Many servers suffer from low amount of players to make game competitive and fun.
I started my first big airline on Stapleton and invested a lot of time in it. Then Hoover launched. I abandoned my airline on Stapleton. I invested a lot of time into Hoover, and then Xiguan launched. There was a spam on airlines being deleted on Hoover as people abandoned them to go to newest server. No longer fun or competitive to stay there, playing against remaining zombie airlines that have enough cash to go on for months even if the player doesn’t log in at all. Same is already hapening to Xiguan as many players move on to private servers. So, instead of creating more servers, there should be incentives to start playing on old servers, such as:
-new features rolled in - why bother playing old version?, existing airlines should either adapt to new reality or cease to exist, just like in real world
- long term of very low agex that would either wipe existing airlines or cause them to downsize, opening slots for new players, followed by
- time limited cash incentives for new players, such as 20M instead of 10M for start
- differentiate servers. No point of having all similar servers. Change rules on some of them. Again, existing airlines should either adapt or cease to exist.
You do realize that if people abandon old servers and move on to newer ones it automatically leaves a huge gap that can be filled by a newcomer, thus making the old server more attractive again?
All of the suggestions you made have been discussed previously, and the general issue is that there is quite a lot of people on the old servers who paid a massive amount of money to build and establish their airline, and making life hard for them in order to make newer players interested would see their airlines (and thus also their money somehow) go down the drain. Possibly AS would loose quite a lot of longterm reliable paying customers just in an effort to make the servers more attractive to a few newer customers who might not stay for long.
I built a fairly large airline on Hoover starting almost a year after the server was launched, and I’ve heard of many stories where people creeped into markets on servers that were already running for several years. All you need to do is keep your eyes open and grab the opportunity once it shows up.
I think we’re seeing this on Xiguan now, as you know (you operate 3 of the top 20 airlines on this server in pax/wk). I also operate on Xiguan (albeit with only 1 of the top 20) and this is my first time seeing low AGEX for this long.
Too bad people just delete when things get difficult, the game doesn’t offer much flexibility to downsize / restructure the airline. Everything requires tedious effort of deleting or replacing unprofitable routes, reassinging planes. People just don’t bother and leave.
Beside long term players that stay, maybe not online daily, but they are here for years or even decades. But most of your proclamated changes would make life a lot more difficult for them, maybe even force most of them to leave. Once you saw all your efforts going down the drain for some new features it is not very likely you come back. AS has experienced this before, back in times when there were only a few servers and everything was a Beta.
If you want daily competition maybe the servers that reset are better for you. Longterm servers are, as the name already implements, made for players focussing on longterm goals. May it be in marketshare, fleet size, alliance goals or just spending time with AS enthusiasts. There are players being online daily on very old servers and there are also some that only show up once a month but used to be much more active. Some even return after a break and decide to be much more active again. Maybe even you someday loose some interest in AS and are happy to return after a 3 months break without the need to start with 10 mio AS$ again but just continue where you stopped before. This game platform is not WOW where you might play for hours a day, this is more considered as a long term strategy game where it does not matter if your private life needs a focus for several weeks and where having children does not ruin you invested gameplay of the past years. That may be kind of frustrating for new players that would like to play 8 hours a day and that can not await to fleet in the next plane expecting some kind of reward for their activity, but it is also an important comfort feature for longterm players that AS has promoted right from the start. Changing this, though your ideas also have benefits, would request a major change from the clients of AS as well as a complete change in gaming philosophy of AS.
I personally believe, that updating the older servers with the new features would not gain a single additional player. At the beginning of the year we have seen numerous features that should be implemented this year like a historic server, aircraft conversions, aircraft upgrades, booking classes… Ok, the year is not over now, but by now nothing has changed. And I guess, even with the new features the number of AS players would not have increased. Maybe some AS players would start on an additional server if the configurations are interesting… but in general AS is a niche game and it will never be able to run 20 servers with 1000 players each. The demand for this kind of games is simply not there. So for me it is logic, that older servers have less players. With the growing size of the fleet and a pressure raise in the competition some win and some loose. A game in which everybody wins is no challenge. At the end the demand of the server is transported by 70,80,90… players with larger fleets and maybe numerous airlines. That is always the same and will not change in future. If there are 2 active airlines in a country like Thailand operating 2000 aircraft the is no space for an additional player, no matter what the configuration of it may be.
Personally the way the game is on old servers is perfect, I have a very busy life outside this game, i might only look at my airline 2 times a month, but its something fun to have and love the long term strategy of it. Older servers are far more enjoyable because of this.
I do agree though there should be some form of corporation tax that takes away chunks of money for the big guys, some airlines are huge and have been around since 2011 with billions in the bank.
Then number of players is decieving though, Stapleton has 220 airlines on it, it makes for very competitive market and in the real world, its very similar. Think about Europe IRL, 3 major airline groups and 2 or 3 big LCC.
Regarding Hoover: the low AGEX before the summer, combined with some silly mistakes made early in the game made liquidate on Hoover, a few months ago. Even if I probably would have survived, but with a much smaller airline. Despite this, I enjoyed Hoover also after other worlds opened.
And just like the real world: Consolitation in not uncommon
Silly mistakes are somehow the salt in the soup. I did a wrong aircraft selection during startup for a small island hopping airline in the pacific. Cancelled the lease after a few weeks and slowly growing since then. Quite tedious to retrain staff and to fire people. But enjoying the graph highlighting the slow progress showing success of the effort.
I definitely disagree on the benfits of a low AGEX. I think the current situation on Xiguan shows perfectly that a sustained low AGEX is benefitting almost entirely to the major airlines. A big hub flow can attract most of the remaining traffic and with huge idle capacity it is easy to fill the gaps of smaller airlines that go bust.
I like the idea of increased starting capital though. Let’s say for running servers that are at least a few months old, this could defnitely make new competition more interesting and ease out the bottleneck of the early stages.