Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

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Ranakastrasz
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Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Ranakastrasz »

Not 100% sure where this thread should go.

So, I've been reading about people complaining/commenting on how the Adjacency thing would result in more interesting designs, while it has already been solved.
It was blatantly obvious from when the first information on the Adjacency bonus came out that it was based on Industrialcraft 2's own Nuclear Reactor. However, instead of items inside an inventory, with severely limited space, the unlimited space and lack of detonation risk ensured that there isn't any reason to not go for maximum adjacency bonus. Which is 3, not 4, because you need an input side.

You had a 3x6, to 9x6 area to play with, and had to cram uranium, heat distributors, vents, and a bunch of other stuff into that tiny space, and hope you calculated it correctly and it wasn't going to overhead and blow up.

So, I was thinking, how could someone alter the mechanics to make it more interesting/not have an optimal setup.

The adjacency bonus in IC2 had a downside. You got 4x the power (magically created, instead of from heat being used to heat water to steam) and the heat was increased like 6-8x. So, increasing the efficiency forced you to deal with WAY more heat to dissipate.

Factorio reactors only produce heat, and since there is no risk of, say, an explosion, a radiation leak, pollution, or something else nasty, overproducing heat is only a problem insofar as you waste Uranium resources. There is no risk or tradeoffs involved, just go for max efficiency and make sure you can consume the steam as it is produced/store it in excessive numbers of tanks.


Honestly, I can't think of any way to actually add a tradeoff in. You need to have multiple values to try and maximize for there to be more than one "Best" solution.
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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by hoho »

Ranakastrasz wrote:You got 4x the power (magically created, instead of from heat being used to heat water to steam) and the heat was increased like 6-8x.
A tiny nitpick, the version of IC2 that directly generated "energy units" is/was ancient. Several years ago they moved to outputting first steam and then in a later update "heat" that had to be used for boiling water :)
Ranakastrasz wrote:Honestly, I can't think of any way to actually add a tradeoff in.
Well, reactor using fuel at a fixed rate is kind of a tradeoff. Not exactly something most people would worry about, though.

Perhaps reactor could output extra pollution if it generates more heat than gets consumed? You could explain it away by saying that you need to vent some radioactive crap to keep the reactor from melting down.

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by AileTheAlien »

Another way to make the reactors have more possible valid setups, would be to allow partial adjacency bonuses, for reactors that are only touching on 1/3 or 2/3 contact points. Then you could at least try some different orientations, to have reactor-bonus, vs ease-of-fueling with your robots.

I've mocked this up with assemblers (I don't have reactors in my game yet):
reactors.png
reactors.png (1.3 MiB) Viewed 3909 times

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Gus_Smedstad »

I hated the meltdown / explosion aspect of Industrialcraft 2. It's toxic game design, IMHO, in any kind of building game.

I honestly don't see the need to force players to use sub-optimal designs. That sort of thing is generally not part of Factorio, and isn't really all that interesting anyway. Reactor design has enough complexity as it is, with the need to carefully manage fuel rod input, transfer heat, supply sufficient water, and distribute steam.
Heck, the fact that most factories can't use 800 MW from a 6-core plant is limitation enough. Really high-output plants are only useful for post-satellite plants where you're playing just for fun, and you've already fulfilled the "win" condition (to the degree that you really win Factorio). It's likely that if you go with nuclear power, you'll be "sub optimal" for quite some time just because you're only using 1 or 2 cores.

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Xeorm »

The tradeoff is pretty simple: more complexity means more time and resources to set it up in the first place. Beyond that, why would the game really need a tradeoff for it?

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by eX_ploit »

Reactor design has enough complexity as it is, with the need to carefully manage fuel rod input, transfer heat, supply sufficient water, and distribute steam.
None of that is complex.
manage fuel rod input
Approx 10 combinators.
transfer heat
Spam down heat pipes.
supply sufficient water
Build nuclear near a lake
distribute steam
How is that even a problem?
Heck, the fact that most factories can't use 800 MW from a 6-core plant is limitation enough.
No, it isn't. If you have steam backup and controlled fuel insertion then it doesn't matter that your factory uses less power than nuclear produces, you will use fuel proportional to your energy consumption.

