Different power icon for buildings disabled by a switch

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MeduSalem
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About upcoming Power Switch & Blinking yellow Indications

Post by MeduSalem »

So while I have been experimenting around a bit with what we could possibly do with the upcoming power grid switches in anticipation of 0.12 I have come to the following conclusion:


The blinking yellow warning indications that an item has no power shouldn't be blinking.


Reasoning:

Imagine the situation that you are shutting down several parts of your factory to save on power (like Laser Turrets when there's no enemy nearby or whatever) and only switching power on if you actually need that part of the factory. So while the upcoming power grid switch will probably be able to do the job I have to admit that 10000 yellow blinking items on the screen is pretty much annyoing as hell. :lol:


Solutions:

1) I suggest turning them into static yellow icons for everything. Would be the easiest thing.

2) Once the switches are a thing that there is a difference in if something isn't connected to a grid containing a power source at all (there's no power supplying object connected to the entire grid) or if it is just switched off temporarily (like the Laser Turret example from above). Because if something is switched off temporarily the icons shouldn't blink at all... because it is annyoing if it happens even if you turned that part of the factory off on purpose. In that case a static indication telling "item is temporarily turned off" would be better.


Maybe someone else suggested something similar already but I couldn't find anything when searching for blinking/flashing/yellow icons/indications.

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Re: About upcoming Power Switch & Blinking yellow Indications

Post by ssilk »

My dream would be to turn this whole concept: Instead of doing something, when it is off (displaying an icon), I would do something only if turned on.

If a device has no power it is off. No lights. No noise.
If turned on a small red (LED-)lamp on the side of that device turns on, standby noise.
A blinking red lamp signals: "Not 100% power available"

Well, this would work only for advanced players, not beginners. :) An option: "Turn beginner help icons off"?
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Re: About upcoming Power Switch & Blinking yellow Indications

Post by MeduSalem »

ssilk wrote:My dream would be to turn this whole concept: Instead of doing something, when it is off (displaying an icon), I would do something only if turned on.

If a device has no power it is off. No lights. No noise.
If turned on a small red (LED-)lamp on the side of that device turns on, standby noise.
A blinking red lamp signals: "Not 100% power available"

Well, this would work only for advanced players, not beginners. :) An option: "Turn beginner help icons off"?
I could live with your approach as well, but it would require additional GFX work on pretty much every item that depends on electricity. Some of them are rather small too, like Inserters so you'd have to zoom in to even see anything, especially at Smart Inserters with Filters on them.

So in the short run I guess it would be more convenient for the devs just to turn the blinking/flashing off in favor of a static yellow warning icon, which would be enough to show anybody that there is something going on there without the "In your face!"-blinking. I think that should be a rather simple task with only a few lines of code to change.

I take a bet that currently nobody cares about it (except maybe people using steam backup stuff who are a bit used to blinking icons) but once 0.12 is out... There will be a thread about "blinking yellow icons everywhere!" and whatnot every other week or so until the devs have to eventually fix it anyways because it will start to annoy even them when they test complex circuit stuff themselves... :lol: So it would be adviseable to see that thing addressed before things get serious. :D

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Re: About upcoming Power Switch & Blinking yellow Indications

Post by ssilk »

Yeah, I mean this is surely present to them. But of course not 100%. And my post is just a dream, that makes somehow sense, but the game-value is quite low.
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[0.13] Power switch: Different icon when switched off

Post by 19wolf »

Entities powered off by the power switch should have a different icon from those just missing a connection to power. Also they shouldn't blink.
Last edited by ssilk on Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Depends only 0.13

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Re: Power switch

Post by Ranakastrasz »

+1
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Re: Power switch

Post by chris13524 »

Yes, I agree.

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by siggboy »

+1
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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Ghoulish »

Gets my vote.
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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Neotix »

I also agree with this suggestion.

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Twinsen »

+1

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Compboy »

+1

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by mattj256 »

+1

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Qon »

The important part is that it doesn't blink. True for all things not connected but especially true if I've just built it and it has never been connected. That is annoying.

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by MeduSalem »

Sign me up for this.

The blinking when stuff gets turned stuff off on purpose is really annoying at times.

A different Icon/Color might also help diffentiating stuff that's just "shut down" compared to stuff that is really missing power.

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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by aRatNamedSammy »

+1
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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Ranakastrasz »

It gets worse if you have it set to toggle based on accumulator capacity, since it ends up flickering on and off every couple ticks. The blinking is irregular, which is irritating.

One thing you can do, I suppose, is add a solar panel and lamp to each network. that would ensure it has an input and output at all times.
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Re: [0.13] Power switch

Post by Tallinu »

Qon wrote:The important part is that it doesn't blink. True for all things not connected but especially true if I've just built it and it has never been connected. That is annoying.
Absolutely. Building things with no power connected (like test layouts or blueprint prototypes) has always been really bothersome due to the obtrusive blinking, and with power switches doing no more than severing the connection, large fields of big blinking error icons are both irritating and misleading.

It would be really wonderful if a power switch that is turned off but has electricity available on one side would make power consumers or producers on the other side show a steady, and preferably smaller, "switched off" icon (maybe resembling a knife switch) instead of the irritating blinking "unplugged" icon. A steady (and perhaps shrunken) "unplugged" icon for items that have just been constructed and have not yet received electricity would be another cool change, if possible.

Adding solars and/or lamps to consumer/producer power subnets is a workaround, I suppose (as long as you aren't going for the "no solar" achievement), but if you're turning off some assemblers, chem plants, or refineries, it's because you don't want them operating, and having a solar panel providing power even when the power switch is off partially defeats the purpose. And putting even a lamp on a subnet full of steam engines is going to keep them operating at a tiny fraction of their power output even when they should be shut down completely. It's a small thing, yes, but there might be situations in which that would make a difference.

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Different power icon for buildings disabled by a switch

Post by AmbulatoryCortex »

Currently, when a power switch is controlling a group of buildings, the "no power" sprite is the same as if power were simply disconnected. This causes some confusion, particularly in multiplayer, and frequently people "fix" the lack of power by adding power poles. Naturally, this breaks whatever the switch was controlling. I suggest changing the sprite to something distinct to eliminate the confusion.

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Re: Different power icon for buildings disabled by a switch

Post by zetacon4 »

On the topic of power switches, I would also like to suggest a way to isolate the machine needing to be switched so that placing power poles near it won't directly power the machine. The way it is now, it is clunky and easily defeated by accident.

Suggestion:
Create a switch object that must be touching the machine when placed. Once this switch is touching the machine, NO power pole will automatically power the machine. You must now toggle the switch to receive power from any power pole close enough to power it. Make sure to change the visible state of the switch object to show ON and OFF states. Problem solved!

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