Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

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VFaalcatnodriiro
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by VFaalcatnodriiro »

V453000 wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:12 pm
5. It absolutely helps, it makes the basic one work indefinitely until you want some light or heavy from it. And since you unlock the tools to fix the problem along with unlocking the problem, it's much better.
That part I agree with. But my solution would be to have cracking as an Red+Green tech which may be unlocked immediately after (old) BOP. "Problem -> Solution".
V453000 wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:12 pm
mcdjfp wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:12 pm
2. Enough puzzles have been simplified (even if some were fairly minor) recently, that "the puzzle" does not work as an explanation anymore for you to justify or argue against changes. It really doesn't work when you say we won't do this in order to justify doing just that. You say flare stacks (resource destruction) do not fit with Factorio when defending changing a recipe that does just that. It destroys the light and heavy oil when you don't want them (sounds like a flare stack to me).

3. There is a MUCH bigger problem to solve than basic oil processing. You have split the player base into 3 groups. Those that like the direction the game is going with all of the simplifications, those that like complexity (and thus don't like puzzle after puzzle being simplified), and those that don't care. One of these groups is feeling more and more pushed aside. What do you think that the result of that will be?

Instead of forcing everyone to play the same way, give us options. (Some people like more expensive research seeing it as a challenge, others don't like it as it feels like a grind. Since there is a setting for this, both are happy.
3. That's a tough question for sure, but you can't always make everyone happy I'm afraid. Though I have to say I don't feel like the game is getting simplified. I'm sorry but I don't think removing pickaxes or assembling machine ingredient count is simplifying anything. And the oil changes only simplify the first step, and make the second more complicated step mandatory while giving the tools to solve the problem properly. I can't really imagine where would such an option for oil processing go (as of options), but the Expensive recipes mode would be a candidate, but you would just get 2 useless oil products, yay? .
No longer having to deal with ingredient-counts IS simplifying the game. Having a built-in flare-stack in the BOP-recipe IS dumbing down the game.
If that's not only your personal opinion, but the opinion of the majority of devs (that have the power to decide things), then factorio is truely lost.

In the past you gave us the chance to adjust settings in vanilla. If you want to have a simplified version for "new players", keep it in the introduction-campaign. Tutorials and whatnot. Hide the interesting parts in a "expensive recipes" "expensive tech" setting. Something like that... But seeing you going down "that" road just hurts.

Having way over 5000 hours in this game I don't regret anything... but it seems I have to move on. Good luck with your chosen mission to sell more copies to the "why are barrels even in game, can't you just simplify this, this is way too hard, three types of fluid in a wagon which has three tanks in it appearence is too complicated"-types of people. But with the direction you took, I can no longer recommend the game to my friends and colleagues.

:cry: :cry: :cry:

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:58 pm
crambaza wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:44 pm
netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:27 pm

No one here has talked about the logistical cost saved when you have a PG-only refinery. So what if it produces 10 less? Now I don't have to deal with the 60 non-PG oils, its storing, conversion, transport, and powering all of that play the game to do so. You guys that don't see the other side of this coin just don't get it. ok it broke your past experience, now you can't do things the same way. Easier for you? Easier for your family? That doesn't mean it's easier for all, and I would argue at the level of "easy-ness" this applies. What's wrong with making something like the development of the oil production process a bit smoother? Count on it.
*whew* close one. I agree, now that they made it easier, it saved you from all that playing the game... while playing the game...
:?


*New Idea: Maybe at this point, the Basic Oil recipe should just spit out Plastic and Sulfur directly, and then Advanced Oil spits out Lubricant and Solid fuel directly. This way you can balance Basic and Advanced Oil based on your factory needs without all that pesky game play getting in the way...
You forgot to add crafting sulfur and plastic by hand by standing on the oil well.
(sorry couldn't help commenting on your dramatization)
It isn't that much of a "dramatization". This is a game about logistical puzzles and this change has removed that.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Light »

V453000 wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:12 pm
lacika2000 wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:00 pm
Second, if I understood correctly the current changes, the current BOP does exactly what you claim not to happen in Factorio - namely that things disappear. The current recipe takes 100 oil but produces less than 100 PG, right?
I mean, that's like saying that 20 electronic circuits should result in 20 processing units.
Anything that has "That's like saying" isn't a case for a strong argument.

