Today I had the option to install the published Beta version of X-Plane 11, And yes, yes, I know it is a BETA version of the simulator and paying now the $$ are a waste....
But, do not forget that I want to see if my plugins work in this version and which features do not work.
So, to make long story short, it works... but, and there is always a "but", since it is an early beta, the graphical widgets and fonts are blurry somewhat, as if they are not in focus and there is no anti-aliasing on them. Here are some screenshots that demonstrate my point and others.
I believe you can see the other bugs too:
- Top down map does not always render itself.
- Reflection on gauges may be snowy/broken.
But not all is grim:
- First, the visuals and OSM data is pretty good, on par with alpilotx HD custom meshes (I tested a small region in Australia).
- The "fog" or "haze" effect is also a great addition to the flight experience. It does not seem sharp all the way to the horizon, which better resemble real life (I guess).
- The new PBR rendering on materials is nice though need some refinement, and I think it is only on planes, so not that useful unless you like to fly from outside view or snap lots of plane pictures.
I believe it will also affect other parts of the sim, but not at 11.0 build though.
- Performance on my old machine are pretty good, I did not task it to much in terms of high populated areas, but so far so good..
- Many popup windows can be detach and pool outside main monitor so it won't obscure your main view.
CPU usage is quite high, but at least my CPU is doing it's job although it is an old one "Sandy Bridge" era. My graphical settings are medium (GTX 670), ditched shadow and low reflection, but picked ant-aliasing and high textures. I think it is important that GPU memory won't exceed it's limitation, in my case 2G this assist in faster rendering in some cases or at least allow the GPU cope better with the graphical demands.
Still it looks quite good and I like the haze effect although in reality I think that if you look at the direction of the sun (not at the sun) the far off view is much more hazy than when you look at the direction away of the sun. I might be wrong, since we are talking ground view vs high altitude view.
I have also upload 2 low quality videos that try to compare same scenery from X-Plane 10 and X-Plane 11. The first one has Custom Scenery, but the X-Plane 11 uses default Scenery. Although the quality of the movies is not high you should view it in full screen mode. I hope you get the visuals differences between the two. I also tried to make the graphical settings more or less the same.
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- Fully customization hat switches. I have no idea why developers try to decide which button on my "yoke" should be action X and not Y ?.
I use my hat switch for fast pan, but I can only pick normal pan speed. What a short site. Why couldn't Laminar stick to fully configurable switches as XP9/10, it was not broken so why try to fix it ?
- But, overall Joystick settings is OK, I guess, but needs to get use too. You should set the visuals to 100% to see more options in one page (default was 150%).
- Map window is nice, but on the cartoonish side, also moving the plane on the 2D map is buggy and again Laminar are trying too hard to fix something that is not broken, not to mention that some of the features are broken... but expected at this state.
Overall I'm impressed with the way X-Plane 11 is shaping. The current build deserves the title "Beta".
I did not mention the Menu since I'll leave it to others, but in a nutshell it is OK, but for advance options you need to click more than you are used to.
Plugin and SDK support currently is great, as was expected. My plugin Mission-X and the Mission-Editor seem to work correctly, only immediate incompatibility is 2D drawing in MAP view. Currently I can't draw in 2D Map view, which is a pity since you can't see your work from Top Down view. I hope that a workaround will be present in the near future.
I'll re-visit X-Plane 11 in future builds too and hope to share the new features and fixes Laminar will bring.
Until then have a great simming.