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Author Topic: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff  (Read 1721 times)

Offline spiff23

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Sami,
the weird events are interesting and make the game more dynamic...i'll give you that.   But if you're going to throw a continual stream of events month-to-month-month that have material negative impact from which you either have to invest massive time to react to (bird flu for 3 months) or that you simply have to deal(the CI destroyting volcano)...then you need to first put in place some acceptable tools and code to let people who view this as a "fun" (becomming less so) hobby /diversion vs an unpaid 40 hour a week internship...react effectively. preparing and reacting to a fuel spike is one thing, but even in the past 10 years the industry hasn't had 3 material events in single year.  Plus even your attempt at a good one ...the strike sent our CI down.

Ok throw bird flu at us and cut all US airline demand 30%...but then we should have ability to click a box to either run our schedule and cut plane capacity 30% (i.e., I click a buttton, your system takes a 100 seat plane and caps all flights on it to 70 seats until I unclick) or let us ground planes with schedule intact and not losing slots until the crisis is over and we opt to let the birds fly again  (clearly US or any gov't would step in and protect airline assets and slots and let them sit idle vs. recharging everyone to relaunch a schedule...i.e. no one lost slots after US airspace closed after 9/11). 

Clearly every US airline has just taken a massive hit and now has to figure out what to do with 9 months of investment for 3 days of system generated pain.

Unfortunately you have this thing so over engineered to prevent anti-social/enjoyment behaviours (and for the most part rightly so) that now these new elements will quickly cause one to question the time-commitment....especially if the next thing I see is a bunch of monoply warnings 1000+ routes.

Btw, when is Europe and Asia going to get some Volcano/bird flu love?

« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 07:33:32 PM by spiff23 »

Offline spiff23

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 07:35:25 PM »
I might add, if an event impacts all, it shouldn't really be destorying CI as the general public will more likely symphathize with the event as it's not like anyone has fogured out how to fly through a volcano for competitive advantage.

Offline ekaneti

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 10:52:41 PM »
I think 3 months is a bit long.

Offline spiff23

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 01:56:51 AM »
Alright..knock on wood...no oversupply warnings for demand drop...although it's also well above 30% on many domestic US routes btw...  600 average demand to 200-250 would be more like 60% drop.   

Are you sure you programmed this right?   

most of my routes are scheduled to MEET the M/F peak before the strike...so it quite noticeable to see my capacity consistently at 600-700 on major routes and demand now at 200-300.   MSP-BWI, FLL, EWR, LGA, BOS, JFK, and so on all seem to fit a 60% drop.


Overall I guess a good time to get ahead on D checks. ::)


Offline Genesis803

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2014, 02:56:11 AM »
This is not my idea of "fun". I have spent many hours over the last few months building a nice airline and now I will only be around for a few more days if this bird flu continues. I am losing about $40 mil a week!!! >:(

Online ChuckPerry

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2014, 03:38:11 AM »
There won't be many of us left after 3 weeks let alone 3 months.. Guess we can all go play farmville on Facebook... :)

Firebird

  • Former member
Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 06:41:50 AM »
Have to agree these random events are a bit lame. Whats next earthquakes, tornado, terraforming

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2014, 08:53:08 AM »
Random events are basically the same as fuel spikes - they (should not) don't hurt healthy airlines enough to damage them heavily or BK them, they might be a problem for average airlines in terms of damage and BK risk and they have a high risk for "bad" airlines for damage and/or BK.


I can understand it's not too nice if you are dragged out of comfort zone - either by a fuel spike or random events or somebody opening at your HQ. However, where's the fun if everything is predictable? Do you also insinst in taking away fuel spikes and forbid people to create an airline hat your HQ or open up a base?


To be honest, I'm a bit bored. I constantly take a closer look to airlines of people that are heavily complaining about the bird flu and, to be honest again, I never saw the bird flu killing off a healthy airline yet.

