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haldir

Multiplayer observer help

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In short, multiplayer intimates me. I am sure I am not alone.I would like to

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There is a multiplayer option in FSX Deluxe. Just login and join any available session.

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Hey Jareth. You asked some pretty good questions there so I'd like to help out if I can. This will probably be a long post so I hope I don't bore you. Haha.Multiplayer really is quite a bit of fun in FSX. The best way to go is just to dive in. In the days since christmas the number of servers online has pretty much exploded so you have a lot of choices at the moment. As for the cost, if you have FSX, you already paid for it. Multiplay via gamespy is free.Getting into it is as easy as just creating a gamespy account, which you can do within FSX, choosing a unique username (there are a lot of users, so you may have to try a few different names) and then picking a server to fly on. The whole process is quite straightforward.Servers come in as many different flavours as there are personalities. On one end you have the "anything goes" sessions and on the other you have the crews like the Washington Dulles guys that run full time pro ATC sessions, with ground, tower, clearance delivery and the lot. There are pros and cons to each type of session, but for getting your feet wet I'd suggest choosing something in the middle. Many would find the full on Pro ATC sessions a little intimidating, but on the other hand, I have yet to have a good time in a session called "San Fran AIRSHOW!" or somesuch. In sessions with a name like that you're mostly flying with screaming 12 year olds who wouldn't know grammar if they were standing face to face with Tolkien himself. They are typically similarly lacking in tact, so I'd recommend avoiding those. ;)Here are a few tips on choosing a server. Try to find a server with a very low ping time, in the 40-120ms range. These will be indicated in the server list in FSX by a green bar next to them. Anything with a higher ping and you might experience choppy play, voice breakup, stutters, or pauses. Generally the lower the ping time, the closer the server is to your location physically and the smoother the gameplay will be. Look for servers that have a reasonable player limit, usually around 10-20 players maximum. Anyone who sets a server up to allow 99 players is just asking for trouble as few have an internet connection that can handle such a load. Look for one that's based at an airport or area that you're already familiar with and when joining for the first while it's good to bring an aircraft that you are comfortable with already. As for using slew mode, 99% of the time you won't be able to do that. Most people don't allow that on their servers as it's not "realistic" but I always do on mine. Just read the session descriptions too, if it doesn't look like something you're interested in, pick another.Some servers where there's a tower in operation can be quite militant about players starting on runways, simply because it can be annoying for pilots who are on short final to have an aircraft pop in on the threshold right in front of them, forcing a go around. When you click on a server and see the details box, you can usually tell if the host is handling ATC as it will show "Tower Controller" next to his name. If you see an aircraft name next to the host's name, 4 times out of 5, there's no ATC, and therefore probably less of an issue with starting on a runway. Regardless though, when choosing a starting location try to choose a parking space on the ramp, but be aware that this is a little buggy still and doesn't always work. You still may end up on a runway or in the air. The best bet is to choose to start at an airport that is near the host's. If the game is at JFK, then start at La Guardia etc.One important thing to remember when joining a server with a tower is your tail number. The only thing the tower can easily see on the scope for your aircraft is the very last entry for your tail number in your aircraft selection screen. If you don't choose a tail number then FSX assigns one for you. You have to set one for each aircraft that you fly. If there's anything in the "airline" selection tab it will override your tail number on their scope. So if you choose a tail number like XGMR, but your "airline" tab says "World Travel", all the controller will see for your plane is "WOR", so make sure the airline tab is set to "none". It's annoying to set up, and you have to set it for each variant of an aicraft you plan to fly, but the good part is that it's persistent. If you set your tail number for a variant of an airplane the way you want it, it will stay that way always, in every session, until you tell it something different.As for observer mode, the only one I know of is tower controller. If you have FSX deluxe, you can hop into the tower in any session, and most controllers won't mind if you do, as long as you just watch the proceedings and stay quiet. If you're looking to start your own ATC sessions this is a great way to learn.As for using voice, there are two different ways. Two thirds of the servers use a global voice channel, ie: everyone's on the same frequency regardless of what your comm radio is set to. The other third will use discrete frequencies, and they will almost always tell you what the tower frequency is for the session in the session description. You will need to tune your radio to that frequency once in the session to be able to communicate. In all cases, you simply push and hold caps-lock to speak. When done speaking, release the caps lock key. Make sure your microphone is set to a fairly high volume and it's good to double check the mic is working before entering the session. Also be sure to turn your engine and environment sounds *way* down. Most engine noises override the relatively quiet voice comms, especially helicopters. A lot of sessions won't allow you to change this in the game, so make sure to lower those sliders before joining. I highly recommend using a quality headset mic for communication, it really does make an enormous difference in voice quality, just make sure the mic boom is a good distance to the side of your mouth to avoid breathing static etc. There's a bit of a learning curve with that, but you'll figure it out fast. The more you participate though, the more you'll get out of the experience. I guarantee it. It's a great way to meet new and interesting people too. I've met dozens of wonderful folks since september online and fly with them regularly. :) As for the lingo, you'll very quickly pick up aviation "shorthand" as you listen. Any complex communications end up reverting to plain english anyway.One more thing on server selection. The intimidation you're feeling (I think) comes from the thought that everyone is going to bite your head off for making a mistake online, and please believe that is not the case. Crews like the Dulles guys are commendable in their effort to recreate a session with maximum immersion, but even they aren't going to chew you out if you screw up. It is after all a game, and we are human. Everyone's there to have fun and no one is going to get killed if someone blows an approach or taxis across a runway in use. Try to be watchful and respect other aircraft, but just go for it and have fun. If you're flying at a non-towered airport there's no mandate that you *have* to communicate with others, you can just fly around and listen to the chatter, but the experience will grow considerably if you do get involved vocally in the proceedings. As you get more comfortable with things you can keep trying even more realistic sessions, and if that's what turns your crank, use it as a springboard into the Vatsim world.Lastly, I host a very relaxed server every other night called "Rafale21 VFR" generally from 6 to 11pm PST. I just pick a random dramatic spot somewhere in the world each time, and I have a lovely crew of people from all over the world, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Australia as well as the US and many others who pop in to fly along. We generally take short trips in convoy, sightsee interesting places, and shoot approaches at high difficulty airports for fun. You're welcome to join any time sir. :) If you do jump in, let me know it's you and I can run you through some things over voice. I'm Rafale21 online.Hope that helps some, and best of luck to you.Cheers!

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You sir are a god.....Thank you so much...I am sure there are alot of others like me...who over time will learn alot from your post....to get past that intial step...I have read your post and saved it... to re-read and digest it before I jump ...All I can say is outstanding ....thank you for taking the time.....jareth

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Haha, hardly, as someone likes to point out in their sig, cats are the real gods.I've just had a lot of experience in multiplayer games prior to this one. I was a confessed world of warcraft junkie until quitting cold turkey a year ago. Just be glad FSX multiplayer is largely immune to all the usual MMO woes: drama, loot, drama, whining, and more drama. ;)And ATC in FSX is a game unto itself. Sort of a cross between running a guild and playing a game of 3d tetris where the blocks all have free will.Cheers mate, hope to see you online.

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