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Question About The Layering System

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by kalteVollmilch, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. kalteVollmilch

    kalteVollmilch Well-Known Member

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    I have been asking this question a couple of times on stream already, but sadly didn't manage to get an answer, so the forums are my next try.

    Why activate layers based on whether I own a route dlc rather than a certain loco?
    Let me clarify with 2 examples:
    1)
    If I want to drive the 422 on SKA, I need to own RRO. But the 422 also was sold with HRR, so if I own HRR, but not RRO, the 422 layer will not be enabled, even though I own the required loco

    2)
    The BR 182 (Taurus) was a loco-only DLC, originally intended for RT.
    The 182 also subsitutes on basically every other german dlc currently available for the 185s we have. But only, if I own RT as well. This doesn't make sense to me, I bought the loco seperately, yet it only substitutes if I own one certain route (in this case RT as well).

    So why are things handled this way? I'd much prefer if layers activate based on whether I own a certain loco rarther than a certain route.
     
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  2. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    DTG Protagonist - maybe one for a future Matt discussion?
    I agree with the poster that if a unit is owned then it should be able to be subbed in irrespective of whether it was originally intended for a specific route or not
     
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  3. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    It’s probably less repetitive and has less overhead to activate one layer for any locos on a route, rather than 3-4 times the number of layers on a per-loco basis.
     
  4. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I would imagine the single layer / substituted would be the easiest way, so you could have the 185 and 182 subbed in on a single layer (if they're interchangeable in real life). But as the OP says, right now you would need to own the RT DLC as well as the 182 to do this, when you should be able to use the 182 without IF it can be subbed in elsewhere
     
  5. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    This. You have my full support, I'm very cuorious as well, quite annoying to know I have the right train in HRR but I'll have to buy RRO as well
     
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  6. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    I guess this is similar to the Class 31, which can be used on the West Somerset Railway, using the coaches that come with West Somerset Railway. However, according to the steam store page, the Class 31 needs the Tees Valley Line DLC.
     
  7. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Matt explained once on some stream about HRR, responding to a similar (?) question.
    Maybe it's this one:



    In my opinion, it is a business decision. More DLC - More Benefits for a player (sounds fair). Such a message.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  8. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    Substitution and layers use stock from one route only. That route is where the assets for the train are stored on your computer or console. Although you might have the same loco come as standard with two routes, in reality they are two different sets of the same assets, sometimes with very slight differences, as each route is a self contained package which contains all the trains that are native to it.

    The 422 in HRR isn’t the same one that is in RRO.

    The layer for the 422 in SKA has to look somewhere for the model of the 422. It can’t use any one of the two 422 models because if you had both RRO and HRR you would end up with two instances of the same layer, so it is forced to use one. RRO is the one DTG chose for SKA to use.

    Separate loco DLC like the 182 are tied to one route in a similar way. When substitution allows a loco to be used, the game looks to load the assets from the route that loco lives in. The loco DLC isn’t floating about as its own entity on your hard drive, it is stored within the route it was built for, so without that route, the loco has nowhere to live.

    You can think of a loco DLC as being a DLC for a route, not a DLC for the game. Other routes have to look to the route to find the loco. So when the Class 31 is substituting for the Class 47 in WSR, it finds the Class 31 in TVL.
     
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  9. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    The Class 31 is not in TVL. It's a seperate loco DLC. And neither does it use any coaches or rolling stock that's bound to TVL or another route. So that still doesn't explain why the TVL is needed to get the Class 31 operational on WSR.
     
  10. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Except you can easily add in replacements from a pool of available stock rather than saying "it must be this or this". If the 422 in HRR is the same length as that in RRO there's no reason why it couldn't be done unless DTG have done it that way for some other reason
     
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  11. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    It is in TVL though. It’s a DLC for the TVL route. All loco DLC’s reside within a route. It’s how it works and how I explained it works in my post.

    Think of the game as a child’s room. Think of a route as a toy box within that room. Think of a loco as a toy in that box. When you buy a new toy it goes into the toy box, not on the floor in the room. That’s where the toy lives.
     
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  12. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    That brings us a few limitations, especially as the amount of available content grows. Also doesn't make it easier for new players to understand this system.

    I hope DTG will consider making the system less limited, similar to how Train Simulator deals with its DLC, where any train can be used on any route, and only the scenarios depend on a certain route.
     
  13. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    There is no pool of available stock. The stock is tied to a route. The layer system and substitution systems are semi-automatic in how they work. For the 422 in SKA, that is a layer of services, which can only use one version. The reason there are two versions is that both RRO and HRR, which are self contained routes, each have services which use a 422 as their only traction, so HRR couldn’t use the substitution method to use the RRO 422, so a duplicate is used.
     
