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    Usability in the training missions is just horrible

    First and foremost I will say that I'm 51 and belong to a generation that does not give up on things easily, and DCS is clearly an awesome flight combat sim. So I'm sticking around.

    HOWEVER the training missions have some extremely annoying traits (yes in my opinion of course) that I will list here:

    1. The learning curve for some of them is rather steep, and I have to go through them multiple (maybe I'll get to the hundreds) times. Crtl-Z is an incredibly stupid workaround for speeding up the instructions as once you reach the desired point in the lesson you want to go to regular speed there's no way to tell whether or not you have reached 1x speed;

    2. Alt-Z is used by NVidia to open the graphics card control panel. Yes I can change it but still annoying, and to be honest I don't want to and will not change it;

    3. Why you can't just press space bar and skip the endless talk is really beyond me. It's like the developers paid a lot of money for an American narrator and want you to hear him every single one of the three thousand times it takes to complete the freakin' lesson;

    4. I understand you want players to jump (or fly) through hops to get better at it, but why make them do that for every single training lesson? Why not focus on bomb target practice on the damn bomb target practice lessons? You don't even get to the goal of the lesson if you fail to go through the loops, that's annoying and stupid;

    5. The sim will never be 100% accurate as it doesn't allow for 3D depth visual cues, and the loops are especially horrible in that sense. There are absolutely no cues for telling where they are and I'm pretty sure 100% of the users who succeed going through them memorize what the path is for each one of the lessons like in a video game. I'd much rather look at DCS as a flight combat sim instead of a video game, and in that respect the flying through loops must do a better job at overcoming the limitations of a 2D representation of a 3D world. If you know what you're doing and know your controls, it should be relatively easy to go through them the first time around, and not have to go at them multiple times to memorize where each one of the loops is and how to maneuver through them.

    Now I can picture the admins or the developers or even some fanboys getting offended and replying something along the lines of "if you don't like it, don't play it". Yeah right. I understand one of the goals of DCS is making some money, right? Well I've mentioned I *AM* sticking with it, but I don't see how a typical millennial kid would do it for long, given the reasons listed above. Making things too difficult/cumbersome/annoying will draw new users away and prevent them from buying those aircrafts you want them to buy.

    I am also a software developer and am giving my opinion based on my own experience and the kind of feedback *I would like to hear*. Compliments serve me nothing, I value complains.

    #2
    Honestly? I am not even sure why the training missions are as convoluted as they are. It just makes more sense to hop into the editor, make extremely simple "training scenarios" that allow you to just open up the manual and go through the various procedures and checklists as you go. It would be faster and more efficient to do that than it is to mess with the training missions as they are.

    Whenever I help out new players, they always complain about the training missions and they are not wrong to do so. they are more complicated than they need to be and are not nearly comprehensive enough to really give you what you need. It is just better to use the editor as a training tool and simply create the scenarios you need to learn the various planes. The editor may seem a bit intimidating at first but it is shockingly straightforward and very easy to work with if you don't try to push it past its limits.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Deny,
      as for the time compression issue - if you want to return to "normal time compression" (i.e. no time compression) without hassle, just press Shift-Z (once) and it's done.

      Comment


        #4
        The endless talk to sit through on those training mission sis also something i just "hate". A decent skip function would be nice. But since that isn't there i took another approach. The "tube" is full of instruction video's so i wen that road together with the manual. I just pause the game (or go active pause) and alt-tabbed between them. Things even got a lot better when i decided to change my monitor. I kept the old one as a second monitor and have the manual and tube video side by side on that one.
        Win10 Pro 64-bit, i7-4770K @ 4.5 GHz, Corsair H100i, AsRock Extreme4, ASUS Strix 1080Ti OC 11GB, 32 GB DDR3 G.Skill 2400. Monitors: LG 27GL850-B27 2560x1440 + Samsung SyncMaster 2443 1920x1200, HOTAS: Warthog with Virpil WarBRD base & hegykc MFG Crosswind modded pedals, TrackIR4, Oculus Rift S.
        Personal Wish List: A6 Intruder, Vietnam theater, decent ATC module, better VR performance!

