so sami, any conclusions yet ??.. apparently no more ideas are coming :S
This is a big issue, and seven or eight days later may not be enough time to flush this out. There are many hardcore players who have made many contributions to these forums that have not responded here.
Looking back at some other threads on major changes, they went for months, as the discussion evolved and coalesced around some ideas and how to model them. Not suggesting we carry on for months, but not sure the "brainstorming" phase is over yet.
With slots the obvious problem is that it is "first come, first take" which is not fully fair. But that is not going to change yet at least. One change I would plan for this, in order to limit huge monopolies, is that home based airlines combined together could not control more than 60 or 70% of the slots at the airport. All other slots would be marked for non-based airlines.
However, when we think of longer term the one big issue is that when you replace your fleets to faster ones, the arrival/dep times at outstation change and you may end up having no slots for the departure, and you have to stick with the 1955 propliner schedule to LHR all the way to 2020 even though the flight could be 5 hours faster. This isn't very realistic nor desirable.
Anyway, this is already out of the original topic and question in my mind as my original point was to look for ideas in how to make th long term game play easier in terms of slots and route/fleet changes etc.
I like the line of thought the LemonButt has provided.
As I read Sami's request again, the essence is that to make the game playable from game time=0, the world is unpopulated with any airlines. The model assumes high growth to make it interesting for the players in a virtually unopposed marketplace. So there is in place various mechanisms to limit the impact of that growth to mitigate the advantages of monopoly, again to make it playable for a larger number of players (vs dominated by a hand full of "winners").
To model what LemonButt is discussing would require competition to exist right from the start (otherwise who is bidding on slots?). That is the holy grail of most games, and may be rather complex and computing intensive to implement on this scale. Hence these shortcuts, like the suggested cap on % of slots at home base, multi-factor step function on slot prices, limits to 3 aircraft purchases per week, etc..
For similar reasons, there are also limits to the number of slots in the entire game world.
Ultimately, if the game runs out of computing resources or becomes too big and complicated to support efficiently within the price that Sami charges, then it won't work. So, I see where Sami is coming from. We have to trust Sami on this bit.
So, I will (perhaps presumptuously
) attempt to ask Sami's question in different words..."Given that we are limited to having some artificial mechanisms
(let's face it, they all are, but easiest way I can think to express is...that are not a "simulated market place" as proposed by LemonButt, sorry LB
), is there some combination of limitations or parameters that can be set that makes the game interesting to anyone, no matter when they join in the long games, while being challenging enough throughout the life of the game to maintain interest? What should the game start 'look like' so that it doesn't give an unbalanced advantage to those who got in on day one? And, how can these tweaks help ease the administrative aspects of the game?"
Underlying the answer to these questions are:
- What do/should players consider a "success" in this long game?
- Does it make sense in the long game to have airlines so large or with such a large cash balance early enough in the game that they no longer face an existential threat?
- Does the game reward perseverance with game mechanics (e.g. editing hundreds of routes in transition to new aircraft) or does it reward strategic thinking and planning?
- Does one strategy dominate or can "success" be found via multiple strategies?
I don't know enough (yet) to say if just a few tweaks that Sami may be looking for, or a major change, is required to meet all the above.
If there is a new city demand model that is on the horizon that few (if any) have knowledge/experience with, what gets proposed here ought to be seen as short term, pending the implementation of the new model, when there might be a better educated guess on the impact of any suggested tweaks.
I hope this spurs some thinking and comments from more veteran players.