Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

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Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby SeigneurAo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:57 am

I usually only read the forums, scarcely write, but this problem has bugged me for a while and the recent "nerf" of fluid wagons is enough that I feel like bringing up this thread (especially since this issue is largely discussed in multiple places, news and releases forums, and it needs centralization).

Fluid wagons and barrels need attention.

While playing multiplayer or watching streams, I have often stumbled upon those people. You know the ones I refer to : "Hey, so why do you keep on using fluid wagons ? Barrel are so much better !". Yes. Or I mean, no. They are, strictly speaking, able to carry much more liquid. But fluid wagons look way cooler, it is their only purpose to carry liquid, and I feel like I would deprive them of their life's endeavour if I didn't use them.
Plus, I don't find any fun in managing the number of barrels in wagons, stations and producing heaps of barrels (and yes, I do enjoy playing Factorio otherwise, thank you :-P).

Now fluid wagons are being made even more silly. Only one liquid type, and less quantity. Barrels are a no-brainer, efficiency wise. And while I would not convert to using them over wagons, even if they were a hundred times more efficient, I feel like this present situation is a real issue.

My thoughts are as follows :
- I would totally be fine with fluid wagons carrying only one liquid, and less quantity, if it just means you can add more wagons to your train. You want 3 liquids ? You make a 3-wagon train. You want more liquid ? You make a 6-wagon train. But the mass of each wagon needs to be decreased. Decreased big time. To be honest, I always felt like having 1 fluid wagon was plenty, since it contained so much liquid, and I was frustrating at having only 1 fluid wagon per train. So yes, by all means, reduce the quantity of liquid a wagon can hold. But make them lighter, way lighter
- I also like the idea of having 2 separate fluid wagon types : 1 with only 1 tank, 1 with 3 tanks. This is clearer for the player, and preserves functionality
- Barrels should definitely be nerfed. Because fluid wagons are being nerfed, and it should scale. Because, even before the nerf, barrels were stealing the show for fluid wagons. Because, intrinsically, barrels hold too much liquid and allow for a ludicrous throughput compared to other aspects of the game (production, belts, consumption...). Barrels should get a major nerf

I really see barrels as a temporary, low-scale way to carry liquids, either on short distance, small volumes or both.

So, what's your take on the fluid wagon / barrels revamp ?
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby BlakeMW » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:00 am

I think I agree that barrels could do with a nerfing. I mean, in terms of usage, 10 oil is about equal to 1 ore, and this means a barrel contains the rough equivalent of 25 ore. An upgraded logistic bot can carry the equivalent of 100 ore - 2 stacks of ore. I think barrels should be nerfed to 100 fluid, then a stack of 10 barrels would be equivalent to 100 ore: in a cargo wagon about the same as iron plates. A bot would still be carrying the equivalent of 40 ore so it's still crazy good just not as crazy good.

Then the fluid wagon could be reduced proportionately. So like say, a barrel wagon can carry 40K fluid and a fluid wagon could carry 50K fluid. Or heck, they could carry the same amount so which you use can depend solely on if you want to use barrels (i.e. are using bots a lot) or pipes.

I also absolutely think fluid wagons should weigh exactly the same as cargo wagons. Its one of those things where having them result in different train speeds is a nuisance, kind of like back when smart inserters were a little slower than fast inserters. Consistency is often nicer than diversity.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Caine » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:05 am

Last time I checked we had at least four places for discussing this. Now we have at least five places for discussing this. :(

xkcd 927.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby SeigneurAo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:08 am

Fluid wagons are much easier to handle (no hassle with barrels logistics), so I do agree with those arguing that they should have a downside for the sake of balancing.
Be it a slight weight surplus, or less fluid contained compared to a cargo wagon full of barrels, I don't really mind which one or even both.

But yeah, barrels holding 100 and fluid wagons holding ~50k sounds about right.

@Caine
Yes, but discussing balancing does seem quite relevant in a "Balancing" forum, more so than a "News", "Releases" or "General Discussion" forum...
Devs read the forums, which is very nice of them, I think we should make their life easier when possible.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Zavian » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:01 pm

And after 0.15 the devs explicitly said that they were happy with the fluid wagon/barreled oil in wagons balance. That said if/when the rebalance the fluid wagon, they might revisit this.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Optera » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:19 pm

Unless the dev stance on this changes you can start hundreds of posts to no avail.
Rseding91 wrote:The capacities of the current fluid handling things are exactly as we want them to be :P If you want them different you can always mod them to be something else.


I gathered some numbers back in May. viewtopic.php?f=16&t=48290#p280035
Optera wrote:Barrels are magnitudes apart from storage tanks and pipes.

Storage density: 50x more effective:
1 Storage Tank holds 25kL
9 chests hold 1080kL

Throughput: 10x more effective:
Pipe: 1.2kL/s down to 300L/s depending on length.
Blue Belt: 10kL/s

For 0.15 Mooncat wrote Smaller Fluid Wagon & Barrel https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Mooncat/ ... and-barrel
I integrated that for 0.16 into ReStack https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Optera/ReStack
My Mods:
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Koub » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:00 pm

viewtopic.php?p=327601#p327601
kovarex wrote:Barrels are going to be 50.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby SeigneurAo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:01 pm

Damn, I was too slow at copy/pasting...
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Zavian » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:12 pm

50 and 25k (for the tanker) seems balanced.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby badtouchatr » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:07 pm

I know I'm going to ruffle a lot of feathers on this, but ... Has everyone's OCD gone crazy on the balancing thing? Sheesh
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Gnark » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:10 pm

Zavian wrote:50 and 25k (for the tanker) seems balanced.


Yes this is not bad. I hope that belt with barrel will still compete vs pipe for the effort to put a liquid in barrel. And we need two belt one to move the barrel full and an other one to bring back the empty barrel)

I will still use tanker for mining U or initiate cracking. For the rest I will perhaps begin with tanker but will plan to move to barrel. Seems in the spirit of this game :)
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Tricorius » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:54 pm

badtouchatr wrote:I know I'm going to ruffle a lot of feathers on this, but ... Has everyone's OCD gone crazy on the balancing thing? Sheesh


Yes! I've been twitching for days. ;)
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Tricorius » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:58 pm

Gnark wrote:
Zavian wrote:50 and 25k (for the tanker) seems balanced.


Yes this is not bad. I hope that belt with barrel will still compete vs pipe for the effort to put a liquid in barrel. And we need two belt one to move the barrel full and an other one to bring back the empty barrel)

I will still use tanker for mining U or initiate cracking. For the rest I will perhaps begin with tanker but will plan to move to barrel. Seems in the spirit of this game :)


I believe that in the majority of bases it's not going to be a *huge* problem (as my barrel-based oil network usually hits back-pressure pretty quickly). However, I do think the throughput throttling this will cause *will* impact megabases. As usual, though, the answer is "scale out".

Why have one unbarrelling operation at the base, when you can have twenty. ;)

I'm curious to see the numbers with a current base. I'm building out a decent 0.16 base, so I might figure out how to mod this in (I'm guessing it would be just a tweak to a couple of numbers in the data files, but dropping it into an actual mod might be kinda fun).
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Caine » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:18 am

badtouchatr wrote:I know I'm going to ruffle a lot of feathers on this, but ... Has everyone's OCD gone crazy on the balancing thing? Sheesh

Pretty much. But OCD going crazy is what Factorio is all about :)

On a more serious note. Many people tend to claim to have OCD for laughs just because they are organized or perfectionist. That is not OCD, look it up.
Stopping every three steps to count all the coins in your wallet would be closer to the truth. It will seriously impair your normal functioning (and no, I do not have it).
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby bobingabout » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:17 pm

This topic has been done before.

Also the devs acknowledge that the fluid wagon is overpowered and plan to reduce it's capacity to 1/3 of what it is now. Changing the tripple tank mechanic down to only a single tank is just the first step.
No matter what you do, you can't please everyone.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby Caine » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:09 pm

Well, the change is in:
0.16.8 wrote:Balancing
Changed fluid wagon capacity from 75k to 25k (Same as storage tank).
Lowered fluid wagon weight from 3000 to 1000 (same as cargo wagon).
Changed fluid wagon recipe so it requires just 1 storage tank instead of 3.
Lowered barrel fluid capacity from 250 to 50. (So cargo wagon with barrels holds 20k and logistic robots are not too strong alternative to carrying fluids.)
Lowered barelling speed from 1 to 0.2.

Too bad, I am going to miss our triple fluid tankers :(

That said, the dude abides.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby maddoctor » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:38 pm

it's impossible to truck water to my nuclear plant now, and i don't want to use mods to make water near my nuclear plant. with the fluid tank the lowest should be 50k
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby PacifyerGrey » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:11 am

maddoctor wrote:it's impossible to truck water to my nuclear plant now, and i don't want to use mods to make water near my nuclear plant. with the fluid tank the lowest should be 50k

I can tell that using barrels of water in a nuclear plant does even sound rediculous.
Those are build on rivers IRL to have enough water supply. I don't see proper reason to let you barrel water to them here.
I can understand transporting useful liquids in barrels but transporting water for cooling/evaporation sounds bizarre to me.
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Re: Fluid wagon and barrels balancing

Postby bobucles » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:46 pm

I think the fluid wagon nerf may have been a bit too heavy handed. The recent inventory changes seem like a half handed attempt at making a more "space limited"(I.E. REALISM) inventory system, except that storage space has always been in absurd abundance since the first wooden chest. It comes across as a change in game philosophy that isn't reflected anywhere else in the game, so it definitely has a feel of being inconsistent. I think that if the devs want to address cargo storage and the elements therein, it really needs to be addressed across the whole game and not just with fluids. Even then I think they should still err on the side of "give players space, they will find a way to use it".

That being said I do accept that players simply don't NEED a lot of fluid inventory space. Even with a 25K wagon you'll probably struggle to use more than one in many situations. Sulfuric acid is one of the "densest" fluids around and and a single 25K can feed uranium mining forever. Oil and petroleum don't ever reach a heavy demand that players struggle to move them by train. Pipe lines can already move a substantial amount of fluid over a nice distance without ever touching a train. I've fed my spaceEX refineries with pipes over a train-minute away. I never really worried about it because those pipes filled 3 blue belts of plastic without any problem.

I think one of the biggest issues that has never been properly addressed is the wildly different ratios between water consumption for industry vs. for power generation. To illustrate, let's assume that 10 fluid counts as a "unit" in the same way that a single ore or plate are single items. Three units of petrol and three units of water produce 2 sulfur. Three units of lubricant makes 2 electric engines, 2 units of sulfur make a battery, and 2 units of petrol make 2 plastic. These ratios all seem small and easily managed. But we have a single piece of coal which requires THIRTEEN units of water to generate steam. A single train of coal needs at least a dozen fluid tanks dragging behind to generate power, and the ratio only gets worse with higher tier fuels. The amount of incoming water needed for a nuclear power setup will embarrass real nuclear power plants. In short, passing around fluids for normal things is easy. Passing around water for electricity is HARD and perhaps WAY TOO HARD.

The simplest, most direct, least invasive solution I have for this is increase the efficiency of boiler water. In short, have ordinary water burn into 10x the amount of steam. Real steam does increase in size after all. What will this change in game? The nuclear setups get minor changes cause either steam or water throughput is the limiting factor in designs. As long as steam remains a choke point, the most dramatic reactor changes can only happen in the water piping, but that means the same nuclear plant can be built in much drier environments. The amount of steam energy moved by a train remains the same, so steam powered outposts don't change. What does change is that the coal ratio turns into 1 coal per 1.3 units of water, which means a train can move both coal and the necessary water at the same time. This makes off site power plants much more feasible.

Unfortunately, this causes a secondary effect that water pumps now pump WAY TOO MUCH. This may require secondary solutions such as nerfing pumps to move 1/10th the water and maybe introducing an electric pump that moves extra water. Either way you face a dilemma where players will either need less pumps for steam water, while the number of pumps used in industry recipes will dramatically increase. I don't think demanding more than one water pump for a 10x speed beacon oil cracking base is a game ending problem, but water consuming recipes may need to be revisited.

Another idea that sounds cool but fixes nothing on its own:
- Fuel gives a boiler temperature bonus. So say for example rocket fuel generates 300C steam, then your water demand gets cut in half. This both makes water easier to move and it encourages players to process coal all the way into high tech fuel (so what if processing coal generates more power and thus violates "thermodynamics"? We actually WANT to reward players for building more factory!). It's not enough to handle the current 10x coal:water ratio, but it can further squeeze water ratios between fuel tiers.
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