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Author Topic: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?  (Read 4507 times)

Offline LemonButt

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Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« on: July 27, 2011, 01:39:01 PM »
I've been playing this game a while now and played in previous MT worlds as well.  I know we have the latest/greatest in 1.3 with MT5, but I am just not enthusiastic at all about giving my MT5 airline any attention.  We all know an all CRJ airline is possible in v1.2, so I tried my hand at it in v1.3.  I was based at CVG and had flights leaving every 45 minutes from CVG to ATL and had 85% load factors, but still wasn't turning a profit.  The only thing I spent money on was planes/slots and a small marketing campaign and before the first flight ever happened I was -4 million in the hole and was never able to break the -3 million mark.  Don't want to sound like I'm complaining here, but shouldn't an airline achieving 85% load factors or better (with standard pricing, one fleet type, nominal marketing costs, and CY config) be profitable?

I'm not sure if it's because of v1.3 or my lack of enthusiasm for the MT worlds (I had the largest airline in the world in a previous MT game and got bored--maybe I've had my fill of MT?), but there are a lot of things I just don't like about this MT5 world.  It's nice to have the fuel contracts and other "extras", but there are still major things that need to be fixed/tweaked in my opinion.  The two major items would be the used aircraft market and the fact it's near impossible to fly small planes profitably.  The used aircraft market is designed to be first-come, first-served but we're penalized for trying to be the first to an airplane (refreshing).  You can pretty much write off any jets with less than 100 seats and any props under 40 seats as it will simply be impossible to cover your overhead costs.  These are the two fundamental problems that still exist and are actually worse than 1.2 (small planes + higher slot costs = even harder to stay in the green).

The other, more minor changes that I'm not happy and I'm sure there are others who aren't happy are the changes to the Airline Info page.  Personally, I basically only use 3 pages regularly to manage my airline: Airline Info, Income Statement, and Scheduling.  Scheduling is unchanged as far as I can tell, as is the income statement.  It would be nice if the accounting was GAAP for many underlying reasons, but is more minor than the used aircraft/small plane issues.

The Airline Info page saw the biggest change though.  The weekly passenger graph is gone, which I know many others were sad to see go.  The livery/logo graphics are smaller where I know most of us liked the big graphics.  The statistics tab, in my opinion, is very cluttered and while it's nice to have all the extra data, the layout needs to be refined.  The Fleet page listing is also cluttered and again, while the information is nice to have, the layout leaves much to be desired.

Personally, I have experience in computer programming and design.  I work at a recruiting firm and many years ago we had a database where a candidate's profile was laid out in one long continuous page with collapsable/expandable sections (i.e. Airline Info from v1.2).  In years following, we switched to new software that had a tabbed layout, similar to the 1.3 Airline Info.  Currently, we are developing our own database from scratch in house (versus 3rd party providers we've used) and the people I work with have made it abundantly clear that it is much easier to evaluate a candidate's profile when displayed in 1 long continuous page versus tabbed pages.  I venture to say the same thing is true for AWS--players would rather see a one page overview of an airline versus a tabbed structure like we have now, especially with graphs/charts incorporated.

Those are my thoughts in a nutshell right now.  I appreciate (as I'm sure others do) all the work and time sami puts into development/etc so we have a game to play.  I know there are several other background processes that were tweaked (slots growth which is awesome, departure time difference requirements, increased slot costs).  This is a harsh comparison, but they say you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.  I feel like all of the features in the world (logo creator, fuel contracts, etc) are nice, but the fundamental gameplay features of the used aircraft market and small aircraft viability haven't improved at all in my opinion and have arguably taken a step backwards.  These features which drive playability are what players really care about (I think).  I know many measures have been put in place to limit growth, but until the first-come first-served nature of the used aircraft market and airlines being required to use large aircraft to profit are changed, growth is going to remain explosive.

Does anyone else feel the same way I do or am I an outlier?

Online Sami

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 01:54:19 PM »
Sorry that you feel that way. But the used market concept will not be changed, so much effort has been put to it already (and this autorefresh thingy is yet again taking my time to it) and focus is completely elsewhere at this time. And any changes to it will be most likely unnecessary if you're aware of the bigger plan (where there will not be a game world starting in the empty world and this way eliminating the huge rush).

