game or keep it stored somewhere? I’ll be playing that tonight.

Started watching The Expanse Season 2. I don’t recall much of what happened last season so I was a bit lost at first. But the show is starting to pick up and I’m eager to continue watching it.

Got a new figure in yesterday of Jack-O from Guilty Gear XX. I wish I had a screen to share (I’m at work currently), but it’s a beautiful figure!  Maybe I’ll upload it later.

Simulator Stuff

​I’m back into simming again. Usually when I get in this phase, I have a lot I’d like to do and I enjoy it a lot.

What’s the plan today? In Train Simulator, I’m going to travel from York to Newcastle. Stopping at Darlington and Durham. I’ll use the Class 43 (Virgin Livery) for this route.
I did a flight in X-Plane yesterday in the C-172. It went really well, it was a smooth landing and I didn’t foul any of the spark plugs during taxi. The hard part with taxing is trying to maintain my speed as I’m not quite proficient at using the toe brakes. With the MFG Crosswind you really have to push hard on the pedals at the same time, so I sometimes suddenly jerk the plane while braking or I drift left or right. I think the issue was I was taxiing at 1000 rpm to prevent fouling the spark plugs and riding the brakes, which from what I understand isn’t the best way to taxi. I’ve read that once you taxi, you can adjust the RPM accordingly as long as you are aggressive with leaning the mixture.
I want to practice in the Just Flight Piper Warrior II. I like the airframe more than the C-172, but the autopilot isn’t as good as the C-172. The sounds are fantastic though, it really makes my speakers rumble. I’ll probably end up flying both tonight.
I ordered a new mount for my setup. I had a Wheel Stand Pro mount for my steering wheel and pedals, but would like something similar for my flight sim setup. It’s a bit pricey at $200, but it keeps the joystick and rudder pedals from sliding all over the place, and it’s easy to store.
With gaming, I started up a new game called Farming Manager 2018. I really like it so far, it’s a bit like Farming Sim, except you have more control over the aspects of farming. Speaking of which, I need to get back into Farming Simulator whenever I get the chance.
I also started Golf Story for the Switch. It’s really charming and I enjoy the humor. I’ll see if I can play more tonight if I have the time.