Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Regular reports on Factorio development.
Merssedes
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Merssedes » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:14 am

IMHO, if it's decided to stay with proposed recipes, i'd add water and both heavy and light oil to basic oil processing, but with 0 input/output values. It will:
1) basically not change recipe (0 water = no water required, 0 light and heavy oil = no oil produced);
2) save players from "pipe through entire oil processing" and "flued mixing" problems (water input and oil outputs will prevent this in the 1st place).

As step futher:
* split production buildings of basic/adv oil processings (current one) and coal liquification (new one);
* fix fluids for their inputs/outputs.
This will add new building (coal liquification plant), but also solves 1st 2 problems, but in other way. And also doesn't require "wierd" recipes with 0 input/output values.
I don't thing there is many who repurposes advanced oil refinery to coal liquification one at some point in factory development. Correct me if i'm wrong.

F_W
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:00 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by F_W » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:17 am

Barhandar wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:29 am
Also, I agree with some of the comments on reddit, and likely in this very thread too, namely, that oil processing isn't even the issue with chemical science. The problem is the recipe being made out of a bunch of complex things
Completely agree with this statement. Engines and red chips are part of the problem. It's not just the oil. I remember very clearly my struggles with blue science for the first time. Engine components are easy but the craft time was a surprise. Red chips were just horrid, with the oil requirement and the long craft time. And you needed three of them. With two engines. To only get one blue bottle every 12 seconds. It was the first time I had to go online and watch how others did it. It's a ridiculous recipe and it's hilarious to think that it's already been "rebalanced"

Blue science is still going to be a hurdle with their proposed changes (LOL at sulfur). I still liked my proposal the best, but obviously everyone's got their own opinion. At this point I'm just going to stick to the current patch and not update. I can always learn to mod and try to make my own solution a reality in my spare time. Seems like the best outcome for all parties

User avatar
DRY411S
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:48 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DRY411S » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:29 am

The driver for these changes is because balancing oil outputs is too complex for new players.
The solution is to change oil processing and change other recipes too. Some are calling this 'dumbing down'.
Eventually though, the balancing problem will have to be tackled by all players because there are recipes that require each of heavy, light and gas.

If the driver is valid, rather than imagined by the Devs (have they performed some sort of market research, player surveys, or some such?) then sure, I understand that it has to be addressed.

So I'd like to propose a completely different solution that has less impact on existing players who like it the way it is.

Provide an oil flare entity that allows excess light and heavy oil to be burned, at the cost of extra pollution. This allows players who don't want to tackle the challenge of balancing oil, to ignore it completely.

Vuliev
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 10:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Vuliev » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:39 am

I agree with what seems to be the vast majority both here and on Reddit--the changes as proposed won't produce the desired improvement for new players, and will only serve to frustrate experienced players. Honestly I don't buy the idea that fluid handling is so difficult as to be the "wall" with oil--IMO the wall really comes from learning how to properly manage the output balance. And even then, "balance" is easily brute-forced by just continually building tanks to store excess byproducts until you can crack them.

I didn't feel like going through the entirety of the FFF#304 thread to see if this has already been suggested, but this is my take on "smoothing" the difficulty (which I'm not sure is even necessary...):
  1. Basic Oil Processing produces Heavy and Petroleum, and is initially (only?) produced in the Chemical Plant instead of the Refinery. Lubricant remains(?) its own research under green science (wasn't really clear if that was hinted at maybe getting changed.)
  2. Chemical Science now becomes the test rather than the teaching tool, requiring red circuits + electric engines (or some other new item that requires lube) + acid--i.e. demonstration of competence with chemical processing. Obviously the recipe would need rebalancing--maybe 3 red + 1 EE + 25 acid?
  3. Bots (both construction and logistics) remain unlockable with green science to give the player a more apparently useful goal for which to learn chemical processing instead of the abstraction of science packs. The player only has to learn how to unblock one oil output at first instead of two.
  4. Advanced Oil Processing introduces Light Oil as the final hurdle for the Rocket, with Coal Liquefaction as a sidequest for increasing lube production to meet blue belt and/or bot production demands.
  5. Solid Fuel is now Light Oil only, and Rocket Fuel is directly produced from Light Oil (instead of Light > Solid > RF)? Not really sold on this one, just a spitball on trying to force the player to learn AOP instead of bypassing it by using Heavy or Petroleum for solid fuel.
Actually, now that I think about it, that revised Chemical pack is more or less exactly what the player needs for bots, and the bot frame is required in the Utility pack--so why not just ditch Chemical packs entirely and make AOP a Production science unlock?

