Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doomotron, Jan 10, 2020.
Have you seen this? https://www.uktrainsim.com/filelib-info.php?form_fileid=39571
I agree with you. Their Mk1s are wonderful and their stuff is a massive improvement over almost everything DTG cranks out.
No, Peter, I haven't downloaded anything from the library for a few months now, thanks v.m. for putting the link up.
Good spot Peter. That'll do while we wait for the AP Class 37 pack Vol 2. Something tells me that will be out once volume 2 of the MK1 pack is out, the two will compliment each other nicely.
As someone who owns copies of quite a lot of the AP packs it was interesting to see some contrasting views.
I do think AP have played a significant role in prolonging the simulator and adding plenty of immersion factor. Yes, some of the packs are pricey at £25, but then as someone pointed out, getting a hardware model of that will cost into the hundreds. Rarely is there a sale for hardware railway models that can see you pick them up for upwards of 40% off. You should always check reputable video reviews of DLC before buying, and read the free manuals to check for features. Unless you've got plenty of disposable income to burn every month, it's a no brainer.
Regarding comment threads disappearing from AP's facebook amidst criticism of products... Well, people do make it easy for them to do that -- personal and ad-hominem insults between posters, suggestions alluding to piracy, outright trolling, etc. Even DTG step in and moderate there, and they are pretty liberal with discussions.
As for me, I'll continue to buy AP products as and when I think they'll add something new to my experience on train simulator and when I have cash on the hip. I don't see it as being a case of either demonstrating blind brand loyalty, or being completely contrarian on purpose. We acknowledge that getting as much as we can out of the simulator is likely to cost money at some point, or we get ourselves a freeware train sim like OpenBVE and accept much less content plus the dated graphics and functionality.
AP charges $21.59 USD - or about $29 CAD - for a bunch of loco skins and nothing to play them with. What, there are often three scenarios in the pack? OK, but you have to buy fifteen other DLC - many of them also from AP at this kind of price - to play anything in them. I'd rather eat a raw gazelle.
So if I ever decide anything there is worth my time during a sale, I am going to have no choice but to completely reconfigure all of the content in the scenarios. I don't care if it's allowed. I don't like the way the DLC is so interdependent in the scenarios compared to those sold in the loco packs on Steam, about 95% of which (where scenarios are involved) use one route, no additional loco DLC, and give you a chance to try out the trains in scenarios. If they provided content that could be played out of the box (I understand having to get the route they are played on, that's obviously unavoidable and part of my planning in buying a loco personally), then I might get packs one at a time if I saw something interesting and try it out in the included scenarios. As it is, I have zero incentive to buy anything they make. Nor does a lot of the community who is more selective on the DLC they purchase. When I asked why don't you make scenarios playable with only that pack and the necessary route, I was told "Oh, that's not what we do"...you are cutting off literally 4/5 of your sale market. Make things usable out of the box, sell it on Steam, and you'll have no problem getting a lot of happy customers. Instead, they've chosen to isolate themselves in their corner with the few people who are willing to overspend and then use it in all of the scenarios they make, trying to get more people to buy them on their own. It's ironic they could do better by selling on Steam and being reasonable with their introductory scenarios; sell the other scenarios in scenario packs, and you will have no issue getting people with several of the trains to buy them. They can't even do basic sales tactics, and therefore are not currently worth my time.
Show me a 75% off sale from them and I may reconsider, however.
Also, just to be clear, my gameplay is scenario oriented. That's why I consider the packs useless. I have to buy a bunch of trains and then look for scenarios to play them with. I may do quick drives on Twitch streams if I ever do them, but most of my play, Youtube especially, will be on scenarios, not even scenario creation.
AP's coaches are very nice, it's just a pity they all come without passengers.
I'm sure they ARE nice! They're just not worth that kind of money when you don't have content to play with them. Again, just my personal view, others may differ. At least the coach packs are cheaper, but then, they can't really run a scenario, so they might not include them. They could of course feature on another train, and in this case I could see one AP pack being used to pull them.
