Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar »

esotericist wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:56 am
Tangentially, learning about klonan's construction drones was kinda nice. i wish we could do something similar for logistics, akin to how surviving mars lets you set up transfer orders between points. edit: yes, i know about trains, but trains are a heavyweight solution and not well suited to "I have lots of things that might want to cross this space"
BlueTemplar wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:47 pm
I prefer to avoid logibots too, as I don't really like how they change logistics to be about recharging (etc.) rather than layout...
Heck, I'd rather use logicarts instead !
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by V453000 »

Aflixion wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:23 pm
I just went through all of your posts on the oil changes from FFF 304 and 305 before 0.17.60 was released. The ONLY mention of not doing any changes at all was this sentence: "Not doing any changes at all of course still has the old problems, like not being able to have self-sufficient long-term BOP and unnecessary tedium/confusion."

BOP is not supposed to be self-sustaining long-term. It's supposed to be an inefficient stepping stone to the more efficient AOP recipe. Deadlocking is supposed to be a risk of staying with BOP too long, that's part of the puzzle. The long post by Antaios that I linked above addresses the tedium/confusion part, and you still have not responded to it.

See why I say it feels like you ignored us? Just saying you didn't ignore us doesn't change the fact that we got absolutely no feedback from you on why scrapping the changes was unacceptable, why the "problems" you described were even issues at all for the starter, inefficient tech.

I do genuinely hope you enjoy your time off. Personally, I'm just going to uninstall the game and wait to see if you're even going to reconsider this change before I think about playing again. I used to recommend Factorio to every one of my friends because of how awesome you guys were as developers, but I honestly can't say I'll continue to do so after the experience of the last 2 weeks.
I was pretty sure I wrote it in multiple places before, but maybe I was just talking to someone about it directly instead. In either case I'm sorry and I'll try to explain.

By definition, BOP is certainly to be inferior to AOP so the player is motivated to progress to the other one. However, it does not have to be inferior in terms of "it's super annoying and basically broken until I get AOP". The fact that BOP was basically impossible to manage properly created this whole "must rush for blue science", and BOP felt completely just like a pointless annoyance. And the more you would like to use the basic oil processing for non-science things (explosives, accumulators, modules, modular armor), the more annoying it would get as it would just keep nagging you with the same basic solution "add more tanks".
With the changes, BOP is inferior to AOP, but works by itself, and you can use it for non-science things completely fine. And of course setting up at least some AOP is completely mandatory because of the heavy/light oil.
I would certainly not consider "not staying on BOP for too long" as a part of the puzzle. There's no big downside to it, it's just annoying.
I do agree that the tedium part of setting up blue science is large and oil itself is rather little in the big list there, but oil can also be used without setting up chemical science pack for quite a while.

It's quite sad that such a relatively minor change makes you stop enjoying Factorio, because it really does not have that much of a dramatic impact.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru »

V453000 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:51 am
The fact that BOP was basically impossible to manage properly created this whole "must rush for blue science", and BOP felt completely just like a pointless annoyance. And the more you would like to use the basic oil processing for non-science things (explosives, accumulators, modules, modular armor), the more annoying it would get as it would just keep nagging you with the same basic solution "add more tanks".
Was this the reason the Petroleum+Light idea got axed (with the difference being "add more chemical science"), or were there other factors at play too? If this was the big stumbling block, I've since prepared a modified proposal that could handle this issue.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by V453000 »

Theikkru wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:22 am
V453000 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:51 am
The fact that BOP was basically impossible to manage properly created this whole "must rush for blue science", and BOP felt completely just like a pointless annoyance. And the more you would like to use the basic oil processing for non-science things (explosives, accumulators, modules, modular armor), the more annoying it would get as it would just keep nagging you with the same basic solution "add more tanks".
Was this the reason the Petroleum+Light idea got axed (with the difference being "add more chemical science"), or were there other factors at play too? If this was the big stumbling block, I've since prepared a modified proposal that could handle this issue.
Basically, yes. I personally preferred more the option of Heavy + Gas, but they are very similar changes with relatively small details. Their general issue is that they don't solve much, yet include roughly the same problems.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Zavian »

V453000 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:51 am
I do agree that the tedium part of setting up blue science is large and oil itself is rather little in the big list there, but oil can also be used without setting up chemical science pack for quite a while.
Regarding the massive number of things you need to build/automate for blue science I'm wondering if adding an new science pack to get say steel, and plastic/oil processing built before blue science wouldn't help new players. eg add a new science pack between green and blue. Perhaps steel, plastic, and sulfur. That pack would be simpler to get running than blue science, and can unlock advanced oil processing, and roboports/construction bots etc, and blue science could go back to solid fuel (or even rocket fuel) + red circuits + engines + something else.

