We are currently planning to launch a public beta test of our new version 1.5 later this week. Although there is no exact date yet, here are some early bits of information you might be interested in.
The first and most important part of the test is the "patching process". To test this we will use current live data from Nicosia, install it on the public test-server and upgrade it to the new version 1.5. After the upgrade, the simulation will continue running as it did before but with the new flight rating system (FRS) in action. As all existing flight instances will be deleted in the process, airlines will miss about 3 to 4 days of bookings and a considerable part of flight operations. All newly created flight instances will be rated by the new flight rating system, so the new ratings will be a lot more price-sensitive even in no-competition scenarios. If you manage an airline on Nicosia and want to take full advantage of the testing we recommend you save up some money and set all your flights to standard prices (you should be fine if you operate below default prices already) to avoid going bankrupt.
After the test has been started we intend to run it for at least two to three weeks. Getting over the disturbance brought about by the patch is expected to take airlines about a week alone and we calculate about another week for the FRS to catch on. Consequently everybody should have quite a good idea about the effects of the upgrade after three weeks.
During the Beta test we will operate a special board on the forums for you to post your ideas, feedback and possible issues. We will continuously update the test world and fix bugs as they appear. As soon as we think that the new version is ready for a release, the test world will be resetted and made the first regular 1.5 game. The updates for existing servers will follow shortly after, given that no unforseen problems prevent it.
Please excuse the fact that we can only use the live data from one game world, giving a slight advantage to those playing on Nicosia. We decided that a test would only make sense in a saturated market and we cannot afford to run more then one free server at a time (testing the Beta will not cost you any credits!).