Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

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Astrella
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Astrella »

Optera wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:57 am
Simplifying basic oil processing breaks bases relying on a mix of basic and advanced oil processing to have perfect ratios for heavy, light, and petroleum. It basically screams use circuit controlled cracking instead of pre-calculating usage and build in perfect ratios.

Rocket fuel requiring 10 solid fuel + 10 light oil is a 10% increase in cost (excluding productivity), requiring not only rebuilding the rocket fuel assemblers but very likely the whole light oil production.
Wait what would be the issue with having to use circuitry though? Like... using circuitry is not a cheat, it's a skill just as well. And like, iunno, like, the game is still in early access, there is no garantuee there won't be changes that means redesigning parts of a base. My longest game is a base running since 0.13 and that's been updated through every change that's happened so far.

Like, while it might be annoying, I think the argument of "it might break an existing base" is not one devs should take in account.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by mcdjfp »

F_W wrote:
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
When I read this, I realized that they are right. There may be an issue with multiple outputs (as I have seen lengths people go to on YouTube do to avoid placing a miner on overlapping deposits), but that is not the wall. It has very little to do with the wall. I have said several times that oil has never felt like a wall or obstacle to me. The wall is the ever growing complexity of the science packs. That is the wall. And changing basic oil processing does nothing to change that. It is attempting to solve the wrong problem.

I am now 1000% against any change in basic oil processing, it is not the problem. Making a change that does not affect the underlying problem is the beginning of a chain reaction that could destroy the game. Because what happens when the changes don't solve the real problem? Do you revert them and try again, or add new changes on top of these in a panic to solve the problem?

Using a 0.16 base as an example (I was as a challenge only bussing the raw materials, so each build was 100% self contained including refineries and smelters). Of course in a typical base these components may be centralized differently, but science is a constant drain no mater where the buildings are. My numbers may be off a little as math mistakes are always a risk.
Science Pack 1:
To drive a single Assembly Machine 2 making Science Pack 1s took:
.5 (1) stone furnace making copper plates
1.05 stone furnaces making iron plates
.1 (1) assembly machine making gear wheels.
That is 3 machines.

Production Science Pack
For a single Assembly Machine 2 making Production Science Packs:
5.2 (6) Steel Furnaces for Steel
1 Steel Furnace for Stone Brick
6.6 (7) Steel Furnaces for Iron Plates
2.6 (3) Steel Furnaces for Copper Plates
That is 17 machines, and I haven't even started on the Assembly Machines for the intermediate products. It took about 40% of a refinery and associated cracking to support this.

That is the wall. Or at least a wall of furnaces. When I saw the numbers for just 1 Assembly Machine 2's output, that is what gave me pause. But Factorio is a game about automation. I dove in a and had fun. Supplying science, and later the rocket, and your defenses is the challenge of the game. Each science pack requires more effort than the last to automate. It is a series of walls to climb, and the core of the game. If these walls are a problem, then the entire game is broken.

Personally, I don't think that it is.
Last edited by mcdjfp on Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Gimli »

Ambaire wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:44 pm
There is another alternative that I haven't seen discussed yet: putting the oil changes in a difficulty setting.

When a world is created, have {simplified} and {normal} difficulties for oil processing. The existing oil mechanics would go in {normal}, and the proposed changes in {simplified}. The oil processing 'difficulty' could be changed at any time during gameplay. This would take effect for both oil processing and the controversial tech tree adjustments.

This would allow the Factorio veterans to continue to use the existing mechanics, and newbies have an easier setup to get accustomed to with the existing mechanics as an advanced option.


I do not want to have to research blue science to use construction bots.
This would be an interesting compromise; keep the game as most people seem to like it, and introduce an easier option for newer players.

I would like to echo the sentiment that this change does not solve the problem, it merely postpones it. Simply making a tutorial that explains it clearly (as has been done nicely for other subjects, such as trains) would be a far more elegant solution in my mind. Don't make the game simpler or, as some would say, dumber - rather, make the resources that explain the game better.

