Hello Guest July 22, 2024, 03:02:52 *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
 
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Why SS2008 is disappointing  (Read 2497 times)

maxand

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 13
Why SS2008 is disappointing
« on: September 04, 2008, 02:35:54 »

I finally decided to uninstall SS2008 and New Horizons. It wasn't an easy decision, but I'd played 2 missions that wouldn't acknowledge my completing them and finally there was the disaster of the 2 liners.

In both the mission where u rescue a yacht and the ambulance boat, I tried tying up at the mooring on return and SS2008 refused to grant me completion of the mission, even though I was within the green zone, stationary, and tied up correctly (red crosses showing). After all the hard work I'd put into these missions, this was like a kick in the teeth, and very discouraging. I tried the missions again, saving at every step of the way, and still no cigar. Never mind, I told myself, I know I'd completed them. Let's try the next.

The next was the meeting of the Ocean Star and Titanic in a bay in Thailand. I successfully avoided all the larger ships, only to have my liner holed and sunk by a tiny AI boat that would have given me right of way in real life. Lucky I saved after each waypoint. So I tried again, starting from just outside the harbour, navigated successfully to the green circle near the Titanic, slowed, was prompted to drop anchor, and as soon as I did, the Ocean Star began to sink for no apparent reason. I swear there were no other boats around. At this point, tired and disgusted, I uninstalled the sim.

Enough is enough. To be fair, I had completed a few other missions successfully, including the taxi ride around SF Bay and Padstow, and done the speedboat ride. But if these things happened to me, it must have happened to others. They're not specific to my operating system, therefore they're programming errors. So why wasn't this game adequately play-tested before release?


(Added the next day)

Once again you guys came to my help and I thank you all, particularly Marty, whose patience I appreciate (see his post below).

The short answers:
1) On the two missions involving the Arie Visser, I actually did mistake the bow towing point for a mooring point.
2) The vessel needs to be absolutely stationary, ground speed 0 knots, "all way must be off before dropping the hook" (as Marty puts it) - zero, zilch, nada.
Even making way at half a knot or less is sufficient to make these poor delicate ocean liners sink bow first if both anchors are thrown out, or capsize if only one is thrown out.

The long answers? Well, here goes anyway (I've added it here rather than at the bottom of this thread to save you having to wade through all the replies if you don't wish to):
Was my ranting here justified? Believe me, I'm not a flamer by nature. But on this occasion, yes.

Take a quote from Marty's reply: "This also has been pointed out often (in the forum)." Ask yourselves, why should that be so? Why should it be necessary to painfully trawl through forum posts looking for solutions that should have been programmed into the sim before it was released?

Maybe if I appear sour, it's because I too care about this sim. Once I reloaded it, I really enjoyed piloting the Pride of Rotterdam out of San Francisco, calculating ETAs, watching out for other ships, etc. The last thing I expected was for this beautiful liner to capsize in Phi Phi bay simply because it was making 0.3 of a knot when a popup message said "Waypoint reached - throw out the anchors", which is just what I did...

The Americans and Japanese have taught us that the customer is not only always right; the customer is 110% right. In other places, notably software documentation (not just VSTEP's), you practically have to beg for information and much of it is still arcane. "The sim made me so angry I uninstalled it." Was I right to feel angry and cheated? If enough SS2008 users end up feeling angry for whatever reason, it doesn't matter whether it was their fault for not digesting the manual; the end result will surely come back to bite VSTEP on the ass, in the form of reviewer sites such as http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/shipsimulator2008?q=ship%20simulator.

My basic point is that software developers from Microsoft downwards generally do not invest adequate care, time and money to ensure that a product is as free of confusion as possible, so that the end user is so comfortable with it that it's a pleasure to run. It's as simple as that. We all know confusion as a result of bad instruction can be lethal in real life, not just a sim. Novice playtesters in particular are the ones most likely point out the most appalling shortcomings of a product, completely obvious to them but invisible to the developers. Call me a novice. Ideally, I shouldn't have to read a manual or search a forum in order to play. Simply doing training missions should be enough. Of course, this is not a perfect world.

1) Mistaking towing points for mooring points. Yes, I did read the manual, however the manual is unavailable to me when runnng SS2008, which insists on running fullscreen whether or not I tick the Run Windowed box. Yes, if you read the manual carefully the orange of the mooring dots is distinguished from the green of the towing dots. However, on p11, under Image 10m it states "Then click on an orange dot on the ship and next on the orange dot on the mooring boulder. A mooring line is created and the waypoint is achieved." Unfortunately, The picture shows green dots, i.e., towing points, not mooring points. This is corrected in image 10n. See what I mean about confusion creeping in? Bringing in some novice players and watching them play probably would have ironed this out. And, by the way, why aren't wharf bollards included in the one and only "Training mission" (rescuing the swimmer)?

Why doesn't a popup message appear, saying "You've wrongly tried to connect a towing point to the bollard. Please use a mooring point" (It could have been worded a bit more arrogantly like the popups in the speedboat jump mission, but nevertheless is better than no warning at all.) Notice I said "tried". In other words, SS2008 should not only warn you against doing it, it should actively prevent you from doing so.

2) Not knowing to bring a vessel to a halt before dropping anchor. The manual states on p8 "Clicking on it (the blue dot) will drop the anchor, which can be dangerous when you do this at full speed!" Of course I wouldn't do that, I'm no fool. Then on p13 it says "Mooring, towing, anchoring – You need to get very close to a mooring waypoint with your ship, and stop the ship. Then moor the ship as explained above. Similar with towing and anchoring." Badly written and confusing, but yes it does state the ship has to be stopped. Too bad if you missed it.

