Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Ideas, that are too old (too much things changed) or won't be implemented cause of some reasons or if there are obvious better suggestions.

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by Qon »

KoblerMan wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:31 pm
I'll be honest, I wasn't exactly expecting 66% of people to try and shoot this down over balance concerns. If you don't like double-headed trains, nobody is forcing you to use them, guys. :)
This is an argument against balance. Just remove the thread if that's your position.

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

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boskid wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:39 pm
What if there would be 100 locomotives in one direction and a single one in opposite?
Easy: Don't change how it currently works. At least one loco in each direction clearly shows player intent. That's imho off-topic - nobody ever complained about that.

If there's balancing concerns just make backwards locos contribute a bit less than full power (60~80%?). Having them be entirely dead-weight is a bit of a strain on my suspension of disbelief too. And above all it's really annoying to have a train stranded because locos in the "correct" direction ran out of fuel while the other ones are full to the brim (yes, i build long range trains).
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by KoblerMan »

boskid wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:39 pm
There are also other problems when locomotive in wrong direction would contribute: would that mean a train with all locomotives heading into one direction should be able to find a path in opposide direction and travel entirely in reverse?
I could be wrong, but isn't this the same thing that already happens with the current double-headed trains?
boskid wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:39 pm
What if there would be 100 locomotives in one direction and a single one in opposite?
Add a weight/bias towards the end of the train with more locomotives. But if you want my opinion, if this happens in any realistic scenario, I think the player has bigger things to worry about than game mechanics. At that point I would argue that's a design flaw on their part.
eradicator wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:52 pm
boskid wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:39 pm
What if there would be 100 locomotives in one direction and a single one in opposite?
Easy: Don't change how it currently works. At least one loco in each direction clearly shows player intent. That's imho off-topic - nobody ever complained about that.

If there's balancing concerns just make backwards locos contribute a bit less than full power (60~80%?). Having them be entirely dead-weight is a bit of a strain on my suspension of disbelief too. And above all it's really annoying to have a train stranded because locos in the "correct" direction ran out of fuel while the other ones are full to the brim (yes, i build long range trains).
This x1,000%. :D

Anyway, thanks for considering the idea at the very least. I think if boskid says no, then that's that. :)
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by jodokus31 »

boskid wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:39 pm
There are also other problems when locomotive in wrong direction would contribute: would that mean a train with all locomotives heading into one direction should be able to find a path in opposide direction and travel entirely in reverse? What if there would be 100 locomotives in one direction and a single one in opposite?
I would assume, there's no need for change logic. single headed can only go into one direction. double headed in both, no matter how many locomotive facing in which direction.
eradicator wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:52 pm
If there's balancing concerns just make backwards locos contribute a bit less than full power (60~80%?). Having them be entirely dead-weight is a bit of a strain on my suspension of disbelief too. And above all it's really annoying to have a train stranded because locos in the "correct" direction ran out of fuel while the other ones are full to the brim (yes, i build long range trains).
+1
backwards locos contribute less, maybe even less fuel efficiency

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by KoblerMan »

jodokus31 wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:09 pm
eradicator wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:52 pm
If there's balancing concerns just make backwards locos contribute a bit less than full power (60~80%?). Having them be entirely dead-weight is a bit of a strain on my suspension of disbelief too. And above all it's really annoying to have a train stranded because locos in the "correct" direction ran out of fuel while the other ones are full to the brim (yes, i build long range trains).
+1
backwards locos contribute less, maybe even less fuel efficiency
Except you wouldn't even have to do that. Just buff the coefficient for proper aerodynamics and suddenly, you can implement this suggestion and still incentivize single-headed trains. Problem solved.

EDIT: See also how acceleration is calculated. Wind resistance plays a role. https://wiki.factorio.com/Locomotive#Maximum_speed
Last edited by KoblerMan on Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by Squelch »

I'm not convinced by the fuel, or running out of, argument. It stands true that running out of fuel is a player design problem, and that they have not provided adequate fuel whatever the train's makeup.

I think what @Boskid alludes to, is that having locos contribute traction in both directions firstly implies that any loco can then travel in both directions autonomously. This then brings pathing issues - which way should a train path to arrive at a station? If it arrives backwards, then the cargo section will be past the stop, and therefore unloading positions. Ok, only enable it for double headed bidirectional trains - how is the "head" of the train decided? The same situation of arriving backwards because of a valid (less expensive) path is found by the "tail" backwards facing loco then might arise. Player intent cannot be implied, nor automated.

As an aside, I would love for locos to be able to travel in both directions autonomously, and be able to couple and decouple under circuit control. Shunting yards (sorting yards) could then be made for those long distance routes. I have in fact explored this under mod control (albeit still using unidirectional locos), and it gets very messy. I do not see an easy solution personally that would help.