Electronic circuits can be viewed as components for processing units by being combined into said unit. Similar to how a motherboard is comprised of several components that used to also be individual boards back in the day, which is now obsolete thanks to technological advances.

Oil however is a fluid, it's being split into different chemicals yet there's no other byproduct being made to indicate where the excess fluid has gone. This is exactly why people make the connection that the flare stack on the refinery is burning light and heavy oils when using basic processing. They're correct.
Last edited by Light on Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by netmand »

Theikkru wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:45 pm
Because it may actually make things worse for new players in that it teaches them a bad lesson (that oil refining is a 1-in-1-out recipe), and punishes them for putting more effort into their factory. (See this post for details.)
I must commend you in forcing me to yet again read that heroically TL; post. This makes it the 5th time I've gone through it: 1st was back when it was actually posted, a partial read into oh my gawd this is too long didn't read the rest, 2nd was a I gotta read it but really it was just a scan, 3rd was an actual read. Now 4th read was following your reference just now into oh my gawd here we go again partial, into 5th actual read again.

You make several points there and back then it was enough of a post to influence my play-through. So when I got to BOP I actually crowded my refineries so I couldn't use them in AOP. It worked out fine. When AOP was used I added AOP refineries elsewhere and used BOP as they were. For me it enforced a better design and more elegant layout.

It really feels like people that say how things wind up for new players are just winging it, making it up. You could be right, but really give me actual examples. Saying it teaches them a bad lesson means nothing to me. Say something more along the lines of, "I gave a kid a knife and he wound up cutting himself while trying to cut a plastic ball in half." instead of, "pocket knives can hurt you so you can't have a knife."

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mcdjfp »

netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:49 pm
Sorry I don't understand to which fact, confusion, or misunderstanding to which you are referring? If you are talking about a building that potentially has a recipe for multiple outputs (i.e. petroleum gas, light oil, heavy oil), then (discounting mods) forgive me but I think that's the only one. So how does this multiply? There isn't a building later that has 4 outputs as far as I know.
I was deliberately being vague with the word "fact" because my statement was generic applying from school to gaming to anything else. I didn't want the discussion to obsess over the examples and miss the point. I had a math class ruined by a teacher who wouldn't explain something that the rest of the course built on. The teacher believed in discovering things for yourself, but sometimes you learn the wrong thing. I have also experienced the difficulty in correcting a someone who jumped to a conclusion based on the easy problems in the textbook, who then kept on trying the same thing on harder problems where the assumption they were making was no longer true. Not fun.

Edit: I have moved from being in the revert this immediately group at the start to the opinion that this has so divided the community that the answer must appeal to both sides. Not just one or the other

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by netmand »

mcdjfp wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:41 pm
netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:49 pm
Sorry I don't understand to which fact, confusion, or misunderstanding to which you are referring? If you are talking about a building that potentially has a recipe for multiple outputs (i.e. petroleum gas, light oil, heavy oil), then (discounting mods) forgive me but I think that's the only one. So how does this multiply? There isn't a building later that has 4 outputs as far as I know.
I was deliberately being vague with the word "fact" because my statement was generic applying from school to gaming to anything else. I didn't want the discussion to obsess over the examples and miss the point. I had a math class ruined by a teacher who wouldn't explain something that the rest of the course built on. The teacher believed in discovering things for yourself, but sometimes you learn the wrong thing. I have also experienced the difficulty in correcting a someone who jumped to a conclusion based on the easy problems in the textbook, who then kept on trying the same thing on harder problems where the assumption they were making was no longer true. Not fun.
I get how your logic applies to teaching subject matter such as, math, algebra, or any teach-able subject matter. But we're talking about one thing; multiple outputs from one building. There's only one thing to learn, that it stops on its own when one or more outputs are full. Any other properties that cause it to stop on its own are present in the logistic handling of single products and single item recipes as well.

oh wait I just thought up of how this lesson/situation is presented a lot earlier than AOP. Canning/un-canning water.... so given this situation I still can't see how a player would learn how to deal with this badly? It sure seems like, "learning the wrong way" is way too subjective for this game.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mcdjfp »

