Upgrading Nuclear Reactor. Making it more fun, useful and maybe even conquerable with geothermal generators (yea, sure...).
The most important thing of new design. You cannot turn off "hot" reactors. You have to cool it down first. you can not freely manipulate reactors inventory when it's running. When reactor is on, you can only turn on and off it's components. To manipulate reactors inventory it has to be completely cold. At 0 heat. And thi is "maintenance period". those are essential factors to give this design any meaning.
Reactor is now a multiblock structure (what a surprise) but not because multiblocks are cool and popular. I'd like some aspects of the reactor to be affected by blocks you choose to build it with. A simple tier system, where using more expensive blocks increases reactors potential.
How would that work?
We can cut reactor in to 3 parts. in this case in to 3 "rings":
The biggest one is the "cooling ring". You can only put cooling components in this ring.
The smallest one is the "work ring". You can only put fuel cells here.
The one between is the "balance ring". All components and fuel cells can be put here.
So now we have a reactor with designated areas for different functions.
But how to utilize multiblock structure to justify it's use?
Well. Your cheapest tier 1 reactor would be made os standard blocks corresponding their influence area. Using better reactor hull blocks would increase it's heat capacity. And believe me, heat is important now. Making the "cooling ring" from better blocks would increase cooling components efficiency and they heat resistance (about that later). Making more advanced "work ring", could give fuel cells additional pulse points. So it would act like a neutron reflectors. "Balance ring" would get smaller bonuses to either cooling or pulsing, depending on what is important to you.
Now, let's mess with reactors mechanics, just a bit
In vanilla IC2 reactors all math is constant. Your, fuel cell produces 5EU/tick multiplied by pulses. It produces 5? heat/tick (I do not remember how much exactly) again multiplied by pulses. We also have heat which is let's face it boring. You either build a reactor that is always cold at 0 heat. Or you make it get hotter until it blows up. There is no dynamics in this.
So why not make this boring feature more interesting? let's go even further and make heat the main focus of this new reactor. Yes. i will try to turn boring heat, that no one really cares about, into your biggest friend and worst enemy at the same time.
But how? this is madness!
It nearly is, because I got this idea, trying to fall to sleep for 4 hours. So this is how a madman's reactor works.
Reactors heat level influences fuel cells energy output, heat generation and also another thing, but about that later.
So how heat influences energy output?
Simply by increasing it. Example equation: y=(5*x)/(x+40000)
Where: "x" is heat and "y" is output factor.
So, at 0 heat reactor produces 0 energy. At 10000 heat what is considered border point between cold and hot reactors (about that later), output factor is 1 and fuel cells output 100% energy, Like vanilla reactor would. At 40000 heat. Output factor is 2.5 and fuel cells output 250% energy.
Now. How reactor heat level influences fuel cell heat output?
Well, it actually lowers it.
But this is ridiculous! why would fuel cell generate less heat in hot reactor than in a cold one?
First, because of thermodynamics. A heat source of certain level can only heat it's environment to a certain level. Temperature increase is not linear. If you want to make something hotter than it is, you need a greater heat source.
But I have chosen mechanics like that because of what I'll call "self regulation".
First some math. Again just ax example equation: z=20000/(x+10000)
Where: "x" is heat again and "z" is heat factor.
So. At 0 heat fuel cell outputs 200% heat. This number decreases and at 10000 heat, a fuel cell outputs 100% heat. Like a vanilla reactor would. At 40000 heat, fuel cell outputs only 40% heat.
So what is this self regulation?
Let's say, you want your reactor to run at 30000 heat. In vanilla reactor you would need to either put some heating cells or let it heat up from fuel cells and then put your heat vents in.
In this reactor it's a bit simpler. From equation we know that. At 30000 heat fuel cell outputs only 50% heat. So for every base fuel cell heat generation you need 0,5 of heat venting. you place components in with that proportion in mind and just start a reactor. it will keep heating itself. heating will slower and slower till reactor reaches 30000 heat where it will be stable.
But will it really?
No, it won't, sorry. Where would be fun in that? This is where heat influences another vital part of this reactor (vital indeed). Like I said before, 10000 heat is a border line. It separates safe vanilla type reactor from a madman's. Once your reactor crosses 10000 heat it becomes a "hot reactor" and fun starts. any component of "hot reactor" can fail in some way. "Cold reactors" are safe from this. At 10001 heat fail factor comes in to play. From time to time (random time space) reactor will run a "fail check" on randomly chosen component. Fail rate increases with reactor getting hotter.
What happens when "fail check" is positive?
When a fuel cells "fails" to function, you cannot turn it off. You loose control on your fuel cell and it'll keep pulsing till "maintenance period". When a heat vent "fails", it stops venting. It does not remove heat any more from your reactor. "Because of self regulation", loosing some components does not lead straight to meltdown, but you are definitely closer to it. Because of how dangerous a hot reactor is and because of "fail" checks, new component is needed to give you a chance to avoid melt down even in graver situation. To quickly cool down reactor you can use "emergency cooling cells". Those are 1 time use only and have to occupy cooling slot inside reactor . You use them to lower reactor heat level to cold state, so you can turn reactor off. Because those cells take reactor inventory slot, they are affected by "fail checks" and can become unusable.
No reactor design is safe in "hot" state. You want more power, you have to face the risks. But if you are brave enough, there is a lot to gain from it.
This would be about it for now. Just point out. Every number and all math are a subject for discussion and are present here just for general presentation purposes.
P.S. I am not a programmer. I cannot code at all. So I'm not making this. All this idea is a subject for discussion and open to take from it.