  14. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Which means they changed it from how it worked in TSx, thus restricting users (again)

    In other DTG sims, the assets are separate from the routes, and you can reference assets from other folders just be referencing the folder.
     
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  15. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    Having some layered services based on routes, and other layered services based on locos would be harder to explain or illustrate in a manual.

    It’s much more consistent and simple to keep everything route-based, rather than route ABC adding X services, loco 123 adding Y services, and loco 456 adding Z services.
     
  16. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    The manual would only have to say "services on this route may be substituted when other locos or trains are available, for the current substitutions see xxx website", mainly because as they add more relevant swap outs they wouldn't want to have to update the manual every time
     
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  17. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know why they have it the way it is. It has restricted use of some stock on routes and now with Off The Rails mode it restricts consists to those that use stock from only one route. Maybe it was an easier system to get working in the game engine and is less prone to going wrong than any other. That’s just a guess but it seems to work well doing what it does.
     
  18. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    As a theory that's fine, I mean I would theorise that the console folder structure may be more restrictive than the engine but then I've never dug into an Xbox folder structure.
     
  19. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    It's more about a set of components than just the locomotive itself.
    It's the same in TS. Sometimes ALL DLC (for purchase) is missing in order for something free from Workshop to work.
     
  20. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Except in TSx if you buy a class 143 intended for the Riviera Line and want to put it on the Chatham Mainline you can because the asset lives outside of the route
     
  21. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    But this is not TS.
    Hope these suggestions will meet the Roadmap someday :)
     
  22. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    So don't say it's the same then
     
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  23. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    As per the posts above, if the locos of a route live within the route and cannot be accessed unless that route is also present then that would mean that third party devs could NEVER have been able to make new locos because they would have to be tied to a route rather than being accessible to everyone. Definitely a step backward in development capability
     
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  24. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    It's the same in the case I described. Not in yours anymore. You are right here ;)
     
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  25. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    For example, 155 and 182 show this can work in such a cool and desirable way. But:
    Same with 185.2 (RSN vs MSB version). Do these locomotives differ only in livery? AFB?
    Plus financial considerations.

    PS I don't judge if it's good. I'd rather buy less and get more. Without irony, maybe someone will be able to persuade DTG to change their approach.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  26. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    It's just never easy lol
     
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  27. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    The route should define which trains can run on it. The game then only needs to look for which of these trains are available in the players collection. If no appropiate trains are available, that specific service can't be run.

    That's actually pretty similar to Train Simulator's Quick Drive mode. The spawning points for AI traffic are part of the route, and within the route it is defined which trains would be appropiate to be spawned. If the player doesn't own any of these trains, no AI train will be spawned. If the player does own one or more of these trains, the game will choose from any of the available trains.

    I can't see how that could not work for TSW. If a route offers S-Bahn services, those services should be part of the timetable within that route. Within that route they could define that these S-Bahn services can be run with a BR422. If the player owns no BR422, these services can't be selected and there won't be AI traffic. If the player owns any BR422, the game picks that one. I don't see why any timetable services are included in the loco DLC, rather than the route DLC.
     
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  28. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. In another topic DTG stated the limitation in TSW is no different than in TS, but it is. In above example, the only limitation is that scenarios won't be available if you don't own the route (which makes sense), and there's limitations on the spawning of AI trains in Quick Drive mode. In above example, buying the Class 143 for the Riviera Line, without owning the Riviera Line itself, means that you won't be getting the scenarios, and that the Class 143 won't be spawning as AI traffic on other routes, but you could still use the Class 143 on any route in Quick Drive mode, or in user-created scenarios, without the need to buy the Riviera Line route DLC.
     
  29. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    It's that second bit which is the limitation.
    The scenarios are in the route, but the assets needn't be (unless there's a reason we don't know) so if there are other routes where that loco could be run, owning the loco should be sufficient without needing to own "it's home route"
     
  30. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    stujoy explained it very well. These are not the same (despite the common name) locomotives, which means different (additional) layers. The first such observation - SKA 185.2 DB vs Railion - different services for both. Poke Matt - maybe he'll add those non-HRR S-Bahn sets in the same way ('liveries'). I would not criticize the very essence of this mechanism - it is just like that.

    PS Maybe only goodwill is needed here, or maybe these additional layouts do not fit by some miracle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  31. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    The routes do contain all the services in all cases but each service is set to look for one particular train. It doesn’t get a choice, it has to use the one train that has been assigned to the service. Services themselves don’t have any stock and the stock have no services. You can’t have the service choose which 422 it searches for, that would confuse the system, it has to be one or the other, but the services themselves are in the SKA route itself. The RRO 422 has been assigned as the traction it uses.