I just don't like the practice in general. In Factorio, the biggest worry is the appearance of a "new" mechanic. Unless a new player had wandered into nuclear first (if that is possible anymore) or placed a miner on two different deposits they may believe that they understand how buildings work when they really don't. A blocked output is a good thing most of the time. It means that production at a given level is high enough to meet the demand of later steps. This lesson is true most of the time, but not always. Will they say "I get it, I need to keep all 3 outputs in mind and not let the wrong ones fill up," or, "why is this stupid building broken?" Even if they get it, it may significantly slow down their debugging process if the blocked outputs are further down their problem solving steps than they should be.

Still, I guess my real issue is, if they don't get it in the simpler environment in the early game, why will they suddenly get it right later in the game? This is my counterargument to the claim that by putting off the linked outputs, new players will be better prepared to handle it.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru »

netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:25 pm
You make several points there and back then it was enough of a post to influence my play-through. So when I got to BOP I actually crowded my refineries so I couldn't use them in AOP. It worked out fine. When AOP was used I added AOP refineries elsewhere and used BOP as they were. For me it enforced a better design and more elegant layout.

It really feels like people that say how things wind up for new players are just winging it, making it up. You could be right, but really give me actual examples. Saying it teaches them a bad lesson means nothing to me. Say something more along the lines of, "I gave a kid a knife and he wound up cutting himself while trying to cut a plastic ball in half." instead of, "pocket knives can hurt you so you can't have a knife."
Unfortunately, I don't have a selection of Factorio noobs available to me to run experiments upon, so I cannot provide a direct example myself. The argument I made, however, was not purely speculative; I do distinctly remember my own thoughts and reasoning during my own first playthrough of Factorio, and can make reasonable extrapolations about how I would've played and felt from them. In other words, that post and its arguments are effectively a virtual self-representation of my experiences, had I been playing Factorio for the first time post 0.17.60.
I was not, and am not, attempting to portray the mindset of all new players, but what it would be like for the subset that fulfill the premises of my argument, namely those who β‘  much prefer careful planning and forethought to haphazard execution and subsequent correction, β‘‘ vehemently dislike having the culmination of their work invalidated, (further reinforcing the previous), and β‘’ see the game as a challenge of those abilities, and so intentionally begin the game with no more than some small modicum of knowledge gleaned from such sources as game reviews, screenshots, and trailers.
I can point to myself as an example of these premises, and can declare with confidence that from my point of view, leaving BOP running as you did would not have been acceptable, given the categorical superiority of efficiency afforded by AOP. Moreover, as I covered in my post, withholding critical information about the refinery would have felt like a "cheap shot" that forces the reconstruction of a system (i.e. a failure of point β‘ ) that could have been set up correctly and elegantly from the start if the entirety of the problem had been at least hinted at from the beginning.
netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:05 pm
I get how your logic applies to teaching subject matter such as, math, algebra, or any teach-able subject matter. But we're talking about one thing; multiple outputs from one building. There's only one thing to learn, that it stops on its own when one or more outputs are full. Any other properties that cause it to stop on its own are present in the logistic handling of single products and single item recipes as well.

oh wait I just thought up of how this lesson/situation is presented a lot earlier than AOP. Canning/un-canning water.... so given this situation I still can't see how a player would learn how to deal with this badly? It sure seems like, "learning the wrong way" is way too subjective for this game.
The "wrong way" or "wrong lesson" in this case is not the multiple outputs dilemma itself, but the false representation of the refinery as "just another assembler". Before the changes, the refinery always had 3 outputs, so players immediately associated the refinery with multiple outputs. Now, however, they are lulled into believing that the refinery only involves 1 input and 1 output, since the multiple outputs aspect does not present itself until well after the player has invested in a basic refinery setup. This is not analogous to the barreling situation, because barreling does not replace or supersede an existing production line, the multiple outputs of unbarreling constitute a natural complement to the inputs of barreling, for which the refinery has no comparison, and finally barreling is both niche and optional, being neither required for progression, nor likely to be encountered by a new player like oil is.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Aflixion »

netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:27 pm
No one here has talked about the logistical cost saved when you have a PG-only refinery. So what if it produces 10 less? Now I don't have to deal with the 60 non-PG oils, its storing, conversion, transport, and powering all of that to do so. You guys that don't see the other side of this coin just don't get it. ok it broke your past experience, now you can't do things the same way. Easier for you? Easier for your family? That doesn't mean it's easier for all, and I would argue at the level of "easy-ness" this applies. What's wrong with making something like the development of the oil production process a bit smoother?
This part of your reply made me sad. Not having to deal with non-PG oil products makes the game easier, for sure, but also much less interesting. It removes all challenge from this part of the game. Instead of having to balance the oil outputs (cracking, storing, consuming, or otherwise) when you need to ramp up production of end products that use PG, you just build more refineries using BOP instead of AOP. It's easy to the point that it's boring and making me question why I'm spending time on it.

Dealing with the multiple oil outputs was the defining characteristic of oil processing in this game. The fact that you can now bypass that whole process when you need more PG is extremely disappointing.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by netmand »

Theikkru wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:40 pm
I can point to myself as an example of these premises, and can declare with confidence that from my point of view, leaving BOP running as you did would not have been acceptable, given the categorical superiority of efficiency afforded by AOP. Moreover, as I covered in my post, withholding critical information about the refinery would have felt like a "cheap shot" that forces the reconstruction of a system (i.e. a failure of point β‘ ) that could have been set up correctly and elegantly from the start if the entirety of the problem had been at least hinted at from the beginning.
So if I were to paraphrase this, you don't like being given buildings but not its schematics? I can see your frustration, "here's your brand new oil refinery, ignore all that machinery on the other side, you'll be given access to those later." Is that the idea? To me that's the same experience I had when learning the rocket launcher was needed to deliver the atomic bomb. I don't want to downplay your explanation, you have a point. And to be honest my counter-point would have been that it's normal to re-construct oil processing layouts... but maybe everyone else thinks this a bad way to make people play the game? I wonder how many people loathe having to reconstruct parts of the factory as more technology is unlocked/obtained?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Theikkru »

netmand wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:11 am
[...]And to be honest my counter-point would have been that it's normal to re-construct oil processing layouts... but maybe everyone else thinks this a bad way to make people play the game? I wonder how many people loathe having to reconstruct parts of the factory as more technology is unlocked/obtained?
To be clear, the key part in that point is that it's bad to MAKE people play that way, not that's it's bad THAT players play that way. In all other cases I can think of, players have a choice, whether that be planning ahead, working around the problem, or simply not making the upgrade (e.g. electric furnaces), that can get around having to rebuild something. Therefore, if a player ends up rebuilding something for some reason, there is some degree of player choice that led to it (such as the choice not to plan ahead).
Such is not the case with new oil, however, since too much information is withheld from the player for thinking ahead to reasonably account for the impending multiple outputs. The worst part is, those players who DO try to plan ahead (e.g. for expansion of oil production), do so on incorrect/incomplete information, and end up wasting even more time and effort (on basic oil) than those who didn't try to plan; it becomes a case where players are actually punished for planning ahead, due to something that is entirely out of their control. That is the part that strikes me as directly anti-Factorian.

This is (one reason) why I've been advocating a compromise; I can understand re-configuring oil processing somewhat to present its challenges in an easier-to-digest package, but that shouldn't come at the cost of the ability to plan for what's coming.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Antaios »

netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:01 pm
oh what a wonderful way to put that it changes your experience. I've read all comments to that effect. I'll acknowledge that figuring out multiple outputs on one building is rewarding, but it mystifies me that you guys need to preserve that particular experience so well that you'll argue for weeks about it. Can we not move past this? Why is it not ok to "move" it to Advanced oil processing?
Because it doesn't accomplish the goal. it messes with the freedom of technologies and progression the player has through the expansion phase (where they start exploring) that is green science, and it doesn't 'smooth out' the difficulty curve. Sure, it makes things easier, specifically regarding oil for experienced players, that's somewhat smoother for us in a way. But it also removed some smoothing technology, now moved behind blue science, so it's more a wash.