Just had a quick look at my orders from A.P, over the years I have purchased 44 items and i will continue to do so.
The point regarding upsell is a valid one IMO. I tend to create my own scenarios, or just F2 the scenario if I'm missing a bunch of stock (if it's really dead I'll add a few consists from stock I have).
I think it is arguably misguided from AP to package so many dependencies into a scenario, as the scenarios then add very little additional value to newcomers or people without many packs. The people who'll play them as intended are the ones who've been simming since the beginning and picked up pretty much every AP stock pack in the last 7 years or so, wagons and all. But then AP know what's selling, and which packs get sold together in the same transactions to give them a picture, so I'm just speculating.
As mentioned, I just "F2 it" or write my own scenarios, and a lot of their stock represents genuine enhancement for me. I'm not a blind loyalist to them and if I don't think one of their packs is what I'm looking for, I don't buy it. But from my view, I find it hard to deny that AP and their partners (MKS, BMG, etc) have done anything other than drag the average quality of available TS stock up exponentially. Whereas a number of my favourite routes were actually built by DTG themselves.
I have 77. Mainly locos. Some I have purchased because they were needed in some routes/scenarios. As they have done most locos my purchases from them is slowing down.
How the heck to do even HAVE 77 items from them? I don't think they have that many even currently available, but I'm too lazy to add up the categories there currently. I don't recall one higher than 10. And scenario packs are no longer available, either.
EDIT: I counted anyway. 73. He seems to remove a lot of items from the store, then turns around and requires some of them in his packaged scenarios, anyway. Which comes across as sleazy to me, but that's a personal opinion once again. It's not "rewarding", though, to tell a new customer, "Oh, too bad you'll never be able to play this as intended".
Armstrong Powerhouse did remove all scenario packs that were available (some were pulled earlier), so that is about 44 max on that side?
But as well all sounds packs that now have an Enhancement Pack or a Rolling Stock pack are also removed shortly before launch.
This means that sounds for default locomotives are no longer available and you need to change the locomotive yourself in those scenario's.
As well as a new pack is then released, older packs get updated scenario's with the new released pack.
So if you buy a locomotive pack but not the newer pack an update then makes the scenario's broken as you don't have the new pack (unless you have a back-up).
I think it's probably worth 3rd party providers looking into how they can support/achieve continuous delivery that is sensible for the end-user.
I've been looking how this might be achieved - an installer which manages all owned packages, checks, updates accordingly dependent on the user would be very useful.
I don't think AP are going anywhere - it's important that competition exists within the train sim software world, as it encourages the highest standards.
There's the issue which you just named by removing or changing packs: scenarios break with other versions of the trains. Anything with a 150/2 on the workshop is useless, and I would have to go buy the Armstrong pack ($34.15 in Canadian dollars currently, BTW, and the two most expensive UK locos on Steam are still less than that - ironically enough from Just Trains - so the odds of me buying the 150/2 pack are extremely low currently) and shuttle that in myself through Ts-Tools, but even then there is no guarantee it will be pathed and treated the same as the original one in the scenario. It's really more of a hassle and a nuisance for the end-user when these items are not updated. Even in Chiltern, the 150/2 is used in a JT included scenario, and we can't buy it; I cannot believe that made it through to the Steam version and is not updated at all. Meanwhile, three others require additional locos, so you can only play one scenario out of the box, and that assumes it's not one of the 5% of users who don't have the asset pack or gets suckers into buying it instead of a route that comes with it. Really bad end-user result there, and I will need to find other free content by other users that I CAN play and find a good sale (not for a while) on the route to be interested as that line is one of those rare cases I don't think JT deserves what they want for the route. Sure, Metropolitan by itself is worse, $45 and all you can do is a quick drive, you have to buy the $60 bundle to include a train and any scenarios. That said, I did see it played on stream before, and it DOES look nice. I'll just wait for the bundle with another train that I saw before. But leaving that discussion, including content you can't play out of the box is just bad, and this leads back to Armstrong, the worst offender at this of anyone.. I find it a bit bothersome that a lot of the sites that have been named in those posts of places to find content tend to all require Armstrong content; Alan Thompson's site, for example, but hey, I guess it gives a reason to get two or three packs if you are finding about 20 uses for each. For right now, it's not worthwhile to venture out since I have to get a lot of the stuff from Steam first, and it'll be a while before I can ever get through all of THAT. I might die first...
