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One DCS Version


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I have a hardcore gaming friend wanted to get into DCS. He's the kind of guy who plays SH3 with all the assist turned off. He sees the new modules coming out feels its a good time to be a part of DCS and where its going.

 

He downloads the Steam version then later we meet online. He wants to try multi-crew functions because that's what appealed to him to begin with. Then he sees that the Gazelle isn't comparable with the steam version (strike one). Aren't the modules in the steam workshop? He doesn't understand why the website and steam are two different versions of the same game, but ok. He deletes the steam version and downloads DCS world 1.5. Then he finds that the servers I usually frequent are on DCS 2. He thought that meant he would have to download a patch or update. I explain. Annoyance sets in (strike two). Uninstalled 1.5 and downloads 2.0. Then realizes that after buying the aircraft, and after downloaded 2.0 he would need to buy a map to just play the game (strike three). He said to call him later when the game sorted itself out.

 

I hadn't occurred to me how confusing it must be for a newcomer who doesn't have any history with this game to get into it. There are three versions of this game out there. Two of them not compatible at all. The average consumer never has to worry about that and shouldn't be expected to. Not to mention the steep introductory price to get started without a sale, which if you don't have any history with the website wouldn't know that they are frequent.

 

On my wishlist. One DCS game, one user interface.

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See details of the grand merge - DCS 2.5

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It's just around the bend. . . and the one after that, and the one after that, and the...

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The great merge should be soon, though we'll still be left with the Standalone/Steam issues.

 

To be entirely honest though regarding the other complaints, I'd question if your friend actually read the download page at all.

 

2.0 is clearly stated to be early access, meaning it's for testing, and it specifically says you need at least one of the two DLC maps for it to function:

https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/downloads/world/

 

The fact you've decided to play mosty on an alpha branch (2.0), meaning your friend can't join you without buying a map, can't solely see the blame laid at ED's feet, as you could have installed 1.5 in order to play with your friend.


Edited by Buzzles
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Yesterday was too late imho.

 

Separating the steam and standalone environment was a bad idea too in my opinion.

 

Steam is today's mainstream platform, it's the largest gaming community in the world. New player that finds out about DCS on Steam can get in very tricky situation because the modules they can buy there are unusable in the standalone version. Eventually they will find out that if they want to be able to try out all the new and shiny things in DCS then they need to switch to the standalone version anyway which makes their steam collection useless.

 

I hope that the new login system will serve to merge these two worlds and in the long run we will have one module repository instead of two. I was lucky as when I started with DCS, the modules were interchangeable between the platforms.

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Buzzles take a moment to read my post. My friend did read the page which is why he posed the questions and discovered the mismatch on his own. The questions isn't weather or not it was clear, it's weather or not the condition should exist. That can and should be laid at ED's feet. I've been a customer of ED since the first Lock On and every iteration since. I know what 1.5 is.

 

Reading isn't the issue I am raising. I am not stating a problem for myself. You read my post, but misunderstood, I am highlighting a problem in organization. We would agree that a clunky and convoluted UI takes away from a game experience and in the worst cases will ruin the game to a degree. This is also true for the purchase experience for the first time customer.

 

Look around the market at other games. The average customer coming into the DCS store is rarely if ever exposed to this level of purchase complication and compatibility. DCS is not a new title. It's a full functioning game. Multiple single player campaigns, and multiplayer missions that can update mission status in PVP in real time to websites. Hardly what I would call Alpha at this stage. In the old days Beta signified that all the core features are functioning in the game. Isn't that what we have? Modules cost full price without a sale, and a full price experience should be offered from the beginning.

 

We are years in, not just out of the gate, and I'm not going anywhere. I don't care if my friend plays or not. Don't you think its within the power of ED to streamline DCS? I do. Perhaps it isn't perceived as a problem otherwise I feel that it might have been addressed sooner. The road-map imo should have merged the game into one cohesive unit as soon as possible. I'm not sure what standard ED has to reach to call their game finished, but its finished. They continue to improve and expand the game, but DCS as a game is finished. Campaigns work, maps work, aircraft fly.

 

I think it's time to sell it as a finished project. New aviators or strategist to the game should feel welcome when they arrive. There is enough study to learn the aircraft and systems. The setup and intro into the world should be easy. If a restaurant is down 3 alleys and 4 different sets of stairs there will only be but so many customers that eat there no matter how good the food is. Restaurants are made accessible so people will be tempted to try out the food. It's just good business.

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Well, maybe it is the language barrier (english not being my native language), however, I'm not quite sure what your point is. Furthermore, this discussion is happening here on many layers.

 

The only things for ED I see here is the unification of DCS (2.5) and the difficulties between Steam and stand-alone. The "difficulties" I'm talking about are mainly the slight delay in patching and the early access release of new modules to stand-alone. This could be better, sure, but is not a really big issue. Also, the unification is worked on. Given my limited experience in writing scripts, I'm would guess ED does not work on multiple different branches in parallel just for fun. If you have only a few hundred lines of code, this is already a pain, imagine with thousands of lines.

