Cruachan

BM Support discussion

Recommended Posts

Hi Richard,

ORBX FTX Global Vector does have a significant impact on performance. However, as always, it depends on where you fly and what features you choose to have active. 

There is a worthy alternative: Black Marble Base/Vector. When you have time I recommend you take a look at what it has to offer. Also there are compatibility patches with ORBX now available. I installed FTX Germany South last night and enjoyed a spell-blindingly wonderful evening flight out of Fussen and performance remained fluid throughout. I lock at 31fps with VSync ON so rarely look at the raw fluctuating frame rate counter these days. On this occasion I was curious and it was up in the 60s and 70s. Again, a word of caution, quoted frame rates are only ever helpful when provided in proper context. It's a pity we don't have a shorthand way of including all our settings and relevant Addons in our signatures. That would go a long way towards helping to eliminate some of the recurring misinformation appearing on these forums.

Regards,

Mike

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

32 minutes ago, Cruachan said:

ORBX FTX Global Vector does have a significant impact on performance. However, as always, it depends on where you fly and what features you choose to have active.

OK, good to know meaning I will be a bit cautious enabling stuff in Vector. Would have been nice to know if there are any particular features in Vectors to avoid to save some FPS. Guess I'll do some testing myself later on.

33 minutes ago, Cruachan said:

There is a worthy alternative: Black Marble Base/Vector.

Don't have time to look into it right now but I though that was mainly for night time flying?

Personally I rarely fly at night since I find it much more rewarding from a visual point of view to fly during daylight being able to see everything around you.

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, WebMaximus said:

OK, good to know meaning I will be a bit cautious enabling stuff in Vector. Would have been nice to know if there are any particular features in Vectors to avoid to save some FPS. Guess I'll do some testing myself later on.

Don't have time to look into it right now but I though that was mainly for night time flying?

Personally I rarely fly at night since I find it much more rewarding from a visual point of view to fly during daylight being able to see everything around you.

Hi Richard,

Concerning FTX Vector Rob has kindly provided us with a good starting set of choices that minimise the impact on performance: http://www.robainscough.com/P3D_Orbx_Vector_Settings.html 

These recommended options are still relevant in Prepar3D v4.

Black Marble Vector incorporates comprehensive worldwide roadway coverage and their placement, we understand, is more accurate than that provided by ORBX Vector. Depending on your configuration all roads are now visible during the daytime, which is a huge plus! Measures have been taken to ensure optimum compatibility and, in this respect, ORBX have shown a laudable willingness to be helpful. That way you can keep their coastlines while enjoying everything else BM has to offer. 

For me, Night Flights have become irresistible. It's a truly amazing accomplishment!

Regards,

Mike

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, Cruachan said:

Black Marble Vector incorporates comprehensive worldwide roadway coverage and their placement, we understand, is more accurate than that provided by ORBX Vector.

 

Sounds interesting ...

Too bad, that "only 3 month of free support" policy is with his products.

A no go for me!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, guenseli said:

 

Sounds interesting ...

Too bad, that "only 3 month of free support" policy is with his products.

A no go for me!

Buy the support and you’re good -.-

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, swiesma said:

Buy the support and you’re good

 

No, will never support such a business concept in flight simulation.

But we're going off topic ...

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, guenseli said:

 

No, will never support such a business concept in flight simulation.

But we're going off topic ...

Hi Guenter,

Ask yourself how much true 24/7/365 support is provided by other Developers? Admittedly there are a few who will spend some time out of their busy schedules to help their customers, but mostly they will set up dedicated forums with the hope that other users will be easing the load. Look what happened to PTA and Its Developer, 'KNOSSOS'. In the end the responsibility he felt for Support provision proved to be just too much. The popularity of his product was such that the user base grew very quickly and, inevitably, the ever increasing demands for his time became unmanageable. He decided, very sensibly in my opinion, to pass this responsibility on to another. PTA is now Payware and it is quite likely that a reasonable supplemental one-off cost for the provision of occasional Developer Support has been factored into the purchase price. The dedicated PTA forum remains as backup.

