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Author Topic: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality  (Read 4250 times)

Offline schro

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A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« on: October 30, 2018, 08:02:42 PM »
So, as a regular operator of small regional airlines, I wanted to surface the things that happen with fleet commonality and see what other people think as to what is fair. This is not a feature request or bug report (yet), but something feels a bit off in how the math works for the larger airlines of the world. In GW2, I'm currently paying fleet commonality costs of 193m per month, which appears to be close enough for hand grenades to fair.  I'm currently accumulating a fleet type to do a quick swap over and wanted to see how my fleet commonality was impacted if I tossed one plane into service.  As you can see, it jumps to 3.5 billion in commonality costs in a month. I don't know about you, but it seems a bit extreme - I would burn through my cash in about 4 game years and go bankrupt.

So, the question to the audience is... is this too much to punish a large airline for a 4th type or is it completely fair? Please explain your answer as well.

Offline Sami

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 08:22:59 PM »
Hey probably the best place for ideas is the "fleet commonality points" thread in feature rq forum. As while I have not yet given a though on the implementation the basis for that idea is probably the best. Have aircraft models and manufacturers to have relations and points. For example A320 is 50% common with A330 while A320 is 0% common with B737 and so forth. And add the layer of giving easily understandable points or levels to the system to show the costs to the users.

(But by all means this is not something that is on the nearby to-do list)

Offline Zobelle

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 08:32:06 PM »
How about 757/767? Or DC9/MD80?

While we’re here we can talk turkey concerning 737 classic to 737 NG...

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 08:37:33 PM »
Well, it forces the best(biggest) players to do choices. I actually like the idea. One has to choose niches. In the same GW2, I did systematically bypass very larges on purpose,and that's not random. Were the penalty not so big, I wouldn't have had to make hard choices. There are a few very juicy LH routes possible from my bases.

Offline schro

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 09:00:31 PM »
Hey probably the best place for ideas is the "fleet commonality points" thread in feature rq forum. As while I have not yet given a though on the implementation the basis for that idea is probably the best. Have aircraft models and manufacturers to have relations and points. For example A320 is 50% common with A330 while A320 is 0% common with B737 and so forth. And add the layer of giving easily understandable points or levels to the system to show the costs to the users.

(But by all means this is not something that is on the nearby to-do list)

Not necessarily looking for ideas - in a way, it's raising some awareness of the challenges faced by "small regional airlines" and seeing how fair folks think it is. Perhaps if everyone thinks its fair, we have nothing to suggest. Or if it's not fair, then finding a venue to suggest a better change would be nice... therefore...

For those that want to add ideas after reading this thread, here's the 7+ year old feature request on it - https://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,27714.0.html

Though, I'm curious of your response to the actual on-topic question posed in this thread :-P.

How about 757/767? Or DC9/MD80?

While we’re here we can talk turkey concerning 737 classic to 737 NG...

I'd rather stick to the question/topic at hand - should a large airline operator face a 3.5 billion monthly bill for running 4 types instead of 3 and why? If you want to grind the stubble of an ax left about the classic vs NG, I'd suggest a different thread to do so.

Well, it forces the best(biggest) players to do choices. I actually like the idea. One has to choose niches. In the same GW2, I did systematically bypass very larges on purpose,and that's not random. Were the penalty not so big, I wouldn't have had to make hard choices. There are a few very juicy LH routes possible from my bases.

It is an interesting concept that forces a choice and discipline on a larger airline, but the choices are now exponentially harder with freight in the mix. I also would guesstimate (but can't test) that an airline with 6x 350 fleets would face a much lower commonality cost (estimated 2.2b instead of 3.5b per month).

Offline groundbum2

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 09:53:06 PM »
I suggested a while back that airlines have 1 or 2 "golden tickets" that can be cashed and will allow a 6 month grace period for a 4th fleet. If not a 100% reduction in the penalty, then at least  a, say, 50% reduction.

Simon

Offline Talentz

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 10:08:08 PM »
Fair, if you want my honest opinion. Being at the top should come with it's own host of problems.

Not everyone can play at that level. Most casual players never approach the amount of time and effort required to compete at this level... and why should they be expected too?

