Potential new maintenance formula
As many of you have pointed out the current maintenance formula for aircraft needs to be changed, as older aircraft have a much higher ROI than new aircraft and it makes gameplay fairly unbalanced.

I have been developing a new formula that uses exponential growth based on cycles and aircraft size. I'd like everyone's thoughts on how they think something like this might work and any adjustments that may need to be made. 

The goal is essentially to make maintenance costs for older aircraft roughly 3x what they are now. It depends on the aircraft, number of engines, etc but for the most part the new formula accomplishes this, around the 35-40k cycles range. Beyond that costs continue to increase exponentially. 

If you want to play with the numbers here is the link to spreadhseet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...sp=sharing (you need to download to edit)

Some screenshots of old vs new formula for various sized aircraft: https://imgur.com/a/XVZ8Rot

As you can see the formulas are very similar up until around 10k cycles and then the new formula starts to make things more expensive. The only concern I have is I don't want to completely eliminate the ability to use older aircraft. One thing I can do is adjust the used market generation script to reduce the cycle count for generated aircraft just a bit, I notice a lot of the older aircraft are upwards of 50k cycles which can make starting off with used aircraft no longer viable, and I don't want that to happen.
I am the developer of Airline Enterprise
As the resident likes to fly old planes person allow me to say I wholeheartedly approve of this.

I think it should depend on the size of the aircraft as well, for example a CRJ will have many more cycles than a 777 of the same age.
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It does take size into consideration when calculating cycles, hours and mileage. I just updated the formulas today:

PHP Code:
// For larger aircraft
if($aircraft->max_seats >= 250) {
// How many miles has the aircraft flown?
$miles $years*(rand(4000,8000)*365); // 4000-8000 miles per day

// How many hours has the aircraft flown?
$hours $years*(rand(16,20)*365); // 16-20 hours per day

// How many cycles has the plane had?
$cycles $years*(rand(1,2)*365); // 1-2 flights per day

// For medium aircraft
if($aircraft->max_seats >= 100 AND $aircraft->max_seats 250) {
// How many miles has the aircraft flown?
$miles $years*(rand(2000,4000)*365); // 2000-4000 miles per day

// How many hours has the aircraft flown?
$hours $years*(rand(12,18)*365); // 12-18 hours per day

// How many cycles has the plane had?
$cycles $years*(rand(3,5)*365); // 3-5 flights per day

// For smaller aircraft
if($aircraft->max_seats 100) {
// How many miles has the aircraft flown?
$miles $years*(rand(1000,2000)*365); // 1000-2000 miles per day

// How many hours has the aircraft flown?
$hours $years*(rand(12,18)*365); // 12-18 hours per day

// How many cycles has the plane had?
$cycles $years*(rand(5,7)*365); // 5-7 flights per day

I am the developer of Airline Enterprise
But the value of the old aircrafts... don't really differ with age difference for some of the very old ones like B742, so maybe the value needs to change to make it slightly balanced (though still tipped against new aircrafts).
If this is the case, why have older aircraft in the game at all, the game needs to be robust and the changes recently are making the game play an awful less fulfilling, if for example an airline want to use older aircraft for role-play for example, the are being hammered on the new Awareness, and now maint, so they will never make a profit, and hence get bored and leave.
I was planning to play through the life of an airline founded in the 90s.
I am currently buying 734 and MD-11.
With this being introduced I can scrap that plan.
A maintenance cost of 100.000 USD is ensuring no profit at all.

Also, this is making it even harder for new starters. At the beginning you have no choice but to buy some old bangers. With this it will be such a slow and difficult start that most people will loose interest. 

Finally, this is not how maintenance cost works at all. 
Even 25 year old aircraft have fixed maintenance costs that are guaranteed over the lifetime of the airframe. 
The only thing that adds costs are bigger checks at regular intervals but they won't cause the cost to increase expenentionally. 

At the airline I fly for we gave a fleet of A320 which is mostly brand new. However through a merger we inherited some very old frames. 
They work just as well, use the same amount of fuel and don't need much extra care, even though some of those aircraft are back from the 90s. 

I can see the argument for this change but given how the game is set up right now I think it would be overkill for new players or nostalgic players like me. 
right now I am operating 737-400s with an average cycles of 34,265. Right now my per-flight maintenance cost is ~$5,316. With the new formula it would be ~$13,748. That's an $8,432 increase, which would lower my profits for sure but I am running a $15-$40k profit on most flights so it wouldn't kill my airline.

That being said I guess I agree with you about thats not how maintenance costs work. What if we replaced the per-flight cost structure we have now with the A/B/C/D check system? and in addition to that perhaps a daily/weekly (or both?) inspection that would cost X amount?

And how would everyone prefer to structure the cost of maintenance, some combination of age and cycles? To me the older the aircraft (particularly the really old ones like 707, 727 etc) it is difficult to find parts for and that is one factor that drives up costs. Maybe its not as simple as an exponential equation that increases cost with cycles.

For me the goal is to have each plane give more or less the same ROI - right now there is really no point to purchase new aircraft (except maybe the cheap russian ones) since old aircraft are only marginally more expensive to operate and yet make the same amount of revenue. You get the same revenue for very little upfront cost. For me, to have balanced gameplay, players should be able to go either way - new aircraft, large upfront cost and low operating cost - or used aircraft, low upfront cost and larger operating cost - and one strategy shouldn't be the obvious "go-to".
I am the developer of Airline Enterprise
You could base the checks on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_m...nce_checks as a baseline, ans when the users schedules these checks the aircraft is out of service for the time involved, to make it more interesting, you may also want to have the ability to offer short term leases to cover the larger maintenance
I like that

I will probably start working on new maintenance A/B/C/D checks that will replace the current way maintenance is charged to the airlines.
I am the developer of Airline Enterprise

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