Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

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Shadewing
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Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by Shadewing » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:13 am

TL;DR
In some way, bring back the object avoidance ghost mode for the rail builder removed in 0.17.29.

What?
I'd like to see the return of the object avoidance mode for the rail planner.

What I'd like to see, because I do like being able to change from rail placement to ghost mode while building, is to have the pre-change behaviour returned if I START building with the modifier key (called shift for the rest of this post). So, there would be two ways of starting a the rail builder,

1st way, as it is now. Simply left click on a rail to continue the line and have the shift change between "builder mode" and "ghost mode".

2nd way, the addition. If you shift+click the rail to start, you go straight into "ghost mode" and stay there; then when you hold shift, object avoidance is turned ON. This brings back the ability to rotate clockwise in "ghost mode" easily, as it currently stands the clockwise rotation is, I find, much too awkward. So instead of rotating clockwise once or twice to line up a rail section, I'm rotating counter-clockwise 6 or 7 times.
As an important bonus, this has the additional benefit of not requiring shift to be held while when you only want to use "ghost mode". As it is now, even if you start your rail planning with no rail on hand, you are limited to the 8 rail length and have to hold shift the whole time you are doing your planning

Why?
In the change log it was stated that "it seems to be almost useless", I disagree. It was an option that I used regularly. There are several scenarios where not destroying everything in the way is beneficial:
If you are doing a deathworld and want as many trees as possible.
If you decide that, for this play through, cliffs cannot be destroyed.
You like the idea of going around the forest(s) for whatever reason.
You haven't unlocked/haven't automated cliff explosives yet.

I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are just off the top of my head as I type this.

One other point, I find Factorio is a game about options and the decisions we, as players, make with the options given to us. What this change to the rail planner has done is removed an option without sufficient, I feel, benefit; or, at least made going around objects a much more manual, annoying and time-consuming process.

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New rail placing system :(

Post by TPReal » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:14 pm

I quite like trains, and putting rails and stations is actually one of the most fun parts of the game for me. And now the new rail placing system arrived. Let me enumerate the cons:
- I normally some rail network long before bots, and looong before cliff explosives, so I really liked that the game helped me to route the ghost rail between obstacles so that I could minimise time spent hammering random rocks around. Of course I can still go around them but it is much harder to align properly when I need to do this completely manually. The automatic ghost placement was ideal. And with cliffs, it's really the only reasonable way, before you have explosives. Now I just need to do this daunting task manually - less fun.
- When placing ghost rail, now I need to hold the modifier all the time to see the ghost and not the actual rail. Really - what would be the use of alternatively placing ghost rails and real rails? This is a useless options and makes me train my hand without reasonable justification. Might sound stupid, but just why make it worse?

Now let me enumerate the pros:
- Not even one I can think of. I literally find the new system strictly worse than the old one.

Any thoughts that would help me get over this?

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Re: New rail placing system :(

Post by TruePikachu » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:08 am

The only two "pro"s I can think of are simplification of the state machine and possible removal of a good chunk of the path-finding...err...pathfinder. Of these, only the state machine simplification is a "good" pro, but it's coming at the cost of useful functionality -- functionality so useful, in fact, that it even starred in its own FFF.
Image
(aside: I always forget how ugly the old rails looked)

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by ikarikeiji » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:13 am

+5

Feels very frustrating to see the devs handwave away removal of functionality as streamlining.

I almost always use the "rail planner avoiding obstacles" mode, even if not to build directly in that mode, but simply to have the rail layout highlighted, while tapping shift to tell me if it changes, this highlights if there is anything in the way.

Feel free to have an toggle in the options or even in the action bar to switch between new and old functionality, I'm sure many will appreciate the new mode, but not everyone will.

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Re: New rail placing system :(

Post by The_Destroyer » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:54 am

I too miss this feature. Not being able to rotate the rail planner (since you HAVE to shift + r now), the fact that you have to hold it instead of just one click, and the lack of pathfinding through cliffs and trees sucks. I know plotting a straight line to wherever is very efficient, but I quite like the look of rail lines winding through areas (even if the locomotive going through there at 200 km/h is a litte... odd), and the old rail planner made that quick and easy. RIP.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by kovarex » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:50 am

This is exactly the way how it was done before, with all its problems.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by gaelyte » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:18 pm

Why not use shift to have the planner and ctrl to have the obstacle avoidance and planner ?

