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Author Topic: slot allocation system proposal  (Read 880 times)

Offline jmaildom

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slot allocation system proposal
« on: March 10, 2013, 12:12:57 PM »
Starting this topic based on what I experience right now where I am stacked at LHR with no slot availability and also reading bask other similar posts regarding the distribution of slots and the effects it has on the game


so some proposals that will make the game more interesting and challenging that are not possibly too dificult to be implemented


1. preannouncement of slot availability some hours or days before. So whoever wants to buy slots , he knows that should be there the right time (it's more close to the real world I believe). So the aquisition of slots will not be a matter of lack and not depending on how many hours someone spends in from of his screen.

2. limit in the number of slots someone can aquire in a specific time frame . This can work with or without the implementation of the 1

to give chances to more people to aquire slots  (since the faster ones will get all the slots in 20 seconds, someone  can create similar routes  in sets for each and every available slot, then cancel them all but keep slots and then after 10 minutes to start creating the normal routes you want)
the proposal is to set a time limit after which you can buy the next set (or sets)  of slots. So if I buy a set of 7 slots , then I shouldn't be able to buy more for the next 30, 60 or 120 minutes (this can be discussed). In that way the distibution of slots will be much more "democratic" let's say and for sure will enhance challenge since more players will have more equal chances.


3. Variable slot allocation cost
The cost of slots should be variable and much more expensive for bigger players (depending on total numbers of seats? , value of the company? some ideas here needed) . That will help competition since small players will have cheaper slot prices and maybe a better chance to continue playing from bigger and more aggresive players. That is not what happens in real world but for the game it might be interesting to enhance competition.
So for me that I have a lot of cash should cost much more (and be more painful ) to aquire slots by dozens

The above are considered easy steps to be coded so if approved it wouldn't be difficult to implement.
thanks
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 12:27:30 PM by teamwork »

brique

  • Former member
Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 01:05:11 PM »
Interesting ideas : a few issues though which need addressing : the random slot drops are there because people had worked out the timetable for releases and were sitting there waiting to clean up : giving a time for them will just repeat the earlier problem. Yep, the idea of limiting how many you can buy has some merit, but it then raise further issues of 'unfairness' ( real or imagined), in that those able to come back in 120mins, or 180mins, or whatever, will be able to, whilst those without 24/7 interweb will not. Myself, I drive long distances for a living, effectively, I'm off-line all the work day : so that would limit my slot buying to only part of the day, assuming the slots drop in that part of my day, and even then, I'll have to break my sleep to come back and get some more (if any are left). If they drop during my work-day, no amount of pre-drop warnings serve any purpose for me, I cant get them regardless. At least the 'random' method maintains some equity, even if it sometimes feels that it just means everyone is unlucky most of the time.

The idea of tying cost to airline size (be that value/fleet numbers) : that already happens, in a roundabout way though ; the more slots you buy at an airport, the more the next costs, which is reinforced by running a large fleet as, naturally, you will have more flights and need more slots.

In the end though, my concern is basing these changes on the experience of HQ-ing at LHR : Thats an almost unique airport in AWS with specific problems related to its size and particular demand levels, though another 10 or so majors have similar issues. The majority of airports in AWS do not have those issues in anything like the same scale : I'd be concerned that adjusting things to suit LHR would add another layer of restrictions on everywhere else that arent really necessary and would only serve to frustrate players who chose not to base at such majors because its a damn pain but now get to endure the cure prescribed anyway..

Offline jmaildom

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 01:13:39 PM »
agree that this applies actually to specific number of airports and not solves the problems of all airports, and possibly refers to bigger players.
Just trying to figure out ideas in a positive way

brique

  • Former member
Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 01:54:25 PM »
I wasn't trying to shoot you down or suggest your ideas wont work : its a 'gaming' issue and where sims depart so much from reality : in real life, folk running an airline in, say, Australia do so under 'rules' developed and refined to meet their local needs ; the problems of scheduling into LHR, or CDG, JFK, etc are irrelevant to them and it would be a bit daft to expect them to change their ways to handle LHR-type slot allocation problems which never arise there 99.9% of the time. But a sim has to apply pretty much 'global' rules : and they dont always work at the extreme ends of the scale : best you can hope for is to cover the majority of the middle ground with minimum problems and, hopefully, keep the game playable for the majority of your players.

My view is pretty much, if you choose to base at a major major, like LHR : then you need to commit a lot of time and effort to it and will have to deal with issues like slot-locking, hard-core competition and continual frustrations : the prize is you get to build a mega-carrier, if you get it right.

Offline AUpilot77

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 04:50:07 PM »
My opinion has always been: If you want to base your airline in LHR or fly into LHR, you're going to have to deal with the slot difficulties.  Running an airline while only online for 30mins per day in RL is possible, but don't expect to be the leader of long-haul operations out of LHR.  There are players here who love what they do and are willing to spend more time trying to make their airlines' better.  Why try to limit the potential of those who "have no lives outside AWS"  :laugh: just so others can have an easier time?  This actually takes away from the fun of the game IMHO  :-\

Offline jmaildom

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 06:53:17 PM »
My opinion has always been: If you want to base your airline in LHR or fly into LHR, you're going to have to deal with the slot difficulties.  Running an airline while only online for 30mins per day in RL is possible, but don't expect to be the leader of long-haul operations out of LHR.  There are players here who love what they do and are willing to spend more time trying to make their airlines' better.  Why try to limit the potential of those who "have no lives outside AWS"  :laugh: just so others can have an easier time?  This actually takes away from the fun of the game IMHO  :-\

Actually I am not in the ones that don't have time to spend on AWS, so I don't speak from my personal perspective . My real time job actually gives me the opportunity to be 15 hours a day on a laptop, so for me it's easy to have a window open to AWS and take a look or deal with AWS on a regural basis.