Furthermore, solving complex problems such as the oil-setup A) are part of the charm and appeal of Factorio; people who don't like that sort of thing won't play this game anyway. And B) As stated above, it's 2019, people know how to do a web-search when they are stuck in a video game :). Clearly, every player willing to put in at least a little effort has figured it out.

it's okay if not everyone likes the game - if you try to appeal to everyone, you'll lose the core integrity of your original vision; a brilliant game that requires some application of thought to figure out. Certain games need certain skills and traits to excel at; not everyone excels at StarCraft, for example, because they simply lack the mechanical aptitude. But that does nothing to diminish StarCraft's merit; to many, the skill ceiling is part of the game's appeal.

Finally, I'm not a huge fan of delaying robots, since they take plenty of work to get to already (they are gated behind getting your oil industry going), and they are an important part of what the game is about; automation! :mrgreen: Or, making more effort up front to make more things happen more-bigger-easier-faster later down the line =).

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Vuliev wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:39 am
Maybe take a look at this and see if any of those changes are to your liking and provide some feedback? There are already some things I’m considering on changing on it but haven’t had the time.

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/RebalancedOilProduction

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by fusionfan »

Just to add to my previous point. I agree with those above me that after green and red science the obstacle is not just complexity, it is also scale. Blue science requires a lot of stuff: mining, smelting, assembling. I used to just rush construction robots with green+red, and then when the blue science hits I can already use blueprints to place new smelting lines, a ton of assemblers, etc. This only takes a handful of refineries to make reds for the roboports. I like the option that experienced players can chose to research most basic stuff in 1-2 hours, and have robots ready in that timeframe when doing a new map.

Building N+1 smelter lines by hand cannot be fun neither for beginners nor for experienced people. Building smelting by hand is the least fun part of the game. Using bots takes that hassle away. The refinery connection isn't a real issue here, it takes a bit of thinking to figure out how to connect the 3 outputs so they don't mix. Any excess can be stored or burnt until advanced processing. You can add further dumps (direct injection of light or heavy oil into burners, diesel engines, flare that produces pollution, etc etc). Turning the whole chain upside down to address something that isn't the core issue seems odd.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Reika »

I am a little leery of flatly saying that the wall with oil is that you are now dealing with products which take a long time to craft; it almost seems like the natural response to or extension of that is that we should look into reducing their craft times.

However, those craft times exist for a reason: To encourage you to scale up. A big part of Factorio is parallelizing your production, so that you have not one or two assemblers making engines, red circuits, or whatever, but ten, twenty, or more. I grant that new players will not realize this at first - I sure as hell did not until late 2016 - but to me the solution is to nudge the player to parallelization earlier, not remove the mechanic. I am aware that science packs are technically supposed to nudge the player in that direction, but you can get by with just one or two labs and thus one or two pack assemblers; Perhaps we should look into changing the craft time of something needed more directly.
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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by IronCartographer »

vorku wrote:
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?
I did this with the heavy-only test mods. It doesn't work with input reservation, but the outputs can be zero.

The bigger issue is actually players being confused about I/O that is labeled, yet does nothing.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by DanGio »

So I tested the Oil Changes mod V453000 made friday, and it affects my gameplay only marginally. Not surprising as I have a really "casual" gameplay style.

Reading previous posts made me realize that this oil balance patch could have a really nice effect on gameplay, which is reducing starting bases size. As the amount of assembly built by the player himself increases [edit: because Image are locked behind Image], players may lower their starting SPM target to make it less tedious to build.

I think that's very good because it brings more variety in the early game.

(I made a suggestion earlier to reduce Chemical science crafting time, but now I think it's not very relevant)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by BlueTemplar »

So, doing some math about how much bots are delayed in practice :

75+50+50+75+100 = 350 blue science = 175 sulfur + 525 red circuits (+ 350 engines) = (2625 + 10500) gas + (iron,copper,coal,water) = 29 166.. oil (assuming rushing, therefore using basic oil processing : worst case scenario)

1 roboport = 45 red circuits (+iron) = 45*2/2*20 gas = 900 gas = 900/45*100 oil = 2000 oil (assuming basic oil processing)
So that 350 blue science is 14.5833.. roboports worth in oil.

1 conbot = 1 flying robot frame (+iron, copper) = 2 batteries + 1 electric engine unit (+iron, copper) = 2*20 sulfuric acid + 15 lube (+iron, copper) = 40/10 sulfur + 15 heavy oil (+water) = (4/2*15=)30 gas + 15 heavy oil (+water) = 30 gas + (15/25*100=)60 oil -(60/100*55=)33 gas -(60/100*45=)27 light oil = 60 oil -3 gas -27 light
(assuming advanced oil processing this time, as cannot otherwise)
So that 350 blue science is 468.11.. conbots worth in oil.

