Fleet Maintenance

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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utilae
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Fleet Maintenance

#1 Post by utilae »

Fleet Maintenance
============
I was thinking that while there should be maintenance costs to keep the number of ships in the empire down the following rules can apply:

* Smaller ships cost less to main, bigger ships cost more.

*Some components (technologies) have higher maintenance costs, eg laser costs less to maintain then stellar converter. Refinements can lower maintenance costs of technologies that are more expensive to maintain.

*Older ships should cost more to main, therefore frequent refits reduce maintenance costs.


So if you used technologies in your ships that were easy to maintain, then you could have a large number quite easily. In this way you may choose a weaker technology over a superior tech because it will allow more ships to be had.

Also ships from the shipyards (obsolete/decomissioned) would have the greatest maintenance costs, although will be initially cheap to use as a mothball fleet.

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#2 Post by Impaler »

I would change "Older ships cost more" too..

Ships that are cutting edge (use the very best tec you have) cost a lot to maintaine, Ships that are slightly behind cutting edge cost less to maintaine, Ships that are old and obsolete cost more to maintaine.

This gives the player an incentive both to scrap the realy old and obsolete ships AND makes it costsly to keep things too cutting edge. Rather their is a happy medium ware tecnology is well understood and integrated but not yet old and clunky.
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skdiw
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#3 Post by skdiw »

why dont you just make maintenence be a % of ship cost?

it's likely that newer ship will cost more than old.
:mrgreen:

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#4 Post by marhawkman »

skdiw wrote:why dont you just make maintenence be a % of ship cost?

it's likely that newer ship will cost more than old.
Well think of it this way.... Say you have a 1930 Ford, a 1990 ford and a 2006 Ford. Which ones will cost most? 2006 and 1930. Y? 2006 is so new that the parts are relativelty expensive. 1930 is so old that parts aren't made any more and are hard to find. 1990 is in the middle where the parts have become less expensive but are still easy to find.
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#5 Post by Krikkitone »

marhawkman wrote:
skdiw wrote:why dont you just make maintenence be a % of ship cost?

it's likely that newer ship will cost more than old.
Well think of it this way.... Say you have a 1930 Ford, a 1990 ford and a 2006 Ford. Which ones will cost most? 2006 and 1930. Y? 2006 is so new that the parts are relativelty expensive. 1930 is so old that parts aren't made any more and are hard to find. 1990 is in the middle where the parts have become less expensive but are still easy to find.
Well remember you are talking about Gameplaying Fleets here, ships that are maintained for Hundreds of years easily. Not to mention products of a government program.


The fact is obsolete ships should be encouraged to be retired/refitted because their relative combat value for how much they cost is declining, not from some complex age based maintenance situation. Simpler is always better if you can get to the desired result (ie replacing/refitting obsolete ships)

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#6 Post by marhawkman »

I know. I was just explaining how the maintenance cost of old tech can increase.
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#7 Post by Impaler »

As tecnology incresses old ships typicaly become cheaper to build then when they were 'new'. If maintance is simply proportional to current cost to build then these old ships will become cheaper to maintain as their cost to build drops (Moo1 works like this). Eventualy all ships will become so behind the tecnology curve that they are cannon fodder and not worth keeping at any cost greater then zero. At that point its an obvious decision to scrap, the question is to we want to introduce some mechanism that encourages scraping before that point. Say for example if the maintance cost did not decrese in direct proportion to build cost (they either stagnate or start to rise again).

As Krikk mentioned these ships are maintained as part of a goverment program, its not like a chevy ware the manufacturer has desided to stop making the parts. If your empire wants to keep the ships around they make the parts and this should logicaly get cheaper as time goes by.

Perhaps a method ware the player chooses which designs will be 'supported' and which will be 'obsoleted'. Obsoleted ships dont have any more replacment parts made and it will gradualy become more expensive to maintain them (obsoleting would thus fortell and hasten the eventual scraping). Supported ships become cheaper to maintain as tecnology incresses. Now their wouldn't be much point if that was it (you would simply never obsolete a ship) but the player must pay a price for every supported ship. Each supported ship design incresses the total fleet maintance cost by a few % (say 1-5%). This reflects the wider variety or parts, tecnices, training manuals and other stuff that must be used, basicaly you loss a lot of economy of scale by haveing an overly diverse fleet. This has the additional benifit of solving the "WTF do you mean I can only have X number of ship designs!!" problem. The player can have an unlimited number of ship designs so long as they pay the maintance.
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#8 Post by utilae »

Impaler wrote: As tecnology incresses old ships typicaly become cheaper to build then when they were 'new'.
However, when a ship is 50 years old, chances are that modern parts will be completely different. 50 years ago your spaceship used steam engines. Now it uses Anti Matter. The parts are completely different and no one sees the point in making Steam Engine parts anymore. So it would cost alot more to maintain a ship with a steam engine as a result.
Impaler wrote: As Krikk mentioned these ships are maintained as part of a goverment program, its not like a chevy ware the manufacturer has desided to stop making the parts. If your empire wants to keep the ships around they make the parts and this should logicaly get cheaper as time goes by.
Even if this was so, the government would still be paing or subsidising the suppliers in order to keep primitive parts being made. Since steam engine parts are not going to sell so well, the government will have to subsidise the suppliers in order to continue maintaining it's own steam engine ships.
Impaler wrote: The player can have an unlimited number of ship designs so long as they pay the maintance.
There is no point in having to pay maintenance just to keep a ship design. A ship design is paper. Maintenance is for the physical ships.