This is what the curves for 'stuff the player has to deal with' regarding oil. If you're concerned about new players, you'll be concerned about this, throwing new stuff at them. (omitting coal liquefaction)

(the chart omitted the '0' in 0.17.60, the red line)
OilDifficultyPercent.JPG
OilDifficultyPercent.JPG (23.1 KiB) Viewed 2028 times
Neither of those is particularly smooth, but I think we can agree the second is way harsher.
Not to mention for reasons I explained in my very lengthy post, the complexities associated with basic oil processing are over exaggerated, so that blue curve should actually be lowered in the basic oil processing stage.
netmand wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:25 pm
I must commend you in forcing me to yet again read that heroically TL; post. This makes it the 5th time I've gone through it: 1st was back when it was actually posted, a partial read into oh my gawd this is too long didn't read the rest, 2nd was a I gotta read it but really it was just a scan, 3rd was an actual read. Now 4th read was following your reference just now into oh my gawd here we go again partial, into 5th actual read again.

-...-

It really feels like people that say how things wind up for new players are just winging it, making it up. You could be right, but really give me actual examples. Saying it teaches them a bad lesson means nothing to me. Say something more along the lines of, "I gave a kid a knife and he wound up cutting himself while trying to cut a plastic ball in half." instead of, "pocket knives can hurt you so you can't have a knife."
Since you enjoy skipping long posts (the ones likely to contain the most through out, reasoned answers/arguments)
Antaios wrote: ↑
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:33 pm
In here, I explain with reasoning why new players aren't going to be helped by the changes, and why thinking oil outputting three products is complicated is a fallacy.
Antaios wrote: ↑
Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:14 am
In here, I explain with reasoning, some solutions to specific things the devs want to do (the last three paragraphs, for those wishing to skim). And reiterate on points from the first post, expanding somewhat.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by kbk »

V453000 wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:12 pm
FuryoftheStars wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:17 pm
I still disagree that this "is really dangerous to change". This already happened pre-AOP & cracking (hence why you all feel as though the 0.17.60 change needed to be made, if I understand correctly) and so really is no more "dangerous" should it fail. PG would still be required in a lot of things and you can always rebalance the production and consumption ratios to compensate (I certainly would not advocate moving sulfur production from PG -> HO while keeping the same numbers). And if someone is really going to go all hog wild on one product while completely neglecting the rest, then this should happen. You could also make it so sulfur production is similar to solid fuel where you can get it from all 3 fluids, but HO has the best efficiency, and/or you could also introduce reverse cracking (alkylation) recipes (identical to cracking recipes only requiring sulfuric acid instead of water) as a later tech unlock after AOP.

I do have one separate question, though. Obviously you all changed BOP like this because you still perceived it as an issue. You just changed Chem science to use solid fuel in 0.17.0. Aren't most new players going to be using the latest stable (0.16.51)? How do you know that this did not solve the problem?
But exactly, it's "not dangerous" except it would basically need to introduce reverse-cracking recipes because of the bad case that could happen (and IMO shouldn't). Reverse-cracking sounds like a big mess, though I'm not entirely sure what do I think about that to too much detail.

The solid fuel in 0.17.0 did not really work. The science only consumed miniscule amounts (especially since you could make it from light oil) so it was still just a matter of time.
From your point of view, what's exactly wrong with reverse cracking and the like in vanilla?
Do you perhaps desire to minimise the resouce wasting through recipes? I'd like to assure you that effective resource management is not exactly what Factorio is really about. Instead, Factorio is very much about becoming less ineffective in resource management. At least I think it should be this way. You see, on the one hand there are a lot of other ways to be inefficient in Factorio, namely every nonrecycleable craft (most buildings, low-tier weapons, armor and its components) is a potential waste, whole burner tech is a waste eventually, nuclear power generation must be controlled with circuits or will become a waste, solid fuel from PG/HO is a waste, cracking only really makes sense when PG/plastic is scarce and other things are steadily produced, etc etc. On the other hand resources in Factorio are virtually infinite to some point, that is especially about crude oil. Why not throw in some non-essential and/or clearly inefficient alternatives to most intermediates en masse?