 

Furthermore, it is a bit odd that you and/or your "hardcore gaming friend" expects official DCS modules in the Workshop. The Workshop is supposed for user generated content, mods, because official content is a DLC (paid or not).

And to be honest, it is a bit strange that you let him run into nearly every possible issue. Most of the stuff you bring up in your OP could have easily be sorted out by you. Why did you not tell him that you play DCS 2 mostly and that he needs to buy one of the maps to be able to join you? When your friend is about to start with DCS, why not use 1.5 first (especially when he comes from Silent Hunter 3 - this is at least what I think SH3 stands for)? He would also have the free planes and wouldn't need to buy a thing instead of two modules. That is quite a bit of money, I'll understand that, but also totally preventable.

Well, okay, if he wants to fly specifically helicopters this does not work.

However, I totally fail to see how all of this is ED's problem.

 

And on the point of "[...] new modules coming out [...]" and "[...] I would call Alpha at this stage. In the old days Beta signified that all the core features are functioning in the game."

The early access versions (DCS, as well as modules) will stay. They are a way to prevent desasters when updating the game. After internal testing a patch goes to external testing - early access. If everything goes well it is then pushed to the public version. This public version is "the game" and your "full price experience" - meaning DCS 1.5. If you decide to opt into one of the public tests (modules or main game version), then this your decision.

This "full price" argument is also only valid in a very tight frame. One could easily wait for one of the weekly(!) sales, and hardly anybody is forced to buy all the modules the instant that it is possible.

 

Sure, ED could streamline DCS more, but honestly I guess they are doing exactly that. I assume DCS 2.5 will bring a lot of stuff which goes into this direction.

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Buzzles take a moment to read my post. My friend did read the page which is why he posed the questions and discovered the mismatch on his own.

 

Clearly, that's not entirely true, as you stated he uninstalled 1.5, installed 2.0 and then realised he'd need a map.

 

Either way, I don't actually disagree in the slightest, but 2.5 is on the way, which will resolve a lot of this.

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@Buzzles

I agree 2.5 is the solution I was looking for. What I read it was said to be ready by the end of 2016 in a post from Wags. Perhaps there is more up to date information when it is supposed to be ready, but I don't mind that so much. Knowing that is indeed the goal then it seems to correct much of what I was speaking of. Also in the post I found Wags also stated that the merger was long overdue and I can't ask for more than that in the terms of understanding. Hopefully it all comes together sooner rather than later.

 

@Arsonist

There are games that offer official content via the workshop. rFactor 2 has paid content that can be downloaded via the workshop for example. The key to play that content is checked post download.

 

I'll take that you said you might misunderstand due to a language barrier into account, so I won't debate all of your points, but one stands out. My friend is a grown man. He began his journey into DCS on his own and then I spoke with him after I returned home after work. It is not my responsibility nor should it ever be anyone's responsibility to hand walk anyone into a game. If a person needs to be escorted into a game to understand it then the game has a communication problem. Beyond that its my intention to let it go now that I am aware of 2.5. I was aware of the Caucus update, but not 2.5. I play the game often, but I don't come to the forums often. I hope we have come to terms.

"It's amazing, even at the Formula 1 level how many drivers still think the brakes are for slowing the car down."

 

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2.5 will unify everything.

 

That being said, you did kinda send him through hoops at every stage instead of saying this is where we play, you'll need this distribution, this version, this map, this module, and do it all at once.

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@SkateZilla

 

Yes I could have walked him through the process in a better way, I think I mentioned that, and the second nature of being a part of the DCS franchise allowed me to overlooked how I should present what was in front of him. That I will agree with.

 

However. If a game requires a walk through from a current player to simply just get into the game itself there is a problem. Yes the answers can all be found if one looks for them, but there isn't anything communicating to the user that there will be a problem in the first place. When the steam version is downloaded is it communicated to the average curious customer that not all of the game will be playable with that version? How often is something like that experienced by a customer of any product? Not very.

 

Currently I have two games on my hard drive to play a single game experience. It's been some time, and aside from a post from last year saying that 2.5 would be out by 2016 year end there isn't much I've found with casual searching.

 

It isn't about me. I know how I could have handled the situation better. It's about a person (not my friend but a random person) who sees a video, or see's the DCS title scroll across the steam store and becomes curious enough to download it. It's about the customer that comes to the site looking to make a purchase. Imagine how that would look to the uninitiated so to speak. Maps that look awesome and amazing, but not playable with the version that they probably downloaded first (1.5) But there is a 2.0 and why would someone want to download a 1.5 when there is a 2.0? Even if they understand it all, does that make it easier to open that wallet or hesitate? They might have read that DCS World was free to experience with paid content to expand that experience. Nothing wrong there, but the branches of that experience are fragmented into 3 different versions of the game. A version that plays some of the modules. A version that plays only one of three maps. A version that plays 2 of three maps. Regardless of how I handled the situation, and regardless of how much I respect and have affection for playing this game, its not the best way to conduct business.

 

2.5 is supposed to fix all of that, and this is most welcome news. I look forward to it.

"It's amazing, even at the Formula 1 level how many drivers still think the brakes are for slowing the car down."

 

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