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RIO/WISO/Crew Packages in Store


CsfDeathDemon
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8 hours ago, cfrag said:

I wonder how many: 25 minute average (not median, average ) session time is awfully short). 

That’s not hard to believe. Think about what the term “average” actually means. I’m an avid player but I still only do long sessions on a weekend and a lot of my instant action or training etc would be short. Most gamers in general spend 20-30 min a session. 
There used to be detailed stats available from Steam and it’s funny or amazing to see how little playtime games get. Sim or not. We like to think of sim gamers spending hundreds of hours on games but that’s just a tiny fraction. DCS is odd to look at since it’s a free game. The median total playtime is 33 minutes. So 50% of DCS owners have only played the game for less than 33 minutes ever. Those stats are kinda typical for all games. The majority buy a game, play it for a dozen hours and then move on. These numbers are kinda ridiculous and you couldn’t make decisions based on em. I’m sure ED knows how to analyze the telemetry they get though. 

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3 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

That’s not hard to believe. Think about what the term “average” actually means. I’m an avid player but I still only do long sessions on a weekend and a lot of my instant action or training etc would be short. Most gamers in general spend 20-30 min a session. 
There used to be detailed stats available from Steam and it’s funny or amazing to see how little playtime games get. Sim or not. We like to think of sim gamers spending hundreds of hours on games but that’s just a tiny fraction. DCS is odd to look at since it’s a free game. The median total playtime is 33 minutes. So 50% of DCS owners have only played the game for less than 33 minutes ever. Those stats are kinda typical for all games. The majority buy a game, play it for a dozen hours and then move on. These numbers are kinda ridiculous and you couldn’t make decisions based on em. I’m sure ED knows how to analyze the telemetry they get though. 

That's also interesting.  Personally I don't like to pay dcs unless I have at least an hour usually two.  It is rare for me to pay less than 1 hour in a session, unless something breaks.  

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11 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

We like to think of sim gamers spending hundreds of hours on games but that’s just a tiny fraction. DCS is odd to look at since it’s a free game. The median total playtime is 33 minutes. So 50% of DCS owners have only played the game for less than 33 minutes ever.

That's kind of the point, though. You can't actually use those numbers to tell you anything because that's total playtime across everyone. For a free game, this includes the N% that got it and never played it; the M% players who got it, started it once, and ran for the woods at the first sight of the TF-51 cockpit to save their sanity. Average and median values are already just bare minimum to tell you anything about… well… anything, and it's very little that can be deduced. For a free game, the problem of stickiness and retention completely blows away any ability to even that kind of deduction without knowing far more parameters.

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2 hours ago, Tippis said:

That's kind of the point, though. You can't actually use those numbers to tell you anything because that's total playtime across everyone. For a free game, this includes the N% that got it and never played it; the M% players who got it, started it once, and ran for the woods at the first sight of the TF-51 cockpit to save their sanity. Average and median values are already just bare minimum to tell you anything about… well… anything, and it's very little that can be deduced. For a free game, the problem of stickiness and retention completely blows away any ability to even that kind of deduction without knowing far more parameters.

Unfortunately we can have the specifics on numbers.  However that is ED's job to figure out if it's feasible.  My hope with this post was more to gage interest and hope ED have a look at this. 

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On 9/10/2021 at 8:40 AM, CsfDeathDemon said:

Hey Everyone,

 

I would like to start a discussion that has been happening within my own gaming community.  I figured I would appeal to a larger audience and perhaps get ED's attention on this.  I have several friends who are interested in this game but don't want to fly/don't want to invest in a HOTAS right now.  They would gladly pay to play the game as a RIO/WISO or crew member, but balk at the price of aircraft that they won't be able to fly.

 

Here is my idea:

Each multi-crew aircraft has a reduced fee "crew seat" option that you can purchase.  Let's just say at half cost of the full craft.  This allows people who would normally not play and not pay anything a chance to come into the game, play with friends and start some fun multiplayer experiences.  That player could later go back and pay the difference to upgrade their "crew seat" to a full seat if they choose.

