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Author Topic: Commonality "Points"  (Read 5861 times)

Offline swiftus27

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Commonality "Points"
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:54:36 AM »
Okay, so I am up EARLY this morning. 

I thought of a way to possibly change the way you look at commonality.  This applies only for Fleet and NOT engine commonality

You get 1 point for your first aircraft fleet type.
You get 1 point if you get another aircraft from the same manufacturer of the same size/type (For instance, adding the 737ng to your 737c fleet)
You get 2 points if you get another aircraft from same manufacturer if  type is different (For instance, adding 757s to your airline of only 737s)
You get 2 points if you get another aircraft from same manufacturer if size is different (For instance, adding the 747 to your airline of 737s)
You get 3 points if you get another aircraft type from a different manufacturer if size is the same (For instance, adding a A320 to the 737s)
You get 4 points if you get another aircraft type from a different manufacturer of a different size (For instance, adding A340s to the 737s)

When you click to view another airline, their total number of points would be public and is displayed there.

The more points that you have, the more your fleet will cost to operate. 

There are many reasons I like this system. 
1.  You get penalized less if you are staying with one plane type (MD80/737)
2.  You get penalized more if you are getting planes from everyone
3.  You get penalized more if your airline is too broad (meaning, flying Pipers through Jumbos).  This will help small airlines who want to fly only small a/c
4.  This will prevent F5 spammers from going after everything as this will severely impact an airline early on.

Online Sami

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 12:07:58 PM »
Yep but this model does not take into account that a larger airline can afford to have let's say 8 fleets if they have 150 planes, but a 30 strong airline can't.

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 12:15:17 PM »
Yep but this model does not take into account that a larger airline can afford to have let's say 8 fleets if they have 150 planes, but a 30 strong airline can't.
Sami, I disagree completely.  This is why the point scale is not 1:1.  It would have to be logarithmic.  You would pay significantly more for every point.  

First off, how did that 150 plane airline get to where they are?  What 8 types are they flying?   That small airline may have only 4-6 points.  The larger 8 type airline would have a tremendously higher commonality cost.

1.  This prevents people from going after many fleet types early on.
2.  It forces/enforces an airline's need to be one dimensional early on and expand in a manner much more consistent to real life.

So, after you have that business model in place with a good core of planes of one or two types, then you can widen your scope.  You shouldn't be able to have 2 744s, 3 737ngs, 2 MD80s, and 5 Dash 8s.  

This idea is solely to slow the early part of the game down and keep other players from being dominated in the beginning.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 12:17:59 PM by swiftus27 »

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 12:50:04 PM »
...something to add.

The point scale is linked to a commonality modifier.  This will be X times the commonality cost. 
As I said before, make this logarithmic.  So 1=1x, 2=2.5x, 3=4.5x, 4=7x...  (those don't have to be the numbers, just used as an example)

Each plane has a set "cost" for all maint/commonality.  Some of these numbers are in the background.
Why not make them public?

So, when XYZ Airline adds another fleet, they will know what exactly they will have to be paying for their fleet. 

Offline JonesyUK

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 09:55:34 PM »
Sorry, but to me this doesn't make sense.

There shouldn't be a 'penalty' for having more fleet types, but having fewer should give efficiency savings.... I mean if you have 1 x plane type A then adding 1 x plane type B should not make plane type A more expensive to run, but by adding a second plane of type A the cost per plane should decrease.

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 11:01:15 PM »
it may not be realistic 100%.

but neither is being able to have tons of fleet types either.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 11:11:35 PM »
There should be a substantial cost to having the first plane of any fleet type, and that cost should be getting lower and lower when you add more planes of the same fleet type.  That would be consistant with real world.

Implementing it this way would put a lot of new airlines out of business right off the bat - not good for AWS.

So perhaps, it should still be programmed that way, and for the sake of game play, the substantial upfront cost would be waived on first fleet type (either temporarily or permanently).

As far as what is "first" fleet type should be determined by the value of aircraft in the fleet - the highest value fleet type would be the free one.

If implemented, it would result still result in a lot of bankruptcies early on, as players would still be adding fleet types left and right, but the word would spread around - that the way to stay in business early on, you have to stay with one fleet type until you grow...

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 11:56:01 PM »

If implemented, it would result still result in a lot of bankruptcies early on, as players would still be adding fleet types left and right, but the word would spread around - that the way to stay in business early on, you have to stay with one fleet type until you grow...

