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FSX Steam edition, the verdict so far.
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

19th Dec 2014
14:02:56
There are some good points but basically it's not going to work with fsopen server, they have made some changes to the underlying network protocol, possibly encrypted it. This is why it's not possible to connect between standard and steam versions of fsx.

It's also possible to crash a session by injecting lots of tow planes in from a glider, suspect this is happening in most sessions already so in reality until this is fixes multi-player is a no go.

Open clouds will work fine.


Richard Coton
United Kingdom

19th Dec 2014
14:12:59
Do we know how the servers actually work so far Dave? Like, is it possible to make a new server system based on the modifications made? I haven't played it yet but I'm assuming if DTG are going to be making a new one, then they'll probably use the system they've done with this so maybe get a headstart early?
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

19th Dec 2014
14:41:06
Looking at it now but it's not looking good so far.
Curley Campbell
United States
19th Dec 2014
16:20:56
How it works... It IS a server... rather than being hosted by "GameSpy"... it is now hosted by "Stream". Still 32bit and DX9.

My 1st impression is... it is like starting all over again.
I have not tested all the addons/scenery/aircraft yet, of course. I suspect we will most likely have to purchase some of their new item coming up... something like Flight. Let's hope they do not choose to go that way.

Not being able to use FSOpen is definitely a BIG downside for me. FSOpen has been a Godsend...and totally made my hosting life much less of a hassle.

Thanks for the test server Dave... at least folks are interested... you were 50/50 players.. for a long time :)
Chi Ioi Fong
Macao

20th Dec 2014
10:41:20
What's the current progress? I'm assuming that as long as the local IP connection system isn't that different from FSX, there should be a high possibility of patching the server client to accept connections from FSX-SE. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Dave Wave
United Kingdom

20th Dec 2014
12:46:47
It is very different, there is no way that the new version will connect with the old one. As it stands I'd say it's not worth buying.

Laurence Woodside
Ireland

20th Dec 2014
21:17:35
As Dave states not worth the money you will have to spend. "If it ain't broke don,t fix it!" FSOpen remains to tick all the boxes so other than attracting new players to FSX and possibly a new influx of users within FSOpen, don't bother.
Robert Dunn
United States
21st Dec 2014
22:22:00
I'll post more later. msFLIGHTS.net endorses FSX:Steam Edition. Surprisingly (for me), FSX:SE was popular overnight. I have experimented with FSOpen Server2 and at least got the existence of our FSX:SE server(s) listed. Like Dave Wave says, it is different in the structure of the data exchanged.

Many of us at msFLIGHTS.net were involved in this platform's analysis and comment back to Dovetail Games early on. I'm sure you'll all understand why those of us aforementioned cannot comment on topics that, now after official release, are not publicly posted or announced. However, now that FSX:SE is released, there is much to talk about.

This Steam community forum discussion is officially endorsed and I would encourage interested pilots and communities to make themselves heard and known there:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/314160/discussions/1/626329820729615790/

msFLIGHTS.net is actively host serving FSX:SE and has been since opening day. You can find our multiplayer server listed in FSX:SE along with many others. I believe I see intermittently other FSX communities including our friends at FsFlyboys putting up FSX:SE host servers. msFLIGHTS.net actively hosts a public TeamSpeak channel on our TeamSpeak server address "msflights.net". You can intermittently encounter some Dovetail staff and interested third party developers (3PDs) on that FSX:SE TeamSpeak channel also. Immediately, that TS channel has become our busiest channel with a LOT of new faces interested in this platform. Steam in-game voice works much better than legacy FSX in-game voice, 'specially when enabled concurrent with TeamSpeak (no echo-back and voice quality is much improved).

Much to my surprise, many 3PDs are interested and involved now. Their products are either immediately installable with some installation redirection or are currently being modified to correctly install and work. One big problem early on was lack of FSUIPC support. Pete Dowson published on his support website that he would anticipate FSUIPC-FSX:SE support early in January. However, version 4.938 instead took Mr. Dowson all of two days to complete and is available now. FSUIPC v4.938 works with FSX:SE.

Hardware manufacturers, particularly Saitek are testing their equipment with FSX:SE and are generally finding immediate success. We at msFLIGHTS.net are experiencing much more stable hardware performance than with legacy FSX under Win 8.1 or P3Dv2. Additionally, overall framerate performance and single player stability is better (much better, I believe) than legacy FSX.

This is the big one...Steam connected multiplayer is still very unstable and needs much further work. Many of us including Dovetail are indeed working on multiplayer stability. Another possible deal breaker...legacy FSX and FSX:SE will never mulitplayer interoperate. That being said, msFLIGHTS.net is immediately running and supporting both platforms and are seeing interest in both platforms from the same pilot base as well as a new crop of Steam generated interested pilots.