I might make an exception for Western Mainlines and the Voyager Advanced, maybe the 153. I got a nice scenario idea that involves that line (though not necessarily the Voyager).
BTW I have had TS for 10 years.
I think you need to look at the AP Website where you will find two kinds of Products
Enhancement Packs that add something that is not available
Rolling Stock packs that are a complete and do not rely on you owning anything
Class 37 pack with 22 liveries and all 129 refurbed examples represented with their visual differences
Class 40 pack where you can have any of the 200 class 40 locomotives
Class 50 pack with 16 liveries, all 50 locos available with and without nameplates
Class 90 pack with 17 liveries and the Mk3 DVT in 4 liveries.
The Coaching stock pack gives 3 different designs that are not available elsewhere
The MU pack gives you 10 different, Stand alone - nothing else required, units.
Yes I agree that you need a lot of stuff to play the included scenarios - I don't play those for that reason.
But most people don't buy AP locos and stock because they wish to run the included 8,6 or 6 scenarios
Do you not have any imagination? - Is everything you buy just about the scenarios?
I have run the Class 90 vice a Class 91 on a London to Peterborough scenario by just swapping the loco in the game.
I ran the Class 50 over the new Stainmore route which closed before they were built
I realise you are just joining the - Lets have a rant at AP brigade
At the end of the day Nobody is forcing you to buy these add-ons or anything else in the game
Actually, for me, it IS all about the scenarios. I think not having scenarios you can play out of the box is a negative. So before I would buy any such products, I would first want to make sure I own a good number of the commonly used routes from Steam, plus the locos often used for skinning. In fact, every loco I buy from Steam (there is one exception in the Battle for Sherman Hill bundle) to date has scenarios included, and - except for the one requiring Cajon Pass (which I can't get) - I have made sure I have the route first. Most locos I buy indeed will have scenarios included, and I would have to have a lot of scenarios to play with a different one before buying it. So when I eventually get around to having the AP locos (assuming I do), I will be looking at other third-party content to decide that it's a good purchase for me in terms of playability.
You might be arguing that I have no creativity. Let's keep in mind my plans are to show off the CONTENT of the game when I stream or Youtube it. Therefore, having either official content or workshop/third party scenarios will be a major piece of what helps me show off content. Therefore, having the scenarios to play, for this purpose, is big. If I do decide to make my own scenarios, I could play those too, but that wouldn't be as much fun (I think) as playing a scenario I can play blind without knowing what's going to happen. I do have an idea in mind for Western Mainlines when and if I get that, but I still have a lot of other content to play anyway before worrying about that, and will wait until I've dabbled in the scenario editor a bit to know how to do stuff.
So it's not "just joining the rant at AP brigade". It's a critical opinion, based on how I plan to play the game, regarding my disdain at how items are packaged. Not having scenarios playable out of the box is a negative for me, therefore it's a negative on AP products, and even on some of the products on Steam. If they had scenarios playable out of the box, I might be periodically interested in something, play the scenarios with it, then move on and have it for future use somewhere.
That said, I am aware there are some rolling stock items too, but they have the same heavy DLC creep requirements for scenarios.
So there is a problem for AP - and anyone else that makes locos and stock for the game.
What Scenarios do you include - because there is a good chance some people won't have route the scenarios are on.
The AP Class 50 which I purchased - in a Sale - comes with Scenarios for the DTG Riviera Line and the Wherry Lines and it has stock I don't own but because I own the loco I can just swap out those coaches in the train I don't have to ones I do.