EXACTLY what I am aiming for. 

Those who play the "old style" would fail. 

Those who play a real business model have a real chance at competing. 

You have to have a main focus early on and expand like a true airline would.  What airline starts itself with a JFG to CDG with a 747-200 and a 737-300 running a route from JFK and back?   UM, NO ONE! 

Riger

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 02:16:02 AM »
Swiftus,

I agree with what you have said, the only comment I have to add is that there will need to be increased availability of common types in the Used Market to support this mechanism.

Best Regards
Richard

Offline BobTheCactus

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 03:04:41 AM »
Swiftus,

I agree with what you have said, the only comment I have to add is that there will need to be increased availability of common types in the Used Market to support this mechanism.

Best Regards
Richard



Exactly my opinion as well
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Offline powi

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 07:07:44 AM »
For gameplay sake, the system should not be too restrictive. I don't want to see everybody flying just A320/B737/MD80.

Offline JonesyUK

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 06:06:24 PM »
EXACTLY what I am aiming for.  

Those who play the "old style" would fail.  

Those who play a real business model have a real chance at competing.  

You have to have a main focus early on and expand like a true airline would.  What airline starts itself with a JFG to CDG with a 747-200 and a 737-300 running a route from JFK and back?   UM, NO ONE!  

But this is caused by having so much unfulfilled demand at the start of the game, nothing to do with commonality.

The competition is so high on routes in RL that airlines need to save money any way they can to stay competitive on price. In the game I have literally no competition on 60-70% of my routes so can make money easily. If I use fewer fleet types I can just make more money but due to the lack of competition there is nothing forcing me to try to be more efficient.

If the situation was repeated (lots of untapped demand) in the real world then airlines would fly whatever they could get their hands on just to get passengers in the air and money in the bank.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 11:27:45 PM by JonesyUK »

Offline Sigma

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 11:12:22 PM »
I'm the first (okay, maybe second after swiftus) to complain about the issues of airlines with 25 fleet types.  But Jonesy hit the nail on the head, IMHO.

Airlines are efficient in reality because they have to be.  Not because that 5th airplane costs them 10 times the amount to operate as the 3rd (or whatever).  It's just these sort of contrivances that actually make it harder for new players because they flat out don't make sense and only those with experience with the game know how to manipulate the system to take advantage of it.

Hacking in something to make it harder for these airlines with the modus operandi of grabbing whatever they can doesn't solve the problem -- WHY they can operate that way in the first place.  That is what is unrealistic.   They don't do it because sami hasn't coded in some magical solution that prevents them.  They do it because anyone with half a brain (and my apologies to those who can't for some reason) can make so much money in AWS they don't possibly know what to do with all of it.  That's the problem that needs to be solved.  Fix that and you solve a whole bunch of problems with the game.

Trying to solve the problem by slapping on some kind of limitation based on the variables of reality won't work because this isn't reality.  It's the same reason why we don't stop production of a plane at historic dates anymore -- because our reality is different.  What didn't sell in reality, sells here.  And what doesn't work in reality (flying 20 planes of different types) works here because we've got an entire planet of unfilled demand with no competition to speak of, unrealistic rates, and as a result, unrealistic margins.  So it works.  Not because flying 20 different fleet types is "unrealistic" but because our world is "unrealistic".  Until you make the world itself realistic all you're gonna do is be slapping on a thousand contrivances to try to make an airline not operating in reality, operate like one we see everyday.

Sami already tried changes, at least twice now, to exponentially increase the costs of maintaining fleets.  And what did it do?  Nothing.  Because that's not the problem.  And this solution, while a more complicated and perhaps elegant solution than what sami already tried twice, is still the same basic idea at the root of it.  And it will have the same outcome -- no impact to those who know how to milk the system for all its profits and a massive impact to those who don't know any better and by that 4th fleet that BKs their airline -- kinda like opening a new base.  

All these obscure changes to "balance" the game have only hurt balance in the end.  Players that know how to manipulate the system for maximum profits don't care that their 4th fleet or 10th fleet or whatever costs so much.  Because barring the rare player like myself that can operate an efficient yet also very large airline that can maybe run them out of business if I catch them early on, they're going to steamroll anyone else.  Because anyone savvy enough to know how to maximize the profits knows how to maximize (or minimize) their costs even with these weird penalties.  They know the Xth fleet costs more.  They know that new base nonsensically increases their operating costs by 30%.  And they capitalize on that knowledge for maximum gain while less-experienced players flounder because they make the most sensible decisions which, by and large, are not the correct ones in AWS.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 11:18:55 PM by Sigma »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 01:53:39 AM »
Sigma,

It is "easy" to make money in order for most of the airlines to survive, rather than go under in a year.  With the current system, there are still 400 airlines out of 500 slots in MT3 half way through the game (well, some restarted, but many are still alive from beginning).  If the profit margins shrink, it would affect newer and inexperienced players a lot more than the experienced players.