 

Right now with the F-14 on sale my friend and I have been flying together a lot.  He has no interest in flying the F-14, but really enjoys being a RIO.  I really don't care for the jester AI and don't want to fly with it.  My RIO would gladly play 30-40 USD to sit in a back seat and if he had the plane I would gladly pay 60 to fly around with him.  I have many other friends in my group that would like to just be door gunners and jump in for a mission or two.

 

I know I am pretty new to the game I have only been playing for a year, so perhaps my idea has been discussed or is not possible with the current way the game is designed.  I would like DCS to grow and continue to be a  success.  Please discuss with me what you think and up vote the topic if you agree.  

 

Thanks for your time

Most people buy their modules on sale so this wouldn't be a bad idea

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The issue with all this back and forth. The Il-2 tank/gunner example doesn't work here. Your random buddies can't jump into the backseat without multiple hours of reading and/or training and/or a more experienced player's handholding. 

 

The same entry barriers that niche DCS in the first place are allll still present even for backseating, with the added ''less glamorous'' nature of the roles, lack of useful AI suitable for backseating, etc. This is not some magic untapped reservoir of people or funds that will flood DCS.

 

If you don't believe me, just buy the respective module and give it your ''previously non-DCS interested friend'' and see how many of them bother learning ANYTHING, much less the backseat. Based on my REPEATED ATTEMPTS (I have spent several hundred dollars on probably a dozen people with ZERO longterm interest) to do exactly that, and the overwhelmingly negative results, I am pretty damn confident saying very few people are that interested in DCS' complexity and it doesn't matter AT ALL how it's priced, packaged, presented, optimised, marketed etc.

 

This just isn't a thing that's going to substantially change anything, and in the current ecosystem of the game it's damn close to unusuable in any practical sense anyway.


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On 9/10/2021 at 3:40 PM, CsfDeathDemon said:

Hey Everyone,

 

I would like to start a discussion that has been happening within my own gaming community.  I figured I would appeal to a larger audience and perhaps get ED's attention on this.  I have several friends who are interested in this game but don't want to fly/don't want to invest in a HOTAS right now.  They would gladly pay to play the game as a RIO/WISO or crew member, but balk at the price of aircraft that they won't be able to fly.

 

Here is my idea:

Each multi-crew aircraft has a reduced fee "crew seat" option that you can purchase.  Let's just say at half cost of the full craft.  This allows people who would normally not play and not pay anything a chance to come into the game, play with friends and start some fun multiplayer experiences.  That player could later go back and pay the difference to upgrade their "crew seat" to a full seat if they choose.

 

Right now with the F-14 on sale my friend and I have been flying together a lot.  He has no interest in flying the F-14, but really enjoys being a RIO.  I really don't care for the jester AI and don't want to fly with it.  My RIO would gladly play 30-40 USD to sit in a back seat and if he had the plane I would gladly pay 60 to fly around with him.  I have many other friends in my group that would like to just be door gunners and jump in for a mission or two.

 

I know I am pretty new to the game I have only been playing for a year, so perhaps my idea has been discussed or is not possible with the current way the game is designed.  I would like DCS to grow and continue to be a  success.  Please discuss with me what you think and up vote the topic if you agree.  

 

Thanks for your time

Problem with this is that multicrew aircraft are fully developed to cater for single player use - i.e. come with both cockpits. Solution would be to create a license that allows only a second cockpit use - like you get the fully priced full module and you can stick additional license for second cockpit only at a reduced price. This however leads to the creation of 1:1 cockpit / license mapping, which would require you to buy two licenses if you wanted to play in single player only. 

HB once did a 2-license pack via their website that included a bit of a discount.

 

https://store.heatblur.com/products/pre-order-dcs-f-14a-b-by-heatblur-simulations-crew-pack-2-licenses


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On 9/21/2021 at 9:58 AM, Mars Exulte said:

The issue with all this back and forth. The Il-2 tank/gunner example doesn't work here. Your random buddies can't jump into the backseat without multiple hours of reading and/or training and/or a more experienced player's handholding. 