    Substitution is a separate system that will allow any stock that you own to replace the stock for any service based on some criteria which is set up within the service. So that system only needs you to own the stock that substitutes in. But that stock still resides in its native route because that’s where DTG have chosen to have them reside. You can’t currently buy any train that doesn’t come with dedicated services in one route. In some cases they are only scenarios, like with the M3 in LLIR, the timetable services just mix with the M7.
     
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  32. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, and when DTG first talked about the substitution system, I had hoped it would've worked like you described.

    The services should be part of the timetable, as defined in the route DLC. For each service defined what kind of consists would be possible. The game then checks which rolling stock (locos, wagons, coaches and MUs) are available in a players collection. It can then form a list of possible consists, for either the player or the AI to choose from for that specific service.

    For example, a heritage train like the Railtour on East Coastway, could be definid within the service of the East Coastway timetable. For that specific timetable service requirements could be set, such as;
    - It needs to be British locomotive
    - It needs enough power to pull a few coaches
    - It needs enough top speed (probably don't want shunters on this service)
    - It needs diesel power or third rail power
    - It requires a set of old BR coaches (could be either Mk1 or Mk2 or whatever)

    A system like that would keep limitations to a minimum, still be realistic, and offer any train that meets the requirements to be used, without relying on other specific route DLCs. Such a system would allow me to do the Railtour service with a Class 31, with the coaches from Northern Trans-Pennine, without the need to also own Tees Valley Line.

    That is how I imagined this whole substitution system would work.
     
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  33. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    In a nutshell, me too

    if(class>2 && exists=true){use the darn thing!}
     
  34. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    I think that pretty much sums up the limitation the current system has, and it's a limitation I'd like to see gone. Substitution should be bound to a service, not to a train. There might be a technical reason why SKA needs a specific BR422, but other than that, such a limitation makes no sense, does it?
     
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  35. ZeenozPlays

    ZeenozPlays Well-Known Member

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    They probably just want you to buy another route for a new Loco/Train so they can milk more money.
     
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  36. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Nooo waaay :o Just like that? I will never believe it :(
    How will they milk me with as much fantasy as yesterday's HMA show - I'm in!
     
  37. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    In regards to loco add-ons, surely linking them to specific routes makes sense because the locos come with a tutorial and scenarios, which is part of what you are paying for and which will have to be built by devs in a specific route? You are told before you buy a loco add-on it will only work if you own a particular route, so nobody is being mislead into buying it. The choice is ultimately yours whether you want to buy the route and then the loco, the route without the loco, or neither.

    The alternative would be what? Being able to buy an M3 without LIRR? Or a class 52 Western without WSR? People would complain they were just getting a loco with no realistic route to use it on if that were the case, or no tutorial on how to use it, or no scenarios.

    I understand the issue with the 422, but that's the only example of a route add-on with a loco that doesn't unlock services the same loco would with a different route add-on, right? So maybe it's a one-off.
     
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  38. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    This is a fascinating discussion. So, to be clear, when the C40-8W arrives, it will only ever add services to SPG and no other future CSX route?
     
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  39. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    These standalone packages, such as the BR 155, are kind in this matter :)
     
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  40. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    No, but if DTG want to run C40-8W on other routes as substitutions for whatever is on those routes, users will need to own the C40-8W loco and the SPG route to do so
    This isn't about what locos may or may not work in the future, but whether owning a license for that loco DLC means you can use it in other routes without owning it's "home route"
     
  41. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    OK, lets give a specific example.
    You go and buy the GWE expansion and at some point in the future they add in an IET unit as a DLC.
    A year down the line they bring out the South Wales route but to run the IET on that route you can't just own the IET DLC, you must also own the GWE route.
    So instead of paying £12 for a loco to get full functionality from it, you must pay £37

    That's how it's being stated anyway
     
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  42. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Rather, I don't like to agree with you, but here I have to, on reflection. It works like that - it's a pity to bid. However, they could sort it out somehow.

    I take the loco from the box and play with it my way, on the appropriate tracks. Without having to buy... mustard. It makes sense. I honestly think this could be done if we could convince Matt.

    PS 155 and 182 are such examples - he promised to "turn on" these locomotives for SKA. So you can, just like that.
     
  43. Luke8899

    Luke8899 Well-Known Member

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    I get it, but would that be any different from someone complaining that to play the 19.99 IOW route-add on, they must first purchase TSW2 with 3 routes they are not interested in, for 24.99? A combined cost of 44.98 for one DLC? Well, it comes down to whether they want IOW that much or not, no?

    So long as DTG make it clear, which they do, that loco add-ons require certain route add-ons to work, it's nothing more than a personal decision as to whether you want something or not, and what you'll pay to have it.
     
