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CaptainSim reviews.


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37 replies to this topic

#1 strider

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:12 AM

I'm not sure if it's the fact that AVSIM accepts commercial advertisements, which limits it's ability to tell the whole truth, or just a lack of the reviewer's "long term" testing, but you're reviews of any CaptainSim product fail to mention many undesireable qualities of this developer? I have purchased 3 products from them and I am COMPLETELY dissatisfied with every single one of them (all for FS9). It seems whenever the complaints of bugs and errors reach a certain level...we get the "CaptainSim has stopped developing for this aircraft and will no longer support it". After my 3 purchases, I have managed to break the code and can tell you what it REALLY means..."We made our money off the initial purchase and, now, we are going to dupe some more idiots with a NEW, incomplete and buggy aircraft".1. The Legendary 727. This aircraft was SO innacurate as do defy logic, The FD as AP??? I quickly deleted it after finding the jewel of a 727...the Dreamfleet 727.2. The Legendary 707. Here was my FAVE RW aircraft, I had to have it. We had a thriving community at the old CS website, with performance charts and much more being provided by people with RW experience with this classic. We also had many requests for CS to fix the long list of bugs, fuel usage/flow was WAY off, turbocompressors linked to the wrong engine...I could go on and on. As with so many payware developers, we were expected to come to the "throne", with hat in hand. BS! WE are the customers who paid for an inferior product and we have a right to ask about "fixes". CS's response, their feelings were hurt by all the people asking for fixes. What a bunch of sissies payware developers have become! Grow some thick skin and realize...we paid hard earned cash for an inadequate an uncompleted product...of COURSE we are going to complain vehemently...especially when we get abandoned. Suddenly, CS "updates" it's website and all the old 707 forum users are gone. Go look at it now...if you had seen it before you would describe it as a "ghost town" in it's current guise. Nothing of the major problems has been fixed. In fact, they released the last patch, V1.2, and I have yet to find a single correction in it? Enter the "new" CS...and it's website. Everybody from the old 707 group disappears rather than fight a losing battle.3. The Legendary C-130. After years of ignoring CS, but hearing "wonderful things" about the C-130, I broke down and bought it. I was especially interested in the "Navy Polar" model, which came with the "Extra Pack", because it had skis. So I purchased it also. Imagine my surprise, and the bruising I suffered from kicking myself for ever purchasing another CS product, when I discovered that the "Extra Pac" aircraft do not work with CS's ACE utility. I had no way to select "No VC", 2D views, payload or fuel in the "pre-flight" section, add liveries, or any of the other things the ACE utility was meant to handle. I contacted CS "Support" (I use that word very lightely), after reading in their forums that the expansion pack aircraft would not work with the ACE utility, and requested a refund...for the "Extra Pack" aircraft only (around $25). Now is when the flashbacks and Deja-vu kick in to the "same old CS". I received an e-mail from my support ticket (I dare you to find that "ticket"...I can't on their support site) stating that the "C-130 Extra Pack does work with the ACE utility". It then gave directions to a CS support page which, supposedly, held the answer. Would you like to know what that answer was?Q: ACE has problems with some of the Extra Pack models.A: The ACE might not work with some of the Extra Pack models. Because unfortunately the ACE \'knows\' nothing about the Extra Pack models because the ACE was released 2+ years before the Extra Pack. Sorry but we are not going to upgrade ACE because it is a part of the Legendary C-130 Base Pack development of which for FS9 is discontinued. We would recommend to consider the C-130 X-perience for FSX. The "answer" was...buy a flightsim I do not want (FSX) and purchase their C-130 Xperience. Are you kidding me!!!??? I saw none of these issues mentioned, with any temerity, in any of your reviews. This is why I will never bother with reviews from an FS site that accepts advertising...you or Flightsim...you are required to soft pedal the problems of any commercial product...or lose their advertising. :( I understand your problem...you have become too big to keep the interests of the individual simmer as a priority...you need money. The answer, a subscription only website, with no advertising, which does nothing but reviews, like Consumer Reports for FS. I would pay for honest and truthful reviews, with no holds barred and a more in depth report on bugs, fixes and, especially, the developers support. Vic

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#2 Tom Allensworth

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 02:52 PM

I saw none of these issues mentioned, with any temerity, in any of your reviews. This is why I will never bother with reviews from an FS site that accepts advertising...you or Flightsim...you are required to soft pedal the problems of any commercial product...or lose their advertising. :( I understand your problem...you have become too big to keep the interests of the individual simmer as a priority...you need money.The answer, a subscription only website, with no advertising, which does nothing but reviews, like Consumer Reports for FS. I would pay for honest and truthful reviews, with no holds barred and a more in depth report on bugs, fixes and, especially, the developers support.

As anyone who has ever dealt with us as an advertiser can tell you; your assertion is flat wrong. We are not required to "soft pedal" for any of our advertisers. Just ask the likes of Arnie Lee at Abacus, or the boys over at Flight1, ad nauseam. You see, they recognize, unlike you apparently, that our honest reviews are in their best interests. Our credibility means readership, which means continuing exposure of their products via their ads. Our honesty is in their best interest.Don't confuse an inexperienced reviewer, or a reviewer focused strictly on the product (and NOT all the periphreal issues you seem to want included) with "soft pedaling" on behalf of an advertiser. And, not to put too fine a point on it... Our reviewers have total freedom to pan a product anyway they see it, as long as it meets our editorial / content guidelines. Our business side has absolutely nothing to do with, nor do they influence in any way, any of the reviews posted. In fact, our business folks see the reviews when you do; the day they are published. Oh, and just to fill in an unasserted gap in this conversation, unlike some sites, we do not insist on a company being an advertiser before we'll do reviews. Imagine that; having to effectively pay to have a review done. What kind of objectivity do you imagine is enshrined in those reviews? But, finally, here's an offer... as long as you stick to the facts and don't slander anyone, feel free to write a review yourself. You can post your review or reviews anytime, here in the Reader's Review Forum, which was designed for exactly this purpose; a counterpoint to our reviews and others who you feel are tainted by advertising. EDIT: oh, and by the way, you and the other three flight simmers willing to pay for reviews without advertising would certainly entice from some hapless soul to labor the thousands of hours necessary to satisfy all four of you. The model has been tried before, and it didn't last a year.

