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Author Topic: Fleet commonality experiment  (Read 1849 times)

Offline Mr. Pete

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Fleet commonality experiment
« on: December 20, 2018, 10:32:22 AM »
Hello All,

For a long time I was wondering, how much my monthly maintenance costs will increase if I add 4th fleet type. To be honest, I never done that - I read many times it is bad idea so never even tried. But due to fact that I was little bored in my GW#3 and wanted to do something, to avoid restart. I dont know how about you guys - but my favorite part is buling part, looking for new routes, small airports etc. Now when I have very big company which basically runs itself - game starts to be not as fun as at the beggining.

Anyway, to my 3 fleets (A320 family for SH, A330 faimily for LH and B752 famly for cargo) I decided to add medium aircraft family - Dornier 728.

Screen one - comm. costs with 3 fleet types:


Screen two - comm. costs with 4 fleet types (with only 2 aircraft by Dornier):


I knew it will be some increase but I didn't expect that!

How in this case some airlines with 6-10 different aircraft types still exists in any game worlds?

Regards,
P.
 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 10:51:21 AM by Mr. Pete »

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 11:04:06 AM »
Well, commonality is bigger just after the switch. It goes down to normal after a few years. But "normality" is not the same at 4 fleet groups compared to 3 fleet groups. One can expect a few points of maring to be lost, and the bigger the fleet, the worse.

In some specific cases, it may be even worth paying the extra cost, if the 4th fleet opens you a realm of new possibilities, and if you're not a too big company. But it's by definition dangerous, as opposition without this penalty can appear and kick your back. At any moment. I do consider the 4th fleet penalty worth it early in the game if I need to grow fast and have an exit plan. Or for quick transitions. There are probably other uses worth the shot, but those are risky.

Online schro

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 01:37:54 PM »
That is at least a survivable fleet count. Check out this thread: https://www.airwaysim.com/forum/index.php/topic,79048.0.html

GrayAnderson

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 03:27:59 PM »
I think the commonality bonus/penalty as currently implemented makes very little sense vis-a-vis the real world.  Yes, there are added costs to adding a fleet type.  Yes, there's a conceptual game balance issue at hand here as well.  But the idea that adding one or two "screwball" aircraft add a massive amount to the cost of operating my core fleet is silly.  Perhaps allow players to designate a "primary type" which doesn't suffer from a commonality penalty regardless of your fleet situation (but that dictates from whence the commonality penalties are drawn)?  That would allow you to "ramp up" with additional aircraft types (even taking a modest penalty initially) and then dump one of them after a bit.

-I'm wondering if it wouldn't make sense (at a penalty) to allow partial automation of turning a fleet over?  Once I (as a player) get beyond a certain size, there's enough of a "clerical penalty" that's going to start eroding my enjoyment (and it isn't helped by, for example, not being able to set up a fleet shift over the next 2-3 weeks and just "let it happen"...I have to manually move routes over once an aircraft is available, etc.).  Basically, if I have 100 737 "classic" aircraft and I'm looking to switch them to the MAX (just to offer an example), I'd probably be willing to take a small bath on purchase/leasing prrices to be able to automate the transition.

Offline DanDan

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 03:59:29 PM »
the penalty makes sense, but to say it directly: its annoying.

any regular airline would make fleetchanges as the planes come in. in AWS it is not possible. one has to wait until basically all the pieces are waiting on the tarmac, and then:
     - people need many hours at once of time to switch fleet groups.
     - after finishing that, one can go back to being bored again.

Online schro

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 04:06:18 PM »
the penalty makes sense, but to say it directly: its annoying.

any regular airline would make fleetchanges as the planes come in. in AWS it is not possible. one has to wait until basically all the pieces are waiting on the tarmac, and then:
     - people need many beers at once of time to switch fleet groups.
     - after finishing that, one can go back to being bored again.

FTFY in bold there.

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 04:13:45 PM »
In the end, it mostly depends on:
 - the era (early-starting games give high margins)
 - the size of your fleet
But yes, past 400-500 a/c, you got to do it the dandan/schro way.

