Reading the FFF for the first time, I was really pleased with the news. I like the GUI changes for trains, especially that for the waiting conditions. Some people complained that the new design would still not be quite easy to grasp, and putting OR on a separate line would make things more obvious. In my opinion, the developers' design is very efficient: The braces on the left side clearly structure the conditions into sets/blocks, and having the OR operator right in the first line of a block is really useful because it saves screen real estate. It might take getting used to it, but if there was an explanation of how the new GUI works in a tutorial or something, new players shouldn't have much trouble figuring it out.
The greatest surprise for me was the introduction of waypoints. I had wished for something like that for quite some time; in fact, I left a comment
about it just in the thread for last week's FFF. After rereading the FFF, however, I realized that this kind of waypoint won't help me at all. Obviously, these waypoints will work magnificently for conventional train networks with trains dedicated to specific stations. However, I still have not given up on the idea of having a train network where all stations have the same name, and all trains the same schedule (2 times the same station name, both with conditions set to "Circuit network GREEN" AND "Inactivity 1 second").
I know such a system might have limitations and throughput won't be optimal, but it seems so interesting to try.
With the new waypoints, trains will pass through but not stop at a station if they have said station in their schedule and if they have no waiting conditions set for it. My trains will path to such waypoints, because these will have the same name as all other stations. However, they will also stop there because they do have a waiting condition set for it. In my case, such a waypoint would always act just like any other station.
What I had in mind when thinking about waypoints was the opposite approach: Not the trains decide whether they will consider a station as a waypoint, but the station enforces on trains that it is a waypoint and they should just pass it. Now, the current behaviour does make sense for conventional networks because the same station could serve as a normal stop for some trains and as waypoint for others. But I think these two approaches could be combined!
How about adding an option to the train station's GUI, something like "Waypoint -- trains won't stop here"? If turned on, this option would take precedence over the "Train has no waiting conditions for this station" condition, so all trains would pass through. If turned off, the usual behaviour (trains stop if they have this station with a waiting condition in their schedule) would kick in. This should be compatible with conventional and 1 stationname/1 schedule networks, even though it might seem a bit messy on first sight. However, this new GUI option would change nothing for people with conventional train networks -- they could just ignore it (obviously, the option should be turned off per default) and everything will work as expected.
What do you think, could something like that be implemented? That would make somebody very happy!