What I am talking about is actually some brainstorming for  the game to be  less depented on luck . Nothing more nothing less. I enjoy it as it is now but since I am in a position in the MT8 to have more time since I can't expand, to try to think of some ways to not get bored.  :)


Offline Sanabas

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 06:57:25 PM »
1. preannouncement of slot availability some hours or days before. So whoever wants to buy slots , he knows that should be there the right time (it's more close to the real world I believe). So the aquisition of slots will not be a matter of lack and not depending on how many hours someone spends in from of his screen.

Of course it will still be a matter of luck. Just a different sort of luck, when the slot release is timed for 8pm for 1 player, 3am for another who'll be sleeping, 11am for a third who'll be busy at work.

To remove the luck, everyone needs an equal opportunity to try and buy the slots. To do that, the time window to actually try and get slots needs to be bigger, so all airlines have the opportunity to do so, to make it impossible to miss out because you're offline at the wrong time. One idea is that if an airport gets 2 slots/hour, 36 useful sets, and there are 4 airlines HQed there, then just have 9 sets visible to each airline for 24 hours or so. If they don't purchase them, only then do they go on to the general market to be snapped up by whoever is online.

brique

  • Former member
Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 07:04:59 PM »
I agree that would work for the resident airlines, I'd have no problem with it, but does rather exclude players who want to fly into, rather than out of : when do they get to hear about new slots?

Online dmoose42

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 08:30:47 PM »
It would be easy to adjust Sanabas's suggestion so that each airline would only have 7 sets visible for 24 hours totally 28 slots and the remaining 8 can only be used by airlines not based at that airport (or something similar).

However, how do you decide which slots are visible (i.e., who gets screwed with the 3 AM slot?)

Personally, I think the simplest solution is for the slot constrained airports (slot usage >80%), to limit the ability to purchase slots to a certain number of sets per day.

Offline AUpilot77

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 08:33:40 PM »
What I am talking about is actually some brainstorming for  the game to be  less depented on luck . Nothing more nothing less. I enjoy it as it is now but since I am in a position in the MT8 to have more time since I can't expand, to try to think of some ways to not get bored.  :)

That's actually a good point.  The way it is right now, someone could spend 15 hours a day on here and (theoretically) not find a used aircraft while (again theoretically) someone who pops on for 5 minutes gets lucky and grabs two aircraft from the used market.

Online dmoose42

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 09:32:42 PM »
For any single slot release, yes that's true - the person who spends 5 minutes could get lucky, but over the course of the game, they will get very few slots...

brique

  • Former member
Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2013, 09:58:54 PM »
Its an issue that only seriously affects a small percentage of the airports in AWS : 20 at most out of 2,743 current in MT#8 : granted, a lot of those 2,743 are not viable as bases, but we could be in danger of letting a very small tail wag a very big dog if we modify matters to resolve LHR/CDG/JFK/ETC's problems and leave the rest of the airports working under the same restrictions needlessly.

I must say, my previously posted suggestion in a similar themed thread that HQ-ing in the top 20 demand airports should be banned, and have inbound flights only, would be far preferable, especially as, whatever scheme is enacted will still leave some unhappy and the debate resurfacing in 3 months time for the simple fact that a quart will never fit into pint pot : too much demand, too many trying to grab most of it and no way to share it equitably and still retain competition and due reward for superior play.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 10:01:24 PM by brique »

Online dmoose42

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2013, 01:09:48 PM »
I don't think preventing basing in the top 20 airports really solves anything - as it means the next 20 biggest airports will just be more crowded, repeating the problem.

Somehow we need a more elegant solution to the slot challenge that improves playability and moderates the benefits to those that have the capability to refresh their computer all day.  I think this is important, not to take away an advantage from those willing to spend more time on AWS, but rather because simply refreshing the slot availability page all day does not make AWS fun.

One option is that all of the airlines based in a city could be allowed to pre-select a slot from the next release so that each airline is guaranteed at least 1.  The remaining slots could continue to use the existing system.

Offline Infinity

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2013, 07:10:48 PM »
The only possible way i see to alleviate any luck factor while still keeping it fair would be a slot application system like it is done IRL.

Online dmoose42

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Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2013, 07:42:18 PM »
How would this work in AWS - if you have 24 slot sets (assuming airport is open 24 hours) and 100 applicants, how do you decide who gets the slot?  Is it random?  Is it first come first serve?  Some other measure?  Also, shouldn't airlines already based in that airport get priority?

Could it be based on plane size?  With your application you have to state what type you will use and the biggest planes get the slots (to carry more passengers?) - that obviously is more advantageous to the larger airlines, but if every airline based in that city is guaranteed a slot, at least it will help protect those airlines.

You could also auction off slots either through a traditional auction system - again with some type of guaranteed access for smaller airlines based in that city.

brique

  • Former member
Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2013, 04:15:22 AM »
In real life, LHR slots allocation is controlled by a third party company : not the airport or CAA : same company does similar job for some other UK airports and is expanding overseas too.

Currently, the biggest shareholder in that company is BA, with a couple of other airlines (Lufthansa, is one, I think).

of course, that causes a lot of conspiracy theories as to why slots get allocated to who and why.

Lavo

  • Former member
Re: slot allocation system proposal
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 09:07:35 AM »
I think this has been brought up before, but parallels to RL aren't ever going to be modelled, because Heathrow (etc) didn't start up in 1995 with 8-12 new airlines vying for a big pool of slots - with no pre-existing airlines.

I honestly don't think there's a scenario that can please everyone.


 

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