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Author Topic: Toll improvements  (Read 4199 times)

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Offline Vladki cz

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Toll improvements
« on: January 05, 2014, 04:09:52 PM »
I'm playing a game where almost all infrastructure (road, tracks, canals, stops) is public and I switch between several players who pay the toll. Only tram and narrowgauge tracks are owned by players. I have noticed that there is no toll for using public stops. I think that stop usage should be tolled as well. There is such toll in real world as well - airport fees and bus/train station usage fees.

I think the toll system in simutrans does not reflect reality well. Currently the toll is based on running cost of vehicle and waycost. I'm not sure if it is building or maintenance cost, but they are usually roughly in proportion so it does not matter too much. But in real world the toll is based mainly on way costs and weight of the vehicle - heavier vehicles mean more wear on the way and more maintenance. There are some toll systems that prefer (cheaper toll) more ecological vehicles - that could be somehow related to running costs.

I suggest adding option to base the toll on: way construction cost, way maintenance cost, convoy weight, station/stop maintenance costs and station/stop construction cons.

Station toll would be paid for all tiles and extensions of the station, only if the convoy has a scheduled stop there.

Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 04:37:07 PM »
Station toll would be paid for all tiles and extensions of the station

I don't think this sounds right, but it's also not easy to get right. On one hand, the fee for using a station with all facilities should be higher than the fee for a stop that is just a platform. But on the other hand, I don't think the fee for using a station should be ten times higher just because the station belongs to a huge airport. The stations I know of belonging to airports are actually quite simple, as the airport takes care of all facilities travellers may need. Furthermore, the airport and station are owned by different government agencies, which isn't really possible to do in Simutrans. In one case, the railroad station is located within the airport, so perhaps the railroad infrastructure owner has to pay the owner of the airport, but perhaps not. In another case, the station looks quite separate from the airport.

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 05:01:28 PM »
I thought that paying for all tiles would be easiest to implement. Other simple option would be to pay only for the platforms actually used by convoy. But it is hard to tell which extensions are used by which convoy. Sometimes they are way specific sometimes not. And in simutrans all convoys benefit from all extensions - train passengers can wait in airport hall just fine as in the cargo warehouse. :)

Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 06:02:10 PM »
The simplest to implement, but likely the most difficult to play with. As I wrote, getting this right is difficult. The safest approach might be to simply only charge for the tiles actually occupied by the vehicles, although that doesn't differentiate between a simple stop and a station with all facilities.

Another factor for setting station fees might be the number of passengers or capacity (of the vehicles, not the station). According to Wikipedia, that is sometimes a factor for landing fees at airports. Googling futher, it seems that airport fees (seems to be for departure, rather than landing) in Norway are based on airport, destination, weight and number of passengers. This could perhaps be an alternative to basing the fee on station buildings, as you need a bigger station in order to have enough capacity for to hold huge numbers of passengers in order to fill capacious vehicles.

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 07:33:03 PM »
I like the idea of basing the station toll on vehicle capacity. Sounds easy to implement and easy to understand at the same time.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 12:57:26 AM »
Another possibility I can think of: each time a vehicle arrives at an alien station, the toll is a percentage of the money it earns at that station.  This can be combined with the other possibilities.

I think that the toll system is a good strategy point in ST.  If a player will use a route rarely, it should be better to pay a toll for other player's infrastructure.  And the opposite: if a player builds a good and successful way because he has a money advantage over the others, he can get some money in return.

Stations are no different from normal ways and I think that the value of the station the train is on should be accounted when computing the toll as a first approximation.

Another problem are trains that are set to wait for a certain amount of time or until they reach a certain load value at an alien station.  These should be tolled proportional to the time spent in the station tile.  That would benefit multiplayer games too.


Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 06:22:28 AM »
Another possibility I can think of: each time a vehicle arrives at an alien station, the toll is a percentage of the money it earns at that station.

It doesn't sound right that the station usage fee is higher for faster vehicles, since they get more speed bonus. Higher fees on the high speed tracks should deal with that.

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 04:07:20 PM »
Another problem are trains that are set to wait for a certain amount of time or until they reach a certain load value at an alien station.  These should be tolled proportional to the time spent in the station tile.  That would benefit multiplayer games too.