And staff expenses for small airlines have been tweaked a bit for this game world already, not much but a bit (= not final). Slot cost will always be the same for everyone regardless of the type of operation or size of aircraft. Slot costs for class 5 airports have grown but all others have come down in 1.3.

And the present format of 'airline info' page is also final, unless the site layout changes radically. The transported pax graph will return later with improvements, as already mentioned elsewhere.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 01:57:32 PM by sami »

minerva

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 02:04:32 PM »
While I concur that gameplay issues remain, Sami made it pretty clear that 1.3 was never going to be a radical redesign of game play and that a lot of features that had been called for (cargo, city-based demand, etc) would have to wait until a future major game engine overhaul. The first come first served used plane market is perhaps the least worst arrangement right now, admittedly not ideal for those of us, like myself, who can't be glued to that screen 12+ hours a day. I fear that with the current game mechanics the only way to make it more reasonable would be to limit further the number of planes any airline can take from the used market (2 or 3 per real time day rather than per game day), but I know that suggestion will generate howls of protest from many players and have no delusions that it would even be considered let alone implemented. I'm looking forward to the new 80+ year game worlds Sami is planning which I think will help reduce the explosive growth problem at game start and make the used plane market more realistic over time. The small/regional airline problem remains, as you note, but I think recent suggestions on how to re-work staffing levels (per pax rather than per plane) might help -- but this too is something that would need to be incorporated into a new game engine rather than the upgrade that is t v1.3.

So, agreed, most of the v1.3 tweaks are cosmetic changes.  Personally, I prefer the new layouts and find some of the new features very useful. As someone who is used to reading a lot of excel layouts, I find the tab format quite intuitive and better than a single long page.  I do agree, however, that some of the pages -- airline stats for instance -- contains a lot of information (all of which I like having), but is a bit too 'busy' in its current design. 

My 2c / 2p.

Offline Wing Commander Chad Studdington

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 02:06:58 PM »
While I'm not going to comment on the whole post there is one thing in there which I do agree with.

1.3 may have made AWS look very pretty and some added functionality like the logo designed and fuel contracts but as LemonButt has said fundamentally the gameplay issues which have been mentioned over and over again have been left. AWS still only allows a very few gameplay styles. Either a big BA style airline that does everything, domestic US, regional European or Asian, anything else is basically impossible. As LemonButt has said you want to run an airline like Air Southwest or Eastern Airways it just wont happen, or fleets that are totally safe IRL just don't work in AWS. I know of a few users, myself included, who are just getting bored of playing the same games with the same airlines over and over.

The used market may be a subject of great contention at the moment but here goes anyway. It is flawed. It hasn't been fixed by 1.3 at all, someone who spends all day hitting F5 will always do better than someone who plays on AWS, then goes out for the day or does something else. This is a problem. I know some users will say that if you want to succeed you need to be spending the time hitting F5 but at the end of the day it is just a game and we all have other things to do. Also the fact that something so easy to use can give such a big advantage to users is another problem.

The issues need to be fixed, bumping up slot costs just makes small planes more useless, stopping people refreshing over and over doesn't fix the issue that F5-ing is the only way to get aircraft. Plugging the leak with some duct tape will never be as good as actually fixing the leak.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 02:24:44 PM »
And staff expenses for small airlines have been tweaked a bit for this game world already, not much but a bit (= not final). Slot cost will always be the same for everyone regardless of the type of operation or size of aircraft. Slot costs for class 5 airports have grown but all others have come down in 1.3.

My first try at an all CRJ airline was out of CVG flying to the smaller airports as I thought I could get cheap slots/higher load factors and thus be able to expand quicker.  Unfortunately, the extra destinations added staff/marketing costs that offset any gains from cheap slots at small airports and I was actually better off financially flying 20x daily to one destination (ATL) than 1x daily to 20 destinations.  It sounds like a staffing system with 2 pools of people: 1 based on aircraft and 1 based on pax would yeild the best results for smaller airlines.

