Dtg Withholding Add-on Patches - Seeking Official Statement

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jstange, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. jstange

    jstange Member

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    Per what I remember this has always been an issue - DTG, although receiving patches from 3rd party developers, release them after months or even longer or they don't release them at all.

    At this time I have information about 3 products where developers seem to claim in public forums their patches were sent to DTG, weeks or months pass and no action is taken.

    The products in question are:
    1/ ÖBB 1144 & CityShuttle Wiesel Loco Add-On (TS)
    2/ ÖBB 5047 DMU Add-On (TS)
    3/ DB BR 204 (TSW)

    I'd like to understand:
    - if DTG indeed received the patches from the 3rd parties
    - what is the plan of releasing them with dates -or-
    - if DTG refuses to release the patches

    All this is about 3 example products I was asking in public forums about - this leads me to believe DTG may have dozens of such patches for other products that they just are withholding, not allowing players to use the benefits of the fixes already available or even extra features that devs sometimes add.

    In the light of the current collection of what people see as outstanding TS and TSW issues, not sure if spending any time on this makes sense, perhaps it might be good to first release patches DTG already have in their hands!
     
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  2. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Not withstanding that DTG have been a reseller for other people's products and should therefore have a supply chain for such updates, there should also be a mandate on the 1st party to supply such updates, irrespective of the supply channel, so the ones you've mentioned should have multiple update channels rather than only DTG

    I know that some JustTrains updates have lagged in being updated on steam in the past and don't know why
     
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  3. jstange

    jstange Member

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    I am not sure I understand what you're trying to say... any dev releasing their product via DTG on Steam, has to release any patches via the same channel. I even tried to ask one of them if there's any other possibility to get the patch outside of Steam and the information was clear: no way.

    It is very frustrating to know that a patch exists and you just can't get to it as DTG blocks it. Of course I can't be sure if those devs were telling the truth, that's why I am trying to get any official comment from DTG on this.
     
  4. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    If third-party devs, as "currently preferred suppliers" are dependent on DTG to sell their goods, then it is a huge and risky step by them to start complaining in public... as they risk losing their status as a supplier. So.... when you see such devs complain in this way - then their statements are likely to be true - because if they were absolutely untrue, then they'd just get no further opportunities to carry out their business.
     
  5. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    The other way to look at it is this: if you are dependent upon DTG to sell your goods, but when you try to issue an update for your goods, the update is not provided to customers, why would that company continue to develop anything for a product made by DTG, or why would they not create their own site (like Just Trains and Armstrong have done)? I would like to know how product updates work on the Steam side, and who is responsible for posting them.
     
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  6. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I'm saying As it stands, all DLC on steam have to be updated by DTG, that DTG should update steam, and the developers should also provide updates separately if they can.

    An example would be something made by Justtrains, say Bristol to Exeter. If I buy this from JT directly I can go to their website and download it direct. If it's updated I redownload from their website.
    If I buy it via steam I am reliant on DTG to upload any updates to steam as they control the Train Simulator account (and all subsequent DLC). I could be allowed to download it via justtrains if there was a mechanism to do so that would validate my license on their website.
     
  7. frank351981

    frank351981 Member

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    In fact a lot of DTG own DLC´s with bugs and failures hasn´t been corrected, it is no surprise that same happens with 3rd parties. So that´s why I I personally prefer to buy any 3rd party route on the original site (best example Just Trains) of the developer instead on steam. (And this I would recommend every other TS-player I know too)
    I would like to know too what goes on.
    - Are there updates / patches (weather from DTG itself or 3rd parties) and if so:
    - why are they not released? Fault by DTG? Fault by Steam? No Time? No interest to release them? on which point it don´t work?
     
  8. jstange

    jstange Member

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    A great discussion, but it apparently didn't catch DTG's attention. At least not yet.
    3rd party devs are not exactly complaining, but they reply with this info when customers keep asking about patches. I would do the same as why should I look like someone who does not issue patches when actually the problem lies elsewhere?
    I totally agree with Frank, for me all this is also the primary reason why I prefer 3rd party sites to buy stuff rather than Steam. I think we're not the only ones. DTG may have lost significant parts of business due to this, but apparently they do not care. Weird business thinking.
     
  9. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jan,

    If you copy a DTG person in on the thread by putting an @ and their name they should see it
    Like TrainSim-Matt or TrainSim-Steve

    Peter
     
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  10. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    Steve would be better I think, Matt handles TSW work. Though I am aware you are just giving examples.
     
  11. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Staff Member

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    Hi jstange,

    So, firstly, we never withhold patches except when one or more of the following prohibits publishing of a build (what we call each update submission):
    • The build fails on one or more elements of either an internal or external testing phase.
    • The submitted build regressively affects a product (when something you've paid for is taken away by an update).
    • The developer of the product submits further builds voiding previous builds requiring us to start again.
    • A build directly impacts a release and it's necessary to hold the build until that release has been published.
    • A condition of licence, Licensor or contractual obligation prevents us from publishing a build.
    Naturally, it's in our best interests to get updates out as quickly as possible. Aside from the obvious benefits it brings to the product, it clears our pipeline for upcoming releases. However, there are situations when a multitude of factors prevent us from doing so, as mentioned above.

