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Semplar

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Just few tips I want to share
« on: June 04, 2014, 04:29:41 PM »
Few tips, but they're useful, I think. I speak about Simutrans v120.0. Don't bite me hard if they're silly :)

1) If you don't understand how rail/tram tracks work, try pressing 'b' key. You'll see how transport reserve tracks as they move.

2) (pak64) If you want to build a tunnel, or use tram tracks early w/o $40/mo payment for each track tile, you can grant this support cost headache to public service by making tracks public, using `Special Construction Tools' -> `Make stop public'. It will cost you x20 price (like you paid support for 20 months), but you'll not be paying for it anymore. Here's Shift+O is your best friend, it shows owners for every tile/object. But be careful, you can accidentally grant your stop to public service, and this going to be headache. Also, you can't grant roads/rails/tunnels/whatever placed on slopes. But it's still better than paying large price. Usually, I use it to get cheap-to-support tram transportation system early in 1900 year or so, because there's carriage available for just $0.02/tile, and wagons with no monthly support price. So after publicizing your tracks, you get transportation system each of 40 passengers for $0.02/tile price, with NO monthly costs, except depot, tilted rails, stops. Cool!

3) (pak64) If you have construction wholesaler placed on the way from Timberplant to Sawyer, you can use same transport to transport lumber forth and planks back, thus getting not ~10% of profit, but much more, like ~80%. Be sure to set your wait percent to 83% at Sawyer - MAXIMUM, but I usually set 65%.

4) (pak64) In early game, don't be afraid to use Airports with 3 tiles of grass strip, and very minimum tiles of taxiways (like 3 or so: 1 for strip exit, 1 for hangar, 1 for aircraft stop). Airplanes are very good and fast ways to transport passengers & mail.

5) Be sure to transport as lot mails as you can. Mail increase city size, plus it's very good way at game start to get some noticeable consumption speedup of bookshops/carshops/etc.

6) Using of pay_for_total_distance=2 is harder to play, but it kills money cheating.

7) When using avoid_overcrowding (it also prevents cheating), be sure your stations are not getting full, because they'll cause adjacent stations (connected by routes) to get full too. If you'll not take care, at some point you'll have your network paralyzed because all stations are full, and no transport will exchange people/mail between stops, because they avoid overcrowding (stations are full, so people don't go there).

8) (pak64) As you transport things faster, you'll get speedup bonus. But speedups apply to passengers, mail, inks, cooled goods, etc, with other stuff like oil, for coal you get very little speedup, and no speedup for waste. You can get all of this by pressing Shift+G and choose speedup percent you want to get. So there's a point to build shorter trains riding over faster rails to transport ink, medicine, passengers, mails, but you'll get much smaller reward for transporting other goods, so don't waste your money.

9) ..more to go
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 06:53:13 PM by Semplar »

Offline Ters

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 07:24:28 PM »
They are not silly, but for most of them, it is a bit sad if they aren't documented in inuitive places.

However:
2) (pak64) If you want to build a tunnel, or use tram tracks early w/o $40/mo payment for each track tile, you can grant this support cost headache to public service by making tracks public, using `Special Construction Tools' -> `Make stop public'. It will cost you x20 price (like you paid support for 20 months), but you'll not be paying for it anymore. Here's Shift+O is your best friend, it shows owners for every tile/object. But be careful, you can accidentally grant your stop to public service, and this going to be headache. Also, you can't grant roads/rails/tunnels/whatever placed on slopes. But it's still better than paying large price. Usually, I use it to get cheap-to-support tram transportation system early in 1900 year or so, because there's carriage available for just $0.02/tile, and wagons with no monthly support price. So after publicizing your tracks, you get transportation system each of 40 passengers for $0.02/tile price, with NO monthly costs, except depot, tilted rails, stops. Cool!

Turning everything over to the public player to save money isn't so much a tip as a cheat. It seems everyone has their own playing styles with their own self-imposed rules. Those who admit to giving the public player control of the infrastructure tend not to do it to save money, but either out of principle (in Europe, infrastructure is mostly owned by the government) and/or to share it with other players in multiplayer.

Semplar

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 12:30:01 AM »
They are not silly, but for most of them, it is a bit sad if they aren't documented in inuitive places.