TS Tools makes that so easy - or you just do it in the game
If a builder, not necessarily AP, were to release a Loco or train but it did not come with any Scenarios would you buy it?
I have a number of locos/trains from different makers that don't provide Scenarios
They assume the people who buy their items know how to swap locos and stock in other scenarios
I usually view it the other way round. It's a problem for those who make scenarios too, because many try to put loads of seldom used assets in and end up with having to spend ages trying to get the requirements working (DPS are good at making sure you have loads of reskins in their scenario packs)
I would not, and I would assume that anyone who makes a loco or route would want to ensure that their new baby is shown off in the best light, and there are plenty of scenario makers out there willing to do so
I was beaten to the punch there. But let me give s slightly modified answer. Let's look at the Class 419 on Steam. I'm sure it's there. I have not, to this point, seen one scenario that utilizes it in this workshop. But I bought it anyway. Why? Because two other locos I was planning to buy, the 4CIG and the 4VEP, were bundled with it. They are both heavily used in the workshop. They both come with scenarios for Portsmouth Direct Line. So, when I get to showing off the original Portsmouth line, I will have that additional content to display. In that particular situation, having the three South London Network scenarios on the 419 was a bonus: I was planning to buy the South London Route, and actually did the day before finding this bundle.
Now, let's look at the CN SD40-2 Wide Nose. It's a Canadian loco. You'd think this would interest me. However, it comes with no scenarios. I have not seen a single workshop scenario that uses it. I believe it's bundled with Ohio Steel 2 and Fort Kent to Eagle Lake, but based on the information I just described, it adds very little value even to that. It's just a bonus loco that I will probably never drive unless I pull out a quick drive consist. Big deal. Why is it rarely used? Beacuse it's not the classic loco you expect to see on Sherman Hill. The most I can do is sub it in over a BNSF SD40-2.
Then there's the CN SD70. Again, a Canadian loco. Again, rarely used in the workshop. But it comes with two scenarios for Canadian Peace River. It still doesn't have that much value; however, I would be more likely to get this because it has those two scenarios. I would not get it right now because I do not currently own Peace River. But upon getting Peace River, if it was 60-70% off in a sale, it might be worth it. Modifying the analysis, this is a September 2019 release. OK, it's a newer model, therefore it has only been out for nine months. I'd like to see it get used more, but it seems people are more interested in using the Armstrong products instead on classic American routes, or creating scenario for new routes instead of new locos. Once again, this does not bode well for buying this loco, and the best discount I'll currently see - if lucky - is 50%, and that's being extremely optimistic (realistically, 35% might happen, and historically the best is 20%).
Now, let's look at the NJ TRANSIT® Arrow III EMU. Not used too heavily in the workshop. However, I have noticed the Morristown scenario pack and the Northeast Corridor scenario pack. Both use it (maybe not that much, but it's used). This adds value to the loco, plus it comes with three more Morristown scenarios. Bingo, I'm in. Another example: the Voyager 220 comes with content for Exeter-Paignton and is used (albeit only for one scenario, I believe) in the South Wales Coastal scenario pack. It may have some value. On the heavily used end, the Freightliner 70. Forget what the description says. It doesn't matter. I've seen dozens upon dozens of workshop uses. It could have nothing but one skin and I'm interested because I have a multitude of missions to play with it.
So yes, I look at value differently than some. I don't just buy the next shiny thing that comes along. Give me stuff to play with it. Then we'll talk. Otherwise, don't ask me for $35 CAD for it only to spend the first half hour editing all of the locos out of your scenarios that I do not own. Make them playable out of the box. Just Trains provides two versions of some scenarios where they use their own stock in the ideal version. Armstrong provides one version demanding $500 of DLC. Guess where I'd go first?
So even if your favourite loco was made for TS2020 you would not buy it if it did not have any Scenarios?
What if it did come with Scenarios but you did not own the route they were set on - another non purchase?
