Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

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Mike5000
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Mike5000 »

Another chunk of interest in the game bites the dust and robots are pushed even further out.

At least 0.16 still works great.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

kovarex wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:06 am
I'm not sure if it was communicated correctly.
Advanced oil processing is going to be used not only because the need of lubricant in later stages (not so much later if you want robots), but mainly because of it being vastly more efficient. Without productivity modules it is 100% more efficient, with productivity modules, it is even more. This will be a motivation especially when oil shortage tends to be quite pressing problem in the mid game.
Having the option of having simplistic but very unefficient solution compared to something more complex and efficient sounds like very factorio-like gameplay mechanics.

Based on it, the only real change for veteran players this will make is the phase between basic processing and advanced processing, which is usually quite short.
I'm not sure that this would have the effect you hope. Many players, especially new, don't think in terms of efficiency, but rather what's easier. And what's easier? Setting up more pump jacks and copy/pasting their existing basic setup, or upgrading to the complexities of advanced oil (which would require them to also tear up and redesign their current setup).

As others have mentioned, you're also just pushing having to learn to deal with multiple outputs to later, at a time when there's a higher demand for it to work correctly.

I don't know what the right solution is. I don't feel like this is it.

------------------------

I have to admit, though, I don't understand the complexity some feel as though oil is. I certainly didn't get it 100% right my first time dealing with it, but the game had already taught me everything I needed to know. Miners and assemblers taught me what happens when the output is allowed to back up. Everything has a running animation, so the flare stacks not running is a dead give away when the refineries are not running (I believe now, even, the backed up results are highlighted red in the gui). And making solid fuel out of the excess heavy/light wasn't hard to put together. I then fed all that solid fuel into my trains, boilers, and smelters to get rid of it. While I didn't produce enough for it to completely supplant coal, if it had, that's ok. Coal can be allowed to back up and completely shutdown without any negative effect (if anything, this is positive because then your coal miners stop/reduce pollution production). And if for some reason this was still not enough to prevent it from completely backing up, this is still ok as the consumption of solid fuel will make room for more to be made and thus allow your refineries to continue running, albeit stuttering. This still advances you until you can research advanced oil processing and then consider putting in cracking.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Reika »

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:38 am
I'm not sure that this would have the effect you hope. Many players, especially new, don't think in terms of efficiency, but rather what's easier. And what's easier? Setting up more pump jacks and copy/pasting their existing basic setup, or upgrading to the complexities of advanced oil (which would require them to also tear up and redesign their current setup).
This. And as someone who has made mods for four logistical-type games, and seen that effect a thousand times over, you cannot force people to care to invest the extra effort unless absolutely necessary, either.
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Omnifarious »

I'm really like that you added the obstacle avoidance back in. But you knew that already. :-) And I love the glowing laser change, it looks gorgeous. I used the glowing laser mod nearly immediately when it came out. It'll be nice to drop it even though I'll miss (just a little) the diso laser colors.

The oil changes are interesting. It will be painful to make solid fuel from petroleum gas knowing that I could use so much less making it from light oil. I don't like the delay for construction robots. Though construction bots being where they are has made speed runs much faster I've noticed. :-)

Currently every unit of blue science requires 75 units of crude oil to produce using basic oil processing. But, you also get a whole lot of extra light and heavy oil as a bonus. With the changes, you would have to produce 53 1/3rd petroleum gas per 100 oil. I would change the recipe to 150 crude -> 80 pet gas and leave the craft time at 5 to make up for the lost material. That would keep the crude oil / blue science ratio the same as before.

I think I like the high-pollution flare stack solution better, though I don't like the idea that it makes some late game builds (where you no longer care much about pollution) much easier. You could have them fail after some period of time, though that's a mechanic that applies to nothing else (not even the pickaxe anymore) in the game. You could just add the mechanic that extremely high levels of pollution in a chunk damages the things in the chunk, and make flare stacks the only way a chunk could ever get that much pollution until you start using modules and/or beacons.

And I think rocket fuel as well as the laser should be behind blue science.

I've almost never used flamethrower ammo because it's a pain to produce and lasers are so much better. Maybe the early nerf of lasers will make it more worth it. I also think moving lasers behind blue science is a good idea.

I think shooting speed should be renamed for energy weapons. It should be renamed to wattage and damage renamed to effectiveness or precision or something. You could have the laser colors go up through the spectrum as they get more damaging.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by osric_athanasius »

MrGrim wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:40 pm
Some discussions on the Discord server led to an idea for dealing with the new player issues with oil that I think would work a lot better here. Original credit for the idea goes to Hexicube.

The idea is based on the following assumptions:

* The fundamental problem is that it is difficult for players to discover how to deal with multiple outputs without clogging the system.
* The change as proposed only delays the problem.
* The change to the flamethrower ammo further limits the already limited utility of even having heavy and light oil.
* Locking construction bots behind blue science further increases the mid game "hump".

So, how can we introduce new players to the tools to handle the multiple outputs of advanced processing while not needing to make changes to bots or flamethrower ammo or over simplfying the first refinery?

Make basic only output heavy oil, and make cracking available with basic oil processing!

This makes access to plastic require cracking plants allowing players to familiarize themselves with the recipes used to balanced advanced oil processing before they are required to prevent complete blockages. It avoids simply delaying the problem by having the player use all of the tools required to solve the problem in a safer context with linear and simple progression before they must be used in a more complex scenario!

I hope that you agree!
I approve of this idea.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Omnifarious »

Reika wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:07 am
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:38 am
I'm not sure that this would have the effect you hope. Many players, especially new, don't think in terms of efficiency, but rather what's easier. And what's easier? Setting up more pump jacks and copy/pasting their existing basic setup, or upgrading to the complexities of advanced oil (which would require them to also tear up and redesign their current setup).
This. And as someone who has made mods for four logistical-type games, and seen that effect a thousand times over, you cannot force people to care to invest the extra effort unless absolutely necessary, either.
It will become absolutely necessary for utility science because that requires production of robot frames.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Omnifarious »

osric_athanasius wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:28 am
MrGrim wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:40 pm
Make basic only output heavy oil, and make cracking available with basic oil processing!

This makes access to plastic require cracking plants allowing players to familiarize themselves with the recipes used to balanced advanced oil processing before they are required to prevent complete blockages. It avoids simply delaying the problem by having the player use all of the tools required to solve the problem in a safer context with linear and simple progression before they must be used in a more complex scenario!

I hope that you agree!
I approve of this idea.
I also think this is a fantastic idea!

In order to justify the existence of advanced oil processing, it would have to be balanced to make sure it was more efficient than just cracking everything from heavy oil.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Adamo »

MrGrim wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:40 pm
Make basic only output heavy oil, and make cracking available with basic oil processing!
This still raises the question of "what is the refinery even doing at this point?" What's the point of passing it through the refinery just to output one fluid? If we go this way, I suggest it's better to just eliminate crude oil, pull heavy oil directly from the ground, make cracking available as you've suggested, and only use the refinery when fractional distillation is required to separate out more than one product.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Zeg »

I generally agree with most posts in this thread about oil (also the delay of bots), but here's another angle on fixing the new players vs. oil thing.

You made a fancy tutorial system, it might be worth using that.

The first time a refinery backs up on the output, have the game prompt the player into a tutorial that runs them through a simple early refinery setup and hints that they could use the light/heavy for fuel blocks or tank it for later. Problem solved, no need to mess with balancing in any way. This was how we solved the train signal complexity problem wasn't it?

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Adamo wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:41 am
MrGrim wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:40 pm
Make basic only output heavy oil, and make cracking available with basic oil processing!
This still raises the question of "what is the refinery even doing at this point?" What's the point of passing it through the refinery just to output one fluid? If we go this way, I suggest it's better to just eliminate crude oil, pull heavy oil directly from the ground, make cracking available as you've suggested, and only use the refinery when fractional distillation is required to separate out more than one product.
Yeah, I don't think limiting basic oil refining to outputting only one fluid, no matter which one it is, is the right way to go.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Jon8RFC »

This all sounds great, especially the oil changes. I've been teaching my young nephews how to play and happened upon various situations in the tutorial (they only did the first part and wanted to play) which only careless kids can do and then still have to ask me questions or have me instruct on what they should've done since they didn't learn it properly by accidentally skipping it in the tutorial. The parts they did, they still had questions about because there was too much freedom and too many ways to inadvertently and incorrectly complete the tasks, so they moved on to the next thing without actually learning what they were supposed to.

Anyway, the oil changes will certainly make that part much easier to teach since they'll be dealing with two new things--oil, and in one pipe; and gas, out one pipe--rather than 5 and "why is this pipe here if we aren't using it...why do we need to not use it (for something we don't know about yet--advanced oil processing) and save it for later?"
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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by sowieso »

I don't like the changes in oil processing either. To be honest, I always loved when it came to oil processing and something completely new happened. It was totally refreshing to have to think differently than before (pipes instead of belts, handling of (temporary) waste products (light/heavy oil), chemical plants instead of assemblers). I really loved this step, and it would actually be great if there would be many more like this (yeah, these kind of steps require the most time and effort I guess). I also like that there's no way around, you need to have plastic to build a rocket, not like uranium which is completely optional (meh).

So instead of over-simplifying oil processing, just create some good tutorials for it. ;)

All the other changes sound great (as usual).

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Omnifarious »

Adamo wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:41 am
This still raises the question of "what is the refinery even doing at this point?" What's the point of passing it through the refinery just to output one fluid? If we go this way, I suggest it's better to just eliminate crude oil, pull heavy oil directly from the ground, make cracking available as you've suggested, and only use the refinery when fractional distillation is required to separate out more than one product.
One could ask the same of other recipes that transform a single ingredient. Wires and gears come to mind. Of course, there, there's more than one use for the transformed item....

You could make lubricant require crude as well as heavy oil to make. That would also solve the "Lubricant recipe is too simple." problem.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Adamo »

Omnifarious wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:51 am
One could ask the same of other recipes that transform a single ingredient. Wires and gears come to mind. Of course, there, there's more than one use for the transformed item....

You could make lubricant require crude as well as heavy oil to make. That would also solve the "Lubricant recipe is too simple." problem.
Those are different because those things are not made in a refinery. All a refinery does is fractional distillation to separate oil products. There's no reason to use one if your recipe is just "burning off" the parts of the oil you don't need, rather than outputting multiple fluid products of a distillation process, because the chemical factory already does this in plenty of other recipes.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by morsk »

BlueTemplar wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:34 pm
So, how feasible would it be to hand-craft the blue science required for construction robots (and pre-requisites) ?
Not at all, for three reasons I can think of. There isn't going to be any workaround.
  1. Plastic & Engines can't be hand-crafted.
  2. Blue Science, Red Circuit, and Engine are slow.
  3. We'll have to tech through at least Advanced Oil, Lubricant, Electric Engine, and Construction Bots.
There is no way to get blue science quickly. Either we can have construction bots before it, or we can't. I fear Wube isn't getting enough feedback on this, because it's happening in the same FFF as far more controversial changes to Basic Oil.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

morsk wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:31 am
I fear Wube isn't getting enough feedback on this, because it's happening in the same FFF as far more controversial changes to Basic Oil.
Ah, sorry, I think many of us may be equating the two together. IE, they’re making the tech changes because of the basic oil change.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by MrGrim »

To all the folks that are arguing how "just add more pumpjacks!" will make using more efficient recipes pointless, maybe it's time to consider turning biters back on? You're perspective is _way_ out of whack. :D Just "adding more pumpjacks" is a big deal in most game modes.

Try a marathon death world and tell me how quick and easy expanding oil production is and how you don't really spend that much time between basic and advanced processing. :) Believe me, doubling production by simply changing recipes, adding water, and a couple of circuit wires is a damned tempting alternative.

I think we also forget we're all playing a game built for people who love self guided play. 95% of the things shared on the forums, discord, and subreddit are completely unnecessary and only made because they could be.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by XkyDiver »

We got the awesome (and optional) Rail-Building tutorials--why not make an equally awesome (and equally optional) Refineries Tutorial instead?

Changing the inputs/outputs like this feels really heavy-handed and short-sighted. I do not support these proposed changes!
Last edited by XkyDiver on Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Oktokolo »

morsk wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:31 am
There is no way to get blue science quickly. Either we can have construction bots before it, or we can't. I fear Wube isn't getting enough feedback on this, because it's happening in the same FFF as far more controversial changes to Basic Oil.
Of course they don't get feedback about it anymore. Only a fraction of the players know about construction bots because most seem to quit before getting their refinery right. Most players also do not give feedback at all.
The players that do know how to get their refineries right and care enough to give feedback, also are really into handplacing things, speedrun to bots, or just use the Nanobots mod.

And getting to bots before blue science does not enhance the game on the first playthrough - so it will probably never happen in vanilla...

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Re: Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Post by Philip017 »

after reading several people's comments

my vote is to leave basic oil as it is.

add flare stacks, with proper valves, top off, over flow perhaps these can be added to fluid management.

instead of dumbing down the game, add better fluid management, sure cracking is better than burning it off, but better to be able to burn it off then to get jammed up, using the over flow valve in conjunction with a flare stack you can burn off excess fluids. although bobs mod in conjunction with angles may be the extreme version of complex and i still have yet to wrap my head around them, the fact that you can just dump off excess means you don't have to worry about getting jammed.

you have already dumbed down the game by removing the pic axe and wood (raw wood split), i really don't feel this is the right way to go about addressing the issue of getting over how oil processing becomes a hurdle for the new player, yes it was frustrating and took many hours to understand it my first time, but you have made good strides with not allowing fluids to be mixed, (this was a real pain to deal with for me on many an occasion, so big props to fixing it)

i really feel that construction robots need to be early tech, they are a major quality of life item, and i do not at all like having them pushed further away. in fact i would like to see them made available earlier perhaps in a more basic form, later we can get better ones perhaps? i regularly use a mod that gives a basic armor with a couple solar panels, a personal roboport and a handful of robots just to get going.

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