#3 Chock

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:24 PM

I can confirm that as a reviewer for Avsim, I am completely at liberty to be honest in reviews. Notice the disclaimer at the bottom of each review which states it is the reviewer's opinion. I can assure you that as long as a review more or less follows the format of 'intro, installation process, details, conclusion, and some screenshots', then reviewers are free to either praise or verbally demolish a product based on their experiences of it (or anywhere between those two extremes) and there is no compulsion to be anything other than honest in what is written and submitted. Yes there are review guidelines, but they are merely to cover editorial standards and don't mention anything about having to 'be nice' or otherwise.As Tom notes, you can do this too by submitting your own review, or, you could become a reviewer for Avsim and you would then of course know that the only pressure you get where reviews are concerned, is to get them in on time!I've worked professionally for publications where there was indeed pressure to 'butter up' the advertisers (and that includes writing for supposedly respected UK daily newspapers). These were publications where the awards they presented simply went to the companies that spent most on advertising with them, and frankly, that was why I left those places, because having to write that kind of rubbish is a soul-destroyingly awful job. So if I wasn't prepared to do it for money, I surely wouldn't do it voluntarily for Avsim.I actually had some email conversations about this very matter with Avsim's Reviews Editor, Robert Whitwell less than a month ago; specifically, I asked him why Avsim had not reviewed the Ariane 737, in view of the fact that many were awaiting an NG 737 from PMDG and Ariane already had one released. I won't retell the whole thing here, but I had wondered if Ariane's associations with a certain person (whose initials are PT), who was less than popular with many flight simmers and who had quite a few spats with Avsim in the past might be why the Ariane 737 had no Avsim review, or maybe PMDG were being favoured. So I asked Robert. He assured me that was not the case at all, Avsim have simply not got around to it and the lack of a review is largely because Ariane have not actually sent anything for review and remain somewhat insular. But if they did submit something for review, Robert said that Avsim's policy of honest reviews would not let any acrimonious ancient history stop their product from getting a fair shout (good or bad), so long as its developer was prepared to step up to the plate and let it undergo scrutiny. You can make of it what you will that Ariane have not submitted their 737 for review, although as far as I am aware this seems rather short sighted on their part as from what I know of it, it is pretty good, if a tad pricey. If that anecdote doesn't demonstrate that Avsim has no agenda other than to offer an honest service to flight simmers, I don't know what will.As far as CS products go, I've never reviewed one for Avsim, and I've only actually ever bought one (the CS727 in boxed CD format). I'll be honest, I quite like it and have never had any problems with it. That does not mean that others have not had issues of course, but I could quite easily imagine a situation where I might have reviewed it, found no issues personally and given it good recommendations. Does that mean I'd be dishonest in doing so? No of course not, but in as much as developers stick their heads above the parapet when they present something for review, reviewers too open themselves up for criticism when people disagree with what they have written, and that just goes with the territory. Write one yourself and prepare for an influx of PMs!Along the lines of a user review, it's worth noting that for several days now there has been a thread urging people to beware of CS products on the forums here at Avsim, and it seems hard to imagine that if some sort of advertising contra-deal were in place with CS, then that would not have been deleted. I'd take that as fairly compelling evidence against your assertion; there seems to be no attempt to subdue such opinions given that thread's existence, but feel free to disagree.One thing I can tell you is that if I do find an issue with a product under review, I usually contact the developer and offer them an opportunity to explain if and how it can be sorted out, and if there is a fix forthcoming. This is only fair, because reviews can take a while to appear after they have been submitted and often there is a fix on the way which was not around at the time of writing. This is in no way collusion with the developers, merely an attempt to resolve issues that often manifest themselves with new products. It's often also a good way to find out what support is going to be like for buyers. If that support is not forthcoming, I can assure you I will say so in a review. But this does not mean that a reviewer couldn't have the wool pulled over their eyes in much the same way as a few buyers of CS products say they have had done to them (on this website you will note, with no attempt to suppress such opinions). This is particularly of relevance in view of the fact that Avsim's reviews are often written fairly early in a product's life cycle and sometimes before issues manifest themselves through later circumstances, such as after patches to FS, operating system service packs etc. Or, maybe the reviewer was genuinely happy with the product and simply wrote honestly about that. Again, note that disclaimer about it being a reviewer's opinion, and note the date on the review.If you doubt a reviewer's integrity, there is a simple way to test it of course: Have a look at some of their other reviews of products with which you are familiar, and see if you agree with them or not. Reviewers, like everyone else, have differing things they want from a flight sim products and different opinions, and just like everyone else, you might agree with some people and not others. What they write, provided it is civil and is their honest opinion, is beyond the control of Avsim.Al

#4 strider

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:59 AM

"(and NOT all the periphreal issues you seem to want included)". Those are exactly the issues which should be included in any review of a product/developer. Do they fix the "bugs"? Do they sell you a product with every intention of correcting the problems...or are they going to take your money and run to the next batch of suckers with something new? Does their support system actually offer support...or is it just a waste of time, with ridiculous responses ("buy our C-130Xperience and everything will be fine"? LOL!)? YES the "peripheral issues" you denigrate are exactly what makes a developer "great"...or trash. CS is trash."EDIT: oh, and by the way, you and the other three flight simmers willing to pay for reviews without advertising would certainly entice from some hapless soul to labor the thousands of hours necessary to satisfy all four of you. The model has been tried before, and it didn't last a year." Tried by who? How much money were we talking about for this service? "As far as CS products go, I've never reviewed one for Avsim, and I've only actually ever bought one (the CS727 in boxed CD format). I'll be honest, I quite like it and have never had any problems with it." Really? You found no problem with the AP being totally inaccurate? The FD playing a part in the AP? Was this the "Legendary 727" or their latest attempt at getting more sucker money? I dumped the CS Legendary 727 the minute I reached acceleration altitude in the Dreamfleet 727...many years ago."Along the lines of a user review, it's worth noting that for several days now there has been a thread urging people to beware of CS products on the forums here at Avsim, and it seems hard to imagine that if some sort of advertising contra-deal were in place with CS, then that would not have been deleted. I'd take that as fairly compelling evidence against your assertion; there seems to be no attempt to subdue such opinions given that thread's existence, but feel free to disagree." OK...you're not Flightsim...THOSE people will ban you for any hint of a "bad" comment on their advertisers. Ask me, I know. You mention that the reviews are usually made just after a release. This is what I would like to see, long term reviews. Sure, the darn thing looked fine at first blush, when do they not??...but what about a follow up on bug fixes? What about a review of the developers efforts to correct them? Do they make a concerted effort to complete the product...or do they just move on to the next, knowing that a new batch of suckers is just drooling over the pretty screenshots and could care less about the problems experienced by those who bought older products? Here's a challenge for you. Do reviews of the developers themselves...not one of their individual products. Forget about getting a product sent to you for review...review their entire operation, from the product quality, through it's support and corrections (patches). Review the developer's customer support and RATE it. Look at, and report on, how a developer deals with issues about their products. Do they work on fixing it, or do they hide behind the "development for XXXX has ended and we no longer support it"? Do they blame the users system (LOFL!), when everything else works fine, or do they actually try and correct their problem. TELL US which developers deal with issues and which cut and run. That, to me, is more important than any single product review. After 3 CS products, I can tell you that CS is a trash developer and they will NEVER see another dime of my money. I kick myself for thinking anything had changed. If anyone here had my experience with CS, and would be allowed to write it as a review of a developer, instead of some "first glance" at a single product, CS would starve...well, probably not...but I'm allowed to dream. And that is exactly my point...they have screwed SO many buyers that any kind of review should include this information. The review should include all those problems and past problems. I'm not exactly happy with some of PMDG's products...but I know that they have fairly good support and my issues are either not correctible or are being woked on. I will buy from them again (as long as it's FS9!). After being a 3 time loser with CS...well, you get the idea. Give me useable reviews, of not only the product but it's developer as well. Follow up on it, give me long term with regard to bugs fixed and problems corrected, or not. The current reviews do nothing for a buyer...they are as "breathless" and excited as the rest of us when a new product is announced. Do the follow up, check on the fixes, the patches or lack of. Tell us about customer support (do you remember...WE ARE THE CUSTOMER!). Give us the entire story! The problems with CS products are well documented (well...they were for the 707, 727 before they "upgraded" the website...how handy)...why don't we have a review of that developer, and others? The review of individual products is fine...but I would be more interested in a review of the developers themselves. Vic

#5 Inactive Member_jshyluk_***

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 02:21 AM

Jeez Vic, are you sure you don't have enough axes to grind?I think I need a program to keep count, but let's see -- you don't like:Captain Sim (unequivocal hatred)Avsim reviews (see above)Flightsim (you want us to ask you about that, but I don't want to!)PMDG (general unhappiness)FSX (don't want)Are there any more? I'd hate to think that we're missing something here. Although, really... just looking at this list... I get the feeling that you're venting. I mean, we have all the classic elements: a whole laundry list of issues, the demands that someone else do something about them, some wild punctuational interludes, and of course, the solemn promise that one would be wholeheartedly grateful to pay if only we were to throw our objectivity out the window to help you tilt at windmills (if only that ever happened even once!). Vic, you aren't the first person to ever get soaked by free enterprise, and unless the planet blows up tomorrow, I don't see that you will be the last, either. I have a pile of software on my desk that doesn't work either, if that makes you feel better.Please remember that this is the Reviews Forum. Usually, we want to hear from people who have contructive and concrete ideas on how AVSIM reviews can be improved. What you have given us is a whole shopping list of demands and accusations. We're not looking for extra work, we just want to know that you're happy that we counted the right number of strut braces on a DH-2 (apparently, I didn't), or that you are unhappy that we misspelled Jim Keir's name (unfortunately, I did). In the future, if you have a gripe, please just stick to one tiny little topic. Maybe then it will be something we can work on together to solve. I'm curious, have you ever met Capatin Sim, say at a FANCON, or other venue? I have. They seem nice enough, although we certainly do not run in the same social circles. If I were compelled to write reviews about developers, I think it's good journalism to actually meet the people I am writing about. I think that trumps making speculative remarks on a fan forum in which you are an invited guest. Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

#6 Tom Allensworth

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:12 AM

You don't expect much from AVSIM do you? You totally avoided the suggestion that you could write a review.

