Unbelievable! The Auxiliary Locomotive Type Is Completely Random!

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by J.T., Apr 25, 2021.

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  1. J.T.

    J.T. Active Member

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    It's just unbelievable!

    I just discovered that the type of an auxiliary locomotive hauling a freight train on the Sand Patch Grade has not been carefully selected by the DTG developers, based on train weight and locomotive power, but ... is chosen completely randomly by an in-game algorithm every time you start a scheduled run!

    So, instead of a second AC4400CW locomotive with 4,000 horsepower, you can get a random GP38-2 providing just half that power! No wonder that train is then unable to overcome the steep gradient and stalls in front of the Sand Patch Tunnel!

    What kind of realism is that?

    I thought that only the colors of auxiliary locomotives were drawn, not their type! 2,000 horsepower is a big difference in tractive power!

    So, not only are some trains lacking the necessary pushing locomotives, but the only auxiliary locomotive that has been provided can be half the power!

    I have no words.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  2. HaibaraHariko

    HaibaraHariko Active Member

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    I wonder if the current substitution system is to blame. In Journey mode and Scenario Planner, if several locos use a same layer, the game will just randomly pick one. While you can select the lead loco in timetable services, the backup locos in SPG will still be random.

    Examples:
    In GWB Journey you can get a CL45 or 47.
    In CL465 Journey you can get a 375.
    In Scenario Planner you can get a M7 even if you "chose" M3, or get a BR143 instead of 146.2.

    I believe this system is set up to provide more diversity, but it doesn't always care about the performance of different locos.
     
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  3. J.T.

    J.T. Active Member

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    The variety is a good thing and I really like that the locomotives have different numbers and even different liveries.

    A variety of locomotive types would also be appreciated as long as the locomotives in total were providing enough power. For example: instead of one AC4400CW locomotive, two GP38-2s would be fine.

    Some algorithm would be needed to calculate the minimum power needed to pull the train. And this algorithm should have to take into account the situation when it's necessary to start uphill in case of stopping under the semaphore.

    I really believed that someone at DTG had done the necessary calculations before building the trainsets. It never occurred to me that they just randomized locomotives of such different powers!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  4. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe I have ever rolled a GP38 in that situation- are you sure it isn't an SD40?

    The problem with some Sand Patch services is that they were designed all the way back in (actually before) TSW1, and did not take into account TSW2's adhesion physics- suddenly services which were possible before now fail. This is especially the case if you select an SD40 for some of the heavier trains.
     
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  5. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I’ve recently found out from Matt on another thread that the substitution system isn’t as versatile or as clever as I thought it was. It’s a tricky beast to tame apparently and Matt said it needs improving. I too don’t recall ever getting a GP38 in a train headed by an AC4400 but I could be mistaken, and just assumed they were SD40-2’s as that’s what normally occurs.
     
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  6. L89

    L89 Well-Known Member

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    Done the entire 465 journey and not once did I get a 375.
     
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  7. Kazick

    Kazick Member

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    While the GP38 sounds a bit off, it's quite prototypical to get a mix of locomotives on the head end. What bugs me is they are all ways back to back which isn't exactly prototypical.

    Here is a shot I took a few years ago:

    10943892_10205987280185077_7336266982240211227_n.jpg
    Note that all three locomotives of are a different type. (And how two of them are facing forward.)
     
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  8. HaibaraHariko

    HaibaraHariko Active Member

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    Yes that's why I said it is totally random. I've got a 375 in 465 journey and a 465 in the original journey. In GWB I got a 47 four times in a row before I finally got a 52.
     
  9. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but all 3 of them have similar horsepower
    -SD70ACe (4400HP)
    -SD70M (4000HP)
    -AC4400CW (4400HP)

    Unlike SPG where an AC4400 can get replaced by an SD40-2 so you lose about 1400hp, which due to the new adhesion physics of TSW2, can cause stalls on the grade for some trains.
     
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  10. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    It is the same with the container wagons, or even worse if you switch to the other end of the train and back again, you may see different coloured containers. DTGs comment: it is as designed, we will not fix it. (Got this answer from the roadmap, it was investigated after my bug report), so this should not surprise you. Randomness is OK to increase variety but it must be used with care.
     
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  11. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    However, it may get fixed anyway because of their stated desire to replace generic containers with branded ones
     
  12. Kazick

    Kazick Member

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    True. But also, get good. As long as the HPT is above 1 should be able to creep along.
     
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  13. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Unlikely, you can still brand the containers, without solving the issue to show them randomly.
     
  14. dbrunner#4864

    dbrunner#4864 Well-Known Member

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    This stimulates real life situation in the US where many train drivers have to cope with underpowered trains. I have seen heavy freight trains barely being able to crawl over inclines at 1 mph or even stalling just because there isn't enough power.
     
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  15. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    ‘This stimulates real life situation in the US where many train drivers have to cope with underpowered trains. I have seen heavy freight trains barely being able to crawl over inclines at 1 mph or even stalling just because there isn't enough power’

    Unbelievable!
     
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  16. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice if you could choose all the locos in your train. It could still have a random option. It would also be nice if all the locos in SPG functioned correctly at the same time, something we are yet to see, with the AC4400 dynamic brakes being the longest offender, having never worked correctly. You currently have some woes on the way up and different woes on the way down.