 

The same entry barriers that niche DCS in the first place are allll still present even for backseating, with the added ''less glamorous'' nature of the roles, lack of useful AI suitable for backseating, etc. This is not some magic untapped reservoir of people or funds that will flood DCS.

 

If you don't believe me, just buy the respective module and give it your ''previously non-DCS interested friend'' and see how many of them bother learning ANYTHING, much less the backseat. Based on my REPEATED ATTEMPTS (I have spent several hundred dollars on probably a dozen people with ZERO longterm interest) to do exactly that, and the overwhelmingly negative results, I am pretty damn confident saying very few people are that interested in DCS' complexity and it doesn't matter AT ALL how it's priced, packaged, presented, optimised, marketed etc.

 

This just isn't a thing that's going to substantially change anything, and in the current ecosystem of the game it's damn close to unusuable in any practical sense anyway.

 

Personal experiences are important and it totally sucks that your friends have not jumped in with you.  I have had the opposite experience.  I recently rented the F-14 and my friend and the reason I created this post was my RIO.  At first he didn't know much of anything so we would let jester power up the back then he would jump in.  Luckily I am a bad pilot so after several deaths he was able to learn the cold start, but we were having fun doing it.  Made it a much less frustrating experience when your laughing and dying because your missiles won't come off the rack.

 

I have friends that are interested that I am also trying to get in when a sale is on and maybe I will share your experience then.

On 9/21/2021 at 10:16 AM, Gierasimov said:

Problem with this is that multicrew aircraft are fully developed to cater for single player use - i.e. come with both cockpits. Solution would be to create a license that allows only a second cockpit use - like you get the fully priced full module and you can stick additional license for second cockpit only at a reduced price. This however leads to the creation of 1:1 cockpit / license mapping, which would require you to buy two licenses if you wanted to play in single player only. 

HB once did a 2-license pack via their website that included a bit of a discount.

 

https://store.heatblur.com/products/pre-order-dcs-f-14a-b-by-heatblur-simulations-crew-pack-2-licenses

 

Yes and we have looked at that thanks for the link!

 

Problem still remains as fun as my friend had sitting in the RIO seat, $80 USD is a lot of money to spend when you only plan to RIO and have no interest in flying the aircraft.  

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1 hour ago, CsfDeathDemon said:

$80 USD is a lot of money to spend when you only plan to RIO and have no interest in flying the aircraft.  

Well the easy solution is to just wait for a sale then. 

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On 9/22/2021 at 2:43 PM, SharpeXB said:

Well the easy solution is to just wait for a sale then. 

I believe the last sale was $65 which I was fine paying as the pilot but the guy who was going to just RIO thought it was a little steep considering he would only play it when I was flying the 14

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37 minutes ago, CsfDeathDemon said:

I believe the last sale was $65 which I was fine paying as the pilot but the guy who was going to just RIO thought it was a little steep considering he would only play it when I was flying the 14

That’s still a rather good entertainment bargain when you consider how many hours you get out of it. Or can potentially. Most games sell for that much and the average player uses them for about 12-20 hours. Heck the $20 I spent on the A-10C 11 years ago is the best gaming bargain ever. 

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On 9/23/2021 at 9:56 PM, SharpeXB said:

That’s still a rather good entertainment bargain when you consider how many hours you get out of it. Or can potentially. Most games sell for that much and the average player uses them for about 12-20 hours. Heck the $20 I spent on the A-10C 11 years ago is the best gaming bargain ever. 

If you are flying them yes, but if you purchased the mod and cant fly because there is no pilot on you might regret spending that money.

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6 hours ago, CsfDeathDemon said:

If you are flying them yes, but if you purchased the mod and cant fly because there is no pilot on you might regret spending that money.

You can fly it as the RIO with Iceman AI. But the appeal of a flight sim aircraft to someone who doesn’t want to fly seems pretty limited. Also any way you look at it, it’s an expensive module which has to sell at a certain price point in order to be profitable. You still need to own the entire module in order to fly as the RIO therefore it’s going to cost what it costs. Making a less functional separate RIO-only version would cost even more money to develop and likely not sell very well. So this whole idea doesn’t seem feasible. 

