Production rate of scale up/down is ludicrous

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  • #20608
    aubergine18
    Participant

    The rate at which production scales down is several orders of magnitude faster than the rate at which it scales up. I’d like to reverse the numbers, so scale up is fast and scale down is slow – otherwise there’s just no point risking using trains for cargo delivery.

    Earlier today I made a mistake – I’d paused the game to do some track editing shortly after loading the previous day’s save game. I placed some tracks without cantenary which broke the route of some electric locomotives I was using to deliver goods.

    After un-pausing the game, my industry chain completely collapsed to 0 production within a matter of minutes. It’s taken a few hours so far just to get it back to 50% of what it was. This imbalance is just ludicrous. It makes me not want to refine my rail network, which makes me not want to use trains for cargo. And using trains for cargo is the primary reason I bought the game.

    This is further compounded by the “death spiral”. I had lots of freight carriages per train on that route, and they were set to “Full load (any)”. So as soon as the production rate starts to drop, the trains start taking longer to fill and thus there are bigger gaps in delivery. This leads to two side effects:

    1. The factory will often realise it can walk its output down a road faster than the now delayed trains = trains fill even slower. Recursive death spiral. (This doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s very painful to recover from as it also exacerbates the second side-effect…)
    2. If train deliveries are too infrequent, the city will assume it’s not being served by the production chain and remove it’s pull request, so production drops even further. Recursive death spiral.

    Editing and refining rail networks should be fun, the current mechanics have turned it in to a very tedious and painful experience. There are numerous other issues I could mention, such as blocker issues if you use multiple supply and delivery lines within the same chain (the AI basically breaks and the chain collapses rapidly), but suffice to say a simple “fix” would be to transpose the rates at which production scales up and scales down.

    #20610
    aubergine18
    Participant

    tl;dr: +1 production increase per month, vs. -∞ production decrease per month, is a ludicrous game mechanic.

    #20620
    Tom
    Keymaster

    As usual I´m happy to take a note and bring it up in the next team meeting!

    Tom

    #20623
    isidoro
    Participant

    Please note that this is also a side effect of this bug:

    http://www.train-fever.com/forums/topic/bug-cargo-lost-when-automatic-replacing/

     

    #20624
    aubergine18
    Participant

    Just happened again. Infuriating, and not in a good way.

    In pause, I edited some track. The line that was affected did not even use that bit of track. Several cities away, a cargo train got confused by the edit on a piece of track it will never travel on and decided to turn around and try and drive the wrong way and subsequently stalled “waiting for free path”.

    243 production fell to 25 in a matter of minutes (game days). To add insult to injury, the resource buildings are all being downgraded, and there’s sweet f*** all I can do about it other than wait 208 game months (over 17 game years) for it to crawl its way back to previous production level.

    How pissed off would you be? If someone asked whether the game was worth buying, what would you tell them?

    Also, as the production ability at the time of those screen shots is still 100 (already had 2 downgrades), why doesn’t it just spring back to 100? Why does it insist on +1 per game month, when it is capable immediately of outputting 100 per month (+75)?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 12 months ago by aubergine18.
    #20626
    aubergine18
    Participant

    One other pic… this is what my cargo trains look like…

    They filled nice and quick when the production was at 243/month. But now it’s death spiralled they take too long to fill. They’re set to “Full Load (any)” – I can’t set them to “Load if available” because then they’ll all go at once, nothing will be waiting at station = death spiral. So for the next 17 game years I have to keep manually reverse-reverse them to kick them in to delivery mode long before they are full, just so the cities know the line is servicing them (otherwise the cities will remove their pull request from the line). That’s bloody annoying. I’d send them back to depot to remove some carriages, but guess what happens when I try that? Of course, big gaps in deliveries = cities remove their pull request = death spiral.

    Can you ask the devs what their thinking was (or what drugs they were taking…) when they implemented this stupid game mechanic?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 12 months ago by aubergine18.
    #20628
    lankygit
    Participant

    Yes this is a very annoying feature. I have learnt to live with the initial slow burn it takes to get them going, however I have fallen foul of the downgrade issue a few times now.

    With regards to your trains waiting on full loads, doesn’t that push you over the 20 min window on those lines? I just run my cargo routes to any load, even if they are running almost empty, to avoid the 20 min window issue.

    #20634
    aubergine18
    Participant

    > With regards to your trains waiting on full loads, doesn’t that push you over the 20 min window on those lines?

    It didn’t when my production was up at 243.

    > I just run my cargo routes to any load, even if they are running almost empty, to avoid the 20 min window issue.

    Tried that last time I ran in to this issue, the line death spiralled.

    The most annoying thing is, that out of all the broken mechanics in the game, this one is most likely trivial to fix. Have the monthly increase in production based on the current level of the building, so for a 100/month building it could get +10 per day, rather than +1 per day.

    building.increasePerDay = math.floor( building.outputLimit / 10 )

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 12 months ago by aubergine18.
    #20638
    Tom
    Keymaster

    Aubergine, sorry to see you so angry. Believe me I can feel with you. I played the game a lot (also before I joined Urban Games) and I know this can be a problem.

    I absolutely agree that the slow growth versus the fast decline is far from ideal and is something which belongs on the to-do list.

    But otherwise I also have to say, that apart from a stuck train I rarely have the problem that I go into the “death spiral”. Usually it takes a couple of days or weeks until the industries update and recognize changes in the lines.

    When changing a train setup I try to do it one by one (usually I run multiple on a cargo line to have a higher frequency) or I use the auto replacement tool to increase the capacity over time. Also I never use the “wait for” option – I tend to let the cargo stations “overfill” a little bit.

    But of course that is just my personal playstyle …

    #20640
    aubergine18
    Participant

    I’ve currently got 4 trains on the line but as they are delivering to several cities the route is quite long – if I set them to “Load if available” then most of the time there would be no train visiting the station, which in turn breaks the ‘pull request’ chain and leads to death spiral. This particular line is different from most of my others in that it is in a very mountainous region, as such it’s one of the very rare occasions that I have cargo and passenger trains sharing parts of the same rail network. If I added more cargo trains it would just lead to traffic jams = death spirals. I could try replacing the trains with lots of 2 carriage trains, but by that point I might as well just switch to using road vehicles.

    Regardless, in this instance it’s clearly the core game mechanic that’s broken – and specifically a mechanic that should be trivial to fix. There are so few resource/production buildings in the game that even if the rates of increase/decrease are hard-coded in to each of them, it would still be trivial to refactor and alter this particular game mechanic (like a couple of days to code and test, speaking as an ex-coder).

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 12 months ago by aubergine18.
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