Cargo Distribution

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HapticTactic
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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 27 Mar 2019 13:28

romazoon wrote:If i remember correctly, in the begginings of Cargodist there was a setting players could modify to reduce the effect on source station from cargo waiting in another station, it then disapeared from the setting menu.

I often wondered why, because i noticed the effect was still there.



And i could add to what mczapkie said about the "exploit", you don t even need the piglet truck to actually pick up something, only trying to pick up is enough to raise the ratings.

I often use it, and simply use a single order for that : go to station (unload and load if possible). That way, cargo eventually loaded get unloaded at the source station and eventually taken by another vehicle waiting. But with cargodist on, and once all cargo are routed, that piglet is actually not even loading something as it has no destination, and just by trying to load, it does its job of raising the rating.

I m also against removal of that behavior btw, That truck looses money (it s running cost), so it may be an exploit but it s not a free exploit.
I would argue it is a very cheap exploit and should be removed. The money lost are negligible considering the benefits it gives you. Having one cheap "piglet vehicle" can feed many trains in that station, for example.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by McZapkie » 27 Mar 2019 13:31

HapticTactic wrote: 2) What happens when there is not enough passengers and the train is loaded to certain percentage and more percentage is loaded gradually in many days, for example?
Standing on station with load order is considered as service and keep high station rating, no matter if something is loaded or not (it should be fixed, in my opinion, to avoid cheating).
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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 27 Mar 2019 13:34

McZapkie wrote:
HapticTactic wrote: 2) What happens when there is not enough passengers and the train is loaded to certain percentage and more percentage is loaded gradually in many days, for example?
Standing on station with load order is considered as service and keep high station rating, no matter if something is loaded or not (it should be fixed, in my opinion, to avoid cheating).
I agree. Even worse is that you can have a fully loaded vehicle just waiting "loading" at the station because of its timetable settings and it would also count as servicing the station.

But I am trying to understand the exact mechanics of the problem.

The wiki does not say anything about vehicles at the station having influence on the rating. So it can't be the vehicles at the station counting as a service. It must be something else. Ignore the strike-through text. It is my redundant thinking-in-progress.

I suspect that 100% loaded vehicles don't properly end their loading loop or something.

Fixing the, lets call it, "loading bug" would not solve the exploit completely though. You could still boost your rating with a vehicle with a huge cargo space (long trains for example) loading for years at the station. To completely fix this exploit, there would need to be a logic that would measure the time it took to deliver the cargo from the source station to its final destination and only then it should impact the rating in the source station of the cargo or something similar to this. Loading the cargo shouldn't be enough for the station rating.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by peter1138 » 27 Mar 2019 14:23

Tere was a comment earlier from jfs:
You should post bug reports (including exploits :) ) on the issue tracker: https://github.com/OpenTTD/OpenTTD/issues
This still applies! Nobody has reported it yet!
He's like, some kind of OpenTTD developer.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 27 Mar 2019 14:29

peter1138 wrote:Tere was a comment earlier from jfs:
You should post bug reports (including exploits :) ) on the issue tracker: https://github.com/OpenTTD/OpenTTD/issues
This still applies! Nobody has reported it yet!
I wanted to figure it out a bit before I report it.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by romazoon » 27 Mar 2019 15:01

HapticTactic wrote:I would argue it is a very cheap exploit and should be removed. The money lost are negligible considering the benefits it gives you. Having one cheap "piglet vehicle" can feed many trains in that station, for example.
cheap ? depends on the settings and newgrf you use.

The benefits it gives are reasonable : it help maintaining an higher rating at a station , but don t forget that the rating will still go down if you have for example 3000 unit waiting even with an high frequency of "pick up" thanks to the piglet.

And one of my argument in favor of keeping that "exloit" possible is that the rating calculation are coming from days where map size was maximum 256x256...but map size have grown quite a bit and so travel time too which makes it harder to keep good ratings.

Now to be honest, since i play with long daylenghts i never have to use those "piglet", high ratings are much easier to achieve the higher the daylenght is.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 27 Mar 2019 16:44

romazoon wrote:
HapticTactic wrote:I would argue it is a very cheap exploit and should be removed. The money lost are negligible considering the benefits it gives you. Having one cheap "piglet vehicle" can feed many trains in that station, for example.
cheap ? depends on the settings and newgrf you use.

