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Author Topic: Micromanagement free refurbishment  (Read 3704 times)

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Offline jamespetts gb

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Micromanagement free refurbishment
« on: January 02, 2009, 02:18:54 PM »
Following this discussion, I have been thinking of ways to introduce the (realistic and interesting) concept of refurbishment without increasing to any extent the level of micromanagement in Simutrans. Given that, as discussed here, it is necessary, in order not to break the economics of local transport, to disapply the speed bonus to local transport, and instead disincentivise the use of obsolete vehicles by means of increasing their maintenance cost, it would be useful to have a way to refurbish vehicles to prolong their lives: major refurbishment is, after all, an integral feature of transport network development.

A simple way of allowing for refurbishment without giving players reason to worry about the day-to-day maintenance of their fleet, or, indeed, require players to have to make any greater number of active interventions to deal with fleet ageing than they do now, would be to permit .dat files to specify that a certain type of vehicle be refurbished, and some modified characteristics of that vehicle post-refurbishment. The .dat file would specify:

* the earliest date on which the vehicle could be refurbished (if this is not specified, the vehicle cannot be refurbished at all);

* the cost of refurbishment (default: 1/2 of the purchase price);

* the retire date of the refurbished vehicle (default: 10  years later than the non-refurbished retire date);

* the post-refurbishment running cost (default: same as the pre-refurbishment running cost);

* the post-refurbishment gear value (default: same as the pre-refurbishment gear);

* the post-refurbishment graphics (default: same as the pre-refurbishment graphics)*;

* the post-refurbishment weight (default: same as the pre-refurbishment weight);

* the post-refurbishment cargo capacity (default: same as the pre-refurbishment cargo capacity); and

* the post-refurbishment name (default: the pre-refurbishment name with "(refurbished)" appended to the end).


All details would be optional, with the default values as indicated applying in default of specification. One would refurbish a vehicle by clocking a "refurbish" button in the vehicle's details window: the vehicle would then turn into a refurbished version of that vehicle, have the refurbished name, and give, in addition to the date of construction, the date of refurbishment, and its new retirement date, and the costs of refurbishment deducted from the player's coffers. The increased maintenance costs of obsolescence would then apply to that vehicle only after the new, post-refurbishment retirement date. After the post-refurbishment retirement date, it would no longer be possible to refurbish any unrefurbished examples of that class. Whenever it is not possible to refurbish a certain type of vehicle, the "refurbish" button would be greyed out.

Players would not have to make any greater number of interventions than they do now (hence: micromanagement free), but they would have additional options for dealing with the interventions that they have to make now when considering what to do with obsolete vehicles: instead of buying new ones, they could refurbish existing ones. That ought make the game more interesting and add depth and realism without adding any extra micromanagement at all. I should be interested in any thoughts.

* Some vehicles look very different after refurbishment: take the Merchant Navy class (British steam locomotive from the 1940s - 1960s), which looked completely different before and after refurbishment.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 02:42:39 PM »
An interesting idea.  I think it could get too complicated however without adding too much to gameplay.  As an example, what happens if you have a train convoy made up of a couple of different locomotives, and several wagons / coaches, each of which may be refurbished separately and even at different game years?


Offline emaxectranspoorte

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 02:45:34 PM »
An interesting idea.  I think it could get too complicated however without adding too much to gameplay.  As an example, what happens if you have a train convoy made up of a couple of different locomotives, and several wagons / coaches, each of which may be refurbished separately and even at different game years?



Is that refurbishment date, exactly after the first retire date? :-\

BTW, I know of vehicles that have been refurbished more than one time. ;) :) 8)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 01:21:16 AM by emaxectranspoorte »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 03:53:24 PM »
An interesting idea.  I think it could get too complicated however without adding too much to gameplay.  As an example, what happens if you have a train convoy made up of a couple of different locomotives, and several wagons / coaches, each of which may be refurbished separately and even at different game years?

I don't see how that would be more complicated than the same convoy/train with different locomotives/coaches retiring on different dates under the current system.

Offline whoami

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 05:53:31 PM »
Given that, as discussed here, it is necessary, in order not to break the economics of local transport, to disapply the speed bonus to local transport
It's true that the speed bonus isn't so useful for local transport, at least in the current implementation. (If real travelling speed would be used, then newer, more powerful vehicles would make more sense, but the top speed is limited by safety requirements. Also, comfortable vehicles should get another kind of bonus.)

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and instead disincentivise the use of obsolete vehicles by means of increasing their maintenance cost
There are already other incentives to replace older vehicles: successors are usually faster and bigger, so even without the speed bonus taking effect, they do much better in serving the given task, take less space, and generate more revenue per time period. The predecessors can't be kept, because the new ones get stuck behind them.

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it would be useful to have a way to refurbish vehicles to prolong their lives: major refurbishment is, after all, an integral feature of transport network development.
I am not sure of the actual benefit to the game as a whole, but having variants of vehicles (they really should look different => more work for pak designers) would at least improve diversity.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 05:59:16 PM »
Whoami,

successors may be faster and bigger, but they also cost a great deal more; and, for 'busses, for example, there comes a time early in the timeline when the fastest 'bus can go just as fast as city streets will allow, and any increase in speed is of minimal benefit for local services. So, whilst those items are incentives to upgrade, they are not enough on their own in all cases; besides, increasing maintenance costs for obsolete vehicles is realistic in any event: it costs far more to maintain a vintage 'bus now than, in real terms, it did when that vintage 'bus was new. Also, refurbished vehicles do not always look different externally to the individuals; but that is a matter for pakset authors, of course.

Offline Roads

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 08:01:21 PM »
Having not yet played the game in later stages, I'm sure I do not have a grasp of all the implications of this but from my limited perspective, I'll offer this:

On two particular lines I have running now, the truck cargo is based off of the quantity my train wagons can carry.  Since it is impractical from a cost standpoint I cannot at this time add more train wagons.  The amount of cargo is not quite enough for two of the newer piece goods trucks but just right for one new, one old; same situation with a gas truck line.  So there is sometimes a good reason for keeping old vehicles on the road.

Offline prissi

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 08:13:59 PM »
This has been discussed quite many times before. Automatic replacement is not really an option, since it would change speed (and thus needed capacity) and for trains most lickely also length of convois. Decision of what vehicle to use is part where the human AI is badly needed.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Micromanagement free refurbishment
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 08:39:02 PM »
Prissi,

unless I have misunderstood something, nobody has suggested automatic replacement of vehicles in this thread.