What Swiftus is suggesting is a way to slow down the exponential growth of the airlines that is fueled buy ability to have nearly limitless number of fleet types.  I agree with general idea that having many fleet types (with few planes of each fleet type) should be expensive, which also reflects real world strive for efficiency by limiting fleet typese to maintain.  (I am not sold on the point system though).

I don't like artificial limitations either.  I think the limitations AWS should be economic, and AWS should strive for the AWS economic model to resemble Real Life economic model.

Offline EricB

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 02:24:22 AM »
Maybe Sami is already onto this. The possibility to add AI airlines would be able to change the outcome of the new gamestarts. Lets say that you simulate that there are a complete airline market and the player kinda join-in to fight down the AI airlines. When finally some lucky bastards, hopefully cost-efficient, reaches the sizes of what we see today in AWS the AI airlines will slowly start to die out of the game. The huge human-controlled airlines lead alliances with other players and together end the era of AI airlines. When the AI airlines empire is down, the alliances will start fighting towards domination of the airline market.

But to make it possible to even compete in a realistic way, pricing on routes must be different. It shall for example, as in real life, be possible to see what the other airlines get paid for their tickets and the passengers should be more sensitive to the pricing as in real life. In my world it looks like this: if airline A flies the same route as airline B and sells tickets for lets say 10$ less, the passengers will choose airline A. And if you look at the current situation in Europe, passengers tend to choose the cheaper alternative even if they have to sacrifice good service etc. If you can get a ticket for 10$ less and you really don't know anything about the aviation industry at all (as at least 95% of all people in the world don't), you will choose the cheaper alternative. But if you tend to be one of the 5% in the world who knows at least the difference of a B737 and a A320 you will tend to choose the one which will give you the best in-flight meal, entertainment and service.

Note: It will also be easier to spot those who like to crack small regional carriers if you can see ticket prices. O, maybe it should be possible to see an average of the ticket pricing instead of the system we use today when you just set standard. And if you want more in-dept information you can see ticketpricing at every single airline flying the route.
More micro-management, more long-time playing and the greatest of all: a more fair competition.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 02:26:26 AM by Eric Bergendahl »
// Eric Bergendahl

Offline Sigma

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2011, 02:50:13 AM »
If the profit margins shrink, it would affect newer and inexperienced players a lot more than the experienced players.

Well, of course, in a purely wholesale "cut everyone's profits 90%" fashion.  But if the economic model was done correctly (and I mean no disrespect to sami, it's a Herculean effort) then some margins would go down and some would go up as well because those who operate more efficiently would actually be more efficient.  And more importantly those who actually made smart, logical, rational business decisions might actually see logical, rational results -- i.e. cutting pricing actually doing something aside from simply lowering your revenues -- rather than the game being dominated (speaking as one who does) by those who know how to game the game.

Quote
What Swiftus is suggesting is a way to slow down the exponential growth of the airlines that is fueled buy ability to have nearly limitless number of fleet types.  I agree with general idea that having many fleet types (with few planes of each fleet type) should be expensive, which also reflects real world strive for efficiency by limiting fleet typese to maintain.  (I am not sold on the point system though).

And it is already expensive.  There's already an exponential curve built into commonality expenses.  It's ludicrously, outrageously expensive to operate a large number of fleets.  But those same people are also making ludicrous revenues and margins.  And they'll continue to make them.  There was not so much as an iota of change when sami changed the expenses twice in the past, there's  no reason to think if we do it again it'll make a dent of difference.

At least now if you operate efficiently you have at least a tiny chance to take them out.  If all you do is change their expenses, the players will adapt and they'll either continue to have huge varied fleets, perhaps not quite as varied, or they'll turn to a few planes as they "should".  In which case, since the income side wasn't addressed, now said players are hoarding impossibly huge sums of cash while also sitting on every spot in the production queue for the popular aircraft.  You certainly didn't make the game any easier by doing that.