#7 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:58 PM

I have been criticized many times about my reviews, and every time I do a review, it's as honest and as unbiased as I can put it. People wonder why I'm not very happy with the community right now, well let's just say that after being accused of crap one too many times, when I fully obey the contract I signed when I signed on here (Any chance of posting a copy of the unsigned contract here so everyone can actually see what our actual contract looks like when we join the team...). Because of my review style, I usually keep revising a review until it is actually published, sometimes after. Anyone who doubts my or any other AVSIM reviewer's integrity needs to read the damn contract we signed when we joined, and it will be ABSOLUTELY clear how unbiased the reviewing process is. Anyone who tries to claim that we are biased, remember, some of us are more experienced than others, I myself am a rookie, I won't deny it. You guys need to realize that we do everything we can to make our reviews as honest and fair as possible. AVSIM reviewers do everything they can to be accurate and honest in reviews, and if you don't like our reviews, do your own.

#8 Inactive Member_Boeing Skunk Works_***

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 10:57 PM

After reading all of the above, I'm glad I only fly one aircraft that was perfect out of the box.

#9 ReviewsEditor

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 03:57 PM

First off, I'm glad to see that many of our readers have different opinions about their favourite and most hated aircraft and developers. Notice the word "opinion". We all have them, and none of them are wrong.I've seen many suggestions in this forum on how to improve "AVSIM reviews", and many of the reviewers who read this forum have tried to incorporate these ideas into their reviews. These are the dedicated reviewers on our staff who have many years experience within the flight sim community and take no offense in constructive criticism. But, with the experts, come the rookies. Those that want to give back to the flight sim community by volunteering their time to write about the hobby they love and the add-ons that are available to all of us.I liaise with approximately 60 developers around the world who work hard on products "they" believe are worthy to be released to the simming public. Some hit and some miss. Some miss real hard, as I expereinced when I first started writing reviews for AVSIM in 1999. How do you write a review about a product that absolutely sucks? I say, "gently, politely", but tell the reading public it sucks.Not all of the developers I deal with, advertise with us. Some are freeware developers, so they have a zero budget for advertising, but enjoy the exposure they get from reviews of their material. I have asked developers that submit press releases about a new product to AVSIM to send me a copy for review, but have said no. That tells me that they're not very confident of their product. I have had developers ask for a preview copy of the review prior to its publishing. I tell them "no", if they are unhappy with the review because it contains inaccurate information, then send me the correct information (it's usually technical detail not content detail) and I'll make an editorial correction.Developers that release a subsequent version often send along a new copy for review and I try to get the original reviewer to take a second look at the new version and make a comparison of the new to the old. Many "bugs" identified in the 1st release are often fixed and get mention in the "re-look" review.I'd love to spent time visiting the various developers offices and see how their operation works. I'd love to see a product from its inception to release, complete with quality control and customer service. But alas, we're a volunteer organization and I have a job in the real world, but could you imaging the airmiles I would rack up? I have visited Just Flight's office in the UK, but only because they were located 30 minutes from where I was visiting. I imagined this huge "World Headquarters" as a major corporation like Microsoft, but alas it was 6 guys sitting at a huge desk in an open office being shared by other developers of the parent company. Yet they still manage to develop great flightsim and trainsim products, in my honest opinion.So in closing, anyone out there that would like to volunteer their time, energy and experience (expertise?) and write reviews dealing with flightsim add-on aircraft, scenery, utilities or hardware are more than welcome to join us in this great hobby. As it states in our reviewer's contract, you must be willing to put the product through its paces and write an honest, unbiased document about your experience with the product; whether that product be good, bad or not worth writing about (it's happened) in your opinion.

#10 Inactive Member_Proflig8tor_***

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:35 PM

FWIW - I'm a reviewer and had some pretty biting comments for Captain Sim's 757 for FSX here on AvSim's forums. The Captain Sim product never worked on my machine after I paid my own cash for it. The FS9 port just did not make the transition to FSX+Accel well. Nobody in AvSim management "shushed" me up. They did do their best to try to find a fix. In the end the 757 got deleted off the hard drive and the dispute through Pay Pal was resolved in my favor.It is a shame there is not a really good FSX 757 out there, because the 757 and 767 are terrific jets which lend themselves well to FSX because they simply do every mission well.Captain Sim's 757 might be a great product on another machine - other than mine. There is no way the 757 would have made it to market if they were having the same problems I experienced. But, my machine runs the products I test just fine. Some products, like the Leonardo MadDog 2008, requires work around procedures to get full functionality on a FSX, Accel, Vista platform. When that is the case, we try to always provide instructions for the procedures that users will need to follow.

#11 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:41 PM

FWIW - I'm a reviewer and had some pretty biting comments for Captain Sim's 757 for FSX here on AvSim's forums. The Captain Sim product never worked on my machine after I paid my own cash for it. The FS9 port just did not make the transition to FSX+Accel well. Nobody in AvSim management "shushed" me up. They did do their best to try to find a fix. In the end the 757 got deleted off the hard drive and the dispute through Pay Pal was resolved in my favor.It is a shame there is not a really good FSX 757 out there, because the 757 and 767 are terrific jets which lend themselves well to FSX because they simply do every mission well.Captain Sim's 757 might be a great product on another machine - other than mine. There is no way the 757 would have made it to market if they were having the same problems I experienced. But, my machine runs the products I test just fine. Some products, like the Leonardo MadDog 2008, requires work around procedures to get full functionality on a FSX, Accel, Vista platform. When that is the case, we try to always provide instructions for the procedures that users will need to follow.

It should also be noted that products that do require workarounds, usually are the more complex ones. When you have more and more stuff on your product, the more stuff there is to break.