As I was initially considering to propose alkylation in FFF-304, it was intended as an advanced Coal liquefaction era tech with pretty much the same purpose as the coal liquefaction. In that proposal rocket fuel was supposed to be made entirely of LO and Solid fuel's best alternative would be HO so that every oil fraction always gets a sink (SF+Cracking, RF+Cracking, Plastic+Sulfur) and a couple alternative ways to dispose it. Following this grand plan, the main idea of alkylation was to provide additional source of LO from PG similar to coal liquefaction>HO cracking chain and to counter the possible overproduction of PG (and sulfur), that in turn was expected as a possible side effect of players' cracking setup being inefficient by when rocket silos are online. At the same time alkylation was supposed to feel rather ineffective and resource-burning just as some other things were. In fact, that proposal contained three rather ineffective solutions to dump the oil: first you might burn oil products at the stack in the BOP era, then you might sink PG (and, later, LO) to Solid fuel, and now reverse cracking. Every solution there was bearing a hidden message about how it is better (not) to plan your factory, but at the same time it provided some degree of freedom.
Moreover, now that we have a decent sulfur sink, RF is mostly LO+SF, SF has little to no other uses and BOP is essentially a flare stack, why, again, PG alkylation is a mess?

Intertwining single-goal evolution with freedom of choice may be a daunting task, but it sure will make the game more interesting. And yes, if one wants even more he could always resort to modding community, but why not sweeten the vanilla a bit?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Koub »

Antaios wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:06 am
[...]
(the chart omitted the '0' in 0.17.60, the red line)
OilDifficultyPercent.JPG

Neither of those is particularly smooth, but I think we can agree the second is way harsher.
Actually it's funny, I was tempted to make such a graph to illustrate the exact opposite, but was defeated by my laziness :)

I have a few observations on the chart :

1) You measure difficulty in cumulative percentage, which is not an accurate description of experience. It would be closer to the experience to give any moment an arbitrary difficulty value, and see its evolution over time

2) You solely focus on oil changes, and by doing so, lose the big picture.
The reason I consider the oil changes a good move even if not perfect, is that there is the whole game context : oil processing, multiple output recipes that are tricky to make totally deadlock proof, blue science automation, conbots setup (and for those who suck at warfare, the evolution of the biters making them a bigger threat, and forcing significant effort on the defense perimeter setup). All these have an intrinsic difficulty curve, and pre-0.17.60, almost all happened in a very short time frame. Any of those taken individually would have been a totally doable challenge, but juggling with all these to get things done could be overwhelming.

Now, the player has more time to choose his priorities.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Preserteo »

Koub wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:41 am
Antaios wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:06 am
[...]
(the chart omitted the '0' in 0.17.60, the red line)
OilDifficultyPercent.JPG

Neither of those is particularly smooth, but I think we can agree the second is way harsher.
Actually it's funny, I was tempted to make such a graph to illustrate the exact opposite, but was defeated by my laziness :)

I have a few observations on the chart :

1) You measure difficulty in cumulative percentage, which is not an accurate description of experience. It would be closer to the experience to give any moment an arbitrary difficulty value, and see its evolution over time

2) You solely focus on oil changes, and by doing so, lose the big picture.
The reason I consider the oil changes a good move even if not perfect, is that there is the whole game context : oil processing, multiple output recipes that are tricky to make totally deadlock proof, blue science automation, conbots setup (and for those who suck at warfare, the evolution of the biters making them a bigger threat, and forcing significant effort on the defense perimeter setup). All these have an intrinsic difficulty curve, and pre-0.17.60, almost all happened in a very short time frame. Any of those taken individually would have been a totally doable challenge, but juggling with all these to get things done could be overwhelming.

Now, the player has more time to choose his priorities.
The problem is that what you call oil processing is nothing more than a graphics change, it's like a simple "iron processor". There is a simple extractor (pumpjack) that reaches a "assembler" through a pipe where a simple product comes out.

There is nothing, no incentive, nothing at all, no fun, no challenge, nothing. We simply change some graphics for others. As a simple iron processor.

