[0.58b] Electrical system reports offline state on insufficient power level

Mr. Fusion 3 years ago updated by MarsWalker 3 years ago 5

Not sure if it would count as a bug, but it is a confusing change from the previous version: the Electrical system reports being Offline both on its display panel and on the Hab status displays (in red text on the Hab status screen) when it's turned on, has no component failures and has enough components to function, only it does not have sufficient power input, eg. during dusk/night/dawn.

In 0.57 this state was reported as something like "online but not meeting demand" in yellow, which was more descriptive of the state it is in. It is online, only it currently doesn't collect power but still serves the rest of the systems from the reserve batteries.

Under review

This was an intended change to have the unit reflect the same online/offline display logic as the other units. Without sufficient power input to charge the reserve battery it would be by definition, offline. I believe it now displays the reserve power % with the text "and Draining (Electrical Offline)".

All the other units would also say that they are "offline" if they do not have enough power input. The only difference with the electrical is that it can't use the reserve power to charge itself with its own power, so at night it will always be technically offline unless you have an RTG.

Now, I understand that my logic might make technical sense, but it might be less intuitive for the player to understand. Do you think your objection to the change comes from knowing how the display status functioned previously? Or do you think there is actually a better way to display the status information?

The problem with reporting "offline" while there is no power input but the unit is otherwise functional and thus not needing actual attention is that it's the same reported status as when it is not turned on or is in fact broken and not operational, and thus does need attention.

It was very confusing when I saw that Electrical was "offline" since I was pretty sure I did turn it on and repaired any low component states. Going out again and rechecking, I still didn't find any reason why it would be not operational as reported.

Uniform and more descriptive states would work better, with seperated "state words" representing the three condition category: functionality, power supply, production state.

Functionality: "Offline" (red) when not turned on or inoperative due to broken components that need repairs. "Online" (green) when turned on and does not need immediate repairs. Does not depend on input resource of power availability, strictly on if the unit is functional or not. When offline for any reason, the other two state strings are irrelevant and thus not displayed. In "Online" state the "Online" state word may be omitted as the presence of the other two implies that the unit is functional but may be in a non-producing state, but still may be preferrable to explicitly display online state nonetheless.

Power supply: "Local Power" (green) when local power generation (panels or RTG) is currently supplying full 100% (or more) power. "Reserve Power" (yellow) when local power doesn't fully cover the power requirement and the missing amount is drawn from the reserve battery. "Power Loss" when no local power nor reserves are available, thus the unit does not drain nor generate resources (but technically still online and capable of functioning). If power supply is "Power Loss", then the third status word may be omitted since it is implied that without power the unit cannot produce, but still may be preferrable to explicitly display production state nonetheless.

Production state: "Producing" (green) when input requirements (power or water) are met and output (oxygen, water, reserve battery charge) is being generated. "Not producing" (red) when input requirements are not met, with specifying what is missing, eg. "Not Charging - No Power Input" or "Not producing - No Water Input". For the electrical system, "Not Charging" should be reported only when power input is 0%, for anything higher it should charge, only at lower rate (already implemented).

For example, a functional Electrical system at night would report:

"(Online, )Power Loss(, Not Charging - No Power Input)" (green, red, red)

A functional Water Reclaimer at night:

"(Online, )Reserve Power, Producing" (green, yellow, green)

A functional Reoxygenator with no water available at day:

"(Online, )Local Power, Not Producing - No Water Input" (green, green, red)

I've converted this into its own suggestion topic for further consideration. Thanks.

How about it saying 'Power unit resting until daylight hours' Idk? lol but I"m glad I read this thread since it's cleared up my question.


I made a change and wrote about it in a related post, here reposted:

"The electrical module no longer requires 100% power to charge the reserve battery. It will simply charge at a rate relative to the total solar power connected to it, but with a max charge rate of 100%. So during dawn/dusk you can still charge the reserve battery at a slower rate. It will still show as "offline" when there is literally no sunlight to produce a charge. This effectively extends the daylight hours in which the unit is operational."

Not really a fix since it wasn't really a bug, but I'm marking it Fixed since I think it mostly satisfies your original objection. Though I may still change the status display slightly to be even more informative.