#12 Tim_Capps

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:03 AM

This is what I've learned from reading a lot of posts on AVSIM (not reviews).Captian Sim kills chidrens' ponies. They have never produced a decent title and never will, and anyone who even thinks about buying something from them is mentally defective. Their "airplanes" are actually KGB spyware that controls your mind.Wilco may not actually kill ponies, but they certainly kick dogs if no one is looking. Their products are garbage and only the stupidest noob would be caught dead with one on his hard drive.Ariane [shudder]... let's just say that even Captain Sim is appalled at what they do. And anyone who would pay $500 for a piece of paper witha Boeing logo and dotted lines to show you where to fold deserves what they are stupid enough to get.Level D 767: if a simmer choked on a dorito until he was unconcious, could a real type-rated 767 pilot finish landing the airplane for him? (Maybe.)PMDG was sent by the gods of light to shower the flight simulation community with perfect products and battle the evil forces of Captain Wil-iane.Coolsky has joined PMDG as its young sidekick and good thoughts toward everything Coolsky are encouraged.Dreamfleet is secretly working to update all its products to FSXXX, which they will also invent and will be "more real than real." Can't say much more about it, except... Tron. (Wink.)Airsimmer's Airbus is perfect and why people are still using trash like Wilco I'll never know.Or my favorite: airplanes deserve to be free. Why pay money for garbage when the best stuff is free?Groupthink and drama. Even if I thought a company had absolutely stolen $60 from me, I would probably get over it and not make it my life's mission to ruin them. I am trying to think if I have ever felt absolutely, criminally cheated by a flight sim product I bought of my own free will. I've bought a lot, and I'm sure there has to be one or two. But generally, I'm happy. Oh, probably a military helicopter from a certain company a few years back. Looked nice, but was death to frame rates. Somehow I survived.A2A? Great Stratocruiser. Hard to manage. Wish I had more time to add it to my jets and stay up with it, because it is a work of art.Wilco? 737PIC, Airbusses, Ejet. These are all very nice with lots of liveries. I can really tell the difference in the Boeing vs. Airbus experience, and the Ejet is just wildly different. They may be ports, but they run on FSX. They're not the most "realistic," but what people fail to get is that one man's realism is another man's bore.Captain Sim? 757, check. 727 check. I guess I live in an alternate universe where I am the only one these work for. Or maybe I'm just gullible.Coolsky? Great product within limits. Love it. Maddog? Another great product. Completely different, probably behind the Coolsky right now for me.I am always surprised by the real hatred people seem to harbor. 757 is patched to 4.3. Maybe it sucked before then, I don't know. Now it doesn't but it will never be judged on its own. Because Captain Sim is hated, we see some really immature behavior concerning it. Some products are better than other. Have better official support. Way better PR. But behind each product are people who are talented, skilled and trying to make a living by producing something they're proud of.Of course, the conspiracy theories floated after the AVSIM hack really showed that there are some poisonous dwarfs lurking in the corners of this community.

#13 Inactive Member_Astradan_***

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 12:35 PM

Really good post Tim. :( I guess what people have to remember is that any review is not a scienfitic product. It's not a list of test scenarios that get ticked or not ticked. (that would be dull). It's more art than science in that the review is one person's viewpoint of the product's pluses and minuses. Sure there's a purpose in that it will hopefully be useful in helping people make their purchasing decisions but it will never cover everyone's list of what is important and what is not.Most reviews never make reference to hardware compatibility - to me this is essential, as I always want to map things like the Heading Bug, Course Knob, AP Modes, etc to key commands, which I then map to GoFlight hardware, using FSUIPC.So if you read my AVSIM review of Wilco E-Jets, this is mentioned and Wilco/feelThere (who are often looked at as bad guys in the industry) get praise in my review because they are 'big' on providing custom key commands.....so (in this example), I represent 'hardware users' in my reviews, but I probably leave out reference to other aspects of flight sim that others feel are important.Every review is the result of hard work by the reviewer (unpaid), aiming to help fellow simmers - but the consumer should consider a review alongside other research they do, before deciding a product is right for them and buying it.As for the OP, I agree with Jeff's post - you've just come across as a 'grumpy old bugger', with nothing positive or constructive to say.David Rogers

#14 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:24 AM

All I'll say is this, when a payware title costs more than a PC game that just got released that week, something is severely wrong.

#15 Inactive Member_RDS_***

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:59 AM

"(and NOT all the periphreal issues you seem to want included)". Those are exactly the issues which should be included in any review of a product/developer. Do they fix the "bugs"? Do they sell you a product with every intention of correcting the problems...or are they going to take your money and run to the next batch of suckers with something new? Does their support system actually offer support...or is it just a waste of time, with ridiculous responses ("buy our C-130Xperience and everything will be fine"? LOL!)? YES the "peripheral issues" you denigrate are exactly what makes a developer "great"...or trash. CS is trash."EDIT: oh, and by the way, you and the other three flight simmers willing to pay for reviews without advertising would certainly entice from some hapless soul to labor the thousands of hours necessary to satisfy all four of you. The model has been tried before, and it didn't last a year." Tried by who? How much money were we talking about for this service? "As far as CS products go, I've never reviewed one for Avsim, and I've only actually ever bought one (the CS727 in boxed CD format). I'll be honest, I quite like it and have never had any problems with it." Really? You found no problem with the AP being totally inaccurate? The FD playing a part in the AP? Was this the "Legendary 727" or their latest attempt at getting more sucker money? I dumped the CS Legendary 727 the minute I reached acceleration altitude in the Dreamfleet 727...many years ago."Along the lines of a user review, it's worth noting that for several days now there has been a thread urging people to beware of CS products on the forums here at Avsim, and it seems hard to imagine that if some sort of advertising contra-deal were in place with CS, then that would not have been deleted. I'd take that as fairly compelling evidence against your assertion; there seems to be no attempt to subdue such opinions given that thread's existence, but feel free to disagree." OK...you're not Flightsim...THOSE people will ban you for any hint of a "bad" comment on their advertisers. Ask me, I know. You mention that the reviews are usually made just after a release. This is what I would like to see, long term reviews. Sure, the darn thing looked fine at first blush, when do they not??...but what about a follow up on bug fixes? What about a review of the developers efforts to correct them? Do they make a concerted effort to complete the product...or do they just move on to the next, knowing that a new batch of suckers is just drooling over the pretty screenshots and could care less about the problems experienced by those who bought older products? Here's a challenge for you. Do reviews of the developers themselves...not one of their individual products. Forget about getting a product sent to you for review...review their entire operation, from the product quality, through it's support and corrections (patches). Review the developer's customer support and RATE it. Look at, and report on, how a developer deals with issues about their products. Do they work on fixing it, or do they hide behind the "development for XXXX has ended and we no longer support it"? Do they blame the users system (LOFL!), when everything else works fine, or do they actually try and correct their problem. TELL US which developers deal with issues and which cut and run. That, to me, is more important than any single product review. After 3 CS products, I can tell you that CS is a trash developer and they will NEVER see another dime of my money. I kick myself for thinking anything had changed. If anyone here had my experience with CS, and would be allowed to write it as a review of a developer, instead of some "first glance" at a single product, CS would starve...well, probably not...but I'm allowed to dream. And that is exactly my point...they have screwed SO many buyers that any kind of review should include this information. The review should include all those problems and past problems. I'm not exactly happy with some of PMDG's products...but I know that they have fairly good support and my issues are either not correctible or are being woked on. I will buy from them again (as long as it's FS9!). After being a 3 time loser with CS...well, you get the idea. Give me useable reviews, of not only the product but it's developer as well. Follow up on it, give me long term with regard to bugs fixed and problems corrected, or not. The current reviews do nothing for a buyer...they are as "breathless" and excited as the rest of us when a new product is announced. Do the follow up, check on the fixes, the patches or lack of. Tell us about customer support (do you remember...WE ARE THE CUSTOMER!). Give us the entire story! The problems with CS products are well documented (well...they were for the 707, 727 before they "upgraded" the website...how handy)...why don't we have a review of that developer, and others? The review of individual products is fine...but I would be more interested in a review of the developers themselves. Vic

Wow. Why don't YOU review the developers? Why don't YOU take the time to actually write a review, only to have people like YOU completely trash it? From what I gather, the reviewers on AVSIM are not paid to review titles - they do so because they want to offer potential buyers an opinion on the product.Seeing as you have so many ideas on how things should be done, why not submit a review yourself?

#16 mgh

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:19 AM

All I'll say is this, when a payware title costs more than a PC game that just got released that week, something is severely wrong.

What title - what game?

