Opinion: cost rebalance

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    So I just started a game where I modded the costs so that

    – All running cost are divided by 10 for trains and 5 for bus/trucks/trams

    – All building costs are doubled for roads, 10 times for tracks & bridges and 20 times for tunnels.

    (some tuning is still needed.) It’s so much more fun! Yes basically any line you build makes a profit, but then even the most basic of lines costs you upwards of 5 mil.

    Don’t know ’bout you guys but this is what I expected from the game and it makes it so much more enjoyable in my opinion. Also due to the now punishing cost of tunnels and bridges no more just lazily tunneling my way through half the map (which is possible in vanilla.) And also no more stress waiting for three years while your line makes huge losses before it starts to turn a profit.

    I generally had the impression on reading about trains in the 19th century that it was very much a high-investment but enormous returns affair, and this game setup gives exactly that feel.

    Just thought I’d share since it drastically improved my game experience and rekindled my interest in it and ask about your opinions on the matter.


    Interesting adjustment you made. Can you tel us in what files you modified which numbers?


    I went through all the .mdl files (took me bout a half hour) in the

    Steam\SteamApps\common\Train Fever\res\models\model\vehicle\<type>\*.mdl

    You have a line near the end that goes like

    Running costs = whatever

    And for the track/bridges/roads the files are:

    Steam\SteamApps\common\Train Fever\res\config\costs.lua

    Steam\SteamApps\common\Train Fever\res\config\street\<street type>.lua

    All are simple text files



    There is very probably a smarter way to do this, just didn’t have the energy to try and find out. If I get round to it I might even write a script to do these changes automatically

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by trainjunkie.

    Interesting choice.  I do agree, especially as you get deeper in game, the running costs far outstrip the growth in traffic on the rails. I took my first game on small map easy to 2054 or later.  Going back and trying to build more sooner to see if the cities will grow fast enough.  Only got to about 800 in a couple cities.


    Yes, I totally agree with that opinion. Its very unrealistic, if the one year running costs are the same as the price for the whole construction of a new track or for one brand new modern train. That should be rebalanced. I think the game is very realistic in not letting you construct the railways with steep slopes or strong curvatures (unlike OTTD), but the construction costs are ridiculously low.

    But be careful, if you raise the costruction costs, there has to be some planning tool for the whole track before you build it, because nothing would be more frustrating than to build an expensive tunnel, which wouldn’t fit in the track eventually.


    Yeah for sure I always rely heavily on saves when building my tracks. I also learned the hard way always to place start and end stations first and then work my way from both ends to a middle point.

    But I must say now that I kinda got the hang of it I am almost not frustrated at track building anymore, and as you mention the realistic curvature/slope makes track building a challenge, but so rewarding in the end


    Thank you so much Trainjunkie!

    I guess the maintenance costs are way too high for the trains, i could hardly get money ‘cos most income went to maintenance. The game is about trains, right?And they are the are the most expensive to purchase and operate.

    I guess they should rebalance prices for difficulty levels or just generally.


    It’s especially awesome to be able to do this without it being financial suicide now:

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by trainjunkie. Reason: photo placement
    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by trainjunkie.
    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by trainjunkie.

    Correct, nice one!
    I have played 30 hours since i bought Train Fever .I’ve got a large but easy map and i’ve been playing since 1850. I’ve got 30 mils now in 2013 …yes that’s where i finished yesterday
    Now that i know what to modify (many thanks to you), the game will be easier and more realistic.No, i don’t wanna cheat just set the costs a bit lower.

    I hope developers will balance it later.


    It makes a lot of sense to do some changes like this, but your numbers sort of look way way off. Every line making profit, not even openttd does that. 🙂

    I am playing a medium map now, medium difficulty, around 2000 I have 400+ mill. True, I avoided trains almost totally so train costs are somewhat off as it is.


    Of course I totally exaggerated, but it was more a reaction to the cumulated frustration than anything else. I guess optimal values would be sth like:

    Trains RC: % 3-4 BC: x 10-20

    Bus, tram : RC % 2

    Trucks: RC as is, BC x4 for roads in general

    RC Running costs and BC building costs


    I def agree it needs a rebalance, esp with Train running cost. I tried the Cost_Mod and Half Mod on TF.net and they just didn’t fit well. Even adjusting numbers I was still always constantly making a profit. In the end I just went back to Vanilla settings/gameplay. Sure its not perfect, and you maybe can’t run “realism” lines, but if its balanced by the devs nicely, we can be able to find a middle ground. Which I 100% agree needs a looking into too.


    With regards to balancing, and referencing OTTD costs in saying this), when electric rails and trains are released the running cost for the electric trains should be lower than that of the steam loco’s. but the tracks should cost much more than the regular tracks to build (not sure how much the difference is right now). This seems realistic to me. Same with diesel engines…. they shouldn’t just cost more to purchase and run just because they are newer and more powerful


    Everything you say can be done by changing these text files, and it’s really worth it IMHO


    I will try and make a script (guess lua is adequate), which will change the costs in the game files for the following categories:

    •  Normal  track building costs
    • High speed track building costs
    • Catenary cost (i.e. electrifying your network)
    • Train bridges building costs
    • Train tunnel building costs
    • Road building costs
    • Road bridges building costs
    • Road Tunnel building costs
    • Steam locs running costs
    • Electric locs running costs
    • Waggons running costs
    • Bus running costs
    • Tram running costs
    • Truck running costs
    • Terrain raising/lowering costs

    and whatever I am forgetting. Hopefully it will save me (and maybe others) some time, especially if it is easy to adapt when/if content will be added.

    If anybody knows of somebody already doing this please stop me I will gladly spare myself the work of doing what is already done.



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