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Discussion: If you could change one thing about VATSIM...


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"We want this to be an accessible learning environment"

 

Well in that case, why do pilots get to connect to the network right away and start flying but controllers can’t? Why are we held to such a high standard but anyone can load up in a 747 at JFK and start flying their first minute on the network. It’s sadly very noticeable that since when I’ve started, the amount of previous dedicated controllers have left the network due to the feeling that this isn’t a game anymore, especially if you hold a VOLUNTARY staff role. There really needs to be something done about the pilot quality, or else I’m

Sure POSCON will start taking most of the traffic from here.

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Been discussed more times then you can count , Not every VATSIM pilot has the ability to speak or hear!!!

 

And obviously it would be completely OK to dispense from the above, should there be a legitimate reason you can’t use voice.

 

I don’t think it to be too much to require every member to own a working headset / microphone, which is why I’d like to see the text option closed to the public, but open to a specific few who - as you say - can’t physically speak or hear.

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I so desperatly want to join in the "voice quality" train.

 

But I'm gonna stick my neck out and remove the ability to fly with text for those who acctually need it (hearing impared and so on). The amount of text pilots make controlling less and less fun these days...

Martin Stockzell

Director - ACCSCA1 | VATSIM Scandinavia

VATSIM Network Supervisor

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I so desperatly want to join in the "voice quality" train.

 

But I'm gonna stick my neck out and remove the ability to fly with text for those who acctually need it (hearing impared and so on). The amount of text pilots make controlling less and less fun these days...

 

For those who do NOT need if of course...

Martin Stockzell

Director - ACCSCA1 | VATSIM Scandinavia

VATSIM Network Supervisor

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VATSIM's motto is "As real as it gets"

No it isn't nor has it ever been. That is a Microsoft motto for their product.

Take it then off the website then!

https://prnt.sc/jwz2zz

https://www.vatsim.net/about

... and the @VATSIM Twitter profile banner, too.

 

I think that may speak to the heart of some of the debates that we've had on this topic. There's not even agreement among key network officials as to the fundamental philosophy of the network.

Cheers,

-R.

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Geez ... Norman was just pointing out that "as real as it gets" is a Microsoft catch phrase. He's not saying that VATSIM doesn't want to be realistic. How about we don't get caught up in semantics and just answer the question posed in the thread title?

 

For me, reducing voice latency is the one thing. There is so much more, but that's #1.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I have been watching this thread with both interest and chagrin. Although there is really no way of knowing for sure, I sense that the majority of the inputs are coming from controllers, not pilots. It's just a feeling I get with no factual basis.

 

It's distressing to see so many posts acknowledge the original post's request to only post one item and then proceed to list two, three, four, or more. If you can't follow the guidelines, how can one expect the membership as a whole to follow the guidelines.

 

I cringe when I see the "POSCON Threat", especially after going to their site and reading "Pilot Training will not be required" and "Tired of getting kicked". So our issues will also be their issues, but hey, they have a great Codec so that pilot wandering aimlessly about the sky in or not even at the controls of his brand new PMDG B737NGX will be much more bearable, huh? It is their intention, in their own words, to "Turn it in to a game" with rewards and incentives. News flash, that's XBox One and STEAM my friends, not flight simulation. POSCON is not a threat, just an alternative and more power to them if they attract "the gamers". Less interference on our network.

 

The Codec...great suggestion...suggest it and it only and then continue watching the thread.

 

Pilot Abilities made better with required training/entrance test...great suggestion...suggest it and it only and then continue watching the thread.

 

Voice only pilots, no text allowed...not a good suggestion...nor is any suggestion that leads to exclusivity a good suggestion. VATSIM is for everyone.

 

Immediate access to charts...which all controllers want us to have...great suggestion. No one wants to log in/sign in/become a member of 60 different FIRs just to access their charts so we can have what they want us to have.

 

Get rid of legacy clients and legacy platforms, which, whether you accept it or not includes FSX now...great idea...let's require everyone to purchase at their own expense P3Dv4 64-bit and xPlane11 64-bit and only fly payware...my FMC made me turn that way, sorry...aircraft. That way we can make VATSIM great again...empty skies, but man, won't it be great?

 

Or...we can make suggestions that help those who asked for input, take what we have right now and make it better for everyone, not just...you.