You could also make blue science slightly cheaper to compensate for the extra resource consumption of the new pack. eg 1 engine, 2 red circuits, 1 green wire and/or 1 red wire. I had originally considered adding solid fuel here, but that might force a new player to struggle setting up AOP too soon after getting BOP running. I think circuit wires is better. That guarantees that the player researches them, and the research could trigger a tutorial where he needs to use circuits connected to a tank and a pump to only enable the pump when the tank contains less than 5k water.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar »

Make that steel => engines for the new pack, and regular => electric engines for blue ?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Deadlock989 »

We're seriously suggesting adding new science packs?

Where does this "smoothing out" stop? When all of freeplay is one big tutorial for beginners?
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by aka13 »

Deadlock989 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:30 pm
We're seriously suggesting adding new science packs?

Where does this "smoothing out" stop? When all of freeplay is one big tutorial for beginners?
I agree that there is more than enough science packs. In fact, I dislike that there are now so many, I do not feel that science pack automation is pleasurable, since it's less about a reasonable complex chain, but more of "produce everything from the item spectrum". I like the rocket automation way more in that regard.

On chemical science though I am not sure. While I like that there is a time period in game that forces me to a certain technology age, especially on deathworld marathon, so that I know I HAVE to setup gut turret supply and defense, and will not survive to rush lasers, I think it's wrong that it is the only such difficulty spike.

All the other science packs more or less do not require something new, like the chemical one does. I'd welcome more difficulty spikes, as one solution, or the removal of the only one, as it has just happened.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mcdjfp »

I never, never, felt rushed to go for advanced oil processing. I have often gone after nuclear first so I can get it up and running. If the pressure needed to go down a bit, make the ratios a little bit less deliberately bad. Dumping the excess solid fuel on my fuel belt typically makes it vanish, at least until electric furnaces come into style, and until modules, the steel furnaces are just as good.

The oil change removes a resource management challenge from the early-midgame period. It and more importantly managing the 3 linked outputs was enjoyable because it was a different sort of challenge, and required different planning, than running belts everywhere. Now, without the extra complication, it is not too much different than belt running to me, actually simpler because there are no issues with loading 2 different materials onto the proper sides of a belt.

This has removed content I enjoyed from the blue science period and pushed it back. I am still undecided on if it has reduced the workload of the period at all. Less variety, same work to do, less fun.

You contradict yourself as well.
You talk about making this change because of the rush to advanced oil processing. Then you immediately lock more content behind said advanced oil processing giving more reason than before to rush it.
You say no to flare stacks, but that is essentially what basic oil processing has become, a flare stack. It permanently unlinks petroleum gas from light and heavy oil. This is a puzzle simplification for the whole game. Need some extra petroleum gas, just build a couple of refineries doing basic oil processing. That, while less efficient, will be simpler than the cracking setup needed to use the other 2 oil recipes (less buildings and fluid types to manage)

1. Call me elitist if you want because I enjoyed things the way they were. I am no more elitist than someone demanding a change (such as removing what I enjoyed) so that they will enjoy the game more.
2. I have been reminded that this is not just about 1 change, but a series of changes (pickaxe, mining hardness, mining power, the careless stripping of the rail planners avoid mode (finally returned but still contributes to the impression), assembly machine ingredient limits) that combined give an ever stronger impression that the direction of the game is moving from what I enjoyed, and is trying to appeal to a different set of players. People like different things, it is impossible to make a game that appeals to everyone.
3. I might be wrong, but I suspect that the reaction would have been even worse if the changes had dropped with no notice.

To heal this you are going to have to find a way to satisfy both sides, before the players put off by the change wander off to some other game.

Edit: To me it seems that the closest that one can get to satisfying everyone is to offer as many configuration options as possible so players can tweak the difficulty the way they want. Mods help with this, but are negatively impacted when features that they take advantage of (see mining hardness) are removed

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mmmPI »

mcdjfp wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:44 pm

Edit: To me it seems that the closest that one can get to satisfying everyone is to offer as many configuration options as possible so players can tweak the difficulty the way they want. Mods help with this, but are negatively impacted when features that they take advantage of (see mining hardness) are removed
I do like this options, though i've been warn it's unlikely, the problem it raises is the balancing, not as much as right now, but for every other little change later, you'd need to plan their consequences on each different setup that the game propose as a tickbox, contrary to a mod, that puts the task on the modders , or the end user to setup more precisely what is needed/wanted.