If you want to dominate and run a huge airline at expense of others, that's fine. Totally doable in our sandbox GW as is. But don't assume it should be easier to do so because your (were) at the top. AWS needs to keep the new players that join. We can't have them quit 6wks in because their being dominated so hard by the older playerbase. Which in the end, is what we'll be doing by allowing already very large airlines get even larger.

I don't see how this benefits more then... 30 players?  ;D



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Offline schro

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 11:07:02 PM »
I suggested a while back that airlines have 1 or 2 "golden tickets" that can be cashed and will allow a 6 month grace period for a 4th fleet. If not a 100% reduction in the penalty, then at least  a, say, 50% reduction.

Simon

50% of 3.5 billion per month is still a lot of cash.... Certainly more than profits are...

Offline Zombie Slayer

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 12:54:10 AM »
Fair, if you want my honest opinion. Being at the top should come with it's own host of problems.

Not everyone can play at that level. Most casual players never approach the amount of time and effort required to compete at this level... and why should they be expected too?

If you want to dominate and run a huge airline at expense of others, that's fine. Totally doable in our sandbox GW as is. But don't assume it should be easier to do so because your (were) at the top. AWS needs to keep the new players that join. We can't have them quit 6wks in because their being dominated so hard by the older playerbase. Which in the end, is what we'll be doing by allowing already very large airlines get even larger.

I don't see how this benefits more then... 30 players?  ;D



Talentz

The penalty doesn't have to be $3 billion to ha e a negative effect. I have helped more than a few new(er) players save their airlines from too many fleet types at 200...300...400 frames. The 4th type penalty can be crippling as low as 150-200 planes with an inexperienced player or in a high competition environment. The exponential penalty gets out of control at about 500 planes and becomes insurmountable at about 800.

I might not be in favor of removing the penalty all together but for long term playability some wiggle room would be nice. The points system is interesting, partial commonality (similar to what Sami mentioned above) has potential, even being able to replace a single type over x amount of time penalty free would be a plus. I understand not wanting to lose new players but old players should be considered important customers too.
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Offline Zobelle

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 02:56:15 AM »
I can see doubling commonality cost but to go from 200mn to 3.5bn is nothing short of stupid.

200-400? Okay

200-800, were getting a little wacky.

But a near 20 fold increase for one fleet type? Not only unrealistic but excessively punitive. Like the death penalty for swiping a grape at the grocery store.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2018, 03:55:13 AM »
I think the 4th fleet penalty has completely outlived its usefulness. Instead of simply punishing airlines who were flying a dozen fleet types, it has forced airlines to focus on the aircraft families - 737 and A320, and for the early jet years, DC-9 - to the detriment of all the other types. And especially for the long game worlds, which came about after the 4th fleet penalty, it effectively limits you to two fleet types for the entire game until you've finished your last fleet renewal, and THEN you can add a 3rd type. Creating the rule made sense at the time, and it might still make sense for the shorter "challenge" scenarios. But for the long game worlds, it needs to go.

Online tungstennedge

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 06:15:07 AM »
I think the entire way fleet types are done is unreasonable. I feel like commonality cost should scale on a curve looking like x^(0.5), with some considerations with the type of aircraft in mind when adding types, just as size, engine, airbus/boeing, ect, and airlines should be highly incentivized to stay to one fleet type because it should be just so much better than two or three. This would make the game may be less favourable for new players as large airlines would have less incentive to stay to a few types, and adding 3,4,5... however many types would only incrementally lower margins, however I think it would be cool to have the playstyle having planes to fit your market perfectly could be fun too. Right now it seems pretty dull
with fleet types, stick to three, save cash before transitioning and never get the chance to BK, pretty boring. I would be far more awesome if for example if you ran a diverse fleet, say one player came along with only a single fleet type, therefore having far greater margins than you, and simply overlapped flights in that market so that you would lose money while they made a slim profit- That would be competitive and cool.

Basically what Im saying is I completely disagree with the way commonality is done, that 3.5 billion is complete bogus and makes no sense, even from a game balance perspective becuase it only hurts inexperienced players- not it intention IMO. If we want large airline to be punished, they should be punished for trying to cover multiple niches rather than a single in the best possible way, so for example a airline running both domestic and longhaul shouldn't beable to get the same margin as an airline doing just one of the two, therefore allowing playes trying to occupy niches to excell aswell, just like Ryanair did IRL in europe.  RN for example I am a pretty new player, and I may have tried to do a fleet chance without stored cash, I would have no way of ever knowing my commonality cost was gonna multiply by ten, If i BK'd from that I doubt i would ever come back to the game- it makes no sense compared to real life. I wish the actual way commonality would be would be scale up cost with fleet types signficaly between one and two, and sigificantly between two and three, but less and less after that.

