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Guest racartron

My opinon on Add-ons

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I consider myself an avid Flight Simmer not unlike many throughout the world who have enjoyed the progress and development of this hobby. Over the years I have enoyed using Microsoft's Flight Simulator, watching new developments in visual effects, and seeing the variety of add-ons; many of which, from freeware to payware, I have enjoyed and to this day remain in my collection -- PMDG's 737 being the latest and struggling to get it's product firmly in the air. I once thought Microsoft ought to be paying these guys to develop the aircraft while they build the core sim. It has been a good experience from the beginning and I feel has allowed me to go onto earning Private Wings where I can take the enjoyment of flight beyond the realm of simulation.While on the topic of commercial add-ons, I am beginning to see a trend that disturbs me. There is the wonderful product that is presented for all to behold and many are downright so good they belong on the FS2004 CD. However, beyond that, appears a valley full of competition that diverges greatly. I supose rather than collaborating on efforts, commercial vendors repeat the same mistakes and ill-will of their counterparts while many exceed their competition in poor service, poor support, lack of availability, program errors: bugs and whatever other critters you want to throw in to the mix, online packaging, etc. This movement toward poor commercial add-on development is exceeding the developers of multi-million line software code and is downright absurd especially when considering the cost of purchase which can be as much as one half if not greater then that of the parent software in which the add-on runs.If I take the recent developments of Software Simulation Workshop, the frustration level, aggravation, and trial by fire makes the experience go even beyond that. I have already committed myself, with greenbacks galore, to possessing their first add-on aircraft, the Airbus A-310-300, and am now glad I thought not to pre-order which, in my opinion, is akin to giving a thief your money to invest although I have gone down that road before with another developer of add-on software. Add to that once the A-310 is released and the money is placed into the coffer, I am not able to download the file, able but it is corrupt, and then the file size changes and I can't download it anymore unless, of course, one contemplates the definition of a successful download as the ability to save to one's computer a file with a name -- said file need not have any contents and 0 MB files are included.Beyond that to only mention that the add-ons vendor's server is crashing due to massive hits while the forum and all its helpful contents are deleted by the Vendor to rescue the server is mere icing on the cake. May I remind you all this for a mere $37 dollars and a head full of expletives -- not literally but nearly so.This, I feel, is about the lowest an add-on developer can go to not have their infrastructure in place, their product ready to go when they say it is ready, and my money for nothing in return. I do hope this editorial is considered because after Captin Sim's 707 is released, I have no interest (and I assume others may be close to feeling this) in commercial add-ons anymore and this may be a consumer trend that helps correct these problems.Now of course we consumers have our part to play in this conflagration from pressureing add-on developers to provide release dates, to harassing developers to release their product, to complaining about price, to posting ill will in their forums, etc., etc. you know who you are....HERE HERE. I suppose frustration and lack of suport go hand in hand with bad feelings as an unexpected bill to an empty wallet.However I am certain this situation need not exist if there is some measure of expectation on the part of the developer and eventual customer. Some add-on developers have already redefined the genre by not releasing publish dates, providing minimal information needed for the discriminating consumer, and established a viable reltaionship with its' customer base. I can only hope ther development continues and that other developers learn from positive examples that do exist out there.Thank you for reading my opinion -- The opinion expressed in this editorial is not Avsim's and therefore Avsim takes no responsibility for losses.

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Thank you for not tarring us all with the same brush, and I understand your frustrations.We, like many other reliable developers, operate strictly on the following basis:1. We never release anything until it's ready and tested.2. We never ask for advanced payment for orders.3. We always respond quickly to enquiries.4. We contribute freeware as well as design commercial products.There are quite a few other responsible addon providers and it's a shame that a small minority spoil the reputation of the many. I wish you luck in resolving your difficulties.Regards,Rob Young - RealAir Simulations

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A simple way to avoid the headaches of release is to simply wait a day or two to purchase. While I won't hesitate to buy from some tried and true vendors upon immediate release (Realair, dreamfleet) in most cases I will simply wait to see what others think before I put down my hard earned cash. A little patience goes a long way.

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I have to agree with Rob Young on this. You cannot generalize the entire add-on industry. While what the original author states is true in some cases, it is not true in ALL cases. The same trend in businesses outside of this hobby occur quite frequently. Do some stores give better services and better pricing than others? Sure they do. You also favor the ones which provide you with better service and inturn pass that information onto others. I have seen, as you all have, some fantastic payware, and I have seen some pretty awful payware too. Criticism should be higher with payware as it is a commodity, not a gift. I know when a buck comes out of my wallet, I expect something for it. When I get something for free, I really have no right to complain. You don't look a gift-horse in the mouth. I guess I am one of the few (or I choose carefully) who have not had a bad experience with payware. But I have also heard horror stories by the dozens.As Bob says, don't let the bad spoil it for the good. Maybe waiting for reviews is a better option than being the first on the block to have something. None of this simming stuff is a life and death matter. Waiting may pay off. It may also improve the sub-standard ones, and if their sales are too low, it may squeeze them out of business altogether. Read reviews from competent, trustworthy people and go by their advice. It may save you major headaches in the long run, and give you a better outlook on the better developers.Don

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As an IT manager, I always hang back on buying the latest version of anything until others have shaken out the glitches. My company also develops sophisticated software applications and no matter how rigorous a testing program we employ, I cannot remember the case where a "User" didn't find a problem within 24 hours of release. It's the nature of the beast. So I always give any new bird a couple days to settle down before grabbing it. This applies to freeware as well as payware. After all, my life does not revolve around simming. and I have plenty of other birds to fly until the "All Clear" is sounded.Racartronit means something, but I just can't remember what

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