Coal generator slider is inconsistent and confusing to use


Nightinggale
  • Branch: Live Branch Version: Windows Pending

The coal generator (GeneratorConfig class) has a slider, but it's not documented ingame and is confusing people. People assume it's for turning the generator on and off, but in reality it is for turning coal deliveries on and off. The forum (again) had a thread about "why won't dupes deliver coal to my empty coal generator". It's not intuitive that it's because the battery is nearly full. Particularly not if there are multiple batteries and they aren't on the screen at the same time as the generator.

The actual calculations affecting this are in EnergyGenerator.EnergySim200ms.

Another issue is that once the batteries are full, it will continue to burn coal until the coal has been consumed. It might have been a good idea when it was new and the idea was that all the coal was added to the firebox, but now we can turn it off with an automation signal, meaning we know it's not all in the firebox. This makes the coal generator seem very wasteful, particularly because after having been filled with coal, it will run for 600 seconds.

I propose the following fixes:

  • Add proper text to tell that it's an on/off for coal deliveries
  • Add a slider for how much coal to store

This will make it easier to understand, less wasteful and actually useful while at the same time it's handicapped enough to ensure that it's not a replacement for controlling with automation wires.

One important thing to remember about the coal generator is that it's likely the first fueled generator new players will encounter. That just makes it worse that it's the most confusing generator to use.

 

EDIT: another issue came up. The coal generator is apparently stuck if there is no battery (I didn't test, just relaying the following post). That's something else the new player can get confused about.

 


Steps to Reproduce
Build a coal generator. Try to control it with the slider.

Status: Pending

This issue has not been confirmed by a developer yet.


  • Like 1
  Report Bug


User Feedback


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One possible solution make the coal generator easy to use would be to use IActivationRangeTarget. This can be used to set two sliders, one to set when to make refill tasks and the other to refill up to this limit. That way it can be "refill if below 60 kg and then fill up to 120 kg" or whatever the player wants for the current setup.

The rules for refilling should then be: storage below threshold and (either automation port connected or battery below threshold).

This way it is possible to control fairly accurately in early game and once you control with automation, the player can set the generator to fill up with a whole lot more coal. This makes the coal generator a whole lot more useful later when power production is controlled by smart batteries.

 

Also without automation attached and no battery, the generator should run at all time.

Edited by Nightinggale

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So this?

It's been suggested tons of times. Maybe this time it will stick. Or maybe a mod that does it will be better.

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1 minute ago, mathmanican said:

So this?

Why is it that people from the past keeps stealing my ideas? :o

  • Haha 2

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Haha.

1 minute ago, Nightinggale said:

Why is it that people from the past keeps stealing my ideas?

You should have signed up two years ago.:p

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Never know when they will see something and fix - so thanks for putting in a report!

 

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