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Old 09-09-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
Skybird
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Default How does DCS handle downloads?

A quesiton. I have not flown for very long time, and maybe get appetite to try the WWII planes recently released in the DCS, or the WWII package.

Sometimes these sims are on sale in shops, in DVD cases.

My internet conneciton is maximum 3 Mb, so while not being totally lame, also not a speed king. Downloading sims the size of the DCS stuff, is no joy - blocks the rig not just for hours, but the day and the night. I will not walk that way, even more when expecting to do it time and gaain when they upodate.

So my question is, how do they handle upgrades over versions they sell via DVD packs? Is it a partial download of the stuff only, with a limited package size, or is it downloading the whole sim from scratch?

Same is my question for DCS World, which seems to be required by now, yes?

I may buy the P51 on DVD, maybe, but only if it saves me from a download nightmare that later is required. Buying as a complete DLC is out of the question.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:41 AM   #2
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Ah, forget it, I just learned that the recommendation is to install via download (new versions) anyway, and that those required downloads are unacceptably big, 16 GB.

Well, I fold.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:03 AM   #3
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I haven't used the non-steam DCS world in ages, but from what I read there should be a built-in autoupdater.

Where do you get that 16GB size? DCS World is about 8GB, P-51D about 700MB.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:05 PM   #4
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Amazon feedback said 16 GB. Customers complained that after having installed from DVD, the game nevertheless downloaded that after launch. Plus it is not just the P51.

Autoupdater - even worse. You want to fly, start the game - and it starts to download for the next 20 hours instead , blocking the rig. Ultimate fun killer.

No way to go for me, thanks, even more so since it will not be done just once, but several times, whenever World gets updated. This model is for people with reliable 16000 kbit/sec internet connections or more.

Which is not even 2% of users in germany, at least last time I checked. I have 3000 kbit/sec - when the servers play ball. 2000-6000 is still the biggest norm group in Germany, although providers try to hide that fact in their advertising. Some promise 50000+ kbit via the powerlines. Do not expect to find many such users here.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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If only there was a platform that, when it started in the background, automatically scanned and downloaded any update for games that were run through it, thus when you came to play it, it was already updated and ready to run.

If only.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:39 PM   #6
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Oberon, I am one of those queer-minded old-fashioned people who switch their computer off when not using it.

I also do not tolerate software environments full automatically downloading and changing my system, not even Windows Update. I supervise Windows Update manually, and as far as I am aware of it, all other stuff as well.

And finally you did not get the point: having your system downloading such volumes of data at speeds like that, blocks the web access and de facto locks you out from using your computer for whatever a purpose. For hours. For the evening. For the night. For the whole damn day, and if you are lucky: for longer. And if the download messes up, it all starts again from the starting line. Thats why you better do not touch it when it does downloads like that... Has all happened for me, I talk by experience. Nothing beats a 123 hour download of 10 GB of data - and when the progress bar is at 96% the whole thing freezes becasue you opened free Mail to send an email, or you open the browser but the website bogs down. Priceless... I hate Steam and DLC business models.

BTW, for some reason Steam servers do not transport stuff to my part of the internet (where I use Skyrim, Assetto Corsa) at higher speeds than just ~1500 kbit/sec, that is half the speed I could get at maximum with my DSL link. So with Steam things become even worse, regarding downloads. They last twice as long.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:49 PM   #7
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Oh, not as queer as you'd think, but I'm not downloading things all the time, so Steam is happy to run in the background while I surf Subsim or do whatever. The only time it causes a hinderance is if it suddenly decides to download an update whilst I'm playing a multiplayer game, although it's smart enough to know that if you're playing a Steam game it won't download updates, but if it's a non-Steam game you're playing it doesn't know, so sometimes the best bet is to kill it temporarily.

Now unless you're on dial up, surely text based websites would not run that much slower with a Steam download running in the background? Videos, sure I can understand that, had that problem myself too, but text takes only a microscopic amount of data in comparison.

I can understand the downloading hell, but I've never had that problem with Steam...plenty of times I've had it with the likes of Internet Explorer, Getright, and that back in the 56k days, but the only time Steam has broken things it has been the developers mistake, not the service.
And besides, not much can beat spending an entire week downloading one episode of an anime, only to find that you've downloaded the episode with Spanish subtitles instead of English...