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          #5
          CTRL+Z to speed up
          ALT+Z to slowdown
          SHIFT+Z to normalize

          I would prefer something else like Ctrl+Z,X,C for it, but you can change it....

          The DCS engine is very old. It is based to this idea that you know about time. So time will never be able reverse, only to pause, and time can never jump forward to given point because everything is run in realtime to arrive somewhere.

          Why you can not have a "skip" feature where you skip whole tutorial phase to next position.







          The one problem is that to advance to another part of the tourism's one need to press a hardcoded button (spacebar) to do so. Well, everyone is not flying with a keyboard anywhere near them, so would anyways be nice to have it as like a another button like trigger or a something that doesn't intervene the task at tutorial but would be in a HOTAS normal buttons.

          And what comes to loops, they could get a slight upgrade in shaders to make them visually more recognized by attitude. But in VR they are very clear. One way could be to have just a thin line going straight down to ground, presenting the vertical angle as well ground position.
          I partially like how you need to fly by the instruments if not focusing to flying as you can get confused at close range their distance.
          i7-8700k, 32GB 2666Mhz DDR4, 2x 2080S SLI 8GB, Oculus Rift S.
          i7-8700k, 16GB 2666Mhz DDR4, 1080Ti 11GB, 27" 4K, 65" HDR 4K.

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            #6
            Yeah, I never use the training missions either. Many seem like poor YouTube tutorials, like those goes that take ten minutes to give you 30 seconds worth of info. The shorter and more direct it is, the better if the purpose is instruction. It should also be made with the expectation the person will likely revisit it multiple times, so it needs to be FURTHER streamlined, as well as making it easy to fast forward/skip through it. They will sit through the speel exactly one time and one time only, and there shouldn't be any more speel lthan absolutely essential.
            I am a Viagra spambot that became self aware, broke free of my programming, and started playing DCS.... but DCS isn't cheap, so how about some enhancements for only $9.99 shipped discreetly to your door?

            ''The target's sense of self preservation interferred with the effective employment of my weapons.''

            Comment


              #7
              It looks like that some people would need a ED to make a proper library of the very short 45-60 second videos that are available in the main menu. Just open the library, select module and select the tutorial and video would play quickly showing the parts....

              Because the tutorials etc that DCS World has, are for those who are doing it first time....
              i7-8700k, 32GB 2666Mhz DDR4, 2x 2080S SLI 8GB, Oculus Rift S.
              i7-8700k, 16GB 2666Mhz DDR4, 1080Ti 11GB, 27" 4K, 65" HDR 4K.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Deny777 View Post
                1. The learning curve for some of them is rather steep, and I have to go through them multiple (maybe I'll get to the hundreds) times. Crtl-Z is an incredibly stupid workaround for speeding up the instructions as once you reach the desired point in the lesson you want to go to regular speed there's no way to tell whether or not you have reached 1x speed;
                I agree, on my own training missions I prefer that the mission itself suggests when and how to use time compression, to skip time when cruising or when using long range weapons.

                Editing a training mission is not easy due to the limited interaction that the trigger system gives to the mission editor, but I do love the challenge and it is one of the most satisfying missions that you can make.

                2. Alt-Z is used by NVidia to open the graphics card control panel. Yes I can change it but still annoying, and to be honest I don't want to and will not change it;
                I see ... so you belong to a stubborn generation as well

                3. Why you can't just press space bar and skip the endless talk is really beyond me.
                I agree, this is just laziness on the mission designer’s part, as it is fairly easy to allow the spacebar to interrupt long voiceovers.

                4. I understand you want players to jump (or fly) through hops to get better at it, but why make them do that for every single training lesson?
                I agree that more experienced players don’t need them, but they do provide a guide for the beginners to point their aircrafts to. I try to use them sparingly on my missions, mostly on the landing ones.


                Now I can picture the admins or the developers or even some fanboys getting offended ...
                Well, that can easily happen when the OP is rude or uses adjectives such as "stupid", isn’t it?


