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Thread: My Complaints about Open Rails

  1. #1

    Default My Complaints about Open Rails

    In an other topic I was recommended I try Open Rails to cure certain program crashes involving steam engines in MSTS.
    I tried Open Rails, here are my conclusions.

    PRE-RUN
    1. "Zigzag railway" is highlighted on the content download page of OpenRail but it does not say it includes OpenRail 1.4?!
    2. The installer can't or doesn't place a shortcut on my desktop
    3. Default units is not set to "Route" (!!!)
    4. You need the internet to read what the little info buttons near each of the settings want to say
    5. The rest of the Options are absolute ****** without any explanation... aside from the tool tips which should be your #1 priority, maybe there should be 3 levels of details, like "Quick" (like MSTS has), "Advanced" (like MSTS has), "Computer Engineer" (the current one)

    PRE-RUN / IN-GAME
    6. There is an "Evaluation" tab but I see no evaluation after exiting an activity... there should be at least one checkbox saying "Show a Pure, 100% unadulterated, MSTS Style Evaluation after activity" but that would be too logical for something that pretends to be compatible with MSTS...

    IN-GAME
    7. Route Monitor uses complex or 3D shapes instead of simple ones... who thought this was a good idea? What was wrong with the route monitor from MSTS?! At least it was semi-realistic, with no science fiction additions giving precise measurements in yards... it's obvious that 7.1 ALL driving aids were made "better" in some bizarro world, as in the real game they are much worse than their MSTS counterparts... 7.2 including the missing F11 window.
    8. Acela starts with Pantograph Down... this is not how it was done in MSTS...
    9. All the labels e.g. "Brakes LAPPING 69%" appear in the log (in lack of the better word), and there is no feedback on the actual control being manipulated to see its status... how was this a good idea?! Also 9,1 the plus and minus signs on the cursor are no longer there... and 9.2 the hand cursor is ugly as sin... all this makes the game harder to control with the mouse than MSTS!!!
    10. "They" could have used SHIFT key to move controls faster (e.g. in increments of 10 instead of increments of 1 which is default in MSTS) but "they" didn't, keeping the whole thing as keyboard-unfriendly as it was... do "they" even play the game they supposedly "improved"?!
    11. The poles which carry the overhead wire don't have shadows with Dynamic Shadows and Shadows-for-Objects Enabled?!?! Are you even trying?
    12. 1080p, with dynamic shadows and shadows-for-objects enabled I get 11FPS. Without them I get 19FPS. This is disastrous, compared to what I see on the screen. I may not have the best video card in the world, but I can run the 2010 Need for Speed Hot Pursuit in 1080p with all settings maxed out at 60fps...
    13. "Warning! Throttle locked! Release dynamic brake and re-try!" on an Acela with no control over the dynamic brake and no indicator for its usage (especially when stationary...) 13.1 Acela (and most probably other trains) have strange and inconsistent brake behavior (including after without emergency application)... not to mention that the reverser can be moved with throttle engaged... seems to me there is a ton of "error checking" missing at the most basic level of controls Or this is just "realistic" and I somehow missed the "MSTS compatible" option.

    VERDICT: Unplayable. Compared to MSTS it's like shoveling coal, in hell, with a toothpick.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by steamonly View Post
    ... this is not how it was done in MSTS...
    That's it in a nutshell, my friend. You've got to bear in mind that Open Rails is an open source, created-by-volunteers system, not a commercial product, not MSTS. And, yes, you will have to do more "shoveling" yourself to get what you want out of it. That said, I've found ORTS 1.4 to have been a great improvement over previous versions, and I'm one of the dinosaurs who value old MSTS routes and rolling stock. There's much unfinished in ORTS, much probably that will never be done, other functions that don't work well with legacy MSTS routes and trains - and vice versa, and sometimes it takes lots of file editing to improve the experience. Some rejoice in the fun of that. Myself, I have a time limit on the fiddle factor but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying Open Rails for what it can do. It's an impressive software achievement ... for what it can do. Adjust your expectations. Pointing out program bugs is one thing, but don't complain, at least not as much as I did in the early days of Open Rails when it did deserve harsh words to balance all the cheerleader happy talk about it. It's going to be a different experience than MSTS was, as you are discovering. It takes time to learn, like any complex software, and I know all to well that can be frustrating. I hope you can have some fun with it in the end.
    Last edited by ftldave; 07-18-2022 at 09:56 AM. Reason: txt edit
    - FTLDave

    "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." - Wernher von Braun


    "A software suggestion is not a valid answer to a configuration/troubleshooting question." - Timelmer

  3. #3
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    Oh dear, 'steamonly', what a tirade!!

