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Jimmy RFR

High expectations vs. customer satisfaction

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It's been very interesting to follow the two 'hot' threads about both the Twin Otter Extended and the Flight1 B200.  I've taken part in them both, since my interest in following those threads is due to purchasing both planes.

 

While you can't really compare the two planes, the threads are somewhat similar in that they both have extended discussions about perceived shortcomings in the products.  This invariably turns into a debate where one side wants every perceived issue fixed, while the other side claims that we should be grateful to the developers and/or "you get what you pay for".

 

I find it interesting, because it's a continuing issue - with each (stellar) release, the various developers keep pushing the bar so far up that our expectations keep rising and rising - eventually becoming too high for any developer to ever meet.  We all want a "perfect" plane, with zero faults, zero issues (and all the fps!).  Is this even possible?  I doubt it; as has been pointed out in both threads, there are trade-offs required in almost every aspect of FSX.

 

I do see both sides of the argument:

 

I feel sorry for the developers.  Our expectations are almost always too high, especially for inexpensive software running on a very dated platform.  Too many of the discussions about new products turn negative - which I'm sure drives the developers to distance themselves from the community they serve.

 

But, I also feel that we should never ever stifle criticism of a product we pay for - as a customer, I feel we have a right to voice our complaints or opinions.  I generally save my gratefulness for those things that are given to me.  These things aren't.

 

I, for one, need to know my opinions matter to the people who receive my hard-earned money.  If I am dissatisfied with something, I would like to air it - not out of spite, but in hopes that the reason for my dissatisfaction may get fixed.  To be honest, I want to give these developers my money; I am happy to do so.  But in return, I never wish to be told to feel that I should just take what I get and be happy with it.

 

So rather than have threads about a new product descend into complaining while ignoring all the numerous positive qualities - or equally as bad, give pure praise while ignoring or withholding comment on what may be unsatisfactory - how should a conversation about a product move forward while avoiding both pitfalls?  Is it possible?

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uh oh.  I better steer clear of this discussion (I probably won't be able to, but I'll try as hard as I can! :lol: )

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The way i see it is that you cant keep everyone happy all the time so there is no point trying so developers should always carry on as normal.

 

Make a really nice procduct, release it then fix the bugs but dont take to long doing this, add more content/features in future service packs if the budget allows :)

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Considering how expensive addons have become criticism should be allowed. For some reason I have often seen forum users on each others throat when it comes to a quality and/or price discussion.

One strange attitude (from my perspective) is that some people say that we, the customers, have to keep the developers happy. Paying high prices and being grateful for what we get and so on.

 

I may be old fashioned and  conservative in this regard but I think that it should be the other way around. No addon will ever be perfect, but if you, lets say pay $ 60 for an addon, you should be allowed to expect something. As long as criticism stays reasonable and constructive it should be allowed in my opinion. And I have often seen that this leads to fixes/patches and a better product...

 

 

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Considering how expensive addons have become criticism should be allowed.

 

In general addons aren't that much more expensive than they were 5 years ago although quality has risen significantly. I think nowadays many developers do more for same amount of money than they did some years ago. 

 

But yeah criticism should be allowed, however it should also be accepted that not every developer has the time and money to do everything in extremely high, PMDG like quality. 

 

Also I think one should not expect anything based on the price of a product but rather based on what is promised, if someone wants to sell average freeware quality stuff for 70 dollars there's nothing wrong with that as long as the developer makes it clear to the customer what to expect. 

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Most of the time, purchaser's criticism seems to fall into two main categories.

(1) Inaccuracy of the modeling of systems (often due the the limitations of FSX)

(2) Bugs, that are often simple mistakes, that the developer overlooked, or were not caught in beta testing.

What frustrates me the most, is to see "(2) Bugs, that are often simple mistakes", not being fixed by the developer and released in a timely update.
Even worse, the reported bugs, that have not been corrected then appearing in later products from that developer.

I am not going to mention any names .. no need -- as you read this, I suspect you already have a name (or two) buzzing around in your head.  :fool:

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Most of the time, purchaser's criticism seems to fall into two main categories.

 

(1) Inaccuracy of the modeling of systems (often due the the limitations of FSX)

 

(2) Bugs, that are often simple mistakes, that the developer overlooked, or were not caught in beta testing.

 

What frustrates me the most, is to see "(2) Bugs, that are often simple mistakes", not being fixed by the developer and released in a timely update.

Even worse, the reported bugs, that have not been corrected then appearing in later products from that developer.

 

I am not going to mention any names .. no need -- as you read this, I suspect you already have a name (or two) buzzing around in your head.  :fool:

 

 

I only get upset when I buy a plane that is billed as HIGHLY ACCURATE and the systems modeling is full of compromise and " AHHH F it they will not notice"

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Two words: Caveat Emptor.

 

Which means the only way buyers will know what they are buying is by reading the comments (positive and negative) from those who have already bought the product. Look before you leap.

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Which means the only way buyers will know what they are buying is by reading the comments (positive and negative) from those who have already bought the product. Look before you leap.

Exactly.

