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Hauptstrecke Hamburg-lubeck - A Few Thoughts

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Shaun123, May 18, 2021.

  1. Shaun123

    Shaun123 Well-Known Member

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    I was gonna post this thread last week, but thought I would hold on this time, until I'd played a lot more, and until things settled down.

    I hope the team at DTG, don't mind yet another thread on the route!

    First thoughts:

    Personally, scenery wise, it's the best so far in my opinion, for a flat(-ish) end-to-end commuter route, it's a lovely route, and DTG have got the scenery spot on, it's green-looking, lush and dense, compared to some other routes, it's night and day.

    Variety of services, again a really, really good mix, I've enjoyed, the semi-fast/express work of Hamburg-Lubeck, as well as the stop start nature of the RB services to Bad Oldesloe. Including the BR101, a really good choice! It feels quite busy!

    BR112 really nice, if a little quiet, the Dostos well as UK player, it doesn't bother me, but I can certainly see why it bothers others.

    Stations, these are the highlight for me; Hamburg, Lubeck, Kupfermühle, Bad Oldesloe are some of my personal favourites, for station modelling, 10/10.

    Now the bad bits;

    PZB, I've mentioned it, in other threads, but this is just beyond disappointing and is an immersion breaker, now thankfully, I'd consider myself quite experienced with PZB, so I know how to work around the bugs to avoid an emergency brake. But it really shouldn't have been missed.

    On one of the last signals into Hamburg, there a 20 km/h warning limit? Is this correct or a bug?

    Stopping markers, are unbelievably tight, Bargteheide for terminating services being incredibly tight!

    I had a random red signal on the 10:10 service from Hamburg to Bad Oldesloe at Kupfermuhle, (level crossing related?) sadly I was unable to recreate it playing again.

    Performance issues, there is a lot of lag, and stutters and FPS, some of the worst we've had, worse the Munich in my opinion. There's one tile in particular where there's a long delay of 5-10 seconds, if I remember it's the approach to Tonndorf or Rahlstadt (can someone confirm with me double checking!)

    Overall, for me, DTG scenery wise, station modelling, and for the BR112, they've knocked it out the park it's a job well done. Unfortunately, balanced with the PZB issue, it really lets it down, as well being one of the poorer performing routes, in terms of FPS drops and stutters.

    It's a 6.5 or only just a 7 out of 10 for me, purely for the PZB and performance issues alone, apart from that personally, I can't fault it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Well summed up \o/

    The scenery (quality) is just superior, you are right. It is sometimes dense enough to drive in deep shade. Great work, indeed.
    Stations <3

    Adam confirmed today (stream), they fixed PZB & LZB (testing phase right now).
    A great route. It feels very authentic.

    PS Great shots ;)

    EDIT I hope Riesa - Dresden will be the DTG & Skyhook duo again (scenery)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
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  3. ASRGT

    ASRGT Well-Known Member

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    Must say out of all the issues I have with this route performance is not one, its smooth from start to end for me.
    If your running with the DX12 flag on in steam turn it off, it causes excessive hitching with tile/asset loads on this route.
     
  4. LucasLCC

    LucasLCC Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the comments on the scenery of the route itself. It is visually a really nice route, but it's let down by other things.

    If the 112, 182 and PZB had been more polished, I imagine this route would have been really well received despite the recycled stock.

    Hopefully that's a lesson that DTG learn, and with the Rush Hour bundle we see some improvements and fixes to the preserved stock.
     
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  5. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this excellent review. HHL will almost certainly make it into my collection at some point, after PZB if fixed. I will probably pick it up on sale when Rush Hour releases (assuming PZB is fixed). The sheer availability of driving cabs is a key feature for me (maybe ten variants...?), plus the BR 112 is apparently subbed into many other routes. Loved the screenshots (... I am a real sucker for user screenshots...). It will be nice to get a close-up look of Hamburg when I buy HHL (after PZB is fixed). Did you spot the BR 363 in the yards (although unavailable to drive... for now...)....?

    I really do hope that this gets looked at very carefully. I suspect that there are quite a few slightly unoptimised assets floating around on this route. Looks good, but plays bad, is not a good overall solution - this could need quite a bit of work (the poor FPS is obvious in a lot of online first look reviews of HHL).
     
  6. Tigert1966

    Tigert1966 Well-Known Member

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    I pretty much agree. It’s a nice enough route and I’m enjoying the 112 even with the wrong headlight and dostos. I’m disappointed with the PZB but I’m assuming they will be looking carefully at this and a fix will come soon.

    I too am experiencing bad stutters on the 112. I’m on a pretty high spec machine. Currently running a completely standard installation with DX11 and no engine.ini. So that’s a little annoying. Capping the frame rate helps a little + from another poster, it may just be the 112.

