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Thread: Buyers of DLC not properly informed in the Traniz Store?

  1. #1
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    Default Buyers of DLC not properly informed in the Traniz Store?

    There are several well known issues with how TRAINZ developers do a poor job of making things easy for their customers. Notably the download site is poorly designed; the content has very poor structure to help find what you need, naming is not consistent or standardized as is should be, descriptions are most often useless and the search function has never been kind to me. Yes I realize the content is not made by the developers, but they are still responsible for their site and how its presented. They need to develop standards used by the community when creating this content that is designed to be standardized and structured. That is the developers responsibility. Also the official TANE tutorial videos on YouTube used jargon and slang that made no sense to me and just created more confusion. They were too long, boring and not helpful. They were not user friendly. Much the same can be said for the FORUM design.

    I just purchased TRAINZ 2019 Platinum edition. I am very impressed with the sim and have enjoyed it so far. Some observations on how things cold be improved. When you get the Platinum edition you are entitled to several downloads as part of the package. The procedure for downloading these packages may be obvious to some, but is was not to me. It took some tinkering and a couple days before I finally figured out how to download the content included in Platinum. I'm still not sure if the JR US and Canada Content Pack was installed automatically because I do not see it as a package for download in the STORE. Certainly the TRAINZ developers could make clear and concise instructions on how to get these things installed. It seems to me the instructions as written are just too vague.

    I was looking over several payware items that interested me on the STORE page. "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Columbia River Basin" is available for $39.99. Upon close reading this entire route is included in "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Beavermouth to Ottertail" plus expanded areas to the East and West for the same price of $39.99. So an unfortunate customer could buy the first route not being aware of the second and would be ripped off.
    It seems to me if anyone bought Columbia River Basin they should get an automatic upgrade to Beavermouth to Ottertail when they check out. Better yet, why even offer the first since it is included in the second?
    This lack of clarity is misleading and unacceptable. It makes me wonder what other products are sold that are either updated or included in other products. This generates a lack of trust in your selling/marketing strategy for me. It seems to me TRAINZ needs to be more transparent and up front about the content they are selling.

    My own observation is that TRAINZ has never been good at making descriptions of their products and their differences and instructions helpful to the user. The forums and DLC is hard to navigate and the search feature is almost useless. Every version of TRAINZ I've purchased over the years had built in content, both rolling stock and routes and sessions, that were defective and did not work due to poor quality control. An example: I purchased Classic Carbon City a few years ago. There is a flaw in the track that derails your trolley when you attempt to get back to the depot from a particular direction. You are not allowed to fix the portion of track (a switch) because you are blocked from making changes to the base map. The time is scaled way too fast going though a 24 hour period in just minutes, and there is no way to slow the time rate down in the game. And no fix was ever offered. In one British route from TS10 there was a session where you stopped for a red signal. The AI train that was supposed to trigger the signal to green was broke and you could not advance. If you went through the red signal you failed and the session ended. in a Russian route a trigger problem existed and the AI trains just stacked up bringing the session to a halt. There were others.
    Not acceptable for something customers pay for.
    It seems to me the developers put their time, effort and money into improving the "gee whiz" aspect of the game, not enough into making it better for their customers to use. Even though the developers don't make the actual items in their product, they are inherently responsible for the quality included in the many versions of TRAINZ. A lot more attention to this aspect is needed.

    In general, an TRAINZ is a good product but flawed and could be made much better. My two cents.

  2. #2
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    Just one small observation
    Quote Originally Posted by grandpa1955 View Post
    ... . Also the official TANE tutorial videos on YouTube used jargon and slang that made no sense to me and just created more confusion. They were too long, boring and not helpful. They were not user friendly. Much the same can be said for the FORUM design.... .
    Since you've been on the track, so to speak, since TS2010, some of that jargon and slang should have rubbed off by now. Being a train sim, using train related vocabulary should be par for the course. As for long, boring and not helpful, I've seen some excellent ones and I've seen some duds. As they say, YMMV.
    As for errors and flaws in various routes, it's a shame that they happen and we all wish they would disappear. I tend to make my own so seldom see other people's errors but if I did, I would also be upset.
    My one cent


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  3. #3
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    Appreciate the response Martinvk.

    I've actually been using TRAINZ even before TS10. The video confusion I was talking about wasn't "train talk" but more "computer talk". They were using references to files and configurations that were not on my computer. I don't remember the details, but they were not helping.