#17 Tim_Capps

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 12:04 PM

With 78% of the earth's population buying Wads of Warmongering and 80% buying Sims so they can find entertaining ways to murder tiny people in swimming pools and burning kitchens with no way out (at least my kids do; should I be concerned?) they can probably get rich selling products at a relatively low price. Flight Simmers are up there with DNA matches, e.g. 1 in 6 trillion, and .000002% of those will ever buy an addon airplane.So they have to charge more to make a living at it. I don't see anything wrong with this at all. It's just economcs. I don't know how many flight sim developers have real private jets and country houses on the Amalfi coast, but it can't be more than a few.The pleasure per dollar for a good quality sim is pretty high if you fly it much.As for reviewing developers, I don't care about that when I read a review of a particular airplane. Maybe Sucky Airplanes, Ltd.has produced a gem for once. Maybe Can Do No Wrong, Inc. blew it on a particular title. Support is probably a legitimate issue for a review, and so does the return policy. Beyond that is gossip. Besides, companies change. We have seen well respected companies disappear off the face of the earth. Others seem to learn from mistakes and make efforts to change.If you pay $60 for an add-on you don't like from a company you don't trust and it ruins your month, maybe you should take up a more predictable hobby like bowling. "Rolls-Rite 300 ball is a cube I want my money back" is sometimg you just don't see very often.I always take the view that no one sets out to make a bad product. Sometimes cash flow issues tempt companies into a premature release, and it takes some patching before it realizes it's potential. That may be less than ideal, but is not unusual in this hobby.

#18 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 12:44 PM

What title - what game?

Any title.... The fact is, that payware is cost prohibitive. I myself am a 19 year old college student, I can't afford to drop a ton of cash on an addon, especially with the economy as bad as it is. It's almost impossible for me to find a job, even at mcdonalds in this economy. Top that off with the fact that things such as ArmA 2 and Rise of Flight are coming out soon for 40 dollars each, and even things such as DCS Black Shark only costs 40 now, and you can see where I have a problem with an addon aircraft being the cost of 2 whole new sims. Younger people are a lot tighter on money than older people, and payware developers only seem to think about people who have decent jobs, not those of us who are young and struggling to get by. The price needs to change on payware, as when you can buy a whole new sim that only just got released, or is for pre-order, for 40 dollars, and the average price of payware seems to be above 50, something is seriously screwed.While I believe the payware devs deserve to make a living, they also need to keep it affordable for the younger simmers.Oh, and for the record, AVSIM reviewers don't get paid (at least I don't...)... When people complain about reviewers... remember this, we don't see a dime of that ad money the developers put toward advertising on the site, we don't get paid at all, our only compensation is that we get to keep any software we review (and rarely if ever the hardware).

#19 Tim_Capps

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:15 PM

Peter, I'm 51 years old and have worked all my life at many jobs that suck, served in both the Army and the Navy, endured law school and many obnoxious clients, lawyers and judges, and can barely walk due to a bad back.But yeah, I can afford add-ons :( . Consider it one of the compensations for the prospects of inevitable decline and impending death that comes with getting older. Put that way, does it sound so bad? :( Anyway, please do consider the role economics play in trying to run a profitable business selling a product almost nobody wants, no matter how good it is.I would trade the inability to buy add-ons to be 19 again (with 51 years of experience, of course; otherwise, no way). Not to make light of your frustrations, because I would like to see dedicated simmers enjoy all the wonderful products that are available, but companies will charge what the market will bear, and what they need to make per unit to stay afloat. Comparing a flight-sim add-on to a mainstream entertainment product is really apples to organges.I agree that at some point, people are going to balk. I think all of us have our expectations about what is fair to pay for an add-on, and it is a heck of a lot higher today than it was a few years ago without necessarily the same degree of improvement. I don't know how much is nostalgia and how much is fact, but when I think of products like the Ready for Pushback 747, and PSS' Concorde, I remember them as pretty darned good. On the other hand, we're starting to get it pretty good in FSX, too, with the promise of much more to come.Even worse, some devious companies put their prices in Euros instead of good old U.S. dollars, and who knows how much you're actually paying in this silly Belgian Monopoly money that is all the fad in the Old World. I think the Euro was invented just to get Americans to pay more for flight sim add-ons than they otherwise would tolerate, because 40 Euros sounds reasonable and then it turns out it is like 800 dollars or something on your credit card statement.

#20 Inactive Member_Astradan_***

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:53 PM

It isn't just about age Peter - you're looking at things purely from your vantage point - experience says that when you do this, well.... the world never seems to fit your needs. :( Then again, I was the same at 19.As for not getting paid as Reviewers, well this is not strictly true - we get a free copy of every add-on that we review. So if you want more add-ons for free, get more reviews in! :( D.

#21 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:27 PM

It isn't just about age Peter - you're looking at things purely from your vantage point - experience says that when you do this, well.... the world never seems to fit your needs. :( Then again, I was the same at 19.As for not getting paid as Reviewers, well this is not strictly true - we get a free copy of every add-on that we review. So if you want more add-ons for free, get more reviews in! :( D.

LOL.... true that, however about my supposedly comparing mainstream games to fs addons, no I don't do that, I compare full on simulator prices to sim addons. ArmA 2 is a Infantry Sim, DCS Black Shark is a KA-50 Combat Flight Sim, and Rise of Flight is a WWI Combat Flight Sim. All in all, not necessarily comparing apples to oranges. The biggest issue I take with the pricing though is that it discourages people from being honest. Think of this, would someone who is younger and not able to afford as much rather drop the money they could spend on 2 games on an addon, or would they spend the money on the two games, and pirate the addons. I know a LOT of people are going to balk at what I just said, but it's what normally happens nowadays. I myself believe in paying the developers for good work, I believe in the fairness of compensation for work, however I don't believe that charging as much as they do is nessasairly the answer. Think of this, it's quite possible that if prices were to go down, more younger people would be willing to buy the products. That would in turn actually increase profit because less people would ether pirate or go without. Sometimes you have to balance the price with the volume sold. It's pretty obvious that people will pirate no matter what, however when you lower the price to something which the younger crowd can afford, there will be less piracy in the first place. I personally believe that if I were to pirate, it would just karma me in the end, as I intend on becoming a software programmer myself once I'm out of college (hell right now I have some ideas already for games to make), and I believe that what goes around comes around, the less you pirate, the less chance you have of your stuff getting stolen when you release work. You have to remember however, that the younger crowd doesn't necessarily think with their brains, and as such, we tend to do stupid stuff (I just spent my first year of college perusing a major that turned out not to be for me, when I should have switched from visual communications to computer programming right after i saw my grades drop from my not being neat enough...) The problem becomes, most younger people will see the 80 dollar price tag on a single aircraft and go "hmmm, I could buy 2 of the latest games for that one aircraft, maybe I don't need to buy it...." In the end, I believe that even though the devs should make a profit, they should also try to incorporate the WHOLE community, rather than just the well to do portion. Personally, while I respect all of your opinions on this, I have to say, that I believe that the best way to prevent piracy in general is to not charge so much for a single addon, and that winds up benefiting EVERYONE in the end. Less cease and desists sent out by the ISP, less profit lost by the devs, and more people can enjoy flight simulation the way it was meant to be. I myself am heavy on Combat Simulators in general, and as such, I prefer genuine combat sims compared to a FSX addon. One thing I have learned, is that FSX will NEVER be able to truly simulate combat aircraft correctly, and as such, I try to stick to civilian flight in FSX. If I want to fly a combat aircraft, I fly a CFS. If I want a shooter, I don't go with COD4, I go with ArmA, and if I want to fly civilian aircraft, well that's where X-Plane and FSX come in. I know I'm going to catch a LOT of flak for my statements just now about piracy, however I can't count the number of times where I have seen people say they will just pirate it because it's too expensive. It's the same reason people pirate the various high end development tools like photoshop and 3ds max, they can't afford it. I feel that developers should make a profit, however they have yet to hit that sweet spot for the pricing, especially when something like DCS is 40 dollars when it hits retail shelves. And before anyone says I'm comparing apples to oranges on the DCS comparison, I dare you to download the manuals off the DCS page.... That is when you will read the 500+ pages of how to operate the sim and have your jaw slacked.... I personally do support developers, however they need to actually get the pricing down. I can't validate paying 80 dollars for an MD-11 addon for FSX when I can get an equally in-depth simulation of a KA-50 which is a stand alone combat sim for 40, and then getting in addition to that the most advanced commercially available infantry sim for 40 dollars too.... It's not so much comparing apples to oranges when you actually try the various things I'm talking about. Personally, 95% of the time, I avoid mainstream crap... The few exceptions include things such as Fallout 3, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, and things like that. Other than a few select mainstream games, all of my gaming funds goes to simulations and hardware for using my simulations. I also take serious offense to people expecting me to be talking about just mainstream games, as 90% of the time, I'm looking ether for simulations, or the most complex strategy games I can find. (Stuff like Hearts of Iron and Harpoon, not C&C.....)... The world of simulation goes far beyond FSX... There are all kinds of sims out there, and FSX if you ask me is actually overrated.... If you ask me, MS really screwed the pooch in the development of FSX. They should have focused on support of ALL new hardware technologies, rather than just trying to maintain reverse compatibility. That is one of the main reasons why I avoid FSX when I can, because even with my rig, it still is slow as molasses. 90% of my simming can be narrowed down to these sims: ArmA, X-Plane 9, DCS Black Shark, Falcon 4.0, Vehicle Simulator, and rFactor.To sum it all up, my personal belief is that the reason simming has declined compared to what it was is just that people are intimidated, and the world has been dumbed down by consoles. The best way to combat this is to keep it to the point where anyone can get into it, not just the wealthy. That's my personal belief on how to SAVE the flight simulation genre. The genre is just too intimidating for newcomers, they ether get sticker shock, or they expect everything to play like Ace Combat, and then are met with intimidating responses when asking questions. And 90% of the time the responses aren't even meant to be offensive, it's just that the terms used are things that the person doesn't understand at their level of experience.

