Well, got another small exam in 3 hours, but afterwards I should have a few weeks (then another exam) and up to one months before I get back into buisness.
Across the past months, whilst barely coding in IC, of course I didn't stop thinking about additional content and mechanic reworks...
In the end, there are a few key concepts I would like to see discussed:
The Nuclear Reactor design was, hands down, awesome. Ye, self-praise isn't nice, but you saw how people reacted to it. And with the 'new' Item-NBT tags, you can essentially put the whole information of a Nuclear reactor into a single item. For example a circuit.
How about we use that? We remove the current circuit recipes, but instead add some sort of Circuitry workbench with an XbyX grid (and probably a few slots you need to keep supplied with tools, f.e. tweezers and a welder. On this table, you can craft basic and advanced circuits (pretty much like you currently craft them).
However, additionally we 'remove' all casual Overclocker, Transformer and whatever else upgrades (> replace their current ID's with sticks or something else, inventorys don't react kindly to null-items) and instead implement "Upgrade Circuit"s. You create an upgrade circuit, by coming cables, platines and any other component we want within the curcuitry workbench. Depending on the used components and arrangement (I've already had a few fun ideas), the created circuit has different attributes. Including, but not limited to, the functions off all currently known upgrades.
Additionally, you could craft UC's meant to be built into Tools. TADA, IC got an own, much more reasonable enchantment system now. Overclocking Mining Drills is not just a wild dream anymore.
They run and run and run and run some more. The only breakdown is caused by people punching them with pickaxes.
How about we change this? Machines get altered to support an internal 'heat' value. A constantly running machine will accumulate minimal amount of heat. F.e. a macerator could 'break' after processing 2 full stacks without a single tick break (> barely reachable by normal means, but a valid factor for industrys). Whilst we're on reworking machines, how about we add a 'smog' factor to machines as well? I mean, where the hell is all that stone dust going to? What is up with the remnants of extracted liquids? etc.
Machines produce, next to heat, smog. (Check the concept further below for more details).
Both of these side-effects are minimal... unless you add circuitry to the machines which speeds them up. Currently, I've thought of a few possible "stats" for machines:
+Processing Speed (duh)
+Processing Efficiency (Chance to increase the yield of a selected number of recipes. F.e. Maceration of ore, extracting from rubber, etc... needs to bell thought-out to prevent infinite backlinks)
Depending on how you arrange the UC (within the circuitry bench), it will have different modifiers for these values. Upon pressing a button (or inserting a standard circuit into a special slot), the UC will be crafted, storing the modifiers as NBT-Data.
In general, it should be IMPOSSIBLE to create an UC which can deal with all 5 stats in positive ways. Depending on the used materials (Iron, Gold, Diamond, etc) you may will even have to 'balance' a +20% speed with +20% energy needed AND +20% Heat (example). This permits people to make the choice between uber-speed efficient machines (which need cooling and pollute the environment) or 'perfect' machines with low consumption, no heat, no smog... but even slower then normal machines.
Regarding heat, we would have to think of a way to cool machines. We COULD add a slot for coolant cells and similar stuff... or we go as far and implement a 'second net' which doesn't transfer energy, but coolant, calculating heat and cooling instead of EU flow. PRobably a bit over the top, but it would add an... let's say INTERESTING layer for people trying to build compact factorys (3 Inventory inputs, 1 energy, 1 coolant, 1 for personal access... well not much left anymore, is there?).
There are a few different concepts possible for smog & pollution.
My current favourtie would be following:
We code a special "Smog Controller" block with according TE. Whenever a machine produces smog, it will check for the nearest smog controller. These controllers are located at Layer 1, effectively below bedrock, thus inaccessible and merely used to persistently store data.
If smog levels raise too high, the controller could start altering the chunk's biome into a new 'wasteland' type, which gives nerfs to IC Crops, causes brown-ish grass and eventually starts eating up trees and wooden blocks.
A more detailed idea regarding the creation of smog would be like this: A machine does not add smog to the controller directly, but first accumulates a few points (f.e. 100, whatever that may mean), then emits a 'puff' (Entity) of smog-smoke. The entity will travel upwards. If hitting a roof, it will pathfind-check whether there's a 'hole in the roof' in the closer surrounding and otherwise idle at the roof spot. If smog clouds collide, they add up. If smog stacks to a specified level, it turns into a black-cloudy smog-BLOCK, which cannot be removed by normal means and additionally poisons a player upon contact. Further smog will start gathering BELOW the smog block.
> If you set up your machines in an air-tight room, it will somewhen fill with poisonous smog.
The most simple solution is to add a chimney, aka a hole to the sky. Smog entitys reaching sky level will dissipate and THEN add upon the chunks smog level. Not the best solution, but that's what people do, anyways.
To solve this in an economical way, players would have to create 'filters'. A smog cloud hitting a filter will be absorbed. Either we implement a complex system where players would need to 'store' the 'dirty' filtres at some point, using pistons or a special tool to move them (because pistons would be too much of a bother). Breaking the block will of course cause the stored smog to vent again. The simpler alternative would be a filtre getting damaged and requiring to be replaced at some point. In both alternativs one could add different levels of filtres (casual MC tiering) with different efficiency degrees. F.e. in regards to % chance to absorb smog, % of absorbed smog nullified, amount of smog storeable, etc...
Secret V project
Well, given this is the "public closed" section, you may not name the content of the project here. But mentioning the UC and the smog system, you probably figure out the influences as well.
I strongly suggest we start working on this, too, IC needs more means of... You know.
Would like to elaborate things more, but I'm running low on time and got to ride through 30 degrees of heat to the station now... Feel free to discuss in my absence, though.
PS: And of course, please keep this secret, don't want rumors to start.