Regardless, it only addresses a symptom not the problem itself.  Address the problem and you solve a host of problems.  You either solve outright or go a long way to solving problems not only with commonality, but you solve 2-dozen flights at 2am, you solve massive order queues for aircraft, you solve exponential growth of certain players, you solve a whole bunch of others I can't think of right now.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 02:55:02 AM by Sigma »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2011, 05:09:57 AM »
Well, of course, in a purely wholesale "cut everyone's profits 90%" fashion.  But if the economic model was done correctly (and I mean no disrespect to sami, it's a Herculean effort) then some margins would go down and some would go up as well because those who operate more efficiently would actually be more efficient.  And more importantly those who actually made smart, logical, rational business decisions might actually see logical, rational results -- i.e. cutting pricing actually doing something aside from simply lowering your revenues -- rather than the game being dominated (speaking as one who does) by those who know how to game the game.

The biggest reason for high margins is lack of competition.  What percentage of the routes do you think have competition? 10%? 20%?  And I don't mean in the first years of the game, but in the middle of the game or the 2nd half.

As you said, there is no price competion, when a route actually has more than 1 carrier.  There is only the pseudo-competition in frequency.  The basing cost penalty and aircraft # basing limitation is also a huge anti-competitive tool.  Also, inability to open a base at top 20 airports effectively protects top 20 airlines based in top 20 airports from any competiion.

Then, lack of passenger connectivity gives the sole player flying AB route a complete monopoly on AB traffic.  With passenger connectivity, AB route would have competition from players flying ACB, ADB ... AXB.

And it is already expensive.  There's already an exponential curve built into commonality expenses.  It's ludicrously, outrageously expensive to operate a large number of fleets.

Well, not really.  The (lack) of commonality expenses do grow as a percentage of expenses, but they are easily absorbable if a player makes all the other decisions correctly.  There is absolutely nothing there to stop player from growing exponentially with 10 fleet types, then locking up production slots in desirable production lines, and so that later on, the undesirable fleet types can be phased out.

But if you really need some 5 aircraft of the same type to break even (doing everything right), getting 2nd fleet type before you are making some profit with 10-20 aircraft of the same type would just bankrupt you right away.  I think that's what Swiftus and I are talking about.  That is the only way you slow down the exponential growth early on.

Rather than points, I always look for money to be the answer.  If the training and maintenance cost of the first aircraft in the fleet group are so high that it is your single biggest expense of your airline, then very few players will be beyong that single fleet type within first 6 months or a year game time - and still be solvent.

Once you get to some 50+ aircraft of one fleet type, you should be reaching the lowest costs per plane of that fleet type.  Adding the 2nd fleet type should not make the 1st fleet type more expensinve.  2nd fleet type should have its own high fixed start-up costs.  (perhaps this single per-fleet amount should itself rise exponentially)

I am not exactly thrilled about the way the commonality costs are implemented.  They continue hitting you when they should not (when you have 50-100 aircraft of the same fleet type) and they don;t hit you hard enough when they should, when you have only a dozen planes in number of different fleet types....

Anyway, delaying the exponential growth with high start-up fees per fleet type would make the game competitive for longer period of time.  As is, the game is more or less decided by the end of 1/3 or 1/2 of the game.  But if the biggest airlines are only at some 75 planes within the first 6 years of the game, the game would be more wide open for longer period of time.


Riger

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2011, 07:18:31 AM »
8<

Then, lack of passenger connectivity gives the sole player flying AB route a complete monopoly on AB traffic.  With passenger connectivity, AB route would have competition from players flying ACB, ADB ... AXB.

>8

I cannot imagine how complex this would be to apply, but I think that this, in combination with City Based Demand, would have a huge (positive) impact on the competitiveness of this game.


Best Regards
Richard


Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 05:40:42 PM »
Let me add another point to why I liked my idea.

There should be a larger hit to commonality when having multiple a/c across multiple manufacturers.  If you have a CRJ/737/A330/MD11 for your fleet, that should impact you more than being CRJ/737/767/777. 

Simply put, if I have a fleet of 742s and I want to add another large fleet type, it should cost me more if I went with a A340 instead of a 744

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 07:53:17 PM »
There should be a larger hit to commonality when having multiple a/c across multiple manufacturers.  If you have a CRJ/737/A330/MD11 for your fleet, that should impact you more than being CRJ/737/767/777. 

Simply put, if I have a fleet of 742s and I want to add another large fleet type, it should cost me more if I went with a A340 instead of a 744

I like this part as well.

 

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