My name is Michal. Some of you may know me as Emirates 411. I’m slowly getting to Grade 4, but that is because I spend many many hours on ATC, as eruveo.
I know there were many updates that “fixed” how servers function and a lot of ideas as to how grades and servers should work, but this post is about a complex solution to the problem.
As a designer and someone who has spent a significant amount of money on IF, I don’t see any major changes happening that would benefit pilots and ATC. I mean 787 and 4 new ATC commands are nice, but is that all you can do in such a long period?
The biggest problem I see is discoverability and poor design. There is no tutorial, that would ensure all pilot know what ATC, left downwind, over speed, or “You’re in an active airspace” means. So you end up with only 4 flight plans out of 109 flights. Everyone knows LAX, the airport of anarchy. Filled with Grade 1 “learners”, or as we should call them trolls for 100% thrusting from a taxiway, the airport is unplayable and barely covered by any ATC.
The description of the Trolling Server is:
This is a training server with open access to ATC for who want to improve their skills. Rules are enforced on this server.
So in my view, only like half of the people want to improve their skills and enjoy pushback, waiting in line, ATC, approach and patterns. You can practice in Solo mode.
Let me ask, how are the rules enforced? I get so frustrated both as a pilot and ATC. The reporting doesn’t work and “Check Help Pages” or “Follow Instructions” is just useless.
The description of the Single Server, that barely anyone uses, because there are no ATC is:
This is a server where rules are strictly enforced. Air Traffic Controllers have the power to ghost users who do not respect the rules. Reserved for serious players only.
So that’s a great idea for advanced players like myself right? Sometimes, mostly not.
Mostly there are only 2 active airports, if any. Usually, the other one doesn’t even allow you to land your new 787. And then you fly for a few minutes and all ATC are gone. So that’s a great experience for a special server that you pay a lot of money for.
Why is the ATC coverage so poor?
Well, we do it for free. So that’s only for a very small amount of people. Plus you get all these players who don’t even know what instructions mean. There is no link to the forum or tutorial.
Maybe you could motivate players to learn to be an ATC. Do stats, achievements, give a free month of subscription for 24 hours of operation, and I guarantee you, IF will be amazingly good with all those operators.
And with this, add a button for players to report ATC. Some Grade 1 players like to take over big airports with minimal knowledge of the commands, and that isn’t good either
With Global Flight coming up in a few years (sarcasm), we surely need more ATC for all those new airports.
Final thought, maybe let the Grade 1 players see other pilots in Traning Server, but they are invisible to other players. So they can practice their crashes without disrupting a busy airport and ruining the game for everyone. Or maybe you need to play in solo mode for a bit and finish a tutorial before you’re allowed on Live.
My point is, with all the money we give to IF, we deserve better.
I urge IF developers and designers to look into something called Operant Conditioning, which is a design principle enforcing behaviour to the desired action and punishing for incorrect behaviour.
Thank you for taking your time to read this and I look forward to the discussion and critique.
I’ll see you all in KSAN, YSCB, KJFK, WSSS or EGLL soon,