AirwaySim
Online Airline Management Simulation
Login
Username
Password
 
or login using:
 
My Account
Username:
E-mail:
Edit account
» Achievements
» Logout
Game Credits
Credit balance: 0 Cr
Buy credits
» Credit history
» Credits FAQ

Author Topic: Slot auctioning  (Read 596 times)

Offline Infinity

  • Members
  • Posts: 1564
    • Aviation Awareness
Slot auctioning
« on: August 03, 2012, 09:17:26 AM »
First of all, I know that this topic has come up before, though I don't know if it was ever an actual feature request or only some babble between lines in other threads. Plus it was years ago now.

I just don't see how there is any fairness in the current system slots are allocated at certain airports (namely LHR, but you could extend the idea to any airport with over 80% slot usage, being marked red in the statistics section).
To come by a few slots I have to reload the slot page every other minute, which is a brainless time sink and does not even guarantee me some slots, as the increment may come just another moment after I reloaded and until I reload again, all the slots are gone to some luckers who just refreshed at the right time.
Then, there are people who have to sleep at fixed times because they work during the day. I understand that certain players don't have to do that, but I do, and seeing how the slot increment has now come for days in a row exactly at my sleeping time saddens me greatly.

This is just playing the lottery and has nothing to do with fairness anymore.

Follows my proposal:
Why not auction the slots at congested airports? The general idea would be, an announcement is made by the system, after which everyone can forward their bid for slots (with a cash deposit to avoid everyone bidding for every slot). Then when the slot increment comes, the new slots are automatically awarded to the highest bidder.
This system would only come into effect if certain parameters are given, such as a certain percentage of slots allocated, and would not be effective for the day 1 slots, but only for increments.

This would
1) take the element of luck out of it and bring back the system to a supply and demand controlled scheme.
2) enable all participants to plan more efficiently - right now I have to fly most flights on different hours every day because I can't get all my slots at the same time. This again restricts other players from planning efficiently because I may block their wished-for times.
3) not come under scrutiny of only giving advantage to a handful of players, as the slot increments only come during the first years and during that time, no airline has the amount of cash to excessively outbid all of the other players on all of the slots, and if they have to, they only have the interest in such a multitude of slots because they are based out of these airports, which means they have all the right to take a hard approach on the bidding.
4) also not come under scrutiny of disadvantaging players based out of those airports, as they are among the top most profitable airports in the game.
5) reduce server load
6) also probably scare some players of from opening their airline at one of those airports, thus providing further ease.

The only argument against this that I have read of in older threads is the angst that players might have too little to do if such a system is implemented.
I don't see that. How is continuously babysitting the slot page better than bidding for the slots once per day?

Online JumboShrimp

  • Members
  • Posts: 5992
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2012, 12:57:26 PM »
While there might be a ideas for better system, the auction process is just too cumbersome. 

What if you are already at an airport that is congested?   Do you have to bid for every single one of your slots?

If you want to schedule some LH routes (and most LH airports are slot constrained).  How are you ever going to make a decent schedule if it is going to take at least a game month to coordinate getting every single slot for a 7 day schedule?   It may take you 7 months to get the aircraft + another 7 months to schedule it...

I think a system of pricing the upfront slot costs and ongoing slot fees might be a better way to go.

Offline Infinity

  • Members
  • Posts: 1564
    • Aviation Awareness
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 01:33:11 PM »
If you want to schedule some LH routes (and most LH airports are slot constrained).  How are you ever going to make a decent schedule if it is going to take at least a game month to coordinate getting every single slot for a 7 day schedule?   It may take you 7 months to get the aircraft + another 7 months to schedule it...

I didn't say you should only be able to bid for one slot at a time, I think there should be no restriction regarding that, the only one being the cash deposit which would restrict reckless bidding. Maybe make 10 or so percent non refundable so it hurts if you bid stupidly.
I agree this requires some planning ahead, but it is nothing that is unsolvable or lengthens the process in which a player can schedule their planes. Quite on the contrary really, if the player is ready to pay big for the slots he will get them and hence be able to schedule much quicker than he might be able to waiting forever for the right slot (as do I).

