Nuclear power OP

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.

Is nuclear power good as is or overpowered?

Nuclear power is fine.
34
83%
Nuclear power is overpowered.
3
7%
Nuclear power is broken as hell.
4
10%
 
Total votes: 41

leadraven
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:23 pm
Contact:

Nuclear power OP

Post by leadraven » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:21 am

First of all, some math (I did it mainly for myself, most results are on wiki)

Recipes math
Energy math

Without Kovarex 1 ore ~ 0.0007 U235 ~ 56MJ
With Kovarex 1 ore ~ 0.1014 U238 ~ 507MJ
Kovarex increases uranium ore energy potential 9 times. And it is multiplicative with x4 reactor adjacency bonus, resulting in ~2GJ / 1 uranium ore. Let me remind you that 1 coal produces 4MJ of electrical power, liquefaction gives ~50% increase, oil isn't a big boost.

Some examples:
Small field of 200000 ore -> 20000 U238 -> ~29 reactor-days (almost 1 month)
Array of 10 reactors will provide 1.44GW (sky-high value for many players, as I believe) for 3 days from 1 small uranium spot.

1 drill without any upgrades mines 0.2625 uranium ore/sec. In 200 seconds (cell's lifetime) it will mine 52.5 ore -> 5.25 U238 -> 3.28125 cells.
With Mining productivity 11 and 3 Speed modules 3 it will produce exactly 10 cells, i.e. 1 boosted drill will fuel 10 reactors, providing 1.44GW energy.

Based on all these numbers, do you think that nuclear power production requires a radical nerf? And, if yes, let's discuss how it could be done.

Personally I think that there are 2 absolutely broken mechanics in the game : nuclear power and modules. And they work great together, spoiling late game : infinite nuclear power causes all this absurd productivity-speed beaconed setups, which should be justified only at the most critical points, not in furnaces.

P.S. Nuclear power itself is super-awesome, but numbers and some recipes are weird.

User avatar
GrumpyJoe
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by GrumpyJoe » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:26 am

leadraven wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:21 am
do you think that nuclear power production requires a radical nerf?
hell no!
Not even if you dont include the word "radical"
Fuel vale per ore is not all you to think about when balancing.
Before you can even start that, you need to power the centrifuges.
You need think about sulfiric acid logistics when shipping via train
Kovarex process tec is pretty late game.
Its not a matter of just stamp another solar BP, building a reactor setup will always require some maintainace.

Even if you just make the centrifuge reciepe "raw ore into U238/235" take 20,30,40,... raw ore to "balance" your math, its just a matter of building more mining sites and would just increase acid comsumption through mining, the rest is just "place more of the same"

And its fairly underrepresented if you look around at others bases. Be it because of UPS issues (so lets see what 0.17 brings) or because people just love their solar.
With the need of running mining, centrifuging, Kovarex enriching, fuel cell production, comsumed cell reprocessing, sulfuric logistics etc... i pretty much want it to stay is it is, because i wanna build hundrets of the damn reactors once 0.17 hit! :D
If you are going through hell, keep going!

leadraven
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by leadraven » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:50 am

GrumpyJoe wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:26 am
leadraven wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:21 am
do you think that nuclear power production requires a radical nerf?
hell no!
Not even if you dont include the word "radical"
Fuel vale per ore is not all you to think about when balancing.
Before you can even start that, you need to power the centrifuges.
You need think about sulfiric acid logistics when shipping via train
Kovarex process tec is pretty late game.
Its not a matter of just stamp another solar BP, building a reactor setup will always require some maintainace.

Even if you just make the centrifuge reciepe "raw ore into U238/235" take 20,30,40,... raw ore to "balance" your math, its just a matter of building more mining sites and would just increase acid comsumption through mining, the rest is just "place more of the same"

And its fairly underrepresented if you look around at others bases. Be it because of UPS issues (so lets see what 0.17 brings) or because people just love their solar.
With the need of running mining, centrifuging, Kovarex enriching, fuel cell production, comsumed cell reprocessing, sulfuric logistics etc... i pretty much want it to stay is it is, because i wanna build hundrets of the damn reactors once 0.17 hit! :D
What's a big deal powering centrifuges?
  • Build 10 centrifuges (overkill)
  • Manually load 1 box of sulfur and iron
  • Place 2 reactors and some exchangers/turbines (based on your demands)
  • Free energy forever
Box of sulfur : 48*50=2400 sulfur -> 24000 acid -> 24000 ore -> 168 U235 -> 4 reactor-days.
With 2 reactors you will have 2 days of unlimited power from 1 manually loaded chest!
And if you are able to place several hundred assemblers to consume all that power, then 2 more reactors will be no problem for you.
And it is from the scratch, without Kovarex or anything. BTW, Kovarex will be ready long before you'll need it.
All you need is 2000 Advanced circuit. And if you researched Nuclear power, it's not a problem.
You can easily do it with ~30-40MW factory. So yeah, overkill.