 

Telling the world that you quit flying because you never had good ATC where you wanted it does nothing to make things better. Telling the world that you quit controlling because pilots wouldn't or couldn't do what you wanted them to do does nothing to make things better.

 

Come on everyone. We're geniuses. We got that payware aircraft installed and running didn't we. We figured out how to load sector files didn't we. We built new clients, and new applications, and VATSPY, and a host of other things to get where we are. We figured out where the power button on our computer was. So let's figure out how to keep VATSIM an inclusive simulation environment...not a game. Quit suggesting ways to exclude membership and let's figure out how to include them so POSCON and IVAO and Pilot Edge are the ones with empty skies...not VATSIM.

 

The two best suggestions I have seen are the CODEC and Pilot Training.

 

Randy

Randy Tyndall - KBOI

ZLA I-11/vACC Portugal P4

“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training

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1. Voice codec/voice latency. No1 priority in my opinion.

 

2. Drop support to 15 years old software like sb, fsinn, fs2004 which complicates things and leads to delays in software development (swift).

 

3. Give the ability to VAs to open their own dispatch positions/frequencies in cooperation of course with the corresponding VACC . For ex, let's say that a VA wants to appoint 1-2 members to a certain airport to act as a dispatch office. They will apply to the corresponding vacc which will either grand or reject the request. If accepted, the vacc will handle any training needed. There might be some structual changes needed regarding the ATC callsign, but I believe it's a feature that will greatly enhance the realism if that's what we are looking for.

 

4. A formal traffic monitoring tool that among others will be providing information about airport runway usage when there's no atc around, so there won't be any pilots landing/departing from the wrong runways and frustrating the rest. It's not difficult to make an algorithm which will be taking airport's restriction, metar, taf into consideration and suggest the appropriate runway usage for take off/landing. Vaccs will be responsible for updating airports restriction database. Hvacc has already made such an algorithm and implemented it in their web page.

 

If there's finally will from the BoG's side, i think it's time to move forward and enhance the services provided with pace.

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I have been watching this thread with both interest and chagrin. Although there is really no way of knowing for sure, I sense that the majority of the inputs are coming from controllers, not pilots. It's just a feeling I get with no factual basis.

 

So?, what's your point?, you know this network is about flying AND controlling right?, do controllers issues not matter?. Not our fault pilots don't bother posting on this thread.

 

It's distressing to see so many posts acknowledge the original post's request to only post one item and then proceed to list two, three, four, or more. If you can't follow the guidelines, how can one expect the membership as a whole to follow the guidelines.

 

People can have more than one issue, we're not given many chances to voice them, why waste the opportunity?.

 

II cringe when I see the "POSCON Threat", especially after going to their site and reading "Pilot Training will not be required" and "Tired of getting kicked". So our issues will also be their issues, but hey, they have a great Codec so that pilot wandering aimlessly about the sky in or not even at the controls of his brand new PMDG B737NGX will be much more bearable, huh? It is their intention, in their own words, to "Turn it in to a game" with rewards and incentives. News flash, that's XBox One and STEAM my friends, not flight simulation. POSCON is not a threat, just an alternative and more power to them if they attract "the gamers". Less interference on our network.

 

Cringe all you want, they got good feedback at FS Expo, they're accepting VATSIM ratings transfers for ATC's. The developer of Euroscope is one of the developers over there.

 

There is already no training for pilots joining VATSIM.

 

Pilots 'not at their controlls' all the time, I streamed an entire week on Shanwick EGGX last week, on 4hr average sessions(enough to come 17 out of top 20 in iron mic that week). None of those afk where kicked, I pm'd a SUP once about it, not much was done, neither was any periodic checks on the pilots done. I've it all in my YouTube page if you want evidence.

 

If VATSIM cared about quality, there would be a mandatory pilots quiz in place on joining. There isn't so let's '[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume' quantity is more a priority.

 

IThe Codec...great suggestion...suggest it and it only and then continue watching the thread.

 

Pilot Abilities made better with required training/entrance test...great suggestion...suggest it and it only and then continue watching the thread.

 

Again, as we're not asked our opinions very much, people might not want to waste this opportunity.