Multiplayer does indeed connect much like Mr. Campbell post in the FSOpen forum. The multiplayer connection experience approximates the old GameSpy days except now you are talking to Steam. LAN connection does not now nor is it forecast to ever work with FSX:SE. The two platforms will not currently interoperate multiplayer.

As far as price, for the first two days after release FSX:SE was available for five U.S. bucks. Until 2nd January, it's US $12:50. MSRP will eventually be US $25.00.

I'll save for a later date and base any further posts on this subject here in FSOpen forum further comment based on interest. I encourage interested pilots and admins to go directly to the developer's forum on Steam listed above.


Dave, if you're interested, I can put you in touch with Dovetail 3PD liaison for further discussions. Please email me for such email addresses at Dovetail and who these liaisons are and why you might care. If you've made up your mind already not to develop for FSX:SE, we will all continue to use your fine work in legacy FSX (with admiration and appreciation) and we will come together independent of FSOpen to develop some of the necessary tools your fine software has made us so dependent on for FSX:SE.

Respects, Bob...
ROBERT DUNN 2
RSDunn2@msflights.net
Curley Campbell
United States
22nd Dec 2014
01:54:44
Good write up, Mr Dunn.

Although most of the freeware/payware aircraft are okay and VRS intends to look for a fix for TacPack, I have a few things holding me and my crew up.

-- Not able to use FSOPEN, as we currently, is an absolute deal breaker for me hosting a session.

-- Unable to get SimConnect (java) to work at all. Without this... at this point... I have not been able to use the following software, FS Recorder, GSX, AI Carriers, Accu Feel, Instant Scenery, FSX SDK Tools, and a few I have not yet tested... are all still a NO GO (for me at least.)

-- I believe I saw a fix for Plan G; and I have not tested FRAPS and a few others yet.

-- The sad part (and I am NOT going to question the reasoning on this)... the file structure basically makes one "start all over". This is something I was very disappointed with. However, I'm sure,in time, all this will work out.

-- I don't know "IF" I want to go back to the "intermittent disconnects" like we used to have with GameSpy (disconnected 3x on a couple different servers today.) Even with my hosting server being 700 Mb Dn / 300 Mb Up (yes, I am connected directly to the "backbone")... I don't think it will matter; due to some internal FSX structure. In fairness, I am sure Micro$oft (not the Aces team) never dreamed the product would go as far as the community as moved it forward.
Joe Clifford
United Kingdom

22nd Dec 2014
20:37:40
Evening All,

Thank you for all the info Bob, appreciate it! It's interesting to learn that msFlights have been working with DoveTail on this project.

SIMConnect seems to be causing me some issues too with PilotCompanion. Now that FSUIPC has been updated most of my issues have been resolved but I'll probably spend some time over the next few weeks trying to sort everything out. I hope to re-brand soon and really push the project, maybe the SE will open the door to a bunch of new potential users.

I would really like to see the Steam Edition communicate with what is being referred to as 'Legacy FSX' (LFSX). It seems silly to create yet another version of a flight simulator that is not able to communicate, especially when the SE is, for all intents and purposes, the same product. Other than the Multi-Player aspect as we really seeing anything new here (unlike P3D for example).

Another feature I think would be great is to see FSOpen being built straight in. Why not create two tabs at the top of Multi-Player that say: 'Steam Sessions' & 'FSOpen Session'. They pull the session list from Dave. You double click it and it automatically, directly connects you, to that session.

My two pennies worth. I'll be keeping an eye on developments

Regards,
Joe
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

23rd Dec 2014
18:50:36
I am somewhat baffled by MSFlights involvement and that they were seemingly ignored by Dovetail by writing out the FSOpen servers from, what is, essentially, a re-release of FSX.

Can MSFlights staff confirm that they were actually asked by Dovetail if they thought FSOpen and it's many ATCs and Pilots were a useful entity?

I would like to get the Steam users on FSOpen and FSXEU but it's a no brainer to split a community in half as the situation currently dictates.

It seems, by fixing one issue, that they have created a significant compatibility issue with, what is presently, the majority of FSX users... If this is a commercial attempt to get everyone with 'Legacy FSX' onto Steam, then, frankly, it stinks.

It seems like the Windoze 8 'Start' menu issue all over again...

TimW
FSXEU.COM
Michael Grote
United States

24th Dec 2014
00:58:18
Greetings Tim, Mike Grote (HawgDawg4life) of msflights.net here. I read your response to Bob Dunn's post and felt compelled to respond.

Speaking of the relationship between Dovetail and MSflights.net, our position is, and has been, that many of our staff members were invited to beta test. 11 Active beta testers. I can assure you that our relationship with Dovetail has been a one way relationship. We agreed to do some beta testing and report issues.

