Does Math Ruin this Game?

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beltan
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Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by beltan »

I'm a former teacher, and love math.

But I'm wondering, for those of you who've got the ratios memorized (or are re-learning them now) or have them on paper just to your side, does it get too boring to simply place everything in the perfect ratio for each game? It seems, and even more so with the blueprint-saving update, that all you have to do is plop objects down, maybe changing the shape based on the geography.

I wonder if I want to learn all the ratios, or if i'd rather just have to deal with the consequences of not knowing the perfect combination of inserters, belts, and furnaces?

Or, does the math make it more fun?

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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by joni65 »

Yes!! Math ruins everything!

Hannu
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Hannu »

That is personal opinion. I have also noticed that many players are very strict to have everything mathematically perfect. I have more engineering based play style. If I can save 80 % work if I accept 80 % efficiency I do that, just like I do in my real engineer job too. No-one pays for mathematical perfection, not even mathematicians. What I do not really understand is play style in which player gets ready blueprints from internet and just plug them in their own factory. But who cares what I understand. It they feel it entertaining way to play, it is OK.

In my opinion it is Factorio's strength that it can be played with so many different styles. It gives something for mathematicians, engineers, fighters, megalomaniacs, and casual players who want easy challenges. You can play hundreds of hours and make huge bases or run straightforward to a predefined victory condition with minimal effort. And if that is not enough, there are hundreds of mods.

It is sad that so many want to restrict other's plays styles. Why it is so difficult to just not use something which I do not like or which is not needed in my play style and understand that it may be important thing for someone else?

leoch
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by leoch »

Like Hannu says... in 0.14 I built 14/10 boiler/steam-engine ratios because it's easy to remember and do. But exact solar/accumulator ratio, especially when mods change the day/night lengths and solar output? Nah, I just guess and build extra accumulators or solar if necessary.

For input resources like iron supply, trying to calculate it is pointless because so many parts of the factory might or might not be running for reasons you really can't guess, so just try to increase supply if the belts aren't saturated, or go and troubleshoot why something isn't getting built...

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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by ftbreizhbugs »

I try to take into account the most important ratios other announces (1:20:40 for 0.15 steam engine / 3:2 for green circuit because they are so important). For solar/accu i usually forget it so i do what i can. For the rest of the base, if it produce the thing i need in the time i need them, i dont really care...
I am quite scared / impressed by the work some do to find/check the ratio though ;)

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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Koub »

You can really play the way you like.
For instance, if you're the OCD-type of person, you'll probably want to achieve the perfect ratios whatever you want to build. If you're not, you'll learn where are the usual bottlenecks, and eyeball what's left (for instance, on 0.14 and previous, the need of gear factories was often underestimated).
Some people download blueprints with perfect ratios from Internet to use them brainlessly. Some others don't, and create their own designs.

I'm more the OCD-type of person, who wants everything neatly aligned, ratio'd, perfect, and I must admit it sometimes ruins my gameplay experience. Well, I haven't had the time to try 0.15 yet, but what I have learnt to call the "blue science wall" up to 0.14 was a hard one for me. I had a "perfect" base up to green science, and then, oil arrived and messes everything, with the basic then advanced oil, ...

For my gameplay experience, I'd say that gross ratios are OK, mostly not to overengineer uselessly a part of your factory and leave big bottlenecks elsewhere. Like "oh I have built 5 sulfuric acid Chem plants, but retrospectively, I could have done with half of one".
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

imajor
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by imajor »

I think math makes it more fun. It is much harder and challenging to come up with designs which not only works more or less, but also contains stuff in the correct ratio. But don't think it is easy. Especially if you start using modules, things complicate a lot. But on the other hand once you figure out well working compact designs and you have blueprints for them (especially now when you can carry these between games) the game won't be as interesting as it was before. But don't worry, that will definitely take you many hours to do. And even if you finish with that, you can start another playthrough with different mods, there are many which makes the game different than vanilla.

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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by pieppiep »

But what is the perfect ratio?
3:2 for only making electric circuits isn't enough.
2860:10427.08:18581.06:20224.29:16161.98 .... for a rocket/minute with only prod3 modules in the silo.
But that's even without making the satellite.

AcThPaU
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by AcThPaU »

If elementary arithmetic is harmful to you, you probably shouldn't play this game the first place.

hoho
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by hoho »

Trivial "solution" is to add things when you see a bottleneck somewhere.