 

Voice only pilots, no text allowed...not a good suggestion...nor is any suggestion that leads to exclusivity a good suggestion. VATSIM is for everyone.

 

IImmediate access to charts...which all controllers want us to have...great suggestion. No one wants to log in/sign in/become a member of 60 different FIRs just to access their charts so we can have what they want us to have.

 

Which ones require you to 'sign up'?, my home vACC have a simple one click access to charts on our homepage, no sign up required.

 

IGet rid of legacy clients and legacy platforms, which, whether you accept it or not includes FSX now...great idea...let's require everyone to purchase at their own expense P3Dv4 64-bit and xPlane11 64-bit and only fly payware...my FMC made me turn that way, sorry...aircraft. That way we can make VATSIM great again...empty skies, but man, won't it be great?

 

FSX works great with vpilot which is not a legacy client, I suspect you know this, don't try hide the fact you don't want FSINN touched, just say it without trying to beat around the bush. There is also lots of great freeware for FSX so who's forcing people to buy payware aircraft?.

 

IOr...we can make suggestions that help those who asked for input, take what we have right now and make it better for everyone, not just...you.

 

Um, what?, that's what people are suggesting, btw there thread is what would YOU change, so of course people are going to give their OWN opinions.

 

ITelling the world that you quit flying because you never had good ATC where you wanted it does nothing to make things better. Telling the world that you quit controlling because pilots wouldn't or couldn't do what you wanted them to do does nothing to make things better.

 

You pretty much said you'd quit in a recent thread about legacy clients if I'm not mistaken.

 

IThe two best suggestions I have seen are the CODEC and Pilot Training.

 

Agreed.

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2. Drop support to 15 years old software like sb, fsinn, fs2004 which complicates things and leads to delays in software development (swift).

 

Legacy clients have nothing to do with Swift's progress, or lack of. The closed source client attempts to do too much on too many platforms out of the gate. Rather than building a base, and adding features over time, they opted to do everything from the start. FSINNs use does nothing to change that.

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ITelling the world that you quit flying because you never had good ATC where you wanted it does nothing to make things better. Telling the world that you quit controlling because pilots wouldn't or couldn't do what you wanted them to do does nothing to make things better.

 

You pretty much said you'd quit in a recent thread about legacy clients if I'm not mistaken.

 

Let us not twist words here, Randy said that when fsinn was forced off the network, he would be forced off as well. That's not a threat to quit, it's a statement that when support for his setup goes, that's the end for him.

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ITelling the world that you quit flying because you never had good ATC where you wanted it does nothing to make things better. Telling the world that you quit controlling because pilots wouldn't or couldn't do what you wanted them to do does nothing to make things better.

 

You pretty much said you'd quit in a recent thread about legacy clients if I'm not mistaken.

 

Let us not twist words here, Randy said that when fsinn was forced off the network, he would be forced off as well. That's not a threat to quit, it's a statement that when support for his setup goes, that's the end for him.

 

Daniel, fair enough if I was wrong in my interpretation but I too grudgingly dropped FS2004 and in January this year dropped FSX for P3D, why?, because it was time to change. I also had heavily invested in software and hardware.

 

I would in no way use it as any sort of bargaining tool against change on VATSIM.

 

Flight sim/VATSIM seem to be an exception in the MMORPG community when it cimes to something like this, the vast majority of other communities when a new game(or version) comes out will move over to that platform, servers get patched/updated and the community moves on.

 

I've close to 6000hrs logged as an ATC since 2004, do you think I would like to see VATSIM demise?, no I wouldn't but I definitely won't go quietly into that good night in terms of my opinions either when it comes to try and help, no matter ho opinionated people think I am.

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It's distressing to see so many posts acknowledge the original post's request to only post one item and then proceed to list two, three, four, or more. If you can't follow the guidelines, how can one expect the membership as a whole to follow the guidelines.

 

I guess you're the exception to your own rule? Yours is one of the longest posts in this thread.

 

Legacy clients have nothing to do with Swift's progress, or lack of. The closed source client attempts to do too much on too many platforms out of the gate. Rather than building a base, and adding features over time, they opted to do everything from the start. FSINNs use does nothing to change that.

 

I interpreted his post as saying that supporting FS2004 is what contributes to swift taking longer, not the continued existence of legacy clients.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Hello everybody

Well, I am a pilot, so let me have a say.....

