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Is it time to abandon /t?


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54 minutes ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

Hm not sure about that. I have never had an issues as a controller with receive only. If anything the biggest issue I would have with that is the controller clients don't specify whether you are /t or /r in the text boxes, so that may cause confusion, but its just a matter of bad habit when checking the aircraft. As for the audio, your right, having the text feature can be a life saver when there are audio issues, but the idea isn't to make it so there is no text frequency its just so that people don't willingly fly dedicated as text pilots. 

/r can cause delays too as when controllers are busy they may not be monitoring their text window as well as they should so it is very easy to get lost in the shuffle there as well. 

VATSIM will remain open to all. There are currently no plans to restrict /t.

Matt Bartels
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But I think in general one can say that /r is definitely better than /v. Monitoring my ATC client's text window is one thing, replying on text another. So I'd rather have a voice receive-only pilot than a text pilot, it's so much easier to get my message across.

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For sure /r is way better than /t. 

I really don't understand the "VATSIM will remain open to all" thing because the goal of this is to keep /t/ for those who need it, but encourage/shift the /t/ for convenience demographic to receive or voice. There have been a lot of good points discussed in this thread I'm sure a solution for everyone could be worked out. 

Also yeah there is currently no plans to do so, but that is why this discussion is here, because people would like it to be a point of discussion, and hopefully in the future an advancement. 

Edited by Nicholas Camperos
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5 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

VATSIM will remain open to all. There are currently no plans to restrict /t.

That’s what I figured. But, the point of this thread was to try to stir interest in changing that.

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1 hour ago, Jason Cochran said:

But, the point of this thread was to try to stir interest in changing that.

So how does your score-card look at the moment?

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4 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

I really don't understand the "VATSIM will remain open to all" thing because the goal of this is to keep /t/ for those who need it

Because who are we to determine who needs it? /t is an option that all pilots have available to them for whatever reason THEY deem necessary. It's not for us to decide what constitutes a valid reason for each pilot. 

Whether it's a disability that necessitates it or a new pilot who wants to get started but is too scared to try voice to start or wants the reassurance of seeing what he should expect to hear later on in his career, it is there and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

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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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14 minutes ago, Alistair Thomson said:

So how does your score-card look at the moment?

I'm not sure if you're genuinely asking or being snarky (sorry it's a little hard to tell with just words sometimes), but in the event your question is genuine... my opinion (based on some responses here and elsewhere) that there is enough interest to warrant further investigation. There have been a lot of ideas and opinions throw into this thread, some which confuse the issue or mischaracterize the original proposal. But I'd say about half are interested in some kind of modification of the existing rule, and it would be worth a study. 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Bartels said:

Because who are we to determine who needs it? /t is an option that all pilots have available to them for whatever reason THEY deem necessary. It's not for us to decide what constitutes a valid reason for each pilot. 

Whether it's a disability that necessitates it or a new pilot who wants to get started but is too scared to try voice to start or wants the reassurance of seeing what he should expect to hear later on in his career, it is there and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

It will remain so for the foreseeable future, is but an opinion, as stated by your signature.

I truly do believe the further restriction of /t will benefit VATSIM in the long run. It is not stripping anybody of any opportunity to use VATSIM, and is only intended to make the platform a better network. As discussed in this thread, there are various portals for people of all types to use VATSIM under the case where /t/ is restricted, and so nobody is being left behind or forgotten. Places such as Pilot Edge, for example, do such a great job with their realistic text-only environment, and I am sure VATSIM can push just as well to improve in any way they can. If the amount of text pilots that chose to do text for the reason of convenience got reduced significantly, not only will it be a better experience for them, but they will also leave the bubble of fear that traps many newcomers to VATSIM (especially per its nonsensical reputation with banning people if you do something wrong.) 

I say, it would be very nice if some sort of poll could be initiated to see what people think regarding the subject, and options/opportunities for the network to improve. I'm not sure what the best way to initiate something like that would be, but judging by the replies to this thread I think there are a lot of varying opinions regarding the subject, and it would be great, from the standpoint of a community member, to see what many more think.

Edited by Nicholas Camperos
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I don't understand the difficulty in using headphones to hear voice. /r would be more than a suitable alternative to full /t.

 

Or give controllers something like right of first refusal for texting 🤷‍♂️

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14 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

I truly do believe the further restriction of /t will benefit VATSIM

If you issue an instruction to a pilot and the reply is something like, "Unable request vectors" do you say "You're not getting vectors until you tell me why you can't fly the instruction I gave you?"

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Alistair Thomson

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29 minutes ago, Alistair Thomson said:

If you issue an instruction to a pilot and the reply is something like, "Unable request vectors" do you say "You're not getting vectors until you tell me why you can't fly the instruction I gave you?"

I would give them vectors.

Being an MSFS pilot, I end up requesting vectors for an approach 3/10 times I fly. The navdata kills you. 

Edit: Its pretty common for pilots to not be able to do an instruction. The important part is to say you are unable so you don't mess up what the controller thinks is going to happen. 

Edited by Nicholas Camperos
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5 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

I would give them vectors.

:) Of course you would. So my point is, how is being unable /v or /r different? If you think that further restriction of /t is good for VATSIM, what about restriction of other types of inability, like yours with MSFS?

Alistair Thomson

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Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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2 hours ago, Alistair Thomson said:

🙂 Of course you would. So my point is, how is being unable /v or /r different? If you think that further restriction of /t is good for VATSIM, what about restriction of other types of inability, like yours with MSFS?

Using /t/ does not indicate whether or not you are a bad pilot, neither does MSFS. Pilot competency is a whole other topic, which has already been solved by other networks that have a paywall barrier to filter out straight up you know, bad bad, pilots or just people who are new and unexperienced with subjects. For the case of VATSIM, it is a free platform and therefore the burden of crappy (as in rude, incompetent, and "you don't tell me what to do) and unexperienced/casual pilots will remain and be a part of VATSIM for as long as it exists.

/t/ on the other hand affects efficiency no matter what. It is not the pilots fault, nor the fault of how good the pilot is. It is in regards to the workload of a controller, and the inconvenience it sets for other's convenience. By restricting /t/, no pilot is being stripped of his her or its right (we are inclusive here ladies and gentlemen, if a Rhino wants to be a pilot it can.) It is just changing the standard as to what people can chose when it comes to options on voice communications. They still don't have to talk, /r will remain.

There is nothing stopping any pilot from using /r other than:

A: they have a prejudice on VATSIM where they believe they will ruin everyone's day by not knowing the phraseology like they've been a pilot for 40 years/are not experienced enough.

B: They are physically and mentally incapable of using their ears to listen to an audio message, and then interpret that message to which the point where they can reply to it and follow the directions given.

 

If option A is the case, then this is what I would like to see eliminated. ATC communications are based off voice, not text, and to the minimum receive only will help reduce the amount of those annoying "pssh" text message noises that turn your ATC simulation experience into a "ughh I have to deal with this text pilot now while I'm busy working everyone else." If we as a network do not provide the option to use text only, people will not sink into the "text only first, then voice." They will go straight to voice! (or receive, depending on how confident they are,) which will only benefit the experience of all parties involved.

Now, if someone falls under B, there is an exception. I will more than gladly spend the effort into writing a on point grammar clearance via text to a pilot who genuinely has no other option. I do not think this group should be excluded from the network, and under the many plans and ideas suggested in this thread, that won't happen. The issue lies more in allowing people to see text-only as an opportunity for themselves, when really its hurting everyone. Its hurting them by, well, turning them into text pilots, and its hurting everyone else by having to deal with them.   

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In my opinion, all the advantaged obtained by restricting /t would also be gained by encouraging the use of /v. We don't need people sending medical data to get special permission to use /t and a complex system to detect people using it without a license. (Though I guess SUPs would get to say "Oi! I'm a VATSIM Supervisor. Do you have a loicense for that??")

I think the way of encouraging voice could be quite simple. On the new prefile page at myVATSIM, just add a small message saying "Use of /t is discouraged if the member is able to use /r or /v" (something like that) if the user selects /t. You could even add resources on the use of /r and /v. We don't want to make it harder for people using /t for important reasons such as disabilities or hardware capabilities to use /t. So, I'd say that if the user has a good enough reason to ignore that warning, then they should be allowed to use /t.

Edited by Samuel Rey

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31 minutes ago, Samuel Rey said:

In my opinion, all the advantaged obtained by restricting /t would also be gained by encouraging the use of /v. We don't need people sending medical data to get special permission to use /t and a complex system to detect people using it without a license. (Though I guess SUPs would get to say "Oi! I'm a VATSIM Supervisor. Do you have a loicense for that??")

I think the way of encouraging voice could be quite simple. On the new prefile page at myVATSIM, just add a small message saying "Use of /t is discouraged if the member is able to use /r or /v" (something like that) if the user selects /t. You could even add resources on the use of /r and /v. We don't want to make it harder for people using /t for important reasons such as disabilities or hardware capabilities to use /t. So, I'd say that if the user has a good enough reason to ignore that warning, then they should be allowed to use /t.

As mentioned throughout this thread no validation would be required any medical papers. The idea is that users would have to state they are unable to use voice coms, similarly to the way they accept the vatsim TOS when making an account, and their account is eligible. No questions asked, just a filter.

