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The idea of removing / re-working Engine power

Hello there,

Frstly, I know, that I am comitting necromancy on thread:, and if this topic is considered heresy, the devs and/or the moderators have full authority to burn this thread down. 
I just want to post this topic, because it personaly bugs me and I want to know the devs' opinion on this.

Secondly, I am not trying to steal anyone's ideas. Most of the ideas presented here appeared at some point in the thread above, I just can't list all the people, because I would definitely forget someone.

Thirdly, I am not demanding any of this to be implemented and I am fully aware that implementation will cost a lot of time and effort.

Now onto the topic:

FtD had originally Engine Power. Fuel engines created it and components consumed it. It was transfered "magically" through blocks for simplicity.

Then we got Electric Energy, which coud be generated by fuel engines (by "using up" a portion of the engine's Engine power output), RTGs and later steam turbines and generators. Transfer through constructs was again through "invisible wires" in the blocks. It was consumed by things like railgun chargers, PACs, warp drives and the electric motor, which converted it back to Engine power.

Even later we got steam, which introduced (localised) Thermal Energy in the form of steam, generated in boilers, transported via steam pipes and consumed locally by steam pistons to generate Engine power (and Electric energy if generators were connected to the shaft), and steam turbines to generate Electric energy.
Torque (or Mchanical power, also local) was also added in the form of steam propellers. It was generated by a gearbox attached to the shaft of a steam engine, transferred via shafts and cosumed by the propeller.

Some systems also use direct resource/fuel consumption, like Custom jet engines and chaff emitters.

This unfortunately creates unnecessary confusion: "multiple resources that function the same", as we have three power systems (Electric EnergyThermal EnergyTorque), that would be perfectly sufficient (with a few tweaks) for any craft from a technology viewpoint, as well as a system originally meant to represent them all (Engine Power).

Example: Laser pumps consume Engine power while PACs consume Electric energy. Irl. most common way of "pumping" energy into a laser system use electicity (personal experience).

Possible solution:
  • Remove Engine Power as a global resource for a craft (but perhaps keep it localised for each engine (fuel, steam and electric) for reference purposes)
  • Repalce it with total (global) Electric Energy generation: every tick the total demand from parts and total supply, generated by Fuel engine (generators), steam turbines and generators and RTGs, are calculated. Any differnce would be drain from / stored in batteries (perhaps with a small inefficiency penalty).
  • Parts, that cosume Engine power, be changed to one of the other types: 
  • - shields, laser pumps, ion thrusters, ammo generators, "simple"/"electric" propellers  and wheels, decoy blocks (and perhaps add turret spinners, ai parts - so everything realistically consumes some form of energy) to Electric energy consumption
  • - dediblades, spinblocks to Torque / Electric energy consumption (also remove the "free" spinning, all propulsion should require resources)
  • - "simple" jet engines (and maybe ion thrusters) to direct fuel consumption
  • Electric motor changed to no longer requiring connection to batteries and providing Torque (which can be used to spin dediblades/spinblocks/propellers by attaching to their base)
  • Fuel engines made solely for Electric energy generation or the addition of gearboxes to attach to the crank shaft to generate Torque
  • Steam engines changed to generate Torque
Some issues this might create (and possible solutions):
- Campaign craft will have to be updated --- they already need updating to the new ai etc.
- Craft running entirely off of bateries during battles and recharging from another craft outside combat --- I think that is a viable strategy
- battery Electric energy density larger than engine+fuel --- this would have to be checked and tweaked

Thank you for reading this wall-of-text all the way through, if you have any constructive criticism, feel free to post it down below.

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The idea of removing / re-working Engine power - by Capital O - 2019-09-02, 07:26 PM

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