Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

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Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by Tirou » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:18 pm

Hello everyone

Surprisingly, I haven't seen any topic about this issue.... let me know if there's already one.

Ok, I would like to consider the size shift between Steel furnace and electric furnace. This shift is just nonsense to me, and has to be taken out of the game.
I won't consider the price of the electric furnace or the efficiency wich where already discussed.

Here are the 3 reasons I can imagine right now to take the size shift out:

- For Newgamers : A useless rebuild of nearly all the factory
All the game is about how to improve you factory and how to make it efficient. A way to do it is to compact everything you can.
A way to compact the smelting part of the factory is to share the coal belt for different furnace lines using the long range inserter. This method is highly suggested by the second campain mission.
But when you first discover the "steel furnace upgrade", you find yourself just stupid : you can't just improve your buildings, you have to destroy everything because of that smart idea to share a belt for several furnaces (or even because your furnaces just make a chain, just like with the often used steel production paterns).
Rebuilding your smelting factory in order to get compatible with the actual 3x3 size of the electric furnaces is only a waste of time.

- For experienced Factorio gamers : A useless contraint that makes some paterns impossible
I assume that experienced Factorio gamer share the same goal : avoid to rebuild from half to the entire factory.
Ok, I do agree that the size shift gives a kinda tricky puzzle : how do you anticipate the 2x2 going 3x3 ? I did it a lot myself and some may find it enjoyable 1 or 2 time (maybe a dedicated sénario ?)
But the size shift is once again just nonsense. It just make some paterns forbidden if you don't want to get stuck later in the game, or sometimes you have to use long range inserters where classic one would have been more clever, just to put the belt far enough for your furnace upgrade. Some players just bypass this threat by assuming manual crafting until they get the final furnace..... it kills the early game.
Anticipating every move of your factory upgrading is just nonsense : do you realy need to know every particularity of the endgame just to start a new one ?

- A link with reality : Electric heating takes less place than a wood/coal fire
I won't deal with insulation, wich would be kinda the same between both methods of heating. But why on earth did the developpers considered that electric heating toke more space ? You only need a resistance while you need a dedicated entire fireplace when using wood/coal/petroleum. Making the electric furnace bigger is realy strange to me.



So here is my request for the developpers : Just take this size shift out of the game. Make all the furnaces the same size (and all evolution building the same size as the non-evoluted device).
It may be 2x2, 3x3 or whatever you want, but the shift is just a threat that adds nothing to te game, except wasted hours for rebuilding or manual crafting unless you get your final size furnaces.

Thank you for reading.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by sillyfly » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:48 pm

Tirou wrote:Hello everyone
Hello to you too :)
Tirou wrote: Surprisingly, I haven't seen any topic about this issue.... let me know if there's already one.
I don't remember any, but I haven't been here too long. Maybe others will (or are better at searching...)
Tirou wrote: - For Newgamers : A useless rebuild of nearly all the factory
All the game is about how to improve you factory and how to make it efficient. A way to do it is to compact everything you can.
I don't think this is strictly true. A compact factory may be more efficient, but it doesn't have to be. I enjoy building large sprawling factories, and I rarely care about size (Although I do try to make them reasonably efficient)
Tirou wrote: A way to compact the smelting part of the factory is to share the coal belt for different furnace lines using the long range inserter. This method is highly suggested by the second campain mission.
Well, if you have a dedicated coal line - when you move to electric you can remove it, thus the width isn't a problem. The length becomes a problem, but you can have less smelters with modules, or longer lines (with the same width).
Tirou wrote: But when you first discover the "steel furnace upgrade", you find yourself just stupid : you can't just improve your buildings, you have to destroy everything because of that smart idea to share a belt for several furnaces (or even because your furnaces just make a chain, just like with the often used steel production paterns).
Rebuilding your smelting factory in order to get compatible with the actual 3x3 size of the electric furnaces is only a waste of time.
Well, you don't have to replace them. Both options are valid. I enjoy the occasional challenge of redesigning parts of my factory, but if you find it a hassle - you can stay with the steel furnaces. As I said - both options are valid. I think a little diversity is good to have.
Tirou wrote: - For experienced Factorio gamers : A useless contraint that makes some paterns impossible
I assume that experienced Factorio gamer share the same goal : avoid to rebuild from half to the entire factory.
Ok, I do agree that the size shift gives a kinda tricky puzzle : how do you anticipate the 2x2 going 3x3 ? I did it a lot myself and some may find it enjoyable 1 or 2 time (maybe a dedicated sénario ?)
Which patterns do you find impossible to implement with 3x3 smelters that are possible to implement with 2x2? (I'm not saying there aren't, I really am curious to know :) )

