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Poll: Good idea?
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61 51.69%
32 27.12%
With Some Changes
25 21.19%
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Engine/Power Re-ballance/Overhaul

(2018-11-08, 08:45 PM)DraWay Wrote: There's reasons why we don't use steam now. In reality internal combustion turned out better.
As in game we have both simultaneously, we must divert from reality and invent some gamey advantages for steam, and disadvantages for fuel.

IRL we still have different kinds of marine engines. We have huge marine diesels. We have gas turbines, and even steam turbines (not only on nuclear-powered ships, by the way).

In the game steam engines could be cheaper to build. They also require no refineries. I.e. in campaign people could send their steam-powered ships that use whatever they salvage away from their supply routes.

We don't have to divert from reality a lot to use them simultaneously. Economy and lore seem to be good reasons for me. There could also be some progression, i.e. diesels are better, but you have to unlock them by capturing stuff.

Thanks, that's a lot of interesting details. This is a good way for someone "ill informed" to get informed better, isn't it?
As my excuse, I was thinking about these giant long range freighters, slightly less about big warships (as they actually have an use for electrics today), and not about multirole utility vessels. Advantages of electrics I mentioned, though very roughly.
Copper weights? yep, i'm stuck in the past, when weight budget for ships was a thing. Still somewhat confused on how modern ships barely touch the water.

Why trains are electric? They small for size of these engines, they have their wheels on moving carriages, and they need to adjust their power a lot during their run. More weight for train engine actually is advantage, as this little motorised wagon must somehow pull that kilometers long steel snake, and not spin its wheels in place. Trains are completely different thing.

@drNovikov, there was a time when every single motorised ship was a steamer, while they had diesels and electrics. Not so much today. This is what i mean.
Makes things.
The fastest thing in the universe is sluggish... Years, decades, centuries from star to star.

One gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. One cubic foot of water contains 7.48 gallons, which equals 62.46 pounds of water per cubic foot. ...simple physics

Ships with thousands of cubic foot of displacement gets exponentially more buoyant as size increases once the weight of the steel used in the hull is displaced ..............there is no replacement for displacement

I'm looking at power from a middle of the road of the road perspective, designing elaborate systems compiled on top of eachother to balance them out with eachother just seems like lunacy to me..............especially if your trying to balance your preferred system against a system you don't understand....................

there once was a time where every water born craft was a hollowed out log powered by a human................................ row boats, canoes and paddle boats still exists today,because of their advantages, small and easy to power.......
there once was a time where every large ship was powered by the wind .................only really used in recreation today..................terrible and totally unused in FTD
there once was a time where every large powered ship was steam...................steam has massive disadvantages............the reason its gone today...................In FTD alot of time and effort is going into it like it's some top tier power
system which is fine if it was that.............but its has no advantages over current systems and adds all the disadvantages of real life steam (even some made up ones) .................i don't see the point...............
there once was a time where most ships were powered mechanically by diesel engines..............alot of them are still around today..................because there is no better alternatives, and replacing them cost alot.
there will be a time in the future where all ships will be powered with diesel through copper wires....................its the best , most cost effective way of getting things done on the planet to date.................

this has no bearing on what happens on Neter though.....................if the large groups of the players think steam is cool and the devs want to make it the top tiered power system they can...................its no way near there yet...............I personally don't even see it as usable in the campaign(i definitely won't be using it) without alot of changes..........

If the game wasn't open world do as you like and more structured / liner, then making the player go thru the different types of power could be cool. Make a sailing ship, fight a sailing ships faction, destroy the factions base where you discover their prototype steam engine parts that they were going to use to help them fight against their enemies that was using this technology against them. do the same with steam to get fuel, fuel to electric , but electric is under utilized and doesn't have the parts to be its own thing it can only be added on top of the other systems in it's current form............

Earlier versions of the game were fine and followed the only two types of power that exist(or can be expressed in a video game, Who wants to play with chemical reactions in a video game) mechanical torque or electrons running thru wires
but the game has to follow rules that the player can understand and tolerate................if not it's like us playing chess, but my king can swap places with any other piece at any time................. only gripe i had is with the free power of spin blocks..............but alot of designs depends on that to it is what it is................

I think where things went wrong is when PC were added they wanted them limited as high tier weapons because they didn't design any counters to them so they made them only use power from batteries......Real high current pulse energy can't be obtained from batteries, only supported by batteries.............batteries have high current capabilities, but they also have internal reduce this resistance alot of them need to be in parallel, but if you need more voltage you need to series them, which adds more resistance, so you need another whole bank of parallel batteries to series to the first. This is so ridiculously cost and space inefficient to the point of never being used .............. real PC in development use Capacitor banks, charged by batteries, charged by the grid...... FtD electrical model allows for adding enough AA batteries to power anything of any size at any power demand................thats just not how batteries work..............but it did start us down a road of this weapon only uses this power source while this weapon magically works with can a spinning shaft make a lazer work again????

