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Armstrong Powerhouse - The Inevitable Downfall

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doomotron, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    Since people don't like opinions that aren't their own, I've left the original post in a spoiler. This post includes opinions you probably won't agree with me. If you choose to read the rest of the thread, please accept what I think, I am not going to accept being 'flooded with downvotes' because I have a different opinion. Thank you.
    YouTuber Maverick Hunter Daniel made a video reviewing the Class 156 pack by AP. He quite liked it, with some small exceptions, like the lack of RETB software (which is on the old Oovee model - the AP pack costs £25, wich is ridiculous from the start, but with the obvious lack of testing, it's a complete insult). Others, too, have noticed this, and one in particular asked about it on Facebook.

    The video shows the the thread going quickly downhill, with AP fanboys making crap excuses (like "if you don't like it, don't buy it" and "don't demand perfection, they can't get everything right"). This is to be expected, however: whether you like it or not, AP's fan club is a disgrace. Anyway, as the video shows, AP get involved and say something to the effect of "we don't care" and say that they'll ignore any future comments by Tom (the original poster) as they deem it not worth their time (to respond to someone with valid criticism).

    Anyway, the conversation continues, but strangely, in the end, the comment thread disappeared. I wonder why? Considering how much the pack costs, not responding to criticism that would, if acknowledged, might make the pack be worth about half that, is not a good sign. Even DTG don't remove negative comments anymore (I wonder if that will get me banned?).

    Another event was the update of the Class 50 pack. AP added a new variant of the train - which should have been in from the beginning) and decided a marvelous idea would be to raise the price to £24.99. How about no? Unless you're the biggest fan of the Class 50, no person who is sane would pay that.

    This all seems very much like the Iron Horse House. Produce crap, remove criticism. With the release of the new Mark 1 pack for no apparent reason whatsoever, I know that AP is on its last legs. They've been overwhelmed with their 'spotless' reputation and are making stuff for no apparent reason. There was nothing wrong with the Mark 1 pack, or the Class 66 Enhancements for that matter. It's just about money, ridiculous amounts of money.

    Mark my word. They're not going to be around for long.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  2. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I think AP made the 156 simply because the old Oovee model was ancient. I know it was less amazing and feature-rich than AP's usual, but they probably saw a need for it. As for the 50, it wasn't just made by them, but also with Bossman Games. Since they usually make steam locomotives the lack of content might have been because of them making their very first diesel and not AP. I do agree with you when it comes to the Mk1s, however, since nobody asked for those. One "dud" and a few less feature-rich packs don't probably don't signal the death of AP or even a decline, even though it make look that way. Aside from the 156, the 50 is probably lacking just because it wasn't developed them alone, and they probably just saw a need for new Mk1s, even if the community didn't.
     
  3. TimeSlicedDanny

    TimeSlicedDanny Member

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    Doomotron, AP's products aren't essential to life. If you don't like them just walk on by.

    I don't like any of their wagon sounds, which I think are too quiet, but I like their Class 37 loco. If they ceased trading I think it would be a loss to the hobby. Why do you want them to fail?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
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  4. Rob Jansen

    Rob Jansen Well-Known Member

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    Don't think it will be the end of AP themselves as it seems they do projects with DTG (Class 31 sounds) and other people. Development takes time. The Class 50 was indeed with added with older style but you could buy those for a while for a reduced price if you bought the original one.
    According to them it has been in development for years but they do 'retire' older products and then break scenario's that made use of the older ones because it has been taken off-sale.

    I always say for Train Simulator (and TSW), buy the content you want, you do not need everything (it will make your TS menu slow anyway).
    If you are unhappy about things, then ignore it, just that simple.
    I do have a lot of content from AP and like the quality of it, it is people's own choice.

    But these discussions about pricing vs. quality vs. quantity and so on always remain for any payware developer and DTG.
     