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46 minutes ago, SharpeXB said:

You can fly it as the RIO with Iceman AI. But the appeal of a flight sim aircraft to someone who doesn’t want to fly seems pretty limited. Also any way you look at it, it’s an expensive module which has to sell at a certain price point in order to be profitable. You still need to own the entire module in order to fly as the RIO therefore it’s going to cost what it costs. Making a less functional separate RIO-only version would cost even more money to develop and likely not sell very well. So this whole idea doesn’t seem feasible. 

The appeal seems limited to you.  I know several people who would pay right now to ride in an aircraft.  We don't know the cost so constantly saying it costs too much is just you assuming that it would cost too much.  Iceman doesn't work in MP so he is not helpful to a RIO.  Many many aircraft are about to come out that are multicrew and they are going to be empty.  This is a great way to introduce new players get them in where they can learn the game get the sim bug and join.

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12 minutes ago, CsfDeathDemon said:

The appeal seems limited to you.  I know several people who would pay right now to ride in an aircraft.  We don't know the cost so constantly saying it costs too much is just you assuming that it would cost too much.  Iceman doesn't work in MP so he is not helpful to a RIO.  Many many aircraft are about to come out that are multicrew and they are going to be empty.  This is a great way to introduce new players get them in where they can learn the game get the sim bug and join.

The basic problem is asking Heatblur to sell their module at a +/- 50% discount and also put even more work into creating this separate functionality. All for what would likely be a very limited market. 

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56 minutes ago, SharpeXB said:

The basic problem is asking Heatblur to sell their module at a +/- 50% discount and also put even more work into creating this separate functionality.

What makes you think they have to create separate functionality? Or that Heatblur would be the ones to put in an MP slot limitation (which, coincidentally, already exists)?

 

Do you even have any experience at all with the F-14, because you certainly seem almost entirely unfamiliar with how it operates and with how MP works. Or are you, as always, just making up uninformed complaints about imaginary problems based on nothing but wilful ignorance and an absolute refusal to actually research anything that you opine on?


Edited by Tippis

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21 hours ago, CsfDeathDemon said:

The appeal seems limited to you.  I know several people who would pay right now to ride in an aircraft.  We don't know the cost so constantly saying it costs too much is just you assuming that it would cost too much.  Iceman doesn't work in MP so he is not helpful to a RIO.  Many many aircraft are about to come out that are multicrew and they are going to be empty.  This is a great way to introduce new players get them in where they can learn the game get the sim bug and join.

Just about every person I have told about the new Apache module thought it was interesting and cool. However they were only interested in being the gunner since they admitted they did not have the talent to be a good pilot but that they always enjoyed the gunner role back in the BF 3 & 4 days.  I am sure there would be a lot people out there that would make excellent dedicated gunners in the Apache.

So I do agree that MP roles are only going to start growing even more now in the very near future. And now with the initial talks taking place of bringing the C-130 to DCS it would only be a matter of time before AC-130 would follow it. Anyone that has ever played BF knows just how enjoyable it was to be an AC-130 gunner.

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Im just gonna post this about my experience with the Tomcat, I mainly fly the hornet and play with guys in my squadron I also own the Tomcat. I have spent more time as the RIO than as the Pilot for the Tomcat. I fly around a bit in the Hornet more people join in on the fun and someone needs a RIO I switch over and backseat for them. From reading the main angle people are looking at is the use case scenario of having a crew license of having a friend who wants to start out and just wants to RIO, which is a very possible scenario the person who told me to get the Tomcat had experience in doing that with a friend of his. To me having a crew license is about saving money and added convenience. I fly around in my hornet Spamramming as usual on growling, my friends jump on I backseat and that's it. Crew licenses really get their charm from MP and its definitely a really nice thing to have. I sorta understand why people are listing reasons of why it wont happen and what's the point, but this forum thread has a name "wishlist" its a wish and nice thing to have as an addition and the op is providing a possible implementation that ED could carry out. Saying things like "it wont happen cos multiplayer is small" or "it would not be profitable" the only people who can say if it can or can not happen is ED. But also understand all of this from an angle of an interesting debate minus the odd replies. Crew licenses would save my wallet pretty much it.

