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dburne

I wonder how MS analyzes the data?

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You know I got to wondering whilst flying a job recently in the Maule,

 

It has been stated with the current eco system that Flight has, they are able to get usage data like they never have been able to in the past, and use that data to help tailor Flight as it grows, to the user needs.

 

I wonder how much they actually crunch that information?

For instance, in the past it has been some concern by folks here, and elsewhere, whenever an airplane that was basic only, ie no virtual cockpit, was released and offered for sale as DLC. The concern being, if folks buy that plane, it would send a message to MS that it is ok to release aircraft like that, as folks would buy it.

 

But I am thinking they probably would not stop there. For instance, in the case of some of the previous sims, there were many I am sure that purchased, and then shelved the product. I guess no real way to know how many in that case. But now, they do know.

I will give myself as an example. The only basic version plane I have purchased, is the P51. Ok ,that is a sell for them. However, in the overall picture of my Flight installation, and flying, that P51 has seen very, very little flight time. In fact, it probably does not even have over an hour on it - and I bought it weeks ago. And I have to date logged 104 hours in Flight.

 

Now, if I were to look at what I was flying, the majority of those hours would be in the Maule. Rightfully so, it is my favorite. Second would be the Stearman, third would be the RV6, followed by the Icon in fourth, and last - the P51.

 

So if MS were analyzing that data, they way I actually use the Flight program, it would be apparent to them that I much prefer to fly in the Maule, flying jobs, truly simulating the act of flying as best I can.

Same with say the folks using it primarily to fly VOR - perhaps they are seeing that is getting a lot of attention, or aerocache hunting.

 

Anyway, just thinking and wondering aloud here.

I know there are some on the Flight team that read this forum, if any of you wants to chime in and share any info on this, feel free to!! :smile:

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From the little that has been mentioned, Don, it seems that MGS has reams and reams of data every day on game usage. They know what airplanes we use, for how long, for what type of activities, if we use the checklist, or flaps, or mixture. They know where we fly, if we start in the air or on the runway, if we bother to land. They can see our Multiplayer activity, whether we prefer Jobs, the Gold Rushes, the Landing Challenges. They even see if we get busted too often on the Clandestine Missions.

 

Not only can they see our current usage, but they had already extensively tested the game long before release in focus groups (probably through Microsoft Playtest) and done surveys and market studies.

 

So, they most likely already knew that people would buy airplanes without cockpits, that while many would miss Real Weather, most would still fly in Themes, that Logbooks were not essential, etc.

 

This kind of real-time data collection and analysis of all usage is probably one of the major advances in software development. And something that few of us realize.

 

Unfortunately, they do not release that data and so most of us are probably making all kinds of unjustified assumptions. I have recently been thinking about asking Jeroen to make a poll here so that we can see our usage. Obviously, this would not be as statistically relevant as what MGS has at their disposal, but it might give us a better idea of the reality.

 

Best regards.

Luis

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Now, if I were to look at what I was flying, the majority of those hours would be in the Maule. Rightfully so, it is my favorite. Second would be the Stearman, third would be the RV6, followed by the Icon in fourth, and last - the P51.

 

That's interesting because my preferences are almost opposite. My favourite is the RV-6 followed by the Icon, Stearman then the Maule. I have the P51 from the Steam bundle and fly it occasionally but not as much as the others.

 

With the Maule, I find it is always turning a bit to the left (especially if the wind is coming from the right) and requires constant correction (even in light wind) which is tiring especially on longer flights and makes it difficult to look up at a map or VOR info because I can't take my hands off the yoke otherwise it starts changing heading. I tried setting the rudder trim using the handle in the cockpit to try to counteract this but setting it to the smallest amount of 1% right made it turn right way too much! I wonder if there is a way to calibrate the rudder trim? Does the Maule drift for you? Perhaps I am doing something wrong? I don't have this issue at all with the other planes which is why the Maule is currently at the bottom of my favourite list.

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I had precisely the problem you describe with the Maule, immediate slow roll to the left, too small to be corrected by 1 degree trim adjustment, until I increased my joystick null zone in the config file. Turns out, my stick just doesn't quite center in Flight, I guess.

 

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I've found that you can trim the Maule to fly straight and level, no turning tendencies, by adjusting the throttle/mixture. Sometimes a bit more or less power, coupled with the elevator trim changes, is enough to get the plane to fly perfectly straight.

