A few new questions

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Peter34
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A few new questions

Post by Peter34 »

1. Is there a way to see the range of weapons or turrets? I mean, get it visually displayed on the screen, as radius-circle?

2. What are the later-game "basic products"?

I like to have huge looping belts of the "basics" that my Assembly Machines can take from. But for obvious reasons, I can only have four products per such belt, two on the inner belt and two on the outher. The Inserters can't reach longer than that.

The most basic products are Iron Plate and Copper Plate. Next comes Electronic Circuit and Iron Gear Wheel.

So that's my most basic four-item belt loop, for the early game. And it works very well indeed.

I also know I'll be wanting another belt loop with Steel and Brick. And perhaps 2 other items, but which ones? Which items are so frequently used, in such large quantities, for a wide variety of end products, so as to warrant this? I.e.analogous to Iron Gears Wheels and Electronic Circuits?

I do make a secondary belt loops for Belts and Inserters, to make Science Pack 2 from, but that belt is much smaller. It's not a grand loop, because those are specialized products, rather than general-purpose products. And likewise I might make secondary belt loops for a lot of other things. But here I'm asking about primary belt loops. What should be on them?

I'm particularly interested in what happens once I get going with Oil and Chemistry and stuff, because I've yet to progress into that part of the game (I always start over before I reach that point, wanting to build a better factory, a more efficient factory). What becomes the "new basics" in that phase of the game?

3. Will the aliens preferentially attack Turrets even if Walls are closer? I mean if I build a kind of maze-like Wall structure to funnel the aliens in so they're better positioned in a kill zone?

4. Do idle Boilers, idle Steam Engines and idle Electric Mining Drills contribute to pollution? Specifically, if I build more Boilers and Steam Engines than I immediately need, will the additional ones contribute to pollution or won't they? And likwise if an Electric Mining Drill stops operating because it can't get rid of its output (usually because its output Chest is full) or because there's no more ore to mine within its area, does it still add to pollution.

5. Are there any problems with using the faster red or blue belts, rather than the normal-speed yellow belt, for these "grand loops", essentially moving storage that gives me a superb visual indication of whether I need to up production of something? I mean, I could imagine that Inserters find it a bit difficult, sometimes, to grab items from or place items on fast belts, if those belts are densely packed. But is that the case?

6. Is there a games setting I can choose, or a simple mod, that means I won't start the game boxed in by lakes? I know I need water for Steam Engines, and I know I'll be needing water for other things too, later in the game, but the whole surrounded-by-lakes on all sides gives me claustrophobia, and inhibits my plans to build a grand and efficiently-laid-out factory. I know I can do map editing, but that's fairly awkward. I like open space, with few lakes and only small ones, and few or no trees at all. And if I get to choose I much prefer Desert because of the nice contrast between the yellow ground colour and the stuff I build.

7. Apart from before I bought the came, when I played through the 3 first campaign levels in the demo, I've only just begun looking at the campaign mode again. What do the various difficulty levels mean? Normal, Old School, hardcore? This does not seem to be adequately explained anywhere.

8. For that matter, the game setup choices aren't very well explained either, in-game or out of game.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by sillyfly »

1. No. I hope this is added at some point, though :)

2. I find steel and advanced circuits, and to a lesser extent processing units and batteries to be the end-game base products. Especially if you make modules - you will need a lot of those AC's and PU's. I tend not to put bricks on a line, as they are used for very few items which I rarely make in bulk.

3. I don't know for sure, but I think they do prefer turrets to some extent.

4. Idle machines do not consume energy and do not generate pollution. This is true for both coal-powered and electricity-powered machines.

5. The only problem I know is that regular (yellow) inserters may have trouble picking items from the faster belts (they seem to do fine mostly with the red belts, and almost never pick up from blue belts). This can actually be used to take items only when you have a surplus :)

6. Setting water to very low or only in starting area would probably prevent you from being totally encompassed. If you mean the small lakes you get around you - I think they are hard-coded to be there, so you are always guaranteed to have water for electricity. I usually simply start my factory outside this "radius", sometimes even a long way away :)

7. I have no idea, but I suspect they are placeholders and have no effect currently. But who knows?

8. Indeed. I believe this is something to be addressed in future versions... From what I can tell, the devs won't be satisfied with calling the game complete if it's not very very well polished :)

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Nova »

2. This won't fullfill your needs. In the start it may work, but at the end you need so much different items and really big amounts. Try the "main bus" design. This means having all important things on a belt in a straight line, and if you need stuff for a thing, then you split it off with a splitter. The key is to estimate which things are important and which not. You will need iron plates, copper plates, electronic circuits, advanced circuits, steel... All this should have a line on the main bus. Inserters or belts should not. Why? Because they are rarely needed. You should construct them where needed, not transport them on the main bus. Iron gears is something special. In every playthrough, I switch between having them on the main bus and not. I think having them not on a belt is the better idea.
I like having two belts with iron and copper plates. They are needed in high amounts, so one belt could be insufficient. It could also be worth a thought to have two belts with electronic circuits.
main bus.png
main bus.png (320.23 KiB) Viewed 5392 times

4. Idle machines do consume energy, but only a low stand by value. It is still quite big for a massive amount of laser turrets, for example.