To that end, yes, we were involved in discussions with Dovetail about addons, FSOpen, and all the other addons that are suffering from simconnect earlier in this thread. As to the nature of those discussions, we are bound by our agreement not to discuss the details of those discussions, however, I can say that none of those discussions involved things that we can "live without" in the manor in which you posed your question. I can also say that the words "useful entity", and/or discussions in similar motif ever took place.

With regard to connectivity to Legacy systems, again, I am bound by agreement, but can say that this was a very HOT topic in beta.

Now, beta discussions aside, let me answer some of these questions with my personal, non-beta testing, side.

At MSFlights.net, we were also disappointed to see that the Steam Edition does not connect to our legacy system. From a Business perspective, I can understand why Dovetail would not want this connectivity. To begin with, there are about a billion copies of pirated FSX on the Internet. If Dovetails system could connect to the Legacy systems, the the Legacy systems could connect to steam Lan connections, and there would be no way for dovetail or steam to verify the integrity of the application, so I get it.

With regard to FSOpen. Yes, if FSOpen is so carefree that it doesn't need the additional business with regard to Steam Edition, we at MSFlights.net will tackle the issue, beginning with administrative functions like kicking and banning then moving on to more "wanted" features. It would be our intention to share this new app with our fellow communities.

Michael Grote
United States

24th Dec 2014
01:00:18
oh and Merry Christmas to all of our fellow flight sim communities.
Michael Grote
United States

24th Dec 2014
01:07:36
Curley,

I believe that most of your post has been resolved with the latest version of FSUICP. This latest version resolved the issue with Plan-G as well as a number of addon's.

I would ask you if you installed the latest SDK that came with the Steam Edition. This SDK installs a newer Simconnect.dll and may help in resolving some of the other addons. I don't know that the newer simconnect will have an effect, as I haven't been testing any of the addons you mentioned, just a thought.
Curley Campbell
United States
24th Dec 2014
13:32:19
Appreciate it Michael... however, I have already installed the FSUICP and it is the ONLY ADDON I have. I have also installed the latest SDK was the 1st thing I did. It apparently has an issue with the latest Java (simconnect is a module in Java). I also cannot get the MS "TOOLS" menu i.e. the one's in the SDK to appear either.

I am still looking on trying to resolve... again.. all this may be something on my end.. or understanding the new file structure, etc. However, I am still fine with regular FSX... as I fly with it every day.

And, yes... my list is already in the Steam Forum.
Robert Dunn
United States
25th Dec 2014
14:54:07
Merry Christmas to all my good friends who read here at the inter-community gathering place so grasciously provided by our friend, Dave Wave.

My holiday travels have precluded me from more completely answering questions raised in this FSX Steam Edition thread. I will attempt to apprise you all of my personal take on this subject as well as official positions on subjects raised here of my community, msFLIGHTS.net by the beginning of the weekend. I cannot speak in any way for Dovetail Games but we do talk to them. As Mr. Campbell has done, the administrators and members wanting to speak on all subjects FSX:Steam can do so on the FSX Steam discussion forum linked above knowing that relevant and interested parties at Dovetail will see your correspondence there and, hopefully, officially reply, comment, answer and solicit your opinions. That customer interaction by Dovetail with you all is being emphasized by all the beta testers, particularly msFLIGHTS.net group and Boston Virtual ATC group as critical to the success of Dovetail's offering. That interactive and concerned attitude in their support forum is what indeared PREPAR3D to its customers.

In attempt to answer Tim Walters' question posed directly to FLIGHTS.net in Mr. Walters' post of 23 December, msFLIGHTS.net nor any other tester nor developer did not bring up compatibility, usefulness nor the inherent value of FSOpen compatability. We were instead immersed in the FSUIPC necessity question and imploring Dovetail to make every effort to build in legacy FSX multiplayer interoperability among other subjects. The testers found out about the 18 December release date in the same announcement that informed the public, no sooner. The release announcement took testers by surprise and the testers said so, eloquently, specifically and frequently. I am prohibited to say much more on those subjects specific to the beta tester forum. As I continue to read of public discussion and revelation, I will contribute what I can. We at msFLIGHTS.net have asked Dovetail for clear definition of our continued obligations of confidentiality now that the product is released and being publicly discussed. The beta testers have not, to date, received any further confidentiality clarification nor change in policy from the FSX Steam developers. Therefore we continue to adhere to the letter and spirit of the agreement we entered into when this project commenced.