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  5. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    Probably because he prefers TSW and doesn't think us TS players don't deserve nice things lol
     
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  6. Schnauzahpowahz

    Schnauzahpowahz Well-Known Member

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    Far from it, TSW content is the new "golden goose" AP is supplying some sounds for - on consoles too !
    Sarcasm aside, AP have some nice items... were they as well straight out of the box from the DoveTailGang, itd be a non issue.
     
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  7. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    Just a few corrections
    The AP 156 pack was a totally new train built from Scratch with a lot more variations than the Oovee version that was released 4 years ago.So it does not feature RETB - there is one route in the game that features RETB so not that important IMHO

    The Class 50 pack is not an update of the MeshTools Class 50 which dates from 2013 but again a brand new model with different livery sound and body variations.

    And you say there was nothing wrong with the previous Mk1s - I presume you refer to the old Digital Traction Mk 1 pack AP sold.

    This is the DT Mk1 CK coach showing both sides
    Screenshot_1 - Test TraK_51.11611-6.22363_12-00-36.jpg Screenshot_1 - Test TraK_51.11613-6.22394_12-00-42.jpg
    And you will notice one side is a mirror image of the other.
    But the real CK had a different bodyside where the Corridor was - as per the AP version
    AP Mk1 CK.jpg
    Then there are the Brake Coaches like the BSK or BFK
    Hear is the DT version
    Screenshot_1 - Test TraK_51.11616-6.22318_12-00-23.jpg Do you see the Errors?
    [1] the Guards Door is an inward opening door with a different handle
    This version has an outward opening door, hung on the wrong side with the wrong hinges.
    [2] the parcels door is a mirror image of the one on the opposite side so the two doors are the wrong way.
    This is the AP version
    AP Mk1 BSK.jpg
    Finally the new AP vehicles have Tail Lamps which are not on the DT versions

    And just to confirm
    I do not own the AP 156 or the AP Class 50 or the AP Mk1 - I may purchase them in a Sale in the future.

    Peter
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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  8. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    YES! I was wondering when I'd get these comments so I could laugh hysterically at their stupidity.

    If you just ignore faults, nothing will improve. Ever. It's only when you complain that change is made, so the "if you don't like it, don't buy it" comment is self-defeating and makes yourselves look like morons. Congratulations.
    But did it really require a new scenario-breaking, £15 DLC? Nobody wanted it...
    I know that they're different. As for the 156, the RETB was present, but not functional. In the AP model, it is not even their at all. There was also no different door buttons and I'm not sure there was a passenger view either.
    TS players deserve nice things. They don't deserve untested, overpriced things, nor for their criticisms to be silenced.
     
  9. Rob Jansen

    Rob Jansen Well-Known Member

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    You do know that you make yourself look like an idiot if you comment like that?

    It is always the same, with every game, add-on or anything else in webstores or in the physical store.
    If you don't like it, don't buy look for something else you enjoy. Or is it to expensive? Wait for a sale.

    It is just that. I am not defending AP, DTG or any other maker. Everybody needs to make their own choice and this answers helps them to choose.
     
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  10. Cat

    Cat Active Member

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    Doomotron. When you resort to calling people morons you lose credibility and any argument that you have.
     
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  11. Schnauzahpowahz

    Schnauzahpowahz Well-Known Member

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    Theres really no reason for name calling and getting excited.

    ...this is just conversation over a train sim ffs.


    And regarding the heated dictionary daggers and keyboard tough guys between ATS, AP and Hunter Davrick Manual... or whatever it is... this is just a bleeding train sim. Its ridiculous. Like there are no more important things in one's life than threatening one another and getting so whiney about train pixels.


