VR again :)

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VR again :)

Postby Chairman » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:37 pm

So ...... I bought myself a Reverb G2. The first time I put the headset on and materialised in the clifftop house was my first taste of VR and OMFG !!! I won't spoilt the moment for people who haven't had the pleasure by going into detail, most of the amazement was because I had no idea what to expect.

Something had to be played. Didn't matter what, just Something. Had. To. Be. Played.

No Man's Sky was the first thing that I saw on a menu and again, OMFG !!! That took care of day 1.

Day 2 was driving sims - Assetto Corsa, RF2, found that the headset plus my wheel and pedals was, umm, well, my notebook won't run the G2 but I don't ever want to race again without it on my gaming pc.

Day 3 was all about flight sims, and the wheels fell off the whole thing. What a shitshow, the headset was amazing but no sign of the controllers and I'm damned if I'm going to try and fly using a joystick / mouse / keyboard that I can't see. The G2 is one of the most anticipated VR headsets in ages and it has all the same problems the G1 had (and is probably still having) plus a few new ones, rather impressively including that even though the controllers for the G2 are so different to the G1 controllers that they seem completely unrelated, they report the same device ID as the G1 controllers. Good luck sorting that out, any updates to make the G2 controllers work will by definition (literally!) break the G1 controllers. Top decision there HP.

Spent many many hours over 2-3 days bashing through forums and watching youtube videos, one of the most helpful was unfortunately recorded in the VR environment by someone who seemed to have parkinsons of the neck so actually hurt my eyes to watch. But I sort of got there.

Have managed 2 successful flights in xplane so far - both in torquesim addons. I can bring up the radial menus, I can teleport, I can reset the view, I can do the temporary zoom in thing, and most importantly the lasers and triggers work well enough to do everything in the cockpit that needs doing (one of the controllers stopped firing the laser after I changed the scenery setting midflight but I was wise to that game and just used the other hand until that one decided to work again, kind of sums up the whole experience nicely). The planes are leaving a purple trail that I need to find the setting for because it's embarrassing to look at, and I need to try using the traditional yoke because it's just too hard to be precise with the ergonomic, and the resolution is crap after a big 4k monitor, but the immersion ... again, OMFG (I nearly puked at one point when I rolled hard) and again, I don't want to fly locally again without it. Longer flights might revert to the screen once they're in the climb but I don't think you can get back into VR without crashing the sim once you leave ...

What I *really* want is to get it working in P3D where I have (warbirds) better scenery and (warbirds) way more good (warbirds) planes but I gather that P3D is even crapper than Xplane at supporting the G2 so we will see how that goes over the next few days. At least now I have a few clues about what needs assigning !
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Re: VR again :)

Postby SA227 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:59 pm

I have been using my G2 in DCS and it has been awesome. however I do have full HOTAS so don't need the keyboard other than changing ordnance.

Only issue to date is that sometimes if I did not have the headset plugged in when I booted the computer, the view is all screwed up when I start DCS and I find myself sitting head out of the canopy or slightly off to one side. Normally solved by a reboot.

The only other programme I have tried is Real Flight 8 to keep current on radio control flying. The graphics are a bit limited but still enjoy it.
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Re: VR again :)

Postby Chairman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:26 am

Well, what can I say ... Whoooooooah is getting a bit overused :)

I made sure all the important stuff I'd need in flight was mapped to buttons on the joystick or throttle then thrashed the Hotstart TBM around Auckland using the G2 headset, one controller to flip switches for the startup / shutdown, and the stick and throttles - and OMG it was good. Probably the first time I've ever joined a circuit on the downwind anything like properly, and it didn't occur to me until I'd landed that on the turns to base and final my head had been spinning round like a big spinny roundy thing, I've never had situational awareness like it.

Then I got brave and jumped into P3D. Not completely brave, I took the A2A C182 not a taildragging warbird. Took a while to wrap my head around the weird way that P3D does Vr (a big ugly dot (but not as big and ugly as xplanes VR mouse cursor!) that follows your eyepoint or acts as a mouse cursor or vanishes altogether, if you have the right options set you can put it over switches then do whatever you need to with your mouse) and then a while longer to get the damn plane to run (got it the hard way in the end, dang I love A2A) and I was off. The difference between P3D with scenery and Xplane without ... I actually whooped with delight when I took off from NZAR, then chortled with glee when I realised I was following the motorway into town and navigating by recognising the junctions and what was around them. The C182 did feel rather pedestrian after the TBM but I took the last stage of flaps in and it got more respectable, not TBM respectable, but very very nice. Did a lap around the busy end of Waiheke spotting the ferry wharf, Oneroa shops, some of the beaches we used to go to, and OMG our old bach !!! Then back to NZWP flying the proper approach down the side of Herald Island (we used to live there, I lost count of the times I saw everything up to hercs and 727s sliding past at 400 feet) and parked it in front of the fire station with the other GA planes.

