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Author Topic: A general "rant"  (Read 966 times)

A general "rant"
« on: May 28, 2019, 10:29:19 AM »
Hi Sami, other players,

I've been playing this game for quite a while and have seen many things change. Most for the better, but unfortunately not all...
Personally I think the new "still air update" is one that was not for the better. To me it seems like it was rushed and not properly executed.
Please note that I say executed as I think the change in and on itself is a natural progression of the game and I am not opposed to this system in and on itself.
Another one in the same lane is city based demand on cargo.

With both these updates a new feature was added that drastically enhances the game. Play styles need to be readjusted and people have to go back to the basics to figure it out.
The part where these updates are lacking is the tools that were given to the players to learn and deal with these changes. For example there still is no official way to see the captive market of a certain airport (not counting the /e=1 trick as it is not implemented, nor convenient at this point), nor a way to see the total demand of two areas that you might want to connect compared to the total supply between these two city pairs. A major issue in the new system (as it is a pain to check all routes from for example JFK, EWR, LGA, etc. to LAX, ONT, BUR, SNA, etc.) as it is simply too time consuming.
I understand that this is a difficult and time consuming process to program this and I respect that. Though maybe it might be better to put cargo on hold until this is working...

A similar thing with the wind updates: so far no proper way to interact with the new system and no route planning tool to take advantage of jet streams... The idea and system are brilliant and I am impressed by the effort and skills shown by the developers to make it, but we do still need a way to work with it...

I've been pondering this for a while. What triggered me is that I was unable to open a lot of good routes in the Soviet Union with the Il-18 due to the recent infrastructure update...
Those airports are remote and cannot be served with smaller aircraft, so they can't grow, so they can't get service at all. Too bad. I was enjoying my "Soviet" experiment but now I am considering quitting GW2 due to ever growing challenges...

I would like to ask a focus on perhaps a bit more mundane updates, updates that make the game easier for people. For example, more options to regulate prices (per fleet, region, base, etc.) or an option to buy slots for selected routes or remove aircraft from storage.... I think you will find you make players a lot more happy with those types of updates, compared with these enormous changes...

Perhaps it is time to "disconnect" all these cool new experimental features from the main games and just have a bunch of "experimental challenges" up. This will allow you and the players to see and test new systems, without being affected by them in a 70 year long gameworld...

Having said that all, I am really grateful for all of the hard work you guys put in and I do still enjoy the game. Even after some eight years it is still entertaining me and it still has countless options to find new challenges.

Kind regards,

NovemberCharlie

Offline Sami

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 01:13:58 PM »
Quote
Personally I think the new "still air update" is one that was not for the better. To me it seems like it was rushed and not properly executed.

A similar thing with the wind updates: so far no proper way to interact with the new system and no route planning tool to take advantage of jet streams...

Nothing rushed about that really. The wind system models the realistic global average winds, and nothing more. Winds have been part of the calculation since years and years, but now they are more accurate (= more data). And more importantly they affect the payload calculations like they actually do in reality.

There are no plans for a route selection tool (to complicate it even more) since we are not optimizing single flights for each day separately like in real life. Instead the route tool's task is to provide a generic calculation for the flight time and other variables for scheduling purposes (and of course provide the baseline calculation for the daily fuel usage). A route optimization system based on winds is entirely different thing from this, and part of day-to-day operations where airline ops department changes the actual airways/routing for cost optimization purposes based on the actual daily conditions. The winds don't change since we're not modelling that. (= a completely different thing/feature already)

Also an improvement for the route search logic to the current system (to optimize the generic/statistical-wind based route instead of direct great circle) doesn't change the outcome of the route (wind component/payload) that much, since the winds are averages. And hence the variation in average wind is not that great when moving let's say 100 NM south or north compared to the direct great circle route (while in real life the core of the jetstream can be narrow and such route changes on daily operations can bring big benefits). In other words trying to hunt the best wind is not worth the effort (apart from some rare cases around the pole etc, but that's <1% of all what is flown), and some people seem to misunderstand the concept of the winds a bit. Shortly put: there is no practical need for players to have any more control or details over it.

The aircraft performance tool (work in progress) comes very handy when planning the fleet choices and pre-planning routes.


