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Author Topic: Commonality "Points"  (Read 5819 times)

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2011, 10:57:14 PM »
I like this part as well.

Can you help me expand on this so more people agree?  It appears that many people completely disagree. 

The main point of this is to encourage smart expansion while punishing those who order everything.  Over time, the slot grabbing players may be pushed out altogether with a fuel crisis (affecting their narrower margins)... all while the smart player is slowly getting an awesome fleet of very similar aircraft.  Because honestly, there has to be a lot of similarities how a specific company makes their planes from one type to the next.

Offline Sigma

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2011, 11:10:04 PM »
Can you help me expand on this so more people agree?  It appears that many people completely disagree.  

The main point of this is to encourage smart expansion while punishing those who order everything.  Over time, the slot grabbing players may be pushed out altogether with a fuel crisis (affecting their narrower margins)... all while the smart player is slowly getting an awesome fleet of very similar aircraft.  Because honestly, there has to be a lot of similarities how a specific company makes their planes from one type to the next.

I don't "completely disagree" per se, I just think it's about time we (sami, really) stop trying to hackjob the system we've got into something resembling "reality" when the core itself is where the problem lies.

But I think regardless of that being done though we do need a commonality change that's far more robust than what we have today.  So that truly big differences have big costs and small differences have smaller costs (i.e. 757/767 commonality hit being small, F27/A380 penalty being huge) and that engine commonality, which should be one of the most important, is actually a factor instead of being a complete non-issue as it is today.

But that's a separate issue from trying to use the commonality system explicitly to meter growth.  That would be much better taken care of by addressing the fundamental flaws in the economics of the game.  The system we have today already punishes in a very big way those who order everything they can but it will never solve the problem (without getting into stupid-huge penalties that are even more unrealistic than what we have going on already) until you address the issues on the revenue side of the equation.  People do not operate 25 types because the system doesn't penalize you for doing so -- it already does in a hugely unrealistic fashion -- they operate them because doing so nets them so much cash that they can afford to pay virtually any penalty you want to slap on them (again, unless you get into stupid-huge penalties that are an even more unrealistic solution to an unrealistic situation).

Trying to fix an "unrealistic" outcome with equally unrealistic penalties is bass-ackwards and illogical.  Fix the real problem and this and many other issues will take care of themselves.  It's a much better use of time on sami's part.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 11:24:43 PM by Sigma »

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2011, 11:24:41 PM »
I don't "completely disagree" per se, I just think it's about time we (sami, really) stop trying to hackjob the system we've got into something resembling "reality" when the core itself is where the problem lies.

But I think regardless of that being done though we do need a commonality change that's far more robust than what we have today.  So that truly big differences have big costs and small differences have smaller costs (i.e. 757/767 commonality hit being small, F27/A380 penalty being huge) and that engine commonality, which should be one of the most important, is actually a factor instead of being a complete non-issue as it is today.

But that's a separate issue from trying to use the commonality system explicitly to meter growth.  That would be much better taken care of by addressing the fundamental flaws in the economics of the game.  The system we have today already punishes in a very big way those who order everything they can but it will never solve the problem (without getting into stupid-huge penalties that are even more unrealistic than what we have going on already) until you address the issues on the revenue side of the equation.

Trying to fix an "unrealistic" outcome with equally unrealistic penalties is bass-ackwards and illogical.  Fix the real problem and this and many other issues will take care of themselves.  It's a much better use of time on sami's part.

Sigma, you are getting at a route of the problem I am really wanting to address.  The need to make fleet/engine commonality much more important than it is.  

I was hoping that with this type of measure in place then people will be forced to plan out its long term strategy early on.  That way, you just don't end up with certain airlines owning.  Even the F5 spammers will be forced to play smartly.  I am not proposing this solely to punish them.  This is just an effect of making the first statement true. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 11:27:29 PM by swiftus27 »

Offline Sigma

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2011, 11:32:48 PM »
Again, I agree with the much-needed change to commonality.  I just think using it to address the early-game problem, or even hoping that it will, is wishful-thinking at best.

