So, I have been testing this set for some hours of gameplay.
I haven't been far in yet (started a game in 1880, reached 1912) but I already noticed that there have been a lot of work going in this set.
Several features are impressive and practical, but some things are lacking. Or might deserve more work.
So let's go on the negative parts and/or "bugs" I found, first :
Snail wrote:Yep, both things have already been mentioned. I'm still thinking whether it's better to specify the power and adhesion type by adding text or by putting a symbol close to the engine pic in the purchasing menu (a bolt for electric, colored smoke for steam and diesel, a gear for rack).
Old post, from 2012, but it still stand true.
Being that rack-and-pinion is mostly for eyecandy purposes, it's not the biggest issue, but telling that a vehicle is electric is more important. You can tell a catenary vehicle from the pantograph, sure, but the 3rd rail type? Unless you're knowledgeable enough about French trains, it's hard to see that the Z200 and Z100 are electric.
And sometime, due to the size of the sprites, it's not easy to tell. I got the "Automotrice type tramway à essieux" and the sprite doesn't have a very visible pantograph, so I first assumed it was a steamer/diesel engine.
So yeah, I strongly recommand to either put the type as a sprite, or as text.
* When I read the infos for the 021T (first rack-and-pinion loco we get) the top speed is indicated as being 15kph. Which is correct... on rack tracks. On standard tracks, it's 25kph. I guess I can see how it make sense, but since rack rails are mostly (as pointed in this thread already) eyecandy stuff, maybe putting the speed of the loco on regular rails would make more sense? I dunno. I guess I just had to point that out. Adding it in the loco description would do the trick I guess, but it would make it a mess to read.
* Still about rack and pinions, I used the 021T first, because heh, gotta try it. Then I replaced it by a 031T. (because it was losing money
) I noticed that while on standard rails (climbing on a continuous slope, not on flat land) the 031T with empty wagons was easily keeping the max speed. But on the part with the rack rails, the speed didn't drop at 30 kph, but 10. And I get the same with a 020 020T, speed drops to 10kph on rack rails. From what I get, this shoudln't happen?
* For the "Automotrice type tramway à essieux", the à is glitched on my screen :
Just a detail, really
* In the parameters of French Train Set GRF, there is an option "Without FSRails". I tried it, assuming it would disable the rails.
I don't know if it's the expected behavior, but it disable the rails, and all of the French Set machines. I mean, of course, without the proper rails, I expected to not see electric engines, but none of the steamers or diesel engines showed up.
But, on the other hand, the graphics of the narrow gauge line remained, as well as both the low and Hi speed ones rails (as opposed to the single Narrow Gauge track from Iron Horse/Termite).
IMO, if the options is meant to shut down the French Set trains, it should say "Disable FSTrains" not FSRails". Else, it it's meant to disable everything, this option doesn't make any sense : you might as well just disable both sets from the list!
* Still about parameters, I understand that you want this set to be in temperate climate only but maybe putting a warning message might help? (yes, I played for 10 years in Artic Climate before realising that I didn't got any of the locos from the set!!!) Or maybe, adding an option in the parameters to allow the set in Arctic and Tropical climates?
I understand that you want realism; but you won't stop people from doing what they want in their games anyway
* And about realism, how about allowing the Turgan-Foy tramway to have at least one of it's sibling attached? I made a line with it, but it looks so ridiculous
I mean, I'd rather make it into a "road tramway" than a narrow gauge engine at this point. (heh, that could be a thing, to expand some of your machines into a tramway set...)
Now, I think I can go on the good parts of this set. Always be positive! And I am.
* First, whoah, there is A LOT OF STUFF
I mean, between 1881 and 1910, I got 14 engines? Every type of cargo from FIRS is covered right on. Excellent!
* As the set deal with realism, we have braking power taking into account. And I really appreciate that while you assemble your trains in depots, there is a "blinking angry sprite" that appears on the locomotive to warn you that there isn't enough braking power. It's really an amazing feature. Of course the only other train set I know that use that is the UKRS one, and it's really just "add a braking van and you're all set". I know there are some wagons with braking power, but really the braking vans are less of a PITA to use than the wagons. But this set doesn't have one so you have to deal with it, and that warning is really a precious tool.
* As far as balancing goes, it's doing great. Cheaper than most sets (well it's not like there are so many sets in narrow gauge) but it's slower and less powerful so it make sense. It's not cheating level of cheap either.
And If I can make a suggestion, as Snail seems to like odd things like me, why not including the Rhune train in the set?
I mean, it looks damn awesome, and it's one of the 4 last trains in the world to still use 3 phase current.
Of course, what might bother you is that it's a double catenary system, not a single one, but having it requiring to have rack and catenary to be used would make this type of rail useful. Well, more useful.
I don't fancy having "single use" rail types cluttering the menu.
Anyway, I'm waiting to see more of that, as I play more of it, but it's quite awesome already. I know it's not as complete as you would like to be, but between the rail type and the large amount of machines, it should be on Bananas already?
Well, at least the rails types. Apparently you last changed it it 2012, so if it was standardized, maybe more NewGRF would use it (so I could have the electric locos from the Japan set on it
(but I guess someone should contact them for that... They even have their own electric SG line despite OpenTTD having one standardized catenary SG rail type).