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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:11 am 
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For various reasons, went on a steam train today and that put me in the mood to pick up OpenTTD again. So I got the lastest version from the main download page (1.7.1) (my last version was 1.5, I think), found it loaded my previous save fine and went about my business.

(The old save used the then-current version of several NewGRFs, notably FIRS 1.2.0, eGRVTS v2.0 r188 and BATS. I just wanted to play for an hour or two with the game in-progress, so I made no attempt to see if there were updated version (as well as paying heed to the whole "don't change NewGRFs mid game, really we mean it!" thing!)

However, I have discovered that some of my vehicles appear to be making negative profit. I.e, In in 1904 (inflation is off) and I got the message two of my buses were on negative profit, but a negative way below their running costs. A bit mystified, I watched them (they were full, and only going a fairly short distance, albeit slowly, because of the time!) and when one reached the station, it popped up with a "cost 83."

I have attached the save (for the sake of arguement).

(The two in question are RP-113 and RP-114 I think, though it's happening with nearly all the road vehicles that have not made a profit.)

As it's been quite a while since I last picked up OpenTTD, I'm not sure whether this is a bug, a change made somewhere along the line since 1.5 (and/or the latter in concert with interaction with a possibly outdated NewGRF).

Anybody have any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:27 am 
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This is perfectly normal.

Say you have a train take cargo from point A to point C, where it transfers cargo. Another smaller, or a road vehicle, picks up the cargo at point C, and takes it backwards a short distance to it destination at point B, which accepts that cargo.

Then the first train gets paid for point A to point C, but seeing as the road vehicle takes it CLOSER to the starting point, it gets a negative payment.



Hence the profitability of vehicles isn't that meaningful. The last leg of a journey with multiple transfers often produces nominal negative income for the vehicles, but in reality those vehicles are making you lots of money. In other words, they are "captive" services -- they don't make profit themselves, but are essential for making your mainlines profitable. While the cargo payment model is limited, the idea that local feeder services and minor branch lines are subsidised by the profits of mainlines is actually perfectly realistic.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:08 am 
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mrjack2 wrote:
This is perfectly normal.

Say you have a train take cargo from point A to point C, where it transfers cargo. Another smaller, or a road vehicle, picks up the cargo at point C, and takes it backwards a short distance to it destination at point B, which accepts that cargo.

Then the first train gets paid for point A to point C, but seeing as the road vehicle takes it CLOSER to the starting point, it gets a negative payment.



Hence the profitability of vehicles isn't that meaningful. The last leg of a journey with multiple transfers often produces nominal negative income for the vehicles, but in reality those vehicles are making you lots of money. In other words, they are "captive" services -- they don't make profit themselves, but are essential for making your mainlines profitable. While the cargo payment model is limited, the idea that local feeder services and minor branch lines are subsidised by the profits of mainlines is actually perfectly realistic.


Does that apply to a passenger bus serivce running between a hotal and a town, though? Or to goods being tranferred to an end-point? That seems to be where the issue is arising, not from anything that's actual on orders to transfer? Or is that now a facet of cargo having a destination/origin? (I'm not sure I played a great deal on 1.5 - I remember the crago destination stuff coming in when I last looked at it), but I don't recall that I was actually getting a loss from passenger services before...?

I didn't think that the estimation from the transfer part could actually go negative.

Edit: I went and watched for a minute or so more. The buses went back and forth and gained some transfer (yellow) and a little bit of income (green) at the respective stops... But not a negative cost this time. (Bizzarrely - unlike the failing goods/material supplies which seem to be costing money when they reach their final destination (on just a single stage from manufacturer to end-of-chain) - in previous years, those particular buses appeared to be doing fine.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:22 am 
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It's normal with transfers/cargo dist.
https://wiki.openttd.org/Negative_incom ... er_service

Detours are already mentioned, but for me it's usually speed differences that cause the problem. Cargo estimates income for A -> B, journey starts on a 140km/h fast train, so it'll calculate the income for that speed. Then it gets transfered into a truck which does only 80km/h, so less income, and this difference needs to be paid at the end of the journey (since you previously made too much money ^^).

You can turn "Percentage of leg profit to pay in feeder systems" lower - in your save it's at 75% which is in my experience pretty high. Reducing this might help in some cases (the first legs of journeys get paid less pf the overall income of the journey with a lower setting).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:49 am 
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Pyoro wrote:
It's normal with transfers/cargo dist.
https://wiki.openttd.org/Negative_incom ... er_service

Detours are already mentioned, but for me it's usually speed differences that cause the problem. Cargo estimates income for A -> B, journey starts on a 140km/h fast train, so it'll calculate the income for that speed. Then it gets transfered into a truck which does only 80km/h, so less income, and this difference needs to be paid at the end of the journey (since you previously made too much money ^^).

You can turn "Percentage of leg profit to pay in feeder systems" lower - in your save it's at 75% which is in my experience pretty high. Reducing this might help in some cases (the first legs of journeys get paid less pf the overall income of the journey with a lower setting).


Hmm. The only other thing tied into the buses' route is the ship, I think. Might be just an odd spike, perhaps. (I have no clue as to how the game assigns passenger destinations, but it's apparently more complex than just one station hops (as my routes tend to have only two stations at each end (because I'm a filthy casual!) But if thats'show it works now, doesn't that make it hard to gauge passenger transport possibility once stuff like aircraft come in?)

The fact that I'm only tacitly transferring because passengers might be what's throwin me out - if I'd actually put orders in to transfer, I'd have just chalked it down to that.

Doesn't seem to explain why I'm getting that on some og my goods/materials supply vehicles, though, since they are - supposed to be - picking from from a supplier and dumping at the reciever in one go. Maybe the algorhythems have changed?

I'll try turning the aforementioned setting down (if that's not the default, I have no idea why it's at 75%), though as see if that helps.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:04 pm
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Just remember this is purely cosmetic, there is actually no way to compare the profitability of different vehicles to your company as a whole in the game if they are fulfilling different roles, due to the strong interdependence. The stronger you rely on cargodist the less meaningful this becomes. In my current game with map-wide cargodist networks for all cargos, my trains (cargo and PAX) are making 120 million a year while my RVs (mostly PAX) lose 20 million. But if I deleted all those RVs, I bet my trains would lose far more profit than 20 million!


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