    I'll leave it to those more qualified than I am to answer your points (if they care to!), except for the first one. The description DOES state that Open Rails v1.4 is included in the Zig Zag Railway download.

    I favour MSTS, maybe because I am 'an old codger' (!) but have run and am still running MSTS routes as well as OR-only routes with Open Rails. OK, there are differences, but neither sim is "plug and play" - you have to do some 'work' to get the best out of them!

    The Open Rails Development Team has done, and is doing, a fantastic job which enables us to run even the oldest MSTS route using a modern sim. Not only that, but timetables and working turntables are just two of the enhancements which MSTS could never do.

    Unplayable?? Never!!

    Cheers,
    Ged

    PS. If you want "Plug and Play". you'd do better with TS20xx from Steam. Maybe that's what your 'name' implies

  4. #4
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    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.


  5. #5
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    Thanks, Gerry.

    Now I can't get the image of Danny Devito as the frustrated Penguin trying to control the Batmobile while seated in the supermarket sidewalk child's ride out of my head.

    P.S. It seems he was fairly new to the Kite experience, too. Lack of time, I guess.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by geepster775 View Post
    Thanks, Gerry.

    Now I can't get the image of Danny Devito as the frustrated Penguin trying to control the Batmobile while seated in the supermarket sidewalk child's ride out of my head.

    P.S. It seems he was fairly new to the Kite experience, too. Lack of time, I guess.
    rofl1.jpg thanks back at ya ( critical opinion...Penguin/Batmobile is a funnier analogy than kite/airplane!)

    I suppose you have to give OR noobs some sort of discount...speaking for myself -- I've been reading the manuals as updated, using the sim weekly ( certainly daily during some periods ) and reading the threads...since I first used OR in 2013. I know your experience in the sim ( and hobby and railroading in general ) certainly outspans mine...so to someone's first experience with OR using MSTS as a reference point is going to be bewildering.
    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.


  7. #7
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    It's free for heaven sake. I havent had OR installed for a while, because i find the graphics a bit dated,

    But you don't go, putting the boot in when it is a freebie.

    Just uninstall it and go and do something else.

    Mike.
    Yma O Hyd

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steamonly View Post
    In an other topic I was recommended I try Open Rails to cure certain program crashes involving steam engines in MSTS.
    I tried Open Rails, here are my conclusions.
    Hi

    I agree with you, OR is not for you, have you heard the one about the person who called up HELP when his PC was not plugged in?

    I get the feeling that if as much time was spent on testing and properly reporting problems, the problems would get fixed.

    Oh well,

    Daniel
    Daniel - Sydney (Glad I'm not in Townsville)
    It used to be my favourite place in the world.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R. Steele View Post
    "...certainly uninformed and showing little self awareness...like reading a report from a person who could fly a kite but gets in the cockpit of a plane with wings and engines and complains they cannot get the dang thing off the ground... so their logic dictates the problem lies with the plane."
    A relevant and accurate analogy.

    Among other issues - of which there are many - it struck me odd that on one hand he complains about shadows for overhead wires and gantries not being rendered, but then laments over such poor performance even with dynamic shadows turned off. This suggests hardware shortcomings on the user's end. This, while comparing OR to an old NFS:HP arcade racer as a basis for criticism. This suggests cognitive shortcomings on the user's end - specifically, understanding the differences between GPU-dependent arcade bang ups focusing on visuals, and CPU-dependent desktop simulators focusing on behind-the-scenes processes.

    I was going to help and address his concerns in turn, but the more I read, the more I realized this is someone who's more interested in looking for things to complain about and jumping to conclusions than genuinely seeking help or learning anything.

    MSTS is fine. It is what it is. While not perfect (and neither is MSTS, for that matter) OR is vastly superior in every way. Even more so for the latest Test version. It takes some learning, though if you're already familiar with MSTS then it isn't a huge leap.

    Whatever. Good luck, steamonly.
    Last edited by Kuckoo; 07-18-2022 at 02:45 PM.
    "My dog got loose once, what I did was show him his leash & he came running back, thinking it was time for a walk - stupid dog."

  10. #10
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    You do seem to have a penchant for finding fault steamonly. It's a long shot I know, but was I married to you once....?
    Last edited by niknak; 07-18-2022 at 02:58 PM.
    Regards,

    Nick

    boffin0 on TikTok


    Dell Desktop. Intel i5 3.3 CPU. 8GB RAM. Nvidia GTX 1050Ti 4GB graphics. Windows Pro 64bit. RailDriver. Partridge in a pear tree...

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