Thoughts on the game

As most of you frequent visitors and discord spammers will know I been around since the start and mainly spend my time on testing things and making some video guides. Today however I am not talking about my latest experiment, or video guide, but some honest and candid thought on the game and the systems within it. To be clear these are my opinions and you may agree or disagree as you desire, all I ask is that you properly explain why.

Let’s get into it:

As it stands the game is hilariously easy if you know what you are doing, a fresh airline can be netting 5 to 10mil a day after about a few days to a week and come a month and a half or 2 later you are setting on a big fleet netting 100-150mil or more depending on how you plan your fleet and routes. The growth is truly exponential and this is in part due how the demand and price formulas work, but also in how few operational costs we have. As was pointed out for example by fsclips on discord the staff counts the game has calculated are way way off sometimes by a factor of 400%. How this alone is not the solution as even with staff properly adjusted and paying well above market rates I don’t really care the costs are still marginal. Taxes could be added like VAT to take off an other chunk of the profit, but even then it doesn’t really stop.

I think there are 3 key factors that make the game to easy that play much bigger roles than staff or taxes and these are the used aircraft market and the profit margins we run at. For example lets look at a route of AMS-HND

If you look online for some prices as of checking I see 600 to 850USD for an economy ticket, 1150 to 1850 for prem econ, 2150 to 4200 for business and 8800 to 16000 for First class.

Now if I look at what I would charge in game with prices I lowered a bit to suit my shorter routes as I am to lazy for a per route price: 1550 for econ, 5500 for prem econ, 20000 for business and 25500 for first class.

This means we are looking at in game prices which would support multiple daily flights that are anywhere from over double to almost 5 times what the real world equivalent would be. To me it is clear the formula needs adjusting to greatly reduce demand at above default prices and the games default prices overall need about a -10/15% adjustment, save for prem econ which needs an adjustment of -50/60% as it is far far to high atm.

So that would sort out the profit margins to a good degree, the next item of issue is the used market and how the game feeds it with automatically generated planes. While on paper a nice idea to always have something on there and to sell older no longer in production planes for the sake of realism, in practice it is rather game breaking. Number 1 older planes are dirt cheap, but still not that much more expensive to run making them great choices and the market supplies them rapidly and number 2 even for newer planes time is often money meaning buying them used means they can start earning from day 1. I honestly think the automatic generation should be completely removed and leave the market to players only and if you wish to still generate a small number of planes do this through the auction method as this would be more fair to people who are not around as often. As for the older planes either their operational cost needs to be greatly increased or their purchase price needs to go up to be much closer to newer planes. With either of those limits in place you can sell them at an unlimited rate and just give people a choice in what they like to operate and deal with the pluses and negatives of their choice, in the end it is still a game and that sometimes need to take priority over realism.

Finally leasing, it is to damn powerful, with current PM on one of my A350s it would take 20 years for the purchased plane to earn more money than the leased plane, which means leasing is by far the best way to go at it. I think leasing costs prob need to go up by a factor of 10 or even more, no business would take just 1.3mil a month on a 300mil asset that would not cover the depreciation of the asset. Along with the higher costs the cap from the credit rating should be removed, it should be more of a case that you can lease if you prove you can cover you current leases, so say each week you pay for your leases you can lease for X amount more. It should really be just a way for people to get started and not for people like I do to have a 150 leased wide body fleet, that should never be a profitable way to run an airline.

O and on a last note one should not be gate/slot restricted at their HQ, that airport should allow you to get unlimited dedicated gates cause it is your home base and big airlines could never live with so few slots.

Now surely there are more things to make note of, but these are some key and fundamental issues that really just affect the game overall as it currently stands, but also for the future with more features added.

Also Unknown I love you for making the game, but you know I will be honest in my opinion :slight_smile:

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I like your discontent and I agree. The fact is that sooner or later you will have a great airline producing a large amount of money and with many routes. I believe that the game should not be difficult but should have more things to do. What things could be done? Collect passengers stranded at an airport, send planes to maintenance hangars periodically, increase flight frequencies when there are special events or special dates, etc. We should do things that get us out of routine.

Carde great write up like always! I’ll chime in on the leasing from real life Aviation industry experience and knowledge in aviation it’s cheaper for an airline to lease vs purchase cause when you lease the leasing company pays for 75% of every phase check the plane goes into plus when you lease required spare parts to keep in stock from Boeing (for example that’s what I have my experience with) drops to about 50% of what is originally required. Also leasing prices are a bit high especially on 738’s leasing prices should change with credit rating cause current monthly lease on 738’s in game is just under what a brand new start up airline with no credit pays. I’ll tell you my sources and more details if you’d like to know over DM’s cause it is information I don’t want public hahah

Btw merry Christmas!

It may be an easy code change for new routes to have a cost inbuilt into the route creation, if the costs is too much the formula should drop the seat sales.

Aircraft should be taken out of service once they reach the “check” required schedule, ad-hoc service issues such as bird strikes, tail hits should also bring the profits down, as if the airline has no spare capacity short term leasing is needed as this is a business in itself.