If energy shields did exists they would be some form or high energy suspended plasma ( like a barrier of fire vaporizing anything that touched it) or some sort of magnetic field catching or slowing anything that get near.............this would take massive amount of power.............something battery power just can't do..............

Adding in steam just makes the problem worse , hence this thread............if your here it's because you notice the problem...................... opinions will vary on how to fix the problem but we all agree there is a problem

I think power needs to be sound and balanced for the middle of the road, so it can remain easy to understand and deployed in any manner (like a multi -purpose diesel electric ship) and then the divergent subsystems added in on top of that solid foundation (long range tanker, WW2 destroyer, nuclear sub ,etc)

Developing steam with all its current disadvantages in a closed loop only makes it useful against other steam powered ships, or to challenge people getting bored with the current systems............. I don't mind this at all but I an not on board with the closed loop nature of it.............

And the question about the trains was rhetorical ................... I worked in the field but the shop in the company I worked always had a steady back log of traction motors waiting to be rebuilt(god I hated working on these things!!!)

just incase you don't know what a traction motor is, and would like to learn something.....................................

that's the entire motor/drive-line of a modern train, or at least one bogie................80% traction motor, 10% axle/wheel , 10% truck
The animal will not sacrifice the part for the whole.

@BKCXb7 two things Use metric please, most people in the forums are Europeans and Asians so we use metric
second thing the "........." between your lines kinda gets annoying and doesn't make reading you text any easier what are these even supposed to do? It makes me just not really want to read it because it just seems strange, I'd prefer an unformatted wall of text
There is always a weak-spot if you search Hard enough.

If you fire enough AP at that shield, at some point you're going to come through.

There is no "best" I wouldn't even say there is anything universally good, Good is subjective, I find everything bad even if it's in theory good against this or that.


well i'm american and we don't use metric (I know its stupid , but I can't control an entire culture created hundreds of years before my existence )

do you have google in these countries??? (it's something this degenerate non metric using culture also created) seems alittle insulting to Europeans and Asians to assume they don't know how to use google or online conversions.
the ........................ between thoughts is just that unformulated way of presenting a wall of text, so??

I do it because i'm a slow typist, i can just throw my unfiltered thoughts up quickly(which seems like most people do) and than easily edit different points or remove redundant info, if i get more than 5 or 6 full lines my eyes can't follow.

I'm getting up there in age and my sight ain't what it used to be, I'm also still using windows 7 with its poor text scaling, which does little on this site anyway. So i'm left with a white background that blooms so much i can't read text at all or dark mode which makes the text all blend together.

I can space out each point on a different line if you like.
The animal will not sacrifice the part for the whole.

Why not make an "internal combustion piston" that can connect to the existing steam cranks and can use the existing carbs/injectors/exhaust/turbos?

Long time player, first time poster here.  
For engines (electric, fuel, or steam), I feel like the biggest issue in how they feel is the magic engine power number.  What I mean by this is the pool of engine power that engines give a vessel.  It's an abstraction, yes, but one that makes the game poorer in design gameplay while no adding much in the way of convenience.  It needs to be removed.
My proposal is to make engine power be created from fuel/steam engines and be transmitted mainly through mechanical means (i.e. shafts) to what would be the major consumers of mechanical power: propulsion and propulsion spinblocks (dediblades/paddlewheels).  These "primary consumers" would need mechanical power to operate, and would get it through a mechanical transmission system, just like in real life.  They would be the largest consumers of engine power, to ensure that one can't just build a tiny engine for a massive ship.  Secondary consumers of mechanical power would be turrets and and spinblocks which don't provide propulsion.  These would be able to operate faster/with a higher weight using mechanical power, but could operate without it, to represent human movement of such systems.  
Where does electricity fit in?  Electricity would be produced by attachments to fuel/steam engines, and stored in batteries.  Electric engines can directly power propulsion and other users of power by drawing on batteries, without the vulnerabilities and headache of a shaft system.  To compensate for this upside, electric engines would suffer from inefficiency compared to other engine types, so that they are balanced.  Lasers, railguns, and PACs would draw their power directly from batteries.
Jet engines and ion engines should probably just turn fuel directly into thrust.

Newbie poster like the guy above, but I've played this game a bit.

The biggest issue I have at the moment is one of intuitiveness. This is mainly in the naming of power. It takes getting used to when you're looking at multiple power systems.

First and foremost, if I were to go about doing systemic changes. I'd adopt actual power units. Right now, there's no telling what the system is giving you when you have 2400 units of 'power'. Games in general are really bad with this. Especially when power is an instant, and games like to store it like a resource.