If you read on, you will find that I am making only a single suggestion for the future of VATSIM.

 

My membership number (843615) shows that I have been a VATSIM member for nearly 15 years. I have over 5,300 hours logged with VATSIM.

 

I remember originally expecting to be a regular controller but then caught the flying bug with early Microsoft, Aerowinx and now Prepar3Dv4 simulators. Whilst flying I was nearly always online to VATSIM.

 

In recent years, I have gradually given up going online because, during the great majority of my flying, no ATC is on duty. So now I have largely given up using VATSIM. There are occasional discussions on how VATSIM can be improved, but there seems to be little achieved.

 

This is not to say that I will not eventually use VATSIM again regularly. But to do so, I would have to experience online VATSIM ATC during nearly all of my flying hours to maintain my interest.

 

I can hear my readers thinking that this pilot has his head in the clouds But I believe that my aim is absolutely achievable.

 

With the development of the PMDG Global Flight Operations software, VATSIM has the ability to offer pilots a constant CPDLC service and VAs an interface to pilots PDCs and OOOI times. Of course, CPDLC cannot guarantee worldwide 24-hour coverage unless something else is added.

 

My research of CPDLC has shown me that Clients, such as vPilot, could offer an AI-based CPDLC service for all Centers not currently manned. This would then offer on-line pilots a complete worldwide ATC service except for terminal and airfield ATC.

 

In summary, with coordination between VATSIM and PMDG, it will be possible to provide us all with a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ively improved ATC service. In this environment, I believe that many pilots, including myself, would eagerly return to the online skies.

 

I look forward to your constructive comments.

Edited by Guest

Cheers, Richard

You are the music, until the music stops. T.S.Eliot
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Hello everybody

Well, I am a pilot, so let me have a say.....

If you read on, you will find that I am making only a single suggestion for the future of VATSIM.

My membership number (843615) shows that I have been a VATSIM member for nearly 15 years. I have over 5,300 hours logged with VATSIM.

I remember originally expecting to be a regular controller but then caught the flying bug with early Microsoft, Aerowinx and now Prepar3Dv4 simulators. Whilst flying I was nearly always online to VATSIM.

In recent years, I have gradually given up going online because, during the great majority of my flying, no ATC is on duty. So now I have largely given up using VATSIM.

This is not to say that I will not eventually use VATSIM again regularly. But to do so, I would have to experience online VATSIM ATC during nearly all of my flying hours to maintain my interest.

I can hear my readers thinking that this pilot has his head in the clouds But I believe that my aim is absolutely achievable.

With the development of the PMDG Global Flight Operations software, VATSIM has the ability to offer pilots a constant CPDLC service and VAs an interface to pilots PDCs and OOOI times. Of course, CPDLC cannot guarantee worldwide 24-hour coverage unless something else is added.

My research of CPDLC has shown me that Clients, such as vPilot, could offer an AI-based CPDLC service for all Centers not currently manned. This would then offer on-line pilots a complete worldwide ATC service except for terminal and airfield ATC.

In summary, with coordination between VATSIM and PMDG, it will be possible to provide us all with a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ively improved ATC service. In this environment, I believe that many pilots, including myself, would eagerly return to the online skies.

I look forward to your constructive comments.

 

I concur completely. I outlive you on VATSIM (814615) and as a pilot and controller the ability to advertise online times is my one thing to change.

 

Blindly flying around chasing ATC is very frustrating. And sitting there as a controller with no pilots is too.

 

I created atcbooking.com to compliment VATBOOK but it requires users to take the time to book time. Hopefully VATSIM can put this on their website soon. We are working on it...

 

Shez

 

Shez

Shehryar Ansari

VATSIM Supervisor

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Hi Shez!

Thanks for your concurrence.

My practice is to not 'chase controllers'. I most often have a schedule of self-planned flights on-going, such as a tour of Australasia from my EGLL base. Currently, I am touring all the North American free Orbx airports having runways of at least 7000 feet. Videos of these flights are at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwLN7SF50xpMHqVvOAmiOwA

Each to his own, of course!

Cheers, Richard

You are the music, until the music stops. T.S.Eliot
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Only because the thread has now turned into a discussion as opposed to nominating one thing you would change........ I too am amazed.

