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Complaints and Suggestions for Improvement: RTWR 2007!

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Hi everyone,Might you please post here your views on how the race went this year? And what we might all do in the future?Complaints are good. Suggestions for improvement even better. We all want to have a "fun and fair" race that we can all enjoy. So please, lay out your ideas. (If we can get a discussion going, then that would be very helpful.)Thanks,Mike (and all)

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It might sound self severing, however here it goes. I enjoyed following the race this year. While I know that I do not have the skills required to fly a leg in the race I did fly many unofficially on Bush net as the race progressed. Maybe consider having a leg which can only be flown by pilots who have never entered the race (providing they have the necessary skills)ted

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While it may sometimes not look like it we're always open for anyone willing to fly a leg, it may just not be an opportune moment when we're at a stage where we can't accommodate the equipment they have available (which happened a few times this time around sadly).It's always good to have fresh blood and we welcome it. Only exception this year was really the Alpine challenge because of the extreme difficulty of the flights involved which we realised would likely be too much to handle for inexperienced pilots without special skills and equipment (especially because we flew it at night).In fact most of the highly experienced people involved with the team for years opted to not fly those legs because they deemed themselves to be lacking in the skills needed to successfully pull them off.Similarly, a 6 hour flight like the Oceanic crossings we had to do leaves too little room for error. You need an experienced pilot there whom the team can trust to pull that off without crashing. Again, even experienced team members excused themselves because they lacked the confidence in flying the aircraft needed for such a trip.If someone had come in with the experience required he would have been gladly accepted into the team and might have been given those legs if needed (maybe as a wingman under this year's rules).Same happened last year with the Concorde legs. In the end I and I think one other guy purchased a Concorde addon and spent a day practicing it just to have an emergency backup in case no pilots showed up. In the end the pilot who did pull it off was a volunteer recruited from the general forums who'd not flown for us before and instantly became a valued member of the team who made great contributions this year.A major problem with the scheme you're proposing is that it leaves too much to chance.What if it is decided that say every 10th leg must be flown by a new pilots without experience and when reaching that point noone shows up to take up the challenge for 2 days?During last year's event we went for that long or longer without any new volunteers popping in, putting extreme strain on the hard core of the team who were often awake for 36 hours or more to keep things going (which led to fatigue related errors costing us quite some time).

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The main problem this year was that it was too long.Good part of that was the altitude restrictions (though they turned out to be good fun at times, they did slow things down considerably).Last year's race at 4 days was just about the limit of the endurance of most people, this year's 5.5 days was only doable because we had a great and expanding team of skilled people available.In the end many of us are now seriously sleepy and probably not really productive in our real jobs for a few days at least ;)Such restrictions might make more sense when imposed on specific areas in combination with high stakes (like around mountain areas with several bonusses to be picked up or required stops to be made).Another thing is maybe the aircraft choices. Maybe restricting the race to aircraft with a maximum rated power output would allow a greater variety of aircraft to be used, making it more interesting overall (and more accessible to outsiders to take part who don't have access to the preferred race aircraft).

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Rookie Team?I can understand the desire to win and the reasons to limit certain key flights to experienced and know members. I appreciate the oppourtunity to connect and was able to fly 1 leg overnight. The other 2 nights I was available, they were crossing the oceans. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Perhaps there ought to be a rookie team to bring more people into the experience. It was still fun to connect and see how it was progressing. One thing that was really enjoyable with teamspeak and multiplayer was the experience of flying with other individuals. Also to see the world of FS too. I never knew the Aurora Borealis was modeled, and some of the sunrises and sunsets were incredible.It might be fun to arrange an ongoing series of flights and challenges that could be accomplished in a much shorter time period.