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2018, 07:31:29 AM »
And especially for the long game worlds, which came about after the 4th fleet penalty, it effectively limits you to two fleet types for the entire game until you've finished your last fleet renewal, and THEN you can add a 3rd type.

Which is the exact purpose : you can"t hope to dominate all the markets from your airports, which leaves some place for others. You have to make interesting choices. Sid Meier told that a good gameplay was when the player was offered interesting choices. When I played in CDG, I bypassed mediums, focusing only on larges & very larges. This made me vulnerable on SH routes. But that was the price to pay for being the local bully. Big boys don't cry.

Offline NovemberCharlie

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2018, 09:03:19 AM »
As ludicrous as these costs are they do serve a purpose. Having said that I do think they need to be modified in a way that fleet transitions can be done without hoarding a fleet type for 4-5 years and then swapping over. This benefits no one:
- It clogs a production line, while no aircraft are added to the free market (i.e. the type being replaced);
- The big airline is stopped from REPLACING, instead of EXPANDING (which is what the penalty is for);
- Top tier players usually spend more time on the game and thus will likely take as many aircraft of the used market as they can, preventing newcomers from getting good aircraft. (At least with the current mechanism I'd be a LOT more aggressive in finding used ac...).

Personally I think it would be better to get a penalty that is an actual business choice: will I marginalize my current profit for an extra type or do I use less than optimal aircraft and keep up the profits. In some niches the added expansion is a more fun and interesting way to continue the game, while in other scenarios profits reign. (e.g. at a certain point my Colombian airline will have finished expanding with a long, medium and short haul type and I might want to add a twin otter or so. My airline in Chicago is in too much of a competitive environment that I will not overstep the three fleets...)


Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2018, 09:55:24 AM »
Basically, the current limitation forces player to choose between:
 - medium-size polyvalent airline (relatively easy renewals)
 - large size "static" airlines (hard renewals).

This is done through the 4th fleet penalty, or it could also be through something else, sure. But in the end, while the means are not necessarily the bests, the aim is more than meaningful / useful. Yes, I tend to think like Gazzz.
Be big has a cost: renewals and polyvalence (you can't crush everyone)
Be polyvalent has a cost: be medium (you won't crush anyone nor seriously threaten big boys)

Yes, the costs are absurd and completely unrealistic, but this is not the point. The point is, do they do what they are intended to? The answer is yes.

Now, I agree that the system could be changed, and I would love to see another way of implementing it, but I think the aim should remain.
Could it be through a choice rather than a rule, maybe. Something that makes the player chose (airline traits?), so later on he assumes his choices: you want a bonus on this, then you'll get a malus on that, and vice-versa. I feel it would psychologically work better with the human beings that we are, but the result would probably be really close to what it is today.

Offline wilian.souza2

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2018, 11:22:15 AM »
As ludicrous as these costs are they do serve a purpose. Having said that I do think they need to be modified in a way that fleet transitions can be done without hoarding a fleet type for 4-5 years and then swapping over. This benefits no one:
- It clogs a production line, while no aircraft are added to the free market (i.e. the type being replaced);
- The big airline is stopped from REPLACING, instead of EXPANDING (which is what the penalty is for);
- Top tier players usually spend more time on the game and thus will likely take as many aircraft of the used market as they can, preventing newcomers from getting good aircraft. (At least with the current mechanism I'd be a LOT more aggressive in finding used ac...).

Personally I think it would be better to get a penalty that is an actual business choice: will I marginalize my current profit for an extra type or do I use less than optimal aircraft and keep up the profits. In some niches the added expansion is a more fun and interesting way to continue the game, while in other scenarios profits reign.

