feedback: train signals are hard

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Mauslag PIngman
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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by Mauslag PIngman » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:54 pm

I like the trains, but the switches are quite confusing. Tracks are often long so it can be quite tedious to run the length of them "trying" new things when something doesn't work right. Lately, I've been getting better at it and building a little confidence but then some time will go by and I'll come back to a train system that was working and find that trains are stalled in the wrong place and nothing is moving. Frustrating. If there's one thing games should avoid its heavy frustration and problems that are tedious to resolve. That kind of thing is for real life. On the other hand, it is somewhat satisfying when you do get a grasp.

Try to break it down. First build a one way loop with a couple of stops. See if you can get your trains to stop and load and unload. Try adding a train and using some signals. Try building a track with turn around loops on each end. Once you've got that stuff figured out try an intersection and then add more trains.

I spent many hours in my current game building trains with engines on both ends and tracks that don't intersect or cross anything. I think that's the easiest kind of train to build because you don't need switches, just stops. As time goes on you'll want to move more stuff and have greater freedom in where you can go and that's when you need to be very sure of yourself in crossing other tracks and keeping things running. Its a weakness of the game that you can easily mess things up and be quite confused as to how to fix it and the game does nothing to help.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by Zavian » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:18 pm

Moving discussion from viewtopic.php?f=38&t=64219 to somewhere more appropriate
J-H wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:41 pm
Koub wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:00 am
Zavian wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:27 am
J-H wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:41 am
Raiguard wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:18 pm


What are you talking about? Signals work perfectly fine. What needs fixing?
"No Path" does not help locate where a problem is along a thousand-unit track with fifteen signal pairs. It takes a lot of guesswork and trial-and-error to fix "No Path." Very new/moderate player unfriendly. I am on my 25th factory and still struggle with this to the point where I had to ditch a nice organized "main bus" rail system for a bunch of parallel in and out lines.
See discussion here:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=63414
I disagree with some of what you are saying. Whilst the tutorial could do with lots of improvement, the fact that you are struggling to build and properly signal what you want, does not mean that "Train signals also need fixing". I strongly suggest reading https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... ts_23_and/ . Not just part 1, but also parts 2 and 3 which are linked in the top comment. If necessary also build and play around with the examples. Youtube should also have some tutorials.
[...]
[Koub] This subdiscussion is interesting, but totally off topic. If you want to discuss it, please do it in a dedicated thread (there are existing topics about fixing the "No Path" issues)
I've read every tutorial I can find (my internet filter blocks Reddit entirely, so I can't read anything posted on there), but having to jump in a train and spend 10 minutes doing trial-and-error troubleshooting is still Not Fun, and even more so for new players who we hope will come in with a 1.0 release. A third party forum posting is not a good indicator of effective documentation/support.

My concern is that those threads have been around for a long time, and train-routing problems are much more of a core function for the average player (like me) than the exact details of how fluids flow in a scientifically correct manner, or the exact # of items that fit on a belt (I'm just happy having a bunch of full belts).
Nobody from Wube has posted in the train routing threads, and I have not seen any discussion by them of train troubleshooting improvements, or anything approaching a tutorial or explanation for how to make the circuit network do anything at all other than sit there. If I post in this thread, I know there's a chance that they might see it and realize that these areas of the game also need attention before release.
Ok. Never heard of anyone having reddit blocked. (Whatever. That doesn't matter). The reddit post actually contains links to the actual tutorial, in a few different formats. Hopefully you can access one of these.

Imgur (In three separate parts) : https://imgur.com/a/PVL6I/all https://imgur.com/a/hetKX/all https://imgur.com/a/XTqk3/all
PDF (All three parts in one PDF) : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B22HAM ... wzYjA/view
Google Docs Slides (All 3 parts) : https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/ ... 7uUyzM/pub
Google Drive : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... HZlX29pSVE

The following post on imgur shows some examples of things to check when you do have problems https://imgur.com/a/Nq2Yk
There is also a tutorial on the wiki https://wiki.factorio.com/Tutorial:Train_signals that looks ok, but it isn't as detailed as the one I linked.
The following post elsewhere on the forum might also be helpful, but is more focused on deadlocks and rail network design, than on signals viewtopic.php?f=194&t=18621.

Let me know by PM if none of those work for you, and I can try emailing you the PDF.

The post is on the official factorio sub-reddit, so it is not like it is in some random part of the internet. Quite a few devs post regularly on that sub-reddit, so it is almost an official factorio channel. The tutorial is written by a reddit user, and he can post it wherever he chooses.

Typically when I do get "No path errors" I can sort them out in a few minutes. Part of that is practice and learning what to look for. No amount of tutorial reading will replace working through these things yourself a few times and gaining some experience and practice.

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GrumpyJoe
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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by GrumpyJoe » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:29 am

This is why i prefer loops instead of 2headed trains, it eliminates the chance of forgetting a signal to make a track 2way.
But thats just me, not knowing bidirectional trains can be a thing when i started. Yes, i layed down 2 tracks to every outpost from the start, iirc even in the camapign.
But thats a completely different topic, which we had a heated discussion about on a server.