#22 Tim_Capps

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:39 PM

I'm glad you didn't take offense at any of my ribbing or opinions.One thing you're missing, though, is that younger people who really want to get into flight simulator don't have to buy an $80 add-on. FSX has some really nice airplanes and a lot of challenges, especially with some of the console-type missions. When I remember what FSX has out of the box and try out something like the Acceleration carrier missions, that is some pretty cool stuff even for an jaded old simmer. Heck, even saving the freakin' baby rhino is a challenge and has sort of an interesting plot. So compare your one-trick pony type of games with an open-ended complete and realistic world of flying without add-on one, and I don't think we're seeing entry price as the obstacle. Even among add-ons, there are some very nice ones, especially for beginners, that don't cost an arm and a leg. Most young people are not going to want a complex MD-11, anyway. Let's face it, those are premium products, and some people are going to want them that don't have the disposable income. That's just life.And how are these poor kids who can't afford an $80 MD-11 going to afford the computer good enough to run it right?"The greying of [insert hobby here]" is a frequent topic of discussion all over. It doesn't matter if it is miniatures wargaming, model railroading, or flight simulation, it seems that younger people just aren't interested in dad's hobbies. I have three sons, 19, 19, and 24. I finally got one of them to make a serious effort at learning to do touch and gos with the default Cessna at our local field, but I don't think it will stick. Consoles are part of the reason. I am continually amazed out how much more I know about computers than my kids. It should be the other way around. But to them, computer game memories are of side-scrollers or the First Wing Commander, or Doom. And of dad going nuts trying to get computers to work :-) (Come to think of it, that's not so much a memory as a daily occurence.) Games = consoles, like it or not. I think maybe some of this thinking was behind Microsoft's decision re: FS.But then there is WoW. If you're an average young male, why would want to take the trouble of poring over boring manuals when you can be Ragnorak the 20th Level Weapons Master in a semi-social environment that provides a continuous stream of instant gratification and rewards. But I bet if you had to tweak and sweat and get frustrated to get WoW to run on a computer like we do, WoW would be a flop. I almost added "too." But I don't think we're a flop. Yet. But we can't shoot things, or blow them up, and we're pretty much limited to people who are already interested in aviation for whatever reason.I don't know the answer, and I'm glad my livelihood doesn't depend on it. I'm in the criminal justice system. There will always be crime, and every year more things are made illegal. Maybe the idea of flying just isn't as exciting now. People are used to cattle-class with no amenities and taking their shoes off for the TSA folks. I grew up in "The Jet Age." I remember reading about this huge new airplane called the 747 in the Weekly Reader. I saw my big brother off to the Navy in a TWA DC-3 from the local airport. I had the pleasure later of riding many different kinds of military transport, including helos across trackless sea to land on an impossibly small helo pads. In other words, aviation has always had hold of my imagination.It may mean other things in this day and age.Even so, look at all the kids in the VAs. There's still interest there. And I wonder if flight simulation is doing better in countries other than the US, as a percentage of population. My guess would be yes. The non-US developers would seem to indicate that, too.

#23 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:11 AM

One thing you're missing, though, is that younger people who really want to get into flight simulator don't have to buy an $80 add-on. FSX has some really nice airplanes and a lot of challenges, especially with some of the console-type missions. When I remember what FSX has out of the box and try out something like the Acceleration carrier missions, that is some pretty cool stuff even for an jaded old simmer. Heck, even saving the freakin' baby rhino is a challenge and has sort of an interesting plot. So compare your one-trick pony type of games with an open-ended complete and realistic world of flying without add-on one, and I don't think we're seeing entry price as the obstacle. Even among add-ons, there are some very nice ones, especially for beginners, that don't cost an arm and a leg. Most young people are not going to want a complex MD-11, anyway. Let's face it, those are premium products, and some people are going to want them that don't have the disposable income. That's just life.And how are these poor kids who can't afford an $80 MD-11 going to afford the computer good enough to run it right?

touche, good points... However I must remind you of this, 90% of the time, these kids who do want it and can't afford it will just pirate it... The best option IMHO is to make it affordable, and then if they decide they don't like it, then they can get a refund.... Pull the licence key, make it useless... As far as my using the MD-11 as an example, it was just that, one example. There are at least dozens if not hundreds more things guilty of the same issue the PMDG aircraft have regarding pricing. It's not just about the MD-11, it's about payware in general. Admittedly, most people won't have the comp for it, however those who are running flight sim in the first place may very well be able to handle it, especially considering how cheap comps are nowadays. Perfect example, I could build a comp that could run FSX easily for less than 1000 bucks if I bought the needed parts online. The main issue is that the various payware addons are priced so high that it encourages people to pirate it. The fact is the best way to prevent piracy if you ask me is to drop the price and institute a fair refund policy. A lot of people pirate things because they can't afford them or they don't want to buy it without trying it first. A good demo and a refund policy, along with cutting prices would go a LONG way to stop piracy.Oh, and regarding calling things like DCS and ArmA 2 one trick ponies, I recommend you try them before you call them that, you might be in for a shock....

"The greying of [insert hobby here]" is a frequent topic of discussion all over. It doesn't matter if it is miniatures wargaming, model railroading, or flight simulation, it seems that younger people just aren't interested in dad's hobbies. I have three sons, 19, 19, and 24. I finally got one of them to make a serious effort at learning to do touch and gos with the default Cessna at our local field, but I don't think it will stick. Consoles are part of the reason. I am continually amazed out how much more I know about computers than my kids. It should be the other way around. But to them, computer game memories are of side-scrollers or the First Wing Commander, or Doom. And of dad going nuts trying to get computers to work :-) (Come to think of it, that's not so much a memory as a daily occurence.) Games = consoles, like it or not. I think maybe some of this thinking was behind Microsoft's decision re: FS.

Yup, the consoles have dumbed down the nation, and it shows, a lot of people now only want COD4, and not real interesting things.