I will gladly bring forth to the Dovetail third party developer coordinator (Nick Rooke) any interest Dave Wave or you all who use Dave's products have in discussing FSOpen tools compatability and integration. I offered this liazon to Dave in my first reply post in this thread. The offer is open ended. My liazon is not necessary any further than imparting to Dave a couple of email addresses and descriptons of who at Dovetail Dave might want to talk to and why. I hold no sway with Dovetail any more than you other FSX community leaders and FSX developers do now that the product is released and a fourm of support and discussion is opened by Dovetail on Steam group discussions. If I did the greater international multiplayer communities a disservice by not more emphatically emphasizing the value and use of FSOpen tools earlier on in the testing, I sincerely apologize. Bringing up the need for Dovetail to embrace, solicit and coordinate with Dave and his software would have been ill timed earlier. Now is a great time to pursue this. However...

A decision to forego any attempt to serve this FSX Steam Edition is also a valid and intelligent position, all things considered. We at msFLIGHTS.net kinda had no choice but to become developmentally involved once our administrative staff accepted the offer to beta test. The tide of interested FSX Steam users and interest from within our own established membership in FSX Steam Edition required that our community develope (hastily) support and dedicated facilities for the FSX Steam users we were receiving and who we were having to accomodate. I hope that helps. I do not intend to evade questions at all. I also do not intend to evangelize. I'll save my evangelical salesmanship for PREPAR3D, where I believe the true future of the FSX-ESP engine based products lie.

Respects, Bob...

ROBERT DUNN 2
RSDunn2@msflights.net
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

25th Dec 2014
21:26:10
Thankyou Robert for the informed response.

Thankfully, any updates to the FSX Steam product can be pushed out automatically through the Steam system without messing around with 'service packs'. I do hope that Dave will take up this offer to work with Nick and that some compatibility tweaks to FSX Steam and/or FSOpen can become a reality.

I have set up a test server on Steam (maldair.com) and I am surprised and shocked at how many are connecting through to this experimental server. It is a REAL shame that, at this stage, these users are not in the mainstream 'Legacy' FSX systems which we all, as a global community, have progressed and developed significantly, despite Microsoft having pulled the plug some time ago.

I am further shocked that my connection can actually support this many users - especially as I've been downloading Prepar3d for the last three days on a useless connection here in the middle of The Pennines! Two cups and a piece of string come to mind...

Best Regards

TimW
FSXEU.COM
Robert Dunn
United States
26th Dec 2014
00:36:45
Tim, thank you for your personal comment as well as your astute professional analysis. Such unexpected interest and request for facilities and accommodation were the experience of us at FLIGHTS.net a week ago. Might we major independent communities dispatch representatives to some common meeting place, solidify and focus our communities' multilayer desires and see if we can guide Dovetail in their desired market's requirements? msFLIGHTS.net staff and members are not of common mind, do not want the same facilities nor accommodations for this new platform, FSX Steam. I see storm clouds on the horizon on this topic, at least within our community. I continue to personally declare that FSOpen facilities and tools are now and should continue ue to be the defacto leader and standard in all things multiplayer.

Respects, Bob...
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

26th Dec 2014
21:04:07
To be honest, I've never used multiplayer until about 20 months ago, so I never actually used GameSpy before it died.

I was of the belief that Dave replaced functionality lost when GameSpy went down - I now realise that he's completely rewritten the multiplayer environment and made it much easier to manage (as well as for the FSXEU.COM APAMS stats and graphs).

I currently have Maldair.com's Steam session listed in the FSOpen sessions list as it seems that the FSOpen Server2 still recognises that FSX (albeit Steam) is running.

It allows me to list the session, and still push information to the chat box using the server robot.

Would be great Dave if you could do a little (lottle) more engineering.

One simpler temporary fix could be to have a new icon on the session list telling users if they are looking at a Steam session...?

https://cdn2.iconfinder.com/data/icons/squareplex/512/steam.png

Cheers

TimW
FSXEU.com
MaldAir.com
Robert Dunn
United States
1st Jan 2015
05:05:43
On 21 December, ROBERT DUNN 2 wrote:

"As far as price, for the first two days after release FSX:SE was available for five U.S. bucks. Until 2nd January, it's US $12:50. MSRP will eventually be US $25.00."

For the next 30 hours from the timestamp of this post, FSX Steam Edition is again on sale for the aforementioned five U.S. bucks. Even if you intend to hate the affects that this new platform will have on our beloved classic FSX infrastructure, consider buying a license at this almost free price.

msFLIGHTS.net has voted to continue to pursue and explore this new platform as a multiplayer community. Some rumors have very recently surfaced that interoperability between classic FSX and Steam Edition FSX may be explored.

Respects, Bob...
ROBERT DUNN 2
RSDunn2@msflights.net
Tim Walters
United Kingdom

1st Jan 2015
13:48:02
Ah,dammit, I've just bought a few copies two days ago... Missed out on that!

"Some rumors have very recently surfaced that interoperability between classic FSX and Steam Edition FSX may be explored"...

<13:47:14> "Tim": Looking to the skies and praying....



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