MicFac
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by MicFac » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:07 am

There have always been a lot of green science technologies that felt like "fake green technologies" to me because they required oil processing, so I really like the planned technology changes.

Nomadic Steppe
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Nomadic Steppe » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:12 am

I think that changing the recipe for the blue bottle is not good. The Petroleum gas already has too many uses, it is needed for too many things and with the new change it will take even more.

This makes it feel that only petroleum gas serves to do interesting things, and his two brothers only have specific functions, heavy oil = lubricant, light oil = rocket fuel.
Last edited by Nomadic Steppe on Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Avezo » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:14 am

Wouldn't it be better to remove cracking of oils in chemical plants and move it to refineries instead with new recipes or somesuch? That way unlocking new recipes for refineries wouldn't require huge overhaul of entire refinery area.

Nomadic Steppe
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Nomadic Steppe » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:18 am

How about a flamethrower train car ? :D

bennidevito
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:14 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by bennidevito » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:38 am

I really have a positive attidute towards the redesign of BOP. Looking back until end of 2016 where i started with factorio, there is no playthrough where BOP served any role beside "must be used in a refinery until AOP is available".
There was no reason to care about outputs and learn something about fluidhandling. First when using AOP, the balancing and cracking gets interesting. I always just destroyed the fluidtanks when the refinery stopped working in early stages of a playthrough.
I welcome the changes because now a new player can figure out his newly unlocked "chemical stuff" in peace without the bugging issues of fluidhandling. This fluidhandling will now be introduced in a separate step together with AOP, when the player is already intimate with some of the new "chemical stuff"
Last edited by bennidevito on Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Ohz
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:40 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Ohz » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:38 am

I superlove those changes,
Very great work.
I'm not english, sorry for my mistakes

Nomadic Steppe
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Nomadic Steppe » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:08 am

An idea.

At the beginning a refinery lvl 1 is used, which is only capable of creating Petroleum gas , an inlet, an outlet.

Then a refinery lvl 2 is used, the current one, 3 exits, 2 inputs, while the player learns to use the lvl2 refinery can still use lvl 1

User avatar
BlueTemplar
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1820
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:16 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:29 am

morsk wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:29 pm
BlueTemplar wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:44 pm
What kind of game settings are you using that you need multiple smelters like that before blue science ?!?
I can't answer this without validating your behavior, which I won't do. You make too many posts and at least 1/3 of them are insulting someone.
I was already thinking that I should dial down my posting, and so I will, but... my posts insulting someone ?!?

Mernom
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Mernom » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:19 am

Personally, I don't think that this oversimplification is a good idea. It doesn't fix the complexity jump of managing multiple products, it just puts it off.
Plus, there's the new issue of new players just making a line in line out, since they're not aware that the other connections even exist.

Maybe reserve the pipes even in the basic recipe?

vorku
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by vorku » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:32 am

Mernom wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:19 am
Maybe reserve the pipes even in the basic recipe?
I've seen this suggestion a couple of times, but I've got a hard time figuring out a good way to do it :/

The issue: a refinery is just like any other assembler / chem plant from the game point of view; they would have to find a way to lock those inputs *from the recipe itself*. Typically, coal liquefaction uses very different inputs ; and some mods might use different outputs. We can't assume what future recipes the player might want to set in that specific refinery.

Unless the solution is "outside the game world (mini-tutorial, wiki, etc.), we would need a solution that can work for any fluid-based recipe, even in a chemical plant. Maybe allowing recipes to reserve inputs/outputs to fluids it doesn't actually use/produce?

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

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by VFaalcatnodriiro » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:54 am

Ambaire wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:03 pm
Mike5000 wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:15 pm
You're foolishly trying to change the game to satisfy people who don't want to play this kind of game but as long as you don't retroactively break Factorio 0.16 I'm happy.
Hit the nail on the head there. That's pretty much exactly what these recent change posts are.