Here's a longer analysis: http://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,53560.msg307080.html#msg307080


Short analyses:
This is not my idea of "fun". I have spent many hours over the last few months building a nice airline and now I will only be around for a few more days if this bird flu continues. I am losing about $40 mil a week!!! >:(
Your airline has only leased aircraft in fleet. While that is ok that of course reduces the profit margin in case of reduced revenue - and it disallows you to ground aircraft without paying too much. You also run more than three fleetgroups, what again massively decreasey your weekly profit at all. You also have a total of 3 bases, with 194 aircraft total that means none of the airports is maxed and most likely both bases create loss or just break-even. (The income statement is a lie)

Fuel price is incredibly low in GW#1, but with more than three fleetgroups, the 100% lease part and (new?) leased 777 and 767 an average or higher fuel spike would probably BK your airline anyways.

On the plus side, you seem to have an extremely huge cash reserve for an airline like that. You should survive the current bird flu.



most of my routes are scheduled to MEET the M/F peak before the strike...so it quite noticeable to see my capacity consistently at 600-700 on major routes and demand now at 200-300.   MSP-BWI, FLL, EWR, LGA, BOS, JFK, and so on all seem to fit a 60% drop.

Overall I guess a good time to get ahead on D checks. ::)

The oversupply-strategy is a risky one. I'm a follower of it myself, however, it has disadvantages (and advantages of course). You should be aware of those and either keep huge enough cash reserves, be able to drop the worst routes fast or change the strategy at all.

I mean, seven fleet types? Seriously? That burns not just through the massive 4th hit, but also through the massive 7th hit - and that all with an airline of 673 frames. Your cash reserves are as high (or low, for an airline your size) as the ones from genesis803, however, you own nearly your whole fleet and that's why you survive the bird flu without huge problems.


I still agree on things like the too huge CI drop due to cancellations and delays.



There won't be many of us left after 3 weeks let alone 3 months.. Guess we can all go play farmville on Facebook... :)

Seems like that is at least true for you. Seven fleetgroups, several of them with less than 10 aircraft, three bases with a total of just 124 aircraft and extremely low cash reserves over at least the last 4 quarters I am allowed to check. Be positive and learn from it. :)

Offline ekaneti

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2014, 12:22:07 PM »
My traffic is starting to recover ;D

Im up from a 66% LF to a 75% LF.

I am running an RJ airline so my breakeven is probably about 85%. I was doing in the mid 90s before Bird Flu.

Firebird

  • Former member
Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2014, 11:25:52 PM »
Total cost of U.S.  Sars Virus:  over $630million
Total passenger traffic lost:    over 3.3 million

Firebird

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2014, 11:31:04 PM »
USA Sars virus basically wiped out any benefits gained from leasing optimal aircraft and trying to optimally schedule flights.... all those efficiency efforts wiped out for the sake of "fun" random event. cost over $630 million. These random events go against what this Airline Simulation game historically aimed to be.

Firebird

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2014, 11:34:10 PM »
If your going to throw in random events that significantly affect an airlines bottom line then make them world wide events so that all airlines are equally affected. this spreads the "fun" to everyone

Offline CUR$E - God of AirwaySim

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2014, 04:00:39 AM »
As far as I know events aren't for fun, they are for immersion and realism (unexpected things airlines have to deal with), like high fuel prices or insurance costs.

The US was hit now, chance is high next time it's another continent - when figures are way higher than in 1999.

Offline Sami

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2014, 09:35:25 AM »
The events affect always some section of the world, either an airport, country or a region. What area happens to be selected for each event is random.

The events, even this one, are very realistic if one compares to their effects to real world. This is NOT a sandbox game where you can expect unlimited growth and no changes whatsoever for 50 years other than fleet replacements. Actually I have always thought that one major factor we need to change iis the boredom in the longer games when nothing happens. And in fact airline business in real life in these days is a constant struggle betweeen wars, natural disasters, labour issues, economic problems and so on. In AWS we have now the changing economic conditions (fuel price/inflation changes etc.), which nobody doesn't seem to mind (??) and then we have new events which are both positive and negative (they can increase delays/cancellations, or can decrease or increase pax demand). History based real events are also planned but pending data (ie. wars and such).