Sami--with all this being said, I still enjoy playing AWS, I just see a lot of potential for improvement.  You and I have exchanged some PM's in the past and I hope you don't think I'm ungrateful for all your efforts :)

Pen75

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 07:58:30 PM »
It became difficult. Very much. :(

At me, at loading in 75 % minus profitability in 3-8 %.
In 1.2. I easy received +3-7 %.
Besides, it is unpleasant that "maintenance" exceeds real figures frequently in times.
Well and it is unpleasant that upon "Passenger fees" is the latent tax in 9 % which upon in AWS it is impossible to adjust...

 :(

badlt58

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 10:09:03 PM »
Sami-

Perhaps you can re-examine your stance? This is legitimate consumer feedback that directly impacts the user experience. Do you want a product that makes users feel they have no chance unless they: A: get in on day one & B: Constantly watch the game 24/7?

We applaud the immense amount of work done but you have to acknowledge that were there is smoke there is fire. As it stands many of us are frustrated for being penalized by playing by the "rules" whilst there appears to be some form of abuse going on in the Used aircraft market.

Many of the complaints are consistent from others.

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 10:48:46 PM »
Sami-

Perhaps you can re-examine your stance? This is legitimate consumer feedback that directly impacts the user experience. Do you want a product that makes users feel they have no chance unless they: A: get in on day one & B: Constantly watch the game 24/7?

We applaud the immense amount of work done but you have to acknowledge that were there is smoke there is fire. As it stands many of us are frustrated for being penalized by playing by the "rules" whilst there appears to be some form of abuse going on in the Used aircraft market.

Many of the complaints are consistent from others.

This has nothing to do with 1.3's upgrade.  This has been worked on in the past and there have been many leaps made since 2009.   Have faith, what's been done recently will help this. 

badlt58

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 01:42:17 AM »
Okay. I am jus making my point that at where I work when we get complaints from customers we realize we need to educate them or realize there is an issue.

CX717

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 05:26:25 AM »
The problem is not the difficulty to get used plane,is the used market didn't do what it intended to,to help airlines at the initial start.
All well established airlines still grab used plane from the market.

Offline Kadachiman

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 05:47:10 AM »
Perhaps Sami should start up a premium players club.

For a few credits more each game you get additional benefits e.g.
1st option at the used plane market
A Gold plated F5 key
An autographed copy of TOC on CD
Exclusive rights to complain on the Premium Club Only Forum

OR

Pay real game credits for game money, which would give you more benefits e.g.
You can get the expensive planes from the Used Market sooner as you have more game money
You can sell game money to other players but the 'house' gets 10%

Sami - have you got a vacancy for a Business Consultant?

Ok...I'm only kidding :-)

flightsimer

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 07:49:00 AM »
Slot cost will always be the same for everyone regardless of the type of operation or size of aircraft. Slot costs for class 5 airports have grown but all others have come down in 1.3.
First off, most airports dont even use slots like we do in this game, but thats besides the point.

Size of the aircraft should change the costs. An ATR is not going to be using a Heavy gate and likewise a Heavy wont fit into a regional gate. There are different prices for each gate size. If there werent, then no airline would ever operate a small aircraft. Sure, each flight is taking up a time slot, but a super aircraft requires more time between movements than a heavy or normal category aircraft which means an airport having all 747/A380 flights will have less movements than an airport with all ATR or 737 flights. Meaning the ATR's can make more money at lower costs for an airport because of the increase in movements. 

For three ATR's, it costs me nearly 5 million dollars just to set up routes for them. You seriously cant believe that is even close to being realistic. It doesnt matter that im based at JFK, because JFK wouldnt have anywhere near the amount of regional flights it does in Real world if it was remotely true.

Online Sami

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 08:30:59 AM »
First off, most airports dont even use slots like we do in this game, but thats besides the point.

Size of the aircraft should change the costs. An ATR is not going to be using a Heavy gate and likewise a Heavy wont fit into a regional gate.

Gate and airport operation slot are totally different things as I think everyone is aware. And each operation needs to have the runway slot; the apron capacity is a different matter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_slot

In AWS all airports are coordinated, level 3, but smaller airports have $0 slot costs to model that in reality they don't have the slots; but slots still exist for small airports to avoid 'everyone departing at same minute' type of thing which naturally wouldn't be possible at a small regional airport. And for simplicity only takeoff needs the slot - and the slot cost thingy also differs from reality for the sake of game balance.