    With regard to the specific products you mention:
    • TS ÖBB 1144 - an update was published on 20th May, 2019. We've checked and no further updates have been received since.
    • TS ÖBB 5047 - an update was published on 10th January, 2020. We've checked and no further updates have been received since.
    • TSW DB BR 204 - an update is currently in testing. TSW is a very different animal in comparison to TS1 with regard to updates because there are limits on when we can submit to Microsoft and Sony for their part of the testing process and a multitude of additional factors involved. However, we are aware an update is coming but, we can't tell you when that will be as there are still numerous unknown factors involved.
    Hope this clears things up (and thanks, Peter, for linking me here).

    Best, Steve
     
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  12. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Um.... on a similar topic... maybe even the same topic.... do you (TrainSim-Steve) have an update on the patch for the Class 47 for PS4 and XBox, in TSW....? Will this be patched before the Class 20 is released....?

    I'd be immensely grateful for an answer. Do you know if DominusEdwardius has been able to get hold of a PS4 to test it yet... and if so... and such test has been successful.... do you know when the patch is expected..... or is it stuck somewhere else in the DTG QA pipeline....?
     
  13. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Is this the same 47 from the TP route, that was woefully underpowered compared to the 45 a couple of years ago? One reason amongst many I switched to TS2020 and never looked back.
     
  14. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Staff Member

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    Hi Plastic Pal,

    I believe the issue has been fixed and we are in the process of rolling out the update to fix the Class 47, probably likely to go out around this time next week (if not sooner). I'll be back in the next few days to share the patch notes in the relevant threads.

    Hope this helps.

    Best, Steve
     
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  15. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Yes it is....! Apparently when the Class 47 was designed it was found to work on PC (IBM compatibles, not Peninsular Corridor...) ..... anyway.... it apparently worked on both NTP and WSR.... on PC......

    But there was probably a worldwide shortage of PS4s and XBox units back in those days - deep in the distant past of two years ago.... so nobody actually bothered to test the Class 47 on console. Neither of the consoles. But they released NTP and WSR for sale anyway (and these DLCs are both still on sale).... as a punt... hoping that it might work, or that if it turned out to be broken, that nobody would notice.

    It was assumed that because it worked on PC (which has lower standards for interoperability compared to consoles) that it would work on consoles. That assumption turned out to be wrong, and as we all now know, this means that:

    "console users are unlucky" - according to the developer of the Class 47 (although that specific comment was really about the failure to test the DB BR 155 on PS4, in tunnels, on RSN, the route that you have to own to use that DLC....)
     
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  16. Plastic Pal

    Plastic Pal Well-Known Member

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    Awesome news....! I am so glad that I won't have to mention it again...... Probably.... ;-)
     
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  17. jstange

    jstange Member

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    749006 Thanks, Peter, much obliged. Was not aware of this.

    TrainSim-Steve Thanks a lot for this clear answer. I would still prefer some dates for the BR204 patch (as I stopped using the product after a patch was announced by Rivet on May 14 to play again when it is released), but at least it is clear that you do plan to release it.

    As for the other patches, I'll go back to the devs as it seems the information was not correct and if it is so, please accept my apologies. In defence of my original post I have to say that I know there was a case when a patch was not released. Many years back I persuaded a developer to send me a patch that they claimed DTG was not willing to release. So at least in that case I know the patch did exist, but I do not want to provide any details as I do not wish to expose anyone - I understand this is rather sensitive. Perhaps the reason was one of those you mentioned, but can't tell.
     
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  18. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    One great thing about TS2020 is that the community can produce fixes and patches. Not sure I'd still be a train simmer without that freedom.
     
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  19. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    Only works if the content is not on Steam, as Steam verifies files without such updates.
     
  20. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    That information is not quite right

    AP sells add-ons for items purchased from DTG thru Steam
    And as dunkrez mentions there are so many community upgrades to the normal DTG products
    These upgrades sit outside the "trainxyz".ap file which is what Steam updates when required.

    A good example was the Class 89 released in one livery on the 19th March via Steam
    Within a few days Vulcan Productions made a Free update for the loco featuring the four liveries the loco ran in.

    So I'm not sure why you think these fixes and patches only apply to items Not on Steam?

    Peter
     
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  21. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    OK, I see. Since the actual base files are protected, and have to be unpacked to be used by anyone else, it would make sense that that is the file that would be updated first and that anything else can't just replace those files. Good point. I just remember reading (in a Ts-Tools tutorial of all places) that, even if you unpack the files, Steam will sometimes delete additional files in the folders that are deemed "not needed", which I thought might lead to add-ons being eliminated and having to be reinstalled.
     
