There is something meant for this IRL and if I’m not mistaken is called UNICOM and has a fixed frequency for this already. There is no need to reinvent the wheel in my opinion like I’ve said above.
I’m stubborn about this one because I want to believe Jorg stance which is FS2020 is a simulator for simmers first and foremost, not a Xbox game title for console.
Therefore, just make it for simmers (tuned freq and talk, behind the scene this connects to an XBL lobby or whatever communication pipe XBL provides for this) with enough “amenities” for gamers (make the traditional XBL “talking with my friends when I’m playing on my console” a feature on the PC version).
We have a few thousand members on this forum and there are more than a few users that constantly flame anyone that has a differing opinion. Imagine 100s of thousands casual gamers. We already have pilots that think its fun to barnstorm other pilots. We have users on this forum that have made it clear that unless you are starting cold and dark and using proper procedures to taxi out and take off then you are a clown and there should be a special zone just for you.
There are so many differing opinions on how this sim should be used and who should be allowed to fly in a multiplayer environment that ANY public comms system would almost instantly become a flame network. We have numerous ways to meet other simpilots on various social media. Discord, this forum, dedicated member only clubs, XBox even has a “find other pilots” option. There are plenty of game communications options that you can use once connected with like minded pilots. None of those options are integrated and as such will not impact any else’s enjoyment.
Just having the ability to use profanity (I couldn’t care less) that can be heard through the ATC comms system has already been exploited by those that still think farts are funny. That’s not going to fly when little Timmy is playing XBox, showing Gramma how well he can land and one of those clever call signs is boomed out across the family sound system.
An anonymous community of millions of users cannot be trusted to be civil, family friendly or even quiet, when required. If we want to communicate, we can. Randomly shouting across the street to a stranger just because they are walking the same direction as you could get you shot in some neighborhoods. Maybe we should be required to meet at a designated place for that purpose and provide mutual consent, before someone is allowed to holler across my family room.
I guess it would be fine if we could all be adults…
If they don’t use the XBL communication system in FS2020 here is what will happen:
PC simmers are used to Vatsim, it is intrinsic to the simmers going the extra length of replicating IRL coms in the simultator, but if there is no other means to com, gamers will most likely use the Vatsim coms for casual coms.
PC “casual” simmers wanting to com but not as formally as Vatsim will have to recourse to different options incompatible with one another. This makes it difficult to encounter new people and ride along.
Xbox and PC players won’t be able to talk to each other because FS2020 is cross play but not the coms.
Xbox users are used to XBL coms, it is intrinsic to the ecosystem and they most likely won’t seek any other system just for FS2020.
Now you may not know it, but XBL coms also ship with a report and ban system and everything is recorded for review. The others systems might not be. I expect profanity in FS2020 be more reported than in CoD for example.
All the above leads me to believe the best system is using the existing XBL com infrastructure:
it is meant for massive coms
it is moderated and monitored
it offers lobbies for talking just with friends
FS2020 could use the lobby system (or any other custom made concept atop the coms infrastructure) to let anyone tuned to the same freq at a certain distance being able to com with others tune to the same freq (I simplistically describe it as 1 lobby automatically created per tunable freq).
dedicated aviation sim enthusiast web groups
(just joined a GA group myself. A place for VFR GA pilots to get together)
virtual airline groups
I could make quite a list but you get the idea.
I have no issue with a lobby type com system. In fact I think it would be great. I was more stomping on the “Hey there is another plane in my vicinity, I should talk to him”. Or the idea of public broadcast of ATC comms.
Both BAD ideas.
All segregating players in their own bubble unfortunately. If we’re sharing the sky, I’d rather also sharing the coms, and let common sense and moderation purge the problematic behaviors.
And in any case, one doesn’t preclude the other! You can still use all you want, including facetime audio or even simpler: your phone.
I strongly believe FS2020 should also include a standard communication system and there is no better option for a cross play game (XBox + PC) than XBL coms services which are specifically meant and designed for this, and deeply rooted in the XBL ecosystem. I’m in fact very surprised they didn’t include it from the get go like any other online MP XBox game.
A trick a few of my flight sim ham radio buddies do is talk to each other over FM simplex on the 2-meter band. It gives us real-time radio communications without messing with software. It also brings in some interesting remarks from other hams who are monitoring the frequency (146.520 if nobody is chatting on it).
Or designate a single frequency (maybe 121.5) that pilots in general can use to setup a group flight, and maybe limit it to “groups” where one party has invited one or more others into a group. Not having the ability for pilots IN GAME to speak with each other, at least with some sort of text function really limits the usability of multiplayer for impromptu use.
I put out an open invitation earlier with an invite to my Discord server, and was in the discord chat the whole time I was flying. In fact, I’m going to do that as a general rule moving forward. Unfortunately, I got no takers this time, but there’s always next time… In fact, I’m going to be in one of my discord chatrooms every time I am in the game moving forward, hopefully eventually I’ll get some takers lol!!
I am seeing that from a different angle. Not segregation but usually bringing together like minded individuals. Randomly selecting from a couple million users or forming up with individuals that you met in a common room.
On your other point. I guess I am just to old and jaded. I no longer believe that “common sense” is common or that in general the anonymous ‘social’ media system does anything other than provide the most toxic among us a voice and they will hijack any positive discourse they can find, purely for entertainment.
I do understand the same-minded pilots using same-minded tools as well, but you can’t shield out people regardless. People are people, we all are to varying degrees (I have no doubt some find my posts annoying sometimes )
What I suggest is FS2020 using a sanctioned and ubiquitous technology integral to the XBL ecosystem they are already using for MP authentication, DRM, purchase validation, telemetry, remote activate of FS2020 features (these are bits saved in your XBL profile not accessible from any user interface…).
Otherwise I’m nearly certain their vision of cross-play won’t work for MP because both sides won’t be able to talk and chat (and chatting in VR is hard so voice coms are paramount), and the other side might highjack the only prevalent coms network which is Vatsim for casual talking. Also, if the FS2020 Xbox version ships with XBL coms as it should because it is an XBox game, PC users won’t have therefore the same level of experience as Xbox players if there is no XBL coms for the PC version, making the game unbalanced among players.
And in all cases, adding one solution (XBL) doesn’t preclude using any other existing and alternative external means of communication like the ones you’re listing. The more the merrier.
Yes this is the same technology (I guess). The idea is having this technology automatically creating “parties” bound per frequency, so that in addition to the possibility to opening a specific party to share with you friends only, FS2020 would benefit from an real communication system like IRL seamlessly integrated in the game and segregating participants not based on servers (Discord, etc…), not on Groups (Parties) but only on Frequencies.
This will make this more open to casual simmers wanting to talk to each other. For example (far fetched but maybe not), you’re lining up in the queue at the runway threshold, but someone is sitting there doing nothing. Assuming (of course this is the big if but any other com system won’t solve this either) players are tuned to ground frequency, you could say “hey you’re blocking the queue, there are others behind, do you mind I roll over you”. There could be countless other practical examples.
Another one: “hey I just noticed you’ve had a cool aircraft, what is this and where could I purchase it?”
In any case, you can always find other ways to do things similarly and this is fine, because the whole point to me is not arguing which is best, but enhancing the experience with more options. And in this case, coms are paramount to the pilot experience, and they should be important in the simmer or gamer experience too, and the idea to leveraging the existing and ubiquitous XBL coms technology in novel ways in automatically creating a lobby per frequency is one such way among others to enhance the enjoyment of using FS2020 instead of another simulator in my opinion.