Hi! I’m really excited hearing the news about the new ORS system, it looks like it could make the game even more realistic and it sounds awesome. I am currently playing on an airline in Xiguan. I’m not sure if I’m understanding the news post right, from what I understand is that it currently won’t be implemented in worlds other than Yeager, but is there a possibility that it will be rolled out to all worlds in the near future?
I am pretty sure that you wont see it in near future, on the old worlds. I am pretty confident that they would need to tweak it a couple of times, and make sure that it is well balanced.
It also creates a dilemma for the existing airlines - they would need some time, to make changes to their airline.
I’d really like to see it in the old worlds, but yeah I’d rather they spent as long as they need tweaking it first.
As for adapting, RL airlines had to make major adjustments when the LCCs entered the field as well. Making existing airlines in the game have to adapt to “passengers now prefer price over quality” isn’t that much different.
The following simple analysis does not need an MBA degree, even though it helps to have one. Corporate Strategy course is definitely helpful and many textbooks can be found online in PDF, for free. I recommend one by Thompson - Strickland.
I will tell you the conclusion first: With a strong probability the end results would not be good for Simulogics’ own pockets ($$$).
- Such a fundamental model change turns AIlrinesim upside down.
- Long time established players/airlines would in grand majority not have desire or time to adjust to such fundamental change
- In such case they might prefer to liquidate
- If your liquidation is “forced upon you by circumstances” people usually tend to not start another airline or start on different gameworld
- Many gameworlds could find itself without a bulk of players
- You could say that would be good as old monsters would be gone, but
- It is a known fact Airlinesim player base has been steadily dwindling over the years
- It is a known fact an average new player now stays and spends less than average old player (does, and did in the past)
- Pool of aviation enthusiasts is limited and not growing much, player base is really a particularly tiny niche in ever-growing online gaming industry
- It is a known fact Airlinesim makes bulk of its revenue with temporary game worlds, this can be easily seen by observation and calculated
- If old gameworlds are left without bulk of players, the free space would not be taken by old players who had liquidated (remember, they have left at that point), but rather a shift of players would occur
- A shift of revenue would very probably occur for AIrlinesim, where temporary gameworlds might not be as juicy revenue stream as they are now
- Average revenue per gameworld would fall
- A situation would likely arise where many or majority long-term gameworlds would no longer be feasible to operate
- You might find out your own long term gameworld is set to close because of that reason
- Closing of some permanent gameworlds would make yet another batch of players leave
- Average revenue per user (ARPU) would fall. ARPU for old time players is higher than for new players, it’s old time players who tend to keep airlines on multiple gameworlds, in spite of this year over-50% rate hike
- After player and revenue shift from TGW to PGW, you might find out the number of temporary gameworlds goes down in frequency, from 3 concurrent to 1 concurrent
- I would also foresee a formidable number of players shifting from permanent game worlds to private game worlds, especially if copying the gameworld in its state would be posisble
- This would leave yet another hole in revenue stream for permanent gameworlds, leading again to much faster demise of many or all of them
- A very likely scenario, after all player and revenue shifting is done and the dust settles, is a one temporary gameworld, none or very few permanent game worlds, and bunch of private game worlds
- A total revenue for Simulogics, under such scenario would be substantially less than it is now (remember, attrition always happens, pre-state and post-state and never the same)
- End result might be that Simulogics realizes it no longer makes sense to spend any more time and resources on development of Airlinesim and leave ongoing stuff (private game worlds, temp. worlds) run their course for as long as they do
- Effectively, such situation would be come a demise of Airlinesim
Now you have it Bobb, please tell me where I send you an invoice for consultancy
Most likely the response to this is that it is very bleak prediction, that things would be different and so on. Effectively, this is only one of the scenarios. But Airlinesim history (observing player behavior in various types of situations), checking facts of the past, and confronting past predictions with what turned out to be the reality, it all leads me to believe strongly in my analysis to stating that the scenario presented above would be the very likely one.
Amen! it should be done right, with a new ORS, not with prohibited.
The ORS is not the major problem, the passenger distribution is. That is why many players use samller aircraft to fill them up easily. That is why the largest longhaul fleets consist of narrowbodies. That is why it makes no sense to use widebodies on midrange distances (combined with the totally unrealistic turn around times), and that is also why we have major slot blocking issues.
