OdinYggd wrote:Boilers in real life are not 100% efficient.
Real life boilers have the following efficiencies:
"Stoker" fired, commonly seen on locomotives and historic boilers: 50-70% depending on fireman skill, boiler condition, and fuel quality.
"Package boiler", modern automatic-controlled boilers typically using oil or gas fuels: 70-95%. Automated fire controls and modernized designs allow improved efficiency if the boiler is maintained properly.
Electric boilers are not 100% efficient. It is close to 100%, but they always lose some energy to their surroundings even when wrapped in insulation to minimize this loss.
If you ignore heat dissipation and losses in electrical systems, electric boilers are 100% efficient. Both is currently not implemented in Factorio, which is a reasonable design choice.
OdinYggd wrote:I would love to see a mod for factorio that actually implements realistic efficiency for steam and nuclear power. But given how disruptive to the game balance that such a configuration would be, it would probably have to be a mod and cannot be part of the vanilla game.
People are already used to how Factorio works right now, leading to upset if too much changed. I don't know the developers opinion on this. Hope-givingly, they reworked the boiler system already which was a breaking change. The game is after all still labeled an Alpha by the developers.
OdinYggd wrote:Too much realism takes all the fun out of it for people who just want to play the game.
I agree. Too much of anything is bad. Especially in a game like Factorio. We like it because it does not agree with reality everywhere. Still, we like it also because it agrees in some aspects with reality.
What aspects of reality should be implemented? I consider that to be a difficult question. But realism can add intuitive depth, and games profit heavily on intuitive depth. This thread is not about that, though, but just about a rather confined and comprehensible change.
It's about making steam engines inefficient while making boilers virtually ideal, thusly allowing electric boilers and other fun stuff without needing to rebalance the game too much.