Airtycoon 2

Confused about the competition

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Confused about the competition

Post  jeffr47 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:08 pm

I am really enjoying this game, however - I'm frustrated by the competition model on the routes. It doesn't seem to work how I expect.

Some examples (for passengers per week, I'm assuming all economy class for simplicity):

Chicago-Marseille
Me : 777-300, 2 per week, A service, 664/1660/3320, 75% occupancy. (1650 passengers per week)
Cpu: 767-400, 7 per week, A service, 823/2060/3955, 94% occupancy. (4935 passengers per week)

NY-Berlin:
Me : 777-300, 4 per week, A service, 594/1485/2980, 85% occupancy. (3740 per week)
Cpu: 777-200ER, 7 / week, A service, 711/1777/3412, 99% occupancy. (6098 per week)

I'm winning the #1 service awards. (Maintenance=72.8, Ads=78.8, Service=79.9)

So why am I getting beaten?


An even simpler example using freight:
Same route, same plane (B777F).
Me : B777F, 5 per week, 1250 per ton, 84% capacity. (940 tons total)
Cpu: B777F, 11 per week, 1342 per ton, 91% capacity. (2422 tons total)


I don't understand why I'm getting trounced so badly. Are there hidden factors that come into play? I must have the top service rating, since I keep winning that award. I beat them for price. So why do I get less business? This seems to be the case for almost every route I fly: unless there is so much traffic that we are both at 100% capacity, I get less traffic even if I beat them for price and service.
scratch

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Re: Confused about the competition

Post  jeffr47 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:05 pm

As a followup to this, I don't understand how the choice of plane affects the demand.

Data from two turns, on a route with 3 competitors flying A340-500 (2) or B777-200ER.
Turn 1, I flew a 787-8, 2 runs, 37% capacity. Next turn, I switched to a A340-500 and jumped to 87% capacity over 3 runs. That's a LOT more passengers when the ONLY change was the type of aircraft. WHY? I don't get it... do passengers on that route hate Boeing?

Two more examples:
Turn 1: 777-300, 527 passengers, 55% full, 3 trips for 1707 passengers total.
Turn 2: A310, 216 passengers, 100% full, 10 trips for 4320 passengers total.

Turn 1: 747-400, 541 passengers, 54% full, 2 trips for 1168 passengers total.
Turn 2: A330, 250 passengers, 99% full, 5 trips for 2475 passengers total.

In each of these cases, the only change was the aircraft. Fare was the same. It doesn't seem like the choice of airplane should make such a huge difference. (hell, I'd rather fly on a plan 55% full and have an empty seat near me than a plane 99% full, but the passengers in Air Tycoon 2 seem to like a crowded plane!)


Last edited by jeffr47 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:23 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added two more examples)

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Re: Confused about the competition

Post  triggywiggy on Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:47 pm

Hi there,

The planes effect demand by their popularity, The A340 is allot quieter than the 777

With the competitor comparisons passengers will tend to go with the airline that has the most flights, Why? because they offer more times, also can you list the prices you are charging you passengers and that of your competitor? Also a 6-7% capacity difference ain't that much, It is only a drop of about 12 seats compared to a competitor and i doubt 12 seats will make enough money to effectively change the situation.
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Re: Confused about the competition

Post  jeffr47 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:06 pm

triggywiggy wrote:Also a 6-7% capacity difference ain't that much, It is only a drop of about 12 seats compared to a competitor and i doubt 12 seats will make enough money to effectively change the situation.

I'm sorry, I've kept playing the game so I don't have the prices for those routes at the timepoint I quoted. I wasn't undercutting them by a few dollars, it was at least 15%.

The main difference isn't the 6% difference in occupancy, it's that I'm flying the route less than half as often AND have lower capacity, despite a lower price. It's the same plane. And I don't think freight cares much about noise. Smile I did notice, however, that over time I caught up. So is it a matter of how long I've flown the route?

But as you've said, there are hidden factors that come into play. It feels a little unfair to me that "hidden" attributes of the airplanes can have such a big effect, when there is no way to find this information out from within the game. Do you expect the average user to know that an A340 is quieter than a 777?

I would like to suggest that if factors like this are used to determine how competitive our companies are, then there should be some way for the us to find out this information. Ditto things like fuel economy, maintenance costs, and so on, if those are part of the calculation. If it can't be done within the game, at least put the complete data sets for the airplanes on the website. The CEO of an airline wouldn't have to guess at this information, and neither should we!

