Author Topic: Struggling to make money after jump from 111.2.2 to 112.3  (Read 1252 times)

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brownster

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Struggling to make money after jump from 111.2.2 to 112.3
« on: October 16, 2014, 06:19:05 PM »
Hi All,
Love the game and I've been playing it for a while now using the 111.2 version in Debian Linux. I follow the basic advice and start off by supplying coal to a power station and get the money rolling in and that's pretty much the start of my game.
After upgrading to 112.3 I cannot for the life of me make it work! I just keep going bankrupt normally after 2 hours of struggling with a sort of break even scenario and then just lose more money through tinkering :)
I'm using pak128 and also tried the standard pak64 and use standard game settings, start at 1930, use 'timeline year' and do not use 'beginner mode' (I can but I never did on the 111.2 version and made money)
In the new game version I build a basic track using the cheap one 50kmh limit, build station platforms 5 tiles long at the pits and the power station, and have tried using the cheapest train (rvg 0-4-0), the Garret 3 part train and the Nabe jnr. Load up with as many carriages will fit on 5 tiles and away I go losing money lol :)
I'm guessing the game balancing has changed somewhat, certainly used to only have one coal pit in the earlier game version which meant less platforms and track. Any pointers on what I'm doing wrong before I go completely mad!?

Cheers,
Wayne.

Offline Ters

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Re: Struggling to make money after jump from 111.2.2 to 112.3
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 08:01:41 PM »
At some point, speed bonus became based on the actual speed (or some close approximation) of the vehicle, rather than the vehicle's speed limit. This meant that using fast, but weak, vehicles to move heavy freight stopped working, which I guess was pretty much the intention. I don't remember exactly which version this happened with. You can probably notice this by the fact that the depots started giving an estimate for the maximum possible speed of the vehicles when loaded.

brownster

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Re: Struggling to make money after jump from 111.2.2 to 112.3
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 08:11:48 PM »
Hi, That makes sense.
I'm 3 hours into a new game and I'm making money at last! Plenty of studying the maintenance and operational costs and I'm in the black :-) Frightened to build anything else now though...
Cheers,
Wayne.

Offline gauthier

Re: Struggling to make money after jump from 111.2.2 to 112.3
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 08:24:56 PM »
I have not done any freight in Simutrans for a while but here are some advice if it can help ...

Don't hesitate to go into debt, your real money is your wealth, not your cash. Thus you can make much more than a coal mine - power plant line at begining. Anyway take care of vehicles'amortization (wealth is decreased by barely half of the vehicles'cost in the months after you bought it). Doing that, I was able to start a network only with passengers and make it very profitable in only a decade (even if I went out of debt after more than 70 years).

By the way, I'm playing with pak128 2.5.1 and Simutrans RC 120 (half slopes), but it's roughly the same economical balancing as pak128 2.3.x .

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Struggling to make money after jump from 111.2.2 to 112.3
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 05:20:12 AM »
Quote
At some point, speed bonus became based on the actual speed (or some close approximation) of the vehicle, rather than the vehicle's speed limit.
It does not use actual speed but an approximation of the theoretical maximum speed along the entire line. This means that the minimum of convoy maximum speed, convoy power to weight ratio and way maximum speed is used and averaged over the entire journey. Convoy maximum speed is determined by the assembly and is based on the slowest component and will remain constant at least until the next time it is sent to a depot (usually never). Convoy power to weight is determined by the assembly weight and any cargo being hauled so will remain constant throughout a journey but can change between journeys as more or less cargo is loaded on the convoy (important for passenger trains). Way maximum speed is applied on a tile by tile basis as the convoy passes over it and is easily maxed out by choosing an appropriate way type for the freight used.

All this means that you super high speed train with appropriate assembly to obtain the full speed bonus when fully loaded will receive that bonus independent of the actual speed of the journey. It could be stuck behind a 60 km/h bulk train the entire journey or even sit stuck on the line for several months due to congestion on the track and it will still be paid the same full speed bonus. This is different from experimental which appears to use line average speed to compute pay so convoy that lines that are stuck for a long period will earn you nothing for a long time.

Quote
I'm guessing the game balancing has changed somewhat, certainly used to only have one coal pit in the earlier game version which meant less platforms and track. Any pointers on what I'm doing wrong before I go completely mad!?
Sounds like you are not utilizing the convoy efficiently. It only makes you money if it actually moves cargo and not when it is parked waiting for cargo.

If you use an enormous 12 tile train to move cargo 100 tiles to a small coal power station then chances are it will be parked waiting most of the time and struggle to even cover the platform cost.

The most profit is made by assuring the convoy is almost constantly in motion carrying a full load of goods. In your case I would connect a coal source to a power station 200-300 tiles away and if necessary use parallel convoys. Remember to optimize vehicle running cost by choosing an engine with appropriate power for the convoy length since you still pay for wasted power every tile.

Due to the high infrastructure costs in pak128 you also need to optimize line usage. Do not use a double track unless you actually need it to cope with traffic. Try and force multiple lines through the same section of double track to improve usage even if it means a slight detour. Often at the start it is best to use a single track. If you need multiple convoys then make an overtaking section a middle or every third down the track keeping most of the way single track. Each track type has a theoretical utilization (in the form of profit per tile shipped over it) requirement for it to break even so the more utilized a line is then the cheaper it becomes to have (compared with a less used line).

If you are using the payment mode that is based on distance between stops then you can use the money generation exploit and make profit in no time. You setup a money generator in the form of a long loop of track with stations at each end. You then send fully loaded convoys around this loop multiple times (like 20-30) and you will be paid for each loop around it. Eventually they go off and unload at the end destination (unless you manually change their schedule) however the line utilization and distance become so large you can easily make a huge profit. Each train you send down it will be at ~100% utilization and you can send a considerable number due to the delay of the loop so even a simple pak128 waste producer to incinerator line can net you multiple million profit per month using this. Do note that this is frowned upon by most server owners and many will force you to stop or out right remove you for not playing properly.

If you are playing pak128 in more modern times (say 1980s) then you can abuse broken cargo planes to make a fortune. Simply connect up a food factory with cargo planes. hauling all the package and cooled goods. You only need farm good trains to the flour mill. Since planes are not concerned by distance you should choose the cooled suppliers and destination and mill furthest away from the food factory. The result is several million profit per year, with probably more than enough to pay off the entire system in 1-2 years despite the planes costing millions. Most pak128 servers will ban freight planes outright for this reason, in which case simply resort to a long distance passenger route running the concord as that also makes millions per year with not too many passengers (as long as pickup is symmetrical).