[MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v2.1.1

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Repofme1
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Re: 2.1.0 Update: Up on GitHub, Mod Portal Issue

Post by Repofme1 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:35 am

Therax wrote:
Repofme1 wrote:I have an update ready now, and it's definitely playable up to the burner lab and first coal coke technology. Likely much further, but I haven't tested to find exactly where it breaks. I know this isn't very far, but like I said, my effort has been going into reorganizing, and it is already paying off - handling the mod now feels much more efficient.
I started a new map, and the first progression breakage I've found is in the first graphite powder recipe, which still requires granitic-ore. Along the same lines, crude sulfur extraction requires lead-ore.

There are a few more recipes that take bauxite as an ingredient, but bauxite is no longer autoplaced, only laterite.

So, unable to get out of the burner age in the current state. For the moment I've switched this recipe to use coal instead, which is probably completely geologically impossible (I'm no geologist!), but I'll continue testing and putting fixes into my hotfix mod published on the mod portal along the lines of eradicator's earlier effort for 1.5.1.
This is actually good to hear - you didn't hit problems until further along than I have checked (I'm only up to coal coke)! That probably won't last long :P But in any case, consistent with my feeling for the mod status.

You're actually pretty spot on about coal and graphite. The reason I switched it from XM 1 to 2 is that while graphite *can* occur with coal, it is much more available/practical/etc. from other rocks. And no matter the source, smelting is not the way to get it out - that would just burn the graphite :roll: Ultimately it will be washed from stone, since reducing conditions can metamorphose carbonate rocks into graphite, and I don't want to pile more products on other starting resources that are already used a lot.

Laterite (actually a rock type IRL) is to be a near direct replacement for bauxite, I just haven't replaced it in the recipe definitions. Formally, my training is in materials engineering, but I have a lot of side interest in rocks, minerals, chemistry, industrial production... can you tell? :geek: ;)

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Some Mod Outline

Post by Repofme1 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 am

Hi all -

A bit of an unusual update here. I was writing something else for Factoiro, and I actually found myself explaining some long-standing ideas about XM. So, here they are. I was talking about PyCoal actually:

They have come a long way indeed! I didn't know it had progressed this far - last time I checked was a couple months ago.

I really like a lot of the specific features, such as the cooling tower and the ore concentration chains. Many of the specific machines are really cool, but there are so many of them that it seems almost impractical to automate the crafting of all of them. One of the things I love about Factorio is having an automatic supply chain even for things like assemblers and chemical reactors. The graphics of course look very good, which is a nice bonus.

Personally, I dislike the ten or so different tiers of fuel (ULTRASUPERCRITICAL COAL! :) ); this part feels really excessive, because the real limit on combustion temperature is how hot your boiler/engine can run. A balanced flame of coal (raw, straight out the ground) in air, can definitely hit 1600 C - hot enough to melt steel. Almost any kind of hydrocarbon fuel (oil or gas) will top 2000 C with air, and some will exceed 3000 C if burned with oxygen instead.

From looking at some of the fusion production chains, I can say that they are EXTREMELY realistic, in a very focused area. I think the same can be said about the original PyCoal mod, which has a similar level of detail, but just for coal processing. For Xander Mod however, I want to cover more of the complete areas of technology - fuel and steel isn't everything. To enrich the entire game and still keep it playable, I usually go with somewhat less detail, and assume slightly more approximations. For example, an XM ore processing plant could represent a simple sluice, a froth flotation cell, a gravity separation cyclone, a magnetic separator for magnetite, an advanced electrostatic separator for ilmenite, and so on. And that's only one XM machine; the same could be said about the electric furnace, or any one really. The real-life variety of machines is too vast for anyone to add ALL of them to any game. So, the challenge is to find a good balance between detailed realism and practical simplicity. Ultimately, this concept applies to everything, not just machines, but items, recipes, and so on. That is the whole reason to make these tech mods, anyway: to expand on the extremely oversimplified base game, classic example being the solid-block-of-iron-and-copper electronic circuit.

