Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Regular reports on Factorio development.
florus2901
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by florus2901 »

I do not understand the reason for the changes, at all.

Al tho the use of oil has some learning curve, it is some wat understandable.
Like, build a Pumpjack, a shitload of pips (underground pips), because the oil spots are always on the wrong spot.
Build a refinery, some silos (more then you need), some camicale plants and turn the Petroleum gas into plastic bars and everthing else in fuel.

Start using the chips for researching "Advanced oil processing" and when it is done start cracking the heavy to light and light to Petroleum gas

and use the gas to make plastic bars and sulfer. and some heavy oil to lubricant.

And in the end you have always a shortiage in gas.

But i thought the point of factorio was improving you factory to find bottlenecks and fix them.

I realy think this "fix" make it more annoing in the long term.

TripleOmega
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by TripleOmega »

I've come here directly from Xterminator's Youtube discussion about this to express my dislike for the oil changes.
I dislike the changes because they create way more problems than they solve. Such as:

1. A lot of new players will build their entire oil setup including petroleum consuming chemical plants in such a way that switching to advanced oil processing is impossible. The only solution would be to tear down everything they've built and start again. This will be extremely frustrating for a lot of people and will likely cause people to quit that would have continued playing with the old oil system.

1b. If setting up refineries properly requires you to take advanced oil processing into account before you have access to it then the complexity of the old oil system is still there, it's just hidden.

2. Solid Fuel is now optional/useless again until rocket fuel. The whole reason solid fuel was added to a science pack was to alleviate this issue....

3. The fact that mega-bases are now likely to prefer basic oil processing as it only involves two liquids feels really counter-intuitive.

I hope you guys will reconsider your stance and take into account the new problems created by your changes.

zenos14
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:38 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by zenos14 »

Gonna chime in again that I really don't like the oil changes and the proposed "fix" doesn't seem to help at all, seeming just to shuffle around the problem rather than alleviate anyone's concerns. Others have said it better than I would, but I will agree this doesn't seem teach a new player anything but bad habits which they will then have to unlearn later on and pushes the 'problem' further back without reducing it into smaller, easier to handle steps. On an aside, I can't speak for anyone else, but on my first few playthroughs I found making a viable cracking setup harder to wrap my head around than oil production for some reason and found the oil production problem a fun and interesting challenge (I actually wish there were more products along the lines of it further down the techtree), so I don't quite get why the devs think this is an issue

On the other hand, I will say I do like the idea of using light oil for rocket fuel at least, but I don't think it works very good as a hint as to the 'ideal' use of light oil (and in fact would probably have had the opposite effect in my mind, having me assuming I should minimize the conversion of light oil to solid fuel so I can save it for rocket fuel), I also think the ratios need to be tweaked with, but only reducing the amount of solid fuel by one or something. And while I do also like the reserved input idea, thinking on it more I get the feeling it may cause confusion in new players if they suddenly find their pipe set up broken when they move to AOP, so if you do do it, having someway to signify "Don't put pipes here" might be a pretty good idea

Personally, if you must change BOP at this point, my preferred solutions would be either
A) BOP produces only Heavy Oil and cracking is introduced a lot earlier
B) BOP stays the same but a flare stack building and/or oil burning generator is introduced
C) BOP introduces a "Simple Refinery" building that inputs oil and outputs two products with AOP unlocking the large Refinery building currently used in the game

And I didn't say this last thread, but I also really dislike pushing construction bots further back, I do feel it's fine if logistic bots can be pushed back, but I think construction bots are acquired right around the time you need them to keep redesigns of your base from becoming tedious (Most of my early restarts were just for that reason, I realized my design was poor and found it easier to restart with a new map than deconstruct, store everything, and rebuild by hand)

User avatar
Darkehart
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:57 pm

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Darkehart »

The more I think about this, the more I think the problem that you're trying to solve is somewhat disingenuous or at the very least, not the right problem. Most of the stuff you listed as oil products have technologies of their own. If a player has every single one of those things but hasn't built a single refinery yet, it is 100% the result of the player's decision to keep researching things that they can't use yet and by no means is that problem limited to the oil stage of the factory.

Instead of thinking, "There are too many oil products that you get all at once," you should be thinking, "How can we encourage players to not get ahead of themselves and thereby become confused?" A simple solution off the top of my head for the latter might be, "Move more of the end products behind chemical science."

You could also change the recipe of chemical science so that it requires three advanced circuits, one electric engine (instead of two regular engines), and one solid fuel. Then, remove the ability to make solid fuel from anything except light oil. Rebalancing the output of the basic oil processing recipe accordingly, you have a situation where crude oil is made into three other fluids, and those three other fluids each have one specific thing that you make with them, and all three of those things are required in order to make the next level of science.

That's just off the top of my head, but it seems like a helluva lot more elegant a solution to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Avezo
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 450
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:53 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Avezo »

Partial solution is to have just 2 products from oil refiery - 'gas' and 'refined oil' or somesuch. And removing entire cracking chain in chem plants from vanilla game.

User avatar
V453000
Factorio Staff
Factorio Staff
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by V453000 »

I’m sorry if my reply seems delayed, I’ve been reading the comments from multiple sources and I just didn’t have time left to reply properly to them. I have been taking notes and I will try to reply to most of the things that I have noted down. I won’t be using quotes as a lot of them are paraphrases or I have read those same questions/statements from multiple people or in an almost identical form that fit the same answer.

“Refinery is likely going to need a rebuild to make AOP work.”
“AOP cannot be ignored unlike for example electric furnaces.”
“New player can build straight pipes and get the Can’t mix fluids error.”
“Make BOP and AOP happen in different entities (move BOP to chemical plant).”

I believe it is very common in Factorio to have to rebuild things, because the player did not expect some things to be needed later, or unlocked a more efficient way to do something (better belts, beacons, logistic robots), or the amount of for example electronic or advanced circuits they will need. However, I tend to agree that having to rebuild because the game suddenly gives you a new mandatory recipe could potentially feel more arbitrary and forced, especially newer players tend to build just s few refineries so the issue does not have to be huge, and setting up a separate refinery instead of altering the original one also has a quite a bit of value as an opportunity to do it again and better.
The fluid mixing error when setting a recipe is quite awful IMO and should be addressed in some way.
Making BOP happen in a chemical plant would just eliminate any chance to reuse your BOP build for AOP and make it certain that it needs a rebuild. This would be especially bad for veterans as they could not build a future-proof BOP they could easily switch to AOP later, and new players should also absolutely be given the chance of “can you adjust it to meet the new demands?”.

“Rocket fuel is 10% more expensive with the same energy value.”
“Move Rocket fuel to a chemical plant.”

Rocket fuel was already losing energy value before, so it just gets a bit worse, with productivity modules still being able to turn it into a gain. The gain however becomes rather small and I have been considering raising the energy value of RF, or decreasing the solid fuel cost to 9.
I did consider to move RF to a chemical plant but that would mean 1 less productivity module which would mean further nerf, and we don’t have many assembling machines with a fluid input, and variety is nice. :)

“Add a tutorial.”
This is always an option and certainly vastly superior to having the player go to wiki/youtube/... for help, but if it can be solved in the game then I’d say it’s much better. Explaining trains, robots or inventory transfers in a simple tooltip or the entity gui or making a build up for it in the game is rather difficult, so those do have minitutorials. However do not take this as “there will never be an oil minitutorial”. I do not remember which exact tutorials are still planned. The campaign will be trying to distribute the whole oil problem a bit slower and will put technologies in ever smaller chunks, but you will see that later.

“The gui should explain it better.”
When we were the testing the NPE/tutorial/introduction, we added the “Status” in tooltips and the yellow/red icon backgrounds to indicate why the entity is not working. If I remember correctly the coming entity GUI redesign will integrate mainly the status to make it much easier to see. Good point regardless of which version of oil processing we would have.

“Moving the problem does not solve it.”
I really do think moving the problem solves a lot here. First off because of moving it in time means the player is familiar with the basic part of the recipes and has crude already coming in etc, as mentioned in FFF. Secondly because of moving it to a point when the player also unlocks cracking with it. I can easily see some people will try to avoid cracking and just spam storage tanks, and that’s completely fine - because it is their choice for the time being and at some point they will likely try to set up some form of cracking, be it with circuit network or without it. The important part is, when they encounter the problem they have the tools to fix it properly.

“They are dumbing the game down.”
As mentioned before, it is still mandatory to address the problem in some way. I really do not think the game is getting dumbed down. Sure, the first part of oil processing is simpler, but you do not have rocket part recipe available from the start either.”

“Factorio is played by people who enjoy problem solving.”
While overall this is probably true, people are usually tough to separate into binary groups, AND more importantly, and this is something we are trying to voice all the time, getting through oil is not only confusing but also tedious. A problem solver type of person can easily just stop playing because it is too much for them. And that is one of the things this change improves.

“Flare stacks.”
“Add 3 separate recipes with one output each.”

