Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power Meter

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DaveMcW
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Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power Meter

Post by DaveMcW » Tue May 20, 2014 1:19 am

In the "Electric network info" panel, there are two green bars for consumption and production. They look very similar to a bar graph, and are the most eye-catching thing on the page. So the first time a newbie opens the panel, they say, "Oh no! My consumption bar is bigger than my production bar! I must build more power!"

It takes a minute to realize consumption and production are exactly the same megawatts. The bars are just using a different scale.

I propose to change the bars to use the same scale.

Current formula:
Consumption Bar = current_consumption / consumption_capacity
Production Bar = current_production / production_capacity

New formula:
max_capacity = max(consumption_capacity, production capacity)
Consumption Bar = consumption_capacity / max_capacity
Production Bar = current_production / max_capacity

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Re: Consumption/Production bars in Electric Network Info

Post by Gammro » Tue May 20, 2014 7:49 am

DaveMcW wrote:In the "Electric network info" panel, there are two green bars for consumption and production. They look very similar to a bar graph, and are the most eye-catching thing on the page. So the first time a newbie opens the panel, they say, "Oh no! My consumption bar is bigger than my production bar! I must build more power!"

It takes a minute to realize consumption and production are exactly the same megawatts. The bars are just using a different scale.

I propose to change the bars to use the same scale.

Current formula:
Consumption Bar = current_consumption / consumption_capacity
Production Bar = current_production / production_capacity

New formula:
max_capacity = max(consumption_capacity, production capacity)
Consumption Bar = consumption_capacity / max_capacity
Production Bar = current_production / max_capacity
I'm going to assume consumption_capacity/max_capacity is an error(typo?), because otherwise consumption would always be at 100%(which would imply everything runs smoothly) when the production is at 100% and the factories aren't satisfied anymore. Also, It's not consistent with the other formula.

Also, I don't see any advantages to this new system. The old system needs some education on what is shown, but ultimately works. It indicates if the factory can pull enough power to satisfy their needs or whether power production is at capacity. I also thinks it defies logic set by real world meters, by making the maximum value dependent on 2 factors(both maximum capacities), and not showing which one at that time.(Can be derived, but adds needless work)

There's also already a power satisfaction graph in the game, which is really easy in showing whether enough energy is being produced. I'd like that to also be in the power overview instead of only being able to see it when hovering over a power pole. This would give an easy bar for the new players, and more in depth view for the nerds who like stats.
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Re: Consumption/Production bars in Electric Network Info

Post by Chthon » Tue May 20, 2014 8:30 am

Gammro wrote:
DaveMcW wrote:In the "Electric network info" panel, there are two green bars for consumption and production. They look very similar to a bar graph, and are the most eye-catching thing on the page. So the first time a newbie opens the panel, they say, "Oh no! My consumption bar is bigger than my production bar! I must build more power!"

It takes a minute to realize consumption and production are exactly the same megawatts. The bars are just using a different scale.

I propose to change the bars to use the same scale.

Current formula:
Consumption Bar = current_consumption / consumption_capacity
Production Bar = current_production / production_capacity

New formula:
max_capacity = max(consumption_capacity, production capacity)
Consumption Bar = consumption_capacity / max_capacity
Production Bar = current_production / max_capacity
I'm going to assume consumption_capacity/max_capacity is an error(typo?), because otherwise consumption would always be at 100%(which would imply everything runs smoothly) when the production is at 100% and the factories aren't satisfied anymore. Also, It's not consistent with the other formula.

Also, I don't see any advantages to this new system. The old system needs some education on what is shown, but ultimately works. It indicates if the factory can pull enough power to satisfy their needs or whether power production is at capacity. I also thinks it defies logic set by real world meters, by making the maximum value dependent on 2 factors(both maximum capacities), and not showing which one at that time.(Can be derived, but adds needless work)

There's also already a power satisfaction graph in the game, which is really easy in showing whether enough energy is being produced. I'd like that to also be in the power overview instead of only being able to see it when hovering over a power pole. This would give an easy bar for the new players, and more in depth view for the nerds who like stats.
Consumption capacity is the total capacity of power your factory can consume if given enough. It is different than max power capacity.