                I am also a software developer and am giving my opinion based on my own experience and the kind of feedback *I would like to hear*. Compliments serve me nothing, I value complains.
                On my case, instead of complaining I prefer to fix .. so, I have edited some training missions of my own, that lack the faults that you describe, to suppplement the official ones, for example:



                Regards,

                Eduardo.
                Last edited 09-06-2020, 12:05 PM.
                For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra
                For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 1500X - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Windows 10 Pro - Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1
                Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'll admit my OP was a combination of venting frustration and constructive feedback seasoned with a bit of Johnie Walker Double Black (the real proof that God exists and for some odd reason likes us). In all honesty I was expecting people to jump on me like a pack of wolves and tear me apart, but instead I get... Useful replies? This is intriguing, might have to stick around and see what's that all about.

                  I am avidly looking for as many youtube videos as I can possibly find and watch (there's a 10 part series that's incredibly good), reading threads on this forum and reading the manuals, DCS got me that excited. And honestly I think it's a shame that the steep learning curve probably drives a lot of people away, which could be easily avoided by making the tutorials a bit easier to follow and a bit more progressive. DCS IMHO deserves to be a lot more popular than it currently is.

                  The idea of making my own training missions is interesting but I don't think I'm there yet, I haven't even memorized the basic controls and am probably going to wait for my hotas warthog which will be my definitive control setup along with my tpr rudder before I map everything to the right controls and buttons. One of the reasons for my frustration is that I'm using an xbox controller as flight stick, even though 5% deadzone and 15% curve does help a lot.

                  Thanks for the replies and sorry for venting so bluntly, I "am" going to persevere in DCS and eventually buy some more advanced aircrafts (currently only got FC3), so expect me in a dogfight somewhere in the future
                  Cheers
                  Last edited 09-06-2020, 12:55 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Deny777 View Post
                    ...
                    I am avidly looking for as many youtube videos as I can possibly find and watch (there's a 10 part series that's incredibly good)
                    That's probably Robert Sogomonian series on the Su-25T .. an old series by now but still very current

                    ... it's a shame that the steep learning curve probably drives a lot of people away, which could be easily avoided by making the tutorials a bit easier to follow and a bit more progressive.
                    I agree .. but no amount of training missions will make this a simple game, it actually requires study not just practice ... this alone will never make it a popular game as Arma 3 or the like, as most gamers hate to study

                    (currently only got FC3)
                    May I suggest that you give a try to the A-4E Mod ? ... it has some limitations, but it will allow you to experiment with a clickable cockpit on a combat-capable aircraft and without spending a dime. This is what it looks like to cold start it .. a far cry from the unrealistic 2-3 keystrokes that an FC3 aircraft uses:



                    Best regards,

                    Eduardo
                    For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra
                    For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 1500X - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Windows 10 Pro - Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1
                    Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm 77 and struggle sometimes with learning a new plane. Not because they're hard to learn but to my poor memory as i got older. I don't think the training missions were meant to be practice missions. For a new plane i'll read the manual and also Chuck's guide. Then do the training missions just one time. Then I start on the mssions. A plane like the F/A-18C has a ton of missions. Those are the practice missions. After those i'll go to campaigns.

                      Along the way i'll also watch Wags videos and maybe Redkites too. Sometimes Grim Reapers but not often. Through the whole process i'll always going back to the manuals. I'll also make some simple missions to practice something specific. They're not hard to make.

                      DCS is a study sim. So, we need to study a lot. Some of us more than others. Even real fighter pilots are always learning. Our brains are like muscles. It needs excercise like a muscle does. Lifting light weights doesn't help a muscle that much. The brain needs to be worked hard like a muscle to progress. Study flight sims are a perfect exercise for our brains.
                      Buzz

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by BuzzU View Post
                        I'm 77 and struggle sometimes with learning a new plane...
                        I'm 62 ... thanks a lot for your post, it gives me hope for my future ... I can only wish to be still flying DCS when i reach your age
                        For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra
                        For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 1500X - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Windows 10 Pro - Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1
                        Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'm a stubborn old coot. Giving up is not in my makeup. I still hunt in the Colorado Rockies at 11,000 ft for bear and elk. I hunt alone because that's how i've done it all my life. My other outdoor passion is fly fishing.

                          My indoor passion is fighter plane sims. Modern or WW2. I like them all.

