Report for the community #59

Greetings dear Comrades of the Soviet Republic. Autumn is knocking on our doors and the harvest is in full swing in our in-game Republics as much as in real world in attempt to gather as much crops as possible to feed all the people and animals. Last week we released the Metro update for public testing, and we know we need to work hard because we received a bunch of reports about critical bugs which were hidden during internal testing. We were not able to deal with all the issues yet, but we successfully fixed some already and we may use this report to give you some insight into the development process and challenges we face. But first let us show you some new stuff.

We were able to make models for surface metro station and a new surface metro and railway end station. Many players were wishing to have these to make the planning of their public transportation network easier. So, there will be two surface metro station with varied sizes available and an end station which you will be able to use for metro or normal trains.

Besides that, we added option to lower one of the underground metro stations and you may have heard about that as some content creators who play with public test version were showing them off already.. From other things we added, conveyor engines are the ones worth mentioning. We added several new height variations for them to allow players better way to get over existing or planned infrastructure. You will be able to switch their height by using Q/E and the same is true about the underground station with variable depth.

After the release of the update to public testing we received reports of excessive fuel consumption for trains. Even the fuel consumption change works well for road and other vehicles, for trains there was an unexpected outcome which was not obvious during internal testing, because it is different to evaluate something on dummy setup or in a well-developed Republic. The problem comes probably from multiplication of load factor for trains as the consumption for trains is calculated totally differently as it is for road vehicles. Trains use RPM for actual consumption and the RPM is dependant on actual conditions, acceleration, train length and load. Because of that we were not able to give you a dependable calculator for train fuel consumption. We do not know right now where exactly the problem is, but as the issue was critical for existing saves and diesel trains had real problems to drive any reasonable distance on one fuel tank, we reverted the consumption change back to previous version temporarily. We will continue looking for solution and possibly we may come out with some hybrid where trains will have different consumption formula than road and other vehicles have. But for now, it is better to have the previous version than a partially broken recent version.

Next thing we may address in this report is the current Realistic mode (Cosmonaut Challenge) we implemented into game. What we understand is that Cosmonaut Challenge is meant to make things harder and more micromanagement heavy especially in early game. Previously without Realistic mode you had to build some facilities for money to be able to construct others later and the inability to get asphalt, concrete and workers was the main reason why you were not able to make a proper start without auto build feature. So, we added these resources to customs houses with foreign workforce to allow people to build their initial infrastructure with some free buildings to use. But with additional use of customs houses an issue with customs houses throughput surfaced, which you would not encounter early game, as you would never send dozens of vehicles there and people are asking for non-blocking customs now.

We are not going to give you non-blocking customs through update now, because there are couple of problems with that, and we like the limited throughput of customs houses. We can agree that the large customs house is not functioning the best and we may address that in the future, but we want to prepare a better solution. There is some potential for customs, and we want to use that potential later. We all remember the times before Schengen was established in Europe and we had to wait often hours at border crossings. To develop a simulation of that requires extra time.

But it was never meant for customs houses to replace the need to build basic construction resource facilities like asphalt plant, or concrete plant. We also added some free storages an open storage and aggregate storage with distribution offices to allow you move some resources into a storage nearby your construction sites without the need of overwhelming the customs house. They are there for you to incorporate them into your building strategy, not just as a workaround. If you use a distribution office to deliver gravel from the customs house to aggregate storage you will have less trucks coming to customs than if you would use the customs as source for construction offices which may send trucks there, only to be loaded partially. Also, other resources can be stored in storages you build, and you can reduce the traffic through the border.

We conducted some tests to see how much you can build using the customs as early source and if you really try hard, you can have your basic infrastructure ready in half a year depending on what you would consider as basic infrastructure. We consider as basic infrastructure a power connection, fire station, warehouse and an aggregate storage with asphalt plant, or potentially concrete plant, with bunch of roads and a bus stop. Then you can store all resources and you do not need to use the customs as source for construction offices except for workforce and you can build everything by that. And that used to be the initial setup in cosmonaut challenge back in time when you did not have the realistic mode in game and option to use customs as source.

Now back to customs houses. From the test we know the large customs house has similar throughput to medium and it is quite a bit affected by loading speeds because faster loading resources favor the small customs over large because of shorter movement distance inside the building. There is no room in current models for small and medium customs to allow non-blocking movement, but there is some room for large customs houses. There is a mod in workshop which allows you to enable non-blocking movement for all customs houses, but we do not think it is appropriate for small and medium customs.

We are still in Early Access and not all things may be complete in their mechanics even they may be functioning as intended. Also, with fuel consumption you can see that things can go unexpectedly wrong sometime and we need to revert changes or release hotfixes. We do our best and use our working hours to make the game better and more fun to play. We hope you can bear with us and respect our decisions even you may not agree with us. We cannot have everything and deliver the Final Release in reasonable time without skipping some things and doing compromises. So, enjoy life, have fun, respect others, and stay tuned for the next report.

Thank You for Your Support

3Division Team

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