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Again what you guys are totally missing here is that this request just boils down to asking Heatblur to sell the Tomcat at a +/-50% discount. I’m sure that price point isn’t feasible.

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2 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

Again what you guys are totally missing here is that this request just boils down to asking Heatblur to sell the Tomcat at a +/-50% discount.

[citation needed]

What you're aggressively avoiding to understand is that this request boils down to asking Heatblur to sell less than half of the Tomcat at some discount — the OP suggested half price, which seems quite sensible as a start for less-than-half a module. You have totally missed the part where you need to explain why this doesn't make sense, and you're using your ignorance of DCS, the module, and of multiplayer as your only basis for not having anything resembling an intelligent argument.

 

2 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

I’m sure that price point isn’t feasible.

Why not? Do you understand what's being asked for here and what it would “cost” (not just monetarily)?

What makes you sure about something you don't even understand?


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On 10/9/2021 at 7:18 AM, Ash Lynx said:

Im just gonna post this about my experience with the Tomcat, I mainly fly the hornet and play with guys in my squadron I also own the Tomcat. I have spent more time as the RIO than as the Pilot for the Tomcat. I fly around a bit in the Hornet more people join in on the fun and someone needs a RIO I switch over and backseat for them. From reading the main angle people are looking at is the use case scenario of having a crew license of having a friend who wants to start out and just wants to RIO, which is a very possible scenario the person who told me to get the Tomcat had experience in doing that with a friend of his. To me having a crew license is about saving money and added convenience. I fly around in my hornet Spamramming as usual on growling, my friends jump on I backseat and that's it. Crew licenses really get their charm from MP and its definitely a really nice thing to have. I sorta understand why people are listing reasons of why it wont happen and what's the point, but this forum thread has a name "wishlist" its a wish and nice thing to have as an addition and the op is providing a possible implementation that ED could carry out. Saying things like "it wont happen cos multiplayer is small" or "it would not be profitable" the only people who can say if it can or can not happen is ED. But also understand all of this from an angle of an interesting debate minus the odd replies. Crew licenses would save my wallet pretty much it.

Thanks for the comment!  Sorry for my late reply to it work has been busy.  It is nice to have people who actually RIO weighing in on this as this idea directly affects you.  Especially as we look forward to the apache(GIB).  

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You guys are thinking like this is a sandwich that you can buy half of for less money. It’s not. It’s software! There aren’t labor or material savings which would make selling half the product at a lower cost feasible. No matter the role you play in you need the same module. This request is no different than just asking for a discount. If that’s what you want then wait for a sale. Imagining that you can buy half the module for less is just silly, it’s not a sandwich 🤪

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1 hour ago, SharpeXB said:

You guys are thinking like this is a sandwich that you can buy half of for less money.

The only one thinking anything of the kind is you. As has been pointed out on numerous occasions, you should not and cannot generalise from yourself, especially since you invariably do so from a position of absolute and loudly declared ignorance of the topic at hand.

In this case, you are proving yourself ignorant of the existence of, oh, let's say Microsoft.

1 hour ago, SharpeXB said:

There aren’t labor or material savings which would make selling half the product at a lower cost feasible.

Yes there is. It's called “the labour is already done”. All the required components already exist. Software in particular — far more so than the sandwiches you think it can be compared to — allows for this kind of splitting up, which is how you can so trivially find all kinds of tiered-license deals for complex programs. In fact, you're using one of those restricted licenses this very moment. And guess what? The manufacturer of that software is making money hand over fist from offering you that reduced-capability product at a lower price.

The single missing part isn't even with Heatblur but with ED needing to allow individual slots to work with multiple licenses. If you want to argue that this cost would not match the additional sales from people buying the restricted slots, you're going to need to present an actual argument — one better than “nuh-uh!”, which is all you've ever offered so far.

