Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

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Zourin
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Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by Zourin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:51 am

As I sit, far out of reach of Factorio for the next eleven hours, I've turned my mind towards pondering up new ways of playing the game. One of the things I've come to consider was the idea was the idea of pollution, how it affects the mutation and aggressiveness of Biters, and the need to expand operations along the frontiers. Just from the observation of the pollution halo of my main base, that area can get very, very large compared to the distance that spawner nests can be at.

One thing I've considered was, strangely enough, daytime only operation on satellite/frontier locations. While core factory/processing facilities can run off steam engines through the night, assuming I've cleared the immediate area of biter spawns, satellites tend to expand the pollution halo and draw the ire of nearby spawner nests to places I don't particularly want to run to every few minutes.

I considered this: What if I run production/processing/pollution generating activities purely on solar energy? That means operations stop, pollution stops and dissipates overnight, reducing the pollution halo caused by the satellite facility, and possibly reducing the chance for Biter attacks.

I could run larger, more robust operations somewhat closer to frontier nests while keeping the processing facilities running 'closer to home' where I've already cleared out the nests and the risk of attack is much smaller. Less material backup clogging the pipes, and an opportunity to deal with material backlogs. Defense systems and logistics can run through the night, as those don't generate pollution and can probably be hooked up to the main grid or a power bank (I'm still working on the issue of accumulator banks feedbacking into the primary power system)

I daresay this is mostly 'real world' thinking, and the consideration that Biters tend to not attack unless provoked by pollution. Attention can be given less to defense, and more to establishing your pollution halo as a territory boundary to control. I am also not familiar with how rapidly pollution can dissipate when pollution production stops for as long as nighttime lasts, as i haven't been able test this for myself yet.

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by liq3 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:15 am

Hrm it's an interesting idea, sounds awfully complicated though. And I like to run my machines all the time. ;]

The best way to deal with biters I've found is to just build MASSIVE walls a bit past your pollution area. Put electricity and laser turrets along the wall too, to get rid of any biters that attack it (this will be even easier with to do with blueprints). Any bits that get attacked really bad by biters put extra laser turrets and walls down at, and some logistic robots to repair. I also occasionally go out and clear out any bad nests that keep attacking.

I build everything centrally, so all my pollution is located in one area. The only outposts I build are ones for mining. If I put -30% modules in them it reduces power and pollution by a lot, so biters basically never attack them even with 30-40 miners. I of course put laser turrets and walls too. ;] So I have one central area that's really badly polluted, and then mining outposts with almost no pollution (using trains to move resources back), and then perimeter walls far enough out to stop biter camps from spawning in my pollution. It worked really effectively. Ran my factory day and night, with about 9mW (of the 0.9 scale) of power constantly (imagine the pollution :D).

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by Zourin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:29 am

I've considered outsourcing smelting, oil processing, and possibly even offsite storage (although that would have to be continually powered). There's a lot of real estate out there, I just hope the map generator isn't so dickish as to populate every tenth chunk with an omegabaconOMFGBBQdeath spawner nest (as it's already prone to parking right next to my starting location)

The way i see it, you're not just building one factory, but you're buliding the freaking wild-west on a zerg-infested planet. Not everything should be done in one place, because that's a bacon-cheese Brain Melt waiting to happen, especially with all the new oil-based intermediary products. I need to get shit out of my main base and somewhere else where I can tackle one problem at a time.

Areas with zero pollution and no biter presence (and there aren't many) are ideal for solar power generation, accumulator banks, and storage/sorting facilities. Don't start none, don't get none. I build just enough for what I need, and avoid building more than I need to avoid drawing more attention to myself. Be small. Be no trouble. Don't get bit.

Massive, dense factories build up and spread pollution rapidly, but I would wager that smaller, more remote places with effectivity chips would be much more manageable anywhere but an open desert. Pollution out there never seems to dissipate.

As for the premise.. I'm going to have to pull the plug on my power plant for a night and see what happens. Not something you can do if you've already pissed off a nest.

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by liq3 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:58 am

I decided to try pulling the plug on mine. It's been 5 minutes and the pollution still isn't gone! :p And it's disappearing slower now too! I think ima stick with my giant walls. Though i'm sure if you use mostly solar plants, and stick power efficiency modules in everything, you could have almost no pollution.

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by Zourin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:23 am

Yeah, according to the wiki, pollution dissipation happens at 0.6 per chunk (32x32 block) per tick. As for how far it spreads, I have no idea.

However, if you have 10 electric miners putting out 9 pollution each, that's 90 pollution per tick in one spot. If you're adding production modules, that can put out 50+ pollution each (I'm not sure with the adjustments to production modules), that's 500 pollution, and you'll piss off every nest for miles and NEED big walls, plus you run the risk of significantly accelerating the mutation rate of the Biters, and may have to deal with armies massing on your door (See later episodes of Malkasphia's Let's Plays where he does this). I'm not talking a gradual ramp up either, but armies of large and medium biters coming at you in the hundreds.

In older setups, having an almost entirely green-chipped setup still had a goodly red halo, but it (thankfully) didn't extend to touch nearby biter nests. I was able to play in relative peace until I was able to clear out the nests and expand.

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by liq3 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:19 am

Zourin wrote:Yeah, according to the wiki, pollution dissipation happens at 0.6 per chunk (32x32 block) per tick. As for how far it spreads, I have no idea.