Offline Zobelle

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 05:59:18 PM »
The system needs reworking...

I believe the penalty should be removed if swapping comparable types especially if both are same manufacturer  (732 to 733, 733 to 737NG, etc) but can also be extended to VL swaps like DC10 to 777 or A330.

Niche types should also be excluded like Concorde, TU144, A380, etc.

Offline Jake S

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 06:27:47 PM »
Niche types should also be excluded like Concorde, TU144, A380, etc.
That's something i would get behind, especially seeing as i have yet to see anyone using these planes for longer than 1-2 years :laugh:

"People who invest in aviation are the biggest suckers in the world."

Offline Tuckernut

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2019, 06:57:33 PM »
Personally, I have never bought into the the idea of minimizing fleet types.  Generally, because one of several events—the lead time to purchase a type I want is 2-3 years out and I need the planes now or I did not have the cash to buy one and leasing is only good for the short term.  Often there are no used aircraft available in my fleet type and I am forced to switch from, say a B747 to an MD-11.  Then when I decide to consolidate, the fleet type I want to get rid of is a glut on the market so I just hang onto it as long as it is profitable.  Sometimes I will sell or return off lease an aircraft aboutto enter D check rather than having it sit unused for 80 days.

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 08:43:38 PM »
I do actully love the limit. It forces you to do interesting choices. Just spamming the market with everything handy would be too easy,and winning would be a mere question oc connection capacity. Having to choose between 2 mandatory fleet types is far more fun in my book. In current GW3, I completely bypassed larges, flying only S2000s & 767s. That's, errrrm, complicated, as destinations between 1250 & 2500NM are basically forbidden to me. But it's also fun to succeed anyways.

Offline Cornishman

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2019, 10:33:20 PM »
Swapping out an old fleet in AWS when you run one of the larger airlines is IMPOSSIBLE.
Due to the arguably good idea to create some penalty to keep airlines in control and not let any one airline go crazy - the rule or calculation that has been created is sheer lunacy if we want to consider any sort of reality in this game.

GW4 (2016) - I have a fleet of 1,374 operative aircraft. (OK - I know - that's never a realistic RL airline size... but since this game creates the capacity ability to do this and many of us use it... )
I have religiously kept to just 3 types for a long time now as I know I'd be sent straight to BK if I added a 4th.

So the first of my 787-9 fleet have arrived to replace the 403x 777s I have and I thought I'd set just one into operation to see what it would do to my figures. Here is the mind-boggling crazy result:

Before - with 3 types):
757  Fleet monthly cost: 28,283,069
777  Fleet monthly cost: 62,834,004
EMB Fleet monthly cost: 26,280,545
Cost of all Engines :       20,287,459
Total monthly cost:  $ 137,685,077

Experiment - with 4 types (just 1x new 787 added):
757  Fleet monthly cost: 409,005,440
777  Fleet monthly cost: 908,839,203
787  Fleet monthly cost: 12,326,574
EMB Fleet monthly cost: 380,029,444
Cost of all Engines :       20,323,434
Total monthly cost:  $ 1,285,780,371

= IMPOSSIBLE !  I am forced to wait to allow every one of the new 787s to arrive and do nothing with that growing fleet for about 5 or 6 years before then swapping the whole lot over in 1 go. = CRAZY

Online Tauge

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2019, 01:48:12 AM »
An idea I had the other day, and it's similar to GrayAnderson's, is this.

Designate a fleet as "retiring", allow commonality costs to raise a bit, but not as punitively as they currently do(5-10%?). Could even add a requirement forcing the fleet to reduce in size 1 plane a month or 12 a year or whatever. This would allow someone to phase in a new fleet, much like is done in real life, replacing old planes with new ones. As opposed to how things are done now, which DanDan and schro have already gone through, or by putting themselves at a disadvantage and playing with 2 fleets so they can phase in a fleet change without penalty.

