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Author Topic: New player protection system  (Read 4718 times)

Offline dmoose42

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 01:40:27 PM »
Agree that there obviously needs to be a balance between keeping both new players and existing players engaged.  A couple suggestions:

1.  Is it possible at start up to have a filter that lists "largest airports with no other airlines, largest airlines with no airline greater than 20% MS, etc".  Allowing the new player to more easily select airports that they can be successful at will help them stay engaged.
2.  Engaging someone to keep the beginner's guide updated with the changes in AWS (I would be willing to help with this), along with recommendations, etc.  Part of the frustrating thing starting the game is that you have no idea what you are supposed to do and the game is a 'slow game' so it takes a while to realize you've made mistakes.  You can then BK, but starting over is real tough also...
3.  Suggest making it easier for new airlines to start up - maybe a bigger LF bonus if a player starts after year 5?

Will add more things later, but have to run.  Cheers!

Offline schro

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 04:21:29 PM »
To further my comments about the changed demand engine, I'll also say that the small/medium plane fees and maint changes have also opened up a world of possibilities for the new players. Prior to those changes, you HAD to base somewhere desirable and use big metal to survive just to be squashed like a bug by an experienced player. Many new players often dip their toes in big game worlds in an out of the way airport that doesn't see much competition, and under the prior cost model, got crushed every time wondering why their E-120's bankrupted them. Now, they can actually join and fly those out of say, KSAV, and actually run a decent airline. Also, with those new costs, its fairly easy to stay alive, even if a larger airline tries to bury you.

In JA8, when those changes were made, I had a competitor that was bleeding about 300-500k per quarter with a fleet of 4x DC3's and 3x DC6's. Sure, some of his DC3's were double tech stopped on KDAL-KATL, but the small plane costs were killing him. Then when the change was made, he was borderline profitable and continued as a seemingly unmonitored going concern for several more game years (until DC-6B maint costs finally put him down). If he had all DC3's, he'd probably still be puttering along right now with those changes...

mar88

  • Former member
Re: New player protection system
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 10:25:45 PM »
I think the issue in the game should be about trying to provide more playing options for people rather than worrying about someone who starts in a top ten airport with an established airline. I've become the top airline at a major world airport in a game and I have also bk'd in the middle of a game and had to restart so I have seen both sides of the coin when it comes to starting off. I think there are several things that would enhance playability for new players instead of monitoring each and every new route.

1. Cargo: Cargo would allow a completely new realm for players to operate in and allow a completely new market. Currently the game is set so that all markets revolve around passenger traffic from a few top airports.
2. Improved third world demand: Providing more alternatives for bases and for people trying to experiment would be great. There are airports in the game that have much less demand than they do in real life which keeps players from operating in less noticed areas of the world.
3. City Based Demand: Need I say more?
4. Re-working of crew requirements as well as how aircraft age: Aside from smaller aircraft needing fewer personnel than they currently do in the game, making aging aircraft more affordable and giving them a longer lifespan would give players cheaper aircraft to choose from to get started. Also removing all price floors from an aircraft once it hits maybe 16 years of age, its second D-check, would open up the used market allowing for prices to be more easily offset for aircraft with expired or upcoming checks, it would also keep established players from having to constantly adjust prices the longer the aircraft sits on the market, it would also give a home for all those rusting 20 year old MD-80s that in real life are still usable.