Edit: Wube. I have a question for you. The Steam page for Factorio says the game has over 42,000 reviews, almost 99% of which are positive. Why are you proposing such a major change to oil refining this late in the game's development cycle when the existing game is so favorably seen? Please do not try to capture that last 1%, as you will lose the magic that is currently present in the game if you go down this nerf/radically alter path.
I'd like to know that too

Ambaire
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Ambaire » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:00 pm

Also, Wube is attacking the symptoms and not the actual problem. I took a read through the 304 thread and found this post by Yandersen which nicely encapsulates the real problem.
Yandersen wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:13 pm
Argh, no, I can't just quit slamming the door with angry face seeing devs stuffing customers' opinions down their asses while doing whatever they want with the game. Factorio is just too good to abandon it out of childish offense. Plus the ugly oil-for-dummies-patch proposed for today actually postponed, so I assume the bell was heard. Somewhat...

I read a significant part of this thread, thought over things proposed. I am a somewhat an experienced player (3 month, 666 game hours, multiple game starts, few finished, many mods tried). And I remember my first experiences and troubles. So let me share some conclusions and ideas I came up with considering all that. I really hope the devs will hear this and consider. Note that my suggestions will be based on the current state of the game ignoring the proposed patch changes.

At first, yes, the problem with oil wall for beginners is real, totally agree. But dumbing it down like the target patch proposed is not the best way to address that problem. There are multiple factors that contribute to that issue and it would be wiser to try smaller solutions first than going straight with the hammer like devs were going to. So let's dissect the nature of the issue, shall we?

Blue science pack. Red and green can be obtained quickly and easily - it is a matter of adding a couple of assembling machines and connecting few belts. Little effort and the science goes. No brainer, small time investment to get the goal achieved. But when it comes to blue science, suddenly we get a long chain of new things requiring A LOT of time investment before any actual progress made toward the goal (blue science pack). Long time taking tasks with no intermediate rewards kills the fun. That are the factors that contribute to it:

1) Oil deposit is too far away from the base. That is the first brick in the wall. The player is forced to leave the area of comfort (safety of the base) and establish an independent outpost. Probably he will have to craft a dozen of solar panels for that, which kinda takes time. But without laser turrets the base can not be left by itself. The distractions force the player to go back and forth, prolonging the time spent on things. Time goes, actual progress is small, fun dies slowly, player loses interest. Plus at this point the beginner player probably had no reasons to learn train concepts, but now he is forced to, considering the distance. Another delay for the progression. Most probably he will quickly craft a car and start going back and forth like a delivery guy - a repetitive task which is also no fun.
So my first suggestion is to give a small oil deposit in the starting area, so the player will be able to focus solely on learning oil processing without much distractions on forced side tasks.

2) I built pumpjack to get the crude oil. There is no much use for that. Well, it is raw material, so that is OK. But then I build a refinery to turn the crude oil and get 3 new liquid products! Guess what? None of them gives me cookie either! Let me check the recipes... Hm, PG->plastic, plastic->red circuits; PG/LO/HO->Solid fuel... Oh, engines too... Good, at least, I have one assembling machine where I crafted a few for my car... Wait, what are the crafting times?! Oh no, my small camp will not fit that many machines... Fuck this, I need a break!
Do you see the second brick in the wall here? The player spent a lot of time just to establish the first far outpost to get his hands on crude oil, which is of no much use even refined, and now he realizes that his nice small walled lovely house is too small and need to be rebuilt, enlarged to fit hundred more machines. Another big step he is not even ready to take, which is also no fun in the process. If the player is patient enough, he will have to go with tedious manual deconstruction/construction process, since there are no robots yet. No fun at all. Plus many more gun turrets to protect longer perimeter, extra ammo requirement to cover... The goal seem to be further and further away and no cookies along the way.
So here are my suggestions:
a) Let boilers and locomotives accept liquid fuels - crude oil, heavy oil, light oil, petroleum gas. Totally realistic. Makes immediate use of the refined products. A first cookie right away - small injection of fun to keep up the mood. It also solves fluid backup problem until cracking tech comes - whatever product you don't need, burn it for electricity or fuel the trains.
b) Add diesel electric generators which run on light oil. And the according tech with R&G science pack - the tech that is available after the basic oil processing. The crafting should have few engines in the recipe. The diesel e-power should be considerably more space-efficient compared to the steam power plants to encourage the player to switch to it, which will force him to setup engine production chain which will later be used for blue science pack production.
c) Decrease the crafting time for red circuits or remove/replace them in blue science pack recipe. The space needed for the refineries, tanks, pipes mess, plastic block and huge red circuits block itself is huge suddenly grown cancer tumor to the small beginner's base already and it's parts don't even give much cookies, if independently looked over at each. I cautiously suggest to replace red circuits along with engines with diesel generators in blue science pack recipe (diesel generator+solid fuel->chemical science pack). In this case, obviously, it will lock the blue science pack tech behind diesel generators tech.