    Hugs


    (Incoming thread lock likely)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  12. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    Not to be "that guy," but Doomotron seems to get extremely mad easily and tries desperately to pick apart opinions that he doesn't agree with. Also, as Schnauzahpowahz said, this is just a train simulator. For such a niche game I think it's extremely important that we support each other instead of calling opinions "stupid" and calling other forum members "morons."
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  13. trev123

    trev123 Member

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    AP will never go under. They have lots of DLC which I have quite a lot of. Although there is going to come a time when they run out of locos etc to upgrade sales will still continue as newer people come along to trainsim and start purchasing their wonderful products. Just today they have announced a new way of purchasing their scenario packs. "
    Thursday 16th January will be the final call for purchasing any of our scenario packs still on sale.

    After this date, they will be discontinued in preparation for the launch of a new way of distributing scenarios later this year.

    We can't reveal much yet but rest assured, it will never have been so easy to find and install scenarios for Train Simulator!"
     
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  14. Rob Jansen

    Rob Jansen Well-Known Member

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    Armstrong scenario's that come with the packs and seperate purchase are well thought out and much too see. They stepped up their game in recent years.
    Although it requires a lot of-course but worth it.
     
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  15. Sunscreen

    Sunscreen Well-Known Member

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    Im sure AP will adapt as the market changes, if theyre not already doing so. If people are still playing TS20xx then they still have a revenue stream, and who knows what they might be doing with TSW. In the meantime lets all keep the toys in the pram ;)
     
  16. Schnauzahpowahz

    Schnauzahpowahz Well-Known Member

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    Ive got an old AP scen pack from ScotECML which is good, considering scenarios for it are a bit more diff to come by

    Regarding AP doing away with their scen packs, i really hope it doesnt fall into a subscription type service.

    Considering picking up some for the Wherry lines as they come with alot more scenarios per pack and skins/extra stock you wouldn't otherwise get
     
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  17. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I don't even want to imagine AP's scenarios being a subscription service. If you can't choose what you get, you might be stuck with scenarios for a route that you don't even own!
     
  18. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    Don't like the food? Don't eat.

    I'm simply trying to say that AP have become a rather dodgy company, maybe even worse than DTG. Charging original owners full price for an upgrade if they don't get it in time is disgusting. And when we get angry about them, they delete our comments. Don't even think about defending that. Just because the DLCs are good doesn't mean AP are.

    You can say whatever you want about it not mattering, but if DTG did this now, you'd go mental. No matter what type of media this is, criticism MUST be acknowledged and even though you can't touch these trains, feedback still applies. So my concerns do matter, whether you like it or not.

    Defending scummy business practices in the 'real world' is hated. If I came on here and said "Sports Direct is an amazing company" you'd get annoyed. You might even call me a moron. It's the same here. You are defending crap business practices.
     
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  19. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    AP certainly do things I disapprove of, such as the 'Realistic branding patch' which seems to accompany many of their DLCs. For some reason they think because the branding patch is free that it's acceptable to distribute another company's intellectual property. How would Armstrong Powerhouse feel if someone decided to distribute their intellectual property for free?
     
  20. doc_woods

    doc_woods Member

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    It isn't really the same though. AP would be complaining about copyright - society protects copyright on the basis that someone has create something worthwhile and they should have a period of exclusivity to exploit it.

    The train operating companies would most likely be complaining about trademarks. The purpose of trademarks is to avoid intentionally confusing products - i.e. I totally shouldn't be able to buy a train, paint it in LNER colours and drive it down the east coast mainline to pick up confused LNER passengers (let's ignore the other laws I've broken here). However just depicting a branded train isn't really infringing anything, providing they avoid implying that the operating company company endorses their product. There's quite a bit of relevant case-law about the showing branded products in (e.g.) films without permission and if done carefully it's generally OK.

    I think DTG's approach to licensing is out of caution more than necessity - they might well win a court case but it'd be expensive, and it's probably in their interests to keep companies onside if they want access to reference materials.
     