To put it another way, it feels like you are putting things on the exam that you didn't cover in class. Very Happy

Just some constructive criticism - the game is great fun. But I'm annoyed that I can't grind the competition into dust once they've got a toe hold!

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Re: Confused about the competition

Post  flydavis on Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:01 pm

jeffr47 wrote:
triggywiggy wrote:Also a 6-7% capacity difference ain't that much, It is only a drop of about 12 seats compared to a competitor and i doubt 12 seats will make enough money to effectively change the situation.

I'm sorry, I've kept playing the game so I don't have the prices for those routes at the timepoint I quoted. I wasn't undercutting them by a few dollars, it was at least 15%.

The main difference isn't the 6% difference in occupancy, it's that I'm flying the route less than half as often AND have lower capacity, despite a lower price. It's the same plane. And I don't think freight cares much about noise. Smile I did notice, however, that over time I caught up. So is it a matter of how long I've flown the route?

But as you've said, there are hidden factors that come into play. It feels a little unfair to me that "hidden" attributes of the airplanes can have such a big effect, when there is no way to find this information out from within the game. Do you expect the average user to know that an A340 is quieter than a 777?

I would like to suggest that if factors like this are used to determine how competitive our companies are, then there should be some way for the us to find out this information. Ditto things like fuel economy, maintenance costs, and so on, if those are part of the calculation. If it can't be done within the game, at least put the complete data sets for the airplanes on the website. The CEO of an airline wouldn't have to guess at this information, and neither should we!

To put it another way, it feels like you are putting things on the exam that you didn't cover in class. Very Happy

Just some constructive criticism - the game is great fun. But I'm annoyed that I can't grind the competition into dust once they've got a toe hold!

I agree I didn't know what the "quietness" is a factor that determines pax capacity in this game ..I would think that the price of the tickets always determine the popularity of the airline..I wouldn't care if I fly a 777 or a 340 ..as long it gets from A to B at a cheaper price.

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Re: Confused about the competition

Post  TJ Bender on Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:07 pm

I'm going to have to agree as well. Things like fuel burn, maintenance costs, and passenger preference scores need to be visible to us in-game. If there's a strong enough preference towards one type of aircraft that it can result in the competition having higher fares, lower service and a higher load factor, then that's information that should be visible to us. I'm kind of getting a feel for which airframes are preferred and which are not (here's a hint: if it's built by Boeing and it's not the 787, passengers don't seem to like it), but that's information we should really have available to us when we make decisions about which aircraft to buy. If the A320 (as I suspect) costs less up front but costs more to maintain on the back end and/or burns more fuel, again, real airlines can see that. We should be able to as well.

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Competition

Post  Bearmud on Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:09 pm

I currently have a game in which none of the factors above are actually the case here's the info:

Easy Mode
New York -> Miami

My flights:
CRJ-1000 (5) 90 flights/week 200/535/0 A service 81% occupancy

Competition
CRJ-1000 (1) 18 flights/week 231/577/0 A service 90% occupancy

I am also #1 passengers, #1 company value, Max staff in all areas, max advertising/maintenance/customer service and winning the award for best service each time. This is just one route I'm being beat on despite lower prices.

Even if there are "hidden" factors that affect flights, the AI should not be using this to it's advantage in easy mode, save that for hard mode and let easy mode pick the crappy planes to truely make it easy. Normal should be where they make some smart and some poor decisions (like the rest of us). And hard should always choose the model with hidden values and fly the best routes.

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Re: Confused about the competition

Post  TJ Bender on Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:32 pm

You're running 90 flights to the competitor's 18. Yes, they have a higher load factor despite all other things being equal, but I'd bet that if you cut 5-7 of your frequencies out, your load would jump up to 90% as well. Assuming you're running 96 pax on each CRJ-1000 (since you do have a business class, my guess would be 92Y, 4J), you're talking about moving 10,368 people per week. The demand may not be there, and you're just feeling it more because you have 4 and a half times the flights of your competitor.

Personally, on intermediate routes like NYC-MIA, I prefer to use E-190's or E-195's (if not even a 73G/A319) because of their higher capacity, which allows me to run fewer flights and keep costs down.

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