JimBarracus
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:14 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by JimBarracus » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:28 pm

kovarex was already heavily nerfed when they removed prod. modules
setup costs are high
gatheringt the first 40 U235 can take really long

building large reactors is difficult because of the water supply.

User avatar
GrumpyJoe
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by GrumpyJoe » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:34 pm

leadraven wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:50 am


well, you picked out one point and ignored the rest. Its the overall setup, which is alot more complex than just burning coal
and "researching kovarex is no problem, you´ll have it before need it?".
Well, that goes for everything, once you hit the needs for that much power, you are probably at infinite research by then.

yeah, nuclear has some unusual numbers, compared to coal. guess what, so does real coal vs. uranium

and i dont understand the need to even calculate such things. its not like its hurting anyone else. the term op is overused. Its like talking about belts vs. bots last year. If you dont like one, just do it the other way.
Whats the difference if you have to place 10 times more miners? copy & paste is not that hard.

Guess i just dont see a problem here, and i probably never will
Last edited by GrumpyJoe on Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If you are going through hell, keep going!

Melfish
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Melfish » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:21 pm

Nuclear power is not that OP, and requires a large infrastructure to get going.
My only problem is with the kovarex enrichment, which discourages the use until you obtain 40 U235, and afterwards generates the insane fuel amounts that are complained about.

Now solar panels are another beef, not requiring any infrastructure, while even generating at that stage of the game a comparable amount of power.

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by bobucles » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:23 pm

kovarex was already heavily nerfed when they removed prod. modules
And despite that it's still the best tech ever. It's so much better than fuel reprocessing that the earlier tech gets skipped over all the time in the Kovarex rush. How bizarre.

Fuel reprocessing could use a buff. It provides extra U238 for a base that already finds itself with crates of useless U238. It should give some U235 output, as nuclear fuel still has good stuff in it even when it dips below the threshold necessary to work. A value close to .35 U235 will give a completely self sufficient nuclear loop with prod3 modules, but a value close to .10 U235 is a pretty decent boost.

Hannu
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:27 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Hannu » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:23 pm

leadraven wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:21 am

Personally I think that there are 2 absolutely broken mechanics in the game : nuclear power and modules. And they work great together, spoiling late game : infinite nuclear power causes all this absurd productivity-speed beaconed setups, which should be justified only at the most critical points, not in furnaces.

P.S. Nuclear power itself is super-awesome, but numbers and some recipes are weird.
In my opinion beacons are the problem. Totally fictive and extremely powerful mechanism, which leads to very boring building solutions. I never use them. But they are quite traditional at this point of developing and most players love them. It would be selfish and stupid to demand their removing.

Modules are easy to understand as physical improvements to devices. You need certain hardware to change every device individually. Research achievements are firmware updates. You update all existing devices with marginal costs. But beacons have absolutely no real world counterpart. You can not make any machine better by irradiating it through antenna. (and also you can ask how to program bullet to fly faster, but in my opinion it is a little and insignificant detail).

If you think about launching one rocket, you may be right with nuclear power too. But it is not the end point of all players. It is when the really interesting part of the game begins. If you build a huge base 1.44 GW is low power. You need ridiculous numbers of reactors and other stuff and unfortunately they are computationally heavy and you can not even use them in really large bases (which may need several tens of GWs). I hope that next update will make them less CPU intensive. If you do not like it you may set personal restrictions, for example just not use Kovarex process. I would use void chest mod in such situation to get rid of excess U238, but if you are the purist you can easily store the amount normal base products.

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by bobucles » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:24 pm

1.44GW (sky-high value for many players, as I believe
Did anyone else giggle at this? A GW base is chump change. Nuclear power isn't balanced for the end game as much as the post game. Extreme bases need extreme power and Nuclear power fills that role very well. Those super bases don't run for hours but they run for days or even months. Nuclear fuel exists to meet that need.

Kovarex is certainly super powerful and there is good argument for it belonging as a space tier science. You simply never need that level of tech to launch the rocket. But for that to be the case then fuel reprocessing should provide a more tangible halfway boost.

User avatar
GrumpyJoe
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by GrumpyJoe » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:35 pm

bobucles wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:24 pm
1.44GW (sky-high value for many players, as I believe
Did anyone else giggle at this? A GW base is chump change. Nuclear power isn't balanced for the end game as much as the post game. Extreme bases need extreme power and Nuclear power fills that role very well. Those super bases don't run for hours but they run for days or even months. Nuclear fuel exists to meet that need.

Kovarex is certainly super powerful and there is good argument for it belonging as a space tier science. You simply never need that level of tech to launch the rocket. But for that to be the case then fuel reprocessing should provide a more tangible halfway boost.
yes, i did indeed giggle abit. 1.4G is cute. but you gotta have all the different playstyles in mind
that being said, keep in mind that not so experienced and slow paced players might blow their first 100 U235 because they just keep feeding a reactor, not knowing that it will use the fuel cell in 200sec, even if not needed.

I dont mind whatever happened to fuel reprocessing, because to me its just a nice touch that there is used up stuff, just like dirty barrels, AB´s catalysts etc.
But i dont its think needed to give U235 back, would just be a bit of sorting. Anything that gives it back at a decent rate would be more of a loop than Kovarex process i guess
If you are going through hell, keep going!

leadraven
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by leadraven » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:36 pm

bobucles wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:24 pm
1.44GW (sky-high value for many players, as I believe
Did anyone else giggle at this? A GW base is chump change. Nuclear power isn't balanced for the end game as much as the post game. Extreme bases need extreme power and Nuclear power fills that role very well. Those super bases don't run for hours but they run for days or even months. Nuclear fuel exists to meet that need.

Kovarex is certainly super powerful and there is good argument for it belonging as a space tier science. You simply never need that level of tech to launch the rocket. But for that to be the case then fuel reprocessing should provide a more tangible halfway boost.
I totally agree! And to reach these power ratings and to satisfy demands of mega bases here should be repeatable space tech that in some way increases nucler power output. But basic nuclear power requiers !!!BLUE!!! science! With even tiny uranium spot you can easely exceed you power need multiple times.
BTW, oil refinery is harder to build then entire nuclear complex.
You, guys, sat up on your mega bases so much that you completely forgot about the before-first-rocket game. I understand and respect that for experienced players game is megabases and you need specific tools, but you too don't forget that the main progression is also important for many players.

User avatar
GrumpyJoe
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by GrumpyJoe » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:58 pm

I get all the points.
I see you math, i understand it and i trust you on it.
But: in the OP, you are including Kovarex in one of the formulas, which is a whole different process than mining raw ore and centrifuging it.
Its pointed out, but all your reasoning beyond that uses the Kovarex number.
And you include reactor boni, to make that number even higher. You could go as far as mining prod, miners craft cycles and modules in miners and the power they´d be using

I dont get the whole thing. Whats behind all this? Is it ruining your personal experience, knowing that nuclear is aviable "so early"?
Your voting options alone look like you´r on some kind of crusade against "OPness because numbers!"
An unbiased poll would include points on both sides of neutral. Your defense in your answers shows that you can´t understand why anyone would think its ok as it is, let alone aynone thinking it needs a buff! (which i dont)

Of course uranium has more fuel value than coal!

You are kinda contradicting yourself here
Spending alot of science for something you dont need so early is a trap at best. Because if you are so inexperienced to dont know what you´r up to, an efficient nuclear power plant is definatly not "easier to set up than an oil refinery", its not in the same postcode, its not even on the same planet!
I still remember my first one, and i´ve looked it up bedore. On Youtube, /r, forums, all the stuff. It was a nightmare, not using BPs.

If anything, all of it should be locked behind high tech science to not lure the new ones in

If you´d be successful in this and the amount of raw ore needed per U235 gets multiplyied by 100? so be it, i´d shrug it off. We´d just have to build more miners, which in the end just sucks more power. There is no difference between building your first or 10th mining outpost (except for the boredom).
It would just delay the first 40 U235 anyway, because you´d need to nerf Kovarex to get what you desire, because personally i wouldn´t go nuclear power before reasearching all of it.

I just dont get the thought process of this, beside the math. :?
And im not posting a wall of text to "proof you wrong" (even after 2k hours i consider myself a noob, looking at others) Im really interested whats behind all this.
If you are going through hell, keep going!

bobucles
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1412
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by bobucles » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:37 pm

Anything that gives it back at a decent rate would be more of a loop than Kovarex process i guess
The main reason is because of this piece of conventional wisdom
Save your first 40 U235
which basically translates to
don't use nuclear power before kovarex
That's a sad game meta to have. Players should feel free to use nuclear power right away and not feel like they're going be in trouble later because of it.

Adding U235 to reprocessing ends that argument from multiple angles. If you reprocess the fuel right away, then it extends your U235 supply and makes the big 40 much less scary to harvest. If you hold off on fuel reprocessing and do a bulk job after the research, you have a safe supply of U235 that can be suddenly summoned out of the spent fuel, helping to set up kovarex at the same time. In either event it cuts down the barrier to hitting that magic 40, which means it is a lot less punishing to begin using nuclear power right away.

