General tips for my playthrough

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SkylineCVC
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General tips for my playthrough

Post by SkylineCVC » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:36 am

Hey,

after playing Factorio for years now from time to time, I want to build a really huge factory with the update 0.17 for the first time.
I read through multiple guides and watched many YouTube-videos, but I still think that my factory is a mess and will struggle with building rockets...

Maybe you could load my factory and give me some tips?
I will attach my savegame.

Known issues:
- advanced circuit production is struggling, because I only have 5 patches of oil and coal liquifaction doesn't get me enough oil
- kovarex enrichment process isnt automated
- inserting nuclear fuel cells isnt automated (I insert them manually when the steamlevel in my tanks gets too low)

Thank you very much!

Greetings
Attachments
Alpha17.zip
Latest savegame
(9.93 MiB) Downloaded 12 times

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Light » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:27 am

I've never done an analysis like this before, especially with a vanilla game, so please excuse anything that may seem unusual.

1. You've got most of your ores going through a single belt to the factory, which is then going to be split several times which reduces throughput to areas that need it. It's far better to create multiple lanes for mines that can easily handle it, which the north and south copper mines can easily do 2 or 4 lanes each, which can then be placed into 6 smelting lanes.

Your coal mine could easily handle several express lanes as well, as the single coal belt is being split twice. This would remedy the oil refinery being unable to receive enough coal.

Never be afraid to create more lanes of resources, as splitting resources reduces supply down the line by 50% every splitter you create. Additional lanes help negate the throughput loss from splitters to ensure supply is strong no matter how far down the line you go.

2. Don't be afraid to use speed modules for slower recipes. Your plastic output is slow, so your solution is to either build more chemical plants or put some speed modules in them. This is also why your red circuit production is stagnant, which is one chain that really needs a good output.

3. Scale up or down as needed. As mentioned, your plastic is lacking and thus half your red circuit machines aren't being used. You must scale up the plastic production to keep all of the machines running or remove the half that aren't working. This is critical in every aspect of the game. Since you're using mods you may want to consider Helmod to know how much you need to build to sustain a set output.

The first thing you should do is scale up your plate production to be more than you can use, which ensures that you're never short of key resources from the very start. You can then create the intermediates you require, scaling up each process that is lacking to ensure a proper balance where no machine is ever idle.

4. Don't create more storage tanks than necessary. Fluid movement is based on how full the source is, which means that a tank 10% full will fill the pipe beside it until it's also 10%. The pipes and tanks try to achieve a balance so they're all the same percentage, so having a single tank at 90% means all the pipes will fill very quickly to try and achieve that balance, which is why fluid movement is slower when pipes are long as all connecting pipes and tanks are trying to balance out which is time consuming.

Attaching a pump to output from a tank is also a wise idea to fill the pipes to 100%, so chemical plants aren't left waiting for the fluid to reach it. This is essential if the tank holding the fluid isn't at high percentages, leading to the slow fluid speed mentioned previously.
---

There might be more, but it's time for me to sleep. Hopefully this brief overview will be helpful.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SkylineCVC » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:52 am

Hey Light,

thank you very much, these are very good points! I will implement them today.

The main problem with my plastic is that I can't seem to find more than those (depleted) 5 patches of oil.. Never had this problem before.

Any further tips are much appreciated!

Greetings

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Serenity » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:25 am

For ore I have a large belt balancer in front of my smelters so every smelter gets an equal amount

On oil wells too put speed modules into them (I haven't checked the save). That used to be the meta and was required very early as they ran dry very fast. Now they last a lot longer, so it's not absolutely necessary. Can be further improved by surrounding them with speed beacons.

Another way to conserve resources is productivity modules. They're especially useful on oil builds. They lower speed though, so you'll want to combine them with speed modules to compensate. One SM1 is enough to almost compensate even 3 PM3!

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Light » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:47 pm

SkylineCVC wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:52 am
Hey Light,

thank you very much, these are very good points! I will implement them today.

The main problem with my plastic is that I can't seem to find more than those (depleted) 5 patches of oil.. Never had this problem before.

Any further tips are much appreciated!

Greetings
I just tapped into your coal reserves for that.
Coal

After fixing your belts to ensure the new oil refineries were constantly supplied, I also attached a tank and pump with a circuit condition to always have 1k in the tank. This is because you're actually cracking your heavy oil faster than your refineries can be supplied, so they're always running short.

They're essentially now self-sustained so long as the coal supply is strong, which now having several belts of coal arriving in the factory ensures they always are.

With the petroleum supply now improved, it was time to add speed modules to the plastic production. Petroleum production can now handle it, so it increased production per minute by x1.5.

Plastics
Red Circuits

So now the next item to scale up would be the green circuit production as it's now falling behind plastics. Not only are there too few circuits however, but that single belt of circuits is being split TEN times. So not only do you need to scale production significantly, but additional belt lanes are critical to ensure a good throughput across the factory.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Skeletpiece » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:41 pm

First impression:
- You need to use radars
- You need to use trains
- You need to upgrade your belt system
Light wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:27 am
Never be afraid to create more lanes of resources, as splitting resources reduces supply down the line by 50% every splitter you create. Additional lanes help negate the throughput loss from splitters to ensure supply is strong no matter how far down the line you go.
+1
- Instead of splitting every time a belt, its better if you provide resources only for the item you want to produce (Dedicated lanes): Eg. You want to produce red circuits, use 2 full belts of Iron and Copper plates for X amount of assembles only for that production (Dont steal resources on the way)
- Because of my experience of building big factories, I would say that, if possible, try to build your assemblers with a decent distant from each other (And use trains)
- Always try to build a modular factory, dont mix products

I will provide one big factory so you can use it as a guide. There are many things that can be improved but we learn the hard way.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UqKJr ... TqLkH5XS7i
PD:
- Played with default settings
- I dont like using mods
- I dont like using beacons. I have used some but I prefer big arrays
- After 0.17 patch, I have stopped playing this factory because of new changes
- I think this is the limit I can go with this factory alone. Biggest problem are resources, so I am starting a new factory with bigger rich resources :)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask :)

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SkylineCVC » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:54 am

Hi Light, Serenity and Skeletpiece!

Thank you again for your tips.
I spent a few hours yesterday on improving the situation. Oil is now okay for me, plastics and red circuits, too.
I replaced the main bus belts besides iron/copper to the red ones and the belts for iron and copper to express.

I have a few questions left:

- Why use radars? Afaik they can only scan a certain range that I can easily explore by myself and the liveview is not important for me (peaceful-mode)
- Should I already use trains at this distances?
- If I use belts over a short distance to get ore to my factory, should I use multiple yellow belts or less red/blue belt for this purpose?
- What means a "modular factory"?

Greetings

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SyncViews » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:18 pm

SkylineCVC wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:54 am
- Why use radars? Afaik they can only scan a certain range that I can easily explore by myself and the liveview is not important for me (peaceful-mode)
The live view is still useful to see what is going on in a large factory. Are mines running out? Did something else go wrong with production?

Once you get construction robots it is even more useful, as you can place blueprints and deconstruct in the map view and let the robots actually do it, which is generally faster than travelling over there.

For some reason the devs don't want people to remote open the GUI for assemblers, logistics chests etc. in map view. Well that is fine, build one next to where you are, set it up as required, then copy/paste it over to where the actual ones will be.
SkylineCVC wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:54 am
- Should I already use trains at this distances?
Preference really. Tracks very quickly become cheaper than belts and are quicker to build. The belt optimisations make belts viable even for large factories, but building that many belts is slow.
SkylineCVC wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:54 am
- If I use belts over a short distance to get ore to my factory, should I use multiple yellow belts or less red/blue belt for this purpose?
Yellow belt is almost always more cost effective. Faster ones are easier to work with and quicker to build.

If your playing a normal game on standard difficulties it doesn't really matter. Red and blue belts are significantly less cost effective, but still cheap. 1x speed, 2x, 3x but for 3 iron, 11.5 and 31.5. 10 times more expensive for 3 times speed. Its a bigger deal on expensive mode games with much harder biter/resource settings (cost is 5, 22.5, 102.5 there).

SkylineCVC wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:54 am
- What means a "modular factory"?
You want to be able to expand your factory easily. For example can you just double the number of assemblers you have for circuits? Do you have space for those assemblers? Do you have space for belts / other means to get enough copper and iron to them?

In an extreme example, you might have separate bases for nearly each of the items. This makes expanding up to 1000's of science packs a minute a lot easier, as expanding a main bus design when the belts fill up is difficult.

It matters more as a late game thing and is by no means required to "complete" the game. Usually to do a game like this I will build a quick main-bus "spaghetti" base to get at least to logistics robots/networks and stockpile a significant amount of items, then build an entirely new base.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Serenity » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:44 pm

Learn the belt throughput numbers and common ratios when it comes to mining and smelting:
https://factoriocheatsheet.com/

For example 30 electric miners to fill a yellow belt (without mining productivity). One yellow belt of iron or copper ore feed 48 stone furnaces, which then output one yellow belt of plates. Stuff like that tells you how many belts you need.
Then steel furnaces smelt twice as fast, so you simple replace the stone furnaces in place, upgrade your belts to red and put down twice as many miners

Red belt isn't too expensive. It's blue where it gets really expensive. Don't get fooled by all those all-blue megabases on YouTube. You can do a lot with just red. And yellow is just fine in places where you don't need the throughput.
Also in both cases it's the underground belts that cost a lot because they need a massive amount of gears

With multiple belts you can now use the splitter priority function to always have a full belt on the side where you pull from:
Bus-Splitoff
Always take from the right side. Then you can see that after you take 3 yellow belts you are missing 1.5 red belts. If necessary you then inject new material from the left side
Last edited by Serenity on Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SkylineCVC » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:54 pm

Hey guys,

again: thank you very much!
I tweaked my factory quite a bit now with your tips and I'm producing my first rocket ever! :D

When I've done this I think of rebuilding or restarting, because this tiny factory won't be enough for my plans.... :ugeek:
Besides that I've never played Factorio without peaceful mode... Kind of a shame.

Greetings

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Serenity » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:01 pm

Despite the production issues that's some still some nice looking spaghetti :)

An addition to the tank issue already noted: don't run pipes through tanks. Place the tanks off to the side. Then then fill up with excess. But as said one or two tanks is usually fine after have got cracking

You also have way too many heavy oil crackers. The ratio for advanced oil processing in 0.17 is 10:1:7 (refineries : HO cracking : LO cracking). With cracking controlled by circuit conditions exact ratios aren't necessary, but there is still no reason to overdo it. You just don't have that much heavy oil

Electric furnaces by the way aren't any faster than steel furnaces. Using them with efficiency modules like you do is fine (especially when everything is solar powered), but otherwise they are very energy hungry. Their main use is the module slots so you can use productivity modules and speed beacons (such a setup can fill a blue belt with just 13 furnaces). But if you have the coal it's perfectly fine to keep using steel furnaces.

For steel smelting you can use direction insertion from one furnace into another (unless you're using prod modules). Steel needs 5 iron plates, but also takes 5 times as long. But belting plates works too of course.
All in all you need a lot more steel than that though. Because it takes so long you need a lot of furnaces to fill even a yellow belt

More about the main bus:
It's fine to have one and personally I do run a lot of it over it. But not the stuff for circuit production. Circuits need way too much metal to run that over the main bus. For example a belt of greens needs 3 belts of copper and 2 belts of iron. A belt of reds needs a belt of green and another belt of copper. And so on.
The green circuits for the red circuits don't need to be on the main bus either. You can either ratio things properly or use the priority function of the splitters to only put excess production on the main bus
Last edited by Serenity on Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Light » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:20 pm

SkylineCVC wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:54 am
- What means a "modular factory"?
Something like this:
Image

Even though each one is a different recipe in this case, they're duplicated multiple times. If these were a single ore recipe and you needed to refine 35,000 ore per minute, you take the base rate of one segment (6,400 ore per minute) and multiply it by six for a hefty 38,400 ore per minute. If you need 40,000/m later down the road then you can then add a seventh segment.

The purpose of this is that it's very easy to scale up by chunks instead of a little bit at a time. It also helps with calculations when you know the base rate of the first segment.

What I personally like to do is punch in the numbers into Helmod to see how many buildings I require to create a recipe several times the amount I require, then design it in a safe open area. Once it's done, I'll blueprint it and include the rate of production in the title.

---

Here's a quick mockup of that idea.

Helmod Math
Rough blueprint

Now if my basic circuit demand is 1,250/m, I know I can plop two more down the line to increase it to 1,800/m. Be sure to saturate both sides of the belt.

1800

However, now my demand has increased to 2,200/m. The single belt is already fully saturated so it's time to start a second belt line.

3600

At this point it would be a modular design of 1,800 circuits per segment/blueprint. You'll then add another when demand is over your production.

Alternatively, you can improve upon the design to get more products (Faster belts, modules, beacons, bots, etc.) as you continue to research better logistics. This very simple design works fine for the start, but you'll eventually want to recreate the entire design from scratch once you're further along the tech tree, which helps to compress the space taken with superior modular designs.

When you research all the tech you'll be able to create the most compressed and highly productive modular designs possible, so don't be afraid to create something that's not perfect from the start as it will be replaced anyway.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SkylineCVC » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:35 am

Thanks for all those tips!

I started my first rocket ever (with a satelite), a great feeling. :)

The next factory I'm going to build will use a modular (megabase) layout.

I have several questions left before I start:

1)
Serenity wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:01 pm
Electric furnaces by the way aren't any faster than steel furnaces. Using them with efficiency modules like you do is fine (especially when everything is solar powered), but otherwise they are very energy hungry. Their main use is the module slots so you can use productivity modules and speed beacons (such a setup can fill a blue belt with just 13 furnaces). But if you have the coal it's perfectly fine to keep using steel furnaces.
As far as I know the electric furnaces consume exactly the same amount of energy as the steel furnaces get through the coal burning. So why is there a difference between fueling coal into them and fueling more burners in a coal plant? Besides that with two cheap efficiency 1 modules it uses even 60% less energy...

2)
More about the main bus:
It's fine to have one and personally I do run a lot of it over it. But not the stuff for circuit production. Circuits need way too much metal to run that over the main bus. For example a belt of greens needs 3 belts of copper and 2 belts of iron. A belt of reds needs a belt of green and another belt of copper. And so on.
So this means you have totally seperate miners and furnaces for green circuits?

3) When I start a megabase, would you recommend to turn peaceful mode off? When the base layout is so big, I guess I'd need a LOT of turrets and I've never played without peaceful mode..


Greetings!

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SyncViews » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:08 pm

SkylineCVC wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:35 am
As far as I know the electric furnaces consume exactly the same amount of energy as the steel furnaces get through the coal burning. So why is there a difference between fueling coal into them and fueling more burners in a coal plant? Besides that with two cheap efficiency 1 modules it uses even 60% less energy...
The steel furnace needs half the coal that an electric furnace requires, while also being a lot smaller.

I almost never use efficiency modules. Once I have the resources to make modules, its productivity and speed with beacons. I don't bother replacing steel furnaces until then, but I might use electric if I need to expand my smelting earlier.
SkylineCVC wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:35 am
More about the main bus:
It's fine to have one and personally I do run a lot of it over it. But not the stuff for circuit production. Circuits need way too much metal to run that over the main bus. For example a belt of greens needs 3 belts of copper and 2 belts of iron. A belt of reds needs a belt of green and another belt of copper. And so on.
So this means you have totally seperate miners and furnaces for green circuits?
I almost never have dedicated miners, normally only as an "easier to build right now" thing early game. They constantly deplete and new ones added, mining productivity tech gradually increases the output of each miner etc. Trains can deal with the load balancing.

But I do most definitely have dedicated belts and train stops (or whatever logistic method I picked for that play through) to feed at least circuits and gears right near to where the furnaces are, even early in the game before I split the base out with logistic bots, trains, etc. Fitting enough belts onto a "bus" for iron and copper is not practical and almost impossible to expand. Gears and circuits are a very common intermediate product with a significant compression ratio (they need more input items than they give output, so less belts, trains, bots, etc. going out).

Ultimately I will only have a "bus" or centralized robot logistics for "construction items" as demand for these is a lot more sporadic. All the science related stuff will have dedicated factories due to the quantities involved and ease of expansion.
SkylineCVC wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:35 am
3) When I start a megabase, would you recommend to turn peaceful mode off? When the base layout is so big, I guess I'd need a LOT of turrets and I've never played without peaceful mode..
Depends on the game you want, turn biters off/down and peaceful mode on if you want to optimise your factory logistics.

If you want a challenge, then you can turn biters on, also expansion, and honestly set your self some ground rules if you want a persistent challenge (there is a lot of things you can do to make the biters so irrelevant you might as well have played peaceful mode and got more FPS/UPS).

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Serenity » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:24 pm

You can turn on biters, but turn off expansion. That way you just have to clear them out your pollution cloud, but you don't need huge defensive walls

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:25 pm

I'm experimenting with placing mines at strategic locations to counter expansion parties instead of using "huge defensive walls"...

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Light » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:40 pm

SkylineCVC wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:35 am
3) When I start a megabase, would you recommend to turn peaceful mode off? When the base layout is so big, I guess I'd need a LOT of turrets and I've never played without peaceful mode..
You don't need to make a giant box around your factory, you simply need to create defensive outposts near chokepoints and other narrow areas. Also, don't disable expansion unless you're doing a deathworld, due to how sparse the nests often are by default and how it makes things a bit too easy.

Image

Image

It's a very simple outpost but it does its job. More biter intense areas get flamethrowers, gun turrets, and even a dedicated power plant to help keep defenses strong when the factory may experience brownouts. It's far easier to upkeep small/moderate size outposts than it is to create 6,000 turrets around a giant box perimeter.

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SkylineCVC » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:44 am

So I spent some hours into my new base. I followed Nilaus from YouTube and used some of his blueprints.

base.jpg
base.jpg (176.24 KiB) Viewed 472 times

I think I will not survive it though:

evolution.jpg
evolution.jpg (7.81 KiB) Viewed 472 times


I didnt even set up red circuits and blue science.. Biters are not a problem atm, but I think when they get to big biters and behemoths, they will just eat my factory. :oops:
Starting a megabase with biters on seems to be kind of difficult. :/

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by Serenity » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:28 am

You still have a long time to go until behemoths. Get batteries going so you can produce laser turrets.

Two things I like to do about biters if expansion is on: First, turn down the evolution time a bit since I'm slow. The rail world preset already does that. Second, increase the minimum expansion time. 4 minutes is way too quick

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Re: General tips for my playthrough

Post by SyncViews » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:17 pm

SkylineCVC wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:44 am
So I spent some hours into my new base. I followed Nilaus from YouTube and used some of his blueprints.


base.jpg


I think I will not survive it though:


evolution.jpg



I didnt even set up red circuits and blue science.. Biters are not a problem atm, but I think when they get to big biters and behemoths, they will just eat my factory. :oops:
Starting a megabase with biters on seems to be kind of difficult. :/
Build up with time. Ive been doing megbase gun-turret only games for a while, and on marathon I have had behemoth before logistics network even.

You need to get AP ammo anyway for black/military science and in 0.17 walls also. What I normally do is just over build that significantly, say 6 regular ammo and 18 AP ammo production (way more than science will need for now). Keep that fed with steel/copper. Then do every damage upgrade with red/green/black science, you might do shooting speed, but the point here is to cheaply improve ammo efficiency, and a few upgrades do that drastically due to bigger biters having flat resistance.

4-8 gun turrets with a wall a tile or two away will stop any early biters, initially you might give each 50 magazines or so (don't give them much more, if they die you loose the ammo!). As soon as you get a chance make them belt fed with a nearby chest, you can put several hundred magazines in the chest, biters nearly never kill that.

Then concentrate on getting to construction bots. Not only will construction bots make expanding significantly easier, a roboport with some bots and a stack of repair packs will improve the survivability of walls and turrets significantly, and if a turret or wall segment gets killed, they can replace it (remember, ammo in the chest!), so less running around.
Laser Turrets
This removes the need for ammo logistics and on-going iron/copper consumption. The turrets also have more health so die less. But make sure you have plenty of power production, and certainly that you are not at risk of running out of coal anytime soon. To go almost straight to laser turrets, you need to rush oil and battery production and get the first laser turret upgrades, avoid investments in gun turrets and projectile damage.

Once past the initial stage they are much easier, especially if you push the biters back to vastly reduce the attack and get nuclear or solar power.

Serenity wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:28 am
The rail world preset already does that. Second, increase the minimum expansion time. 4 minutes is way too quick
Well of course turning down the difficulty is always an option. Another way to do this that doesn't make the mid-late game a lot easier (slow/disabled expansion) is to make the starting area a lot bigger. This way it will take a little while for your pollution to reach the biters, so you can be more prepared, for when they do move in and start expanding into the area and attacking aggressively. They won't have evolved when this first happens, maybe you loose a couple of miners or boilers while you run over, then you will have a chance to get the defenses up.

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