Efficiency Module Scaling

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falk
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Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by falk »

Efficiency Modules 2 and 3 should be stronger.


The efficiency module 1 reduces energy costs by 30%. Triple Efficiency Module 1 on anything can bring it down to the minimum energy (and pollution) cost. There is little to no reason to use tier 2 or 3 of this module, since they are way more expensive to make and you get get what you want using the tier 1 module anyway.

The exception is electric furnaces, which only have 2 module slots, and setups with 3 high tier Efficiency Modules and 1 Speed or Productivity module to get more from the assembler while maintaining the 20% energy cost.

The first case, using tier 2 modules on electric furnaces for a little extra energy consumption is actually not that bad. The second case, using Efficiency Modules 2 or 3 along with one Speed or Productivity modules is extremely expensive, and you get way too little from it. Let us take a look into it.

Numbers for the 3:1 ratio

+20% speed, -40% power
1x Speed Module 1
3x Eff. module 1

+30% speed, -60% power
1x Speed Module 2
3x Eff. module 2

+50% speed, -80% power
1x Speed Module 3
3x Eff. module 3

+4% prod, -15% speed, + 5% pollution, -50% power
1x Prod. module 1
3x Eff. module 1

+6% prod, -15% speed, + 7% pollution, -60% power
1x Prod. module 2
3x Eff. module 2

+10% prod, -15% speed, + 10% pollution, -70% power

1x Prod. module 1
3x Eff. module 1


Why 3:1 ratio?
If you do not care about pollution, you don't use efficiency modules at all.

If you care a little about pollution, you put efficiency modules 1 on your mining drills, and maybe on other places where you do not need the speed or the productivity. But you don't bother using these types of combinations on your assemblers.

If you care a lot about pollution, then you want to get all your machines to make as little pollution as possible. Unless you have a special bottleneck or some place where you really really need the extra speed or productivity.

So you are most likely only going to use these types of efficiency setups if you really, really care about pollution and want to get all your machines to 20% power consumption or as close to it as possible. The 3:1 ratio allows you to sneak in some speed or productivity modules in your assemblers while maintaining pollution to a minimum.

But these setups cost so much for so little gain

To reduce power cost to 20%, put 3 efficiency modules 1. That is cheap.
To get a +50% boost in speed, while maintaining the 20% power cost, you need tier 3 modules. That is an absurd amount of resources for +50% speed.
You can get +10% prod, using tier 3 modules. But you cant get that machine to work at 20% power consumption, and it will work slower and at a +10% base pollution.

If you are looking to minimize pollution, using the tier 1 and 2 setups is never worth it, as you will not get even close to the minimum 20% threshold.

And the worst part is, by the time you can afford to put these tier 3 setups on your assembles, you probably do not care about pollution anymore.


Efficiency Modules 2 and 3 should be able to counter the extra costs of the respective tier speed and productivity modules at a ratio of 2:2.

This way, you would be able to use 2 efficiency modules 2, along with 2 speed modules 2 for 60% extra speed, while maintaining 40% power consumption.
Likewise, you would get +100% speed and 20% power consumption for a 2:2 combination of tier 3 speed and efficiency modules.
And the same goes for productivity modules.

To get these results, Efficiency Modules would look like this:

Eff. Module 1 -> -30% power consumption
Eff. Module 2 -> -90% power consumption
Eff. Module 3 -> -110% power consumption

These numbers do look absurd at first. But since the objective is to lower the pollution as much as possible (20%), I don't think anyone would use Efficiency Modules 2 and 3 if these numbers were any lower.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by Honktown »

There have been mods to actually cause efficiency modules to reduce pollution.

A quick search points me to https://mods.factorio.com/mod/MaxelDel_ ... le_Balance as an example of a specific mod.

Worth bringing up pollution produced is (base pollution * rate with modifiers) * (base energy * rate with modifiers). Been playing with mods that focus more heavily on pollution, and noticed something pretty significant: when you consider different tiers without modules, there's a ridiculous change in pollution. Assembler 1 is speed .5 and 4 pollution per minute. Assembler 2 is speed .75 and 3 pollution per minute. Per-craft, the difference is (2/3) * (3/4) = 50% reduction in pollution, switching from assembler 1 to 2. Unfortunately the power consumption is double, which makes things very different (for boilers). 75kW is 1.25 pollution per minute while 150 kw is 2.5 pollution/minute. Taken together, you lose 1 pollution per minute from switching assemblers, but gain 1.25 by using more boiler power. Similarly, a steel furnace emits 4/min, while the electric furnace produces 1/min plus 3/min from boiler power, resulting in no net pollution change. Efficiency modules strongest pollution reduction is from reduction in boiler pollution, not a reduction in the machine itself when used with boilers.

I do believe efficiency modules do cost way too much for what little they seem to bring, as by the time you can afford them, you'll be using cleaner energy. I wouldn't mind seeing modules nerfed a bit if it meant a substantial reduction in cost. Because the ratios are the "exponential reduction" kind (4:1, 5:1) the cost is almost traumatic at scale. A single tier-3 module costs 80 green chips, but 130 red chips. Accounting for blue chips, that's another 600 green chips, and 60 red chips. 680 green chips and 190 red chips for a slight boost to a single machine, which is only particularly valuable for productivity (by the time one can make tier 3's you're probably using laser turrets and switched to solar or uranium). Efficiency 1's do more than enough to scale solar much better, but the drawbacks from other modules can be cancelled out by just using more machines (100% power consumption and 50% speed... or just make 1 more assembler for 100% speed). For super-fast things there can be logistics challenges and costs with more machines (blue logistics are really expensive) but for the most part, module 2's aren't really worth it and tier 3's are out the window in most cases, excepting productivity 3's and expensive/long games.
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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by mudcrabempire »

falk wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:07 pm
Eff. Module 1 -> -30% power consumption
Eff. Module 2 -> -90% power consumption
Eff. Module 3 -> -110% power consumption
I once proposed more. It has been discussed before and I'm pretty sure it's a known "issue". Issue in "" because I'm also pretty sure that a large amount of players/modders/developers doesn't care.

It's bit of a conceptual issue. Most of the time you either care about pollution/power of you don't. If you care you put Eff1 in everything and go solar if you can and call it a day. If you don't care, you simply don't touch the green ones. You don't care about pollution/power so why waste a valuable module slot on an expensive module that does something you don't need?

In deathworld marathon (or comparable modes) there is a small window, where you still care about pollution (not power), but you are rich enough to start using Prod3 and you would kinda like to do it but meh, the biters... But that window only appears under extreme conditions and it's small enough to just wait it out.

I think if you want people to think/care about Eff2/3 you would have to do something like this:
Eff2: A single Eff2 lets you run a machine with 3 Prod3 at minimum energy/pollution (-290% power consumption).
Eff3: A single Eff3 in a beacon lets you run all machines within the area of effect at minimum energy/pollution, regardless of the circumstances (-enough% power consumption).

That would make me think about using higher tier Effs, not because I care about pollution/energy, but because It would allow me to save a significant amount of time and resources which I would otherwise have to waste on building energy infrastructure. Although, since building a large and powerfull factory that churns out the resources like there's no tomorrow and does everything automatically (including building the power infrastructure it needs) is kinda the point of the game and designing/supplying large power plants is actually kinda fun, I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to make Effs that strong.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by MEOWMI »

I do definitely agree that higher tier eff modules should be stronger. 2 is just about usable, 3 is borderline useless. At least a small buff to them would definitely be good.

Just because you can decide to not care about pollution doesn't mean you should or that its the way to go. The logical conclusion of that is that you should never care about pollution at all because in most cases (including deathworld beyond early game) you can always outproduce the enemy pretty much no matter what as long as your priorities are straight. In this light, biters are just a finite resource sink. Clearly, the most interesting gameplay arises when you can choose to care about pollution and when doing so is useful enough to be comparable in cost to the resource sink, both in terms of material and time.

You can get a productivity 4 assembler to produce at the -80% pollution and energy cap while achieving up to +5% net speed boost by using beacons with appropriate efficiency and speed modules. However, a similar build that just focuses on productivity and speed will instead yield you about +640% speed. The result is that the eff module build requires... about 640%? times the capital cost and energy consumption to run an equivalent amount of production, with the only upside being extremely low pollution.

To me that just doesn't sound balanced.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by QGamer »

Anyone else find it weird that Efficiency Module 3s require 20 Efficiency Module 1s to craft, yet 1 Efficiency Module 3 is worse than 2 Efficiency Module 1s?

I just think that given how expensive it is to craft higher tiers, there should be a slightly bigger bonus for the higher tiers. I get that the developers made things expensive on purpose, but even a modest increase would be welcome.

I do agree...this feels unbalanced.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by Koub »

QGamer wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:31 pm
Anyone else find it weird that Efficiency Module 3s require 20 Efficiency Module 1s to craft, yet 1 Efficiency Module 3 is worse than 2 Efficiency Module 1s?
That's diminishing returns.
Also : worse in what respect ? Worse is a very unprecise description. Not in efficiency density.
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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by QGamer »

Sorry, I meant that the bonus from one Efficiency Module 3 is -50%, while the bonus from an Efficiency Module 1 is -30%. The bonus from two Efficiency Module 1s is then -60%, which is better than the bonus from one Efficiency Module 3. Therefore, the bonus from one Efficiency Module 3 is worse than the bonus from 2 Efficiency Module 1s.

I get the diminishing returns principle: from a game design perspective, it's actually a great thing. I just think that the returns diminish too quickly...
Another idea is to decrease the bonus from the Efficiency Module 1 to -20%, then increase the bonus from the Efficiency Module 3 to -60% or -70%...
That way no one module can reduce the energy consumption to minimum all by itself, but also there is more of a purpose to using higher-tiered modules.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by MEOWMI »

That was largely what I was getting on as well. They are very expensive to use for what they give.

You can barely fit anything extra if you're adding modules aiming for the -80% reduction bonus, which is the only thing you should be aiming for if you use efficiency modules. If you don't reach it, the net effects are very small: going from, say, +100% power consumption down to +0% is only a 50% total reduction but requires 20 percentage points more from the efficiency modules than going from +0% to -80%, and moreover, a machine running at -80% is 5 times more efficient than at the +0% mark. And this is before even factoring in the vastly higher cost of the tier 2 and 3 modules!

If you just want the -80% bonus, you just use eff 1 for everything but furnaces and pump jacks which need eff 2. If you want high productivity and speed with it you have to do the very expensive build I outlined in my previous post. Using eff 2 and 3 also directly competes with the cost of just using solar power instead, afaik the only use there is to reduce pollution rather than energy cost, or if you need extremely space-efficient builds given how much land you usually have available and how comparatively little it costs to secure more in the late game.

I've been thinking, upping the effect of the tier 2 and 3 efficiency modules by at least 5% and 10% respectively would be good. I'd probably even be on board for 5% and 15% without any further thought. Even 10% and 20% would most likely still be a conservative buff, as also 10% and 25% would probably be.

From what I've looked into it, they're just mathematically a lot worse than any other configuration you could conceive. If anyone has a counterexample, please do by all means present one. The only exception I've seen so far is if you value pollution minimization say 10 times higher than energy cost and other costs, or really need extreme space efficiency with power reduction, but both are very small niches.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by Mylon »

Module 3s in general are a trap. Too lazy to crunch the numbers again, but a rocket is worth roughly 50 module 3s. They're a nice tool for a megabase, but at that point the game changes quite a bit. I wouldn't worry too much about vanilla balance. Leave that to mods.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by proclion »

Personally I'd think the efficiency 2 modules would need around -60% energy to be worthwhile and the efficiency 3 modules would need around -200% energy.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by prdfndr »

I support the suggestion to buff efficiency modules. At the moment they seem borderline useless. I have not seen anyone using them for many many games. Why do they even exist?

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by foamy »

prdfndr wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:50 am
I support the suggestion to buff efficiency modules. At the moment they seem borderline useless. I have not seen anyone using them for many many games. Why do they even exist?
I use 'em in my mall assemblers, which have very little need for speed in most cases and which don't usually accept productivity modules. Also slot them into machines in the sciences that can't accept productivity modules if the assembler doesn't require speed modules (e.g. inserter/transport belt factories for green science, radars for satellites, etc)


If the game wanted to really sharply delineate the modules back into their intended roles they'd make productivity modules refund you the input ingredients. At one stroke that makes speed modules the way to get more output on the same number of machines, productivity would allow you to maintain the same output with less input (and would no longer need the speed penalty either), and efficiency would no longer be overwhelmed by the incredible synergy of speed beacons + prod assemblers.
Last edited by foamy on Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by _wf_ »

Chiming in to at least bump Efficiency 2 to -50% and Efficiency 3 to -80%.

This is roughly the same progression (1.5 and 1.667) that productivity and speed modules use (why does the module with least significant gameplay effect also have the weakest progression?!)

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by netmand »

Any math around calculating modules should include beacons as well.

I'm fine with any reasonable change to efficiency modules. To me they are what they are and I use them to suit my various situations. I only ever use level 3 modules well into spreading out to feed the main factory. Those that think efficiency 3 are useless in the late late game don't really see the difference in pollution coming from resource outposts when used properly.

Liberal use of the efficiency modules makes a difference between having to stand-up more power now or later. It can severely reduce any outposts effect on nearby nests, or if you are into reducing the big red blob(s) when you have pollution turned on in the map.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by Xeorm »

netmand wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:07 pm
Any math around calculating modules should include beacons as well.

I'm fine with any reasonable change to efficiency modules. To me they are what they are and I use them to suit my various situations. I only ever use level 3 modules well into spreading out to feed the main factory. Those that think efficiency 3 are useless in the late late game don't really see the difference in pollution coming from resource outposts when used properly.

Liberal use of the efficiency modules makes a difference between having to stand-up more power now or later. It can severely reduce any outposts effect on nearby nests, or if you are into reducing the big red blob(s) when you have pollution turned on in the map.
Efficiency module 3 are still super useless then. As far as pollution goes most of the pollution will always be generated by miners. Production facilities generate some, but not anywhere near what a miner does. And those miners? They're easily reduced to minimum values by using 3 eff 1's. No eff 2 or 3s required. Placing those eff 1s is actually a pretty good idea. They're almost competitive resource wise with solar, and reducing the pollution as much as they do can be fairly significant.

I'd still support eff 2 and eff 3 modules getting more value. Not that I still would ever use them, but maybe someone would. Would also be nice if beacons had their energy costs reduced by the modules within them in addition to the transmission effect. That'd go a long way towards making eff modules a little more relevant.

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Efficiency Module adjustment

Post by AlexTheNotsogreat »

TL;DR
Buff Efficiency modules to make them inline with how speed and productivity modules progress, and to make them more worthwhile.

What ?
[EDIT: Easier to read now]
Speed module: 20% -> 30% -> 50% speed; improved by 50%, then by 67%
Productivity module: 4% -> 6% -> 10% productivity; improved by 50%, then by 67%, again
Efficiency module: 30% -> 40% -> 50% power reduction; improved by 33%, then by 25%
Efficiency modules don't improve as much as speed and productivity mods do. For that to be the case it would go:
30% -> 45% -> 75%
Why ?
Since the reductions currently aren't that powerful, efficiency modules are largely neglected in the late game (especially once you cram speed modules into beacons). This basically means the player only uses speed and productivity modules in larger factories, accepting the idea that they'll have absurd amounts of power and pollution. Even if such buffs don't change how often players use efficiency modules, it would make them fit in with the speed and prod modules.
Last edited by AlexTheNotsogreat on Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Merged into the balancing request thread on the same subject.
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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by <X> »

Hello,

My suggestion:
- Efficiency 1: -30% so we're able to get miners to 20%
- Efficiency 2: Should be able to bring an assembly machine to 20% power consumption in a 3:1 ratio. A productivity module 3 needs +80% power. So an Efficiency module 2 should have -60% (100% + 80% - 3 * 60% = 0% and then gets to 20%)
- Efficiency 3: Should be able to bring an assembly machine to 20% power consumption in a 2:2 ratio. A productivity module 3 needs +80% power. So an Efficiency module 3 should have -120% (100% + 2 * 80% - 2 * 120% = 20%)

I've compared the Efficiency module 2 to a productivity module 3, and not to a productivity module 2. That's because I start with Efficiency modules, when things are already running as they should, meaning the assemblers already have tier 3 modules. And I even only produce tier 3 modules of speed and productivity modules.

-30%, -60%, -120% - doubling it with every tier sounds well balanced to me

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Re: Efficiency Module Scaling

Post by KoblerMan »

falk wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:07 pm
+4% prod, -15% speed, + 5% pollution, -50% power
1x Prod. module 1
3x Eff. module 1

[...]

+10% prod, -15% speed, + 10% pollution, -70% power
1x Prod. module 1
3x Eff. module 1
Sorry, but I feel this should be pointed out - I think you meant 3 instead of 1 on that last part there. :)
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