1 hour ago, SharpeXB said:

No matter the role you play in you need the same module.

Not really, no. And even if you did, so what? That just further reinforces the point that it would be all gravy — that it's all just additional sales that otherwise wouldn't happen.


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6 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

You guys are thinking like this is a sandwich that you can buy half of for less money. It’s not. It’s software! There aren’t labor or material savings which would make selling half the product at a lower cost feasible. No matter the role you play in you need the same module. This request is no different than just asking for a discount. If that’s what you want then wait for a sale. Imagining that you can buy half the module for less is just silly, it’s not a sandwich 🤪

While I'm not wild about the idea of RIO-only licenses for practical and financial viability reasons, what you say above is looking at a somewhat incomplete picture. While it's true that there aren't savings to be made to material nor labor for reducing cost, there's also no additional expense when selling additional units, so there's an argument to be made for additional sell-through offsetting lost revenue (assuming no cannibalization of sales). I need also point out that ED does regularly offer discounts (I bought almost a third of my modules with one discount or the other - most recently the Apache at 30%!), so it's definitely not out of the question for ED to sell products at discounted price (the calculation of course being that the lower income is offset by higher sales volume). Product pricing is elastic, and production cost alone does not work with immaterial products such as software, art or services (the classic example for the latter being a cup of coffee: the cost to produce a cup of coffee is some 24 cents. How then can it be explained that the exact same mixture of coffee and hot water can be profitably sold at prices ranging from less than 1 Dollar to more than 7 at some coffee shops? Because the product includes intangibles like experience and service)

That being said, any modification to an existing product, or creating a derivative product always introduces additional up-front cost, and I am entirely unconvinced that a niche product like RIO-only license could ever recapture the investment or additional support requirements.  I would prefer if ED went the other way: offer the ability to fly RIO in the Tomcat for free. It's not as if a Cat RIO can fly the plane, and I don't believe anyone would ever be persuaded to buy half the module just to assume the role of RIO. It would, however, be a terrific way to show people what immensely great a time can be had in DCS outside of the Su25 or dinky TF-51. But RIO-only licenses - half the cost for a tenth of the fun? That's a business case that's not going to end well.


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On 10/15/2021 at 4:34 AM, cfrag said:

While I'm not wild about the idea of RIO-only licenses for practical and financial viability reasons, what you say above is looking at a somewhat incomplete picture. While it's true that there aren't savings to be made to material nor labor for reducing cost, there's also no additional expense when selling additional units, so there's an argument to be made for additional sell-through offsetting lost revenue (assuming no cannibalization of sales). I need also point out that ED does regularly offer discounts (I bought almost a third of my modules with one discount or the other - most recently the Apache at 30%!), so it's definitely not out of the question for ED to sell products at discounted price (the calculation of course being that the lower income is offset by higher sales volume). Product pricing is elastic, and production cost alone does not work with immaterial products such as software, art or services (the classic example for the latter being a cup of coffee: the cost to produce a cup of coffee is some 24 cents. How then can it be explained that the exact same mixture of coffee and hot water can be profitably sold at prices ranging from less than 1 Dollar to more than 7 at some coffee shops? Because the product includes intangibles like experience and service)

That being said, any modification to an existing product, or creating a derivative product always introduces additional up-front cost, and I am entirely unconvinced that a niche product like RIO-only license could ever recapture the investment or additional support requirements.  I would prefer if ED went the other way: offer the ability to fly RIO in the Tomcat for free. It's not as if a Cat RIO can fly the plane, and I don't believe anyone would ever be persuaded to buy half the module just to assume the role of RIO. It would, however, be a terrific way to show people what immensely great a time can be had in DCS outside of the Su25 or dinky TF-51. But RIO-only licenses - half the cost for a tenth of the fun? That's a business case that's not going to end well.

 

That's a great idea too.  Free is better than less.   The main issue being that there needs to be a better way to pull people in.   Especially people who are sim light and would really enjoy dcs but just need a good way to get their feet wet.

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