Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Regular reports on Factorio development.
Kirvesmies
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Kirvesmies » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:47 am

Regarding my earlier post about pipes being too weak and it being highlighted by barrel nerf, I might add another point of view. Barrels seem functional enough at the moment so personally I don't see a big issue with them, but perhaps the pipe issue is at least to some degree a matter of player not knowing what he wants. Currently my issues with pipes are:

-can't pass through them, so must use underground pipes almost everywhere
-underground pipes are expensive and make the factory look messier and it's harder to follow pipelines in factory area
-it's harder than with belts to figure out what is causing bottlenecks
-driving a vehicle in an area with pipes is really hazardous, they are hard to spot and usually break
-weird throughput, issues with making parallel pipes because of limited outputs
-pipes connect every direction unlike belts, making horrible fluid grid network monstrosities if you need to lay regular pipe in a tight area. Often useful, often harmful.

Actual amount of fluid going through isn't actually that bad, although getting full output of an offshore pump is almost impossible. Since fluid consumption of boilers fits nice and even with the pump output, it's somewhat infuriating but generally not an issue. Might not need much of a buff, but something to make parallel pipes work better and general ease of use improvements.

rldml
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by rldml » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:14 am

malventano wrote:If you need help splitting off of pumps into parallel pipe runs, I've created a mod that may help you out. It can support 200 segments (198 if you exclude the manifold segments at either end of the run) at the full 12,000/s pump speed across 10 parallel runs.
That's, why i love this game...

"Hey, something [bla][bla][complain][bla][bla] ...."

"I've made a mod for that..."

End of discussion :)

And yeah, it would be fine, if underground pipes have no advantages in throughput against standard pipes over the same distance...

Jap2.0
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Jap2.0 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:00 pm

rldml wrote:
malventano wrote:If you need help splitting off of pumps into parallel pipe runs, I've created a mod that may help you out. It can support 200 segments (198 if you exclude the manifold segments at either end of the run) at the full 12,000/s pump speed across 10 parallel runs.
That's, why i love this game...

"Hey, something [bla][bla][complain][bla][bla] ...."

"I've made a mod for that..."

End of discussion :)

And yeah, it would be fine, if underground pipes have no advantages in throughput against standard pipes over the same distance...
You see, going underground reduces the temperature of the liquid, increasing its density, and allowing for greater throughput.
There are 10 types of people: those who get this joke and those who don't.

meganothing
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by meganothing » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:58 am

malventano wrote: You’d have to pump to 3 other tanks and split off of them with additional pumps. That’s an awful lot of convoluted effort at both ends just to ramp up flow rates to higher levels. As others have said in this thread, ‘just add another parallel pipe’ is not effective when you can’t split off of the output of the primary fluid mover in the game (a pump) without a convoluted mass of pumps and tanks.
You probably have a big nuclear reaktor with a system of hundreds of pipes, heat exchangers, steam turbines and tanks working in parallel. You have smelting setups with hundreds of furnaces in parallel, you have labs in parallel, multiple refineries, and hundreds of assembly machines often producing the same in parallel ...

But to get a long-distance delivery working you can't afford a few pumps and tanks to parallelize the head stations and consider it convoluted?

Maybe you overvalue the cost of production and undervalue the cost of transportation a bit. Why should only production be something to puzzle out and transportation not?
malventano wrote: The natural way to calculate maximums in this game is to figure the most you can get out of any one miner, assembler, refinery, etc. Getting the most out of a pump only makes sense, but if you prefer, choose an arbitrary figure, say 8,000/s. That is not achievable by ‘just splitting in two’, as the split itself cuts flow down to half of a pump output.
The natural way would be IMHO to define a production target (for example 1 rocket per minute) and then go backwards how much stuff you need for that.
Or as another example, to make sure the nuclear reactor always has enough uranium and water when it needs to produce energy.

Now it seems that when you have an offshore pump, you place more importance to its utilization than for example to the utilization of the pipes that transport the water. In the world of factorio water is unlimited, contrary to any other resource, and offshore pumps are cheap, dirt cheap in comparison to a pumpjack, a pump or even an underground pipe(!) actually. And it is your objective to use the water of this one pump as best as possible. Ok. So if Wube reduced the output of offshore pumps to say 1000 units/s, that would help you, right? You might need more than one offshore pump in some places with high water demand, but you can get the most out of any offshore pump you place.

Just as a thought experiment, say one offshore pump could deliver enough water for 2,5 nuclear reactors. Would you then place 3 nuclear reactors there so that the offshore pump is used to 100%, but one of the reactors wastes heat? I assume your answer would be no. But would you add a few steam engines for the sole purpose to utilize the offshore pump to the fullest?

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by roman566 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:00 pm

Compare this (0.12 save that I abandoned):
Image
With this (0.15):
Image

Pipes take space. Lots of space. The 0.15 screenshot is part of larger set of chemical plants. If I wanted to deliver everything to it with pipes, I would have to run dozen of them. Or more, I have no idea how much fluid a pipe can move or how to optimize it. Truth to be told, I don't care. With belts it's simple - each moves X items per second, not enough moved? Upgrade. Still not enough? Build another one, mix it with splitters and so on. Pipes? Who knows. Close to the pump they move more, further away they move less for some reason. And it's hard to see why something isn't working. Not enough fluid or not enough moving capacity. No way to know.

PS:
On the left you have a single tank capable of holding 25k of fluid. The chests on the right side can hold 216k of barreled fluid. After the nerf obviously. A pure pipe based system takes way too much space.
Image

ske
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by ske » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:15 pm

@roman556: also include a tank and train waggon in your comparison. Those tiny chests are huge on the inside. Almost as big as the pocket of the player. :D

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Lubricus
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Lubricus » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:27 pm

roman566 wrote: Pipes take space. Lots of space. The 0.15 screenshot is part of larger set of chemical plants. If I wanted to deliver everything to it with pipes, I would have to run dozen of them. Or more, I have no idea how much fluid a pipe can move or how to optimize it. Truth to be told, I don't care. With belts it's simple - each moves X items per second, not enough moved? Upgrade. Still not enough? Build another one, mix it with splitters and so on. Pipes? Who knows. Close to the pump they move more, further away they move less for some reason. And it's hard to see why something isn't working. Not enough fluid or not enough moving capacity. No way to know.
I am surprised Wube pushed towards more pipes and fluid handling before fixing better information and bugs in fluid handling.
How full with water needs a boiler be to work? How much steam do the boiler currently produce? there is no information about that.
So
1. Pipes should have information about current flow rate and direction. a number would help i can't come up with any idea on an animation. The flow rate shouldn't be affected by update order and underground should have the same flow as the normal pipes of the same length. Mouse over info in the crafting menu should tell something about max throughput.
2. Offshore pumps should have some nice animation when they are running. The should also have some info on current production rate.
3. boilers/heat exchangers could have some nicer animations when running. They should also have some info on current production rate.
4. Steam engines are quit good as is.
5. Pumps have a quite nice animation. The should be info on the current flow and the speed of the animation should be dependent on how much they currently pump.
6. Chemical plants have a weak animation that is barely noticeable check out angels melting for inspiration they have gorgeous animations that not only makes it easier to see if they are running but also makes it more satisfactory to play.
7. Pump-jacks they have a nice animation. They should have info on current production not only expected production. The animation speed differ between pump-jacks but I supposed it's from the expected production rate not current production rate.

If stuff like this is fixed I think the players will see forward for a bigger pipe mess instead dreading the times when we have to deal with the fluids.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by AideenFb » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:39 pm

Wow, fluid capacity changes are ridiculously harsh!

How about just reducing barrel stack size to 5 and fluid wagon capacity to 50k liters? That would mean balanced capacity for fluid wagons and a cargo wagon full of barrels. This would give us a choice of using the more flexible but expensive option of barrels or the cheaper option of dedicated fluid wagons. Balancing how much bots can transport with this would still be iffy, but frankly I think that's a non-issue since once they deliver those barrels the fluid usage is still limited by the receiving machines and/or containers.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Ripshaft » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:59 am

Awesome year guys! Think it was about a year ago I grabbed the game - loved the last bit of stats reflecting on the rewards of working on the game getting more efficient and neato

Haven't tried the new rail based fluid transport dynamics but I most definitely agree the fluid wagon had far too much capacity for the logistics to be potentially interesting. Also thought the barrels were a bit excessive, especially given the return rate for most fluids being such that a single wagon would usually be overkill for whatever you needed.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by roman566 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:21 pm

AideenFb wrote:Wow, fluid capacity changes are ridiculously harsh!

How about just reducing barrel stack size to 5 and fluid wagon capacity to 50k liters? That would mean balanced capacity for fluid wagons and a cargo wagon full of barrels. This would give us a choice of using the more flexible but expensive option of barrels or the cheaper option of dedicated fluid wagons. Balancing how much bots can transport with this would still be iffy, but frankly I think that's a non-issue since once they deliver those barrels the fluid usage is still limited by the receiving machines and/or containers.
This is a good solution. It won't break factories using logistic system as those will merely have less barrels stacked in requester chests (I am already stacking full chests in every new build to prepare for the inevitable 0.16 switch).
Ripshaft wrote:Haven't tried the new rail based fluid transport dynamics but I most definitely agree the fluid wagon had far too much capacity for the logistics to be potentially interesting. Also thought the barrels were a bit excessive, especially given the return rate for most fluids being such that a single wagon would usually be overkill for whatever you needed.
Too much? Seriously? I am running three trains to supply my reactors with water in 0.15. After nerf I will need around ten trains to keep them supplied. Another ten for my oil production and 75% of my train system will be dedicated to hauling frigging WATER! It won't even matter if I'm using barrels or fluid wagons, as their capacity post nerf is the same.

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Oktokolo
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Oktokolo » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:20 am

roman566 wrote:I am running three trains to supply my reactors with water in 0.15.
You might or might not be surprised by the fact, that nuclear power plants almost always are located near a river or the coast in the real world.
You also might or might not use that information when planning the next power plant.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by roman566 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:28 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
roman566 wrote:I am running three trains to supply my reactors with water in 0.15.
You might or might not be surprised by the fact, that nuclear power plants almost always are located near a river or the coast in the real world.
You also might or might not use that information when planning the next power plant.
You ARE aware that this is a game and that RL logic has literally no place in it? The planet is flat. Resources just lie on the ground, uranium has green glow and water is infinite. I am powering my entire factory with a lake slightly larger than an Olympic swimming pool. AND I am only using about 20% of it.

If you want to treat it as some sort of RL simulation, be my guest. Just let me have my fun with building megafactories out of nothing.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by meganothing » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:03 am

roman566 wrote: You ARE aware that this is a game and that RL logic has literally no place in it?
You seem to misunderstand Oktokolo point: Whether by coincidence or not, water and nuclear reactors are easier to operate close together in both RL and Factorio. If you don't do that, then that's absolutely fine. But then don't complain about it as if it was a complete surprise that you have to spend more effort to transport the water.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by roman566 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:10 am

meganothing wrote:
roman566 wrote: You ARE aware that this is a game and that RL logic has literally no place in it?
You seem to misunderstand Oktokolo point: Whether by coincidence or not, water and nuclear reactors are easier to operate close together in both RL and Factorio. If you don't do that, then that's absolutely fine. But then don't complain about it as if it was a complete surprise that you have to spend more effort to transport the water.
I was completely fine with transporting the water before someone decided to nerf it for some unexplained reason.

Oh, sorry, reason was explained - someone doesn't like it.

Well, maybe if you don't like people making some interesting builds, like reactors not being tied to water, someone should include another feature that is common in real life and missing in Factorio - intercontinental pipelines that do not require pumps every hundred meters?

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Mandabar » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:01 am

Hmmm. My Barrels I use in my nuclear factory now contain 1/5th the water. So I need 5x times as many barrels while they are the same stack size. I guess I also require 5x the logistics bots as well now.

Crap.

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Oktokolo
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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by Oktokolo » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:31 am

roman566 wrote:
Oktokolo wrote:
roman566 wrote:I am running three trains to supply my reactors with water in 0.15.
You might or might not be surprised by the fact, that nuclear power plants almost always are located near a river or the coast in the real world.
You also might or might not use that information when planning the next power plant.
You ARE aware that this is a game and that RL logic has literally no place in it?
I am. But guess what: The people who built Factorio are living a RL. They obvuiously got heavily inspired by what they saw there.
You might argue, that the game has nothing to do with the developers' RL. But that just is not true at all. All the mechanics and all graphics and sounds, that are in the game are clearly looking like something that has been taken from RL (although they simplified that stuff a lot to make it suitable for a game on the way).
There is not a single thing in Factorio, i did not see in RL or other fiction before. Only the concept of combining it all into a sandbox of automation might be novel.

They even made the planetary surfaces all look somewhat like different places on Earth. It could not be more obvious, that they really wanted it so feel like heavily inspired by RL. They did everything to make the average western world human feel at home and to make their intuition work just fine with the mechanics of the game as long as they don't try to minmax (then it all gets suddenly unexpectedly complex to please the few humans who like the challenge).

whether you like that or not: Expect future changes to go towards making more average western human intuition work out of the box and to further complicate minmaxing. That is, what they seem to go for. And i think, they most of the time do that right.

P.S.:
Pumps are not that expensive in comparison to nuclear power setups. Spam pumps every two underpipes and you might be surprised how much throughput pipes can provide. If one pipe still does not cut it: Use multiple in parallel.

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Re: Friday Facts #223 - Reflections on 2017

Post by HulkingUnicorn » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:24 pm

menschmaschine wrote:kovarex wrote "Jakub Dvorský, the head of Amanita design, said that projects tend to be more creative in the fist 3 years of the development, while the last 2 years are more about tweaking, polishing and finishing. I feel exactly the same about Factorio. Most of the creative work has been done, and we focus more and more on finishing the game."

Uhm, so that means we won't get other than male playermodels...
That's pretty sad...
How do you know it's male/human?

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