This proposed system does not at all lengthen the process of attaining slots. The increments would not come any slower (or faster for that matter) than they do now, but with the current system you have to be awake and ready exactly when the increment comes, and if you got a normal life to get on with, you just can't do that. The only way to get the exact slots I want right now is wait forever and be a bit lucky or just be a no life geek. That's not what I expect from this game, and mind my position is from an airline wanting to fly into Heathrow, I can only imagine how incredibly stupid this must be for the guys being based out of Heathrow. At the moment, you can only succeed in Heathrow if you got no life and just refresh the page 24/7. I imagine that must be quite bothersome for the  people in question.

Online JumboShrimp

  • Members
  • Posts: 5992
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2012, 01:45:50 PM »
Something to keep in mind is that the current shortage is artificial.  Airports start at ~50% of their slot level and over about 2 years move to some 150% (I may be off with the numbers....

So we are still below normal for this era.  We may be at 75% or less

If we were not to start at the lower level of slots but start from normal and go up from there - but make slot acquisition and ownership more expensive, the slot issues may not be as severe as they are now...

The shortage situation also affets peoples expectations.  If you knwo there is or is going to be a shortage, to stock up on the stuff that you expect to be in short supply.  Players are stocking up for a slot shortage.  That's why everybody grabs all the slots he sees, whether he needs them or not...

janesc

  • Former member
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2012, 09:53:26 PM »
The auctioning would be good but I agree very complex to control.   I guess when the game was coded Sami et al did not expect people to sit here all day hitting F5 and thus the current system was drawn up in good faith as a means of encouraging people to join, encouraging competition and preventing slot grab.  Unfortunately this release of one slot per real day has had the opposite effect.

Hacking up the price and preventing people from purchasing in the red is a simple solution. 

How about a system like the used aircraft broker? The slots could be released at a set time of day? Not an elegant solution but at least you could organise your time to be online when they are released?

Or failing that just open the world with all the slots available.  Then we would see better competition between players.

Offline Jona L.

  • Members
  • Posts: 3361
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2012, 10:29:23 PM »
Or failing that just open the world with all the slots available.  Then we would see better competition between players.

Used to be like that.... was it really THAT BAD back then?! I would appreciate the return to that system... the development of the new system was an unvelopment to the playability and fairness.

cheers,
Jona L.

Offline Sami

  • Administrator
  • Members
  • Posts: 14537
    • AirwaySim - Are you the next Richard Branson?
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 08:12:49 AM »
The thing is that you need to open a route now, not after a let's say 24hr auction.

It would be just a too big hassle for thr players to manage.

Offline Infinity

  • Members
  • Posts: 1564
    • Aviation Awareness
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2012, 08:46:11 AM »
I need to open a route when I got a slot. Whether it is better to do that after a 12 hour auction or 7 days of F5ing the slot page, I leave for you to decide. From my position, the decision is a clear one.

sbond101

  • Former member
Re: Slot auctioning
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 08:32:56 PM »
Sami,

Well I appreciate that bidding for every slot at an airport would be impracticle, how about implimenting a system by which you can bid on the next available slot on slot expansion, then once the slot has been purchased have 48 hours to use the slot in a route. Bidding would only be available when all slots in a given period are used. Such a system would require the ability to hold slots for a short period while not flying route with them which I appreciate may be a more difficult programatic change.

Putting aside the fact that this would make the game more strategically competitive rather than competitive on the basis of who has more time available to snipe spots durring an expansion at a congested airport, it would make it possible to address the very very fundamental problem of slot valuation more correctly. IRL at a congested airport it is very difficult to hog slots using smaller aircraft because when it comes time to renew the contract for the slot someone wanting to run a larger more profitable aircraft will either outbid you or force the price of the slot up so much that the route will no longer be profitable. Currently it is impossible for the AWS engine to determine what a competitive bid for a slot would be at a congested airport, so slots at congested airports end up not only massively underpriced but also are far too frontloaded in terms of cost. The only way to address this valuation problem is for the AWS engine to know what the latent demand for a slot is rather than just guess. Appropriate slot valuations are key to making the game playable in the long term as it would greatly mitagate the advantage to starting at the begining of the game world.

If your interested in persuing this I'd be glad to offer some suggestions about how to value and charge for slots based on both the top bids and the depth of market for any given slot grouping. I really dont think the game will ever be playable for long term sims untill this problem is addressed.

Stephen Bond

 

WARNING! This website is not compatible with the old version of Internet Explorer you are using.

If you are using the latest version please turn OFF the compatibility mode.