Quote
I've been pondering this for a while. What triggered me is that I was unable to open a lot of good routes in the Soviet Union with the Il-18 due to the recent infrastructure update... Those airports are remote and cannot be served with smaller aircraft, so they can't grow

The latest airport expansion feature (04/2019) did not change the aircraft allowance at all. Infrastructure level of the airport has been the deciding factor on which aircraft sizes can be operated to it for a long time already. Since 11/2017 actually, when the new airport size classes were taken into use (changelog). And added some more logic to it in 02/2019 (changelog) in order to allow larger planes in. Note that the airports can grow even if there is no player-made traffic to them (a couple of the dozen+ conditions to trigger expansion are when "authorities" decide to expand the airport in order to boost services). If the logic is still wonky for some small airports then feedback would be appreciated...


Generally: If I keep doing small tweaks and small updates then there won't be any major developments "ever". As these small "button here or link there" type changes take surprisingly a lot of time to deal with.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 01:16:10 PM by Sami »

Offline Mort

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 02:13:30 PM »
Generally: If I keep doing small tweaks and small updates then there won't be any major developments "ever". As these small "button here or link there" type changes take surprisingly a lot of time to deal with.

Any possibility for enthusiastic developers to join in and help out with small QoL tweaks?  ;D

Offline NovemberCharlie

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 02:57:41 PM »
Nothing rushed about that really. The wind system models the realistic global average winds, and nothing more. Winds have been part of the calculation since years and years, but now they are more accurate (= more data). And more importantly they affect the payload calculations like they actually do in reality.

Sorry for the confusion, I was talking about both the aircraft performance (still air distance equivalent) and the wind model in one sentence.
Wind:
As far as I'm concerned if you're going to make the game more realistic, I think a certain amount of complexity may be added as well.
Perhaps not even as much on the foreground as I suggested earlier, but even a "four waypoint" route that could find the shortest time routing would be preferential.
It is easy to say it is only 1% of routes, but those routes are significant: US west coast to Europe, South(east) Asia to north America, Japan to Europe (especially with how cargo works right now) and Southern Africa/South America to Australia. Perhaps in percentage small, but by no means insignificant....

Aircraft performance:
Your comment that the aircraft performance tool is in the works kind of summarizes my main sentiment about this "rant". It makes the update seem incomplete and is hard to handle.
The performance tool should have been finished and only after that should the system have been implemented.
Same goes for cargo and a way to view catchment area (and the supply to/from both areas).

I'll admit the infrastructure thing was more frustration than logic. Point taken.  (p.s. maybe something similar to what was done to RUN?) (p.p.s. Imagine saving up using An-24s for months to upgrade your base, making sure your Il18s will all start arriving at the same time, only to find out that you can't fly certain routes....)
Never mind that one :p

Quote
Generally: If I keep doing small tweaks and small updates then there won't be any major developments "ever". As these small "button here or link there" type changes take surprisingly a lot of time to deal with.

I can definitely agree to that, but just maybe take a bit longer to work out one big update before you move on to the next one. Cargo/CBD doesn't come of as finished to me...
Players will find a stable game where everything works perfectly a lot nicer to play than a game that has multiple open projects.

Obviously people need change to keep the game fresh.

Just don't let expansion get in the way of perfection ;)

Offline Cardinal

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 05:59:57 PM »
This bears repeating...

It is easy to say it is only 1% of routes, but those routes are significant: US west coast to Europe, South(east) Asia to north America, Japan to Europe (especially with how cargo works right now) and Southern Africa/South America to Australia. Perhaps in percentage small, but by no means insignificant....

1% of 300,000 weekly flights is still 3,000 weekly flights. Not at all insignificant. While I agree there are larger issues to deal with, the thing that drew most of us to AWS and kept us here for so many years is the attention to detail, the way small things are not ignored.

Offline groundbum2

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 07:27:07 PM »
I agree with the sentiment; AWS is a great game but it's now getting irritating to play. For me, playing large airlines

- slot management
- 7 day scheduling (ie groups of 7 planes)
- CBD cargo broken when one or both cities are complex
- big airline management made simpler. We have the same interface for 2 planes as we have for 1500!

I've raised these issues and been ignored. So now it's almost a grind to login and fiddle over and over with the same screens.

I think AWS has grown such that it needs a dedicated QoL programmer, rather than constantly adding new features.

Simon
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 07:33:51 PM by groundbum2 »

Offline Cornishman

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 09:25:41 PM »
Can I too say ->   Sami and team - this game is fantastic and when we have "mini-rants"  :laugh:.. as NC called it, please don't let that take away from all the admiration I too have for the game. So top marks on the whole.

BUT...