Sorry for my english.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Antaios »

Koub wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:41 am
1) You measure difficulty in cumulative percentage, which is not an accurate description of experience. It would be closer to the experience to give any moment an arbitrary difficulty value, and see its evolution over time

2) You solely focus on oil changes, and by doing so, lose the big picture.
The reason I consider the oil changes a good move even if not perfect, is that there is the whole game context : oil processing, multiple output recipes that are tricky to make totally deadlock proof, blue science automation, conbots setup (and for those who suck at warfare, the evolution of the biters making them a bigger threat, and forcing significant effort on the defense perimeter setup). All these have an intrinsic difficulty curve, and pre-0.17.60, almost all happened in a very short time frame. Any of those taken individually would have been a totally doable challenge, but juggling with all these to get things done could be overwhelming.

Now, the player has more time to choose his priorities.
Defining a a graph, the derivative of that first one, as the relative difficulty of any one point in the game would yield the same results. A massive spike at the end for 0.17.60, whilst 0.17.59 has two smaller spikes, the first is larger (BOP), the second smaller. Both smaller than the spike for 0.17.60

I did not intend for the graph to be representative of the entire game difficulty curve, had I intended that, the title would have been different and I would have said as such.

And your 'big picture' omits something aswell, the relative likelihood that each activity is enjoyable or interesting.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DanGio »

Honestly, I don't understand how plastic bars & sulfur which are 2-input-recipes (plastic being item+fluid, sulfur being 2 liquids, acid being 1 liquid + 2 items) get a dull 20% score, compared to the AOP lubricant + cracking recipe that get 100%. Where does that even comes from ?

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by 5thHorseman »

Preserteo wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:08 am
The problem is that what you call oil processing is nothing more than a graphics change, it's like a simple "iron processor". There is a simple extractor (pumpjack) that reaches a "assembler" through a pipe where a simple product comes out.
But that's the point. The product now comes through a pipe. It's the very first thing a new player does with a pipe since leaving the burner phase, when let's face it they didn't do much with pipes.

Also, it isn't iron. It's a brand new product from a brand new ore and it makes multiple new things that mix both fluids and solids to make both fluids and solids. Sure someone with hundreds (or thousands) of hours could pooh-pooh that but I bet a truly new player would be ecstatic. Instead of overwhelmed like they were (as I was) with the way it was originally.

Do I have trouble with it now? Of course not. I didn't like it still, but I could do it. this past time though I actually enjoyed it.

I don't know if my personal fun counts for people saying it robs the fun from oil processing, but it sure does count for me.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Preserteo »

5thHorseman wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:02 am
Preserteo wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:08 am
The problem is that what you call oil processing is nothing more than a graphics change, it's like a simple "iron processor". There is a simple extractor (pumpjack) that reaches a "assembler" through a pipe where a simple product comes out.
But that's the point. The product now comes through a pipe. It's the very first thing a new player does with a pipe since leaving the burner phase, when let's face it they didn't do much with pipes.

Also, it isn't iron. It's a brand new product from a brand new ore and it makes multiple new things that mix both fluids and solids to make both fluids and solids. Sure someone with hundreds (or thousands) of hours could pooh-pooh that but I bet a truly new player would be ecstatic. Instead of overwhelmed like they were (as I was) with the way it was originally.

Do I have trouble with it now? Of course not. I didn't like it still, but I could do it. this past time though I actually enjoyed it.

I don't know if my personal fun counts for people saying it robs the fun from oil processing, but it sure does count for me.
Let's see if I can explain myself. I always talk about feelings, there are other people who talk about how they could have done giving ideas, I do it for what the player moves, feelings. I don't know if I will understand what I mean by using the Google translator but it is the only option I have at hand to be able to express myself in a language that is not mine.

The player who is going to play Factorio is not a player who only plays Fortnite and similar games (there will always be exceptions, as in everything). He is a player who likes strategy, economic or war games, or both.

In Factorio we have very differentiated elements, minerals such as iron, copper, stone, coal, uranium and fluids such as water and oil.

The minerals must be processed in furnaces to obtain products (iron, steel, copper, stone), or not processed to take advantage of them in a natural way (coal, stone), or with chemicals for their extraction (uranium).

Fluids are processed in a refinery (oil) or not processed like water.

That is what a player is and when he takes a few hours his brain assimilates.

In the furnaces some materials are processed and in the other refineries.

A player accustomed to playing games like the ones mentioned will now find that yes, there is a new material, oil, to see what I do with it. But you don't have to do anything you haven't done so far!

