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