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Crazy idea that might not work... But I'm throwing it out there anyway.....Work with metamarty to work FSEconomy into the race. Give each team a certain budget, which needs to cover fuel, maintenance, and aircraft rental/purchase costs. Therefore, teams would need to find the fastest, yet most economical route around the world in order to finish with a positive amount of money left over in the team's wallet. That opens up another good possibility of having *two* trophies, one for the team who crosses the finish line first, and one for the team that has the most money left over. How it might work:-Each team gets a certain amount of money (specifically for the race, and would need to code a way to prevent team members from transferring team money into their own accounts to prevent abuse). Let's say each team gets $5 million to cover aircraft purchases, fuel and maintenance. Or maybe $10 million, depending on prices of aircraft, would have to seriously review the options....-Each team discusses and comes up with a list of aircraft the team would like to purchase, based on the aircraft the team members own. So, let's say the team decides to start the race owning 2 P51's, 3 Avanti's, 3 P-38L's, and a Howard 500. Aircraft can also be purchased during the race, if necessary. Also, aircraft can be rented as per the existing FSEconomy system.-The only way the same aircraft can be used on 2 legs in a row is if the previous pilot gives it up along with the baton so the next pilot can claim it. This, however, would take longer as the aircraft is handed off. To have 2 Avanti's, one Avanti can be ready for takeoff as soon as the other Avanti lands and hands off the baton.-Would need to have some way of transferring the unused aircraft from airport to airport. Could provide certain team members access to a special function to transfer an aircraft from one airport to another, which would cost the team a certain amount of money per certain amount of distance, to pay the virtual pilot/shipping company to transport the aircraft.-Pilots can carry assignments on race legs if they choose, earning the money for the team. So, if a team is starting to run short of funds, they can try to boost their funds by carrying assignments.-All team accounting would need to be made available to the race committee to ensure there is no cheating, as well as determine the "most money remaining" trophy winner at the finish line.-Could be more stuff I'm not thinking of.... The downside of all this is that it would be more complicated for newcomers and those race veterans not familiar with FSEconomy. That alone might be the single biggest reason not to use this idea.... Having to slow things down to make the aircraft fly more economical will also make the race longer, which is one complaint several people have already made regarding this year's rules...Other ideas:- As we discussed on TeamSpeak, a small bonus for successful wingman flight completions even after the main baton successfully lands. Say, 1 or 2 minutes per flight. Where, one flight might not make a difference, but will add up as more successful wingman flights are completed. Will have to leave it to the race committee to decide how the handoffs will be affected by the wingman (ie. if the wingman has to land before the next baton carrier departs, or the wingman simply has to land and post before the next leg has landed....)- As nice as it was to fly the classics for 15 minute legs and wait out the rest of the hour minimum, I'm thinking there needs to be a bigger minimum usage for these aircraft... Perhaps take each classic's flight speed and determine a minimum flight distance that each classic is required to be flown. Thus, the Jenny might be required to fly a minimum of 60nm, the DC-3 might be required to fly a minimum of 150-160nm, etc. And if the pilot is still able to land at the destination (satisfying the minimum distance requirement) in under an hour, the hour minimum time still applies. (I still admit it was fun just being able to fly each classic leg as a group flight and just sit back and relax while we waited out the remainder of the hour... :()- High-bonus MYSTERY bonus airports. Maybe do this for the 5-hour bonus airports, leaving the 3-hour bonuses as it currently is. Or, leave the 3- and 5-hour bonuses as it is now and add a few mystery bonuses with a higher reward (such as 10 hours). * Either way, the mystery bonus airports would start off with 1 or 2 clues, which would generally be the difficult clues. * Teams would have the option of "buying" additional clues by spending bonus hours. * If a team spends, say, 2 bonus hours for 2 clues and succeeds in finding the correct airport, they net the bonus minus the 2 hours they spent on the clues. (for a total of 8 if the mystery reward is 10, or 3 if the mystery rewards are 5, you get the picture) * If a team spends those same 2 bonus hours for 2 clues and fails to land at the correct airport, they still lose those 2 hours that they spent on the clues. * Team strategy comes into play when deciding if they need to buy additional clues, how many to buy, decide if it's worth spending the hours at all; as well as trying to solve the clues. * Only bit of confusion I can think of is how to report it on the forums as baton legs without giving away the answers to the competition. Perhaps choose different sets of bonus airports for each team? Create 3 (or 4) sets of bonuses, and have a game of "pick'em" before the race, maybe? (Having 4 sets means the last team to pick still gets a choice and not just whatever's left over, but creating 3 and forcing the last team to pick to get the last one left might also be the good way to go...) If all teams have the same list of mystery bonuses, and one team is 4 hours ahead of both the others, the 2 other teams could just watch what the lead team is doing and grab the correct answer if they recognize it.. * Pilots would not be required to mention in any of their posts that a particular destination is a guess at a mystery airport, and for strategic purposes, might be encouraged to simply make it look like a normal leg. Making it look like a normal leg is a MUST if all teams get the same mystery airports. Unless all teams have different mystery airports, this is something that MUST be kept as secret as possible... * Under no circumstances would the race committee reveal the correct mystery bonuses until after all teams have finished the race. NO bonus hours for bonus airports would be tallied until after all teams have finished the race. (Would tally the expenditures for additional clues, though, as they're purchased..) Only after all teams have finished would we find out if we landed at the correct airports or not for the mystery bonus rewards. Part of the mystery of the whole mystery bonus thing is the mystery of if we landed at the correct airport or not... ESPECIALLY if all teams get the same mystery airports! * It will be up to the race committee to decide if the mystery bonus is for specific airports in specific cities, or any airport in the specific cities. (For example, if it must be St. Andrews airport (CYAV) just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, or if any of Winnipeg's airports/airstrips (CYWG, CYAV, whatever Lyncrest's code is; as long as the default FS scenery considers it located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)) Maybe a combination of both, where some are just specific cities and others are specific airports.All I can think of right now....