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Which means the only way buyers will know what they are buying is by reading the comments (positive and negative) from those who have already bought the product. Look before you leap.

 

 

Again, that boils down to the "perceived" part of the discussion. What is an issue to one will not  be to another. I never go by anyone single review on any addon, because usually half the people have issues with something that I didn't .

 

I am all for pointing out issues, but how many times have we seen in the forums that users really have no common sense and lack a little tact. Posts like "this is crap, the developer should quit, not better than freeware" are more common than not, yeah, we are going to take you seriously talking like that, please.

 

Everyone has there own pet peeves and things they want included in an addon, probably why freeware isn't as prevalent as it used to be, to many expectations, reasonable or not. Personally I could care less about systems depth, i want visuals that create a realistic immersion for the sim experience. I also want a realistic looking 3D copilot, I am sick of sitting in an empty plane. Which means for me, you can lose the glass and throw in some extras polys next to me, LOL.

I sometimes wish developers never went outside the box with systems modeling, then everything would be the same as default and there would be no issues. As is stands now, if a plane comes out with default, following the SDK systems, it is lacking in many simmers eyes, unbelievable.

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Then you have people like me who don't want all this extensive systems modeling, who have to listen to endless realms of crap being poured on what I consider to be otherwise solid products because people feel entitled to A2A/Pmdg on every release.

 

On another note, we will have in a week a release of FTX Global.  A very highly anticipated product.  one that the dev has been very forthcoming about what the limitations of it are.  yet judging by the commentary here and on orbx's forum:  1) a ton of people are going to buy it.  and  2)very few of those people have a good idea about what it does.   Popcorn is ready.

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Not that complicated for me...while I don't own the planes....any plane you pay $60 for raises the bar and invites purchasers to offer constructive criticisms on how to improve the products.

 

I just bought a place from CR1 the other day...cost me $6 bucks...I have absolutely no criticisms because of the level of investment.


Then you have people like me who don't want all this extensive systems modeling, who have to listen to endless realms of crap being poured on what I consider to be otherwise solid products because people feel entitled to A2A/Pmdg on every release.

 

On another note, we will have in a week a release of FTX Global.  A very highly anticipated product.  one that the dev has been very forthcoming about what the limitations of it are.  yet judging by the commentary here and on orbx's forum:  1) a ton of people are going to buy it.  and  2)very few of those people have a good idea about what it does.   Popcorn is ready.

 

 

I am glad that I have learned much of the SDK and understand how the sims architecture works therefore I do understand what it is I will be getting and what the limitations are and therefore you won't be getting complaints from me unless there are major issues and it doesn't live within its stated product offerings.

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Interesting subject and a good post, Jimmy.

We have a saying in my country (and many other English-speaking countries too).... it goes:-

"Cutting off your nose, to spite your face".

It refers to those that grip onto their principals and 'standards' so aggressively and inflexibly that they ultimately suffer from that grip, themselves.

Some people do appear quite extreme about their standards, and how they "won't touch this and that, because the Yaw Damper button is the wrong shape, etc, etc", and whilst I may sometimes agree on some fundamental common points of weakness, some people take it really far.

Ultimately, as I said on one of the other threads, only they lose out of the fun.

And so be it. :smile:

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Some people do appear quite extreme about their standards, and how they "won't touch this and that, because the Yaw Damper button is the wrong shape, etc, etc", and whilst I may sometimes agree on some fundamental common points of weakness, some people take it really far.

Ultimately, as I said on one of the other threads, only they lose out of the fun.

And so be it. :smile:

 

Exactly, I don't mind if the ** A320 is not 100% correct,as long as I can enjoy a flight.

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I don't recall reading any threads lately in which somebody was complaining about something so trivial as a "misshapen Yaw Damper."  

 

Customers and potential customers have a right to air their concerns and wishes.  Its what a discussion forum is about.  Just because person A thinks something is trivial doesn't mean that person B will.  When a product is released it has to run the gauntlet of consumer opinion and people get to make a choice.  Developers can read what is said and decide if they want to fix something, or they can ignore it.

 

The person who decides that they won't like a particular product because of bug X, or the lack of feature Y, isn't missing out on any fun at all.  If they won't like a product, then what will they be missing out on?  In fact, they are sparing themself the frustration.

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It's an example to emphasise the point.(not an actual example),

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It's an example to emphasise the point.(not an actual example),

 

Understood, but let it be said that Q400 was substituting a trivial, hypothetical example to stand in for what was actually being discussed in those two threads in question.  That ain't fair to reduce somebodies (mine) valid concerns like that....

 

I think some people need to start understanding that critisicm is a valid and necessary part of the marketplace.  If all anybody ever did was praise hallelooya every time some plane is released, and make auto-purchases, there would never be any incentive for a developer to fix anything.  In the end, I think a lot of airplanes become better for everybody as a result of discussions like that on Avsim and other places, and unfortunately that means that sometimes a staunch fan of a particular airplane doesn't always like what somebody else has to say.  But that  is the way it is.