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Re: New rail placing system :(

Post by dood » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:26 pm

There's virtually no difference if you build rails by hand.
You just can't get a ghost that snakes around trees anymore and what was your use for that anyway?
I see nobody whining that there is no system in place that spaghettifies their belts around obstacles right now.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by dood » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:40 pm

I always thought of that ghost mode as something you grow out of as soon as you figured out how blueprints and trains work.
In the early game, a long spaghetti ghost rail does nothing for you so why are you messing around with it?
Just build rails. If you keep running into things you can't remove, why do you keep doing that?

In the mid-late game, you have blueprints and bots.
What are you doing farting around with the rail planner at this point?

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Re: New rail placing system :(

Post by TPReal » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:51 pm

dood wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:26 pm
There's virtually no difference if you build rails by hand.
You just can't get a ghost that snakes around trees anymore and what was your use for that anyway?
I see nobody whining that there is no system in place that spaghettifies their belts around obstacles right now.
Not trees, but rocks, and primarily cliffs. Isn't that a valid use case - to go around cliffs?

Belts are much more dynamic, I can turn on the spot to avoid obstacles, and I try not to go with belts through areas with many obstacles in the first place. Trains go over long distances so I can't really avoid areas with cliffs, they can just happen to be in the way. And steering with the rail manually is hard because of the quite large turn radius. Even without bots it's really useful to start with ghost and then put there rails.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by gaelyte » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:10 pm

dood wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:40 pm
I always thought of that ghost mode as something you grow out of as soon as you figured out how blueprints and trains work.
In the early game, a long spaghetti ghost rail does nothing for you so why are you messing around with it?
Just build rails. If you keep running into things you can't remove, why do you keep doing that?

In the mid-late game, you have blueprints and bots.
What are you doing farting around with the rail planner at this point?
The planner can be nice to... Plan the rail and then you put true rails on it

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by csduff » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:24 pm

I really find the new mode quite annoying, and after reading everything, I don't see the reason for the new system. All this does, for established players, is remove some functionality. I'd like to see it back the way it was. If it was confusing or counterintuitive to new players, put in a tutorial to clarify it.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by Koub » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:51 pm

[Koub] Merged general discussion topic into suggestion topic about the same request.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by Darinth » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:05 pm

For reference, this feature may have been implemented due to this topic: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=69001&p=419969#p419969, if not it at least provides rational.

For me personally, I have to acknowledge I'm looking at this and going "Nope. Don't care." The only good reason I can think of for the old obstacle avoidance mode is the cliffs. Early on, cliff explosives aren't accessible and later on... a lot of people (myself included) don't necessarily want to carry them around constantly. Might we be able to either A: Add a toggle somewhere so the rail planner still goes around cliffs or B: have it detect cliff explosives in your inventory, and only plan to go through cliffs if they're present? Option A seems like the better choice. Another possible option C would be to go through cliffs once you've researched cliff explosives. They are their own technology, so if you never want to have your rail planner switch over to going through cliffs, don't research it. Once you've researched it though, the rail planner will assume you have then available.

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Re: Return the object avoidance mode for ghost rail building

Post by FuryoftheStars » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:20 pm

I've been away for a long time (RL + other reasons) and recently have been looking to come back to this. Yesterday I was reading through the various patch notes for 0.17.X to try and catch up on what I've missed and discovered the changes to rail planning.

I can understand wanting to make the rail planning consistent with the way other things work, however, I don't like the fact that the object avoidance was removed completely. If memory serves, when ghost rail planning, there was a modifier key that you could press that would then make the rail take the most direct route and mark things under it for deconstruction. Instead of removing object avoidance altogether, I think it would have been better to simply swap the two modes, so the modifier key was required for avoidance and without gave the "normal" behavior that others are expecting.

Object avoidance was good, imo, for earlier on before you have bots/cliff explosives. It also allowed for a slightly different play style without forcing you into manually laying rails, which I'm sure we can all agree on being cumbersome and prone to misalignment.

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