Train related alerts

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PacifyerGrey
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Train related alerts

Post by PacifyerGrey » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:13 am

Most of these features are covered by FAT controller mod. However they are really useful and are easy to implement in the vanilla game.
I am not sure if some of them are covered in upcoming patches but they were relevant when I was playing the game.
There are several critical train related issues that a player should be notified of:
- Train in automatic mode is out of fuel
- Train has a "no path" error
- Train is stopped at a signal for a really long time

While the last one is questionable first two are a must to have clickable alerts

Darinth
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Re: Train related alerts

Post by Darinth » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:19 pm

No path errors and trains out of fuel on automatic mode both seem like obvious candidates for alerts.

I feel like I'd want to hear from some of the more train-centric individuals who do things like custom circuit-controlled signalling before saying that having trains alert if they've been waiting for a long time is a good idea. Even a large train stacker at an ore smelting depot could just get a bit backlogged and result in trains waiting a 'really long time', but be perfectly normal operation.

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Optera
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Re: Train related alerts

Post by Optera » Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:35 pm

I agree those should be in the base game.

Adding an alert for no-path is simply a few lines of code hooked into on_train_changed_state.

However an alert for locomotives out of fuel is a very expensive beast in lua polling fuel inventory and burner status in on_tick or on_nth_tick. This is especially frustrating since the code to check for that already has to exist in the core game to display the blinking out of fuel icon.

Congestion Alerts are a two edged sword.
My stacker LTN depots would constantly throw that alert, making me ignore it and miss the congestion on a junction.
Without a way to exclude signals in a stacker from firing that alert it would be useless to me. A checkbox "throws congestion alert" at every block and chain signal would make this very useful.

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Re: Train related alerts

Post by Zavian » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:01 am

Regarding a train out of fuel alert. From https://www.factorio.com/blog/post/fff-253
One of the many small tasks for 0.17, was to solve the occasional problem I had when I didn't notice that one of my trains didn't have the refuelling automated. One train out of fuel can halt all the train logistics easily, and sometimes it takes quite a while to notice it. For this reason, we added an alert for trains running out of fuel when in automatic mode.
Image

Regarding no trains with no path, I agree it would be useful at times, however when I'm making changes to existing rail-lines, one of the first things I usually do is cut the rail-line so often as part of clearing all the trains out of a section where I'm about to deconstruct a lot of the existing rails, but sometimes purely so that I'm less likely to get hit. (Even if I'm just adding a new junction from a blueprint, sometimes I need to remove some of the old rails first. If I'm doing things like moving stations or stackers or rerouting rail lines, then I definitely want to get rid of all the trains that would normally be sitting in that area). That means I would probably trigger this alert a lot in normal play. Not a problem in single player, when you know that have just caused it, but it could easily become annoying in multiplayer.

Regarding trains waiting at signal for a very long time, there are too many cases where this is normal and desired behaviour, so I don't think adding an alert is a good idea. (eg think about an outpost that serves as backup power generation, and is fed by a couple of trains from coal outposts. In the everything all right situation, some of those trains will wait forever to get a chance to unload. And that is perfectly fine for the player's point of view).

Typically excessive congestion will be noticed by players when they ride trains though the congested section, (possibly when they start investigating why one of the affected stations is starved for resources/trains).

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