Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

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BlakeMW
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Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by BlakeMW »

So with expensive recipes the EC recipe is 2 iron plates, 10 copper wire (5 copper) and 0.5s, this results in the recipe consuming 2.8x the ingredients per second compared with standard costs.

One of the things I wonder is if this is generally disruptive to balance. For example it's much harder to get inserters to shove the ingredients in fast enough to saturate the assembler, this makes the recipe an even better candidate for productivity modules because not only do you get a faster ROI on expensive modules, but slowing it down is not really a big deal because the resource consumption speed is already so extreme and it makes the copper wire: EC ratio easier to deal with. Another bias is that it makes logistic bots the clear winner in terms of feeding an EC assembler - I mean they are anyway, but when you have 2.8x the ingredient consumption rate belts can't even come close to keeping up - by way of comparison the item consumption rate in assembler 3 is 30/s - compare this with a blue belt's item transport rate of 40/s. Add speed to the assembler and you're looking at several blue belts to feed a single assembler.

I can't help but think it would be more generally reasonable if the crafting time were 1s instead of 0.5s - it would still actually be consuming ingredients at 1.4x the rate as the standard costs recipe, but wouldn't be so absurdly fast. It would make hand cafting suck a little more, but tbh most the handcrafting time is making the pile of copper wires.

I'm curious also what others who have played a lot of Marathon/Deathworld think. I get the feeling it would be better if the "ingredient consumption rate" were normalized by increasing crafting time somewhat in proportion with increased ingredient counts, as "nice round numbers" permit. As far as I'm aware the only recipe that currently has a modified crafting time in this fashion is Steel Plates, with doubled iron plate and doubled time. I also haven't really noticed any other recipes that seem to be disproportionately high consumption, electronic circuits really stands out in that regard.

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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by bobingabout »

for those of us who don't play vanilla, it would be handy if you listed the non-expensive recipe too.
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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by BlakeMW »

Standard: 1 Iron Plate, 3 Copper Wire, 0.5s
Expensive: 2 Iron Plate, 10 Copper Wire, 0.5s

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bobingabout
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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by bobingabout »

that actually feels like a fairly standard change for expensive recipes throughout the game.
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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by BlakeMW »

I'm not talking about whether it's standard, but whether it's good. The item consumption rate does seem out of keeping with other recipes.

Here is a comparison of items per second consumed by recipes for some of the higher consumption intermediates, the numbers are for expensive mode, with standard in brackets if it is different:

Electronic Circuit: 24 items/s (8 items/s)
Iron Gear: 8 items/s (4 items/s)
Sulfuric Acid: 6 items/s
High Tech Science Pack: 2.5 items/s
Advanced Circuit: 2.3 items/s
Processing Unit: 2.2 items/s
Copper Wire: 2 items/s

Another fair comparison would be the total input/output per second, I'll just do that for the faster recipes on expensive because for slow recipes the extra output item(s) hardly makes a difference:
EC: 26 items/s (10 items/s)
Iron Gear: 10 items/s (6 items/s)
Copper Wire: 6 items/s

With standard costs the EC recipe has a high items/s consumption rate, but it's not totally an outlier because sulfuric acid is nearly as high, as is copper wire and iron gears when considering both the input and output stream. But on expensive, Electronic Circuits is definitely an outlier - with an item consumption rate fully 3x as high as the next fasted consuming intermediate. In fact even if the crafting time were doubled, it would still have the highest item consumption rate by a fair margin.

I know that a short crafting time isn't a "problem" because you can always just partially utilize an assembler (as is usually the case with sulfuric acid and when automating fast logistic items like hazard concrete), but in this case it is truly extreme how much of an outlier EC is. One presumes that there would be some kind of limit on how quickly assemblers can stitch together ingredients so there is a sense of offness around the extreme consumption rate of expensive mode EC.

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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by PacifyerGrey »

Personally I do not enjoy EC recipe as well. It feels like overtuned compared to everything else.
Just imagine - to get 1 belt of green circuits you need 5 (!) full belts of copper and 2 iron, making it 7 belts total! Not to say that inserters (even stack!) are having a hard time keeping the beaconed assembler loaded with copper wires (even if not using any belts!)

While feeding 7 belts is not that much of an issue (while it certainly is ofc) but the amount of copper wires that needs to be fed is rediculously large.

I would propose shifting the expensive thing a bit by making Copper Wire more expensive (like 1 Copper Plate per 1 Wire) but reducing copper wire per EC to 4. This will reduce material use a bit to make it 4 belts of copper (which is reasonably high but easier to achieve/design and will allow more logistic options for copper wires.
Sure thing other recipes like red circuits and yellow science packs should have copper wire requirement halved.

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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by PetWolverine »

I think the expensive green circuit recipe is balanced perfectly. I have a setup with Productivity 3 modules and speed beacons, and it seems to be just barely possible to keep the circuit assemblers fed when they have 8 beacons in range, through a combination of direct insertion and bots, and IIRC 5 stack inserters per circuit assembler. (I'm at work right now so I can't check, but I think it's 4 stack inserters for the wire and 1 for the iron.)

If it were actually impossible to keep them fed and I had to reduce the number of beacons, it would annoy me; eight beacons is a nice target to shoot for because it's what you get with a row of assemblers sandwiched between two rows of beacons. If it were easy, it wouldn't be as fun; expensive recipes should be expensive. It seems to be right on the razor's edge, which is great.

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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by bobingabout »

Remember, it's not "Slow recipes" it's "Expensive recipes" so costing more resources per second fits with the name.
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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by PacifyerGrey »

bobingabout wrote:Remember, it's not "Slow recipes" it's "Expensive recipes" so costing more resources per second fits with the name.
This is what I try to address. Making copper wire more expensive is a valid option. As it is now 3 stack inserters are barely handling feeding copper wires into beaconed EC assembler which is pretty rediculous.
And 10 wires per cycle with 2 produced by wire assembler make design really unpleasantly looking no matter how you design it.
Also the total amount of wires really causes issues with red circuit assembly lines as feeding that amounts of wires by belts becomes a real pain.

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Re: Expensive Recipes crafting times, esp. Electronic Circuits

Post by MBas »

Hello. EC production on marathon is set well in my point of view. If you set everything just more expensive, it just motivate you to make everything much larger or spend more time to get proper amount of resources. I belive that harder game should be a complicated in more aspects. Its not true that filling EC assembler is impossible. Its just significantly higher chalenge to handle it correctly. To set all belts and inserters etc. My drill production for example which has two assemblers and uses gears produced nearby drills production is really monster :) . But i like it. I just need to think about all that managment around. So this marathon setting make this game challengeable, not only time more consuming. And thats how i like it.

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