Edited by Nicholas Camperos
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Lots of pilots file /v/ but are in fact /t/. This is the worst kind for a controller as it makes us ask every time if the pilot is on text only when they call in, as we have no way of knowing if they can receive voice, if they have tried to contact you by voice and failed etc etc...

If you're going to use text only, do ATC a favour and file it in your flight plan, please.

Edited by Martin Loxbo

Martin Loxbo

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VATSIM Scandinavia

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I do not think that any sort of "no text" policy is the right direction for this community. We should pride ourselves on being open to all, and providing the opportunity for people all around the world to access the world of (virtual) aviation with as few barriers as possible. 

However. Having said that, I agree that /t and, to a much lesser extent, /r pilots do make controlling on the network more challenging, and less immersive. There are plenty of ways we could more "softly" encourage our members to use voice, through efforts of client developers and the VATSIM community. As both controllers and pilots we can encourage users to use voice, and to be patient and helpful (when possible) for those who are trying it for the first time. Client developers could make the text chat box less prominent in the client, requiring it to be expanded out from the initial view of just the frequency list. Perhaps a dialogue box could be triggered when a text communication is sent or received, just once per connection, reminding users that voice is an option and that they should consider it. This could of course be clicked away, but I think it is the reminder at that time that might make a pilot think "hey, that would have been a lot easier on voice!". 

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Adam Turner | VATSIM Membership Manager - North America

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3 hours ago, Samuel Rey said:

On the new prefile page at myVATSIM, just add a small message saying "Use of /t is discouraged if the member is able to use /r or /v" (something like that) if the user selects /t.

This is the way to go, in my opinion. I could do the same thing in vPilot.

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4 hours ago, Samuel Rey said:

Use of /t is discouraged

Discouraged by whom? A small group that use the network and feel inconveniced by its use?

Edited by Kirk Christie
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24 minutes ago, Kirk Christie said:

Discouraged by whom? A small group that use the network and feel inconveniced by its use?

The proposal is to ask VATSIM to adopt a policy of actively discouraging it. So, if adopted it would be VATSIM's position, rather than "a small group that use the network and feel inconvenienced by its use."

However, I do think you underestimate the number of people who, if asked, would support such a policy. I'm not sure why you think it's a tiny group.

Edited by Jason Cochran
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The only thing I will say about this is....

Why is the focus shifting to "let's be inclusive with all pilots and have controllers deal with it?"

Isn't the VATSIM network supposed to be inclusive for both? I think Jason has a fair and honest point that it should at least be considered and studied instead of just slamming the door at the face of controllers. 

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6 hours ago, Kirk Christie said:

Discouraged by whom? A small group that use the network and feel inconveniced by its use?

G'day Kirk, I think you will find a huge majority of ATCOs at VATSIM who will sympathize with discouraging members using /t, if possible in any way. I don't care too much about the "degraded immersion" of the game, but when a sector is busy aleady, a couple of /t-pilots can really be the tipping point. We have a few distinguished members who can only use /t and they will be served as usual, but all others should make an effort to use /v or at least /r. I am completely against forcing members to use /v or /r, but we should rather encourage them to jump into the cold water and swallow a bit of it in the beginning, before they quickly re-emerge and will become really good at using voice communications at any place in the VATSIM world. That's the goal.

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9 hours ago, Ross Carlson said:

This is the way to go, in my opinion. I could do the same thing in vPilot.

I think this would be a great start. If limiting /t/ systematically would be too much work/improbable, any form of encouragement to not use it (so discouragement I guess) would be great.

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On 2/6/2021 at 1:11 AM, Nicholas Camperos said:

As mentioned throughout this thread no validation would be required any medical papers. The idea is that users would have to state they are unable to use voice coms, similarly to the way they accept the vatsim TOS when making an account, and their account is eligible. No questions asked, just a filter.

Needing to specifically request /t, in my opinion, is something that makes users who legitimately need /t feel rejected. The reason is that is shifts the perspective from "Using text is bad, but suuuuure, we'll have to do it for you I guess" to "Hey, if you don't need /t, consider /r or /v!". Besides, there are cases where a member normally using /v would use /t. Would they need to change their account constantly? 

This is why I approach the issue differently. First of all we have to realise we shouldn't restrict any users that want to use /t from using it, for whatever reason, even if it's just 'first time jitters'. The task then becomes "How would we get text-only pilots to move to voice?". I think we can do many things to do this. The warning I talked about might push pilots that are on the verge of using /v to actually use it, but we could even add some resources to the warning (something like "New to using voice? Here's some tips to get you started!"), like the ones currently availabe on my.vatsim.net/learn or even making a specific voice comms section there. (Though I don't know if that would be too much work, I'm sure others can weigh in on this)

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