6. No, but there's the Landfill mod. With this you can remove lakes and even create water.


7. They should change the difficulty of the levels. I don't really know how they do that, through. Maybe bigger biter attacks or less start resources?


8. Most of them are pretty self explaining. Starting area is the are where you begin. There are no biters, every resource and some water. Frequency is how often you find something, size is the size of the field and amount (sorry for wrong names, I play the german version of the game) is how much is there in a field.
Greetings, Nova.
Factorio is one of the greatest games I ever played, with one of the best developers I ever heard of.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by DerivePi »

2. Current end game/late game products are the level 3 modules required for rocket defense - of course this doesn't satisfy me, so I focus on building/automating my railroad system in the late game

5. Use splitters off of the main bus to feed assemblers. This will provide a queue of material for each assembler to be fed from.

6. Be careful not to give in to your OCD side too much! Without some complications (messiness) the game just becomes a big spreadsheet. Use the initial lakes for defenses and then build your OCD base once you have cleared a zone. I find trees are more of a hassle anyhow.

7. Difficulty levels are for the campaign levels and have no effect on the sandbox mode.

8. I find the setup choices provide extremely variable maps. I usually wind up cycling through a few until I get a map with a full complement of initial resources within the starting area. Otherwise, I prefer having sparse amounts of iron copper and coal.
Nova wrote:I like having two belts with iron and copper plates
With 2 belts of copper plate, you can dump one belt directly into the circuit production. And, with 2 belts of iron plate, you can dump at least one belt into a combination of circuit production and iron gear production (I do like to have iron gears on my main bus).

I currently arrange my base with 5 furnace sections (2 copper, 2 iron and 1 steel) followed by circuit production on the copper side and iron gear on the other side.

Here is a link to an old schematic design that I have since tweaked but still shows the gist of the main bus philosophy:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/syufyiud5vxpk ... LAYOUT.pdf
- (large file, you will need to zoom in to read)

and the link to the forum topic:
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... +schematic

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Peter34 »

I've found that a small Belt (a very secondary one) with Steel and Copper can be handy, mid game. At least I use mine to make Medium Poles and AP Ammo (and also Steel Chests, even though those don't require Copper Plates). Just a 2-item Belt, so far, although I'm sure that when I progress further into the game I'll be wanting to upgrade it to a slightly larger 4-item Belt for Steel, Copper and 2 other common items.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Peter34 »

I've recently come to like the car. Really, really like the car. Not just for helping me move more quickly around my factory, but also because it can carry a lot of crap for me. It more than doubles my inventory capacity.

So I want to start over again, from an early saved game, and start with a car much earlier this time, and now I want to have some kind of "car lane" layout in my factory, so that I can get around quickly and easily, long east-west and north-south lanes that are free of obstacles to facilitate moving around without worrying too much.

9. How wide should I make them, in tiles?

10. What's the best item to use to mark the edges of such car lanes? I'd much prefer not to use Lamps because they burn a lot of power. There's some talk about mods that add floors to the game but I don't like using a lot of mods, preferably none unless they really add to the game, and floor tiles will probably be added to the official game by the devs, maybe in a month or two, including some kind of road tile.

11. When setting up a Belt/Turret perimeter, with a Belt with Coal on one side and Ammo on the other, and Gun Turrets fuelled by Burner Inserters, the really annoying part, almost to the point of genuine physical pain, is to have to manually add the initial unit of fuel to each Burner Inserter. Is there a mod that makes each Burner Inserter be "born" with enough energy to re-fuel itself from a Belt or Chest, when placed down, so that I get to skip this hyper-boring part?

12. My current plan for Oil, which I now have some understanding of, is to use the Petroleum Gas to make Plastic and Batteries (the later via Sulphuric Acid) and then use the Light Oil to make Solid Fuel blocks to fuel my Steam Engine Power Plant (and early on also my Steel Furnaces until I can switch to electric ones (I'm very much looking forward to that!). I'm not sure what to do with the Heavy Oil yet, so probably just stockpile is. Is this a good plan for someone who's still a noob regardig the mid stage of the game?

13. What do the various "danger triangle" symbols on the map mean? I know they have to do with alien attacks, but there appears to be three colour grades of them, red, orange and yellow. I think I know that the special "mushroom cloud" danger symbol indicates to me that at least one of my items has been destroyed (usually a Gun Turret), but what's the difference between red, orange and yellow?

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Re: A few new questions

Post by DaveMcW »

Yellow triangle = enemy is taking damage
Red triangle = your side is taking damage
Orange triangle = your side took damage a few seconds ago

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Peter34 »

Oh, one more:

14. I often use space-limited Chests to get my Assembly Machines to make a limited amount of something for me. For instance I limit all but one slots in the Chest that's the output of the Assembly Machine making Gun Turrets for me, and this means that when I come back to it after a while, it'll contain 1 stack, 50 Gun Turrets, and so I can easily take all or half of those, and the Assemby Machine begins making new ones. Likewise, I have a chest that grabs regular Belts from my Science Pack 2 production line, and it's limited to 7 or 9 slots, meaning any time I need more Belts I can drop by it and grab 350 or 450 Belts.

But what if I want the Assembly Machine to make less than one full stack? Or what if I want the Chest to be limited to 0.5 or 0.25 stacks? Electronic Circuits in particular have a huge stack size of 200, and I don't think I need that many stockpiled. I like having buffer chests for my Grand Loop Belt, for Gear Wheels and Electronic Curcuits, but I'd rather have eight Chests each with 50 Electronic Circuits stockpiled, in reserve, to quickly re-stock the Grand Loop Belt as needed, than I'd have two Chests each with 200 Electronic Circuits.

Also when making the Car, I need 8 Engine units, and it has to be made in a tier 2 Assembly Machine, so I just feed it the needed stuff, but I'm wary of over-feeding it so that it makes 9 or 10. Early game, resources are scarce, after all (especially Steel). How can I tell the game that I want this particular Assembly Machine to output only 8 units?

15. Is there a mod that makes the Tech Tree more visual? Really, I find the unsorted nature of the Tech Tree a bit confusing. Often I'd like to "show Techs that only require Red" or "Exclude Techs that Require Blue & Purple", and/or "Sort uninvented Techs according to research time". Most games have a 2D spatial Tech Tree which makes it easy to see what's basic and what's advanced, not the effectively one-dimensional one of Factorio.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Peter34 »

DaveMcW wrote:Yellow triangle = enemy is taking damage
Red triangle = your side is taking damage
Orange triangle = your side took damage a few seconds ago
Thanks! That is not intuitive at all. I had thought maybe red means extreme danger, orange meant severe danger, yellow meant mild danger. So very useful to get this sorted out.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Peter34 »

I've now discarded the Grand Loop concept. A ginormous loop with Iron, Copper, Gear Wheel and Electronic Circuit is a bad idea, I've found. Very bad. It takes a very long time to build (e.g. one 1 chunk wide and 7 chunks long, or even 1.1 chunks wide and 9 chunks long!), and doesn't give much benefit, relative to its huge cost. For instance, one thing I've found is that almost nothing requires Copper directly. Science Pack 1 being the major exception. So there is no reason to loop it. When Copper is used it's almost always made into Cable, which takes up a lot of Belt space, so is best to make locally.

I've therefore settled for going for "local" loops, small and medium loops, each tailored for a non-generalist purpose.

I've done some analysis, and it seems as if these 4 items are still very worthy of a "medium loop", one that serves a bit more than a dozen Assembly Machines:
Advanced Circuit
Battery
Electronic Circuit
Steel

Alone, those 4 can only make a Laser Turret.

But if you "locally bring in" just one item, either Acid (easy to Pipe), or Electric Engine Unit, or Fast Inserter, you can make a wider range of quite uesful items with the 4 on the Medium Loop combined with just one of the "ported in" items.

Part of what I've learned, by making this formal overview of production dependencies (based on what you need of items, not how much you need of each needed item), is that Plastic isn't really needed in a lot of places. Of the items I've surveyed (which aren't all the items, just the ones that interest me, tending to ignore late game stuff) Plastic is only used for Advanced Circuits.

Science Pack 3 (Blue) might still be worth having on its own loop, though. It's not obvious to me either way.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by Koub »

Peter34 wrote:But what if I want the Assembly Machine to make less than one full stack? Or what if I want the Chest to be limited to 0.5 or 0.25 stacks? Electronic Circuits in particular have a huge stack size of 200, and I don't think I need that many stockpiled. I like having buffer chests for my Grand Loop Belt, for Gear Wheels and Electronic Curcuits, but I'd rather have eight Chests each with 50 Electronic Circuits stockpiled, in reserve, to quickly re-stock the Grand Loop Belt as needed, than I'd have two Chests each with 200 Electronic Circuits.
For this, smart chest, smart inserter, and red or green wires. Smart chest as output, smart inserter as input, and both linked to the closest power pole. You add a condition on the inserter, and you're done.
Peter34 wrote:15. Is there a mod that makes the Tech Tree more visual? Really, I find the unsorted nature of the Tech Tree a bit confusing. Often I'd like to "show Techs that only require Red" or "Exclude Techs that Require Blue & Purple", and/or "Sort uninvented Techs according to research time". Most games have a 2D spatial Tech Tree which makes it easy to see what's basic and what's advanced, not the effectively one-dimensional one of Factorio.
It's not an ingame mod, but : http://davemcw.com/factorio/tech-tree/
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: A few new questions

Post by JyeGuru »

Peter34 wrote: But for obvious reasons, I can only have four products per such belt, two on the inner belt and two on the outher. The Inserters can't reach longer than that.
For what it's worth, you can actually easily reach three belts with inserters:

1: Normal/Fast inserter, belt one space away
2: Long inserter next to the assembler, belt two spaces away
3: Long inserter placed one space from assembler (underground the closest belt under it), can reach a third belt

I use this for those strange product configurations that I just can't fit any other way, or to prevent having two products on the same belt in some cases.

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