Offline jetbirdceo

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2019, 03:20:57 AM »
Have to agree with Tauge here. Almost impossible to switch out a fleet group with the current system, and being able to designate a fleeting as “retiring” could help with this problem.

Online knobbygb

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2019, 06:23:05 AM »
I usually keep out of these discussions as clearly this part of the game is set in stone, so this is going to be quite a rant:

It really is about time the whole fleet commonality thing was reworked. It's just broken and inappropriate. I don't believe it has the desired effect of 'pegging back' very large airlines and it spoils the fun for large AND small airlines alike.  It is the least realistic part of the whole system.

In the last year or two there have been more compromises about commonality designed to slightly increase playability but at the cost of reality. More fleet types are being merged (DC-10 and MD-11 come to mind and well as MD-90 and 717) where they are NOT really the same type and have different performance figures.  When Sami has gone to so much trouble to collect very accurate performance data, it seems a shame that it then has to be compromised in this way.  Recently I was reading a thread about adding the turboprop conversions for Convair 340 to 540 and this is apparently impossible - again due to commonality issues. Additionally, aircraft that really SHOULD have no (or little) commonality penalty, such as the 757 and 767 which are (well, were in 80s and 90s) flown side by side by many airlines with a common crew pool, cannot be common in the game due to the way the system works (turn-times, speed etc.).

The concept of an aircraft being large, medium small etc. doesn't work. Look how it massively changes the dynamics when one is moved between one class and another (BAC 1-11 is a prime example). Neither does the idea of Large or Very Large pilots being able to fly ANY aircraft in that class.  A BAC 1-11 pilot can switch to either a Lockheed Electra or a 737-800 with NO training yet a 757 pilot can't switch to 767? It's just unrealistic.

A whole new way of thinking about commonality needs to be introduced, but I understand just how it would mean a huge re-work of some of the core parts of the game and so is unlikely to happen any time soon.

For now though, can we at least try just ONE game with a reasonably commonality penalty?  I think it would open a few eyes and prove what I have said all along - that the current system CLEARLY does NOT stop big airlines becoming huge and taking over everything else.  I really think it just does NOT WORK.  When we become so big that it's impossible to actually spend all the money we have, it becomes quite practical to emulate a regional jet by flying an A320 with 90 premium seats (they still make decent money and have the same effect on the competition as if we were allowed some A220).  In such a game, with a low or zero penalty, I think you would see exactly the same pattern as now - several very large airlines, a few hangers on and lots of smaller ones who constantly BK and restart every few years.

What you WOULD probably see are more people staying until the end of the game as they wouldn't become bored so easily. It would become practical to:
Use 2nd or 3rd generation regional and mid-size jets (E190 (E2?), A220 etc.) and in the proper real world manner
Actually embrace the A350 or 787 rather than sticking with  A330 (neo?)
Take the risk of trying some VLA on the best routes (and maybe get stung badly)
Properly address cargo demand without having to compromise pax. fleet types around a/c that happen to have readily available conversions or combis.
Implement a proper fleet of modern turboprops to right-size whose smaller routes.
Actually REACT to market demand and competition rather than having to make a plan 70 years in advance and stick to it for 18 real-world months.

In this game, it's as if development and innovation stop in the later 80s/early 90s once the mature versions of the A320/737 become available.  The last 40 years of any long game world is a "what if..." excercise.

The example of having to wait until 400 787 are delivered before flying them is perfect. If you told that to a prospective new player who had never played this game they would laugh and walk away...

I'm sorry if it sounds insulting or patronising, but the "smaller" players are small because they choose to be...  Either they simply don't dedicate so much time to the game (fair choice, we can't ALL be addicts) or they are simply not very good.  Those who have massive airlines ALWAYS will, under ANY set of game rules.  Those who repeatedly make bad choices and crash and burn their airlines even after 100+ attempts ALWAYS will too.  Maybe those people would ALSO do better without commonality penalty. tThe penalty is smaller for them, but, when profits are marginal, it can have just as devastating an effect.  They'd be able to have a real crack at attacking the big boys via diversity and niche strategies.

