Open World needs works with LODs, and what about Simplygon?

Ok, I’m trying to use the World Composite mode. the basics are clear and I got it all set up and working.
The whole thing unravels though when it comes to LODs.
I have a flat landscape actor and placed some static meshes on it, a few houses, some trees. Then I try to generate a LOD. the landscape LOD seems to work but the static meshes just suck.
First, sometimes it creates the LOD and sometimes it doesn’t. I have Simplygon installed and I also tried with Instalod.
When I had Instalod installed in the project at least a LOD was generated for the static meshes although it was one with the bare minimum of polygons, the meshes were barely recognizable. The Reduction Percentage setting did not seem to make any difference.
When I removed instgalod and only had Simplygon, the LOD for the static meshes wasn’t even generated at all
I must add that I am still on 4.18 because I refuse to update to a version that Simplygon does not support and where there is no affordable replacement. I just can’t work in a setting where I don’t have mesh reduction available.
Which brings me to Unreals new built in mesh reduction. I installed 4.19 on another machine to test it and followed the guidelines from the Release Notes on how to activate that feature, but the respective drop down does not show the new option. All it shows is “Simplygon” as a reduction option, DESPITE THE FACT that Simplygon is not installed on my 4.19 setup nor can it be installed since Simplygon does not provide an installer for 4.19.

So I am really confused as to what we are supposed to do here and what the future is for mesh reduction? I have high polygon meshes that I show at closeup and that I need reduced to get any reasonable framerate for distance views. I used Instalod in the past, being one of the early adopters, but they dropped us and don’t supply us with updates anymore and their website has no license for indy developers, instead you have to “contact us for a quote” which, as we all know, means that the price can’t be put on the website so that potential customers won’t be put off by it.

Simplygon seems to be walking away from Unreal and Epic does not have a working solution ready to replace these two solution.

So what gives here?

UE has a built in Reduction System.
You can create LODs in the Static Mesh Editor. You just have to increase the Number of LODs.
When you created a new LOD, you can go into the Options of that LOD and go to “Reduction Settings”.
The Reduction Settings determine how the LOD is generated. Make sure to Apply Settings when you are done and make sure to set the ScreenSize of the LOD accordingly.

Make sure your Editor Preferences have the Mesh Reduction set to Unreal’s Quad Reduction.

Ok, so there is a mesh reducer for static meshes. Has anybody compared it’s quality with Simplygon though? It would be interesting to know how good the results are.
The Open World Composition module reduces the landscape to a static mesh also but it does not create a static mesh for the add ons, only the landscape. Or in other words if you have levels without landscape it won’t work. Not a big deal though, but still annoying that functionality is removed with the removal of Simplygon.
There is no reduction for skeletal meshes anymore. The interface is grayed out, so no more skeletal mesh reduction in UE.

As for the following section from the 4.19 release notes:
To enable the tool, look for the “Hierarchical LOD Mesh Simplification” option under Editor in the Project Settings dialog. From the Hierarchical LOD Mesh Reduction Plugin, you should be able to select the new module “ProxyLODMeshReduction”

this does not work. When I follow these steps, the dropdown shows me “simplygon” although Simplygon is not installed on 4.19 and nothing else. I would report this as a bug, but I guess when I see it, then thousands of other’s must have also noticed it

I’ve just installed Windows10 just to see Simplygon in Unreal and it’s gone? Will that be made available later, anybody knows? Their forum seems not working anymore too.

Btw, I cannot find new ProxyLODMeshReduction module either.

edit: ProxyLODMeshReduction is a plugin, disabled by default. Search “LOD” in plugins list.