Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

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meganothing
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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by meganothing » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:06 pm

Dune wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:37 pm
I don't want to be negative, but I thought the goal of 0.17 was to polish for launch. These changes "should" take another year of testing. As you're essentially making a new tech tree.
A new tech tree out of 99% old techs. Changing some values in a table. If the software can't handle that it would surprise me greatly. Notice how the tech tree in the UI doesn't look like a fixed graphic. It seems to be dynamically generated from internal data. And I think it must be that way or mods that add to or change the tech tree would have a fairly hard time.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Schallfalke » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:20 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:03 pm
Schallfalke wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:01 pm
It could be something like 10 stone + 1 iron stick + 1 steel plate + anything -> 1 prefabricated concrete section.
"Prefabricated concrete section" sounds a lot like "wall segment" to me. Maybe they should change walls to use concrete instead of bricks.
Yes, it is perfectly reasonable you feel like that, because "Prefabricated concrete section" is so commonly used in walls and floors in modern building construction and other civil engineering uses (like bridges, skyscrapers).

"Prefabrication" is a general technique not just limited to concrete. For examples, building large ships (esp. like cruisers, oil tankers), aircrafts (Airbus products), spacecrafts also use lots of "prefabricated sections", though that would be more related to steel or other alloys.
Technically, in-game rocket part is also prefabricated section.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Tricorius » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:33 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:03 pm
Schallfalke wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:01 pm
It could be something like 10 stone + 1 iron stick + 1 steel plate + anything -> 1 prefabricated concrete section.
"Prefabricated concrete section" sounds a lot like "wall segment" to me. Maybe they should change walls to use concrete instead of bricks.
I use walls quite early, way before concrete is researched. I wouldn’t mind a stronger (mk 2) wall upgrade, that maybe consumed old walls as well so I didn’t have thousands of wasted walls I have to destroy. I don’t really feel like there is anything wrong with the current wall though, so this would probably require making the first wall weaker.

The “prefabrication” concept, while I like it, does add a more significant amount of extra work, which might not be worth it for the devs. (These sort of additions often ripple down and cause far more changes to make the new entity reflected throughout the game.)

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Schallfalke » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:56 pm

Tricorius wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:33 pm
Oktokolo wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:03 pm
Schallfalke wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:01 pm
It could be something like 10 stone + 1 iron stick + 1 steel plate + anything -> 1 prefabricated concrete section.
"Prefabricated concrete section" sounds a lot like "wall segment" to me. Maybe they should change walls to use concrete instead of bricks.
I use walls quite early, way before concrete is researched. I wouldn’t mind a stronger (mk 2) wall upgrade, that maybe consumed old walls as well so I didn’t have thousands of wasted walls I have to destroy. I don’t really feel like there is anything wrong with the current wall though, so this would probably require making the first wall weaker.

The “prefabrication” concept, while I like it, does add a more significant amount of extra work, which might not be worth it for the devs. (These sort of additions often ripple down and cause far more changes to make the new entity reflected throughout the game.)
Stone wall and concrete wall, while look alike, are actually made by quite different technique.
In the medieval age, castles and city walls are built by laying and stacking stone bricks.
Modern concrete features steel reinforcement, which improves the otherwise weak tensile strength in cement. So "technically" cannot use existing stone wall as ingredient. But for game-play perspective, I think it is appropriate to use them as ingredient for a concrete wall as MK2 upgrade.

Yes, it may change 2-4 recipes, from what I pointed out earlier. I am not sure if it is too much work for the devs.
It's alright if it is not applied in 0.17 update, skipping for the more high priority matters at the moment. But can the devs please reserve this idea into consideration in the future (like 0.18 or 1.0)?
Maybe that's not enough buildings/uses at the moment, but I am sure it will be useful when more entities are introduced into the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by CJ5Boss » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:28 pm

I like the walls in the military research pack. I may be one of few, but it is better than the gun turret.
However, if rails should be included in Production, I think less would be nice. Combined with everything else, I feel it is too much steel.
"Artillery laser cannon shotgun uranium explosive turret tanks" would be the greatest thing ever.
You might try checking out my mod: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/CJs_QoL_Research_Ver1

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Tricorius » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:48 pm

Schallfalke wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:56 pm
Stone wall and concrete wall, while look alike, are actually made by quite different technique.
In the medieval age, castles and city walls are built by laying and stacking stone bricks.
Modern concrete features steel reinforcement, which improves the otherwise weak tensile strength in cement. So "technically" cannot use existing stone wall as ingredient. But for game-play perspective, I think it is appropriate to use them as ingredient for a concrete wall as MK2 upgrade.
Yup, I know how walls are made. My son is (and my brother was) a construction foreman. My son specializes in concrete foundations. The concrete recipe also doesn’t include calcium compounds, silica, alumina and iron oxide. They use iron ore to approximate the concept (and simulate not having to build an intermediate cement product).

I’m fine with imagining my little spacefaring dude essentially programming the assemblers to surround the old weaker wall with a stronger, reinforced concrete “shell”. I know it isn’t realistic, but neither is sending a locomotive down the same basic conveyer belt that I built with a pickaxe and some crude iron gears to be placed by a single robotic arm into a chest far smaller than the locomotive is. :: shrug ::

Actually, come to think of it, unless I’m wrong the basic wall is five bricks. And basic concrete takes five bricks. So in-game, a wall is an exact drop-in replacement. I can assume an assembler knows how to crush down a basic wall, remove impurities, and use that as the aggregate substrate layer for the concrete.

In Factorio, based off the ingredients, I’m guessing the basic concrete is more of a slightly stronger cement (using crushed bricks instead of sand to make it a bit tougher or to simulate not having to add an additional “raw” ingredient).

So perhaps the more “realistic” way to simulate a basic wall recycling would be an additional concrete recipe that could crush down a basic wall and build concrete out of it. Or, better yet, have another intermediate product (stone aggregate) which could be made from stone, bricks, or basic walls and fed into concrete. An alternative could be to break a basic wall back down into bricks. But none of these are “realistically perfect” options either, and also require a bit of “handwaving” for realism.

Also, in your second paragraph, you are talking about modern “reinforced concrete” (which Factorio represents as “refined concrete”. I assume the intermediate “prefab” product used refined concrete instead of basic concrete, but I don’t recall.

So...if there are wall upgrades, we either need a fairly more complex recycling method, or I have ten thousand walls I have to toss in a chest to just sit there or shoot with my machine gun and destroy. Which, by the way, is completely realistic. ;)

But regardless... Again, “realism” is a very weak argument to me for Factorio. I don’t mind the devs spending their time to do their best to keep things as realistic as possible, but meh. :: shrug ::

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Rythe » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:50 pm

V453000 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:42 am
I just also see a large group of people who like the change (of specifically rails), alongside of reason. I still do not see a better alternative than rails.
Concrete not really an useful thing at the moment. Should that change? I'm not sure. Does it need to change AND change the science pack? No, we could still discuss that change separately.
Bold added - Which, again, just proves my point that the primary criteria, and basically only valid one you're accepting here, is that the item replacing rails must be used generally like rails. This has nothing to do with tech level, cost, production complexity, theme fit. Those criteria don't actually matter to you. And yet, you keep the pretense of otherwise.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Avezo » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:26 pm

Rythe wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:50 pm
V453000 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:42 am
I just also see a large group of people who like the change (of specifically rails), alongside of reason. I still do not see a better alternative than rails.
Concrete not really an useful thing at the moment. Should that change? I'm not sure. Does it need to change AND change the science pack? No, we could still discuss that change separately.
Bold added - Which, again, just proves my point that the primary criteria, and basically only valid one you're accepting here, is that the item replacing rails must be used generally like rails. This has nothing to do with tech level, cost, production complexity, theme fit. Those criteria don't actually matter to you. And yet, you keep the pretense of otherwise.
While I don't like your tone, I think I can agree with your general point - 'final' products are just a bad choice as an 'ingredients' for science packs - any science pack and any item (it's not just about 30xRails).

On the contrary, making science packs dependent solely on intermediate products would encourage players to automate EVERYTHING, because intermediate products would be supplied nearby already, whereas putting a 'final' product in the recipe at best encourages to automate just that SINGLE item... At worst, it discourages to automate that single item AT ALL, because it gives a hint 'I belong to science pack, do not touch me'.

Entire approach of 'hinting players to automate things by putting them in science recipe' not only does not work, but actually hints the opposite in my opinion (and my early game experience).

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by jodokus31 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:06 pm

Rythe wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:50 pm

Bold added - Which, again, just proves my point that the primary criteria, and basically only valid one you're accepting here, is that the item replacing rails must be used generally like rails. This has nothing to do with tech level, cost, production complexity, theme fit. Those criteria don't actually matter to you. And yet, you keep the pretense of otherwise.
This could also be said less offending.
Avezo wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:26 pm
Entire approach of 'hinting players to automate things by putting them in science recipe' not only does not work, but actually hints the opposite in my opinion (and my early game experience).
I agree, that its hard to keep the balance for using in science and for placing/expanding.
Actually, I think its not that bad, that final products are part of science. It also hints, that those items exist. For me, science was always like a guide, what I should automate next. (Especially important in big overhaul mods)
An alternative approach could also be to invent intermediate items only for science, which are totally unrelated to the rest. (like ScienceCostTweaker). But I guess, thats too farfetched and does not fit so well anymore. A mod can do that, because it doesn't need to introduce basic mechanics.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by morsk » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:47 pm

Rythe wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:50 pm
Bold added - Which, again, just proves my point that the primary criteria, and basically only valid one you're accepting here, is that the item replacing rails must be used generally like rails. This has nothing to do with tech level, cost, production complexity, theme fit. Those criteria don't actually matter to you. And yet, you keep the pretense of otherwise.
Don't confuse a necessary criterion with an "only" one. "Used generally" appears to be a necessary criterion, but I think "used when rushing through a starter base" is more what they're thinking of. It is not the only criterion.

It may not even be 100% necessary, but that "eh, rails are symbolic of expanding the factory; it's good enough" is enough to satisfy other concerns. If rails didn't exist, perhaps we'd have concrete in the recipe, but they do exist.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Hiladdar » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:07 am

I started a game with a mod that includes the proposed science changes, and I am about 70% of the way to a rocket launch.

Here are my additional comments.

1. Chemical Science is now harder due to having two products that use crude oil as a raw resource. I'm not sure that was the desired effect.

2. Military Science is now a much easier, especially with the reduction of iron needed.

3. Productivity Science is a bit harder but not as logistically as hard as Chemical Science. Railroads are not as onerous as advanced circuits.

What I normally do for the main base is have five 1-4 trains for copper and iron, four 1-4 trains for coal and crude oil, two 1-4 trains for uranium and stone, before I start building smelting and sub-assembly outposts. Based on my play through I may have to adjust the the raw resource input into the base, maybe reducing iron and copper and increasing stone.

For Space Science (white) the satellite is a non issue. By the time I need a satellite, I already have a plenty of bots, so one assembly machine, a few inserters, and log network chests and problem solved. If you have to launch an empty rocket prior to launching one with a satellite, is not a major issue from my perspective.

There is a lot of discussion about the applicability or using rail roads for Productivity Science. How about using either solar panels or accumulators in the quantity that keeps maintains the same difficulty. My reasoning for this is by the time Chemical Science is researched, trains are already running, especially to provide crude oil and some far away iron / copper / coal for the base since running belts are pipes all over is not very practical. By the time I am working on Productivity and High Technology Science, power generation is starting to become an issue.

From a play-ability perspective, I think the size, frequency, and richness of the resource patches may need to be adjusted once the science recipes are settled.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by featherwinglove » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:28 am

Hiladdar wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:07 am
I started a game with a mod that includes the proposed science changes, and I am about 70% of the way to a rocket launch.

Here are my additional comments.

1. Chemical Science is now harder due to having two products that use crude oil as a raw resource. I'm not sure that was the desired effect.
It did before 0.15 too (scratches head)
3. Productivity Science is a bit harder but not as logistically as hard as Chemical Science. Railroads are not as onerous as advanced circuits.
That_much_is_certain.png
That_much_is_certain.png (17.25 KiB) Viewed 500 times

I believe the "production" (scare quotes because burning three kilometres of train track in a science experiment is that wtf) science pack is supposed to predate the "chemistry" (make it that name) science pack in the progression sequence.
If you have to launch an empty rocket prior to launching one with a satellite, is not a major issue from my perspective.
This I agree with. First orbital launch attempts are generally for engineering data only ...and usually don't make it to orbit even with new booster types even today. Hell, Elon Musk took a car out of a garage, stuck an empty space suit in it, used it as a test payload for his biggest booster and sent it off in the general direction of Mars. (Due to planetary protection policies, he wasn't allowed to hit Mars with it.)
There is a lot of discussion about the applicability or using rail roads for Productivity Science. How about using either solar panels or accumulators in the quantity that keeps maintains the same difficulty.
Solar panels yes, accumulators no. Accumulators use batteries, use LPG, use oil, which we don't have enough of in this phase of the game. I really like the idea of the solar panel though.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Nova » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:22 am

Personally I dislike the launch without a satellite because it feels so useless.

Suggestion: How about adding a "Test launch" feature to the rocket silo? This test launch does the same as a normal rocket launch without a satellite, but gives the player 100 space science packs. These can now be used for a new research (maybe called "Space exploration" or whatever), which unlocks the satellite. The first launch has to be a test launch, the GUI doesn't even give the player the possibility to launch a "normal" rocket until the new research is finished. After that the test launch is removed - the player got all the needed information and can now use rockets to farm space science.
This gives a purpose for the first rocket start without a satellite. You gather informations about the start and the behaviour of the rocket. This can now be used to get much more space science packs from rocket starts with satellite. This even adds realism as now the player can't just launch a working rocket with a satellite, but has to actually learn how to properly do this. As far as I know, in reality (nearly?) every rocket type had at least one test launch until they got used for actual goals.
Visually this test launch is the same as a normal rocket launch. No need for new graphics. :)

I don't fully know how this would interact with your changes to the research for space science packs. Would it be ok for the space science pack research to need space science themself? Sounds a bit weird, but don't know how it would actually feel ingame.
Greetings, Nova.
Factorio is one of the greatest games I ever played, with one of the best developers I ever heard of. Image

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Mike5000 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:17 am

Nova wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:22 am
Personally I dislike the launch without a satellite because it feels so useless.

Suggestion: How about adding a "Test launch" feature to the rocket silo? This test launch does the same as a normal rocket launch without a satellite, but gives the player 100 space science packs. These can now be used for a new research (maybe called "Space exploration" or whatever), which unlocks the satellite. The first launch has to be a test launch, the GUI doesn't even give the player the possibility to launch a "normal" rocket until the new research is finished. After that the test launch is removed - the player got all the needed information and can now use rockets to farm space science.
I like the idea of a test launch. A simpler approach would be to have all launches produce space science, for satellite technology to require space science, and for vanilla victory to require launch of a rocket with satellite.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Avezo » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:03 am

Hiladdar wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:07 am
I started a game with a mod that includes the proposed science changes, and I am about 70% of the way to a rocket launch.

Here are my additional comments.

1. Chemical Science is now harder due to having two products that use crude oil as a raw resource. I'm not sure that was the desired effect.

(...)
That was expected. If blue science was supposed to be made easier, solid fuel should've REPLACED advanced circuits, not add yet another oil-related ingredient.

It's actually not even setting oil production for blue science that is problem, it's sudden jump into relatively complex advanced circuits production which makes getting into blue science such a big step from previous science packs.

If advanced circuits were removed from blue science packs, they could've be added to some higher science pack, maybe even in crazy quantities like those 30xRails, which would make a good coal sink from plastic.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Zavian » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:51 am

Avezo wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:03 am
If advanced circuits were removed from blue science packs, they could've be added to some higher science pack, maybe even in crazy quantities like those 30xRails, which would make a good coal sink from plastic.
They are already required for the ingredients of production and utility science. So they are already part of the higher tier packs. All your suggestion would do is move the difficulty spike to a different science pack. (Also note that red circuits need 3 ingredient. Exactly the same as the inserters in green science. The extra difficulty is because the craft time is now long enough that you want/need multiple assemblers making them, and of course that they depend on plastic, and hence a working refinery).

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by lacika2000 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:57 am

V453000 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:33 pm
...
At some point I was considering one of the versions of concrete, but the main problem is that concrete isn't really useful for anything. Sure, there are a few specific entities that you can build from it, but it's really just the rocket silo with nuclear being completely optional. Flooring is cute and definitely great to have for the movement bonus, but not something I would consider structural. The only link I could see to Production for concrete would be that it goes into centrifuges (and uranium processing is one of the topics of Production science).

Obviously the other option would be to start putting concrete in many more high tier recipes like assembling machine 3, beacons, tier 3 belts, that production science pack has something in common with.
Concrete is a product that many of us automate, for movement bonus most of the time (I think), and some of us for opposing the main enemy of the game (trees). So it is not just a 'useless' item, like a pickaxe or so... :lol:
V453000 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:33 pm
To your original point, concrete is also a final product. :P
Yes, it is a product to be used, but I thought refined concrete was the end of the concrete tree, so it is not a final-final product... ;)

Anyway, my thinking, along with some of us was: it is a great approach to put stone into a science pack, as it will elevate stone from a 'yet another resource' to mainstream, but we would prefer a condensed version to be used, so not a raw ingredients equivalent (or close to it). This way the automation of the usage of the raw resource is required, and there is proper flux reduction along the automation 'pipeline'.

But if this is not possible with the current stone based items, than let's use what is closest to this approach. Rail or concrete, your choice. :)

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by lacika2000 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:00 am

V453000 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:45 pm
Side note:

There is of course also the new belt spacing mentioned in the latest FFF that I was counting with, that allows even more rails to be supplied to the production pack. :) Just in case you still worry about your throughput, worry a bit less.
This is so cool! 8-) Any buffs to the belts is much welcome.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by Avezo » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:56 pm

Zavian wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:51 am
Avezo wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:03 am
If advanced circuits were removed from blue science packs, they could've be added to some higher science pack, maybe even in crazy quantities like those 30xRails, which would make a good coal sink from plastic.
(...)
All your suggestion would do is move the difficulty spike to a different science pack.
(...)
That's the whole point - as written in FFF, difficulty spike at blue science is too big. Later science packs will be difficult on their own anyway, but the focus is to make blue science 'smoother'.

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Re: Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Post by bobucles » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:06 pm

They are already required for the ingredients of production and utility science. So they are already part of the higher tier packs. All your suggestion would do is move the difficulty spike to a different science pack.
The difficulty spike isn't making red circuits. The difficulty spike is setting up pumpjacks and refineries, which is itself quite a major undertaking the first time around. Only one ingredient should be required, and it should probably be the simplest one possible.

Blue science already has 2 out of 3 ingredients for trains. Why not make it 3/3 by adding rails? Drop the red circuits. The recipe ends up being a little iron lopsided with fuel, engines and rails, but it gives the player everything they need to begin building a train network. Blue science is the right time to start setting up trains because players have to start making longer trips to find oil wells and they'll find long distance deposits at the same time. Purple science is too late.

The value of oil cracking has always been heavy oil cracking << coal cracking <<<<<< light oil cracking. Why not give the techs in this order? If heavy oil cracking is given for free then red solid fuel can be removed from the game. It'd be completely redundant. Coal cracking is a modest boost of all oil resources and should give just the right amount of petrol output for blue and purple tier. Blue tier is the right place for coal cracking because it pushes players to upgrade all their fuel lines when their power demands are drastically increasing. Finally light oil cracking gets pushed back to end game science where it belongs. Players don't need light oil cracking until they stop using solid fuel in favor of extreme solar (with efficiency modules) or early game nuclear power.

I'm of the opinion that coal cracking should be energy positive. Forget trying to make "realistic" thermodynamics because it's not fun. More factory should absolutely be better than less factory. I did a lot of math on it somewhere but I think coal cracking only needs +5 heavy oil output to be energy profitable. It's such a minor tweak to give players a good reason for more factory.

TLDR: Green tier heavy oil cracking. Early blue tier coal cracking. Purple/gold tier light oil cracking. It fits like a glove.

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