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#9 Post by Impaler »

Come now your realize steam engines ARE still in existence and CAN be made relitivly cheaply as they consist of some sealed metal containers and boilers and pistons. The main reason their not used is that modern tecnology such as an internal combustion engine has much more power and uses a cleaner fuel. Compare the costs of a steam engine today to when they were a new tecnolgoy, they certainly cost less in terms of real money. The raw material steel is cheaper, they can be fabricated in factories by robots, the designs have advanced a lot from the first steam engine and all the bugs are worked out. This process continues indefinatly, if we wished to manufacture Egyptian war Chariots today we could do so at incredibly low cost and they would be 10x better then the ones the Egyptians made. Your arguing that because its NOT done it CANT be done. I agree that once people stop manufacturing something it becomes expensive to maintaine an item but thats a seperate issue and if anything is most damaging for high tec items because they require more specialized parts that require the newest tools and highest skilled workers to make. Old items can often be fabricated at home with simple tools and unkilled labor.

As for ship designs and maintance your not paying for the paper design your paying for knowlage and capacity to make the ships DUUU! If you scrap all the ships of a particular design well thats one less set of parts, tools, factories, workers ect ect that are ocupied with keeping that capacity alive. They get re-assigned to the remaining designs and you get efficiency of scale. Designs dont mean much if you dont have the infastructure to utilize them, when an empire designs a ship its not like they just make blue-prints and kazzam things start rolling off the assembly lines, a whole huge mass of production capacity has to be re-oriented towards the production of that thing before the first one can ever be produced.
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#10 Post by skdiw »

marhawkman wrote:I know. I was just explaining how the maintenance cost of old tech can increase.
we shouldn't undermine research. we should factor in as much of the cost into rp of a tech so there will be no 'side-complications' with research.
As tecnology incresses old ships typicaly become cheaper to build then when they were 'new'. If maintance is simply proportional to current cost to build then these old ships will become cheaper to maintain as their cost to build drops (Moo1 works like this). Eventualy all ships will become so behind the tecnology curve that they are cannon fodder and not worth keeping at any cost greater then zero. At that point its an obvious decision to scrap, the question is to we want to introduce some mechanism that encourages scraping before that point. Say for example if the maintance cost did not decrese in direct proportion to build cost (they either stagnate or start to rise again).
actually i like it if we keep the cost the same and just make advance techs more effective.
:mrgreen:

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#11 Post by marhawkman »

Ah... I did kinda think of something though. MUST HAVE RETROFITTING. Another big flaw of MoO3. no retrofitting.
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#12 Post by Krikkitone »

Impaler wrote:As tecnology incresses old ships typicaly become cheaper to build then when they were 'new'.
Why should this happen, I can see how the fraction of an empire's production that it would take to build an old ship would go down, because tech increases production... but tech should not decrease Cost... The "decrease in cost" is entirely modeled in the increase in production.

By just keeping maintenance and cost of a ship constant, then the combat v. cost efficiency will slowly decline resulting a need to refit/scrap. The point the player decides to do this is their choice. The cost is the fact that it requires pulling the ship back somehow (and of course the cost of the new equipment).

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#13 Post by marhawkman »

Krikkitone wrote:
Impaler wrote:As tecnology incresses old ships typicaly become cheaper to build then when they were 'new'.
Why should this happen, I can see how the fraction of an empire's production that it would take to build an old ship would go down, because tech increases production... but tech should not decrease Cost... The "decrease in cost" is entirely modeled in the increase in production.

By just keeping maintenance and cost of a ship constant, then the combat v. cost efficiency will slowly decline resulting a need to refit/scrap. The point the player decides to do this is their choice. The cost is the fact that it requires pulling the ship back somehow (and of course the cost of the new equipment).
think of it this way.... Your BattleshipV1 uses Vacuum tubes for it's radios. But it's a century old and you have since then upgraded to a more advanced design that uses integrated circuits that are less than a quarter the size. So instead of your people manufacturing vacuum tubes to replace the broken ones they replace the entire radio with a newer one.
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Prototyping

#14 Post by Rapunzel »

I like the idea of taking x% of the building cost as Maintainance. You could add some fawour if you make the ships less expensive with every one you build. See it as a Prototype. The first ship is expencive, but then you know how to build it and have the infrasturcture, so the next one will be cheaper.
If you then take "number of ships" * "cost to build last ship" *x% you make fleets cheaper, that are just composed of one shiptype (you know everything about that ship and have propably fixed every majour bug, as well as alway avaiable spareparts.

I think, old ships will be refitted because they become useless, non the matter how cheap their maintainace or construction may be.
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#15 Post by Krikkitone »

marhawkman wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:
Impaler wrote:As tecnology incresses old ships typicaly become cheaper to build then when they were 'new'.
Why should this happen, I can see how the fraction of an empire's production that it would take to build an old ship would go down, because tech increases production... but tech should not decrease Cost... The "decrease in cost" is entirely modeled in the increase in production.

By just keeping maintenance and cost of a ship constant, then the combat v. cost efficiency will slowly decline resulting a need to refit/scrap. The point the player decides to do this is their choice. The cost is the fact that it requires pulling the ship back somehow (and of course the cost of the new equipment).
think of it this way.... Your BattleshipV1 uses Vacuum tubes for it's radios. But it's a century old and you have since then upgraded to a more advanced design that uses integrated circuits that are less than a quarter the size. So instead of your people manufacturing vacuum tubes to replace the broken ones they replace the entire radio with a newer one.
That is an upgrade of the design, and in any case the integrated ciruits (a higher tech thing) would cost more because they are higher tech... because they require the producion from a higher tech factory that in these games is modeled by a higher output from the higher tech factory.

So if Battleship VI Kept the Vacuum tubes it would require lower tech factory output, modeled as less production to maintain them.

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