People do not operate 25 types because the system doesn't penalize you for doing so -- it already does in a hugely unrealistic fashion -- they operate them because doing so nets them so much cash that they can afford to pay virtually any penalty you want to slap on them (unless you get into stupid-huge penalties that are an even more unrealistic solution to an already unrealistic situation).

People who know how to game-the-game will win no matter what.  Because we rely on too many hackjob systems that certain people know how to exploit for maximum gain and most players don't.  That's a FAR more important factor to "winning" early on than any commonality penalty.

I've played in about as many worlds as anyone here.  I almost always play at DFW as most people know but I've also played in a couple other large airports, and always have a lot of competition.  But I've never operated more than 4 fleets and never more than 2 in the early-game.  And yet I somehow consistently manage to be at the top tier of a game-world.

The 'buy all you can' strategy is not a ticket to invincibility.  It's just a strategy.  An easy one, I'll grant you, but just a strategy nonetheless.  And the more efficient strategy works today.  I use it every single game-world to beat out my competition many of whom use the 'take everything' strategy.  At the end of the day, it isn't what aircraft procurement strategy that will decide who wins, it's whoever knows how to game the game the best.  That is the problem.  And that's why I'm not playing right now because it's gotten tiresome for me personally because, since I can game the game with the best of them, the outcome is virtually preordained; I know precisely what to do to make the most money because there's virtually no outside variables beyond my control. (though I did just enter a game-world yesterday to try to see the difficulties of starting in a 50% complete game-world at a small airport that closes at night)

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2011, 11:50:37 PM »
Sigma, you are also forgetting one benefit for punishing those players...

It keeps new players involved.  Many people/airlines are sick of the same few people getting everything they want early on.   They leave the game.  That further gives these people a 'win'. 

Something like this will help keep the used market a bit more full. 

Offline Sigma

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2011, 12:19:31 AM »
Swiftus, I think you're missing my point.

The "take anything you want" strategy isn't an easy one; it's in fact probably one of the harder ones to pull off and almost impossible if your competition is as good as you are.  It takes a lot of knowledge about maximizing revenues to pull it off because it's very expensive.   The people who pull it off successfully know the ins-and-out of gaming the game more than anyone.  They're going to stomp these "new players" no matter what.  So they have to change their strategy a little and stick with 5 models rather than 10 (or whatever).  They'll quickly adapt and continue gaming the game despite yet another contrivance.  You didn't make their method of generating huge amounts of cash any harder -- all you did was impact what they could readily and immediately spend it on.  At best you slowed expansion a little bit, and that's great, but you didn't solve the real problem, and that is that some players can make huge amounts of cash gaming the game exploiting the nonsensical systems we have in place today while others who don't understand the nuances of AWS, most of which fly in the face of reality, end up floudering.  So they stick around a little bit longer but their eventual demise is an inevitability.

This doesn't help the less-experienced players in the slightest except, like bases, it's one more thing that will nonsensically increase their costs with absolutely no bearing at all on reality or basic common sense.  So a lot of people will find themselves making bad business decisions because, despite whatever reality would indicate, in AWS we've got some other contrived nonsensical system that jumps up and surprises you.  Even if the exact cost increase information was shared (as you mentioned earlier) it still doesn't make any sense to implement an unrealistic solution to solve an unrealistic problem.

And it sure in the world won't keep the Used market more full.  It will only increase the demand for the more popular models because these experienced players will be sitting on large amounts of cash that they're still generating with their superior knowledge of the game but they'll be spending less of it on superfluous crap models and be waiting with baited breath for the more popular ones to appear and/or further increasing the new production queue beyond what we see today.  Used models will dissapear in 0.1s rather than 1s and new model queues will break into the 2yr+ range several times faster than they do today.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 12:23:56 AM by Sigma »

Talentz

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2011, 02:17:50 AM »
These discussions remind me of the previous game I came from and generally the reason why I left it. The devs went with a middle ground solution and the balance was made even worse. I have high hopes for AWS and think the underlying problems will be solved.