  21. doc_woods

    doc_woods Member

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    ... and returning to the Armstrong Powerhouse bit of the thread: a lot of their products are designed as enhancements or better versions. My (maybe optimistic) hope is that they're making their scenarios work on a kind of substitution system to try to reduce requirements (since they've come under some criticism for that and realistically the huge requirement lists probably are putting people off their products). Maybe they've written a program that does an automatic pick when the scenario is installed to use the best available version of the stock?

    Or maybe not... I'm sure we'll see... I don't think I own directly anything from them so I don't have a very strong opinion
     
  22. Schnauzahpowahz

    Schnauzahpowahz Well-Known Member

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    Well, the honorable thing JT does atleast is have scenarios for their routes with or without extra 3rd party stock.
    Itd be a lot of extra work but maybe scenarios that come w future AP stock will have a pricey vers and a not so pricey vers....
     
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  23. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about this, but I have a feeling AP is aware that you can just do the "F2 and save" trick to bypass the missing stock error to play the scenario without everything. That way if you do have everything listed in the scenario requirements you can get a very realistic scenario. That's just a guess though so please take it with a grain of salt.
     
  24. TrainSim-Dmitri

    TrainSim-Dmitri Staff Member

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    Hey guys, I don't mind if you would like to discuss such things on our forums, this is a platform for users from various backgrounds and everyone is welcome, but please let's keep the discussions civil :) Thanks!

    Dmitri
     
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  25. Rob Jansen

    Rob Jansen Well-Known Member

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    It seems you have some grudge or something as general accepted advice is even discarded (as you also misread my comment about that I am NOT defending any maker because everyone needs to make their own decisions).

    I would say, contact AP about it yourself. Complaining on a forum/site that has nothing to with AP isn't going to get you anywhere anyway, it has just an effect on your reflecting in the community and world.
    Otherwise just move on, don't do anything with AP, don't use AP stuff.

    If you are just trying to argue because you can, I suggest instead of doing that, enjoy the content you have as there are thousands upon thousands of either freeware or payware, choice enough I think :)
     
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  26. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Legally it is the same. The logos of the companies are their intellectual property and AP is distributing it for free and without permission. You can try and argue the ethics of such matters, but that doesn't change the fact that it goes against British law. If AP believed that it was perfectly legal to use the TOCs logos, why do they include the logos as a free patch and not include them with the main DLC? That shows that they know they're on dodgy ground.

    DTG's thorough approach to licensing is because they wish to operate within the law in the UK, as do most companies.
     
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  27. doc_woods

    doc_woods Member

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    No - I'm pretty sure legally it's different because the trademark gives the TOC protection from misrepresentation, but doesn't stop anyone simply depicting it. The main danger is in making it look like an endorsement, and there AP is probably safer than DTG (because one livery in a fairly comprehensive collection looks a lot more like a catalogue of stuff and less like an endorsement than a product representing just one TOC).

    I agree with this bit - I doubt the free patch fools anyone. Either it's fine to distribute the logos or not.

    I honestly think if you were careful about how you sold it you'd be legally fine to distribute liveries without licensing. I also think it could be a very expensive mistake if you were wrong (and I doubt if anyone wants to spend large amounts of money arguing the principle).

    ----------------------------

    As an edit (and then I promise I'll stop arguing about it): there looks to be period of UP suing model manufacturers (Lionel, Athearn and MTH apparently) in the US in the early 2000s. It looks like UP were asking for large amounts of money, the manufacturers fought the cases (which suggests they thought they were likely to win). I think most of them settled for a situation where they do license UP logos, but for little/no money. Which suggests to me a situation where nobody is really confident about exactly where they stand, but is prepared to agree on something small to make the problem go away.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  28. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    Trademark is just one aspect of intellectual property.

    Trademark is what prevents someone from creating a chicken shop called 'Kentucky Fun Chicken' and having a logo similar to Kentucky Fried Chicken, potentially misleading customers into thinking that they are both the same chicken company. No one is thinking Armstrong Powerhouse are train operating company, so trademark isn't the issue here.