For those reasons i do not have much hope in this :viewtopic.php?f=6&t=73768 ( suggestion for a new " complex" mode aside from the "expensive" )

Maybe the closer to version 1, the more realistic it would seems, since there might not be much change planned afterwards making it possible to introduce many different starting setups/receipes with less consequences for balance, but who knows.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mcdjfp »

The only thing that I could think of was to instead of changing the basic oil processing recipe to not produce light and heavy oil, to instead stick with the old recipes and have a simple fluid mode which causes buildings with multiple fluid outputs to keep on producing until all outputs are full (deleting/flaring/dumping the overproduced products) Then at least the recipes could still be the same. And there would be a bonus for doing it right even in simple mode (better raw material efficiency)
Last edited by mcdjfp on Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Avezo »

A lot of issues related to oil wall would be solved if we had construction bots earlier.

We could have construction bots earlier if electric engines didn't require lubricant.

Why not just remove lubricant from electric engines recipe and maybe add it to other higher-level recipes instead?

Or (as much as I dislike tiering) make 2 tiers of construction bots - first one would be slow but buildable with basic items (and no lubricant), second one would be 'proper one' and would take first one as an ingredient?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by jodokus31 »

Avezo wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:16 pm
A lot of issues related to oil wall would be solved if we had construction bots earlier.

We could have construction bots earlier if electric engines didn't require lubricant.

Why not just remove lubricant from electric engines recipe and maybe add it to other higher-level recipes instead?

Or (as much as I dislike tiering) make 2 tiers of construction bots - first one would be slow but buildable with basic items (and no lubricant), second one would be 'proper one' and would take first one as an ingredient?
Changing regular bots, to not need lubricant removes too much IMO.
I think Koub's idea is pretty good. While ground bots would be cool, some bad flying ones would do the trick, too.
Koub wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:26 pm
zenos14 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:16 pm
2) Make con bots not need lubricant somehow
I'd rather see a low tier ground based con bot limited enough so that regular conbots would be a significant upgrade, but that would help kickstart the scaling needed to automate blue science, so that we don't go from mandatory BOP=> AOP to mandatory BOP=> Bots.
Well I'm aware that it's not exactly mandatory, but ... mandatory-ish ? :).

I'd see those to be early green science, and could even become a component to regular conbots (like for example : basic bot + flying frame => flying conbot).

When automating science, blue is still a big step in inftrastructure needs. It's not hard per se, but the scaling is tedious when built by hand, withour the QoL of con bots (copy paste, move, ...).

...

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by T-A-R »

mcdjfp wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:44 pm
I never, never, felt rushed...
...other game.

Minus the edit on the end of the post.
I wish to add my vocal to this post. For the record.

I hope these tweaked/optimized construction drones are worth a reaction since multiple mentioned them now, before we can also add them to the list of honestly considered, but discarded ideas.
Last edited by T-A-R on Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Jap2.0 »

V453000 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:51 am
By definition, BOP is certainly to be inferior to AOP so the player is motivated to progress to the other one. However, it does not have to be inferior in terms of "it's super annoying and basically broken until I get AOP". The fact that BOP was basically impossible to manage properly created this whole "must rush for blue science", and BOP felt completely just like a pointless annoyance. And the more you would like to use the basic oil processing for non-science things (explosives, accumulators, modules, modular armor), the more annoying it would get as it would just keep nagging you with the same basic solution "add more tanks".
With the changes, BOP is inferior to AOP, but works by itself, and you can use it for non-science things completely fine. And of course setting up at least some AOP is completely mandatory because of the heavy/light oil.
I would certainly not consider "not staying on BOP for too long" as a part of the puzzle. There's no big downside to it, it's just annoying.
I do agree that the tedium part of setting up blue science is large and oil itself is rather little in the big list there, but oil can also be used without setting up chemical science pack for quite a while.

It's quite sad that such a relatively minor change makes you stop enjoying Factorio, because it really does not have that much of a dramatic impact.
A couple comments:

"Supposed to be inferior to AOP": an obvious implication of basic vs advanced. However, people always rushed AOP because it produced more petroleum. Petroleum is unequivocally the highest-tier oil product. The new AOP simply gives us a straight recipe from crude -> petroleum. That's not motivation to me - AOP is more efficient, sure, but if I don't have an oil shortage, do I care? How does setting up a train and a few pumpjacks compare to a complex oil setup + cracking? You had to make AOP mandatory for a reason - because otherwise, there's honestly not much reason to use it. Is that what inferior means? Making the alternative superior requires making it forced?