So already by now a 737/320 with a realistic seating configuration of lets say 180 passengers is unfillable (ok, lets not focus on China). Now there comes an “update” (i would call it downgrade), that makes it impossible to fill a narrowbody with seats that are way more luxurious that in real life. So the outcome is relatively easy to foresee:
- Oh, I need new seats which offer way higher seating capacity in my aircraft
- after spending tons of money on new seating configurations I realize that my seats are now up to date again, but due to the known issues with the distribution I can not fill my aircraft anymore
- Ok, I need smaller aircraft
- I replace 737/320 by CRJ/E jets
- I realize that I can not even fill these aircraft as the passenger distribution system is not favouring aircraft with a large number of seats at all
- By now no single slot will open up as I only replace larger aircraft by smaller ones
- I run out of money and my airline is deleted
Will I start again: No, that game is a waste of time and a very frustrating experience. Not because I did not get the system of the game, but because the game developers did not suceed in understanding their own product due to a lack of gaming experience or time or interest or maybe all of it. With the change implemented on Yaeger we can easily delete most of the seats available. There is simply no use for them anymore.
The issue presently can not be solved with this adaption, passenger distribution is the main issue! As long as widebodies have incredible high turn around times even on shorthaul flights the are not competitive. Passenger distribution even makes it a lot worse.
- we have 100 daily passengers between A and B
- we have a total of 3 flights between A and B all equally rated with 99 ORS (1 A380, 1 A321, 1 CRJ700)
- each flight will receive a total of 33,3 passengers
=> and we are still wondering why the hell we have a slot issue? Well, the larger the aircraft the larger its disadvantages. The CRJ700 will earn money while all the rest remains in red numbers, especially the A380.
my approach to it:
- we have 100 passengers between A and B daily
- we have 600 seats offered between A and B with an equal rating of 99 ORS
=> every 6th seat offered will be occupied
=> lets assume an A380 with 440 seats, an A321 with 120 seats and an CRJ with 40 seats => 73 passengers in the A380, 20 in the A321 and 7 in the CRJ700.
=> now all operator realize a major surplus in their capacities and ALL need to adopt their offers. One (A380 operator) may chease the connection while the A321 may be replaced by a E170 with 60 seats and all of a sudden both flights are fully booked. That would make a lot more sense from my point of view that giving the operator of a small jet a major bonus which in a highly competitive situation leads to smaller aircraft, more slots being blocked and even more unrealistic scenarios.
Turn around times of widebodies need to be adjusted massively. I understand a turn around time of an A380 of 2:30 for a 15:30h flight from DXB to LAX as it will need to fuel more that 220 tons of fuel which takes time, but why does it need the same turn around time for a flight from DXB to RUH where fueling is done is 20 mins?
=> adjust turn around times of widebody to depend on the lenght of flight! Presently they only reflect turn around times for the longest range they can offer, so the times will only improve => no imminent changes are required by any airline, only for optimazation it is beneficial to adjust flightplans => simply applicable on older servers.
My advice to the developers: Instead of sacrificing even more beleave of long term AS players in the product make a change as soon as you have a solution for the complete issue, and not only the outcome of it. Analyze, understand the issue and counteract. Presently you only see a outcome of numerous issues and try to compensate one of it without knwoing the source of it. That it is not possible. Solve passenger distibution and turn around times of widebodies and most of the issues in AS will besolved like slot blocking (widebodies earn money even on midrange flights, no use for CRJs on high demand routes as the margin is way lower) and unrealistic aircraft types. Issues like a rebalancing of the preferences of the AS passenger can easily be done afterwards in way smaller steps than on Yaeger. The present step surely goes way to far, but combined with the passenger distribution from my point of view it is driving AS in a totally wrong direction.
So for ages people have been complaining that the game is stagnant, that it’s no longer challenging, that developer “doesn’t care anymore”, etc.
Now that finally we see some attempt at developing going on (and particularly an attempt to deal with the one thing pretty much everyone agrees is messed up in the game - the ORS and how it distributes passengers) they complain that they can’t be bothered to learn, that if any change ever happens people will just liquidate and leave, that this will be the end of all things as we know it, etc.
I guess there’s just no pleasing some people. Whiners will be whining no matter what you do.