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Akato »

I kind of liked the explosive mechanics of reactors in IC2. Losing is fun.

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by SpeedDaemon »

Akato wrote:I kind of liked the explosive mechanics of reactors in IC2. Losing is fun.
Yeah, building the complicated redstone contraptions for keeping them cool, and the massive containment chambers were part of the fun.

I still had a map or two with 100-block-wide holes in the ground, though :D

In Factorio, having a nuke plant cook off and lay waste to an area of the map could actually be beneficial, depending on the density of the surrounding biter infestation...

Also, nuclear "accidents" as a deforestation tool!

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Ranakastrasz »

Xeorm wrote:The tradeoff is pretty simple: more complexity means more time and resources to set it up in the first place. Beyond that, why would the game really need a tradeoff for it?
The tradeoff isn't nuclear vs steam/solar. It is efficiency vs size/safety/other factor.
Currently there isn't much reason to not go for max efficiency. Ic2 reactors, due to limited real estate and price had to juggle safety ( uptime via redstone regulation or external cooling) efficiency (if you can handle massive heat you can get way more power, but it is more risky) and price( higher efficiency cut uptime so you used less fuel but also produced less power, so you needed more reactors)
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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Yogzototh »

Yeah, IC2's original reactor design has proven to be great, no surprise there are at least 2 games trying to emulate it (the other one being the reactoridle idle game).

You had the simple passive cooling (heat disperser), the active cooling (buckets/ice) which allowed for crazy efficiency, but needed a lot of automation around the reactor, and the heat capacity increasing (heat cells) which allowed you to make overheating reactors which require cooling periods.

This allowed for great variety of viable designs, as you could optimise for maximum power output per reactor, or maximum output per cell, or anywhere inbetween, and dont even get me started on breeder.
The possibility of LOL EXPLOSION was fun but i agree this would not work well in factorio. I'd rather see a meltdown result in a big release of pollution and destruction of the building with all of the modules inside of it.

But yeah, adding the need for careful temperature control in a reactor with multiple cells would be a great addition.

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Ranakastrasz »

Also breeding, which added a whole new curve-ball into the mess. Gotta maintain a high level of heat without meltdown, 9k if feasible.

Overall, the reactors here seem like a half-hearted attempt at emulation, without any of the things that made IC2 reactors interesting. It was complex enough and had enough trade-off factors that while there were inferior designs, there were no "Perfect" designs, or even close to it. Not only in the scaling up and down (3x6 to 9x6) but also in uptime, efficiency, risk, resource consumption (Neutron reflectors) and it even resulted in someone writing a calculator to help people design. Here, I don't really feel that.... It took like a week before people determined that there isn't anything to designs past "The longest line of 2xN reactors you can support and use power from".

Its more interesting looking at designs for mass production of circuits, advanced circuits, and processing units, given the ratios and need to fit enough lines of copper/cable/iron/circuits/plastic/lubricantpipes
Industrialcraft had a bunch of components crammed into an area where space is at a premium, and you have to squeeze as much power or efficiency as you can. Linear programming at its best.....


Solar arrays are boring for the same reason, admittedly...
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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by OdinYggd »

eX_ploit wrote:
manage fuel rod input
Approx 10 combinators.
I have it with 0 combinators. 4 belts, an accumulator, and an extra inserter.
eX_ploit wrote:
transfer heat
Spam down heat pipes.
There is some complexity here in making the heatpipes work correctly.
But its hardly a comparison to the tangled mess of plumbing around a large refinery. Try putting 20 refineries in a bus and watch what happens.
eX_ploit wrote:
supply sufficient water
Build nuclear near a lake
What is it with every thermal power source needing to be near water?
eX_ploit wrote:
distribute steam
How is that even a problem?
It can turn into quite a tangle without some thought being put into layout from the start.
eX_ploit wrote:
Heck, the fact that most factories can't use 800 MW from a 6-core plant is limitation enough.
No, it isn't. If you have steam backup and controlled fuel insertion then it doesn't matter that your factory uses less power than nuclear produces, you will use fuel proportional to your energy consumption.
This. My factory has 480MW installed capacity but only 50-80MW of load. It is not wasting any of the nuclear fuel, through a clever abuse of thermal mass and several large fields of accumulators to store the energy.


The reactors as they are now seem to imitate a PWR type reactor, with the heat pipes being an abstraction of a sealed core system bringing heat out to external heat exchangers. Only real difference is it lacks the containment building and biological shields that are necessary to keep the irradiated primary coolant form being dangerous to workers around it. I'm guessing its internally similar to a real life Gen3+ passive cooled design, that is able to passively cool itself during an out of envelope situation well enough to not be destroyed.

I just wish it had a circuit connection for core temperature output and throttle % input with a valid range from 20-100%. Like so you could make an external closed loop controller to manage its heat.
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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Ranakastrasz »

OdinYggd wrote:
eX_ploit wrote:
supply sufficient water
Build nuclear near a lake
What is it with every thermal power source needing to be near water?
Presumably the fact that thermal energy cannot be directly converted into electricity, and is itself used to heat water, or other liquids, to convert it into steam, which is used to turn a turbine, then cooled, then reheated as the process restarts.

Nuclear reactors aren't THAT different from steam engines, after all.
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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Selvek »

OdinYggd wrote:
I just wish it had a circuit connection for core temperature output and throttle % input with a valid range from 20-100%. Like so you could make an external closed loop controller to manage its heat.
Yeah, a circuit network output for temperature would be nice, but does it offer you anything you can't get by reading the level of steam in a tank?

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Re: Reactor Adjacentcy - Industrial-craft

Post by Vykromod »

I disagree with the people postulating for the reactor exploding. Like one person above said, this aspect of industrialcraft was a toxic design. And I know what I'm saying - I'm still playing it after all.

Having the reactor go boom sounds nice on paper, until you consider that in fact, minecraft is primarily a building game (and so is Factorio, in a large part). Factorio is different in that you got robots to automatically fix and replace any building you lose (I've seen one guy on YouTube literally drop a nuke on the middle of his base during his 0.15 overview and bots repaired all the damage in seconds). In Industrialcraft, it was just frustrating and that's all. It added nothing positive whatsoever and by wrecking your base it DISCOURAGED you from experimenting, which is egregious, as you'd normally expect a game design to do the opposite.

IMO I think you guys are missing something. There was another thing that encouraged you to go for maximum efficiency/power. Or rather two things - it was the matter fabricator and plutonium.

In reality, nobody would ever need the insane amounts of power the reactor produces if it were just to power the base. At least in my case, the primary incentive to build a heavy power reactor was always the matter fabricator. It gives you an alternative to mining (at least with some resources) and a great power sink,especially since there was no other way of getting reasonable amounts of iridium (used for endgame items). On a side note, what's hilarious is that you can actually use the fabricator to make more uranium, in a sort of perpetuum mobile cycle (yes, with some reactor designs it DOES use less power than one fuel rod produces). Honestly, it wasn't all that broken (considering the price of everything involved) and I miss this aspect in Factorio reactors.

In Factorio there is no such thing like IC matter fab. The closest thing there is are productivity modules, but other than spamming speed/productivity modules there is no way to exploit massive power output of the reactors. For most applications, it's an overkill.

Oh, and if you shudder at the thought of fabricating uranium for free power, please consider that all other forms of power are already free (solars are obvious, steam engines can be powered by solid fuel from oil, which never runs out). Only nuclear power forces you to hunt for new deposits of non renewable resource.

Also, I've mentioned IC's plutonium. That's another interesting aspect - every time you refine depleted fuel, you get small amounts of plutonium, which is a resource YOU NEVER LOSE. You can either load it into radioisotope thermoelectric generator, to make small amounts of power for free forever, or make it into MOX rods, which can output far more power than regular cells when reactor is hot. Also, you get all the plutonium back when you refine depleted MOX fuel.

Again, Factorio doesn't have that aspect. Fuel rods get completely used up and that's it. We can see the devs possibly attempted something similar, with fuel refining being a separate tech to research, but the process only gives you 6 chunks of unenriched uranium per 10 cells (vs 19 chunks, plus 3 enriched chunks you put into making fresh cells) which almost makes it not worth discussing. This makes it not much different from coal - it goes with smoke and it's gone.

Personally, I'd love if there was some balanced way of making the nukes an infinite power source. Or otherwise get something worthwhile from spending fuel, something alternative to just power.

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