I replace the ore extractor with the pumpjack, replace the conveyor belt with a pipe, and the oven with a refinery that gives me a product (gas). He has no emotion at all !!!

A new player is not looking at the technology tree continuously because he does not know it, he is not thinking about the next recipes because he ignores them. Unlike!!! You will think that the whole game is the same, without any grace wasting hours to meet again with other material in which the graphics will change and will be the same!

A player of this type of games looks for challenges that push him forward, not repetitions of the same actions.

A new player was suddenly with oil and had three liquids to interact with ... this is not what he had seen so far! A new challenge!!! Let's see how you can solve this!

And it was difficult for you to find oil, because it was a complicated challenge, but if you realize that, it made you move on with the game. If after 10 hours of play you find an element, new yes, with which you have to repeat again what was done during the previous ten hours you get bored. Sensations.

I hope I have made myself understand a little better, sorry for English.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by conn11 »

Preserteo wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:34 am
5thHorseman wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:02 am
Preserteo wrote: ↑
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:08 am
The problem is that what you call oil processing is nothing more than a graphics change, it's like a simple "iron processor". There is a simple extractor (pumpjack) that reaches a "assembler" through a pipe where a simple product comes out.
But that's the point. The product now comes through a pipe. It's the very first thing a new player does with a pipe since leaving the burner phase, when let's face it they didn't do much with pipes.

Also, it isn't iron. It's a brand new product from a brand new ore and it makes multiple new things that mix both fluids and solids to make both fluids and solids. Sure someone with hundreds (or thousands) of hours could pooh-pooh that but I bet a truly new player would be ecstatic. Instead of overwhelmed like they were (as I was) with the way it was originally.

Do I have trouble with it now? Of course not. I didn't like it still, but I could do it. this past time though I actually enjoyed it.

I don't know if my personal fun counts for people saying it robs the fun from oil processing, but it sure does count for me.
Let's see if I can explain myself. I always talk about feelings, there are other people who talk about how they could have done giving ideas, I do it for what the player moves, feelings. I don't know if I will understand what I mean by using the Google translator but it is the only option I have at hand to be able to express myself in a language that is not mine.

The player who is going to play Factorio is not a player who only plays Fortnite and similar games (there will always be exceptions, as in everything). He is a player who likes strategy, economic or war games, or both.

In Factorio we have very differentiated elements, minerals such as iron, copper, stone, coal, uranium and fluids such as water and oil.

The minerals must be processed in furnaces to obtain products (iron, steel, copper, stone), or not processed to take advantage of them in a natural way (coal, stone), or with chemicals for their extraction (uranium).

Fluids are processed in a refinery (oil) or not processed like water.

That is what a player is and when he takes a few hours his brain assimilates.

In the furnaces some materials are processed and in the other refineries.

A player accustomed to playing games like the ones mentioned will now find that yes, there is a new material, oil, to see what I do with it. But you don't have to do anything you haven't done so far!

I replace the ore extractor with the pumpjack, replace the conveyor belt with a pipe, and the oven with a refinery that gives me a product (gas). He has no emotion at all !!!

A new player is not looking at the technology tree continuously because he does not know it, he is not thinking about the next recipes because he ignores them. Unlike!!! You will think that the whole game is the same, without any grace wasting hours to meet again with other material in which the graphics will change and will be the same!

A player of this type of games looks for challenges that push him forward, not repetitions of the same actions.

A new player was suddenly with oil and had three liquids to interact with ... this is not what he had seen so far! A new challenge!!! Let's see how you can solve this!

And it was difficult for you to find oil, because it was a complicated challenge, but if you realize that, it made you move on with the game. If after 10 hours of play you find an element, new yes, with which you have to repeat again what was done during the previous ten hours you get bored. Sensations.

I hope I have made myself understand a little better, sorry for English.
To answer to some of your arguments:

A player likely might look at the tech tree, firstly by seeing some yet to researchable techs in the actual tree or the list. Secondly by wondering how to get those cool looking bots (to know about them beforehand by youtube or some other means dosenβ€˜t seem to far fetched) and realising the need for some other oil products.
A another approach could be reserved output boxes in newBOP.

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