However:
Turning everything over to the public player to save money isn't so much a tip as a cheat. It seems everyone has their own playing styles with their own self-imposed rules. Those who admit to giving the public player control of the infrastructure tend not to do it to save money, but either out of principle (in Europe, infrastructure is mostly owned by the government) and/or to share it with other players in multiplayer.
Sure, it is a cheat. But in comparison to cheat with middle stations (exchange points), this cheat makes game more interesting, and grant money advantage only when it's really needed; like you want to build a tunnel but you see your economy is maxed but still too low to support tunnels. It gives chance to still use it. Again, with tramlines. I'd die without them in 1900; i know, it's not recommended year for pak64, but still a way to play w/o lots of headache with passengers carriages which just can't handle all passenger load on, for example, 512x512 maps.

Offline Ters

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 04:36:07 AM »
cheat with middle stations (exchange points)

Could you explain that more?

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 03:22:38 AM »
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Could you explain that more?
I believe what he is referring to is more appropriately called the "Cargo Bounce Exploit".

The cargo bounce exploit abuses the fact that using the common default pay system (option 0) you do not have to always ship cargo in a positive direction (towards the destination). Shipping between any 2 stops will generate revenue, even if the stops are already on the same route and have been visited before. In fact you can quite literally bounce (where the name comes from) a convoy between two stations any number of times as long as the following conditions are met.
1. Neither station is the source or destination for the cargo.
2. At least one cargo flow route exists in the schedule.
3. The train leaves a cargo source with enough cargo to generate a profit when moving (not really an exploit unless you gain something from it).

This is most effective with ships as they haul a lot of goods at once and have virtually no limit to convoy density. As an example of how effective this exploit is I was able to make 12 million in 6 months using pak 64 on one of Fifty's servers just by bouncing coal for a steal mill between docks in a lake. Using this money I could supply iron to the mill and set up a shipping route for the steal meaning that it would eventually restart by itself.

Planes are also pretty effective but you can run into landing congestion if you are not careful. I did the same on a pak 128 server with goods planes moving wool and became the second richest player in just 1 year game time (1 route, 8-12 million a year). It even works for trains and trucks however line capacity can be a limiting factor to the number of simultaneous convoys on the route.

Using transfer distance payment system (option 1) this is harder to pool off as each "bounce" requires separate lines and convoys. Since each of these convoys may need separate lines or waiting areas it is certainly less profitable.

Using classic payment system (option 0) this is impossible as you only earn money for shipping goods in a positive direction. However this is not really a "fix" as it introduces considerable balance problems. Specifically pak 64 is clearly not designed for this with many goods shipping with minimal profit (most revenue lost in operating cost) meaning that minor deviations to a straight line route from source to destination will result in losses. Pak 128 on the other hand has low enough shipping costs that this mode is viable since you will need to take considerable deviations for a line to lose money and more money is saved with shorted or more congested paths.

Quote
2) (pak64) If you want to build a tunnel, or use tram tracks early w/o $40/mo payment for each track tile, you can grant this support cost headache to public service by making tracks public, using `Special Construction Tools' -> `Make stop public'. It will cost you x20 price (like you paid support for 20 months), but you'll not be paying for it anymore. Here's Shift+O is your best friend, it shows owners for every tile/object. But be careful, you can accidentally grant your stop to public service, and this going to be headache. Also, you can't grant roads/rails/tunnels/whatever placed on slopes. But it's still better than paying large price. Usually, I use it to get cheap-to-support tram transportation system early in 1900 year or so, because there's carriage available for just $0.02/tile, and wagons with no monthly support price. So after publicizing your tracks, you get transportation system each of 40 passengers for $0.02/tile price, with NO monthly costs, except depot, tilted rails, stops. Cool!
This is also an exploit. Although of less benefit than cargo bouncing, it certainly does give you something for nothing. In pak 128 this is especially useful as running costs are low but infrastructure costs are very high. The solution to stop this kind of cheating is a reasonable toll percentage (20-50% in pak128, 10% in pak64) since after you have a reasonable number of convoys using the route it will be costing you more in toll than if you privately owned it.