Those of us who own some or all of the Black Marble products are happy in the knowledge that the Developer is very responsive and willing to be helpful. Yes, initial support is free for the first 3 months and, for many, that will be more than sufficient time to sort out any issues. However, for a small additional sum you can purchase 2 years of reassurance (renewable) that rock solid assistance will always be at hand, covering ALL the BM products, from someone whose specialist knowledge can help resolve issues quickly. To me that seems to be a good deal and, what's more, I appreciate the Developer's honesty in being up front about this side of the sale, which is optional, and the responsibility he feels for the provision of value Support.

Also, let's not forget that while he too has his own Website and forums for the purposes of feedback and support provision, such valued instruments are not free and have to be paid for. Again, ask yourself how many who visit the AVSIM forums  have become regular donors to ensure its continued existence? The figures speak for themselves and there is always a substantial annual shortfall. Carrying advertisements undoubtedly helps but Is unlikely to cover all costs. So, who pays the balance of what is needed to keep the show on the road? We have every reason to be grateful that others are always willing to step up when, for whatever reason, we remain reluctant or unable to do so.

Regards,

Mike

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Mike, I thought the concern here was where support is not a particular requirement of use, like for example an addon installs some textures and scenery, no support required if it installs in the right place. I think the support problem is one attempting to be avoided. It's more of a problem to deal with the myriad of situations found due to the complex flight-sim infrastructure and the way things build up into problems on the PC. Fair to charge for that if you can.

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, Cruachan said:

...
Again, a word of caution, quoted frame rates are only ever helpful when provided in proper context. It's a pity we don't have a shorthand way of including all our settings and relevant Addons in our signatures. That would go a long way towards helping to eliminate some of the recurring misinformation appearing on these forums.
...

Amen.

Especially the resolution used in P3D is VERY important but nearly everbody is missing this vital information. All this infos, tweaks etc. means shi*t if we don't know the used resolution.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm so upset by this behave to charge for support when I sell a 160$ software that I see no sense to argue against.

Chris Bell could do what he wants and charge what he wants. In the end, the market will tell.

 

I do not want to be offtopic here any longer, sorry.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

Not to mention in the EU you can't sell a product without support, at least for the first six months you have to provide free customer support.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Cruachan said:

Hi Guenter,

Ask yourself how much true 24/7/365 support is provided by other Developers? Admittedly there are a few who will spend some time out of their busy schedules to help their customers, but mostly they will set up dedicated forums with the hope that other users will be easing the load. Look what happened to PTA and Its Developer, 'KNOSSOS'. In the end the responsibility he felt for Support provision proved to be just too much. The popularity of his product was such that the user base grew very quickly and, inevitably, the ever increasing demands for his time became unmanageable. He decided, very sensibly in my opinion, to pass this responsibility on to another. PTA is now Payware and it is quite likely that a reasonable supplemental one-off cost for the provision of occasional Developer Support has been factored into the purchase price. The dedicated PTA forum remains as backup.

Those of us who own some or all of the Black Marble products are happy in the knowledge that the Developer is very responsive and willing to be helpful. Yes, initial support is free for the first 3 months and, for many, that will be more than sufficient time to sort out any issues. However, for a small additional sum you can purchase 2 years of reassurance (renewable) that rock solid assistance will always be at hand, covering ALL the BM products, from someone whose specialist knowledge can help resolve issues quickly. To me that seems to be a good deal and, what's more, I appreciate the Developer's honesty in being up front about this side of the sale, which is optional, and the responsibility he feels for the provision of value Support.

Also, let's not forget that while he too has his own Website and forums for the purposes of feedback and support provision, such valued instruments are not free and have to be paid for. Again, ask yourself how many who visit the AVSIM forums  have become regular donors to ensure its continued existence? The figures speak for themselves and there is always a substantial annual shortfall. Carrying advertisements undoubtedly helps but Is unlikely to cover all costs. So, who pays the balance of what is needed to keep the show on the road? We have every reason to be grateful that others are always willing to step up when, for whatever reason, we remain reluctant or unable to do so.

