I love this game, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit there are real problems with how ORS works and how the game favors high luxury/low capacity (with high cost) carriers over more realistic low frills, low cost, high capacity carriers.
I understand that limited slots per 5 minutes helps the game maintain realism. That would be fine if passengers buying tickets on ORS also maintained realism. The realistic air traveler goes on Kayak and books the lowest fair possible with the fewest connections. As such, our airlines reflect that with packed seating and 30" seat pitches with nickel and diming along the way.
The problem with the game’s ORS is we assume passengers are willing to pay significantly higher fees if they get luxuries with it. This forces players to reduce capacity and thus a player needs to use 8 flights (meaning 8 slots are taken) to fulfill demand that realistically should be filled with 4 flights taking 4 slots at realistic capacity.
This game will continue to be broken and long term servers will continue to die until this problem is fixed as slot availability becomes constrained by the fact that smaller passenger loads are taken on each slot. We have 737s carrying 90 pax max when in reality they should be loaded with 170 seats. Either slots need to be increased beyond realistic levels (only fair because our passenger loads per flight are not at realistic levels) or the game needs to be structured sot that passengers don’t pay higher fees for luxuries and players are given incentive to put more seats on their planes and lower prices to gain customers.
Until slot availability is opened up, it is impossible to launch a start-up and compete on a long term server. However, slot availability will always be constrained so long as players are encouraged to use them with passenger loads that are inherently inefficient.
A ORS rebalance exactly adressing your mentioned issue is being tested on the latest temporary servers, if you’re not aware of that. Try it out (and please give some feedback, as no one else seems to care about it).
Not even close to the truth. Long term servers are perfect for start-ups. Just look at Stapleton. It was launched in 2011 - and I started a small chinese carrier in 2017. I made sure that my ORS were better than my competitors. Right now I have more than 800 planes in my fleet. Although it’s still impossible for me to get slots in Beijing.
I’m pretty sure that most experienced players will actually prefer startup’s at old established servers, rather than new worlds, where every single 10 bar airport fills up on day 30.
(And why? You can often secretly swoop in, at an old server without people taking notice…)
More slots is exactly NOT what you’d want to get a more competitive start-up.
Pax are distributed via frequency and more slots = more frequency for the “big players”. And that means less of the cake if you only have 10m$ to start with.
Keep checking the “Big Thread of Opportunties” sometimes a big airline finally calls it quits on the old servers and there are huge openings. I recently started in Australia when the big fish on a server called it quits.
Also try something different. I have been trying to get a Cuban airline off the ground on an old server. Part of the fun in this game is struggling and learning what works/does not work. Some of the most fun I have had is with tiny turbo props and a few regional jets.
I played on Meigs for about 2 years after it launched but quit due to similar frustrations.
I’ve been playing on Yeager for about the last month trying out the new ORS tweaks and have found the customers to be far more price sensitive than they are on the old servers. A price movement of a few percent can knock down the ORS score for the flight by a few points.
The new ORS is quiet a good medicine for your concern.
Pax is extremely sensitive to price which means you can easily build a low cost carrier instead of being forced to be one of the luxury carriers.
However, it is reasonably more difficult to do start-up in old server, sometimes even when the slot availability is opened up.