I don't have this problem - if it is a loco I really like then I will buy it
And if you like German locos and trains some of the best are produced by Virtual Railroads and are very popular
But they are no good for yourselves as they don't come with Scenarios
I own all UK routes, all UK DTG DLC bar steam ones (though I own a few of them too as they're requirements for other scenarios
Nope, strictly UK stuff... Can't be bothered to learn another signalling system
Not to be petty, but the signal system being different is not something that deters me from buying something, personally. It's a bit of a hcallenge, but you can just keep a nice handy little guide to all of the signals in front of you while you play. Heck, it'll be one of the things I personally do.
I'm not interested in the German (or other non UK) content either tbh, however I do have some German and US content installed which were all part of bundled purchases nothing I've bought singularly or specifically.
I can't say as I'm put off learning a new signalling system (mind you it's taken long enough to get my head around the UK ones to a level that I can add them into a route edit of my own), and I've played a German dock shunting scenario and a couple of US ones that were ok but they're just not really my thing.
At the end of the day it's horses for courses, I owned American Truck Sim for over a year before I actually properly played it, I was in the fortunate position to receive it for free as I beta tested it pre-launch but again it was UK trucking that I was into so that's what I primarily played.
So let's say you were into US routes. There is a beautiful workshop route that Matt played on his channel, the Bremen Line I believe it's called. One of the requirements is Munich-Augsburg. Would you get Munich-Augsburg to be able to enjoy the scenery elements in use in the workshop route?
(It runs without it, just doesn't look as nice.)
Dependencies are dependencies no matter the origin, if I need them for a route then I will buy them and indeed I have, luckily for me all the routes I've bought as dependencies so far have been UK ones though.. Here's an excellent example >> http://www.oakwood-shed.co.uk/sww5/sww_route5.html (Just wish the author would update it and finish the WIP parts)
He also needs to update saying the South Wales Coastal route is no longer available.
It was last updated in 2017, I have to assume that the project is no longer running.
In this, I am petty. I have my preference and I stick to it... I just like UK trains
Not an invalid discussion, but we were talking about scenarios rather than routes
So you would not buy a UK Route which was not made by DTG?
Your loss - the Ay Valley is a really good route
In other words, he needs to update it saying he has abandoned the project?
I jest, of course.
I don't think I said that anywhere... I've got loads of JT, AP and ATS stuff, but all UK (which is what I said my stipulation was)
And back to my original question to Cyclone and yourself as you answered it
If a third party train maker was to release a Loco you would like with Scenarios for a Route you did not own - would you buy the loco?
I have done 5 scenarios in the workshop for the Settle to Carlisle Line and i made sure that you did not need any other assets other than what was in the route. They have the prefix MH.
The question is irrelevant. I don't know enough about locos to have any that I like or dislike. In order to get to know a loco, I would want scenarios playable using the stock from the loco pack and without having to spend 15-30 minutes swapping out all of the other stock. So no, I would not buy a pack with scenarios for a route I don't own unless - and only unless - I am planning to pick up the route at the next opportunity OR have a lot of content I can play with it. In fact, I have been selecting some of my routes and locos to buy based on looking at scenarios in the workshop, so I am finding things I can use for a while.
Try having a model railway hobby instead. £100 per loco, one livery, no scenarios included.
What you get for your money in Train Sim by comparison is pretty good. It can take just as long, if not longer to create a Loco in TS too.
Some people work and build TS content for a hobby. That'll be the cheap or free stuff.
Others build TS content for a job. They have bills to pay. That'll be the stuff that's priced in a way that keeps food on the creator's table.
I do not deny any of this. But using your logic, I'm going to come across the hobbyist's work first. That way, there is no expectation of tremendous quality and the great surprise if I find it.
I've built up my collection to a point that this isn't relevant. Did I put off buy assets in the past because the scenarios that came with it wouldn't be able to be run without swap outs or F2ing past it. Yes I did
Separate names with a comma.