What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

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What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by mrudat »

A thought occurred to me about barrels vs fluid wagons vs pipes, and I couldn't find any other post that suggested it. What would it do to the barrel/fluid wagon/pipe balance if barrels were to be unloaded at closer to their real-world speed rather than at ludicrous speed?

A quick google search leads me to believe that you can unload a 44/55 gallon / 200L barrel at around 200L/m, or alternatively, that it would take 60 seconds to unload one barrel. This would be still fast enough to feed an individual assembler/refinery with fluid (or a liquid-fuelled generator), but you would need an un-barrelling plant (not that I could find an image of industrial-scale bottle-emptying, rather than bottle-filling) of unusual size in order to feed any significant number of fluid-using buildings.

I also have been looking at bigger unitised loads for carrying fluid (of a similar scale to factorio, at least).

There are any number of shapes and sizes of pallet-sized tanks, most of which seem to be around 1000L in size. On visual inspection, it looks like the pipe fittings on those tanks allow for pretty much the same throughput as the barrel pumps, they just carry more fluid in the same pallet-shaped space. 4 barrels/pallet for 400L/pallet, 1 tank per pallet for 1000L/pallet.

You then get tank containers, and while you can pump fluid out of a tank container faster than a barrel, none of the ones that I've looked at had a fluid connection anywhere near 1m in diameter, which suggests that a tank container shouldn't supply fluid anywhere near as fast as is it possible to do so with a pipe connection.

As an aside, as far as I can tell there's apparently no difference in pipe fittings between a fluid wagon and a tank container on a flatbed wagon; this would suggest that we are unloading fluid wagons at ludicrous speed as well. I suspect that what would need to happen to match reality (not that I suggest it's feasible, or a good idea to implement) is that you uncouple the fluid wagon at a dedicated unloading station for unloading over a period of minutes, and assemble a new train with empty fluid wagons.

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by eradicator »

mrudat wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:08 pm
What would it do to the barrel/fluid wagon/pipe balance if barrels were to be unloaded at closer to their real-world speed rather than at ludicrous speed?
They'd become even more useless than they are now after already being massively nerved for capacity? Most people never used barrels in the first place. They were only a hack to transport crude oil at all before fluid wagons were implemented, so now they're a niche for people who want to transport fluids with bots. If you nerf barrels more, then either those people will stop using them, or build more unbarreling assemblers.
Also by the current numbers 10 fluid is the same as one plate/ore, so if we assume one iron plate is one kilo of iron, then a barrel only holds five liters, not 200.
If you massively reduce un/barreling speed while simultaenously increasing capacity again it might work. But then you're back at "a wagon of barrels holds x times more fluid than a fluid wagon".

TL;DR: Q: "What would happen if...?", A: "Another balancing flame war."

PS: Also you should put some kind of warning before posting tvtropes links. Those are dangerous :p.
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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by Optera »

I'm not sure about filling/emptying barrels, but fluid wagons can be loaded/unloaded at ludicrous 12000l/s per pump (wiki) with a wagon-pump-tank setup.

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In my opinion this makes even the fast recipes for filling/emptying barrels pointless for throughput heavy usage.

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by quyxkh »

I think the problems we'd have to solve if unbarrelling was made slower wouldn't be fun to solve, so I'm happy we've got the A-game equipment to play with.

Search for 25000 gallon tank, you get familiar pictures of what turn out to be 25000-gallon rail cars, so I'm pretty sure 1 fluid ~ 1 gallon. The pumps that unload supertankers can do that in about a second, the figure I found was 31,000 barrels/hr/pump, that's 28K+ gal/sec, so the factorio pumps are, erm, more powerful than strictly necessary?, but they're not close to infeasible. Transport on this planet is built for low price, not low latency, it's not hard to imagine barrels with piston bottoms and quick-release tops.

So the equipment's also at least in the realistic ballpark's neighborhood, too. I remember wanting steerable nuclear reactors and started digging around, turns out real steerable reactors have much more than 40MW output, so Factorio's gear's steerable in pretty much the same way real ones are, you could stagger the loading so one nuc could be taken offline every 25s and you'd have a 1.1GW plant steerable all the way down to 2.5%, once again in that realistic ballpark's neighborhood, just built to a much more responsive, cost-no-object design. I think the devs did their homework.

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by eradicator »

quyxkh wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:42 am
Search for 25000 gallon tank, you get familiar pictures of what turn out to be 25000-gallon rail cars, so I'm pretty sure 1 fluid ~ 1 gallon.
When fluid wagons were first implemented they had 3*25000fl capacity for each of the three compartments. In the same update all fluid numbers were multiplied by 10 for arithmetic reasons, and pump speeds were multiplied by even more. Compared to the engineers body the wagons are also much smaller than "real" ones. And i remember that values for solars are waaaay off from reality if you assume 1 square meter per tile. So "has the same shape as a real one" is a very bad measure for size. And all values are tuned to be "fun as a game", and not to be realistic anyway. Would be interesting if someone could come up with a measurement that brings all game values into realistic ranges (i.e. by saying that the engineer is infact a 10 meter tall robot, which would fix solar power output by making them 10 times as large :p), but i doubt there is any such metric that makes all values in the game equally realistic.
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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by lottery248 »

apology if that will result in flame war, but i am not here to.
it would be unfair in game.

for some of the people whose their base are too concentrated and unable to build pipe easily, resulting to use barrels, would be a disaster to them. even though there are few users who use barrels, removing them will make logistic robot useless.

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by stm »

Comparing the speed of barrrel emptiing to the real world is a bit missleading, since the usecases are a bit different.
Emptiing a barrel can be done a lot faster if you do not have to use a small diameter pipe. Just remove the lid and turn the barrel around. This is a lot faster than 60s for a reasonably designed setup. In addition you have to think about the fact, that timescales are a bit different for factorio as well. smelting steel IRL takes longer than 60s as well, but i doubt anyone would like to change ore to steel processing to a scale of days or weeks.
So in my opinion the barrelling speed is an accaptable compromise. If anything compare it to the throughput of the exit pipe.
Also IRL noone in his right mind would build a factory plant which can just process one unit at a time. IRL almost everything is pipelined (something you can only do on a larger scale in facrtorio).
But all this is an aceptable break from treality in my opinion.
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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by bobucles »

The barrel changes were targeted mostly at bots, but a lot of other mechanics got hit in the collateral.

A bot used to be able to move 1000 fluid in a single action. 250 per barrel, up to 4 barrels at a time. In factorio scale that's the same as moving 100 of another item. Essentially a bot could carry a stack of stacking, making fluid transfer absolutely trivial even with very early bots. After the nerf bots can only move 200 fluid at a time.

I'm not entirely sure that barrels are the way to go. Maybe it'd be more fun to have a new bot type dedicated entirely to fluids? The bot touches down, sucks up fluids like a mosquito, and flies over to spit it out at its target. That'd require a lot of other changes and be a very different kind of game though.

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by Frightning »

I think it's worth knowing some of the game's version history to understand why barrels have ended up where they are.
Back in 0.12 days and before, barrels were the only non-pipe way of moving fluids and they were 25 oil/barrel (but this was before fluid values were x10'd so that's more like 250 by modern standards). At this time, people complained that only crude oil could be moved this way, not any of its derivatives, nor water. So some modders devised universal fluid barreling and also, independently, the fluid wagon. Both ideas were subsequently implemented into the game by the devs.
iirc, this occured with v0.13 arriving.
At that time, fluid wagon ended up at 75k capacity, and a wagon full of barrels was 100k, fluid costs and production were x10'd (hence barrels now held 250 fluid instead of 25) and the barrel recipe continued to have a 0.5 secs recipe time. Some interesting things were noted:
-Fluid wagon, while logistically simpler and hence usually the preferred solution, was technically lower throughput than an optimized barreled setup.
-Logistics bots could carry a LOT of fluid per bot.
-The huge fluid capacity of both fluid wagon and cargo wagon full of barreled fluid meant that trains for fluid recipe ran far more rarely than for other stuff.

The subsequent changes were:
-Fluid wagon capacity down to 25k from 75k (1/3 as much).
-Barrel capacity down to 50 from 250 (1/5 as much). This means Cargo Wagon of fluid barrels had it's capacity drop from 100k to 20k, less than fluid wagon now.
-Barrel recipe time down to 0.1 from 0.5 secs (5 times as fast).

These decision make sense, but now we live in a word where there's basically no practical reason to even use fluid barreling. It's not really competitive for maximum throughput because the per-wagon capacity is now lower (despite unbarreling being as fast as before). It is much more logistically complex and more expensive to set up pipe throughput over short distances is plenty high for nearly any application one can think of, so there's no real reason not use just fluid wagon+pipes for all fluid moving needs. About the only use-cases I can think of for barreling fluids is for feeding Flamethrower turrets when using them for turret creeping strats, but even for that, Laser turrets offer a logistically much simpler solution. I kinda saw this coming when the devs first revealed the Fluid wagon, I spoke up that unless it has some meaningful downside relative to barreling, that it would invalid (most of) fluid barreling's reasons for existing. Lo and behold, that is exactly what has happened. The real question now is: Should we even keep fluid barreling? And if yes, what things should it be the 'better' choice for? (or at least competitive for?)

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by eradicator »

Frightning wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:12 am
-Fluid wagon capacity down to 25k from 75k (1/3 as much).
I think that in particular was also heavily influenced by the removal of the three-seperated-compartments concept
Frightning wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:12 am
The real question now is: Should we even keep fluid barreling? And if yes, what things should it be the 'better' choice for? (or at least competitive for?)
Barrels are still the only option for bot-based transport. Which is still a good application for low-volume products such as belts. And if you spam enough bots it's probably still worth it given the fact that the barreled-amount per second hasn't changed (per recipe capacity * recipe time). Though i'd kinda like a special "barreling machine" that's not the size of a full assembler, maybe 1x2 or 1x1-ish, or if it simply had four-sided output.
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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by Trebor »

Frightning wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:12 am
The real question now is: Should we even keep fluid barreling?
Yes, keep barreling! I like oil with my sushi:
Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.41.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.41.33 PM.png (738.36 KiB) Viewed 1276 times

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by Oktokolo »

My last use of barrels was before the introduction of the fluid wagon.
But barelling is a mechanic that is nice to have. With the anounced fluid dynamics update, it will probably be possible to empty pipes completely wich will enable factories that reuse pipework for different fluids as needed for different recipes (although, we will still need the Crafting Combinator mod for setting the recipes by circuit network).
If we could also barrel less than a full barrel we could have sushi pipes using a single buffer chest without the need of one exit tank per fluid.
Barelling will keep beeing a niche tool. But it can be usefull with mods and/or for special builds.

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Re: What would it do to fluid balance if barrels didn't unload at ludicrous speed?

Post by bobucles »

There is the possibility of removing barrels from the game entirely. It'd take a few changes to be really viable.
- A fluid moving logistic bot. Basically a flying barrel that only carries liquids.
- Logistic fluid tanks. Take a tank, put a pump on top and let bots use it as requester or provider.

There are probably other issues to consider but that's the big stuff.

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