The Asian SARS decresed air traffic more than 40-50% in some regions for several months (source: http://books.google.fi/books?id=8wkD54UeCdsC&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35&dq=sars+airline+traffic+decline&source=bl&ots=xNoti0k-f4&sig=nqi73tsyFLp32JSTSJPRXGAnZ6M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HQdmU96NMI3ZygPS14GwCA&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBQ ).

So, nothing more from me to this matter.

Offline spiff23

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2014, 03:53:26 PM »
Sami, I actually agree.  The events are interesting.  The problem is there are no built in tools to deal with sudden, random, temporary events...especially ones that cause you to lose massive amounts of money. This is NOT at all reflective of real world as airline management would take aggressive action to stem the loses.

For a fuel spike, inflation, etc.  that unfolds over time and you have plenty of time to react and adjust things.   The game has plenty of options to deal with these macro events.  If you are flying a long haul route that might have made sense at fuel $300 but impossible if fuel looks to be staying at $600, you can raise price or cancel and use the plane on something where it will make money. (I.e. Why singapore no longer flies JFK-sIN nonstop).  If things are so bad you return planes, you can fire staff to reflect a longer term, smaller operation...or at least for 2-3 years.

The biggest problem I see as I said above, is unlike the real world, the way this game is built you can't respond and all you are doing is bleeding dollars from players and I'd truly say, cause them to question whether it's all worth it to even play future games.

The biggest option I see lacking is ability to ground a plane with the schedule in tact and slots protected.  This is precisely what the Asian carriers did.  They didn't lose slots, they still lose money having the idle plane, but not as much as flying a 3/4 empty one. . Or real airlines, put their employees on furlough, for 3 months, and then call them back.   Your only option now is to fire them and furlough, while upsetting, would not be the same negative impact as firing.  When the crisis is over, I click the box and the plane goes about its schedule and makes money again...for the player a loss, but not hours commitments to carefully write down every schedule cleared and then rebuild. Or for staffing, you furlough and then click a call back box that tells you they will be available to work after 2 weeks of training (like ordering a plane).  If you've grounded planes and furloughed, then maybe you can't restart the plane until the furlough employees are back....these would be the dynamic options needed to keep this interesting and testing crisis management skills and not an exercise in futility as currently engineered.

For CI destroying events like the volcano, you could have a new marketing option for crisis recovery that, if you choose, let's you throw more marketing dollars and override the 1 year it takes for CI to recover...maybe it recovers 2-3x as fast based on what you are willing to spend.

I'm sure plenty of us could go on and on with options that would exist in real world, but not is this sim.

Hopefully, you do stop by and see this because as I said, the random events are interesting and keep you engaged,  but you have nothing presently built to let players deal with random events other than waiting them out or taking well built schedules, clearing them and then getting a ton of unused slots warnings/lost slots if you clear the schedules and ground the worst performing planes.

I think this is the source of the anger/annoyance with this as opposed to the "material" events themselves. 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 04:02:39 PM by spiff23 »

Offline spiff23

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2014, 04:19:45 PM »
O and I might add, this seems like a lot of the changes.

It's like when you introduced route monopoly caps.  Was it needed? Yes when people were flooding a 200 pax routes with 2000 seats (most likely what you wanted to end). 

Did it have massive negative unintended consequences?  yes, rendering entire fleets and shedules useless like running a 52 seat CRJ on a 20 pax route with no competition/harm or an a320 on a 70 seat route to fill up the schedule and keep the asset utilized.

Did you hit the anger button with many? Yes and we went back and forth, some of so p***ed we just quite the game for awhile.

Did you eventually adjust /fix the system?  Yes, introducing the seat limit so you can fly a 50 seat plane on a 20 pax route if you want to do so.

I see this debate and need as no different in terms of needing to give us more in-game management options if you are going t make this massive change which is radically different than the macro events like fuel spike...which as we all know, play out over 1-2 GW years, not 2-3 months.

SuriProf4

  • Former member
Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2014, 02:02:32 AM »
i think the wording of this event was such that it shouldnot have had any negative effect on domestic travel. i can understand international travel between usa and the world, but the wording of the event shouldnot have had effects on domestic operations. but all domestic routes to a hit.

other than that, i have no real problem with the 'random fun events', because it is something to look for and pay attention. how to react is something that takes away the boredom. but i think some add-ins to 'click' for reactions would be nice (as a few have stated).

Firebird

  • Former member
Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2014, 05:23:45 AM »
Good Grief, got it, these random events aren't intended to be "fun". Lets say they're inserted for the sake of "immersion". The problem is that there's nothing you can realistically do to manage these random "immersion events". This is an airline business simulation, if you want to insert a simulated event then give me the tools to simulate managing it.

Offline Fscamp

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2014, 03:34:27 PM »
Good Grief, got it, these random events aren't intended to be "fun". Lets say they're inserted for the sake of "immersion". The problem is that there's nothing you can realistically do to manage these random "immersion events". This is an airline business simulation, if you want to insert a simulated event then give me the tools to simulate managing it.

You can do everything real airlines can  - Lower prices / temporarily change to smaller aircraft, take a loan if you are about to run out of money due to temporary problem and so on.

There's not that much airlines can do to these things IRL either.

Offline LemonButt

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Re: Bird flu--really??? more dynamic tools needed for this stuff
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2014, 03:58:48 PM »
You can do everything real airlines can  - Lower prices / temporarily change to smaller aircraft, take a loan if you are about to run out of money due to temporary problem and so on.

There's not that much airlines can do to these things IRL either.

Airlines sell tickets months in advance.  If bird flu hits, they don't lose revenue as the cash is already in the bank and most tickets are nonrefundable, that is they become a credit on the books for future flights if they cancel.  Thus, when events like this hit the have a significant period of time to make adjustments before it ever hits their top line with the exception of volcano eruptions.

IRL airlines can layoff staff or even offer early retirement buyouts for sustained periods of lower demand.  Other players say it is the same as a fuel spike--not true.  A fuel spike results in increased expenses.  When you have large revenues, you can cover a lot of expenses such as a fuel spike.  If demand plummets, you have no revenue, which is why it is such a problem.  Furthermore, if you get hit on the CI side you end up getting penalized for months after the event is over.

Also in terms of tools, AWS is lacking when it comes to price management as the current price management tool is not nearly robust enough to effectively manage hundreds of routes when they are affected by massive events that drop demand.  Temporarily switching to smaller aircraft is an option IRL because airlines, again, will sell tickets months in advance and know with high levels of confidence how many people will be on the aircraft.  I was supposed to fly on the 787 Dreamliner last March, but then they got grounded.  The return flight was replaced by a smaller 767, but they could only use a smaller aircraft because they knew how many seats were sold--something that can't be done in AWS.

This is a simulation and it will never perfectly reflect reality, but having events without the proper tools to react is basically telling players to bend over and take it.  For example, if there is a 40% drop in demand and you fly a route 2x/daily at 900 and 1400, you don't have the ability to (without huge headaches) fly the route one day at 900 and the next at 1400 to pare back to 1 flight/day with high load factors instead of 2 flights/day with low load factors.  You could then furlough part of your cabin crew etc. and fly with higher load factors, which is what most airlines would do IRL.  The net result would be flying 1x/day with low profit margins on a temporary basis versus 2x/day and bleeding losses.

Since the stats available are largely backward looking, making these modifications in real time is extremely difficult, especially when the main interface values are based on a trailing 30 days--you might not know there is an issue until a month after the fact.

So while the events can suck, you can't argue that the tools are currently lacking to make temporary adjustments for events lasting only a few months, which is why so many players are frustrated and these posts keep popping up.

Taking it even a step further, since events can only happen so frequently players can prepare on the other end of the spectrum.  For example, volcanoes only happen ever 20 years or something like that.  We just had a volcano in GW2 in North America, which means I don't have to worry about having that big of a cash cushion because we already had our big event.

It seems the easiest solution to help mitigate the effect of events is acknowledge that many employees are not exempt (salaried).  Flight attendants get paid only when the aircraft is in the air.  Ground handling, security, etc. are all hourly employees, so if they don't work they don't get paid.  As it stands now, all of those hourly positions are being compensated as if they are exempt/salaried and are getting paid whether they show up for work or not.

 

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