  22. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I think that applied to uncompressed content files. Not all routes and assets have been packed into .ap files so when steam does verify or update it can overwrite "non-compressed files" as you say
    Since DTG have been packing stuff in .ap files steam only updated the .ap files themselves, in fact I had to recently reinstall, decompress and then install an EP because i had decompressed an older version which the EP didn't support so the script went haywire.
     
  23. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    The AP files are merely a nuisance when you have to sub out stock because you have no choice but to extract it and store it a second time on disk instead of being able to just directly access it from the tool. For a game as large as this, it forces one to be choosy with the files extracted, and possibly also to be choosy in how they are stored; you may keep a separate external hard drive (or space on an actual second drive) with the unpacked files, boot up the tool, plug in that drive (if external), and replace everything you want to replace in scenarios before unplugging it and going about your day. That way it doesn't become an issue, even if it is a hassle because you would otherwise be reindexing them every time.

    A big deal to me as my space is fluctuating between 40 and 60 GB right now, and I can't install some beefy Steam games I have ownership of. Too many games, not enough space.
     
  24. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Twists and roudnabouts. Fine if you want loads of EPs and are happy to deal with broken scenarios where the EP breaks the physics. Not so fine if you want all DTG products to be ringfenced but that means you cannot enhance them. At least if you want to install an EP you have the option of extracting those assets and then apply the EP whilst maintaining core functionality of DTG product

    I've got plenty of space though, so I just extracted everything at one point
     
  25. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    If everything is extracted, and a patch is released, aren't you going to end up with an updated .ap pack and your extracted source files remain the same? How do you manage this?
     
  26. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    The ap files exist so when Steam does an update it just has to change one file instead of loads.
    If you are installing a third party repaint the the Geo files needed copying so the RailVehicles folder needs extracting but nothing else.
    The way the addons work is the game looks first for files outside the ap folder and inside if it does not find them.
    A lot of older RSC stock and routes are not in ap files.

    Peter
     
  27. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Mostly EPs only need the geo files, the basic outline of the loco itself, but in some cases they need scripts etc from newer versions. The simple answer is so long as the .ap is up to date you re-extract, then apply the EP to those new files and away you go.
    I work on the basis of "if it's working, don't touch it. If it doesn't work, do as little as possible to make it work so you don't break something else"
     
  28. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    Easy. Re-extract all files after an update. It replaces those extractions already done. It won't affect any scenarios I've already changed the stock in, but I believe it would then load the newer file anyway.

    Correct. I looked this up, and I think it was around the 2013 edition when they started getting packed. London-Brighton era. I am aware it's so Steam only has to update the one file (this has its own disadvantages, like having to redownload a full 1.5 GB file instead of just the files changed), which also removes the possibility of losing any skins, but some skins may not be compatible with the update and you're back to not having them in the first place anyway in that case. And it's true that the older stock has no issues showing up, so this would be, say, if I want to use the GP38-2 and SD40-2 in N-Line in a Sherman Hill workshop scenario that would otherwise utilize the BNSF versions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  29. LucasLCC

    LucasLCC Well-Known Member

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    TrainSim-Steve Not wanting to make this too much of a TSW thread, but is there likely to be a fix for the memory dumps on console for Northern Transpennine?
     
  30. TrainSim-Steve

    TrainSim-Steve Staff Member

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    Hi jstange,

    As soon as we get an update on when the BR 204 fixes are through testing, I'll update you with details.

    Whilst I can't speak of why a patch was previously held, it was a very different business back then, it certainly isn't the case these days. We certainly try to get them out as quickly as we can and they are vigorously chased internally to clear them through.

    Peter is quite correct, when using the integrity verification check, Steam only checks the files that are actually part of the original upload and registered against the depot. It ignores all other files in the folder. So, unless the mod, EP, or other pack is directly changing one of the core files (and there are instances where people have physically altered values in the core blueprints), then only those are reverted.

    However, the above only applies for products that sit within archived asset pack formats. There are still a fair few depots (add-ons) where there is no asset pack archive and the files are in 'flat format' (i.e. not archived).

    There is an easier method and it involves creating a batch file which is run each time you restart your PC (or can be executed manually) which will validate a check on only .ap files that have been updated but also the contents of the folder where the .ap file has been extracted. However, this does require fairly expert knowledge of batch file design. But, essentially, this method automatically extracts any files which are different from the contents of the extracted file, and saves you the effort of having to do it manually. I personally used to use something similar back when I was modding TS products before I joined DTG.

    A bit off topic for the thread LucasLCC, however, have you put a ticket in to Customer Support so we're aware of it? Personally not aware of any such issues but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem. However, will certainly check in with the team and come back to you.

    Best, Steve
     
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  31. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    Train Sim Steve:
    Can you just confirm that verifying the game files via steam (wrt .ap files) that no mod external to the .ap file is deleted or modified. In fact this process does not delete any file but merely overwrites those in the master data base that have changed since the last verification. A lot of eminent simmers believe that modified files are deleted by game file verification.

    One technical question - do you know if LargeAddressAware in the 64-bit version of TS2020 is set to "ON" or "DEFAULT" and has not been modified in any way?
    Thanks
    PeterH
     

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