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Stone,As much of an FSEconomy junkie that i am, I think that would by laying on way too much complexity on what already is a fairly complicated set of race rules. (#### FBO bonus assignments would have to coincide with the race but I made a quick $100K in between batons).I do agree that wingmen should count for something other than just insurance. I was lucky enough to carry the baton 5 times during the race and never flew wing and I did feel for my wingies when they would feel a little useless after I landed. I think there should be some sort of feeling of accomplishment for wingmen of flights that don't go wrong.Mike & All,While I did get to carry the baton a lot, it was only because I converted to a vampire and stayed up at night and slept during the day so I could get a flight in at 4am EST each night when we were short on pilots (I would have been wingman a few of those times if not for the fact that I purchased the p51 and avanti before the race so I could be competitive).My point is it would be nice to try and work out a flying schedule that lets people book a leg way in advance and then sleep at normal hours. I'm sure if they don't show up when the leg is on there will be plenty of pilots willing to fill in.I'm not complaining, I really really enjoyed flying for Team AVSIM, I'm just suggesting a way that might be easier on our wives.

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It was decided at the outset to not allow booking legs in advance in order to prevent all the legs being divided up between a small group of friends/compatriots before the race even started thus blocking out new people coming in trying to help out.I fully agree with that decision, it is hard enough to make room for them as it is when there are requirements for aircraft performance for many legs due to the chosen path (and subsequently the availability of suitable runways on that path).

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Hi Jeroen (and all)I fully agree with the 'No Booking Allowed' policy, but I want to recommend as strongly as I can, that people should be allowed to request a leg. Sure, it requires yet another thread to be created and monitored, but it is the only chance a hard working guy like Manolito has to get a leg. I really feel bad about some of the guys not getting to fly, because they didn't have MP/TS.BRGDSSven Sorensen, EKCH

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Observations of a first time participant...A target race time of 4 days would be wise. This year's race was long. Real life responsibilties can tend to skew the end results do to folks having to forsake racing for paying the RL bills and putting food on the table.The Duenna should be frozen at least 2 weeks before start of the race. Last minute tweaking of this critical component can be unnerving at best, and downright frustrating any other time. Also, simplify the flight logger. It's become bloated with "features", and is simply too "trick". Keep it simple and working all the time every time.The wide ranging PARs are a libabilty to the future of the race. Part of the important aspect of strategy in this event is choosing the appropriate altitude for any specific leg. Limiting PARs take part of that strategy away from the teams. Having said that, PARs in specific legs would indeed add to the challenge. More on this below.The challenges (such as the Berlin Airlift and Alpine Challenge) added greatly to the race. Both required high specific team coordination and planning, aspects that only serve to make the RTW more enjoyable and memorable. Hopefully, in future races more challenges, including PARs for some, will be included. At any rate, the challenges of the 2006 RTW show great forsight and creative thinking on the part of the organizing team. Kudos for making a wonderful experience even better.The bonus airports are a nice touch, and in that same vein a like solution could be utilized for a simple "handicapping" system for aircraft. Bonuses could be given for using any MSFS stock aircraft (after they are all used per race rules requirements) or certified payware/freeware variant. To simplify, anyone who uses the B350 (or B200) for a leg after it has been used to fulfill the required usage in the race would gain bonus points for their team. This could be extended to include all MSFS stock aircraft (or certified variants). In doing this the organizers could better control the long range, fast birds many RTW pilots prefer, thus creating shorter legs without officially handicapping the fast and long birds. This solution would also add to the strategy aspect of the race.Finally, a word about "rookie" events. In defference to my fellow simmers, I believe such events are not needed. And would unduly complicate the race. Allow me to better explain... this year's race having been my first I can fully understand the angst and intimidation many first time racers would feel. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that the RTW is not an event that lasts just a few days. It goes on for weeks (even months) and only culminates in the RTW. This is the rookies' greatest advantage. The key is to get involved early, practice with the team alot (flying the mock legs just as they would be flown in the race) and work to sharpen your flying skills. Flying with the team during practice will best prepare you for the real thing . And a final word about the Team Avsim RTW "regulars" (veterans). I found them all to be very professional. Which means that not only are they extremely talented and capable pilots, but they are also courteous, patient, helpul, and considerate. Any simmer considering taking part in future races can feel comfortable that they will be welcomed as part of the team.From a rookie, I would again like to thank Team Avsim for including me in this years race. It was one of my most enjoyable (and arduous) flightsimming experiences, and I anxiously await next years race.Greg