Since the manual can't be read without closing the sim, how much grief would have been saved if a simple popup had appeared saying "If you drop anchor while your ship has not stopped, you will sink or capsize it". Why go to all the trouble of portraying a ship sinking or capsizing in this situation without even an explanation other than "The mission ended because you sank the ship" or words to that effect? What a cruel joke and how bloody arrogant.

I am even more grateful to Marty and you other respondees knowing that "The folks who give help are unpaid volunteers not VSTEP employees." I somehow doubt that many or any VSTEP developers will take much notice of this, since they appear not to care much about the real playability of this product.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 04:07:59 by maxand »
Logged

Captain Tony

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 70
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 02:49:37 »

WOW! I'm sorry to hear that. Actually, I found out that some missions are programmed for the use of one particular bollard. So if you tie up and don't get acknowledged. Untie and tie up to another nearby bollard. Keep doing that. When you get the right one the game will give credit and close the mission.

I feel your pain with the improperly named "artificial intelligent" vehicles. I can't tell you how many times they have run into/over me. But strangely, when that happens, my ship usually suffers no damage, and I can complete the mission. I wish that were true in some other sims. The aircraft in FSX sometimes don't seem to know where my plane is, with disastrous results everytime. So it's not just SS2008 & NH. A lot of games have "incredibly stupid" vehicles.
Logged

llamalord

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 2590
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 03:06:18 »

I'm really quite happy with SS08, It's my graphics card that I'm always at odds with.
Logged
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


www.llamalord

Capt. Le Velle

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 664
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 03:15:22 »

I really happy with SS08 being this the 2 series Ship simulator im happy with how it works on my computer
Logged

Pain is weakness leaving the body-Special Ops Instructors.
http://www.freewebs.com/shipsimusa/

Captain Tony

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 70
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2008, 03:18:51 »

I may have neglected to say, I also am happy with SS2008/NH. I was simply explaining to Maxand my experience with some of the problems he's had.
Logged

Agent|Austin

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 4817
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 03:22:47 »

When tieing up using those boats YOU MUST USING MOORING LINES, NOT towing lines.
Logged

llamalord

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 2590
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 03:26:27 »

I make that mistake with the Fairmount Sherpa alot. ;D
Logged
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


www.llamalord

maxand

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 03:33:40 »

Thanks for your replies. I'm pretty sure i used mooring lines, not towlines. In the yacht rescue mission my boat (Arie Visser?) has both. In fact, I discovered I can moor from bow mooring on my boat to front and rear bollards, and likewise for the stern mooring. The effect is a bit like a cat's cradle, but SS2008 still doesn't acknowledge completion of the mission.

I wonder is it because my New Horizons is 1.4.2.1034, while SS2008 is 1.4.2.1038?

Well, maybe I should go back, reinstall and take a more careful look at the mooring and towing locations on these boats. Will let u know.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 03:36:20 by maxand »
Logged

Agent|Austin

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 4817
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 04:06:35 »

Thanks for your replies. I'm pretty sure i used mooring lines, not towlines. In the yacht rescue mission my boat (Arie Visser?) has both. In fact, I discovered I can moor from bow mooring on my boat to front and rear bollards, and likewise for the stern mooring. The effect is a bit like a cat's cradle, but SS2008 still doesn't acknowledge completion of the mission.

I wonder is it because my New Horizons is 1.4.2.1034, while SS2008 is 1.4.2.1038?

Well, maybe I should go back, reinstall and take a more careful look at the mooring and towing locations on these boats. Will let u know.

There are 3 MOORING lines on each side of the arie. and 2 tow lines.
Logged

llamalord

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 2590
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2008, 04:08:53 »

Isn't there a 7th mooring line on the very top of the bow? :-\
Logged
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


www.llamalord

Agent|Austin

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 4817
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2008, 04:51:41 »

Isn't there a 7th mooring line on the very top of the bow? :-\

That is a towing line.
Logged

mvsmith

  • Guest
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2008, 08:31:34 »

Hi Max,
I think you have made a sensible decision to abandon the simulator. Too often someone who is not of a temperament to cope with what is, in fact, a challenging program, will keep beating his head against the wall and beating up on the developers.

The answers to problems you might have with missions have been covered, often many times, on this forum. Unfortunately, it is necessary to make an effort to find, read, and understand them.
Many missions that players have complained about can be completed if the player exercises care in navigation and pays attention to the way point directions. Other missions have been re-done to make them less difficult.
It is necessary to understand something of the way missions are constructed—in particular the way in which way points function. For instance, mooring waypoints complete only if you tie up to the particular bollard on which the waypoint is constructed. This has been explained many times.
When anchoring a ship, particularly Ocean Star, all way must be off before dropping the hook. This also has been pointed out often.
Many of us stand ready to answer questions about missions or vessel operation. I stress “questions”; posts that begin with a rant against the way the simulator works are likely to be ignored.
Questions that state the problem in a clear manner, and identify a mission by its exact title, will get as much attention as necessary to resolve the problem.
The folks who give help are unpaid volunteers not VSTEP employees. We are free to decide who to help based upon the attitude that they display.
If your program is not at v 1.4.2 Build 1038, you should download Terry’s update flowchart from here:
http://www.shipsim.com/ShipSimForum/index.php/topic,7737.msg111980.html#msg111980

Regards,
Marty
Logged

maxand

  • Forum member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Why SS2008 is disappointing
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2008, 04:05:47 »

Thanks Marty for going to the trouble of explaining it so well. It only takes one or two frustrating events to spoil a mission. After all, this is meant to be a simulator, not an adventure-type game laced with puzzles that have to be solved in order to progress!

I was wrong to blame these problems on faulty programming; they are simply errors of information. To save people having to wade through this thread to get to the conclusion, I edited my original post.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 
 


SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines