Traction Study, All Wheels as of 1.4.24

cipher

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2018
54
139
440
49
East Coast, USA
Intro

I was curious as to the relative traction of each wheel block after I started having a bit more fun with the Sumo game mode. I always thought that tracks should have better traction, but I quickly learned that's not true. I was focused on smooth surface traction, such as R&D mode, bases, and more importantly, the smooth surface of the Sumo arena.

There was a study done by another forum member many years ago, but it focused on which wheel blocks had full or partial grip on which surface. And it unfortunately did not focus on how well each wheel gripped while pushing against another tech. So I decided to roll my own study.

TerraTech is a game I enjoy launching to play time and time again between my breaks to play other games, But I know it's not nearly as active in its community and player base as it once was. Still, I hope this helps someone enjoy the Sumo mode a bit more. I sometimes see some new techs in the ranked matches, but they're still far and few in-between.


...continued in subsequent posts due to maximum character size in each post...
 

Attachments

cipher

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2018
54
139
440
49
East Coast, USA
Results

I dumped all of my data into a spreadsheet, which is attached to this thread. For quick reference, I'm copying and pasting the table below as well. I calculated both the number of blocks each wheel could move, as well as their block moving efficiency rating which is blocks it can move per physical block of space for its footprint. That's an important number since Sumo techs are limited to in size to 4,096 cubic blocks (16 blocks each dimension). For the blocks, this is a reference to GeoCorp's basic block which is a 2x2 cube.

Copy and pasted as image due to character count limit...

1671598987656.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aardvark123

cipher

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2018
54
139
440
49
East Coast, USA
Notes on Results' Columns

  • Wheel Count: Minimum 4 wheels for balance. For more than 4 wheels, the minimum number of wheels required to move 1 block.

  • Footprint: Block size of the space wheel takes up on the ground at point of contact (i.e.: no other blocks allowed to occupy its space).

  • # Blocks: Number of GeoCorp Basic Blocks on weighted sled the wheels were able to push, starting from a stand still.

  • Blocks/Wheel: Number of blocks pushed per wheel. Simple equation: Blocks / Wheels

  • Efficiency: Overall traction efficiency per single block. Simple equation: ( Blocks / Wheels ) / Footprint


Testing

I used a simple vehicle chassis of standard GSO blocks and cab that was big enough to accommodate the largest wheels in the game.

screen4.png


The sled that the vehicle needs to push is a Reticule Research 4x4x1 platform with one smooth side. We need a smooth side to minimize resistance when having our vehicle push blocks. Upon that platform I added a standard GeoCorp cab and then added GeoCorp basic blocks to test. Whenever a vehicle was no longer able to push the sled, one block was removed and the remaining blocks became that wheel's block score. I made sure to balance blocks when necessary, but generally kept the bulk of the weight towards the middle of the sled.


All wheels tested were done so in sets of at least four at a time to ensure proper balance:

screen.png


I moved the four vertical beams around as needed. I even swapped the 4-long beams for equal masses of 2-long beams for specific wheels such as the Better Future front-mount wheel blocks:

screen9.png


Smaller wheels needed larger quantities just to push one block, so that was noted in the Wheel Count column. Here the GSO Stabilizer Wheel block needed 9 wheels just to begin to move one block:

screen10.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aardvark123

cipher

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2018
54
139
440
49
East Coast, USA
I tested different vehicle changes to accommodate the higher-up force of some larger wheels on moving the vehicle. This didn't seem to make any difference with some wheel blocks such as the Venture Titan Truck wheels, but it did make a difference for the GeoCorp Behemoth wheels. In fact, the Behemoth wheels were quite unusual: they moved 9 blocks with the standard vehicle configuration as shown above, but when additional weight is added to that vehicle (especially along its rear), the Behemoth wheels gained traction and moved 27 blocks:

screen1.png
screen7.png
screen5.png
screen8.png


Caveats

  • This study does not account for any traction gain or loss due to vehicle weight. This becomes important when building a Sumo tech that has a lot of weight, as some wheels with high traction efficiency scores may start to overload and show sparks with heavier techs.

  • This traction was done in R&D mode, which should be the closest way of testing traction within the Sumo arena. But that doesn't mean they're identical. If you'd like to confirm that some of these are indeed accurate in Sumo mode, please post a reply and let us know!

  • When mounting wheels, I tried to keep the vehicle as low as possible without scraping the ground with its own blocks' studs. Wheels vary quite a bit in fractions of a block size for their ride height. There are many wheels that are similar, but just as many with varying heights when they're not supporting any weight. There is no way to get all of the wheels to elevate the vehicle to the same height.

  • I measured traction by pushing a certain number of 4x4 GeoCorp basic blocks and not individual GSO, Venture, or other lighter weight blocks. I wanted an approximate comparison, as anything more exact would not only be tedious to test, but also not take into account all of the other factors involved. Other factors include vehicle weight for wheel type, weight of sled and cab, etc.

  • A vehicle is considered unable to move the sled when no forward progress is detected. That means even down to pixels, no movement is detected after several seconds of observing. It was often the case where a vehicle would start to spin the sled a little to one side or another, even though it was centered against the sled. If that happened, I knew it could most likely push the weight if it was perfectly centered. A few times I was able to confirm this. Other times I was not able to get the sled to move at all, even if rotation was possible (but very, very slow), so I marked it as unmovable.

  • Wheel bounce. Some larger wheels have quite a bit of bounce, which makes the testing a little difficult. I sometimes had to add additional GSO 5-stud blocks at the front to stabilize the force applied when pushing. I tested both with and without these additional blocks, but the results didn't seem to change, which surprised me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aardvark123