As to the goal of not redesigning - I tend to disagree. If that were the case you would always do the same, and in a game like Factorio that would become boring. Think of Simcity - do you always build your cities exactly the same?
I like trying new things, new designs, in different factories or in the same. I assume there are at least a few others like me out there :)
Tirou wrote: But the size shift is once again just nonsense. It just make some paterns forbidden if you don't want to get stuck later in the game, or sometimes you have to use long range inserters where classic one would have been more clever, just to put the belt far enough for your furnace upgrade. Some players just bypass this threat by assuming manual crafting until they get the final furnace..... it kills the early game.
Anticipating every move of your factory upgrading is just nonsense : do you realy need to know every particularity of the endgame just to start a new one ?
Of course you don't need to know any detail in the beginning, and again, for me at least - it was part of the magic of first playing - realizing modern technologies comes with the price of doing some rethinking and redesign. I guess we play the game differently :)
Tirou wrote: - A link with reality : Electric heating takes less place than a wood/coal fire
I won't deal with insulation, wich would be kinda the same between both methods of heating. But why on earth did the developpers considered that electric heating toke more space ? You only need a resistance while you need a dedicated entire fireplace when using wood/coal/petroleum. Making the electric furnace bigger is realy strange to me.
This I really don't know about, but I'm sure there are people in here that know there RL furnaces, who can chime in with their knowledge.

All in all - I don't really see a problem with the size difference. You can always use the steel furnaces if you like the 2x2 footprint better.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by bonob » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:11 pm

So far my preferred tactic is to design as small as possible for a given purpose, and then redesign larger in the next location for the next purpose, and once the new chain is ready, destroy the initial chain (I like that part a lot, removing all the old bad designed stuff. Didn't do it yet with logistic bots, but I hope I'll get the opportunity soon)

So basically the smelting area part will be redesigned a couple of times over a playthrough, and at one point I'll put in the shift from coal furnaces to electric furnaces, and then the size shift is not important at all :D

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by Tirou » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:14 pm

sillyfly wrote:
Tirou wrote: - For Newgamers : A useless rebuild of nearly all the factory
All the game is about how to improve you factory and how to make it efficient. A way to do it is to compact everything you can.
I don't think this is strictly true. A compact factory may be more efficient, but it doesn't have to be. I enjoy building large sprawling factories, and I rarely care about size (Although I do try to make them reasonably efficient)
Of course, design matters ;) And the game can be played differently :)

sillyfly wrote:
Tirou wrote: A way to compact the smelting part of the factory is to share the coal belt for different furnace lines using the long range inserter. This method is highly suggested by the second campain mission.
Well, if you have a dedicated coal line - when you move to electric you can remove it, thus the width isn't a problem. The length becomes a problem, but you can have less smelters with modules, or longer lines (with the same width).
I was thinking about this pattern, wich is not the most compact I can think of, but it gives the idea :
Image

Consider the hypothesis that you can't move the belts up and down where the melted products are directly placed, because they are already used for later steps of fabrication (Like I often do, because I think the less transport you have, the more compact, and the more efficient). You won't be able to place your electric furnaces unless you destroy all the depending steps of the production chain (in some cases, for players you play strated style, maybe 95% of the factory)

sillyfly wrote:
Tirou wrote: But when you first discover the "steel furnace upgrade", you find yourself just stupid : you can't just improve your buildings, you have to destroy everything because of that smart idea to share a belt for several furnaces (or even because your furnaces just make a chain, just like with the often used steel production paterns).
Rebuilding your smelting factory in order to get compatible with the actual 3x3 size of the electric furnaces is only a waste of time.
Well, you don't have to replace them. Both options are valid. I enjoy the occasional challenge of redesigning parts of my factory, but if you find it a hassle - you can stay with the steel furnaces. As I said - both options are valid. I think a little diversity is good to have.
Indeed, both are valids, but one is the evolution of the other.... you could easily get throuth the game with the stone furnace and only Tier 1 belts and so on (except ingredient of roquet deffense) if you want, but it makes the research tree quite useless.

Moreover, Coal ressource can, if you want to play with hard settings, be considered as a rare ressource you won't want to waiste in furnaces.
Moreover, if you want a low pollution playstyle, upgrading to electric furnaces is just a necessity.
sillyfly wrote:
Tirou wrote: - For experienced Factorio gamers : A useless contraint that makes some paterns impossible
I assume that experienced Factorio gamer share the same goal : avoid to rebuild from half to the entire factory.
Ok, I do agree that the size shift gives a kinda tricky puzzle : how do you anticipate the 2x2 going 3x3 ? I did it a lot myself and some may find it enjoyable 1 or 2 time (maybe a dedicated sénario ?)
Which patterns do you find impossible to implement with 3x3 smelters that are possible to implement with 2x2? (I'm not saying there aren't, I really am curious to know :) )

As to the goal of not redesigning - I tend to disagree. If that were the case you would always do the same, and in a game like Factorio that would become boring. Think of Simcity - do you always build your cities exactly the same?
I like trying new things, new designs, in different factories or in the same. I assume there are at least a few others like me out there :)
Indeed, it is part of the game to try something new every time. But it is better when tested on different play or bases. Destroying all your base or waiting for late technologies before starting to play doesn't match any purpose I think.

For the patern impossible to implement, let's see the case shown previously while suppressing 1 coal belft for 2 lanes of furnaces

sillyfly wrote:
Tirou wrote: But the size shift is once again just nonsense. It just make some paterns forbidden if you don't want to get stuck later in the game, or sometimes you have to use long range inserters where classic one would have been more clever, just to put the belt far enough for your furnace upgrade. Some players just bypass this threat by assuming manual crafting until they get the final furnace..... it kills the early game.
Anticipating every move of your factory upgrading is just nonsense : do you realy need to know every particularity of the endgame just to start a new one ?
Of course you don't need to know any detail in the beginning, and again, for me at least - it was part of the magic of first playing - realizing modern technologies comes with the price of doing some rethinking and redesign. I guess we play the game differently :)
Played differently, but enjoyed the same aspects : what will I need for the next stage ?
But my point is more like : "Ok, I finished tier 1 items, what's next ? ..... ok ..... ok ..... what ?? destroy everything I've done so far ? ok, let's restart a game (faster way than rebuilding) (or even forget about Factorio if i'm not that addicted)."

sillyfly wrote: All in all - I don't really see a problem with the size difference. You can always use the steel furnaces if you like the 2x2 footprint better.
Stone and steel furnaces could be 3x3, it would be fine for me ;) I just ask for the same footprint. (I prefer the 2x2, but for other reasons)
If you play large factories without any consideration for the space you use, in fact, I do agree with you, my post is useless. But they are other ways to play Factorio, and one is to look for compacity, seen as efficientcy. And this way of playing suffers from an artificial threat which adds nothing to the game.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by muzzy » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:58 pm

Personally, I think the larger size isn't big enough a handicap for zero-coal ore processing. It's such a huge upgrade that it's not an upgrade anymore, it's a completely different way to process the ores.

Maybe electric furnaces should require a pipe input for some sort of solvent (created in a chemical plant) to process the ores. This would make electric furnaces feel less fishy and and wouldn't be just a size difference issue anymore :)

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by therapist » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:41 pm

You should already have to redesign your factory by removing your "coal chutes" as I've been calling them in my factories. Then all you have to do is move 2 belts up or down by 1 space, an annoying redesign, but really not a big deal if you left yourself 1 tile free around your smelting facilities.

Maybe a possible solution would be to make the coal fed steel furnaces 3x3 just like the electric furnaces?
That way, the major redesign to belt layout would be accomplished while your factory was still small, rather than rebuilding and redesigning an enormous smelting facility in the later game.

As far as making all smelters 2x2, this is just too much for me. Yes, it would mean you could have more flexibility in how you design your factory, but does that necessarily mean that the game will be more fun? It is easy to think in the way: more options, more choice, more freedom = more fun. But for once on this forum, I will go against freedoms. Part of the fun of factorio is how it throws you frustrating challenges, and forces you to find innovative ways to deal with them.

I've personally become accustomed to moving my 2 lines of "output" belts 1 space over when I do my upgrade to electric furnaces. I've got this part down to a "T" and I even plan for this change when designing my 2x2 factory. The worst part, is rewiring the facilities, I know the most efficient way to lay out the power poles, but it is still dreadfully painful and sometimes I have to rewire the facility more than once to get it perfect the way I want it.

This is my point about challenges, the players that are better than I, they have likely overcome the rewiring pains I spoke of, they may have developed a way of wiring the smelting facility while you still have 2x2 furnaces, so that there is minimal redesign to wiring necessary for the upgrade to 3x3 furnaces.

This is the fun of factorio, increasing efficiencies bay-bay!!!

Heck, I remember when I was just a little factorio lad, laying wires onto conveyors like a total sap, someday I will look back on the pains I have of rewiring a 2x2 facility for 3x3 smelters and laugh at how ignorant I used to be.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by starxplor » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:27 am

I just use long arm inserters on my 2x2 smelters until I get 3x3 electric smelters and switch to standard inserters. No belt redesign or factory rebuild, and I can swap out one at a time as I get enough plastic, not worrying about building the smelters and letting them sit in my inventory until I can replace them all.

This also makes ramping up power generation easier as well.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by therapist » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:33 am

starxplor wrote:I just use long arm inserters on my 2x2 smelters until I get 3x3 electric smelters and switch to standard inserters. No belt redesign or factory rebuild, and I can swap out one at a time as I get enough plastic, not worrying about building the smelters and letting them sit in my inventory until I can replace them all.

This also makes ramping up power generation easier as well.
This is the kind of foresight we all hope becomes automatic for us as we get better at the game. If I didn't always end up with so many extra long armed inserters anyway, I'd probably do the same.

@starxplor Just curious, do you wire up the facility with wooden poles and then keep them or are you managing to achieve a switch to tier 2 power poles during the setup of your furnace facilities?

I always end up replacing all my t1 poles with t2, and then the wooden ones end up in my "those were the days" chest, along with my pistol, non-piercing rounds, relegated steam setup, and that first armor you build. I really couldn't stand those items taking up space in the "junk drawer" chest.

I'm still liking the idea of making steel furnaces 3x3 because you still have to redesign your layout when you switch from stone to steel, but it happens much earlier, which hopefully means your facilities are smaller, meaning less work for the OP in his frustrating redesigns.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by ssilk » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:06 am

I don't care that. There are two things you should keep in mind, when building:

Never change a running system!

Once I establish my first row of furnaces, and they are working, I keep them. Why should I change it? I update them to iron furnaces, of course. But further? For me that is a question of the afford: do I really need to change it? Do I want it? What is the advantage of doing it?

Example: you have a computer, it has a CPU. Now you have the option to put in a new CPU, which is about double the speed. Costs only 50 euros. Or you can change to a completely new motherboard, new CPU, new graphics. Costs 400 euro, but is much more capable then your current system.

That's is the game principle behind that decision. Discussing it shows me, that it isn't understood yet. Maybe, because don't knowing what are the advantages?

If you need to change, then change it well!


It is obvious to replace the stone furnace with the steel furnace. But - as already stated - to build electric furnaces needs complete redesign. So why should this redesign happen at the same place? It is NOT a replacement, it is a redesign.

THINK BIG. Look for a new place for the furnaces. It should be near to the (future) train station. 100-200 tiles away from the current factory and another 100 tiles from the train station. You have the space, just do it.
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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by starxplor » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:18 pm

I actually tend to leave the wood power poles in place. If they are laid out in a way that works, why replace them with something more expensive with no gain? Also, I still use both t1 and t2 poles in new constructions based on need. If I just need to reach one strip, or a small triangle of items, I can use the small pole and save some steal and copper. Unlike furnaces, the new ones do not make the old ones obsolete.

As for not changing, if you built a real factory and refused to change it, you are not going to be in business for long. New technology, new products, new ideas on how to do things should always be considered. In this case, anyone who has the power supply available and doesnt switch to electric furnaces because they dont want to move some belts or change some inserters is just throwing away coal or oil.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by Rahjital » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:51 pm

I don't think the size should be changed. Electric furnaces are not an upgrade to steel furnaces but an alternative. Until you have modules, they are inferior in almost every aspect, but on the other hand, they allow you to reduce your coal usage and (with solar panels) pollution release. The size adds another into considering whether you want to change or not.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by The Phoenixian » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:18 am

Wait, People move the ore belts when switching to electric furnaces?... but seriously.

Caveat: This is spoken by someone who considers anticipating how a factory is going to expand a large part of the game.

If you want to switch to electric furnaces later in the game, it is better to build your burner furnaces with that in mind from the beginning.

If you use four belts --- two ore lines on the inside flanked by two coal lines on the outside --- All you need to do is rip out a pair of, now unnecessary, coal lines. And, because you're only going to need to rip out some belts you can have your coal and electric furnaces on the same assemply line while making the switch. Which is nice since, you're only going to want to switch once you have modules anyways.

No it won't be the most space efficient setup for burner furnaces ever conceived by man. I think it shouldn't be.

If I may get a bit philosphical, Choosing between multiple optimal options, and more relevantly having to choose, means that you have to think about why you're doing what you're doing and what your goals are. Frankly, I find that rather fun.
Last edited by The Phoenixian on Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by Sander Buruma » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:39 am

maybe you should do a lets play series on youtube mr phoenixian

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by therapist » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:34 pm

When I'm doing coal based smelting, I put ore and coal on the same belt. Ending up with too many extra long arm inserters is always a big problem because they're useless for me long term. This is why I don't like the idea of building my smelting facilities with long arms for the preplanning of 3x3 smelting, I hope to eventually find a solution that doesn't require me to build long arm inserters or go thru the pains of redesigning my smelting facilities, the power poles being the chief annoyance.

It's interesting to think all this discussion stems from a change as simple as converting from 2x2 to 3x3. It's like "hooked on phonics: engineering" for second graders. It seems as though although this size shift is seriously annoying, it is a big part of the very original gameplay mechanics that are unique to factorio.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by ssilk » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:16 pm

Therapist writes, he uses a single lane for the ore. With that the throughput is limited! And I think this is for many players the case.

Fact: a single lane of a basic belt can load only up to - hm - 12 or 14, perhaps 16 stone furnaces. Not much more can be achieved, even with faster belts.

Question: What are we speaking here about?
I mean we are speaking here about an equivalent of about 30 or more stone furnaces.

If you are not needing that much: Why are we discussing about that? :)

I repeat: Never change a running system. If you have 15 or 25 smelters, why changeing? It works! As long as you have enough coal: keep it so, replace with iron furnace.

If someone needs more: Well. Then the space for the current will not be enough. You need a really big smelting part! Why replace the old? I would built up a new and delete the old with a deconstruction.

The whole ideas with using long arm-inserters, the replacement of the coal-belt and so on are then obsolete and the new furnace will be much more effective, than the old.

So in my eyes, this size shift should bring the player to think a bit bigger than only into his limits of his factory-walls. :)
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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by therapist » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:27 pm

ssilk wrote:Therapist writes, he uses a single lane for the ore. With that the throughput is limited! And I think this is for many players the case.

Fact: a single lane of a basic belt can load only up to - hm - 12 or 14, perhaps 16 stone furnaces. Not much more can be achieved, even with faster belts.

Question: What are we speaking here about?
I mean we are speaking here about an equivalent of about 30 or more stone furnaces.

If you are not needing that much: Why are we discussing about that? :)

I repeat: Never change a running system. If you have 15 or 25 smelters, why changeing? It works! As long as you have enough coal: keep it so, replace with iron furnace.

If someone needs more: Well. Then the space for the current will not be enough. You need a really big smelting part! Why replace the old? I would built up a new and delete the old with a deconstruction.

The whole ideas with using long arm-inserters, the replacement of the coal-belt and so on are then obsolete and the new furnace will be much more effective, than the old.

So in my eyes, this size shift should bring the player to think a bit bigger than only into his limits of his factory-walls. :)
As i've said before silk, I wouldn't be tempted to build more than 10 furnaces for iron and copper each because I make sure I rush to electric furnaces so I can get off coal ASAP which means not creating a coal burning factory as large as you state. I only create 30+ smelters AFTER I have made the switch to solar. It is still a huge pain to switch over 20 smelters as the OP is talking about, maybe the OP builds more but I find it a pain even in my small facilities. I've seriously never run into a lack of ore throughput in all the time I'v played the game, it is odd to me that you require such large coal burning facilities, are you building weapons or something before doing large tracts of research? Are you storing plates? What do the products of 30+ coal powered smelters go towards if not the science needed to get off of coal? We MUST have drastically different play styles. Do you use bullet based turrets? I skip them and go for laser turrets.

I know you coal baron's will disagree with me, but I find it so wasteful to create smelting facilities of that size before I switch to solar powered smelting.

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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by ssilk » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:19 pm

therapist wrote: I only create 30+ [electric] smelters AFTER I have made the switch to solar.
Of course. A valid strategy. All is in flow.
It is still a huge pain to switch over 20 smelters as the OP is talking about, maybe the OP builds more but I find it a pain even in my small facilities.
Agreed. But that is a very different problem. I think there needs to be more than blueprint. I think a clone-tool, which is nothing else, then a temporary copy-paste buffer for blueprints.
I've seriously never run into a lack of ore throughput in all the time I'v played the game, it is odd to me that you require such large coal burning facilities, are you building weapons or something before doing large tracts of research? Are you storing plates? What do the products of 30+ coal powered smelters go towards if not the science needed to get off of coal? We MUST have drastically different play styles. Do you use bullet based turrets? I skip them and go for laser turrets.
It depends. Currentl I try to exapand faster than the natives, which is really difficult. I rush for electric, cause that enables to expand faster, when you solved the big gap. :)

150 miners need then more than 50 furnaces. The problem is that you expand then faster, then you can regain loosing resources.
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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by Luaan » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:54 pm

Well, since we're talking about different play styles...

I stay with coal-powered furnaces the whole game. Electric furnaces are handy, but I only use them in places in which I want smelting capability, but don't want to build a full fledged ironworks with a dedicated coal supply line. I build my factories and power plants in places with plenty of coal, and I connect them using trains. Do you have most of your factory concentrated in one place? It sounds like it. I build my drills so that they don't overlap. This means their longevity improves considerably. And when the fields finally die, eventually, I simply route more trains to bring coal (or oil-based solid fuel) from other places.

I use both gun turrets and laser turrets - the ratio is mostly based on the distance from the nearest ammunition factory :) My electricity grids tend to be rather low compared to some I've seen here, and I don't use solar power much - again, mostly in places where I don't want to route a line from a power plant nearby.

I hardly use logistic networks. I do make use of them for deconstruction and construction from blueprints (mostly using the awesome roboport wagon mod) and they are handy for automated fixing and construction, but I definitely don't replace my belts (and direct inserters) with logistics robots, like I've seen some people do.

All in all, I love that the game offers many alternatives to do the same thing. I love that you're presented with both drawbacks and benefits, in fact, I'm working on a mod that makes it even more so (most notably with the Assemblers, which are a strict progression from worse to better if you ignore material cost - which you shouldn't). To top it off, electric furnaces feel a bit cheaty - how exactly do you make steel without coal or another source of carbon?

This is a sandbox game (although the campaign is great and I hope it gets expanded). Variability is critical in a sandbox game - you need as long a stream as possible of more and more things to experiment with, things that are well suited for some tasks and less suited for others. And don't forget those are exactly the things that are quite easy to modify through mods. Do you want a 2x2 electric furnace? Well, you're in luck, the mod is already there! :) Myself, I'm rather working on mods that introduce more complexity, more design work, more choices to the game. For me, alternatives that are better in some ways and worse in others are much more fun than just a stupid progression from worse to better. Buildings that aren't just drop-in replacements for earlier versions, a different model for efficiency, trains, trains, trains...

So that's my input. If electric furnaces end up being exactly the same as steel furnaces, just using electricity and requiring more research and resources to build, it would make steel furnaces pretty much obsolete. As far as I'm concerned, there's enough stuff that becomes just obsolete in the game already. Stone furnaces are completely replaced by steel furnaces pretty much ASAP - the only use for them remains in the recipe for water warmers. The whole burner tech line? Completely obsoleted by electric technology - it's slower, less efficient, impossible to make layouts that cover space well... Tier 1 assemblers? Replaced as soon as possible, there's hardly any reason to use them after you get 2s. It does give a reason to early stages of relatively cheap research, but that's it - and we're talking about like the first half hour of a new game?

YotaXP
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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by YotaXP » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:07 am

I eventually came to the realization that electric furnaces are NOT an upgrade from steel furnaces. They're more a sidegrade if anything. Consider the following:

Due to the larger footprint, you can only fit 2 electric furnaces in the space that 3 steel furnaces could occupy. Since they have the same smelting speed, this effectively makes a line of steel furnaces operate 150% faster than electric furnaces, which is huge. (Speed upgrades can enable electric furnaces to overcome this, but at a huge energy cost.)

On the flip side, electric furnaces have the unique ability to be powered by the sun! \o/ When one of your factory's goals is low pollution, then electric furnaces are the only viable option.

I love this sort of non-linear balancing, however I would have been saved from a lot of frustration if I had come to this realization sooner.

JSCarter
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Re: Supression of the size shift of electric furnaces

Post by JSCarter » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:09 pm

People always seem to neglect the fact that we have infinitely large maps.
There is really no reason to consider the size of something a problem.

That said, I like the fact that there is no "right" way to play the game, if you prefer to optimise for space you can use steel furnaces, if you prefer solar you can use electric etc. etc.

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