I've personally created several airlines with 1200+ aircraft and 6 fleet types and still been profitable and always in the top 10 by airline score at the end of the game.  It CAN be done, so where's the harm in letting me try to do it PROPERLY, realistically.

Can we PLEASE just try one game without the huge penalty. One way or another it would give some real figures to consider...


Offline Cornishman

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2019, 08:39:07 AM »
Well said knobby. Sadly it is crazy stuff like this that is leaning me towards not really being interested to stay on after the end of GW4.  Why would I bother to try to run another big airline in AWS?  I find so many weird rules and being beaten up with a stick instead of tempted with a carrot.  The fun is draining away for me ....   :,( .

Certainly, because of this rule and the crazy level of PUNISHMENT for adding a 4th fleet type, I would never try to run a massive airline again. So that is why I then question why I would bother playing again?  I don't mean this as any insult to the game organisers- I really don't... I'm just being honest with my feelings.   I play a game (any game) to become as successful as I can and win. This rule almost completely curtails that.  Not only am I forced to not do anything with the fleet I amass for 4 or 5 years, but I can't even stick them all into storage while I do that.  If I did, then C and D checks stop, so the day I want all the planes and make the mass swap-out - if I take them all out of storage to do so, then every single C and D check on a fleet of 400 planes will happen at the same time, effectively crippling the airline for 1 month every year, then massively crippling the airline for two-and-a-half months every 8 years for the Ds.  No, no, no...  not fun !

Offline Talentz

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2019, 08:46:30 AM »
...  ...

Mmm  :-\

Without go nuclear here...

Personally, the added game "rules" over the years have greatly reduced the inter-competition among players to be focused through limited pathways. This was done from the experiences and gameplay coming out of Beta and the early years of AWS Public. As some players found ways around such discovered limits, the "rules" everyone loves to bash once a month, expanded and are now the mostly-common knowledge of the mid-level AWS player. This we all know.

A byproduct to all of this was changing the best way to "win", for lack a better word. Thus, grow big became the preferred (easier?) method. The larger you are, the less effective your opponents are to you. For the most part, at least. As such, effective strategies rose to foster this (7 day scheduling, among others).

This all leads us to where we are right now as more and more players step into the bigger AWS world of absurdly large airline management. Cue the monthly rants.

~ To me, two main reason exist that cause this: The above mentioned "rules" and the currently pax demand system (Airport Based Demand or APD).

Those rules exist for whatever valid (or not) reason they were introduced. Discussions to change them will be never-ending. APD though, is changing. With that change, alot of what we know in AWS will change as well. Those great points you brought up about being more practical towards the end game become far more viable with CBD-Pax. With our current demand system, it wouldn't matter much or have the intended greater impact you envision.

The current airport based demand limits our "vision" of AWS airline management and the "rules" in place currently steer that vision through limited pathways. I think that's where are and have been for the the past few years (?).

With that, my perspective is once CBD-Pax goes live and changes AWS from what we know, the "rules" will come into the spotlight and I can see, at least some, being removed/rolled back/reworked.

Taking this into consideration, if you were to give me two choices: Allow/finish CBD-Pax or stop/slow development and rework fleet com/other issues (playability?), I would easily choose the former. CBD-Pax has the potential for the biggest impact (change) to AWS over any one thing as it stands right now.

So much so, that it could and probably would render some of the monthly rants moot. We just have to (keeeeeeeeep) wait(ing) and see.


Not that I really disagree with your position, but those are my thoughts when I read the monthly entertainment thread (rants  :laugh:)


Talentz
Co-founder and Managing member of: The Star Alliance Group™ - A beta era, multi-brand alliance.

