Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

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tobsimon
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Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by tobsimon » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:15 pm

Fuel now only differs in the amount of energy contained (correct me if I'm wrong). It should also differ in energy conversion speed. Wood and coal burn, but diesel explodes (when compressed in an engine). It is very strange, that there is virtually no difference in performence for wood, coal and solid fuel. I would expect, that the car and the train perform significantly better with a higher quality fuel. Maybe even the furnaces should. The gameplay would also benefit, if there was a good reason to choose one fuel over the other.

No difference for stone furnaces.

Steel furnaces should need more time (which means more energy in total), when fired with wood, compared to coal. They sould be faster with solid fuel.

More importantly, the locomotive and car should be extreamly slow and weak with wood, slower than currently with coal and perform as it is now only with solid fuel (the locomotive should be a bit stronger to make larger trains more attractive)

In the long run, I would like to see the solid fuel be gone and replaced with proper diesel fuel, stored in tanks, loaded with fuel dispensers modeled after the inserters with pipe connecting to the other end. The difference in vehicle performance would then be a good reason to justify the investment needed to build the stuff. See: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =6&t=12772

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Re: Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by ssilk » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:44 pm

What game-value does this bring? How will the game be better then? Or simply: Why?

Just because of "realism"? Think the burners as "perfect" and can burn any kind of fuel; and now?
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Re: Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by Marconos » Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:47 pm

Isn't this handled just be increasing / decreasing the burn time of the fuels? Currently wood has less total power output then coal etc. So essentially are they already doing what you are asking?

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Re: Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by ssilk » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:45 pm

This is documented there: https://forums.factorio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fuel

What he means, is that the fuel also influences the assembly time. Or how much power is generated by the burners entity (boiler, car, tank, loco etc.)
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Re: Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by Flextt » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:04 am

ssilk wrote:This is documented there: https://forums.factorio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fuel

What he means, is that the fuel also influences the assembly time. Or how much power is generated by the burners entity (boiler, car, tank, loco etc.)
This is most likely the only elegant solution. Currently, appliances need a certain amount of power and fuel can provide a certain amount of energy / work. The resulting fuel lifetime is work divided by power. If we introduce burn times, the calculation becomes more complicated. Penalizing assembly time for lower quality fuels is easier to compute and balance

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Re: Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by tobsimon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:01 am

Why? To make the game better obviously. Kidding asisde, I probably should have anticipated that objection.

So, "realism". It is a problematic thing in games and I have my personal little opinion around it:
Realism should not be a goal in game design, as games are in many ways the opposite of reality. However, many/most games (including Factorio) use a simplification of reality to create the game world (elements and mechanics/rules). It makes the game world engaging and intuitive, both desirable goals. A good simplification needs to maximize coverage while minimizing volume (map much to little) and retain resemblence. Neccessarily this means, that diversity is maximised as similarity is minimized (simplified to singulars) in the result.
In simple terms:
  • Nothing important should be left out (coverage).
  • Stuff should behave as expected (resemblence),
  • and be very different from each other (diversity).
Consequences:
  • The uncanny valley effect leaves only a small margin to coverage and resemblence before the players get unsatisfied because something is missing or wrong.
  • Diversity counteracts coverage and resemblence to some degree, but it is what makes the game ultimately playable, as it makes the world simple. It gives the player clear choices and comprehensible feedback, to try and err.
  • The demand for more realism in a game is only a good thing, as long as it doesn't decrease diversity.
I didn't go into much detail as to why I think simplification makes good games. I hope we can agree to that, as it's the base of my argument. Actually, I don't know if I can justify that notion. It's more of an axiom really.

The bottom line is, my suggestion does strive to add some realism in terms of resemblence, but more importantly it adds diversity, as I want to make wood and coal different not only as building materials but also as fuels. They are different now, but not in a significant way (which actually is the bad form of realism). The cop-out for the current situation, the "perfect burners", are bad for resemblence (granted, that is nothing compared to other compromises in the game design). The compromise done here, make the burners perfect and the fuels similar counteracts the design goals without any game benefit. So I'd say, undo that, make the burners more real and the fuels significantly different.

"Penalizing assembly time for lower quality fuels" is effectively what happens, when you multiply an energy conversion speed into the production time. Not too complicated. And when the energy conversion speed of a low quality fuel does not suffice, there is less power (energy per time) available and the car stalls.

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Re: Wood and coal fuel should yield less power and top speed

Post by SHiRKiT » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:39 pm

*Not to disrespect the idea of the topic* Related mods to this
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... hilit=fuel - Fluid trains
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... hilit=fuel - Better car control
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... +car+speed - Adds a fuel that's extra powerful in cars

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