For example, I've yet to use any of the fancy blueprints with perfect solar/accumulator ratio. I just have two separate blueprints - one all solar, one all accumulator. When I lack generation, I put down the solars. When I lack storage, I put down accumulators.

Same basic idea also works with pretty much everything else - belt too slow to feed a furnace column? Either upgrade it or make the column shorter.
Not enough copper cable for circuits when direct-feeding from cable->circuit assembler? Have two cable makers per circuit one.

At times it's useful to look at speeds of machines but it's relatively rare. Recently I did that when building red circuits in 0.15 on marathon settings - 1 assembling machine 2 can feed 2 assembling machine 2's making red circuits.

Obviously, such approach is FAR from the most optimal one but it works decently enough and doesn't really require much math to figure out.

Silba
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Silba »

Math like this ruins mostly every game for the casual player. Just look at games like WoW and similar games. Unless you PERFECT your math you won't get very far in pvp or even boss fights.

Factorio however! Math doesn't matter and i love it. Ive been playing quite a long time and still dont care for perfect ratios, just last night i was building a quick furnace setup and realised i built way too many furnaces, not by math but by visuals. Seeing that the ore wasn't making it down the line, so i just chopped the end off my smeltery :)

Math can help but what i love about factorio is that you aren't punished for not using perfect math or remembering perfect ratios as there is always a visual indicator and you can just 'add 1 more' or 'use 1 less' kind of thing until it looks right.

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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by pieppiep »

But it can be fun to figure it out.

Advanced oil refining with productivity modules, heavy to light with efficiency modules and light to petroleum cracking with one productivity and one speed module.
Calculate the perfect ratio. Your time starts now!

mergele
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by mergele »

@ pieppiep What is the goal? Just create as much petroleum as possible or also partly light and heavy oil? :geek:
Back to topic. As many have said it depends on the person and their experience and their current mood. I've just designed a green circuit factory template with pretty good ratios until the assembler 3s come in, for that I needed to calculate the ratios and it was a lot of fun. Until now I just had the 3 wires:2 circuit ratio and was perfectly fine with it.
PS: On the other hand for my green science I threw down 4 inserter and belt assemblers and 3 science assemblers. I am sure it is horribly inefficient, but I couldn't care less (and I am currently still researching faster than I can build anyways, even with 2x science cost, so that's not an issue either)
Last edited by mergele on Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hannu
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Hannu »

pieppiep wrote:But it can be fun to figure it out.

Advanced oil refining with productivity modules, heavy to light with efficiency modules and light to petroleum cracking with one productivity and one speed module.
Calculate the perfect ratio. Your time starts now!
It is not difficult. It is little more demanding to make controlled refinery which can adapt changing demand of different fractions. In my opinion there are far too low amount of such math in Factorio. Everything is straightforward multiplication and division to optimize ratios for one predefined goal.

There could be for example changes in seasons and daily weather, aging and sudden breaks of assemblers, more varying biter attacks, and a nuclear reactor with positive temperature feedback which should be compensated to prevent explosion. That would create a real challenge to make base able to adapt varying needs. That would also need more interesting math and planning. Unfortunately core game does not favor such variations and there are not good mods. But I understand that most "OCD" -people would hate such a game and most casual players would not even try. It would be economical catastrophe for devs.

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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Matthias_Wlkp »

Similar to some other people in this thread, I take more engineering than math approach. I won't bother with perfect radio of it's getting the job done.

I would welcome some more "chaos", like random breakdowns, slow downs or damaged items, so it resembles real life more accurately.

Ackos
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Ackos »

i have never bothered with things like perfect ratios, or perfect belt compression, etc. Just makes no sense to me.

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ledow
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by ledow »

I'm a mathematician.

I can't think of anything more dull than just plugging in the numbers and building an "ideal" ratio for absolute perfection. Especially with online games with strangers, it bores me to tears when people say "Oh, but X is 0.01% more efficient", I couldn't care less.

I am much more of the "I've landed on a planet, I have to build all this stuff" mindset, every time I play. Quite enjoying 0.15 because I *don't* know how to arrange stuff, so I have to experiment and improvise. The new boilers threw me. The sciences have really screwed up my plans. The nuclear thing is something entirely new. It's great fun again after the "Do I want to commit to another 15-hour game when I know everything in it?" of 0.14.