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Some thoughts on realism about the game:

  • We need A, B, C and D checks. Even if they don’t have to be scheduled yet, as that’s more difficult to work out on a per-aircraft basis, we should require that the airlines pay for them as they would be completed on an IRL schedule, in which each check is done after a certain number of hours.

  • Random accidents, but very rarely. At most once per airline per year, but maybe have some factor that could cause more to happen

  • Turn times. The minimum turn time for most aircraft is very low compared to how long it actually takes many airlines to turn the plane around.There should be a penalty for delays caused by too-short turns

  • As Carde said, the pricing model can use some work. Even if we were to ignore the real world, airlines can still charge more than their competitors in-game and still take all their passengers. For example, my PER-DEL route gets between zero and four passengers on it per flight (on a 98 seat plane :stuck_out_tongue: ), and my competitors charge higher prices. Simply because they’ve been on the route longer they’re getting higher loads than I am. IRL, if a new airline comes in with lower prices they’re usually going to get more than 4 pax on the plane. For example, look at Flair Airlines here in Canada, really our first low-cost carrier (Swoop does not count). Now, people can fly YVR-YYZ for around $250 return compared to $350-400 on Westjet or AC. And people do - from what I’ve heard Flair is doing really well on many key routes. However, in-game, airlines coming in with cheaper prices get rewarded with empty planes… rep shouldn’t be everything.

  • The gate system IMO could use some work. I loved the old one when the gate was “occupied” or “free”. I know the system didn’t work, but 10 daily departures seems a little low for a dedicated gate, and of course if those departures are all at the same time it just wouldn’t work. And as Carde said, having extra gates at HQs and Hubs should be allowed. For example, look at Newark. They love having United, as the hub puts them on the map - otherwise it’s just another not-big city near NYC. Other airports give extra gates to hub airlines as well - just look at many North American hubs.

  • The used market needs to shrink significantly in terms of auto-generated planes. Like each day I’ll see three or more A350-900ULRs spawn and that’s just too much. Airbus doesn’t even make them that fast lol. IMO we should have the used market spawn aircraft very rarely, and older/less popular ones on an even rarer basis. Because currently, all it is doing is providing fuel for airlines to just take off and grow exponentially. Even if the prices were the same as new aircraft, it’s still more convenient to go used because of the instant delivery. IRL, that doesn’t really happen too much. Of course, airlines buy used aircraft. But there’s a good reason that Boeing and Airbus are still in business.

  • Personally I’d love to see sub-leasing and player to player leasing (from owned aircraft). Good way to get some extra cash and deal with unwanted planes.

Now all that being said, I love the game and definitely enjoy playing it. These are just some suggestions to make it better and more competitive in the airline simulation category.

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Thanks guys

Generally I agree with all points brought up by @Carde and @zortan

honestly I was intending to spend December working on the A B C D maintenance checks but then we got hit with the scheduling bug and I spent most my time on that. Then the holidays came around.

Perhaps once we get the scheduling bug fixed I can set up a test environment (separate game world) where we can experiment with things more freely like different demand formulas, pricing formulas, used market generation and such. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. And maybe it’ll quench your thirst for those of you who want the ability to run two airlines :wink:

I know the old gate system that showed the in-use status and such was cool, but ultimately it didn’t really work. If that system were to come back I’d have to figure out a way to run everything in real-time, for every player, even when they are not logged in. I suppose I could run a script every single minute that would update status of gates and planes but I don’t know how much stress that would put on the server.

Removing used market auto gen is interesting… I could see how it could help. When you first start out the primary method of growth is leasing cheap used planes off the market. Remove or severely limit that option and you instantly make the game harder… but then we have the other issue of the beginning of the game being too slow/boring. It’s been pointed out by several members already that once you get your first 5 leased planes and set up initial routes, you can’t do much of anything else for 2-3 weeks. You’re essentially just waiting for your credit rating to increase so you can lease more planes.

Also just wanted to say, I know I been quiet around here recently, sorry for that. Real life has been extremely busy the past month, as some of you know I moved in December so that took up a lot of time. Additionally I’ve had to take up a lot more responsibility at work, which is ultimately how I’m able to pay for this game so that has to come first unfortunately.

But myself and lots of other members are all active in our Discord server, so if you want to keep in touch and stay up to date on the game developments that aren’t necessarily posted as an official update, come hang out in Discord with us :grinning:

Cheers to 2020 ya’ll :champagne: :beers:

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I would note that leasing old cheap used planes of the used market is probably the worst thing you can do for growth, the leasing cost on those old cheap planes is FAR to high compared to their value meaning you are better off leasing a almost brand new or just brand new planes which cost the same in lease and just buying the old ones.

I’ll touch on the leasing again it should be evaluated lease prices by your credit Rating if you really want to be realistic cause for example American isn’t paying over 600k a month for their 737 Max’s their paying more of the lines of 300-400k a month. The numbers are perfectly fine when starting out cause those are real world numbers for a new airline being they don’t have established credit so you’re going to pay a high rate