So I'm unequivocally sold on VR in flight sim, and on my G2. I'm loving everything about hedge hopping. I see Moths and Cubs in my future. I have better situational awareness than I ever did with a screen, even a 4k screen with TrackIR, and I've NEVER had such a sense of how small the cabins on the GA planes are. Xplane does the controls better, P3D seems more reliable, either is astonishing and provided you use a physical yoke / joystick and have all the essential controls mapped to physical buttons you don't need to look at, either sim will blow your mind when it all finally comes together and works. Eventually I'll get around to trying it in MSFS but for now I'm a very happy and distracted camper :)
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Re: VR again :)

Postby jpreou » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:47 am

What is the resolution like? Can you actually read the gauges clearly by glancing at them from your normal seated position, as you would IRL, or do you have to physically lean forward/in and 'get centred' on the gauge to read it. That is the primary reason I didn't go VR when I trialled the Vive Pro many moons ago...
-- Jeff, Rolleston, NZ
P3Dv4.x and a bunch of add-on stuff... some 'global' products, but otherwise NZ-only
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Re: VR again :)

Postby Chairman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:59 am

The resolution is not 4k or even 1080p sharp, but honestly it's way more exciting to have VR at ok resolution than to have an unrealistically sharp picture on a 27" screen on the desk in front of you.

I can read the gauges fine without leaning forward or zooming. The only things I'm zooming for are the fiddly bits like autopilot and GPS / G1000 panels. I can read my phone and books a lot better with glasses on so I think I'd be squinting and leaning in to read those things in a real cockpit, so it actually feels more realistic that I can't see the things I wouldn't expect to. Having said that, really weirdly the 2d panels still pop out if you hit the clickspots so no squinting required - but then you have to (physically) lean sideways to look around the popped out panel to click the popout back into place :)
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Re: VR again :)

Postby jpreou » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:37 pm

Cheers for that.
And if you want an immersive 'wow' experience, get and play Elite Dangerous!
Even on the Vive Pro (text reading issues aside) that was just awesome.
You can also try 'stepping out' of the cockpit and wing walking at 6000ft over Queenstown - whoooaaa! :)
-- Jeff, Rolleston, NZ
P3Dv4.x and a bunch of add-on stuff... some 'global' products, but otherwise NZ-only
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Re: VR again :)

Postby Chairman » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:29 pm

Oooh yes, Elite Dangerous. When I was looking at VR I was thinking flight sim and ED. Getting sidetracked with how amazing it made racing sims was completely unexpected, I haven't gotten around to trying it on ED yet - though I'm really looking forward to core mining and maybe even combat ! And yes, might even take the Stearman for a blat around NZQN :)
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Re: VR again :)

Postby jpreou » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:16 pm

The sense of scale when you get to a space station in ED, especially the ones you go inside of, is immense - you'll love it
-- Jeff, Rolleston, NZ
P3Dv4.x and a bunch of add-on stuff... some 'global' products, but otherwise NZ-only
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Re: VR again :)

Postby deeknow » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:43 am

Great to hear some real world experience, keep the feedback coming, am interested too but have always been put off by the early VR stuff not being up to par or well integrated. One of my workmates has a setup and has been encouraging me to take a peek. I also play NMS so keen to see that now too after reading your post
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Re: VR again :)

Postby jpreou » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:04 pm

I'm pretty keen, but to make the best use of the HP Reverb G2 might require a new PC. 2020 and 21 have not been kind to us, so I don't see VR or a new PC in my foreseeable future. But it is encouraging to see development proceeding and by the time I am 'ready; I'm sure it will then meeting my rather high expectations.
The one thing I'm not sure they will ever 'realistically' solve is the need to interface with hardware you might have - in my case a significant number of Saitek / Logitech modules, fuel tank selector, parking brake, etc... I'd need to buy a decent HOTAS, I think, before seriously considering VR so the 'cost bucket' is increased (VR + PC + HOTAS) - in fact, I'd pretty much be starting from scratch since I also need to purchase MSFS (or whatever is 'it' when all this finally becomes feasible!).
Keep the good info coming though, love reading about it.
-- Jeff, Rolleston, NZ
P3Dv4.x and a bunch of add-on stuff... some 'global' products, but otherwise NZ-only
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Re: VR again :)

Postby Chairman » Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:26 pm

Quick update on where I'm at at the moment ...

General :
Choose a physical button that is never going to move (I use one on my throttle because no matter what I'm doing that never gets moved) and dedicate it for a 'reset VR view' button. You'll need one in every VR game you play, whether you get told you do or not.

