Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

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kpreid
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Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

Post by kpreid »

This is not a gameplay change, but only a tweak to the UI which I think will help new players understand the game and also be useful in general. Right now, the electricity usage of an object is displayed like this:
Energy consumption: 13 kW
Drain: 400 W
The problem I see (remembering my experience as a new player) is that it is not really clear what the difference between "energy consumption" and "drain" is, especially as drain is not displayed when an item is in inventory or crafting.

I propose that the numbers instead be displayed like this:
Power: 400 W + 13 kW if active
This puts the two closely-related numbers right next to each other (reducing the number of lines of text), and explains what the difference between them is, while still being short. I replaced the words "Energy consumption" with "power" just so it'll still fit on one line in the right side info bar (I think…), but also people who like to keep energy vs. power straight will like it (a less shortened phrase would be "Energy use").

This also benefits semi-experienced players by making the drain included in item tooltips. Don't remember whether different inserters have different drains? Now you can just sweep over the crafting menu and find out.

Another version that would be a bigger change (because it adds drain to consumption), but might be even clearer, would be:
Power: 400 W idle, 13.4 kW active

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steinio
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Re: Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

Post by steinio »

Remembering my experience as a new player i didn't care what Drain meant.
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meganothing
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Re: Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

Post by meganothing »

My experience as a non-beginner (>100 hours play) and non-native speaker:

Today I did some tests to find out whether what was listed as "energy consumption" on Exoskeleton and Shield was constant drain or only when active. I also had the false impression that the 180kW of an electric furnace was also constat drain.

One thing that lead to this mistake was that the drain isn't listed in the build menu nor in tooltips (but consumption is), drain is listed only when you look at an already placed unit.

I actually think I read about the difference between consumption and drain somewhere in the wiki, but ultimately forgot again.

So I'm in favor of this proposition. To save UI-space, I would drop the "if" from "13kW if active". But even if the wording isn't changed, there should be consistency so that wherever consumption is listed, drain should be listed too (if not 0).
Last edited by meganothing on Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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aubergine18
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Re: Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

Post by aubergine18 »

This would also make things clearer to modders defining prototypes for the first time (like I was doing last night!!) - it took me ages to try and work out what all the different values meant because game UI was somewhat unclear (I was jumping from code to game to see what effects different changes had).
Better forum search for modders: Enclose your search term in quotes, eg. "font_color" or "custom-input" - it prevents the forum search from splitting on hypens and underscores, resulting in much more accurate results.

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Re: Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

Post by quadrox »

I would specify it like so:

Power consumption:
idle: xxx kw
active: yyy kw

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Deadly-Bagel
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Re: Reword energy consumption info to explain drain/consumption

Post by Deadly-Bagel »

I was going to suggest just renaming "Drain" to "Idle". This then becomes very obvious that consumption is when it is active, and when idle it will only use that much.
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