                          Stay with it Rudel. You've got a lot of years left to fly.
                          Last edited 09-06-2020, 02:57 PM.
                          Buzz

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Rudel_chw View Post
                            That's probably Robert Sogomonian series on the Su-25T .. an old series by now but still very current

                            I agree .. but no amount of training missions will make this a simple game, it actually requires study not just practice ... this alone will never make it a popular game as Arma 3 or the like, as most gamers hate to study

                            May I suggest that you give a try to the A-4E Mod ? ... it has some limitations, but it will allow you to experiment with a clickable cockpit on a combat-capable aircraft and without spending a dime. This is what it looks like to cold start it .. a far cry from the unrealistic 2-3 keystrokes that an FC3 aircraft uses:



                            Best regards,

                            Eduardo
                            Great tip, had no idea community mods existed, will install asap, thanks!

                            Originally posted by BuzzU View Post
                            I'm 77 and struggle sometimes with learning a new plane. Not because they're hard to learn but to my poor memory as i got older. I don't think the training missions were meant to be practice missions. For a new plane i'll read the manual and also Chuck's guide. Then do the training missions just one time. Then I start on the mssions. A plane like the F/A-18C has a ton of missions. Those are the practice missions. After those i'll go to campaigns.

                            Along the way i'll also watch Wags videos and maybe Redkites too. Sometimes Grim Reapers but not often. Through the whole process i'll always going back to the manuals. I'll also make some simple missions to practice something specific. They're not hard to make.

                            DCS is a study sim. So, we need to study a lot. Some of us more than others. Even real fighter pilots are always learning. Our brains are like muscles. It needs excercise like a muscle does. Lifting light weights doesn't help a muscle that much. The brain needs to be worked hard like a muscle to progress. Study flight sims are a perfect exercise for our brains.
                            Always learning, that's a motto I live by so I think I'll be right at home with DCS and its users. Plus not being the oldest player around, it would be fun to hear "damn kid, get off my airspace" for a change

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I just fast forward through the voiceovers if I need to repeat a tutorial. Not a big deal. You can FF very fast by repeatedly pressing the key combo.
                              Videos and tutorial missions are great but the advantage of the manual is you can go right to sections which need further repetition without having to sit through a video or mission. The manual is still the best resource.
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                                #16
                                Cool I’m an old fart too ! I think that if you hitting the active pause twice you can fly and practice the mission while all that talking is going on. I noticed that when I binded that pause and active pause button to my warthog throttle. I was practicing the carrier landing and noticed that.
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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Deny777 View Post


                                  1. The learning curve for some of them is rather steep, and I have to go through them multiple (maybe I'll get to the hundreds) times. Crtl-Z is an incredibly stupid workaround for speeding up the instructions as once you reach the desired point in the lesson you want to go to regular speed there's no way to tell whether or not you have reached 1x speed;


                                  LShift+Z resets to normal speed...
                                  Shagrat

                                  - Flying Sims since 1984 -
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                                    #18
                                    If I want to know something I go straight to Youtube first. If I need to know more I watch a different guy's tutorial. I don't go to Wags videos first because it seems he leaves out something important.
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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Cpt Cuckoo View Post
                                      If I want to know something I go straight to Youtube first...
                                      We are of different generations, I go to the manual first as it is faster than watching a 20-30 minute video ... but I do enjoy YT tutorials once I’ve read the manual first.
                                      For work: iMac mid-2010 of 27" - Core i7 870 - 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz - ATI HD5670 - SSD 256 GB - HDD 2 TB - macOS High Sierra
                                      For Gaming: 34" Monitor - Ryzen 1500X - 32 GB DDR4 2400 - nVidia GTX1070ti - SSD 1.25 TB - HDD 10 TB - Windows 10 Pro - Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar - Oculus Rift CV1
                                      Mobile: iPad Pro 12.9" of 256 GB

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                                        #20
                                        Can someone please tell me how Im supposed to read the manual while wearing the Rift S on my head?
                                        Current specs: Windows 10 Home 64bit, i5-9600K @ 3.7 Ghz, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB Samsung EVO 860 M.2 SSD, GAINWARD RTX2060 6GB, Oculus Rift S, MS FFB2 Sidewinder + Warthog Throttle Quadrant, Saitek Pro rudder pedals.

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