Please help with scenery order & priority!

Hi. So Hong Kong City Times was just released to the MSFS marketplace today. So far, it’s a great add on. About two days ago, a new Kai Tak airport was also released: https://flightsim.to/file/4713/hong-kong-kai-tak, and that new Kai Tak airport is also really good.

The problem is, when I use the new Hong Kong City Times scenery from the MSFS marketplace, it conflicts with the Kai Tak scenery. You can see the cruise ship terminal is blocking the runway at Kai Tak:

Since Kai Tak airport no longer exists in Hong Kong today, the cruise ship terminal is an accurate representation from the Hong Kong City Times scenery for Hong Kong today. Unfortunately, for flight simmers with nostalgia like me, we want to also fly/land into the old Kai Tak airport, which is why the freeware version of Kai Tak airport was created.

Is there a way to set the scenery priority/order to fix this problem in MSFS? Or is there some other work around to fix this problem?

Edit: This problem no longer exists in the 1.2 version of Kai Tak: https://flightsim.to/file/4713/hong-kong-kai-tak. Seems like the creator, ali501, has fixed this problem!

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The simple answer is that you cannot use two conflicting sceneries of the same area at the same time. Your best bet if you want both is to use a community scenery addon manager addon of some sort so you can choose what version of the scenery you want to use on a flight by flight basis.

The priority is set by the order of the scenery, and there are various ways of changing this - see the discussion here:

How are scenery conflicts excluded in the new sim?

I don’t know whether this will solve your problem if there is a major conflict , but it might be worth a try.

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I tried modifying the content.xml file and reordering the sceneries and it didn’t fix the problem. Maybe there is some other way to fix it.

I have a feeling these scenery ordering things only work if objects haven’t been added in the same places. As found yesterday with the latest Orbx London city pack add-on my River Thames add-on now clashes and can’t be used together and doesn’t matter what order I place the scenery in the content.xml.

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That’s unfortuante. If there is no fix to this, we need to ask Asobo for a feature to help us prioritize the sceneries in the game.

Because this problem will just get worse over time. There will be more sceneries that make it into the marketplace. And there will be more freeware sceneries over time. It will just lead to more and more clashes of sceneries.

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Not sure the best way round it Does anyone know how other sims work around this or can you also not use scenery mods for the same area’s without clashes.

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I agree. There should be a central solution to this problem.

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Its just not normal practice to try and use two sceneries of the same place at the same time and expecting a fix by Asobo so this can be done is not realistic. I don’t agree with your premise that it will get worse over time either because almost without exception people tend to use the most recent and up to date version of a scenery or use an old version if that is what they prefer and they disable the alternative version temporarily, they dont expect to use a newer version and a different one simultaneously.

In XP what I used to do if I had two different versions of the same airport is just move the one I did not want to use out of the addon folder. In your case you could try moving the Marketplace version out of the Official/Onestore folder temporarily when you want to use the other version and visa versa

Well, as DORRAGER noted, this problem is also happening with the Thames river add on and the Orbx London scenery. So it’s not an isolated problem but it’s a problem that’s happening with other sceneries.

The Thames river add-on was modifications to the sim elevations that Dorrager chose to make. It affected the ORBX scenery because that pay ware title was designed for the default sims version of London Thames, not one with user modified elevations.

What you are trying to do is make two different sceneries with different geographical characteristics work at the same time, its not the same situation as the Thames issue which could have been solved by the two developers choosing to work together, something that looks to be impossible in your example.

Xplane allows for multiple versions of the same airport scenery in the sim and one has higher priority than another but clashes still occur even with that system. The best advice is dont try and use two versions of the same airport at the same time.

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The simplest solution is for the user to assign priority to a specific scenery. Meaning everything in the area of that scenery takes priority, and all other objects/changes from lower priority sceneries are excluded. It may be possible. And if it’s not possible to configure it, it’s could be a quick fix by Asobo. At least if Asobo is aware of the issue, they can decide how easy it is to fix the problem.

For the user’s perspective, all Asobo would need to do is allow us to assign a priority to a scenery in the Content Manager. Maybe sort all sceneries by priority, and a simple option to move a scenery up or down in the priority list.

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It doesnt work, Laminar have that system and clashes still occur. And your simple option maybe simple for you but I know for a fact that some people hate the scenery.ini file in Xplane which was a simple list of prioritised scenery. They found it too complicated and it often caused lots of problems with some sceneries either not showing at all or others displaying incorrectly. Just look at the forums for Xplane scenery issues in ORBX forums and you will see that scenery priority list mentioned time and time again.

The vast majority almost certainly dont want to have to mess around with scenery priority lists to solve an issue that most people will never encounter.

You could try a manager that enables and disables community folder scenery on a flight by flight basis and you could try moving your marketplace scenery into the community folder to see if that works. Its all I can suggest as an option that may go some way towards what you are looking for.

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Another option is for Asobo to allow the 3rd party developers to offer multiple versions of their scenery to download from the MSFS marketplace. Right now, Sam Scene 3D is offering a version of their scenery without the cruise ship terminal if you purchase directly off of them. I’m sure they would like to have this alternate version in the MSFS marketplace as well.

And as for the Content Manager change, it’s very basic. Just up and down arrows that allow the user to change the priority of the scenery. There would be no requirement to edit any XML or INI file. Everything can be done in game. And an up and down arrow added beside each individual content in the Content Manager makes it very easy to use and very self explanatory.

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Yeah I am sure thery would like the option of multiple versions in marketplace too. Maybe that will happen but I would not hold my breath waiting for it.

You cannot automatically exclude scenery that is below another scenery just by listing them like that because it could create clashes between sceneries that should coexist. This is why in Xplane when you design an airport you can add excludes then decide what scenery elements you want to exclude from other addons that may coexist in the same geopgraphical space. And this is why clashes still occur with some sceneries because developers are expected to control how their product coexists with other addons using excludes and inevitably they don’t always get this right or bother to worry about other addons. But this flexibility is very necessary so that several add-ons can work together.

So now we have to have a list system and some way to tell sceneries when they should coexist in the same geographical space, if they must work at the same time or not. Is this user selectable and therefore more complicated for the user or do we rely on all developers making sure that their excludes are correct? Now we are back to the same issue Xplane has and inevitable scenery clashes.

Much as we all wish it were so, it is not simple where addons occupying the same geographical space is concerned. Its tricky to get right and Asobo understandably chose to make it as simple as they could.

One common problem with third party scenery for the last few decades is when scenery designers do not include exclude areas (might be called something else in MSFS?) to exclude everything under their scenery.

The way it should work is:

  • The Kai Tak scenery designer puts exclude areas under the entire area where their airport should be.
  • The user putting the Kai Tak scenery at higher priority.

That way the exclude area in the Kai Tak scenery should exclude the cruise ship terminal, even though the cruise ship terminal did not even exist when the Kai Tak scenery was created.

I don’t know why all scenery designers don’t routinely do that. Maybe there is some technical reason in MSFS, or maybe some scenery designers just don’t think about it. They won’t discover missing exclude areas like this one during testing since with default scenery there is nothing there to exclude.

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OMG… Priority List!!! Whos Higher? Default is Higher make it work or don’t put it out there!

Fail Third Party.

I believe the default scenery is actually the lowest priority, with any add-on automatically put on top of it.

This is absolutely right - and is probably the main problem with scenery at the moment. Designers may add their scenery without “excluding” the area first, and this often works , for example adding a big building on top of a smaller one. But if Asobo change the scenery in one of their updates, this can go horribly wrong.

One example is the Albert memorial in the Orbx London Landmarks addon. Until recently, the memorial was only poking out of the top of the default office block, but I’m pleased to see Orbx have corrected it in their recent update. I have a feeling I may have to disable the add-on once the UK update is released in January, though.

The best scenery to use is of course the freeware, as if you don’t like you can always remove it without being out of pocket.

Payware is more of a problem. Always try to find a review (or forum comments) about any scenery before you buy it - I held off buying the Orbx London Landscapes scenery following the initial reviews because it overwrote better default scenery in some areas, but I was happy to pay for it once this was corrected. If you have bought some scenery you are unhappy about, post in this forum so everyone else knows. This also gives a nudge to the developer to correct it. I’m guessing from your comments that you already have a list!

The way you feel at the moment, for the future it would probably be best to either ignore the payware, or learn to be a scenery designer yourself!

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I think the reason some developers dont put excludes in their airport sceneries is that they just dont think end users will try to use two sceneries of the same airport at the same time or that many will even own more than one version of a specific airport. Others maybe just fall into bad habits and just dont include excludes when developing.