I do in fact use double headed bidirectional trains for personal transport, and for outpost construction supply. I have also experimented with using a "fuel tender" cargo wagon immediately following the loco to both distribute fuel to remote locations, and to pass fuel forward at stops.

All said and done, while bi-directional locos might seem a great idea, there is a whole pallet of cans of worms that would be opened. Right now, there is no ambiguity with how autonomous trains will arrive at a stop. With bidirectional locos a whole new layer of complexity and ambiguity comes into play.

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by ptx0 »

Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm

I think what @Boskid alludes to, is that having locos contribute traction in both directions firstly implies that any loco can then travel in both directions autonomously. This then brings pathing issues - which way should a train path to arrive at a station? If it arrives backwards, then the cargo section will be past the stop, and therefore unloading positions. Ok, only enable it for double headed bidirectional trains - how is the "head" of the train decided? The same situation of arriving backwards because of a valid (less expensive) path is found by the "tail" backwards facing loco then might arise. Player intent cannot be implied, nor automated.
this is already handled in the pathing code.

pathfinder searches from both ends of train. both ends are the head - and you can have locomotive in the middle and cargo wagons on either end. it just searches for path from the 'face' of one loco in either direction if it exists. the signals tell the trains how they can move.
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by ickputzdirwech »

I don’t think this would be a balancing issue whatsoever. I would even argue it is out of balance right now. Neither the use of one- nor bidirectional trains should be incentivised. There is no right or wrong (I personally prefer one directional trains). Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages mainly having to build loops or trains clearing the stations faster (with the right signaling). Right now bidirectional trains have far more disadvantages imo: higher fuel consumption for lower speed per locomotive.
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by KoblerMan »

Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm
I'm not convinced by the fuel, or running out of, argument. It stands true that running out of fuel is a player design problem, and that they have not provided adequate fuel whatever the train's makeup.
Sure, but this ignores the fact that you're still multiplying fuel storage x2 if this gets implemented (assuming you have same number of forward-facing locomotives to rear-facing). This means for super long distances, you only would need half the amount of refueling outposts. I think this is still a consideration. :)
ptx0 wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:43 pm
Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm

I think what @Boskid alludes to, is that having locos contribute traction in both directions firstly implies that any loco can then travel in both directions autonomously. This then brings pathing issues - which way should a train path to arrive at a station? If it arrives backwards, then the cargo section will be past the stop, and therefore unloading positions. Ok, only enable it for double headed bidirectional trains - how is the "head" of the train decided? The same situation of arriving backwards because of a valid (less expensive) path is found by the "tail" backwards facing loco then might arise. Player intent cannot be implied, nor automated.
this is already handled in the pathing code.

pathfinder searches from both ends of train. both ends are the head - and you can have locomotive in the middle and cargo wagons on either end. it just searches for path from the 'face' of one loco in either direction if it exists. the signals tell the trains how they can move.
Exactly.

I'll be honest, I'm kinda playing devil's advocate at this point. I think boskid putting this as a solid "no" means I've got a snowball's chance by now.

As jodokus31 said here:
jodokus31 wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:09 pm
boskid wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:39 pm
There are also other problems when locomotive in wrong direction would contribute: would that mean a train with all locomotives heading into one direction should be able to find a path in opposide direction and travel entirely in reverse? What if there would be 100 locomotives in one direction and a single one in opposite?
I would assume, there's no need for change logic. single headed can only go into one direction. double headed in both, no matter how many locomotive facing in which direction.
I think a potential fix for the logic issue is to just not allow trains with only backwards-facing locomotives to run in reverse, which is as of right now the default behavior.
Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm
As an aside, I would love for locos to be able to travel in both directions autonomously, and be able to couple and decouple under circuit control. Shunting yards (sorting yards) could then be made for those long distance routes. I have in fact explored this under mod control (albeit still using unidirectional locos), and it gets very messy. I do not see an easy solution personally that would help.
Me, too! :D
Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm
All said and done, while bi-directional locos might seem a great idea, there is a whole pallet of cans of worms that would be opened. Right now, there is no ambiguity with how autonomous trains will arrive at a stop. With bidirectional locos a whole new layer of complexity and ambiguity comes into play.
I think this is embellishing a bit. I did already list this stuff in "potential design challenges", but it's not like you can look at some player's outstanding oil processing setups and tell me that they wouldn't be able to figure this out. :)
ickputzdirwech wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:49 pm
I don’t think this would be a balancing issue whatsoever. I would even argue it is out of balance right now. Neither the use of one- nor bidirectional trains should be incentivised. There is no right or wrong (I personally prefer one directional trains). Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages mainly having to build loops or trains clearing the stations faster (with the right signaling). Right now bidirectional trains have far more disadvantages imo: higher fuel consumption for lower speed per locomotive.
This is pretty much how I feel about double-headed trains in their current state. There's a reason this has always bugged me.
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by Squelch »