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  44. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    We know what you mean. Whether DTG change to a different way of doing things in the future is anybody’s guess, but for the moment you have to buy the route that the loco DLC is for. I wanted the 155 so I bought RSN and the 155. They are my favourite route and train now. It’s just the way I had to do it to get the best train in TSW. I don’t get any extra services for the 155 outside of RSN but it subs in everywhere and although I do love RSN, I think it would have still been worth the price for both just to have the 155 on the other German routes, which all also cost money to buy. It all comes down to how much you want the train. If DTG change it in the future then it may become more flexible and cheaper but for now...
     
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  45. GuitarMan

    GuitarMan Well-Known Member

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    Correct - That is absolutely how it currently works - with locos like the Class 52, Class 20 etc, you have to have both the base railway and the locomotive - its the only reason I brought WSR to be honest as I wanted the Class 52. (In hindsight I'm glad I did, because I have enjoyed many a meander down the WSR, but never would have brought it otherwise).

    And yes - as a new customer to the series, it did wind me up a bit, (even if I am over it now)
     
  46. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Actually, those costs exist in my stated context as well so add another £25 on... It's not the same though as we're talking about an additional DLC for a route which can then be used on other routes, rather than locos that came with a route in the first place

    Yep, agreed

    Welcome to the rail sim hobby... I've got tons of stuff I never use just because they might be AI somewhere else
     
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  47. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    I like the solution in Run8. If you don't have something, he can use it, but visually it's a placeholder. In our case it would mean access to all services, but each locomotive would be eg BR 143 :| hehehehehe

    PS they quickly encouraged me to shop there, when it turned out in the game, 90% of the rolling stock looks suspiciously the same...

    I think it may have to do with multiplayer. Players will not see invisible unowned trains. DTG probably has a similar concern. Will it have? We will see.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  48. Doomotron

    Doomotron Well-Known Member

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    Really loco DLC should work identically to Train Simulator, where it is well set up. Almost universally, loco DLC has these three folders:
    • Assets: the loco itself, kept in its own folder, such as Assets\RSC\Class37Pack1
    • Content: where the scenarios are kept. They're in the route's folder, but without the route itself.
    • Manuals
     
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  49. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    lol, remember them?
     
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  50. TrainSim-Matt

    TrainSim-Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    Let me clear up some misunderstandings if I may.

    In TSW, there is the concept of "plugins" (which comes from UE4). We have structured content so that every individual component is in its own plugin. If you take Main Spessart Bahn, you will see inside the PAK file there are numerous plugins, one for each locomotive, one for each wagon and one for the route.

    So at the dev level, each locomotive and each wagon are all in their own folders.

    When we build a locomotive DLC to add to a route, it often makes use of files that are in the route plugin - which is one of the things that ties a loco dlc to the route, if you dont have the route you start to miss out on key things that make the loco work potentially.

    I definitely want to find ways to cut the ties here, but currently if you bought a loco without the route you'd be missing tutorials and basically everything and while that's ok for us hardcore folks, it's not a great experience for the majority so there's a little more to think about besides the basic sharing of resource problem.

    For now then, that's why you need to own the route to use the loco.

    In terms of service mode dependencies...

    When you author a service in the timetable it has to have specific links to specific assets in order to work. "use this formation containing these bits". Those then are used to calculate all the timings and so forth, and they then form the template for which substitution can try and look for other things to swap in if they're available.

    If you don't have the base assets that were used to author the timetable it just won't work because it no longer has what it needs to actually figure out valid substitutions anymore - it has *some* of it but not all. It may be there is a route to loading up the timetable with lots more info to allow it to dynamically sub even without the base formations and then figure it out on the fly at load time... I can see there's potential paths there, but also potential nightmares too. Right now, the timetable *always* has a safe place to fall back to and know it's still a working timetable - this would make that assertion much harder to make. Eg. what if you have a loco like the 185.2 where its authored for the MSB one but you only own RSN, so it subs it - but now later you dont have either installed and suddenly the timetable is missing a loco to fill a slot that's essential and you end up with a major problem.

    Could that system be improved? For sure. It's not on the cards at the moment though, to be clear.

    So for right now, and this has precisely zero to do with "make you buy more DLC" (whether you believe me or not is really up to you, I can only say it), it's just how the system has been technically built.

    If I'd authored the SKA services so they could use *either* 422, then actually what you'd have ended up with was half using the RRO and half using the HRR - so you'd ended up mandatorily needing to buy *two* routes to get *all* services. That feels less good, so I went with RRO because that gave the extra freight services too and more people already own RRO.

    So, to summarise:

    Loco's needing the route - technical limitation with how content is authored partly, and there is a desire look in to how we can improve this, and partly making sure that it's still a good experience and people can't end up buying something they can't figure out how to use.

    Layers needing specific content - technical limitation with how content is authored, much more tricky to resolve. I appreciate the frustration on the part of the 422 and SKA - but that's why it is how it is right now.

    Hope that helps.
    Matt.
     
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