Furthermore I agree with the OP that the current setup is very confusing. However I'd like something simpler:

Combine the Consumption and Production bars into one.
Bar_Max_Length = max(Max_Production_Capacity, Max_Consumption_Need)
Red_Bar_Length = Bar_Max_Length/Max_Consumption_Need
Blue_Bar_Length = Bar_Max_Length/min(Max_Consumption_Need, Max_Production_Capacity)
Red_Bar_Length is occluded by Blue_Bar_Length
At end of bar:

Code: Select all

cout(Max_Consumption_Need && "/" && Max_Production_Capacity);
if (Max_Consumption_Need - Max_Production_Capacity) > 0
cout("(" && Max_Consumption_Need - Max_Production_Capacity && "more needed)");
This way, the bar fills with blue as you use power. The black space at the end shows how much extra capacity you have. If you are over capacity, there is a red bar at the end showing how much more power you need. There you go, power usage in one bar. At the end, instead of one number, you get a ratio of the two, as well as a message of how much more power you need if you need more.

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Re: Consumption/Production bars in Electric Network Info

Post by TheXenocide » Tue May 20, 2014 10:13 am

^^^ This is a better way to do it in my humble opinion. The first time I looked at the power chart, I felt my head spinning trying to wrap around it.

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Re: Consumption/Production bars in Electric Network Info

Post by tralala » Tue May 20, 2014 2:02 pm

The way it is now is totally confusing.

Why not make it simple by just showing the "electricity demand" as a percentage of the "production capacity"? If demand goes above 75% make the bar yellow if it goes above 99% make it red (as it is done in SimCity for example).

This would be pretty clear and easy to understand.

Current electricity demand as percentage of available production capacity

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Re: Consumption/Production bars in Electric Network Info

Post by Gammro » Tue May 20, 2014 2:39 pm

tralala wrote:The way it is now is totally confusing.

Why not make it simple by just showing the "electricity demand" as a percentage of the "production capacity"? If demand goes above 75% make the bar yellow if it goes above 99% make it red (as it is done in SimCity for example).

This would be pretty clear and easy to understand.

Current electricity demand as percentage of available production capacity
The inverse is already in the game. If you hover over an electric pole with your cursor, there's a bar called "energy satisfaction". If all is good, this is 100%. If you don't produce enough, the factory will run at a percentage of the speed as given by this bar. I wouldn't mind moving this bar to the main power overview, but the rest of the proposed solutions (imho) don't make it any more intuitive to people who don't know how it works.
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Electric network info

Post by Kitefr » Thu May 29, 2014 11:21 am

Hello !

I'm making this post because there is something that's always bugged me in the electric network info panel.

Currently it is like this :
Image

And i always get the consumption bar full and the production bar fluctuate under it.
The thing is... I've always pictured it the other way around !!

The production is always full so you actually do not need a info bar, just the number will be fine.
And the consumption under it, which fluctuate to the actual demand by all the machines which needs electricity.

I would like an option to change it because i often see myself panicking i've got no enough power. But it was actually the opposite !
In the game, when i saw this info panel, i though i didn't produce enough.

What do you guys think about this idea ?

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Re: Electric network info

Post by robhol » Thu May 29, 2014 12:20 pm

Definitely agreed, it's quite unclear and counterintuitive.

Ideally, IMO, it'd show production as a fraction of production potential (maximum output of all connected power sources) and consumption as a fraction of that. I have no idea how the current system is supposed to make any sense.
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Re: Electric network info

Post by KDR_11k » Thu May 29, 2014 12:27 pm

Yes. Also is there a way to see a historical graph of your accumulator storage? If not that's something I'd like too.

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Re: Electric network info

Post by Gammro » Thu May 29, 2014 12:38 pm

I am around meters a significant part of my time, so a bar that shows the current value as a part of the maximum is not counter-intuitive to me.(And I think it shouldn't be to anyone)

Right now, in the example, the consumption is 100% of what is maximum, and your production is at 25% of maximum capacity. To me, this is visible in an eyeblink. I don't think it needs change. Maybe the labelling does though.
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Re: Electric network info

Post by MF- » Thu May 29, 2014 1:06 pm

Gammro wrote:I am around meters a significant part of my time, so a bar that shows the current value as a part of the maximum is not counter-intuitive to me.(And I think it shouldn't be to anyone)

Right now, in the example, the consumption is 100% of what is maximum, and your production is at 25% of maximum capacity. To me, this is visible in an eyeblink. I don't think it needs change. Maybe the labelling does though.
Agreed, seeing percentages is handy,
Seeing my power plant utilisation at glance is useful as well

Random unsorted and contradicting ideas follow.