Offline Tha_Ape

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2019, 10:00:08 AM »
Hi Jack, Knobby, Albert and others,

I tend to stand in the middle here (try not to all shoot at me ;)).
 - the 4th fleet penalty is here for a good reason (read: fair, understandable). A behemoth at 2000 a/c would probably use a "free" 4th fleet to do his renewals, but (at least some) "medium" airlines at 600-1200 planes would probably use it to smash their opponents by having a hunter-killer type. And avoiding this is a good thing.
 - having to wait for all planes to be delivered before even thinking about a renewal is a real, real pain. Large airlines often see some of their birds entering service after their 1st D-check, which is pure madness. I once didn't have the time to prepare all my schedules in advance but my renewal had to be done: I simply cancelled the schedules of ~200 planes (50% of my medium fleet) all at once and then rebuilt them over time. Another bad solution.

Then there are some interesting proposals about commonality:
 - tagging a fleet as retiring, which Knobby just mentionned, lowering commonality costs for a certain period of time
 - having an exemption for a penalty-free 4th type as long as it's a really small one (like 21-28 birds), so we're able to fly niche aircraft (A380, Concorde, 747, etc.) without any real possibility to go beyond the niche and make it a killing tool
 - having half-commonality between some fleet types (DHC-8 and Q400, 757 and 767, CVs pistons and CVs prop, etc.)
 - certainly a few others that I don't remember right now

What bothers me is not that they are rejected for this or that reason because there is a drawback we didn't see, or a playability issue or whatever, it's that most of these points are just ignored. And I don't blame Sami, he has already 2 or 3 mountains of work ahead of him. But the fact that he's all alone on the programming creates some issues, in my opinion: large projects eat the majority of his time, and the adjustments in 2nd-rate fields are often coming months later, creating gaps in the playability. There is no real time for experiments anymore, neither is there for discussion (most of the time).

CBD-pax might (will) change the game quite a bit but, Albert, I have difficulties in understanding what you mean: how CBD-pax could solve any commonality-related issues?

I certainly agree to a certain extent that we have to "(keeeeeeeeep) wait(ing) and see", but I also think that some of these subjects could/should be discussed as soon as they become a problem: they sure might be partially solved in a future update in another field (CBD-pax), but at the same time they are not new, they have been increased with the increase of OOB limit to 1000 a/c, and they might survive the update as well.

And even beyond the "problem" side, we are also discussing possible improvements of the gameplay, on a more global scale.

Offline Talentz

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2019, 10:52:44 AM »
....

Oh yeah, well... I predict that once CBD-Pax is out (and with the current experience of CBD-Cargo) Fleet Common in its current forum will need to be almost completely changed. It won't work well and will need to be re-worked rather soon. Same goes for some of the other "rules" we have.

That said, how it changes and/or should change (fleet common) is unknown because we don't know what CBD-Pax will bring. We have an idea, but that's more related to the cargo side at this point.

So, for the moment, any large or complete overhauls would be counter-productive towards the eventual release of CBD-Pax. We should wait till its out and then build the best system we can from there.

However if there is a promising tweek that can be done without breaking something else in its place, more power to us.
Don't take the notion that I am against any of suggestions players put-forth. I just don't think its that simple and would cause more problems then solve, resulting in more voices demanding an overhaul.


Does that help clear my position?


Talentz
Co-founder and Managing member of: The Star Alliance Group™ - A beta era, multi-brand alliance.

Offline groundbum2

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Re: Fleet commonality experiment
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2019, 11:21:25 AM »
I suggested a while back that airlines in 30 year games have 2 golden tickets. These can be played when desired and have the effect nullifying the fourth fleet penalty for a year or 2 years. Most airlines would use these tickets on fleet swapover time.

Or I like the designated retirement fleet idea, where twice in a game once a fleet is designated as retiring the airline is prohibited from buying ANY of this fleet ever again, for any reason, so the only way is down, and should be gone entirely within 2/5 (small/medium,large.vl) years say.

I think a common theme emerging on many of these threads is that the rules that make sense in the first  few years of game (used market rate,4th fleet penalty, the UI,3- minute game days) stop making sense past a certain point and simply make the game a tedious admin exercise.

CBD is broken in the cargo world for complex city pairs, I really hope there's zero thought given to rolling out CBDpax until it's fixed for cargo.


Simon
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 11:25:02 AM by groundbum2 »

 

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