By softening the U235 grind it also makes kovarex less of a "must have NOW" tech and it can be pushed into the post game science where it probably belongs.

Zavian
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:57 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Zavian » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:40 am

Maybe Kovarex reprocessing should take used fuel cells instead of U-235, and give back U-235. That way your reactors become effectively breeder reactors.

Jap2.0
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1857
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:02 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Jap2.0 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:03 am

Zavian wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:40 am
Maybe Kovarex reprocessing should take used fuel cells instead of U-235, and give back U-235. That way your reactors become effectively breeder reactors.
There's no way to scale it beyond your nuclear setup then, though (like, you know, nukes).
There are 10 types of people: those who get this joke and those who don't.

Zavian
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:57 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Zavian » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:29 am

Jap2.0 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:03 am
Zavian wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:40 am
Maybe Kovarex reprocessing should take used fuel cells instead of U-235, and give back U-235. That way your reactors become effectively breeder reactors.
There's no way to scale it beyond your nuclear setup then, though (like, you know, nukes).
Yes there is. Just add more reactors. (You don't need to use the power, you don't even need to add heat pipes or exchangers, just reactors, and feed them fuel cells every 200 seconds). Kovarex research could even add a breeder cycle recipe to reactors, which uses fuel cells faster, (sort of like how advanced oil processing adds a second recipe to refineries). Or it could enable the current Koverex process in addition to allowing recycling used fuel cells into U-235. (That would at least help solve the "You need to save your U-235 for Kovarex, so don't build nuclear until you have Kovarex running" problem).

User avatar
bobingabout
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 6167
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 1:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by bobingabout » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:45 am

On the steam side of things... 40MW from the reactor, 10MW for the boiler than 5.8MW for the steam turbine... it's not balanced. I would suggest changing the temperature of steam to 515, which would changed the steam turbine to 6MW. Then change the heat exchanger to consume 12MW and you restore the 1:2 HE:ST ratio, like Boiler to Steam engine. And then finally you'd need to change the reactor to either 48MW to continue to power 4 HEs, or 36MW to power 3 of them. Though you could leave it at 40MW when you consider heat is a lossy process.

All of this could be moot if they remove temperature from fluids though, unless they set a nice fuel value on High Pressure steam. Maybe a nice round 100kJ, it's the same energy of 515C steam.
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.

Hannu
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:27 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Hannu » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:26 pm

bobingabout wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:45 am
On the steam side of things... 40MW from the reactor, 10MW for the boiler than 5.8MW for the steam turbine... it's not balanced. I would suggest changing the temperature of steam to 515, which would changed the steam turbine to 6MW. Then change the heat exchanger to consume 12MW and you restore the 1:2 HE:ST ratio, like Boiler to Steam engine. And then finally you'd need to change the reactor to either 48MW to continue to power 4 HEs, or 36MW to power 3 of them. Though you could leave it at 40MW when you consider heat is a lossy process.
I disagree. Simple perfect ratios make planning very boring. If Factorio tries to be some kind of engineering game, it should take into account that perfect ratios and 100 % utilization of components are extremely rare and special situations in real engineering work. Engineering is handling of compromises, imperfections, varying (both predictable and not) conditions, errors, malfunctions etc. conditions which lack practically completely in Factorio.

nafira
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by nafira » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:45 pm

The main thing about nuclear is that you waste a lot of energy into thin air.

Who controls at 100% usage of each MJ ? Seriously ?
You can save up many things for burst but once you placed your cell, it's consumed anyway.

You can do all the math you want, it's not the point of nuclear power.
And don't forget that even if it's powerful, it's not unlimited even if greatly reusable (a bit too much I recognize, emptying cells should only give plates not uranium, because of Kovarex process).

Zavian
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:57 am
Contact:

Re: Nuclear power OP

Post by Zavian » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:51 am

nafira wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:45 pm
The main thing about nuclear is that you waste a lot of energy into thin air.

Who controls at 100% usage of each MJ ? Seriously ?
You can save up many things for burst but once you placed your cell, it's consumed anyway.

You can do all the math you want, it's not the point of nuclear power.
And don't forget that even if it's powerful, it's not unlimited even if greatly reusable (a bit too much I recognize, emptying cells should only give plates not uranium, because of Kovarex process).
You don't need to waste any energy. You can store the heat excess energy as heat in the heat-pipe and reactors, and as steam in tanks. When the steam in the tanks starts dropping you can add a new fuel cell.

Post Reply

Return to “Balancing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests