I understand that any global tweak to the aero and drafting model will anger at least as many people as it inspires especially those who have adapted to it
Could there be alternate drafting algorithms made available to event organizers to optionally use that gives more real world effects like
Coasting in packs without auto applying brakes
Power on flats affected much more by raw power than power to weight. At present 5 w/kg @ 230w is too unrealistically fast compared to 3 w/kg @ 320w on flats.
Speed of the pack dependant on the power output of whoever is on the front pulling instead of the blob affect. This will make things more surgy but that is exactly how real races work as well. In real packs the speed set is 100% dependant on the guy on the front.
If someone attacks and no one is willing to drive the pack to bring her back the gap will grow quickly and stick. Bridging attacks should not automatically bring up the blob’s speed/power and contribute. If everyone sits in and stares only those willing to make the jump should be rewarded.
Tweak the model and let some events try out the changes. Roll out incremental tweaks to the optional event aero/drafting model and let the riders on that event give feedback. I suspect the guys who race outside will be pretty impressed with the realism. Those who race only online might still prefer the blob model.
Making it an event option available to event organizers won’t impact the entire Zwift population so should avoid ticking off most customers. It also adds variety to the Zwift races. You could even have perhaps sliding dynamic options to race organizers and allow them to tweak settings like air density, gravity, or whatnot so some events could be neither realistic nor blob. A race could just plain be silly with super thin air or crazy high gravity.
But first focus on a realistic model.