However, if you have 10 electric miners putting out 9 pollution each, that's 90 pollution per tick in one spot. If you're adding production modules, that can put out 50+ pollution each (I'm not sure with the adjustments to production modules), that's 500 pollution, and you'll piss off every nest for miles and NEED big walls, plus you run the risk of significantly accelerating the mutation rate of the Biters, and may have to deal with armies massing on your door (See later episodes of Malkasphia's Let's Plays where he does this). I'm not talking a gradual ramp up either, but armies of large and medium biters coming at you in the hundreds.

In older setups, having an almost entirely green-chipped setup still had a goodly red halo, but it (thankfully) didn't extend to touch nearby biter nests. I was able to play in relative peace until I was able to clear out the nests and expand.
Only 10? ;)
A few more then 10
Those all have -60% energy efficiency (due to the 0.9 patch, had -80% in 0.8). The two center chunks have about 800-900 pollution each, and the pollution spreads about 4 chunks away, thanks to the forest. Those trees really absorb the pollution. About a chunk away, which you can't see, there's a massive wall surrounding it, with lasers guarding the wall every 10 meters or so. When I say massive... well have a look at my last factory. http://imgur.com/a/cM6eB

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by Zourin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:58 am

Yeah, that's a good frontier outpost. it does one thing as quietly as possible (efficacy modules). It's a big vein, but i'm curious how the pollution behaves on a day-only schedule toggled/throttled with solar panels. (with the train loaders working nights, as they can overpower a train's storage easily). I spread it out so the blue-fields don't overlap, so i don't use as many at one time. packing them that densely only increases the extraction rate. I'd probably have only closer to half that on site. Massive resource guzzling factories and assemblies to me are wasted time, resources, and electricity that could have been committed or reserved elsewhere. I'm looking for real-estate elsewhere to off-site not just resourcing, but intermediary processing. A place where I can send crude oil to be processed, and the results shipped out to other stations that use it. Tackling big problems by solving individual problems seperately, in seperate places.

if it's not going to make much of a difference, I suppose I could go back to playing the retarded 'turtle 'till you beat the game and never leave home' tactics. I honestly want to go out and see more of the map that's been made for me than being sieged into a starting base for 3-6+ hours. it says a lot when the game gives you a pistol to start with that's more useful for shooting yourself than biters, and just about every other gun between them and hordes of Destroyers are about as useful as wall decorations. That's what you get on default settings >.>

Trees absorb a lot of pollution, but once you get into open grounds, like a desert, it spreads uncontrollably. Then the sieges start, and the bases get worse to try and clean up. A guy with heavy armor and a submachine gun is pitifully easy to overpower for the investment.

It'd be nice earlier on around the auto-rail tech timeframe to actually viably go out and do some fighting to clear up annoyances and open up resource fields without having to always do laser turret sieges.. now that tech relies on oil, so it's even later-game. Pollution is mitigated simply by spreading things out and having more terrain to absorb, but it seems i'm constantly penned in by nests too big to tackle from the start.

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Re: Can I use oil to produce energy?

Post by Zourin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:28 am

Edit:
I see. Something is happening between the boiler and the steam engine where Coal is losing 1/2 of its listed energy rating. 8MJ of energy from a piece of coal should translate into powering a Radar dish @309kW (9 more than listed in the tooltip) in a simple setup for ~25 seconds. instead, it is only powered for ~12 seconds.

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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by ssilk » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:28 pm

Yes, that's a problem, which needs more balancing. If you choose low resources it happens surely (50%?), that you get stuck.

I mean, there should be something like "wide corridors" without natives, so that you can explore deeper into the landscape. Perhaps the nests/worms don't like too much water? Or the like places between two zones (between grass and sand etc)

And to the idea of solar powered mining fields: I tried that a month ago, and it's a quite good way to make very low pollution. But also not sure, because if this site is in the path of the biters, it has no chance. You need one solar field and one accu per 5 lasers (or a bit less?) to come over the night with one "normal" fight. A bit more and goodbye.

I also experimented a lot with a setup of just two mines, some solar and a chest, they fill in. This is quite useful, if you have staggered layout of resources and with the time you earn astonishing high number of resources nearly without pollution. When I try it the next time, I would also use cars to move the stuff home. (Two miners -> chest -> long arm inserter -> car)

A good option is also to place radar in those solar driven outposts (of course on an own electrical network, because radar sucks all empty, maybe better now, when they halved the need), to unlock the map as soon as possible. One solar field is enough.
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Zourin
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Re: Theoretical: Pollution/Threat management

Post by Zourin » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:55 pm

I'm going to start playing a bit with manually placed power lines to create an accumulator failover.

Very simply, the idea is for a substation to host a field of accumulators, with small power lines woven in with no direct connection to the substation's grid. In short, they are both seperate electrical networks that share an accumulator bank. When either grid hits failover status (drains accumulator power), the other side of the grid increases production.

By playing a lot with manual power lines, it should be possible to maintain separate electrical networks for the internal production facilities (miners, refineries, etc) for solar-only power, while still maintaining electrical power to the perimeter defenses to a beefier grid and accumulator banks.

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Re: Pollution/Threat management

Post by liq3 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:22 am

Well, after starting a new game, I've realised the best way to avoid pollution is just to use solar power. My old huge factory doesn't have that much pollution (worst tiles are 2000~) and it runs 100% on solar power. My new one runs on steam power, as one would expect, and there's 6000~ pollution chunk over the steam boilers. :( And it only has about 1/4th the power output.

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