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in Suggestion by (240 points)
Not meeting the power needs of a factory has too much of a negative side effect of shutting the entire factory down.

When power plants are located away from the base or hub, a player needs to run to one of those points and flip the breakers to get the power working again. But the issue is they need to problem solve how many machines need to be turned off before the plant starts running again. You just cant do this with no power and it devolves into trial and error. If you improve the efficiency of a product line such that machines are running at 100% efficiency, then it can become a result that that entire production line needs to be shutdown before power can be turned back on.

I would strongly suggest adding in a factory alarm for when demand for power exceeds supply, this alerts the player that they need to start assessing their power grid and turning machines on/off before the whole grid shuts down. Something like a 30 second timer before the whole factory shuts down. The same effect should happen when flipping the breakers with the problem unresolved. Give the player 30 seconds to find the issue and fix it.

This shouldn't be abusable, as a player would need to babysit the breakers if they intended to run their factory over capacity. That's not very productive for them. If its the case that they are trying to seriously abuse the system (say one biomass burner powering a fully fledged factory) THEN instantly cut the power upon flipping the breaker (Say if power exceeds 200%).
by (240 points)
+1
@iMasonite - Full disclosure, I wasn't aware breakers were present on power poles, that helps

@dreadronos - I suppose the point I am trying to discuss is ultimately how engaging are the current mechanics around power. I agree that power management is a long-term part of the game loop. But to me, it currently boils down to either your factory is running or it isn't. And I think there is room for developing and elucidating that process to be more engaging.

@Automaton539 - I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "there is no trial and error". There is no ability to discern exactly how much a power spike jumps by to give the player an idea of how much extra supply needs to be added or exactly how many machines need to be turned off to get operational again.

Even flipping breakers and checking consumption rate does not work as the factory shuts down before the spike is properly recorded. But that I think is a different question posed somewhere else rather than here. Perhaps providing solid numbers with power graphs might be enough to further reduce this problem. But I still believe this is all based on a "try it and see if it works" methodology of play.

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I'm not trying to propose a solution that removes the challenge of power management, but to try and offer mechanics that provide a warning or buffer to the serious consequences of having your entire factory shutdown. In the end the solution to the problem still remains the same. Either switch machines into standby or expand your power supply.
by (5.5k points)
"I'm not trying to propose a solution that removes the challenge of power management"

Yes, you literally are, if your factory didn't shut down when you had a power failure then there wouldn't even be such a rush to sort it out and if it warned you then you wouldn't need to keep an eye on your power cause it would just tell you when you were getting dangerous, as it is you need to actively manage it yourself.
by (240 points)
The end result of the current workings of power management is that on occasion, a factory shuts down for a minute or two while a player switches things to standby or adds in more power infrastructure. Implementing this change has no bearing on this troubleshooting process; a player still has to switch things into standby or add more power infrastructure. The only difference being their factory might not shutdown during this process.

The scope of this suggestion isn't redefining the fundamentals of how players are expected to manage their power. Its adding in a small buffer to the consequence of a factory shutdown.
by (5.5k points)
Actually it is, unless you have a surge you won't get a shut down, nor will you have to turn things off while making more power, if its properly managed. Which I admit, I didn't do myself recently, but because of this I am going to endeavour to make sure I do properly from now on. So I won't be having any more shut downs, unmanageable power spikes or turning off of machines due to insufficient power.
by (2.3k points)
Once I hit coal I never had to deal with power management and turning machines on and off.

If I forgot to keep upgrading and got a shutdown I'd just go throw some more power plants down and start up again.
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