Regards,

Mike

Nice try at the justification Mike but I’m guessing you are in the minority. Orbx, pmdg, aerosoft, nobody charges for support. If they did it would be uproar as it should be here. Even realair who have gone out of business still offer free support for old customers. 

If that means setting up a support forum where users take some of the load then so be it. It seems to work well for all the other vendors. Why does Chris Bell believe his product and circumstance dictate otherwise? I guess at the end of the day the market will speak but he won’t get a cent out of me. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, guenseli said:

 

No, will never support such a business concept in flight simulation.

But we're going off topic ...

„Such a business model“ - paying for other people’s work? Well. Ok. But then stop complaining. 

Or do you work for free? Guess not. 

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, GHarrall said:

Nice try at the justification Mike but I’m guessing you are in the minority. Orbx, pmdg, aerosoft, nobody charges for support. If they did it would be uproar as it should be here. Even realair who have gone out of business still offer free support for old customers. 

If that means setting up a support forum where users take some of the load then so be it. It seems to work well for all the other vendors. Why does Chris Bell believe his product and circumstance dictate otherwise? I guess at the end of the day the market will speak but he won’t get a cent out of me. 

Yeah. Other companies simply add these costs to their product prices. Chris should charge 20% more and remove the support fee. Then this whining over some Euros would stop. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, swiesma said:

Or do you work for free?

 

I do not and Chris does also not ... remember the initial costs of Black Marble?

Please ask if PMDG, FSLabs, A2A, Aerosoft, JustFlight ... oh and all others ...  do work for free!

 

 

As I said. I will not support it.

And will now close this case on my side.

Share this post


Link to post
34 minutes ago, swiesma said:

Yeah. Other companies simply add these costs to their product prices. Chris should charge 20% more and remove the support fee. Then this whining over some Euros would stop. 

Well, if they do then the prices are all in line with each other. I don’t see any big discounts for lack of ongoing support in NE / black marble products. 

Sorry but this is a slippery slope. If it becomes acceptable then more will try and copy it. Prices won’t change but there will now be an addon “subscription” for support services. 

The current system that 99% of developers use seems to work just fine with a mix of direct and forum support from users. 

Share this post


Link to post

When the paid-for support contract runs out enquiries will gravitate toward other support portals and they will probably disallow discussions of such products.

Share this post


Link to post

It is pretty simple in my eyes: pay it or don’t pay it if it doesn’t suit you?!?

I didn’t pay it either but I am aware that I do not get support afterwards. 

Again. People here pay hundreds of dollars in software and then complain about 5€ support fee?! You guys make your life hard for no reason. But what do I care? There will be the same answers and the same whine again. It’s been the same for a lot of releases in the Not to distant past. 

Share this post


Link to post
23 minutes ago, GHarrall said:

Well, if they do then the prices are all in line with each other. I don’t see any big discounts for lack of ongoing support in NE / black marble products. 

Sorry but this is a slippery slope. If it becomes acceptable then more will try and copy it. Prices won’t change but there will now be an addon “subscription” for support services. 

The current system that 99% of developers use seems to work just fine with a mix of direct and forum support from users. 

Well. Then use the addons from 99% of other developers. Problem solved. 

His business model is like it is. And it won’t be changed because some people don’t like it I guess. 

Share this post


Link to post
17 minutes ago, swiesma said:

Well. Then use the addons from 99% of other developers. Problem solved. 

His business model is like it is. And it won’t be changed because some people don’t like it I guess. 

That's what I said in a previous post. I will repeat:

"The market will decide"

I also said "He wont get a cent from me"

So yes, problem was already solved for me. I am voting with my wallet.

Share this post


Link to post

Purchasing ongoing Black Marble support is an option. You do not have to enter into this contractual obligation and are still guaranteed free support for the first 3 months.

Okay we are arguing a principle here which, quite clearly, is exercising a few folk. Maybe, in the end, we will have to agree to disagree. When I think of the outlay on hardware and software incurred over the past few years I consider the paltry sum of $4.98 a small price to pay for the assurance of friendly and supportive assistance I can expect from Chris whenever it should prove necessary over the next two years.

Free support for 3 months should be more than enough for most people with a stable unchanging flight sim installation. However, as we all know the reality can sometimes be very different. For example, how many times have we been faced with broken or compromised products following an update of Prepar3D? I think we can all agree that Prepar3D has become an important part of our lives yet LM will rarely rush to our aid if an update causes compatibility problems with what we regard as being an essential Addon. Such issues are generally regarded as being the responsibility of the Developer of the Addon to sort out. There follows a period of community anx as we apply often unreasonable pressures on the luckless Developer/Development team to get a move on (not all Developers have privileged advance access to P3D) and they either have to field these complaints or simply ignore them - having made the choice not to join their Beta testing 'Fastlane' program I'm still waiting patiently for Objectflow 2 to materialise so I can reinstate all my airports. Now it seems very likely that this isn't going to happen until after the release of Prepar3D v4.1.

Things have moved on since the heady cottage industry of Addons for our favourite sims. As such, my feelings are towards accepting that our attitudes and 'rights' also need to change as we enter deeper into a more competitive commercial basis for the flight sim market. Some Addons prove to be very worthy additions to our sim, are backed by a large team of Developers and, one imagines, this popularity is reflected in their actual and potentially healthy cash returns. This ensures their survival in the medium to longer term and allows greater flexibility when it comes to offering 'free' support. The situation is not nearly as clear cut with other Developers whose numbers supporting a particular product may be as low as one. Can we imagine all those pressures being brought to bear on that individual who strives to protect the viability of their creation by warding off ill-informed and unwarranted knee-jerk criticism as their fledgling product settles in. Some are lucky and this settling in period progresses very smoothly. For complex Addons like the Black Marble project the situation is less clear as the Vector component raised compatibility issues with ORBX Vector. Solutions have been found and in this ORBX, having recognised the value added by Black Marble, proved to be extraordinarily helpful. Hopefully, this willingness to cooperate with a competing product bodes well for all of us and can only be encouraged.

If we expect any Developer to provide ongoing Support for the life of a Product beyond an initial free period, then I would expect to have to pay for it in the same way I might elect to buy additional insurance to cover a domestic household item in the event of a breakdown. I was given the option to purchase or decline further Support from the Developer of Black Marble beyond the initial free 3 month period. The sum involved was very small so, for me at least, the decision was a no brainer. If you allow this optional surcharge to act as a deterrent to purchase you are missing out big time on experiencing a truly remarkable product.

Many have said they don't enjoy the vanilla Night flying experience and prefer instead to stick to daytime flight. With Black Marble this has all changed. It offers a near perfect complimentary visual balance that hitherto was missing from Prepar3D. Ongoing helpful support to protect this experience is important to me and so I am prepared to pay the ridiculously small sum to ensure that Support is always available when I need it.

Mike

 

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

However, we're not talking about something that actually needs support, rather something like a DB system for a warehouse maybe would require paid-for support on a contractual basis. If we have to ask how to install a product into the sim, if that product invokes further input from the user, if that product alters the way other products work or the way the sim works - then that 'support' should be include in the price. Let's say they change to a different system, two support issues instead of a time limited deal. Imagine coming back to the product in a few months and find it requires 'massaging' to work and the support is ended.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, SteveW said:

Let's say they change to a different system, two support issues instead of a time limited deal. Imagine coming back to the product in a few months and find it requires 'massaging' to work and the support is ended.

In that scenario, Steve, I would be expecting a refund for the balance of my entitlement. Would I receive it? In the case of BM I am confident I would. In the case of others, one would hope so, but confess to feeling much less confident.

Regards, 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post

Not sure what you mean Mike. Do you mean you would want your two support issues refunded if not used? I mean they would be for the life of the product, rather than a time limited 'any amount' of calls.

Share this post


Link to post

Does support include updates or are updates no charge, regardless of whether you have support or not?

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now