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Yes, a two-sided street.  Buyer beware (ie: do your research, read reviews, study user's comments), while on the other side the developer must manage the customer's expectations.  If the developer say this is "the most detailed", or "every system modeled" you are just opening up yourself to a world of hurt.  Best to describe what the the add-on has and maybe even what it does not have.  More information - less headaches I would think after the sale.

 

I think ORBX has done a great job of this with their upcoming world landclass so it will be interesting to read the negative comments.  Don't forget, just like how some developers can gain a bad reputation so can users with regards of not only what they say but how they say it. 

 

It's a great hobby.  Let's keep it that way.

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I will gripe about flight issues on the main forums all day long.

 

I usually take other issues to the developers forum.

 

Since flight is what we are simulating flight related issues will get complaints from me.

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I think a lot of this is the old glass of water half full or half empty mentality.

 

I've been doing this flight sim thing since the first version of flight sim 1.0 came out back in the 1970s. When I fly now I'm just amazed how realistic the overall experience really is. What gets me is how many folks expect absolute realism. If that is your expectation you're just a dog chasing his tail. Just slow down and smell the roses and realize what we do have. Afterall, even a professional sim used by the military or the airlines has it's limitations too.

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I think a lot of this is the old glass of water half full or half empty mentality.

 

I've been doing this flight sim thing since the first version of flight sim 1.0 came out back in the 1970s. When I fly now I'm just amazed how realistic the overall experience really is. What gets me is how many folks expect absolute realism. If that is your expectation you're just a dog chasing his tail. Just slow down and smell the roses and realize what we do have. Afterall, even a professional sim used by the military or the airlines has it's limitations too

You only have to look at F-16 Combat Pilot to see the difference,that was amazing stuff!

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I've noticed  that some people seem to think of their flight simulator as a collection of parts, each of which can be evaluated independent of each other.  You can have a plane that is excellent in 5 different ways, but only terrible in 1, and so that comes out as a +4.

 

I see my fs setup as a carefully balanced system of hardware, network, environment, addons, and airplane systems all working in harmony with each other to provide a system that supensds disbelief.  I look at problems that arise not so much from an individual standpoint, but more in how they affect the balance of the entire experience.  I am likely to prefer a plane that is merely good all around instead of excellent in some ways but mediocre in others.  Peaks and valleys where the immersion is lost in the valleys is not to my liking, no matter how lofty the peaks may be.  I'm not going to likely reject an addon for something smallish but even small things can add up really fast when viewing your flight simulator in this way.

 

When it comes to discussions, I think this can sometimes lead to some meaness between members who are coming from different ends of that spectrum, who might not understand the signifigance I'm putting on a particular item, or to frustration with developers who appear to have designed their airplane for "the other guy."

 

I find it interesting that there are a lot of people who actually desire more simplicity and less detail in a new airplane.  I hadn't thought about that aspect much before.

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I find it interesting that there are a lot of people who actually desire more simplicity and less detail in a new airplane.  I hadn't thought about that aspect much before.

Yep, I'm one of those.  Don't get me wrong,  what companies like PMDG and A2A do is phenomenal, and I respect it, to be honest, I wish I could invest the time to be able to fly things like the NGX, because I'm sure that at some level it's rewarding.  However, I am likely never to buy one of either company's products,  I'm not after real flight training, I don't have time to train myself to be able to use them properly, and these are furthermore some of the most expensive addons as well.  Now, I'm not bitter about them existing, If you guys love that level of detail, more power to you.  I will be upset though, if someone makes an aircraft that fits my level of detail, does it well, and ends up getting slagged off by the avsim community because it doesn't model every switch of the original.

 

I haven't bought any of their aircraft, but I've been intrigued by the Alabeo stuff.  decent looking, good flying, low maintenance addon aircraft for around 20 bucks each.  while the parent company makes more detailed models for more (No, I'm not comparing Carenado to A2A, but their aircraft have more detailed systems than Alabeo)  I have no trouble imagining that a market exists for such models of commercial and business aircraft as well.  It pains me that I've waited for years for a good Dash-8 and now that it's here, its systems heavy, and 70 bucks.

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I have recently adopted a 30 day "cooling off" period before I buy, and now also if I see a developer immediately list a brand new model on their "Completed Projects" page on their own website (there just seems to be some danger there, re: caveat emptor) then I am from now own going to wait 90 days before considering purchase.

 

What I would like to see from developers is a low entry price, post-beta, quality-check release to "X" number (finite number) of customers, each of who accept a license agreement that stipulates understanding of a post-beta, still-in-final-testing purchase environment that allows complete cost-free progression to the final product upon completion of development. That followed by an intense and ultra timely development period to accept identification of issues and remedy of the same.

 

I have begun to loath SP1's and SP2's that closely follow or are customer-demanded after initial release.

 

Since October 1, 2012 I estimate I have spend more hours at the "customer service" request of multiple developers than I have logged flying hours, all to document issues, go through countless uninstall/reinstall cycles, and numerous other dead-end requests, only to find those issues fixed by SP1's and SP2's.

 

No Mas!!!!!

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