Era 1 engine progression

  • Era 1 engine progression

    I was looking at different guides and the general consensus is to use the Swallow, fully upgraded, until the Falcon becomes available, but I disagree with fully upgrading. A guide says that the Rhino could be used in between, but I strongly disagree. So I've decided that, rather than taking those statements at face value, to actually investigate them and reach my own conclusions, the following is what I've come up with. I would sincerely appreciate if people could have a look and chime in with their thoughts, or maybe point me somewhere where this dead horse has been flogged before.

    The Swallow, why not fully upgrade

    The Swallow has the following upgrades:Large steam dome (+1 Tractive force), Inlet pipe (+2 Acceleration), Steam header (+10km/h Speed) and Safety valve (+20% Reliability).

    Reliability must be taken during the tutorial.
    Tractive force is the biggest upgrade and is another that must be researched to reach the Raven.
    Speed doesn't add much, but at this point you've got 2 out of 3 and an engine that is not beaten by any standard engine until you research the Donkey. With some napkin maths we're talking about a 12/15% increased revenues, as the 20% improved speed is not a straight 20% and need to be lowered to account for acceleration and waiting times.
    Acceleration doesn't make much of a difference, don't buy it and save the points.

    When I first researched it I paid attention to the engines while they were being upgraded and the difference in revenues was around 2%. Now, according to my finances I have done 8 millions before swapping to Falcons, of those 8 millions some have been earned by the Career Engine, let's say that out of 8 engines took 1/8 of the revenue, 1 million, even though it was definitely more as, compared to the Swallow was a bigger earner, also, in the early days while upgrading the station was taking a higher part, anyway, that leaves us with 7 millions.

    2% of 7 millions is 140k. Minus the 21k required to installed the update we have 119k.

    In my opinion, 4 research points are worth more than that and should not be wasted, better save them and get to the Falcon a few hours earlier. The reason being that the upgrade is so useless is that the Swallow has a very low top speed, which is lowered even more as conditions worsen, meaning that the train spend very little time accelerating.

    Past the Swallow, why not to waste money until the Falcon

    With the upgrade to research Rhino has the same stats as the Swallow with half the reliability and a third of the acceleration. Due to poor acceleration you are not going to make much use of the higher 10km/h of top speed and the low reliability will make it expensive to repair. If you were to research the Whale the expenses wouldn't be as bad, but a total lack of acceleration would still mean not benefiting from that top speed.

    It isn't bad, if fully upgraded, but standard with only the required research to move on only has a 10% more on reliability and 5 points in acceleration, and since we agreed above that acceleration is almost useless when the top speed is low, this means that the Rhino has the same performances of the Swallow, and to make it perform better we would need to waste research points which can be used instead to move towards the Falcon.

    This is the first engine that even without upgrades is better than the Swallow, marginally, it takes a good lead after the 2 required upgrades to research the Falcon, thing is, at that point it costs 143k per piece, times 7 engines that's a million, for 7 engines that will be replaced a day and a half later as soon as the Falcon is researched. I can't be arsed to do some maths now, but at a glance I'd say replacing the engines costs you more than sticking to the Swallows and swapping for Falcons.

    I have yet to give a proper look to this engine, however, it would appear so farthat is better than the Falcon only where waiting times are high, whereas for the waiting times that I have experienced so far in Era 1 and 2, around the 30/35 seconds in worst case scenario, more often less than 20, Falcon leads.
    I suppose the Mole could have a post in competition scenarios (US East vs West) or if you have to haul goods from industries you don't control, but that's pretty much about it...
    Need to look into it some more, but aside from those corner cases I can't really think of any other situation it could be better, still, investigation is required.
  • It really depends on the server you play in, but from my own experience on Steam over Europe :

    Swallow is shitty and you can save the 3 points for the first research by going through the expert tutorial mode.

    Raven fully upgraded (or without the reliability) is actually really good to carry some specific goods to the landmark. (such as 3 tracks goods, or 4 tracks goods with 1 appro, so usually 2 of the 5 first goods).

    Rhino is the go-to for most of the goods to the landmark. I don't research the acceleration, I think 12 is enough already for such a low top-speed. So I agree with you on that point. But the +1carrying capacity is a straight +33% money earned. For 8 RP.

    Of course, on classic and on USA, The raven loses all of its potential.

    I've just done a server start where I was hyper-active. I had the raven fully upgraded after 24 or 30 hours. The falcon arrived after 7 days. (could have made it in 6 if I went through the rhino, but I needed the whale).

    Also, depending on what your goal is, you have to adapt your thinking. Do you want to maximise your profits, in which case your argument is fully valid, for USA and Classic, or do you want to also help your city, in which case carrying more goods, even if it costs you some investments, is the choice you want to make.
    Fr-201 Bad Wolf
  • Just the kind of reply I was looking for :D

    In regards to the goal, I believe that in Era 1 the goal is for yourself to get as fit as possible to push for a solid economy and get the Falcon running, only at that point you are going to really push for helping the city. By spending money and research point in engines that you will use a couple of days at most seems to me is a waste, you are giving minor benefits to the city, delaying reaching top form and that is when you give your best.

    I'm not sold on the usage, especially if you have to go Whale it seems to me like the Swallow is better, you have to research traction to go to Raven and that is the most expensive upgrade in terms of research point, on top of the fact that a 3/4 Swallow costs 30k, a 3/4 Raven costs 73k, in the initial phase I can't afford to buy Ravens at 143% the cost and a mere 5% extra income, I suppose you are talking from the point of someone that has a well developed Career Engine, and the initial boost that comes with it.
  • I think you're overtheorising(if thats a thing) Stubaski.

    There will be plenty of time later in the game to truly compare various engines in real time,especially the early level engines are extremely cheap compared to how much money you will be making.

    Easy enough to buy them(when you're upgrading your fleet in example,or after the endgame etc) and let them haul a couple of different schedules(like a 4 track facility with 0 waiting time,a 2 track facility with 20 sec waiting time and whatever else you can think off).Only thing then hard to judge fairly is reliability really.

    Regardless you will see some engines are overpowered.And some are overestimated.

    It will blow your mind =O