Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

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Filter62
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Filter62 »

Orum wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:57 am
I'll echo the sentiment that while this is better than the previously proposed changes, it still addresses the "problem" in the wrong way. Namely, if the concern is complexity, this just delays the inevitable, and will encourage new players (who will likely not set up their piping correctly for Adv. Oil Processing) to stay on basic when they can't select AOP because of the fluid mixing potential. Instead a tutorial for oil, like there is for trains, would be a better solution.

If the concern is there aren't enough things to use heavy/light oil in before AOP, bring cracking forward! Keep BOP as it is now, with three outputs, but give us cracking with the initial Oil Processing research. This would at least allow players to grok how balancing fluids is supposed to work, instead of just dumping everything into temporary solutions that will eventually back up.

But if you're sticking to your guns on the "one input, one output", at least flag the other inputs as what they would be for AOP. That is, label the water, light, and heavy oil I/O, but put something over them to denote they're not used, like a red 'X'. Prevent players from connecting other fluids to them, so at least they can switch to AOP in the future without too much trouble.
I like idea about adding another smaller refinery for basic oil production better. It solves everything, imho.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by V453000 »

I’ve been considering two alternatives, one of which I have even implemented, but it does not work.

It was based off last week’s changes but adding a heavy+light only recipe unlockable in logistic science. This process had petroleum gas as an input which would make sure the most basic one has to be done first, and this process was completely optional - the player could skip it and go to AOP directly. There was no cracking available before AOP. This would require keeping solid fuel in chemical science pack as a use for light oil.

The main problem was that “there are too many refinery recipes”, though I’m not 100% sold on this argument. AOP would become entirely optional, though an at least 2 output recipe would still be mandatory.


The second thing that I have been considering recently would be to make BOP output heavy and gas only, no light. The point of “oil processing only feels like a complicated process if it has multiple outputs” is quite valid. This would allow to keep robots before chemical science. The argument of robots being a confusing trap that seems to be low tier, but requires many recipes can also be interpreted as a good thing, and a choice to discover.
The problem would be that heavy oil would need some use other than lubricant, as lubricant is entirely optional in this stage. Reverting the sulfur in science would help this for sure, but the point of “don’t make me produce SF out of anything else than light oil” has some value too, so I would keep sulfur in the chemical science pack.
Making sulfur from heavy oil instead of gas would work, and I can see it would make a lot more sense chemically, but heavy oil production would need a lot of number tweaks. Correct me if I’m wrong but petroleum gas would only go into plastic?
Maybe I could find a new place that would consume petroleum gas in addition to the existing recipe... Explosives? Batteries? Lubricant?
The science pack could easily be balanced in a way where the ratio of heavy:gas produced is the same as consumed when only making science. The rest of your consumption could either be smaller than a storage tank’s worth, or you would need additional storage until you could get AOP.

I’ll give it some more thought and try to implement the second option, and see where I get stuck or find issues.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mmmPI »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
I’ve been considering two alternatives, one of which I have even implemented, but it does not work.

It was based off last week’s changes but adding a heavy+light only recipe unlockable in logistic science. This process had petroleum gas as an input which would make sure the most basic one has to be done first, and this process was completely optional - the player could skip it and go to AOP directly. There was no cracking available before AOP. This would require keeping solid fuel in chemical science pack as a use for light oil.

The main problem was that “there are too many refinery recipes”, though I’m not 100% sold on this argument. AOP would become entirely optional, though an at least 2 output recipe would still be mandatory.
You gave your arguments for not unlocking cracking early ( tedious single step X2 ) , and for waterless cracking ( another upgrade of a chain of production that would look like AOP=>BOP but adds very little value to the game), so i guess it makes it necessary to have this reverse cracking of petroleum at this point which sadly doesn't work.

EDIT clarification :One option i had consider was to create sulfur from Heavy AND Light oil ( either one or the other , 1input 1output ), same for solid fuel, but with inverse ratio like 1=>10 1=>20, light oil better for solid fuel, but still ok for sulfur, heavy oil better for sulfur, but still ok for solid fuel, instead of the need of this reverse cracking; if you make AOP output HO and LO.

