Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Adamo »

Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 pm
#1 is a complete nonstarter - it is now extracting a refined product from the ground; you might as well have "plastic ore" and "sulfuric acid wells" at that point.
Um, where does the PG comes from in reality then?.. 0.o
In reality it comes primarily from natural gas.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Yandersen »

Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:17 pm
Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 pm
#1 is a complete nonstarter - it is now extracting a refined product from the ground; you might as well have "plastic ore" and "sulfuric acid wells" at that point.
Um, where does the PG comes from in reality then?.. 0.o
It is one of many products of refining crude oil.
Also: https://sciencing.com/how-is-natural-ga ... 78757.html

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by MeduSalem »

Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:25 pm
I wounder nobody ever proposed to include batteries in the blue flask recipe. ;)
I did. Several times actually. Just not on the oil changes discussion threads.

But I did every time back when the discussion about science pack changes occured and where I pretty much said "Get rid of finished products in the damn science packs and instead use intermediate items because they aren't as prone to recipe changes/balancing", which pretty much also includes batteries in the widest sense.

My thought was that using intermediate items on science packs would get the player to gradually set up all the intermediates in a more natural fashion and also gradually more complex.

That said I think for a change like that it is way too late in the game development. They just should concentrate on finishing the game now or they will still be working on it in 2030.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Adamo »

Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:24 pm
Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:17 pm
Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 pm
#1 is a complete nonstarter - it is now extracting a refined product from the ground; you might as well have "plastic ore" and "sulfuric acid wells" at that point.
Um, where does the PG comes from in reality then?.. 0.o
It is one of many products of refining crude oil.
Also: https://sciencing.com/how-is-natural-ga ... 78757.html
You realize your link supports Reika's argument, right? Since this article shows us that petroleum gas is not extracted as a refined product from the ground, but must be refined through a number of processes.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Reika »

Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:24 pm
Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:17 pm
Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 pm
#1 is a complete nonstarter - it is now extracting a refined product from the ground; you might as well have "plastic ore" and "sulfuric acid wells" at that point.
Um, where does the PG comes from in reality then?.. 0.o
It is one of many products of refining crude oil.
Also: https://sciencing.com/how-is-natural-ga ... 78757.html
Natural gas and petroleum gas are not the same thing. The former is methane, and is found naturally. The latter is ethane (or in the case of Factorio, ethylene) and to my knowledge is not found naturally in any appreciable amount. It has to be extracted from crude either directly or via cracking. It is also the only one of those two from which you would normally make plastic (hence the name polyethylene).
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Adamo »

Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:32 pm
Natural gas and petroleum gas are not the same thing. The former is methane, and is found naturally. The latter is ethane (or in the case of Factorio, ethylene) and to my knowledge is not found naturally in any appreciable amount. It has to be extracted from crude either directly or via cracking. It is also the only one of those two from which you would normally make plastic (hence the name polyethylene).
I agree with your sentiments overall, but just for clarity: ethane is the second largest constituent of natural gas after methane, and natural gas is therefore by far the largest source of ethane, and in turn, polyethylene plastic.

And, yes, factorio has always treated petroleum gas as if it is like natural gas (being able to extract sulfur from it, and making plastic from it).

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Reika »

Adamo wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:32 pm
Natural gas and petroleum gas are not the same thing. The former is methane, and is found naturally. The latter is ethane (or in the case of Factorio, ethylene) and to my knowledge is not found naturally in any appreciable amount. It has to be extracted from crude either directly or via cracking. It is also the only one of those two from which you would normally make plastic (hence the name polyethylene).
I agree with your sentiments overall, but just for clarity: ethane is the second largest constituent of natural gas after methane, and natural gas is therefore by far the largest source of ethane, and in turn, polyethylene plastic.

And, yes, factorio has always treated petroleum gas as if it is like natural gas (being able to extract sulfur from it, and making plastic from it).
This is what you get when a guy whose specialty is gas turbines and rocket engines tries to talk petro-oil chemistry. Image
Last edited by Reika on Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Aivech »

Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
(well-thought-out post that makes several new points)
How come none of the developers have responded to this post? I think it brings up a ton of good points that haven't really been made yet.
Michael Collins wrote:I thought that when we went someplace they’d said, ‘Well congratulations, you Americans finally did it.’ And instead of that, unanimously, the reaction was, ‘We did it. We humans finally left this planet. We did it.'”

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar »

Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:32 pm
Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:24 pm
Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:17 pm
Yandersen wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:15 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:10 pm
#1 is a complete nonstarter - it is now extracting a refined product from the ground; you might as well have "plastic ore" and "sulfuric acid wells" at that point.
Um, where does the PG comes from in reality then?.. 0.o
It is one of many products of refining crude oil.
Also: https://sciencing.com/how-is-natural-ga ... 78757.html
Natural gas and petroleum gas are not the same thing. The former is methane, and is found naturally. The latter is ethane (or in the case of Factorio, ethylene) and to my knowledge is not found naturally in any appreciable amount. It has to be extracted from crude either directly or via cracking. It is also the only one of those two from which you would normally make plastic (hence the name polyethylene).
Well, this is like the 3rd (or 4th) time that I post this, but anyway...
EDIT : Aand, ninjaed again !
Wikipedia says that Petroleum Gas is Propane (C3) and/or Butane (C4).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquefied_petroleum_gas
Image
Eth(yl)ene is a Olefin that is produced by steam cracking ethane (C2).
Plastics are also made from longer Olefins : Prop(yl)ene (and But(yl)ene sometimes), themselves made from Propane (and Butane). (EDITED)
Last edited by BlueTemplar on Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Adamo wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 pm
Reika wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:32 pm
Natural gas and petroleum gas are not the same thing. The former is methane, and is found naturally. The latter is ethane (or in the case of Factorio, ethylene) and to my knowledge is not found naturally in any appreciable amount. It has to be extracted from crude either directly or via cracking. It is also the only one of those two from which you would normally make plastic (hence the name polyethylene).
I agree with your sentiments overall, but just for clarity: ethane is the second largest constituent of natural gas after methane, and natural gas is therefore by far the largest source of ethane, and in turn, polyethylene plastic.

And, yes, factorio has always treated petroleum gas as if it is like natural gas (being able to extract sulfur from it, and making plastic from it).
Makes me wonder if they should just separate PG from oil refining and just add a new resource natural gas that is refined to ethane or similar....

:D
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DanGio »

Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:40 pm
Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
(well-thought-out post that makes several new points)
How come none of the developers have responded to this post? I think it brings up a ton of good points that haven't really been made yet.
We can't expect devs to answer every post in such a long thread on a sunday. Also, as enjoyable to read it may be, this post focus on pointing one gameplay weakness - oil isn't rewarding soon enough - without proposing any solution to it.

From a dev perspective, I think this post is very hard to respond to.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Adamo »

DanGio wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:11 pm
Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:40 pm
Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
(well-thought-out post that makes several new points)
How come none of the developers have responded to this post? I think it brings up a ton of good points that haven't really been made yet.
We can't expect devs to answer every post in such a long thread on a sunday. Also, as enjoyable to read it may be, this post focus on pointing one gameplay weakness - oil isn't rewarding soon enough - without proposing any solution to it.

From a dev perspective, I think this post is very hard to respond to.
To be fair, that post proposed that leaving oil as it is is the appropriate thing to do. Because it's best to leave it in the fray with all the other things players are learning during the green plateau.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:00 pm
While I am caught up and distraction free for the moment, though, I did want to seriously just reiterate my position on this in full with my current understanding of the issue at large.

I do seriously question if the issue is something solvable by changing the basic oil process recipe. There have been a few posts recently pointing out some good points regarding this, most notably the one from Antaios. As such, I don't think a change to BOP necessarily solves the core issue. Some suggestions on changes that I think should be done/considered regardless, though, as I think they will help in other areas:
  • Sulfur production moved to heavy oil. Either exclusively, or, as with solid fuel, from all three products from refining with HO giving the best yield and PG giving the worst. I feel as though part of the backing up issue that some face is because there are so many demands on PG compared to the other two oils. Distributing this burden will help. Ratios can be tweaked (currently sulfur is produced at a 30 to 2 ratio... it doesn't need to stay this way substituting PG with HO).
  • After advanced oil processing (could even be fairly late after), a completely optional tech could be added to introduce reverse cracking for better control. These processes appear to exist for real, so we're not just adding in magicy stuff.
  • I don't necessarily feel as though solid fuel should be removed from chem science, but I do question the use of engines in it. It was even mentioned in this FFF that chem science is the gate to prove you've mastered oil. Engines are not related or even used in oil beyond pumps and (stretching) trains, but neither are actually required. I would support replacing it with something like sulfuric acid (again, I'm not against fluids in science packs), but sulfur would be fine, too.
  • Changing rocket fuel to be made entirely or no less than 50/50 from light oil directly. Gives a clear indicator of the use of light oil and as was pointed out in the previous FFF discussion thread, is closer to how it's actually made.
  • I believe someone else earlier in this thread also suggested rebalancing solid fuel and rocket fuel fuel_values, mostly, I believe, to make converting to solid fuel as a fuel source more attractive. I'd support this as well.
  • While I think it has been pointed out that heavy oil would actually be the most efficient method of creating solid fuel in reality, I understand if you don't want to make this change. Though I do feel as though some further balancing should be done to make solid fuel from PG to be worse than the other two (something like 15/10/20 or 20/10/30, HO/LO/PG respectively). As it occurs to me as well, often people (myself included) miss that the difference between the 3 solid fuel techs is that one is more efficient than the rest. I almost wonder if doubling the input and output of the most efficient one will grab people's attention. Having "2x Solid Fuel" in the recipe name better grabs attention and distinguishes it from just "Solid Fuel". (Same principle can be applied to sulfur production if you add recipes to make sulfur from all three.)
You still have sinks for everything to allow a player to deal with overproduction of one or more fluids with the above changes. Solid fuel, sulfur, and later, cracking and alkylation.

If it's necessary or if you guys are dead set on changing BOP, then I'd also support changing it so only light oil (and the subsequent techs that rely on it exclusively) are moved to behind advanced oil processing. This is the least disruptive to the whole oil concept and setup/techs, while slowly tweaking the complexity down and then giving it time to see if it worked. Hitting it with the sledgehammer and dropping it to one output, regardless of which it is, I think is the wrong way to go.
Last edited by FuryoftheStars on Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DanGio »

Adamo wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:19 pm
DanGio wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:11 pm
Aivech wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:40 pm
Antaios wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
(well-thought-out post that makes several new points)
How come none of the developers have responded to this post? I think it brings up a ton of good points that haven't really been made yet.
We can't expect devs to answer every post in such a long thread on a sunday. Also, as enjoyable to read it may be, this post focus on pointing one gameplay weakness - oil isn't rewarding soon enough - without proposing any solution to it.

From a dev perspective, I think this post is very hard to respond to.
To be fair, that post proposed that leaving oil as it is is the appropriate thing to do. Because it's best to leave it in the fray with all the other things players are learning during the green plateau.
Exactly. Pointing an issue and proposing to leave it as it is as a solution. Or rather, focus on something else. This is a distraction from the main point.

From a dev perspective, answering to this post would require to think about new solutions & concepts to solve the problem pointed by Antaios. This is a lot of work ! And what if devs decided to drop completely the oil balance issue, and rather focus on new rewards for setting up oil. And... what if we hate it too ? :D

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Adamo »

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:45 pm
...
While I think it has been pointed out that heavy oil would actually be the most efficient method of creating solid fuel in reality, I understand if you don't want to make this change.
...

For the record, I do not believe this is correct. Light oil is separated out as more valuable than crude and the heavy left behind precisely because it provides a higher percentage of gasoline and diesel products. But, heavy oil would certainly have the most sulfur. If anything, this suggests that each fluid has a product for which it is the most efficient as a precursor, which seems pretty reasonable to me!

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Adamo wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:06 am
FuryoftheStars wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:45 pm
...
While I think it has been pointed out that heavy oil would actually be the most efficient method of creating solid fuel in reality, I understand if you don't want to make this change.
...

For the record, I do not believe this is correct. Light oil is separated out as more valuable than crude and the heavy left behind precisely because it provides a higher percentage of gasoline and diesel products. But, heavy oil would certainly have the most sulfur. If anything, this suggests that each fluid has a product for which it is the most efficient as a precursor, which seems pretty reasonable to me!
Ah, thanks Adamo! Sorry, was going off from the discussions in the other thread. :)
My Mods: Classic Factorio Basic Oil Processing | Sulfur Production from Oils | Wood to Oil Processing | Infinite Resources - Normal Yield | Tree Saplings (Redux) | Alien Biomes Tweaked | Restrictions on Artificial Tiles | New Gear Girl & HR Graphics

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

And in case anyone is interested, I've made some balance changes to the couple of mods that I uploaded implementing many of the things discussed with the idea of only pushing light oil to later in the game and giving sulfur production to all 3 fluids, heavy oil having the best result.

Heavy Oil and Gas from Basic Oil
Sulfur Production from Oils

Both mods have settings to control a few things, so I encourage you to take a peek at them.
My Mods: Classic Factorio Basic Oil Processing | Sulfur Production from Oils | Wood to Oil Processing | Infinite Resources - Normal Yield | Tree Saplings (Redux) | Alien Biomes Tweaked | Restrictions on Artificial Tiles | New Gear Girl & HR Graphics

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by someone1337 »

So... I actually benchmarked my old 292k PG /min cracking-factory (discarding the new excess heavy oil via infinity pipe) against the new basic oil changes and a basic oil 300PG/min factory.

Its not a too perfect comparison, but testwise it looks OK. (There are issues with factorio-benchmarking, as its not currently possible to know when the game will finish running, therefore the productionstats may be up to 4999 ticks apart; what should not be an issue here)

Anyway: UPS-wise basic oil processing wins by more than what I expected.
Old cracking: Performed 1000000 updates in 308123.367 ms
New Crude->PG-only: Performed 1000000 updates in 258923.236 ms
-> Seems like a speedup of around 20%!

I run the benchmarks for 1000000 ticks (=4.63 ingame-hours)
Scroll down to the bottom of the log files to see final counts.

Also attached: The maps.
(If you want to run the benchmark by yourself, likely all you need is the benchmark mod - and likely not even that. it actually doesnt matter much what mods you have, as long as both maps are benchmarked with the same set of mods.)
Attachments
bench_oil_run.zip
(3.59 MiB) Downloaded 85 times
bench_oil_new_run.zip
(4.03 MiB) Downloaded 83 times
factorio-oil-gas-only.log
(59.38 KiB) Downloaded 65 times
factorio-oil-old.log
(111.05 KiB) Downloaded 81 times
Last edited by someone1337 on Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Philip017 »

V453000 wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:27 pm
“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.

“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.

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
still not a fan of changing the basic oil processing to the new simple version, and don't think i will ever be, but i understand, the first time i built it, i was scratching my head for hours. but more so it was because of the misplaced pipe that mixed the fluids somewhere, for that fix i am extremely grateful.

yes i was hoping that you had looked at the rocket fuel change, although, i would not at all mind if it drank 100 light oil directly and didn't use solid at all, but seriously though - 9 solid and 10 light needs to be the way, maintain the previous balance.

i know tutorials take time and they need to be good, but the one for oil needs to come soon, and definitely before 1.0

if you cant get the tutorial out before making a nice gui indication that gives you a better hint as to why the refinery is not working, a simple one in red can be added when you hover over the refinery, when a fluid is full, it is highlighted in red and can say something like "Processing Halted, Light oil storage full" although in my case it's usually heavy as my light gets turned into solid completely, gas into plastic, and heavy into lube....

pushing robots back is absolutely not fun whatsoever!, so any modded game i play i get robots to start the game with... where are these so called burner robots?? i would like to see them asap! imo the starting speed of the robots is really bad as it is, the burner ones had better be just as fast, preferably be able to use at least 20 of them, the modular frame with it's 10 per mk1 roboport and 4 possible inside it means 40 max, but i have to pluck them from the air to keep them busy with only a handful of solar panels. or maybe something like nanobots https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Nanobots that require some kind of ammo to get them to build for you.

i am not opposed to having a science pack require a fluid input, in fact if you change the blue, purple and yellow science packs to all require a fluid that would upset some people, but for me it's a new puzzle to figure out.

Something else however - - - with out first knowing how the circuit network works, something like an overflow valve would be useful in the game, i remember downloading flow control https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Flow%20Control , a mod that includs simple valves before learning how to use the circuit network that worked very well for me. i would like to know what you and the other devs think about adding the overflow valve, or perhaps them all, to the base game included with fluid management perhaps to help with managing the fluids?

at any rate i did read your entire comment and appreciate everything. thanks

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by vampiricdust »

V453000 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:00 pm
So, I tried implementing the Heavy + Petroleum gas BOP.

Option 1: Solid fuel in Chemical science pack, Sulfur made from PG
- "don't make me produce SF inefficiently" people will hate. I don't find it to be a huge deal though, and it would be completely clear that AOP unlocks more efficient Solid Fuel - it could even be written in the technology description.
- AOP still mandatory for rocket fuel
- the idea of increasing the amount of solid fuel for the science pack is not stupid at all, the player could put all Heavy into SF if they do not use Lubricant, or add from PG if they are, or if they want to burn some
- easy change, no need for math as petroleum gas has a sink pretty much always (sulfur and/or plastic)

Option 2: Sulfur in Chemical science pack, Sulfur made from Heavy
- AOP still mandatory for rocket fuel
- Solid fuel only used by itself when the player would want to burn it or to boost vehicle speed
- the amount of obtainable sulfur would be limited by amount of consumed PG, which would be mainly for plastic. From quickly browsing through a few saves from different stages of the game I'm reading between 1,5x up to the theoretical 8,5x (science production only) more Petroleum gas being used by plastic than sulfur, which is a big range but having BOP make 1:1 heavy and gas would probably be a safe option, as the 8,5x would just use more cracking, likely AOP. Coal liquefaction is always there to increase the heavy:gas ratio.
With AOP and Coal liquefaction the amount of obtainable sulfur would also be limited by the amount of Light oil consumed, but that could be translated into Petroleum Gas.
Still, needing more Heavy for Sulfur than Gas for Plastic would probably be a very rare case to occur, and the player has the chance to adjust the ratio further by switching solid fuel production from gas on, in case PG backs up.
Chemical science pack alone would need 4 times more gas for plastic than heavy for sulfur (if the science pack needed 1 sulfur), unless the science pack 4x Sulfur which I would not have a problem with. If the player produced only up to Chemical science, BOP with a ratio of 1:1 would work forever. If the player needs lubricant/batteries, or more plastic for building purposes (robots, modular armor, modules, ...), they would need to somehow handle the excess on one side or the other.
I didn't do enough math yet on how much/ratio should AOP do. Coal liquefaction should definitely make a lot of heavy oil, same or similar as it does now.
I notice you do realize that the issue with oil is resource sinks. However, I think you're over estimating the ability of solid fuel to be a sink. Until you get to end game, even science packs are not a sufficient resource sink to make it a tool for balancing consumption.

The balance of oil is entirely driven by the player's factory build, their priorities, and rate of progression.

Having another optional resource sink would fix this problem much easier than trying to "fix" oil. Plastic is a huge consumer at the start and solid fuel will never ever keep up during the time between BOP and AOP & cracking. Having more things like solid fuel that can be made from each oil would go a long ways to ease this part of the game.

Plastics is an near infinite resource sink. You will always consume ever more plastics post science. Every other oil product is finite. It's really difficult to continue using steam power the sole source of power. Almost everyone switches to solar or nuclear. Which again, only leads to more PG consumption.

The problem is that you only need as much lube as you need belts or bots. You don't need light oil to make solid fuel. Perhaps it would be better to have PG make plastics, light oil make sulfur, and heavy oil makes solid fuel in the most efficient ratios, but all 3 products can be made from all 3 oils. This lets players consume every oil regardless, but if the figure out the best use cases, then they get more out of each product. Then you only need to balance out the ratio of PG to LO needed to make Processing Units in a stable manner.

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