KoblerMan wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:51 pm
Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm
I'm not convinced by the fuel, or running out of, argument. It stands true that running out of fuel is a player design problem, and that they have not provided adequate fuel whatever the train's makeup.
Sure, but this ignores the fact that you're still multiplying fuel storage x2 if this gets implemented (assuming you have same number of forward-facing locomotives to rear-facing). This means for super long distances, you only would need half the amount of refueling outposts. I think this is still a consideration. :)
A consideration, yes, but nothing pressing that needs a buff, and can just as easily be accounted for by player planning.
ptx0 wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:43 pm
Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm

I think what @Boskid alludes to, is that having locos contribute traction in both directions firstly implies that any loco can then travel in both directions autonomously. This then brings pathing issues - which way should a train path to arrive at a station? If it arrives backwards, then the cargo section will be past the stop, and therefore unloading positions. Ok, only enable it for double headed bidirectional trains - how is the "head" of the train decided? The same situation of arriving backwards because of a valid (less expensive) path is found by the "tail" backwards facing loco then might arise. Player intent cannot be implied, nor automated.
this is already handled in the pathing code.

pathfinder searches from both ends of train. both ends are the head - and you can have locomotive in the middle and cargo wagons on either end. it just searches for path from the 'face' of one loco in either direction if it exists. the signals tell the trains how they can move.
Exactly.
I stand corrected after I just tested it for myself. I somehow have a vague recollection that this wasn't always the case, and I hadn't confirmed it until now.
As jodokus31 said here:
I would assume, there's no need for change logic. single headed can only go into one direction. double headed in both, no matter how many locomotive facing in which direction.
I missed that while typing.
I think this is embellishing a bit.
Accepted :D

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by KoblerMan »

Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:35 pm
KoblerMan wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:51 pm
I think this is embellishing a bit.
Accepted :D
Thanks for being honest! :lol:
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by Nidan »

Squelch wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 pm
I think what @Boskid alludes to, is that having locos contribute traction in both directions firstly implies that any loco can then travel in both directions autonomously. This then brings pathing issues - which way should a train path to arrive at a station? If it arrives backwards, then the cargo section will be past the stop, and therefore unloading positions. Ok, only enable it for double headed bidirectional trains - how is the "head" of the train decided? The same situation of arriving backwards because of a valid (less expensive) path is found by the "tail" backwards facing loco then might arise. Player intent cannot be implied, nor automated.
As others already said, require a locomotive facing each direction. To avoid the train arriving the wrong way round you have to solve the same problems as bidirectional trains right now. I.e. make sure it exits a station on the correct side and prevent it from reversing when repathing on track. The latter becomes a non-issue once you can afford one rail per direction with proper signaling. And if you disable a station the train reverses in per circuit network you'll have to account for that at the next station(s), but that's by your own design and won't happen randomly.
As an aside, I would love for locos to be able to travel in both directions autonomously, and be able to couple and decouple under circuit control. Shunting yards (sorting yards) could then be made for those long distance routes. I have in fact explored this under mod control (albeit still using unidirectional locos), and it gets very messy. I do not see an easy solution personally that would help.
That'd be interesting.

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

KoblerMan wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:31 pm
Why make a game where you arbitrarily remove functionality from something like this, unless there is a legitimate balance concern?
I don’t think any functionality was removed: just not arbitrarily added.
I also believe that this really makes trains less interesting and *is* a legitimate balance concern, along with the other 66+% who agree.
KoblerMan wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:31 pm
If anything this is more of a QoL addition than some massive balance change.
It would fundamentally change trains:

With the current system, good balance has resulted in two styles that are both popular: single headed values space, speed, and convenience while the other values throughput/acceleration and scalability.

With the proposed system, doubleheaded trains would have all the above benefits, and no equally balancing cost: they would have both the high throughput and the low cost.
KoblerMan wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:31 pm
I think we stand to benefit from this change a lot more than we stand to lose. And I really don't see it as unfair from a balance standpoint.
I believe it would be a loss at the benefit of people who think that their play-style is or should be the best or “right” play-style
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by ssilk »

Just a few thoughts:

Suggestions are about gameplay value. See search.php?keywords=Game+value&t=27087&sf=msgonly
That means, there is always a consideration: How much more complexity will a suggestion bring in vs. how much more game-play?
In simpler words: Added game-play vs. added complexity.
This suggestion has a very low gameplay value. Indeed, I would go so far to say it has a negative value. (*) Why? It shifts the decision that a player needs to make at some point if he wants to make it so or so. That removes this kind of semis-balanced decision in one direction.

That it shifts this decision is very clear. It has been discussed many times already (I linked many examples). It’s mostly the opinion of the more advanced players. For me it is very clear: Changing this decreases the gameplay in many directions and also decreases the replay value.

(*) Yes, it makes things easier for the players. Big quality of live value, no question. But that’s not what we are searching here for at top priority.

And I repeat some alternatives:
- this idea is a very good mod idea (already mentioned existing mod in this thread?)
- a way to turn around locomotives at train stops: ❤️
- a way to de-/couple wagons/locos/trains: ❤️
- shunting yards/switch yards/store items in decoupled wagons: ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Even if I have no idea how that could work. :)

I just thought about how cool this could look, we had such turntables for locos at trains stops. Amazing. 🤩
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by Koub »

[Koub] I guess with boskids answer, we can move this to "won't implement"
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by KoblerMan »

ssilk wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:50 am
Just a few thoughts:

Suggestions are about gameplay value. See search.php?keywords=Game+value&t=27087&sf=msgonly
That means, there is always a consideration: How much more complexity will a suggestion bring in vs. how much more game-play?
In simpler words: Added game-play vs. added complexity.
This suggestion has a very low gameplay value. Indeed, I would go so far to say it has a negative value. (*) Why? It shifts the decision that a player needs to make at some point if he wants to make it so or so. That removes this kind of semis-balanced decision in one direction.

That it shifts this decision is very clear. It has been discussed many times already (I linked many examples). It’s mostly the opinion of the more advanced players. For me it is very clear: Changing this decreases the gameplay in many directions and also decreases the replay value.

(*) Yes, it makes things easier for the players. Big quality of live value, no question. But that’s not what we are searching here for at top priority.

And I repeat some alternatives:
- this idea is a very good mod idea (already mentioned existing mod in this thread?)
- a way to turn around locomotives at train stops: ❤️
- a way to de-/couple wagons/locos/trains: ❤️
- shunting yards/switch yards/store items in decoupled wagons: ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Even if I have no idea how that could work. :)

I just thought about how cool this could look, we had such turntables for locos at trains stops. Amazing. 🤩
I personally think this is a matter of opinion, more than a matter of fact. And I don't see your opinion as being correct, especially on the negative gameplay value and overly complex fronts.

Ultimately if many players have already suggested this, and it is the more advanced players doing it, then that just proves a point that people really want this. You can argue that Factorio should not cater to the advanced players and focus on the newbies, but eventually the skillcap of those newbies will increase with more playtime until they hit a level of being advanced. Factorio in my opinion should cater more to the advanced crowd under the assumption that we will all get there eventually. This is a game where you can have hundreds or thousands of hours invested into just one run. Once you're addicted to Cracktorio, you can't exactly just put it down. :D

Anyway, I got boskid's attention, he said no, so I guess it ain't happening. Thanks for playing guys!
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by Squelch »

Final words -
KoblerMan wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:11 am
I personally think this is a matter of opinion, more than a matter of fact. And I don't see your opinion as being correct, especially on the negative gameplay value and overly complex fronts.
There is a maxim - If opinion is strongly divided on a balancing matter, then the current system favours neither, so is therefore correct.

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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by KoblerMan »

Squelch wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:26 pm
Final words -
KoblerMan wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:11 am
I personally think this is a matter of opinion, more than a matter of fact. And I don't see your opinion as being correct, especially on the negative gameplay value and overly complex fronts.
There is a maxim - If opinion is strongly divided on a balancing matter, then the current system favours neither, so is therefore correct.
I will accept that, as long as my opinion remains correct as well. :)
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by eradicator »

Squelch wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:26 pm
There is a maxim - If opinion is strongly divided on a balancing matter, then the current system favours neither, so is therefore correct.
Maybe if *opinion* was balanced. But vocal minorities on a forum don't represent average opinion ;).
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Re: Reverse-facing locomotives contribute to total train power

Post by ickputzdirwech »

Well, who is to decide who the minority is?

To bring this back on topic I would be interested in the overwhelming advantages of double headed trains that the advocates of the current system always cite (but not explain), that are supposed to justify the disadvantages of double headed trains.

Disadvantages of double headed:
  • Higher fuel consumption
  • Lower speed and acceleration per locomotive.
  • More complicated signaling
  • Lower throughput
Disadvantages of single headed:
  • Loops are needed
What am I missing?

Double headed trains are way more complicated to build and have generally a lower throughput. Both will be true even if this suggestion would be implemented (especially if backwards facing locomotives only add ~60% of their power as was also suggested in this topic) and I would continue to use single (!) headed trains as I do right now.

I understand the arguments that the proposed system might confuse players but I really don’t get why this would be a balancing issue.
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