But then there is WoW. If you're an average young male, why would want to take the trouble of poring over boring manuals when you can be Ragnorak the 20th Level Weapons Master in a semi-social environment that provides a continuous stream of instant gratification and rewards. But I bet if you had to tweak and sweat and get frustrated to get WoW to run on a computer like we do, WoW would be a flop. I almost added "too." But I don't think we're a flop. Yet. But we can't shoot things, or blow them up, and we're pretty much limited to people who are already interested in aviation for whatever reason.

let's just remember that when wow's major community sites get trashed it doesn't make the BBC! Also, remember this, WOW is something where you don't want to be part of that community, I've seen enough of that community to tell you this, it's full of fubar things, including pervs, nutjobs, and addicts....Oh, and WOW isn't instant gratification, it's probably the worst grind you could ever imagine. You literally get quests like "go kill 500 boars" and you keep getting those quests until you reach the level cap, which takes at least a year if you play it non-stop.

I don't know the answer, and I'm glad my livelihood doesn't depend on it. I'm in the criminal justice system. There will always be crime, and every year more things are made illegal. Maybe the idea of flying just isn't as exciting now. People are used to cattle-class with no amenities and taking their shoes off for the TSA folks. I grew up in "The Jet Age." I remember reading about this huge new airplane called the 747 in the Weekly Reader. I saw my big brother off to the Navy in a TWA DC-3 from the local airport. I had the pleasure later of riding many different kinds of military transport, including helos across trackless sea to land on an impossibly small helo pads. In other words, aviation has always had hold of my imagination.It may mean other things in this day and age.Even so, look at all the kids in the VAs. There's still interest there. And I wonder if flight simulation is doing better in countries other than the US, as a percentage of population. My guess would be yes. The non-US developers would seem to indicate that, too.

Very good point, however you have to remember, that things such as just the fact that we are now in an age where flight is just all too common is just killing the wonder of flight for a lot of people. Then there are those who think that flight is just like Ace Combat, and don't want to actually learn how to actually do anything other than instant gratification.All in all, this is what I like about AVSIM, it's a nice place for intelligent debate (it's one of the few places on the internet where things don't always get out of hand when there's a disagreement....). I really do appreciate a good debate every once in a while. And this is a very good intellectual exercise. I can only hope the other participants applicate this kind of debate the same way I do...

#24 Tim_Capps

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:29 AM

I have thought about the piracy argument. (Remember, I defend criminals for a living, although never pirates. People do far worse things with computers these days and it is unbelievably common, but that's another story.)I respectfully invite you to consider whether that is a valid argument, and the unintended consequences of it.I doubt many users of pirated add-ons, especially high-end ones, would be buyers, anyway. In other words, the number of pirated copies torrented does not necessarily equal the revenue lost to the company.We can actually turn this discussion back on topic :( The attitude expressed by the original poster shows a contempt for at least some payware developers. While in no way making any associations to the OP and piracy, it seems clear enough to me that if there is widespread sentiment that payware companies are ripping us off, or gouging us, you then have a ready-made justification for piracy. Charge $80 for this? That's practically stealing. If they're going to be unreasonable, then they deserve what they get, and using a pirated copy isn't a big deal.Pirated copies of movies are pretty common, and don't generate much morale outrage. Why? Because people figure big companies make a lot of money and it isn't really stealing. Would most of the people that watch a pirated movie go into Best Buy and shoplift the same thing? Nope. Moreover, we do not intuitively or morally "get" this whole license concept. I have to go through ridiculous gyrations to make legitimate use of music I paid for from iTunes if I want to transfer "my" music from my iPod to my computer. But I don't own that music, so it isn't really mine, and I'm bound by whatever stupid restrictions Apple builds into their system. Frankly, that frustrates and even angers me. I pay a lot of money for Vista, ("The OS That Hates Software!") but I don't "own" it. I merely have paid for the privilege of using it. If I could get a working copy of Vista for free, illegally, I might think, "Bill Gates doesn't need the money, and $190 for his crap OS isn't worth it."All the dough I've shelled out for add-ons? I don't own a single one. I have merely agreed to pay for the temporary use of a program on my hardware. I can't sell it on Ebay when I'm bored with it because I never owned it to begin with. I can't even give it away to Peter because I feel sorry for him not having a wonderful MD-11 I don't even fly that much because I'm afraid I'll get it dirty :-) (That's how opinions differ. I value Captain Sim because man, those cockpits have been through a lot, and if I get my MCU keys sticky because I'm eating chocolate chip cookies during preflight, who cares?) How many people read those license agreements we solemnly swear we have read, understood and agreed to every time we install a piece of software? Nobody. Because we don't have a choice.We don't think about these things, but people expect to "own" something when they buy it. Anything else is not natural. In fact, a computer+internet creates a moral disconnect that I see every day, and airplane piracy is the least of it, believe me.Ultimately, the license model is a problem. It is not natural and people will never feel anything but resentment toward it. Ever since Thag traded some pretty seashells for a bigger club, humans have believed they own what they pay for.So my point is, piracy is bad and hurts the bottom line of the people who give us so much pleasure with the products they create. But when we complain about the money they charge, we unwittingly create a climate where people are going to feel even more justified "stickin' it to the man." That's one reason I don't like to see company-bashing and will often be seen standing up for companies everybody loves to hate. (I'm not implying that's what you were doing.) Like I've said before, the people making payware are, with some few exceptions I'm not going to name, by and large trying to do something they can be proud of, and that people will like.As an aside, I think Ariane's rolling out "India Knight" was a stroke of brilliance. When they talk about their new customer-friendly policies, it isn't a statement from some faceless company. It's "I'm India Knight, and I want to share with you the changes we're making here at Ariane." Is there really an India Knight, or is she / he like Dos Equis beer's "Most Interesting Man in the World" spokesman. (Great and very effective ads, by the way. I think they should have India Knight saying: "I don't always fly payware, but when I do, I fly Ariane. Three greens, friends.") If you think about companies that are liked, don't they tend to be associated with a named individual? If I say PMDG, what name comes to mind? Or Coolsky? Now how about Captain Sim? Notice the difference? Oooh, Ariane? They want it to be India Kilo, er, Knight, not You Know Who. It may seem contrived, but I like it anyway.This gets back to my point that when you complain about some faceless company, anything is justified. That's why the prosecutor ALWAYS calls my client "the defendant," and I ALWAYS call him "Bob." In death penalty cases we spend upwards of two million dollars (that's right) part of it just to get juries to see the defendant as a human being. So they won't kill him. I bet if the OP sat down and had a few shots of vodka with whoever is behind Captain Sim, he would never, ever come on a forum and say these kinds of things. (Besides if you keep buying products you think are crap, I mean, what the heck? I really laugh out loud about that one.)Finally, before the hack, I would have believed the flight sim community as such would not have harbored pirates. After seeing the truly despicable innuendo that passed for "fair comment" and people actually having the guts to come onto the temp forum and defend under their real names, nothing would surprise me.Wow, what a ramble.

