Over recent times, we have seen an increase in the number of complaints on the IFC regarding ill behaviour on the Expert Server. I am sure that all of us can agree that something needs to happen in order to restore the image of the Expert Server to “Expert” and not “Training Server+”. Many have been pondering over many ideas which could help the situation, but all ideas so far are, to say the least, are “problematic”. I have an idea which I would like to share with the community and to read to the feedback that it gets.
Before going on to describe my idea in its entirety, I would like to go over some other ideas which have been brought up in the community recently to help the Expert Server. This way I can differentiate my idea from the others which have been brought up and with the process of elimination arrive at the idea I am proposing.
One idea which has gained a fair bit of publicity is increasing the requirements needed to join the Expert Server. The main flaw in this idea (regardless by how much the requirements are increased) is that increasing numerical requirements to join the Expert Server would not actually get rid of players who are misbehaving, as one cannot put a numerical value on behaviour. As a result, well-behaved players with relatively low stats will be penalised. Furthermore, it is no secret that a high XP level and a high landing count is not a sign of a behaved pilot. A pilot who has no regard for rules can still achieve a higher XP level and a higher landing count to fly on Expert. This proposal just delays both good and bad pilots from accessing the Expert Server and is therefore not a sensible way to deal with the current issue.
A conclusion can be drawn that an ideal solution will not place numerical values unrelated to pilot behaviour as a standard to determine whether a pilot has access to the Expert Server.
The second idea which has been talked about a bit is giving more users access to the ability to ghost other pilots while flying. The issue here is that those who are believed to be behaved pilots already have this ability (not just the moderators and staff). Performing additional tests to see if a user (who does not already have this ability) is a behaved pilot is not practical and would take an immense amount of valuable time and resources. This idea loses its grounds on this basis.
A conclusion from this idea is that an ideal solution would not rely on a select group of individuals to “carry” the standard of the Expert Server, but rather that it should be a joined effort of all users. However, this current group of individuals have already made an impact by ghosting a fair few pilots whilst flying themselves. Therefore, it should be noted that an ideal solution would weigh different users and their position in Infinite Flight (such as if one is a member of IFATC) when considering if another pilot is not behaving appropriately enough to be allowed on the Expert Server.
There are other ideas floating about which I could go into detail explaining their flaws, but at nearly 600 words and a fair few people who have stopped reading by now, I think it’s time to share my idea.
PFS (Pilot Feedback System) is a system which uses all the other ideas’ flaws to its advantage. The principle idea is that all users, ATC and pilots, can leave numerical feedback which directly relates to a user’s behaviour. If a user is misbehaving on the Expert Server, other users can leave “Negative” feedback (-1 point from their feedback score). If an IFATC member is leaving Negative feedback on a user, it is “weighed” more than if just a normal user left Negative feedback (could be -2 points from their feedback score). If an ATC Supervisor or above is leaving feedback, it is subsequently weighed more than if an IFATC member or a normal user left feedback (could be -3 points from their feedback score).
The way a user gets punished for having Negative feedback is very much up to debate (feel free to leave those in replies). My initial thoughts are:
If a user’s feedback has gone down 3 points in one session, send the user a warning message (similar to the violation warning message) stating that others users rated their behaviour as inappropriate for the Expert Server and that they should change their behaviour or be suspended from the Expert Server.
If a user’s feedback has gone down 5 points in one session, the user is ghosted and is unable to access the Expert Server for a week.
If a user’s feedback has gone down 10 points in one week, the user is ghosted and is unable to access the Expert Server for a week.
If a user’s feedback has gone down 20 points in a month, the user is (ghosted?) and is unable to access the Expert Server for a month.
And so on…
Note: users with ghosting abilities as pilots (or IFATC) can still use their report buttons. Ghosting other users will also decrease their feedback score by 5 points.
Similarly, if a user has behaved in a positive way (such as giving way to a user while taxiing), other users can leave the user “Positive” feedback (+1 point to the user’s feedback score). The weighing system is similar to Negative feedback, an IFATC’s and a Supervisor’s (or above) feedback is weighed more (+2 and +3 respectively). The system punishes users who misbehave but at the same time rewards users who “go the extra mile”.
Note: if a pilot hasn’t received any feedback for a session, “Neutral” will be applied. There will be not be any change to the pilot’s feedback score.
The total feedback score is visible for other pilots and controllers. This way, users will always try to go “the extra mile” and avoid misbehaving as their behaviour is always visible to other players. At the same time, those who could not care less about what other users think will ultimately get punished.
The way a user leaves feedback on another user is very simple. Here is an image to demonstrate (user’s display name and callsign have been blurred).
This system also prevents users with malicious intentions to abuse the system. Most users with ill intentions to get others ghosted will not be a part of IFATC and subsequently won’t be Supervisors. Therefore, it would now take 5 users to “troll” in order to ghost an innocent user (an improvement from 3 users the old system had).
Well… I think that’s about it! It took me quite a while to formulate this idea in my head, even longer trying to write it down. I wrote this all in one go and I hope that even if this idea isn’t added, it can be used as “food for thought” for those thinking about how to improve the Expert Server for the better. Any feedback on this system (or any general discussions on anything I wrote) are very much appreciated. Thank you for reading! :)
Note: This is not a feature request. Keep it in #live.