    I’ve also started seeing single height container trains. Is that new or has it always been like that? Every container train I saw was double stacked until recently. This is on PS4 by the way. I was wondering if they had been changed because some of them couldn’t make it up the grade, or if it is a bug.
     
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  17. dbrunner#4864

    dbrunner#4864 Well-Known Member

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    There you are an example although there quite a few more.



    Initial train configuration was C44-9w, C40-8 and GP9rm (lol for last one). During its first attempt the train stalled and called for help. Now to understand how badly under powered the train was, even after getting two other locos to assist behind, Gp38-2w and GMD-1 the train can still barely climb the grade.

    As comparison a proper train setup! 12.000 tons starting from a stand still without much problems and even gathering speed on a 2.0 grade



    This also features some monsters, 3XSD70Ace, ES44AC and a SD70Mac
     
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  18. J.T.

    J.T. Active Member

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    Does this mean that DTG sells a TSW2 incompatible route in the basic TSW2 kit? :o

    One might expect that in the base kit there will be showpieces that demonstrate the full capabilities of TSW2, not routes that malfunction due to the new capabilities implemented in TSW2. This is absurd!

    Since the SPG is not fully compatible with TSW2, it shouldn't be included in the package with the base game. Rather, routes written specifically for TSW2 should go there.

    I must admit that this argument convinces me the most.
    Although DTG may lose its license if CSX finds out that this kind of realism is simulated in TSW2 ;)
     
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  19. dbrunner#4864

    dbrunner#4864 Well-Known Member

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    Haha, yeah they might be pissed off a little. But on the other side if you actually make it to your destination with a less than ideal loco configuration you should really feel proud of yourself :D
     
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  20. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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  21. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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  22. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    In real life though if a train stalls you'd be able to get some helpers, you can't do that in TSW, so a stalled service just means quitting, that ain't exactly realistic. And considering it's DTG we're talking about here never attribute to realism that which is adequately explained by poor quality control.
     
  23. mariner86

    mariner86 Active Member

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    I’ve had this happen as well with getting a 38, both when I chose an AC4400 and SD40 as the head end. I wish SPG had 3 Locos standard on the head end and either c40-8W or AC4400 as all the helper sets.
     
  24. niveous

    niveous Member

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    What DTG provides on a constant basis is unprototypical for North American roads. Even if by mistake I find it a welcome addition that adds some level of realism, which is not provided by the tiny trains we get to run. To get anything close to prototypical you find yourself trying to hack the system to find a string of cars to add to your train (hopefully not hiding behind an automatic switch). Running track speed is NOT the norm and there are those of us that actually want and enjoy the challenge of dragging a train up a grade.

    I can only hope that this randomness starts to appear in Clinchfield. I'd welcome a struggle now and then, heck even a stall. As it is now it's just an easy haul to either end or the route even in the rain.

    Even simulators seem to have become instant gratification and win like everything else in the world. Effort to obtain a goal appears to be almost gone at this point.

    For more realism being able to run prototypical train lengths would be a gladly welcomed addition. The concerns of performance issues are unwarrented. It's should be plenty easy to provide two consists per service in the timetable. High (prototypical) and Low (slower hardware). If they provided a way for us to actually create our own consists to swap with the existing that would obviously better, but 4 years in we know that isn't coming.
     
  25. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    The problem with prototypical freight train lengths is that (and DTG have done them internally), although the game engine can handle 100+ cars, even top-end gaming PCs can't handle the data crunching- the framerate becomes a slideshow.
     
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  26. niveous

    niveous Member

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    Works fine. Just put a 107 car train together on CRR with 3 SD40's and F7ABBA in Dante.

    Sadly this is the only place it seems possible on CRR to makeup something prototypical on this route. Mind you the hour gettings the cars in the yard together waiting for the 3003 extra to arrive to pick them up was fun as heck. Alot of handbrakes and walking about to prep a train, run the air, and brake test. Was a blast.

    Would love Elkhorn not to be locked down to auto switches and have more cuts available to do the same and tackle the actual grade.

    This engine does it all well and the physics for the most part on this route make it quite palatable in comparison to say Run8. Now if the training wheels could be taken off so we could actually take advantage of all the effort that went into Simugraph this thing would nearly the beat competition. Real length consists (or at least the option), anglecocks, it would have it all. I'd love to say overtake but with things like flow meters and HOTDs not working on release and most likely never it sadens me, as these are required for proper train handling. The HUD is NOT a replacement, and once a route is learned IMO should never be used for experienced simers.

    Alot of great work has gone into this engine, and it's a pity those of use that can take advantage of it are artificially restricted from it's capabilties. Sure I could spend hours in Unreal moding things to suit me, sadly theres a day job and life (or whats left of it these days), which makes it prohibitive.

    I will say the ability that I could assemble that train in Dante, and with what is available to us from Simugraph that's $30 well spent for entertainment. Cheaper than what used to be going to the movies or the bar. I and assume many would pay for additional layers on routes to get access to additional features like proto trains and angle cocks. Access to the switches (or at least their mapping so we didn't have to dig them out of tiles) would just be icing on the cake.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021

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