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
Correct me if I’m wrong but petroleum gas would only go into plastic?
Maybe I could find a new place that would consume petroleum gas in addition to the existing recipe... Explosives? Batteries? Lubricant?
The science pack could easily be balanced in a way where the ratio of heavy:gas produced is the same as consumed when only making science. The rest of your consumption could either be smaller than a storage tank’s worth, or you would need additional storage until you could get AOP.

I’ll give it some more thought and try to implement the second option, and see where I get stuck or find issues.
So far petroleum is only transformed into Sulfur / Plastic / Solid Fuel. I don't think it would be too much of a problem to use Petroleum for plastic and solid fuel. The risk i see is if you want to mine lots of uranium, you'd need lots of sulfur, you'd end up with excess petroleum if you use AOP or BOP or even Coal Liquefaction.

EDIT: the other risk is if you want to produce a lot of accumulator, you'd need to consume the PG somehow.

the ability to transform 100% of BOP in sulfur is nice, so maybe petroleum gas could be use to make sulfur, but at a terrible ratio, just as an almost flare stack.

Good luck !
Last edited by mmmPI on Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by crazybeard79 »

Well, from all the changes the only one that for me was really bad was remove solid fuel from chem science. Now solid fuel is kind of useless again until rocket fuel when the only reason is convert it to rocket fuel. Aslo, why add light oil to rocket fuel, just to make ligth oil less efficient and adding a pipe to the factory and increase the lag on mega bases...

Regarding new users with oild processing... they will all rage quit when they find out all their setup on oil needs to be redone since they put many spaguetti pipes in front of the refinary :lol: :lol: :lol:

Other robot and science changes Im ok...

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Yandersen »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
Making sulfur from heavy oil instead of gas would work, and I can see it would make a lot more sense chemically, but heavy oil production would need a lot of number tweaks.
Strongly agree. Also want to remind that sulfur (sulfur->acid->batteries) is a sort of small wall for the accumulators, which felt needed as soon as solar panels become available - very early. And accumulators are not that optional as conbots for the beginners. The same with laser turrets, but demand for accumulators usually comes first. Worth noting that the production rate of accumulators stays fairly constant throughout the game as the base constantly increases in size pulling the energy consumption with it.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Yandersen »

...But even with everything said and proposed, I still think that changing the mechanic "production stopped since one of the output is full" to "collect just what you need if you don't care about pollution" will be the best solution possible. If this will be implemented, then sulfur can become a forth product coming out of the refinery in the same time (maybe it shall be the difference between BOP and AOP then). I agree with indirect criticism of V453000 against this simplification, but considering the alternatives I am still on that.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Serenity »

mmmPI wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 am
I don't think it would be too much of a problem to use Petroleum for plastic and solid fuel. The risk i see is if you want to mine lots of uranium, you'd need lots of sulfur, you'd end up with excess petroleum if you use AOP or BOP or even Coal Liquefaction.
I think on a larger scale having to balance the various processes is a nice puzzle. With the currently proposed changes you could so something like this:
  • Use coal liquefaction for heavy oil -> lube and turn the LO and PG into plastics on site. Then use that plastic first
  • Use AOP for light oil for rocket fuel. Use the excess PG from that for plastics next
  • Use BOP for all your other plastics needs (I don't like that step as it's too simple and attractive)
But it also needs to function earlier on when you don't have everything unlocked

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mmmPI »

Serenity wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:06 am
mmmPI wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 am
I don't think it would be too much of a problem to use Petroleum for plastic and solid fuel. The risk i see is if you want to mine lots of uranium, you'd need lots of sulfur, you'd end up with excess petroleum if you use AOP or BOP or even Coal Liquefaction.
I think on a larger scale having to balance the various processes is a nice puzzle. With the currently proposed changes you could so something like this:
  • Use coal liquefaction for heavy oil -> lube and turn the LO and PG into plastics on site. Then use that plastic first
  • Use AOP for light oil for rocket fuel. Use the excess PG from that for plastics next
  • Use BOP for all your other plastics needs (I don't like that step as it's too simple and attractive)
But it also needs to function earlier on when you don't have everything unlocked
Even though what you describe seems logical and rationnal choice given the receipe, it feel backward to use BOP as the last variable to adjust plastic and i didn't realise that would end up like that.You do also find it weird as i understand.

But you like the idea of having to balance the use of the different process. I do find it interesting (i think the game has that already).

But i'm concerned if in every single the process, all output something that cannot be transformed into sulfur.

One risk that Yandersen made me realise is that wht i said for uranium is also valid for accumulators and battery, which means if you were to build those you would need to get rid of excess petroleum gas.

At the moment, sulfur is at the very end of the chain of oil in a way, all fluid can be made into sulfur via cracking first + the receipe with PG.

Meaning you can stop science for a while and build 10000 robots , or accumulators, or nukes, you wouldn't be able to in some cases.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Silfir »

One of the easier changes that I think could help significantly - obviously keeping the old BOP - is to disable Petroleum Gas -> Solid Fuel. It alleviates the risk of players falling into using it that way instead of finding a use for their heavy oil and light oil to keep it from backing up.

A more difficult, but worthwhile change, is to find an outlet for light oil or heavy oil directly. Well, another one aside from the flamethrower turret. As people have mentioned before (I apologize that I don't have the name ready): a diesel generator that feeds on light oil. The main issue with solid fuel is that people often don't realize that they should use it over coal if that's what it takes to keep their refineries running. If you bring in a building that can convert light oil directly into energy - a diesel generator - with a much smaller space footprint, new players, who go through a steady cycle of brownout -> set up new boiler -> brownout again -> set up new boilers again (because screw planning) will jump at the chance to install it.



You've mentioned that you would prefer to find a solution within the game. I'd say that if the problem is big enough that you're considering a major change to how the oil industry works, it's also big enough to consider adding new buildings and entirely new recipes in order to handle it. And it should happen in 0.18.0 experimental, to give you time to do it properly, rather than springing it on a bewildered player base that is either already wondering when 0.17.xx stable will be a thing, or hasn't even been exposed to the 0.17.0 changes to the science packs.

I mean, I'm not getting something wrong, right? Installing Factorio right now still results in 16.51 if you don't do anything, doesn't it?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Serenity »

mmmPI wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:26 am
it feel backward to use BOP as the last variable to adjust plastic and i didn't realise that would end up like that.You do also find it weird as i understand.
Yeah, I don't like it. While you do need some AOP for the light oil, BOP will be the obvious choice for much of your PG needs in megabases. I think many people are overly obsessed with UPS even when it's unnecessary. But it's a valid concern and BOP results in less machines (because no cracking) and less fluid boxes. Yes, you lose product, but with high mining productivity and speed modules in pumpjacks that doesn't matter much. It may even be attractive to produce rocket fuel mostly from PG and use the light oil from coal liquefaction.
Having the production of LO as the main drawing point of AOP is bad.
i think the game has that already
Yes, you need to do that now too to balance all the oil products. Deciding what needs to be cracked when. Or decide when to turn some excess into solid fuel. It's not uncommon to have some PG -> solid fuel factories just in case PG is backed up. Even if it's inefficient.

I forgot about sulfur in the above. But it's not hard to add that. You could prioritize sulfur over plastics for example to keep your uranium mining and batteries going first. If the new fluid system ever comes it should automatically split things evenly.

This stuff is also a prime example of using the circuit network. It doesn't need any advanced concepts. Just an AND gate maybe. Oil would make a great circuit network tutorial. Teach people to handle their oil products while learning something about signals.
Last edited by Serenity on Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by gamestefan »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
The second thing that I have been considering recently would be to make BOP output heavy and gas only, no light. The point of “oil processing only feels like a complicated process if it has multiple outputs” is quite valid. This would allow to keep robots before chemical science. The argument of robots being a confusing trap that seems to be low tier, but requires many recipes can also be interpreted as a good thing, and a choice to discover.
The problem would be that heavy oil would need some use other than lubricant, as lubricant is entirely optional in this stage. Reverting the sulfur in science would help this for sure, but the point of “don’t make me produce SF out of anything else than light oil” has some value too, so I would keep sulfur in the chemical science pack.
Making sulfur from heavy oil instead of gas would work, and I can see it would make a lot more sense chemically, but heavy oil production would need a lot of number tweaks. Correct me if I’m wrong but petroleum gas would only go into plastic?
Maybe I could find a new place that would consume petroleum gas in addition to the existing recipe... Explosives? Batteries? Lubricant?
The science pack could easily be balanced in a way where the ratio of heavy:gas produced is the same as consumed when only making science. The rest of your consumption could either be smaller than a storage tank’s worth, or you would need additional storage until you could get AOP.

I’ll give it some more thought and try to implement the second option, and see where I get stuck or find issues.
Thanks for considering this option, to me this sounds like a decent compromise. Even if factorio is not completly chemically accurate, a hint of ralism is nice. ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar »

mmmPI wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 am
EDIT clarification :One option i had consider was to create sulfur from Heavy AND Light oil ( either one or the other , 1input 1output ), same for solid fuel, but with inverse ratio like 1=>10 1=>20, light oil better for solid fuel, but still ok for sulfur, heavy oil better for sulfur, but still ok for solid fuel, instead of the need of this reverse cracking; if you make AOP output HO and LO.
Like this mod ?
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/SulfurFromOils
mmmPI wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 am
V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
Correct me if I’m wrong but petroleum gas would only go into plastic?
Maybe I could find a new place that would consume petroleum gas in addition to the existing recipe... Explosives? Batteries? Lubricant?
The science pack could easily be balanced in a way where the ratio of heavy:gas produced is the same as consumed when only making science. The rest of your consumption could either be smaller than a storage tank’s worth, or you would need additional storage until you could get AOP.

I’ll give it some more thought and try to implement the second option, and see where I get stuck or find issues.
So far petroleum is only transformed into Sulfur / Plastic / Solid Fuel. I don't think it would be too much of a problem to use Petroleum for plastic and solid fuel. The risk i see is if you want to mine lots of uranium, you'd need lots of sulfur, you'd end up with excess petroleum if you use AOP or BOP or even Coal Liquefaction.

EDIT: the other risk is if you want to produce a lot of accumulator, you'd need to consume the PG somehow.

the ability to transform 100% of BOP in sulfur is nice, so maybe petroleum gas could be use to make sulfur, but at a terrible ratio, just as an almost flare stack.

Good luck !
I see that methane (= lightest hydrocarbon ~ Factorio's gas ?) is being used IRL as a rocket fuel ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_ro ... nt#Methane
IronCartographer wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:43 pm
The rocket fuel recipe continues to give me a visceral reaction at this point, becoming my biggest issue with the changes.

The concept of hinting at light oil being most efficient for solid fuel makes sense, but...there must be a better way to do it than making rocket fuel be a chunky mush of partially-solidified light oil. :(

It's in a bit of an uncanny valley where it creates too much imagination (bad imagery), yet not enough at the same time (to get a more abstract chemical process mental image)...for me at least.
[...]
See what else I found !
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid-propellant_rocket

Maybe rocket fuel could be made from Solid Fuel and/or Light Oil and/or Gas ? One could also add a steel/barrel "container" I guess?

(Of course, input from an actual chemist would be nice...)
BobDiggity (mod-scenario-pack)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Antaios »

I don't understand.

Honestly, Oil isn't a problem. Multiple outputs isn't complicated or difficult to understand.
Most people with a problem solving mind, and a mind for how recipes works, as they should have after 10 minutes in the game, will quite easily understand that if the refinery can't push out it's light and heavy oil, it'll stop producing. This should take about 10 seconds of looking at the recipe - I don't think this is a stumbling block. However, even if it is a stumbling block for some people, the fact is, it is one they have to stumble upon at some point, it simply is a hurdle they will have to overcome. Two versus three products changes the problem or it's complexity very little aswell.
Furthermore, anyone with a mind for debugging their factory, which a new player should be used to by this point, should be adept at looking backwards through their production lines in order to find the bottleneck, it won't be strange or odd to get to "no petroleum gas", then to investigate the refinery and notice it's stuck full of other products. From there the solution is rather easy to understand, do something about those other products, and the player has tools to deal with that at this point - tanks, such a simple and easy solution, place and go which I'd wager is what anyone would do. This is a new player, a tank solution is so much simpler and easier to deal with multiple outputs right now than cracking, having oil early like this exposes them to this whilst the solution for now is 'place a tank', it exposes to them the problem and hints at a better solution down the line whilst providing a simple solution for right now whilst they're busy dealing with other things. When pushed back later, the solution is changed to 'design new production facilities and balance cracking', Tanks won't work later because they need these new products in good ratios for things at this later point, so now they're exposed to the problem and need to come up with an immediate good solution using more complicated parts and setups.

If the player did not set up tanks in the first place, then I might assume they thought that the refinery might be capable of only producing petroleum (even though the recipe explicitly states otherwise), but that would immediately be obvious when the refinery stops running rather quickly. Any player who sets up a tank for a resource they're not intending to use has at least the idea that this output from the refinery needs to be removed, and as such the refinery stopping when the tank fills up would be an expected outcome, not a surprise. If someone does not presume they can simply hook up a pipe to the petroleum output of a refinery and ignore the other two products then they have already presumed that the refinery will not operate if you don't take out all three products.

In order to be surprised, the player needs to either assume that the refinery has infinite storage, in which case tanks would be somewhat pointless so there is logical reasoning to prevent this assumption, or they would need to assume that the refinery can void fluids, except voiding exists nowhere in the game unless a player or enemy explicitly does it so there is logical reasoning to prevent this assumption as well.

The only issue with oil, if there indeed really must be an issue made out of the multiple outputs, is that it is much less apparent at a glance what is happening with liquids than with other products. Humans see and latch onto movement, it's really easy to see if an assembler is or isn't working. It's really hard to see if the refinery or a chemical plant is or isn't working. Similarly pipes offer essentially 0 feedback, and tanks aren't great with their tiny windows. If anything should be done, pipes and tanks just need more or larger windows and feedback on the current movement of fluids, and refineries/chemical plants (the new chemical plant design is great) need to be made much more obvious as to whether they are currently running. If that isn't enough, the aforementioned status messages in GUIs will handle the rest.
V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
“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.
If we want to talk about what makes Blue Science feel slow, we need to actually look at it in context.

When I last played, I made separate factories for each science, besides refining and smelting everything was done on site, and it demonstrates the complexity curve beautifully.
These are simple-as-they-get ratios, if someone wanted to follow ratios, this is how they'd likely start, because all I did here was take the seconds in recipes and presume 1 per second. (note it ends up being 45 science per minute due to assembly mk2's running at 0.75.) A modest factory, I would think.

Green, Red and Military science fit into such a small and simple footprint.
RedGreenGrey.jpg
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Here's Blue, woah, that's a beasty, much bigger than all the last three packs combined!
Blue.jpg
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Here's Purple (I'm going to keep referencing science colours because I forget the darn names, sorry)
Not a huge step, more just a case of 'pile on the advanced circuits'
Purple.jpg
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And Yellow, at this stage in the game, this one's juicy. Again it's not too much more than purple, but it's more intricate, there are more intermediaries.
Yellow.jpg
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I don't have space science in this map, though by the time you reach it I think the complexity curve is out the door.

Blue is certainly a big jump. But there's more, Blue isn't just this:
Bluesml.jpg
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Around the time you're dealing with blue science you're also doing a few things...
  • You're probably starting to deal with defence properly.
Defence.jpg
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  • You're probably thinking about expanding around now, surely you had to venture for oil anyway.
Outpost.jpg
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  • You're also probably dealing with the new trains you just unlocked.
Train.jpg
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  • Oh, and you're setting up oil, ready for new technologies and gadgets in the near future, not just science.
Refinery.jpg
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I'm using images because that conveys just how much stuff is going on at this point, in a way text doesn't.

The time in the game that is blue science is all of those put together, each being done for the first time, on top of blue being a big step up in complexity and parallel production compared to previous sciences (Blue science requires the most assemblers producing the flasks of any science!).

There's a lot going on at this point in the game, subsequently, blue takes a long time to get to. And it isn't because of oil, it's just because that's a busy time in the game. Even if you were to remove oil from blue science, I doubt it would radically reduce the time between the science packs here. The wall isn't complexity, it's just time, hence why so many people finish researching most of the green sciences before they have blue up and running.

But people aren't complaining too much about those other factors, Oil is a scapegoat for that time sink between science packs because it's arguably the least interesting, but why?
Let's explore the rewards for the main things going on at this point in the game.

Defence
Well this one's pretty obvious, you live! woo, pretty rewarding! killing biters feels pretty good early on too, so there's that.

Expanding
Faster and more reliable production, fantastic! Who doesn't like the feeling of turning on or connecting an outpost for the first time? watching that ore flow.

Trains
Getting a functional train network, even just two stations, is quite rewarding and it shows immediate progress.

Oil
This one's complicated, what does oil get you?
Well, it gets you some intermediaries, then some more intermediaries. I suppose maybe we'll look at what those intermediaries get you?
  • Lasers?
    We don't have the power for that yet, really.
    So you have to want lasers to care
  • Flamethrower?
    A side venture, and usually very easily setup with a jury-rigged tiny ammo station. Flamethrower turret opinions, however, vary - somewhat similar to laser turrets, quite easily overlooked until defences require more than gun turrets, so I think these come more into play later, generally speaking.
    So you have to want Flamethrowers to care
  • Accumulators?
    I'm pretty sure most people stick with steam for a while yet, and laying solar fields isn't exactly rewarding.
    So you have to want accumulators to care
  • Explosives?
    these just get glossed over, and to be honest it's because they're annoying to make and not fantastically competitive. For beginners, somewhat of a trap, or something obscure to ignore.
    So you have to want explosives to care
  • Modules?
    It's too early and they're too expensive right now. If you're a beginning player, they're also somewhat complicated.
    So you have to want modules to care
  • Solid Fuel
    Not particularly useful, other than science
    So you have to want solid fuel to care
  • And finally, Advanced circuits (which leads into bots)
    which have no decent use right now beyond the few you require if you want bots early.
    Plus science, but oil is only a small part of the advanced circuit picture, which is probably half of the blue science picture
    So you have to want bots to care, because even if what you want is science, there's too much more to do beyond oil to get more science for advanced circuits alone to feel rewarding, there's just no good other uses for them at this point.
Oil is probably considered a 'problem' in the build up to blue science because it isn't immediately and obviously rewarding, the things you can do with it aren't hugely necessary at this stage. Though, if you want to go and explore the things it unlocks, then the one or two small useful things you can do with it are very impactful, namely bots. However oil only unlocks those, it isn't actually those things, so the interesting things like bots get praise and the part oil plays in that gets ignored. Oil enables, like smelting, only it's actually somewhat an interesting puzzle. This is sort of a mind trick, a trick of psychology, in the same way smelters don't feel incredibly rewarding, oil itself doesn't - but the things smelting, or oil, unlocks do.

You might think this is grounds to move it further up the tree, that it generally isn't necessary at this stage, or that the arguably more interesting technologies that use oil are unlocked with blue science - but that's not true, it's precisely the reason to leave it where it is. Whilst a new player might sidestep the technologies it unlocks on their first play-through, those those they decide to end up using on the second, or third play-through end up adding to and aiding their other fun goals that are happening between green and blue science, defence, expansion, trains, etc. It's preferable that the groundwork be done here, in one of the most interesting parts of the game, when there are lots of other things to distract from any possible tedium. Lumping it onto purple science or yellow just creates even more tedium as there is less 'new' there to offset it because there's a lot of production chains to set up to get proper use of out the new blue science technologies, you're busy ramping up production of advanced circuits and putting together all the new things those require, you don't want to be just starting to get a handle on oil at this stage - you need oil handled before now, before you really need it. It's better to learn it and set it up whilst it's a side curiosity. Every player is going to be glad they had all three oil products handled well before they need to start mass producing things that rely on oil, just like players are happier when they build smelters larger than they need in advance of future iron or copper demands. This stage in the game is about laying groundwork, some of that is rewarding, and immediately so, some other parts aren't, and I'm not sure there is much you can do about that other than to keep the puzzle interesting in an effort to maximise the interest it does have.

On solid fuel.
I really enjoyed the change when solid fuel was added to blue science, for one reason, I used solid fuel. Until I had been making it for science, I never used solid fuel, or even rocket fuel, because I had oodles of coal. Now, with solid fuel being part of science, I have it around, and it's enjoyable to have this thing and decide that since I'm making it, I mayaswell use it for a few things.

On bots.
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.
I think you're underestimating construction bots a bit. I'm sure I'm not the only one who jury rigs about 200 or so advanced circuits and some electric engines as soon as possible, before oil is even properly setup, definitely before blue science is setup just to get those measly 10-20 construction robots in my modular armour running on solar panels. Keep in mind everything I demonstrated in this post that also pushes blue science back far more than oil does as well. Someone on here also did the math, even if you forget all those other things and rush bots, it's about ~450x more expensive in those components to jury rig bots now, because you have to jury rig blue science too.


In closing, I honestly don't think oil is a problem, at least not beyond needing some more information pointed to the player on what's going on. There is a perception out there that it is, simply because it, in a similar fashion to smelting, only produces intermediate products, which make it feel slow to setup and not particularly rewarding. This is just a side effect of what oil is. Oil itself is relatively simple and logical if you take proper time to investigate it when or if you get stuck.
Last edited by Antaios on Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jodokus31
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by jodokus31 »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
The second thing that I have been considering recently would be to make BOP output heavy and gas only, no light. The point of “oil processing only feels like a complicated process if it has multiple outputs” is quite valid. This would allow to keep robots before chemical science. The argument of robots being a confusing trap that seems to be low tier, but requires many recipes can also be interpreted as a good thing, and a choice to discover.
The problem would be that heavy oil would need some use other than lubricant, as lubricant is entirely optional in this stage. Reverting the sulfur in science would help this for sure, but the point of “don’t make me produce SF out of anything else than light oil” has some value too, so I would keep sulfur in the chemical science pack.
Making sulfur from heavy oil instead of gas would work, and I can see it would make a lot more sense chemically, but heavy oil production would need a lot of number tweaks. Correct me if I’m wrong but petroleum gas would only go into plastic?
Maybe I could find a new place that would consume petroleum gas in addition to the existing recipe... Explosives? Batteries? Lubricant?
The science pack could easily be balanced in a way where the ratio of heavy:gas produced is the same as consumed when only making science. The rest of your consumption could either be smaller than a storage tank’s worth, or you would need additional storage until you could get AOP.
I like this direction.
Would it make sense, to create a fuel from petroleum with very high acceleration, but lower fuel value? Since rocket fuel is moved later, it could be useful for trains and stuff.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Silfir »

Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
...
I want this post's babies. I think it's completely on the money.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by VFaalcatnodriiro »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am
I’ve been considering two alternatives, one of which I have even implemented, but it does not work.
[..]Reverting the sulfur in science would help this for sure[...]
[..]Maybe I could find a new place that would consume petroleum gas[..]
[..]I’ll give it some more thought and try to implement the second option, and see where I get stuck or find issues.
It's good to see you reconsidering.
Maybe take another step back and discard the 0.17.60 changes as a whole, maybe even all of the 0.17 changes and start at 0.16.stable?

My point here is that a part of this thread is discussing workarounds for problems you'll introduce with the initial ideas.

Also ... maybe I missed it from the beginning but what exactly is the problem you are trying to solve with this changes. As stated from someone else before, the 0.17 changes have not even been met by your supposed target audience for this changes.

So starting the thought-process at 0.16 - how can we improve?
Right now (stable), the problem with Blue science IMO is not Oil (plopping down some tanks till we get to AOP is the least of the problems), it's Blue science itself. Advanced Circuits, Electric Engines and Electric Miners. Also the amount of blue-science-assemblers that are needed is just insane. (You need way less for every other pack, only blue feels like it's production time/speed is waaay to high/slow. I'd expect purple/yellow to need at least the same amount, but their (science-only) footprint is way smaller.)

Edit: Don't mind the last sentence of the last paragraph, just look at Antaios who even expanded the thing that's going on once you hit Blue science...
Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
...
Just another 2¢ ;-)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Serenity »

Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
If we want to talk about what makes Blue Science feel slow, we need to actually look at it in context.
...
This. It's the whole factory expansion you need at that point. You have to add a lot of extra stuff to get something useful out of your oil. All that circuit expansion also means you need more smelting, which is pretty tedious by itself.

The long time this needs is why oil backs up in the first place. If you set it all up without having unlocked the recipes and then get AOP right away nothing backs up. Getting it all running finally feels good, but by that point I've already forgotten about the oil.

All in all this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It may be a bit too much, but some push to get to expand beyond the small early scale isn't a horrible idea. But blaming the oil itself for the difficulty jump is short sighted

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by MiniHerc »

V453000, why do you keep doubling down on these stupid, unnecessary changes? Throw out all the oil and tech tree changes you've proposed so far and instead take a look at more uses for heavy and light oil.

Like the others said, oil boilers, oil fed trains, diesel powered generators, etc etc.

Incremental rewards to the player for setting up basic oil processing, rather than all of these senseless nerfs and 'streamlining'.


edit: also, more tutorials are always good


Also, perhaps it's time to look at splitting heavy/light oil cracking off into its own tech, which would only require red+green science.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Tekillaa »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 am

The second thing that I have been considering recently would be to make BOP output heavy and gas only, no light. The point of “oil processing only feels like a complicated process if it has multiple outputs” is quite valid. This would allow to keep robots before chemical science. The argument of robots being a confusing trap that seems to be low tier, but requires many recipes can also be interpreted as a good thing, and a choice to discover.
The problem would be that heavy oil would need some use other than lubricant, as lubricant is entirely optional in this stage. Reverting the sulfur in science would help this for sure, but the point of “don’t make me produce SF out of anything else than light oil” has some value too, so I would keep sulfur in the chemical science pack.
Hi,

"Don't make me produce SF out of anything alse than light oil" is a big change of the game with the 1 output refinery, i can agree with making simplification about pipe connection with 3 output refinery, but making a simplification here too make the game without choice and very linear to my pov. Yes a new player can produce SF the wrong way, but the point of AOP making light oil output is too show to the new player that he needs too make research too make the things better, cheaper (It was the only occasion in the game to have this very interesting mechanic). The player was lost because too many choices was possible, i can agree on removing few, but the fact that a new research make us change few pipes for an optimization make things less linear, with perspective in choice. A tutorial about oil to show to a new player that producing SF with light oil can be cheaper is more welcome than changing the actual techtree.
Sulfur was used for 2 recipe ,acid and explosive; SF was used for science and rocket fuel. Now SF is direct insertion into rocket fuel only, and sulfur stay with multiple recipe use.
To be truely balance, a refinery with only 1 output should produce more pollution : 100 crude oil input for 45 gas, it is obvious what left is burned so it produce pollution. (and a lot)
If a change somewhere leads to other changes making the game with only one build order, i don't think it gives depth to the game, real choice : i mean you try to make something where a missleading doesnt exist, something with no dead ends, no bad use of something? In industry, we can make bad use of something waiting for r&d making a recipe to make a better use...

To make an exemple : in the past, i played a lot to theme hospital, the new version of today two point hospital is too easy compare to the first one, we cant truely lose, there is always a way to get back.. it's hatefull, i play stategy game because with strategy, we can make bad choice, we can lead to a loss, a dead end. why we loss require to make a analyzis of our choices, try to find where we took the wrong way, get back to the save before that critical choice. If you do the choice for the player to not let him lose, the game become trivial, easy, uninteresting because too fast to handle. I continue to believe a tutorial about oil processing in the game is far better for a new player than reducing the "possibility field" : it's like trying to reduce a open world game to a classic level in the idea.

A part of me want to try the new configuration you making suggestion ofc, but it's just when i saw a big tree of possibilities before, now i begin to see just a road, and roads are boring.

Best regards, Factorio is awesome!
It should be add in the game: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67650 :)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by lacika2000 »

wodzu93 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:30 pm
As for oil products, my sugesstion is to keep current science, flamer fuel and rocket fuel recipes as is, but change following:
1) Change Petroleum Gas input in Sulfur recipe for Light Oil. This, along with Solid Fuel, gives Light Oil a major resource sink, so backing up should be less of a problem. This way, Plastic uses Petroleum, Acid uses Light, and Lubricant uses Heavy Oil.
This, please. And keeping the reserved input on refineries, of course.

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