A player that chooses to join DoTM in 1990 at ATL is going to have a hard time at it so it shouldn't be a surprise to him if he BKs, rather than worrying about setting up automatic route checks or having Sami do it, I would say that game mechanics and playability changes are the way to go. City based demand and cargo would be the greatest fixes in allowing players to have a great start when starting off, ( and a few aircraft age adjustments wouldn’t hurt either) and it would allow for secondary markets that simply cannot exist as the game is currently set up.

exchlbg

  • Former member
Re: New player protection system
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 10:56:37 PM »
All enhancements you mentioned would be used by all players, experienced will use those in their favour, so I see no special newbie benefit.
You can mess up an airline as good as now with cargo instead of people and with whatever demand numbers.I wouldn´t expect an easier life for anyone with city-based demand.
It will rise demand levels for many airports , but it will take those numbers away from hubs.
A lot of new players fail because they don´t read the manuals and tips, jump right in a full world without trying Demo or BW,base as seventh airline at a major hub , buy the wrong planes and schedule them irrationally.Some of them then start asking questions, others just leave without notice.
This game should stay being a challenge, also for newcomers.The ambitious will stay, the less interested will leave anyway sooner or later.

mar88

  • Former member
Re: New player protection system
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 11:23:04 PM »
Oh I am not saying it will be a fix all, someone leasing a 707 to fly cargo in 1998 would be in trouble. I just think that it could help some with crowding which would help along some new players. Stupidity and a poor airline cannot be fixed and shouldn't be fixed, I know I have done my fair share of stupid things and I don't think the game should be altered because of my mistakes. I think people are mainly complaining because some larger airlines target new airlines. I would just say welcome to competition, I bk'd half way through the current MT game because I leased more planes than I had slots for, I then went and set up a profitable little airline at a small base in the midwest, re-starting mid-game would make it nearly impossible to launch at a slot locked larger airport so I settled with what I knew would work and ran with it and have found it fun. Some newb launching at ORD in 2005 is probably going to be crushed (there are exceptions) and that isn't a surprise, they should try a secondary airport if they aren't ready to fight competition. Copying every route shouldn't be allowed, but I think the solution lies in game mechanics mostly.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 11:25:06 PM by mar88 »

Offline Sami

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2014, 02:34:55 PM »
Bump to this for more comments on the subject of "how we can make it easier for new players to enter am existing game where all routes are "filled" already?"

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2014, 05:29:09 PM »
Bump to this for more comments on the subject of "how we can make it easier for new players to enter am existing game where all routes are "filled" already?"

The easiest answer is more money.  I assume part of the bump is my comments on starting at ORD late in the game.  $7.6 million is simply not enough because slots eat up more than 50% of that.  IRL airports want competition because it drives down prices for consumers which increases passengers handled.

Given a fixed $7.6 million, do you want to start an airline at a class 5 airport where you don't get much bang for your buck or start at a level 3 airport where things are cheap?  The easy solution is incentivize players to take on the established airlines in expensive airports by giving them more money.  In ORD for example, there are 2 major airlines who aren't even attempting to compete with each other as neither airline serves 100% demand on most routes--they each serve ~50% and fly with high load factors, which IRL doesn't do anything for consumers.

So at ORD, if I had $20 million to start I could be very competitive.  That is just a ballpark number, but if given two options--$7.6 million to start in an empty airport or $20 million to start at ORD, then we are truly talking apples to apples versus apples and oranges.  This is a big part of the reason I BK'd my airline out of Paris - Orly.  The only competition that was going to come for me was going to be horizontally (major airline opening a new base) versus vertically (new startup airline).

A simple way to do this would be to base starting cash on the marketshare of all based airlines at an airport.  The marketshare of the 3 based airlines at ORD is 45.7% + 29.3% + 2.2% = 77.2%.  Using 1/(1-marketshare) and multiplying it by the starting cash would yeild the following values:

77.2% = 4.38x = $33.3 million
70% = 3.3x = $25.3 million
60% = 2.5x = $19 million
50% = 2.0x = $15.2 million
40% = 1.7x = $12.7 million
30% = 1.4x = $10.8 million
20% = 1.25x = $9.5 million
10% = 1.1x = $8.4 million
0% = 1.0x = $7.6 million (would be for airports with zero based airlines)

So the bottom line is give players a REAL choice on where to start midgame.  The airlines who need the competition the most are the ones where the big money would be available.


Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2014, 06:39:48 PM »
Slot costs are the biggest problem. New airlines that start late in a game should get discounted (or at lost not cost increased) slots for a bit longer.

Offline ZombieSlayer

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2014, 07:05:03 PM »
Slot costs are the biggest problem. New airlines that start late in a game should get discounted (or at lost not cost increased) slots for a bit longer.

This would be the best solution, IMO. If a player starting on day one pays $50k for a slot set at ORD, LAX, LHR, etc, then a player starting on day 5,263 should pay the same price. Lemon Butt's math looks like it would accomplish the same thing, though it may be harder to understand for a new player and/or harder to program.
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Offline LemonButt

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2014, 08:04:21 PM »
The problem with cheaper slots is it is a largely hidden benefit, whereas the extra $ is easy to code and easier for players to see (so people like me don't whine about an uneven playing field lol).

The only caveat would be slots are a deductible expense if you lose them, but I don't think it will really matter since it is new airlines that shouldn't be divesting any slots anyways.  GW2 has 275 players out of 700 slots.  If players could enter the game with the extra $ I would venture to say we'd spike to 300+ players pretty quickly since the late entrants now have a chance :)

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2014, 10:13:35 PM »
I just used my late entry GW#3 experience. I joined to get a feeling for the interface etc. and after I had four or five aircraft (737-300 or so) a slot week at my headquarters (KDFW) cost about 600-700k. Together with the destination slot it was about $1Million. It takes a lot of weeks for even a good planned small airline to get this money - plus the money needed for new aircraft.


Simply more money would lead a big bunch of the "not so experienced"/"not so skilled" players to go for more and more expensive aircraft or, even worse, purchase some cheap ones. I think making just slots less expensive would give people a bump in the correct direction.

Offline AndreiX

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2014, 09:41:46 AM »
Would like to hear more thoughts and comments on this subject, as keeping new players on board is an important issue in my mind in the longer term, and "not giving them a chance" isn't good.

I doubt it is a good solution, big airports will then be protection locked most of the time, with the big players from there also beeing protected. New players could get other advantages, like:
-more money (the later they start the GW with much more money they usually get- inflation went up and it is much more attractive to start with 80-90-100 mil, when your competitors started with 8);
-after 2-3 years of gameplay in a gw, they could get double airplanes in the first weeks;
-start with CI 30 (free marketing from the airport);
-when they open bases, if they choose a base without any competition, the airport could give an incentive (7 free slot sets/  RI starting 50 for first routes/ RI growing faster because of free route campaign from airport/ no airport taxes or reduced taxes first year, etc...

LGM-118

  • Former member
Re: New player protection system
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2014, 04:06:38 PM »
I agree with sami - it's generally important to keep new players (the guy who runs this game should definitely know that, after all!).  The challenge is that the way in which new players are "protected" has to be natural in some way.  You need some mechanism that ensures they have a fighting chance, but it also has to be realistic and make sense within the context of the game worlds.  I propose the following options:

New airlines should start with a higher company image Usually, a new airline in the real world will generate some "buzz" in that it will attract people who are tired of the older, more established airlines.  A starting company image of 10, with the first few routes starting at a route image of say, 20, would give new players a faster start.  It's also a completely rational and realistic concept - New airlines almost always end up in the news!

Initial aircraft purchase  Capital is a huge problem for new airlines.  Usually, you end up being stuck with tiny old aircraft, or you end up having to lease aircraft, often from your own competitors!  This makes no sense.  In the real world, new airlines usually have at least a decent investor backing.  Upon founding, a new airline should be given some sort of allowance to directly purchase 1-2 medium aircraft.  This doesn't mean having airlines start with $30 million or anything.  It could be similar to the existing mechanic where aircraft are used as loan securities, only without the actual loan in place.  Essentially, your airline would be "held hostage" by investor demands that you maintain assets early on!

Help out the smaller Base airports!  In previous game worlds (different account - I accidentally allowed my old account to lapse), I've had a lot of success coming in late by sticking with smaller airports for hubs.  My favored airport has been Raleigh-Durham International, though I'm currently running a KABQ airline in GW#1 that looks like it has pretty good prospects.  The problem is that I'm probably not going to be able to expand far beyond 20-25 aircraft before running out of profitable routes.  Granted, I'm sort of banking on building up a CRJ-700 fleet later on in the 1990's so I can hit some east coast destinations.  But after that...I don't really have anywhere to go.  An option already discussed was tax incentives - maybe encourage basing while discouraging secondary hubs (tax break for airlines based there, for example).

In general, my big point is this:  Realistic, "flavorful" (in the sense that players can understand and "get" them) mechanics will work.  Arbitrary rules will not.  Look at the recent thread on slot trading - there are natural ways to effectively manage the landing slots, but just making rules that lack context will just lead to people finding ways to work around them, or worse, people will find ways to use said rules for abusive personal gains.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2014, 04:41:15 PM »
The issue isn't CI, RI, aircraft purchases vs leasing, or the size of the airport--it is slot costs, pure and simple.  I paid $4 million to schedule my first 3 aircraft at ORD flying 4x/day.  The 4th aircraft will cost $4.1 million for slots flying in the same time blocks 4x/day.  The sad part is that these are cheap slots for the 4 hour blocks with the most slots available.  So really, it doesn't matter if an airline starts with a CI and RI of 100 because if you can't buy slots, you're going to be stuck taxiing between airports instead of flying.

Hwoarang

  • Former member
Re: New player protection system
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2014, 06:21:57 PM »
I don't support the additional limitations. This game isn't all about the larger airport and that's what the new guys only look at (or go to very very small airports and get stuck after adding two or three routes).

Help out the smaller Base airports!  In previous game worlds (different account - I accidentally allowed my old account to lapse), I've had a lot of success coming in late by sticking with smaller airports for hubs.  My favored airport has been Raleigh-Durham International, though I'm currently running a KABQ airline in GW#1 that looks like it has pretty good prospects.  The problem is that I'm probably not going to be able to expand far beyond 20-25 aircraft before running out of profitable routes.  Granted, I'm sort of banking on building up a CRJ-700 fleet later on in the 1990's so I can hit some east coast destinations.  But after that...I don't really have anywhere to go.  An option already discussed was tax incentives - maybe encourage basing while discouraging secondary hubs (tax break for airlines based there, for example).
In game world #1, I'm operating a domestic airline from the smaller Brazilian airports (Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Recife and Rio de Janeiro - Santos Dumont). Operating quite profitable with my Fokker F27 and F28 fleet since 1966. The only problem is that I got stuck there after I opened the last route from Rio de Janeiro... Waiting a long period of time until the Fokker 50 and 100 were certified, which meant that I could start fleet renewal (now I'm waiting for the announcement of the Fokker 70...). I think by adding domestic (and intra-European) A-B-C-B-A routes for the smaller airports, we can make it more fun for these players? Maybe allowing these airlines to open a fifth base can make it less boring on the long term?

Also by adding special missions within the game world like Soviet a/c only limitation in Communist countries (of course with a bit increased demand in the Soviet Union and lower fuel on domestic routes) will do it also?

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2014, 01:53:28 PM »
I think this one should be marked [ok]?

LGM-118

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2014, 07:44:22 PM »
The issue isn't CI, RI, aircraft purchases vs leasing, or the size of the airport--it is slot costs, pure and simple.  I paid $4 million to schedule my first 3 aircraft at ORD flying 4x/day.  The 4th aircraft will cost $4.1 million for slots flying in the same time blocks 4x/day.  The sad part is that these are cheap slots for the 4 hour blocks with the most slots available.  So really, it doesn't matter if an airline starts with a CI and RI of 100 because if you can't buy slots, you're going to be stuck taxiing between airports instead of flying.