Relabeling thus may be a way out, say..
"Demand met"
"Production utilised"
"Stored"

Or perhaps with captions on both sides of the bars?
"Consumed" v. "Missing"
"Produced" v. "Reserves"
hmm.. What is the acumulator bar actually saying? :D Is that a ratio as well?
"Accu Charge Full" v. "Empty" ?

Or simply adding "Xx% (value)" to each bar, making it obvious it's percentages?

On the other hand, while observing nightfall on a solar-run factory...
Seeing the solar production graph rise as the absolute production falls is odd.

A three-element bar common for reserve/production=consuption/starvation might work equally well
Such element would have three regions,
1) power reserve - black
2) power production = consumption - green
3) power missing - red
But where would the numbers go?

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Re: Electric network info

Post by robhol » Thu May 29, 2014 1:35 pm

Gammro wrote:I am around meters a significant part of my time, so a bar that shows the current value as a part of the maximum is not counter-intuitive to me.(And I think it shouldn't be to anyone)

Right now, in the example, the consumption is 100% of what is maximum, and your production is at 25% of maximum capacity. To me, this is visible in an eyeblink. I don't think it needs change. Maybe the labelling does though.
... what did you think we were talking about?
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君のSPEEDでもって 同じPHRASEを弾いて 冷たい時に寄り添って

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Re: Electric network info

Post by Gammro » Thu May 29, 2014 1:42 pm

It seems to me you want to change what the bars represent, I am talking about labeling of the bars.
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Re: Electric network info

Post by robhol » Thu May 29, 2014 2:06 pm

Both would actually be a good idea, but relabeling (even just... switching the labels, basically) would go a long way towards making it more intuitive.
窮屈そうに身を屈めても今じゃ誰もがそうしてる 天井の無いECHO ROOMに誰かが僕を放り込む
君のSPEEDでもって 同じPHRASEを弾いて 冷たい時に寄り添って

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Re: Electric network info

Post by jorgenRe » Thu May 29, 2014 4:20 pm

I find it easy to understand. The consumption bar is a bar that shows if your machines are consuming the max amount of power, so when its full it means all machines are getting enough power. The production bar shows how much power you are able to make so when its not full it just means that you are able to create more power, but its not needed.
So when the production bar is full you have to make more power, but when the consumption bar is full you are making enough power.
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Re: Consumption/Production bars in Electric Network Info

Post by ssilk » Thu May 29, 2014 8:51 pm

Merged. No need to discuss the same things over and over. :)

Edit: there is also another interesting thread, which should be read:

https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=1820

(Sadly some of the pics are not longer online, the reason why it's much better to upload them into the forum.)
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Intuitive Power Meter.

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:28 pm

Moved, cause identical. ssilk
---------------------------------------

I would like better labels, or a hover description for the power meter.
Currently, the intuitive reaction (to myself and my friend at least) was incorrect.

The Consumption bar was full. The Production bar was at like 10%. The obvious conclusion was that I had insufficient production, because the bar was so low, and I needed more power to meet consumption.

However, that is clearly not the case once you read the wiki. I now understand it to be the literal polar opposite of the obvious.

Request a revamp or information. Even so simple as "So long as the top bar is full, you are fine"
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Re: Intuitive Power Meter.

Post by DRBLN » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:39 am

+1

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Re: Intuitive Power Meter.

Post by CreeperDaReeper » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:55 am

Instead of having a production and consumption meter, have one single meter with three points on it.

First point, far left.
--Zero Power (0). Yeah I know kinda pointless.

Second point, anywhere between the left side and right side of the meter. This marks how much energy the network is using and producing to keep up. From this point to the left would fill with green.
--Current Consumption (???). With (???) being the amount of power being consumed.

Third point, far right.
--Maximum Production (???). With (???) being the total amount of power the network can produce.

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Re: Intuitive Power Meter.

Post by Koub » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:01 am

I totally +1. Experienced Factorio players are used with this kind of little oddities (or are so much used to absolute overproduction that they never have to care for how much they use up), but to the new player, it's pretty hard tu understand.
A single bar like described by CreeperDaReeper seems the most user friendly to me.
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