Thats a good point. Waiting should be tolled as well. Hmmmm, now it is getting more and more complicated.

One related question, I heard that in experimental passengers (and cargo) can walk between nearby stops. Is that possible in standard. It would be sufficent to allow transfers between stations that are right next to each other. Thus a bus comapany would pay for bus stop maintenance, train company for station maintenance, and air carrier for airport maintenance without the need for public hyper station combining all in one and a complicated toll calculation.

Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 04:12:18 PM »
One related question, I heard that in experimental passengers (and cargo) can walk between nearby stops. Is that possible in standard.

No.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 11:25:31 PM »
Another possibility I can think of: each time a vehicle arrives at an alien station, the toll is a percentage of the money it earns at that station.  This can be combined with the other possibilities.

This has been implemented in Experimental now for some time.

Offline prissi

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 10:30:19 AM »
The toll should be rather be part of the total stations maintenance cost. But in simutrans standard this only applies to public stops: You cannot stop and unload at another players station. Hence this would only infer an extra charge for the only way to interchange stuff between different players. I fail to see any change in gameplay be this.

Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 04:16:57 PM »
I thought the owner (the public player) paid the stop maintenance, not the player operating the vehicles using the stop.

I can see some possible gameplay effect in multiplayer games where one player controls the public player, playing as Network Rail and similar, where different types of stops have different tolls and where (I think) tolls are not proportional to something that is also proportional to income. It would then be important for the public player not to build stations more expensive than those meant to use it can afford. For single player, it would be useless.

Offline prissi

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 11:05:02 PM »
The public player also pays maintenance for each city building and monument. Finances of the public player are useless. MAybe they should be entirely suppressed.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 11:35:21 PM »
The public player also pays maintenance for each city building and monument. Finances of the public player are useless. MAybe they should be entirely suppressed.

Or made less useless?

Offline isidoro

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 12:24:00 AM »
The public player also pays maintenance for each city building and monument. Finances of the public player are useless. MAybe they should be entirely suppressed.

I think that the way the finances of the public service are now is indeed really useless, but I think that it is because some parts are not considered: if the public player pays for something, it should also have an income, specially when its infrastructure is the origin of business for the players...

That is, if a player does business by using stations, roads, transporting goods from factories, transporting people from/to city buildings, he should pay some money in return, shouldn't he?

But as ST is not a complete economy simulator, some parts are difficult to account for.  Why should a public service pay for the maintenance of a city building?  Shouldn't it be paid by their owners?  And if it does, what money does it receive in return?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2014, 12:45:55 AM »
I have long wanted to have a system whereby the public player must raise money by taxing players (% of profits or perhaps cash flow) and/or the general population (more tax means more money for the public player but less growth).

Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2014, 05:39:08 AM »
The public player also pays maintenance for each city building and monument. Finances of the public player are useless. MAybe they should be entirely suppressed.

As I see it, this isn't about what the public player pays for, but what the public player charges for. Whether the toll ends up in the public players finances or disappears into the void is a different issue.

Offline prissi

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 11:44:54 AM »
Why should the public player charge for its stations? As written before, it is the only way to interchange between players in standard. So there is always a plus to go to a public interchange, since it will increase your network. Also any oil rig is a public interchange. So there is automatically a charge for oil riggs. What purpose some arbitary tax (which everybody has to pay anyway) is doing then gameplay-wise. In other word, how this will you change your game with or without.

If you charge usage, then you would need also to charge by time waiting there, since if you block a track by full load, you must be punished also following this logic.

Offline Ters

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Re: Toll improvements
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2014, 04:08:36 PM »
Why should the public player charge for its stations? As written before, it is the only way to interchange between players in standard. So there is always a plus to go to a public interchange, since it will increase your network.

My thought was that this might counterweight that plus. That one can't just hook up to a public stop to get access to a bigger network. One has to build up sufficient economic capacity to pay the toll first. But I don't think this and the original proposal quite fit together.

The original proposal will make more sense if it becomes possible for a player to let other players use his stops, without giving up ownerships of the stop.