Steam Engine should not "scale down" automatically.

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Impatient
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Re: Steam Engine should not "scale down" automatically.

Post by Impatient »

adamwong246 wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:16 pm
...
I have a system that disengages my assemblers and miners when the accumulators are low and another that engages my science labs when the accumulators are full. So I preserve power for my defenses (especially important at night) and only burn extra power for research.
:-D ... What are you playing? Expensive deathworld marathon spiced up with rampant, pitch black and probably 20 other mods which make the game harder?

Hannu
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Re: Steam Engine should not "scale down" automatically.

Post by Hannu »

Xeorm wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:08 am
Can't say I'd enjoy it. Early game when steam is your only source of power it'd result in more micro. Busywork essentially. If I had a circuit network or something to have control over it maybe I'd like it, but I can't see the appeal.

Later on it doesn't matter nearly as much. When I got nuclear power I didn't bother with any circuit network shenanigans because as noted above the fuel is cheap enough it doesn't matter.
I agree. Such functionality would require proper automation tools from beginning. And because control of steam engine is very straightforward forcing player to program such thing would not give much interest. It would be tedious for those enough engineering knowledge and difficult and non-interesting mathematical task for others. Same is true with nuclear system. Playing with steam tanks is awful hack and I never do it because uranium is practically free and unlimited.

I would like to see challenging control needs, like overheating boilers, nonlinear systems and environmental effects. But such would need special "hard engineering" gamemode for nerds and engineers and would not be economically feasible due to small number of interested people.

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Re: Steam Engine should not "scale down" automatically.

Post by SuicideJunkie »

It seems to me that scaling down steam engine output would be easy to do with a smart flywheel system of some sort, at least in the context of the Factorio setting's automation difficulty scale.
In practice, the steam engines shouldn't be *slowing down* as the graphical animation indicates, but running at a constant speed with throttled-down inputs.

Much like a car on cruise control maintaining 60, but using more fuel on the uphills to keep the engine and wheels turning at a fixed rate.
Except it is maintaining 60Hz on the power lines by keeping up a fixed rate of spin on the generators.

Reduced efficiency when running at low loads might be a thing, say if the steam engines are given a small constant drain like most other buildings have.
foamy wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:21 pm
Ironically enough, nuclear fuel isn't all that valuable, once you run the math. In 10,000 ore, you'll get around 7 U-235 (and effectively unlimited amounts of -238, as long as you're not shooting it at biters), even before Kovarex processing. That's 70 fuel cells, which is 14,000 reactor-seconds (IOW, enough to power a 4-reactor 480MW setup for a little less than an hour. 10,000 coal in the same time would only sustain ~11.5MW.
Only slightly above a single order of magnitude more energy density is ridiculously nerfed for nuclear reactions. :D

IMO, it is the way that uranium is very easy to collect and trivial to handle which makes it truly too cheap to meter.
There are mods which poison you if you carry uranium in your pocket; making it a logistical challenge to handle the uranium safely and keep up repairs on the equipment used to handle the uranium might be interesting. Might also just be a chore, hard to say without trying it.

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