None of this affects Experimental as if shipment times are too high industries will refuse to send and competitors can easily out compete you for the source (and stop your exploitation) by setting up a more efficient line. Although I think the public player can be exploited in experimental, it will eventually be given its own economy so you will have to pay for the lines one way or another.

The exploit can be used for re-direction stations. These do not add excessive distance like bouncing but does allow your convoy to ship goods positively in one direction even if minor negative detours are required. Especially useful with rails which may have to be routed around obstacles or if two lines (not straight) are joined together with a minor detour. This use can hardly even be considered an exploit as you are not purposefully shipping goods nowhere and are instead just trying to maximize earnings for the shortest distance you can practically ship the goods. In fact many goods in pak 64 either need direct straight line routes (can be ugly, especially with rails) or to use these re-direction stations to turn a reasonable profit.

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So there's a point to build shorter trains riding over faster rails to transport ink, medicine, passengers, mails, but you'll get much smaller reward for transporting other goods, so don't waste your money.
Pak 64 has broken high speed balance. It is physically impossible to make profit shipping passengers with high speed trains (both monorail and normal rail). The high speed engine operating costs are larger than the income they can generate fully loaded with maximum line speed. It looks like this left over balance from before Simutrans had a timeline and cargo shipping costs remained constant through all years. Since the 0% speed bonus for rails becomes insanely high late game, you may find it more profitable to ship high speed bonus cargo like printer inks using a truck since that can still obtain a high positive speed bonus. Additionally many heavy low value cargos like Sand and Planks will struggle to break even unless shipped always positively (redirection stations help with this).

It should be noted that in pak 64 at end game (2050 odd) you will make more profit shipping passengers by Tram than by any form of passenger train. Even shipping by Bus will make more profit than trains. There are only two profitable passenger trains at end game, the high capacity funny named commuter engine (people say it is from Japan?) and the N-ICE diesel from around the 2000s. The N-ICE diesel will make slightly more profit but only with 100% load, it can very easily lose money. The other bulk passenger train is less strict with its passenger load requirements but due to the slow speed will make very little money. Both are beaten hands down by 1980 trams at making profit (seriously, I have seen 6+ long trams make multiple million a year) and these trams require considerably less infrastructure maintenance than either train. The only time you will want to use trains is if you want high capacity lines and do not care about profit.

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4) (pak64) In early game, don't be afraid to use Airports with 3 tiles of grass strip, and very minimum tiles of taxiways (like 3 or so: 1 for strip exit, 1 for hangar, 1 for aircraft stop). Airplanes are very good and fast ways to transport passengers & mail.
You should never use runways longer than 3 tiles in standard until better airport mechanics are implemented. Anything more will not only decrease landing performance (longer landing time) but also cost you more in maintenance.

In pak 64 early aircraft really are not worth it. It will take you hundreds to connect two decent hubs and good luck keeping those landing efficiently. There is also a period around the 1960-1970s where it is impossible to turn a profit with air shipping passengers (will lose money) for a year or so before the fist big jet comes into production. At end game jet aircraft are one of the most profitable ways to ship passengers making very good profit per tile (about the same as trams) with almost no infrastructure requirements (as good as free compared to road or rail). The high capacity futuristic jet available in the early 2000s can easily make 3-6 million profit a year per convoy on congested lines.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 03:29:14 AM by DrSuperGood »

Offline Ters

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 05:03:44 AM »
It should be noted that in pak 64 at end game (2050 odd) you will make more profit shipping passengers by Tram than by any form of passenger train. Even shipping by Bus will make more profit than trains. There are only two profitable passenger trains at end game, the high capacity funny named commuter engine (people say it is from Japan?) and the N-ICE diesel from around the 2000s.

I find that the X2000 is also profitable. The most powerful and fastest locomotive coupled with enough of the slow double-decker cars can also generate a small profit when fully loaded, but the price for failure is high. My buses hardly make any profit, as city speed limits prohibit speed bonus. (The 233 is indeed Japanese. Wikipedia calls it E233. It was added after I requested an EMU for local trains.)

You should never use runways longer than 3 tiles in standard until better airport mechanics are implemented. Anything more will not only decrease landing performance (longer landing time) but also cost you more in maintenance.