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Thoughts from a first time and very noobie flyer.First let me say I had a blast on this race. I've been involved with flight simming off and on for a few years though only recently have I been able to learn alot of what a real pilot does.THat being said my suggestions.1. The PAR was nice and it grew on me even though I hated it in the beginning there were times it was just annoying. I would limit the PAR to area's of mountian flying. That way the challenge it creates remains while not slowing the race down at other times. I also liked the strategy it opened up by determining where to use the wildcard flight.2. Wingman (Extra Point). I think there should be a small bonus when wingmen successfully compleate a flight after the baton has already successfully landed. I only carried the baton once this race and flew wingman more times than I care to count. I felt somewhat useless once the race started drawing to a close because we had so many pilots fly so many legs without error. I would suggest something small like a +10 Minute bonus added to the total flight time. Maybe use it as away to counterbalance the pentaltys the teams take in handing off the wingman.I have a few others but I need to refine them some more *heh*

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Hi Vince (my faithful wingman on more than one leg)I agree with you completely on the wingman point. I flew wing on maybe 5 legs, and it is frustrating to find that once the baton has landed, you're in fact obsolete, and the best you can do is to slew to the next airport.The wingman bonus is a good idea, and the size of it could even be dependent on how close (timewise) to the lead you land.BRGDSSven Sorensen, EKCH

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I'd rather have a system in which pilots have to stick with a single (or maybe 2) aircraft for the race. Makes for more interesting challenges, like trading off performance at one point for an advantage (STOL, long range) somewhere else.But with the current system and uncertainty of pilot availability for legs that's hardly practical (Porter for 500nm legs?).

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Not Much from me really .Came aboard a bit late in the day really due to a crappy unreliable isp but improving each day . A fantastic event . Worth booking time off work next year ( and my leave is precious to me so says it all really ) .Will get to know you all over the coming year alot more :)The only gripe (nuisance i found this year was the constant "mid race" Duenna updates occuring . While I appreciate it was for the good of the race with the errors occuring , I checked my flight log before posting Duenna on forum ,after a baton run, and was bamboozled by the results ,as I had just updated again to the LATEST version ,and was concerned by the results , being different to previous logs , delaying the next departure albeit only a few seconds A solid foundation for next year will assist everyone new to the race for next year . Finally , a big thanks to the route planners and the Baton/wingman leg arrangers ,as your time and efforts were the deciding factor in the outcome of this race :) Oh and sort out that Arrvoo bloke , he`s reckless and a constant danger to anyone within 20 miles of him "NO OFFENCE " :( Hope to see you all online soon Bry

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Hi all,Lots of good suggestions so far. We're all going to work together to make the Race work better each year. (Of course, not everything will be to everyone's taste...)One common reaction was that the Race was too long. People were simply exhausted at the end. The exhaustion factor clearly needs attention.Some have suggested running the Race mostly over two weekends. With a 3-4 day "time-out" in mid-week. Would that help people who work? Would it reduce fatigue? Would it break the teams' momentum?What would be everyone's reactions to such a suggestion?Best,Mike

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no, it would break the momentum.2 weekends would mean effectively 2 days, taking into account that when it's saturday just past midnight in Europe it's friday afternoon in the US, and when it's sunday evening in the US it's monday morning in Europe.So you'd have to start the race saturday morning in the US and run it to sunday evening Europe time which is sunday morning for the US...The first few races took less long because there were less objectives to be met.The 45S requirement combined with the tons of bonusses in Chile and Argentina effectively stretched the race this year by 24 hours (especially combined with the 8500ft rule over half the world which caused a lot of lost time as well).Mind I like the idea of such bonusses and requirements, but in the concept of a round the world race it's too much of a good thing.So either give the teams more freedom in routing and aircraft choice and reduce the incentive to go to far off locations to pick up bonusses. Currently it is profitable to take a 6 hour detour to pick up 10 hours in bonus time for example, multiply that by 4 occasions and you have a full day extra duration on the race just to get some bonustime.Or reduce the length of the race. Organise something like the London-Melbourne race, which goes halfway around the world.That would likely (with something the bonusses and restrictions imposed now) be a 3 day race.There are many alternatives to that of course. Anchorage-Terra del Fuego is a nice one, flying all along the American continental spine.Or Reykjavik-Beijing.

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I for one would hate to break the race up. Start it and run till its over. To force a "break" in between to me would kill the whole thing.Personaly I don't mind the exaustion factor. It's part of the fun. But I also perfectly understand that most people can't afford to take a week off work for the race.I agree there needs to be more freedom in race routing and planning. And the Altitude Restriction needs further refinement.I'm not sure how to feel about the overall time it takes to compleate the race. One one hand not everyone can get time off and run for that long. On the other I was sad to see it end and wished there had been more opportunities for myself as well as others race. Though if we start adding in other events throughout the year that might take care of that.

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I agree with Spazz. Breaking it up would sort of defeat the purpose. What I really enjoyed was the multiplayer aspect and the challenge agains the other websites. It might be a lot of fun to have shorter individual races.

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