 :)


The 'buy all you can' strategy is not a ticket to invincibility.  It's just a strategy.  An easy one, I'll grant you, but just a strategy nonetheless.  And the more efficient strategy works today.  I use it every single game-world to beat out my competition many of whom use the 'take everything' strategy.  At the end of the day, it isn't what aircraft procurement strategy that will decide who wins, it's whoever knows how to game the game the best.  That is the problem.  And that's why I'm not playing right now because it's gotten tiresome for me personally because, since I can game the game with the best of them, the outcome is virtually preordained; I know precisely what to do to make the most money because there's virtually no outside variables beyond my control. (though I did just enter a game-world yesterday to try to see the difficulties of starting in a 50% complete game-world at a small airport that closes at night)

Welcome to the club? lol  :P


Talentz
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 07:09:12 AM by Talentz »

Offline raptorva

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2011, 12:54:20 PM »
I go the smallest fleet type number possible for three reasons;

- its realistic
- its cheaper long term
- Looks far better on the airline profile page XD Just a few types

Right now in JA I have a long range plane (Britannia), a mid-range plane (BAC-1-11) and short range plane (HS-748). They fill all my needs and because I have large numbers of them, my overheads are lower.

Offline swiftus27

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 01:17:31 PM »
Guys, I appreciate the feedback.

I do understand your points.

I feel that something needs to be done to help the new players.  Sure, we, the longstanding player knows how to deal with a F5 Master.  I am just more concerned about the new players.  Every game we see them griping about how one airline has 100 planes and they are still stuck at 10.   

Riger

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2011, 02:44:50 PM »
Perhaps there should be a special Game/Class for all the AWS Ninja's out there and the Ninja's (Like Jumbo Shrimp and co) should be kept away from the Wannabee's (like me/us).

Best Regards
Richard


Offline Wing Commander Chad Studdington

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2011, 03:29:34 PM »
Perhaps there should be a special Game/Class for all the AWS Ninja's out there and the Ninja's (Like Jumbo Shrimp and co) should be kept away from the Wannabee's (like me/us).

Best Regards
Richard



I've suggested something similar to this in the survey doing the rounds. Rather than having one game world, lets says MT for sake of argument you have two exactly the same running alongside each other with a staggered start. The first game world would allow all the "ninjas" as you put it to do as they do and create massive airlines and for us wannabees to go bust and eventually the wannabees could go to the second game world where we could try again but with the always successful big boys busy in the first world.

Jps

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2011, 07:15:35 PM »
I've suggested something similar to this in the survey doing the rounds. Rather than having one game world, lets says MT for sake of argument you have two exactly the same running alongside each other with a staggered start. The first game world would allow all the "ninjas" as you put it to do as they do and create massive airlines and for us wannabees to go bust and eventually the wannabees could go to the second game world where we could try again but with the always successful big boys busy in the first world.

I don't think this would work. Not with the current amount of players. If we split up the new worlds into 2 exactly the same worlds, both would have too few players. And then it would be even worse than having a few overly-huge airlines in one game.

Offline Wing Commander Chad Studdington

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2011, 09:11:30 PM »
Maybe not but under the current game engine the same airlines turn up and crush the rest of us, every single time.

At the end of the day commonality has to be sorted, spotted an airline today succeeding using, IIRC, 15 fleets ranging in size from ATR to 747 and everything in between.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2011, 11:56:23 PM »
Can you help me expand on this so more people agree?  It appears that many people completely disagree.  

The main point of this is to encourage smart expansion while punishing those who order everything.  Over time, the slot grabbing players may be pushed out altogether with a fuel crisis (affecting their narrower margins)... all while the smart player is slowly getting an awesome fleet of very similar aircraft.  Because honestly, there has to be a lot of similarities how a specific company makes their planes from one type to the next.

Well, the part about lessening commonality penalty when staying within the same manufacturer, which probably does reflect real world.  OTOH, from game play point of view, that may just cause more people to stick to Airbus / Boeing, with fewer players venturing out beyond their offerings.

As far as approach to commonality, I outlined my ideas above.  The start-up cost for the fleet group can contain 1 or both of these:
1.- one flat amount per fleet type per week (independent of # of aircraft).  This would correspond to set-up for pilot training and maintenance
2.- optionally, a one time charge, per fleet group, corresponding to perhaps purchase of simulators etc.  Player would be prompted about this charge, and if it is like 10M for a large aircraft, that itself would postpone adding of 2nd fleet type.
3.- regular per aircraft per week fee (constant fee per aircraft, regardless of # of aircraft player has) + direct costs of A/B/C/D checks.