I’d really love to see this implemented in the older worlds. As I mentioned in the OP, I think it’d make the game much more realistic and interesting, and I also agree with Bobb who said that real airlines also had to adapt to shifts in the market. Just my two cents, we’ll see!
I would agree most of your ideas. I think booking distribution based on weighted average by capacity is a good way to start. However, the ORS update at least shows the development team is willing to make some improvements.
Let’s see if AS is able to make distribution system better in the future. Passenger type distribution and booking distribution both need to be improved, and then each passenger type should have its own ORS algorithm (economy passengers are price sensitive, first class cares about quality, and business class sits in between) and the game should be a very good simulation to real world.
There are some ways to build passenger type distribution. Assuming private jet owners book first class in AirlineSim, one simple way is to give passenger type distribution by city tier, e.g. Tier 1 cities have 10%F/35%C/55%Y, Tier 2 cities have 5%F/30%C/65%Y, and so on.
A better way is to distribute passenger type by route tier. In AirlineSim there are totally 55 route types (10-10, 10-9, 10-8, … , 9-9, 9-8, 9-7, …), and categorized into 21 tiers (10-10, 10-9, 10-8 = 9-9, etc.). The distribution of each passenger type across 21 tiers can be simply linear interpolation.
However, no matter how good ideas can be, it’s all up to developers’ willingness and available time…
We have played with the idea of such a distribution many times but when you think about it, it is just as broken as the pro-frequency bias we have right now. Why would someone simply operating a larger aircraft get a larger share of the market even though their product is identical? I agree that at the end of the day it might be the lesser of two evils, but I’m not a fan.
We are very well aware of the problems you describe and believe it or not, we have been thinking hard and a lot about them for many many years. It’s just not that simple of a problem to solve given the technical constraints we have to keep in mind.
I personally e.g. would strongly prefer to fly on board of a A320 only half full instead of a CRJ700 completely booked. Wouldnt you too? So why should I book a CRJ700 that has only one seat available while in this example the A380 is way empty? Beside my approach with the aircraft rating itself is also different. Judging a CRJ700 and an A380 both with 5 green bars does not sound logic to me. Way smaller overhead bins for hand luggage, a way worse atmosphere generating this “sitting in a small tube” feeling, way louder even on a forward seat compared to the A380… But that of course is a complete other story we are not talking about here.
I of course can not judge the technical constraints and requirements for change in the background, but from my point of view passenger distribution does penalize aircraft with a lot of seats too much to now make an approach to force operators to use less comfortable seats. How can this be the solution to the problem? If it stays like this SSJ and maybe in future MRJ will be the most operated aircraft in AS, even between large airports because filling up a A321 with 200 seats is just as complicated as filling a 200 seats A330 presently on shorthaul. So if anybody is planning realistically with A321 between London and Paris all I have to do is plan the same route as many times as possible per day with a way smaller aircraft and my opponent goes bankrupt. Is that a scenario AS sees as a more realistic playground? If you do, I can not agree.
Anyways, we do need changes, best also changes that can also be implemented on existing game worlds. So I like the feeling that finally AS moves back into something like a focus of the developers. But I am afraid without facing the issue at the source this patch will only fight some symptoms, just like the anti slot blocking patch did. And this is where we are again at the same issue. Smaller aircraft needed to be banned from larger airports, because players realized that passenger distribution strongly favours small aircraft and adjusted their flightplans accordingly. With a different passenger distribution there would never have been a need for such a patch, because the operator choosing a CRJ700 to fly between JFK and IAD mostly punished himself as he is earning way less money than with a A321.
And again, please adjust turnaround times for widebodies. They are way too long!
Ok so here is my answer to your slot/frequency problem:
Passengers need to be so price sensitive that it becomes nearly unprofitable to operate Regional jets. If you take a look in the real world it is fairly difficult to operate a Regional fleet profitable due to their much higher operating cost per seat. The only airlines still operating Regional fleets are big hub-and-spoke carriers who simply need a big network, and they refinance the losses on those flights with the revenues from long-haul flights that they wouldn’t be able to fill otherwise.
In Europe, nearly every single independent Regional airline went out of service in the last decade, and that is mostly attributed to the rise of LCCs.