It is so very frustrating that intricate systems seem to be developed and added (like the wind factor one mentioned here) but nothing is done, as many and particularly Simon says, about the day-to-day frustrating, annoying, monotonous "tasks" we have to go through when there must be a relatively simple way to fix many of them (relative to the complexity undertaken with implementing the wind factor system, for example).

Perhaps what we need is a list to be created of those really irritating features where we'd all love a fix please. Simon mentioned one of them, SLOT management:

In GW4 I'm swapping out an enormous fleet of previous 737 routes and some now go up to slots on 757s others go down to slots on E-Jets. It all means an enormous task with billions of dollars lost as I axe old slots and buy completely new ones. I have to do it this way - far too tedious and long winded to make plane-by-plane changes and patch that in with existing slots. (Thank heavens I have lots of spare cash to do that - but I shouldn't have to). Where I can I do manage to re-use some but maybe only 10 to 15%. EXAMPLE: How great it would be if I could keep the home base CDG slot I have at say 07h00 but release the other end slot at say LHR at 09h00.  I want to re-use that 07h00 to make my new flight but on a different plane type it can't use the 09h00 slot I own at LHR.  If I dare to close the hundreds of routes I need to change but keep the slots so I get to reuse them, then an avalanche of "slot warning" messages hit... and if I get too over-zealous with this I get messages telling me I cant open any new slots anywhere because I have too many unused slots still open.  It's all a real mess.  I am spending excruciating amounts of time to make this change because there is no good system set up - as Simon said, I am using tools which work for a 50-fleet airline and trying to make it work on a 1300-fleet airline.

So I too ad a voice calling for attention to making some changes to the more basic things in the game, which in turn would make us love the game even more... which in turn should keep people playing more and better appreciating all the larger developments that come in from time-to-time.

Many thanks
Jack

Offline hambot

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 11:16:21 PM »
Any possibility for enthusiastic developers to join in and help out with small QoL tweaks?  ;D

I hope so. I've started working on a prototype for a new scheduler that I hope to send over at some point because I've grown so frustrated with the existing schedule page.

edit: I may have come off a little rough here, but ultimately I'd like to see day-to-day usability improvements and removal of unnecessary tedium that doesn't exist for competitive balance or intrigue; and hopefully I have some ideas that don't totally suck and manage to find their way to Sami.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 04:16:42 AM by hambot »

Offline Cornishman

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 11:38:37 PM »
Another utter frustration:  Ordering new aircraft - zero visability - zero chance to negotiate best deals - just an apparent "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude from virtual aircraft manufacturers.

GW4 right now the date is 06 Feb 2010: 
* I have still some 40 757-200 on order and my given delivery slots are from now to 8th July 2011.  So that's 40 planes in the next 16 to 17 months.
* I'd like to order another batch of 50 but for some reason, when there is even better delivery availability over the years 2011, 2012 and 2013... I'm being told I'd have to wait from 1st delivery on 28 Jul 2011 all the way until 4th April 2014 for the last of them to be delivered. So I'm supposed to just accept that even though there is more available delivery slots, these 50 planes will take about 32 to 33 months ! !  WHY ? ? ?   That's just not acceptable without explanation or a chance to see or request better deliveries if I'm going to give a $5bn order. 

Offline tititaka

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2019, 02:43:24 AM »
I'd love to help. experienced software architect/data scientist here

Offline [SC] - King Kong

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2019, 12:15:15 PM »
Weren't those Soviet planes not also designed to operate from crap airports in order to provide basic air access to remote places without putting to much slave labour on building amazing airports?

Offline Zombie Slayer

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Re: A general "rant"
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 12:16:54 PM »
Another utter frustration:  Ordering new aircraft - zero visability - zero chance to negotiate best deals - just an apparent "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude from virtual aircraft manufacturers.

GW4 right now the date is 06 Feb 2010: 
* I have still some 40 757-200 on order and my given delivery slots are from now to 8th July 2011.  So that's 40 planes in the next 16 to 17 months.
* I'd like to order another batch of 50 but for some reason, when there is even better delivery availability over the years 2011, 2012 and 2013... I'm being told I'd have to wait from 1st delivery on 28 Jul 2011 all the way until 4th April 2014 for the last of them to be delivered. So I'm supposed to just accept that even though there is more available delivery slots, these 50 planes will take about 32 to 33 months ! !  WHY ? ? ?   That's just not acceptable without explanation or a chance to see or request better deliveries if I'm going to give a $5bn order.

For this one, at least, orders do compress which helps delivery dates.
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