Not sure what's up with the Steam servers on your end, you might want to consider changing the server you connect to, some can be a bit funny, or Steam can have a brainstorm and decide to connect you to some obscure network. IIRC I was connected to the Paris network originally, but considering I live right on the East Coast I suppose I can forgive it, once I changed it to London the download rate was better.

Honestly though, I used to have a similar viewpoint to you, especially when Steam first came out and most people were still on dial-up, I figured that the whole idea was stupid and would never catch on. TBH I still have my doubts about the whole death of the second-hand games market via Steam, and I see that I'm not the only one if the current legal case in Australia is anything to go by. However, in terms of service, it has proven to be a fairly stable platform, the odd disconnect happens from time to time but it rarely lasts longer than a minute and unless you happen to be talking to someone over Steam at the time you don't even notice it.

Sure, it's not perfect, nothing is, but it's likely a more reliable download service than the DCS updater, and at least you can pause a download and continue later IIRC. I don't think you can do that with the DCS updater.
The biggest downside to DCS on Steam is that I'm not sure all the stuff is on there, and I've had a lot of problems getting my update version of Black Shark 2 to run on Steam, it'll take the full version of BS2 just fine, but the cheaper update option it does not like, but I think that is something that is being worked on by ED, again, it's not Steams fault, it's EDs fault.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:16 PM   #8
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One thing to note regarding DCS and Steam: Products bought via DCS store can no longer be merged to your Steam DCS World install.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:49 PM   #9
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Ah, I wondered if that was the case. I know ED and Steam have had a rather...tumultuous relationship of late. Rather annoying when that kind of thing happens though, and rather stupid.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberon View Post
Oh, not as queer as you'd think, but I'm not downloading things all the time, so Steam is happy to run in the background while I surf Subsim or do whatever. The only time it causes a hinderance is if it suddenly decides to download an update whilst I'm playing a multiplayer game, although it's smart enough to know that if you're playing a Steam game it won't download updates, but if it's a non-Steam game you're playing it doesn't know, so sometimes the best bet is to kill it temporarily.
I do not like full automization and the computer doing its thing, and you, the user, not becoming aware of it. I have Steam switched off if I do not play AC and expect an update, which usually gets announced in advance, and after the big ones you know that in the coming days there will be hotfixes. For Skyrim, it is in offline mode anyway, since there are no more patches at all.

It is an open line into your system, and thus a principle security risk. I like my rig being locked and shut up pretty tightly, since I am no multiplayer fan anyway. So Steam goes active only when I need it. Even website script management I mostly have on manual operation, saves me from much suspicious stuff trying to run on my system. Needs a bit more attention and manual confirmation by the user when surfing, but is a security boost for sure. And additional scriptblockers are great.

Quote:
I can understand the downloading hell, but I've never had that problem with Steam...plenty of times I've had it with the likes of Internet Explorer, Getright, and that back in the 56k days, but the only time Steam has broken things it has been the developers mistake, not the service.
And besides, not much can beat spending an entire week downloading one episode of an anime, only to find that you've downloaded the episode with Spanish subtitles instead of English...
As I said, its ~3000 kbit/sec here, which is solid DSL speed though not the speerhead of data transfering speeds, but it gives you the new website within 2 seconds, and that is good enough for me. I now use Firefox (Opera they messed up, and Forefox has become really nice since the days I tested it in earlier versions that all ran terribly). At that speed, downloads via Steam (or other downloads) conflict with normal web activity, making all web browsing laggy and stuttering, taking longer time. Also, and that is my main point, the risk is there that the activity interferes with the download process, making it to freeze, or producing an erratic result. So when downloading really big files, I tend to leave the system untouched and in idle mode, not doing something with it. Redownloading something that got corrupted is okay with a download of 100 MB, you do it again, wait 5 Minutes, and you're done. With a dozen GB or so, such things become a PITA.

I still prefer it the old way: a dedicated forum or other place, a note posted that there is a new patch, and the option to manually download it at a time of my choice. Until then being able to use the old version of the software as to my own likes and choices. It may be primitive and not nerdy enough for today's era, but to me it still has the best of charms. I do not change to something new just because it is new - but when it is a clear improvement I can benefit of, or my old thing is broken anyway.
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