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Thread: First verdict: much potential -- recommended if you're patient

  1. #1

    Smile First verdict: much potential -- recommended if you're patient

    In short:
    Graphics beautiful, yet needs a fas PC and graphics card. No surprise.
    The game does not really know whom it is aiming at: on one hand a rather arcade-like driving experience (engines too strong, some built-in cruise control, trains don't feel heavy) on the other deeply simulated engine startup sequences and DPU configurations that won't please the "arcade gamer". Up to forced hardcore walking along the entire train (more than a mile there and back) with no shortcut.
    Terrible sound, engine noise turns into white noise after some time - like in TS2017.


    I pre-ordered it, because I obviously had to. First verdict after two hours game-play: much potential -- yet not really finished. But everyone knew that beforehand. If you buy it now you buy something like a late beta or so. It runs stable and without any glaring graphics or other problems. But as you already know there is NO route editor for now and also NO scenario editor and NO steam workshop. You have to do with what came with the game. Keymapping is very similar to TS2017, although some new keys for new features have been added.

    My PC's specs are at the required minimum (i5 3,2GHz, Radeon 280X, 8GB RAM) and the game runs OK-ish once I switched the graphics settings from "high" to "medium". Although then it looks a bit like the now "old" TS2017. Let's say on "medium" it runs like a detail-heavy route on TS2017 - like The Aurora Racetrack for instance. It does not really stutter but you won't get much FPS. I'd say between 25 and 30 without having it actually measured.

    You can now walk around the engines and the train, can refill the tank by attaching the fuel hose and you control the turntable from within the control booth. Nice features. In one scenario I had to walk from one end of the train to the other and with the train more than a mile long that took some time. I couldn't find a (keyboard) shortcut to just jump to the other end and that was annoying. After all it's a Train simulator, not a hiking sim.

    Right now I've only really driven one of the three (?) different engines the game comes with (GP 38-2, AC4400-CW, SD 40-2) and I cannot really say right now how realistic it feels and whether the physics and sounds are better than those of TS2017 which were totally botched (I edited out a totally justified four-letter word - just to stop some people from crying. You're welcome.).

    Will update this post once more details come to light.

    Update 2016.03.16 23:45:
    The SD40-2 comes equipped with some kind of cruise control: notch1 for instance won't accelerate beyond 10mph, the amps just go to zero. Same with other notches: they all seem to have a max speed beyond that the amps go down. Don't know whether the SD40 actually comes with this feature.

    Sound seems as bad as it was in the old TS2017: after a while the SD40 sounds like an enormous hair dryer. Gone is the distinct metallic engine noise and everything seems to be only fan noise or white noise or something.

    At least the heater works. Was afraid of being cold ...

    Update 2016.03.17 15:25:
    Same problems in the AC4400-CW: "cruise control" and sound that turns into some kind of white noise. Also the engines appear to be way too strong. It all feels like a train sim in arcade mode. Disappointed. At least the dynamic brake works better than in the SD40.

    Update 2016.03.17 16:45:
    Already mentioned by someone else: one save slot for the entire game (not one per scenario, like in TS2017). Ridiculous.
    Nice feature: Simulation depth for starting and configuring engines turnsout to be much deeper as before: you can (and have to?) set up engines for DPU service, start up diesels and stuff.

    What I really want to know but have to wait for: how intelligent is the new AI? Is is as bugged and stupid as the old one? Or maybe clever and fun to work with. We'll see.
    Last edited by deltatango; 03-18-2017 at 09:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    I just spent several hours with it and my observations are much the same. The new interactive features give the sim a different feel, and that's going to be fun. Running the trains is still much like we're used to.

    At default settings the frame rates are pretty slow. I'm going to have to do some tweaking to better match it to my computer, which isn't super high end but it's only a year old.

    It's too early for TSW to replace the sims we're used to but it should be a fun supplement.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltatango View Post
    In one scenario I had to walk from one end of the train to the other and with the train more than a mile long that took some time. I couldn't find a (keyboard) shortcut to just jump to the other end and that was annoying. After all it's a Train simulator, not a hiking sim.
    Same here....searched all over the shop for a shortcut but couldn't find one.
    So grabbed a bottle of water and started the mile-long hike to the head-end of the consist.


    Quote Originally Posted by deltatango View Post
    ..... I cannot really say right now how realistic it feels and whether the physics and sounds are better than the ones of TS2017.
    Is it really necessary to use that adjective?
    I'm certainly no prude but find no need for that kind of language in this forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by deltatango View Post
    Update 2016.03.16 23:45:....Don't know whether the SD40 actually comes with this feature.
    No, it certainly doesn't.
    Check into Run 8 for the most accurate simulation of controls & their effect.


    Quote Originally Posted by deltatango View Post
    Sound seems as bad as it was in the old TS2017: after a while the SD40 sounds like an enormous hair dryer. ....
    One thing the developers need to understand is that what one hears from inside the cab is at a lower volume to that when one's head is stuck out the window.
    In every view, the sound is at the same volume.