I'm AGAINST the fleet penaltiy as it is exactly because of the reasions mentioned above, plus it makes gameplay boring over time as you realize you must do pretty much the same choice of strategy and aircraft to get the best result in the game worlds, and also prevents you from adapting to demand changes - which, in some cases, can make opportunity to fleet changes. It should be substituted with increased training and maintenance costs (maybe exponential) and hiring of extra personnel maintenance, which will also ask for higher salaries than usual.

When CBD and supply by hub connections become a reality, this penalty should be completely abolished as it wouldn't make sense anymore because airlines would be able to transport as many passengers as today with a lot less aircraft and route pairs.

Offline MuzhikRB

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2018, 12:26:41 PM »
was reading this topic just before boarding for TPE-ICN leg. had 2 hours to think about it.
what comes from the sky…

Penalty for multiple fleets must be. it is not only serves anti-monopoly god, but also penalize ineffectiveness.
Second - system should be easy to understand and transparent.
Therefore I come down to idea of FI. Fleet Commonality Image.
What it is.
Company has to pay for its fleet service. More fleets, more different people should be invited. More ACs in fleet - more you pay.
How it can work:
FI - works the same like company image. You need to pay to raise it.
Why you need this ? Because the lower is FI for your fleet  - the more you pay for commonality. 
FI=100, then commonality cost for your fleet is equal to what we have now if you have 1-3 fleets.
FI=0 - then commonality for this fleet will be like you have 4 fleets.

Every company has 3 slots for FI to pay.
Every company  will get bonus:
1st fleet that player will open - will receive 100FI.
2nd fleet that player will open - will receive 75FI
3rd fleet that player will open - will receive 50FI.

Futhermore:
To keep FI at 100 or raise it to 100 you need to organize training. the more ACs this fleet has - more you need to pay to keep FI at 100. So if you are small company you will pay less then big guys. it can be done the same way like Company Image (Base city->country->worldwide marketing campaign) or another - doesnt matter,
But as in CI - every next fleet (2nd or 3rd) will require to pay more for the same amount of ACs. so 100 ACs in 2nd fleet will require more money to keep FI=100 then 100Acs at 1st fleet.

Stop to pay:
If you stop to pay for your fleet - FI will drop gradually by time. in my view it should be like 1 point per week. and therefore - commonality will increase gradually.

Fleet transitions:
You need to stop paying for fleet you are removing and start to pay for new one.
it means you will start flying fleet with 0 FI (you will pay the hell of money for that fleet) from one side and will see the decrease of FI of current fleet from other.
Gradually decrease will allow you to avoid massive penalty at start, but will penalize you if not well planned. at this rate of decrease you will have around 2 years before you see significant increase of this fleet expenses. at the same time your new fleet should already get some relief because you pay for it,
Fleets from the same producer should get guaranteed bonus. If you have Boeing 747 fleet with FI=100. so any other new fleet from Boeing for the same type (Very large) should get, let imagine, guaranteed FI=60. and it cannot go less then 50 until 747 FI will decrease below that. if you open Boeing 737 - the guaranteed Bonus is FI=40 or 50(because other fleet size). it will force to stick with producer and help during fleet transitions like 733->737 or 777->at one hand, but still will limit player choices as well.
Conclusion:
Numbers are to be simulated.
New system is transparent and easy to understand (I hope).
New system is scalable and easy to manage=adapt to different GWs environment. May be for BW we can set up only 2 slots for fleet and for long GWs 4. Or may be decrease rate of FI will be faster in short GWs and slower in long…But it will be clear what to be done in each case.

Sorry for long post.


Online tdf42

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2018, 10:13:59 PM »
I have not seen the 4th fleet penalty keep big time airlines from going bigger. The premise is to keep a balance in the game and while it may give some pause we dont need to help the rich get richer. Real world most airlines try to keep there fleet diversity at a minimum, except for Delta of  course..lol

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2018, 10:29:36 PM »
I remembered as diagram I saw a while back about architectural projects. Adapted it to AWS ::)

Offline schro

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Re: A Discussion of Fleet Commonality
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2018, 10:44:31 PM »
I have not seen the 4th fleet penalty keep big time airlines from going bigger. The premise is to keep a balance in the game and while it may give some pause we dont need to help the rich get richer. Real world most airlines try to keep there fleet diversity at a minimum, except for Delta of  course..lol

How would a 3 billion dollar monthly loss as a result of a 4th fleet type not prevent my airline from getting bigger?

 

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