Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

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ejg
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Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by ejg »

In Factorio (vanilla) the use of barrels is extremely limited. While they were useful for fluid transport in trains (having a larger fluid capacity/wagon than fluid wagons) the nerf of their capacity/stacksize has caused them to become obsolete. In my factories they are solely used because they are needed as intermediate product. Although I suppose it is the only way bots can be used to transport fluids.

I think it should be such that fluid wagons are used for long distance transport. Barrels + belts or boys for medium distance transport, and pipes only for short distance transport.

I propose to balance the need for barrels by making pipes more expensive (like tenfold or even more). This way players will be more enticed to use barrels for medium-distance transport. Also, when pipes are no longer used for across the map transportation it might be worth considering to model the fluid network using infinite throughput (like the electricity network).

If you have any other idea to make barrels more attractive or think they are fine like this: please post!

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leadraven
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by leadraven »

I'm not sure. In real life trans-continental pipes are very expensive, but also have huge throughput compared to basic railroad transportation.

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darkfrei
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by darkfrei »

The price is ok, but for crude oil, heavy oil and light oil the viscosity must be much higher.

So long pipes are need amount of pumps or the speed of fluids goes down much faster.

The throughput for the small factory is enough, but megabases cannot be feed by only one long pipe.

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leadraven
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by leadraven »

darkfrei wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:30 am
The throughput for the small factory is enough, but megabases cannot be feed by only one long pipe.
I think throughput of a pipe must be close to red belt. Looking at recipes for plastic, battery etc. I would say 600/s max, at least for gases. Less for liquids.
I know that pipe's throughput is veeeery unclear value, but let's operate with some practical average values.
The other problem is that it's hard to see overflows and shortages in pipes.

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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by BEEFE »

I think barrels fill an important niche even if they're strictly worse than tanker cars and pipes numerically: they allow you to move and use fluids long distances without having to invest in infrastructure along the whole distance. In particular, they allow you to transport fluids in the car.

This is more important for newbies who are still figuring out how to do various kinds of infrastructure, but it's fantastic to be able to interact with a system without having to already know how to deal with it efficiently. For instance, in my first game I canned sulfuric acid so I could mine some uranium on the other side of the map from my refinery. I didn't use the uranium for anything other than uranium ammo, but it gave me enough experience that I went and actually built a nuclear power plant in my second game. If I'd had to build a pipeline or god forbid a rail line there, I probably wouldn't have even bothered and might still not have any experience with uranium processing.

I don't think I'll ever have a reason to barrel anything other than sulfuric acid or lubricant, but there's no opportunity cost to unlocking the option since it comes from the same technology as fluid tanks and pipes. I see barrels as sorta like the burner inserters of fluid handling.

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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by CheeseMcBurger »

> This way players will be more enticed to use barrels for medium-distance transport.

If by "enticed" you mean "forced and annoyed", then you are right.

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Deadlock989
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by Deadlock989 »

There are some things that are in the game because they were a way of solving a problem in an earlier version of Factorio, i.e. they were a workaround for a problem that players were having at the time. You could argue that they were rendered obsolete by later additions. Now that the game is almost finished, they arguably don't need to exist at all.

The prime example is barrels. Another candidate is the solid fuel recipes.

When barrels were introduced, there were no fluid wagons, so no way of moving liquids long-distance without running annoying continental pipes. Now there are fluid wagons so nobody is forced to carve the map in half with pipes the length of Siberia.

The game now supports liquid fuels and liquid fuel generators. Solid fuel doesn't actually need to exist. The only reason it still does is because there is no liquid fuel generator in vanilla and so there is nothing else to do with some oil products mid-game (until you research more options). If vanilla had something like a diesel generator, you wouldn't need solid fuels at all.

So the only remaining use for barrels which isn't covered in a superior fashion by pipes and fluid storage is that logistics bots can carry them. Your views on whether that's a good thing or not are probably coloured by your views on whether you think logistics bots should ever have existed in the first place.

To be clear, I'm not advocating removing barrels and solid fuel. I'm just saying you could. They are frills, not a core game mechanic.

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BEEFE
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by BEEFE »

Oh right, this is kind of a fringe case but barrels are the easiest way to start coal liquefaction.

Sometimes you just want to move some fluid around without having to invest much in infrastructure. Mostly as a newbie, sure, but there's value in letting newbies wade deeper at their own pace.

e: If solid fuel were removed, you'd have to replace it with barreled oil anyway. Sure, you could have boilers or diesel generators with fluid inputs, but cars, tanks, and locomotives have no way of interfacing with pipes. I'd always assumed that "solid fuel" was just an abstraction for packaged diesel/gasoline/propane anyway.

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steinio
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by steinio »

Remove liquids and the wonky fluid system completly.
Satisfactory sets standards here.

Refineries can produce 3 different barrels at once.
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Re: Pipes are too cheap, make barrels an attractive alternative!

Post by FuryoftheStars »

BEEFE wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 3:48 pm
but cars, tanks, and locomotives have no way of interfacing with pipes.
While it hasn’t been updated to 0.17, there was a mod that allowed locomotives to interface with pumps: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Diesel-Locomotive

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