I think, that the level of detail I have been working with in XM, is a good start. It could use *some* more detail, but first I want to get the mod reasonably working. The main reason that it is so hard to play, is that I never got to play the mod myself, because I was working on it all the time, and so the numbers are all terribly unbalanced.

There is also a fair amount of farming and growing things in PyCoal too, which I'm not a fan of. I am the kind of person who wants the food I eat to be appetizing but not luxurious, and made in a semiconductor-grade chemical reactor, set up in the vacuum of space, with no inputs other than water, methane, solar energy, and a few trace elements. Yes, I am strange. This example barely scratches the surface.

--tl;dr
The main points here are the ones about what I want to do with the mod, and detail level. A comprehensive overhaul, more detailed than the base game, and accepting some approximations of real industry, with the balance position falling roughly near the current amount of stuff in XM.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Therax » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:08 am

I wrote a quick script to go over all the items and recipes in XM 2.1.1, and print out those items that are completely inaccessible, meaning either items that have no recipe, or only recipes that themselves have inaccessible items as ingredients, assuming all recipes are always enabled. This doesn't address things like recipes that are never unlocked by any technology, or dependency loops involving producing science packs.

There are ~200 inaccessible items currently. Many of these reduce to recipes that still depend on the XM1 ores. For example: gold-plate requires granitic-ore, which blocks processing units and so practically all the tier 3 items. Similarly, aluminum depends indirectly on bauxite and apatite, and concrete depends on bauxite, blocking a large number of downstream items.

I'm attaching the script I used to generate these results, and the raw results themselves, which I hope will be helpful. I'll probably continuing working on this tool to actually traverse technology unlocks and give a better sanity check of progression.
Attachments
data-final-fixes.lua
Script to analyze item/recipe dependencies`
(2.08 KiB) Downloaded 23 times
factorio-current.log
Script output on XM 2.1.1 + th-xm-hotfix
(77.93 KiB) Downloaded 31 times

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Therax » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:03 pm

Therax wrote:I'll probably continuing working on this tool to actually traverse technology unlocks and give a better sanity check of progression.
I wrote this tool, and used it to refine my "hotfix" mod.

For the moment I'm pointing all of the old ore references to the new ores, which means unrealistic things like sorting graphite from skarn is currently present. As Repofme1 updates recipes to use the new ores directly, those patchwork fixes will fall away.

Also fixed the -plate -> -ingot transition, and made nickel and borax accessible.

According to the automated analysis, XM2 should now by playable through rocket silos, at least as far as recipes, technologies, and items are concerned.

I have not yet analyzed building accessibility, so it may turn out that something like the old problem of being unable to craft a chemical reactor without first having a chemical reactor may still be present.

This is all a super quick and messy hack, so I'd love to hear people's experiences playing through XM2 with my fix once it's actually uploaded, as I don't have a lot of time to do so.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by eradicator » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:13 pm

Therax wrote:
Therax wrote:I'll probably continuing working on this tool to actually traverse technology unlocks and give a better sanity check of progression.
Another case of "somebody implemented my idea before i got around to do it" :p. Though i still have a few ideas for mine. And i'm aiming at a more generic approach as opposed to per-mod-fixes. Nice you're updating your hotfix mod too. I edited the title of mine on the mod portal to state what version it is for, maybe you could do that too so it shows in the in-game browser easier as it doesn't show descriptions.
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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by morcup » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:05 pm

Hi, I am enjoying your mod so far, but I think I've run into a problem. The crude chemical reactor requires lead plate, but all I can smelt at the beginning is lead ingot. Are the two supposed to be different?
I will attempt to upload two pictures here to illustrate my problem:
Image
Image
As you can see, the stone brick furnace is making lead ingots, but I need lead plates for making the crude chemical reactor.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by eradicator » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:08 pm

@morcup:
Try installing https://mods.factorio.com/mod/th-xm-hotfix which should fix some of the current issues.
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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by morcup » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:20 pm

Oo, thanks, that did it. I briefly looked at that mod earlier, but must have misunderstood it, I'm still very new to XanderMod.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by jodokus31 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:44 pm

The mod is at the moment still in sort of "breakover". Meaning, that there supposed to be a lot of changes soon, which require a lot of work.
Therax' Hotfix is so far brilliant as it fixes the main issues. Also the script for detecting loose ends is very nice.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by t-lor » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:34 am

Hi

The description sounded fun
SO Im running around, toying with the old version

However im missing something, what do u use for fuel ?
I cant seem to find a coal patch anywhere, so im burning a lot of trees right now, but that doesnt feel sustainable or automatable.
So is there a ore im missing that can serve as fuel ?

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Therax » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:25 am

t-lor wrote:However im missing something, what do u use for fuel ?
I cant seem to find a coal patch anywhere, so im burning a lot of trees right now, but that doesnt feel sustainable or automatable.
There should be plenty of coal around, and one of your first research goals should be the capability to turn coal into coke. Are you running any other mods that may be changing ore generation? Are you running with rso-mod? What are your map settings?

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Homeboi-Jesus » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:40 am

Hello,

I am loving this mod, but I am having a bit of difficulty with sustainability. The red stone furnaces and blast furnace both require coke. The problem I am having with coke is that 1 coal = 16 coke. There is no way that my insurers can keep up with that, not to mention assembly belt feeding would be incredibly difficult, especially for my 40+ furnaces requiring that fuel. Is there a more efficient way of doing things? Because right now I'm stuck most of the time running to my coal box, grabbing 600 coal, dropping it into 3 red stone furnaces, taking out the coke when full and repeating until empty. As you can imagine, that is quite a hassle (especially since my iron setup is a good distance away because of an unlucky ore placement). Also, I have noticed it can use other fuels like charcoal and solid fuel; but what is the dark black powder it can use? I don't have the recipe for it nor could I find it when digging through the research tech tree.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Therax » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 am

Homeboi-Jesus wrote:Hello,

I am loving this mod, but I am having a bit of difficulty with sustainability. The red stone furnaces and blast furnace both require coke. The problem I am having with coke is that 1 coal = 16 coke. There is no way that my insurers can keep up with that, not to mention assembly belt feeding would be incredibly difficult, especially for my 40+ furnaces requiring that fuel. Is there a more efficient way of doing things? Because right now I'm stuck most of the time running to my coal box, grabbing 600 coal, dropping it into 3 red stone furnaces, taking out the coke when full and repeating until empty. As you can imagine, that is quite a hassle (especially since my iron setup is a good distance away because of an unlucky ore placement). Also, I have noticed it can use other fuels like charcoal and solid fuel; but what is the dark black powder it can use? I don't have the recipe for it nor could I find it when digging through the research tech tree.
Part of the inherent design of XM smelting is an approximate 1:1 ore:coke ratio. Your furnaces will consume 1/2 belt of coke and 1/2 belt of ore to produce 1/2 belt of plates, at least before later technology. Your builds need to account for that:
furnaceline.png
furnaceline.png (284.8 KiB) Viewed 826 times
If your inserters can't keep up with demand that means you need to use more inserters. :) Here's my usual early game setup, using 6 burner inserters to remove from each clay furnace, 1 to feed fresh coal, and 1 to feed coke back into the furnace:
coke.png
coke.png (476.33 KiB) Viewed 826 times

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General Status Update

Post by Repofme1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:59 pm

Hi all -

First, a bit of news for everyone. I'm going to be taking a break or a trip this weekend, so I won't be able to pay any attention to the mod from tonight until probably about next Tuesday night. Plan accordingly.

Second, in connection with that, I feel like you all deserve an actual mod update, since 2.1.1 feels like it has a fair amount of new material accumulated. I aim to (hopefully) get that out tonight.

Third, along with my return to the mod, I have been establishing closer collaboration with a few other people. The idea here, is to make it more practical for me to accept contributions & help, and to have some voices to keep the mod more vibrant (and less moribund) when I need to take a long hiatus. Since I can only handle close cooperation with a few people, I am mainly working with jodokus31, Therax, and eradicator, because they seem to fit the job the best. I of course remain open to suggestions & help from everyone, but the fact of the matter is that one massive pile easily overwhelms me, and focused work with a few people is more efficient for me. To the common person out there - I still see and read your posts, even if they them get very short comments, or none at all. I simply don't have enough time to give everything as much attention I would like to :cry:

Anyway, hopefully this will mean good things for the future. Already we're making some progress on locale and item lists.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Repofme1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:07 pm

Therax wrote:
Homeboi-Jesus wrote:Hello,

I am loving this mod, but I am having a bit of difficulty with sustainability. The red stone furnaces and blast furnace both require coke. The problem I am having with coke is that 1 coal = 16 coke. There is no way that my insurers can keep up with that, not to mention assembly belt feeding would be incredibly difficult, especially for my 40+ furnaces requiring that fuel. Is there a more efficient way of doing things? Because right now I'm stuck most of the time running to my coal box, grabbing 600 coal, dropping it into 3 red stone furnaces, taking out the coke when full and repeating until empty. As you can imagine, that is quite a hassle (especially since my iron setup is a good distance away because of an unlucky ore placement). Also, I have noticed it can use other fuels like charcoal and solid fuel; but what is the dark black powder it can use? I don't have the recipe for it nor could I find it when digging through the research tech tree.
Part of the inherent design of XM smelting is an approximate 1:1 ore:coke ratio. Your furnaces will consume 1/2 belt of coke and 1/2 belt of ore to produce 1/2 belt of plates, at least before later technology. Your builds need to account for that:
furnaceline.png
If your inserters can't keep up with demand that means you need to use more inserters. :) Here's my usual early game setup, using 6 burner inserters to remove from each clay furnace, 1 to feed fresh coal, and 1 to feed coke back into the furnace:
coke.png
I'd say pretty much exactly what Therax said.

Although it's funny that you mention the coke throughput problems, I was thinking of that just last night... Nothing came to mind then, but maybe I could double the density of the coal coke item, so it accounts for two units of C and 10 MJ. 1 coal actually makes 4 coke, but it's still a lot, and makes for interesting design challenges. One one hand, 2x density coke would be nice, but on the other hand, I really like the near 1:1 ratio with smelting. Although, with my recent fuel balance tweaks, it's not quite 1:1 anymore, since coke is 5 MJ now, while the standard smelting operation is still 4. Ack, I don't know...

Glad you noticed the activated carbon too, that's a funny little quirk of industry. It's all carbon, and burns relatively easily, so it would sort of work as a fuel, but the first major industrial synthesis was the chlorination of SiC in the first half of the 20th century - not exactly a burner era tech :)

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v1.5.1

Post by Repofme1 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:09 pm

morcup wrote:Oo, thanks, that did it. I briefly looked at that mod earlier, but must have misunderstood it, I'm still very new to XanderMod.
This fix is integrated in the latest development version.

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Version 2.1.1 Published

Post by Repofme1 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:39 am

Hi all -

As the title says, XM version 2.1.1 is up on the mod portal. Changes of note:

-Improvements to content structure (lists and organization of items and recipes, mainly in bulk materials)
-Some assorted fixes and smoothing early gameplay
-New locale structure and content in progress
-Offloaded the majority of large-file-size graphics to separate XM graphics pack mods, reducing the primary mod file size to 7 MB from 146
EDIT: This change requires the addition of the XM graphics pack mods, which now number two (indices 0 and 1). They are listed as dependencies of the main mod to hopefully avoid problems.

I really have to get around to updating the original post...

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v2.1.1

Post by Prome3us » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:22 pm

Hey! I've taken a long break from factorio, just getting my sanity back a bit but when I returned about a month ago I quickly realised that vanilla was missing something. Checked in on XM and was ecstatic to see all the growth since my last time!

I'm running through a new map (biters are on, holding thumbs...) and so far so good have green science automated (at a crawl). I just realised automobilism has been pushed back quite a bit so running and gunning nearby nests will have to wait a while longer.

Just wanted to say thanks so much for the epic mod; the effect of changing black-box assemblers into actual collections-of-parts adds an insane amount of depth and almost nauseating levels of spaghettification.

Also, improved processing methods means that i WILL have to rebuild almost everything at least a few times. I dont see this as a failure of planning necessarily - especially as active biters do limit the viable buildable area early on.

I'll keep you updated with any blocks i run into or balance suggestions (note I AM running with the hotfix on, sorry) and can't wait to see how this game turns out!

Edit* As for the throughput issues people have with coke - i would advise belting raw coal as far as possible and putting up a coke furnace for each smelting column (or 2). In logic and practice this falls somewhere near the principle behind direct insertion.

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Another Status Update

Post by Repofme1 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:02 am

Hi all-

It's been a couple weeks since any updates or posts, so I thought I would say a bit here. My ultimate goal in the present time of developing this mod, is to play through the game, and apply my knowledge of industry & technology to content, balance, progression, etc., to make a fun and more realistic experience. To do this, however, requires that I have an efficient work-flow to make changes to my mod, often small changes, while keeping sight of the big picture. The need for an easy, comprehensive overview is solved by having easily-readable lists (charts) of all the content in the mod, which I have been building in Excel spreadsheets. The trouble with changes, now, is that when I encounter an issue in the game (missing an item, for example, that would make a processing chain better), I often have to change a little bit of material across all the types (item, recipe, technology, prototypes, graphics, etc.), which is inefficient because I have to jump around to seven or ten different files, scroll down to what I need, and you get the point. So, my main focus as of late has been to set up a lot of lists, functions, and automation, which is all a lot of behind-the-scenes code work. My thanks to jodokus31 and Therax, who have been helping me a great deal on these code and list efforts.

Incidentally, I also intend to add my codex charts of all the mod content to the main distribution. This would give people a better ability to quickly see what all is in the mod, since we don't have a wiki or anything, and I know the mod can be very confusing to people at times.

Also, in case you're really curious, check the GitHub, specifically the insights -> network section. That should give you a much more active idea of what is going on.

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v2.1.1

Post by Repofme1 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:10 am

Prome3us wrote:Hey! I've taken a long break from factorio, just getting my sanity back a bit but when I returned about a month ago I quickly realised that vanilla was missing something. Checked in on XM and was ecstatic to see all the growth since my last time!

I'm running through a new map (biters are on, holding thumbs...) and so far so good have green science automated (at a crawl). I just realised automobilism has been pushed back quite a bit so running and gunning nearby nests will have to wait a while longer.

Just wanted to say thanks so much for the epic mod; the effect of changing black-box assemblers into actual collections-of-parts adds an insane amount of depth and almost nauseating levels of spaghettification.

Also, improved processing methods means that i WILL have to rebuild almost everything at least a few times. I dont see this as a failure of planning necessarily - especially as active biters do limit the viable buildable area early on.

I'll keep you updated with any blocks i run into or balance suggestions (note I AM running with the hotfix on, sorry) and can't wait to see how this game turns out!

Edit* As for the throughput issues people have with coke - i would advise belting raw coal as far as possible and putting up a coke furnace for each smelting column (or 2). In logic and practice this falls somewhere near the principle behind direct insertion.
Hello there yourself! I'm glad you like the mod, it looks to me like we have our own little community of people who really like the style. I appreciate bug and issue reports, and it's good to share, but I often won't be able to address them directly. Most of my Factorio time goes into developing and managing the mod now (see above), but someone will likely notice the issue, and maybe send in a fix through GitHub.

I think that building systems is the best part of Factorio, so rebuildinh factories and process lines as technology improves is a favorite element of mine. Just what happens in reality too!

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