"it's super annoying and basically broken until I get AOP... BOP was basically impossible to manage properly": But was it really? It was only back in what, 0.16 that you put solid fuel in science for the purpose of showing the player (one of) the ways to deal with excess oil products? Solid fuel, flamethrower ammo, lubricant, etc. - the light and heavy oil isn't impossible to manage. (and earlier cracking is one of several solution that would completely solve the problem without removing the complexity.)

"With the changes... you can use [BOP] for non-science things completely fine": Except for everything that uses light or heavy oil.

"a relatively minor change": relative to what, exactly?
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by kbk »

Avezo wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:16 pm
Why not just remove lubricant from electric engines recipe and maybe add it to other higher-level recipes instead?
Nah, it's really better to keep those intact. What if some early basic red science tech is implemented instead to unlock, say, electric motors recipe? Imagine, motors are made of 2 coils and an iron stick and serve as a central component of engine units (both types), steam engines, electric drills, offshore/oil pumps, radars, gun turrets and non-burner inserters (why not?), as well as the early conbots that are so frequently mentioned in the course of this topic. I think implementing this might just prove to be more interesting gameplay-wise than to introduce a yet another change that makes it all simpler in the midgame.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

kbk wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:01 pm
Avezo wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:16 pm
Why not just remove lubricant from electric engines recipe and maybe add it to other higher-level recipes instead?
Nah, it's really better to keep those intact. What if some early basic red science tech is implemented instead to unlock, say, electric motors recipe? Imagine, motors are made of 2 coils and an iron stick and serve as a central component of engine units (both types), steam engines, electric drills, offshore/oil pumps, radars, gun turrets and non-burner inserters (why not?), as well as the early conbots that are so frequently mentioned in the course of this topic. I think implementing this might just prove to be more interesting gameplay-wise than to introduce a yet another change that makes it all simpler in the midgame.
Seeing this made we remember someone else’s mod that I use: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/math7BasicElecEngine

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by kbk »

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:51 pm
Seeing this made we remember someone else’s mod that I use: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/math7BasicElecEngine
Good to see that I was thinking in the direction someone else had ever been, although the main recipe introduced in that mod looks too complex for the early game. I too find the devs' take on how power is generated and how things are moved with electricity somewhat lacking the self-explanation/eureka moment due to absence of some proper basic component behind them. And the whole idea fits neatly with a lot of other content that either is available in game or might be considered in future, including that basic robotics thing.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by lacika2000 »

mcdjfp wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:39 pm
The only thing that I could think of was to instead of changing the basic oil processing recipe to not produce light and heavy oil, to instead stick with the old recipes and have a simple fluid mode which causes buildings with multiple fluid outputs to keep on producing until all outputs are full (deleting/flaring/dumping the overproduced products) Then at least the recipes could still be the same. And there would be a bonus for doing it right even in simple more (better raw material efficiency)
I like this approach. So BOP would produce all three oil products, and if any of them backs up, the next batch of that product would be discarded by the refinery, while producing what it can. If all three are backing up, then the refinery would stop.

So if the player only connects a PG pipe to the refinery, it will only produce PG at the standard BOP ratio. If the player is ready to pull another product, let’s say LO, he/she can connect the LO output to get this as well (again, produced at the standard ratio defined by the BOP recipe). Connecting all three outputs would produce all three products, until all three are backed up. If only one backs up, the other two can still be produced. The ratios can be suboptimal, but with this production mechanics, it will not be limiting to the player at any time of progression, just not be the most economical.

Adding to this approach, AOP does not need to change the refinery output ratios, just introduce the cracking technologies, so any product produced by the BOP recipe ratios can be converted to another.

I am not sure if in thus approach we need water from BOP already, but I guess this is inevitable.

I think THIS IS the solution to teaching the player to oil refining mechanics and to ensuring that on the long run AOP is unlocked, but not rushed. And with this, con bots do not have to be locked behind blue science either. :D

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by lacika2000 »

V453000 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:54 am
Basically, yes. I personally preferred more the option of Heavy + Gas, but they are very similar changes with relatively small details. Their general issue is that they don't solve much, yet include roughly the same problems.
V4530000: please consider my proposal,
lacika2000 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:51 am
building on
mcdjfp wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:39 pm
and do let me know what you think with respect to solving the player’s hurdle facing oil refining.

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