I use five tiles just for looks. That gives me one taxi-way for planes heading to the runway, and another one for leaving the runway, with a symbolic bit of space inbetween.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 03:25:19 PM »
Quote
The most powerful and fastest locomotive coupled with enough of the slow double-decker cars can also generate a small profit when fully loaded, but the price for failure is high.
Not running at a high speed sort of defeats the purpose of high speed transport. This is a balance issue with pak 64 as pak 128 has good high speed mechanics (well stuff costs so little to move around it always makes a profit, losses come from maintenance).

Quote
My buses hardly make any profit, as city speed limits prohibit speed bonus.
Which is why you run them under cities in high speed tunnels or over cities on a high speed bridge. Only road tiles in cities have a poor speed limit, tunnels and bridges are not affected. Seeing how one of the double tile busses can make in excess of 100k profit a year when fully loaded and moving most of the time that is a lot of bridge and tunnel a single buss can maintain. Run multiple and you start to make considerable profit. Better still, those same tunnels can be used to move in goods to the city, manage mail (again hard to make profit in cities on the surface due to speed restrictions) and even run a single direction of trams in it (high profit). You can see this in action in the pak 64 + food addon server Fifty is running where I am using an underground tunnel to connect a brewery to a marketplace in a straight line route at full speed. Some of the long gone servers I played on I had entire tram underground systems which were huge profit bringers and easily paid for the vast underground network used (only with payment mode 0).

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I use five tiles just for looks. That gives me one taxi-way for planes heading to the runway, and another one for leaving the runway, with a symbolic bit of space inbetween.
A good design I find is two landing stips (3 long) sharing a single exit string (3 long). Dedicated exit strips are never really congested as aircraft leave much faster than they can land so by having two landing and 1 exit you minimize infrastructure overhead while allowing good flow.
In -> docking -> Exit <- docking <- In
Obviously to take advantage of this configuration you need multiple lines (strips of this design are great for hubs).

Offline Ters

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 03:45:02 PM »
Which is why you run them under cities in high speed tunnels or over cities on a high speed bridge.

Buses don't operate primarily in tunnels in reality, hence they don't in my games. Buses would hardly reach maximum speed between stops anyway. Besides, I dislike building intracity transportation networks. Having to build lots of tunnels as well would just make it worse. I've made enough money earlier in the game to avoid bankrupcy until long after the lack of new vehicles make the game boring.

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 10:00:01 PM »
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Buses don't operate primarily in tunnels in reality, hence they don't in my games.
Reality and Simutrans are pretty far apart. I mean in reality a double track is not 2 km wide and neither does each car have a 1 km breaking distance in-front of it. In reality roads are owned by the government mostly and even rails might be nationalized. Thus unless you plan on using Simutrans as a train simulator (forget profit), you really should not be thinking about reality. If you want a more "real" version of Simutrans I recommend trying Experimental as it tries to address issues with scaling and ownership.

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I've made enough money earlier in the game to avoid bankrupcy until long after the lack of new vehicles make the game boring.
Maybe late game being boring is something that needs to be addressed. I mean it should be pretty competitive at that time as everything you install is final (no upgrades).

Offline Ters

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Re: Just few tips I want to share
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2014, 10:42:37 PM »
Reality and Simutrans are pretty far apart. I mean in reality a double track is not 2 km wide and neither does each car have a 1 km breaking distance in-front of it. In reality roads are owned by the government mostly and even rails might be nationalized. Thus unless you plan on using Simutrans as a train simulator (forget profit), you really should not be thinking about reality. If you want a more "real" version of Simutrans I recommend trying Experimental as it tries to address issues with scaling and ownership.

There are different types of reality. Simutrans doesn't try to achive visual reality or realistic physics. In my opinion, computers aren't up for it in the foreseeable future, so there is no point trying. I even choose pak64 over pak128 because pak128 falls into some kind of uncanny valley. Simutrans does however try to simulate realistic transportation networks.

But buses are a necessary evil for me, so they are set up with minimum effort, hence city streets will have to do.

I by no means say that pak64 is perfect. In fact there are many posts by me on this forum complaining about unbalanced things and lack of vehicles outside the 20th century. Or even that a vehicle had an retirement date that had once been in the future, possibly based on an actual scheduled retirement, but that in the meantime had been postponed.