One of the most common mistakes of new players is to expect Simutrans trains to be smart in there choice of route, and when they discover that trains are a bit stubborn, they misuse the choose-platform-signal to create even more of a mess. These players either become frustrated and start playing OTTD instead, or they seek answers, only to learn about the philosophy of predictability in Simutrans.
Vehicles in Simutrans always finds the shortest* possible path, and sticks to it unless it discovers that the way has been physically removed or "permanently" blocked. The philosophy behind this is predictability. Trains won't suddenly go all the way around the world because all other paths were temporarily blocked, which could happen in for instance Transport Tycoon.
Generally I do not like trains getting loss. The TTD routing annoyed me to a very large degree and I added the choose stuff very reluctantly. [...]
Adding the code is not the only thing. Usually it results in complains that the trains are not reading once mind. It got worse and worse. The more freedom a choose signal would introduce the more difficult its management would get.
Countrary to the Philosophy of Predictability is the idea of Choose-Path-Signals. How exactly they could work and be implemented was talked about before and could be talked about in the future, but for the sake of this discussion, they are any kind of signal which makes a train reconsider it's route based on currently reserved paths. Essentially a tool that enables overtake tracks and works in the way many new players expect Choose-Platform-Signals to work.
My question is: Can we have Choose-Path-Signals and still follow the Philosophy of Predictability?
Pretty much any time someone asked for this, it was the same TTD argument and was never really considered.
I understand that we don't want to have the same system as Transport Tycoon, where trains would just go anywhere and become confused.
However - in my opinion, a choose-path-signal can't be any less predictable than current choose-platform-signals. If you use them correctly, you know which choices the trains have, and all of them are acceptable. If you use them wrongly, unpredictable stuff might happen.
But unpredictable stuff and "lost" trains can have different reasons as well. For example, you might have placed a signal facing the wrong direction, rendering the whole track useless and force trains to move far around it. Or you forgot a single tile of overhead wire. It's mistakes that cause problems, not features.
On the other hand, choose signals would certainly add to the gameplay. Mostly seen by how often people ask for them or wonder why they are not in the game. And the best part: If it's a signal, any player can choose not to use it, and even any pakset creator can choose not to implement it. Choice is a nice thing.
What do you think?