    As with all DTG things, I’ll reserve judgment until the first fixes arrive. Almost refunded this one in a rage at the PZB, but at the moment, glad I kept it.
     
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  7. Shaun123

    Shaun123 Well-Known Member

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    That’s the first thing I done, but still getting them (even though it’s much improved) with DX11, and no .ini settings.
     
  8. Task

    Task Well-Known Member

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    This should be as in reality as you are pulling into an occupied platform.
     
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  9. Mat_Jam_Ca

    Mat_Jam_Ca Well-Known Member

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    I don’t own the route yet, but I will do, eventually. From what I’ve seen on the streams the route is beautifully crafted and the stations look superb.

    I’ve not bought on launch because of the PZB issues and I don’t want to pay full price given the poorly made Dostos decision and the 112 not being entirely accurate. Consider this my little protest.
     
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  10. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    I did own this route... got it refunded, however, after I understood the full extend of the PZB bug (have not watched enough steams beforehand, apparently:o). Could have lived with the visuals of the Dostos and the 112 head light issue, but the PZB was the red line I was not willing to accept.

    Having said that, I agree with most what was written above, also liked the touch and feel of the route and will buy it again, once, at least, the PZB is fixed.
     
  11. Shaun123

    Shaun123 Well-Known Member

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    Didn’t know that! Thanks!
     
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  12. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    After deciding to hold off from buying this route because of some negative reviews, I changed my mind and picked it up. I have all the TSW2 routes, so I didn't want to miss out on this one. As it turns out, I'm finding it to be very enjoyable. The scenery is very well done, as are the locos. I can live without the warning system temporarily and I don't know enough about German railroads to care if the headlights or cars are correct. However, I appreciate that some more knowledgeable players may find these problems to be game breaking. For their sakes, I hope fixes are imminent.
     
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  13. JBViper

    JBViper Well-Known Member

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    I also hope that the fixes will be done. It's a very nice road, I like the BR112 and the MRCE BR182 hence my frustration with these bugs.
     
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  14. cp1400

    cp1400 Member

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    I still think that the scenery could have been better executed. The trees don't really match the area (in reality they are bigger and way denser, you can barely make out where one tree begins and the other ends, while in game you have skinnier trees). That was kind of a let down for me as I thought the trees on Clinchfield really transported me to the location. The trees on HHL don't do that for me unfortunately. There are pretty good things in this route and some great modelling but the bugs and certain misrepresentations in some areas kinda break it for me. I'd prolly give it a 5/10 because of that. Mixed feelings towards this one.
     
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  15. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that while the scenery does indeed look very nice, it doesn't look much like the real route. Far too many distinctive buildings were simply not modeled.
     
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  16. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    Could be that they exceeded the amount of time or money allocated to the project?

    If route X took 1.5x as long to model as route Y, how could/should DTG recover that cost? Charge more for that route?
     
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  17. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Tastes vary. I am slowly beginning to pray that Riesa-Dresden would have such a refined scenery.
     
  18. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    Software has an important characteristic. You can replicate it as much as you want for free.

    Route Y costs 100.000€ to make. You sell 10.000 copies at 20€ and you get 200.000€, so 2x your investment.

    Route X costs 150.000€ to make. You sell 10.000 copies at 30€ and you get 300.000€, so 2x your investment.
    Route X costs 150.000€ to make. You sell 15.000 copies at 20€ and you get 300.000€, so 2x your investment.
    Route X costs 150.000€ to make. You sell 12.500 copies at 25€ and you get 312.500€, so more than 2x your investment.

    Now lets see the following example:
    You should invest 150.000€ but you decide that it is too risky and only invest 100.000€ to make it.

    Route X costs 100.000€ to make (should have been 150.000). Customers are not happy with it and you sell 5.000 copies at 20€. You get 100.000€, so you do not earn anything.
    Route X costs 100.000€ to make (should have been 150.000). Most customers think it is not worth buying, so you only sell 2.000 copies at 20€. You get 40.000€, so you lose 60.000€ AND your customers might not even consider buying your future releases (because you have a bad reputation now).

    So, if you invest money WISELY and it translates into a better product that a lot more people are willing to buy you automatically earn more money without increasing the price at all.

    All of the above has a feed back effect. If you do things right for a year your user base will grow and you will get more and more money. If you do things wrong for a year your user base will decrease until you can simply not sell anything.