 

I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel the Board needs to be more involved at the gr[Mod - Happy Thoughts] roots level and demonstrate their leadership on the forum at least.

 

Could be wrong but do we have a strategic plan, where are we going to end up? Does anyone know or care. What about a 5 yr plan, 10yr plan....... without goals we have no destination and float around in a vast ocean rudderless.

 

I believe too much authority has been taken by sub-regional levels. What are the checks and balances? Does the Board monitor the system or just listen to the chain of command? There are some good strategic statements come once in a while from the Board, but they aren’t used by many to manage the network.

 

There are areas with no ATC. Is it better to have no ATC, or only ATC with real world skill and standards. STANDARDS vs ATC

 

There are areas with no ATC because the ATM simply doesn’t want it covered. Contrary to their own only real world standards must apply.

 

Is Richards opinion widespread? (No ATC why fly). If it is then we need to do something about increasing atc coverage. How? Maybe remove red tape, restrictive real world standards and ATM’s that simply decide they don’t want an airport opened.

 

If Richards opinion is not widespread let’s keep heading to the 100% restricted to real world ATC policy and procedure which inhibits te number of controllers.

 

There are members of the VATSIM management that would rather just jump on people (in the forums) than offer something constructive. How is that productive?

 

We need people that act without favour or affection, malice or ill will, and want to serve the community.

 

Let’s start steering this network somewhere! (Like others, I see several factors. But factors are things that get taken into account when developing a plan, not discounted)

Sean

C1/O P3

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Daniel, fair enough if I was wrong in my interpretation but I too grudgingly dropped FS2004 and in January this year dropped FSX for P3D, why?, because it was time to change. I also had heavily invested in software and hardware.

 

I would in no way use it as any sort of bargaining tool against change on VATSIM.

 

Flight sim/VATSIM seem to be an exception in the MMORPG community when it cimes to something like this, the vast majority of other communities when a new game(or version) comes out will move over to that platform, servers get patched/updated and the community moves on.

 

I've close to 6000hrs logged as an ATC since 2004, do you think I would like to see VATSIM demise?, no I wouldn't but I definitely won't go quietly into that good night in terms of my opinions either when it comes to try and help, no matter ho opinionated people think I am.

 

P3D isn't an option for many people because they use flight sim for entertainment purposes. And no one is using it as a bargaining tool. For users like me my options are XPlane (which I dislike) and FSX.. that's it. There's no new version to move to.

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I interpreted his post as saying that supporting FS2004 is what contributes to swift taking longer, not the continued existence of legacy clients.

 

Then that's even further from the truth... Vatsim supporting FS9 had nothing to do with Swift's delays as Swift specifically chose to support it. That's a choice on Swift to try and include members who may not be able to run FSX. in the end, it's entirely on Swift.

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I interpreted his post as saying that supporting FS2004 is what contributes to swift taking longer, not the continued existence of legacy clients.

 

Then that's even further from the truth... Vatsim supporting FS9 had nothing to do with Swift's delays as Swift specifically chose to support it. That's a choice on Swift to try and include members who may not be able to run FSX. in the end, it's entirely on Swift.

 

Splitting hairs now ... regardless of who made the decision to support FS9, that is a factor in how long it is taking to get swift completed. Doesn't matter if that was a mandate from on high or a choice of the swift devs. I think the overall spirit of Nick's statement was that VATSIM as a whole (the entire community, including management, developers, and members) need to let go of aging legacy tech, including FS9.

 

That being said, I have no idea how much of a factor FS9 support has slowed the development of swift, as compared to XPlane, FSX, and P3D support ... I don't want to make it seem like FS9 support is to blame for the fact that we don't have swift today. I am not close enough to the project to have any clue about that.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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  • Board of Governors

Thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread thus far. There have been many fair points raised and we are already talking about them.

 

It's obvious that the number one issue is voice codec, followed by pilot standards / quality. Many other good suggestions have been raised as well.

 

It is our intention to let this discussion continue to run for another few days and then lock this post. Once we do that, we will compile the suggestions as well as some other questions and be having a member wide survey. When this survey is launched, please take the time to complete it as our plans for the future will be largely based on the results.

 

Thank you again for everything you have contributed so far.

Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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