    I too became frustrated so just started making my own routes and sessions. As you know that is a difficult and time consuming process. My route was based on post Civil War era steam. Unfortunately the loco's and rolling stock I used did not make it into newer versions of the game. In fact for most period modelers there is a very limited selection of quality assets. Most developers and even the payware guys focus on mostly modern stuff with limited road names. It would be nice if someone could produce some quality stuff from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's with names long gone like Reading RR, Wabash, Soo, NYC, PRR, N&W, B&O, C&O, Grand Trunk, etc. I'm sure there are a ton of enthusiast interested in these era's.

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    Some samples from Fallen Flag Railroads who produce steam era content. All for TRS19 only.








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    Unfortunately the loco's and rolling stock I used did not make it into newer versions of the game.
    The vast majority of older content can be installed into TRS19. Just download from the DLS.

    Note that you do not need 4.6 content in TRS19. You just can't use 4.6 content in anything earlier than TRS19.
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    Regarding the Canadian Routes, I bought "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Columbia River Basin" for T:ANE, and it came over when I bought TS2019. "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Beavermouth to Ottertail" was created later and not offered to us as an upgrade, but sold as a separate entity. I have no issue with that, other than it would be great to get a discount since I already have half of the route, but They do have occasional sales where everyone gets a discount....

    EDIT - After thinking about it though, yes, I agree if a payware route contains all of another payware route, it should say "Contains the full
    "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Columbia River Basin", and that route should probably be lowered to about half price, and maybe even say "Included in Canadian Rocky Mountains - Beavermouth to Ottertail".
    Last edited by Forester1; September 22nd, 2020 at 07:40 AM.
    “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” - R.L.S.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forester1 View Post
    Regarding the Canadian Routes, I bought "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Columbia River Basin" for T:ANE, and it came over when I bought TS2019. "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Beavermouth to Ottertail" was created later and not offered to us as an upgrade, but sold as a separate entity. I have no issue with that, other than it would be great to get a discount since I already have half of the route, but They do have occasional sales where everyone gets a discount....

    EDIT - After thinking about it though, yes, I agree if a payware route contains all of another payware route, it should say "Contains the full
    "Canadian Rocky Mountains - Columbia River Basin", and that route should probably be lowered to about half price, and maybe even say "Included in Canadian Rocky Mountains - Beavermouth to Ottertail".
    Roy wanted to release this as a single route, but N3V insisted on carving it up into pieces. It's too bad we can't edit the routes and merge them together. I have his original ca. TS12 version of the same route and it's an amazing job he did with the complete Canadian Rockies route. I used to spend a lot of time running passenger and freights over the mountains with plenty of through freights running from east to west across the Continental Divide while I drove the Canadian and other passenger trains myself.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 106618

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    Appreciate everyone's response and that everyone remains civil.

    Gawpo50 I'm not saying there is no quality stuff from days gone by, just that there's not much and of limited scope. Certainly not enough to build a route with. Yes you can download items from previous versions of TRAINZ, but its still limited and let's face it, almost all of poor quality.

    To illustrate the lack of user friendliness, take this forum for example. After signing in to the site I have to sign in again to leave a post. Ridiculous. Relatively small things but not user friendly.
    Last edited by grandpa1955; September 23rd, 2020 at 11:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandpa1955 View Post
    Appreciate everyone's response and that everyone remains civil.

    Gawpo50 I'm not saying there is no quality stuff from days gone by, just that there's not much and of limited scope. Certainly not enough to build a route with. Yes you can download items from previous versions of TRAINZ, but its still limited and let's face it, almost all of poor quality.

    To illustrate the lack of user friendliness, take this forum for example. After signing in to the site I have to sign in again to leave a post. Ridiculous. Relatively small things but not user friendly.
    Don't go by the build number to indicate whether it's good or bad. There are plenty of TS2009 through TS12 assets that are worth using. Many content creators opted to continue to release assets at this level until they could no longer upload them to the DLS due to easier content-creation methods and support for previous versions.

    Just a few examples:

    Check out assets by Dave Snow (davesnow). His buildings, houses, and other assets are to die for. They look good and are easily reskinned.

    Jointed Rail too (JR-series assets) now up on the DLS. There isn't a route I've worked on that doesn't include something from either of these creators.

    RMM - his Speed Trees outdo many by other creators. They look good and represent just about any species such as oaks, catalpa, willows, pine, spruce, and so on.