I also dont think signals and block signals are that confusing, I didn´t need any youtube (or other) tutorials, just some time playing around with it.
The only time i ever get traffic jams is at the intake of LTN depots, which i tend to build too big, But its not like its a deadlock, just not enough lanes.

.) The thing that helps the most with not messing up your train network, is to design and BP some parts, before you place your first rail.
Yes, its researched way before you´ll use bots, so a single lane to any mid distance outpost should do until you REALLY need to go big.
I think its people trying to copy big input stations they see on youtube, that makes them go just build something, thinking its simple. Its a complicated as Bobs bullet chain, if you dont pay attention. But "not easy" is just saying "i dont wanna spent more time on it".

.) the 2nd awesome helpers are the "block view" when holding a signal
And the "train block" view, which tells you where the locos and wagons go (the white rectangles ON the rails) if you place a signal "here". Its shows the direction in which way the signal will work. White loco/wagon "blocks" behind the signal.

The only thing that really needs an extra explanation imho, is the "mandatory signals on each side of the track, if you want it 2way all the way"
Thats the only time i ever mess up, forgetting a signal on the "white signal spot" and lock a train in a dead end station.

To me, the problem really is the way people think about the whole thing. Ive seen youtubers with thousands of hours saying "im not good at rails", some relying on other people to do the rail work, some with horrible designs of their own.

Its not fire&forget, you need to put as much thought into it as you do with your factory setups.
There is no "you need 1 cable assembler for 6 red circuit assemblers tutorial" either
If you are going through hell, keep going!

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by bobucles » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:03 pm

If think if you highlight a train on the map, it should make its rail path glow. If it can't travel a path then that segment of rail won't glow. That'd make diagnosing train paths super easy.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by Oktokolo » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:49 pm

bobucles wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:03 pm
If think if you highlight a train on the map, it should make its rail path glow. If it can't travel a path then that segment of rail won't glow. That'd make diagnosing train paths super easy.
If it can't travel that segment, it does not path through it and therefore all other segments that belong solely to that part won't glow either.
But it would be possible to make all segements glow, that are somehow reachable by the train.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by J-H » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm

Thanks for those links.

Having a two way rail system (RHD / LHD) is a huge departure from how I've done it before. It means rail lines to remote outposts will take twice as many resources and twice as long to lay. That's a lot of extra work.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by Oktokolo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:17 am

J-H wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm
Having a two way rail system (RHD / LHD) is a huge departure from how I've done it before. It means rail lines to remote outposts will take twice as many resources and twice as long to lay. That's a lot of extra work.
You can use single rails for lowest-throughput connections. Just make sure, that the single rail segment is a single signalling block and that exiting trains can pass by trains that plan to enter. Waiting areas (stackers) might be necessary if more than two trains might want to use the segment at the same time.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by mrvn » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:03 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:17 am
J-H wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm
Having a two way rail system (RHD / LHD) is a huge departure from how I've done it before. It means rail lines to remote outposts will take twice as many resources and twice as long to lay. That's a lot of extra work.
You can use single rails for lowest-throughput connections. Just make sure, that the single rail segment is a single signalling block and that exiting trains can pass by trains that plan to enter. Waiting areas (stackers) might be necessary if more than two trains might want to use the segment at the same time.
+1 on that.

New outpost really do not need two rails. Just start of with 2 rails on each end and then merge them into a single bi-directional line. If trains start to back up because there is too much traffic on that line then you can always lay down a second line. Build the first line in such a way that you don't have to remove it to make it two lines later.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by nosports » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:53 pm

J-H wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm
Thanks for those links.

Having a two way rail system (RHD / LHD) is a huge departure from how I've done it before. It means rail lines to remote outposts will take twice as many resources and twice as long to lay. That's a lot of extra work.
I started my rail system with a circular rail-path, so no traffic-head-ons, so more throughput even if it means for some train to make the longer path.

Next extension of my factory (oil, processing, general space, next ores, mass production and smeltering areas) are again circular rail expansions of the center circle, but this expansion are made in mind to support longer trains (LCCCCL) which will haul the ores to the smelters.

After that for the big following ore patches I attached a two rail system to my core rails, because my trains then must go to the ores and back, but have a track to and beside fro (and in the middle the powerpoles) to the ores.
And if you reach that stage of the game you don’t have a shortage of rails anymore if you set up a continuous production of rails, even if its slow, but over time it will build up a reasonable amount of rails.

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:07 pm

nosports wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:53 pm
I started my rail system with a circular rail-path, so no traffic-head-ons, so more throughput even if it means for some train to make the longer path.
This. It's very easy to setup a circular path. Just make sure you add the stations in the right order

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Re: feedback: train signals are hard

Post by vedrit » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:46 pm

Matthias_Wlkp wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:07 pm
nosports wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:53 pm
I started my rail system with a circular rail-path, so no traffic-head-ons, so more throughput even if it means for some train to make the longer path.
This. It's very easy to setup a circular path. Just make sure you add the stations in the right order
And on the correct side of the rail. I've made that mistake a few times when not paying attention.
But I think the game will only let you do that if the rail is marked as 2-way or before signals are placed (which is basically the same thing in this case)

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