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bob.bernstein

Maybe I'm just too picky

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Before I issue a complaint here are my bona fides: a one time PPL many years ago (don't ask :-) ), but pre family and kids. Started simming right away with SubLogic/Bruce Artwick and a 286 which should date me well. While not a professional in computing, I do use computing extensively in my professional field (science) and have been associated with computers in terms of programming, etc. since the paper tape era (again dating myself). The past 8 years were spent with x-plane and FLY. A new computer this past summer switched me back to MSFS which I have found to have finally lived up to its initial promise. No real issues here. My complaint: where is the quality control for payware aircraft? I've now bought about 6 payware planes at an average cost of $25-30. Not much per plane, but soon adds up to the $100's . With one very notable exception, all have been buggy either in terms of features, interaction with FS, or strange flight models. Further, the companies without exception, have all blamed my setup, my system, me, when I have noted these bugs. All of these planes received good reviews here and elsewhere. A 17% satisfaction rate tells me a lot of people are out just to make a quick buck off our hobby. My only recourse would be to just stick with the one company that I've had great luck with, but they produce only one type of aircraft. Which brings me to my subject heading: am I too picky to expect something I pay for to have reasonable level of quality and support? Anyone else with similar experience? Mike

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The quality control does exist. Search both all the general flightsim forums and the support forums of the company. Also, download and read any and all documentation. Still have questions about features or functionality? Ask! So many problems people have could be prevented by a little simple research ahead of time. Some people would never bother to read a company's support forums until they have a problem. Look there ahead of time and see what issues people are having.

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Hi Mike,I can appreciate it where you come from. I can remember dozens of threads where some supporters of Microsoft kept denying problems existed in the Sim just because they were not experiencing the same problems.Low and behold Microsoft issued a Patch, but of course, no mea culpas from all those who said people's systems were to blame instead of the product.The truth of the matter is this. each product works great on whatever computer it was tested on before release. While it is not very likely that payware developers will test on every system, some go to great lengths to test it on quite a few.But yes, almost all will blame it on your setup, system, etc.... Instead of trying to help you out, they will say reformat your drive install only MSFS in its default condition, install their product, and it will work, or then they will help you. It is a very common defense called pass the buck. Unfortunately it is inherent in almost all software, not just our hobby.Instead of buying Payware right off, maybe try some of the higher quality Freeware aircraft the Library at Avsim Holds. And there is much. And the quality on some of it is excellant and is better than some payware stuff, IMHO.But more specifically, let us know here in the forums what problems you are having, and let the community try and help you out. We would need to know system setup, what you ahve installed, slider settings, etc....Sometimes, the community can be a great resource. That is what we're here for.Regards,Joe

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you don't suppose it's possible that maybe the problem is your system or setup? I've got six or seven payware planes ranging from the very basic Decathlon and Archer to the very complex Meridian and ATR and ftmp they have all performed as expected and cuased me very little grief. The ATR has had some issues with it's FMC but Flight1 has been diligently working to rectify those. Overall I'd say I'm at about a 90% satisfaction level.I guess the answer to your question depends on your definition of "reasonable level of quality and support." I've had only one dissappointing experience (the dev folded shortly after I purchased the add-on). In every other case the quality of the product has been superb, and the support has been excellent - much better than the level of support you find in the general gaming industry actually.

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To me, the trend seems to be that a lot of commercial releases tend to almost feel like "Public Betas". Even with some of the larger company releases there are updates, patches, or fixes uploaded or in the works right after a release is made.Maybe it's due to the ever increasing complexity of the models, the "pickyness" of the end-user, or just plain oversite on the producer. So whenever I see something interesting I want, I just force myself to wait for the reviews, read the forums, and just bide my time until I feel comfortable to make the purchase. This can take weeks or even a month or two.Sad thing is by then I usually pass on the product as the initial excitement has long gone and I see I can still happily sim along without this "must have" add-on.

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The easiest way to get quality control is for developers to provide, in whatever form they wish, a try before you buy version of their products. But when I suggested this a while back now I received several replies pooh poohing the idea as not possible to do. Cobblers - it is possible to do if the will is there.There are several products I would not have bought if I had been able to try them out first. Now I no longer bother with payware - except from one or two really excellent developers whose quality I know personally - as some of the freeware offerings are much, much better.David

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The vast majority of complaints addon companies get are from users who either don't read the manual and blame their frustration on the product or from users who have incorrect expectations from the product (for example, a recent complaint about the F1 Golden Eagle about it not having spoilers, something very few Golden Eagles feature and the exact aircraft modelled (which is flown by Tom Main) does not).A smaller but still significant subgroup of complaints are from people who think they know how the real aircraft should behave based on some incorrect earlier FS model (usually freeware) and therefore think a correct flightmodel supplied with a payware model must be wrong.Finally there's the group of pathological nitpickers who will find fault in everything and anything however minute and blow it way out of proportion. I classify this as the "the doohicky is the wrong shade of pink" complaints.Then there are the valid problems, most of which are actually caused by the user's system responding to the product in ways which were not encountered during testing. Those problems are taken very seriously and either resolved or the customer is usually refunded.Of course there are some less than serious companies who have far worse products and/or customer support than does Flight1.