Flight Simming :
Amazing IF you like low slow simple VFR. Anything complex, well, stop and ask yourself how do you read a checklist or look at a chart or your notes while you're wearing a VR headset ?
You absolutely need to fly using your usual joystick / yoke / throttle / pedals etc. But no keyboards or streamdecks.
It is necessary to map as much as possible to buttons on your joystick / throttle, and be able to find the right button when you need it without looking.
P3D looks WOW! largely because I have superb scenery and planes for it, I have equally superb planes for XP11 but only default scenery and it shows.
The VR interface in XP11 is what you would expect, I can either select and move switches etc with the lasers, or I can move my "hand" right up to the switch and just move it. I'd be game to try and use a G1000 cockpit in XP11.
The VR interface in P3D works and that's the kindest thing I can say about it, in fact it's the only thing I can say that doesn't include :swear:.
I haven't flown MSFS for a couple of months now, couldn't comment about it.

No Mans Sky :
Gets more and more stunning. Some things are harder to do, some things are much more intuitive. You can get away with flying just using the VR controls. I still can't work out the jetpack properly :) You can see a lot more when you're NOT in VR, but that's normal isn't it - when you watch someone walking down the street you can see a lot more of what's around them than they can.

Driving :
You need your usual wheel / gears / pedals / whatever, and you need to have buttons for the secondary controls (wipers, lights, starter etc) mapped so you can get them without looking for a keyboard. Don't even try to use the controllers, I don't think any of the games I play even see them but I once you're sitting in the car it's too amazing to care.

ED :
Ask me after tonight :)
Update : The G2 controllers are not supported by ED. The hanger looked good in the headset but as far as I can see ED is like a driving game with the G2, in that it looks amazing but you have to have everything mapped to buttons on your joystick, if you need your keyboard to do anything you're screwed. And I seem to recall (it's been a while) that quite a lot has to be done with the keyboard. During the time I spent sitting in the cockpit of my Python I couldn't even select anything, moving my head around turned the various displays on and off but no way could I select anything, the only way I could make anything happen was to use the keyboard to navigate the highlight cursor to what I wanted and press enter, I tried both mouse options available but couldn't even get a mouse cursor to appear in game, when I found the ESC key on the keyboard it brought up the game menus and the mouse worked fine there, but it doesn't work in game. ED is a big fat scrub for me.
Update 2 : It's a godawful interface, it's worse than P3D. The way to navigate the screens is with the hat switch and trigger on a joystick. And the hat switch has to be set up for this, as does the joystick/throttle for the flight controls, and the galaxy map has to be set up differently (haven't sussed that yet). Now that I'm doing it (can't have played ED since I bought this PC, it was installed but had never been run) I am reminded of ED's cute habit of showing controls being assigned by default but not actually working until you assign the exact same controls again manually. Still, nothing that 6 million credits couldn't fix, and the view of the detention centre as I flew away was pretty stunning. And I bought another sidewinder to make practising crashing a bit cheaper. I managed to find my way to a system that had a proper orbital station, and managed to get to it and autodock. OMG. Just .... OMG. It's painful, but it's definitely not a scrub any more.
Last edited by Chairman on Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: VR again :)

Postby Chairman » Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:21 pm

And a couple of notes about the G2, including things that caused confusion while I was checking out reviews (which are mostly of European / Pre-release units)
  • On your PC you need USB-C and displayport connections. The headset comes with a cable that fits into a USB-C socket (like the one on the bottom of your smartphone), and adapters to use normal (blue or purple) USB and mini-dp ports. You can't use an HDMI-DP converter, not even an active one. HDMI just doesn't have the grunt to drive the G2.
  • In some markets you can buy the full kit or just the headset with no controllers. Pretty sure we can only get the full kit here so don't waste time on that choice :)
  • Early G2 headsets were powered by USB if the PC supported it or the included AC adapter if it didn't. The current models require the adapter, it's no longer optional, and also acts as the on/off switch for the headset.
  • There's only one cable to the headset and it's a chunky monkey, much like decent co-ax aerial cable. The USB and DP cables and AC power go into a splitter box about 1.5 metres from the PC, and there's 4-5 metres of cable between that and the headset so you have plenty of scope to dance around hoping nobody is watching.
  • The setup allows you to define your play area for standing play so you don't blunder into furniture, and there's a command (reliably voice activated) to let you look through low-res cameras in the hand controllers. You can't see any details but it's enough to let you know where you are and which way you're facing (even sitting in my chair at the desk I managed to turn 180 degrees without realising).
  • There's been some moaning about having to leave the cable plugged into the headset once it's been plugged in, but it's not a problem - the headset sits nicely in its box with the controllers on top (all 3 in their cloth bags) and the cable coiled on top. Even room for a battery charger and a bunch of eneloops (2 AA per controller).
  • I love it. If you have the money to play with it's totally worth it !
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