    Oh, and an important thing. The above is not a 1 counters 1 thing. If you do 1 bad release you will need 4 or 5 good ones to earn the customer trust back.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
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  19. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    That omits any costs after release to maintain, fix, or improve it. For example:
    • Adam’s team spends time adding new features like PIS or Livery Designer to the route or its locos.
    • Updates to resolve issues due to a new version of Unreal or SimuGraph.
    • Bug fixes for sound, signaling, and/or safety systems reported after release.
    • Recurring licensing fees.
    Also, DTG is regularly improving how routes and locos are built, and older routes use code or techniques that likely have become outdated. They probably wouldn’t want to reuse that, and incur more technical debt.

    Even free software isn’t free. Just ask anyone who helps out other family members with their computer, tablet, or smartphone issues.
     
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  20. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    Assuming both routes are equally popular, where’d those 5,000 additional Route X customers come from? :D

    There’s a finite number of train sim fans who buy this stuff (and if you believe what you read here, the sky is falling, disgruntled fans are returning their purchases, and DTG is going out of business).

    (A satisfied customer.)
     
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  21. DeStijl

    DeStijl Well-Known Member

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    The marginal costs for each additional copy in circulation are (very near) zero. It doesn't cost them twice as much to release a patch to 10,000 users as it would to 5,000 users.
     
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  22. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    I think your point is sound in general, especially in the long run, but i see two issues:

    There's a hard upper limit on the train-sim and associated DLC market. It can be an expensive hobby, especially if you buy everything at launch (which DTG would need to maximize profit), and, frankly, it's a very niche interest. It's never gonna be a general-interest bestseller, no matter how much they spend on it, even if it became the sim of all our dreams. I'd love to be wrong, but i just don't see it.

    Simultaneously, i think there's also a fairly high floor for this market, especially in the short-term. I'm sure they've calculated that for every DLC they sell, there's a dedicated customer base that will buy it, (mostly) regardless of quality.

    Unfortunately these two forces combine to produce a very conservative corporate philosophy- fear of upsetting the apple cart by changing too much from what's been profitable for them so far. But, as you say, if you don't grow the market at all, the market will die via dissatisfaction and simple attrition. But i suspect management and/or investors don't think that far ahead.

    I find it humorous though that probably the boldest move DTG has made with TSW- releasing it on consoles that had pretty much zero history in the genre probably saved it from being a total flop, much to the consternation of a not-insignificant portion of the hardcore community.

    That's life though, right?
     
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  23. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to the cost to produce a patch (which would be in addition to the original cost to make the route).
     
  24. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    I, too, have taken a neoclassical microeconomics course at university.

    Cheers
     
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  25. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    What I wrote is just a very basic example to show you that you can earn more money by making a better software product without increasing the cost for each copy. I also included the example where they could increase the revenue by rising the price a bit.

    There are some things listed above are not in the same category:
    The preservation crew is adding new features so they can keep selling that DLC at the same price. If they didn't the old DLC price should be going down or just stop selling (as people would choose newer and better DLC for the same price). Also, do not forget they charged us for the update to the new Unreal version (TSW -> TSW2).

    This goes in a whole different league. Bugfixes are just DTG making the product deliver what it should have when it released, specially when they release the routes knowing those bugs exist. They do not find out after release most of the time. Also keep in mind that once you have the PZB / LZB core tech done, placing it in more DLC costs you much less.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  26. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    Here is an example. I'm quite a rail fan. I bought a lot of DLC. I didn't buy HHL because of the Dostos and the problems with PZB. If they sold 10.000 copies right now, they would have sold 10.001 if they had invested the time and money to fix those 2 issues. I bet there are a few more like me around here.

    Also it is not true that there is a fixed number of rail fan customers you can sell to. Example: I'm not a farming enthusiast, but I bought Farming Simulator just because it has really good reviews so I thought ... let's try this. There are potential rail fans out there that might not even think they could enjoy driving trains. You will not get that people to try TSW with mixed or negative reviews.

    PS: Don't take the numbers I wrote above (customers / development cost) too seriously. I just made those numbers up as an example.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
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  27. Inkar

    Inkar Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm sure there is a lot of people that would not like this kind of simulation and would not buy it no matter what you do. But there is also some people that would like it if they tried it and they do not know that yet. We have all been there at some point I think.

    I 100% agree that DTG can not invest money without limits, but I'm also sure that if their quality goes below some level it will eventually sink the company. You should not get to the release date without knowing what the customers think about a DLC and you should not get there with 0 money / development time to add or fix things that will increase the appeal of the DLC by a huge margin.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
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  28. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    After all, Hollywood previews movies to limited groups, and then goes back and edits after they surveys are taken in.
     
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  29. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Another cool thing about HHL: RB services (eastbound & westbound) meet often on platforms at about the same time.
    It is very enjoyable. We meet approaching or departing trains all the time. It looks great.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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