I'd like to present my mod, which is a result of my dissatisfaction with how the vanilla game plays. I called it "Extended Gameplay and Immersion" because, well, those are my goals. After getting a ton of modded vehicles it also became true that the game became progressively more imbalanced. So I decided to change it.
It is not the first one for me - I already did a balance mod for Train Fever and made one for Transport Fever at the release. Howeve, this one is much more then pushing some vehicle stats around, as it also polishes the game to be more accessible. I used vanilla assets whenever possible and modified some to achieve my goals. Since I almost only play with trains - that is the focus of this mod.
So far the features are:
1. Complete rebalance of the freight cars in both US and EU themes.
I added 144 more freight cars, creating 12 generations of freight cars for each theme. Essentially, if you start at the year 1850, then from 1859 you are going to get an upgraded train car every three years. Up to year 1982. The goal of this was to make the transition from each genration to be as smooth as possible and to give the player an incentive to upgrade existing lines.
What is more important tho, is that I introduced a new running cost scheme which _massively_ reduces running costs of early freight cars. The vanilla game is structured in a way that the first generation of freight cars are massively more expensive per capacity then later freight cars. IN effect - it is very hard to get a reliable freight operations in the early game.
EGI makes freight cars come in easily digestable bits, which cost much less to set up in the early game, so starting out with freight is possible even with the D 1/3 locomotive only.
Freight trains are now also much slower - giving point to the existance of slower locomotives ( like E94 ).
2. Tweaks to other rail vehicles.
Whenever sensible I made adjustments to existing vehicles ( changing power / introduction date etc ) to make the generational improvements less drastic. This is most visible in the US theme, where you suddenly get vehicles with triple the power of the previous locomotives. There are also inconsistencies in the EU scenario, where you get locomotives capable of 140km/h and no carriages to run them at. There is just one minor exception to that.
3. Immersion changes.
I made quite a few minor tweaks to the game which improve the game experience. All tweaks are listed in the readme of the mod, however the most intresting ones are for example:
- steam and diesel locomotives loaded before the mod get their particle systems adjusted. The result is dependant on the power and size of the vehicle.
- load states for vanilla gondolas are adjusted to the technology level and commodity. Iron ore barely shows in the car, because it is five times as dense as coal.
- Baldwin 6-wheels got its tender back.
There are more tweaks such as that, and more will come.
4. Integration with other mods.
EGI, to keep consistent balance, especially with moded freight cars, will modify their speed/capacity to match the progression its sets for itsself. It follows the concept of 'mass ratio' - where the mod adjusts capacity to match expected mass/capacity ratio for a given vehicle in a given year. Likewise it makes sure that a car introduced too early does not exceed the mod expects. Essentially - makes sure that new freight cars neither exceed nor underperform to what the mod expects.
5. Difficulty settings
Since this is a gameplay mod - it also provides difficulty settings - named 'easy', 'medium', 'hard' and 'fever' and they mostly deal with cargo weight. On fever difficulty most commodities weigh as much as 8 tons per unit, which makes even late locomotives struggle. Difficulty is settable from a configuration file.
There are more changes in it, but to list them all would be to list the entire readme.
- 24 new generations of freight cars ( 144 new vehicles in total ) -12 for each theme
- 4 new passenger cars
- numerous balance tweaks
- new freight car running cost formula
- seamless integration with most vehicle mods
- over 100kb of LUA code
- difficulty settings
- ease of use changes ( reversed locomotives, day length change, vehicle rakes )
- lots of other small tweaks