    The issue here is that the TOCs own the intellectual property rights to the logo and liveries of the trains AP depicts. Having the branding of the TOC adds value to the AP products, so AP is generating revenue from someone else's intellectual property without their permission, which is against the law in the UK.

    The usual argument is that either, the victim is a large company so that's acceptable, or it's not worth a company's time to bring about a lawsuit therefore it's acceptable. Neither argument changes the fact it's illegal.

    There's a third, often overlooked aspect to this, which is the impact on AP's competition. If another company wishes to create TS2020 content within the confines of the law, all else being equal, AP then has an advantage over the competition because they are content with using TOC's IP without permission. Having realistic branding on trains adds a lot of value to a TS2020 product.

    When I was acting as a consultant for a developer producing Railworks DLC, I calculated around 32% of revenue on a passenger train DLC was attributable to the branding, i.e. you'd sell 32% fewer products without the branding. If a lawsuite was ever brought about then collectively the TOCs would be looking at asking for 32% of the revenue from those products, which would probably be enough to ruin a small company like AP. It's very high risk using someone else's IP in a commercial endeavor.
     
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  29. TimeSlicedDanny

    TimeSlicedDanny Member

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    But only if the IP has value and the IP owner cares about it. Most of AP's current branding patches are for defunct operating companies. Maybe someone still owns it, but there's no value in fighting over it. You could also argue that if the IP misuse isn't harming your company, why bother. Indeed you're getting free advertising. Railway operating companies exist to make money from operating trains, not by acting as IP sellers.

    I am describing the practicalities of IP, not the legality.
     
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  30. DigitalRails

    DigitalRails New Member

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    I am the only one missing Downvotes for OP
     
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  31. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    They recently removed the downvote feature.
     
  32. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I kinda wish they didn't remove downvotes just yet because Doomotron deserves to be flooded with them to be honest.
     
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  33. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    Love you too :love::love::love:

    Only because you don't agree with me! :love:
     
  34. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    Strange that you say that seeing as you lash out at people whenever they question your opinions...
     
  35. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    On the Armstrong Powerhouse Facebook page
    "Class 156 Diesel Multiple Unit Pack Updated!

    We have released a free update today for the Class 156 Diesel Multiple Unit Pack. This features a non-functioning, cosmetic in-cab RETB unit which is controlled via the unit's number in the scenario editor.

    To obtain this update, simply re-download from your 'Downloads' area."

    Doomotron criticized the Class 50 and 156 as just updates but as you don't need to own the original models that cannot be correct.

    Peter
     
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  36. BRD

    BRD Active Member

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    Peter, I think there's no point to continue this, really. He's got his own view on AP. Most of us disagree. And we can all move forward... some will enjoy better DLC for TS 2020, some don't. :)
     
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  37. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    I agree with BRD I believe that it's time to move on nothing is going to get accomplished here anymore. A side note if AP was on its way out most would if they watch Alan Thomsonsim streams he would definitely would have something himself to say.
     
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  38. Wivenswold

    Wivenswold Active Member

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    Most of the above have echoed my feelings and put them better than I could. The premise on which APs alleged impending demise is based is, at best, flawed. At worst, bonkers.
     
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  39. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    This.

    You don't agree with me, and that's fine (although suggesting that downvotes should be enabled again just to flood me with them is a bit much and could be construed as cyberbullying).
     
  40. IronBladder

    IronBladder Active Member

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    That's a hypercritical comment. Your opening post was clearly intended to attack and harm Armstrong Powerhouse, both in tone and content. It's an act of cyberbullying on your part and if you had collected a lot of down votes that would have been a reasonable response to it.
     
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  41. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    They're a business. If I went up to Mr Armstrong, whoever he is, and punched him in the face (not that I feel like doing that, I'm not that low, contrary to what Random Railfan likes to believe), that would be bullying, but I can't get sued for calling Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party lunatics (let's not make this a debate about politics, thank you, you already don't like me) although you never know what Labour will do next.
     