(Again, worst case scenario... I guess that I should redo the math for the blue science and roboports while switching to advanced oil processing mid-way and assuming cracking?)
Last edited by BlueTemplar on Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Yandersen »

---
It's getting funny to see how 30+ pages of intellectual work and critical analysis of hundreds of experienced players turned into a dice of few numbers and recipe changes. I guess I am not the only one understanding how pointless it is to waste time here, since in this 304-thread reincarnation cycle the number of beginners started to dominate. XD I wonder will we see another roll of numbers next friday?..

I can only suggest to change the PG recipe to be made off water. It will be easier for beginners. Realism doesn't matter anymore. Factorio is a fantasy game now, nothing need to make sense any more. Realism? Logic? Why bother?!

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Ambaire »

At this point, I'm honestly wondering if the devs have been mind controlled by an evil genius. I can only hope the devs will break free of this mind malady and realize what's best for the game. (hint hint: tutorials, polish and release, not sweeping last minute changes)

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Astrella »

I mean, I don't think saying stuff like the devs are being mindcontrolled is really a helpful way to drive home your side of the argument. Like, they haven't done any actual changes yet, that's why they're interacting with the community. It's not like they made the changes and then went lalala with fingers in their ears and ignored all feedback.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Yandersen »

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Let's see. Last week they were about to cut refinery to 100 Oil -> 40 PG. Over 30 pages of disagreements, dozens of alternative ideas by folks, some of them supported more than the original devs's. Voices heard! Now: 100 Oil -> 45 PG. I don't know what to say. Taking it all seriously makes no sense any more. Being dare to say the harsh truth, than I can only state this: dear devs, if you neither can hear what we say, nor able to address the oil processing stage complexity for the beginners better way than "this", then just leave the oil as it is. Amen. Yeah, I am just praying here, since gods don't really hear me, right?..
Last edited by Yandersen on Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by IronCartographer »

The rocket fuel recipe continues to give me a visceral reaction at this point, becoming my biggest issue with the changes.

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

It's in a bit of an uncanny valley where it creates too much imagination (bad imagery), yet not enough at the same time (to get a more abstract chemical process mental image)...for me at least.
Yandersen wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:36 pm
...but the PG got even more usage now - SULFUR for blue science pack.
This change reduces the amount of gas required... It was 20 per solid fuel, and now 15 per sulfur.

If you're trying to make an argument about numbers, you should probably check them.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Yandersen »

C'mon, don't brake the fun! XD

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Astrella wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:17 pm
I mean, I don't think saying stuff like the devs are being mindcontrolled is really a helpful way to drive home your side of the argument. Like, they haven't done any actual changes yet, that's why they're interacting with the community. It's not like they made the changes and then went lalala with fingers in their ears and ignored all feedback.
While I agree with you on the mind controlled bit, I will say that I get the impression that the reason it hasn't been released yet is less about trying to hear us, and more about trying to solve the limiting the input/output to specific fluid-box bug they hit.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Nebulorum »

I'm one that is more on the dislike for this change. But I would propose a compromise:

Have basic refining with 4 recipes:
1. Oil to Petrolium
2. Oil to Light
3. Oil to Heavy
4. Oil to All

Each one produces the output on the normal place and never jams (except the "Oil Classic"). Make the simple recipes demand less energy (since the burn of the article not produces). This makes them less effective, but single output and clog free.

You could add a link between refineries where they exchange the not processed, use normal power. This will hint newbies that they can save oil by linking refineries and using all the byproduct (basically the normal recipe can be done either all in one refinery or in 3 interconnected single output refineries).

In my view this has the following benefits:
* Keep old player happy
* Allows single focused new player to get their liquids easily
* Show to new users that each output produces a different liquid type output
* Show player that more complex recipes have economies of scale, so they would will be looking for optimization opportunities. This make advanced oil a target.
* I would call refineries, as refinery module, so it becomes clear that a refinery is actually a large collection of modules.

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by Zarniel »

Hello everyone, this is my very first post. English is not my native language, please excuse me for the mistakes.
First I would like to thank the dev for this great game.
Secondly I am also very disappointed by this oil change. I have 617 hours of factorio play and oil production was a big peak of difficulty because it comes with many other concepts to analyze. I then did what a lot of players do when they get stuck in a game, I watched and read tutorials. Result I even began to learn at this point in the game the interest of logic circuits.

Many of us have posted less invasive solutions and it's weird but I thought exactly the same thing:
- your own tutorial
-BOR produces heavy oil and gas (heavy oil that can be easily cracked in light oil)
-If you absolutely want to make this oil change. Please at the map generation, give us the possibility to choose the old and the new system

I absolutely do not like the idea of ​​pushing the building robots again. I spent time doing blueprint, it's not fun to have to put everything by hand

This is my oil base and auto cracking system. The principle is simple I compare on a single tank the value of each product and the electric pump authorizes the passage of the fluid which has the highest value in the cracking plant. So that I have no blockage with different fluids (unless I consume no gas but .... ahaha)

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please dev I would like to play with this system (or have the choice at the map generation). this is the first time the game makes me want to watch if a mod can undo this decision
Last edited by Zarniel on Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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The Oil changes don't make sense

Post by functional »

Hello y'all, I'm not sure if this is the right forum category for this (I couldn't figure a better one) so please move this if necessary and my apologies in such case

So the new FFF came up and there were some big changes for oil processing. Changes that I feel like have been perhaps a bit rushed. The only rationale I currently can figure out behind these changes is that basic oil processing without advanced processing tech has an inherent problem which cannot be feasibly solved until you get cracking. Your pipes will eventually be full of products that you consume far less than petroleum.

I think this could have had an easier solution of introducing a basic cracking tech (that, for example, does not require water, but is far less efficient). This way you could encourage players to set up their cracking infrastructure and use signals to solve the problem in that stage already. Cracking is actually the first thing where I learned how to use wires to control flow with pumps etc. It was really good lesson and I think you could introduce a tutorial for this particular purpose to help new players.

The current solution isn't entirely senseless of course. A new player will likely not be progressing fast through the tiers especially in their first playthrough and they might even get confused how to deal with the additional liquids, only to find out eventually that actually there is no way other than cracking which they haven't unlocked and they can't without just making tons of more capacity for liquids so that their refineries start producing petroleum again. I don't think this is good either.

But this solution has it's own problem: it will not prepare you at all for what's to come. Once you research advanced oil processing, you will still need to deal with all three products, you will need likely cracking and all of that. From the perspective of new player, this will just essentially delay the inevitable. It won't smooth and simplify the learning curve all that much. Once a new player hits the advanced oil processing stage, they will suddenly realize just how complicated it actually gets. First they have to likely redesign the whole output piping from the refinery line into three separate pipes (and if you don't redesign things, they will likely just initially run one pipe adjacent through all of the refineries for the petroleum, making the new recipe impossible to even initiate). And they will still need to eventually figure out cracking. At worst they might even keep their old basic refineries doing just petroleum while getting additional ones.

And as a sidenote, boilers already require liquid flow, so basic oil processing will bring fairly little to the table aside from "one liquid comes in, other kind goes out".

The way things are set up currently, the biggest draw is that you might find yourself in an awkward position if you prolong the inevitable by building tonnes of storage rather than rushing to advanced oil processing and might eventually find yourself even in situation where you don't get enough oil to get quickly into advanced oil processing once you realize you need the tech. But the three pipelines won't come as a huge surprise and they remain consistent too - only the inputs get changed as one of them becomes water. The proposed change means that not only inputs get changed, the outputs get changed too.

As a player who knows generally speaking what he is doing during this stage, I don't mind this change, it will barely affect me because I always aim to rush to advanced oil processing anyway. I might waste some products in this stage, but I'll get so much more heavy oil in the later stage for lubricant. And I know already what eventually is going to happen too. But from the perspective of a new player, I really don't think this is a great idea overall compared to an alternative that introduces basic cracking tech with less efficiency, perhaps a less powerful pump (for flow control) and a tutorial for setting up the cracking infrastructure.

[Koub] Merged from standalone new thead into the main FFF discussion

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Re: Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Post by bhaktivedanta »

Would there be any harm in having an intermediate oil recipe with the ratios more like the previous basic one?
Obviously, this would add one more recipe, possibly without any further use.
On the other hand infelxibility with the ratios is the only major issue I have with the currently planned oil change.

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