Btw I totally agree that it’s completely illogic that CRJs have the full 5-star rating. They have a cramped cabin feeling and even just the necessity to gate-check any normal size rollaboard makes them less preferred by most frequent flyers.
You cannot do price sensitivity in Airlinesim without completely rewriting demand distribution, ORS and providing base for LCC operation. This exact thing what you decsribe is called Booking Classes and Diverse Passenger Types and its development has since long been abandoned. Reason: extremely complex undertaking in order to do it right.
Because to make price sensitivity work, you need to provide good base to be able to operate LCC, such as fast turnarounds (impossible in AS with current dynamic turnaround times), outsourcing, maintenance adjustments, very cheap aircraft (those huge LCCs get their aircraft for 30% of list price, and they sell them off after 4 years frequently at higher price than what they bought them for - simply because they buy so many aircraft - currently in AS your discount is limited to 5% off book price regardless if you order 300 aircraft at once), most of all they are able to charge for baggage, seat assignments, priority boarding, and all other onboard incidentals.
For LCCs, this make up frequently 50% or more of revenue. You don’t have to do this in Airlinesim and until the moment you do, LCCs will never work in Airlinesim, and therefore any price sensitivity would be a downward spiral, a bottomless pit. Airlines world over (legacies and LCCs) both are printing money nowadays because of additional charges they charge to passengers, and they have long abandoned price wars.
Also for BC/DPT you need to have legacy model work, which is also working extremely well in real world. For that you need frequent flier bases, using frequent flier programs, you need corporate contracts, preferred airline bookings, OTA arrangements with preferred display, new-generation distribution channels with hotlinking between major travel distributors and the airlines, you need global purchasing and inventory managements and so on …none of this is present in Airlinesim.
To do it right, you need to do it all. If you do only part A but leave out part B, it will be a disaster which will not work. You will get spamming and price wars and airlines liquidating and players leaving. And believe me, those legacy players with huge airlines spanning the globe, whom many new players detest and call “kraken” have more money in their airlines’ bank accounts, that if and when it comes to price sensitivity, at the end it would be them driving you out of the market and not vice-versa, because they could sustain those price wars for price-sensitive passengers for much longer than you could… So bring it on… but I would not be so sure you would want that.
To sum up, most of you talk from a pure passenger perspective and it’s very clear and obvious to concerned observer, because most of you who have posted here have absolutely zero idea about the workings of airlines behind the curtains, both LCCs and legacies. Reading some aviation business books would help, there can be many found online. And I can share several GB of PDF materials that will make you self-earn MBA in Aviation Management and Finance. You might need few years’ worth of time to read through it all, though.
I disagree with your comment “Why would someone simply operating a larger aircraft get a larger share of the market even though their product is identical?” In fact, market share is the most important thing in the aviation industry, it means you can grow faster and expand wider, and eventually kick your competitors out of market.
If you have a fixed amount of capital, you have two options: use cheaper planes to quickly expand network, or stand in some highly profitable routes and grab as as much share as possible. To achieve the latter, you can either dump too many small planes or use bigger planes. There is a balance between the two based on the demand, but bigger plane is definitely a common approach in reality because of better efficiency and profitability, and customers tend to avoid small planes when they book. I would say in reality a company may be 50-50 between small and big planes, but now in AS small has too much advantage over big.
The key is the highlighted part: Why would someone simply operating a larger aircraft get a larger share of the market even though their product is identical?
The suggestion made above hard-codes the size of the aircraft as a rating criterion into the distribution formula in the same way the current system hard-codes the frequency into it. But both aircraft size and frequency should be part of the rating that is already done and finished before distribution actually starts. Because to some types of passengers the aircraft type and size matters while the majority doesn’t even care about the make. Same goes for frequency…some types of business pax with flexible tickets will prefer a flight with an airline that offers frequent connections. But to the majority of people, it doesn’t make a difference.
So both the current systems as well as the one proposed on this thread are broken by design. In an ideal world, we would pseudo-randomly generate individual passengers, each with their own preferences in accordance with certain statistical distributions. Then we would have a booking behavior more similar to the real world in that each pax looks at what’s available in the market and books the one connection that best meets their needs. But for obvious reasons, that’s not possible to do. So we need to come up with something in between this hypothetical and the currently implemented extreme.