    Clam1952. CL-series houses, roads, walls, textures, simple trees, and lots of other stuff. This is mainly Welsh-oriented for his interest in his Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog narrow gauge, but if you're modeling US New England, or other north eastern locations, his stone houses work perfectly especially for Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

    Old, but still good are Sir Gibby's NZ Houses. These are great ca. 1880s - 1920s cottage style houses. They're not perfect, but similar to those many cottages found along the shores here that were built by Brook Skinner, Sears, American Home and Gardens, and other builders. My great Grandmother had a house similar to one of these that she had built for about $250 back in 1925.

    And other greats include George Fisher. His great buildings such as his Sears homes, triple-deckers, Colonial homes, Colonial Revival and other styles work well.

    Carz... There's plenty of carz and truckz from around the world. Pick and choose to your heart's delight. There are some built-in but plenty of others on the DLS.

    The thing is, I've only scratched the surface. The best bet is to take time and look at what's out there. With well over 500K assets to choose from, I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.

    ====

    What happened with the forums occurs occasionally. Ensure you check keep me logged in. There have been glitches in the past, but that's server or internet related and has nothing to do with the forums here. The forums here, are in fact friendly and have been that way for quite sometime. We take pride in keeping them that way.
    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandpa1955 View Post
    To illustrate the lack of user friendliness, take this forum for example. After signing in to the site I have to sign in again to leave a post. Ridiculous. Relatively small things but not user friendly.
    I do not know what you are doing to achieve that but I have never had to sign in a second time to leave a post (this one for example).
    TRS19 Platinum Edition SP2 (beta) 109037 - TRS19 SP1 (standard) 105096

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    For the forum, tick Remember Me.
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    Remember, the forum login is driven more by your browser settings than the forum software itself. Add to that N3V didn't write the forum software so I wouldn't tie too many forum issues to them. The forum is by vBulletin. I love this "classic" forum design. They are harder and harder to find in use. I can't remember the last time I had to sign in. If you happen to be on Mac, I know that syncing passwords between devices with Google Chrome really messed things up. I use Safari mainly but also use Chrome and I have to use it with syncing (settings) turned off. I have not tried syncing Chrome in Win10.

    Not enough assets? Are you sure you are looking at all assets and don't have some type of wonky filter set? (like built-in only or something) There are horses pulling wagons, four wheelers, tractors, jets, helicopters, battleships, tanks, snakes, deer stands, cars you can ride in, and a zillion other assets to use on your route. Make sure content manager is showing you everything.
    Last edited by 1611mac; September 24th, 2020 at 05:34 AM.
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  13. #13
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    I'm taking a guess that grandpa is going by the default list that comes up when you launch manage content, need to change to all or DLS to see the full range.

    According to a search on DLS there are 304385 items on the DLS.

    Worth mentioning that 99% of content is made by us the users and not N3V, who being well aware of the faulty stuff on the DLS, set up the Content Repair Group, who where it's possible, fix the stuff on the DLS that's broken ensure it works in the supported builds of Trainz where the creators have left vanished or put bluntly can't be bothered, however we are volunteers, there is only three of us currently active and it has to fit in with our own content creating, route building, beta testing and the real world. There are currently 7384 items on the list so it's going to take a very long time!
    Malc


  14. #14
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    Hello JCitron, pware and clam1952,

    Thanks for adding to the discussion.

    I can't explain having to log in multiple times on this site either. But just now I logged in, opened the forum page and was asked to log in again. Hmmmm... I don't know why.

    It's not a matter or quantity, but quality. Yes there are many thousands of items made by users available on the download station. But how many have the high quality we come to expect in todays games? Very very few. And I certainly know there will be exceptions. Many of the older items are not maintained by the creator and have missing dependencies and errors that are not worth the effort. And finding just the right item is a disorganized forest of stuff is like finding a needle in a haystack. But this is getting off on a tangent and not what I was originally saying. Perhaps worthy of a different thread?

    My original point was if I pay for a product, whether its a TV, snow blower, microwave oven, car, or a computer program, I expect it to work. If it doesn't i expect it to be replaced or fixed. My point was that several items included in the base package of the various versions of TRAINZ did not work properly and were never fixed. I don't care who actually made the route, session or rolling stock, it was included in the TRAINZ package or was purchased from the STORE and was defective. I personally don't consider this an acceptable way of taking care of the customer.

  15. #15
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    As for the forum.. try this. While on the forum, go to the "Forum" Home Page. Save a bookmark. Then when you come back to the forum in the future, use the bookmark to go directly to the home page. This might keep you logged in.

    Specifically, what items in the base package did not (do not) work properly?
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