  42. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I never said you were some lunatic, I just said that it's low to attack someone that you don't share an opinion with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  43. LT586

    LT586 Well-Known Member

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    Not that age has anything at all to do with it but isn’t Richard Armstrong a fairly young chap? I found their help and support to be of use. I asked them why they can’t mod the entire train instead of having to scour the internet and find scenarios to run an enhanced loco or DMU. As the Class 43 enhancement pack enhances the train so any scenario is affected but with the advent of Career Scenarios, it’s not possible.

    The downside to the addons and enhancements are you require a lot of other AP packs to run the scenarios (if you want to) but at the time, it didn’t make sense to buy a train and we had no long route to play them on - TS2020 is a single mans game as trying to juggle a family and fund 24.99 is steep - but I appreciate they go to greater lengths than DTG to make train sim authentic, I hope we see APs work for TSW. Whenever DTG can somehow sort out the editor!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  44. Mack Winston

    Mack Winston Member

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    This thread seems to be full of hyperbole.

    It's quite simple: AP is a business, and they need to set their prices at which the business will be sustainable and produce a profit. Train simulators in general are *very* niche products (what's the worldwide demand for a good Class 37 or 50 for TS2020? Maybe the low thousands of units at most? Even if you gave the add-on away for free that would be about the most you'd expect).

    It takes a lot of work to make a good 3D model, record the sounds, do the scripting so the locomotive performs reasonably true to life. AP will have had to pay Bossman Games for their work on the 50, and Master Key Simulations for their work on the 37, and AP themselves would have had to spend money on recording the sounds (expensive recording equipment, travel expenses, money possibly paid to the owners of the locomotives the recordings were taken from, salaries for the people making the recordings). With such a minuscule market, the final price isn't ever going to be £1.99 and it doesn't make AP or anyone else (AP do have competitors, after all) evil because they charge £25 for a locomotive add on. It is not like "don't like the food don't eat" because food is essential, a locomotive add-on pack is not. (And is it really that bad value anyway? An OO-gauge model class 50 in GBRf livery is £160!!)

    As a business, AP are charging what they think the market will bear, and result in a sustainable business. You're welcome to use the class 50 on Steam if you don't want to pay for the AP/Bossman one. If AP's standards fall, it's not like they don't have competitors. Just Trains is doing a class 37 if you would prefer to spend money with them instead.

    Unfortunately there is the expectation that niche products should be as cheap as the mass produced. I've made niche electronics products (where the total market is for hundreds of units) and I've had people complain that "why isn't it as cheap as [insert random Chinese mass produced electronics]?" I can only amortise my non-recurring engineering costs over the 100 or so units, and the random Chinese device can amortise the same non-recurring engineering cost over millions of units. The same thing goes for someone like AP - they spend significant time on an incredibly niche product, if they ever want to recover their non-recurring engineering costs, it is going to be "expensive for what it is" (the usual criticism expressed over Train Sim DLC).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  45. Schnauzahpowahz

    Schnauzahpowahz Well-Known Member

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    43 replies! What a thread ;)
     
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  46. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. A lot of people respectfully gave their opinions and since Doomotron didn't seem to agree with them he started to scoff at what they thought. I know it was mean to want to "flood" Doomotron with downvotes, and I apologize but it's still terrible to lash out at people because of their opinions. This whole thing is being blown out of proportion especially by the standards of a train simulation forum, and I think we should stop arguing and just accept that not everyone shares opinions.
     
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  47. Doomotron

    Doomotron Active Member

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    The most this forum has ever got, probably.
     
  48. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Negative, the announcement of Reppos M2s and M4s in the Dovetail Live Articles has 100+ replies.
     
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  49. Random Railfan

    Random Railfan Well-Known Member

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    And it's mostly people getting mad about it never releasing (including me).
     

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