The benefits it gives are reasonable : it help maintaining an higher rating at a station , but don t forget that the rating will still go down if you have for example 3000 unit waiting even with an high frequency of "pick up" thanks to the piglet.

And one of my argument in favor of keeping that "exloit" possible is that the rating calculation are coming from days where map size was maximum 256x256...but map size have grown quite a bit and so travel time too which makes it harder to keep good ratings.

Now to be honest, since i play with long daylenghts i never have to use those "piglet", high ratings are much easier to achieve the higher the daylenght is.
Obviously, I can't know about all possible difficulty configurations various players play with but I would say I play with rather difficult settings (high maintenance costs of everything, very expensive terraforming etc.) and having such piglet vehicle is very cheap in the context of things IMO. Because one piglet vehicle allows you to keep all the other vehicles in the profit (you can fill a long train because of one piglet vehicle and make huge profits).

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by romazoon » 27 Mar 2019 18:12

well obviously then do not use piglet and you ll be fine

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 27 Mar 2019 18:41

romazoon wrote:well obviously then do not use piglet and you ll be fine
At the moment, it is impossible to not use the exploit if you want to use timetables in stations effectively.

I would suggest using cheats, if you want to cheat. While cheats are the choice for those who want to cheat this particular exploit affects the game indiscriminately for everybody.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by romazoon » 27 Mar 2019 20:28

i think you forget that even though you let a vehicle loading for ever, or for long (with timetable), from the moment that the station has too much cargo waiting the ratings are going down.

the higher frequency of loading = the more positiv impact on rating

the more cargo waiting = the more negativ impact on rating

So with that in mind i think the stations rating are relatively nice balanced.



And if piglet is cheating, then maybe don t do any "Hub" station for your passengers, cause that s basically the same cheating.


your vision : stop people from being able to use piglet because it is cheating

my vision : let people free to choose, and also let the server admin set a rule that players should not use piglet

(that remind me of the station spread abuse, did we got rid of it ? no . Server admin can choose to let players use it or not, via a set of rules.)

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 27 Mar 2019 21:21

romazoon wrote:i think you forget that even though you let a vehicle loading for ever, or for long (with timetable), from the moment that the station has too much cargo waiting the ratings are going down.

the higher frequency of loading = the more positiv impact on rating

the more cargo waiting = the more negativ impact on rating

So with that in mind i think the stations rating are relatively nice balanced.
The rating is going down when you have > 1000 units of cargo waiting at the station. I usually try my best not to have so much cargo waiting at the station.

The problem of the exploit is mainly with stations that don't produce enough cargo when not at "very good". With this exploit you can have constant "very good" rating and have always enough cargo for your vehicles even if they don't frequent the station that often. It makes profitting from small cities and otherwise unprofitable industries very easy. With this exploit you can easily and quickly profit from poorly planned routes that should normally cost you much more money, effort and planning. With this exploit it doesn't make much sense to have the "Days since last cargo pickup" parameter for station rating at all IMO - you could just get rid of it completely and base all the rating only on amount of waiting cargo - making the exploit unnecessary. Which leads me to my belief that the station rating mechanism is fundamentally broken anyway and needs an overhaul which probably wouldn't be trivial but that is perhaps for another discussion.


romazoon wrote:And if piglet is cheating, then maybe don t do any "Hub" station for your passengers, cause that s basically the same cheating.
Could you please elaborate on how hub stations are similar to this exploit we are discussing? I don't think I understand.
romazoon wrote: your vision : stop people from being able to use piglet because it is cheating

my vision : let people free to choose, and also let the server admin set a rule that players should not use piglet
The point is I am not free to choose if I want to use my timetables effectively. I am forced to play with the exploit at all times.
romazoon wrote:(that remind me of the station spread abuse, did we got rid of it ? no . Server admin can choose to let players use it or not, via a set of rules.)
I was not aware of this exploit and would never use it. It is ugly and is easy to not use. I also pay big maintenance costs for each station tile in my games and also limit the maximum size of the stations so I can at least combat this somewhat. I also play with station joining disabled. My intentions with my difficulty settings are that only carefully planned stations and routes should make you money. I am constantly tweaking the settings but it is getting close.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by McZapkie » 27 Mar 2019 22:07

romazoon wrote: your vision : stop people from being able to use piglet because it is cheating
my vision : let people free to choose, and also let the server admin set a rule that players should not use piglet
(that remind me of the station spread abuse, did we got rid of it ? no . Server admin can choose to let players use it or not, via a set of rules.)
What about vision: let server admin to decide, if such station rating cheat is enabled/disabled?
In case of station spread, it is partially solved: there is setting for disabling joining of not adjacent station tiles (of course, anybody can build sequentially station tiles and delete intermediate tiles later, but it is tedious and expensive)
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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by romazoon » 27 Mar 2019 23:11