Adding an entity that would magically solve the whole puzzle/problem for you is IMO the real way how to dumb it down. And even if the flare stack would make a lot of pollution or even eat a lot of electricity, these are way too abstract downsides to balance the possibility of a lazier solution. I’m not saying a lazier solution is inherently to be stigmatized, but removing the need to do the puzzle at all does sound like dumbing down.
Adding recipes which output one of the results is even worse even if it was very inefficient.

“It has been working fine for years.”
Has it? Sure, most of us here figured it fine more or less. But also many of us report that oil is tedious, and some of us aren’t here because they have already quit because of it.

“The association of the theme of oil as a multiple output problem is weakened.”
This is a decent point. I believe the theme is still there, but I do agree it is less ... simply because smaller frustration will lead to less memorability and standing out in this regard.

“Is this change to reduce complexity, refactor the tech tree, or rebalance the oil production recipes.”
It’s pretty much the first two, in the sense that it should improve the flow or the game (though the technology changes), while making the basic oil processing step less complex. A lot of negatively responding people say it is only for new players, but we really believe the flow of the game is really important for repeated playing, if not even more important.

“Advanced circuits are too advanced to require them this early in a science pack.”
I find this a fairly valid point, but almost all of the things that chemical science pack unlocks do require advanced circuits, and the future science packs build on top of that complexity (and of course the amount of advanced circuits you need) further.

“Pushing robots back is not fun.”
This was pretty much my first response when I first heard about the whole idea, but now I’d say it’s really not that huge difference between late logistic and early blue science, especially with the basic refinery being quicker to set up. I will be observing this very closely what exact effects will it have. We were considering to add burner powered construction robots a few years ago, but I can’t currently see how and when would those appear.

“Basic oil processing should only output heavy oil and unlock both cracking recipes.”
This would mean that if the player is not going for early robots, they would just have to do 2 more cracking steps for all of the petroleum gas. That is 2 extra steps adding to the tedium and vastly decreasing the puzzle of advanced oil processing - a typical new player is really not going to set up a circuit network, and the AOP solution would not be different in anything, just more efficient per crude oil.

“Put sulfuric acid, or sulfur and water in chemical science pack recipe.”
I really dislike any science pack to have a fluid input, just looking at the crafting menu and seeing red background is alarming.

“They are trying to overengineer the game, until it is no longer the game I fell in love with.”
This is incredibly painful to read, and yes we do consider this at every corner. I believe the changes we do overall are going in a good general direction, and if some version as a whole would be majorly superior, there would be more “0.12 recipes” stule mods and they would be much more popular, assuming we aren’t doing something awful in the non-moddable parts of the game, then people would just stay on older versions.

“They could have been done with the game in 2015 or 2016.”
Honestly the only answer I have to this is that you should probably stay on 0.12 to stay true to that argument. Otherwise I find it to be an overreaction to one disagreement with some changes.

“There is no indication that there will be multiple inputs and outputs of the refinery.”
Some others have pointed out that the refinery looks suspicious and strange without the other inputs and outputs. While it’s not in your face explicitly stated, hints are there. Let’s see how much this is a problem when people get their hands on it. Especially newcomers who aren’t aware of how advaced oil processing looks.

“In megabases basic oil processing is more UPS efficient.”
I really don’t find this to be an issue. UPS optimized bases by definition already avoid many things altogether and try to simplify the game to the absolute minimum as every extra task or step the factory has to do can be considered a UPS-crime. They will still mix in some liquefaction or advanced oil processing for some lubricant and possibly light oil. I am quite curious what exactly will this look like but it is not something to design for as a priority, yet it has been considered.

“Petroleum gas has too many uses.”
Anything that is not from petroleum gas could introduce a need for reverse-cracking or forcing to make for example solid fuel from petroleum gas in order to save light oil for something else and keep the refineries running. I think it’s ok.

“The wall is the ever growing complexity of science packs.”
“The wall is the ever growing resource demands of science packs.”

I can’t really imagine how would the progression be interesting if the science pack steps would be about the same price and/or complexity increase steps. In the beginning it would just be insane, and in the late stages just a chore. Should there be smaller steps? That’s a tough question, but I think 0.17 has improved on the distribution of these steps quite significantly.

“The new changes wikl force me to redesign things.”
I personally take this as more new things to try and do. I feel like if we played the game with the same recipes for years we would get bored rather quickly. At the same I feel your pain completely as being invested into a big base only to see some integral recipes for it change can feel horrible. Luckily it is easy to stay on the older experimental version or revert the problematic changes with a mod that I’m fairly sure is going to exist very quickly after we do whatever changes, as pretty much always we do any changes... in fact the mod I made with the changes is a perfect recipe for the reverse mod as it shows all the changes that need to be reverted. I know, these solutinon require some action from your side but I believe it’s not a giant obstacle.

“The new recipe does not make sense as it is not realistic.”
It is always great if we can stay believable or compatible with real processes, but gameplay logic should always come first in my opinion, unless it’s converting raw fish into rocket parts.

Especially if you read this far, thank you very much. Hopefully you have found some answers, and even more hopefully you understand our aim is not to ruin the whole game, and that making a change does not mean it can never be changed, altered or reverted.

Thank you very much for all of your replies. All of them.

V

zyklame
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by zyklame »

Even with your answer i want to give my point of view.
There are multiple problems in my opinion and they are not directly related to the multiple oil outputs, these ist simply and fast solved by locking up some guides, (in game if available or online if not)

These are the points that makes the setup hard for me
1.) Additional to the Oil processing you have to setup a 2nd Base (Mining + Factory) the same size of your current Red + Green Science to get any usable product.
2.) When you are setting up Chemical research, even with a small base, research is most likely far ahead of what you already have automated / used.
3.) For a large expansion like these the construction bots would be really helping catching up building all the stuff needed

Ayamari
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:51 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Ayamari »

First of all thank you Wube for taking the time to explain your thoughts and considering community feedback!
Second, thank you very much V453000 for the Oil-changes mod, having this option to try out the changes provides a very good base for discussion and is really appreciated!
Would it be possible for you to share some data on the subject - if you have any (for example feedback collected from playtesting sessions on various conventions)?

Most of us agree that there is a problem with oil setup / chemical science for new players.
In my opinion, there are 3 main problems, all mentioned already:

1. Acquire oil - this was only mentioned a few times, but is *not* a minor factor - you generally have all the other resources nearby, if you play on default settings, you don't need to explore far until you hit oil. You can comfortably sit in your factory/base and defend. In a quick default settings test I just did, there was *no oil within radar range*. The nearest oil was quite a bit outside the radar range - none of the radars in the four corners of my factory found anything. In addition to that, I had to fight my way through 2 biter bases to get to it. So the first problem is "What is this oil? Where do I get it from? How do I find it? How do I get to it?"
This is only a problem in freeplay. Given you are working on both, the New Player Experience and the new Campaign, this is easily solved by making sure there is some oil nearby of where the player needs it (or it is already provided from somewhere). The freeplay experience could be improved by making sure there is always *some* oil within radar range from the starting point. Even if it's very little, it shows you what to look for, and at least you know the general direction to go towards.

2. Multiple outputs, blocking - this is what most people focus on during this discussion (and what the changes you are making seem to be focusing on), but in my opinion this is only a minor factor. I do remember very well the first time I was setting up oil (well, technically second, first time I gave up seeing the complexity explosion) that I kept thinking "What do I do with these?". I also found it annoying that the oil setup required constant attention to make sure it doesn't block, but that wasn't the reason I failed.
Your suggested solution addresses mostly this problem, since we now only have petroleum gas, which can and will be used. This is convenient, but as others have already pointed out - this causes a new problem where new players will almost certainly just build one straight pipe through the whole thing - because it is by far the simplest way to solve the problem. This might bite them, or simply force them to make a second oil processing setup, which might be problematic if there is little oil available. I don't have any ideas how to solve this problem in a better way *without* adding more complexity at once.

3. Sudden explosion in complexity - this is in my opinion the biggest factor, which is not really addressed by the changes. As others have already mentioned, you are now required to build so many intermediate products to get the next science, they are all pretty complex, slower to build and produce, and none were needed nor available earlier. There is a high up-front cost. The time until the next "Success! I made it!" checkpoint is much further than in previous steps. This was the primary reason I gave up first time I tried Factorio, and it was a big struggle the second time, when I actually pushed through (and gave up shortly after, my third attempt was the first I actually successfully completed the game).
Your suggested solution doesn't really help this much, outside of not having to store the fluids you aren't using, which again - is nice - just doesn't solve the main problem. Ideally there would be something in between, like "Set up oil. Produce plastic. Well done! Have a cake! Now, produce circuits and engines. Well done!" kind of thing. That would require much bigger changes.

On top of that, I clearly remember being unsure about how am I supposed to transport oil - barrels or pipes? There was no fluid wagon at that time. Up until that point you don't get to choose. I picked barrels and that was the worse of the options :P. Another thing is that at this point is the first time the player encounters different ways to produce same output. I wasn't sure which solid fuel I was supposed to make and why there were 3 of them and how they differed.

In general, in my opinion, the suggested change addresses a minor inconvenience instead of the bigger problem which is the complexity explosion.

I disagree with the comment that moving the bots will give players motivation to get there. Bots are optional to complete the game, and as such are likely ignored by many new players - myself included. I haven't touched bots at all until I completed the game 2 or 3 times. But I don't think moving them is a major issue. It will only take a little bit longer to get there.

To everyone who keeps saying: "just make a tutorial":
Making a tutorial is independent of these changes. The game should have and recommend a tutorial for oil setups, regardless of it's final shape. But the game should *not* require a tutorial. If your game requires a tutorial to understand, play and complete it - it is badly designed. This doesn't mean the game needs to be trivial, it simply means the game needs to have small enough steps that most players will correctly guess what they are expected to do. It is OK for the game to be very difficult at the end, if you can see a way to get there.
The above also applies to all the "you can look it up on the wiki" and "just search on the web" responses. It is really nice that these options exist, but again - the game should not require it. If you need to look at a Wiki to complete the primary objective in the game, the game is badly designed. It is perfectly fine to use the Wiki to optimize, check out things you've missed, secrets, etc. Should not be needed to complete the basic goal of the game.

To all the "this will break my base / require me to rebuild stuff" comments:
This is irrelevant to the discussion - *any* change in the recipes will. This is neither the first nor the last change in the recipes. Since you understand the game already, this is just a minor annoyance. It could even be seen as a good thing, because it brings new opportunities, new designs, new ideas. Refreshing the meta in a game can be a good thing. And it is extremely unlikely that many people would quit the game over this, having spent hundreds of hours on it already. Therefore this shouldn't really be an issue and we should instead focus on the new players, which is the core of the issue.

All arguments about learning "efficiency of producing solid fuel from light oil" are in my opinion irrelevant to the discussion, because most new players (playing their first map of Factorio, for the first time, having never seen any of it before) will not think about that much, or at all.
In a similar fashion, arguing about "realism" in my opinion does not help this specific discussion. Realism is really nice for the educational value of the game, but the gameplay experience should always come first. You don't need to power your transport belts, dust on desert maps does not get into the gears, the machines do not wear out nor rust and do not require maintenance. There is also no waste in the vanilla game.

And finally - arguments that it's all fine and should stay as it is, because "there are already 1~2 million players and we all managed to set up oil somehow" appear to be nothing more than overly optimistic / hopeful extrapolation of the data.
Looking at the Steam data (which does not represent the whole community, but is the only "data" point easily available):
https://steamcommunity.com/stats/427520/achievements
Out of the 1~2 million players, only 57% even *researched* oil processing. Researching it does not mean you managed to set it up. In my first attempt at Factorio I also researched oil processing, and then gave up right after instead of setting it up. A lot of the 43% of the players that never reach that point simply didn't like the game, or it wasn't their kind of game, and that's normal and understandable. But what is more important, only 14% has ever finished the game at all! That means 75% of the players that played Factorio long enough to research oil processing, never made it to the end!

Thank you for reading, have a nice day!

pleegwat
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 191
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by pleegwat »

V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
I believe it is very common in Factorio to have to rebuild things, because the player did not expect some things to be needed later, or unlocked a more efficient way to do something (better belts, beacons, logistic robots), or the amount of for example electronic or advanced circuits they will need. However, I tend to agree that having to rebuild because the game suddenly gives you a new mandatory recipe could potentially feel more arbitrary and forced, especially newer players tend to build just s few refineries so the issue does not have to be huge, and setting up a separate refinery instead of altering the original one also has a quite a bit of value as an opportunity to do it again and better.
It's not just that (unless you are allowing for it beforehand) you need to rebuild your oil setup when you unlock AOP.

It's that you need to rebuild your oil setup 15 minutes after initially completing it.

The game is literally telling you "Congratulations, you've completed oil, now you can do blue science. Now here's AOP. Go redo your oil".

dood
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:36 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by dood »

At least don't make advanced oil processing just an upgrade that gives way more petroleum on top of also giving heavy and light oil which you can then convert into even more petroleum.
If nothing else, basic oil processing should be way more efficient if you just want petroleum so there's a reason to build it at all later on.
Last edited by dood on Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IronCartographer
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by IronCartographer »

pleegwat wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:54 pm
V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
I believe it is very common in Factorio to have to rebuild things, because the player did not expect some things to be needed later, or unlocked a more efficient way to do something (better belts, beacons, logistic robots), or the amount of for example electronic or advanced circuits they will need. However, I tend to agree that having to rebuild because the game suddenly gives you a new mandatory recipe could potentially feel more arbitrary and forced, especially newer players tend to build just s few refineries so the issue does not have to be huge, and setting up a separate refinery instead of altering the original one also has a quite a bit of value as an opportunity to do it again and better.
It's not just that (unless you are allowing for it beforehand) you need to rebuild your oil setup when you unlock AOP.

It's that you need to rebuild your oil setup 15 minutes after initially completing it.

The game is literally telling you "Congratulations, you've completed oil, now you can do blue science. Now here's AOP. Go redo your oil".
That's possible, but it's also possible the player will run low on the other resources and need/want to solve other issues--especially with military research being available. This problem applies only to new players, so it is hard to predict, and depends on the scale of their building / available resources / priorities.

For experienced players, they will know what to expect and prepare a blueprint that can be quickly switched over.

User avatar
Reika
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 1:56 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Reika »

V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
I quoted some of your post to some people on my discord, and I was presented the question:

Why are you the only member of the development team who seems to be reading this feedback? FFF300 describes you as primarily an artist for Factorio, not primarily focused with core game design or progression, and you did say some time ago that you were "converted" to this change, initially being dubious, meaning it was someone else's idea at first; why then are the people who presumably designed this oil overhaul (Kovarex?) apparently not reading the input from the community, leaving you to do it instead?
Last edited by Reika on Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Image

AlastarFrost
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by AlastarFrost »

While you are at changing Oil:

It doesn't make much sense that sulfur is made from alkane gas (petroleum gas).
Usually the majority of the sulfur is extracted from the crude oil before refining it further.

It would make more sense to have a chemical plant before the refinery that extracts the sulphur. There is a distinction between sour (high sulfur content) and sweet (low sulfur content) crude oil. You could have other terms (like crude Oil and cleaned Oil) if you like.

This step would be optional. If you don't remove the sulphur, the fractions you get from refining would create S02 when burned, but do we really care about pollution when we have biters on our heels? The refinery would take both sour and sweet crude oil without making a difference. You couldn't mix them as per fluid rules, but if you set it up to extract the sulfur this is hardly and issue.

This change would also not change the tech level you need, it just switches the refining steps a little.

It would take sulfur production out of the petroleum gas branch though, so you wouldn't have to split up gas between plastics and sulfur (with sulfur being a fairly big consumer). Another consumer to balance this out could be a gas burner for midgame electricity production (which could be interesting as a fast starting turbine that kicks in to handle electricity shortages, which would be an interesting addition to midgame solar/battery setups) or to switch the 2. tier of furnace (steel furnace) to use gas (which would lead to some interesting builds as you now have pipes in the mix).

VFaalcatnodriiro
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by VFaalcatnodriiro »

V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
“Pushing robots back is not fun.”
This was pretty much my first response when I first heard about the whole idea, but now I’d say it’s really not that huge difference between late logistic and early blue science, especially with the basic refinery being quicker to set up. I will be observing this very closely what exact effects will it have. We were considering to add burner powered construction robots a few years ago, but I can’t currently see how and when would those appear.
It is a huge difference. Why? With your proposed change to oil you pretty much force players to completely rebuild their oil setup. And in addition you take away the possibility to automate that process by moving construction robots behind that burden.
V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
“They are trying to overengineer the game, until it is no longer the game I fell in love with.”
This is incredibly painful to read, and yes we do consider this at every corner. I believe the changes we do overall are going in a good general direction, and if some version as a whole would be majorly superior, there would be more “0.12 recipes” stule mods and they would be much more popular, assuming we aren’t doing something awful in the non-moddable parts of the game, then people would just stay on older versions.
It's painful to read? Good. Read it again: With this change you take the first huge step onto losing a LOT of veteran players. Until now all of your changes made sense, made the game better.
V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
“The new recipe does not make sense as it is not realistic.”
It is always great if we can stay believable or compatible with real processes, but gameplay logic should always come first in my opinion, unless it’s converting raw fish into rocket parts.
Yes, factorio is "just a game" but I loved (and still do, these changes are not live and hopefully go live) the level of real-life-like details. Oil processing IS splitting the crude into different parts. The 0.72% Uranium-stuff. And so on. Don't take that away - not for a non-reason which creates more problems. Also while adjusting the recipes consider how perfect the cracking-ratio (10-1-7) now (0.17.59) is and was (8-1-7 on 0.16).
V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
Especially if you read this far, thank you very much. Hopefully you have found some answers, and even more hopefully you understand our aim is not to ruin the whole game, and that making a change does not mean it can never be changed, altered or reverted.
I'm looking forward to the "reverted" part, hoping you implementing this is just an experiment like the signal-"bug" was. :) Have a great night, thanks for your time on a saturday evening.

Bilka
Factorio Staff
Factorio Staff
Posts: 2790
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:20 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Bilka »

Reika wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:11 pm
I quoted some of your post to some people on my discord, and I was presented the question:

Why are you the only member of the development team who seems to be reading this feedback? FFF300 describes you as primarily an artist for Factorio, not primarily focused with core game design or progression; why then are the people who presumably designed this oil overhaul (Kovarex?) not reading the input from the community, and sending you to do it instead?
I can guarantee you that more members of the team are reading this thread. We are just not all brave enough to directly respond to this kind of feedback. V gets some pretty massive respect from me for how well he responds to this kind of thread. Moreover, V has been contributing to gameplay/balancing discussions, as said in FFF300 - in my opinion he's very good at balancing, and I'm glad that he is one of the leading voices.
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

User avatar
irbork
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by irbork »

I am playing with the oilchanges mod and so far there is one big drawback on the new system. I am trying to play like a noob. I research all the stuff from available tier, automate everything and then proceed to next tier.
So far the biggest problem is switching to run power and smelting on solid fuel to save on coal is ridiculous. It requires about 3 times more pumpjacks and refineries. And after advanced oil processing is done switching all "petroleum -> solid fuel" chemical plants to "light oil -> solid fuel" requires removal of all the piping, what is really frustrating.

IronCartographer
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by IronCartographer »

irbork wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:32 pm
I am playing with the oilchanges mod and so far there is one big drawback on the new system. I am trying to play like a noob. I research all the stuff from available tier, automate everything and then proceed to next tier.
So far the biggest problem is switching to run power and smelting on solid fuel to save on coal is ridiculous. It requires about 3 times more pumpjacks and refineries.
This is one reason it would be nice if light oil were the sole product of basic oil processing, with light->gas cracking being unlocked either in the same tech or later in green science...but even a single cracking step represents a compromise on the ease of learning/setup during that initial spike constituting the fundamental oil wall. :|

If rushing solid fuel is the goal, it's great. If the player has their sights on blue science and everything it unlocks, even a single step of cracking adds to the monolithic complexity of getting the next science automated.
irbork wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:32 pm
And after advanced oil processing is done switching all "petroleum -> solid fuel" chemical plants to "light oil -> solid fuel" requires removal of all the piping, what is really frustrating.
Keep in mind that the finished product will have the proper single-output for the gas, so it'll be much easier to keep organized. Edit: Nevermind, this may be true, but it doesn't address your point. There's no way to switch the fluid input for solid fuel in-place, you're right.... The prototype mod didn't use the "zero the other two outputs" trick (which is confusing in its own ways), so it was forced to have all three fluid outputs be active and set to gas until the fluid boxes can be properly assigned in the future engine version.
Image
Last edited by IronCartographer on Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Serenity
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 961
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:16 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Serenity »

dood wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:02 pm
If nothing else, basic oil processing should be way more efficient if you just want petroleum so there's a reason to build it at all later on.
It's way too attractive as it is. Many people will just produce all their plastic with BOP and skip most of the cracking. Yes you lose some product, but with the massive bonuses from mining productivity that doesn't matter.

mcdjfp
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 12:42 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mcdjfp »

Let me try this again. The Factorio I see is an ever increasing set of challenges (walls, tests, or whatever you want to call them, maybe science pack) one has to conquer. Power (which is in part a pipe challenge), Automation, Logistics, Military, Chemical, Production, Utility, Space (Rocket). Each time you are asked to not only build more, but to coordinate the automation of ever more complex items. I chose these because they are the mandatory tests built into the game. They challenge the player, just like a boss fight would in another game.

I feel that this change will make the difficulty spike larger, rougher, not better and smoother.

If you removed all fluids from the game, these challenges (walls) would remain, and the complaints would shift to another recipe or mechanic. So long as there are challenges (tests), there will be players who fail them. Some will regroup, others will run to the internet and complain.

Making this progressive set of challenges (walls) numerical. I know the increase is not really linear, but I am trying to make a point, not debate how large the gaps are currently. What we have now is:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 The step between Chemical and Production is 1

The proposal is not smoothing this curve, it is making it worse. Moving the multi-output challenge later in the game might make Chemical Science a bit easier.
So now we have:
1 2 3 4 4.5 6 7 8. The step between Chemical and Production is 1.5

Except this is not quite true.
The multi-input lesson still has to be tested, currently at what appears to be the Utility Science Pack. So what we really have is
1 2 3 4 4.5 6 7.5 8 Now there is a another bigger step later in the game as the multi-output puzzle returns

If you are lucky they will decide to take on the challenge earlier and you won't get the 2nd bump, but if not there are 2 walls which are higher than they used to be. And the more rapid scale up may make the lesson harder to learn.

You are smoothing some parts of the difficulty increase, and as a result are creating spikes later. The only certain way to lower the difficulty increase without creating spikes later is to simplify the entire game. This is what many fans fear will happen in time as each successive wall is lowered
1 2 3 4 4.5 5.5 7.5 8
1 2 3 4 4.5 5.5 6.5 8
1 2 3 4 4.5 5.5 6.5 7.5


Or to view it differently assuming each step is twice as difficult.
Now:
1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 the gap is 16
with the change:
1 2 4 8 12 32 64 128 now the gap is 20
oil puzzles new place:
1 2 4 8 12 32 96 128 a second larger spike for players who wait until they are forced to face it
of course you could make everything easier as players complain about each new challenge they reach (and may not be any more ready for)
1 2 4 8 12 24 96 128
1 2 4 8 12 24 48 128
1 2 4 8 12 24 48 96

again things are smoother than they are now, but it may not be the same game anymore

IT does not matter how easy or difficult the chemical science pack is with respect to the productivity science pack. If the difficulty of the Chemical Science Pack challenge is lowered, then there WILL be a larger gap to the science pack that follows. Think about it, you are delaying the lesson. Unless removed from the game that difficulty will have to be faced later. Sure maybe you want to pack more of the difficulty increase into the later stages of the game, fine.

But how will the players currently stuck on the Chemical Science Pack react when they get there?

I honestly can't understand what is going on here. It is almost like you, the developers have suddenly decided that the core structure of Factorio is flawed. These challenges are linked. If you make one easier, players will run into the difficulty later. For me productivity is the spike as science packs start dominating my bases production verses building supplies. I am certain other players will site other challenges as their wall.

I must also admit I can't understand the hatred of manuals and tutorials. I want a challenge in my games, and that is a very difficult if not impossible task without a manual or some sort of teaching material in the game. The tutorials are great from my point of view. They provide a calm pressure free area to play with the newly unlocked mechanics. It is still playing the game to learn, simply without the outside pressure.

I'm scared for the game. This is not a good idea. It may have felt brilliant when it hit, but it addresses a problem that isn't really there. And I fear the collateral damage in the long term.

el_penny
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by el_penny »

Hi, I made an acc here just now.

First, congrats to all a Wube, you are just great. I consider moving from Poland, if only I was proficient with c++ and not c#/Unity I would sleep under your doors to let me in xD

Second, I am a bit shocked, angry and even scared. Not because of proposed changes, I mostly see their point, but because of reaction. I was under impression that this game has by far the best community in the world. How sad to see that we are all people (SHOCK!) I do understand that many of these reactions are from people loving this game and its devs, people that want Factorio to be the best. Still, it's not cool to mock devs, not true to suggest that game could be finished 4 years ago and truly elitists to say that everybody here tackled the problem so it is not a problem. As V wrote, people that left the game are not here. Also, making statement that making game more accessible to new users is equal to 'dumbing down' (or fancier 'finding common dumbest denominator') is... I don't know, personally, as a developer making CAD-like apps for a living I felt insulted hard...

I do think that base game should be as simple as it can be - but not simpler. For me in this game the true power comes from circuits but I do not scream that they should be mandatory at every step of the game. No, I enjoy seeing raycast engine and trying do do some stuff by myself and well, its ok. My point is somewhat that devs should think to how make game easy to understand and enjoy and provide suitable tools for players and community so they can make game as fckin hard as they want.

As far as actual changes go I started map with new changes but got no time to play right now so I hold my final opinion as of now. Preliminary opinion is rather ok :) As far as people hating these change: really, You can mod it away or even stay on current version. And if your ego is hurt because 'game is getting dumber' than well, as people always say: go out and make better version! I am willing to send my resume and start working with you!

So, to reiterate: people here, please, don't make me afraid of reading this forum, I was recently made scared of living in my country. Devs, do your job as good as always!

Post Reply

Return to “News”