And apron handling costs and airport landing fees are already factored as per MTOW (as well as enroute navigation fee). The calc formula for these is based on real data. (however I am planning to move the cost model away from real life data for sake of game balance; ie. lower costs on low MTOW and perhaps higher for larger planes)



[sarcasm]
But anyway .. If everyone seems to want, I will just remove all slot cost and amount restrictions and dump thousands of Boeing/Airbus planes to the used market since this is what I am hearing all the time. And then wait two weeks and find out that everyone is bored since all routes are full and there's nothing to do etc. So either way, it's always bad.  :P   People have been asking for a slower start, slower growth etc, but now nobody likes it. Huh. (but to note that there is still changes and plans related to start up, these updates are the first changes)
[/sarcasm]
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 08:47:15 AM by sami »

Offline eleritz

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 11:06:22 AM »
Well, since I see almost no positive opinion about v1.3 here comes mine to balance things a bit;)

I like it a lot, we were informed that it would be no revolution so didn´t expect anything like that. What I like most is the fact that now we can find all the information about an airline on its homepage, it really helps to plan and supervise competition strategies;)

As far as I remember we were also to have some space on our airline's homepage to write things and put info about the airline, but I can´t see that yet. Hope it's on its way:)

Ansettaddict123

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 03:05:17 PM »
The weekly passenger graph is gone

The graph, for your airline at least, can be found under Office> Transported Passengers

[sarcasm]
But anyway .. If everyone seems to want, I will just remove all slot cost and amount restrictions and dump thousands of Boeing/Airbus planes to the used market since this is what I am hearing all the time. And then wait two weeks and find out that everyone is bored since all routes are full and there's nothing to do etc. So either way, it's always bad.  :P   People have been asking for a slower start, slower growth etc, but now nobody likes it. Huh. (but to note that there is still changes and plans related to start up, these updates are the first changes)
[/sarcasm]

We all whinge and whine, but please don't EVER do something like this.
Block your ears and go *LALALALALALALA* if it becomes too hard to listen to the endless stupid requests  :laugh:

badlt58

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2011, 06:34:47 AM »
Well for the record. I just killed my airline. There is no point in wasting real world money on credits a week at a time for planes that arent there. For the record I watched my share erode as I paid off my loans had a decent margin but could not expand due to lack of aircraft. Everyone can do it better than me fine. But when you can't replace ancient planes that were "forced" on you there is no point. I will sit back and watch and jump in at the end when planes are around and I can do as I please.

I'm not going to reward people for for F5ing planes and p*** away credits. BTW the two 737ADV and two 737-400/500s that hit the market were mine. Your welcome.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2011, 06:56:11 AM »
This is a difficult part of the game.  At this stage of the game, you need to have some aircraft on order from the new market...

Offline Wing Commander Chad Studdington

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2011, 07:34:00 AM »
This is a difficult part of the game.  At this stage of the game, you need to have some aircraft on order from the new market...

This excuse is wearing thin. Yes it is hard but it is too hard to get used planes. It's all very well for a big airline to say "order new planes" but for a smaller airline or a new airline that is no help. If I order a new 737 I wont have it for two years, one or so for a 757. Great. I guess it is similar for A32x's.

Why are so many people not willing to accept that the used aircraft market is a real problem?

Pen75

  • Former member
Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2011, 08:19:05 AM »
This is a difficult part of the game.  At this stage of the game, you need to have some aircraft on order from the new market...

NoNoNoNoNo...
 :P

Has come new An-38-200 (Y: 27):

Fixed maintenance costs / month                    214 232 USD
Fixed maintenance costs / month / TVD-20    105 603 USD

Total: 319835 USD in month

Monthly loading under the schedule (max): 5164 pax

319835 USD/5164 pax = 61 USD  :o :o :o   At loading in 70 % (3615 pax) = 88 USD  :o :o :o

And are unreal in life of expenditure for such board in 3830.000 USD within a year.

Too most and with L-410/420...

 :o :-[ :(

« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 08:26:54 AM by Pen75 »

Offline MRFREAK

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Re: Is v1.3 a small step backwards?
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2011, 08:42:57 AM »
How come you can have that many smileys?!?!?!?!  :'(

 

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