If items 1 and 2 are large enough, that will definitely force players to adopt a strategy corresponding to real life running of a business, and it would slow down initial growth.

To implement this, it would take a higher start-up capital to be able to get to the profitable 6+ within the window provided by the start-up capital and 4 month pre-paid leases, but a player would need 10 to 20 planes to even start thinking about fleet group #2.  This would mean slower expansion at the start, since you are limited to 1 fleet group for some time (a year?) and than, to only 2 fleet groups for perhaps another year or more - assuming you are doing everything else right.

Edit:
In Game Play language, Ability to purchase fleet group in 2nd fleet group would be similar to getting to "Level 2", meaning, you have already mastered "Level 1" - which is ability to successfully manage 1 fleet group to the point you are able to "purchase" ability to buy fleet #2.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 12:04:14 AM by JumboShrimp »

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2011, 12:54:41 AM »
Sigma,

You are being a little fatalistic here.
- commonality issues can be fixed with some chages that are not like throw away everything and start over.  They are beyond tinkering, but dowable, even within 1.3
- High profit margins on full planes at "normal" ticket prices are what airlines dream about and live for, but it can be hard to achieve because of competition.  In AWS, probably 90% of routes are completely competition free.  So there is no problem in a full aircraft printing money (no need to lower profit margins), the problem is in a lack of competition
- Competition can be introduced in small increments or large.  Small increments would be just making price competition relevant.  Also, turning down the freakishly huge frequency benefit is well within 1.3 scope.  But all it will fix is maybe 1/10th of the (lack of competition)problem.  9/10th of the fix may still be far away.  But just because it is far away, don't break something that is fine (large margins onthe margins on full flights now).
- another 1/10th of the problem is the current uselessness of additional bases.  Making the bases useful would introduce more competition, including competition between large airlines.
- lack of slots is another competition lowering feature.  Introducing some flexibility (more slots) in slot constrained airports would again increase competition.
- Big issues addressing competition would have to wait for next major revision (2.0) because it would involve city based demand, passenger connections (ability to compete with player flying AB by flying ACB or ADB)...

Offline Sigma

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2011, 01:07:44 AM »
Sigma,

You are being a little fatalistic here.
- commonality issues can be fixed with some chages that are not like throw away everything and start over.  They are beyond tinkering, but dowable, even within 1.3
- High profit margins on full planes at "normal" ticket prices are what airlines dream about and live for, but it can be hard to achieve because of competition.  In AWS, probably 90% of routes are completely competition free.  So there is no problem in a full aircraft printing money (no need to lower profit margins), the problem is in a lack of competition
- Competition can be introduced in small increments or large.  Small increments would be just making price competition relevant.  Also, turning down the freakishly huge frequency benefit is well within 1.3 scope.  But all it will fix is maybe 1/10th of the (lack of competition)problem.  9/10th of the fix may still be far away.  But just because it is far away, don't break something that is fine (large margins onthe margins on full flights now).
- another 1/10th of the problem is the current uselessness of additional bases.  Making the bases useful would introduce more competition, including competition between large airlines.
- lack of slots is another competition lowering feature.  Introducing some flexibility (more slots) in slot constrained airports would again increase competition.
- Big issues addressing competition would have to wait for next major revision (2.0) because it would involve city based demand, passenger connections (ability to compete with player flying AB by flying ACB or ADB)...


I don't particularly see how I'm being fatalistic when I not only agree with everything you just stated, but I've said almost every one of them (sans the slot issue) in this very thread as the issues that need to be addressed that would solve the basic fundamental problems with why/how big airlines do what they do.  Lack of commonality is only a byproduct of the points you just listed and I've mentioned in this thread, to mention many others, many times now.

I said early on that I agree that the commonality changes would be welcome, my only contention has been that they just won't fix the root reason they were brought up -- helping the little guy.