 

I left it alone for about 20 minutes tonight, and was still right on course when I got back to the computer.

 

Hook

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The big problem with a company like MS is there is a very long command and production chain. It takes months and months to change a design decision. If the cockpitless aircraft were a big failure, and they knew this day 1, it would be months before we would see any change of direction. That is if its did fail, and if it did, if they are committed to fixing the failure, or if they are committed to stay the course. Having a flexible design is a great therie, but its implementation in a big corporation is problematic at best.

Personally, I think the cockpitless aircraft are a failure. Im not going to insult anyone for flying them. The problem is they have extremely limited replay value. Once you have flown one, youll find there is not much to do with them. With something like the Maule and RV, you can learn VOR's, fly proper approaches, ILS, missions, passengers, cargo, and so on. The only thing you can do in the warbirds is fly around the island and look pretty. That gets boring very fast!!!

I just dont think the people who would be attracted to the cockpit ess aircraft will be there to support Flight for the long haul since there is such small replay value in them. I think they will get bored quickly and move on. Once that happens, your "casual" demographic has left, leaving you with the intermediate and hard core users, who you have already shunned and greatly angered. To me, that means Flight is painting themselves into a corner, one that im not sure they can get out of. Even if they realize there error, is it too late for them to change course?

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Gathering usage data is fine and all but of course (and I'm sure MS knows this too :wink: ) you can only measure the use of things that are actually there... MS can not measure how many people are missing a weather engine or ATC or a GPS or a bigger airplane...! So I think the data is mainly used to see if what has been released is working out alright: the only way to 'measure' wishes is listening to feedback.

 

Simply looking at which airplanes are used most right now won't result in those kinds of airplanes being produced more, I think. That would be a too simplistic approach, so it seems to me. If MS would do that we would be stuck with warbirds and planes like the Maule and RV-6A. :wink:

 

Do not forget that there is not much too conclude out of simply looking at what planes are used: I mean, I fly the Maule the most, almost 90% of the time right now. Does that mean I think it's the best plane and I want more of those? NO! I only fly that one because it's the only one that can do various jobs...! If I had the choice I'd be doing jobs with the RV-6A...! So there really is more to it all then just adding up numbers. :wink:

 

I think the usage data is just a part in the whole decision making scheme (or whatever you call that).

 

Making a poll as Luis suggests won't help very much because only a very small percentage of Flight-users visit this forum and those users all have a more then general interest in the game. Still, a poll would be interesting, just for fun. :wink: However, I wouldn't know what questions to put in that poll... Simply asking which plane you use most is too simple... Everyone can make a poll btw: you don't have to be a mod to do so.

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Does the Maule drift for you? Perhaps I am doing something wrong? I don't have this issue at all with the other planes which is why the Maule is currently at the bottom of my favourite list.

 

The only time the Maule wants to drift , or roll somewhat, to the left on me is during a climb.

Once I get to my cruising altitude and I am pointed toward my desitination, and I get my fuel mixture and rpm set and the pitch trimmed, it stays very straight for me. And I fly with the " low and threatening" weather theme, so I typically have winds around 16-19 knts or so at around 4K-5K ft.

If it happens to be a crosswind, it will eventually drift a little off course - but slowly, and easily corrected. But while cruising I can leave the pc for a few minutes , come back and still be pretty much on course.

 

As Hook mentioned in his post, part of it is getting the fuel mixture/prop rpm set for cruising, it really helps.

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Thanks RoboRay, LHookins, and dburne! I will try those suggestions out!

 

You are quite welcome, let us know how you make out!

 

I just flew another job in the Maule, once I got to cruise speed and had my prop rpm and fuel mixture adjusted, with flaps in reflex, I adjusted pitch as close as I could get. I was at the point it was either climbing slightly, or descending slightly, with one press on the pitch trim either way.

So while I had it climbing slightly, after all else had been adjusted, I then reduced the throttle to about 94%, and she leveled off beautifully.

 

Ahh, nothing like gazing back at the plane as one leaves after completing a cargo run...

 

Endofjob.jpg

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I never had a problem with pitch trim... it was the slow, uncorrectable roll Sig is describing.

 

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I never had a problem with pitch trim... it was the slow, uncorrectable roll Sig is describing.

 

Hmm, now that has not been a problem for me at all - as I mentioned previously, the only time the Maule was to roll left on me is during the climb out. Once I get fairly level and cruising, it tracks straight for me.

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