3) Piping mess. It is a fun as a new type of puzzle when the oil processing skeleton is set up initially, but when it comes to the point when production rate goes up, the fun puzzle turns into a mess and frustrating time-killer, especially for the OCD players. So...
a) I suggest to significantly speed up the production rate of the oil refinery, so there will be no need to build ridiculously long arrays of those. A single oil refinery should be able to process the crude oil collected from multiple oil deposit sites. This will also encourage the beginner player to build single refinery at the base rather than at the oil deposit site and use trains for the delivery from other sites further on.
b) For the basic oil processing the water input should be marked, even if the water is not included in the recipe. The beginners tend to connect both crude oil inputs, so when the advanced version comes this creates the confusion when the player tries to change the recipe and gets the message about mixing fluids.

4) Fluid backup problem. As many said, it is a problem mostly because there is no apparent visual indication of that problem. I suggest to introduce a hint popup message when this problem happens first time with the link to tutorial explaining that concept and showing ways how to address it. As for the visual indication, the building with multiple outputs experiencing single output backup may just blink red.

---

I know there are many more alternatives, and a lot to add, but I believe the suggestions above if introduced will help a lot to alleviate the problems the beginners are faced with when go to the oil processing stage, but I think it will also frustrate the old customers base much less than the changes expected in the upcoming patch. Modders, please link this post to the devs to ensure they see it.

User avatar
DRY411S
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:48 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DRY411S » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:17 pm

While I am no fan at all of the oil change, the long post above forgets the MILITARY science that can be developed whilst getting oil ready. Improved military also helps with the fact that oil can be far away and needs defending.

I really don't see why just teaching people to store excess oil products until they can be converted, or providing different ways of consuming them so that the imbalance problem isn't so pronounced, isn't better than this fairly drastic proposed change which, now it has been expanded, seems even more incoherent to me.

It's not like storing excessive stuff until you can use it isn't a feature already in the game. Can't do anything with the products yet? Store them until you've done a bit more research. Sound familiar? *COUGH* Uranium 238 *COUGH*

ske
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:00 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by ske » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:31 pm

Nomadic Steppe wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:18 am
How about a flamethrower train car ? :D
I pretty much like this ideas iff we also have biters that cannot attack walls.

Currently there are perpetual attacks on the walls that need perpetual defense. You need lasers everywhere.

Imagine this instead:
  • Normal biters cannot attack walls and fortified powerlines.
  • Those normal biters will roam around and try to find something to attack like trains.
  • There's also strong biters that can attack walls but they only spawn/attack under certain circumstances.
  • There are some buildings that will be attacked by strong biters.
  • The strong attack waves are somewhat predictable in the way that they have a specific target and they build up in strength.
  • Attack waves could be triggered when the player destroys alien nests or build certain structures.
  • If defended well enough, the area becomes uninteresting and there will not be strong attacks anymore in that area.
  • The game play focus changes between buildup, taking land and defending structures.

User avatar
DRY411S
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 618
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:48 am
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DRY411S » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:36 pm

ske wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:31 pm
Nomadic Steppe wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:18 am
How about a flamethrower train car ? :D
I pretty much like this ideas iff we also have biters that cannot attack walls.

Currently there are perpetual attacks on the walls that need perpetual defense. You need lasers everywhere.
You don't NEED lasers.

Turrets will do, including flame turrets, which use oil products. :)

meganothing
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by meganothing » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:07 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:29 am
I was already thinking that I should dial down my posting, and so I will, but... my posts insulting someone ?!?
That accusation surprised me too. Maybe morsk should post one or two examples to show what he means.

Post Reply

Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Lubricus