HapticTactic wrote:Could you please elaborate on how hub stations are similar to this exploit we are discussing?
let s take for example a small town with one train station and irregular train service leading to low ratings. Just add a bus service in that town that will serve the station and one or more bus station in the town. Result : high ratings at train station (which act like a hub, kind of), because that bus would visit the train station frequently

A piglet for a freight station is nothing else than reproducing that in a somewhat not realistic way when it loads and unloads at the same station

So, hub stations are nothing less than reproducing that too, but if i follow your logic it s even more cheaty because the vehicles bringing passengers to the hub stations and picking up some are both increasing ratings and they even make a profit (well maybe not profit, but at least it cover a part of it s running cost)

Some people might do it exclusively to increase ratings, personaly i also like the "life" it s bringing to my freight station : there is a forklift in HEQS and it s perfect for an eyecandy touch and the bonus/reward/ or cheat (call it as you want) it has effect on my ratings.


from what i understand you are unhappy that when you set your train to sit in a station longer than it needs it does give a boost to your rating, my solution make the train wait with a "no load order" then that will no make the rating go higher.
(you can set a train to drop (and not load) passenger/freight at queue of platform with a long waiting time, then add another order so that train move to the head of that very same platform and then start loading and goes right after loading is over, this way no boosting of ratings)

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by McZapkie » 28 Mar 2019 10:05

romazoon wrote: let s take for example a small town with one train station and irregular train service leading to low ratings. Just add a bus service in that town that will serve the station and one or more bus station in the town. Result : high ratings at train station (which act like a hub, kind of), because that bus would visit the train station frequently
But it is not cheating - this bus is making a real service. Cheating is making fake service just to pump up rating.
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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by JGR » 28 Mar 2019 10:24

There is a setting in my patchpack: "station rating tolerance to time since last cargo pickup depends on cargo class" which is motivated by this issue.
This increases the service frequency requirements for passengers, mail, express cargo, etc, and reduces the frequency requirements for bulk freight cargoes, to maintain a good station rating.
This makes it more possible to service bulk freight flows with infrequent services, whilst still encouraging frequent passenger services.

Bus feeders do increase station ratings, but the more important/significant effects are increasing the total catchment and significantly increasing the town growth rate.
Building a single rail station in a town without any supporting infrastructure will only generate a modest amount of traffic/demand.
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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by romazoon » 28 Mar 2019 10:43

McZapkie wrote:this bus is making a real service. Cheating is making fake service just to pump up rating.
this bus is maybe making a real service...but in real life if a little train station has 1 train per day and a bus every 10 minuts (coming from same town, actually just a couple tile from station), does it really deserve to have better rating just because you easily get a bus to go to that little train station ? probably not

OTTD ratings process could definitly be improved, i agree on that. I strongly disagree though to consider that piglet is cheating.

Cheating is when you don t respect rules, and OTTD has no rules, actually OTTD, imho, is more about knowing the game mecanism and use them to your advantage.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by peter1138 » 28 Mar 2019 13:44

Well, I posted it myself anyway: https://github.com/OpenTTD/OpenTTD/issues/7430
He's like, some kind of OpenTTD developer.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by McZapkie » 29 Mar 2019 12:29

romazoon wrote: this bus is maybe making a real service...but in real life if a little train station has 1 train per day and a bus every 10 minuts (coming from same town, actually just a couple tile from station), does it really deserve to have better rating just because you easily get a bus to go to that little train station ? probably not
Well, above is one more argument for station rating patch - station rating should be lifted up when cargo is picked, not due to vehicle standing.

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Re: Cargo Distribution

Post by HapticTactic » 29 Mar 2019 20:43

peter1138 wrote:Well, I posted it myself anyway: https://github.com/OpenTTD/OpenTTD/issues/7430
OK, thank you very much, Peter!

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