#25 Peter Clemenko

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 02:00 AM

I have thought about the piracy argument. (Remember, I defend criminals for a living, although never pirates. People do far worse things with computers these days and it is unbelievably common, but that's another story.)I respectfully invite you to consider whether that is a valid argument, and the unintended consequences of it.I doubt many users of pirated add-ons, especially high-end ones, would be buyers, anyway. In other words, the number of pirated copies torrented does not necessarily equal the revenue lost to the company.We can actually turn this discussion back on topic :( The attitude expressed by the original poster shows a contempt for at least some payware developers. While in no way making any associations to the OP and piracy, it seems clear enough to me that if there is widespread sentiment that payware companies are ripping us off, or gouging us, you then have a ready-made justification for piracy. Charge $80 for this? That's practically stealing. If they're going to be unreasonable, then they deserve what they get, and using a pirated copy isn't a big deal.Pirated copies of movies are pretty common, and don't generate much morale outrage. Why? Because people figure big companies make a lot of money and it isn't really stealing. Would most of the people that watch a pirated movie go into Best Buy and shoplift the same thing? Nope. Moreover, we do not intuitively or morally "get" this whole license concept. I have to go through ridiculous gyrations to make legitimate use of music I paid for from iTunes if I want to transfer "my" music from my iPod to my computer. But I don't own that music, so it isn't really mine, and I'm bound by whatever stupid restrictions Apple builds into their system. Frankly, that frustrates and even angers me. I pay a lot of money for Vista, ("The OS That Hates Software!") but I don't "own" it. I merely have paid for the privilege of using it. If I could get a working copy of Vista for free, illegally, I might think, "Bill Gates doesn't need the money, and $190 for his crap OS isn't worth it."All the dough I've shelled out for add-ons? I don't own a single one. I have merely agreed to pay for the temporary use of a program on my hardware. I can't sell it on Ebay when I'm bored with it because I never owned it to begin with. I can't even give it away to Peter because I feel sorry for him not having a wonderful MD-11 I don't even fly that much because I'm afraid I'll get it dirty :-) (That's how opinions differ. I value Captain Sim because man, those cockpits have been through a lot, and if I get my MCU keys sticky because I'm eating chocolate chip cookies during preflight, who cares?) How many people read those license agreements we solemnly swear we have read, understood and agreed to every time we install a piece of software? Nobody. Because we don't have a choice.We don't think about these things, but people expect to "own" something when they buy it. Anything else is not natural. In fact, a computer+internet creates a moral disconnect that I see every day, and airplane piracy is the least of it, believe me.Ultimately, the license model is a problem. It is not natural and people will never feel anything but resentment toward it. Ever since Thag traded some pretty seashells for a bigger club, humans have believed they own what they pay for.So my point is, piracy is bad and hurts the bottom line of the people who give us so much pleasure with the products they create. But when we complain about the money they charge, we unwittingly create a climate where people are going to feel even more justified "stickin' it to the man." That's one reason I don't like to see company-bashing and will often be seen standing up for companies everybody loves to hate. (I'm not implying that's what you were doing.) Like I've said before, the people making payware are, with some few exceptions I'm not going to name, by and large trying to do something they can be proud of, and that people will like.As an aside, I think Ariane's rolling out "India Knight" was a stroke of brilliance. When they talk about their new customer-friendly policies, it isn't a statement from some faceless company. It's "I'm India Knight, and I want to share with you the changes we're making here at Ariane." Is there really an India Knight, or is she / he like Dos Equis beer's "Most Interesting Man in the World" spokesman. (Great and very effective ads, by the way. I think they should have India Knight saying: "I don't always fly payware, but when I do, I fly Ariane. Three greens, friends.") If you think about companies that are liked, don't they tend to be associated with a named individual? If I say PMDG, what name comes to mind? Or Coolsky? Now how about Captain Sim? Notice the difference? Oooh, Ariane? They want it to be India Kilo, er, Knight, not You Know Who. It may seem contrived, but I like it anyway.This gets back to my point that when you complain about some faceless company, anything is justified. That's why the prosecutor ALWAYS calls my client "the defendant," and I ALWAYS call him "Bob." In death penalty cases we spend upwards of two million dollars (that's right) part of it just to get juries to see the defendant as a human being. So they won't kill him. I bet if the OP sat down and had a few shots of vodka with whoever is behind Captain Sim, he would never, ever come on a forum and say these kinds of things. (Besides if you keep buying products you think are crap, I mean, what the heck? I really laugh out loud about that one.)Finally, before the hack, I would have believed the flight sim community as such would not have harbored pirates. After seeing the truly despicable innuendo that passed for "fair comment" and people actually having the guts to come onto the temp forum and defend under their real names, nothing would surprise me.Wow, what a ramble.

I actually do agree with you, the people who do go and bash the payware devs as the OP did do need to at least get a chance to realize that the person they are bashing is human too... No one is perfect, and the guys over at CS, I have a lot of respect for, because they actually put out DEMOS of their aircraft, something which MORE devs should do. And I agree, most of the time, if the person had a drink with the person they were bashing, they would find out they weren't so bad after all. It's all about realizing the other person is a human, just like you.and this part made me laugh:

All the dough I've shelled out for add-ons? I don't own a single one. I have merely agreed to pay for the temporary use of a program on my hardware. I can't sell it on Ebay when I'm bored with it because I never owned it to begin with. I can't even give it away to Peter because I feel sorry for him not having a wonderful MD-11 I don't even fly that much because I'm afraid I'll get it dirty :-) (That's how opinions differ. I value Captain Sim because man, those cockpits have been through a lot, and if I get my MCU keys sticky because I'm eating chocolate chip cookies during preflight, who cares?) How many people read those license agreements we solemnly swear we have read, understood and agreed to every time we install a piece of software? Nobody. Because we don't have a choice.

Me, the last thing I ever want is pity, I personally have to deal with being patronized every day of my damn life I have had enough of it... It always annoyed the hell out of me at school when people would treat me different. One thing people don't realize is that, I personally, while I don't think companies should charge as much as they do, and while i rarely if ever agree with the way the EULAs are written, it all comes down to treating the other party the same way you would want to be treated. The golden rule at it's best. I personally when I deal with people sometimes get carried away. I feel that even though people go and moan and complain about these payware devs, the people have to realize their trying to make a living as well. My biggest issue is just that it seems like the way it's priced seems to lock out a lot of the younger folks from really experiencing these greater aircraft. I have no problem with supporting developers, hell I want to write software myself soon, and I'm researching all kinds of things to do it, and I believe that most people don't realize, that even these big payware companies have to have their families supported, however still, I believe that some things just shouldnt be as expensive as they are. My big one I have to say is this though, It's amazing that people have gone and done all this crap even on the temp forum. Some of the things I saw on that forum made me want to reach through the screen and slap the person on the other end for being a smacktard. You don't just go and back up these people who are causing the problems, when people should be trying to find solutions to the whole problem. I find myself as trying to figure out ways that the whole community can prosper. I myself don't just think about the players or the devs, I think about the whole picture. I admit, sometimes, in fact a lot of times, I may be off the mark, however a lot of times, including what I've been saying here, it's my genuine belief that this would lead to the greater good of supporting everyone in the community. The community needs to unite, and it can't do that in this state. The fact is, even though we may disagree on some things, we still all hold a common interest, and that common interest is a bond that holds the whole community together. I had to deal with a lot of smacktards after the attack on AVSIM, including people screwing with my head over IM. If sometimes I act like a smacktard or someone who is out of touch, I apologize, I am honestly trying to state my own opinion on how to make the community better, and sometimes I can be an optimist, and sometimes i'm a pessimist, and sometimes I'm just a flat out smacktard myself.My final word is this, I truly support the developers, however I also support the fairness of supporting all of the community. Not just one sect of it. My firm belief is that people are inherently going to do stupid and evil things. The best option is to keep honest people honest, and don't tempt them to the dark side. We all know what happened with Anikin, and the problem is that can happen with any of us. Imagine the Sith as the criminals and pirates, and the jedis as those of us who try to stay honest, the dark side can be VERY tempting, and it can be hard to resist, however it just winds up hurting us in the end if we do go over to the dark side. I know I just used a Star Wars reference, and really I don't care. I believe that supporting the developers is important, however the bigger focus right now has to be on the big picture. It's best to try to fix the root of the problems rather than just the symptoms. While Payware may cost to much IMHO, it isn't the biggest issue I have. The biggest issue I have is this economy and the global climate towards the economy. The best bet is to find ways to put people to work. I myself have been looking for a while, and I noticed this. When the economy sucks, that's when software piracy seems to be highest, where as when the economy is good, that's when people will actually buy the stuff. I think the ultimate fix for this whole situation is to find a way to put younger people like me to work at decent jobs. With the way the economy is right now, it's a known fact, that when the economy is bad, crime goes up, and when it's good, crime goes down. I feel the best way to fix this whole situation and make everyone happy is to fix the economy, and it all comes down to figuring out ways to put people to work. I myself am glad I work at AVSIM, as it gives me valuable experience, however it still doesn't pay the bills, and the only way to fix that problem is to fix the whole issue, and that starts with issue # 1, the economy.