To begin with, I'd start by dividing power into three main components.

HEAT or Thermal Power.

Mechanical power or Torque (Not quite interchangeable, but for the purposes of this game, it can be simplified.)

Electrical Power.

These are what makes everything work. A heat engine like a boiler creates thermal power in the form of steam, which created mechanical power in a turbine or piston, which creates electrical power in a generator. Electrical power is then stored in batteries.

This is where branching happens.

The first rule is that thermal power is only useful to create steam or run jet thrusters/rockets. You can't use thermal power to run your generator or power your screw. You could implement a thermocouple to produce power from thermal gradients, but that's what an RTG does.

The second rule is that thermal power does not STORE. The moment the source stops, the power drops off in a curve.

The third rule is that mechanical power does not magically transfer through a constructable. You MUST attach shafts, gearboxes, etc to any construct that turns mechanical power into active force. That means the basic default propellers must become ELECTRIC propellers.

The fourth rule is that mechanical power cannot be stored. Exceptions to flywheels, when you cut off the thermal power source, this rumbles to a stop.

Rule five, every transition from one power form to another loses some of that power to inefficiency losses. The biggest loss would be the 50% energy loss from creating thermal energy in the first place. Heat just escapes. But that can be ignored. Simply put, every step you put in a power conversion should have loss. Thermal to mechanical loses a percentage. Mechanical to electrical loses a percentage, electrical back to mechanical loses a percentage.

And that brings us to rule six.

The big thing missing is that a lot of the systems in place right now kind of treat mechanical power as free floating energy that anything can use from anywhere on a construct. Making constructables adhere to rule 3 would fix this.

Also rule 7, every conversion point produces heat from its loss. These spots should show, and create thermal signatures for heat seekers to find.

So order of business, get your systems in line.

1: define your power and use DISTINCT names for each type.
- Thermal Power
- Torque
- Electric Charge

Make sure that all in-game infobits reflect what is what CLEARLY. The system isn't counter intuitive if the names for everything aren't the same.

2: define your thermal power sources.
- Piston Combustion Chamber* (Uses Fuel)
- Gas Turbine* (Uses fuel)
- Steam Boiler (Uses raw materials)
- Nuclear Reactor (Differentiated from a steam boiler by cost, weight, size, and efficiency. Uses raw materials)
- RTG (Uses no materials)

3: Define your energy converters.
* - Piston Combustion Chamber (Thermal Power is instantly turned into mechanical Power)
* - Gas Turbine (Thermal power is also instantly turned into mechanical power)
- Steam Piston (Converts thermal power into torque)
- Turbine (Converts thermal power into torque)
- Generator (Converts torque into electrical power)
- Electric Motor (Converts electrical power into torque)
- Heater Unit (Takes electric charge and converts it back into thermal power.)
- Mechanical transmission/gearbox (Used for controlling propellers on mechanical shafts without having to alter the speed of the turbine or piston assembly. Loses some power due to how the transmission works.)

4: Define your energy user end points. Make sure there is a diverse set for each and every one.
- Mechanically driven propellers. These MUST be attached to a mechanical shaft and driven by an electric motor, turbine, or piston set. In the case of an electric motor, they MUST be connected by linkage to that specific motor.
- Electrically driven propellers. They don't require direct linkages, but they draw a LOT of power when they scale up.
- Spinblocks. They MUST have electrical power to operate. Even you have to get out and PUSH.*

*Special block idea, the 'hand crank'. Park the player avatar near this and it produces a tiny amount of torque which can be used to turn a generator for a tiny amount of electrical power... Or connected to mechanical propulsive device for power.

As an additional, on mechanical setups, introduce momentum loading behavior. That is, it takes more power to start a screw turning than to keep it turning. So the behavior you can have with this is that direct-drive mechanical propulsion can have spin-up lag depending on how much thermal power overhead you have available. What does this mean? It means that your selection of propulsion systems have tradeoffs. A steam boiler with enough overhead to run the shaft might spin up fastest, while a turbine might spool up slower, but run more efficiently at speed. An electric motor has little lag, and a lot of torque, but you have multiple steps of energy conversion loss to deal with. Contrary to how people might want to balance it, it would not be weak. Electric torque is beastly. That's WHY diesel-electric locomotives use it.**

(**Diesel Electric locomotive engines are essentially a giant generator buffering a battery bank that powers electric motors. The savings is in maintenances. Since the wheels aren't direct-drive, the force loading doesn't feed back into the engine and wear it down. That saves having to fix the engine, or rather, having to fix a transmission. Hydraulics are NASTY to work with.)

I would speak more, but I have to get to Costco before they close for food and fuel. So I'm out.

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