Built a reactor. Plug three exchangers on it. Put three turbines on each. Went for a fourth turbine, everything seemed fine. But I noticed - by chance - that the steam level was slowly dropping in the turbines. Left unchecked, I would have had an unexpected outage! But, never fear, I noticed, changed it, made sure the numbers went back up and reviewed after adding some more power usage. With the programmable speakers, it's even more fun, because you don't walk back to base to find everything dead, you just get an alert and rush back to find out that you'd missed off a cable, or one boiler had run out of coal or similar.

Putting down blueprints? Never done it. I've made blueprints in game for basic copy/paste operations (solar panels, mines, walls) but I honestly couldn't care less what the most-efficient layout is. And certainly not if it takes all the fun of "Whoops, I forgot to cable in that thing when I ran off for some more resources" away. (P.S. having to craft the destruct blueprint from a blueprint menu by pressing B threw me on the new version!).

There's a reason that I run my own private server, after years of online OpenTTD doing the same thing to me ("Oh, that signal layout isn't ideal for that number of carriages, you're useless").

If I wanted Duplo-brick, plug-and-play, set modules with perfect ratios, I'd not be playing Factorio. I play it for the freedom.

I also play "wall off an area and survive using nothing outside that area". Getting to the rocket like that was quite fun on 0.14. On 0.15 it looks a lot harder because of the new sciences, but that's what makes it fun - cramming it in, trying not to go outside, realising you don't have the space and have to rebuild.

Much more fun than Ctrl-V, auto-clear-trees, bots-go-build-this playtime.

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Deadly-Bagel
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by Deadly-Bagel »

Hannu wrote:I have more engineering based play style. If I can save 80 % work if I accept 80 % efficiency I do that, just like I do in my real engineer job too.
This.

For example new science. I like to produce 1 type of each science pack per cycle (always the lowest common denominator of whole numbers) - eg 5 red science assemblers to 6 green, very easy to calculate ratios. However looking at the new science last night I notice we have 2 production science packs from 1 Electric Furnace, meaning I would need 2.5 Electric Furnace assemblers. Rather than needlessly doubling the whole setup I'll just use 3 assemblers for furnaces, probably store the excess for expanding my smelting (I assume this is the point).

As an example of good efficiency, previously I had Inserters being made for green science which works at 2 per second. This is twice as many as required but I also needed one Filter Inserter per second so the other half got upgraded and used in blue science. Of course this isn't the case anymore so again the other half is becoming Fast Inserters and going in a box for me to use. It's very clever how they've encouraged this type of play.

On the other hand I just really can't be bothered with oil ratios. I make however many Pumpjacks as my current resources allow and 2 Refineries. Cracking is just a bunch of Chemical Plants, no real numbers just as long as they consume more than the Refineries make which I do by checking the storage levels every so often. I started the 1:1 ratio for Sulphur to Sulphuric Acid but found it's not enough when you start making accumulators and laser towers so to ensure I've got the room I just start with a 5:2 ratio.
Last edited by Deadly-Bagel on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by 5thHorseman »

I'm also big on the "damn the math, full speed ahead" paradigm. I love blueprints and robots, but I make my own stuff. I don't import any blueprints, even from other saves of mine. Every world, I remake the same stuff and blueprint it for that world. I especially love that blueprints are just a thing in 0.15 and I've been laying down blueprints all over my world, and then going over and placing the stuff manually because I don't have robots yet.

I have my own personal favorite green circuit blueprint (that is pretty much what everybody else's is), and my own personal red one (that is close to a few I've seen but I've never seen its exact equal), and my own personal solar farm (another dupe of many others'), but many times, as I'm re-building them from scratch I notice that something could be better, or use less parts, or fit better in this particular terrain, and THAT to me is the fun of the game. Making the ratios perfect isn't that big a deal, so long as I'm close.

It's like the 90/10 rule. 90 percent of the work takes 90 percent of the time, and the other 10 percent takes the other 90 percent of the time ;) Or something. I'd rather spend my first 90 percent and then not bother trying for that last 10, and instead do 90 percent of something else.
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Re: Does Math Ruin this Game?

Post by MeduSalem »

Well... I'm doing the math for a lot of things in the game... but in the end my layouts end up with a lot of symmetry and I'm willing to break perfect ratios for aesthetics.

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