That's an issue when you start an airline out of the larger airports.

I don't support the additional limitations. This game isn't all about the larger airport and that's what the new guys only look at (or go to very very small airports and get stuck after adding two or three routes).

Yup.  Look, when people start an airline in this game, they want it to be big.  That's just the way it is.  My view is that in order for people to pay into the game, they need to be given the option to, with some constraints, obviously, play the airline they want to play.  Doing that requires understanding a bit of the new player psychology, which is more often than not, "I want to operate a big, international airline!"  I think there are some ways of doing that, such as:

1)  "Intermediate maps" - Basically, make a game world that is "a step up" from the beginner world maps.  These maps would allow people with a bit more experience into the game, so players would get a chance to further hone skills.  It would also give new players better insights into the reality that yes, they can have their "big, international airline!" but that it requires sound decision-making and patience.

2)  Enable bigger airlines at the Class C's.  There are quite a few "smaller" airports with international service.  Raleigh-Durham has a daily LHR flight (American Airlines 767-300ER), Austin now has a daily flight to LHR (British Airways 787-8), and there are a few others in the US alone.  The idea is that the most experienced players (the people who start airlines right when a new game world opens, have played multiple servers, etc.) aren't likely to base airlines out of airports without significant traffic (I have been in three game worlds and never once had hub competition when basing out of RDU).  The problem is that there's almost no international demand.  This is mostly accurate, but I feel that the RDU-sized airports should have some international demand - not a lot, but enough that an airline based there end up with two or three international routes.  Smaller airports are definitely viable; I'm running an airline with currently 20 aircraft out of Albuquerque, and that's with the current rules.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2014, 06:24:10 AM »
Most of the massively multiplayer online games have some system of new player protection.  AWS could use something a little more explicit than a guideline.

For example, if an airline is less than 6 months old, its routes could show up in green, instead of black.  Older airlines (black) would not be able to add flights to any routes that have green flights.  (green vs. green would be ok).

This could be done first for only informational purposes, later it could be enforced by the system.

Just giving a bump to the original idea.  An automated system that would prevent incumbent, older, bigger airlines ability to target routes of new players for first 6 months of new airline's life.

I believe the amount of this sort of targeting is vast, just not reported.  Experienced players (more likely to report it) tend to start on Day 1 of the game world.  New players who join existing games are the most likely target, and they are the least likely to report it.  So it goes on, without the administrators being aware of it.

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Offline bdnascar3

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2014, 12:10:01 PM »
Two thoughts----

 1) allow a 'reorganization' instead of just bankruptcy. In other word allow an airlines to terminate leases, fire employees, quit routes without a) cash, and b) without a huge hit in CI, etc.  The reason players restart is because they don’t have the cash to do these tasks, and restarting means they have to start back at zero in regards to CI, RI,  etc.  And yes the argument that they made a mistake and need to live with it is valid – but the question here is how to keep players playing. Reorganization may allow them to learn from mistakes quicker.


2) Create a world only for 'aggressive' players. I feel there are two type of players here, 1) one who just wants to run a successful airline, enjoying the business simulation and not really caring what the competition is doing,  and 2) the player who wants to dominate and crush all other players. Creating a world just for these type of players would keep the first type out and then allow the others to be as aggressive as they want, creating happiness for both types of players.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: New player protection system
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2014, 12:22:44 PM »
I think this is a bad idea.  We shouldn't encourage new players to start at crowded/competitive airports and give them training wheels, but rather they should be starting at secondary airports until they understand the fundamentals of the game.  Once they are successful in the minors, they can move up to the big leagues.  There is already too much other players can do at another player's detriment (i.e. slots) and if you want to unlevel the playing field and prohibit other a player from opening up routes, well that is just wrong IMO.  If you don't want to get burned, don't play with fire.  And this is coming from me, an outspoken player for the little guy.

 

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