And all the economic/competitive points -- I never said they were truly difficult fixes or that they wouldn't/couldn't be done.  I wouldn't be here right now if I thought that.  I've already said in this thread that price competition would be the first step towards solving many of the problems as well as reducing the frequency variable.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2011, 01:25:28 AM »
I've played in about as many worlds as anyone here.  I almost always play at DFW as most people know but I've also played in a couple other large airports, and always have a lot of competition.  But I've never operated more than 4 fleets and never more than 2 in the early-game.  And yet I somehow consistently manage to be at the top tier of a game-world.

The 'buy all you can' strategy is not a ticket to invincibility.  It's just a strategy.  An easy one, I'll grant you, but just a strategy nonetheless.  And the more efficient strategy works today.  I use it every single game-world to beat out my competition many of whom use the 'take everything' strategy.  At the end of the day, it isn't what aircraft procurement strategy that will decide who wins, it's whoever knows how to game the game the best.  That is the problem.  And that's why I'm not playing right now because it's gotten tiresome for me personally because, since I can game the game with the best of them, the outcome is virtually preordained; I know precisely what to do to make the most money because there's virtually no outside variables beyond my control. (though I did just enter a game-world yesterday to try to see the difficulties of starting in a 50% complete game-world at a small airport that closes at night)

If you are basing your analysis on running an airline out of DFW, you are certainly not going to fully appreciate what swiftus is talking about.  The reason is that DFW is an exception to the rule.  It is one of the handful airports that:
- have enough demand for player to grow big enough to be in charge of his own destiny
- enough slots not to be slot-locked by slot grabbing opponent.

(I wish more airports were like that, where competition is how efficiently you build and use your fleet, but sadly, im most of the other large airports, it is competion of grabbing slots)

Try that strategy against a really competent player in a slot limited large airport, and you may not prevail so easily.  While you are building your ideal fleet, your oponent will grab all the slots flying any piece of junk.  He will lock up slots on highly profitable routes ahead of you, and those profits will sustain his fleet inefficiency.  With enough time, he will streamline his fleet, and you will be there staring at a production lines with your ideal fleet of aircraft arriving, but you can't schedule them.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2011, 02:00:48 AM »
I don't particularly see how I'm being fatalistic when I not only agree with everything you just stated, but I've said almost every one of them (sans the slot issue) in this very thread as the issues that need to be addressed that would solve the basic fundamental problems with why/how big airlines do what they do.  Lack of commonality is only a byproduct of the points you just listed and I've mentioned in this thread, to mention many others, many times now.

Maybe we just have a different interpretation of cause and effect.  If I understand you correctly, you say that too high profit margins are the root cause, and fleet commonality is a byproduct - players can get away with it.  And that addressing fleet commonality is just a small issue, addressing which will have a limited effect. (that's where that "fatalistic" comment came from)

I see it differently:
- fleet commonality is an independent variable that can be fixed independently of everything else, and it will have a substantial effect on abuses (AWS airlines running 10 fleet types and prospering).  A side benefit of this chage (besides making AWS more RW like) is that the slots will be a far less dominant issus at major airports compared to current situation.
- high profit margins are not the root cause, but a byproduct of lack of competition on vast majority of routes.  So let's not do a root canal on a healthy tooth.

I said early on that I agree that the commonality changes would be welcome, my only contention has been that they just won't fix the root reason they were brought up -- helping the little guy.

I am not sure that is the over-reaching objective.  Build a better game, and more will come.  Nevertheless, I think the commonality changes will have some positive effect on smaller airlines, in that they will reduce the crowding out effect of some large airlines (growing too much too quickly) have on smaller airlines.  (and airplane order queues)

Offline JonesyUK

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2011, 05:40:58 PM »
If the aim is to slow growth, just disallow leasing and make airlines buy all planes. That would slow growth.

Offline JumboShrimp

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Re: Commonality "Points"
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2011, 06:57:06 PM »
If the aim is to slow growth, just disallow leasing and make airlines buy all planes. That would slow growth.

Finally, there is a second person who recognizes that the unlimited leasing is problematic.  I have been a lone voice on this subject for long time...

An airline with no assets (company value) can lease $10, $20, even $50 billion worth of aircraft.  While, the credit limit for borrowing, even a secured loan (where the player actually puts up some capital and asset) is only ~ $500mil.

I think leases should be limted to the same credit limit as outright borrowing.  And that limit should be expaned somewhat...

 

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