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I did try to research many of the products before purchase. As was mentioned, the 'pass the buck' syndrome is what irks me most; besides much of the work does look like 'betas'. I can understand that a product may have some issues, especially at $25 price range. What I can't understand is a producer not being willing to see that perhaps a problem exists. As I was trying to show in my orginal post, I know a lot about computing and also flight simming. So, for a producer to immediately blame me or the way I've set up my system is a total cop-out. An example: one particular plane defied physics. It would continue a climb at the same rate of fpm even though the throttle was pulled back and the airspeed was decreasing. The producer told me it was 1) my system, until another user confirmed the behavior, then 2) said I didn't understand flight dynamics. I fixed the problem myself by a simple tweak in the aircraft cfg file. There is some great freeware. My most recent favorite which is excellent is the Aero Commander by Milton Shupe. Truly outstanding, and I would pay for this one! ;-) Mike

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Excellent points Jeroen. I agree with everything you said. First, I think what some of us forget is that development of payware is done by companies much smaller than Microsoft (and they still put out a product with bugs). That being said, they are limited to what they can test even with many beta testers. There is just no way to replicate every system to check faults. When a dev. gets news of a potential problem, if they can't duplicate it with the exact same conditions, it is reasonable to deduce that it must be the users system. The only way to trump that conclusion is to see the same problem from many people, and identify the common links that could point to the problem. When that happens, every established and "decent" developer will try to come up with a solution (a patch).Secondly, we have to remember that producing a payware product is a delicate balancing act between getting the product out the door (because we all inundate thier mailboxes with, "when is it coming!") and producing a perfect product. [if we had to wait for the perfect product there'd be a 2 year wait and then they'd have to fix new MS version problems.] I submit that every company does this balancing act, and to satisfy as many people as possible, sometimes things get overlooked. At least most are willing to patch the product to make things right.Bottom line, no product is perfect (at least that I've seen) but you can tell the difference between the premium developers from the rest by how they handle their product's issues after it hits the market. JM2C

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Sometimes its worthwile to look at things from the devs perspective. If you had developed an add-on, had a few dozen people beta-test it through-out the development cycle, and then sold 1000 or 1200 copies of the product (to what would have to be considered a fairly knowledgeable clientelle) and then 2 or 3 or 5 people appear complaining about an issue like the one you mention which hadn't been noted previously, wouldn't your first suspicion be a problem on the users end? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying theres never occasions where the dev is at fualt becuase of course there are. But if only a few people who've bought a given product are suffering a given problem it's not that surprising that the dev might suspect system issues, and its also not surprising the issue might have slipped thru the beta test.

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He should be flattered with that mistake in identities. Last "airplane" that he flew that I know of, was a paper airplane out the window of the hospitality suite at the convention in Denver. And even then I think he got the pitch angles wrong, and the folds weren't in the correct locations (and there was a frame rate issue too if I remember correctly). :)

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Well you didn't mention which addon aircraft you bought.I have aircraft from various publishers/developers. Some are better, some are worse. My favourite ones come from (in no order):DreamfleetFSDAerosoft (their Katana in particular)RealAirBill and Lynn LyonsIf you bought an aircraft from one of them and was not satisfied then yes, you're too picky :) Or, there actually *is* a problem with your setup.Others are not quite as good. Before I purchase something from a "new" developer I try to find and read posts from others who have already bought the addon before I decide.What kind of problems and "bugs" do you actually experience? You mention in your rather vague description: "strange" flight models - as a scientist you should know that no simulation is perfect and especially not one that runs inside Microsoft's $60 game. So, no addon will fly exactly like the real plane. Does this mean the flight model is "strange"? No, it can still be very good, within the limitations of the host sim it runs on.

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LOL....this is so predictable.There are excellent ones and real bad ones. Yes, they are existing. And it is laughble that this is denied by some. I remember I have bought a Twotter once that flew like a crossing of a fighter jet and a balloon. Of course nothing was wrong with it according to the dev. And than I have the CM from Flight1 and Dreamfleet which I liked enough to build a whole cockpit around it.Alex

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>He should be flattered with that mistake in identities. Last>"airplane" that he flew that I know of, was a paper airplane>out the window of the hospitality suite at the convention in>Denver. And even then I think he got the pitch angles wrong,>and the folds weren't in the correct locations (and there was>a frame rate issue too if I remember correctly). :)Allensworth. You 'da man! :-lol Jim

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