    I enjoyed the overall first experience; there is scope for excellence from this first issue.
    After two hours of operation I would say that if this initial release, with one route, is seen as the basic core then there is the possibility that TSW could become a very good product indeed.
    But DTG will need to address those aspects which are questionable or simply need modifying (having to walk a mile, for example) and also ensure that what components follow are of high quality.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  4. #4
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    Pressing Shift whilst walking will speed you into a modest canter.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpgibbons View Post
    Pressing Shift whilst walking will speed you into a modest canter.
    Yep...I did that but was even more buggered by the time I got to the cab.
    It needs a Run 8 Ctrl+Shift to really be any good.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  6. #6
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    If you close the windows and doors inside the cab sounds are lower.
    Bob Artim
    Owner of Railworks America
    6th gen i7 [email protected] - 16 gig ram - nVidia 970 with 4 gig - 5Tb of HDDs - Water cooled - Win 10 - Dual Samsung S24D390 HD monitors

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by artimrj View Post
    If you close the windows and doors inside the cab sounds are lower.
    I beg to differ, Bob.
    Sitting in the cab, with all windows & doors closed, and then selecting the head-out view (-> or <-), the sound heard outside is exactly the same as that heard inside.
    Sitting in the cab and if a window or door is then opened, the sound changes, certainly. But if the head-out view is then selected, the sound is exactly the same.
    This also occurs with external views [2].

    My point is that there should be at least three levels of volume and, if possible, three variations of sound.
    One should be for in-cab, windows/doors closed.
    Another for in-cab, window/door open.
    The third for head-out and external views.

    Something that could be added to the "To Be Tweaked" list.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  8. #8
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    I agree with most of the above comments. I have completed several of the tutorials with some difficulty due to gaps in the guidance provided if you miss something or select the wrong key or forget the key e.g. In the turntable hut I forgot to hit the E key to get out of the seat. The system provided no hints and no possible actions until I realised my mistake. This took several minutes before I woke up to my error.

    Other findings:
    Walking: Agree totally boring and tedious, I will quickly lose interest if no altewrnative is available.
    Steps and entry: similar too repetitive and boring after first few times.
    Graphics: While the eye candy is delicious, the moire on vertical lines and the shimmer on horizontal lines is worse than TS2017. I have tried a few settings changes but do not seem to find a happy medium . . . any suggestions welcome. I have an I7 and 1070 graphics with 32Gb memory and SSD throughout.
    Equipment: I use a raildriver in TS2017 and cannot accept that they have not provided an interface as it is essentially the same as TS2017, I find the alternative keyboard interface destroys the immersion factor for me. Likewise to a lesser extent Trackir.
    Brake Training: I feel I still do not have an adequate understanding of the brake system procedure. I have now purchased RUN8 to learn the real way to handle brakes, and it supports RailDriver in native mode ! ! !
    Manual: I downloaded the manual which is informative in what is provided, but I feel much is not detailed and seems missing (However I have yet to complete the tutorials, so much may become clear in time.
    Overall: I feel TSW has much promise but there is so much missing I consider this will be a long journey before I am comfortable with the facilities available.
    Finally: With RUN8 there are a couple of facilities available that I think would be just great in TSW and should not be too difficult. They can do Car Forwarding and produce switch lists, which I would just love to see in TSW. Also the external Dispatcher provides a better overall view of the route than TSW map. The Services holds some interest,. but it still needs to be more flexible in how you can influence the outcome if you take control. RUN8 has improved dramatically in V2 for looks, and the AI seems very smart, but is still way behind TS2017 in the looks factor, however RUN8 seems to be catching up somewhat.

    I certainly don't regret buying this sim and would not ever have considered REFUND option, I will just have to develop more patience, particularly regarding the equipment, the editor (lack of) and other routes and rolling stock. RUN8 has a place in my sim time, but will never totally replace my long involvement with Dovetail/Kuju for plain simple fun of running a train.

  9. #9
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    The physics are way off.

    I should not be able to accelerate a mile-long laden train, powered by 2xSD40s+2xSD40s, up a 1.5% grade, when in notch 4 and cruising at 24 mph (just below the 25 mph maximum)!

    The locos should be in R8 and working like buggery!

    UPDATE.
    I arrived at the end of the scenario at Sandpatch Summit at 59 mph, after accelerating to a maximum of 62 mph at one point on the climb.
    Ridiculous! It appears that they are using similar physics to those in TS20XX
    Last edited by seagoon; 03-17-2017 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Corrected engine types for helpers.
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  10. #10

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    I agree with the physics.
    Trains rolling well in descents what I can say.
    Trains brakes are much better than the beta but I feel it is not good enough yet somehow.

    But the locomotive force uphill is completely wrong.
    Driving mode 1 is 10 mph driving mode 2 is 18 mph. Is it on cruise control om the three locomotives ......
    Speed 30 mph and driving mode 2 is 0 Amp ???????

    You can drive in heavy uphill with little force. Driving mode 4 with 1.5% grade, 25-30 mph
    4 locomotives and 60 carriages. It does not feel right at all.
    Last edited by jorgen3; 03-17-2017 at 02:10 AM.

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